For Olivia, who asked.
Happy Birthday, Emily.
And for Donna, who was definitely hot stuff.


Sitting here eating my heart out, waitin'
Waitin' for some lover to call.

Castle strolls through the chilled isles of the grocery store, one hand on the cart as he glances over the list Kate shoved in his hand this morning. Yellow pepper. Spinach greens. Asparagus. He scrunches his nose up at the last one, but finds a good looking bunch and folds into a bag before placing it in the cart.

It's been a month since Kate quit the force. A month of laughter and honesty and really hot sex. A month of overnight bags, a few extra days of his top three dresser drawers. A month of adjusting to a new normal.

Kate had taken to cooking in her newly discovered free time. Healthy, of course, but damn if he wouldn't eat asparagus every night for her. Okay, maybe not every night.

He makes a mental note to get ice cream. Oh, and maybe cheesecake from that bakery she loves. Yes.

And when she calls him and reminds him to please try and remember the pesto sauce this time, he only grins and nods even though she can't see it, because it's so domestic and pedestrian and normal.

He checks out with his purchases, stops at the bakery for a cheesecake, and swings by the Haunt for a bottle of red before he finally, finally gets home.

He's greeted first by the music– a loud, familiar beat that hits him as soon as the door opens. He shuffles through the foyer, juggling the bags from arm to arm, mindful to not tilt the cake.

Is a cheesecake a cake or a pie? He thinks it's a pie, but it does have cake in the title. On the other hand, it's got more of a pie shape, and the divisions are clearly more pie-like–

He loses that line of thought, though, because Kate Beckett is dancing around his kitchen, dressed in nothing more than a tank top, short shorts and socks. She's got a wooden spoon clutched in her hand like a microphone and Donna Summer lyrics on her tongue.

I want some hot stuff baby this evenin'
Gotta have some hot stuff
Gotta have some lovin' tonight

She obviously hasn't seen him yet, because she keeps singing, keeps swinging those hips around, her back to him and the door.

Laughter bubbles up and out of him, but the music drowns the sound and she remains clueless.

Lookin' for a lover who needs another
Don't want another night on my own

It's on the final line of the verse that she turns her attention to the stove and spots him.

Her wooden-spoon-microphone falls to the floor with a silent clatter as Donna Summer continues on without her, the blush rising to her face instantaneously.

He makes his way into the kitchen, setting the bags on the dining room table to free his arms for her, can't help the grin when he hears her turn the volume on the iHome down.

When he finally reaches her, she's turned to face the open refrigerator, determined not to look at him. Maybe she's just avoiding him, maybe she's hoping the cool air will erase the blush staining her cheeks.

Regardless, he doesn't let her escape, leaning on the closed freezer door, his body held carefully away from her and all of her exposed skin. He ducks his head beside hers, dangerously close, his breath ghosting over the shell of her ear. The arm that's not holding his weight snakes around to grip her hip lightly, fingers pushing her tank top up and out of the way.

"Hey, hot stuff," he murmurs, and he's proud when he keeps the laughter out of his voice, keeps it all even and dark. The fingertips on her stomach record the shiver that runs through her, and he knows it's not the refrigerator.

"Did-" she begins, falters when his open mouth falls to her bare shoulder. "Did you remember the pesto?"

He just hums against her skin, which makes her fingers clench around the handle of the fridge door.

"Whatcha looking for?" he asks, letting the hand on her stomach completely encircle her waist, pulling her back into the cove of his body.

"I– um– you–" She shuffles from foot to foot, but doesn't pull away.

"A place to hide?" She does pull away at this, just enough to shut the fridge door and turn her body abruptly, her back slamming against the cool stainless steel.

"No." She sounds petulant, not at all as authoritative as she'd intended. He doesn't try to stop his grin.

His fingers slip into the elastic of her shorts, pull her forward, and her shoulders are pinned resolutely to the fridge, but her hips follow willingly, her back arching.

"Penny for your thoughts?" he asks when she does nothing but swat his hand away, her bottom lip worried between her teeth.

"Just a penny?" She asks, an eyebrow quirked.

He lets his weight fall from his open palm to his entire forearm, allowing him to dip nearer, his breath a ghost at her clavicle. "A dollar if they're dirty."

He watches intently as a slow smile creeps onto her face. "You came."

Confusion flickers across his face just as something dangerous passes over hers.

Want to share my love with a warm blooded lover
Want to bring a wild man back home

"Excuse me?"

"I'm thinking we'll have to hurry," she murmurs, finally abandoning the refrigerator and moving into his warmth, her arms circling his waist, her lips at his neck. "My boyfriend will be home soon."

He feels her cool fingertips under his shirt, dancing on the base of his spine and he nearly jumps out of his skin.

It's the first time she's called him that– her boyfriend– out loud, and it didn't matter and he didn't need it because they are so much more than that but it makes him hot and he can't ignore how good that makes him feel. Her boyfriend.

"K– Kate," he tries, but she only pulls him toward her, uses his body to crowd herself against the fridge once again, her left leg sliding around his hip. Her open mouth finds his throat, lips skating up his adam's apple, the underside of his jaw and then his own mouth.

She hovers there, reaches and pulls on his bottom lip with her teeth before closing her mouth around it, releasing him. "I need some hot stuff, baby toni–" but she doesn't get to finish because he finally– finally– gets with it.

His kiss is claiming, bruising, and she abandons his waist in favor of his neck, hands tripping up his chest so they can wind around his neck.

"That is so–corny," he replies, lifting her, her right leg joining her left around his hips, her ankles locking.

"You love it." She fills his mouth with her tongue, her arm rising as he pushes her harder against the fridge, searching for the top to steady herself.

Except his fridge is set into the wall and it's stupid, stupid, because there's nothing for her to grab onto and it's completely infuriating.

"I can't–" she keeps slipping and he keeps hiking her up but it's just "–Not working," she gasps it right into his mouth. "I hate your fridge."

He grunts when he lifts her, not because she's heavy but because her teeth catch his tongue and she only smiles around his mouth. He finds the counter, sets her on it as gently as he can manage and relieves her of her tank top.

With both hands on her hips he pulls her to the edge of the counter, and she can't control the roll of her hips against him, the clutch of her fist in his hair.

"What are you making for dinner?" he asks casually as his fingers skate up her back in search of the clasp of her bra. They still then, unmoving.

"Are you being serious right now, Rick?" She groans, using her legs to pull him closer. "I'm making food."

"No, I mean–" he pauses to press his mouth against her clavicle, his knees banging painfully into the cabinets in his body's frantic effort to get closer to her. "Is there anything on the stove, in the oven?"

"Oh." It's meant to be a word, a realization, but it comes out completely breathless. She drags her fingers down his back, grasping his v-neck-sweater-shirt-thing and pulling until it catches on his head and he's forced to help her remove it.

"Mmm, but not here," he asserts, finally free of the sweater.

She drags his mouth to hers by his chin, growls into his mouth.

"Yes, here."

She reaches blindly to the counter beside her, looking for the– yes– her fingers close around the small remote. Once again, the loft is filled with music.

How's that 'bout some hot stuff, baby, this evenin'
I need some hot stuff, baby, tonight