… … …
"No no no - damn!" Castle exclaimed, tapping his now powerless cell phone against his hand.
Beside him, Beckett glanced across the car, an eyebrow raised. "What's wrong?" she asked him.
"My phone battery died," he complained.
"Do you need to call someone?"
He shook his head. "No. I was bidding on a - " just in the nick of time he stopped himself from telling her exactly what he was bidding on. It wouldn't be much of a surprise for her next birthday if he told her now. "… present for Alexis," he covered, "on Ebay. The auction ends in a couple of minutes."
"Well, here," Beckett said, dipping her hand into her coat pocket and producing her phone, "use mine."
Castle took the offered phone and gushed, "Thank you!" while his mind worked to figure out if he knew how to delete a history item from her phone's browser. It wasn't an ideal situation given that he was trying to buy something for her, but it was his only option. He'd be able to figure out the history thing.
He opened up the web browser and hurriedly made his way to the applicable auction on Ebay. Waiting for just the right moment to submit his bid, he then held his breath awaiting confirmation that he had won. He let out a small victory cheer when it came through.
Beckett laughed at him, shaking her head as she kept her eyes fixed on the road. "You're so competitive," she remarked.
"Only because I know she'll love it," he replied, his eyes still trained on the phone as he now looked through the menu options to find the browser history. He resisted a second victorious exclamation when he found it.
His use was listed first, but just as he was about to select it for removal, the item below caught his eye. Reading the web address more closely, a mischievous smile crept onto his lips.
"So, when you said you do read," he began, "You meant… You do read fanfiction?" He emphasised the final word with delight.
Beckett's eyes widened and a flush swept up her cheeks.
Castle couldn't help laughing at his discovery and his partner shot a glare at him from the corner of her eyes.
"Well, I never would have guessed that of you… But then I never would have guessed that you watch 'Temptation Lane' either. I love that you can still surprise me."
"It's impolite to snoop around someone's phone when they've very kindly lent it to you," Beckett tried to reprimand him.
"I was just deleting Ebay from your history… Wouldn't want you going on a shopping spree on my account."
"I'm sure they have measures to stop that," she countered.
"Actually… Yes they probably do… But believe me, that was my intention," he told her honestly, "I wasn't snooping."
"Of course you weren't…" She held out her hand. "Phone."
Realising that, in all his glee, he hadn't yet actually deleted Ebay from the history, Castle frantically clicked away.
"Castle!" she warned, flexing the fingers of her waiting hand.
"I was distracted by the new information. I just need to… There. Done."
He placed the phone in her hand and she slipped it into her pocket.
"That's the last time you'll lend me your phone isn't it?" Castle asked her, already knowing the answer.
He studied her profile as she refused to look at him. Her jaw wasn't set quite as firmly as he had expected, so, after a short silence, he decided to risk asking a few more questions.
"So, is it FoxCan fanfiction that you read?"
Beckett rolled her eyes. "You're not going to stop until you have more information are you?"
"You know me so well."
With a sigh, Beckett admitted, "Yes. I like seeing what the fans come up with. It's a nice escape. I'd read your books but they don't really get me away from my everyday world."
"Oooh, touché!" he grinned, pleased to see that she was smiling as she teased him. "Well, it's nothing to be embarrassed about. We all have our hobbies and interests."
"So, you'll be letting it drop now? Seeing as it's no big deal."
"Oh, I won't tell the others… But you can't expect me never to mention it again."
"Why would you ever need to? Do I ever need to mention that you like to dress up as some space cowboy for Halloween?"
"Well, you just did. And I don't like your judging tone. I'm not judging you," he argued.
"Well what are you doing, Castle? You seem to be finding it very amusing."
"I'm surprised. But it's a pleasant surprise… I'm glad that I know this about you."
She glanced at him, seemingly wary of what he was really up to. "Why?" she queried, cautiously.
He shrugged, "It…" he trailed off, unsure as to whether he could adequately explain why.
"Castle…" she warned.
"It… gives us something in common."
Her eyes widened. "You read fanfiction?"
"No. No… But in my youth, I did pen the odd piece. Of course, it didn't have the label 'fanfiction' back then, but that is what it was."
Beckett smiled, appearing pleased with his admission.
"I'm a bigger geek than you thought, aren't I?" he asked her.
She nodded, but her smile widened. "And that's what we have in common, isn't it?"
"Oh definitely," he replied, reflecting her smile.
While she started on the questions about what shows he used to write for and (still sounding strange coming from Beckett) were there any 'ships' in particular, Castle smiled to himself. It seemed every day lately he was permitted a little glimpse of a Beckett who did have more in common with him than he had originally thought. And he was enjoying getting to know her and watching her relax with him, and open up.
And for every snippet she revealed (or he stumbled upon!), he would offer one in return. And, one day, maybe they would both see that there was more to their relationship than their partnership and friendship. He certainly saw it already.