"You had questions for me. Do you still want to ask them?" Rick asks turning to look at her.
"Why weren't we together last Friday night? I know I was on call and planned on having dinner with my dad, but why couldn't we have done that together?" She wonders.
"You didn't ask me to go with you. I just assumed you wanted time alone with your dad and some space." He mutters unsure where the lines are drawn concerning their relationship. "What if someone would have seen us out and made a comment about a 'meet the parents' dinner with your dad? What if our picture would have ended up in the paper? I know I'm not front page news but I've made my fair share of appearances on page six." He reminds her.
"I don't know why I didn't ask you. I want you to spend time with my family too. My dad likes you. I think he has been rooting for you ever since the summer after I was shot. He knew the pain wasn't the only reason I was miserable." She grins, surprised she admitted that. "I know I was uneasy about Alexis and Martha knowing, but it's important that our families know what is going on and are allowed to share in our happiness." She adds with a shrug.
"Wait a second. You mean you still haven't told your dad about us? I thought that's why you were going to dinner with him, so you could tell him." He asks, not sure if he should be upset or not.
"No, I didn't tell him, I wanted to talk to you about it first and maybe have you come with me when I tell him, show him that this is..." She gestures between them, "is real and how much I want this."
"You tell me when. Maybe we can invite him over to the loft for a family...uh...dinner with Mother and Alexis." He hesitates over the phrasing of his last sentence.
"Do you think a...uh...family dinner is a good idea right now? I mean... we might want to wait on putting my father and your mother in the same room with equal chances to make our lives Hell this early into this?" She chuckles at the image forming in her mind.
"Yeah, we might need to wait on that for awhile longer." He laughs. "You could have come with me to see Alexis too. I mean, she already knows about us. But again, the public thing and your plans with your dad kept me from asking. I know we are comfortable being together in our homes but I'm not sure how to handle the public side of us. I guess we need to figure out what exactly is acceptable in public. I would love to take you out to dinner without worrying about where we go and who will see us, but as long as you are my 'secret girlfriend', we are gonna have to continue to be discreet." He continues, showing his disappointment with how things are.
"You know, we can go out to eat. We just can't go to all those fancy 'date' places. We can go to Remy's or here anytime we want. We have come here so many times as 'just friends' no one would think any different. We would just have to keep our hands to ourselves." She grins, shooting him a knowing look.
"But I like holding your hand and putting my arm around you." He pouts. "I guess if I want to 'date my girlfriend' we will have to order in and have movie nights on the couch."
"Sounds like a good date to me, Castle. I would like that, a lot." She smiles. "I definitely wouldn't say no to snuggling on the couch."
"Okay, this Friday. We order in and have a movie marathon at my place. On call or not. I am not taking 'no' for an answer." He insists.
"Deal. That means next time is at my place." She tells him.
"Now that those plans are settled. You said two questions. What is the other one? I'm guessing this was the easier one for you to ask?" He prods.
She takes a deep breath and proceeds. "Why were your prints all over that store? Why were in a jewelry store anyway, Castle?" She questions, still not sure she wants to hear his answer. Not because she fears there is another woman, but that he's done something she is no where near ready for. She loves him, but it's far too soon for the thoughts that are rushing through her mind about Rick and shopping in jewelry stores.
"Are you sure you wanna know?" He queries with a raise of his eyebrows.
"No, but I need to. We need all of this stuff out in the open if we are going to move past this." She states matter-of-factly.
"First of all, you know how I like to touch things..." He smirks with a waggle of his eyebrows. "Especially, shiny things."
"Okay Castle, that explains the prints. Now explain why you were buying jewelry." She pushes for the answer to the question that has been plaguing her since this whole thing started.
"Okay, but first, you have to promise not to overreact." He says as he extricates himself from her grasp, heading toward his desk. "I was looking for something for you."
"Rick?" She groans as she sees him reaching into his desk drawer.
"Kate, don't panic. It's not that. I didn't... I'm impulsive, but I'm not stupid." He giggles at her facial expression.
"Then what? What did you do Castle?" She sighs.
"You do know that jewelry stores do sell other things besides rings, right?" He's adds jokingly knowing where her mind had taken her.
"Yeah...I know that. I've been in a few jewelry stores in my lifetime." She answers feeling a little more relieved at the turn their conversation has taken. "It just caught me off guard and you didn't say anything during the interview at the station."
"Interview...that was a full on interrogation, Beckett. What was I supposed to say in there? That I was buying a gift for my girlfriend? If I would have said that, Esposito would have been even more pissed off and ruthless in his approach. He was already treating me like I had betrayed you...all of you." He says with a piercing glance at her approaching figure.
