I ain't hung up on you
I ain't in love with you
This is just time that I'm wasting
One or two little sips
I'm alright, I can quit

You're just some wine that I'm tasting

Relapse - Carrie Underwood


His phone buzzes with the text long after his mother and Alexis have gone to bed, as he fights to stay awake. It's still early for him, just after ten, but after the chaos of the last two days, he's ready to collapse.

Beckett had sent him home shortly after seven, with the assurance that there was no end in sight to her paperwork, and he should be home with his family. He'd given her his key so she could come and go as she pleased, but he still wants to stay up, doesn't want her to come in to a quiet, dark apartment after such a taxing case.

One look at his phone, though, and he knows she won't be coming home to a quiet, dark apartment. At least, not alone.

I might stop for a drink, care to join me?

He sits up straight as he swipes the screen, bringing up his messages to reply. He can make her a drink at home, but he knows what she's like after a case, what she must feel right now. She's probably wired, and needs to calm down before heading back to his apartment. So her delaying her return isn't unexpected.

He didn't, however, expect the invitation. But he definitely won't pass it up.

Absolutely, tell me where.

He meets her a couple blocks away, in a dive bar he's never heard of, that's tucked away between a restaurant and a bookstore. She's at the counter, a drink in her hand already, a second one in front of the seat next to her. Her eyes meet his when he approaches, and he can tell that she's tired, but she smiles when he sits.

"Fancy meeting you here," she says in greeting, her voice low and sultry.

He isn't sure if her tone is because of the alcohol, or something else, so he just taps his glass against hers and downs what turns out to be very nice scotch. "Thanks for the invite."

She shrugs and turns back to face the bar. "Sometimes a girl just doesn't want to drink alone. Or," she continues before he can respond, "at home. I needed to get out for a few hours. You know?"

"I know." They fall silent, and he finishes his drink, motions for another. "Helluva case, huh?"



"Can we not talk about work?"

"Of course."

They sip in silence for a couple more drinks each; he's content to just enjoy each other's company, but she seems restless. She's fidgeting; her leg starts bouncing on the rung of her stool during drink number three, and after several minutes he can't stand the jostling anymore.

"Beckett," he says in a low voice, his hand landing on the top of her thigh. She tenses under his touch, and he worries he's crossed the line, but before he can withdraw his hand, hers is on top of his.

She turns to look at him, and her gaze is dark, wild. "Let's get out of here," she husks, her eyes flicking down to his lips.

He pays for their drinks in record time, almost stumbling off the stool from the combination of the alcohol and the sudden arousal that floods through his system. The cold March air hits him like a brick, and he wraps his scarf tight around his neck, head swiveling to look for Kate.

She's at the corner looking down the street, and he approaches in silence, not wanting to startle her. It's when his gaze follows hers that he realizes what she's looking towards.

They're just blocks from her apartment.

Her apartment that blew up 24 hours ago.


"It'll get rebuilt," he reassures her, resisting the urge to put a reassuring hand on her back. They don't do this, they don't touch, but his fingers itch to touch her, to curl his fingers around her waist and tug her into his body. "You'll be back in no time."

She huffs and turns back to him. "I'm going to start looking for a new place tomorrow," she insists. "I can't wait that long."

"You can stay with me as long as you'd like, you know."

"I know." She gives him a small smile before moving in the direction of his apartment. "Come on, Castle."

She slips her arm through his after half a block, and when they stop at the crosswalk she drops her head to his shoulder.

He likes this side of her, a side he's never seen, the soft, vulnerable, slightly clingy Kate. It's such a stark contrast to who he sees on a daily basis, different even from the glimpses of vulnerability she's allowed him to see, and he really likes it. He could get used to walking arm-in-arm with her through the streets of their city.

They're at his building before he knows it, and she steps away from him before stepping inside. He immediately mourns the loss of contact, but it's not for long, because she's at his side once again when they're in the elevator. This time her hand slips through his and he jerks at the feel of her cold skin against his.

"Sorry," she whispers, barely audible even in the enclosed space of the lift.

He glances down at her. Her teeth are worrying her bottom lip, and - oh - that drives him crazy. It always has, ever since he saw her do it that first night, when she'd questioned him in interrogation. And it does even more now, more than her teasing and innuendos.

