Multi-chapter story. I'll post a chapter a day. Enjoy!

Disclaimer: I don't own the characters.

Chapter 1

"Dude, what's that suitcase there in that bin. That looks like one of them Gucci suitcases or something".

The two teenage boys walk down the dimly lit alley to get a closer look.

"My girlfriend would love this. It barely looks used," one said as they inspected the outside of the case. "Quick, help me pull it out"

The teens found two crates to step up onto to lift themselves up higher to get a better grip on the suitcase. "A bit of a clean and this will look brand new."

"You let me have this one, and I promise I'll have Nadia find a single friend for you so we can go on a double date. I know how long you've been single, it's time you got yourself a girl!"

"Ok, deal. Nadia better have hot friends though!" he replied laughing.

The boys started to lift the case out of the bin.

"This things heavy man, it's like someone has filled it with a ton of bricks or something," one stated. "I wonder what's inside"

"I dunno. Hey, maybe we should leave it and just get out of here," the other teen said. He was beginning to feel a little nervous about this whole thing. "We're in a dark alley, we've found an extremely heavy suitcase that looks like it probably wasn't meant to be thrown out. If this was a movie, there would be a dead…"

It was too late, his friend had already started to open the case. He pulled out his torch to see closer. Both boys moved their faces closer, it just looked like a bunch of bubble wrap, but what was it covering, it was much too heavy to be simple bubble wrap. As their faces were almost touching the article inside the case, they realised what it was.

"Ahhhhhhhhhh!" they both screamed. Inside the case was a body wrapped completely in bubble wrap and taped up.

Beckett was so happy to be at home so early in the evening. They had finally closed a case they had been working on for a couple of weeks. It was a difficult one for Beckett and the guys. Gates could see it had been hard on them, so she said as long as there were no new cases they could go home and get a good nights rest. Beckett often wouldn't get home til late evening, and a good nights rest was something she didn't seem to know much about these days.

Today she was home by 5:00pm. First up, dinner! It wasn't often that she was home to eat, so she knew it wasn't even worth looking in her fridge for something. She ordered some Thai food and had it delivered to her door.

As she sat there eating her Thai, she began to realise how empty her apartment was. When she was at the precinct, there were people everywhere. She barely had a moment to herself. Especially with writer-boy Castle following her around. She couldn't go anywhere without him following, she would often find herself going into the ladies bathroom just to get a few minutes of peace and quiet. Though sometimes she even worried that he would follow her in there. Now she was home, she was alone, she had the whole evening to herself but... she didn't want to be alone. She wished there was someone else with her. Not just anyone, she wished Castle was there with her.

"Castle?" she thought to herself. "I want Castle here? No, that can't be right. I think he's spent too much time playing games with my head that now his games are following me home."

Castle was the most annoying person she had ever come across really. He was always interfering with her cases, always thought that his crazy theories were the right ones. Ok, so most of the time, he got it right. But still, that didn't make him any less annoying. Maybe he was just annoyingly helpful. Yes, that's right. He was annoyingly helpful in an adorable kind of way.

"Woah! Slow down Kate," she thought again to herself. "Adorable? You think Castle is adorable?"

It was true. He kind of was in his own little way.

With all the work that Kate did, she had never allowed herself to really have any time to think. These thoughts were coming as a surprise to her tonight. She knew the guy had grown on her, but she didn't realise how much he had grown on her.

She continued to eat her Thai and was running through the past few years in her head. She was beginning to realise just how much she had let Castle into her life. It became apparent that she had let him in a lot more than she was really aware of. He probably knew her better than she knew herself.

"Wow!" she thought. "He really does know me, and he hasn't run away." She was quite taken aback by her revelation. "And… I haven't run away from him!" She began to realise that maybe their partnership was more than she thought it was.

Once she had eaten enough Thai she put the leftovers in the fridge. She could take it into work tomorrow and eat it for lunch.

The next thing Beckett was glad to be able to do tonight was have a relaxing bath. It was one of her favourite things, being able to relax in a nice hot bathtub, filled with bubbles, with a book and a glass of wine. She would stay in there until the water began to feel cold and her toes were wrinkly.

She filled the bathtub to the brim, removed her clothing and stepped in. The water temperature was perfect. What would make it more perfect would be if Castle were in the tub with her.

"What…? Castle...? Again…?" she thought.

He had taken over her thoughts. She couldn't get rid of him. It was true though. The thought of having Castle in the bathtub with her did make her smile. She could just picture them both in there, her legs wrapped around his body while she ran her fingers through his hair, his gorgeous thick brown hair. She pictured them both sitting in the tub, him leaning back against her as she ran the soapy sponge along his stomach, his amazingly toned stomach. She had never seen him shirtless so she didn't know exactly how toned he was, but there had been those times during a case where they found themselves leaning up against each other, she knew he was nicely figured… and this was her imagination so she could imagine him however she liked. She closed her eyes and saw his face, his eyes that looked at her so lovingly, his smile that made her heart melt, and those lips… Those lips that just looked so perfect and soft and… kissable.

"Ok… that's enough," she said out loud. She could not control her thoughts tonight. What was wrong with her? Her thoughts had gone much further than she would normally allow. She had started to feel the butterflies in her stomach and could feel heat had risen to her cheeks. Lucky for her, she was alone and there was no one to ask her why she was blushing.

She didn't even bother reading her book tonight. She did not trust her thoughts to not take her away again, so she hopped out of the tub, and found some comfortable clothes to wear and decided to sit down and watch a movie. She was just about to put the movie on when she had a thought.

