A/N: This was inspired by midnightread's What If chapter 1. Please read it, it's amazing. Also, I know pretty much everybody has made a crack at this scene, so I'm sure there's similarities. Please review, tell me what you think. Well, without further ado, here's the end seen of 2x24, as we all know it should have played out.
"See you in the fall." He smiled over his shoulder as he walked away with Gina when it should have been her. It should have been her.
Kate looked away as they stepped into the elevator, not able to watch him any longer. She was going to cry. She was going to break apart and crumble all over the precinct floor, in front of everyone. She knew they'd all been watching. She hadn't cared in the slightest until this exact moment, when all she wanted to do was disappear completely, fade to dust and be blown away by the steady breeze of the air conditioning.
She couldn't bear the thought of turning and seeing the looks she was certain were plastered on the faces of her friends, expressions of pity and awkwardness, so she didn't. She stalked forcibly to the break room, not even stopping to close the door behind her. No one would bother her just now, they all knew enough to give her some space.
She wanted coffee, craved it almost as much as she craved his touch, but she couldn't bring herself to make any just yet; that would mean facing the reality that he wasn't there to make it for her. Instead she sank down on the couch in the corner and put her head in her hands. She didn't even try to stifle the flow of tears that began its decent down her cheeks. Why had she hesitated when he'd first asked her? Why hadn't she just said yes? Why had she ever agreed to go out with Demming in the first place? Why hadn't she just jumped him after their first case when he'd asked if she wanted to go to dinner? But she knew why, and that made her want to cry even harder.
But she didn't. In fact, she resolved not to shed a single tear more for Richard Castle. So she got up and walked over to the espresso machine. It had barely begun to percolate when damn it all, she felt hot streaks running down her cheeks again. This time she knew it was no use to try and stop them.
Rick hated this. He wanted to go to the Hamptons with Beckett, no, with Kate, not Gina. But he definitely didn't want to be there alone and he had loved Gina once, hadn't he?
He tried not to look at Kate as the elevator doors closed, but he did anyway. For a second he thought she looked… what? Sad? Deflated? Rejected? But of course that was just his imagination. He turned to Gina, saw the angry look on her face and figured he'd been caught. Now he was really in for it. But her face softened before she spoke.
"Rick, you are a moron." The elevator began its decent, but he didn't feel it, just stared at Gina. "Why are you taking me to the Hamptons when we both know it will only end badly, and anyways, it's obvious you'd rather be with her." Gina pointed towards the doors even though they were floors below Beckett now. Her tone was stern, but held no malice, she wasn't angry; she was resigned to the truth of the words she spoke. "You should have asked her, Rick, not me."
"I did. She said no." Rick replied before realizing that the words would wound her. But Gina didn't seem phased by his honesty.
"That may be true, but by the look on that woman's face she wanted to say yes." The elevator dinged its arrival at ground level. Gina stepped halfway out, hitting the button for the homicide floor as she went. Putting a hand on Rick's chest she said "And we both know you're going to go back up there. All I ask is that you try to manage at least a few chapters before fall." She pushed off him and let the doors close.
Rick swallowed hard, hoping she was right, because there was no turning back now. The thirty seconds it took the elevator to ascend seemed an eternity, but finally the doors opened.
He knew she wouldn't have gone back to the "party", so he headed for the first place he could think she might want to be. The break room. She could find solitude there, and if he knew her at all, she'd want coffee.
Halfway across the bullpen he saw her, had a straight shot view through the doorway of her standing at the espresso machine, seemingly composed. But just as he was sure Gina had gotten it wrong, that she was just making herself a coffee, not caring that he was gone, the light caught her face and he saw streaks shining down her cheek and he knew. Knew he actually had read her intonation correctly before Gina had shown up. Knew he had heard a hint of jealousy in her tone when she told him to have a good summer. Knew he hadn't imagined the hurt on her face as the elevator doors closed.
He sped up, desperate now to get to her. Nothing would stop him this time.
Rick crossed the threshold of the break room in the same instant that the espresso machine began spitting out Kate's coffee, filling the room with its delicious smell. So focused was she on her cup, Kate didn't notice him until he roughly took her face between his hands.
Kate watched, mesmerized, as the smooth brown liquid fell gracefully inter her mug, smelling the rick scent that would forever remind her of him. More tears spilled over at the thought; would this be her last cup?
And then there he was, his palms on her cheeks, pulling her towards him. For a brief moment she thought maybe she'd fallen asleep on the couch and this was just a sweet, cruel dream. But then his lips were crushing hers and she knew it couldn't be a dream. He was there, kissing her, and her heart shattered with joy.
Kate's hands flew to his hair, softer than she'd ever imagined, and oh had she imagined this moment. His arms flew around her waist, his fingers trailing up her spine, making her shudder.
A low moan escaped from the back of her throat and his hands lowered to the small of her back, pulling her closer in response. She gasped and he took the opportunity to slide his tongue into her mouth. She tangled hers with it, desperate for the taste of him.
It was his turn to moan then and she melted at the sound and vibration of it. She wrapped one leg up around his waist, needing to be closer. He grabbed at her thighs and hitched her up onto the counter. Her hip collided with the espresso machine and she heard the cup fall to the floor, shattering hot liquid everywhere, but she didn't care. Kate was finally kissing him. She'd spent two long years waiting for this moment, all she wanted to do was lose herself in it. In him.
A door slammed in the distance, and then there was the distinct sound of not one, but two chairs being forcibly thrown to the ground, then another door slamming.
Kate reluctantly pulled away from him. What the hell was going on? She looked around and saw Lanie, Esposito, and Ryan all walking quickly away from two overturned chairs, and the shades on Montgomery's door, and the conference room door next to it, were swaying. Kate smiled and looked back at Rick. He looked like he was five and had just been told his allotted number of Christmas presents had been tripled.
She placed a swift peck on his lips and hopped off the counter, searching for a towel to clean up the mess they'd made.