He needed to sleep, but when she wakes up, he's not there.

She slowly leaned up onto her elbow, adjusting her nightshirt as she ran a hand through her hair, taking in the empty space beside her, the sheets drawn up like they hadn't been when she'd fallen asleep, before looking at the clock.

3:27 AM.

She sighed, arching her back for a moment before she kicked her legs out from under the tangle of her sheets, her bare toes kissing the hardwood floor before she took a step away from the bedroom. She glanced toward the bathroom, noting that the light was off before opening the bedroom door as quietly as she could.

He was right where she thought he would be, sitting in his desk chair in front of his computer, the white document on the screen glaringly bright against his face. He was stiff, his hands resting on his laptop, almost as if they were ready to type, but he wasn't doing anything. He was just sitting there, only breathing, his eyes so far away that she had to bite back another sigh.

She knew that this was coming.

After all, you don't get kidnapped for two days and come back unscathed.

She wanted to make him tell her what he'd seen while he'd been taken. He'd been locked inside that room for two days with Ryan, and from what she knew, from Esposito and a frantic call from Jenny that Castle took privately in the guest room upstairs, Ryan's not holding up very well either.

She'd read the reports, the statements and the stories that both of them had given. There were beatings, she knew. Not bad enough to keep them in the hospital but bad enough to give him a black eye and Ryan a busted lip. Their captors withheld food, kept them in a dark basement with no light at all, their wrists rubbed raw by the rope she had found wrapped around them when she, Esposito, and the swat team discovered where they were.

Things were said, she knew, but she doesn't know what, and she doesn't know how to ask without sounding like a detective rather than his partner.

She's not entirely sure he would tell her anyway.

She left the bedroom door open behind her, moving away from the door slowly, her feet barely squeaking across the floor as she made her way over to him.

He didn't startle when she moved behind him, her arms wrapping around his tense shoulders as she hunched over the back of his chair, resting her chin on his shoulder.

There were words on the document that she hadn't noticed from across the room. His fingers twitched as she read and she could tell he's itching to erase them, to quickly shut the laptop and shield her from what he had been subjected to.

They described Jenny's schedule.

They had one of her pregnancy tests.

They described every way they'd kill Kate.

She swallowed as she read on, descriptions of her dismemberment, her being blown to pieces by a car bomb, beaten to death with a baseball bat, being drowned in his bathtub after they had broken into his apartment before she had to close her eyes.

No wonder he couldn't sleep.

She inhaled deeply through her nose, opening her eyes before she slowly slid her hand from his chest and down his arm. Kate placed her hand over the back of his, sliding it forward across his keyboard until his index finger was lined up over the backspace key. Then, she used her own finger to press his down, feeling the breath leave him as the cursor that had been blinking back at him quickly erased all the words that he had heard while he had been taken from her, her death disappearing before his eyes.

She was still breathing.

When the document was clean, she moved his hands off of the keyboard and slowly closed the laptop, the room darkening except for the lights from the city glowing outside his window.

She wrapped her arm back over his chest, tilting her head to the side and pressing a soft kiss in the hollow under his ear.

"Come back to bed," she whispered.

He shook his head slowly, and she shifted in turn, her lips finding a home at the nape of his neck.

"I can't sleep," he whispered back, his words barely leaving his lips.

"I can't sleep without you there," she murmured, playing dirty, knowing that he would come back to bed if it had anything to do with her.

He felt him shift in his chair and she softly kissed the skin beneath her lips.

"Please."

His hands moved up and found hers where they were crossed over his chest, and he gripped them tightly in his own before he stood up from his desk chair. She tugged him towards their room without any pretense, not even bothering to close the door behind them. She turned down his side of the bed, forcing him to sit down on it before she crawled over him and back onto her side, pulling the covers back up over them.

He was lying so still beside her, so she rolled onto her side. She hooked a leg around his, tugging him towards her roughly and forcing him to turn towards her.

He stared at her, his gaze laced with fear and apprehension, the bags underneath his eyes darker than she had ever seen, so she did the only thing she could think to do.

She moved closer to him, close enough so that their bodies were almost touching. Then she reached out and took his hand in hers, resting it between them so he could feel her heartbeat through the back of his hand. She kept her leg hooked over his as his free arm wrapped around her, holding her tightly against him.

"Sleep, Castle," she said, feeling the way his shoulders began to relax at the feeling of her in his arms.

He needed to sleep.

"I'll be right here when you wake up."


I know he won't sleep if I do.
And he needs to sleep.
God knows, we all do.


Loosely inspired on Andrea Gibson's poem, "Sleeping".
Regardless go look it up because it's hauntingly beautiful and Andrea Gibson is a god.

(and let me know what you think?)