Summary: TextsFromLastNight fic-a-thon prompt: (304): I love you more than champagne and correct grammar (endearingquirk). Castle, Beckett, outdoor sexing, and absolutely no plot.
Spoilers: 3x22, if any.
Author's Notes: Thanks to M & A for beta services. Also for not leaving me despite the suckage of the first draft.
It's shinin' just for you
Loneliness is over
Dark days are through
Their second trip to Los Angeles involves a lot of the same elements of the first visit, but in a vastly different context. They're once again sharing a suite, except this time it is an isolated cabana with a private pool, nestled in the hills.
He finds her on a lounge by the pool. There had been no undercover mission as she'd slipped into her swimwear this time, and the sight had almost kept him from leaving for the writers' symposium at UCLA. Rolling her eyes, she had pushed him out the door with the same authority she uses in the Precinct (and as he's come to learn, in bed as well).
He takes off his jacket and undoes the top buttons of his shirt, trying to keep his movements minute and silent as he watches her from a distance. Her thighs offer a perfect resting spot for his latest manuscript while she tips a half-full glass of champagne into her lips. He gulps audibly at the sight, and it’s drawing him closer to her ever so slightly.
He stands at the doorway between the cabana and the patio area with the pool for a bit longer, trying to fight the magnetic pull he feels. He pays close attention to how her facial expressions change as she gets through each page in front of her, the pen in her other hand scribbling on the paper every couple of minutes, letting the red ink voice her thoughts.
"Are you just going to stand there all day?" she finally asks, her eyes never leaving the page.
"Forgive me for wanting to enjoy the view without being noticed," he replies, throwing his jacket on a barstool on his way to her.
She turns to face him, and he knows she's glaring at him from behind the dark shades. "I noticed," she offers. "I'm a cop, it's my job to notice. Even out here."
He makes his way towards the poolside table, plucking the champagne bottle from the melting ice bucket, and pours himself a glass. She holds out her glass and he fills it as well.
"How did it go?" she asks as he sits on the ground next to the lounge chair, and nudges her waist until he can lean into her side.
"Boring," he replies. "Okay, some of it was interesting, but that many writers converging into one room is what most people would call counter-productive."
"Let me guess, they don't properly appreciate brevity?" she teases.
He traces the exposed skin of her waist, running his fingers up over her ribs, watching as goosebumps form across her body. "If you're insinuating something about writers and our stamina..."
"Actually, I was referring to their inability to shut up," she bites back, "though at this point, I'm not even sure we can call you a writer."
He cringes. "That bad?"
Her lips purse in amusement, and he knows she's trying hard not to smile. "You seem to have a fondness for ending certain sentences with prepositions. I also caught a few slips with verb tense in the flashback chapter, and I assume you meant dessert and not desert in chapter five," she points out. "One 's' can make a big difference."
"You tell me," he replies as he runs his fingers over her hips and down, letting his thumb brush against the fullness of her ass. The bikini bottoms she's wearing aren't particularly revealing, and god knows he's seen her in far less, but there's something inherently intimate about having her all to himself at this private pool, discussing his grammar and drinking champagne.
"I'm almost ashamed to admit I own some of your books," she says, her voice breaking just slightly as she sets the pen down and runs her fingers through his hair, pulling him down for a brief kiss.
"You mean all of my books," he reminds her as he pulls back, feeling her hand wander from his hair down to his arm, "and this is the first manuscript. There's a reason these things go through a very thorough editing process."
"'The suspect was chased by Heat, the roughness of the asphalt was unrelenting against her bare feet,'" she reads the excerpt out loud. "Perhaps tomorrow you can attend a workshop on passive voice, and how to avoid using it?" she continues to tease.
"I thought you liked me passive," he replies, lightly brushing the stubble on his face against her knees.
"Not always," she retorts, reaching for the champagne glass. She maintains eye contact with him as she takes small sips of the alcohol, letting some of the condensation drip onto her skin.
