A/N: Thanks for all of the amazing reviews! You're all seriously awesome. This is the last chapter, so I hope you like it :). I've been contemplating possibly making a sequel to this, but I'm not sure. I'm really, really horrible at writing chapter stories. So...I don't know. We'll see, I guess. Anyway, thanks for reading and reviewing. It means the world to me. I hope you like the last chapter! :)
And being apart ain't easy on this love affair
Two strangers learn to fall in love again
I get the joy of rediscovering you
You stand by me
I'm forever yours…
The world had stopped spinning on its axis the moment Kate Beckett leaned in to kiss Richard Castle. It was a move that she would never expect herself to do, not in a million years, and not even if someone bribed her. Kate Beckett was not the kind of girl to follow the man she loved to the Hamptons, and then kiss him on the beach because she couldn't think of any other way to convey her feelings.
Kate's mind seemed to catch up with her body a few moments after the kiss began. She realized what she'd done, but didn't pull away. Castle didn't either.
When the need for oxygen became too much to bear, they broke apart, their faces still inches away from each other as they breathed heavily. Kate didn't open her eyes. She wanted to stay in this contented bliss for as long as she could before the real world came crashing back down around her.
It was Castle whispering her name that got through to her and, slowly, she lifted her eyelids and looked up. He was watching her, confused, but he didn't look angry. Just surprised and a little in shock.
"I'm sorry." Beckett breathed, and pulled back automatically. She stumbled back a few steps, putting some distance between her and Castle. She ran a shaky hand through her hair. "I shouldn't have…I'm sorry."
"I should go." She began to back up, muttering apologies, and then turned and took off running.
"Wait! Kate! Stop!" Castle took off after her.
Under normal circumstances, there was no way that Castle would've been able to catch up with her. She was in amazing physical condition, after all, and he…well…he wasn't. But this wasn't normal, and there was no way he was letting her go again. So, when he got close enough to reach out and grab her arm, he did.
Kate whirled around in shock. She clearly wasn't expecting Castle to come after her, despite how many fantasies she's had where he did just that. As she turned, her feet slid on the loose sand and she ended up reaching towards Castle, gripping his arm in an effort to stay standing. Her plan backfired as they both went tumbling to the ground, Castle landing half on top of Beckett.
"This wasn't exactly how I planned to stop you," Castle said, making sure his weight wasn't squishing her, and then admiring the way her hair was fanned out in the sand. "But I guess it works."
And then he leaned down and kissed her.
Everything had happened so fast. It was too fast, yet not fast enough, all at the same time. It wasn't even noon and yet, here Kate was, laying on a beach making out with Castle. It was times like this that she wondered how the universe worked. After all, if someone had asked her only yesterday what she'd do if she saw Castle before the fall, she would've said something along the lines of "Nothing."
Nothing was a whole lot different from laying in the sand kissing.
These were the thoughts that flickered through Kate's mind the moment Castle leaned in to capture her lips. The moment she felt his tongue skim across her bottom lip was when her mind went blank and the only thing she could do was feel. She felt the way Castle's lips moved, how he was an amazing kisser, and the way his hand was skimming up and down her side, playing with the bottom of her shirt. She wrapped one of her arms around him without knowing what she was doing, and pretty soon her hand was under his shirt, touching the smooth skin of chest.
As soon as it started, it was over, and Castle's face was hovering over her own. Beckett immediately untangled herself, letting her arms fall back onto the sand. She blinked her eyes a few times against the bright sun. Huh. She hadn't even realized she'd closed them.
Castle was staring down at her, and Kate had a very strong urge to start fidgeting. She didn't, though. She harnessed her inner Lanie and told her mind to shut the hell up. Then she met Castle's eyes with her own.
"I'm guessing you didn't come the whole way here just to make out on the beach." He said quietly. His breath skimmed across Kate's face and she felt a strange fluttery sensation fill her insides. Castle smiled.