He shouldn't be thinking about her like this, not when they're both exhausted and a little tipsy and-

Her gaze lifts to his, and her cheeks flush even after he flicks his back to her eyes. They're dark, the usual gold and green darkened to a stormy brown, and she doesn't take them off his lips, not even when she turns to face him, grabs the lapels of his coat, and seals her mouth over his.

He's thought about this thousands of times, wondered how she'd taste, fantasized about how her body would fit against his. And as she curls her fingers through his hair and nudges his lips apart with her tongue, he knows that even his most vivid fantasies are nothing like the real thing.

And kissing Kate Beckett won't be enough.

His hands drop to her hips and he pulls her flush against him, meeting her tongue with his, a groan escaping from deep in his throat when their bodies align. In her heels she's almost as tall as him, and he loves it, loves that it makes them equal in this quest for dominance.

Well, the quest that he's letting her win.

Because the simple act of her nudging him against the elevator wall and pinning him there has his arousal heightening, his blood boiling, and they need to be in his bedroom before they give anyone a show.

She pulls away from him when the elevator announces its arrival at his floor, and she backs against the far wall, her lips swollen and her chest heaving. They just stare at each other until the door opens, and then she's grabbing his hand and pulling him into the hallway.

She shoves him against the wall before they're even at his door, before he can reach for his key, and his hips jerk when she palms him through his jeans. He's hard already, throbbing, desperate, and he needs relief. He aches to feel her mouth around him, her tongue devastating him, but when she reaches for his belt he nudges her away.

"Inside," he gasps when she chases his mouth, and he manages to dig his keys out of his pocket, despite her hands tugging at the hem of his sweater. His stomach clenches when she splays her palm over his torso, her fingers cold. "Shi-"

He finally slips his key into the lock, despite Kate draped along his back, her fingers sneaking below his waistband. He grabs her hand when she unhooks his belt; the last thing he wants to do is come before he even has a chance to taste her, to feel her around him.

They're a tangle of limbs when they stumble through the door, and he takes advantage of the privacy, pins her against it with his body. She grunts when she hits it, fingers coming up to grip his hair while his drift down to her ass. He slips his thigh between her legs and groans when she grinds down onto him; she gasps and throws her head back, and he trails his lips across her cheek, down her jaw. He nips at her ear, tongue darting out to taste the sensitive skin below her earlobe, along the long line of her neck to her collarbone.

His teeth scrape against her skin when her nails sink into his scalp, and he lets go of her ass, moves his hands to the front of her jeans. "Oh hell," he mumbles when he slips one hand inside her underwear, finding her soaked, and he can't help but wonder how long she's been like this. How long she's wanted him.

He chuckles when she whimpers at the touch of his fingers, but withdraws his hand when she curls her leg around his hips. "Not yet," he murmurs against her skin, pulling away, batting her hands from where she's assaulting his pants yet again. "Bedroom."

When he makes her come, he doesn't want it to be from a quick fuck against the door. Not yet. He wants to see her in his bedroom, see what she looks like against his grey sheets, on his pillow.

"Hurry the fuck up," she snaps, grabbing his waistband and tugging him towards his room.

He was right.

She looks great on his bed.

She'd torn off her sweater and jeans on her way through his office, and he has no idea where they are, just hopes that they're at least out of the living room. She sits on his bed and reaches for his pants - she keeps doing that, despite his best efforts to get her to just slow down.

He tugs his sweater off, not missing the quick swipe of her tongue over her lips, and can't help but puff his chest out a little. He may write for a living, but he does stay fit as well as he can, and he's especially proud of his chest, thank you very much. He wants to be strong for her, and judging by the way her eyes darken as he steps closer to her, she likes it too.

"Are you gonna take your pants off, or what?" she asks in a low voice, sultry, looking up at him through her lashes.

He cocks an eyebrow at her. "In a minute."


"Patience, Detective." He nudges her shoulders, one knee on the mattress beside her, kneeling over her as she finally takes the hint and leans back. He kisses her, slow and deep, their tongues meeting in a languid dance, the taste of scotch and desperation on her tongue.

She arches off the bed when his hands draw the straps of her bra down her arms, and she reaches behind her own back to unclasp it. She flings it off the bed and he hears it flutter to the floor, but he doesn't care where it lands, only cares about the goddess he's staring at.

