Disclaimer: Not mine, I don't own Castle.
A/N: I was NellieRai. Tumblr prompt fills. So yes it says complete but I will be updating it. SO, my fics were deleted, this is me reposting them one by one, chapter by chapter...it's going to take awhile.
A little season 5 feels for you guys. ;)
There are moments when time seems to slow, almost to a complete stop. These probably include - and he's just naming from the top of his head - near death experiences, birth of a child, falling in love, all the big moments. Weddings, maybe. If it's the right person. He wouldn't know. Because he hasn't married that special someone…yet. Not that he doesn't have a special someone or hasn't been married twice before because he does and he has but that's not the point. All the things you think you're prepared for until they happen and you're left gaping, your heart beating loud and fast, yet slow all at the same time.
This is one of those moments in Richard Castle's life. Except it's nothing big at all. It's tiny. Small and warm and wrapping so tight around his heart that he thinks it might burst. He's staring at her. He knows he is and she's completely oblivious this time. It's just supposed to be their day out together. They do this now. They've been doing this for six months and he's still learning about her. Four years, he thought he knew Kate Beckett but six months later and he's overwhelmed with the knowledge he's gained in such a small amount of time.
Like how she gets so excited when she sees books in a dinky little store window. How she grabbed his hand and pulled him inside. And how he's been rooted to the same spot since the moment she let her fingers drift along the spines lining the shelves. He could buy her all of these books and they wouldn't be yellowing and cracked. They wouldn't have lines worn into them and probably dog eared pages that make him shudder but her eyes are alive as she scans the titles.
That's when everything slows, when time creeps. And when he realizes something else about the woman he's dating. She doesn't just want the book with the story printed between the pages. She wants the ones that carry stories hidden in the spines, worn into each page with time and years of being passed around. Her eyes greedily taking them all in as if she's searching for the perfect one and he's still just watching her. Watching as her hair shields her face when she ducks to read the next shelf, the hand that comes up to tuck it back behind her ear being the same one she'd just ghosted over the titles of that first row. Something tells him that she could spend hours in here.
And he's willing to let her. If it means watching her face morph as she catches sight of something that piques her interest. She purses her lips, something sparks in her eyes and carefully, she's pulling a book from its home. She flips open the cover and the smile that stretches her lips has him smiling too. He steps closer then, places his palm low on her back and she drags her gaze up to his. Still smiling and still with that bubbling excitement burning within. He can feel it even as she relaxes into his hand.
"I'm getting this one." And she's so sure of it, already closing it to hold against her chest. Protective.
"We can stay, look around." He has nowhere to be and neither does she.
So they stay. They search and he's handed another piece to the Beckett puzzle. He even gets into it with her, helping her. Handing her books he thinks she might want. And even when she doesn't, she smiles and nudges him with her elbow.
They leave with twelve books. Twelve. A couple Star Trek, some James Bond that he thinks she might be getting just for when he stays over. Not that she doesn't love a good spy novel herself, because he knows she does but she winked at him when she grabbed them. Some of the books, he knows she already owns but he didn't say anything about it. Especially not when one of them is his.
An old forgotten copy of Flowers for Your Grave, with a cover that's worn but she had held it lovingly. Wrapped her fingers around it as if it held the most interesting of tales and he chose not to comment. He could have. He could have said a multitude of things, teased her a little but he didn't. She already has a copy in her apartment but he still pretends he didn't see her with this one. Because she acts as though he wasn't supposed to notice.
He carries a brown paper bag with half the books and she carries another. The one with his book. It's pressed to her chest and she has this little smile playing at her lips. One hinting that she's proud of herself, that she has a little secret. She shifts the bag to one arm and then he feels her fingers weave through his.
"Let's take these back to my place, order chinese." There's something entirely too naughty about the way she looks at him, the way she smirks as she says it. "I'll tell you a story."
He falls more in love with her daily. In those slow moments, where he learns something new and it feels endless in the best way. But now she's biting her lip, he wants to know this story she's promising. And time rushes back in.