Strange, Weird and Wonderful
Alexis crawled out of bed and made her way to her Dad's room. He had called last night to say that Detective Beckett would be staying over and she would be staying in his room. Alexis had gone through her closet, getting out anything that might fit the detective before heading back to bed. New York City traffic was unpredictable and something was always coming up that would delay her father. Knocking lightly, Alexis peered around the door. Dad had insisted Detective Beckett was fine but she wanted to check just to be sure. The day after could often be worse when it came to injuries.
Alexis looked at the bed and frowned, Detective Beckett wasn't in it. The bed looked like it had been slept in: the sheets were pulled back at least, so the detective must be around somewhere. Alexis made her way out of the room and looked around. Her father was meant to be sleeping in his study so she decided to check there. A knock at the door stopped her. Running over to the door and peering through the peephole, she saw Detectives Ryan and Esposito.
"Hi guys," she said, opening the door to them.
"Hi Alexis, your Dad and Beckett up yet?" Esposito asked as he walked through the doorway.
"Umm no, I don't think so. Beckett was supposed to be in Dad's' room, but she's not there. I was going to go see if Dad knew where she was."
Esposito and Ryan looked at each other.
"But we got the guy!"
"Stay with Alexis," Esposito told Ryan, before pulling out his gun. "Where's your Dad?" he whispered to Alexis.
She pointed to his study, then watched as Esposito stealthily made his way over. He hesitated for a second at the entrance way before heading in, gun out in front. Alexis held her breath. Had something happened to Beckett and her dad while she had been asleep upstairs?
"They're here and there fine. More than fine," came Esposito's shout.
Ryan walked over to the study, gun drawn. He kept Alexis behind him, just in case it was a trap. He peeked in and then his eyes widened with surprise.
"It's fine Alexis," he said, walking into the room.
Alexis followed and wondered why the two Detectives were grinning like Cheshire Cats. It soon became clear. Her father and Detective Beckett were sharing the couch. Still asleep, the pair had their arms wrapped around each other and looked perfectly happy that way.
"Yo. Castle, Beckett. Wake up," Esposito then proceeded to give the couch a bit of a kick.
Castle groaned and then turned his head to look over at Esposito.
"What are you guys doing here so early?" He then laid his head back down and groaned.
"We got him."
"MMM," Castle murmured.
"We got him. The killer"
Castle opened one eye and looked at them "What?"
"We got him," Esposito repeated.
"How?" he questioned.
"Well we thought it would be best to put a security detail on Agent Shaw as well. After all, she had taken over the case; we thought he might go after her. We got lucky: he did and we got him." Ryan and Esposito high fived each other.
Castle signed in relief. "Well I'm glad," he said as he laid his head back down and closed his eyes. "I'm sorry guys, but I didn't get much sleep last night," he then snuggled back into the body beside him.
"Beckett keep you up?" Ryan asked.
Castle froze. Beckett. He opened his eyes and looked at what he had his arms wrapped around. Beckett! Shit ! He looked towards Ryan and Esposito who were smirking at him.
"Guys, it's not what it looks like," he told them. Unfortunately, he could tell by their expression that they didn't believe him.
"Sure Castle," Ryan said, walking out the room with Esposito following.
"I should probably go back to my room," Alexis said with a meek smile.
As carefully as he could, Castle extracted himself from Beckett's embrace. He tucked the blanket back around her before stroking her hair, then placed a quick kiss on her head.
"Guys, look. It's not what it seems," he ran into the main part of his home to try and catch up to them.
Beckett's eyes opened. Oh crap
Ryan and Esposito stopped and turned.
"It's not what it looks like" he told them again. This was bad, very bad.
"It looks like you and Beckett were tucked in nice. Snug as two little bugs in a rug," Ryan said with a smile.
Beckett cringed. Great that's all she needed, Ryan and Esposito thinking she slept with Castle. Well, ok, she did sleep with him but that was all. Sitting up and climbing off of the couch, as quietly as possible she made her way over to the entrance. She didn't want to be seen.
Castle raked his hand through his hair.
"Yes, we were asleep together, but that's all that happened. I swear"
What! Castle wasn't bragging about spending the night together. Beckett was shocked, really shocked. This was the perfect opportunity for him to brag. The guys had seen them, so they had evidence. At least they thought they had evidence, and no amount of denying it would make them think differently.
Esposito scoffed. "Right bro. We're supposed to believe you and Beckett spent two nights together and didn't do anything."
"Come on guys, it's Beckett"
Beckett frowned. What was that supposed to mean. It's Beckett!
"You guys know how I feel about her. I have worked so hard for her to trust me just a little bit. The last thing I need is for Beckett to overhear the two of you talking, and think I've been a jackass and told you something. Especially when nothing happened! When something happens between us, I want it to be because she wants it as much as I do. Not because I took advantage of her while she was suffering from post traumatic stress or something. Okay?"
Beckett stood shocked.
When something happens between us!
"Sorry Bro," Esposito reached out and patted Castle's arm in an attempt to make up for his childish ribbing.
