Still Here – Chapter 37

She squinted her eyes tightly, fighting the urge to open them, not yet ready to get up despite the irritating sunlight that was filtering through the curtains. Castle! Damn that man. Did he forget to shut the curtains again? Shifting slightly, Kate let out a soft sigh, snuggling deeper into the warmth of the covers. That was when she felt it—nimble fingers dancing up and down her bare legs, leaving gooseflesh in their wake. She shivered, and hesitantly blinked her eyes open.

The bedroom was cast in a rich morning light, giving the place a warm orange glow. If it were not for the presence of the fingers climbing up her leg, she would have gone back to sleep. Slowly arching her neck to peer down, Kate smiled lazily when she spied Castle affectionately running his fingers up and down her bare leg. His brow furrowed in deep concentration as he begun marking out random patterns along her thigh, slowly skipping closer to her inner thigh. He looked so cute, with his hair muffled and unruly from last night. She loathed to disturb him, but with the direction his fingers were heading, Kate wanted to be an active participant.

"Castle… what are you doing?" she mumbled, still half groggy from her sleep. She moved more onto her back, casually slipping her legs further apart to provide him with more room to work with, as a coy smile slowly worked its way across her face. Now this was definitely a good way to wake up in the morning.

"Ah… you're awake," he chuckled softly, his voice as smooth as honey. He moved a hand up her inner thigh, so very close to where she wanted him.

Kate released a laugh, all throaty and aroused. "With what you've been doing to me, you shouldn't really be surprised!"

Castle tilted his head to look up at her. "Well, I was trying to be all sly," he smirked, impishly, adding a waggle of his eyebrows for effect. "I wanted to see how long it would take you to wake up and notice what I was doing."

"Oh really?" she turned her neck and arched an eyebrow up in feigned disbelief. She brought a hand up to brush back her tousled hair so she could see him more clearly. "And?"

Castle grinned wickedly at her, moving his hand up to cup her core. She shivered as tingles of arousal burst through her body. He pressed his palm into her and let out a soft groan as he felt the pooling of her desire bleed through the soft fabric of her panties. Kate let out a whimpering moan as he flicked his thumb over her sensitive nerve bundle, arching into his touch.

"You're pretty wet."

Kate groaned softly, grinding her hips into his hand. "I think I need a change of underwear," she breathed out huskily, tilting her hips up as she arched an eyebrow in challenge. "Care to assist me?"

Castle leaned over her, running his other hand up the slope of her neck and grasping her jaw with his fingers to tilt her head to the perfect angle as he slanted his lips over hers. He kissed her slow and deep, coaxing a low moan of approval from her throat. His thumb caressed her cheek as he nuzzled his nose into her hair, his breath warm against her ear. "With pleasure," he answered her plea.

He moved his hands to her squirming hips, and held her steady. Hooking his fingers under the waistband of her panties, he tugged them down at a torturously slow rate. He skimmed his fingertips along her legs and rubbed the soles of her feet as he divested her of her damp panties, casually tossing them over his shoulder and onto the floor.

Kate giggled—something she still was surprised that she did now—as Castle flashed a playful winked at her before he dipped his head down between her open legs, planting warm kisses up her thighs as he ran one hand under her leg until his fingers were kneading the soft flesh of her backside.

She groaned and arched her back, tilting her hips up eagerly as Castle's warm mouth got closer and closer to where she wanted him most. His right hand gripped her hip, holding her steady as his other continued to tease her ass with soft playful squeezes. Her breath grew hot and heavy, turning to pants. Her chest heaved, rising up and down, as her cheeks flamed out red hot with arousal. And he hadn't even touched her yet. It was all about the anticipation, the tease.

"Castle…," she called out his name, soft and pleading, wishing he'd stop tormenting her like this.

