A/N: Having never been charged with assault myself, I have no idea of the actual process or documentation required for it. I am using common local (to me) terms for this so please just suspend your disbelief on these points. It's my story so I can make it up lol

Also, I just read chapter 10 of I'm Still Here by CassieCastle47. I love all this story, but wanted to highlight this particular chapter because it describes EXACTLY the dynamic between Castle and Beckett through the seasons, as I see it. There are Castle haters and Beckett haters in the fandom, but I think that both of them needed the progression of events on the show to learn and grow to become the people they needed to be for each other.

Disclaimer: I don't own them, and I make no money from this. Like many others, I just like playing with them for a little while.

Kate was due in to the precinct by 9am, and for the first time in a long time, she was going to be just on time. Her alarm still went off at 6, and after her run she was just sitting down to a much needed cup of coffee when her phone buzzed with a message. She glanced at it, and when she noticed it was from Montgomery, her memories about the conversation with Tom came storming back into the front of her consciousness.

"Need you in the precinct ASAP with your game face on."

With that ominous message, she was dressed and out the door in 10 minutes. It was a further 20 minutes to get to the precinct, by which time her nervousness about what she was about to find was shoved deep down and locked behind steel walls. It was Detective Beckett who got off the elevator on the fourth floor.

She only glanced at Ryan and Esposito, sitting at their desks and pretending to work, before making her way straight to the Captain's office. There was the Captain from Robbery, and two men in expensive suits sitting behind the closed door. She knocked politely but firmly, and entered at Montgomery's nod to her.

"Detective Beckett, I presume you know Captain Reynes from Robbery. These gentlemen are Mr Wilson and Mr Robards from Black Pawn's legal department." Montgomery's poker face was in full control, but his eyes were telling her to stay calm. "They are here to lay formal assault charges against Detective Demming. Do you know anything about this?"

"Why would she know anything about this?" Wilson asked, although the smirk on his face showed that he had probably been briefed on far more than necessary – probably by Gina, if Kate had to guess.

"Detective Demming has been assisting the Homicide department on a few cases, and has therefore been spending a fair bit of time with us. Detective Beckett is the leader of that team, and I trust her to be in control of her team at all times." Both Wilson and Robards wore a smirk after that statement, and Kate had had enough.

"Formal assault charges? Who has Detective Demming allegedly assaulted?" She knew, of course, being Black Pawn's lawyers, but she was going to make them work for every inch.

"It's not allegedly, and the injured party is Richard Castle." Wilson stated, glancing at Robards and receiving a nod in return.

"That is interesting, and where is Mr. Castle to make this 'allegation'?" She knew that he would have to be present at some point, and she was pretty sure he was not aware this was going on right now.

"Mr. Castle is not required to be present at this time, but we have full authority to file these charges on his behalf." Robards was starting to get a little aggressive, he couldn't understand what these cops were delaying for.

"Can I see the formal charge sheet please?" Kate asked, knowing full well it would not be Castle's signature on the form. Wilson reluctantly handed it over, while throwing a slightly nervous look at his partner. Kate slowly read through the whole document, then handed it onto her Captain.

"Captain Montgomery, there is a member of my team who has some relevant input into this 'incident' and I would like your permission to bring him in please? I am sure after that we can proceed with the rest of this morning's activities." Kate's words were calm, but her eyes were begging Montgomery to accede to her request, and stall the lawyers.

Before she could leave the office, Robards spoke again. "This is not a discussion, Captain, we are just here to press charges and then be on our way. The hearing will be scheduled in due course. The disciplinary measures on the accused are of course your prerogative."

Captain Montgomery nodded to Kate to leave, then faced the lawyers again." She won't be long at all, and we have time for some refreshments. A cup of coffee, gentlemen?"

Kate moved into the stairwell so she would not be overheard, and dialled Castle's phone. He picked up on the second ring, but before he could greet her she launched straight into her message "Castle, there are a couple of Black Pawn lawyers here wanting to press charges against Demming, but it's not your signature on the charge sheet. I thought you were going to ignore it?"

