Disclaimer: All characters and basic concepts used in this story are the property of their respective owners. I own nothing; they are used solely for entertainment purposes. Any copyright infringement is not intended or implied.

Credit: A special thanks goes to my dear friend unicornball—without you it would not have been possible. Thank you that you always standing behind me; for everything you do for me :)

This is definitely an AU—Alternative Universe! Now and then I have a few rare moments when I wonder what it would be like if Beckett and Esposito had a past—together. I don't have these moments often, but every now and then I think they have a deep bond... and maybe there was something between them. Something more than friendship. But I'm more of a Caskett shipper so, don't worry; it will be a Caskett pairing!.

Summary - What would be: If Lanie wants to have a baby but she's heartbroken to discover she's infertile. She has a huge favor to ask Kate and Javier..

Now's your last chance to turn back! And just remember; it's an AU.

Elements of Friendship

Chapter 1

"I wanted to ask you something," Lanie started, swallowing nervously. "But please don't hate me..." She paused a moment, collecting herself. "I wanted to ask you Kate, and Javier, for a favor. If you could do it for me. Since you're my best friend," she said to Kate, "And you're my fiancé," she glanced at Javier, "I wanted to ask you if you could be my baby's biological parents since I can't get pregnant on my own."

She explained everything to Beckett and Castle, then looked between Kate and Javier, waiting for a reaction. Castle looked like he still needed to process what he had just heard; he looked a little dumbfounded as he chewed the inside of his cheek for a moment. It was too much information to process all at once. Too much information.

That definitely wasn't a question you get everyday and the stunned silence was awkward.

Javier just shrugged when everyone looked at him for a reaction. His fiancé had already talked to him, more than once, about what she wanted. At first he thought she was joking and the desire would go away after a little while. But now he knew better; Lanie was serious.

He looked at Beckett and Castle; they could tell it was serious, too. He tried to catch Beckett's eye but she was more focused on the wall next to him. He sighed softly and she looked at him. He took a few deep breaths.

After Kate relaxed a little, she looked first to Javier; his expression serious and understanding. Then to her best friend Lanie, she looked anxious and curled in on herself a little. She almost looked ashamed, gaze down and only occasionally looking up to meet Kate's eyes.

"What?" Kate blurted out. She didn't know what to think... it was a strange situation. It was a real bummer to be honest. How the hell was she supposed to react towards such a serious matter? "Lanie, you can't be serious about this," she said slowly, breaking the tense silence. But Lanie looked more then serious, with a sheen of tears in her eyes, and she wasn't sure if she could say no...

Kate looked to Castle and saw that he had was having just a hard time understanding Lanie's request. Esposito didn't look at all comfortable with the situation. Matter of fact, she bet Javier was wishing he could jump into a hole and hide right about now... He was sitting on the couch and covered his face with his hands. He seemed embarrassed and tried to hide even more of his face in his hands.

Carefully, Javier lowered his hand from his face and met Kate's eyes. He swallowed thickly. He hoped Lanie knew what she was doing to him with this whole situation. He was not as confident about this as she was.

Kate had no idea what she should say. She held Esposito's gaze and tried to calm herself. Even though she knew, deep inside, she couldn't say no. Not to Lanie. Not now that Lanie had worked up the courage to ask her such a question. It must've been very hard for her and Kate couldn't imagine how much it must have cost Lanie to even ask at all.

But Esposito was another matter. They had a past together. No one knew about it. They had a... moment, a thing, after Roy Montgomery was shot; they'd both had a little too much to drink and they ended up sleeping together. It was more a spur of the moment thing, nothing serious— neither sure if a second time would happen. Then there was a second time; when Castle was with Jacinda the flight attendant. They'd managed to keep it a secret. For all that had happened between them, he was still her friend—nothing more, nothing less. But Kate and Javier knew better. As far as everyone knew, they were just friends—co-workers. Not even Lanie and Castle knew about it.

Kate looked down at the girl in her lap and Lily looked back up at her. Kate smiled as she leaned down and pressed a soft kiss to Lily's forehead. She could only imagine how Lanie must feel, never being able to have a child. And it broke her heart a little bit more to know what her best friend was missing.

Kate swallowed hard. She loved her little girl more than anything; Lily was her world. How could she be the one who said no to such a heartfelt request? She was a mother for some time now and she couldn't imagine a world without her little girl in it anymore without—their little girl; Castle and hers.

"How do you see the whole thing working?" Kate asked Lanie, curious.

Castle stood up, sensing they needed a private moment, and carefully took Lily from Kate. "I'll put her to bed," he said and gently bounced Lily in his arms. "Say goodnight to Mommy," he said, waving Lily's hand for her.

"Good night, Honey," Kate said, gently stroking her daughter's little hands and kissed the top of the head.

Castle disappeared out of the room and went upstairs with Lily.

Kate concentrated again on the matter at hand, giving Lanie her full attention. "Do you have an idea how we should handle this? I mean, I'm the one that'll be going through the morning sickness again. Baby kicking at my ribs and bladder. The backaches and the birthing thing."

"Does that mean you're going to do it?" Lanie asked, hope in her voice.

"Not quite," Kate admitted slowly, biting her lip. "It means I want to know more. What you planned? How it all works. What does it mean for Espo and me? And what about Castle and Lily? I mean, we're married and we have a daughter. Please, tell me what you have in mind."

Lanie swallowed her nerves, then she explained her thoughts to her fiancé and her best friend.

Javier looked at Beckett. He couldn't believe she was seriously considering this... He almost wished Kate could read his mind and hoped his eyes would speak to her. Do you really want to do it? he thought hard as he stared at her. ...Not that it worked.

He could tell she was more than confused but didn't look away when she glanced at him curiously.

If you have read it, be sincere about your thoughts and please stay polite. I hope you had as much fun reading as I had writing it.

To be Continued?