He hummed against her inner thigh, causing her to react with a buck of her hips. Chuckling softly, he ran his hand up under the hem of the oversized purple t-shirt she was wearing, smoothing his palm over her swollen belly and down into the valley between her breasts, letting his hand come to rest in the middle of her chest as she heaved in deep breaths, trying to calm her rapidly beating heart.

"Damn it, Castle, stop teasing me!" she growled, tilting her hips up to offer him the best vantage point of her dripping wetness. "Just… just… god, Castle… I just want you to eat me!"

Castle let out a deep chuckle at her choice of words, before flicking his eyes back down to look upon her, releasing a low groan of approval at the sight. He shifted his hand, moving it out of the valley of her breasts to encompass one of the soft mounds of flesh in his palm, teasing her nipple with his thumb. "You're stunning, you know that?"

"Rick!" she hissed out in a warning, arching her back.

The use of his first name was enough to get him moving. He lowered his head and Kate let out a sharp cry of euphoria as his hot mouth latched onto her, his tongue sliding over her wet folds and twirling around her sensitive nub. Kate's hands dropped to his head, raking her fingers through his already unruly hair.

Castle hummed into her as her thighs tightened around him. Her hips undulated up towards him as he teased her with quick flicks of his talented tongue. His hands gripped at her hips as she writhed under his attentions. Kate gasped, calling his name as she came, hard… harder than she expected for so early in the morning. Her fingers dug into his scalp as she held on during her release, riding the waves of orgasmic pleasure.

When she came too, Castle was still resting between her legs, gently nuzzling against her, his tongue languidly licking her sweet wetness. His teeth grazed her sensitive nub and she let out a sharp hiss of pleasure. God, she'd just come down from one high and he was already coaxing her towards the threshold all over again. But she wanted him… all of him, but just his tongue. She wanted him buried deep inside her.

"I need you," she whimpered, unashamed of the desperate tint of her voice.

Castle pulled back, rubbing his hands soothingly along her opened legs. "Roll over," he instructed in breathy voice, rich with deep arousal.

Grabbing pillows, strategically placing them under her to help support her baby bump, Kate shifted until she was able to plant her knees on the mattress and arch her backside up into the air, no doubt giving Castle an enticing view of her femininity. He heard him groan, his hand coming up to sprawl across the small of her back, pushing the edge of her purple nightshirt up so he could feel and see more of her delicious skin.

The mattress dipped as Castle got himself into position, his hands gripping her hips firmly as he moved up behind her. Kate arched her neck to look over her shoulder, watching as Castle slipped one hand between her legs to rub her thrumming heat, coating his fingers in her slick wetness. Kate moaned, her mouth dropping as her bottom lip quivered with anticipation.

"Please, Castle…"

Castle retracted his hand, and Kate unashamedly wiggled her hips back, missing his touch. He grinned and leaned down over her, pressing a wet kiss against her back. She shivered, and flicked her eyes back up to lock with his.

He moved his hands over her backside, cupping and squeezing her buttocks, as he spread them wide, giving him ample room as he shifted his hips forward. Kate let out a whimper when she felt his tip brush against her. Castle grinned, and moved one hand to guide the head of his length up and down her moist folds, coating himself in her slick wetness.

"Castle, god… please?" she groaned, bucking her hips involuntarily as she searched for completion.

Smirking, Castle guided himself to her entrance, and nudged forward, pushing his tip just past her folds, teasing her. Kate wiggled her hips in a rolling motion, urging him on. Castle groaned and moved his hands up to grab her sides, his fingers digging slightly into her flesh as, with one powerful stroke, he rammed all the way into her.

Kate let out a sharp cry and arched her back, her body thrumming with intense elation at having him buried deep inside her. Castle ran his hands up her bare back, pushing her shirt further up, exposing more of her smooth skin. He hovered over her, rolling his hips against her ass as he waited for her to adjust to his intrusion. She moaned, and moved her hips with his, sparks of pleasure bouncing around inside her at the feel of him stretching and touching every inch of her.

