A/N: Pandora Challenge- Pick a ship, character, dynamic, etc. For every song that comes on, write a drabble based on the song in the space of time it takes the song to play. Ten times.
"Crazy For You" – Adele
"Ghost pirates?" said Beckett in disbelief, staring at Castle over the tip of her Expo marker.
"Ghost pirates in cahoots with a non-ghost, non-pirate gang," he corrected. She rolled her eyes and resisted the urge to poke her marker through his eyes.
"You're crazy," she said. "Like, rubber room, River Tam crazy."
"Might be," he sighed, leaning against the murder board, eyes on her.
"You Are What You Love" – Jenny Lewis with the Watson Twins
Castle reflected on the number of traits he'd appeared to pick up since he'd first met Kate Beckett. He answered the phone with his last name. He knew how to roll around a corner without exposing himself to being shot. He was nearly a cop.
"Piano Song" – Meiko
Kate, as a rule, tended to shy away from ever thinking about Castle in anything other than a professional light, and she was increasingly becoming aware that it was ruining her relationship with him, friendship or otherwise. She called him her colleague, and hated herself for using that word- it was such a lie. And yet, what about how she felt about Castle wasn't a lie? A lie made the best mask.
"City" – Sara Bareilles
Kate Beckett rarely considered New York City a beautiful place, not now that she lived with its dark underbelly every day. The bright city lights didn't brighten the place, they created more shadows. Shadows where anyone could hide- killers, muggers, drug dealers.
It was for precisely this reason that deep down she thought she'd never fall in love in New York City- she expected to meet the love of her life while she was traveling, or visiting some other place. Somehow, though, he'd shown up on the underbelly, and he went back every day. With her.
She didn't trust the city. But maybe she'd found someone to help her get through it.
"Sort Of" – Ingrid Michaelson
Every day- every normal day – Castle enjoyed the company of his partner without worrying about his feelings for her, without fretting about if or when or how he would find the words to tell her how he felt. But then, when the not normal days rolled around, when her life was in danger, when she was lying on the ground, bleeding, or sitting on her couch, crying, all that worrying didn't matter. She just had to know.
And yet, all she wanted to do when those not normal days came was shove him away. All he wanted to do was keep her in his arms forever.
"Free to Stay" – Smoosh
Beckett tried to keep Castle away from her apartment. She made up reasons why he couldn't come over- the place was a mess, she had laundry to do, it was being renovated. She almost didn't give him her new address. And it wasn't because she didn't want him there, and it wasn't because the last time he'd visited her apartment it had blown up not long after.
It was because she was afraid that, if he was there, she'd never want him to leave.
"How Lucky We Are" – Meiko
The explosion didn't matter. Dick Coonan didn't matter. Hal Lockwood didn't matter. Kate didn't feel unlucky, she didn't feel like the world was coming down on her. Even when she was lying bleeding on the ground, possibly dying, Castle was there. He was always there, with her. As long as they were together, against the universe, she felt lucky to have found someone to stand with her. Everything would clear up. For now, they were together. It was enough.
"Daydreamer" – Adele
Castle was a writer- as a rule, they tended to be inventive, imaginative. He created worlds inside his mind, people like Nikki Heat and Derrick Storm. He made up conversations spurring from what-if situations. Of course, there were some conversations that he wanted to come true. Things he wanted to have the courage to say out loud, things he wanted Beckett to respond with.
He poured it into Nikki and Rook out of cowardice and went back to daydreaming.
"Such Great Heights" – The Postal Service
It could have been anyone that pulled Castle over at his book party, it could have been anyone that found Alison Tisdale's body. It could have been one of numerous cops on whom he chose to base a novel.
It was Kate Beckett, though. It was a fan of his books, it was a mystery no one but he would ever be able to unravel. Fate brought them together, he was sure of it, and that was one of the factors that kept pulling him back to her.
He respected the Universe.
"Navy Taxi" – Kate Nash
It was depressing when, halfway through Naked Heat, Castle realized that he'd failed in writing Nikki Heat. She wasn't even kind of close to Kate. She wasn't as deep, as tenacious, as smart, as extraordinary. Nikki Heat was a good cop. Beckett was… Beckett. He could never write her into a character, and he realized that it was exactly what she'd wanted. She'd kept telling him that she didn't want him to base his books off of her. She'd been wrong, though- it wasn't something that she could dislike. It was impossible. He couldn't capture Kate, couldn't throw some of her characteristics together and call it a character.
He sighed and stared at his laptop screen, wondering if he wanted to smash it in. No, he decided, what he wanted was for Kate to be free. And yet, at the same time, he wanted her.