AN: This is my first story for Castle. Reviews are appreciated.
Rick Castle slowly blinked awake. He normally wasn't the first to rise; truthfully, he was usually the last. But today was a special day. Today was one if his favorites of the whole year, and he was looking forward to the celebration.
It was still hard for him to believe how much his life had changed in such a short amount of time. It hadn't even been a year since that fateful night.
He would never forget the way he had felt when she had said that she'd wanted to sneak off to The Angelika to see Forbidden Planet.
Kate Beckett a sci-fi fan? And one of his favorite movies, too! Who would have guessed she'd have such awesome taste in films?
Before he'd had a chance to think about the consequences, the words had spilled from his mouth.
"Forbidden Planet? Is that the one with the robot?"
The look on her face had been priceless when she had asked him, "You've never seen Forbidden Planet?"
Her obvious enthusiasm had been completely irresistible and before he'd known it, the not-quite-lie had slipped off his tongue.
"I'm more of a Star Wars/Matrix guy, myself…"
It wasn't a lie, per se; he really was a Star Wars/Matrix guy. But that had been long after he'd already been a Forbidden Planet guy.
He'd tried to get out if it; told her he'd already had plans. But she'd insisted he go with her. The next thing he'd known he'd followed her to the elevator and out of the building, completely hanging on her every word as she'd very precisely, but so adorably, explained all of the reasons that he would love the film. In spite of all she had been saying, there had been only one thing on his mind.
She'd invited him on a date.
He was going on a date with Kate Beckett.
Well, not a real date, of course. She was with Josh, right?
So, a non-date. Just like the time she had invited him to the Comfort Food Truck; just like all the other non-dates they'd shared over the course of their three-year friendship.
But to him, it had been a date.
They'd sat in the darkened theater; her eyes had been fixed on the screen and his eyes had been intently, but very discreetly, fixed on her. He'd seen the movie many times, but he'd never seen it through her eyes.
He had been completely enthralled by the woman who had been snacking on Junior Mints and extra-buttered popcorn; the woman who had inspired him to create Nikki Heat; the woman who had inspired him to become a better man.
He loved everything about her. He loved her smile. He loved her eyes. He loved the way her brow would furrow when she was thinking. He loved the way she tucked the little strand of hair behind her ear. He loved working with her. He loved the way she studied the murder board. He loved bringing her coffee. He loved seeing her every day.
Hell, he just loved her.
And as painful as it had been to see her with Josh, he wasn't going to walk away like he had when she had been with Demming. He'd missed her so much when he'd been gone all summer. Once he'd returned, it had taken some time to rebuild the friendship they'd had before. He hadn't been willing to risk losing her again.
It hadn't been more than a couple of weeks since she had told him that she'd wished she had someone who would be there for her, someone who could dive into it with her. He'd hoped that someday she would see that that someone could be him.
And he had been more than willing to wait.
After the movie, they'd ended up at their favorite place. For a man who'd usually wined-and-dined the women he'd dated at fancy restaurants, Castle had found nothing more appealing than eating at Remy's, watching the woman who'd been seated across the booth from him, devour her double cheeseburger, fries and triple-chocolate shake.
It hadn't been long after that night, when he'd discovered that everything had changed. They had just wrapped another case and had been headed home for the night. He had asked her the question he'd asked more times than he'd cared to remember.
"Plans with Josh tonight?"
He'd been expecting her usual response, "No, he's on shift…" But he'd been completely blind-sided when her features softened, she lowered her gaze, and then answered.
"Josh and I aren't together anymore."
He hadn't been sure what to say. He'd wanted to take her in his arms and ask her if she was okay; tell her it would be all right; tell her that he would always be there for her; tell her that they could dive into life together.
Instead, he just smiled and asked, "Remy's?"
She smiled back. "Sure."
That had been the beginning; their first official date.
She hadn't ever told him what had happened with Josh and he had never asked. It really didn't matter to him. All that mattered had been that she was with him.
There had been many firsts for them after that: The first movie night with Alexis. Their first real kiss. The first time she'd introduced him to her father. The first time she'd invited him to spend the night at her place and the first time she'd woken up at his. The first time he'd taken her to his house in the Hamptons. The first time they'd said I love you.
And here she was, months later, in his bed, sleeping peacefully; so incredibly beautiful, safely nestled in the crook of his arm, her soft, curly chestnut locks splayed across her bare shoulders and her arm wrapped tightly around his bare chest.
Last night had been another first for them: Their first Christmas Eve together. After a wonderful dinner with Kate's father, his mother and Alexis, and then ice skating at Rockefeller Center, they'd tumbled into bed and had their own private celebration. He felt like the happiest man on the planet.
Rick gently kissed the top of her head. Then he leaned down and kissed her forehead. She stirred a bit. He placed another kiss on her temple. She let out a soft sigh. He moved down and ever-so-slowly glided his tongue around the edge of her earlobe.
He whispered softly, "Kate."
She let out a low moan. "Hmmm?"
He whispered again. "It's Christmas."
He gently shifted so her face was turned toward his. Her eyes were still closed but he could tell from the way she was breathing that she was awake. He watched as a slight smile crept over her lips. He couldn't resist. He leaned over and softly kissed her lips. She opened her mouth and they deepened the kiss.
