Thank you all so much for the wonderful feedback, and for the great ideas and great thoughts that I didn't even see! You are all awesome for taking the time to read my words, as well as taking the time to teach me :) Thank you again.

This is it, I believe. The final chapter. It incorporates some of Lucky Stiff and then goes its own way :) I've truly enjoyed writing it and discovering more about myself in the process. Reviews are always much appreciated. Thank you all again.


Castle had hounded her for days about what she would do if she won the lottery.

As Kate strummed her guitar, singing that ridiculous rap song she'd had stuck in her head, she thought about the case they had just wrapped up.

Beckett realized she had learned something very valuable about Castle, other than he could be incredibly stealthy.

Besides the occasional lingering glances, Kate wondered if anyone around the precinct had any idea that she'd spent every night in Castle's bed, writhing under him and moaning his name as he brought her endless satisfaction. Both Ryan and Esposito had mentioned the mark on Castle's throat, and Kate had felt the heat creeping into her neck when they noticed, but Castle brushed it off as research for Nikki Heat, wiggling his eyebrows in that ridiculous way. Kate's eyes had flashed to his, wondering if he was indeed going to use their coupling in his new novel of Kate Beckett's alter ego. It amazed her that the same hands that could write a best-selling novel were also the same hands that roamed over her skin at night, committing to memory every inch of her. Kate's bottom lip once again was a victim against her teeth as she bit down to keep herself from gasping even now, alone in her apartment, just at the mere idea of his hands on her.

Deciding to focus less on the physical aspect of Castle, Kate let her mind focus on his character. She'd often thought of Castle as man-child previously, never taking anything seriously. He'd shown her just how far he had come tonight with just a simple statement.

Money doesn't change who you are, it just magnifies your personality.

Kate smiled as she thought about repeating his words to Martha, using his words for comfort as she often did. Kate had seen conflict written all over Martha's face, and she had briefly questioned if her advice had helped. She thought about Castle, and how often his most unsolicited advice had frequently been the most helpful. She hoped that it had helped Martha decide what to do with the money she had inherited from Chet.

Kate wondered if Castle had any idea just how much she truly needed him; if he knew he brought happiness and joy and reassurance to her everyday life, long before their first night together. Since that night a week ago, Castle been a constant source of pleasure; not just in bed but in the waking up together and the small talk before they drifted off to sleep. She thought of how quickly she could get used to this need for him.

Beckett thought of the way his eyes as roamed over her at the club. Kate had worn the short dress hoping to draw Oz's attention, but the sight of Richard Castle practically leering at her almost caused her to forget why they were even there. She whispered breathily in his ear something about getting drinks and watching out for Oz, she remembered vaguely. What Beckett remembered most was making herself dance away from Rick, rather than jump back in the Ferrari and drag him into some dark secluded alley where she could push him against a brick wall and have her way with him. His blue eyes had darkened, and she knew he was thinking of ripping that dress off of her, regardless of where they were. Kate breathed out a moan in the quiet room; her body buzzing with want at just the thought of Castle claiming her body as his.

Kate sighed heavily, regretting her decision of telling Castle she would see him tomorrow. Kate had thought he could use a night with Alexis and Martha, and she was craving a nice long bubble bath and a glass of wine. Still…he was right; he was so much better that just about anything. How was he so frequently right when it came to the two of them?

Beckett let her mind replay their conversation as he left the precinct, nipping at her bottom lip as she thought about teasing him.

"Wait, you're giving up? No more questions about my innermost jackpot dreams?"

"You said you didn't have any."

She'd watched him go, wondering if he'd figure it out. She had thought about it, of course. Knew exactly what she would do if she won the lottery. It was a part of her, in everything she did. The buzzer at her front door sounded loudly throughout the apartment, pulling Beckett from her musings and guitar practice. She placed the guitar on the couch, opening the door with a flourish. Kate smiled softly at the sight of him, his blue shirt making his eyes seem brighter. Damn, he really was ruggedly handsome.

"Castle."

"I know what you would do if you won the lottery."

Castle didn't wait; he pushed the door open further and stepped into the apartment. Kate rolled her eyes and muttered

"By all means, please come in."

