Another thing I don't think we get enough of on the show? KatexAlexis bonding.
Disclaimer: I still don't own Castle. One of the few things I own are the mistakes that are probably still in here, because even though I read over it to check, I'm sure there are still some in there.

"Rick, relax. She's going to be fine."

Kate Beckett and Richard Castle were standing close to each other in the kitchen of his loft. The aforementioned "she" was his daughter, the recent high school alumna Alexis. Alexis' mother, Meredith, had been unable to attend the graduation ceremony where Alexis had delivered a brilliant Valedictorian address, so she had surprised Alexis with a present. Meredith and Alexis were going to spend the first two weeks of summer in France, traveling around different cities such as Paris, Nice, Lourdes, Lyon, and Marseille. Sure, Alexis had traveled there before on a book tour with her father when she was younger, but she was excited to go back and see it all with her mother.

Rick looked at Kate, who was currently leaning against the island in the middle of his kitchen holding the dishtowel she had been using to dry the dishes from dinner after he washed them. The two had "officially" been together for 4 months and he couldn't have been happier. Kate had come over and made Alexis' going away dinner with Castle and was there to see Alexis off. Alexis herself, was checking her luggage for the 3rd time, making sure she didn't forget to pack anything.

Rick sighed, "I know."

"It's only two weeks."

"I know."

"She'll be home before you know it."

"I –"

"Rick, if you say 'I know' one more time I'll –"

"You'll what? Punish me? Please say you'll use your handcuffs."

Kate gave Rick a mock glare and threw the dish towel she had been holding at him. When it hit him square in the face, she started laughing. After taking a moment to enjoy the sound of her laughter, Rick joined in.

There was a knock on the door.

Kate, still laughing, made her way over to the stairs.

"Lex!" She called up. "Your mother's here!"

Alexis came down the stairs carrying her suitcase in one hand. She put it down at the bottom of the stairs and hugged Kate. Kate gripped her back.

"I'm going to miss you, Kate." Alexis whispered.

Kate squeezed Alexis a little tighter, "I'll miss you, too. But hey, you'll be back before you know it."

They held each other for another moment before Kate pulled away and smiled at Alexis, "Have a good time, sweetie. And don't worry about your father."

Alexis laughed and smiled back, "Oh I know you'll take care of him. And don't worry, I will."

Rick smiled at the scene before him as he went to answer the door to let Meredith into the apartment. He was so incredibly glad that Alexis had Kate around to look up to. Rick took a deep breath to prepare himself and opened the door.

"Meredith!" He greeted cheerfully, letting her in and giving her a chaste kiss on the cheek. "Alexis has been so excited to see you!"

If Rick was being honest, he hated the fact that Meredith was here. The fact that it was "just simply impossible" for her to fly out to see Alexis' graduation but she could come 3 days later to whisk her off to France infuriated him. If he was being honest, he had this awful feeling in his stomach that something was going to happen to Alexis. He'd never forgive himself if it did, although he knew that if she called him saying she wanted to come home, he would be on the first flight over there to personally escort her home.

"Hello, Richard." Meredith said coyly, never taking off her sunglasses. "Where's Alexis?"

As soon as her mother walked in, Alexis had started making her way over the door, Kate following behind carrying her suitcase.

"Hi, mom!" Alexis said with a smile on her face.

"Hello, Alexis."

Kate moved around Alexis to set her suitcase by her feet. Kate looked up and gave Meredith a nod and a smile, "It's nice to see you again, Meredith."

Meredith looked Kate up and down and gave her a tight-lipped smile. "Likewise, Detective."

Kate forced another smile on her face. She quickly grabbed Alexis' hand and gave her fingers a tight squeeze and Alexis squeezed back. They smiled at each other and then Kate moved over to wait in the kitchen.

Meredith cleared her throat, "Well, Alexis, are you ready to g-" At that moment, Meredith's cell phone started ringing. She looked at the caller ID and answered it.

Rick took this as his opportunity to say goodbye to Alexis.

