When It Happens

AN: There were these lovely and inspiring 'when Caskett happens,' wishes and hopes traveling all over twitter the other day, and I just fell a little bit in love with the idea. So I thought I'd turn it into a collection of scenes we may want to see. Timeline-wise, the scenes will be loosely connected, but each will stand on its own (meaning I won't leave you with cliffhangers).

I'm taking reader prompts for this one! If you have a scene you would like to see, hit me with your idea (somewhat in the style of 'when Caskett happens I want to see a steamy scene on his desk' – that was mine. lol). Put it in a review or a pm if you don't want it public, and I will collect them all. I can make no promises as to whether I will use yours; however, if I do I will give credit to who provided the idea, of course.

Now, let's get started with…

It Happened One Night

This wasn't supposed to be a date.

She hadn't dressed up for it, or touched up her make-up, or spent inordinate amounts of time perfecting her hair. He hadn't picked her up at her door, or brought her flowers, or whisked her away in a subdued town car. And they weren't at a fancy restaurant nibbling on small portions of overpriced food.

It was just coworkers, friends, going out for drinks after work. Winding down from a long case with bottles of beer and copious amounts of nachos.

Castle is sitting next to her, close enough that his leg is pressing warmly against her thigh, Esposito perpendicular to her, Ryan next to him, Lanie across, chatting and bickering and egging each other on.

She's quieter today, doesn't exactly attempt to keep up with them, just enjoys the laughter and easy company, feels as if they are all shrouded in a cloak of comfortable happiness.

She reaches for a nacho across the table, grazing his shoulder with her upper arm, and Castle turns toward her with a smile, pushes the green salsa that is her favorite toward her. She dips, then nibbles the chip, and notices his eyes lingering on her lips a little too long to still be considered casual. Her tummy flutters.

Then Ryan gets summoned by Jenny, and Lanie gets up, not without throwing a wink in Kate's direction. Espo is fast on her heels, helping her into her coat, and the two of them trail out of the bar together not a minute later.

It's just the two of them now.

This isn't a date. But it's sure starting to feel like one.

The little Italian place that Castle knows is only a few blocks away and so they choose to walk. The late May evening is balmy; a breeze ruffles the trees and the air is still moist, saturated from an earlier rain shower, leaving the city bathed in an almost surreal glow of a light grey fog.

Her heels click on the asphalt, and his steps are in tune with hers as they walk to the next corner. When the traffic light switches to 'walk,' Castle guides her across the intersection, his hand lightly against her lower back. The warmth of his palm seeps through her clothes, into her skin and she sways, just slightly, closer to his side.

Her shoe gets caught on a grate; she stumbles but his arm wraps around her waist immediately, strongly, holding her up. Kate wavers for a moment, not sure if it's the loss of balance or his touch. When she looks up his face is close, his body too, so very close; she lifts her eyes to his, is captured by the deep dark blue of his irises, the intensity of his stare.

"You okay?"

"Yeah." More than okay. She nods. His fingers dig into her waist, like a reflex; her eyelids flutter as a breath hitches in her chest.

A car horn blares in the distance, startling them. Castle catches himself, smiles at her tenderly. Satisfied that she is steady on her feet he drops his arm from around her waist.

She misses his warmth immediately.

They fall into step once more, their arms grazing slightly as they walk. Kate ghosts her fingers along his hand, hooks her pinkie finger around his. He draws in a breath, swivels his head toward her. She looks over at him from out of the corner of her eyes, yes I meant to do that Castle, squeezes his finger reassuringly.

She doesn't let go the rest of the way.

The little restaurant is packed. Couples, clusters of friends, families with children bouncing up and down on wooden chairs are gathered around the tables decked in red and white checkered tablecloths. The place hums with the words and laughter of multitudinous voices and Italian love songs in the background, like a loud beehive. The air is ripe with the scents of fresh bread, garlic and marinara sauce. It's loud and rich and atmospheric and the food is to die for.

