"Can you grab the bag with their gifts in it while I grab something from in here?" Kate asks as she makes her way to the office to grab her mom's book from the shelf.
"Sure, what are you getting from the office?" He asks.
"I told you I would show you which book you signed for my mom when we got home. I thought since we have a few minutes before we need to leave that I would grab it. I know the curiosity was getting to you." She tells him.
"Wow, really? This was... 'In a Hail of Bullets' wow. You weren't kidding when you said it was further back than Derek Storm. This was..." He stumbles to a stop as his wife finishes the thought for him.
"Your first one." Kate finishes.
"She was really a fan from the beginning? Really? Cause this book wasn't near as good as the Storm or Heat books. I wasn't that good...I'm a much better writer now. Maybe your mom doesn't have that good of taste when it comes to books. I would even read a Patterson over those early books." He comments, shaking his head as he runs his fingers over the cover of the well-worn copy of his first book.
"Hey, don't insult my mom's taste or my husband's books." She scolds playfully. "You have gotten better with age and experience Castle but your books are an escape from the real world where justice is served and the bad guy gets what is coming to him in the end. My mom was a big believer in that. And you know after following me around for five years that isn't always the case and it's nice to know that someone will always get the justice they deserve even if it is a work of fiction."
"I understand, it's just hard to believe that I won't ever get to hear what drew her to my books and had her insist that you would like them too. They weren't all that good then Kate. There were so many books that were better out there at the time that would have met the call for justice." Rick continues on in disbelief that Johanna actually saw value in his books.
"Rick, she never would have stood in line to get a book signed if the book hadn't meant something to her in some way. She actually took time away from work to get it signed, so it was important to her at the time. Why don't you read what you wrote?" Kate encourages her husband to open the book.
"It's probably some canned statement. I always chose two or three for each signing." He mumbles.
"Nah, I don't think this was a prepared piece at all Castle." She replies, squeezing his shoulder.
He finally cracks the book open to the title page and reads what he had written to his mother-in-law all those years ago. "Johanna, No matter how bad it gets, keep on fighting. The truth will be revealed and justice will prevail. Richard Castle."
"See, I told you it wasn't one of your three prepared statements. You obviously asked her what she did for a living or read her like you did to me that very first day." Kate whispers in his ear before kissing his neck.
"I wish I remembered. I can't believe I didn't come off like the arrogant ass that I was back then." He continues staring at the words he wrote and shakes his head.
"She said she liked your books because of the characters but also because of the man who wrote them. She was apparently impressed by the fact that you cared enough to give her a little encouragement on a rough day." Kate shares. "That first signing wasn't the only one she went to. But this is the only one that you signed that survived the explosion in my apartment."
Closing the book, Castle pulls his wife into a hug and mumbles, "Thank you."
"For what, I just thought you might want to know that your words do have an impact on people and it's important that you continue to share your gift. I don't know what I would have done without your words. You know I love your words almost as much as I love you." She kisses him quickly before placing the book back on the shelf.
"We should probably go, with traffic, we are gonna be cutting it close on time." Rick mentions as he grabs the bag of gifts from the desk where he set them down to look at Johanna's book.
"Yeah, don't wanna give the boys and Lanie anymore ammunition than they already have to use against us. You know what they will say if we are late." Kate tells him as they make their way to the door.
"So maybe we should give them a reason to tease us. I have no problem looking them in the eye while they accuse me of being late because I was making out with my wife." He tells her with a wiggle of his eyebrow. "You did have quite the fetish for making out in all the elevators in Italy."
"Let's just go, the sooner we get there and humor them with a couple drinks and some idle conversation we can come back here and do a little more than make out." She promises with a wink and a smile. "And we do have to ride the elevator back up at the end of the night. Maybe inspiration or need might strike, especially with a little alcohol."
"I don't think either of us will need the alcohol in our systems to cause our restraint to crumble. I'm already wondering how I am going to keep myself in check in front of our friends." He admits.
"Patience, Castle. All things come to those who wait, right? And God knows you've waited." She gives him a chaste kiss as the elevator opens on the lobby of their building.
"Yo, it's about time you two showed up. Have trouble finding the place or something?" Espo questions as the newlyweds make their way to the table that their friends are gathered around.
