Post-Episode fic for The Time of Our Lives. I mean to post this yesterday, so I apologize for the delay.

This is the Rated M version of this story.

Disclaimer: Castle is not mine :/


"The moment that I met you, my life became extraordinary..." –Mrs. Katherine Castle


[Always]

It's cooler now. The sun dipping below the horizon as the moon takes its place in the sky, with the light reflecting off the ocean in sparkling waves. There's a small breeze but enough for it to be bearable to stay out for a few moments longer.

Hand in hand, the newlywed couple strolls along the shoreline, a small rip tide brushing up against their bare feet and causing them to lose their footing, but only for a split second. They're anchored to each other, never drifting away as their laced fingers keep them from separating.

They've been out here for a while; time slipping from their grasps as they collect shells along the beach. A mesh bag hangs at Rick's side; many different colored and shaped seashells residing inside.

"To add to our collection," he had said when he first suggested they go for an evening stroll, with the red bag in hand ready to be filled with the shells.

Kate can't stop the smile from curving her lips as she keens into his side, a stronger wind nipping at their exposed skin. She's never been so happy, so full of joy.

It still hasn't hit her yet.

Married. She's married… Finally.

Her mouth meets his when he least expects it, the force in which she executes it knocking him off his balance. Laughter fills the air as they straighten themselves upright. A few missteps and they'd be in the freezing water.

He tugs her away from the tide, their hands still joined together as they reach drier sand. With their shoes clutched at her side and the red bag at his, it's a bit awkward with their linked hands, but they eventually gain their steadiness and continue on their way.

A long stretch of beach sits before them, waiting to be explored.

"Thank you," she whispers in his ear, her breath warming his skin in a tantalizing way.

Her body is pressed to his side, his tuxedo jacket draped over her shoulders and preventing the cool wind from licking her skin as its picks up. He can feel her. All of her, and it warms his heart to have her here— to simply be.

Rick stops them, his hands spanning across her back while tugging her closer, and he can feel the breath hitch in her throat at the movement. It doesn't take long for his lips to find hers. He's gentle, soft; the light caress of his mouth causes her toes to curl in the best possible way.

"Always," he says against her mouth between breaths. She moans into his lips, the low timbre of his voice spreading warmth through out her entire being.

He pulls back, hips brushing against one another, teasing, as they head back toward the house. He presses one more kiss to the crown of her hair, eyes closing briefly in awe.

Married. He's married.

It had been a quickly put together affair, but it'd been perfect. Absolutely perfect.

After the incident over two months ago, he had felt he let her down by putting pain and uncertainty in her heart, feelings she shouldn't have even experienced in the first place. The past few months have been a struggle for him. He didn't feel worthy of her; all his thoughts focusing on how she deserved better, better than him.

He just wanted her to have the perfect day, but it never happened. He ruined that moment for her.

Until now…

"It's perfect."

Her words echo in his ears and all the doubt he's been feeling immediately evaporates.

He smiles down at her, blue eyes shining bright in the moonlight. "Still perfect?" He wonders, eyes dancing over her features. She looks so at peace, so happy, and it thrills him to no end that he's the cause of that joy.

Kate nods her head, an identical grin on her lips. "Yes," she whispers softly.

"Even after—" There's a hesitation in his tone and she immediately stops him, a hand coming up and cupping his cheek.

"Yes, even after everything we've been through. It might not have been the grand wedding we had planned, but it wasn't any less perfect. Our wedding was everything I could have hoped for and more. So much more."

Nodding, he sighs deeply. "You know, in my dream world, I couldn't help but wonder that your life would have been better had we never met and—"

"No. That's not true. You are the best thing to have happened to me. I became alive again because of you. Don't you dare question that."

He doesn't say anything for a moment, merely staring at her look of honesty and determination.

"I know that now." Rick gives her a tiny smile, but he grows serious and she can see the distance in his eyes as he speaks. "I still wondered though…"

Kate's mouth is attached to his in seconds, her lips dancing and caressing his in a feverish need— a need to prove that he is worthy of her love. When she pulls back, she sucks in a breath, cold and deep, before resting her forehead against his.

"Listen to me, Richard Castle. My life is better because of you. You make me whole and I will spend the rest of my life proving that to you. I love you so much. Please don't ever think that you are not worthy of my love."

His eyes light up at her words, the blue sparkling from the reflection of the ocean. She can see the moment when the words truly hit home and she sighs in relief against him, her nose brushing his neck as she hugs him tightly.

"It's why I couldn't sleep at night," he murmurs into her hair. "I felt that I had failed you and that I could never make it up to you, no matter how hard I tried. Those two months… I'm so sorry, Kate. If I could change the past, I would."

