Title: MIA, Missing in Action

Author: greygoose70

Beckett's Apartment, Friday Evening

That evening after Beckett got home, after eating the lasagna she had picked up on the way, after taking her bubble bath, after a glass of wine that now sat empty on the coffee table, she sat huddled on her couch reading her copy of 'Naked Heat' when there was a knock on her door. Glancing at the clock on the end table, seeing that it was almost midnight, she wondered whom it might be – Castle! It had to be Castle, only he would show up at this time of night. Leaping off the couch she ran to the door, throwing it open (ready to jump in his arms). She stops abruptly astounded instead by the man standing there. "General Townes?"

"Detective Becket, good evening. May I come in?"

"Yes, of course, please." Stepping aside to allow him in.

"Thank you," he said removing his cap upon entering.

Beckett closed the door, turned around facing him; "So what brings you to my door this late in the evening General. Oh my god, its about Castle isn't it!"

"Yes Detective it is. I have been informed that after notifying Sergeant Rodgers immediate family I am to also to notify since you are family as well. Therefore I'm sorry to inform you that Gunnery Sergeant Rodgers has been classified as MIA, Missing in Action."

Upon hearing the Generals statement Beckett just stopped breathing, her legs buckled out from underneath her and she started to collapse. Fortunately General Townes was right there and was able to catch her.

"Here lets set you down," he proclaimed while holding her up and guiding her over to the couch. Once he had her situated he told her to breathe. "Just breathe Detective, in-out, in-out." He continued to watch her until she began getting her breathing under control. "Let me get you some water," he said.

Beckett sat there shaking head pointing to the empty wine glass on the coffee table. "Wine. Frig." Was all she could say pointing the way to the kitchen.

When Townes returned with the wine he poured her half a glass and handed to her. Beckett took it immediately downing it in one gulp.

"Where? When? How?" She gasped.

Townes pondered as to how much he should tell her. Deciding to be honest and tell her everything, he said. "Detective, what I'm about to tell you cannot be repeated. Okay.

"Kay," she relied.

"Afghanistan. He was suppose to radio in five days ago for extraction, as of today we've had no contact from him. We knew that radio contact could be limited due to his location but if nothing was heard after twenty-four hours of verification the mission was complete, a SRT (Search & Rescue Team) would be sent. That had to be scrapped when it was reported that there was a large troop of Taliban soldiers in the area."

"So now what?" Beckett asked.

"An op is being formulated to infiltrate and attack the area with a Marine squadron. Once the area is secured we will be able to do a search to find him and his spotter, hopefully still alive he thought but didn't say."

"When is that going to happen?" again she asked.

Looking at his watch, doing some quick calculations Townes replied, "In about twenty six hours, dawn Sunday."

"And if the operation is successful but still fails to find them?"

"Detective Beckett we will find them. The fact that he hasn't made contact could be a good thing. It could mean that he has found sanctuary where he is safe but any attempt to make contact could jeopardize his location. And we have neither seen nor heard anything about any Americans being captured in that area."

"So what do we do?"

"We wait. Have faith Detective. "We will do whatever it takes to find them." With that he turned and let himself out.

Afghanistan, Sunday, 6 days earlier

"Target confirmed Gunny," Corporal John Marshall told his companion, Scout Sniper, Gunnery Sergeant Richard Rodgers. "Range 1160 yards, elevation 230 feet, wind Southwest, four miles per hour." he added while peering through his Mark 4 tactical scope.

"Thanks," Rodgers replied, making a final adjustment to his rifles scope. Rodgers had been working with the young corporal for the last month on long range targets and has come to trust him as his spotter completely. Siting through the scope mounted on his M82, 50 caliber sniper rifle, aligning the crosshairs on his target, he clicked off the safety, took one last controlling breath and squeezed the trigger.

Corporal Marshall watched through his long range binoculars as Rodgers fired. It took only seconds before he saw the target fall to the ground. "Hit!" he practically shouted.

"Hand me the binoculars," Rodgers said, holding out his hand into which the corporal placed them. Taking the binoculars Rodgers looked to see what was taking place. A crowd had already assembled around the fallen target laying immobile on the ground. He saw one of the men turn and appeared to be looking in his direction. Lowering the binoculars he turned toward his spotter saying, "Let's go, we need to get outta here. Now."

Gathering their equipment and slowly moving back from their position they started their trek but not toward their extraction location. Rodgers knew they had to move quickly but also stealthily. He figured they had maybe a two hour window before Taliban soldiers made their way up the mountain in search of them, he therefore decided a different route needed to be taken.

Beckett's Apartment, 1:00 AM Saturday

Kate Beckett crawled into bed her thoughts lingering on everything General Townes had relayed to her. From Castle (he would always be Castle to her) having gone missing in war torn Afghanistan, clear through to the attack set for Sunday morning (she made a mental note to check the time difference between New York and Afghanistan). "Please," she prayed, in a whisper, to whatever divine being was out there, "keep him safe. I need him. God help me, I love him." She then buried her face in her pillow sobbing until sleep over came her.

Kate woke up later that morning the sun streaming through the window blinds. Glancing at her alarm clock the luminous red numbers told her it was 7:05. Throwing back the covers she swung her legs over the edge of the bed and got up, making her way to the kitchen to start coffee. Remembering her mental note to check for the time difference she headed to her small home office and booted up her laptop. Going back to the kitchen she poured her a cup of coffee, added some of her favorite vanilla flavoring then it was back to the office. Taking a drink of coffee, letting the hot liquid soothe her throat, she set the cup down then sat down in her desk chair. She typed in her computers password then opened up her browser. In the search box she typed in 'time in Afghanistan' which brought up several selections. Selecting 'current time in Afghanistan' brought up another page giving her the current day and time there as Saturday, 4:45 PM. Checking the time on the computers clock it read 7:45 AM. Doing a quick calculation she determined Afghanistan is nine hours ahead of New York, therefore if dawn on Sunday is around 6:00 AM then it would be 9:00 PM Saturday evening in New York, when the attack was to start. She closed the browser, picked up her coffee cup and headed to the kitchen to make breakfast.

After breakfast Kate busied herself cleaning her apartment and doing laundry. She had just put the last load of wash in the dryer when her phone started ringing. She rushed out to the kitchen to answer it before it went to voicemail. Picking it up, checking the caller ID she smiled, pressed 'Answer' then answered, "Hey Dad."

"Hey, Katiebug." Jim Beckett replied in return. "Feel like meeting your old man for lunch."

Laughing at his 'old man' comment, she said, "Love to Dad, I'll meet you at our favorite diner in thirty minutes, okay."

"Sounds good, see you there."

Following an enjoyable lunch and even more enjoyable conversation with her father, something they are doing more of now that they've repaired their relationship, Kate returned home to finish her chores and maybe have time to take a nap.

