MONDAY

Author's note: For my girl, because some days just suck, and I hope this story improves your day at least a little.


"...even on the worst days, there's a possibility for joy."

It's been a rough day, and he's just done. He can't wait for the day to be over.

First, he had overslept, hitting the snooze button and falling back to sleep just long enough that it threw his morning slightly out of wack. After a rushed shower and a hasty search for clean clothes, he'd poured himself a cup of coffee only to burn the roof of his mouth on the still too hot brew.

Beckett was already at the precinct when he strolled in, trying to control his breathing and appear as though he had not just raced up several flights of stairs after he saw that the elevator was packed full of angry looking bikers, a very tall - man? woman? - person dressed in a molting Big Bird costume, and one young officer who was covered in yellow feathers and whose composure seemed, well, ruffled.

He had reached the homicide floor, expecting to meet the whole crew as they emerged from the elevator. Instead, the bullpen was quiet, and though Ryan and Esposito nodded at him as he passed and Beckett's eyes lit up as he handed her a coffee, he couldn't help but be a little disappointed.

"Where's Big Bird and the biker gang?" he'd asked.

"Downstairs," Ryan said as he walked by the desk on his way to the breakroom. "Vice."

Deciding he'd rather not know exactly what Vice-related crime the group was involved in, Castle leaned back in his chair, muttering that at least it wasn't Demming in Robbery having all the fun.

And then his muttering stopped and he yelped as the screws in his chair apparently ceased to exist and he found himself flat on his back in the middle of the bullpen. His shoulder blades aching, his eyes swam with tears as a head floated into his vision.

"The hell?" Beckett asked, reaching down to grab his arm.

"I don't know," he groaned. "The chair just-"

He gestured as he stood, and then pivoted quickly on the spot as he heard snickering from the other side of the room.

"Too much fine dining lately, Castle?" Esposito called.

The writer shook his head as Beckett's fingers clenched around his arm and she growled. "If one of them did this, I'll..."

"I don't think they did" he said, wincing as he lifted his free hand to the back of his head and the burgeoning bump thereon. "I think...I think it's just a Monday."

"Shitty one at that," Beckett agreed. "That guy we arrested on yesterday? Burgess? He walked this morning. Apparently his extremely see-through alibi is actually iron clad and now we're back at square one."

Castle grimaced. "He was such a slimeball. I was sure it was him."

Beckett shrugged. "Me too. But I guess not."

They buckled down then, after Beckett suggested he get his head checked, in case of concussion. Castle refused, of course, but had a headache the rest of the day.

Four hours later, he'd succeeded in little more than spilling coffee on Beckett, overflowing the toilet during a visit to a suspect's office, and dropping his much-anticipated lunch on the breakroom floor when Beckett slipped quietly into the breakroom and startled him with a pat on the rear.

Finally, at half past four, Beckett sent him home.

"I'd swear you're cursed again," he heard her mumble as she walked him to the elevator. He had wondered the same thing himself.

Fortunately, the elevator didn't come to a sudden stop this time, though it did rattle, he thought, a little more than usual.

And now - after walking out of the precinct and into an unexpected downpour and then getting beaten to two cabs by little old ladies in walkers he's finally home. Where the power is out.

"Hi Dad," his daughter calls from the kitchen counter where she's perched with a book and a candle that looks like it's straight out of the 19th century.

"Hey Daughter," he answers, leaning down to press a kiss to her forehead and slinging an arm around her shoulder.

She smiles and leans into his side. "Kate called. Said she tried you but your phone must be dead. She's on her way home."

"I just left!" he exclaims.

"Yeah, but I guess they caught the guy, he confessed, and Captain Gates told her to save the paperwork for tomorrow."

Shrugging, Castle heads toward his bedroom, pulling off his sodden clothes before flopping gracelessly on the bed.

It's not long before his heart rate skyrockets when cool fingers run the length of his calf.

"You really should've gotten your head checked," Kate whispers, her lips feathering against his ear as his muscles relax again.

"'m fine," he grumbles, turning his head toward her and opening one eye. "Didn't think you'd be home so soon after I left."

"Me neither," she admits. "But Dobson the one whose toilet you overflowed confessed. So that's that."

She slides onto the bed next to him, half covering his mostly naked body with her own clothed one. She's warm, and she smells good.

"Power still out?" he wonders aloud, and she nods against his back.

"Guess we'll order out," he says. "What do you feel like?"

He feels her mouth curve up against his skin.

"You have a fireplace. I brought hot dogs," she says. "And marshmallows."

He rolls over, dragging her across his chest. "Like a campout?"

She grins. "Like a campout. Ghost stories and all. I'll even drag out the sleeping bags. We can zip our two together and snuggle."

The detective presses her mouth to his smile, nips at his bottom lip. And then she's gone, sashaying toward the door, her eyes sparkling as she glances back at him.

"You comin', Castle?"

Suddenly, a little more Monday doesn't seem so bad.

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