A/N: Seeing as I'm incredibly bitter that I'm not Canadian and consequently not seeing the season 6 premiere until tomorrow night (SIGH), I'm channeling all of my feelings into this little piece of work. This fic is entirely thanks to Ashley and her "write something about Kate's PTSD" prompt. Somehow, the one-shot she had in mind turned into a multi-chapter work of...art? We'll see. Thanks Ash! You are the coffee to my Caskett.
"What do you think?" It's practically a purr when it leaves his lips.
It is hot...sweet...exhilarating...delicious…
The coffee. She's thinking about the coffee, obviously. She was definitely not referring to the fact that he'd been experimenting all morning in making her "the best cup of coffee you will ever taste in your entire life" and it certainly was one of the best things...although she could probably think of something that would taste even better.
She nearly chokes on the drink when the sensible part of her brain catches up with her caffeine induced thought process. That's what it is, after all. Caffeine.
Not now, Kate. Not at work, and definitely not when Ryan is sitting at his desk only a few feet away. Gross.
Castle actually looks pleased with himself. Of course he can see right through her. Silly man. Two can play at that game. "I guess it's alright." She supplies with a shrug, aiming for nonchalant and indifferent, yet holding back a laugh as his face morphs into the expression of someone who is truly offended.
"Alright? Alright? Why, Detective Beckett, you wound me." Castle slaps a hand over his heart in mock agony. "Are you suggesting that my side job as New York's finest barista is going nowhere?"
"I'm afraid so, Castle. Stick to your day job."
"I must say, considering that my day job is shadowing you, my dear Detective, that doesn't sound too terribly miserable."
"I know it's easy for you to forget, but your day job is writing. Although, that doesn't seem too promising these days either." She raises her eyebrows in a silent challenge. Bring it on.
His voice drops an octave as he leans in closer, "You seemed to think my writing was very promising last night when we acted out page 105 in your apartment." He's using his bedroom voice, all deep silk and husky promises. Shit. She resists the urge to press her thighs together. His smug demeanor and unwavering eyes makes her want to scream, or drag him into the nearest closet. It really doesn't help that she can still taste remnants of lime juice and salt on her tongue from the events of the previous night.
There's no way that she can possibly stop the sudden rise of color to her cheeks.
Damn him, damn him, damn him. "Well-" Kate locks her jaw abruptly as Esposito hurries into the bullpen.
"Yo, Beckett. We got a lead. Danaher's hiding in an abandoned warehouse in Brooklyn on 85th street."
Grabbing her jacket, badge, and gun, Beckett allows herself a relieved sigh. "Finally. I was beginning to think we lost him." As soon as Espo rounds the corner, Kate spins on Castle and presses a hand to his chest to halt him. "We'll finish this later."
"Is that a threat or a promise, Detective?" He returns automatically. All she can manage in return is a sharp punch to his arm and an exaggerated eye roll before she races after Espo.
The car ride is quiet, blissfully uneventful, probably thanks to the presence of Espo and Ryan who opted to carpool with their partner, and the small detail that Beckett had consequently kicked Castle into the backseat. He'd be fine. Anyone can survive a little damaged pride, even the world-famous author, Richard Castle. He'd get over not being able to sit in the front seat with the big kids.
If it was any consolation, she's planning on making it up to him later.
They're one of the first squads to arrive on the scene, jumping out of the police car and strapping on their bulletproof vests automatically. As Castle pulls his own on, Writer plastered in big letters along his shoulder blades, Kate stops him, "You're not coming on this one, Castle." She states simply; leaving no room for him to argue.
Of course, he still tries. "What do you mean I'm not coming? I've been working with you for four years. Don't you think I know how to handle myself in a situation like this?" Castle argues, his forehead wrinkling in frustration.
"Castle, you know how dangerous this guy is. I can't risk-" Ryan clears his throat before she can continue, snapping Castle and Beckett out of their short-lived argument.
Espo tugs on the sleeve of Ryan's shirt. "C'mon bro, I know how much you hate seeing Mom n' Dad fight," Espo smirks, pulling an equally smug, yet slightly relieved Ryan, in the direction of the squad car that waits across the street.