That evening Kate sat curled up on her couch reading 'Naked Heat' when her phone rang. Checking the caller ID seeing it was Lanie. "Hey Lanie," she answered.

"Hey yourself girl. Feel like some company?"

"Yeah Lanie. I think I would. Come on over, I'll order Chinese."

"I'll bring the wine. See ya in 20."

Almost 20 minutes on the dot there was a knock on the door. Opening up she saw Lanie waving a bottle in one hand and a bag in the other. "I brought dessert too, chocolate cherry ice cream."

"Great," Kate replied, "I already ordered dinner it should be here soon." She no sooner got the words out when Quin son of Kwan, owner of her favorite Chinese restaurant, arrived with their dinner. "Hey Quin how is everything tonight."

"Busy, busy Ms. Beckett, Father put a rush on your order. Say it's cause you're number one customer."

"Well tell him I said thanks and wish him well, your mother too." Kate said taking the bags of food, slipping him a ten dollar tip. She heard him say thank you as he left.

Lanie made her way into the apartment and headed straight to the kitchen immediately depositing the ice cream in the freezer. She set the wine on the counter then headed to the cupboard where she retrieved two wine glasses. Opening a drawer she located the opener and set about uncorking the wine and filling the glasses. Meanwhile Kate had moved to the couch where she was busy opening the cartons of food.

They sat in comfort, on the couch, eating their dinner, carrying on a conversation between bites. Lanie was the first to finish. She set her empty carton down, picked up her wine, took a sip then turning to Kate asked; "So Kate why did you think you needed company tonight?"

"What," Kate replied nearly choking on her food.

"You said on the phone and I quote, 'I think I would'. So what is it. Come on talk to me girlfriend."

"Its Castle," she spoke softly.

"What about him? Have you spoke with him. Do you know where he is?" She rattled off so quickly Kate almost didn't understand her.

"Well no... but yes."


"He's MIA," and then she started to cry.

Lanie quickly scooted over enveloping Kate in her arms. "Oh sweetie, I'm so sorry." She whispered. "Just let it go honey, get it all out."

Kate had her face buried in Lanie's shoulder sobbing uncontrollably for what seemed like hours though was more than likely minutes. Finally she began regaining some control and gently pulled herself from Lanie's arms. "Kleenex," she managed to say between sniffles.

Lanie reached over and grabbed the box of tissues from the coffee table handing it to her. Kate took it, pulled a couple out blowing her nose. "Sorry about your blouse," she told her.

"Don't worry about my damn blouse. It's you I'm worried about. You said he's MIA , as in missing in action. How do you know that?"

Kate proceeded to tell Lanie about her visit from General Townes, first making her promise not to tell anyone, telling her Castle was in Afghanistan, hasn't been heard from for five days, the aborted 'search & rescue mission', the large group of Taliban soldiers and finally the Marine attack to take place Sunday morning. "Oh god Lanie I'm so worried! What if he's ..."

"Don't even think that, you here me!" Lanie said loudly before lowering it back to normal, "You love him don't you."

"God help Lanie, I do. So much. I just didn't realize it until he wasn't around spouting his crazy theories, keeping me in coffee, helping me solve cases or pestering me when I do paperwork."

"You are a lot happier when the two of you are together. I've noticed."

"Yeah, I am. He makes me laugh. No other man has been able to do that."

"So,"Lanie began, "this attack that's going to happen tomorrow morning..."

"Dawn tomorrow," Kate interrupted, "which happens in about (looking at her clock seeing it was 7:00) two hours. 9 PM our time. They're going to secure the area then do a search and rescue."

Looking at the clock herself Lanie commented, "Well I'd like to sit here with you but I need to get going; got a date and I need to put on a clean blouse."

"Yeah, sorry bout that."

"No problem deary. Let me know if you hear anything."

"I will, see you Monday Lanie."

After Lanie left Kate went back to reading 'Naked Heat' but also keeping her eye on the clock hoping she would hear something from General Townes, that is until she felt herself getting sleepy. So she abandoned Nikki and Rook for a quick shower and the comfort of her bed.

Afghanistan, 1500 hours, Saturday

"Whiskey River, Whiskey River, this is Bulldog, do you copy. Over." Corporal Marshall spoke into the mike then listening for response. "Hold on Whiskey," he suddenly said back.

"Gunny, I have contact."

"Excellent. Tell them I need to speak with Whiskey River Actual."

"Whiskey River, Bulldog needs to speak with Whiskey River Actual. Over."

Marshall handed the headpiece/mike over to his gunnery sergeant telling him they sent for him.

Minutes later Rodgers was speaking, "Sorry bout that, couldn't be helped, will explain upon return, didn't want to chance radio communication."

"Think my current intel is worth it, located one click south of Shah-e Pari. Have spotted Mohammad Al-Hacede, the 'Butcher', would like permission to sanction."

"Prayer time tomorrow morning."

"What'd they have to say," Marshall asked as Rodgers was removing the earpiece/mike handing it back.

"Said we're a go for tomorrow, will be dispatching a backup team shortly, they will make contact when they're in place. In the meantime get me a yardage and elevation. Third door from the right."

Marshall positioned himself next to Rodgers in order to get him a exact distance reading. The one thing he prided himself on was his readings, he would always double them to insure their accuracy. "I got 1002 yards to the top of the door frame. Elevation 352 feet."

Rodgers removed a small pad from his pocket and made some calculations. Putting the pad away he then made adjustments to the scope on his rifle. That was all he could do for now, he would make any final adjustments in the morning, if necessary.

"I'm going to get some rest John. Let me know when you hear from our backup."

"Will do Gunny."

Three hours later

"We copy Red Raven. Welcome, glad you could make the party."

"Copy that, I'll let my partner know. Get some rest, we'll finalize at predawn, Bulldog out."

Rodgers stirred when he heard Marshall talking to the backup team. "What did they have to say John?"

"Backup in place, half click south, chopper another two." John replied through a yawn.

"Okay there buddy, get some sleep. I'll take over."

0400 hours, Sunday

The sky was still dark when Rodgers awoke, it would start to lighten up soon. Adjusting the headset he spoke into the mike, "Red Raven this is Bulldog, over."

"Will be getting light soon, let's start getting ready."

"Roger that, once I give the okay have the chopper warmed up and ready, over."

Just then another voice came over the radio to which Rodgers acknowledge, "Copy that Batman. And his call is what?"

Then came a third voice over the radio, that of a female. "Well welcome Electra, glad you're here," Rodgers responded.

"What was that all about?" Marshall asked.

"Getting the backup team and chopper ready, we also have a Apache for assistance." Rodgers told him as he passed him the headset.

A little over two hours later Rodgers nudged his spotter telling him get things started. Marshall immediately got on the radio. "Okay everybody, it's showtime, let's get ready, over." After receiving a 'ready' from everyone he gave a thumbs up to Rodgers.

