Title: Curves Ahead

Author: Cartographical

Summary: Detective Beckett is slizzard. Yes. Slizzard.

Spoilers: "Like a G6" by Far East Movement, "Bottoms Up" by Trey Songz, "Crank That" by Soulja Boy, "We R Who We R" by Ke$ha, "DJ Got Us Fallin' In Love" by Usher, and "S&M" by Rihanna. (I know these are not really spoilers. They are, however, songs that are referenced, in the aforementioned order, in the following fic. I'm really sorry about that.)

Author's Notes: Honestly, if you're still here after seeing that summary and those spoilers, I don't know that I can save you. I'm not sure I agree with people having to explain the conditions under which they've written a fanfic, but it's only right that I mention I'm currently writing another, somewhat more serious story, and it turned out that when I was taking an Amtrak home from my Thanksgiving break, listening to a ridiculous playlist that contained all of the above songs (and more!) and drinking an overpriced beer (or three), I was (1) completely unable to complete any of the actual productive work I should have been doing and (2) utterly incapable of writing my Very Serious Epic Fanfic. I wasn't going to post this, because people sometimes say nice things to me about how my characters are, I don't know, in character, but what is the internet for if not to share our nonsensical absurdity?

Never mind. Please don't judge me. The end.

For once, he's sleeping at 2am, but the vibrating phone drags him up to consciousness. It's a text from Ryan.

At Curves Ahead. Come immediately. Nonnegotiable.

I am too old for this, Castle thinks as he heaves himself out of bed. He's only gotten home a couple hours ago from a two-week book promo on the West Coast, he's barely even seen his own child, and he's only just gotten to sleep. But this message is unusual even for Ryan, and because of that, it just has enough intrigue in it to get him putting on slacks and a button-down, hurrying into the bitter December chill, and hailing a cab.

Curves Ahead is not the type of establishment that Castle has frequented in the last decade. It is very dark and the floor is sticky from alcohol and the volume of the music makes him feel like someone is pounding the bass directly into his sternum. After a bit of searching, he locates Ryan and Esposito nursing beers at the bar and surveying the dance floor.

"I am far, far too old for this," he says as his hello, repeating what's been echoing in his head since he woke up. He's about to say more until he follows their gazes to the dance floor and his ability to speak is momentarily impaired.

The woman they're staring at cannot be Beckett, cannot possibly be Beckett, and yet he would recognize her anywhere, and somehow, someway, it's Beckett. She's wearing tight jeans, stuffed into shiny black leather boots that stretch from down from her knees until they terminate in spiky stilettos that give her an extra four or so inches. The black tank top that hugs her torso has tiny straps and cuts off in a straight line just above her cleavage; it adheres tightly to her curves until it ends at her jeans. Her hair is pulled back in a messy ponytail, but strands of it have fallen out and are curled around her face and neck. It's not that the outfit is inappropriate; hell, he'd let Alexis leave the house in it (well, no, but almost), but it's so very, very un-Beckett. So is the way she's dancing (Beckett dances?), her hips moving in this kind of smooth gyration that is making him have a totally inappropriate response for a public venue. He notes, with relief, that Lanie is dancing next to her and appears to be fending off many of the men who rotate around them.

"Nice book tour?" Esposito asks, but all Castle can do is gape like a water-deprived trout.

Ryan sees his face. "Detective Beckett is slizzard," he states, nodding sagely.

"Intoxicated," Esposito immediately pings back.

"Blasted," Ryan returns.











Castle finally interrupts their rapid-fire volleying. "Drunk. Beckett is really, really drunk." He regards her. "Is she rapping along to Nicki Minaj?"

"It was worse," Esposito says, "when it was 'Like a G6.' That's when Ryan learned the word 'slizzard.'"

"Who knew?" Ryan asks, shrugging his shoulders a little delightedly.

Castle has never felt more befuddled. Dozens of questions ricochet around his brain, but he can't quite vocalize any of them.

"Discordant, right?" Esposito asks, which is a nice way of putting it, Castle supposes.

"How did she get that shot?" Castle yelps. Somehow, while they've been leaning back, talking, she's suddenly downed a relatively large amount of liquor that looks suspiciously like tequila.

"Bottoms up," Esposito responds, shrugging.

"Beckett," Castle says, trying to regain his footing, "does not listen when Trey Songz tells her to let him see her cup. I do not listen when Trey Songz tells me to let him see my cup, and I am infinitely more of a floozy than Beckett."

