Moon In Scorpio

Chapter 76

"And is that what you want to base this … this thing we have …" waving her hands between them "..on? The other day you told me that you hoped we'd be having that conversation in a year or two's time … and what will you do as far as your daughter's concerned, tell her that the whole thing was a lie … or are we supposed to live the lie for the rest of our lives?"

Despite his concern at the turn in events, Castle can't help clinging onto the last few words she's uttered, quickly storing them away for future consideration. But he really needs to get his act together and it's not fair, he hasn't had his coffee, its Sunday morning and he's having to deal with a potential minefield where one wrong step can blow his legs from under him … two wrong steps could blow the whole thing into kingdom come. He doesn't have any more chances … he either gets this right or he's going to be regretting this for the foreseeable future!

"I'm sorry Kate, that was thoughtless and you're right, I'd be placing us all in a terrible position, I'm sorry, really I am", he waits, hoping for some sign that he can still get them through to the other side. There's no reaction, but at least she's still sitting there, neither closer nor further away, but he may still have a chance after all. Only this time he'd better think it through before blurting out whatever he comes up with. He thinks about edging closer to her, trying to offer his apology and his support, but he's not sure that that is a good move and so, although it goes against his instincts, he remains where he is, desperately running ideas through his mind, trying to come up with a suitable solution.

Lies are obviously out, she's made that abundantly clear, and the truth, at least at this moment in time is obviously a no-no, so that really only leaves omission; something that can be explained later on, but can be conveniently swept under the carpet at the present. And it has to cover her activities, her injuries … although those have already been dealt with in a lie, which is why he's finding it so confusing … and yet understandable in a way.

Ok, so they have to go with the bike crash, it's already out there and they are both going to have to live with the secret of the real reason … which probably explains why Kate's so against adding further to that. Both his mother and daughter knew he'd been out on several nights a few weeks ago when he'd been trying to track Kate down, he'd checked that Martha would be in to look after Alexis, he'd told them it was research, even if his mother did raise sceptical eyebrows … "When you told Alexis about the bike crash …" he starts hesitatingly, terrified that he might say the wrong thing "… did you mention if it was day or night?"

Her stillness scares him, she hasn't stirred since she edged away, only the occasional rise and fall of her shoulders as she breathes and whitened knuckles where one hand is wrapped around the thumb of the other tells him she's still in there with him. There's a pause and then a slight shake of the head … she's refusing to look at him, but at least she hasn't run out the room.

Ok, so maybe he happened to come across her after her 'accident' … close enough to the truth there …. and he'd helped her, had wanted to take her to the hospital, but when she'd refused he'd felt that the only thing to do was bring her back here to treat her wounds … at first she'd been reluctant, but Richard Castle was a knight in shining armour … not to her, but to himself … and so he'd insisted … that wouldn't surprise either his mother or his daughter … and then she'd almost passed out and so he'd offered her the spare room for the night … and of course, being the knight he was he'd arranged to have her bike picked up and repaired by Crown Cars …. only he'd have made the call from the car, at the scene of her crash, not the following day … can't leave a supposedly smashed bike lying on a street overnight and expect the police to ignore it ... and during their conversations, he'd become intrigued by her … that wouldn't surprise any of them, and in fact was very much a part of the truth … and then he'd discovered she has a vast knowledge about security … careful … this is where it becomes sticky … can't lie about this, can't tell the truth either ….

She studied law in Stanford for a year … not really anything there to base it on … so, a hobby … no, no good … her mother! Something about her murder, something they can't go into detail on … she's been researching it … he doesn't like it … it's too close to a lie, too close to the inevitable false step in the minefield. He lets out a frustrated grunt.

Kate's been silent, at first it was anger, anger that he would put her through perpetrating a lie, anger that he didn't realise how much she'd been hurt by his daughter's assumptions, angered by the fact that he seemed to be treating the whole thing like an adventure … not like what it was, her life, her need for justice …. her deep-set guilt at the life she was leading … it had taken several minutes of silence before she had been able to reluctantly admit the last … yes, she hated that she could not be the up-front, legal, honest person she had been brought up to be. The route she'd chosen had seemed the only one available to her at the time, but over the last few weeks she'd begun to realise how her choice was fucking up her future … if she had one … with the writer. Would she always feel this inadequate, this much of a pariah, where every word, every action had to be filtered to make sure she didn't betray herself! She hadn't realised how much she would be affected by this till this morning, till she had been unable to tell his daughter the truth.

Her instinct is to run, to get out of here, to go back to her world of dark, unfulfilling loneliness … yes she can admit it now, at least to herself, she's no longer a twenty-two year old avenger, she's a woman in her thirties with nothing to show for the life she's led. Ten years down the line she's really no further forward that she was when she started, no closer to trapping and punishing those responsible for her mother's murder. If something were to happen to her, who would shed a tear … her Dad, Lanie … no one else … well at least … that would have been true up to a few weeks ago … now, would Castle shed tears for her? Remember her long after she's gone …. ?

The thought makes her turn her head slightly, look at him out of the corner of her eye. She notices his furrowed brow for the first time, the look of concentration on his face, the twitching of his eyes as he chases his thoughts around his head. She wonders what he's thinking, wonders if he's wishing they'd never met … watches him intently when he emits a frustrated grunt.

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