Sit Back Down

Disclaimer: Once again nothing is mine, characters or song ('You and I' by Lady Gaga).

Author's Note: I really am still overwhelmed by the response from this fandom. It's truly a wonderful place to write, and you've all made me feel incredibly welcome. Add to that the fantastic characters I have the pleasure to write about, and really it's nothing but a joy. A lot of the time I find that the characters and the stories write themselves and really that's what happened here. I was inspired by the song 'You and I' by Lady Gaga, and what I intended to be a small scene between our two favourite characters in The Old Haunt somehow spiralled into this. Aside from the fact that it's obviously set at a point after the episode that ended with that magical rendition of Piano Man and gave us the gift of The Old Haunt to work with, this isn't set anywhere specific. I've just watched 'Rise', but that's not to say that you couldn't imagine it later than that, if you feel it fits. It is well and truly rated M for the middle section in italics, so consider that your warning. As usual I would absolutely love to hear what you think, your reviews really do make my day.

Sit back down where you belong, in the corner of my bar with your high heels on...

"What are you doing round there?" Kate asks softly, amusement taking on an almost tender tone in her voice as her eyes track his progress down the bar towards her. A smile dances across her lips as she pushes her hair off her face with one hand, propping her chin on the other as she waits for her answer.

"I saw a beautiful woman in need of a drink," he offers with a low, almost soulful tone to his voice as he folds his arms on the bar between them.

"And you just couldn't resist, I suppose?" she quips lightly, tugging on her bottom lip with her teeth while her eyes track the grin tugging on the corners of his mouth.

"You know me, Detective," he murmurs, with a look that she doesn't think is quite appropriate for such a public place. Closing her eyes for a second to stave off the blush she can feel stealing over her cheeks, she shakes her head slightly. He's grinning a little wider when she opens her eyes, and she shakes her head affectionately with a quick flick of her hand that she knows he can interpret as get me a drink. Laughing, he obliges and turns to survey the bottles that line the bar of The Old Haunt.

She can't deny that he looks perfectly at home behind the bar, and she has to bite back a sigh as she watches the subtle ripple of muscle beneath the crisp white cotton of his shirt. She knows it feels as soft as it looks, and she allows herself a long moment to smile. Resting her chin against her fist again, she twirls a strand of hair around her finger and eyes the flash of perfectly fitting denim she's rewarded with when he reaches up to grab a glass, just for a second.

She is only human, after all.

"Anyone would think you owned the place, you know," she teases, once she's recovered her thoughts to a position entirely more appropriate for a crowded bar. As he pauses in his work for a moment though, she finds herself unable to stop the smile from breaking over her lips again.

"If you were any Detective worth her salt you'd know that I do," he throws back casually, and she doesn't need to see his face to know he's struggling to keep a straight face. She's always had the edge, when it counts.

"So you do," she chuckles eventually, flashing him a smile that she's pretty sure could be described as sultry when he eventually turns back to face her. "My bad," she adds teasingly, resting both hands palm down on the counter as he pushes the glass to a halt between her thumbs. Curling a finger around the glass, she grins at him with undisguised affection.

"Why are you sitting all the way down here, anyway?" he asks, his voice softer as his fingers ghost against hers for a second. Resting a hip against the bar, he gestures towards their friends, talking and laughing in little clusters further down the bar. She shrugs a shoulder, keeping her eyes on his.

"Maybe I was hoping the owner of this place would take pity on a girl on her own and pour her a drink," she suggests coyly, her voice barely a whisper and entirely a lie. He already knows her real answer, but they've played this game before and she knows they'll probably continue to play it every time they wind up on opposite sides of the bar she's grown to love.

Truthfully? This secluded corner of his bar has fast become her favourite spot, and after a long day she finds herself liking nothing more than taking a seat away from the rush and the noise and allowing herself a moment to decompress. To reflect on the day, and sometimes simply observe the strangely calming chaos around her. They've survived a long couple of days and a harrowing case, the detectives and their writer, and she slides her fingers into her hair and leans against her hand as she brings her eyes back to his. They're warm and welcoming and speak more about the embrace she knows she'll fall into that night than his words ever could.

It's tentative and new and wonderfully exciting, this thing between them, and she flashes him a smile before thoughts of the case can penetrate the happy little bubble she's managed to create in the quiet corner of his bar.

