"Oh come on, please Beckett?"
"It'll be fun!"
The boys in the precinct looked on in amusement and confusion as they watched their partners arguing. Castle and Beckett had been having this argument at least twice a day for the past week. They still had no idea what it was about. Castle would just get that look in his eyes, and before he could even speak up, Beckett would cut him off and vehemently tell him no.
"What do I have to do to get you to stop?"
"Just do this!"
"Castle! I can't!"
"Why not? They can schedule it for a day you're off work! It'll be so much fun!"
"Castle, it's so embarrassing."
"How? It'll be fine. I'll be there with you…"
Kate mumbled something that sounded like, "That's precisely the problem."
Ryan and Esposito had long since returned their attention to their paperwork and Kate felt her resolve wearing thin. This whole thing could be fun, right? She'd done one before, so it wasn't like it was completely new territory. But it would be the first time you'd done it with Rick, her mind reminded her, and everyone else there has much more experience than you do. She'd embarrass herself.
Rick could see her resolve wearing thin. So he jumped on the opportunity. Leaning in close to her and lowering his voice, he spoke to her gently.
"Kate, you have nothing to be worried about. You'll be great. It's one afternoon of your life, and they really want us there. I'll be there with you, and I promise you that if you start feeling uncomfortable, we can leave."
He saw her sigh, and knew he had her.
"Fine. Call them."
Rick Castle: 1, Kate Beckett: 0.
The day had finally arrived that Kate had been dreading and Rick had been waiting for impatiently. Being famous, he was used to this kind thing, but even this was an extraordinary opportunity.
When the editor in chief at Vanity Fair magazine had contacted his publisher, he hadn't exactly been surprised. After all, he had another Nikki Heat book being released in a few months and the filming for his first novel-gone-movie had just ended, he expected magazines and television stations would want interviews. Maybe even the occasional appearance or photo shoot. However, when Paula told him that that they wanted him to do a photo shoot with the actor playing Rook in the movie, Natalie Rhodes, and Kate to show the fictional characters with their real life inspirations, he was blown away. He thought it was brilliant. He had instantly told Paula that they would do it, and she laughed and said he better talk to Beckett before he went around making decisions without her.
Castle told Paula that he was sure Kate would love to do it.
He was wrong.
The week it spent taking to convince her to do it had finally paid off however as the two of them stood standing next to each other on the set of the photo shoot. They had just met their photographer and were about to become reacquainted with Natalie Rhodes and her co-star. Castle had been invited to the set while they had been filming and had taken Beckett along because… well, pretty much just because he wanted her there.
Castle was incredibly excited about this whole experience, but his pride in getting Beckett to come waived a bit as he snuck a glance at her.
For the first time since he has known her, Beckett looked uncomfortable. He had seen her with a gun pointed her, seen her stare down serial killers and deal with the inappropriate comments and innuendo coming from the dirtbags without batting an eyelash, but standing here, surrounded by cameras and people wanting to grab her take her away to transform her into another person, Kate looked absolutely terrified. Hoping to somehow rectify the situation, Rick moved his hand and gently grasped her fingers.
"We can leave anytime you want. Honestly. I will gladly do anything they want me to do to make up for this if you want to go. Just tell me and I'll make it happen."
She looked up at him and he could see the nerves in her beautiful eyes. He wondered what she had to be nervous about. She was easily the most beautiful woman in the room, and he knew that all the pictures she took today were going to look absolutely flawless.
Kate knew that letting her anxiousness show was unlike her, but then again, this type of situation had always had made her uncomfortable. She was getting that same feeling she always got in her stomach when Castle through around his fame and wealth; the feeling of inadequacy, the feeling that she didn't belong there. She was just a normal person with a job that didn't pay her nearly enough and a past that she wanted to keep hidden who just so happened to catch the eye of a famous mystery novelist. Despite all his assertions to the contrary, she knew she wasn't anything extraordinary.
She had been so close to turning around and bolting from the studio when Castle had taken her hand and told her that if she wanted to, they could leave. He didn't sound disappointed, he simply sounded concerned, and that was almost enough to calm her nerves completely. He knew how she was feeling – he could see it in her eyes. He'd always be in her corner, backing her up. Kate felt this overwhelming urge to do this, for him. He had been so incredibly excited from the moment he had finally gotten her to say yes. He wanted to be here, and she was selfishly trying to escape.
So Kate gently squeezed his fingers back, looked up at him, and gave him a small smile. She'd do this, for him.
Two hours later, Rick was talking to his fictional counterpart in front of the photographer, waiting for the ladies to finish up in hair and make-up. They were wearing identical black suits, the only difference being the color of their ties. The entire shoot was to be a collection of mirror images; the actors being paired together, wearing red, and he and Kate posing together, wearing blue.
When he heard heels clicking across the floor, he looked up to see Natalie walking towards him with a sultry gait. But, that was nothing compared to the woman who walked in right behind her.
