Let it rain

"It looks like the end of the world out there." He commented plopping himself back down on her couch.

They had been going over their latest case, trying for the past four hours to think of something that would shed some light on who poor little Amy's murderer was. It looked like it was the perfect crime, though; no suspects, no evidence, nothing. It was frustrating.

It had started to drizzle a couple hours before, but it looked like that light, comforting rain had turned into a full blown thunderstorm. Kate looked at him and stood up, making her way over to the window to check for herself.

"Wow." She breathed in awe at the curtain of water pouring down over New York City. "I think we're pretty much stuck here. Did you have any plans for tonight?" she asked, turning around to face him and he shrugged.

"Not really." He looked down at his hands, forehead creased like he was debating something with himself. "I was actually going to suggest we should go get something to eat, maybe catch a movie, but with this kind of weather…" he trailed off and she bit her lip, fighting off a smile.

They had gotten impossibly closer in the past few months and those non-dates were something completely common with them now. Still, it always gave her butterflies whenever he asked her to hang out outside of the precinct, no matter how many times that had already happened.

She liked him. She really, really liked him. There was no way she could deny this anymore.

That was the main reason she had ended things with Josh a couple of months ago. Her relationship with Castle had always bothered Josh. It had been the reason of so many of their fights because he just couldn't understand why the writer had to hang around the precinct every single day when he wasn't a cop. She understood his frustration because that was something she couldn't explain herself. She knew it wasn't about research. That excuse just didn't cut it anymore. She liked to think it was because he liked solving crimes and… well, she hoped she was a big part of the reason he stuck around too.

"I'd say we could order in, but I doubt anyone will deliver now. Maybe we can just try and see what I've got in the fridge?" she suggested, realizing that she had only had a light lunch at noon and it was now past 10pm and she was starving.

"Good luck with that." He teased and she stuck her tongue out at him childishly.

"I happen to have gone grocery shopping this weekend, smart ass." She rolled her eyes at him and made her way to the kitchen.

Opening the fridge, she mentally took stock of what she could offer him and turned around, only to discover that he had been standing right behind her and now they were entirely too close to each other for two people who claimed they were just good friends. She took a deep breath and looked up at him, letting her gaze stop at his lips for a second before meeting his eyes.

"What are you in the mood for?" she whispered and tried to get her now erratic heart to calm down.

"What do you have?" he asked, reaching out his hand to tuck a loose strand of hair behind her ear. She shivered slightly when his fingertips touched her skin and swallowed hard.

"Why don't you take a look and choose whatever you want." She said and turned around again, closing her eyes for a second to pull herself together. After a moment, she reached out and grabbed her Nutella, putting it on the counter. Taking a step away from him, she took two slices of bread and proceeded on spreading Nutella on one of them.

"That's what you're eating? After not feeding yourself all day?" he raised an eyebrow at her and she rolled her eyes.

"You got a problem with that?" she asked, hands on her hips, challenging him.

"Not at all, detective. Go right ahead." He grinned and grabbed a spoon from the nearby drawer. "You don't mind sharing, do you?" he asked while dipping the spoon in the container and taking an indecent amount of the hazelnut chocolaty goodness.

"Hey!" she tried slapping his hand away, but he dodged out of her reach.

"I'll get you another one tomorrow." He said with the spoon in his mouth and she glared at him. "Come on, I'll make you a decent sandwich, how's that?"

"You already stole my favorite thing in the fridge, I don't have much of a choice, now do I?" she took a bite out of the slice she had managed to get some Nutella on and moaned at the taste. "God, I love this."

"I promise to get you enough tomorrow to last you a month." He laughed while throwing their sandwiches together and she narrowed her eyes at him and finished off her slice.

"You'd better." She opened the fridge again and took two beers out. "Want one? I think we could take a break from the case. It's not like we've gotten very far, anyway."

"Sure. Maybe we can stick to my original idea and watch a movie?"

"Yeah, sure." She handed him a bottle of beer and made her way back to the living room to check her dvd collection. "What do you feel like watching?"

"Whatever you choose is fine with me." He called out from the kitchen and she nodded.

When he sat back down next to her, handing her a ham and cheese sandwich, she had already got the movie started. He looked at the screen, then back at her, eyebrows raised, but remained silent. After a couple of minutes, she was getting decidedly annoyed and glared at him.

"What, Castle?"

"Dirty Dancing? Really?" he said, fighting a grin and she felt her cheeks flushing slightly.

"What, it's a classic!" she defended herself and he laughed, taking a sip of his beer and relaxing further into the couch.

"Sure it is." He dead panned and she rolled her eyes, elbowing him on the ribs. "You know, I never pegged you for Patrick Swayze fan." He said after a few minutes in silence.

"Okay, so I had a crush on him when I was a teenager. Happy?" she said and put the plate and the bottle on the coffee table. "Can we please watch the movie now?" she relaxed against the back of the couch and realized she was now closer to him, their sides touching.

"Oh, come on, KB. I'm just teasing you." He put an arm around her shoulders and pulled her closer to his side, a move that obviously didn't go unnoticed by Kate. "If it makes you feel any better, I have probably watched it more than you with Mother and Alexis." He said lightly and she grinned at him.

