Is Forever Possible

by RGoodfellow64

Chapter 28, Always Forever



Disclaimer: I do not now, nor have I ever, owned any of the characters or stars of the ABC TV show Castle. If I did I probably would have had them together much sooner than on the show, and most certainly, not as well written.




She looked down at the ID badge hanging around her neck. Medical Examiner Intern Alexis Castle. She liked the sound of that, 'Medical Examiner Intern Alexis Castle here, let me through please,' she giggled at the thought of flashing a badge at a crime scene but then stopped and her eyes opened wide…she just channeled her inner Richard Castle. 'Oh my God!' she thought, 'I'm turning into my Dad!'

"Do you have the personal effects cataloged Alexis?" Lanie asked from across the room.

"Yes, Dr. Parish, they're all done."

Lanie nodded her head and said, "Good, stay here for a bit while I check something on the computer. There's something strange about this one."

"Yes, Dr. Parish," Alexis replied. She carefully checked the box of personal effects once again to make sure she'd done everything according to protocol. Ever since she helped that woman reconnect with her family photos a year ago, Alexis felt a sense of personal responsibility to make sure that each box she put together was documented thoroughly.

She felt a sense of pride when Dr. Perlmutter complimented her on the great job she was doing. Of course, his mumble at the end about how refreshing it was to have a responsible Castle around did take away a bit of that compliment…but not too much.

Lanie came back out of her office and walked back to the table to look over the victim once again. As she examined a small bruise on the back of the neck the door to the Autopsy room opened and Alexis watched as Kate and her father walked in.

Kate smiled at Alexis and then looked at Lanie, she was about to speak when Rick said, "Hi Pumpkin," and smiled at his daughter. The reaction he received should have been expected as three voices cried out at the same time, "Dad!" "Rick!" "Castle!"

Three pairs of eyes were looking at him as if he just climbed out of a sewer. Blue, green and brown, and all three sets were narrowed as they glared at him. "Dad, how many times have I told you not to call me that at work?" Alexis asked.

Before he could reply Kate asked, "Rick, how many times do we have to remind you that this is important to Alexis?"

Before he could answer Kate, Lanie said, "Richard Castle, you will treat all my interns with respect. That includes the one who is, through no fault of her own, related to you by birth. You will call her Alexis or Miss Castle, and nothing else while she is working for the New York City Medical Examiners Office, do I make myself clear?"

Rick looked at each set of angry eyes and gulped. He'd been in lots of situations before in his life but something about these three women was down right scary. He simply nodded his head and said, "Yes." Turning to Alexis he said, "I'm sorry Pump…Alexis."

Alexis yelled, "Dad!" while Lanie pointed to her office and said, "Castle, go to my office, sit down and don't touch a thing!"

Rick thought about trying to salvage some of his pride but these three really did look scary. For a moment, he wondered when it was that Alexis learned to look at him like that. 'Probably from Kate, but there's a lot of Alexis there too,' he thought to himself as he walked into Lanie's office and sat down.

When Rick entered Lanie's office Alexis said, "I love him but sometimes he's so…"

Kate nodded her head at Alexis and said, "I know what you mean, Alexis. Believe me, I know what you mean."

Lanie looked at Kate and said what seemed to fast becoming the official mantra of those who were in the know, "You married him."

Kate rolled her eyes and replied, "Aren't you the one who's been telling me to get my groove on with Rick all these years, what was it you said, oh yes, 'Girl, you better jump his bones, and fast', and don't even try to deny it."

"Yeah well, the way you two kept looking at each other I expected to see clothing being ripped off any second, how you both managed to stay so stupid all those years and not jump each other…"

"Excuse me!" Alexis said her hands up in front of her making the sign of a T. "Impressionable daughter here, TMI, TMI!"

Lanie and Kate quickly turned around to look at Alexis, surprised looks on their faces, as they had been so engrossed in their own conversation, they'd forgotten all about her.

Kate noticed that Lanie actually blushed before she quickly apologized to Alexis and mumbled something about files before walking to her office. Turning back to Alexis, Kate started to apologize when suddenly a wicked smile came on the young woman's face and she said, "Actually Kate, Grams and I wondered the same thing," before she also turned away to follow Lanie.

Kate's mouth hung open as she watched her stepdaughter walk away. Finally, her eyes narrowed and she called out, "Alexis Castle! Wait till I get you home!"

Alexis giggled and followed Lanie into her office and sat down next to her dad. A few seconds later Kate followed and Lanie asked, "Ok, now that we're all embarrassed, what did you want to talk to me about?"

Kate smiled and said, "We have some news and wanted you to be the first to know…" Lanie interrupted her squealing, "You're pregnant?"

Taken aback, Kate replied, "No! No I'm not pregnant, why would you even ask that?"

Lanie smiled and said, "Well the way you two go at it like rabbits, I figured it's only a matter of time…" her words trailed off as she saw Rick and Kate both turn to look at Alexis sitting between them.

Alexis looked first at Rick and then at Kate and said, "Oh no, not me. I didn't say a thing!"

Lanie piped up, interrupting the family scene in front of her and said, "With all the UST you put out you could have powered half of Manhattan for a year!"

With a puzzled look on her face Kate asked, "Ust? What's ust?"

Rick said, "Not ust Kate, the letters yu, ess and tee which stand for Unresolved Sexual Tension."

Kate turned back to Lanie and asked, "Unresolved Sexual Tension? Are you serious?"

"Girl for the past few years it's been so thick around you two that you needed a chainsaw to cut through it. Way too much for a simple knife."

Kate shook her head and tried to get back on track, "I'm not pregnant."

"Then what did you want to tell me?" Lanie asked.

"I spoke to Captain Montgomery this morning and as of one minute after midnight Sunday morning it's official, and we'll be telling the boys when they get back but…I am now Sergeant Beckett."

Lanie jumped up from her chair and gave Kate a hug. "Oh Kate! I'm so happy for you! You'll be a great Sergeant." She paused a moment and asked, "Where are they going to assign you?"

A big smile came over Kate's face and she said, "They're moving me to the 12th Precinct."

Lanie tilted her head and said, "They're moving you to the 12th? Wait a second, you're already at the 12th!"

Kate laughed and said, "I know, that's what's great about it. I'm an SDS till Morrissey leaves for the 26th later this year."

Rick meanwhile started humming the tune for 'the Jetsons' before Alexis hit his arm with her elbow. Kate smiled down at her and mouthed 'thank you' as Rick said, pride dripping from every word, "Actually Lanie, the position of SDS was created specifically for Kate. Not only Montgomery, but also the Chief of Detectives wants Kate as a Sergeant, and they want her to stay here at the 12th."

