Chapter 1 of 1
Rick checked to see that Kate was busy with the shampoos. She didn’t like grocery shopping and usually he went alone. He didn’t mind. He liked taking care of his family. The boys made fun of him. Called him the housewife. Maybe he was different for being raised by a single mother, he didn’t know and didn’t care, because while he loved working at the twelfth and loved being a writer he always knew that in one of those ‘define yourself in one word’ questions, up until a few years ago, he would say father. Now he would say father and husband.
So he didn’t mind being the house-husband. Being the one who made sure everyone ate (he knew that if left up to Kate she would just exist in coffee), that everyone had their comforts. He worried about his mother and daughter living alone. Alexis back in the dorms – “This is my last year dad. I should have gone back last year. But I didn’t want to be away from you after your disappearance”. – and his mother on her brand new apartment. No matter how much he teased, how much she drove him nuts, there had been a certain peace of knowing where she was, how she was and what she was doing. Was she living off wine now? Much like Kate would live off coffee. He shook his wondering thoughts. He was on a mission, and as Murphy’s law would dictate, today of all days Kate decided she needed to change shampoos and wanted to come with him. But that was okay. He had a plan. He would hide the ingredients on the bottom of other things and would bundle them all together when paying and then he would, of course, be the gentlemen and move quickly to pack the bags, hiding the incriminating evidence. So, where was the flour, the special one he liked? This had to be the cupcakes to rule all cupcakes. Only the best for his Captain. He crouched to get a better look at the packages not even registering the infuriated mountain of muscles heading his way.
He couldn’t believe what he had just witnessed. Yes, unconsciously he had known that that man was the reason she broke up with him. Yes, he had somehow wondered if they’d ended up together. He made sure to avoid any news regarding the asshole in the four year he spent abroad and then… On his very first day back home. As he went to buy some very missed comfort food he had to run into them? Making gooey eyes at each other and kissing! Gah, kissing as they separated each to an aisle. Josh was livid. He was a doctor! He saved lives and that idiot! What did he do? He ran after her like a puppy. Put her life in danger and she marries him? Yes, he did not miss the wedding rings. That, that, gah! What did she see in him? For crying out loud! Dr. Josh Davidson saw red. Much like he had the last time he had interacted with the writer. And much like last time, he didn’t think. Just reacted. His body automatically grabbed one of the baseball bats from a container on the sports session and walked towards the writer while the idiot was unaware choosing flour! Really, flour! He swung the bat never giving the writer a chance to react. The second blow came as the disoriented writer tried to make sense of what was happening and why he hurt so much.
Kate smiled as she watched her husband walk away. He thought he was so smooth, but she knew his tells. He was up to something. Silly man. She would let him have his secrets. She wasn’t dumb. Tomorrow was her first day as Captain of the twelfth and she knew he had to be planning a surprise. That was just who he was. She wouldn’t be surprised if he handed her a lunch bag and a thermos with coffee tomorrow since he wouldn’t be there to keep her fed and caffeinated. Her chest constricted. She knew that they were evolving, growing on their respective careers and that her role would be more bureaucratic now. Expecting him to just seat there and watch her do paperwork was too much, but she would so miss him. She wasn’t completely naïve either. She knew why he wanted her to get used to them being separated during the day like this. In small doses. She had instructed the boys that Richard Castle Investigations could be called for consults. So he would still be working cases every now and then. Just less frequently. And that way they would get used to being apart during the day, so that when the time came for the little bundle of joy they’d been talking about to enter the world he would be able to be a stay at home dad without having to cut both of them of their precinct time cold turkey. There was a logic, but that didn’t make the thought of being apart any easier.
“This way we’ll be able to tell each other stories of our days. I’ll tell you about the cheating husbands I had to follow and you’ll tell me of all those exciting meetings at 1PP of how much Gates misses me,” he had winked at her. She shook her head at the memory as she perused the shampoos in this late afternoon. She really needed a new one. She was examining two bottles as she heard the scream that pierced the store. She dropped the bottles and automatically reached for her gun as she ran towards the screaming woman who had attracted everyone’s attention. She wasn’t the only one. There were two security guards already reaching the enraged man swinging a bat. As she saw him from behind, she registered a vague familiarity but her heart jumped as she recognized the figure on the floor bloodied and still receiving blows.
“Police! Stop or I’ll shoot!” she yelled ferociously but the man did not stop and she was about to shoot when the guards who had been a fraction of a second faster than her, because they were closer, pulled the man from her husband, disarming him. She ran towards Rick holstering her weapon and vaguely hearing the “Kate, he ruined everything,” from the man struggling under both guards.
“Rick,” she knelt over her husband who looked at her with glassy eyes.
