Title: Full Exposure
Rating: a strong M people, sexual situations ahead
Disclaimer: Not mine, no money made
Spoilers: "Rise", "Cops and Robbers".
Summary: Unless you ask, you can't receive. Castle educates Beckett on the benefits of communication.
"Tell me you need me."
Her call had been innocent. Originally, her call had been about the case. They'd engaged in a little of their usual back and forth over the phone but both of them knew that the investigation was at a virtual standstill until they caught a break. Talking through the details though, sharing their insights and speculations often gleaned results. It was what they did best. More than that, it was their secret form of foreplay. A secret that everyone knew about by now, including the two of them. A secret that came out of hiding one night when foreplay had turned into full-on play on Castle's couch. Ever since, she'd gotten into a habit of calling him late at night. It was a habit he hadn't dared question, probably in case it stopped.
Truth was, on this particular night, as on most of the nights she called, she had nothing much to say and nor did he. She really just wanted to hear his voice. Apparently, she didn't get enough of it during the daytime hours they spent joined at the hip. Only this time, talking about the couple involved in the case turned into a whole lot of simmering subtext about the couple currently joined by the tenuous link of a phone line. Because that was how they talked about their "relationship". In subtext only. But there was little in the way of subtext when Castle murmured those five words into her ear. And this time, there was no mistaking his meaning.
"Tell me you need me."
Her apartment had grown darker as they talked, the sounds of the street fainter as she listened to him weave stories about the couple in question. Kate had never admitted it to him and probably never would but it was one of her favorite things about having him as her partner. Those moments when he'd launch into a theory and she felt like she had her own private storyteller, with a voice both rough and soothing, his every word and twist compelling to her mind. That little fact though, was the least of what she had not dared divulge to Rick Castle, the least of what she should have told him a very, very long time ago. Because the longer she held her tongue the harder it became for her to finally come clean. And she wanted to. She needed to.
It was tearing her apart inside, pulling at her innards more than the stitches holding her scars together ever did. And she knew, she just knew she was giving herself away. With every look, every smile, every single day she spent with him, it was there. Unspoken but palpable. How she felt about him, how much she needed him. She couldn't kid herself that he could know her as well as he did, watch her as faithfully as he did and not see that, not see the change that had occurred in her since she got her second chance at life. Not that that chance had changed who she was because it hadn't. Kate Beckett was still wary. She still felt all walled up inside. She still had the hardest time just opening her mouth and letting truth come out and she still didn't completely understand why that was. Especially when it came to him. He was the one person who had her figured, the one man who had always stood by her. She knew his affection was unshakable and yet, admitting hers felt next to impossible.
Lucky for her, Rick Castle was a patient man. Patient to the point of exasperation. She could feel him waiting on the other end of the phone, as patiently as he'd waited for her for the past few years. She could hear the silence in his home, the rain patting on his windows like an echo of the rain tapping hers. She heard his breath and his hope and when she closed her eyes, she could picture him slumped in one of his large, comfy chairs, glass in one hand, phone at his ear. Or perhaps he was leaning against his desk, gazing out the window at the soaked city as she held her breath, struggling to find her voice, wondering if she ever would. She doubted whether she would, she seriously doubted her ability to do this, to just jump in and claim him as hers. But Castle didn't. He didn't doubt her for a second. Never had. And maybe his certainty, his faith was enough for both of them.
He said her name, her first name, making something inside her dissolve. Another piece of that stoic wall of hers maybe. He repeated his entreaty, softer this time, affection rimming his tone, making something inside her resolve.
"Tell me. Tell me you need me."
And God, how she wanted to do just that, how she ached to be straight with him. Because the truth was, there was no one she needed more. Nothing she wanted more than to open her mouth and answer him, be brave enough to send him flying to the door, jacket in hand, out into the rain and right to her door. She knew that one word from her was all it would take. One word and he'd be with her, hands on her body, mouth against hers, claiming her as his, as she always had been. Just one word and he'd be all hers, to do with whatever she wished. Or three words, more accurately – that was what she required here. Three simple, honest words. Kate began with:
"Yeah…?" he breathed expectantly.
She bit her lip then consciously unbit it, releasing herself from her habitual silence. She closed her eyes, felt the need rumble up from her gut like a divine hunger she'd starved for years. The words emanated from that rumbling hunger, not from her usually reticent mouth. But she didn't care. As long as they made it out somehow. As long as he knew. She knew she'd get what she called for. And he'd get what he'd been waiting for.
