He carried the weight of his love for her out of respect and with a sense of duty, much like the way she carried her service weapon. He could constantly feel it on him, and he knew if he discharged it at the wrong time, the effect could be catastrophic.
He hadn't lied to Alexis when he said being with Beckett made him happy. He was so grateful to be back at her side and he relished each moment that he shared with her beautifully beating heart. When he didn't think about the details, when he just showed up and did his part, when he acted as her partner and her friend…it was all alright.
But there were moments when he just felt like he couldn't do it. He felt like he couldn't look at her face and not want to hold it. He couldn't listen to her breath and not want it pressed to his ear, and he couldn't watch her sip that damn coffee he brought her each and every morning and not want to kiss her perfect and elegant lips. But she wasn't ready, and the walls needed to come down, and she was worth so much more than stolen kisses that she couldn't fully return; so it was respect that kept him celibate.
But sometimes he had an angry morning and if he really thought about the details he would feel enraged and lonely and jealous and hurt all over again that she had cut him loose and left him adrift for THREE MONTHS of the darkest moments of his life. It was on mornings like these that he showed up out of a sense of duty. He caused this mess, he would help end this mess. Hell, HE was a mess…but he was there.
It might not be a morning at all, but sometimes in the middle of the night he woke from sleep with a panicked cry and found himself diving from his bed and onto the floor hoping that "this" time he wouldn't be too late, "this" time he would be able to knock her to the ground and gladly take the bullet. He sits on the floor of his room covered in sweat and wishes that he would have never had to watch her slip from life in the back of that ambulance, and he would never have uttered those words that didn't seem to matter to anyone anyway…except, of course, him. And on those nights…he realized the depth of his love.
The storm cloud of emotions resulted in the sad fact that it was never easy to be with Beckett. He now made a habit of preparing himself for each encounter, trying hard to cram the emotions he felt neatly into one of his compartments so that he could fantasize or pout or adore as his mood, or the situation, dictated.
What got tricky was when Richard Castle found himself trying to do all three at once. How could he possibly hate the woman of his dreams that he passionately adored who flippantly drove him insane? The torture of her intoxicating presence was more than likely going to ruin everything. He couldn't tell which, but somewhere down the line he was going to either kiss or kill her and he honestly couldn't tell which was for the best.
He felt he had been doing well to control his impulses but his emotions were running high during the visit to the College Girls Gone Crazy offices; and Beckett just wasn't helping! Before the visit, Castle had decidedly turned off his lust button…seeing as how he was the father of a co-ed aged girl…this just didn't seem the time or place. BECKETT, on the other hand has to throw her perfectly age-appropriate and forbidden breasts right in his face with a comment about not needing implants! WAS SHE KIDDING HIM WITH THAT?
Yes, she was, but still! He replied with a semi-freaked out chuckle trying to be polite and keep his gaze anywhere but her shirt. He quickly moved on to the question of whether she would get the pharmaceutical implants and the woman said NO!
He then basically told her it would be necessary for her to have them because he certainly would, and she wouldn't want him to be the same as she aged. She replied that she felt he would be the same in ten years regardless of some science fiction implants and her statement caused him to bristle.
Castle's heart broke a little bit more realizing that Kate thought everything could be the same ten years down the road. Furthermore he realized that she was probably ok with that. He had accused her before of hiding in her mother's case and it seemed that she was so driven that she could actually picture herself in the same spot ten years from now and feel fine about it. The side of Castle that hated her just enough began to feel used. He felt that it might be justified, but he also knew that it would be fleeting because in the end the love was always going to win out…right?