A/N: So I started writing this because I've been in a weird mood all day and I needed to do something to cheer me up. This is what came out of it. I hope it cheers you up too.
It will be a two-shot because this just got way too long. I tend to get carried away sometimes.
Disclaimer: Still don't own Castle. I just like to play with them every now and then.
Of Diners and Cold New York Nights
It had been a slow day at the 12th Precinct.
A very slow day.
Detective Kate Beckett sat with her legs propped up on her shadow's chair, lazily playing a game of Angry Birds. It was almost 6pm and she would be off duty for the next 48 hours. Even though today had been slow, she felt really tired. Doing nothing, she realized, was pretty damn exhausting.
She had already cleared the stack of paper work that had been decorating her desk for the past few weeks, reviewed a couple of cold cases, checked her e-mail, the news and even ventured in the Twitter verse, quietly laughing to herself at her partner's antics on the internet.
Speaking of said partner, he had been MIA for the past twenty-four hours which was completely unlike him. She knew he was busy with the release of the fourth Nikki Heat book, but she hadn't heard from him for an entire day. She begrudgingly admitted to herself that she was starting to get worried and she would track his sorry ass down if he didn't contact her in the next couple of hours.
Her phone suddenly started ringing in her hands, which made her fail her current level in Angry Birds, which in turn, pissed her off. Whoever it was, they had just better have a damn good reason for interrupting her game.
Then she realized what she was thinking and rolled her eyes at herself.
She was spending way too much time with Castle.
"Beckett." She answered the phone with her detective tone, completely out of habit.
"Hey, Becks. You busy?" Her friend Maddie's voice chimed in her ear and Kate smiled. They hadn't talked in a while and she missed her.
"Not really, no. What's up, Maddie?" she asked, relaxing back in her chair.
"Well, I'm kind of in the middle of a situation and I was wondering if you could help me out." She said slowly and Kate sighed. Same old Maddie, she thought to herself.
"What did you do?" she questioned apprehensively and her friend laughed.
"It's nothing illegal, Becks. Geez, you have no faith in me whatsoever, do you?" Maddie said exasperated.
"Not really, no." Kate laughed. "So what can I do for you, Ms. Queller?"
"I kind of needed a huge favor." She said in a timid voice.
"Yes…" Kate encouraged her, already dreading whatever she was about to ask.
"Could you watch Tommy tonight? Please?"
"Maddie…" Kate sighed and closed her eyes for a moment.
She had close to zero experience with children and the only times she had been around Maddie's 5-year-old son, she had had other people with her to serve as a buffer.
"Becks, please? I'll owe you big time. I have a date with this guy and I really think he could be the one, you know? He dropped everything to see me tonight. I don't want to screw this up." She practically begged. "Please? It's just for tonight and I'll pick him up first thing in the morning, I swear."
Kate was silent for a beat, weighing the pros and cons of babysitting a 5-year-old on a Friday night. The cons were definitely not tipping the scale in Maddie's favor. However, against her better judgment, Kate found herself agreeing to help her friend out.
"Okay, fine. I'm going home in about half an hour. You can drop him off at my place around 7:30. Does that work?"
"Oh, Becks, you're a life savior! Thank you, thank you, thank you!" Maddie said, excited. "I owe you big time. And don't worry about Tommy, you know he won't give you much trouble."
"Yeah, because against all odds, he didn't turn out like you." Kate teased and her friend laughed, agreeing wholeheartedly. "You're lucky I'm not on call this weekend."
"You didn't have any plans, did you? You and that writer of yours maybe?"
"Seriously? You guys still haven't done the deed?" she asked incredulously.
"Maddie, don't push your luck. I'll see you and Tommy in a couple of hours." Kate effectively ended the conversation and Maddie – fortunately – took the hint.
"Alright, I'll see you soon. Thank you so much, Becks."
