A/N This is a one-shot based on the preview and sneak peaks for The Limey and how I think things should play out.

12th Precinct Bullpen

Castle, pick your jaw up off the floor.

Huh, What?

Bro, how's it feel to watch her walk away on the arm of someone else?

What do you mean?

Castle, you know exactly what Espo is saying.

Yeah, bro. Payback's a bitch isn't it?

You a little jealous there Castle?

Me, jealous, why...why would I be? Because she's with him and she's seen him naked!

Yeah, why would you be? With the parade of blondes you have been parading around in front of Beckett.

Yeah, dude. Not cool!

You hurt her every time you do that Bro.

Maybe she deserves it.

How can she deserve watching you walk around with a bimbo on your arm?

Yeah, start talking, now. You hurt her, we hurt you!

She...no. This is between me and Kate.

Then you better talk to her and fix this now Castle. Maybe we should lock their asses in a room until they figure out what the hell they really mean to each other.

How can I do that now? She's on a "date" with Mr. Scotland Yard.

You heard her bro.

Yeah, she's on the case. I know Jenny would kill me if she heard this, but Beckett looked hot in that dress, date or not!

Didn't look like work to me?

Maybe if you wouldn't have acted like an ass-hat all week, she'd be undercover with you!

Yeah, Castle.

Shouldn't we...shouldn't we be there for back up, you know, just in case?

Why. They are just going to a party to get Nigel's prints.

What if something goes wrong?

Agent Hunt is there with her Castle. Beckett can handle herself.

But...but I'm her partner.

Are you man?

You haven't been much of a partner lately, bro.

We're her team. We need to be there just in case! You saw that dress, there was nowhere to hide her gun.

Are you afraid the boss will get hurt or are you afraid Agent Hunt might put the moves on her?

Guys! I get it, you think I'm being jack-hole!

Whatever is going on between you needs to be fixed and soon, but you do have a point.

Yeah, we should be there for the boss, just in case.

Catering van outside British Consulate

Javi, how did you pull this off so fast? We didn't even know about this party until half an hour ago.

An ex-army buddy of mine is doing private security for the event.

Does Beckett even know we are here?

She doesn't need to know we're here Ryan.

Castle, I am not going to lie to her about being here.

Yeah, bro. I am not going to be on the wrong end of one her death glares.

Fine, we'll tell her later, when this is over and we know she is okay.

Don't go looking for trouble Castle.

We all know how over active your imagination is. Quit making up reasons to worry man.

I wouldn't have to make up stuff if we could see or hear what is going on.

Whoa, dude. Of course we can see what is going on. There are a several closed circuit cameras inside the main ballroom that we have access to.

My buddy set up some directional microphones for us as well.

Is K... Beckett in there yet?

Let me just flip a switch here and we can check the cameras so we can keep an eye on the boss.

Oh...Oh there she is.

Where Ryan?

Over there with Inspector Hunt.

That doesn't look like work to me!

Relax bro, they're just dancing.

Close.

Ryan! This idiot has no filter. Look at Castle's eyes! His eyes are taking on a hint of green now! It serves him right after the way he's treated Beckett since the bombing.

Too close! Well, at least I get to see what happens between her and Hunt without her being aware that she is being watched.

Dude, Castle, sorry.

Look bro, there is Nigel.

Yeah, looks like the boss just spotted him too.

Can you hear what she is saying?

Nah, too far from the microphones.

Beckett's on the move.

Where is Hunt going?

What is he doing?

Looks like he is flanking Nigel.

Why?

Where's Beckett now Ryan?

Beckett is talking to the Nigel.

Oh, now she's going to the dance floor with him.

Follow her!

Castle, she is on the dance floor. What could possibly happen?

Ryan, Nigel is our main suspect! Keep an eye on him.

Bro, don't tell us how to do our jobs. We aren't going to let anything happen to her.

Sorry, just got a bad feeling about that guy.

We care about her too, Castle.

What is Beckett doing?

Looks like she is looking for help. Something is distracting her.

Espo, see how she keeps spinning so she can keep her eye on something?

