*Just a quick little one-shot that just wanted to be written and shared.
"Hey, Kate! Guess what? It finally arrived!" Rick hollered over his shoulder, hurriedly putting his keys down on the credenza and carelessly tossing his overcoat towards the coat rack. His attention was focused on the package in his hand, which he'd just picked up from the doorman, after coming home from a meeting with some Black Pawn execs.
"What finally arrived?" Kate questioned, glancing up as she shook the pan over the stove, keeping the stir-fry warm.
"The DVD!" he shouted, as if it was obvious.
"That," she laughed, "has been overdue for… what… two years?"
"More," Rick asserted with a nod, ripping the package open and going for the contents. Shoving his head inside the box, he made several awkward expressions before finally producing a DVD case. He smiled triumphantly and showed her the cover. "Cute, huh?"
Squinting her eyes, Kate examined the picture on the cover. She snorted and rolled her eyes. "Who picked that picture? No… wait. Let me guess… YOU."
"Ha-ha, funny," Rick stuck out his lip in a feign pout, and then tossed the opened package into the wastebasket.
"Rick, hey!" Kate rolled her eyes and huffed. "That's recyclable!"
Pushing pass him, she leaned down and snatched up the empty cardboard package. Hooking her head over her shoulder, she gave him a little glare.
"I thought you'd be trained by now," she said while opening one of the cabinets under the island countertop and putting the empty package into a wooden crate. Kate gestured to the crate and Rick arched his neck to look at it. Extending her pointing finger, she indicated the printout sign she'd taped to the side of the crate. "See… I even labeled it for you… you know, to make it easier for you. I suppose I should not be surprised it didn't get through your thick skull."
"Well, it's hidden from view, Kate," he feebly protested.
She sighed and shook her head, straightening back up. "Excuses, Rick… excuses."
"Yeah, maybe… but you still love me, don't you?"
"I'm still here, aren't I?" she smirked, biting her lower lip, her eyes twinkling as she fisted his shirt and pulled him over.
Smiling, Rick kissed her lightly. Kate closed her eyes and hummed quietly in approval when his free hand came up to hold her left cheek, his fingers playing the loose strand of her hair. Backing out of the kiss, he beamed down at her and wiggled his eyebrows.
"Perhaps we should skip dinner," he suggested, almost pleading.
She snorted in amusement, then frowned, her eyebrows knitting together in the most adorable way. Her nose twitched and her eyes went wide.
"Speaking of which!" she pushed past him and grabbed the handle of the skillet, lifting it off the stove and turning off the burner. The contents of the pan sizzled and dark smoke drifted up to the ceiling.
Rick's eyes darted up, worried that the smoke alarm would go off.
"Ah… DAMN!" Kate cursed, hissing in annoyance. "Dinner's ruined."
Dumping the chard contents into the sink and turning the faucet on, Kate huffed and looked over her shoulder at him, giving him one of her famous glares. "This is all your fault, you know."
He shrugged. "I wasn't the one who instigated the kiss."
She smiled at that, and shrugged, conceding with a nod. "True."
"Why don't we just order in," Rick said holding up the DVD case and waving it a bit. "It might be nice to kick back on the couch and just relax as we watch this."
Placing her hands on her hips, Kate took a couple of deep breaths and squinted her eyes in thought. Glancing up at him, she cocked her head to the side and raised an eyebrow. "What the hell, why not."
"Great!" he enthused, already heading for the phone.
Kate turned and cleaned up the mess, rolling her eyes at him. Listening to him order—in her opinion—way too much Chinese food, she got some plates out and then looked through the selection of wine. And then she stopped. No. The last thing she wanted tonight was wine. She needed to stay clear-headed with him around… not to mention other reasons. Kate risked a glance over at Rick, seeing him nodding as he spoke to the person taking down the order.
Opening the refrigerator, she grabbed two cans of soda, and then, retrieving the plates, headed for the couch.
