With the film over, Martha turns to look at the others and has to smile to herself. Her son's sitting in the middle of the couch, legs stretched out before him, a disgustingly satisfied smile on his face. His daughter's lying flat out on the L-shaped end, head tucked into her father's side, his arm around her shoulders, eyes drooping closed and almost totally out of it. On his other side, Kate is leaning in against him, head on his shoulder and arm tucked through his as they hold hands, probably totally unaware of how domestic they look.
She's still not sure how a mere messenger, whatever her qualities, has made it into their midst, not that she has any qualms about it, god knows actors will mix with anyone! But there must be a lot more to this woman than meets the eye, otherwise her rather protective and private son would not have allowed her anywhere near them .. well … his daughter at any rate. Time will tell if they have a future or not, but right now they look pretty cute.
Whether it's Martha's disconcertingly penetrating gaze or just the change of ambient sound as the film ends, Kate is drawn out of her comfortable somnolence and suddenly realises the rather compromising position they are in. Lifting her head off his shoulder, she tries to straighten up and pull her arm free from his, only to have him clamp his arm tight and grip her hand, pulling her back into his side.
She turns her head up to glare at him, aware of Martha's amused stare but he's totally ignoring her … well, pretending to … and she's going to have to apply some pain if she wants to get out of this one she's thinking. Thankfully Alexis stirs, stretches and makes to stand, breaking the tableau up and allowing Kate to pull her hand free, though she has to reluctantly admit that she'd been quite comfortably ensconced next to him.
Alexis kisses her dad goodnight, does the same with Martha and waves a goodnight to Kate, yawning as she makes her way towards the stairs. Both Martha and Kate get to their feet at the same time, Kate starting to say that she has to head home just as Martha says she'll follow Alexis' example.
They laugh about it and Martha gives Kate a hug, saying she hopes she'll see her soon and after kissing her son goodnight and telling him to "… look after this girl!" she makes her way upstairs with Castle calling out after her that she's "… only leaving, to get out of doing the dishes!"
Kate has to giggle at the raspberry Martha blows as she disappears upstairs. "I'll give you a hand" she offers Castle as he picks up their ice-cream bowls and heads for the kitchen.
He shakes his head at her, "It's ok, all goes into the dishwasher. Are you sure you don't want to stay on a bit longer?" he asks her hopefully.
She gives him an eye roll and shakes her head. "I need to be up at the crack of dawn Castle, so thanks, but no thanks"
"Did you come by bike or cab?"
"Ok then, just let me get this stuff away and I'll walk you down"
Kate leans on the island and grins at him. "What's up Castle, afraid I'll get mugged in you building?" she teases.
"Yeah, Mrs K from 3A is a dangerous old lady, I wouldn't want anything to happen to you!"
"Right!" she laughs and then her breath hitches as he comes round the island and slips an arm round her waist. She turns so that they're facing each other, standing straight, eyes almost level. He's looking at her seriously now, laughter in abeyance for the moment.
"You ok Kate?" he asks gently.
She watches him, a faint smile touching her lips at his concern. She doesn't answer, just stretches up slightly and gives his lips a soft kiss, then dropping back onto her heels, she lets her head drop onto his shoulder, "Yes Castle, I'm good" she whispers.
He must have heard her because she feels him tighten his grip around her and drop a kiss to her temple. They stand like that for several minutes, comfortable with the each other, then she stirs, sighs and says "I really need to get going or I won't be any good in …" and checking her watch, "… six hour's time"
Watching her check the time he says "One day I'd like to hear the story about that watch"
He feels her stiffen and curses himself silently for opening his big mouth. Then she nods and begins to move away "I will, one of these days, but right now I need to get my stuff and head home"
He follows her into the study, takes the jacket from the chair where she'd laid it when they'd come in earlier in the afternoon, and waits for her to pick up her purse and the folder. Turning she looks from the folder in her hand to him and back again. Eventually, raising her eyes she indicated it and says "Do you mind if I take this home? It's … I need …"
"It's yours Kate, of course you can take it home. Next time maybe we can add it all to the sto … to the board …" indicating the large touch screen against the wall, "… and then you won't need to carry it around?"
She nods and goes to take the jacket from him but he indicates she should turn around and holds it out for her. She does so, slipping first one then the other arm into the short leather jacket. Once it's settled over her shoulders he turns her round and zips it up for her, Kate's eyes never leaving his face. As he finishes he looks at her and grins "I can see I'm going to get plenty of practice with zippers"
"You think?" she inquires, eyebrow raised, face inscrutable. Then seeing the look on his face she relents, taking hold of the hand he's still resting by her collar, she smiles at him and asks "What if I have buttons next time?"
"You mean there'll be a next time?" and the relief in his voice is almost too much for her. God! She hasn't even got her head round what's happened and here she is giving him more excuses to invade her life!
"Maybe … possibly …" and looking into his eyes she can't help adding "…. probably. Now I need to get home Castle, so stop distracting me!"
He goes for innocent, the laughter in his eyes belying the look and then they're leaving the office and heading for the front door. He grabs a coat from the closet, pulls it on, picks up the keys from the table next to it and opens the door for her. They head down in the lift in companionable silence, shoulders pressed together, backs to the far wall, watching the numbers tick down, totally aware of each other and the thousand and one questions which have been left unanswered.
They step out of the lift on the ground floor and head past reception, saying hello to Charlie who's on nigh time duty this week. He opens the door for them and they step out into the cold night air, the sensation of snow in the air making them both shiver. Castle places his arm round her shoulders and she slips hers round his waist as they turn left and head to where she's parked the bike a few spaces down the street.
Kate unlocks the saddle bag closest to her, places the folder inside and closes it again, removing her helmet from the security lock she turns to Castle and regards him carefully. He's standing next to her, cheeks red in the cold night air, shoulders hunched, eyes staring at her hungrily. It makes her shiver.