Yeah, she's spotted something.

What is Nigel saying?

He is asking her if she is as aggressive with her other activities as she is dancing.

Did she just say she likes taking the lead?

Don't we all know that one!

She's always got to be the first one through the door, the first off the elevator...

What are you talking about Castle?

Just remembering part of a conversation we had when we were handcuffed together.

Dude, how was it being handcuffed to Beckett?

It...it was interesting to say the least.

Bro, you know you can tell us right?

Yeah, but there isn't anything to tell. We were too busy trying to get out of the cuffs and not being tiger kibble.

Nothing?

Not exactly the situation I had imagined involving handcuffs, Kate and me. Did I just call her Kate? Damn. Things were good then. Especially the waking up to her part. I need to stop. She lied. I'm still pissed at her. We can never stay mad at each other for long. Too much has happened, right?

Too much information Castle.

You know she's like a sister to us Bro.

Weren't you the ones just asking what really happened?

Yeah, but we didn't want to hear that!

Hey, Hunt is giving Beckett a signal.

Did he just pocket a champagne glass?

That explains why he was flanking Nigel. He was getting close to the server to get his glass.

Shouldn't Beckett be done dancing with that creep now?

Castle, she can't just walk away in the middle of a dance.

Dude, have you not learned anything in the past four years?

Yeah, bro. She has to maintain her cover.

I just want her out of there.

Are you afraid that she is going to enjoy herself now that she got what they came for?

If this is just working the case, then she should be leaving right?

You really can't stand seeing her with someone else can you?

Are you worried about her or jealous, Castle?

Both. Okay?

I could see why would be nervous about her spending time with Hunt. He's a good looking guy and Jenny says women have this thing for accents. It's like some magic spell or something.

Bro, I am so taking your man card. It is disgusting that you've even had that talk with your wife.

Can one of you send her a text to see how things are going?

We know how things are going. We are watching it.

She doesn't know that though.

You're her partner Castle. You send the text.

Or are you afraid she won't reply because it's you?

You said it yourself, Javi. He has been an ass-hat.

That's Mr. Ass-hat to you Kevin.

If he wants to know how it's going, he needs to man up and do it himself. He's the one who put the distance between them. Maybe showing some concern for his partner might help fix what's wrong.

I'm not the one who created the problem.

Maybe not, but you're the one acting like the playboy that rolled into her life four years ago like nothing ever happened.

Does she even know why you are mad at her?

Look Bro. You don't have to tell us what she did, but don't you think you need to tell her so she can explain?

How many times has she let your sorry ass back in after you've done something stupid?

More that Ryan and I can count. Man up Castle.

If she is as important to you as we think she is, you need to tell her what is bothering you.

If you don't fix this soon Castle. It could be too late. Do you want there to be another Josh or Demming? You have practically pushed her into the arms of Mr. Scotland Yard.

I'll text her.

KB, HOW IS THE PARTY? RC

Did you send it?

Yes. What do we do now?

We wait for her and Hunt leave and then we pack up and go home too.

BZZZZ...BZZZZ

Castle, is that your phone?

Yeah, it's a text from Beckett.

So...what's it say?

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED. KB

She says they got what they came for.

Is she leaving yet? I want to get out of this van. No offense, but this wasn't how I thought I would be spending my evening.

What's wrong Honeymilk? Nobody whispering sweet nothing's in your ear?

Nice!

You're just jealous because Lanie isn't home waiting for you!

I'll text her and see when she's leaving.

HEADED HOME YET? RC

What if her and Hunt decide to stay and "enjoy" the party together?

Then we pack up and leave anyway. I won't being staying to spy on the boss.

Me either Castle.

BZZZZ...BZZZZ

WHY?

What did she say?

She said why.

Are you going to tell her why you want to know?

Actually, I was going to ask her to meet us at the Old Haunt. I might owe her that drink I turned down last week and maybe an explanation for my behavior.

Don't tell us Bro, tell Beckett.

Not us, just you. I'm going home to my lovely wife.

Fine. Just me.

OLD HAUNT, I OWE YOU A DRINK. RC

Let's start packing up.

