I'm not usually much of a writer but I decided to give it a go.

Disclaimer: I don't own any of this.

"I don't know what's wrong Lanie", Beckett said, as she sat down on the sofa in her lounge room. "One minute he was there, like right there, now he's distant. He's changed all of a sudden and I don't know why? Did I do something wrong?"

"Maybe he's just tired of waiting for you" Lanie replied matter-of-factly, looking down at Beckett as she came to the lounge from the kitchen, holding 2 glasses of wine.

Beckett looked at her friend with a confused expression.

Lanie raised her eyebrows. "C'mon, we all know the guy likes you, and you know it to," she handed a glass of wine to Beckett.


"You only need to spend 5 minutes around you two to know that you like him too."

"What are you talking about?" Beckett tried to hide her smile.

It was becoming more and more apparent to her that Lanie was right. Kate had known for months that Castle did not only like her, he loved her. He even told her when she was shot, as he tried to save her life. She wasn't ready back then, was she ready now? Is she ready to allow someone to love her the way she knew Castle wanted to? Is she ready to give back the love that she would like to be able to? Kate was still so unsure but she was willing to hear what else her friend had to say.

Lanie saw her attempted hidden smile, "I can see it on your face right now," she said. "You know exactly what I'm talking about. I seriously cannot believe you have allowed Castle to follow you around the past few years and you guys haven't made a move on your obvious feelings for one another! Girl, you haven't even kissed him, have you seen those lips. If I was you I would have been on those…"

Lanie stopped midsentence when she noticed the guilty expression Kate was trying to hide.

"Wait… Kate… You have kissed him haven't you? When? How do I not know about this? You have to tell me all the details. I can't believe you haven't told me"

"Slow down Lanie. It was during a case. We did it to save Esposito and Ryan…"

"Sorry? You kissed Castle to save the guys?"

"Yes, we needed to get past a guy on the door where the boys were, as we walked towards the warehouse, I was just about ready to pull out my gun when suddenly Castle pulled me in and he kissed me. And Lanie," she blushed as she remembered, "his lips were perfect. His kiss was gentle but intense at the same time." She remember how perfect he was, how she could have stayed with him in that moment forever, but knew there was others to think about. "But we were on a case, it had to end, we had to get the guys out of trouble. So I knocked out the guy and we had to got back to work."

Lanie just stood there staring, her mouth wide open. She could not believe this was the first time she was hearing this story.

"We haven't talked about that since then. I don't know why. Maybe you're right, maybe I've left it too long. Gosh I hope I'm not too late." Kate started to look upset as she thought about what she may have lost.

Richard Castle really was the perfect guy for her, not just his kisses but the person that he was. He made her life better, made it easier, he made her happy. She was more comfortable being herself when he was around. She longer had to hide behind her mothers murder. She didn't have to hide behind anything at all.

Lanie reached out a hand and placed it on Kate's shoulder. "So, tell me, how do you really feel about him. I can see it on your face, but you need to be able to admit it to yourself before you'll be ready to tell him. And something tells me that you've been lying to yourself…"

"I have Lanie, I have. I didn't want to believe it, I didn't think I could but I do. I love him. I have done for a while, I just haven't really known what to do with these feelings. He's not like the other guys I've been out with. I don't want to ruin this one. I don't want to start something unless I'm 100% sure I'm ready."

"Girl, you're ready! I know you are"

"How do you know?"

"Right now, as I look at you. I see a changed woman. Before he came along, you were so secretive, you kept things to yourself, you were all about the job. But tonight, you've just been more open and honest than I've seen you before and shared what I imagine is some of your innermost thoughts and secrets. You're no longer thinking about just the job, you are thinking about you, and what you want, and you know you want him"

"There is something else I should probably tell you Lanie," Kate spoke with such a soft seriousness to her voice. "It's something I've kept secret since the shooting. I've said I don't remember anything, but I do. I remember it all. I remember laying there in his arms, I was in pain, but I almost couldn't feel it. And well, Castle told me he loved me. That was the last thing I heard before I woke up in the hospital"

"And you've kept this to yourself all this time?"

