A/N 1: A new story for the Castleversary! I hope you enjoy!

A Love Letter

Well, Kate, this is it.

The one that brought us together.

Oh, I know, not 'that way' – not yet – but it was our start. I'm certain we would prefer to have met without the murder, but even then, I'm not sure I'd change anything – except that Alison Tisdale would still be alive.

I suppose I should have signed Hell Hath no Fury for you, since Marvin Fisk was the first case you were working that was connected to my books, but since you hadn't made that connection yet, (no patch, that one was just different enough to be easily missed until the next one, and that next one was much more obvious) and of course you didn't have me giving my insight yet – don't give me that look.

You've never said anything about it, but although you are a fan, you don't seem to actually own any of my books. You've read my copies multiple times since we became a couple, but where are yours? I'm going to assume you lost them when your apartment exploded, and you never replaced them.

I'm sorry. I wish you had told me; I would have replaced them all for you then – and not because I'm narcissistic that way. (I know, I know. Back then you'd say I definitely was that if I had done it.) But as a writer – and a reader – losing my personal library like that would be devastating. I would have done my best to replace all your books, not just mine, though I noticed you had made serious headway with that when I first came to your new apartment.

You'll say you were keeping me humble, but I honestly thought you just hid them away so I wouldn't see them and tease you. Which – to be honest – I probably would have.

But it never occurred to me that you hadn't tried to replace them until I saw you pull Kissed and Killed off my bookshelf, curl up on the couch and not come up for air until you'd finished. That's when I decided to get you this one for today. I'll get you the others if you want, I'll even write love letters inside them all.

Kate, 12 years. Can you believe it's been 12 years?

A personal and professional partnership. 2 beautiful children (okay, Alexis isn't technically 'yours', but in many ways you've been more of a mother to her than the one who gave her birth. Even before we got together, and I'm beyond grateful for that.)

Ups and downs of course, all relationships have those, but I like to think the ups have outweighed the downs. I'm reminded of something you once said to me: "Even on the worst days, there's a possibility for joy." I wouldn't change what we went through to get here – with the possible exception of getting shot. The bad times helped us to grow, and we helped each other in that growth.

I'd better close this before it becomes its own novel.

I love you Katherine Houghton Beckett and what I said to you in our wedding vows still applies.

You are the joy in my heart.

Always,

Rick

Kate closed her brand-new copy of Flowers for your Grave and held it to her heart. Her eyes glistened with unshed tears. How this man could reduce her to mush with a few well-placed words she would never understand, but it was part of his magic. Magic that she now believed in thanks to him.

She really hadn't thought much about replacing her books after the explosion, there were too many other things that were necessary – pots and pans, towels, and other linens – and when she did start rebuilding her library, she simply started with taking her mother's books from storage before buying the latest releases at the bookstore.

She did concede that not stoking Castle's ego may have been part of it, and then after getting together with him, she hadn't seen the point. He had copies of his books, so she read those.

Having her own again though…

And signed. She still hadn't told him about getting Gathering Storm signed all those years ago. She wasn't a hundred percent sure why; it just hadn't come up. Maybe part of it was that he probably wouldn't remember and part if it was that it still hurt to lose that book. He'd been real at that appearance – pre chest signing playboy – and while the line was out the door both when she arrived and after she left, he had taken time with each fan and made them feel like they were the only person of importance to him at that moment.

She could still remember what he wrote. She read it so often she'd memorized it, to much eye rolling from Will. She didn't care, they were words her favorite author had written for her.

Kate,

Wow, a cop! How awesome is that?! Yes, Derrick Storm is a spy, but I've been wanting to do a cop novel again. Maybe a sequel to Kissed and Killed. Whether I do that, or another standalone book, I'll dedicate it to you.

Thank you for reading.

Rick Castle

Kate had nearly swooned at that at the time, and now thinking about it again, she realized that he had indeed dedicated his next cop novel to her – and more.

Suddenly she needed to see her husband.

Stepping from the office into the main room of the loft she saw the man of the hour coloring with Lily.

"Hey, Tiger Lily, can I borrow Daddy for a minute?" she asked her daughter, who looked up and grinned.

"If you pwomise to bwing him back."

Both adults laughed.

"I won't keep him long, Sweetheart, promise."

"Okay."

Kate didn't quite drag Rick back to the office, but she did pull him along decisively. She rounded on him and kissed him thoroughly as soon as she entered the room.

"Whoa, Kate!" he exclaimed. "Not that I'm objecting to being mauled but…"

"I just wanted to say thank you for the book. I can't believe it's been 12 years either."

"And my suggestion to give you more of my books?" he asked with a grin.

"Absolutely. And I expect a love letter in every one."

"Of course."

"But not all at once," Kate clarified, biting her lip.

Rick looked at her quizzically.

"I want to savor each one, the letters for the first time and the books again."

"I can do that."

Kate put her arms around Rick's neck and kissed him. Things were just beginning to get heated when a plaintive voice called out.

"Mama, give Daddy back now!"

Dissolving into giggles Kate told her husband to go.

"I have a love letter and a book to reread. Tell Lily I'll be out when it's time to cook dinner."

"Enjoy your book."

"Always."

XXXXXX

A/N 2: I'd love to hear your thoughts!