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Note: This will be a collection of stories written to fulfill tumblr prompts I receive. The prompt, in most cases, will be posted before the story. All stories are self-contained stand alones unless otherwise noted.


45. Tell me a secret.

(Post ep for 4x11 - Till Death Do Us Part)

The bubbles shimmer in the glow from the twinkle lights and Kate giggles. She dips the plastic wand back into the tube, swirling the open end through the liquid before pulling it out again. Her lips tingle when she puckers to blow, the breath from her lungs so much warmer than the cool night air. Iridescent globes float up to meet the stars and she smiles at them, her cheeks aching.

Soft music wafts out from the reception hall and she sways to the beat. Dewy blades of grass tickle the soles of her feet as she waltzes, her body loose with alcohol. She lost her shoes somewhere between her third glass of champagne and the country line dancing she's too giddy to be ashamed of.

Oh, how she loves weddings.

She was never the one to plan her dream wedding, cutting out pictures from magazines or making tapes of love songs to dance to at the reception. She doesn't know what her bouquet will look like or her dress or how she'll want to wear her hair. All she knows is that when it's her turn, it will be amazing. It will be perfect. It will be for keeps.

It will be with him.

"There you are."

Kate makes the final turn of her solo waltz, the hem of her dress brushing against her thighs. The ache in her cheeks grows when she sees him standing there, backlit by the muted yellow glow of candles, tie hanging loose around his neck. Her shoes dangle from the tips of his fingers and a tiny bomb detonates somewhere inside her chest.

"Come dance with me," she says, a hand raised to beckon him when the music switches to some pop song she's never heard before.

Castle chuckles, his face soft and open. "I think you've danced enough for one night."

The curled ends of her hair rustle between her shoulder blades when she shakes her head, hips shimmying with the beat. "No such thing."

"Come on, Dancing Queen," Castle says, laughing and jerking his head toward the door. "You can feel the beat from the tambourine another night."

Kate pokes out her lower lip in a pout. "You're no fun."

He laughs again, that deep real one that never fails to make her stomach flip. Heat flushes across her chest when he steps forward and takes her outstretched hand. Her limbs turn to jelly and he pulls her in, the backs of her own shoes hitting her in the thigh as his arm circles her waist. Her body bumps against his and she drops the little heart shaped bottle of bubbles.

"Oh, I'm plenty fun, Detective," he says, voice low and gravely in her ear. Goosebumps raise up along her arms and it's all she can do not to tilt her head back and kiss him, to take a sip of the whisky she can smell on his breath. "I assure you. But it's late and I'm pretty sure the wait staff is going to start a riot soon if we don't leave." His nose brushes against her temple and Kate feels her eyes flutter. "Car's waiting out front. Gotta get you home before we both turn into pumpkins."

"The carriage turns into a pumpkin," she argues, her brain fuzzy with alcohol and him. "Not the people."

His chest vibrates with laughter and she feels it all the way down to her toes. "How could I have forgotten?" She barely swallows her disappointed whine when he steps back. "Come on then, Cinderella," he invites, arm still hovering at her waist. "Your chariot awaits."

They make their way back through the hall, laughing at Esposito having a breakdance battle with one of Jenny's cousins. Castle snags a couple of bottles of water from a bucket by the door. He passes one to Kate and she downs it in three large gulps, wiping her mouth on the back of her hand.

"Want mine too?" He asks with a raised eyebrow. She tries to glare at him but her face seems to only be able to smile tonight and really she's okay with that.

He ushers her into the backseat of the town car and Kate sighs as the warmth of the interior sinks into her skin, chasing away the chill. She stops halfway across the bench and Castle slides in next to her, his thigh pressed along the length of hers. He drops her shoes on the floor and Kate snakes her arm through the crook of his elbow, lets her body list into his side. The car starts to roll and she stares out the window, unfocused eyes watching the lights slip past.

"Wanna know a secret?"

She can hear the grin in his voice when he answers. "Of course."

"I love weddings," she breathes, her cheek resting on his bicep.

"I never would have guessed that about you," Castle murmurs, hands resting loosely in his lap.

She wants to reach out and untangle his fingers. To guide his hand to her knee, let him cup the rounded cap in his palm while his thumb draws meaningless patterns against the side of her calf. She wants to touch him. To slip her hand inside the unbuttoned placket of his shirt, feel the heat of his skin against her own. She wants to kiss him, to let him taste the effervescence of her happiness as it explodes on the tip of her tongue.

She wants to love him.

Openly and without fear. Like Jenny and Ryan. Like her parents. Like all the other happy couples meandering through their lives. Together.

"They're beautiful." She can hear the dopey, slurred awe in her own voice. "Doesn't matter how fancy or plain, a wedding is always beautiful. So much love and hope and happiness." Kate sighs, her damaged heart desperate for relief. "It's just- Marriage is - It's beautiful," she repeats, her internal thesaurus champagne-logged and useless.

"It is," Castle agrees, low and gentle. "When it lasts."

"Shhh," she breathes, reaching up to shush him. The backs of her fingers brush across his lips and she lingers, hand hanging by his cheek. Castle rescues her, his thick fingers circling hers and pulling her arm down to rest across his lap. She keeps possession of his fingers, twisting her own between them. "That's sad," she says, eyes slipping closed. "Tonight is happy. Be happy with me, Castle."

She feels him nod, his jaw brushing against the top of her head. "Okay."

His cologne tickles her nose and she takes a deep breath, filling herself up with him. They ride in silence, the roar of the road and the heat of his body lulling her into a trance of contentment.

"Your turn," she murmurs and Castle dips his head.

"My turn for what?"

"Tell me a secret," she mumbles, sleep weighing down her voice. "I told you one."

He doesn't answer. Kate lets out a sigh, her breath growing deeper and longer. It's okay. She doesn't need his secrets. Not tonight. Tonight she just needs this. Him. Them. Her spine goes loose and she lets the full weight of her body sink into his. Castle shifts. Impossibly soft lips brush against her forehead. She's dancing on the edge of sleep when he speaks. Whispers.

Promises.

"Ours will last."

The corners of her mouth curl up in a sleepy smile.

She knows.


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