"Yes, the only person I told was my therapist. Castle doesn't know I heard him… You know what, I need to tell him, no more lies, no more secret, I'm going to talk to Castle tonight." She then looked at the clock and realised it was after 11pm. "Maybe first thing tomorrow!"

"Tonight, lets just focus on finishing this bottle of wine", Lanie replied. They both laughed and took a sip of their wine.

Castle had spent three hours just wandering around town without purpose before he decided it was time to go home. He walked in his front door, took off his jacket, hung it over the chair and slumped himself on the lounge. He had just spent another day with Beckett at the office trying to pretend he had no feelings for her. He found it harder than he imagined. It turns out he can't just turn off his heart like he wanted to. He had loved before, but Beckett… Beckett was different. She made him a better person, a better man. He wasn't sure if he was ready to give up on her just yet.

"She knew," he thought to himself. "All this time she knew. How could she have known all this time and not said a word"

"Rick, is that you?" He heard his mother calling from upstairs.

"Yes mother"

"Did you catch any dangerous killers today?" Martha started making her way down stairs and saw Rick slumped on the couch looking defeated.

"Yes mother"

"Oh Richard! You still haven't talked to Beckett about what you heard the other day, have you?"

"No mother"

"Richard, what is wrong with you?" Martha sat down next to her son. "This isn't the son I know. The son I know would have confronted her. You can't continue to work with her and think that it's not going to affect you. You can't expect the feelings to simply just go away because you want them to, especially if you continue to see her every day. This woman has changed your life and you know it! Love isn't easy, especially when you don't really know how the other one feels"

Rick lifted his head for the first time and looked directly at his mother. "She kept a secret from me all this time," he said angrily, but Martha saw sadness then fill his eyes. "If she felt the same, she would have told me. She lied to me! All this time, mother, she lied to me! She doesn't love me. "

"Yes, she lied to you, she kept the truth from you." She placed both hands on his shoulders and looked him in the eye. "But Richard, that's exactly what you are doing now. You heard her and now you're keeping it to yourself…"

"But this is different," he interrupted.

"How is this different?

"I've not kept stringing her along for months."

"No," his mother said. "A lie is a lie. Silence is silence. No matter how long you keep things to yourself, in the end, it's still the same. In the end, someone gets hurt. I know you are hurting, and I know you feel like she has wronged you and you think that you can't do anything to fix what's been done but Richard, you know there's a story behind everything. There's got to be a story behind why Beckett kept this to herself. You need to go to her and talk to her, find out her story, you never know what you may find out."

Rick looked away. "But what if I don't want to know now. I'll get over it. I've gotten over others, I can do it again with her"

"You've never loved anyone the way you love Kate. I've seen the way you look at her, heard how you talk about her. You never looked at or spoke about Gina or Merideth the way you do with her. Richard, this isn't something you will get over easily. You need to talk to her. Then you will know. You will know if there's still a chance for you and her or if it's time to find a new character to write about"

He thought for a moment. "I'm not sure I want to write other characters. If I can't write Nikki Heat, I wont write at all. And I'm not writing Nikki Heat without Kate. I can't do it"

"Richard, go talk to her!"

He knew she was right, he knew he had to talk to Kate. But how? He was a writer, he was a man of many words, but when it came to her, when it came to this, he had no idea what to say. He was angry but at the same time sad. He didn't know how to feel about it. As much as he didn't want to admit it, there was still a part of him that hoped she did love him, a part of him hoped that they still had a chance.

Rick stood up from the chair and picked up his jacket, "You're right, I need to talk to her tonight, right now. Thank you" He kissed his mother on the cheek and walked out of his apartment.

Rick stepped into the elevator in Kate's building. He was ready but he still wasn't quite sure what he was going to say. He was hoping the words would just come to him like they do when he's writing sometimes. When you start, the words just flow, and if they don't flow he's hoping Kate will have something to say. An awkward silence is the last thing he wants right now. He wants to solve the mystery of what is going on in Kate's head. It's a mystery that she has kept to herself for far to long. He was one of the greatest mystery writers, it was time for him to learn more about her story.

The elevator chimed, he was at her level.