"I do intend to ignore it, considering it turned out so well for me" She could hear the smile in his voice, but then his tone changed. "Do I need to ask who did put their signature on that form?"

"Well, if you have to ask, you are not as smart as I thought you were" Kate said, wanting to lighten things a little.

"OK, Kate, hang tight, I will be there in 15 minutes and I will fix this. Do you think you can stall them for that long?"

"I am not sure, but even if they file the charges, they can be withdrawn within 24 hours before they get onto the official record. They are sitting in Montgomery's office with Captain Reynes from Robbery." Even as she was speaking, she could hear him open the door to the loft, and the jingle of keys. He was on his way.

"See you soon" Castle said before hanging up. Once he was in the cab he made another phone call, to the head of Black Pawn publishing.

"Hey, Ricky, how is my best author this morning? Enjoying the Hamptons?" Miles Black answered his phone.

"No, Miles, I am not in the Hamptons, but I do almost have the second Heat book finished. Sorry to be abrupt, but this is not a social call. I have decided that trying to work with my ex-wife is no longer viable for me, and I need you to assign me to a different publishing manager effective immediately."

Miles had been wondering when this was coming since the divorce was finalised, so he was not surprised. "Sure, Ricky, if it's what you really want."

"Yes, it is. Just send the relevant documents to my agent and I will get them signed, and let me know who to send the rest of my chapters to."

"Consider it done, Rick." Then Castle hung up, just as he was pulling up in front of the 12th Precinct. He walked straight to the elevator, which was waiting on the ground floor, up to the Homicide floor, and straight into Montgomery's office.

"Well, good morning gentlemen" He said in his most professional and fake voice, eyeballing the two lawyers. "Hope I am not interrupting, Captain Montgomery, Captain Reynes."

"Not at all, Rick, we were just waiting for you" At this pronouncement from Montgomery, the two lawyers looked at each other in shock.

Wilson was the first to regain his voice. "Captain Montgomery, I thought you said we were waiting for a member of Detective Beckett's team to finalise these charges."

"Yes, that is correct, Mr Castle is a valued member of Detective Beckett's team" Montgomery stated, hoping that was still the case after Friday night. He hadn't had a chance to speak to her yet, but she obviously called Castle to come in this morning, so he was going to run with her lead for now.

"Thanks for that endorsement, Captain. And what is this about charges you mentioned, Robbie?" Castle stared directly at Wilson, allowing the other man to see a little of the anger he was feeling.

Before either of the lawyers could respond, Montgomery handed the charge sheet to Castle, and with his speed reading, he had reviewed it in a manner of seconds.

"I am sorry to have caused you all an inconvenience" Castle started, catching each of the other men's eyes with a hesitant smile – totally fake, but they didn't need to know that "But this is just a misunderstanding. There was no assault from Detective Demming to myself, so there is no need for any charges." And with that, he tore up the charge sheet, watching all four men's eyes open wide as saucers.

"But… Ms Cowell said…" Robards was trying to get words out, with no success, but Castle cut him off. "Ms Cowell does not represent me any longer, and as I said, this was all just a misunderstanding. I am sure you gentlemen have more important places to be." His tone was still pleasant, but his eyes were cold steel.

After that dismissal, the lawyers left the office and headed straight for the elevator. Castle then closed the officer door again, and turned back to the two Captains. "I would hope that you can also forget the last hour or so, gentlemen, I meant it when I said it was a misunderstanding. Captain Reynes, I will be down in your office in a few minutes, if that is OK with you"

The captains glanced at each other, neither of them had seen Castle be assertive like this. He waited until they had both nodded, before opening the office door, and heading over to the boys' desks.

"Hey, bro, thought you would be in the Hamptons by now" Esposito said by way of greeting, before being elbowed in the ribs by Ryan.

"Well, I changed my mind, I figured I could get more writing done closer to the action and my inspiration" Castle said, stealing a glance towards Beckett's desk. "Can I interest you boys in drinks this Friday night, seeing as our last celebration was cut short? You too, Beckett." He made his voice deliberately light, but as he caught her eye across the bullpen, there was a whole other conversation going on as she walked over to join them. Seeing this, the boys nodded, and both replied "Sure thing."

