12th Precinct Castle Valentine's Day FanFic Competition: You Sound Like One Hell Of A Girl

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: You Sound Like One Hell Of A Girl 
Rating:  K+
Words: 1716

02/14/04, 18:00

It was more usual than she liked to admit for Kate Beckett to be working on a Saturday night; the fact that it was Valentine's day only added to her feeling of inadequacy. She flopped down at her desk and looked out at the deserted bull pen. She sat right on the edge of it, a lowly newcomer to the homicide squad, but at least she was there.
Royce was there to. It had been his leverage that had helped her to get here so quickly. Less than four years on the job and she was already well known for her part in some vice operations – and not just for dressing up as a hooker, either. It had taken a lot of fighting and a lot of refusing to let anything get to her... But at least she was hear now. She smiled – Royce was coming over, holding two cups of coffee.
At least it was warm, Kate thought, grimacing as she sipped the vile-tasting liquid. Royce frowned sympathetically.
"Sorry, kid. I'll buy you a real one when I take you home."
It was just a given that he would take her. He always did, now. He had done ever since he found out she lived alone in a fairly dodgy neighbourhood, and walked back. She had protested – she could take care of herself, and she enjoyed walking at night, but he hadn't given in so she had been forced to accept his kindness.
He was always so kind. He had looked after her since the day they met, three and a half years ago when she left the academy and began to shadow him at the 12th. She looked at him now, the handsome set of his jaw, his kind, welcoming eyes, his strong, muscular body... In a way he was her knight in shining armour. When everything got to much, and she was at risk of spiralling away into her grief, he was the only one who could bring her back; help her to face reality; show her that the world wasn't all bad.
Royce looked at his protégée. 24 years old, far too young to have the weight of the world on her shoulders. She was fiddling with her long brown hair; the cap that went with her uniform was on her desk, and she had shaken it loose from its bun. She was beautiful; he was so proud of her. She was the daughter, the family, he'd never had.
She began filling out a form, never one to slack. He sat on the edge of the desk, smiling at the cute way her brow furrowed when she was thinking.
"Royce. You're watching me do paperwork. It's creepy."
He laughed.