"Nothing about you to pity," he offers eventually with an exaggerated leer, and she laughs gratefully because it still surprises her just how well he knows her, sometimes. "The drink is all yours, though." She smiles, sliding her finger around the rim of the glass to capture the condensation that has formed there before touching her lips lightly. His eyes darken instantly, and she laughs a low, pleasantly exhausted chuckle.

He's such an easy mark, but it triggers relaxation somewhere deep in her bones. If she knew how he did it she'd bottle it, because she knows without a doubt that she could make a fortune.

He leans forward then, resting both elbows on the bar and crowding her space with a smile that's almost predatory. As his eyes dip for a lingering moment, she knows that their respective positions mean he can see right down her sweater, and she tugs her lip between her teeth as a shiver rolls through her body.

When he drags his eyes back to hers a second too late to be respectable, the openly burning fire in his eyes is almost enough to make her head spin even without a sip of the rich amber liquid that swirls in the glass she lifts from the bar.

Bringing it to her lips, her senses are assaulted by the deep, evocative scent that she knows belongs to his current favourite scotch, tinged by his proximity with just a hint of his cologne and the scent that is entirely his alone. The combination makes her breath catch in her throat and transports her straight back into an intoxicating memory that sends a shiver shooting right down her spine.

Sit back down on the couch where we made love the first time and you said to me...

"Rick!" she laughs, the sound deep and throaty and entirely foreign to her as she struggles to balance the glass of scotch clutched perilously between her fingers. Winding her free arm around his neck, she lets out a soft moan of contentment as the strong, warm lines of his body press her into the couch and leave her head spinning even more than one taster too many of the latest selection of spirits contending for a coveted home behind the bar in The Old Haunt.

She knew before they started exactly how this tasting session was going to end.

"You taste better," he all but growls, attacking her neck with lips and teeth and just a hint of tongue as she scratches her nails against his neck in encouragement.

"You didn't even let me... try," she counters, choking on her final word as he sucks on her pulse point in a move that makes her knees give way every time he tries it when she's standing. Arching into him a little, she lets herself take a moment to enjoy the feel of his growing erection against her thigh before gathering every inch of self control she has and pushing him away enough to bring the almost forgotten glass to her lips. His eyes darken even further as he props his weight on his forearms braced either side of her, and proceeds to trail a path of fire down her shoulder with a simple touch of his fingers as she brings the glass to her lips and swallows the measure in its entirety.

The alcohol burns a smooth path down the back of her throat, and as she closes her eyes on a moan of delight his lips are on hers, hot and demanding. She responds without hesitation, and his tongue tangles with hers in a heady combination of scotch and desire and him that leaves her reeling.

Breaking away, she gasps in a shaky breath, covering her burning face with a cool hand while she tries to find her senses. Her mind is still spinning when she feels him drag her hands above her head, and the amount of time it takes her to realise that he's relieved her of the camisole she was wearing is shocking to every cop instinct she possesses. The cool air is refreshing against her flushed skin, but the second it takes her to begin to recover herself means that she misses the predatory glint in his eyes until his fingers have already made easy work of the button and zip on her jeans.

Her jeans are on the floor before she can release a moan that she thinks was supposed to sound like his name, and this time she opens her eyes to catch the desire pooling in his as he studies her, naked on his couch save for a scrap of black lace that he's told her before is all but indecent.

"Do you remember?" he asks, voice low and seductive against her ear as his fingers continue that burning trail all the way down her stomach and leave her shuddering, "the first time we made love, right here on this couch?" he continues, and she sucks in a breath as his fingers push beneath her underwear, strong and confident and searching.

But suddenly, still.

Opening her eyes wide on a choked breath, she curses him in a voice that definitely isn't her own and only makes him laugh in that smug, irritated way that makes her hate him but never want him to stop all in one.

"I remember," she gasps, because she knows that she never gets away with anything less than full participation when he's in this sort of storytelling mood. How he's so unaffected by the alcohol she'll never know, but his fingers swipe confidently against her clit and she moans, all thoughts of hating him forgotten.

"If you remember, you won't need me to tell you then," he comments, lips brushing her ear as his fingers stroke her clit in light, teasing strokes that are nothing close to the pressure she wants.


"Don't you dare stop," she orders sharply, even though it comes out breathless and needy. He laughs, nips her earlobe and captures her lips in a searing kiss as he slides his fingers down and sinks them into her in a thrust that has her gasping and moaning his name all over again.