She shut the door and walked slowly towards him, swinging her arms by her sides. Castle watched her with a smug smile on his lips, wringing his hands together in front of his stomach.

"So what is your big insight into a financial decision that I will never have to make?"

Castle leaned towards her, his eyes narrowing slightly as he searched her face.

"You would use the money to honor your mother's legacy."

Kate felt the small smile slide off her face as she slid the tips of her fingers into her pants pockets. Castle's grin grew as he continued, obviously pleased with himself.

"On the way over here, I called the dean of your mom's old law school."

He took a few steps towards, keeping a respectful distance but closing the gap between them physically and emotionally. He smiled down at her tenderly as he said softly

"We talked about starting a scholarship in Johanna Beckett's name, one that would provide a full ride for a student planning to dedicate a career to those in the legal system without a voice. The kind of people your mom championed."

Kate swallowed the lump in her throat, her eyes searching his face - trying to give nothing away, trying to keep it together. Castle's eyes crinkled in the corners, his pleasure at his success pushing thoughts of Kate's inner turmoil away.

"And, with your blessing, I would like to host a fundraiser to fund it."

She blinked at him, the truth staring her in the face. She had seen it the first time they had made love, and she was seeing it again in Castle's actions. He loved her. Whether he admitted it or not, whether she was ready to fully accept it or not; Richard Castle loved her. Deciding she wasn't quite ready to dive into that, she opted for stern.

"You just can't stay out of my personal life, can you?"

She saw the flicker of hurt cross his face, saw the pain and insecurities that she was changing her mind about him, about them together. Kate quickly changed her course. She smiled softly at him and said gently

"Thank you. That's really sweet."

She heard the emotion in her voice and dropped her gaze, not ready for him to see her tears over this wonderful gesture he'd given her. With a flourish, he pulled a packet of papers out of his pocket, saying with a grin

"We definitely have to invite the mayor and all of his campaign contributors…"

He brushed past her and moved to sit at her dining room table. Kate laughed softly and turned, watching as he sat down and promptly began to rattle off names of people they needed to invite. Beckett moved to sit beside him, placing her leg underneath her and snuggling into his body. She wrapped her hand around his waist, halfheartedly listening to his excitement. Instead Kate let her eyes roam over Castle as she tried to process his actions. The knowledge that he had done it, all on his own, brought a fresh wave of tears to her eyes. Rick knew her. Despite her insistence that he didn't when they first met, Rick knew her. he Her fingers pressed into his back at the realization, needing to get closer to him. She felt his muscles rippling under the suit jacket he wore. He finally dropped his chin against her head and murmured

"Are you even listening to me?"

She shook her head, turning to bury her face in his chest. She breathed in his scent. His musky cologne that had lingered on her sheets after their first night together, the mint smell that meant he brushed his teeth before coming over. The unique smell of Castle; manly, hot, and delicious. Kate shifted so she could kiss his exposed chest where he'd (no doubt purposefully to drive her wild) left the top few buttons undone. She heard his intake of breath as his hand found her thigh. She whispered against his throat, her words reflecting her wonder

"I was too busy thinking about the magnitude of what you've done. Rick it's…everything."

She raised her eyes to his, hoping he could see what she wasn't quite ready to admit. Hoping he knew how much he meant to her. She leaned into him, kissing him gently. His hands found her waist and pulled her as close as he could, his tongue teasing her lips apart. Their kisses were lazy, both just enjoying the act of being together.

The need for air pulled them apart. Castle pressed his forehead to hers and she asked timidly

"Can you stay tonight?"

"I already told Mother and Alexis not to expect me until tomorrow after work. I'm glad I thought to bring that change of clothes the other day."

Kate laughed, but it was short-lived before Castle's lips found hers again. His hands roamed through her hair, letting it slide through his fingers. Kate sighed against him, feeling the recognizable burn beginning to build in her belly. She finally whispered against his lips, unwilling to be the one to pull away

"I was thinking a shower might be nice…want to join me?"

