Title: Home is where the heart is

Author: NancyErin

Rated: PG-13

Pairing: Beckett / Castle

Disclaimer: I don't own CASTLE, never have, never will.

Summary: AU – Alexis is Kate Beckett's babysitter. What will happen when Alexis takes matters into her own hands to bring the single mother and her author father together?


"Kate, this is my dad, Richard Castle. Dad, this is Kate Beckett." Alexis introduced one another as the pair rather timidly shook hands, or it was rather more Beckett who suddenly started feeling very insecure of every move she made. She must be dreaming. It had to be a dream and soon she was going to wake up from that dream, now, wasn't she? No, it was real. Richard Castle was shaking hands with hers. "I take it you know my dad." Alexis stated timidly feeling a little bit out of place. She probably should have warned Kate about her father's social fame.

"Hi… I…I'm uh…" Castle started to babble away. This was the first time Alexis had ever heard her father stuttering. At his daughter's quizzical expression, he briefly cleared his voice and introduced himself adequately. "Hi, I'm Richard Castle. By the look on your face I take it you are acquainted with my very being. Don't worry, I'm not biting". He quickly managed to boost his ego and added a wink to finish off his words.

Now Alexis wanted to throw up, literally. Her father could sometimes be such an character. Beckett's smile dissipated instantly at Castle's words, so Alexis felt the need to jump in and divert their conversation onto another topic.

"Dad, remember the boys? Matt, Jamie and Charlie. Guys, this is my dad."

Richard Castle diverted his eyes from the woman onto the small boys as they all gave him a curious look wondering who this stranger was, and whether he was to be trusted or not.

Chapter 1

"Hey… how did it go?" Kate Beckett wanted to know when she walked over the threshold of her two bedroom apartment that very night. "Sorry I'm late." She also apologized to the fifteen year old, red haired, teenager sitting on the couch and in front of the TV watching a DVD with her legs propped up on the coffee table.

Alexis sat up straight first before hitting the stop button on the remote control, shaking off Beckett's excuse.

"Oh don't worry at all. They were real sweet hearts." she politely answered with a smile.

In Beckett's point of view Alexis was by far the best babysitter she had ever found. She got along well with the boys, especially Jamie – her "middle child" - who sometimes had his moments. All her previous babysitters quickly resigned in defeat but not Alexis. Something seemed to work between them and Beckett hadn't found out quite yet what it was. Though it was rather refreshing to know that she could go out without getting called away in the middle of it because one of her sons was driving the babysitter crazy. This was the first time she actually got to enjoy her evening in a long time.

Alexis eventually moved off the couch and neatly folded the blanket she had used to keep herself warm before putting it back onto its original spot.

"How much do I owe you?" Beckett requested, aware that the girl didn't really care how much she actually would earn. Beckett couldn't afford a babysitter on a regular basis. Money was short in her household. She wished she could meet up with the standard, alas that wasn't possible, but whenever she could, she would always hand out an extra note as gratification. Beckett even needed to insist and this time was no different.

"Take it, all right. I owe so much more." Beckett dropped the additional five dollar note into the girl's hand.

Alexis took it, albeit a bit reluctant, aware that Beckett needed every dollar she earned.

Alexis was a very wise young lady who knew and understood better than any other people her age. She could always count on her father whenever she needed money, which didn't mean that she abused on every opportunity that presented itself to her when necessary. She even thought it a good idea to do something in return to the society and she knew by now that Beckett was worth it. Alexis loved the woman. She was working hard and did everything she could to raise her sons as good as she could. Considering that she was a single mother with three children in tow, she was actually doing pretty well. If only there was something else Alexis could do to help her.

"Well thank you very much, but it's really not necessary, I…"

"Shhh… I don't want to hear about it", Beckett insisted, totally unaware of Alexis actual wealth situation. She merely figured and understood that a teenage girl needed the money to go out with friends, go to the movies, and so on. She knew she would have enjoyed to have that money in her pocket too when she was younger.

"Oh… I see my dad's here to pick me up", Alexis noted the car that had just come to a halt in front of the apartment building downstairs. Every time Beckett was on her way back home, she called and would let Alexis know about her soon arrival so that the girl could request her father to pick her up half an hour later. "Well, you got my number… " she smiled and waved her goodbye.

Beckett returned her kind gesture and another thank you before closing and locking the door for the night. Before heading the pillow though Beckett always needed to check up on her sons. They were peacefully sleeping away in their dreamland. Matt, her six year old, was holding tight onto Lightbuzz in the upper bunk bed while Jamie, three years, wouldn't let go of Bob the Builder in the lower bunk bed. Charlie, who would soon blow out the first candle was fervently sucking on his pacifier in his crib.

If only things would always be so peaceful but with three energetic sons, Kate Beckett sure had her hands full twenty-four seven. Her eyes swayed to her arm watch reminding her that she was way past her bedtime hour. She dropped one last kiss onto each forehead and then finally called it a day.