Author's Note: I am a HUGE fan of Castle. HUGE. I love it. Well, anyways, I decided a while ago that I would try to write my own Castle fanfic, based after the season 2 episode "Sucker-punch" when Beckett gets a lead on her mother's murder. Just my take on what could have happened between Castle and Beckett after that happened. Enjoy, please R&R :)

After the Shot

The gun-shot could be heard throughout the entire precinct, ringing into the silence. Detective Beckett stood motionless for less than a second, then the enormity of the situation hit her.
No!" she screamed, throwing her gun across the room, then leaping beside the man she had just shot. Tears starting to form, but she blinked furiously, forcing herself not to cry. By the time she had begun chest compressions, the entire homicide department had stopped their work, going to investigate what had happened.

Beckett knew her attempts were fruitless, but she also knew she had to try. This man had gotten away before, and she wasn't going to let that happen again. She needed this bastard alive, needed to know who the hell had ordered him to kill her mother. By now, her hands were covered in blood, and tears streamed down her face.
"No," she said again. "Stay with me," she head the sirens in the near distance, but continued trying to restart the man's heart. "Stay with me!" she said again, hopelessly. "Come on!" she almost yelled.

Kate almost jumped when she felt the firm, reassuring hand grip her shoulder. Castle. She leaned back, and brushed the hair from her face with a blood-soaked hand. She breathed in shakily, and began sobbing helplessly. She had failed again. Castle stayed kneeling beside her, keeping his hand on her shoulder.

Beckett was still kneeling beside the body when the paramedics came. She allowed Castle to pull her to her feet, then she shrugged his hand off, and ran to the bathroom. She continued sobbing as she scrubbed her hands, trying to get rid of the blood that stained them. After a few minutes, she had somewhat regained her composure, and if it weren't for her tear-stained cheeks, nobody would have realised that she had just shot someone. She left the bathroom, and walked straight up to Montgomery.
"Sir, I'm so sorry," she began.

"For what, detective?" he asked. "That man was putting everyone in danger, you had no choice."

Beckett nodded, but it was obvious she didn't agree. Castle had been standing a short distance from the captain and detective Beckett, clearly shaken, but still he remained silent.

"Go home, detective," Montgomery said, putting a hand on her shoulder.

"But sir, I-," she started to protest, but he raised his hand to signal her silence.

"You aren't fit enough to be at work for the rest of the day, and I know you haven't gone home since you were handed this case,"

She sighed inwardly, and closed her tired eyes. It was true. She hadn't had a proper sleep in over a week. Ever since she had found out her mother was connected to the case, she had been working harder than ever. Tears started to form again, and she shook her head. Opening her eyes, she looked at the captain. "Fine," she said shortly, realising she was too tired to fight.

He smiled sympathetically. "You won't be missing out on much, detective," he said reassuringly. "Now stop worrying about us and go get some rest."

She nodded, then breathed out shakily, trying to regain her usually calm and collected composure. Failing at this, she turned around abruptly and walked quickly to the elevator, keeping her head down.

"Kate!" Castle reached out and put a hand on her arm. She shook it off, and turned to look at him. She shook her head.

"Not now, Castle," she said softly, sadly.


"I said not now," she said more forcefully. "I'll talk to you later, Castle," she turned, and without seeing if he was following, went down the elevator.

Beckett stumbled outside and hailed the first taxi she saw. She greeted the driver, told him her address and sat in the back seat, gazing out the window. Her eyes snapped back to the driver when he queried about the ambulances outside the precinct, but she shrugged it off, telling the man there had been an accident in another department.

The taxi had only just stopped when she paid the driver and walked aimlessly up to her apartment. Beckett still couldn't comprehend what had happened. She had been so close, and then everything had gone wrong. In another state of mind, Beckett managed to unlock the door to her apartment and shut it behind her. Then, leaning against the door, she slid to the floor and pulled her knees up, resting her chin on them. She stared with glazed eyes at the opposite wall. It wasn't supposed to end like this…

Castle still hadn't left the station by the time Beckett had gone home. Most people were rushing around frantically, trying to clean up the mess from the shooting, and warding off unwanted media. Of course, the story had gotten out very quickly. Too quickly. Castle shook his head. Beckett didn't deserve this. And it was all his fault. Again.
"It's not your fault, you know."

Castle looked up to see Ryan and Esposito standing beside him. He frowned. "Yeah, it is," he said. "I got in the way again," he turned to leave. "I'm probably not going to come back, so, thanks for everything you two," Castle said with a sad smile.

Both Ryan and Esposito ran after him. "You can't do that, Castle!"

"Why not?" the writer asked.

"Is it really fair on Beckett?"

"How do you mean?"

"She's lost too many people that she cares about. You can't leave too," Esposito said.

"It's obvious she cares about you, and you care about her," Ryan explained.

"A lot," Esposito added.

Castle shook his head. He didn't have time for this. "Look, how many times do I have to tell the both of you that there is nothing going on between me and Beckett?"

"Maybe not, but you aren't denying that you care about each other?" Esposito said with a smirk.

