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It is official. Kate Beckett and Richard Castle are the democratically elected king and queen of the castle. They were voted as the number one couple in the list of "Top 10 Favorite TV Couples – Realistic Shows" compiled by Katie Hart at Breakroom TV.
'Bones', the program to which 'Castle' is most often compared, has two couples in the top 10 list. Hodgins and Angela are at #10. The leads, Booth and Brennan, managed to come in only at #6. I believe part of the reason for the waning Bones/Booth shipperdom is the crushing disappointment that fans felt when their will they/won't they relationship took an unexpected turn without any foreshadowing. In the last minute of the season 6 finale, Bones announced that she was pregnant with Booth's baby. When season 7 started, she was already halfway through her pregnancy and Booth and Bones were in the comfortable-as-an-old pair-of-pajamas stage of their relationship, thus cheating fans of the much anticipated crucial moments of the first declaration and the first kiss.
Kudos to Andrew Marlowe for understanding the delicate balance in the relationship between honest storytelling and fan's wishes. Once Castle had declared to Beckett that he loved her, there was no going back. Of course, Marlowe and his merry band did all they could to stall the moment so that it did not come to soon or too easily, but at least we accompanied Beckett and Castle on their journey of self-discovery and growth till it culminated in “The Scene” at the end of Always (4x23) that resulted in sighs and squeals that were heard around the world. The payback for keeping fans on hold was sexy, surprisingly sweet, and wholly satisfying, a description that easily applies to Beckett and Castle’s relationship as well.
Of course, the journey for Castle and Beckett is far from over and the next "Big Moment" that fans now anticipate is Beckett's declaration of love. The journey doesn't promise to be without pitfalls and obstacles either. There are many possible scenarios for this ranging from Castle and Beckett's own personality quirks to how Alexis will deal with sharing her father with another woman.
There will no doubt be continued mentions of the "Moonlighting Curse" from those who do not accept the valid explanation for why Moonlighting failed, but take a look over the Top Ten on Breakroom TV's list. Of the ten, seven couples are married or in committed relationships and some even have babies. Just because Castle and Beckett are a walking fairytale doesn't mean Happily Ever After is the end of the fairytale. It just means they are starting a new chapter. Who knows there may even be wedding rings and baby rattles ahead to go with the handcuffs in their future.