The pillows underneath her cushioned her pregnant body as Castle began to pump his hips back and forth with strong and measured strokes. Every fiber of her being came a live with bursts of pleasure as their body melded together. His hands cradled her hips, holding her up as her knees gave out and she just wanted to sink into the soft mattress and melt with the feelings his actions were generating throughout her body. Kate's skin flushed with intense pleasure as her mouth dropped on a quivering moan.

Castle snaked a hand around her thigh, finding her between her legs. He brushed his fingers across her clit, teasing her, causing her to buck her hips back into him as he pulled out of her. He laughed and caressed the small of her back, his thumb rubbing against her left butt cheek as he dipped his head down to press a kiss to her shoulder as he leaned over her, running his hands up and down her thighs and hips, leaving her skin scorching with his touch.

Kate's legs quaked as his strokes intensified. Castle was reaching a part of her that only he ever had. Her entire body was vibrating with sensations as he pulled back and then returned. His hands roamed her back and sides, occasionally slipping around and under her shirt to cup her breasts, cradling the soft mounds of flesh in his palms as he rolled into her, their flesh slapping together in a deliciously intoxicating sound that sent tingles up and down her spine.

"Castle… god, yes!" Kate screamed, feeling the tight coiling of her impending release begin to reach its peak. She was so close. So very close.

"You feel so good," Castle rumbled against her back as he leaned over her, holding her to him as he sped up his strokes. "I love you."

"Love… you… too," she panted out, arching her neck, her mouth seeking out his. Castle moved a hand to help, holding her to him as he found her mouth with his, devouring her moan as she shattered around him, tightening and squeezing with fluttering grasps.

Castle groaned into her mouth, their tongues swirling together, as his strokes stuttered, and he flexed his muscles, pounding into her from behind with two more powerful thrusts before he came undone. He stilled, buried deep inside her, riding out his release. Kate moaned, shuddering with exhilaration at feeling his intense climax burst hot within her. She'd never get used to this, feeling him inside her.

It was exciting and euphoric… and not just because they were so good at it. If she had to guess, she'd say that it was the knowledge that he loved her, every inch of her—her complete being—that made each time so intense and wonderful. No one had worshiped her body or soul the way Rick Castle did. When he touched her, it was like he was doing it for the first time, mesmerized by her beauty and the way her body responded to him.

"I've said it before, and I'll say it again," Castle hummed into her neck. "You, Katherine Houghton Castle, are extraordinary." His hot breath on her nape of her neck sent a shiver through her body. He leaned forward nuzzling her neck, planting kisses against her shoulder as he ran his hands over her body, remaining inside her as he coaxed her back down from her blissful high. His body was pressed close to hers, his bare chest heaving against her shirt covered back, yet he used his arms, out-stretched on either side of her, to hold up his weight, so that he wasn't crushing her.

Kate allowed herself to snuggle into the pillows, relishing the feel of his body resting above hers. She could literally feel each breath he took as he, too, came down from his release. Castle ran his hands leisurely up and down her body with loving affection, so tender and caring, making sure she was comfortable and relaxed. She let out a whimpering groan of displeasure when he slipped out of her, rolling with him as he collapsed back down onto the mattress.

She sprawled out over him, smiling slightly at the feel of their slick skin touching. Resting her head against his heaving chest, she listened to the beating of his heart as it slowly paced itself back to normal. Kate draped one leg over his, burrowing into him as best she could. She brought one hand up to cradle her swollen belly, rubbing soft smoothing circles with her fingers.

Castle glanced down at her, and smiled happily, bringing his hand up to join hers, dancing his fingers over the stretched skin of her swollen belly.

"I take it you're excited about today?" she asked, arching her neck up to look at him as he spread his fingers wide to palm her baby bump.

He chuckled, his chest shaking with his amusement. "What gave me away?"

Kate smiled, and pushed up on an elbow to gaze down at him, eyes sparkling. "Could have been the way you woke me up to make love," she said, beaming. "Thank you, by the way… that was a wonderful way to start the day."

