Sleeping without Rick beside her had become quite difficult for Kate. She'd gotten used to his warmth beside, behind, beneath or sometimes over her. After a hard day, it helped to calm her. Listening to his breathing even out as he went to sleep before her some nights was soothing. So, there was really no need for an alarm this particular day, when he hadn't been beside her all night, she'd barely slept at all and felt like she'd been awake all night. She couldn't believe how much she missed him when she'd seen him less than 12 hours ago and spoke to him on the phone about 8 hours ago. Thankfully, it would just be a few hours until she would see him again, and she couldn't wait. She wasn't sure whether she should be nervous or excited about the day that was ahead of them but she knew, nervous or not, it was going to be amazing. She couldn't wait to see the look on his face as she walked toward him, dressed in white, with her father at her side. She knew, without a doubt, that he was probably going to have tears in his eyes, although she expected that she would have more. It was going to be a memorable day for both of them.

It was almost unbelievable to think of everything that had happened over the past year. Everything had changed, it was like her whole life had become a fairy tale, and sometimes she still expected that one day she would wake up to find that it was all a dream.

It was exactly one year ago, when Kate started a new journey, when things started turning around for her, when she started believing in a future. It was exactly one year ago since she met Richard Castle.

She laughed when she thought about their initial discussions about their relationship and saying they would take it slow, take it at her pace. Back when it all began she hadn't expected this day to be here quite so soon. She didn't think her pace would have allowed that but somehow, every step they took felt right, and then when he had proposed, she didn't hesistate in saying yes. And now, only a year after meeting, she was going to be walking down the aisle.

She thought back to the day about 6 months ago when Rick asked her to be his wife. It was a beautiful day. They had celebrated the end of her probationary training period as a detective with Blythe and the other detectives the night before and had probably had a little more to drink than normal but in the morning Rick was up before the sun and eager to start the day. They were taking a few days off to go visit the Hamptons house again, their first trip back since they had been with their families, and Rick had even arranged for Martha to watch Alexis for a few days so they could have some time to themselves. Rick told Kate he had big plans and she was going to love it, but after their late night she still took her time getting out of bed.

The first place he had taken her to was the rehabilitation centre. She'd asked if he was trying to make some sort of joke, but he wasn't. He'd arrange a nice brunch for them and said it was the place where changes in his life started and it was always going to hold a special place in his heart because it was the place where they first started their relationship. Kate had tried to argue that it didn't start there, it wasn't until they were in the Hamptons but Rick simply corrected her by saying that the Hamptons wouldn't have happened if they hadn't have bumped into each other at the centre.

After brunch he had taken her up to the Hamptons but much to her surprise, they didn't go to the house. First, he took her to the museum they had visited, and together they remembered how Jim had been with Alexis that day and how it was a real bonding moment, and the moment Rick first realised just how much of a family they had already become.

After visiting the museum they had gone to the theatre where they had watched grease. Rick reminded Kate of their time there, the fun they'd had and told her it was the first time he'd heard her sing and he realised how beautiful her voice was. It was Kate that then remembered the argument that evening, but Rick that also said that it was that argument that made them talk things through. It was that argument that made them find their way towards the path that joined them to each other.

Once they'd left the theatre, Rick took Kate to the beach cove where their first relationship discussion had taken place and no words had been needed when they got there. The memories of that night, the beautiful view as the sun went down over the water, the promises that had been made but not actually spoken, it was the beginning of their being together.

Kate had enjoyed the trip down memory lane, but even up to that point hadn't figured out what Rick was up to. The next place he took her was the aquarium. That was a place that was definitely filled with good memories. They both knew from their previous discussion that this was the place they realised they were falling in love with one another. Rick had taken her straight to the penguins and Kate had found it odd that there was no one else around, but didn't question it. It wasn't long before she realised, it was because Rick had organised it. They stood in front of the glass of the penguins enclosure watching as the penguins swam past, Rick was naming the penguins like Kate had done with Alexis, when suddenly at the back of the penguin enclosure a tv screen was rolled into place. The speakers began to play 'My Endless Love' as pictures of Kate and Rick were shown on the television screen.

"What's going on?" Kate asked turning to face Rick who reached out for both of her hands. "Rick? Wha…"

"Kate, I'm a man of words but, when it comes to you, I'm speechless. There's simply not enough words to describe everything that I feel for you and everything you do for me. Because I can't say it in words, I'd like to show you every day for the rest of my life, if you would allow me to. Katherine Houghton Beckett, will you marry me?"

