He's sitting at his desk typing away on his laptop when she enters from the bedroom, her sudden appearance making him look up. She blushes a bit at his appreciative look but hopes the colour doesn't show on her face. She's wearing his sweatpants with the legs rolled up and the drawstring tight around her middle, she's thankful his AC-DC shirt is long enough to cover the potato-sack look they give her. Her hair is a bit of a mess, she's done the best she can as far as washing it one-handed is concerned, her right arm still too stiff and sore to be of much use, but the drying has been a bit too much to cope with …
"I was wondering if you have a hair dryer I could borrow" she asks hesitatingly.
He nods, follows her back into the bathroom and opens the drawer holding the dryer. He thinks about pulling her leg over her being a pretty poor burglar if she can't find a dryer in his bathroom, but decides to bite his tongue. Maybe she was just messing with him or maybe she hadn't wanted to look through his drawers, whichever it was, he isn't going to bring it up.
The next time she appears, her hair is neatly combed and she's added his socks to her attire, her own clothes in her arms. He stands up, remembers something and opens a desk drawer. Pulling her bra out he adds it to the items in her arms and it's his turn to blush as she gives first him, then his drawer a rather pointed look. "Uh, didn't want my daughter walking in and wondering what it was doing on my desk" he says somewhat apologetically.
She lets it go and asks him to point her in the direction of the washing machine. He hovers around her as she places the clothes in the machine sighing at the stain round the waist of her trousers, she'll have to dispose of them once she gets home. He hands her the powder and some softener which earn him an eye roll.
"Hey! I have a little girl and I like to make sure her clothes are comfy" he says and she turns back to the machine to hide her smile.
Once the machine's on she turns to him and asks about her backpack. He nods in the direction of the office and tells her it's in there. When they enter she spots it on one of the chairs and picks it up. Last night had been a bit of a flight and there is no order to its contents and though both tubes were still there, she has no way of knowing if he's been through it or not. She unzips one of the smaller side pockets and withdraws the keys to the bike, carefully removing her house keys from the ring before tossing it over to him.
He calls Crown Cars and arranges with them to pick up the keys from the doorman downstairs and have the bike delivered to the underground garage. When he hangs up she's looking at him worriedly and as if reading her mind he says, "They'll use their recovery vehicle to pick it up and deliver it here, no one will be riding it! I'll, just pop down and leave the keys with Charlie for them"
She huffs, and watches him leave. Less than five minutes later he's back in the office and she realises they've reached crunch point, the point of no return and she's nervous, wondering what is going to happen, trying to think of something that will delay this moment a little longer. He gives her an out "Coffee?"
She nods her head, drops her backpack on the floor by the chair and follows him out to the kitchen. The moment is too short and suddenly she's standing there cup in hand, the steam from the coffee rising before her face and he's nodding to the couch. He waits for her to sit on one end, nervously twirling a short strand of hair with one hand and holding the coffee to her chest with the other.
He settles down on the opposite end, slightly turned towards her and he's placing his cup on the coffee table before them. She follows suit, then tucks her leg under her and fiddles nervously with the bottom edge of the T-shirt she's wearing.
Suddenly he's leaning over towards her and holding out his hand. She startles, looks up at him and sees he's grinning at her.
"Hello, I'm Richard Castle"
She can't help the answering smile and takes his hand "Kate" before quickly withdrawing it as she tries to ignore the almost electrical discharge she feels at his touch. There's a wistful look on his face as he repeats her name, obviously hoping for more but settling for just Kate.
"So Kate, do you know who I am?"
There's neither conceit nor expectation, but some hope to his tone and there's no way she's going to let him know she's his number one fan, or the fact that she thinks his life is a shallow, pointless, blonde-infested pool of mediocrity … not that the last few hours have been anything like that, but still … oh! And he's waiting for her answer and she can feel the colour beginning to creep up her neck again. Get a grip girl!
"Yeah, I know who you are, there's a creepy look-alike in your office."
He grins, "You're lucky its only one, last month there were five of us in there … not counting me"
"Anyway, in case you're not aware of it, over the last several years I've written a series of books about a character called Derrick Storm … and in my last one I killed him off! …"
Yeah and that is something she is really pissed off about. Why the hell did he have to do that? Not that she's going to tell him so, no, no way, but … shit he's talking again
"…. I thought it would be easy to come up with a new character …" he sighs and she almost reaches out to wipe the dejected look from his face but changes the direction of travel of her hand and picks up the coffee cup instead "… but for the best part of eight months now, nothing, nada, every idea I came up with was shallow, meaningless and uninspired" here he pauses and takes a sip of coffee, "then one night I'm walking out of my bedroom after another evening of pointlessly staring at my laptop's screen and walk straight into the most astonishing and beautiful creature …"
She's ducked her head as soon as she realised where he was going but she's sure her face is beetroot coloured and there is no way she is going to look up from her coffee, otherwise those blue eyes of his will have her gushing out all her secrets ..
"… I tried to catch her, to stop her flitting away into the night, I don't know why, but there was something in her eyes, that I needed to know about. So I chased her out of the room and upstairs, and suddenly I got scared, what if she'd done something to my daughter …"
He doesn't miss her startled eyes as she raises them to him, the barely formed denial on her lips before she`s looking down again, fingers twisting in the T-shirt.