12th Precinct Castle Valentine's Day FanFic Competition: Five Years

Another story for our fanfic competition. Here you can find all the stories for the 12th Precinct Castle Halloween FanFic Competition. And here you can find the rules.
You can also find the stories at www.fanfiction.net for a possible easier read (blogspot doesn`t agree with word format most of the time).

Story: Five Years 
Rating:  K
Words: 3365

Valentine's Day 2009
This year it was like any other day. The year before both she and Will had had the day off and they'd spent it together, doing all the Valentine's Day clichés. But now Will was in Boston and she was alone so today she was working her way through the mountain of paper work in her in tray. She'd even offered to do the boys for them, just so she didn't dwell on memories of today.
At one point she caught herself staring into space, remembering Valentine's Day when she was younger, before her mother had been killed by random gang violence. Every year without fail her dad would make pancakes for both Kate and her mother, even the years when Johanna had been in the middle of a big case and had been up all night working, there was always pancakes to be had. She shook her head and turned her attention back to the file on her desk.
She managed maybe two more pages before she gave up completely. She couldn't concentrate and guessed that the fact the case was a stabbing in an alley wasn't helping her ignore the memories from the first eighteen years of her life.
She looked around and saw that the bull pen was mostly empty; lots of people have taken a day off today to be with their other half's because it was a Sunday so a lot of the partners had had the day off as well. Anyone left in the bull pen was going through paper work, like Kate had been attempting to do. It had been a quiet day for the homicide detectives and most of the open cases from the week had been closed, or were stalled.
She stood and made her way to the break room. Once she had poured herself a cup of coffee she headed back to her desk and opened the bottom draw. She took another quick look around, just making sure that no one was looking her way, before she pulled out the book that was always there. She kept it for the nights when she was here with nothing happening and needed a break.
She put it on the desk and picked up a pen, so that it looked like she was working if anyone happened to glance in her direction, before she opened the cover and looked at the writing there. She had gotten it signed years ago and she always read the words before starting to read properly.
Stay unique and follow your heart
Richard Castle
It always made her smile no matter how bad the day had been, remembering getting the book signed. She had stood in line for hours clutching at her copy of In a Hail of Bullets. When she had gotten to the front he had smiled at her before asking, "Who am I making it out to?" she had told him her name and handed him the book. The she had gotten another, different more genuine smile when he had seen what book it was, and how loved it looked.
He had actually been there to publicise his new book but had happily signed her old one before handing it back to her and saying, "It's nice to meet someone who is an actually fan of my work."
She remembered smiling and leaving the book shop. She hadn't read what he had written until she had gotten back to her apartment.
She read a few chapters before returning to the paper work, her mind now clear enough to concentrate.
It may have been Valentine's Day and she was remembering her dead mother, more than nearly every other day of the year, at every turn but Richard Castle's words could, and would, always make her feel better about anything.

