women like that don't become mystery writers

Disclaimer: We graduated from college, then one of us had wisdom teeth removed, and the other is working like a fiend...

A co-written story from Liviafan1 and FanficwriterGHC


Chapter 7:

Eventually, they agree on Cambria and manage to eek out a paltry outline. No killer. No definitive motive. Just a dead Jane Doe in an alley and a hired killer down a manhole, a semblance of protocol and a tentative sketch of their yet un-gendered protagonist.

So far, they've got: tall, badass (his, not hers), smart, quick, attractive, and damn good at the job.

It's hardly Hemingway.

And it took them five freaking hours.

Kate stretches as Castle stands and cracks his back, a yawn splitting his face. She watches as his shirt rides up, exposing the smooth lower plane of his back.

She is just too tired to even pretend to fight it at this point. Writer man (boy, more like) is pretty hot.

"You know what I could totally go for about now?"

She pulls her eyes from his back just in time for him to swivel around to face her, an irritatingly adorable sleepy smile on his face.

"What?"

"A giant sundae," he says with relish, his eyes sparkling. "Can I tempt you?"

"It's—" she glances around him to the clock on top of his LED screen. "It's nearly two, Castle. Ice cream. Really?"

"Don't tell me that on top of your deplorable font choices and astounding lack of fidgeting, you have a thing against sugar too?"

He honestly looks a little put out. Her stomach grumbles and she sighs. "Fine. Bring it on."

"Well, don't do me any favors," he says with a laugh, gesturing for her to precede him out into the living room. "Far be it from me to shove good ice cream and toppings down your throat."

"I'll shove something down your throat," she mutters to herself. His snort tells her that, as usual, her exhaustion has lowered her internal monitors.

He guides her to the island, his hand gentle and light on her back.

She sits and watches as he produces three pints of ice cream from the freezer, two disturbingly large bowls, and an entire box that looks like it's filled expressly with sundae toppings.

"Okay," he says, rubbing his hands together. "We've got chocolate chips, peanut butter cup bites, peanuts, sprinkles, snow caps, gummy bears, gummy worms, white chocolate shavings, heath bar bits, coconut shavings, brownie bites, and what look like malted milk balls. Huh, must be mother's."

Kate stares at him.

"What?"

"I—you keep all of that on hand?" she asks, watching with wide eyes as he doubles back into the fridge, returning with whipped cream and a jar of maraschino cherries.

"It's a sundae bar," he replies, like having Willy Wonka's reject toppings bin is completely normal. "You've got to be prepared."

"For the surprise diabetics anonymous meeting?"

He smirks. "Ah, but if they're the diabetics anonymous, why are they eating sundaes?"

She blinks. "Lent."

He stops short and lets out a loud laugh before reaching out and grabbing an ice cream scoop.

"Pick your poison. Ladies' choice," he says with a flourish, pulling off the tops of the pints. "Chocolate, vanilla, and cookie dough."

"Oh, God, just vanilla."

"Boring," he mutters, but valiantly goes ahead, scooping four massive scoops into her bowl. When she tries to protest he gives her a look more serious than anything she's seen so far.

"Thank you," she capitulates, taking the bowl from him.

He nods then rests his elbows on the counter as she reaches out for the toppings.

"What?" she asks, her hand stalled over the snow caps, feeling suddenly insecure, like this is some sort of test or something.

"Nothing," he says, raising a shoulder. "Go on."

She narrows her eyes at him, but he simply gives her an innocent smile. Fine. Fine, he wants to see what she'll eat? She can be ridiculous. She can be over the top, and "fresh," and "hip."

Gummy worms, snow caps, peanut butter cup bites, white chocolate shavings, and malted milk balls—that ought to—

"Where's the chocolate syrup?" she asks, looking up to find him watching her gleefully.

"What? Oh!" He spins around and procures a bottle of Hershey's syrup from the fridge. "My bad."

"The bad is yours, you mean," she mumbles as she pops the top and gives herself a liberal helping.

Good God. She hasn't eaten anything this vile and disgusting and awesome in—what was she the last time, twelve?

"The bad is mine?"

She looks up as she licks a bit of wayward syrup from her finger. His eyes darken a hair and she smirks, pulling it out of her mouth with a soft pop. "Your grammar," she offers.

"My what?"

Really, some chocolate syrup and the sundae of an unsupervised three-year-old. That's what does it for him.

"My Latin teacher used to make us say it. The grammatically correct version of

'my bad,' is 'the bad is mine.'" she explains with a shrug. "Spoon?"

"Right," he says, taking a moment before he grabs one and hands it to her.

Then he just stands there. "Aren't you going to make one for yourself?" she asks.

"Right!"

She settles down onto one of the stools and pulls the massive bowl over, taking a spoonful of ice cream, syrup, milk balls, chocolate shavings and one gummy worm. Oh, she is going to be so sick in the morning.

To her credit, however, Castle's sundae is quickly piling up with everything hers has, and more. Gummy bears on top of worms, chocolate chips and snow caps, five cherries, and—

"Hey!" she exclaims, spoon halfway to her mouth. "I didn't get any whipped cream."

"Sorry," he says immediately, leaning over to squirt some onto her ice cream. His finger slips and he manages to spray a long line over the counter before he gets to her bowl. "Whoops."

He bites his lips and carefully gives her a surprisingly respectable portion. "Sorry 'bout that."

"Don't' worry. I'm sure it happens to a lot of guys," she offers, scooping a little bit of cream onto her spoon before taking her first bite. "Oh my God," she mumbles as he glares at her. "That's—fantastic."

The glare flips to a grin and he beams at her, taking his own spoonful. He holds it out to her and waits until she takes another. "To a successful night's work."

"We barely managed to get a first chapter outline," she argues, holding her spoon back.

"Ah, but we managed a first chapter outline," he counters. "It's the little victories."

"Hardly a victory."

"Will you please toast with me? It's two in the morning, woman."

She gives him a look for 'woman.'

Then again, it is two in the morning, and she's honestly surprised they made it through as much as they did, really.

With a sigh, she reaches out and clinks over-laden spoons with him. "Fine, to an outline."

They each take a bite, letting out simultaneous groans.

"Was that so hard?" he asks cheekily, licking syrup from his spoon.

She rolls her eyes and takes another bite.

They didn't really get that much done. But, then again, if every session ends with this kind of treatment, she might be able to get used to writing with Richard Castle.

His eyes twinkle at her as she hums around her spoon.

Oh hell. She might actually be able to get used to writing with Richard Castle.