squab&quail

chezchuckles' stories *so far* (December 27, 2013 -> 1 e-book and 183 castlefics)

This is supposed to be posted on her bday, but i couldn’t finished it in time. haha o well. i think today timing is more fitting, anyway. :) Happy Belated Birthday, chezchuckles/Laura/writingwell! Thank you for all the stories you wrote (fic or no fic, everything <3)!

Let’s read, people! :D

EBOOK:

Fences by Laura Bontrager

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FICS

CO-AUTHORED:

written by seilleanmor and chezchuckles

  • Flunitrazepam (“An argument between them causes Castle to give Beckett the silent treatment. References to Target/Hunt, Lives of Others, Squab, and Still. Watershed has not happened.”)
written by beautyofsorrow and chezchuckles
  • Hang Me Out To Dry (a post ep for 6x03- Need to Know. Warning: Some spoilers for the Frozen Heat and Deadly Heat books.)

written by by chezchuckles, FanficwriterGHC, International08, JeuxDeVagues, Sandiane Carter, and Topsy:

  • Mr Smith Goes to Washington (AU. “After Beckett is shot, Mr Smith enters the picture to ‘save the day.’ But who is Mr. Smith and what is he to Beckett and Castle?”)

written by Topsy & chezchuckles:

  • Acquainted With the Night (“While Beckett has been struggling with PTSD, with becoming more, Castle has been struggling as well.”)

written by Cora Clavia & Sandiane Carter & chezchuckles:

  • Bringing Sexy Back (Romance/Humor. “Fantasies become reality.”)

written by Kate Christie and chezchuckles

  • Zeroing In (5x10-Significant Others. “Beckett has dinner with Meredith.”)
written by Cartographical, chezchuckles, and muppet47:
  • So One Man (Angst/AU. Something of a post-ep for 5x13 Recoil. 'As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.’)

written by Sandiane Carter & chezchuckles:

  • Bucket List (Romance. Chapter 9b is Bucket List in Paris, posted separately, and to be read before Chapter 10. Bucket List in Paris by Cartographical, Sandiane Carter, and chezchuckles—> Bucket List Xmas companion story from Castle Christmas Special Chap. 19 & 20
  • One Hundred Days of Summer (after 4x23.How Kate Beckett and Rick Castle spend their summer”)
    —> One Hundred Days of Summer Xmas companion story from Castle Christmas Special chap. 11 & 12
  • John Doe (“The title says it all. Co-authored by Sandiane Carter and chezchuckles. Spoilers for season four, but as you will see, quite a lot of it is…missing.”) —> John Doe Xmas companion story from Castle Christmas Special chp. 4
  • Convection (Romance. “Heat Rises Spoilers! Kate reads Castle’s latest novel and has some questions for him. "Heat, like work, is energy in transit.”“) —> Convection Xmas companion story from Castle Christmas Special chp. 8 & 9
  • A Better Fate (and 2 chap M-rated interlude (after chapter10 and after chapter 13): A Better Fate: Interlude by Sandiane Carter”)
  • Love Boat (”Beckett and Castle are assigned to work a case undercover“)
  • Plus One (post-ep 4x11 "Till Death Do Us Part.”)
  • Lost in Translation (Romance. “Sometimes the words just get in the way.”)
  • The Siege (Romance/angst/romance. s4premiere. “Castle has a plan to take down that wall. After three days, love will rise again.
  • BETH SERIES

- Ghost on the Canvas (AU.SPOILERS for Boom! from Season Two. Beckett has a sister)
- Stop Haunting Me (Sequel to Ghost on the Canvas)
- Heartlines (Sequel to Stop Haunting Me)
- Winter Is Coming (A Beth Companion)

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BABIES/FAMILY:

  • Little Lion Man (”A babyfic for Mother’s Day. The way Kate Beckett and Rick Castle have been tamed.“) —> Little Lion Man Xmas companion story from Castle Christmas Special chap. 13 & 14
  • This Is the Dreamworld (AU. 6x02 - dreamworld. Content Warning for Corgis) —> This is the Dreamworld Xmas companion story from Castle Christmas Special chap. 10

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ANGST :

  • Wrecking Ball
  • Mad World (around s4. "The dreams in which I’m dying…”)