"Ok, here goes", he said to himself as he walked up to Kate's door.

He raised his hand and knocked loud enough to sound confident that he knew exactly why he was there but not too loud that it would scare her.

Beckett and Lanie looked at the clock on the wall… it was now after 12am. Who would be knocking on her door at this time? Lucky for Beckett, she was always armed and ready.

Lanie stayed down on the floor as Beckett slowly went to the door, gun in hand. She opened the door quickly.


Castle said the first thing that came to his mind, "You knew!"


He pushed his way through the door, and Beckett placed her gun back away.

"You knew all this time, you knew!" He spotted Lanie sitting finishing a glass of wine. "Sorry", he said, "I didn't mean to interrupt"

Lanie stood up, "no it's fine… I was just about to leave anyway"

She got up, picked up her jacket and made her way to Beckett, only stopping to whisper in her ear. "Looks like you'll get to talk sooner than you thought"

She continued towards the door and as she walked out she turned to the detective and the writer. "Good luck!" she said as she closed the door.

Beckett turned to Castle. He looked different. He had this look on his face that showed anger, yet beneath the anger, she could see sadness. Where was this coming from? She began to run past the events of the past week. Tried to pin point when this change of character began. One moment he had seemed caring, loving and so serious, he said there was something he wanted to share with her. Then the next moment, he was cold and bitter and said it was nothing. She could not figure it out. What caused this change?

Castle still had no idea what words to say, so he again said the only words he could get out. "You knew!"

Beckett continued to run through events in her head. "What Castle, what did I know?"

"C'mon Kate, you know exactly what I'm talking about. You've kept this secret from me for months. I bet Lanie knows too, but me, your partner, the one person you should have told, you never told me!"

Beckett looked at Castle, she still couldn't figure it out. What secret? That she remembered everything? There's no way he could know that. She had never told anyone except her therapist, and Lanie just now. What was he talking about?

"Castle, I honestly, I don't know."

Castle shook his head. He didn't want to give it away, he didn't want to tell her, he wanted her to figure it out herself.

Castle looked defeated. Beckett felt bad but she didn't know what it was about. It was now obvious he had found, heard or seen something but what. She decided to buy some time to think.

"Maybe we should take a seat," she said and took his jacket, while he took a seat. She knew that getting him to sit down and taking his option of getting up and going not so easy. "Would you like something to drink," she asked.

"Water would be great," he responded and he dropped his head and looked down at his hands.

Excellent she thought, giving herself more time to try and figure out what he was talking about. The anger was disappearing from his voice, but the sadness was still there. She took two glasses from the cupboard and got the water bottle from the fridge. She started walking from the kitchen to the lounge where Castle was seated when suddenly it hit her, she remembered what she said to Bobby in the interrogation. She stopped still on the spot.

"I was shot in the chest and I remember every second of it," she remembered and repeated softly. Her body went weak and the water bottle and glasses dropped to the floor and smashed around her.

Castle got up quickly. "Beckett, are you okay?" It didn't matter how upset he was with her, he would still rush to her side, no matter what. He couldn't help himself.

Castle ran to meet Beckett and found her frozen still, eyes wide. Had she seen a ghost? Because that's what it looked liked.

"Detective Beckett? Kate?" Castle waved his hand in front of her face without her even blinking.

"I remember Castle, I remember everything, that day, Montgomery's funeral, the shooting, you, your words. I remember it all"

She remained standing there, broken glass at her feet, spilt water around her. It's like she didn't even notice.

Castle wasn't sure what to say but he knew he had to clean up the mess before someone slipped and hurt themselves. He bent down and started picking up broken bits of glass. It wasn't long before he looked up and Kate's eyes were level with his.

"I'm sorry Rick," she said. "I never meant for you to find out like that. I wanted to tell you. I just was waiting for the right moment. And then…"

"Shhhhh…." Said Castle lifting his finger to her lips and quieted her. "First lets pick up this glass, then we'll talk"

The next few minutes were completely silent. They worked together like a perfect dance couple as they picked up the glass and mopped up the water then found some more glasses and got another bottle of water. Words were not needed between the two of them. They knew each other so well, they would know what the other was going to do before they did it.

