Author: KelliP PM
One night. One single night. That's all they had before the world ripped them apart. Post 4x23 Always.Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Drama - Kate B. & Rick C. - Chapters: 19 - Words: 46,108 - Reviews: 495 - Favs: 164 - Follows: 376 - Updated: 07-07-12 - Published: 05-08-12 - Status: Complete - id: 8096989
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Castle wakes to the morning sunlight streaming through the windows, a smile already on his face before he even sees the woman lying next to him. He rolls over slowly, difficultly, the bitter winter weather chilling his bones, locking up his joints.
As always, she's lying beside him, her eyes open as she watches him, having already been woken by the ever-busy traffic outside. Kate smiles sweetly at him, raising a hand to his face as she covers the small distance between them to press a morning kiss to his lips.
"Happy birthday," he whispers as they break away.
"Another year older," she whispers in return, but there's no sorrow to her voice, just acceptance and content.
"Hmm, you are getting old, now, aren't you?" he comments, a small smirk playing on his lips.
"Not as old as you."
"You know it's true," she shrugs innocently. "Have you forgotten how many candles were on your last birthday cake? Because forgetfulness is another sign of age, you know."
Castle sighs, defeated, and reaches for her hand, entwining her fingers with his as he begins to trace patterns across the back of her hands. After a few moments, he stops watching their hands, looking up at her face as his fingers continue running across the back of her hand. Bad idea, because his finger catches on her wedding band and completely ruins the gentle rhythm he had going on.
But he smiles to himself as he readjusts the ring on her finger, because he still can't believe it. He never thought he'd be this lucky.
Kate never fully regained her memory. The trip they had taken to the Hamptons after Gates exposed the men behind her mother's case had helped. When they arrived back to the city, her memory had begun returning fast at first, as if the plug had been removed. But after another couple of weeks it slowed to almost a standstill.
Bits and pieces returned sporadically throughout the years, though. Sometimes, it was a flash of something as they were walking down the street. Other times, Kate would be talking and something would just slip out. And then there was the time she remembered their first night together, whilst they were… ah, otherwise occupied.
But he can live with last few memories that had seemed to escape her mind forever, because she loves him. And she agreed to spend the rest of her life with him.
Over the months that had followed her return to the twelfth precinct, Kate readjusted surprisingly smoothly into her old lifestyle. Well, to an extent. The precinct remained the same, her relationship with the boys was as it always had been, but she couldn't seem to detach herself from him. He had become the constant in her life, and she depended on him like she hadn't ever needed anyone before.
They ended up living together long before the summer was over.
It was also undeniable that she was more open than before. Warmer. He loved it. Even with the endless teasing she received from the boys (and pretty much everyone else in the precinct), she didn't bother hiding their relationship. Instead (and much to Gates' displeasure) he'd often find her pressing up against him in the break room, or resting her hand on his knee as they studied her murder board. Of course, she still had to remind him to be professional more often than not, turning down his suggestions to 'meet him in the supply closet'.
Their relationship definitely hadn't been smooth sailing, though. Their first serious fight had sprung from the time Kate had lunch with Demming, and had neglected to tell him about it. The detective had been helping out on a case- Esposito's request- when Castle had been out of town for a few days, and so he didn't know anything until his daughter had spilt the beans due to growing concerns for her father.
And then there was the time when a photo of Castle browsing for an "engagement ring" had been printed on page six. The fact that he was only purchasing a necklace for Alexis' birthday didn't matter to Kate, as all hell had broken loose. But it wasn't long before Kate's real reasoning had slipped out mid-argument, and Kate went from shouting 'I can't believe you were looking at rings' to 'I can't believe you weren't looking at rings'.
That was when he had given her the ring he'd bought two weeks before, and it had been sitting on her finger ever since.
Yeah, he definitely is the luckiest man ever.
He leans over to press a soft kiss to her cheek, holding her close, brushing a whisper of silver hair off her face as he whispers lovingly in her ear.
"Happy eightieth birthday, Kate."
So, that's it. I want to thank everyone who's been following this story. There's over 600 of you subscribed- can you believe it? Because I can't. And an extra big thanks goes out to everyone who ever reviewed, because they've been the absolute highlight.
Final thoughts? Would love to hear them =)
And did I mention I'm on twitter now? - Kellis_World