The next days were routine, except for the occasional reporter or photographer popping up outside the loft. A week after Kate's resignation had been announced; she received an email from Victoria Gates informing her that Lieutenant McCarthy will be her replacement. Kate wrote a short memo to her staff about McCarthy's appointment. Before she sent out the memo, she called Espo into her office.

"What's up, Captain?"

"Just wanted you to be the first to know that Lieutenant McCarthy will be promoted to Captain and take over for me on March 9th. Since you recommended that I call Gates about him, I thought you deserved to know first."

"Thanks, Cap. I'd prefer that you were staying, but he's a good guy and a good cop."

"I'm sending out a memo to let everyone know. It will make the transition easier for everyone, since he was the temporary Captain while I was out."

"Do you have time to look over our case board? We need a new angle."

"Let me send out my memo, and I'll come take a look."

After hitting send on her memo, and answering 2 phone calls, Kate stood perusing the boys' case board. She found a phone number that appeared frequently on the vic's incoming calls, but the vic had stopped answering the calls two days before she died. She suggested they interview the owner of that phone. Ryan and Espo thanked her for the suggestion.

The paperwork to close out her files and prepare for the transition to Captain McCarthy seemed never ending. Rick had arranged for the car service to pick her up Tuesdays and Thursdays, unless she called to cancel. Those two days were designated as 'take stuff home' days. She usually had a box or two of personal items packed on those days. Taking home things a little at a time allowed her to pack when it was convenient. Lieutenant McCarthy came by to pick her brain, when it was mutually convenient. Her exit interview at 1PP was scheduled for March 8th. Day by day the end of her NYPD career crept closer.

Rick was concerned she'd have second thoughts as her last day approached. At his urging, Kate scheduled another appointment with Dr. Burke. Her next to last Thursday, Dr. Burke scheduled a 7:30 am appointment for her.

Kate was waiting at his door, when Dr. Burke arrived for their appointment. "Captain Beckett, I hope you haven't been waiting long."

"The traffic delays I anticipated didn't materialize, so I got here a little early. Don't rush on my account. I'm grateful you are willing to schedule around my crazy life."

"It's not a problem. I usually arrive about this time. This just postpones my half hour prep time until 8:30."

After they settled in their usual places in Burke's office, he started the conversation. "When is your last day at the 12th?"

"March 9th. It's a strange coincidence that it's on that date. I crashed Rick's book launch party for Storm Fall to bring him for questioning about a murder on March 9th, 2009. Rick says it's not a coincidence, it's fate," Kate smiled.

"I saw the press release about your retirement. Who wrote that? It was playful, while also communicating the facts."

"Castle and his publicist worked on it. From what I understand, the amusing bits were due to Rick's input."

"How many years have you been part of the NYPD?"

"15"

"So Rick has been a part of your NYPD career for more than half of your time. When you scheduled this appointment, you mentioned that Rick is the reason for it. Does he have concerns that we didn't address at your previous appointment?"

"He expects me to have second thoughts next week. I don't think I will, but being prepared is always a good thing."

"Was Rick a Boy Scout? That sounds like the Scout motto."

Kate laughed for a long minute. When she regained control of herself, she explained her amusement to Dr. Burke, "On our first case, I told Castle to stay in the car while we entered an apartment to arrest a suspect. He told me "Scout's honor." A few minutes later, he showed up in the apartment. When I glared at him for being there, he told me he was never a scout."

Dr. Burke chuckled. "It's been my experience with patients, that after retirement or resignation, a plan for the future averts regrets and often depression. What plans do you have for your future?"

Kate described her plans to spend time with Lily and Rick, her desire to have another child, and the possibilities for a new career once her child or children are in school. "Rick has myriad memories of Alexis growing up. Alexis has told me about the stories he made up for her, all the trips to museums, the theater, and the zoo. They spent summers at the Hamptons house, and they traveled. If I continue at the NYPD, I will miss the adventures, the stories, the beach, and Lily's firsts. Rick was a young, single father. Alexis never had a nanny. He doesn't want Lily to have one either, but he is not a young man anymore. He'd be so upset with me for talking about his age. I know he's going to want to do all the fun things he did with Alexis with all our children. By the time the next child is old enough for Rick's adventures, Rick will be 50. He will need his partner, his wife, with him to make our children's childhoods as magical as he made it for Alexis."

Dr. Burke waited for Kate to continue. She didn't. She just smiled at him. "Your words and demeanor tell me that you are even more sure of your decision."

"I am. My Mother would want me to be happy. My plan is to be happy, have fun watching Lily discover the world around her, and hopefully have another child. My presence at home should enable Rick to write without the pressure and stress his editor puts on him at times."

"With that positive attitude, I'm not worried about you having regrets about resigning. Before you go. I'm sure you have pictures of Lily on your phone. Mind sharing them with me?"

"I'd love to."

After a few minutes sharing pictures of Lily with Dr. Burke, Kate headed for the 12th. It was a normal day solving problems and doing paperwork. Kate started a countdown on her computer to March 9th. She was anxious to start enjoying her future life.

RCKB RCKB RCKB

Rick asked Kate if her appointment with Dr. Burke went well. Kate was holding in a laugh while watching Lily trying to spoon applesauce into her mouth. "He's satisfied that I'm happy with my decision. We'll talk after the little one is in bed. Okay?"

"Deal. Hey, Miss Lily, you're supposed to eat your food not wear it."

Once the baby was tucked in with her elephant, Kate and Rick opened a bottle of wine and snuggled up on the sofa. Rick tucked Kate's hair behind her ear, to allow him access to her lovely neck.

His kisses were ticklish as well as arousing.

"Babe, let me tell you about what Dr. Burke had to say. I'll be less likely to spill wine if you save the ravishing for the bedroom."

"Yes, Dear."

Kate rolled her eyes, grabbed Rick's face and kissed him. "Hush." She took a sip of her wine, "Burke asked me about my reasons again, and about my plans for the future. I told him about the magic you created for Alexis when she was small. I want that for Lily and our 2nd child. I want to be a part of that magic."

Kate was a bit surprised at how emotional she was feeling. She took a sip of her wine before proceeding. "I told him that my Mom would have wanted me to be happy. Burke was pleased with the plans and my perspective. So you can stop worrying, Mr. Castle."

"Yes, Dear."

Kate laughed at Rick this time. He leaned in for a kiss. "I just want us to be happy, Kate. I've always been in awe of your tenacity, brilliance and courage as a detective. Your parental skills are no less impressive. Being your partner at the 12th gave me inspiration and a sense of fulfillment, like I was doing something truly important." Rick held up his hand to forestall Kate's attempt to interrupt. "Being the best father I know how to be also gives me that sense of fulfillment. I'm looking forward to sharing that joy and adventure with you. Right now, I really want to make love with you."

"Take me to bed, Writer Man."