I know some of you expressed interest in wanting to see the ending of the original one-shot explored.
so... yeah. This happened.
After Kate left Rick with Alexis at the hospital she returned to the precinct, to catch up on what she had missed during the case. After assuring Ryan and Esposito that Alexis was awake and she would be fine (they really did love her like they were her uncles) they got to work trying to catch their killer. Castle didn't call and she didn't expect him to.
In fact, Kate didn't expect to see Castle for the next few days. She knew how important Alexis was to him and sincerely wanted him to be there with his daughter. She would probably kick him out and tell him to go home if he showed up.
That didn't stop him from missing him though.
Their case ended up being a relatively easy to solve; the killer left his prints all over the gun, which he failed to dispose of properly, and confessed only minutes after Beckett joined him in interrogation room two.
So the afternoon after her hospital adventure with Alexis, she found herself sitting alone at her desk with a stack of files from a case long since cold on the surface in front of her, looking at the one she held in her hands.
When she heard the elevator ding open, she didn't even bother to look up and see who it was. It wasn't until the familiar aroma of her usual coffee creeped into her nose and she saw the a large hand placing the take-out mug in front of her that she looked up from the file.
"Good afternoon, Detective," Castle said with a smile, easing into his chair by her desk.
"What are you doing here?" she detected, suspicion lacing her words.
"What?" Castle exclaimed, looking affronted, "Can't a man want to spend time with his partner?"
Beckett raised an eyebrow. Castle gave in, avoiding eye contact.
"Alexis asked me to leave."
When he looked up at his detective however, he realized she didn't believe him. At all. He sighed dramatically.
"Fine, she kicked me out. Told me to, and I quote, 'go pester someone else.'"
Kate let out a small laugh, closing the file and putting it on her desk, "So you came to me?"
Castle shrugged, his school boy smile making its way across his face, "There's no one I'd rather pester… although I'd like to believe that I do more than pester you."
Kate rolled her eyes and shook her head, but the smile on her face made it clear that she was amused.
And she didn't deny it. It was enough to keep the smile on his face for the rest of the day. Perhaps even for the rest of the week.
"So Alexis is alright?" Kate asked, interrupting his thoughts, concern coloring her words, "She's rehydrated and as good as new?"
As if his heart couldn't be more ready to burst.
Kate saw the way his eyes softened at the mention of his daughter, but when his entire expression shifted from teasing happiness to content thoughtfulness, she knew it had everything to do with her. She felt her cheeks heat up slightly, and she moved her gaze to the armrest of his chair to avoid his eyes.
She noticed him sit up a little straighter, all the while still looking at her.
"Yes, she's fine. They released her this morning after being hooked up to an IV all night getting hydrated again. She's angry that she had to miss school today. Finals are coming up and she doesn't want to miss a single day of studying. Hence, the reason I got kicked out of the loft this afternoon." Rick shook his head in amusement before lifting his eyes back to the detective. "But yes, Kate, Alexis is fine."
The emotion in his eyes almost made her look away, but she forced herself to keep eye contact this time. She smiled.
"Good, I'm glad she's alright."
He nodded, knowing that there was more to it. Rubbing his lips together, he took a deep breath.
"Thank you," he said.
She smiled and moved her chair back to its original spot and picked up the file that she had put down when he came in. "There's no need to thank me, Castle."
Before she could even register what was happening, Castle was up out of his chair and kneeling next to her. Trying to ignore the stares of the other detectives and what this situation would look like to an outside intruder, Kate looked at Rick with eyebrows raised, silently telling him to get off the ground and back to his seat or she was going to make sure he couldn't sit down for the next week.
If he saw the threat, he ignored it. In fact, he moved one of his hands and gently clasped it around her wrist, the other sneaking through the air between them and plucking the file from her fingers placing it on the desk in front of her without ever moving his eyes from her. Then, with her hands free, he moved his hands from her wrist and wrapped her fingers in his own.
"No," he said earnestly, "I do. You were there for Alexis when I couldn't be, and you really didn't have to."
She gave him a small, uncomfortable smile, shaking her head at him, fully aware of all of the eyes on them at that moment.
"Of course I had to, Rick. She's your daughter," she took a deep breath, her voice lowering to an almost imperceptible level, "she's important to you and you are important to me. Therefore, Alexis is important to me, too."
