A/N: I found this fic burried in my docs the other day and decided that it was worthy enough to see the light of day. I know it's a whole season late, but really? The 'Always' kiss never gets old.

Another thing: If you guys really like this, then I have a little extra bit that I could add as a second chapter- if you review, that is.

Disclaimer: I do not own Castle, nor any of it's wonderful characters. That credit belongs to Andrew. W Marlowe and his lovely wife Terri Edda Miller (thank you, you two).


Balancing on a high wire.

That was how she felt then. In those moments. Climbing the stairs to his lobby in dripping garments. Riding the elevator up to the seventh floor. Calling him.

She almost loses her balance as she watched her shaking, fabric soaked arm extend, fist quaking. Her knuckles rap the dark wood of his door and her stomach flutters terribly, her knees yearned to give way. Never, in all her life had she been so anxious, nervous, yet so completely calm and sure. Never, had she let something like this effect her so fully. It scared her to death. Her breath came in ragged gasps and her heart lurched unevenly as she fought to rebalance herself.

She was balancing on a high wire. She would come crashing down, or she would make it to the other side.

Listening to the sound of footsteps, swallowing hard against the stubborn blockage in her throat, she watches the door handle turn, creating a slit in the frame that widens, brightens, and exposes him to her. The sight of him settles something inside of her, beating away the anxiety and the terror.

Relief dances through her system as her gaze falls upon the familiar plains of his face. She could finally breath. So when the inevitable and ever-present emotions invade her system, she lets them stay. Instead of pushing the feelings away like she does -did- every other time her gaze met his features, she lets them stay and envelope her. She was done fighting.

She watches as his expectant expression hardens at the sight of her. Watches the warmth drain out of him, turning him stony, cold. This change, and realizing that she had been the one to bring it upon him- that she had transformed him into someone who put up walls, someone like her- sent forks of guilt and misery through her chest. The yellow glow emitted from the depths of his loft framed his features, deepening their lines. And when he speaks, it is not with the usual carefree, joking tone that had been her reason, relief, during even the darkest cases, but an entirely different voice, laced with the same hard edge she can see in his face.

"Beckett, what do you want?"

The sound of her name resonating on his tongue, her need to persuade him, to have him understand made her mouth form the word.

"You," And her body reacted before she could process its next moves. It had already known what to do.

Her legs took the steps and her arms reached for his face. Gaze locked on his lips, her cold palms captured his warm jaw as he stepped back. Her fingers scraped across the stubble covering his cheeks on the way to the flesh of his neck, and her lips connected with his. Sweet and desperate. He raises his hands, objecting, a crease bunching between his eyebrows as he pulls away. His mouth opens in pain as he restrains himself, gasping. She brushes her thumb across the worry lines under his eyes while her forehead connects with his, and she stares only at his lips as she whispers,

"I'm so sorry Castle," His breath washes over her face, panting, "I'm so sorry. M' so sorry."

She swallows, kisses him again, and feels his palms wrap around her forearms, pulling her back.

She takes a breath, the lump back in her throat and the misery of her mistakes fresh in her head. She looks into his face, watching him struggle to find words as he composes himself.

"What happened?" Was all he said, his voice monotone. She doesn't have to think; the words fall from her lips easily, truthfully. She was sure, completely certain of them, like they were lines from a play that she'd had to rehearse.

"He got away." His expression didn't change. It stayed frozen, a look of confusion and restraint carved into stone as he tried to figure out her reasoning.

She continued, "I almost died- and all I could think about was you," Her gaze skipped across his face then, watching for a tell.

"I just want you."

She leans in again, pausing to draw another breath. Hesitant. She touches the corner of his mouth, needing to feel him, to have him understand. Her touch ignites something, and in a flash of lightning, he flies to her, pushing her up against the door, molding his warm lips to hers. The streaks of light outside seem to mirror their electricity as they, finally, find each other.

Her heart pounds, excited.

Alive. She was alive with him.

They were dancing.

Finally losing control. Stepping past the line. Breaking down the last few remnants of her walls. They crumbled away as their lips met again and again.

Her body was furious; a sister storm to the one outside raged through her system. She felt the starved pressure of his hands everywhere. Her neck. Her face, her shoulders. Her back.

She tasted him over and over, his tongue tangled with hers, and she reveled in the distantly familiar and enchanting feel of his mouth as it melded to hers; as the seam of his lips pressed to the line of her neck, wet and hot. She drew her fingers through his hair, trailed her palms across his shoulders. She felt him, his skin, the fabric that clothed him. She felt his heartbeat, his breath as it skittered and swirled across her wet flesh. She breathed him in. Cologne and sweat, and the distinct aroma that was his alone.

Their limbs tangled, his arms encircling her, pulling her closer. It was almost painful, the amount she needed him, craved him. Her heart thumped loudly, coursing blood through her veins, flushing her skin as it flared.

It was easy, graceful, as they wound in and out. And she felt him tugging, knew what he wanted. She could feel his unacquainted pull, a subconscious telling her he needed to see, to make sure.

As his hands pulled her close, his lips pressing again to her jaw line, she whispered,

"You can look,"

Her stomach whirled and her knees gave way as he ducked, trailing kisses down her neck. Gasping, he kissed her chest- kissed the scar- her heart fluttering madly against his lips. He pulled back and she watched him as his hands undid the clasp of her blouse. She held her breath as he stared, and, finding his hand, she guided it until his fingers touched the healed wound.

He breathed deeply through his mouth, flattening his palm against her chest as she held it there in one hand while she brought the other up to graze his jaw once more.

They kissed again, gently, their swollen lips connecting over and over. She reveled in these kisses, basking in their retained glory.

Opening her eyes, she saw his blue ones staring back at her, and an uncontained, undaunted smile split her face. His eyes crinkled as he looked back at her. Her body ached, and her mind chanted over and over its craving. Still smiling, she found his fingers, clutching them in hers as she pulled him in the direction of his bedroom, never breaking their gaze.

Kate Beckett had made it to the other end of the high wire.