Oh hey there. I posted something this morning. It didn't go over so well. So I'm posting this now.
Hope you like it more.

Disclaimer: I don't own Castle. Are you really shocked? You really shouldn't be.

Rick Castle walked into his loft absurdly late (or early, depending on how you chose to look at it). Holding the handle of the door as he shut it behind him, he entered the loft as quietly as he could, trying not to disrupt the silence that could only envelope the loft at 2 in the morning, dark except for a single lamp that was turned on on the end table next to the sofa in the living room.

Setting his keys down on the table by the door, Rick moved towards the kitchen, intent on getting a glass of water before heading off to bed for the night. Filling up the glass, he quickly gulped down the entire thing before setting the glass noiselessly onto his marble countertop. Then he braced one of his hands on the edge of the counter and leaned over it, blowing out a puff of air as he brought the other hand up to try to rub some of the exhaustion from his face.

Rick didn't think there would ever come a day when he despised going to book parties. As a general rule, book parties involved beautiful women throwing themselves at him and Rick having the pleasure of choosing one of them to go home with. They were a chance to spend money on his mother and his daughter, buying them new dresses and hair appointments and he got to show them off to the world and show everyone how lucky he was to have them in his life. It was an opportunity to meet his fans (albeit, his more elite fans) and talk about his work.

But this year, Alexis had dinner plans with her friends for one of their birthdays (and she had an exam the next day), his mother was teaching an acting class at her school, and the only beautiful woman he wanted to take home hadn't come.

The party kind of lost the appeal when he was in an argument with his girlfriend.

He huffed and shucked off his jacket, throwing it onto one of the stools in the kitchen, knowing that he would pick it up in the morning. He picked up his glass and put it into the sink, then shuffled over towards the living room to turn off the lamp and then head to bed.

As he got closer to the couch, Rick could have sworn that he heard breathing coming from the other side of the sofa. Slowing his steps down, he creeped towards the couch, hoping that he wouldn't wake whoever was on the other side. He assumed it would be Alexis. She must have come home from dinner, and decided to study downstairs on the couch to try to stay up and wait for him. And then, when he didn't show up at a reasonable hour, she must have fallen asleep.

Smiling at his daughter's thoughtfulness he slowly moved around to the front of the couch to wake her up. However, the person who was asleep on his couch was not who he expected to be there.

Instead of his red-haired daughter, he was confronted with the sight of his beautiful brown-haired girlfriend curled up on his couch.

Rick allowed himself a moment to drink in the sight of the woman in front of him. She was on her side, curled up into a ball, taking up only about a third of his spacious couch. She was wearing a t-shirt and a pair of jeans he recognized as being one of the pairs she'd left at the loft over the course of their eight month relationship. She had a pair of ankle socks covering her feet, her toes curled into the soles of her feet, trying to conserve warmth. There was no pillow under her head, so her long tresses, that looked more styled than they had when he left her, were fanned out across the cushion, some spilling over the edge of the couch, some hiding her face from him. Looking at her face, he saw that she had done her makeup, and the lines around her eyes were smudged. In the light of the lamp, he could see the dried tear tracks on her cheeks.

He hated making her cry.

Rick sat down on the balls of his feet by her head. He reached out to touch her shoulder and wake her up and get her in bed when he finally noticed that she was clutching something to her chest. Intrigued, Rick made move to grab it. He gently pried it out of her fingers.

It was the 5th book in the Nikki Heat series.

His heart clenched painfully, reminding him of their argument earlier in the day.

Kate and Rick had been walking towards her desk in the precinct from the break room, fresh cups of coffee in their hands.

"So are you excited?" Rick asked enthusiastically.

She bit her lip and nodded, "Mhm… although I'd be more excited if I knew more than the title."

They sat down in their respective seats at her desk.

"Uh uh," he said, "you know the rules. You get to read it when everyone else does."

She mock-glared at him, "But I'm not everyone else. I'm the inspiration… and your girlfriend!" She added on hastily, "I thought we decided three years ago that I should be one of the first people to have it."

He smiled at her frustration, "And you will! As soon as the books are available, I will personally hand you the first copy of the 6th installment of the Nikki Heat series."

She shook her head and began to organize her things. Even with the book party that night, the day had gone on longer than she expected. It was nearly 7:00, and she and Rick were supposed to go to dinner before heading over to the book party at 9. She told him that he could leave and that she would meet him at the loft, but he assured her that it was fine. In all honesty, he was still ecstatic that she was going to be there with him, as his date, for this party. It was no secret that they were dating, but he couldn't wait for everyone to see how beautiful his girlfriend, the real Nikki Heat, was.

