That Familiar Feeling
I've been living for the weekend
But no not anymore
Here comes that familiar feelin'
That Friday's famous for
Yeah I'm lookin' for some action
And it's out there somewhere
You can feel the electricity
All in the evening air
'Bright Lights, Bigger City' CeeLo Green
Kate Beckett walks into the court house, adjusts the cuffs of her immaculately pressed dress shirt, and puts her briefcase down beside the prosecutor's table. She takes a slow look at the defense's table and has to ruthlessly crush the fluttering of her stomach. And no, that's not her heart.
She never expected, in a thousand years, to have to prosecute him. Of course, disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, indecent exposure, and theft of government property are pretty serious charges - and all in one night - so maybe she was wrong about him. Maybe this is all there is to the famous Richard Castle.
She hates this side of her job. Seeing the ugly truth. Her mother's work as a DA seemed so righteous and rewarding when Kate was a kid. So of course she became a lawyer, just like her mother, and went straight to the DA's office for her first job.
She hates her job dealing with petty crime, misdemeanors, and what they call 'soft' felonies. She longs to be put in the District Attorney's Investigative Division but the seniority you need for that one is. . .insurmountable. Not even her mother has enough clout for that. And Kate Beckett would never, in a million years, use her mother's political power to acquire a coveted position.
But she's thought about it a lot.
Still. This is her job; this is what she does.
Before the judge enters the room, before the legal hearing can even begin, Kate touches her late father's watch, bulky on her wrist, and checks the time. Still running precisely, firmly, like her father's guidance.
Words live on, words keep going even when people don't. Her father imparted a good deal of them to his only child; Kate's had twenty-two years with her father before he decided to play the hero in a corner store robbery, got himself shot by the guy holding it up. Jim Beckett was never able to stand by. And while Kate admired that when he was alive, she hates it now that he's dead.
Putting your life on the line for a stranger is a romantic gesture, a grand and lofty ideal perhaps. But it doesn't work out in the real world.
In the real world, you just get shot.
Rick Castle checks out the prosecutor, lets his eyes drift down her endless legs, his heart picking up. Funny. First time that's happened in awhile.
Fresh from his second divorce, being 'consoled' by friends who aren't his friends but are hers, Richard Castle has landed himself in hot water on this one. His daughter will *not* be happy. He'll have to raise her allowance. Again. Probably grovel.
And definitely ditch the guys who've been riding his coattails all evening. SOBs, all of them, taking his clothes when he tried to wash the vomit off his back in the fountain. Of course, it was *his* idiot idea to grab the horse and take off after them.
Police horse. Right.
Time to stop the drinking too.
But Meredith just brings out the best in him, doesn't she? Next time she comes to the city, he'll politely refuse the fun sex and the wild drinking and her bastard friends.
Good thing his lawyer is the best in the city. If he throws enough money at it, they'll drop the charges.
Maybe this time though, he won't have to throw money around. He'll just curl his hand around the back of that woman's neck and pull her against his body, let the prosecutor engage in her own round of discovery, find enough evidence to convict them both-
He stands up at the prodding of his lawyer as the judge comes into the room. Has to grit his teeth to control his reaction to the woman at the other table. Across the aisle. Down the aisle. He watched her walk down the courtroom aisle and visions leapt into his head, words aching to be written, a whole lifetime he wants to create. For her. About her.
*That* hasn't happened in awhile either.
He wants to get her into a flimsy white dress and run his hand up her thigh as she pretends not to notice him. (Yeah, she did that too when she first walked in. Ignored him so pointedly that he kept his eyes open for the moment - and then, yeah, she checked him out, thoroughly, and that tiny spot of color appeared at her throat, but there was too much disappointment in her eyes and he had to look away).
The court clerk reads the charges; this is just a hearing. He doesn't enter a plea; the lawyer has tricks up his sleeve. An arbitration meeting is called instead; the judge kicks them out. It's late Friday afternoon and he has the weekend free at least.
Castle gets to watch the lovely Katherine Beckett walk back up that aisle in a razor of a pencil skirt that shows every damn line, her kitten heels so high, so impossibly high that she would fit right up against him well. Like a matched pair.
He feels like he already knows her.
His lawyer tugging on his elbow, Rick follows behind her, imagines taking her hair down and running his hands through it as he devours her mouth-
"Ms. Beckett. Kate-" his attorney calls out.
Kate? Even better than stuffy Katherine. Kate is a name you can call out in the darkness of the bedroom, groan into her mouth-
Damn. He's never had a woman affect him like this. She's model gorgeous, so much so it almost hurts to look at her. But it's not that. It's something else. It's the story in her eyes.
She turns on her heel, a neat pivot that brings her to face them.
"Mr. Castle is interested in resolving this matter quickly, Ms. Beckett."
"I'll bet he is," she says, then nods her head down the hall.
Almost as if commanded, Castle turns at her nod (he could get used to a woman as thoroughly in charge as her) and sees his daughter and his mother at the end of the hall.
"What's it going to take?" he says, turning back around to stare down Katherine Beckett. He puts his arousal on hold, the picture of his daughter's face as she walks through the halls enough to cool him for good. "How do I make this go away?"
"You can't buy your way out of responsibility, Mr. Castle." Her voice is like ice, but her eyes are glittering with disappointment. How has he disappointed *her* too? He knows his daughter, but-
"Sure I can. Tell me your price."
