Castle made his way back to the loft after a long and tiring day. He had spent the morning at the precinct with Kate, but left after lunch to run some last minute errands before Christmas Day.
He should have learned by now to not try and brave the malls on Christmas Eve, but he never had. He always wanted to run out and get one more little thing, and would end up spending hours at the mall waiting in lines and hoping that they had whatever came to his mind for another gift.
The bags were heavy in his arms, the gifts wrapped, thanks to one of the charity wrapping tables that he made a generous donation to. It had been hours since he had eaten, or stopped to take a break. But he knew it was all worth it.
He loved the Christmas season, not just the gifts and the holiday cheer, but everything about it. The time spent with family, the holiday feasts, the parties, but most of all, he loved to give gifts. It was the one time of year he could get anyone whatever he or she wanted and they couldn't complain in the slightest. It was the season of giving, and Richard Castle was the king of it.
He could hear Alexis's laugh as the elevator doors opened and he made his way down the hall to the loft. He assumed his mother was there, amusing the girl, who he could not be happier to be back at the loft for the holidays.
It's not as though she had gone far, NYU was really just a short drive away, but since she was in residence he had seen much less of his daughter in the past few months, and he missed her dearly.
To Castle's surprise he opened the door to the loft to find not his mother and daughter, but the love of his life and his daughter, the two of them covered in flour and other miscellaneous baking supplies.
"Dad!" Alexis shouted, as she slid in her socks from the kitchen towards him and gave him a hug.
"You know this shirt was rather clean before you covered it in flour," he teased as the girl let go, who was laughing at his comment. He made his way over to the tree sitting in the living room and began to put the gifts he got under it, although there was already very little room.
"I thought you said you were going to pick up a thing or two?" Kate questioned as she made her way over to him from the kitchen.
"A thing or two, or ten, it's all the same." He said standing and turning to face her.
"You're insane." She said wrapping her arms around him and giving him a soft kiss.
"I thought you said you wouldn't be home until late?" He asked, questioning her much like she had done to him just moments ago.
"I didn't think I would. But there was nothing to get done at the precinct and Alexis sent me a very tempting picture of all her baking supplies."
"Well I'm glad you are home," He replied, placing another soft kiss on her lips.
The glow from the city and the lights of the Christmas trees lit up their faces; the joy on them could not be missed. Alexis had returned to the kitchen to attend to the cookies her and Kate had been baking, leaving the two of them alone to share a moment together.
"I don't think there is anything better to come home to than the woman I love baking cookies with my daughter after nearly going insane at the mall." Kate smiled at the first part of his comment, and laughed while shaking her head at the other.
"My mom and I always used to bake cookies on Christmas Eve, and I wanted to spend some time with Alexis anyways, I haven't seen her much lately." She replied. "And you have no one to blame but yourself for going shopping on Christmas Ever. I'm sure you really didn't need to."
"I did. I had to get a few things, and more ideas came to mind while I was there."
"Whatever you say, Castle." She said, continuing to shake her head at him, though a small smile graced her lips.
"You know your amazing, right?" He questioned. "I don't think I tell you that enough." A small blush crossed her cheeks at his comment, though she put her head down in attempt to hide it from him.
"You're not so bad yourself, Castle." She replied.
"But really, Kate. I mean you spent the afternoon baking cookies with my daughter instead of being at the precinct waiting for a body to drop. You have no idea how much Alexis loves you, and loves spending time with you. It most likely means the world to her."
"It was nothing, Castle. I wanted to spend the time with her, I miss baking cookies on Christmas Eve, and I'm sure I love her just as much. She's an amazing young woman, and you have yourself to pride that on." He simply sealed their lips together for the third time in response, his arms tightening around her even more to pull her into him.
"I love you," He said; as he broke the kiss, loosening his grip on her slightly too look into her eyes.
"You know I love you too, Castle." She replied.
"Kate, the cookies are done!" Alexis called from the kitchen.
"Go help her finish up the cookies, I want to put these last few gifts away and then I will come taste test them all."
"Who said the cookies were for you?" She called as she walked back to the kitchen, her laughter filling the air, music to his ears.
It was nearly midnight as Kate and Rick sat on the couch, The Santa Claus playing in the background. Alexis had made her way up to bed a short while ago, claiming after a tiring semester at school, and knowing Castle would want to wake her up early, she needed all the sleep she could get. Kate laughed at the girl, knowing the comment about Castle was more than accurate. Castle was the biggest kid in the household when it came to Christmas.
"I'm glad you are staying at the loft tonight," he told her. His arms were wrapped around her as she laid her head on his shoulder, attention focused on the movie playing on the television screen.
"Castle, did you really think I wouldn't?" She asked. "I haven't spent a night in my apartment in how long?"
"That's true." He said while laughing. Kate had practically moved into the loft in the last few months, although he still had yet to convince her to officially do so. But she was right; she probably hadn't spent a night at her apartment in over two months.
"It means even more that you are spending Christmas with us though," he whispered into her ear before placing a kiss to her temple.
Over a month ago when Castle had brought the topic up Kate had said she would probably spend the morning on her own as usual, and do dinner with her dad like they always had. But Castle had had none of it, he insisted she be with the family that loved her Christmas Day, and that her Dad should join them for Castle's annual Christmas Day feast that night. Through much protesting she finally agreed, but only on the condition that he was not allowed going over the top with gifts, though she was sure that he wouldn't listen, she figured she could at least try.
"I'm glad I'm here, Castle." She replied, while she snuggled further into his arms, basking in the warmth his body provided her. She found herself happier than she could remember this holiday season, not even the crazy amounts of murder and work she had could get her down.
Kate had turned her attention from the movie, to the window, watching the snow gently falling outside, while Rick's attention was focused solely on her. He watched the sparkle in her eyes and she gazed out the window of the loft.
They had come so far in the past year, and Castle still had to pinch himself occasionally to be sure he wasn't dreaming, because it was too good to be true. He loved Kate Beckett with all his heart, and here she was, cuddled in his arms on Christmas Ever, watching the snow fall, her favourite Christmas movie playing in the background, and their large cups of cocoa and plates of cookies emptied. Richard Castle couldn't ask for anything more this Christmas season.
This is dedicated to my lovely Sidekick, Logan, because I was trying to think of drabble idea for her to write me, when this idea came to me. And she is an amazing Sidekick! Merry Christmas, Logan!
I hope you all liked this little Christmas Eve oneshot of mine. Go ahead and leave me some feedback on it. Tis the season! But really, I would love you if you did. And I hope everyone has a happy holiday season!