"Great, well I still have a book to finish, so I better get back to it. Be sure to call me when the next body drops, Beckett, and I will see you all Friday." With that, Castle waved at the captain, then made his way over the elevator. He turned once more while he was waiting for the car to arrive, with his hands in his pockets, and gave Beckett a little nod.

When the elevator doors, closed, however, he did not press the button for the ground floor, but for Robbery. He didn't know this floor as well as he did Homicide, but the layout was very similar, so he made his way over to the Captain's office, and could see that Demming was already in there, probably being given a dressing down. When he could see they were almost finished, he knocked on the door frame.

"Captain Reynes, do you mind if I speak to Detective Demming privately for a moment?" Rick was speaking to the Captain, asking permission to kick him out of his office, but his eyes remained fixed on Demming. The Captain's brief response surprised Demming, he could see, and then they were alone with the door closed.

As he spoke, his voice was cold and harsh. "Demming, I am going to make this brief. You know by now I am not pressing assault charges against you, but if you ever try to lay a hand on me again, you will find yourself in a world of pain. You and I both know this was about Beckett. I was being the better man when I thought she had chosen you, and stepped away. I suggest to you that you be the better man, and step away now, and this ends here and now." Then he looked at Demming expectantly.

For his part, Demming had never seen this assertive side of Castle, he had only seen the clown, the playboy persona, always throwing up crazy theories and annoying people. He was a little shocked, and it took him a while to realise a response was expected. He also realised that there truly was no chance with Beckett anymore, so he let it go.

"Yes, Castle, I can be a gentleman too. Thank you for not pressing charges. If you ever need a favour, let me know." With a nod, both men left the Captain's office, Castle on his way home.

Kate returned to her desk once the elevator doors closed, feeling a little lighter for having seen Rick, even for just a little while. She could see a few curious looks from the guys and Montgomery, but she ignored them, and got on with her paperwork. There was only one interruption, her phone buzzing with a message from Castle around 2pm.

Italian for dinner. My place or yours? She grinned and thought for a moment before responding

Will Martha be home? I can bring the wine.

Nope, just us. Can't wait

After that, the afternoon seemed to fly, and before she knew it, it was 5pm and with no active case, the boys were packing up to go home. As she started to collect her things, Montgomery called her into his office.

"Kate, is everything OK with you now?" he asked, remembering her demeanour on Friday afternoon.

"Yes, Sir, I had a chance to sort some things out on the weekend. Everything is great." She smiled, knowing that Montgomery would be able to read between the lines.

"And I expect that Mr Castle will be joining the team for some cases over the summer?"

"Yes, sir." She said, not hiding the blush that slowly crept up her cheeks. Montgomery was like a second father to her, and she knew he cared about her wellbeing in and out of the job.

"I am very glad to hear that, Detective" Montgomery said, with a big smile on his face. Kate knew that he was talking about Castle being still around, and not just at the precinct.

Kate went home, got into casual clothes and packed an overnight bag. She grinned at herself, thinking that a week ago, she would never have been this bold. Yet another positive effect that Rick had on her. Then she picked up a bottle of her favourite red wine, and was at Castle's loft by 6:30. She hesitated a moment, biting her lip, before knocking firmly on the door.

Rick recognised that knock, and made his way to the door with a grin. It had only been a few hours, but he missed her, and he hadn't been able to kiss her at the precinct, so when he opened the door he reached straight out and drew her into a bear hug, before leaning back and giving her a passionate kiss.

"Wow, Rick, did you miss me or something?" Kate teased when he released her lips, but she knew that the feeling was mutual. One part of her was shocked at how demonstrative they both were with each other, affectionate and loving, but she ignored that part and just enjoyed the feeling, and let herself respond to him like she had wanted to for a long time.

"Do you even have to ask? I saw you in bad-ass Beckett mode, which is such a turn on, by the way, and I couldn't even touch you!" Rick said, and she could see that while his voice was teasing same as hers, he was serious about his feelings and frustrations.

