This one just wanted to be written while I got stuck on my new story. If there will be a sequel, this is going to be the first chapter of it. For now I'll post it as an addition to the original story. Enjoy.
Ellie just turned two in February. Alexis is 14 and Jamie 8.
"Kate please," Castle whined and trailed after his wife as she made her way out of the bathroom to grab her clothes from the bed. He had tried to get all dirty again in the fun way after her shower but she had dodged his antics, since she had to go into work. His pleas now had a different intention though.
"No," she shook her head. "I'm not taking Ellie out of day-care just because you are bored. You know how much she loves it there."
"I'm not bored," he protested, "I've got writer's block. That's different."
Kate rolled her eyes, "No one asked you to kill off Derrick."
"He got boring," Castle whined again, "there's nothing to him anymore. Nada. Niente. I need a new inspiration."
"Well then go out and find one," she told him sternly, "but I'm not taking Ellie away from her friends so she can entertain her whiny dad who suffers from writer's block."
Castle huffed, letting himself drop down on the bed again, "You're mean," he pouted.
"And you're acting like a baby," she retorted, buttoning up her blouse and then adding sarcastically, "Not that this is a new one."
"But I'm all alone," he tried again, training his puppy eyes on her, "all day, while you are all out having fun."
"You're only alone until Alexis and Jamie get out of school," Kate replied, seriously getting annoyed by his behavior. He had been like this for weeks and it was starting to piss her off. It's not like she didn't feel any compassion for his struggle, she just thought he enjoyed the whining part of it a bit too much.
"That's such a long time," he groaned, letting himself fall down on the mattress. "They're not back until three."
His wife sighed heavily and sat down next to him on the bed, patting his belly, "Then ask your mother if she has plans. Maybe you can join her at rehearsal?", she suggested trying to reel in her frustration.
"As if," Castle huffed, "it's enough that she invites her theatre group over here for rehearsal once a week. I really don't need more images of her contemporary Shakespeare production floating in my mind."
"Castle," she scolded him although he sort of had a point about the production, "you know she's a big help with the girls."
He shrugged, "So is your dad but I don't see him living here either."
"Don't take your grumpy mood out on your mother. I'm glad she's here and so are the girls. And the two of us definitely had more time to ourselves since she moved in. I don't hear you complaining about our date nights."
"She took your office," he pointed out, exasperated and trying to make her see his point.
"So?", Kate shrugged. "I didn't really need it anyway and admit it, you like having me in your space, curled up on the couch in the office while you write."
He gave her a look, sat up again and then wriggled his eyebrows suggestively at her, "I like you in my space all right," he grinned, causing her to roll her eyes once again.
"Not what I meant," she told him as she got up, but she was snagged back by his arm. Stumbling into his side, she let out a humph.
"She said it would be just for a couple of months, until she's back on her feet. Kate, it's been over a year. What if she never leaves?", he mumbled into her neck, before pressing his lips against her pulse point, causing her to shiver.
"Castle," she hissed, not able to control her reaction to him, even after all those years. "I really need to go."
"Stay," he muttered, his hand sneaking under her blouse seeking out her warm, soft skin.
"I can't," she moaned, all her frustration about her whining man-child of a husband forgotten for the moment.
"You know you want to," he told her as his hand moved higher, fumbling with the claps of her bra.
"I …," she stuttered, her arms grabbing his neck without her permission, pulling him closer. "Cas -."
"Mom," Jamie called out again, this time her voice definitely closer than before. "We need to go."
Kate and Castle flew apart, straightening up their appearance before their daughter stepped around the half opened bedroom door, holding her baby sister by her hand.
"What's taking you so long? I'm gonna be late for school," she looked at her parents who looked like they had been caught with the hand in the cookie jar.
"I'll be right there. Can you help Ellie with her coat?", Kate asked and watched her daughter slowly turn around again, her eyes still fixed on her parents.
"No funny business," she told them sternly and then walked back into the living room, leaving her parents with matching scrunched expressions on their faces.
"Whoops," Castle grinned stupidly, watching Kate grab her leather jacket and shooting him a bewildered look, before she started for the door.
