So, I'll be honest: I'm normally not into Valentine's Day at all. BUT after seeing episode 3x15, "The Final Nail," I decided that we NEEDED some more Esplanie to go with that. (After all: tsk, tsk, tsk, Javi. Ninety percent of the time when a woman says "I don't care about Valentine's Day," she is LYING to you. It's a test. And you almost failed. XD ) So, this is just a little continuation scene I came up with - and it IS a ONESHOT. Just the one chapter, sorry. ^^

As always, as much as I would LOVE to own the Castle characters, I don't. Please quietly resolve all mourning before enjoying the story. Done? Good. Now enjoy the story. XD



And to think she'd gotten off of work three hours early tonight.

What for? Lanie Parish couldn't help but wonder at her state as she sat curled into the corner of her couch, watching her digital clock blink eight-seventeen right to her face. Beep. Beep. Beep. Yep - there it went. Now it was eight-eighteen. Figured. No one else was slowing down any tonight, either; and why should they? It was Valentine's Day! They were all out being shown a fine time by whatever man they'd happened to find on the streets in true Valentine's tradition. Why should she expect the damn clock to slow down, when it looked like the only one lazing tonight was her?

In a way, it was all right. Lanie didn't blame him. After all, much as Javier might've been the prettiest show-pony in the ring, he definitely had his moments where he wasn't the brightest. She could think of a few times where he'd hit a few fences. So really, it was her fault for trying to play it coy, like the rest of the relationship. Going and telling him a thing like 'Oh, I don't really do Valentine's Day.' What was she thinking? The boy was a hard-headed, about as much as he was a hardass. In fact, when you combined the two, you kind of got 'dumbass,' which she supposed also worked. But she totally didn't blame him. Except she did. Way. He was supposed to know better, dammit! All women lied when they said that! For a guy who'd claimed to have been the man-about-campus for a while there, he sure as hell had a thing or two to learn.

Eight-twenty. Fine. An unintentional sigh fell out of Lanie's throat - something between disappointment and self-scolding - and she pushed the dark purple throw pillow out of her lap, sliding her legs over the side of the couch. Time to stand up, stretch a little, and admit that nothing special was gonna happen tonight. Hell: she'd already changed out of her nearly-new, sparkly strapless mini and into Juicy sweats and a hoodie, so going to the kitchen for a tub of ice cream was just the natural progression.

Except, halfway there, she heard a knock from outside.

Lanie stopped mid-step, fuzzy-socked foot halfway between plush carpet and kitchen tile. For a second, she craned her neck around to look at the door - pah; as if she didn't know who it was going to be - but quickly got her act together and decided to put him out of his misery. It took her another ten seconds to cross to the door and unlock it.

Mm-hm: exactly like she'd thought, there was Javier on the other side. Though…Lanie wasn't quite as capable of being mad as she'd wanted to be, especially because…well, he was here, wasn't he? He hadn't forgotten. He must've just had to work late. She could forgive that.

Plus, there was the most sheepish, puppy-dog look on his face. Completely unfair chocolate-brown eyes that went on like a well. Little bit of five o'clock shadow too. And a roughly-bracelet-length red box in his hand. Kinda looked expensive. She could definitely forgive those, right?

Even so, she wasn't going to let him see that just yet. Lanie Parish was a woman who required a little explanation. So, before she let him in, the M.E. crossed her arms over her chest, gave him a look, and made sure her voice was a perfect combo between tiredly soft and mildly sarcastic.

"Well well well, Detective. Almost didn't think I was gonna see you this evening," she said casually. "Anything I can help you with?"

Obviously, Javier had had some guess as to what he was walking into - as well as exactly what tools he had at his disposal. That stupid, sheepish, cute little smirk of his grew a little, and his first words were soft and fluid. "…Perdón yo tarde… Piensa usted tal vez que puedo entrar? Por favor?"

Damn. There she went, her resistance dead enough to take a long nap in one of her morgue drawers. As much as Lanie wished she could've made it a little harder, a smile spread its warm way over her face and set up camp there, and she knew he'd been punished enough. "…I don't know what you just said, but…come on in; it's cold out," she relented, stepping aside so he could do just that.