It did not take long for him to follow. He was so absorbed with putting the DVD in the BluRay player that he completely missed the fact that she hadn't brought out any wine, their normal compliment to a Chinese dinner, be it homemade stir-fry or takeout.
Placing the DVD on the tray, Rick grabbed the remote and plopped down onto the couch besides her, smirking. "Ready?"
"Been waiting for this for two years, Writer Boy, push play already," Kate smirked, finding amusement in his excitement.
He nodded and fumbled with the remote, no doubt from the sultry look she had tossed him. She laughed as he lost control of his fingers and the remote fell into his lap. She shook her head and leaned over, snatching it up, allowing her fingers to linger longer than necessary, earning a throaty groan from his mouth.
Laughing, Kate leaned back against the couch and pressed the play button.
Immediately the screen came to life with music and a shaky image appeared, scanning a sea of happy faces. Organ music was playing in the background, and everyone was dressed in their best. It wasn't a large gathering, but it wasn't small either. Though, everyone present was friends or family.
Finally the image settled on two figures standing at the far head of the room: One dressed splendidly in a black tux and the other draped in a sparkling white, a veil covering her face. The camera spun around and suddenly Rick's face filled the screen. He looked startled.
"Don't film my face, Kev," he said to the holder of the camera, gesturing with a nod towards the two figures at the other end of the hall. "It's almost time."
"Right, sorry," came Kevin's voice.
"Yo, bro, you gonna edit this right?" came Javier's voice.
"Yeah, of course," Kevin said. "Jenny's brother is handy with that sort of stuff."
"Then why ain't he filming?" Javier questioned, the camera now showing the best man.
"He's out of the country," came Kevin's voice, sounding slightly defensive.
Looking over at Rick, she frowned. "I thought you said you hired a professional."
"Huh?" he jumped startled when she paused the DVD, the image frozen on a stern looking Javier Esposito. "I did… just… you know… he's a professional in a different profession."
Kate huffed and rolled her eyes. "When you said you were having our wedding filmed, I had no idea you meant Kevin Ryan."
"You never objected," Rick pointed out.
"That's because I was focusing on marrying you, you big numbskull," she chuckled and rolled her eyes.
The doorbell chimed, and Rick excused himself to pay for the food. When he returned, Kate had fast-forwarded through what had been a rather long conversation between the groomsmen and the groom. She looked over at him as he put the food cartons down on the coffee table.
"You know, I don't mind having the raw footage, I'm just a little cross about the delay," Kate said, pushing play again. "I mean… come on? Two years!"
"I know, Kev kind of… misplaced the tape," Rick said reluctantly.
"He lost our wedding tape?" she startled.
"No… he obviously found it," Rick gestured towards the screen, currently showing him exchanging some words with the minister.
"Again… two years late," Kate said, opening one carton and dumping some of its contents onto her plate.
"At least we got it," he said. "Think of the Ryans, they never got theirs… and they hired out a professional at great expense."
"Jenny's nerdy nephew does not count as a professional," Kate replied, leaning back and breaking the wooden chopsticks and rubbing the cleaved edges together to remove the possibility of getting splinters in her food.
"Alright, alright," Rick relented, holding up his hands in surrender. "Next time we get married, I'll hire a professional… a real professional."
"Next time?" Kate quipped, raising an eyebrow.
"There's always marriage renewals," he shrugged, collecting some chow mein. "Oh… and if we did that… we could have a second honey—"
"Quiet, here comes the good part," she shushed him.
The camera turned up to show her and her father walking down the aisle. Kate smiled, seeing her dad beaming with pride and joy. Earlier on that day, Jim Beckett had confided to her that he had started to lose hope he'd ever get to walk his little girl down the aisle.
Turning her head, she looked over at Rick, his eyes fixated on the screen. Sensing her watching him, his lips quirked upwards. Without turning, he spoke.
"You're so beautiful," he said. "Then… and now… always."