"And yet," Ryan says, gesturing grandly at the scene before them.

Lanie walks off the dance floor and eyes them skeptically. "When did y'all get here? And are you talkin' about my girl?"

"It's just a little unusual," Castle says.

"She and Josh broke up eight months ago. The pressure, it builds." She eyes him.

Castle stares at her. "I'm sorry, did you just leer at me?"

"Girl's got needs, Castle. You work enough cases like the last one without a valve, and, well."

"I don't think Beckett's the only one who's slizzard," Ryan says appraisingly.

"She is. I'm just tipsy."

Beckett bounces off the dance floor. Castle can't stop staring at her cleavage. He hopes she'll be too drunk to notice. "You stopped dancing," he observes astutely.

"Mmm, I draw the line at doing the Soulja Boy." Her cheeks are flushed.

"I think writer boy wanted to see you crank that," Lanie says.

"Face is up here, Castle." Beckett snaps her fingers in front of her eyes. She looks over Ryan and Esposito. "Cap go whining to you?"

"What you think, Beckett?" Esposito returns, which is Castle's first clue that he doesn't know the whole story.

"Oh, what now?" Lanie asks, and Castle breathes a momentary sigh of relief that he's not the only one in the dark.

"I'm a civilian now," Beckett responds, a little proudly, a little darkly. "Turned in my badge and gun a couple hours ago."

Castle feels a bit like she just kicked him in the stomach with one of her spiky boots. He turns to Ryan and Esposito. "You come up with thirteen synonyms for 'drunk' but you don't bother to tell me she quit?"

"We wanted you to freak out when she was right in front of you."

"I'm sorry," Castle says, looking around at their four faces. "I really need someone to back this train up."

"Got it," Ryan replies, grabbing a pen from his pocket and a paper napkin from the bar. "Okay, here's the timeline."

He proceeds to draw a line on the napkin and crosshatch it a few times. Castle, Esposito, Lanie, and Beckett all crowd around his scribbling.

12:00am – Beckett resigns to Montgomery.

12:08am – Montgomery calls his favorite detectives to investigate.

12:30-1:30am – Favorite detectives try to find Beckett. Fail.

1:30am – Run Beckett's credit cards.

"Hey now," Beckett says as Ryan writes.

"Extenuating circumstances," Esposito replies. "Thanks for paying for that martini with your MasterCard."

2:00 – Arrive at Curves Ahead. Text Castle.

"The end!" Ryan says, proudly.

"Oh, honey, you make no sense at all," Lanie says, patting him fondly on the arm.

"A little lightweight, bro," Esposito says. "What have you had, two beers?"

"I feel sleep deprived," Ryan retorts.

"Honestly," Beckett says at Ryan while she turns to face Castle. "There was a shitty case this week. It culminated this afternoon in my getting a six year old shot."

"You didn't –" Esposito begins.

Beckett cuts him off without looking at him or breaking in her tone. "Fuck off, Esposito. So I informed the parents and finished the paperwork and then called Montgomery to let him know not to expect me in anymore. And then I changed and called Lanie for a night out on the town, which was supposed to be my unofficial retirement party for myself but now I suppose it can be my official retirement party for everyone since you're all here."

"Beckett," Castle begins, but she cuts him off, too.

"That was a nice break," she says, grabbing Esposito's half-full beer and chugging it in about four seconds. "I'm dancing."

Castle has no game plan, but hell if he's letting her bounce around out there by herself, and he doesn't think Lanie's going right after her ("Why the hell didn't you drag your lazy ass out there and tell me what was going on?" he can hear her snapping at Esposito in the background). He's on the dance floor half a second behind her.

In the middle of the crush of bodies, Beckett starts her semi-intoxicating gyrating and somehow winds up with her arms around his neck and there they are, doing some kind of strangely appealing vertical sex that seems to be how the kids dance these days.

"You gonna try to convince me not to quit?" she asks him, her raspy voice somehow carrying straight to his ears, not to mention other parts of his anatomy.

"We are who we are," Castle says sagely, echoing the Ke$ha lyrics vibrating through the room.

She untangles a hand from the back of his neck to sock him in the arm. "Idiot," she says.

He finally finds a place for his hands on her waist. Does this count as groping her? He's overwhelmed by the urge to get what could probably be called inappropriately close, so he talks. "This is kind of different than the last time we danced."