Rodgers peered through his scope focusing in on the doorway his target would be appearing from. He didn't have to wait long. Within seconds a figure appeared, his rolled up prayer rug tucked under one arm, a weapon slung over his shoulder. He remained standing in the doorway waiting for everyone else to emerge first. Perfect, Rodgers thought all he need now is confirmation.

"Target confirmed Gunny." Marshall said.

Excellent, Rodgers thought, as he flipped off his safety, never taking his aim away from the target. He took one short controlling breath, released it and squeezed the trigger.

Mohammad Al-Hacede stood waiting, in his doorway, as his troops began to emerge for morning prayer. It's almost a certainty he never actually felt the fifty caliper bullet penetrate his skull or that it would be the last thing he never felt before he died.

"Oh my god," Marshall screeched. "Right through his head. Great shot Gunny."

"Yeah, okay now lets git outta here." Grabbing their gear they began scurrying down the mountain.

They didn't bother looking to see what was going on in the village, their attention focused only on the rocky terrain below them, the ensuing gunfire they heard did manage to get it though. "Sounds like someone just got our backups attention, John. Call up Electra."

Activating the radios mike. "Electra this is Bulldog, over."

"You're up," he replied.

The two men halted their descent just long enough to catch site of the Apache attack helicopter as it arose from its position, they watched as the Apache swung into an attack position and open fired. The sound of the thirty millimeter M230 chain gun being very distinctive.

With the support of the ground team and the Apache Rodgers and Marshall were able to complete their descent unscathed, making it to the awaiting Huey. Calling for their backup team to retreat the two took defensive positions to provide cover fire. Once everyone was back and safely on board they lifted off, with the Apache as an escort, and headed to Bagram.

Beckett's Apartment 11:45 PM

General Townes stood outside Detective Beckett's door getting ready to knock. He had watched via satellite the action at Shah-e Pari where one of his best snipers took out one very bad Taliban butcher and then made his, his spotter and backup teams escape. Now he was going to deliver some very good news, to a very anxious detective. He rapped firmly on the door and waited.

Beckett sat on her couch watching reruns of 'Temptation Lane', watching being the inoperative word here, since she wasn't really paying any attention to what was on the screen. She had been on pins and needles all day waiting for any word from General Townes. Suddenly there was a knock on her door. God, what is it with these late night callers she thought. Getting up from her comfortable couch she went and answered it.

She unlocked the door but left the security chain connected she opened the door far enough to see out. "General Townes," she said upon seeing who it was.

"Good evening again Detective Becket. Are you going to invite me in?"

"Oh. Yeah. Of course," she replied closing the door, removing the security chain, she reopened the door allowing Townes to enter. "Please come in."

"Thank you," he said again removing his cap upon entry. "How are you this evening?"

"Nervous, edgy, anxious...pick one."

"Well you don't need to be any of those since I bring good news. Gunnery Sergeant Rodgers, is safe and well and by now is safely back at Bagram."

"Oh thank god," she spoke letting out a contented sigh. "How, where did you find him?"

"Actually he found us. Somehow he managed to avoid capture and work his way south undetected. There he stumbled upon a new target, one we had been looking for, for sometime. He was able make radio contact with Central Command for permission to eliminate. The timeline was such that we were able to get a backup team in place for support. Everything went well and we have Rodgers to thank for it."

"Well I'm glad and thank you for coming to tell me in person. I appreciate it."

"You're quite welcome Detective Beckett," he told her reaching into his jacket pocket pulling out a envelop. "Here this is for you," Townes said handing it to her.

"What's this?" she asked taking the envelop from him.

"Don't know. was just asked to deliver it to you."

"Well, again, thank you," she told him as he made his way to the door letting himself out.

Beckett followed him, still clutching the envelop, locking and chaining the door after him. She then headed to the kitchen for a glass of wine. She figured she'd need one, in order to read what Castle had written. Pouring a hefty glass of her favorite red she walked back to the couch and got comfy. She took a drink of her wine, set the glass down on the coffee table and opened the envelop.

Dear Kate,

If you're reading this, I'm alive. Not sure how much you have learned about my past from General Towns or where I'm at and what I do. Probably enough to know that at any moment my life could be in peril. That is why I told him to notify you as well, after informing Alexis and my mother of course. These past two years, following and being with you have been wonderful. And I consider you as much a part of my family as I do them. Enough of that though. You no doubt wonder why I bolted from Maya's apartment, therefore, I guess some explanation is in order. I am pretty sure you and the guys figured out that Maya and James were not their real names; that is why your background checks, bank records and phone records didn't reveal anything. Maya was an undercover operative working as a servant in the Saddam Hussein palace. She was instrumental in verifying mission targets that I was a part of. James was my spotter for those missions. Upon arriving at Maya's apartment I found the door ajar and the place in shambles. When I saw her on the bed she was bound to the bedposts and naked from the waist down, I untied her and redressed her. It was right after that that I heard a noise coming from the front room so I grabbed the gun form the bedside table and waited. If it was her torturers returning they were not going to leave there alive. Much to my surprise it was you and the guys that came rushing in, guns drawn yelling NYPD then seeing me with a gun, telling me to drop it. It was when you were about to arrest me that I could see the see the expressions on your and the guys faces, it was pure disgust. I therefore felt my best course of action was to escape. I knew then I would have to solve this without help from the NYPD. It was only by chance that I saw General Townes show up at the precinct (yeah, I was watching) I knew that is where I felt my help would come from, so with his, Navy Intelligence and Homeland's help we were able to discover who killed them. Locate their whereabouts and obtain justice, not necessarily your type of justice, but justice just same. I'm sure you would like to know more but anything more would be revealing 'Classified' information. And now for my confession. When I left last May I had already decided I would not return and continue to follow you around. My knowing you and Demming were together hurt but if that relationship was to have a chance, my presence would only be a deterrent. I can only hope you're happy Kate because that's all I've ever wanted for you even if it wasn't with me. I suppose you'd say I was just being jealous and you'd be correct because over the course of the past two years you have captured my heart, something I thought, after two failed marriages, would ever happen again. I have fallen in love with you Katherine Beckett and it hurts; hurts to know that I'm not the one you'll go out to dinner with, go to the movies with, kiss goodnight or make love with. I wanted all those things with you Kate, only you, but I guess now I'll never know, just know you are it for me. With that said I will close by saying that no matter what happens Kate, I will love you, always. I hope to see you again someday.


Kate sat there, tears falling from her eyes as she read Castles confession. He loves me. She needed to talk to him, let him know she loves him too. That she had ended things with Demming to go with him to the Hampton's, give them a chance, that she was getting ready to tell him so when Gina showed up. She needed to get in touch with him, but how - Alexis! Alexis told her they traded emails, she would have his email address. She decided she would go by the loft in the morning before work.

