She padded on the balls of her feet, eyes scrunched as she yawned quietly into the back of her hand. The other, rubbing at her eyes when she nearly bumped into his desk on the way out of the study.
"Enuaghh..." She covered her mouth again muffling the noise as she slunk past the door. Dragging her hand through her hair, she wondered if pulling it away from her face would help.
Meandering around in the loft at night, was a tricky business, especially when she didn't quite know the lay of the land. Not to mention.. she thinks he purposely moves things around.
She snagged a hair tie from the bench by the piano, remembered when he had removed it, fingers dragging through her loose curls until every strand had tumbled free, before haphazardly tossing it over his shoulder.
She lets him take liberties, enjoys it in the heat of the moment, but now she's found herself disorientated by that midnight curtain that covers her eyes. She walked slowly, twirled her hair through her fingers as she went until she had a thick knot on top of her head.
Tying it tightly, she moaned in appreciation...freedom.
She stretched her arms high above her head, arched her back and worked loose some of the knots that had taken root. A familiar problem when she found she couldn't sleep.
With another yawn, the soft sigh as the air expelled from her lungs, echoed throughout his kitchen, nearly making her jump. It's so quiet. Tooquiet maybe...and she kept her ears on alert, old habit, and stopped in front of his fridge.
She leant her forehead against the cold metal for a second as she contemplated.
She wanted something but she can't quite be exactly sure what. And she couldn't think, she's tired, and the hum of the refrigerator through the cool skin of her forehead was lulling her.
Sounds of the night tried to break through her senses: the ticking of the clock around the corner...the fan of his laptop as it cooled itself, and what is that? Breathing? Could she really hear the entire house breathing?
But she is twitchy in her body, lax in her mind, and somewhere in between just waiting for sleep to wash over her again.
And without much thought really...She reached forwards and swung the door wide.
She needs something.
What is it?
She frowned, that crease between her eyes deepening into a valley, sloping and rising as she fed her lip between her teeth. She's too conscious of this place...It's not her place...and ok... maybe one day it will be their place but she's not sure what she thinks about it.
Not yet anyway..
She pushed back and shook her head, slapping a hand over one cheek and the sound reverberated about the walls. She froze.. did he hear her?
Pfft...No. She's being too critical...
"Kate, Kate, Kate." She whispered shaking her head once more and blinding herself by re-opening the fridge. She shielded her face and squinted into the blurred depths.
What is it about refrigerators anyway? She wondered as she stared into it. Looking at all the things at her disposal and yet she still hadn't a clue what she was craving.
Was it the light?
Or was it the fact that she knew if she wanted something...it would always be here for later...
Eyes scanning over the various leftovers.. even her own small temple of take out in the farthest corner...I do practically live here...her attention rested on a carton of milk. She licked her lips, reaching out for it.
Maybe this was the answer, simple and innocuous enough...a glass of milk and then tippy toe back to Castle's bed. Or is it.. our bed?
That prospect appealed to her a little bit more than the milk, but just as she tipped it to her mouth.. she stopped. Right.. not her place…yet...need a glass...
But where are they?
He moved those too...
It wasn't just that she was getting used to the lay of the land, and it wasn't just because he stepped into her domain like he owned the place. It wasn't that he had some weird innate knowledge of where every little inanimate object she owned actually lived.
He moved things, he touched things...plain and simple.
She rolled her eyes and started opening cabinets until she made a small sound in victory when she finally found them. Right where they have always been, she rolled her eyes once more.
Setting the glass on the counter, a little too forcefully, it clung along the marble surface, the high pitched noise reverberating through the silent halls of his home and her head snapped towards his study.. and then the other entrance by the front door.
Of course not, he slept like someone had tranqed him with an elephant sedative, face mashed in the pillow and arms thrown about higgledy piggledy.
There was no way she was waking him up with an itty bitty clang of a glass.
Drawing her tired mind back to the glass and the carton of milk she opened it, another yawn escaped her, and she started to tip the carton, eyes scrunched as she covered it with the back of her hand.
She jumped, dropping the carton on the counter, watching as it pitched sideways before it fell. The milk spread all around her in glugging waves, a waterfall of white and cream as it headed for the floor, and Kate's bare feet.
She jumped back and reached for a cloth at the same moment her head snapped up to glare at the source of her interruption.
"Uggghhh" She growled, deepening the crease further, making it into a bottomless pit of annoyance and seething frustration that not even he could get out of. She gave him a few seconds more of her glare, before turning back to the milk.
It was one of those messes that got everywhere, and she had no idea where to start. Making the wrong move would cause more mess and she shouldn't really be finding it this much of a muddle...only she was so very weighed down and tired.
