That Familiar Feeling
My love's old fashioned
But it still works
Just the way it is
This love is classic
And not just simply because
I say it is
It's right on time
And it's timeless
And it'll be right here -
-Old Fashioned, Cee Lo Green
for AC - happy birthday - and thank you for being here from the beginning
"Congratulations, Mayor," Castle grins at Kate's mother, and she gives him that enchanting smile back. She looks regal tonight.
"Thank you, Rick. Couldn't have done it without you both." She raises her glass in a toast to them and drinks it down. He's impressed. She knows how to hold her liquor, just like Kate.
Speaking of. . .
He glances around, but the woman is nowhere to be found. "Excuse me while I go look for your daughter," he murmurs, touching her shoulder as he leaves.
The celebration party is so crowded that it spills out of the bar and into the street, down the sidewalk as well. He's not in love with the idea that Johanna ran against his friend, but he had a long talk with Weldon about it and managed to support both Becketts in the race. Kate who wasn't so sure about how she liked her mother as mayor, and Johanna as well, who felt like she could do things so much better. Like mother, like daughter, that's for sure.
Kate's standing on the sidewalk in front of the bar - his suggestion to use the Old Haunt after he saw how run down it's gotten. Actually, he'd love to buy this place, but he's not sure what Kate would say.
He approaches her, glides his hand up her back as he comes up the stairs and joins her at the top.
She tilts her head back to the faint stars, her eyes open and staring.
"Moody?" he murmurs.
She huffs at him, turns her face to his. "Just thinking. You're feisty tonight."
He grins, shrugs his shoulders. He doesn't know how to say nervous without spilling all his secrets too.
"So what are you thinking about?"
She leans her head against his shoulder in invitation, and he slides his arm around her waist, glances down at her. He grins when he sees she took his advice and left the top three buttons popped on her entirely-too-formal dress shirt. He can see the black lace of her bra.
"Thinking about me. Us. My mom. The stars."
"I've been thinking about you too," he murmurs, and it sounds dirtier than he meant it, but he just grins when she lifts an eyebrow at him. She catches where his gaze has drifted and smirks, turning her body into his and pressing against him.
"Mm, you have?"
"I always am." He slides his hand down to her waist, thumb at her hip, and squeezes.
"What do you think about when you think about me?" she purrs.
Sheesh. She can't do that and expect him to be able to walk away.
He drops his mouth to her ear, nibbles at the side of her jaw before he says, "What I want to do to you. What you like to do to me-"
"We should go home," she moans, and he can feel her heart pounding against him.
"But your mom's election-"
"Screw it. I want you alone. All to myself."
He grins against the side of cheek, scrapes his teeth along the line of her jaw until he can press his lips to hers. She opens immediately, tongue hot and fierce, and he lets her have control of it.
He pulls back after a moment, while he still can, and grins against her mouth. "Want to keep me company while I write?"
"Only if my body is the page and your mouth is the pen."
There go all his plans.
"We need a taxi," he mutters.
She's so responsive. She mewls at his mouth on her and she arches into the skimming touch of his hand.
And then when he's feeling like a god, like everything he does is exactly right for her, she wraps a leg around him and flips him in bed, bold and triumphant on top of him, her hair spilling around her face and her eyes dark and lustrous and demanding.
He will never survive a lifetime of this.
But he wants to try.
She trails her fingers up and down his back, drifting off, when he suddenly lifts up, entirely too much energy in his eager eyes.
"Go to sleep," she murmurs, dropping her hand and turning on her side to put her back to him, encourage the sleep part. She's exhausted and she doesn't want to think anymore; her eyes close.
"Hey, wait," he says, sliding his palm at her hip and tugging her against him. "I have something for you."
"I already got it," she grins, looking at him over her shoulder.
He laughs back, delight springing to his eyes, and really, he is just so easy.
"Well, as delightfully naughty as that is, Beckett, I had something else in mind."
"Shocking. When do you ever have anything else in mind?"
He huffs out a breath and presses his mouth to the side of her jaw. "I am trying to be serious here, and you're kind of ruining it."
She turns on her back and curls her fingers at his ears, pulling his head up to look at her even as she laughs. "Sorry, sorry, go ahead. Be serious. I'm listening. I'll try not to fall asleep on you."
"Nope, moment's entirely gone."
"Oh, no," she sighs. "Come on. Don't be mean. You woke me up for this, so tell me."
"No, no. Ruined." He sighs back dramatically, flops onto the bed beside her, entirely a diva, so she moans and crawls on top of him.
"What a baby," she mutters, leaning over him to press her lips against the scar at his forehead. He wriggles his eyebrows in encouragement, so she has to move down to his nose, her mouth in that warm spot by his eye, tasting the oil of his skin.
He brings both arms around her hips, draws one hand up her spine, fingers splayed wide, and she lowers her body to his, chest to chest, propped up just a little bit on her forearms.
"You all better now?" she says, letting her voice dip low. She loves the shiver that zips through him at her tone. She loves the way she can manipulate his body into responding to her.
"Almost all better." His hand at her hip is in a fist, nearly bruising, but his eyes are slipping from aroused to tender. "Kiss me again, Kate."
She tilts back into him, her lips gentle at his mouth, stroking softly, a whisper of touch that has him growling at her, a rumble in his chest that travels through her body like ripples.
"How's that?" she breathes.
"Beautiful." She can tell it just tumbled out of his mouth; he meant it, but he didn't mean to say it. Kate feathers her fingers at his jaw in reward, kisses him once more, mouth hovering over his, electric and intense just from the wanting.
He shudders in a breath and it breaks the spell; she lifts up again, staring down at him, his eyes so dark in their bedroom, and she sees he was serious about wanting a moment with her, wanting a chance to say something.
