Disclaimer: Oh hey, I don't own Castle. I just own Mr. and Mrs. Fitic, but I couldn't even come up with a good name for them on my own. Do you see what I did there?
Or Hamlet, which is where the title came from (:
April27edit - A very special thanks to SydiaCZ for pointing out all of my errors regarding Czech culture and language (:
Now... READ ON.
Rick had been writing notes on his iPhone when he heard the sigh of accomplishment that escaped through his favorite detective's lips. It had been a particularly hard case and Rick knew that Kate would be ecstatic to finally have it closed. He had done his part; offering possible theories, asking the right questions, and providing her with an endless supply of coffee which he knew Kate was grateful for.
Besides that, Rick knew that she and Josh had broken up, and from what he had overheard of that conversation, it had not been amicable. So he did what he could to help in that situation, too; not asking too many questions, keeping up their usual banter, and surprising her by sending "anonymous" flowers to her apartment.
Kate knew that Rick had no idea how grateful she was.
But she wanted to show him, and she had an idea of how to do that.
When Kate closed the case file, he had expected her to shut off her computer, grab her bag from its designated spot under her desk, stand up and give him a small smile, say goodbye, and walk out the doors towards the elevator, like she did after every case.
"Do you have any plans for the rest of the day?" She asked him.
"Nothing as of now," he said, slightly shocked. "Why?"
She looked kind of shy as he met her gaze. "I was wondering if you wanted to go somewhere with me… There's someplace I want to show you."
"I'd love to." He responded, once he could comprehend what she had just said to him.
But any thought process ended when he saw her beautiful smile spread over her face.
"Great," she said, standing up, "let's go."
They had been walking for a little over a half an hour when Kate suddenly grabbed Rick's hand and started pulling him along the sidewalk a little faster, weaving through the crowds of people with a smile on her face. Rick was enchanted. He had never seen her look so happy and… free. He couldn't help but think that this was probably what she had been like before her mother had been murdered.
He also decided in that moment that he would do anything he could to see her like that more often.
Before he could make any other decisions, however, Kate had pulled him in front of a store and was standing in front of him with a smile on her face. Rick took a look at the store he was standing in front of and couldn't help the slightly puzzled look that found its way onto his features.
She had brought him to a bookstore.
When he looked back at her, she laughed at the look on his face, and he was once again entranced by the sound of her laugh. She winked at him (she winked? She winked!), grabbed his hand yet again and pulled him into the bookstore.
Kate was still holding his hands as she worked her way over to the front desk. The store was completely empty give or take a few lonely customers who were looking through the bookshelves. The store itself was not very big but it was filled with books. As Kate was pulling him along, he recognized some of the book titles along with author's names, and he smiled as he saw his own name among the shelves. He noticed there were a few comfy-looking armchairs placed sporadically around the store so customers could sit down and read.
When she got to the front counter, she frowned a little when she didn't see what she was so obviously looking for.
She leaned over the counter a little bit, "Mr. Fitic? Mrs. Fitic? Are you here?"
Rick heard a noise that resembled the sound of something dropping and he saw a graying woman come out from the door behind the counter.
"Katie?" She said, adjusting her glasses, "Katie Beckett?" Kate smiled. "Ach! krásnádívka!" She grabbed Kate's face between her hands and gave her a loud, smacking kiss on the forehead. "Let me go get Mr. Fitic! Libor!" And with that she hustled back out through the door behind the counter.
Rick looked over at Kate, amusement clear in his eyes. She gave him a slight laugh and Rick could have sworn she was blushing. He opened her mouth the say something to her, when he heard what he assumed was the voice of Mr. Fitic.
"Eh, Katie!" He came over and put his hands on Kate's cheeks and placed a loud kiss on each of her now rosy cheeks. "How are you, my girl?"
"I'm doing well," she answered happily, "I'm sorry it's taken me so long to get back."
"Nonsense, my dear," Mrs. Fitic said with a smile, "you know you're always welcome."
Rick watched the exchange silently until Kate realized she was still holding his hand.
"Oh, Rick! I'm sorry," she said, "I'm being rude. Mr. and Mrs. Fitic, this is Rick Castle. Rick, this is Mrs. Ana and Mr. Libor Fitic."
Rick let go of Kate's hand and reached out to shake their hands but Libor pulled him into a familiar hug. He grabbed his shoulders when he finally released him, "Nice to meet you, Rick. Any friend of Katie's is a friend of ours."
"It's a pleasure to meet you, sir."
"Ah, none of that 'sir' business. My father was 'Sir.' If you insist on formalities, call me Mr. Fitic like Katie. I've been trying to get that krásná Katie to call me Libor since she was knee high." He gave Kate a pointed look, and whispered mischievously, "One time, when she was little, Katie…"
Kate grabbed Rick's hand and pulled Rick back to her side, "Mr. Fitic!" She laughed, "I actually was going to show him the…"
"Oh, of course!" Mrs. Fitic exclaimed, "Go, go on milenci."
