The soft knock on the door lets him know that his daughter is here. Rising from the couch, Jim leaves the book and the reading glasses on the coffee table on his way to greet his visitors,
"Hi, Dad" she says as soon as he opens the door, her arms coming around him in a warm embrace."Happy Birthday" she says softly, nearly a whisper in his ear, with her head buried in the crook of his neck like when she was little.
"Thank you, Katie" he answers tightening his hold on her. She sighs deeply, sinking into her father's arms. "Is everything okay?" he can't help asking.
"Yeah" pulling away so he can see her face, her smile. "Very long week, that's all"
He lets go of her and steps aside, ushering her inside, confused when he doesn't see anybody else outside.
"Rick's not coming?" he asks, closing the door behind him.
"He is running late, got stuck in a meeting with his publishers." he takes her coat and she walks into the kitchen, unwrapping the scarf from her neck and carefully putting her purse on a chair.
"Dad, this smells heavenly."coming closer to the stove, she takes a peek into her father's concoction."But since you didn't let me or Castle cook, you were at least supposed to make your favourite food on your birthday, not mine"
"Says who?" he smiles as she rolls her eyes at him. Coming into the kitchen with her, he checks the food and turns off the stove. "Want to join me in the living room? You can tell me about your long week while we wait for Rick."
"Actually, I have something for you." She says as she takes a small wrapped box from inside her purse.
"Katie, you didn't need to get me anything"
"It's your birthday, Dad. Of course i got you something"
"The quite expensive fishing gear that I received on Tuesday was more than enough, you know." He gives her a look and she rolls her eyes affectionately.
"Yeah, but then I saw this I couldn't help buying it" she says as she sits next to him and hands him the present, shy smile in her face. " I thought you might like it."
"I'd love anything that comes from you, Katie." She smiles fondly at that, memories of father's day presents she had made for him when she was a kid coming to their minds.
"Even strangely smelling handmade coffee mugs?"
"Even that. I still have it, you know."he sees her narrow her eyes and looking around his apartment and he adds." Up in the cabin."
"How convenient" She laughs.
Jim turns the box in his hands and starts unwrapping it carefully, smirking at his daughter frustrated sigh. He loves to push her buttons, just like when she was a child. Johanna was always telling him that if he kept that up, Katie was going to stop wrapping his presents all together. He finally finishes unwrapping the box and opens it. He raises his eyebrows at her when he lift the white mug out of the box, an amused expression on his face giving the conversation they just had.
But then he turns it around, and the words on it leave him breathless.
"Katie" it's barely a whisper, he is not even sure the sound reaches her ears. He looks up at her and finds her smiling, pure joy pouring out of her tearful eyes. He looks down back at the mug, his fingers tracing the words over and over again.
"So, you like it?" A watery chuckle escapes him at Kate's question.
"I... I.." he is at a loss for words, his throat clogged with emotion. He places the mug in the coffee table and turns back to his daughter, taking her in one more time, seeing her so happy, so radiant, he can't help wrapping her in his arms again, sharing silent tears of joy."Oh, Katie, I'm so happy for you, so proud"
They sit and talk quietly for a while, Castle's knock on the door breaking the spell he is been in since he saw the inscription on the mug. Kate goes to open the door while he goes to the kitchen to set everything up, his new precious mug craddle in his hands. He can't wait to parade it around the office on Monday, his thumb tracing that one word over and over again. Grandpa.
There are so many things he wants to share with his daughter and her husband, but they can wait. Tonight, they celebrate.
This is the mug if you want to see it www. tohfay images/large/0_1416639702. jpg