He brings his hand up to slide through her hair, keeping it from her face, and his tenderness intensifies until she can barely take it.
Castle turns them onto their sides and she draws two fingers up his chest and to his chin, guiding him in for another kiss, reassurance.
When he smiles, the whole room seems to light up. He's at ease again beside her, and his mouth feathers at hers. "Sleep, Kate. I'm sorry I woke you."
"I'm not sorry," she whispers back, smiling at him.
He cuddles her into him, which she'd normally shrug off in favor of turning on her other side and feeling him at her back, but she lets it go tonight. She thinks he somehow needs it.
He kisses the corner of her eye. "Sleep."
"Getting there," she sighs.
He wanted to do this at the bar, during the celebration, but it felt off. He wanted to do it last week when they had that brief moment to themselves in the back of the limo on the way to the book release party, but his hands were busy. So was his mouth.
So was hers.
The timing just hasn't been right lately. Even though, looking at her now, this isn't something that can be held up by timing. This is timeless; this transcends everything.
Here at the loft, their home, in their bed with her hair spread over the pillow, she looks beautiful and amazing and more than he ever expected to be blessed with.
Kate is deeply asleep now, her face turned away, an arm thrown up over her head, pale skin glistening in the faint light of the city outside their window. He brushes a finger over that tender, vulnerable skin, but she doesn't even stir.
Oh. Oh he knows what to do now.
How to do it.
She said once, coming home with him for the first time, that she had their story written on her arms, in her arms, protected. He spent the ride home scribbling furiously over a receipt, then his own arm, and finally all over hers so he wouldn't lose any of it.
Castle slides out of bed and searches for a pen.
Kate yawns and raises a hand to her mouth to cover it, eyes squeezed shut against the early morning light.
Oh, she quit her job, didn't she?
"Castle," she murmurs, a strange desolation in her voice. "I quit my job."
He huffs at her and she opens her eyes to look at him. "I didn't even ask you. I just quit in the middle of my mom's party-"
"To be fair, Kate, she offered you a pretty amazing job to kinda force your hand."
She nods, curls her arms up against her chest to lie on her side, looking at him. "But you. Following me around for the books-"
"Kate, you know - you know it's not about the books anymore."
She smiles gently at him. "I know."
He's grinning back at her now, smirking actually, like he knows some great secret. She wrinkles her forehead at him, reaches out her hand to touch his chin in question, and then notices the ink.
All over her arm.
"What?" she startles, jerking back to look at the-
Scrawled across her skin, a story.
Whenever we make love, I see visions of our future, the way you love and how you love, the love you have for my daughter being expanded to the love you'd have for our kids, the love we have for each other given breath and body and a curious little mind. I see us living together, working together, loving together, all the things I want to give you, all the things you deserve to have. And I never want it to end. I want to start it today, right now, so Kate Beckett-
"Will you marry me?"
He speaks it the moment she reads it on her arm, and she lifts her stunned eyes to him to see that he's on his knees on the floor beside their bed, his forehead pressed against her hand. She stares at him over the sheets, morning sunlight and the tattoo of his vision swimming in her eyes.
His gaze is intent on hers, his hand fiddling with her fingers, and then she sees the box at his spot in their bed.
She gapes at him, jerks her hand out from his to grab the box, sitting up as she does and opening it.
"Oh my God, Rick."
He crawls up onto the bed with her, sitting cross-legged in front of her, and takes the ring out of the box. She holds her hand out for him, staring at the massive diamond, but he doesn't slide it on.
She glances up at him, and the apprehension on his face hits her.
"Oh. Yes. Of course, yes. Put it on me, Castle."
He laughs at that, sliding the ring home, and she drops her eyes to it, the feel of his fingers around hers, the connection.
She lurches into him, arms around his shoulders in a fierce hug, wrapping her legs around his waist as she sits in his lap. His embrace is strong and sure, tight, and she lifts her hand from his back to look first at the words decorating her skin and then at the ring on her finger.
"It's huge," she murmurs.
"You know it," he laughs back, and she realizes how it sounded and she doesn't even care.
"I do know," she mouths at his neck, touching her tongue to the skin there. He swallows hard and clutches at her. "I know it so very well, Rick Castle."
His voice is a whine in her ear, a hissing breath as he presses her into him. There's something about the tenor of his need, something about the way he holds her, seductive and protective in one, that makes her heart stumble and break open, spilling everything.
She pulls back to look at him, his beautiful face, the sharp line of his jaw, the scruff at his chin and cheeks, the milky blue of his eyes as he studies her as well. She traces her fingers over his nose, around his mouth, along his jaw, back to the soft hair at his neck as if there were words printed on his skin as well.
She thinks there might be, thinks maybe there always have been words that she alone can read, a story on his body just for her. Fate.
He blinks and his chest rises and falls in a deep breath, as if coming out of a trance. "Yeah."
"I'll dive right into this with you - the life together, the kids or - or - all the rest of it; that's beautiful. But Castle, I don't need those things, I don't have to have any of that. Because when I'm in the courtroom or talking to a client, when I'm working the campaign or fighting with my mom, when I'm anywhere else other than here, all I can think about is you. I only want you."
He kisses her then, his mouth rich and hot and insistent against her, his body humming as he pulls her in so close, so very close, everything touching and intimate. He breathes hard into her mouth and his hands cradle her face. "I love you."
She smiles against him, can practically feel the burn of his words on her arms. "I know you do. I've always known. It's never been in doubt. And Rick?"
He hums and his forehead presses to hers for a moment before he looks at her again. She thrills at the way he's so undone because of her, bites her bottom lip as she smiles at him, wide and pleased.
"Oh Rick, you have no idea."