This was written by the lovely, amazing Laura Picken, who is the Bo to my Kenzi. Thank you so much, hon!


Beckett turned around slowly, stunned by the bluntness of Castle's statement. "Excuse me?"

Castle repeated his exclamation, his confidence slowly returning along with a growing anger. "I said...bull. That argument is total bull." Castle strode forward until he caught up to his girlfriend. "I don't know everything about you. I couldn't possibly. I'm not you. Do you know why people can be happily married for sixty, seventy, or eighty years?" When Beckett shook her head, Castle continued his argument before she had a chance to say anything. "Because you can live a lifetime with someone and learn new things about them every single day. I've only known you what, five, six years?"

"Six," Beckett replied quietly.

"Then how could I possibly know every single thing about you?" Castle countered quickly. Beckett sighed, knowing that Castle had a point. Castle pressed on further. "Look, Kate, I didn't ask you to marry me because I know everything about you. I asked you to marry me because I love you and I want to get to know everything about you. Every single day for the rest of my life. I thought you felt the same way about me..."

Beckett sighed again, closing her eyes as she knew her carefully thought out defenses were going to cost her her chance with her 'one-and-done' if she didn't say something. "I do..." she muttered under her breath.

The words were just loud enough for Castle to hear them. "Whoa, Beckett," he joked, "I just wanted to get engaged, but if you've changed your mind that much I'll certainly spring for a flight to Vegas..."

Beckett rolled her eyes. "You know, you can be the most maddening, infuriating..."

"Throwing my own words back at me, Kate?" Castle countered with an unapologetic smile.

It was a smile Beckett quietly found herself matching. She took Castle's left hand in her own, feeling the comfort she always felt in the strength of his touch. Beckett drew enough confidence from that strength to say the one thing left on her heart. "Ask me again."

Castle blinked back his surprise, trying not to be stunned that his words had gotten through to her so quickly. "What did you just say?"

"You heard me," Beckett replied, her heart welling up with love for the man in front of her. "Ask me again."

The ring was back in his right hand in a heartbeat. Castle drew in a deep breath to steady his nerves, then let it out slowly as he dropped to one knee in front of her.

"Kate Beckett...will you marry me?"