Rating: K+ (very minor swearing)
Type: Castle, Caskett
Spoilers: Major spoilers for 3x03, definitely watch that first.
Disclaimer: Unless I win a REALLY big lottery, none of the characters in this are or ever will be mine lol.
Summary: Post-ep fic for 3x03. Angst with a little fluff for good measure. One-shot.
A/N: So, I couldn’t sleep last night and I just kept replaying that one scene where Kate was on the phone with Royce over and over in my head and I just couldn’t get past it. It was a bit of a painful reminder of a phone call I was on her end of a few years back (see my A/N at the bottom of Chapter 1 of Wake Up Call if you want a bit more detail on that) and I decided I had to do something with it. I swear not all my fics are about that and all angsty lol. Originally I wasn’t going to include the treasure hunt at all but I changed my mind and threw it in there for theaquamarine.
They were back on the hunt, and he had a really good feeling about it this time. They had the right location now, he was sure of it. He felt like a kid on Christmas morning. Most kids dream of being on a real treasure hunt but never get closer than an Easter egg hunt, and here they were on a search for a real buried treasure of stolen jewels worth millions. Several times he wrestled with the notion of talking like a pirate, but he was getting a vibe that Kate wasn’t in a laughing mood and thus decided against it. He kept glancing over at her as she drove, trying to see if she was as excited as he was, but her eyes never left the road.
Once they arrived, however, he saw the spark instantly return to her and the anticipation begin to show on her face. Adrenalin racing, they hurried through the graves. Though the urgency was technically gone, they both still felt it just as strongly. In minutes they arrived at the place, and a small part of him almost expected it to be marked with an X. But of course, it wouldn’t be very well hidden if that were the case. The curiosity was killing him but he hesitated, waiting for her to give him the go ahead. She took a deep breath and nodded, and both shovels pierced the turf. Between the two of them the work went fairly quickly and he was beginning to get concerned that maybe he got the numbers the wrong way around. They had dug pretty deep already and there was no sign of the buried fortune.
Just as the thought crossed his mind, he heard Kate’s shovel clink in contact with something. They both froze, looking at one another with wide eyes. Time seemed to stand still for a minute, and then they both attacked the ground frantically with their shovels, sending dirt flying through the air haphazardly. A metal box began to appear through the soil and they both dropped to hands and knees, sweeping the loose dirt aside and taking hold of the small metal handle on their respective sides of the box. For a moment they struggled and then the ground gave way to the box.
Rick climbed out of the hole first, Kate passing the box and shovels up to him before he reached down to help her up. He knew she didn’t need a hand, but he couldn’t stop the instinct to offer one. She gave him an odd look but accepted his help anyways, much to his delight. He was seeing several new layers of the Beckett onion today, though some were under less than ideal circumstances.
Once they were both safely on the grass they turned to the box and were faced with an unexpected complication: there was a combination lock.
“You’ve got to be kidding me”, he groaned.
Kate, on the other hand, didn’t seem fazed at all. Grabbing a shovel she stood and eyed the lock. He jumped when the first strike connected. With a couple more precise hits, the hook of the lock snapped. He made a mental note to remember this moment for Nikki Heat. She kneeled back down beside him and they both stared eagerly at the box.
“You open it.”
She looked over at him in surprise. “You’re the one who figured out the map and where it was buried, don’t you want to open it?”
“It’s your case.”
“Since when does that stop you from doing anything?”
He had to admit; she had him there. “Fine, we’ll both open it.”
She rolled her eyes but placed her hand on one side of the lid. He did the same and held her gaze.
“Ready?” He waited for her nod before continuing. “On three. One… two…. three.”
And there they were, glinting in the moonlight; the stolen jewels.
With a girlish squeal he had never heard from her before, Kate flung her arms around him. For a split second he was too stunned to react but he quickly returned the embrace, instinctually pulling her as close as he could while they were still kneeling. It was over much too soon, but he knew that brief memory of how it felt to hold the elusive Kate Beckett would take up permanent residence in his mind.
They filled in the hole and set off towards the car, Kate carrying the shovels and Castle following behind with the box. He was secretly a little proud that she trusted him with it. Of course, she did have a gun and could most likely out run him, but he tried not to let that factor into the equation. The drive back to the precinct was silent, again her eyes never leaving the road. But this time, when he snuck a glance at her, there was the hint of a smile on her face.
After they’d taken the box inside Castle had asked her to come over for a celebratory drink but she declined. She knew he was disappointed, but she really didn’t feel like company. Now that the adrenalin rush was fading, she kind of wanted to be alone for a while; no one to ask questions she didn’t want to answer or bring unwanted thoughts to mind. She told him she wanted to get to the paperwork while everything was fresh in her mind. It wasn’t really a lie; after a quick shower in the gym locker room and throwing on the spare clothes she always kept in her car, she had in fact sat at her desk and tackled the paperwork.
