AN: I am seriously debating whether this is even worth writing. I mean, there are literally hundreds of post-finale fics based on the absolutely amazing Knockout. How many more can one read? That said, I really could not pass this idea up when it came to me, and the episode just screams out for a fic to be based around... doesn't it? Obviously if you have yet to see Knockout, stop here... unless you want to be spoiled. ;)

Title: Sweet Dreams (Stand beside me)

Summary: My take on what could happen after the cameras stop rolling on 3x24. I seriously doubt anything like this WILL happen. It's like less than 0% chance I would think! Right, you want a decent summary though don't you? :p ;)

Kate is shot at Captain Montgomery's funeral. Or is she? Did Castle get there in time? I'd always take a bullet for you Kate... Things take an interesting turn from here. Okay, you've probably seen a What if Castle is shot instead fic but give it a chance, it takes a twist I think you'll enjoy. :)

Tagline: If you had the chance to speak from the heart if you got a second chance, would you? Could you let go of your fears?

Standalone or serial? Standa... no wait, it's serial this time. ;) ;D *screams* WHY? I don't have the time to commit to a series fic... I guess that's what this wonderful wonderful crazy good episode will do to the muse. Damn I hate my muse...

Prologue

*C&B*

The sun is brightly shining. It's a complete contrast to how Katherine Beckett feels. It should be bloody pouring its guts out today. That would suit my mood so much better. "Hmm but it's only fitting that it's such a lovely day, Roy deserves nothing less."

Her thoughts were quite literally all over the place; her heart stamped upon and shattered into tiny pieces by the betrayal she felt from her beloved mentor and friend. Yet at the same time she was still in awe and amazed by what he had done. He had sacrificed his life for hers. And that is exactly why she had told the boys that no-one outside this family were to know, to everyone Captain Roy Montgomery had died a hero.

She stepped up to the microphone to give her eulogy. To say she was nervous was an understatement. She wanted to make sure that everyone in attendance knew exactly the kind of man Roy was. How much he means to everyone at the 12th, what he means to her, and just how much of an influence he had on her; how he had helped make her the detective she is today.

She turned to the man who had become her best friend and partner. She knew that he would give her that little kick she found that she needed to do this. Despite what she had told him in the heat of the battle, he did know her; scarily so. He probably knew her better than she knew herself at times. Roy was right. I did have no fun before Castle. I can't imagine my life without him in it. They shared a strong bond; a connection that ran deep into their core. This was both a huge comfort and incredibly frightening all at once.

"Roy Montgomery taught me what it meant to be a cop. He taught me that we are bound by our choices, but we are more than our mistakes.

Captain Montgomery once said to me that for us there is no victory. There are only battles. And in the end the best you can hope for is to find a place to make your stand. And if you're very lucky you find someone willing to stand with you."

At this point she again turned to the writer. She wanted him to get the underlying message she so desperately wanted to convey to him. It's you I want to stand beside; it's you who gets me. No one else. You're my partner. No one else. It was no coincidence that he was the one standing next to her right now. And she wouldn't want it any other way.

It's you I'm in lo...Wait, did I just say love?

Their eyes met. They held each other's gaze for what felt like an era, but in reality was only a few moments. They had become so good at holding conversations through their eyes. She turned back to check her prepared notes, ready to finish; safe in the knowledge that she had reached an understanding with her partner. That she was sorry and she understood why he did what he did days earlier.

*C&B*

Richard Castle took his rightful place beside his Kate. He wasn't going to be anywhere else while she read out her eulogy. It wasn't very often he saw her in uniform. In fact, this was the first time he had seen her in full uniform period. The reason why was highly disconcerting. Roy's funeral. A death he realised he had a massive part of. Sure he didn't pull the trigger, but he may as well have. If only he hadn't looked into Johanna Beckett's case...

Still I saved Beckett's life that night. And that was what kept him from completely falling victim to his guilt. It was him who pulled a highly distraught (and fighting) Beckett into his arms and whisked her out of sight. It was him who held her when she broke; he kept her upright. And she did quite literally, break. He had never seen Katherine Beckett that vulnerable before in his life. He had thought her to be almost indestructible. And that night... she had frightened the life out of him, she never cried; but that gut-wrenching scream got him every single time. He only hoped he had comforted her in some small way, even just simply stroking her hair he hoped eased her pain.

"... the best you can hope for is to find a place to make your stand. And if you're very lucky you find someone willing to stand with you."

Damn daydreaming. I could have missed something of great significance because you couldn't stop your thoughts from going back to that night.

When she turned towards him, he was there waiting. He was her partner - no one else, and he wanted her to know that. You know that don't you Kate? I'm your partner, and I'm willing to make that stand with you.

"Our Captain would want us to carry on the fight."

It was then something caught his eye. Something was reflecting in the daylight. He was on instant alert. Something wasn't right. Kate's words started to fade out as he concentrated solely on that spot a good 500 metres away from them.

Oh sh!t...

"KATE!" He yelled, crashing into her, the force of gravity pushing them down into the ground.

*C&B*

She heard him scream her name; her first name as she felt the weight of him drag her to the soft grass below. Or not so soft. She thought, as she landed with a thud, her cap falling off in the process.

Oh crap. I think I'm in trouble here...

"Oh Kate...ssh.. Kate" She heard him whisper, she could see his face etched with growing concern as he hovered over her.

*C&B*

Her pristine white glove was stained with blood. Her blood?

Her voice startled him out of his thoughts. "Castle can you get off me? I'm okay."

His response was somewhat slow to come. And this worried her. "Ah yeah, course."

"Ahh." He groaned, as he tried to lift himself off her. "Oh f**k."

Kate's eyes widened in shock. NO NO NO... He can't be... Please? God, no...

"Castle?" Her voice had more than a tinge of fear and vulnerability in its tone. Something that was not often there.

She tried desperately to find the wound. Where the hell did he get hit?

"Castle, you're gonna be okay. You hear me? You are NOT going to die on me, okay?"

"Stay with me Kate. Don't leave me, please?"

Where did that come from? "I'm not going anywhere Castle. And you won't be either. You hear me Rick?" She couldn't seem to do anything but just stare into his eyes.

"Stay with me okay?"

Why does he keep telling me that? "Castle, stay with me. Stay with ME. You don't get to do this to me." She could no longer stop her tears from rapidly falling down her face.

Kate, I love you. I love you Kate."

"Castle? Castle? Open your eyes! Open your goddamn eyes!" She could hardly see now, (damn tears), and she was finding it harder and harder to breathe. "Rick, you can't leave me! Please? You are not dying on me, not before I can tell you I love you...please?" Just hold on for me...

TBC...

AN: Thanks for reading. :D Thoughts? Okay, you've probably already seen this countless times already, but I'm really hoping you'll stick with it cos things are going to take a bit of a twist from here... :D

Please let me know if it's worth continuing? ;)