True to her word, Beckett unlocked her apartment's door at 6:30pm, closing the door behind her. Dropping her keys on the coffee table and her purse on the couch, she took a moment to stretch her overworked body and look around to see if there was anything she should put away before Tommy arrived. Thankfully, she had gone on a cleaning spree just the week before and had barely been here in the past few days to make a mess.
Thank God for small favors.
With a sigh, she made her way to the bathroom. She still had an hour before they got there so she decided she would enjoy that time relaxing in a warm bath. Starting to fill the bathtub, she took her phone out of her pocket and remembered she was supposed to track Castle down. Shooting him a quick text asking where the hell he was, she took off her clothes and enjoyed her bath for a half hour.
When she stepped out of the tub, quickly wrapping a towel around herself, she noticed she had a new text message. Castle's name immediately appeared on her screen.
Paula and Gina have been torturing me with endless boring meetings. I could use some cheering up.
She smiled and rolled her eyes at his dramatic flare and texted him back.
Well, I'm glad you survived.
Putting her phone down on her nightstand, Kate threw on a pair of jeans and a t-shirt, hoping this was an appropriate outfit to babysit a little boy. She had absolutely no idea what she was going to do to entertain him for the next few hours.
She made her way to the kitchen and examined the contents of her fridge. She had some leftover Chinese from last night and that would have to do for dinner. She hoped against hope Maddie wouldn't leave the task of making Tommy dinner in her hands.
Just as she was putting her dinner in the microwave, her doorbell rang.
She hadn't even had a chance to eat.
Kate took a deep breath and walked to the door. She could do this. It was just a kid. How hard could it be, right?
Opening the door, she met quite an adorable scene. Tommy was hiding his face against his mom's leg, holding tightly to her hand. Maddie looked anxious and excited all at the same time.
"Oh, Becks, thank you so much again." She said, pulling Kate in for a quick hug.
"No problem. We'll be okay, won't we, little man?" Kate ruffled his light brown hair and smiled when the boy blushed.
"Go on, baby. Say hi to your Aunt Kate." Maddie encouraged and Tommy shyly waved. "Now you be good. Mommy will come and pick you up tomorrow morning, alright?" she knelt down in front of him and hugged him. "Love you, munchkin."
"Love you too, mama." Kate heard him say against his mother's hair.
Maddie stood up and gently pushed him towards Kate, handing her a bag with his things. Kate touched the boy's shoulders softly. It was amazing how completely not like Maddie he was.
"I'll see you guys tomorrow. Be good to Aunt Kate, Thomas. Becks, you're the best." She said with a smile and Kate chuckled.
"Have fun. I hope this guy is really all that much." She teased and Maddie winked and waved goodbye as she entered the elevator. "Well, it's you and me now, sweetie." Kate looked down at him and brushed his hair away from his forehead. "Let's get inside."
She ushered the boy inside the apartment and closed the door. When she turned back to him, he was looking around the living room shyly. He was adorable. And she was at a complete loss about what to do with him.
"Let's get your stuff in your room." She decided she could start with the easy part.
"Okay." He nodded and took her hand. "I need to go potty, Aunt Kate." He said quietly when they passed by the bathroom.
"Alright, are you okay by yourself?" Kate asked and he nodded. "Then you go right in here. I'm going to put your bag in your room at the end of the hallway. Can you come find me when you're done?"
"Yeah." He nodded again and entered the bathroom.
Kate let out a sigh and made her way to the guest room. Leaving his bag on the bed, she looked around the room to check if everything was in order. When she looked back at the door, she found Tommy standing there.
"Hey, you all done?" she asked and he nodded. "Did you wash your hands?"
"I couldn't reach the sink. Would you help me?" he asked and she smiled, relieved that he seemed to be starting to feel more comfortable.
"Of course, little man. Come on."
She guided him back to the bathroom and picked him up so he could reach the faucet. He quickly washed his hands and turned the faucet off. She handed him a towel and he offered her a small, shy smile in return.
