Disclaimer- I don't own Castle, Andrew Marlowe does. Please don't sue me for writing this story! Just having fun playing in the Castle Sandbox! Errors corrected! Thank you for your patience!
Of all the people that inspired me the most in my life, everyone expects me to say it was my father, a New York Times Bestselling novelist and philanthropist to the arts in Manhattan. Yes, he is inspiring, but he's not the one that I'm going to write about for my medical school application. I'm going to write about my stepmother, Kate Beckett, a homicide detective for the New York Police Department.
I suffered from anorexia nervosa when I started college. It was around the time my father married Kate, and I felt like I was being written out of my own life when they announced that they were going to have children of their own. I spent several semesters in inpatient treatment, and Kate, while only my stepmother, insisted on coming to visit me and was always vocal about believing in me. We became so close in my last three years of undergraduate that she was okay with me calling her 'Mom' and no longer 'Kate.' She's one of my best friends, now. I've been in remission for over a year and she insists I'm one of her children, now.
She is a detective for the Homicide department of the NYPD. She gets some interesting cases, and has even solved the mystery of the murder of her own mother. Her life seemed to be completely planned out before her mother died. She was on the track to be an actress and a socialite. Instead, when her mother died, she dedicated herself to finding justice and the truth. She went to Police Officer Standards and Training for New York City, and made her way up from rookie beat cop to homicide detective within three years, a first for a woman officer. She became the inspiration for my father's Nikki Heat novels. Yeah, those books. Trust me, it's a far cry from who she really is.
Asides from her career, she's an active and engaged mother to her children and assists with charitable events that my father is involved in. While my dad is the stay-at-home parents thanks to his job as a writer, she's the one that goes to work outside the home. She's also been the most mother I had ever had, especially in the time that I needed it most. My birth mother and my father divorced when I was six, and I was a very independent child because I felt like I needed to be. Kate was the first person who let me know I didn't have to be perfect when my eating disorder was at its worst.
I had read and rewritten the opening to my medical school application. I was schedule to take the MCATs in two weeks, and I had been studying like crazy, along with stressing about my entrance essay.
Chewing my lip, I read over it several more times. So far, I loved writing about Mom. She was amazing and I was glad that I chose her as my person who inspired me the most. I sort of got why Dad wrote about her. She was a badass. I tore off a piece of my cupcake (yes, I was eating cupcakes once a week) and nibbled on it while gazing at my computer screen. It was a Sunday, actually, and we had had Sunday Brunch with Grams and Grandpa Jim this morning. I realized I was chewing my thumbnail now that the chunk of cake was gone.
My phone dinged. It was Ben, texting me from his job. It was work for him, inbetween his internship for Bryan Mitchell's Literary agency and bartending, was working on shaping his novel for publication. I had read some pages, but hadn't dared to bring it up with Dad; Dad put up with Ben, although he confessed to me that he didn't like Ben being in my life… for obvious reasons…
Tell me this torture is going to end soon and we can just cuddle at my place… and some other things.
Ben and I had been together ever since that night he biked me home from the bar. We had spent a lot of time together when I wasn't at my internship; most of that was either hanging out in bars in Williamsburg talking or concerts. The rest of the time, we had been fooling around in his apartment. We didn't get too far, though. I was still weird about the laproscopic scars on my stomach and the rough patch where my feeding tube had been. I remember complaining to Mom about it, and she just looked at me and glowered; then, pulled up her own shirt to show me all the stretch marks. She then went on to lecture me on how nobody would notice unless I pointed it out and it would fade over time if I'd just be patient. Getting comfortable with my restored weight was not easy; my therapist and I did a shit ton of work after Christmas until now.
The night that Ben invited me to a bar in Williamsburg after a concert in August. We drank a few beers, and he invited me to his apartment afterwards. I agreed to go, knowing that I was going to jump on him. We got up there, and we couldn't stop kissing. He put his t-shirt on the door handle, and with that article of clothing gone, we started tearing at each other's clothes. He got me to the bed, and tried to pull up my shirt. I panicked and held onto it.
"What is it?" he asked.
"Nothing," I whispered, suddenly too shy to admit why I was scared. I felt his hand slip up my shirt, his fingers running over my stomach.
"It's something." His fingers found my feeding tube scar. "This is it?"
I nodded, tears in my eyes.
"Everybody has scars, Alexis."