They took the water and glasses down to the coffee table where Castle had been sitting earlier and both took a seat. They looked directly at each other.

Beckett started, "So… you were there when I interrogated Bobby"

"Yes," he poured two glasses of water, and took a sip from one, placing the other in front of Beckett.

"You heard when I told him I remember everything about my shooting"


"I knew all this time… I remembered… you said you loved me". Her throat was dry, she took a sip of her water without taking her eyes off Castle.


"Rick, I'm sorry. I know I should have told you, but I left it so long, I didn't know how to tell you and then, well now, you know. So this is why you've been angry and upset with me the past few days?"


"Castle! Surely you've got more to say than just yes. What are you thinking? What's going through your head. Don't you have questions? Please, just say something", she was beginning to get angry now herself. This was not what she expected at all.

"Why? Why did you keep it from me? Why didn't you tell me all those months ago in the hospital? Why didn't you call me for 3 months? Why…" he was getting angry again.

"Josh. Josh was at the hospital. I couldn't tell you there. I didn't want things to be awkward for anyone."

"But you were willing to string me along making things awkward now?"

"No, Rick! I didn't mean for it to be like this, I swear. This is one scenario, I never imagined"

"So what had you imagined? That you would keep me hanging around for as long as you could. Laughing at me with your friend Lanie, and then one day just tell me that you've had enough and you would just let me go,"

"No Rick, listen to me! I always wanted to tell you, I've said that, I just… I don't know. I really don't know what stopped me. The right time just never came. Every time I got close to saying something, a case would come up or someone would interrupt us. I wanted to tell you, honestly I did. Now I know I should have told you months ago, but it's too late for that now", softness had returned to her voice again.

"So what about those three months that you didn't call?" Castle voice had softened also. "You should have called. I was worried, I had no idea where you were or what you were going through. I could have been there for you"

"Castle, I needed to sort things out. I was recovering, you had already done so much for me…"

"And I would do it all again," he interrupted.

There was a slight pause, no one spoke. They both just stared at the floor waiting for the other to make a move or say something.

"Castle, I was talking to Lanie tonight, I was going to come and talk to you but when I realised it was late, I decided tomorrow morning would have been better. I was going to come to your loft, surprise you with a coffee, and talk. I was ready to talk to you. I was ready to tell you exactly what I remembered and exactly how I feel."

"I know what you remembered Kate, you remembered it all, you said that. I remember it all too! I'll never forget it. Seeing you get shot, it's a recurring nightmare but in the dreams I can't get to you in time. It's horrible. But you know what, it was stupid of me to have waited so long before telling you how I felt. I should have told you long before."

"Rick," Kate moved a little closer and took both of Castles hands in her own. She sighed. "Rick, the truth is, you're not the only stupid one in this room right now. I should have told you how I felt long before it got to this, but I was frightened."

"There's nothing to be afraid of Kate," he said holding on tight to her hands.

"Rick, I…." she paused and looked down at their hands.

Rick let go of one of Kate's hands and placed a finger underneath her chin. He lifted her face and looked straight at her, their faces so close their noses were almost touching.

"Kate, I love you!" he said. "I always have"

"Rick, I… I love you too!"

They both sat there staring into each others eyes. A moment of such intensity, neither of them could move. Neither of them could get out another word.

Suddenly there was a knock at the door.

They simultaneously looked at the door. They should have known someone was going to interrupt their moment.

"Esposito?" guessed Castle.

"Lanie" replied Beckett noticing that Lanie had left her bag sitting by the front door. "She would have had the taxi drop her off home only to find that she didn't have her bag and had to come all the way back"

"I bet she did it on purpose." Castle knew that Lanie could not wait for the day he and Beckett managed to sort things out. She was here when he got here, he knows that her and Beckett discussed how Beckett felt. "I bet she didn't even leave the building, she's just been waiting downstairs until she thought enough time had past"

"You and your stories, Castle! You're probably right though", laughed Kate.

There was another knock at the door.

"You should probably get that!" Castle said. "Or who knows what she'll think we're doing!"

