In time, all good things must come to an end.
Thank god someone created sequels!

I cannot speak for phalangesbyfive, but one of the best parts (other than collaborating with my best friend and fondest partner, that is,) was the chapter titles.

Anyways, enjoy this final installment to what I fondly refer to as the timeline.
Sof


A Stitch in Time Saves Nine

"I love this part." It was well into the evening- the sun had just but fallen and the normal traffic of the precinct had thinned so it was only occupied by a few people. Castle sank into his chair, slowly, relishing the feeling of being off his feet. Beckett sat at her desk beside him, stretching her legs beneath the wooden structure.

"What part is that?" she asked him, absent-mindedly. In all honesty, all she could think about was sleeping. Forget the bath, forget the hot post-case sex, forget a warm meal. She just wanted to fall into bed with the man beside her and sleep, and that was exactly what she was going to do once she got this paperwork squared away.

"The part right after we've just closed a case. The precinct is all but empty, the night settling in. You- you look like you have a huge weight off your shoulders and I- I get to take you home." She looked at him with the last words, a small smile tugging at her lips. His eyes flicked down to her hand as it rested on the desk, and he desperately wanted to touch it. He settled for admiring the way the silver bracelet fell around her wrist, neatly, as it were crafted with her in mind.

It had been months since they had apprehended Henry, and months since she started wearing the bracelet he gifted her. Two months and 17 days.

Not that he was counting or anything.

She noticed the direction of his gaze and felt a light blush rise in her face. His eyes rose back to her face again, and he couldn't help but smile at the shy way she hid behind a curtain of hazelnut hair.

The way she looked at him never ceased to astound him. She could say 'I'm going to murder you for embarrassing me in public' and 'I want you in a bad way, now' all in the same, heated look. He had no doubt in his mind about what would happen tonight.

They would go to his apartment, she would demand a shower, alone so she could actually shower, then they would crawl into pajama's, he would force her to eat something, and after a long battle she didn't care to fight, she would relent and eat the pancakes he served her. After he cleared away the plates he would return to find her fast asleep on his side of the bed.

And he could not wait.

"Much paperwork?" he asked her, too tired himself to muster up more words than strictly necessary.

"Fair amount," she turned to look at him, sadly. He didn't need to be here, and he looked dead on his feet. "How about you go, get a head start on the pancakes?" she asked him, and it was as if she read his mind.

"I was actually going to mix it up and go with waffles," he told her, with false willfulness.

"I like my pancakes," she admitted, honestly.

"Well I like staying here with you while you do your paperwork."

"What on earth will Alexis do for dinner?"

"The odds of Alexis coming all the way from Paige's house just to eat dinner are astronomical."

"Ahh, so that's why you want me to hurry up so badly. We have the loft to ourselves tonight."

"I can assure you, detective, my motives are purely innocent."

She just hummed, slightly, putting the pen to her paper as she did so. The quicker she got started on this witness report, the faster she could go to sleep. Castle himself grabbed a pen and the pad of paper she let him keep in the bottom drawer of her desk. He flipped the spiral notebook to the first clean page he could find and rest the tip of the black-inked Bic to the line.

They went on like this for the better part of an hour before Kate set down her pen, sighing. Whether it was a sigh of defeat or accomplishment, he couldn't tell.

"All done?" he asked her, setting his own pen down.

"For tonight. I will finish in the morning. Just a few more things, it won't take long." She looked up at him. "I'm famished."

Castle took those words as his cue, leaping up to help her with her jacket. It was getting cold, so she had the red pea coat today. God, he loved that one. It slid onto her shoulders easily as she stood, pausing only to tuck the manila file of paperwork into the top drawer of her desk and lock it with a key. He grabbed his own coat, shoving his arms through the holes of the coat and grabbing her purse.

"In a hurry, Castle?" she asked him, an eyebrow arched in amusement.

"I want to get the hell out of here before another body drops," he told her, already ushering her to the elevator. He was behind her now, pushing her along, gently, with two hands on her waist. This put his lips right by her ear. "And so much fun as putting you in that coat was, Kate," he paused only to push the call button on the elevator. "I cannot wait to -"

Before he could finish that thought, the elevator door opened with a ding, far sooner than it should have. "That was fast," she murmured, confused. Castle stood up straight, putting way too much space between them but leaving one hand on the small of her back.

A man stepped out of the lift. He was medium height with an angular build that echoed in his jaw and chin, a peppering of gray in his black hair. "Kate Beckett?" the man asked in a curt tone. The couple was completely taken aback, and Kate wasn't sure if it was just her, but she was pretty sure Castle took a protective step nearer to her, his hand on her back pulling her just as much closer to him.

"That's me," she asked, warily. Her eyes fell to the neatly folded piece of blue paper in his hands. She felt a wave of déjà vu overwhelm her. She felt a sick feeling in the pit of her stomach. The next words she managed came out surprisingly strong. "And you are?"

"Karl Holbrook, from the District Attorney's office." He handed her the folded blue papers without further preamble. She didn't need to open the papers to know that a court summons was wrapped up in her hands. The next words crashed onto her ears like she imagined Dorothy's house crashed onto oz.

Loudly.

"You have been served."


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