Anti-Zombie Pillow Fort

Disclaimer: not mine, just ramblings of an unhappy shipper

So this was inspired by watching the sneak peeks. It's not looking very promising for romance so this is just my sappy brain taking the plot and twisting a bit. Consider it a super extended scene somewhere in the middle of the episode.

Kate Beckett stood looming over the coffee machine in the break room, exhausted after yet another long day. The zombie case was unusual to say the least. It was well after 6pm and the bullpen was starting to be emptied of the detectives heading home to their families, and their warmth of their beds. However this was not the case for Beckett. She was painfully aware that she had no one to go home to, and the thought of her spending another terrifying night alone with zombies on the loose gave her the motivation to stay at the precinct trying to single-handily break this case wide open.

She was just about to stifle a yawn when Rick Castle whipped around the break room door wearing a zombie mask.

Beckett gave an awful start and dropped her coffee cup. The sound of Castle's laughter added to the sounds of her cup shattering.

"Ahhh, got you Beckett! You should have seen your..." Castle stopped mid sentence when he took off the revolting mask and actually looked at her face.

"Oh, Kate." He said as she started to cry. After all the hurt and confusion he went through in the past month with her, he still loved her, and his heart softened at the terror filled sobs about to consume her. With out thinking, he dropped the mask and went to embrace her.

"Hey, now," He started. "I'm sorry, I didn't realize." He said soothingly as he wrapped a strong arm around her tiny shaking shoulders, the other arm going around her waist. Her shaking form was completely obscured by him and Kate melted right into him, burying her wet face into his chest.

"Wow, Kate. You didn't sleep at all last night, did you? I had no idea you were so terrified of zombies. I'm sorry." This next few sentences flew out of his mouth before his brain could stop him. "Do you want to sleep over my place tonight? Take turns keeping an eye out for each other?"

His heart did a somersault in his chest almost immediately. The thought of holding Beckett tonight, in his bed, knowing that she did not return his love, was more than he knew he could take. But he could not take back his offer after hearing her feeble "yes, please." muttered into his chest.

Castle sighed and steeled his heart to bury those feelings deep tonight. She was still his partner and friend. If they had any hope at all to solving this case she needed to be fully functioning and that would not be possible without her getting some sleep.

"C'mon, lets get outta here and grab your stuff." He said softly to her. They slowly disentangled from one another. Kate wiped her eyes on her long sleeves and gave Rick a small watery smile. "K." was all she said as they exited the break room and grabbed her purse and jacket from her desk. Keeping her face down from the few people that were left in the bullpen, they got on the elevator together. As the elevator reached their floor she looked up at him with shiny green eyes and gave him a small nervous smile. He returned it when they got on the elevator, and as the doors closed he put an arm around her, pulling her into his side protectively. She responded by leaning her head against his shoulder.

His brain screamed what are you doing?, but his heart told his brain to take the night off. He was bound and determined to provide her comfort and maybe a tiny fraction of affection tonight and deal with the ache and consequences later.

They grabbed a taxi and swung by her place to grab an overnight bag and her pillows and he shot a text to Alexis telling her that they were having a guest tonight, to which she responded she was out for the night, as was Martha. So Kate and Rick grabbed some take out food and made it back to his loft.

They swept the place for zombies and then double checked the locks on every window and door. Next they turned on the TV for background noise as they ate their food. They were quiet as they ate on his couch as their silence was a painful informant to Kate of how strained their relationship was. She felt a pang of pain deep in her heart but said nothing as he stared at the TV. A little while later after they had cleaned up and watched some more TV he declared it bed time. Before she could begin setting up the couch for her bed he grabbed her stuff and took it in through his office into his bedroom. She followed, a little curious, a little hopeful.

He placed her bag on the bed, and tossed her pillows up at the head of other side of the bed. He had just turned on lamp when she walked into the door and stood, almost reverently at the threshold of his bedroom.

"Rick," she said softly, but he interrupted her.

"Bathroom is in through there" he pointed. "I'll grab more pillows for our Anti-Zombie Fort." He said barely looking at her but sounding kind and sincere. He slipped past her in the doorway, his chest barely brushing her arms as he slid past her to get to his linen closet. She stood there alone taking in the surroundings and the pleasant smell that was distinctly him as she felt that pang again. However, she did as she was told, grabbing her toiletries and PJ's and went to get ready for bed in his bathroom.

He came back a moment later, arm full of pillows and another quilt for the bed.

He steeled himself again, schooling his features to prepare for spending an entire night in close perimeter to Kate and the self loathing he was going to have to do when he had to launder the smell of cherries out of his bed sheets.

She emerged out of the bathroom a moment later, wearing a medium NYPD t-shirt, and some yoga pants.

"What are all the pillows for?" She asked as she put her toiletries pack away into her overnight bag.

"The fort." He said, plastering on a nearly fake grin. She shyly returned his smile, but hers was more genuine. His heart noticed but he did not let his brain catch on.

"How about you begin preparing the fort while I'll get ready for bed?" He grabbed his PJ's as he entered his bathroom and gently shut the door.

When he returned, he found her kneeling on his bed, the blankets peeled back, stacking pillows along the sides creating the wall of the fort.

"Not bad," he said as he approached the bed. She looked up at him, the evidence of a hard case about zombies nearly melted away as she smiled, pleased of his approval.

He grabbed a handful of the sheets as he motioned for her to sit down and he pulled the blankets up half way.

"All it needs is the fortified corners." She gave him a tiny puzzled look as he showed her by taking a pillow and laying it in the upper corner sideways. "Its for shielding purposes." He said, finally cracking a genuine grin.

She copied his move, selecting one of her pillows and lining it up. He hoped into the bed, vaulting the sideline of pillows and covered them up with the blankets. She straightened up her side and snuggled down in. It suddenly occurred to her that she had never had this much pure, unadulterated fun with a man since she became an adult. And why wouldn't an evening with Rick Castle not be fun? He was after all a man that found innocent wonder in the world around him despite being anything but innocent. With his wealth and fame he was able to recapture is youth, or some would argue, never grew up in the first place, but that is what made Richard Castle a sweet man. A sweet man that could take an night between an attractive man and an attractive woman and turn it into a platonic evening of making a pillow fort.

With this realization Kate Beckett wanted more of this. She knew deep within her that a relationship with him would be like this. Fun and romantic. Nights of building pillow forts against monsters and making love. She knew that with Castle, their relationship would be one of deep friendship and love. This is what gave her the courage to finally tell him she loved him, because in that moment she realized she truly and completely did.

"And now for the final key to a great pillow fort," He said pulling her out of her thoughts. He faced her with bright eyes and held up the quilt. "our anti-zombie shield!"

She laughed and helped him spread the anti-zombie shield quilt over the top of the covers. He explained that if the zombies were to attack they would hold the pillow shields and pull the quilt over their faces.

They turned out the lights and settled in. They talked about previous pillow forts they had made. Kate's stories were mostly from her childhood, Rick's mostly from his times with younger Alexis. The laid closer in his king-sized bed due to all the pillows on the outside edge and the warmth generated, and the security Kate felt, did the trick and lulled her to sleep. She fell asleep facing him with her arm tucked under her pillow with her knees slightly bent, just barely touching his leg. He laid on his back for about another half an hour, listening to her steady breathing. When he did succumb to sleep, he let his arm nearest her fall into a natural position to lay across her legs protectively.

The End