"Ouch! Beckett, Beckett! Stop touching it!"
"Hold still, Castle. You're making it worse."
She had an iron grip on his forearm and no matter which way he wiggled it, her hold did not lessen. Her free hand was trying to inspect the knuckles of his right hand, which were badly bruised and raw.
"At least let me get all the way inside. You can look at it on the couch."
She dropped his arm unceremoniously and let him lead the way through the foyer of the loft and into the living room. He sat in the armchair and inspected his own knuckles while she watched the pain flicker across his face when he flexed his fingers.
"It's not so bad." He flexed and winced again.
"Castle, will you let me see it again? You might have broken it."
He held out his hand for her to take and she moved to sit on the arm of the chair. Taking his hand in both her own, she skimmed her fingers over the broken skin on the top before moving them down to his wrist. She squeezed lightly at the joint and watched his face for the reaction. His eyes tightened, but he didn't complain.
Drawing her fingers a little higher, she applied light pressure to the smaller bones of his wrist. Still not much of a reaction. He was either putting on a brave face for her or the wrist wasn't broken. She flattened his palm against her own and then ran the fingers of her free hand lightly to his fingertips and back down in a gentle slide.
"Does it tingle?"
His mouth was slightly open and he had a dazed look on his face.
"Yeah…Huh? Oh. Um, no. It doesn't tingle."
"Well, there isn't too much swelling or pain and you aren't experiencing any numbness. I'd say it's not probably broken."
"How do you know all that?"
"I'm a cop. I know how to check a wrist for breaks after a punch."
She bent over to look even more closely at the split knuckles and bruising. The waves of her hair fell over her shoulder and brushed against Castle's cheek. He had also been trying to get a closer look at his wound. He took a deep breath and let his eyes flutter shut briefly.
"It's gnarly though. We should ice it."
"I've got an ice pack bag in my bathroom."
She stood and made her way to the kitchen. "I'll grab some ice from the freezer."
He disappeared through his office and she grabbed a kitchen towel from the rack by the sink, heading towards the freezer. Piling ice cubes into the towel, she shut the door with her foot and headed back towards his room. Hesitating at the threshold between his office and bedroom, she peeked in.
It was masculine, but not overtly so. The colors were rich and the hardwood floor shined in the light from the window. She heard banging coming from the bathroom and she stepped inside the actual bedroom.
"Castle? Everything okay?"
"Yeah. I found it. Just under the sink in a corner. If I don't hide them, my mother ends up pilfering them all for her occasional morning 'headaches'."
He exited the bathroom and walked up to stand in front of her, the bag dangling at his side. She moved to lay the towel out on the bed with the ice cubes resting on top.
He sat on the foot of the bed and she took the ice pack bag from him, unscrewing it and plopping one cube in after another. Once it was halfway full, she screwed the cap back on and shook it around a bit, listening to the shuffle of the ice cubes against each other. Taking his hand once more in hers, she knelt on the floor in front of him and set the ice pack against his knuckles gently.
"Is that okay?"
Too be honest, he wasn't really thinking about his knuckles at all. He was thinking about how very, very close Kate Beckett was. They tended to invade each other's personal space, but it had never before happened in his bedroom. The tenderness in her voice and her hands as she adjusted the ice pack filled his mind with questions.
"So are you going to be so nice to me every time I punch somebody out for you? Because I could get used to this, so maybe I might need to invest in some brass knuckles."
"Maybe you should learn to throw a punch without breaking your hand. Then the problem is solved."
"Maybe crazy men should stop trying to shoot you when I'm nearby."
She dipped her head down and smiled.
"That would work too."
"You have to admit it was pretty badass, right? Chuck Norris if I remember correctly."
"This was a little more Van Damme, I think."
His smile split his face in two. "Really? Van Damme?" He let a thoughtful pause hang. "So you thought I was sexy, then."
"No, no. Don't be afraid to admit it. I saved your life. You thought I was sexy doing it. Just be honest."
"It was pretty sexy, though. I totally should have ripped my shirt off first."
"You were sexy, okay. Now will you shut up and let me ice your knuckles in peace?"
He grinned at her and she scowled back, not willing to admit any more that the fact that he had been sexy when he'd taken down the shooter on the roof with a few punches. He would take whatever she'd give him. He put his hand over hers. "You know, I could probably do this?"
She quickly withdrew her hand. "Right. Sorry."
He lifted the ice bag off his hand to look underneath, giving one of the knuckles a tentative, exploratory poke.
"It already feels better. Was this the magic trick you mentioned before with the ice cubes?"
She raised an eyebrow at him in question and then quickly dropped it in recognition and remembrance of that conversation in front of the magic store. The sexiest smirk Castle had ever seen seemed to part her lips with a surety that had him leaning forward towards her, waiting for her reply.
