Hello all! I saw this idea on Castlefanficprompts on tumblr and decided to run with it, so thanks for the wonderful idea whoever submitted the prompt:) Set right after 3x19 Law and Murder and the Forbidden Planet evening and possibly going for a bit. Will be AU in the coming chapters :)

I own nothing except the words below. Andrew Marlowe and the creative geniuses of Castle deserve all the credit.

Reviews are much appreciated.

"I was thinking of sneaking off to the Angelica. Forbidden Planet's playing."

Richard Castle already thought Kate Beckett was amazing. Three years shadowing her had done nothing but confirm how extraordinary she was. Hearing her say she wanted to see Forbidden Planet? That just confirmed how perfect she was for him. He forced himself to keep his face neutral, playing it cool.

"Forbidden Planet? Is that the one with the robots?"

Beckett stopped midway through grabbing her coat. The always logical detective looked at him in awe for a moment, unsure of whether to believe him or not. Castle just stared at her, hoping his mother had been wrong all the times she told him he couldn't act.

"You've never seen Forbidden Planet?"

Castle could hear the shock in her voice and he was determined to play it out. Hey, can't blame a guy for trying. Let's see how it goes. He shrugged as he shifted the coat in his arms, letting his eyes linger on Beckett's for a minute before answering

"More of a Star Wars/Matrix guy myself."
"Oh my gosh, Castle. This is the movie that inspired those two. That's it; I'm taking you, my treat."

He felt his pulse quicken at the thought of spending an entire evening alone in the company of Kate. Deciding to push his luck, see how serious she was, Castle said flippantly

"Oh no. No I have plans."

"No, not anymore."

As she leaned down to get the rest of her belongings, Castle couldn't stop the smirk that spread across his face. Forbidden Planet with Beckett? Castle couldn't imagine a more perfect evening. Unless maybe it involves a taking Kate Beckett home with me. He watched her as she gathered her things, admiring the grace with which she moved. Tall and lithe, Kate Beckett oozed sex appeal. He masked his thoughts quickly as she stood back up, smiling brilliantly at him. They walked towards the elevator as Castle asked

"Alright, well, can I have candy and popcorn?"

"Sure. Oh Castle you're going to love this. This was Leslie Neilsen before he became a comic genius."

He smiled briefly as he thought about saying similar words to Alexis just a few mornings ago. Seeing this fan-girl side to Beckett brought another smile to Castle's lips.



He cast a glance her way, asking eagerly as they made their way out of the precinct, their home away from home

"Can we stop at Remy's for burgers after?"

"Now you're pushing it."

He followed her into the elevator, listening to her excitedly explain the plot to a move he'd seen probably 100 times. Castle clinched his fists in his pockets, forcing himself to keep from reaching for her hand. She talked animatedly, drawing another smile from Castle. Beckett, ever perceptive, cocked her head at him and asked sternly

"What are you smirking about?"

"Me, smirk? Why Beckett, you wound me."

She rolled her eyes and he just shrugged, his shoulders rolling back in his jacket. Castle saw her glance at him out of the corner of his eye, her eyebrow quirked as she waited for his truthful answer.

"I'm just excited, this movie sounds great. Right up my alley."

"I'm so surprised you haven't seen it."

They talked casually as they walked out of the door, their relationship and friendship easy now. While Castle had come to accept that he wanted more, for tonight he would settle being her friend. As they maneuvered their way through the hoards of people on a New York Friday night, Beckett cleared her throat and asked quietly

"So is everything okay with Alexis?"

Castle turned to look at her. She kept her eyes on the sidewalk in front of them but said gently, knowing she had his attention

"It seems like things turned out okay."

"I just hate she lied to me. She's supposed to be able to come to me for stuff."
"Rick…" He felt his heart race when she used his first name. "She's a teenage girl. She's not always going to be the most forthcoming. Sometimes she has to figure things out on her own and then come to you later. She doesn't want to disappoint you."

"There's nothing she could do that would disappoint me."

Kate raised her eyebrows. Castle sighed heavily and admitted to the shops they were passing, turning his eyes from her. He didn't like to admit that Beckett was right.

"Okay, maybe you're right. I was pretty upset today. And she did the right thing, and she fixed what happened. I just worry about her."

"She's a great kid, Castle. Just give her some space. And don't ever do anything like that again. Alexis deserves better than you checking up on her. Plus, you're better than that. I know you worry about her, but you're a fantastic dad and she's really lucky to have you."

Castle stopped and stared at her, the full force of his feelings hitting him once again. He'd been lying to himself earlier about settling for just friendship. There was no denying he was in love with Kate Beckett. Hearing her talking about him being a good dad; it fueled his desire to be more for her. To be the best he could be. Then maybe she'd see Dr. Motorcycle Boy wasn't all he was cracked up to be, that she could have someone who wanted to be there for her and make it work and be the best version of himself for her. Kate touched his arm gently and said

"Hey, Castle. You okay?"

