As a writer, he liked to believe everyone has their own story. Their own tale that brought them to their current point of life. For him, his story began long before his birth — his father was married and his mother just another conquest. When he was conceived, his mother was paid millions to stay away from his father’s family. It continued through his childhood, being tossed between schools while his mother - a broadway hopeful - tried her damnedest to get somewhere in her life. By the time he was eighteen, she’d done just that and he moved on and graduated.
So, when a beautiful brunette moved next door, it was natural for his mind to creep through and try to figure out her own story. Her name was Kate, she’d told him. She had a scar on her elbow that he imagined had come from a rough bike training. She always wore her hair in loose curls or tied up and for some inexplicable reason, her eyes held sadness that made his heart ache.
He spoke to her maybe twice in the first year she lived there. Once when Alexis had gotten out of the apartment and ran and another time when she needed to borrow a cup of sugar. Their interactions were meaningless, but the soft smile she forced upon her cheeks every time she spoke was something he could write novels about.
And so he did. He wrote short fiction whenever he needed a break from storm. Wrote about her smile and the sadness in her eyes. Wrote about the way she held herself, like she was proud but afraid. Wrote about kissing away the fears.
The third year she lived there, shortly after Alexis began kindergarten, was the first time they had a meaningful conversation. They bumped into each other in the hallway and talked about the weather and she asked him to feed her dog, Royal, that weekend because she needed to go out of town. And then they separated and didn’t speak for another six months.
During her fifth year living at the apartment building, he came home to find a drunken man outside her door, slamming his fist again and again. “Kate!” He blubbered. “Open the god damn door!” Rick wanted to say something to the man, but instead he phoned the police and watched as they carted him away.
Later that night, she showed up in an oversized hoodie and a black eye. “Thank you.” She said quietly. He tried to play off like he didn’t know what she was talking about, but she held up her hand to get him to stop talking. “The police told me who put the tip in. They have caller ID.”
So, he invited her in. She seemed hesitant at first but she stepped inside, looking around at all the objects he’d collected throughout the years. When offered something to drink, she initially asked for water but when the stinging in her eye came again, she requested something stronger.
They didn’t talk about what happened that evening. Or who the man was. But he never saw him again and he began to talk to Kate more often. A week later, she invited him to dinner and made the best Mac and cheese he and Alexis, who’d come per her request, had eaten.
On the eve of her seventh year being his neighbour, he knocked on her door. When she opened it, she was a picture of beauty in a summer dress that umbrella-ed out on the lower half.
“Go out on a date with me!” He blurted and then ran his hand over his face. It only took him a moment and then he was backtracking, explaining all the ways that he could have asked and then comparing it to the way he did. His self deprecation made her laugh.
Her smile grew as he spoke and she laughed softly as she placed a hand on his shoulder. “Rick,” she said and he stopped mumbling. “I’d love to.”
Anonymous asked: castle/beckett - 6 - next-door neighbors AU