Author: Alice J. Foster (shipperfey)
Summary: "...life was changing and evolving around them; the third act had begun, and they had no choice but to go forward." Life sometimes isn't written by a single writer, but the result of a collaboration.
Spoilers: Season 4—no specific episode mentions, though.
Author's Notes: Thank you to A for the beta, M for the brainstorming and previews, and K for the moral support <3
It was the aftermath of another one of those life-and-death situations; those hellish nightmares that were wearing at him and causing him to start feeling his age more often than he liked to admit. He knew her injury was worse than she was letting on because she’d let him drive the unmarked back to her place.
She’d let him drive.
He shifted uncomfortably in the driver’s seat, figuring he should focus on the road before he got them both sent back to the hospital. His mind couldn’t find any words he was allowed to voice, so he remained uncharacteristically silent until he pulled up to the familiar building.
It was past ten p.m. and the city was still alive, but the inside of the car had none of the energy that the outside did. He leaned his forehead into the steering wheel, resting his eyes for a few seconds.
“Let’s get you upstairs,” he said, shutting the engine off and jumped out of the car before she could protest. He opened the door for her, something he seldom dared to do. He locked the unmarked car and threw the keys in her bag, already planning to catch a home once he was sure she was settled in.
“You don’t need to walk me to my door, Castle. It’s--" Beckett began before he interrupted.
“It’s non-negotiable,” he declared, but his voice lacked its usual playfulness, and Beckett must’ve picked up on it because she scrunched up her nose and led the way into the building.
She even let him help her with the doors once they were inside, bemoaning at the fact her right arm was still numb from the local anesthetic.
Castle walked around in silence, pouring her a glass of water and locating with ease the bulk-sized bottle of painkillers in her medicine cabinet. She was lying across three cushions of the couch when he returned, and she accepted the items from him without protest. He made his way to her kitchen, fumbling a bit through the fridge and cabinets searching for more first aid supplies.
He returned again, this time with the ice pack – a real one, not a bag of frozen peas like he usually had at his place - wrapped in a dish towel. After receiving a nod from her, he laid it across her injured arm, above the stitches and the protective mesh bandage. He sat on the edge of coffee table and held the ice pack in place, expecting the glare of independence and annoyance from her, but it never came.
Her eyes were closed, and he glanced up at her face, but he didn’t want to be caught staring so he let his gaze wander back down to the injury, careful not to apply too much pressure to the ice pack. They sat in silence for several moments, both lost in their own thoughts.
“It wasn’t your fault,” her voice softly stated.
Time slowed to a standstill as he looked up again and stared deeply into her eyes. He cleared his throat when the gaze became too intense. “Yes, it was.”
“No, it wasn’t. Your ‘theory’ led us there, but I was the one who chased the suspect down - even though I knew he had a knife. You heard the doctor, it’s just a small laceration, my arm will be fine and until then I’m fine.”
He didn’t reply; he’d heard her say that word so many times, it had lost its meaning. He still trusted her with every cell in his body, but he also knew how to listen to the unspoken clues that things weren’t within a mile of fine.
“Maybe you should get a real partner.”
He felt her body stiffen though they weren’t even touching. “I have a real partner, Castle,” she replied, pulling her lower lip into her mouth to punctuate her statement as it hung in the air between them.
“I’m serious, Kate,” he added under his breath. “You deserve… you deserve better than a partner who doesn’t have a gun, or formal training or—“
She interrupted him as he was about to launch into a laundry list of reasons why he should’ve given this up after the first week or two. “Listen to me, Castle. I’m only going to say it once. I’m okay, and I really mean it, at least right now. I survived; that’s what I’ve been doing for longer than I can remember, just surviving. Surviving my mother’s murder, surviving the Academy, surviving the emptiness I felt when I began working cases that were so grotesque I couldn’t sleep for days. I survived a bullet, and more than a few brushes with death.
“But for the longest time, I was so busy surviving, I'd forgotten what it was like to live,” she continued, as she sat up and turned on the couch, letting the ice pack drop between the cushions, and placing her knees between his. “And somewhere along the way, you reminded me that sometimes, living is just as important as surviving. You make me feel alive, Castle, and I’m not willing to give that up, not after what we’ve been through.”
He didn't know how to react to her words; his wit failed him, and his heart spoke words she wasn’t yet prepared to hear. It wasn’t their time yet, and he knew that, but he allowed himself this in a moment of weakness: he pulled her into his chest, carefully avoiding her injured arm.
