Choosing your battlesAuthor: Karen Jobim
Awareness: Sex/Romance – After 8x07 and based on 8x08 Last scene
Complete: [x ] Yes [ ] No
Disclaimer: After I saw “The last seduction”, I decided to create a plot where Castle goes after what Beckett is doing because of the phone message. It was written before the next episode so I only use the last scene from “Mr & Mrs Castle” to get a good closure. Yeah, it´s in English again, sorry! I was without my notebook so I used the ipad and time to write new stories.
Author´s note: It´s not the best solution for Loksat but the elements involving our couple are there.
Choosing Your Battles
What a night! She didn't know how much she needed to be with her husband until now. She misses him so much to be apart from far too long.
After a great night to celebrate their wedding anniversary, Kate Beckett left the loft heading home still dazzled by the moment. God! She loves that man so damn much. One night with him is like years in paradise. Yeah, that sounded really corny and cheesy but it's love, you're supposed to be a fool.
She was considering while in the bathroom to stay a little bit longer just wrapped in his arms but when Castle warned her about the phone, she simply had to leave. She hasn't got a good lead in weeks. It's about time it happens.
She went straight to her place so she could safely call him back. As soon as she gets on the phone with Vickram, he asks her to check an email he sent so they could start to talk. Beckett was pleased, after 30 minutes listening his explanations, she concluded it was a good lead. Finally, some inside news about Vulcan Simmons operation. The man in charge is a former marine who used to work in Bracken's campaigns handling the dirty money operation for him. After Simmons' death, he took over the business under Bracken's orders.
Vickram also got the information of his leading man, the one responsible for the shipments coming from Asia with drugs and raw material to even cook meth, directly to the same corporation Beckett discovered in the past to be the main sponsor for Bracken political needs. Vickram said from now on, it'll be easy to follow their paths and find out about the next big transaction. Beckett thanked him and gave him the green light to keep searching and spying on them. She still has some digging to do herself.
She changed into her pj´s and crawled on the bed. She wiped off the case from her mind bringing back the memories from early night. The thought in Castle brought a big smile to her face. It was an excellent idea to get a time out from their time out. With his words dancing through her mind and the remembrance of his warm lips on hers, she dove in to the land of dreams.
Castle was still on the floor. He was pleased with what he overcame that night. Not only he got the chance to spend some quality and wonderful time with his wife but also he knew Beckett was working on something big and dangerous now. She told him a white lie before leave the loft that night, but he knows her very well to recognize her body language. Better yet, this time he won't stay away from it. He already knew it was about trust and protection. It's not like she doesn't consider him trustful that's not the point. For her, it's a matter of keep him safe.
Yesterday, while he was in her office trying to get the anniversary surprise ready, he came across a piece of paper with her handwriting. It appears to be a PO Box and some other numbers. It could be a password, a bank account or parts from a phone number. He took a picture of the information. He will start to research using his PI's skills.
Whatever Kate was up to she shouldn't be doing it alone. Castle is determinate to find something really big to help into her investigation and just show to Beckett that his partnership is worthy. Actually, he wants to prove she can't work without his help. They function better together than apart.
Finally, he got up and after going to the bathroom he laid in bed quickly falling into sleep.
The next morning, Castle got up really early and left the loft around eight heading to his office. In the way, he bought coffee for him and hot cocoa to Alexis. He texted to Beckett just to keep things going between them after last night.
"Good morning, my lovely captain! I still a little happily numb from last night. Our time out thing was amazing. I'm having a busy day at the office, however I'd like five minutes in the afternoon to bring your favorite coffee. Have a nice day at the precinct. Love, RC"
He expected some reply from her in some minutes, probably trying to talk him out of it. She won't succeed simply because he doesn't want to be away from her. He entered at his office just to find his daughter already at the computer searching something.
"Good morning, Alexis. Are you working in a case?" he handles her the chocolate. She notices the happiness on his face.
"Oh! You're definitely happy and energized today. What happened?" but before he could speak, she understood "sure! The anniversary thing. So Beckett came to the loft yesterday? Nice! It's good to see you smiling like that again."
"Before you assume anything, she's not coming back to the loft, yet. But I'll convince her sooner than she expects. Trust me." The tone buzzed, he checks the message. From her. "I know what you're trying to do, it's not going to work although I can't really say no to coffee. Come by around 4pm. X KB"
"So..." Alexis tries to catch his attention once again "by the way, it's not a case. I'm doing an essay for university. Why do you ask?" still looking at his phone, he answered.
"We have a case, an intriguing one. Let me just settle things up in the office and we can discuss" Castle enters his office after sending a smiley face to Kate. His plan was to use his brilliant imagination to lure Alexis attention to help him investigate those numbers. First, he'll make a list of possibilities then he will discuss with her. After half an hour, he called her in. Alexis sits in front of him.
"So, what's this new case about?"
"At first, it was supposed to be an infidelity case, simple and easy. But after some random checking I couldn't find any prove that the husband was cheating. Then our client, Mrs. Robinson, find some notes in her husband pocket. She texted me. I already look trying to discover what the hell is it. Whatever it is I'm pretty sure he's involved on something way more interesting than a love affair. Look at these numbers. What do you think they are?
Alexis looked closely into the information. Just numbers.
"It's not a phone number because it's missing one digit. Location, maybe? Latitude and longitude to the place with this PO Box?"
"Good point. Can you check it out? I want to check other things. Could it be a bank account, right?"
"That was my second thought. Even looking like as one big number, the digits can mean agency and number. It could be a payment for something on this PO Box."
