This is me.

Thinking I have a good idea.

Then totally dropping the ball.

(unedited because it's 1 AM and I still haven't done homework oops)

"That was so mean," Castle said.

Kate smirked, her arms crossed over her chest from where she was leaning next to him in the break room, his face turned away from her as he made her a cup of coffee.

"I thought you liked my controlling side?" she murmured.

She saw his eyes darken slightly, almost rolling her eyes at just how easy he was for her even after all this time.

"I do," he answered, his voice low, "but not in front of Ryan and Esposito."

"Why not?"

He finished off her coffee, carefully lifting it up and handing it to her before rubbing his hands together.

"I need to at least look like I have some control here. It's essential to keeping my man card."

Kate rolled her eyes, lifting herself off the counter and moving through the break room towards the door.

"Why does it matter?" she asked, her eyes sparkling with humor, "I always drive. You like it when I drive."

She turned towards the bullpen, feeling him crowd behind her before he responded, his voice low and deep in her ear.

"But you like it when I drive, too."

She shook her head at him, trying to bite back a smile as she turned towards her desk. She noticed someone standing beside her desk and she froze for only a second before she realized who it was, confusion taking over.


Jim Beckett turned his gaze away from the murder board, looking at her with a smile.

"Hey, Katie."

She smiled, her brow furrowing slightly as she looked at him, looking back at Castle for a moment before looking back at her father.

Jim paused for a moment before gesturing towards the board.

"How's the case?"

Kate looked quickly at the almost full murder board, looking at their prime suspect's face staring back at him from his mug shot.

"Almost closed," she said, nodding satisfyingly at the board, "We found our suspect's DNA on our victim and his prints are on the murder weapon. Ryan and Esposito are bringing him in right now," she took a breath, "What's up, Dad?"

Jim Beckett seemed to shift on his feet slightly, and Kate felt the nerves start to pool in her stomach as she realized that something might be wrong.

"I was just wondering if you were free to take a lunch," he said, "I need to talk to you about some things."

Kate raised an eyebrow, looking back at Castle again. They had planned on getting lunch and bringing some back for the boys for when they returned from their road trip from White Plains to pick up their suspect, but Castle just shook his head, giving her a smile, reaching out and taking her coffee cup from her.

She shook her head, taking it back quickly and stealing a sip of it, sighing in contentment before handing it back to him with a smile.

She turned back to her father, picking up her coat from the back of her chair and slinging it over her arm.

"Sure," she said, smiling at her father to try and quell her nerves, "Let's go."

He parked the car in the familiar spot, and she felt her shoulder's tighten when she realized exactly where they were.

Jim took the keys out of the ignition, but returned his hands to the steering wheel, making no immediate move to get out of the car.

She looked at him, her brow crumpled, her eyes distrusting.

"What are we doing here?"

He turned to her, smiling at her slightly before taking the keys out of the ignition.

"Come on, Katie."

She hesitated a moment before getting out of the car.

They didn't do this. Ever. This was one thing that they didn't do together. She'd been here plenty, of course, hundreds of times since this spot became something important and she knew that he came often as well.

But they never came together.

They hadn't since the very first time they had to.

He led her down the row of headstones, the names she'd read so many times she could recite they days they died by heart and she crossed her arms across her chest as they walked in silence, the sun suddenly far too bright for the cool, spring day.

She stopped early as he approached their destination, and he sensed her lack of movement, turning back to look at her.

He beckoned her to stand next to him, reaching out a hand as he stood in front of her mother's grave.

Jim Beckett sank down to the ground and pulled her with him, settling down on the cool earth.

He let go of her hand and brought the tips of his fingers up to his lips for only a moment, and Kate watched, fascinated, as he reached out and pressed them against the etched marble, his fingers kissing her mother's name.

He let his fingers drop from the stone, his eyes shining with an ancient pain that Kate recognized far too well.

"Why did you bring me here, Dad?" she whispered, her voice barely audible over the breeze.

Jim brought his knees up, clasping his hands over top of them before he spoke quietly.

"I went to the doctor," he started, "the other week. I was having pains. They found something in the x-ray, so they ran some further tests."

