Title: Not the Only One
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of ABC. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of Castle. No copyright infringement is intended.
A/N – I know Kill Shot was awhile back, but every time I see the scene where she runs off, I still can't believe Castle didn't go after her. So, in between other fics, I bring you this little bit.
Beckett leaned over the woman on the gurney and took a quick sigh, " Emily, my name is detective Kate Beckett. I need you to tell me what happened."
The woman held her oxygen mask timidly as she sobbed through her thoughts, "Why me? What did I do? Why is somebody trying to kill me?"
"Emily have you seen anybody watching you lately?" Beckett asked as the woman continued to cry. Beckett started to sound unsteady and move back and forth on her heels. Silently Castle stood behind her, seeing her bear down harder on the woman who had just been targeted.
"We gotta get her to the hospital," the paramedic pleaded as he started pushing the gurney out from under Beckett's fingers.
"No, don't let them take me outside. He's still outside," Emily pleaded now as she grabbed one of Beckett's hands and tried to hold on.
"You're going to be ok Emily," Beckett tried to reassure the woman, but her voice grew more unsteady as the moments wore on.
"He's still out there. He's going to kill me."
Beckett now demanded the paramedic go, "Go, just get her out of here." She pulled from the young woman's grip and coiled into herself as she dashed away from the elevators.
Castle called after her, "Beckett!" He paused. "Kate!" Seeing her continue into an employee area, he heaved a sigh as he saw the rest of the unit go up the elevators. He knew what Javier had told him earlier about letting her get through whatever was beating her down on her own, but this was unacceptable. Silently cursing to himself, he followed behind her.
Beckett leaned on the wall trying to calm herself, but she knew she was losing. Her mind spun out of control and she continued to panic, having sighs and tears as she pressed her hands and her face into the wall. Pushing back against the opposite wall, she sobbed as she collapsed softly into the floor. She held her hand against her face, continuing to gasp and sob. Her face disappeared into his lapel.
Castle had silently opened the door, witnessing the breakdown and caught her mid collapse. He said nothing, but just pulled her body into his and sat in the small hallway against the wall. He could feel the penetration of her tears through his shirt as her hand started to grab at his jacket as if to ask for protection.
"I can't." She heaved through her sighs. The singultation broke up the few words that she was trying to get out. Castle knew this mix of sobs and hiccups well from having Alexis.
"Shh," he continued as he simply ran his hand over her hair. She continued to paw at his jacket . "Breathe Kate," he whispered, trying to slow the panic attack.
Her breathing was still labored and she still shook in his arms when she raised her head to look at him. Her makeup had run black streaks down her face and across her cheeks. Her eyes were blood shot and her chin still quivered, coupled by a slight jump when she hiccupped.
"Castle." She moved to stand up and felt a weight keep her pulled to the ground. Her jaw tightened as she repeated herself. Castle continued to ignore her. Her body was still rigid and shaking in his arms.
"Just relax, just breathe," he barely whispered in her ear. She shuddered another breath and then looked back down at the pile of her clothing. She saw her jacket on the floor and stiffened again. She pulled her arms out from between them and tried to put her coat back on.
Castle took her hand that she had pulled from his coat and held it. He noticed as soon as he caught her. The blood had dried now a brownish tint, but he knew the wound was not from work. She stiffened at his finger barely touching the gauze and glanced up into his eyes. They pleaded with her to calm. She only could see worry and unrelenting care in his features.
She opened her mouth but couldn't speak yet. She couldn't find the calm place that she was hoping she could find. Leaning back against his chest again, Beckett closed her eye and felt his arms wrap around her curled up form, not concerned about the commotion that was now more apparent from the noise on the other side of the door. She could feel Castle's chin rest against her head and her shaking calmed when she felt his lips press a small kiss on her head.
Castle gripped her tight enough to show he was there to protect her, to secure her but wanted her to know she could move from him when she was ready. He thought of the risk in kissing her on the head as he would do Alexis when she was upset but her knowing he cared for her was more important. He fully expected for her to pull away, but she just moved her loose hand on top of his.
"Kate?" He was pretty sure she wouldn't talk about it. She had used the "I'm fine," excuse with about everyone on a repeated basis for several weeks, becoming more and more insistent in the last few days.
"Not fine." He waited to gauge her reaction and felt her stiffen and then release. "Kate?" His voice lowered.