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ALTERNATE UNIVERSE:

  • Vice (“Beckett is a uniform on the Vice squad at the 12th. It’s five years before the season one meeting”) —> Vice Xmas companion story from Castle Christmas Special chp. 1-3
  • Ultimatum (From the video by yamakiluv. “Castle is given an ultimatum: the file for Beckett’s life. AU Future.”) -> the elephant pic

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DRAMA :

  • The Double Edged Sword (drama/hurt/comfort/friendship/romance/idk haha. After s3 finale. “Recovery Kate! discovers some interesting scenes on Castle’s laptop as she’s holed up in his guest room”)
  • Skip the Charades (Romance/Drama. Mid-season 4. “Kate has recovered, but Castle has not. Alexis plans for Stanford while Castle and Beckett still work on her mother’s case”)

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EPISODE BASED/EPS-SPEC/POST EPS :

SEASON 6

  • Take Up Your Cross (6x09 - Disciple)
  • Stand Guard (6x07 - Like Father, Like Daughter)
  • The UnNatural Order (6x06 - Get a Clue)
  • Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius (6x05 - Time Will Tell)
  • First Day Jitters (6x04 - Number One Fan)
  • Parallel Play (6x01/6x02 - Valkyrie/Dreamworld)
  • What’s In a Name? (6x01/6x02 - Valkyrie/Dreamworld)

SEASON 5

  • Stubborn and Stupid (5x24 - Watershed)
  • An Answer (5x24 - Watershed)
  • All This Aggravation (5x24 - Watershed)
  • A Proposal (5x24 - Watershed)
  • When You Assume (Eps. 5x22 - Still)
  • Fixing It In Post (5x21 - The Squab and the Quail)
  • Ape and Essence (5x20 - The Fast and the Furriest)
  • When A Plan Comes Together (5x19 - The Lives of Others)
  • Lean Wide Out the Window (pre- 5x19 - The Lives of Others)
  • Will The Real Richard Castle Please Stand Up? (5x18 - The Wild Rover)
  • Compartmentalization Doesn’t Work (5x15/5x16 - Target/Hunt)
  • From Beginning to End (5x15/5x16 - Target/Hunt)
  • Loose Change (5x15/5x16 - Target/Hunt)
  • Valentine’s Day Re-Do (5x14 - Reality Star Struck)
  • Beyond the Storm (episode speculation. 5x13 - Recoil)
  • No Secrets (5x10 - Significant Others)
  • Piece Together (5x09 - Secret Santa)
  • Back For More (5x08 - After Hours)
  • Ewoks, Creavers, and Muppets, Oh My (5x06 - The Final Frontier)
  • Time Served (5x05 - Probable Cause)
  • What We Learned This Weekend (5x04 - Murder, He Wrote)
  • You Owe Me (5x03 - Secret’s Safe with Me)
  • Care Package (5x03 - Secret’s Safe with Me)
  • No Other Choice (5x02 - Cloudy with a Chance of Murder)
  • Another Round (5x01 - After The Storm)

SEASON 4

  • Leaves of Night (4x23 - Always)
  • You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead (4x21 - Headhunter)
  • Protest (4x19 - 47seconds)
  • You’re Not Going to Like This (4x19 - 47seconds)
  • Uncomplicated (4x19/4x20 - 47seconds/The Limey)
  • Knock Me Down (4x19/4x20 - 47seconds/The Limey)
  • Happily Ever After (4x17 - Once Upon a Crime)
  • Separation of Church and State (4x15 - Pandora)
  • This Evil Can Be Undone (4x15/4x16 - Pandora/Linchpin)
  • Swimming (4x15/4x16 - Pandora/Linchpin)
  • Plus One (4x11 - Till Death Do Us Part. written by Sandiane Carter & chezchuckles)
  • Cuffed (4x10 - cuffed. ep-speculation)
  • Dare to Seize the Fire (4x10 - cuffed)
  • It’s A Start (4x09 - Kill Shot)
  • Stolen (4x07 - Cops&Robbers)
  • The Good Kind (4x06 - Demons)
  • Speak the Unspeakable (4x01/4x03 - Rise/Head Case. “Kate Beckett is confronted by Alexis about rejection”)

SEASON 3:

