A/N: A small trigger warning for brief mentions of IVF and allusions of loss.
Eight Weeks: The sound of the simultaneously slamming car doors reverberated between the couple in the front seat. Both stared straight ahead, expressions of mild shock on their faces.
"Well," Rick sighed, swiping his hands down both sides of the steering wheel and letting them fall into his lap, "we knew it was a possibility going in. I just never thought,"
"You never thought we'd end up with two?" Kate cut across him. "You never thought, after three failed transfers, our last embryo would split? You never thought we'd be parents to identical twins?"
"Yeah," Castle chuckled, "something like that." Kate glanced across the car at her husband. His expression had barely changed since the doctor told them there were two heartbeats, two babies. Grinning, she reached across the arm rest to take his hand in hers.
"What's going on in that head of yours, Castle. Normally, I'd be the one sitting in shocked silence. This role reversal we've got going is freaking me out a little."
Rick's head turned slowly. He met her eyes and the fog in his own slowly cleared. "Two babies, Kate. How on Earth am I going to keep up with two babies and a four year old?" His eyes grew impossibly wider. "No. Two babies and a five year old? Lily will be five. That was the year Alexis decided she was a grown up. She needed to do everything herself, come hell or high water. She was adorable, but stubborn. And she wasn't half Beckett. Now we're going to have a mini Alexis/Beckett and two babies. What if I can't do it?"
"Woah, babe. Slow down a second. First, I am no spring chicken myself. If I was, we wouldn't have needed the extra help to get pregnant. Second, Lily has always been stubborn, but in the best way. If she wasn't, we would have lost her before we even knew about her." Kate paused here, as she often did when this topic came up, to give a moments thanks to the tiny fetus who survived Caleb Brown's attack and was the only good thing to come out of the investigation into Loksat.
"Third," she continued after a beat, "We can do this. We will do it like we do everything, together."
Some of the fear in his eyes cleared at her words. She squeezed his hand once and released it. "Let's go home, Castle. I'm starving."
Rick huffed out a laugh as he started the car. "I have a feeling you're going to have to get used to that sensation. You're eating for three."
Twelve weeks: Both Kate and Rick welcomed the end of the first trimester. Kate had been blessed with almost no morning sickness in both her pregnancies, but the fatigue hit her hard this time. Nearly every night since they'd confirmed she was pregnant, before they even knew it was twins, Kate had gone to bed just after Lily and slept until the last possible second every morning. Often, Castle would visit the precinct to find her catching a nap during her lunch hour.
Thankfully, even that seemed to be less severe as the second trimester approached. Today, they'd had another ultrasound and got the results of the genetic testing. Because of her age and the past trauma to her body, Kate's doctor advised they go through with the early testing just to be on the safe side. They'd done the same with Lily, but agreed not to find out if she was a boy or girl until she arrived. Her existence had come as a complete surprise to them both, so they reasoned she should stay that way. Castle was over the moon to be blessed with another little girl.
The day she was born, Castle told his daughter it was his destiny to be surrounded by beautiful women. At the time, Kate had laughed, but she knew on some deep level he would never let himself acknowledge, there was a minuscule amount of disappointment. So this time, she was really hoping for a boy. She knew Castle held on to a deep, unspoken to anyone but her, desire to be a father to a son. He wanted to give a little boy what he never had.
The appointment today confirmed what Kate knew in her gut already. Boys. They were having boys. Two, perfectly developing boys.
Castle managed to keep his emotions in check until they got out of the office. Kate had no idea how he managed it because she'd been leaking happy, excited tears since the doctor told them. As Castle reached to open the car door for Kate, she pulled in his hand. Turning to face her, she arched an eye brow at him, as if to say, "What's up?"
Her questioning look was all it took. Castle threw his arms around her and lifted her off her feet. Spinning her twice before gently placing her back on the side walk, Castle touched his lips to her hair, her forehead, the tip of her nose, and finally, her mouth.
"Two boys." he whispered against her lips. "Thank you, Kate."
Kate laughed and kissed him. "There's nothing to thank me for, Castle. I had nothing to do with whether they were boys or girls. This one is all down to you."
Beaming, Rick leaned around her to open the door.
Twenty weeks: "Do you think she's going to put me on bed rest?" Kate asked nervously as she and Castle approached the car.
"I don't know," he replied. "I hope not."
"Me too," Kate said, buckling herself in and adjusting the belt around her stomach. "I know people say that you show sooner with the second pregnancy, but this is ridiculous. We're just half way through and I am almost as big I was when Lily was born."
"Kate," Castle said, gently, "there are two of them in there."
"I know, but..."
"No. No buts. You're still beautiful."
