A/N: Huzzah! My first Castle fic. This is me being all sorts of meta and having a heck of a lot of fun with it. I've only just succumbed to the madness that is Caskett, and this fandom has a crazy boatload of awesome writers, so I'd appreciate it if you would leave me some feedback. Many thanks and enjoy!
Spoilers: Up through "Killshot" (4x09) I think. It's all pretty vague though.
Disclaimer: If only. Unfortunately for me (but definitely good for everyone else), Castle and all affiliated people and things are the brainchild of Andrew Marlowe and property of ABC.
It started as a joke. (Don't all good things?)
After the case with Temptation Lane, the recently-spawned moniker Esplanie quickly became one of Castle's favorite methods of torture (annoyance) for Esposito and Lanie.
It worked often and effectively to get a rise out of them. Sometimes too well.
It was during one of these needling incidents that Esposito finally shot back with, "And what would you and Beckett be, huh? Beckle? Caskett?"
"Caskett, definitely," put in Ryan oh so helpfully.
Castle contemplated that for just a moment before nodding. "Hmm, deliciously morbid. I like it. "
"Caskett, as in coffin casket?"
Ryan and Esposito (Ryansito? Espan?) winced in tandem.
"Kind of appropriate though," remarked Ryan.
And because none of the three of them were brave enough to actually use that name in front of Beckett, that had been that.
Or, at least, it should have been that.
Unfortunately (for Castle's continued well-being), the soubriquet had leaked, and suddenly Castle was getting fan mail asking when the Caskett ship was going to sail, and his fansites were exploding with fanfiction based on him and Beckett.
And while even he had to admit that the whole situation was kind of strange (fanfiction about fictional characters he could understand, but fanfiction about real people? Yeah. Weird.), any lingering feelings of disturbance that he might have felt were superseded by the uber coolness factor. After all, how many people actually had crazy fans so obsessed with them that they wrote about them? Forget having a copycat of one of his books, this was the red badge of honor for any celebrity.
Under normal circumstances, Castle would have gotten a huge kick out of the whole situation.
Unfortunately, Kate Beckett was not a normal woman and as such, there was an extremely high chance that the mere existence of Caskett shippers lurking out there would result in his painful and untimely death.
It was like the New York Ledger's "Most Eligible Bachelors List" incident all over again, only worse because this wasn't one "rumored to be romantically involved" line in the society section of a paper. This was a whole universe that's been recreated with them as the leading actors. (And there was smut. Lots and lots of Caskett smut, which she was so not going to be happy with. Though he had to admit that it was kind of scintillating to read. That is, if he had. Read it. Which he hadn't. Not purposefully anyway. It's not like he was trolling fan sites for it or anything. Er...right. Mental voice shutting up. Now.)
The problem, he reflected, was that Beckett often lurked through his fan sites, however much she may deny it. That meant that simply keeping her from stumbling across these Caskett shippers online was nigh impossible, short of cutting off all her internet access.
Or maybe taking down the sites themselves?
"Hey Ryan, you know that buddy of yours who helped take down some pictures on that website I gave you? You think you could ask him to shut down a couple of other sites?"
"And lose all my entertainment when Beckett finds out?" snickered the detective.
"You know about it?"
"Who doesn't? Aside from Beckett, of course. And that's your problem, isn't it? Those are some...pretty hot sex scenes. You sure you didn't write any of them?"
"Nah, I'm the nice one. Esposito wanted to change Beckett's desktop background to fanart of you guys. NSFW fanart."
"Make sure you leave a line for me in your will."
In short, Richard Castle could see no way to postpone his impending demise.
Detective Kate Beckett knew that Rick Castle got a lot of fan mail. It was, as he'd once put it, an occupational hazard for an author of his caliber.
She also didn't really care too much about his fan mail, except, of course, when said fan mail sometimes led to a suspected serial killer. (The fact that she'd once written him a letter many, many years ago would remain a personal secret of hers.)
What she did care about was the fact that she'd found fanmail in her mailbox last night when she came home from work.
Aside from the major creeptastic factor of random people out there knowing where she lived (she'd like for this apartment to not blow up, thank you very much), there was the added what-the-freak component of those same people being far, far too concerned about her love life (or lack thereof) with Castle.
