Disclaimer: The only part of Castle that I own is the TV on which I watch the show.

A/N: Please note that this chapter is rated M. As it is also the final one in this story, I'm dedicating it with thanks to my friend ISW, without whom I would never have had had the gumption to take the leap into FF.

Rick gives himself a mental fist bump and an internal high five, but really can't maintain radio silence after that comment.

"Do you think I could get a little trophy made, or a T shirt that I promise, promise, promise to wear only in bed, with you?" He points to his chest. "Best Pounder Ever!" No response.


"Mmph," she replies, using every ounce of self-control not to cackle over his trophy-and-T-shirt idea.

"Are you sleeping?"

"No." She runs her foot enticingly along the back of his calf.

"Much as I'd love to stay awake with you, I can't. I need a nap, what with all the pounding I've been doing."

"Uh, is anyone coming home soon?"

"By 'anyone' you mean my mother or Alexis? No, Mother's in the Berkshires getting her Chi adjusted—whatever that requires, other than my American Express Centurion card—and Alexis is on an overnight class trip to Philadelphia."

"So it's just us chickens?" Kate asks, snuggling in to him.

"You did notice that I'm a rooster, right?"

"Yes, I did."

"And you are one gorgeous chick. Chicken. A good laying chicken."

"Go to sleep, Rick, you handsome cock." She kisses him lightly, but he's already out cold, with his warm arm across her chest. She follows not long after, once she has identified the feeling that is covering her like a fine mist. It had been absent so long from her life that she hadn't at first recognized it: happiness.

In the early evening, they both emerge from a very deep sleep. They're face-to-face, on their sides, and Kate is the first to break the smile stand-off by speaking. "Hey, Castle."

"I thought we established that we're on a first-name basis."

"We are, but you'll always be Castle to me, first." She gives him a kiss with just enough tongue to wake him up for real. "All that talk we were having about chickens made me starving."

"Hungry for me already, Beckett?"

"Yes, but right now I need some eggs, scrambled. And toast. And bacon. Coffee on the side, and don't be stingy, baby."

"Quoting Garbo, eh? Such a mystery you are, Beckett."

She smacks him on his delicious bare butt. "Get going."

"I am, but I require a culinary muse, so you have to get going, too." She bats her eyelashes at him, but doesn't move.

Castle gets out of bed, goes to his dresser and puts on a clean pair of boxers.

"Are those silk? You have silk Captain America boxers?"

"Yes I do. Perfection in fashion, as in other things, is my goal, and I'm glad to see that your powers of observation are as keen as ever," he says, walking to her side of the bed and abruptly pulling her out of it. "Time to haul ass, Beckett. And might I add, that is a most alluring ass you're hauling."

When they finish their dinnertime breakfast, Castle puts the plates and mugs in the dishwasher. Beckett, wearing only the shirt that he had discarded earlier in the day, a lifetime ago, begins to walk away.

"Castle? Would you like some dessert? I'm it." And with that she dashes back to his bedroom.

She gives a little shriek when he grabs her from behind and then spreads her out on the bed. Is that a hum? Is he humming again?

"My turn to pick a song," he says. And then he starts. "Stay, lady, stay, stay with your man awhile. Until the break of day, let me see you make him smile."

Beckett picks up the next line before he can get to it. "His clothes are dirty but his hands are clean, and you're the best thing that he's ever seen."

Castle stops her with a kiss. "It's true," he says. "You are the best thing I've ever seen. But Kate, wait, wait, wait, you know country-style Bob Dylan? I think my love for you just crossed every state line from here to Nashville. That's New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia and Tennessee."

"So is this going to be our thing? Singing?"

"Why not? There's a song for every occasion."

"Yeah? And what's this occasion?" she asks, snapping the waistband of his boxers.

"This?" He reaches down, unbuttons the shirt that she had appropriated, and slips it off her. "This is foresinging, you know, foreplay, but with singing."

Beckett is looking a little dreamy as he rolls her onto her stomach. He pulls her legs apart and kneels between them, leaning forward to leave a kiss between each vertebra in her long and elegant back. She sighs and gives a little movement that's half shudder, half wiggle. "Mmmm," she says, as she hears a silken rustle and feels him rising to his knees. He runs his palm from the base of her spine to her neck and then moves back down, this time touching each vertebra not with his lips but with the tip of his penis.

It's a dream. She must be dreaming. Had she gone back to sleep? She tests her theory by reaching around to the middle of her back and finds him there. Oh, no, she's most certainly wide awake and so, from the feel of things, is he. It's a slightly awkward position, but she reaches higher and begins to massage his balls. He groans sensually and pushes her legs a little farther apart. Feeling her warm dampness on the inside of his thigh, he spreads some on himself and, knowing that she's more than ready, glides in. What follows is the tenderest, most protracted lovemaking that either of them has ever known, each giving and getting and giving in return. And before they drift to sleep again, they exchange whispers and questions and answers and yes, laughter.

Around six, Castle wakes feeling hot and oddly pinned down, and wonders vaguely if the A/C has turned off. Peeling his eyes open, he discovers the heat source is none other than Beckett, who is plastered on top of him, chest to chest, and has trapped his legs within her own.

"Good morning," she says.

"It is a good morning. Outstanding morning."

"I hate to say it, but I have to go to work."

"Already? Right now? "

"Well, I think we've got half an hour to spare," she says, moving partway off him but still holding his thighs firmly between her own. She pushes herself up so that she is straddling his hips.

"Going for a ride?" Castle asks.

"I am. My favorite kind," she says. "You know how I love to drive. And this" —she grabs his rapidly hardening erection, "is the best model ever. Stick shift. Handles like a dream. 0 to 80 in one minute." Descending slowly, she takes him in. "Fill 'er up, Castle."

And oh, he does.

A/N: Thank you all for the amazing support for my, uh, maiden voyage on the FF seas. I'll be back soon, I hope.