DISCLAIMER: All characters belong to Andrew W Marlow, Beacon Television, Experimental Pictures, ABC production, et al.

Wow! Thanks so much for all the fantastic reviews. This was only supposed a one-shot, but due to the fact that enough of you asked, here's the second chapter. I hope that it meets with what you all expected and that you chose to review as much as last chapter. This probably will be the only other chapter unless inspiration strikes. Also, thanks again to Gregg for the encouragement to continue.

CHAPTER 2: Truth And Promises

Rick Castle wandered into the night. He'd been an inconsiderate cad. Question was, could he make it up to Beckett?

Calling his mother, he made sure that she'd be home for Alexis and told her that he probably wouldn't be home that night. He sat in Remy's the entire night, rehearsing what he wanted to say to Beckett come morning. Pulling out his cellphone early the next morning he speed dialled Alexis and apologised for not being home the previous evening and wishing her a good day.

"You okay dad?" Alexis asked.

"I'm fine sweetheart, just needed to think," he replied quietly.

"This about Beckett?" his daughter asked.

Damn that girl was intuitive. He smiled. He had a wonderful daughter, and he was so proud of the young woman she was becoming.

"Yeah," he answered. "I've been a total idiot when it comes to her, and I'm going to apologise today."

There was a small squeal of happiness and Castle pulled the phone from his ear. "I'm so happy for you dad. Kate's terrific. Don't mess it up," she warned.

~~ CASTLE ~~

Rick spent an uncomfortable hour at the precinct waiting for Beckett. He drank five double espressos before she stepped off the elevator. Surprise blossomed on her face as she saw him waiting for her at her desk. He NEVER arrived before her.

"Morning," he said.

"What's the matter Castle, wet the bed?" she asked, jokingly.

Tipping his head in acknowledgment that she'd bested him, he smiled and asked, "Could we go somewhere for breakfast, or just coffee. We need to talk."

Kate fixed him with the stare she usually gave suspects. "What's up Castle?"

He shook his head as he grabbed his coat. "Not here, okay?"

She merely nodded as she stood and grabbed her bag, before following him.

~~ CASTLE ~~

Rick pulled out a chair for her. "Thanks for agreeing to come."

Looking up at him and watching as he seated himself she shrugged. "Why wouldn't I? But I would like to know why we had to leave the precinct."

"I didn't want us to be interrupted by the guys, or…Tom." He said the last name with more than a little touch of distaste.

Kate sighed in frustration. "What did you want to talk about Castle?"

He took a deep breath. "I want to apologise. I've been selfish and thoughtless. And I owe you at least that for putting up with me for the past year and a half. "

Frowning, Kate asked, "What bought this on?"

"Please don't be too angry, but I was at the same pub you were last night. I heard everything."

Kate's face fell into disappointment, very quickly followed by anger. "You followed me?!" she hissed across the table.

Rick nodded, ashamed of his actions, but at the same time glad as he'd been given the chance to at least try and make things right. "Yeah, I should be feeling guilty about it, but I'm not, because it's given me the chance to tell you some things that I think you should know."

Kate sat in stony silence, but Rick was encouraged. At least she hadn't stormed out yet.

"I started out wanting to seduce you, but it soon became clear that you were classier than anyone I'd ever known before, and I respected you for that. Not long after that, I became enchanted by how smart, and dedicated you were…are. Even when a case hits close to home, you put in a hundred and ten percent and that takes guts, and again, I admire that."

He took a break by sipping his coffee. Kate kept her eyes lowered, but they were beginning to tear up.

Taking a deep breath he started again. "I want to apologise, again, for prying into your personal life by looking into your mother's death. I admit that it started as a search for a richer background to Nikki Heat but it wasn't long before it was for YOU. I wanted to do something nice. If nothing had become of it, you never would've known, but when the Doc found that that one stab wound was…" Rick looked up to see the pain in Beckett's eyes, and the lone tear rolling down her cheek. Oh how he wanted to lean over and wipe it from her face, but not before he had permission. "Well, you know the rest of that. Thing is, yes it was selfish, to start with, but it ended being a honest attempt to give something to you."

Kate nodded and wiped the tear away with some annoyance. She was supposed to be over her mother's death, more importantly she really didn't want to cry in front of Castle.

"I'm sorry, I really didn't want to rehash that again. I know how much it still hurts you," he said quietly reaching across the table to take her hand. She pulled away and Rick drew his back to cradle his cup of coffee.

There was a moment of strained silence as Kate waited for Rick to continue. "Yeah, okay. Next big point of apology is my story about how I became interested in murder. It was a flippant answer, and I should've been honest with you. There is no personal reason, other than I'm honestly curious as to how people can do to each other the horrendous things we know they're capable of. Often without remorse or conscience. It disturbs me, and by writing about it, maybe I can discover the reason. It's not as prosaic as something bad having happened in my past, but it IS the truth."

Beckett looked at him. Flashing a small smile and shrugging, he nodded. "Also, I'm sorry I slept with Ellie Monroe."

Kate opened her mouth to protest. "No, it was thoughtless, and I was only thinking below my belt. It was shallow and it was wrong. Finally, I want to tell you again how extraordinary you are. In every facet, and at every turn you have shown yourself to be one of the most honourable people I've ever known. You're fiery, passionate, dedicated and beautiful." He stalled, wanting to say so much more but not being able to put into words exactly what he felt for her. "Oh, and I also want you to know that anything you tell me in confidence, and even just things that I know are personal, I PROMISE will not turn up in a Nikki Heat novel."

Chewing her bottom lip, Kate tried to discern any deceit in his declarations. She'd never seen him this serious.

Castle watched her hesitation. Sliding his hand across the table again he took her hand in his. This time she didn't pull away. "I give you my word, this is no spiel, no story telling. It's the truth, from my heart. Kate, I love you."

Closing her eyes, Kate smiled.