Author's note: This was first written just after the season 3 finale before any spoilers or promos came out. I just never got it polished up and posted before now. This is more of a friendship fic than a romance fic as I had originally intended.
Kate surprised everyone after she was shot by bouncing back amazingly quick. The doctors still insisted that even though they were okay with releasing her, she had to have someone stay with her. At first everyone thought that she would simply have Josh stay over with her but when she admitted that they had broken up a few weeks ago Castle immediately volunteered his guest room for her recovery and after a moment's hesitation, she took him up on the offer. The day after her release, Kate and Castle were sitting at the kitchen island enjoying the lunch that he made and talking about a variety of subjects.
"I bet you're glad that you aren't going to be working tonight," Castle commented.
"What's tonight?" Kate asked.
"Tonight's a full moon?" she asked then with his nod she spoke softly. "Damn."
"What's wrong?" he asked concerned.
"I'll be right back," she said as she disappeared up the stairs.
Ten minutes later with no sign of return from Kate, Rick decided to check in on her. He saw her bedroom door open so he walked in while calling her name. Castle lightly knocked on the closed door to the attached bathroom.
"Kate, are you okay? Need any help?" he asked. He sounded sincere and not joking.
"Is Alexis here?"
"No, she's out with Ashley."
"How about Martha?"
"She's at her school. What can I do?" he asked getting a bit worried.
"That's okay, I'll call Lanie," Kate said.
"Esposito just called and said that they have a new case. Seriously, Kate, what do you need?"
"You don't have what I need for this," she said, glad that he wasn't able to see her embarrassed face.
"What could you possibly need that I don't have?" he asked clearly joking. "I have charm, money, a way with words and I have been told that I am ruggedly handsome. What more do you need?"
"Ovaries, Castle. You don't have ovaries!" she said thoroughly embarrassed.
Castle just stared at the door for a moment in shock before speaking again. "I'll be right back."
Kate had checked in the cabinet under the sink to see if she could find any of the necessary feminine supplies but was unsuccessful in her search. She knew that Lanie hadn't packed any of those types of things in her bag. Kate hadn't even thought about her time of the month until Castle mentioned the full moon. It was embarrassing enough that she had to ask Castle for help but she really didn't want to hear his comments about her cycle starting on the evening on the full moon, which she knew he would not be able to resist. She also knew that Castle would be calling Alexis or Martha and begging them to come back to the loft even for just a few minutes. Kate knew that she didn't need the items right away, she decided to take a nice long shower, until which ever female relative of Castle's arrived first.
Kate would have preferred a bubble bath but with the handheld shower head, she knew that she would be able to keep her bandage drier. She did cover it with a waterproof pad and some more tape and had just climbed into the shower when she heard a soft knock on the door.
"Kate, can I come in for a second?" She gasped in surprise at Castle's voice from the other side of the door and grabbed for a towel. "I promise, I'll keep my eyes closed."
"Castle, what are you doing?" she demanded as she covered herself with the towel.
"Here's a robe for you and some things that I swiped from Alexis' bathroom." His hand fumbled around a bit until he found the countertop and set the items down. "I also put a couple of other things on the foot of the bed for you. Let me know if you need any help changing your bandage when you are done."
He slipped back out of the bathroom, grunting as he lightly bumped into the doorframe proving that his eyes were still shut. Kate finished up her shower and made use of the feminine products that Castle took from his daughter's bathroom before pulling on the soft fluffy robe.
Kate walked into the bedroom and saw a tray full of things on the end of the bed, as she got dressed. She looked through it and was a bit confused at the selection of items. On the bottom was a big comfy looking sweatshirt that was obviously Castle's, then there was a heating pad, a teddy bear, a big coffee mug, a martini glass, a big chocolate bar and her pain meds. She placed her pain meds back on her nightstand with the rest of her medication then picked up the tray and carried it out to the living room.
"Hey, you aren't supposed to be carrying anything," Castle called out when he saw her. He met her half way up the stairs and reached out for the tray.
"The doctor told me earlier today that I can carry some stuff. Don't worry, I'm not going to start doing any weight lifting but this tray is okay." She held on tightly when Castle tried to take it from her but she was determined to put it on the kitchen island herself. He saw the look in her eyes and knew that there was no way that he would win this one so he just gave it up. He walked back down the stairs but stayed close in case she needed any help.
"Thank you," she said.
"Do you need any help with your bandage?" he asked as he slipped around her to go into the kitchen and start clearing off the tray.
"It got a little damp around the edges but it will be fine until I change it tonight. So you want to explain all this stuff?" she asked with a smile.