She leaned forward too and reached a hand out towards him. It was going for his lap. His heart rate exploded into a million flutterings per second until he finally drew his eyes from that sexy grin of hers and met her eyes. They were teasing him.
Her hand detoured around him and snagged one of the ice cubes that still sat on the towel on the bed. Bringing it to her mouth slowly, she looked up at him through her lashes, brought the ice to her mouth, and with a slight flick of her tongue, she popped the cold piece in.
Speaking around the cube, she rose up to her feet. "No, Castle. That wasn't the trick."
He fell backwards onto the bed comically. "Oh my god. You're evil."
"And you smell. Go get in the shower and we'll ice your knuckles again when you get out."
"Will you tell me the trick if I do?"
"Please tell me. I saved your life today, remember?"
"I'm not telling you a thing. Now get in the shower, you've got his nose blood all over your arm."
Castle heaved himself up from the bed and started unbuttoning his shirt on the way to the bathroom, turning around to give her a nice peek of the valley of his chest between the parted fabric of the shirt.
"There's more where this came from if you tell me the trick…" Gesturing at his chest, he gave her a comically seductive look and sashayed away into the bathroom, closing the door behind him.
"I have no idea how I resist him," Kate muttered sarcastically to herself.
She heard the shower turn on and realized she had absolutely no idea what to do with herself. She should probably go wait in the living room, right? But looking around the room she was in, she felt the irrepressible urge to snoop. She had absolutely no doubts that Castle would probably do the same thing if the roles were switched. Heading first for his closet, she opened it to peek in.
It was huge. Three walls were lined with racks full of button downs, jackets, pants, suits, and a shoe rack. But the back wall was simply a shelf full of boxes and photo album books. Heading for that shelf, she slid one of the shoeboxes out and opened it up. Mismatched playing cards. The backs were almost all different and there was no pattern in the faces of the cards.
She pushed the box back in and reached for an album.
Opening it to the middle, a short burst of laughter escaped her as she saw a two year old Rick laying on some hideous avocado carpeting with his bum proudly displayed and a massive hunk of corn on the cob shoved in his mouth. She scanned through the book quickly noting that through each phase of Rick's life in this book, he always had the same twinkle in his eye.
Hitting the last page, a photo fell from its corner grabs and swayed to the floor at her feet. She bent to pick it up and was surprised to find herself staring at a very young and very beautiful Martha.
Red hair gleaming in the sun from a window, she rocked her tiny infant son in a chair. Lost in a world of their own, he stared into her eyes and she smiled softly back. It was a breathtaking scene. She tried to avoid smudging the photo with her fingers as she slid it back into place. Noticing the picture on the opposite page, she smiled.
This one was a mirror image of the first, but instead of Martha, it was Rick holding Alexis. The rocking chair that framed them seemed to be the same and the loving gazes of the parent and child were certainly familiar. Kate ran a finger over Rick Castle's strong forearm. He held Alexis so very delicately with her head almost completely cradled in his hand. The strength and the softness of Rick sent a wave of something powerful through her body.
She snapped the book shut and put it back in place, her breath coming a little faster. She backed out of the closet and into the bedroom, trying to wipe away the remaining effects of seeing Castle young and fit and so very tender. It was flying side by side with the more-than-slightly-sexy image of his fist pounding into the face of her almost-killer this afternoon. She turned to gather up the towel and the remaining ice cubes. One slipped onto the bedspread and she picked it up between two fingers.
Her entire body flushed at what she could do with that one little piece of frozen water.
Staring at it, she watched a single drop of water escape and pass the barrier from solid to liquid, running eagerly down her thumb and onto her wrist. She really could do some serious damage with an ice cube. She'd be able to render those strong muscles that constantly hid beneath Castle's shirts completely ineffective.
Shaking her head, she turned to head to the living room. With her thoughts being where they were, standing in a room with Castle's bed two feet away and his naked body ten feet away was a dangerous, dangerous idea.
The bathroom door opened and halted her in her path.
They stared at each other. Castle's eyes were wide with surprise. Hers were narrowed in directly at the shining and tan muscles of his totally exposed chest.
She swallowed and tried to bring her eyes back up to his. They fought her and instead managed to detour all the way down his front to where the towel was tied loosely and lowly around his waist. It cast a stark white contrast to his somehow naturally tan skin.
She thought he'd be more…hairy. His skin looked incredibly smooth and was steaming slightly from the temperature change. Steaming.
She wanted to touch it.
Her hand slowly rose, fingers limply extending towards his skin. He coughed. Her eyes shot to his and her hand snapped back to her side.
"I—I thought you'd take longer."
"I didn't think you'd still be in here. That's why I'm…"
Her eyes shifted traitorously back to his chest before she was able to wrangle them back up.
