Castle: When Ricky Met Katie

Chapter 3: In-Flight Entertainment


[January 2005 New York, New York]

Standing in the crowded lounge of busy commuters just outside the gate for terminal 3 at John F. Kennedy Airport, Kate Beckett wrapped her arms around her boyfriend's neck and entwined her fingers as she brought him closer for one last kiss before the final boarding call could be announced over the speaker.

His lips met hers and he smiled into the kiss as his hands found their place at her hips and he held her close to him. It amazed her how she still felt that shock of electricity go through her every time he kissed her and how no matter how busy life was going on around her, time seemed to stop in those few stolen moments she had with him.

"I'll miss you" he mumbled against her lips.

"I'll be back in a few days" she reminded him with a smirk.

"Mmm, still going to miss you" he chuckled as he caught her lips for what was meant to be just one more quick kiss but as it had a tendency to do, the kiss deepened and she was once again lost in him.

That was until an unannounced and uninvited stranger interrupted them.

"Will? Will Sorenson!" a surprised voice called out to them, startling them apart as Kate quickly put a hand to her mouth as if it would somehow erase the fact that several strangers had just witnessed their very public display of affection.

She looked to her left to see the voice of the unwelcomed interruption and her eyes widened in horror as they fell upon a slightly older yet just as smug looking Ricky Rodgers.

"Rick, hey!" Will greeted him enthusiastically with a bright smile as he reached his hand out to accept Rick's. "How've you been man?" he asked and Kate merely stood back and watched the exchange between the two men, still not over the initial shock of seeing this man again.

"Great, really great" he smiled back at Will sincerely before looking over to Kate for a brief moment, doing a quick double-take when his eyes met hers.

Crap.

"Oh, I'm sorry where are my manners" Will quickly shook his head as he took a step to stand directly at Kate's side, wrapping a protective arm around her waist.

"Rick this is my girlfriend, Kate Beckett. Kate this is Rick Castle, he's a writer and did some research with my team at the agency a couple years back. Those books I gave you to read, they're his books!" Will stated proudly as his eyes darted back and forth between the two of them.

Wait Rick Castle? He wrote those books? Will had brought her over a few manuscripts once when he was telling her about the time he had a young writer researching at the FBI with him but they weren't official copies so no picture of the author and of course his name had changed so she would have never made the connection.

Holy crap, he was Richard Castle? She had a decision to make, and she quickly made it.

"Kate, nice to meet you" she said smiling at him as she held out her hand as if meeting him for the first time. Her hair was shorter now and her looks had certainly matured and she silently prayed he hadn't remembered her.

It didn't seem to phase him in the least and his hand quickly came out to meet hers. "Rick" he smiled politely before turning his attention back to Will.

"Well, it was really great running into you but, I guess I have a plane to catch"

"Yeah, great seeing you too man, take care" Will nodded as Rick graciously took his leave from them and headed into the heavy herd of foot traffic at the security check point a few yards away.

"Ugh, thank God he couldn't place me" Kate huffed as she let her head fall against Will's shoulder.

"What do you mean?" Will asked with a slight chuckle, taking his index finger and tipping her chin upwards to look her in the eyes.

"We drove from Chicago to New York together after college and it was the longest night of my life" she groaned as she craned her neck around to glance over to where Ricky Rick, rather, stood in line at security.

"Really?" Will asked surprised. "You never told me you knew him"

"Well I didn't know it was him, he was Ricky Rodgers back then" she said with a slight chuckle at how ridiculous the name sounded to her now as she thought of him as the one and only Richard Castle.

"You guys didn't…" Will treaded cautiously as his eyes searched hers for some kind of answer to his unasked question.

"Oh no, no, god no" she quickly clarified with a shake of her head. "He was dating my friend Kyra, we all went to North Western together and I did her a favor by giving him a ride back to New York the summer after graduation" she explained and Will let out a deep breath he hadn't realized he had been holding.

"He did make a pass at me though" she recalled after a moment.

"Really?" Will asked, less than amused.

"Yeah but I said no, we could just be friends and then this much I do remember, he said that men and women can never really be friends…" she mentioned with her brow furrowed as she recalled the conversation she had just over five years ago.

"Do you think that's true?" she asked, snapping out of her daze to look up at Will.

"What?"

"That men and women can't be friends" she clarified.

"No. Uh…" he seemed to ponder it for a second. "No"

"Do you have any women friends?"

"Um... No." He sighed. "But, I will get one if it's important to you" he smiled adoringly at her and she beamed back at him before pulling him in for one last kiss as her boarding call was made over the speaker system.

"Have a safe flight" he told her as he regretfully pulled away. "I love you"

"You do?" She asked with a shy smile. It was the first time he'd ever said those words to her and it made her heart flutter like something she'd never felt before.

"Yes" he replied truthfully; running his hands over her shoulders.

"I... love you too" she smiled at him before gripping her suitcase and heading towards the gate, turning back to send one last wave towards Will who stood watch as she walked away into the busy crowd of travellers.


