Just a little collection of Tumblr-posted ficlets and drabbles… more coming soon!
Note: generally Caskett, but the first is my only ever Stanathan, so feel free to skip it!
“You’re staring at me again.”
Stana laughed and snuggled down against her pillow, her eyes on her sleepy boyfriend.
“Sorry. Can’t help it. Your bed hair is just too adorable.”
Nathan cracked open an eye, giving her a flat look.
“Adorable?” he muttered, his voice half muffled by the pillow. “Nothing about me is adorable. I am one hundred percent rugged and manly and I have the fluffy slippers to prove it.”
Stana laughed again, reaching over to trail her fingers through his ‘manly’ bed hair.
“Of course. Now, come on, Mr Macho. Time to get up. If we don’t hurry up and get ready, they’ll start filming without us.”
“Don’t see how they’re going to manage that, when we’ve got a sizeable portion of the cast right here,” Nathan yawned, then hid his head under the pillow. “Let’s just sleep a little longer.”
“Nope, not happening.” Grinning, Stana pulled the pillow away, making him groan and cover his head with his arms.
“Come on, baby, take pity on me. I need my sleep.”
Stana rolled her eyes. “Mmm-hmm, and just remind me– exactly who was the one who kept us up all night because he couldn’t keep his roaming hands to himself?”
“Well, to be fair, you participated,” Nathan countered, turning his head slightly to smirk at her. “In fact, I seem to remember you hands doing a little roaming of their own.”
Stana grinned, then whacked him lightly with the pillow. “Come on, Nath. We have to get up. It’s a big day today, remember? Poor Beckett has to kiss you again, and I know you remember how many takes it took last time.”
“Yeah, because you kept accidentally getting the angle wrong,” Nathan teased.
“And you kept accidentally placing your hands in the wrong spots,” Stana shot back, and they both grinned.
Nathan looked up at her, then lifted his eyebrows devilishly. “Maybe this time we should practice first.”
Stana grinned slyly. “Isn’t that kinda what we were doing last night?”
“Babe, last night was the type of thing reserved for a much later timeslot than Castle’s.”
Stana laughed, then leaned over to briefly capture his lips with hers. “That’s true.”
Then, pushing herself off the bed, she straightened, stretching. Looking down at Nathan, she saw him eyeing her longingly, and grinned.
“Don’t even think about it. We’re going to be late.”
Nathan gave a theatrical sigh, then finally surrendered. “Fine. Just give me one more minute and then I’ll get up.”
Without waiting for a reply, he promptly closed his eyes, cushioning his head on his arms, and Stana couldn’t help but smile at the adorable picture he made. Her smile widened as her eyes drifted down the bed to his cute butt, which had been exposed by the tangled sheet when she’d gotten up.
Grabbing her phone off the nightstand, she snapped a quick picture, grinning broadly as the shot came up on the screen.
Hearing the click of the photo being taken, Nathan cracked open an eye once more.
“You better not be thinking about Tweeting that.”
Stana laughed, imagining the chaos that would ensue if she did.
“As amusing as that would be, I think this is one I’ll be keeping to myself,” she answered playfully, taking a moment to save the picture before gently replacing the phone on the nightstand.
“Anyway, I’d better shower,” she said, casually pulling off the old T-shirt of his that she was wearing as she turned to head toward the bathroom.
She had barely taken two steps before Nathan was suddenly on his feet, all trace of sleepiness gone.
“You know, we really are going to be late. We should shower together, save some time.”
Pausing in the doorway to the bathroom, Stana looked over her shoulder at him, giving him a devious smile.
“Funny, I was just thinking the same thing.”
Victoria Gates has seen this story played out before.
For cops, the bond between partners is vital, unbreakable, sacred. It’s everything. But sometimes– albeit much more rarely than all the television crime dramas would have the public believe– it’s even more than that.
Sometimes, the bond can transcend even the closest partnership, become so much more.
She saw it the first time she ever observed the two of them together, though she had suspected it before even then. It had been evident in Kate’s face from the very moment she had walked into this office and requested– more accurately,demanded– that Castle be reinstated to the team.
Looking up at her then, Gates had immediately seen through the mask that the young detective so determinedly projected, seeing what truly lay beneath– the stubbornness, the fierce loyalty, the carefully hidden vulnerability.
Sometimes, it was like looking at her younger self.
Now, watching Kate leave her office– in a much more subdued, less rebellious way than many of her previous visits– Gates lets the stern, rigid, iron persona slip a little, sighing softly as she rests an elbow on the desk in front of her, fingers propped thoughtfully underneath her chin.
Vaguely, she wonders if it was wise to share a little of her story with Kate, just those few weeks ago; after all, it’s not her job to be a friend to her detectives. It’s her job to protect them in any and all ways she can, and by doing so, protect the city she loves.
But Kate… she makes Gates want to bend the rules, which is remarkable enough in itself. Giving a small sigh, she thinks back to the conversation that just took place, the softening in both the younger woman’s countenance and attitude as she seemingly began to realise that Captain Victoria Gates was not just some heartless, order-barking machine– but a cop, and a woman, even perhaps someone that she could truly relate to.
After all, they have more in common than many might think.
Without lifting her chin from her hand– she’ll resume being by-the-book Captain Gates soon enough, but for the moment, she would allow herself simply to beVictoria– she slowly drew open the top desk drawer, her fingers coming to rest on the small, familiar object kept safely stowed away inside.