  • No Victory (3x24 - Knockout. Continuation of the scene in Knockout after Beckett runs back to the hangar)
  • Able to Stand (3x24 - Knockout.Eps insert. Some of the scenes they didn’t show us. Kate’s POV.)
  • The Next Moment (3x24 - Knockout. The moment after the fade to black on Knockout. Oneshot. Very short)
  • Terrible Love (3x24 - Knockout. In between scenes, before and after the hangar. ONESHOT)
  • Don’t Hold Back (3x22 - To Love and Die in L.A. based on sneak peek)
  • Catalyst (3x13 - Knockdown)
  • Cold Comfort (3x16/3x17 - Setup/Countdown. Rick Castle can’t get warm without a little help.)

SEASON 2:

  • It Doesn’t Make Sense (2x06 - Vampire Weekend)

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HUMOR :

  • The Spleen Is a Non-Vital Organ (romance/humor. “Kate gets sick.”)
  • A Significant Lime (one shot.a cat, woolly socks, and a significant lime. for international08”)
  • Real Live Haunted House (“A Halloween fic entry in which Castle drags Beckett to a real, live haunted house”)
  • Things To Do In a Boring Meeting

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ROMANCE (Castle/Beckett) :

  • Scratch and Claw (Romance/Angst. Bridge fic between seasons 5 and 6. “It’s who you are. You don’t let people in. I’ve had to scratch and claw for every inch.”)
  • Just My Imagination
  • Not All the Songs (4x23 post Always timeline. “All the songs that don’t make sense. A series of stand-alone one-shots with a common theme - the lyrics to catchy if inane chart-topping songs. AKA - Castle figures out that romancing a woman with Usher is not the way to go”)
  • She’s Everything (4x21 - Headhunters. “She’s a little girl, she’s a tigress, and she’s a warrior. She’s insecure and she’s indomitable. She’s everything.” -Stana Katic on Kate Beckett, Parade Magazine March 16, 2012)
  • HimitsuBako (set after 4x21 - Headhunters. so goood)
  • Ink
  • Doomsday (“It’s the end of the world as we know it”)  —> Doomsday Xmas companion story from Castle Christmas Special Chap. 21 & 22
  • So Little Time
  • You’re Mine (LOOOOOVE THIS. “A Valentine’s Day fic.”)
  • Plan B (“Since being his usual charming self isn’t working, Castle tries to come up with a Plan B. SPOILERS for the book, Heat Rises”)
  • Someday (“Someday in the future, this is what will happen between them”)
  • When Words Escape (“All the ways Beckett could say 'I love you too’ without saying a word”)
  • Step Out Into the Light (angst/romance.Kate runs away from Castle, but she can’t run for long.” around 3x24/4x01)
  • Momentary Troubles (Set in winter of season four. Spoilers for Rise. “All it takes is time, and patience. The wall inside won’t be there forever.”)
  • Written on the Skin (s3 finale/early s4. “It’s just a scar. It doesn’t mean anything”)
  • Used to Be (3x24 insert. friendship/romance.“Taking up in the middle of Knockout, Castle tries to find a way around Kate’s demand that they are over. Some backstory on Lanie and Kate”)
  • The Sweet Taste (A year after S3 Finale, “Kate Beckett and Richard Castle finally host the Johanna Beckett Memorial Fund”)
  • The Frog at the Bottom of the Well (a lil bit of angst a lil bit of drama) —> The Frog Xmas companion story from Castle Christmas Special Chap. 5&6

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ONE SHOT :