Monday morning

Kate was riding up the elevator to Castle's floor, she was trying to remember the last time she had seen Alexis and Martha, had it been a month? She remembered it was just after the newspapers and tabloids found out about Castle's disappearance, the headlines asking if he was alive or dead, the page six articles saying he was tired of following Detective Beckett, the rumors were endless. How Martha and Alexis were hounded by reporters, that is, until Alexis sicced Paula on them. Paula, Rick's agent, finally got tired of it and released a statement saying Castle was on a extended vacation to rejuvenate his crime writing juices that he would be back consulting with the twelfth precinct soon. Since then he has been supposedly seen everywhere this side of the International Date-Line.

Kate exited the elevator, walked to the door to Castle's loft, raised her fist and knocked firmly. She heard the click-clack of shoes as someone came to answer. When the door swung open she was greeted by Alexis' warm smile. "Kate," she said. "This is an unexpected surprise. Please come in." As Kate entered Alexis pulled her in for a hug, asking her if she would like some coffee, saying she had just made a fresh pot.

"It's good to see you Kate, it has been a while but why are you here so early?" Alexis asked after pouring Kate a cup of coffee and one for herself.

"This," Kate replied handing her the letter.

Alexis took the letter and began to read. Kate watched her facial expressions knowing exactly when she got to the part where Castle proclaimed his love for her. As she finished Kate saw the huge smile that appeared on her face.

"Wow!" Alexis exclaimed. "That is awesome. I knew he loved you but you were dating that guy...Schemelling

"Demming, Lex. Demming." Kate responded with a giggle.

"Whatever. Anyway this part about being a deterrent well that sounds so much like Dad. He would never put you in a position where you had to make a choice."

"But that's just it Lex. I did make a choice. Earlier that day, while your dad was taking you to Princeton, Tom Demming, the guy I was dating, came to see me and I broke up with him. I was in the process of telling Castle I wanted to go with him to the Hampton's, give us a chance., but then Gina arrived and they left - together."

"Ooh, Kate. You thought Dad and Gina were getting back together. That is sooo never going to happen not after he discovered she had cheated on him. Why do think they got divorced? Same with my mom, he caught her in their bed with a movie director. He has built up walls to protect himself Kate, though I'm not surprised he knocked them down for you."

"That's must be why he started getting distant when Tom showed up and began helping on our cases. I need to contact him Lex tell him how I feel."

"And how's that, Kate?"

"I love him, Lex."

Alexis picked up her cell and began typing. A few moments later Kate heard her phone ping indicating an incoming text. "I just sent you his email address and cell number, Kate. Best if you email him first though, tell him how you feel."

"Thanks Lex, I will."

"You're welcome. I'm happy for you, Kate." Kate then reached over and pulled her into a hug whispering, "Love you too, Lex."

"Same here, Kate," Alexis replied returning Kate's hug with one of her own.

They disengaged from one another, Kate getting up to leave while Alexis went about rinsing out their cups and putting them in the dishwasher.

Monday morning, the Precinct

Detective Kate Beckett arrived at the twelfth precinct, stepped off the elevator and headed straight to her desk. As she got there her teammates, Detectives Ryan and Esposito said 'good morning'.

"Morning," she replied. "Come with me."

"What did we do now?" Espo ask looking directly at Ryan.

"Don't know but it can't be good, she's not smiling," he responded as they got up from their desks and followed her.

Once they were all in the breakroom Beckett closed the door. Turning back to face her partners she spoke, "I believe we owe Castle an apology..."

"For what!" Esposito shouted.

"For the way we treated him last September during the Maya Maliki case."

"You mean the case where he knocked us down and turned a table over on us. That case?" Ryan injected.

"Yes, that case," Beckett replied.

"I still don't see why we (motioning between himself and Ryan) need to apologize," Espo retorted.

"Because," Beckett started, "when we saw it was Castle we became unprofessional and wanted to punish him for his actions last May. He apparently noticed our displeasure and that's why he acted like he did."

"So how do you know all this Beckett?" asked Ryan. "We saw the look on your face back then, how hurt you were with him leaving with his ex."

"I was hurt but it was partly my fault. What Castle didn't know was that I called it off with Tom earlier, as far as he knew I was going on a Memorial Day junket with Tom. He didn't know I wanted to go with him to the Hampton's or that I had developed feelings for him. But after reading this letter (waving it in front of them) I can see his reasoning so I'm saying yes our disgust, anger, contempt, whatever all the animosity we felt towards him was unwarranted."

"So what do you plan on doing?" asked Esposito.

"Yeah Beckett," Ryan piped in. "How do you plan to fix things?"

"I got his email address from Alexis and I'm going to write to him and see that he knows everything."

"Everything?" Ryan asked, a Cheshire grin plastered on his face.

"Yes. Everything. Now lets get back to work," she replied turning, heading for the door, her own grin as big as Ryan's.

Monday evening, Beckett's apartment

Kate got home that evening tired. It had been a boring day at work doing nothing but paperwork. She had picked up takeout from Remy's which she now sat consuming from the comfort of her couch. Her laptop was sitting on the coffee table open to her email program but had not written anything yet. She knew what she wanted to say just not how to say it. But as she finished off the last of the french fries it came to her. He had opened up to her, told her his feelings, his thoughts, everything...she would do the same for him. She set down the empty fry basket, picked up the laptop and began typing.

Dear Rick,

First let me tell you how happy I am to hear you are alive and secondly to let you know I miss you, so much. General Townes told me you are in Afghanistan when he came to let me know you were MIA. It thrills me to know that you care enough of me to consider me family. The news of your missing caused me to have a panic attack, General Townes however was able to help me through it. He told me everything he could, gave me hope, telling me you are one of the best. I must admit that it never dawned on us that their names were aliases, shows how good of detectives we are. You would probably have picked up on it right away had you not already known them. I want to apologize for our actions that day, they were unwarranted, we should have reacted differently, we were mad but that's no excuse for treating you like we did. As for your actions I have to say I had no idea you were that quick, that strong, being able to take down myself, Esposito and Ryan in one swift move surprised all of us. I think the guys are still somewhat embarrassed by it. I cried reading the part where you decided not return to the 12th, to continue following me. You thinking Tom and I were together must have hurt and for that I'm so, so sorry. I was trying to curb the feelings I was having for you, with Tom it was safe, it was never going to last. I was afraid if we connected you would eventually break my heart, the one I have protected ever since my mother died. That's why I broke up with him earlier that day. I wasn't happy Rick, you make me happy, with you I feel safe. When I pulled you out of the party I was about to tell you I would go with you to the Hampton's but then (ugh) Gina showed up and I never got the chance. I love you too, Rick. I was fighting it but I no longer can or want to. I want to be the one you take out to dinner, take to the movies, kiss goodnight afterwards and yes, make love too. So please be careful over there and come back to me. I don't think I could survive if I lost you. I love you to much. Kate.

Kate reread what she had written correcting any mistakes and hit Send. There it was done, all she had to do now was wait for a reply. She checked the time realizing it was early morning in Afghanistan so she decided a good hot bath was in order.

