Too Cozy

Disclaimer: Not mine in the slightest.

Sort of Post-Ep for 5x08.

Oh, his head. Good lord. What happened?

He blinks up at the bright white lights and groans, quickly shutting his eyes. A gasp sounds to his right and he feels himself relax at the exhalation. He knows that gasp. He forces his eyes open again and finds familiar hazel ones staring back at him, close and a little red.


"Castle," she whispers, her fingers stroking over his cheek, a feather light touch. "Hey there."

He tries to smile, wants to ease the edge of desperation he can see in her eyes, but it seems like it's taking all of his effort just to keep his eyes open.

"The meds are running out. You'll be less foggy in a few," she says softly, her voice soothing and calm. If he'd been asked a few years ago, he'd have said it's utterly unlike her.

But as her fingers stroke his cheek and he blinks, watching as she dips forward to press her lips to his forehead, he knows it's just like her; this is the soft side of her he loves to see. It's his side of her—the one only he gets to see, and maybe his kid, and her father, and sometimes his mother. But mostly him.

"Wha happened?" he slurs out, swallowing at the disjointed quality of his voice. Her fingers stroke over his throat and she leans away, coming back with an ice chip.

It's a shame he's all drugged and in a bed somewhere. It might be fun to play with that ice.

Wait, why is she feeding him ice chips?

"You got shot," she murmurs, those soft, sad eyes peering down at him.

Huh. You'd think he'd remember that.

Maybe he does. Bits and pieces. Flashes of light, a stab of pain in his leg, something about a doorjamb and one extra guy. One of theirs?

It's all too fuzzy.

"How?" he manages around the ice.

Kate huffs and he winces. His own stupidity then.

"You," she pauses and brushes his hair back fondly. "You were being good."

He laughs and immediately regrets it as licks of pain spike up his leg. Damn, that's gonna hurt in a little while.

"Keep going," he grunts as she looks toward his leg. "Don't make me laugh."

She smiles and traces her finger across the little divot in his forehead. "We'd cleared the building and somehow one of their guys came back around. You were by the door, where I told you to be, and he got the drop on you."

He watches as her smile falls away, replaced by hooded eyes and a tension in her jaw he longs to soothe away with his lips. But all he has are his hands, so he reaches out for some part of her, frowning when he notices the IV line tugging on his hand.

She curls her fingers into his instead and he meets her eyes, trying to telegraph, "I'm here," without breaking her out of her story.

"He had his arm around you, and this young kid pops up behind him with a gun, and then he's torquing you around. Five of us had him in range, but we didn't want to shoot you."

"Thanks for that," he says, going for light. It gets him an eye roll, and he counts it a victory.

"Don't thank me yet," she mumbles, meeting his eyes. "You disarmed the guy before the shot went off."

"I—oh," he says, trying to get his brain to keep up. "So that means—"

"You know that new kid, the uniform, Drake?"

"Cute kid, a little slow, a little green?" he supplies. He and the guys have been having fun psyching the poor kid out. Sounds like karma's a bitch.

"Beyond green," she lets out on a growl. "You had the gun, the guy was in my line, and Drake must have thought your hand was his hand. The shot went off, and really, Castle, I have no idea how you did it, but both of you came off with just a bullet to the leg."

He laughs again and then gasps. "Wow, that hurts."

She gives him a sympathetic smile and squeezes his hand. "Bullet was through and through for their enforcer, but unfortunately, it got lodged in your calf. Took them about half and hour to get it out. You'll be fine, but it's gonna be tender for a while," she explains.

"Was I manly about it?" he wonders.

She laughs and shoots him a grin. The tension is still there, but he's working it out of her. "You were," she admits. "Very manly. You actually cursed Drake out, did it for me."

"Well he shot me in the leg!"

She chuckles and nods. "Don't worry, he's on suspension, and I think you have one hell of an apology note coming your way."

"A note? I want a bottle of scotch to go with whatever meds they have me on," he grumbles.

Kate glares at him, but he just smiles back. He looks around her face and notes that the room is coming back into focus. He goes to sit up, and her hands are there in a flash, adjusting his pillows and raising the back of his bed, all finesse and practice. He wishes she weren't so good with hospitals, really.

As he gets upright, he takes stock of her clothes. She's bloody—up her sleeves, down her grey blouse, on her pants.

"My blood?" he wonders inanely.

She nods with a sigh. "Probably some of his too, but damn if I was helping the guy that held you at gunpoint," she lets out.

He laughs, ignoring the pain, and tries to shuffle over. He's not so successful at suppressing his grunts as he manages to make a little room on his bed. He breathes for a minute then looks over at her, imploring. She shakes her head.

"You need—"


Apparently getting shot in the leg gets him a one-beg pass, because she sighs and climbs up to cuddle in next to him without protest. He can't quite get his shoulder up with the IV and everything, and he shifts, trying to figure some way into getting her close. She lets out a puff of air and simply wraps her arm around his back, her forearm disappearing into the surprisingly plush pillows.

"Huh. I like it when you're the big spoon," he lets out, instantly clamping his lips shut.

"Man, they've got you on the good stuff," she says, laughing lightly.

