2 hours later than in the last chapter
Rick is typing in his office. Kate is sitting on the floor next to the windows in his office. Lily is lying on the floor between Kate's knees. Kate is using Lily's stuffed elephant to tease Lily and elicit a smile from her baby. Lily is reaching for the elephant. After Kate pulls the elephant away she leans in and makes a silly face for Lily. Lily laughs.
"Rick, did you hear that? She laughed."
"I thought I heard something. What did you do?" Rick leaves his laptop and kneels behind Kate.
"I made my blowfish face for her." Kate waves the elephant in front of Lily and makes a sound like an elephant trumpeting. Lily laughs louder than before.
"That is adorable. Can you laugh for Daddy, Princess?" Rick reaches down and lifts the dress that Lily is wearing. He blows a raspberry on Lily's tummy. Lily laughs even louder.
"Rick, you were right. Baby laughs are the best."
Rick moves his face mere inches from Lily. He makes a silly face, but Lily doesn't laugh. She freezes and stares at him. Rick looks at Kate, disappointed. "I guess I'll have to work on that."
Kate laughs. She kisses Rick's cheek as he makes one silly face after another in an attempt to elicit more laughs from Lily. "I love you, silly man."
4 weeks later
Kate and Rick are seated in an exam room, waiting for Dr. Wright to enter the room. Kate is fiddling with the small notebook in her lap. It contains the headache diary that she started after her appointment 6 weeks ago.
Rick reaches for Kate's hand, "Are you nervous? You usually don't fidget, at all. That is my MO."
Kate smiles at Rick, "I'm just a little concerned about going back to work with the migraines. I've only had a few episodes, but I don't know any other members of the force who have migraines."
"Whatever happens, we'll handle it. Let's wait and see what the Doc recommends," Rick squeezes her hand in support.
Dr. Wright enters the room after a quick knock on the door, "Hello to you both. The nurse's notes tell me that you have had two headaches and two instances of aura. I know you are both investigators of a sort. Have you noticed any triggers for these?"
"Both headaches occurred the day before my cycle started. I haven't figured out what triggered the aura attacks," Kate answers.
Dr. W: "Has the naproxen been able to handle your symptoms each time?"
K: "Yes. Usually takes about 20 minutes to work."
Dr. W: "Give me a few minutes to look over your headache diary. The menstrual related headaches are not uncommon. I'd recommend taking a naproxen every 12 hours beginning two days before you anticipate your cycle starting."
K: "I highlighted the headaches in pink, so you could find those days easily."
Dr. W: "Thank you. That will help."
Dr. Wright scans the pages of the headache diary. He flips back and forth between the pages that have the aura symptom highlighted on them. "Do you happen to remember what the weather was like on the days you had the aura?"
K: "Should I have put weather reports in the diary? You didn't mention that."
R: "What are the dates? I can look it up on my cell phone quickly."
Dr. Wright tells Rick the dates. "When a weather front drops the barometric pressure significantly, it can trigger a migraine. There are weather sites that have migraine forecasts on their websites."
R: "I do remember that one of the days Kate had the aura, we had a bad storm." Rick is scrolling quickly on his cell phone. "The weather data for both days has rain and lightning listed."
K: "I do remember thunder making Lily cry, while I had the aura one of those times."
Dr. W: "We've identified possible triggers for your migraine symptoms. I recommend that you do the same naproxen dosing for days when storms are forecast, as I recommended for days close to the start of your cycle. Keep your headache diary, and schedule another appointment for 3 months from now."
K: "What about my job? Will I be able to return to work when I planned to?"
Dr. W: "That decision is up to you and Mr. Castle. When is your next cycle due to start?"
K: "Around the time I return to work."
Dr. W: "I was hoping you'd have an opportunity to try the prophylactic dosing of naproxen prior to your first day back at work."
Rick is tapping at his phone, "You're due to start back to work two days before your next cycle is due. I keep track of when I need to have extra chocolate in the house."
Kate and Dr. Wright both laugh at Rick's reasoning for keeping track of Kate's cycle.
K: "I married a smart man."
Dr. W: "Yes, you did. Would it be possible for you to postpone your return to work for a week or longer? That way we'll have a chance for you to see if the naproxen will stave off a headache. There is also the possibility that the stresses of work could be a factor, and I'd like to see if the prophylactic dose of naproxen helps, before another possible trigger is added to your life."
Kate looks at Rick. He nods and smiles at her. "I'll call my superior and tell her I'd like to extend my parental leave for at least 2 weeks. She used to be my captain, so I think she'll be accommodating to that."
