"obviously, we're made for each other"
Genre: Humor, Romance
Time Frame: the not so distant future
Characters: R. Castle, K. Beckett
Summary: In the end, he thinks that she takes the ending to his new novel surprisingly well. She takes the stapler off of her desk, and throws it at him. She doesn't miss, either.
Notes: Fluff to make up for previously posted angst. I am nothing if not a very 'balanced diet' sorta author.
Disclaimer: Nothing is mine but for the words.
"obviously, we're made for each other"
In the end, he thinks that she takes the news surprisingly well.
Sure, he'll have a bruise for the next few days. One that, should anyone ask, was most surely caused by an unfortunate run-in with a door. (and certainly not with the stapler that managed to make connection with his 'unbelievably thick skull'. Her words. Not his.) And sure – a word or two may have been slightly aimed to hurt, but he was over it. Really.
He will never look at Beckett's office supplies the same way again, though. She could be sure of that.
Still bemoaning the injustices of office depot projectiles, he slumped against the coffee counter in the break-room, as he put a ziplock bag full of ice against his forehead in a manner that was maybe just a tad bit petulant. (without the overgrown child implications that the word seemed to dredge up at the worst of times, of course.)
His eyes crossed just a little as they traced the drops of water beading on the edge of the bag.
. . . he was by no means making a bigger deal out of this than he should have, of course. He was simply waiting for her to come in and apologize. It was usually what people did after throwing staplers at other people. The ice bag was not meant to garner up pity, by any stretch of the imagination.
Almost seven minutes later (not that he was looking at the clock, or anything) he could hear her heels beat out a sharp staccato against the scuffed linoleum floor. After all this time, he could tell her footsteps apart from every other woman's in the precinct.
His hand tightened, just slightly, around the ice pack. He let a smile leak into his voice as he turned to face her. "So, you've come to apologize?" he prompted lightly.
Kate Beckett did not seem to share his good humor. Which was surprising, seeing as how he was the one who was injured. It wasn't exactly like he could reverse the situation without it looking all sorts of wrong . . .
"You are unbelievable," she said, her dark eyes trailing somewhat disdainfully across him. He watched where her eyes paused – narrowing at the ice pack and growing darker at the somewhat satisfied pout he wore on his lips.
He stood up just a little straighter. Not enough to ruin the image . . . but enough.
He raised a brow at her words. "I'm unbelievable . . . for expecting an apology?"
She snorted. "Really? You're serious? You should be the one apologizing to me."
"I was trying, when you took to more violent options!"
"You were trying to apologize?" Beckett repeated, stunned.
"Hey . . . it was an honest effort. No need to mock it."
Beckett's eyes widened even more as she ran a hand through her hair, shaking her head. "Yeah, real honest," she mumbled at him.
He raised a brow, placing the ice down on the counter next to him. "Yes. I was trying to say sorry. I shouldn't even have had to! It was a fictional story, about fictional people -"
"Who are based on real life!" she exclaimed.
He noted, with some alarm, that there was a vein throbbing somewhat dangerously in her right temple. Wisely, he refrained from pointing it out. "Yes, I draw inspiration for Nikki from you, but that doesn't mean she is -"
"To the public, Nikki is me!" Beckett exclaimed murderously. "So, when I walk out to see reporters waiting outside of my apartment, every last vulture wondering at my availability -"
"Now, you're being silly -"
" - they assumed I'm with you." Her tone made it obvious as to how distasteful she found the notion.
He finally gave pause, his eyes widening. "Wait a second," he backed up. "Like . . . with with?"
"With with," she fumed.
Castle shrugged. "Idle gossip, it'll fade."
She glared. Raising her hands in the air she formed quotation marks with her fingers. "'Heat of the Night' - Last week's latest novel from bestselling author Richard Castle, leads to a stunning and altogether predicable romantic attachment for fictional character Nikki Heat. How much does the written words speak of real affairs? How long will it be before certain attachments are formed with certain parties? Can fiction triumph in real life?" She was fairly spitting the last words.
He blinked at her. " . . .you read my critic's reviews that closely?"
"Besides the point," she snapped, hands propped on her hips.
Castle was smirking. "Sure it isn't."
Kate was fuming. "Castle . . ." she hissed his name like a curse.
"Obviously everyone thinks we are made for each other -"
" - based on the characters! Characters that you wrote."
" . . . Your point?"
