AN: Here it is, the final chapter to Strange Bedfellows. Enjoy!

When Rick woke the following morning, he was greeted with a sight that made him smile. Kate was still asleep but was draped across Rick's bare chest. The other times he has seen her like this were different because he now felt that she was his. Of course, he would not say that to her.

Kate began to stir and slowly opened those green eyes that Rick was getting quite fond of seeing in the early morning.

"Morning," Kate softly said with a smile, pressing a gentle kiss on Rick's chest.

"Morning," replied Rick placing a kiss of his own on the top of Kate's head. "Sleep well?"

"Very, thank you," she answered in a sultry tone.

Rick chuckled at that but then turned serious. "Kate, there's something I think we need to talk about."

She knew from his tone that what he wanted to talk about was important and Kate had a pretty good idea what it was. Reluctantly she left her spot on Rick's chest, taking the sheet with her as she sat up to lean against the headboard.

Kate turned to look at Rick straight in the eye and said, "Okay."

Before he started, Rick grabbed her hand and twined their fingers together. "Last night was…"

"Incredible," Kate inserted when it appeared that Rick was not able to find the right words.

"Most definitely, but I don't want this, us, to be a one night thing. I want you to know that I'm serious about making this work, Kate, for the simple reason that I don't want to lose you."

Kate was moved, and she believed every word. The man beside her was not the same one she first met a little more than two years ago. Living with him and his family the last few months had opened her eyes about Rick Castle and during that time, her heart was opened as well.

"I don't want this to be one night either and I certainly want to see where things go between us. You know that I'm a one and done type of girl?" Rick answered by nodding his head and she gave his hand a gentle squeeze. "I'm hoping that my one and done is you."

"I would not be too surprised if it is."

Rick then captured Kate's lips in a heart warming kiss which quickly turned passionate.

Reluctantly, Kate pulled back to end the kiss saying, "We better stop because I'd hate to be late this morning, writer-boy."

"My fair detective, I thought I proved to you last night that I'm not writer-boy but writer-man. Twice," Rick told her smugly.

"How could I forget, writer-man?" Kate leaned back in for a quick kiss. "I guess it's time to get out of bed and into the shower. Care to join me?"

"You don't have to ask me twice."

They got out bed and into Rick's shower. At first they helped each other by washing but when hands began to roam kisses were exchanged and things snowballed from there to the start of round three between them that morning.

Kate could not believe that she had been living at the loft for a little over eight months. The work on her apartment had been slow going and it appeared that it would probably take the full year to fix it. She did not really care much about that now since she and Rick, it felt a little odd to refer to Castle by his first name but it did bring a smile to her face, were now a couple.

One other thing that came to mind was their being married. Max, Castle's lawyer, had kept in touch with Rick about their situation. Through Rick, he had passed along that he was just starting to take a look at their problem it but it would still be perhaps several weeks before he could give them a definitive answer on what to do. What was surprising Kate was that she was not worried about it. At first, it was terrifying but now with their new relationship, it wasn't.

Being with Castle had made Kate very happy. She had not had this much fun with a man ever, not even when she was with Will, Tom, or even Josh. Kate felt that Rick really understood her and the baggage that she brought to the relationship. He knew everything about her and she in turn knew him as well as his baggage.

Also, Kate felt like she was part of a family again. Not that she and her father were not one but it felt more so with Rick, Alexis and even Martha. She was glad that Alexis and Martha approved of their relationship despite the fact that Rick had told her that they would. Spending time with them all together or in various combinations was nice. But it was the times that she and Rick spent alone that were truly wonderful, especially when they became more physical with each other, just like the other night.

On this day, Kate was waiting for Lanie. They had Saturday off and decided to have breakfast at a diner that they both enjoyed. In the back of her mind, Kate knew that her friend had an ulterior motive for getting together. All of their friends knew that Rick and Kate were seeing each other but what they did not know was how serious things were between them.

"Hey girl, were you waiting long?" Lanie asked as she slid into the chair across from Kate.

"No, just been thinking," replied Kate with a smile.

"With that smile on your face, I can only imagine who you were thinking about."


Before Lanie could grill her friend anymore, a waitress came by to take their order. Once that was done, the M.E. went right back to it.

Lanie seemed very interested in her friend's answer when she asked, "So, how has it been living with writer-boy all these months?"

"It's been good," Kate replied calmly, taking a sip of her coffee.

"Oh, I bet it's been more than good, girl."

"Maybe," Kate told her friend with a grin just as their food was arriving.

"You know this is like pulling out teeth to get the juicy details out of you about you and Castle. I'm your best friend, who else can you tell this kind of stuff to?"

"You know how private a person I am, Lanie. My relationship with Rick is…" Kate started but was quickly cut off.