It was almost impossible to forget the look on his face as he had knelt done in front of her as he took out a small box with a ring inside. Kate had never seen him looking so nervous, his hands were shaking as he held out the ring towards her.

Of course, she had said yes and started crying right then and there but Rick was quick to stand and wrap her in his arms. She was pretty sure he almost dropped the ring on the floor due to his excitement but he would never admit to it. He said he was in total control and had everything in order, including his ability to hold a ring no matter how excited he had gotten.

When they arrived back at the Hamptons house about an hour after his proposal, they were met by all their family and friends who were there to congratulate them. Kate had been extremely surprised to see them. Apparently, Rick had been working on things for about a month before his proposal, and when Kate had asked him what he would have done if she said no, he simply told her he knew that wasn't going to happen, once again proving his absolute faith in their relationship.

A few weeks later he started joining Kate at the precinct more often, helping out with cases and within a couple of months managed to find himself a place on the team as Kate's partner. He wasn't technically employed by the city but was constantly there, helping them link together all their facts and finding the story in each of their cases. Kate hated to admit it at first, but she did actually believe she had the best partner possible. And now here she was, about to marry him.

Back at the loft, Rick was frantically running around while Martha and Alexis just stood laughing at him.

"Trust me Richard. I'm fairy certain Kate is not behaving this way over at Lanie's," Martha said.

"Mother, you don't understand. This is the day. I only get this day once, it has to be perfect," he said.

"Well, as much as I wish I could help you freak out, I promised Kate that I would have Alexis to her by 10am so she could get her hair done."

"Do you have her dress?" Rick asked running past from the kitchen into the lounge room for no apparent reason.

"Kate has it."

"Oh," Rick said stopping for a brief second. "Shoes?" he asked.

"Kate has them."

"Food, does she have food? The ceremony isn't until 12:30. I don't want Alexis to get hungry."

"Seriously Richard? You need to sit down, take a few deep breaths and calm down. I'm sure the ladies will feed Alexis."

"Dad," Alexis said running to catch up to him and took his hand in hers. "Come sit down."

Rick did as he was told and sat down on the couch next to his daughter.

Alexis turned to face her father before she spoke. "Dad, you need to calm down or you're going to make things extremely difficult for yourself. Today is going to be great. You've planned everything perfectly, there's nothing to worry about. I'm going to go with the ladies, they will have everything for me, so you don't need to even think about whether I'm okay. I want you to just focus on yourself for the next few hours. Take some deep breaths and just relax. I'll see you in a few hours."

"Right. Okay. Thank you Alexis. What would I do without you?"

"Well, without me, you might never have met Kate, and you probably wouldn't be getting married today. So, you'd be pretty lost and lonely without me."

Rick pulled his daughter into his arms. "You're right. Thank you Alexis. Thank you."

"Now, I'm going to go to meet Kate, get my dress and get ready. I'll see you soon."

Rick kissed Alexis's head before letting her go. "You're going to look like a princess."

"I know," she giggled. "I'm really excited. You and Kate are finally getting married!"

A few hours later, Rick was standing before his friends and family, waiting for Kate to enter through the back doors towards him. He was struggling to stand still and found himself swaying back and forth on his feet while he fiddled with his hands and Captain Montgomery stood beside him trying to calm him down.

After joining the team at the precinct, Rick and Captain Montgomery had become good friends and often played poker together. Occasionally Rick and Kate had invited his entire family over for dinner with them. Montgomery was a great support to Kate at work and always encouraged her so when it came to the wedding, Rick felt it was the right choice to include him and asked him to be his best man.

When the back doors opened, everybody in the room stood up and faced the aisle waiting for the ladies to walk down. Rick stood upright, suddenly unable to move, his feet glued to the floor beneath him and his eyes stared at the doors, now open at the back of the room.

Soon the music started playing and he saw his young daughter walking down the aisle. Alexis had been so excited when Kate asked her to be a bridesmaid, but then that excitement was followed with worry when she thought she was too young, but Kate had known just the right words to reassure Alexis and the excitement had come back fairly quickly. Rick watched as she made her way towards him, with a smile bigger than he had ever seen before. After divorcing Meredith, he had worried about how Alexis would react if he ever married again, but he knew he really had nothing to worry about. Kate and his daughter had become close. They were like mother and daughter but best friends at the same time. It was better than he ever could have imagined.

