Disclaimer: The only part of Castle that I own is the TV on which I watch the show.
A/N This chapter is Beckett's POV.
She's never been kissed like this in her life. Her eyes are closed, they flicker open, they shut. She's somehow aware that it's snowing, so it must be cold. She knows that it's cold, but it's so warm in the car. Hot. It's hot in the car even though the heat isn't turned on. Oh, but there's heat, and something is turned on. They have the same source, and it's not automotive, it's man-made. A man is generating this heat and she is so turned on by that she can barely think or breathe. This six-foot-two, one-man power station whose hands are in her hair and then everywhere else and his tongue is in her mouth, so gentle and then not at all gentle. And his perfect teeth, but she remembers that they're not perfect, they're cutely crooked on the bottom, but he's using them perfectly now, she feels them in all their perfection just below her ear and then against her collarbone. They're in the car but somehow he has drawn her so close that even in their heavy winter coats she can feel the massiveness of his chest, feel her breasts pressed against it, feel her nipples tighten even through all those layers and there is his hand under her coat, those amazing fingers must have undone buttons but she's so undone she didn't know it was happening and there they are, his fingers are pinching her nipples through her bra, and now he's caressing them, and moving. And his mouth is over hers and humming into it and then it isn't, she feels the absence of it on her swollen lips but oh, God, he has slipped her breasts out of the lacy confines of her bra and is sucking on her nipple, and then her whole breast is in his hot, sweet mouth, and then it's on the other nipple, and she comes as if she had been struck by lightning, which she has been, with her hands tight on his shoulders while she screams his name.
"Oh, my God, Castle." She feels as though she's here and not; her corporeal self is quivering against him but some other self—her spirit, who knows?—is floating above them. Her eyes are wide open and locked on his.
"Did you just? I mean—"
She exhales unsteadily and smiles bashfully, although their behavior in the parked car has been anything but shy. "I did. Never had that before." Now she looks down, away from his loving face.
"You know?" Her eyes are right back on him. "How could you know?"
"I mean, I know what it is. A nipple orgasm. I wasn't sure it even existed and I sure as hell never, uh, produced one. Caused it. Elicited. Triggered. Coaxed."
She can't help laughing as she leans against his chest. "So proud of yourself, aren't you?"
"What's wrong with that?"
"Nothin'. But I'm proud of me."
"Because it tells me how much I trust you, that I would let go like that. And another thing? I never, ever scream, but I know I screamed your—. Oh, shit! Castle!" She pulls her coat tight around her and suddenly has the horrified expression of someone in a Goya etching. "We're in your car. In front of my building."
He peers out, still completely besotted. "Yeah, we are. Wow, and we fogged up the windshield."
She swats him softly on the arm. "You fogged up my brain, Castle. What if someone I know saw us? Or—" she shudders, and her voice drops down an octave, "heard us. Me. Heard me." She covers her Goya face.
"Nobody heard you."
"How do you know? They could be huddled on the corner discussing it. I'm going to have to sneak in and out of my building for a month. In a disguise."
He looks her up and down. "Pretty freaking hard to disguise you, Kate."
She sits up in her seat and tries to smooth down her hair. "I'm going upstairs now." She takes his hand from her knee and kisses his open palm.
"Not tonight, Castle." She squeezes his hand. "Everything just changed."
"Kate, are you sorry? Should I—"
"No! Of course I'm not sorry. It's." She's looking at him with love-drunk seriousness. "It's. You've, well, you've been wooing me for weeks. I know you have. I knew it right away, after the tiger, but when you kissed me here you took me completely by surprise." She runs a hand across his jaw. "I just need a night, a night to let it sink in, and settle. Okay?"
"Okay. And Kate?"
"Don't want to take you by surprise, so I want you to know that I'm about to kiss you."
She kisses him back, but stops before the steam can rise again, and opens the door. "Night, Castle."
He's home in minutes. He sleeps as though he's been hit in the head by a rock, and wakes only because his alarm goes off noisily at 5:45.
She's way too wired to sleep, so she changes into soft pajamas, and sits down at her desk. She takes a small key from a wooden box, unlocks the top drawer, and withdraws a little cache. There's the front of the Frosted Flakes box, which she had carefully cut out; the Al Kaline baseball card in a protective plastic sleeve; the Watchmen comic book; the little plush tiger; the card on which Castle had written "Fresh out of bananas" and set in with the edible arrangement; a flash drive that holds "Yes We Have No Bananas," and a print of a photo that she'd taken of Castle with Hooch when he wasn't looking. The fedora is sitting on top of the desk, and she puts it on. She lifts each present and studies it before giving it a spot on the desk. He had chosen every one of these for her. For her. With infinite care and attention. Another guy would have sent roses or orchids after the tiger incident; he had sent tiger lilies. A meadow's worth, at that. What he had exercised most for her was his imagination; that was his extravagance. That's why all of this has seized her heart.
"No wonder I love you, Castle," she says, looking at the little array and promising herself that she will tell him. When she checks her watch she's startled to see that it's almost five; no point in trying to take a nap now. She does half an hour of yoga, takes a shower, gets dressed, and goes to work. It's still dark when she walks into the bullpen at seven, but the bakery down the block was already open, and she had gotten Castle his favorite morning junk food, a Boston cream pie doughnut.
She hasn't even gone to the break room to make coffee when she hears the elevator door open; she doesn't look up since she assumes it's someone getting in a little early for a case. And then someone stops in front of her desk. A six-foot-two someone, the one-man power station, carrying two cups of coffee and an envelope.
He intentionally runs his hand over hers when he passes her her latte. "Morning, Beckett," he says.