"I wouldn't have it any other way, Kate," Castle replied, his eyes sincere and loving despite the teasing lilt in his voice. "Waking up and seeing you lying there, all gorgeous and beautiful, I simply cannot not make love to you."

Her heart fluttered as if on butterfly wings. The things this man says. Kate leaned down to press a lingering kiss to his lips, slow and thorough. Sighing in awe as she pulled back, she nestled further into him, almost finding it hard to comprehend just how wonderful it was with him. They still argued and fought at times, but through it all, their love endured. After all this time, it was still amazing.

Castle curled an arm around her, letting his fingers run up and down her spine. "We should probably shower and eat breakfast before we go," he suggested, yet made no move to get up.

"Can we just cuddle for a while?" she asked, not ashamed admit that she relished their post-lovemaking cuddling.

He grinned and planted a quick kiss into her hair. "Sure," he replied, tugging her closer and smoothing his large hand over her belly.

Kate moved her hand over his, lacing their fingers together. She nestled into him, pressing a soft kiss into his chest as she breathed in his scent, all masculine and him… with just a hint of a woody fragrance from his cologne. This was heaven. She never could have imagined she'd be so happy. But she was. A large smile spread across her face as she thought about what their day held in store for them.

XXX

Castle was still in the shower, needing a little more time, as she had kind of distracted him with her devious hands… and wicked mouth. Kate smirked at the memory, amazed that she could still surprise him with how strong her own desire to touch him was. She had wanted to return the favor, from earlier. So she'd slipped her hands down his chest and grabbed a hold of him in her fingers, stroking him with confidence and ease until he was firm and hard.

Turning into the hot cascading water, she had shoved him up against the tiled shower wall, pushing up on her tiptoes to kiss him lazily as she continued to run her fingers up and down his engorged length. Kate had squeezed and enticed him with a skill learned from experience at exploring his body. And when he thought he'd reached his limit, she had pulled back and left him wanting.

But not for long.

Kate smiled as she remembered the look of surprise on his face as she had eased herself down onto her knees, running her hands along his abdomen before grabbing him firmly in her hand as she took him into her mouth and finished him off, sucking him dry with the expert use of her tongue and throat muscles.

Castle had been so breathless and overwhelmed at her persistent dominance. As she had pulled back, licking her lips as she relished the unique flavor that was him, she locked eyes with him and gave him a saucy wink. Kate could only smile in smug triumph when he had remained speechless while she stood and finished washing up, lathering her hair in and body in cherry-scented shampoo and aloe soap, before she rinsed off and stepped out of the shower.

Now she was waiting for him to snap out of his pleasure induced daze and join her out in the kitchen for breakfast. She'd taken the opportunity to start frying up some pancakes—an edible thank you for his chosen method of waking her up. She contemplated adding chocolate chips to the batter, knowing Castle always loved something sweet with breakfast, but ultimately she decided to go with the tried and true Beckett family original.

It was early, but she wasn't at all surprised when Alexis padded down the stairs, yawning and rubbing the sleep from her eyes. The teen glanced up and smiled when she spotted Kate behind the counter cooking breakfast.

"Morning, Kate," she said, coming up to sit at one of the barstools, pulling back her long fiery hair into a messy ponytail.

"Good morning, Alexis," Kate replied with a warm smile. "Want some pancakes?"

"Yes, please," Alexis beamed, watching as Kate dished out three fluffy hotcakes onto a plate. "So… today's the big day?"

Kate inclined her head as she added some more pancake batter to the pan, carefully watching it as if formed into a circle. "Yeah," she let out an anxious reply.

"Nervous?" her stepdaughter picked up on the signs easily, while Kate poured some syrup on her pancakes.

"To be honest, yes… a little," she answered, placing on hand on her baby bump. "I just… I'm carrying two of them, and I can't help wondering which your father would prefer."

