I legitimately could quite possibly be the worst updater in the history of forever.
Anyway, I tried to keep this as in character as possibly, and (since it is a future!fic) I took some liberties. This is how I imagine they would be, being able to go from playful to serious in the blink of an eye, just like they do now. There's not really any plot... it's just some cute fluff to counteract all the Kill Shot angst that has been going around.

But... go ahead and read for yourself.
Disclaimer- I don't own Castle. Nor do I own the song, "Good Morning, Beautiful." The only thing I own are my mistakes, and I'm sure that (even though I read over this twice) there are some in here. That is all. Read on!

For the first time in a long time, Kate woke up to an empty bed. Quickly rolling over to the empty side of the bed, she registered that the sheets were cool, but they still held a little bit of warmth, so it must not have been long since her partner had left the bed. She turned onto her back and took a quick assessment of the room: Light was just barely shining through the windows so she assumed that it was still relatively early, she couldn't smell any coffee brewing so she assumed that he had gotten up quickly, and a glance to the end table on his side proved that his phone was missing. He must've gotten a call this morning and gotten up to take it so she didn't wake up.

Smiling at his thoughtfulness, Kate decided that it was an acceptable time to get up and tossed the sheets that were bunched around her towards the bottom of the bed. She sat up straight and took a moment to stretch, a small groan of satisfaction slid past her lips. Kate found the edge of the bed and slipped her bare feet onto the floor, slowly shuffling across the room towards the discarded pile of clothes from the night before.

Reaching down, she grasped the dress shirt that she had removed from his shoulders the night before and pulled it up towards her chest. Inhaling his scent for a moment, she allowed herself a smile to grow on her lips as she thought about the night before. Walking slowly towards the entrance to the bedroom, she heard his voice speaking softly through the open crack between the door and the frame.

Kate slid her arms through the sleeves of his shirt and buttoned a few of the buttons. As quietly as she could, she opened the door a little wider and slid through the space into the study where Rick was standing.

She had been expecting him to be sitting at his desk by the door, so she was surprised to see him standing in front of the window, wearing nothing but the same jeans he had on the night before. He hadn't heard her come in, so he continued to face away from her, his phone pressed up against his ear. She took the chance to admire him.

"… Pumpkin, please stop apologizing. It's not a big deal. I told you that you can call me whenever you need to…"

Kate smiled. Alexis had left for Oxford earlier that year, a few weeks after Kate had moved into the loft (she and Alexis had long since settled all their differences and started bonding, becoming closer than ever) with the Castles. This wasn't the first time that the time difference was forgotten by either Castle. Kate assumed that something really exciting had happened and she wanted to tell her dad immediately. Rick kept speaking.

"… Why am I whispering? I'm not whispering! I'm just… yes, she's still asleep. There's been a rough string of cases lately… Yes, pumpkin, she's fine… I promise! She could just use the extra sleep… Yes, I'll tell her you love her… Now, tell me more about this internship you got…"

Kate watched as Rick listened to his daughter talk. Even looking at his back, she could tell by his posture that he was smiling. He had his weight leaning forward, as if he was about to start jumping up and down. His shoulders were relaxed, his muscles un-tensed.

"That's wonderful, Alexis! I am so proud of you… What? I am! It's not my fault you do so many wonderful things that I'm just perpetually proud of you… Alright, sweetheart. Go hang out with your friends… Yes, I'll tell her… I love you too, Pumpkin… bye bye."

Rick hung up the phone and settled his weight back on his heels and lifted his arms, lacing his fingers behind his head. He let out a content sigh, and Kate's heart started beating faster.

Walking over as quietly as she could, she tip-toed over where Rick was standing and stood behind him. She stepped close enough so she was just barely touching him and wrapped her arms around his waist. He started slightly, until he realized who it was, and then he relaxed into her touch. She breathed him in, and he sighed again.

The words escaped before she could stop them.

"You're so beautiful," she whispered into his back, placing a feather-light kiss to the space between his shoulder blades.

She could practically feel his eyebrows rise, half in amusement and half in confusion. He tried to turn to look at her directly in the eyes, but her arms around his waist made it impossible. So he had to settle for looking back over his shoulder.

"Isn't that my line?" He asked teasingly, his own hands moving to cover hers that were linked across his stomach.

He felt rather than saw her cheeks blush against his back and heard her mumble, "no…"

Rick moved his hands and began to rub circles against her forearms with his thumbs, pushing the sleeves of the shirt he recognized as his from last night up with his the heels of his palms. He felt her push herself more firmly against his back.

"Well," he continued, teasing tone still in place, "are you sure you're not confused? Don't you mean ruggedly handsome?"

He felt her smile into his back and shake her head, her nose bumping against the ridges of his spine.

"Then my dear detective, I must ask what you mean… because being called beautiful isn't really helping my ego…"

His words had the desired effect, and she barked out a laugh against his skin that had him grinning. Her laugh was one of his favorite sounds in the world, coming in right behind the sound of her and Alexis teasing him together, and that incredibly sexy sound she made when he…

His thoughts were cut off when she moved to stand in front of him, her arms still circled around his waist. Rick moved his hands from her arms and perched them on her hips, the fabric of the shirt bunching up under his fingers. Kate leaned into his chest, leaning her head against his heart.

"It's just the way you are," Kate mumbled, stumbling over her words, "The way you talk to your daughter, and the way that you… shine, whenever she's around. The… pride you have for her and your friends and yourself. The… excitement that you have for everything you do. You can just… sense it, you know? You have a beautiful mind… and a beautiful heart…" She kissed his chest, "You're just… beautiful."

Kate buried her head into his chest, her face flushing with embarrassment. That didn't go as well as she expected.

Rick, on the other hand, was reeling. Just when he thought it wasn't possible for him to be more in love with the woman standing in his arms, she proved him wrong. And the thing is, she didn't even have to try. That jumbled mess of thoughts that just spilled from her lips… it was the most beautiful compliment he had ever received. He took a shuddering breath.

"Well," he said, his voice strangled by emotion. She leaned back to meet his eyes, surprised to see his shining in the early morning sunlight. He cleared his throat, "I guess we can just add 'beautiful' to the list of adjectives to describe me."

She rolled her eyes and pushed playfully against his chest. He didn't let her go very far though, because he leaned down again and pressed his lips tenderly to her forehead. When he stopped, her tilted her head back with his hands and looked earnestly into her eyes.

"Thank you."

She gave him the small smile he had become accustomed to – the smile that she gave him when she couldn't believe that he loved her as much as he did.

"Well, I'm no writer…" she started, but he cut her off.

"You're perfect."

She blushed again, but didn't try to avoid his gaze.

"I love you," she murmured.

"I love you, too," he replied in the same tone, pulling her into his chest once again. "So very much."

They stood in front of the window, just holding each other. Rick shifted his weight, leaning down to kiss her hair. "Hey Kate?"


"Good morning."

Kate leaned back and smirked at him. He knew what was coming before he could stop it.

"Good morning, beautiful," she started singing, a teasing tone finding its way into the lyrics, "how was your ni-igh-ight? Mine was wonderful, with you by me si-."

He proceeded to swallow the lyrics with his lips.

So, love it? Hate it? Let me know what you think!
Also, happy thanksgiving everyone! I'm so thankful to have readers as wonderful as you all are (: