To Year Three

Rated M

She wakes him in the middle of the night with soft lips and teasing fingers.

They had fallen asleep early – old people early – but she can make up for it in their inky, moonlight-streaked bedroom. It is the witching hour, after all.

And it's their anniversary.

They've been married for two years.

Two years have passed since he held her hand and asked her to become his wife as soon as possible. No more uncertainty, no more waiting.

Richard Castle has been her husband for two years. Her rock, her love, her joy, her husband.

Her lips curl again, seeking the curve of his jaw, the rasp of his stubble. He's stopped wearing cologne for her; her stomach had been too sensitive for it in the early weeks, and these last few she's just craved the scent of his skin.

Like she craves him now.

Slipping a leg over his, her fingers trail down his neck, tracing the curve of his shoulder, the swell of his bicep. The muscle jumps, flexing under her hand, but he doesn't wake. He doesn't stir at all as her fingers slide over his forearm, dusting through the fine hairs, to trace the bones of his wrist, the solid roundness of his wedding ring.

Her husband. That still knocks her back sometimes.

She cants closer now, seeking the welcoming curves of his body as her hand lands on his chest, flattening against the cotton to feel the steady, strong beat of his heart. Her own heartbeat trips in effort to match to his, to beat as one, and the breath she releases comes out stuttered and shy.

He stirs then, turning his face into her hair, her name a whisper on his lips.

She can't help the smile that curls at her mouth, can't help her gentle expression of joy at being the one on his mind even in sleep. He's the one on hers, too. Always.

After a moment, her fingers skim lower, moving toward his navel, slipping under the hem of his shirt to reach his skin. His answering hum is enough to encourage her to continue, to dip her fingers underneath the waistband of his sleep shorts and flutter over his length. He stirs then, all of him does, his eyes slitting open at her gentle strokes.

"Kate," he croaks, his voice rough with sleep.

She presses her lips to his, soft, undemanding, but enough to coax him from dreamland. "Happy Anniversary," she whispers, watching understanding dawn in his eyes.

Said understanding becomes desire with the curl of her fingers. His hips lift, meeting her strokes with sleepy abandon.

His lips part, his breath caught in his lungs as her hand moves along his length, caresses and twists, her touch sure. Oh, how well she knows his body, knows what he likes, what makes his fingers tremble and his voice turn gruff.

"Off," he orders, his hands already sliding under her shirt, cupping her breasts, circling his thumbs over her nipples. She gasps, arches into his hands; she's so sensitive already, every sensation magnified, but he knows how to tease without it becoming too much too soon.

It's only when he growls again that she understands what he wants; their clothing is a hindrance, a nuisance he no longer has the patience for. As she rises to her knees and strips him of his pajamas, pressing her mouth to his newly bared skin, she can't say she disagrees. He certainly doesn't as he sits up, pulling her nightshirt over her head and shimmying her shorts down her hips, brushing his fingers along her thighs on the way back up.

He catches her hand as it makes a descent along his chest to pick up where she'd left off, lifting her palm to his mouth instead. He doesn't linger at the meat of her palm; his lips trace a whisper-light path along the inside of her arm, following the sweep of her clavicle as his hands move down her sides, dipping to skim her thighs before retreating upward again.

"You are so beautiful," he breathes, pressing his mouth to the curve of her breast. His palm flattens over her belly, rounded now in ways it wasn't on their wedding night, paying homage to the life she carries within her, their tiny wonder. "Kate."

Dipping her head, her mouth connects with his shoulder, his skin so soft under her lips. "I love you. I love you."

His chest hitches against hers, his breath stuttering across her skin. "I love you," he echoes as his fingers trip lower, caressing the bones of her hips, slipping between her thighs.

Kate arches against him, rocks into the slide of his fingers. He knows what he does to her, how easily her body sings for him, and he uses it to his advantage, sealing his mouth around her nipple and coaxing a ragged cry from her lips as he dips a finger inside her, adding a second when she bucks into his hand.