"What? As if this is all my fault?", he stood, following her, but didn't get an answer and he knew better than to pursue the topic in front of their daughters. So he kept his mouth shut on the matter and instead kissed his daughters goodbye.
"I'm gonna miss you," he called after them, sounding way too dramatic and very much like his mother, but he couldn't care less.
"It's only a couple of hours dad," Jamie rolled her eyes just like her mother and then ran ahead to get the elevator.
"Easy for you to say," he muttered, but was delighted that at least his youngest waved at him over her mother's shoulder as Kate carried Ellie down the hall.
He stared down the empty hallway for a long moment before he finally closed the door and shuffled into the kitchen to pour himself a cup of coffee. His mother probably wouldn't be up for another hour or two and he wasn't sure if it was a good or a bad thing that she wouldn't be around to distract him. He knew he had been unfair earlier. He actually liked having her here, had offered willingly for her to move in with them after her latest ex-husband had taken all her money and disappeared. And Kate was right, she was a big help, the girls loved her and he really needed to stop taking his mood out on her others.
With a sigh he pushed himself off the kitchen counter and walked back into the bedroom to take a shower and get ready for the day. He picked up his phone on the way, realizing he had five missed calls from Gina who probably had called about the book launch party tonight - Derrick Storm's last instalment - and about the chapters for the new book he owed her. Unfortunately Gina had no idea he hadn't written a word in weeks.
He decided to deal with her later though he was not looking forward to it. He knew she would pester him, but if he didn't call her at all she would call Kate and then he would really be in trouble.
Still he wished he could cancel tonight's event. He would be expected to be his charming self, small-talking his way around all those people who thought they were better than the rest of the world and though he knew it was part of his job he didn't like it that much.
To make things worse Kate wouldn't be there to support or distract them. She was on call tonight and didn't want to show up on a possible crime scene in a sexy dress, knowing Ryan and Esposito would never let her live that down. At least Alexis and his mother would accompany him, hopefully keeping his mind occupied with other things than his own misery, while Jamie and Ellie would go up to the cabin with Grandpa Jim for the weekend.
He smiled. There was something to look forward to after all, a weekend to themselves, providing Kate wouldn't catch a case.
Alexis probably had plans of her own and with the younger children out of the house they could have precious hours to themselves. Maybe he could convince Alexis to stay at Paige's for the weekend and send his mother on a spa-trip and they would have the loft all to themselves to do delicious things wherever they wanted. He grinned at the thought as he stepped under the shower, letting his mind wander to all the fun he and Kate could have and his mood improved instantly
Kate let herself fall into her chair at the precinct with a groan. On her way in, Castle had called her three times, for no reason in particular and he had only managed to stress her out even more.
"Something wrong, Beckett?" Ryan asked from behind his desk, without looking at her so she wouldn't see the grin on his face.
"Castle still got writer's block?", Esposito joined in, leaning against her desk and, unlike Ryan, not even trying to hide his amusement.
"Don't get me started," she growled. "I swear if he doesn't find inspiration soon I'll shoot him."
"You said that five weeks ago," Ryan pointed out, brave enough to grin around his computer.
"Well," she sighed heavily, the glimpse of a smile on her lips, "the children are awfully attached to him."
Espo smirked, "Yeah I'm sure that's the only reason."
Beckett was tempted to poke her tongue at him, but decided it would only spur on her partners' teasing manners, so instead she decided to ignore them for now and grabbed one of the reports she had to review.
Castle had been staring out the window for the better part of the early afternoon, willing his mind to present him with ideas for a new book but so far he had only drawn blanks. Nothing seemed right or thrilling enough and he started to really fear that he had lost his mojo for good.
His mother had left hours ago for rehearsal after he'd refused her offer to accompany her, thinking he might just have to kill himself if he did. He had tried to play a video game but that couldn't really entertain him either and so he had gone back to the window-staring habit he had gotten into over the past weeks.
Fortunately he only had to wait another twenty minutes before he could go and pick Ellie up from the day-care center and then it wouldn't be long until Alexis and Jamie would be home as well and he would finally have someone to distract him. In the end he decided to leave early and walk instead of taking the subway to pick up his baby girl, hoping inspiration might strike him somewhere on the way.