"Maybe I should invite Rick to accompany me while watching my movie. It's not often we have time to relax after a case. There's usually always another body dropping just as we're finishing a case, and it'd be nice to be able to spend some more time with him, while not on a case or going to one of his fancy book launches. We can just hang out and be ourselves. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that," she thought.

She got up to get her phone and as she was about to make the call, her phone started ringing.

"Beckett," she answered. "I'll be there in 15mins".

Well, the movie and the invite were going to have to wait for another time. Another body had dropped and she was needed at the crime scene right away.

"Dad?" Alexis called from her bedroom. "Is that you?"

"Well who else would it be?" Castle called back as he closed the front door behind him.

Alexis came running down the stairs. "Home before 5pm dad? Did Beckett finally get sick of you and tell you to go home? You haven't been home this early in a while."

Castle held his daughters face and kissed her on the forehead. "No," he said. "We closed the case that we'd been working on… finally. And Gates told us we could go home as long as no more bodies dropped. And guess what… no more bodies dropped."

Alexis wrapped her arms around her father and gave him a hug.

Castle loved his daughter, and one of the things he loved most, was her hugs. They always lifted him up when he was down. And if he was tired, his daughters smile was always give him that extra energy burst he needed to keep going. This was one of those moments. He had gotten home and was ready to just jump into bed straight away but when Alexis hugged him, it was like her energy jumped into his body.

"Well, it looks like we've got the evening together, what do you want to do?" Castle asked.

"Richard… Richard darling," Castle heard his mother calling as she came out from the bathroom.

"Hello mother," he said.

"Richard how was your day? Did you catch that guy yet?"

"We caught him, and actually, it was a young lady, Beckett and I were both very surprised when we figured it out," he said with a smile.

"So, is it safe for me to go walking around the neighbourhood again?" his mother asked.

"Mother, if there's one thing I've learnt working with the NYPD. It's that nobody is ever really 100% safe, and sometimes the people we think are least likely to be killers, are the killers. Really, any one of us could be. " He started speaking with a low and evil voice, and put on his best bad guy look. "Even me." He turned to his daughter, picked her up over his shoulder and ran about the apartment, Alexis giggling like crazy.

He came to a sudden stop when he bumped his knee into a table, then he limped over the lounge and put Alexis down.

"Oh Richard, really?", Martha said, and she made her way into the kitchen.

"You know I would never hurt you, mother," he called after her, "or Alexis"

"I don't think you could hurt anyone, dad!" Alexis commented.

Alexis loved it when she got to spend time with her father like this. He was working so much these days, it was like they barely had much time together. She missed it. She knew that sometimes he really had to grow up and act less like a 5 year old and more the mature grown man he should be. But she also loved that they could act like 5 year olds together.

"So dad, I was thinking, since you and grams are both home tonight. We should have a family games night."

"Sounds grand!" said Martha returning from the kitchen. "But first, we should eat. I have lasagna, just finishing in the oven. What's Beckett doing tonight Richard?"

"Um... she said she was going home to relax, I think she is really worn out from the case."

"Well we have plenty of lasagna here if you think she'll want to join us," Martha stated. She knew that her son had a soft spot for Detective Beckett. And although she wouldn't admit it to anyone, she had grown quite fond of the detective herself, and she knew Alexis really looked up to her. She would be the perfect addition to the family really. Martha knew it was just a matter of time.

"Um… yeah, you know what mother, I have spent almost all my time with her the last couple of weeks, I think I'll let her take a break from me. I really think she needs it. It'll be nice with just the three of us tonight."

A part of Castle did want to invite Detective Beckett for dinner, but he could still remember the look on her face as they left the precinct earlier in the day. She just looked worn out. She still looked absolutely beautiful, her eyes sparkled more than anyone else he'd ever known, and her smile warmed his heart, but he knew she needed rest. Plus he didn't want to push things with her. He was slowly warming her up to him. He knew it was working because she was becoming more and more open with him every week. And he often caught her watching him from a distance, or smiling away from him when he said something that she thought was cute, but didn't want him to know. There were also the times where she would accidently and even sometimes purposefully touch his hand or make some other sort of physical contact. The give away was when she bit her bottom lip, it was like her nervous give-away sign that showed she was falling for him. Of course, she didn't realise that he noticed all these things, but he did. And he was filing them away in his mind, waiting until the right moment for him to make his move. He didn't want to move too soon and frighten her away. He knew there would be a time though, and he would wait until he knew it was right.

Alexis and Castle prepared a salad to go with the lasagna and they all sat down to eat.

Once all the dishes were in the dishwasher, they went to the lounge room.

"So what game do you have in mind tonight?" Castle asked his daughter.

"Well, I was thinking, since grams is here with us, we should put her acting skills to the test. Let's play Charades," she said with a smile, and she went to the cupboard to find the board game.

"Oh goody, I love Charades," Martha responded.

"Watch it mother," Castle said laughing, "you sound like me when I get excited for a game. And you always tell me I sound like a 5 year old"

Martha gave him a look, and rolled her eyes.

"Castle 1, mother 0," he thought to himself.

Alexis returned with the game and started to set it out on the table when Castle's phone rang. She stopped and looked at her father, "it's Beckett, isn't it?"

Castle picked up the phone and nodded. "Castle," he answered. "Ok, I'll be there as soon as I can."

"Looks like we're going to have to postpone our game," he said to his mother and daughter. He felt bad leaving now, but it was Beckett, it was a new case, he just couldn't say no.

"That's ok dad," replied Alexis, "Beckett needs you."

"I'm sorry," he said, and he kissed both his daughter and mother on the cheek as he picked up his jacket and headed towards the door.

As Castle left and closed the door behind him Alexis turned to her grandma. "When is he just going to tell Beckett how he feels?"

"Give it time," said Martha. "Give it time."