"I'm glad we think alike. Let's get to work."
They spent almost the whole morning doing research. If it was a bank account, it wasn't in the US. Castle used the first three numbers to find from which bank holds that possible checking account. No luck so far. Maybe in Europe, Zurich, Geneva, it seems so obvious. Kate could find it in a blink of an eye. It got to be elsewhere. Alexis came back into his office almost two in the afternoon. Her face doesn't seem much confident.
"It's not a geographic position or a possible address useful. It's something else. The PO however led us to a warehouse, the kind you can rent, almost like locker rooms but they are big enough to put even furniture. Maybe you can go there and find out who rented some space under the name Robinson."
"Good idea. I also believe the other numbers are from a foreign bank Europe probably. I'll ask Ryan's help to know more. Thanks, sweetie. I'll let you know if I need more."
"Ok, I'll go to class. Call me if you need me." She gave him a kiss and a hug. Castle got all the information together and left the office. He decided to pay a visit at the warehouse even not knowing how he could discover who rented the space, after all Mrs. Robinson only exists in the graduate movie.
Later that day, he bought the coffee and went to see Beckett. Unfortunately, Ryan was out so his little research has to wait. He knocks at her door. She can see his reflection through the glass.
"Come on in."
"Hello, Captain Beckett! Care for a hot coffee?" He handled the drink to her "How is your day so far? I heard that you had an intense hot night. Everybody is talking about how beautiful you look this morning, more than normally is."
"You're lying, Castle. And if I'm the gossip at the precinct, it´s probably your fault. If it's true, then I'll have to get you out of here."
"I'm kidding! Let's start over. Good afternoon, Captain Beckett. I brought your favorite latte. How is your day? Hope you're inspired enough from yesterday to keep up the good mood."
"I'm very inspired, thanks to you" she gives him a heartfelt smile touching his arms for a couple of seconds losing herself in those beautiful blue eyes of his. Suddenly aware of the dangerous territory she was putting herself into, she backed down. Castle took the opportunity to offer.
"Feel free to ask for assistance anytime. You know exactly what to do." his voice came out like an arousing whisper. She swallows hard.
"You know this can't happen again right now. We're back to the time out."
"You can't blame a guy for trying" he smiles at her " drink your coffee, Captain. You don't want it to get cold" as she drinks her latte, she decides to ask.
"So, you're busy this morning. New case?"
"Yeah, a poor wife is complaining about a possible infidelity but I guess the husband has something more to hide than just a little fling. Trust is a very treacherous field. Once you lose it your relationship is over."
Those words caught Beckett by surprise. She felt guilty in an instant. Is it just random talk or was Castle indirectly talking to her? She lets a deep breath out before she speaks again.
"Hum, trust and protection are different ways to say or to demonstrate your feelings to the ones we love" she pauses looking straight into his eyes, after she noticed he didn't show any sign of rage or sadness, she felt better "So, any fraud issues?"
"Maybe. I guess he's doing some business and putting the earned money outside the country and also he is possibly taking some from her heritage without her knowledge."
"The plot is tricking... Do you want some help to find out?"
"I can use the guys. You have your own cases and the boring paperwork. I don't want to see you behind with papers and I mean it literally. See you around, Kate." He offers his hand to her, full aware of what the gesture meant, she accepted caressing his skin with her fingers, a little smile forms on her face "Still the best handshake ever" he said finally leaving her office.
Unfortunately, the guys were still at the street. Looks like he was going to do some research on his own tonight.
He used all his charm with that young lady at the warehouse facility, even though she couldn't reveal the clients list, the whole PI/writer story worked perfectly impressing the girl who promised him, she'd send him the list and their rent value. This was the first thing he checked when he got home. With a bag of chinese food, he sat in his personal office to work.
Two hours later, he didn't get too far. He only can assume that whatever that guy named Bryan Danson was up to, it was big. He just paid $3000 for a place to store something when the average market price is only $500. It got to be related with the account, the numbers. He decided to drop an email to Ryan asking for help. Tired, he went to bed.
One week later...
Castle was organizing some papers and things in his home office. He was a bit frustrated because it has been a week already since he started the investigation and still he didn't find anything significant to explain the numbers. Ryan tried unsuccessfully to link them to a bank in Europe. Results were zero. Nada. So what does that sequence mean?
Tired of using his brain, he just concentrated on tearing papers at his desk. Then, he noticed.
One of his copies of "Heat Wave" was on the table when it's supposed to be on the shelf. He didn't look at this particular book in a while. How did it come there? He picked it up and he saw a little post-it marking a specific page. Interesting... he didn't recall doing marks in that book. Curious, he opened the exact page.
It was chapter 10 at page 105. There, a pink post-it was placed with a handwriting message. It wasn't his, it was hers.
"Babe, you've already written so many stories, great ones. Only for Nikki, they are seven! But I guess although I have a favorite part to each one of them, this is special.
I've read it so many times and I still can feel the magic between the couple, their feelings between the lines. People say the first time is unforgettable and they are right. This is our first time on paper and no matter how many others you write in the future, this one will always have a special place in my heart, just like our real first time. Love you. Your muse and one-writer girl. KB."
Castle was smiling like a fool while he holds the book in his hands. When did she write it? Last week? Before that? He couldn't know, only speculate. He took some time to flavor the moment, the words, her own words. Then, it hit him. Looking closely to some of the letters, he discovered he was wrong.