"Oh," Lanie said and she went back to her desk to check her e-mail. "Is that what the 'All Hands' meeting is about tomorrow morning?"

Kate nodded and said, "Yeah, the Captain wants both shifts to know the change, and first thing in the morning gets the graveyard as well as the day shifts together."

"Wow, Sgt. Beckett, it has a nice ring to it. So, any idea who they're going to get to replace you?"

Kate smiled again and said, "No one. I'm still with my team and," she turned to look at Castle, "I still have my partner."

Lanie smiled again and said with all sincerity, "Congratulations Kate, you really deserve it."

Kate smiled and said, "Thank you Lanie," then looked at her watch. Looking up she said, "We have to get back, Ryan and Esposito should be arriving any minute now, and I want to tell them as soon as they arrive. Remember Lanie, this isn't official till Sunday morning and the Captain wants to be the one to tell everyone, so don't tell a soul."

Lanie looked out the door at the empty room and said, "Any idea who I can tell down here? This is a morgue you know, no one here is gonna tell stories."

Kate chuckled and headed out the door with Rick, Alexis and Lanie following her. As Rick and Kate arrived at the elevator it opened and Perlmutter walked out, nodding to Kate he said, "Detective," then turned to Castle and said, "Writer."

They watched as he headed to his office and then they entered the elevator. As Rick pressed the button to go up, he looked out the elevator and said, "See you, Pump…aah, Sweetie…I mean Alexis."

As the doors began to close, he heard Alexis say, "Dad!" just as Kate reached for his ear. After the doors closed, and just before the elevator started to rise, Alexis could hear her fathers muffled voice yell, "Apples! Apples!"

When Kate and Rick walked off the elevator, they saw Ryan and Esposito sitting at their desks. Rick walked towards the breakroom to make a cup of coffee and Kate went to get her 'boys' and have them all meet with Rick. A few minutes later Kate walked in with Ryan and Esposito right behind and Rick handed her a fresh cup of coffee.

Kate gave Rick a big smile and took a sip as he walked to the breakroom door and closed it before turning back to his wife and her 'boys'. Ryan and Esposito meanwhile were looking at the two of them with curiosity, wondering what they had to say that warranted the door being closed.

Kate got right to the point, "At the all hands meeting tomorrow morning, Captain Montgomery will be informing the precinct that I am being promoted to Sergeant, effective one minute after midnight on Sunday morning."

Esposito looked at Ryan who said with a grin on his face, "Sergeant? Really? That's great!" Then the two of them put out their arms to give her a hug but she pushed them back. Looking out of the breakroom window to the bullpen she said, "Not now guys, I don't want anyone out there to know that something is going on. Let's just keep this quiet till the Captain breaks the news tomorrow, ok?

Ryan and Esposito were very happy for Kate. They knew she deserved the promotion, but they were worried that she would be transferred to another precinct. When they heard she'd be staying at the 12th, their exuberance knew no bounds and Kate had to remind them, more forcefully, that this information needed to be kept to themselves till the next day.

Ryan said, "This calls for a celebration!"

"Yeah," Esposito said, "We need a party for this!"

Rick cleared his throat and said, "Sunday afternoon at 4pm, at the Old Haunt."

Kate turned to Rick with a questioning look on her face and said, "Excuse me? Sunday afternoon? Remember where we'll be on Saturday; think we'll be able to handle more on Sunday?"

Rick smiled and said, "Sure, no problem; and by 4pm we should actually start to be hungry again!"

"You two have something going on tomorrow?" Ryan asked.

"Party" came out of both Rick and Kate at the same time. Esposito just shook his head and Ryan grinned as Kate looked at Rick and raised one eyebrow to acknowledge they were both on the same wavelength.

"Lanie's right," Ryan said with a grin. "You two are cute when you do that."



Friday morning at the all hands meeting, Captain Montgomery informed the 12th that they were getting a new Sergeant and asked Beckett to stand next to him. Her fellow homicide detectives cheered for her while Rick looked on with pride and took close to two hundred photos. After the meeting, several other officers came up to congratulate her and that's when Sgt. Morrissey came to offer his congratulations.

"The Captain asked me my opinion and I told him you'd be a great Sergeant, but like the other times he asked, you wouldn't accept the position. He bet me ten dollars you would."

Kate smiled at him and asked, "Are you going to ask me for the ten back?"

Morrissey laughed and said, "Nope, but tradition is that the newbe buys the first lunch, so I'll make sure it's a good one!"

Kate laughed along with him and said she looked forward to working with him and learning the ropes of being a Sergeant.

"It's kind of an odd thing really, Beckett," he said. "You have all the knowledge you need from the field, but there is so much more that you need to learn, and also to unlearn. You'll be starting with me bright and early on Monday morning and probably won't be able to be with your team for at least the next few weeks."

"Really? I hoped I'd be able to still work with them while training."

"Sometimes that is allowed, but the Captain wants you in place as Sergeant as soon as possible, so there will be classes downtown and here that you will need to take, as well as the knowledge you only learn on the job, that I'll pass on to you. We both want you up and running before the end of February."

"February?" Kate asked.

"February," Morrissey replied, "Think you're up for that?"

A grin came over her face as Kate said, "I always did like a challenge."



The next day, as the stretch limousine pulled up, Rick, Kate, Alexis and Martha all walked out of the front door of Rick's building and headed towards it, not answering the questions thrown at them by the waiting reporters. The curiosity on whether they were or were not married had only grown in the past week with speculation running wild. They really needed to nip this in the bud, and soon, which was why Paula had already started the process, and Sunday the news would break.

Dmitri was standing by the open back door and gave a greeting as each member of the family entered the car. As Kate was the first inside, she was also the first to see her father sitting on the seat across from her. She immediately switched seats to sit next to him and said, "Oh I'm so glad you were able to make it Dad." She grabbed his left arm and gave him a hug.

He smiled, patted her arm and said, "Katie, how could I refuse when two large Russian men came to the house and informed me that I had to attend?"


Jim laughed and said, "Oh Katie, sorry but I couldn't help it. I actually had a nice conversation with a delightful young woman named Tatiana who filled me in on the party. You don't think I'd ever miss your wedding reception, do you?"

Still holding his arm Kate said, "Dad! That wasn't funny!" but she couldn't contain the smile on her face and then laughed along with him.

As the rest of the family was seated in the car, Dmitri closed the door and they pulled away from the curb. As they were driving Kate worried about her Dad being at a traditional Russian wedding party, and pressed the buzzer to speak to the driver. The curtain pulled back and Kate saw that Paval was driving and she asked in Russian, "Paval, are you aware that my father doesn't drink alcohol?"

Without a pause Paval said, also in Russian, "Yes we are Mrs. Castle, no need to worry, Yana's husband also does not drink any alcohol."

