Cold - Epilogue

A/N: I accidentally marked "Cold" as "Complete" despite the fact that I knew there'd be an epilogue. Short and sweet, but I think this is it. Feel free to check out "Shippers" and/or "The Bedroom Chronicles" which may or may not be complete (I enjoyed writing for Espo and Ryan so much, I think I may need to continue "Shippers"...)

Also, congratulations to cacorn158 for correctly guessing my really obscure "Firefly" reference! The other movie Castle brought, "A Dog's Breakfast," was written/directed/starred in by David Hewlett (and also featured Kate Hewlett and Paul McGillion). David Hewlett (as well as Paul McGillion, with occasional guest appearances from Kate Hewlett) was on "Stargate: Atlantis" with Jewel Staite (actually, her character, Dr. Keller, replaced Paul McGillion's character, Dr. Beckett [yes, Beckett]) who of course, played Kaylee in "Firefly." "A Dog's Breakfast" is an absolutely terrific movie - look it up on YouTube to see some clips.

Katherine Beckett stirred in the warmth, the early morning light penetrating both her bedroom and her eyelids. So much warmth. Nice warmth. Maybe a bit too much warmth. The arms holding onto her was just contributing to it.

Wait...arms?!

It'd been over two years since she'd allowed anyone to sleep over at her apartment. For some reason, it had never felt right. So why were there arms wrapped around her? And a body pressed up against her? And why did it all smell suspiciously like the most annoying writer she knew? And why - WHY - was her hand underneath his shirt?!

Her eyes flew open, and instantly locked onto the still-sleeping form of Richard Castle - very, very close.

She could feel his breath against her cheek.

Carefully, she began to draw her hand out from underneath his shirt, trying to ignore the muscles she felt. Who knew Castle was so well-built? She'd thought about it, but...

What?! No! She hadn't thought about what muscles Richard Castle might or might not have. Of course not. That was ridiculous.

She finished slipping her hand out from under his shirt and began working on extricating herself from his arms. No sooner had she tugged at the arm on top though, than his eyes flickered open.

"G'morning," he mumbled sleepily, before closing his eyes again and tightening his grip slightly.

"Castle!" Beckett hissed. "Let me go!"

"What?" He opened his eyes again. "Oh. Oh! This is real. Um, sorry," he said, releasing her and nearly falling out of the bed to get away. "I'm, uh, I'm, gonna go make coffee," he said, bolting for the door.

Beckett couldn't blame him. She couldn't help but notice he needed a few minutes to, er, "compose himself."

She debated about taking the opportunity to hop in the shower, then decided she could make it another day. She didn't really want to shower when Castle was right there, in her apartment.

She locked the door - just in case - and quickly dressed. After several moments, she walked out of the bedroom and into the kitchen. Castle was finishing pouring a second cup of coffee. "Perfect timing!" he said, turning to her and handing her the cup. "I need to buy you a better coffee maker though. And better coffee. Do you realize it actually expired last month?"

"I usually get my coffee at the precinct," Beckett said, accepting the cup of coffee. Damn, the man looked good. Bed head and stubble suited him quite well. She was almost sorry they hadn't-

Best not go there.

"I was going to offer to make you breakfast, but your refrigerator doesn't have much in it that I would trust." He was scrounging through her cabinet.

"That's okay." Beckett grimaced as she took a sip of the coffee. Castle was right, this wasn't very good. "Castle...look, we can't let anyone know this happened."

He looked back at her, his exploration of her kitchen cabinet temporarily halted. "Of course not," he said after a minute.

"I mean, I really appreciate it, you coming over and staying," she rushed to explain. "It's just - we work together and there's Josh and...Castle, we can't mention this ever again. No references to it or anything."

His face tightened - only someone who really knew him would have even picked it up. "I understand, Kate," he said gently. He took the coffee cup out of her hand. "Don't drink this sludge. I'll pick you up a cup on my way into the precinct today. And a pastry. Bearclaw or apple turnover?"

She gave a thin smile. "Bearclaw, today. And thank you."

"I'll see you in a little bit." Looking down at his jeans and sweatshirt, he smiled ruefully. "Probably a good thing Alexis and Mother are gone."

And with that, he left.

Kate wondered why the apartment suddenly felt so much emptier.