Castle and Beckett's love story in the precinct. His chair has seen it all.

I was shoved in a corner, ignored and alone in a busy precinct. I was tattered, a little broken. She walked by frequently. She was always so serious, never paying attention to me. She advanced quickly, moving through the ranks with a fierce determination. Her life was dark, hard. She was damaged.

He showed up the day after she arrested him—tall, dark, and ruggedly handsome. Someone was copying murders from his books, and he could help them with the case. He pushed her buttons immediately, snuck his way under her tough exterior. He was sarcastic and witty, humor lacing his every thought. He was wealthy, a father, and a best-selling author. Someone who could definitely upset the delicate balance she had created.

They couldn't be more different. It started out simple enough, a simple declarative that would change both of their lives.

"I'm here for the story."

Castle pulled me flush against her desk one day, plopping down on my worn cushions as he discussed the terrible coffee they prepared. Annoyance lingered on her face, her eyes sweeping over the two of us. My appearance meant he was making himself at home, I knew. She had fought it, fought him. Yet we had stayed.

He was carefree, jovial. She was stubborn, determined. There was a frustration in her voice when she asked him as he sat there, drinking "monkey pee battery acid coffee."

"Don't you have some place to be?"
"I like it here."

There were eye rolls and tentative smiles. They began to finish each other's sentences, a mutual respect slowly building. He was sitting there when she told him the first real thing about herself, a slight hitch in her voice as he leaned his elbow on her desk. The air in the room changed in that moment. The moment she opened up to him. He shifted comfortably, embracing her words.

"It was my mother, not my father….this is for the life that I saved, and this is for the life that I lost."

She told him of her pain, her fears, and her heartbreak in those few moments, the quietness of her voice echoing around the almost empty bullpen. Her words seeped into both of us, lingering in my worn fabric and his heart. We wanted to know more.

They played poker, shared quips, discussed Nikki Heat. She rolled her eyes at his crazy theories and he would needle her to get her to think outside the box. My presence at her desk became welcome, as did his. She learned to listen to him, to trust his instincts. He learned to step back and let her open up. He learned to apologize for pushing too far too soon. She learned to respect his theories.

They became friends, liked to goad each other. She smiled more, lighting up around him. He grew more serious, taking his role in her life to heart.

She fell for him before she realized it, had to come need him in her life. She watched as he matured in front of her eyes, felt how much he brought to her life. She loved hearing him talk about his daughter, loved seeing the family side to him.

He was sitting in me when she told him another secret; she had gotten used to him. She wanted him around when they caught the man who killed her mom. He pulled her pigtails, and she'd actually learned to step back and enjoy her job. Because of him. Her secret was safe, he said, as he leaned back against me. They were a team, and would figure it out together.

She loosened the screws on me to mess with him and we collapsed, laughter bubbling over from her as he jumped up. He mumbled under his breath about the curse that she encouraged. She had learned how to push his buttons, learned to have fun with him. While he fixed me, the smile grew on his face. More of Kate was being shown to him, less of Detective Beckett.

One case brought someone new, someone different. She looked...happy. He saw it, hated that someone else was able to put that dazzling smile on her face. Tension surrounded them now at her desk, as someone else threatened to belong there. Threatened to take me and make me his own.

He was envious of her time, made himself ignore the stab in his chest as she flirted with the robbery detective. He thought he missed his chance with her, didn't bring her coffee to prove his point. If only he had seen the hurt in her eyes, had caught how much she wanted him. Wanted their connection.

He thought she didn't care. He knew he couldn't keep feeling the jealously pulsating while she was with someone else. He left, leaving me empty. She stared, her eyes boring holes into my shabby material as the wheels turned in her mind. The internal debate. He upset her apple cart. The heart wants what the heart wants. She wanted him. She made her choice.

"I know I'm not the easiest person to get to know, and I don't always let on what's on my mind. But this past year, working with you…I've had a really good time. So I'm just going to say this and…"

... but he blew it. He left with someone else. She spent the summer alone, her eyes skimming over me as I stayed empty for months. He should have been there. She missed him, I could tell. Ached to hear his ridiculous theories that somehow kept her grounded. She was angry, at herself for waiting and for him for leaving.

This time was different, as she stared at the emptiness. It was harder now, to see me without him once she admitted her heart was involved. He was back, but wasn't here. She had fished for information, been disappointed to find out he was still taken, and was hurt he hadn't called. She was determined to keep her distance this time.

