AN: Again, thanks to you all for your amazing reviews. I can't get over how many of you guys have put this story on your alert list or favourites! You all just blow me away with your awesomeness. :D As always, you wonderful readers are my inspiration to continue. The muse thanks you from the bottom of its heart. ;) :D

Hope you enjoy...

Chapter Two

*C&B*

She stared into his baby blues, which were depicting love and concern. Suddenly, she felt angry. Angry at everything she had been through in the last few weeks, months. Angry at him. Perhaps it was directed unfairly towards him, but for all intents and purposes he was supposed to be dead. What does he mean it's okay? He died... right in my freaking arms...

"It's not okay Castle. You died. You f***ing died in my arms and now you're here supposedly alive? How can you tell me that it's freaking okay?"

To his credit, Rick held her fiery, steely gaze. He subconsciously began to thread his fingers through her long wavy locks. He brought her tear-stained face to his, their foreheads touching. He put a finger to her lips. "Ssh, Kate, ssh. It was just a bad dream."

As quickly as she felt her anger rise, it was subsiding just as rapidly. She was amazed at this gentle and loving Castle. She knew that he readily displayed these qualities, but she could not remember being on the receiving end. Okay, maybe she had, but refused to see it before now. She cried even harder, a feat she thought not humanly possible. "How can you say it was just a bad dream Rick? You died, taking a bullet meant for me, for me. And the last thing I remember is reading your blasted eulogy at your funeral and hating myself for not telling you how that I loved you."

"A nightmare then?" Castle suggested, trying to bring some levity to the situation as he so often did when things started to get too serious for his liking. To say he was concerned for the woman sobbing so brokenly beside him was an understatement. This dream has seriously shaken her up if the last thing she thinks she remembers is my funeral.

She swatted his arm without even thinking. "Castle, don't. I am seriously freaking out here. What the hell is happening to me? I am talking to a f***ing ghost."

He looked at her, feeling some tears beginning to water his eyes at her utter confusion. She looked so lost. "Oh baby, ssh, ssh. How can I be a ghost when I am right here beside you?"

She shook her head in bewilderment. "I don't know. I feel like I've lost my mind Rick. You have to be a figment of my imagination. You aren't really here. You're not."

Castle had come to the end of his rope. He really had no idea why she was acting so strangely. What else can I do to convince her I'm not dead? A lightbulb went off in his head as he remembered something she had said some moments earlier.

"You died before I got the chance to tell you, to tell you that I love you ...is reading your blasted eulogy and hating myself for not telling you that I loved you."

She doesn't remember us being together?

"Don't have an answer to that do you Rick?"

Her voice brought him out of his stupor. He stared into her beautiful green eyes. Those eyes he loved so much showing so much sadness and confusion. It broke his heart. He just wanted to make all of that disappear for her. "Oh yes I do Kate."

Before she was aware of what was happening she felt his lips on hers. He was kissing her. Hard. It was not unlike the kiss they shared under the ruse of being undercover. Holy freaking hell. Richard Castle is kissing me. And it's freaking AMAZING. Despite her only remembering them kissing that one time, it felt like they had done this plenty of times before. It had a strong sense of familiarity that she couldn't quite place.

She kissed him back. And boy did it feel good. If this is a dream, I have died and gone to heaven. If it's not... I am not wasting another moment. This man is my one and done. End of story.

After what felt like an eternity he pulled away. But only because the need to breathe had become an issue. He stared lovingly, longingly, into her eyes. Even after all this time, he could not get enough of kissing his Kate. He could not believe at times that he was allowed to do this whenever he liked. Maybe not when they were at the precinct, as she liked to remain professional at work... but that didn't mean they didn't share stolen kisses and moments.

"That convince you that I'm alive?" He asked huskily.

All she could do was nod stupidly. She still had no idea what was going on, but if he kept kissing her like that then she didn't give a damn.

"Castle?" She was not surprised to find her voice just as hoarse as his. (He would call it sultry.)

"Yeah?"

It was her turn to caress his cheek, cupping it gently in her hand. "I love you. You're my partner, my best friend and I love you." She sighed, looking down at her lap. "I just wanted you to know that."

"Oh Kate, I know. And I love you too. So much."