"Yeah, yeah." She rolled her eyes again, but a smile was playing on her lips this time.

She rested her head on his shoulder and relaxed into his side, completely aware that this was definitely crossing some pretty serious lines between them. She didn't care, though. She was tired of running from this, from him. She had broken up with Josh three months ago and she didn't understand why they hadn't crossed that final line yet. It wasn't like she didn't know if he had feelings for her. She knew he did, it was obvious to her now. But something still kept her from taking that final leap with him.

About an hour into the movie, there was a sudden lightening outside and then they were engulfed in darkness. Kate had her head on his chest, his hands lightly tracing patterns on her arm, and jumped startled when the power went out after the powerful thunder that followed the lightening.

"You okay?" she heard him ask quietly. Her heart was hammering against her ribcage; she had never been a fan of thunderstorms.

"Yeah, I just…" she took a deep breath to calm her heart down. "I just don't like the thunder, that's all." He kissed the top of her head and she relaxed for a moment against him.

"I should probably go find some candles." she said after a few minutes. She tried to extricate herself from his arms, but he held her wrist before she could get up. Handing her his phone with the flashlight app on, he smiled at her and she smiled back. "Thanks. I'll be right back."

She rummaged through a few drawers in her kitchen until she found three candles and matches. Walking back to Castle, she handed him his phone back and proceeded to lighting the candles and setting two on the coffee table and one on the kitchen table.

When she came back to the living room, Castle was standing by the window, looking outside. She made her way to him and nudged his shoulder. He looked down at her and smiled, lifting his arm in an offer for her to tuck herself in against his side. She looked at him for a moment, but leaned against him, enjoying his warmth.

Something had shifted during their time together tonight. She wasn't sure what it was exactly, but it felt like the physical barrier they had so carefully constructed between them had all but crumbled to the ground. Kate felt him place a kiss on the top of her head.

"There's something just so… hypnotic about the rain, don't you think?" he asked quietly and she found herself nodding.

"Yeah." She murmured as he caressed her arm lightly. A sudden lightening crossed the sky and she jumped again.

"Don't worry, KB. I've got you. You're safe."

He pulled her in front of him and wrapped his arms around her waist, pulling her flush against his body. She felt her cheeks heat up, embarrassed that she was so jumpy because of a little thunderstorm, but accepted his embrace and allowed herself to relax in his arms, resting her head back against his shoulder.

She felt him press a soft kiss to her neck and sighed contently, putting her hands over his, where they rested on her stomach. Lacing her fingers through his, she tucked her head in the crook of his neck and kissed his skin lightly.

"I'm so glad you're here." She mumbled against his neck and felt him pull her even closer to his body.

"So am I." he whispered in her ear and she sighed, looking up at him.

He turned her around so she was facing him and touched her cheek, gently caressing it with his thumb. She leaned into his touch and placed a kiss on his palm. He smiled at her and leaned in, kissing her forehead, then her eyes, her nose, finally settling on her lips. When she felt his lips on hers, she tried to prevent a shiver that wanted to run through her body, but didn't succeed. He kissed her softly at first, exploring this new territory they were treading.

But then she wrapped her arms around his neck and pulled him closer, tracing his lips with her tongue. When their tongues touched for the first time, it felt like a fire was consuming her from inside out. She moaned against his lips and ran her hands across his back, grinning when she heard a groan escape his lips.

She bit lightly on his bottom lip and sucked on it before breaking their kiss. Their breaths came out raggedly and he rested his forehead on hers.

"Amazing." He murmured and she chuckled, nodding in agreement.

"I hope you do mean the kiss this time." She teased him and he laughed, pulling her in for another kiss that took her breath away.

"Yup, definitely the kiss." He grinned at her and she shook her head with a smile. He touched her chin, making her look up at him, and tucked a strand of her hair behind her ear. "You have no idea how long I've wanted to do that." He confessed and she smiled, before tucking her face into the crook of his neck and wrapping her arms around his waist.

"Actually, I do." She said against his neck, sucking on his pulse point lightly.

His arms tightened around her waist and he involuntarily tilted his head to give her more access. She placed one last kiss on his skin before blindingly searching his lips with her own. They kissed lazily for a few minutes, hands roaming each other's bodies, until he broke away, only to shower her face and neck with butterfly kisses.

She giggled at his actions, but jumped again, startled, when a loud thunder struck outside.

"Sorry." She mumbled, embarrassed. "This is getting ridiculous." She shook her head and he kissed her again.

"You've got nothing to be sorry about. So you're afraid of thunderstorms. So what?" he told her, tracing patterns on the small of her back. "At least it's something I can protect you from." He grinned at her and she offered a small smile back. "Come on. Let's get you away from the window."

He took her hand and led her to the couch. He sat down against the arm of the sofa and pulled her down to sit between his legs, her back against his chest.

"Thanks for staying. I hate being home alone when there's a storm." She admitted, looking up at him and he kissed her lips softly.

"There's no place I'd rather be right now, KB." He told her and she sat up, tugging him up with her. He looked at her questioningly, but she just smiled and kissed him, before adjusting herself so they could lie down on the couch together.

When the lightening and thunder struck again, she felt him tighten his hold on her and hid her face against his chest, breathing in his familiar scent.

And she felt safe.