Power Play

a co-authored fic by jstar1382 and chezchuckles

takes place after 'Always Buy Retail'

Hours after a certain writer save her life, Kate Beckett feels his eyes on her, staring, watching. He's done that a lot lately, claiming it's for research, but she suspects otherwise. Her skin feels warm, flushed under his careful observation, and she can't help but turn and offer him a smile.

An invitation.

It's flirting, and she knows it, but after surviving a shootout with a former member of the Nigerian secret police, she deserves to have a little fun. And Rick 'Kitten' Castle would be fun.

As her conquest.

A toy to play with for the night. No strings. No attachments. Just to celebrate the thrill of being alive. And then in the morning, everything goes back to the way it was. The way it always has been with him. A little teasing, a lot of questioning, mostly annoying.

Kate dips her lashes and draws her lip between her teeth. She knows he likes it, the tongue and teeth thing, without a doubt. She's seen his eyes darken, his gaze on her mouth and not on the murder board when they ought to be focused on the case. An oral fixation, so to speak.

Her ploy works.

He begins to saunter towards her with his glass of borrowed champagne in hand. She only has to say a few words, her voice low, throaty, and it's all too easy. They sink right into their usual banter, that near-constant flirtation. She compliments him, mentions he probably saved her life, boosts his ego a bit, lures him another step closer.

His voice grows deep, seductive; he's nearly leaning in. He says she owes him, but he doesn't know just how wrong he'll be, how much she'll make him eat his words. After tonight, he'll be begging for more, and she likes holding that knowledge over his head, dangling herself as bait.

Though this time she won't be snatching it away.

She plays along, acts offended by the thought of a debt even as she meets him in the middle of the hallway. He's close, and then too close, and then he's crowding her to the wall. She hides her gasp at the feel of his body pressed against hers.

"You know what I really, really want you to do?" he husks. His eyes flick down to her mouth and she swears he's going to kiss her. She feels his free hand graze against her waist, fingers gripping her hip.

She waits for it, barely daring to breathe, and somehow she finds herself swaying forward, under his spell. But that's not right. This is supposed to be her game.

His lips almost touch her ear. "Never ever call me kitten."

She startles, the spell broken. Kitten?

He moves to pull away, smug, but she hooks a finger in his belt loop, yanks him closer. He's not getting away with that, with turning the tables on her. She can't let this be his to control.

She dusts her lips against his jaw, whispers a secret in his ear. "When you're in my bed tonight, kitten, I'll call you whatever I like."

She nips at his earlobe with her teeth. His breath stutters.

She shoves him back, sees all his sly cleverness wiped from his face. Beckett gestures towards the stairwell exit, in case her intentions weren't clear.

He arches his eyebrow in question. All she offers is a jerk of her head before turning and walking away.

She knows he's following.


She's walking away.

He's following of course; he'd have to be stupid not to follow a woman as hot and mysterious as Detective Beckett, but he can't believe she invited him over.

Did she invite him over? She said in my bed tonight which sounds like an invitation, which sounds like a naughty dominatrix is lurking somewhere beneath that young badass exterior, but he can't believe it.

She also called him kitten. Which might have been her way of teasing him still more.

It would be a vicious joke though.

So he follows. He follows because he has to see this through to the end, whatever that might be. He follows because he's not throwing away what might be his only opportunity to get in her pants.

Her bed. 'Getting in her bed' sounds better than getting in her pants.

But damn if that's all he can think about right now: getting in her pants.

What color are her panties?

By the time he reaches the bottom floor of the building, Castle is panting with the exertion of every flight of stairs (and not a little excess of arousal). She turns on him suddenly and presses him back against the wall with a finger. "Find a cab. I'll meet you on the north side."

He blinks. "North side?"

"I have to wrap up here," she says, narrowing her eyes. "You know that."

"Yes. No, I know. I do know. North side. Cab. Got it."

He darts away before she can recall him, before she can recall herself - her own presence of mind. Castle hits the front doors at a run, slides around the police officers still coming inside. It's a matter of dodging sawhorses and crime scene tape, the medical examiner's van and Internal Affairs (damn, she'll have to make a statement to them, have to be on mandatory leave for an officer involved shooting; is that why she invited him over, to give her something to do in her downtime?)

(Does he really care?)


When he finds a quiet spot - on the north side of the apartment building, just as she said - he pulls out his phone to call for a cab pick-up. His hands are clammy. He's having trouble believing any of this is real. All of his usual swag and confidence have deserted him.

Is this a 'at least we're alive' fuck? It feels in close kinship to a pity fuck, which makes his stomach plunge to his shoes. He doesn't want pity. Or for her to be feeling pitiful, if that's what this is. But no, he saw a lot of power on her face, felt a lot of electricity in the air between them.

But definitely a one-off, something that will never happen again and shouldn't be happening in the first place.

If he didn't save her life. If she didn't almost die a few hours ago. If he was slower knocking her to the ground. If he never saw the man in time.

If, if, if.

Neither of them would be alive to want each other at all.

Does she want him, or does she just want?

Castle has almost talked himself out of it (talked himself out of sex with Beckett, how is he such a loser right now?) when the bright flare and loud bloop of a police siren cracks his introspection.

Why is he thinking so much? He is dying to get in her pants. She's offering a wild (and probably dangerous) night. And ever since her smirking you have no idea, he's been coming up with every possible idea under the sun - and quite a lot of ideas that aren't.

Possible, that is.

Like sex in space a la James Bond's Moonraker.

Like making her come back to back to back until she begs him to stop.

Like worshiping at her body as she whispers beautiful love into the darkness of their bedroom.

Which are all totally impossible, completely ridiculous, highly improbable, pathetically romantic (maybe someday?) ideas.

The cab request goes through.

Now he has to wait.

He's distinctly uncomfortable, and he has to adjust his pants, button his blazer.

This is the north side, right?