"Gracias." Nodding his thanks, Javier stepped into the apartment, sliding his coat off and hanging it on the rack as Lanie went about re-locking the door. By the time both were done, the two of them turned to face each other, and that easily, the centripetal force went to work, working its magic. They drew closer, Javier's hands coming to rest on her waist; Lanie's sliding their way up to his shoulders.

"Hey," she whispered, a tiny smile still sitting playfully on her face. She tiptoed up a fraction, he tipped his head down to her a bit, and their lips met in the middle, greeting each other with a sweet, soft kiss that was the kind you'd remember in the morning. Or for years; whatever. For the moment, they were okay with being short-sighted.

Speaking of sights, when she moved back just a bit, Lanie's were set on that little red box. That is, until he murmured, "Feliz Día de los Enamorados, cariño." Then she looked back up at him, forgetting to wonder why she'd ever been bordering on 'pissed off' in the first place.

"Mm, now that one I got," she grinned back. "Happy Valentine's Day to you too." More than gladly, she accepted the delay as he kissed her one more time, and the good doctor gave back as good as she got…but, the only thing more persuasive than a woman's need for a little lovin' was her curiosity where gifts were involved. Teasingly, she drew back, and bit her lip against a mischievous smirk, sort of swiveling in place as her eyes flicked to the box and back. "So. You gonna hold onto that all night, or is that what I think it is?"

But, Javier seemed to have other plans. With a teasing grin of his own, he lifted the thin red box to his arm's full extent, straight over their heads, well out of Lanie's reach.

"Hey!" she yelped, laughing a bit as she tried to bounce up to snatch it, but from the look he was wearing, he had a few contingencies first.

"Ah ah ah," Javier tutted; "Usted no va a conseguirlo hasta que yo diga unas cosas primero."

…And, apparently, she wasn't supposed to understand any of those contingencies. Stopping, Lanie blinked a couple times, staring at her boyfriend in confusion. "Okay, the first few times it was sexy; now I'm gonna admit, I'm a little behind, here." He said nothing, so she went for the obvious. "…Care to translate?"

He shook his head once. "No ahora."

Lanie felt her eyebrows flash upwards. "No ahora, huh?" That one, she recognized: 'not now.' What in the hell was going on here? "You sure?"

", cariño."

"But…I trust that you're at least making a point or something."

"Sí, por supuesto."

"Right; 'of course,' sure. So…what, I s'pose I have to guess?"

Again, he nodded.

"And, if I get it, you'll tell me?"


"And - Lord help me, I never thought I'd say this - whether I get it or not, you go back to English by the main event."

For that one, he exhaled, but nodded anyway. "Prometo."

"You promise. Good. All right then." Eyeing him up with a good degree of suspicion, Lanie led the little procession back to her couch, sitting forward on the edge of it as Javier sat opposite to face her. She just sat there, waiting, waiting as patiently as you could expect any woman to wait whose boyfriend had just gotten confusing. It was gonna run thin if he didn't start talking.

She wouldn't need to prod him. On a deep breath, sitting forward to match her with the box still in his hands, he finally began. "Cuando esta relación comenzó, pienso que estuvimos ambos sobre todo interesados en el lado físico."

"You…started this relationship by wantin' to estimate my sobriety and intercept my finances," Lanie guessed, totally fruitlessly. And maybe a little frustrated, so sue her.

Javier didn't bother with correcting her - because yes, she was definitely wrong - but continued instead, only shaking his head once, saying what he wanted to say while he knew how to say it. "Pero ahora es mucho más. Y esta vez, no soy asustado de hacerme serio. No soy aquel tipo más."

"But now there's a lot more, and this time you're not studying the hassled serial because you don't drink anymore - boy, what in the hell. This is like a bad episode of Friends."

"Escuchen - la gente no piensa que podemos trabajar juntos, pero pienso que podemos hacerlo. Quiero decir esto."

"You just saved a buncha money on your car insurance by swichin' to Geico," Lanie deadpanned, the flattest expression on her face he'd ever seen.

