Love’s Journey

This story was deleted from my Fanfiction.net account. It is abandoned, and likely will remain so. It has only been posted here as a request by a few readers. Anyone who wishes to adopt this story may do so (this is the only story that is available for adoption, don’t steal my other works, please). If you do adopt, please ask first so I know who’s doing what.


a.n. This is set before the end of season 2, but after Tick Tick/Boom.

#Print Disclaimer.standard {Don’t own Castle} //End Program.

oooXXXooo

She knew that this was going to be hard to do. If she were being honest with herself, she regretted the whole situation and wished that she had never fallen into his bed. But she had, and now she had to go through this.

Kate Beckett walked down the hallway to apartment 504, her nerves causing weird sensations to flow through her stomach. She didn’t want to do this, but she knew it had to be done.

She knocked on the door. She’d always found this door to be intimidating, which was ridiculous. But even during their first year together when she really hated him, approaching this door was a daunting task. Behind the door was her favorite author and also her shadow. In recent months after she’d taken him back after looking into her mother’s case, it had become the door she came to in order to see her friend and (as much as it amused her to say) partner. For the last three months, the door meant even more to her.

Because behind the door for those last three months was the man who she had been sleeping with. Her lover. But she didn’t really like that term, especially now. Because she didn’t love him. That’s how she got into this damn mess to begin with.

“Kate! I didn’t know you were coming over tonight! Come in!” He said when he opened the door. Kate forced herself not to focus on his lips or the outline of his broad chest. She forced herself not to remember what the fingers that were now on the small of her back as he ushered her into his home could do to make her scream.

“Castle, we need to talk.”

Richard Castle was not a dumb man by any means. He knew the meaning of those words, and knew that almost universally they meant bad news.

“Okay. Kitchen or Living room?”

“Uh, kitchen,” Kate replied, knowing that in the living room it’d be harder to put distance between them.

The two took seats in the kitchen. Castle had offered her coffee, which she declined.

“So, what’s up?” Rick asked.

“We can’t do this anymore,” Kate said in a rush.

“What do you mean?”

“I mean this…us… this whole friends with benefits thing we started. We have to stop.”

Castle scowled. “But why? I thought we were doing good.”

“It was only sex, Castle, I told you that when we started. That’s all I ever wanted with you, and all I would ever want. As for why? I’ve met someone and I want to put my focus on a relationship with him.”

Castle was silent for a long while. In all honesty, he knew he was in love with her. Had been for months now. It was why he accepted being in a Friends with Benefits type relationship in the first place. He had hoped that it would lead to something more.

Apparently, those hopes were in vain. She felt nothing. It was just sex to her. Heartbreak wasn’t an unfamiliar feeling for Richard Castle. He’d been heartbroken when Kyra left, when Meredith cheated, and when Gina decided that they weren’t meant to be. Now it looked like it was Kate Beckett’s turn at breaking his heart.

“Look, Castle, it was a mistake to begin this at all, and now it’s time to end it. It’s best for the both of us, I think.”

“I…Okay,” Castle agreed, his head down. A mistake. The ache in his heart intensified as he dwelled on that word. From her words, it sounded like she regretted it, everything. Wasn’t it bad enough she was ending it?

“Okay?” Kate repeated questioningly. She hadn’t expected this to be that easy. She’d expected him to fight her or get angry or something. Not acceptance. She felt cheated. Maybe he thought it was all a mistake too. Kate didn’t know why that made he feel angry, but it did.

“Okay. What did you expect, Beckett,” Castle asked, his voice colder than normal, “Did you expect me to get down on my knees and beg you to stay? To beg you to have feelings for me when it’s obvious you don’t? I admit that it hurts, but I’ve known for a while that you didn’t care for me as I care for you. I don’t really know what else to say. So yes, it’s okay. I hope whoever you’ve met treats you well.”

“Rick…I…”

“No. Beckett, it’s fine. Really. I should have seen it coming, and maybe I did. So, it’ll be okay.”

Kate nodded, not really knowing what to say. She didn’t know why she felt so guilty. She should be happy that Castle had taken the end of their arrangement so easily. But she wasn’t happy at all. She felt cold, like she was making a huge mistake.

Not knowing what to make of those feelings, Kate stood, deciding that she needed to get out quickly before she did something stupid like change her mind. She looked at Castle and said, “You’ll still come into the precinct?”

Rick nodded, not looking happy. “I guess. Do you want me to?”

“I do. I…I should go. I’ll see you tomorrow, yeah?”

“Yeah.”

Rick walked her to the door, this time not putting his hand on the small of her back like he normally did. Kate missed the contact.

“Good night, Castle,” she said as she stepped out into the hallway.

“Good night, Detective.”

Kate walked to the elevator, trying to shake off the feeling that her life was about to change forever.

oooXXXooo

Castle stood watching the door as it closed behind her, wondering what would happen next. Richard Castle had always been very confident in his abilities when it came to women. At first, when Kate Beckett had turned him down after that first case, he’d taken it as a challenge to get her into his bed. He really didn’t want any more than that, a single night between the sheets and he would probably have moved on. His research for Nikki Heat could have come from elsewhere, and he hadn’t been that attached to the character beyond a single book in any case.

But then it changed. Specifically, it changed when she told him about how her mother died and how she had changed her entire life in order to catch the killer who had seemingly ruined not only her life but her father’s as well. Her perseverance, her bravery and sheer determination to get justice for those who had suffered the same fate as her mother had changed how he looked at the beautiful detective. No longer was she a conquest. No longer was he there only for the challenge of breaking through her resistance and bedding her. No. It then became more about Kate Beckett the person. It was why he talked Esposito into getting him the case file for her mom’s murder. He wanted to help.

The truth was that his association with Kate Beckett changed him. He’d always had to live life with a mask on. He portrayed the lovable man-child, the playboy, the jackass to the public. He liked that, and until he met Kate Beckett, he hadn’t had a reason to look for something more. But Beckett had made him want something more. After she had told him about her mother’s case, he had started to truly learn about her, and that knowledge and the time they spent together led to his deepening feelings for her.

By the time her apartment blew up in the Dunn case, he knew he was head over heels. When she had fallen into his bed, he had thought that maybe they had a chance. But the morning after she had told him that she didn’t want to be associated with him romantically. All she wanted sex. She had told him that she could never be Richard Castle’s girlfriend. She didn’t want to be a conquest, or a bimbo in the eyes of the press. She said she would never want to be seen in public with him outside of the professional aspect of her job.

Like everything else, he had accepted it and saw it as a challenge.

Now it was all over and he didn’t know what to do next. He liked going to the precinct and helping to solve murders. It made him feel useful for the first time in his life.

But was it a good idea to keep going if he had to see and work with her each and every day? Could he bury his feelings for her now that he knew about her feelings or lack thereof? It didn’t sound like a good idea, really. In fact, it seemed like a really bad idea.

