This is my impressions of what might have happened on Castle's first night without Alexis. This is one of many, many fics out there. I'm just putting my own little spin on it :)

A big, fat, huge, gigantic thank you to both BlindAssassin and Mojordreaming for beta-ing this for me. You ladies are amazing (side note: go read their awesome stuff :D)

Fair warning... there is a tiny spoiler for Frozen Heat in here.

Disclaimer: I don't own Castle. I can see why you'd be confused... Season 5 is basically fanfic on screen :)

The house was quiet. It was really quiet. Beyond the sounds of a New York City evening, the loft was utterly silent. There was no David Attenborough documentary playing, nor was there the recitation of Shakespearean soliloquies washing through the apartment. He'd locked himself in his office, and the lack of "out, out, damn spot!" clued him in to his mother's departure to god-knows-where for the evening.

There was nothing else for it. Castle groaned and cracked his neck before sitting down at his laptop. He had to write. He HAD to. Not only did he have to write his way out of the web he got himself into with Frozen Heat, he also had to figure out how to work in Eunice. He picked up a remote, flicking open the murder board he'd crafted for the as-yet-unnamed instalment of the Nikki Heat series. He bounced the remote against his chin, pondering. It could work. Eunice could be the name of one of Cynthia's aliases. He threw down the remote, opened up a Word document and got to it. There was never any real rhyme or reason to how he wrote. He just picked a spot and wrote. Tonight, he took almost sick pleasure in completely upending Nikki's life, writing himself deeper and deeper into the world of espionage. The rest of the world faded away, and the few bumps and whirrs he thought he may have heard were dismissed as he honed in on the world of Nikki Heat.

A knock on the study door startled him completely.

"Hey Castle," Kate greeted him gently.

"Kate," he spluttered. "How'd you get in here?" He blurted out. He was actually rather proud of the way he'd restrained himself and not given her a key to the loft. Heck, he was proud he hadn't gone barrelling in both guns blazing and suggested they move in together.

"I picked the lock," she answered, striding into the room, her bare feet signalling that she'd stepped out of her Detective Beckett persona for the evening. Tonight she was just Kate.

"That would be a violation of my privacy, Detective. Should I place a call to the local constabulary?"

She rolled her eyes at him, perching against the edge of the desk. "I arrived right as your Mom was leaving. She let me in."

"Of course she did."

There was nowhere to hide from Kate's glance. It was like she was reading his soul. "You indulging some escapism?" She asked him.

Castle shrugged. He did not like Kate's proximity to his laptop, with a highly controversial and desperate-to-be-edited action scene open. He deftly hit save, before slamming the laptop shut.

"How's Nikki?" Kate asked, eyes crinkling slightly as she mentioned her literary alter ego.

"I have to remind her that all that I put her through hurts me more than it hurts her," Castle confessed, ready for the oncoming reprimand.

She simply gave him the same soft smile she had when he'd grasped her hand in lieu of a kiss in the middle of the bullpen. "Come with me," she invited. She linked her fingers with his and pulled him to his feet. He followed her willingly towards his bedroom, doing his best to hide his disappointment when she bypassed the bed, tugging him towards the bathroom.

He could smell the familiar scents of sandalwood and patchouli from his bath salts as soon as he entered the room. Candles had been lit, and steam was gently wafting from his Olympic diving pool sized tub.

Kate bounced up on her toes to brush a kiss against his mouth, her fingers dancing along the hemline of his shirt. "I figured you might need a distraction tonight." She bumped her cheek gently against his, before peeling the soft cotton tee over his head. "Don't come out until you're nice and pruney," she ordered softly, pushing lightly against his chest.

"Are you joining me?" Castle asked as he stripped bare and sank into the achingly hot water.

Kate perched against the edge of the tub, her hip parallel to his chest, fingers slipping effortlessly through his hair. "Not tonight," she murmured, gently pressing a kiss to his temple.

She scooped up his discarded clothes and dropped them into the laundry basket as she padded out the room, her voice echoing over tile as she told him to take his time.

The water had cooled, and the candles were burnt down to stumps before Castle forced himself from the bath. Castle wandered out of his room, pulling on a well-worn World's Best Dad tee shirt (a gift from a fourteen year old Alexis) and a pair of sweatpants.

Candles were lit in the dining room, and something smelt amazing. Kate was flitting around the kitchen, oblivious to his presence.

"Smells good," Castle murmured, his hands spanning her waist as he hugged her from behind.

She leaned into his embrace, head resting against his shoulder. "You smell like flowers," she teased.

"Don't pretend you don't love the scent of my manly bath products," he shot back.

The timer dinged. "Go make yourself useful and pour the wine," Kate ordered, elbowing him playfully as she slipped out of his embrace. She flicked him with the tea towel, raising her eyebrow at him when she looked over and saw his playful leer as she bent over the oven.

Moments later she entered the room, hands protected by lobster shaped oven mitts as she deposited a heavy ceramic dish onto the heat mat.

"Beckett, did you make me mac'n'cheese?" Castle asked.

Kate smiled sheepishly. "I had a feeling you might need some comfort food tonight," she admitted. She fidgeted on the spot, her lip captured between her teeth. Castle knew not to push. He knew she wanted to say something, and he'd let her say it in her own time.

"Well, I'm starving," he disclosed, breaking what had the potential to be a very awkward moment.

Kate shot him a relieved grin, before picking up a ladle and heaping out a serving of cheesy noodles for him. "This is one of the only proper dinner meals I know how to make, so I hope you enjoy it."

