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: This is a belated (in one case extremely belated) birthday fic dedicated to two of the most wonderful people I've ever had the pleasure of calling my friend. I don't know what I'd do without either of you. Thanks for putting up with my crazy (I don't know how you do it) and for encouraging me when I want to quit. I wouldn't be where I am without you.

For Beth and Allison.


Kate lifts her arms and tips her head back under the spray of the shower, hot water rushing down over her as she massages conditioner into her roots. His scent surrounds her, a deep woody smell that makes her body feel alive and sparking with an energy that she's not entirely sure what to do with. Need and want rise up in her chest and she has to fight down the urge to go track him down, to just walk right out of the shower and wrap her naked and dripping wet body around his.

Sometimes when she's alone in his space, it still hits her hard like this. These random moments where she can't believe it's finally real. That they're actually doing this. It's been months now. Long months of nights spent wrapped up in each other, their bodies playing catch up on the dance their hearts perfected long ago. She knows they waited for a reason, knows that they would have crashed and burned had they tried this before, but part of her can't help but mourn for all that they missed out on. All the love and the companionship. The sex.

Oh, the sex.

They have to have set some kind of record by now. She has no idea in what. Positions, locations, decibels reached without having law enforcement called. Something.

Because she knew the sex between them would be amazing but she honestly never expected this. Never expected the constant heated blush of her skin or the instant rush of crushing need the moment he so much as touches her. She didn't know that she would crave his hands on her body and the taste of her name in his mouth. She didn't know that she would wake up in the middle of the night with her body aching for him so painfully that she would be in tears by the time he made it through her front door and into her bed twenty minutes later, her mouth hot on his before he could even begin to ask her what was wrong.

She didn't know but part of her is glad for that because she thinks that if she had, she might have let the fear win. And even though it still scares the hell out of her just how much he makes her feel, she's never been more certain of a decision in her life.

Rinsing off one final time, Kate turns the knob and steps out of the shower, her skin prickling under the cool breeze coming from the air vent. She grabs her towel from the rack and dries herself quickly before bending over and wrapping the towel around her wet hair. Steam hangs in the air as she rubs lotion into her skin, a light cocoa butter that Castle bought for her. After combing out and braiding her hair, she slips into a pair of underwear and his discarded dress shirt from the day before, the lingering scent of his cologne wafting up from the collar and making her stomach clench.

Ever since that first morning, she's made a habit of wearing his shirts when they're alone. They both love it, though she knows it's for different reasons. Castle copped to it being sexual immediately. The sight of her in his clothes turns him on. He has no shame in trying to get them off of her as soon as she gets them on. For Kate, it's more sentimental, though she'll never admit it. She just likes to be surrounded by him.

She bypasses her bag - and pants - on the way to the office. To Castle.

"Hey," she says, stepping up behind his chair. The thick, wet rope of her braid falls over one shoulder as she leans down and hooks her arms around his shoulders. "How's the hand holding up?"

Castle clicks the the Sharpie he's holding and tosses it into the seam of the open book in the middle of his desk. Stacks of glossy covered hardbacks stand lined up in front of him, covering the top of the desk and spilling over onto the floor. All of his titles are represented; Derrick and Nikki and the one off characters that preceded them.

"The next time I'm donating to a charity, please remind me to just write a check," Castle sighs, leaning back in the chair and turning to press his forehead to her cheek. "So much easier to sign my name one time, rather than fifty."

"I'll make a note," she laughs, brushing her fingers through his hair. "You almost done?"

"About halfway there. Some of these requested dedications are rather lengthy." The corners of his eyes crinkle when he cranes his neck back and grins at her. "And graphic. The little old ladies at the New York Literary Society have filthy minds."

Kate shrugs one shoulder, the soft cotton blend whispering against her still shower soft skin. "Could be worse, Castle. They could have asked you to sign their chests."

"Wouldn't be the first time," he laughs, eyes dancing in the lamplight as she wrinkles her nose at him. "One of my mother's old theater cronies once flashed her -"

Kate slaps her hand over his mouth, her head shaking. "No. Just - No."

She can feel the deep vibration of his laughter against the palm of her hand just before his teeth nip the meat at the base of her thumb. Kate hisses, her toes curling against the hardwood floor. Castle pulls her arms from around his shoulders and spins the chair, grabbing the marker off the desk as he goes. She watches him flick open the two tiny buttons holding her shirt closed, his lips flirting with a devious smile.

"You know your chest is the only one I have any desire to have flashed, flaunted, shoved, or anything even remotely resembling any such action at me, Beckett." Castle slides his hands into the opening of the shirt, parting the two sides and watching as her bare breasts are exposed. Grinning, he clicks the Sharpie and holds it up, poised over her skin. "I'll be happy to make yours the last breasts I ever sign."

She hates the part of herself that thrills at the thought.

"No." Kate shakes her head. "That stuff takes forever to wash off. It's ninety degrees out and I'm not wearing turtlenecks to work for the next week just so - What are you doing?"

