(I may have actually cried because I loved how much this turned out.
It involves four of my favorite things: Castle, Darwin, Shakespeare, and Shantaram)
"We are made out of stars, you and I."
- Shantaram, by Gregory David Roberts
"Do you ever think of how we got here?"
Kate opened her eyes at the sound of his voice, leaning back up from her spot against his chest, encased in his arms with a blanket wrapped around the two of them, on top of the roof of his building on a cool spring night.
She don't know what possessed him, but he told her that he wanted her to see the stars, to which she informed him that they'd never be able to see them in New York unless there was a blackout that shut the entire city down. He ignored her (Oh, but you can Detective! You just have to go high enough), grabbed a few blankets from the closet in the hall and some pillows for comfort, and pulled her up onto the roof with him.
"Do you mean how we got here, as in humanity? Or do you mean how we got here?"
He pressed his lips to the back of her head and she could feel him smiling into her hair.
"Both," he murmured, his lips refusing to give up his smile.
She sighed, letting her shoulders sink back down against his chest.
"Not really," Kate muttered, her eyes taking in the darkening sky and the city lights before closing her eyes, "There're facts about how the human race came to be… and you and I were just inevitable."
He pressed a kiss into her hair.
"I should have known you believed in Darwin."
She sighed again, "What's not to believe in? There are fossils. Human fossils. We've evolved through time and the strongest survived. That's why we're here."
"But don't you ever wonder if there's anything more than that? Early humans had to get here somehow. They had to evolve from something before that. Something had to put them here."
"There was the Big Bang."
"But what started the Big Bang?"
"It was energy, everything came together only to expand into the universe we know today."
"But what about before that? How did the energy get there?"
"I don't know," Kate admitted softly.
"Something had to put it there though, right?"
"Are you trying to convince me of Intelligent Design?"
"No," he said. She could feel him shaking her head, "I'm not trying to convince you of anything. It's just... You're a cop. There's no such thing as a coincidence. It couldn't just be coincidence that all of the energy in our universe met at one specific point in time and expanded into what we know today. It wasn't coincidence that the earth just happened to have the right conditions to create an atmosphere of breathable air that humans could survive. It wasn't coincidence that humans ended up on this planet, that they had the instinct to survive and evolve into what we are today."
"So you think there are other forces at work…"
"It's the only explanation, isn't it? There are forces out there that are determining what's going to happen to us. Maybe it's some omnipotent being, maybe it's little green men with joysticks and computer programs. But maybe it's destiny. Maybe the stars have powers beyond our wildest dreams."
"Maybe we're not meant to understand them," she said gently, "maybe it's meant to remain a mystery."
"I like mysteries," he said with a smile in his voice, "I have a mystery in my arms right now."
"Speaking of which… what was that you said about us earlier?" he said, his voice teasing, "something about us being inevitable?"
"Weren't we?" Kate said, shrugging against him.
He thought about it for a moment before he hummed. Kate felt the vibrations all the way up her spine.
"Hm… I guess we were."
A moment of silence passed between them, before Kate spoke again.
"Maybe we're our own Big Bang," Kate said, her voice impossibly soft as she grabbed one of his hands from around her waist, moving to play with his fingers, "maybe all our energy just had to condense enough so we could expand into our own universe."
"There was a star danced," he whispered into her ear, his soft breath tickling her ear as he spoke the words through a smile, "and under that I was born."
"We are such stuff as dreams are made on," she quoted back just as softly, her own smile teasing the corner of her lips.
She felt him smile into her hair at her words.
He leaned around her and placed a quick kiss against her temple, before resting his chin on her shoulder.
"That was incredibly poetic of you, Detective," he said softly, closing his fingers around hers.
"It's almost like I'm dating a writer or something like that," she said nonchalantly.
He lifted their intertwined hands, bringing her hand to his mouth and kissing the knuckle on her ring finger. He let his lips linger on the bare skin.
"Something like that," he murmured against her hand.
He removed his lips from her hand after another soft kiss, wrapping them back up in the blanket that shielded them from the cool, spring, breeze that whispered across the roof.
Kate closed her eyes, snuggling impossibly closer into his chest. She tilted her head so her ear was pressed against his chest, just listening to the sound of him breathing wash over her as she unconsciously matched the rise and fall of his chest with her own.
"I think the universe conspired for us to be together," he said softly after a minute of silence.
Kate let out an unladylike snort against his chest.
"What?" he said, slightly offended, "It did."
He hugged her closer to him.
"Maybe if my father stuck around, my mother wouldn't have been able to be an actress, and maybe I wouldn't have spent so much time in the library. Maybe I wouldn't have been sent to boarding school. Maybe I never would have started writing," he pressed a kiss against her clothed shoulder, "If I wasn't a writer, you never would have needed my help on that first case and then you never fell head over heels in love with me."
He didn't need to see her to know she was rolling her eyes, but he smiled as she knocked her head against his playfully. He wrapped his arms a little tighter around her middle, pulling her firmly against his chest so he could feel every vertebrae in her spine down his center, tilting his head and murmuring into her neck.
"If you're mother was still alive, maybe you would've stayed at Stanford. Maybe you would've come home twice a year for Christmas and the summer, but your home would be in California. Maybe you would've met someone out there, fallen in love, got married and have 2 children right now as you worked towards becoming the first female chief justice."
He paused for a moment.
"But you did become a cop, and I did become a writer," he said, pressing a soft kiss against her neck, "It was fate."
She was already shaking her head.
"The universe has been conspiring against us from day one, Rick."
He shifted behind her, "How so?"
"Bombs… Snipers… Gunshots… Serial Killers… Lies… Significant others… Time… Rick, the universe has been trying to tear us apart since the moment we met."
Rick didn't respond, instead pulling the blanket around their shoulders tighter around them. Kate bit her lip, immensely regretting that she had made him stop talking.
She always ruined their moments, didn't she?
He shifted against her again, unwrapping an arm from around her waist. She thought he was going to pull away from her and she sighed, leaning away from him to make it easier for him to move.
Instead of pulling away from her completely however, he surprised her, moving to trail his fingers up the column of her neck. She leaned into his touch, letting her eyes close at the feel of his fingertips against her skin.
"Maybe," he whispered somewhere to the side, his fingers coming to rest at the base of her skull, twining themselves in the curls that started there.
"But we've put up one hell of a fight, haven't we?"
She opened her eyes and turned her face to look at him. Even in the dark, she could see his bright blue eyes shining back at her, a proud little smile playing at the corner of his lips.
She felt her own smile grow, until it turned into that lovesick, little half-smile that she knew he thought was adorable.
"Yeah," she whispered. She could feel the love for him seeping out of her pores, giving off a glow. Surely the neighbors would be able to see her from their windows, his love for her making her shine as if she was a star plucked from the New York skyline and placed on the roof of his building, wrapped up in his arms.
She reached out a hand and placed it on his face, cupping his cheek as she stroked the skin underneath his eyes.
They didn't need stars.
They were their own universe.
And they put up one hell of a fight to get there.
She felt her lips curving into a smile again.
"Yeah," she murmured, looking directly into his eyes, "I guess we did."
(I would really love to know how you all feel about it.)