Upon asking Kris what her three favorite things were, she responded with: food, friends, and Harry Potter.
This is what I came up with.
It's a future!fic, that has nothing to do with "Always"
But there is established!Caskett
She liked it, and I hope you do, too.
"Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light."
- Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
"Can you tell me why we're doing this again?"
She heard Rick sigh, exasperated that he had to explain himself, yet again.
"Because, Kate," he said somewhere to her right, "I want to see if Nikki Heat can do this, and you offered to help."
"You asked me," Kate stressed, "And I said yes before I knew what you were going to do to me."
"Detective," Rick said, his voice dropping dangerously low, "believe me when I say that if this was entirely for my benefit, I would be doing much more satisfying things to a blindfolded you than tying you to my chair."
"I don't know…" Kate murmured, her voice teasing, "… that could be fun."
She heard him chuckle deeply behind her before she felt his hands fall gently on her shoulders, his hot breath on her ear.
"Patience, Kate," he whispered, "if you help me out than I will be more than happy to take care of you later…" he placed a gentle kiss in the hollow under her ear, "… but for now, think about all of your fans."
"They're not my fans."
"They love you."
"The fictional version of me."
"Tomatoe - tomato," Rick said nonchalantly, "I love both of you and you're Nikki to me, ergo, it's important that I get your input whether or not my readers are technically your fans or not."
"So why don't you ever ask for my help for other types of scenes?"
She heard him swallow roughly.
"I'll be sure to keep that suggestion in mind… but speaking of Saturday –"
"We weren't –"
"It was a Saturday morning and Nikki has just gotten out of the shower…"
She snorted, "So she's tied to a chair naked."
Rick scoffed, but she could hear the smile behind it, "Don't be absurd… she's tied to a chair in running tights and a sports bra."
"So she just got out of the shower and managed to put on some of her clothes."
"Hush," Rick scolded, "Let me finish my scene."
She knew he could see her rolling her eyes behind the scarf he had tied over them.
"So, she was just getting out of the shower, preparing for a lazy day around the house, thinking maybe she'd try calling Rook again because he had been acting so strange the past week, when these men jump out from their hiding places and overtake her. She tries to fight, gets a good elbow in one of their noses but there are just too many of them. One gets behind her and covers her mouth with a chloroform covered rag, and she loses consciousness.
"When she wakes up, she can't see anything because she's blindfolded, but she's cold, feels her skin ripple against the cold, feels her nipples pebble under her sports bra –"
"Fine," Rick said, "I digress. But she is cold, the ground cool under her bare feet. She thinks she can faintly hear water running through pipes…" He trails off, leaving her hanging.
"… And," Kate says, anxiously awaiting the next part of his story.
"Nothing," Rick sighs, frustrated, "that's why I need you."
"You need me to tell you how I would get out of this chair?"
"No," he said, moving closer, "I have an idea, but I don't know if it's possible. Which is why I need you."
Even in the wrong context she still had to fight the chill that went down her spine at his earnestness.
"And Raley and Ochoa have no idea what's happened?"
"Nope," he responded.
"What about Lauren?"
"Well, it is a Saturday. Maybe instead of sitting around all day thinking about calling Rook maybe she'd call Lauren instead. Maybe plan to go somewhere so they could talk about the fact that Rook is acting strange."
"But that's girl talk…" Rick whined.
"It's what the real Nikki Heat would do," she matched his tone.
"Point taken. Anyway, will you help me?"
He was giving her an out. If she told him to untie her, she knew he would in a heartbeat.
Kate sighed, "Of course I'll help you."
"Great!" Rick said enthusiastically, surprising her with a hard kiss of gratitude on the cheek, "Stay right there, I'll be back in just a second."
He was gone before she could even come up with something to say back.
If someone had told her 5 years ago that she would be with Richard Castle, tied to a chair he had dragged and placed directly in the center of his office, blindfolded, helping him write a scene for the next book in a series where the main character was based on her, she would have had them committed. For life.
Yet here she was.
In her favorite writer's office.
The same room where he had written four novels about her and working on a fifth.
She couldn't help it. She laughed.
What a strange situation she had gotten herself into.
"Why are you laughing? Rick called from somewhere in the loft.
"No reason," she chuckled back.
She heard his steps as he made his way back toward the office and tried to smother her smile.
"Saw that," Rick said, his voice happy. He paused for a moment, clapping his hands together.
"Ready?" he asked her.
"Okay," Rick said, "Go."
Kate furrowed her brow.