"I don't think Dad really has a preference," Alexis said, cutting into her pancake and taking a small bite. She grinned widely. "These are delicious, Kate."

"Thanks," Kate flashed an appreciative smile.

"Don't tell Dad, but these are actually better than his," Alexis said, slowly chewing another bit. "Is that… cinnamon I'm tasting?"

Kate nodded. "Yeah, and a little bit of brown sugar. The secret is knowing when to mix it into the batter. It's something my mom used to do. Figured that now that I'm starting a family of my own, I might as well start up some old traditions," she added the last part while she ran a hand over her protruding belly, making a face when one of the twins kicked.

"You okay?" Alexis questioned, her brow scrunched up in concern as she noticed Kate grimace.

"Oh, I'm fine… the twins are just moving," she said, smoothing her hand over the taut skin. "Sometimes I worried their going to be just like me. I was quite the wild child." She smiled toothily as she recalled her childhood. "Sometimes my Dad still gives me grief about my terrible twos."

Alexis laughed, shaking her head in amusement. "Well, it could be worse," she said, pausing to take a sip of her orange juice. When Kate looked at her with a puzzled expression, the teen smiled and elaborated, leaning forward conspiratorially. "They could be like my Dad."

Kate chuckled, and reached out to pat Alexis's hand. "If it comes to that, I might need your help, seeing as you help raise him."

They both laugh at that. Alexis smiled and continued to eat her breakfast, as Kate went back to cooking. After a little while, Castle came shuffling out of their bedroom, wrapped up in his robe, his hair still wet.

"Hey there, Writer Boy," Kate smiled as his eyes flirted up to lock with hers. "Feeling better?" She raised a knowing eyebrow, smirking slightly as she thought about the state she'd left him in.

Castle blushed a little, swallowing heavily before bobbing his head. "Much better," his voice squeaked, almost giving them away. She shook her head at him as he gave her a mischievous wink, before proceeding around the island countertop to his daughter, casually draping an arm over her shoulder and kissing her cheek. "Morning, Pumpkin," he hummed, and then gave her a half hug.

"Morning, Dad," Alexis chirped, and gave him a cheery grin. "We were just talking about you."

"Oh really?" Castle raised his eyebrows and turned to stare at Kate. "Good things, I hope."

Alexis gave a noncommittal shrug. He frowned at her, then walked around the countertop and snagged Kate by the waist and gave her a quick kiss. She smiled, and playfully shoved him back. He wiggled his eyebrows suggestively as she rolled her eyes at him and his antics.

"Want some pancakes?"

He leaned against the counter, watching her as she took the spatula and flipped said pancake. "Can I have chocolate chips in them?" he asked.

She gave him a look and chuckled. "You, Richard Castle, already had something sweet this morning," her lips tugged upwards in a satisfied smile as she suggestively batted her eyelashes at him. Castle let out a low groan, his jaw dropping as his eyes went dark with the memory of their early morning activities.

"Um… eww… gross," Alexis spoke up, catching them both off guard. "Child present."

Kate blushed bright pink, embarrassed that she'd gotten so distracted with teasing Castle that she had forgotten they had an audience. She quickly apologized as Castle merely grinned and shot her a wink before he turned towards his daughter with a contrite expression. He was milking his puppy dog look for all it was worth.

"So, Pumpkin," he began. "You leaning towards baby sisters or baby brothers?"

Thankful for the change in topic, Alexis knitted her eyebrows together in thought. "I don't really have a preference," she admitted. "Though, it would be kind of cool to have both."

"Oh, yeah… totally," Castle grinned, gushing like a schoolgirl. Kate gave him an odd look and shook her head. He was way too excited for this appointment. She, on the other hand, was rather anxious. "How about you, Kate?"

"Uh… oh… we've talk about this, Castle," she said, stifling the worried flutters in her chest. "As long as they are healthy, I'm fine with either girls or boys… or one of each." She focused her attention on the pancakes, needing some distraction.

