So I got this idea from a picture on Twitter, where somebody had gotten a packet of cards and had written 52 reasons why he loved his girlfriend and then had given it her, and I thought hey! Why not do that for Castle and Beckett! Only I'm doing it slightly differently, where Castle gives Kate a card for every week of the year. Spoilers for aired episodes. One chapter, every week.
Disclaimer: ONE OF MY BEST FRIENDS IS VISITING FROM LONDON TODAY I AM SO HAPPY
I love the way you love me
Kate feels the edges of the card against her fingers when she shoves her hands into her coat pockets, that cold January morning. Castle hadn't joined her this morning, had shoved his head back under the covers when she attempted to wake him up, followed by barely audible grumbles about it being far too early and far too dark and don't murderers ever sleep. She'd huffed at him, called him a wuss, but he is cute when he's verging on the edge of sleep, face slack against the white sheets of his bed, and she'd feel bad for making him get out. So, she'd gone and scribbled a note with the address on it, just in case, but she expects she'll be sat in front of a murder board long before he makes any sort of appearance. But now, with a biting wind that makes her knuckles ache she wants his coffee mugs to wrap her hands around. She doesn't investigate straight away, traces the pad of her thumb across the edge, takes that deep breath before stepping under the yellow tape and finding herself immersed in yet another search for justice.
It's not until later when she's sat in the queen vic, a cup of coffee pressed against her chest, that she remembers it and pulls it out. The back is an unassuming red and white pattern, she recognises it as one of his many packs of cards that he has lying around the house. She's wondering what on earth he's playing at this time, wonders why on earth he has shoved a random card in her coat pocket of all places, and then she turns it over. It's the Ace of Hearts, and his writing is recognisable as it follows the shape of the heart. Her hand clenches around the coffee as she follows it around. He's – Castle… she slides the coffee too quickly into the cup holder, some of it spilling over onto her hand. Ignoring the pain she reaches for her phone, hits speed dial and waits impatiently for Castle to pick up. He does, after what seems like ten painful minutes and it's all she can to not cry when he says her name.
"Castle… Castle, the card."
"I was wondering when you'd find it." He replies, which completely isn't helpful and doesn't answer any of the numerous questions that are fighting each other to get to the fore-front of her mind.
"What is this?"
"It's me telling you that I know."
That you know… what?" Kate hesitates, pressing the phone against her ear, even though she already knows the answer, can feel it in the furious drumbeat of her heart.
"That you love me. And that's fine. You're not ready to say it, and I'm not going to force you to say anything that you don't feel comfortable with, but I just want you to know that I know. You don't have to worry about finding a time and a way or forcing yourself to say it even when you're not ready. Anyway, I thought the Ace of Hearts was appropriate." He hummed a laugh, as always, amused at his own sense of humour.
"But why a card? Why not just… tell me?"
"Mainly because there was a likelihood that you would possibly kill me for doing something quite as… outrageous as this, so I planned it so I would not be anywhere around when you did read it."
"I'm not… I'm not going to kill you. I just… it took me by surprise." Kate turned the card over in her fingers, her mind turning it over in her head just as much. "But a playing card?"
"There is a reason for it, I promise."
"Are you going to tell me what it is, or do I have to guess?"
"It'll be pretty obvious soon, but there's 52 playing cards in a pack, and 52 weeks in a year."
"So I'll get one card every week?" Kate asks, reaching for her coffee again now that she's calmed down and her heart has stopped beating a samba against her ribs. "With something written on them?"
"I'm not just going to hand you a plain one. That would be pointless. Yes there will be something written on them."
"Is there a theme to all of this? Or is it just going to be completely random?"
"No, there's a theme. I expect you'll have worked it out by next week. It's not exactly subtle."
"Can I guess?"
"No, that's not allowed. It has to be a surprise."
Kate huffs and takes a sip from her coffee, slides the card back into her pocket. "Okay, surprise. Are you going to come in? I'm on my way back to the precinct now."
"Half an hour. Promise."
She realises, later, when the past half an hour has been spent making googly love-ball eyes across her dining room table at each other, that she's really not at all surprised that he already knows. She's not exactly doing a good job of hiding it.