7 Years Later

Seven years had passed since everything was resolved with LOKSAT and everything that had been tied to Johanna Beckett's homicide had been resolved. Prior to the intervening seven years between the present and the past, Caleb Brown had been staking out the loft as he waited for Rick and Kate to return home the morning after LOKSAT was over. The mystery writer and his muse had thankfully survived the gunshot wounds that were inflicted upon them by Caleb, thanks in part to Haley and Alexis finding them when they had gone over to the loft to make sure everything was okay. When Haley and Alexis had discovered Kate and Rick laying in pools of blood in the kitchen there had been a lot going on. Alexis was freaking out that her Dad and step-mom were on the verge of dying. Haley first had to calm Alexis down before she tended to Rick and Kate. As Haley made sure to keep her friends from bleeding out, Alexis called for an ambulance before she called Ryan and Esposito.

Now that things were back to normal, life went on for the Castle family. The once small family of five had grown to a family of eight in the intervening time. Sometime after the whole LOKSAT thing, Alexis became a big sister when her Dad and step-mom had Lily. Then a few years after Lily had made her debut, the family welcomed the twins; Jake and Reece. One weekday morning, Lily and her little brothers were chased through the loft by their parents to the dining table for breakfast. Lily took her seat at the table as her brothers were helped into their seats by their parents.

"So what are we doing today?" Lily asked in between the bites she took of her red velvet muffin.

"Not sure yet, sweetheart." Kate replied.

"Can Daddy and I play laser tag?"

For a brief moment just before either one of them gave Lily an answer, Rick and Kate shared a look. As soon as Lily was old enough to hold a laser gun in her hands and pull the trigger, Rick taught her how to play laser tag just and pull as he had done with Alexis when she was her sister's age.

"Well, can we play laser tag?" the precocious seven year old asked once again.

"Sure we can." Rick answered.

"Can Alexis come and play too?"

"I don't know if she's going to the P.I. office today or not."

"Alexis can come play and Haley can go to the P.I. office instead."

Kate and Rick laughed at their daughter's persistence.

"How about this Lily, we call your sister after we finish breakfast and see what she is up to today before laser tag gets underway?" Kate said.

Lily mulled it over for a brief second or two. "Yeah sure, that sounds like a good plan."

With that, Lily went back to eating her red velvet muffin and her little brothers munched away at their breakfasts. It had been said countless times since Lily was born that she was a mini version of Kate and the discussion that had just occurred was proof of that down to the letter.

After taking an another sip of her morning cup of coffee, Kate looked over to Rick once she had set her cup down in front of her.

"What put that smile on your face, babe?" Kate asked.

Rick and Kate had pretty much been holding each other's hands since they had sat down with the kids to have breakfast that morning so both of them had been drinking coffee and eating with their free hand.

"It's nothing." Rick replied.

Kate pressed the subject again by staring Rick down.

"Okay, okay. I just remembered the first time Lily held a laser gun and took her first shot."

It was then that Kate flashed back to the moment that Rick had mentioned.

"Okay Lily, hold the laser gun like this…"

"Okay Daddy."

"Now put your pointer finger right here."

"Okay…"

"When you're ready; aim and pull the trigger."

Kate recalled that Rick had quickly gone across the room with his laser tag vest on and got down on his knees to give Lily a target. Within seconds of Rick getting into place, Lily squared off to her target and fired away.

"Oh, you got me; you got me."

Kate smiled as she remembered Rick flair for the dramatic in the moment that followed Lily first pull of the laser gun trigger.

"She's a natural like you, Kate."

"It's in my blood, Daddy, that's why."

A smile then came to Kate's face as the memory faded away.