"Right!" Kate jumped up and ran to the door.

She heard Lanie call from the other side of the door. "C'mon Kate, I know you're still up. I haven't seen Castle come down. What are you two doing in"

The door swung open.

"Told you she hadn't left," said Castle.

"So how's it going?" Lanie asked, peeking in the door and smiling.

"Fine," Kate said as she handed Lanie her bag and basically pushed her back out the door. "I'll talk to you tomorrow" she whispered to Lanie as she closed her door again.

Castle stood up and walked up behind Kate. He took hold of one of her hands and spun her round to face him. Kate giggled as he pulled their bodies so close they could feel the heat radiating from each other. It felt so right, it felt so natural to stand there together. Kate lifted her hands and wrapped them behind Rick's neck. She pulled him close and their lips connected. She knew this was right, she knew he was what she needed in her life. She knew they were so much better together than they could ever be apart.

When they both needed air they parted lips but, their bodies remained close. They had waited so long for this moment, and it had finally come. The day had arrived when both of them knew what they wanted and were willing to admit it.

"Isn't it strange how sometimes the things you think are going to tear you apart, end up bringing you together," Castle said.

"What do you mean?" Kate replied, looking into his eyes, his beautiful blue eyes.

"Well, I thought that I would come here tonight, you would have admitted that you heard me, but that you didn't feel the same. I didn't want that but, I thought with everything out there, you would think it would be easier without me, and our partnership would be ended. I'm relieved, I was wrong."

"Rick…. You definitely had that all wrong. My life is easier, my life is better with you in it, and that will never change"

"I know. I'm here for you Kate… always"

"Always" Kate repeated after him.

Rick and Kate parted, instantly wanting to be close again but knowing that it was late and they were sure to have a new case for them tomorrow so they both needed to get some sleep.

"I should go," Rick said. "Mother, is probably waiting up for me." He rolled his eyes.

Kate laughed. She knew he was probably right. She didn't want him to go. She wanted him to stay, she felt safe with him nearby. She just wanted to cuddle up to him and fall asleep in his arms, but she didn't want to rush this. She wanted to do this right. He was the one for her. She wasn't going to ruin it.

Kate helped Rick back into his jacket. "Goodnight Rick" she said gently.

"Kate," he said. "If we're partners out of work, is that going to affect our partnership at work? Will they separate us"

"I guess we'll find out tomorrow," she raised her eyebrows at him and kissed him good bye.

"Come have breakfast with me tomorrow. Alexis is really good at making special pancakes"

"I'll see you then Castle", she smiled as she watched him walk down the hall to the elevator. Just before he got on the elevator he turned and blew her a kiss.

Kate closed the door and smiled. Tonight's girls night with Lanie had not been what she had expected, but she was happy. She went to bed with a huge smile on her face, knowing tomorrow would be the start of something new. The start of her life with Richard Castle.

Castle took Beckett's hand as they walked into the precinct together. Neither of them knew how anyone was going to react. They knew Esposito and Ryan would more than likely start cheering them as soon as they saw them walking hand in hand.

They stepped into the elevator, no one else was in the elevator with them. Kate rested her head on his shoulder and whispered to him. "Thank you Rick, for not giving up on me"

"I never could," he responded.

The elevator dinged, Kate lifted her head and they both stepped out, making their way to Kate's desk. There were some whispers as they walked past other officers.

They sat down in their usual chairs smiling at each other. Kate doesn't remember ever smiling so much in her life.

Ryan and Esposito walked over to them. "So… what's going on with you two?" Esposito asked.

Beckett looked at them and innocently replied, "Nothing"

Castle got up from his chair walked over to Kate, took her hand and lifted her up onto her feet. "Nothing?" he questioned, "you call this nothing?" And he kissed her passionately in the middle of the bullpen.

Ryan handed Esposito a $20 note. "How did you know about this? I need to stop making bets with you"

Just as Kate went to sit back down in her chair, she saw Gates standing at the door of her office. Gates pointed at her and Castle. "You two, in here, now!"

They got up and started making their way to Gates' office.

"Uh oh, looks like we're in trouble," Castle teased.