In all his dreams, his fantasies, all the times he's imagined what she looks like beneath the blouses and jackets and slacks that make her legs go for miles, they've all failed to live up to reality. His highest expectations have been exceeded.

She's perfect.

And he's ruined.

He trails his lips down her neck again, nipping at her collarbone on his way to her chest. Her fingers find purchase in his hair, and he uses her grip to gauge her reaction to his touch. His lips wrap around one nipple, teeth barely scraping, and she arches into him, locks her legs around his waist. He cups her other breast in his hand, brushes his thumb against the hard nipple, and she whimpers.

Holy shit, he just made Kate Beckett whimper.

Yeah, he wants to hear it again.

So he kisses his way to her other breast, only this time when he nips at her she gasps, and holds his head to her chest. She's rocking her hips against him, and he can feel her, how wet she is, even through the thin fabric of her panties, through his jeans. One hand leaves his hair to sneak between them, but he grabs her wrist, pins it above her head. "Not yet," he says, almost a growl. He's almost shaking with arousal, his erection desperate for relief, to be released from the confines of his jeans. At this rate, he'll be lucky if he doesn't come in his pants.

"Please," she gasps, and as much as he wants to taste her, he can't. Not now.

He hooks his fingers in the waistband of her underwear and draws the small scrap of fabric down her long, perfect legs, throws them somewhere behind him. And this time when she reaches for his pants he lets her unbuckle them, groans when she draws the zipper down. Slowly.

Oh, she's evil, if the glint in her eye and quirk of her lips is any indication. He's made her wait, so she's returning the favor.

Fuck that.

He stands, withdrawing himself from her embrace, and tugs his pants and boxers off in one fell swoop, almost groans in relief. She licks her lips again, eyes on his erection, and he kneels over her once again, lines his cock up with her folds. He swipes a finger through her, teases her entrance, hesitates before nudging his tip into her.

"Do I need a-"

"Pill," she gasps, shaking her head, surging forward to claim his mouth with hers. "I'm clean. Please, Rick. I just need-"

Her words are cut off by a gasp as he sinks into her.

He thought she was perfect before, when she wasn't even naked, when he'd barely even touched or tasted her.

He'd had no idea.

She's a vice around him, muscles clenching even as he moves, slow at first, letting her body tell him what she wants. What she needs, if the way her hips lift into his are any indication. He makes mental notes of how she reacts. How she gasps when he circles his hips, glares at him when he slows down, and finally, how she arches from the bed when he hooks his arm under her thigh and lifts her knee against her torso.

"There," she pants, hand drifting down to his ass, nails digging, fingers squeezing, and he doesn't even care that she might leave marks.

She's the only one that will see them, anyway, because he has no desire to sleep with anyone else ever again.

Her hands don't stop moving even as he quickens the pace; they're in his hair, at her breasts, and finally one is between them, rubbing and pinching her clit. Her knuckles brush against his cock as he thrusts, and it's her gasp that she wants more, faster, harder that pushes him over the edge, sloppy thrusts making way to jerks even as she spasms around him.

His arms give out and he collapses, manages to catch himself on his elbows before he crushes her. His head lands on her chest and he manages to smudge a kiss to her breast before he rolls off of her, mourning the lack of contact already when he slips out.

"That was-" he manages.


They lie there for several minutes, sweat cooling, and when he thinks his legs can support his weight he rolls off the bed and heads to the bathroom. He wets a washcloth with warm water after relieving himself, but when he comes back out Kate is nowhere in sight.


She steps from the office, pants on, blouse in hand, and she retrieves her bra and panties from the floor before slipping her shirt back on. "Good night, Castle."

He can only stare as she walks out of his room, until he hears the creak of the stairs as she ascends to the guest room. He could follow, of course, but he won't, he'll respect her privacy.

Hopefully, it's not a one time thing, he thinks as he drifts off to sleep a little while later. Because he knows that one time won't be enough.

He just hopes she feels the same way.

A/N: This is an already-written four shot, a prequel to a fic by Callie called "On The Nose." As usual, I am indebted to her for allowing me to run with this, and also for the lovely cover art. All mistakes are mine.