"Wait, wait, wait just a minute here. You just referred to Castle by his first name."

"Well Rick is his name," Kate said and then went back to her scrambled eggs.

"Quit the crap, girl, or so help me…"

"All right, all right. Everything between me and Castle has been great, beyond that... Lanie, I haven't felt this way in a very long time. He gives me space when I need it and he is there for me when I need that. Spending time with him is wonderful and the same can be said for being with Alexis and Martha. I feel like I'm part of a real family for the first time since my mom died. Not that me and my dad aren't family but…"

Lanie reached over and grabbed Kate's hand to give it a reassuring squeeze. "I know, sweetie. I'm really happy for you."

"Thanks, Lane."

For the next few minutes they ate in silence just enjoying each other's company. When they were finished eating and only had their coffee left, Lanie had question for her friend that she just had to ask.

"There's something I need to ask you," Lanie began after taking a sip of her coffee. "Is Castle as good in bed as the rumors make him out to be?"

"Lanie!" Kate exclaimed. Luckily, she had not been drinking when she heard her friend's question.

"What? This inquiring mind wants, no, needs to know."

"Ok, just to keep you from asking me again. Yes, they're true, oh so very true."


Kate took a sip from her coffee cup with a grin as she remembered what she and Rick did that morning and nodded in answer.

"So, has he told you that he loves you?"

"The first time was the other night. I've had the feeling that he loved me, but to actually hear the words come from him…"

"And did you say it back?"

Kate bowed her head, not wanting to look her friend in the eye. "No."

"Why not?"

"He caught me by surprise, but he told me when I know I feel the same, that's when I should say it."

"That's one special man to say that."

"Oh, don't I know it, Lanie."

"But aren't you falling for him?"

"I'm not falling in love with him, Lanie. I already am in love with him."

Hearing that, all Lanie could do was get up from her seat and wrap Kate in a congratulatory hug which Kate happily returned.

A few weeks later

Kate still had not told Rick that she loved him; she wanted to find the perfect time to tell him. Lately, it never seemed to be the appropriate time. Despite that, things between them were great and Kate was still surprised at time by the fact that she was dating Rick Castle.

After a slow day at the precinct, Rick asked her if it was all right for him to head out. Kate was shocked that he would ask, but she told him to go right ahead. Minutes after he left, Kate wondered if the writer was up to something. She decided that she wouldn't put it past him as she continued with her paperwork.

It was just before six in the evening when Kate decided to head for home. She was really getting used to calling Castle's loft home. Once she got there and unlocked the door, she was greeted by an amazing sight. A beautifully set table for two with a pair of candles.

As her gaze was still focused on the table, Rick made his presence known, dressed to explicitly to impress her which he did not have to do but Kate appreciated it. "Good evening, madame. Would you like to freshen up before dinner?"

Stunned, Kate decided that she might as well go along with it. "Yes, I think I will."

"Excellent," Rick replied and escorted her to his room. Once they had become a couple, she had decided to move from the guestroom to his. It was a decision he didn't seem to have a problem with.

Leaving Kate to get ready, Rick went back to the kitchen to see how their meal was coming. He was preparing Chicken Alfredo for them.

Finishing her shower, Kate decided to dress up just like Rick had done. Finding a red dress that hugged her figure and showed off her legs, something that Rick had mentioned he liked seeing her in, she put it on.

"You look great, sweetheart," Rick told her as he came back in and placed a kiss on her cheek.

"Why thank you, kind sir," Kate replied as he pulled the chair out for her to sit in. "What's for dinner?"

"My world famous Chicken Alfredo."

"World famous, huh? Well, I look forward to it then."

It wasn't long after that Rick disappeared into the kitchen to return with plates filled with the meal he had prepared. Just before they started eating, he lit the candles to give their dining experience a little more romantic feel, especially with the lights turned down low.

A thought popped into Kate's head and so she asked, "Was this what you had in mind when you wanted to leave the precinct early?"

"Yes, I wanted it to be a surprise," Rick said as he took the chair across from her.

"It's a lovely surprise, but where are Alexis and Martha?"

"Alexis is spending the night at a friend's, while Mother is, well, Mother. She promised me that she would be out until tomorrow, so we have the place all to ourselves this evening."

"I guess I've got to put up with you then for the whole night. It makes me wonder what I did wrong to deserve that," Kate teased while she took a bite of her Chicken Alfredo.

"Ha ha, very funny. With comments like that, it makes me wonder why I fell in love with you in the first place," Rick replied evenly before taking a bite of his own.

"Aww, my poor baby." Kate then take out then got up and went over to Rick. "Maybe a kiss will make it better." Grabbing his face, she gave him a warm kiss on the lips before returning to her seat.

