If It Takes All Night

Castle/Beckett. Set immediately after 4x20 'The Limey'. Castle and Beckett's paths cross again before the day is over, and they finally get to have that talk about how they feel. Spoilers.

This won't be a particularly long story. Maybe 3 parts at most. I just needed to get the Castle angst from the last few episode out of my system! As this goes on, there will be sex and I might bump this up to an M rating. Reviews are loved. xxxx.

Disclaimed: Castle doesn't belong to me, but in the very capable hands of MilMar. If it did though, they'd at least be engaged by now! ;-) All typos and mistakes are my own!

Chapter 1: Of All the Gin Joints...

God, she was annoying him already. Four dates in three days would have that effect though. He barely heard a word that Jacinta was jabbering as the navigated the Ferrari around a bend much too quickly for Rick's liking. If he was truthful to himself, Rick was only spending the evening with Jacinta because it was better than going home alone. Alexis had sent him a text message to tell him that she would be out with friends and Martha had been preoccupied with the drama school more than ever lately. If he wasn't with someone; someone like Jacinta who was loud and lively, he'd only drink too much and become maudlin with thoughts of Kate Beckett. There he went again, thinking of her even when he had promised himself not to.

He had been childish today, they both knew it but he felt betrayed and heartbroken. It may be petty to lash out, but Rick wanted Kate to experience even half of the hurt he was feeling. He trusted Kate with his life; he wouldn't still be chasing down murderers and other assorted scumbags with her if he didn't have absolute faith in her. She had lied to him, and that still stung. He had effectively put his life on hold for her, waiting for her to be ready for a proper relationship with him. All along she had known exactly how Rick felt about her, never bothering to tell him that she didn't feel the same. Rick Castle had infuriated more women than anyone could keep tally of in his life, but he doubted he had ever been as frustrated as Kate had made him.

Beckett sat at the bar with Hunt, a glass of wine in easy reach of her fingertips. Colin was telling her stories about Scotland Yard and some of the more bizarre cases he had worked on. Kate thought about chiming in with some of her own anecdotes, but most of the instances that came to mind were times when she had worked with Castle. Venturing into that territory was too perilous right now, and she didn't want to think about Castle when she was sitting beside a charming, attractive man who was doing his best to entertain her after a hard day's work.

She had seen every inch of the handsome Englishman and she had liked what she saw. She thought about taking him back to her apartment tonight. If Castle could have a casual, sexual relationship, then why couldn't she do the same thing? Was she ready for that though? One night stands weren't really Kate's style, and was it really fair to Colin to use him to seek revenge on Castle.

Kate picked up her glass of wine and took a healthy swallow. Colin stopped mid-tale and she realised had tuned out of the conversation. So much for agreeing to go for a drink with him to distract herself from thinking about Richard Castle.

"Ricky, are you listening to anything I've been saying?" Jacinta asked, her arm looped through one of his as they strolled back towards the Ferrari.

"Sorry, my head's not really in the game tonight." He apologised. Dinner had been lovely, and the merlot had been exquisite but he still hadn't enjoyed himself. Maybe he would have been better off at home. Maybe not though, because he probably would have done something stupid; something like drinking too much whiskey and turning up on Kate's doorstep.

"Your head's not what I'm really interested in." Jacinta replied, with a grin. "Shall we go back to my place?"

As much as Rick wanted to lose himself in the act of making love, it wasn't Jacinta he wanted to share a bed with tonight.

"How about we have a few more drinks?" He suggested, gesturing to the nearby bar with his free hand. Maybe when he was less sober, he would be able replace Jacinta's face with Kate's in his mind.

"Sure," Jacinta replied, pulling him by the hand towards the bar's entrance.

"Would you like another drink, Kate?" Colin asked, pointing towards her almost empty glass.

She poured back the last drops of wine; the alcohol was beginning to make her feel lightheaded. When a case took off with lightning speed like it had today she often didn't have time to eat as much as she would like. Her working pattern didn't afford her to go out of lunch dates either, unlike some people. Damn it, there she was thinking of him again.

"Yes, please." She replied. Maybe with a bit more Dutch courage, she'd be able to take this man to her bed tonight without her doubts or guilt holding her back.

"Oh look, there's Castle." Colin exclaimed. He had stood up to put his wallet back into the pocket of his pants, affording him a better view of the rest of the bar.