She pulls back slightly, meeting his gaze and she sees unshed tears in his eyes. "I know you would."

"That alternate life showed me how lucky I am to have you and how good it is, how good we are. It was the wake up call I needed. I didn't feel confident, in us or in myself."

"And do you now?"

Kissing her briefly, he smirks with the raise of an eyebrow. "What do you think?"

She bites her bottom lip and it takes everything in him not to kiss her. That little quirk of hers is adorable.

"Yes," she says with more sureness.

"Good answer," he beams, wagging his eyebrows up and down.

The couple each take in a deep breath, both feeling the doubt and certainties washing away, much like the tide at their feet. They're starting over, beginning this grand adventure together, as husband and wife.

Partners, in crime and in life.

He feels her shiver against him, and it doesn't take very long for him to start running his hands up and down her arms, pulling her closer into his embrace. Kate wraps her arms around his middle, curling into the warmth of his body.

Rick pecks her cheek then nods toward the house. "What do you say we go warm up inside?"

She nods against him. "That'd be wonderful. It's freezing out here."

"I'll warm you up." The statement is meant to be innocent, but it doesn't come out that way at all.

Lip tucked between her teeth, she smirks up at him. "Not if I warm you up first."

Rick tilts his head back on a laugh.

A good shove of her shoulder hits his chest as she laughs along with him. "What? Why is that funny? I'm trying to be romantic here."

His features soften, while his hand travels up to her cheek and rests it there. The feel of his ring surprise her, but only for an instant. Dipping his head closer, the smile he has for her reaches his eyes and she can't help but smile back.

"It was cute. Cheesy, but cute."

"And your 'I'll warm you up' line wasn't cheesy?" As she speaks the words, she drops her voice lower to mimic him.

He hesitates for a second. "Um… no? The exact opposite, in fact."

Kate purses her lips, shaking her head at his uncertainty. "Uh-huh," she breathes, "Whatever you say, babe. Whatever you say…" She leaves him standing there, but not before pressing a kiss to his cheek. "Race you back to the house."

It takes Rick all of five seconds to realize that she's gone, leaving him all alone on the beach. He shakes out of the short reverie he was in and chases after her. The wet sand makes it difficult to run in, but he manages just fine and ends up catching up to Kate in a couple long strides.

She squeals when a pair of strong arms finds their way across her abdomen, the solid feel of his chest at her back.

"Gotcha," he beams, all too proud to have caught her. He nips at her neck, making her squirm under his mouth. "You're mine."

She turns in his arms, wrapping her own around his neck before linking her fingers together. "I am, huh?" she asks as she leans in close, so close that their noses brush against one another as if in a soft kiss. "Does that mean you're mine, too?"

"We did sign the marriage license, as well as exchange vows and rings," Rick explains on a shrug. "So… yes. I believe that means you're stuck with me."

Kate gently presses a kiss to his lips. "There are worse things."

"You wound me, woman. Haven't even been married for a day and already you're poking fun at me."

"You know you love it."

She's not wrong there. He loves when she teases him, although he doesn't always like to admit it.

But right now is one of the times he does.

"That I do. Love you more, though." He has one more kiss for her before, taking her hand in his and leading her toward the house. "Now, come on, Mrs. Castle. Let's get you warm."

They practically run inside, dumping their shoes and bag full of seashells on the living room couch, before making a beeline for the bedroom. Kate giggles when Rick sweeps her into his arms as soon as they reach the master bedroom.

"Tradition to carry the bride over the threshold," he explains, holding her close.

She rolls her eyes but in a loving way. Arms around his shoulders she cocks her head to the side. "We've never been ones for tradition, though. So why now?"

"Do I sense a complaining tone from you, Kate?" He mocks lightly on a laugh. "I am, after all, carrying you to bed. Most women would appreciate that. Some would even dare say it's romantic."

"Well, I'm not most women. Am I, Rick?"

His gaze turns serious in an instant. "No. You're not." He gently sets her down on the bed and nearly loses his breath at the sight of her. His wife. "You're better. Infinitely so."

Kate tugs him down with her, holding onto his biceps as he carefully rests above her. Their bodies align, pressing against the other in just the right way to cause them to moan. The energy between them becomes electric, its force nearly knocking them out as they eagerly attach their mouths together in a searing kiss, neither holding back.

"I love you." Her words make his heart swell with joy and light.

Resting his forehead against hers, he shuts his eyes for the briefest of seconds. Blue meets hazel; the pure love, want, and happiness he sees in them tug the corners of his lips upward.

"I love you, too, Kate."

Their lips dance slowly, simply cherishing and worshiping, their need for the other increasing with every pass.

"Make love to me, Rick," she whispers between breaths.