Castle knew that he would have to think long and hard on whether or not he could stand being Kate Beckett’s partner now that he knew she didn’t love him. Could he stand by while she fell in love with another man? Could he turn off his feelings and make it all about the job? Whatever he decided, he knew that in the end, he was done chasing her.

It was time for him to move on.

oooXXXooo

a.n.2. A short start to a new story. Every chapter will be about 1500 words, but there won’t be any major time shifts like I normally do. I have a tendency in my writing to skip parts that I don’t think I’ll be great at writing. I skip these by putting in time jumps. Almost every story I’ve done, has a ton of time jumps.

I want to get away from that. So this story will be different, or at least I’ll try to make it different. There won’t be any case stuff in this story, or at least there isn’t any planned. This is a story of Castle finding himself, of Kate discovering that there is more to life than just her walls, and that sometimes life and nature necessitate change whether we like it or not.

Since the chapters are going to be small, the updates should come at least once a week.

M

Chapter Two

a.n. A few things before we continue. First, Ellie Monroe did not happen in this story. I.e. Castle didn’t sleep with her.

Second, I know Kate comes across as unlikable to a lot of you. But even as far into the series as The Limey, Kate is denying her feelings. At the end of season two she was even worse, which is fine. It’s okay to be confused by intimate feelings. And sometimes that confusion hurts others.

Third, to the guest that wrote:

Is it possible for you to write just one story where the angst doesn’t come from Kate treating Castle like complete shit? I mean enough already.

I will continue to write the way I do. If you want to discuss why, you can grow a backbone and sign in so I can reply to you in a proper manner. If you don’t want to do that, feel free to stop reading my stories. Seems pretty simple to me.

Finally, I’ve decided to set this midway through the episode A Den of Thieves. I assume for the purposes of this story that Kate and Demming started something mid-case.

Disclaimer: I don’t own Castle. Obviously.

oooXXXooo

Well that was a mistake, Castle thought after leaving the precinct. He should have known that the “man” that Kate had decided to date was none other than the handsome Tom Demming from robbery. They were working a case together, and Castle had seen the chemistry between the two but hadn’t really thought that much about it until it had come back to bite him in the ass. It had been pretty painful to tell Demming that there was nothing going on between the two of them. If he’d asked twenty-four hours before, Castle could have told him something completely different. But no.

He had decided, against his instincts, to spend the day at the precinct. Somehow, Demming had infiltrated the Homicide team, and that had led Kate to treating Castle as the proverbial third (or in this case fifth) wheel. Hell, things like taking part in the interrogation of suspects had suddenly become verboten with the inclusion of Demming. It was almost like he didn’t even exist any longer to Beckett. It sickened him, and not just because of her termination of their relationship. It sickened him because he thought she had at least a modicum of respect for what he, Castle, brought to her team.

Apparently, he was wrong about that.

The good news, Castle thought, was that he could now leave the precinct without hurting her feelings. He hadn’t wanted to hurt her, even if she had hurt him. He didn’t blame her. It wasn’t her fault that she didn’t return his feelings. In fact, it was likely his fault. He had been a jackass for the first year he had known her, even after he had started to want her for more than a single night. It had taken her letting him back after he had looked into her mother’s case for him to start to show her other sides of himself. Castle could see how those initial impressions, along with his public persona could turn her away from developing true feelings for him.

So no, he didn’t blame her for ending their arrangement. He shouldn’t have become so attached when he knew that it was unlikely for her to ever want him as he wanted her. He should have been more realistic.

But he did blame her for pushing him away after specifically asking him to continue shadowing her. That, he was pissed about. If she really wanted him around for things other than his ability to be the class clown, she wouldn’t have pushed him away from her professional arena so thoroughly after the inclusion of Tom Demming. It was obvious to Castle now that she really didn’t need him.

The question was what to do now. He’d picked up his blazer from the precinct, and walked out in the middle of a case, so he knew that at least the boys and Montgomery would notice his absence after a while. He doubted that Kate would notice until the case was over and she was without the constant company of her new love interest. If he really was going to leave for good, he would have to at least say goodbye to the boys and the captain, they deserved that much.

Making his decision, he headed back to the loft to think about his next move.

oooXXXooo

Kate looked up when she heard the elevator ding. She needed to talk to Castle. She knew that she had hurt his feelings the day before when she had focused so much of her attention on Tom Demming. She didn’t know what had come over her, really. Something about the handsome detective made her feel like a teenager again, and she loved the feeling. She had been attracted to Castle, but she knew that nothing beyond the physical could ever happen with the famous author. Tom was different. He was a cop, like her. He would be able to understand her quest for justice, her dedication to the job, and still be able to talk to her without making a fool of himself. He had asked her out, and she was anxious to get to know him.

That didn’t mean she didn’t feel bad about how, in her unusual show of giddiness for the handsome detective, she had treated Castle.

She saw Castle enter the bullpen, and head for her desk. He didn’t have coffee with him. That was the first clue that something was wrong. Even the day before, after having basically broken up with him, he had brought her coffee. But not today.

“Good morning, detective,” Castle greeted.

“Good morning, Castle,” Kate answered cautiously.

“Can we talk? In private?”

Kate nodded and led him into the breakroom, which was thankfully empty. Kate closed the door behind them then turned to look at Castle. He seemed nervous, which was an expression she hadn’t ever seen on the author before. Something was definitely going on.

“I wanted to thank you.”

“Oh? What for?” Kate asked, confused.

“For allowing me to shadow you these last two years. I’ve had so many great experiences, and I’ll never forget them. Honestly, I can say that the last two years have been two of the most interesting of my entire life. I’ve learned some great things that have made me a better writer, I’ve met some extraordinary people and made some great friends. So, I just wanted to thank you. I know I didn’t exactly give you a choice at the beginning, but I know you could have talked the captain into getting rid of me ages ago if you had really wanted to. So, thank you.”

“Castle, what’s going on? I mean you’re welcome, but where did this come from?”

“Yesterday was my last day as your shadow.”

Kate looked at him, eyes wide, her hand covering her mouth as she gasped in shock. She took a step back from him, not having expected him to end their partnership. Oh, she had expected it, but she had thought it would have come two days before when she had ended their arrangement. She had expected to either end it herself, or more likely, have him end it. She’d been prepared. But then he had said he would continue to follow her, and she had thought that they could work their way back into something normal. But apparently, she had been wrong.

“Why?” She finally got out.

Castle tilted his head to the side. “Kate…You know that I have feelings for you, right?”

“Castle…”

“No. It’s okay. I know you don’t return those feelings. That’s okay. But…for the last ten years since Meredith cheated on me and we divorced, I’ve been living a half-life. I’ve spent my time splitting my time between being the cocky playboy author and the loving father. I married Gina simply because she wanted it and it was good for book sales.” Castle shook his head in disbelief. “Before I met you, I was in a rut. I was doing things simply for the sake of doing things. I had no direction, no reason to be besides Alexis.