"Come here my offspring," he called out advancing towards her with open arms. She met him halfway and wrapped her arms around his middle. "I love you."

She buried her face in his chest, "I love you, too. I'll miss you. Try not to cause too much trouble for Kate?"

"What makes you think I'll cause trouble for Kate? How do you know it's not her that will be wreaking havoc?"

Alexis pulled back and gave him one of her incredulous stares.

Kate laughed.

Rick leaned down and kissed Alexis' head. "I'll miss you, too."

Rick let go of Alexis and moved to stand next to Kate in the kitchen. Meredith was still on the phone.

"… No," Meredith said to the person she was on the phone with, "that's fabulous… No, it's not a problem at all… Oh, don't worry about it. It's nothing important. I'll make it up to her… Mhm… Thank you so much. You won't regret this." With that she hung up and turned around to face Alexis, a look of pure joy on her face.

"Oh Alexis, you'll never believe what just happened!"

"What?" Alexis said, trying to seem excited.

"That was the casting director for the new movie I auditioned for a few days ago. He said that the director saw my audition tape and wants to see me immediately and offer me the role in person. He thinks I'm just perfect for it."

"That's great, mom! But… what about our trip?"

"Oh Alexis, France will always be there! But this… this is a -"

"Once in a lifetime opportunity," Alexis finished for her, "Yeah, I know. It always is."

Meredith grabbed Alexis' hand, "Oh Alexis, don't be mad. This is my job. I'll make it up to you, I promise…"

Alexis took a deep breath and forced a smile on her face. "It's alright, I understand. Have a safe flight back home."

Meredith smiled at Alexis and squeezed her hand. "Thank you, Alexis. I'll make it up to you I promise."

With that, Meredith let go of Alexis' hand and started walking towards the door. When she was halfway through the door, she looked over her shoulder and said, "I'll call you!"

The sound of the door clicking closed echoed throughout the silent room. Rick and Kate stood in the kitchen, shocked as to what had just unfolded in front of them. Alexis simply stood staring at the front door.

It was then that Rick and Kate realized that Alexis was shaking. It looked as though she was trying to control her breathing. Rick took a step forward to go comfort his daughter, and was surprised when he felt a hand push back on his chest. He looked down at Kate and saw her shake her head. She turned and slowly walked towards Alexis.

When she was a couple of steps away, Kate spoke. "Alexis…"

Alexis, still staring at the door, awarded Kate a humorless laugh for her efforts.

"You know," she started, "I really shouldn't be surprised. It's not like she hasn't done this before. I should be used to this, right? She always put her job before me."

Alexis finally looked at Kate, and when she did she finally lost it. The tears escaped from her eyes and came rolling down her face with abandon.

"What's wrong with me, Kate?"

"There's nothing wrong with you, Alexis." Kate said softly with a shake of her head.

"No," Alexis cried, "There must be something wrong with me. What did I do to make my mother hate me? I've done everything I can possibly think of to make her love me. I work so hard in school to get good grades and she doesn't care. I fly out to California to see her; I've put up with all her shopping trips and her parties and go on all of the blind dates she sets me up on with the most arrogant boys I've ever met; I took acting and singing and dancing classes to try to show her I respect her job; I started playing the violin when I was 5 because I had heard her talking to her friend on the phone about her co-star's son and his amazing piano playing abilities and how she though that all well-rounded children needed to play an instrument and yet she still has never been to a single one of my performances; why? Why doesn't she want to be with me like I want to be with her?

"I mean, it must be me because it's not just my mother. There was Gina, too. Even when she and dad were married she rarely ever spent time with me; she only did when dad mentioned he wanted us to get closer, and she would always take me to some stupid store to spend my dad's money and talk on her cell phone the entire time. She never wanted to be around me.

