He feels bad.

Not just about dropping Alexis off at college and yeah, having a bit of a breakdown about it. Because it's not like he can go upstairs and drag her into an impromptu laser tag battle when she's trying to study for exams. He won't be woken up with pancakes or waffles as she tries to weedle something out of him.

But he also keeps replaying the whole dramatic smashing of those dolls in Gates's office. So he didn't think that whole plan out. She probably didn't like him anymore which was sort of okay with him because seeing her rave about Frozen Heat was more than a little strange to witness. But he had also liked not having to tiptoe completely around the captain.

So he leaves Beckett in bed, moving quietly to the study and grabbing his laptop. He goes back to the bedroom, sitting in one of the armchairs with the laptop perched on his knees. There has got to be another few of those Gemini dolls somewhere. The internet has everything, right?

She levels a glare at the writer as he tries a smile in her direction. Watches as his lips turn down in a frown, glances over at Beckett for comfort.

And the two think they're so subtle.

She doesn't say anything as she closes the door to her office. Her bag falls to the ground when she sees her desk.

It's covered – absolutely covered – with Gemini dolls. Each in a different colored dress. Little brown and blue and green eyes and painted pink smiles and curling hair.

In the very front, sitting against the nameplate on her desk, is the one that Castle smashed. The girl is holding a business card, creamy white with a single word written in the writer's sloping capital letters.


She runs a fingertip over the doll's ceramic face, picking up the card and tucking it into the top drawer of her desk. Out the window, through the half-drawn blinds, she can see Castle's fingers dancing over Beckett's shoulder, tugging on the end of the detective's hair.

Maybe, just maybe, if those two can keep it as low-key as they've been attempting and their closure rate stays as stellar as it has been and Castle stays from under her feet, she can find it in herself to forgive him.

He did help solve the case after all.

She turns the doll she had been searching for since she was a little girl around, re-settling the doll's arms on her lap. And then she digs Heat Wave from her purse, hides it behind the closure report for the division, and continues to read.