Rick's response was a wide grin and they spent the next several minutes in pleasant conversation while finishing their meal.

Once finished, Rick decided that it was time to talk to Kate about something that he could only tell her alone.

"Kate, Max got in touch with me today about our marriage and he gave me a couple of options that we could follow," Rick told her calmly despite his heart racing at what he was about to say.

A surprised look swiftly crossed Kate's face before she said, "Okay, let's hear what he had to say."

"By taking a look at the wedding video and giving it a thorough examination, he concluded that we could get an annulment based on our state of mind at the time. The other option is that we can just stay married. So, what do you think?"

Max's options were straight to the point, Kate thought as she mulled it over. At first, Kate would not have hesitated at getting the annulment, but now things had changed. Her feelings for Rick had grown from friendship to love and thoughts about a life without him beside her were not an option for her anymore. It was then that Kate arrived at her decision.

"I think we should stay married," Kate told him flat out.


"Yes, really."

Rick rose from his chair, went over to Kate and took her left hand in his. "Good, this makes what I'm about to do next that much easier." He then got down on one knee with her hand in his while using the other to procure a velvet covered box. "I've been in love with you for who knows how long and when we got together all those months ago, it felt right. Being with you, I can't fathom spending my life without you. Katherine Beckett, would you do me the honor and the pleasure of becoming my wife?" After a brief pause, he added with a smile, "Again."

Kate's eyes were filled with tears at Rick's question and answered happily, "Yes, I'll marry you." And just like her now fiancé did, she added after a pause, "Again."

Rick took the immaculate looking diamond ring out of the box and placed it on Kate's finger. They then sealed their engagement with a very passionate kiss.

The following morning the newly engaged couple shared a sensuous shower with together before they prepared to go to the precinct. As the both finished getting ready, Rick watched Kate put on her father's watch and then the chain that held her mother's ring. He then take out then took a double take at what he saw on it. Rick and Kate had decided that they wanted to tell everyone close to them about their engagement at a dinner party that they would have later in the week. So, instead of Kate wearing her engagement ring, she thought it would be nice to wear it with her mother's. Rick saw both of those rings but also another that was very familiar.

"Kate is that what I think it is?" Rick asked gesturing at the chain she wore.

She looked down at the three rings and realized that he was referring to the third ring. "Yeah, it's my wedding ring," Kate answered calmly.

Rick could not help feeling a little touched that Kate had kept it there but he had to ask, "Why?"

"On some level, I enjoyed the fact that I was married to you. With how far we've come since then, I'm glad I kept it with my mother's ring."

"Wow, Kate, that's… I love you so much right now."

"And I love you, Rick."

They expressed their love for each other with a searing kiss. When they finally broke apart, they headed to the kitchen for breakfast.

Later that week

Everyone had gathered at the loft for dinner without the knowledge of why they were there. Roy had brought his wife, Ryan was accompanied with his fiancée, Jenny, Esposito was with Lanie and that left Alexis, Martha, and Kate's father, Jim. They were all seated around a table in the living room with Rick and Kate at the head of it.

Rick clinked his glass to get everyone's attention. "I have the feeling that you are wondering why you are all here tonight. Well, Kate and I have an announcement that we'd like to share."

Kate then stood up beside him and continued, "Earlier in the week, Rick asked me to marry him. And I said yes."

But before anyone could say anything, Rick added just like the night he proposed, "Again."

They then started to get congratulations from everyone, Lanie realized what Castle had just said and asked the couple, "What do you mean by again?"

"What I mean is that Kate and I are already married but we want to have another ceremony with our family and friends present," Rick explained.

That revelation stunned everyone present.

"Dad?" questioned Alexis, surprised.

"Richard?" posed Martha, just as shocked as her granddaughter.

"Katie?" an also surprised Jim Beckett asked.

"Why didn't you tell me, and when did this happen?" Lanie asked.

"And to keep it a secret from us," added Ryan.

"Yeah," chimed in Esposito.

"I wouldn't mind hearing an answer to the second half of Dr. Parish's question," Montgomery said to the pair.

Rick and Kate had already quietly discussed how they would tell them and decided that the truth was the best. So, Rick kicked things off. "It all started after we had returned to the Mirage from the LVPD…"

The End

AN: That's it and I hope you enjoyed it. I would like to thank all the people that have read/reviewed/alerted this story. The response to this story has been incredible and it means a lot to me that it was well received. This isn't the last story in this fandom that I'll be writing because I have another one just waiting to get written. I do have another ready but probably won't post until next month.

I would like to hear what you thought on how this story came to an end and the only way to do that is by leaving a review. Flames are not wanted.