Bagram AFB, 0430 hours

Newly promoted Master Sergeant Rodgers was sitting on his bed, his back against the wall, his laptop in his lap. He was busy writing his latest 'Nikki Heat' novel when the computer pinged telling him he had a new email. Probably Alexis he his work he closed the word processing program and opened his email, but instead of seeing an email from Alexis he saw one from katiebug25. He quickly opened it and began to read, by the time he finished his eyes were filled with tears of joy. She loved him too. He grabbed his phone from the nightstand, punched speed dial 2 and waited. The other end rang twice before it was answered with an all to familiar greeting.


Beckett's apartment

Kate had just got into her cherry scented bubble bath when her phone rang. God I hope its not a body drop she thought. Picking up the phone but not checking the caller ID she answered in her usual manner. "Beckett."

"Kate." said the voice on the other end.

"Castle!" She screamed, sitting straight up in the tub. "Is it really you. Tell me it's really you."

"You don't need to shout Kate, I can hear you just fine and yes it's really me."

"Oh god how I've have missed you."

"I've missed you too, so much. So did you mean it?"

Knowing exactly what he wanted to hear she said, "Yes Richard Castle, I love you too, although I'm not sure about this Richard Rodgers guy."

"I love you too Katherine Beckett and don't you worry, as soon as this tour is over your Richard Castle will be back."

"I hope so. I miss the morning coffee he brings me, his crazy CIA and alien theories but most of all I miss his beautiful blue eyes. The way they look at me and how I get lost in them. God Castle you've turned me into a girl!"

"The most beautiful girl I've ever seen. So gorgeous, not to change the subject but how did you get my email address? Wait let me guess. Alexis."

"Yeah, I stopped by the loft this morning before work, let her read your letter, told her my feelings for you then asked her for it. She gave me your cell number also but she did say it would be best if I emailed you first."

"Smart girl."

They continued talking for the next hour until Rick told her he needed to get ready for a meeting, that his new rank was going to require quite a bit more of his time. So saying there 'until tomorrow', I love you and agreeing they would talk again the next day, they disconnected the call.

After disconnecting the call Kate got out from the now almost cold bathwater, toweled herself off, and padded to her bedroom. She debated briefly about putting on pajamas but decided against it and instead crawled into bed naked, hoping her dreams include a very naked Richard Castle laying beside her.

Eights weeks later

Beckett arrived home early from work, for a change. Her team had been working the last three days on a tough case but was finally able to get a confession from their suspect late the previous night. She and the boys went in this morning to complete the paperwork, Captain Montgomery then giving them the rest of the day off.

After leaving the precinct she swung by the morgue, picking Lanie up so they could grab a quick lunch at Remy's, which ended up lasting much much longer because of Lanie's constant questioning regarding Kate's relationship with her and Writer-boy, as she liked to

call him. When she finally got to her building she checked her mailbox and retrieved her mail.

Taking the elevator she exited at her floor, walked to her door, unlocked it, went in re-locking it behind her. She threw the mail on the kitchen island, thinking she'd go through it later, removed and hung up her coat, wandered over to the couch where she plopped down and removed her boots.

It had been thee days since she had talked to Castle but she would be calling him later.

She had text him each day though letting him know she was still rapt up on the case. Checking her clocks, she had two on her end table now, one set for New York City time and one set for the current time in Afghanistan. She saw that it was midnight there so Rick (she liked calling him by his given name now) would still be asleep. He had told her he usually arose at 3:30 to write. He was working on his, yet untitled, third 'Nikki Heat' book, which was coming along nicely now that she was feeding him new information about her cases.

Deciding she could use a cup of coffee she got up from the couch, moved over to the kitchen and began making a pot. Waiting for it to brew she began checking her mail. While most it was junk and went straight in the trash there was one envelop that caught her attention. It was from a travel agency, on the front was stamped 'TICKETS ENCLOSED'. Intrigued she opened it finding round trip tickets to Paris France with a note saying Call me when you get these and was signed Rick. Staring at the tickets her jaw dropped, her mouth opened mumbling, "Rick what have you done?" She wasn't going to wait, she needed to talk to him right away. Fixing herself a cup of coffee she went back to the couch, set her cup down , picked up her phone, pressed number three on her speed dial menu and waited for him to answer.

He picked up after the first ring, must have still been awake. "Hey Kate," he said when answering. "I take it you got the ticket."

"Yeah. Yeah I did. But ..."

"Kate, I've got seven days R&R due me and I want you to join me in Paris. Just let me know when you can get the time off. That's an open ticket so all you need to do is make your reservations. There 'First Class' too, by the way.

"Hell yes I want to join you. I'll check with Montgomery first thing in the morning. How about you. When can you get your seven days?"

"Whenever I want and by the way my seven does not include travel days so if you can get a couple extra days we can have the whole week."

"Shouldn't be a problem. I haven't taken any days off all year. Jeez Rick I can't wait. I've missed you so much."

"Missed you to Kate. So I see it's early afternoon there. What did you do, get off early?"

"Yeah. Wrapped up the case late last night. All me and the boys needed to do was the paperwork on it this morning, then Captain gave us the rest of the day off. So why are you still up?"

"Don't have anything I need to get up for tomorrow. Decided to get some writing done."

"Aah, and what is Nikki up to this time?"

"Right now she's in the middle of a car chase. And that's all you're going to get for now."

"Spoil sport. You want to get back to it?"

"No lets talk for a little while. Its been a few days and I've missed hearing your voice."

A little while turned into a three hour marathon. Her telling him all about the case, him telling her about his boring meetings and both of them talking about whatever came to mind. Most of it consisted of ridiculous musings, at least from him, but they made her laugh and to him it was the best sound ever.

The Precinct, Thursday

The next morning Beckett got to the precinct early, went straight to her desk, set down her coffee and removed her coat. Sitting down she turned on her computer while she waited for Captain Montgomery to arrive. Once it booted up she went right to the NYPD's forms section and clicked on the 'Vacation Request' form and began filling in the boxes. When she got to the 'Number of days requested' box she put in '10'. Where it ask for 'Dates Requested' she paused thinking, this is Thursday, I'll need to give him a day or two, let me see what kind of flights I can get for Sunday. She paused her thinking at that point, lowered the form and opened her browser, typed in 'Air France', the airline the tickets were for and found the flights she wanted and booked them. Returning to the form she typed in the dates, completed the rest of it, printed and signed it.

At exactly 7:55 AM the elevator pinged its arrival, the doors opened and Captain Montgomery walked out. Beckett waited until he entered his office, removed his coat and sat down at his desk before getting up from her own desk and walking into his office.

"Good morning Sir," she greeted him.

"Good morning yourself Detective Beckett," he responded. "What can I do for you this morning?"

"You can approve this for me," she said, handing him the form.

