Disclaimer: nothing under my Christmas tree looks remotely Castle shaped.

Spoilers: set Christmas Day morning, after 5x09, 'Secret Santa'.

Author's Note: What can I say. I'm joining in with the influx of fabulous Christmas stories we've been gifted with. It's just a… quiet Christmas morning between our favourite crime fighting duo, shall we say, and my way of saying Merry Christmas to everyone, and to thank you all for the lovely reviews and comments I get.

New Traditions

She wakes up to a shiver shooting through her body and making her hips twitch slightly, quickly followed by a voice.

"Kaaaaaaate," he murmurs softly. His lips are warm and wet and open against the skin of her stomach, sending another shiver running through her body as memories spark behind her eyes, reminding her exactly why he fell asleep right there.

His thumb makes a lazy sweep along her inner thigh, alerting her to the heavy, intimate presence of his hand...mmm, so close. He chuckles against her stomach and her hips jolt of their own accord as she realises she must have moaned aloud.

Damn him.

"Merry Christmas, baby," he murmurs, and then his thumb is sliding up to stroke her clit and she's powerless under the gentle accuracy of his touch, already squirming beneath him.

"Don't call me baby," she gets out, her voice breaking as his thumb executes a particularly lethal move right beneath her clit.

"It's Christmas, Beckett," he counters instantly, letting his thumb dip shallowly into her before dragging the moisture back up to the spot where she wants him most, and damn if he doesn't know how to work her with almost military precision, his movements tight and targeted and completely undoing her. "Just go with the flow," he adds, another chuckle vibrating against her stomach as she arches her back and comes for him, sparks radiating from his thumb as the space behind her closed eyelids goes white.

She manages to open her eyes just as he's sliding one thick finger into her, stilling his hand completely once the digit is buried inside her. It gives her muscles something to clamp around, and she can't help the whimper that escapes her lips as the lingering aftershocks of her orgasm immediately intensify.

"Ready for round two already?" he murmurs, his lips hovering over hers now after what she can only assume was a crawl up her body that she completely missed. "Breathe, Kate," he adds soothingly, after grazing a kiss against her lips. His finger is still inside her, a pleasant intrusion that she finds she can handle as her heartbeat slows down.

"Hi," she manages eventually, not even wanting to hide the extent of the smile that tugs at her lips as he grins down at her, proud and a little smug but just so damn happy to have her here, for Christmas.

And suddenly, she doesn't understand how she could even have contemplated being anywhere else.

"Merry Christmas, Castle," she breathes, almost surging up to meet his lips in a kiss that's intended to take his breath away. Instead, as her movement shifts his finger inside of her, it's her own breath that disappears.

He laughs against her lips, curling his finger for an agonisingly perfect moment before he starts to move, giving her body what it so obviously craves with the slow stroke of his finger.

"Can this be our new tradition, Kate?" he murmurs excitedly, drawing a long, throaty moan from her as he eases a second finger into her. "God, you're wet," he adds, pressing another, longer kiss to her lips. She's all but panting when he's done, her body trying to curl in on itself when he adds his thumb to the mix and brings her to another shuddering climax with nothing more than a couple of firm strokes against her clit.

When he speaks again she's sprawled contentedly across his bed, the sheets soft against her skin and his palm flat against her stomach in a gesture she knows is intended to soothe rather than arouse.

He knows her so well.

"New tradition," he repeats eventually, lips warm against her cheek as he props an arm beside her head. "Festive orgasms."

She can't help the laugh that bursts out of her, even though it ends with a moan as her body reminds her pleasurably of the two orgasms he's just drawn out of her. The pressure of his palm at her stomach increases a little, helping her to relax into the sensations. She flashes him a quiet smile of thanks, and accepts the gentle kiss he brushes against her lips return.

"Festive orgasms, huh?" she murmurs eventually, laughing as he grins up at her. It's just so… so very Castle, and she can't find it in herself to say anything but yes. "Yeah, I can work with that," she muses, feeling her heart melt at the strangely incongruous similarity between the glee on his face and how she imagined him to look unwrapping his favourite toy beneath the Christmas tree as a child.

That's a train of thought she does not need to jump on today though, not the way that she's feeling, and she manages to shake the thought off. It's getting harder though, harder to shake off the hazy future visions that flutter through her mind when she's utterly defenceless to stop them, and… right.

Festive orgasms.

"I'd say you're a little behind, though," she murmurs, dragging herself back on topic and lifting a heavy arm to card her fingers through his hair.

