Disclaimer- I don't own Castle or any of the characters. I've read the Nikki Heat books (and the Derrick Storm novella, but not the comic) and watched the show, but they belong to Andrew Marlowe. Please don't sue me, I'm poor. I just like playing with the characters and I don't make any money from writing this and I didn't beta it. So, if you wanna beta, please feel free to ask me, I'll probably accept the offer. Leave me reviews if you did (I'm one of those authors who can't write without somebody patting them on the back for each chapter, I suck).

I decided to try to write a companion piece from Kate's point of view for the 10 Hospitalizations of Alexis Castle. A lot went on in that fanfic, but Alexis didn't recognise it. This is my first attempt at Kate's voice. I honestly didn't think I could do it, but I ended up liking what I wrote. I hope you all do, too.

I'll never forget the night I woke up for the first time in Richard's apartment in TriBeCa, my heart pounding, adrenaline pumping and covered in sweat. No, we hadn't just had sex. I had had a dream of a casket being rolled down Times Square while I was out with and Richard and Alexis, and I suddenly realized Alexis wasn't with us. The pallbearers rolled the casket up beside us as we were walking down the busy sidewalks and I realized that I could see inside it. There was a shriveled mummy inside with red hair that was wearing a trendy, youthful, flowered dress. I realized it was Alexis.

"Oh God!" I cried. "Richard, it's Alexis!"

"It's not Alexis," Richard scoffed.

"Yes it is! Look at it! Where is she?"

"It's not her," he said. "We're going to be late."

I woke up almost screaming in horror, clawing at my surroundings.

"Babe?" Richard muttered, awaking from his sleep. "What is it?"

I took a few deep breaths. "Nothing," I muttered. "Go back to sleep." He rolled over and started snoring again. I sat up and rubbed my eyes, getting out of bed to take a bath to calm down and cry from these emotions pumping through me.

I don't know why I had such a reaction to her. I wasn't that close to her anymore. When I met her, she had been a gawky, awkward fifteen-year-old girl with the most gorgeous red hair and wide blue eyes and oh my God, was she opinionated. Precocious is what I would have described her as had she been five years younger when I met her. She was beautiful, but didn't know it, I could see the way she scathingly glared at her reflection with youthful insecurity, like all girls— like I had myself, when I was her age. She asked my opinion on everything and then debated it with me. After I got shot, her father had jumped to protect me, not her, and even I admitted that this event had pissed her off for good reason, but I didn't understand why she was mad at me and not her father. All I knew was that Alexis was complicated and her own person. I hoped that now that she lived in the dorms, she'd come to terms with that.

Alexis was not someone I had dwelled on much before. She seemed so independent of her father: at times, she was more mature and responsible than he was, othertimes, she mothered him the way he had to father his own mother. The family dynamics were very messed up, but up until now, I thought Alexis was fine with that, Richard had come out relatively unscathed (if you could dismiss his two failed marriages and lengthy petty rap sheet unscathed).

The next morning in the bullpen, I got call about a dead body found in the meat-packing district. When I arrived, I got the chills. It was a red-headed young woman in a flowered dress who had been found inside an abandoned factory. Her corpse was decaying a bit dried out.

The first thing I did was call Richard, since I didn't have Alexis' number in my phone. I felt my blood pressure rise and my vision got blurry, my ears ringing.

"Richard Castle."

"Honey, where's Alexis?"

"She's on her way to her morning Chemistry class. She's fine, I just talked to her this morning."

I took a deep breath.

"She's fine. What happened?"

"I just… There's a victim here with red hair and a flowered dress…"

"Do you need me to come to scene?"

I nodded, covering my mouth to avoid letting out a sob. "Yeah. I do."

I think my newfound interest in her made Alexis uncomfortable. Richard had asked me to marry him to cut off a fight, which had made me cry and I said yes. We agreed we'd keep it a secret until the next party he threw, then we'd announce it to our friends.

