Title: The Right Words
Disclaimer: I own nothing. Well...at least not that I'm admitting. If Nathan Fillion is mysteriously kidnapped, I had nothing to do with it!
"Castle," Kevin Ryan flagged the author down. "I need your help, man."
"Sure Ryan," Castle said, turning to face the other man. "What's up?"
"I, uh…well…" Ryan took a deep breath, then pulled a small box out of his pocket and handed it to the other man. Castle knew exactly the sort of thing that boxes like that held.
"I'm gonna propose to Jenny," he said nervously as Castle took a peek at the ring. "I'm pretty sure I've got the logistics and stuff worked out; I'm going to take her to the restaurant where we had our first date, and they've done up a special menu for us. Thing is…I just don't know what to say! I figured, you're the guy with the words, plus, well…you've kind of done this before. Can you give me any suggestions?"
"What's doing, guys?" Esposito asked as he walked up.
Castle grinned. "Ryan's finally going to make an honest woman out of Jenny."
"Congrats, bro!" Esposito exclaimed, clapping his friend on the back. "What are you going to say?"
Ryan looked a little embarrassed. "I don't know. I was just asking Castle for a few pointers."
The writer thought it over. "Well, according to my mother, all any girl wants is to see a man on one knee holding a ring and saying four little words…but I can understand how you'd want to embellish that a little." He pondered a moment longer. "At the risk of sounding cliché, be honest and tell her what's in your heart."
Ryan shot him a frustrated look. "That's the problem…I know how I feel about Jenny; she's my entire world. I just don't know how to say that to her."
"Telling her she's your entire world is a pretty good start," Castle said wryly. His eyes drifted around the precinct until they found a very specific person, then grinned devilishly.
"How about this, Ryan…I'll show you a perfect example. Hey Beckett," Castle called. "We need your help!"
"What is it, Castle?" Beckett said, sounding only slightly annoyed as she walked over.
"Ryan here needs some help with a critical situation of a personal nature." Castle grinned. "Up for a little role playing?"
"Does it involve me wearing a French maid outfit?" she asked suspiciously.
He laughed and waggled his eyebrows. "No, but thank you for that delightful mental picture."
Her eyes narrowed. "What do I get out of it?"
He looked at her shrewdly, choosing his answer carefully. "I'll take the rest of the day off, and I promise to stay in the car the next time you ask me to."
Beckett thought about that. "Buy me dinner and make it the next two times I tell you to stay in the car, and you've got yourself a deal."
"Done!" he exclaimed.
She sighed and rolled her eyes. "What do I have to do?"
"Just sit at your desk," he instructed.
"That's all," he confirmed.
As she complied, shaking her head, he pulled 'his' chair around so that he faced her from the other side of the desk. He arranged her coffee and the bear claw he'd brought her so that it mimicked a place setting, placing his similarly. Beckett looked amused.
Lanie walked up behind Esposito and Ryan, looking at Beckett and Castle curiously as Castle fussed with the 'place settings'.
"What's going on?" she asked.
"I'm not completely sure," Esposito answered, "but I'm pretty sure we should have popcorn."
"There we go," Castle mumbled, then took his seat across from her. "For the sake of argument, we're at an exclusive French restaurant, and this is a 2006 Petrus Pomerol," he instructed, gesturing to her coffee cup and pulling a smile from her.
"Get on with it, Castle…some of us have work to do."
Castle smirked and stood up, walking around the desk until he stood beside her. He reached down and turned her chair until she was facing him, pulled something small out of his pocket, and dropped down to one knee.
"Kate, I never thought I would find true love…real love, someone I could spend the rest of my life with. And yet, over the last five months…the last three years…you've proven me wrong over and over. I mean it each and every time I tell you…you are extraordinary. You're the only woman in the world who can render me speechless with a single look. I wake up every day, and when I see you there next to me, I know that I'm the luckiest man alive. I know it hasn't always been easy, but nothing could possibly make me happier than to know that I'll be waking up next to you for the rest of our lives."
He took a deep breath and held up a ring. "Kate Beckett, will you marry me?"
Her eyes had gone wide as soon as he'd dropped to one knee, and she had to remind herself to breathe.
Forget that they were at the precinct, surrounded by stacks of paperwork, forget that her friends were watching with far too much interest…there was only the two of them.
"Yes," she breathed.
Rick broke out in a huge grin as he slipped the ring on her finger, then stood and pulled her out of her seat so he could pick her up and spin her around.
"There you have it, Ryan," Castle said, beaming as he set a stunned Beckett back on her feet. "That's how you propose to the woman you love."
Beckett shook herself out of her stupor, seeing his little display for what it was…Ryan was going to propose to Jenny. She looked down at the ring Castle had slipped on her finger; it was beautiful, exactly the sort of thing she would have picked herself.
She and Castle had been dating for five months, managing to keep their relationship a secret from everyone but their families. The rational side of her brain told her that five months was way too soon to be contemplating marriage, and yet…
She cleared her throat, fighting back a irrational wave of disappointment, and took off the ring to hand it to Ryan.
"Umm…Beckett?" Ryan said, not reaching out to take it.
"What, Ryan?" she asked, trying to hide how rattled she was with exasperation.
"I can't take that ring," he told her.
She frowned. "Why the hell not? It's yours! Just because Castle…"
Ryan was shaking his head. He reached into his pocket and pulled out his ring box, cracking it open so everyone could clearly see the diamond solitaire resting inside.
Beckett stared down at the ring in her hand, which was starting to tremble. Turning slowly, she faced Castle. He was leaning against her desk, his hands shoved into his pockets, looking completely unrepentant.
The two of them were quickly wrapped up in a kiss, so they completely missed Ryan and Esposito sighing and slipping money to a very smug medical examiner.
A/N: I hope you enjoyed it! Reviews are love.