Hey Raina! I love your writing! these two are my faves! :) you would do them justice, I'm sure ;) But what's this I hear about you filling them all??! (I have no objection to this)! cop!au i’ve been undercover for months/years and i know i told you not to wait for me but i’m still in love with you and it’s killing me or, i fell in love with you while i was undercover and i know you’re mad at me for lying but i have to go back to my old life (and i want you to be in it) Best wishes Zoe xox
“cop!au i’ve been undercover for months/years and i know i told you not to wait for me but i’m still in love with you and it’s killing me.”
She walks into his book launch party with low expectations, minimal hope that he’ll notice her amidst the crowd, acknowledge her even if he does. It’s been over a year since she had seen him last, since she had kissed him goodbye on an ordinary Wednesday morning, leaning over him in bed and tasting the sleep and sunlight on his tongue. They’d had dinner reservations, no special occasion, but they had only started dating a handful of months ago and he had been eager to see her dressed up for him.
But after she had arrived at the precinct, spoken to Gates and learning she would be participating in a “simple undercover mission”, everything had changed.
She’s only talked to him once since, a rushed phone call in a back alley, a tearful goodbye that he had refused to accept.
“Castle, I - you can’t - I don’t know when I’ll come back. If I’ll ever come back.”
“You will,” he had argued fiercely. “And I’ll be here, I’ll wait for you.”
“Don’t,” she had ground out, biting back tears. “I can’t ask you-”
“You’re not asking. I’m telling.”
The door to the club her people were infiltrating creaked, voices echoing off the brick walls of the alley. “Rick, I have to-”
“I love you, Kate. Stay safe. Just stay safe.”
She still hates that the first time she hears the words since her shooting is on a burner phone, in a grimy alley; she hates that she’d had to hang up before she could say it back.
The mission had taken a full year to complete, her cover too deep for her to pull out any sooner, but the moment she is found in the woods, the moment the arrests are made and she is free of false identities and underground counterfeiting rings, her first thought is of him.
Her body is decimated from two full days of torture and she’s forced to spend time in the hospital, unconscious for hours on end as her system recuperates through IV fluids and constant medical attention. Gates is the first to show up at her bedside, the boys next, and Lanie the last.
“Castle?” she had croaked to her friend, her larynx still in fading agony from the frigid spill of ice water down her throat, into her lungs.
She had told him not to wait. But he had promised her he would and foolishly, she had clung to it.
“He’ll be so thrilled to see you again, sweetie,” Lanie had cooed, brushing her hair back from her bruised forehead. “He’s actually got his book party tonight, but I could call him-”
“No,” Kate had wheezed, ignoring her best friend’s quiet protests and sitting up in the bed. “Don’t wanna ruin that for him.”
“Kate. You would make his day, his entire year,” Lanie had insisted and it gave her hope, inclination to believe that maybe, he had kept the unfair promise after all.
“I want to go,” she rasped, grabbing Lanie’s hand on the edge of the hospital bed when she had looked as if she was about to shoot the idea down. “I - he always loved surprises and even if - I just want to see him.”
“Girl, you are so damn lucky I’m a hopeless romantic,” Lanie had huffed and together, they had devised a plan to have her out of the hospital by that evening, have her dolled up and donning a gorgeous gown befitting of a Richard Castle soirée.
“You’re a miracle worker, Lanie,” she had murmured, embracing her best friend in a long hug.
Lanie had hugged her back tight before she had pulled away, adjusted the curls of Kate’s hair in the bathroom of Lanie’s apartment. “I missed you too, honey.”
Kate dusts her fingers over the same curls self-consciously now, hoping the sweep of her bangs and the layer of makeup on her skin will hide the swell of purple consuming the left side of her forehead, the scrapes branching out from the edge of her eyebrow where the sharp fingers of the forest had reached for her when she had been readied for her execution.
A flash of red hair catches her attention, the pale moon of Alexis’s smiling cheek across the room, complimented by the midnight blue of her dress. Only a year, and his daughter has matured into a young woman, standing out amidst the sea of blondes in vibrant party dresses, and if Alexis is here, she knows her father must be near too.
Kate scans the room, smoothing her fingers over the soft, white fabric of the dress. She would have chosen something more demure, less attention drawing than the gown that clings to her curves and falls just past her knees, but she already knows that is the exact reason Lanie had picked this dress.
His book, Deadly Heat, decorates every table, has small crowds gathering around the pyramids of novels, but she can’t seem to locate the author.