Valentine's Day 2010
She was reading one of his books, the copy of Heat Wave he had given her before Halloween, to keep the memories at bay, although they were much better than they had been last year, when her mobile rang. She sighed and put the book mark in before putting it on the coffee table before the cup of coffee and picking up the phone that was on the other side.
"Beckett," she answered without looking at the caller ID.
"Hello Detective," came Castle's voice, "What are you up to?"
"Doesn't that normally go what are you wearing?" she teased, settling back into the sofa cushions.
"Not with you, unless I want to be on the wrong end of your gun," Castle shot back and Kate could tell he was smiling.
She smiled too before saying, "Why did you call Castle? Don't you have a hot date to spend Valentine's Day with?"
He chuckled on the other end of the phone before saying, "Nope, I'm all on my own today."
She smiled despite herself, "So why did you ring me Castle?"
"Well," he said slowly, "While we were on the Cano Vega case Alexis was doing a family tree project for school."
"Yes," Kate said, understanding now why he had been 'reading' her mind all day.
"When I got home afterwards we were playing catch in the loft because she wanted to give me something my father hadn't."
"That's really sweet Castle," Kate interrupted.
"Yeah it was." Kate could almost see the proud smile that was no doubt now adorning his face, "Well today she and mother gave me two tickets to the baseball game their having in memory of Vega."
"I still don't see what this has to do with me Castle," Kate said, looking longingly at the book that was on the table.
"I asked mother and Alexis if they wanted to join me but they've already got plans, Alexis is going out with some of her friends and mother is doing whatever it is mother does best." They both laughed as he continued, "So I was wondering, as long as you don't have plans already of course, if you'd like to come with me."
"I'd love to Castle," she answered honestly, not giving her brain a chance to kick in and make her say no, "Beats sitting around here all day on my own."
"Good, I'll pick you up in an hour," Castle said.
"See you in a bit Castle," she replied before hanging up and putting the phone back on the table. She picked up the book again, intending to read for a half hour or so which would give her plenty of time to get ready later.
It didn't work out like that however. The next thing she knew there was a knock at the door. She checked the time and mentally cursed before sticking the bookmark back in and getting up to answer the door. She smiled at Castle and then stepped to the side to let him in.
He walked in slowly and started looking around. Kate shook her head and shut the door. "Give me two minutes to get changed and then we can go," she said, heading towards her bedroom.
Castle sat on the sofa and laughed when he saw what was sitting on the table. "Why Detective Beckett, did you get distracted by my book and lose track of time?"
The glare he got in answer was all he needed to confirm his suspicion. He laughed as she continued into her room, shutting the door firmly behind her.
Two minutes later she came out wearing a baseball jersey and smiled at him. He stood and the two of them headed towards the door. "Oh by the way," he said as she locked the door to her apartment and then they headed towards the lift, "I spoke to Joe Torre earlier and mentioned that the two of us were coming to the game. He asked if you couldn't say something since you were the one who closed the case but I knew you wouldn't like that so I told him that and he told me to tell you that he'd happily sign anything you wanted by way of thanks."
Kate smiled, "You were right about me not wanting to say anything but I may just have to take him up on the signing offer, my dad would get a kick out of it I know."
Castle smiled back at her and then the two of them headed out of the building and towards Castle's car.
Kate couldn't help but smile to herself, last year she had read his book on Valentine's Day at work and today she had done the same, but unlike this year she had got to see him today, which was helping with the memories even more.

Valentine's Day 2011
She'd been distracted today by the case which meant she hadn't needed to read any of his books to keep the memories at bay, even if the case had been a nightmare for the both of them.
They go to the Old Haunt for drinks and are soon sat in one of the corner booths at the back of the bar with a bottle of tequila some salt and a bowl of limes and two pints of beer. "What time do you have to meet Josh?" Castle asks after knocking back the first tequila shot and biting into a lime slice.
"No idea," she replies, copying his motion before pulling her beer towards her, it probably wasn't a good idea to get drunk with Castle before going out with her boyfriend. "But he said he'd ring me when he gets off work, if he gets off work," the last bit sounded almost like she was moaning, but Kate Beckett didn't moan about anything.
"Well when he does ring I'll leave you to whatever it is he has planned," Castle said, drinking some of his beer.
"Mhum," Kate said, running her finger along the top of her pint glass, "Won't be as fun as the baseball game last year though." She looked up as she finished speaking, her eyes wide, she obviously hadn't meant to say that.
Castle smirked, "Why Detective Beckett, are you saying you enjoyed my company last Valentine's Day?"
She shook her head, "Nope. I was saying I enjoyed the game, and meeting Joe Torres."
"Did your dad like the signed stuff you got?" Castle questioned.
Kate nodded, "He did yes. He also told me to thank you for taking me, which I'm pretty sure I did."
Castle nodded, "You did; you brought me dinner at Remy's."
She laughed and then looked at her phone as it began to ring. She picked it up and said, "Hi Josh, you ready to meet up?"
Castle made to leave but she shook her head as she listened to what was being said on the phone. "Ok, I understand. Maybe some other time." She hung up and looked back at Castle, placing the phone on the table.
"Change of plans?" he asked quietly.
She nodded, "He got called into an emergency surgery and probably won't be done for a couple of hours."
"So," Castle said, holding up the tequila bottle, "Want another shot?"
She smiled and held up her glass for him to fill, "Sure, why not."

