I started this fic about 5 years ago, and it was intended to be non-episode-specific snapshots from the Spiral Bound universe. Then I decided to include chapters for season 6 episodes, and I wrote myself into a corner trying to weave canon with this AU, and I got frustrated and gave up and deleted the whole thing from FFN. But I stumbled across it on my laptop recently and decided I should give it another try without focusing on episodes this time. It's many years overdue, but I hope you guys enjoy it all the same.

As a reminder: this series goes AU from just before the ending of 'Watershed' and – with the exception of 'Veritas' and 'Resurrection'/'Reckoning' – will completely ignore the events of seasons 6-8

Disclaimer: The show has been over for three years now. I think it's safe to say that the only thing I own is my inability to stop being obsessed with these characters.


December 13, 2015


Castle lifted his head, a smile bursting from his lips, crinkling the corners of his eyes as his wife walked into the room. Her hair was still damp from their shower, dark waves falling around her shoulders. She wore a long, baggy t-shirt, one she'd stolen from him two years ago and never relinquished her hold on, and nothing else, her legs completely exposed as she crossed to the bed, perched on the edge and curled her legs beneath her.

"Hey," she replied with a grin, hand coming to rest on his outstretched leg. "Whatcha doing?"

"Thought maybe we could read," he suggested, lifting one hand to reveal the front cover of their journal.

"Mmmm, it's been a while."

He raised an eyebrow, smirked. "Unless you had other plans?"


"What?" he asked, eyelashes fluttering innocently, and Kate had to suppress the urge to roll her eyes at him.

"It's been half an hour. Tops."


"And before that was up against the door," she reminded him.

"I fail to see what the problem is here."

This time, she actually did roll her eyes.

"You know, it's your fault," he protested.

"What is?"

"You wore that shirt today."

"What about it?" she asked with a saucy smile. She wouldn't admit it, but she may have slipped it on this morning knowing full well how much Castle enjoyed the way the fabric hugged her curves and revealed just enough cleavage to be teasing but not too much as to be unprofessional.

He gestured across the room to the pants tossed haphazardly on the floor, one leg inside out, the other bunched up. "And those jeans."


"So you can't dress like that and expect me to keep my hands off you."

"I'm not dressed like that anymore," she reminded him mischievously.

"Oh, I know," he assured her, voice low and sexy. He reached out with his free hand to tug on the bottom of her shirt, urge her closer. "And I think I like this outfit even better."



"It's been half an hour," she repeated.


"So some of us need a few minutes, stud," Kate offered, patting his knee.


To say they'd been throughly enjoying married life would be an understatement.

Kate smiled, settled into the bed until she was seated next to him, back resting against the headboard. "Come on," she suggested lightly. "Let's read."

September 8, 2015

Dear Kate,

We're married.

I still can't believe it. I don't think I'll ever be able to say those two words without making myself completely giddy. We're married. We're spending the rest of our lives together.

As I write this, you're in bed next to me, sprawled on your stomach with the sheet resting across your lower back. Your head is tilted towards me, and when I first woke I just laid there for a good ten minutes watching you sleep. I know you say it's creepy, but I can't help myself. You're so beautiful.

And you're the first thing I see every morning. There's absolutely no better way to start my day. Every day, for the rest of our lives.

I'm so excited, Kate. I'm so excited for what lies ahead for us. At the same time, I want to savor every moment, every memory, because they're all so special to me. I don't want to forget a single detail. Not that I ever could. I can't forget anything when it comes to you. I couldn't even if I tried. That's how strong of a grip you have on my heart.

It's never been like this before. I know we both had our doubts. I've done this whole marriage thing before – twice – and it didn't work out either time. I know that was a difficult thing for both of us to understand, and maybe I was never able to truly find the right words to explain it to you, but now I know why: there are no words. I've tried and tried to put into words how much I love you and all the reasons I love you, and I just can't do it. There are no words to describe the way I feel right now. None at all. That's how I know, without a doubt, that marrying you was the best decision I've ever made. It's how I know that this time, when I said, "I do," I truly said it for the right reasons.

I love you. So much.

I could go on and on, I'm sure, because just looking at you brings forth a flood of feelings and the ring on my finger makes me so happy and the second band on yours makes me smile so hard my cheeks hurt.

This is quickly turning into a really long, rambling, sappy love letter, and we're in Italy and you're naked next to me and it's our honeymoon, and I'm pretty sure I can think of a few other things I'd like to do at the moment. But I had to write to you this morning, because I can't think of any other way to accurately convey how I feel.

I don't know when I'll write next as I'm sure we'll be quite – busy – for the next two weeks. Until then, I hope you're enjoying our honeymoon as much as I am, and I hope you don't mind if we don't leave for our day of sightseeing until this afternoon. I have other plans for us this morning, Mrs. Castle.



Kate rolled her eyes at his last sentence but the gesture was sweet and affectionate. She hadn't legally changed her name, wasn't planning to, but she actually kind of loved it when he called her by his last name.

"Mrs. Castle," he murmured, almost as though he was reading her mind.

"Hmmm?" she replied automatically.

"I like the sound of that."

Her answering smile was radiant.

"We're married," Castle spoke in awe, voice breathy and amazed.

"I know."

"I still don't think it's completely sunk in."

She shook her head in agreement. Sometimes she still woke in the morning feeling as though it was a dream. She was married to Richard Castle. Her favorite author, her partner, her best friend.

Her husband.

"Honestly," Kate began after a minute, a tint of a question in her voice, as though waiting for his approving nod before continuing. "I don't even remember most of it."

"The wedding?"

She nodded.

"Neither do I," he admitted.

"There was walking down the aisle, and there were our vows."

"And our first kiss as husband and wife," he recalled with a tender smile.

"Mmmm," Kate acknowledged.

"Our first dance."

She smiled at the memory, Castle's arms laced around her back, hers looped around his neck. He'd kissed her softly as he first drew her into his arms, holding her close as he rested his forehead against hers, neck tipped forward to make up for her lack of shoes. She thought she remembered him whispering something to her about loving when she was barefooted and shorter than him, but it might have been her imagination.

She remembered them purring sappy sentiments into each other's ears as they swayed to the music, the notes floating through the air over the background of the crashing waves. She definitely remembered the way he'd allowed his arms to span out about halfway through the song, one settling into the arch of her spine, the other coming to rest across the bare skin of her upper back. His touch alone had sent a shiver wracking through her body, coaxing a sharp exhale from his lungs at the feeling of her rippling against him.

She was fairly certain he'd had to stop himself from unhooking her dress right then and there.

"You shoved cake in my face," Castle continued, pulling her from the sensual memory.

"You smeared frosting all over me first," she countered.

"I was being decorative."

"You were being a four-year old."

He smiled innocently, and she couldn't help but roll her eyes at the next words that left his mouth. "And you're stuck with me forever."

She whacked his chest but he was faster, capturing her hand before she could pull away, sliding his fingers into the gaps between hers as he gently pressed her palm flat against his chest.

"That I am," she whispered in agreement, the thought making her heart overflow with love.

If someone had told her six and a half years ago that she'd end up marrying the man who drove her absolutely crazy with his insistence on following her around and sticking his nose into everything and arrogantly parading around like a cop, she'd have snorted in disgust and had them committed.

And yet here she was, heart irreversibly twined with his, lives mingled into one.

Forever, with Castle.