Until he set the cup in front of her. He caught the small smile, the gentle acknowledgement of his presence. The scent of coffee, their unspoken memento of a partnership, hung in the air. He sat, comfort once again settling over them. He belonged, she knew. They joked, their banter sliding into place with ease. Her true feelings won and she threw the bet so he would come back. The truth lingered, a hidden secret just for her and me.

They flirted shamelessly now. Despite being in relationships, it was as if they were pulled to each other. He sat calmly, his imprint persisting on me and in her heart. He raised his eyebrows behind his x-ray specks, toying with her.

"I can see you naked."
"How do you like my navel ring?"

He realized it first, lightening striking him as the depths of his feelings inundated him. They had been dancing around the truth for years. He could deny it no longer. He loved her. He wanted magic, wanted what he had with her. Every day. Always. How did he tell her? She was with someone. He kept it hidden, tucked away, watched from the sidelines with a knowing ache.

Life forced them to address their feelings sooner than expected. They kissed, a supposed undercover operation that meant more than either of them could admit. She thought about it on the late nights at the precinct, her eyes darting to me before she pressed her fingers to her lips as if remembering. They faced a bomb together, him admitting it was a "hell of a day," and ready to tell her, finally confess what he's wanted for so long, only to be interrupted by Dr. Motorcycle Boy.

Still...something kept her opening up. Something kept him coming back. She opened up as he sat there, telling stories of a life she'd long kept concealed. When she spoke, he couldn't help but lean in towards her, hanging on her every word. She talked of her mother, how she comforted her with a ridiculous soap opera when young Katie Beckett was sick. I creaked below him as he moved closer, needing to close the distance between them.

It was give and take, their relationship. They would take a step forward to take two back. Others appeared, causing hurt feelings to flair again. He finally admitted frustrations when someone else—his protégé no less—paid her attention, competed for his place in her life. She spoke up, her eyes flashing to his as she admitted quietly

"I'm a one writer girl."

There was still a wall. Yet he was tearing it down, brick by brick. She was growing tired of fighting it, growing closer to accept the truth of how she felt about him. If only she could say it out loud, maybe things would have turned out differently.

Mistakes changed them. A fight, a misunderstanding, hurt feelings led to emptiness, her physically and him emotionally. I was alone; he sat across the room, his crystal blue eyes darkening as his gaze focused on her empty spot.

She didn't come back. For months. She had been shot, and he was suddenly left willing her to return. He avoided me, too many memories between them at her desk to be there without her. She didn't call, left him to face the aftermath of almost losing her alone. He was angry, confused, and unsure of what the future held for them.

Yet he came back. He sunk down into me as he once again reminded her that she was more than her mother's murder. That they would get justice, just not today. It was enough for now, she admitted. They would fight together. The pain of their summer was buried, along with their feelings.

They kept their secrets, locked away within the confines of their hearts. Desperate to not hurt each other and to find a place to be together. His lie was simple, trying to save her life. Her lie was harder, trying to overcome a past she had lived with for too long.

The subtleness of their complex relationship brought them back to each other, the writer and the muse. They were different now, both scarred and a little wrecked. Still, they worked. Her jealously raged when someone else showed interest, her possession of him now apparent in her anger that flashed behind her hazel eyes seeing him theorize with someone else.

"I don't steal things that belong to someone else."

The meaning wasn't lost, his eyes darting to find her, the extraordinary woman who had crept onto the pages he wrote and into his heart. She seemed pleased he didn't leave, hadn't walked away from her again. She offered to buy him a burger, a slight hint of it being more than just co-workers going to eat.

He proclaimed to be the perfect partner and truthfully the words of agreement had almost tumbled from her. He was the perfect partner for her, she admitted only to herself. She asked for him a drink, her words echoing the small clear voice in her heart that yearned to be with him. He told her he would do her better. He invited her to his home, his eyes shining with excitement at including her in his small family.

She struggled with the aftermath of her shooting, pushing him away without conscious thought. He waited for his partner, for his Kate, as she wrestled with her demons. He missed her, hated seeing the part of her she was determined to fight through alone.

"I'm just waiting for my partner. Maybe you've seen her. Pretty girl, thinks she can leap tall buildings in a single bound, carries the weight of the world on her shoulders, yet still manages to laugh at some of my jokes."
"Castle…thank you…"

The word, their word, brought a tentative smile to her face. They were working towards it, would have their always, she knew. He would wait for her, as he had been. She would continue to fight for him, work through her walls that she was now determined to break down.

