"Hey baby" Lanie called from her couch as Esposito let himself in her front door.

"I have a bone to pick with you chica" he growled in return, walking over to stand in front of her. "Was that dummy quip at the crime scene really necessary?"

"You know I have to insult you in order for everyone to believe that we've broken up"

"I get that you want people to think we've broken up, but why must that include insults?" he whined whilst pouting. Lanie just looked at him and sighed.

"Because if I don't insult you then people are either going to know that we're faking it, or will think that I don't care that we've broken up, neither of which are conducive to the plan"

"And what is the plan again?"

"Javier Esposito. You have asked me the same freaking question everyday for the past 2 months; I am not going to repeat myself again"

"I didn't ask yesterday"

"Yesterday was Sunday and we spent the majority of it in bed. One would hope your mind was elsewhere" Lanie gave him a look that begged him to differ and then wandered off to start making dinner.

"Come on querida" pouted Espo, sidling up and wrapping his arms around her waist from behind. "You can't blame me for wondering what was so important that I gave up my right to sneak off and have fun with you during work"

Lanie rolled her eyes and tuned to face him. "Ok, last time, but if you ask me again tomorrow i'mma smack you so hard you'll be hurting til New Year's"

"Thank you sexy" he grinned.

"The plan" began Lanie. "Is to make Beckett believe that we broke up but are both still in love, yet neither of us are willing to tell the other. Kate, being the loyal friend she is, will eventually cave and point out that I'm still in love with you and try to convince me to tell you that. I will point out that I have only been ignoring it 2 months whereas she has done nothing for 2 years. The case will be dropped until she eventually snaps and promises to date Castle if I tell you how I feel. Kate ends up with Castle, we magically make up, everyone is happy and you get to go back to bugging me at work"

Javier was silent for a bit before saying "And what do I get out of this?"

"The satisfaction of knowing that you were instrumental in the happiness of two of your closest friends?" Asked Lanie, eyebrow raised.

"Mmm" agreed Esposito. "But I have already missed out on 2 months of fooling around with you at work. And who's to say it won't be another 2 years before they sort themselves out"

"Kate's already almost brought it up on several occasions and after her stint with Castle and our spat this morning I am willing to bet the drinks she's invited me to tomorrow are a front for a relationship talk" Esposito still didn't look convinced. "Fine" Lanie sighed. "As soon as they have made up I will make up all of the missed time by acting out any fantasies you concoct at work from now until they get together"

The grin that broke out across Esposito's face almost blinded the ME. "A verbal contract is binding in the state of New York. There's no backing out now"

"Yea yea" muttered Lanie whilst rolling her eyes and turning back around to start cooking.

"Ooh handcuffs" grinned Esposito suddenly. And then added more cunningly "and maybe a blindfold" he trailed off, his mind obviously taking him somewhere beautiful as Lanie ignored him. "We should probably practise before we try it in the morgue"

Lanie glared at him. "I am only suffering through this once. There is no way in hell I am dragging this out any longer than necessary"

"Ah come on chica" smiled Esposito. "You know I'll make it worth your while"

"I'm not being handcuffed until I know how they work" she warned, causing Javier to turn off the hob and drag her over to the couch, pulling out his handcuffs in the process.

He quickly went through the ins and outs of how the handcuffs worked and the technique used... however in his eagerness he missed Lanie's evil grin. The first Javier knew of Lanie's ulterior motive was the moment he found himself handcuffed to the couch and the key being thrown across the other side of the room. Let it be known – Lanie Parish was not a girl to be trifled with.