Taking the form, seeing the title, the words 'Vacation Request', reading further down he looked up at her surprisingly asking, "ten days? Are you going somewhere Beckett?"

"Yes Sir. Paris." she responded gleefully. "I'm meeting Castle."

He immediately picked up a pen saying, "Approved." as he applied his signature. "I'll see that this gets to HR today. I have a meeting at 1 PP anyway," he added, then as she turned to leave he called to her, "And Kate, have a good time."

"You can count on it Sir." as a big smile spread across her face.

Montgomery just shook his head, a smile appearing on his face as well then began settling in on his own workload.

Kate got home that evening again tired from a long and boring paperwork day. She had stopped at her neighborhood deli and purchased one of their freshly made salads, bringing it home for dinner. She would be calling Rick at their usual time which meant she had little over an hour to change and eat.

Kate was just finished eating when her phone began vibrating. Snatching it up before it vibrated itself off the coffee table and seeing Rick's face on the screen she pressed 'answer', guess he couldn't wait to hear my sultry voice she thought and answered. "Hey there handsome."

"Hey yourself gorgeous," he responded. "I couldn't go any longer without hearing your sultry voice."


"So how'd it go today?" He said interrupting her.

"Great. Montgomery gladly accepted my request for ten vacation days. I hope you don't need a whole lot of advance notice."


"Because I get into Paris, let me see here, eleven AM, Monday."

"Great. Which airport?""

"Charles de Gaul. I'll email you my itinerary."

"Okay, good. So how was your day?"

"Long and boring. Nothing but paperwork. Yours?"

"Actually good. Got a lot of writing done, should have it finished by the weekend. Have even got a title for it."

"You going to tell me?"


"Come on Rick. Pleeeease."

Castle chuckled at her pleading but knowing he couldn't refuse her, "Okay but just for you so you have to promise not to tell anyone."

"Promise, now come on tell me."

"Rising Heat and there's a surprise ending."

"Ooh, I can't wait to read it."

They continued talking for another hour until Kate told him she was tired and wanted to take a long comforting bubble bath before heading to bed, telling him she loved him, which he reciprocated they disconnected their call.

JFK Airport, Sunday evening

Kate got to the airport four hours before her scheduled flight time, checked her baggage, got her boarding pass, went through security without a problem, proceeded to her gate, found a comfortable seat, sat down and pulled out the book she brought with her. One of Castle's, 'Storm Fall', her favorite in the Derek Storm series.

She hadn't realized how long she had been sitting there until she heard, over the intercom, the announcement that her flight would start boarding in ten minutes and would all 'Premium Class' passengers please begin lining up at the gate. Kate put her book in her bag, slipped the bag over shoulder and walked up to the gate. A few minutes later a flight attendant opened the door leading to the walkway and started allowing the passengers to proceed for boarding, collecting and checking each ones boarding pass as they went by.

As Kate reached the planes door another Flight attendant asked to see the stub of her pass that reflected her seat number then politely gave her directions to her assigned seat. Kate had the fortunate opportunity to select her seat at the same time she reserved her flight and was able to get one that folded out into a bed, Her plan was that once they were in the air she would unfold it, curl up with a blanket and pillow and get some sleep, hopefully for the entire flight.

Charles de Gaul airport, 11:00 AM, Monday

Rick paced back and forth outside the check point area waiting for her, Kate Beckett, the love of his life. He had been keeping watch on the teleprompters and knew her flight actually landed early. He also knew she would need to go to baggage claim before she got here so pacing helped keep his nervous energy in check. It also allowed him keep his eyes on the multitude of check points to see which one she ended up at. It was at that instant, their eyes met, their smiles widened, her pace quickened as she headed for the nearest check point, his never leaving hers as he went towards the same.

Kate was processed through fairly quick. Putting her passport away she grabbed the handle of her wheeled suitcase and literally ran to him. She let go of the suitcase and wrapped her arms around him bury her face in his chest, taking in the familiar scent of him. Rick returned her hug, picking her up and spinning her around which brought a giggle from her.

"Rick put..." she started to say but he stopped her, planting his lips against hers in a sweet but all to short kiss. Kate however wanted more, reaching up and latching on to the back of his neck she pulled him down to her attacking his mouth with her own kissing him with all the passion she could muster.

Holding the kiss until oxygen became a necessity they parted. Their foreheads touching, their eyes staring intently into the others. Their breathing returning to normal, Rick was finally able to speak. "Kate, if we intend to take this any further we need to get to the hotel."

"Oh yes Mister Castle I plan on taking this much further." She replied a hint of mischief in her voice.

"Then let's go. I have a car waiting." He proclaimed. Taking her suitcase in one hand while holding her hand with his other they walked outside to a waiting town car where the driver took the suitcase from storing it in the trunk. Once they were on their way Rick raised the darkened partition glass separating them from the driver. He reached over and pulled Kate into his lap, cupped her face in his hands and kissed her again. He nibbled on her bottom lip and when his tongue pressed against her lips, asking for entrance, she let him in, letting her tongue tangling with his. Pulling apart, the need for air once again being apparent, Kate leaned in against him her head resting on his shoulder. She placed a kiss to his neck saying, "I love you, Rick."

"I love you too, Kate," he replied, kissing the top of her head, the scent of her cherry shampoo filling his nostrils.

"So where we staying?" She asked a few minute later.

"A little place called the 'Shangri-La."

Kate's head jerked up off his shoulder. "The Shangri-La? The Shangri-La is one of the most prestigious hotel in all of Paris, Castle."

"Oh, so we're back to Castle now are we," a wide grin on his face.

"Oops. Old habit," she responded with a grin.

The car slowed as it pulled into the entrance of the hotel. The driver got out going around to retrieve the luggage from the trunk as the doorman opened the passenger door greeting their arrival. A bellboy arrived to take the luggage from the driver. Rick then shook the drivers hand, giving him at tip then telling him in perfect french he'd call when he required his services again.

Upon giving the bellboy the name of their suite they headed to the lift where they were taken to the top floor and proceeded to their suite. After the bellboy opened the door, allowing them to enter first he took her luggage to the bedroom. Upon returning Rick gave him a tip thanking him to which the bellboy nodded then left closing the door behind him.

Rick turned around to see Kate just standing there, "Kate, you okay?"

"Oh my god Rick. This is fantastic but you didn't need to go this extreme. Not that I don't love it though."

"Well this is the 'City of Love' so I figured anything less wouldn't be good enough for the love of my life," he told her taking her in his arms. "You're it for me Kate. I don't ever want to lose you. I don't believe I could go on if I did."

"And I don't believe I could go on if I ever lost you either, Rick. So please be careful there in Afghanistan so you'll come home to me. I love you Richard Castle, you're my 'one and done'. Now, I would like to take a shower," as she turned and headed toward the bedroom and en-suite.

"Would you like some company?" He asked grinning as he followed her.

"Most definitely," she responded as she began stripping off her clothes.

