A/N: This is my first Castle one-shot and only my second fanfic. Don't know where this came from exactly, but I enjoyed writing it and hope you will enjoy reading it.
I don't own any of the characters, althought I did make up the product names (you'll see).
He heard the elevator ding as he stood just inside the closed door of her apartment.
He figured that she'd be gone for 3 minutes, tops. Five if the elevator was slow.
He knew that he shouldn't be doing this. Then again, since when had that ever stopped him?
Case in point. The first time they ever worked together. He had snagged those photos from the file folder on her desk just before she had arrived to the bullpen. God, she had been so pissed at him later. And he had been so hot for her. He smirked to himself, remembering the light kiss on the cheek, what a nice touch that had been. Totally caught her off guard.
And, that was the first time he had experienced it- her scent.
He hadn't really registered it at the time because he had been in such a rush to get out of there before she caught on to him. He knew, even then, that his usual charms would only go so far on her, and he had been right because she found him not an hour later, no thanks to his mother. But his nose had locked in on it again only a short while later, after they had made their arrest, when she had seductively whispered, "You have no idea," into his ear. The bouquet had been fainter this time, but still present, and still enough to make him breathe her in deeply.
After that, he had used any excuse to invade her personal space, just so he could imprint this part of her into his memory, and every time it was… intoxicating. Sometimes, he would dream about her, and in those few moments where his mind was just lapping at the edge of the waking world, he swore that he when he inhaled deeply, he could smell her.
It had actually taken him awhile to put a name to the familiar scent that was part of her aura. And then one day, it had just popped into his head: Cherries!
And of course, his big mouth had then blurted it out and caused one of the more awkward, albeit rewarding, responses that he had ever elicited from her. She had looked self-conscious, shocked, and maybe… turned on?
He hesitated for a few seconds before pushing open the door to her bathroom. He promised himself he wouldn't go rummaging through drawers or anything, just checking out things that were clearly visible to "anyone" that might use the bathroom as a guest. After all, he wasn't a stalker or anything. Well, I guess I kinda am being stalker-y, but not in the perverted sense. He just really wanted to know.
He surveyed the small room quickly.
Wow, she was a neat freak.
Nothing on the counter except for a small bottle of hand soap and a toothbrush holder sans brushes. He caught a glimpse of himself in the mirror, eyes wild with adrenaline.
He quickly pushed back the white shower curtain with a stitched pattern of light brown bamboo shoots.
Bingo! Wait… there were so many! He quickly counted eight. Eight! What the hell? Was she cornering the market on beauty supplies? He never pegged her as the type to have so many "products".
Although, her hair always did look so soft and light, framing her face perfectly and…wait, focus!
He froze at the sound of a board creaking. He strained to hear any sound of a door opening. Nothing. False alarm.
He reached for the first bottle on the outer ledge- white with a light blue top.
"Deep Down Repair Me Weekly Conditioner". He flipped the top and inhaled. Citrus with a hint of… lemon grass.
Nope, not it.
Next- white tube with an orange top: "Apricot Exfoliate-the-Day-Away Daily Facial Scrub". He didn't even bother smelling that one and quickly set it down.
He climbed inside the tub to reach the other bottles.
Okay, third time's a charm.
Dark pink bottle: "Damage Control Leave-in Conditioner".
Flip, sniff… Ew! Definitely not it. Smelled like… cough syrup. He thought about tossing the nearly full bottle in the trash, but quickly set it down instead.
Next- purple bottle. "Soothe the Stress Shampoo".
He was beginning to sense a theme with the names of all these products- "Soothe the Stress" , "Damage Control", "Repair Me"? It was like she had bought the entire self-help section of the salon. Who knew you could find out so much about someone from their bath products?
Hmm, I use "Sponge Bob for Kids" body wash. Not sure what that says about me… never mind that.
He breathed in the stress relieving shampoo. Lavender- nice. But still not what he was looking for.
Next- white bottle, gold top. "Screw Me Clean Body Wash".
His eyes widened as he reread the label .
Was this for real? Well, well, well… not all of these bottles were from the self-help section. Looks like someone had ventured over into the adult section of the bath product aisle.
He closed his eyes as he took a deep breath, his nostrils twitching in anticipation…
Please be it…
Spicy… earthy… erotic… but not it! He exhaled, disappointed. That's a keeper though.