"What does that mean?" he asked, intrigued to peel back another layer of the Beckett onion.

"Mom and I used to make breakfast every Sunday. I'm good when it comes to breakfast. Apart from that, I know how to make exactly five things that don't contain chocolate," she revealed, grateful that the dim lighting covered her blush.

"I see," Castle replied.

She shot him a glare, daring him to say something.

He meekly ducked his head and took a bite. "This is good," he complimented her after he swallowed. "What is your secret?"

"A magician never reveals their tricks," Kate teased, sipping her wine.

"Just tell me," he whined.

"Never going to happen," she sing songed in response, her eyes twinkling in the candlelight. "Just enjoy the mystery, Castle. Isn't that why you follow me around?"

"Let's go with that," He teased in response.

Kate shook her head, rolling her eyes at him.

"Don't you dare," Kate ordered, her strict NYPD voice slipping out as she stared at her partner. "I'm not joking, Castle. Put the plate down," she commanded.

"But, you cooked," he spluttered, as he attempted to clear the table after dinner.

"I know," she answered, standing up and taking the plate off him.

"So let me clean up," he responded.


"Kate," he cajoled her.

"Castle, let me do this," she requested, eyes wide as she looked up at him. He frowned, but put the plate down. She clearly had something planned for the evening, and he wasn't going to spoil her plans.

"Thank you," she spoke. She pressed a kiss to his cheek. "If you want to be helpful, go set up the couch to watch a movie," she suggested.

"Anything in mind you want to watch?" he asked.

"I've got just the thing."

Kate entered the dim living room, and grinned when she saw Castle tucked up against the arm of the couch, the long ottoman dragged over, his long legs stretched out in front of him, an afghan draped over the back of the sofa. Kate offered him a bowl, gracefully moving to the DVD player, slipping a disc in with her back towards Castle.

She settled down next to him, picking up her own bowl, and hit play.

"Buffy the Vampire Slayer? Really, Kate?" He asked.

She just smiled and shrugged, digging her spoon into her bowl.

Castle followed suit. Chocolate and peanut butter brownies. Oh, Kate. He knew she wasn't one to wear her heart on her sleeve, and she certainly wasn't one to talk about what was on her mind. She'd known that he was certain to be miserable the first night without Alexis, and she was doing her very best to distract him. In her own private way, she let him know loud and clear that she was there, and he treasured the warmth and tenderness she offered; lavishing him with affectionate actions that spoke the words that he knew were true, but she hadn't given voice to.

He leaned over and pressed a kiss to her cheek. "Thank you," he uttered.

"Always," Kate replied, shrugging as if it were the most natural thing in the world. "Now, let me see why you love this show so much," she decided, reaching over to turn up the volume.

"Joss Whedon is a god," Castle proclaimed seriously.

Kate really wasn't watching Buffy. She was far more interested in observed her partner's reaction to the show as she threaded her fingers in his hair as he watched the show, his head resting on her lap.

"Feels good," he mumbled.

Kate smiled. "I'm glad," she replied.

Castle let out a soft groan. "I need to change the disc, but I can't be bothered moving," he whined.

"Do you trust me?" Kate asked.

"Duh," he replied, his voice muffled from resting against her lap.

"Go to your room, take off your shirt and lay down on your stomach," she told him.

He sat up abruptly, curiosity streaking across his face. She just grinned and nodded encouragingly, fighting to urge to giggle at the marks her jeans had left on his cheek, combined with his bedhead. He stood, let out a small grunt as he stretched, and staggered off to his room

His bedside lamp was glowing, casting shadows over the room. Kate clearly had something up her sleeve. The bed had been draped with towels. He decided to just go with it. He peeled off his shirt, and flopped down on the bed. The room was pleasantly warm, and he was content to doze until the next part of Kate's master plan revealed itself.

He heard Kate walk into the room. The soothing sounds of Edith Piaf began to play softly throughout the room. He felt Kate's weight settle on his rear end, her thighs bracing his hips.

He heard the pop of a bottle opening, and his nerve endings cracked when he felt drops of oil; warmed by her hands, drip across his bare flesh and streak across his spine. He let out an audible sigh of pleasure when her palms made contact with his shoulders. Her nimble fingers slid against his flesh, gently working out the knots from spending hours hunched over a laptop.

He didn't know what oil she was using, but the clean smell combined with the magic her fingers were working against his muscles had him teetering on the precipice between sleeping and waking.

He whimpered when he felt her stop her ministrations and slip off his rump. She shushed him gently, and he sighed happily when he felt her use a warm, damp towel to clean off the excess oil on his back. He shivered when he felt her short nails dance up his side.

"C'mon, stud. Time to get you to bed," she whispered soothingly, face inches from his as she knelt next to the bed, her hand caressing his cheek.

He rolled to his side and sat up, pulling Kate to sit on his lap. He cradled her cheeks, resting his forehead against hers. She took the opportunity to steal a kiss.

"You're amazing," he told her sincerely. She wrinkled her nose in response.

She really didn't know her value. "Kate," he whispered hoarsely. "Thank you. I needed this."

"Partners, right?" Kate responded.

He nodded. "Will you stay tonight?" he asked her. "I don't want to be alone," he admitted.

Kate pretended to think about the question (she had an overnight bag stashed in the hall closet, but the chance to tease him was too good to pass up), "Just don't answer my phone if I get a call about a murder."


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