I've been enjoying the many great stories on this site and thought I'd try a one-shot. Castle belongs to ABC and A.M.


"Zombies, zombies my," Esposito didn't complete the thought. What really surprised him was that Ryan was so caught up in the idea of zombies that he was missing the bigger picture, Castle and Beckett had their mojo back. Their interactions were easier and conversations were longer as this case built towards conclusion. He sent Lanie a quick text to see if she had any scuttlebutt.

Hey Chica. Beckett and Castle looking closer than in last couple of weeks. What gives? Esposito typed.

His phone dinged with an incoming message, Hi Javi. Kate had noticed Castle pulling away and then the Slaughter debacle. Castle just wouldn't talk to her and flaunted the blonde. You know Kate, if he's pulling back then she is too. God Forbid that she show vulnerability. Yesterday, she was much more cheerful than she has been all week. What do you see going on? Call me later.

Will do. he responded.

Now to make sure Ryan didn't get in the damn way when the two of them were talking. On Monday, Lanie had shared that during the bombing case when everything went south, Kate had been interrupted several times while trying to talk to Castle. She never got the chance to owe up to how she was healing and feeling positive towards the future. Esposito had pondered what Lanie shared. He realized for Beckett to have any confidence in a happy future was a first in all the years he had known her.

Esposito leaned over towards Ryan's desk and tossed a pen at him. "Hey Honeymilk." He said.

"Hmmpfh, What?" Ryan responded.

"Check your phone in a minute, will you?" Esposito asked.

"Sure", said Ryan looking at Esposito curiously.

Esposito began typing away on his phone. Looks like Mom and Dad aren't getting a divorce this week. This case has really been good for them. You know how we always barge in when we have a new lead or evidence without thinking about interrupting them? I think we should look first this week. Lanie said Becks tried to get him to talk four times during the bombing and Slaughter incident without success. After being shut down that many times, and forgiving his recent behavior she must really have something important to share. I think she won't try and get him out again but will have to talk about it at the precinct. He hit send.

Ryan's phone buzzed and he grabbed it from his desk while looking around the bullpen. Capt. Gates always made him nervous, just like the Nuns at Catholic School. He wasn't doing anything wrong but it was still that same guilty feeling. He glanced at his phone and saw the date, April 25th. Ryan couldn't believe it was almost a year since Capt. Montgomery died. He was worried about what the anniversary of his death and Kate's shooting would mean to his team as well as to the larger 12th family. Jenny had tried to keep his outlook upbeat with the impending anniversary but it weighed heavily on him. Ryan shook his head to clear the thoughts away and read the text.

He quickly texted back, Are you playing matchmaker? I thought that was Lanie's job. He snickered quietly to himself. I want Mom and Dad to be happy too so I'll follow your lead on this.

Then Ryan added one more response, Is it time to visit the pool? It seemed so hopeless for the last few weeks. What's the jackpot up to now? He wanted his friends to be happy but he wasn't quite the romantic that Javi was.

"Beckett, I'm getting a fresh cup. Do you want one?" he asked.

"Sure Castle", she replied. Castle didn't see Beckett's eyes lingering on him as he walked into the break room. She was so relieved that he was talking to her again.

Castle walked past Ryan and Esposito's desks on his way to the break room for fresh coffee. He glanced and saw Ryan staring hard at his phone, like the lotto numbers for tonight's drawing were just waiting to appear. Esposito was working half-heartedly on paperwork which he could relate too. The guys had given him some cold attitudes which seemed to be thawing thanks to Beckett running interference.

Castle spied the influx of folders in Ryan's inbox and was grateful again that he didn't have to complete them. He knew his fans would be disappointed if he ever adjusted his plots to incorporate all the hours spent on forms in triplicate. Even with the precinct embracing technology with some virtual forms it was still a mountain of paperwork for each case. He'd rather play angry birds and watch Beckett he thought with a smile.

Castle peaked out at Kate while waiting on the cappuccino machine. "She looks beautiful today." He knew they still had many long talks in front of them but maybe there was a future to be had together.