Warmth crackles in her belly, stoked by the lap of her husband's tongue on her breast, the circle of his thumb over her clit, the rock of his fingers inside her. Her fingers flutter on his shoulders, only to grip him tightly as the press of his thumb brings her closer to the edge.

"Rick," she gasps, shuddering as the embers burn brighter and heat rolls like waves through her veins. "Rick please," she breathes, tugging him up, holding his face long enough for their eyes to meet before sealing her mouth to his. "Want you."

Her husband chuckles against her lips, his fingers never stilling, never faltering, moving inside her with a surety, a cockiness, that has her jerking into him, riding his hand until she shatters.

"Want you too, Kate," he whispers when she comes back to herself, his fingers slipping from her body, maneuvering her over him. "So badly."

She hums an agreement, pulling his lip into her mouth as her hand slips between them, teasing him with slow, easy strokes, her thumb circling his tip. Rick groans, his palms skimming her thighs, up her back, aimless touches everywhere he can reach, his hips rolling in a needy arc beneath hers.

"Is that so?" she murmurs, lifting higher onto her knees, teasing him against her folds. His answer slips past his lips, choked and wanting, and it's all the encouragement she needs to line him up and ease down, letting gravity move him deeper inside her.

He puffs an endearment - somewhat filthy, but still endearing - against her lips, lifting a hand to palm her breast as she begins to move. Long strokes at first, lifting off his cock and sinking back down, then shorter, shallower thrusts as he rocks to meet her, fanning the flames of want in her belly.

Together they find their rhythm, urging each other on with ragged whispers and touches. Her fingers delve into his hair, flashing against his scalp at the jolt that travels through her as his fingers tease her nipple, the rush of desire that follows.

"God, Rick," her voice carries through their bedroom, followed by his urgent, answering rasp of her name.

His mouth connects with hers, hard, before slipping across her jawline and down the slope of her neck, his lips resting on the thunder of her pulse. Their tempo falters, growing more erratic with every thrust, every rock of their hips, every tiny bolt of lightning that rolls through her body, and she nearly weeps when Rick's hand slips between them to touch her. His fingers circle, his hips pistoning faster, shorter, until the blaze overwhelms and they both shudder in surrender, crashing over the edge with ragged shouts.

He's still somehow upright, breathing hard against her neck, when she lifts her face from the sweaty strands of his hair. Her lips collide with his forehead, lingering as her throat constricts and tears prick at her eyes. God, she loves him.

"Shh, shh," Rick murmurs, slipping his hands along her back in long, soothing strokes. He straightens, brushing his mouth over her forehead, her cheeks, and finally her mouth.

"M'okay," she sniffs after a moment, laughing at herself. "This kid of yours is making me cry."

He beams, sifting his fingers through her hair. "This kid of mine loves you. I love you, too."

Her eyelids flutter shut, contentment flooding her system, pulling her toward sleep once more. "I know you do, Rick. I love you."

Her husband hums, sinking back to their pillows. They sigh in tandem as he slips from her body, and she arranges herself on his chest, pressing her cheek to the steady thud of his heartbeat.

"Happy Anniversary," he rumbles, drawing lazy figure eights along her shoulder blades, drawing her head off his chest to steal a soft kiss. "Two years, Kate."

She nods, stroking a fingertip down his chin. "Two years. Don't they say the first two years are the hardest?"

"I have heard that," Rick murmurs, pressing his lips to the pad of her thumb. "Besides the obvious, though, I don't think it was so rough. We did make here, after all."

Well, he has a point there. They've had their fair share of bad days, but everything they've been through in the last two years, they've been able to weather because of the years before that. Every long work day, every sleepless night spent on a case, every fight and petty frustration. And most importantly, every opportunity to be partners through it all.

And after today, they start another year, their third year.

Kate squirms higher up his chest, touching her mouth to his again. "Here's to year three."

A/N: I started this roughly around the time of Caskett's second anniversary last year, but never had the chance to finish it. So when I found it in my files, I decided it would be a great addition for this weekend's Castle Pornado. Extra thanks to Anja and Lindsey for helping me determine through just a snippet whether I'd posted it somewhere before!

I hope you all enjoyed it! Thank you for reading.