A little fluff for CastleFanficElectionDay. I hope you enjoy!
"… From being in uniform, to a detective, and finally as a Captain in the NYPD; I have learned the definition of service. I understand the full meaning of public servant and what that entails. And if elected, I will continue to use that understanding in Albany. While state senator will be different from being a cop, it's two sides of the same coin. Protecting the public and doing our best to make the lives of all New Yorkers better. Thank you."
Kate Beckett stepped away from the podium with relief as Jessie, her campaign manager, took over and announced, "Ladies and gentlemen – the future state senator from New York County – Katherine Beckett!"
She acknowledged the thunderous applause with a wave and walked off the stage into her husband's waiting arms.
"Was it okay?"
Rick kissed the top of her head.
"It was great. You're a natural."
She scoffed. "That's just Mark being a great speechwriter."
"But you're the one they're listening to. And you wouldn't say it if you didn't believe it."
Kate moaned as she pulled away from Castle.
"I'll just be glad when the election's over – no matter who wins."
Rick chuckled as he took her hand and led her further backstage.
"Are you finished?" he asked. "Can I take you anywhere? Q3 maybe? You deserve a night on the town."
"Let me talk to Jessie. I think I'm done, but who knows? Someone might have set something up and forgotten to tell me, or I've blocked it out."
"I know that feeling. I've had book signings like that."
Kate laughed lightly. Yes, her husband did know. In a lot of ways, it made the weirdness easier to handle – knowing that Castle understood her nervousness, telling her that although he's done this for years, butterflies still show up whenever he does a reading.
Jessie walked by then, pencil behind her ear, pen poised on the clipboard she carried everywhere.
"Hey, Jess," Kate called, stepping away from Rick.
"Kate!" the young woman perked up, her enthusiasm making Kate even more tired. "You did great. Did you hear that reaction? You should start checking out offices in Albany immediately. Heck, start checking them out in Washington!"
"Jess, let's not get ahead of things," Kate laughed, feeling a slight twinge of memory at the mention of Washington. "I haven't won yet, don't push me on the national scene when I'm not sure I'm ready for the state scene."
"Matter of time, Senator," Jessie winked. "Matter of time."
Kate rolled her eyes.
"Not quite, Jessie. Are we done here? No interviews or…" Kate shuddered. "Meet and greets?"
Jessie checked her clipboard.
"No, it doesn't look like we've got anything pressing… There are a few reporters outside who would like an interview – or at least a few questions answered if you want."
Kate turned to Rick who shrugged. Jessie moved off to supervise the dismantling of the room, taking down all the campaign signs that had been set up, and removing all the red, white and blue decorations around the podium.
"Do you think we could make a break for it?" she asked, Rick's face lighting up in mischief at her words.
"I could do a little reconnaissance – find a back door we could sneak through"
He immediately went into spy mode, humming the James Bond theme just loud enough for Kate to hear as he sneaked up to a doorway, made a quick peek to make sure the coast was clear, then jerked himself around and through the door.
Kate laughed as he came back and gestured for her to follow.
She'd follow him anywhere.
Once she reached the sidewalk, Rick lifted his hand for a taxi.
"I thought the car was around front?" she asked him, eyebrow raised.
"It is," Castle replied, taking her hand as a cab pulled to the curb. "I'll call him to let him know we've gone, and I'll make sure he gets a big tip for this."
Kate laughed and shook her head as she climbed into the car.
Rick clambered in after her, taking her hand and asking, "Where to, Kate? We have the night and we have the City."
"That was cheesy, Castle."
"That makes me Reece's favorite."
"He certainly loves cheese," she looked out the window with a wistful expression.
Rick leaned forward and told the cabbie to just drive, they'd let him know the destination soon.
"Kate? Are you all right?"
She turned back with a smile.
"I'm fine, Rick. But – can we go home? I just want to spend time with my four favorite people. Five if Alexis wants to stick around. I need to de-stress. Maybe we can see if your mom wants to come over."
"Call my mother? I thought you said you needed to de-stress," Castle deadpanned, feigning injury when Kate smacked his arm lightly.
"Let's go home, Castle."
Rick smiled and leaned forward to tell the driver the address.
The twins had just gone down for the night when their parents came home. Kate insisted on getting them up while Rick helped Lily pick out a movie. Alexis had plans, but she stayed a few minutes longer while Kate and Rick got into their own pajamas. Martha had auditions at her acting school in the morning, so she declined the movie party.
Halfway through The Little Mermaid (Jake and Reece loved Flotsam and Jetsam) all three kids were out cold. The popcorn bowl was empty and Kate was carding her fingers through Lily's hair, still watching the movie.
"Hey," Castle called softly.
"You want to get the monsters to bed?"
Kate smiled at the puppy pile they were all in.
They left Lily on the couch for a few minutes as they took the twins upstairs to their room. Neither boy woke as their parents tucked them in and kissed their foreheads, whispering sweet nothings.
They repeated the procedure with Lily, who woke up just enough to say, "Ni' night, Mommy, Ni' night, Daddy."
"Good night, baby."
They made their way back downstairs. Rick noticed the movie was just paused, not turned off.
"You want to finish the movie?" he teased.
Kate picked up the popcorn bowl and took it to the kitchen. She yawned as she put it in the sink. It could wait until tomorrow morning to wash.
"Nah, but leave it in the player. I'm sure the kids'll want to finish it tomorrow."
"You say that like they haven't seen it a million times already," Rick snorted.
"I remember doing that with Sleeping Beauty," she mentioned with a grin. "Maleficent was my favorite character."
"Ooh. Are you going to turn into a dragon for me?" he waggled his eyebrows.
"Maybe, if you're lucky."
Rick's smile grew bigger. When she said that, he usually was.
Kate put her arms around Rick's waist and snuggled into his chest.
"Thanks, Castle. I know you wanted to take me out, but I needed a quiet night."
He rubbed his arms over her back.
"Are you de-stressed and ready to take on the campaign again?"
"Not completely, but I think you can help with that."