Well, it took me FOREVER… but I finally updated. If you are too angry at me for being a bitch and not continuing soon like I promised, you don't have to finish it. But, if you are intrigued as to how I finished this thing, please read away!

This is the first multi-chapter I have REALLY finished. And I am happy with how it turned out, and how much great reception it got. I am eternally grateful for the reviews and alerts and favorites this story received. You inspired me, and I love you all.

So, like I said, this is the end. Don't worry, it's a good ending. It's a humor story, remember?

DISCLAIMER #1: The amazing TV show Castle belongs to Andrew W Marlowe, not little ol' me.

DISCLAIMER #2: I dropped an f-bomb in this chapter. But hey, PG-13 movies get to do it once too! So if it offends anybody, I apologize.

Okay, on with the story…

Chapter 7: Finale

"Castle, I heard you," I uttered on an exhale.

"What?" He asked after a moment, not seeming to grasp what I was saying.

I was still shaking from finally admitting to it that I could not talk in full sentences.

"The funeral… when I was… um..." Any chance of handling this eloquently went out the window with my blabbering. When he finally understood what I was referring to, his eyes widened. A myriad of expressions blazoned across his face.

Confusion. Pain. Anger. Contempt. Betrayal.

As he took the news, I just sat there avoiding his eyes and rubbing my hands together nervously.

"Wait, let me get this straight,"

The tone of his voice shook me to my core. It felt oddly familiar, and it reminded me of the verbal sparring before the hangar, before the funeral, when I told him we were over. It scared the hell out of me.

"You knew the whole time?" His eyes were enflamed with rage and embarrassment. I just nodded weakly, and braced myself for the onslaught I had brought upon myself when I decided to lie in the first place.

"You let me go an entire fucking summer without any calls or messages of any kind when you KNEW how I felt?" He had risen from the desk chair now, and towered over me. His red eyes revealed that he was on the brink of tears.

Feeling backed into a corner, I yelled back at him, "Castle, I was scared!" I was barely noticing the tears running down my cheeks.

"At first, I was still with Josh, and I couldn't deal with telling you that day at the hospital. By the time I pulled my head out of my ass and broke up with him, I thought I was too late! I wanted to tell you how I felt, but I was afraid that you wouldn't feel the same after I treated you so terribly when I woke up and didn't call you, so-"

"Hold on…" He interjected into my blubbering rant. His voice was still firm and angry, but was rapidly growing softer.

"What were you going to tell me?" He asked, coming towards me and grabbing my forearms. The hope from before, though muddied with anger, was again present in his eyes.

The warmth of his hands on my skin made my knees weak, as I tried to concentrate on his question. A light blush was forming on my face.

"Castle, I…" I started on a whisper, looking away from his piercing gaze.

"Kate?" I looked up to meet his eyes hopeful and eager. I just wanted to grab him and kiss the uncertain smirk off of his race.

"Rick." I paused again, as the words fought their way up my throat. Hot wet tears were running down my face with no reservations, and Rick reached his thumb out to stop one from reaching my jaw.

"I love you, too." I finished on a sob.

Rick seemed to let go of a breath he was holding in, and pulled me into his embrace. My shaking hands grabbed onto the back of his shirt, and I held him to me in a vice grip.

But, my stupid mouth had to stay open. "But, I am wrong for you, Castle! I will… never d-deserve you, and y-you have every right to hate me!" I released on more choked sobs as I pushed him away like he was poisonous.

"What?" Castle half-shouted. He grabbed my forearms for the second time and held the firmly. His eyes were glassy with tears as he pressed his forehead against mine.

As the aftershock of my sobbing episode sent shivers up my body, he continued, but had lowered his voice to almost a whisper. "Kate, you know how much I love you. And though it may take me awhile to forgive you for lying, I could never ever hate you. Okay?"

Nodding, I sniffled and wrapped my arms around his waist, the soft heat of his body calming me as much as his words.

"You are so wrong. Kate, you deserve the world."

His lips came forward and found mine, and I responded immediately. He tasted sweet and musky. This time there were no distractions, no detectives needing to be rescued, and no security guard to knock out. Just us.

My arms came up and I wrapped them around his neck, and his hands rested chastely on my hips. I poured everything into that kiss, all my love and hope for the future we could have together.

We broke apart for air, panting and leaning against each other. "Wow," Rick whispered. I giggled in response.

"Giggle? Since when does Katherine Beckett giggle? I must be THAT good!" Rick laughed as he kept his hold on my hips.

"Oh, shut up." I lightly hit his cheek with my hand, and leaned my head against his chest, content in his arms.

He pulled me even closer, if that was even possible. The world fell away and all I could think about were his strong arms around me like a fortress, like a… castle.

"Am I dreaming?" I heard him whisper above me, feeling him rest his chin on the top of my head. I loved the height he had over me when I didn't wear heels. I pinched his arm, and he flinched.


