Normally, I would publish this as a chapter in Too Many Ways but at lv2bnsb1's request - and with the gentle encouragement of Jareya - to have the "Pros and Cons" scenario from How Many Ways to Say I Love You posted as a separate one-shot, here we are. This is a follow-on, not a repeat; though I have recapped quite a lot of it for people who don't follow the series. This is also a little cleaner - hopefully (by cleaner, I mean spelling and grammar. In terms of content it's probably a little dirtier but I would still classify it as T. I know I rated the other one M. I'm confusing - I guess because this one doesn't have the naughty touching. But the dialogue is way dirtier in my opinion).
He jumped, looking up from the computer to see Beckett with her arms folded, glaring at him. He wasn't sure if he was imagining it but it looked like she was trying not to smile.
"Uh..." he stammered, rising to his feet. "It's exactly what it looks like."
"Castle, when your laptop died, I said you could borrow my computer, not read my stuff!"
"Yeah, well I was saving something to my USB... then I figured I should back it up on your hard-drive just in case and I saw my name and I just... couldn't resist.
It hadn't been his imagination.
She smiled warmly at him.
"It's ok," she said, putting her arms around him. "That list was just this silly way to try to rationalise my feelings for you."
"Your feelings for me?"
"Ok, I'll admit I found you attractive in the beginning- but it wasn't until later that I developed real feelings for you and I was trying to find a logical solution but... relationships aren't a mathematical equation."
"Well, I think I liked your solution: showing up at my place and jumping my bones."
"Mmm, I liked that one too," she said against his lips as she pulled him in for a soft, warm kiss, leading him towards the bed as they broke off.
"So," she said as she pushed him backwards, straddling him, "what were you up to? I've got the list committed to memory if you wanna hear the rest."
"I... believe I was up to 'pro: He went to all that trouble to get that poster signed for me'."
Beckett, paused, staring at him.
"Yeah, I am," he admitted.
A few hours later, Beckett awoke, sweaty, naked, sore and satisfied to see Castle, bear and unashamed, printing something off of her computer.
"What? You said you'd give me the rest of the list. I figured you could read it to me. From the beginning," he said, bringing the printed pages over and sitting back next to her.
"But... Castle, I told you, I have it memorised."
"This is more romantic."
Beckett shook her head in amused exasperation.
"Ok, Castle, if that's what you want."
He kissed her in gratitude.
"Ok, start when you're ready," he said in excitement.
She rolled her eyes.
"Ok. Pro - "
"You have to start with the title."
"Richard Castle: Pros and Cons. Pro: He is my favourite Author..."
"Ha! You admitted it - and it's right there, in writing; you can't take it back."
"Castle, I don't need to take it down. I'm ok with you knowing that at one point in my life I was really into your books. But it's not like you have such a high regard for my taste."
"You have excellent taste with only a few unfortunate exceptions."
"Like your books."
"No! I - Kate," he whined, "don't ruin this for me."
"Con: I'm not interested in a one-night stand; and that's all it would be.
Pro: He's a good and loving father.
Con: He's a sleaze-bag.
Pro: He's smart.
Con: He's an idiot
Pro: He notices things about me no one else bothers to see.
Con: He's intrusive and nosey
Pro: His Coffee Machine is awesome.
Con: He enlisted outside help without authorisation..."
"When was that?"
"Remember the carpet you sent to your interior decorator; the one you slept with?"
"Not my finest moment, I'll admit."
"Hey, it was helpful to the case."
"It was a red herring."
"Still, it put us in the right direction towards solving it."
"Ok, ok, you're right; I'm amazing."
"I didn't say - "
"Pro: He's good at thinking on his feet and improvisation.
Con: He's reckless
Pro: He's not a terrible dancer
Con: They call him the white whale. Ew.
Pro: He was nice enough to let me win.
Con: He's so patronising he let me win..."
"The Poker game, right?"
"But... you let me win the re-match."
"I wrote this before that."
"Still, that's hypocritical."
"Castle, it was four years ago."
"Pro: He knows how I like my Coffee.
Con: He's immature
Pro: He called me extraordinary
Con: He investigated my mother's case behind my back
Pro: He looks ok in brown
Con: He broke my trust..."
"Yeah, why don't you wear that jacket anymore? I liked it."
"Uh... well it's a little small on me now," he said bashfully.
"So buy a new one," she shrugged.
"There aren't... any in my size."
"Well, you're rich. Get one tailor-made."
She put the list down and started to lick his chest.
She grinned, her hands mapping his body.
"I liked that jacket, Castle, but this is by far my favourite look on you. Every inch of you is a turn-on."
"I have gained a few - "
"I don't care. You're beautiful."
She couldn't say that to a lot of men without bruising their egos - and Richard Castle had an ego that was easily bruised - but he was also a writer. He understood language, and the true meaning of that word, and rather than being offended, it touched his heart.
She started to make her way down his body.
"Ahh, Kate, you promised."
She stopped, sighed reluctantly and sat back up next to him, resuming the list-reading.
"Pro: The way he looks at me with those intense blue eyes like he can see into my soul..."
"Ok, ok. Moving on.
"Con: He is self-centred
Pro: His stubble ..."
"Want me to shave less, Kate?"
"It was nice to look at from afar, Castle, but I don't want stubble rash."
"Why not? I don't mind it."
"What do you - ? Oh, Gross, Castle!" She hit him playfully with the paper. "Besides which, you know very well I keep myself well-groomed down there."