"The mug because Alexis always likes hot tea or hot chocolate at this time of the month. The martini glass is because Mother always liked a martini, but then again when didn't she? I don't know if you can have the martini but would you like something hot to drink?" He looked at her wide-eyed and didn't realize a bit that he had embarrassed her.
"Hot chocolate would be nice," she said.
"I put the heating pad there for obvious reasons," he continued to explain as he searched for ingredients. Kate was glad he couldn't see her blush. "Alexis sometimes likes to wear that sweatshirt of mine and she says that the bear is just great for hugs. I keep insisting that I am better at hugs but she still keeps the bear around."
"And the chocolate?"
"Who doesn't love chocolate?" he asked with a grin meeting her eyes quickly. She sat in silence as he turned away to fix the hot chocolate. Once it was finished he handed it to her and finally noticed her now fading blush. "I'm sorry. Am I embarrassing you?"
She took a sip of the hot chocolate then looked at him carefully before answering, and seeing no humor, just sincerity, she responded in kind. "A bit. This isn't usually a topic of conversation I have with anyone, especially with guys. Besides, most guys are even more embarrassed than I am with this topic. Why aren't you?"
"How about we sit on the couch and I'll explain?"
"Sure," she agreed. He poured himself the rest of the hot chocolate then walked around. Placing his free hand on the small of her back, he let her head to the living room. Once he was at the couch he set his mug down then stepped back to the kitchen island and returned with the chocolate bar, the sweatshirt and the teddy bear. She smiled as she took the offered items, and then set them on the cushion beside her.
"Kate," he said once he was situated on the couch beside the discarded shirt and bear, "I am the son of a single mother who menstruated, I married two women who menstruated, and I'm raising a daughter who menstruates. It's a natural thing, there is nothing to be embarrassed about."
"It really doesn't embarrass you?" she said a bit surprised, more of a statement than a question.
"No," he smiled knowing that she deserved the whole story. He settled back and stretched his arm along the back of the couch. "You know my mother, the diva, the show must go on, kind of woman?"
"Yeah," Kate nodded wondering where the conversation was suddenly headed.
"Well, she'd always bad cramps but one time it was worse and she had to miss a show. That was totally unlike her and I was worried. I was about 9 at the time. She sat me down and explained everything."
"Everything?" she said with a raised eyebrow.
"Men, women, where babies come from and all that. Surely you talked to your parents about that topic."
"My mom, yes, my dad? No way!" Kate exclaimed.
"I have to admit it was a bit tough to talk to Alexis about it," he said as he took a sip of his drink.
"Didn't Meredith explain it all to her?"
"Meredith left when Alexis was 4. When she was older they talked about it vaguely, I think just enough to scare Alexis more than anything. Meredith ended up getting her a book that Alexis and I looked through and I explained everything when she started her period."
"Where was Meredith then?"
"Filming a movie about pies," he said with a grin. "It was an indie movie, rather good actually, and she had a tiny role. I called her and she was mad that I interrupted her and she mentioned that she couldn't leave so I didn't even bother to explain why I had called. I just sat down with Alexis with that book."
"What about Gina or Martha?"
"Remember when Gina and I had that big fight over those Taylor Swift tickets?"
"Yeah," she said.
"Gina made a comment about how I always over protected Alexis and made Gina feel like an outsider. She was right. I never really let them get that close. I figured that if Meredith wasn't there to have the talk it had to be me. Besides, it just so happened that Gina was getting ready to go on a trip also and Alexis didn't want to bother her. And Mother, well, Mother was off on a honeymoon or a touring company or something. I don't remember which one." He chuckled. "I can't usually keep up with her schedule now that she lives here, I never knew what she was up to before."
"She wasn't living with you then?"
"Mother moved in just a few months before we met actually."
"Which time?" Kate asked before she realized it. "Damn. Do you want to watch a movie?"
"Sure. What would you like to watch?"
"What do you have?" Kate asked glad that he dropped the earlier question.
"What don't I have?" he grinned at her before jumping up off the couch. "Oh, I know the perfect movie."
He fished around for a disc then dropped it into the player before he bounded back. Kate was pleased to see him settle back gently instead of flopping like she expected him to.
"So what movie did you pick?"
"Nope, my turn first. What do you mean?" he asked.
"About which time we met," he said with a grin.
Kate scowled at him for a moment before she finally explained. "Several years ago, I met you at a book signing. I stood in line and you signed my book."
"Why don't I remember that?"
"Ha! I was probably the most clothed woman in the room, why would you remember me when there were so many boobs to sign?"
"I never meant to start that, you know."