Kate quietly sighed and said, "Thank you Paval, I don't want him to feel like an outsider with everyone drinking."

Paval smiled and said, "Not to worry Mrs. Castle, this will only be a small party, only family, perhaps twenty people at most…we only bought twelve cases of Vodka."

"Twelve cases?" Kate asked.

As they were speaking in Russian, no one in the car other than Dmitri understood what they were saying, but they knew Kate was surprised when, after Paval said something, she exclaimed in English, "I thought you couldn't get that here?"

Paval replied in English saying, "Some minor Vodka's you can, but there is only a limited supply of this, so we asked the Russian Ambassador to the UN to bring them back with him when he returned from home last week."

Kate was shocked and said, "You actually asked the Russian Ambassador to bring you back some Vodka?"


"How did you get it through Customs?" Rick asked.

"It never went through Customs," Dmitri replied. "Uncle Paval picks the Ambassador up at his plane at the airport, and this trip we simply neglected to take all his packages out of the car at the Embassy."

As Kate tried to comprehend what Paval and Dmitri had told her, Paval told everyone they should be at the compound in about twenty minutes and closed the curtain again.

Jim leaned over to Kate and softly asked, "Compound?"

Kate had to chuckle. Although she had only been there once, the group of homes that Paval's family lived in was surrounded by an eight foot cement and stone wall and it reminded her of the compound in the movie 'The Godfather.'

She turned to her father and tried to explain where he would be when Rick said, "Jim, did you ever see the movie 'Arsenic and Old Lace?'"

Before he could answer Martha said, "Richard, you know the stage version is always better than the movie version."

Rick sighed and said, "Mother, I'm not trying to compare versions. I'm simply trying to tell Jim what Paval, and Yana's houses looks like." He turned back to Jim and said, "Whenever I stand in front of Yana's house I expect to hear someone yell 'Charge!' run up the stairs and slam the door."

Jim laughed and said, "Sounds like it will be fun." He turned back to Kate and said, "So how come this family ceremony is just us? Aren't your friends from the precinct invited? And what about Maddie?"

With a puzzled look on her face, Kate turned to Rick to ask him to explain when Martha said, "Jim, Pyotr, Paval and Yana adopted Richard as a member of their family. We've been to many parties there over the years and Richard has had them at the Hamptons for vacations. So by 'family' it means who they consider family, which is us by adoption and you by marriage."

Kate nodded her head and said, "Alexis is godmother to Paval and Maria's little boy Ivan. We were here for the Christening party."

Jim leaned back in his seat and watched his new in-laws. He never thought Kate would finally settle down, give up the dangerous and self destructive path she had followed for so long, but here she was, with family and from what he just heard, extended family as well. He was really looking forward to this party.

Conversation flowed and before they knew it, the limousine was turning into an open gate which slowly closed behind them. Jim looked out at the park-like setting and couldn't help but agree with Kate that this did indeed remind him of the Corleone family compound in the movie.

Jim saw two houses which weren't that far from each other, and from a quick glance of the property, it looked like a few other buildings were on it as well. The car brought them around near the side of the first house and stopped. Dmitri opened the door to let everyone out and they were greeted by Pyotr, Yana and Yana's husband.

As Jim came out and met the greeting party, his mouth opened in surprise. "Terry?" he asked.

Yana's husband looked just as dumfounded and said, "Jimbo?"

Kate had never met Yana's husband as he was working when she was there for Ivan's christening, but Rick knew him well and said, "You two know each other?"

Jim had a big smile on his face and said, "Terry is the man who helped me when I entered rehab. He was my sponsor at AA."

Kate simply stood in shock. Yana's husband certainly wasn't Russian. He looked, and he sounded Irish. She looked at her father and said, "Dad?"

Jim and Terry were shaking hands and patting each other's back, when Jim turned around with a big grin on his face and said, "Katie, say hello to Terrence Sean Patrick O'Mahoney, or as we all call him at the meetings, Terry."

Still somewhat shocked, Kate put out her hand to shake Terry's and said something that she hoped was appropriate because now all she could think of was Tom Sawyer, and how much Terry looked like Mark Twain's character with the red hair and freckles. Terry meanwhile turned back and said, "Jimbo, this is my wife, Yana."

When she heard that, Kate's mind gave a little hiccup as she tried to grasp that her Russian friend was named Yana O'Mahoney. For some reason Kate never thought to ask Yana what her last name was and she was having a difficult time grasping what she'd just heard.

Introductions were made as Paval and Dmitri joined the group after parking the limousine, and soon all were walking around the first house to where the "reception" was to be held. Kate noticed how her father was trying to take it all in at once and couldn't blame him for that. The grounds were beautiful; even in the winter you could see the shrubs and green plants that made up the base of the gardens. In the spring and summer, it should be spectacular.

They came around the side of the house to the back and Kate saw that what had been an open patio at the time of Ivan's Christening was now enclosed with large windows to let in the winter sun, and two wood stoves running in the corners to keep it warm. Inside were six tables, two with delicious looking foods and desserts. By the large doors that were open to the house was a smaller table, just perfect for two people. Kate knew that it was set up for her and Rick.

She found she was correct when Yana led them to the table. Once they sat down Kate looked at Rick who seemed a bit nervous. He leaned to her and whispered, "What's going to happen now? I've never been to a Russian wedding before."

Kate whispered back, "I was at one with my host family in Kiev. The first thing to remember is they don't tap the glass for the bride and groom to kiss."

"They don't? What do they do instead?"

"Someone calls out…" she never finished the sentence as several people called out something in Russian and Kate smiled. "Stand up Rick."

As he watched her start to stand he said, "Huh?"

"Come on, stand up."

As he stood he asked, "Kate, what are they calling out? It sounds like 'gorko'. What does that mean?"

She put her arms around his neck and said, "It means the wine is bitter and we have to kiss to sweeten it up."

He smiled as her lips came to his and he quickly said, "Oh, I know I can handle this part!" and then his lips were too busy for speech. He looked forward to the wine turning bitter often, just so they would have to sweeten it up.

Almost four hours, and lots and lots of long kisses later, Kate was sitting quietly with Yana and digesting all that she'd learned today. In the corner of her eye she saw Rick talking to her dad, Terry and Pyotr, with Yana's youngest Ekaterina standing under her "uncle" Rick's arm. At the other end of the patio, Alexis sat with young Ivan in her lap, talking to Maria and Tatiana while a couple of Yana's cousins stood by, watching with big smiles on their faces. Kate couldn't help but notice how Dmitri kept looking at Alexis, although she seemed to have eyes only for Ivan.

