A/N: After I posted the last chapter on Monday, pat19btvs got back to me with an idea for that last scene in the elevator. That idea was so good, in my opinion, that it was really nonsense to let it go to waste. So I wrote the scene. It's a continuation of the last moments of the story; an extra-ending of sorts, for all of you wonderful readers and reviewers :-). I hope it's not too confusing; I included a bit of dialogue that you've already read, for continuity's sake. I hope you'll enjoy it. Thank you for reading, for being a part of this story.
Disclaimer: Castle still isn't mine. Darn.
"You ready for this, Rick?" Kate asked, half-teasing, half-serious.
"With you by my side? I'm ready for anything. Ah. That may have sounded cornier than it did in my head," he winced.
Beckett stepped into the elevator, and turned back to him. Their eyes met in one of those silent exchanges that Lanie called "eye-sex"; and Kate found herself smiling before she even realized it. Lost in the exchange somewhat, she also didn't realize she had been holding the button to keep the doors open for non-existent people who weren't following them on.
"As long as it's only this once, I might be able to let it go," she answered at length, letting go of the button.
"How very generous of you," he shot back without missing a beat.
"What can I say? I'm a very generous person."
He grinned at her, moving imperceptibly to get closer while the doors closed.
"Castle," she warned. Maybe they were alone in the elevator, but this was still the precinct. Her earlier stunt with Ryan and Esposito was not exactly representative of her comfort zone.
He settled at an almost acceptable distance, but after a second she felt his hand tugging at hers. Shaking her head, Kate let him grab and hold her pinky for a moment, before quickly pulling away when his phone began to ring.
She didn't need to look at Castle to know he was grinning as he went to answer it.
Maybe she was grinning a little, too.
It was a ringtone Kate wasn't familiar with, she noted distractedly. Castle picked up, saying "Hello?" in his usual, cheerful way; but then he replied to whoever it was, in a more subdued voice, "Oh, hi."
Beckett immediately picked up on his sounding... intimidated – yes, that was the word – and it piqued her curiosity, making her lean in and try to get an idea of who was on the other end of the line. But the writer was no fool; he could see through her tricks, and with a small, annoying smile, he waved his finger 'no' at her, retreating to the back of the car as the doors closed.
"Uh-uh," he said to his mysterious caller, and Kate narrowed her eyes at him, because it was obvious that he was just trying to piss her off by not telling her. "No, no, you're not disturbing me at all," Rick added, and in a swifter move than his partner expected of him, he caught Kate's wrist, stopping the hand that was going for his ear.
"Apples," he mouthed at her, his blue eyes holding a strange concoction of pleading and amusement.
"You can't say apples if I'm not touching you," Beckett replied stubbornly, and she tried the other side, sliding her graceful form between the author and the wall.
"I can say apples if I know you're trying to hurt me," he hissed, and then said on the phone, "No, no, she's fine. A bit busy at the moment."
Castle glanced at her for the briefest of seconds, and Kate was perplexed. Was he talking about her? But then, who the hell was it? She knew the ringtones associated to Martha, Alexis, even Gina - it wasn't any of those.
"My ears are off limits," he murmured to her, his hand letting go of her wrist to cover the receiver. The detective glared at him; but after a moment a sly smile stretched her lips. His ears were off limits? Then the rest of him was fair game, she supposed.
She was already standing pretty close to him; it didn't take much effort at all to infiltrate a nimble hand under his jacket, under his shirt… Castle jumped, stopped in the middle of a sentence, and gave her a look that was half-reproving, half-turned on.
"Your hand is cold," he whispered with a pout, and it was all Kate could do not to laugh. That was his objection? Her hand was cold? "I'm sorry," he told the person on the end of the line, and Beckett drew closer, pinning him to a corner of the elevator. "I, uh, might have to call you back," Rick added hurriedly as his partner pressed herself against him in a way that left him with absolutely no ability to focus. "Yes, that's right," he added, biting back a growl when Kate trailed her mouth along his neck (unlike the hand, it was hot. And moist, too). She inched even closer and delicately pulled his earlobe in between her teeth.
Oh, God. "Yeah, I'll call back later. Goodbye," the writer managed to get out in a surprisingly steady voice, and he hung up with a sigh that was part relief, part delight.
"Who was it?" Beckett whispered in his ear, her voice throaty with hints of threat, all kinds of irresistible.
"Ah, that was, uh, it was…" Jeez, her breathing on his neck made it impossible to get a complete sentence out. Well, it made it impossible to even form a sentence in his head.
Kate must have realized it, because she pulled back a little, her eyebrows up. "Castle?"
Yep, her tone was threatening alright. But her face was also beautifully flushed, her eyes bright even in the poor lighting of the elevator, and boy, he had the hardest time remembering he was not supposed to lunge at her, because it was the precinct and she had this stupid rule about PDAs… In an attempt to distract himself, Rick looked away; his eyes fell on the floor buttons.
"Kate, did you…?"
It was good thinking, but it came too late; the doors opened again in a smooth glide. Onto the Homicide floor. Neither of them had thought to push the button.
Beckett heard the sound, realized what it meant in a split second, and yanked herself from the writer. She made a spin turn, found half the Homicide department staring at her, and wordlessly hit the damn button. Never before had the elevator doors seemed to take such a long time to drift shut.
She didn't turn. She didn't look at him. This had to be the most humiliating moment of her life. Worse than that time in eleventh grade when she and Maddy had been supposed to play a scene between Desdemona and Emilia, and she had been utterly unable to remember a single line. Well, maybe not worse. But close.
After a couple seconds, Rick said – and, damn him, she could hear the smile in his voice – "Your grandmother says hi."
What the –
Kate turned to him, excruciatingly slow. He had some difficulty keeping his smirk on after that, and she watched him swallow nervously. As well he should, some fierce, dangerous part of her thought with satisfaction.
"Guess whose funeral we're going to next?" she asked, her voice unbelievably sweet and in direct contradiction with her words.
"Shotgun!" Castle called before he had even realized what she meant.
Beckett deliberately let a smile blossom on her lips. "Oh, you'll already have the back all to yourself."
Understanding finally sunk into him, and the writer frowned. Except Kate could see the little light at the back of his eyes that spoke of how much he really enjoyed her comebacks.
They got to the garage at last, and the detective walked out saying, "In about fifty or sixty years. If you're lucky."
Rick caught up with her, as always, and he favored her with his most beautiful smile.
"Already am," he said.
She was on the verge of commenting on his sappiness when something – the sincerity in the blue orbs staring at her, perhaps, or the childish joy he radiated at the moment – stopped her in her tracks. Instead, Kate turned her face fully to him and gave him the cute half-smile that she knew he loved.
"Yeah?" she answered lightly. "Guess that makes two of us."