“Everything changed when I met you. It took a few months, but once I realized I felt something for you other than pure lust, I started to change. I realized that I wanted my life to matter, I wanted to do something that could make my life extraordinary. For the last year or so, I wanted to figure that out with you by my side. I admit that I’ve fallen in love with you. I was foolish to think that simply having sex with you would work towards my dream of having a future with you, and I think we can both say that it was a mistake for us to ever be together in that way, at least I think so now. I got too attached to you by going that route.

“That’s why it hurt so much when you broke it off. But I can’t fault you for wanting something more. Further, I know why you feel that you could never be with me in a romantic sense.

“To answer your question, as for why I’m leaving? I need to find some direction in my life. Now that I know that you’re not really in my future, I need to move on. I thought that maybe I could continue to follow you and help here at the precinct, but after yesterday, I realized that it would hurt too much. I need to create space between us so that I can get over my feelings, and so that I can find something to do with my life. All I’ve ever done is write fiction. Whatever I do next, I want it to be something special, something that changes the world or at least a little part of it.”

Castle smiled at her. “I’m sorry I won’t be around to continue our partnership. I hope that I’ve at least made some impact in the last two years, helped in some way. But I also know that you’re the best detective the NYPD has, and that you held that title long before you met me.”

Kate didn’t know what to think. Part of her was so…so angry at him. She had come to rely on him, not only as a fresh pair of eyes and out of the box theories, but also as a break from the macabre every day ins and outs of working homicide.

But she also understood. She had known that he had grown attached to her. It had made breaking up their arrangement even harder, but all the more necessary.

“I’ll miss you,” she said, finally. Fighting him on this, or getting angry wouldn’t do any good. It wouldn’t change her feelings or his, and in the end, it would only cause bad feelings where none needed to exist.

Castle stepped forward and hugged her. “I’ll miss you too. I promise that I won’t be too much of a stranger, though it might be some time before I’ll see you in person. You’re still my friend, Kate, and I still have friends here at the 12th that I’m not planning on abandoning. I’ll see you around. Be happy, Kate Beckett.”

With that he stepped back and walked out of the breakroom, heading for the captain’s office to apparently say goodbye to Montgomery.

Kate wiped away the tears that had traitorously slipped out of her eyes. She would miss Castle. No matter how much of a pain in the ass he had been, she considered him one of her best friends.

The feeling of emptiness now that she knew Castle was leaving hit her right in the chest, and she buried a sob. She quickly made her way to the woman’s bathroom, hoping that it was empty. After locking herself into a stall, she let the tears fall down freely.

Castle was gone, and it was her fault. Maybe she had made a mistake. If only she hadn’t ended their relationship. If only she had tried harder, or changed something. If only…

oooXXXooo

a.n.2. Alexis is 11 in this fiction. Meredith cheated and divorced Castle when Alexis was one in this universe. This makes Castle a little younger than canon. Beckett is the same age. Next chapter we learn something new about Castle’s backstory that wasn’t in canon.

What is Castle going to do next? Is this the end of Caskett? Read on to find out.

Reviews are awesome.

Chapter Three

a.n. Woo! Look at this update schedule. Let’s see if I can keep it up. This story is going to take an odd path, but don’t worry. There will be a Caskett ending, I’m a sucker for this couple. It might be a bumpy road for quite a while though. Both Kate and Rick have much to figure out about themselves and about their relationship. In the end their journey will make their eventual romance even better.

You can expect to see the two lovebirds apart for quite a few chapters as they find themselves and discover what they really want in life. My original idea for this fic is inspired by two of my favorite authors. Perspex13 writes a Castle that is grown up and complex. He has an immense talent of writing original characters that are amazing. The other is Aalon. His series that starts with A Different Road Taken is one of my favorites and features a Castle that takes Kate’s seeming rejection at the end of season 3 and uses it to do something extraordinary. I don’t measure up to these two titans of amazing prose, but I would like to try.

The topic I’m going to be covering is real, and a huge problem not only here in the USA but around the world. I’ve only just scratched the surface in this chapter and those that follow.

Disclaimer: I don’t even own this disclaimer, let alone Castle.

oooXXXooo

It took Castle two weeks and a lot of brain storming to decide what he would do next. That wasn’t really true though. There had been a project he had wanted to tackled his whole life, but hadn’t had the courage. It had taken him two weeks to decide that it was finally time and to plan.

The first thing he had to do was give Nikki Heat her ending. The fact was that Castle’s contracts with Black Pawn always had an out clause, so that if he got sick of a character mid-way through he could move on. It was the one deal breaker he had always had, and would always insist upon. That allowed him to skip out on the last two Nikki Heat novels as long as he had a suitable idea to replace them. And he did.

Once he decided upon his new path, he had a lot of work to do. First he alerted Gina that he would be taking the out clause on his contract, and that he had a new set of characters that he would brief her on in the coming weeks after he finished the second and final Nikki Heat novel. Then he talked to Alexis and his mother. That was the hard part.

“Dad, are you sure about this?” Alexis asked.

“I am pumpkin. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. You know my history, and I think it’s time to do something about it. It’ll be different, and meaningful, and that’s what I need right now.”

“What will this mean for us, Richard?” his mother asked.

“Once I finish this last Nikki book, I’ll need to start doing research for the new book. I’ll be out a lot. For that I’m sorry. Alexis, this will affect you the most. But you were planning on going to that summer camp anyways, and I should be done with most of my research by the time you’re back in the city and getting ready to go back to school.”

He knew that what he was proposing would scare his mother the most, so he turned to her. “I need to do this. You know better than anyone how that part of my life has continued to haunt me. Maybe if I do this I can move on from it. Besides, you helped me when I was eleven years old. By doing this maybe I can focus more attention on the problem.”

Martha stood up and put her hand on her son’s cheek, “You’re a good boy, Richard. I’ve always been so proud of you.” She sat back down on the sofa across from him. “What about Beckett?”

Castle sighed. “What about her? Whatever we had is over, and she’s moving on with someone else. While I forgive her and all that, she said some pretty hurtful things when she ended it. I guess it was kind of a wakeup call. It’s time for me to move on. But, I can’t do that like I would have two years ago, it’s time for me to do something more meaningful in my life. I’ve changed. Simply moving on to the next flashy character and continuing with the playboy lifestyle just isn’t enough for me anymore. It’s time to grow up.”

Richard Castle had always found psychology interesting, especially when the person being analyzed wasn’t him. But he knew that he was a psychologist’s dream patient, not that he’d ever gone to therapy (even if it might have been a good idea). If a doctor had ever had the chance to ask him questions, the event that had the biggest impact on his personality as an adult happened to him when he was a child.

Both of his parents had died when he was two years old. By age four he’d been in three foster homes and had had enough. It seemed that no matter what ‘family’ he was placed with abused and/or neglected him. So, when the third family seemed to do the same, he ran for it. That led to almost seven years on the streets. He’d grown up very fast. He’d had to in order to survive.

Those first few weeks had been hell. He was so hungry and so cold, and so alone. To this day, he suspected that his need to be constantly around people and the center of attention came from his early childhood when he was almost always alone.