Alexis came home, the first time we had seen her in a month, with a laundry sack brimming with dirty clothes and a suitcase. What seemed out of place on her was that the roundness of her cheeks had disappeared. I hoped that she wasn't experimenting with Speed to stay awake for all the classes she was taking. I had tried it once in high school, but hadn't like it at all. Somewhere in the back of my head, I had started to care about her as more than just a friend or lover of her father's. He had had tons of women, why would I be any different to her?

I didn't care that she wanted to try some wine that night, even though I knew the hell I'd face at work if my allowing her to drink got out. I tried to tease her to get her stop being so stiff. My father would do that with my friends to warm them up when I brought them over when I was younger, but all it did was make her… stiff? I couldn't place a reason on why.

It was when I asked her if she really should be taking that many hours in her first semester, that her irritation towards me manifested slightly. So far, we had a "working" relationship. I'd tell Richard to tell her hi or to ask her a question, just so I could be a larger figure in her life than just her father's girlfriend. I wasn't sure how to cultivate a relationship with a future step-daughter. It was blind territory for me, but an old hat for her.

The next night, we held the party. A few of Alexis' high school girlfriends were there for the break, including the one I didn't like. She was being dragged around by her like a small puppy on a leash.

"You think Alexis is okay?" Lainey asked me.

"I… I guess so," I said, shrugging. "Richard trusts her, I trust her."

"I think she's looking a little anemic," she said. "She's lost weight… not that she had any to lose."

"I think it's just the running," I said. "She's training for the New York City Marathon. She wants to run it next year. She's running the half in a month."

"Yeah, she said that… You don't think… you don't think she's getting into any bad habits?"

"Bad habits like drugs? I've considered it, but she doesn't have any of the tell-tale signs. I honestly thought it was Speed or Adderrol at first, you know, what most Ivy Leaguers do." It was true; she wasn't being irresponsible, she was on time for everything. I had been in the first generation of kids that bought Adderrol illegally in college to get all my homework and tests done, and I had had to admit that, and how I had done marijuana before, in POST. It shook my confidence, but they had been forgiving. It all reminded me of my first confession in the Catholic Church at age seven. It all made me feel disgusting and violated. The sad truth was, I knew more cops that had some kind of chemical dependency than I wanted to. "But she doesn't strike me as the type to do something illegal, you know… She's just a little too perfect."

I realized that was truth; she was the kind of girl I would have hated had we been the same age; she was smart, intelligent, wise for her age, was in good with every teacher, was an overachiever, she was from a rich family, and had absolute freedom I had dreamt of but she never abused. I had never had that and back when I was a teenager, it would have made me jealous. She was perfect at age eighteen, and I hadn't been. At age eighteen, all I could think of was what a pain in the ass my mother was. I know your mother and I seem like a drag, Katie, Dad had said to me, causing me to roll my eyes and scoff. I was ungrateful and wanted my freedom, which they wouldn't give me. I had hated them for that.

We announced an engagement that night, and in my mind, I had already picked out the women I was going to ask to be my bridemaids; Lainey first, of course, my maid of honor. Jenny was another pick which I carefully considered, after considering what had gone down between Kevin and me when I had temporarily quit the force. She was good friend. I had two other friends from school that I had kept up with, and then, there was Alexis. I knew I was going to ask her, but I wondered if she'd accept with her revulsion towards me.

"I knew that was an engagement ring," Lainey said the moment the toast was over. "I called it, but you acted like it was nothing!" She hugged.

"You'll be my maid of honor, right?"

Lainey groaned and sighed.

"Please?" I begged. "I don't want to ask my country-music wannabe slut cousin from Nashville. Please, Lainey?"

She finally cracked a grin. "Girl, you know I will." I hugged her fiercely.

"I love you," I whispered into her ear.

"I love you more. Congratulations. I'm really happy for you."

I saw Alexis dart past us and she shoved people aside to her to her father to hug him. "I love you Dad, I'm so happy for you," she blurted out in a single breath, her face twisted in horror. She was lying? "Congratulations."

"Thank you, honey," he said. "I love you."

"Alexis," I said, getting her attention.

She robotically hugged me. "Congratulations," she said, her voice strained.