"Yeah, sorry Castle," Ryan added. "It's just we think the two of you would be good together. Since you have been around, Beckett's different, you know, she's..."
"Happy," Esposito offered.
Ryan looked at him and shrugged. "Yeah sorta. She's just more, I dunno, alive."
Castle looked at the two of them. Sure, they had always given him a bit of grief for being attracted to Beckett. To actually hear them approve of it, however, shocked him, especially to hear them comment on the changes in Beckett since they had been working together. Sure, he knew she had changed, and he liked to think it was because of him, but he didn't want to seem conceited.
Beckett stood silent listening to Ryan and Esposito's evaluation of her life. If she was now more happy and alive, then they thought she was miserable and dead before. Beckett thought about her life before Castle came in to it. She realised it wasn't much of a life. Work. . Sleep. Sure, there were the big cases that her team had solved but apart from that, there was nothing. Nothing until Castle showed up. There was still work, but now there was fun as well. Jokes and bets. Drinks after work. Poker games at Castle's place. She had a life now. Yes, it was still centred around work, but work was no longer her whole life, thanks to Castle.
"Look, the Captain's expecting us back; we just came over to tell you guys in person."
Ryan and Esposito made their way over to the door.
"Do you want to stay? I could wake Beckett," Castle asked, opening the door for them
"Don't worry about it. There's nothing she needs to do that can't wait. Let her sleep."
Castle nodded. "I'll see you later then."
Castle closed the door, then leant against it. Oh man. Potential nuclear disaster averted, at least for now. When Beckett woke, he would have to tell her. Although he trusted Ryan and Esposito to keep it quiet for now, he knew that sometime down the track they would let it slip. He wanted Beckett to be prepared.
Castle looked up to see his daughter sitting on the stairs.
"What have I told you about eavesdropping?"
"Don't get caught?"
Still hiding in Castle's study, Beckett rolled her eyes. Yeah, great parenting Castle! She couldn't help a smile twitching to her lips though. Despite all that had happened he was still typical Castle.
Beckett chose now to peek out. She watched as Alexis launched herself off the stairs and into Castle's arms. He held her tight before kissing Alexis on the head, much like he had just done to her moments ago. It was obvious Castle loved his daughter very much.
"I'm glad you didn't sleep with Beckett."
Beckett was surprised and by the look on Castle's face, so was he.
"I thought you liked Beckett"
Yeah, I thought you liked me Beckett's mind shouted.
"I do, dad. A lot. I don't want you to mess this one up."
Wow. Beckett walked back over to the couch and sat down. Alexis, Ryan and Esposito were all giving the thumbs up for a relationship between herself and Castle. If Laine were here she would be putting in her two cents worth too. Why was life so tough? Why did having Castle in it seem not so tough, at least some of the time. What she felt in Castle's arms last night was something she had never felt in the arms of anyone else. She felt safe, and she hated to admit it, and loved too. Being in his arms just made the bad go away somehow. The sense of relief was incredible. It just felt so right sitting there in his arms watching the movie. She could have that feeling all the time if she just took a chance. It was obvious he wanted it and everyone else thought so, too. Kate took a deep breath and stood up. She was going to see Castle.
Striding out of the study, Beckett frowned when she didn't see Castle in the room. Alexis looked up at her from the kitchen counter.
"Good morning Detective Beckett" Alexis was slicing fruit and placing it into a bowl. "Are you feeling ok this morning?"
Beckett nodded at her. "Umm where is your father?"
"Oh, he went to get some croissants to go with breakfast. There's a great bakery down the road."
"Oh." Damn. She wanted to speak to him before she lost her nerve.
"You should have time to have a quick shower before he gets back "
Beckett shook her head. "It's ok, I had one last night, but I might go change"
Within minutes, Beckett was changed and back downstairs. She watched as Alexis set the table for three.
Nice and cosy like a family.
"Can I help?"
Alexis turned around and smiled.
"No, its ok. I got it. Sorry about the clothes - it was either mine or Dad's. Well, there were a few things of Gram's, but I didn't think a red feather boa was the right look for the precinct."
Beckett laughed. "Oh I agree. These will do fine in the meantime. Thank you"
The clothes she was wearing were fine for now .The pair of well worn jeans that were a little tight, like the t shirt she was wearing. The jacket Alexis had left her had been too small so she was probably going to have to borrow something from Castle when she went out. She would have to get to a store and buy some clothes soon.
"Aah, Alexis? Are you busy this Saturday?"
Alexis shrugged. "I have nothing special planned. Why?"
"Well, I'm going to need some more clothes. I'm not sure if anything is salvageable from my apartment and if it is, it will need to be drycleaned. I was wondering if you would like to help me pick some stuff out. I mean it's ok if you don't want to come. I'm not looking for anything spectacular, just some day to day stuff."
"I'd love to come."
"Yeah. It'll be fun".
Beckett sat at the table with Alexis and discussed where they would go shopping. Where the best sales were and what exactly she needed to buy. Beckett turned when she heard a key being inserted into the door. She watched as Castle came through the door struggling with paper bags. Beckett got up and grabbed one of the bags off of him using her good hand.
