A/N This is a fic I wrote as a Christmas gift for one of my bestest friends EVER. I hope she likes it. It's set about a year after the end of Season 2, and is based off of the Armed And Dangerous promo. I think you should all YouTube it so you know the prompts.

Disclaimer: I don't own Castle or anything related to Andrew Marlowe.

He hadn't been able to take his eyes off her all night. In an apartment full of people, his eyes managed to find hers, scanning from her smouldering eyes to the tips of her toes peeping through ridiculously red shoes.

She was teasing him. The dirty little minx, she knew exactly what she was doing to him, and was loving every second. Rick felt his grip tighten around the glass in his hand, watching her tongue flick out to tease the straw in her drink.

That dress. How was he supposed to play the gracious host when all he could think of was the significant lack of material and the fact that her legs went on for miles.

Feeling his stare burning a hole in her head from across the room, Kate Beckett grinned, barely masking her smile behind her glass. Lanie looked between the two, then sighed.

"Girl, I'ma smack you and him if one o' you doesn't do somethin' soon."

"What?" Kate asked innocently, her satisfied drawl telling Lanie that she knew exactly what she was doing.

"You and Castle. Whatever little game you got goin' on."


The medical examiner was suddenly serious. "Look, I know you and he had a 'talk', and I know a lot of things got said. But are you sure this is something you really want to be doing?"

Kate's smile disappeared. "I know we can't go on the way we have been. And there's nothing standing in the way." The smirk returned. "Besides, it's fun watching him squirm."

"You've finally snapped," Lanie said in exaggerated incredulity. With her trademark eye roll, Beckett set her glass down on a nearby table.

"Lanie, you're being ridiculous."

"Oh, I'm being ridiculous? Honey, I'm not the one making goo-goo eyes at writer boy from across the room."

"I am not making..."

"Girl, you just need to throw him down on the...hey, Castle."

Kate spun around faster than she should have, losing her balance and sending a hand out to break her fall. A solid body blocked her journey to the ground, and she straightened. Castle smirked.

"If you wanted to get close to me," he said, "You know all you had to do was ask."

"You made me jump," she explained lamely. He arched an eyebrow.


Narrowing her eyes in the hope that she could scare him away, Kate cleared her throat to dislodge the lump there. Watching the exchange in amusement, Lanie chuckled. "I'ma just...go get a drink."

"Lanie!" Kate protested, knowing exactly what was going on in her friend's mind.

"Later, honey. You and Writer Boy behave, okay?"

Chuckling, Castle watched his partner's glare sharpen at the medical examiners retreating back.

"Dr Parish is in good spirits tonight," he observed.

"I think good spirits are in Dr Parish," Beckett replied, "You might need a new bottle of vodka, by the way." He laughed, and Kate felt the tug of satisfaction. "So where's Alexis?"

"At her mother's for a week," he said, sadness turning his eyes a darker shade of blue, "I don't like it, but she wanted to go, so..."

Her heart aching at the carefully concealed sorrow she could still hear in his voice, she reached out to rest her fingers against his arm.

"I'm sure she's missing you just as much as you're missing her."

Nodding, his cheerful grin reappeared. "I hope so. I mean, who wouldn't miss me?"

Kate was grateful that she would never have to reply – that question took them too close to events that did not ever need to be thought about again. Martha called his name, and catching her hand in his own, Rick spun her around in a circle.

"Mother, there you are! Isn't this party great?"

Indulging his sudden need to dance, Martha rolled her eyes slightly. "Yes, my dear. It's certainly a party of remarkable style and grace."

"Even with you here?" he replied quickly, grinning to soften the blow. She shook her head.

"Hilarious, Richard. But I shall be leaving you for the sanctity of my beloved Chet," she sighed, "You are welcome to join us, of course."

"I may indeed, mother."

Kate blinked suddenly. "What? You're leaving?"

Slightly raising one eyebrow, he replied, "Look around, Beckett. Everybody else has gone."