A lot happened to him in those seven years, most of it bad. But he survived, mostly because when he needed it most, Martha Rodgers had come to help him. She’d taken him in when he was eleven and had literally saved his life. It had taken most of his teenage years to heal himself and become someone who could function in society without becoming a recluse. The one thing that helped, and that Martha had helped him discover, was his writing. He could remember Martha’s words easily,

“We all have demons, Richard. Your goal should be finding a way to rid yourself of those demons, a way to move on and to live. I’ve always found that doing something is the best solution. For me it’s acting. Maybe you could find something creative to do, and that could help. Maybe write a story.”

And he had. He found that creating a world and characters was settling and healing. It allowed him to escape his memories and nightmares. He found that if he dreamed about his stories it helped him sleep, which was something he often had a problem with.

He’d always used his writing then on to escape the demons of his past. That’s not to say he wasn’t a trouble maker when he wasn’t writing or studying. He’d caused Martha a lot of problems over the years, culminating in the stealing of a police horse while streaking through Central Park. He’d been caught, of course. And that time, Martha had refused to bail him out. It was the wakeup call he had needed. The judge, a family friend of Martha’s, had let him off with community service, but had warned him that any further infractions would lead to jail time.

By the time he had met Meredith, he’d finished his High School education and had started a degree in English literature. It had taken a lot of work to make up for seven years of no education at all, but he’d worked hard, and had managed to get his GED and get into SUNY, which made Martha happy. He’d dated Meredith for a little over a year when she told him he was pregnant. At twenty-two years old, he was going to be a father, something he had no idea how to be.

He’d always wanted a family, but never really thought it would happen. He’d never really dated until he found Kyra his first semester of college, but she’d left after dating for only a few months. He’d met Meredith and started to date her, though it wasn’t that serious for him; he knew he didn’t love her. But he wanted to provide a family for his child, so he had asked Meredith to marry him, and she’d said yes. Alexis had come along six weeks into his junior year of college, and despite his fear of fatherhood, he was in love from the moment the nurse placed her tiny form into his arms.

Those first few months of marriage and raising a child together weren’t what he thought it would be. They weren’t really a family. Meredith, a year younger than him, was a struggling actress trying to break into Broadway, and was much more interested in her career than raising a child or being a wife, leaving him to focus on Alexis and his own schooling.

When Alexis was eight months old, Rick found Meredith cheating on him with a stage director of a play she was auditioning for. The funny part, if there was one, was that she didn’t even get the part in the end. The divorce followed not long after that, and Rick was forced to drop out of school in order to focus on raising Alexis on his own. Luckily, Meredith didn’t fight him on custody. With the knowledge that she’d cheated on him, she didn’t even ask for alimony, which was good since Rick was only working part time at the New York Public Library, and was always broke.

A few hard months later, where Rick relied much more on Martha than he liked, his first novel was finally published, and the money problems were no more.

oooXXXooo

Rick shook his head, shaking away his thoughts. “Anyways, I need to do some work. Alexis, you have a week before camp starts, let’s spend some time together tomorrow and the next if that’s okay?”

“Sure, daddy.”

He hugged both his girls then went into his office. He knew that the coming months would be hard for him. The character he was going to write once Nikki was done was personal for him, and it was something he had always shied away from.

But in the end, it was time for him to go forth with this idea. Her death, after all, was the entire reason why he wrote murder mysteries in the first place.

oooXXXooo

a.n.2. And yes, you will find out whose death he was thinking about in the next chapter. It isn’t related to Beckett at all. Or is it?

I don’t think I’ve ever read a story where Castle is adopted or that he grew up on the streets. That’s not saying there isn’t one out there, but maybe I’ve hit on something here. I’m going to have fun explaining how his character developed with this back story. A lot of introspection.

If you’re looking for action, this won’t be a story you’ll enjoy, at least for a while. It will be a few chapters before we even see Beckett again, I think.

Just a reminder that Alexis is eleven years old in this story at the beginning. She was born when Rick was twenty-two. Kate’s age isn’t different, so by my math at the beginning of this story she’s thirty almost thirty-one and Rick is thirty-three.

Reviews are awesome. Thanks for those of you who have already left one or two.

Chapter Four

a.n. I’ve been criticized about the length of my author’s notes.

Disclaimer: Nothing clever to say, except I don’t own Castle.

oooXXXooo

“Are you sure about this Richard?” Gina asked Rick over the phone a few nights later.

“I am, Gina. Look, I didn’t know going into the Nikki Heat novel if I could make it a series, I had nothing planned beyond that first novel, and frankly I didn’t plan anything beyond novel number two either. It has been simple redoing the outline to make it more suitable for a finale instead of just another novel in a series. Besides, I have a great idea for what happens next for me, and I’ll be able to share a summary and an outline with you next week. I want to finish Nikki and I’m on a roll here, so it shouldn’t take too long.”

“Look. Rick. I know that something happened between you and your muse. Is it really so serious that you have to scrap a multi-million-dollar contract, and the opportunity for so much more? This series could go for twenty novels! I’m talking a hundred million or more over the next decade or so.”

Castle sighed. This was why he and Gina didn’t work out as a couple. He didn’t care about the money. He knew that he had money and that was enough. More than enough really. Growing up feeding yourself out of dumpsters, and even later in life only having enough to feed your family, teaches you that money, while nice, isn’t everything.

“It isn’t about the money, Gina, you know that. I need inspiration and the characters need to hold my attention. All Nikki will bring me, if I were to continue past the second novel would be pain and grief. I should have known not to get so attached to a muse, but it isn’t the first time and I doubt it will be the last. The lesson I’ve learned over the last decade is that you just need to move on. Nikki is no longer the character I’m interested in pursuing, no matter how lucrative she might be.”

There was silence on the other end of the line for several moments, then Gina replied, “Okay, Rick. Send along the rest of the novel and I’ll alert the brass here that you’re taking the out clause. Send along your next idea ASAP so that we know that you are actually planning on giving us something.”

“Sure thing, Gina.” Rick pressed the end key and slumped back into his office chair. The last three days had been grueling. He’d spent as much time as he could with Alexis, and had spent the rest of his time writing. He’d never written so fast in his entire life.

He would have thought with the heartbreak that had caused this sudden change in his plans, that he would have procrastinated on writing the ending to the Nikki Heat series, but he wasn’t. The words flowed through him as he crafted an ending for Nikki and Rook, an ending that he felt suitable for a pair of characters that really never had their day in the sun. If dreams were reality, Nikki and Rook would have been Castle characters for many years to come, but as he had told Gina, there was nothing there for him anymore. Despite how easy the words came to him, there was just no future for the characters beyond the ending he was currently crafting. Continuing on would just hurt him and the quality of his work, which he would not ever agree to, no matter how much money there was involved.

Castle leaned forward and brought up the Word document that held the last few chapters of Lasting Heat, the second and final Nikki Heat book. His plans for the ending weren’t as dramatic as the ending of the Derrick Storm novels. He wasn’t going to kill off Nikki or Rook, that wouldn’t work, because after only two novels, who would really care? Not many readers form that much of an attachment to a character in just one novel.