BZZZZ...BZZZZ

R U THERE NOW? KB

NOT YET. RC

BZZZZ...BZZZZ

C U IN 1 HOUR. KB

Y SO LONG? RC

Yo, we're still here Castle. What did she say?

She said she would be there in an hour.

Why so long?

That's what I just asked her.

BZZZZ...BZZZZ

GOTTA CHANGE CLOTHES FIRST. KB

AN HOUR IT IS. RC

So?

She just wants to change clothes first.

What were you expecting? A quickie with the Limey?

Ryan, you didn't just say that.

Way to kick a guy while he's down Kevin.

He kind of deserves it a little.

Yo, you were kind of mean to our girl.

Our girl? Oh I can't wait to tell Beckett about this one.

We will hurt you Bro!

Point taken.

Let's pack this stuff up and get out of here so Castle isn't late for his apology.

I didn't say I was apologizing for anything.

You better, unless you want to see her walk out.

You know how she is. She plays everything close to the vest.

Yeah but the green-eyed monster cracked through that tough Beckett shell when Castle showed up with Bimbo number one.

Are you saying Beckett was jealous? Why would she be jealous? She doesn't love me, right? Why else would she pretend she didn't remember? Maybe I do owe her an apology.

Ryan!

Sorry Javi, it just slipped out. Jenny says I don't have an edit function between my brain and my mouth.

Well, that's everything. Let's go.

Good luck Castle.

You're going to need it Bro.

Thanks guys.

Old Haunt 11pm

I wonder where she is. It's been almost an hour. Beckett's never late. Did she change her mind? Did she get a better offer from Mr. Scotland Yard? Maybe he offered to help to change clothes? Is she with him right now? The curse of a writer's mind! She would text me or call if she changed her mind right? Why do I have to jump to worst case scenario instead of writing my own happy ending?

Castle?

Uh?

Castle, you okay?

Hey Beckett. I was starting to think you changed your mind about that drink.

I...oh, sorry it took longer to get back across town to the precinct to get my clothes?

Why didn't you just come straight here?

I was a... a little overdressed for the Old Haunt Castle.

I don't think anyone here would have minded seeing you in that dress.

I know I wouldn't have minded seeing that dress again.

I'll let you borrow it sometime.

I meant, seeing it on you. Or helping you out of it.

I know what you meant Castle, I was just messing with you.

So, how was the party?

Fine. We got what we went for.

I know, mission accomplished right?

Yep. Can I get that drink now Castle?

.

Sure, what will it be Detective?

Whatever your having is fine.

Beer it is then.

Thanks.

Beckett...I

Why did you ask me here Castle?

I wanted to talk to you about something.

Spit it out.

The boys and I had a little "discussion" after you left the precinct.

About what?

You, the case, my uh...

Your what Castle?

My behavior.

How did that come up?

I might have opened the door and ….

Ryan and Espo came barging in?

Yeah, something like that.

How late were you guys at the 12th? Were you still there when you sent me the text?

No, we were at the same place you were.

What...how?

After the verbal smack in the face they gave me, I suggested that since I'm your partner and you were "on the job" that I should be there to have your back. Just in case.

It's not like I was there on my own.

Yeah, uh … you went with Hunt. I didn't think about that. I thought about it way too much.

Sure. What the hell is going on? Why did you guys really come? The truth. Now!

I'm your partner.

You've had a funny way of showing it lately.

I know I have been a ….

A douche!

Ouch! A little harsh Kate.

Oh, it's back to Kate now?

What happened to you Castle? What changed between us? I was so sure that when you came to me and said, "I've been thinking..." that we were going to say you wanted there to be an us.

I...you...

I what?

You lied to me Kate! More than once.

When? What did I lie about?

Just try to remember. It should only take you a second!

I don't know. I'm tired of playing games Castle. Tell me or I'm leaving.

Running away again? Yeah, you're good at that.

At least I'm not cruel you insensitive ass.

You want to talk about cruel, I'm not the one who claims that she doesn't remember her partner baring his soul as she bled out in his arms.

Oh.

