Disclaimer: The characters within are owned by ABC.

Summary: Kate makes a very important decision.

AN: The events of this story take place in the closing moments of Countdown. I would like to thank Tanya Reed for her betaing skills which are much appreciated.

It had been a harrowing few days, especially with the threat of a dirty bomb going off in Times Square. The crisis was averted when Richard Castle pulled a group of wires from the bomb while Detective Kate Beckett looked on. To their surprise, the countdown stopped, and the bomb was deactivated.

Later, at the precinct, Castle and Beckett got to celebrate their success with Captain Montgomery and Detectives Esposito and Ryan. The pair regaled their co-workers with how they had stopped the bomb from going off. Of course, Castle told it in typical Castle fashion, which got all of them to laugh.

They continued like this until Agent Fallon called Castle and Beckett out so he could to talk to them. Fallon thanked the pair for their assistance and said he hoped they would never have to work together again. He did not mean it in a negative sort of way, but he would not want to have to work another case like that again with them. The pair understood where Fallon was coming from. Once that was said, he said his good-byes and left.

Now alone, Castle was about to say something but noticed Josh, Beckett's boyfriend, approaching. Instead of saying what he wanted, he too bid the detective good-bye and went to the elevator. He especially did not want to be there with the two of them. Once inside, Castle leaned back as the elevator doors closed. As he descended, all of his thoughts centered on the beautiful detective and the feelings he carried for her.

While hugging Josh, Kate watched as her friend and partner left. As she watched Castle leave, she began to think about her feelings for him. She had battled those feelings for a while, maybe even since their very first case together. With everything that had gone on lately, Kate began to re-examine all of her feelings. The thing that scared her the most was that she had finally decided on what she was going to do.

Pulling out of the embrace, Kate told Josh, "We've got to talk."

Rick exited the elevator and realized that he needed to make an important phone call before heading back to the loft. He swiftly dialed and waited to hear from the voice of his little girl.

"Dad!" came the voice of his daughter, Alexis.

"Hey pumpkin," he replied, just as happy to hear her.

"Is everything okay? Are you okay?"

Rick laughed in relief at hearing his daughter's questions. "I'm fine, sweetie, and everything is all right."

"Then it's safe to come home?"

"Yes, sweetheart, it's safe to come home. I'll tell you all about it when you get back."

"I'll tell Gram and we'll probably be back tomorrow morning. Love you, Dad."

"I love you too, pumpkin. See you tomorrow, and have a safe trip back."

It was wonderful to hear his daughter's voice because he had missed her and his mother. They did not know the reason why he told them to get out of the city once they had returned from their spa trip because he had not been allowed to tell them. Once they got home, he'd tell them everything. Now, with that over, Castle walked out of the precinct to hail a cab to take him home.

Well, Kate had done it. She was both surprised and relieved but she could use some input as to what she did. So a trip down to the morgue to see ME Lanie Parish was in order.

"Lanie, are you down here?" Kate asked, since she could not see her friend when she walked into the morgue.

"Just a minute, I'll be right with you," Lanie called out as she finished work on a body and pushed the drawer closed. When she saw Kate, she motioned over to her desk, and Kate took a seat in front. "So to what do I owe the pleasure of this visit? I thought you and the boys would still be celebrating."

"We did. I just wanted to talk to you about something."

"I'm all ears, sweetie."

Kate knew what she wanted to tell Lanie but did not really know how to say it. "I did something either very smart or very stupid, but I don't think it's the latter."

"What is it, Kate? It has to be something earth shattering with the way you're acting."

"I just broke up with Josh," Kate blurted it out hastily, relieved that she was able to say it.

"Wait just a second. Are you telling me that you broke up with Dr. McDreamy?"

The only response that Lanie got from Kate was a simple nod of her friend's head.

"Why in the world would you break up with that fine specimen of manhood…" Lanie began and then it finally hit her. "Unless…"

Once again, Kate's only response was the nod of her head.

Lanie then asked, wanting to hear what her friend would answer, "When did you come to this decision about Writer-Boy?"

"I think over the course of this last case was when I really started to open my eyes about him. It probably all started with him and my mom's case. I have never, EVER, let anyone to do as much investigating concerning my mother's murder as him. He knows so much more about my mom than even Josh. That alone says something."

"While we were stuck in that freezer freezing to death, I almost told him that I loved him before passing out."

"Wow, girl, you got it bad for the man. You have to tell him how you feel."

"I know…"

"Now, Kate! Do it now so you won't change your mind," Lanie told her friend as she got up and began to motion Kate out.

"Okay, okay, I get the hint. Thanks for listening, Lanie."

"What are friends for? Now go get your Writer-Man."

Kate chuckled and left to go to have a chat with her writer and partner.

Rick was glad to be home, despite it being so empty with his daughter and mother gone. The good thing was that they would be coming home and everything would be back to normal. It had been a trying few days for him but everything had worked out in the end.

After eating a sandwich, he tried to get some writing done, but the words just were not coming to him. Shutting down his laptop, he decided to call it a night when he heard knocking.

