It's not the first time he's seen her like this. Long bare legs sticking out from under the tail of his white button down. And he's hit with the reminder of it. Their first morning and waking to find her barefoot and padding into his bedroom with two steaming cups of coffee in her hands. Something ethereal from a dream. He was so sure but no she was real. Is real. She's flesh and bone and warmth and smiling like she knows he's watching.

She probably does. She definitely does. She's intuitive like that. His detective. But he can't drag his eyes away. Not when she's flexing her toes, half the nails painted a dark red and he sometimes wonders what it says about his mental state when something like nail polish turns him on.

But he loves it, loves watching her do this. It's adorable to see. And he's so fond of when she sits up on the bathroom counter. Very very fond of it. How easy it would be to turn her, step between her thighs. He doesn't. He's still stuck on watching as she dips the brush back in the bottle. He can at least wait for the polish to dry before he seduces her out of his shirt.

Yeah. He'll wait. And he'll keep watching, eyes raking over her from head to toe. The unkempt knot of hair at the back of her skull, that calls for his fingers to free those abused strands. He ignores the plea for the moment, follows the curve of her jaw, smiling softly when she makes a tiny noise of frustration and blows a piece of hair out of her face.

She's concentrating, her brow pinched and lips parted and he almost says something. He almost breaks the tacit bubble to make fun, to remind her that it isn't like anyone sees her toes much anyway but he stays silent.

He'd rather remain a quit fixture leaning in the doorway, blessed with this privilege of seeing her unbuttoned. And she is...unbuttoned. The sides of his crisp white shirt open, one brushing against her thigh when she leans forward. He knows her. He knows each inch of her skin, every muscle beneath. He knows the power held in those thighs. Has felt them beneath his hands. Strong and steady, trembling and weak. He's always had a thing for her legs.

It's only become stronger. And it really does it for him, to see her like this. To find her awake and sitting atop the counter with her feet close the sink, knees close to her chest. He catches the hint of black lace, black beneath white and he knows. He knows her now. Better than ever. So he knows she picked that shirt for a reason, she hoped he'd find her. She pilfered his wardrobe more and more these days. Always coming out in a shirt or sweats that fell indecently low on her even with the strings tightened.

But she chose that white shirt because it drives him mad. He can see it in the smirk that takes over her lips. He's a lucky man.

She stretches languidly, pretending he's not there and yet putting on a show just to tease. Arching her back, letting him have a side view of more than just a hint of lace. A very lucky man. One who might not be able to wait till the polish dries if she keeps it up.

He clenches his fists, resists when his legs try to carry him to her. Every part of his body has a damn mind of its own when it comes to her and she knows it.

He's relieved and yet a little disappointed when she caps the bottle, leans heavily against her knees. She still hasn't looked at him. Not even a glance. Too busy killing him slowly when her arms wrap around her legs, her chin resting atop. She looks so young sometimes that it twists in his chest.

Everything she is, everything that's happened to her to make her the best detective - hell, the best person - he's ever met, it's all been thrown at her, catapulted, speared and she's stronger because of it. But here, like this with him, she just seems so young and carefree.

His control breaks, their silence ruined when she purses her lips and blows a cool stream of air through them. The low groan is echoing before he can even think to try and stop it. She's going to kill him. His heart is going to give out one of these days.

"Oh, hey Castle." It's the laziness that gets him. The airy tone that's completely faked. She knew the very second he walked in.

"Hey," he's amazed his voice comes out steady. "You're up early."

"Couldn't sleep."

He doesn't say anything. Just hums at her and he doesn't even know what the sound means. An acknowledgment with no real feeling behind it at all. He's still distracted. All the bare skin, the fact that she's rolled up his sleeves and left the buttons undone is still wreaking havoc on his sleep addled brain.

And he knows the black lace, the peek of nipple through it, that is not what she went to bed wearing. Yeah, couldn't sleep? He's not buying it.

"So you decided to paint your nails before dawn?"

"I tried waking you. I had better plans in mind but you were out. Wouldn't keep your eyes open. Hurts a girls feelings, ya know." It doesn't. She's teasing, her lip disappearing between her teeth as she bites at her own smile.

She drives him completely insane.

"That before or after you found my shirt and the lovely lace number?"

"Guess you'll never know." And finally she looks at him. Her eyes full of heat, her legs swinging around until she's balancing on the edge of the counter. "But since you're awake..."

"Since I'm awake?" He follows her lead, closing the distance between them. Letting her wrap her arms around his neck when he grips her hips.

His heart hammers when she leans in and her lips brush his. He wonders idly if that's ever gonna end. He prays it won't.

"I might as well take advantage."