Kate's hands fly to her hips as she watches her partners walk away. Sometimes they are just so unhelpful.
"Can't risk what, Beckett?" Castle snaps, bringing her focus immediately back to him.
She has to reason with him, however impossible that may be. There's no way he can go in there with her. This man has already killed several dozen people, and those are only counting the victims they found proof of. Beckett sighs, running her hand through her hair and then down her face in a miserable attempt to calm herself. His mouth is already opening to argue further, so Beckett does the only thing she can think of to make him understand.
She kisses him so hard her toes curl.
When she finally pulls away, slightly flushed and dazed, Beckett rests her forehead against his. Her head is spinning. It would be so easy to lean in again and capture his mouth with hers for a second time but...right. There are times and places for making out against her police cruiser, and this is certainly not one of them.
She can't help but think that it's kind of a shame.
Beckett is aware that she's running out of time as the other cruisers pull up to the scene. Castle's silence worries her, but she forges on anyway. "I can't risk," she begins, searching his face for any sign of amenability, "I can't risk losing you, Rick. You mean too much to me and I'm not going to put you in a situation where I can't guarantee your safety. You know how dangerous this guy is. You can't follow me in there."
Her voice drips with sincerity, her eyes burning with it. He may even go so far as to say that she's pleading with him. Kate Beckett is pleading. "Kate..."
He sighs. Fine. He kisses her forehead lightly in acquiescence. "Please, just be careful."
Beckett pulls away from him, meeting his gaze with teasing eyes. "Don't coddle me."
"Sorry." Rick bumps their noses together.
"No you aren't." She shoves him playfully against the car and squeezes his hand. "Can you do something for me Castle?"
Castle inhales sharply and nods, how could he not when Katherine Beckett is staring at him through the curtain of her eyelashes?
"Watch the car for me." With one last wink, Beckett stalks across the street to the waiting uniforms.
Beckett's group enters through the backdoor, uni's posted outside of every possible exit and on each side of the building. No one is taking any chances with this guy. She takes the lead, of course, creeping into the pitch-black room and using her flashlight crossed over her glock to scope the area before clearing it and moving on.
As they clear one room after another, the adrenaline spikes and her men become antsier the closer they get to an arrest. She loves it. She thrives off of the mutual adrenaline, the hushed, shallow, yet feverish breathing. Sure, she'll admit it. Kate Beckett loves the danger.
According to the map she had been given about the layout of the building, they only had a long stretch of hallway and then the loading area left to cover. Beckett can't suppress a smile. This bastard is toast.
Of course he wasn't going to stay in the car. Who did she think she was talking to? Watch the car. Yeah right. She practically asked him to come along.
Castle wanders through the warehouse, not entirely sure of where to go, but trusting the faint glow of flashlights in the distance to guide him in the right direction. They're his North Star, so to speak. Oh, he'll have to remember that one for his next Nikki Heat book. His readers would eat that up...
Rick opens many doors along the hallway, his insatiable curiosity getting the better of him. In other situations, Castle would have been much more careful, but they'd already cleared all of these rooms and he knew that the police officers were extremely thorough on sweeps like this.
When Castle finally catches up to the group that is slightly spread out along the length of the giant room, he stops and stands off to the side. After all, he isn't stupid. Maybe he isn't a cop, but Castle sure as hell isn't going to just waltz into a hostile arrest without any announcement. They'd more than likely think that he was the suspect and turn their guns at him and maybe even shoot.
The room is spacious, walls piled high with crates and boxes. On the furthest wall, three large garage doors allow thin slits of light into the otherwise aphotic space.
There are 12 figures creeping across the area, Kate somewhere among them, although he can't pick her silhouette out of the mass.
As Castle tries to pick out Kate's heels from the crowd of officers, someone's bulky arms tighten around his neck from behind.
He yelps in surprise before his captor manages to fully cut of his air, successfully alerting the team of his presence.
