12th Precinct Castle Valentine's Day FanFic Competition: For Future Reference

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: For Future Reference 
Rating:  T
Words: 1410

Kate Beckett was not the kind of girl to get dressed up and let him take her out to elegant restaurants; she was a classy kind of girl, sure, but she much preferred the cheap grease of a burger at Remy's to the extravagant cuisine of a place like Atelier. She hadn't even let him take her out for her birthday so, when she'd agreed to let Castle take her out for Valentine's Day, and to let him take care of her dress, no less, the man had nearly fainted in excitement.
The images of Kate in another evening gown had him speechless; what color would she wear this time? Maybe an emerald, to bring out her eyes? Or a sapphirey color, like that one negligee she liked to wear; the one that made her skin glow. How would she do her hair? Soft curls, like usual? Maybe something a little sharper, tighter? Or perhaps an up-do like she'd done when she'd gone undercover with Hunt?
He could sit there all day thinking about it; the possibilities really are endless, though as long as he gets to see Kate all done up again he doesn't really care about the specifics. This is a rarity in and of itself and he won't ruin it by fretting over every little detail; just having her agreement is enough.
He calls up his guy, the same man that had whipped up the red number that Kate had worn during the jewelry heist their first year together, requests to have it delivered by five and promises a generous tip in order to have it done so. He ensures that his suit is still at the back of his closet, come on, Castle. Where would it have gone? and calls to check that his reservation is still intact, as though they'd really give it away, before grabbing the little velvet box from its hiding spot in a secret pocket in the life-sized Boba Fett's cape and leaving the loft.
She'd been thinking about their date all morning, daydreaming about where they might go, what her dress might look like, what they might do afterwards… so she doesn't notice him sneaking up behind her until he's already placed a kiss on her temple and a coffee in front of her. "Hey," she smiles excitedly. "What are you doing here?"
"Just dropped in to see how it was going," he shrugs, a little too casually. "Any breaks?"
"Nah," she sighs, sipping at the mug, burning her lip a little in the process. "The boys are out doing some digging, but so far we've got nothing."
"Shame," he mutters absentmindedly, plopping down in his chair and leaning against the desk to stare at her.
"What are you really doing here?" she smirks, setting her coffee down and nudging it towards him.

He takes a sip, postponing his response just long enough to come up with a feasible excuse. "I missed you." Not that it's much of an excuse.
"Castle, we saw each other five hours ago."
"You may have seen me but I was still asleep when you left."
"It's not my fault that you sleep like the dead! A tornado could rip off your roof and you'd still be asleep."
"Or probably just actually dead," he mutters, leaving out the fact that a tornado would never hit New York City.
She flicks him playfully, signing off on the file in front of her and opening the next one. "All right, fine. Don't tell me," she sighs dramatically, sniffing indignantly.
"Ooooh, bringing out the big guns. You've spent a little too much time in the company of my mother, it seems."
"At least your mother doesn't drop into my place of employment just to annoy me," she quips.
"Just for that, now you don't get your present," he pretends to be offended.
She freezes, her grasp on her pen going slack as she looks back to him. "You got me a present?" She tilts her head, regarding him thoughtfully.
"Well, not anymore," he shakes his head, attempting to look innocent.
"But I di-"
"Your agreeance to accompany me to a nice dinner is enough," he assures her. "I have been waiting for you to be a willing participant forever," he groans.
"Now who's been spending too much time with your mother?"
"Well I do live with her."
Kate eyes him out of the corner of her eye, waiting for him to catch on to what he'd just said.
"She lives with me," he rushes to correct. "In my house."
"Mmhmm," she agrees halfheartedly.
"She does!" he insists. "Rent free, might I add."
"I'm well aware of the situation, Castle," she dismisses, bringing the coffee back to her lips.
"This is ridiculous," Castle shakes his head. "I did not come here to be-"
"To be what?" Kate interrupts him, raising her eyebrow.
"I came here to give you your present," he repeats softly, reaching into his coat pocket. "That's all." He puts the small red box on the edge of her desk, nudging it towards her slowly, his breath caught in his chest as he pictures what this situation could've become.
"Castle," she warns, eyes going wide and her heart immediately threatening to break through the cage of her ribs.
"Just open it," he rolls his eyes, pushing the box a little closer.
Butterflies claw viciously at her stomach lining, bumping into each other like gas molecules as she reaches out a shaky hand, dragging the box towards her and holding it steady while she flips the lid open to reveal a miniaturized replica of an engagement ring.
The butterflies drop dead as a wave of emotion washes over her. What's that… disappointment? she wonders vaguely, puzzled as she extracts the tiny charm from its nest.No. Well, yes. But while she may be in this, she knows she's not ready for marriage just yet.
And, in all honestly, he's not quite sure if he's ready to take that step, either. Rushing into his first two marriages played a key role in their demise, he believes, and he cannot, will not, ruin what they have between them, even if that means never getting to marry her.
But oh, who is he kidding? He'll trick her into marrying him someday.
He shakes the thought from his mind, taking her hand in both of his and rolling up the sleeve of her sweater to reveal the bracelet he'd given her for Christmas. Everything about it's custom made, from the little platinum links to the handful of charms dangling from it; a pair of handcuffs, detailed down to the one little cuff clasped and the other wide open, the miniscule key sticking out of the lock, a pair of coffee cups, police engraved on one and writer on the other to mimic their vests, a tiny engraved copy of Heat Wave, an elephant, to match the collection on her desk, and now, the little ring.
"What're you trying to say, Castle?" she rasps, her voice hiding low in her throat.
He purses his lips, shakes his head as he ensures that the charm is secure. "What do you want me to say?"
She mimics his initial response, taking back her hand to finger the newest addition to the story of them.
He gives her a moment, his heart thrilling at the soft smile that graces her face as she plays with his gift, before asking, "You ready for dinner?"
"Do I look ready?" she grins, glancing down at her jeans.
"Right. Ready to go get ready?"
"I suppose," she smiles coyly, tugging her sleeve back down as she turns to shut down her computer and store her paperwork. He holds her coat out for her as she stand up, sweeping her hair out of the way as she adjusts it on her shoulders.
He grabs her bag for her as she does up her buttons, slinging it over his shoulder as she wraps her scarf around her neck. "So that's it?" she asks as they walk to the elevator. "You give me a charm shaped like a ring and then we don't talk about it?"
"In case you hadn't noticed, that's kind of how we roll."
She gives him the look, stopping him in his tracks as they step inside. "I just wanted to see how you'd react," he shrugs, holding his arm out for her to latch onto. "Y'know. For future reference."
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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