You know those times where you don't like anything you write so you take a break and when you go back to it you feel like you're proud of your writing again?
Yeah... not feeling it.
BUT this is a serious personal headcanon of mine that I wrote a sentence a couple of weeks ago and posted on tumblr and it has been bugging me to be expanded so here you go.
She managed to keep it together until she got to the precinct. When she'd given her statement, she responded quickly and efficiently. When she'd handed over her gun to Montgomery, her hands only shook slightly. He'd told her to go home, get cleaned up, he'd have it all sorted out in the morning but she wouldn't listen. There were things to put on the murder board, her murder board, and she intended to see that it all got done correctly. She told Ryan and Esposito she was fine. She drove them to the precinct from the scene and didn't swerve suddenly or slam her foot down on the brake pedal once.
She'd made it into the elevator, ignoring her boys' worried stares from the corner of their eyes as they flanked her and walked out of the elevator, her heels clicking steadily across the floor. The boys stopped at their desks and she walked to her murder board, picking up a dry erase marker and adding the necessary notes to the board, capping the marker quickly after she was finished.
She was doing her job. That's all she'd been doing.
She shot a quick glance towards Montgomery's office, but he was on the phone, turned away from the where she was standing out in the bullpen. He made it quite clear that he was going to force her to leave after she added the details to her murder board, but he wasn't looking at her now so she crept slowly over to her desk as if he would be able to sense her movements, sat down quickly and turned on her computer, intent on looking up the details of whoever was in that warehouse.
It didn't take much time at all.
His name was Thomas Hayes, a known associate for the Irish mob boss, Alastar Nolan. Hayes had priors for drug possession and assault with a deadly weapon. In 2002, his house had been broken into and tossed. The report explicitly stated that he wouldn't have gone to the police but his wife had been home with their three kids and his 6 year old daughter had panicked and called 911 –
She froze, reading over that last sentence again.
His wife and their three kids.
She was finding it hard to breathe.
She looked around quickly, exhaling unsteadily, her eyes blurring as the implications hit her. Ryan and Esposito were looking down at their paperwork, Montgomery was still on the phone facing away from her, the murder board was still there.
She was going to be sick.
She stood up quickly, her chair scratching against the floor as she fought against the wheels, her legs shaking underneath of her as she rushed away from her desk.
She needed to get to the bathroom.
She barely caught herself from stumbling into the bathroom door, shooting a hand out to catch herself, feeling her stomach clench at the sight of it as though they were literally painted red.
Blood on her hands.
She pushed her way into the bathroom, feeling the bile start making its way up her throat as she hurried into a stall, the door slamming against the wall on the other side as she fell to the ground, her knees cracking as they hit the tile.
She retched into the toilet bowl, her back arching as her stomach emptied itself of its contents, her hands clutching at the toilet seat. She coughed, her throat burning, but she couldn't stop, couldn't settle herself enough to swallow it all back down as the sobs she couldn't control hiccupped through her chest.
She'd killed a man.
She'd killed a son.
She'd killed a husband.
She'd killed a father.
But he'd shot at them.
Tonight a wife was going to find out that she'd lost her husband.
Children were going to learn that they'd never see their father again.
They were going to go through exactly what she'd gone through.
But she was only protecting herself.
Oh god, what did that even matter?
She'd killed someone.
She was a murderer.
She felt someone's hand brushing against her neck before they pulled the hair away from around her face. She instantly swallowed, coughing at the acid sliding back down her throat as she tried to sit up straight, thoroughly embarrassed that she'd gotten caught vomiting in the precinct bathroom, but a hand pushed down on her shoulder.
"Get it all out, Beckett," she heard Esposito mumble.
She shuddered at the sound of his voice, letting her shoulders slump underneath his hand as she crumpled forward, spitting into the toilet bowl as he kept a steady pressure on her shoulder. She pressed her forehead against her arm, her eyes burning with the tears she hadn't realized were running down her face, trying to control her breathing, the acidic smell from the toilet burning her nose.
She's not entirely sure how long they sat there.
When her breathing finally evened out, she felt Esposito's steady touch turn into a grip, pulling her away from the toilet and sitting her down on the cool tile floor, her back against the stall wall, her knees curling up into her chest. He leaned forward, flushed the toilet for her to wash away the evidence as she wiped at her mouth before he sat down opposite of her, his knees bent towards his chest but his feet planted on either side of hers, his eyes filled with understanding, his jaw clenched and back straight, hands clasped in front of him.
She sometimes forgot Esposito was a soldier.
"How did you do it?" She managed to croak out, her arms wrapping around her legs.
He didn't have to ask what she was talking about.
"You think of it as your job," he said sternly, "You're protecting your people."
She inhaled unsteadily.
"But they have families," she said, the tears threatening to fall again, "they have brothers and sisters and wives they'll never see. They have children that –"
"If you keep thinking like that," he said, his voice much gentler, but just as firm, "you're going to drive yourself crazy."
A silence fell between them, his words settling into the air around them before he shifted slightly.
"If you didn't shoot him," he continued, "he was gonna shoot you. And I'm not saying that makes it okay… but it makes it something you can live with. Once you stop feeling like this… that's when you're in trouble."
She looked up at him, staring at him for a moment before nodding slightly.
"You okay then?" he asked.
She nodded again, taking a deep breath and giving him a weak smile.
He nodded back.
"Good," he said, standing up, "'Cause this floor is starting to hurt my ass."
She choked out a laugh, looking up at him to find him smiling down at her, his hand stretched out to her.
She shook her head and stood up on her own, straightening her blouse as she straightened her spine.
He exited the stall before her, and she froze when she saw herself in the mirror.
"Oh god," she murmured, looking at her smuged eyeliner, the black streaks down her cheeks, the ghostly green tint to her skin.
"Yeah," Esposito hissed, "I wasn't gonna say anything but you look like hell."
She rolled her eyes, reached out and pushed him away from her.
He ducked his head, trying to bite back a smile as he made his way to the door. She bit her lip for a moment before she called out to him.
He stopped with his hand on the doorknob, turning back to her with a raised eyebrow.
"Thanks," she whispered.
He gave her a quick quirk of the lips.
"Don't mention it."
And then he left.
She stood in there for maybe another 5 minutes, trying to clean herself up before she made her way back into the precinct.
No one looked at her as she passed them and made her way towards her computer. She shut it down, grabbed her jacket from the back of her chair and shrugged it onto her shoulders before reaching down and picking up her bag and making her way towards the elevator, making quick eye contact with Captain Montgomery as he watched her to make sure she left.
She'd go home, grab some takeout from her favorite Chinese place, and maybe open a bottle of wine. She'd run herself a bath with that cherry bath wash that never failed to soothe the tension out of her muscles and take some time to herself. She still hadn't gotten a chance to read the new book that'd been sitting on her dresser since she bought it a few weeks ago, the cases that had piled onto her plate making it impossible to start reading it. Maybe she'd start it tonight.
"Night boss," she heard Ryan say as she passed his desk.
She looked up, nodding at the two of them but kept walking towards the elevator.
"See you tomorrow, guys," she murmured back.
She made her way to the elevator, watching Esposito nod at her out of the corner of her eye.
She'd get through this. She would. She just needed a little time.
So yeah, she thought to herself, she'd definitely start that book.
A Richard Castle novel was exactly what she needed to clear her mind for a night.