The Castle Morning

He's as nervy as a teenager, his body tingling in expectation and his breathing short and shallow. It's their six month anniversary …. six months and Kate Beckett has still not shot him! Wow!

He desperately wants to wake her up, shower her with kisses and presents, but he knows he needs to give her time; time to come to, time to get used to his childlike enthusiasm.

Body drops, Kate can handle those easy-peasy from a dead sleep; an excitable Rick Castle is likely to end up kicked out of bed in a best-case scenario …. laying on one of Lanie's tables in a worst-case one, and after the week they'd had at the precinct, he wouldn't want to lay odds against the worse-case one taking place.

He eases out of the bed, and heads for the bathroom, closing the door gently behind him. He decides a shave and a brushing of teeth might gain him some favour with his sleepy-headed muse …. Hey! She hasn't called me out on that one in some time! I'll have to remind her of her threat … he'd called her muse a number of times and was still walking around, both legs intact!

Opening the door quietly he re-entered the bedroom and stopped to stare in wonder. He still found it unbelievable and couldn't help the goofy smile plastered on his face. She was in the middle of the bed … must have moved over when I was in the bathroom … arms tucked in on either side as if about to push herself up off the bed. Her shoulders protruded from underneath the sheet, tangled chestnut hair cascading over them and hiding most of her face from view.

He moved back to his side of the bed and gently squeezed himself in, stopping when he heard a disgruntled huff escaping from somewhere within the thick pile of curls … she was letting her hair grow long and he loved it …. loved playing with it when they sat comfortably squashed together on the couch, loved washing it when they shared the shower … and he could keep his hands off other parts of her, loved having her back propped against his knees as he brushed it out, running the brush through her locks as she leaned back and sighed in pleasure.

He tried wedging himself in a bit more, his butt uncomfortably on the edge of the mattress, only his left foot braced against the floor keeping him from falling out ass first. A groan accompanied her half roll as her hand reached out for him, and he was quick to move in to the vacated space. It wasn't much and the cool spring air was chilling his butt and giving him, he was sure, most unmanly goose bumps, but at least he was now in a less precarious position and Kate was trying to crawl onto him which meant he could shimmy even further inwards and warm his bum in bed.

"Hey, handsome, where you been?" she asked him in a sultry voice.

"You forgot the ruggedly in there, beautiful" he answered, kissing her on the tip of her nose.

"Your tooshie's cold" she complained, running her hands down his sides

"But the rest of me is hot!" he waggled his eyebrows suggestively at her.

"Ugh!" She groaned and dropped her head on his chest "Too early Castle"

He placed his hands on either side of her face, pushing her hair away and then pulling her gently upwards reaching for her lips, she willingly moved to meet his and he could feel her smiling as they kissed slowly and deeply. When she pulled away, she just lay atop him, feet entwined, head raised, hazel-green eyes looking deeply into warm blue ones.

His eyes widened as he suddenly remembered and stopped her questioning mouth by laying his finger across her lips. Turning his head he managed to open the top draw of his night stand with his other hand and after fishing around a bit, felt his fingers close round what he was looking for. Pulling it out he kept his hand around it and looked at Kate. She still had her lips pressed up against his finger … or maybe it was the other way round … and that, along with her raised eyebrow gave her a very fish-faced look, he almost burst out laughing but then thought better of it and smothered it in a cough.

By now her eyebrows were going up and down at a rate of knots and she was beginning to get her Beckett Glare stoked up. Removing his finger from her lip … just in time it would appear … he placed what he was holding in his other hand on his chest and moved his hand away "Happy six-month anniversary Detective …"

Kate looked down at the blue box he'd uncovered on his chest. It sat there, six inches from her chin. She looked up at Castle's face, then back down to the box. It was flat, about six inches long and three wide. Ok, so she could breathe again … unless he's accidentally steamrolled the ring, it can't be that … propping her forearms on his chest she took hold of the box and flipped the lid open.

Castle watched her as the click of the raised lid revealed the contents of the box. Her eyes widened slightly then scrunched up into a beautiful smile … at least he hoped it was a smile; from his horizontal position the box's lid covered the lower part of her face … maybe she was getting ready to ninja-assassinate him ….

"It's beautiful Rick!" she said in delight, lifting it out of the box and turning it in her hand. "Thankyou!"

Letting out the breath he had been unaware he was holding, he lifted the box from his chest and dropped it back in the still open draw. He lay there admiring his muse who in turn was admiring his present. It wasn't one of his extravagant gestures, which could so piss her off, but he was pleased with it none the less. The book marker was shaped like a quill pen, the vane and barbs made from thin brass, the quill tip in enamelled blue. Engraved along the vane was the phrase "To my one and only muse".

He watched her as she raised herself up, placed the marker inside its box and pulled herself up till her face was right above his. "Mr Castle that was a truly beautiful six-month anniversary present … I wonder what I can give you in exchange …"

From the darkening green eyes that were slowly coming closer, he reckoned he was going to get the better present ….

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