Her warm breath against the collar of his shirt comforted him beyond measure, and with his own face buried in her hair, he inhaled deeply and exhaled slowly. His lips brushed against her temple as he began pulling back, but she surprised him by pulling him closer, wrapping her good arm around his waist and holding on to him. Her knees found their way between his, and he inched forward slightly until his legs pressed against the edge of the couch.
His lips remained pressed to her skin, the loose wisps of her hair tickling his nose, but he didn’t dare move.
You make me feel alive.
As her bare thighs pressed against his hips and her knees made contact with the couch cushions, he gasped. He was afraid his writing career had ended that very second, because his brain had lost the ability to form coherent sentences. His hands might have been useless for typing out a novel, but there was still plenty use for them as he began exploring her legs, finding a perfect spot at the top of her outer thighs, rubbing his fingertips across the soft skin there.
She moaned softly at the contact and bit her lip above him, and he realized that her perfect neck was within range of his mouth. He exhaled onto her skin, enjoying the shiver he felt coursing through her body.
His hands moved under the fabric of the button down shirt she still wore, the pads of his fingers blindly mapping out the unfamiliar territory. He stopped as he reached her ribcage, partly because there wasn’t enough room, and partly because he knew there was a reason this was the only piece of clothing left between them after the frenzied undressing that had begun as they’d stepped into her apartment and stumbled onto the couch.
He stilled his hands across her waist, and took a deep breath against her collarbone, before covering the area with open mouthed kisses inching upward until he could reach her ear. He could smell her everywhere, all of her, and it was driving him insane.
She shifted her hips as she straddled him, allowing her bare center to finally make contact with his length. “Fuck,” he groaned into her ear. He wanted to slow this down, to taste her first, and explore her depths with his fingers until she was squirming under his touch, but this moment had been years in the making; he almost couldn’t help the way his hands on her waist pulled her down, or the way his hips bucked forward until he was poised at her entrance.
“Castle,” she moaned appreciatively, and her voice had that husky breathless tone that put the extra emphasis on the first syllable of his name until the second syllable became almost an afterthought.
“Beckett,” he replied in what was meant to be a teasing tone, but came out as a supplication. He tried thinking of anything but the slick feel of her, but it was impossible. Instead, he tried to stall the inevitable with words. "No foreplay?"
"We'll have time for that later," she promised, raising both her eyebrows at him and throwing him a sultry smile that almost did him in.
He groaned, letting his head roll backwards. "Then it won’t be foreplay, now will it? 'Fore' does imply prior to, you know?"
She did this half snort, half sigh thing that he was probably not supposed to find hot, but never being one to follow the rules, he did anyway. "Do you really want to get into etymology right now?"
He raised an eyebrow and stared at her with a gleam in his eyes. This time, she was the one the throw her head back, and she laughed.
"What am I saying, of course you'd want to discuss etymology right now.”
"You make that word sound incredibly sexy," he added as he nibbled on her exposed neck.
She placed her hand on his chin so she could angle his head so her breath was on his ear, and whispered "Etymology, etymology, etymology..."
He felt her shift again, pulling back until they could look into each other’s eyes, and then she pressed down until he could feel her beginning to envelop him. Tight muscles gripped his length inch by agonizing inch, until her pubic bone pressed against his and he couldn’t tell where he ended and she began.
He squeezed his hands on her waist, pulling her closer, until their foreheads touched, and they were breathing the same air. For what felt like an eternity neither of them moved, both fighting the urge to give in to the almost animalistic need for release, because this was about so much more than getting off.
There was a tightness in his chest, like after a really good run, and he felt breathless. As she pulled him in to another kiss, he figured oxygen was more of a luxury than a necessity at this point. Her teeth grazed his lower lip, followed by an erotic stroke of her tongue, and he moaned carelessly.
One of his thumbs instinctively began tracing circles on her skin until it brushed against the underwire of her bra, and a gasp escaped her lips into his mouth. “Wait,” she said breathlessly as she pulled back again, keeping her hips still pressed to his and his length buried deep inside her.
He watched as she brought her own hands up and began to slowly unbutton her shirt. She broke eye contact, and he noticed her fingers were trembling. “Kate, you don’t have to—“ he began, but she shook her head.