He was looking at her like he expected her to say something, but Kate was at a loss. She'd never exactly planned out what she'd say to start with, but she was pretty sure it wouldn't have included laying in the sand with Castle on top of her. She opened her mouth, determined to say something smart and interesting that didn't make her look like a fool.
What came out of her mouth was a quiet, "Um…,"
Castle laughed, and the sunlight reflected in his eyes, making them twinkle at her. He pushed himself up and off of her until he was in a sitting position. Beckett sat up too and brushed some of the sand off of her clothing. She didn't get far, though, because Castle reached out and took hold of her hands, effectively stilling them.
Kate glanced up at him, and his normal smile was gone, replaced by a more grown-up and sensitive one.
"Talk to me here." He said, giving her hands a squeeze. "Why did you come?"
Kate swallowed, her mouth suddenly feeling very, very dry. She thought over her words for a moment, and then blurted, "I missed you."
Castle's gaze softened. "Good, because I missed you too."
Kate's eyes widened. "Really?" She couldn't help the surprise in her voice. She was shocked. "I mean, I just thought that with Gina here you, um, wouldn't really have time to think about anything else. Except your book. I know you came here to write but you and Gina were so happy in the precinct before you left that I just assumed that you were doing more than writing. Oh, God, I shouldn't have said that. I'm sorry, I…um…," She trailed off, realizing how the word vomit just kept coming. She clamped her mouth shut and Castle watched her with an amused expression.
"Okay…first, of course I missed you. You're Kate Beckett. How could I not miss you?" He realized he was still holding her hands and squeezed them again. "And as for Gina, she is my publicist and only my publicist. I guess after we talked for hours on the phone that night I could only remember the good times." He shrugged. "Trust me, Beckett. There's a reason she's my ex-wife."
"So you're not…you're not…," Kate let her voice trail off again.
"I'm not what?"
"You're not dating her?" Kate glanced at the sand, suddenly finding it very, very interesting.
Castle laughed. "No. No, no, no. Gina's here because I didn't want to spend the whole summer alone." He let go of Kate's hands, finally, but positioned himself closer to her. "So are you going to tell me what's going on in here?" He reached up and tapped her forehead.
Kate swatted his hand away. "You want the truth?" She waited for Castle's nod before she continued, staring at the sand and nervously drawing patterns. "I missed you the moment you left. I…I don't like going to work because you aren't there. It's not the same."
"And you couldn't wait to get rid of me earlier this year." He said, smiling, and leaned towards her. "Kate, I—," He stopped talking abruptly, his smile slowly slipping off his face. "What about Demming?" Castle said the name with a little more force than necessary.
Kate looked up, shocked. She hadn't thought of Demming since she broke it off with him the day Castle left. She'd been so busy missing Castle that she'd almost completely forgotten about Demming's existence.
"We're over." She said quickly, eyeing Castle's expression. "I broke up with him the day you left."
"Really? Why?" He asked, looking shocked. "I mean, I'm sorry."
Kate smiled. Castle looked anything but sorry. "I broke up with him because I realized he was second best. He's an amazing guy but not the one I want."
"Who is the one you want?"
Kate looked at him, and his almost giddy expression at her breaking up with Demming was replaced by a more serious one. His lips were still tilted up in a small smile, but he looked more intense. When Kate didn't say anything, Castle laced his fingers with hers.
He opened his mouth and spoke softly. "If I was writing this scene, I would tell you that I'm positive he wants you too."
Beckett's heart skipped a few beats.
"You aren't writing this scene." She said, her voice breathy and slightly strained.
"But I am telling you that you aren't going to be disappointed."
Kate looked up at Castle, into his warm eyes, and she decided to just do it. To take the plunge.
"I want you."
The smile that spread across Castle's mouth outshone the sun.
"Are you sure you don't want to stay?"
Lanie looked from Kate to Castle, a smile lighting up her face. "I'm positive. As much as I love the sun and sand, you two lovebirds need some alone time."
