A/N: My muse cannot be ignored. This was heavily inspired by 'Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not' by Thompson Square - you should all go listen to it.

Disclaimer: I own nothing, I swear.

For Emily.

Her sides ached from laughter; Katherine Beckett hadn't laughed so hard in such a long time and it was all his fault. She was laying prone on Richard Castle's living room floor with her ankles crossed and hair slipping from her messy bun into her line of sight. His fingers ghosted over her ribcage again and a whole new round of laughter escaped her lips as she tried to roll away from him in the cramped quarters of their blanket fort, "Castle!"

"KB!" He countered but folded his hands under his chin to show a modicum of restraint, "Are you having a good birthday?"

"A very good birthday," She promised. He had called her over to his apartment the moment she had gotten back that afternoon from lunch with her dad and surprised her with cupcakes and Temptation Lane on DVD. She had accepted the gifts and noted that a blanket fort would make it the perfect representation of her childhood; four hours later they had created an intricate maze of blankets and were sprawled across the floor watching the soap opera while eating the frosting off the cupcakes.

He paused the show and popped his back, "Should we order some real food?"

"Yeah," She nodded and pulled her cellphone out of her pocket, "I'll get it though because you're liable to bring this whole mess down if you try to get out of here."

"Are you sayin' I'm too manly for this fort?"

"I'm saying you're too much of a klutz for this fort," She giggled, "I'd never call you manly, Castle."

"You wound me," He placed a hand dramatically over his heart, "I think you need to kiss it and make it better."

"Not even in your wildest of dreams," She tossed over her shoulder as she crawled toward the exit.

His eyes never left her until she exited the fort, "How do you know? My wildest-"

"Castle!" Her sharp reply came from the other side of the blankets.

She ordered from their favorite Chinese place and grabbed a few bottles of water from the refrigerator as she waited. He had been so good to her lately and she couldn't tell if it was maturity or trying to soften the blow for the next time he screwed up but she was enjoying it. Her relationship with Josh had come to a screeching halt just two months prior at the end of May after finally catching her mother's killer and since that time Castle had really stepped up to the plate. He had always been her friend but over the past few months things had been changing, evolving, growing. The relationship was progressing and they had finally stopped fighting it.

A knock on the door pulled her from her thoughts and she slid off the stool to get the food. Castle's voice called to her, "My wallet is on the kitchen table."

"Castle," She countered, "I got this."

"Katherine Beckett," She heard him practically growl, "it is your birthday now use my money."

"Alright, alright," She caved and grabbed his wallet from the table, "and people say that I'm bossy."

"You are bossy!"

She ignored the comment as she paid the poor delivery boy who was wondering what he should say. Glancing at the fort, she grabbed a ten from his wallet and gave it to the boy as a tip, "Have a nice day."

She cheated on her return trip, ducking under the blanket that lead directly to the corridor that Castle was sitting in. He had picked up their cupcake wrappers and pulled the sleeping bags off the couch while he waited on her. She slipped in beside him and spread the food between them, each taking a set of chopsticks and diving in, "Thanks for dinner, Castle."

"How much did you tip the delivery kid for my bossy comment?" He asked around a bite of chow mein and she laughed at how well he knew her, "Cause I happen to know that there was a hundred in there."

"I'm not that mean, Castle."

"I appreciate that," He smiled and tilted the box of Broccoli Beef at her and she grabbed a bite before extending the box of fried rice to him.

"So," She began after taking a sip of her water, "what possessed you today?"

"Can't I just want my partner to have a happy birthday?" Her heart fluttered at his use of the word partner, "I know I drive you nuts and I like it when you're happy. You said Temptation Lane makes you happy and reminds you of home. What girl doesn't like cupcakes? Seemed like a good combo to me."

She looked up at him through her eyelashes before leaning over to peck his cheek, "Thanks, Rick."

"Anytime." He managed before swallowing hard and turning to hit play on the portable DVD player.

Three episodes later and the food had disappeared. They were laying with their backs against the couch and the player resting on his left thigh and her right. Her head rested on his shoulder and his cheek brushed the crown of her head with his arm wrapped around her shoulders. She was well aware of the fact that he had spent more of the last few hours looking at her than the screen.

The credits for the last episode of the first season rolled and Beckett moved to stretch. She turned to look at him after popping her back, "Castle... Rick?"


Her teeth sunk into her lower lip as she dared to look into his eyes, "Are you gonna kiss me or not?"

"You... I..." He stumbled.

"Are you gonna kiss me or not?" She repeated with a giggle.

The noise was his undoing as his hand slipped under her hair to cup the back of her head, pulling her closer as the tip of his tongue slipped out to dampen his lips. She raised an eyebrow at his snail speed but the silent sarcasm was cut short as their lips met. It was a soft as their first and as passionate as their second but far less inhibited than either as they became tangled with each other. Her fingers played with the fuzz at the nape of his neck as he pulled the hair tie from her mess of curls. The kiss moved from slow and languid to passionate and furious before going back again.

The kisses blurred together into a heated make out session that didn't end until he was trailing his lips across her collarbone and down her chest and she had his shirt halfway off as they brought down one of the blankets on themselves. They parted with heaving chests as laughter filled the air. He rolled off her and moved to fix the fallen blanket before returning to her side.

"Hey," She nudged his knee with her own.

He nudged her back, "Hey yourself."

"I got tired of waiting," She answered the unasked question, "I decided it was time one of us do something about it."

"I do like me a take charge kind of woman," He said and they both laughed as he pulled her into his lap, "you never fail to amaze me, KB."

"Someone's gotta," She shrugged and leaned against him, "it's such a hard job."

He pressed kisses from the crook of her neck up to her ear before whispering against the soft skin, "Thank you for being born."

"Thank you for remembering my birthday," She smiled as their fingers laced together and she snuggled against him, "Now what?"

"I got a question for you."

"What's that?"

He, very seriously, turned her to look at him, "Are you gonna kiss me or not?"

Her sharp laugh was silenced as they fell into one another again.