The fingers of his left hand hook into the top of her underwear, tugging, and she feels the soft tip of the marker pressing into her skin as Castle signs his name with a flourish. Hand still fisted in the elastic band now twisted halfway down her thighs, he sits back and cocks his head to the side, a wide smile splitting his cheeks. "It's not your chest but I'd say it conveys the point nicely. How 'bout you?"

Kate stares down at him. "Did you seriously just sign my -"

"Yep," he nods, that one lock of hair she loves flopping over onto his forehead. The hand still holding the marker wiggles in her peripheral vision. "Want me to add a personalized dedication?"

"I am going to kill you."

"Aw, come on, Beckett," he cajoles, clicking the marker and tossing it on the floor. "Be a good sport. No one is going to see it but me."

The metal wheels clatter against the hardwood as he scoots closer to her in the chair, backing her up against the low bookcase along the back wall. His eyes flash mischief as he pulls her underwear down and off, leaning forward to press light kisses to her hipbones while he helps her step out of them. He grips the back of her thighs, nudging her up onto the edge of the bookcase.

"You like that don't you?"

Castle looks up at her, lips pressed against the curve of her stomach, and raises an eyebrow.

"You like that I'm going to be walking around for the next however long with your name written on my skin." She brushes the fingers of one hand through his hair, curls them around his ear. "That I'm going to be at work every day, wearing you underneath my clothes."

He growls against her, his fingers digging into her thighs and lifting, tipping her weight back. Her shoulders hit the wall and Castle lifts her feet up onto the armrests of his chair. Light stubble abrades her skin as he nips at her hips and stomach, his hands running up and down her thighs. Kate watches him move lower, watches as he traces over his signature with his lips and then the sharp tip of his tongue.

"I don't like it," he breathes against her skin and her fingers curl around the lip of the bookcase, her body straining with the effort not to buck up into him. "I love it. I love knowing that you're going to be strutting around in your power heels with your gun and your badge, interviewing and arresting suspects -" he traces his index finger over the R and then the C - "talking to Lanie and the boys and Gates, all while I'm right here." His finger slides down and Kate bites her lip, eye fluttering shut. "It turns me on. To know I'll be so close to you, all the time. Does it turn you on, Beckett?"

"Shit, Castle."

He laughs, dark and dirty. "That's not an answer."

"Move your finger and you'll have an answer," she grinds out, voice tight with need.

"Move my finger?" Kate nods. "Where? Here?" Castle moves his index finger up and to the left, running along the crease of her thigh. She bites back the whine inching up her throat and narrows her eyes at him, the fingers still curled around his ear tightening to a pinch.

"So that's a no then," he says, smiling. "How about here?" He traces across the bottom of her stomach, his touch feather light and teasing. "Is this where I'll find my answer, Beckett?"

"Castle," she says, barely holding back the whine.

"Yes?" His finger moves to the outside of her thigh, drawing long slow lines up and down the muscle, making her whole leg shake.

"Touch me." She lets go of his ear, slides her fingers into his hair and fists. "Please."

"How could I ever deny such a heartfelt plea?"

Kate groans low in her throat when he touches her, her feet slipping down next to his hips as her knees fall further open. Castle catches her left leg and, sliding as far forward in the chair as he can, lifts it over his shoulder. She can't control herself when his mouth connects; her hips lift of the bookcase and Castle has to press a forearm across her stomach to hold her down.

She watches him, his nose pressed against the bleeding marker lines of signature, and her heart races, body overwhelmed with emotion and sensation and pure physical need. Her toes curl into his hip and she feels him smiling against her, can see the corner of his eyes crinkling.

"Don't look so smug," she pants, skating on the edge.

Castle doesn't speak, doesn't stop, just carries on with his systematic and well practiced assault on her senses. He moans against her when she reaches for her breasts and she smiles at him, watching him watch her. His fingers curl and he sucks and then she's gone, calling out his name as her back bows.

He lowers her leg and peels her off the bookcase, helps her find her feet. Kate pulls him into a deep kiss when he stands, his clothed body sparking like flint against the still smoking embers of her arousal. His hands slip inside the shirt that still hangs from her shoulders, hot palms running up and down her back, cupping her ass, dragging her up onto his thigh.

"Let's go to bed," she says, kissing along his jaw. "You can finish writing dirty stories for the little old ladies tomorrow."

"Best idea I've heard all day," Castle laughs, walking her backward toward the bedroom.

Kate stops them halfway there, her hand spread across his chest and a smile curling at the corners of her mouth. "Wait. Go get the Sharpie. I have a few things to autograph too."


AN2: I know that there is a picture of a staircase above the bookcase behind Castle's desk, not just a blank wall. I couldn't make the wording work for that so I redecorated for the purpose of this story. Please do not come yell at me in a review.

Thank you for reading. Your thoughts and comments are always appreciated.