So no, death was off the table. No, his plans for Nikki included advancement to a federal position that would lead to bigger and brighter things. For Rook, it meant less interaction with Nikki, but in return for that, Castle had allowed their relationship to become official even without their professional interactions. The ending was happy and vague enough that the readers could imagine the future in their own way, just like a good story without an epilogue should.

The writing was cathartic for Richard Castle. While the ending was happy for his characters, for him it was allowing him to put his time with Kate Beckett to rest. He would always remember her fondly, and would take time to get over his feelings, but for him, the end of Nikki was also the end of any hope for his relationship with Detective Kate Beckett.

oooXXXooo

June 23rd 2010

Nikki has been completed, and I’ve decided to start my writing diary again, something that I haven’t done since my first novel was published. After a while I stopped because it just seemed too meta to me. After all it was writing about writing.

But it always allowed me to flesh out new ideas quicker than trying to outline. Outlining for a lot of writers is a first step, for me it is just a step in between the idea stage and the actual writing stage. Writing in this form allows me to just scribble ideas, plot points, and whatnot without actual form. I can even lecture my invisible audience as I just did, and I won’t feel foolish. After all, no one will ever read this but me, so I can write whatever I feel will help me write better in between these pages and no one can stop me.

Now that Nikki has been completed and sent to Gina, I’m focusing on my next project. It’s been a month of constant writing and researching, and I have a ton of ideas.

The plot is set around a homeless boy who runs away from abusive parents. At first I debated whether or not to base the male character on myself, since the story is really about HER, but I decided that I should stick with what I know.

As I spent almost seven years homeless, the research I’m doing is a bit different than normal. I don’t have to be ‘on location’ so to speak to learn the environment of my characters. Getting over my mental problems, and basing the male character on myself, should allow the research to be even easier.

The main problem I’m having so far is names. I’ve decided to go outside the norms when it comes to names, or at least I want to. There is a reason outside of title possibilities that I chose Nikki Heat as a character name. It’s uncommon and interesting. Naming a character Richard or Bob would be a disgrace to writers everywhere.

The question is, then, what should the male character be named? I’ve come up with some ideas and discarded others. The good news is the block on my naming ideas hasn’t precluded getting other things for this novel out of the way. I’ve begun a brief outline and summary that has been sent to Gina, simply to give her an idea of what is coming her way. If Black Pawn doesn’t want to publish it, then so be it. While it has little to do with a main character who solves crimes, it is a murder mystery, and that is good enough to fit into my ‘genre’. God forbid I write something that isn’t about dead people. No, that might signal the end of the world or something else dramatic and unwelcome.

I keep coming back to names. What should the names be? There are a couple that I like a lot. Damien or Orion. Orion, while not totally uncommon, is a complex name that signifies depth. Damien is a tough name, which would also fit with the character I want to portray. I also like Jackson a lot, but not sure what could be paired with it. Hey! I could always go the alliteration route like JK Rowling did. Minerva McGonagall? Severus Snape? Florean Fortescue? What was that woman thinking? Oh, right! She was thinking coming up with first and last names that are fake but sound real is damn hard.

I refuse to get into a rant about Harry Potter in a diary entry to myself. I refuse. Dammit.

I will return to this dairy in a few days. I’m sure there will be some scribbles between now and then.

oooXXXooo

Rick put his pen down and stood from his desk. The naming problem was something he had to work out as it was precluding him from thinking about much else. Oh, he still jotted down ideas, and even wrote out some scenes that he wanted to include later on in the novel, but he kept coming back to names.

First there was the character based on himself. He wanted the character to be different enough that it wouldn’t be obvious, and so he could distance himself from the character emotionally so as to not cause too many problems. That and he’d always hated his name. Richard Smith. Seriously? He wasn’t even sure it was his real name. That’s why when Martha had completed the adoption papers, he’d taken Rodgers as his last name. Then he’d changed it to Castle when he’d been published for the first time. He’d chosen Castle because Castles were strong, and he had always hoped to be as strong as possible. The character for his new novel had to be named to give the readers a sense of strength and courage while also having underlying vulnerabilities. A man who always wore a mask to disguise his true self.

The female character was easier to name. Castle had decided that her name would be Raven. She didn’t have a last name, and he would never give her one. The young woman he was basing the character on had never had a last name, or at least hadn’t known it or told him.

Castle sighed. He knew that this was going to be hard. He’d been working on this new project for a couple weeks now full time, and every time he thought about Raven’s inspiration he felt a pang in his stomach and an almost overwhelming feeling of grief.

He’d never gotten over her murder. But it was time to try.

oooXXXooo

a.n.2. Next chapter we learn who SHE is and what happened to her, or perhaps we’ll check Kate. The diary entries in this story will help us do two things: mark time and keep track of the actual story that Castle is writing. There will be some plot in there along with more of the real events that inspired those plot points.

If anyone is interested in offering their beta-ing services, I have a position available.

Thanks to everyone who has reviewed this story so far, I’m so happy you are liking it. A reply to one of my guest reviewers:

One of you mentioned that 4 years old is a little young to be on the streets and survive. I agree, but it’s where I went. We will get a lot more about Rick’s time on the street as the story goes on. We’ll find out why he didn’t die as we go.

Until Next Time.

Chapter Five

a.n. See below.

Disclaimer: I don’t own a castle, nor do I own the TV show Castle.

oooXXXooo

Kate Beckett fell back onto the bed, breathing heavily. That had been good. She looked over at her companion who had just fallen down beside her and grinned at him. “Wow,” they said at the same time. Kate turned and looked up at the unfamiliar ceiling. Now that they’d been dating for a month or so, Kate and Tom had taken their relationship to the next level.

It had been a good month, mostly. She enjoyed being with Tom, he was a nice guy and they had many common topics to discuss, leaving no awkward silences during their talks. They’d been going out a few times a week, just getting to know each other. Kate hadn’t wanted to just jump into his bed, so they had taken it slow. Truth be told, she could tell that he had been a little impatient with her, but she had ignored his subtle hints. She had just left a relationship where it had been all about sex, she didn’t need or want to do that again.

Despite the good progress of her relationship with Demming, the rest of the month had been more emotional than she had expected it to be. She missed Castle, and that surprised her. For almost two years she had almost fervently wanted the writer out of her professional life. Oh, he was useful on some of their cases, and had done a lot for her, but more often he was just an annoying man child who got in her way. Her feelings for him were at best confused.

But she missed him. She’d told him after the Coonan case that she had come to rely on having him around to “pull her pigtails”, but she also thought that it wouldn’t be too hard to continue on without him.

Apparently, she was wrong.