"I...no, I guess it would have made it worse. I just wish..." She stumbles to a stop. " I wish I would have given you a chance to explain...instead of being a cop and rushing to judgment based on the evidence that was piling up against you. I'm sorry." She apologizes as she comes to stand across the desk from him.
"It's fine...no, actually it isn't, but it will be. We'll be fine Kate. We just need to 'do the work' like you did with Dr. Burke. If we want this..." He motions between them. "Then we'll get there."
Their eyes both focus on the velvet jewelry box that remains untouched on his desk as silence falls between them.
"Do you...do you want to see what's inside the box?" He asks, breaking the uncomfortable silence.
"Only if you want me to see it." She answers, shy and unsure of herself.
"I was going to give it to you this weekend...but uh...well." He mumbles, pushing the box in her direction.
"Are you sure you still want me to have it...after all of this, I mean? Maybe you should save it for when things are better and the wounds have healed." She says as her hand hovers over the box between them.
"Yeah, who knows, maybe this is the first step in the healing process. This could symbolize a new beginning or a fresh start. Maybe, when you wear it, it will remind you that I'm in this with you. I'm all in Kate." His voice strong and confident about what they are building together. "I'll explain why I chose what I did and why after you open the box." He finishes, gesturing toward the box again.
"Oh,...Rick it's beautiful..." She can't hold back the gasp that escapes her mouth as she takes in the piece of jewelry that he has chosen for her.
"I know you usually wear a chain with your mom's ring on it, but I noticed when we were in the Hamptons that you didn't wear it everyday. I wasn't sure if I should ask why you didn't have it on but ..." He stops suddenly, looking at Kate to judge her reaction to the charm.
"I don't wear it everyday anymore. Now that I have gotten some semblance of closure, I don't need to wear it as much and I know my mom would want me to be happy and not be weighed down with my memories that I associate with her ring and her death. I do still wear it sometimes, but I don't need it like I used to." She answers as she runs her fingers over the charm.
"I went in there looking for a bracelet, but then I saw this charm, with the two linked hearts and I thought of you...us. So I bought it." He says hesitantly, like he might have said too much...or not enough.
"Rick, it's... thank you. Can I slip it onto the chain I'm already wearing?" She asks unsure of what to do with the charm.
"I bought a chain too, it's a little longer than your others so you can hide it under your shirts at work." His voice trails off as he finishes his sentence.
"Why would I hide this? It's gorgeous." She says seemingly oblivious to what he is getting at.
"So nobody sees it and asks questions about secret boyfriends and stuff. We are still keeping us a secret, right?" He asks.
"Yeah, we have to keep us quiet at the precinct, but I'm thinking we should probably tell Javi and Lanie soon, in light of what happened today and Ryan already knowing." She suggests. "I'm tired of hiding us. I want our friends to know and be happy for us."
"You know Lanie is going to be mad at you for holding out on her right? You get to tell her. She scares me a little bit." He shudders just thinking about the ME and all her veiled threats about making his death look like natural causes.
"Okay, but you are telling Espo." She says laughing. "He is so going to give you the 'big brother...if you hurt her speech'."
"Do you think that Espo is going to be mad at Ryan for not telling him about us?" Rick asks, suddenly concerned about their partners.
"They will have to figure it out on their own. I have a more important partnership to repair." She gives him a pointed look.
"We're okay Kate. This talking thing may be new for us, but I think we need to do it more often. We need to keep the lines of communication open so things don't get misconstrued and feelings don't get hurt. We are so very good at not talking, but sometimes we need to use our words not our actions." He says reaching out to help her put the new necklace and charm on.
"I have always been a fan of your words, Castle. You know I've read all of your books, some more than once. Your words have gotten me through some pretty rough times and they mean more now than ever. Especially, those three words that used to send me running for the exit." She says shyly.
"I love you, Kate." He says pulling her over to sit back on the couch. "I'll say them as often as you need me to."
Someday soon, I'm going to say them to you too. I do love you Castle...more than you will ever know. "So what do we do now?" Kate asks still looking down at the charm around her neck.
"I think it would probably be a good idea if we went home and got some sleep, it's been a really long day." He says as he grabs her hand to lead them from his office. "This day has really worn me out."
"Let's get you home then." She says with a squeeze of her hand as they trudge up the steps to the bar.
"Kate, do you want to come back to the loft with me...to sleep?" He asks suddenly a little shy.
"Are you sure about this? When you said it would take time, I just figured..." She questions.
"I just really want to hold you in my arms tonight. I think we'll both sleep better if we are together." He says with a had at her back as they step out of the Old Haunt to hail a cab.
"I...only if you're sure about this." She mumbles. "There's no place I would rather be."