He is not as patient as her - as a general rule, he is not a very patient man, except when she truly needs him to be - and he downs the rest of his own glass, setting it out of reach so he can focus on her.
"But in all honesty, Castle... not the worst I've read," she confesses. Much like his mother and daughter, she has always straddled the line between being supportive of his career, and keeping his ego in check. The unspoken compliment in her voice comes through, loud and clear, but he continues to play their game.
"I should have that printed on the back cover," he jokes, glancing down at the manuscript on her thighs and the red ink on the paper. He lowers his head further, until he can press his lips lightly to the skin of her stomach, feeling the muscles fluttering under his kisses. "I see you've gotten through two-thirds of the book while I was gone," he whispers against her abdomen.
"I'm a fast-reader," she replies, not taking his bait, but her hand makes its way through his hair again. She doesn't let go this time, running her fingertips across his scalp. She tightens her grasp as he grazes the skin of her hip with his teeth.
"... and I'm sure it nothing to do with the gripping plot," he adds, letting the double entendre hang in the air pointedly, turning his head sideways and beaming at her proudly.
"Oh please," she scoffs, removing her sunglasses so he can see her roll her eyes. "I could tell who did it by the end of the first chapter," she adds as she moves the manuscript to the small table on the other side of the lounge chair.
"Could not," he teases as he wraps a hand on her thigh, the fingertips teasing the sensitive flesh on the inside of her legs.
"Could too," she teases back.
He switches gears as he sits up and tugs on her bikini bottoms. "And tell me, what did you think of the scene in chapter seven? In the unmarked car?"
By this point, he knows her well enough in this context, but as she lifts her hips to let him tug the fabric down her legs, it offers him the reassurance he needs. The location is private enough to not even be an issue, and he can tell that she is more than willing to participate in what he has in mind.
They’re rarely silent when together, but often what’s left unsaid is what gets to him the most. It’s one of the many discoveries they made after exploring this facet of their relationship, this unspoken communication that happens underneath the banter and apart from the heated looks or touches.
"When I read that, I thought: someone obviously hasn't had sex in a Crown Vic."
"Not for lack of trying," he points out.
"Overrated," she explains, the implications not lost on him for one second. "Not enough room, and definitely not worth the hassle."
He pauses, considering pressing the matter further, but he knows by now to avoid asking certain questions. With her half-naked and discussing the viability of his sex scenes, he is far more interested in what they are about to do than whatever happened in her past.
"And no, that is not a challenge," she adds, mistaking the reason for his pause, but he improvises off of her suggestion anyway.
"But I love challenges," he reminds her. "Plus the lack of space just means one has to be creative. Take this lounge chair, for example... too small for two people, but I'm thinking we can make it work," he adds as he wraps his hands under her body and lifts her until he's the one on the chair, and she's straddling him.
She leans forward at first, her lips brushing against his in greeting, tongue darting out to lick the remnants of the champagne off his lips, and he can taste the same on hers. Long locks touch his neck, and she smells of suntan lotion remnants and her, and he wants more.
He always wants more wherever she is concerned.
He raises his knees, keeping his feet flat against the lounge chair, and she rests her body against his thighs. There's no hesitation as she leans backwards, exposing herself further. His fingers run across the soft skin of her thighs first, inching slowly across the sun-kissed skin until he hits the edge of her tan line, and then across the small area until her folds. There's an inherent familiarity as he uses his thumb across the slit, watching as the folds part to reveal her to his eyes.
There's just a hint of dampness at first, but he can see the signs of arousal spreading through her body: the way her nipples are hardening under the bikini top, the fabric straining as she gasps softly at his touch.
His thumb circles her clit, tugging on the skin that covers the bundle of nerves, not touching it just yet. Her hips begin rotating in an opposite direction of the circles he's drawing on her skin, matching the rhythm in a perfect demonstration of the teamwork they're capable of in life and in bed-- or in a lounge chair, under the California sun, as the case may be.