Already settled into her seat Kate brought her wrist up to look at her watch. The plane would be leaving shortly and in a few hours she would be arriving at LAX to meet with the partners at her firms Los Angeles office. She still had the same dopey grin on her face that she had the moment Will had uttered the words 'I love you' but she didn't care, it was a feeling she didn't want to let go of.

"Oops, pardon, excuse me" she heard a low voice mumbling and she knew unmistakably that it was him, Ricky. Rick, as he apparently goes by now. God that would take some getting used to. Richard freaking Castle.

Of course, just when she thought she was having the best day of her life he had to be on her flight. Great. Just great.

Keeping her head down and her gaze fixated on her watch she hoped he wouldn't notice her as he walked past to find his seat but as fate would have it he seemed to stop at the row directly behind her and began stuffing his bag into the overhead compartment before taking a seat behind her.

Perfect she sighed. Oh well, maybe he didn't recognize her. Maybe she could get through this flight with some peace and quiet. Thank God the plane seemed to be full and there was already a stranger on either side of her and no room for her former travel companion.

A few minutes went by and her anxiety started to subside. She eased herself back into the seat and closed her eyes in hopes to get some rest during the flight.

"North Western University, right?" a voice began behind her and she instantly rolled her eyes before turning her head back to see him up out of his chair and leaning over the back of hers.

"Right" she conceded, plastering on her best fake smile before returning her attention to the back of the seat in front of her and hoping he'd take the hint.

"I knew you looked familiar" he continued without missing a beat and suddenly she knew this was going to be a very long flight.

She turned back slightly and noticed him still staring at her with amusement from over the back of her chair.

"Hey so did we ever…" he began, before twitching his eyebrows up at her and she simply gasped in horror.

"What? No!" she hissed at him. "No, I, we didn't" she confirmed, this time looking to her left at the stranger occupying the seat next to her who seemed to be completely uninterested but she felt the need to explain herself to him anyway so she continued. "We drove from college to New York together, that's all, it was a long time ago"

"Would you two, like to sit together?" The man beside her asked and both Kate and Rick answered simultaneously.

"No"

"Yes! Great, thank you"

Kate glared up at Rick who had a ridiculous smirk on his face as he accepted the strangers invitation and before she had a chance to say another word he was slumping himself into the seat next to her with that grin still plastered on his face.

"Hi" he greeted her.

"Hi" she grumbled in return.

"You were friends with um… with um…" he bit his lower lip as the name seemed to escape him and she looked at him mild shock.

Seriously? He had forgotten her name?

"Kyra" Kate stated firmly; shaking her head at his audacity. "I can't believe you don't even remember her name"

"What, I remember, it was Kyra. Kyra Blake" he nodded naturally.

"Kyra Blaine" she corrected sternly.

"Blaine right, that's what I said" he shrugged and she rolled her eyes. "How is she these days anyway?"

"I have no idea" Kate answered honestly. God it's been years since her and Kyra had spoken and she suddenly felt guilty for that, though she really didn't have a reason to, after all that's what happens after college. Except apparently in the case of Rick Castle, apparently there was no escaping him.

"You have no idea?" he practically gasped the words at her as if she should be ashamed of herself. "You two were such great friends" he continued. "We didn't make it because you were such good friends"

Is he serious?

"You dated her" she felt the need to remind him.

"And was it worth it?" he asked with a slight shake of his head. "The sacrifice for a friend who you don't even keep in touch with?" She could see the corner of his lip curling up into a grin and she rolled her eyes.

"Ricky, you may not believe this, but I never considered not sleeping with you a sacrifice"

"Fair enough" he smirked, surprisingly letting the subject drop. "And, it's just Rick now Katie" he corrected lightly.

"Right" she nodded. "It's just Kate now" she also explained and he grinned.

"Look at us, all grown up"

"Yep" she nodded, settling back into the chair as Rick stopped the flight attendant passing by to place a drink order.

"So" he turned back to her a moment later and she was now convinced she wasn't going to get even a minute of peace and quiet on this flight.

"You were going to be a lifeguard"

"Lawyer" she corrected with a roll of her eyes.

"Right that's what I said. And?"

"And, I am" she stated proudly. "I'm a junior associate with a decent sized firm in New York City and I'm actually flying out to L.A. today to meet with some of the other partners and associates because we're collaborating on a big case that's coming up"

"Great, that's great news" he commended with an easy smile. "And you're with Will now, that's great"

"Yeah, yeah it is" the dopey smile was back before she could even control it from happening.

"You've been together what, six, seven weeks?"

"Eight…" she answered uneasily. "How did you know that?"

"I'm good at reading people, it's what I do" he shrugged. "So, you going to marry him?" he asked naturally and it took her aback.

"What? We… I… I don't know" she tripped and stumbled over her words as the startling question continued to swirl through her head.

"Why don't you know? Will's a great guy" Rick shrugged.

