Captain Montgomery straightens up and waves at the murder board "Soon as you two have cleared the current case, I want you to pull these up, get the files from the other precincts, talk to the guys involved and go through all three cases with a toothcomb" then looking at Castle with a slight smile on his face "Maybe Mister Castle would be interested in consulting … after all he seems to be the one responsible for stirring up this hornets' nest …" then looking down at the two Detectives, he adds "Don't lose focus on the current case, let me know as soon as you have something" and with a wave and a "see you Castle" he heads back to his office.
Rick can hardly keep his excitement in check, he'd come in on a doubtful fishing expedition and has ended up sitting in the middle of the best fishing spot in town. With a last check of his watch he waves to the two Detectives "Ok guys, I need to get going, let me know when you start on those cases?" he says and seeing them nod, heads for the lift.
It's gone eleven fifteen when he makes it to his destination, giving him enough time to set everything out as he wants it. Several passers-by, wrapped up against the cold, give him amused looks but he ignores them and has just settled down to wait when his phone chimes. Grabbing for it he swipes his finger cross the screen and reads the message Where to? He pulls up her number and hits call.
"Hey Kate, you outside the office?"
"Ok, head down two blocks and into the park" and cuts the call, grinning like a kid at Christmas.
Kate slips her phone into her pocket, looks up at the grey sky which is just a white glare where the sun should be, the weak sunlight which filters through not enough to fight the coldness of the air, barely managing to cast shadows across sidewalks. She shrugs, if the guy wants to meet her in a park who's she to argue. She can just make out the gap in the buildings further down the street where Washington Square Park offers an open space to the students of NYU.
As she walks into the park, past the currently bare trees and empty flower beds which will offer an oasis if green from spring through to late summer, she keeps turning her head searching for the writer. She's well into the north-east corner of the park when she spots him waving to her.
He's sitting on one of the curved wooden benches near the Garibaldi statue, blanket spread over the slats, another over his legs, thermos flask standing on the bench beside him. She laughs as she approaches, shaking her head and wondering how he'd ever convinced her … though she has to admit she's pleased at the effort he's gone to.
He stands as she reaches him waving to the blanket-covered bench and offering an exaggerated bow as he says "Milady"
She gives a half-embarrassed, half-laughing curtsy and sits on the bench, whereupon he shakes the blanket he's carrying out and drapes one end over her legs, sitting down and dropping the other end over his own lap. Bending down he pulls out a sports bag from under the bench and carefully lifts out a cardboard box which he places in the space between them, beside the flask. She sees Parisi Bakers printed on the side and can make out what look like bear claws through the cellophane centrepiece in the lid. He's diving into the bag once more and comes up with a small plastic cylinder with an attached clip. This has her puzzled as he squeezes the clip open and attaches it to the top slat of the bench's backrest. Once more he ducks down to the bag and this time comes up with a carnation which he slots into the holder and she has to giggle at the looks their getting from passers-by.
"Castle, is this your idea of discreet?"
He's bent down diving once more into the bag but stops, twisting his head to look up at her, mischievous look on his face, eyes crinkled in laughter "I never said discreet Beckett, I said somewhere where you didn't need to worry about people sitting at the next table …" and with a casual wave around, "You see any tables?"
Then he's straightening up and placing a bottle of sugar-free vanilla creamer next to the flask. Her eyebrows shoot up at that and then she's looking at the items spread on the bench between them, shaking her head in awe. He's busy opening the thermos, pouring coffee into one of the cups and carefully handing it to her before picking up the bottle of creamer and holding it over her cup "Two?" and she nods, watches the creamer splash and swirl gently into the superbly aromatic coffee. He hands her a spoon, opens the box containing the bear claws and then pours his own coffee.
Kate drops the spoon into the upturned lid of the pastry box, picks up one of the claws and takes a bite. She hums in pleasure and then takes a sip of coffee, relishing this unexpected treat. Looking up she catches him watching her. "What?" she asks, a small dusting of icing sugar coating her upper lip.
He's tempted to lean forward and kiss the icing off but decides that's maybe too dangerous right now, so he just grins and asks "So, is goofus forgiven?"
She's conscious his eyes keep straying to her lips and the look he's giving them leaves little to the imagination. It's making her breath catch in her throat and her mind wander and she has to concentrate on what he said … "Maybe, so far he's doing pretty good" taking another sip of coffee and turning to look at the carnation in its holder, she shakes her head, the guy's crazy, wonderfully crazy!
They each have a second cup of coffee, finish the bear claws and then she's looking at her watch, a large, masculine Omega which he's tempted to ask her about but thinks maybe now isn't the time. They've been talking about their favourite parks and places in the city and now she has to leave and he can't wait any longer.
"Will you come over this afternoon?" he asks as she begins to pull the blanket off her legs and dust crumbs off her leathers.
She stops, one hand holding the blanket the other poised near her breast. "No strings attached?"
He nods, wishing he could tie her in knots and stop her leaving but aware that he's going to need much more time with her before that happens. "No strings attached, you bring the paperwork, we have lunch if you arrive early enough, we talk about your Mom if you don't, you stay for dinner if you'd like to, you leave whenever you want"
He waits, watching her watch him, then she nods, it's abrupt, like she's come to a decision on an important matter. She stands up, pushing the blanket aside and stretching her legs slightly to get rid of the kinks from sitting sideways.
"I'll need to go home, get changed, put all the paperwork together …. I guess I won't get there before four. Want a hand to put all this away?"
He shakes his head, "No need Kate, it'll only take me a minute … I look forward to seeing you later ..." standing up himself as he says so. Suddenly she's leaning towards him brushing a kiss to his cheek, much less than he wants, much more than he expected given her attitude towards him the last few days.
She grins at his slightly stunned expression, "That was for the flower" she says, giving him a bright smile and turning to saunter off. He watches her disappear towards the street and then turns to look at the remnants of their breakfast or whatever it was. Huh! For the flower was it? Grinning he packs it all away, disposes of the empty box in a bin and heads out to hail a cab.