"So, have you had dinner yet?" she asked and he shook his head.
"I just had a snack before we left." He told her and she bit her lip.
"Are you hungry?" she asked, trying to think of what she could offer him. She came to the conclusion that she didn't have much in her fridge and it wouldn't be the best thing to give him Chinese leftovers.
"A little." He said and looked up at her expectantly.
"Tell you what, why don't you go grab your coat and we'll go grab something to eat. How's that?" she suggested and he smiled, running off in the direction of the guest room.
Well, that was progress, Kate thought to herself with a proud smile.
"I'm ready, Aunt Kate." She heard his voice and turned around.
He ran back to her side, struggling to put his gloves on. It was early November and New York was already freezing. Kate knelt down and helped him with the gloves, then placed his dark green hat on his head. The color really brought out his green eyes and Kate allowed herself to wonder if her kid – if she ever had one - would look anything like him. Zipping up his coat and putting hers on, she took his hand and led him out of the apartment, after grabbing her purse and keys.
They waited patiently for the elevator, Kate making an effort to keep him talking. She asked about his school and he was starting to tell her about his friends when the doors opened.
"Beckett?" she heard his voice and looked at the elevator, only to find Castle standing there, holding a wine bottle.
"Castle, hey. What are you doing here?" she asked surprised, but couldn't fight the smile that appeared on her lips. She had missed him a lot, after all. Even if it had been only a day.
"Didn't you get my text? I told you I…" he started to say, but lost his train of thought when he noticed the little boy holding onto Kate's hand. "Who's this?" he asked curiously.
"Oh." Kate looked down at Tommy, who was looking shyly at the very tall man in front of him. "This is Tommy, Maddie's son."
"Your high school friend, Maddie?" he asked and she nodded. "I didn't even know she had a kid."
"Long story." Kate shot him a look and shook her head. He took the hint. "Anyway, I'm babysitting tonight. We're going out to get something to eat, if you want to join us."
"Sure, I'd love to. Can I just drop this off at your place?"
He showed her the bottle and she nodded, handing him her keys. In the past year, they had gotten incredibly close and giving him her keys was a common occurrence with them now. So was hanging out on Friday nights whenever they didn't have any ongoing investigations.
Castle took the keys and leaned in to place a kiss on her cheek.
"Missed you, KB." He whispered in her ear and she fought the shiver that desperately wanted to run through her body at the contact.
She smiled at him happily.
"Missed you too, Castle." She admitted and he beamed at her. "Now go, hurry. I've got a child to feed." She shooed him away and chuckled at his pouting.
"Is that your boyfriend?" Tommy asked once Castle disappeared into her apartment. Kate looked down surprised and laughed.
"No, he's my best friend." She explained, although even she could hear the longing in her voice, which was pretty pathetic.
"I think he likes you." He told her conspiratorially and Kate smiled.
"I know." She whispered to the kid and looked up to find Castle locking her door. "Come on, Castle." She urged him and he jogged to the elevator, touching the small of her back as they entered. "So, Tommy, this is Rick Castle. Castle, this is my buddy Tommy." She introduced them and Castle offered his hand for the boy to shake.
"Nice to meet you, Mr. Castle." He said shyly and shook Castle's hand.
"Nice to meet you too, Tommy. And you can call me Rick. Mr. Castle makes me feel old." He joked and Tommy smiled.
"You are old." Kate teased, nudging his side with her elbow.
"You're not helping my case here, KB." He pouted and Tommy laughed. "So where are we going?"
"I don't know. What do you feel like eating, little man?" she asked and Tommy looked thoughtful for a moment.
"Can I have a burger?" he asked hopefully and bit on his bottom lip.
Kate looked at Castle for an opinion but he only shrugged.
"Sure." She put her arm around his shoulder and pulled him close and was relieved when he relaxed against her leg.
Castle smiled at her and touched the small of her back again.
"I know just the place."
A/N: Love it? Hate it? Too fluffy?