|Under the Moonlight
Author: Trapped in a MatchBox PM
If she kept waiting until she was ready, maybe they would never happen. Maybe she would never know for sure if she was until she tried this with him. - Set some time between S4 and S5.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Romance - Kate B. & Rick C. - Words: 1,872 - Reviews: 35 - Favs: 52 - Follows: 27 - Published: 10-23-11 - Status: Complete - id: 7489675
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A/N: It seems I just can't stay away, tendinitis or not. At least I'm sticking to shorter fics. I know you guys are waiting for SLY and I will get to it soon. I just have to get to the angsty mind frame to do it.
Disclaimer: Castle is not mine. Obviously.
Under the Moonlight
"She's coming, Castle. Don't worry."
Lanie's voice startled him and he blinked, finally tearing his gaze from the front door and nodded. It was the Fourth of July and he had invited everyone up to the Hamptons house for a barbecue. Lanie and Esposito had just arrived with Ryan and Jenny and he had been disappointed to find out that Kate wasn't with them. Trying to keep the sadness and disappointment at bay, he showed them around the house and then directed them to the pool area, where everything was set up for their Independence barbecue.
He couldn't help glancing at the path that led to the front yard every few minutes. He hadn't seen her in a couple of weeks and they hadn't parted in the best of terms. They had fought over something completely ridiculous, now that he thought about it, but he had come to the Hamptons the following day and they had barely talked in the two weeks since he had been there. Of course there were a few texts now and again, but he hated the fact that things were not okay between them. Or at least the fact that he didn't know if things were okay. It had been something so trivial, fighting about a case, but she had sent him home that day and he had been too proud to admit she had been right.
Despite the fact that the last time they had seen each other they had been yelling at one another, he had invited her to spend 4th of July in the Hamptons and she had texted him back saying she would love to. He remembered feeling like the weight of the world had been lifted from his shoulders when he received her positive reply. But now it was closing in on 4pm and she still wasn't there. Running a hand through his hair frustrated, he sighed and looked at the path again, hoping to see her car pulling up at the driveway. When he didn't see anything, he shook his head and chuckled humorlessly at himself. Of course she wouldn't come. It had been too good to be true.
"Another round, guys?" He stood up and looked at his guests feeling very much at home. Esposito was working on the grill while the other three were lounging in the pool. He had noticed their empty glasses and decided that he should keep himself busy to get his mind off her. Being a good host and refreshing his guests' drinks would do the trick for a few minutes.
"Yeah, that'd be great, Castle." Lanie smiled at him and that sad knowing look in her eyes only made him look away.
"Do you need help, man?" Ryan asked, climbing out of the pool, but he just shook his head and laughed when the young detective cannonballed into the pool, splashing water on the quickly protesting girls.
Shaking his head, amused, Castle made his way to the kitchen and grabbed a few more beers from the fridge. He placed them on the counter and was busy trying to decide if he could carry all five bottles at once when the doorbell rang, making him jump, startled. His heart doubled its efforts as he walked to the front door and he tried to quell that overwhelming wish that it was finally her on the other side of the door. Taking a deep breath, he tried to calm down before opening it.
She looked beautiful, was the first thought that ran through his mind, even as his heart was galloping inside his chest. A shy smile was tugging her lips up as she stuck her hands inside the front pockets of her flowery dress. The wind was making her hair fly haphazardly around her face and he had to close his hands in tight fists to keep from reaching out and tuck her hair behind her ear.
"Hi." She was the first to break the silence between them and he suddenly remembered where they were and that he should let her in. Stepping aside he gestured for her to come in. "Sorry I'm late." Her voice was quiet, almost as if she wasn't sure how to act around him.
"You look beautiful." He whispered without thinking, finally allowing himself to tuck her hair behind her ear. He could have sworn she was blushing when she looked down and bit on her lip. "I don't think I've ever seen you in a summer dress, detective." He grinned at her and she chuckled.
"Yeah, well. There's a first time for everything, right?" She smiled and he nodded, guiding her through the living room. "I was at my Dad's, by the way. That's why I took so long to get here. He says hi."