"You weren't drunk," he murmurs, his voice taking on that seductive, story spinning tone that she knows is for her ears alone. "Not like tonight." He chuckles on a thrust of his fingers, and she moans as he flexes them deep inside her. Squirms against him as he laughs and presses his other hand against her stomach, right where her desire is coiling and threatening to explode. "You were sober and completely in control and you wanted me just as much as I wanted you." His voice drops a little further as his words slow, and it soothes her enough to allow her to sink back into the couch a little and give into the feel of his fingers and the sound of his voice.

"Tell me," she whispers, biting her lip on her plea as he laughs softly.

"Patience, Kate," he whispers, with a brush of his thumb against her clit that has her arching against him all over again. "You were lying beneath me, and I could feel you shaking with desire," he continues, the rich warmth of his words brushing her ear. "I touched you just like this, two fingers buried deep inside you while you wanted to beg me to do this," he murmurs, accompanying his words with another slow swipe of his thumb over her clit. "You were so tight," he murmurs, stroking his fingers inside her slowly, "hot and wet around my fingers and God, all I wanted was to bury myself inside you Kate." He pauses, fingers curled dangerously close to her g-spot. "Do you remember?" he whispers, and she moans, because she knows how this game goes.

"Yes," she gasps, lifting her hips as he strokes her slowly and drags a moan from her lips that she would swear isn't her own.

"Good," he whispers, smiling against her skin as he picks up his torturous rhythm once again. "You came for the first time against my fingers," he tells her quietly, and she knows he will feel the clench of her muscles at the memory he evokes. "Yes, love," he chuckles, the sound reverberating against her neck, "just like you will soon." She shudders against him, and he eases his fingers back just enough for her to catch her breath. Forcing her eyes open, she struggles to focus on him as he brushes a feather-light kiss against her lips. "Breathe, Kate," he whispers in a tone entirely contradictory to the heat of the story he's telling.

Nodding slowly, she sucks in a couple of deep breaths until she can see clearer. Nods again, and his fingers push deeper once more.

If this was how torture went, she'd willingly put herself in danger every day for the rest of her life, she muses hazily.

"God," he murmurs, slipping back into his story as he strokes her clit with long, lazy movements. "You'd never looked more beautiful than that moment, right after you fell apart around my fingers." He smiles, flexing his fingers inside her again, and she lets out a moan as her eyes slide shut. "Do you remember what you said to me then?" he murmurs, his voice low and teasing. "Kate," he calls softly, brushing his fingers against her temple as he waits for her answer.

"I want you," she whispers, biting down on her lip as he curls the fingers inside her in response, barely in control of her own senses as her mind spins with desire. It's what she said and what she currently feels all rolled into three heady words, and it's almost too much.

"What else did you say?" he asks, more of a command than a question as his thumb brushes too lightly against her clit. She knows she's squirming and writhing against him and she knows she'll get him back for this and love every second of it, but she doesn't want him to ever stop. "What else, Kate?" he asks, his voice low and dangerous. She moans, lifts her hips against his fingers and gasps in frustration as he pulls them back.

"Fuck me," she hisses hoarsely, crying out as his fingers slide deep and firm, curling relentlessly right where she wants them.

"And I did," he tells her, grazing her earlobe with his teeth as he slides his thumb firmly against the spot beneath her clit that makes her fall apart every time. "Come for me, love," he whispers as she shatters around him, aware somewhere in the recess of her mind that the strangled cry of his name she thinks she hears comes from her own lips. "You were so damn tight, Kate," he murmurs as her muscles clench repeatedly around his fingers and she falls apart in time with every stroke of his thumb beneath her clit. "You had your legs wrapped around my waist and you felt so tight and perfect. God," he chuckles, low and aroused, and it shoots desire right through her as she rides the orgasm he's dragging from her body. "I haven't got a clue to this day how I lasted longer than that first thrust, Kate," he murmurs, resting a warm palm on her stomach as she whimpers against the pleasure coursing through her. "You came seconds before me," he continues, in a tone softer and entirely seductive as he strokes her clit with gentle, unhurried movements.

"Rick," she gasps weakly, her hips thrusting against her will.

"Hush, love," he whispers, feathering a series of kisses against her forehead as the glorious tail end of her orgasm pushes her to the point where she forgets her own name and everything but his fingers inside her and against her. "That was when I realised that you could look more beautiful," he continues, brushing his thumb against the corner of her eye and giving her time to focus as her orgasm slowly ebbs away. "You do every time."

Something, something about this place. Something about lonely nights and my lipstick on your face...