"Dad!?" Alexis yelled from upstairs, annoyance echoing in her voice since she was calling him for the fourth time now.
"Ellie and I are on a mission," he called back, while Ellie rode him piggyback style and guided him through their self-made horse jumping course.
Alexis rolled her eyes and decided to change tactics, "Jamie can you come up and look at the dress?"
Her sister only needed seconds to appear at the end of the stairs, grinning from ear to ear as she told her sister, "On my way."
"Lexi dress?" Ellie asked, poking Castle in the ear.
"You want to see it as well?", he questioned, stopping his attempt to master the next jump.
"Yes," Ellie shrieked, turning his head toward the stairs and demanding him to go faster.
Castle carried his daughter up the stairs and before he even reached Alexis' room, he heard Jamie's shriek.
"Lex, you look awesome," Jamie exclaimed, rounding her sister who stood in the middle of her room to admire the dress from all sides. The light blue brought out the color of Alexis' eyes and Jamie couldn't stop staring in wonder.
"Wow," Castle gasped and set Ellie down so she could join her sisters, "Alexis you look gorgeous."
"Thank you," she smiled shyly.
He stepped closer, pressing a kiss against her forehead, "You will turn people's heads tonight."
"Dad! I want to come too," Jamie said, dropping down on Alexis' bed and helping Ellie to climb up.
"Jamie, we talked about this," Castle said sternly. He really didn't want to get into another discussion about how unfair it was that Alexis was allowed to join him while Jamie had to stay with her granddad.
"But it's so unfair," she pouted, reminding him of himself and for a second he pondered the possibility that he might have actually overdone it with the whining over the past weeks, but he quickly dismissed the idea. Surely it hadn't been too bad.
"You're too young for this kind of events and you will have plenty of fun with Grandpa and Ellie," he told her and watched her face turn into what he liked to call her terror face. His eight year-old daughter was very different from her older sister at the same age. While Alexis had been a shy, often insecure little girl, Jamie was always on top of things. She had her own mind and she loved to share it. Pig-headed like her mother and maybe a bit like him as well, she hardly ever accepted anything without an argument. Not going to his book presentation was no exception.
"I wasn't allowed to go at your age either," Alexis came to his rescue and sat down next to her sisters, "it probably will be boring anyway," she added and Castle saw with relief that Jamie seemed to accept her sister's reasoning.
"But you have to tell me all about it, okay?", she finally relented and waited for Alexis to nod before she jumped up and hurried out of the room. "I still need to pack," she called over her shoulder, all worries forgotten and Castle grinned at his oldest.
"You and Mom just don't know how to handle her," Alexis smirked and then pulled her baby sister close, "thank God you always listen, right Ellie?"
"Yes," the girl who had her mother's eyes affirmed before she reached out her hands for her dad to pick her up. "Horsy," she told him and Castle groaned, knowing he had some more hurdles to jump downstairs.
"Yo, Beckett," Esposito stuck his head into the break room, "we have a fresh one."
With a sigh Kate put her coffee cup back down and followed the boys to the elevator, saying goodbye to her dreams of having the loft to herself for one evening.
"I just want to be on call once without a body dropping. Just once," Ryan muttered as he pushed the button for the ground floor.
"What? Did you have plans?" Espo teased him, grinning from ear to ear.
"No," Ryan admitted after a beat, "but I could have."
Beckett bit down on her lip so as not to laugh and patted Ryan on the back, "Maybe next time, Ryan."
He squinted his eyes at her, knowing that there was a double meaning behind her words, but before he could reply the doors opened and Beckett brushed past him.
"Come on boys," she called over her shoulder, as she pushed through the doors and stepped onto the sidewalk, "I don't want to be out all night."
Castle was bored. Gina had paraded him around the guests for over an hour and he was in desperate need of a drink but his publisher had other plans. He shot helpless looks in the direction of his mother and daughter who sat at the bar, but they weren't looking at him, might even ignore him on purpose he thought and he wished Kate was here. He had been looking forward to at least see her later at home, but she had texted him over an hour ago to tell him they had caught a case and she didn't know when she would be able to make it home tonight.