But I'm still here, she added silently. Or not so silently, she realized, as he turned to face her, his eyes unreadable. Heat flared in his stomach as Kate blushed pink, Martha huffed impatiently.

"Darling, are you coming?" she asked. Castle shook his head, his eyes barely leaving Kate.

"No, mother. I'm going to stay here. Get to grips with my sudden inspiration."

Martha arched a delicate eyebrow, reading his intent like he'd painted it across the sky.

"Kevin," she called loudly, her arm looping through his own as he passed, "Be a dear and drive me to Chet's house. I've had a few too many."

Untangling his hand from Jenny's, Ryan chuckled, ever the gentleman. "Sure thing, Mrs R. Hey, Javi, you coming?"

Esposito nodded. "Lane?"

Lanie turned to Kate, and the men watched in fascination as an entire conversation seemed to take place without words. Eventually, wearing a pleased smirk, the medical examiner looped her arm through his.

"Think about what I said, Katie. Call me."

The door shut behind them, and Castle turned to her with a disarming smile. He gestured to the pool table standing nearby.

"What do you say, Detective?" he dared, knowing that Kate Beckett couldn't turn down a challenge if her life depended on it, "Will you play?"

The pulse in his neck beat faster as she sauntered towards him. She took the cue from his hand, leaning close.

"I'll do more than play, Castle," she breathed, "I'll win."

He grinned, closing the distance until his chest was pressed loosely against hers, and replied, "That's a brave statement. Care to put money on it?"

"Fifty says I win."

"Oh ho!" Castle mocked, "That confident, are we?"

Kate lifted an eyebrow, smirking dangerously. "I know how to handle balls, Castle."

Rick bent his head, slowly allowing his chin to graze her shoulder. His voice dropped, his words expelling as small puffs of air against her skin. "Oh, I'm sure you do, Detective."

Her eyelids fluttered. Molten heat pooled between her thighs. His fingers danced across the bony ridges of her shoulder, teasing the edge of her halter neck.

"I'll make you a deal," he began slowly, "For every ball that sinks, a question is asked and answered."

"What kind of questions?"

"Honest ones."

"Honest questions?"

"Ones with answers," he elaborated. She arched an eyebrow.

"Seriously? That's what you're going for?"

When he didn't answer, Kate studied him carefully, finding nothing on his face to indicate he'd let up. She sighed heavily, and kicked off her shoes.

"Rack 'em up, Castle."

He did as she instructed, his eyes glancing up at her after a moment.

"I'm glad you came," he said softly, and she was caught unawares by his seriousness.

She nodded. "Where else would I be?"

The unspoken implications of her reply hung in the air between them, until Kate cleared her throat. Handing him the pool cue, she smirked and said, "Ladies first."

Grinning, Castle took a moment to study the table. "You know that means I ask the first question, right?"

At her nod, he sent the cue ball flying into the others, scattering them across the green. He straightened and passed her the cue.

"What's your favorite book?" he asked, then added, "Outside of anything I've written, obviously."

With her trademark eye roll, Kate bent over the table, her eyes narrowing as she lined up her shot.

"Pride and Prejudice. I was eleven years old, and my mother told me that every woman had a Mr Darcy waiting somewhere," she said quietly, "so I read the book just to find out what kind of man I was looking for."

Her cue connected with its target, another ball disappearing into the pocket.

"Favorite Disney movie?" she asked. He stared at her for a minute, trying to figure out if the smirk curving her lips was just a figment of his imagination.

"Finding Nemo," he answered eventually. The corner of her mouth twitched, and Rick was certain she was fighting back a snicker.


"That's interesting?"

Her smirk widened, "Your shot, Castle."

He took his shot before she had a chance to finish, waving the pool cue in her direction. "Are you a screamer?"

Her grip faltered, the wide grin curving his lips telling her that his thoughts were far from clean.


"I said," he began slowly, "Are you a screamer?"