When he saw her packing up to leave, he got up and quickly put on his jacket before grabbing hers and holding it out to help her into it. She smiled at him and he smiled back, but before she could get into her jacket, they heard the Captain walk into the hallway.

"Beckett, Unis found Jacobson. They're putting him in Interrogation One right now."

Kate looked up at Rick, seeing the smile fading from his face. They had been chasing Andrew Jacobson for 3 days with no luck.

"Um, Sir," Kate said, "I'm clocked out. I was actually officially off the clock 2 hours ago."

"And yet you're still here," The Captain said, "Now, you get into that Interrogation now before he finds a way to talk himself out of this. This is the break we've been looking for."

"I know, Sir, but…"

"No buts, Detective." Gates said, folding her arms across her chest, "get in there. Now."

Kate sighed and looked back and Rick, the expression on his face breaking her heart.

"Rick, I'm…" she started.

"No, it's okay," he interrupted, bitterness seeping into his tone, "I knew this would happen."

"Rick," Kate said, her voice soft.

"No, it's alright Kate," he snapped. "You don't have to explain. I get it. You're Detective Beckett first, my girlfriend second. It's always been that way. It'll always be that way."

As soon as he spoke the words, he regretted them, but he couldn't take it back now. She opened her mouth, looking as if she wanted to defend herself, when she was interrupted by Gates again.

"Beckett, if you're not in Interrogation Room One within the next minute, you'll be on desk duty for the next two weeks."

Beckett glared at her boss the best she could without being insubordinate, and looked back to where Castle was to tell him that she would get there as soon as she could, and she would make it up to him. However, he wasn't there. Kate looked for him until she heard the elevator doors sliding closed, his face staring at her blankly for a moment before the doors closed and separated them.

The truth was he knew he overreacted. He knew it, he was just so upset and he had this night planned for so long and then everything went to pieces in a little under 2 minutes. He hadn't called, hadn't said anything as he left, didn't give her a chance to say anything to him, he just stormed out of the precinct like a child who didn't get their way, talking to the love of his life as if he didn't mean anything to her.

And he knew that wasn't true, because Kate showed him every day how much she loves him. She slowly broke down her wall for him, she put down her mother's case for him, and made a continual effort to keep herself healthy when he wasn't around so he wouldn't feel guilty about having to leave.

Even now, she was proving how much she loved me, sleeping on the couch, waiting for him to come home so she could…

What? So she could apologize? The thought made Rick's heart break. If there was anyone who needed to apologize, it was him: for leaving, for doubting her, for saying all those nasty things, for making her cry, for making her wait, for hurting her when he made a promise so many years ago to protect her from everything he possibly could, for everything.

Swallowing the lump in his throat, he placed the book on the end table and moved his hand back towards her cheek. Brushing some of her soft curls off of her face, he let his knuckles drag along the curve of cheekbones, relishing in the softness of her skin.

He saw her eyelids flutter until they eventually opened, first hazy with sleep but eventually coming into focus on his face.

"What time is it?" she mumbled, lifting herself up onto one of her elbows.

"Late," he whispered back, his hand still on her face as she nodded her head. Still whispering, he stood up, "Come on."

She moved herself to a sitting position, and held her hands out to Rick, saying without words to help her up so she could walk. Rick, however, had other plans.

Leaning down again, he looped his arms under her knees and around her back, lifting her bridal style. Instead of stiffening like she normally did, she sank further into his embrace, wrapping her arms around his neck and nuzzling the side of his neck with her nose, breathing him in.

Ignoring the light, he walked with Kate through his office, nudging the door to his bedroom open with his foot and closing it with a bump of his hips. Slowly, he approached his bed and placed her on top of the sheets, the duvet still pulled down from this morning when he had forgone making the bed. He pushed her down gently, forcing her to lie down on his pillows. She opened her eyes as she settled into the sheets and he was toeing off his dress shoes.

"Rick," she whispered.

"Shh," he said just as softly, "go back to sleep."

She shook her head, fighting through the exhaustion.

"We don't go to bed angry."

He smiled softly, remembering the time they had that conversation. Soon after they started dating, they had an argument Rick was sure was going to break them. She sent him home early from the precinct, and she didn't come by the loft that night. At two in the morning, after tossing and turning all night, he ended up at her apartment, finding her still awake and looking restless. He told her he couldn't sleep. She said she couldn't either. They sat down in her living room talking about their fight, and they vowed never to go to bed angry again. He didn't go home after that.

They walked into the precinct the next morning, together, and an hour and a half later than she normally did.

"I'm not angry," he told her honestly. Moving towards her feet, Rick slowly peeled her socks off of her feet, his hands caressing her ankles as he did so.