By the time they made it to the en-suite, they were devoid of all their clothing. They stood there momentarily staring at one another. Rick reached in the shower and turned the hot water on, testing its temperature as it cascaded down from the ceiling. When the water felt comfortable enough he took Kate's hand, helping her into the shower as he himself stepped in.

As they stood under the hot spray, he pulled her flush against his body, her arms immediately wrapping around his waist. Rick lowered his head down to hers and kissed her slow and passionately. When he ran his tongue across her lips, seeking entrance, she gave it to him. Kate let out a low moan when their tongues met, she has never been kissed like this, not with Will and certainly not with Tom, but with Rick she could feel all the love he had for her and knowing that she return the kiss with all the love she had for him.

Kate could feel Rick getting hard against her, removing one arm from around his waist she reached down to feel him. Rick let out a guttural moan at her touch before whispering softly, "Not yet, shower first then I take you to bed and make proper love to you."

"Let's hurry then," she answered breathlessly.

Less than five minutes later they were back in the bedroom, Kate still encased in Rick's arms, her legs wrapped around his hips. Upon reaching the bed Rick pulled the bed covers back and gently laid her gently down on the silk sheets.

Kate scooted further up the bed till her head reached the pillows, Rick following, crawling up next to her like a hungry tiger. Once they were face-to-face he leans over and kisses her again, this time with a hunger but still gentle. His tongue immediately parts her lips delving for hers. Kate lets him find it and together they again relish in the taste of each other.

As the need for oxygen became necessary they parted both panting heavily. Rick pecked Kate's lips again then a brief kiss to her forehead, then to her cheek, around to her ear where he whispered, "you have no idea how many times I've dreamt of this."

"Nor you me," she breathlessly responded.

Later as they lay there breathless, sweaty and entangled with each other he finds her lips with his, kissing her passionately. "That was..."

"Amazing," they both say at the same time.

"You are amazing," Kate says just as she hears a grumble from Rick's stomach.

"Sounds like somebodies hungry."

"Well we have exerted a lot of physical activity since you arrived. Couple that with the fact I've had a very small breakfast. And what about you, you, you must be famished, having had nothing but airplane food. Why don't you go start a shower while I'll order us up some food."

"Sounds good," she responded sitting up and kissing him, which began to escalate in to more as he started to nibble on her bottom lip. But then his stomach grumbled again and they broke apart laughing.

Kate rolled out of bed and went to her suitcase, opened it and began removing her clothes, some of which she would hang and some she will need to iron. As she got towards the bottom she let ot a screach, "SHIT".

"What is it?" Rick call back, his search for a menu interrupted.

"I forgot to back any pajamas," she yelled.

"Look in the dresser and grab one of my t-shirts, they should be long enough."

Finding the drawer with his t-shirts she pulled a white one out, shook it open, held it up against her checking its length. Deciding it was long enough she draped it over her arm, grabbed her cherry scented shampoo, body wash and headed for the en-suite.

While Kate showered Rick ordered their dinner complete with dessert and two bottles of wine, one of which he would put in the frig for later. Returning to the bedroom he retrieved a pair of pajama pants, a gray t-shirt from the dresser and headed for the en-suite.

For the next seven days they toured the amazingly wonderful sights of Paris, dined on exquisite French cuisine and made love multiple times daily until it was time for Kate to return to New York.

The ride to the airport was relatively quiet probably due to the fact that there was more kissing going on than there was conversation and the closer they got the more desperate and intense the kisses became. Neither wanted this time together to end especially Kate for while she was going back to the relative safety of New York Rick was headed to a country rife with war.

"You be careful there, Rick," Kate whispered through tear filled eyes as their town car pulled up to the departure area. "I love you, I can't lose you, I just can't."

"I will Kate. I will come home to you, I promise, I love you to much not to," he whispered back before capturing her lips in one more passion filled kiss.

Rick exited the car then helped Kate out taking her in his arms he kissed her forehead and then another to her lips. "I love you. Have a safe trip. I'll text you later."

"I love you too, Rick." She then extracted herself from his arms, grabbed her luggage which their driver and headed for the terminal but not before turning and blowing him a kiss.

Rick pantomimed catching the kiss and placing it to his lips, he watched as she then entered the terminal. He got back in the the car, closed the door and told the driver they could leave not realizing Kate was watching the entire time.


Its been been fifteen weeks since Kate returned from Paris, fifteen weeks since Castle held her in his arms, fifteen weeks since they made love. Sure they they talked regularly but it wasn't the same, she missed, she needed him. She worried about him constantly especially when he was away on assignment and couldn't call, was overjoyed when she received his text telling her he had returned safely.

That's where she was now – waiting. He had texted her two days ago saying he would be out on assignment. Fortunately her team had caught a case, a Beckett flavored case, as Espo liked to call them cause they were usually weird in nature. But they wrapped the case up late the night before and now she sat at her desk completing the mounds of paperwork required by the DA's office.

Kate was so engrossed in her work she didn't notice when the elevator pinged announcing its arrival or when the homicide floor went quiet or when the heavy trod of footsteps ceased behind her. It wasn't until she heard her name 'Kate' spoken that she froze. It couldn't be she thought but she would know his voice anywhere. Slowly turning around, a large shadow was cast upon her, she raised her head, eyes closed and when she opened them, there he was...Castle.

Richard Castle walked into the 12th Precinct and was immediately swamped with back slaps and handshakes from the officers he had made friends with during his two years following and consulting on cases with the homicide division. And yes while it has been a year since his last appearance they still treated him as one of their own. Castle wanted very much to get to the fourth floor and see Kate but remembering his manners stayed and talked to them until they excused themselves.

Castle debated on taking the elevator or the stairs, the elevator eventually winning out. As he stepped off when he got to her floor he instantly placed his index finger to his lips indicating silence to any and all that he didn't want his arrival announced whispering to pass it on. He waited until the floor became absolutely quiet then began making his way to her desk. He came up behind her standing there silently before speaking, "Kate".

Kate can never remember moving faster, in the blink of an eye she was out of her chair, her arms wrapped around him, her head nestled in his neck, tears of joy streaming from her eyes. "You're here, you're here" she mumbled.

"Yes, Kate. I'm here," he answered wrapping her in his arms.

Suddenly the floor erupted in a roar of applause, yells and wolf whistles. Everyone knew about the love these two had for each other, long before they themselves knew it.

Rick separated himself slightly from their embrace, "Kate," he began, "I knew from the moment you flashed your badge in my face at my Storm Fall party you were special. Looking into your eyes I knew I wanted to know more about you but it wasn't until our first date..."

Kate snickered. "What first date?" she spouted interrupting him.

"Our dinner at Remy's after the 'Third Man' case."

"That was a date?"

"Yes it was now stop interrupting me. After that date I knew I had deep feelings for you but it was when Demming started coming around that I knew for sure it was love. Anyway what I'm trying to ask but not doing a very good job of it is..." going down on one knee, holding an open red velvet ring box in his hand, "I love you Katherine Houghton Beckett, will you marry me?"