Following Alexis was Lanie, who looked gorgeous. Rick was surprised at how they had managed to find dresses that suited both Lanie and Alexis with them both being so different. Their skin tone and hair colour were both so different but the dresses they had chosen worked on both of them. He guessed his mother had probably helped them. She was somewhat flamboyant with her own outfits, but she did know a lot about choosing the right dress for your skin tone and hair colour.

Next came the woman that he had been waiting for. Kate appeared through the door standing next to her father. She had chosen to wear a veil, which meant he was unable to clearly see her face, but he could see that she was smiling, and he knew her eyes were gazing back at him. It took everything he had within him, not to run up to her and take her in his arms right then and there, but he knew soon enough she would be with him again, and then he was never going to let her go.

When she reached the front, her father lifted the veil from her face and joined her hands with Ricks giving him a quick smile. Rick briefly smiled back at Jim before his eyes returned to Kate. There were tears filling in her eyes and he knew they were gathering in his own, he wanted to much to reach out and just wipe them away as they fell down her cheeks but soon the priest started talking and they were turned to face him, rather than each other.

Rick didn't let go of Kate's hand the entire time, and occasionally would look to her in his peripheral vision. Every now and then he could see Kate do the same, and each time they caught each other, it made them smile a little more.

What was probably only a few minutes felt like forever to both Kate and Rick who really just wanted to get to the vows and the putting on of rings. They just wanted to be married. Eventually, they got to that part they were waiting for and once again, they were facing each other, both hands clasped together.

The priest continued, "Do you, Richard Edgar Castle, take Katherine Houghton Beckett, to be your lawful wedded wife, to have and to hold from this day on, for better or worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, as long as you both shall live?"

"I do," Rick responded with a teary smile.

"And do you, Katherine Houghton Beckett, take Richard Edgar Castle, to be your lawful wedded husband, to have and to hold from this day on, for better or worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, as long as you both shall live?"

Kate nodded, almost unable to get any words out. She swallowed the lump that was in her throat and managed to get a very quiet "I do" from her mouth.

Rick lifted both their joined hands to her face and gently brushed the tears away before they got into their vows. They had chosen to write their own, but now that it came to that part of the wedding, Kate wasn't even sure she was going to be able to say any of it without falling apart. It wouldn't be falling apart in a bad way, but she would really like to at least get a few words out before her emotions took her captive.

The first vows to be spoken were from Rick. "Kate," he started. "My Kate. There are so many things I could say, so many promises I could make to you right now, but if I listed them all we'd be here forever, and I really just want to be married to you, like yesterday." Kate giggled a little at him before he continued. "I will make one promise to you now though, and that Kate, is that I will spend the rest of my life making promises to you. I will spend the rest of my life showing you how much I love you now and forever."

Kate's emotions were beginning to reach the point of uncontrollable, so when it came to saying her vows, she kept it simple, knowing she could promise Rick everything in the world, but there was just one thing she really needed to say.

"Rick, I love you, for now and for always."

When the priest announced it was time to kiss the bride, Rick didn't waste any time in reaching for his wife and planting a kiss to her lips. He didn't care about who was watching, all he cared about was Kate, and so he put everything he had into that kiss leaving the both of them breathless, and a little shaky.

As they walked back down the aisle, now married, Rick knew his family was complete again. It had been for a while, but now it was official. There were wedding certificates and rings to prove it.

Kate looked over to the man beside her, and knew that Alexis was following, and her father and Martha wouldn't be far behind. She had a family again. It was a real family, full of love, support and care. A day like this made her miss her own mother, but Martha had stepped in and played the part well. This was definitely a family she was never going to leave.

She looked down at her stomach and then up at Rick whose smile never faltered. She couldn't wait to tell him that in about 8 months time, another member was going to be added to their little family.

Okay, I thought I'd made you all wait long enough before posting this. I actually didn't plan on it taking this long but life kinda got REEEEEEEEEALLY busy. So I just decided tonight that I would stay up and write until it was done. I haven't really edited it properly and kinda just went with whatever my fingers typed so I hope it all made sense.

Now it's time for me to sleep again before I start writing a new story. Oh... and it's less than 2 weeks til season 6 starts.. SOOOOOOOO EXCITED!