This is just a little bit of Caskett I thought of, set maybe mid-season four, or somewhere around there. I hope you like it, and reviews are greatly appreciated!
Disclaimer – I don't own Castle, I'm just borrowing the characters for a little while. :P
To KB, for never failing to be extraordinary – you have my gratitude, and my heart. Always.
She stared down at the dedication, and the words stared back up at her. Kate had lost count of how many times she had read them, the italic letters burning themselves into her irises, but still, they didn't change. They remained the same; every time she read it, the dedication said the same thing, and her heart beat faster in her chest. This time, things had been different. Unlike with Heat Wave and Naked Heat, Castle hadn't allowed her to see the finished print copy of Heat Rises before the launch party. He had given her the manuscript to read, as she always insisted he should, but he had been adamant this time around that she wasn't to see the dedication, the acknowledgements, or even the finished artwork. It was a surprise he said, his birthday present to her. And looking around, Kate had to hand it to him; he had definitely pulled out all the stops.
Using his close connections, extensive bank account and over-active imagination, Castle had managed to organise a combined launch party for Heat Rises, and birthday party for Kate. The rooms were buzzing with celebrities, friends, agents, publishers, press and colleagues and she had only just managed to slip away from the never ceasing surge of well-wishers and Nikki Heat fans to take a look at the finished product of Heat Rises. And that was how Kate Beckett had come to find herself, holding Castle's latest book tightly in her hands, staring down with wide eyes at the dedication that he had fought so hard to stop her from seeing before now.
She felt like her heart was beating ten to the dozen, threatening to escape the confines of her body as her breathing hitched, and she saw, in her peripheral vision, that he was making his way over to her, an excited, expectant and beaming smile spread across his face.
He reached her quicker than she thought he would, and she was still staring, transfixed at the curved words on the page when she heard a voice murmur into her ear.
"What do you think?"
It took Kate a few moments to gather enough sense and breath to speak, but even when she did, she didn't dare turn around to see the look on his face or meet his gaze. For once in her life, Kate Beckett was afraid. Afraid of the next few minutes, afraid of the words on the pages of the book she held in her hands...Afraid of the feelings she was barely daring to have for the man stood behind her.
Before she could get any further, she felt a gentle hand rest on her waist from behind, and Castle reached his other hand round to prise the book from in between her fingers. He set it gently down on the table of books and moved to stand closer to her, his chest just brushing against the bare skin of her back that the deep red dress exposed. "Tell me honestly, Kate," he said, and his voice was no more than a husky whisper, laden with emotion and expectations. She was sure she had never heard him be so serious about anything in the whole time she had known him. The effect that his close presence was having on her body and the impact of his warm breath on her neck was indescribable; goose-bumps had risen on her arms, her breathing hitching and catching in her throat as she felt a tug of something in the pit of her stomach, a strong feeling of desire that was urging her to turn around and look him in the eye.
Taking a deep breath, and doing nothing to put any distance between them, Kate slowly turned around, and Castle kept one hand resting lightly on her waist. In that moment, when their eyes met, it was as though the whole room faded around them – it melted into the background, the noise of chatter and celebration fading until all they could focus on was each other. Puzzled, molten hazel collided with sincere, ice blue, and from Kate there came a quiet, sharp intake of breath. "Why, Castle?" she asked, her voice barely making it above a serious whisper. "Why not just tell me?"
Castle swallowed, his bottom lip disappearing into his mouth for a second before he met her gaze again and said softly, "I did, that day at Montgomery's funeral...I told you just after you got shot, when I thought I was going to lose you..." He swallowed again, and Kate's eyes widened. "When you woke up, you couldn't remember..." A small smile found its way onto his face. "So I figured next time I told you, it better be in some sort of permanent form, so you wouldn't ever forget again." The small smile morphed into the signature Castle grin as he gave a small shrug of his shoulders. "I figured having it printed in millions of books worldwide would about do the trick."
Despite the gravity of the whole thing not settling in yet, Kate let out a quiet, automatic laugh at just how typically Castle he was being. "You never like to do things by halves, do you, Castle?" she asked with a smile on her face and in her eyes.
Feeling a surge of almost overwhelming relief at the fact that she hadn't so far rejected him or run away, Castle grinned and shrugged again. "So you're not going to shoot me then?"
There was a pause, in which the smile on Kate's face faded slightly, but then returned, along with a look of decision in her eyes. "No, Castle," she said, "I'm not going to shoot you." She stepped closer to him then, and this time it was his turn to look questioningly at her. The smile on her face widened slightly, and it was a smile he recognised – it was the same coy, almost secretive smile she had given him the day she had refused his offer of dinner and de-briefing each other... The smile she had worn when she had whispered those words into his ear, the words that had had him hooked on her for the last three years.
And just like that day all those years ago, she leant closer to him, her lips lingering close to his ear, breath ghosting over his skin and this time, she murmured, "Your place or mine?" She pulled back slightly, her eyes dancing and the almost smug, suggestive smile still on her face. And then, as if Castle wasn't already fighting hard enough to not kiss her right there and then, she added in a seductive whisper, "My safe word is cherries."
With a wide grin spreading across his face, Castle slipped the hand that was resting at her waist around the base of her back to pull her closer and there was a moment – just a brief moment of hesitation, before their lips met and each lost themselves in the other. The kiss was gentle, loving and sensual with an underlying passion that was just simmering, boiling hot, beneath the surface as their tongues intertwined and lips moulded together, as though made to fit each other.
And on the other side of the room, Kyra Blaine looked up from the dedication in her ex-boyfriend's latest book to see the couple kissing, and Castle holding her as though she was the most precious thing in the entire world to him. She smiled, closed the copy of Heat Rises and turned to exchange glances with her husband. Looking back at the two of them, she smiled again and wished them every happiness in the world. She was glad that Richard Castle had finally found the right KB at last, and this time, she hoped, he wouldn't let her get away.
Added that last paragraph as an afterthought, I hope it fitted the rest of it! Thank you very much for reading, and did you know...Every time you review a fanfiction story, your life extends by a year? :P