She joked with him about "next time" after they were handcuffed together, knowing full well his creative imagination would take off with her words. He seemed surprised, as if he couldn't believe she would be so casual about a next time with them. As if it was a guarantee. The smile that sprang forth was new, different for him. It warmed him to know she was accepting their future, realizing it may happen.

He admitted they were partners as she sat her desk, his words calming the resentment she felt over knowing his past with Sophia. Both knew his words rang true. They were partners, no matter who came along. He was hers, just as she was his. They had given their hearts to each other along the way, whether either of them were truly aware or not.

Until their world was rocked again, the pair now facing a bomb massacre. He struggled with his feelings, her words ringing in his ears as he tried to find the right time. To tell her. To confess. To see where she was, to see if this was their chance.

"It makes you think about all those things in your own life that you don't want to put off anymore…"

He sat down in me once again, a small shift in his demeanor as he leaned forwards to tell her. Nerves wrecked him, made him a jumbled mess. He always struggled with words around her. But he was ready, it was time. The world had other ideas, as it generally did with the two of them. He told her it could wait. They had plenty of time, he knew. He knew she was close, knew would be receptive to his feelings. He just knew.

But things were never that simple for them. She had lied, had kept her cards too close to the vest. When he found out, the ache was gut-wrenching. She didn't feel the same way, or so he thought. The truth separated them, haunted their space. He was broken, felt a fool. Now he slumped in me, his pain visible despite his insistence that it was fine. He would continue to work with her, he told himself. He would work through it.

But he punished her unconsciously, his heartbreak too much to overcome. She worked alone for weeks, her eyes skating over me with tears brimming as she ignored the fear she felt. He was pulling away, she knew. Something had changed.

She asked him to talk, wanted to address the distance between them. He brushed her off. Oh if only he had listened, given her a chance to explain. Her frustration was palpable as she surveyed me, her eyes gleaming with her hurt as he walked away. What if she made him wait too long?

He worked with someone else, ignoring the advice of everyone as he continued to push her away. He came back to her, despite his anger, a desperate man needing her help. Her feelings, always lingering just below the surface, had his back. She helped him, anxious to keep him safe. To show how much she cared, even though she couldn't find the words yet.

He promised her "tomorrow" as she confided in him that she was close, so close to having finally crossed the barrier between them. The wall was coming down, if he could just stay with her, be patient with her. Her words were soft, aching, as she prayed he understood her hidden meaning, her deepest desires.

The truth won, unable to hide behind their sharp wit and silent love. As her mother's murder forced their hands, he challenged her, begged her to walk away. His words kept replaying in her head as she sat at her desk, her eyes filled with unshed tears she was determined to keep at bay. She spoke them out loud as her eyes raked over me, a quiver in her voice. His words, usually so healing for her, now brought a stinging ache because of her actions.

"I think you are the most remarkable, maddening, challenging, frustrating person I have ever met. And I love you Kate."

She got caught falling off the deep end without him, let herself drown in the sorrow of her past and the loss of him. The new captain suspended her without a second thought. She knew, in that moment. Knew she could walk away for him. Knew he was more important than anything, that her life was incomplete without him. She had hidden behind her badge for too long, had to give them a chance.

I could feel her eyes as she packed up her belongings, finally making the choice she should have made long ago. There was a hint of fear in her deep hazel gaze, her recent rejection of him so fresh in her mind. She stared at me, empty of his presence. She slung her bag over her shoulder, her need for him propelling her towards the elevator.

I sat empty for weeks, neither returning to the precinct. When they did return, the air was different. They were different. Their tension was thicker, touches were softer. Her eyes held a light foreign to her, his voice huskier with desire. They had finally made it. They were together.

"Need I remind you, I've already seen…your stuff…?"

She brought him coffee now. Her quiet respect for them, picking up the simple act of affection, meant the world. He didn't have to say anything, taking the cup as he shifted deeper into my weathered pad. He fell a little more in love with her, if that was even possible.

They shared a sensual handshake, her voice shaking as she told him goodbye. Her eyes lingered on me as she twirled "stick man" between her fingers, already missing his warmth. How strange, to have gone from not wanted to missed.