"Paper towels always work best." He remarked, chipper and eyes wide. He folded his arms across his broad chest, drawing the sides of his robe around him as he did.
She ignored him, seeing as he didn't move to get them for her anyway, and straightened her back, tip toeing around the growing puddle on the floor. She grumbled nonsensical noises of irritation under her breath, gathering what she would need to clean.
She paused briefly, hoped he didn't notice, when she opened and retrieved a cloth on the first try, mildly in awe of her own skill. Maybe she had been here long enough after all?
She remained silent as she crossed the room.
"Not a morning person...already knew that. But past midnight is a new thing soo...noted..." He leant on the counter as she reached for the paper towels. "I on the other hand... am wiiiide awake at this hour.. it's when I get most of my writing done, you know?"
She looked up at him, half bent over as she placed a wad of paper towel on the puddle. Biting back a remark...He's too...upbeat, when she feels lazy and dozy and grumpy... and she stomped down with her feet, ignoring the wet as it seeped through to her skin.
He pushed off from the counter and turned away from her for a moment, "Has that umbrella holder always been there?"
She grumbles behind him, pushing air heavily through her teeth and shaking her head as she throws the soaked towels into the sink.
"YOU knooooow.. there are sleep remedies... I see you have milk..." He watched the slow trickle as said milk made its way down the side of the counter, to then be wiped away forcefully by her quick, yet tired hands. "Maybe warm it up? although I find the taste rather..." He trailed off making a face.
He is trying to pull her in. She knows that...She can see what he is up to.
Get her to speak or smile or something and...it's just not what she wants.
No words...just... Something.
Another wad into the sink, and another glare his way...but he doesn't seem to notice or really even care that they are at their exact opposites at the moment in time. He continues to walk about talking and talking, and she's tuned him out so thoroughly she loses track of him until he's touching her head.
"When did you put this back in?" He asked, starting to pull at the tight bun. "Honey?"
She stopped to glare at him, before she swats him away. Pushing him with one hand, whilst seemingly threatening him with soaked towels.
"I wasn't calling you...Honey works.. with..." He waved his hand trying to remember as she dropped her eyes back to her task.
"Or was it camomile tea...HEY! Have you.." He clapped his hands together in excitement, "...ever tried blackcurrant with the teeeeniest drop or raspberry coulis? Now I know it sounds...decadent or maybe even...yeah disgusting but..."
He stopped when he looked up and found her staring at him, eyes narrowed, watching him in confusion.
"Helps!" He defended. But she launched another wad of towels across the room, and he ducked out of their path. "Hmm...silent treatment?"
She rolled her eyes, looking down the remainder of her mess before moving to carry on with her cleanup.
"So that makes me wonder if the sleep issue is my fault. Was it me?" He tilted his head as he waited for her reaction but she was deliberately nonchalant in her continued cleaning. "Something I did?"
Still no reaction, just the frantic dragging of her hands over the cleanest counter top in his entire loft.
"Something I didn't do...?"
Her hand faltered just the teeniest amount and he watched in satisfaction as she chewed on her lip, biting back annoyance at herself.
She had a tell...they both knew it.
Just recently he had a habit of using it to his own advantage, and it was...annoying.
"Hmmm." He moved behind her again, until his back was to the rest of the room and he hopped onto the counter. Spreading the sides of his robe a bit wider as his new position put an uncomfortable strain on the tightly knotted belt. "Work it backwards right?" Undoing the knot completely and leaning back, he held her gaze as he thought it through.
Or at least he thoughthe did, because although her eyes seemed to be fused to his, she stared in actual fact at his chest. Because...he wasn't wearing a shirt, just an open robe and his navy blue boxers.
She looked down chewing at the edge of her lip and realised of course he wasn't wearing a shirt...she had stolen it.
Yanking on the edge of the hem she dropped back down to the floor and gazed up at him moving the towels around but not really caring anymore how much of the split milk she wiped away.
"What did we do last?" He asked, drumming his fingers on the marble surface.
He knew perfectly well what that had...done last and her hand froze mid swipe before she rose up from the floor.
There was a dark edge to his voice, one that told her he was seeking a response. He wanted that rise in emotion, a bitten back comment or some banter. She dropped her hands to her hips as she waited.
"Bedroom." He said innocently as he lifted the sash of the robe and twirled it between his fingers. "And I know I did everything I was supposed to in there." He smirked and opened his mouth to add in another little quip, but she moved.
Each heavy footstep over the slippery floor she took as steadily as possible until she stood in front of him. She shrugged her shoulders slowly, as if he had left little memory, hardly anylingering trace of all the things they had done.
