The Heart of the Matter

by LindaInDC

Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction based on Castle, the ABC show, also owned by Andrew W. Marlowe and other cool, brilliant people. I do not own the characters, but have written this work with no intent to gain profit from it. It is for reading enjoyment only. The story, names and places are fictional, and any similarities to real persons, places and events are purely coincidental.

Thank you for reading, providing reviews and favoriting/following this story. You all are amazing. We have come to the end of this story. This started as a fragment of an idea and grew into something that reignited my love for these characters. The show is over but they can and will live on in fan fiction.

Note: July 24, 2016- this is not additional chapters in this update. I am just breaking down this one massive post into smaller ones allowing a chapter per page.

A great big note of thanks to Sass, who helped me with her magical doctor powers to square away the clinical side of this story. I wanted to do this justice, without writing a clinical textbook.


Epilogue

Five Years Later

"Babe?" Kate called out, as she had a tray of cupcakes balanced in each hand. "Can you go entertain the gang? It sounds like folks are getting restless out there."

"You got it." Rick said as he walked past, snatching one of the cupcakes from off the tray, which earned him a Kate Beckett raised eyebrow.

"Richard Castle, put that back!" She ordered him.

Grinning, he stood there, defiantly holding the dessert just out of reach, "Make me."

Kate grinned in a sexy snarl as she replied, "Babe, do you remember what we did last night? With my cuffs and the ice cubes…"

Rick smiled and closed his eyes, the memory instantly coming to his mind. "Oh yeah!" He nervously laughed, into a near giggle at the sexual exploits from the night before. His wife was an enthusiastic and creative lover, and he was willing for most anything with her.

Kate knew she had him, "Well, Babe, if you ever want that, or anything else to happen…"

Rick's eyes flew open. The cupcake easily forfeited at the potential to make love with his wife being taken away. "Here you go, no harm done." He placed it gently back on the tray.

She snickered at his enthusiasm. "Good boy. Now please get out there with them."

"Going now. Although you play dirty." Rick said teasingly as he opened the door and headed outside.

Kate watched him go out towards the pool area, and she slid over to the door leading to the backyard. The Hamptons were beautiful this time of year, and it was a perfect decision to come up. Striding through the door, Lanie took one of the trays from her and helped place them onto the table, which was decorated in bright pastel colors, dragons and rainbows.

"Remind me again why they love that TV show?" Kate sighed as she rolled her eyes at the colorful decorations.

Lanie laughed, "Because it stimulates their brains and keeps their attention. And besides, let's face it, if she said 'I want a pink rocket ship that sprays glitter, daddy', that man would move heaven and earth to make it happen."

Kate laughed as she looked over to the pool area, where she saw her husband playing with the small group of children. Under his arm, he had the guest of honor tucked in while he tickled her.

"I knew that he was a large child, but having her has made him even worse!" Kate laughed, thinking back to when she had told Rick that she was pregnant with their little girl, Isabella, over three years ago. "As soon as I told him, I swear he bought out a toy store."

"Some men are just natural fathers, and honey, you've got one of them." Lanie stated as she smiled.

"Oh no, Lanie, I have their leader!" Kate said with a laugh, and Lanie smacked her arm in jest.

The party guests were Kevin and Jenny Ryan and their twin girls, born just a year after they married. Jenny was about six months along with their third child, and Kevin was keeping the girls busy with a ball. Lanie and Espo had not married, but were together, and to everyone's surprise (Including Espo), they were expecting their first child in about five months. For practice, Javi had brought his cousin's two little girls and a boy, and he and Alexis were currently on the grass with them, helping them drive a remote control boat that was in the pool. Jim and Martha were inflating and tying balloons, giving them to the kids.

Lanie said, "OK, I think we are done here. Let me go get everyone coming this way."

Kate nodded, and looking up, caught Rick looking over at her, and he smiled. She held up her hand and motioned for him to come over. In a moment, he was standing beside his wife, kissing her on the lips, he said, "Hello, beautiful."

Smiling at him, Kate replied, "Hi there, handsome. Having fun?"

Rick nodded, "Oh yeah! It's so great to get everyone out here. And it's so great to have Bella's birthday party here, too. You know, next year, we're gonna have to get more tables."

Kate chuckled, "True, we'll have to look at space when picking part locations. The brood will be bigger, in size and number."

Rick bumped his hip into hers, "You know, I noticed something this year."

Kate was interested in his observation, "Oh? What's that, Babe?"

Rick looked around, as if to check if anyone were listening. "You are different than the others. The women, I mean, not counting Alexis or Mother."

With a straight face, Kate replied, "I'd hope so, otherwise, how could you tell us apart?"

"Ha, ha." Rick replied, "You're funny. I mean, that this year, you are the only one that's not pregnant. Guess it isn't really in the water, like the old myths thought, huh?"

"Really? Are you sure the water is alright? I mean, Jenny, Lanie and I each poured water from the same bottle. Maybe I should get it tested?" Kate teased.

"What, no. Totally a myth." Rick stated, "Right?"

Well, I was gonna mention it after the party, but I did get it tested. "Kate stated, "And I've got it, too. It looks like it's the water, after all. Well, either that or my extremely sexy, virile husband."

Rick stared at his wife, playing out the conversation in his head. "What?"

Kate turned and faced her husband, "I'm pregnant, Rick."

The writer stood there, the news not quite sunk in, just yet. "Huh?"

"Babe, we're having another child. Alexis and Bella are getting a baby brother or sister." Kate stated slowly.

"A baby?" He asked.

"Un huh." Kate replied.

"Us? You and me?" Rick asked.

"Well, unless there is another you and me standing around." Kate teased.

"We're having a baby? Why didn't you tell me?" Rick asked, joy filling his face.

"I just did." Kate answered, her smile growing as he caught on.

Rick grabbed Kate into his arms, hugging her tightly, lifting her up slightly off the ground. "Babe, this is amazing news. Thank you. Thank you!" Rick exclaimed as he beamed at the news. "We'll get you to the doctor as soon as we get home."

Kate's life had changed so much the last few years. She opened up her heart to a man who loved her and in return she now had him and his children. Rick faced life and death and came out the other side a stronger, happier person. From the time they met, his old heart was full of love, and even after the ups and downs, so was his new one.

FIN