Kate felt her heart sink into her stomach, already knowing what was coming next.

He reached out a hand

"Cancer," he said quietly, "Liver cancer."

An uncomfortable moment of silence settled between them.

"Is it treatable?" she asked.

Jim shook his head.

"They are going to try, but they think it may be too far advanced."

"What about a transplant?"

He shook his head.

"It's too late," he said, "The doctors say that the tumor is too big. A transplant would most likely fail."

"But surely there must be something," Kate insisted.

Jim looked at her, his eyes shining with acceptance as he reached out a hand and placed it on her knee. She grabbed it tightly in her own.

"I'm not going to give up," he assured, "The doctors want to start chemo next week, but they don't have high hopes. But I… I don't want you to be sad. If I don't make it."

She closed her eyes, feeling the weight of that wish pull her eyelids down, threatening to pull the moisture pooling there down her cheeks. She squeezed them back.

"You can't ask that of me," she said quietly, "You can't ask me to do that."

She felt her father's fingers tighten around hers.

"But I am."

She opened her eyes, looking over at her father only to find that him staring directly back at her, his eyes soft.

"I did this to myself," he whispered calmly, "The years after… I made some bad choices – choices that you tried to stop me from making, but I made anyway. The scarring… that's why they think it's going to be hard to treat –"

"There must be something –"

"Katie, we're going to try," he said firmly, "but it may not work."

"But I -"

"This isn't your fight, Katie. It's mine. And I'm going to give it the fight of my life."

Kate stared, nodding slightly.

"How long?" she asked quietly.

Jim shrugged.

"I asked them not to tell me. Figured if I knew how long then I might waste too much time."

Kate finally broke eye contact, swallowing tightly, looking at her mother's headstone.

There was a brief moment of silence before Jim spoke again.

"Do you know why I brought you here?"

She let her gaze slide to his before she shook her head.

"I don't know why either," he admitted, "It just felt right."

He paused briefly before he continued.

"When your mother told me she was pregnant, I was so happy. I was convinced you were going to be a boy – Swore by it through the whole 9 months. But then the doctor put you in my arms, all wrapped up in pink," he looked at her, his eyes glistening at the memory, "and I couldn't imagine anything more perfect in that moment than you."

He shifted so he was facing her.

"Your mother and I loved you from the moment we knew you were alive. And your mother still loves you, I know it. She would be so proud of you," he squeezed her fingers, "just like I am."

"Dad –"

"I love you, Katie," he continued, "And I know that I hurt you in the past with the things I did, and I know I haven't always been the best father to you, but I've always loved you. And despite what happens," he reached out with his free hand, using it to tilt her chin towards him, "I always will. Promise me you'll always remember that."

Kate looked at him, his eyes burning into hers, pleading with her, and it took her a moment to comprehend what she was really promising before she nodded.

"Okay," she murmured, "okay."

He smiled her, his smile wider than she'd seen in a really long time, and he leaned forward, wrapping an arm around her shoulder to hug her tightly. She breathed in deeply, his aftershave the same one he'd used since she was a teenager, the smell both comforting her and making her chest ache.

Her dad was dying.

She felt her phone buzz in her pocket and planned on ignoring it, but Jim pulled away from her slightly. She sighed, digging into her pocket to find her phone. She read the message quickly, sending out a quick reply before standing up.

"Do you have to go?" Jim asked her.

Kate shook her head.

"That was Castle. Told him to tell the boys to take the lead."

"You don't have to," he said, "You can go back to work."

Kate shook her head, a sly smile playing at the corner of her lips.

"They can handle it. Besides," she said, reaching out a hand to him, "You promised me lunch. Don't think you're getting out of it that easily."

Jim laughed.

The stood together for a moment, both of them staring at the headstone in silence before Jim spoke.

"So… where to?"

Kate pursed her lips for a moment, pretending to think.

"Our diner?"

He gave her a fond smile, his heart threatening to burst in his chest.

It was going to be okay.

He offered her is arm and she took it, both of them walking out of the cemetery.

"Sounds perfect."

If you have a minute why don't we go
talk about it somewhere only we know.
This could be the end of everything
so why don't we go
somewhere only we know.