Hello all! Thank you for your interest in "Reservations". This is my first Castle Fanfic, and I have to admit I'm nervous. It's been 10 years since I've written Fanfic of ANY sort, but after reading some great stories lately, I remember how much fun writing can be. I really hope you enjoy this story, and I'd love your feedback! Thanks!
Kate Becket slowly walked down the hall toward her apartment door. She'd been working for almost forty hours straight, but all her hard work had paid off. The little girl who'd been kidnapped and ransomed by known killers had been found, unharmed, and was returned to her parents. While her abductors, who had multiple warrants out for their arrest, would be spending some quality time behind bars. And now that she was coming down off of her adrenaline high, Kate was wiped out. She just wanted to take a hot shower, have a glass of wine, and then sleep for the entire weekend.
Using her foot to close the door behind her, she hung up her coat and tossed her keys onto the coffee table, which scattered a small pile of take out menus, coupons and mail in their wake. A wine colored envelope stood out against the other papers, causing Kate to sigh. The invitation to Ryan's wedding had been there now for almost three weeks. She needed to respond soon, but for some reason she held back. Well, she knew what the reason was. She KNEW Castle was invited to the wedding too, and had assumed that he would would naturally just try to charm, nag or weasel her into being his date. But so far, nothing! Sure, he'd joked about it a couple months ago, while they teased the stressed out "groom to be" about the wedding planning process, but he'd never actually asked her.
Beckett didn't know what bothered her more, the fact that he didn't ask, or the fact that she really wanted him to. By this time, he'd surely mailed in his RSVP, and she would put money on the fact that he'd filled it in as "Castle and guest". Richard Castle, playboy millionaire, just wouldn't go to a wedding alone. So that meant, Kate wouldn't go alone either. It would kill her to be alone and have to watch him fawn over some dumb bimbo, or rich socialite, or beautiful celebrity all night. It really irked her to know that he could bring almost anyone he wanted.
Feeling the stress building behind her eyes, Kate tried to push the unwelcome thoughts from her head. She still had a day or two before she had to make any decisions. Right now she just needed to relax; so she put her favorite Louis Armstrong cd in the stereo, poured a glass of wine, and then started the shower.
The steamy, hot water worked wonders on her stiff, tired muscles, but did little to ease her thoughts. Kate's mind raced with possibilities of guys she could ask to be her date. She hadn't dated anyone seriously for a while now, so she'd have to find someone that would be a good date, accept the fact that this would be a nice evening out and not the start of a relationship, and most importantly make Castle jealous! Not that she cared for Castle or anything, she reasoned with herself. But it just wasn't nice to lead a woman into thinking you were going to escort her somewhere and then never call!
Hmm, who could she ask? Nick? Erik? James? Garrett? Alex? No, no, no! None of them would work. She didn't want to lead anyone on, or be someone's rebound or create an awkward situation. After mentally checking off almost every single man she knew, Kate was consumed with a tidal wave of emotions... defeat, anger, frustration, annoyance and the one that bothered her most, longing... for Rick Castle! This was not how it was supposed to be. He was not supposed to get under her skin like this.
Kate rested her forehead on the tile wall of her shower, and let out a deep breath. Maybe if she wanted to go so badly with Castle, she should just call him. The worst thing that could happen is he'd tell her he already had a date. And if that happened, which it probably would, she'd just call her old buddy Dan from the academy. He wouldn't be the funnest date in the world, or even make a certain someone jealous, but they'd been each other's dates for events before and knew it was a no strings attached kind of thing.
Energized by having a game plan, Kate slammed off the shower, grabbed her towel, and went to her bedroom in search of her phone. Before she knew it, she was siting on her bed, phone in hand, listening to it ring. What am I doing? She thought to herself. I'm being a complete idiot. Beckett was about to hang up when she heard heard that familiar voice. "So who died?"
"Uh, no one." she stammered. "I'm off duty. I wasn't calling about that."
"Oh! So you just called because you missed me so much that you were consumed with long pent up desire and wanted to talk dirty to me? I'll go first. What are you wearing?" Rick spoke deeply.
