By the time they had navigated the hectic New York traffic and made it into his buildings parking garage sleep had claimed both of his girls. He woke Alexis first and she slowly grabbed a few of her bags and made her way to the elevator. He moved to the back to get Kate's chair; trusting Eduardo, his doorman, to handle the rest of the bags.
"Kate. Wake up, sweetheart." He started to coax her into awareness by running his fingers through her brown tresses. "We're home."
Her eyes blinked open and she smiled softly up at him. "Home?" she repeated quietly.
"Yeah. We're home." He affirmed as he slipped his arms under her knees and back to lift her out of the car. She took advantage of being in his arms and pressed a kiss to his neck.
Once he had her situated in the wheelchair he picked up a few bags and motioned for Eduardo to follow him to the elevator. He normally didn't like to bother the young man with carrying bags, but he wanted to be able to maneuver Kate and not have to make too many trips up and down this late at night.
Alexis was waiting impatiently by the door when the elevator door opened. She was too tired for a comment, but she laid a very Beckett-like glare on him as he passed her to sip his key into the lock.
They all piled into the loft and dropped the bags to be dealt with tomorrow. He tipped Eduardo a generous amount for his trouble and closed the door behind him. Alexis gave him a half hearted hug and kissed Kate on the cheek before heading up the stairs, clearly worn out from the full day of packing and traveling.
His heart leapt in his chest when he saw Alexis' goodnight to his girlfriend? Partner? Always? Yeah, his always. He was so proud of their progress the last couple of weeks. His daughter's blessing meant the world to him. He had no doubt that one day they would be a family in every sense of the word.
Kate was just as pleased at this new ritual. She had always loved and admired Alexis. One of the first things about Rick that had attracted her was his love and devotion to his daughter. She was worried that her immediate and unexpected arrival in the Castle household would cause problems or a rift between her and the girl. She knew that the Castle's summers together were sacred and she also knew that she had crash landed into the middle of it. And while their relationship had a rough beginning, like everything in their lives, it was healing. Luckily, with work, relationships mended quicker than bodies.
"Bed?" Castle's question broke her out of her thoughts and she giggled through a yawn. "I'll take that as a yes then."
He began pushing her through the living room and towards the bedroom.
"You know, Castle, I can push myself once in…" She was incapable of finishing her thought as soon as the bedroom came into view. She was speechless.
She had never been in Castle's room before, she had only been in his office a handful of times. It was gorgeous and spacious, but that wasn't what had stolen her breath.
She was speechless because her jewelry box was sitting on the nightstand. Pictures of her family and from the precinct, pictures she knew used to be in her apartment, rested on his chest of drawers. Her favorite throw was on the edge of the bed. Her favorite painting was hanging on the wall across from a beautiful print of an elephant that she instantly fell in love with. Her robe was hanging by the bathroom and her union jack pillow was on the armchair by the window. She rolled herself over to the closet and found that her clothes were hanging alongside his. Her shoes, all of her shoes had found a place on a series of shelves.
She turned to face him where he stood sheepishly by the door. She tried to convey her emotions, but the words were still stuck somewhere in her throat.
"I know I didn't ask you, but I just… I wanted you to be able to come home. I didn't want you to think that this was just my home. I wanted you to be home, too. I had the boys and Lanie go over to your place, I know I should have asked you and I know I sort of assumed a lot, but it all happened kind of fast, and then I just had to get some new bedding to fit with the painting and then I got some curtains too. If you don't like them then we can…" She held up her hand for him to stop. He fell quiet and looked down at his shoes.
"Castle," She waited until he looked at her and she motioned for him. He couldn't deny her anything, so he shuffled over and knelt by her chair. She put a finger under his chin and lifted it so he looked into her eyes. "I love it. Thank you."
She could see the relief shining in his eyes. "I don't even know what to say, Castle. Thank you so much. You've done so much for me, and I love it. I love you." She kissed him then, pulling him forward into her. She had so much to say, and no words to say it with. He was the wordsmith, but this she could do. She could show him exactly how grateful she was.
When they pulled away they were both breathless and smiling. "What did you have to give the boys to get them to do this for you?"
"I don't know what you're talking about." He smiled and scooped her up playfully and deposited her on the bed.
"Sure you don't, Castle." He just smirked as he disappeared into the closet. His absence gave her a few minutes to truly take in the room. She was still amazed at how sweet he truly was. She looked over at her jewelry box on the nightstand and ran her hand over the picture of her parents. They looked so happy and carefree in this picture. The box had been her mother's and it did feel good to have it with her now, she had been without her things for so long. Her mother's ring and her father’s watch her only constants. First in the hospital and then in the rehab center and then in the Hamptons. It felt good to be surrounded by her stuff.
Castle was right to assume that she would want her things here with her, but he was wrong about one thing.
He came out of the closet dressed in his pajamas pants and undershirt, and handed her one of his button ups to sleep in. It had become a habit for her, wearing one of his shirts to bed. It had started with him wrapping her up in one of his shirts after she woke up shaking from one of her night terrors and had evolved into an every night event. She loved the way that his literally wrapped around her, it was as if she was permanently in his arms.
She quickly slipped out of her clothes, into the shirt, and under the covers. The sheets were even better here then in the Hamptons. She fell in love with them all over again as she situated herself against the pillows.
He came out of the bathroom and handed her a makeup wipe and her favorite lotion. He went about plugging in their phones and going to lock the door for the night.
He came back in as she finished putting lotion on her arms and set the bottle aside. "Well if you're all settled here then I'm gonna…"
"Get over here, Castle." His face broke into a grin and he practically leapt in beside her.
"I just didn't want to assume."
"I know, Castle. You're such a gentleman, but I think we are a little past that, don't you think?"
"Oh, most definitely." He said as he kissed her sweetly and pulled her down onto his chest. She snuggled up to him and smiled. She had been doing a lot of that recently, and it felt so good."You were wrong." She struggled to say through a yawn. "This stuff isn't my home, Castle, you're my home."