"Yes. That. I'll just grab some clothes and get dressed, if you give me—"
"No!" Her voice interrupted him and completely rebelled against her control, common sense, and better judgment.
"I'm sorry. Uh…What?"
She exhaled and took a slow step forward, dropping her guard and the kitchen towel full of ice cubes. They broke and scattered on his hardwood floor.
Her hand reached out and brushed against his stomach, fingers slowly drawing a path down the center until the reached the tempting boundary of the towel that wrapped around him. His skin was almost hot from the shower and it was even smoother than she'd imagined.
She heard him swallow and could actually see his heart beating hard inside his chest.
"Kate…" His voice broke a bit over her name and that weakness somehow gave her strength. Courage.
"Sit on the bed, Castle."
He didn't move.
"Sit on the bed, Castle. I promised we'd ice you down."
He unconsciously flexed his bruised and broken hand, reminding himself of the pain that still shot through it and moved to the bed. Before he could sit down, though, she put a hand on his shoulder. Turning him to face her, she ran a long-fingered hand down his chest one more time until it encountered the towel again. Closing her fist around the bunched terry cloth, she started to pull.
"Kate…I'm not wear—I don't have—I've got a—"
"Yes, I can see what you've got. Hard to miss when you're only wearing this little towel."
He followed her gaze down to where the fabric of the towel was being pushed out by his growing arousal. She pulled at the tucked binding of the towel and it dropped away completely, leaving him gloriously exposed.
The hand that was still clutching the towel dropped it. She raised both her hands to run down his sides and grab low on his hips, thumbs flicking out on his hipbones to watch the muscles there twitch and dance. Using her hands, she pushed him down onto the bed and bent over to pick something up off the rich, wood floor. Coming back up with a glint in her eye, she sank one knee into the mattress at his side, leaving her other heel-clad foot on the ground.
Putting one hand on his shoulder, she snuck the other one under his arm and then wrapped it up to his neck to join the first. Giving him a wicked little smile, she glanced down at his still very present arousal and then pressed the ice cube in her hand to the tiny hollow behind his ear.
"Ahh, Kate!" he arched his back to escape the sudden, shocking cold and it thrust his hips into contact with her. That caused him to gasp in an entirely different way and sit back down on the bed.
Kate laughed playfully at his response. This was going to be fun.
"I told you I wouldn't tell you, Castle. I said nothing about showing you."
His eyes widened and then closed, his lashes fluttering slightly against his cheek. She moved in closer so he could feel the heat of her body at his front before she let the ice cube at the back of his ear trail slowly down his spine. He shivered and she could feel the tension in the shoulder muscle that her other hand still gripped.
"Relax? Relax! Do you have any idea what you're doing to me right now?"
"Oh, I've got a pretty good idea."
She ran the ice cube around his side and then let it find it's way to his neck, swirling it around in loops on the way.
"I can't believe this is happening."
"Hmm." She hummed distractedly, far more focused on the way his nipple was tightening as she drew the ice cube over it.
It was melting quickly against his freshly showered, hot body, leaving a wet trail along his skin. Removing it entirely from his body she watched as his brow furrowed together, already missing the contact. Smiling, she pressed him back onto the bed and then brought the cube right below his navel and pressed lightly.
A rush of air escaped him.
She started to pull the melting ice up his stomach, agonizingly slowly. His eyes met hers, full of disbelief and ecstasy. She lowered her head, retaining the eye contact, and pressed her tongue to the beginning of the trail of runoff water.
"Oh my god."
She swirled her tongue into his navel, swiping up the puddle that had collected there before moving up, following the trail she had left. Her hot mouth was a stark contrast to the freezing ice and Castle breath was coming fast and hard. She started the path as a straight line, but soon deviated to touch places that he wouldn't expect. The anticipation of watching her warm tongue follow the cube had Castle's blue eyes unblinking.
Bringing it up to his chest she ran it right alongside his nipple, but didn't quite touch it. He licked his lips and she couldn't help but smirk. Bringing the sliver of ice to her lips, she slipped it in, and let it lay on her tongue to quickly melt. Then bending over again, she let her iced tongue flick over his hard nipple.
His hand shot out to grab her arm in reflex. She pressed her tongue to him a little harder before swirling it around and then placing a single gentle kiss against him. Sitting up, she completely removed herself from him, watching as he watched her.
"Where are you going?"
She smiled as she bent to the floor to pick up another piece of ice.
"Oh, don't worry. I'm not nearly done with you yet." She held up the fresh, only slightly melted ice cube to show him and he made a move to sit up. "Nuh uh. Stand down, Van Damme."
"Oh, I don't think I'll be able to stand down for a very, very long time."
She rolled her eyes at his little joke and then pressed the ice cube to the back of his knee to shut him up. He fell back on his elbows to watch her as she worked between his knees. She once again began to draw an icy line on his skin, this time up the back of his muscular leg. She placed a few open-mouthed kisses there before sliding the ice up to run along the crease of his thigh.