When he pulled away and opened his eyes, hers were still closed. He watched as they slowly fluttered open.
She smiled. "Don't stop."
He smiled back. "Kate, it's Christmas, and I've been a very good boy this year. I'm sure Santa has brought me lots of presents."
She chewed her lower lip and then whispered in his ear. "There's something I want you to give me right now; and I have it on good authority that you've been a very naughty boy this year." Her warm breath tickled his ear and ignited every nerve in his body.
God, he loved her. He truly was the luckiest man on earth. He laughed as he rolled on top of her and pressed his lips into hers. He couldn't resist giving her the first gift of Christmas.
After a healthy romp, followed by a cup of freshly-brewed coffee, Rick and Kate joined Martha and Alexis around the Christmas tree to open presents.
He knew he had gone overboard, but that was to be expected. It was their first Christmas together. He'd wanted to buy her everything, and she should be proud of him for holding back.
The living room looked like a wrapping paper factory had exploded. There was one last gift, and Rick smiled as Kate handed it to him. The look on her face was positively magnificent.
He unwrapped the package and removed the lid from the box. He pulled out several DVD copies of Forbidden Planet. He'd barely had a chance to look at them before she started explaining.
"I couldn't decide which one to get you: the Two-Disc 50th Anniversary Edition, the Blu-ray version, or the Ultimate Collector's Edition, which comes with a collectible Robby the Robot figure. So I decided to get all of them."
The excitement in her smile, and the way she was rambling, reminded him of her enthusiasm the night they'd seen the movie together. Kate turned toward Martha and Alexis as she continued the story.
"I don't know if Rick told you, but I took him to see this movie last spring when it was playing at The Angelika-"
Alexis interrupted, "Oh, yes, I remember. Dad tried to get me to go with him. But since we'd already seen it a hundred times-"
Rick shot a glance toward Alexis, hoping she would stop talking. But it was too late; the words were already hanging in the air.
He looked back toward Kate. He could see the surprise and confusion in her expression.
"You knew?" she asked.
Martha, in her infinite wisdom, and obviously seeing an immediate need to leave the two of them alone, was the first to speak.
"Alexis, darling, why don't we go to the kitchen and start breakfast…"
Rick and Kate sat in silence for a few moments. She spoke first. He knew by her tone that the confusion had turned to hurt.
"You lied to me?"
He answered honestly. "Sort of…"
Before he could say anything else, she was on her feet, walking toward their bedroom. He needed to fix this. And fast. He immediately started apologizing.
"Kate…please listen to me…" He followed right behind her. "I'm sorry. I know what I did was wrong, but I got caught up in the moment. When the most beautiful woman I've ever known mentioned Forbidden Planet at The Angelika, my auto-pilot took over..."
He knew he was rambling, but he needed to tell her; needed her to know why he did it.
"I didn't really lie…I didn't tell you I hadn't ever seen the movie…I just didn't tell you I had. But I guess it made it a bigger not-quite-lie that it is one of my all-time favorite movies. I probably should have told you, I know that now. But at the time all I could think about was spending more time with you. You were with…" He didn't even want to say his name. "…someone else…and I cherished every moment I could be by your side."
They crossed the threshold to their room. She stopped before she reached the edge of the bed and he stayed back near the doorway.
"I'll never forget what you said to me in the decontamination tent after our radiation scare. Do you remember?" She didn't move. "You said you wished there was someone who would be there for you, who you could dive into it with…together. And from that moment on, I knew I would wait for you; wait until you could see that I was the one who would always be there for you."
He stopped for a moment to catch his breath.
"Kate, please say something."
She was silent for another moment, and then finally spoke softly. "Close the door."
He pushed the door closed. He could see that she was gently shaking. Oh, God, she was crying. He moved toward her.
"Please, Kate, if I had it to do all over again, I wouldn't change a thing, because that night and every night since has been amazing…I love you."
He placed his hands on her shoulders.
"Kate, please look at me."
She slowly turned around, but the look on her face was not what he was expecting. What was it?
No, a grin. She was grinning!
She began to chuckle.
"Are you laughing?" He wasn't sure what to think. "I thought you were angry."
"I was…for about two minutes. Then I heard your adorable explanation."
He smiled. "Adorable?"
She moved closer to him. "Yes…" She got up on her tip toes and whispered in his ear. "…adorable." She placed her hands on the sides of his face and pulled his lips to hers. When they broke apart she smiled and brushed his cheeks with her thumbs. "Did you really think we would be over because you lied to me so you could spend more time with me?" He shrugged his shoulders. She smiled. "I think it's sweet."
It was his turn to grasp her face and pull her lips to his.
She smiled. "Thank you." He didn't have to ask her for what, she must have been able to read the question in his expression. "…for waiting."
He smiled. She never ceased to amaze him. She was thanking him? He was just as thankful as she was that they were together; that she was in his life, in his heart, and in his bed. He answered with the one word that would tell her how much he truly loved her.
AN: Kate ate Junior Mints and extra-buttered popcorn while watching Forbidden Planet because that's what WriteRCastle tweeted after the episode. Also, all three DVD's that Kate bought for Rick are available at Amazon(dot)com.