Heat shot into her cheeks, and she carefully manufactured a look of pure cool.

"Not yet," she replied. His eyes widened almost imperceptibly, caught unawares by her giving an actual answer. The look of surprise faded into a smirk, taking her words as a challenge.

"Well, maybe you just haven't been with the right man yet," he offered. Kate paused, then quickly potted another ball.

"If you find him," she said, "Let me know."

Castle was momentarily distracted by the way she straightened, the cue brushing her glossy lower lip. Chocolate curls danced around her shoulders, and he swallowed hard.

"I believe that was a challenge, Detective."

Suddenly brave, Kate shrugged almost imperceptibly. "Think you can handle it?"

He laughed, and the game continued. Finally, Castle sunk the second to last ball into its hole. He cleared his throat.

"Can I still ask a question?"

Taking the cue from him, Kate raised her eyebrows.

"Unless the rules have changed since we started playing."

She bent over the table. Rick spoke quietly, his words cutting her to the quick.

"What were you going to tell me before I left for the Hamptons with Gina?"

Kate's concentration wavered at the seriousness of his question, and let her eyes flit to and from his own. She straightened.

"That was a year ago, Castle."

"I know."

"I thought you said the questions had to have answers," she said, trying to laugh. The sound died in her throat, the desperate half-smile curving her lips frozen in place. He nodded.

"I never said the answers would be easy."

The silence that followed was stifling, and Kate stood the pool cue back in its rack, no longer interested in the game.

"Thanks for tonight," she said quietly, collecting her bag from the kitchen counter, "I had fun..."

"Kate," Rick pleaded.

"When you talk to Alexis," she pressed on desperately, "tell her I said hi. And I guess I'll see you Monday..."

"Why are you running away?" he asked as she grabbed her shoes off the floor, confused and more than a little hurt.

"I'm not...running," she said lamely, tossing the words over her shoulder as she fumbled for the door handle, "I'm..."

She never got the chance to finish what she was saying because Castle had crossed the room, spinning her around and crushing his lips down on hers. His fingers gently wrapped around the back of her head to draw her closer, pressing her against the door as her bag slid to the floor. The heels followed, landing unceremoniously at their feet.

If Jameson Rook could send tremors down her spine from the pages of a book, Richard Castle was creating an earthquake. He held nothing back, letting his lips show her exactly how he felt. Her own hands moved slowly to his neck, fingertips curling into the nape of his neck as her body arched into him.

His tongue swept past her lips, and then was gone.

"What were you going to tell me?" he murmured. Kate swallowed hard, her hands sliding down to his shoulders. She took a deep breath.

"That I'd broken up with Tom. For you. That I wanted...that I wanted you."

As soon as she had finished, his lips were on hers again, his hands pushing her coat to the floor. Her hands locked around him, her fingernails digging desperately into the back of his neck. Their kiss was hot and wet, filled with all the lust and want from the past three years. Kate pushed her hips forward, teasing him with a promise of things to come.

He pulled away suddenly, looking down at her.

"Are you drunk?"

She shook her head, hair dishevelled. "I know what we're about to do."

Her words enough to reassure him, Rick lifted her into his arms, palms flat against her ass as he held her tight. Kate let out a soft whimper, feeling her back connect with the wall and wrapping her legs around his waist. His pant covered erection pressed against her centre, and Castle groaned.

"Beckett..." he whispered, "Kate..."

Remembering that the apartment was empty except for them, Kate realized there was no need to keep quiet, and let go of the moan she'd been trying to conceal. Rick smirked, lifting a knee between her thighs to bring their bodies into even more contact. He pushed her dress up, his calloused fingertips seeking out the smooth skin at the top of her thigh.

"Castle," she gasped as he began to grind her heated core against his leg. He let his lips fall to the crook of her neck, teeth nipping gently at the smooth skin as he held his hands at her hips.