"Yes, we care about each other," he said, annoyed. "But this isn't time for jokes; some bastard who killed Beckett's mother threatened to shoot me, and now he's dead.

"It's not your fault," Ryan said again.

"And Beckett doesn't blame you either," Esposito said.

Castle nodded, but it was clear he was unconvinced. "Look, I gotta go. I'll talk to you later,"

Ryan and Esposito sighed, and let Castle pass, hoping they had helped change his mind.

Castle contemplated on going to visit Beckett, but decided against it, knowing she would probably want to be alone.

And he was probably the last person she wanted to see, too.

Instead, he went home. Alexis was home from school, and his mother was at home also.

"Dad!" Alexis screamed, jumping into his arms as soon as he opened the door. "You're ok! I'm so glad you're ok…." She cried into his shoulder.

"Oh, Richard," Martha breathed. "What happened?"

Martha and Alexis had already heard what had happened, but Castle re-explained it in more detail.

"And how is Detective Beckett?" Alexis asked, concern written all over her face.

He shrugged. "She left on strict orders from Captain Montgomery. Went home, and wouldn't talk to me,"

Both Martha and Alexis looked at him sadly, and had no idea why he was giving up on the woman he so clearly loved.

Castle sat on one of the barstools at the kitchen bench and stared at the fridge with his head resting in his hands. "I…. don't really wanna talk right now, so…" he stopped talking when he felt Alexis's arms wrap around his waist. Castle smiled at his daughter, grateful for her silent reassurance.

It was past midnight when Castle finally got off the barstool. Alexis had gone to bed a few hours before, but Martha was still awake, keeping a subtle eye on her son.

"You going somewhere kiddo?" she asked him.

He nodded. "Yeah," he said slowly. "I think I need to talk to Beckett."

"It's pretty late. Are you sure she'll be awake?" she asked.

He shrugged. "Dunno. But I have to try."

Martha smiled; glad to see her son had some sense left in him.

It didn't take long for Castle to get to Beckett's apartment, but he hesitated for a moment before lifting his arm and knocking on the door.

Beckett had moved from leaning on the door to collapsing on the couch a few hours after being sent home. She didn't sleep, her thoughts wouldn't allow that. The knock made her jump. She shook her head slightly, and despite her body screaming in protest, she went to open the door.

"Castle," she said quietly, when she opened the door.

Castle didn't say anything. Instead, he wrapped his arms around her and hugged her tightly. "I'm sorry…" he said quietly. "I'm so sorry," he said, stroking her hair lightly.

His actions startled Kate, but she didn't push him away. She wrapped her arms around his neck. "It's not your fault, Rick. I don't blame you," she said into his shoulder.

"But it is my fault," he insisted. "I overstepped. Got in the way, again. And you paid dearly for that."

She shook her head. "That bastard deserved to die, though I don't like the fact he died before I could get more information out of him. He was a coward, but I'm glad he died, and you didn't."

"Is this another layer of the Beckett onion?" he asked playfully.

She leant back slightly, and swatted his arm lightly. "I'm serious, Castle," she said, leaning into his chest.

He sighed contentedly. Then, suddenly, he scooped Beckett off her feet and started to carry her to the couch. "Hey- what the hell are you doing?" she protested loudly.

Wordlessly, he set her down on the couch, and sat next to her. "You," he said, "are going to sleep. And I am going to stay here and make sure you do just that."

She groaned, knowing there was no way to change his mind, but silently grateful he was there, with her. Beckett smiled up at him. "Thanks Castle, but that's not necessary," she said.

He shook his head. "You and I both know what's going to happen if you leave," he said. "So, you have two choices; one," he said, putting up a finger, " You sleep on the couch. Two," he put two fingers up, "You go sleep in your own bed. Either way, I'm here if you need to talk," he said with a slight nod.

She shook her head, defeated. "I'll have you know, Castle, that I do sleep with a gun, so don't try anything," she said, too tired to try get him out of the house, and not wanting to admit she wanted him there.

He opened his mouth in protest. "I cannot believe you would expect me to do something like that!" he cried out.

She laughed slightly, for the first time in days. "'Night, Castle," she said, going to her room.

"Good night," he said with a smile.

He tried not to act surprised when, in the absurd hours in the morning, Kate's door opened. She wordlessly went and sat with him, leaning against his chest. He wrapped his arms around her, and they were both asleep within moments.

The light streamed through the windows that Beckett had neglected to close, and both were grateful they were facing a beautiful summer's day. She lifted her head from his chest as he stretched his arms. Before he could speak, Beckett put a finger to his lips. "You tell anyone about this, then there's gonna be another shooting."

His eyes widened, and he nodded his understanding.

She smiled. "Thanks, Castle," she said, knowing her thanks would extend farther than her words.

He bowed his head. "You'll be ok to go back today?" he asked.

She turned back and looked at him. "Someone once told me that life never delivers anything that we can't handle. My mother lived by that, and I do too."

As they faced a new day, both Castle and Beckett knew everything was going to be alright.