Moving with ease about the kitchen, she prepared a plate for Castle and herself, and was just about to place them on the counter and sit down next to Alexis, when Castle slipped in behind her and wrapped his arms around her waist, resting his large hands on her baby bump. His fingers stroked up and down her middle, and she sighed, easing back into his chest.

"I'm with you, Kate," Castle whispered into her ear, his breath hot and moist against her skin. "Whatever they turn out to be, they'll be perfect. Because they'll be a combination of you and me. And we'll simply love them to pieces." He chuckled softly. "And if they're girls, I want them to be just like their amazing mother. And if they're boys… well, then I still want them to be like their mother, because she is extraordinary. And I'm just so very lucky to be sharing this moment with her."

An emotional lump filled up her throat as she blinked her eyes, wishing away the sudden tears. With shaky hands, Kate put the plates down and turned around in his arms. "Oh, Rick," she mumbled. "You certainly have a way with words."

"I know," he grinned, cocky as ever, and dipped his head down to kiss her. Pulling back, he rested his forehead against hers. "Now, let's eat so we can find out what kinds of terrors will be dealing with."

"Terrors?" Kate frowned, now completely confused.

"Um… yeah," he bobbed his head, smiling goofily. "From what Jim's told me, you were quite a handful during the terrible twos. He said something about calling you the 'Terror of Apartment 3B'."

Kate laughed, shaking her head as she thought back to that tiny little apartment they used to live in before they finally got that larger townhouse in SoHo. Castle grinned, rubbing a hand up and down her back as she sat down. "Remind me to have words with my father," she said jokingly to Castle, sotto voce.

Alexis smirked at them. "By the way," she said, catching both their attention with her adorably befuddled expression. "I was wondering... what should I call your dad? I know he's not really my grandfather, but, of course, now we're all family. And during the wedding reception, he said anything was fine as long as I didn't call him 'Gramps'."

"Oh… that's a tough one," Kate mused, leaning into Castle's side as he stood besides her, one arm wrapped around her waist, as he used his other hand to cut his pancake with his fork. "Well, I always called my grandfather 'Papa', 'Pop', or just 'Pa'."

"Well, what do you think the twins will call him?" Alexis questioned, looking worried. "I mean… I'd want to call him the same thing they do."

"Hmmm…," Kate thought at length, furrowing her brow in concentration. "Papa will probably work for now," Kate assured her. "Since it's what I used with his dad, I'm sure he won't mind you and the twins using the same."

Castle nodded thoughtfully, thinking about his father-in-law. "I think Jim would like that," he said to Alexis.

"Thanks," Kate added, reaching over to squeeze Alexis's hand.

"For what?" her stepdaughter asked, confused. She glanced up at her father, but he shrugged, just ticking his head back down to Kate.

"For including my dad in the family."

"Of course he's family," Alexis replied as if it was obvious. "You're not some wicked stepmother." And then she added, with a teasing tone to her voice. "Right?"

Kate chuckled and shook her head. "No… I certainly hope not."

"Then, see," Alexis smiled brightly, lighting up the whole world. "You might not be my mother by blood, Kate, but during the past couple of years, you've been more of a mother to me than my own mom. You listen to me, care about my opinions, and are there for me when I need advice. And you love my Dad, truly love him, like he deserves… and you love me, and Grams, too. We might not be the ideal family unit, but all of us together… we're like different puzzles pieces, and together, I think we make a pretty great family."

"Oh, Alexis," Kate was tearing up again. What was with these Castles? They were just so sweet all the time. She looked up at Castle, seeing that he too was moved by Alexis's words. With his help, she slipped off the barstool and went over to the young teen, wrapping her up in a quick hug. "Thank you. It means so much to hear you say that. And yes, I do love you and Martha. You guys, all of you, are my family. And I just love you guys so much."

Alexis choked up and hugged Kate back. "You'll make a wonderful mom, Kate," she said. "The twins are going to be so lucky. In just the short time that you've been living with us, you've done more for me than my own mom."