"I'm there," Castle replied, the words barely out of his mouth before he hung up.
Kate listened to the dead line for a moment, then took a deep breath and began to calculate how long it would take him to get to her place at that time of night in the pouring rain. However hopeful her estimate was, she knew Castle would make it there much quicker. So she poured herself another glass of wine and waited.
"Tell me you want me."
He was barely even in the door before he'd backed her against it, hands creeping up inside her shirt and the wet from his hair dripping onto her cheeks. Kate couldn't help smiling into his kiss, biting his lip in appreciation. She was so relieved she wasn't going to have to deal with any preliminaries, they weren't going to pretend he was there for any other reason but this. She didn't offer him a glass of wine or ask him to sit down. She didn't get the chance. And he'd already been drinking wine, she could taste it on his tongue. Also, she had a feeling that if she'd offered him a seat, he'd just have pulled her down into it with him. Given the slightest permission from her, there was no way he was going to cease touching her and that was exactly how she wanted it. No preliminaries and no pretending. Just good old fashioned making out. That is, until Castle began to talk, until he began demanding that she talk too.
He'd done the same thing the first time they'd found themselves engaged in unexpected couch sex. As he'd kissed her all over, he'd babbled about how amazing she was, how she felt and smelled and tasted. All of which had been fine with her. She'd gotten used to Rick Castle's propensity to chatter his way through pretty much every minute of the day. And the vibration of his voice felt good against her skin. But then he'd started asking her how this felt and whether she liked that. He started touching her and squeezing her and teasing her various places, studying all her reactions like he planned to catalogue them afterwards. Kate had been beyond coherent speech as he carried out this research, eyes probing hers. She remembered feeling slightly miffed that he still had such command over his voice and faculties while she was half-naked in his lap. The only logical thought she'd been able to entertain in that moment was that she had to have him before his daughter and mother got home. So she'd made sure his mouth was otherwise occupied and urged him onto the main event. Castle didn't seem to mind.
The second time they'd had sex had been so fast and furious that, apart from a few approving moans and encouraging whimpers, Castle didn't have the chance to get that much out of her, though it wasn't from lack of trying. He was nothing if not persistent. Not to mention talkative. But for Kate, it felt unnatural. Talking had never been a part of her sexual routine. She just wasn't one to carelessly bare her soul, especially not while baring her desire. That kind of double exposure was too difficult for her even if she sometimes craved it. Even if sometimes, she might crave someone she could entrust herself to like that. But none of the men she'd been with had been able to coax it out of her. If one part of her opened to them, another part of her instantly closed down. While she willingly gave them her body, she stubbornly withdrew her mind, her heart, her full self from them. The closer they tried to get, the more protective she grew, the more wary she got of the encroaching exposure.
But with Castle, it was different. Everything was different, and that thrilled and scared her all at once. Because Castle she couldn't withdraw from, she couldn't guard against. He already knew too much and was far too adept at disarming her. And when it came to her, he only wanted more. Always, always more. He wanted it all. He wouldn't be content with just one part of her. He wouldn't trade one part of her for another. He'd never be content with only half a woman. He didn't just want her body, just as he hadn't been content with just her mind, her trust, her confidence. He didn't wish to simply sate her desire. He wanted to make its acquaintance, take it out for dinner, ask it a whole bunch of questions until he knew it inside and out and could finish its ravenous sentences. He wasn't content knowing that Kate Beckett possessed desire. He wanted to know exactly what that desire demanded and, more specifically, how this might involve him. And he was going about it getting that information in just the right way.
"Tell me, Kate," he murmured, his initial assault easing, his mouth drifting over her jaw, nipping at her ear. "Tell me that you want me, tell me how much…"
His hands didn't pause, large palms moving in slow circles over her back, keeping her in a constant state of anticipation. She wanted more than sweet, soothing circles though. She wanted more than his lips placing chaste kisses on her neck. She wanted his skin on her skin, she wanted his hands inside her clothes, on her breasts, between her legs and everywhere else. She wanted exactly what she knew he wanted. She just wasn't as good at communicating that verbally. But seriously, couldn't the man tell? From the way her body arced into his and the way the inside of her thigh was rubbing against the outside of his and the way she couldn't get enough of kissing him? Must she really say it right to his face? Admitting she needed him over the phone was one thing. Saying to his face that she wanted him, that she felt this overwhelming lust for his body – that was another. She attempted to distract him with a kiss, curling a hand around his neck and pulling him down to her mouth while her other hand wandered down his chest to his belly. Surely that was suggestion enough.