Sighing at these conflicting thoughts, Kate rolled over and snuggled up to the warm detective at her side. Kate pushed her concerns away and shut her eyes, allowing the calm embrace of sleep to envelop her.

oooXXXooo

Richard Castle sat silently in the New York Public Library watching as patrons flitted in between the giant stacks of old and new tomes. The library was his favorite place in the entire world. He’d spent a lot of time at the infamous home of books in New York city as a child. Whenever he was depressed his next stop would be the library where he would spend countless hours learning to his heart’s content. It was within these walls that he first learned to read, and later in life, to write creatively.

He could clearly remember his first time here. He’d been on the streets for a few weeks, and was slowly starving to death. No four-year-old boy can survive long on the streets by himself. The luckiest day in his life was when he had met a young woman named Rae. To this day, he didn’t know if it was her real name or if it was something she had chosen for herself.

Meeting Rae changed everything for young Richard Smith. He could remember the meeting as if it had just happened.

—Flashback—

Young Rick looked hopefully at the dumpster behind the busy Italian restaurant. He had learned very quickly that if he wanted to find any food at all, he was better off looking in dumpsters than trying to beg food from anyone else on the streets. He’d found that he was luckiest when he waited until late evening before plundering dumpsters near local restaurants. The problem was that there were apparently a lot of people like him and they just didn’t want to share their spoils, and that had left him to slink away empty handed many times over the last couple of weeks since he had left his new ‘family.’

He just hoped that he would get lucky tonight. He’d had to go without the previous day as he’d been chased away from several different opportunities for food either by other street dwellers or by restaurant employees not wanting to have ‘riffraff’ outside their establishments.

He was just about to struggle his way over the top of the ridiculously high dumpster walls when he heard a noise coming from inside the dumpster. Not thinking anything of it, after all rats often took up their places in the garbage bins of New York City, Rick kept climbing. Just as he reached the top, something popped out of the dumpster and startled him so badly he fell backwards, landing hard on his backside and twisting his wrist painfully.

Trying not to cry, he looked up at whatever had come out of the dumpster. It was a girl.

“Who are you?” The girl asked accusingly.

“I-I’m Rick,” he said in a small voice, the pain from his fall making his eyes water.

“And what are you here for?” She asked.

“I…I’m hungry,” he replied.

“Well why didn’t you say so?” She asked snidely, jumping down from the top of the dumpster. Rick saw that she was much older than him, maybe in her early teens. Her clothing was dirty and didn’t fit all that well. Her pants were much too tight and her shirt was much too big. Her shoes had holes in them.

“My name is Rae. I suppose it’s good to meet you. I’ll save you some time, there’s nothing left in this dumpster.” With that she turned to leave.

It was then that the tears that Rick had bravely been holding back started to fall. He was so hungry. He just wanted some food. Anything would really do. His arm hurt. He just wanted to go home.

But he didn’t have a home.

Rick slid down the wall opposite the dumpster, curled his little arms around his knees and pulled them into his chest, sobbing quietly.

He didn’t know how much time passed, when he felt a small hand on his shoulder. “Hey, Kid, don’t cry. It’s okay, I promise.”

Rick looked up and found Rae sitting next to him, smiling slightly. “But…”

“But nothing. I’m going to tell you a secret. If you’re going to survive out here on your own, you can’t be weak. The weak get beaten and die quickly. So, if you’re going to live, you must buck up and keep on keepin’ on, if you know what I mean.”

She stood up, looking like she was debating something internally. With a slight nod she said, “now come on. Get up, and we’ll see about getting you some food and getting you cleaned up.”

—End Flashback—

That meeting and the hours after changed his life forever. Richard knew that if Rae hadn’t taken him under her wing he would have died within a few days for sure. He had never found out what had changed her mind. She had seemed so uninterested in him at first, but something about his reaction had softened her, and had led to her literally saving his life.

Rick looked around the library and sighed. Rae had been the one to bring him to the library for the first time. It had been after she’d shown him her “stash” as she’d called it. Her collection of clothes, books and all manner of things were in an abandoned building in lower Manhattan. The luckiest thing about the place was that it still had running water. For whatever reason the city hadn’t shut the water service down and there was always some cold water running through the pipes. Rae had discovered the building, which was actually a small collection of apartments, by accident and had managed to carve out a small space for herself along with a few other homeless people. It was in that building that Rick learned the ways of the street and more importantly, where he had made his first real friend.

Rae had meant everything to him, and it had nearly killed him emotionally when she had been taken away from him. When he was ten years old, almost eleven, he and Rea had been scouting for more food to stock up their rations when they’d been ambushed by five gang members. The men had quickly subdued both of them and had taken them to their boss. Rick had watched helplessly as Rae was raped and killed in front him. He’d been beaten and left for dead in a gutter outside an abandoned warehouse. It had been a long time since he had wished for death, but he had that night. Not only was he hurt, but he’d watched his only friend die brutally in front of him.

He’d only lived because he’d been found by none other than Martha Rodgers. He’d forever be grateful to the woman who had found him, taken him to the hospital, then offered him a home. It had taken him three years to get past Rae’s death. Those years were hard. He’d had to learn to live as a normal person, someone with a home and responsibilities, which was something he’d never had to do before.

Castle stood from his seat and looked around. He had a plan. It was something he had always wanted to do, and with this new writing project, it was time to do it.

oooXXXooo

June 25 2010

I’ve always wanted to do something different with my writing, but have never had the courage. I’ve always written in third person, usually third person multiple, though Derrick was written in third person limited.

With this new project, I’ve decided to do two different things that I’ve never done before. The perspective will be first person peripheral, told from the perspective of the male character, who is named Darius. The last name is still a tossup, but I won’t get into that.

The second thing I want to try to do is write the story using a technique called “Unreliable Narrator”. By using this I’ll be able to create an ending twist that should shock the readers. Darius will tell the story of the main character, Raven, as if what happens at the end didn’t actually happen. I’ve always admired Agatha Christie, despite critiques of her works that use this particular technique. My favorite example of this is a book by Dean Koontz titled Odd Thomas. While popular fiction, it is a prime example of what I want to do with this new project.

Now that I’ve at least got the naming down for the two main characters, I’ve started to fully outline the first few chapters. I’ve also changed the story suitably from real life. Unlike Nikki, the characters in this new project are going to be distanced from those they are based on in reality. The events will also be significantly different. I had originally planned to write this as a “based on a true story” type thing, but I just can’t do it. I’ve tried writing the ending several times throughout the years, but I just can’t.

However, the premise remains the same. Darius, age six, runs away from his abusive, drug addicted parents, and nearly dies on the streets before getting taken in by a fellow street dweller named Raven, age fifteen. From there it will branch off from reality as the two go on an adventure while being chased by Raven’s abusive father who had put her on the street as a working girl. She had run away, not wanting anything to do with that life.

Obviously, the thing that this lacks is romance, something that all of my previous series have had. That obviously can’t happen here, unless I change the age of Darius, which I’m not sure about. I’ll have to make that decision quickly.

On one side of that argument is that it would add another dimension to the story, and an anchor that will make the audience more invested in the characters. It will also make it more adult, which would go with my style of writing. This is an adult story, not a teen fiction, despite the ages of the characters. Bad things will happen to both characters. The story follows them through their struggles to survive on the streets of New York City, with everything that goes along with it.