Castle leaned away just so he could wiggle his eyebrows at her. Kate laughed, standing up from the table and reaching for his hand. His engulfed hers. She thought about how it symbolized their relationship; he was always protecting her, showing his dominance by putting her first, making sure she was taken care of and okay before ever mentioning his own needs. The irony wasn't lost on her; she liked to think she ruled their relationship, but in truth Castle had more impact than he was aware of. She led him through the apartment, her back pressed against his chest as he walked with her. She felt the steady beat of his heart, letting it calm her racing emotions.

She started the water and turned to him. Castle reached for her, but Kate shook her head and slid his jacket off his shoulders. She kept her eyes trained on his as she expertly (she'd had lot of practice over the past few days) unbuttoned his shirt and let it pool at his feet. She reached for his belt and tugged it loose, unfastening and unzipping his pants. They dropped to his ankles; Castle finally broke their eye contact long enough to step out of the offending garment and push his boxers down to join the rest of his clothing. She smiled at him as she pulled her tee-shirt over her head, smirking as his eyes dropped down to her breasts. He shrugged helplessly and said

"I can't help it. They're just so perfect."

Kate laughed as he reached around her and again had no issue with her clasp. He dropped his lips to hers, his hands falling to her snap on her jeans. She wiggled her hips as he pushed them down, pulling her panties off with them. When she stood before him completely bare, Castle whistled low in his throat. Kate rolled her eyes, turning her attention to the water. Castle moved behind her, his large hand spanning over her stomach as he pulled her against him. His lips found her pulse, and he murmured against the tender skin of her neck

"Temperature just about right?"

Kate dropped her head back to his shoulder, giving him better access to her throat. He nipped lightly, his hand moving further down her body to slide through her downy curls. His tongue traced her ear as he whispered, his fingers barely grazing over her.

"You're so wet Kate. It's so hot to know how much you want this."

"I want you, Rick."

He groaned against her ear, his hand continuing to tease her. She finally forced herself to move, saying stubbornly,

"The water is going to get cold."

"I don't care."

She threw a look over her shoulder at him, and he grinned that jackass smile that always won her over.

"I thought you reserved those looks for the precinct, Beckett."

She ignored him, stepping into the tub and letting the water caress her skin. A cold shower might actually do us both some good, she thought with a smile. Castle stepped in behind her, gasping as the hot water found him. Beckett laughed, her eyes alight with mirth. He met her eyes and growled

"Think that's funny, huh?"

His hands found her waist and he turned them, her back now pressed against the wall of the shower. The spray pounded against his back, protecting Kate from the water but slicking his naked skin. She let her eyes rake over him, the desire evident in her gaze when her hazel eyes found his blue ones. Kate pushed his wet hair out of his face before his lips founds hers, all hints of teasing gone and in its place a growing sense of need. His tongue danced along hers and his knee slid between her legs. Beckett slid her hands over him, his wet body exciting her even more. He brought his lips to her ear and whispered seductively

"I can smell you. Even in the shower."

His hands moved from her waist to her breasts, drawing a strangled moan from Kate. He continued in the same voice, causing her arousal to spread like wildfire through every nerve of her body.

"It's intoxicating. The way you look. The way you smell. The way you taste."

He dropped to his knees in front of her. Kate pressed her head into the tiled bathroom wall as Castle's fingers continued to knead her breasts, tweaking the nipples into pebbled mounds. His breath washed over her, and Kate's moan ricocheted in the tiny bathroom. He pressed his lips to her, his gentle "mmmmm" of pleasure causing Kate to thrust her hips. He caught her in his hands as she pushed herself towards him and thrust his tongue into her, sucking her into his mouth. Kate gasped her pleasure, her hands sliding through Rick's hair and holding him to her. The beads of water rained down on them, and Castle took his time as he lapped at the drops of water and her. Kate gnawed at her bottom lip to no avail, her gratification too intense. She pushed her pelvis into his face, her head thrown back in pleasure as he brought her release, her mouth falling open in a silent scream. Castle rode the waves with her, his tongue and mouth bringing her down slowly. As Castle carefully stood, Kate pulled him against her. She pressed her forehead to his chest, the racing of his heart speaking of his own desire. She knew it turned Castle on to get her off, to bring her pleasure. It made him want her that much more, to know he could cause Kate "always in control" Beckett to lose it over him.