"Yes, you are very considerate in general. However, there have been times you've let yourself go in that department and I didn't mind - on the contrary, it was a bit of a turn on - "
"I'm just gonna keep reading, ok?"
"Fine with me."
"Con: He's writing a stupid book about me without my
"That was before I'd read it."
"But still, without your permission - "
"Oh, I'm over that now, Castle. Obviously, I'm glad you wrote the Nikki Heat Books. It's what lead to all this. It's what led to us." She cleared her throat awkwardly. "So, anyway...
"Pro: He apologised. Con: I'm scared.
Pro: He meant it.
Con: He places bets on murder investigations..."
"If I recall, you were in on that bet."
"Yeah, well, I wrote that first."
"That's getting to be a flimsy excuse, Kate."
"Pro: I'm not ready for him to leave yet.
Con: He wrote a sex scene between characters based on us.
Pro: We make a great team.
Con: I don't want that to end. Dating him would mean no longer letting him shadow me..."
"I don't know; I think Montgomery would have been cool about it," said Castle."Well, he was a cool guy," she smiled sadly, "but we might have still had to keep it secret.
"Pro: He's sweet when he wants to be.
Con: He's too trusting
Pro: That sex scene was pretty hot..."
"I knew you got off on it!"
"Ew! I did not get off on it. I just... enjoyed reading it."
"Oh, no, not 'ew' to the scene, just... I don't get off to books. I don't want to ruin the pages. Besides, that scene was enough to rev the engine, but I had to create my own narrative to... bring it into first gear."
Castle's breathing faltered.
"You mean, you...?"
She grinned, nodding.
"Oh, that counts, that totally counts."
"Yes, well, on with the show.
"Con: Maybe he's still hung up on his ex-girlfriend.
Pro: He seems to know the boundaries now and is starting to respect them.
Con: He kissed an engaged woman..."
"Yeah, I'm not proud of that."
"It's ok, Castle. You didn't know if Greg was guilty - "
"Exactly; I didn't know. Kate, I'm glad we didn't get together then. I wasn't the man you needed me to be, the man you deserved. I was getting there, but - "
"Castle, you often put your heart before your head. It's one of the things I love most about you, but... it does tend to get you into trouble. You did the right thing in the end. I don't know what exactly you said to Kyra other than showing her the tape, but I got the impression..."
"Guess I'm not the only nosey one in the relationship."
"I didn't mean to; but my desk was on the other side of the glass; I couldn't help noticing..."
"I told her Greg was a good, honourable man who loved her. She said she loved him, too. We said our goodbyes, promised to think about each other once in a while... and that was that. Ok, your turn."
"I know she said something to you; like you said, you were right there on the other side."
"But... you weren't looking at me."
"I noticed through the corner of my eye. So... what did she say about me?"
She considered him for a moment.
"Ugh, I don't know Castle, it sounds so weird now."
"Ok. " She laughed nervously. "She said... 'He's all yours.'
Castle looked positively gleeful.
"What?!" he feigned outrage. "I'm not a piece of meat to be passed around from lioness to lioness."
"As much as you wish you were."
"Pro: He's willing to see the good in people.
Con: He's always messing with my chair.
Pro: He raised Alexis."
They shared a meaningful look at this.
"Con: I chose his life over my mother's case. I think I'm starting to care about him too much..."
"Kate, you were doing your job. If it was any other civilian - "
"I might have hesitated," she admitted. "I... needed him alive, Castle. He knew about Bracken; he might have even had the evidence I needed to take him down. It all happened so fast and if I hadn't acted when I did, I might have gotten the answers I was after. But because it was you... It was pure instinct Castle. I couldn't let him..."
He kissed her neck softly, holding her hand.
"We can stop, if you want."
"No. No, I... I wanna keep going.
"Pro: He's not just doing this out of the fun of it any more. He really cares.
Con: Our partnership must not mean so much to him with all the time he's been spending building theory with Jordan Shaw..."
"I knew you were jealous."
"I was not jealous. I liked Jordan. I was just... contemplating."
"Yeah, contemplating our partnership, us, what it meant, because up until then I could tell myself it was just about solving the murders, the back and forth, but you had that with Jordan, it was so easy... and I realised that what we had went deeper than that and I... wasn't ready to face it.
"Pro: He's Capable of having a real relationship with a three-dimensional equal .
Con: He is an ass.
Pro: The lengths he was willing to go to in order to help me solve my mother's case.
Con: He's obviously not interested in a relationship with me if he's still sleeping with bimbo actresses..."
"It took me a while to realise I couldn't pursue you and sleep with other women at the same time - as fun as that was."
She glared at him.
"What? I'm just being honest. I thought Ellie liked me, she was fun, no-strings-attached and I knew with you there would be strings. I was ready for the strings, I was just..."
"Yeah. Well... yeah. It's scary when it's The Real Deal."
She smiled at his words.
"Pro: He makes me look forward to coming into work because having him around makes things a little more fun.
Con: I can't risk my heart with him when he's thrown out too many warning signs for me to not think he'll eventually let me down...
"For the record, you haven't."
"Good to know," he said warmly.
"Pro: Sometimes, as much as I'd rather ignore it, I can't stop myself thinking that we fit.
Con: He broke my heart."
There was an uncomfortable mood shift in the room.
"I was wondering about that when I read it before. What did you mean, Kate?"
She avoided his gaze. Taking a deep breath, she finally met his eyes, trying to find the best way to answer.
Cliffhanger! Sorry, this was supposed to be a one-shot but ended up going longer than I'd thought. I'm not sure how many chapters it'll be all together. Two, probably. Three, tops.
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