"Let me help."
Beckett watched as a grin broke out on Castle's face.
"Well good morning Detective Beckett. You're looking stunning this morning"
Beckett rolled her eyes. "I'm wearing Alexis' clothes, Castle"
She watched his grin fade. His eyes looked over at his daughter. "You're not going shopping without me ever again" he told her.
"Her clothes are a bit small for me Castle, relax"
Beckett walked over to the table and deposited the bag on it. She then proceeded to take her seat and watched as Castle did the same.
"Besides Dad, if I can't go shopping without you, then I can't go shopping with Kate on Saturday"
Castle looked at both women at the table before him.
"You two are going shopping?"
"Yes" Beckett grabbed a pastry out of one of the bags and placed it on her plate. "Your daughter knows some great places to go."
Castle couldn't help the goofy grin that formed on his face. Two of the three women he cared about the most were sitting before him. Talking, smiling and going shopping on Saturday. To some, this would be a dangerous combination, but not to him. He couldn't think of anything better than the women in his life getting along.
"Dad, eat some fruit. I'm going to get ready for school"
Alexis stood, grabbed a pastry and proceeded to run up the stairs. Beckett frowned, why had Alexis set the table for the three of them when she wasn't staying to eat? Alexis was halfway up the stairs when she stopped, smiled down at her before giving a wink, then proceeded up the stairs. Castle, not seeing the silent conversation going on between his daughter and Beckett went to grab a pastry. Seeing his hand move out of the corner of her eye, Beckett used her good hand to swat him away.
Castle pouted but then reached over and grabbed a piece of fruit out of the bowl. He chewed it for a few seconds before his eyes widened and he smacked himself in the head.
Swallowing he looked at Beckett. "I can't believe I forgot to tell you. Ryan and Esposito were here."
"I know," Beckett grabbed a piece of fruit off her plate and brought it to her lips.
Castle sat mesmerised as he watched the piece of fruit slide between her lips.
"Wait, what do you mean you know, know what?"
"It's kind of hard to sleep with Esposito kicking the couch."
Castle's mouth gaped open.
"So you were awake."
Beckett nodded, now suddenly very interested in the pastry on her plate. "You know for a writer, you sure get your words mixed up"
Castles mouth opened, and then shut again. He then shook his head.
"See, you're doing it again. It's not what or when, it's if."
"Are you sure you didn't get a head injury" Castle reached over and used his hand to tip her head up and began to examine her face
Beckett sighed and shook her head out of his grasp. She picked up her pastry then dropped it. Taking a deep breath, she looked over at him. It was now or never.
"When you were talking with Ryan and Esposito, you said WHEN something happens with us, not IF something happens"
Castles eyes widened. "I, umm, Beckett, look."
"You know Castle. Alexis knows some pretty great places to buy some nice outfits. It seems pointless buying a nice outfit and then not have anywhere to wear it".
Castle was confused at the sudden change in conversation but he had enough experience with woman to know when one was hinting at something.
"We could go out to dinner Saturday night if you like. I'm sure Alexis will give my credit card a work out and buy something nice and want to wear it out too."
"I was hoping it would just be the two of us."
Castle gulped. "Just you and me."
Beckett nodded. "Yeah, at least for our first date."
Castle stared at her.
Beckett waved her hand in front of his face.
"Umm, yeah, sorry," Castle shook his head. "Did you just say date?"
Beckett bit her lip and nodded. "If you want to, that is"
"Of course," he replied a little too quickly.
Beckett smiled. "Well ok then. Eat up, we need to get to the precinct."
Castle nodded, and then frowned. "Why?"
Beckett was shocked. "Why what?"
"Why now, why me?"
"You're actually questioning me about why I want to go on a date with you?" Beckett got up and began to walk back to Castle's room where her things were.
Beckett stopped and turned.
"You make me happy Castle, you infuriate me at times too, but mostly you make me happy. Maybe it's about time I repaid the favour".
Castle held up his hands in a surrender pose. "If you're dating me as some kind of way for repaying me for saving you, then forget it"
Beckett sighed. "Last night Castle, snuggling on the couch, it was one of the best feelings I've had in a long time. I actually felt something, Castle. Ryan and Esposito were right. I had been dead for so long but I was alive in your arms last night. I have no idea why you can make me feel that way; I just know that I want to feel that way again. I want to feel that way all the time."
Castle walked toward her and placed his hands on her arms.
"Are you sure?"
Beckett smiled. "Yes, no, maybe?"
Castle slowly wrapped his arms around her and held her tight. Beckett leaned into the hug and sighed.
"It feels wonderful to me as well, Beckett. I never thought just hugging a woman would feel this good."
Beckett laughed. "So where are we going"
Castle pulled back and looked at her. "I'm fine right here"
Beckett lightly smacked him in the chest. "Remind me why I want to go out with you again"
Castle quickly pulled her back into his arms as Beckett laughed.
"You're right. Being right here with you is exactly where I want to be."
Authors Note: So that's the end of my first Castle. Thanks for joining me on this journey : ) Nat