They sit across from each other at a little table by the window, a candle flickering gaily between them. Castle spears the tomato slices from his salad onto his fork and drops them into her bowl. She loves tomatoes. She pushes the last slice of garlic bread toward him.

He buys her a single, long-stemmed red rose from the vendor who winds his way between the tables. With a wink and an exaggerated flourish, he hands it to her. Kate laughs but then he smiles at her so affectionately that her insides flutter, hot and excited, heating her cheeks to a blush.

She scoots a leg closer to his under the table, rests her calf against his. It's warm and reassuring and deliciously exciting.

He swoons over his lasagna and holds out a bite toward her on his fork for her to try. Kate contemplates for a second but then instead of taking the fork, she tilts her head forward and wraps her mouth around the bite as he holds it. The atmosphere, the romance of the evening have enticed her; she feels warm and languid and happy and she wants to experience, wants to feel every moment. With him. Her eyes slide closed as the rich flavors explode on her tongue and she hums a low moan.

His leg twitches against hers and her eyes fly open. His face is closer now, a dark and needy glimmer in his eyes that sends a shot of heat straight to her belly.

"Mmmm you're right," she murmurs, licks a bit of tomato sauce from the corner of her mouth. "It is good."

"…il sogno di poterti amare…"

They startle, swivel toward the voice that started singing next to them.

"…ti scriverei, Una canzone d'amore, per farmi ricordare…"

A large-bellied man is standing by their table, arms outstretched and singing with abandon. Everybody's attention has turned to the man as he serenades Kate and Castle, gesturing toward them, winking at them while he swoons his words. She doesn't know much Italian but she can still recognize the universal language, the feelings and emotions of undying love.

Heat climbs up in her face again and she turns, looks up at Castle from under her eyelashes. But he just smiles at her, soft and loving, and reaches out across the table, lays his hand on top of hers. His touch is tender but hot, and tingles race up her arm. She laces her fingers through his and squeezes.

"…se sapessi cosa dire allora ti scriverei, Una canzone d'amore ...

His hand rests against her lower back again when he guides her out of the restaurant. It is colder outside by now but the heat of his touch spreads along her limbs, keeping her warm. She feels deliciously limp, heavy from good food and the glass of red wine singing in her blood.

She doesn't want the night to end. The melody of the song is still dancing through her mind and so she hums while they walk.

Castle suddenly reaches for her hand, twirls her around and into his embrace, wrapping his other arm around her waist once more. Joining in, he hums the melody with her, his mouth vibrating close to her ear. While he dances her along the sidewalk.

He spins her out, then back into his arms. A few more steps and then he dips her, low. And Kate laughs, a sound floating up from deep within her throat. So much joy and happiness she hasn't felt in a long time. Maybe ever. With this amazing, fun-loving man by her side who dances with her in the middle of the street.

Castle brings her back up, folds her against him, the curves, angles and planes of their bodies interlocking. "Una canzona d'amore…" he murmurs the lyrics against the shell of her ear, while his steps slow, like languid caresses.

She pulls back a bit, cradles his cheek into her palm and he stills, his feet no longer moving but his grip around her waist tighter. She takes in his face, his beautiful blue eyes that stare at her, dark and passionate. His full lips, flavorful and talented. Her heart is thumping against her ribcage, her skin bathed in tantalizing tingles.

And then his delicious lips are on her, soft at first, tentative, teasing touches against hers, and she wraps her arms around his neck, pulls him closer. Opens her mouth to him and he delves inside, kissing her deeply, with strength and want and passion, and she falls against him, into him. His taste, his love for her, and she meets him, aches for him, is so in love with him.

It tastes like forever.

End of Scene

AN: Italian lyrics are from the song "Una Canzone d'Amore". Lyrics used, in order:

(1) "…A dream to be able to love you…"

(2) "…I would write to you, A love song, To make myself to be remembered (by you)…"

(3) "If I knew what to say then, I would write to you, A love song…."

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