"Thank you," Kate said, blushing. "But I really meant that it's already hard to move, and sleep, and shower, and… everything." she finished with a grumble that made Rick laugh.
"I can't help with the moving or sleeping, but I can help you shower." he said, grinning mischievously.
His comment earned him an eye roll. Chuckling, Rick reached to start the car.
Thirty weeks: "Names!" Castle exclaimed as they shut the doors. "These boys need names."
"Well," Kate began sounding slightly disgruntled, "I'll have plenty of time to think about them since I will be on bed rest until they get here."
Castle sighed slightly. "I know this isn't what you wanted, but it's what's best for our boys. Plus, it isn't complete bed rest. You're allowed to be up moving around for short periods of time."
"I know," Kate huffed. "I know it's for the best, and I know it's not as restrictive as it could be, but that doesn't mean I have to like it."
"Fair enough," Castle conceded. "But you can still work from home and video call when you need to. The important thing is to keep your feet up and your blood pressure down."
They'd had a feeling this was coming. Kate had been visiting her doctor every two weeks instead of four because of the high risk nature of her pregnancy. She'd known from the beginning that partial bed rest was likely, but when her blood pressure had been elevated at her last appointment, it began to feel like an inevitability.
Since she'd found out she was having twins, Kate had been training Espo to run the precinct in her absence. She would still be in charge, but he would handle the day to day. She knew he was up to the task, but that didn't meant she was ready to give up the control.
"Can we call one of the boys Cosmo?"
Castle's question pulled Kate out of her thoughts and she turned to him. The look on his face was somewhere between joking and completely serious.
"Absolutely not." Kate laughed, her annoyance at the bed rest order forgotten. "Neither of our sons is going to be named after a character in The Fairly Odd Parents."
"Fine," Castle huffed. "What are your suggestions then?"
Kate thought a moment before she replied. "I don't know. I do know I don't want their names to sound like they go together. They're going to be identical. I want their names to give them a sense of their own, separate identities."
"Okay. I can get behind that idea," Castle replied. "Do you think you might want to include your dad's name somewhere? Like we did with Lily and your mom?"
Again, Kate did not answer immediately. Instead, she thought back to how they'd decided on Lily's name. Kate had been adamant from the beginning, if they had a girl, she didn't want her first name to be Johanna. It was too much, too big, too heavy. Castle had conceded easily and suggested they find another way to honor her mom. It hadn't been until the anniversary of her mother's death, when Kate had been laying flowers at the cemetery, that she'd been able to think of a way to do so. Lily Johanna Castle was born two weeks later.
"I think that's a good idea," Kate said, finally. "Maybe one of their middle names could be James."
"Sounds good to me."
"And maybe the other one, his middle name could be Alexander, after you."
Humming slightly, Castle replied, "Well that psychic did say you would meet an Alexander and he would be very important to you."
"True," Kate said. "But that would make him the second Alexander who's important to me."
"Touche, Captain. Touche." Castle murmured, putting the car in drive.
Thirty-Two weeks: "You doing okay?" Castle asked, quietly as he helped her into the car.
"Yeah. I'm okay. It's just that this whole twin thing is starting to feel very real." Kate replied, shifting uncomfortably in the passenger's seat.
"Tell me about it. We could be the parents of two boys this time next month."
"If we make it that long." Kate said, her voice shaking very slightly.
"We will. Or should I say, you will. If I know you at all, you will do everything you possibly can to keep those boys cooking for four more weeks."
"Charming." Kate deadpanned. "You make it sound like I'm roasting turkeys or something, Castle."
"We really need to decide on some names. Having their middle names isn't enough." Rick said, changing the subject to one less likely to get him smacked.
"I know. But everything we've come up with isn't quite right."
So far, they'd eliminated the names of some of Castle's favorite authors, Francis, Arthur, and Ernest. As well as other important people in Kate's life. She couldn't name her sons after Royce or Montgomery any more than she could have named Lily after her mom. So Michael and Roy were out, as were their surnames. They'd been through their shared favorite literary characters and come up empty. Kate had flat out refused to entertain the idea of calling them Nicholas and Jamie. Castle had caught an expertly thrown pillow to the face for that suggestion. It had been two weeks and all they had were middle names.
"Maybe we need names that go together, but not in a way you'd expect." Castle began, once again pulling Kate from her reverie. "The best things come in pairs. That's what our boys are like. They're a pair, like Reese's cups."
"Reese," Kate said under her breath.
Castle laughed out loud. "I wasn't suggesting we name one of the boys after a peanut butter cup."
"I know," Kate said, turning to face him, "But I still like it."
Castle was quiet, considering. "Me too. But let's spell it with a 'c' rather than an 's' so no one thinks we actually named him after the candy."