"You are an evil, evil man, Richard Castle," she tells him quietly over the rim of her glass, the warmth of her smile and the crimson flush of her cheeks belying the meaning of her words. He chuckles, his thumb warm against the back of her hand as she takes a sip from her glass and lets the background noise of the bar start to filter through the vivid, arousing colours of her memory.

Reaching out, she catches his earlobe between her fingers and laughs at his anticipatory wince even as she rubs the skin gently. His wince widens into a grin that's gentle with its affection, and she smiles right back at him because she knows his eyes are apologising for pushing her further than she's usually comfortable in a public place.

That's not to say she isn't above surprising him every so often.

"For that, I think I'll have to demand a repeat performance of what you know I was remembering," she murmurs, leaning a little too far into his personal space. "Tonight." He gulps, visibly, and she settles back on her stool, grinning a little wider because it's oh so easy to turn the tables on him, even though her head is still swirling.

"Your wish is my command, Detective," he assures her, his grin confident and cocky and firmly back in place as he leans his elbows on the bar again. Toying with the cufflink on his right wrist in a gesture that is as close as she'll ever come to openly holding his hand in the bar, she dips her eyes for a moment as her smile widens a little more.

"So why don't you come back round here and keep a girl company until it's an appropriate time to cut out," she suggests eventually, letting go of his wrist and spinning a half turn on her stool so she can lean back against the bar and survey the crowd before her. She feels him leave her personal space, and she sips the excellent scotch in her glass slowly until he's sliding onto the stool to her right. His fingers are warm as they curl around her elbow, hidden from sight by the rest of her body.

It's not that she's ashamed, and it's not even really her hatred of the press. If she's perfectly honest it's not even the fact that she's fiercely private, although she's also not naive enough to deny that it is a big factor. More, it's the fact that this real, honest, amazing relationship they've somehow managed to stumble into is so spectacular that she wants to keep it all to herself.

She doesn't want to share them, in the most selfish way possible.

"Tell me a story," she prompts eventually when he stays quiet, taking another sip from her glass. She feels him relax back against the bar, and shakes her head slightly. "Keep it clean, Rick," she adds quickly, laughing right along with the low chuckle he releases.

"For now," he agrees readily, and she doesn't have to turn her head to know that there's fire in his eyes. "The lady wants a story," he murmurs eventually, and she hears the instinctual slip of his voice into the deep, incredibly personal timbre she knows he reserves for her alone. "Lucky I'm a writer, really. How about a story about a dark corner of an old bar that was the start of something extraordinary?" he proposes, and his fingers stroke her elbow in a way that no one else has ever made her shiver before.

"I like that one," she offers softly, turning her head to smile at him.

She could tell it herself, if asked, but damn if there aren't just a few perks to dating your favourite writer.

"Well you see this writer, he bought a bar," he continues with a grin, his words warm near her ear. She knows he's watching her, but she doesn't need to look at him while he tells this story. "And one night he sees a fair detective sitting in a corner of the bar, away from her other crime solving superheroes," he chuckles and bumps her knee with his until her smile widens just a little. "The corner of the bar thing is getting to be a recurring theme, but I digress. The writer decided to pour the fair detective a drink. He knew it was her favourite without having to ask because he watches things, you see."

"Watches, stalks, same difference really," she comments on another sip of her drink. His laugh is full and rich, and if they weren't in his crowded bar she would tug his arms right around her to feel the sound as much as she hears it.

"You wound me, love," he laughs, slipping the moniker in with a naturalness that she knows is deliberate.

"Don't call me love," she warns, in an argument well versed and even more loved.

"The writer... did I mention he was ruggedly handsome?" he interrupts himself, grinning. "The ruggedly handsome writer wanted to do something to stop the fair detective looking so sad, but he didn't think it would be as simple as pouring her her favourite drink." She smiles as he continues to talk, transported back months with the ease of his words to the night in question.

They had closed a disturbing series of connected murders and had departed en masse for The Old Haunt to celebrate. As the night had progressed, Lanie, Jenny and even the Captain's wife had turned up, and she had somehow found herself surrounded by couples who, although made up of her best friends and her family, were little short of stifling. She had struggled to identify the emotion she was feeling and, more than a little confused, she had done what she knew best and retreated just a little. To the corner of the bar.

She hadn't counted on her writer, her partner, being able to read her better than even she could, though.

"That's not the end of the story," she prompts gently before she can think any further, nudging him free from the moment she knows he's reliving too.

