DISCLAIMER: I don't own them. If I did, I would have had my chef make me toasted cheese sandwiches instead of making my flatmate do it XD

He made her feel like a girl.

That was the crux of it, this problem that she had with him.

He pushed her and pulled her and turned her around until she was barely holding on to her own common sense and seriousness, let alone his.

He poked and prodded and wormed his way under her skin until she got so used to him being there she didn't try so hard to scratch at him, snap at him until his wormed his way back out anymore.

He made her madder than anyone, more confused, more frustrated.

There were days she swore she'd never speak to him again, that she'd clear out his desk, ban him from the station, shoot him, and still, still he made her feel like a girl, like she was still in braces and knee socks, with butterflies in her stomach and pigtails in her hair.

Like the armour she tried so hard to keep up 24/7 wasn't as thick as she thought it was. Like, maybe, just maybe everything she pushed deep down under the surface was actually waiting patiently in the shadows, picking the right moment to pounce.

But that didn't mean she was repressed, as he'd accused her of being last week. She wasn't in denial, like he'd told her smugly in the elevator yesterday. And she certainly wasn't curious, like she was currently being told by her pain-in-the-ass, couldn't-shoot-straight-if-given-a-ruler, over-dramatic, adjective using, pen wielding pseudo-partner.

"I'm not."

"Yes, you are."

She stared at him, hoping patience was written on her face. Not panic. "I'm not."

"Yes, you are."

"No, I'm-" She stopped. Considered how many more no I'm nots it would take it shut him up, and decided even if the estimate was on the low side she would still have to taser him at some point.



"Shut up."

He pounced. "Ha! I win."

She glared at him. "You don't win. I just don't see the point in arguing when you've clearly deluded yourself past the point of no return."

She went to step past him, mentally awarding herself points for a snappy comeback.

Castle aimed both hands at her, fingers pointed into guns. "Hold it."

She stopped, glancing pointedly at her watch.

He gave her a game show host smile. "Hey, speaking of self-delusion, why can't you admit you want to know?"

"I don't want to know. And I care a great deal more about the good coffee waiting for me at home than I do about your attempt to burst your overinflated ego, so-" She gave an adios, amigo wave.

"-Goodnight, Castle."

"Good imagery," He murmured as she eased past him, thankful to be out of the hot seat and ready for at least two of the chocolate bars she kept in her car for Driving Under the Influence of Castle.

"I caught you snooping."

She stopped. Oh, crap.

AUTHOR'S NOTE: There will be more. I just...this is the first show I really really like a bazillion in a while and so just wanted to throw this out...into the void...Have a great week