Spoilers for the amazing To Live and Die in LA. If you don't wish to be spoiled, stop here. :)

I know I know, just about anyone who's anyone has done a tag for To Live and Die in LA. It's been ages since I wrote anything even resembling a fic, but this truly amazing show and even more amazing episode gave me inspiration (more's the pity :p ) and this is the result. It's nowhere near as good as most of the one-shots that have resulted from this awesome episode. It wasn't quite what I had in mind but the muse, (on the rare occasions it does greet me with its presence), takes me in unexpected directions. ;)

I certainly don't own Castle - that honour belongs to the highly talented Andrew W Marlowe. I won't be earning a cent.

Anyway I'm sure you just want me to shut up and get on with the story. Hope you enjoy and feedback would be wonderful! I am rather nervous about this little baby.

Without further ado I present...

To Live and Take a Chance

And now for the hard part, kid. It's clear that you and Castle have something real and you're fighting it.

But trust me, putting the job ahead of your heart is a mistake. Risking our hearts is why we're alive. The last thing you want to do is look back on your life and wonder, if only.

She glanced over at her sleeping partner who was sitting in the seat beside her. How the hell did Royce pick up on "us" in such a short time? She wondered, as she re-read the last paragraph for the umpteenth time. I mean I know how perceptive the man is... was, but that is just damn creepy. She then focused back on Castle. That had been the pattern for the last fifteen minutes, read, then turn and gaze upon her partner. She stared wordlessly at Castle, who had been her tower of strength over the last few months and was only just beginning to realise his depth of feelings toward her. All the songs are making sense...

She loved how he looked so at peace in his slumber; his boyish features perhaps looking even more youthful, if that were possible. She wondered what was going on inside that genius mind of his while he slept. What, or whom, was he dreaming about? Her? That thought drew a smile, as was so often the case when he invaded her soul, which was becoming a virtual 24/7 occurrence. And this scared her to death; after all this was the same man she took such a huge gamble on - breaking up with Demming (with whom she could have a perfectly good relationship), to take a chance and follow her heart on the fun-loving, womanising Richard Castle. She would never forget the humiliation she felt when he left with Gina - she wasn't sure if she'd ever fully recover - her heart had been crushed. She sighed, staring back down at the note as if trying to calm herself down and gather her chaotic inner ramblings that were bringing up memories she'd rather forget. However, maybe it was for the best... we are so much closer now...

The word so often said between them, "always" was quickly becoming her favourite word known to mankind; it just summed up their evolving relationship so perfectly. They had developed a real close bond over the last year; she would not give it a moment's thought to call him her best friend. Her go to person. He was the one who she turned to when she felt as if the world was closing in and going to swallow her whole in its destructive path. She trusted him implicitly... was she ready to let him in completely and trust him with her heart?

She had thrown caution to the wind the night before and was about to take the next step with her writer... Josh or no Josh. If only I had have been a fraction earlier to open that damn door. Her heart had literally stopped when he gave her his heartfelt speech; she wasn't stupid, he had practically told her that he loved her. "Even now, after all this time, I'm still amazed by the depths of your heart, your strength... and your hotness." The fact that he merely stared into her eyes when she had given him the chance to make some humourous quip was a huge turning point for her. His silence spoke volumes to her - just maybe he is in love with her. That thought made her heart jump for joy. She again glanced at the man who was her rock, Could you love me too?

Damn it Rick, why did you go and make me love you? Yeah I'm in love with you, Writer-Boy. And perhaps it's time I stopped wondering "if only" and see where it takes us. Even though I am absolutely freaking terrified at taking that leap.

She eventually folded Royce's letter with some care and put it into her pocket. She gently eased her left hand into the larger ones of Castle and rested her head onto his very inviting shoulder.

She glanced up into the face of her 'ruggedly handsome' partner, (and I'll never admit it to him, but he really is), just to make sure she hadn't disturbed him from his slumber. "I love you... it is real." She whispered, feeling her eyes grow heavy as the whirlwind of emotions she had experienced over the last 48 hours fully seeped into her conscious; finally taking their toll.

Perhaps I should tell you that I broke up with Doctor Motocycle Boy. This was her last thought as she felt sleep claim her.

The end.

Thanks for reading! :D Thoughts?