AN: Note at the bottom.
Disclaimer: I don't own Castle.
A few days later, Rick instructs two burly men where to place the brand new bathtub he'd ordered the previous day.
"That's perfect," he praises. "Will it take long to install?"
"Nope, and the spot is actually good to hook it up to the water source," James, the younger of the two men, replies.
"Fantastic!" Rick grins, making a mental note to tip the two workers nicely before they leave.
He allows them to work, wandering into the kitchen. As he does so, the lock to the front door clicks before opening, revealing a very excited and out of breath Alexis.
"Hey, Dad!" she greets, rolling her suitcase into the foyer.
"Hello, Pumpkin." He hugs her tight, kissing her fiery red hair, happy to have his little girl back home. "How was the Hamptons?"
She shrugs. "Okay, as I told you. I think I would've preferred it more if you were there."
He chuckles. "Look at you, buttering me up."
Smirking, she grabs her bag. "You love it. Anyway, I'm gonna unpack. Be down in a bit."
As she bounds up the stairs, he pulls out some graham crackers, chocolate, and marshmallows from the cabinet. No better welcome home than devouring s'mores. Speaking of, he doesn't believe Beckett has had the pleasure of eating one of his delicacies. Well, that will change.
Just as he arranges the marshmallows on a pan, a loud scream arises from upstairs, Alexis' room to be exact.
Rick immediately drops the tray, heart pounding as he runs up the stairs, throwing open the door to his daughter's room.
"Alexis!" He rounds the corner to the small entryway that goes into her bathroom.
The image in front of him raises alarm bells in his head. Alexis' back is up against the door of the bathroom, eyes wild with confusion and fear. When she spots him, she sprints toward and slinks behind his form.
"What's the problem?"
"There's a giant fish or something in the tub," she explains, her voice quivering.
He'd forgotten he'd told Beckett to use one of the upstairs bathrooms since his mother and Alexis both have a tub. Guess he knows which one she chose.
"Uh, hold on a second." He goes to the door, but Alexis stops him.
"What are you doing?" she hisses, gripping his arm, horror written on her face.
"Just give me a minute," he pleads. She purses her lips, releasing him.
Cracking the door open, he notices Beckett attempting to hide her fin. Realizing it's him, she shoots him an apologetic glance.
"Sorry," she murmurs. "I was just about to come out."
He waves a dismissive hand, the other throwing her a towel.
"Don't worry about it," he says. "But, uh, I assume we should tell her? Otherwise it's going to be really hard to craft a story of me wrestling a fish."
"I mean, we kind of wrestled earlier." She leers, as he tries to not think about the delicious things they did earlier that morning. "But yeah, it's fine. Just let me dry off."
Nodding, he opens the door, immediately shutting it once he's on the other side.
"What's going on?" Alexis inquires.
"Everything will be explained in a bit," he placates, grabbing her hand and escorting her out of the room.
He sighs, shaking his head. "You're just going to have to wait, okay?"
She scowls, clearly not pleased, but nods anyway.
As they wait, he toasts the marshmallows and assembles the dessert, the smell of the chocolate and marshmallows causing him to grin. He wonders if Beckett can smell it.
"Something smells delicious," a voice pipes from the stairs. Speak of the devil.
Both Rick and Alexis turn to watch the brunette make her way down the steps. Her hair is still wet, but gorgeous, of course.
Alexis furrows her eyebrows in confusion, glancing between the two.
"Alexis, meet Kate Beckett," he says, walking over to his partner, grasping her hand, guiding her to the island.
"The detective you've been following?"
"The very same," he answers.
"Uh, wow," Alexis murmurs. She isn't mad, just very surprised.
"I'm, uh, sorry for scaring you. Your dad said you wouldn't be back until tonight." A nervous chuckle escapes the detective's lips.
"Scaring me? Oh." Alexis rolls her eyes. "Did Dad talk you into pranking me?" She glares at her father. "Where did you get the fin?" Silence. "Come on, where'd you get it? It looked so real." More silence. "What?"
Beckett clears her throat. "Alexis, your father didn't buy the fin. It's mine."
