I have no idea where the idea for this story came from. It's not like anything I've ever written or really thought about. I hope it's in character, and it's not too inaccurate to a real situation. I was kind of in the dark writing it, but the idea refused to leave my head till I spent time I didn't have writing it down. I want to be clear that I don't want to offend anyone or make light of anyone who has been in this situation. It broke my heart to write. This is a one shot for now, but I am considering writing another part. There would just be one more. I can't handle multi chapter fics too well. To everyone reading A Push in the Right Direction, I know it's been forever but I'm working on it. If you aren't please check it out, but school has started. I have zero time so beware of my awful updating skills. That story does not want to cooperate with me right now. I thank you for sticking with me. Now on to this story, I hope you like, but I have to say it's not happy.
When Rick got the call about 30 minutes ago, he thought his heart legitimately stopped. He hadn't felt that kind of panic in years and judging by the tone of Esposito's voice he was feeling about the same. Shots fired. His loft. Kate was home. She had actually left the precinct at a decent time tonight. Esposito didn't have any other news for him. All he knew was that the shots had been reported. 911 had gotten three calls about it, before Kate called it in herself. That was a small comfort. At least she was alive or simply alive enough to call, but the guy that called Esposito wasn't the one who had spoken to her. She had to be coherent enough to give dispatch her badge number and apparently Espo's, but why didn't she call him? If she was alright, why didn't she call? Why would she just tell dispatch to call Esposito and then do nothing else? Rick had no idea if she was hurt. He was terrified. Esposito assured him that units and an ambulance had already been sent and that he was on his way.
"Where is she?" Rick yelled as he stormed through the door.
"Bedroom. Castle, she's alright. She's pretty banged up, but she'll be okay," Esposito told him placing a calming hand on his shoulder.
"What the hell happened?"
"She told the first responders that there was a guy in here when she got home. She didn't see him till it was too late. There was a struggle, but she was able to get to away long enough to grab her gun."
"Who is he?" Rick asked with a somewhat steadier voice.
"I don't know. Kate didn't recognize him, and medics were already loading him in the ambulance when I got here. There was no time."
"He gonna make it?"
"Don't know. He lost a lot blood. She shot him twice in the abdomen."
"Good girl," Castle whispered almost inaudibly as he nodded his head. "I'm going to go see her."
"She's pretty shaken up," Esposito said his voice growing even more serious.
Rick stopped dead in his tracks when he saw her. Kate was sitting on the side of their bed with a paramedic kneeling down in front of her looking at her foot. There was a large purpling bruise above her left eye and a deep scratch running horizontally along her right cheek bone. Her right wrist was wrapped, and she was clutching it tightly across her chest. Castle had never seen her look so small or scared. It was baffling to him. This was not his wife. This was not Kate Beckett-Castle. She looked like... she looked like a victim. Castle took a step into the room, and she startled at the noise.
"Kate," he breathed as he approached. Her eyes met his at the sound of his voice, but she didn't move or speak.
The medic stood up and gave Rick a small smile before turning back to Kate. "I'm going to pull the gurney over, and you can slide right over so you don't have to put any weight on that ankle. Ok?"
"I can probably stand a little bit."
Castle took a few more steps to close the gap between them. When he was close enough, Kate released her right arm, still holding it up against her body, and grabbed his hand with her left one. He gave it a small squeeze hoping it was comforting.
"Help me up," She rasped as the medic slide the gurney along the bed.
Rick tried to guide her gently, but as soon as she started to stand it seemed like her legs just gave out. He reached out and grabbed around her waist to steady her. He practically had to lift her on to the gurney. She didn't a make sound and simply let him do it. Rick's worry only increased. This is so not his Kate.
Once Kate was settled, the medic turned back to the bed and started gathering her things back into a big red bag.
"You ok?" Rick asked his entire attention on his wife.
"Yeah. Is the guy dead?"
Rick just looked at her. He was so not expecting that question. "They took him to the hospital. He wasn't in good shape."
She just nodded.
"Alright, we're ready to go." They paramedic chimed in, and they headed out of the room.
The living room was buzzing with police and CSU. Ryan and Esposito quickly stopped talking to a uniform and came over to them.
"Thanks for coming guys," Kate said trying to put on a smile.
"Of course," Esposito said glad to see her out of her previous zombie like state.
"I'm just sorry it took me so long to get here. How are you?" Ryan asked.
"I'll be fine. Have CSU process the bedroom and bathroom along with out here and the door. I want you guys running point on this even if you're not officially," Kate ordered all business.
