Disclaimer: Oh honestly.
Summary: He talks a big game, and the shoes are just so perfect; she has to try it.
"I think I went too far," she groans into the phone as she slumps down onto her couch.
"Yes, Lanie," she grumbles. "Caller ID. Been around for a while."
"Not all of us have the weekend off," Lanie replies, and Kate hears the distinctive sound of the outer door of the morgue closing. "Went too far with what?"
Kate shifts and squishes around, twisting her free hand into the blanket thrown haphazardly over her body to fight off the late November chill. She really needs to come home more, if only to keep the place at a decent temperature.
"Okay, so, our six month was yesterday," she begins, pressing her head back into her Union Jack pillow.
She's really going to do this. She is. He'll love it.
She faces herself down in his lighted mirror and considers her make up. Dark—darker than she's worn in a while. But it works. It's sexy. It's dangerous. And dangerous is the name of the game.
She reaches out for the red clip and pulls her hair back, twisting it into a severe bun before securing it to the back of her head. Sexy, strict—perfect.
She takes a step back to admire her outfit, and sighs. The damn scar draws more attention than the black corset with red-lace trimmings that hides so little. It's nearly see through in all the important places, and yet—and yet—all she sees is the puckered circle between her breasts.
But he won't care. How can he care, when her legs are covered in fish nets that end in red lace garters? He won't care. She's kind of hoping he falls over. That would be fun.
She wobbles a little, taking a few experimental steps. The five inch, spiked, studded heels clack against his tiles, and she smirks to herself. She may have a scar between her breasts, but damn if she doesn't own the world in a pair of heels. And these are the mother of all heels—black with silver, pointed studs along the edge and running down the heel. Seriously intimidating shoes.
She stills as she hears the distinct sound of him putting his briefcase down on the desk.
Of all of the nights for him to be the one with work, it had to be their six month. Boring meetings and publicity events were not proper celebration, but left with no other option, they'd decided to celebrate over the coming weekend—something about the Hamptons and a few surprises he wouldn't yet tell.
Never one to be outdone, she figured she owed him a surprise of her own.
She glances briefly into the mirror and grabs for her crop, pumping herself up, putting on the persona. A deep breath, and then:
"Sit down on the bed, Mr. Castle," she commands, her voice a sharp crack that rings through the bathroom.
She opens the door and finds him sitting there, wide-eyed as the light flows out behind her.
"Good boy," she simpers, running her fingers along the hard leather handle and then flicking the tip of her riding crop.
His jaw is open, hitting the floor. His eyes are so wide, so huge, so—terrified? But that's good. That's perfect.
"Now, Mr. Castle," she continues, her voice low and sultry and deadly.
She sees his hands twist into the bed spread. She grins, a slow smile that spreads across her face, and steps up to him, reaching out with the crop to run it gently along his shoulder and down his arm. He twitches and a shiver passes through him.
"I hear you've been a bad boy," she continues.
"I—" he squeaks out as she gently whaps the crop against the bedspread by his hand.
"Your agent called and told me to punish you. Said you'd been joking around in your meetings."
Another whack to the comforter. This time, he twitches so badly he rocks in place.
She takes a moment, watches him as he stares at her, eyes roving her figure, hands clenched at his sides. She catches him as he glances toward the crop, follows the sharp bob of his adam's apple.
"She told me perhaps I ought to have a—" She takes a step closer, brings the crop up to land it on his shoulder. "Little chat with you."
"Ch-chat," he breathes, stuttering.
"Yes. Show you, hm, that perhaps goofing off isn't what you should do—teach you."
She takes another step so their knees bump together and reaches out to grab the other end of the crop, holding it straight across the back of his neck. He gasps and closes his eyes.
Just as she's about to yank him into her, he lets out a breath that is absolutely nothing like aroused, and everything like scared.
She blinks. "Castle," she says, her voice softer.
He opens his eyes and looks up at her. The look in them has her dropping the crop and moving her hands to his shoulders, opening her stance, softening her body, her everything.