He shrugs and glances down at his legs, covered by the starchy white blanket. "How bad is it, really?"

"Honestly not bad. They've repaired the muscle. You'll need crutches for a while, then some physical therapy, but we'll get you back to your jogging in no time."

He grunts as she presses a smile into his gown-clad shoulder. "Hey, I ran just fine a few weeks ago."

Her mouth closes then, her smile disappearing as she nods. "Yeah. Could you put a little more distance between the nearly getting shot moments?" she wonders into his shoulder.

"I don't really pick 'em," he says, turning his head to brush his lips over the crown of her head.

She sighs and squeezes his bicep, her fingers light and soft against his bare skin.

"I do look pretty good in a gown though," he says, grinning as she giggles.

Her free hand travels down beneath the blankets and he swallows, turning his head to meet her sparkling eyes.

"Feel pretty good too," she tells him as her fingers, her delicate, evil fingers, trip over his thigh and up under the hem of his gown, toying with him.

"Ka-ate," he yelps as she travels higher.

"What, like you've never had a naughty nurse Beckett fantasy," she simpers, shifting beside him.

"I—" he gets out, before the door bangs open, and they both jerk in the bed.

He hisses as the movement jostles his leg. Her hand squeezes his lower thigh in sympathy as they look over at their parents standing just inside the doorway.

His mother comes over immediately, fussing and preening him, adjusting things. Jim follows behind, and it takes Castle a long moment to see Jim's hand on his mother's back.

He spots it just as Kate does. Her hand tightens on his thigh and they glance at each other as Martha straightens up. Jim's hand creeps further across her back, nearly gripping her hip, and Castle feels Kate stiffen next to him.

No, no way.

His mother isn't doing what Kate's doing to him to her fa—no, no, not possible. Not possible.

"Kiddo," Martha says, bringing his attention back to whatever she's been saying.

"Sorry, Mother," he says quickly.

The squeeze from Kate tells him it isn't quite what Martha was looking for. But his mother softens all the same.

"Not your fault," Martha dismisses.

"The guys told me it was a uniform, Katie," Jim adds.

Kate nods and squeezes Castle's thigh again. That means the guys saw them together, and boy, are they going to get hell for that.

"It was," Kate agrees. "And Officer Drake will be taking a nice suspension for it."

"He doesn't really need to," Castle butts in, feeling a little bad now. "It could have happened to anyone."

Kate sighs and gives him a short nod. "He'll be doing some training and tactical workshops as well. Gates is furious though, so who knows if that's really what it's about."

"She's furious?" he asks, and he hears the kind of desperate hope in his voice, hates himself a little for it.

"Do you know how much damage it would do to the NYPD's image if it got out that you were shot by an officer?" Jim interjects.

Castle nods slowly while Kate snickers next to him. Fine. Far be it for him to think that Gates might have actually cared about his leg.

"Keep plugging away, dear," his mother tells him, patting his shoulder. "She'll come around."

"She certainly was worried," Jim admits. "Called us right after it happened."

"Oh, I do hope we paid," Martha says after a moment.

"We did," Jim assures her.

A nurse knocks on the door before either Castle or Kate can pry into just what their parents were doing getting dinner together.

"I'm sorry, Mr. Castle, but visiting hours are over."

Their parents immediately bustle out with kisses and "see you soons." He opens his mouth, but his mother waves him off, promising to be by the next day. Jim promises to call Kate tomorrow.

Just like that, they're alone again.

And their parents are…dating?

"I, um," Kate says slowly.

"Yeah," he agrees.

"Did you see that coming?"

He shakes his head. "God, no. You?"

"No," she says instantly. "But, I, well." She pauses and looks at him. "Are they, though?"

"I don't know," he groans. "But they look—damn cozier than the last time."'

"Yeah," she agrees, pulling her arm from behind his back so they can recline side by side, staring at the white wall across from the bed.

"It's weird, right?" he asks a few minutes later.

"Yeah," she says emphatically. "So weird."

"Okay, good."


They fall silent for a few minutes, stunned.

"Does your leg hurt?" she asks quietly.

"Yeah," he admits. "But I don't want to go to sleep, or have them kick you out."

She grins at him and flashes her badge. "Not happening."

He smiles and lets his head fall back against the pillow so he can watch her. "You're cool."

"And you're a little loopy," she says with a soft smile.

"And our parents are dating," he whines.

"We don't know that," she says instantly, in time to the click of the door.


"Your parents look mighty cozy."

Kate groans and whacks her head back onto the pillows and Ryan and Esposito sneak into the room.

"Though, not quite as cozy as the two of you, would you say, Ryan?"

"I don't know. They might be tied. I mean, the apples don't fall far from the trees—"

Kate chucks a pillow at them.

"Oh, wow, who do you think she got that from?" Esposito asks, completely ignoring them.

"Well, probably Jim, but she has been spending a lot of time with Martha."

"Maybe they could have a double wedding."

"Out!" he and Kate say together.

"Man, that's uncanny," Ryan says with a laugh.

"The spitting image," Espo adds.


A response for two Tumblr prompts: Castle gets shot. Jim and Martha date, and Ryan and Esposito tease Caskett mercilessly.