Okay, so I'm on season 1 of Castle right now, I finished "Home is Where the Heart Stops" a few minutes ago, and I just couldn't resist writing this while the next one loads. If something exists like it, sorry, I didn't know.

"As a friend, I'm asking you to stay here."

His mind kept replaying those words as he sat in the car like she'd told him to-he was going to listen this time. He'd learned his lesson already.

Beckett had never referred to him as a friend; in fact, she'd never said anything other than "He's assisting me on the case" or something to that effect. Really, it seemed like Castle was just a nusicance to her most of the time. She put up with him, sure, but that was because she had no choice.

But yet she had called him a friend.

It was probably just a way to get him to stay in the car, he decided. She must have known he'd think about it. Then again, it was hard to tell what was ever happening in the mind of Detective Kate Beckett.

She was a tough nut to crack, that was for sure. But he had seen, a few times now, when her walls began to come down a just a tiny bit, only to go back up seconds later. "Kate Beckett's like an onion. How will you ever peel away all the layers?" she'd told him sarcastically, but he believed it. There were many levels to Beckett, and she was a bigger mystery than all of his books combined.

Someday, he knew, he would get past her walls completely, that barrier she set up against the world. She wouldn't even know it was happening-he'd just keep chipping away, till he broke through. And there would be nothing she could do about it.

But still. "Friend." He was making progress.