Castle placed his hand under her knee, drawing her attention to his eyes. She complied, lifting her leg and placing it on the side of the tub. She lowered her gaze as Castle positioned himself between her legs. She watched as he slowly slid into her, completely mesmerized by their joining together. He moaned into her wet hair, the strands plastered to her head. She kept her eyes focused on him until he was fully inside her. He leaned into her, pressing her further back into the wall.

The water had turned cold, but neither notice. She raised her eyes to his and kissed him passionately, the feel of him already igniting the fuse again that he'd already brought to a flame. He pulled out all the way before thrust into her hard, his eyes boring into hers. He didn't want slow, or tender. Kate saw the raw need he felt for her in his gaze, in the strain of his muscles as he held himself back from coming apart too fast. She found his clavicle and traced it with her tongue, smiling as he thrust into her more quickly, shortening his movements. He moved his hand and pressed a finger to her clit, rubbing gently. Kate moaned against his throat, saying

"Rick, I don't need…"

"You don't. I do. I need you with me."

He pressed his forehead against hers as he pushed himself inside her, his hand trapped between their bodies as he brought them to the edge of desire. He found her earlobe, biting gently before he whispered

"Let's dive into it together, Kate."

His words send her flying, her body quivering with pleasure. Rick quickly moved his hands and gripped her hips as he thrust into her firmly, grunting her name against her lips as his release took hold of him. Castle dropped his head to her shoulder, their breathing loud even over the sound of the water. Rick finally slid out of her and lowered her leg, his hands holding her waist as she stood on shaky legs. He breathed out a laugh.

"You were right, the water is cold. I was right, I don't care."

Kate chuckled with him, groaning as she forced her legs to move. She slid around him, turning the cold water all the way off. She faced him, her eyes lingering on his face. His hair was matted to his forehead, and his chin had that dark scruff she had come to adore. It added to the ruggedly handsome look. His breathing was shallow, trying to recover from their recent bout of lovemaking. She pulled him into the stream of water, murmuring

"We probably have time to clean up before we really run out of hot water. Hand me that soap."

They took turns washing each other. Kate marveled how the simple act could be so touching. His hands roaming over her, dipping into the hollow of her hips and spanning her waist as he rinsed the soap from her body. She let her hands linger on his chest and abs, watching as the soap ran down his legs.

When finally the water became too cold to bear, she leaned around the shower curtain and pointed to the laundry closest across the room.

"I'll get the water if you can grab some towels."

He nodded and stepped out of the tub. Kate let her eyes linger on his ass as he moved, and she couldn't stop the flicker of excitement that shot through her. Castle caught her looking.

"Eat your heart out, Detective. It's all for you."

She barked out a laugh before turning off the water, taking the towel he held out to her. They dried off, and Kate grabbed the blue dress shirt she'd taken off him earlier and slid her arms into it. It smelled like him, she thought with a smile. Kate buttoned the first couple of buttons as she walked through the room, grabbing a clean pair of underwear from the drawer. Glancing over her shoulder, she saw Castle standing in the doorway clad in nothing but his boxers.

If someone had told her two weeks ago that she'd be seeing Castle in his Avenger boxers after they'd just had (what she hoped he would call) incredibly hot sex, Kate would have laughed. Now, she felt her pulse quicken as she realized it was what she really wanted.

Kate grabbed her copy of Heat Wave, rolling her eyes at him like it was a chore to read the book. He raised his eyebrows but didn't move, watching her every movement. She moved the covers back and slid into bed, saying offhandedly

"How about a bed time story?"

Rick quickly crossed the room and crawled under the covers, pulling her flush against him. He dropped his head and whispered against her ear

"I always pictured you reading my book in bed."

"Don't get used to it."

Castle's wonderful laugh sounded throughout the apartment before Kate silenced him with a kiss. As she opened the book, Kate couldn't stop the smile that landed on her lips. Three years ago, he'd started a book about them. Nikki and Rook. Beckett turned her eyes to Castle's and saw her own thoughts reflected back at her.

Kate and Rick. They were here. They were together. At last.