Disclaimer: All television shows, movies, books, and other copyrighted material referred to in this work, and the characters, settings, and events thereof, are the properties of their respective owners. As this work is an interpretation of the original material and not for-profit, it constitutes fair use. Reference to real persons, places, or events are made in a fictional context, and are not intended to be libelous, defamatory, or in any way factual.

AN: A couple of weeks ago I wrote some tags on tumblr about Castle having some alone time with an ice cube after that infamous scene from 'Poof! You're Dead'. The idea kinda took root and this happened. I labeled it angst but I promise it's not my usual 'somebody is dying/cheating' kind of angst.


He can't stop thinking about her mouth.

It's not an unfamiliar situation. Thoughts of her mouth and the things he wants to do it, hear from it, haven't truly left him since the first time he saw her. Her lips have always been there in the back of his mind, teasing his imagination, providing fuel for his writing. His fantasies. He used to relish those thoughts, a little thrill zipping through his veins as his hands slid over his own skin, pleasuring himself to vivid images of her. Them.

But now -

Now, it's a problem.

It's a problem because all he can think about is kissing her again; exploring her mouth with his tongue, feeling her body melt into his as he slowly, certainly takes her apart, piece by piece. He wants her. Wants her in a way he's never wanted another woman. His body aches with it, the need to hold her, to touch her, to know and be known.

It's been a week since he yanked her to him in that dark alley, felt the damp heat of her breath against his skin. A week since he felt her lips - her tongue - pressed against his. The taste of her, a rich flavor of coffee spiked with desperation and need, still lingers at the back of his throat; her dark little moan still echoes his chest.

One kiss and he's ruined.

Castle sighs, pushing himself away from his desk with the balls of his socked feet. He needs to get over this. Her. His writing has stalled, his characters having shed the paper thin masks of fiction so he can't pretend anymore. It's not about Nikki and Rook. Never really has been. But he needs it to be, needs to get her out of his mind. Out of his dreams. He needs to be able to wake up in the morning without the ghost of her in his bed, a bed she's never even been in.

Running a hand through his hair, nails scraping hard across his scalp, Castle squints at his laptop, eyes the blank document with its cursor blinking steadily in the upper left corner, taunting him. He has three messages in his voicemail from Gina's assistant, asking about the status of the chapter he was supposed to turn in three days ago. The chapter he hasn't started because every time he sits down to write, every time he clears his mind and tries to summon the words, all he gets is one.

Kate.

A frustrated growl hangs in his throat when he bangs his hands down on the keyboard, the picture frame on the corner of his desk shifting perilously close to the edge. A random jumble of letters and numbers appear on the screen, the cursor going solid as it races along in front of a long string of k's.

The cracked and bruised skin on the back of his right knuckles stings and Castle lifts his hand, flexes his fingers slowly. The pain feels good. It distracts him, gives him something to concentrate on besides the memory of how perfectly her bottom lip fit between his, the way he could almost feel her breasts pressed against his chest through the bulk of their coats.

It distracts him until he remembers how she looked at him in the back of that ambulance, the coolness of her fingers against his broken skin when she took his hand between her own and gently fixed his bandage, the softness in her voice when she thanked him.

Dammit.

Grunting, Castle slams the lid shut on his computer and stands, the metal wheels of his desk chair rattling in the darkness as they skitter across the hardwood. He stalks over to the sideboard, grabbing for the first bottle he sees and turning over a tumbler. The scotch hits the bottom of the glass and sloshes up the sides, tiny droplets escaping over the rim, dotting along his skin. Castle licks the alcohol off his finger and pops the lid on the ice bucket, messily tossing a few cubes into his drink.

The ice rattles against the heavy crystal as he walks back to his bedroom. He doesn't bother with the lights, lets the dark shadows wrap around him as he travels a long memorized path through the room. The tumbler thumps solidly against the top of the nightstand when he puts it down, hands reaching for his shirt. He strips off almost mechanically, his t-shirt, jeans, and socks landing in a crumpled heap at the foot of the bed.

Tugging back the sheets, Castle drops gracelessly onto the bed, the back of his head bouncing lightly against the padded headboard. He tosses out a hand and gropes blindly for his glass, his fingers grasping at the air until he bumps it. The scotch burns the back of his throat, just this side of painful, and he closes his eyes, focusing on the sensation.

The sound of metal vibrating against wood startles him. Castle opens his eyes then closes them again, blocking out the sudden brightness in the room. He leans to the side and reaches for the nightstand again, swapping the cut lines of the glass for the smooth edges of his phone. Squinting through one eye, he reads her name and the first few words of the text before the screen goes dark again.