On the other hand, taking romance out of it keeps it closer to reality, and creates new struggles for Darius, who is so young, as I was when I started out. Distancing myself further from that character by making him much older is something I’m not sure is a good idea or not.

Finally, outside of my writing, I’ve decided to start another project that will be promoted by the book when it comes out. I’ve always wanted to do something about the homeless problem in this city. Alexis and I volunteer often at soup kitchens and shelters, and I always donate to several charities, so it isn’t as if I’ve done nothing on that front. However, I want to do more. As for what, I have some ideas, but I still need to think about it. Whether it becomes as simple as an investment in money, or if I do something more intensive, remains to be seen.

Until next time.

oooXXXooo

a.n.2. I’ve seen some reviews that don’t like reading about Castle’s backstory or his new project. If that’s you, this story might get boring for a while. The guest who said “hurry up and get Beckett and Castle together”, you’re going to have to wait awhile. There won’t be much C/B interaction for several more chapters. This story is about their journey to each other. Castle already knows his feelings for Kate, but was much too invested in a one-sided relationship. Kate is mightily confused about her feelings, and is rebelling against any thought of having deeper feelings for Castle.

In order for the relationship to happen, it has to be equal. Kate simply needs to catch up, which she will do, but it’ll take a while.

Thanks everyone for the reviews. Madcrafter72 has graciously dedicated herself to beta-ing this story. Thanks M! If you haven’t already, check out her stories. They’re all very good!

Chapter Six

a.n. See below.

Disclaimer: I don’t own Castle.

oooXXXooo

“Richard, Darling, I’m home!” he heard Martha call from where he sat in his office.

“In the office, Mother,” he called out, then sat his laptop aside. He’d begun to actually write the story now, and was about three chapters in. He had bits and pieces written that could be inserted in their appropriate places later in the story. It was going well, but he knew that eventually he would hit a road block of some sort.

Surprisingly, his emotions weren’t getting to him. In reality, the story he was writing was so different from what he went through, it didn’t really affect him the way he thought it might. Which was good news, as his other project wasn’t going nearly as well. It turned out that he had no idea about how to go about helping solve the “homeless” problem. After researching ideas for the last week, he realized that thinking about his goal in such a generalized manner was counter-productive. There was just no way he could even consider doing anything if he had such lofty goals. It would just lead to disappointment and frustration.

So, he had set his sights a little lower. It seemed so cliché to simply form a new charity, but that was what he had settled on doing. He could then use that charity to make a dent in the overall issue, perhaps even revolutionize the way the issue was handled. It was a daunting task, but he thought that he could do it.

“How’s the writing going, kiddo?” His mother asked from the doorway.

Castle looked up after finishing his last sentence. “Good. How was the opera?”

“Oh, it was fabulous, as usual.”

“I’m surprised you’re home so early.”

“Well, I can’t burn the midnight oil every day now, can I?”

“It never stopped you before,” Rick answered with a smirk, then looked back down at his laptop and saved his work.

“Now, really, Richard,” Martha huffed. “You, on the other hand, would do well to leave the house every so often. You’re looking a little pallid.”

“I’ve been busy, Mother.”

“Don’t be petulant. I’m worried about you, Richard. You’ve shut yourself in ever since that detective of yours kicked you to the curb. It isn’t healthy.”

Oh, she had to mention Beckett, Richard fumed. He’d been doing okay. Well, not okay, really, but okay enough. He’d buried himself in his work in order to forget about Kate Beckett, and here was his own Mother bringing her up.

“Thanks, mother,” he replied, trying to keep the anger out of his voice. It wouldn’t do to shout at her just because he was still heartbroken.

Martha narrowed her eyes, but let it go. Her son, adopted though he may be, had always been stubborn. When she had found him that cold day, lying in the gutter, she knew she had to do something. She had come from a well-to-do family and had the money, so she had taken him to the hospital and paid for his treatment. He’d been in the hospital for months recuperating. During that time, she could have moved on, but she hadn’t. Something stuck with her that day, and she wanted to do more. When she found out that young Richard didn’t have anywhere else to go but back into the foster system, she, with the help of some friends in high places, adopted him. She never regretted that choice. She herself was incapable of having children for whatever reason, so Richard was the only son she would ever have, and she cherished him.

It hurt her to know that her baby was heartbroken. She couldn’t quite understand what had happened, as she was sure that Kate Beckett loved her son. For whatever reason, the brunette detective was denying her own feelings, and had hurt Rick terribly. It made Martha very angry at the young woman, but she also knew that matters of the heart are most often clouded and confusing. She just hoped the couple could work it out eventually, as she could see that despite keeping himself busy, Richard wasn’t coping very well, even if he didn’t yet realize it.

“Why don’t you call Alexis, and see how she’s doing. It will at least give you a break.” With that Martha exited stage left and made her way upstairs to her room. When she had divorced from her second husband, she’d been wiped out financially, and Richard had taken her in. She would always be grateful for that, and she loved being with her son and granddaughter. She loved her family very much, and she would do anything to see them happy.

Maybe it was time for her to talk to Kate Beckett and find out what the hell had happened.

oooXXXooo

Kate Beckett walked into the café and froze. Sitting not twenty feet from her was Richard Castle. She’d been stopping by to get her coffee fix, and had just wanted to get in and out, but seeing her former lover/partner almost had her sprinting for the door. What stopped her was seeing the attractive brunette sitting across from her author. She could see that Rick and the woman were comfortable in each other’s company, though it didn’t look like they knew each other that well.

It was seeing him with another woman that was causing her problems. She knew it was irrational. She had no claim to him any longer. She had pushed him away, broken up with him, and shattered their relationship. She still didn’t know how she felt about Castle, but if the raging jealousy that was flowing through her was any indication, she felt something more for him than she thought.

Kate walked back out of the café, confused and suddenly much less interested in coffee.

oooXXXooo

June 30 2010

The amazing thing about all this is how easy it has been to write. I’ve never written this fast before in my entire life. I think that I’m using it as an escape from feeling sorry for myself, but whatever works. Whenever I do step away from my laptop, all I can think about is how much I miss Kate.

Damn her anyways.

Maybe Mother was right. Maybe it is time to get out of the house again. Oh, I’m not ready to date or anything like that, but getting out and doing something different might be good for me. Maybe.

I did get out today, but it was for business. I met with Jessica Hawthorne, a director from the United Way. She, while not running the charity, has a very good grasp of how a charity is set up and run. I’m trying to hire her away from The United Way to run the charity I’ve decided to set up.

I’ve gone this direction for two reasons. First I don’t have the experience to actually run the charity itself. I just don’t. But I can raise money, and that will be a very important part. I’m putting up the starting funds for it, and will be starting to fundraise for it in the next few months once all the legalities are settled. I want Ms. Hawthorne to then take that money and use it to start chipping away at the homeless problem of New York City.