"Apples," he whispers.
Apples. Seriously? She dresses up as a dominatrix, and that alone has him calling apples? But he's not kidding. She's freaked him out somehow.
She nods slowly and, lacking for something else, reaches back and unclips her hair, letting it tumble down her shoulders. It's the only thing she can think of, barring tossing the riding crop out the window. He just sits there, staring up at her, his face hard and stiff, no smile, no joy, no giddy excitement to be seen.
"Happy Anniversary?" she says a minute later, when she can no longer stand the silence or the feeling of him there, scared of her.
He lifts his eyes to hers, managing to give her a hint of a smile. She smiles back and gently loosens the knot of his tie. He takes a deep breath and she waits.
Rick Castle. Playboy Richard Castle is afraid of a little make believe. She can't—she doesn't—it's so foreign to her that she needs an explanation. She can understand it maybe not being the right fit for him, can see how he's sometimes all talk and no game.
But he's not talking. He's just staring at her without touching her.
"Rick," she prompts quietly.
"You look amazing," he says finally, lifting his hands to settle them, slightly clammy on her waist.
But he squeezes and she relaxes, drifting a hand up to run through his hair. "Thought I'd," she breaks off and bites her lip. She thought she was doing something really great, fun, sexy. Apparently not.
"You look amazing," he repeats, brushing his hand up and down her side, fingers skipping over the lace.
"But, uh," he pauses and clears his throat. She watches as a blush creeps up his cheeks and she trails her fingers down to cup his jaw. "Just, hm, uh, spent all day being dominated and um, I—you—"
"Not in the mood?" she surmises. That, she can deal with.
"Well, yeah, but no," he says quickly. "Always. Always in the mood for—but you're, with the thing and the voice and the shoes—" He sighs and squeezes her hips. "You're a little scary."
The laugh that bubbles out is completely not appropriate. His face falls and she fights the urge to slug herself. She didn't mean to. She didn't. But scary? She can't be—she would never—
"Rick," she says gently, schooling her features. He doesn't meet her eyes. "I'm sorry. I'm not—I'm not laughing at you."
"Uh-huh," he mumbles. Yeah, she might deserve that.
"Look," she says a little more firmly. He looks up at her. On second thought, perhaps playing the dominatrix is just a little too close to reality. "You've gone on for years about me, and leather, and a little moonlighting. I just assumed—but I'm not laughing at you. It's just—"
"I get it," he says, dismissing her.
But it's their six month anniversary, and she is not going to sleep when his eyes still look like that—hollow and wounded and guarded. She's not going to go to sleep and let him cover up the hurt there. They got past his murder board. They can damn well get past this.
"I would never hurt you," she says steadily.
"I know," he shoots out quickly.
"I know that," she continues. "But I would never hurt you, here." She lifts a hand and gestures to the room around them. "I thought you might, ah, enjoy a little role play," she adds, and to her credit, that gets a little smile. "But not more than that."
"I know," he repeats, a little shame in there. She doesn't want that either. "I do know that. S'why we have safe words."
Note to self: Handcuffs and blindfolds and hot chocolate syrup, he likes. An actual costume and the crop and the voice all together? Not so much.
"I couldn't actually strike you," she says, and there's shame there for the pure fact that he didn't know that.
Then again, maybe he did. His eyes shoot up to hers, and his fingers tense around her hips, digging in. "I know," he assures her. His face relaxes and he smiles up at her. "I know that."
"Call it a swing and a miss?" he suggests after a quiet minute.
She wilts, nodding emphatically as he pulls her in and tugs her down to meet his lips, her body bowed over his.
"You really are gorgeous," he mumbles against her.
She smiles and pulls back, standing straight to tug him in. He rests his lips against her stomach, arms cradling her hips as she runs her fingers through his hair.
"Bad meetings?" she asks quietly.
"Paula was pissed. Did she actually call you?"