Kate now had a much better understanding of the dynamics of this strange, totally unreal, relationship between Rick and the Russian émigré's, it was much more complex than Martha stated the day she met Pyotr and Paval.

Kate took a sip of her coffee and listened to the ebb and flow of conversations all around her, looking at her new 'extended' family. Yana and her older brother Pyotr along with their younger brother Paval managed to leave Russia during the tumultuous years when the USSR fell and Boris Yeltsin became president. They came to America knowing only one person, Rick. He had told them to look him up if they ever came here and they trusted him to mean what he said. She turned her eyes and looked at her husband.

Her husband. Sometimes she still had a difficult time accepting the reality of that word. She had a husband. She was married. A twinge of sadness crept in as she realized her mother would never be here or be part of her new life. The life she was finally living, rather than simply existing in, but she also knew her mother would be absolutely thrilled with the way her life was going now.

Kate smiled at the scene she was watching, Rick was saying something to her father and her dad was laughing at what Rick said. This was something she never thought she'd experience, seeing her father and husband so close. She was so absorbed in watching them that she didn't notice Yana was watching her. To Yana, Kate was an answer to prayer, just as Rick had been to Yana and her family so many years before.

Although her older brother Pyotr was the more pragmatic of the siblings, the family was basically run by Yana and it was her opinion that mattered, and in her opinion Richard Castle was a living, breathing saint.

In Yana's eyes he was the man who saved her family, who opened his home to them and helped them establish themselves in this country. He helped them start their business and his contacts helped them become citizens. Because of him she met her husband and lived a life she once only read about in the old fairy tales.

Yana never liked Meredith, and although she loved Alexis, she always knew Meredith was not good for Rick. Gina seemed even worse as far as Yana was concerned. Where Rick, Martha and Alexis considered them like family, Gina thought of them as hired servants. Yana thoroughly enjoyed telling Gina she could no longer rely on PYP for transportation after Rick divorced her.

Although she never met any of the women Rick dated over the years after Gina, she knew that he was lonely, that he needed someone in his life who was strong, who could stand up to him, and more importantly stand up with him; a woman who would be a support and not a leech. The more she heard about Kate, the more she liked her and she had felt no hesitation in adding her to the very short list of 'family' that could always rely on PYP at any time. When she found that Kate spoke Russian, that was simply the icing on the cake and she waited, without much patience, for the day that Kate and Rick became one. She considered it as inevitable as the sun rising and setting each day.

Kate was watching with a big smile as Rick bowed over Ekaterina's hand and asked her to dance. The young girl was thrilled and giggled as Rick gallantly walked her to the center of the room, put his arm on her shoulder, held her hand and started to dance. Kate was surprised to see how well Ekaterina danced the waltz and turned to Yana with a questioning look.

"My mother was a dancer," Yana said, "Ekaterina is named after her. I was taught to dance and all my children have had proper training."

Kate smiled and said, "You're lucky they all wanted to learn, usually not every child wants to learn the same thing."

Yana gave an imperial sniff and raised her head. "It is a tradition in my family and so they learned. If they wanted to, then fine, and if they didn't want to, too bad. They learned!"

Kate nodded her head and watched Rick dance with the girl. Yana was all that the stereotypical Russian woman of the house should be. Firm, sometimes arrogant, but always in complete control of her family…or at least that's what Kate thought till Terry came up to his wife, kissed her neck and said, "Come on sweetie, I need a dance!"

That was when Kate saw a total transformation come over Yana, who lowered her head, blushed slightly, and with all the love in her heart showing in her eyes, giggled and followed her husband to the dance floor. He nodded his head to the band and the stately waltz became a more upbeat Irish tune and Yana laughed in delight as he swung her around the floor then dipped her for a kiss.

Kate smiled at the sight, realizing that although Yana held a tight rein on the rest of her family, with Terry there was no one in charge of the other, but like herself and Rick, Yana and Terry were partners. This made Kate feel very happy and she looked around for Rick, hoping she could have a dance with him when suddenly he was behind her. He kissed her neck and then said in a very bad Irish brogue, "Come on sweetie, I need a dance!"

Kate found herself blushing, and giggling and absolutely loving every minute of it as Rick grabbed her hand and led her out to dance.

It was late when the party was winding down. Maria and Paval had taken little Ivan home hours earlier and a few others had left as well. Rick and Kate gathered up Alexis and Martha, and Kate had to drag Jim away from a cutthroat game of Cribbage with Terry so they all could get home. Jim would be staying over at the Loft since he lived further away. Dmitri had the limonene waiting and all warmed up for them as they said their goodbyes to Yana, Pyotr and Terry, and a few minutes later the gates opened and Dmitri drove them home.

Alexis fell asleep with her head on Kate's shoulder and even the older adults felt the strain of the day, except Martha of course who asked Dmitri to let her off in the theater district as many shows had finished and Martha knew of a couple of parties in the area that she wanted to attend. "It'll be good for my school if people see me out and about," she replied to Rick when he tiredly said, "Mother!"

Kate smiled, as Martha walked away from the limo and Rick told Dmitri to take them home. Home. Her home. Her and Rick's home. Their home. As she thought this a warm feeling came over Kate and she looked down at Alexis, faintly breathing through her mouth, sound asleep on her shoulder. In an epiphany, Kate knew what she'd do with her apartment. She wouldn't sell it; instead, she'd keep it. It would be a perfect place for Alexis when she graduated from college.



Sunday morning breakfast was actually late morning brunch as everyone slept late. Even Kate slept well past the time her internal clock usually woke her. They were sitting at the table finishing their meal when Martha walked in. "Good morning everyone!" she said with enthusiasm. She stopped and looked at the four people sitting at the table. They looked like they could use another day or two of sleep. The party had definitely taken a lot out of them, except for Jim, who seemed to be just as chipper as Martha was, "Would you care for something to eat Martha?" he asked.

"Thank you Jim, but no. I think I'll retire to catch a few winks before I head to my studio this afternoon. I may have managed to land a few more investors!" She beamed at them all and made what could only be called a grand exit as she walked up the stairs to her bedroom.

Kate looked at Rick and he looked back at her before he shook his head and said, "I don't want to know."

Kate shook her head and said, "Then let's get back to Yana's family again. How come you never told me her husband was Irish?"

Rick took a sip of coffee and said, "I actually never thought of it. Anyway, what does it matter if he's Irish?"

Kate rolled her eyes and looked at her dad before turning back to Rick, "Hello? Beckett? Dad's part Irish."

Jim's eyes crinkled in amusement and he quietly added, "So are you Katie."


Jim picked up his cup of tea and took a sip before he replied, "Just saying."