"You got it," Esposito nodded.
"Call me if you get anything," She said firmly.
"Call us when you a see doc," Ryan countered.
They started to head for the door when Detective Freeman stopped them. "Detective Beckett can you tell me what happened?"
"Send someone to the hospital. I'm not giving my statement now," She answered.
"Are you riding with us?" The paramedic asked turning to Rick when they got downstairs and outside.
"Yes?" He answered hesitantly looking at Kate.
She reached out and grabbed his hand, "Don't leave."
When they got to the hospital, Kate still hadn't released his hand nor had she spoken the entire ride. The driver got out, and opened the doors revealing 2 doctors waiting.
"Sir, I'm going to need you to hop out and a nurse will take you to the waiting room," One of them said.
"No!" Kate practically yelled breaking her previous silence and squeezing his hand tighter.
"It'll be okay. I'm not going to leave. I'll be just be a few rooms over. You need to let them take care of you." He leaned over and gently kissed her crown.
She looked up at him with tears pulling in her eyes, "I love you."
"I love you too, Kate. So much." He kissed her again and slowly pulled away.
Rick took a seat in the waiting room and let out a deep breath. He closed his eyes and tried to pull himself together. The waiting room was packed. Rick couldn't seem to focus with all the commotion. He didn't even really know what happened. She hadn't told him. It didn't really seem like she had really told anyone. The information people knew was rather obvious. There was a man in their apartment, they fought, and she shot him. Rick debated if he should call her dad, but decided against it. He didn't really have anything concrete to tell the man and would probably just scare him. Besides, Kate would probably want to tell him herself. He did however call his mother and Alexis to let them know that what had basically happened, and that she was going to be fine. He found himself happy for the first time that those two didn't live with him anymore. Alexis was at finishing up her senior year at Columbia, and his mother had moved out when him and Kate got married. They were both worried and scared, but he tried to be reassuring. But what if one of them had been the one home alone? At least Kate had training and a gun.
"Richard Castle?" A woman called out breaking him from his thoughts.
"Yes," he said as he stood.
"Hi I'm Dr. Abbott, would come with me please?"
"How is she?"
"A nurse is getting her settled in a room. I'll take you up there shortly."
The doctor led him out of the waiting room and down a long white hallway. She stopped at the last door on the left and showed him inside.
"We needed to go to your office to talk?" he asked nervously.
"Our ER waiting room is always so hectic; I'm sure you saw. It's just easier to go somewhere quieter."
"Your wife has a broken wrist, ankle, and 2 ribs. Fortunately, I'm fairly sure she doesn't need surgery. None of the factures are too severe."
Castle just nodded again. Broken bones. It was bad, but considering everything that could have happened it really wasn't.
"She also needed 4 stitches in her cheek and, even though she doesn't appear to have a concussion, the bruising above her eye has us concerned," the doctor continued.
"That's understandable, but she's okay? There's nothing more serious than that?"
"We did a CT scan to be sure there wasn't any internal bleeding because she has some bruising across her abdomen, but everything looks fine."
"Ok good," Rick said his voice wavering and took a deep breath, "Does she only need to stay tonight?"
"Most likely. She still needs to see an orthopedic to be sure she doesn't need surgery, and she will need casts on her ankle and wrist."
"There's one more thing," the doctor said hesitantly.
"Did she tell you anything about what happened?"
"No, we didn't get to talk much."
"I was just wondering because it can be helpful for us to treat her better."
"Why do I feel like you're not telling me something?" Rick asked fear burning through him.
"Mr. Castle... your wife shows some signs that she may have been raped, but she is refusing an exam, so I can't say for certain."
"What? Why?" He nearly flew out of his seat as the questions flew out of his mouth.
"She has bruising on her back and shoulders like she was held down to a hard floor or wall. Her wrist is broken in a way that indicates it was twisted like someone was trying to subdue her. But more concerning, her lower abdomen is bruised heavily, and she has some light brush burn on her upper thighs. It could have been caused by anything, but she was very quick to refuse a pelvic exam and seemed noticeably nervous with the male doctor. That's why they called me in."
"What do I do?"
"Don't directly ask her about it, but leave her the opportunity to tell you. Make her feel loved and be supportive. I know she's a detective and is probably a very strong woman, but she needs to hear those things. Give her a chance to tell you without pressure or worry."