He didn't have to be told twice. "With pleasure."

His hands gently roam her body, tracing over every curve and crevice he can reach, and Kate can only lie there as he slowly begins to remove her clothes. She gasps when his mouth comes into contact with her abdomen, his tuxedo jacket and her top now on the floor as he peppers kisses along the smooth skin.

He takes his time and smirks when he hears her shaky intake of breath as soon as his hands come into contact with her thighs, his mouth soon following. He painstakingly unbuckles her high heels before trailing a finger on the bottom of her foot, the motion causing her to tremble under his touch.

In no time at all, she is left in only her bra and underwear.

Kate grips him by the arms, her leg wrapping around his waist as she flips him onto his back and lands above him, their positions switched.

"My turn," she whispers, kissing his lips in a barely there kiss, before she slides her hands over his chest.

He sinks back on the mattress, completely in awe of her as she sits above him. With nimble fingers, she ever so gently starts to unbutton each fasten on his shirt, and with each one undone, she can see his impatience inching higher and higher.

When she finally removes the shirt, Rick lets out a small sigh of relief and Kate can't help but chuckle at him. She tosses the shirt behind her in a flurry, her hands quickly finding purchase on his pants. He kicks off his shoes as his pants become trapped around his ankles. Kate slides off of him in order to kneel on the floor, helping him remove the slacks, but before she climbs back into his lap, she decides to tease him a bit more.

Grazing her nails along his legs, she spreads them apart and traces the muscles flexing beneath her hands. A gasp escapes Rick's lips when he feels her hot breath above him, his need for her increasing tenfold.

"Kate—"

He meets her eyes and the smile she has for him almost causes him to lose it right there.

She trails her lips over his left inner thigh, all while her nails dance over his hips, and avoiding the one spot he desperately wants her to touch. When it becomes too much to handle, he grasps her by the arms and tugs her back up to his chest, her legs bracketing his hips.

"You're such a tease," he huffs, kissing her roughly.

Kate smiles into his mouth, pulling back only slightly so she can speak. "Learned from the best."

He attacks her mouth, greedily nipping and sucking on her bottom lip before releasing it with a pop, while his hands map the expanse of her back, finding the clasp of her bra before undoing it. "Got that right, sweetheart."

His hands travel from her back to her front as he tosses her bra to the side and his palms immediately roam over the soft plains of her stomach and the flare of her hips before he reaches up and feels the weight of her breasts.

"So beautiful."

In no time at all, their final pieces of clothing are gone and both are bare.

He slides into her easily; the feel of her surrounding him is overwhelming and it's a feeling he never wants to forget. Sitting up so that their chests now press firmly against one another, he tugs her legs around his waist, her feet crossed at his lower back, pulling her closer. Arms wrapping around his shoulders, she presses her forehead to his as they take in the feel of one another, simply enjoying the embrace.

Then, she begins to move her hips.

It's slow as she rises above him, her hips lifting ever so slightly that he stays within her. He rocks into her, slowly increasing the pace that draws them closer to the release they both crave.

He connects their lips, swallowing her moans as she grips him and he can only band his arms around her back even tighter, pressing his chest to hers.

Her heart beats in time with his and he has never felt anything so magical in his entire life.

A few thrusts later and they're both tumbling, their orgasms hitting them at the same time. It's so erotic yet so romantic that it takes them several minutes to compose themselves.

Rick presses his nose into her hair; his mouth feathering light kisses along her neck while he tries to gain his breath. Running his hands up and down her back, he continues to trail kisses over her skin and he feels her melt into him, her muscles lose and it makes him smile softly to himself to see that he does that to her.

"Love you, Mrs. Castle," he sighs into her hair.

She tugs her head off his shoulder, their eyes meeting, and she can't help but reach up to caress the hair that flops across his forehead. He revels in her touch, the soft kiss of her fingers on his nose, his cheeks, his lips.

"Love you too, Mr. Castle."

"Say it again."

She raises an eyebrow, her hands now cupping his cheeks as she leans in close, so close that if he were to move just a hair forward, their lips would be touching. His eyes study her face, traveling over every inch of skin he can see and he can't fight the urge to kiss her, so he closes the distance and presses his mouth to hers in a brief peck.

When they pull apart, Kate is all smiles but Rick can see the deep emotion flickering in her eyes, the unshed tears, the love. "I love you, Richard Castle. I love you so much."

"And I you, Katherine Castle," he murmurs gently, eyes shutting closed as their foreheads connect once more in a soft caress. "Always."


"The moment we met, my life became extraordinary…" –Mr. Richard Castle


There you go!

Hope y'all liked it! Reviews are love.

Follow me on Twitter at KB_RC23 and Follow me on Tumblr at KB-RC23.