"But you were," she whispers, failing to keep the hurt out of her voice.

He moved back up the bed, sitting by her hip, so he was closer to her face.

"I was, but not at you."

She opened her mouth to protest, but he cut her off, lifting a hand to run his fingers through her hair.

"Angry at the situation, angry at Gates, angry at Jacobson and the Uniforms that found him, but not you. No… never at you."

The hand that wasn't teasing her hair moved down and deftly unbuttoned the button of her jeans, sliding down the zipper before hooking a finger into a belt loop on her hip and pulling them down her legs. She lifted her hips to help him. After a moment, he had them off, and he ran his hand up the side of her leg, his slightly calloused fingertips scraping her skin in the most tempting way. He watched his fingers trace patterns up her skin until he felt her start to move.

Kate pushed herself to sit up, shifting her legs so they now draped across his lap. Her hand moved up to his neck, and after brushing her fingers along the collar of his shirt, her fingers wrapped around the knot of his tie, tugging slightly to loosen it.

"I left the precinct as soon as I could," she said, sliding the tie out of his shirt and letting it slip from her fingers onto the floor by their feet. "I came here and got ready." Her fingers moved to undo the buttons of his shirt. He could feel her breath against his neck, slowly warming his pulse point. He closed his eyes, half at the sensation, half because she could tell where her story was going and he felt awful.

"When I was finally ready, I realized that I didn't have any idea where the party was…" she continued, sliding her hands up his chest and down his arm to reach the buttons on his cuffs, "…I called you but you didn't pick up…" she repeated the action on the other side, skillfully undoing the button on his sleeve, "… Alexis and Martha didn't know either…" she slid the shirt from his shoulders and let it join his tie on the floor, "… then I called Paula. She told me that you didn't need me there with you. That you were doing just fine without me."

He wanted to apologize but the lump in his throat made it impossible. He settled for opening his eyes and looking at her, but he found his vision blurred slightly at the sight of her so vulnerable, sitting half in his lap in nothing but her underwear and a t-shirt.

"I didn't know what to do, so I just stayed here…" she trailed off. Before he could say anything though, she began speaking again.

"You know I love you, right?" she questioned, sounding surprisingly small as her fingers moved down his chest to his belt buckle, "you do know how much you mean to me, don't you?"

Her hand undid his belt and slowly pulled it through his belt loops. He swallowed hard, trying to keep his voice even.

"I do," he whispered, his hand finally moving to her jaw, tilting her face up to his, "And I love you. So very much."

She closed her eyes and felt more than heard her take a shuddering breath. She undid the button of his pants and tugged on them.

Rick moved them, shifting her so she was lying on her back again, while he stood up slowly and took off his pants, disposing of his socks as he did so. Then, in his boxers and undershirt, he moved to lie down next to her, hovering over her slightly before rolling over her onto his side of the bed. She immediately moved closer to him, nestling into his open arms, but pulling him so he was on his side as well. Facing each other she pushed herself up so they were face to face. She closed her eyes. He did as well.

"I'm sorry I didn't make it to your book party," she whispered against his lips.

"I'm sorry for taking out my frustrations on you," he whispered, rubbing his nose over hers before moving his lips to her forehead and placing a tender kiss there, "I love you so much."

She pressed herself even closer to him, "I love you too," she hesitated for a moment, "more than anything in the world."

He took a deep breath and wrapped his arms firmly around Kate, holding her to his chest. She kissed the skin above his heart.

"Goodnight, Rick," she murmured.

"Goodnight, love," he murmured back, kissing the top of her head. However, he didn't think she heard. She was already sleeping.

In the morning, he'd wake up before her and make her breakfast before they had to leave for the precinct. He'd make her the best cup of coffee he had ever made her. And he'd make sure to get her a copy of his new book. And then he was going to see if Alexis was up to a trip to Tiffany's to help pick out an engagement ring.

He wouldn't propose tomorrow, or the day after that, or maybe even months or years later. But he'd have it, because he never wanted her to doubt again how important she was to him.

He felt Kate nestle her face into the crook of his neck and wrap her arms around him. He smiled, never growing tired of the affectionate side of Kate Beckett.

And then, he found his eyelids losing the battle to stay open. He succumbed, closing his eyes and drifting off to sleep with the love of his life in his arms, thankful for the promise they had made all those months ago: Never go to bed angry.

Fun fact: This song was inspired by 5 O'Clock by T-Pain featuring Lily Allen and Wiz Khalifa, which is funny, because I usually hate T-Pain and Wiz Khalifa...
You can listen here: http :/ youtube . com / watch?v = Sj1DR5BhOd8
So, as always, Love it? Hate it? Let me know what you think!