"Anyway, the pasta is almost done, so you are just in time for dinner at Casa Castle, Miss Beckett" Rick said, waving his arm expansively and directing her towards the dining table, that he had already set with plates and silverware. He took the bottle from her, opened it and placed it on the table to breathe. When she hadn't moved, he turned to her again and raised an eyebrow.

Kate was again struck by the fact that this was Richard Castle, her favourite author that she was having dinner with, and she had a momentary panic that he could have any girl he wanted, so why was he messing around with a boring cop? Rick must have picked up on her hesitation, because he came over to her and enveloped her in his arms again.

"Kate, you are extraordinary, and I want to be with you, spend time with you, and have dinner with you. When you are ready, I want to take you out, wine and dine you, go dancing with you, and show the world how lucky I am to have you beside me." He could see she was looking a little wild by this time, so he lightened it up "but right now, we don't want the wine to get warm, and the pasta to get cold, so let's dig in".

Kate was grateful for his reassurance, and also for his light banter, so she moved to the table, he poured them both wine, and they began to eat. Over dinner, he told her that he had heard from Alexis again, lamenting over the fact that is little girl was almost in college, and being overly dramatic in his pouting. Kate had no sympathy for him, laughing at his antics and threatening him with stories of her own teenage years, not that she thought for a moment that Alexis would ever be that wild or rebellious.

Dinner passed pleasantly, and after dinner they sat on the couch to watch a movie. They started out next to each other, but by halfway through she was snuggled into him and he was drawing lazy circles on her arm with his fingers.

At the end of the movie, Kate looked up at him, then bit her lip, before building up the courage to ask "Can I stay?" Rick was taken aback at first, but then he smiled and kissed her forehead.

"Ridiculous woman. Of course you can stay. Do you need me to give you some sleep clothes, or…"

"No, I brought my own, as well as clothes for the precinct tomorrow." She went to the front door, and retrieved her overnight bag, then followed him into his study and then through to the bedroom. She stopped in the doorway, hesitant, but he grabbed her hand and pulled her in.

"Make yourself at home, Kate. Bathroom is through there, I will get you a fresh toothbrush and a towel." He couldn't help grinning at the sight of Kate Beckett in his bedroom. A week ago it was something he thought would never happen.

When Kate's alarm went off in the morning, she had a momentary panic when she didn't remember where she was. Then she was soothed when a strong arm tightened around her, and a gravelly voice said in her ear "Don't get up yet, stay in bed."

She chuckled, but pushed his arm off, and moved to the bathroom. Once she was ready, she came back out, only to see him still asleep in bed, cuddling the pillow she had slept on. He looked so peaceful asleep, all the lines in his face slackened, he was almost like a little boy. She again thanked the fates – that she had never believed in, but was starting to – that the events of last Friday went as they did, and she could be here with him. She leant over and kissed his cheek then left the bedroom. She found some notepaper on his desk, and wrote a few words for him to find when he eventually woke, and placed it on his bedside table. Then she went to work.

When Rick woke a couple of hours later, his first action was to reach over for Kate, but of course he came up empty. Then he remembered she had to work, and he rolled onto his back, letting out a disappointed sigh. As he rolled, he glanced over at his bedside table, and noticed a folded piece of paper sitting there, with 'Rick' on it in her elegant handwriting. He sat up in bed, reached for the note and opened it, smiling as he read.

Didn't want to wake you, you looked so peaceful. Dinner at mine tonight? xxKate

He allowed the grin that was threatening to split his face full reign, so happy for the first time in a long time. He picked up his phone and sent her a quick text.

Missed waking up to you. Dinner sounds great. Should I pack a bag? xxRC

Kate must have still been stuck on paperwork, because she responded almost immediately.

Presumptuous of you Mr Castle. But yes :-p Be there by 7 xxKate

With bells on! xxRC

He sent the text, and then remembered he had one more onerous duty to perform. If he could get that out of the way this morning, he could regain his good mood by tonight when he saw Kate.

He dialled a familiar phone number.

"Sophie, can you please put me through to Ms Cowell's office."

A/N2: just one more chapter to go now. Any guesses on how this conversation will go?