“I want to, Castle,” she reassured him.
He allowed her to finish unbuttoning her shirt on her own, and only moved his hands to help her push it off her shoulders, revealing a beige bra with lace trim across the top of the cups. He saw the scar between her breasts, the one his research had told him would be the most obvious and painful one, but it didn’t affect him the way he’d expected. Instead, he reached upward to her left shoulder and hooked his finger on the bra strap there, then slowly dragged it down. He kissed his way down the path he exposed, until his nose was pressed against the top of her breast, and her heart was beating against his lips.
He felt her inner muscles flutter against his length, and as his breath made contact with the puckered skin of her scar, she gasped softly above him. Her hands found their way through his hair, fingernails grazing his scalp and it was his turn to groan contentedly. He nudged at the bra cup with his nose until it was pushed out of the way and he could tug at a hardened nipple with his lips, letting his teeth brush against the sensitive peak. One of her hands turned into a fist, grabbing his hair in a way that shot a jolt of electricity right down to his center.
He used his hands to unclasp her bra, and they made just enough space between them as was necessary to remove the garment, then his lips were pulling as much of her breast into his mouth as he could take. She moaned above him, fingernails digging in to the nape of his neck and he was sure he’d have crescent-shaped marks there for days.
His hands moved to the sides of her breasts, and his right hand felt the other scar along her left side, across the ribcage. His mind flashed briefly to that horrific day, but before the panic could set in, he realized the scar was not as jagged as the other one.
“You’re quiet,” she pointed out.
He stared up at her, meeting her eyes and unsure of what to say. He settled on a playful smirk. “Are you complaining?”
She returned his smirk with a full smile, and shook her head. “No, but if I’d known this would shut you up…” her voice trailed off as she pressed her naked breasts against his skin.
“… you would’ve let me do this years ago?” he asked, brushing his lips to the tops of her breasts, his tongue dipping briefly in his journey to taste her skin.
“In your dreams, Castle,” she continued with the banter, as she pulled on his chin until she could press a kiss to the scar on his forehead. “Someday, I want to hear the story of how you got this,” she added, before kissing her way down to his cheekbones.
“But not now?” he teased back, thrusting his hips upwards until her breath caught just as her lips reached his. He swallowed the moan that escaped her lips as he instinctively hit a spot within her.
“Not now,” she whispered against him before her arms gripped his shoulders, and she rode him until they were both speechless.
Her scars were healing, just like they were; soon it’d be just a page in the book of them, nowhere near the final chapter.
He came to, gasping because he couldn’t catch his breath.
He felt her before he saw her, her hands grasping his tightly. He remembered the beginning of the car chase, remembered everything up until they entered the bridge, and then everything had gone dark.
“Kate,” he tried to say, but his voice broke up halfway through her name.
“I’m here, Castle,” she reassured him, tightening her grip on his hand; he wanted to look at her but his head was strapped down.
“Where…?” he managed to get out, hoping she’d understand the full question.
“Med-evac helicopter,” she replied, and he felt her shifting until he could see her. “We should be at the hospital in a few minutes.”
“Hurts,” he squeaked out as he felt the urge to cough but was unable to follow through.
Her voice was strained, and years of reading her told him just how worried she was, but still she smiled and nodded, “I know it does, I’m sorry. We lost a tire, and hit the divider. But Ryan and Espo remained in pursuit and they got him.”
“Go team,” he added with what he hoped was a smile.
She sniffed just once, and even though there were no visible tears, the pain of seeing her concerned hurt more than all of his injuries. He was having trouble breathing, but he could bet it was due to his concern for her well-being.
The words hung between them for what felt like an eternity, with just the blades of the helicopter breaking the silence.
“Marry?” he finally managed to ask after he realized she wasn’t joking. “Here?”
Her smile traveled from her lips to the glassy look of her eyes. “I seem to remember you had a fondness for proposals in helicopters. This is the best I can do under those circumstances. I know we've skirted around the issue for a while now, but this is me... Proposing. In a helicopter,” she added, her uneven pauses due to the tears that had finally spilled.
He tried to keep his sentences short, “One knee?”
She laughed through her tears, and sniffed in a way that he found adorable even if everything about this moment felt misplaced.
"Sorry, don't think these nice paramedics would appreciate it if I unbuckled my harness to get down on one knee," she pointed out, rewarding him with a half-smile instead.
