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Castle Ficlet: Waiting to Hope 1/1

Waiting to Hope


I’ve had this in my head since a couple of days after the finale, and I’m happy that I was able to get it out in time for CastleFanficMonday.

The moment his phone vibrates in his pocket, breaking the pre-meeting silence, he knows something is wrong. He isn’t one to get many calls when he’s overseas, and the fact that it’s barely eight thirty in New York only cements the dread building in his belly.

“Jim Beckett?”

It’s polite, official, and his heart jumps into his throat, strangling his response.

“This is Jim.”

“Mr. Beckett, this is Dr. Bird from New York Presbyterian Hospital. You’re listed as an emergency contact for Katherine Beckett?”

Oh god, Katie.

“I - yes, I am. But her husband -”

“Is unavailable. Which is why we’re calling you. Now, I know this will be tough to hear, but -”

The rest is a blur; he makes every attempt to listen, to understand what this doctor is telling him about his daughter, but the words ‘shot’ and 'emergency surgery’ are enough to drown out everything else. Consent to do whatever they need to do falls out of his mouth without hesitation and the call disconnects long before he registers that the doctor is gone.

His hands tremble as he smooths his palms over his slacks, looking around the empty conference room. This client meeting is important for the firm, but he can’t stay any longer. Not with his daughter fighting for her life back in New York and Rick - his son-in-law - unavailable.

He’s been a lawyer long enough to be able to read between the lines. If Rick isn’t there to make medical decisions for Katie, then he’s in trouble too. There is no way he would be anywhere other than his wife’s side if it were possible. Not after everything they had been through in the last few months.

“Jim? What is it?”

Clearing his throat, he lifts his head to find his associate in the doorway to the empty conference room.

“I - I’m sorry, Dan. I need to go. My daughter - the hospital - I need to get back to New York.”

Dan nods, stepping forward to help him out of the chair he doesn’t even remember collapsing into. “Of course. I’ll handle things here and let Stephen know. Take a cab, call the airline, put it on the company card if it gets you the seat.”

“Alright. I’ll reimburse everything if it comes to that.”

“You won’t. Go back to the hotel and get what you need, then get out of here.”

It isn’t until he’s in the cab, fidgeting and fighting the urge to ask the driver if it’s possible to go faster, that it occurs to him to call Rick’s mother. Surely Martha knows something. Surely Martha is able to be there while he spends the next nine hours in an airport and crammed onto a plane.

As his finger hovers over her contact information, the woman’s photo pops up and the handset buzzes against his palm.

She’s calling him.

He doesn’t waste time on pleasantries. Rude as it may be, he’s sure Martha will forgive his lack of manners.

“Martha, what the hell is happening? How the hell was my daughter shot? And where is Rick?”

“They were both shot, Jim. Kevin and Javier found them at home and they had been - the doctors won’t tell me anything about Katherine, but Richard - it may have hit his lung. They’re both in surgery, that’s all I know.” Even the best acting training can’t keep the tremor from Martha’s voice.

Oh God.

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