"No, just traffic. We had to run home to get something." Kate answers her co-workers question.
"And what did you have to stop at home for Mrs. Castle?" Lanie laughs. "Nice lipstick Writer Boy."
"Writer Man!" Kate and Rick answer at the same time.
"So you aren't gonna deny why you went home?" Kevin asks not sure he wants to know the answer.
"We, uh, actually had to stop back at the loft to pick up the stuff we got for you guys in Italy." Rick tells them trying to divert attention away from more personal topics. He gives Kate the 'I told you so' look as he waves the bag in front of the group.
"You got me a present?" Ryan answers with a little of Castle's childlike glee shining in his eyes.
"Thanks Bro." Esposito adds from his perch next to Lanie.
"I wouldn't thank him yet if I were you. You haven't seen what's in the bag yet." Lanie giggles.
"I think it's sweet that they thought of any of you while they were on their honeymoon and you should be grateful no matter what they got you." Jenny chimes in from Kevin's left.
"Ladies first." Rick says as he hands Lanie's gift to Kate to pass on. "Hope you like it, if you don't, Kate picked it out!" He chuckles as he smiles at his wife who has shot him her trademark glare.
"Oh, Kate, honey. This is gorgeous." Lanie gushes as she stares at the bracelet that she is holding. "Where did you find this?"
"I found it in Venice." Kate answers giving her husband a smug smile at Lanie's response to her gift.
"Okay, you gave the chica her present, hand them over Castle." Javi grumbles trying to hide his excitement.
"Okay, but you have to open them at the same time." Castle says as he hands over the items and takes a casual step closer to Kate.
"What the Hell man?" Espo pouts.
"Seriously?" Kevin mumbles.
"Oh My God! That is so cute." Jenny laughs.
"I guess Mom and Dad got a little payback there didn't they boys?" Kate smirks at Javi and Kevin.
"I think you should wear them into the precinct on Wednesday when they come back to work! It would be priceless to see Gates' face if you showed up like that with Kate and Rick in tow." Lanie sputters as she doubles over in a fit of giggles.
"I'd pay to see that." Rick says as Lanie finally gets herself back under control.
"Oh, you're gonna pay all right Castle." Javi threatens.
"Javier Esposito, did you just threaten your father?" Kate says carrying on with the joke, she just couldn't help herself.
"But..." Javi stumbles to a stop as he catches Kevin's eye.
"Dude, were you gonna say, 'but Mom'?" Kevin asks.
Now the whole group is in hysterics with no end in sight. The other patrons at the Old Haunt have started to notice the raucous laughter coming from the back corner of the bar. "Guys, maybe we should take this down to my office where we won't be disturbing the paying customers." Rick says as he grabs Kate's hand to lead them all to the basement office for some privacy for them and some calmer seas for the people in the bar.
"We need drinks before we go down there Castle." Kate tells him before they descend the stairs. "I'll take the girls down, you and the boys grab the drinks and join us." She whispers to him with a brush of her lips to his ear.
The guys all place their orders and wait for the bartender to pass them their drinks while the girls chat in the office. "Spill girlfriend!" Lanie insists as soon as the girls step across the office threshold.
"Whatever do you mean Dr. Parrish?" Kate answers feigning innocence or ignorance.
Lanie isn't quite sure which one Kate was going for but she isn't letting her off the hook. "So how was the honeymoon?"
"It's not over yet." Kate emphasizes her point when she adds, "I don't come back to work for two more days. I still have Monday and Tuesday left and I plan on making the most of it."
"Oh I remember dreading the day Kevin and I had to return to the "real world" after all of the honeymoon bliss. We were so tired, we needed a vacation from our honeymoon." She shares with a dreamy look in her eye.
"Jenny you and Kevin look like you are in a constant state of bliss. I have never seen two people so in love." Kate says to the tiny blonde.
"Have you looked in the mirror lately sweetie? You and Castle have looked at each other the same way for years and it has only gotten more obvious over the last year since you have been a couple." Lanie informs her best friend.
"I have to agree Kate. The way you two look at each other and have those conversations without even saying a word is something amazing to behold." Jenny adds. "There is no doubt how you two feel about each other and it is a sight to see."
