A/N: So, this plot has been simmering in my brain since July, and I finally got the opportunity to take a shot at it. The summary kinda sucks, but it has to be kind of vague so it doesn't give a major point in the story away. Although, if you understood the title, you would definitely recognize where this is going.
Summary: An invitation to dinner over at Castle's place leads Beckett to discover some secrets on his laptop.
Disclaimer: Although my name IS Nikki, I have no real affiliation with Andrew Marlowe and his fantastic series.
The elevator ride up to the penthouse level seemed longer than usual. I rocked back and forth on my five inch heels in anticipation. Maybe it was just my dread of finally reaching the top screwing with my brain just to torture me. Before I could figure out a definite answer, the familiar ding signaled the door opening.
I still do not know why I had agreed to dinner with Castle. He had managed to convince me that I probably had nothing to eat in my apartment, which I really didn't. But it's not like I can't take care of myself.
I exited the elevator and walked over to the door of Castle's loft. I stared at the door for a good two minutes before I even thought about knocking. That humorous sense of dread came back. Or maybe it wasn't dread. It was beginning to feel a lot like butterflies, which was even worse.
Okay, I am not a teenage girl. I am a strong, independent, and emotionally sound detective. I can handle dinner with my partner.
Before I could regret it, I raised my arm and knocked on the door three times.
I was greeted with silence. I checked the time on my dad's watch. It was 8:00, exactly when he had said to come. Knowing Castle he would have opened the door by then, or at least called out to her that it was open. Jumping to worse case scenarios, my heart began to race. But before I could lose control, I calmed down and knocked on the door again.
Again, nothing. I called out this time.
"Castle? You in there?" I was surprised at the concern in my voice.
The lack of response triggered the cop in me. I cautiously tried the door handle. It was unlocked. Extremely concerned, I pulled out my gun and entered the apartment quietly.
The place looked clean, no signs of a struggle or anything. With a quick glance into the kitchen, I noticed a large stainless steel pot on the stove that seemed to be on a low heat setting. I could smell the food now too, it was chili. Ignoring the grumbling in my stomach, I continued to search the loft, my gun still poised in front of me.
"Anybody in here?" I called up the stairs. Maybe Alexis or Martha was here and they just couldn't hear the door from their rooms. When I got no response, I turned my attention toward Castle's study.
I saw a glimpse of someone sitting in the desk chair through the bookcase on either side of the door, but I couldn't tell who it was. I tiptoed quickly and stood in front of the door. Maybe it was Castle, maybe it was a murderer. Fearing for my partner's safety, I opened the door suddenly, my gun pointing at the chair. Whoever was in the chair leapt up immediately.
"BECKETT? WHAT THE HELL?"
I had opened the door to reveal a very scared Castle with headphones in his ears, his hands up, and a white panicked look on his handsome face. Immediately I lowered my gun.
"What the hell, Castle? I knocked twice and even called out!"
He gave an uneasy smirk as he pulled the headphones out of his ears. "Sorry, I lost track of time."
But, I wouldn't back down so easily, "Well, what in the hell were you doing anyway?"
The way he looked guiltily back down at his laptop screen was making me nervous and uncomfortable.
"Really, Castle? Really?"
He seemed to understand what I was implying he had been watching, and he quickly denied it, "No! No, it's not what it looks like!" He had lowered his hands to rest on the top of the laptop to close it.
I cocked my eyebrow. Yeah, like I was going to believe him with that extremely embarrassed and shameful face.
"Then let me see the screen." I challenged. As expected, Castle lowered the screen even more and shook his head.
"It's not… porn, Kate." My demeanor softened a tiny bit as he used my first name. He had now fully closed the laptop. "I just… you can't see it."
Now I was intrigued. Was he planning a surprise party or something? What was causing him to be so secretive?
I sighed in mock frustration. I would get him. "Fine. Anyway, I'm starving. Are we going to eat or keep playing this pointless little game?"
