Happy birthday to the dear Deb838, who is just magic with links and a delight to know. Hope you have had a wonderful day :)

This is just a little ditty set after 'Once Upon a Crime' with a bit of an idea about just what that little piece of paper early in the episode was.

Disclaimer: If I owned it, I'd be telling the world what was on that paper! But I don't own it at all.

Enjoy.

..:::..

When You Say Nothing At All

..:::..

Touch.

Perhaps one of our most basic instincts. It is ingrained in us from the beginning. It's how we communicate when words are not enough or when they're not even an option. Touch is sometimes all we have to convey how important something is or to give a topic of conversation a whole new meaning.

Touch is indescribably inherent in our nature. It is a sign of comfort, a way to show someone that they're not alone. It's a way to reach out, to bridge gaps and distances in such a simple way.

And for two people, a simple touch can be a way to show love, to show commitment, despite everything that could tear them apart.

..:::..

It's when Martha starts talking about motherhood that Kate feels the heaviness settle in her stomach, for all the usual reasons and more.

She envies her partner's relationship with his mother and wishes more than anything that she could have that with her own. But more than that, she feels sick with guilt over what she's been looking into behind Castle's back.

For years he has said that he's been content with not knowing who his father is. He has been happy to live his life knowing that his mother raised him to be the best that he could be. There have been moments, sure, when he has found himself caught up in elaborate daydreams about what it would be like to meet the man who is half responsible for bringing him into the world, but he has always quashed those daydreams and reminded himself that no matter what biology says, he has no father, just a very charming and wonderful mother.

And then Sophia Turner had planted a seed in his mind, a resilient idea that Kate could see churning over and over in his head. She could see the conflict in his eyes. The longing for answers about a father he had been happy to never know mixed with guilt over wanting to know his father when his mother had been the one to bring him up.

So she had taken the decision out of his hands. Without letting him know, she had asked a few of her contacts to poke around any CIA information they could get their hands on and get back to her.

It was a discreet operation and she had been so careful to be sure Castle was out of the way at all times. There had been a close call just the day before though, walking through the halls of the 12th, Beckett had been handed a note containing a list of information to do with possible leads into finding Castle's father. Castle had been kind enough not to ask about it, but she could see the hurt displayed clearly on his face that she was keeping something from him.

She had toyed with the note, holding it out in front of him, keeping it folded, but showing her partner that he had nothing to worry about. She would be open with him in time, he would just need to be patient.

..:::..

It's not like they haven't held hands before. Hell, they've even gone further; hugged, kissed. But there is something different about this that makes his heart rate hasten to unnerving speeds. It's so intimate and in such a public place. Not that he'd call his loft 'public', but certainly the most important people in his life are there. And she's just holding his hand like they do it every day. Or like maybe they should do it every day.

His eyes focus on his mother who is still performing her one woman show.

It's good. He has to admit. It's really good. But the way his partner's thumb is circling on his palm is causing his attention to wander, it's causing him to question the very reason they're all even still sitting here.

He wants privacy.

His fingers squeeze hers and she squeezes back. Reassurance.

It's a message received loud and clear, that she is there for him when he needs her. She may not be quite ready to take that final leap of faith, but she is with him one hundred per cent.

And just for that, he brushes his thumb against hers and smiles when she reciprocates.

..:::..

Neither one of them know the secrets the other is carrying. There are great mysteries in both their pasts that need to be uncovered and they seem to be doing that for each other. Partners, even in their lies.

His father, her mother. The people that they are without are somehow cosmically bonded in fate to be the ones that have the power to tear the partners apart or bring them impossibly close.

Around them the scene changes, his mother collecting more champagne from the kitchen as Alexis speaks animatedly with Marcus about his work and her internships. And still she holds his hand and he holds hers and none of it seems that difficult anymore.

Their burdens stay well hidden for the night and for now the simple enjoyment of not having to worry is nice. Even after his mother has returned from the kitchen to ask them what they thought of her show, their hands remain laced together and he realises that maybe it's because that's all Beckett has to give at the moment. He finds himself squeezing her fingers again at the thought, telling her that it's enough.

It's her telling him that they will get through whatever it is that is thrown at them and it's him agreeing.

They talk, they laugh and they maintain that simple bond.

That simple touch.

..:::..