A/N: Well, it's finally here. The last chapter!! I apologize for taking so long. I don't have any excuses except for life getting in the way.
I want to give a huge thanks to everyone who has been with this story since the beginning (I know, it was such a long time ago!). Also, a great big thank you to everyone who has read, reviewed, alerted, or favorited. It means so much to me! You guys are the best :)
Now, what you've all been waiting for...the final chapter of The Detective Vs The Ex!
One Week Later
Beckett reached across her desk and grabbed the pencil that Castle was trying to shove down his cast. "Leave it alone!"
"You try wearing this thing." He held up his hand and made a face at it. "I have minimal use of my right hand. Do you know how difficult it is to type with only one hand?"
"It's not my fault you broke it." She rolled her eyes. "Stop being such a baby."
"I broke it trying to save you." He taunted.
"You wouldn't have had to try to save me if you hadn't had a psycho ex-girlfriend who wanted to kill me!"
"Speaking of psycho ex-girlfriends…," Esposito walked over towards the pair, followed by Ryan. "We got a full confession from Melissa."
"Not just of the kidnapping, either." Ryan said. He leaned against the desk. "Turns out it was her and her two buddies who killed Rachel Anthony."
"Because she looked like Kate." Castle said, catching on.
"Yep." Ryan nodded. "They wanted to freak her out before they attempted to kidnap her."
Kate just nodded and turned her attention to her computer. Castle exchanged looks with Ryan and Esposito.
"We have some more case stuff to do." Esposito motioned over his shoulder with his thumb.
"Yeah, we'll talk to you guys soon." Ryan agreed. They turned and walked away from Beckett's desk.
Kate sighed, and then looked at Castle. "Why wouldn't I be?"
"It's not your fault, you know. That Rachel was killed I mean." He reached over and covered her hand with his cast-free one. Their eyes met.
Kate sighed again. "I know." She smiled at him. "Thanks."
"That's what I'm here for." He leaned in and kissed her cheek.
"Castle!" She swatted at him, pulling away. She glanced around nervously, her cheeks turning a light shade of red. "How many times have I told you—,"
"No public displays of affection at work." He said, reciting from memory. "Inappropriate displays of affection include kissing, hugging, and ass-grabbing. Appropriate displays of affection include hand holding and the occasional ass-grabbing—,"
"Alright, no ass-grabbing at all." He sighed and gave her a look. "You really take all the fun out of this whole dating thing."
"That's not what you said last night."
His eyes widened in surprise. "Kate Beckett…did you just make a dirty joke!?"
"Who was joking?" She leaned towards him and smiled flirtatiously. Castle raised his eyebrows, leaning in. His lips were on a mission to find hers.
"I told you this was a bad time." A new voice groaned. "I did not need to witness any of that."
Beckett and Castle jumped apart, each caught off guard. Beckett's face went even redder when she saw Alexis and Martha standing there. The youngest Castle had a grimace on her face, while the eldest was positively beaming.
"Ahh, love." Martha spread her arms and sighed theatrically. "What I wouldn't give to have a good man to—,"
Beckett laughed as Castle and Alexis both cringed, yelling at Martha at the same exact time. Something told her that this wasn't the first time they'd had to yell at the broadway star.
"What?" Martha grinned mischievously. "Just because I've put on a few years doesn't mean that I don't know how to live."
"Please, stop." Castle said. "I'm willing to beg."
"Fine." Martha rolled her eyes.
"We have a reason for coming here." Alexis said. She had learned a long time ago that sometimes it was better to just ignore her grandmother. She loved her, yes, but the woman didn't have a very good sense of what was appropriate and what wasn't. Kind of like her father. "I wanted to let you know that Grandma's paying to take you two out for a celebratory dinner tonight."
"What are we celebrating?" Beckett asked. Castle looked just as confused as she did.
"It's been an entire week of you two lovebirds being together!" Martha grinned. "Plus, no one has gotten shot, stabbed, attacked or kidnapped. It's a record for the two of you!"
"Hey, it's not my fault she attracts trouble." Castle nodded towards Beckett.
"I suppose that's how I attracted you."
Alexis and Martha both chuckled, and Castle pouted.
"Touché, Katie. Touché."
"What did I tell you about calling me Katie?" She glared at him.
"Refresh my memory."
Alexis grinned. She was happy for her dad, and Kate. The two of them were probably as opposite as opposites could get, but they worked. They had been through a lot and had come out of it stronger than ever. The future looked promising. Hey, who knew, maybe she'd even get a little brother or sister someday? Then again, that might be pushing it. She'd just focus on keeping her Dad from screwing things up.
The days of Castle and Beckett being just friends and slightly dysfunctional partners were over. Now they were so much more than that.
Everything had started to change.
Well, maybe not everything.