The precinct was nearly deserted on her floor with only the night shift workers coming and going. There were nearly no voices in the air, nearly no phones ringing, and just the occasional sound of footsteps in the hallways. And her paperwork was done. With nothing to distract her and no work left to pass the time, the silence was deafening and in that quietness she felt the weight of what had transpired that day closing in on her. Suddenly being alone seemed much less comforting.
She pulled out her cell phone and stared at the blank screen. She shouldn’t call. She really shouldn’t. But she really wanted to. It was quite late now, but for some reason she didn’t think he’d be sleeping. But she certainly didn’t want to wake Alexis and Martha. No, she couldn’t call. She could text though. That wouldn’t wake anyone if they were all sleeping, there was no tone of voice to convey emotion, and she could be vague enough that if he was sleeping, in the morning she could say it was nothing. Yes, that’s what she would do.
Are you awake?
The response was delayed by no more than a few seconds.
Yeah, what’s up?
Still up for that drink?
I’m leaving work now. Meet me at my place.
See you there.
She hoped this wasn’t a mistake. A big part of her was screaming that it was, but the other part was weak and begging for a friend. She thought about calling Lanie, but then she’d have to recount the whole story and Lanie might not even be home. She’d hate to interrupt her friend with a needy phone call if she was on a date or something. Maybe she was working tonight. Kate couldn’t remember. Either way, it didn’t matter now. What’s done was done.
Castle was a little apprehensive as he approached Kate’s door. It was rather unlike her to invite him over so late, especially after she had already told him no. He hadn’t felt right about leaving earlier but he knew better than to push her. He raised a hand and knocked lightly on the door. Traffic in New York is never good, but an accident near his block had it backed up worse than usual, so he knew she must have beaten him here. Her footsteps approach the door and he heard the chain lock slide across, but the door didn’t open. The footsteps retreated and he was at a bit of a loss. She unlocked the door, so she must want him to come in…. right? Hesitantly he reached out and turned the knob, gently pushing the door open.
It took him a minute to spot her. All the lights were off and only the soft light coming through the open blinds highlighted the couch where she sat, facing the window with her back to him. Glass of wine in one hand and feet up on the coffee table she just looked out the window at the sporadic pattern of light and dark windows along the building across from her. He sat down next to her but she didn’t move and he made no move to touch her. He leaned back against the cushions and joined her in the aimless city watching.
No one spoke for a long time, but he waited patiently. He knew she would say whatever she wanted him there to hear as soon as she was ready.
“I lied to you.” Her voice was so quiet in the sparsely furnished room.
She didn’t turn to face him when she spoke, so he remained facing front as well. “When?”
“Today.” After a pause she added, “at the precinct.”
He didn’t need to replay the day in his mind to know what she meant. He had suspected it was a lie when she said it, but she had a damn good poker face. “About the phone call.” He intended for it to be a question but it came out more like a statement.
“Yes and no.”
She looked at him then. “How is it that we can know someone so well, and then not know them at all?”
“I wish I had the answer.”
“Was it all just an act, the whole time? Was it always there and I just never saw it?”
“I don’t think so. He cared about you.”
She sniffled “Then why?”
“I don’t know.”
The tears finally overpowered her, flowing feely down her face and leaving moonlit silver lines in their wake. He put his arm around her and felt her tense, but he simply drew her in closer to his side. She fought it at first, as he expected her to, but it wasn’t long before her head was resting on his shoulder with one hand clutching at his shirt. He held her and stroked her arm while she cried. There was nothing he could say to make it any better and was afraid anything he did say would make it worse. Maybe for now it was enough to just be.
He had no idea how long they sat there like that, but he didn’t dare move until she gone quiet and her breathing was even. Even then he waited, not wanting to jostle her awake. If not for the cramp in his leg, he probably would have sat there all night if it meant she would sleep well. But eventually he slowly got to his feet, picking her up as carefully as possible and tiptoeing down the hallway to her room. He pulled the blankets back and gently set her down on the bed, making sure to tuck her in before he left. But as he turned to go, her hand caught his wrist. When he looked back over his shoulder, her eyes were still closed.
It was barely a whisper, but he caught it. Without a second though he slipped under the covers and lay down beside her. He was surprised to say the least when she reached back to grab his arm and drape it over her. She went back to sleep quickly but he kept his eyes open as long as he could, just taking it in; the warmth of her body, the cherry scent in her hair, how small she felt lying next to him. He knew it would all be gone in the morning.
When he woke, the sheets were cold beside him and Kate was nowhere to be seen. Though he would have loved to wake up next to her, he knew better than to think it would happen. He zipped back to his apartment to change and resumed his daily routine as usual, arriving at the precinct only fifteen minutes later than usual. Kate was looking through a folder at her desk so he went straight to his chair beside it, setting a cup of coffee down in front of her as he sat.
She looked up at the sound of the cup on the desk. “Thanks, Castle.” They maintained eye contact for several more seconds before she finally dropped her gaze back to the folder in front of her. “And thanks for the coffee.”
A/N: So that’s my little addition to this week’s ep. Nothing too substantial, but it kept circling in my head begging to be written. Hope you enjoyed it!