He misinterpreted her writing. Her "S" and her "T". He looked at the picture with the information from his computer again. Damn it! That's why they hit dead ends. It wasn't a five or a seven it was S and T. He googled it now with the right information. So it could be bank related but not an account, instead it was probably a safe deposit box. He checked his watch, it was almost 11pm. Ryan wasn't working now, it had to wait until morning.
It was the first thing he did after he woke up. Ryan was surprised to receive such an early phone call but due to the reason, it was understandable. After three hours of digging, Ryan sent an email to Castle with a brand new information. He was right. It was a number for a safe deposit box in a Geneva bank. It was register under the name of Karen B.C. William but the person doing all the moves and transactions were someone called Lucan V. Mossim, an Italian guy. Aware of the names, Castle decided to do a background check with his friends in the mob. Maybe there's another family doing business in town. Ryan also was able to confirm some information about Bryan Danson, he was a former marine and has a clean record. One unusual thought crossed Castle's mind. He heard that name before, but where? He did a quick note to get back to research Danson after he talked to the mob.
He called his friend and ask about Mossim. According to the mobsters, they didn't know about any new family, he guarantees that the business is good and no new members on their community. Back to square one and who is the lady? Just a bogus or maybe a disguised, a diversion?
Castle came back to googling by typing Danson into the search bar, he got an important hint. That's why it was familiar. This guy worked in all Bracken's campaign as a fundraiser manager. He took a deep breath, is Kate chasing this kind of people again? If so, she'd put herself in grave dangerous. It could explain why she decided to be apart from him, she said protection but Castle believes it was because she knew he'd argue with her as he did every single time she chased these ghosts from the past. But now, Bracken's dead, so maybe one of these guys, maybe Danson or Lucan took over his operation which means they're even more dangerous than her former nemesis. How could she do that? Get involved on something that could get her killed?
He wants to monitor these two guys in order to get more evidence until he could confront her. Now, he needed a good night sleep.
During the next two days, he followed every step of the safe box and the guys using a great program he bought to his PI activity. On the third day, some action happened. Castle got access to a transaction from Asia to Geneva. 3million dollars. That's a huge amount. Commercial business or dirty and illegal marketing? He suspected drugs because the history of Bracken's old business. Looking to the names he wrote on a piece of paper, his mind started to drift away picking new ideas to justify the meaning behind the actions and Beckett's investigation. Then, he realized he missed something really important. Those weren't real names, they were anagrams. Quickly, Castle put them together. Lucan V. Mossim was Vulcan Simmons and Karen B.C. William was actually William Bracken. It means the whole dirty operation from the senator still on going and probably Danson was in charge. "That's it!"
He reserved the right to be happy only for a couple of minutes. In fact, this whole situation was pretty serious. Beckett was once again playing with fire. He remembers vividly the discussion they had last time she decided to pursue this crazy quest. She almost died. While he debates what his next step would be, his phone rang. It was Sandy, the girl he talked in that warehouse facility over a week ago.
"Mr. Castle, I have some news for you. Remember the client you asked about? Mr. Danson?"
"Yes, I do."
"He called me yesterday asking to rent a bigger space for him. Since we only have the same type of storage, I offered him three new boxes and he took it. Then, the strange thing happened. He said he wanted to bring some stuffs by 1am next Friday. I explained to him that our shifts are until 10pm. So he insisted on talk to my manager. He was willing to pay USD 10k extra and he also said he wanted to do the same next week by Wednesday. So, my manager accepted the deal, after all, it's business and it's not every day you make USD 20k just to put some employee to work overnight I found it extremely odd. Castle understood why she called him
"Just to confirm, he'll be at the warehouse at one am this Friday and next Wednesday?
"Yes, I can say which units he rented as well. Can you write it down?"
"Sure." Castle took note of everything thanked the girl one more time and rang up the phone. This was probably the best lead he got from this mysterious case so far. He bet Beckett has no idea about it. Then, the dilemma began. What should he do? He knew it was an important information but not good enough to what he needs to meet his purpose. He has still angry to know that she was up to. Risking her life over this stupid quest with really dangerous people. No, he couldn't get to her empty handed so his best shot is too use his tools and knowledge as PI to get something juicer on Friday. Castle needed evidence.
On Friday, he was on the surroundings of the warehouse waiting for the guy to show up. He got permission with Sandy to check out the surveillance images later, but even then he had his camera ready to take as much as photos he could. Around 1:15 am, a container stopped close to the gates. Two men got out of the truck and opened the back door. Castle couldn't see what was inside. He decided to get out of the car when a suv parked right beside the container. From the looks Castle identified the guy as Danson. He took every single photo he could but he was paying close attention to all the moves especially Danson. The others started to unload the cargo and entering the warehouse to store them.
Castle decided to take a closer look while all men were inside. He goes inside the container and photographs the scene. He noticed one box was opened. Quickly, he got closer and he was able to see some packages that appeared to be cocaine. A noise on the background warned him that the men were back. He hides as fast as he can. The men take more boxes from there but they didn't notice him there. After they went back to the storage facility, he got out of the container.
Two hours later, they left the place with an empty truck. Castle saw Danson talking to someone on the phone. Probably, to report the successful operation. With a long distance equipment, Castle was lucky to catch the end of the conversation.
"Yes, all clear and good. You can tell the client to meet me with one part of the money on Monday. The rest he can deliver on Wednesday when he comes to get the cargo. Piece of cake"
Then, he got in the car and left. Castle went to the warehouse to look for Sandy. He needed the security tapes. He wanted to identify all the man. Also, he wanted to spend a little quality time organizing and digging more information so he can go to Beckett. Of course it won't be so easy. He wants a good explanation from her. He spent the next two days building a solid case for Beckett. On Monday, he did discover the identity of the other mans and they also were connected to Simmons and Bracken from the past. One of them, Anton served in the same unit as Montgomery and he was working with Bracken when her mother was killed. He probably knows Kate. He must talk to Beckett. He took his coat and went out.
