A/N: I'm sure, just because of the fandom, this would probably actually get reviews if it weren't like, 600 words long. Ah well. What most people would call a 'drabble', just a little thought that was brewing in my head that I was only going to write a 100 word drabble on until I realized that I'm the only one that actually likes them. So I let the idea expand a little. Based vaguely on something that an 'efie214' wrote as part of the 1sentence community on lj (I don't actually have an lj, I just like to look for inspiration there) that my mind just wanted to run with. Since I've never really read a whole lot in the fandom, this has probably been done a zillion times before.

Also, I don't know why I wrote this in present tense. I've never done that before. It just felt right. I apologize for any inconsistencies. Quick and un-betaed. Oh, and the coffee girl is based on no one in particular.

Disclaimer: I don't know exactly who writes Castle, but it's not me. In fact, it's not likely I'll ever write Castle fanfiction again; while I love the show, I don't think I have the writing style necessary to pull it off. But I suppose my inspiration has been doing strange things; who knows?


"Every time I see you," the round-faced, dark-skinned midget of a barista begins by way of greeting as she goes to make the familiar blends, not even asking what he wants, "you come in here and order two coffees. The same two. I know you don't drink both of them-no one in their right mind would ever let such a kid have that much caffeine-so who's the other one for?"

He's only just barely settled himself at the counter when she finishes her speech, looking at him expectantly, and he thinks that his earlier inklings were right, even if he's never talked to the girl much. She's a lot like Lanie. Younger, definitely, and probably even nosier, if the blasé intrusion into a practical stranger's private life is any indication, but with the same air of 'we don't take your nonsense here.' He could just refuse to answer, and it's a fact he knows well, but he never was one to outright deny to answer a question. If anything, he'll take it with a smile and a witty retort so obvious that, if he's lucky, they won't ask again.

"I work with someone. She does all the hard work for me, really, and pretty much just lets me along for the ride. I figure it's worth spending a few dollars on coffee everyday to stay in her good graces."

"And you're sure," the inquisitive girl continues, setting the first of two finished coffees on the counter, "that there isn't any other reason you want to stay in her 'good graces'?"

"You've never even seen me with her. Heck, you've probably never even seen her. I know for a fact that I've never even mentioned her name to you before. What makes you think that she's anything but a coffee-starved coworker?"

"Because I see the look in your eye when you come in and ask for two coffees."

"I'm a mystery writer who gets to work murder cases, and only the weird ones. That's enough to make me a kid in a candy store!" His words are probably a bit too loud, because he can see, out of his peripheral vision, the heads of sleep-addled nine-to-fivers turning a little to either glare or leer at him.

Apparently, he's made enough of his point, because with the inconspicuous black sharpie that rests forever beside the coffee maker, she emblazons 'Castle' on the side of the coffee in her hand. He takes it from her and moves to grab Kate's coffee as well, but the snaky, somewhat bored barista snatches it away before he can get his hand around it. A smug smirk on her face, she carefully writes something on the coffee cup before handing it to him, letters intentionally facing away from him. He quickly turns it around to read, not amused.

"Mystery girl? Is this your idea of a joke, Castle?" Kate raises one eyebrow at him when she finally notices the unexpected addition.

"No, you can give the credit for that lovely piece of craftsmanship to my friendly neighborhood Starbucks." He smiles with the delivery, trying to cover up his irritation. Beckett doesn't have to know the full story behind the two words sharpied onto the side of her cup.

Mostly, though, he's confused. If it's apparently so obvious that even a stranger can figure it out without having so much as seen the pair together, then why has Beckett never said anything?