Disclaimer: I do not claim to own Castle or anything from the series.
Thoughts are in italics as always.
The sun had just begun its ascent into the morning sky when Martha Rodgers quietly made her way downstairs. She was due to have an early breakfast with a friend of hers on the other side of town, and she wanted to make sure she left at a reasonable time. She had been planning on grabbing a quick snack from the fridge when she saw something in front of her which made her stop halfway down the stairs.
Initially, Martha just saw her son sleeping on the couch. That was normal. Sometimes he watched TV in the middle of the night when he couldn't sleep, and fell asleep with the TV still on. Martha or Alexis had come downstairs in the morning only to find Richard passed out on the couch with a blanket across his body and the TV turned down low. But then it was the brunette resting against the edge of the sofa that caught her by surprise. Martha knew who it was immediately; they had, after all, met several times before. What was she doing over though? Richard hadn't told her anything about plans to bring company home that night.
From her vantage point on the steps, Martha could see Kate sitting on the floor, her cheek resting on the edge of the couch. She'd wrapped Richard's comforter around her body, and there was a pillow tucked under one of her ankles with a bag of peas on top. So that was where those went.
Martha smiled to herself, wondering what had happened to lead up to the scene she had accidently walked in on. She turned around as quietly as possible and walked back up the stairs to continue getting ready. She'd grab a coffee or a bagel on the way over; it wasn't worth waking her son and his companion up.
He was watching her when she opened her eyes. She would have said something if she weren't still so tired.
"Hey," he breathed softly.
She smiled in response. "Hey, Castle. Was that your mother just now?"
He nodded, waiting for her to start stressing about his mother knowing that she spent the night and getting the wrong idea.
"Ah." No such reaction from Kate. What's going on?
"Did you want to sleep for a little longer? It's still quite early I think," Rick whispered.
Kate nodded slowly, her eyes still on him.
"How's your ankle?"
"It still hurts, but I had the peas on it earlier."
Rick moved to get up from the couch, but Kate's hand darted out and grabbed his wrist. He looked at her, confused. "Can't we stay like this for a little bit longer? My ankle can wait," she said.
He settled back onto the couch slowly, still not convinced. "Are you sure?"
Kate nodded. "If we wake up in a couple of hours and it's still bothering me, you can take me to the doctor. For now it's tolerable, and I really don't want to move. Your comforter is perfect as a blanket," she finished, burrowing into it a little deeper. Rick wondered if she knew how cute she really was when she did things like that.
One hand snaked out from under the comforter, and clasped itself around one of Rick's hands. He looked down at their meshed fingers in surprise. But when he saw Kate smiling shyly at him, her emerald eyes peeking out at him from under the sheets, he couldn't help but smile back. Maybe, just maybe...
"Good night, Kate," he murmured, making no move to pull his hand away.
Her eyes closed again as she sighed deeply. "Good morning, Rick."
A/N: And there you have it. To those who were hoping this story would continue on longer, I'm sorry but I've had this ending in mind since back when I was writing the second chapter. This was originally supposed to be just a oneshot, but I felt compelled to keep writing it, and so here we are.
To all who have read and/or reviewed this fic, I am so grateful. This fic was my first writing attempt in awhile that I'm somewhat satisfied with, but I know that without your kind comments and support I would not have finished this story.
I have my series of oneshots planned as my next project, and I have another idea for Castle fanfiction as well. I hope you'll stick around.