Disclaimer: I definitely don't own Castle. They would still be on the air if I did.

A/N: I obviously played with the timeline here a little, so just go with it


Kate rose to awareness slowly, her sleep having been a deep, rejuvenating one. Her first conscious thought was of the broad chest at her back, and the muscled arm around her waist holding her close. Then she heard and felt the soft regular breathing and occasional soft snore just behind her left ear, ruffling the few strands of hair that had escaped from her overnight braid.

No matter how many times they had woken up together in the six months since they had officially become a couple, it still gave her a little thrill to be waking up in Richard Castle's bed. Her Rick. And she was definitely his Kate. No one could ever compete for her affections, and she was in this with both feet, for the long haul. They were not on call this weekend, so she snuggled back into the cove of his arms, and let out a contented little sigh.

Rick must have been on the edge of sleep, as that small movement and sound woke him. He tightened his arm slightly, and nuzzled into her hair until he could whisper in her ear.

"Good morning, beautiful." His voice was still rough with sleep, and that sexy rasp had her insides fluttering as she rolled over to face him and greet him with a kiss.

"I don't think I will ever get used to this, waking up with you in my arms," Rick mused after they exchanged proper greetings, and she chuckled. At his raised eyebrow, she explained that was exactly what she was thinking earlier that morning.

"Getting sappy on me, my love?"

Another thing she didn't think she would ever get used to, him calling her 'love' or telling her he loved her so casually. It had taken him 2 months to say it again after their lunch at Remy's, and that was how she knew she had been forgiven for hurting him with her lie. She had spent every one of those 60 days, and the 180 since, telling Rick how she felt about him, no longer afraid of sharing her words with him, and showing him with her actions as well.

"No, I just think you are rubbing off on me, all this time we are spending together." The words may have been slightly accusatory, but the wide grin as she said them gave away her true feelings on the matter. Nevertheless, Rick was obviously in a playful mood, and continued their banter.

"Well, if it's such a hardship spending time with me, you could always give it up?"

"Not on your life, Mr. Castle. You are stuck with me."

"Heartbroken. Truly. However will I survive?" Rick joked, and received a poke in the ribs for that, but his retaliation was too slow as she hopped out of bed and headed towards his study.

"Hey, where are you going?" Rick asked, suddenly serious and worried he had overstepped the mark.

"To the kitchen. I need coffee, and I am sure you won't turn it down either. Relax, I'll be back soon." She threw on one of his shirts – he loved her in his clothes – and moved to the kitchen. It was Rick's turn for a contented little sigh, and he nestled into her pillow, surrounded by her scent.

True to her words, Kate was back in a few minutes, two cups of coffee in her hands. She placed both on his bedside table then sat down at his hips, leaning over for a kiss before she moved to her side of the bed. That was the plan, but Rick grabbed her around the waist and pulled her on top of him, both of them kissing and chuckling until she reminded him the coffee would get cold. He let her up then, and when she was settled next to him he passed the coffee over, both enjoying the companionship while they partook in their first caffeine hit of the day. After the cups were empty, Rick broke the comfortable silence.

"Have I ever told you that I love it when you bring me coffee?"

"No, as a matter of fact, you haven't. But then again, you don't give me much of a chance to do it, you are always bringing me coffee." She saw the smirk starting on his face, so she added, "Not that I am complaining of course!"

"I love to bring you a cup of coffee in the mornings; for a long time it was the only way I could say 'I love you', and I always knew it would bring a smile to your face, no matter what was going on at the precinct, or in your life."

Kate sensed the change in his mood, and she burrowed into his side.

"You are the only one who can do that, and while I love my coffee, a big part of that was all about you, even when I wouldn't admit it to myself. I am so glad you talked the Mayor into shadowing me, Rick. You have truly changed my life."

"For the better, I hope?" Rick asked, his gaze on her intent, as he knelt up on his side of the bed, putting the coffee cups down, and reaching for Kate's hand on top of the covers.

"Of course for the better!" Kate insisted, shaking her head at Rick for asking what she considered a silly question.

"Good. Then, would you consider letting me bring you coffee for the rest of your life?"

Kate was taken aback. On the one hand, the question had been asked in his normal tone of voice, but his eyes were still intent, and now he was pulling a small velvet box out of his bedside drawer.

"Katherine Houghton Beckett, will you do me the great honour of becoming my wife?" Rick asked, on his knees in front of her, one hand holding hers, the other flipping open the box to reveal the most gorgeous white gold and diamond ring she had ever seen. She looked up into his eyes, at a loss for words, tears – happy ones – streaming down her face. She nodded, her forehead colliding with Rick's as he burst forward to kiss her. They both laughed at that, before Rick placed the ring on her left hand.

"I had wanted to make the proposal special, but I just couldn't wait another second. I hope you don't mind." Rick asked, in between their kisses. She could not stop kissing him, her heart beating so fast it was threatening to jump out of her chest, and she could feel the same in Rick's pulse, where her left hand was placed over his heart while her right wound around his neck and pulled him impossibly closer.

"Rick, it was perfect. This is perfect." She whispered, still overwhelmed with emotion.

Their kisses became deeper, more passionate, and soon his shirt returned to the floor, while they celebrated this wonderful step in their partnership. It was a long time before they made it out of the bedroom, to call their parents and Alexis with the good news.

A/N2: and finally we are at the end of this tale. It was a joy to write, when it wasn't blocking me, and a joy to share with you all. I am continually humbled by your comments in reviews, thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts with me.

Up next, I have a one shot prompt from Lou, which helped me overcome said writers block, and then I have 'New York State of Mind' to write, the follow up to 'California Dreams'.

Until next time