Rating: K+ for now for language. May go up later.
Type: Castle, Caskett
Spoilers: Definitely watch the finale first. Or this makes absolutely no sense.
Disclaimer: Sadly they’re not mine. If they were, the season 2 finale would have gone quite differently lol.
Summary: It’s what best friends are for.
Chapter 1, if you missed it.
And now, onto the new stuff:
A/N: Okay, first thing’s first: I’m absolutely FLOORED by the all the amazing reviews I’ve gotten on this so far! I never expected such a big response, so thank you SO MUCH to everyone who has reviewed and/or favourited. It means a lot to me.
Secondly, I’m SOOO SORRY it’s taken me so long to get this chapter done. This is my first week off from horse shows since I started the fic and then I was finding it hard to jump back into how I was feeling post-finale night when I wrote this. Excuses, I know, but I feel I owe you at least a crappy explanation.
And lastly, I really hope this chapter is okay. Not confident with it AT ALL and debated a lot about where to cut it off. Hopefully you’ll find it worth the wait, and my apologies if not.
The sudden shrill ring tone that pierced the air startled Castle awake, sending his laptop flying. With a quick grab, somewhat miraculous given his groggy state, he managed to catch it just before it met the hardwood floor. He looked around for a minute before recognizing his surroundings and remembering what had transpired the night before… or rather, what hadn’t transpired.
Everything was going well until after dinner. He was exhausted and wanted nothing more than to climb into his awaiting bed and sleep. Upon entering the room, however, he discovered that he was not the only one who wanted to be in his bed. There she sat, waiting for him with a wicked smile on her face, and he was coming to the uncomfortable realization that he hadn’t been clear about the summer sleeping arrangements. Sure, he had been expecting some flirting, but they were exes for a reason and he wasn’t intent on changing that. What had he been thinking when he invited her? Oh right, he was thinking about Beckett and Demming. He couldn’t decide if sticking around and seeing them together would have been worse than the summer of imminent torture he had brought upon himself. Why did he think having his ex-wife around would make him feel better about the Beckett/Demming situation?
So he had stood there, like a deer in the headlights, staring in silence until he heard his name. Stammering something about inspiration and writing, he turned and walked back out of the room, quickly made his way to his study, and locked himself inside. Sometime after hours of starting at the blinking cursor he must have fallen asleep.
The phone is his hand began to ring again, drawing his eye to the caller ID. Hmm… how unexpected.
“Dr. Parish, to what do I owe the pleasure?”
“Save it Castle. What the hell did you do?”
Uh oh. He wasn’t even in the city and he was still in trouble. “Uhh… “
She sighed. “Okay, I’m gonna make this real easy for you: what did you say to Kate before you left?”
He wracked his brain, replaying their last conversation, but he was coming up empty. “Nothing, I just said it was a great year and I’ll be back in the fall.”
“And now how exactly did this conversation start?”
The tone of her voice was starting to make him nervous. “She said she’s not the easiest person to get to know, and something about being hard to read, and that she wanted to say something.”
Was she going to have to drag it out of him? How can he still not know where this is going? “Mhm. And what do you think that was?”
“To have a good summer?”
“I’m guessing that’s what she actually said. What do you think she wanted to say before little miss ex-wife showed up? And think about this before you answer, Castle. I know you know her better than this. When Kate Beckett starts a conversation with that, what do you think she’s trying to say?”
Now he was just confused. Clearly he had missed something. It all sounded perfectly innocent in his mind. They just said goodbye, right?
Lanie took his silence as her cue to give him a hint. God he was dense sometimes. “Would it help if I told you she broke up with Demming?” She was in deep now; Kate was going to be livid when she found out.
“She did?” He was stunned. Weren’t they going away for the weekend?
“Right before she came and asked to see you in the hall.”
Oh. OHHH. Oh no. The wheels in his mind were spinning furiously now. ‘Don’t always let on what I’m thinking’, ‘past year with you has been great’, ‘I’m just gonna say it’, Gina, Hamptons for the summer… uh oh. The look on Kate’s face. Oh God. Please don’t let it be that.
“She wasn’t gonna…” He didn’t know how to finish that question, but it didn’t seem to matter.
A spur of expletives ran though his head. This had to be the worst he had ever screwed up. It was actually incomprehensible to him, how exactly he could have missed something that big. He would ask himself what he was thinking, but it was obvious he hadn’t been thinking at all. Everything he wanted was standing right there, in his reach, and he had walked away. And with Gina nonetheless. Kate must really hate him now. Hell, he hated himself right now. What he wouldn’t give for a time machine.
“Can I talk to her?” he asked quietly, swallowing hard.
“Castle, she’s barely talking to me, I really don’t think she’s gonna want to talk to you.”
“Can you ask her? Please, Lanie?”
“I don’t even know if she’s still awake.”
He looked at his watch. “But it’s 11:30 in the morning.”
A wave of guilt tore through his chest. “Is she okay?”
“She will be. Eventually.” It came out colder than she meant it to, but she supposed he deserved it.
“What should I do?”
“I don’t know.”
He sighed. “I didn’t mean to hurt her.”
“I know. But you did.”
“Maybe she’s better off without me.”
“Don’t give me that crap Castle. You two are made for each other and the only people who don’t know that is the two of you! So you better stop throwing yourself a pity party and figure out how the hell you’re gonna fix this.”
He sighed again. “You’re right.”
“Thanks for telling me Lanie.”
“Hug her for me?”
He ended the call and fought the urge to hurl his phone at the wall. God he was stupid. He’d already screwed up with her once, would she really give him a third chance? She had been reluctant to give him a second one. But he knew he didn’t really have a choice; he had to try and win her back. After all, it would be hard to make this situation any worse, even for him. They were so close, and he wouldn’t be able to forgive himself if he didn’t fight for them.
There was a knock, followed by a voice. “Rick?”
Oh crap. Shoving his phone his pocket and grabbing his laptop, he anxiously approached the door, opening it slowly.
“I thought you were never going to come out! How’s the writing coming along?”
“Not so good actually. Gina, I don’t think this is gonna work. I can’t write here, and us being here together wasn’t a good idea. I’m sorry, I know I’m the one who talked you into it, but you were right to say no. I’m going back home. You can stay if you want, but I have to go.”
“Whoa, Rick what happened? Is this about last night?”
“No, it’s something I did, and it can’t wait.”
There was a moment of quiet eye contact.
“It’s her, isn’t it? Your real life Nikki Heat?” It was more of a statement than a question.
She sighed. “Alright, go on then. I need that book, so go do whatever it is you have to do to get writing. I’ll find my own way back after the long weekend.”
“Are you sure?”
“Yes Rick, just go.”
He smiled tightly. “Thanks.”
And with that he was bounding for the door. He faltered for a moment when he burst into the bright sunlight outside, but thankfully he had a pair of sunglasses in his car. He shoved his key into the ignition and was gone, leaving a trail of burning rubber in his driveway.
A/N: I noticed I seem to have a thing for italics and 'gonna' today... not sure what that was about. Forgive me for the wait? I’ll try to get the next one out sooner. Sorry again for taking so long, I hope this was okay.