Actually the title should be Why Do You Keep Coming Back, Rick?

Is it a spoiler alert if you're basing your story on Season's 3 Knockdown-before the kiss? She asked him why he keeps coming back. This is what I would have written.

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"Why do you keep coming back, Rick?" she asked.

"Really?" He scoffed. "You want to play this game?" He starred into her eyes.

Kate looked away. She walked over to the kitchen counter and took hold of the edge for strength. "You should go, Castle."

Castle ran his hand through his hair. He considered leaving and turned toward the door. He took one step and stopped. He ran his hand through his hair once more and took a moment to make a decision. "Look at me, Kate."

She took a deep breath and turned to look at him. She cocked her head to one side and rolled her eyes.

"Stop it, Kate." She could see the anger brew within him. "Look at me..." He paused a moment. "What do you see?"

She rolled her eyes again. But she stilled realizing that he was serious. He was pushing her and that made her angry. "I see an arrogant, spoiled, man child."

His face fell just slightly but she caught it. She had hurt his feelings.

He shook his head. He took another step toward the door. "After all this time," he whispered. "You still see me as..." He shook his head, and sucked in a breath, and said, "Fair enough."

She didn't say anything. He looked down at the ground and let out a long sigh. "Okay, Kate. I'll see you around."

Panic set in and Kate blurted out, "I'll call you when Montgomery lets me back into the precinct."

"No," he said as he walked out the door. Her whole body shook at the sound of her front door slamming.

What just happen, she asked herself. Did he just break up with her? Kate took off running after him.

She caught up with him as he hailed a cab in front of her apartment. She grabbed his arm and spun him around to face her. "Are you breaking up with me, Castle?"

He smiled for a moment at the thought, and said, "I guess you could put it that way. But we'd first have to be dating before we could break up."

"Castle, I'm with Josh," she said. "I care about him."

"So you say. Why did you ask me "Why I stick around?' How do you think I should answer that question? What do you want me to say, Kate?"

"I want you to answer my question honestly." She could see the confusion set into his brow.

"You really don't know? Are you sure you're ready to hear my answer to that question? My answer will change everything between us." His eyes bore through her but she said nothing.

"As long as you're with Josh, I can't answer that question." No words came out of her mouth. Her brows crinkled with concern, but she said nothing. "Go home Beckett. I've got to get back to my family and my writing." He looked up at her building and said, "No hard feelings, but there's nothing left for me here." Then, he sat in the cab and closed the door.

She stood frozen in place. He didn't look back.

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Hours later, Alexis stood up from the couch and said, "Are you sure you're okay, Dad?"

Castle sighed. He had never kept secrets from Alexis and he decided he was not going to start now. "You're right, honey. I'm a little out of it, tonight."

Alexis sat next to her Dad. "Can I help?" she asked sweetly.

"I wish you could," he smiled. He put his arm around her and gave her a squeeze.

"Is it about Detective Beckett?" she asked.

He nodded, "It is. After all this time she still sees me as just a child. Pulling her pigtails."

"Dad, what did you do?"

"Nothing. She asked me a question I couldn't answer without changing everything. So, for both of our sake, I didn't answer her." He gave her a little squeeze for reassurance but couldn't fool her.

"What did she ask?" Alexis inquired.

He took in a deep breath and said, "She asked me why I stick around."

Alexis shifted to look at her father, and asked, "Dad, why do you?"

"Well, for the first time in a long time I feel like I am doing something meaningful and contributing to society." He liked that answer. It was a good, responsible fatherly answer. But Alexis saw right through him.

"Dad, that's not what she asked you and you know it." She paused and took his hand. "Is it supposed to be hard to tell somebody you care deeply about the truth?" She eyed him curiously.

He realized he had just failed his daughter. He had always taught her to go with her heart but he was not setting a good example, was he? But Beckett had someone in her life to fill the role he wanted to play. If he told her how he felt it would change everything.

"It's not that simple," he told her. "She's with someone, sweetheart. I need to respect her choice."

"Is it her choice? If she doesn't know how you feel, is she really making a choice?" Alexis would not let him off the hook so easily. "You were dating Gina when she started dating her boyfriend." Alexis stood up still holding his hand. "Seems to me you both keep making choices without being honest about your feelings. You shouldn't keep hurting other people like that." And with that, she leaned over and kissed her father good night.

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He knocked on her door. He could hear her on the other side approaching. He knew she would check the peephole before answering the door. There was a man out there gunning for her and she needed to be careful. That thought stiffened his resolve. He heard her sigh before she opened the door.

They starred at each other for a few seconds before he spoke. "May I come in?" he asked.

She motioned him to enter. He strode in and took a seat on her couch. Then, he quickly stood up realizing she hadn't invited him to sit.

"What is it, Castle? Why are you here?" She didn't tell him to sit. She wasn't going to make this easy.

"Fine. I stick around because I think you're remarkable. You are usually kind," he smiled. "Compassionate, brave and fiercely intelligent. I get a rush I have never experienced before when we solve cases. I can't bear the thought of you doing this job without me because you can be so serious, too serious. You said you liked having me around and it made your job more fun. I feel the same way. You make my writing more fun. I maybe a child but I care deeply about you and want to be with you, always."

He turned away from her and took a few steps toward the door before he turned back. "I know you are in a relationship and respect your choice. Just know that I am here for you no matter what..." Her expression had softened but she said nothing.

He smirked, nodded his head and turned for the door.

She didn't stop him.

He had done what he had come to do and would tell his daughter it was the right thing to do but he felt a sense of deep, soul crushing loneliness he had never felt before. The only thing that had ever come close to this feeling was the first time Alexis had told him she hated him when she didn't get her way. But even that was less painful.

He reached the street and stood in front of her apartment a few minutes soaking it in. He ran his hand through his hair, then stuffed his hands into his pockets and walked home. The freezing temperature matched his mood and soon his nose was dripping from the cold. His body shivered but he continued on foot needing the time to clear his mind. He told himself he had gone there to teach his daughter a lesson about taking risks and opening your heart. He told himself he had not gone there looking for something in return. He told himself that he should be proud to have stepped up to the challenge and this feeling would pass. He stopped took a deep, cold breath and got a hold of himself before he pulled open the door of the coffee shop and walked inside.

Xxxxxxx

He walked into the loft and hung his coat in the closet. He rinsed his coffee cup and cover, and set them on the counter to dry. He would put them in the recycle bin later. He poured himself a glass of Scotch and strode to his office where the warm light of his desk lamp awaited. As he entered an unexpected form scared the living daylights out of him. He jumped and let out a gasp.

"Sorry Castle. It's just me," she laughed. She tried to keep a straight face but it was just too funny.

He couldn't help but laugh with her. He took a moment to compose himself before he said, "How did you get in?"

"Alexis," she said. "She told me to wait for you in here. She stayed with me for the first half hour before she went up to bed. What took you so long?" She said a little impatiently.

"Oh. I don't know. I guess I just needed to think. I've had a rough day. How about you?"

"The roughest." She walked slowly towards him. "I got kicked off a very important case. Challenged my partner to open up to me. Broke up with my boyfriend, over the phone no less. And watched the man I love spill his guts out." She put her arms around his neck and gave him a long, passionate kiss.

When they pulled apart, he rested his forehead on hers and said, "Well, then, let's go to bed."

"Let's." And with that she pulled him toward his room.

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I wrote this at 3:00 am. Be kind.