Disclaimer: If I was Milmar, I would probably have a lot of money and wouldn't need to write fanfic because I would be busy writing episodes
Everywhere around her is children. And not just a handful, like Castle promised, there has to be at least a dozen hyper, candy filled children. Of course, though, he is nowhere to be found. She's about to shove her fist through his face.
Letting out an agitated sigh, she leaned down and collected the last of the cupcakes from the fridge and began to arrange them on the tray. She'd wanted to do a cake, but the idea of cupcakes seemed more accessible to a group of four year olds. And a lot easier to clean up in the grand scheme of things. No dirty dishes needed whatsoever.
Lanie joined her in the kitchen, eyeing her with a certain carefulness that she couldn't ignore. Placing a hand on her back, she lifted her gaze to her friend. "What are you staring at?"
Huffing softly, the woman moved toward her, beginning to help her with her task. "You should be sitting down a lot more than what you are." She said softly.
So, maybe she hadn't given a lot of thought to how hard it would be to stand on her feet and entertain for hours. Even though her husband had given her a promise to keep at least the parents entertained, she also felt like she should be relaxing a lot more. Her back hurt, her feet were the size of tennis balls, and she had two occupants pressing against her internal organs.
"Have you seen Rick?" She asked, ignoring her comment as she placed the last on a tray and admired her work. She'd made a cupcake arraignment that looked like a caterpillar and even given the head cupcake its own black licorice antennae. She thought she did well.
She could see Lanie roll her eyes from the corner of her own as she stepped back and leaned against the counter. Since moving earlier that year, she'd been nonstop. Between getting Ethan adjusted to his new preschool and Alexis to Marlowe Prep, she and Rick definitely had their hands full. She missed the loft, she really did, but with one less room that they would eventually need, she knew they had no choice but to upgrade into something large. Even if it did make the communication back and forth to work a little longer each day.
"He's out in the backyard with the boys. A couple of the Mama Bears out there tried to crawl all over him when you weren't looking." Kate paled at that, her fingers gripping into the counter behind her. "Don't worry, Kate. I've never seen a guy shut down a woman so fast in my life." She shook her head. "It's not like they have any tact anyway. Who goes to another woman's house and flirts with their husband?"
While true, Kate couldn't help but roll through the thoughts in her head. It's not like she doesn't trust Rick; no, he's proven again and again that he's fully committed to their little family. It's the vultures she doesn't trust. She moves back to where Lanie stood and sighed softly, shaking her head. "I'll kick their ass when I find time." She said simply.
"Good Lord," Lanie shook her head and laughed softly. "I'm gonna chalk that off to the hormones, but I'd be so willing to see that."
The girls began to laugh together as Rick moved in behind them, pressing a kiss to the back of Kate's head. Jumping, she elbowed him in the stomach as he let out a groan. "Hey!" He said as she quickly turned around, her hand against her chest. "What did I do to deserve that?"
She glared up at him and Lanie glanced between them. "I'm going to… go… be somewhere else." She furrowed her eyebrows as she spoke and then nodded as she walked out of the room.
"Heard you're bait." She said as she crossed her arms in front of her. "Oh maybe you're the lure, I'm not sure anymore."
He sighed and placed a hand on either of her sides, tugging her as close as was possible. "Baby," he nuzzled their noses together as she pursed her lips. "C'mon, don't be like that."
"Don't be like what?" She sniffled and he pulled her into a hug as she curled her head on his chest. "I'm not being irrational, Rick." She told him and felt him nod against her head. He pressed a kiss to her temple.
"I know," he told her. She wasn't at all. No, those women had no right to come there and try to start something. Even if it were just harmless flirting from a lonely housewife. He was more devoted to his wife than he'd been devoted to anyone else in his entire life. Most people originally thought it was a façade, a man devoted to his son more than the mother of his son however, throughout the years it had become more and more apparent to people who knew him and her that they were something quite special. They weren't going to separate any time soon.