"My dad told me today that Rick looks at me like he looked at my mom." Kate blurts. Where did that come from? I can't believe I just shared that with them. I guess this conversation and the emotion of the day just caused it to slip out. I wonder if Rick will be upset that I shared that with them.
"See honey, even your dad can see how perfect you two are for each other and for him to say something like that, he must see what we all see on a daily basis...even Captain Gates." Lanie says.
"What did Jim say?" Castle asks when the guys finally join them in the office.
"I told them about Dad saying that you look at me like he looked at my mom." Kate shares hoping he isn't upset that she told them. She shoots him an apologetic smile.
"I was speechless when she told me what he said, I mean, what a comparison to make." Rick says grinning. He gives Kate a wink and a nod letting her know he is okay with her telling their friends about they ultimate compliment he got from her dad.
"So tell us about Italy." Kevin says, curious about all the places they saw.
"Only about the places you went, I don't need to hear that other stuff." Javi says.
"Like we would share the intimate details of our honeymoon with you." Castle says. "Besides, that isn't the kind of things parents want their children to know about."
"Dude, come on! We get it. We'll drop the mom and dad references." Kevin whines.
"Yeah at least while they're in earshot, right?" Lanie questions.
"Italy was wonderful. We spent a couple days in Rome, saw the Coliseum and stuff." Kate tells their audience.
"The next stop was Florence." Rick adds.
"Yeah, my favorite stop. Rick rented a villa next to a winery for the few days that we were there. The views were amazing...breathtaking even." She beams as she remembers the view from their terrace.
"The final stop before coming home was Venice. We took a romantic gondola ride on the canals and did some shopping." Rick tells them about the final leg of the trip.
"So if Italy was so great, why did you guys come home early?" Lanie throws the question out there.
"You two weren't supposed to be back until today, yet you attended a Yankees game last night with all of New York as witnesses."
"How long have you two been home, anyway?" Jenny can't keep the curiosity at bay any longer.
"We came home Friday at Kate's suggestion." Rick answers Jenny's inquiry.
"Kate, why would you want to cut your honeymoon short. Italy sounds amazing. You enjoyed it right?" Lanie asks, puzzled by Kate's request to come home early.
"Maybe she came home because she missed us." Javi and Kevin respond in unison.
"Have you guys been practicing that while we were gone? You almost sound like us...so in sync." Castle teases the boys. "Anything you need to share boys?"
"I thought it would be a good idea to come home early so we could get acclimated to life as a couple here at home. Italy was great, but I really just wanted to come back here and spend some quality time with my husband before we have to go back to work and deal with early morning body drops, long hours at the precinct and the possibility of the press lurking at our crime scenes to get a glimpse of 'the writer and his wife the muse'." Kate tells them.
"Do you really think that the press would interfere with our crime scenes?" Kevin questions. " I mean, you guys have been doing this together for years, why would they intrude now?"
"Because they're married now Sweetie." Jenny answers her husband's question. "There will be all kinds of curiosity about how they will behave at crime scenes now, see if anything changes."
"Yeah, they will wanna see if Castle can keep his hands to himself and let his wife do her job." Javi teases.
"Hey, I have incredible self restraint!" Castle blusters. "You guys have no idea how hard it is to maintain proper personal space boundaries right now. I think this is the longest I've went with out kissing her since we said 'I do'." He beams at Kate as he finishes his rant.
"No idea." Kate mumbles under her breath, thinking no one heard her.
"What was that Kate? Did you just admit that you are struggling to keep your hands to yourself?" Lanie smirks at her best friend. "Having trouble keeping your hands off of Writer-Boy are you."
"Shuuuuut uuuup." Kate whines. " I am on my honeymoon! I'm supposed to have trouble keeping my hands to myself. Isn't that what honeymoons are all about?"
"She's right!" Jenny admits sheepishly. "I remember how I felt when Kev and I were on our honeymoon. I wanted him all to myself for as long as I could get him."
Everyone is shocked by the petite blonde's admission, when Kate surprises everyone with her next move. She leans over and places a searing kiss on Castle's lips that leave them both breathless and wishing they were at home where they could do more than just kiss.
"Kids in the room!" Kevin coughs uncomfortably.
