Things To Do In A Boring Meeting
They are both stuck in a boring meeting.
They are not stuck in the same boring meeting.
Things To Do In a Boring Meeting
This is what he texts her first. It's her fault for having her phone between her thighs, resting in her lap at just the right angle so she can see it. The alert flashes and she's already swiping her thumb across the cool-to-the-touch screen and tapping in her code to unlock it. The message loads automatically.
Is he asking her for suggestions?
Stop messaging me. I'm trying to pay attention.
He returns a response immediately.
Stop reading my messages. You should be paying attention. Lives at stake here, Beckett.
Except they both know it's not true. She's at a refresher course for the 12th Precinct on both workplace sexual harassment and the non-lethal force and restraint system. She is beginning to forget which one she's currently attending because the buzz words sound the same.
She smirks to herself.
Come on, Beckett. Kidding. I need help surviving this day.
She lets it sit for a moment, just because she can, and then she messages him back.
Texting during the meeting is a good one. But if you'd play your turn on Draw Some, that'd be even better.
That's a cow? No way. It looks like a rabbit with the mange.
Kate growls to herself and ignores his message, goes back to the pictionary app on her phone. She watches him fail to guess, wiping their game out, resetting their record back to zero. Seriously, the man was stumped by cow? She watches his turn as he draws and thumbs in the correct word within seconds: fireworks.
For her turn to draw, she's given the choice of rkelly, rowing, and gerbil. Since her cow failed to pass muster, and since Castle is apparently incapable of recognizing animals, she's stuck with an action verb and an R&B singer whom she doubts Castle even knows.
She's goes for rowing and after a protracted time of agonizing over her picture, she realizes the people in the boat doing the rowing actually look like-
Kate sighs. She switches to the scrabble app, sorry, Words with Friends, studies the board intently but she has no vowels. None. Not even a blank tile she could make a vowel. She makes a three-letter word and gains 9 points.
She goes back to her messages and calls up their conversation (now two hours worth of whining and groaning).
These games are stupid. Your turn to suggest something.
Castle shifts uncomfortably in his seat, listening with half his brain as the lawyers and his agent and publicist hash things out between them. A contract for four more Nikki Heat books and he has yet to inform Kate.
But he doesn't think she'll mind. Not really.
These texts. When he suggested we could always sext he was really joking. Not kidding - no, he will always be willing to read dirty texts from Detective Beckett - but he was joking. He never expected. . .this.
He shifts again, realizing that the half of his brain he's listening to the contract negotiations with is dipping down to maybe only a quarter. Because his blood is quickly dipping down as well.
She can't text him things like I know what I want to do with my mouth and expect him to be able to handle it.
He finally collects his wits and offers a rejoinder: Let's go back to the games. I'm going to embarrass myself shortly.
Shortly? How disappointing.
She's evil. She is so very evil. This isn't nice, Beckett.
Think of something then. Because I really like making you squirm.
He sighs and rubs his sweaty palm over his jean-clad thigh, racks his brains to figure out what to do next. What-
I can tell you a story.
He waits a long time.
A dirty story?
Well. Actually. He could-
Castle grins to himself. Yeah. Uh-huh. He is so getting her back for the last fifteen minutes' squirming.
It's early morning, the sun barely filtering in through the window, the heavy drapes blocking out most of the light.
He sends it and waits, scratches at the back of his neck as his publicist gestures towards him.
"Mr. Castle will not budge on this issue."
He nods. "That's right. Won't budge." His phone vibrates against his thigh. He slyly picks it up, looks at the screen when the lawyers ignore him again.
Your room or mine?
She'll never admit interest, will she? Of course not. He grins to himself and continues his story. I slide my hand across the obscenely high thread count sheets until I feel the heat of your body.
He is seriously trying not to hum to himself while in a meeting, but there's a deep sense of superiority and pleasure melting in his chest.
I thought you nixed the sexting.
This ain't sexting, Kate. Your skin is smooth; I trace a line up your hip and towards your shoulder, my thumb brushing the tendon of your neck. And then the door clicks open-
He doesn't have to wait long.
A little face appears.