"Look, we have only known each other a couple of months and neither of us are looking to get married right now" she answered firmly, finally finding the steadiness in her voice again.

"Hmmm" he shrugged. "I'm getting married" he mentioned casually and her eyes widened.

"You are?" She felt the need to clarify.

"Yeah" he shrugged again.

"To who?"

"Meredith Reynolds. She's an actress"

Kate couldn't hold back her laughter any longer and Rick simply regarded her while she tried to fight to regain some composure.

"I'm sorry" she finally spoke as her giggling began to subside. "You're getting married?"

"Still not getting the joke here Kate" he replied as her soft chuckling continued.

"Mr. Gloom and Doom is getting married" she shook her head at the thought. "It's just so optimistic of you Rick. Wow"

"Yeah well you'd be surprised at what following madly in love can do for you" he explained earnestly and it took her slightly by surprise.

"Well, good for you Rick. I'm happy for you" she told him with a sincere smile.

"Besides I have to make an honest woman of her or my mother would probably disown me" he added and she furrowed her brow in confusion.

"Oh, here," he continued a moment later, reaching into his back pocket and fishing out his wallet. He handed her a piece of paper and she unfolded it revealing a black and white sonogram photograph.

"Oh my gosh Rick" she gasped slightly. "Is that?"

"My little boy, yep" he smiled proudly. "Well, at least It will be, right now it kinda looks more like a jelly bean but I had the doctors double check that it was in fact a really tiny human"

She chuckled. "That's amazing, congratulations"

"Thank you" he smiled in return.

They continued chatting during the short flight, Rick sharing his ideas for baby names that mostly consisted of various Star Wars characters or other fictional yet equally outlandish choices.

"You cannot name your child Spartacus" Kate sighed.

"What, why not? Guaranteed nobody would mess with my boy on the playground"

"How do you even know it's a boy? There's no way the doctors can tell what the gender of that little jelly bean is yet"

"Of course it's a boy" Rick shook his head as if it were obvious.

"Yeah well call me when you're dashing out to the mall the day after the baby is born and filling your cart with little pink onesies so I can say I told ya so"

"Trust me, I'm having a boy. It has to be, I need someone to carry on the Castle legacy"

"You mean your made up legacy, Rodgers?"

"Well… I… Yeah" he sighed with defeat and it made her laugh.


A few hours later the aircraft had touched down safely at LAX and after retrieving her luggage from the baggage claim Kate was off toward the main terminal to catch a taxi to her hotel. She had lost sight of Rick somewhere amongst the hustle and bustle of travellers but she wasn't terribly disappointed by that, it was the first moment of peace she had had all afternoon.

"Hey" Rick's slightly out of breath voice called out to her as he sprinted up beside her on the escalator.

"Hi" she regarded him awkwardly.

"You staying in town overnight?"

"Yeah"

"Yeah me too, do you want to get dinner?"

What? Dinner? She looked at him oddly and he instantly picked up on it.

"Just as friends" he quickly amended.

Not this again.

"I thought you said men and women can't be friends?" she reminded him and he quirked an eyebrow at her in confusion for a brief moment.

"I never said that"

"Yes you did" she explained.

He remained silent for a moment before speaking. "Yes, you're right, I did. They can't be friends. Unless both of them are already in relationships, it serves as an amendment to the earlier rule. If the two people are already in relationships then the pressure to remain just friends is lifted" he explained routinely and she shook his head at him. This man had an answer for everything.

"Actually, that doesn't work either" he continued a beat later. "Because then the person you're involved with can't understand why you need to be friends with the person you're just friends with, like something is missing from the relationship and you have to go outside to get it. Then when you try to explain to them that no, nothing is missing from the relationship they then accuse you of being secretly attracted to the person you're just friends with. Which, let's face it, you probably are, I mean who are we kidding right? Which brings us back to the original rule that men and women cannot be friends" he finished letting out a puff of air at the end and Kate's fairly certain he managed to communicate that entire ridiculous theory all in a single breath.

She shook her head. "Rick, goodbye" she stated with a slightly forced smile but he didn't seem to notice or care, just smiled in return and nodded.

"Goodbye Kate"

And with that Kate hustled up the last couple steps of the escalator and headed towards the exit doors to set about her business in Los Angeles and decidedly putting Rick Castle out of sight and out mind for the final time.

Or so she thought…


A/N: Well that's chapter three folks. Hope you're still enjoying this. Again, some of the dialogue is fairly close to the actual dialogue from the movie but I'm trying to mix it up a bit as much as I can without changing too much of the original premise of the film. Of course in the movie Harry doesn't have a child and I debated whether or not to include Alexis in this story, but as a wise person once told me "having Castle without Alexis is like having peanut butter without jelly. Yes, it's good by itself, but together it's SO much better" (this chapter is for you Jamie). Also, according to IMDB (and my own memory) I don't believe Meredith actually has a last name on the show so I made one up. If I stand to be corrected on this, please let me know in a review :)