So this is just a quick post-Limey one shot. Idea has been floating around in my brain and i'm supposed to be studying, so it seemed like the perfect time to let it out. Hope you enjoy!
"Lanie?" the urgent voice of Kate Beckett echoes through the room as she pushes the door to the morgue open at 11pm. Looking around and seeing no one in sight, Beckett exhales a small disappointed sigh. The door swings shut behind her and a throat is cleared in the background. Kate looks over to reveal Alexis Castle leaning down on the clean dissection table at the far end of the morgue doing paperwork.
"Oh, hey," Kate pauses, obviously uncomfortable, "Alexis. Hey. Uhh- is Lanie here? I really need her"
Alexis' eyes barely leave the page in front of her and her cold body language hits Kate, giving her a chill.
"No, Dr. Parish left about an hour ago," with that Alexis went back to scribbling away at the paperwork in front of her, a clear dismissal.
Kate didn't know what to do; she really needed Lanie but this was Castle's daughter, and… well. That could get ugly quickly.
"Do you know where she was going? Did she have a date or something? Did she seem like she would be open to phone calls tonight or was it one of her 'don't interrupt me I'll be doing something I can't tell you about' sort of attitudes?" She couldn't help herself; she needed to know if her friend would be available to talk if she actually worked up the nerve to call her.
"She said something about needing an early night, but every time she's said that in the past month I'm pretty sure it was code for meeting up with Detective Esposito," Alexis answered her questions quickly but Kate still felt the lack of warmth the girl used to convey towards her, suddenly the reality of the cold morgue temperature seeped in.
"Oh," she couldn't help the defeated tone of her voice; it was hard when she finally felt able to talk to someone but that someone didn't exist, "okay. Thanks Alexis. I'm sorry for interrupting you."
She turned to leave, disappointed that she hadn't been able to talk to her friend about things, but a voice called her back, "Detective Beckett?"
Turning towards Alexis as curiosity filled her brain, "Yes?"
"Why are you here? Why do you need Lanie?" the way she stressed 'need' wasn't lost on Beckett, nor was the last question, "You already chase my dad off for the night?"
Kate took a glance at the floor before looking back into Alexis' inquisitive eyes, "What do you mean by that?" She was genuinely curious now; whatever seemed to be going on with Castle he had clearly shared his sudden disdain for her presence with his daughter.
"I think you know exactly what I mean," Alexis' attention seemed to finally go from the paperwork she was doing to the woman standing in front of her. "I don't know what happened between you two but whatever you did made my Dad revert to a persona that I don't think even he recognizes. So I'll ask you again, did you already chase him off this evening and are you trying to ease your guilt by talking to your friend about it?"
Kate was surprised by the candor Alexis was proffering, and while it was painful to have Castle's daughter clearly dislike her, it was nice to get some insight into whatever the hell had been going on with Castle lately.
"Honestly Alexis I'm not sure what happened with your dad and I. I thought things were okay between us but like you said, he's been someone I don't recognize lately. As for why I need my friend, I don't think I need to explain that to you," she wanted to be honest but it was hard to explain when you truly didn't know what you'd done so wrong.
"Well where is my dad? I thought you two usually talk about things? Aren't you two friends?" Kate could see that Alexis didn't really want to be asking those questions and wondered if her motives were more selfish than actually trying to help her.
"Alexis in the past few weeks I feel like I've not only lost my chance at something amazing, but that my best friend has completely disappeared. So no, I can't talk to your Dad right now; he's made it clear he doesn't have time to talk to me," she didn't want her voice to waver the way it did, or to sound so pathetic. She really didn't want to put his daughter in the middle of this, but she also knows it's important to be honest with Alexis.
Alexis nodded in return, "and you really don't know what happened? What changed?"
Kate shakes her head, "Alexis if I had any idea what happened I would be doing everything I could to fix it but instead of answering any of my questions or talking to me your dad has been racing off with blonde bimbos in his stupid car." She knows she sounds bitter. It's because she is. No other woman should be in his car or taking him for lunch dates; she thought they had an understanding.