She rubbed her nose into his chest. "You punched the last guy who flirted with me." She reminded him and he laughed as he clenched his fist again. Albeit, it had been her ex-boyfriend who'd showed up the day of their engagement party drunk, she was right. "Don't I get that privilege?"
"Mm," he paused to think about it. "Maybe on the way out you can kick her ass to the ground."
She laughed as she pulled back and he leaned down to brush their lips together just as the invasion of children poured through the open patio door. "Mommy!" Ethan screamed at her, padding over in her direction in two bounces. As Rick pulled away, he held his arms to be picked up by her but was picked up by his father instead.
"You know what we told you," Rick reminded him gently. "Momma can't pick you up for a while."
Explaining to Ethan that he had to be extra gentle with her wasn't hard. Their son wasn't slow or stupid; he just lacked the attention span to be able to have a constant conversation with. As did most boys his age. However, the whole topic of their new bundles of joy was certainly something he did not seem too enthralled with anyway.
He nodded his head and patted the top of her belly. "Babies in there." He said, matter-of-factly and turned his head toward Rick. "Come on, Daddy. Time to go play again." He added, tugging his shirt and pulling toward the doorway. Rick shared a sheepish look with Kate before he pushed forward, the children at his ankles as he proceeded outside.
With a sigh, she turned back to the cupcakes and eyed the area carefully. Everything was perfectly laid out, the entirety of the Castle kitchen decorated with perfection. The backyard was a wonderful addition, considering most of the party would take place outside and would be much easier to clean up in the long run of things. Especially with their new companion, a golden retriever named Cosmo.
She moved to stand in the doorway of the kitchen, staring out at her husband and their son, accompanied by the mounds of kids that worked their way through the large bouncy castle (pun intended, Rick had said) that sat in their backyard.
This, she thought, was the perfect piece of heaven.
That night, after tuckering himself out, Ethan fell asleep on the arm of the couch in the middle of Cars 2. Alexis, noticing this, dived for the TV and changed it quickly to something else. They all let out a sigh of relief as the sound of actual people talking came through as opposed to cars. Ethan had become obsessed with that movie from a young age and Kate could firmly state that she knew all the words to every sense and every direction better than the Pixar animators did.
"I'll bring him up." Rick said after a moment, shifting himself from the couch. He adjusted Ethan into his arms as he moved to ascend the stairs a moment later, keeping the quietness of the moment.
Alexis moved back onto the couch, rubbing her eyes. At thirteen, she didn't fool anyone with the "oh, I'm not tired" movement she'd been putting forth. Certainly not Kate, at least.
"Soon be time for bed for you too, I think." Kate laughed gently, rolling her hand over her stomach. One of the babies' elbows nudged her palm as her hand descended the length. "I can see those pretty blues descending."
Alexis let out a dramatic groan and covered her eyes with her arm. "But Kate," she said as she peaked from in under her arm. "The sky's awake so I'm awake."
At the reminder of Alexis' favorite movie, Kate let out another soft laugh. "Mm," she nodded her head slowly. "I'll believe that when I see it. Come on, kiddo. I think it's bedtime for all of us." She nudged her gently. "Dealing with your brother's friends is exhausting for all of us."
Alexis rolled her eyes but didn't protest the notion for sleep as she stood up. Kate shifted to the edge of the seat and fought off her own yawn as she pushed to her feet. At twenty-six weeks pregnant with twins, the actual task of breathing was becoming harder and harder each day. Never mind moving from place to place. Her only salvation was that the master was located downstairs, conveniently changed once they learned she was carrying twins.
Rick descended just as Alexis was ascending and he pressed a kiss to the side of her head, though she tried to knock him away gently. As he moved downstairs, Kate shared a smile with him and began waddling toward the bedroom.
