Eyes Open

A/N: Hey, look at that! The long-awaited sequel to Tryst that I had promised! Sorry for the delay but I only recently got re-inspired.

NOTES: This basically takes off from Countdown, except in my universe, I've already had Beckett break up with Josh. And Castle and Beckett have more baggage (see Volume I).

You're All I Have


The door opens.

"What were you going to say?" Kate blurts out.

Castle is standing in the doorway, surprised yet not surprised to find her standing on the other side of his threshold. "What?" he asks dumbly.

"At the precinct. Before we got interrupted. You were going to say something." She steps into his apartment and he eases the door shut behind her. "'I was thinking maybe…' 'Maybe' what, Castle?"

He sighs and takes a step back from her. "You don't want to do this, Kate."

"Don't want to do what?" she challenges back.

This isn't fair to him. She knows that. Ever since she called off… whatever it is they had been doing, he had been respectful to the point that everything seemed to have returned to normal. At least until her mother's case resurfaced. That first kiss had been his idea but the second had been hers.

Now, three near-death experiences later and she can no longer tell which way is up. She remembers telling him, months ago, that she can't imagine him as her boyfriend because he isn't reliable in relationships but that statement no longer seems accurate. When he tells her 'always', she knows he means it.

And right now, when the fear of ice and clocks makes her unable to rest, there he remains: solid and alive and always there for her.

"This has been one hell of a day," he says and then pauses because he knows why she came over – hell, if they hadn't been interrupted, he would have told her to come home with him. His eyes turn pleading, "I'm trying really hard here, Kate."

This is the unfair part. She holds all the cards but she has no idea what she wants to do with them. Still, it's been one hell of a day. She steps forward. "Maybe I don't want you to try so hard," she says. She tilts her head up in order to speak softly against his ear, "I still feel so cold, Castle—" her voice drops to a whisper "—please… warm me up."

The fireplace is on in the living room. That's where they start removing their clothes. And it's underneath all the blankets and comforters that Castle had curled himself in before she had knocked that the two of them start to regenerate heat.

The weight of his body on hers, the way his hands know just where to touch – that all feels the same but something is off. Different. When he brings his lips down to meet hers tenderly, she knows what it is. The gasp of realisation makes him pull away but she shakes her head and arches her body up to urge him on.

Her body is buzzing but her brain is spinning. The difference is that this is no longer just sex tempered with confused emotions and his eager attempts at winning her over—

She moans when his fingers slide into her, his thumb gently flicking her clit so that she opens up more for him.

–this has become, in just a few short months, not just passion but devotion and there's only one outcome to be had from that sort of attachment…

Kate squeezes her eyes shut at that moment, choosing to wrap her arms around Castle's neck in order to kiss him fiercely. She doesn't want to think anymore. About anything.

His lips start to move across her cheek and down her neck even as his fingers continue to push deeper into her, curling them until he finds—

Now her gasp is one of pleasure. "Castle," she breathes out.

His fingers continue their exploration, hitting that spot over and over until she's crying out for release. But she's so tense and still so scared that it doesn't come the way she needs it to. He pulls out of her and she whimpers.

"Ssh," he whispers, pressing his lips against her forehead. "Everything's okay now, Kate. We're okay now."

They lie still for a while. The only movements being the series of light kisses they exchange every few seconds. Their limbs are tangled together and when she's ready, she snakes a hand down between their bodies in order to stroke him hard and position him at her entrance.

His eyes watch hers carefully as he slides slowly into her heat, stopping to let her adjust to him. "Are you okay?" he asks her once he feels himself surrounded completely by her body.

She nods and gives him a small smile. "I've missed you," she says in a voice so low that it can barely be heard.

He starts to move slowly above her. "You have no idea how much I've missed you," he replies.

Now her smile is impish. "Why don't you show me."

She only catches a glimpse of his grin before his mouth latches onto her nipple, teasing and sucking first one, then the other. She wraps one of her legs around him and he takes that as permission to thrust harder, a sensation that makes her moan and her body burn.

"Are you hot now?" he says in gasps as he pumps into her faster.

She can no longer answer him. Her body is lifting and riding with him and when he sees she's close, he whispers, "Come for me, Kate."

"I—" she's gasping and her whole body is flushed.

"You can." He's sucking at her pulse point and nibbling her ear. And then, with a hard kiss to her lips, he opens his mouth on an inhale. "I love you," he says.

It's the surprise more than anything that makes her tense up, that gives her that one last push needed to bring them both to orgasm.

She shudders against his body afterwards. He's turned them so that she is tucked firmly against his chest on her side. He kisses her temple and brushes back some of her matted hair. She's quiet. Her eyes are closed. Her breaths, even.

"You know how I feel about you," he says softly against her ear.

She hears him but she's not as brave. So, she says instead: "I miss you when you're not around."

A/N: Honestly, from this point forward, I don't think you have to have read Tryst (I mean, some of the references and actions between characters might make more sense if you did but I like options as a reader…) Anyway, this chapter is kind of like the happy ending that I didn't give them in Volume I but as it is a separate story, there will be more drama and angst if you decide to follow me down this path! :) Oh, and whereas Separation Anxiety is where my innocent fluff goes to party, this story will definitely be my smut playground… See? Fun for all ages! ;)