Yeah, I was in observation when you interviewed Bobby. I heard it from your own lips Kate. You told a complete stranger, " I was shot in the chest and I remember every second of it"!

I'm sorry...I

You've lied for months and when you admit it. You tell a complete stranger!

Rick...I never meant to hurt you. I just...

I know you were embarrassed. You wanted to let me down easy.

What?

Kate, if you didn't feel the same way, why have you let me follow you around like a lovesick puppy for months?

Rick will you give me a chance to explain? Without interruptions? You need to ….

Yes.

I said no interruptions. You need to understand a few things. I was shot in the chest, I nearly died, Montgomery was killed and then there was my relationship with Josh. I was so scared Castle. I was so broken, so damaged. I was a mess physically and emotionally. Your words...when you said those words I did hear you and I wanted so badly to let you know that I heard you but everything went black. Your words were what helped me through the ambulance ride, the medically induced coma all of it. They gave me a reason to wake up.

Then why?

Castle, let me get this out. When I woke up, I started doubting what I heard. I started wondering if you meant them or if it was just something you said because you were never going to get another chance. And then you showed up with that goofy grin, you looked so hopeful. In that moment, I knew that you meant them but I knew I wasn't ready to hear them again and I couldn't say them back. So I lied to you, I lied to everyone. Josh was still in the picture and I couldn't start something with you until I dealt with him. I also knew that it would never work out between us until I was strong enough to be me again. I needed to be able to stand on my own and be the Kate Beckett that you fell in love with. I was no way near that person, I honestly don't know if I will ever be that person again. I know that shutting you out wasn't fair, but I couldn't face you or our friends while I was that fragile. I had to put myself back together first physically so I could at least look like myself. I am still working on the psychological part. You know that I had to get cleared by a shrink to come back to work, but what you don't know is that I am still going to therapy. Dr. Burke is helping me deal with all the emotions that my shooting stirred up. We've talked a lot about that wall inside of me, my mother's case, my PTSD, and my relationship with you. With his help I am trying to be a better daughter, a better friend, a better person.

I want to be better for you, for us. You do realize that day on the swings when I told you that I couldn't have the kind of relationship that I wanted until that wall came down, that I was talking about you, right? I was hoping that the smiles, the looks, the touches would make it easier and let you know I was trying. I was trying to let you see glimpses of how I felt. How I feel. You know I'm not good at this stuff Rick. I don't talk about this stuff. We never talk about this stuff. You were right that night when you called me out on all of those things before I kicked you out. I do hide behind relationships with me I don't love, we kissed and we never talked about it. Is it so surprising that you would tell me that you love me and I would run and hide? I guess I am a coward. I don't let people in and that is why I have never had a relationship last longer than a year. They all leave because I am afraid of being hurt. I don't want to be that person anymore. I don't want to hide behind my mom's case. My mom would be so pissed at the person I have become. She would want me to be happy. I want to be happy with you!

With me? Really? Can I?

Yes, go on...I'm surprised you held your tongue that long.

You were on a roll there Kate. There was no stopping that freight train once it got going.

Here's your chance. I'm not going anywhere. You gave me a chance to say my piece, now I'm giving you that same opportunity.

I have two questions. One, is that wall still there? And two, can you say it back now?

Yes.

Yes?

Yes, the wall is still there.

And the other?

Can I ask you something Rick?

After you answer my second question, I'll answer anything you want.

Yes, I think I'm ready to say it back.

Well?

Do you still mean it?

Always.

I love you too.

God, Kate, you don't know who long I've waited for you to say that to me.

I'm sorry I made you wait. I'm sorry I lied.

I'm not gonna lie to you. I forgive you, but I'm still mad. You should have told me Kate. We would have figured it out. I still would have waited until you were ready. I could have helped you through the summer, we could have healed together. We would have been okay. I just need a little time.

How much time? How ironic is this conversation? Now I know how he felt.

You're going to have to wait on me for a change Kate. But we'll be okay. Just be patient, let me work through it.

Rick, don't take too long. We've wasted too much time already. Mostly because of me.

I know, but it will be worth the wait.