Authors Note: This will be a series of one shots, mainly between Kate and Alexis. I love the dynamic and the relationship between these two characters, and hope is explored even further in season 8. This particular chapter came to me after watching Resurrection and Habeas Corpse.
Chapter 1: Somebody's Mom
It happened on a Tuesday, just an ordinary day during a mundane week in a forgetful month.
Kate looked at the clock on the cruiser's dash and sighed with frustration as she tried to find a parking spot near Columbia. She cursed herself that she hadn't left the five minutes earlier she was planning to, and now she was running late for lunch with Alexis.
Weekly lunches between the two had become a regular occurrence over the past couple of months as the bond between them grew stronger. While Alexis was still living at home, the young red head been dropping hints about moving out next year. London had been mentioned a time or two, much to the alarm of her dad. And while Kate would miss her, after all she would technically be her 'first' to leave the nest, she also understood that Alexis was now an adult, and finally ready both mentally and emotionally to take the next step in her life.
During one of their conversations the previous week over breakfast, Alexis told Kate that for the first time in her life she felt safe and whole. That she finally had not only the family but more importantly, the parents she'd dreamed of having since she was a little girl, and reason she hadn't moved out yet was because she wanted to enjoy her family before leaving home. Kate remembers trying to keep her tears at bay while she assured the young woman that regardless of where she was in her life, or where ever she was in the world, she would always have a home. The memory of her mother giving Kate the very same reassurance just before she left for Stanford and then passing that reassurance onto her stepdaughter warmed her heart.
'Relax honey,' Rick said as he took her right hand, stroking it softly with his thumb. 'I just texted Alexis and told her we're running a couple of minutes late,' Most of the time Kate was able to get away alone after distracting Castle with something as she left the precinct. Today however, wasn't one of those days.
'Thanks babe, I didn't realise traffic was going to be this bad today,' she replied followed by a whoop of delight as a car pulled out of a spot right in front of the main entrance to the University. 'Victory is mine,' Kate exclaimed as she fist pumped the air while expertly parking the cruiser in the now vacant spot. Rick chuckled with amusement at how something as simple as a car spot could make his wife so happy.
'What Castle, we're already running late so let's hustle,' she said as she exited the cruiser.
'Yes dear,' he replied as he quickly got out of the car.
Hold hands, they walked across the road to the café they were meeting Alexis. It was easy to pick the stunning girl out of the group she was currently having a very loud and animated conversation with. How could you miss the beautiful mane of red hair. Rick smiled as they neared the group. Seemingly the topic of discussion was which American Actor could play the Doctor. Apparently it was Nathan Fillion from some show called Firefly.
'I still can't believe they cancelled Firefly after one season,' she heard someone in the small group complain as everyone nodded with agreement
'She's definitely her father's daughter,' Kate said as she gave Rick an indulging smile as he squeezed her hand. Had they been in private the look he was giving her would have her melted to a puddle of goo. As it was she could feel the flush across her cheek. Just when Kate thought she couldn't be any more in love with her husband, she caught the look of pride and love on his face as he looked at his daughter. This, she reminders herself, is the main reason she fell head over heels in love with him.
'Hey pumpkin,' she heard Rick say to get his daughters attention. And in typical behaviour befitting a twenty one year old, Alexis just groaned 'Dad!' as she blushed the same colour as her hair while the two young women with her gushed and sighed. And despite the fact the young woman was embarrassed, Kate could see Alexis still secretly loved her pet name by the roll of her eyes and her girly giggle.
'That's right Castle, you're the cool dad,' Kate chuckled as she embraced the young woman who'd stepped eagerly into her arms for a hug and placing a gentle kiss on Alexis's forehead. Also her father's daughter when it came to displays of affection, something Kate had gotten used to over the past few months. For so long Kate had been on the outer, watching the love between father and daughter. But now, they were her family too, and along with this family came lots and lots of hugging.
'I see you couldn't get rid of your shadow,' Alexis sassed Kate as she let her dad pull her into a hug. His response was to squeeze his daughter until she squeaked to be released.
'Believe me I tried, but he smells subterfuge at ten paces, you know that,' Kate laughed as Castle pouted.
'Not fair,' he grumbled. 'It's bad enough when you ladies gang up on me at home,' Alexis just laughed at him as she fist bumped Kate. 'Hey I saw that,' he exclaimed as both women feigned innocence.
'Don't worry Dad, I still love you and I'm even still willing to be seen in public with my parents on occasion,' she said. 'I'm glad you guys finally got here cause we're all starving,' Alexis complained, over exaggerating the 'starving'
'We're starving?' Rick said looking towards Kate. 'I thought it was just Alexis,' Rick whispered to Kate who shrugged, also not knowing they were having lunch with Alexis's friends.
'Sorry guys, it was kind of last minute,' Alexis smiled shyly. 'It's kind of an orphan lunch cause these guys can't get home this weekend and they miss their families, so I figured they could share mine today….I hope you don't mind,' Alexis sent a pleading look towards her parents for understanding. The hopeful looks on the faces of the kids standing in front of them removed any disappointment they may have felt towards having their lunch gate crashed.
'It's not a problem sweetie,' Kate said as she pulled Alexis into another hug. The young red head had such a kind heart and so considerate of others. Kate remembered her time at Stanford, how you would crowd a friend whose family had come to visit them just to get some type 'parental' time. She knew how it helped keep the homesickness at bay. As an adult she was all too happy to admit to missing her mom and dad, but as a student, she would never in a million years admit to missing her parents. If she'd known she was going to lose her mother so soon she would have made every effort to spend as much time with her as possible.
'Well come on then,' Alexis said, pulling Kate out of her thoughts. 'Quick introductions and then lunch, we already have a table booked' which was followed by unanimous murmurs from the rag tag group of students in front of them.
'Sorry guys, but they're finally here,' Alexis apologised. 'So real quick, this is Andie, Brittany, Luke and Robbie,' Alexis gestured towards each person as they each said hi. 'Guys, my dad Rick and my mom Kate,' Kate was sure her heart just stopped, or skipped a beat, hell it could of left the building. Because in that one simple sentence, on an ordinary day in a mundane week in a forgetful month, she was somebody's mom.