In the split second of calm before the storm, Castle is pushed down against the cement ground and greeted with a knee digging heavily into his spine. The man on top of the Castle slams his head into the ground, not once, but twice. Three times. Four. Castle's forehead meets the pavement over and over again until he can feel blood stinging his eyes and taste it in his mouth.
What has he gotten himself into?
In perfect sync, as if it had been planned beforehand, the blinding rays of their flashlights land on the man sitting on top of Castle.
He feels himself being lifted up off the ground and held as a meat shield in front of the guy. A gun is pointed to his temple.
"NYPD! Put the gun down, Danaher!" It's her. Her voice comes across as commanding and aggressive, everything that the remarkable Kate Beckett always is in these situations. In fact, if he didn't know Beckett as intimately and deeply as he did, he probably wouldn't have been able to catch the slight waver in her composed tone when she realized that the meat shield was her partner. Was that anger? Fear? No…nothing can scare Beckett. But then Castle catches the glint in her eyes. She isn't scared.
No, she's terrified. Suddenly, he wonders if he'd bleed out from a bullet wound before she could make it to him. Is Kate thinking the same thing? After all, she's the furthest away, inching slowly closer but not quickly enough.
His vision blurs a bit as the guy-Danaher?- slams the butt of the gun into Castle's temple.
He's suddenly overwhelmed with a wave of nausea and dizziness. More shouts emanate from the officers. Castle picks her voice out of the yells as his body betrays him and goes limp.
He blinks desperately, trying to rid his vision of the multicolored spots.
"You touch him one more time and I swear to God I will slit your throat, you son-of-a-bitch!" Beckett snarls.
He's only partially aware of the huge piece of cloth being stuffed into his mouth, the rough way in which he's being yanked back up from his slouched, limp stance.
The pounding in his head makes it nearly impossible to focus on anything, but he tries his best to narrow his vision to her approaching form. She's still the furthest away, everyone slowly circling Castle and Danaher.
But then he blinks.
He squeezes his eyes shut against the headache. It only takes a second.
Castle opens his eyes, vision focusing immediately on the only one in the room that he truly cares about. She's no longer the furthest away. She's somewhere near the middle of the two semicircles that have formed around him. Were there that many officers before?
No. There weren't. If he remembered correctly, only twelve had gone in with her. There were at least double that now… They didn't look like the backup that should have been waiting outside. Not one of the new arrivals wore bulletproof vests. Now that he really looks at them, they're all in varying states of clothing. Some wear jeans and wrinkled t-shirts, others dress in all black. A few of them are even wearing ski masks.
They're not cops.
Danaher yells a sharp "NOW" and his guys light up the room in flashes of gunfire and small explosions before he can scream to warn the officers. The outer circle fires on Kate's team.
Cries of "Officers down! Officers down!" echo off of the concrete fortress that surrounds them. A few of the silhouettes crumble to the ground, and others scatter for shelter and better vantage points.
Castle hits the ground as Danaher turns on his heel to flee the fight while the police are distracted. He tries to yell around the sock in his mouth to alert the officers, but there's no way anyone hears him over the blast of gunshots.
He can't see her in the chaos. There are at least 5 shapes of bodies on the floor, but Castle can't make out anything. His heart stutters in his chest. Oh God. Oh God, no, please no…
Blackness seeps into the edges of his vision, threatening to drag him under due to the extreme pain in his head. Kate. Kate! Where's Kate?
The garage doors slide up with a bang, flooding the loading area in blinding afternoon light. The backup officers finally rush the scene with guns drawn.
That's when he sees her, illuminated by the daylight.
Her golden curls splay around her face like they do sometimes when he wakes up first, her head nestled in his pillow, but this is such a stark contrast to that scene. She's lying on the concrete, her arms and legs limp and bent at odd angles. She's not moving.
Kate Beckett is one of the bodies.
The material in his mouth doesn't even muffle his wails.
Feedback is always greatly appreciated and even sometimes motivates this procrastinating author to write faster! Chapter 2 will be up soon as long as we all survive tomorrow night (or tonight for you Canadians)! Good luck everyone!