the sun is blinding me
as it wakes me from the dark.
i guess the world didn't stop
for my broken heart.
-for my broken heart || reba mcentire
Javier Esposito never expected much out of life. His father left him and his mother with nothing. Javier turned to stealing to help put food on the table. His mother worked long hours to keep a roof over her son's head. He thought he was destined to live a miserable life.
Until he joined the United States Army and starting serving his country and sending money to his mother to help her back on her feet. After his completed tours, he still felt that urge inside to help others. So he joined the finest police department in America, the NYPD.
As a uniform, he found other lost teenagers like he once himself used to be and helped them realize their life was worth more than a Juvie record.
At first he wad content to stay where he was and continue to help kids, but he soon become restless and wanted more from the Job. He realized he could accomplish so much more and before he knew it, he was a detective.
But that alone surprised him and he never really gave anything else in his life much thought. The Job was his place in the world and if all he left behind in the world were dozens of solved murders, well he was just fine with that.
Which explains why he never gave the words on his wrist much thought. His soulmate's last words, his mother said they were. He brushed her off, finding his soulmate wasn't in his life plan. Sometimes soulmates go through living without ever finding each other. As hard as that was for some, it was inevitable, not all people found their match. Just ask his mother.
He was more than happy with the family he had: Beckett, Ryan and even Castle. He thought of them as his friend-soulmates.
Some days he'd catch sight of the naturally tattooed sentence across his wrist and part of him wished he had his soulmate, but most days he pushed those thoughts out of his mind.
Everybody had their own phrase on their wrist, the last words they'd hear from their soulmate, so nobody paid much attention to the tattoos on others wrists.
Their small team, that had slowly become a family, all knew each others sentences. Not out of nosiness, but they spend so much time together that they see each others bare wrists several times a day outside of work.
Castle and Beckett's phrases fit like a conversation, I love you and I love you more, so they both assumed that they were each others soulmates. And they were more than fine with that.
But Castle found Esposito's and Ryan's downright amusing. Ryan's wrist read, I want that just as much as a Leprechaun wants someone to steal their pot of gold. Ryan hated it, but Castle could still remember the pain in his stomach when he first read it and didn't stop laughing for twenty minutes.
Esposito thought his was both parts dumb and, dare he say, cute. Kiss my ass, Javi., also made Castle laugh, but not as near as hard at Ryan's.
Only Ryan and his mother called him Javi, which confused him, but also made the butterflies crazy in his stomach when he thought about it. Because there was that slim, very slim, chance that his partner was his soulmate. If Esposito was going to spend the rest of his life with someone, he'd want it to be Kevin.
Esposito brushed all thoughts of soulmates and last words out of his mind once he reached Castle's apartment door. They were all hanging out tonight. It wasn't a special occasion, other than solving yet another case, but they never needed one to gather at Castle's loft for a good night.
The writer's smile faltered in confusion as he stood in the open doorway. "Where's your other half?"
Esposito rolled his eyes and pushed his way past into the apartment. "He went to go pick up ice cream."
"Oh," Castle said as he followed Esposito into the living room. "I could've grabbed some while you guys finished the paperwork."
Esposito laughed and shook his head, watching as water droplets that escaped his hair flew through the air. It was pouring something awful in New York all day and night. "Nah, he likes to get it from this special bodega a few blocks away from the loft." Esposito gave Castle an amused grin. "The woman that owns it gives him a discount all the time. He claims it's an NYPD discount, but it's totally because she thinks he's cute."
Castle plopped back down to his spot next to his girlfriend and grinned. "Ohh, maybe Ryan doesn't like the ice cream so much as the attention."
Esposito rolled his eyes and took a seat on the recliner. "Yeah, sure, if Ryan's suddenly into 80-year-olds."
A look of surprise crossed Castle's face before he got his smirk back and shrugged his shoulders. "Maybe he's got a Grandma fetish."
