A/N: Beckett has a very pragmatic, very introspective, very female conversation with herself about one aspect of her relationship with Castle. Not what I would consider a typical post-ep for "An Embarrassment of Bitches."

She was going to have to start back on the pill.

As she sat with Royal on her couch scratching his ears, she stared off into space momentarily as the realization washed over her. She was mentally stuck back in that awkward, prolonged, completely overpowering caress. The touch of his hands reawakened parts of her anatomy that had remained dormant for all these months, bravado and "Next time without the tiger," aside.

She felt something, something like she'd felt so long ago on a hotel couch in LA. And all of a sudden, she knew she was going to make love with Rick Castle. And it was going to be sooner rather than later.

Kate prided herself on always being prepared, always being in control, both at work and in her personal life. She'd been responsible throughout adulthood, with even her modest "number" of partners. She'd been on the pill, she'd always used condoms. Babies were not something she had been ready for, and though she was always paranoid despite her precautions, she had never had a scare.

But since last May, all the parts of her life that hadn't involved breathing, working, and physically recovering lay dormant, so she hadn't seen any reason to restart birth control.

Over the summer, she hadn't had periods. After a few months she went to her gynecologist worried, since she had always been regular in the past. Her doctor assured her that with the stress on her body from her injury and the amount of weight she had lost through her recovery, her body had just shut down the hormones that would normally let her have a period. The body recognized when a woman could not physically carry a pregnancy to term and it turned off that whole axis. As soon as she put on ten pounds, she would start having periods again.

A couple of months later, after she forced herself to eat more protein and drink a glass of milk once a day instead of a diet soda, everything had started working again. But she was still so numb she didn't feel the need to start the prescription she had filled after her gyn appointment. It was odd. Even when she was depressed after her mother's death, she had always had some need for physical release. Now it didn't even occur to her.

But "numb" would not be what she was feeling at this moment. This was more like that nearly-painful tingling that surfaces when blood is restored to a limb that has fallen asleep.

Wall be damned, she wanted physical intimacy again. And for the first time in a long time, the emotional intimacy that she always sought but rarely achieved in her romantic relationships had a decent chance of existing. She'd been working on that part with herself and her therapist. It was time to add Rick to the equation.

Royal slid out from her now-still fingers and grabbed the squeaky toy from the floor, nudging her hand to play. She tossed the toy toward the door and he gleefully took off after it. As he returned with it, wagging his tail with a big doggy grin, she had another thought. This time she decided to voice it. She had someone to talk to now, why not make use of him?

"Royal, I think I need lingerie."

She tossed the toy again and rose from the couch to cross to her bedroom. She opened the top drawer of her dresser and saw a vast collection of no-nonsense cotton underwear. Her bras were all relatively new and completely boring, because as she healed, she found that the only ones she could tolerate wearing all day were soft and forgiving. She dug to the back and found one black lacy bra that she hadn't worn in almost a year and made a disgruntled noise. Royal whined behind her in response.

"This is just sad."

She moved to her bed and reached underneath for a clear plastic bin: the former contents of her top drawer. They ranged from lacy and black to red and barely-there to hot pink and sparkly (oh, god what had she been thinking with the glitter?). None of it seemed right. None of this was her any more. She let herself form the thought that had been floating in her subconscious.

"None of this is what I am with Rick."

Royal dropped his toy in the box, right on top of a red thong with little bows across the back. He seemed to agree with her assessment.

"This is going to require shopping Royal."

She picked up the toy with a smile tugging at the corner of her lips. Oh, if only Rick knew where this thing had been… She closed the box and slid it back under her bed, stood and tossed the toy out and down the hallway. Royal took off after it, ever faithful, ever returning.

She was going to Victoria's Secret this weekend, and she wasn't leaving until she had a new top drawer.