Kate turned back to Rick and saw him try to hide a smile. "When I first met Pyotr and Paval, they both looked like Russians," Kate said. "When I met Yana she also looked like a typical Russian woman with blonde hair and blue eyes. But since her son has the dark hair and eyes like his uncles, and Tatiana looks the same as her mother, I naturally thought her husband was Russian."

"Ok," Rick said, "but I don't understand why it's a big deal." Before Kate could answer he suddenly asked, "And if your family is Irish, how come you speak Russian?"

"Jo's family is Slavic," Jim answered. "Our wedding was a combined Eastern Orthodox and Catholic ceremony. Oddly enough the two priests got along like two long lost brothers." He looked at Kate and said to Rick, "Kate has a little Irish in her, but she mostly looks Slavic. She definitely has her mother's eyes." He gazed at Kate and his face softened as he looked at his daughter with undisguised love and pride.

Kate smiled back at her dad and then looked at Rick, "Don't change the subject Rick, I was completely surprised when I met Terry and he probably thinks I'm crazy. I have no idea what I said to him when he said hello."

"He did give you a sort of odd look," Jim remarked with a twinkle in his eye.

"Thanks for that," Kate mumbled under her breath just before Alexis spoke. "I don't know why we bother with TV, a family breakfast with all of you is a lot more interesting and more fun to watch."

Kate dropped her head in her hands and said, "Doesn't Lanie have something for you to do today?" When Alexis said no, Kate asked, "Perlmutter maybe?"

"Nope, I have the day free so I'm not going anywhere."

"What were we talking about before this Irish thing came up?" Rick asked just before Kate threw her napkin at him.

"Details, Castle. Now!" she said sternly and gave him as much of a glare as she could, because as strange as this breakfast conversation was, it was one of the most fun, free and family feeling breakfasts she could remember having since she went away to college. She kept her face calm but inside she was having the time of her life.

"Terry's family actually came from Brooklyn and when he was a boy they moved to Ireland because of his father's work. Don't ask me what he did, I don't remember. That's why Terry speaks with an Irish brogue even though he's an American. His great-grandparents, or were they his great-great grandparents, anyway, whoever they were they came over in the mid 1800's and Terry inherited his grandfather's way with cars and engines."

"His grandfather?" Kate asked.

"The first O'Mahoney was good with horses and had livery stables in the city, and when cars started to come along they opened a string of gas stations and service garages throughout Brooklyn and spread out into the rest of the city. The 'compound' where they live was built by Terry's grandparents."

"Ok, so that explains Terry, but what about Yana and her family?"

"I met Pyotr when he was driving a taxi in Moscow. He just smiled and didn't answer whenever I asked, but I think he had some security job with the government and was probably my keeper while I was there." Rick lowered his voice and said, "I think he was really KGB because when he'd drop me off he usually followed me, supposedly in case I needed another ride, but no one ever admits to anything."

"KGB, Dad?" Alexis asked.

"Yeah!" Rick said, becoming more animated at the thought. "Sometimes when he didn't think I noticed, I saw him speaking into a radio." He paused and exclaimed, "Maybe they thought I was CIA or something, because I was looking into places where Derrick Storm would go!"

"Rick! Back to the story!"

"Oh, sorry Kate, anyway I got to meet the whole family and liked them. So whenever I went to Moscow, and I guess I went almost a dozen times over two years, I always asked for Pyotr and then his brother Paval. Even if he was KGB he was taking really good care of me and I just liked the family."


"And then the USSR was coming apart and there were all sorts of problems in Russia and one day I got a call from George at the front desk telling me there were some Russians here to see me."

"And Terry? Geez Rick, you're supposed to be a storyteller! Why do I have to drag everything out of you?"

"If you didn't keep interrupting…" Rick stopped as he saw the look in Kate's eyes and he decided it would be best if he just continued. "Terry's garages are all over the city, he had contracts with two taxi companies and also with the city to take care of their vehicles, so when Pyotr mentioned he thought he'd drive a cab I asked Terry to help him get a job. One thing led to another and about a year later I was invited to Yana and Terry's wedding. The rest is history."

Kate sighed and asked, "How did you even know Terry?"

"Oh, he was the best in the city to work on Lamborghini's."

"Lamborghini's? You have a Lamborghini?"

"Had. I got rid of it. They're no good in the city; they get buildup of carbon on the valves or something like that, because Terry was working on it at least once or twice a month as it kept breaking down."

"Ok, let me get this straight," Kate said. "Terry was your mechanic because your Lamborghini kept breaking down…"

"Carbon on the valves," Rick said, interrupting.

"Ah yes, carbon on the valves. And when Pyotr and his family came over you introduced them and a year later Terry and Yana were married."


"I guess shortly after that they started PYP and the rest is history."

"You got it!"

Kate was staring into Rick's eyes and asked, "How long did that take Alexis?"

"Almost forty-five minutes Kate."

Rick glared at Alexis and mouthed the word 'traitor' as Kate said, "They got married and had children, Dmitri looks a lot like his uncles, Tatiana looks like Yana and Ekaterina looks exactly like Terry, right down to the freckles."

"Yeah, and I love their Russian, Irish names too."

"Is this going to take another forty-five minutes?"

Giving Kate an affronted look, Rick quickly said, "Dmitri Eoin O'Mahoney, Tatiana Brighid O'Mahoney and Ekaterina Meaghan O'Mahoney."

"That explains the Russian, Irish connection with PYP then?" Kate asked.

"Russian, Irish and Italian," Rick replied.

"Italian?" Kate asked. "Oh right, Maria is Italian."

"Her grandparents live outside Florence in Tuscany. They came over to visit and Paval…"

Kate put up her hand to stop him and said, "Maybe some other time Rick." She pushed herself away from the table and said, "Dad? Alexis? Care to join me in the living room while Rick cleans up?"

"Me? Why do I have to clean up?"

"We cooked, so you clean Dad," Alexis said as she got up from the table.

Rick looked across the table and said, "Jim?"

"Sorry Rick, two against one, I have to do what the girls say." With a smile, he got up from the table and they all walked into the living room while Rick sat at the table and stared at the cups and dishes.



After a leisurely early afternoon, Kate and Rick dressed and then headed to the Old Haunt to meet their friends from the 12th. Rick originally thought to have Kate drive the Ferrari but since they took Jim home, Rick drove the Escalade and Kate was able to spend more time talking to her dad.

They left Jim's house with plenty of time to get to the Old Haunt and although they didn't speak much, the silence was consentual, as both were comfortable with each other. Rick was thinking about the party the day before but Kate was thinking of when she awoke this morning.

The first of her senses to wake was her sense of smell as the coffee Rick brought her sat on the nightstand beside the bed. Next her eyes as she opened them to see Rick gazing lovingly at her. Before she could reach for the coffee and take a sip, she heard his soft voice say, "Good morning Sergeant."