Valentine's Day 2012
The case had been hard on the both of them. Castle had found out that someone he had trusted, and written about was a traitor to his country and she had had some serious doubts placed in her mind by Sophia about whether or not Castle really did love her or if he was just going to sleep with her and then find out that he didn't.
Which was why the two of them were having a movie night at Castle's loft. Alexis had walked in half way through the first movie and Kate had promptly invited her to join them. Alexis had hesitated for a moment but then had smiled and plopped herself down on the sofa beside her father.
The teen had quickly joined in with Kate when she was teasing Castle about his movie choices. Even so Kate could see that she was still a little bothered and not quiet herself. So when Castle went to go to the loo and replenish the popcorn she moved closer to the red head and said in a low voice, "I know I'm not your favourite person Alexis but are you alright?"
Alexis looked shocked for a moment before she said, "It's the first Valentine's Day since I broke up with Ashley and Paige told me today that he started dating another girl pretty much the day after I broke it off with him."
"I'm sorry," Kate said, "Valentine's Day is never all that nice if you're on your own, or if you have memories of being happy on that day."
"Detective," Alexis whispered in an even lower voice, "I don't have anything against you, not anymore at least. After your shooting it felt like I lost my dad but then as soon as he was back working with you at the precinct he was back to his normal self."
"I'm sorry," Kate whispered as they heard the popcorn machine begin to finish, "I never meant to hurt you or your dad."
Alexis shook her head, "Just keep him safe, and keep yourself safe. I don't want to lose either of you."
Kate reached across and squeezed the girls hand briefly, before leaving her hand resting there, "I'll do my best to get him home to you every night Alexis, I promise."
Alexis squeezed it back and said, "That's all I can ask for Detective."
They both pulled their hands a part when a voice from behind them said, "Plotting something ladies?"
Kate turned and smiled at Castle, "No, just picking the next film."
Castle smiled, "So what did you decide on?"
Kate looked at Alexis who shrugged and said, "Maybe Star Wars, episode 4, 5 and 6." Kate smiled at her and nodded, she thought it was a good choice, she liked Star Wars nearly as much as Forbidden Planet.
Castle's face lit up as he sat down on the sofa between them, putting the popcorn bowl on the table as he did so. "Now that is what I call a movie to watch on Valentine's Day. A little bit of love wrapped up in one hell of a story line." As Alexis got up to go and put on the film he looked at Kate and asked, "More wine Beckett?"
She thought for a moment before shaking her head, "I'd love to but I've got to drive home."
Castle pouted, "I'll call you a cab, or even better you can stay in the guest room."
"Yeah Detective," Alexis said from the TV, "Stay, that way we can watch more films."
Kate smiled at the girl, "Ok Alexis, if you insist."
Castle starting beaming again as he poured her more wine and then turned to the screen as the movie started.
Alexis moved back to one side while Kate got comfortable on the other, her feet wiggling their way under his leg which made him laugh lightly.
Every so often Castle would say the lines along with the actors which made both Alexis and Kate laugh, and sometimes join in.
It wasn't quite the same as reading one of his books but listening to him speak soon sent her into a deep and dreamless sleep, which on Valentine's Day was quite an accomplishment in her eyes.