  • Banni (Romance. “Castle’s surprise for their honeymoon.” Roughly season 7 timeline)
  • Reaching Forever (Romance. “A summer night. "I am wide open, reaching forever. I fly into the blue.” Assume spoilers for season 5.“)
  • He Touches Things (”Castle’s observation of Beckett, and hers of him" oblique reference to 5x10 Significant Others)
  • We Could Always Just Cuddle (romance. “The night life at Kate Beckett’s apartment”)
  • Writer Man Discovers His Super Powers (romance/humor. Castle is writing and forgets to call Beckett. (Spoilers through 5x10 Significant Others, spoilers for Frozen Heat))
  • Mayday (romance)
  • Can’t Sleep Together (4x09 “Set a month or so after Kill Shot”)
  • Glorious (romance. “Easter fic”)
  • Just a Feeling That I Had (friendship/romance)
  • My Mind Holds the Key (Romance. “'My body is a cage that keeps me from dancing with the one I love, but my mind holds the key.’ -Arcade Fire”)
  • Now in These (Romance. “For Julie, who needs Castle and Beckett to not miss their moment”)
  • Standing in Front of You (romance. “Kate finally sees what’s been standing in front of her this whole time”)
  • Happy Birthday, Kate (Romance/friendship. “November 17th is Kate Beckett’s birthday”)
  • Good Morning (Romance.“Taking liberties with the Nathan Fillion quote: "It’s like our morning kiss. One way to say, without actually saying it, 'Good morning, my heart, how are you doing’”“)
  • Bullets in Her Teeth (Hurt/Comfort/Friendship/romance/idk. s4. "What Castle can do for her when she lets him. Also known as, Second Unofficial Date to Remy’s.”)

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CHRISTMAS:

  • Castle Christmas Special (A chapter by chapter look at the Christmas holidays of the various AUs. A post every day of December in which we dip into the universe of Castle and Beckett from my previous stories. Begins with Vice.) -> playlist songs here
  • Advent (“Castle tries to convince Beckett of the magic of the season. A chapter posted every day.”) -> all the songs can be found here: Castle’s Xmas Playlist /cover art
  • Advent Again (“A chapter a day. A holiday fic. Assume Season 5 spoilers.”) -> all the songs can be found here : playlist –> and the puzzle pics and and gifts, check this tag and scrollll and next/before page and scrollll and le repeat~
  • —> Advent/Advent Again Xmas companion story from Castle Christmas Special Chap. 26

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SERIES/CONTINUATION:

THAT FAMILIAR FEELING

  • That Familiar Feeling (AU. “What if Kate’s mother was never murdered but her father was instead? This Kate Beckett never went to the police academy, grew up under the shadow of her mother’s ambition, and has her own wall to deal with”)
  • That Familiar Feeling: Old Fashioned (Sequel to That Familiar Feeling)

—> That Familiar Feeling Xmas companion story from Castle Christmas Special Chap. 16 - 18

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INHERITED TRAITS

  • Inherited Traits (AU)
  • Inherited Traits II (Sequel to Inherited Traits)

—> Inherited Traits Xmas story from Castle Christmas Special Chap. 15

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WORST OF TIMES

  • Worst of Times (Angst/mystery/romance- Finale didn’t happen. Castle gets the nerve to ask Beckett on a first date, but bodies have a way of showing up at the worst of times)
  • Age of Wisdom (A companion to Worst of Times which takes place immediately after Worst of Times(WoT) but before Best of Times)
  • Best of Times (Worst of Times companion. Epilogue of sorts.)
  • Age of Foolishness (set after Age of Wisdom and Best of Times)

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GO OUT FIGHTING

  • Go Out Fighting (post ep. 3x24 Knockout. Post-episode series. What happens after Beckett gets shot?)
  • Go Out Fighting 2: Serendipity (Sequel for Go Out Fighting)
  • Go Out Fighting 3: Never (After Go Out Fighting 2: Serendipity)
  • Go Out Fighting 4: We Don’t End

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ONE AND DONE

  • One and Done?
  • If At First (Set in the One and Done? universe. Post 3x19. romance/angst)
  • Try Again (After the events of One and Done? and If At First. drama/romance)
  • Federal Heat (A continuation of the If At First, Try Again universe. “Beckett takes Jordan Shaw’s offer”)

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UNVANQUISHED

  • Unvanquished (Angst/AU. “What happens to Kate Beckett when the Dragon is slain - and she’s charged with his murder?”)

