When Kate returned from the shower, Castle had already set up his laptop and was pouring coffee to go along with the glass of orange juice and plated omelet—complete with fresh strawberries that he had cut lengthwise from the stem artistically splayed on the plate so that they looked as much like a garnish as they did part of the meal.

"Hey," Castle says, taking in her jeans and her black western-style plaid top. The top and bottom pearl snaps were left undone, revealing a white tank with lace edging. It was soft and comfortable and one of Kate's favorites. She thought Castle might like it, too. Kate had blown her hair until it was mostly dry, brushed it, but left it down. Thinking Castle would like that, too. Not that she was dressing for him—but she could admit to herself that she liked when he noticed her. And notice he did, but he didn't want to stare. He was definitely trying not to creep her out in her own home. He averted his eyes. "I, uh, pulled up our "To-Do" list. Alexis helped me organize it. I thought we could eat and work at the same time."

"Sounds good. I just—" Kate was cut off by Castle's phone. She slid onto the stool beside Castle's and picked up her fork, not intending to let the omelet get cold. She adjusted so she could see his laptop screen, too.

"Yes, Mother?" Castle answered. "I know, Mother. You reminded me last night." Pause. "No, I don't mind. I just wish you had given me more notice. Yes, I will be there. Alexis is riding with you, right?" "Okay, I'll see you at noon."

"Everything okay, Castle?" Kate asks.

"Everything's fine. Mother just committed us to, uh…more than we had planned."

"Are you going to tell me about it?" Kate asks, confused as to what he's hiding and why he looks a bit embarrassed.

"No." His response is so flat, Kate can't help wanting to know more, but instead, he shifts to the matter at hand. "So, Beckett, do you want to do the hard stuff first or the easy, fun stuff?"

Kate swallows, "Better start with the hard stuff." She smiles and reaches for her coffee. "This is delicious, by the way. I can't remember when I've had such a good breakfast."

"I'd be happy to make you breakfast anytime, Detective Beckett." She thinks back. His phrase echoes another she's heard from, but it's genuine, with no hint of sexual innuendo.

"Okay. So," he says as reaches into his laptop bag. "Ms. Marshall from the Financial Services department at NYU sent me over this information. It seems there are a number of details regarding the scholarship that we have to work out. For example, is it for under grads or grad students or both? What is the award amount? Is it renewable, or one-time?" He hands her the stack of paper.

"So, let's just go down the list. I have no idea what the award amount will be, but I think renewable would be nice so they'd have something to depend on and work toward each year."

"I agree. I was thinking an award of $25,000, given to two eligible students each year."

"Fifty-thousand, Castle? That's a lot. Do you really think we'll raise enough to carry that forward?"

"Well, I know what's there now and I know it would cover the first few years. Plus, we'll raise a significant amount through the Justice Initiative Jamboree." Kate was a little shocked because she didn't realize Rick had put that much forth. But after $100,000 just for a chance to catch her mother's killer she couldn't be too surprised.

She smiles as he spoke. It had taken them hours to come up with a suitable name for the event they had planned. After throwing out anything "fundraiser" and Kate's insistence that the "Beckett Ball" was not going to happen, it was Alexis who finally came up with the Johanna Beckett Justice Initiative Jamboree. Kate like it because it wasn't a dead giveaway that the goal was to sucker people into donating money and Castle liked it because it sounded more fun and less stuffy than anything "Ball" or "Gala"-related that he was coming up with.

"Plus," Rick added, "The funds will be in a high-yield account, so I think we have it covered." He glanced back down to the papers. "So, what about this one? Grads or under grads?"

"Shouldn't matter," Beckett said. "I know it would have been easier on my parents if she'd had a scholarship to help get through law school."

"Your parents were together through her years in law school?"

"They were together always, Rick." His heart quickened. His name and always together in a sentence spilled from her gorgeous, smiling lips. "They were next door neighbors, best friends, high school sweethearts. They married after they finished college. And my dad worked to help my mom get through law school. That was her dream."

Kate leaned toward him, eyes a little dark, "Did you know…after Mom died, Dad was still stuck paying on her student loans? Mom was never going to make as much as she could have being that she took on so many social issues and pro-bono cases, but it was more than nothing and more than Dad made in a year. But, when she was gone, the bills still came."

"I'll bet that's why you insisted on paying your own way through school." Kate's eyes widened. "How did you—"

"When you apartment blew up, and this," he said nodding his head around her apartment, "was all you could find, you mentioned that you were going to have to stop doubling down on your student loan payments."

Something somewhere between "ah" and "hmm' and 'umph" escaped her throat. Does he remember everything I say? "So, back to work. Any student level should be eligible, and recipients should be able to renew the award so long as they maintain, a what…3.0, 2.5 GPA? What do you think, Castle?

"Based on what I know about you and your mom, I'd say she wouldn't have a problem with setting a high standard. 3.0?

"Oh, she'd insist." Kate chuckled.

"So, what about this one? Should it be open to all income levels or students with limited incomes?"

Rick watched as Kate tilted her head to the side. He was familiar with the action when she was standing in front of the murder board trying to make sense of all that was before her. After a few moments, she says, "You know, if someone has worked hard to maintain good grades and wants to pursue justice issues, whether it's law or rehabilitation or whatever, I don't think it should matter. You know…think about Alexis. She's smart, but she also puts forth more effort than most kids. She shouldn't be denied recognition of those efforts and a sense of accomplishment just because you make millions."

"Not everyone thinks like you do, Detective. Trust me, there have been many times I've wondered if her upbringing would result in an identity crisis."

"Nonsense, Castle." She smacked his arm. "She's fantastic. You've done a great job and have every reason to be proud."

"Yeah, I am proud. But lucky, too. I've seen kids in similar situations turn into spoiled rotten brats—Member those preppy kids that recorded their fatal game of Russian roulette? Could have been like that."

"Nope. Not buying it."

"Coulda happened."

"Nope." He started to speak again, but she Shh'd him with her "close the trap" fingers, her signature glare. "Moving on!" she demanded.

Smile a little?