Disclaimer: I don't want anyone but AWM owning this show. I bow down to his genius.

Summary: Slightly AU take on the elevator scene from 'Linchpin.'

A/N: Inspired by a fantastic gif set I came across on tumblr of this scene, specifically Castle & Beckett's expressions during the scene, that left me wondering what would happen if Castle took a stand against Beckett's insinuations about being his muse. Frankly, it gives me an excuse to explore a rough, less controlled Castle.

If he didn't have so much practice in reading her, the expression on her face would look nonchalant and her voice would sound almost teasing. But he knows her. He can read her. And he can see the fight in her eyes, can hear the bitterness dripping from her voice. She schools her features and controls her word choice. It's an interrogation and he's not even entirely sure of the charges against him.

"Muses," she says, tossing it out like a swift blow to his stomach. She knows just what to say to pack the heftiest punch. It leaves him reeling, struggling for air just like he did in the harbor only a few hours ago.

The elevator doors open as she circles around him, going in for the kill. She delivers the final insinuation—something about a club-without as much as a glance to his face. Without pause, she changes the subject by calling out to the boys, quick to have the last word.

But as soon as she says it, he wants to spin her around to face him and use every tool at his disposal to shut her up. He isn't in the mood for this-not after what they've just gone through and not in the face of whatever ungodly situation might lie ahead.

He can barely contain his frustration, his hurt, his anger at her insistence. He tries to keep his tone light-tries his patented wink and nudge, but it falls flat as it leaves his lips. For once, he just doesn't have the energy to turn her frustration into something positive-to redirect and reclaim the conversation she's itching to have. She just won't let up about it, won't stop bringing it up, and it's grating on his last shred of self-control.

Her tone conveys the words she won't bring herself to say: that the handful of nights he spent with Sophia over a decade ago are somehow a betrayal; that the things he and Beckett share have been cheapened in its wake. She won't say it, of course, because it's ludicrous and she knows it.

But she doesn't stop pushing, prodding, getting under his skin, and it takes everything he has not to push back. Her jealousy-her possessiveness-are equal parts enraging and arousing and he's not sure how to deal with it.

He hesitates, stunned for a moment at her swift transition before the tightly reigned in frustration bursts forth from his chest. He tries to stop her, tries weakly and in not as many words, to explain that she's different, but she plows forward, moving to walk around him as she snaps about solving her case.

He catches her wrist and hauls her back to him. He isn't gentle and her eyes snap up to his in reproach. His eyes narrow in response and he pulls her along as he stalks toward the elevator, holding it open before it has a chance to shut.

Once the doors close behind them and the car begins its ascent to the next floor, he slams his thumb against the 'stop' button. An irritating noise sounds as they lurch to an immediate halt.

"Castle, what-"

"No," he growls out, loud and wild around the edges as he turns to face her. His jaw clenches and his hands ball into fists at his sides.

"That's enough, Beckett," he snaps, her name clipped and fierce as it leaves his lips. He takes a step forward as he lifts his gaze to her steely expression.

She takes advantage of the change in position and darts her body toward the panel just over his shoulder, but he knows her too well for it to work. He reaches out just in time to keep her from it. His grip around her middle is strong and he can hear the gasp of surprise sounding in his ear. The little, breathy noise is the catalyst that tips him over the edge from anger to arousal.

His fingers curl into her side as his forearm pushes her up against the far wall. His body invades her space and as soon as her back touches the insignia behind her, she reaches out to steady herself against the handrail. He moves slowly toward her, not threatening but determined. He splays his right hand on the wall beside her head while his left finds purchase low on her hip.

He towers over her, but she doesn't try to straighten to meet his height with her own. Instead, she grips harder on the handrail and arches her lower body to meet his. He cannot contain the growl that rumbles low in his throat when their hips meet. His fingers clench as he pushes his hips back against hers roughly. Her eyes meet his through long lashes and the deep, shuddering breath she takes causes her chest to heave against his.

Just as he's about to crash his lips into hers, he hears her words, breathless and bitter, floating thickly in the air between them.

"And just how is this any different?" she taunts. He opens his eyes to look at her again, her chin lifted stubbornly as her eyes narrow. He knows he should back off, step away from her and tell her that it is different, but he can't. He just can't make his brain or his body do anything in agreement while she's toying with the line between his emotions.

"I was young then. Didn't know what I wanted. But now? This is different…because I don't want anyone else," he whispers harshly. "Ever. You've broken my desire for anyone else so thoroughly that all that's left is you. No one else compares."

He can't stop himself-can't keep the foolish words from escaping his lips. Right now, he doesn't care that it could be too much, that it could scare her off. She started this and he'll end it.

He reinforces his words by sliding his hand around to her ass and pulling her to him, sealing the remaining distance between them as he nips at her ear. He gives her time to adjust, to react to his words, by grazing his teeth down her neck. A moan escapes her and he feels the vibration under his lips.

"Castle," she exhales, shifting to tangle herself further into him until he pulls away. He catches her eyes briefly before his lips crash down onto hers. His teeth pull at her bottom lip and his hands claw aimlessly at her shirt.

She responds enthusiastically, darting her tongue between his lips. She grasps at his shirt and grinds up into him as the pressure between them builds. His hand travels swiftly to her hip, clamping down so hard he's sure it will bruise, and it's all he can do to slow the moment down. To catch it before it gets away from them both.

He feels her suck in a breath at the roughness and hears her hum wickedly. She grins up at him wryly-she won't be told what to do-and grabs his hand to fight back. She tangles her fingers over his and begins to slide it away from its perch. And just as they start to reach dangerous territory, the buzzer at the panel sounds again, a more insistent and grating noise than before. They've been holding the car too long and he's sure that this is the universe's way of telling them to stop.

He sighs and lets her go, reaching out to finger the button before it can alert the entire building to the situation unfolding before them. The car jostles once more, bringing them up to the next highest floor after a moment. They step off and head for the stairs before anyone thinks to look their way.

They scramble down the stairs toward their floor, the brief exercise enough to work out some of the frustration clinging to the air around them. Before she turns the knob and opens the stairwell door, he stops it with a palm to the frame.

"Okay?" he asks seriously, one word speaking volumes.

She nods in response, clearing her throat to dislodge the words stuck there, "Okay."

He isn't sure what changes-if anything-as soon as they open the door. He's not sure what the rest of this day or this case or this week will bring them. All he knows is that, for the first time in days-but what seems like a year, they're finally on the same page. And no matter what else happens, they've reached a place where they can handle it together.

End