I'm so not letting you touch me if someone's in your room, Castle.
He grins and strokes his finger on his knee, thinks for a moment. Our room. A little hesitant face, dark eyes, tiny hands that reach for Mommy.
Nothing back. Ha. That shut her up.
Oh jeez. Shit. Castle.
She presses her hand to her mouth and tries to swallow past the lump in her throat.
Something about no means no in the video presentation, and she tries to gather her concentration again, tries to figure out a way to not think about a little one needing to be cuddled in the early hours, the warm body between them in the bed-
Not working, is it? Not at all. Her heart is racing, galloping in her chest, and his story got to her far better than the racy text messages she sent him.
Her phone vibrates once more and she impulsively checks it, not sure why she's doing it, but just knowing she has to.
Your turn. What happens next?
Mutely, Kate stares at the screen.
Should she - maybe if she - what could it hurt? They've never - the sexting alone was pushing the envelope, but this is more than playing around. More than glances across the conference room table or the touch of his fingers against her knee.
But it's just a story.
It's just a beautiful story.
Daddy lifts her up to the bed so she can wriggle down between us. She throws an arm around my neck; Daddy gets a foot in the ribs as she gets under the covers.
She hovers over the send, not sure if she should, not sure if she can. Her heart pounds so hard she feels sick.
What can it hurt? It's just a story.
So she does it. She sends it back to him.
Holy shit, she's playing along.
It's like a gut-punch. He hunches over in his chair and blinks his eyes at the text, the way she's somehow made his vision so very real, so clear. A little girl. A foot in his ribs. Kate's sleepy smile across the bed.
Mommy hugs her little girl, strokes her fingers through the dark hair, leans in to kiss her forehead. "What's the matter, sweetheart?"
He waits and waits, lips pressed together.
He jerks to attention, glances up at the lawyer. Uh. "Yeah?"
"Would you be willing to take-"
"No, he would not. Would you? Don't try to persuade him into giving away half his fortune. This isn't about-"
"I'm just trying to strike a mutually beneficial deal."
Castle feels the vibration of his phone and ignores the two squabbling in front of him, thumbs his phone on, unlocks it.
I don't even need to ask, just scary dreams after Daddy let her watch Wizard of Oz. She says nothing, buries her face in my neck and reaches her other arm out for Daddy, wanting both her parents close.
Both her parents.
Castle wipes his hand down his face and gets up suddenly from the table. "I need to go. Family emergency."
His publicist shoots him a startled look, half rising herself. "Is it - is everyone okay?"
He clutches his phone. "It's my daughter."
"Oh no," she gasps, hand over her mouth.
He shakes his head as he backs up. "No. She'll be fine. I'll make sure she's fine."
And then he makes his escape.
Kate scrubs her hands over her face, tries not to panic. It's been twenty minutes, nearly thirty.
That was really stupid, participating in his story. Stupid, stupid story. Pointless, heartbreaking story. Doesn't exist, not real.
The presenter is going through the five steps. Of what, she has no idea. She stopped paying attention about fifty text messages ago, and now she can't follow the thread back to the original point.
Kate feels her phone vibrate and nearly drops it trying to get at the new message.
Ditch your meeting. I'm outside.
She sucks in a breath, heart pounding.
This isn't good. She shouldn't-
But she's already standing up, already duck-walking down the row of other NYPD officers, apologizing as she steps on toes trying to make it to the aisle.
She murmurs bathroom or some mumbled excuse and makes a break for the back double doors, pushes through and out-
Whatever moment of awkwardness should exist doesn't at all. Instead he's reaching for her, hands cupping her face and bringing her in against his mouth, his kiss hot and forceful and desperate.
His tongue skirts her lips, dips inside, flirting with her mouth. She wraps her arms around his neck and lifts into it, getting closer, feels one of his hands slide down her side and grip her hip.
"Kate," he murmurs on a breath, blazing his kiss down her cheek to her ear. "I want that story. I want a foot in my ribs in the morning. I want to reach across the bed and find you."
She can't speak, can only stutter her breath against his cheek and rock into him, closer, every closer.
"I want it too," she whispers finally. "I want you."