He nodded and walked over toward me and the door. I turned as he began leading me out of the room with his hand on the small of my back. He wasn't necessarily pushing me, but urging me forward nonetheless. I smirked at his eagerness.
Quickly, to catch him off guard, I whipped his arm over my head and ran back to his laptop. "Aha!" I exclaimed in victory as I sat in the chair before he had even turned around, bewildered.
"NO! Beckett, please don't! You'll kill me!"
Unaffected by his pleas, I had already opened the laptop. Surprisingly, no videos or web browsers were open. The only thing on the screen was a loading screen for a Sims video game. It read, "Loading the Castle family…"
I looked at him in disbelief. "A game, Castle? You were afraid of me seeing a game?"
He laughed nervously and had his hand on the back of the laptop, ready to close it as soon as I moved my fingers. "Heh, yeah! A game! Now, come on, Beckett! Let me close it."
"Why? I want to see what it's about. It sounds very interesting." Not that I really gave a damn, I just wanted to see him be nervous for a bit longer. But I was also kind of interested in why he didn't want me to see it so badly.
Castle looked back at the screen; the loading bar was almost full. In a nervous voice, Castle responded. "Oh it's not fun at all; it's not your thing. Will you move your fingers? I don't want to crush them."
I purposefully kept them exactly where they were and changed the subject.
"Why would you need headphones for this game anyway? You were alone in the house." The load bar was now at ninety percent.
He ran his hand through his hair swiftly as he seemed to struggle with my question.
"I don't know. The sounds are better with headphones."
Content with his answer, I remained silent as the bar continued to fill up. Castle seemed to grow impatient and stole glances at both my face and the extremely close loading bar.
He grabbed my shoulder gently with his large warm hand. At the sudden contact I looked up at his eyes, which were pleading. "Kate, please. Forget about it."
At his soft words, I began to regret my prying. What was his business was his business. I nodded silently, not wanting to cause him anymore grief over this. I got up from the chair and stood eye to eye with him.
"I'm sorry, Castle." I tried to say it as sincere as possible.
His crinkly smile at my words made me feel a hundred times better. His hand was still on my shoulder. For the first time since before I knocked on the door, the butterflies conquered my stomach.
"It's okay, Kate. And I'm sorry I didn't come to the door when you knocked." He murmured.
I smiled kindly and went to go from behind the desk.
Suddenly a blast of cheesy music came from the headphones connected to the laptop. My immediate reaction was to look at the screen. I heard Castle swear quietly to himself.
The game seemed to be centered on a family. It was almost like a snapshot of daily life, in a house that resembled Castle's loft in ways like a similar layout and color scheme.
I saw a male character in a dress shirt and pants reading a book in the corner with his legs crossed. A teenage redheaded girl was at the bar of the kitchen, with a notebook open and a pen in hand.
I smiled at the familiar scene. "This is amazing, Castle. They really look like you and Alexis at your loft!" I looked up at him, and he had a tightlipped smile. He looked down and watched the scene cautiously.
Suddenly a police car drove up to the street. Castle gasped, in what seemed to be disbelief. Before I could ask what his problem was, an information bubble came up in the top right corner of the screen.
Kate Castle has returned from work.
Sure enough, a character that resembled me appeared out of the car. My mouth hung open as I turned to stare at Rick, who simply whispered, "I told you…"
In the corner of the screen, the "Rick Castle" closed his book and set it on the table. He ran to the doorway and out onto the porch of the house. He sprinted in front of Kate and an action appeared in the corner. It said, "Greet Kate".
Suddenly both characters reached for each other and shared a passionate kiss.
A blush rose up in my cheeks and I glared at a wide eyed Castle.
"What in the hell is this?"
A/N: Don't worry, I know where this is going. I promise I will never abandon this story.
So, yeah… there's this pretty link beneath where I'm writing… maybe you should click on it and tell me what you think? I would be eternally grateful!