A/N: Another Holiday request fic. This one for corlando, the prompt was "Snuggle." Hope you like it. Oddly, my three Castle December requests were basically one after the other. Because the 9th is a Castle fic too, and there is no 7th. The 8th isn't, but still. Then no more Castle. I just thought it was strange. Also, I am taking the start of this week's ep as a personal shout out now. Just so you all know.
Kate shifted slightly in her sleep, well, rather in her waking up. She could feel herself being pulled awake by something or other, maybe just something in the back of her brain telling her there was something she needed to know. Kate didn't care what that something was. She resented the hell out of it right now.
Right now she just wanted to stay in her safe, comfortable world of sleep.
She shifted against her pillow, soft, warm, firm...
Wait a minute... Firm?
She had feather pillows. They were anything but firm.
The little something in the back of Kate's brain started to get louder, demanding to be heard.
Reluctantly she gave into reality. Shifting her hand slightly to try to identify what she was lying on, Kate tilted her head up and blinked her eyes.
Only to find herself looking into a pair of twinkling blue ones.
"Hey there, sleepyhead," Castle murmured with a grin.
Kate's eyes widened in panic and she tried to jerk away from him.
His arm tightened around her holding her in place.
"Shhh," he said soothingly. "It's okay."
Kate's brain took a moment to register the fact that Castle's arm was wrapped around her.
Then she looked around herself, and recognized his loft.
Oh, right. There'd been some movie cult classic on television that Alexis was too busy to watch for the eighteenth time and so Kate had let Castle talk her into watching it with him. If she was honest, Kate knew that she hadn't put up much of a fuss.
She glanced back up at his face. It was understanding, and amused and... hopeful. Kate let herself slump back against him. It'd been an exhausting week. She'd deal with this later.
"Guess I missed the movie," she murmured.
"You and Alexis both," Castle agreed. "Well, sort of."
"Yeah, sorry about that," Kate told him.
"I'd be more insulted," Castle told her. "Except that thanks to that last case, I'm pretty sure you only slept six hours in the last forty-eight. If that."
Kate didn't confirm or deny his statement. There was no point.
"I'm happy to act as your pillow any time, Detective," Castle told her.
"Thanks, Castle, but I'm good," she told him.
He smiled. "I'm just happy that you got some rest," he told her sincerely.
Kate felt her heart thud. It was the worst when he was like this. When he reminded her that he actually was a grownup and could be all sweet and concerned and considerate.
She pulled back slightly.
This time he let her.
Pushing a strand of hair behind her ear self-consciously, Kate smiled again. "Yeah, well, the movie's over so I guess I should be going."
Castle didn't seem surprised by her suggestion. "You don't have to."
She shrugged, "I know, but it's getting late, and like you said, we've been having a long day.
"Okay," Castle agreed.
Kate paused for half a second. Truthfully, she hadn't expected him to agree so readily.
She swung her feet to the floor, flexing them to restore the circulation.
"So, did you like it?" Castle asked suddenly.
"Like what?" Kate murmured, scanning the apartment and trying to remember what she'd done with her shoes.
"The snuggle? Castle asked, a wicked glint in his eye.
"My fabric softener," he clarified. "Snuggle may not sound very manly, but I think it gives the laundry that little extra oomph. Part of that fresh clean smell. What do you think?"
He was asking her how he smelled? Kate couldn't think of a single answer that had anything to do with his laundry. "Ummm..."
Castle grinned. "I find it really does give your clothes that touchably soft feeling, but I've always wanted a second opinion. Now seemed like the perfect time to ask."
Kate took a deep breath. "Well, I fell asleep pretty quickly," she muttered.
Castle puffed himself up in pride.
"Of course, I was exhausted," she continued wickedly. "So I might be no judge."
Castle scowled. Then he brightened. "Want to give it another try?" he asked.
"What?" Kate asked, thrown off balance a little.
He smiled. "Repeat the experiment. My shoulder's still available. And any good result should be based on repeated trials."
Kate watched him for a moment. "Well, if it's for the good of science," she murmured, leaning against the back of the couch again.
Castle grinned. "Excellent. Because I Tivo'd the movie the second you fell asleep."
Kate let her head drop against his shoulder again.
She felt his arm slide back around her waist.
"Castle?" she said after a moment.
"Yes, Detective?" he replied.
"Your fabric softener smells really good," she told him.
"Excellent, I'll make a note," he told her. "The detective really likes the Snuggle."