She ignores him. "I made my choice, Castle. Montgomery and Lanie and Ryan and Esposito, they'll get over it, and you, you'll just have to get yourself a new muse."

"Esposito is quite alluring tonight," Castle responds. This time she kicks him in the shin.

"Don't be cute."

It's usually really hard for him to be serious. It's even harder when his hands are spanning Beckett's waist and her arms are around his neck and they're gyrating on some sticky dance floor and Ke$ha is singing some nonsensical song about how hard they're going tonight, but he gives it a shot, anyway. "You're stuck as my muse, cop or not, Beckett. You want to retire, I'll buy you a no-strings-attached house on the Riviera."

He's not drunk, so he has no excuse for not seeing it's about to happen, but he nearly trips over his own feet when Beckett's mouth crashes into his. Her lips are surprisingly cold, probably from Esposito's Sam Adams, and she tastes like tequila and beer and, oh God, is her tongue really in his mouth? They're playing another ridiculous song about how the DJ got us fallin' in love with this quick pulsing beat and somehow her hips are doing this totally mind-blowing wiggling thing in time with the music as her hands tangle in his hair and he swears his knees are starting to go weak and wait, are they really those people sucking face in the middle of the dance floor, and when did he start groping her (absolutely amazing) ass?

"I like you," she whispers into his mouth when they finally break apart. He is going to need three or four cold showers before he will ever be able to sleep.

What a startling coincidence, since I'm awfully fond of you myself, he tries to reply, but all that comes out is a croaky, "Christ, Beckett."

When she looks at him her eyes are dark, and he imagines that within them he can see the lust and the sorrow and the almost unimaginable guilt, along with the spark of drunken, reckless abandon that has her acting like a twenty-year-old. The lust he can take, along with the inebriation, but the sorrow and the guilt he has a bit more trouble digesting. "It can't have been –" he starts, trying to tell her that of all the things he's sure of, the first is that she shouldn't be blaming herself for the death of a six-year old.

She cuts him off by slamming her lips into his again, a little desperately, a little urgently, and when she pulls away seconds or minutes or hours later (with his tongue in her mouth, he's lost all sense of time and gravity; for all he knows, the bar could have already closed and he could have been hanging from a pole by his knees) Rihanna's singing about feeling good about being bad to a beat that makes Beckett's hips sway against him in a different, even more tantalizing rhythm.

"I'm just saying," he rasps against her cheek before he feels a sudden sharp pain in his pinky finger.

"Take a hint, Castle?" she murmurs huskily into his ear.

"It's only that –" He stops suddenly with a gasp as she does this weird twisty pinching thing with his pinky finger at the same time that she gently bites down on his earlobe.

"Take the hint, Castle," she whispers, more a command this time.

"I have never been simultaneously so terrified and so aroused."

"I see you thinking of a dirty post-law-enforcement career for me and you need to stop that, too." Her breath reverberates in his ear.

"For some reason I had this incredibly vivid fantasy that you would be less bossy when drunk."

She kisses him again, fiercely. Before his eyes slam shut he sees Esposito and Ryan sitting at the bar, staring at them with mouths agape, while Lanie gives them a ridiculously cheesy thumbs up. "You want me less bossy?" she asks against his lips after she stops kissing him.

"Nope," he responds, certain of this, at least. "I just want you."

Thanks for reading! I'm not planning on leaving this up for forever (I mean, really, Castle and Ke$ha? Do I want to be that author?), but if you feel appreciative just let me know and I will not send it to the Green Pasture of Fanfic Heaven and maybe someday it will even have its own little sequel that I can write after I finish (1) all that productive work I still haven't done (2) the Ultra Serious Epic Story that somehow, even though it's just begun and shouldn't have its own opinions yet, keeps wanting to be longer.

Updated Note: Um. So I was wrong. Apparently I do want to be that author with the whole Castle/Ke$ha dynamic going on there. Thank you SO MUCH to everyone who reviewed - I never expected such a big respose to this fic and I promise not to ever send it to the Green Pasture of Fanfic Heaven and I promise to someday sometime try to write some sort of sequel just for you (yes, you!) because you are a wonderful, beautiful person.

Updated Updated Note: The sequel exists now. It's called Merge Right. There's spanakopita. (I guess there's more than spanakopita. I don't know. I'm really not good at writing scintillating teasers.)