"Yeah... Ok" Rick was quickly lost in his thoughts as it suddenly hit what she was wearing when he got home. She had a t shirt and shorts on... and there wasn't really any blood on them. Was she wearing them during the struggle? She would have gotten blood from her face on her shirt at least, right? And she had some other small scrapes, or what about the guy she shot? She must have changed... or hastily threw clothes on to hide what truly happened. Kate would tell never anyone if she had been raped. Especially not her colleagues. Her mostly all male colleagues. Even if Ryan and Esposito were her brothers, she wouldn't tell them. Kate would never want to be seen as the victim even if she was. He thought back to how shaken up she was. He had seen her go through hell and back, and this was certainly the most upset he had seen her. And she asked for a female doctor? Then he remembered the only one with her when he got there was a female paramedic. He thought the guy must have just gone down early to move the ambulance because he was waiting when they came out, but maybe Kate made him leave. No. He was not accepting that she had been raped. Not his Kate. That's when the rage started. It's a good thing she already shot the bastard because he would have had to do it himself. Hell, he wanted to shoot him again or strangle him with his bare hands.
"Mr. Castle?" The doctor questioned snapping him back to reality.
"I can take you to see her."
"Please... and thank you for telling me."
"I hope I'm wrong."
"Hey," Rick said softly entering the room.
"Hey," Kate responded looking up at him.
"How do you feel?"
"I'm ok. They gave me meds."
"That's a good thing," he said with a small smile. "You had to be in pain."
"It's not as bad as it looks."
"Come here," She nearly whispered gesturing to the edge of the bed. He looked down at the bed and then at her with questioning look on his face.
"Please," Kate nearly whispered.
Rick sat on the edge of bed the best he could, but there really wasn't any space. Kate scooted over a little to give him more space so he could actually put his weight on the bed. As much as she tried, she couldn't hide the grimace of pain at the movement.
"Honey, stop," he said reaching out to stop her movements but then paused short of touching her. He wasn't sure if that would be a good idea.
"I want you close." Kate's voice was so weak. His heart nearly broke at the sound, and he nudged into the small amount of freed space careful not to jostle her.
"I love you," She said placing her good hand on his thigh.
"I love you too," he said gently placing his hand on top of hers.
They had a quiet moment before Rick's phone rang and broke the silence.
"It's Esposito," he said and then picked up, "Hello."
"Ok," Rick breathed out focusing on Kate who was close enough to him to hear Esposito.
"Broken wrist, ankle, and 2 ribs."
"Does she know why he did it?" Esposito asked his voice full of heat. It was a well known fact the man was protective.
"I don't think so, but I just got to see her again."
"Should I come take her statement or you guys want some time?"
He looked at Kate. Her eyes were closed tightly and she just mouthed, "later."
"Can you come by tomorrow? We have 24 hours right?"
"Yeah, don't even worry about it," Esposito said kindly.
"Of course and don't hesitate to call if you need anything."
"We won't. Did you get an ID?"
"No, he didn't have anything on him. We are going to have to wait and run his prints."
"Talk to you later."
"I wasn't trying to kill him. I just wanted him to stop." Kate spoke up after Rick had set his phone on table beside the bed.
"I know. I know," He said peacefully rubbing his hand up and down her good arm "Can you tell me what happened?"
"I came home and everything looked ... normal. The door was locked, the lights were off, nothing was out of place...I went to the bedroom. I was going to take a shower. I wanted to be able to go out tonight not smelling like work and look half way decent."
"You always look beautiful," Rick interjected.
"I got undressed... which was probably stupid, but I was home alone."
"You were in the bedroom, the bathroom's attached, so no it doesn't sound stupid. I do it all the time," he explained.
"Well this time it was stupid because as soon as I opened the bathroom door, a guy flipped the light on and shoved me back into the bedroom."
"There's no way you could have known."
"I just felt so exposed. I could deal with fighting the guy, but naked? It was like fucking Nikki Heat," She said finally meeting his eye.
Castle couldn't help but crack a small smile at that, and he was feeling better that at least she had taken her own clothes off.
"What happened next?" He pushed gently after a moment of silence.
"We fought. He threw me down. I hit my head on the night stand. He let me get up. Just to pin me up against the wall. It took a second for me to get my thoughts straight, but then I realized what he wanted. The way he was looking at me, at my body... I managed to get my leg up and kneed him in the balls. He doubled over, and I tried to run. He wasn't down but a second...He came up behind me as I ran and literally picked me up. I was scrambling and swinging, but he throw me down on the bed. I cracked my foot on the frame." She explained and then just stopped. She was staring off into the distance out the tiny hospital window.