She smiled as she looked up at him and quietly replied, "Good morning Rick," and after her first sip added, "I love you but it's still creepy."

Rick smiled and as his hand caressed her hair he said, "Better get used to it Kate. For the rest of our lives. For the rest of our lives."

Rick looked over to see a soft smile on her face and said, "Penny for your thoughts."

Kate turned back to him with a big smile and said, "They're worth a whole lot more Rick, a whole lot more." She turned back to look out the window as they made their way through the city to the Old Haunt, and their friends.

When they arrived, they saw that Roy and Evelyn were already there with Kevin and Jenny. As Rick and Kate were saying hello, Javier and Lanie walked in and soon the group was enjoying some delicious appetizers, beer and laughter.

About half an hour into the party, Roy leaned down and brought up a photo album from a bag by his feet. Everyone's attention was riveted on him as Roy opened a page and then held up the album showing himself with Ryan, when Ryan first came to Homicide. "You look like a Leprechaun!" Rick exclaimed as everyone but Ryan laughed.

"Yeah, well it was my last day with Narcotics and I was working the St. Patrick's Day parade," Ryan replied. "The Captain wanted to see me and I came right away."

"One of the admirable traits I look for in my detectives," Roy said with a smile.

"Look at the mustache you had Roy," Kate said as Evelyn looked at the photo and added, "I never really liked that mustache." Looking up at Roy she said, "I like this one much better."

Roy smiled and gave Evelyn a quick kiss then flipped a few pages till he stopped and said, "If you think my mustache was something, look at this!" He turned the book around and there was Esposito with a heavy mustache and wearing a wool hat.

"Oh my goodness!" Jenny said, looking at the photo while Lanie laughed and said, "You look like Pancho Villa!"

"What on earth made you ever grow a mustache like that?" Kate asked as everyone kept staring at the photograph.

"I was working in Robbery and used to go undercover fencing what was supposed to be stolen items."

"How'd that work out for ya?" Ryan asked, "Cause you actually look like a cop who's trying to not look like a cop."

Esposito gave Ryan a look then turned back to the Captain as he went through a few more pages and then stopped. Without any emotion on his face he slowly turned the albumn around and they were looking at a photo of a young Kate, working for Vice, and dressed for the part of a street walker.

"Holy…" Esposito didn't get a chance to finish the phrase as Lanie nudged his shoulder with a bit more force than necessary. Ryan was looking at it with an almost shocked look on his face and Kate started to blush when she looked at Rick. His mouth was hanging open and he looked like he had never seen a woman before as he stared at her photo and softly said, "Wow."

"Rick?" She looked at him as he stared at the photo before he finally licked his lips, and never taking his eyes off her picture quietly said, "Uh, Kate? Do you think you might dre…" His thought was never finished as Kate quickly put her hand over his mouth, then turned to Montgomery and asked, "Could you turn the page please?"

As she slowly took her hand away from Rick's mouth, he smiled and said to Roy, "You wouldn't by any chance have a copy of that, would you?"

As nonchalantly as possible, Kate brought her arm up behind him before she smacked Rick on the back of his head with the palm of her hand. As everyone laughed and Rick pretended to be injured, he noticed a little gleam in Kate's eye and realized that she might just surprise him one day.

As Roy showed other photos Rick smiled, realizing he probably never will figure out his wife.



Monday morning arrived faster than they expected. It was pouring buckets outside and traffic was moving at a snail's pace. Kate didn't even look at Rick when she said, "How could you turn off my alarm like that? This is my first full day as a Sergeant and I'm going to be late!"

Having had experience with an un-caffeinated Kate, Rick knew better than to answer. Whatever he said would be wrong. Kate turned to him and said, "Was there a reason why you turned off the coffee pot last night? The very least I could have had before we left was a cup of coffee."

Again, Rick's previous experience helped as he steadfastly refused to answer. As he looked out of the window, he saw they would be coming up to one of their favorite coffee shops and he asked Kate to slow down so he could get out and buy her a coffee.

"Slow down? Rick, we aren't moving at all…" Before she could finish the sentence, he quickly jumped out of the car and ran to the shop. A few minutes later he came out of the coffee shop to see Kate was only a few stores past, sitting at the light. He quickly ran to the car and got in before the light turned green and gallantly handed her a hot cup of coffee.

She grabbed it and took a sip, and as she did, Rick could see some of the stress fall off her shoulders. As she took the second sip, he opened up the bag in his hand and pulled out a warm bear claw.

Kate looked over and asked, "How am I expected to eat that while I'm driving with one hand and have a coffee in the other?"

Rick merely smiled and holding the bear claw in one hand, and holding his other hand under it, brought it to her mouth and said, "Take a bite."

She gave him an odd look but took a bite of the bear claw and he caught the few crumbs in his other hand. As she chewed he said, "Let me know when you want another bite."

Kate swallowed the bite, took another sip and said, "Another bite please." Rick once again brought the bear claw to her mouth and she took a bite. This continued as they drove to the precinct till Kate finished the bear claw just as they pulled into the parking garage. As Kate parked the car, Rick brushed off the crumbs into the empty bag and said, "See? Coffee, breakfast and you made it on time."

Kate turned to him and said with a sultry voice, "Sometimes you drive me absolutely crazy and then you go and do something so sweet." She leaned over and kissed him quickly before pulling away to open the door. As they walked to the elevator Rick said, "I will always be there for you Kate, even if it's just coffee and a bear claw."

Kate reached down and held his hand, squeezed it and said, "Sometimes Rick, you leave me without words."

As they stepped into the elevator Rick said, "Ok Sergeant, go show them how it's done."



For the first two weeks, Kate never left the precinct. She spent most of her day with Sergeant Morrissey going over all that she needed to know, and trying to pick his brain for things he may have forgotten to tell her about without even realizing it. This left Esposito in charge of the team and Montgomery was looking at both detectives with an eye towards promotion. He never wanted to hold good officers back.

This left Rick in a quandary. He was not allowed to be with Kate unless it was lunch break, which she sometimes didn't take. This didn't stop him from bringing her lunch every day, however. He even managed to go out on a couple of cases to help the team, which made him feel that he was helping Kate by watching her boys. What he didn't know was that Kate had spoken to the two detectives and they were doing what they could to make sure Rick was always safe.

It wasn't that Kate didn't trust Esposito or Ryan to watch out for Rick, it was simply that she knew no one could look after him as well as she could. Lanie thought that was adorable as Rick felt the same way; no one could look after Kate as well as he could.

With all the change going on in the precinct, the fact that Paula had put out the statement that Rick and Kate were married passed over them completely. Other than a few more comments on the web page, Rick and Kate were so immersed in Kate's new position that they had no time to check the papers or entertainment news shows, but they were sure interested in Rick and Kate.