Dr. W: "If you need for me to write a medical leave form, I have no qualms about doing that. I think it's in your best interest to have the opportunity to try this treatment plan before you return to work."
R: "Kate, I'm sure Gates will be fine with the delay. Tell her the reason for the delay. Maybe she knows other officers who have migraines."
K: "I'll call her when we get home. We'll see you in 3 months then."
Dr. W: "Remember you can call with any concerns or new symptoms."
K: "Thank you. I will."
3 hours later
"This is Captain Kate Beckett. I need to talk with Deputy Chief Gates."
Rick is entertaining Lily with her stuffed elephant. He is hiding the elephant behind his back and bringing it back out from different heights to catch her attention. Lily is in her bouncer and kicking her feet in delight. She manages to grab the elephant's trunk and laughs with joy.
"Kate, how are you and your little angel?" Victoria Gates answers the phone.
K: "Lily is a delight. She's laughing and able to sit up with a little support."
V: "I look forward to seeing her again. I know you didn't call to talk about the baby."
K: "I need to extend my parental leave for at least two weeks. I've started having migraines, and my doctor would like me to have the opportunity to try some treatment options before I return to work."
V: "That shouldn't be a problem. Lieutenant McCarthy has been covering for you. I'm sure he'll be happy to stay a little longer. It will give him more experience and an advantage, when the next Captain vacancy becomes available. How are you doing with the headaches?"
K: "I've only had two headaches, but I've had aura three times. The medication has worked quickly. My doctor wants me to take some medication in an attempt to prevent the migraines. That's the reason for the delay in my return to work. Do you know any other members of the force with migraines?"
V: " I knew a Sergeant at the 14th who had migraines. He opted to be the Desk Sergeant. He had what I think are called cluster headaches. He took pain meds and managed to get in his 20. He had plans to work as a security consultant. I have friends who have migraines, but none of them are NYPD."
K: "Women are more likely to have migraines and less likely to be cops."
V: "Kate, I'll inform Lt. McCarthy that he'll be at the 12th for at least two more weeks. If you need more time, call me. If you are able to meet me for lunch before you return to work, I'd love to see Lily again."
K: "Thank you. I'll talk to Rick and call you about a date for that lunch. Lily hasn't been on a lunch date before."
V: "As long as you bring Lily, I think I can put up with having your husband there as well."
Kate laughs. "That's a deal. I'll call you."
Two weeks later
Kate has been taking naproxen every 12 hours for three days. Her cycle started this morning, but she hasn't had any migraine symptoms. She is sitting on the floor of Rick's office with Lily. Kate's hands are close to Lily, just in case, while Lily is sitting on her own with a stuffed giraffe in her hands. Rick looks at his wife and daughter and smiles. He is a lucky man.
10 hours later
"I started this morning, and I haven't gotten a headache or aura."
Rick kisses Kate. "Dr. Wright's plan seems to be working. The last two months the headache arrived prior to your cycle. Did he say how long you should continue the meds after your cycle starts?"
K: "I'll call and ask."
R: "Guess that will have to wait until tomorrow."
K: "The baby is asleep. I'm going to take a shower. Meet me in the bedroom in a few minutes?"
R: "Of course. Do you need a massage?"
K: "Mostly need cuddles with my Hubby."
R: "As your husband, I am always available for cuddles."
Two Days Later
Kate and Rick return to the loft with Lily asleep in her carrier. Their lunch with Victoria Gates was pleasant. Gates had enjoyed coaxing laughs from Lily. The new sights and people she had encountered had fascinated Lily.
"Gates likes our daughter more than she's ever liked me," Rick tells Kate with a slight whine in his voice.
"Lily is cuter than you are, Babe. You will just have to accept that."
"Not funny, Beckett, but true. I was surprised when you told Gates you'll need two more weeks of leave."
Kate lifts the baby from her carrier and into her crib. She turns on the baby monitor and leads Rick out of the room. "I'm enjoying my time at home. Espo and Ryan say Lt. McCarthy is doing a good job. They were careful not to praise him too highly, but I got a sense that the precinct is doing fine. Now that I know how to deal with the migraine situation, I thought we could take a week to go to the Hamptons before I go back to work. What do you think?"
"I think you are brilliant, and that I need to pack."
"Tomorrow, Rick. We'll pack tomorrow."
A/N: Thank you to everyone who followed along with this story. It was supposed to be 5 or 6 chapters, but my OCD kept making me cover the medical side of it too thoroughly. Sorry about that. This is the end of this story. My story BHE is what I imagine happens next for Caskett in this universe. When the writing fairy strikes again, I hope to add some chapters to that story.