Perhaps it was the holiday season that was letting him get away with all of this, in the middle of the precinct no less. Maybe she was just feeling especially flirty that door. Or it may have even been the look that he was giving her. Whatever the reason, Castle found that he didn't really care what the reason was. He was going to take advantage of it, even if his vision was slightly blurred by the fact that she just willingly admitted that his family and their wellbeing was important to her.
"I didn't even realize you were there," he muttered, embarrassed.
Without thinking, she gave his fingers a comforting squeeze, "You had more important things to worry about."
Castle's brow furrowed. He knows this, and obviously she knew it to that his number one priority was always going to be Alexis, but this is Kate Beckett they were talking about. After his mother and his daughter, she was by far the most important thing in his life. She would always come third in his mind…
Even in his head, he knew that didn't sound good and is not the thing to say to the woman you're in love with, especially when said woman has a gun and knows exactly how to use it.
"Still…" he started.
Kate cut him off, "It's okay, Castle. I'm a big girl. You needed to take care of your girl."
He nodded, once again thankful that she understood but frustrated that he couldn't find the words to tell her that she was just as important to him as his daughter was, just in a different way. And of course it had nothing to do with the fact that he didn't know how to say that she was his girl too without getting physically injured in some way.
So he just stuck with what he knew how to say.
"Thank you," he said, his eyes shining with sincerity.
She smiled back at him.
She watched as he smiled and squeezed her hand briefly before letting go of his grip and rocking back on his heels, standing up and moving back to his spot in his chair. She bit her lip and grabbed her coffee from its place on her desk, bringing the warm liquid to her lips with a sigh.
"Thanks for the coffee," she said, taking a sip.
"Always," he smiled.
Kate twisted in her seat and flipped open the file she had been looking at before. She grabbed another file off her desk and handed it to him, knowing he'd want something to keep him distracted.
They sat in silence looking at the files. When she saw him surreptitiously check his watch not even 5 minutes later, she choked back a laugh.
"Castle, go home and be with your daughter."
He looked appropriately abashed at getting caught.
"Are you sure you're okay here?"
Kate rolled her eyes and gestured towards her desk. "It's cold cases all day until a body drops. And contrary to popular belief, Castle, I can do my job without you."
Castle nodded and stood up, putting the file back on her desk and readjusted his jacket.
"You'll call me if a body drops?" he said, sounding hopeful.
She nodded, "Of course."
He nodded and gave her a small nod, saying goodbye without uttering the words. She smiled and nodded back at him watching him leave for a moment before turning back to the file on her desk. She leaned forward slightly and cradled her head in her hand as she began looking at crime scene photographs.
Kate was so focused on the file in front of her, that she didn't hear Rick's footsteps moving back towards her desk. Before she could register what was happening, she felt his lips press against her check.
She froze slightly and as quickly as his lips appeared on her skin they were gone again. He tilted his head so he could whisper in her ear.
"That was from Alexis," he said softly, "she told me to tell you thank you. For everything."
Kate tried her hardest to hide her reaction to his kiss, pursing her lips before whispering back.
"Tell her she's very welcome, and I'm here for her if she ever needs me for anything."
She could feel him nod and start to pull away.
"Will do, Detective." She could hear the smile in his voice.
Before Kate could talk herself out of it (and before he had the chance to get too far away), Kate reached out to grab his forearm and pulled him back down to her. As soon as he was close enough to her, she pushed herself up slightly in her chair and softly kissed his cheek, letting her lips linger slightly before pulling back and releasing his arm.
He was silent for a moment before he opened his eyes and cleared his throat.
"Am I passing that onto her as well?" He said, trying to control the urge to grab her face in his hands and kiss her breathless.
She pursed her lips, trying to look as though she was thinking hard about her answer. Then she shook her head. "No, that one is just for you."
He looked at her, happiness radiating from his eyes.
"Goodbye, Castle," she smiled shyly.
And as she watched him walk away, she saw him lift his fingers to touch the spot where her lips had been.
It wasn't until Esposito coughed loudly that she realized she had been doing the same thing.
Turning to look at Ryan and Esposito, she saw them staring at her, knowing grins on their faces. She felt her own heat up slightly, before she turned back to her file, grumbling at the pair.
"Get back to work."
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