Vignettes prompt: Castle gets tattoo
“Oh my God, Castle, what did you do?”
She has to catch him when he falls out of the elevator and into her, and she takes a step back to keep the doors from hitting him. She cups the back of his head, afraid he might actually crash into the walls right here in their hall.
“Sorry,” he slurs. “Had to be drunk.”
“Had to.” She sighs as he lurches on his feet, but she manages to right him again, get him moving down the hall. “Makes it sound like you had no choice.”
“Not exactly. They’re very persuasive. They have fists. And guns.”
Kate narrows her eyes at him even as she pushes open their front door. “I told you not to agree to this.”
“Did you forget the part with guns?” he whines.
“You should’ve stayed away from them, Castle. Rita and Jackson Hunt - they do not have your best interests at heart. They’re the reason for-”
Kate stops short as she notices the wide bandage across his forearm, half hidden by the rolled cuff of his plaid shirt. She yanks the sleeve up and he yelps, staggering in the entryway.
“Ow, Beckett, ow ow ow.”
“What did you do?”
“It was an honor,” he starts, his eyes that blurry earnestness that comes when he’s drunk. “Really, an honor that they think of me as a comrade in arms so to speak.”
“Oh, no.” Kate cradles his forearm in one hand and peels up the clear surgical tape with her fingers.
Bold black ink, almost violent in the lamp light. Blood red. Unnatural blue.
“It’s really for you,” he mumbles, pitching forward into her as he trips over his feet.
She catches his shoulder, easing his descent but unable to stop their slow collapse to the couch. Castle tries to wrap both arms around her and nuzzle into her neck, but she keeps his freshly inked arm held away.
“Castle,” she sighs.
It’s a rook from a chess set, but carved into its ebony surface are her initials.
Like she did in her old place, claiming her time and space and work there.
But he doesn’t know that. He just-
“Castle, why did you do this?”
“I just love you,” he sighs, and his whole body sinks into the couch cushions. His eyes slip shut only to flutter open, stare at her with that dreamy happiness. “And my - dad - said all the guys in his unit got tattoos with their girls’ names on them.”
“Oh, Rick,” she murmurs, stroking her fingers through the flop of hair on his forehead. His eyes fall shut at her touch. She leans in and kisses his brow. “Lucky for you, you have the money to get it lasered off.”
“No, never,” he mumbles. “But maybe I won’t go out with them anymore.”
“No,” she echoes softly, her lips touching his mouth. “Never.”