This is my first foray in to the Castle fanfiction realm, so color me excited! I'm planning this as a short two-shot, so the next installment should be coming in a few days.
As a quick introduction, this story is a bit of art imitating life. I came across this situation in my own life, and immediately I realized how well it leant itself to the relationship between these two characters, so I adapted it. Because, really, I'm certain we've all had days like this.
I don't own, Andy Marlowe does.
Det. Kate Beckett all but growled as the chipper author chirped a good morning to the entire homicide division. It's not like he had done anything. Yet… but Beckett had already had a significantly shitty morning, and was in no mood for his lassiez-faire attitude. She was barely making it on four hours of sleep, had spilled her reheated cup of stale coffee on her crisp white blouse and had a stack of paperwork ten thousand feet high waiting to wrap up an uncommonly gruesome case. This left little room to handle the antics of her partner, a pursuit which would clutter her already crowded mind. Sauntering up to her desk, Richard Castle set down his customary offering of caffeine with a flourish and practically crooned, "Good Morning Detective". Despite his efforts, all it earned him was a mumbled "Hey Castle" and a short nod, eyes never leaving the paperwork.
"So Detective, did a body drop for us?"
"Do you really think I would be here if it did?"
Her intentionally curt reply seemed to do the trick, as Castle looked like he was content to leave well enough alone. She knew he sat down and stared at her for a few minutes, got up to chat with the boys, paid a short visit to Lanie, made himself a fresh cup of coffee, and was currently playing with the Blackjack App on his phone. Just because she felt like being ornery, doesn't mean she couldn't observe what was going on around her. Throughout the morning, all attempts to jump-start conversation had been sufficiently blocked by Beckett. It was a vicious circle.
Simply put, Castle was there to take the brunt of her anger. It wasn't very fair, sure, but it was true. He wasn't going to leave of his own accord because he was just too damn nice of a guy, but as much as he irked her, she wasn't going to ask him to leave. He was the one person at the precinct, in her life, that would stand there and let her snap and pick and bitch without walking out. Kate had been through that ringer before. Lanie would just tell her to grow a set, the boys would try and convince her to go home and take a breather and the Captain just tended to stay out of her way. And if she was being honest with herself, which she wasn't, she would have said that having him there and knowing he would stay made it all easier to deal with.
Halfway through the morning, Kate decided that she was being childish and figured she'd throw Castle a bone.
"Hey Castle?" The look of surprise on his face almost made her laugh out loud. He seemed almost hesitant to answer, like she was a ghost or some kind of animal on the prowl.
"It's getting to be about lunchtime, why don't you call in and order us something to eat." Some of the tension that had been hanging over the squad room lifted and her breathing seemed to ease.
"Sure, whatever you want. Remy's, Chinese, Thai?"
"Just surprise me, okay?"
"Not a problem."
Alright, that really wasn't that hard. Now, Kate just felt silly. She spent the entire morning being petty and vindictive, and what did she have to show for it? Barely a dent made in her paperwork and a sour attitude. Ten minutes later, when Castle hadn't yet returned, she decided to go find him and show him that she was waving her white flag and her bad mood was officially at an end. Kate found him leaning just inside the doorframe, talking on his cell phone.
"… It'll be nice to get out, just the two of us. It's been too long. I still have some things to wrap up at work, but I'll be leaving early. Mhm, I can swing by and pick you up when I'm done here. Can't wait. See you soon!" Standing there shocked, Kate stayed silent while Castle called a restaurant and placed their customary lunch order. Every pissed off feeling from that morning multiplied tenfold. It was a date.
To think that he was cutting out on me early to go on a date, I mean really. How incredibly selfish of him! This was their job, and he was just going to cut out when it got boring. Fine, Castle was going on a date. Seriously, not a big deal. If this is how he was going to be, he could go now. She cleared her throat and he turned around with his trademark goofy smile. She was having none of it. She hoped that there was steel in her eyes.
"Castle, you can go home now."
"But, why? I just called in for food? I thought I could help you attack some of that paperwork and we could both get out of here early tonight."
He reached out to place a friendly hand on her arm, a gesture of solidarity not uncommon between them, but she froze and tensed her body as if burned. She tried not to acknowledge it, but he definitely noticed.
Hell. I don't know why I just did that, he is being completely normal.
"That's great, Castle, but having you here is just distracting. I need you to go home."
Please, don't go home. Please, don't go home.
"Oh, Detective, you're distracted by me."
This would usually be the point in the conversation where Beckett would saunter up to the author, whisper something vaguely suggestive in his ear and slip off with a self-satisfied smirk. Right now, she just wanted to smack him. Hard. Doing neither, she brushed past him and walked briskly back to her desk and started gathering her stuff.
"Not hardly. Well, I don't care if you leave or not. I'm going home. You can cancel that lunch order."
Why did I say that? I don't want to leave. I want to stay. And I'm starving.
"Umm… Ok. I'll see you tomorrow then."
"Yep." She answered him in a clipped tone as she was already halfway in the elevator. She turned just in time to see a confused Castle-statue standing behind her chair.
By the time Kate got home, the sun had set and she was exhausted. After bolting out of the precinct, she felt she had to justify the fit she just threw by being as productive as possible. She went and got her bike washed, paid some bills, went grocery shopping at the deliciously stocked store instead of the one by her apartment and picked up dry cleaning that was over a week ignored. It was the kind that she never got to have, the kind of afternoon someone should feel good about. But all she felt was tired.
Mostly embarrassed. Embarrassed at the way she had shut everyone out, embarrassed about how she reacted to the date, but mostly embarrassed about how she treated Castle. No matter what he did, he definitely didn't deserve the way she passive-aggressively lashed out.
And of course there is that little part that feels jealous that he chose dinner with some bimbette instead of you and the precinct.
What Kate really needed was a night to herself with a glass of wine, a long hot bath and soft silk pajamas. So, after emptying the inedible bits left in her refrigerator and replacing them with the fruits of the day's labors, she drew a bath, complete with bubbles. Her literature for the evening, In a Hail of Bullets, was chosen against her better judgment, but as Kate relaxed further and further into the lavender bubbles, delicately sipping her Merlot, she laughed and cried at all her favorite parts. One could almost hear the tension in her body easing and the silent admission that this was the best idea she'd had all day.