May 22, 2011

 

Juxtaposition

A Castle fanfic

By Jeannine Trevizo

 

 

 

 

Spoilers, summary, etc in chapter 1

 

Author’s note: Okay – wow. This fic has been up less than 12 hours at the time I start this and there’s 45 e-mails in my mailbox. A LOT of story alerts, a lot less reviews. But still, THANK YOU for the warm welcome. Here’s the next chapter.

 

-x-

 

Chapter 2 – Twice the Pain

 

 

Beckett swiftly moved to where several uniformed officers were sheltering Martha and Alexis, the Captain’s family and her own father among the other civilians taking refuge from the unknown gunman.

 

“I have this,” Beckett told the officer and moved to Martha and Alexis, the fright in their eyes and faces obvious. “Martha, Alexis, I…”

 

“Is he alive Detective?” Martha asked as a fresh round of tears flooded Alexis’ eyes and streamed down her face, her hands holding her grandmother’s tightly.

 

“Yes. Lanie’s with them and they’re on their way to Mt. Sinai. One of the officers can take us over there, run the lights if we need to.”

 

Martha nodded, her arms holding Alexis tightly as Beckett motioned to one of the officers surrounding the area.

 

“Escort them to a patrol car and take them to Mt. Sinai – emergency room. I’ll be right behind you… wait for me,” she stated matter of factly.

 

As the officer ushered Castle’s family to a squad car, Beckett looked around, hoping to catch sight of Ryan or Esposito. She finally located Javier and rushed to him, catching his eye as she advanced.

 

“Do you have anything?”

 

“Not yet. We’re still canvassing and a crime scene team has been called in. How’s Castle?”

 

“Not good. I sent Lanie with him,” she replied, her throat tightening as she verbalized the reality of Rick’s precarious position. “I’m gonna go with Alexis and Martha to the hospital. You’ll keep me informed?”

 

Esposito nodded, acknowledging his task and her next move. But as he watched her hurry away, he found himself worried once again that on top of losing the Captain, if she lost Castle too, there wouldn’t be any more reason for her to try to do this by the book. After she’d run off to LA to locate Royce’s murderer, against Montgomery’s express orders, he had no doubt that she’d do worse if Castle bought the farm.

 

Once Beckett was in the squad car, the officer threw on the lights and sirens and headed towards the hospital at law breaking speeds. From the front seat Beckett watched the traffic part for them as the officer weaved his way through the cars, busses, cabs and trucks, headed for the best and closest surgical hospital in the area. She found herself hoping against hope that they were as good as she knew they were, because she couldn’t afford to lose Rick now.

 

In what seemed long hours yet was closer to minutes the patrol car stopped at the entryway for the emergency room and Beckett rushed inside the lobby, Alexis and Martha following in her wake. She was unclear where Rick was and zeroed in on the information station where the nurse sat to check in new patients.

 

“I’m Detective Kate Beckett. This is Richard Castle’s family. He was just brought in recently with a gunshot wound. Can you tell us where he is… how he is?”

 

“I’ll have to check Detective… give me a few minutes…”

 

At the sound of Kate’s voice, there was movement at one of the ER room doors and Lanie quickly came out, now wearing a set of blue scrubs and caught Beckett’s hand in hers, ignoring the bloody white dress glove that the detective was still wearing.

 

“They’re taking him to surgery now,” Lanie told her, her eyes showing a deep weariness that spoke volumes to her friend.

 

“How is he? Really?” Kate asked, anxiety at Rick’s condition spiking once again at the word surgery and the look on Lanie’s face

 

“The bullet cut through his back, shattered his scapula and went through his right lung before it exited.”

 

“Oh my god…” whispered Beckett, a hand flying to cover her mouth as her heart leapt in her throat and her knees threatened to buckle; the dimming horror on her face at the devastating injuries Rick had suffered on her behalf evident to her friend.

 

“Detective…” began Martha, and Kate turned around slowly, afraid of the sight that would meet her when she met the older woman’s eyes. The recriminations…

 

Beckett looked at Martha, watching how the older woman held her granddaughter close, providing her whatever support and protection she could from the news Lanie had bestowed on them. As it was, she heard the soft sobs coming from the teen and watched new tears streak Martha’s face. Yet there was no anger focused towards her, only sympathy and regret.

