So Olivia and I got really excited about the fact that there's going to be a Castle Christmas episode. I told her it made me want to write, and I promised it would be angst free. So if you don't want to read a Christmas one-shot in October (I don't really blame you), thanks for clicking on this.
But guess what?
It's Olivia's birthday today.
Olivia, I love you to pieces. I hope that this hits just the right notes of fluffiness. You are the Castle in our brOTP and I am so very very thankful that I know you, because I can't imagine life now without you. You're one of my best friends, and this is for you. Happy 18th birthday, dear.
"Dreams do come true, if only we wish hard enough. You can have anything in life if you will sacrifice everything else for it."
When he heard the knock at the door, he nearly dropped the cup of coffee in his hand in his haste to answer it. He ignored the knowing, but delighted glances from his daughter and his mother, who were sipping the hot chocolate he'd made for them on the living room sofa, having already set up the TV for the Annual Castle Christmas Movie Marathon, moving towards the door as quickly as he could without spilling the full mug of coffee. He paused just before the door, taking a deep breath before opening it slowly, a smile already on his face.
"Hi," he murmured.
She looked as beautiful as ever, dressed in her dark-washed skinny jeans tucked into her knee high, black, heeled boots, with her red pea coat on and a scarf bundled around her neck, her cheeks pink and her hair falling around her face in long loose curls.
"Hi," she answered, a smile blooming across her face. She stepped towards him, pushing herself up slightly on her toes to press her lips against his cheek.
"Merry Christmas Eve," she said, her words fanning out across his skin.
He moved aside so she could step over the threshold into his loft, noticing for the first time the bag she had in her hand as she placed it on the ground. He raised an eyebrow at her, and she just smirked, moving to unbutton her jacket. He snapped out of it, placing the coffee mug in his hand on the table by the door and moving to stand behind her, helping her slide her coat over her shoulders and tugging off her wool scarf. He walked to the coat closet, hanging up her coat for her before he turned around and moved back to where he left her.
"Can I get a real kiss now?" He asked, his arms winding their way around her waist.
"On what?" he asked, dipping his head forward to brush his lips over the tip of her nose.
"Is that coffee for me?"
He let out a chuckle against her lips, his arms tightening around her waist.
"Of course it's for you. I don't make special Christmas coffee for just anyone…"
"Oh," she said, trying to look nonchalant, her eyes giving away just how happy she was, "well in that case…"
She pressed her lips softly against his, sucking his bottom lip between her own for only a moment before pulling away.
"Dad," Alexis called from the living room, "the movie's starting!"
Castle sighed, dropping his arms from around Kate and reaching to grab her coffee from the table, handing to her with a flourish. She smiled at him and took a small sip, humming around the rim of the mug.
"It's perfect," she said softly, "thank you."
He smiled, reaching out and taking her fingers in his own, running his thumb along the soft skin of her hand.
"Thanks for coming."
She squeezed his hand, reaching down and grabbing her bag off the floor with her free hand before walking towards the living room with him in tow.
"There's nowhere else I'd rather be."
It was nearly midnight by the time they finished their "Home Alone" movie marathon (come on, Kate, "A Christmas Story" is so cliché) when Martha announced that she was going to go to bed. Alexis agreed, and the two stood up, stretching out their stiff muscles.
"Wait," Kate said, shifting from where she was tucked into Castle's side and reaching down to her bag, pulling out two packages, both wrapped in sparkling silver and white paper, "I got you both something, and since I'm not sure if I'll be able to make it over tomorrow after going up to the cabin to see my dad, I wanted to make sure you got these."
"Oh, Kate," Martha said, shaking her head, "You know you didn't have –"
"To get you anything," Kate finished with a smile, "I know. But I wanted to."
She continued to hold out the boxes to them and Martha and Alexis looked over at Castle, who shrugged his shoulders with a smile playing at the corner of his lips.
Martha smiled back and reached towards Kate, who handed her the bigger of the two boxes.
"Should we open them now?"
Kate shrugged, handing over the other present to Alexis, "If you'd like."
"Well," Martha said, sitting back down in her chair, "if we're not going to see you tomorrow, we should open them now so we'll be able to thank you in person."
Castle leaned in to whisper in her ear, "Mother will never say no to a present."
Martha rolled her eyes at Castle, but her eyes were shining with happiness as Kate reached back without looking, swatting his chest. He looked down at her and smiled as his mother opened her present.
"Oh!" Martha exclaimed, holding up the brown, silk wrap in her hands, "It's beautiful, Kate. And so soft! Thank you, darling."
Kate smiled, nodding at Martha in acknowledgment.
The sound of paper ripping once again filled the air, and all of the adults looked over at Alexis.
"Oh, Peter Pan," Alexis said, turning over the well-worn book in hands, "thank you… Kate."
Kate smiled, trying hard not to laugh at how the teenager was failing to hide her disappointment.
"It's more about what's on the inside that's the present," Kate said, leaning forward and flipping open the cover.
She watched as Alexis looked at the front cover, her eyes scanning over the handwriting and the words that Kate had long since memorized, her eyes widening as she looked back up at Kate with a gasp.