"You're kidding right? You've got to give me something."
"Like what?" Rick asked guardedly.
"What kind of case is she working?"
"Open and shut," Rick said immediately, "figured out who the killer was on page 162."
"And what page are we on now?"
She narrowed her eyes though he couldn't see it.
Rick Castle did not do open and shut cases. That means…
"There's a conspiracy, isn't there?"
"Spoiler alert, Kate. Spoilers."
"So the people behind her case have taken her. She's at one of their hideouts."
"You'll have to figure that out on your own," he sing-songed.
Kate shook her head but smiled all the same.
She flexed both of her wrists, finding them bound surprisingly tight. She bent her legs, twisting her tied feet around the legs of the chair, the rounded corners making her frown. If they had been a clean edge, she would've tried to rub the rope against it to cut her way out of them, but they weren't budging. She huffed and started talking her way through it.
"If she's barefoot and she's cold, she's on tile or stone of some sort."
She waited for a hum of affirmation.
"And if she heart running water in pipes, she's inside."
"Nikki's in a basement," she guessed.
"I guess you're not a Detective for nothing."
She glowered in his direction and he mumbled a low sorry, "sorry" before she went back to thinking, trying to figure out how she could possibly get out of this chair. Nikki would be groggy because of the chloroform, not entirely at full strength, but she'd have to work quickly because she didn't know when the men who had taken her would return and -
That's when she smelled it. It was faint, almost like it was really far away from her. She felt her stomach clench.
"Chinese food?" she said.
He hummed again, this time far more excited.
"She's in the basement of a Chinese food place?"
He was quiet for a moment, and she worried that she had gotten it wrong when she felt his hands around her ankles, loosening her bindings. He unwrapped her wrists before reaching up and taking off her blindfold gently, untying it and letting it fall to the ground.
She blinked, the light blinding her for a moment as she looked up to see his own blinding smile, the happiness and pride pouring out of him
"That's my girl," He said gently, running his fingers over her cheekbones, "I knew you could do it."
She smiled back at him, unable to stop herself.
Because dammit, for a woman who prided herself on her independence, those words directed at her falling from his mouth made her heart flutter in her chest.
"What about getting her out of the chair?"
"Rook and Roach come and get her. Rook was sitting around, thinking about Nikki and the case when-"
"Shh," she scolded, putting a finger to his lips, "Spoilers."
His eyes sparkled, dancing as if there was magic dust inside of them, before he leaned down, her finger falling from his lips, hovering above her still sitting in the chair, kissing her sweetly. She responded to him eagerly, lifting both of her hands up to cradle his face in her hand, deepening the kiss. She felt one of his hands cup her cheek, the other going to the side of her neck, and she sighed, wondering how on Earth she had ever gotten so lucky.
Because she was. She was so very lucky to have him, her crazy man-child who liked to eat whipped cream out of the can, and could make her fall apart with only his kiss. The man who has her try out situations to see if Nikki can get out of them, but defends her whenever someone in public calls her out as Nikki Heat, the same one who brings her coffee every morning and forces her out of the precinct when she's there longer than 15 hours.
He broke apart from her, grabbing her hands and pulling her up out of the chair. He gave her one last soft kiss before he pulled her out of the office.
"Come on," he said, tugging on her hand, "I've got food for us."
He led her over to the couch in the living room, urging her to sit down and then walking quickly into the kitchen. She heard him get plates out of the cabinets, the familiar sound of cardboard containers popping open, the sound of pouring liquid in a glass.
He returned moments later, balancing two plates of Chinese on his arm, holding two glasses of wine between his fingers on the other hand. She grabbed the two glasses from him as he sat down next to her on the couch, placing them on the coffee table in front of them.
"See?" he said, handing her a plate of Chinese food with all of her favorites, maneuvering them on the couch so that her feet were resting on his lap, "I told you I'd take care of you."
"Yeah…" she murmured, sinking down in the couch cushions, thinking about how 5 years ago, she never would've believed that she would be here, this content and happy, after she had been living in the dark for so long.
But he brought her out of the dark.
He changed her.
He saved her.
He always takes care of her.
He looked up from his spot in the center of the couch and Kate smiled at him, hoping that the tilt of her lips conveyed just how grateful and happy and light she felt, all thanks to him.
"Yeah…" she said again, still smiling, "… you did, didn't you?"
Love it? Hate it? (yes technically Kris said the Harry Potter books and the quote is from the movie but just let it happen) Let me know what you think!