"Ricky!" Exclaimed a woman he had never met before, throwing herself at him and smacking her lips against his cheek while she pushed her rather impressive boobs into his chest. He had to fight the impulse to push her away roughly, and instead tried to step out of her grip carefully, managing to give her a forced smile.
"I'm sorry, have we met before?", he asked and shot Gina a dirty look, but to her defence she looked just as perplexed as he, obviously distasting the woman's antics just as much.
"Richard," she said sweetly, pulling at his arm before directing her next word to the overly affectionate woman in front of them, "if you would excuse us, Mr. Castle's wife is on the phone."
Gina didn't wait for the woman's answer, simply pulled Castle with her and out of danger.
"Thank you," he sighed, when they were out of sight, the corners of his mouth tugging up.
"That's the first real smile I see on your lips tonight," Gina observed, her eyes peering intensely at him.
"Yeah well," he shrugged, not sure what to tell her, since he couldn't tell her the truth. She probably didn't want to hear that he suffered from writer's block or that he missed his wife even though he had just seen her in the morning.
"Your mother tells me you have writer's block," Gina surprised him and Castle swore silently at his mother's indiscretion.
"My mother and her imagination," he laughed, shaking his head.
"She says you haven't written a word in weeks," Gina prodded, not letting him off the hook.
"Everything is under control," he waved her off, looking everywhere but at her, "and now I need a drink." He slipped past Gina and headed for the bar in search of a scotch and his mother.
"Do you really think this is out of one of his books?" Esposito asked as they left the crime scene, leaving Lanie to take Alison Tisdale's body to the morgue.
Beckett gave him a look. Was he really asking if she recognized a murder plot from one of her husband's novels?
"Okay, okay," he raised his hands in surrender, "and Marvin Fisk as well?"
"Yes," she nodded, stopping in front of her cruiser, "I didn't make the connection at first, but now … ."
"So what's next?", Ryan asked stopping next to her.
"Well there has to be another connection as well, something that links these two cases together other than how the murders are staged. There's no way that this is a coincidence," she told them.
"What do you want to do?" Espo asked, noticing the smirk that formed on his partner's face.
"We bring the author in for questioning," she told them with a grin.
"What?" Ryan gasped, shooting Espo a worried look, "isn't Castle at his book launch?"
"He is, but I have six missed calls and received a dozen text messages from him in the past two hours, which tells me he is beyond bored and needs to be rescued."
"Are you sure?" Esposito didn't seem to be convinced. "Can you really just pull him out of there because he has a copy cat?"
She held up her badge, "I'm pretty sure I can."
The boys shrugged and went to their car, hoping Castle would still let them play with his PS3 after this.
Castle leant against the bar, trying to talk Alexis out of making homework, "It's a party, go and have some fun," he told her, nipping at his scotch while keeping an eye on the crowd, fearing Gina would haul him back into the masses.
"With whom Dad?" Alexis questioned, "Everyone is old."
He squinted his eyes at her, "Nice."
"I have to say she has a point," Martha chipped in, "though it's perfect for me."
"Mother, please don't embarrass me," Castle groaned, watching his mother's eyes linger on an older gentleman's backside.
"Embarrass you? Whose boring party is this?", she questioned, sauntering off, "I don't see a ring. Don't wait up for me."
On the other side of the room three sets of detective eyes scanned the crowd in search of its host.
"And you really don't think he'll be mad?" Ryan asked, trying to look over the people in front of him.
"Mad?", Beckett shook her head, "Are you kidding me? He's gonna love it. Trust me."
"You're the boss," Ryan shrugged and then pointed ahead, "There, he's at the bar."
Pushing through the crowd, Beckett pulled out her badge, stopping short just behind her husband who was engrossed in a conversation with their oldest daughter.
"Richard Castle?", she started and went on when he turned around to face her. "Kate Beckett NYPD, we'd like to ask you a few questions about a murder that occurred uptown."