Kate blushed again and started pulling Rick along towards a room in the back.
"Why are you blushing?" He asked her, truly curious. He hadn't understood a word of anything they had said.
"Mr. and Mrs. Fitic are Czech; Bohemian to be more specific. Their families brought them over to the United States when they were babies at the start of World War II after Hitler started moving South. The got married when they were 18 and built this bookstore."
"Really? That's interesting… but it doesn't explain why you're blushing."
She gave him a little shove as they were walking but didn't get very far because he was still holding her hand. Thankfully, she had finally arrived at the reason they were here. She moved through the archway and pulled Castle up the hidden staircase.
Castle thought he was just looking at another level of the bookstore. There seemed to be just as many books as downstairs, except many of these looked like secondhand copies.
"The Fitic's call this 'The Room of Lost Friends,'" she said suddenly.
She pulled him closer to one of the shelves. "Mr. and Mrs. Fitic have a passion for words. They love books and literature, but what they really love are the words on the pages. They love the way they fit together, and how they can mean so many different things." She looked at him, his eyes full of understanding. "Every single one of these books," she continued, "has a handwritten dedication in them. Nothing signed by anyone famous, like yourself," she nudged him playfully, "but just books given to people by friends or relatives. The kind of books that you one day realize you had accidentally sold at a garage sale or left on the subway and you realize you want back. Mr. and Mrs. Fitic wanted to create a place where you could find them again."
Rick picked up a few of the books that were stacked on the side of the shelf and looked at the inside pages. Sure enough, every book had a dedication written in it. He looked at Kate.
"The first time my mom brought me here was when I was 3. I had left my blanket at the park, and when we had gone back to look for it, it wasn't there. I had been so upset, she brought me here to show me that there's always the possibility for what's lost to be found." Kate smiled at him. "I never found my blanket, but we kept coming back here. My mom had met Mr. and Mrs. Fitic when she was still in college, and they had gotten really close."
"Why are you telling me this?" Rick asked softly, hoping that he wouldn't ruin what was currently happening. Kate Beckett was sharing personal parts of her past. He didn't want her to close up again, but he needed to know.
She kept on talking. She dropped his hand and started wandering through the shelves. He followed her, walking on the opposite side of the shelf.
"Since she died," she mused. "I've found myself coming here more and more often. I think…" she paused for a moment. When she continued, her voice was a little softer, "I think I keep looking for her in the words. She said that what's lost can always be found, but I still haven't found her yet."
Rick remained silent.
"You know," she said, "I bought your first book here."
"You did?" he said, slightly surprised.
"Mhm…" she said, "Well actually, Mrs. Fitic gave it to me. I was walking downstairs a little while after my mom died and Mrs. Fitic recommended it to me. I read the entire thing sitting in one of those armchairs downstairs. I went to pay for it, handed Mrs. Fitic the money for it, and she went in the back claiming she needed to get more bags because Mr. Fitic had forgotten to put the new bags out in the front like she told him to. When I got home, I opened up the cover to see that she had taped my money to the front cover and wrote 'You may not realize it, but you were smiling as you read this. She would miss your smile.' The money's still taped to the inside of it. I read the book again that night before I went to sleep."
They had reached the end of the shelf and she peered around it. Rick mirrored her. She smiled at him.
"Your books helped get me through my mother's death."
When she looked at him, she could've sworn she saw a slight sheen in his eyes.
She kept on talking. "Rick, you help me get through a lot of things. You get me through mornings, and cases, and break-ups and I don't tell you enough how grateful I am for you."
"Kate…" he whispered, his hand moving slowly to cup her cheek. She leaned into his touch.
"My mother used to always tell me how powerful words are. That words can break people, but they can also heal people. She said the words worth saying don't come easily, but part of what makes them worth it is overcoming the fear it takes to say them."
"Kate…" he said again.
"Rick…" she whispered back, her eyes glancing down at his lips before slowly coming back up to meet his gaze, "I think I've fallen in love with you."
"Kate…" he said again, leaning his forehead against hers. He whispered against her lips, "I've loved you for so long."
She closed the remaining distance between their lips. Their kiss was short, but tender. She pulled away.
"She called us lovers," She whispered against his lips.
"What?" he asked, still somewhat breathless.
"Downstairs you asked why I was blushing. Mrs. Fitic called us lovers."
Rick smiled at Kate, "Is that what we are?"
Kate pushed him away with a smile on her face and walked quickly away from him. "I don't know, Rick. Do you think you can handle me?"
He followed after her and grabbed her waist. He pulled Kate into his chest and wrapped his arms around her waist.
Wow, I really don't like how this turned out. But I need to give you all something. I think I'm just going to stick with my drama/romance/comfort thing from now on, lol.
For the record, krásná means beautiful,dívka means girl, and milenci meanslovers in Czech (at least acording to google translator).
Regardless, let me know what you think.