Mine were just somehow a little more shameful. I shook my head. "Can we just turn out the lights?" I asked. "I really want to do this with you, but…"
He took a step back and I sank down onto the murphy bed. "No. We can't. I just want you. That's it. All your flaws, mistakes, smiles, giggles, jokes, sarcasm. Everything. I just want you." He cupped my face with his hand and lifted my chin up to look into his eyes. We stared into each other's eyes for a long, long time until I realized I was crying. I lowered my eyes as he wiped my tears with him thumb I saw it; a small pock mark of a scar on his right hip; where he had been hit by shrapnel in Afghanistan five years ago. I lifted my hand, and ever so carefully and pressed my finger into that little indention. It wasn't thick and rough like my feeding tube scar. "Come here," he said, letting go of my chin. He unbuttoned his pants and pushed them down along with his underwear and turned slightly to the side. "Right here. You can look."
I ran my fingers over the rash of pockmarks along his back, his right ass cheek, and hip bone that traveled up his back. He had a tattoo on his ass, one of star. I had never been so close to another adult, so naked and unadorned before. I found him absolutely beautiful, scars and all. Could it be possible that I could be beautiful with all my scars and imperfections? There was only one way to find out… I wrapped an arm around my middle, taking the hem of my shirt in my hand, and pulled up.
And it was perfect. I'm sure I wasn't the most experienced women he had ever slept with, but he didn't make me feel like I was lacking. I fumbled a bit, but I'm sure that was to be expected. And I was happy this way: flawed, but human. I knew I was happy with my choices, mine alone, and how I was connecting with other people. Most of all, I was happy with myself for the first time in my memory. We talked and stared at the shadows on the ceiling afterwards. He held me, even though he probably wanted to go to sleep. When the clock hit midnight, I finally decided I needed to get up and get back home. Ben got up with me to take me to the subway station in his neighborhood. He kissed me good-bye once, twice, three times before letting me go. I didn't want to leave, but it was too late to wake Mom and Dad up with a message that I wasn't coming home.
Around one in the morning, I got home, my skin pink and flushed. Mom was in the living room, nursing Johanna, reading a book in the meantime. She saw me and grinned. "Have a good night?" she asked.
I felt myself blush. "A great night," I admitted. I think she knew that I had just lost my virginity; it had to be obvious with the whisker burn all over my face. Moms know that kind of stuff. She didn't have to ask.
After that night, Ben was a good break when being big sister/nanny duties to my younger siblings got to be too much. I was comfortable with letting him go to do his own thing instead of trying to control him. I trusted him to be faithful, a strange concept for me to not have a controlling, fucked up relationship with the first guy I slept with. He even went with me to the tattoo shop when I got a semi-colon done on my right wrist to remind myself, I could have ended the "sentence" but I, as the writer, chose not to; I chose to keep going. And the choice to continue was turning out better than I could have imagined.
Soon. Maybe something more. I love you. I texted back. Yes, in the five months since I had graduated, we had said 'I love you' to each other. He said it first, when I was getting back into my jeans after we had made love on his Murphy Bed, and he had said it seriously and had melted my heart.
I went back to reading my medical school application essay again, and I frowned. Maybe I should revisit my letters in my journal, I thought, pulling the book from my laptop case. I flipped through and compared some of my favorite letters to the essay; I had written an entry about my first time with Ben, and it got me flushed every time I read it, even though it wasn't especially descriptive and there wasn't anything particularly inappropriate about it. It was the most erotic thing I had ever written. And I loved it. I had written it that night so I didn't forget a thing. I was so happy I had started writing and journaling and recording my life experiences. I loved writing.
And then it hit me.
I fucking hated science and physics. Why was I signing on to do four more years of school that focused on that, specifically, when it made me feel like a moron? What the fuck had I been thinking?
Suddenly, I had a realization; I knew what I wanted to be.
I packed up my laptop case and journal and sprinted out of the cafe. I ran, with my laptop case bumping on my hip until I reached the Loft. I was out of breath, and I was about to pass out when I got to the elevator bank. I bounced up and down in the elevator until I got to the top floor. I ran into the loft, where Mom and Dad were in the kitchen, Dad sanitizing bottles and Mom was pumping breast milk.
"I don't want to go to medical school!" I shouted.
"Alexis? Are you okay?" Dad asked. "Sit down! I thought you were at the Blue Note Cafe over by Columbia- and be quiet, we've got all the kids down at once sleeping!"
"I… I," I panted. "I just realized… realized that…" I gulped in some air. Dad shoved a bottle of cold water in my hands and I gulped down half of it. "I hate science. And I hate math!"
"Oh, excellent," Mom muttered. "Just remember, you have to learn to balance a checkbook, little girl."
"I don't want to be an M.E." I said, catching my breath finally. "I'm not taking the MCATS."
"I'm actually relieved," Dad said. "Medical School didn't sound like the right track for you. I knew you'd come to your senses. See, I know you better than anybody."
"I did come to my senses," I admitted. "And I know what I want to be."