Rick soothed the spot he had bitten with his lips, rocking her more forcibly into the tough muscles of his thigh. Whatever was holding the coil of tension complete inside of her began to give, and Kate let out a sharp gasp, tightening her grip on the back of his head. Breathing heavily, he slid her closer until his own aching hardness was pressed tight against her centre.

The friction caused by both her panties and the movement against his erection knocked the breath from her lungs. Kate moved herself faster, her hips thrusting erratically until with a small cry, her entire body came apart, jerking under the force of her release.

He'd seen her take down men twice her size. He'd seen her break the toughest career criminal with a few chosen words, and he had seen her reassure the most heartbroken relative that there was light at the end of the tunnel.

No matter how beautiful she looked then, Rick realized, nothing could measure up to how she looked now.

Breathing out a shaky breath, he hitched her legs around his waist, relieved when her calves tighten about him. He touched his lips to hers, coaxing her into a response. Pulling her away from the wall, and feeling a shudder tear through her, Rick carried her across to the pool table. Kate opened her eyes, smirking as he set her down.


"Reinforced steel legs," he murmured, teasing her bottom lip with his teeth. Her smile widened. Tugging him closer, Kate swept her tongue over his lips, sighing when he opened his mouth to her.

Her hands fumbled with his belt, eventually letting it fall to the floor. As she undid his zipper, her fingers brushed against hot skin, and she stopped. Investigating further, Kate felt a grin split her face.

"You're not wearing underwear," she said with a giggle. He chuckled, bumping his nose against hers.

"Makes this part easier," he replied, and undid the zipper on her dress. Sliding it down over her hips, and letting his pants drop to the floor, Castle kissed her again. Kate moaned softly, his heavy erection resting against her thigh. A thought pressed at the edges of his mind, and groaning, he tore his lips away.

"Do I need...?" He trailed off as she hastily shook her head.

"No, I've got it covered," she said breathlessly. Nodding in relief, because he really didn't think he had time to run to the bathroom, Rick slid his hands to her hips and pulled her towards him, "Kate, are you sure?"

She made a noise of frustration. "Just do it already!"

He nudged his tip against her, stealing the breath from her lungs as he slowly pushed in. Kate buried her face in his neck, her body stretching to fit tightly around him. He filled her completely, buried to the hilt.

"Oh God," Kate whimpered, her hands gripping his hair. He rocked his hips against hers, sinking deeper into her tight centre. Moving at a pace that left them both needing more, sweat slicked their bodies and they slid against each other, the pool table hard beneath her.

Her breathless whisper for him to move faster fell upon grateful ears, for Rick was finding it harder and harder to keep the steady pace. Kate pressed kisses to his neck, her body willingly seeking out his to be as close to him as possible. Her hands travelled over the expanse of his chest, revelling in the surprisingly firm muscles under her fingers.

A hungry growl was torn from his throat as her thumb flicked over a flat nipple, and he pushed into her again, one hand falling to the small of her back to hold her tight against him.

"So good," Kate gasped.

Rick let out a grunt of agreement against her neck, thrusting his hips harder as her inner muscles fluttered around him.

"Jesus, Kate," he moaned, greeted only by her small whimper, "I can't last much longer."

"Rick..." she breathed, digging her fingernails into his back. Every sound that she made seemed to urge him on, and he was determined to get her to scream – it may be a work in progress, but he'd get there.

Rick slid a hand between them, and easily finding the swollen bundle of nerves crying out for his attention, swept his thumb over it.

With his name on her lips, Kate fell to pieces in his arms, her walls tightening to send him hurtling over the edge with her.

Gritting his teeth together and letting out a hungry growl, Rick pounded his hips against hers, finally feeling the warm wave of ecstasy as he spilled his release.

They were still for a moment that stretched on forever, their chests rising and falling together. Rick finally gathered up the strength to pull back, a sound muffled by his shoulder leaving her lips as his softening length slipped out of her.