It was the low baritone voice that she remembered from any of their few heart to heart talks, not that she had let him in as much as she wished she could. She eyed his finger tracing back and forth over the edge of the gauze covering. "I had an accident at home."
She felt Castle huff silently as if to not believe her. She met his eyes and saw his jaw tighten in concern. "It's not what it looks like. I tripped and fell on a glass. Really."
She couldn't take her eyes off his. He closed them and she felt his grip tighten around her. "You're not clumsy Kate."
Silence enveloped the small hallway as the simple statement from Castle sank in. She had rarely been injured and he had been there when she was made Beckett shift uncomfortably. "Castle please."
Castle sat up straighter and pushed her slightly out of his chest. Turning to see him more directly, Beckett felt him take her by the arms. She locked eyes with him again but saw the determined look that for some reason deep inside almost frightened her. "Kate, you are the strongest woman I know. But there is no shame in saying you can't beat this alone. Now, I and everyone around you have been walking on eggshells for you, but I for one can't do it anymore. Whatever you are going through, I may not completely get because you, as you point out repeatedly, were the one that was shot. But we all watched you bleed out, crash. I have woken at night dreaming you didn't make it out of the ambulance, and I'm telling you right now…I'm…not…fine."
His voice cracked between the last three words. She felt his hands leave her arms as he stood up against the wall and back away a step, leaving her there in a pile on the floor. "So Beckett, you can keep using that line or you can talk to me and maybe we can work through this together." He clasped his hands together in front of him as she stared at him.
Beckett's face grew angry as he lectured her but softened when he admitted his own issues. She dropped her eyes to the floor, staring at her things in disarray, such as her life at the moment. He didn't know, and she couldn't admit it as much as she wanted to, but could imagine the pain now that he must have felt when she closed her eyes after being shot. He had admitted his love to her as her blood filled his hands on that ground. It all seemed to sink deeper hearing his confession.
"I had too much to drink last night and I had a panic attack. The glass shattered. I don't remember much." She offered the vague but more truthful explanation to him as she started to gather her things around her.
Castle knelt back next to her and put a hand on her injured arm. "You're drinking?" Castle swallowed hard knowing that she had lived through her father's alcoholism.
She couldn't make eye contact with him. "I know what you're thinking and it's not the case. I'm not my father. I can handle it."
Castle turned her hand over to see the dried caked blood that came through the wrap. "You can't, not alone."
"I'm seeing a therapist still." She ran her fingers over her badge, still sitting on the floor.
"Have you talked to your dad since your accident?" He waited as she nodded her head no and closed her eyes. She ran a hand through her hair and Castle could tell by the tension in her face, she was disturbed by his line of questioning. "Kate, he needs to know. He can help you not go down that road like you helped him. I can help you." He lifted her face to look at him. "Believe me it lessens the pain, but instead of picking up a bottle we need to pick up the phone. Any hour Kate."
She glanced in his direction, and softly agreed with a nod. "How about you?" she whispered.
"I drank more of my fair share over the summer. Alexis called me out before it got dangerous." Beckett pursed her lips together and squeezed Castle's hand in silent understanding before attaching her badge and gun back to her.
Castle helped her up and offered up her jacket before putting out an arm to block her from the main foyer. "Are you ok?"
He watched as she took a more cleansing breath, wiped her face, and gripped his hand tight. "I will be; I'm not sure how but I will be." Castle nodded and removed his hand, letting Beckett swing the door open to the scene in the foyer of the Grace building.
Beckett walked over to the officer that was taking statements and jumped right back in. She glanced over her shoulder at Castle who nodded in silent agreement.
"This' Castle," a mumble came over the phone as he turned over to look at who was calling and the time. The clock read 2 :38 AM. "Hmmm?" He waited for a few more seconds, barely hearing rustling on the other end of the line. He sat up straighter in bed, wiping his eyes of sleep. "Kate?"
He never let the phone fall from his ear, listening to the other end of the phone. He could only hear rustling of sheets and the occasional sniffle. When it got too quiet, he thought of speaking up, but heard "Castle?" whispered on the other end.
"I'm still here. Want to talk?"
"Uhuh," was all Castle could make out from the other end. He stacked up several pillows behind his head and moved the phone into his other hand.
"Then go back to sleep. I'll be here." Castle answered. He heard a sigh and more rustling. He hit the speakerphone button on his phone and sat it on the table beside him. He heard her yawn and felt himself do the same. Her breathing became slower and smoother. He left the phone on just in case.
It was a start.