Writer's note: I was in the mood to write a silly drabble so here it is. I don't even care if it's not particularly in character – I just want to read some happy Castle/Beckett fluff before we get the inevitable part next season where Beckett's anger at Castle drives her back to her Cro-Magnon-looking ex-boyfriend (sorry, Bailey Chase). Oh, and btw thanks to all who read/reviewed my earlier fics and in case you're wondering, I do read and review fics here, I'm just too lazy to sign in so I review using my real name (which I'd rather not say what it is).

Quite the Character

Alexis put down the advance copy of Heat Wave, her father's first Nikki Heat novel. She had no idea what she was going to say to him when he asked her what she thought.

Well, not exactly. She knew what she should say. She had no idea how to say it.

"Well, what do you think?" asked Castle brightly. "Your old dad still got it?" He smiled jauntily.

Alexis smiled patiently. "Dad?"


"Can I ask you something?"

"Sure, sweetie."

Alexis paused. She had to tread carefully. "You know how you sometimes base your characters on real people? Like the jewel thief?"

Castle took a sip of his coffee. "Of course."

"Well...are there any characters in this book you based on, say, anyone you know?"

"Well, of course. Nikki Heat is based on-"

"On Detective Beckett, yeah, of course I know that," Alexis cut him off impatiently. "Anyone else?"

Castle looked up thoughtfully. "I don't think so..."

"No one else? No one else at all?" Alexis's questioning almost took on a pleading tone. But Castle continued to smile back at her blankly.

Men were so clueless.

Okay, that's it, Alexis. Be a woman and bite the bullet now.

Alexis smiled back as patiently as ever. "I loved this book, dad. It was great. Really."

"Really? That's great!" Castle abandoned his coffee and gave his daughter a hug, sweeping her off the floor in a circle the way he did when she was a kid.

"And I especially loved the love interest character for Nikki Heat," said Alexis slowly, very pointedly. "Nick Haskell? The reporter who wants to shadow her for his features but ends up helping her solve her cases?"

Castle continued to smile, not catching on to what she was saying.

Alexis rolled her eyes. "So tell me, where did you get the idea for this love interest, dad?"

Castle shrugged. "Oh, I don't know. It just came to me. Gina told me my editor told her she thought the book needed something to spice up the story a bit, you know, a guy who comes in and becomes the handsome foil for our lovely young detective." Castle sipped his coffee again.

"Ah," said Alexis calmly. "So, back to my earlier question about basing your characters on real people, dad: does the Nick Haskell character, oh, say, remind you of anyone in particular? Anyone AT ALL?"

But Castle kept looking bewildered and shook his head. "No," he said slowly. "It's like I said. Sometimes characters are just buried at the bottom of my mind and then they come to the top."

Alexis felt like she was going to scream. "Dad, his name is Nick Haskell. He's a writer. He's helping Detective Beck-, er, I mean, Detective Heat solve her cases. He's always teasing her and bickering with her. And he's in love with her. You don't think that sounds like anyone you know in real life?" Alexis's voice rose frustratingly with every syllable. "Maybe someone who, oh, I don't know, lives in this apartment?"

"Well, sweetheart, I know you think Nick Haskell sounds like your grandmother, but trust me, grandma is a LOUSY writer," said Castle cheerfully. Ignoring the look of pure mortification on Alexis's face, Castle put his coffee mug down and got up. "But yeah, the Nick guy is quite a character, isn't he? Unrealistic I know, I mean, falling in love with Nikki Heat so fast, but still, quite a character huh?"

Alexis nodded weakly. "Yup. Quite the character." Though nothing compared to the real thing.

"Well, thanks for your opinion, Lexie." Castle smiled again just as cluelessly and cheerfully hugged her. "I'd better get to the editor's before Gina puts an APB out on me." He grabbed his coat and headed out the door. "Tell Grandma I'll be home late and to keep the music down. Later!"

Alexis dropped her head on the table, ready to bang it in frustration. Then, as a terrifying thought entered her head, she slowly raised her head back up.

Oh, my God.

What was Detective Beckett going to say when she read this book?