Author's note: So, Castle has gripped me tight and mercilessly held on for dear life. I love the characters and the storylines and the humor and the emotions and the feels, no matter how badly they keep hurting me. :P

Kevin Ryan has weaseled his way into my heart, and I don't mind one bit. He's adorable and beautiful and amazing and I love everything about him. I seriously think the show needs more of him.

Naturally, the events of the episode 'Always' gave me such Ryan feels. I don't know how anyone expects to survive that episode without getting Ryan feels. So, I needed an outlet, and found it in this little angsty ditty. It's nothing special, just some character musings and a walk in the rain. :P Kinda boring really, not sure anyone will like this oneshot. But it's Ryan so I'm satisfied for the moment.

I highly recommend listening to 'In My Veins' by Andrew Belle on repeat while reading this; it really sets the perfect mood. ;) It's also where the lyrics in this story are from.

No slash, just friendship.

Disclaimer: I don't own anything.

Lonely Shadows

"Nothing goes as planned
Everything will break
People say goodbye
In their own special way
All that you rely on
And all that you can fake
Will leave you in the morning
But find you in the day"

An audible sigh escaped his lips as Beckett stood on solid ground once again, away from danger. She didn't see him however. Or at least, wasn't happy to see him. She breathed out a different name, desperate for confirmation of his presence on that roof with her. Hurt and disappointment flooded her eyes, as Ryan shook his head; she didn't notice the small hurt that flashed in his own eyes. Then Beckett looked up, a mixture of confusion and shock and betrayal flashing over her. Ryan followed her gaze to that of Captain Gates, staring Beckett down with disdain and judgment. Ryan could only drop his eyes to the floor in shame.

Despite the closed door and thick walls, Ryan could hear every word that Captain Gates was yelling at Beckett and Esposito. He could see all the emotions crossing all their faces right from his desk. Gates was downright enraged, that they would all disobey orders behind her back. Esposito was angry too, though his was more contained. But Ryan had known him for years, he could see plainly; Epsosito was angry, and he was angry at him. He hadn't spoken one word to Ryan since he'd shown up at that building with the S.W.A.T. and Captain Gates. He refused to even acknowledge him.

Beckett merely stood stoically, taking every word Gates was throwing at her silently. But like Esposito, Ryan had known Beckett for years, he knew where to look to find the real emotions playing threw her head. All the pain and betrayal and confusion and frustration she felt raged on inside of her, plain as day to anyone who knew where to look; her dull eyes, shimmering and unfocused and hard, they told the true story behind the calm facade.

Ryan finally had to look away from the window, drop his gaze to the ground with a sigh. He'd caused all that hurt and anger in his partners. He'd betrayed them, ratted them out, went behind their backs and did exactly what they didn't want. Now they were taking the full force of the heat, while Ryan sat unnoticed, unpunished. Kate and Javier were suspended, Kate quit, they were done.

Ryan watched Kate pack her bag, trying desperately to get her attention, to get something. She never even looked up. Kate grabbed her bag, walked out, but paused, and turned back to stare at the chair beside her desk. A number of things flashed across her face; longing, sadness, anger, disappointment. Ryan caught it all. Kate looked up, but not to Ryan. She looked passed him, to share a glance with Javier, before finally turning out of the bullpen.

Javier watched Kate walk out, before turning towards his desk, a stone cold expression on his face. Ryan again tried to reach out to him, to explain, or justify, or be acknowledged. Javier walked right passed him, gathering his jacket.

"Javi?" Ryan chanced, so soft and pleading, and desperate. "I had to."

Javier didn't even glance at him. His back turned to him, almost symbolic to how Ryan had done the same to them, Javier walked out of the bullpen, out of Ryan's line of sights, leaving Ryan more alone than he'd ever felt in his life.

Ryan didn't know what to do. His insides were raging; hurt and abandonment and sadness and despair and anger, and guilt. So much guilt. Something in him snapped, exploded, lashed out. He picked up a book and tossed it across the room, watching it fly in the direction Javier had left in, then fall to the ground crumpled. He couldn't help but feel the same.

"Everything will change
Nothing stays the same
Nobody here's perfect
Oh, but everyone's to blame
Oh, all that you rely on
And all that you can save
Will leave you in the morning
And find you in the day"

The skies had opened up at some point. The world cloaked in a hue of grey sadness, tears of the clouds above raining down on Kate as she trudged through the muddy grass. She sat in the swing, ignoring the despairing chill of the air around her. Her eyes drifted up to the swing beside her, her memory flashing to a more carefree time. A sad smile merely tugged at the corners of her mouth, before she looked up to the melancholy sky.

