Kate's shoulders slumped as soon as they crossed the threshold into her room. He felt bad that she was having to put on a mask with his family, but he was glad that she didn't have to be that way with him. She was finally letting him see her in pain and weakness. He suspected it had more to do with the fact that she wasn't physically capable of keeping the wall up any longer, than it did with any conscious effort she was making.
He wheeled her over to the door and stopped. He collected a glass of water and her pain pills, along with a blanket before opening the door. He juggled the supplies he had collected and pushed her through the door and put it all down on the railing.
The balcony was small and set apart a few feet from the deck attached to the rest of the house. Most of the space was taken by the biggest and most comfortable looking lounge chair Kate had ever seen. It was the size of a double bed, at least, and looked even more comfortable than her bed at home. The rest of the small space was taken up by flowers. There were vines along the railings, which were filled with beautiful pink blooms and there were a few pots scattered around filled with daisies and violets and tulips.
"Your own personal garden." Castle grinned as if he had won the lottery when her hand slipped out to caress a particularly big daisy in the pot closest to her. He came to stand in front of her and handed her the cup and the pills.
"I'm fine, Castle." She defiantly crossed her arms and sat back in her chair.
"Kate, you need to take the medicine. I can see that you are in pain and I hate it. There is no reason for you to sit there and suffer. You've had a very long day and I want you to be able to get some rest. Pleas, just…just don't fight me on this okay. I can't just sit back and watch you be in pain." The look on his face was all the convincing she needed, but she let him wait a few seconds before she reluctantly plucked the pills out of his hand and took them with a few sips of water.
Before she even knew what was happening she was in his arms. It was quickly becoming her favorite place to be, even if she did hate the situation she was in, she always felt safest and happiest when he held her against his chest.
It was over too soon as he gently placed her on the chair. Her assessment had been right, it was insanely comfortable. He swung the blanket over her dramatically and came to sit next to her, their hips touching even though there was plenty of room.
"Really, Castle, I am fine. You have done way too much for me already. You should go in and be with your family. I can manage out here for a bit. Or, better yet, you can just put me in bed and I'll be fine until morning. I probably won't last long after the pills anyway." She looked down at her hands and he knew she didn't mean it.
She felt guilty about taking his time and using his recourses. And, yes, the little garden on her porch may have been a bit overboard, but he knew she secretly loved flowers. It was another one of the hundreds of surprising little things he was learning about her. She loved to be in the little garden at the rehab facility. Even when she wasn't speaking to him he would sometimes come to visit her as she sat alone among the flowers. The nurses said that she demanded to be brought out to the garden and then chased the poor nurses away so she could be alone.
He thought she might enjoy a bit of that here. He knew that she was having trouble with all of this, especially him rearranging things around her, but he just couldn't resist. What was the point of being rich if you can't spoil the people you love?
"I have all night to spend with them, I actually have a little movie marathon all set up with Alexis. It's tradition. She said she wanted to talk to Ashley for a while after dinner. I have some time. I don't want you to worry about a thing, okay."
She nodded her head and relaxed into the cushions. The stars were just coming out and they were beautiful. She didn't know how long they both sat there enjoying the night.
It was one of the only things she disliked about the city, not being able to see the stars. Out here the entire sky was filled and it reminded her of summer weekends spent in the cabin with her family. Her parents would sit snuggled up together on the porch swing while she ran around catching fireflies until she finally wore herself out and settled down in the grass to observe the stars.
"They really are beautiful aren't they?" Castle's voice cut through the silence.
He glanced over and watched her observe the stars. She was gorgeous in the darkness with her face upturned. She didn't have a stich of makeup on and her hair was still in a messy bun from the morning, but it didn't matter. She was always beautiful and he couldn't help but admire her.
"Still creepy, Castle." He chuckled and her head fell to his shoulder. He looked down at her and found her struggling to stay awake. He didn't dare even breathe for fear that she would spook and pull away.
He sat there looking up at the stars and enjoying the weight of her against him. After a few minutes he could feel her getting heavier as the medicine took effect and he carefully maneuvered her so that she was laying with her head pillowed on his chest in a way that would not aggravate her injuries. Once he had her settled he felt her snuggle up to him and bury her head deeper into his chest.
He could have sworn he had died and gone to heaven laying there under the stars with Kate Beckett in his arms. It was the perfect moment.
She slowly fell asleep in his arms and he let her. He didn't know how long they laid there, he just kept his arms securely around her and let her sleep. He alternated between admiring the stars and admiring her.
'If I could just do this every night," he thought, 'If I could do this every night for the rest of our lives I would never ask for anything more.'
He had once imagined a tiny girl with brown curly hair and deep green eyes alongside an imaginative little boy with shaggy hair and her smile. He had seen her in a white dress and them in a house in the city with a dog and the kids. That had all changed the minute the sniper pulled the trigger.
At first, he was sad. Not for himself, or for his fantasy family, but for her. He was devastated that she would never be able to have children or walk down the aisle. Even more so that they would never experience those things together as he had always imagined.
But now he knew better. Now he was just thankful to have her here with him. Ring or no ring, kids or no kids, he could care less as long as they were together, or at least headed that way. He didn't really know what they were to each other or what she thought of all of these changes in their relationship, but he knew that would all come in time. Right now, he just wanted to enjoy the steady rise and fall of her chest against him and her strong heartbeat against his side.
After a while, he decided it was time to move. Alexis was probably done with her call and Kate needed to be moved into her own bed. He knew there was no point in waking her up to wash her face or change her clothes, she was down for the count after her medication.
He moved her slowly off of him and stood up carefully as not to jostle her. He went around to where she lay and picked her up with an arm across her back and one under her knees. He didn't even bother with the chair, just carried her all the way to bed.
He pulled back the covers and laid her down on the sheets and wrapped the heating blanket around her before tucking her in the covers. He made sure her phone was on the pillow beside her so that she could call if she woke up alone and turned off the light.Before he left the room he bent down and pressed a light kiss to her hair.