A/N: Set very early in Season 5.

Disclaimer: All the characters belong to Andrew W. Marlowe, though they have found their own way into my heart.


The clock at the corner of the screen said it was 11:46 am. Just a little longer and they could go have lunch, Beckett thought. She had been confined to desk duty, doing paperwork all morning. Meanwhile, Castle had been entertaining himself. He'd spent the first hour staring at her, until she'd directed a 'stop it' glare at him. Then he'd started drawing pictures and wasted two whole post-it pads from her desk. So much for coming to help me and keep me company, she thought. All he'd been doing for the past twenty minutes was smile foolishly at the screen of his cell phone. Every few seconds Kate would glance at him out of the corner of her eye, suspicious of the goofy grin plastered on his face. And every time her eyes would go back to the screen, feeling just a bit more irked.

A couple of minutes later, a chuckle escaped Castle's lips and her gaze jumped up to him automatically. She saw something in his eyes as he deliberately diverted them away, avoiding her scrutinizing look. She knew that mischievous stance of his all too well.

"What are you doing?" Beckett demanded.

"What?" Castle tried to appear as innocent as can be, his blue eyes flicking up to hers. She quirked up an eyebrow, waiting. "Oh, nothing, nothing… Just going through my mail," he said nonchalantly, then lowered his gaze back to his cell.

"Hm-mm…." she hummed, leery.

Turning her attention back to the screen, she pretended to work, moving her long fingers along the keyboard. A moment later, she peeked at him again. His lips were tightly pursed, trying to stifle a laugh, his eyes glistening wickedly. Kate took a deep breath and counted mentally to ten. Then, in a swift motion, she snatched Castle's cell phone out of his hands, and rolled back a few feet in her swivel chair.

"Hey! Hey! Beckett!" he complained, launching forward.

"Oh, my god," she gasped, looking horrified at his phone. She was seeing herself on the screen, only she was at Castle's place, huddled up in one of the armchairs in his office, watching TV. And she was just wearing one of his button-downs. "Castle!" she hissed, jumping to her feet and hitting him with an angry look. Her thumb brushed over the screen and a whole collection of pictures and videos appeared. A furious heat spread through Beckett's body as she saw the huge array of photos the writer had taken of her without her knowledge. Pictures of her at both their places, sleeping, cooking, reading, napping on the couch, brushing her teeth in front of the bathroom mirror, sitting at her desk here at the precinct, at his desk in the loft… It was all too much. Making sure no one was near them, she growled through clenched teeth, "Break room. Now."

Kate stormed past him, bumping her shoulder against his as she did, and waited for him to follow her into the break room, shutting the door behind him when he slid inside.

"Richard Edgar Castle," she snarled.

Oh, she'd used his whole name, he thought. This was really, really bad. She was way past furious.

"What the hell is this!" she barked, pointing a finger at the smartphone in her hand; a close-up of her sleeping face filled the screen.

Castle knew there was no way out of this. His brain froze completely, no words came out of his mouth. And yet, he couldn't take his eyes off Kate, hypnotized by her glower. It was right in that moment when he finally understood the meaning of 'If looks could kill'. Staring at her, he knew she was one of those who could kill with just one glance, the one she was fixing on him right now.

He recoiled back when she took a step forward, poking him in the chest. "Have you completely lost your mind?!" she hissed, her fingernail digging almost painfully into his skin through his shirt. "We're both on probation! If Gates catches you with these" —she waved the phone in front of his face— "you're out, we're out!"

Castle barely dared to swallow. Rather than the daggers shooting out of her eyes, it was the detective's voice that was the most frightening of it all. The way she spoke, in those hushed growls, trying very hard not to be overheard by someone passing by, that's what really terrified him. She wasn't yelling her anger out of her lungs, and maybe, he thought, it was because she was going to wait until later, when they were alone, when there was no one around to save him.

"We," Beckett continued, motioning between them, "agreed that we —and by that I mean you— were more than capable of keeping our relationship strictly professional while at the precinct. No one can know about us, not yet. Not while we're being watched closely." She was so enraged she was panting heavily, and Castle could feel her warm breath fanning over his face.

"So… You're not mad because of the pictures?" he mumbled pathetically. The crease between Beckett's brows deepened considerably. Oh, oh… bad thing to say, he thought instantly, as she pressed her body up against his. He tried to move away, but found himself trapped between her and the fridge, the door handle pushing painfully into his back.

"Did you just listen to what I said?!" her voice raised an octave.

"Yes! Yes! I have to keep my private life to myself and out of the precinct. And stay professional." She stared at him, searching his face, pondering if he really meant what he was saying. He added, "I'm sorry, really sorry. I'll put the phone away, and I'll help you with the paperwork."

"And you'll delete the pictures," she ordered, handing him back the cell.

"What? Oh, please. No," he begged.

"Castle… If—"

"Please, Kate. They're so cute, too cute. I promise not to look at them. Here," he held out the phone to her, "you can keep it and give it back to me later."

Beckett looked down at the cell he was offering, and then up at his honest face again. Slowly, she reached for the smartphone and took it. "You know I could delete them myself," she told him more calmly. Castle said nothing. Kate held his gaze for a few more seconds and then slid the phone inside the front pocket of his pants. "I'm hungry. Let's have some lunch."

She exited the break room, got her purse from her desk, and crossed the bullpen to the elevator.

"Why do I put up with you," Beckett murmured under her breath, and Castle wasn't sure if she'd meant for him to hear it. He took a step closer to her and grazed his hand over the back of hers.

"Because you love me," he whispered into her ear. She gave him a quizzical look and sighed, rolling her eyes.

The elevator doors opened and they stepped in. When the doors shut, Kate turned to Castle, her arms folded across her chest. "Who gave you permission to take all those pictures?"

"I love you so, so much, I have to carry you with me at all times, everywhere I go." Castle brought his hand up to her cheek and bored her with his warm, penetrating blue eyes. "I want memories of every look on your face, of every moment of happiness," he murmured softly.

He could be really sentimentally sappy sometimes, she thought, looking up at him from under her eyelashes. "That is one of the most lamest and cliché excus—"

Castle silenced her abruptly by sealing his lips over hers. She felt herself being pressed against the wall as he devoured her mouth. He kissed her with so much passion she felt her knees buckle under her weight. When the elevator started slowing down, he broke the kiss and stepped back, a satisfied grin glowing on his face. Leaning against the wall, Kate panted, out of breath and speechless. When the doors opened, Castle stepped off the elevator and crossed the lobby toward the exit without a glance back. For once, Beckett was the one following him.

Out in the street, the writer turned to the right, heading to their usual place, but Kate grabbed his wrist and stirred him in the other direction, toward a cab parked a few yards away.

"Where are we going?" he asked.

Kate didn't answer; she simply smiled coyly at him, her bottom lip caught between her teeth. Once inside the car, she gave the cab driver her address and eased back in her seat.

"I thought you were hungry," Castle whispered, confused.

She leaned in close to his ear and purred, "I'm hungry for something else."