"Raincheck then," he added.
"I'll take that as a yes," she replied, one hand releasing his to lightly caress his cheek.
He wanted to tell her so much, but the pain was threatening to overwhelm him, so he continued with his short sentences: "Never a doubt."
She leaned closer to him, as close as the harness would allow, and stage-whispered over the sound of the whirring blades: "If you try quoting me on this later, I will blame it on the drugs you're getting, but I never had any doubts either," she admitted, letting him see that part of her that she rarely shared with him, or the world. And then she straightened up again, and wiped her tears away. "Now you better rest and let the doctors fix you, or this will be the shortest engagement ever."
"10-4 that," he replied, letting his eyes close again.
Before he drifted off into unconsciousness, he felt her hand squeeze his again.
Life often didn't have a happily ever after, and as a mystery writer, he had written plenty of gruesome endings. But as he took a swig of the bitter whiskey, he cringed at the thought that this could be the end of them.
She'd pushed him away, once again. After everything they'd been through, she'd pushed him away. And even worse, he'd let her... he had walked out of the precinct, in a painful daze, and stood in the street for what had felt like hours, unsure of where to go from there.
He glanced at the red, half-empty bottle of St. Miriam on the bookshelf, but he refused to drink it, because it reminded him of her. That was why he was sitting in the damp basement office of The Old Haunt instead of sulking in his own home, because it'd been her home as well for far too long; not officially, not yet, but enough that every inch of the loft bore her essence and had become a part of them.
He wasn't a young man; he'd been through enough break-ups, and divorces. When things had ended with Meredith, casual sex notwithstanding, he'd had Alexis as a permanent reminder of that relationship. But Kate Beckett had gone beyond that, she had seeped into every part of his existence, until he wasn't sure what was left of his identity without her anymore, and he didn't mean that in the lovestruck-and-heartbroken-teenager way.
Everything that made him him now was also partly hers. Writing, his first passion, that had been the first thing she'd permeated, pretty much from the moment they'd met. Family, the other major part of him, that had been the last thing to bear her mark, but it was just as permanent.
It was rather pathetic to sit in the dimly lit office, drinking his sorrows away, but even his friends had been reduced to their friends, and it felt wrong to drag anyone they knew into this. Especially until they decided what this was—other than the most painful 24 hours in the last decade of his life. He was glad Alexis was away at college so he could avoid her barrage of questions and concern for a bit longer.
He stared at the antique typewriter - a birthday gift from his fiancée/partner/best friend - on his desk for a moment, and the blank paper that stared back at him. Their relationship had reached the equivalent of writer's block; they were at an impasse, the unresolved conflict that would define the ending of their story. He was so focused on the blank piece of paper that he missed the click of her heels until she was standing right behind him.
"Hey," she said, not giving anything away in her features when he turned to face her.
He didn't want to meet her eyes yet, so he turned his glance back to the desk, and the open bottle of whiskey. He was about to put it away, but she reached for it, and took a swig from the bottle. Her hair was in a loose braid, and she smelled like leather, sweat and the city, so he figured she'd taken her bike there. He knew she only did that when she wanted to be alone, to think, to figure things out.
He wondered what she'd figured out this time.
She sighed, still not letting go of the bottle, and sat on the edge of his desk. There were at least two feet between them, but he swore he could feel the heat of her body from where he sat. He reached for the glass of whiskey again, sipping it carefully.
The uncomfortable silence between them stretched for so long, that he started feeling annoyed she'd even come. But then she handed him the whiskey, and he pushed the glass he'd been using aside and settled for drinking straight from the bottle as well. Another thing she now shared - nothing was just his anymore - and as his lips wrapped around the mouth of the bottle and tasted her lipstick, he couldn't decide whether to feel angry, or resigned.
She sighed again, louder this time, and pivoted her body from where she sat on the table until she could reach the antique typewriter.
i am sorry
He stared at the words, and could feel them staring back at him just as he felt her heated gaze on his face. Her leather-clad thigh was just an inch or two away from his arm, and he felt a shiver run down his spine at the realization.
In a flash, he was standing up, lips devouring hers, before he could release the breath he'd been holding. Her legs wrapped around his hips as she returned his passion, her teeth grazing his lips, and tongue brushing desperately against him. He could taste the whiskey they'd shared; he could taste them, and he groaned into her mouth.
