It Doesn't Make Sense
Beckett glances down at her desk, biting her lower lip even as Castle flies out of the bullpen. Alexis was on the phone, and Beckett knows she went to that senior costume party, but it didn't sound good; she hopes it's-
Well of course it is. If it was bad, he would have asked her for help. He's done that a lot lately, asked her advice about dealing with Alexis. She's flattered, honestly, because she can tell how closely and jealously he guards his relationship with his daughter.
Castle wants her to come his Halloween party. She's wondering if maybe his party will be a lot like the senior boys' party is for Alexis - a little out of her depth but oh so appealing.
She's just closed everything down - computer logged off, pens back in the drawer, case notes in the folder, file tagged and put back in the duty slot for tomorrow - when she notices the smiley-faced egg sitting on her desk. She shakes her coat out as she tugs it on, stares at the thing for a moment.
Oh. It's - Alexis's science project. The fake baby that Castle is supposed to be egg-sitting while Alexis is at the party.
Kate reaches out a finger and strokes the top of the egg, biting her bottom lip.
Not sure why she's doing it, Beckett snatches up the egg and carries it out of the bullpen with her.
She would text him and let him know she's got it, but she's kind of mortified by the fact that she took the stupid thing home with her. It's just an egg; it doesn't require actual care or supervision.
Still, she wraps a kleenex around it, swaddling it and placing it on her counter.
Maybe it should go in the fridge? Huh. She's not sure. And no, she's not texting Castle about the fake baby. No.
She opens the fridge and settles the egg in the round hole just inside the door. If she ever bought eggs, this is where they would go, a dozen round holes waiting for fake babies. And then Alexis's baby egg would have little brothers and sisters-
or, well, cousins?
No wait, it would have to be - how does this work? - uh, oh, well, aunts and uncles, since they're her theoretical dozen eggs not sitting in her fridge right now and this is Alexis's fake baby, so that makes them aunts and uncles to-
Oh. No. No wait. Not - not related. The eggs are not related, Beckett. Shut that down.
Kate swings shut the fridge door and rubs at her forehead with a sigh. Then her strange, ridiculous guilt gets the better of her and she opens the fridge again and strokes her finger over the top of the smiling face.
She wishes she knew the egg's name.
Kate hides the fake baby in her trench coat pocket to get it past the mockers and scoffers downstairs and then through the bullpen to her own desk. Perhaps she's feeling a little persecuted, paranoid, something - perhaps no one downstairs would care at all, and perhaps Esposito and Ryan would-
No. Hidden is good. No one needs to know she took the egg home with her.
She slides it out of her pocket, still wrapped in the kleenex she tucked it into bed with - no, just wrapped, wrapped, there was no tucking into bed.
She glances around, but she's afraid the egg will roll off her desk if she doesn't put it in something, so. . .
Beckett grabs the little shallow dish of M&Ms Castle likes to keep filled with candy - usually a different kind every Monday - and dumps the chocolate out into the trash can. She settles the egg in the dish, wraps the kleenex a little more tightly around the egg to keep it from rolling around.
She situates it at just the right spot, then logs in to her computer.
Okay, so she baby-sat an egg last night. It's no big deal.
Everything is fine.
When she comes back to her desk, Castle is sitting in his chair, snooping in her open case files. She sits in her chair, faintly surprised he hasn't messed with it, and swings towards him.
"Hey, Castle. Alexis okay?"
He's smirking at her. "She is. She's a smart kid." His fingers reach out for the dish, and he holds up the baby egg; he looks so pleased with her that it flushes a stupid sense of pride and warmth in her chest. "You took care of Feggin."
Feggin. Dang it. That's the egg's name. Did she know that?
Beckett ducks her head, presses her lips together, then lifts her chin. "Yeah, well. He was easy." And, oh jeez, she's not shutting up. "He didn't even fuss when I put him to bed."
Jeez, she actually said it.
Thankfully, Esposito breaks in with news on the Freeman case.
At his Halloween party, she keeps the bird, but takes the gimmicky thing off, still inwardly smirking. His fruit punch is deadly, nearly toxic, but it's got a nice swirl of feeling in her head that keeps her from leaving early, like she might have, should have. She's not sure why she's still here.
Castle finds her about twenty minutes later, takes the raven back from her with a grin, but it drops a little.
"Seriously, Castle? You can't be that disappointed I didn't dress up."
He huffs at her. "No, no, you dressed up - technically. It counts."
She raises an eyebrow at him. "So? What's the long face for?"
"Oh, I have some bad news." He strokes the raven with the back of his fingers and something that can't be real concern but probably is flares to life in her.
"Bad news?" she repeats, biting her bottom lip as she stares at him.
"Yeah," he says. "I hate to be the one to tell you. Feggin is no longer with us."
Feggin. . . "Oh. The egg? What happened?"
"Alexis thinks Paige did it on purpose. She said it was an accident; he fell and busted, but Alexis got Paige in trouble because of the party so. . ."
"Ah, makes sense."
"What?" he screeches. "No it does not. It doesn't make sense at all."
"She was mad; she was angry and she wanted to make Alexis hurt as much as she'd been hurt."
"But she sabotaged her own science project. She'll get the same failing grade-"
"Yeah, well, I didn't say it was rational. Just that it makes sense."
"I don't think you understand the meaning of those two words, Beckett."
She lifts an eyebrow at him, and he backpedals.
"Ah, of course you do, of course. But. See. It's not rational; therefore, it doesn't make sense."
"Look. I took that stupid egg home with me last night. I tucked it in, Castle. Totally not rational. But it does make sense."
He grins widely, stroking the raven. "Nope. Doesn't. Not a bit of sense. But it is kinda cute, Beckett. Did you-"
She reaches out and twists his ear, making him yelp and whine at her, dancing away. When he's properly chastised for it, he still seems to come back for more.
"No, really. In the interests of knowing poor Feggin's last, remaining day on this earth-"
"Did you sing him a lullaby, did you-"
She puts her hands on her hips, glaring, but his smile is irrepressible. He stops talking, of course, but he doesn't stop leering.
She pivots on her heel, giving up, but he snags her by the elbow and pulls her back towards him. "Beckett."
"I didn't sing to the egg, Castle. That's ridiculous."
"And yet, it makes sense," he whispers back.
She blinks, goes very still at the look in his eyes, flicks her gaze down to his mouth. Is he - is he turned on by this? By her taking care of his daughter's science project?
He is. Oh my-
His kiss is sudden, soft, the brush of lips against her startled intake of breath, and she feels his fingers on her hips as he pulls back, staring at her.
She stands there under his stairs, finding it suddenly and inexplicably hard to catch her breath, and his palms slide up her sides slowly, so slowly, even while she stares back at him.
He drops his hands, steps away, blinking hard.
"Not-uh, Castle," she murmurs, stepping into him and curling her hands in the velvet of his costume jacket. He looks scared, and she kinda likes it. "Not good enough."
She leans into his chest and presses her mouth to his, taking his bottom lip between her teeth until his hands grip her waist and tug her hips against his. She breathes hotly against his cheek, finds his mouth again, and he slides his tongue inside, taking control.
His hand curls at her neck and holds her there, and that's her signal to go.
Beckett breaks away from him, loosens his hold by stepping back. He's staring at her again, breathing heavy, mouth open, and she circles her fingers around his wrist and squeezes.
"Time for me to go," she says softly.
He closes his mouth, bobs his head. She likes the struck speechless look on him. Quieter. Hotter.
She trails her fingers over his wrist and off, slowly heads towards the door.
"Happy Halloween, Castle."
It doesn't make sense, but she likes it. A lot.
She might have to do that again some day.