It was around 8pm in the night when Castle knocked on her door. She opened the door a little surprised in seen him there.
"Castle? Did something happen? Is Alexis ok?" he didn't wait for an invitation to come in, he just did.
"Yes, she's fine. But something is going on, you tell me, Kate. Why did you hide an extremely dangerous investigation that can get you killed? Why are you chasing Bracken's associates again?"
"What are you talking about?" It was an act to buy more time but he knew her and it didn't work.
"Drop the act, Kate. This is very serious. I want to know why did you leave me to chase ghosts from the past? Why did you walk out from our marriage? Damn it, Kate! Even Bracken is dead. Do you want to be the next one? This Danson guy is a fearless assassin, he was kicked off from Mariners for almost killing another marine. He is way worse than Lockwood.
"How do you know all this? Did you spy on me? How do you know about Danson?"
"I'm a PI. I have my methods and Danson is one part of your problems, Kate. We're talking about big money, drug money." He took an envelope throwing it at her desk. She opens and finds the pictures. From Danson, two other men, cocaine, exchanging money which she knows it's dirty. "See this man here, he knew Montgomery. He was around when your mother got killed. I'm pretty sure he knows exactly who you are. He won't hesitate to kill you, Kate. Is that what you want? That's your way to protect me? That was what you imagine, throwing yourself into the line of fire and leave me windowing but "protected"?
"I didn't know about these guys, this is the warehouse... How do you know how to search it?" How do you find out it involved Vulcan Simmons?"
"You can read my report later, seems like I discovered way more than your new partner on this. But you should know I'm really good doing investigations. In fact, I'm the only one who can meet your needs. Because I know you. You still own me an explanation. "
"Castle, my friends from the FBI were killed because of this operation. I don't know what Loksat means. I decided to do it alone because I didn't want you dead. I don't want to lose you! "
"Right, you don't want to lose me but you're willing to kill yourself in the process. Wonderful! You're being selfish. We are together now, you can't decide for both of us. Wait, did you say Loksat? It was the name that appeared in the Geneva account, from where the deposit was made. "
"Safe deposit box, actually. The numbers you got."
"Did you steal information from me? You betrayed me!"
"I didn't steal from you. I was at your office and I saw the paper, I got curious. Then I decided to investigate and discovered what you have in your hands. "
"In other words, you stole evidence from the Captain's office. It's betrayal and a crime."
"I didn't steal anything, I took a picture. That's not the point. You're changing the subject."
"Changing the subject, what part of protecting you is difficult to understand? My God! You risked yourself, you could get yourself killed."
"Likewise. We are stubborn! Always trying to discovered ways to get in trouble but none of this was supposed to happen if you have told me the real truth, what you have in front of you. We could work on this together as we did so many times before. I don't understand how you could keep me safe by leaving our home. Why not act in disguise? Just pretend a time out?"
"Because if these people even suspect that I know something they will start their revenge by killing the people I love, which means you. Then, they probably will kill me too. I couldn't risk it, well looks like it was worthy, all my sacrifice to stay away from you, Castle. You already know too much."
"So it means we're going to work together on this again. Right?" Castle was afraid to ask if she would come back home with him. She was quiet but he could tell she still angry with all the situation.
"No, Castle. It means you aren't part of this. You won't get involved. And this time please understand the dangerous behind it. I can take care of myself. "
"Can you? As far as I know you were even behind in the investigation. Who is going to have your back? I don't know your new partner but he seems pretty lame to me."
"Castle, it's none of your business" she knew it was bullshit.
"None of my business? Last time I checked you're still my wife. It is my fucking business, Kate. Whether you like it or not. If you want to risk your life, fine! But don't simply tell me to walk away or stay at home waiting for the news and find out you're dead. Because I can't do it. Unless you tell right now that if the situation was reverse you could walk away. Then, I know it's over. "
"No! Of course I couldn't walk away, I wouldn't. Never ever. I love you but it's not the point, what..."
"It is so the point. If you love me, then you understand why we need to do this together. I'm worried, Kate. In fact, I'm terrified of losing you. We can fight it. We already know what we have to do to catch them. Call a big operation next Wednesday. We'll get them."
Kate didn't say a word for a couple of minutes. A huge debate was happening inside her mind. Even though she knew it was a bad idea, an insane plan to get him on board, she also knew he won't stop. What was driving her decision? The fact he indeed discovered way much than her and Vickram in such a short time and the most important reason was to keep him close to her, under protection. Still, it doesn't seem the right thing to do. So, she decided to go with her mind, instead of her heart.
"I'm sorry, Castle. I can't let you throw your life away. I couldn't handle the pain and the guilty If you die." She was fighting the tears, she didn't want to cry in front of him. Castle was devastated.
"I can't believe you're doing it again, Kate. I simply can't understand what's the point on chasing ghosts, on choosing them over us. Is that what you really want? Ok, you win. Well, if you can call it a winning thing. I'll leave now. Don't worry, I'll not interfere in your investigation. Good luck, Kate. I hope you find what you're looking for."