Not for Rick Castle evidently. He wanted words. He wanted her full exposure.
"Tell me," he urged for the third time, giving her a series of lingering open-mouthed kisses but not granting her tongue entry. "Lemme hear you say it..."
Before she could even think of answering him though, his hands slid down, grabbing her ass and hauling her body up against the door. She gasped in surprise as she felt him press between her legs, head flying back and limbs instinctively encircling him. He pressed into her again, his mouth latching onto her breast through the thinness of her shirt and the lace of her bra. He bit it, squeezed her ass and groaned bodily. And the words just tumbled out of her mouth before she even gave them permission. The second they did, Castle started for the bedroom, her body wrapped around his as tightly as possible.
"Tell me you love me."
Her eyes popped open to look up at him.
His movements within her slowed.
It was only the third time they'd had sex. And the first time ever in a bed. The second time they'd crashed through her door and straight onto the floor in a desperate heap of limbs and sweat and needy flesh. And there they had stayed until after she came beneath him and he collapsed on top of her. The first two times had been such a surprise that they hadn't even managed to get fully naked. The first time, there had been the possibility of his family walking in at any moment. The second, they were due back at the precinct in mere minutes. This was the first time they'd been naked together, in bed together with all the time in the world to enjoy that. But they hadn't talked about what any of these three occasions truly meant. There had certainly been no mention of the word love.
Until then. Still, Castle could always be counted on to boldly jump right to the most significant plot point. She'd almost be disappointed if he didn't.
And as she blinked up at him, ran her hands over his damp flesh, palmed his face, it seemed obvious that that was exactly what this was. It was what they'd always been headed for. She knew it was what he felt. She'd never be able to forget those desperately whispered words or the expression on his face as she lay on the edge of life and death. And she'd tried. But it was burned into her brain forever. Not just the words but the truth behind them. He loved her. Castle suspected she remembered this admission too, she was sure of it. Just as he no doubt suspected that she felt exactly the same way, even if she hadn't been brave enough to face the fact. Not until an explosion shattered her complacency into tiny little unresisting pieces. She didn't know why it took nearly losing him for her to wake the hell up. Or why it had taken nearly losing her for him to risk exposure. Or why these threats hit harder than all the previous ones.
But whatever the cause, before the most recent threats to both their lives, they had been mere theory. A compelling theory, an alluring theory, a probable theory, at least in his mind. But a theory nonetheless. Now, there was actual proof. And proof of a particularly powerful and persuasive kind. Him touching her. Her touching him. This mutual, heady exposure. This intimacy, this joining and all the feelings it evoked deep in the core of her. That was her proof. She always required proof to back up theory and Castle always went out of his way to provide it. They were no longer theory now, there was no going back. They were reality – if only she could bring herself to admit it aloud. It hardly made sense to her that after all the demons she'd slain, all the challenges she'd faced, saying three little words to the man she loved was such an awesome task for her. She'd said them before. She'd said them to boys before she knew what they meant and to boyfriends when they'd said them to her and expected a reply. She'd said them when it was safer to hide in the fact that someone was leaving or didn't love her back. She said them when she wanted to love someone because it was so much less complicated than loving the only man she'd ever really given her whole heart to.
In reality, nothing was ever that complicated between her and Castle. Although maybe it was simply the haze of sex that made it appear so. Or maybe their time had come and it was as simple as that. As simple as he loved her and she loved him and they both knew it and couldn't stand another second of denial. Kate smiled and continued breathing. She wrapped her legs higher about his hips, raked her fingernails up his back as she pulled him closer.
"Keep going," she urged, bumping her hips against his. "Please don't stop."
Castle groaned and resumed his steady strokes. "Tell me. Tell me, Kate…"
"Tell you what?" she panted, body moving with his, meeting his every pulse. "Tell you that I need you?"
"Yeeaahhhss," he growled, closing his eyes and quickening his pace.
"Or that I want you?" she went on, both hands slipping down to grab his ass and drive him deeper. "That I lust for your body and always have? S'that you wanna hear, Castle?"