His index finger presses ever so slightly against her opening, and there's a fresh rush of moisture that meets his touch. As her hips continue to rotate against his hand, he lets his thumb graze her clit a few times, tugging on the hood with each pass. It swells up, and he knows just how sensitive it can get, so he keep his touch light. He moves his focus to the finger at her entrance, the tip now coated with her juices; her inner muscles offer some resistance as he surprises her by sliding not one but two digits in one fluid motion. She stretches around him, fluttering, and then she's moaning and cursing above him.
When he does slide the digits out, they're drenched in her slickness, and the scent of her arousal envelops them.
She comes twice around his fingers.
The lounge chair is not a perfect example of a Crown Vic passenger seat, and losing his clothes becomes a lesson in teamwork, but they manage.
Somewhere along the line he realizes her legs are too long for what he'd had in mind writing the scene. She offers some editorial insight by turning until she's facing away from him, and then she's sliding down his length as the sun is setting around them, and his eyes drift closed as he wraps his arms around her mid-section.
With his chest pressed against her back, his fingers trace her stomach in lazy strokes, matching the languid rhythm of her movements.
Her body is well-toned. He's familiar with her workout routine, now more than ever. He's watched her practicing early-morning yoga, while he cooked breakfast for the both of them, with the sun drifting through the windows of her apartment. He knows just how strong she can be, and how she uses her height and build to her advantage when needed, but he is rather fond of the fact that despite her commitment to physical fitness, there's still a softness to her body in certain spots, the conditioned form hiding under the skin.
He can feel her core muscles tightening up under his hands, like ropes under tension, as she approaches another orgasm, and then she's breaking all over and around him, a string of curse words spilling from her. He laughs softly into her hair, and he doesn't need to see her lips to know they'll be swollen and red; that image has been burnt into his mind since their first time together.
As her spasms subside, she wraps a hand around his neck, nails digging into his skin; her other hand reaches between them until she can cup his sac, and he groans into her ear, feeling a bolt of pleasure running down his spine to where she begins carefully kneading the sensitive skin.
He wraps his free hand under one of her knees, tugging it outwards and opening her to him even more. She moans his name as the change in angle causes him to hit a particularly good spot, and he bites her shoulder in warning because he's getting close. She tightens around him even more, and then she's coming again, her inner walls gripping him tightly as she uses whatever leverage she has left to move her hips in circles and draw out this orgasm as much as she can. Her arousal coats his length, his thighs and he feels himself falling again as he lets go.
Their cellphones buzz three days later, and Gates cuts their vacation short by ordering Beckett back to New York.
As they find their seats in First Class, she hands him the finished manuscript and digs deeper into her bag to get to the case notes. Ryan and Esposito had managed to fax over several pages on the high-profile case, so they could be caught up during the flight.
He glances through the manuscript, noticing how insightful some of the red notes are, and he reads through several annotations. "You know, if you ever want to retire, you would make a wonderful editor," he tells her honestly. "You truly make me a better writer."
She sucks on her lower lip as she meets his gaze, and then she's smiling but there's something hidden under it, some part he doesn't quite comprehend.
"Thank you for the vacation, Castle," she says as she pulls him into a quick kiss, one last allowance before the cop inside her takes over fully. "Really."
He puts the manuscript in his laptop bag and stows it away, before reaching for the stack of papers in front of her and taking half. As the plane takes off and they make progress on the case notes, the grim reality of murder falls over them once again, and he longs for the poolside. He pauses and watches her, engrossed in her reading, forehead creasing in a familiar manner.
"Here you go," she says, handing him her red pen. "Espo's grammar leaves something to be desired," she adds with a smile.
"That's putting it nicely," he replies, letting his fingers brush against hers as he reaches for the pen. He places it inside his jacket's breast pocket, saving it, before returning his attention to the puzzle in front of him.
Los Angeles is hundreds of miles away again.