AN: For those of you reading FB, I just posted the new chapter, so don't get mad at me. I was actually writing that chapter when I came up with the idea for this story. I don't think it's been done but if it has, I promise I didn't mean to rip off anyone's story. Please leave me a review and let me know what you think!
Disclaimer: I don't own Castle or any of its characters.
"Seriously," Beckett mumbled under her breath. Already, she had been having a bad day. The new case they were working on not only had been the murder of a fourteen year old girl, but they were completely stalled in the investigation. Their prime suspect had a nearly airtight alibi, not to mention the girl's parents called her every other hour to check on the investigation. She had just finished her day with an interrogation that gave her less than nothing and had pushed her to be so on edge Montgomery suggested she take the rest of the day off. She could still feel her suspect's eyes raking over her body, making her feel as though she needed to take a shower afterwards.
And to top it all off, a guy had taken her wallet from her hand just as she was trying to pay for a coffee.
Spinning around, she chased him out of the coffee shop, pushing past people that hadn't already moved out of her way. She had nearly caught up to him when he suddenly rounded a corner.
"Sorry I'll just— Hey, is that yours?" she heard a man say after the short grunt the thief had let out from the collision with the other man.
Just as she rounded the corner herself, she saw the man who had taken her wallet trying to push back a taller man that made him look almost child-like.
She slowed down but strode purposefully toward where the two men were struggling. "Hey," she called out as she got closer.
After a brief struggle, the taller man let out a bark of victory, holding her wallet high in the air where the thief couldn't reach. He seemed to spot her, yelling out to her as he struggled to keep the man from jumping on him to get the wallet. "Hey, are you the one he took this from?"
She nodded in response, speeding her walk a bit more to come to a stop beside them. Grabbing the smaller man by his arm, she flipped him around, pushing him up against the building beside them. A small yelp came from behind her, and she couldn't help the smile that spread across her face.
"You really ought to stop struggling," she told the man. "Next time you rob someone, you really should make sure they're not a cop. Now, I don't have my cuffs on me, but I can have an officer that does over here in two minutes."
There was a pause, and just as she was about to give the kid — she could already tell he wasn't any more than twenty — a little scare before sending him off, the man still standing behind them spoke.
"Do you want me to go find an officer?"
Giving it a moment, she let go of her thief and stepped back. "No, that's alright. Turn around," she ordered the man still facing the wall in front of her. His eyes were downcast, his hands wringing around each other nervously.
"Are you going to have me arrested, ma'am?" His voice was shaking, and Beckett could already tell he hadn't tried anything before this.
After a sigh, she answered. "No, I'm not. What's your name?"
"Thomas," he said after hesitating a moment.
"Well, Thomas, I better not see your name on any arrest forms and I better not see your face in my precinct unless you are there to help, understand?"
He nodded eagerly, an apology tumbling from his mouth.
"Good," she told him. "Now, since I'm guessing this is the first time you've pulled anything like this, I'm going to let you off with a warning."
Thomas let out a long sigh of relief, thanking her incessantly until she told him to go home. When she turned around, she was surprised to see the other man still there, watching her closely. She had nearly forgotten that she had yet to retrieve her wallet, and laughed internally at the thought that she could have ended up in the same situation as she had just been in had this man not been as good as he was.
"I guess you'll be wanting this," he said, holding out her wallet for her to take. "That was a pretty nice thing you did there," he commented as she shoved her wallet back into her pocket.
"Yeah, well, he seemed a little young to deserve a mark on his record," she said nonchalantly. Now that she was looking at him without any distracted, the man seemed to look familiar.
Nodding, he seemed to agree. "So, you're a cop?"
She nodded right back at him. "Yep." Their eyes were still locked despite the lapse in conversation and after a moment, she realized who she was staring at and couldn't help the jumble of words that slipped from her mouth. "But that can't be very interesting to you; I mean, you being a bestselling author and everything."
His eyes lit up when she mentioned him being an author. "You recognized me?"
A blush rose to her cheeks as she realized she had essentially just admitted to being a huge fan of his books. "Uh, yeah, I, uh, really like your books." She cringed at her words, wondering if she could have said anything more generic.
"Yeah?" He seemed genuinely excited about discovering a new fan. "Which ones have you read? What one's your favorite?"
His questions gave her a chance to laugh, allowing her to relax a little.
"Every one that's been published…" she mumbled.
His face cracked open with a wide smile. "All of them? You must be a really— wait. Have I seen you before?" The expression he wore went from excited to curious in a heartbeat, throwing her off for a moment. She nearly went pale when she remembered why he would have recognized her.
