She misses him. That much is certain.

In the morning, when she wakes up, he isn't there. Isn't on his side of the bed where he belongs. She pads into the bathroom, where she usually hears the water running, where he always smiles down at her while he runs a towel over his damp hair when he emerges from the shower. But he isn't there either.

He isn't there to say good morning and run his fingers across her back, making her arch in pleasure.

He isn't there to tell her how beautiful she is.

He isn't there to reach out with strong hands and scratch behind her ears.

Minnie misses her human, Kate can tell.

It's only the second day of Castle's two week book tour, but both the detective and the cat are already sick of the novelist's absence. It's just not the same without him here.

Kate rolls onto her side, facing her husband's side of the bed where the little gray cat is staring mournfully at her.

"I know, sweet girl," she soothes, when Minnie lets out an pitiful squawk. "He should be right here."

The cat turns slowly in a circle and then plops down with a soft kitty sigh, her back pressed flush against Castle's pillow.

Propping her head against her left arm, Kate leans over to smooth her hand over the soft fur, her fingers curling as she reaches the length of a gently switching tail.

"You don't like it when your routine gets interrupted, do you?" she asks, her voice low and even.

The cat just gives her a baleful look, though her tail has stopped switching and Kate can hear a hint of a purr.

"I miss him too," the detective confides. "You're just used to having him here in the mornings and the evenings. I'm used to having him around all day."

Minnie turns her head away and begins licking her side.

Kate laughs. "I see how much my pain matters to you."

She jumps when her cell phone rings from her side of the bed, the upbeat strains of Weird Al's "Word Crimes" echoing through the bedroom. Damn him. She'd just changed it to something normal - something that didn't induce violence in her - after weeks of jumping every time he called. If she never heard that "Happy" song again, it would be too soon.

"I'm gonna kill you," she growls into the microphone as soon as she taps 'answer.'

"Good morning to you too," he replies cheerily. "Rough night?"

"Didn't sleep as well as I do when you're here," she says. "But no, I meant because you messed with my phone again."

His chortle peals through the speaker. Minnie looks up from her bathing, ears rotating like a satellite dish.

"I thought you'd like that one," he says. "Words, crimes...it fits us."

The corners of her mouth turn up against her will.

"I suppose it does," she relents. "Still. How many times do I have to tell you to leave my phone alone, Castle? What if you called while I was with a grieving family member? Or worse - Gates."

He sounds slightly repentant when he speaks again. "Okay. Point taken."

There's a brief lapse of silence, and she's reaching out to scratch behind Minnie's ears when she has an idea. She presses the button to turn their call into one with video.

"Hey," she says when his face appears on the screen, his chin scruffy, his hair pointed every which way.

"Hey yourself," he answers her. "What's up? You wanna get naked together long distance? I thought you had a case."

Her heart speeds up a little at his words. Maybe later.

"Not right now," she says with a slow wink that makes his eyes darken. "I do have a case, and I need to get going. But someone wants to see you."

She see his eyebrows knit before she turns the screen so he can see the still washing cat who looks up curiously at the tiny face of the writer hovering over her.


Kate hears Castle's gentle laugh and can imagine the way his blue eyes must be crinkling.

"Hi Minnie," he says, his voice pitched a bit higher than normal. "How's it going, pretty girl?"

The little creature stands and stretches, her rump rising in the air as her front legs extend forward, toes spreading.

Her purring starts in earnest then and Kate smiles as the cat bumps her head against the phone in greeting.

The detective listens for a few moments more to her husband talking in soft tones to their cat, watches as the animal in question reacts to the sound of his familiar voice and his head inexplicably compressed into a very small space.

When Minnie tries to bite the side of the phone, Kate takes it as a signal that she's had enough. She turns it back toward her, Castle's grin filling the screen. The cat jumps down from the bed and saunters out of the room, heading for her food bowl, no doubt.

"She misses you," the detective says quietly.

He nods.

"She's not the only one."

His eyes soften from amusement to longing. "I know. I miss you too. Both of you. And Alexis."

"And your mother?" she asks with a smile.

He wrinkles his nose. "Not so much."

"I'll tell her you said so," Kate says on a laugh.

The writer gasps. "You wouldn't dare."

"Babe," she sighs. "I have to go."

"Okay. I love you."

She can hear it in his voice, see it in his eyes, and she knows it's just as clear in her. But they always say it anyway. One too many close calls have taught them not to leave it unsaid.

"I love you too. And Castle?"


"Come home soon."

Back                         Home                              Castle Main Page

Your Name or Alias:      Your E-mail (optional):

Please type your review below. Only positive reviews and constructive criticism will be posted!