Castle throws the phone on the bed and swipes at his drink, pushing it against his lips for a long, noisy swallow. He doesn't read the rest of her message, doesn't need to spend the rest of his night parsing the case talk for just the slightest hint of something more. Something deeper. Something to give him even the smallest sliver of hope that maybe it's not all in his head, maybe she does harbor even a fraction of the same feelings.

That maybe she lies awake at night too, thinking about him. His hands and his mouth and his body and all the things she wants him to do to her. With her.

He groans, folding his arm over his eyes. The arousal he's been suppressing for the past week, the past two years, flares hot in his veins. He can feel it low in his gut, reacting with the scotch, leaving him hot and tingling. Images assault him, detailed fantasies flashing across his mind at dizzying speed. He fights it, feebly, for a minute before giving in with a long, stuttering sigh.

Standing, he crosses the room and gently closes the door before hooking his thumbs in the waistband of his boxers. A tight knot of guilt sits in the middle of his chest as he makes his way back to the bed, naked and aroused. He hasn't allowed himself to do this, to make this about her, for awhile. Not since before the summer. Since before robbery detectives and ex-wives and surgeons. Since he finally admitted to himself just how deeply his feelings run. He hasn't allowed himself thoughts of her, of them, for months.

But she always found her way in.

And so now he gives into it. Gives into the memories of her mouth against his and the feel of her hair sliding through his fingers. Takes himself in hand while thinking about kissing her, touching her. Laying her out on his bed and mapping her body with his lips and tongue. About making her whimper and moan, cry out his name. He thinks about all the ways he wants to have her, all the ways he wants to give himself to her. Her voice echoes in his head, fragments of sentences pieced together, spliced into the ones he so desperately wants to hear.

Her name swirls in his chest as he works himself with both hands and he bites it back, lips pressed tightly together, breath coming fast and hard through his nose. Knees pulled up, he plants his feet on the bed and thrusts, the sheets rustling quietly against his bare skin. Castle rolls his head from side to side, heart thumping almost painfully against his ribs. Pleasure and need flow through his body, his mind overrun with her.

Releasing himself with one hand, he reaches for the drawer on his nightstand. He fumbles for the handle, pulling it open and shoving his hand inside. Rooting around for the bottle of lubricant, his gaze lands on his glass, the melting ice at the bottom. Instantly, he hears her voice inside his head.

I do this one thing. With ice cubes.

Without letting himself stop to think about it, Castle pulls his hand out of the drawer and reaches for the tumbler, fishes a piece of ice out with two fingers. Cold water drips down his wrist as he hesitates for just a moment, streaming through the thick hair of his forearm. Sucking in a deep breath, he brings his hand to his chest, draws a tight circle around his nipple.

Mouth falling open on a deep groan, he drags it down his stomach, dipping into his navel and trailing across the crease of one thigh. His body contracts when he grips himself again, the rapidly melting ice cupped in his palm, trapped between two layers of burning skin. The world falls away as he pumps and twists, thrusts into his own hand. Deep moans rise up out of his chest and Castle sets them free without thought, mind and body completely outside of his control.

Pressure builds in his muscles, legs and arms shaking as his body starts to buck and curl in on itself. He fights it, needing this to last as long as possible. Wanting to hold onto this fantasy of her, of them, until the absolute last possible moment. He thinks about Kate, about her mouth and her hands. Her hair, her heart, her voice. Her eyes.

Kate, Kate, Kate.

White hot flames lick up his spine when his orgasm hits, her name flowing off his tongue like water. He chants it, lets himself live inside of it. Lets it wash down over him as he trembles, his stomach covered in the evidence of what he just did. He lets it linger as long as he can, knowing that this is it. This is the last time he will allow himself this, these thoughts and fantasies of her. He has to let it go. Let her go.

For now, at least.

Finally, he gets up. He doesn't look in the mirror when he walks into the bathroom. Hot water pummels his chest as he bathes himself, leaves his skin red and raw. Dressed in clean pajama pants and a worn NYU t-shirt, Castle changes his bedding, shoving the wad of damp sheets deep into the bottom of his hamper. He heads back to his office, the leather chair sighing softly under his weight as he settles down and wakes his laptop

He stares at the open document on the desktop for a long moment, eyes running over that string of k's, before closing it out and opening a new one. Starting over. With Nikki loud and commanding inside his head, Castle writes until dawn, turning out page after page. A chapter and some change later, he trudges to his bed and collapses, spent. He rolls onto his stomach, cheek smushed into the pillow bunched tightly under his head.

His glass, ice long since melted, still sits on the nightstand.


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