"Oh, so you bought it?" The red head furrows her eyebrows in confusion.
"No...I mean it's mine, mine." She gnaws at her lip, rocking back and forth on her heels.
"Yours-Oh!" Finally, it dawns in her. "Oh my god, really?" Her eyes flicker to her father, who nods in response.
"Told you she was extraordinary," he chimes, wrapping an arm around Beckett.
"So, you're really a-"
"Mermaid? Yeah." He notices his partner relax, a soft snicker escaping her. "I'll answer any questions you have while we consume the s'mores your father made."
The teenager nods, eagerly grabbing a plate.
As the trio eats, Alexis quizzes the detective, asking many of the same questions he did. She's calm and understanding as Beckett explains different aspects of her life along with what is true and what isn't when it comes to mermaid mythology.
"This is so cool!" the teenager exclaims once she finishes her interrogation.
Beckett lets out a loud laugh. "You are your father's daughter."
"And obviously you guys are together." Alexis hums. "You guys are pretty cute, it's so obvious."
"I'm glad to have your approval," Beckett answers sincerely.
At that moment, the two men who'd been working on the tub reappear. Rick thanks them, giving them both a hefty tip as he shakes their hands.
"What were they doing in there?" Beckett asks.
"Installing a tub."
"You didn't." Her expression turns to disbelief, her jaw dropping.
"Oh but I did. I do like sharing my bathroom with you, Beckett. Besides, the tub is very spacious." He winks as Alexis groans.
"Didn't need to hear that."
"Sorry, Pumpkin," he sing songs as Beckett hides her face in his neck.
"So, are you going to tell Gram?"
"Er, at some point, whenever she comes home." He sighs, knowing his mother's flair for the dramatic will impact her response. However, he's sure she'll be okay with it.
"Okay, well, I'm going to make sure I haven't gotten any assignments yet." His daughter hops off the stool. "Thanks for the food, Dad." She kisses him on the cheek before giving Beckett a small wave. "Welcome to the family, Kate."
The red head heads up to her room, the couple remaining at the counter.
"Hear that?" He beams. "You're part of the family."
"I see," she hums. "I'm glad she likes me."
He scoffs. "Please, what's not to like?" That earns him a snort. "Anyway, want to check out the new tub?"
Narrowing her eyes, she shakes her head, her lips turning up in a playful manner. "Okay, but check out does not equal use."
When they enter the bathroom, she oooos and ahhs over the new piece of porcelain. It's a simple, yet elegant, white tub with golden claw feet and spout. The container is big enough for the both of them.
As she examines it, he finds his imagination getting away from him. Visions of a little girl with Beckett's hair splashing and playing in the water as one of them bathes her runs through his head. Another one, this time with Beckett in the tub as their child plays with her fin, crosses his mind.
"What are you thinking about?"
"Mmm, nothing," he answers. He'll tell her another time. "So, what time do you need to be in?" With the closing of the case, the captain has been lenient about when the team needs to come in for the next few days.
"I better go now, actually. Poor Montgomery has been keeping the press at bay for the past several days. Time for me and the boys to chip in."
He nods, scratching his head. "Yeah, the mayor called me yesterday, having obviously caught wind of the situation. I haven't returned his call." Rick is so not looking forward to having to explain to his closest friend how the senator is the one behind all of the murders.
"So, it looks like we both have work to do. Come on then." She grins, sashaying out of the room.
He chuckles softly, following after her before coming in step, linking her fingers with his. She smiles, squeezing his fingers, her eyes reflecting love and trust, knowing they are partners.
And always will be.
AN: There it is folks! Thank you so much for joining me on this journey. I really appreciate those who stuck with me, whether you have been with me since the beginning or are just reading now. All the support for this story has astounded me, particularly since this was such a strange idea. So, I sincerely thank everyone for their constant cheerleading.
Another thing, if you follow me on Twitter, you are most likely very aware that I start law school this week. Due to this, I will be studying a lot and unfortunately, that means little to no writing will be done. So, as of now, this story is my last multi chapter. I might be posting one shots on occasion when I can, but this will be my final multi chapter fic.
See you around!