 

“He’s a fighter… he won’t give up,” Martha stated simply, as if somehow Beckett needed to hear it from her. “I don’t think anything could keep him from you if he has any say in it.”

 

Kate’s face flushed even as her mouth fell partially open. She’d shoved him away so many times, fought with him, and degraded his usefulness to the department… to her. Yet standing there, realizing that he could have left at any time, how Esposito had reminder her Rick really didn’t need to do any more shadowing of her for his books, how the Captain had kept Castle around because he was ‘good’ for her… She had even asked him herself, point blank why he kept coming back…

 

And the pause before he had launched into his ‘explanation’; how he’d looked at her, how he’d swallowed hard before her had told her everything she had needed to know but he’d never said.

 

He loved her.

 

Closing her eyes tightly she fought the flood of tears that simple thought prompted. And now he was fighting for his life, because he loved her.

 

“There’s nothing we can do for him right now but hope, pray and wait,” Lanie said, reaching over and tightening her grip on her friend’s shoulder, prompting her friend to open her eyes and look at her.

 

Beckett nodded and suddenly realized that a nurse had arrived and was now offering to escort them towards the surgical waiting room. Lanie joined them for the walk to another part of the floor where they would settle in for the long wait. Once there, Alexis and Martha sat together, their hands clasped together, worry lining their features. Lanie moved to pour two cups of coffee from the pot brewing in the room before she turned to see Beckett standing with her hands braced against the wall, her head lowered between them. Quickly the ME moved to her friend, offering her the coffee which Beckett ignored.

 

“You hanging in there girlfriend?” she asked lightly.

 

“He can’t die Lanie,” she said carefully, keeping her voice low so Martha and Alexis didn’t hear. “I don’t know what I’d do…”

 

Beckett found herself being overwhelmed by her emotions. Her eyes began to burn, tears forming but not falling; they blurred her vision and made her swallow convulsively, as if trying to force down the bile that was threatening to force its way up her throat.

 

The emotional storm of admitting that she didn’t know how she’d handle losing Rick threatened to overwhelm her, yet she couldn’t let herself fall apart when she needed to be strong for Martha and Alexis and she needed news on what Esposito and Ryan had found at the cemetery.

 

So instead she shoved it back, used every trick Montgomery had taught her about being a detective – detach yourself from the situation; focus on the facts of the crime. Pushing back from the wall she reached up and scrubbed her face with her hands, releasing a long breath. When she looked up and met Lanie’s eyes, she was back in control. And her goal, besides wanting Rick alive and well was to make the bastards pay that had done this to him, to Montgomery, her mother…

 

“I need to go call Esposito… find out what’s going on,” she said suddenly, making Lanie’s eyes widen and Martha’s head rise up.

 

“What about Castle? You’re not going to wait?” Lanie asked, stunned.

 

“It will only take a few minutes… I’ll be right back. I need to know…”

 

Realization dawned on Lanie’s face as well as Martha’s. Beckett was doing everything she could to not lose it, and rather than wait with Alexis and Martha for news, she was going to take action; be the person in charge rather than be a victim of the situation. Nodding, Lanie watched as Beckett pulled off her dress gloves and shoved them in a pocket before taking the cup of coffee and heading out into the hall. With a sad smile, Lanie looked back to where Alexis and Martha were now both watching the door where Beckett had just fled through and moved to sit with them.

 

In the hallway, Beckett took a long gulp of the lukewarm coffee before zeroing in of the nurse’s station. She headed towards it, her focus on convincing the nurse to let her use the phone.

 

“I’m Detective Beckett, 12th precinct. I need to call into my team at a crime scene. Can I use this phone for five minutes?” she said, her hand halfway towards the phone on the other side of the counter.

 

“Of course detective…”

 

Seconds later she had dialed Esposito’s cell number and was waiting out the first ring before the line picked up.

 

“Esposito.”

 

“Javier, it’s me,” she said simply, crisply. “What do you have?”