"I can't be bought-" she starts hotly, and the passion that flares in her is gorgeous. Erotic. Of course, his lawyer is already sputtering and trying to shut him up.
"No, no, not what he meant. At all. Let us know, Ms. Beckett, what the city requires from Mr. Castle to make amends for his behavior. There were extenuating circumstances-"
"There always is," she murmurs, voice rich with sarcasm, and still, he sees it in her. The ability to be more than she is, more than she lets on. Which is it?
"Let's talk this over before the arbitration meeting, find a common solution. Mr. Castle is trying to think about his daughter."
"He should have done that before he did something so reckless," Kate answers, and it's Kate this time, he can see it. Hot, passionate, and almost. . .grieving. Interesting.
His eyes flicker over her wardrobe, take it in for what it is rather than how it makes her look. Expensive suit. A thin chain around her neck, gold. No rings. A horrid watch. Ah. A man's watch? And thus the reaction to his lawyer's statement about his daughter. Kate is a woman who's been hurt by a man's reckless behavior, and it's hurt her, and she keeps it carefully in check, the watch a reminder of the way men can cause her pain and also a talisman against it.
A memento, perhaps?
But he can get at the details, no problem. Castle has no doubt in his ability to be both persuasive and stubborn.
And he needs a new story. Desperately.
He won't leave her alone. She isn't sure how he got her phone number, her private and unlisted cell phone number, but of course everyone has a price.
Not her. She doesn't.
"Please, Counselor. Give me a chance to make it right."
"You need to be held accountable for your actions." Why is she even talking to him? Especially late at night in her tshirt and jeans, with a law review journal in one hand and a highlighter in the other-
No. Wait. The highlighter's missing. Damn. Where-
Ah. In her hair, holding it in a bun. She takes it out and lets her hair fall over shoulders, scratches her hand through it, and she hears his sharp intake of breath.
"Castle?" she says, narrowing her eyes.
"Nuh - uh, nothing. Here. I'm here."
"You need to stop calling me."
"Let's have dinner."
"No." It doesn't even phase her, really; she gets propositions all the time from guys like him, guys accused of misdemeanors or felonies. Like stealing a police horse.
"Please? I need some help."
He. . .what?
"It's Beckett," she says crisply, finding her words again.
"Counselor. I need some help. I have a deadline fast approaching and I've got nothing. Absolutely nothing. I can't sit in jail for 30 days. I need those days to write. I write best under pressure."
If it weren't Richard Castle, she wouldn't even be listening to this idiot. If it weren't her favorite author, and so much more than favorite, her salvation at times, she'd have hung up on him and sent a police presence to his building to remind him that this isn't ethical.
Okay, maybe not the police. Well. Maybe so.
"Community service, Beckett."
She is tempted. He has a book launch party (she reads the fan sites, yeah, damn it, she does), and she knows the spoilers all say he's killed a main character. Again.
"Did you really kill him?"
"Uh. No. Innocent until proven guilty, right? Wait, what?"
She groans and rubs her face. Her damn mouth. Shut up, Kate.
A chuckle. "Wait. You mean. The book. You mean the book. So you are a fan. . ."
"How big of a fan?"
"Like, you had to have gotten that spoiler from the fan site. It's not lurking anywhere else. We've been really good at keeping this under wraps-"
"You *did* kill him!" she gasps, sitting up in her bed.
"Don't look so horrified."
Look so...what? "Are you. . .where are you, Castle?"
"And what am I wearing? Well, Counselor, if you must know-"
"No. Hush. Where are you right now? Can you see me?"
Silence and she jumps out of bed, heads straight for her lights, flicked them off. Heart pounding in the dark.
"That is so creepy, Castle."
"No, no. Not creepy. Just. I wanted to be sure you were home before I showed up."
"Showed up? No. No, you are not showing up. You are going home. What about your daughter?"
"She's studying; she's a good girl. She's fine. And no, I haven't had a drop to drink. That was a one-off. And those idiots aren't my friends. Let me in, Kate."
And then she hears the knock on her door, and her heart is in her throat, the highlighter in her hand like a weapon, but holy mother of-
"No," she hisses into the phone. "You cannot come in."
"I'll stay out here all night if that's what it takes."
"Community service and time served."
"That was one night!"
"The way you say that-"
"Richard Castle, do not even begin to make that dirty," she growls, pacing in her room, trying to ignore the door to the living room.
"Begin? We are way past that. I'm in your hallway, Katherine Beckett, leaning against your door. And I could start telling some more dirty, hot stories about you out here. About the time we-"
"We have done nothing. You're making it up."
"Yeah, but the nice old lady waving at me - hello, ma'am; yes, it's a very nice night - she doesn't know that."
Damn. No, no, no. This isn't good. Mrs. Molasky tells the guys at the corner store everything, just everything, and then her mahjong group at the Jewish community center, and that *will* get back to her mother, probably to the judge as well, whose own mother is in that same group-
"Castle. Leave," she hisses, desperation tinging her voice.
"Open the door, Kate."
Her heart pounds. She's not seriously heading towards her front door. No. Stop.
"I start with your legs. Run my hand up your thigh, slowly dragging my fingers along the so-soft skin, the firm-"
She opens the door.