Title: Come Sleep

Tumblr prompt: Twistymaven reblogged a quote: "You can't sleep? Me either. Let's can't sleep together." No angst, no secrets. : )-KC

Felt like we could all use something tonight, and I couldn't sleep. Dunno if it quite fulfills the prompt, but here goes:


He looks up as the door opens across the loft. She sighs as she slides through, placing her keys softly on the side table before locking up. He watches as she slumps, kicking off her shoes, her hand reaching out to shakily drop her bag onto the front hall chair. She runs her fingers through her hair and lets out another low hum of exhaustion.

He would call out, but she tends to startle past two in the morning—something about her cop reflex kicking in after party hours. So he watches blearily from the couch as she pads into the kitchen. She grabs a glass and fills it from the tap, even though he's told her to use the Britta about a hundred times.

She leans against the counter and sips from her drink, curled in on herself, exhausted in black leather and skin-tight jeans. Her eyes slowly find his and they stare at each other as he slides his laptop to the coffee table.

"Hey," he offers, his voice carrying across the quiet room.

She nods to him and sets her glass down, taking a deep breath before she walks the distance to stand at the back of the couch. Her fingers card through his hair as she looks down at him, her face made of soft lines and heavily-lidded eyes.

"You get a lot done?" she asks, her voice rough with the long day behind her.

He gives her a smile and covers the hand that rests beside his shoulder. "Finished editing," he says triumphantly.

"Good," she breathes out, leaning down slowly to press her lips to his forehead. "Bed?"

"Yeah," he agrees, standing and walking to meet her at the end of the couch. He opens his arms and she sinks into him, her forehead at his shoulder, arms wrapped around his neck as his curl around her back and up to thread into her hair. "Hard close?"

She nods against him and he feels her fingers curling against his neck. "Was the dad."

"Oh," he sighs, tugging her in closer, bracing her with his body as she starts to tremble.

"Killed his wife and then, God, Castle, he strangled his own kid." Her voice breaks his heart and he feathers his lips over her temple, lost for words, for anything to make it better.

"I'm sorry I wasn't there," he offers after a quiet minute.

"Me too," she whispers.

Oh, Kate.

He squeezes her once and then releases her. She stares up at him, exhausted and cracking with shining eyes. He leans in to press a gentle kiss to her lips, taking her hands in his. She lets him guide her back and into his bedroom, lets him remove her jacket and unbutton her shirt, trailing kisses over her cheeks and eyelids and forehead.

Together they get rid of her jeans, laughing quietly as she stumbles into him, feet tangled as she tries to toe out of the tight denim. Her hands map his cheeks as she arches up to find his lips in a whisper of a kiss, before she steps away, stripping out of her bra to tug his old, red tee shirt on over her head. She loves that thing, for whatever reason, and he sighs as she walks into his bathroom, closing the door softly behind her.

He sinks to the bed, throwing back the covers to burrow under. It's not quite winter yet, but this November has a bite to it, and he's been rather keen to hole up, even if he's been editing and making mandated changes sent back from a brash, overworked Gina.

He's been warm, but Kate's been out on the streets, working a double homicide with a child victim, and he couldn't be there to help her. He couldn't joke or bring her coffee, though he did make sure to stop in once a day to bring her lunch and one cup. It's hardly the same. She's barely slept in days, but he couldn't take more time. His contract is up for renewal, and missing the deadline for the final edits on Frozen Heat, already pushed back from the September release, would have buried his career.

She comes back through, flicking off the bathroom light so the room plunges into darkness. He feels more than sees her clamber up onto the bed, snuggling down until she's right there in front of him, her head sharing his pillow, clingy and cuddly.

"Do you have to be in tomorrow?" he whispers, running his hand down her arm to find her waist, curling his fingers into the worn material of his shirt.

"No," she breathes out, sliding her knee between his. "Gates gave us the weekend off."

"Good." She nods slowly, her forehead bumping his as her arm curls between them, gripping into the pillow below their chins. "No alarm," he adds, pressing his lips to her nose as she shakes her head. "You haven't slept in two days."

"But I should," she pauses as a yawn splits her face. He waits her out, smiling when 30 seconds pass before she finds her way back to words. "I should run, and I've been meaning to shop, and Alexis texted about that dress," she rambles.

"You can do all of that on Sunday," he promises. "And tomorrow too. I'll shop with you. I love stocking your fridge."

"You buy crap," she argues, though there's no bite to her at all now, which is oddly endearing. He'd love it more if he knew that she'd eaten more than the wrap he brought her at noon.

"I buy some crap, and vegetables, which you never seem to want."

"They go bad," she mumbles, obviously too sleepy to think that through. "Shaddup," she slurs a moment later.

"Love you too," he says, chuckling as she scrunches her nose. "We'll sleep late, then I'll make us brunch, and then I will do as many excruciating chores as you want. Just give me this," he continues, close to pleading now. She needs twelve or more hours of dead-to-the-world-sleep.

"Give you my sleep?" she asks a minute later, as though the thought had to slog through water to come out. "Stealing," she sighs.

He laughs, can't help it, and she huffs weakly. "No, you take it. Sorry," he says as he shifts to pull her closer.

Her hand comes to rest at his neck, her breath warm against his chin as she curls into him. He smiles and begins rubbing circles at the small of her back, lulling her down. She can put him to sleep just as easily, but right now, he just wants to watch her sleep, watch her relax. He needs to take care of her. He's been doing a crappy job this week, and it kills him.

"Miss you whe' you're not there," she whispers. "Come back on Monday?"

"Promise," he says, grinning despite himself. She's hardly so candid when she's awake and alert. It blossoms in his chest, fills him up; she does want him there. It's not new to him, but every time, every admission, every reveal leaves him breathless and strong and brave. She needs him, needs him like he needs her.

"Love you," she mumbles, almost too quiet to hear. "Go sleep."

"Yes," he promises, his throat tight with it, that she's here, with him, loving him. She goes slack against him, finally giving in, finally letting it take her over. "Sleep."