Nightmare

"This is what happens when people get in my way, Detective Beckett." Bracken told her

Ryan and Esposito were already dead, each with a bullet hole in their heads. His hired men had killed them to get her attention, to make sure she was listening. He had her full attention now.

"Haven't you figured out yet that I have always held all of the cards?" Bracken stated. He snapped his fingers and a shot rang out. Martha Rodgers dropped dead to the floor in a pool of her own blood, accompanied by Alexis' screams, and Castle's whispered attempts to console her.

She was openly crying now, knowing he was punishing her for ruining his plans, for looking into her mother's murder, for putting that scar on his face. She was sporting a matching scar on her cheek now. Made with her own service weapon which was now being pressed to the base of her skull in Bracken's hand.

"I had you shot in broad daylight, in front of a hundred cops and got away with it, should that not have told you something? I've always held all the power, and now I'm holding the gun, too."

"No...please...don't..." she pleaded, knowing who he was going to have killed next.

"She's a pretty thing, isn't she? My men wanted to have some fun with her first, but I'm not a monster, Detective." he whispered in her ear before he snapped his fingers and the shot rang out.

Alexis' slender form jerked once in her seat and dropped sideways to the floor as Castle screamed, fighting against the handcuffs holding his arms securely to the chair he was in, all the light disappearing from his blue eyes, replaced by anguish and tears.

Kate struggled against her own handcuffs holding her securely to the chair she was in. She was powerless to stop what was coming. Powerless to save her friends, her love. She knew what was coming next.

"I have to hand it to him, he did an admirable job of keeping you in line for a while. I didn't even have to threaten his family like I did with Montgomery, he just wanted you to be safe. For a short time I actually considered leaving you alone. You should have listened to him. Now your stubbornness has cost him everything too."

"No...please...I'll do anything you say...please don't!" she begged, she'd be on her knees if she weren't handcuffed to a chair.

"Do you have anything to say to him? You'd better say it quickly, Detective." Bracken whispered in her ear, her own gun pressing into her neck.

"Castle...I'm sorry...I'm so sorry..." she began.

He snapped his fingers and the shot rang out. Castle jerked once and joined his mother and daughter in death.

"NOOOOOO"


Kate snapped awake, screaming, which roused Castle beside her in his bed. He pulled her shaking and shuddering into his side and cradled her gently.

It had been a week since she had worked the case involving the murder plot against William Bracken. A week since she had braved a car bomb to save his life. Every night since, she woke up screaming from nightmares he couldn't hope to fathom. She refused to tell him about them, refused to even speak of them, but every morning she would wake screaming, then crush herself into him in such a sobbing, wretched mess that it broke his heart every time.

She wasn't running away, wasn't freezing him out, in fact she was doing the exact opposite. She had practically moved into the loft and refused to allow herself to be more than a few paces away from him, even at the precinct. Only letting him out of her sight long enough to go to the bathroom.

Every morning, after she stopped screaming, when the sobbing subsided enough for her to speak, she would whisper, "I love you." over and over again as he cradled her in his arms while she shuddered and cried herself out.

She said it as if it was the last words he would ever hear her speak.