We both laughed and reluctantly pulled apart from each other. But we didn't break contact when he slid his hand into mine.

"Kate?" He started timidly, bringing my hand up to his mouth and pressing a light kiss against my palm.

"Yeah?" I responded breathlessly, amazed at how he could render me almost speechless with one innocent kiss.

"The wall?" He looked nervous, and braced himself as soon as he said it, as though I was going to strike him for bringing it up.

I let out a shaky exhale. "The wall was crap, Castle. I know…" Paused for a moment. "I know I will never be at peace until that case is solved and put to rest, and the person who shot me is caught. But, it doesn't mean I have to suffer in the mean time. It doesn't mean you have to suffer."

He drew cirles on my arm as I was talking. It amazed me how simple a touch could make me feel so calm.

"Kate, I would have waited. I wasn't suffering."

I snorted. "Bullshit, Castle. You don't have to put on a brave face. I know what pain you were in. I felt it too." Even though he looked away and shook his head, I knew he knew I was right.

"You're as masochistic as Edward…" I smirked, trying to cut through the intense drama of the conversation.

It worked. He gave me an incredulous look, and I knew he was fighting a smile. "How dare you compare me to that sparkly freak?"

And for the first time in a long time, I threw my head back and laughed without reserve. Rick joined in, and we hung onto each other as we tried to keep from rolling on the floor.

That laugh meant more to me than anything. Not only did it prove that we have the same (good) taste in literature, but that nothing had changed. Even though everything had changed about our relationship, we were the same There was no awkwardness, just comfort, love, and humor. This was meant to be.

As we wiped tears of laughter from our eyes, we separated for good. Rick sat back in the chair and I leaned against the desk, like how we were before that whole fiasco.

"Oh, wow. I haven't laughed like that in a long time." I braced my hands against the desk.

"Yeah, me neither." He said, eyes closed and his head leaning on the back of the chair. Suddenly, the computer caught my attention again.

"Oh, hey! We never redesigned the nursery!" I exclaimed and hopped off the desk.

"Right, yes!" The desk chair glided back toward the computer as Castle reached for the mouse. "We got a little distracted," He said as he waggled his eyebrows. I giggled yet again, and the blush returned.

"Hey." Rick turned to me with a cheeky grin.

"What?" I asked, my hands on the arm rest of his chair.

"I love you."

My grin threatened to split my face in two.

"I love you too, goofball." I leaned to give him a peck on the lips, but he grabbed the back of my head and gave me a proper kiss. A breathy moan escaped my throat, but I pulled back.

"Hey! No more distractions! Alex needs a place to sleep."

He cocked an eyebrow. "But they don't even sleep, remember?"

"Doesn't matter. It looks weird with only one crib. What will the neighbors say? Someone might think we're poor." I gasped and covered my mouth in mock disbelief.

I knew he caught how I said 'we're' and not 'they're', and I saw his eyes twinkle before they were glazed over in mock seriousness.

"Well, we can't have that!" He busily set to work finishing the room, as I stood behind the chair with my hands on his strong shoulders.

We both knew we had to talk more about this. He himself said that he hadn't fully forgiven me for what I'd done. But, for now, we were content on finishing the stupid game.

I looked in the corner of the screen and laughed in his ear. "Look! You only have 24 days left!"

He groaned at the little number. "24 days of youth left. Then I'll be a cranky old man."

I ran my hands through his hair, reveling in its softness. I felt his subtle lean into my touch, and what sounded like purring coming from his throat. I pondered on what his hair would look like, when it would turn grey or white.

"I think he'll still look sexy with grey hair." I whispered into his ear, seductively.

"Did you just call me sexy?" He grinned and turned his head to look at me in the eyes. Our lips were a fraction of an inch apart.

"No. I said 'he'." I smiled mischievously.

"Oh, you little minx!" He placed his hand against my cheek and closed the gap between our lips. Instead of deepening the kiss he placed feather light pecks against my lips. God, I could kiss him all day if I could.

Before I got carried away, Rick pulled back and released my cheek. Smirking and turning back to the computer he said, "No more distractions, woman! The child needs a bed!"

"I will be nice and let that 'woman' comment slide just once. But, use it again, and prepare to get your ass kicked." I whispered, grabbing his ear.

I could feel him gulp as he responded. "Duly noted."

I chuckled behind him as he placed a second crib in the nursery for 'Alex'. I looked over and saw 'Kate' holding the infant securely in her arms, while 'Rick' held his brother.

My hand went down to my flat abdomen and I smiled. Perhaps, one day, I could look as proud as 'Kate' did, holding the being create by her and the man she loved beyond reason.

Just, not two of them. Please.


So there it is. Thank you to those who have followed this story since the first chapter. If I could send you all a gift basket, I would. Please write me a review! I would love to hear what you thought of the finale.

Goodbye for now!