"So, please tell me you see it, Kate. As a woman who's become romantically involved with my dad, you can obviously see what makes me so disgusting, right? But you're so different from the others; you've always been honest with me, so will you tell me what it is so I can try to change it? Is it the way that I look? Do I smell?" Alexis was having trouble catching her breath. She raked her nails over her arms, "Do I have some form of leprosy or something that makes you not want to get close to me? When I turn around is there a sign on my back that says 'My own mother doesn't love me so I don't expect you to either'? Am I really some demon who comes and visits you in your sleep that warns you not to get near me because one day I'm going to suck your soul?"

Alexis trailed off, trying to sort out her thoughts. Kate, in turn, stood there and let her get it all out because she knew she needed this. Although, from his spot in the kitchen, Rick swore he could see tears shining in her eyes. He was well aware of his own that were blurring the image before him.

Alexis took a shaky breath and gave Kate a sad smile. "When are you going to start hating me too, Kate?"

With that, Kate went over and gathered Alexis into her arms, Alexis' arms immediately wrapping themselves tightly around her middle, burying her face into the detective's neck.

"Please don't hate me, Kate." She sobbed.

Kate held onto Alexis as tight as she possibly could. "Never."

They continued to hold each other, Kate murmuring to Alexis how sorry she was and what a wonderful daughter she is, Alexis letting out years or frustration and hurt in the form of tears against Kate's shoulder. Kate, however, pulled back and gently grabbed the teenager's face between her hands and forced Alexis to look at her.

"Lex," she said softly, "I'm never going to hate you. You'll always have me. No matter what happens between me and your father…" Kate's quickly darted over to the man in question. He was standing in the exact spot she left him in, a mixture of love for her and his daughter, hurt for his daughter, and complete fury at his ex wife clear in his eyes. "… I'll always be here for you. Because you know what? I love you. I loved you before I started dating your father, and I still love you now." Kate used her thumbs to gently wipe away Alexis' tears. "That is never going to change."

Alexis looked up at her, "I love you, Kate."

"I love you, too Lex."

Alexis voice lowered down to a whisper.


Kate looked at the beautiful, young red-head in her arms and gave her a genuine smile. She leaned down, kissed her forehead, and pulled her into another hug, resting her cheek on top of Alexis' head. She whispered one word.


So… it seems that I am really horrible at writing upbeat fanfiction. This was supposed to be so lighthearted and cute and then it got all angsty and the tears started flowing…
Anyway, love it? Hate it? Let me know what you think.

Just a few little side notes now that it has been brought up a couple of times. I kind of feel the need to defend where I went with Alexis' breakdown & Kate's Reaction.
1. Why Alexis got her hopes up when she knew Meredith always flakes: Despite how mature Alexis seems to be on the show, she still is just a teenage girl. And most teenage girls want to be with their moms. So when Meredith goes, "hey, I'm going to take you on a trip to one of the most beautiful places in the world, and it's just going to be the two of us." It's seems perfect.
2. What Alexis says in her breakdown: I know she seems a little out of character with some of the stuff she says, but I made her dialogue the way it is to again emphasis that Alexis is still just a teenager. She may not say so on the show, but I personally (being a 17-year-old, myself) have never met a single other teenage girl who does not care to some extent how they look. It's just natural. She's so terribly confused and heartbroken about her mother abandoning her yet again, that those insecurities just come out.
3. Why Kate doesn't just drop everything and say, "HEY, I'LL TAKE YOU TO FRANCE!": That, to me, is just so very un-Beckett-like. I thought about putting it in there, I really did, but I think Kate, being motherless herself, is so very sensitive to how that feels. Alexis' breakdown has nothing to do with the fact that she missed out on an awesome vacation; it's about how she feels like she doesn't have a mother. If Kate were to just offer to take her to France, I think Kate would feel like Alexis would think that she was trying to replace Meredith (did that make any sense?) which Kate would never try to do.

That is all (:

Edit* I totally lied to you. I have one more, but it's relatively short.
4. Why Castle didn't step in and chew out Meredith: Because this is a KatexBeckett fic! lol. No, but seriously, I originally had it where I explained some of his anger, but we all know that Castle would do anything for Alexis. Castle doing nothing is just a testimony as to how much he trusts Kate.