"Alexis," Castle sighed sadly, standing behind Kate. "You're mother loves you, granted, not like most parents do… but she does, in her own way. She may not show it all the time, but she does."

Kate nodded, squeezing the teary eyed teen tightly. "That's right," she reaffirmed her husband's words to her stepdaughter. "Who can't love you? You're just an amazing girl—correction—young woman. I'm so proud to have you as my stepdaughter."

"Thank you, Kate," Alexis said, her bright eyes watering up. "That… that means a lot. Thank you."

Kate pulled Alexis in for another hug, feeling a strange sense of pride at that moment, like the teen really was her daughter. It was an odd feeling, but one that wasn't all that uncomfortable. If anything, it made that warm family feeling grow stronger, leaving Kate astounded. And, of course, Castle couldn't resist for long and had to get into the action, wrapping his arms around them as he dropped a kiss on both of their heads.

"This might all be kind of excessively sentimental," he mumbled, his voice thick with emotion. "But I don't care. I just love you both, so much."

XXX

"Here, let's try this again, shall we?" Dr. Julie Elam said as she rolled her chair back to the side of the examination bed, snapping her gloves on. The nurse positioned the equipment next to them, switching and flipping the buttons and knobs until the screen lit up.

Kate shifted, uncomfortably, her sweats tugged down and her blouse rolled up to just below her breasts to expose her large swollen belly. Castle was at her side, sitting on the other side of the examination bed as Dr. Elam. He reached over and grabbed her hand, giving it a reassuring squeeze as he flashed a quick smile in her direction. She returned his gesture, though her smile was meek and anxious.

"Kate?" Dr. Elam questioned, accepting the tube of gel the nurse was handing over.

Snapping her head back to her doctor, Kate inhaled sharply and bobbed her head. "Yes, I'm ready." She swallowed and forced herself to relax, easing back into the pillow propping up her back. Elam uncapped the tube and warned her that it would be cold, before squirting the cool gel out across Kate's middle. She shivered, and grimaced at the chill, but was otherwise undisturbed.

"Let's hope the twins are more cooperative today," Castle murmured in her ear. "It'll be nice to announce what we're having at the baby shower."

Kate flicked her eyes up to his grinning face and smiled, nodding in agreement.

Elam was rubbing the gel out, smoothing it over her stretched belly as the two of them talked with their eyes, simply staring at each other with silly grins. The doctor noticed, and smirked, having seen lots of couples, but none as in sync as these two.

"Okay, here we go," she spoke up, breaking the eye lock between them.

Kate blushed slightly, somewhat embarrassed that she'd lost herself in the loving gaze of her husband. It was still overwhelming, the link she shared with Castle. She'd never had such a connection with another, and it still amazed her.

Elam retrieved the electronic wand from the nurse and ran it over Kate's stretched middle, smoothing it along in a pattern until the ultrasound image on the screen focused enough that they could see the images of two growing beings. Elam narrowed her eyes, and moved the device to the side until a clearer image could be seen.

Castle stood up in his chair, leaning over Kate to squint at the screen and the grainy black and white image. "Well?"

"Be patient, Rick," Elam smirked, glancing up at him before turning her attention back to the ultrasound equipment. "Any preferences, you two?"

"Either would be fine with me," Castle said. "As long as they are both healthy."

"Kate?" Elam inquired.

Kate hesitated, biting her lower lip in thought. She glanced up at Castle before returning her gaze to the doctor. "The same," she finally answered. "Though, we seem to have had an easier time coming up with boy names."

"Really?" she asked.

"Yeah," Kate nodded, interlacing her fingers with Castle's, tightening her hold. He smiled down at her, bringing a hand up to affectionately caress the side of her face.

"Great, they're moving," Elam declared, pulling the couple out of their absorption in each other.

"I know," Kate chuckled, clenching Castle's hand tighter as he pulled back to squint at the ultrasound image.