"Yeah, we really don't need to see Mom and Dad going at it right and front of us." Javi chimes in.
"Enough! Let them have this. God knows it took them long enough to get to this point. I for one am glad to see them so in love and unafraid to show it publicly." Lanie scolds the boys. "Having said that, Girlfriend, you might want to keep that little moan you let go to yourself next time though.
"Are you sure that was Beckett?" Javi asks.
"You sure that wasn't Castle?" Kevin questions.
"Kate, what are the guys supposed to call you now, at work I mean? Are you Kate... Beckett...Castle?"
Jenny wonders curious as to how being married will affect her husband's boss.
"I'm gonna keep it Beckett at work. I think it will be less confusing for everyone that way. Draw less attention too." Kate says with a soft smile at her husband who is having a hard time breaking eye contact and the grip he has on her hand.
"You okay with that Bro?" Javi asks as he takes in Castle's face for the first time since Kate's announcement. "I thought you would be dying for everyone to call you Castle and Castle."
"Nah, I'm good with whatever Kate chooses, Lord knows she has taken enough grief at the station because of me and the books. Her going by Castle at work would just open up more teasing and snide comments. She's Castle when and where it matters." Rick tells the Hispanic detective. "You know how important privacy is to her and by being Beckett at work, it allows for us to keep our professional and personal lives separate."
"So what are your plans for the rest of your vacation? I mean you guys have come home early and made a very public and adorable appearance at a Yankees game, had your picture all over page six. What are you gonna do next?" Lanie asks, noticing the blush that is starting to creep up Kate's neck and cause her cheeks to flush with embarrassment.
"We, uh... thought we would keep a low profile and hang out at the loft. Just enjoy being together before the real world comes crashing down on us in a couple days." Rick answers.
"Uh huh, so what you're really saying is you are going to spend the next two days in bed wrapped up in each other?" Lanie answers in an all too knowing voice.
"Um yeah..." Kate's answers in a whisper. "That was kind of the plan."
"So that's why drinks went from Tuesday to now huh?" The light bulb flickers to life for Lanie. "Why today? Why not just wait until next weekend? We would have understood ya know."
"We were already out running a few errands, so it worked out." Rick answers.
"What kind of errands do honeymooners run anyway?" Javi asks hesitantly not sure he really wants to know.
"Very personal ones if you must know...that's all I'm saying on the matter." Kate says.
"They must have run out of coffee." Kevin offers. "You know Beckett and her coffee."
"Kate hasn't had any coffee today!" Castle blurts.
"Oh my God!" Lanie exclaims. "No coffee...errands."
"No Lanie, it's not what your thinking." Kate gives Lanie a glare, knowing full well where her mind had gone.
Lanie acknowledges Kate's answer with a pleading look and gets the unspoken word 'later' from Kate's lips. "Sorry girl kind of went off on a tangent there for a sec." Lanie says with a pleading look.
"No worries Lanie. Rick thought something was wrong with me too, but I'm good... we both are." Kate says with a smile.
"Guys, Ladies... if you don't mind, I would like to take wife home for a quiet dinner and a movie night if you will excuse us." Rick says without remorse.
"Yeah, Jenny and I are supposed to meet my sister and her husband for dinner at 8pm, so we should be going too." Ryan being only a year removed from his own honeymoon catches on to what Castle is really saying so he makes up an excuse to leave as well. "See you guys on Wednesday."
"Come on Javier, I think Kate and Rick need some alone time. I think they've reached the limits of their self restraint." Lanie chuckles as she shoves Espo toward the stairs. " See you at work in a couple days."
"Later." Javi calls over his shoulder as Lanie continues to push him toward the stairs.
"You ready to head home Kate?" Rick asks her as he takes in the relieved smile that has broken out on her face at his words.
"Yeah, I'm looking forward to dinner and a movie." She laughs. "I thought we were gonna do something else when we got home?"
"I was trying to be discreet." He smirks.
"Since when? Didn't really work. Lanie and Kevin saw right through that dinner and a movie nonsense." She teases as she reaches for his hand to lead him out of the bar so they can catch a cab home to enjoy the alone time that Lanie mentioned. Maybe even another practice session or two.
The End...For Now.