"Castle..." her voice has a tone of despair. He turns his back to face her. "Please, it's not a goodbye. I'm not giving up on us, I'm saving us. Don't forget me, don't kick me off of your heart... I love you, Rick." He didn't reply, he just walks away. Stunned by what just happened, she sat on the couch and cried overwhelmed. She didn't remember how much time she was there. Probably she felt asleep because when she checked the watch it was 3am. Numbed, she went to bed.
On the next day, Beckett decided to review all the information Castle let with her. It was extremely good. He was an excellent PI. The best partner anyone could have, except her during this case. She didn't know what was going to happen to both of them when all this nightmare was over. She couldn't think about it now otherwise she won't concentrate. Beckett picks the phone up and call Vickram. Castle already did too much.
Castle simply choose to sleep after he left Beckett's place. And he did it. Next morning, he woke up thinking about her, in her crazy mind, her desire to make things right. God, Kate! I hate you and I love you for that. Although he left her without an answer, he wouldn't back down. He was sure she will be in the warehouse next Wednesday so will he.
Castle was in his PI office monitoring the safe deposit box when a new amount of money from Loksat was added to the previous value. $150,000 dollars. Maybe a new shipment? He didn't doubt it. He had already separated all the equipment he would need to bring with him to the warehouse that night. Sandy was going to be there so he'd have the security footage. Today, however, he had an extra job. Keep his eyes on Beckett. Sure she is a cop, well prepared to this kind of situation, but she isn't immortal. And the enemy only shoots to kill.
It was almost one in the morning. Castle was hidden at the same spot from the other night. He had a privilege view. He saw the exact moment Beckett arrived. He had her on his sight.
Some minutes had passed when the container stopped in the same place. Castle saw the SUV doing the same. Danson walked until the truck, exchanges some words with the team. Anton is not around. When Danson starts to talk on the phone, he seems angry.
"Where are you? I told you this client is very important you should be here, Anton! I can't stay much longer I have a plane to catch, I'm expected in Hong Kong tomorrow night. I already received the greenlight in my account. 30% of the deal. How much time do you need to be here? Ok, you better arrive in fifteen, the client's representative will be here at 2am, I'm counting on you." He hangs up. Castle has all the conversation on record. He quickly checks the flights to Hong Kong in the morning. Only two. Easy to track. Maybe he could convince Beckett with it and they can travel together to follow Danson. He saw that the container was getting empty. It won't take long now. Another car approaches, one man with a silver case comes on Danson direction. They shake hands. Another man leaves the car holding a gun. He seems familiar. With the next step, Castle understands everything. It was Anton. He was about to ambush Danson. It was a trap. Oh, God! Where's Kate? She couldn't confront them. She's going to get herself killed. He tries to call her. It goes to voicemail.
Beckett is observing everything looking for the best time to attack. She already has her gun prepared in her hands. When her phone vibrates, she looks at the display. Castle. He is probably trying to reach her to know about the operation. Beckett has no idea that he's actually there. She studies their moves to choose her best moment to surprise them.
Castle was debating what should be his next step. He needs to warn Kate. Desperate times, desperate measures. He begins to write a message. Beckett was ready to go. When she left the car, the phone vibrates once again on the passenger seat. If she could've read it, maybe the story of that particular night had turned completely different.
"Abort the mission, Kate. It's a trap. Anton is a traitor. Get out of there! Please! RC"
Too late, he thought when he saw her running in the container direction. He was watching her moves incapable of deciding what to do. The fear and the adrenaline run through his veins. He wasn't armed. How could he fight against these assassins? Maybe Kate was right he shouldn't be here in the first place. But it didn't matter now.
She was outside close to the bad guys and she didn't know what was going on. Something serious was about to happen. He saw the two men arguing, one of them had a gun hidden in his jacket pocket. Suddenly, the only thought that came to Castle's mind was the image of Beckett lying on the ground at Montgomery's funeral. He remembers vividly how powerless he felt seeing her between life and death. He wouldn't let it happen again. He didn't think, he just left the car chasing her.
By the time he got closer, he realized it was too late. Anton had his gun pointed to Danson and Beckett was hiding very close to them. Anton didn't hesitate. With only one glance to his associate, the bullets were fired from both guns. Danson didn't have time to react. He just drops dead on the ground. Castle saw when Anton took some keys from Danson's pockets. He gave some orders to the men to put all the cargo back in the container. That's when Beckett made her move.
"NYPD. You! Hands in the air! You! " she shouts at Anton "Put the gun down, now!" She was aimed at him because she knew he wasn't going to obey her. "You are under arrest for drugs possession and murder. Put the gun down" they were facing each other almost killing one another with their eyes. Beckett and Anton didn't move a muscle that's why they couldn't predict the next thing happening. Anton's associate came from behind ready to shoot Beckett, when Castle saw the imminent danger, he throws himself into Beckett's direction. He pushed her to the ground right after the gun is fired. His body over hers and an excruciating pain in his shoulder. By reflex, she shoots Anton. He fell. Even with some difficulty she manages to get on her feet and run to handcuff him. She called for backup and an ambulance. Ask Vickram to watch Anton. Then she runs to Castle.
"Oh, God! Castle, are you ok? What were you thinking? You shouldn't be here!" His right shoulder was bleeding and also he was shot below the chest right into the left ribs. Terrified because of the blood, she decided not to wait for the ambulance "Castle, can you get up? Use my shoulders to lean on, I need to put you in my car. We need to go to the hospital!" She tried to lift him using all the strength she had. Castle was almost fainting which made Kate even more worried.
After she finally got him in the car, she closed the door, turn the engine and the sirens driving like crazy through the streets to get to the hospital. She noticed Castle was losing conscience. This couldn't happen.