Esposito grabbed the pillow behind him and tossed it at Castle's smug face. "Gross," he said, disgusted. Disgusted. Not jealous. Because she was obviously 80-fucking-years-old and if it wasn't Ryan's eye for a great deal that dragged him in to the shop, it was definitely his sweet tooth.
Beckett smacked Castle's shoulder lightly. "Sheesh, Castle. You've only worked with Ryan for the past 8 years. You should know he doesn't have a Grandma fetish." She added with a barely concealed giggle, "He has a Javi fetish."
Esposito wished he had another pillow to throw at Beckett. "I swear, I work with a bunch of toddlers."
Castle smiled brightly. "I was joking, Espo. We all know Ryan only has eyes for you."
At Castle's wink, Esposito felt his cheeks burn up as he dropped his head into his hands. The ringing of his cell phone dragged him from his embarrassment.
Recognizing the familiar ringtone that belonged to Esposito's partner, Castle made a puckered kissy face. "You better not leave lover boy waiting."
Esposito rolled his eyes and pulled out his phone, quickly answering before Beckett could get in on the teasing. "Hey, bro-"
"Javi, they didn't have Rocky Road. Sorry," his partner's rushed voice cut him off.
"It's fine. What're you having?" Esposito avoided looking at Castle, whom was wiggling his eyebrows.
"Birthday Cake," Ryan replied and Esposito made a face just thinking of how sweet that was. Knowing his partner like the back of his hand, Ryan could tell exactly what Esposito was thinking and said, "Don't worry. There's also Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough for Castle and Raspberry Sherbet for Beckett. Either of those sound good or should I run back and get something else?"
Esposito didn't want Ryan have to go all the way back when it was pouring and he was most likely walking because the fool liked exercising in rain, sleet or shine. "I'll eat some of Castle's...but can I ask why you didn't call me in the store where I could have picked something else?"
"I was in there too long as it was," he said, like buying ice cream was an undercover mission. "Dude, she was staring at me the whole time. I swear every time I leaned down to look through the freezer, her eyes were on my ass."
Esposito laughed and leaned back in the chair. He was about to make a joke when Ryan shouted suddenly over the phone.
"Hey! Watch where you're going! It's a rainstorm -newsflash- you're going to get wet!" Ryan sighed heavily and muttered under his breath, "Fucking tourists."
"You okay there, bro? Want me to come pick you up before you kill someone with your bare hands and three gallons of ice cream?" Esposito smirked.
"Like it's my fault I'm surrounded by nimrods and crazy cabbies?" Ryan sounded like he was rushing to cross the street and Esposito could hear horns blaring in the background. "Yeah, fuck you, too. That light was red if you didn't see, asshole."
"And you wonder why I never let you drive..." Esposito said, amused.
"Yeah, uh-huh," Ryan sounded distracted as he probably dodged through New York traffic. There was more muffled cursing before Ryan got back on the phone. "I gotta go, bro. I'll see you in a few minutes."
Esposito mocked a sigh and said, "I guess I'll just wait here for my substitute ice cream because you're a prude."
"Hey," Ryan said, but didn't sound hurt because he knew Esposito was joking. "I coulda got you that Pistachio-Coffee crap you hate."
"Ugh, bro. I want that about as much as a Leprechaun wants someone to steal their pot of gold," Esposito joked, not noticing how Castle and Beckett's eyes widened.
Ryan laughed sarcastically and said, "Kiss my ass, Javi."
Esposito's sharp retort was cut off when Ryan said, so quickly that Esposito wasn't even sure if he heard it. "See ya soon, Javi."
Esposito pulled his phone away from his ear and stared at it. "Kev hung up on me," he complained, but didn't take it to heart. Esposito would have done the same thing if he was trying to get out of the pouring rain as quick as he could.
He shook his head and put his phone down on the lamp side table. He looked up at Castle and Beckett and explained the phone call, "They were out of Rocky Road, but he got your flavors..." He trailed off when he saw the looks he was getting from the two.
"What...what did he say after that leprechaun comment?" Castle asked slowly, a look of pity and fear on his face.