"Yeah, I'm good. I was just thinking about…"
She raised her eyebrows, waiting for him to continue. Castle sighed and said softly, unable to say anything else but the truth.

"Thank you. It means a lot."

Kate nudged him with her shoulder, smiling up at him. Castle felt the familiar swooping sensation that he'd come to associate with any time Kate touched him. They continued on their trek a few blocks before Castle finally asked somewhat reluctantly

"So how are things with Josh?"

He heard the small sigh that escaped her lips. He let his eyes linger on her as they walked, side by side. She was beautiful, of course. Her hair framed her face-honey colored, long, and luxurious. Castle could picture running his fingers through it as they curled on up on the couch after a long day at the precinct. If only that was his life. He noticed the tension caused her shoulders to hunch. Castle pushed away the desire to reach for her, comfort her. He hated seeing that side to Kate-the side that said it was too much to bear, the part she kept hidden away from anyone except him. Kate finally shook her head, pushing her hair out of her face.

"Things are."

"That doesn't sound too promising."

"It's no big deal."

They walked in silence, both lost in their own thoughts. Finally, without preamble, Kate unloaded.

"I thought this was what I wanted, Castle. He's easy, you know? He doesn't expect too much and with my job I just thought it was better to date someone really busy too. But then eventually it catches up to you, you know? And then after we…well when I decided to give it a shot a few weeks ago, I thought it was what I wanted. Well I just want someone who is there. Someone who wants to-"

Beckett trailed off. They stood in front of the Angelica, mingling amongst the crowds. She turned her whole body towards Castle, meeting his eyes. How quickly he could get lost in her. Her eyes, the flecks of brown that mingled with the green. The way her chin tilted up in defiance. The way she pushed her hair behind her ear, giving her that extra second to collect her thoughts. Her stature, confident and sexy. Castle could spend all evening looking at her, talking to her, and it still wouldn't be long enough.

He knew she was going to say something about them being locked in the freezer together, and still choosing to go back to Josh. Castle held his breath, his tension providing armor around his heart from her words. Kate surprised him, however, as she frequently did. She was a mystery to him in so many ways, one that Castle was quickly realizing he was never going to solve. She smiled brilliantly up at him and finally finished lamely

"Someone who wants to see Forbidden Planet with me."

The air burned with her admission. Castle kept his eyes trained on her, and had to hold back a moan when she snuck that bottom lip she loved to nip on between her teeth. How he'd love to run his tongue along it, soothing the bite marks. He finally forced himself to look away from her. Castle turned to the movie complex and spread his arms out wide, saying boldly

"Well, here we are. You said popcorn and candy."

She graced him with an eye roll and Castle once again marveled over the fact that even when she was annoyed, Kate Beckett was the most stunningly beautiful woman he had ever known. He followed her through the doors of the theater, watching her walk with confidence. How did she not realize how wonderful she was? How did she not see she deserved better than that jerk that didn't notice her?

As they stood in line for tickets, Castle thought of everything they had been through in the past three years. Almost dying (several times), relationships (a few), hurt feelings, frustration, tenderness, honesty, loyalty, closeness. She was a part of him. Loving her was as simple as breathing to him now. He'd come to know her through Nikki Heat, but the real life version still kept him on his toes. Richard Castle was a man who needed to be kept on his toes. Beckett always kept him wanting, needing to know more.

Her voice brought him back to the present. She looked concerned, and he noticed the flicker of hurt that passed like a shadow through her eyes as she spoke.

"Castle? What is going on? That's the third time tonight you've zoned out on me. If you don't want to see the movie it's really-"

He shook his head and touched her shoulder gently, saying quietly

"I do want to. I'm sorry. I'm here, I promise. Always."

Kate blinked up at him. He saw the word affected her the same way it affected him. Castle remembered the first time a few weeks ago when he'd uttered the word without thought. She was wrapping his hand after he'd saved her life. Kate had looked at him and thanked him for having her back. He knew, in that moment, he would give anything to make her smile. To let her know he would be there. That she was stuck with him and that he wasn't going to let her go through her mother's murder alone anymore. To know she always had someone she could count on. The word had come so effortlessly, so naturally. Now Castle shifted on his feet, at a loss for words. This frequently happened around her, he noticed. He could never seem to say what he really needed to when it came to Kate. His mother's words resounded loudly in his mind. For a man who makes his living with words, you sure have a hard time finding them when they count. Castle took a deep breath and said in a rush, afraid to lose momentum

"Kate there's something-"

"How many?"

Castle flinched at the sound of someone intruding in their conversation. Kate stepped around him and up to the ticket booth, and Castle groaned at his misfortune. That had been standing in that line for 20 minutes, and now all the sudden it was their turn to get tickets? The universe hated him, Castle decided. Beckett turned to him, and Castle could feel the moment was gone. Kate handed him his ticket and said excitedly

"Okay, popcorn and candy. Then, the best night of your life is going to start."

Castle smiled at her back as they walked through the doors. She was wrong, he thought with a quick smirk. The best night of his life started when they walked out of the precinct.