In A Moment

Author: CK

Rating: P12

Contents: Life is a collection of moments. And while some of them come at the right time, others come at the wrong time. They needed to find out what this one was for them.

Disclaimer: Dear Santa Marlow, I have a Christmas wish... Gimme some Castle/Beckett goodness - you know, the real stuff. And I promise to take good care of your toys when I borrow them to play a bit...

Author's Note: SPOILER NOTICE! This oneshot is based on *that* one spoiler pic for an upcoming January episode (3x13 "Knockdown"). So feel warned.
This is my take on what the pics show us... and my best case (!) scenario on what is happening before, during and afterwards that two moments shown on the photos.

In a moment.

In a moment anticipated.

That was when it would happen. In a single, seemingly unimportant moment would happen what they knew had to happen.

It applied to everything in their life. Especially to everything that would be life-changing.

She had felt lost the whole day. Actually, she had felt lost for more than just this one day; it had started almost a week ago, and it all started when the case of her mother's murder had come back into their focus. She should have known from the beginning that it wouldn't be as easy as it seemed back then, and yet had she hoped for it. Now disappointment hit her harder then she would ever have been able to imagine, and the feeling of having failed again, of having and being lost, suffocated her.

She knew she would have broken down hadn't it been for him; for his empathic and reassuring look as he stepped up to her, and for his arms pulling her to him. Although she wanted to pull away at first, his embrace felt too good, too right to not welcome it. She was thankful for this gesture he offered, giving her comfort and a feeling of not being alone. She didn't have to carry the burden alone; she had people with her who supported her. And first and foremost that was him.

He didn't release her completely when he finally pulled back a bit; his hold was still strong on her, secure and warm, as he studied her, looked at her thoughtfully. It had been nothing more than a friendly and comforting gesture, this embrace. But as his eyes now rested on her, his stare became more intense with every second, and his face inched closer. His eyes seemed to want to consume her, like they couldn't get enough of her. The fingers of his right hand were gently caressing her cheek, while his other hand held her pressed close against his body. They were so close like they'd never been before - in more than one sense.

She felt hypnotized by these eyes, by this steel-blue that now was almost dark in the faint light surrounding them. She could read so many emotions in them, more than she was able to feel right now; but the emptiness she felt inside her was filled by the intensity of feelings that consumed him. He completed her. The world around seemed to crumble down until there was only the tiny spot they were standing on left, and they had to cling to each other to not lose halt. To not lose themselves.

One moment he was staring at her - the next, his mouth was on hers, so fast she couldn't react, couldn't even think. His lips were soft, full, warm, no, they were hot. And they felt right.

The rational part of her brain made her arms rise, to push him away, to end a moment she knew had come too soon. This was neither the time nor the place.

But at the same time, she felt herself returning his kiss, deepen it, drinking in the feeling she had been longing for, desperately longing for. For this feeling of him, his arms holding her. Protecting her even. For this feeling of his lips, for the taste of him.

The longer they stood locked in their embrace, the more passionate their connection grew, and it made them forget how to breathe, to think - how to stop. Not only his lips, but his whole body gave her that loving attention she'd been seeking for a long time. It was this special feeling she knew only he could give her; because he was special to her. At that one moment, all she wanted was him, was his embrace, were his lips, and that breathtaking kiss she slowly but surely lost herself in.

Still, the moment came when she found the strength, the willpower, to carefully push him away, making them part and gasp as suddenly the breathing reflex returned.

"Not now; not here. Not like this," she whispered while shaking her head, trying to rationalize the irrational, trying to give herself and him a reason, or an explanation, for ending what seemed to be too perfect. Too much had happened in the past few days, too many nerves had been strained, too many emotions surfaced. They owed it to themselves to not follow passions mislead and feelings misinterpreted, even though they both knew that there was truth to what now seemed to be nothing more than emotional overload.

He understood. Nodding silently, he pulled away his hand from her face, let go of her, loosened his hold of her body. The echo of his gentle touch and the warmth of his fingers lingered on her cheek, her neck, like a far-too-rapidly fading reminder of the far-too-short moment they'd just shared. A moment that, after all and to both their deepest regret, had come too soon.

In the lifetime of a human, there were things coming at the right moment, and other things at the wrong.

For them, for whatever was between them that went beyond simple partnership and friendship, this was one of those infamous wrong moments.

And yet they both knew that the right moment, the right time for a revelation of feelings, for admitting what was really between them, and for acting on it, was not so far away anymore.

Kate Beckett and Rick Castle would find each other.

One day, in one moment.

In a moment anticipated.