 

“Beckett? Aren’t you at the hospital waiting on news of Castle?” he asked, surprised.

 

“He’s in surgery. We won’t know anything for a while. In the meantime I need to know you have something. Casings, shoe prints, a description, a pate number… something we can run this guy down with.”

 

“He didn’t leave much, but what we do have sounds a lot like Lockwood. Since we know it’s not him, its not that far out to consider his boss hired from the same pool.”

 

“Then we need to start looking at Lockwood’s associates who aren’t in the morgue.”

 

“Already on it. Ryan and I will swing by the hospital and check on you guys. If you have word before then…”

 

“I’ll call. Thanks.”

 

With that she set the receiver down with a deep sigh. She knew that neither Ryan nor Esposito wanted to be still out there. Castle was their friend, their partner too. But they knew no one else would want to find this guy like they did. Still, if they weren’t out there, she couldn’t stay here…

 

“Kate!”

 

Beckett looked up at the sound of the familiar male voice and the sight of the man coming towards her threatened to break the wall of control she was tenuously holding onto. Dr. Josh Davidson was hurrying down the corridor from the OR, looking at the woman he’d heard was in the hospital from what he’d heard from several nurses about the shooting at Captain Montgomery’s funeral. He was surging towards her at the nurse’s station before she knew what was happening.

 

“Josh?” she said, stunned at his sudden appearance.

 

“Are you okay? I heard…” he said, his hands on her, assessing her and assuring himself that she was alright.

 

She felt her heart twisting in regret and dismay as this wonderful man whom she knew loved her checked that she was uninjured, but he didn’t realize that the wounds she had were in her heart and soul. He’d always thought that he’d had a fair shot at making a life with her; he had no clue that she had been using as a shield against Castle all this time. She swallowed hard and forced herself to tell him the painful truth.

 

“It’s Rick,” she said as she moved to catch his hands in hers, ignoring the questioning look on his face at her words. “Castle. He was shot. He saved my life and… Josh, I need you to do something for me…”

 

“Anything. What?”

 

“I need to make sure he lives. I need to you save him.”

 

He looked at her now perplexed, his face gaping but his eyes blazing with emotion.

 

“Kate, I’m sure he has the best surgeons in the hospital… he doesn’t need me in there trying to pull rank and disrupting things…” he demurred, feeling that he needed to be with Kate rather than doing surgery on Castle.

 

“Okay then,” she vacillated, then pushed with closer to the truth with her revised request. “I need you to go in there and make sure they’re doing everything they can then. I… I… he can’t die Josh…  I can’t let him…”

 

The way her voice cracked on the last word, and the way she was looking at him as if the world was falling apart made him stagger back a step. He’d always worried that Castle was too close to her, that there was more to the friendship the writer had with Kate. But now…

 

“You love him…” he breathed, awe tingeing his tone.

 

She closed her eyes and dropped her head. Somewhere in her head she had always known this moment would be painful yet she’d hoped that when she ended things with Josh it would be an amicable parting. She’d never imagined that it would be on the heels of the pain of watching Rick bleed out before her eyes. Gathering her strength, she raised her head and looked up at him, her eyes reflecting the steel in her resolve at the same time they showed love and remorse.

 

“Yes.”

 

This time it was Josh’s head that lowered, and he struggled not to curse as his hands tightened around hers. He wanted to fight, to tell her no, that he wasn’t going to help Castle or lose her. But the look in her eyes said she was already gone. And if he denied helping Castle, he’d only look petty. If he was going to lose to the mystery writer, he was at least going to do so against a living being rather than a ghost.

 

“Alright, I’ll see if I can scrub in. And if need be, I’ll step in to make sure he makes it,” he said tightly as he lifted his head up to catch her eyes.

 

“Thank you,” she said tearfully, her voice sounding rough with unshed tears as she squeezed his hands, “and, I’m sorry.”

 

“So am I.”

 

With that he let go of her hands and turned around headed for the OR to locate Castle’s surgery and keep his vow to Kate. As Beckett watched him go she felt her heart ache even further as she mourned not only how she’d ended up dissolving her relationship with Josh but struggled with the continuing fear of losing the man she loved.

 

End Chapter 2