"Beckett?" Rick asked as he saw his favorite detective on the other side of the door.

"Can I come in?" she asked, appearing slightly nervous.

"Sure." He led her inside the loft, took her coat, and offered her a seat on the couch. "So, to what do I owe a visit from the lovely Detective Beckett this evening?"

Kate was silent for a bit before saying, "I just wanted to talk to you about something, and it couldn't wait until tomorrow."

"I'm all ears," Castle replied awaiting, what the detective had to say.

"I broke up with Josh."

"I'm sorry to hear that, Kate," Castle told her, grasping her hands in comfort. "So, he changed his mind about Haiti?"

"It's not that. I just realized that I have feelings for someone else. That I love someone else."

Castle was a little surprised at this. He had thought that she was happy with Dr. Motorcycle Boy. Then, he thought back to a few days ago when Kate had mentioned that with all of Josh's work abroad they were not spending much time together. Distance alone could put a damper on a relationship.


Instead of telling him, Kate showed him. Moving closer to him, she cupped his face in her hands, brought him close to her, and gave Castle loving kiss. It didn't take long for him to start kissing her back, and his arms wrapped around her to prolong it.

When they finally broke apart to catch their breath only one word came to mind.


"You know that I can't argue your decision," Rick told her with a light laugh.

"I kinda figured you wouldn't mind."

"So you know, you do mean a lot to me, Kate. I've felt the same about you probably since the first time we met. Getting to know you over these last couple of years has been wonderful because I truly see how extraordinary you really are, and I would like to continue learning more for years to come."

He then leaned in for another kiss, which she accepted happily.

"Stay with me, tonight?" Rick asked once their kiss ended.

"Don't you think we're moving a little fast here?" Kate responded with her own question. She was ready to start a relationship with the man, but sleeping with him without even having one single date was another matter.

To calm her fears, he gave her hands a reassuring squeeze and responded, "This isn't about sex, Kate. I just want to go to bed with you in my arms. Besides I don't want to have sex with you, I want to make love to you, and I am in no hurry because we'll get to that point eventually."

Feeling comfortable with what he told her, Kate replied, "All right, I'll stay."

With a wide grin on his face that she accepted to stay the night, Rick pulled her off the couch and led her to his bedroom. He then pulled out a t-shirt and a pair of sweats for Kate to wear. He next suggested that she could change in the bedroom which garnered him a glare. Rick pointed to bathroom, Kate went there to change.

It did not take long for Kate to join Rick in his bed. Once inside, she felt very comfortable with him snuggled up beside her, with an arm wrapped around her waist. This is something that I could really get used to, Kate thought as Rick turned off the lights.

"Night, Kate," Rick gently said next to her ear.

"Night, Rick," returned Kate happily.

Rick loved the sound of his name coming from the lovely detective. Before he nodded off to sleep, he whispered, "I love you too, Kate."

The following morning, Rick uncharacteristically woke up early and next to someone he only thought would be there next to him in his dreams. His slight movements caused Kate to stir beside him and finally wake up.

"Morning," Kate side, still a little sleepy but with a smile.

"Good morning to you as well," Rick told her and gave her a gentle kiss. "Sleep well?"

"Most definitely."

"If you want to use the shower, go ahead. I'll go fix us some breakfast."

"That would be great, thanks."

Rick got out some towels for Kate to use before he headed to the kitchen to start breakfast. Kate joined him several minutes later after her nice, relaxing shower.

"You don't mind French toast do you?" Rick asked as he poured her a cup of coffee.

"Not at all," Kate replied after a sip of her coffee.

It did not take long for Rick to fix the French toast and some bacon as well. With that all done, they enjoyed eating and being with each other. The pair finished off their breakfast with only one piece of bacon remaining. Swiftly, Kate snatched up that last piece and began to tease Rick by slowly munching on it.

"You think you're going to get away with that," Rick challenged as he went up to her and started eating the bacon from the other side.

When they met in the middle lead them to a welcoming kiss that slowly intensified. While that was going on, Alexis and Martha arrived. Setting their bags by the door, they followed Rick's voice to the kitchen.

"Good morning…" Alexis started before catching her father and Kate in a passionate kiss. "Dad."

They immediately stopped what they were doing, fully aware that they were caught.

"Good morning, sweetie, mother. Glad you got home safely," Rick stated.

"Morning, Alexis, Martha," added Kate, still embarrassed that they got caught kissing.

"Does this mean what I think it means?" Alexis asked hopefully, accurately guessing what was happening between her father and Kate.

Rick took Kate's nearest hand in his and brought it up to kiss the back of before saying, "Yes, Alexis. Kate and I are together."

Alexis squealed with delight and hugged both her father and Kate, congratulating them.

"About time," stated Martha as she too offered best wishes to them.

They then settled around the kitchen island and talked about what lead Rick and Kate to becoming a couple. They also discussed the recently wrapped up case. During their discussion, Kate could not help but watch Rick's family interacting with one another and her as well. She truly enjoyed being included with his family. Once again a thought crossed her mind, and she smiled. I could really get use to this.

The End

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