Author's Notes:
Thank you for reading my story, I hope you enjoy it.
It takes place in the fifth season after "Significant Others". No particular reference points needed. No spoilers.
By all means, please leave me feedback/reviews on this or any of the other stories I've posted here.
I'd like to know what's good and what needs improvement.

Story Notes:
References you might want to visit.
+ The ferret incident. See these three stories and be prepared to laugh hard.
- Title: Waiting Game - By: Muppet47
- Title: Silent Night, Ferret Night - By: Polly Lynn
- Title: A Business of Ferrets - By: Polly Lynn

All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.

"I'm telling you Kate, you are going to love this, I call it a smorelet, it's like an omelet..." Castle's blathering on about breakfast and all she can think is "I wonder if Meredith is right. I wonder if I don't know him that well." The thought nags at her and pull on the chords of her emotions. Her internal dialog runs away with her "Meredith, must have known she was planting a seed of doubt, what it would do to me and how my own self doubt would feed it."

"Kate! Yooo Hooo! Paging Katherine Beckett!" Castle calls out waving a hand in front of her face from the kitchen.

"I'm sorry, what?" Then she notices the completed meal in front of her on the counter. "Could I have been spacing out for that long?" she thinks to herself.

"Kate, what's the matter? Something's up, it is so obvious that my smartphone is saying 'Duh!' about it. Come on, spill." Castle cajoles Beckett.

"Well ..." Kate starts fumbling with her fingers in her lap.

"I'm not going anywhere so take your time." He reassures her.

"Well. I did something slightly foolish." she continues without looking up "Really foolish actually. In a moment of weakness, I got the stupid idea of asking Meredith ..." Her voice trailing off. Unsure of herself and how to say it.

"Okay, moment of weakness. Stupid idea. I understand those. I get them around you all the time." He says leaning on his elbow on the counter and giving her his full attention. His eyes wide and innocent, waiting to hear what she says.

Clearing her throat she tries again "I ... um ... I asked Meredith for her explanation as to why you two didn't work out." She says it quickly, like pulling a band-aid off, just get it out and it will hurt less.

"I'd like to be mad that you asked her first instead of me but I can't be. I know you have to ask both of us to learn the truth. I'm also going to give you the benefit of a doubt for a moment and assume you know full well that whatever she says will be colored in her own favor based on her crazy Twinkie logic."

"Thanks for not getting too mad at me." Kate says giving a little smile to him while still staring at her fingers in her lap. "My asking was a truly spur of the moment thing, we were alone and the question popped into my head. I decided that it was the only chance I'd ever have to ask her about it. I knew I'd be able to ask you about it at a later time so I took the chance."

"I'd like to say 'What did she say?' but I think what we should really talk about is what doubts and questions it has raised for you." Castle says coming around the counter to sit next to her.

Kate takes a deep breath and then explains "I don't doubt for a minute that what she said was well crafted garbage but sadly, it caused me to wonder about our relationship ... no, sorry, not our relationship, I mean my knowledge of you in our relationship and what makes up this guy..." she says patting his chest without looking at him "that gives and gives of himself to me and has, for quite some time, spent every available moment tending to the wounds inflicted by my broken past and the ghosts I'd battled."

"Aw Kate." He starts, leaning in to wrap his arms around her.

"Castle, please don't." she snaps pushing against his chest "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to snap like that. It's not that I don't want to but ..."

"But what?" he asks hurt and confused.

"No dear, it's not that. It's just that I can't think straight when you do that. I want to, well... tear your clothes off and that distracts me more and my train of thought kinda goes off the end of the dock and into the harbor after that if you know what I mean." she tells him with almost a laugh in her voice. "I am not hurt, this isn't a dire situation, I'm just walking on unfamiliar ground and I want to think clearly as I navigate it."

"Okay, I'm sorry, I'll try to be more helpful. So, you aren't sure you know enough about me huh?"

"That's the crux of the situation. You know enough about me to write dozens of books and I don't think I know enough about you." She says nodding her head, her beautiful hair hanging down covering her face.

"Hmmm... Well then. Let me see if I can help change that." He says getting up and walking across the room. "Kate, here's what I'd like you to do tonight. Write down the facts you think you already know about me. Knock yourself out with it. Write anything that pops into your head. No one will see this list but you so you don't have to worry about what you write, although I'd avoid the 'tear his clothes off and ravish him' part in writing, we can just work on that together as our little secret."

She watches him now and smiles, he's animated and happy, he's solving another puzzle and doing it with her. He revels in the fun.

Still walking around the room thinking, he continues "The list doesn't have to be comprehensive, just jot it all down so you have it in one place. While you're doing this, create another list of all the questions you think of while you're doing this. You are the best homicide detective there is, you're naturally going to make connections. If you write down one question it's going to trigger a dozen more. In no time flat you'll have enough questions and answers to know me. A good example would be this..." Holding up a finger in the air to make the point "Fact, ruggedly handsome millionaire ex-playboy Richard Castle lives in a loft in New York. That begs the question, Did he always live in New York?"

Quickly walking back to Kate, his enthusiasm bubbling over again "Do you see what I'm suggesting? Nothing difficult but I want you to feel that you are getting answers that you want and need. I will ask only one thing, that I'm allowed to 'pass' on a question temporarily because the place or situation you ask me isn't right. I expect that any question you let me pass on will be asked again at a later date. I also expect that there will be no question left unanswered."

"I see what you're asking and that sounds like a good idea." she sits up straight and smiles now and can see in those deep eyes of his he's not angry or hurt, he's willing to share, he just wants her to do the asking at her pace.

"Rick, thanks for not going off on me and 'yes' I will be asking you that same question but not now, I don't want to hear it, I want to enjoy this breakfast you made for me." Kate goes to him and hugs him with a light peck on the lips. "So, ex-playboy huh?"

"Sorry Kate, that guy's gone. Anyone's hopes of landing 'the white whale' have been dashed." he says smiling warmly at her "Although I do think that a better name would have been Mob..."



"Drop it!"

"Yes dear, if you insist."

"I insist. You'll ruin my appetite if you continued with that." she smirks.

"Here's another thing Kate. I have some meetings coming up over the next couple of weeks, can you get any days off?" With his arm around her, he walks back to the counter, relieved at the easy way this worked out.

"I think I can, sure. Why?" she asks puzzled.

"Well, I think that it'd be fair if I let you shadow me for a little while. My life outside of being around you isn't overly interesting or exciting but you can at least see some of the other aspects of what I do and maybe ask more questions and learn more. I really do mean it when I say that I'm open to you. I have no secrets left. All that is left are things for you to discover."

"That's sweet Rick, thank you. I like that idea. I'll see when I can get my next day off and we can do that!" Her fears quelled and her hopes buoyed by the openness of their relationship she turns and tries Rick's super cool breakfast while she basks in the glow of how good ... "OH MY GOD! What is in this? Is that Chocolate?" she screams running around to the kitchen sink to spit the morsel of food out "Did I also taste marshmallows? Are you trying to kill me? I thought you said you weren't mad at me!"

"So... I guess I can put that down as not a positive endorsement?" He says twisting his mouth to the side.

"Castle, why didn't you offer Meredith one of those as soon as she showed up? We could have gotten rid of her much sooner."

"Yeah, okay, scratch that recipe. Have a seat and I'll cook you a plain omelet." he says resigning himself to cooking 'ordinary' meals and opening the refrigerator.

"Thank you! Put some onion in it please, I want something to help clear that taste out." she laughs taking her seat at the counter again.