Next- Dark pink with crimson top. "Cherry-ish Me Moisturizing Body Wash". This has to be it!
He gripped the bottle tightly, opened the top and slowly brought it towards his nose, closing his eyes. He heard footsteps from the outside hallway.
Uh-oh. Time's up.
At that moment, he squeezed the bottle more tightly than he meant to and a large squirt launched itself from the bottle landing on his nose and cascading down his shirt.
He heard the handle of the front door turn. He set the bottle down where he found it, stumbled out of the tub, practically pulling down the shower curtain in the process, and rushed to shut the bathroom door.
"Hello?" she called from the living room.
"Uh-huh. I'm in the bathroom," he squawked grabbing a tissue and wiping the sticky substance from his face and shirt.
She continued, talking to him from the kitchen as she opened the refrigerator looking for a drink, "Well, the taxi had already left by the time I got down there, but luckily the guy who owns the newsstand on the corner had noticed the cab's number cause it was the same as his wife's birthday, October 22nd, 1-0-2-2. So I'll call the taxi company later and see if the cabbie found the scarf in the back."
"Okay, sounds great," he answered, looking at the stain on his shirt. He turned on the faucet and splashed a little water on the front, rubbing furiously with another tissue.
All that accomplished was making the stain bigger, intensifying the fragrance, and leaving a trail of white lint bunnies across his deep purple shirt as evidence of his lustful moment with the body wash. Luckily he could button his jacket, which he was still wearing, and the stain wouldn't be noticeable.
"Are you okay in there?" she questioned, walking down the hall, approaching the bathroom door.
The door swung open. Truthfully, he felt a little light-headed as her scent enveloped him. Plus, she kept her apartment really warm.
"I'm fine, great," he smiled widely.
Too widely, in fact. She eyed him suspiciously. What was he up to? His cheeks were a little flushed, although he still had his jacket on and her apartment was kind of warm. She subconsciously switched into detective-mode, without even blinking.
"Okay… Do you want something to drink?"
"Uh, sure," he answered, following her back into the kitchen. He could smell the cherry scent wafting up from under his coat as he walked.
They made their way to the fridge. "I've got cranberry juice, diet soda, beer… not sure how old that is…, water…"
"Water'll be fine," he reached past her to grab the filter pitcher out of the fridge.
She studied him closely. Was he sweating? Hmm…
"You want me to take your jacket? You look kind of… hot," she offered.
"Well thanks for the compliment, Detective. But no, I'm good. We're leaving soon anyway, right?" answering her with a question, but not looking her in the eye as his hands moved to close the top button of his coat.
She eyed him suspiciously, her detective senses in high gear.
"Yeah, let me just grab the folder on the Spivey case from my room and we'll call Ryan and Esposito, tell them to swing by and pick us up."
Whew. That was close. Thank goodness this had been a pit stop because he really was hot. He could feel the sweat trickling down the small of his back.
"Ready?" she said as she reentered the room and grabbed her keys off the entry way table, holding the door open for him.
He briskly moved past her into the hallway, and after locking the door, they made their way to the elevator.
They stood in silence, the only sound the soft 'ding' as the elevator descended past each floor. She studied his face out of the corner of her eye. He was sweating, she could see several beads dripping down the side of his face along with… Gotcha. A knowing smile crept on her face.
As the elevator arrived at the ground floor but before the doors opened, she moved to stand directly in front of him, leaning in ever so slightly.
"Here," she said handing him a Kleenex from her purse.
"What?" he answered confused, swallowing slowly.
"Looks like you had a little There's Something About Mary-moment back there," motioning to her left temple.
His jaw dropped as his hand simultaneously reached up with tissue, wiping the stow-away dark pink-tinted body wash from his face.
She smirked as his face grew even more flushed. Just as the elevator doors opened, she leaned her head nearer, closing the already short distance that separated them. He could feel the tunnel of air move past his cheek as she inhaled ever so slightly and whispered, "Guess I'm not the only one who smells like cherries now."
Hope you enjoyed it and the last line wasn't too cheesy. And, yea, I intentionally didn't use names- it felt less "stalker-y" that way.
If you haven't seen There's Something About Mary, well, there's a scene with Ben Stiller where he gets "lustful" but not with a body wash bottle, more like with... himself, ehem. ;)
Please review if you can. It would make my day!