Alright, here we go, my first Castle fic in... well, quite some time actually. 'Tis another holiday request, this one #9. The fic was written for lzod, and the prompt was Castle/Alexis: Having fun. It's not a particularly traditional use of the prompt (I don't think), but it's what my muse decided to come up with. I hope you like it.

Having Fun

xxx

Castle walked out of his study to find his daughter sitting in the living room. It was a sight he didn't see enough anymore, and so now he always paused to appreciate it when he did see it. Alexis was sitting on the couch, leaning over the coffee table with an air of extreme concentration on her face. As Castle got closer, he realized she was trying to flip paperclips into a cup in the centre of the table.

"Watcha doing?" he asked as he walked up.

"Writing a term paper," Alexis answered, narrowing her eyes as she lined up her shot.

"Right," Castle said, listening to the clip ping inside the glass. He dragged an armchair up to the other side of the coffee table and created his own pile of paperclips. "When's it due?"

"Dad!" Alexis said, as if the question was a scandalous one.

"Just making conversation," Castle assured her. After all, he knew his daughter. Even if the paper was due tomorrow, she'd stay up all night if she had to in order to finish it. He fished a paperclip out of his pile and prepared to fire.

"Next Tuesday," Alexis mumbled.

Castle nodded. He'd expected as much. "So you've got a few days."

"Yup," Alexis agreed with another flick of a paperclip. "But I want to get an early start."

"Of course," Castle replied with a flick of his own, annoyed when the paperclip pinged off the side. This was harder than it looked. Alexis must have been practicing. "Good idea."

"Thanks," Alexis muttered, concentrating more on lining up her next shot. "What're you doing?" she asked when this one bounced off the side of the cup.

"Writing the next chapter of my book," Castle told her, pleased when his third paper clilp actually made it into the cup.

"When's the deadline?" she asked.

"Tomorrow night," he replied easily. So nowhere near time to panic yet.

Alexis obviously thought differently. "Dad!"

"Hey!" Castle objected. "I'm working hard here. This is an integral part of the writing process."

"I guess I learned from the best," Alexis agreed with another flick.

"What's the paper on?" Castle asked her.

Alexis raised an eyebrow.

Castle raised one right back. "What? I can't show an interest? Besides, maybe I can help. I have done a lot of research in my time, you know."

"On Twain's use of humour in his work?" Alexis asked him.

Castle paused in his flicking. "Well, maybe at one point, but actually, I haven't read any of those books in a while now."

"Exactly," Alexis replied, as if that proved her point. "Need any help with Nikki Heat?"

"Nope," Castle replied. And given the section of the novel he'd just finished, he didn't want his daughter's help. Because as far as he was concerned, she'd never know anything about that type of thing. Ever. "It's going great. Words are just flowing out of me."

"I can see that," his daughter replied dryly with another clink of a paperclip landing right in the cup.

Castle was irritated to realize that his daughter was probably more accurate at flipping paperclips than he was. He sighed. Clearly he'd have to practice. He was pleased when his next shot landed in the middle of the cup with a satisfying clink.

"What's Beckett up to today?" Alexis asked lightly.

"Paperwork," Castle told her. "Boring."

"So you decided to get some writing done instead," his daughter surmised.

"Exactly," he told her. "Sometimes you just need to block of the time to be productive."

"Yeah, my dorm was getting too loud to concentrate," Alexis agreed. "I thought I'd come here to try and get some work done."

"Well, you're welcome anytime," Castle promised.

She grinned. "I know."

"Hey," Castle said suddenly. "I think we deserve a break from all this writing," he told her. "We've been working hard."

Alexis looked up. "Ice cream?" she asked hopefully.

Castle shook his head. "Better, sundaes. The place with the four kinds of fudge sauce."

Alexis smiled. "I guess I could take a little break..."

"Yeah," Castle agreed. "You deserve a little fun."

"We both do," Alexis corrected.

"Yeah," Castle said again.

"Not that writing isn't fun," Alexis hastened to add.

"Of course not," Castle agreed. "But this is... a different kind of fun."

"Exactly," Alexis replied. "Everyone needs a little variety."

"And where better to get that, then an ice cream store with over forty different candies for toppings?" Castle asked.

"I can't think of anywhere," Alexis said seriously.

Castle grabbed his coat. "After you," he said, opening the door.

Alexis turned back towards him. "Hey Dad?"

"Yeah?" he said.

"Maybe we could write together again sometime?" she wondered.

"Yeah, sure," he promised with a smile. "Hanging out with you is always fun."

Alexis smiled. "Let's go get that ice cream."

"Let's," Castle agreed, following his daughter out of the apartment.

After all, twelve different colours of sprinkles could only add to the fun.

xxx

The end