Needless to say, it all added up to one very disturbed Kate Beckett. (She tried not to think too hard about how accurately some of these "Caskett" shippers were able to pin her down. It was depressing to see that she really was as emotionally stunted in real life as she was depicted on paper.)
Of course, whenever Kate came up against something that challenged her walls and how to deal with them, she tended to lash out, more because she needed to vent than because she was really angry.
And she knew just the person to take the flak.
(She'd be lying if she said that she didn't sometimes unload on him because she found it satisfying to render him completely speechless. Their relationship could be so dysfunctional sometimes.)
Castle knew he was doomed the moment she cornered him in the break room at the precinct.
"Can you explain to me why I'm getting fanmail?" she jumped right in without preamble, her eyes (beautiful, deadly eyes) locked on his and her posture looking like she was ready to throw a fist or two at his beautiful, beautiful face.
He thought about what people always said about wild animals—approach with caution—and found it to be extraordinarily good advice when facing down Kate Beckett.
"Uh, you mean, you're getting Nikki Heat's fanmail?"
"No, I mean I'm getting fanmail. Addressed to Detective Kate Beckett of the NYPD's 12th precinct, homicide division."
"That's not explaining."
"Maybe people are hearing about your awesome detecting skills and how you keep the streets of New York City safer every day?" he offered and wished he was a better actor.
She nodded as if agreement but that only made him more nervous because she was definitely not agreeing with his lame excuse. "Oh, so that's why I have people asking me when we're going to get the 'Caskett' ship going."
Despite his best efforts, a tiny squeak escapes his mouth at that.
"What. The hell. Did. You. Do?" she demands in that low, husky voice of hers that's more intimidating (and arousing) than anything.
"It was Esposito!"
"It was! He was the one who came up with 'Caskett'! I swear!"
"Why was there even talk about a Caskett?"
"Well, you remember Esplanie? I guess Esposito got sick of my teasing him and Lanie, and he came up with Caskett to get back at me."
"So it was your fault!"
"Hey wait, what?"
"Yeah, you just had to go open your big mouth all the time!"
"Hey, my big mouth, as you call it, helps you solve murders!"
She stalked closer to him until he was backed up against the counter where the espresso machine sat and she was all up in his personal space.
Under other circumstances, hot as hell. Right now? Scary as hell.
"At least some of the writing is pretty good, eh?" His attempt to inject humor into the situation was failing. Miserably.
"The fanfiction," he replied automatically and immediately pressed his lips together as if he could take back his words by pretending they never slipped out.
Her expression blanked and that was even worse because an unpredictable Beckett was a dangerous Beckett. More dangerous than usual, in any case. "Fanfiction. About you and me?"
"Uh, maybe? I thought you knew about the Caskett shippers."
"Yeah, but I didn't know people were writing stories about us. Oh God, what kind of fanfiction?"
(At a latter date, he would wonder how Beckett knew anything about fanfiction in the first place and would think to tease her about whether she wrote some herself for Temptation Lane, but right now, he was more concerned about his continued well-being.)
"You sure you want to know?"
He was dead. Richard Castle was a dead man and she was going to have the pleasure of making him so.
"Castle, I've even a letter from an actress saying that she'd love to play me in a TV series and asking when I'll be ready to tell you that I love you. And now you're telling me that people are—are writing those kinds of stuff about us too? What the hell?"
"What?" she bit back, annoyed that he'd seemingly completely disregarded her whole rant.
She was just about to shoot back with something sharp and cutting when she realized that his expression had gone deathly serious. She reviewed what she'd said and wanted to groan. Go figure he'd latch onto the one thing she hadn't really meant to let leak.
She swallowed and her heart suddenly jumped into overtime as she tried to navigate her way out of this. It wasn't that she didn't love him, but this was definitely not the time and the place she wanted to have this conversation.
(Walls! What about the walls? reminded a voice in her head.)
She must have taken too long to respond because Castle broke the unnerving silence with a dry chuckle that sounded far too forced.
"I was just—you don't have to answer that." And though his tone was light and his expression well-schooled into mild amusement, she could see the edges of hurt he couldn't quite conceal completely.
It was so damned annoying that she kept hurting this man when he'd done nothing wrong and everything right for her sake. He would let this go. She knew he would, and this incident would never come up again. Just another one of those things about which they never talk about.