She smiled, for the first time in what felt like forever. Well at least since he died... or maybe he hadn't? She didn't have a bloody clue anymore. She couldn't help herself, she brought her lips to his, kissing him with everything she had.

*C&B*

Richard Castle sat anxiously in an uncomfortable chair. He stared at his blood-stained hands. Her blood. He had her blood on his hands. He knew he should go and wash it off but he would not leave this room until he knew she was okay.

Everyone was in the room with him, nervously waiting for news on his Kate. He knew they were there, but all he could think about was her. He just had to know that she would pull through from this. She had been in surgery for hours now; it felt like a freaking eternity.

She cannot die. She cannot die. Please? She has to be okay. She has to be okay. I can't lose her, not now. Not ever.

For what felt like the umpteenth time his mind flashed back to the moment his whole world turned on its head...

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.

There was chaos all around him, but he took little notice as he pulled himself off the ground. He looked at his Kate, who's cap had been knocked off when they fell. She looked like she was going into shock, her eyes were wide open with fear.

His face was etched with growing concern as he hovered over her. "Oh Kate...ssh.. Kate."

It was then he noticed her glove. Her pristine white glove was stained with blood. She had been hit. She had been hit.

Oh f**k...

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

She wasn't speaking. And that frightened the hell out of him. All she could do was stare at him, her breaths coming in short, sharp gasps that he knew had to hurt. He could begin to see her losing her battle to keep her eyes open. He needed to keep talking; he had to keep her from falling asleep. "Stay with me okay?"

She still didn't speak. He knew it was bad if she couldn't even tell him to shut up. His mother's words kept playing in his mind. Don't you dare waste another moment. He had to tell her. He had to tell her now. "Kate, I love you. I love you Kate."

Maybe his highly agitated mind was playing tricks on him, but he was sure he saw a hint of a smile play on her lips for a moment. He saw a single tear leaking from her eye just before her eyes rolled into the back of her head. He desperately hoped he had heard her, and that she would remember this later. Just hold on for me... don't leave me Kate.

"Don't you dare give up on me Katherine Beckett. Don't you dare. I need you. Your dad needs you. The 12th need you."

He was pushed out of the way as paramedics came over to attend to his severely injured partner. He hated seeing her so fragile, her skin so ashen. This was not his Kate. "Come on Kate, you can do this. Just stay with me okay? You need to stay with me..."

"Yo Castle?" A voice startled him out of his hellish daydream. He looked up to see Esposito beside him. "She's gonna be fine man, you hear me?"

He nodded sullenly.

"Family of Detective Beckett?" A doctor appeared from nowhere, dressed in those green scrubs. Castle suddenly realised that he hated scrubs.

"That's us." Jim Beckett replied. "How is my daughter?"

*C&B*

Kate was perfectly content lying in Castle's arms. Again she felt a strong sense of familiarity. In addition she felt warm and safe. Something she had not felt for some time. She still felt like everything was turned on its head but she couldn't care less. I never want to move again.

"You tired?"

"No." She replied inbetween a yawn.

"Uh huh, think you gave yourself away there with your yawn." He smirked, kissing her forehead.

"I'm not tired." She yawned again. Damn it.

He chuckled at her stubborness. He felt a strong sense of relief to see a glimpse of his Kate back. "Sure you're not."

"Don't tease me Rick or I'll kick you where it hurts and pull your ear to LA."

"Apples Apples!" He put his hands up in surrender.

"God you're easy!" She smirked, snuggling down into the warmth that emanated from him.

A comfortable silence fell upon them for several moments. They were more than happy just lying in each other's arms. He fingered the tendrils of her hair. Kate was beginning to discover that he quite liked to do that, and more to the point, she loved it when he did.

He was the one who broke the silence. "Seriously though, you should get some rest. It's very important."

She was thoroughly confused, and more than a little part of her did not want to go to sleep. She didn't want to wake up to find that she was dreaming and he really was dead.

"Why?"

"Because you've got a little Castle growing inside you."

Her eyes widened in shock, her jaw slackened. "Uh...I what?"

TBC...

AN: Well what did you think guys? Still worth reading? ? I was torn between keeping you guessing a bit longer but decided not to...

I must say I was not expecting the first part to be so emotional and angsty but hey, the muse will write what it chooses. ;) Hope you're still enjoying the journey and feedback is love.

Thanks for reading. :D You guys are all awesome! :D