Hey guys! This little story is based off of episode 5x08 "After Hours." So some spoilers for that. Had this idea playing around in my head since the moment I saw that episode and I am finally getting around to posting it. Enjoy!


"I thought I lost you."

Those five little words stuck with him. She really was just as afraid of losing him as he was of losing her.

Despite their earlier lover's quarrel, over their parents, he knew they were always going to be okay. This quelled any fears he had that she still always had one foot out the door.

He was hers, and she was his. He still slightly couldn't believe it. She never ceased to amaze him.

But right now, it was their parents who were amazing him. They were getting along. He couldn't believe it. The smil;e she had on her face as she stepped out of her father's embrace told him all he needed to know. She was happy, and they had officially survived their first fight as a couple.

"Come on, let me take you all home," he announced.

"I've got to get back to the studio, actually," Martha answered. "I'm glad you two are okay. Ta-ta." And with a typical Martha flourish, shw was gone.

"Jim?"

"I've got my car, thanks. I can get home myself."

"Alright."

He reached out for Kate one more time. "I'm so glad you two are okay, K"Kaatie."

"Me too." He chuckled a bit at his daughter's humor. "I love you, dad."

"I love you, too." He extended his hand to Castle.

"Richard." As Rick grasped his hand, he pulled the younger man closer. "Take care of my baby girl, Rick."

Kate blushed profusely, her hair falling in front of her eyes like a curtain.

"I will. Trust me." Eith another squeeze of his hand and a curt nod, Jim too was gone.

"Well, I guess it's just us," he smiled, wrapping an arm around her shoulders.

"Not here," she chided gently, removing his arms from her shoulders.

"Ka-aaaaaattttttte!" he whined, ever the nine year old.

He followed her like a lost puppy into the elevator. As soon as the doors rolled shut, he went to place his arm back in its rightful spot on her shoulders, but she moved faster. In a second she had her arms wrapped around him in a bear hug, her nose buried in his chest. He hugged her back, rubbing soothing circles on her back to calm her.

As quickly as the doors had closed, they opened again. He ushered his girlfriend (Girlfriend!) out of the elevator with a guiding hand on the small of her back.

He hailed a cab while Kate rested her head on his shoulder. When one arrived, they crawled in and he gave the cabbie the address of his loft. Kate sighed and closed her eyes, dropping her head into his lap for the ride.

Once they reached the loft, Rick carried a sleepy Kate out of the cab, upstairs, with not even a hint of protest. Once he got to his door, he realized he had a problem.

"Kate? Baby? Can you stand? I can't open the door like this..."

"Yea," she whispered, still sort of out of it. "No problem." She slid out of his embrace and planted her feet firmly on the ground, but still clung to him a little bit just to keep her upright. His nimble fingers quickly found the correct key, pushed it into the lock, and opened the door. They were both happy to see the welcoming dimness of the loft.

Kate, now a little more alert, took his hand and guided him into the loft. He closed and locked the door, and then followed her to the couch. She pulled him down and immediately snuggled into him. Ah, isn't this how life was supposed to be?

"We didn't break."

He was startled by her breaking the silence. "What?"

"We didn't break. Even when we got into this huge fight, we didn't break, we didn't burn. I'm proud of us."

"I'm proud of you, Katie. You've come so far. And look at right where we are."

"I don't want to be someone who walks away so easily. I'm here to stay and make the difference I can make. Because we're worth it."

"Our differences do a lot to teach us how to use the tools and gifts we've been given. We had to learn how to bend without the world caving in."

"Rick, I want you to know I won't give up on us. Even when things get rough. I'm giving you all my love, and hoping for the best."

He didn't know he could smile that widely. "When I look into your eyes, Kate, it's like watching the night sky. Or a beautiful sunrise. There's so much they hold. And I know they hold our future."

"When this- thing- with our parents happened, I got so scared that we would break. We have a lot at stake, here. But you're still my friend, always my friend, and we both intend for this to work. But we're tough. And by tough I mean stubborn. We will never let this go so easily. And over something so trivial, at that."

"Ditto. You mean more to me than anything, Kate. And I will do anything for you. If you ever need some space, to do some navigating or anything, I'll be here patiently waiting for you, to see what you find. I won't give up either. It's going to be you and me. Always."

She couldn't believe she was welling up like this. She secretly was such a sap.

"Always."


So? What'd ya think?