—> Unvanquished christmas story from Castle Christmas Special Chap. 7

  • Unvanquished: Redux (An epilogue to the epilogue found in Unvanquished. “One year later”)
  • Unvanquished: Return (Third in the Unvanquished series)

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REVERIE

  • Reverie (post 3x24. Castle waits for Kate to wake up and imagines all the things he wants to say)
  • Reverie 2 (Sequel to Reverie. “Kate wakes and reads his story”)

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CLOSE ENCOUNTERS/ SPY CASTLE

  • Close Encounters 1 (AU. “What if Richard Castle was a spy?”)
  • Close Encounters 2
  • Close Encounters 3
  • Close Encounters 3:5
  • Close Encounters 4
  • Close Encounters 5
  • Close Encounters 0 (BEFORE Close Encounters 1)
  • Close Encounters 6
  • Close Encounters 7
  • Close Encounters 8
  • Close Encounters 9
  • Close Encounters 10
  • Close Encounters 11
  • Close Encounters 12

—> Future Close Encounters Xmas story from Castle Christmas Special Chap. 24 & 25

** Extra M scenes

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DASH SERIES

Dash Away

with companion:

  • No Light, No Light (A Dash Away Prequel. Chapters 95-99 should catch you up)
  • The Only Light (No Light, No Light continuation. A Dash Away prequel.)
  • Everlasting Light
  • Half Light (A Dash Companion. 4th in the Light series. to be read concurrently with Dash It All, somewhere around chap 50/60)

Dash It All

with companion:

  • Proof of Life (concurrently, somewhere around chap 50 of Dash It All)
  • Wonderful Life (concurrently, somewhere around chap 50 of Dash It All)
  • Life in Technicolor
  • In My Life

Mad Dash

with companion:

  • Sleep, Little Pigeon, Sleep Alone, No Sleep Tonight. You Can Sleep Now
  • Home, Sweet, Home
  • Take Me Home
  • Homeward
  • You Can Always Go Home
  • Take Me Out to the Ball Game

Everything That Glitters ('Future/Adult Ellery’)

Everything That Glitters Part 2 (Sequel to Everything That Glitters)

Dash of Summer (“Set four/five months after the events of Mad Dash.”)

—> Dash (&Ellery) Xmas story from Castle Christmas Special Chap. 23

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Q&A (that i know so far/that i found :p)

CHEZCHUCKLES

  • Article about Laura Bontrager by saybooks (direct link)
  • chezchuckles’ name q1, q2, q3
  • 'I believe. Help my unbelief.’ meaning (in chez ff. net and twitter profile description)
  • The process of writing “Fences” (the novel ebook)
  • self-publishing vs traditional publishing houses
  • Was it hard to get an agent?
  • “In the floor” vs “on the floor”
  • why castle
  • castle’s and beckett’s insecurities
  • How long to write a chapter
  • revising and editing fic & novel
  • about co-authoring
  • How do you collaborate on fics?
  • Where and how did you met Julie?
  • 1) June,2013- How many chapters do you write ahead before you post?, 2) May, 2013 - How far do you write ahead?
  • February 5, 2012 - What is your favourite story that you have written?
  • favorite kid fic that you’ve read from others?
  • favorite books
  • favorite romance novels
  • Book rec
  • Book by a British author rec
  • How long have you been writing
  • Have you always been a writer, like since you were a kid
  • What do you think your writing flaws are? What do you think you need to improve upon?
  • When you’re writing a story, do you start from the beginning and write straight to the end, in order?
  • Do you specifically choose what tense you’re going to write in, as a writing mechanism?
  • when you’re stuck on a story, like absolutely stuck, but on a schedule, what do you do?
  • How do you inspire yourself to write as much as you do on a daily basis?
  • We all have different process of writing methods that work for us
  • How do you handle criticism of your writing?
  • Writing essay tips 1,  cont2
  • Did you completely and totally loath writing essays and long formal reports in school?
  • Tips on describing things/people in your writing?
  • How on earth do you find the time to write so prolifically?
  • other language
  • behavioural aide
  • Do you do most/all of your writing through your laptop?
  • ice cream
  • Favorite colour
  • pet
  • Day job a1, a2
  • Are you a morning person?
  • Are you a SanFrancisco native?
  • How did you become a Giants fan? Are you from San Francisco?
  • What do you do when you have a (emotional) problem? What is your coping mechanism?
  • xfiles 1, answer2, answer3
  • December 2011 - 10 random things
  • Everyone has six name meme (adding this because no. 4 selfcomment made me laugh. and i was in need of that laugh.x))
  • Has anyone given you weird nicknames?