She bit her lower lip and smiled, looking down before turning her attention back to the screen, watching as they exchanged vows and rings. By this point, they were both ignoring their food. Kate reached over and grabbed a hold of his hand, interlacing their fingers together as they watched each other commit to a lifetime together. It had been a big step for Kate… for them. But it had been worth it. She just wished it hadn't taken so long.
"You may now kiss the bride," the minister said, smiling broadly.
Rick squeezed her hand as the two-year younger versions of them kissed on the screen. Kate turned her head towards him and smiled. Leaning over, he kissed her softly, mirroring the image from their past. Sighing, they separated and glanced back at the screen just as they were both turning to face their friends and family.
The minister was raising his hands up and smiling. "I present to you, Mr. and Mrs. Richard Castle."
On the screen, they were beaming like lovesick teenagers, both unable to keep their eyes off each other. Kate remembered it so well; it was almost hard to believe that it had been two years. Hooking their arms together, they descended from the raised platform and began walking down the aisle, towards their future.
Back on the couch, watching the events of that day, he turned to her, holding her hand tight. "I love you, Kate," he said.
Shifting towards him, she smiled. "And I love you, Rick," she said, leaning into him and brushing her lips across his. "Always."
They kissed deeply, ignoring both the food and the images on the screen, which were now showing various shots from their reception. Melding into him, she moved over him, pushing him back into the couch. His hands roamed over her back, sliding further down, grabbing at her, pulling her closer.
"Rick," she gasped, backing away for air. "I need to tell you something."
"What?" he question, idly kissing at her neck.
Kate hummed and her head lulled back, momentarily distracted. The sound applause from the TV broke her trance. She glanced over, seeing her tossing the bouquet (Lanie was the one who caught it, much to the chagrin of Javier). She was still amazed that they had tied the knot before those two. Kate always thought that she and Rick were the ones with issues, but it appeared the Lanie and Javier had a little bit more.
"You wanted to tell me something, Kate?" Rick asked, pulling her back to the present, his lips still traveling up the curve of her neck.
"Um… yes," she pushed back and settled herself in his lap, resting her hands on his chest. Looking him in the eyes, she smiled and gestured with a nod towards the coffee table. "Notice anything different."
Rick frowned and glanced over at the cartons, plates, and soda cans. His eyebrows knitted together in thought. Kate waited patiently, letting him figure it out. She knew he could. He'd proven on a number of occasions that he was great at building theory, not to mention his skills as a storyteller.
"No wine," he said, looking back at her, raising his eyebrows.
Kate smiled and nodded.
"Why is there no wine, Kate?"
She hooked up an eyebrow and gave him an expression that said it should be obvious. Slowly, realization dawned on him and lips tugged upwards, forming the most adorable lopsided and delighted grin she had ever seen.
"You're pregnant?" he asked, hopeful.
Pursing her lips together in a tight smile, finding it difficult to contain her own joy, she nodded. "Yes."
His grin morphed into a beaming smile and he kissed her hard. She moaned into his mouth, and if she hadn't pushed him back, they would have skipped a couple of words and touches and gone straight for the main course.
"Thank you," Kate murmured. "You've given me everything I never thought I'd have."
"No, thank you, Kate," Rick asserted, super serious. "For letting me in… and saying yes when I popped the question."
"There was never any doubt that I would say yes," she confided. "But it was made possible because you waited… waited longer than I thought you would; longer than others would have."
Rick shifted, running his hands up and down her arms. "You're worth it, Kate," he said. "And I wouldn't change a thing about it."
She smiled and reached over for the remote, pausing the DVD on an image of them cutting the cake. Rick had a bemused look on his face, one of his hands hidden behind his back. Kate chuckled, the memory of turning back to him to find his hand filled with whipped cream filling her mind. Always the practical joker, even at their wedding.
It was a good memory… a happy one. And somehow it seemed appropriate that it was the image that was frozen on the screen as she turned back to him and declared that it was now time to celebrate their impending parenthood.