Let Your Heart Be Light - Chapter 8

"You okay?"

Kate blinks, looking up from the food she's been nudging from one side of her lunch container to the other. She'd been starving before he arrived with a heaping bag of Chinese takeout, but now that they're in the process of eating, she's doing more playing with her food than she is eating it.


Castle's foot bumps against hers. He's sitting in his usual spot at her side but has stretched his long legs out to be closer to her like always.

"Are you okay?"

"Yeah," she exhales, giving him a quick smile. "I'm fine. Why?"

He tilts his head. Studying her, no doubt. She tries not to squirm under his scrutiny. He hasn't figured it out yet, or at least he hasn't let on that he has (she knows her husband, though, and there's no way he would solve a mystery so huge without telling her and everyone around that he knows).

"You wish I'd brought the boys, don't you?"

Kate laughs, tilting her head. The original plan for him to bring Reece and Jake yesterday and come keep her company on her first day back after vacation, but that hadn't worked out; the boys had been fussy and Rick too worn out to fight with them, so he'd stayed home. Now he's here without their sons on her second day, and she's not appreciating it.

"I'm glad to see you, Rick. Though it does pain me not to be able to watch PB and J crawl all over Espo today; he's earned some time with the terrors."

"What's he doing?"

She shakes her head. "He's just being Espo. Telling me I look good after my break, and he's glad I took it, while at the same time insinuating that I didn't deserve it because he's tired, too. Like I don't recognize a backhanded sort of compliment when I hear one. So, I think he deserves the chance to have the boys at their most sugared up use him as a jungle gym. Let him see how easy it is."

Rick chuckles, nodding.

She lets her lips lift and turns back to her food, taking a hearty bite.

A hearty bite that just doesn't taste right.

"What's that face for, Kate? Do you not like it? I asked them to go light on the sesame this time, like you'd talked about. Was that a bad idea? Did it make it too weird?"

She shakes her head, trying to force her forehead to relax. "No, that's not it."

"Then why do you look a little bit green around the gills? Do you think you're coming down with something? I mean, it's only been a day, but that doesn't mean Lily didn't bring something ho-"

Her lunch lands haphazardly on her desk and she reaches for his hand. This isn't how she's been thinking of telling him. She's been planning to make it… more. After her first appointment on Friday, after she knows everything there is to know so far – no matter what it is – that's when she's been planning to tell him. Over candles and with soft music playing. Not in her precinct where half of the Homicide division can look through her office windows and see. But the last thing she wants is him thinking she's catching a stomach bug from Lily and going into overdrive.

(It occurs to her that she's fooling herself if she thinks he won't go into overdrive once he knows this, too.)

"No, babe. No, I'm fine." She squeezes his fingers, the touch firm and reassuring. She hopes it's reassuring anyway. "Just have a strange taste in my mouth from the coffee I made before you got here, a little bit of a churning stomach because of it, too."

"Who's making bad coffee again? I thought I'd finally gotten everyone to kick that habit."

"Me," she deadpans. "It was a tiring morning if you remember. I wasn't really in the mood to be picky."

He lifts her hand to his lips, giving her knuckles a quick kiss. "I do. So, what can I do? Get you some water? Let you mooch my lunch until yours tastes better?"

Beckett laughs, giving her head a shake. "I'm okay. Except for the water part. That would be great."

Castle nods. He gives her hand another kiss as he gets to his feet and makes his way out of her office.

Kate exhales, giving her food another long look before closing the takeout carton and clicking it shut. It's a shame really; she does love this dish, and it's not the meal's fault that her nose and stomach have decided to choose now to start being sensitive.

She's been lucky so far: no real morning sickness, just tiredness – lots of tiredness that she'd chalked up to the rush and bustle of the holidays – and the bloating she had also attributed to all the Christmas treats. If it hadn't been for a joking comment from Lanie in a text and a coincidental glance at her own untouched period supplies under the sink the other day when Rick was out with the kids, she never would've even considered the idea. Not for a while longer at least.

But it's a good thing. Before the boys were born, she and Rick had talked about what would be next and decided to table the discussion for a year. Then everything else in the world happened and getting through each day became the priority. Now, it seems the universe has made its feelings known.

Well, far be it for her to disrespect the universe.

Lifting her head, Kate feels a smile spread across her lips. Castle's on his way back, she can tell by the way Ryan is waiting at the corner of his desk with a smile on his face.

Sure enough, Castle steps beside their friend, motioning toward her office with the water bottle in his fist and taking something else she can't see clearly from this vantage point from Ryan's other hand. He gives Kevin a nod before turning back to the office.

"Thanks," she says as he clears the doorway and closes the door behind him.

"Water," Castle murmurs, sinking back to his seat and handing her two items. One is the water she'd requested, the other a bag of– "Ginger chews," he explains off her confused look. "Ryan says they helped Jenny a lot before they had Molly, so he thought they might help you, too."

Kate bites her lip. Does Ryan know? That would be a hell of a thing, if her friend had figured it out before her husband.

"I mentioned that your stomach wasn't feeling great."

"Ah," she exhales, opening the water and taking a slow sip. She takes a chew, too, opening it with fumbling fingers. "About that…"

Castle lifts an eyebrow, looking both amused and curious. "It's not because of your subpar fast and easy coffee, is it?"

Popping the chew into her mouth, she shakes her head.

"The sesame?" he asks. There's a hopeful sparkle in his eyes, though, letting her know he's already caught on. Kevin Ryan offering his wife's pregnancy nausea remedies must have shaken something loose.

"No. It should taste fine eventually. Just… not today. Maybe not tomorrow or for a few more months, either."

Her foot knocks against his shoe, encouraging him to scoot closer, to frame her knees with his legs and keep her close.

"I made an appointment for a check-up. It's on Friday. I thought I would do something big to tell you after that…"

Rick cups her cheek, lifting her face to his. "You don't need to do something big, Kate."

"I feel like I do. Because I'm happy and I want you to be, too. But this is big; there's so much that could happen – could go wrong – and so much that's going to change, and I know we haven't talked about it in a long time because life has been so insane for so damn long, so I don't even know if we're still on the same page or not, but-"

Her next words are halted by the warmth of his mouth on hers, the eager, sweet slide of his lips. She opens to him, mindful of their surroundings, of how unprofessional they're – she's – being, but needing this, needing him.

"Kate, you know what page I'm on," he murmurs, his breath coming in soft puffs against her wet lips. "We've been reading the same book at the same speed this whole time. Just… tell me. I'm gonna be happy; let me be happy with you."

Her forehead lands against his and she takes a moment to breathe, gather herself, and make this special for the both of them. "I'm pregnant, Rick. We're going to have a baby."

Thank you for being patient with me yesterday. As expected, going back to work was rough. Anyway, I hope this chapter makes up for the wait.

Thanks for reading!