"Really? Why do I not believe you?" she joked.
"Don't think I was complaining," he grinned. "It just wasn't my idea."
"Was it Paula's or Gina's?"
"Neither actually. I had a different publisher and agent back then and it wasn't their idea either."
"Okay, I need to hear that story."
"I was at a signing, obviously, and a woman walked up and asked for an autograph but she didn't have a book. I asked her what she would like me to sign and she pulled her top down."
"How far down?" she asked with a grin.
"Pretty far. We all got a good show," he said as she rolled her eyes at him. "I didn't find out until later that she was an actress."
"And she gave you a show like that? Would I have seen her in anything?"
"I doubt it," he grinned. "Not unless you watch a whole different kind of movie than I would think."
"She was a porn star?" she asked getting his meaning immediately.
"Not sure about 'star' but definitely worked in that industry."
"And you didn't know until later?" she said disbelievingly.
"As I said, she wasn't a star and I didn't recognize her."
"So are implying that you don't watch that sort of thing?" she tried to hide her smile because he suddenly looked embarrassed.
"Want some more hot chocolate?"
"I want an answer," her grin started to creep out.
"I want some more. I'll be right back."
"Rick," she called out to him causing him to look back at her. "Are you telling me that it's okay for us to talk about menstruation but it isn't okay to talk about masturbation?"
"I didn't say anything about that," he said surprised.
"Isn't that what most men do while watching, um, that sort of thing?"
"That's just not something I bring up in everyday conversation," he said clearly embarrassed as he gathered supplies to make more hot chocolate.
"I know what you mean," she said sarcastically.
"I'm sorry, it's just that menstruation is a topic discussed a bit more in this house. What do you know about how guys are with that topic anyway?"
"I'm a cop. I hear plenty at work. Besides, I have a dad. I know what kinds of books and magazines guys tend to have."
"You found your dads stash?" he said shocked. She wasn't sure if he was more shocked that her dad had that type of thing or if he was thinking about Alexis finding what he might have.
"Not intentionally," she laughed. "Dad wasn't able to clear out Mom's closet after she died, so one day he asked me to do it. Either my mom had hidden his magazines or he forgot where he had put them but I found them when I was cleaning. And it wasn't really a stash, it was just a couple of Playboy magazines and a copy of The Joy of Sex."
"What did you do about them?"
"I just moved them to his closet and didn't say a word. Some things just do not need to be shared between children and parents."
"I wish Mother believed that," he said rolling his eyes.
"Oh, she's not that bad."
"So you say! She's been on good behavior since you've been here. Trust me," he insisted at her raised eyebrow.
"So," she decided to embarrass him again, "Do you manage to hide your stash from Alexis better than my dad did from me?"
"Um," he stalled a moment before his attention was drawn to the door as Alexis and Ashley walked in.
"Alexis! Ashley! How are you two doing?"
"Don't worry, Rick. I have a good memory; I'll be able to ask again later," Kate laughed. She then turned to Alexis. "Hey Alexis can I talk to you for a second?"
"Sure," she said as she looked between Kate's smiling face and her Dad's embarrassed one.
"I need a favor," Kate explained.
"Sure but first things first, what did you say to him? Dad doesn't embarrass easily," Alexis said softly so her dad wouldn't hear.
"Oh, I was just joking about something."
Alexis walked around the couch to sit beside Kate and noticed the sweatshirt and teddy bear there.
"Oh. Write me up a list of anything that you need at the store and I'll make sure to get it for you tonight."
"What?" Kate asked a bit confused as to how the girl would have known what she was going to ask.
"Dad's sweatshirt and my teddy bear. I'm sorry I wasn't here earlier. I hope Dad didn't embarrass you too much."
"Shocked me more than anything. I told him what was going on and he disappeared. I figured that he was calling any female that he knew but he just grabbed some things out of your bathroom and brought them to me. While I was in the shower mind you," Kate said with a grin.
"Dad!" Alexis exclaimed getting his attention. "Really? The shower?"
"My eyes were closed," he insisted before changing the subject. "Do you two want to stay for dinner?"
"Sure," Ashley said as he looked at Alexis for verification.
"What are we having Dad?"
"I don't know. What are you going to get at the store?" he said sharing a smile with Ashley as both women rolled their eyes.
"How about Mexican? You can make your enchiladas."
"Would you like that, Kate?" Castle asked.
"That sounds good. And while they are gone, we can finish that conversation," Kate said with a smile.
"Or we could just order in," he suggested.
"Sorry Dad. I need to run. Be good," Alexis said to her father before turning to Kate. "Have fun."
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