"Kate…" Alexis said.
"My mother gave me this book right before she left to fly back to New York after I moved to California for school. She said, 'Katie, whenever you feel stressed out or worried, I want you to read this book.' And of course I didn't listen. I threw the book on my bookshelf and went on with my life. And then I got a C+ on my first paper in college and I nearly had a breakdown because I was convinced that I would never be able to get into law school and I saw that book on my shelf and I read it, and ended up calling her at 3:30 in the morning, crying about how much I loved her…" she realized that all of the Castles were looking at her and she ducked her head, trying not to blush, "… I forgot about it… after she died, and didn't find it again until my apartment got blown up. This is one of the few books that survived the fire…" she reached out, touching the blackened edges of the book, taking a deep breath.
"My mom gave great advice," Kate continued, raising her gaze to look at Alexis, her eyes glistening with tears. Kate smiled at her, "But I don't need this anymore. It's time to pass on my mother's wisdom to someone who could use it."
A tear slipped out of Alexis' eye, and she quickly reached up to brush it away.
"Thank you," she said quietly, looking back up at Kate, "thank you so much, Kate."
Kate reached forward and grabbed Alexis' hand in her own, squeezing it once.
A moment of comfortable silence settled over the room before Martha clapped her hands together and stood up.
"On that note, I am truly going to retire for the evening. She reached out and grabbed Kate's hand, pulling her upright and into a hug, "Thank you again, Kate."
Kate squeezed her back, "Merry Christmas, Martha."
"Merry Christmas to you, too, darling."
Martha let Kate go and Alexis stood up, immediately wrapping Kate in a hug that nearly knocked the wind out of her.
"Thank you," she whispered.
"No problem," Kate murmured back.
They held each other for another moment before Alexis pulled away slightly.
"Have a good time with your dad. Tell him we wish him a Merry Christmas."
Kate squeezed her back before letting her go, "I'm sure he returns the sentiment. He feels terrible about not being in the city, but one of his friends up there really… needs someone with him at the moment."
Alexis nodded, pulling away from Kate completely and moving towards Castle.
"Goodnight, Dad," she said, leaning down and kissing his cheek while his mother moved towards the staircase, clapping him on the shoulder as she walked past him, "We'll see you in the morning."
"Goodnight, Pumpkin," he said softly as she pulled away and Kate settled back on the couch, before he made eye contact with his mother, "Goodnight, Mother."
She smiled at the two of them as Alexis made her way to them, Peter Pan clutched in her grip.
Castle and Kate watched over the back of the couch as Martha and Alexis disappeared up the stairs, only turning back towards each other when they heard the distinct sound of their bedroom doors closing.
"You didn't have to do that," Rick murmured, awestruck for the millionth time at the woman sitting next to him.
She nodded, smiling at Castle before taking a sip of her lukewarm coffee before putting it on the table in front of her.
She leaned back into him, settling against his chest, his arms coming up to wrap around her.
"You're so amazing," he whispered into her hair.
They sat in silence for a moment, Kate cocooned in his embrace, her eyes falling shut as his heart beat strong under her ear, until Kate heard her bag being moved on the ground. She lifted her head up to look at him, her brow furrowed.
"Are you kicking my bag with your foot?"
Rick pursed his lips.
"You wanted to see if I brought a present for you."
"Well… did you?"
She looked him in the eyes, trying to keep a straight face at his hopeful expression, before she nodded.
"Where is it?"
"It's here," She assured him, before trailing off.
"You know…" she said, sitting upright, her hand dancing on his thigh, "I don't really have to leave until 6 in the morning."
"Is that right?" he responded, trying to keep his breathing under control.
"Yeah," she said, her hands moving from his leg to his chest, "So you could open your present now, if you'd like."
"I would love to," he said on a breath, "What is it?"
"Well… it's red…" she murmured, swinging a leg over his hips to straddle him.
"Red?" He choked out.
"Yeah…" she said, running her fingers through his hair before leaning forward and pressing her lips to his jawline, "… and lace."
"Oh," Rick stuttered.
"And there are some bows involved…"
His hands flew to her hips, his grip almost painful.
He felt Kate smile against his jaw.
She pulled away from him, unfolding her legs from his sides and standing up. She grabbed his hands, pulling him up until they were standing chest to chest. She stood on the tips of her toes, her boots long since deserted somewhere by the couch and pressed her lips against his. His hands found the hem of her sweater, sliding under them as she slid her tongue past the seam of his lips, both of them groaning at the taste of each other.
"Merry Christmas, Castle," she whispered.
He pulled away from her, grabbing her hand and leading her towards his bedroom. He let go of her hand to shut and lock the door behind them, immediately turning around to find Kate, only to find that she had already removed her sweater.
He gulped, and she smiled, moving towards him again, her fingers deftly undoing the buttons of his shirt.
A merry Christmas, indeed.
That's one of my favorite quotes.
Mostly because it's true.
You can do anything you set your mind to, sweetheart. I know you can.
And remember: everyone grows up eventually
and you don't know what the future has in store for you,
but you'll always have a place at home.
And in my heart.
I love you. And I'm so very proud of who you've become,
P.S. Have fun.