He opened his mouth again, but her hand fell across his bare thigh as she sought to steady herself and drew into the counter next to him. Her fingers tightened when she leant over, her hair trailed across his chest and she looked up at him from under hooded lashes.
"I...you..." He started to question, but yet again she moved. Her tongue appeared and danced its way across her bottom lip, teased over the corners of her smile before it disappeared back inside her mouth.
He felt her hand snake around his back when she reached behind him and pulled back in triumph, holding onto the milk. She watched him the entire time her fingers circled the cap, flicked it away and lifted the carton to her mouth.
She no longer cared where she was, whose boundaries she was stepping over.
Her mouth settled over the opening she sucked greedily and with relish, eyes wide her tongue worked in rhythm with the flowing liquid, quenching her thirst, awakening her desire...and his.
"NaughtyKate." He swallowed the sight before him with intensity. "Marking your territory?" He asked head moving again. "Staking a claim?" He threw the robe wide and stretched out his foot. The edge of his toes curled around her calf enough that he could draw her forwards, into the V of his thighs.
"Like you did...in the shower?" He queried, watching as she thudded the carton back onto the countertop, not bothering with the cap this time. "Or at the piano? That was a bit uncomfortable but we made beautiful music didn't we?"
She raised an eyebrow, but remained mute save for a puff of air that exited her lips with indignation. She stepped back but was met with the feel of his legs holding her firm. "Hmm the study?"
She was fighting against his need to push, to find answers, contemptuous and frustrated all at once. She stood as far from him as she could whilst still trapped by his muscular legs, determined to keep her hands to herself.
"The desk?" He reached for her hand, drawing it between his own, he turned it over and moved his fingertips over the warmth of her palm. "Against the bookcase? You liked that if I remember?"
His thumb moved in penetrating circles over the meaty flesh below her fingers. "All those words pressing into your back. Repeat performance? I'm game if you are?"
He pulled her hand until it rested against his hip, her body pressed forwards as he drew her in. "Or speaking of games..." He nodded towards the fridge "Taste test?" He squeezed her hand, pulled her in again, a little closer than before. "Though after a while everything had the same flavour...my favourite flavour..." He bent towards her, low over the counter so he could press his lips to her ear, "Katherine Beckett."
She blinked languidly the weight of her body still marred by the need for sleep and she tipped into him, easier than she would have liked.
Holding her splayed fingers against his waist with one hand he used the other to find the fingers of her right hand slide between them and lace them together. "In the elevator, on the stairs?"
He tugged her closer with each new suggestion "We could break in my new chair?" He inclined his head as she moved hers away slightly on a yawn, finally catching her gaze, he threw her his famous suggestive eye waggle "Test the leather and the suspension?" And another one for good measure.
But he was losing, and badly...he had to think of something else...but what...?
And then, he had an idea. There is always something, not even Kate Beckett herself can resist.
Once he was wrapped completely around her, he leant forwards again, his mouth hovering over the radiating warmth of her exposed neck. "Here where we stand?" He felt the barest shiver from her, the soft hair under her ear raising to meet to lips.
His tongue, grew bold at the end of each word, darting out to taste the sweetness of sleep deprived skin, and though she tried to fake another yawn, he felt the energy start to flicker through her again." The couch...and if we roll off again." He growled the words into her, fingers gripping tight "...on the floor."
"On the countertop, or against the fridge?" He nudged his head towards it behind her.
All the while, she listened. Lips pursed as she watched him spout off every single place imaginable...even a few they had yet to try, and then .. only then.. when she found her truth... somewhere in that jumbled mess of sex positions, did she speak,
"And the question becomes the answer." She said her eyes lighting up, and the pink tinge to her cheeks spread lower, across the visible skin over her chest. Down the valley between her breast, and disappearing into his stolen shirt.
"Which one?" He asked, following that red hot trail with his darkened eyes.
Her eyebrows rose, high up, and she merely tilted her head to one side as his hold slackened, and she slipped away from him.
"Kate!" He yelled to her as she stopped at the doorway to his study, hand smoothing up the doorframe.
She looked over her shoulder, one eyebrow still quirked, and her lip pulled into her mouth at one side...Her green eyes darkened, now full of life, and mischief as her fingers wrapped around the doorframe.
She leaned her body into the smooth hard mahogany, rubbing the full length of her side down, and then up it, causing the hem of his shirt to ride higher up her naked thigh. Gliding inch by inch as is revealed the soft expanse of her leg.
He dropped from the counter, his mouth agape as her hand caressed the wood, her body moulding around it like a cat in heat as she beckoned him to follow her with a crooked finger, and then... just as he was about to open his mouth and ask her once again... she was gone.