That is so like him! Kate thought to herself. He's going to make this more difficult than it already is. Fine if that's how it's going to be, two can play that game. Besides he'll never believe it!
Kate made her voice as soft and sultry as possible. "You know me so well, Castle. I'm laying here on my bed, still wet from a hot, steamy shower, wearing only a towel, and thinking about you! How about you? What are you wearing"
To his credit, Rick was taken a bit off guard and coughed before he could answer. "Kate, Sweetheart, if you could only be here to see for yourself. Because as of this minute, I'm laying on a bearskin rug in front of a roaring fire, covered in massage oil, wearing only a smile. Want to come over and join me? I have enough oil for two."
At that moment she would rather have faced a firing squad that to admit what that image did to her. "Thanks but no thanks, Fabio."
"What if I told you I was writing a romance novel, and I needed you to inspire me like you do for my Nikki Heat books?"
"I'd tell you to stick to crime, murder and mystery."
"Your rejection wounds me. How will I ever carry on?"
"I'm sure you'll find a way. Perhaps a cold shower will help."
"Alas, I suppose it will have to do. I'm such a tortured soul."
"Well then, if you didn't call to seduce me, what's up?
Suddenly after such intimate teasing, asking him to be her date didn't seem like such a great idea. "I, uh, well. Never mind, it's not a big deal."
"You wouldn't have called for nothing, and if it's not me you want, I'm stumped."
"But I do want you!" Kate blurted out. Oh crap, that's not what I meant to say! "I mean, I uh, well... See, you know Ryan's getting married in a couple weeks, and well I was just wondering... Never mind I'm sure you already have a date. I can ask..."
Rick interrupted her embarrassed rambling. "Detective Beckett! Are you asking me out?" he asked playfully.
Kate could hear his smile over the phone. "Yes! No. Well yes, I guess. I'm asking if you have a date for the wedding."
"Would you be disappointed if I said I did?"
The painful truth choked back any lie she wanted to give.
But she didn't need to answer because Rick kept talking. "Actually I think I do."
Kate felt like she'd been punched in the stomach.
"She's really nice; I think you'd like her. She's tall, thin, curves in all the right places, and has beautiful brown hair."
Stop Castle! Her inner voice screamed. Just Stop! I can't listen to this!
"She's extremely smart, very witty, and secretly very compassionate. Maybe you know her. She's part of the NYPD."
Something in Kate's brain clicked and his words started to sink in.
"I actually invited her over tonight, but she's a busy lady. She just cracked a big case at work. I'm sure she's exhausted."
"Castle... are you talking about me?"
"Very good , detective. I knew you'd get it! You're quick like that."
"But I didn't say I'd be your date."
"I thought that's why you called."
"Well... it is. But when I asked you, you said you already had a date and then implied that I was your date. How can I be your date, when you never asked me to be your date?"
"I didn't have to. I knew you would ask."
"Well that's some arrogance, Mr. Castle. How does your head fit through doors?"
"Arrogant or not, you DID ask me."
"That aside, why didn't you just ask me in the first place if you were so confident I'd accept?"
"I figured if I asked, you would give me some excuse about why it would be a bad idea or something like that. But if I waited until you asked, you would be ready to commit to the date and couldn't back out. But I gotta admit, you waited til the last minute didn't you? I sent in my RSVP weeks ago. I started to think you might not ask me after all."
"And what if I hadn't asked?"
"I already asked someone to be my back up."
"You what! You asked some poor girl to be your 'back up date' for a friend's wedding? You really are a walking mass of arrogance aren't you?"
"Don't worry. Alexis is used to it."
"Yes, my back up!"
"Alexis? As in, your daughter, Alexis?"
"Yup! She would have happily been my date, but I know she'll be even happier that you are."
Kate sat quietly for a moment trying to take this entire conversation in. "You know what Castle? Right now I'm too tired to argue with you any more. So you will be my date?"
"Of course, my lady!"
"Good. We can talk out the details later. Right now, I just need to go to bed."
"Do you want company?"
"In bed... do you want company?"
"Good night Castle!" Beckett said before clicking off her phone.
"Sweet dreams, Kate" Rick whispered with a smile, despite already hearing hum of the dial tone.