When they broke apart, gasping for air, he rested his forehead against hers, instinctively reaching for her braid and pulling it loose even more until he could weave his fingers through her hair.
"I'm sorry," she repeated against his lips as she kicked off her boots.
"What happened?" he asked as he unbuttoned and unzipped the leather pants.
She sighed into his kiss. "I got the promotion."
He released her lips but kept his grip on her hair, pulling back until he could stare at her. He frowned in confusion. He'd known this day would come; hell, he couldn't understand why it hadn't happened years ago. Except this year he'd been pushing her to take the exam, and had to literally restrain himself from pulling any strings to make this real. But if she-- crap, his face froze in realization. "Is that... a bad thing?"
She broke from his gaze, focusing on the buttons of his half-undone shirt, where her fingers were resting.
"Beckett..." he began, using her last name for emphasis.
"NYPD Lieutenants aren't allowed to have plucky sidekicks, you know," she explained, chewing nervously on her lower lip.
He wasn't sure how to react. He thought back to all the fights they'd had over the years, and he knew she didn't like feeling pressured or caged in any way. And he'd definitely pressured her to go for the promotion, but he'd never expected it would've led to such a fallout. "You were upset because you're going to have to give up having me following you around, solving crimes?"
"At the risk of inflating your ego further, yes," she replied, leaning her head further into his touch.
"But you're getting promoted," he pointed out, letting his thumb brush against her earlobe.
"I felt... I wasn't ready to take that exam. I wasn't ready to lose this partnership," she tried to explain further.
"But you're getting promoted," he repeated, even though he knew how much she hated it when he kept trying to make a point by basically annoying her, so he tried switching tactics. "You do realize we're engaged, right? To be married?"
"I know that," she replied with a tinge of annoyance, "... and that's why I came here, because I realized I should've said something a long time ago, but it's not easy for me to admit this. I mean... Castle, how would you feel if I pushed you into giving up the Nikki Heat books? Even if it were for a better opportunity, like say the certain British spy project you've been putting off to write books based on your fiancée?"
He tilted his head in thought, and remembered the exasperated tone in Paula's voice when he'd passed on that project for a second time, and had explained he wasn't done telling Heat's story yet. "Okay, I get your point," he conceded, then grimaced at the words that had spilled between them in the precinct the night before. "But I wish we could take that fight back."
She pulled on his shirt until she could reach his lips with hers again. "I'm sorry," she repeated, her breath mingling with his as she spoke. "You know I'm not good at this... stuff."
She wasn't wearing a bra under her tank top, he noticed as he pushed her jacket off her shoulders and threw it at the raggedy couch against the wall. He felt her hands finish undoing the fly on his jeans. "Your communication skills could use some improvement, but we're going to be okay," he promised as he tugged her leather pants and underwear off, and kneeled on the ground to pull them completely free.
"Your meddling skills could use some fine tuning too," she pointed out, with a raised eyebrow.
He didn't break eye contact as he placed an open mouthed kiss on the inside of her thigh, just under her tattoo. She gasped, like she always did, and he smirked as he used his fingers to part her, finding her slick and ready. He pressed his thumb against the bundle of nerves at the top of her folds, and rubbed it in small circles, as his lips kissed her other thigh. Her hips were at the edge of the antique desk as she moved her legs over his shoulders, leaning back to give him full access to her.
"Ohh," she moaned as he replaced his thumb with his tongue, wrapping his lips tightly around her clit and creating just the right amount of suction. Sex with her was like re-reading a favorite book; it felt so well-known, but at the same time he always found something new, something he hadn't noticed before.
He slid two fingers inside her, relishing the way she tightened around him instinctively. He curled his fingers inside her, locating the right spot, and the balls of her feet pressed sharply against his back in response.
As she gasped for breath and tried to keep her torso flat on the desk, he became fascinated by this dip that formed around her hips with every gasp. He moved his free hand to her left hip, and traced patterns on the skin there, feeling the muscles tightening under his finger pads. Then she was tightening all over, and the words of love spilling out of her mouth in ecstasy erased so many of the words from the previous night.
After she came down from her high, both worked together to pull off her cotton tank top. His hands returned to her hips then, and moved upwards, touching every inch of her until he was cupping her breasts, and she finished unbuttoning his shirt and pushing his jeans down along with his boxers.
"It'd look really bad if someone decided to come down here, you know," he pointed out as he inched closer to her until he was pressing against her entrance. "Or really, really good."