His books were flying off the shelf, a few hundred more fans joined the inner circle of the Castle web page, and Paula's phone was ringing off the hook for interviews, or more photos. The fact that Rick and Kate were married in the hospital after he saved her life made it all the more romantic and the fan letters for both Rick and Kate were flowing into Blackpawn's office. It got so bad that there were a few days when Rick couldn't come into the precinct because of the outcry for more information from the press. Even Captain Montgomery was hearing from the Commissioner's office, as this was amazingly good press for the NYPD.

Kate was on her third week without going in the field, and although she was starting to feel too confined within the precinct walls, she also appreciated it as Rick was the one who had to handle the press; although the Captain did have her participate in one interview when the producers of an entertainment show went directly to the Mayor. It was also difficult when they went out, which wasn't often, as the press surrounded them at almost every turn, and if they managed to get past the press, the fans usually found them.

It was the Tuesday before Valentine's Day and Kate was sitting in the breakroom with Lanie waiting for lunch. Rick had volunteered to pick up lunch for Lanie as well as Kate, and Lanie wasn't about to turn down a free meal.

"So you and writer man have any plans for Valentine's Day?"

"We originally thought we'd spend a quiet night at home since I'm on call, but Paula somehow managed to convince me to go out with Rick, and that's what we'll be doing. How about you and Esposito, I know he's working that day but any plans for the evening?"

"Since he's working we won't be going anyplace fancy; we'll probably end up at Remy's just to get something to eat and then head back to my place, but…" Lanie paused a moment and asked, "Has he said anything to you about Valentine's Day?"

"No, why?"

"He's acting kind of weird like he's planning something."

"He hasn't mentioned anything to me, have you asked Ryan?"

"Yeah, and he just says Javi is on edge being lead detective and wanting to do everything right."

"Well there you are, it's just the job."

"Maybe…" Lanie's voice trailed off as Rick entered the breakroom with three big bags.

"Here you are ladies, lunch as advertised, free delivery and still hot." He put one bag down in front of Lanie and another in front of Kate and put the third down on the table by an empty chair.

"What are you doing?" Kate asked.

"I'm going to have lunch with my wife and our friend."

"No you're not, have you forgotten already?"

"You mean you're serious?"

Kate stared at him with the look that had broken the hardest of murderers and said, "Yes."

Rick gave a big sigh, picked up his bag and headed to the bullpen, looking for Esposito and Ryan. Seeing them, he headed over to eat his lunch as Lanie turned to Kate and asked, "What was that about?"

Opening her lunch bag Kate said, "Oh, smart man, he got my favorites," and started pulling out a double order of french fries, a large cheeseburger and strawberry shake.


Kate put a french fry in her mouth and chewed in obvious delight before she said, "I officially still hate him today."

Lanie pulled out her own food and stopped when Kate spoke, "You officially hate him? Why?"

"Since we're going out for Valentine's Day, Martha decided I needed something new to wear so we went shopping on Saturday."

"Didn't he like what you bought?"

"He hasn't seen it yet," Kate replied before taking a bite of her cheeseburger. Her mouth full of deliciousness she said, "Ooo, and he even made sure there were pickles!"

"Kate, you are acting and speaking like you're still madly in love with him…"

"I am," Kate interrupted.

"So why do you hate him."


"Ok, so why do you officially hate him."

"Martha and I spent hours looking for a dress and shoes. I must have tried on dozens of dresses and as many shoes before we found ones that not only fit, but looked and felt good as well."


"So Rick needed some new clothes and we went out on Sunday afternoon."

"And that's why you hate him? He got something nicer than you?"

"No, I hate him because we walked into the store, one of the fanciest men's stores I have ever been into, and after a few words with the tailor he walked over to the rack, found a pair of pants, tried them on and then bought them."


"That's what I said! I asked how could he simply walk up and get a pair of pants that fit right away. I spend more time looking and trying on clothes because the sizes are all over the place."

"What did he say?"

"He said, and this is a quote, 'Just one of the joys of being a man Kate', unquote."

"Did you have your gun?"


"Lucky man. Do you think he knew you didn't have it when he said that?"

"Probably," Kate said as she took a sip of her shake.

"And that's why you hate him?"

"Partly. Then we walked down the street when he suddenly decided he needed a new pair of shoes, and we walked into another exclusive men's store. Five minutes later we walked out with the shoes!"

Lanie's mouth opened in shock, "Five minutes? That's all it took?"

"I know! Can you believe it? Right off the bat the shoes fit and feel good. I told him then and there that I now officially hated him."

"I think I hate him now too."

"He doesn't understand why, but when I told Martha and Alexis and they sided with me, he had to admit there must be a reason, even though he doesn't understand it."

"So how long are you going to punish him?"

"I'll let him off the hook for the rest of the week after dinner tonight. He's making lasagna for me, but the remainder of his punishment will fit the crime."

"And what's that?"

"Saturday he goes shopping with me for a new pair of pants and shoes."

Lanie grinned and raised her own shake in salute to Kate. As Kate raised hers in response, Lanie said, "Better than a gun."

"Damn right," Kate replied and they continued to enjoy their meal.



Monday was Valentine's Day and Kate was finally allowed to spend some time in the field as well as continue with her Sergeant training. The day was slow however and she was able to leave on time to go home and change.

At home as they showered and changed, Kate thought to give Rick his Valentine's Day card before they went out to eat. He had not only been patient the entire time they were shopping for her on Saturday, he was actually a big help. He held the clothes she wanted to try on, and gave his opinion whether they looked good on her or not, and he managed to make all the other women around jealous of her because her husband was there shopping with her and helping her.

Plus he made her laugh. Looking for a chair he stated that it was in the 'Official Man Book of Instructions' that when shopping with his wife a man must find a chair to sit in. Kate had to hold back a giggle when a couple of men nearby heard Rick and solemnly nodded in agreement.

Before she touched up her makeup Kate handed him the envelope. "You got me a card?" he asked in delight.

"The first Valentine's Day card I've given since I was in high school," Kate replied.

She addressed the envelope 'To my wonderful husband'. He gave her a soft, loving smile, carefully opened it and pulled out the card.

The front read, 'February is the month for groundhogs and valentines,' along with the drawing of a groundhog and a valentine. He opened the card and read on the inside, '…which do you want to be?' and burst out laughing. He knew Kate wasn't really the kind to give sappy cards, but attached to the left side of the card by a slim strip of scotch tape, was a piece of paper cut into the shape of a heart and folded in half. He carefully removed it, unfolded it and read what she wrote. As he did, his eyes became shiny from the moisture he tried to keep inside.