"When did this start for you Detective Beckett? When did he start behaving this way? It seemed like the last time he was my real Dad was that morning after the bombing. By the time he came home that day he was being really strange and I think he stayed up all night drinking in his office, not that he'd ever admit that to me." Kate can see now that Alexis' reluctant engagement in this conversation had nothing to do with her, and everything to do with Alexis missing her Dad.
"That's about the same timeline for me. He was fine that morning, he even left a coffee on my desk," Kate pauses for a second, something wasn't right there, "but by the time I got out of interrogation he was gone and when he came back he had done a total 180."
Something in her brain clicked. Interrogation. Coffee. Castle heard her in interrogation admitting to her lie. He heard her. He knows she lied to him.
Her face must've dropped because Alexis was looking at her with genuine concern now.
"Detective Beckett? Did you remember something?"
Kate can only nod in reply.
"So if you remember what you've done that has upset him so much why don't you go and fix it?" Alexis Castle had a devious look in her eye when Kate met her glance, and then it occurred to her that Alexis had just played her.
"You already knew didn't you? He told you? He told you I lied to him and he overheard it in an interrogation?" Suddenly it all became very clear, Alexis was trying to help her. "Alexis why are you helping me? Your father clearly hates me and to be honest since I was shot things between you and me haven't exactly been pleasant."
"Detective Beckett you make my dad happy. His behaviour right now is totally bizarre and it's all because he's being stupid and he assumed you didn't tell him you heard him because you don't feel the same way and you didn't want to hurt him. I have spent a lot of time with Dr. Parish in the past few weeks and I know you care about him. I want my dad back. This playboy sicko who uses women and is going out of his way to punish you is not a dad I can be proud of," as the words left Alexis' mouth Kate could tell she'd been thinking about this often. She seemed very sure and made no apologies for her remarks.
"He can't seriously think I don't feel the same way," Kate was in disbelief; how could he not know, he usually reads her so well.
"Detective you lied to him for a long time and you're not exactly a talker. He doesn't do well with lies; they have hurt him too many times. You do know why my mom and him divorced right?"
Kate merely shakes her head in response, "Castle isn't really forthcoming about his marriages."
"Well there's a reason. I know my parents were never really in love or happy together and that they tried to make it work because of me, but my mom had an affair and left my dad holding his three year old daughter all alone after lying to him for months. She didn't even have the decency to tell him about it. She mailed him divorce papers after leaving the city with one of her directors."
Kate was surprised Alexis even knew that, Castle seemed like he had tried to preserve the image of his first wife for his daughter, "how do you even know about that Alexis?"
"The thing about adults is that they don't always notice when kids are listening, and kids are always listening. Especially when they don't understand something. It doesn't make me love my mom less, but it sure makes me love my dad more. Which is why you need to go and fix this. I can't stand to see him like this anymore."
Kate nodded her head. "Alexis I can't tell you how much I appreciate you helping me."
As she turned to leave, she looked back over shoulder as she rested against the morgue doors, "And I promise you Alexis, I will do anything I can to make sure he knows I love him. Because I do. I have for a really long time."
The smile on Alexis' face reached her eyes and for the first time since her shooting Kate remembered the innocent look that Castle's daughter used to have; blissful peace.
"See that you do, Detective," Alexis was clearly trying to hold her ground as a tough enforcer, but Kate could see a lightness cracking through even as her words were delivered in an even tone.
"It's Kate," she smiled back, "With any luck at all you're going to be seeing a lot more of me, and I think it's only appropriate you call me Kate."
"Dad's going to be jealous, he's never gotten your actual permission to call you Kate," Alexis' reply was quick and was accompanied by a giggle, which Kate returned.
"Hopefully after I'm finished talking to him he will realize he never needed my permission," with that, Kate nods at Alexis one more time before exiting the morgue.
As she walked towards the elevator she was mentally calculating how long it had been since the single drink she had with Colin and if it was safe to drive her motorcycle. Satisfied with her appraisal, she went to the bullpen and grabbed her helmet. Maybe after she talks to Castle she'll take him for a ride, he'll like that.