Javier's followed pretty quickly after that; he didn't switch back to English, but he didn't sound amused, either. "Usted no trata hasta de entenderme - "

"I am too trying to understand you - it'd help if you gave me somethin' more to work with, here!"

…And then both of them stopped, and Lanie's eyes widened as she looked at him. His did too, for a second. Then he grinned.

"Congratulations, doc," he said to her…and she could've sworn that was a little bit of pride in his voice.

Pausing to take that in, Lanie smiled back. "So I'm guessing this means that I found this 'mystery point' you were trying to make?"

"Well enough; yeah, I think you did."

"And…what was the point, exactly?"

This was the point where Javier stood up. Without a word, he crossed around to her, held out his hand. Lanie complied, slipping her hand into his, and allowed him to help her up, so that they were standing face-to-face with each other again. He kept their proximity close, his arms draped loosely around her waist, resting his forehead gently against hers, and when he spoke, it was barely above a murmur.

"Just that…I'm really glad we're on the same page, you and me," he explained, his grin doing nothing to retreat. "…Glad we understand each other."

"Ahh. Well." Her own hands traveled magnetically to his back, and Lanie's eyes sparkled. "I coulda told you that." She chuckled a bit at that point, adding; "But, me too."


"Oh, you know it."

"Good. Then I won't have to find another girl to give this to." Apparently, he had remembered the box before she did this time, but Lanie was quick to follow. She looked down - they both did, actually - as he handed her the bow-topped red rectangle, and re-phrased his earlier sentiment into their common language. "Happy Valentine's Day."

Okay, she wasn't going to lie…so maybe her stomach was doing a little cartwheeling thing. That was all right. No needed to know about that. Still, Lanie looked up at Javier. "You really didn't have to make a big deal, you know - "

"Woman, hush; everybody knows it's a lie when one of you girls says that," he dismissed.

Lanie raised an impressed eyebrow. That was a little surprising. "You knew?"

"Like I said. We understand each other. It's a two-way street," he replied. With a hint of a smirk taking shape, it was clear he was impatient for her reaction, like a kid with a paper valentine on the playground. "C'mon, open it."

"Okay, all right," Lanie eased, unable to stop herself from cracking a wide smile to match as she slid a fingernail under the bow. She really wished she could stop smiling so damn much; at this rate, she was going to look like her grandmother in five years…

…Well. She got her wish.

The moment she pulled open the lid, the smile dissolved from Lanie's face, and her breath skipped a turn before it decided to work again. "…Jav…" That…that almost looked real. Like, real diamond, beyond-his-paycheck real. Granted, you'd probably need a decimal to figure out the carat value, but right now, to Lanie, that mattered about as much as who shot J.R…. She gaped up at him as soon as she could tear her eyes away. "You did not."

Simply giving her a nod, he motioned to her that he'd take the box, and then did, since she was still numbed at the moment. Surprisingly expertly, he cradled the strand out of its setting and looped it around Lanie's wrist. Once the bracelet was fastened, she just stared, until his voice called her out of it. "…What do you think?"

Now it was him she was staring at. I think this is a month's rent for you. I think this is a sign we're both crazy for movin' this fast. I think no guy's ever done something so beautiful for me; that's what I think. And I'm kinda thinkin' I was a little outta line for assuming you were blowin' me off a little while ago… Then, that damned smile coming back tenfold, she settled on one, with a taste of her usual sass for good measure. "I think you're definitely gonna be gettin' pretty damn lucky tonight."

He laughed, and she adored him more for it. "Mental note: jewelry's a big winner."

"Just can't go wrong with a good classic," she teased back, marveling at how easy it was to fall into this pattern every time. Their pattern. And, you know; she was really growing to like it. "…Thank you, Javier."

Taking that cue, he kissed her again, lightly and slowly, and she hated how much she loved not hating how it felt like…home to her. Cheesy cliché and all. When they parted, it barely counted as 'parting' at all; they were still sharing the same oxygen, ignoring the same rest-of-the-world, and he was still wearing that baby grin. "De nada, hermosa."

A chuckle escaped Lanie's throat, and then curiosity decided to follow it. She tipped her head slightly to the side, like a cocker spaniel but with a flatiron. "Speaking of speaking…so, when you were makin' your point back there…what exactly were you saying?"

