so for those disatisifed with the rhymed proposal, im not changing it cos i loved but...there is this to maybe dispell a little of the sugary sweetness of the poetry!

disclaimer: i own nothing ... and giving them up is so freaking hard!

The tree wasn't over the top, she had reigned in the dramatic flare of his that had wanted neon streaks and glittering reindeers, things that danced and sung as you walked past them and the unending supply of oddities that hung from the ceiling.

In this way, his flare for the dramatic and colour, she noticed he definitely took after his mother, and she was going to enjoy pointing that out.

She had let him go crazy with the lights though. Streams and streams of them hung from every hook-able surface, looped bookcases and counter tops, run the length of the ceilings and hung in their millions from the Christmas tree.

Which was where she sat, her feet spread under the tree, her back to the couch as she watched the flicker of a million tiny lights dance and spark off of her ring.

Her ring!

She looked at the tiny white gold band that wrapped her finger (perfect fit of course) and the three flat, simple, square cut diamonds that lay flush with the band.

Beautiful, she was lost in it, truly beautiful.

As she twisted her wrist the ring glinted in the light in ways that both thrilled and terrified her, knowing it must have cost him a small fortune, and it was on her finger, which meant she said yes, she smiled, she said yes.

She ran her finger over each of the diamonds, one for each word of the inscription.

'today, tomorrow, always.'

She ran her finger over it again, before tilting it in the light, a motion she kept repeating.

She felt a hand, warm and gentle, span the back of her head, fingers pressing lightly against her scalp.

"Are you still staring at it?"

She tipped her head backwards into his hand to look at him, and found him watching her with a huge grin plastered across his face, one she couldn't help but answer with her own.

She shrugged trying to be nonchalant and failing miserably.

"It's pretty" she laughed as he grinned wider "and I cant quite believe I'm wearing it."

He made a face, and poked out his tongue, "Oh, thank you very much."

He shoved her sideways, squatting down beside her in front of the tree, he used her for balance, deliberately knocking her and pushing as he wiggled into the small space, making her laugh.

Once he was settled he let out a long comfortable sigh and drew his knees up to his chest, copying her position with his back to the sofa, he winked at her, exaggerated a yawn, and lifted his arm over her shoulder.

She rolled her eyes, but went to him easily as he pulled her close.

She lay her head on his chest, forcing the smile down just a little by biting her lip. She could feel him gloating.

His other arm reached across her, pulled her engaged hand (could you have an engaged hand?) into his so he could do as she had done, and stare at her hand, with its new addition glinting in the light.

She looked up at him and smiled then at the mild disbelief on his face as he ran his thumb over her hand.

"Lanies going to have a field day with this." she said softly feeling his gaze flick to her.

"Just get her involved in the wedding planning and she will forget all about teasing you."

She sat up and pushed away turning to stare at him.

She shook her head she tapped off points on her fingers "A. it's Lanie, that woman forgets nothing and B. wedding planning no, no, no." she shook her head in denial.

"What do you mean no?"

She whacked him, ring and all, across the arm as he mimicked her voice.

He sat back rubbing his arm.

"Long engagement," she said pointing at him "long, long engagement."

He laughed "Yeah right you said that about dating and yet" he pointed to her ring "I wore you down in two weeks." He wiggled his eyebrows tilting towards her menacingly. "Two weeks."

"I mean it" she said pulling back deadly serious "long engagement, I'm moving in first."

"Ok I'll get your stuff tomorrow," he said watching as she ignored his comment lost in her own thoughts.

"I mean we should try living together," she slumped "what if I end up killing you?" she looked off into the distance ignoring him.

"We can pack you up over the holidays" he said his eyes twinkling, watching her, waiting for her to hear his schemes "have you moved in by new years eve, celebrate properly, spend new year together, start 2012 off with a bang." he smirked at her, waiting.

"I mean, I might actually shoot yo...wait…what?" her head snapped up "New years…what?"

He nodded, grinning, "Short engagement." he moved forwards, pressing her back again, by now she was already half flat against the floor, spread out next to the tree as he moved to lay over her.

She lifted her hand to his cheek, he smiled as her eyes followed it and settled on the ring again.

She lay staring at the way the ring glinted against his skin. Little prickles of silver catching in the tones of his face, the blues of his eyes.

"You know?" he said leaning close to drag her attention away from the sparkle of her finger "I never thought I would say this, but if you don't stop staring at that ring and pay me some attention, I'm going to take it away from you."

He narrowed his eyes trying to look scary.

Her mouth fell open and she glared at him, a full force Beckett glare, as she stared deeply into his eyes.

