"The way I look at it now, if it wasn't for Nikki Heat, this guy would've just gone on killing because he wouldn't have met anyone smart enough to catch him. I'm speaking of course about Special Agent Shaw."

"Night, Castle."

"Good night."

Beckett stood in Castle's guest bedroom, looking at the bed. She was tired, in her pajamas, and all she wanted to do was fall into the inviting mound of blankets and pillows and sleep. Sleep this day into the past, sleep this case away.

But... it was wrong. It wasn't her bed. It was unfamiliar. And now, of all times, she wanted, craved, needed familiarity. Like she needed air.

Pulling the fluffy duvet off the bed, Beckett draped it over her shoulders, snuggling into it and creeping downstairs. She looked around, making sure that Castle had gone to bed, before curling up on the couch. It wasn't as comfortable as the bed would have been, but it was familiar. She'd been here before.

"Beckett?"

She cursed mentally, lifting her head and peeked over the back of the couch at Castle. "Hey," she greeted, a little sheepishly. At his raised eyebrows, she admitted, "The bed is unfamiliar. It bothered me."

Castle's face fell as if her neurosis was his personal failing. "You can't sleep on the couch, it's... you're a guest."

Smiling, Beckett shifted deeper into her cloud of duvet. "It's okay, Castle. I don't mind."

"I do." Running his fingers through his hair, Castle looked around the room, trying to figure out a solution. His expression lit for a moment, before turning carefully guarded.

Beckett raised an eyebrow.

"You could..." Castle hesitated, glancing at Beckett before looking away again. "Sleep in my bed with me?" The offer came out as a question, and he hastened to explain. "I know it's still an unfamiliar location, but I'd be there, and I'd like to think you're comfortable with me, and I'm not trying anything, I swear, believe me, I know you could and would kill me if I did, I just don't feel comfortable with you sleeping out here on the couch, how could I sleep in my nice bed knowing you're on the couch, I mean that's completely rude and... you're laughing at me."

True to Castle's observation, Beckett had one hand over her mouth, her shoulders shaking with her amusement. "For a bestselling author, that was one hell of a run-on sentence," she chuckled.

"So you'll do it?"

She gave him a look. "No. Of course not. I'm not going to sleep with you, Castle."

Blowing out an exasperated breath, Castle crossed his arms over his chest. "That's not what I'm suggesting. You have your blanket," he nodded in her direction, acknowledging the duvet, "and I have my blanket. We'd be sleeping separately, we'd just happen to be sharing a mattress."

Once the suggestion was voiced and explained, Beckett found herself desperately wanting it. As annoying as Castle could be, he never failed to have her back. She knew he wouldn't try anything for all his innuendo, he was a gentleman. But still, she really couldn't... "What about Alexis?"

"What about her?" Castle asked. "She's a big girl, Kate. If she asks, I'll tell her the truth. Nothing happened."

Beckett bit her lip, her brow furrowing as she thought about it. She couldn't... she shouldn't. But... "All right." She slowly stood up, smiling awkwardly at her partner.

Castle led her into his bedroom, pulling his own duvet off the bed and graciously allowing her the choice of side. She picked the right. They each laid down, wrapped in their own blankets, on their own sides of the bed.

"Castle?" Beckett whispered once the lights were out.

"Yeah?" he whispered back.

"Thank you."