He threw his head back and groaned.
She relished in the sound.
Mirroring her previous actions on the opposite side, she let it slide along the line there too. The heat coming from him was intense and she let her eyes linger on his jutting shaft. She licked her lips and then softly moved to wrap her mouth around the shining tip of him.
His eyes had been closed, so he hadn't seen it coming, but when he felt the hot wetness of her mouth on him and the slight suction, both his hands flew into her hair, his abs now the soul supporter of the slightly upright weight of his body.
She swirled her tongue around him and watched as his breath caught and his eyes struggled to remain open and watch her. Very slowly, she began to press down. He took one of his hands from her hair and put it behind him, to prop himself up. The hand at her head neither pushed nor pulled, but she could feel it tensing against her scalp as she slowly lowered herself.
She had him all the way to the back of her throat, but there was still more of him that wouldn't fit. Relaxing her muscles, she swallowed and then pushed him in the rest of the way, letting him squeeze himself deeper.
He let out a strangled cry and then a breathy laugh.
"Kate. Kate, that's…"
She hummed around him and then pulled back off so she could breathe. Smiling, she met his hungry eyes and then went back in for more. She was far past aroused and the feel of him in her mouth, large and throbbing, had sent a wave of heat and dampness to soak through her underwear and into her pants. She let her lips and her tongue play with him for a while—just long enough for him to forget about the ice.
Bringing the cube up, she pressed it very lightly on the underside of his shaft and then drew it up to the top. His hips were tensed with the barely controlled urge to thrust into her mouth, his back wiggling slightly on the comforter. She ran the freezing ice cube back down, careful not to let it make him numb or too cold.
She held his blue eyes with her own before once again, taking him deep inside her throat, struggling slightly to fit him. She soothed away the shocking remains of the cold with the almost equally unbearable heat of her mouth and then drew back once more, swirling her tongue on the tip for good measure.
Bringing the ice to her mouth once more, she popped it in and then pulled him into her mouth. The ice that rested on her tongue rubbed against him and he was bombarded with the simultaneous sensations of hot and cold and tight and wet as she worked her mouth over the length of him. Releasing him with a pop, she crunched the ice between her teeth. And chewed a second, less melted piece for good measure. His eyes widened as he realized what she was about to do. Still crunching, she grabbed his hand and tugged, getting him to sit up.
"I dunno if I can, Kate. Holy hell."
She winked. "I bet you can. It'll be worth it."
He shot up, but she could see that his knees were a bit shaky. Grasping his hips, she rocked up from sitting on her heels and kneeled upright before him.
Looking up at him through her long lashes she said, "You pick the speed this time."
Then she wrapped her lips around him once more and let the warmer of her hands join. His hand found its way into her hair once more and he applied a little pressure to the back, guiding her to the speed he wanted. Slow.
She tried not to smile around him. Duh, it's cold.
She pulled at him a little harder with her lips and pressed up with her tongue. He pressed a little harder against her head and fisted his hand into her hair, his eyes closing. Her mouth was cold and tight and it made the heat of him burn deliciously. He gently rocked his hips to alternate speeds and she could feel him starting to tense.
Her mouth was slowly starting to heat up again and she could tell he was feeling it. The cold was being gradually replaced with a spreading heat. Her soft lips and tongue combined to drive him nearly mad and she looked upward to watch as his control started to slip away. He squeezed his eyes shut and tried to pull away from her. She held him to her with a hand on his backside and swirled her tongue around him before pushing him to the back of her throat once more.
"Kate. Beckett, I'm coming."
He chanted her name as he came inside her. She felt him spill down her throat and pulled back a little to play a little more with her lips and tongue, finishing him off completely. He pulled her off him and with what looked like great effort, helped to lift her onto the bed before he collapsed there himself.
She smiled knowingly at him and then produced one last cube that she'd brought with her from the floor.
"Ohhh, no. No more ice for you, Detective." He snatched it from her hand and smiled blissfully at her before narrowing his eyes.
"'I do this one thing. With ice cubes.'" He used a falsely high-pitched voice to mock her. "My god. If I'd have actually known then exactly what you meant…" He stared thoughtfully at the ice cube pinched between his fingers. Popping the piece of ice into his mouth, he crunched it. "I don't think I'll ever be able to look at ice cubes the same way again."
"That's why a magician never reveals her secrets. The public just can't handle it."
A/N: My sister is probably reading this, thinking I'm some sort of deranged sex-maniac. For that matter, all of you guys are probably thinking I'm some sort of deranged sex-maniac. Think what you want, but damn I had fun writing this story.
Dedicated to the awesome Castle fandom: Your obsession over ice cubes and subsequent explosion on my Tumblr dash inspired this fic.