"Ahh. I thought you might get around to askin' me that." Mischievously, he cinched her a little closer. "I think I'll leave that a mystery for a little while longer."

"Oh, what? Come on," she mock-pouted.


"Javi, just tell me."

"If I tell you," he rationalized, "then, someday, when I say all that on the record, it won't be as special. But, right now…if I say it in a language you can't understand…"

"Then it's like it doesn't count," Lanie realized - without realizing that she'd just finished his thought for him. She was too busy perfecting the role of grinning fool.

He was on the same page there, too. "Because, we both know that…it's a little early to be goin' official on stuff like that."

"Mmhm, well sure."

"Wouldn't wanna spook anybody off."

"Ooh, no, definitely not. That would be bad."

"But, if I feel like sayin' it, and for all you know, I could be sayin' 'Show me the money'…"

"Then I don't see why there'd be a problem with that," she was plenty happy to conclude.

Javier thought for a moment, reducing the space between them even further. "…Is that so?" he asked.

"I happen to think it's a damn fine plan, Detective," Lanie beamed.

"…Huh. …Well, then, in that case, there's really only two words you need to know in situations like this," he instructed, quiet and low, managing to sound completely jovial and serious-as-a-heart-attack all at once. Just by that, Lanie felt like she knew what was coming, or maybe it had to do with the way he hovered a little closer to her ear, leaving a print of his lips on her jaw, and the way she heard his grin in his whisper. "Te amo."

For the second time this evening, Lanie's breath caught to a hitch…or maybe it was the third. Honestly, she'd stopped counting, way back when she'd stopped counting the minutes on the clock. Just when she'd nearly forgotten about that damn persistent smile on her face, it just had to go and broaden itself. That one, she definitely, unmistakably understood. "…Huh," she finally let out. "Te…amo, was it? You know…I just don't think I'm sayin' it right. You might wanna say it again; help me out here."

"Te amo," he laughed, knowing exactly what she was doing.

"Mm, I'm still not gettin' it quite right…"

"Te amo, cariño."

"Ohhh, te amo."

"That's the one."

"Now, if I wanted to say 'too,' hypothetically, that'd be 'también,' am I right?"

"Good job."

"So…'te amo también' would be the right way to say that."

"You catch on quick, doc," he praised, leaning in again. "Almost like you got a degree…"

"Hm, well, for the record, you are just a little bit more attractive than the chick on the Rosetta Stone program…"

She tipped up and kissed him again before either of them had any more chances to outdo themselves in the 'smile like a fool' department. Hey, after all, it was way too late for that tonight. It was eight-thirty-five, home on Valentine's Day, and the bar was already set pretty high…but that was okay. They had time to get there. And Lanie couldn't help but think - while she was still thinking - that she really wouldn't mind the ride until they got there in English, on the record, for everyone to hear.

Right now, the only common language they needed was this. To be on the same page was plenty.



^_^ So yeah: unabashed Esplanie fluff right there. PARTY TIME. XD

I'm not fluent in Spanish, so if there are any indiscretions, please, do me the favor of ignoring them. (Unless any are especially glaring, and then just let me know and I'll fix it. But minor indiscretions, I'm not worried about.) And I've just recently come to understand that the word "cariña" that I've used in these fics before does not technically exist - it's supposed to be "cariño," go figure. Oops. XD So yes, "cariño" is correct, even though Lanie is a girl.

Points if anyone knows which Friends episode I'm referring to, or remembers Paolo at all. Love Friends. ;D

As I say on every chapter of all my new stories: if there's anyone (ages 14 and over) interested in joining a free, writing-based Castle roleplaying forum, check out the bolded paragraph in my profile. Thank you.

Lastly but most importantly, I would really, really appreciate it if you would PLEASE review. The reason I post these is for you guys to enjoy, and so that I can hear from you about what you liked best/what worked for you/favorite parts/lines/whatever. I'm not kidding when I say it truly improves my day. Hugely. Please and thank you.

Anyhoo, as always, I shall return with more stories to come. ;) Peace and love to all.