“Katherine Beckett?” the familiar gasp of Martha Rodgers has her nearly toppling in her four inch heels, the first pair she’s worn in quite a while, but Kate accepts the woman’s tight embrace when she steps forward, wraps her arms around Beckett’s shoulders. “Oh my goodness, darling! Where on earth did you come from?”
His mother pulls back after only a moment, hardly long enough for Kate to even return the hug, lifting her decorated fingers to Kate’s cheeks, concern spilling through her bright blue eyes at the sight of her injuries up close.
“The hospital, actually,” Kate chuckles nervously, moving to tuck a strand of hair behind her ear before thinking better of it. “I - I don’t know how much Castle told you, but I was just extracted two days ago and it’s - I know it’s probably selfish of me to impose on his big night, but I-”
“Selfish? Oh, sweetheart,” Martha tisks, talk of an undercover mission and her hospital stay failing to faze her. “I am personally thrilled to see you, but Richard? My son is going to be ecstatic.”
Kate takes a deep breath, attempts to calm her nervous heart with Martha’s words. “Do you know where he is? I was hoping-”
“Oh, of course! I’ll take you to him. He’s in the back lounge, kind of avoiding the scene,” Martha clues her in under her breath as she takes Kate’s hand, guides her through the crowd towards a door marked ‘PRIVATE’.
Beckett’s brow furrows. “Avoiding… but I thought he loved these parties.”
Martha hesitates, but leads her through the door after being waved through by a single security guard. The room they enter is slightly smaller than the one they had just left, the lighting low, the muffled sound of the music from the party the only sound to penetrate the air, and the decorations kept to a minimal. A few of his books lie scattered across a sleek coffee table, an abandoned marker lying atop one, but it’s the man on the plush leather couch, lying with his arm thrown over his eyes, that catches her attention, steals her breath.
“Castle,” she gets out, her voice a strangled thing, but he hears it, recognizes it, and his arm immediately drops, his body instantly shifting to sit up, twist around.
“Kate?” he breathes, his eyes igniting into blue flames and his body rising with the fire.
“I’ll leave you two to get reacquainted,” Martha whispers, squeezing the bone of Kate’s shoulder before disappearing through the door, but Beckett fails to acknowledge his mother’s exit, fails to breathe without her damaged lungs snagging on the spikes of her ribs.
Castle takes a step towards her, wary, as if he doesn’t quite believe she’s truly there, but he wants to. She can see how badly he wants to. “You’re - are you back? Is it over?”
Kate swallows past the ache in her throat and nods. “I was just extracted two days ago,” she repeats, earning another step towards her. “I wanted to call you as soon as I could, but I had to stay in the hospital-”
“Hospital?” he echoes, that dazed look in his eyes clearing as he scans her face, pinpoints her injuries and finally stands close enough to touch her, to dust his fingertips to her cuts and bruises.
“Nothing serious,” she promises, her heart exalting at his proximity, his fingers on her skin. “But today was the first day I was able to think straight and Lanie told me you had a book party-”
“This your way of surprising me?” he mumbles, the corner of his mouth twitching, but struggling to form a smile, and Kate finally remembers the hands hanging limp at her sides, lifting her fingers to his lips, tracing the lines like parentheses bracketing his mouth.
“I didn’t want to ruin your book party,” she whispers, following the lines surrounding his lips to caress his jaw, skim her nails along the stubble peppering his skin.
But Castle catches her hand, cradles her palm against the line of his jaw, and shuts his eyes, inhales a deep breath that has his chest expanding, brushing against hers.
“You waited for me,” she murmurs, her eyes already stinging with the realization, her teeth snagging her bottom lip to stop it from trembling. “I told you not to.”
Rick’s eyes flutter open, an argument already on his lips, so Kate presses her thumb to the seam before it can break free.
“I told you not to, but I’m still - still so in love with you, Castle,” she confesses, her hand scaling the side of his face until her palm is draped along his cheek and his arm is twining around her waist, drawing her closer. “The entire time I was gone, you’re what got me through the worst of it, the idea of coming home to you. If you still want that-”
Castle huffs and leans in, level with her in height thanks to her heels, and she holds her breath, awaits the welcome touch of his mouth that she’s only been able to daydream about for the past year.
“I will always wait for you, Kate,” he whispers, his lips brushing, caressing hers with the words. “You’re always worth waiting for.”