They settle back onto the mattress, laying side-by-side on the edge of breathless as cool air streams from the ceiling fan and begins to dry the fine beads of sweat that dot their flushed skin.

"So. Hmm," Castle says, breaking the silence first and all the while keeping his eyes focused at the ceiling. "I don't know what to say, except that I did not expect it to go like that."

"Yea. Me either," Kate replies flatly, clearly in a state of shock. She pulls the sheet up over her chest, resting her arms at her sides as her heart rate slowly comes down. Her eyes close and her mind tries to process what has just transpired under his 1000 thread count Egyptian cotton bed linens. She opens her mouth to speak, but then stops herself, realizing she doesn't even know where to start.

Maybe she should just pretend to ignore it. Yes. Why state the obvious? Better to just take it in stride. No need to bring his male ego into this after all. She relaxes a bit and just when she thinks the moment has passed, that for once he'll be the guy in the relationship and not insist on "talking it out"-

"Kate?"

She exhales in frustration. Of course he's not going to let it go. Her eyes open and focus on one of the fan blades as it swirls through the stillness.

"Kate, listen, I'm not ashamed to say that I've thought alot about how this, us, we-"

She feels her cheeks burning and covers her face with her hand self-consciously.

"Oh-my-god, Castle-"

"-you and I, how it might go when we finally-"

"Castle, please-"

He shakes his head a little against the pillow, replaying everything in his mind. "I was sure it would be good between us. I never thought, I mean, I've never had-"

"Rick, jeez, can you just-"

"I can't explain it, but you should know that something like that has never happened before..." he rambles on, too caught up in his self-analysis to even notice her interruptions.

"Rick, stop."

"Huh?"

She turns her head and is surprised to see his eyes watching her in the darkness. Her pulse dances wildly against her skin as images of his face hovering above her just minutes ago cloud her vision.

Did that really just happen?

The electricity still humming through her muscles quickly answers the silent question hanging in her mind and she inhales slowly, finally regaining enough control to continue.

"Do we really have to talk about this now? Can't we just be?"

"Be what?"

"No, I mean, just lay here. Quietly," she answers, emphasizing the last word with a firm insistence to her voice as she turns back to stare at the ceiling.

He sighs dramatically, wishing he could see more than her profile, read what she's thinking.

"Okay. Sure."

Kate exhales in relief, but then feels her body tremble when his forearm brushes against her as he adjusts the duvet on top of them. The coil of energy inside her tightens viciously, and she tenses a little to counter the instinct to press into him.

He watches her closely. The subtle change of the shadows on her skin as she struggles to hide the lusty grin threatening to surface does not go unnoticed, nor does the deepening of her breaths. He can't help but smile to himself at how obviously turned on she is.

Kate catches his little smirk out of the corner of her eye, and sensing that he's about to make another remark, she decides to put this issue to rest, once and for all.

"Look, I'm not saying I don't recognize what just happened. It was our first time to be together, and it's us after all. Things have always been unpredictable between us, so we knew it would be, well, different. Let's just leave it at that, okay?"

"Different, huh? Well, guess that's one way of putting it." He moves closer as he talks, brushing his finger tips down her arm. The butterflies that are already doing a number on her stomach soar south and she hates that he can shred her self-control with such seemingly little effort. She scowls, trying to ignore how she clearly aches for him- again.

"So you're saying that you haven't had that type of experience before? When you've been with other guys I mean?" he questions softly, shifting his body to prop himself up on his elbow as he talks. "Cause I assure you, with other women, I've never had..."

Kate sits up suddenly, annoyance seeping into her voice. "Seriously, Castle? You really think I want to hear about your past conquests at this moment?"

Her eyes are vivid even in the shadows and his gaze wonders to the contour of her bare hip as she adjusts the sheet around her. He pauses a beat, absorbing for the first time that she is really, finally here and, at the moment, completely naked and completely his.

"Probably not-"

She arches an eyebrow and tilts her head to the side with an incredulous stare.

He swallows thickly. "I mean, definitely not."

She slumps back against the pillow at the same time his hand snakes under the sheet and across her stomach, pulling her towards him.

"Castle, listen-" Her tone softens as his hand expertly works across her skin, drawing the heat within her to the surface with each pass.

"It's not like I'm denying what happened, but why harp on it? Why dissect it? It was a fluke of the universe, it happened in the moment. It probably won't be like that next time."

But I hope to god it is.