Rick couldn't be sure, but he would bet money that his heart stopped beating when he looked at Kate. He was positive that his jaw dropped. Her hair was curled and left down, framing her lovely face. On her face was a light coating of make-up, for which Rick was grateful for. She didn't need it anyway. His eyes traveled lower and his breath caught in his throat as he looked at her dress; strapless, tight-fitted, and sinfully short – it fit her perfectly. He nearly groaned when he looked at her legs, they looked a mile long in the black stilettos the wardrobe people had put her in. However, what had truly got his attention was the fake gun she had attached to her thigh.
He was still staring when she finally stopped walking and stood in front of her. Natalie, standing next to her co-star, cleared her throat, and Castle snapped out of it. He quickly closed the distance between Kate and himself and grabbed her hand. He slowly spun her around, trying to imprint the picture of her in his mind for future reference. He was actually surprised that she had let him. When he finished the rotation, Kate dropped her eyes to the ground and he thought he saw a slight blush coloring her cheeks.
She was self-conscious. And as absurd as he found it, he also found it ridiculously adorable. He put his hand under her chin and lifted her face to meet his. He made sure she was looking at him when he whispered, "You are so beautiful."
Kate gave him another small smile. He had spoken as if he were in a trance, and by the look in his eyes, she knew he meant it. He always knew exactly what to say.
But now was not the time to get sentimental. Now, it was time to have fun. Her smile slowly turned into a smirk and she winked at him and she thought he saw his eyes turn a shade darker. She grabbed his wrist and pulled him towards the photographer and their fictional counterparts.
Dear God, he gulped, she's going to kill me.
Oh yes, she thought, this is going to be fun.
Rick Castle: 1, Kate Beckett: beyond counting.
Two months later, the issue of Vanity Fair hit newsstands. Castle and Beckett and managed to not let anyone know why they mysteriously disappeared one afternoon, so Ryan, Esposito, and even Lanie were still completely clueless as to what they had done. All they knew was that the bickering had stopped, and Kate had been catching him staring at her legs much more than usual.
Ryan and Esposito had been sitting at their desks, Castle and Beckett went out to get everyone lunch, when they heard the elevator doors open and Esposito saw his girlfriend rushing into the bullpen with a magazine in her hand.
"Where is she?" Lanie demanded. "I'ma smack that girl for not tellin' me about this!"
Esposito stood up and put his hand on her arm. "Chica, relaje. She and Castle are out getting lunch. ¿Qué pasa?
Lanie wordlessly flipped the magazine open to the page she had marked and handed it to Esposito. Esposito's eyes went wide.
"Yo Ryan!" He called, "You gotta see this."
Inside were the pictures from the photo shoot.
The first picture they saw wasn't anything too risqué. Castle and Beckett stood back to back, with their arms crossed in front of them, standing across from the actors who were playing Rook and Nikki in the movie. They all wore matching smirks.
Then the pictures became a little more heated.
There was another that had the men standing their stone-faced with their legs spread apart, their partners pressed up against them, chest to chest, brandishing their weapons and staring intently into the camera.
The next had the two women standing side by side, hands on their hips, with Castle and the actor sitting on their heels at their feet, gazing up at them from their spot on the floor.
One picture the men laying on the ground, with Kate and Natalie straddling their hips as they perched themselves on top of them.
There was another one where the men were handcuffed to desk chairs. Natalie and Beckett stood in front of them, one leg hitched up onto the chair with their impressive stilettos resting in between their partners legs. The ladies were pulling on their partner's matching ties, desire burning in their eyes.
There was a picture of Castle and Rook standing with their backs facing each other. Natalie and Beckett were in their arms, legs wrapped around their waist. Another where they stood across a metal interrogation table, palms flat on the table, handcuffed together. But perhaps the most… intriguing photo was the close-up on their faces, particularly the one of Castle and Beckett. They stood next to each other, facing forward, but their eyes were gazing at each other. Ryan and Esposito could literally see the love and admiration in their eyes.
The trio wasn't sure how long they had spent staring at the photos in the magazine, but they snapped out of it when they heard the sound of laughter moving towards the bullpen. They looked up to see Castle and Beckett walking in with bags of food in their hands. The two were smiling and looking at each other with the same look they had in the picture.
Castle and Beckett looked away from each other long enough to look for the guys, and were surprised to see Lanie there, until they saw what they were holding. Castle and Beckett quickly glanced at each other and smiled slightly.
Beckett quickly walked forward and put the bag of food down and took the issue of Vanity Fair out of their hands and closed it. She put the magazine down on their desk and turned to walk back to her desk with Castle following closely behind. As she was walking away, she called out to them, smirking all the while.
"Yeah, Beckett?" They responded. She didn't have to look to know they were still staring at her.
"Get back to work."
Again, this was one of those things that I just had to write down to get it out of my head. I'm actually kind of embarrassed by this. I mean, who thinks of things like this? I hope I at least, semi-stayed in character. Let me know what you think!