Lifting it out, she let her gaze linger on it, drawing the familiar sight inside herself to that small, well-hidden vault that no one would ever see.
The photograph was getting a little old now; the frame worn silky smooth by her stroking fingers.
But he was still as handsome as he had ever been.
Jonah Ross was a great cop, a better man, and the best partner that the NYPD could ever have produced. He had been her best friend, her confidante, the only person in the world she had truly trusted.
And yes, she had loved him.
She had told him so, just once; standing over his lifeless body, staring at the ruin that had become of his beautiful face after he’d placed his service piece in his mouth and pulled the trigger.
Like her, Jonah had been from a family of cops; it had been all he had ever wanted, ever since he’d been given his own toy badge at the age of three. It was his calling, his dream, the love of his life.
Until it was taken away by one drunkard sergeant and a severed spine.
She should have known that Jonah could never live his life as a cripple, powerless to protect the city he’d sworn to defend. She should have been there with him– if not to stop him, then at least to let him go with the truth in his ears, with no ‘what-ifs’ or regrets left to haunt either of them.
Straightening, Gates turned her gaze to the spot where they stood, her four, her team. She observed the easy interaction, the affection and respect. She saw the boys laugh, saw Kate shake her head in supposed disapproval, though it was clear that inwardly, she was laughing too. She saw the look exchanged between Kate and Castle, the almost unconscious brush of their arms as they shared a small, private smile that conveyed more than anyone else would ever understand.
Dropping her gaze, she gently stroked the picture once more, then sighed, and carefully placed it back in the drawer.
Yes, they had much in common, she and Kate; their pasts were parallel, their stories similar.
But maybe, for this pair of partners, they would see the end rewritten.
The difference between ‘single’ and ‘available’
It had been a while since she’d had to reject a man’s advances.
Despite being single, she apparently gave off what Lanie– in her usual tasteful way– often described as a “I’m-so-taken-that-you’d-have-better-luck-with-your-own-mother” vibe; though, personally, Beckett preferred to attribute her singleness to the fact that she simply lacked the time to pursue a proper personal life, and as such restricted any potential romantic opportunities.
Lanie had a few words to describe that theory too.
But, either way– ‘vibe’ or not– it was clearly and uncomfortably apparent that the handsome blonde stranger before her simply wasn’t tuning in.
As the man– Jake? Was that his name? She hadn’t really paid attention– shifted slightly closer, complimenting her dress with what he likely thought was a charming smile, Beckett simply smiled politely back and thanked him, all the while searching for a tactful way to rid herself of the man while leaving both his pride and his– clearly inflated– ego intact.
Silently wondering if excusing herself to use the bathroom would be a little toocliché, Beckett kept up the polite small talk, sending a surreptitious glance around the room for signs of Lanie, one of the boys, or best of all, Castle. If Castle had been with her, this problematic situation simply wouldn’t exist; with him at her side– as he almost always was– it was rare for any other man to dare approach her, and rarer still for them to flirt as openly as blonde Jake was currently doing.
Fixing her eyes back on her hopeful suitor, Beckett smiled, forcing herself to listen to whatever boastful story Jake was currently regaling her with. Despite her efforts at polite attention, her thoughts soon returned to Castle, wondering where he had gone, and what he was doing right now.
Her answer came barely ten seconds later, as Castle suddenly appeared beside her, one hand resting lightly on the small of her back as he handed her a flute of champagne with the other.
Looking up at him as she took the glass, Beckett let her gratitude show in her eyes, her mouth curving slightly in silent thanks. For a moment Castle’s eyes met hers, warm and knowing, before he turned slightly to address her companion.
“Hi, I’m Rick Castle,” he said casually, holding out a hand to Jake– the other remained steady against her lower back– and smiling in a friendly way as he added, “Kate’s partner.”
“Great to meet you, Rick,” the blonde man said politely, dutifully shaking the proffered hand. Then, retrieving his hand from the larger man’s firm grip, he cleared his throat slightly before favouring them both with a smile.
“Well, I’d best get going, still much meeting and greeting to be done. Have a great night, both of you.”
“You too,” they answered together, watching as Jake made his escape, moving smoothly but quickly through the crowd, putting plenty of space between them.
Castle’s hand lingered at her back a little longer, then dropped slowly back to his side as she turned slightly to meet his eyes, one eyebrow slightly raised as she sipped at her champagne.
“What?” he asked, his mouth twitching almost imperceptibly. “What did I say?”
Pretty much that I was yours and that you’d tear apart any man who even thought about coming near me, she thought, only not in so many words.
Smiling slightly, Beckett simply shook her head. “Nothing.”
For a minute they simply stood together in a companionable silence, sipping their champagne as they looked out over the crowded dance floor, watching the slowly swaying couples and letting their thoughts wander. Beckett’s thoughts were certainly wandering in a very specific direction; every now and then Castle’s elbow would brush hers, the contact sending a delicious shiver across her bare skin, and she couldn’t help but imagine his touch having the same effect in certain… other…areas of her body, proving that his hands were skilled at much more than just typing.
Suppressing another shiver, Beckett took a slow, steadying breath, putting her glass down on the table beside her. Then, turning towards him, she laid a hand on his arm before gently taking his glass and placing it beside her own. Meeting his questioning gaze, she simply smiled, and slipped her hand into his.
“Come on, Partner. Dance with me.”