"Really?" Kate tried to keep her voice casual, and praying that Colin was mistaken.

"Yeah, I'm sure it is. He's with that woman from earlier."

"Fantastic," Kate muttered to herself, wondering how it would be possible for this day to get any worse. As long as Rick and Jacinta didn't spot the two of them everything would be fine, she reasoned with herself.

The bartender placed their drinks in front of them and Kate reached for her's hungrily.

"Shall we find a table?" She asked, desperately wanting to be out of sight by the time Rick made his way to the bar area.

"Oh, okay." Colin seemed confused, but followed Kate in the direction of a more private corner of the room.

Castle was sure that he would recognise those brunette waves anywhere. This was too much of a coincidence; in fact it was too much like one of his novels. Of the hundreds, maybe thousands, of watering holes in New York he had to pick the same one that Kate was visiting. She wasn't alone either, he noticed. No, Mr Scotland Yard was just behind her, guiding her past small throng of people with his hand on the small of her back.

Castle felt his blood boil in his veins, and for the first time he was glad that he wasn't allowed to carry a firearm.

"Ricky, what do you want to drink?" Jacinta's voice broke through his thoughts and he turned to see an expression of concern on her face.

"Jameson's, neat." He managed to reply, scanning the patrons of the bar to spot where Kate had disappeared to.

After four years, he was beginning to realise that perhaps he didn't know her at all. Maybe he was confusing Kate Beckett with the Nikki Heat he had created. Just because the character he had based on her and the character based on himself had become a couple in the Heat novels, it didn't mean that it was destined to happen in real life.

"Rick, Rick!" Jacinta had to raise her voice to get him to pay attention. "I think I'm going to go home. I'm not very thirsty after all and I don't want to spend my evening watching you moon over that cop lady."

"Wait, what?" Castle blinked, trying to process what she had just said.

"I'm leaving." Jacinta replied, through gritted teeth. "I hope you and Ms Cop will be very happy together."

Barely restraining herself from throwing her drink at Rick, Jacinta stormed out of the bar. It would have given her immense satisfaction to see him wear her watermelon margarita but there was something about the lovelorn look on his face that tore at her heart just a little bit.

Castle watched Jacinta leave with barely contained shock and surprise, then turned back to the bar and down his whiskey in one stinging gulp. It looked like going home alone was now his only option. He knew he had charm in buckets full but the last thing he felt like doing was trying win his way into some other woman's bed. As much as he hated to admit that his dreams of becoming romantically involved with Kate were just that, dreams, he realised that he needed some time to grieve for what never would be. Maybe his mother was right; maybe he couldn't work side by side with her anymore.

A commotion seized Kate's attention, and she realised that she had zoned out of Colin's monologue again. The music and chatting in the bar were quite loud, but Kate heard that last sentence Jacinta hurled at Rick as if she had been standing next to them. She was certain that Colin had heard too, but he was doing a very good job of hiding it. If she wasn't a cop with her keen senses of observation and intuition, she probably wouldn't have noticed.

"Kate, can I ask you something?"

"Of course."

"Did you agree to drinks with me tonight because you wanted to make Castle jealous?"

Kate was taken aback, and it took her a few seconds before she could reply. What had shocked her most was how Colin had hit on the truth straightaway, but then again he was a cop too.

"I wanted to have a drink with you."

"That doesn't answer my question, Kate."

"I know. I'm sorry."

"So am I," He replied, draining the last of his beer. "I like you, you seem like a great person but you and Castle, there's something between you and I don't want to be the one to tread on someone else's toes."

Colin got up to leave and Kate stood too. "I like you too, Colin."

He leaned in and kissed her cheek. "Take care of yourself, Kate, and don't be afraid of what you want. This case; Naomi, it proved to me how short life is and how you've got to grab every opportunity before it's gone."

Kate nodded, unable to say anything as he eyes filled with tears. She stayed standing until Colin had left the bar, then sank back into her chair and reached for her wine wondering how many more glasses it would take for her to forget these miserable few days.

She looked up as she felt a presence hover over, wondering why Colin would bother to come back after their parting conversation. It seemed like everything that needed to be said between them had been said.

"Is this seat free?"

Kate opened her mouth, caught somewhere between wanting to laugh and wanting to cry.

"Yes, go ahead."