DASH

  • Dash made out of pure imagination, or ?
  • Have you personally read all of the books in chap 72/73 Dash Away?
  • Ella and Kate
  • kid dash pic 1, pic2, pic3, pic4
  • kid ellery pic1, pic2, pic3
  • kid dash and ellery pic1, pic2
  • Rex
  • Totoro
  • Ellery’s lizard
  • pronunciation of the names
  • where in the series timeline does the first dash epic take place?
  • condo in “dash It All”
  • tiny reference to Notting Hill in “Dash It All” (Dash It All chap 95)
  • dash left handed or right handed
  • the issue between Kate and Martha in the Dash series (at Christmas?)
  • music for Dash
  • Rafe
  • alexis wedding dress
  • alexis’ major
  • alexis’ girls, cont. (lol)
  • Kate’s playlist for Rick (Dash universe)
  • Kate’s wedding ring in Mad Dash1, pic2
  • head canon: Dash wedding
  • Future dash & Future Ellery
  • Future dash & shannon
  • Nick
  • How old is everyone in EverythingThatGlitters2?
  • Ellery’s college

SPY CASTLE/CLOSE ENCOUNTERS

  • SpyCastle website/blog: iheartspycastle.tumblr.com (managed by Jocelyn aka jyleafer15 in partnership with cartographical)
  • SpyCastle (CE1-CE7) timeline
  • SpyCastle Timeline (ALL)
  • Sasha
  • CE12 spoiler: Sasha likes playing in the woods(vid)
  • Chapter 3 of Close Encounters 5
  • wolf dog and blue garnet ring (CE4)
  • [Castle] Close Encounters Opening Title Sequence (vid) by jyleafer15 (YouTube Link)
  • [Castle] Close Encounters: Gun Barrel Sequence (vid) by jyleafer15 (YouTube Link)
  • where exactly is Castle and Beckett’s home located in Spy Castle?
  • Question: Kate’s dress in Spy Castle and her necklace?
  • Answer: Spy Castle: Kate’s Reception Outfit (CE7 chap 9)

OTHERS

  • The writing process of “Mr Smith Goes to Washington
  • “Flunitrazepam” title mean (crazy BRILLIANT fic)
  • Himitsubako” box
  • chapter 5 of Love Boat
  • Where I can buy the swimsuit in the picture for “Love Boat”?
  • Advent gifts
  • Advent Again- Will Advent 2 be a continuation of the first?
  • Banni, Elephant safari park and lodge
  • Bucket List incomplete status
  • Vice -Beckett’s list of books for Alexis in Vice
  • December 2013 - possibility for another Beth Universe?
  • 'The Frog at the Bottom of the Well’ story, is the consignment shop called 'Out of Time’ an existing place in real life?

anonymous asked:

What if Castle did answer Beckett when she asked him 'Where are we going?' (fluffy fic please)

Thanks for the prompt, Anon! I hope you enjoy this! (And I’m sorry for the wait as well.)

Anywhere
An alternate ending to “The Squab and the Quail”


“Castle?”

“Mmm?” The question rumbles through him, forcing his eyes open. She’s been pensive for days. Before the disaster that was Eric Vaughn, even before the video game debacle, and though he wants to know what’s going on, he hasn’t pushed. Experience has taught him what happens when he pushes Kate Beckett; the odds of things settling in his favor have always been slim and he won’t take the chance that almost a year in a real relationship hasn’t changed that.

So he’s let it rest, waiting for her to come to him.

“Where are we going?”

His mouth covers hers again, sealing her question between them for a moment longer. He was trying to treat her with a massage, wine, and candlelight, but if she wants to talk instead, he’ll talk.

Beckett shudders against him, fingers curling in his shirt as his tongue slips past her lips.

His hand flexes around her hip, drawing her closer. Her mouth moves fiercely against his, breath coming in harsh puffs across his lips.

“Where are we going?” he repeats upon breaking for air, slipping his hand underneath her shirt. Her skin’s warm against his knuckles, inviting, but Rick forces himself to focus. “I… where do you want to go?”

It’s the wrong thing to do, answering a question with a question, but he doesn't… what is the right thing here? His mother’s words skirt through his mind; are they committed to this relationship? He is. And he thinks Beckett is, too, but can he ask her that?