He opened his eyes to glare down at her, a grin twisting his lips. "You know what I wanna hear."
She gasped at a particularly pleasurable thrust, one that hit her clit at just the right angle as he penetrated her. "Yeah…yeah, I do…"
"Then why don't you say it?" he demanded, stopping all movement and leaning down to bite her shoulder. "Why do you feel this sadistic need to torture me?"
"This is not me torturing you, Castle," she murmured, hands leaving his butt and drifting up his body. "This is me…" she kissed his hair, stroked his chest, "this is me loving you. I thought you'd have picked up on the difference."
He pulled back to look at her. "Oh…yeah?"
She gave a little hum. "Trust me, if I wanted to torture you, you'd know it. Also, I generally don't do my torturing naked."
He kissed her hard and quick. "Say it again."
She grinned impishly. "I generally don't do-"
He kissed her again, grabbed her hands and pinned them to the bed. "Not that. Tell me what I wanna hear. And say it like you mean it."
Her grin softened, her eyelids fell languidly. She flexed her hands in his grip, felt herself liquefying around his embedded hardness. She rubbed her knee against his flank, eyes running over his face. "Okay," Kate said lightly. "But only if I can be on top." If she was going to expose herself, she might as well do it right.
Unsurprisingly, Castle was more than willing to deal and very happy with their new position, if the way his eyes roved over her body was anything to go by. Once repositioned, Kate resumed the pace he'd set, moving her hips against his and leaning down to kiss him. He kissed her back, the expectation mounting in every pore of his body but his patience utterly unassailable. She loved that about him, that and so many other things. So when the sensations he produced in her finally peaked, she let her mouth fall open and let the truth roll out.
"Tell me what you're thinking."
Kate giggled and threw one leg over his. "Hm. I'm thinking…pizza. Or pancakes. Or…maybe pasta. Or maybe all three. Why?"
"No reason," Castle replied with a little chuckle that shook her head on his chest. "Just wondering."
"Yeah, right." She knew him better than that. Castle never asked a question without a solid reason attached to the answer. She could practically hear him take note on his incessant mental typewriter, documenting the delicious fact that Kate Beckett liked food after sex. And lots of it. Also that she was prone to giggling after orgasm. She lifted onto one elbow, looking up at him. "What were you thinking?"
"I wasn't," he answered glibly. "And I won't be thinking for quite some time, not after that. Blood's all flowing in the wrong direction if you get my meaning."
Kate rolled her eyes and flopped back to the bed, one arm cast across his chest. "Actually…I was thinking something else as well," she admitted after a moment of silence, although she wasn't entirely sure why she did. Now that she'd started baring her innermost thoughts to Rick Castle, it seemed she couldn't stop. He didn't even need to ask, she was now volunteering intimate information. Then again, telling him she needed him, wanted him, loved him had worked out pretty well. So maybe she should continue sharing and see what else might flow her way.
"What?" Castle eventually prompted, his fingertips drifting over the curve of her naked hip.
"I was thinking," she murmured, voice a little softer than usual, "that I hope Martha is home with Alexis because…I want to do…what we just did one more time tonight. Then I want you to sleep here, I want you in my bed all night. I want to wake up with your hands all over me and do it all over again in the morning before we're even properly awake."
She heard, and felt, Castle swallow, sensed him quickly adding 'likes morning sex' to his internal Kate Beckett FAQs list. Then he replied evenly, "Well, that would make sense. Because then we could have pasta now, carbo-load for the next round. And have pancakes…in the morning."
Kate let her head loll back on his shoulder so she could look at him. "Don't forget the pizza, Castle, I wasn't kidding about the pizza. And I want the good stuff."
Castle just looked at her with affection that had nothing at all to do with Italian food. Then he drew her close and kissed her.
The next morning, Kate woke up with exactly what she wanted. Castle's hands all over her body, his chest pressed to her back, his mouth on her neck and his smell inhabiting her sheets, along with the rest of him. He murmured good morning as his fingers slipped down and parted her, smearing her residual moisture. She whispered it back as he gently lifted her leg back over his. Then he told her he loved her as he pushed inside her barely conscious body. Kate sighed and told him she loved him right back. No prompting required. No stalling, no questioning, no playing. She was getting the hang of this communication thing. It was really not so difficult. And if this was what came of talking, then she could definitely see why Castle was such a fan.