Episode tag for Cops & Robbers. Based off of the spoiler that a certain red wine gets a certain detective in a certain mood. Just go with it. I usually do.


Kate's decided that the universe hates her just a little bit today. Maybe more than just a little.

It's not enough that today was quite possibly the most terrifying day she's experienced since she got shot. It's not enough that her heart, mind, and body have been at war with each other since she found Castle safe and sound in the bank vault. She's 99% positive that she would have kissed him had Martha not spoken up (she won't say interrupted...she won't).

No. On top of all that, Castle just so happens to be plying her with her favorite red wine (okay, so plying might be a bit of an overstatement...he's actually only refilled her glass twice). And for most people, that wouldn't be a problem. But it is for Kate.

It's a problem because this wine does something to her. It sends fire through her blood in a slow burn. It strips away all her inhibitions. It convinces her practical, logical brain to hand the reins over to a part of her that she really can't afford to have in control right now.

Because she's already come this close to caving today. Her head is already full of ideas; stupid, wonderful, awful ideas that involve kissing Castle senseless and not going home alone (or not going home at all). But there's a very small part of her that's still thinking clearly, that knows how bad of an idea it would be for her to jump into a relationship with Castle when she's still so hopelessly broken.

So, when Castle offers her another refill, she declines with a small shake of her head. "I should probably call it a night," she says, ignoring the cries of protest from every illogical part of her. "Long day, y'know," she adds with a smile because of course he knows. He lived it too.

"Yeah, of course," he replies, nodding. "I should, uh, probably do the same." There's a moment of charged silence. "Do you, um...can I give you a ride home?"

Kate has to force herself to shake her head. "That's sweet, Castle, but I can just catch a cab. Besides," she adds, "you probably need the rest more than I do, so..."

She sets her empty wineglass on the counter, grabs her purse, and heads for the door. She knows without looking that Castle's trailing after her. She pauses at the door, turns to face him. "Night, Castle," she murmurs, barely resisting the urge to kiss him goodnight.

He's looking at her like he wants to kiss her too, and that thought sets off butterflies in her stomach. But he just takes her hand for a moment, squeezing it gently before letting go. His smile is tired, but it still manages to reach his eyes. "Sweet dreams, Kate."