"You could help," she added, looking up at him.
"Oh, no, watching you is far more fun."
She groaned, then threw a paper clip at him. Grinning, he took the whole pot of them, and began making a necklace. When it was finished, he hung it around her neck.
"You are such a child sometimes," she muttered, but she was smiling.
"It's a Valentine's gift for you," he said. "Speaking of which, why did you request this shift? Shouldn't you be out on a date with that gorgeous fire fighter your ME friend set you up with?"
Kate sighed. "He asked me. But I said it was too soon to do the whole Valentine's thing. Too much pressure – and it's so commercialised, anyway. I'd rather earn some money than give my hard earned wages to a card company."
Royce nodded. Kate winked.
"What about you? Aren't you seeing that doctor we met on that case?"
Royce shrugged. "She didn't want to do anything. And frankly, I'd rather hang out with you, anyway. There is such a thing as too smart."
Kate pretended to gasp. "Are you saying she's smarter than me?"
Royce laughed. "No one's smarter than you, Beckett. Done with the form?"
She nodded. He checked the time – it was almost seven.
Half an hour later they were sitting on the break room floor with a carpet picnic of delicious Chinese food and chilled beer. Kate struggled with her noodles – at home, her mother had always brought out plates and forks, even when they ordered in. Chopsticks were not her forte. Royce laughed, watching as she tried hopelessly to get some into her mouth. He scooted over to sit beside her and took the little box away.
"Hey, I was eating that!" she said.
"I beg to differ. Watch," he said, his eyes twinkling as he expertly swirled some noodles onto the fiddly chopsticks. "Open wide," he said, making aeroplane noises as he popped the food into her mouth. She chewed happily, and he handed the carton back to her.
"Think you can manage now?"
She nodded, but when he tried to move away to sit opposite her, she stopped him. She looked into his eyes, and a moment which had been fun and teasing suddenly became deadly serious.
"I... I wanted to spend Valentine's day with you, Royce," she whispered, hardly daring to say it. His regretful expression confirmed her fears, and she instantly backtracked.
"Sorry, sorry, forget it, too much beer-"
He put his finger to his lips, and kissed her softly on the cheek.
"That's very sweet of you, Kate, and I know how you feel. Believe me. If I were ten years younger-"
He shook his head as he saw the glimmer of hope in her sad eyes.
"But I'm not, Kate. I'm your training officer, and I love you like a daughter. I always will."
Tears began to pour down her cheeks, and he pulled her into a hug.
"I'm sorry Katie," he said gently into her hair. When she had calmed down, he stood up and disappeared into the bull pen. She sighed. She felt like an idiot. A heartbroken idiot. He came back with a bright pink gift bag, and she couldn't help but laugh.
"I did get you a present," he said. "And, between me and you, I think this'll be much better night time company than I'd ever be."
Kate dried her eyes and laughed again. He always could cheer her up. She accepted the bag and pulled out what was inside. It was a book – Richard Castle's newest novel,Unholy Storm. She couldn't help but smile with delight.
"Wow. Thank you," she said, but as she looked at this man who she was sure she was in love with, she couldn't help thinking that this perfect present was yet another sign that they would be great together. Royce saw this in her face, and he sat with her again, putting his arm around her.
"Look, I know you've had a hard time, kid, and I know we have a great thing going on here. I don't want to break your heart – but if start anything with you, that's exactly what I'll do. Anyway, I'm leaving soon. You're set to make detective in a few weeks, and I just know you're going to be wonderful."
"You're leaving?" Kate gasped, yet more tears in her eyes. Royce rocked her gently.
"It's for the best. I've taught you everything I know – you don't need me any more."
"Yes, I do! I need you, Royce, I'm in-"
He covered her mouth with his hand.
"No you're not. I'm not the one, Kate. It might be tomorrow, it might be five, even ten years from now, but one day, you will be with the right guy and it'll feel like nothing you've ever felt before. Thousands of times bigger and better than what you're feeling now. It'll be like fireworks, Kate. And that man will be a very lucky guy."
Kate just cried quietly into his sleeve. She couldn't believe him...
She let him take her home, and he walked her up to her apartment. He kissed her on the cheek again when he left.
"Goodnight, Katie," he said, patting her on the shoulder as she adjusted her pink gift bag to get her keys out of her pocket.
"Night, Royce," she managed. She let herself in and went to run herself a bubble bath. She put the book on the ledge in the bathroom, and fetched her robe.
When the bath was full, she sank gratefully into the water, letting her tired muscles relax. She felt terrible – but Royce had given her the one thing that would make her feel better – a Castle crime novel.
She opened the book, more than ready to be whisked away into a mysterious fantasy world – but she gasped in amazement when she saw what was written on the first page.
You sound like one hell of a girl – I sincerely hope I get to meet you one day. Happy Valentine's!
Richard Castle
Though there were tears in her eyes, she managed to smile. She trusted Royce completely, and he knew her so well. She was hurt now, but she tried to believe him. One day, she would spend this day with the right guy. She glanced at Rick's picture on the back cover, and grinned. She couldn't believe Royce had actually gotten her a signed copy – Richard Castle had signed a book to her. And he had said she sounded like one hell of a girl. Kate laughed. The joke that matched the book's title hadn't been lost on her.
An hour later she was tucked up in bed, completely absorbed in the book, not over her troubles, but at least they were out of her mind. Maybe spending Valentine's day with Richard Castle had been the best option after all...

Rick raised his wine glass, and Kate smiled.
"To our first Valentine's day together," he said, grinning.
Kate winked, and got up to get something from her bookshelf.
"Actually, it isn't."
His eyes followed her, a look of surprise on his face. "What?"
Kate laughed, and went to sit by him again, putting her copy of Unholy Storm down on the coffee table.
"Well, it all started back in 2004, on a boring Saturday night at the 12th precinct..."

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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