"Castle, please, stay awake. Talk to me!"
"He was...going to kill...you, Kate... You lied...the case..." he tried to say more but his eyes were closing "it really...hurts...I can't..." he was drifting off again.
"Castle, don't close your eyes. Look at me, babe..." she grabs his hand " just look at me and hang on for a couple of minutes, we are almost there." By the time she pulls over the car in front of the emergency door, he had already passed out. "Somebody, please help! He was shot on duty. NYPD, I need assistance." She was almost crying pressing the hole to stop the bleeding when a couple of doctors showed up to help. Within seconds, Castle was taken to the ER right into an OR. The doctors stopped her at the door. Kate was a bit lost. She sat in the waiting room and she cried.
Three hours later still no update on Castle. Only one nurse confirmed he was being operated. Kate was a mess. She feels bad because it was all her fault. She thought she could protect him by being apart. She was so wrong. He not only discovered almost every lead on the case but also he saved her life. If something happened to him, she wouldn't forgive herself. One of the nurses came and gave her a cup of coffee. Minutes later, Vickram showed up right into the waiting room.
"Anton is gone. He escaped. When your backup got there, he was gone. He left the cargo and the dead body but that's all we've got to work now. We need to analyze every clue to find him, we find him, we discover what Lockhart is."
"There's no we on this. I'm done. I'll give the case to the FBI, it's their responsibility from now on. If you want, you can work with them"
"But we're so close. You can't walk away now."
"The hell I can! I won't risk anything else to this crazy investigation. I've lost too much time. I set aside my marriage, my life, my happiness, for what? I'm here in a waiting room paying for my sins while my husband fights for his life, the same life I swore and failed to protect. He is in that OR because of me, because he just saved me! So, no. I won't lift a finger on the case anymore."
"Look, Kate. I'm sorry for what happened to Castle. But he wasn't supposed to be there in the first place. We have a body and..." but Beckett didn't let him finished.
"You're sorry, really? Because ever since you got here all you talk about is this damn case, you didn't have the courtesy to ask how is he doing and now you tell me he got hurt because he was there. For your information, we wouldn't be there if It wasn't for Castle's findings. So, why don't you do us a favor and get out of my face?"
"Ok, Kate I get it. Sorry. But I thought you want to win this, celebrate our victory. These people took so much from you..."
"Exactly, too much. I won't let it happen again. That's why I'm walking away. You know, a very wise man once said to me that there are no victories, only battles. We speak for the dead but we don't own them our lives. He said I need to make a stand, that's what I'm doing. I choose to be at Castle's side, I want my happiness, my life. I'm tired to push it away every time a lead appears. I almost lost Castle last time I decided to chase the monster, I almost died. I won't risk on losing him again. No more hunting. I'll continue serving and protecting under my batch, but enough on crazy lost battles. I think it's time for you to choose yours."
"Are you sure?"
"I've never been so sure about something in my entire life, well maybe except for my love for Castle. I'll contact the FBI in the morning after I deal with my own priorities. You should go now. I want to be with my husband. Castle is the one receiving all my attention now."
He looks at her one more time and turns away. She sighs and sits on the chair again, she runs her hands through her hair clearly nervous. She wants news. Anything.
"Mrs. Castle?" she looked up "I'm Dr. Moss. I was in the OR with your husband."
"How is he? Is he awake?" she was anxious and afraid, he noticed.
"We were able to stop the bleeding and remove the bullets. He is stable now but he still under the influence of the anesthesia. We expect him to wake within a couple of hours."
"Can I stay with him?"
"Sure. He's in the ICU as a precaution, as soon as he wakes up and we see he's going fine, he'll be transferred to a room. If you follow me, I'll take you to him."
"Thank you so much."
"Do you want the bullets? I believe it's part of the investigation you're working, right?"
"Yes, it is. But I need to make sure Castle is ok first, he's my priority now."
"I completely understand. I'll get them ready when you need. Here, just go inside. He's the only patient there. Take your time." He watches her get in and then go away. Kate approaches the bed, he looks pale and tired. She could see the bandages on his shoulder and his chest. Unable to resist, Kate puts one hand on his chest and the other goes to touch his hair. She was really close to him. She wanted to kiss and hug him so badly. Instead, she just seats by his side resting her head on his hand and close her eyes.
She gave in to her tired body and sleeps. When she woke up again, things were pretty much the same. She kisses his hand and begins to talk to him.
"You know, I'm the worst wife ever. I'm terrible in this relationship thing. I know I've let you down. I risked your life when I said I'd protect you. I've made you blind for all these months when I should've included you in my plans. And now, I don't know what to do. I can't bare even the thought of you dying. Please, I just want you to live so I can spend the rest of my life trying to make things right for you." she felt his hand moving. He seems to be clearing his throat, he wanted to say something.
"You...lied...it hurts..." she got closer to Castle, the expression in her face worried.
"Oh, babe. Where does it hurt?"
"Here..." he points his heart "you lied and it...breaks my...heart. Why, Kate?"
"I've already explained to you. I was trying to protect you and I guess I didn't do it properly because you're in a bed at the hospital because you tried to save me. You are so much better than me, in everything. I'm a lost cause, I can't even do my job. I was so afraid they might do something to you that I simply forget you're my partner, my best match in personal and professional life."
"I can't argue with that. But it's not that easy. You didn't trust me. "
"No, babe I do trust you. I never for a second lose my faith in you. And I was right, you were there for me, even after I ask you not to. You took a bullet for me, Rick."