Humming a moment before answering, she mentally prepared herself to answer him. "I, uh, went to your book signing last week."
His brow furrowed a moment, then shot up as he remembered. "Is it Kate?" he asked hopefully.
She took a moment to be surprised, then nodded. "How did you remember me when you probably signed hundreds of books that day?"
He smiled, taking a step toward her. "Because I noticed you when you first walked through the door. You were— are— the most beautiful woman I've ever seen, and your eyes," he paused a moment, looking between her eyes to further his point, "Your eyes looked so sad, and I wondered who on Earth would ever think to hurt you."
A large part of her wondered if he was just laying on the charm just to sleep with her, but rest of her saw the truth in his eyes. She read people for a living, and everything she saw in him said he was being honest.
"You're just saying that; I'm… I'm no one," she said, trying to talk herself out of falling into the words he was saying like she had with the words he had written.
He shook his head. "You're not no one, Kate." He didn't say another word, didn't move another inch, only looked into her eyes until she was forced to speak.
"Look, I'm sure I'm not the first girl you've done this to," she said, his wince making her feel a bit guilty. She could be entirely wrong about this, but his reputation was working against him, and she wasn't going to take a chance she didn't have to. "And you probably have somewhere you need to be, so I'm just going to get out of your hair before I do something stupid. It was nice meeting you, Castle."
As she began to turn away, his arm shot out to grab hers. It wasn't a firm grip, only enough to get her to turn back to him. He had a fire in his eyes he hadn't had earlier, and she knew she had hit a button.
"Okay, for one, you are not the umpteenth woman I've done this to. I know the media portrays me as a playboy, but in all honesty I've only slept with women with whom I've been in serious relationships." He paused a moment, letting go of her arm and squaring his shoulders. "Two, I was heading for a coffee shop around the corner. I don't want to climb into bed with you and then leave, Kate. I just want to know a little more about you. If you decide after that you don't want to go out with me, then I will be out of your hair by the end of the day."
Her eyebrow shot up at the last part. "'End of the day'? Do you have something planned for us?"
Suddenly, he seemed sheepish. Shoving his hands into the pocket of his jeans, he shifted his weight between his feet, his eyes falling to the sidewalk.
"Well, I had been hoping…" he trailed off, looking up at her, only tilting his head up slightly. A hopeful smile was spread across his face, and she silently cursed herself. He looked too damn adorable to not at least spend some time with.
Finally, after he seemed to refuse to continue his sentence, she broke. "Do want to come with me to get the coffee I wanted before Tommy tried to take my wallet?"
He nodded enthusiastically. "Perfect! It's a date!" Looping her elbow into his, he started off into the direction she had come from, dragging her along.
"Hey, I didn't say this was a date!" she protested though she made no move to take her arm from his. "It's just coffee."
"Oh, come on, Kate," he whined. "It's a coffee date. It doesn't even have to lead to another date. Or even a phone number. It doesn't have to mean anything, but it's still a date."
"A date means it means something," she shot back.
"You don't want to be able to say you went on a date with the Richard Castle?" he teased, making her laugh.
Shaking her head, she pulled him over to the side to lead him into the coffee shop she had just left. "Fine, it's a date."
He smirked. "I knew the fan in you wouldn't be able to resist."
Together they walked up to the counter, their laughs drawing the attention of the other customers. When the barista moved to take their order, her eyebrows raised.
"You're the woman who had her wallet stolen," she stated.
Kate nodded, nudging Rick's side. "He stopped the guy and gave me my wallet back."
The woman cocked her head and furrowed her brow. "You were robbed, then you chased down the guy that stole your wallet, and got it back because Richard Castle stopped him?" After the pair nodded, the barista continued. "Are you sure you guys didn't already know each other? You look like you've been together for years."
"Really?" Rick exclaimed, turning to Kate. "See, we even look like a couple. You know what I think happened?"
Rolling her eyes, she bit her lip before asking, "What's that?"
"He stole your wallet, but you stole my heart," he said, leaning into her more.
She laughed at how cheesy it was, then turned to the barista, ordering her coffee (again), stepping aside to allow him to order his.
Looking back at the instance four years later, Detective Beckett laughed just as she had that day, only this time, it was for a different reason. They had been saying just that whenever someone asked how they met. If she had known then that she was going to be walking down an aisle to marry him, not to mention that she was solving murders with him, she wouldn't have teased him for saying it.