Valentine's Day 2013
She woke to the smell of coffee and pancakes. She blinked a few times and saw that Castle was standing in the doorway watching her, holding a covered tray. "The staring is still creepy," she said with a smile as she began to sit up.
Castle smiled and moved towards the bed saying, "There's a beautiful woman lying naked in my bed, how could I not stare." He stopped on her side of the bed and kissed her forehead lightly before putting the tray on the bedside table. He moved his head back and pulled the tea towel off the tray, revealing what lay beneath.
Kate smiled at him as she saw what he had done. On the tray there was a plate of pancakes, a cup of coffee and one red rose lying along the front. She picked up the rose and inhaled its scent before pushing herself off the head board and capturing his lips in a sweet kiss. "Thank you Castle," she murmured as she sank back against the head board.
Castle moved the tray from the bed side cabinet and onto her knee. He made to walk away but Kate stopped him, "Come on Romeo, you can have some too."
He smiled and got back onto the bed beside her. She cut him a piece of pancake and feed it to him and as he chewed she cut a piece for herself. They shared the pancakes but as soon as Castle tried to take a sip of coffee she slapped his hand away, "I will happily share pancakes Castle but I draw the line at you drinking my coffee."
Castle pouted but soon stopped as Kate leant across and captured his lips in another kiss, this one a lot more powerful than the first. When she pulled back she said, "Are we going to spend the whole day in bed Castle? Because, with the risk of inflating your ego, I'm not sure I could manage it."
Castle smiled at her brightly before shaking his head and saying, "Nope, I have plans that don't involve going all cave man on your delightful body."
Kate laughed, she couldn't help it; it just bubbled out. Castle smiled at her and then stood saying, "Go and get in the shower Kate while I clear up."
Kate nodded and made to get out of the bed but stopped and asked, "So what do I need to wear Castle? Anything in particular?"
"Something comfortable for a day out," he said over his shoulder as he exited his bed room.
Kate smiled and headed towards the wardrobe, wearing only one of Castle's shirts. While she hadn't actually moved in both she and Castle had agreed, more like Castle had begged until she had given in, the she keep some of her clothes here all the time, just in case there was an urgent call from work that meant she couldn't go home.
After she had pulled out slacks and shirt and underwear she headed into Castle's en suite, leaving her clothes on the chair by the door, ready for when she got out.
She showered quickly, using the cherry shampoo and body wash that Castle had brought her one time because it was still his favourite smell on her but she was adamant about not bringing her own toiletries to the loft and just using what was there, but now they were there she used them all the time.
After she got out and dried herself off she headed back into the bedroom and pulled on her clothes. She hadn't washed her hair so she didn't have to worry about drying it. Instead she snagged a bobble off the bed side table and began braiding it as she walked towards the kitchen, where she could hear Castle banging around.
He looked up as she walked in and then pointed her towards the door before he followed. After they had their shoes and coats on Castle offered his arm which she took with a smile and the two of them exited the loft and headed down towards the garage.
In the garage Castle handed her the keys and then led them over to where the Ferrari was parked. She smiled at him and then when she opened the door gave him a kiss. On the front seat were the other elven roses.
"A dozen roses for my valentine," he whispered in her ear.
She didn't need his books anymore; she had the man himself to keep her occupied on Valentine's Day, to keep the memories of her mother away, although in the last few years with him by her side the memories had been easier to deal with anyway.
Captain Founder, Administrator, Editor and Writer

The moment that I met you, my life became extraordinary. You taught me to be my best self, to look forward to tomorrow's adventures. And when I was vulnerable, you were strong. I love you, Richard Castle. And I want to live my life in the warmth of your smile and the strength of your embrace. I promise you I will love you. I will be your friend and your partner in crime and in life, always. - Kate Beckett The moment we met, my life became extraordinary. You taught me more about myself than I knew there was to learn. You are the joy in my heart. You're the last person I want to see every night when I close my eyes. I love you, Katherine Beckett. And the mystery of you is the one I want to spend the rest of my life exploring. I promise to love you, to be your friend, and your partner in crime and life, 'till death do us part, and for the time of our lives. - Richard Castle

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