"As the writer passed the fair detective her drink, she gave him the most beautiful smile," he murmurs, smiling. "You looked so lonely, but you brightened in a second," he tells her quietly, slipping out of his story. "It was like you lit up the room, and it was the best feeling in the world." Her heart skips a beat at the honest sincerity of his tone, and she bites her lip as she turns to face him.

"I didn't even know what I was feeling," she says softly, "and you walked right over and knew in an instant. It was infuriating, really," she laughs.

"Well the fair detective and the infuriating writer sat in the corner of the bar and talked for ages. The fair detective won more than her share of their arguments, although that's not something the writer would admit in any other situation."

"The fair detective always wins," she murmurs, leaning back against the bar and surveying the crowd as he moves a little closer. "That's how the story goes."

"I... can't argue with that," he chuckles, bumping his shoulder against hers before retreating.

"Can I finish the story?" she asks softly, her own smile matching the brilliant one that dances across his face as he nods. "The fair detective," she picks up with a gentle roll of her eyes, "told the writer that he could buy her a drink any time either of them was feeling lonely." She still remembers the sheer depth of emotions in his eyes at that moment, and she meets his eyes properly in a gaze that's almost breathtaking in its resemblance. "The writer said one word. Always." He mouths the word along with her, and she bumps her knee back against his affectionately. "Is this my part of the story or yours?" she teases, smiling widely. He laughs, and makes an exaggerated show of closing his lips. "So, the fair detective leaned over and kissed the writer's cheek before going back to join their friends." she finishes, dipping her eyes for a second as she considers her next words. "You gave me the strength to walk back over to them, you know," she offers softly, losing herself in his eyes as she looks back up.

"It is a marvellous story," he muses eventually, rubbing her elbow gently in acknowledgement of what she rarely finds the words to tell him. "There's just one problem. Literary problem, I mean."

"Pray tell, writer boy," she murmurs, feeling the lilt of seduction seep into her voice as she drains the scotch from her glass. His eyes lose focus for just a second and she grins knowingly.

The fact that she can have that effect on him is never short of thrilling.

"When a story finishes, you generally say 'The End'," he declares dramatically, once he's shaken what she knows to be an onslaught of fantasies from his mind. "My problem is that the moment in question wasn't really the end at all. Like I said, it was the start of something extraordinary. Therein lies the conundrum," he tells her, even as her heart flutters all over again at his use of the word extraordinary.

"Maybe you should go with to be continued, at the end of that particular story then," she suggests, biting her lip lightly as she fights the urge to lean in and kiss him.

"To be continued," he offers speculatively, and the grin he sports says it's perfect and you're amazing all rolled into one and has her glancing over her shoulder before brushing her lips against his in the lightest of kisses. It lasts little longer than a second and leaves her cheeks flaming all over again, but it turns the look on his face into you're perfect and I love you and makes her melt, just a little.

Not that she'd ever admit it.

At least not to anyone but him.

"It is a great story. All the makings of a classic," she murmurs softly, laughing as he tries to battle the grin off his face. "Boy, girl, right place, right time... what more could you need?"

"Great story," he agrees, taking the empty glass from her fingers and standing it on the bar. His story has relaxed her to the point where she's willing to let the tiredness seep through her gaze for him to see. "It wasn't intended to be a bedtime story though," he murmurs softly, with a smile in his voice that somehow helps her straighten her spine a little through the exhaustion. "Long day, detective?" he asks quietly, even though they both know he already knows the answer.

"Long day, she agrees, sighing quietly as the need to relax properly finally threatens to overtake her. "What do you say we take this great story home?" she asks eventually, laughing as his grin breaks free again. The moment feels like it's calling for something a little more than laughter though, and she hesitates for a second, dipping her gaze a little until she feels the warmth of his attention focusing in on her. "I'm tired, Rick," she speaks softly, smiling as his hand at her elbow pushes gently until she stands. He's already standing with her, and she brings her eyes up to his with her next words. "Take me home."

"My pleasure, love," he murmurs, holding out her coat for her to slip into with a warmth in his gaze that she knows she caused. He straightens her collar as she turns to face him, and she's strong and independent and most of the time she fights his chivalrous gestures, but sometimes when she's tired and her guard is down just a little, they're exactly what she wants. "You're never going to admit to liking things like this, are you?" he murmurs, lips close to her ear.

"Not on your life," she agrees, laughing softly as she nudges him a more respectable distance away.

As they walk out of the bar though, their hands are a carefully concealed tangle of fingers that warms her heart more than she knows alcohol and even his words ever could.

Their story might be great, but their reality is extraordinary.

Yeah something about, baby, you and I.