His hands splay, keeping her from pulling away in the face of his response. He might not know what she’s thinking, he might not know what to say just yet, but he knows her and she knows him. He knows they do better when they can feel each other’s warmth, too.

“Hey, wait. Just… wait,” he adds. “I want to go wherever you do, Kate. Unless it’s in opposite directions.”

Her head dips. Whether it’s in relief or frustration, he can’t tell, but he lets his mouth skim across her brow. His hands smooth along her sides again, keeping her close.

“But you know that. I know you know that.”

Kate looks up, lips pursed. “Do I? A year ago you were running as far away from anything serious as you could. Are you still?”

He sputters. A year ago he’d thought he’d never have the chance to be here with her and it had hurt. Running away had been his way of hiding, of lashing out.

“So you think this is what to me? Silly and fun and nothing more?”

“I don’t know, is it? You didn’t seem very interested the other night. You almost seemed bored. At least until –” she sighs, pinching the bridge of her nose. “Forget it. Just forget I said anything. I don’t want to fight.”

Well now he does. “So every time you don’t fall over yourself to jump my bones, should I just assume you’re bored with me? That we’re at the end of the road and going nowhere?”

“Of course not, Castle. That’s not what I meant.”

“Are you sure? ‘Cause it sounded like it was.”

Instantly, she looks contrite, deflating at his frustration instead of shoving back. This is, shit, they’re messing this up aren’t they? How can they both be so bad at just talking to each other?

“Okay, okay,” he says, smoothing his thumb against her back again. “Starting over. Let’s start over. But let’s do it better.”

“How?” she murmurs weakly.

“We ask questions and answer at the same time. The shared brain thing, let’s use it now.”

Beckett laughs tightly, dipping her head in acquiescence. “You make us sound like superheroes, Castle.”

“Aren’t we?”

Her eyes brighten a little bit. “Mmm, maybe we are. Okay, deal.” She nods, sliding her hands up his arms.

“Are we in a relationship?” he asks quickly, starting with an obvious one.

“Castle –”

“Yes we are.”

“Duh.” She rolls her eyes. “Yes we are.”

He nods in agreement. “Are we partners?”

She shifts in his arms. “Castle, you don’t have to establish a baseline here. It’s not a polygraph.”

Oh, now there’s an idea. His mouth lowers to her neck, sucking gently at her pulse point. He loves when she gets technical on him.

“Mmm, that's… that’s not how you check to see if someone’s lying.”

It should be. Although, that might be gross in any other situation, so maybe not.

“Is this relationship serious?” he rumbles, rubbing his nose up her neck.

“Yes,” she breathes, holding him tightly. His heart stutters at the confirmation, keeping him from echoing her words. “For you?” she adds, sounding unsure again.

“Yes.” He nips lightly. “Five years with you, Beckett. You think I’d let you drive me this insane if it weren’t the most serious thing I’ve ever done?”

Her pulse thunders against his lips, but she laughs softly, airily as she pulls his arms around her tighter.

“We love each other?” she murmurs, taking the role of question-asker from him.

“So much, Beckett,” he growls, feeling her shiver against him. “So fucking much.”

He doesn’t curse often, but it spills from his lips before he can stop it. She gets him that worked up.

“Me too, Castle. I love you.”

“How serious are we?” He jumps in again, palming the back of her head to steal a kiss from her upturned lips.

“That’s not a yes or no question, you know.”

“Semantics.” He pulls her closer, meeting her eyes again. “Five to ten?”

“No,” they say it as one, grinning slyly.

“Fifteen to twenty?” he offers.

Her head shakes. “No.” Unison again. Good.

“Twenty-five to life?” It comes out simultaneously, quick and hopeful from them both.

“No hope of parole,” she murmurs firmly, smearing her mouth over his.

“No arguments here,” he agrees, groaning in relief. Fuck, they made it. They actually made it.

Beckett sags against him, pulling on his lip gently. Just like that, acting as a team through a few rounds of questions, and she’s pliant and cozy against him once more.

“So Beckett,” he hums, swaying gently. “With me at your side – your partner in crime, life, or anything in between – where do you want to go?”

She thumbs his biceps thoughtfully, stretching onto her toes to get closer. Her curves fit against him, stealing his breath once more. “The bedroom, Castle. Let’s go to the bedroom.”