"That can be remedied," he murmurs, shifting just enough for her to feel the gentle throb of his arousal against her hip. She shivers, and he laughs again. "Just as soon as your body stops twitching every time I move," he murmurs, eyes sparkling with that intimate knowledge of her body as he kisses her again. "There's something I want to say first, anyway."

Her heart starts pounding before he can even finish, and she feels her cheeks flush as he regards her with an all too knowing gaze.

"Not that," he murmurs, lifting his palm from her stomach to cup her cheek. His voice drops, warm and soothing as he continues. "You don't need me to tell you that."

It's true. She doesn't.

She sees it every time he looks at her, feels it every time he touches her. Hears it every time he says her name.

And so she nods slightly, because acknowledgement and acceptance are something that she cangive him. His thumb brushes against her cheekbone, feather light and gentle, and she lets herself relax back into the pillows, nodding for him to continue.

"I know that this wasn't an easy thing for you to do, coming here for Christmas," he starts, stilling her with his body when she goes to protest. "I know you wanted to and I'd never even suggest otherwise, but I just... I'm so happy you're here, Kate. And I know that we can be a little much at Christmas, so I just wanted to say that if it gets too much, or we get too silly, or it's too close to home...or too far from home, or you just need ten minutes on your own, please just tell me? We can have a secret signal or something, but it's your Christmas too Kate, and it's your first Christmas like this in… in a long time and I just..."

She cuts him off with a kiss, letting her tongue strike and tangle with his. He's rambling and the tears are burning behind her eyes, and he's just an adorable, kind hearted, wonderful man and she can't even begin to put into words just how much he means to her.

Except she could, couldn't she?

"Castle," she breathes, her voice raw and hoarse even to her own ears, and surely if she can hear it every time he says her name, surely he can hear it in hervoice, too?

"You don't have to say anything, Kate," he whispers, pressing his lips to hers over and over. "Just promise me that you'll take a break if you need it."

"I promise," she whispers instantly, need surging into her belly, raw and intense as she moves, rolling until she's straddling his hips and he's hot and insistent against her stomach. She kisses him, trying to put everything she feels into that one kiss.

Because maybe if he can't hear it, she can make him feel it.

"Castle," she chokes out again, her fingers going for the boxers he must have slipped on at some point in the night, just wanting them gone, away.

He complies, feeling her urgency as he kicks them away, and then she's sliding onto him, feeling the stretch and the thickness of him like it's one of the first times, even after so long.

The moan that escapes her lips is almost indecent, and she drops her forehead to his shoulder, panting. His hands settle at her hips and she sags against him, letting him steady and gentle the almost frantic rocking of her hips, letting him guide her into a slower rhythm that sets her nerve endings on fire. "Easy, Kate," he murmurs against her ear, voice low and soothing as his lifts his hips, thrusting deep into her.

He's doing all the work and that's not what she wanted, not what she intended, not how she wanted to show him, but she feels heavy and boneless in his arms and maybe, maybe thisshows him, too.

Because control is not something she gives up easily.

"Stop thinking, Kate," he whispers against her ear, his own voice hoarse and strained, and oh she loves him, she loves- "Stop thinking and just feel us."

And so she does.

She gives in and curls her arms around his neck and presses her knees against his hips and just lets him drive.

When her orgasm hits, it's wild and uncoordinated and accompanied by the slide of him deeper than she thinks she's ever felt him, and she knows that she's crying out and he is too as her orgasm pulls him right along with her, but the blood is rushing through her ears and she couldn't make sense of it if she tried.

His fingers are warm and soothing at the back of her neck when the blur in front of her eyes clears and she blinks up at him. "Hey there," he murmurs with a little smile that's all for her. He's not quite with it either, sprawled back against the pillows, a faint sheen of sweat covering his chest and a flush staining his cheeks. He looks spent and satisfied and all hers, and she doesn't even care that they should shower because she just wants to lay here with him, against him, for a little while longer.

"Hey," she whispers back, shifting a little to settle comfortably against him. He probably has Christmas traditions to introduce her to, traditions that Martha and Alexis will probably be waiting on him for, but she just can't bring herself to move.

And suddenly, she realises.

"Hey Castle?" she murmurs, reaching up to stroke her thumb against her favourite spot behind his ear to get his attention. And because she's feeling sated and romantic too, and the endorphins are buzzing through her body, she doesn't let herself stop to consider if this is the right moment or not. "New Christmas tradition," she murmurs, smiling as his eyes all but light up.

She can do this. And maybe getting in on this Christmas tradition thing is actually just about the perfect moment.

Because she might not need him to tell her THAT, but she thinks he might need to hear it. And maybe that's all she really needs to give him for Christmas.

"Castle, I love you too."