"Next time. Hmm- I like the sound of that," he whispers into her hair, his voice deep and wanting.

Her breath sticks in her chest as his lips touch her shoulder gently and she smiles into the darkness. "I mean, there's absolutely no way- we can't recreate something like that, something so completely...completely..." Her voice drifts and she gives up on trying to make sense of it all, her mouth seeking his as her body slides against him under the sheet.

"Consuming? Perfect?" He finishes her thought and she nods slightly.

"But it could happen like that again," Castle murmurs hopefully against her lips. "It could happen like that every single time. Maybe even better."

"Better? Better how?" The combination of curiosity and challenge in her tone only serves to excite him more as he delivers nipping kisses down her neck and upper chest.

"Well, Detective, allow me to show you..."

~~Twenty minutes later~~

They settle against each other now, laying in a tangled nest of sheets and pillows, both utterly breathless.

"Okay then," she exhales loudly, nuzzling against his chest. "I'm a believer."

"You mean you doubted me?" he jokes, planting a kiss to the top of her head as his fingers delve into her hair.

"I'm always a skeptic. You know that."

"This is true. But hopefully you see now that there's no need to doubt me. I may not be right about a lot of things, but I'm usually spot on when it comes to the bedroom- no pun intended."

Kate shakes her head and her ribcage vibrates against him with a stifled laugh.

Incorrigible.

"Castle?"

"Yes?"

"Speaking of the bedroom, not a word about what happened tonight leaves this room. Especially not at work."

"Not a word about what?" he asks, feigning innocence.

"I'm serious..." she warns, jabbing a finger into his chest.

"Oh! You mean the stupendous, tremendous, mind-blowing sex and how you could hardly contain..."

She smothers his mouth with hers and the rest of his thoughts are lost against her lips. By the time she is done, his mind is completely at a loss and she peels herself back and falls back against the pillows.

"Good, glad we understand each other."

"One more thing, though-" Castle says, toying with the ends of her hair absently.

"What, Castle?" she asks, trying not to sound too annoyed.

"You do realize that we won't be able to go back to vanilla-sex after that."

"Vanilla-sex? What the hell?"

"Yea, vanilla. Ordinary. Run-of-the-mill. Let's face it- sleeping with anyone else after this would just be a let down," he says with a twinkle in his eye. "Guess we're stuck with each other." He folds his hands behind his head, basking in this revelation.

She can't help but be amused even if he is arrogant. He's right and she knows it. "My, my. Someone is quite cocky-" She pauses a beat and he turns his head to speak. "Pun very much intended," she quips before he can get a word out. At the same time she leans over to plant a lazy kiss on his lips while deviously rubbing the curve of her knee against his inner thigh.

He stills her leg and shakes his head at her. "You know something? You verge on evil sometimes," he says with a fake pout, before waggling his eyebrows at her. "But I sorta like it."

"Yes. I know this," Kate says, trailing her fingers down his chest. "And for the record, there is nothing wrong with vanilla. I consider you to be very vanilla actually."

"Me? Ha!" Castle scoffs. "You're just saying that to be contrary."

"It's not to say that you're ordinary, you're anything but." Kate pulls her body up and leans over him, her hair draping over one shoulder, covering half of her face. "I actually love vanilla. It's the perfect foundation...versatile. You can add vanilla to anything- it heightens the flavor, gives it warmth."

His eyebrows shoot up as she slides a leg across his waist to straddle him. "Oh?"

"Mh-hmm." Her hands slide up and down his chest as she leans towards him.

"So, uhm. If I'm vanilla, what are you?" he whispers as her hands guide his face to hers for a deep kiss.

She smiles playfully before testing his lips again. "I think I'm actually vanilla too." Her mouth quirks in a wicked grin. "With a deep dark chocolate layer though."

"Dark chocolate? Hmm...tempting, decadent, but not too sweet? After tonight, I would totally agree with that."

"Well, I don't want to burst your bubble, but we barely skimmed the surface of dark chocolate tonight."

"Wow," he says in disbelief.

"Oh, Rick, you have no idea," she says trailing her lips past his collarbone.

"Oh...holy...fu-" he gasps as her mouth eases further down his body. "Fudge."

Her lips twist into a pleased grin as she breathes heavily against his skin. "I think you mean vanilla."


A/N: Happy Castle Day (aka Monday)! So this was total (barely) smutty nothingness, with no point other than an excuse to get them in bed (again), but it was fun to write and I hope you liked reading it. -KB :)