"You can tell me. I want to help you, Kate," He said gently even though he wasn't actually sure he wanted to hear.
"He climbed above me and grabbed my arm, twisted it back behind me. He ... He thrusted against me a few times. He had his clothes on, but I ... I could feel him... I was kicking and doing everything I could to get him off, but the way he held my arm... and all of his weight was on me. I couldn't move." She paused and took a deep breath. Rick felt Kate go tense. He didn't know she could be any more tense than already was."He leaned in and whispered in my ear that we were going to have some fun and then he was going to kill me... he sat up on me then and started for his zipper. I just.. I couldn't... he couldn't...I don't know where the strength came from... He was distracted, I guess, and I pulled my arm out from under me and shoved him. He was off balanced ... the way he was straddling me. He went backwards off me, and I jumped up." She finally turned her head to look at Rick. She wasn't crying but her eyes were glassy and red. "I got to the dresser. I barely had time to get the little drawer of my keepsake box open and grab my gun. I know you still want me to keep it in the safe. It's just that's where I've always kept it for years and-"
"Kate, I'm glad it was there." He interjected his voice a mix of horror and pride at how strong she had been.
"I don't think he had a clue what I was getting because he came right up behind me. I turned and just shot. He came at me... I think he was just falling forward, but I shot him again."
"You didn't do anything wrong," Rick said in a strong voice hoping to mask his inner turmoil.
"He's really dead?" She asked quietly.
"I have no idea who he was or why he was there. Why me?" That's when the tears she had been holding in began to fall. Just a single one at first, but it broke the damn.
"This wasn't your fault. You were amazing and so, so strong," he said and gently brushed the tears off her cheek. She turned into him and buried her head into his chest. He noticed she whimpered as she shifted. She had to be in so much pain.
"I couldn't let him... the way he felt pressed against me. I thought I was going to throw up. It was the worst thing I have ever experienced. When he said he was going to kill me, I just wanted him to do it. I couldn't stand the thought of him touching me, and then I just snapped. I whipped my arm out and just threw him back."
"You are so incredibly strong, and I love you so much."
"I couldn't let him do that to me .. to us."
"I wouldn't have been angry with you if... if you weren't able to stop him. I would have killed him, but you ... you didn't do anything wrong. Nothing," he said dipping his head to try and meet her eyes.
"I love you," she said looking directly into his eyes, his soul.
"So much, Kate... Are you really ok? I know you probably refused most of the pain meds."
"I'm fine. I took whatever the doctor wanted."
"Good-" Rick was interrupted by the sound of his phone blaring from the table. "Lanie," he said as he reached over looking at the screen.
"She probably just found out. Answer it"
"Is she ok?" Lanie's panicked voice echoed through the device.
"Yeah...yeah. She's going to be fine."
"What the hell happened?" She asked taking a deep breath. He was about to answer, but Kate gestured for the phone.
"She's right here. Talk to her."
"Hey Lanie, give me one second," Kate covered the bottom of the phone with her hand and turned to Rick "Will you find my phone and go call my dad? Tell him I'm fine, and he doesn't need to come. Just I got I attacked at work and broke my ankle and wrist."
"At work?" he asked raising an eyebrow.
"Yeah, ok," he said and gently shifted to get out of bed.
"How'd he take it?" Kate asked when he came back in. She was already off the phone.
"He was upset, but reasonable," Castle shrugged.
"He wanted to come?"
"Yeah. I told him you'd call him tomorrow when we got home."
"That's a good plan" ..."No one needs to know the full story"
"Are you going to put it in your statement?" he asked taking a seat in the chair next to her bed.
"I don't know what I want to say yet."
"Would you be more comfortable with a detective you don't know? I really don't think Ryan or Esposito would be offended."
"No, the boys are fine. I just don't want to tell anyone. But I have to tell the truth, and I need to make sure it's ruled a good shooting so I can't leave too much out."
"Kate, don't worry about that. He was in your home, he attacked you, and threatened you. It's obvious from your injuries that there was a bad struggle."
"They took pictures in the ER. It was humiliating. I forgot they had to record all my injuries."
"It's over now. All you have to do is give your statement, and it can be in the past."
"What time is it?"
"A little after midnight," he said looking down at his watch.
"I know this bed is really small, but...can you?"
"You want me to get in bed?"
"Please." His heart broke at her words. He stood up, and she scooted over all the way to one side.
"Are you ok like this? I don't want to hurt you," Rick asked. He was lying on his back and she was curled into his side. It was a fairly normal sleeping position for them, but he didn't know what side her ribs were broken on, and he was afraid he was going to jostle her wrist that she put across his stomach.