"Are you okay with this?" I asked.

Her face broke out into a forced smile. "Of course!" She seemed to be trying to fake her happiness. She didn't seem happy right now. I liked that she was trying to be happy, even though something was bothering her. Maybe she wasn't completely revulsed by me afterall.

"You'll be one of my bridesmaids?" I asked tentatively.

She swallowed hard. "Of course."

She said good-bye to us shortly after to go out with her friends.

The party ended at about midnight. After a half-assed attempt at a clean-up, we gave up and went to bed. We had just gotten past the foreplay stage when Richard's phone rang. "Ignore it," I ordered. The caller hung up. We went back to banging the headboard when the phone rang again.

"I really don't want to get that," he muttered.

I glanced at the caller ID. It was Tara Hirschberg, one of the girls Alexis had gone out with tonight. "It's Tara. You should get it."

He picked up the phone. "Richard Castle... Hey, Tara."

There was a long pause, only punctuated by "uh-huh" and "nuh-uh"s. I held my breath until he hung up. "She saw some hipster boy trying to assault Alexis," he said, looking defeated and horrified. "He attacked both her and Tara, Alexis was drugged."

We were frozen in shock for what seemed like an eternity when I finally got up out of bed and started getting dressed. He did, too. I called my friends in the sexual assault unit. Even my influence couldn't solve a case like this any faster. She was raped? This kind of thing didn't happen in Richard's circle of friends.

When we arrived at St. Vincent's, they took Richard back into a consulting room in the ER. I waited nervously, tapping my heel until he came out. "She's fine. He got a hand down up her skirt, but that was the extent of it all before Tara caught them. She got a tattoo."

"Where?" I cried.

"Her foot. It's still wrapped up."

In all this horror, she had gotten a tattoo? They were telling him now? I started laughing. I could hear the hysteria in my own laugh. I never freaked out like this. It had been years. "The princess area," I muttered, almost drunk from laughter or hysteria or both. "Tattooed like a little princess!"

I sat there in there ER waiting room, slightly hysterical. What the hell was wrong with me? Lainey walked into the room and spotted me immediately. "You're in shock," she said.

"No, I'm not."

"Yeah, you are. Come on, I'm getting you a Xanax." She tossed me small trial packet out of her purse. I popped the pill dry and within a few minutes, I calmed down.

I remembered the ways I had rebelled after I decided a majority of drugs got on my nerves and it made me stupid; I had had sex instead. It was wonderful at infuriating both my parents. With a different guy every week trying to get their attention, the one thing I could control that my parents had no say in. A pregnancy scare did me in; I came home from college, crying to my mother, and she said to me, Katie, this is what happens when you look to other people to make you happy. Only you can make you happy with the cards you've been dealt. My mother refused to let me even entertain the thought of an abortion. You made your bed, you lie in it, she had said. I had never gone to a doctor for birth control before then, just done condoms or the high-school pull-out method. The sad thing was, I wasn't sure who had knocked me up. The day after I cried into my mother's arms, I got my period. The next weekend, my mother was murdered. I took her last mother-daughter talk to heart with everything else after that; the only thing that made me happy was avenging murders and wrong-doing, it seemed.

Richard came out of the ER room again.

"She scared the shit out of me," he said. "She got completely trashed in a night. They're nursing the hangover out of her right now with a fluid IV… Are you high?"

"A little," I admitted.

"She's taken a Xanie," Lainey explained.

"That's all I need," Richard said. "To have to take care of both of you in the morning."

"I'm fine," I slurred. I knew I'd be fine. But Alexis? I wondered if she'd remember this somehow, would it stunt her, scar her? I wasn't sure.

In the morning, I had fallen asleep in a strange position cramped and curled up, my neck cramped when she was wheeled out in by a transport tech in a wheelchair, looking horrified and embarrassed. I saw the bandage taped over her foot, obviously covering her brand-new tattoo. That was the one thing I never did during my rebellion phase and I wish I had, sometimes.

This was a strange moment. Alexis didn't want to talk to me at all.

I wouldn't have known what to say anyway.