"Two in fact, but I want to and I'll do it all over again. Do you know why? Because I've never forgiven myself for letting you get shot at Montgomery's funeral. And do you remember why it happened, Kate? Because you insisted on chasing ghosts and even though we solved your mother's murder, you still obsessed with the past."
"No, I gave up already. It's not worthy. I choose you, us."
"I'm tired. My head hurts. I need to rest."
"Sure, babe. You can do that. I'll come back to get you home."
"Don't bother. Alexis can do it or even myself. It's not that bad. You got to work on that big case of yours. I believe you have someone to interrogate who could actually give you a hot lead."
"Don't you hear what I said? I quit the case"
"Then just go do your Captain stuff...I don't want to revisit all the drama right now. We still on our time out thing, so just respect that. When I feel better, I'll call you." Kate was surprised with Castle's attitude. She thought he was going to be happy when he found out she dropped the case for him, but his reaction was really unexpected. She didn't know what to do, so she chose to leave.
Beckett didn't come back to the precinct, she took the day off. The situation was pretty overwhelming right now. She took her clothes and throw herself into bed. All the stress and the adrenaline from the day came like a wrecking ball at her. Feeling a little lost, Kate surrenders and cries. For at least three hours she went in and off to sleep. She hasn't process every details on Castle's words.
Yes, she knew he was hurt emotionally. She was the one to blame on that. In order to do something right, she messed it up doing all wrong. Now, he wants to continue apart. Maybe as a punishment, some kind of payback time. Then, she remembered she did something similar to him years later. She spent three months without any contact with him. Suddenly, she was afraid. She doesn't want to think about that, she was not ready to spend a long period without Castle.
The next day, she went to work. Beckett made a call to one of her contacts in the FBI explaining the case and giving them her greenlight to get all the information from her precinct. For the rest of the day, she tried to organize cases and reports without success. She couldn't concentrate. She wanted to forget what happened yesterday but it was becoming really hard. All her thoughts were about Castle. Is he doing fine? Did the doctor release him today? She wanted to call him, get news but he was very clear about what he needs. Time. Then, she decided to do what he asked for.
Two days later, Castle was back to the loft. He was feeling physically better, the pain on his shoulder improved a lot with painkillers and he is supposed to attend some sections of physiotherapy, which is fine. The bullet wound on his chest was worst but nothing compared with the one in his heart.
Yes, he was glad to know she gave up the case because of him. Also for seeing her so fragile and devastated, not that he liked to see her suffering but because it showed she realized needed him, she missed him. That´s why he had a heartache. Castle doesn´t like to see the broken Beckett but the pain and the indifference were necessary. She lied to him, with the best intentions, but still a lie. Kate should have thought about it before she tried to solve things alone.
God! He missed her. He knew she wanted to take care of him, he´d love that. Unfortunately, that was not an option at the moment.
When the guys from FBI appeared at the precinct, Esposito and Ryan got really suspicious. Why did the feds want to talk to their Captain? Was Beckett into something dangerous? Curious, they were waiting a little bit anxious at the coffee machine. The agents spent at least two hours in a meeting with her, which made sense since she was updating them on the case. Vickram was called into her office for some time as well. Finally, the door opened and they left. The boys saw Beckett greeting the men and escorting them to the elevator.
As she approaches her office again, Esposito and Ryan followed her.
“What do you guys want?”
“Why are the feds here?” Esposito asked “Are you doing some investigation on your own?”
“The FBI was here because of the guy we almost arrested two days ago. He is the owner of one of the biggest cartel in US. The feds are chasing his tale for a while. So I called them to take the case. It´s their jurisdiction and responsibility now.”
“What about Danson? He is ours. Homicide, Beckett. This is our case too. Why can´t we work together?”
“Because Danson is also part of the cartel. The case is federal, end of story.”
“What´s going on, Beckett? You always hated to give them our cases. Is it somehow related with something from your past? Is it going to get you in trouble? You can tell, it´s us.” said Esposito.
“There´s nothing going on, it´s only police business. They are from narcotics. They know what they´re doing. Now, enough of this interrogation. Don´t you guys have reports to finish or cases to investigate? Get out of here.”
They left without a word and Beckett thought it was for the best. She was tired of explaining and even talk about the thing responsible for the crappy way she was feeling right now. The days continue without many changes. Well, one was pretty clear to the people at the precinct. The Captain was not in a good mood. Yeah, Beckett was cranky and everyone knew the motive. It has been almost three weeks since Castle appeared there, Ryan even mentioned her humor was really great after the anniversary. They didn´t know why he disappeared, which was something quite strange, and why she never talks about him.
Meanwhile, Castle was filling his idle time with some meaningless infidelity cases, something that didn´t required a lot of thinking. Two days ago, he tried to write again. He needed to start a new Nikki Heat novel but his inspiration was away from him and his imagination didn´t want to help him elaborate new adventures. As for the bruises, he was completely healed.
It was a Friday night. Castle was drinking some scotch in his living room. Alone, he decided to talk with Lucy about his relationship with Beckett. He told out loud all their story from the recent days. As a machine, it only captures his ideas and uses to make a conversation with its owner.
“I thought you said lying was wrong” says Lucy.
“Yeah, it is but she thought she was protecting me.”
“Ok, so does that mean you could forgive her?” he drinks more scotch. He sighs.
“I don´t know. Maybe.”
“Don´t take this the wrong way, Rick. But you´re not making any sense.” said Lucy.
“Oh, that´s because I´m in love.” Castle replied “but you´d never understand that.”
“So, why are you talking to me about it?”