He teased her about the doll, peppering her with ridiculous theory after ridiculous theory about the little stick man that she kept hidden. He sat calmly, acknowledging with a simple nod that she would tell him when she was ready. She took a deep breath, ready to dive in with him.

He leaned in, anticipation lighting up his eyes as he listened to her story, drinking in her every word like he had for years. She opened up more freely now, embracing his new role in her life. He was more than just a partner, had earned to hear her tales.

"He's a reminder that even on the worst day there's a possibility for joy."

There were plenty of highs, and almost as many lows. Their working relationship now held to a higher standard, knowing that being apart now held deeper consequences for both of them.

He left her alone as he went to save his daughter. She sat by herself at her desk, twirling her pen around in her hand, as she stared heartbroken at me. She should be with him, should comfort him. The consequences be damned. When he came back, she quietly reminded him that he belonged there with her. He said he wouldn't leave her again.

She planned his birthday at her desk, bringing their little family into the fold to help plan. Alexis claimed his seat for a while, little Castle keeping me warm for the rightful owner. His earlier words of how well she knew him echoing in her mind, sending shivers of delight through her. She did know him. Had gotten to know him, the real him, at this very spot.

They stumbled occasionally, neither secure enough in the other to truly know where they were going. He was afraid to push her, she was afraid to say she wanted more.

He questioned their commitment when Vaughn showed up, his interest in Beckett causing a strain on their delicate and still new relationship. She reminded him gently of how she wanted him, how no one could be him. He was reminded of how extraordinary she was, realized he had let himself get too comfortable. He needed to show her how much he loved her, how in this he was with her.

When the job opportunity came, he kept his distance. She couldn't stand sitting at her desk, couldn't handle the now cold coffee that was on her desk that she made that morning. Her day wasn't right without him; it felt foreign and erroneous.

She didn't want the music to end, didn't want the dance to stop. He didn't want to lose her, wanted her to know how serious he was. I sat alone as they went to the swings, their chosen spot, and chose a destiny together.

I was moved back to my corner, worn and thoroughly used, when she moved to D.C. Neither of them a constant presence in the precinct; he had no reason to really be there without her. When he would come and visit Ryan and Esposito, his eyes would find me, a drawn out sigh the only acknowledgement of how much he missed her here. He spoke of their engagement at Ryan's desk, pride laced in his words. Kate Beckett and Richard Castle were getting married. They had fallen in love here, from the first time he brought me to her declaring his place, to the time I was taken away him having made his mark. It was a good six years. I was ready to move on as they had.

Life had other plans. As it had been before, as it always should have been, they were brought back together by work. They were home, together. Where they were the best. Where they were partners.

She was a welcome sight at the precinct, even if it wasn't for good. Someone else was at her desk, but she fit right in. The boys had missed her. She made her choices, fighting for the truth over letting the murky grey win. Her choices brought her back. To the precinct. To him. She belonged here.

I again became a fixture at her desk. They were stronger now, their talks more intimate. They could verbally spar and completely undress each other with their eyes as they sat there, both completely easy for them. They were completely in love, ready to start the next phase of their lives together.

He declared her family after his father had once again appeared and disappeared in the blink of an eye, a soft smile creeping up as the truth found them. They set a date for their wedding, September quickly approaching. They planned a future, discussed the idea of children. She warmed to the idea quickly, surprising everyone. He couldn't wait to get started, wiggling his eyebrows at her. Everything was falling into place.

He was thrown for a loop when she was taken, not used to seeing her chair empty. He was afraid; fear and guilt over letting her go alone tormenting him. He stared unseeingly, caught up in the good memories of her and them together to push through his anguish. He saw their whole life flash before his eyes in that moment, sitting in me and staring at her empty chair. He would eventually find out that the same thoughts were what kept her alive, kept her fighting. They were too much a part of each other.

She was afraid they would be boring, their past a blurry memory as the truth of marriage hit them. She didn't want to fail him, didn't want to turn him off. He proved her wrong like always as he sat in me, tugging on the shrunken buried in his phone. The shrunken slipped out of his sweaty fingers and sailed across the room, Gates' howl of pain piercing their ears. How could she ever think it would be boring being married to Richard Castle?

Things are different now. I'm a little more worn, a little more torn, just as they are. I've been patched together, just as they have been with each other. I'm flawed, just as they are. I've seen it all, watched as their story unfolded. He found what he had come for. She found a new mystery in him. They were just getting started.