“Ka-“ he didn’t manage to finish the sentence and she ran a hand through his face getting blood on her hands.
“Sh, help’s on the way okay. You just stay with me, okay,” and she couldn’t help but remember a time he said those words to her.
“I’ve called 911,” a voice said from behind. “They’re sending the paramedics and the cops. They should be here any moment now.” Kate nodded numbly. “What a psycho,” the voice mumbled and for a second she took her eyes from her husband to look at the psycho who was being hauled away from them and was still calling her name.
“Kate, how could you? After all he’s done!” and her eyes widened in shock. Josh. Josh, who she hadn’t seen or, quite frankly, thought of in years. Why did he attack Rick? What had Rick ever done to him except swallow down his love to respect the fact that she was with Josh? Granted, he called him Dr. Motorcycle Boy, the guy wasn’t a saint after all, but still. Josh never knew that.
A moan from Rick called back her attention. Rick needed her and frankly, Josh didn’t deserve a second of her attention. She heard the sirens. “Hear that babe, just hold on okay. Help’s almost here.”
“lway,” he slurred before closing his eyes.
“Rick, no! Open your eyes!” she screamed as one of the paramedics gently moved her to start working on her husband. What happened next was a blur and she couldn’t really tell how they ended up in the hospital or how Martha and Alexis ended up framing her in the waiting area, or when the boys, her dad and Laine showed up. All she can remember is when the doctor came and told them that despite his many injuries he expected Rick to make a full recovery. A slow recovery but a full one. He wanted to keep him for a couple of days. The first impact had been to his head and they wanted to make sure the medication was acting correctly and there was no internal bleeding.
She vaguely remembers Martha and Alexis walking her to his room and hours later saying goodbye with the first rays of light as she looked at her sleeping husband. He had shortly regained conscience during the night but had fallen asleep quickly. The doctors said that was normal. He was under heavy pain medication and they didn’t expect him to be awake for more than a few minutes at least until tomorrow.
She leaned her head on the bed and grabbed the hand that wasn’t in a cast. He had tried to defend himself with his dominant hand and the bat had come down hard and broken it. He was in for a long haul of physical therapy but the doctors were confident he would recover. She had to remember that as she saw the bruises and bandages.
Her phone rang and she quickly answered without looking at the caller ID, lest the noise wake Rick.
“Beckett,” she answered.
“This is an emergency alert classification protocol 7. There is no time, rendezvous at the Hill theater. Come alone. Tell no one.”
She instantly recognized the code from her time at the AG’s office and was almost out of her chair when the sight of her battered husband stopped her. What was she doing? She wasn’t with the AG’s anymore and she almost left her injured husband’s side. Her husband who was attacked by her crazy ex-boyfriend. She took a deep breath and followed protocol. NYPD protocol.
“I will pass ahead your message to the AG’s office and have officers meet you there.”
“What, no! I said come alone! Tell no one!”
“Mister,” she said firmly but calmly, “I am not with the AG’s office anymore and if you are who you say you are,” she assumed he was with the AG’s since he knew the code, “you should not mind a police escort coming to help you. I will send them to the address you gave me and I will contact the AG’s office letting them know. Now let me do my job.”
She hung up and called Javi explaining the situation. He told her not to worry, he would contact the AG’s office, head the SWAT extraction team himself and hold the fort. She should stay with Castle.
Her phone rang again, a blocked number. The same voice from before.
“Captain. You don’t understand. This is about Senator Bracken.”
“Bracken is in jail and is not going anywhere. The police escort is on their way. So you either stay put because you are legit or you get arrested for trying to ambush a police Captain. Your choice,” and she hung up. Really. Bracken! Who did this guy think she was?
“She won’t come?” one of the armed men asked.
“No,” the Indian man holding the phone said. “How am I supposed to gain her trust and infiltrate her precinct now?”
“We’ll talk to the boss. But we gotta move. We’re not equipped to deal with SWAT.”
Later that day a man’s voice was heard over the phone. “She didn’t bite when you told her about Bracken?” as he heard the response, “Well then, she might not be as much of a threat as we previously thought, and with her husband not remembering us… We’ll keep an eye on them. But let’s not call any unnecessary attention to us by killing Nikki Heat and her writer. As long as they stay away from us, we can let them be. I didn’t stay hidden all this time because I don’t know when to back off. Really, Bracken could have learned a lesson or two from me. A snipper at a Police Captain’s funeral’s! It was like he was asking for the attention of the media!”
And that was how, despite causing Rick a lot of pain and the need for physical therapy and landing himself in jail, Dr. Motorcycle Boy saved the Castle’s from LockSat.