“Touché!” he was sipping his drink with thousands of thoughts running through his head. Some noise was coming from the front door. A knock. Alexis was out, maybe she forgot her key. It wasn´t her. Instead Kate made quite an entrance into the loft. She quickly gets rid of the coat, put it on the sofa and turns to face him. Then, he realized she was in the middle of the space contemplating everything.
“Beckett, what are you doing here?”
“I still have the keys but I decided to knock. How is your shoulder?”
“Better. Healed. You didn´t answered my previous question. What are you doing here?”
“You were right. Everything that you said was absolutely right.”
“Could you be more specific?” Castle asked.
“Our breakup could have been a cover up so that we could bring down Loksat together.”
“Yeah, I wish you could have come to me sooner.”
“Well, I´m here now. So let´s do it.” Kate was really nervous and anxious. She didn´t know how Castle would react to all of this.
“It´s not that easy.”
“I thought that you would...” but Castle interrupted her speech.
“Just take you back despite of everything you put me through?” she lowered her head, she gets his still mad at her, hurt. Why could she do? She can only apologize again and try to convince him how important he is to her.
“Look, Castle. I´m really sorry. I hate that I hurt you” she comes closer “That was never what I wanted”
“Me too, Kate. But what is worst, you lost your faith in me.”
“No, I never. I need you Rick, I never realized even how much I needed you until this happened. Please, don´t let me do this without you.” She was fighting her emotions but he knew her too well to understand she was really scared.
“Do what, Kate? I thought you gave up on chasing this thing.”
“I did. I´m talking about us. I don´t want to spend the rest of our marriage away from you. I´m your wife and I intend to continue to be for many years. We can investigate together any case you want but I need you to accept me back. Let´s quit this time out. Please, don´t make me beg, Rick.” She didn´t know what his answer would be. She just need a yes. Castle observes her body language. He already knew what to do.
“Ok” he comes towards her and kiss her lips. A little surprised with the quick response, she immediately holds him, kissing him back. She missed those lips so much. The smile finally appears on her face “but do you realize I have to punish you a little first.”
“Naked punishment?” she asked with a naughty smile.
“Very naked punishment” and he kissed her again. As their lips parted, Kate was still smiling and Castle holds her hand leading the way.
He got her into their bedroom. Within seconds, he took her top off, he grabs her legs and throws her in the bed. Quickly, he undoes all the buttons on her pants, Katy is only in her underwear. He leans on the bed kissing her neck. His lips start a little trip through her body tasting skin, breast, belly. His hands got lost on the warmth and smooth skin. Castle bit her breasts gently, sucking them one by one gladly for the moaning she made. She chuckles when the tip pf this tongue played with her nipple.
Then, she was caught by surprise. Castle spreads her legs to taste her. He drew his tongue inside, his fingers taking control of her clitoris literally driving her crazy. It only took a few minutes to Kate starts to tremble. A pleasure chill runs through her entire body. She arches her back, asking for more. It didn´t take long for Kate to feel the first wave of orgasm. While she rolled over the bed still experimenting the sensations, Castle took the rest of his clothes off and he lied beside of her looking for her mouth.
The kiss is urgent and full of passion. Kate bits his lips and she takes control of the situation. She sits on his legs and takes his cock in her hands, arousing, teasing and finally making him moans. She prepares herself to let him slide deeply inside of her. When that happened, Kate was overjoyed. It felt like home. Their synchronized moves were precise and fast. Hands, lips, hips working perfectly together chasing pleasure. The desire was finally getting into their minds, bodies and hearts.
When the next orgasm hits them, it was even stronger than the first one. But they wouldn´t stop, they couldn´t stop. Castle went through her breasts again, motivated by the arousing in her hazel eyes. For the third time, they achieved pleasure together.
Kate was lied down diagonally on the bed. Her legs over Castle´s chest. They stood still for a couple of minutes before she decides to move. She got closer to his body. She smelled his skin and felt his arms pulling her close.
“Hey…are you ok?”
“Never better, Cas…” he smiled at her reply. He really wanted to ask her about the case but he was afraid it could bring some unwanted discussion between them. His curiosity, however, couldn´t wait for another time.
“Did you really give up the case?”
“Yes, I told you I´ll do it for us. I already updated the FBI over it. They´ve been searching for these guys for a while and it makes perfect sense since the cartel killed some of their own. Why do you ask?”
“I just thought we could investigate it together. It seems really interesting and a big issue too. A difficult case.”
“Yeah, but I don´t think it would be wise. After all, we don´t want to risk our lives over it. I´ve been there before, it´s not worthy anymore. Let´s put it aside for a while and just focus on important things.”
“Us. Our married life, our happiness. It´s already enough for now.”
“Ok. I can deal with it now.” he raises her chin so he could kiss her lips again “what do you want to do right now, Mrs. Castle?”
“To be honest, I´d kill for a cup of coffee…”
“Grande skim latte, two pumps sugar free vanilla? Maybe I can meet your needs, Captain.”
“You are forgetting something”
“I don´t think so unless your favorite coffee changed in the past three weeks”
“Oh, but you are. I want the little heart on top. It makes your coffee special”
“Details…” he gently rolls her on the bed. He gets up, puts on a robe and he started to make his way to the kitchen. In this moment, she calls him.
“I love you…”
“Yeah, I know” but she gets on her feet and she runs into him. Kate kisses his mouth one more time. She caresses his face with her hand.
“You´re supposed to say always” he laughs at her. She can be so goofy sometimes.
“Always” she kisses him again.
“Much better” and she runs again to their bedroom to wait patiently for her coffee.