"Good thing I locked the door on my way down," she replied, and flashed him a sultry smile.
"Ah, thinking ahead. This is why you're getting promoted, you know? Although I should be offended that you assumed...."
She rolled her eyes but her smile remained, "I figured we'd either be doing this..." she trailed off as she placed her hands on his hips and pulled him to her, letting him slip inside her with familiarity. Her breath caught in her throat, and she swallowed audibly before she could finish her sentence, "... or we'd be fighting still. Either way, we could do without an audience."
"I'm glad we went with what was behind door number one then," he groaned as her thighs squeezed him. "Make-up sex always beats everything else. Except maybe precinct sex," he added hopefully.
She laughed. "No, we're not having precinct sex to celebrate my promotion."
He pouted unashamedly, even as his hips continued to move against hers.
"But if you behave," she continued, pulling him closer until their foreheads were touching, "I will describe to you, in detail, what I've imagined us doing on my desk and on the break room couch... and I will even let you include it as a scene in the next Nikki Heat book."
His jaw dropped open at the suggestion. She took the opportunity to pull his lower lip into her mouth, and ran her tongue across it until he groaned. His hips accelerated the pace, slamming into her and he was grateful that the desk was old and heavy.
"You are a fantastic negotiator," he told her when they broke apart for breath, and their hips slowed again. "I'm going to miss seeing you in action every day."
"I will miss the free coffee every morning," she replied, eyes meeting his full of emotion. She reached up to touch his cheek; he leaned into the touch, and she brushed her thumb across his lips.
"I can still bring you coffee," he offered.
She smiled in return. "I'll miss more than just the free coffee," she admitted.
"I'm not going anywhere, Kate," he promised, and he used what was left of his strength to pull her up, and then he sat back down at his chair, glad that it was an antique as well and it remained in place under their combined weight. He was still inside her as she straddled him, but he could stare up at her this way, and she placed soft kisses on his cheekbones in approval.
She rose up until he was just barely inside her, and added "I'll miss your jokes, even the bad ones," and then she slid down his length, and he gasped at how tight she felt around him. Then she was up again, "I'll miss the way you understand how tough some cases can be for me, even after all these years," and she slid downwards again.
She repeated the same movements as she began listing off everything she'd miss about their work partnership until she was shuddering in her release above him, and he followed swiftly after.
"I will miss it all," she concluded as she pressed her forehead into his shoulder.
"Me too," he added, finally understanding the panic that had caused her to push him away the previous night. The feeling of nostalgia was overwhelming and their work partnership wasn't even over yet, probably wouldn't be for a few weeks or months. And he had no doubt he would still be a part of the 12th, one way or another, but life was changing and evolving around them; the third act had begun, and they had no choice but to go forward.
"Castle," she spoke softly, pulling him out of the fog of sadness that had settled over him. "Thank you," she said when her eyes met him, "for all of it. And for understanding."
This time, he let his eyes say the six-letter word that she'd heard him say so many times, and out loud, he voiced the three words he was finally allowed to say whenever he pleased.
She said them back to him, out loud and with her eyes, and the basement of his bar became a part of them.
He stood outside the women's restroom at the precinct for what felt like forever.
Granted, time seemed to pass differently since he'd gotten the text from his wife earlier that day. He'd stolen a cab from an old man, something he wasn't proud of, but it had felt absolutely necessary at the time. The clerk at the store had been of no help in the most uncomfortable aisle of the pharmacy, so he'd just spent an eternity and a half staring at the different boxes.
But he'd made it to the precinct in one piece, with a brown paper bag in one hand, and a box of donuts in the other [for old time's sake], but he'd skipped on the coffee.
Just in case.
They'd discussed this as a possibility, after her first promotion, but it hadn't happened when they'd expected it. And even though there were other means to try, they had settled into the familiarity of each other instead.
And now... after all these years. Granted, he wasn't that old, and she hadn't even reached the big four-oh yet. But they hadn't planned on it, and every passing second was becoming torturous.
The door opened, and she walked out slowly, staring at the plastic piece in her hand.
"Two. There are two lines," she explained, showing him the result. And then her lips turned into a surprised grin, and all the doubts and fears he'd been experiencing disappeared.
He picked her up and spun her around, not caring what the precinct would think at seeing their captain being swept off her feet in a whirlwind.