Kate stood there her hands on Rick's chest wondering where his speech was going and when he mentioned something about a first date she couldn't help but ask him about it. When he said Remy's her mind flashed back to that case, the dates they walked out on at Drago's, them walking arm-in-arm to the elevator, the burgers and shakes at Remy's, the fries they shared, him paying, most of all the conversation they had that continued well into the night. He's right it definitely was a date.

I watched as he lowered himself to one knee and then I knew. Oh god he's proposing. What do I say? How do I answer? Am I ready for this? Do I love him enough? Of course I do, he's my one and done. And the ring its perfect not big and gaudy but something I would be proud to wear every day so yes I knew my answer.

"Yes, Richard Edgar Alexander Rodgers Castle. Yes, I will marry you."

Rick rose from his kneeling position removing the ring from the box and slipped it on to the ring finger of her left hand then pulled her close and kissed her as the noise level on the homicide floor again roared their approval.

Once everything quieted down and congratulations had been extended Captain Montgomery told the now engaged couple to go home and take two days off. After thanking him Kate shut down her computer as Castle retrieved her coat, helping her put it on. They then strolled arm-in-arm to the elevator.

As the doors closed behind them Kate threw she arms around him and gave him a long sweet kiss. Pulling away she whispered, "I love you, Rick."

"I love you too, Kate." he replied then engaging her another but all to brief kiss.

They no sooner exited the elevator when a thunderous applause erupted, seems news of their engagement had travelled quickly through the entire precinct. Again they waited for all the congratulatory hugs, handshakes and back slaps were over with before they walked out through the front doors.

"Lets take a cab," Kate said once they were outside. "Won't be able to concentrate enough to drive."

"Why what is on your mind my future wife?"

"Just you my future husband. Now take me home and make love to me."

"And that I shall, Mrs. Castle. That I shall."

They laid entangled with each other after their third round of making love, (or was it their forth) unable to move, their bodies slick with sweat.

Kate was the first to speak, "I don't think I can move."

"Don't want you to," Rick replied. "Want to stay like this forever."

"Okay." She said before drifting off to slumberland. Rick following her soon after.

6 Months later

Kate sat as Lanie finished putting up her hair. Shortly she would be marrying Richard Castle and to say she was nervous would be an understatement. It has been a whirlwind of activity since Rick's proposal, thank god for the wedding planner he hired. She was responsible for getting them the rooftop veranda at the Waldorf for their wedding and the Grand Ballroom for the reception. Wedding would be small, close friends and family only but the reception, well let's just say Rick knows a lot of people.

She remembers when they told her father, he cried which of course made her cry. They cried tears of joy but also tears of sadness, sadness because her mother, Joanna, would not be there to witness her wedding. When her dad brought out her mothers wedding dress she cried even more knowing she would get married in the same dress as her mother. (Something old.)

Rick has given her a Diamond bracelet as his weeding gift to her. (Something new.) It matched perfectly with the Diamond earrings Martha loaned her. (Something borrowed.) And she was wearing the Blue Diamond pendant her mother gave her when she graduated high school. (Something blue.)

Rick has been stationed at Quantico as a sniper instructor, coming home on the weekends. He still has six months remaining before his discharge but has amassed enough leave time for their two week honeymoon in Bora Bora.

Just then there was a knock on the door and in walked her father. "Hey Katie bug. You ready?" Upon seeing her, he cried out, "Oh Katie, you look fantastic, your mother would be so proud if she could see how beautiful you are."

Kate stood up giving him a hug, her eys beginning to water at his mention of her mother.

"Don't you dare start to cry girl," Lanie yelled. "I'm not redoing your makeup."

That brought a chuckle from the two Becketts. Kate released her hug then kissed his cheek. "Thanks Dad, I know she would."

"Okay you two give me a few minutes to get up there and get everybody settled and ready," Lanie said as she headed out the door.

Kate and her dad stood behind the specially build lattice partitions waiting for the ceremony to begin. When the traditional Wedding March music started their wedding party, lead by Lanie, Kate's Maid-of-Honor began their progression towards the altar. Following her came the Bridesmaids and Groomsmen, Alexis was paired with James Patterson, Jenny with Ryan (of course) and Mattie with Esposito.

The moment Kate stepped into aisle she took her fathers arm. As they made their way toward the altar her eyes never left Rick. He looked magnificent in his Marine Corp dress blues, the jacket matching the color of his eyes that were trained on her. It was from that moment on that everything seemed to be in 'fast forward' mode, the wedding, the picture taking, the reception all going by so quickly, everything but their love making, with them there was no such thing as 'a quicky'.

Kate laid naked in her husband's arms after their first love making session. Rick was her husband, she was his wife, Mrs. Katherine Castle. She loved the sound of it, she would keep Beckett for work it, but she would be Mrs. Castle everywhere else. Kate turned her head facing Ricks and gave him a quick kiss. "I love you Mr. Castle," she whispered afterwards.

"I love you too, Mrs. Castle," he replied.

"So are you ready for round two?" she asked using her sexy bedroom voice.

"You betcha," he answered flipping her on her back capturing her lips with his own.

One Year Late

They decided to spend their one year anniversary in Rome. It was late when they arrived at their hotel, the Hotel Raphael, so as soon as the bellboy showed them to their room they began getting ready for bed. Rick retrieved his personals kit from the suitcase heading for the en-suite while Kate removed her clothes and slipped into one of Rick's t-shirts, before going in to wash her face and brush her teeth. Upon her return Rick had stripped down to his boxers and got into bed. Kate crawled in snuggling next to him, kissed him goodnight then laid her head on his chest letting the steady beat of his heart lull her to sleep.

Kate woke the following morning in her favorite position, on her side, Rick spooning her from behind, his arm draped over her bare abdomen. Taking hold of his hand she moved it lower until it rested over her wet folds. This, of course, brought an immediate reaction from him, one she knew would awaken him instantly.

Rick's eyes shot open the moment he felt her wetness on his fingers. Though his voice was still laden with sleep he managed to speak. "Horny this morning Mrs. Castle?"

"Always horny for you Mr. Castle," she replied, "and what better way to start our anniversary."

"Well let the celebration begin."

"I have a gift for you first," she said handing him a small box.

Rick took the box from her, immediately shacking it. Kate laughed at his antics. He was such a kid. He ripped off the wrapping paper revealing a white box, lifting the lid his eyes fell upon a slender white stick with a pink plus sign on it.

His eyes shot up to see a wide smile on her face. "Kate, does this mean...are you..."

Yes Rick, I'm pregnant."

Dropping the box he pulled her into his arms smothering her with kisses. Rolling her on to her back he whispered, "Now we really have something to celebrate Mrs. Castle."

"Then let's get started," she whispered back.