"You could have thought twice before throwing the romance into a murder mystery," she snapped. "You could have given me some warning that I'd have all of this . . . attention because of some stupid novel! Besides, are you kidding me? Nikki and Rook? Really?"
"They make a great match – all the fans think so."
"Destined for epic fail," she disagreed.
"Hey," Castle pouted, "just because you don't like my character doesn't mean you have to be mean."
"I'm being honest."
"No. You're being mulish."
"It's bad writing. They hate each other." Her tone was stale.
He snorted. "They vex each other – it's not the same. It's simply tension showing itself as bickering. Normally, it's a tension of a more -"
"Dear god, but I swear I will throw something else at you if you finish that thought."
"That coffee mug looks promising," he informed her, pointing, before shaking his head. "You know, violence is not the reaction to every negative emotion. There are much more productive ways to deal with your annoyances."
"Yeah," she agreed. "By walking away."
She turned to leave.
Without thinking, he reached out and grabbed her arm, turning her back to him. She glared down at his hand on her arm before tracing her gaze up to his eyes. "Castle," she snapped in warning.
"Just give me a second, Beckett," he said. "You aren't being reasonable here."
"Reasonable?" she sputtered.
"Yes, reasonable," he repeated the word slowly, as if pronouncing it for a child.
Her eyes narrowed . . . even more, if that was possible.
A smile started to slip onto his face when he saw the tremble behind her anger. "You know," he started, very carefully, "I think that what bothers you is not me writing your character's relationship . . . but how well I wrote it. It was genius, wasn't it? They clicked, didn't they? And that plain freaks you out." His smile was all teeth, a wolf in front of red riding hood all the way.
"They're fiction. Your fiction," she said through clenched teeth.
"Based on reality," he countered. "As you've just pointed out."
Her glare was reaching a dangerous high. He had thought himself adept in watching how closely he could push her to the edge before snapping her back, and he thinks he's approaching a thick red line that he'd do well not to cross.
. . . this time, at least.
He thinks that this may not be the best place for this conversation, anyway. The doughnuts that are no doubt stale by now are glaring at him . . . and was that coffee machine judging as it stared at him? It certainly had a shifty look to it as it leered on uninvited . . . He would much rather have this conversation over . . . well, dinner for example. Candles didn't have the tendencies to leer, to be sure, and if they did, the wine normally toned the intensity down . . .
He has no control over his mind, sometimes. No control. . . . none over his mouth either, apparently. A moment later his thoughts were spilling out into his mouth as he blurted out, "Would you like to continue this lovely debate over dinner sometime, Kate?"
Kate. He called her Kate. He never called her Kate.
She blinked at him. Maybe she was blinking over his offer, or his use of her name. Maybe she was trying to figure out just how serious he was on his offer – a conundrum he was also trying to sort through in his own mind, honestly.
She tilted her head. "You're seriously asking me to dinner?"
"Everyone has to eat sometimes," he said, trying to force a laugh into his voice.
"Ah," she raised a brow. "So . . . not like a date."
"You can take it however you want," he said nonchalantly, his eyes watching her with a little more intensity than he was normally opt to show. She was moving closer to him. There was about a step between them now. He could smell the scent of her shampoo from where her head hardly came past his chin.
"It worked out in the book," he tried to joke. His stomach was doing an odd sort of flip flop that normally coincided with butterflies and silly things like that . . .
"The book," Beckett whispered softly, more to herself than to him. Her eyes met his as she covered that last step. She was now close enough to rest her hands against his chest. And was she really going to -
- slap the ice pack back on his face for him. Nice.
The butterflies died a cold death as she stepped back from him, a smirk on her face. "Maybe some other time, Castle," she said with a toss of her hair that he really didn't want to be enthralled by, but was nonetheless.
He couldn't do anything but glare at her, and fight the urge to ask again – maybe somewhat more seriously, and without the whole sarcasm thing that always seemed to define their relationship.
Tension, he had called it. Huh.
She looked at him one last time, and then turned to leave. There was a slight sway to her stride, as she left, through. A sway that was pronounced and pointed, inviting him freely to look. He let his eyes trail with the slight bob to her hair as she walked . . . the shine over her leather heels.
He could feel a smile breaking over his face, pulling uncomfortably over the bruised skin above his eye.
"By the way, I accept your apology!" he calls after her.
He could hear her snort from where he was standing. The sway to her hips became that much more pronounced.
Oh yeah, this was soooo going somewhere.