It read, 'Magic exists. I can see it in a rainbow, the symmetry of a garden spider's web, the colors at Fall or the smell of newly mown hay. In the smile of a child or the kiss of a lover, it is at once tangible and ethereal; solid and vapor, action and thought.

Magic exists, and how do I know? Because there's you, and your promise of Always. Love, Kate.'

"Magic?" he asked, his voice rough with emotion.

"You're magic Rick, and you are all the magic I will ever need."

He pulled her into his arms and kissed her. As the kiss grew and she was wondering how they could cancel the dinner plans her phone stated to ring. Pulling away she muttered a brief prayer, "Not a body, please not a body."

Picking up the phone, she saw the caller was Esposito, "Beckett. Ok, where?" Grabbing a pen and pad from her nightstand she wrote down the address and said, "We'll be there in about half an hour."

Disconnecting the call, she turned to see Rick already on the phone with Paula. She sighed and put on clothes more suited for work and in less than five minutes, they were on their way to the crime scene.



"Remember when I was cursed by that Mummy?"

Kate rolled her eyes, "You were not cursed by the Mummy, we pulled those pranks on you."

Rick nodded his head and said, "That's the point. They were not fun pranks; they were 'curse pranks' which you were forced to do by the Mummy."

"Castle, I took the screws out of your chair myself," Esposito said, as he and Ryan walked behind their lead detective and her partner slash husband.

Turning his head as they walked to the crime scene Rick said, "I repeat, that's the point. Kate would never have allowed you to do that if it weren't for the curse!"

"I wouldn't be too sure about that," Kate said when he suddenly tripped over her foot and fell into her. "Castle! Keep your eyes in front of you and not on Esposito!" she said as she caught him before he fell to the sidewalk.

Straightening himself up Rick said to Kate, "See? Normally I either look ahead or at you, why else would I look at Esposito unless there was a curse?"

"Curse? What curse? Didn't that Mayan guy take the curse off you before he left?" Ryan asked.

"Yeah Castle," Esposito added. "You told us the curse was gone."

Rick sighed, "That curse is gone, but I think there's a curse here."

As an officer lifted up the yellow tape to allow them all to pass through, Kate asked, "Here? What do you mean here? Right here at this crime scene or in the general area?"

"Here as in Lexington Avenue," Rick answered as if that should explain everything. He turned to the officer holding the tape and said, "Thanks Ortiz. How's Sarah doing by the way?"

Officer Ortiz smiled and said, "You're welcome Castle, and she's doing great now. The cast should come off next week."

Rick smiled, "Her arm must itch like crazy…oh, and don't forget to tell the doctor to be careful when he takes the cast off so she can keep it."

"Keep a cast Castle? Why?" Esposito asked as he ducked under the tape.

"Because I autographed it for her," Rick answered.

Kate smiled and said, "I think it's the flowers you drew under your name that she really likes Rick, after all she's only five."

Officer Ortiz smiled and said, "The doctor already knows and asked her if he could keep the cast. Sarah said she wanted it for herself."

Rick smiled smugly at that while Kate rolled her eyes and Esposito said, "Geez, you had to go and say that, didn't you?" just as Ryan nodded his thanks to Ortiz and the four walked over to the body.

Esposito arrived first as Perlmutter looked up and sarcastically said, "Glad you could make it."

As they stood over the body Ryan asked, "Hey Castle, what did you mean about a curse on Lexington Avenue?"

"Think about it. How many times do we have to come here for a murder? When you add them all up, we're here more times than any other street in the city."

Frowning in thought Ryan said, "You know, it's kinda weird but it makes sense."

Perlmutter looked up at Kate and said, "Did you really have to bring him with you?" He then turned around and called out, "Alexis, would you please bring me the bag with the red stripes on it from the van?"

"Right away, Dr. Perlmutter."

A few seconds later Alexis arrived with the bag. As Perlmutter took the bag from her Rick started to say "Hi P…" but immediately stopped at the look he was getting from both Alexis and Kate. He really needed to find out when Alexis learned to glare at someone like that. Turning to Kate, he knew immediately where Alexis learned it.

Perlmutter ended the intimidation by saying "Thank you, Alexis. Now, do remember what we do next?"

As Alexis answered, explaining the proper procedure for fieldwork, Rick looked at her and was amazed at how great she was at her job. She made him so proud that he felt he could never hope to hold it all in! At that moment he felt Kate's pinky finger intertwine with his, and he knew she not only knew what he was feeling, she was feeling it too.

Ryan and Esposito however were looking at Perlmutter in shock. Over the years, they had never heard him be polite to anyone other than the lead detective, and then only grudgingly. To hear him speak to Alexis like that was something they never expected.

Kate cleared her throat and told Esposito to start checking the nearby businesses and Ryan to interview any possible witnesses. As they walked away, Rick called out, "Watch out for the curse!"

While Ryan and Esposito pretty much ignored him, Perlmutter turned to Alexis and asked, "Are you sure you're related to him?"

Alexis shrugged her shoulders and said, "Sometimes I wonder that myself."

Rick put his hand on his chest in mock outrage as Kate laughed. Taking his other arm she said, "Come on Rick. Let's do some work and let the ME's do their job."

As they walked away Alexis couldn't help but sigh. Somehow, despite all that happened in the past few years, her dad and Kate managed to not only find each other, but also fall in love and get married. Despite the 'wedding reception' that Yana put on for them, Alexis knew that Kate believed they owed their friends and family a real wedding, and she and Alexis were already making plans for the summer in the Hamptons.

Alexis smiled as she saw Kate's hand brush against her father's and their pinky fingers wrap around each other. Once again, she found herself thinking how cute they were together, how right they seemed. Grams once told her that her dad was looking for his 'Forever' but never thought it was possible. Looking at them as they bantered back and forth, pinkies still clinging together, Alexis knew that 'Forever' was possible. It was happening right in front of her.







AUTHORS NOTE: In the immortal words of Porky Pig, 'Th, th, th, th, th, th, that's all folks!' Well perhaps not totally, since I have so many little scenes that I've written for this story and never used, I may add an epilog or two…or three, but that will be some time down the road, since the show is doing a much better job of them being together than I could ever write.

One special thank you goes out to Lisa. You know who you are and without you and your help in the beginning, this story would never have seen the light of day.

Another special thanks goes to my lovely bride. She has proof read all my chapters and corrected my mistakes. Honestly, I was an English major in college; I have the paper to prove it! She is the magic in my life.

I have "met" many people from all over the world because of this story, and I want to thank each and every one of you who read and reviewed. You have no idea how much you are appreciated. Thank you for sticking with me on this journey of Kate's growth and Rick's changes, I hope you enjoyed the ride as much as I did. RG