A short distance away from the small park, hidden in the shadows of an alley, Ryan stood leaning against a brick wall. Hands hidden in his jacket pockets, soaking wet to the bone, he watched Kate. The scare of losing her that afternoon still shaking his bones, Ryan had followed her from the precinct, tailed her from a distance, making sure she was safe, alive. He watched her sway slowly on the swing set, her head leaning tiredly on the chain. But she was alive. Ryan's own head fell to lean against the wall as he turned to lean on his back, exhaling slowly. He had to keep remembering that; she was alive. She may hate him and never want to speak to him again, but she was alive. She would live to hate him, live to move on one day. She would live another day longer. That's all Ryan could hope for.

The rain continued on, weighing Ryan down with the sorrow and guilt of losing his best friends by his actions. Each step he shadowed Kate was another foot splashing in the puddles around him, another pang of remorse through his chest. He followed Kate slowly through the streets, watching her curl in on herself as her feet carried her with no clear destination through the rain. She wrapped her arms around herself, not for warmth against the water soaking her, but for comfort. Her head remained bowed to the ground, lost in sorrow as her feet led the way. She shouldn't be wandering around the city in her state, but Ryan kept his eyes peeled, watched her, guarded her, protected her anonymously; the same instincts guiding him now that had urged him to do what he did; to call for back-up, relay the information, rush across that roof. He wouldn't let her get hurt, even if he had hurt her to do it.

Mindlessly wandering, Kate finally stopped in front of a familiar apartment building. She looked up to its towering glory, debating her next action. Ryan followed her gaze, catching the movement of the owner through the window at the same time she had. Ryan saw her take a deep breath, her shoulders shuddering with the action. Then she trudged forward, into the building. Ryan breathed a sigh of relief as he watched Kate walk through the door and out of the rain, then disappear around the corner towards the elevators. She was safe now, and she'd be happy there, with him. A sad smile crossed Ryan's face, and he continued on through the rain, sluggish steps sloshing through the water.

A small breeze blew through Ryan, sending his bones into small tremors, but he paid it no mind. His head was bowed to the ground, and water dripped from his hair. He watched as every step broke through another puddle, splashing water over the edges. He watched raindrops fall into the big puddles, being swallowed up by the water and blending into the larger body, unnoticed. He watched raindrops fall from the sky, to land on the hard gravel and explode into nothing. Ryan couldn't help but visualize Kate, hanging from that building, desperately calling for the one person she trusted to be there for her.

Kate's face flashed before Ryan, displaying all that disappointment, then confusion and betrayal and hurt. Ryan knew she hated him and he didn't blame her, but that didn't mean it hurt any less.

Then Javier's face appeared, angry and bitter and betrayed. Ryan had never seen him so angry, and it was directed at him. Another pang of guilt shot through Ryan's chest painfully. They were supposed to be partners, to be able to trust the other with their lives, and Ryan had broken that trust. Javier hated him, and there was nothing he could do to change that. Ryan couldn't convince him that he would always have his back, no matter what, even now. Javier just wouldn't listen, wouldn't talk to him, wouldn't even look at him. Ryan was alone.

Ryan stopped, staring across the road to a building, to a certain window. The lights were on, and Ryan could barely make out a shadow moving about in the apartment. Finally, Ryan caught a glimpse of Javier, setting a dish of food on the coffee table, the living room lit up by the TV. So, he'd made it home okay too. Ryan knew he would, but after everything the day had thrown, he just had to make sure. Javier stood to close the curtains of his window for the night, and Ryan sighed. He stared at the window longingly for a moment longer, wishing he could just walk up there and apologize and everything would go back to normal. But instead, he turned, and continued his trek through the rain.

"Everything is dark
It's more than you can take
But you catch a glimpse of sun light
Shining, shining down on your face"

Lightening sparked above, almost but not quite illuminating the dark and lonely streets. Thunder rolled softly, each rumble echoing in Ryan's aching chest as more stabs of sorrow and regret assaulted him, slowing his steps, weighing down his being. Finally he stumbled up his walkway, lazily fumbled with his lock, tiredly pushed open his door. Ryan silently closed it shut, then exhaled deeply as he leaned against the door in exhaustion. He tossed his keys on a table, but made no effort to move just yet.

"Kevin?" A tentative call traveled softly through the entrance way.

Ryan looked up with sad and tired eyes. Part of him knew he should say something to ease his wife's obvious worry, but the rest of him was just too drained to come up with a single thought.

Jenny however, didn't ask anything, or even speak another word. She merely crossed the foyer slowly, and wrapped her arms around Ryan's neck, stroking the back of his head lovingly.

Ryan practically melted into the embrace, wrapping his own arms around Jenny and burying his nose in her shoulder, trying to stifle the sniffles. His eyes started watering and he closed them as a single tear tracked down his cheek. He knew he'd have to tell her everything eventually, but right now, he just held her, and she held him.

Shame, and sorrow, and anger, and remorse, all filled his mind and stabbed his chest. But Ryan had to hang on to one thing; everyone was safe. Kate was safe, Javier was safe, Rick was safe, and Jenny was safe. That's all that Ryan could ask for.