Disclaimer: I own nothing. Sadly.
Prompt from castlefanficprompts
Assume this is early season 4 and Kate never got shot.
Richard Castle cannot believe that he is sitting in the pews at Kate Beckett's wedding. He can't believe that he's not waiting at the altar for her, and he can't believe that he would subject himself to the torture of watching her marry Josh Davidson.
Despite his hurt at hearing of their engagement, he didn't leave her like he did the last time he was jealous. Having Kate as a friend was better than not having her at all. So here he is, waiting for her to walk down the aisle, past him, and into the arms of another man.
Josh doesn't look nearly as excited as he should be.
The bridesmaids and groomsmen make their way down the aisle while he stares at the floor, only rousing when everyone around him stands up.
She's gorgeous. Absolutely breathtaking. He wants to cry.
Her father is smiling like a loon as Kate nudges him with her elbow. He's shocked when she locks eyes with him, offering him a small smile before she turns toward the man she will spend the rest of her life with. Her one and done.
Or so he thought.
Halfway through the vows, Josh takes his hands from hers, places them on her shoulders in what is probably meant to be consoling, and says, "I'm sorry."
And then he walks away, down the aisle and out the door.
Castle feels terrible sadness mixed with more relief than he's willing to let on. Once he gets a glimpse of her face though, any thoughts of triumph are rapidly quelled.
Her eyes are wide and her mouth hangs agape as she turns toward the direction Josh went. She looks confused and embarrassed and a multitude of other things she should not be feeling on her wedding day.
If he ever sees Josh again, he will not hesitate to kick his ass.
The guests have their own looks of horror. Lanie is starting to tear up, Espo and Ryan look ready to follow Josh with their service pieces, and her father looks like Castle feels: heartbroken, but only a little relieved. He doesn't have time to think about it as she says "Sorry" to the general population and bolts.
He does what he always does. He follows her.
He makes his way to her dressing room in time to see her fall into a chair with her head in her hands.
"Kate, God…" he trails off. No words seem adequate.
"I should have seen this coming," she rasped, her voice breaking in a way that made him want to cry.
"No, Kate. Trust me, anyone in their right mind would have stayed at that altar."
"But it was never gonna work, was it? It never would have worked." Her breathing was getting heavier as tears started to run down her face. He pulled her to him, her face in the crook of his neck and the white fabric of her dress underneath his fingers.
"I'm so sorry, Kate. So sorry."
She nods quickly against his shoulder as she gets up and moves away, fumbling at the back of her dress, which is closed with a long row of pearly buttons.
"I need to get out of this dress," she murmurs, her distress increasing as her fingers grope blindly at the tiny clasps. Her trembling touch turns to an angry clawing and she bites her lip to keep from breaking down like she wants to.
"Let me help you." He starts at the top and pushes each button out of its circle of thread. He can feel her anxiety growing.
"Just rip it, Castle. I just want it off."
"I don't care what happens to it, just get it off. Please just get it off."
The sound of her whimpering is cut off by the clatter of all the buttons dropping to the floor. He wraps her in the cardigan resting on the chair beside him and pulls her close as she waits for the tears to subside.
"I don't want to go back out there," she whispers.
"You don't have to."
"You know I do."
"You really don't. Lanie will handle it, and everyone will understand."
She's quiet while he strokes her hair. She leans against him, finally breathing steadily.
"Why wouldn't he just tell me?" she whispers.
He presses a kiss to her hair. "I don't know." He wishes he did.
They stand in silence for what feels like hours. He would have thought she was asleep if not for her sudden whisper of "Come to France with me."
"What?" he asks, peering to look at her.
"I still have a honeymoon to go on. Paris, France. I have the tickets here with me. Let's go."
"I don't wanna waste it. And I don't wanna go by myself. And my dad or Lanie would just look at me like… I just want to feel normal."
He smiles down at her. "Let's go."
Author's Note: This is different from what I usually write, but I wanted to give it a go. I was planning on continuing, unless it's good as is? Or if it sucks you can tell me. Ha. If you want it continued, I'm open to ideas. I can't write smut to save my life, though. Reviews are lovely, and I really appreciate your input! Thanks for reading!