I’ve given her some ideas for what I want to do. Creating something like a super-shelter where we give people places to live, not just stay; creating jobs for these people, allowing them an education so that they can eventually become independent from the organization I’m creating, and a few other ideas.

Obviously this will be small scale to begin with, and there are many details to be worked out, but I’m confident that it can be done. As it is something I know I can do, I’ll be focusing on bringing in cash for the organization.

I’ve finished seven chapters of the book. It’s going really well, and I’ve decided on the ending. The twist is going to be really good, but will take this way beyond what really happened. As I’ve said before, distancing myself from the story is good for me.

I’ve done some research in order to get the ending just right. I have to really pay attention to how I write certain scenes as it will affect the whole thing in the end. The hardest part is making sure the interactions between the two main characters seem to be one way when it’s really something completely different. It’s fun yet terribly difficult. Frankly, while I’m writing faster than ever, the content is the hardest thing I’ve ever put together. I just hope that I’m up to the task.

And no, I’m not going to write down the twist for the story. Even in my own diary I have to be mysterious.

Until next time.

oooXXXooo

a.n. A short chapter to get us back into the swing of things. Next chapter we see much more of Kate.

Thanks to MadCrafter72 for being an awesome beta! Make sure to check out her stuff, all of it is really, really good!

Reviews are awesome! Thanks for those of you who have left one so far!

Chapter Seven

a.n. See below.

Disclaimer: A pithy and humorous statement is usually what follows, but I don’t have one. I still don’t own Castle.

oooXXXooo

July 8th 2010

Kate Beckett stared blankly at her computer screen. There was paperwork to do, and not much time to do it, but she couldn’t seem to focus. The heat of early July had brought with it the usual increase of homicides, and it had worn her and her team down. For two weeks now she’d had a problem focusing on her work. Her temper was short, and she did nothing but work then barricade herself in her apartment. The problem?

Richard Castle.

It’d been two weeks since she had seen him sitting in the café talking to another woman. She didn’t even know why she was so jealous. It wasn’t as if she hadn’t had her shot at something more with him. She had willingly thrown that away because she wanted something more. Something more than what she thought Castle would ever be able to give her. Or maybe she just was scared of having more with him? She didn’t really know.

The past two weeks had also seen a change in her own relationship status. With her temper being so short and the distance she had put between herself and Tom Demming, it wasn’t that surprising that the robbery detective had ended the relationship.

To be honest, she wasn’t even that broke up about it. They’d only been going out for a little over a month, and despite the fireworks of their first sexual encounter, the rest of the relationship was very mediocre. Sure, they had a lot in common, but there were several things about Demming’s personality that rubbed her the wrong way. He was very full of himself, and thought that she should put her own work aside when he decided that they needed to be together. If he hadn’t ended their relationship, she definitely would have.

In the end it all came back to Rick Castle. Despite her protestations (even to herself), she knew there was something there. There always had been. It was why she had allowed herself to fall into his bed in the first place. She just didn’t consider him long-term relationship material, even if she might have wanted him in that way. Which she was quickly coming to realize that she did.

She had feelings for Richard Bloody Castle. She might have thought that it was only lust on her part, but she knew after that one glimpse of him with someone else, that she was wrong. So, very wrong.

Not that she knew what to do about it. Even after admitting to herself that her feelings had changed, she didn’t know if she was willing to risk being in a relationship with him. He’d been divorced twice, and had thrived in the playboy atmosphere that he had created after he had divorced the second time.

But she also knew that she was being supremely unfair. She knew that it was her initial preconceptions of the man that were coloring her faith in his ability to maintain a relationship. He wasn’t as big a playboy as she had thought him to be, and he had shown a willingness to change when it came to her.

When it came right down to it, Castle scared her. Not because of his divorces, which she knew very little about, or because he had many female partners in the past. No. What scared her were how deep her feelings for Castle happened to be. Once she had admitted to herself two weeks previously that she had feelings beyond lust for the man, she had been shocked to discover that those feelings were very deep. When had that happened, she had asked herself. It still took a lot for her to admit to those feelings; even in her own head she was still in denial half the time.

Since her mother died, she had shied away from any meaningful relationships. Oh, she told people she wanted a serious relationship, like she had told Castle when she had broken up with him, but she liked having one foot out the door. She would never consider entering a relationship where she wasn’t one hundred percent in control. She knew that if she allowed a relationship with Castle to go beyond sex, she’d lose that control, and that terrified her.

She just didn’t know what to do. She had talked to Lanie right before the holiday, but it hadn’t eased any of her confusion.

—FLASHBACK—

“Girl, what are you doing down here so early?” Lanie asked after she turned around to face the detective.

Kate hopped up onto one of the empty autopsy tables and started absentmindedly swinging her legs back and forth. “I saw Castle a few days ago,” she blurted out. She hadn’t been able to stop thinking about it. She knew that her jealousy pointed towards deeper feelings for Castle, but she didn’t want to have deeper feelings for the man.

“Why does that have you so flustered? You seemed okay with the breakup after it happened.”

“I felt guilty, but I didn’t know what it meant. But when I saw Castle with another woman the other day I got so jealous.”

“Does that mean what I think it means?” Lanie squealed. “Did you finally realize that you’re in love with that man?”

“What?! No, I’m not!” Kate shouted back, trying to ignore the not-so-silent childish (Castle-like) voice in the back of her mind that was chanting ‘liar, liar, pants on fire!’

“Oh, girl. Stop lying to yourself and to me. I can see it in your eyes. When the two of you started sleeping together, you were happy, no matter how much you told yourself it was all about the sex.”

“Lanie…”

“No Kate. You need to stop and think about what you really, really want. If that’s Castle you need to get him back before that boy moves on. If you’re happy floating from one meaningless relationship to the next, then so be it. But you don’t have a lot of time to decide. There will come a time, and likely very soon, that Castle won’t be there waiting for you.”

Kate was silent for several minutes as she thought about it. In the end, though, she was just as confused as she had been. She didn’t know what she wanted. Was what she felt for Castle true love? And why did the thought of that scare the living daylights out of her?

As she made her way back to the homicide department after fleeing the morgue, Kate settled on doing nothing for now. She had to think about what she really felt, and what she wanted to do about it.

—END FLASHBACK—

It had been a few days since that conversation, and Kate wasn’t any closer to figuring out what she wanted. Maybe it was best just to let Castle go, for good. If they got together for real, she would only hurt him even more than what she already had.

She was brought out of her thoughts by her phone ringing.

“Beckett.”

“Detective, there is a Martha Rodgers here to speak with you. Would you like me to send her up?” the voice of the desk sergeant asked.

oooXXXooo

a.n.2. Martha next chapter.

Don’t be too hard on Kate Beckett, readers. She needs something drastic to make her stop being so damn stubborn. Like getting thrown off a roof.

Reviews are awesome, and I thank you for leaving them. Thanks to Madcrafter72 for being an awesome beta. Check out her stuff, her most recent is damn awesome. Angsty just the way I like it.

avatar
  Subscribe  
Notify of