"He told me to kiss his ass..." Esposito looked bewildered until he realized what Castle was getting at. He swallowed thickly and quickly pulled up his sleeve and traced his fingers across the words. Kiss my ass, Javi. Esposito wanted to cry.
"No, no, no, no!" Esposito yelled as he jumped off the couch and ran towards the door. He could already feel his eyes burning, his throat growing a lump and his heart breaking.
"Javier, wait, slow down!" Beckett shouted after him down the hallway. She grabbed his arm and tugged it backwards.
Esposito immediately shook himself out of her grasp. "I have to save him, Beckett. Those were his last words! To me! And I didn't know. I could have," Esposito bit back a sob as he felt the tears pool in his eyes. "I could have had everything."
Esposito ignored Castle and Beckett's matching looks of pity as he raced down the hall and then down the stairs. When his feet hit the pavement outside, he could already hear the sirens and see the few ambulances ripping down the street. He followed one of the squad cars at least three blocks with Castle and Beckett right behind him.
He reached the line of officers that were turning away pedestrians before they could get the police tape up. He was stopped by a uniform, giving Castle and Beckett the chance to catch up.
"Let me through!" Esposito yelled, attempting to push his way through.
"I'm sorry, sir-"
"Detective! I am Detective Esposito and that," Esposito frantically pointed to the accident behind the uniform, "is my partner!"
"Oh, I'm sorry. I wasn't-" Esposito didn't hear the end of his apology before he was pushing past into the chaos.
Castle grabbed his arm and pulled him back again before he got to his partner's side. "Javier, you can't."
Esposito ignored the hot tears running down his face. "Castle, you don't understand. He's my," he took a deep breath, "he's my partner." Castle managed to keep his arms wrapped tightly around Esposito as he crashed to his knees, muttering, "I love him so much."
"I'm sorry, Javi."
"No," Esposito shook his head looking down at his wrist. "Don't call me that." It kept swirling around in his mind, the most viscous of ways. "That was us...that was then."
Esposito squeezed his eyes shut and heard one last whisper ghost through his ears.
It was weird to think, the word that he once used to wait all day to hear roll off his partner's tongue and escaped through those lips, would be the same word to forever haunt him. The thought that once brightened up his partner's day was a nightmare now. A nightmare from his would-be-lover's lips that echoed through his ears like a forgotten melody.
He didn't want a second chance. He didn't want to do it over, unless of course, he knew how it ended. But wishes don't work like that. Esposito would get his second chance and he'd blow it all over again. He wanted Kevin to know. He wanted his partner to go knowing that Esposito loved him. Loved him so much that he'd trade all of his days left for just one minute of holding Kevin again. But that's not not how wishes work. Wishes were just abandoned promises that killed man. Left them crying and broken.
Just like Esposito. Crying, broken -heartbroken- with nothing left for him because Kevin took everything with him. He was heartbroken with not even his best friend by his side to heal the pain or at least ease the suffering. He was heartbroken and lost and confused and gone in every sense of the word.
Esposito grabbed his wrist tight enough to cut off the blood circulation as he sat in the wet, Manhattan street and watched as he let everything slip through his fingers.
He could have had it all. All the kisses and hugs and sex and memories and love. But it was all ripped away from him. Because he never gave it a chance. He sat on the sidelines and was fine with just okay. Okay with the laughs that should have been cut off by kisses. Okay with the stares that should have led to so much more. Okay with the touches that should have wandered. Okay with being by Kevin's side, close enough where he should have wrapped his arms around him and never let go.
But now he wasn't okay, he was torn apart inside. And his heart begged to be reunited with it's lost companion.
Yet, how could it beg so fiercely for something it never got the chance to have?
The same way, Esposito supposed, that he was able to stare into those blue eyes everyday and not kiss the 'Javi' right off his lips or the same way that the man he loved more than love itself was able to shred his heart without ever knowing it. The same way he was stupid enough to lose the love of his life, his everything, to his stupidity. Leaving nothing but a broken heart in it's place.
And a broken heart, half whole, was all that he had left. And that's all he'll ever be.