His thumb swept over her cheek, pushing the damp hair aside until he could see her eyes looking up at him. Wordlessly, he bent his head, his lips landing on her forehead with a tenderness that made Kate's heart ache.

As if she weighed nothing, Rick gently lifted her off the table, settling her bridal style against him. With a smile, Kate tucked her head under his chin, her arms settling around his neck.

Feeling her body still shaking in his arms, Castle moved down the hall in silence. Eventually making it to the bedroom, her legs dropped to the floor, and Kate took advantage of his pause to seal her lips to his.

She clutched at his chest, sliding her fingers through the sparse hair until she reached his shoulders. Everything that hadn't already been said was spoken without words, their slow kiss stoking the fire burning between them. Taking him by the hand, Kate led him to the bed, barely breaking her lips away from his.

Letting his lips rest against her cheek, Castle lay down beside her, pulling her with him so that she was lying against his chest. Kate arranged the sheets around them.

Still trying to catch his breath from finally making it to the bedroom, he traced a hand up and down her spine, feeling shivers trail in the wake of his touch.

"I love that pool table," he said. Kate laughed softly, gently slapping his chest.

"Goodnight, Rick."

He rolled them over, tucking his head against her shoulder and pulling her back into his arms. A contented smile spread from his lips, satisfied with the knowledge that yes, she would be there when he awoke.

"'Night, Kate."

She awoke to the soft sound of Rick's voice beside her.

"I'm whispering because it's early...no, there is nobody here with me," he whispered. Kate smiled to herself, feeling his fingers absently running through her hair, "Alexis, she's your mother. Yes, I know...I know she can be irritating..."

Chuckling to herself, and alerting him to her wakefulness, Kate rolled onto her other side, smiling up at him. His eyes crinkled under the full force of his grin, and he trailed a finger down her cheek.

After listening to Alexis protest once more about her mother, Castle nodded aimlessly, all the while letting his hand wander across Kate's cheek.

"Sweetie, I have to go," he said, "I'll talk to you later, okay?"

Kate heard the muffled sounds of an 'I love you Dad' and then the click as he hung up. Rick slid down the bed until he was at eye level with her, his hair adorably tousled and flopping over his forehead.

Kate dug her teeth into her lip, an adorable blush settling over her body.

"Hi," she said shyly. Letting the phone drop to the bed, he trapped her lips beneath his own, her skin soft beneath his fingertips.

"Good morning."

She ran a hand through his hair, frowning slightly, thought for a moment and then said, "You didn't tell Alexis I was here."

He smiled sheepishly. "I didn't know what this is," he admitted, "I know what I want it to be, but that's up to you. So telling Alexis...if there's anything to tell her...is something we need to do together."

Staring at him, Kate wondered what she'd done to deserve such a good man in her life. Hooking her ankles behind his back, she pulled him over her, stretching her neck to meet his lips halfway.

Kate poured as much feeling as she could into the seemingly simple touch of their lips, hoping that he would realize exactly how okay she was with the recent turn of events. Their kiss stretched on for forever, his excitement evident against her leg. His wandering hands were like fire on her skin, dragging her from a cold sleep to a state of burning arousal.

She swallowed hard. "Don't you have a book to finish?"

He met her curious gaze, smiling as he dipped his head to press a kiss to her collarbone.

"You are correct, Detective."

"So..." she prompted. His lips moved lower, dancing over her shoulder until he reached the slope of her chest.

"Hmmm," he hummed thoughtfully, "Page 116. Nikki and Rook are basking in the afterglow of a night filled with passionate lovemaking and supreme satisfaction. Rook tells her, as he kisses the underside of her breast and feels a shiver run through her, that he's glad this happened."

Kate hummed contentedly, feeling him nip gently at the side of her breast.

"By the way," he said as he moved his body over hers, "You were right."

"I was?" Kate questioned breathlessly. She felt his chuckle vibrate against her skin.

"You do know how to handle balls."