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

Her dream, at least the parts that she has described so far, isn't embarrassing at all—except maybe for him, the bunny tail thing—so what could be blush-worthy? "You gonna tell me?" She's still not talking, so he keeps trying. "Hallowe'en?"

"No, though you did show up as The Great Pumpkin or something. That one's pretty fuzzy."

"How about Arbor Day? Given your love for things arboreal. Did we swing naked from the trees?"



After she shakes her head he mentally flips through a catalogue of holidays, major and minor. Flag Day? Memorial Day? Martin Luther King, Jr. Day? Veterans Day? Presidents' Day? National Chocolate Cake Day? None seems likely, and he's afraid that if he runs too many by her she'll shut down. And then, boom! One pops up. Oh, this has to be it. He doesn't know why he's sure, but he is. "I've got it," he says.

"You do, huh?"

"Groundhog Day. That's it, isn't it? I can feel you quivering."

"Okay, okay, okay, yes. It was Groundhog Day."

She's leaving it at that, just an admission? A confirmation? No way. He wants details. She owes him details. "I bet I didn't knock that time. I bet I gnawed at the door, didn't I, Beckett?" He nudges her. "With my big groundhog teeth."

"You did have those teeth. They were plastic. I made you take them out."

"What about cute little fuzzy ears?"

"Yup, those too."

"You know you're gonna have to tell me, so you might as well spit it out."

"All right, you win. In the last part of my dream, it was really early in the morning, so it was still dark. You knocked on the door and when I saw you I said, 'Don't tell me, you're Punxsutawney Phil.' You looked at me like I was crazy and said, 'Of course I am, Beckett. You know that. I just left a few minutes ago.' Then you asked if I'd had breakfast yet. I said no and you said that was good because you had run out and bought something for us while I was still asleep. Carrot cake."

"Carrot cake?"

He knew she was rolling her eyes. "You said that carrots were especially good for improving the night vision of groundhogs."

"Probably true. Go on."

"So we had some coffee and carrot cake."

"Then what? Because clearly this is not the end."

"You turned off the lights and opened the door. And you went out in to the hall, shrieked, and ran back in."

"I shrieked?" He puts his hand over his heart. "I never shriek."

"You shrieked, Castle. And after you shut the door again you said, 'I saw my shadow, Beckett. You know what that means, don't you? We have six more weeks of winter, and we're going to spend it in bed'."


"And you scooped me up in your arms and carried me to bed."

"Don't tell me we just curled up and went to sleep."


"Is this by any chance the moment at which you insisted I divest myself of the plastic groundhog teeth?"


"How did you persuade me to do that? And no paraphrasing. I want to know exactly."

"Oh, God. I said 'Castle, there's no way you're wearing those teeth if, uh, if you're going to be, um, burrowing'."

Even as he's laughing so hard that he can barely breathe, he's grateful that he doesn't have a cookie in his mouth or he'd be choking to death on the pier over the frozen Hudson. Finally he pulls himself together. "Well, did I? Burrow?"

"Oh, yeah," she says.


"Let's just say I'd have been happy to stay there for six weeks."

He knows he shouldn't feel smug, since she's talking about a dream, but he's really, really looking forward to showing her what the real version of him can do. He also doesn't want to scare her off, so he's still a little careful with his words and he feigns a prim look. "I must say, Beckett, that unlike my dreams about you, yours about me was most assuredly not PG. I feel so used."

"Mine was completely PG until the end."

"Finished with a bang, eh?" Shit, that wasn't very careful. Oh, but he hears her chuckle. That has to be a good sign.

"Castle? We should go. It's way too cold to stay out here any longer."

"Can I buy you a drink, Detective? I happen to know a very fine bar, not far from where you live. There are no cookies, but the peanuts are high-quality."

Half an hour later they're nestled in his office in the Old Haunt, each with a glass of Scotch from his private stock, and still warming up. "Can I ask you something?" he says, his cheek pressed against her hair. "And not just because you're lying on a couch. What did you get from that dream? Because you mentioned before, you know, the song about love being just a dream away."

She moves a little so that she can tilt her face up to his. "I was really struck that it was, on the surface, about holidays, but you are a very holiday-centric man. The thing is, every holiday for you is an adventure, and I think that's what you wanted to give me. Adventure. The other day I told you that I realized that you make me happy. That's what that dream was about, most of all. Each time you were at at the door, with each holiday, you brought me joy. I didn't tell you this earlier, but in my dream, it was always a Sunday."