Kate barely stopped herself from blushing, but Castle grinned, and wound his arm around his newly-found girlfriends waist. "I do owe you a huge thank you, though. If it wasn't for you there's no way Kate would be here now. Consider yourself allowed free access to this beach house, whenever you feel like it."
Lanie's eyebrows raised and she looked at Kate. "Damn, Becks. You have a pretty good taste in men."
Kate laughed, and leaned into Castle. She wasn't really comfortable with public displays of affection, but having all of her dreams seemingly coming true loosened her up a little bit. It had been two days since Lanie had forced her to come to the Hamptons. Two days since Castle had told her that he was hers. Two days since she became one of the happiest girls in the world.
"She does, doesn't she?" Castle said. "I'm certainly a catch."
"Shut up, Castle." Kate rolled her eyes and elbowed him in the side. He feigned pain.
Lanie rolled her eyes at them. "You're children. Both of you." Then she smiled. "That doesn't stop me from lovin' ya. C'mon, Becks, I deserve a hug for all the trouble I went to."
Beckett laughed, but extracted herself from Castle's arm and hugged her best friend. "Thanks for everything, Lanie." She said. "I'll see you in the fall?"
"Yes you will." Lanie said. Kate started pulling back, but Lanie tightened her grip and lowered her voice to a whisper. "I expect to see a diamond on your finger when you come back. I'll start picking out my Maid of Honor dress now."
Castle watched the two women warily. He could hear Lanie whispering something, but he couldn't quite make out what it was. When Lanie and Kate finally let go of each other, Lanie was smiling like the Cheshire Cat and Kate's cheeks had a distinctly red tint.
Castle was about to question them when Gina made her entrance, suitcases in her hands. She had been disgruntled when she found out about what happened with Kate, and Castle offered to let her stay here for the rest of the summer without him. She had politely turned down the offer, saying that she'd rather go back to the city and that he should stay with Kate. The two had shared a brief, friendly, hug and Gina had decided to leave with Lanie.
"Richard Castle," She said, dropping the suitcases beside her and pointing at him. "I swear to God, if that book isn't finished by the end of the summer, I will personally rip out your eyeballs and fill the empty sockets with wasps."
Castle cringed. "You've always had a way with words, Gina."
She smiled, her tough exterior fading a little. "Yeah, well, I learned a long time ago that the only thing that works with you is threatening bodily harm." She turned towards Kate, and held out her hand. The surprised detective shook it, and the two women exchanged small smiles. "Please make sure he gets the book done. It's my ass on the line, too, Rick."
"Get the book done," Lanie piped up, "but make sure you spend plenty of time doing each other, too."
Castle and Becket both fidgeted awkwardly, avoiding each other's gaze.
Gina let out an appreciative laugh and looked at Lanie. "You know, I've always liked you."
"Good, because we have a three hour drive to get to know each other." Lanie said. "And, for the record, I change my mind about you. You really aren't a cold hearted bitch-cow."
Gina blinked, but Lanie had already disappeared out the front door.
Castle grabbed Gina's suitcases for her, and trailed behind the two woman who made their way out to where Lanie was waiting by her car. After Lanie and Gina were all buckled in and the suitcases were stowed safely in the trunk, Castle made his way back over to Beckett and easily took her hand. She smiled. The two of them waved as Lanie and Gina backed out of the driveway, disappearing from view a few moments later.
"Well," Castle said, turning to Kate. "it looks like we're finally alone."
Beckett let her hands wrap easily around his neck and smiled. "What do you want to do?"
"I have a few suggestions." He leaned down and kissed her softly.
Beckett smiled against his lips. Things usually didn't work out the way she wanted them to, so it was nice to get what she desperately wanted for once. It was nice to love Castle, and have him love her back. She hadn't been this excited for the summer since she was a little girl and got out of school.
This was the beginning of a whole new chapter of her life.