The writing is mine, but the characters aren't. Alas!

Each chapter has a drabble, and a dribble (half a drabble), and a drubble (double drabble!) on a theme.

Chapters aren't chronological, but it all comes back to Castle and Beckett: glimpses of their 'ship' on the move.


Chapter One: Coffee


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Dribble (50 words): All's Fair

Castle watched her sipping espresso, laughing with Demming, twirling her hair. This had all the markings of a break room romance, and Castle wasn't a part of it. But watching her there, Castle made up his mind: You're on my turf now, Demming. All's fair in love, war, and coffee…

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Drabble (100 words): Just a Hunch

"Dad! It's not even 6:30! What are you doing up?"

Castle looked up from his laptop. "Hmmm? Oh, just had some ideas I wanted to get down before Beckett calls." He took the mug of hot coffee Alexis offered, smiling his thanks, and sipped.

"Let me guess," she said. "Rook's finally gotten the better of Schlemming, and Heat is thinking how manly and attractive Rook is?"

Alexis stifled a laugh as he nearly spit his coffee. But he'd been pounding his keyboard like had a grudge against it, wearing a big, goofy grin. She smiled. "Just a hunch," she said.

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Drubble (200 words): Cold

"What did you say to that man?"

Beckett looked up, startled.

"Say to who?"

Lanie gave her a look.

"Weeks now, that man's been on a mission, trying every trick in the book to win you over. And now suddenly I find him in the break room looking like someone whose dog just died. He says something about being glad you're so happy, that you deserve to be happy, and then walks right out of the station. So what did you say to him?"

"Nothing! I . . ."

Beckett looked down at her desk. There was coffee, there, long since cold. Castle must have brought it that morning, but she'd been too busy with Demming to notice.

Demming. He was handsome and smart, and a good man. A good cop. And – this was important – he was reliable. This morning in the hallway, she'd smiled, and they'd kissed... Castle must have seen.

Reliable? Was that what she'd been holding out for all this time? Was that what her mother's death had done to her?

I'm glad that she's happy. She deserves to be happy.

Lanie looked down to see what Beckett was staring at.

"Looks like that coffee's gone cold."

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Drubble (200 words): Just like a Child

Standing in the break room, coffee in hand, Beckett had broken it off with Detective Tom Demming.

She didn't mention Castle, but Demming knew.

"He's just like a child!" Demming had exclaimed. "How can you even want that for yourself?"

He's like a child… Yes. She's always thought so. But it's not just immaturity: she was wrong about that.

He's playful. He lives in the moment, holds no grudges, loves unconditionally. He's brimming with enthusiasm at every little thing, because by some miracle the hurts in his life have not made him a cynic. He's been left and betrayed, but it hasn't changed him. Just being with him, she gains back something of herself that she'd lost long ago, something she'd thought was gone for good.

How could she want him?

He's like a child, yes. But he's no child. He's honest and strong, brilliant, generous, kind, and to Beckett's great surprise, good to his very core. Mischievous like a child, but he's no child.

But these were thoughts she couldn't tell to Demming. Instead she looked up at him, smiling a bit sadly.

She placed her empty coffee cup in his hands, gently kissed his cheek, and walked away.

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Please review! This is my first foray into writing for the fanfic world. Feedback is appreciated!