Elam worked the machine, reaching over to pause the image. Kate shifted, narrowing her eyes at the grainy image in front of her. She was unsure exactly what it was that she was looking at. It was all just a jumble of blurry white and gray images to her.

"Julie?" Kate questioned, licking her lips anxiously, letting out a silent prayer that the twins were cooperating today. She really was growing tired of not knowing their sex, especially with being in her last trimester. People were beginning to ask more and more, and she was frustrated with lacking any answers to such questions.

"One is definitely a boy," Elam announced, saving the image and unfreezing the screen.

Kate beamed and looked up at Castle, seeing the same happy expression on his face. He tilted his head down to look at her, and smiled widely. He squeezed her hand, and then directed his attention back to the blurry motions on the screen as Dr. Elam shifted the ultrasound wand over Kate's stomach.

"Let's see about number two," Elam said.

Breathing out a long exhale of air, Kate closed her eyes and pictured her baby boy. He'd look just like Castle, and be just as mischievous and curious. She couldn't wait to meet him.

Kate felt Castle squeeze her hand, signaling that Dr. Elam had once again frozen an image for examination. She opened her eyes and cautiously glanced towards the screen. She filled her lungs with air and breathed calmly, wondering if she would be able to handle two rambunctious Castle boys.

"Doctor?"

"Well, you two seem to have lucked out," Elam said, spinning around in her chair. "It seems you're having one of each."

"A girl?" Kate questioned, leaning up slightly to get a look at the image. "A girl and a boy?"

"Yes," Elam confirmed with a nod. "You're having fraternal twins. One girl and one boy."

"Wow," Castle said, slumping down into his chair besides Kate. He glanced down at her, his eyes smiling through his stunned face. "I was kind of expecting identical twins."

"Actually, male-female twins are the most common result, believe it or not," Elam said. "This gender pairing occurs fifty percent of the time during cases such as this. Identical twins are actually less common, even amongst same gender offspring."

"Well, Kate? What do you think?" Castle asked.

She was still in shock. Kate had actually been preparing herself for the chance of having two boys very much similar to Castle in disposition. But now it appeared she'd have a little girl, as well. And all she could do was smile. She was going to have a little girl… and a little boy. She was going to have both. For the longest time, Kate had worried about her chances of having children, not because of her age, she was still young and healthy, but because of her line of work, and her lack of a stable love life. However all that had been changed when Rick Castle walked into her life. He gave her the hope of having the family she'd always secretly dreamed of, and now she'd be having the girl and boy she'd always dreamed of having as well.

"Kate?"

His voice pulled her from her thoughts. She glanced up at him and smiled, tears welling up in her eyes. "Oh, Rick… I'm so happy. We're going to have a boy and girl," she choked out. "Thank you."

She reached up and snagged his collar, pulling him down for a quick kiss. Blinking, she laughed slightly as he leaned back, blushing as she noticed the grinning faces of her doctor and the nurse.

"Congratulations," Dr. Elam said with a smile.

"Thank you, Julie," Kate said, holding out a hand in gratitude. Her doctor took it and squeezed, returning the sentiment. Kate inhaled and glanced up at Castle with a teasing glint in her eye. "Let's just hope they both aren't as mischievous as you."

"Me?" he scoffed and smirked at her. "What about you, my dear detective? From what your father's told me about little Katie—I once again refer to the 'Terror of Apartment 3B'. And I'm sure the twins are going to get into just as much trouble as you did… and you know what? That won't be my fault. They'd have gotten that from their mother."

"Oh no," she countered, giving him a lighthearted glare. "They'll be getting that from both of us… but mostly from you."

"Uh-huh," Castle inclined his head, the sparkle in his eyes betraying his true happiness. "Either way, Kate… I can't wait to me them!"

"Neither can I, Rick," she smiled at him, before shifting to turn her gaze back upon the ultrasound image on the screen of her babies… her little boy and girl.