"I just want it to be normal," she whispered almost inaudibly.
"Tomorrow night. We'll be home and everything can be, but tonight I don't want you to be in pain or uncomfortable."
"I think we need a new bed."
"Not a problem. Whatever you want."
There was a gentle knock at the door."Hi, I'm Karen. I'm the nurse on this floor tonight. I just need to check your vitals really quick, and you can get some sleep," A woman spoke up as she entered the room.
Rick gently shifted up and took a step back to allow the nurse to approach the bed. Kate was a little jumpy, but seemed generally ok.
"How's your pain?" the woman asked kindly.
"It's not too bad. My wrist is the worst," Kate admitted.
"I can get you something and maybe some ice? Have you had any on it since you came in?"
"Not since the ER."
"Ok I'll be right back."
She came back quickly and gave Kate a big blue ice pack. She also had a sling with her. "It's not necessary but you might be more comfortable if you want to put your arm up in here."
"Thanks, but I think I'm going to just lay it flat for now and leave the ice sit on top."
"Ok, I talked to Dr. Abbott, and she said you could have some more pain medicine "
"Ok, thank you," Kate said giving the nurse a small smile.
"Get some rest, feel free to hit the button if you need anything."
Rick came back to the bed, and Kate leaned over to allow him to crawl in behind her. He took his shoes off and scooted into bed.
"Thank you," she whispered once they were settled.
"Being here, not being mad."
"Why in the world would I be mad?"
"Just... thank you."
"I wish I would have been at the precinct with you today. I would have left with you and come home with you."
"I was only doing paperwork, and you needed to work."
"Looking over cover art and debating if I need to take a new picture for the back cover isn't important. The book is done."
"Still it's part of your job."
"I guess... thank you for telling me what happened. I know it must have been impossible for you to recount it all."
"I wanted... I needed you to know."
"There's nothing in the world that could make me stop loving you. Especially something you did everything in your power to stop."
"The feeling of another man... it was all so wrong. It was so wrong I thought I was going to explode. I couldn't...," Kate trailed off.
"It's over. He's dead. He can't hurt you anymore. I'm here."
"Afterwards when everyone got to the loft, I didn't say anything when I heard them knock. I walked over to open the door, but I couldn't do it. I went back and sat on the couch. They had to kick it in."
"Don't worry, we'll get it fixed."
"Is it locked now? Shit," she said suddenly sitting up.
"I'm sure Ryan or Esposito took care of it."
"When the uniforms started in and were asking questions, I was ok. I took them back to the bedroom and told them what happened. The medics went right to the bleeding guy on the floor, and I just sat down and watched everything unfold till another set of medics came in and started looking at me. It was just the woman, Hannah, that came over to me. Her partner went to help the other 2. She was kind and gentle, I was ok. Then Esposito got there and came rushing in."
"He was on his way when he called me, but he was a lot closer. I got in the car right away, but traffic was awful," Rick filled in.
She gave him an understanding smile telling him it was ok. "When he came over to me, I flinched. I actually moved away from him. It was completely involuntary. It's Javi, you know? I should not have reacted like that. I'm not afraid of him. Not at all... but I was."
"You were in shock. It's not your fault. He's not mad."
"I'm not sure he really noticed. He took over the scene and the guys pretty quickly."
"He's good at that. Everything was under control when I got there," Rick said with a small smile. He knew it would comfort her to know that the scene was processed correctly.
"I was so happy to see you. I just wanted everyone to leave, but I knew there were things to be done, and I was going to have to go to the hospital," Kate admitted.
"I'm here now. I promise I'm not going anywhere."
"After Javi walked away, I was afraid I wasn't going to want you near me either. All the men in the room, and there was a lot of them, seemed threatening. That's just ridiculous. I knew most of them. They weren't going to hurt me. But when I saw you, I just felt safe. I wanted you near me. I wanted you to touch me, to just pull me into your arms and make it all go away."
"I'm so glad I could help. That's all I wanted when I saw you. I just wanted to take your pain away."
"You did," she said firmly.
"I love you" Rick said tightening her arm around her still careful not to hurt her.
"I love you too," she breathed out and kissed his shoulder. "I'm tired"
"Close your eyes, go to sleep."
"You're not going to move?" Kate whispered in the darkness of the hospital room.
"No, I'm staying right here," he said and kissed her head gently.
Thoughts? Comments? Thanks for reading!