A/N: Well, this is a surprise! This was supposed to be a fast little one shot told from the POV of Beckett, after A Rose Foreverafter, but Castle decided he wanted his turn. It's a little longer, and a little deeper, but I think it works. I hope you do too. :)

XXXXXX

*inside*

Wow. Small world.

You're over her, Rick.

Yeah, I know. But it just gets me to thinking. What if, huh?

What if we'd stayed together? Thanksgivings with Sheila, that's what if. And speaking of that, Rick, we wouldn't have met Kate.

*sigh*

Kate. You know, I didn't really like it when she said she didn't think I did real.

Well, she wasn't wrong, was she? You deliberately hooked up with Meredith because she wasn't real. If Alexis hadn't come along…

My life would have been so much poorer, and you know it.

True. And I'm not begrudging that relationship because Alexis is the best thing that's ever happened. The point I'm making is that without Alexis, it wouldn't have taken Meredith cheating to break up. It would have ended a lot sooner.

True.

'Bimbos hurt less'. Remember when you said that?

Yeah, but you know, even with the cheating, I wasn't as devastated as I was when Kyra left.

And now you recognize she's happy with Greg. She even invited you to the courthouse tomorrow.

Yes. You know, I should ask Kate to come. But why would she say I don't do real? She's real.

You haven't 'done' her, have you?

Castle, that is disgusting. That is gross.

Anyone else, you would have tried harder – been more explicit about what you wanted. And face it; with anyone else you wouldn't have had to work so hard.

Beckett's different.

Yes, she is. She's real. Maybe you're finally ready for real again. Maybe that's why the universe put Kyra's wedding in the 12th precinct's boundaries.

So I could truly let her go.

And move on to someone maybe even more real.

*outside*

Rick looked up to see Kate as lost in thought as he had been. He hesitated – not wanting to interrupt. That, and he was nervous.

*inside*

Oh, come on, ya big chicken.

What if she says no?

What if she says yes?

*outside*

Before he realized it, Castle was standing at Kate's desk.

"Kate?"

Kate jumped. It would have been funny if he hadn't been panicking himself.

*inside*

Calm yourself, Rick.

Trying.

*outside*

"Oh! Hi, Castle."

"You okay? You seemed a little… I don't know… inside yourself."

"Just thinking."

Castle shuffled his feet nervously.

"So, um… if you're interested, Kyra and Greg decided to get married at the courthouse, with a much smaller guest list. Kyra invited me and a plus one. Would you like to go with me?"

*inside*

Please, please, please.

It'll be okay, Rick.

Why does she have a deer in the headlights look?

*outside*

Kate looked down at her desk, the hopeful expression on Castle's face unsettling.

"Uh... sure. It would be nice to see a happy ending to all this."

Rick beamed. He felt dizzy, but that was just the giddiness of Katherine Beckett going on a date with him.

*inside*

You know she probably doesn't want to think of this as a date, Rick.

Be quiet, Castle, you aren't going to bring me down

*outside*

"Great!" Rick replied on a relieved breath. "It's tomorrow morning at 9:00. Amazing they were able to get in that early, but they've lost enough honeymoon time."

He waggled his eyebrows, Kate rolled her eyes.

*inside*

Smooth, Rick.

I'm happy about this, so sue me.

*outside*

"Pick you up at 8:00?"

"I'll be ready."

Castle practically danced to the elevator.

*inside*

I'm surprised you're not telling me to be dignified.

Why would I do that? I'm going on a date with Beckett!

XXXXXX

A/N2: I'm marking this complete again, but if I get an idea for and inside/outside with another character or episode, I'll put it here. Thanks for reading and I'd love to know what your thoughts are on this one!