Kate laughs and strokes her fingers over his ear. "No."
He smiles against her and presses his forehead into her ribs. "Would much rather have taken you out to dinner."
"Do you want something? I made pasta with chicken," she suggests quickly.
He had a long day—a rough day—and came home to have her scare the crap out of him. Least she can do is give him some food.
"I have a better idea," he says suddenly.
They eat ice cream.
They make ridiculous sundaes and cuddle up on his couch together, him in a wrinkled suit, and her in a dominatrix get up.
She toes off her heels as they sink down onto the couch, groaning as she stretches her feet.
"How do you walk in those?" he asks, grinning as she takes a large spoonful of chocolate and cherries and sprinkles.
He laughs and she relaxes, pushing her newly freed toes beneath his thigh as she curls up next to him, her bowl cradled against her ribs, resting on her thighs. He runs a hand up and down her calf for a moment, looking her over. She grins and nudges at him.
"Eat your ice cream."
He laughs and takes an exaggerated bite.
"Happy Anniversary," he adds a few minutes later.
She smiles and reaches out to put her bowl on the coffee table so she can slide up to him. She cuddles into his side and breathes him in as he drops an arm over her shoulders, tugging her legs across his lap.
So maybe next year she should just cook him dinner and make him cheesecake.
"And then you seriously watched Star Wars."
"And then we seriously stayed up all night watching Star Wars," Kate confirms. "It was—it was really nice."
"No," she says, staring up at her ceiling. "No, and it wasn't—it wasn't weird. It should have been weird, right? Me getting all dressed up and then him getting scared."
"If Javi did that I'd be freaked," Lanie agrees.
"I just—it was nice. The ice cream, and movie, and just, I don't know. Being? I mean, I am kinda chaffed from falling asleep like that, and there's an indent in my shoulder I don't think I'll ever get rid of, but still."
Lanie laughs across the line and Kate frowns, shifting to try and get comfortable. Those get ups really aren't made for falling asleep in your boyfriend's lap.
"Oh, honey. I think you're doing just fine."
"If you two can have more fun watching movies than having crazy role-play sex, I think you're going to be more than okay," her friend assures her, sounding a little exasperated.
"I scared him," she mumbles, mind caught on his face when she brought the crop down on his shoulder. "Honest to God, I scared him."
"Well yeah!" Lanie laughs. "Javi won't even let me cuff him."
"Oh, I don't—ugh—really?" she manages. Her brother, he's her brother, but, still.
"Really," Lanie says. "And your boy may have an ego, but you are damn scary without the costume and a whip."
Kate groans and covers her eyes with her hand. "Shit."
Lanie laughs and Kate contemplates throwing the phone across the room. "Honey. He's not damaged."
"But I scared him. I didn't know he even did scared in the bedroom."
"And now you do. Seriously, this is a good thing."
Kate shakes her head and grabs for a pillow to pound her hand into. "I ruined our anniversary."
"It sounds to me like you had a wonderful anniversary. And he'll get over it. You should."
"If my boyfriend wanted to stay up all night and hang out with me, feed me ice cream, and cuddle in bed watching movies for our anniversary, I'd be thrilled."
She bites her lip, stalling the grin that tries to cross her face. It was pretty great. Really great, actually—best anniversary she remembers having in a long time.
"Yeah, you sit with that. I've got to go, but I'll see you Monday."
"Bye, Lanie," Kate says softly.
She sighs and glances back toward her bag at the door, where her outfit is stuffed, the edge of the crop poking out of the corner. Her phone buzzes in her hand and she looks down, smiling as Castle's face flashes above a text message.
She opens her messages and nearly falls off the couch laughing.
It's a picture of his leg, red with a clear indentation from her riding crop. She found it at the foot of the bed this morning.
Consider this me splashing in the shallows. Dinner tonight. Bring those heels.
She smiles and turns her face into the couch, heat climbing up her cheeks.
They're definitely going to be more than okay.
Inspired by Marta Evry's tweet.