Castle's grinning as his fingers fly across the keyboard, he's got Rook and Nikki Heat in a compromising situation and he can't help but think of Kate Beckett lying under him as they hide beneath the desk whilst one of the goons patrols the passage outside. His phone goes and it's not till the third ring that he becomes aware of the intrusion.
Making a grab for it he recognises her number and hits the talk button, lifting the laptop off his lap and placing it onto the desk before leaning back in his chair and smiling into the phone. "Your favourite, ruggedly handsome writer here".
"Wow Cannell, you sound so much like Rick Castle!" and he can hear her gurgle of laughter though she's trying to smother it.
"Hah! Very funny Miss Beckett! I'll have you know I'm much better looking that Cannell!"
"If you say so Castle, but I was talking about my favourite author" and she laughs out loud at the snort he gives.
"So, everything go ok this afternoon?" he asks
There's a moment's hesitation, then a sigh before she says, "Gimme a couple of minutes to get comfy Castle … want I should call you back?"
"No, that's ok, I'll hang on" he tries to decipher the sounds coming down the phone, the rustle of material making him think she's undressing … his mind running back to yesterday evening, his body reacting inappropriately to the images which crowd his mind.
"Ok, I'm here …" and there's a slight breathlessness to her voice which dries his throat and makes his response a rather strangled croak. "… Castle! Just what … are you ok?" she says somewhat suspiciously.
This time he manages to get his voice working and rather sheepishly says "Were you getting into bed just now Kate?"
There's a bit of a startled sound from her and then understanding floods her voice, giving it a warm and sultry tone as she laughingly asks "Just what were you imagining?"
"Well not so much imagining as … remembering" and he hears the catch in her voice and can almost feel her blush through the phone.
"You … oh … really, I mean …"
"Very erudite Beckett" and now he's the one laughing at her obvious embarrassment before deciding to let her off the hook. "Anyway, you were going to tell me how whatever it was went"
"Really? And you mock my lack of erudition? That the best you can do Rick?" and the smile in her voice along with her use of his name makes him want to reach out and pull her to him.
Sighing in frustration he says "What can I tell you Kate, you rob me of words and literary flair"
"Hmm … yep, I really ought to stick to Cannell, I don't think he'd be lost for words …" and she's giggling at the growl that comes down the phone.
Settling back down against the pillows she asks "What are you doing … other than procrastinating over the phone?"
"I am not procrastinating, I am doing research … what are you wearing? Lacy negligée, Hello Kitty pjays … nothing?"
"Sure, what does Nikki Heat wear to go to bed I wonder?"
"Well you keep on wondering buster!"
"You know, my imagination will run riot if you don't give me a clue …"
"Your imagination will run riot with or without a clue Castle. If you must know, I'm wearing a t-shirt" and something in the voice tells him there's a clue there for him.
"Only a t-shirt?"
"Hmm … maybe, but it's quite a special one"
"Well … it says 'I refuse to engage in a battle ..."
"...of wits with an unarmed person'" he finishes for her, grinning as he remembers the t-shirt he leant her when she was injured. "I wonder why it sounds familiar?" he asks in a teasing tone.
"I suppose you want it back now Castle!" she answers pretending to be annoyed.
"Only if you come with it" he replies
The sincerity in his voice makes her blush and settle back into the pillows with a sensation of butterflies in her stomach. "You never know Castle, you might get lucky and all"
"I wish ... but you were going to tell me about this afternoon?" he listens to her breathing on the other end, hears a rustle as she pulls a pillow or comforter close to the phone and lifts his feet onto the desk, settling back even further.
"I went to meet my Dad" she says and stops.
After a few seconds of silence he asks "That's good ... or not?"
"Its good, but still a bit difficult for me sometimes. After my Mom's murder he started drinking ... I guess he couldn't deal with it ..."
"Which was why you couldn't go back to Stanford, right?"
"One of the reasons ... pretty big one I suppose ... but he's been dry for a couple of years now. He got himself sorted out, started back part time with his old company. Since then we meet up at least once a week for lunch, sometimes for dinner, on special occasions ... but I keep waiting for him to relapse ... it happened so many times in the past that I still can't accept that he's going to be strong enough to keep going straight ..."
"I'm sorry Kate, I wish I could tell you it will be alright, I've seen it happen to others ... but, if you ever need any help, even just to talk about it, I'm here ok?"
"Thanks Rick, just talking tonight has been a help" and she's silent for a bit before adding "Mind if we talk about something else?"
"Of course honey, anything you want"
"Castle! Did you just call me honey?" her voice sounding ominously threatening.
"Uh ... no? I ... I said ... tomorrow's going to be sunny?"
"Yeah, right, sunny with ten inches of snow!"
"Sounds like something the Mob would be involved in"
"Are you referencing The Godfather now? Boy oh boy, Castle I think I really should stick to Cannell!" and at least she's laughing now which allows him to relax and let out the breath he was holding.
He can hear her stifling a yawn now and she says, "Well Castle, thanks for the talk, I appreciate it ... see you tomorrow, as usual?"
"Of course, I'll be waiting at our table Beckett, then maybe you could come round in the afternoon?"
"Coffee won't be a problem Castle, but in the afternoon I have to see my friend Lanie ... I think I mentioned her to you ... I don't know when I'll be finished with her, but if it's too late I'll call you tomorrow night ... Winnie" she says stifling a further yawn.
Winnie?! Ooops, looks like the honey bit hasn't been forgotten. Grinning he says, "Ok Kate, sleep tight and dream of a ruggedly handsome writer ... who's not called Cannell!"
There's a soft chuckle coming from her, "Ok, but I don't think Patterson is really my type, however I'll try my best. Thanks Rick, goodnight"
He waits for her to cut the call then sits staring at the phone in his hand for several minutes, an easy smile on his face as he thinks of the woman asleep on the other end.
Eventually he places the phone down and picks up the laptop. He sits there, feet up on the desk, computer on his lap, fingers resting on the keys. He thinks about Kate's father, doesn't even know his name. The drinking adds another bit of information to the mental picture he has of Kate, it would add dimensions to Nikki Heat, but the thought no sooner enters his brain than he dismisses it. Kate's story is the backbone to Nikki Heat, but the flesh, the recognisable part is going to have to come from him, Kate's demons to be kept strictly between them.