Note: None of these characters are mine.
"Happy Friday, Detective!" Castle sat a steaming cup of coffee on Beckett's desk before plopping into his chair.
"As long as there are no dead bodies, it will be a very happy Friday indeed. We're off this weekend as long as there are no new cases."
"Excellent! What are you doing on this fine dead-body-free weekend?"
"My dad's moving, so I'm going to head to his house and sort through my old stuff. His new place is small, so whatever I want to keep is coming back to the city with me, and whatever I'm not keeping is going to Goodwill."
"Ooo! I love moving!" This was a lie. He did not. "Can I come? I can be very helpful when I want to be." This was true. He could be.
"Ha, no, Castle. Thanks, but I think I can live without you snooping around my stuff from high school."
"I promise no snooping and – "
"It's not going to happen, Castle."
"– I have an SUV." Beckett flinched slightly and turned towards him. He had a point. "Your car is small, and mine is far better suited for moving." A very good point.
Given the state of her closet at her dad's house (which contained the many, many, many articles of clothing she had abandoned when she left for college), she'd be making several trips in her small car to deal with it all. Or one trip in Castle's very large car.
"Fine," she relented, "but I'm driving. Pick me up at 9 tomorrow?" Castle's face broke into a grin.
"Until tomorrow, Detective," he said, as he headed to the elevator. He figured it was best to leave now before she could change her mind. A chance at a peak into the childhood of Kate Beckett was too great to risk.
The trip out of the city to her dad's place in the suburbs was blissfully uneventful. Save for a few 'Are we there yet?'s from Castle, they'd rode in pleasant silence. Though she'd never admit, Kate was glad he'd come along. She very much enjoyed the rare day off they spent in each other's company.
They'd gotten to her dad's house around 10, to find that he'd packed up most of her stuff for her.
"Over here," Jim gestured to a large pile of boxes nearest the door, "are mostly clothes. I figured you wouldn't want most of that. And over there," he pointed to a few boxes in front of the closet, "are mostly toys. You'll have to look through those and pick the ones you want, for posterity." He winked at her and she blushed, just like she did every time he hinted about grandchildren. Castle noted the blush and tucked that tidbit away to pursue at a later date.
"In the corner, those are mostly books. I figured you'd want those." He pointed towards several boxes on the far side of the room. "There are some pictures in there too, and some old CDs."
"That's great, Dad. Thanks so much for packing this stuff up for me." Beckett was shuffling though one of the boxes of toys, pulling out a few especially worn stuffed animals.
"Oh, I almost forgot." Jim reached behind a pile of boxes and pulled out a long thin cardboard tube. "I figured you'd want to keep this too."
Beckett looked up and was momentarily confused by the mischievous look on her father's face. Then she saw what he was holding. Beckett jumped to her feet and practically lunged for the tube.
"Um, yeah. Thanks, Dad." She was holding the tube behind her back, as though she were trying to hide it. "We'll start moving stuff out to the car. I'm sure you've still got a lot of your stuff to pack up." She glared at him meaningfully. Jim just smiled at her, winked again, and headed out of the room and down the stairs.
Castle had been standing by the door through the entire father-daughter exchange. He'd been enjoying watching Kate with her dad, until the cardboard tube incident had occurred. It was unlike Kate to get so flustered. And all Castle could think about now was finding out what was in that tube.
It had taken them two hours, but Castle and Beckett had finally managed to pack all of Beckett's stuff into the car. They'd filled the trunk with everything to be given away, and had piled the things to be kept in the back seat. Once they were done, Beckett headed back inside to say goodbye to her dad.
As soon as the front door shut behind her, Castle seized his chance. He rooted around the back seat, feeling his way under the jumble of boxes, until his hand closed around the cardboard tube wedged under the seat. With a little maneuvering he managed to pull it out. Opening the tube and peering inside, Castle's jaw dropped.
"Oh. My. God."
From the tube he pulled a very large poster featuring a life-sized picture of none other than Mr. Richard Castle. It was an ancient photo, probably the publicity picture he'd had taken for the first novel he'd written. He couldn't have been more than 25.
He heard the front door open again, and glanced up to see Kate walking down the front steps. Her face still turned towards the house where Mr. Beckett stood.
"I knew you were a fan of the books, Detective, but I didn't know you were a fan of the man too!" Castle said this rather loudly, causing Kate to whip around. Her eyes grew wide as she took in the scene in front of her (in which Castle was proudly posing with his much younger poster double).
For a moment, everyone stood still. Castle was grinning like a madman. Kate was in shock. And Mr. Beckett was leaning against the door smiling knowingly.
Then the moment was over, and Kate was flying down the stairs and across the yard towards Castle.
"Castle, give that back!" She whispered furiously at him, as he turned and started to run away from her, with the poster trailing along behind him.
"Not a chance! This is too good!" He was shouting, overcome with glee. Her reaction had proven to him what he had always hoped was true. Kate Beckett was a fangirl.
"Castle! The neighbors are staring! Quit it!" Beckett didn't bother to keep her voice down this time. The neighbors were staring indeed. A young couple walking down the sidewalk with a stroller had stopped to watch the commotion. The baby in the stroller laughed and pointed. Mrs. Leary, the Becketts' cranky elderly neighbor, shook her head in horror as Kate (who had really been a lovely child) ran past her screeching.
"I'll make you a deal, Beckett." Castle shouted over his shoulder to her, as he started off around the side of the house, towards the backyard.
"I don't deal with crazy people, Castle. Put the poster down, now." Her gun was in the car. If only she had it handy…
"Here's what I propose, Detective. I'll give you this poster, if and only if, you'll agree to hang it up in your apartment."
"Castle," Beckett practically growled at him as she made a lunge for the poster, but missed by a fraction of an inch.
"And not hidden behind a bookcase or anything like that. I want it hung up somewhere nice. The living room, or your bedroom perhaps." How he managed to wiggle his eyebrows at her suggestively while running at top speed around her yard was beyond her.
This was getting ridiculous. Their yelling had attracted quite a crowd on the sidewalk. It wasn't every day you saw your neighbor's respectable detective daughter and a world famous novelist tearing around the yard like children.
"Fine! You win! I'll hang it up."
Castle stopped running and turned to her, still managing to keep the poster just out of her reach.
"Yes, Castle. I promise." Kate managed to throw every ounce of exasperation she had into her words. "Now give me the poster. Now."
Castle grinned triumphantly and handed her the poster. The people on the sidewalk actually clapped and cheered a bit before going back to what they'd been doing before the commotion started.
Beckett would have loved to be truly furious with him. And, don't get her wrong, she'd definitely make him squirm a bit on the ride home. But in truth, she was secretly dancing a giddy little dance inside.
Kate Beckett was indeed a fangirl. And now, instead of hanging her fangirl flag on the inside of her closet door like she'd planned, she could fly it proud for all to see.
Thanks for reading!