She could feel him at her heels, trying to keep up the same slow pace that she needed to have set, but at the same time also feeling the irritation that rolled off of him. Yes, she knew that she was a slow walker. It was the number one reason why she avoided the malls like the plague. Not every person who walked beside her had the same decency that her husband did. Most people just looked at her like she should be sitting down, in a wheelchair, in a frigging home for unwed mothers. It didn't matter that they could see her twelve carat diamond engagement ring.
Shaking her head, she took the turn into their bedroom and sat down in the first available chair, groaning softly as she relieved the pressure from her feet. He moved to kneel before her, rolling down her socks. She leaned back in the chair and moaned appreciatively. "Did you deflate that thing?" She asked as she opened one eye. After the novelty of the bouncing castle had gone through, most of the kids had moved to the snacks table and then moved inside for the caterpillar cupcake arraignment slash cake. She hadn't seen Rick move to take it down.
"Mm," he nodded his head slowly. "Paid the guy extra to pick it up right after the majority of the kids left." He said as he rubbed his palm against her calves. She sighed gently, pushing up on the chair. He saw her movement and quickly stood, extending his wrists out in her direction, which she took gratefully as he helped her to her feet.
"I'm not gonna be able to do this for another 14 weeks." She groaned as he began helping her with the maternity pants she'd wore that day. Already she was nearly the size she'd been when she was full term with Ethan and there was still so much time left to go. 14 weeks suddenly seemed like it was a lifetime sentence.
Tugging her pants down her legs, he made quick work of her shirt and bra and then helped her tug the nightdress over her head and expanding belly. She kissed his jaw as he wrapped his arms around her waist and nuzzled into his chest. "Mm," she murmured softly. "As much as I like this, we can continue the cuddle in bed." She added and pushed at his chest, waddling back over.
From the moment they'd planned to try having children on their wedding day, a little over a year before, they'd always planned on having one. It was the deal. Have one first, then in a couple of years once that child was old enough, they'd plan for number three (four for him). However, it seemed fate had some kind of sick and twisted humor because during week fourteen of her pregnancy they'd detected two heartbeats other than hers.
It was evenly divided, a boy and a girl, they'd already discussed names and precautions of what could happen. In more ways than one, planning these children had given them a chance to give caution to the wind and not worry about each step of the way.
As she settled into bed, angling her pillow in such a way that he could slip behind her comfortable, she closed her eyes and shut off the bedside lamp. A moment later, his clicked off and he wrapped his arms around her, one of the babies' feet pressing up against his outstretched palm. "Mm," he shook his head into the crook of her neck. "No, we're going to sleep." He patted her belly gently. "That means babies too."
He was so gentle with them, just as much as he had been when she'd been pregnant with Ethan. It was so much more different now, though. Excluding the established relationship and the planning, she just felt as though it were different. Most of the time she couldn't even begin to explain how everything felt.
"What's going on in that mind of yours?" He asked as he pressed a kiss to her neck.
She let out a soft sigh and closed her eyes. "So, so much." She smiled gently and placed her hand over his. "It can wait until tomorrow."
He was already out behind her, breath tickling the back of her neck. She nuzzled into her pillow and let sleep calmly take over.
In the end, their always had begun a lot sooner than she would have imagined but she wouldn't change not one day, not one second for the world.
A/N: So this is it. This is the end. As I write this I can feel my heart crumble to bits and pieces. I delayed writing this all weekend and I had a snow day today so I knew there was no more delaying it. It had to be done. To everyone who has read this throughout the course of its life; thank you. I appreciated all the follows and all the favorites. You truly are magnificent people. Thank you for the endless support.
This is a bit shorter than I would have liked, but I think where I left it was perfect. I never write epilogues with a plan for giving a solid ending for the fans. I want you guys to imagine the future for these two; what they'll name their twins, how the twins will grow up and be polar opposites of each other, etc.
I have another fanfic planned, though I will not be tackling anything to do with it until late April, after my exams.
Thank you again!