"How is he doing?" He asked when they entered the kitchen. Stopping to grab the beers from the counter, he handed her a couple of bottles.
"He is doing okay. Starting to relax about the job again." She shrugged, but he looked at her closely, knowing that this was something that still bothered her.
"I don't blame him for being worried, you know. That was…" he trailed off and she nodded, biting her lip again.
They were silent for a moment, looking at each other, but lost in their own thoughts. He was the first one to snap out of it. She was fine and healthy and standing right in front of him. That was all that mattered.
"Come on, everyone is here already." He nudged her hip with his playfully and she smiled, her eyes sparkling. "You hungry? Esposito is making some mean burgers outside."
And just like that, it seemed like they were okay again.
The sun had just set when she decided to go down the path that led to the beach. As much as today had been fun and she had laughed more in the past couple of hours than she had in months, she needed a moment alone to gather her thoughts. He had been watching her all afternoon and, although she was used to his staring, she knew something was different. Something felt different today and she just couldn't put her finger on what it was exactly. Part of her thought it was their unresolved argument a couple of weeks ago, but deep down she knew it wasn't just that. Things seemed to be fine between them, but it was those lingering looks, that underlying feeling that something was brewing just underneath the surface that had made her come out here and watch the ocean, alone with her own thoughts.
She had caught him staring at her a few times, but every time she had, he hadn't even looked away. He would just smile at her and carry on with whatever conversation was happening at the time. She had no idea why, but those moments would always leave her flustered and it had come to a point that she needed to distance herself from him, from everyone, and find her bearings again. Because she knew what those lingering looks and the butterflies in her stomach meant. She knew and she felt the same. She just didn't know what to do about it. She didn't know if she was ready for it; if it would ruin the beautiful friendship they had; if she was willing to risk her heart like that, only to have him get bored of her and move on to the next muse.
With a sigh, she tried to focus on the waves crashing on her feet. The sky was lit up with a hundreds of stars shining brightly above her and the moon was this perfect round white globe hanging from the sky, its reflection making the ocean look even more threatening and mysterious as it stretched out in front of her. It made her feel so tiny, so insignificant compared to the rest of everything.
"Penny for your thoughts?" His voice interrupted her musings and she looked down to hide a smile. Of course he would follow her out here. She should have known.
"Just enjoying the ocean." She turned back to look at him and found him standing barely a foot behind her. "I used to go to the beach for the summer, you know. My parents would rent a house and my mom and I would do this every day, sinking into the sand." She offered and he smiled at her, nodding. "It's relaxing."
"I know. Used to do this with Alexis when she was little." He admitted and stepped closed to her, until her back was almost touching his chest. "Kate?"
"Yeah?" Her voice came out in a whisper, but in the silence of the night, it felt like she had shouted.
"Are we okay?" He asked and he sounded so shy that she had to turn her head back to look at him again. He was watching her, insecurity shining in his eyes.
"Of course we are, Castle." She nudged his chest and stepped back into him, allowing her back to touch him. She heard him inhale deeply. "I shouldn't have yelled at you that day. I was totally out of line."
"I was the one out of line. I didn't mean to get in the way of the investigation, I promise." His hand touched her hip lightly, as if testing the waters and she had to fight hard to keep from smiling.
"Water under the bridge. Don't worry about it."
She let herself lean against him more fully, letting out a sigh. Maybe this was how things were supposed to happen between them. If she kept waiting until she was ready, maybe they would never happen. Maybe she would never know for sure if she was ready until she tried this with him.
"You sure?" He asked and she couldn't help but wonder just what exactly he was asking of her. Whatever it was, though, the answer was the same.
And with that, she leaned against him completely, allowing herself to relax into him. Seemingly encouraged by her actions, he pulled her closer and wrapped his arms around her stomach gently. The wind from the ocean was playing with her hair and making her dress dance around her as she covered his hand with hers, entwining their fingers. She felt him sigh contently and rest his chin on her shoulder.
Turning her head to look at him, she saw as the moonlight reflected on his face, a smile playing on his lips. His eyes were closed as if not believing this was really happening.
Right at that moment, she knew for sure.
She was ready.
A/N: So yeah. Thoughts?