It was Kate's turn to laugh out loud. "Okay. Reece Castle."
"Reece James Castle."
"Perfect," Kate breathed as Rick pulled from the parking space.
Thirty-four weeks: "Hold on, Katie. I can get that." Jim Beckett huffed, following in his daughter's wake.
"I'm pregnant, Dad. You don't have to take care of me."
"I'm your dad, it's genetically predetermined that I take care of you." he said, following her toward his car.
"That sounds like something Rick would say. I think the two of you might be spending too much time together."
Jim chuckled. "Maybe, but babies need a lot of stuff. And twins mean double of almost everything. All that gear wasn't going to put itself together."
Indeed, Castle and her father had been shut up in Martha's old room for the last three evenings putting together cribs, bassinets, swings, and a changing table. When Rick had finally fallen into bed next to her the previous night, he'd muttered something about being happy to never see an Allen wrench again as long as he lived.
"I know Rick appreciated the help. Thanks for that and for coming with me today. I could kill Rick for leaving these contract negotiations until the last possible second, but he really needed to get them out of the way before the boys get here."
"It's no trouble at all. I am glad I could be here." Jim reached for the keys in his pocket and unlocked the doors. "It was really exciting to see my grandsons, even if they were just a grainy, black and white image."
"Did you and Mom know I was going to be a girl?" Kate asked, opening her car door and lowering herself gently into her seat.
"No. We decided to be surprised, like you and Rick were with Lily." he answered.
Jim closed the door for Kate and hurried around the car. Once his own door was closed, Kate asked, "Does that mean you had names picked out for a boy and girl, just in case?"
Starting the car, Jim replied, "No. Your mother was convinced from the moment she found out she was pregnant, you were going to be a boy. I, on the other hand, just knew in my gut I was going to end up with a mini Johanna, stubborn, willful, brilliant, and beautiful." he paused to reach over and squeeze Kate's hand. "Anyway, she was so sure you were a boy that she didn't even bother to pick out a girl's name."
"So how did you end up settling on Katherine?"
Jim laughed, remembering, "As soon as the doctor announced it was a girl, your mother rolled her eyes. The very same expression you get when you are annoyed with Rick. I was thrilled, both to have a little girl and to have been right. So, once you were cleaned up and sleeping snugly in my arms, your mother looked over at me and proposed a deal. She got to name you, and I got to say 'I told you so.'"
Kate interrupted him, laughing. "Seems like a fair trade to me."
"I thought so. I was pretty sure I would never have another opportunity to turn her own words back on her, so you became Katherine Houghton Beckett." Jim answered and they both laughed.
"So, what did Mom want to name me if I had been a boy?" Kate asked, her laughter subsiding.
"She wanted to call you Jacob. Jake for short."
Thirty-six weeks and six days: "I told you you'd make it to thirty-six." Rick said, smiling at her.
"Actually, I got us to thirty-six weeks and six days," Kate corrected him.
"Overachiever." Rick whispered, kissing her gently on the forehead.
"Can I have him?" Kate asked, shifting the small, green blanket from her lap to her left arm.
Castle passed over the blue bundle containing her son and she stared down at them. They were identical down to the freckle under their eye that they shared with their mom.
"We still need to decide which is which." Castle said softly.
Kate was silent for a few long moments, gazing in awe at these two little people. "The one in green is Reece. The blue blanket is Jake."
"How can you tell?" Rick inquired.
"I just can. Call it mother's intuition."
"Can't argue with that," Castle said, leaning down to kiss both his sons on their tiny noses.
Kate did the same and whispered, "Welcome to the world Jake Alexander Castle and Reece James Castle."
As she swiped a tear from her cheek, she heard her husband gasp. She turned to find him beaming.
"Beckett! I just realized. Reece and Jake."
"Yes, Castle. Those are our sons' names."
"No Kate. Reece, like peanut butter. And Jake, with a J. Their names do go together! We can call them PB and J!"
Kate's laughter startled the boys. Both squirmed in their swaddles, but slept on.
"They really are a perfect pair." Kate whispered.
"Just like us."
A/N: Thank you all for reading! Reviews are always appreciated!
There are a several people I need to thank for this one. First, to thefuturemrscaskett, whose inquiry about how Rick and Kate landed on their kids' names planted this story in my head. Without her question and her clutch proofreading skills, this story would not exist.
Second, to the person who coined the nickname "PBJ" for the Beckett-Castle twins. I don't know who you are, but that was a stroke of pure genius. Third, to the person or persons who made head cannon of the name "Lily Johanna" and the fact that lilies had been Johanna's favorite flower. I don't who you are either, but, again, genius.