But she didn't want that. She didn't want to keep hurting him until he finally broke. She didn't want to help him build up walls for himself while this seemingly never-ending quest to tear her own down. But what could she do to fix it?
She wasn't ready. Although she'd made great progress, especially since the sniper case, she knew that she wasn't ready.
Or was she? Was she just using this as an excuse for her cowardice?
"Castle..." she began, but let it trail off because she didn't even know what she wanted to say.
"It's fine, Kate. I get it. Not yet."
And she felt the wall crumble just a little bit more because he was the only one who could be so understanding and patient with the selfish protectiveness of her heart.
Not yet, she agreed, but soon.
Locking her eyes onto his, she pressed just a fraction closer and she could feel the heavy increase in his pulse. This was good. This was right, and someday soon, this was going to be them.
"Castle, I think that whatever happens between us is not anybody else's business. I'm more upset that people are invading our privacy more than I'm upset that they're writing about us together. And...I think...I'm looking forward to the day that they can say that they were right."
His expressive lips stretched wide into a grin and his whole body relaxed as if a great burden had been lifted from his shoulders. She felt his hands playing with the hem of her shirt around her back and wondered how they'd moved into this half-embrace.
"I'm looking forward to it too."
She tugged her lower lip between her teeth as a matching smile threatened to spread across her face.
He leaned his head closer to hers and she felt her breath catch in her throat. His breath beat hot against her cheek and she shivered at his husky voice. "I'm especially looking forward to all those hot, dirty sex scenes coming true too."
She was stunned immobilized for a second before she shoved him away. "Idiot," she muttered, but even that couldn't stop the fierce heat she felt rising up in her body.
It was even harder to dam up the floods of gratitude that threatened to drown her. He was making it easy again, like he always did when they unexpectedly came up against something emotionally trying. He was protecting her.
She knew that he expected her to take his escape route and run with it, but something inside refused to take the easy way out this time.
Instead, she gave into impulse and planted her lips on his. She traced his mouth with her tongue and tucked the sensations of the heat and taste of him into the back of her mind to go over in great detail later, and she pulled away before he could respond.
When she stepped away completely, she smirked to see that he was completely dazed. "Come on, you can fantasize later. We have a murder to solve."
She was almost out the door before she heard him move and mumble to himself, "Much more fun in real life than in my fantasies."
She didn't try to suppress the well of hope and joy and all those other warm, fuzzy feelings from spilling into her smile.
It won't be today, but someday soon, Beckett was going to write back that actress to tell her that she'd told him, "I love you."
Some miles away, a certain actress took another sip of her wine as she hovered the pointer of her mouse over the "Submit" button. Maybe she really did have too much alcohol in her system because she could absolutely not believe that she was actually doing this.
Then again, she'd already done the ridiculously insane part already, so all that was left was to stick it out there and that would be that. Besides, those two crazy love-birds really did deserve a happy ending.
Before she could talk herself out of it, her index finger clicked "submit" and it was done.
Shadowed by the darkness of his study, Richard Castle was completely absorbed into writing the next chapter of his novel when his laptop pinged with a new notification. He saved what progress he'd made and navigated over to the new post on his fansite.
"Well, it's not like I went looking for it specifically, right?" he justified to himself as he read the title, the description, and the rating.
Then he clicked on it, settled back and wondered how castlefreak1212 had pinned their personalities down so well.
Coffee Break: There was a reason they began to take longer and longer coffee breaks. Oneshot. Rating: M
posted by castlefreak1212
A/N: I had to throw in the Stana Katic reference in there because we all know that she's probably one of the biggest Caskett shippers out there. Actually, I got the idea for this fic when I was watching the Castle crew at Paleyfest and thinking that it'd be funny if Stana actually wrote Caskett fanfiction. Anyhow, thanks for reading, and please let me know what you thought!
EDIT (April 9, 2012): After years of being here at fanfiction (dot) net, I finally read the "Rules and Guidelines" without skimming through it, and realized that I violated them when I used Stana (which violates Rule #4 under the regulations for "Entries not allowed") in the actual story itself. Therefore, I have now edited her name out of the fic itself, but I think the point still gets across well enough. My apologies.