I do not own any of these characters.

Sitting across from one another in an old diner booth, Kate couldn't help but think about how natural being with Castle in public felt. He hadn't taken her to an overly expensive restaurant, or even one where there was a hostess. Instead, he took her to his favorite diner where he said only him and Alexis had come before.

"So Castle, one of the most eligible bachelors in New York, tell me why this is your favorite place to come and eat."

"Ah, my dear detective, that would ruin the whole mysterious aura I give off, now wouldn't it?"

"I suppose, but enlighten me. I'm curious."

"Well I guess this became my favorite dining location the first time I came here. I had just picked Alexis up from school as a part of my routine since Meredith and I were already divorced, and we were looking for a place to eat. At that point in my life, I had already become a successful writer and a lot of money was coming in, not to brag though, I'm just telling you for all intensive purposes of the story. Anyways, Alexis and I were both tired of the expensive restaurants and food we ate at book signings and didn't want to cook at the loft so we just walked the streets of New York looking for a remote, low-key, place."

"I can't even tell you how long we just walked down the streets or how many blocks we walked. All I knew was that I was so wrapped up in the moment because I was actually happy with my little girl and Meredith wasn't around to spoil the mood, which is a story for another time. We came across this old diner and fell in love with its atmosphere and decided it had character. We came in and we introduced ourselves to the owner, Alan whom you met earlier and I see once a week every week, and the first thing we ordered were chocolate shakes to see if it in fact was our new place. To this day we always start out with chocolate shakes and then order after they come."

"That's so… real."

He chuckled, "and by that you mean the other things that I do are not real?"

"No, it's just… Most of your stories have to do with the wild parties you went to and the late nights you had but that just shows you have another side to you."

"Kate, the stories that I tell are from a different part of my life. They're from before Alexis, before my mother, and…" he paused for a few moments before adding, "before you."

A blush swept across her face as she asked, "So, I'm assuming that you tell that story to all the girls you bring here?"

"KB, did you even listen to my story? This has always been the diner that I only shared with Alexis. You are the first woman I have ever brought here for identifiable reasons."

"Castle-" she started but was interrupted by Alan.

"So you two hopeless romantics, what do you want to start out with?"

Kate looked across the table and raised a perfectly arched brow, silently giving him permission to go ahead.

"Two chocolate milkshakes and then we'll decide what to have, sound okay?"

"That sounds perfect" she quietly replied, feeling content that he let her into his ritual.

"Okay, give me five minutes before they're ready kiddos." Alan said before leaving.

"Thank you," she said to Rick as soon as Alan was a good distance away from them.

"For what Katie?"

She ignored the old child nickname he called her because secretly she loved when he called her that. She would never admit it, but he was the only person besides her father that she allowed to call her by that name. She would also never tell him not to call her that.

"Thank you for bringing me here."

A simple shrug of his shoulders told her that he was pretending it wasn't a big deal and not a big step for him, for both of them, so she continued on.

"Thank you. You're allowing me to experience something you normally only share with your daughter. I'm sorry for assuming you take all of your 'girlfriends' here it's just… it was unexpected for you to share this with me, but I'm grateful. I'm also glad you feel comfortable enough with me to continue on the tradition of ordering milkshakes before food."

"Anytime Katie, anytime. I'm serious about it to, I'll take you here anytime of the day or night, doesn't matter to me. You're the only other person besides Alexis that I would share this place with. I know you think I have a lot of girlfriends or 'bimbos' as I have heard you call them," he paused looking at her while she blushed, realizing her secret was found out, "but those girls are just dates for publicity. I was hoping that maybe…"

"Yeah?" she urged him to continue.

"Maybe instead of me being tortured into bringing someone along for events by Paula, you'd come with me instead?"

"I'd like that," she replied.

"Good." He smiled genuinely. "Oh man! Here they come here they come! The best milkshakes in New York!"

Alan placed one enormous chocolate concoction with whipped cream and chocolate syrup in between the two of them. On top of the whipped cream that added extra height to the drink were chocolate sprinkles. Before leaving the couple in the corner of the diner to be alone Alan said, "thought you two could share. Enjoy!"

"So milady, what do you say?"

"About?" she inquired.

"Pink or blue straw?"

"Pink." She answered almost immediately.

"Aww! But Katie! I wanted to have the pink straw!"

"Well then you shouldn't have asked because now, the pink straw is mine!" she said before taking the straw between her lips and slowly taking a sip.

"This is amazing!" she said just before taking a second sip.

"I told you so! Well if I can't have the pink straw, then I'll just drink from the glass."

"You're a nine year old on a sugar rush, I think you'll survive if you have to use a different method to get your fix."

He took a sip from the glass, "Correction! I'm a ruggedly handsome nine year old on a sugar rush drinking the best milkshake in all of New York to get my fix. No! More than just New York… THE WORLD!"

Glancing through her thick lashes across the table she watched while he grinned, without noticing the presence of a new whipped cream mustache.

Leaning across the table she slowly raised her hand to wipe off the whipped cream from above his lip. When she was finally satisfied that there wasn't any left above the author's mouth, her gaze flickered to his lips. Before she licked the whipped cream from her finger she said, "I highly doubt this is the best Rick."

"Oh but it is KB, it gets better at the end. Five bucks on it?"


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