He looks down into her eyes. "A Sunday? Why?"

"Because I don't work on Sundays. You showed up on Sundays because you knew I'd be there, not buried in a case at at the precinct. It was so sweet."

"Good to know that the dream me is sweet."

"He is. The real one is, too. Except when he's driving me crazy."


She sits up, stretches and yawns. "Time for me to go home. I'm exhausted. Glad it's Friday so I can sleep in." She checks her watch. "Geez, Castle, it's really late. I hope Alexis isn't worried about you."

"She and two other girls are having a sleep over at another friend's. They'll be up half the night talking about boys. And there better not be any boys within 500 years of that apartment."

Beckett picks up her bag from a chair by the door. "Martha out on the town, too?"

"Yeah, out on the town in Boston," he says, helping her into her coat. "She went up to see a play because an old pal from summer-stock days is in it."

"That's nice. Um, I'll call you in the morning, okay?"


"I was hoping maybe we could do something. If you're free?"

"Oh, I'm free," he answers, as they step out into the street and head for her car. He's hoping for something, too, just not saying what.

After she opens her car door she turns and kisses him lightly on the lips. "Night, Castle."

"Night, Beckett. Tomorrow?"

She smiles, and drives away.

He's so over-caffeinated and so excited at the prospect of going on what seems to be a date with Beckett that he can't sleep. He plays video games, which he knows is ill-advised because it makes him ever more wired than he already is, but he doesn't care. He's trying to remember the last time he felt this happy, and eager, when his phone pings with an incoming text.

"You awake, Castle?"

"Yeah, couldn't sleep."

"You should go to bed."

"So should you."

"I'm about to. See you later."


The doorbell rings. It can't be. He knows he's awake, even though it's 3:00 a.m. He'll splash cold water on his face to make sure. He's convinced, and toweling off, when he hears the doorbell again. It has to be.

"Hey, Castle."

"Beckett? This is a surprise."

"Told you I'd see you in the morning. It may be early in the morning, but it's morning, so here I am."

Before she can unbutton her coat he says, "Hold on, I'll be right back."

He tears through the living room and goes into his office; within seconds, he's running back. "Thank God, it's still made."

"What's still made?"

"The bed. That means I haven't gone to bed yet, and this can't be a dream."

"Not a dream, I promise."

"Just to be safe, hit me."

"What? Hit you?"

"Smack me one. If I feel it, I know I'm not dreaming."

"Close your eyes, Castle."


And the next thing he knows, she's wrapping herself around him, kissing him—and then pinching his butt, hard.


She's laughing. "You know how long I've wanted to do that? To pinch that sexy ass of yours?"

"Gotta say, Beckett, I'm a hundred percent sure I'm awake." She has turned away from him and is walking towards the door. "Wait! Wait! Where are you going? Don't leave!"

She looks over her shoulder and grins. "Just taking my coat off, Castle. Don't get too excited." She unzips her boots, pulls them off, and drops her coat on the floor before turning around again and walking straight at him. "Actually, please do. Get excited."

She's barefoot, wearing nothing but the tiniest, wispiest, sexiest nightgown he has ever seen. He'd say that this gossamer bit of lingerie left nothing to the imagination, except that he's imagining all sorts of things, all of them filthy.

"Beckett?" He's gaping. He can't help it. He points to the floor. "Does this mean that you, that you found your feet?"

"I did. You know, I told you a few minutes ago that you should go to bed."

"Right, you did." He's still gaping, not at her feet but at her breasts, which will pop out of that nightgown if she moves half an inch.

"And I said I was going to bed, too."

His eyes are enormous, and are now looking right into hers, which are suddenly only inches away. "Uh huh."

"So, I thought we should do that together."

"Best thought ever, Beckett," he says, then kisses her as passionately and as long as both can manage, until they finally have to move apart.

"Oh, no," she says. "I have much better thoughts than just that, much, and I'm guessing you do too. Come on. It certainly feels as if you do." She grabs his hand, and when they get to the door of his bedroom she stops. "Just for the record, Castle? I'm terrible at anagrams."

"You are? I don't mind."

She moves forward until his back is pressed against the wall. "And the only one I can think of for my own name is just of my first name, not even the whole thing. TAKE."


"TAKE is an anagram of KATE."


"Yeah. That's supposed to be a hint, Castle. I want you to take me. Now."

And just like that, the nightgown is gone.

A/N Happy Valentine's Day everyone. Thank you again for all your support for this story, the moral of which is: dreams do come true.