It's so simply erotic that she blushes. How can four pedestrian syllables reduce her to this? In a public place, no less? Thank God no one is around yet. She clears her throat. "Morning, Castle. Thanks for the coffee. Oh, and I have a little something for you." She picks up the waxy bakery bag and he peeks in.
"Beckett! Does this mean you're sweet on me?"
Shit, is she going to blush every time he opens his mouth? She may have to send him home. "It might."
"I have something for you, too," he says, and slides the envelope to her.
"This a card? What's the occasion? It's the beginning of March. No holidays for weeks yet."
"Just something I thought suited the occasion."
She has the flap half open and stops. "The occasion?"
That does it. She may have to spend the day in the ladies room or somewhere else he can't get near. A nunnery, maybe. "I'm not opening this here, Castle."
"It's completely harmless. G-rated. Great art. Nothing embarrassing. Go on."
"If you're lying, I'll kill you."
"Kill me? Is that any way to talk to the man who gave you a ni—"
She is shooting him with her eyes. The glare that could stop an invading army. She pulls up the other half of the flap on the envelope and takes out the postcard that's inside. He wasn't kidding. It's Edvard Munch's The Scream, a great work of art, G-rated. Maybe PG, since the screaming person is pretty scary looking. She flips over the card and reads the message he wrote: "Really? You never screamed before?"
Beckett puts her hands on her desk, palms down, and addresses Castle though her face is aimed squarely at her lap. "Please sit down. Do not look at me. I am going to get up and go splash cold water on my face and lower my pulse rate. And when I come back you will remember than you have an appointment, a whole raft of appointments, and can't be in the precinct today."
"You're kicking me out?"
"Can I come back tomorrow?"
"You can come back tonight."
"Yes. My place. Eight o'clock. Now you'll have to excuse me," she stands up and beams at him. "But I have to go wash my face."
She doesn't know how she survives the shift. Around ten Ryan says, "Is Castle coming today?" She has a coughing fit and blushes for at least the fifth time since sunrise. She has to mute her phone because Castle is texting her every fifteen minutes; she reads them in groups of eight, standing in the staircase where no one can see her.
Even the slowest day comes to an end, and this one did. Beckett bolts home, stopping only to pick up one small pastry. She's in the door by six and fills the two hours by changing clothes (four times), changing sheets (twice), opening a bottle of wine to breathe and putting the pastry she'd bought on a plate.
By the time Castle knocks on the door, she's wound so tight she's about to fly apart. He has flowers, of course, an armload of daffodils. "Because they're cheerful. They're the beginning of something." She manages to find enough vases and jars to accommodate them. A few go in an old coffee pot.
"I could use a drink, couldn't you?" She waves her arm at the coffee table. "The wine's ready to pour. I just have to get something from the kitchen."
He's waiting on the sofa for her when she returns, plate in hand. "What's that?"
"Tiramisu. It's for you."
"Really? Okay. I love it. Any reason you're offering me that? Aren't you having any?"
She hands him the plate and surprises him by sitting on his lap, facing him. "I want you to eat it so you'll taste just like you did last night. I couldn't get enough of you. You know what I kept thinking when I got upstairs, afterwards?"
He spears a forkful of dessert, chews it, and swallows. "What did you keep thinking?"
"How you scrambled my brain. I kept thinking of the tiramisu and then I said, 'Ai! It's rum!' "
He squints at her and then laughs. "Tiramisu! Scrambled, it's ai! it's rum!"
"Nope. Clever. Adorable. So I scrambled your brain, huh? What did I do to the rest of your body?"
"I think you're about to find out," she says, taking a crumb of pastry off his chin and licking it seductively off her fingertip.
"You gonna kiss me? I think I taste of tiramisu."
She does. The rest of the pastry falls onto the floor. Neither one of them notices. She's unbuttoning his shirt and he's got his hands under hers, on her rib cage. "Kate?"
"Are you wearing the same bra you had on yesterday?"
"I think it's my lucky bra."
"If you move your hands a little higher I think you'll find I'm not wearing a bra at all."
"That mean I'm going to get lucky in a hurry?"
"I think it does." She stops unbuttoning. "Can I ask you something first? Sort of serious."
"Uh-oh." He removes his hands.
She grabs hold of them. "Not uh-oh. I just want to know before we go, um, any further. Why didn't you give up on me Castle? Anyone else would have. Did."
"Because you're worth it. I'm pertinacious, Beckett."
"That's not all you are, but I love that word." She wiggles on his thighs. "Thank you."
"Now I have to ask you something." He slides his hands inside the back of her yoga pants, over the smooth, taut skin of her ass. "When did you decide to give in?"
"Really?" She wiggles a little more forcefully, and a little higher up on his legs.
"Yes, really. Oh, wow."
Her face and her breasts are tantalizingly close. "You probably could have gotten me into bed with the Frosted Flakes."
"Are you kidding?" He moans.
"C'mon, Castle, tell me you didn't notice my tongue action when I was eating the cereal. When I just had to lick some milk off my bottom lip?"
His hands, still inside her pants, are moving from back to front, and his moan moves to a groan. "Can I lick something off you Kate?"
"God, yes, please do. The sooner the better. In fact, now. Now is a really, really good time." She's gasping. "But I have to warn you."
"About what?" He's having as much trouble breathing as she.
"The screaming? I have a feeling that it might become a habit."
A/N To all of you, thanks for coming along on another story. Special thanks to those who followed or favorited or reviewed. To the anonymous reviewers, a tip of the hat for your support, since I couldn't thank you any other way.