"I'd like to see you try." she said, wrapping her legs around his waist, and flipping him over so she sat across him, pinning him to the floor, his hands fell to her thighs clamping her in place. She groaned, it was not fair he enjoyed it so much when she did this.

"So about this….wedding." she said rolling her eyes at the word.

She felt him vibrate under her as he laughed, it was going to be a nightmare getting her down the aisle by the looks of it. A fun nightmare, one he couldn't wait for, one he was determined she wasn't going to delay.

She leant on her elbow and lay across his chest waiting for his response.

"Yes fiancée?"

She groaned "Arghh you are going to spend the rest of our lives driving me insane aren't you?"

He grinned "Here's hoping."

He lifted up and pushed her so she was laying next to him, and they turned to face each other. He lifted her hand back to his face again, kissing the palm.

"Short engagement" he said "I mean it, I'll put my foot down if I have to."

She had such easy access to his ear and she couldn't resist flicking it, she did it gently and with minimal pain, just a statement that he should hush.

"How short?" she asked seriously, her fingers still attached to his ear as she spoke, her thumb leisurely gliding over his earlobe.

His eyes lit up

"Lets fly to Vegas right now" he expected her to splutter and jump up, react, do something more than what she did, which was roll her eyes and say.

"Not a chance in hell! I am not being married by Elvis."


She poked him. Glaring

"Courthouse? We both know a few judges I'm sure we could rush it through."

She shook her head.

"On the beach?"




He laughed "Are you going to say that to every suggestion I come up with?"

She shrugged "Make a good one and we'll see" she grinned back at him.

"Ohm" he said thinking, his eyes lighting up in that way that normally resulted in her hitting him "what about at the precinct? we could get a special licence and get married at your desk and….?"

"I am not…" she said sitting up "at any point ever…" she poked him hard "having sex with you on Gates desk."

"Even if it would technically be our honeymoon…?"

She lunged towards him menacingly pinching his ear as he screeched.

"Ow, ow, apples, ok fine…no sex on Gates desk…"

"I prefer the other list" she said grumpily as she sat up, pulling he legs underneath her.

"Ooo" he said sitting up opposite her "yes I do love that sex list and now we have to make an addition to it."

"We do?" she looked confused for a minute before she nodded and they said together

"Honeymoon sex."

"Oo…" she said looking over his head, "It's after midnight that means it Christmas day."

"Our first Christmas together" he said, sighing contentedly.

She rolled her eyes "You are such a girl!" She shook her head and then held out her hands "so, where is my present?"

He caught hold of her hand and turned it over pointing to the ring.

"What exactly do you think this is?"

She shook her head again "I got this on Christmas eve, doesn't count."

He gaped at her still pointing at the ring

"It does too count."

"Nu-uh Castle!"

"But I got your present on Christmas eve" he smirked then thinking back to her angel outfit "and I didn't complain."

"Makes a change," she raised her eyebrow "and when would you ever complain about…"

He wiggled his eyebrows "Naked time?"

She pulled her hand back but smiled "Yes that and you walked in on me practis….trying things on. I did not walk in on you practising, down on one knee mid-proposal."

She looked down at the ring again and spoke almost too quietly for him to hear "you just did that for all the world to see."

He ignored her more focused on something else she said "You were practising? He asked grinning, "dressed like an angel? Practising to do what? Seduce me?" he laughed.

She looked indignant as she got to her feet "I do not have to practise to seduce you" she dropped her hands to her hips and glared at him "ever! You got that?"

He smiled as he stood, pulling her hands from her hips and drawing them up to his neck, she let him but her eyes were rolling around her head so fast he was worried they would tumble free.

"No, you don't" he agreed as he slipped his hand to her waist, whilst the other found a warm haven resting gently against her cheek, fingertips in her hair. "But lets just say if you ever did want to practise…" he leant in closer to her "I would be a rapt and attentive audience, just in case you feel the need."

She pulled back smiling "Need ? Really?"

There was a tinkling of bells then, soft and off in the distance and she laughed as his eyes lit up.

"It's Santa." he grinned.

She pointed over his shoulder "No I think that was your daughter sending us a sign."

"A sign seriously?" he asked leaning back and looking at her a smile breaking across his face. "From she who believes in nothing?"

"Hey. I believe in things."

"Like what?" he said smirking.

"Like no sex under the tree." she pointed at him as she shoved him away and moved past, heading towards his, their, THE bedroom, she didn't care what it was called anymore she was too happy.

"Spoil sport." he moaned as he followed her and, unable to resist, she turned around and threw over her shoulder.

"Maybe next year."

there may be a continuation of this story... i cant seem to put them down! though i am happy to leave this here .. again thank you for reading etc. big smiles and hugs to you if you did. and at some point i hope to start LIFE...the 3rd stage in this story... :)