from a cute cold weather prompt list: "you walked here in a blizzard to get your hot chocolage but you forgot your wallet at home, here, let me buy your drink for you"
The front door to the cafe swings open with a shuddering force, gusts of snow flurries and biting winds swirling inside with the man bundled in a black pea coat and a bright red scarf, far too little protection from the raging blizzard outside. He fights with the glass door, shoves it closed with a grunt and the strength of his shoulder.
The barista is eyeing him warily as he approaches, shivering violently throughout his walk to the counter, and Kate doesn’t blame the woman. She wouldn’t be thrilled to cater to a crazy person either.
“One extra large, double hot chocolate with extra marshmallows please,” he orders through chattering teeth, and Kate can see from her place in the corner that he’s attempting a smile, polite and cracking beneath the chill, and she’s strangely grateful when the woman behind the counter gives him one back.
“That’ll be $5.62, sir.“
The man reaches into his coat pocket, digging around with a hand that shakes, his shoulders growing tense as his search comes up empty.
"Uh, let me just - just check my other pocket,” he tells the barista with a nervous undertone to his voice. “I was in a hurry when I left the loft, but I couldn’t have… I never forget my wallet. I’m sure I have something-”
Kate watches as panic consumes the bright blue eyes, spreading across the wind slapped skin of his cheeks, the vibrant red tip of nose, as he checks every pocket of his coat and comes up empty.
“I’m so sorry, I-"
Kate stands without thinking and strides up to the counter, withdrawing a few bills from the pocket of her jeans and reaching past the frozen man’s snow sprinkled shoulder to hand the barista the money. He turns wide eyes onto her, his lips parting with surprise as the barista accepts the payment without question, hands Kate her change and the receipt.
"Your order will be ready in just a few minutes, sir."
"Thanks, and thank you,” he says, stepping back from the counter to face Kate, strolling off to the side with her despite the lack of customers.
“Not a problem. You braved a blizzard for hot chocolate, couldn’t let your efforts go to waste,” she muses wryly, making fun of him, and she watches his eyes spark with amusement, tries not to stare as it spreads to his lips, revealing a gorgeous smile.
“I’ll pay you back,” he promises earnestly. “The second I have my wallet.”
Kate waves him off. “It’s not a big deal. Just hope you enjoy it.”
“Oh, it’s not for me,” he tells her with a chuckle, rubbing at his ears, bright pink and ravished by the cold. “My little girl, she loves this place, says no one can make hot chocolate like they do. She asked me if I could get her some, since it’s only a couple of blocks away, but I didn’t think… well, I wasn’t aware of how bad the weather actually was until I stepped outside."
"I think you’d be safer just asking for the recipe,” Kate murmurs with a quirked brow. “Also, don’t you watch the news? They’ve been talking about this blizzard since last night. Or, you know, look out the window every now and then?"
"Yes,” he sighs, loud and over dramatic. “I caught a bit of the weather last night, but I try not to keep the news on too often when Alexis is around. She’s only eight, and maybe it’s not smart, but I just try to shield her from the bad things that go on in the city, in the world.”
Kate softens a little at that, decides the man standing in front of her isn’t quite as crazy as she’d originally thought.
“No, it’s smart. Maybe not for you when it comes to weather conditions, but good for your daughter."
He grins at her, apparently delighted to have her acceptance, and props his hip against the nearest empty table. The cafe is understandably empty, only a few patrons trapped inside, awaiting the blizzard’s end with anxious eyes.
"As for the window,” he continues. “We were in our blanket fort most of the day, so I have an excuse.”
A laugh bubbles past her lips without her permission and his eyes burn an even brighter shade of blue. Kate lifts her fingers to cover her mouth, conceal the unexpected smile that feels almost foreign on her lips these days.
“Extra large, double chocolate,” the barista calls, placing the massive cup of hot chocolate on the counter and quickly retiring to behind the ‘staff only’ doors.
“Well, good luck getting back home,” Kate offers, glancing out towards the storefront windows, noticing that the winds have slowed, the snow has lessened in its intensity. He may actually be able to make it back to his apartment without issue if he were to leave now.
“Are you - do you live far from here?” he asks, flicking his gaze between her and the cafe door.
“Kind of,” she hedges, slipping her hands into the pockets of her coat. “I had just stopped by for coffee while I was running down a lead, but then the blizzard picked up, so I-“
“Wait, a lead?” he echoes, his eyes shimmering with intrigue.
She sighs, decides to bite the bullet and reveal the information that has most men backing away from her with nervous smiles.
“Yeah, homicide detective,” she explains, witnessing the excitement ripple through the sapphires of his irises with her brow falling into a crease.
“Listen, I know we just met, but you’re pretty amazing so far.” Another laugh threatens to breach her lips. When was the last time someone had made her laugh twice in five minutes, made her laugh at all, really? “Do you think maybe sometime we could… would you like to hang out sometime? Grab coffee, when the chances of being trapped inside the coffee shop aren’t quite as great?”
Kate pierces her bottom lip beneath her teeth as she nods, withdraws one of the cards she had made when she’d finally been promoted to detective last year.
“I’d like that,” she murmurs, handing him the card, catching her breath when their fingers brush. And it’s so cliché, probably due to the frostbitten quality to his fingertips, but she swears she can feel a ridiculous spark of warmth surge up her arm.
“Kate Beckett,” he reads out, his lips curling around her name. “Richard Castle,” he returns, and she knew that beneath the snow in his hair and the rush of blood to his cheeks, his nose, that he had looked familiar. “I look forward to seeing you again.”
“Likewise,” she says, surprised to find for the first time in too long that she actually means it, as she reaches for his hot chocolate, savoring the burn of the plastic travel cup in her palm before she transfers it to his. “Now hurry up and get this to your kid before the blizzard picks up again.”
“Thanks, for everything, Kate.” He cradles the hot chocolate to his chest, the dopey smile illuminating his face, sending warmth unfurling through her stomach. “Talk to you soon.”
“Bye Rick.” He bumps into the door at the sound of his name slipping from her mouth and Kate rolls her eyes, leans back against the counter and watches him trudge back into the world of white and wave to her through the window before he disappears down the street.
She palms the phone in her pocket as she returns to her seat, gathering her things and preparing to return to the station. She doesn’t think she’s been this excited for a phone call in year
Officer Kate Beckett is just trying to make her way through the holiday season with as little yuletide interaction as possible, but the more frequently she runs into a Santa Claus named Rick, the more he might be succeeding in warming her up to the season generally known as her least favorite. Caskett pre-series AU meet.
*kazoo noises* Happy 5th of December! (finally got snow by me!) Do you like snow? Any character headcannons about who likes/hates snow? -I like to think that despite Christmas being difficult for Beckett, she's always loved the first snowfall.
Hi I am late replying to this because YIKES. But I like ❄️⛄️ i’m just not crazy about the cold.
I kind of agree with you I think snow is right up there Beckett idea of every day magic, Castle just wants to play in it! 😉
hi i’d like to direct your attention to this screenshot of lance and coran milliseconds before the explosion and the look of outright fucking determination on lance’s face as he makes the decision to use his own body to shield coran from the blast k thx for your time
I’ve seen this painting of mine floating around, really really bad quality, so here is a good version. And guys, please credit artists when you repost their work. I know most of you do, but I also know we all forget sometimes. Thank you so much for all your support with the “Usagi” print, and it is still on sale till the end of the day <3