Castle follows Kate and Ryan out of the interview room and they head over towards Espo's desk, where Jim Beckett is sitting on the visitor's chair, coat across his knees, obviously waiting for them. He stands up as they approach, puts his arm around his daughter and asks if she's ok.
Kate gives him a smile and a nod and turns back to the Irish detective to shake hands. "Will you keep us informed of any breakthroughs?" she asks and the detective nods.
"I assure you Miss Beckett, that as and when we discover any relevant facts, we'll inform you of them as soon as possible"
"As soon as possible?"
"Unfortunately we can't reveal anything until either the case goes to court or we find ourselves unable to continue for whatever reason, however, I assure you we'll be doing everything we can to give you closure!"
The Irishman is rewarded with a pretty cool look which makes him fidget nervously before she turns to the writer and holds out her hand. "Mister Castle, nice to have met you"
The warmth in her eyes belies the somewhat casual tone and the squeeze of hands leaves pale marks on her skin which she's quick to hide within the folds of her coat. Jim Beckett leans forward to shake their hands and placing his arm around his daughter's shoulders, leads them away to lift.
Castle's drawn back to the present when Ryan calls out from the conference room doorway "Hey Castle! You joining us or going to keep on staring at the lift?"
The rain beats on the awning overhead as Jim pulls the diner's door open and waits for his daughter to walk through. They settle on a table at the back of the room, not the best, with the passageway to the toilets right next to them; but the place is fairly crowded and they want somewhere quiet to talk.
Shaking their coats to remove as much of the rainwater as possible they sling them over the back of the spare chairs and settle down opposite each other to order. They each take a plastic covered menu card from the holder in the middle of the table and look down the options. They're feeling a bit chilled, as much from the morning's interviews as the weather outside, and Jim`s choice of onion soup to start with meets with Kate's approval. They order two soups and a dish of deviled meatballs to share along with a couple of bottles of water.
"So Katie …" and Jim stops as a customer eases past them towards the toilets at the back, his raised eyebrows making her smile despite herself. He pulls out a breadstick and snaps it in half, offering her one of the halves as he takes a bite from the other. They wait in silence until the client makes his way back past them, then with a glance over his shoulder Jim turns back to his daughter.
"Are you ok Katie, it wasn't too much for you?"
She shakes her head, gives him a small smile and sighs. "No Dad, I'm ok, it feels like maybe we'll get somewhere after all these years"
"I don't want you to get your hopes up … I know you think you'll resolve this one way or another this time round, but what if things don't work out that way?"
She looks at him, eyes not really seeing him, rather looking inwards as she thinks about it. "One way or the other Dad? I feel this will get resolved, I'm not sure how, but somehow, I feel that I'll finally find out what really happened to Mom".
"Your that sure that writer of your's will really come through for you?"
The question catches her totally by surprise and it's with a mix of shock and embarrassment that she looks up at her father. There's hot denial on her lips but she decides to go with innocent. "Writer? What writer?"
Jim chuckles and places a hand on his daughter's which is nervously picking at the plastic cover on the menu card. "Wasn't I expected to recognise him? Even after all the books your mother bought … not to mention the ones in you place?"
"Recognise who?" At that Jim raises an eyebrow and stares hard at his daughter, she might want to play innocent but she should know when to quit.
With a sigh she flops back into her chair, thankful that just then the waitress arrives with two steaming bowls of soup. They sit quietly for a few moments, letting the bowls warm their hands and the delicious smell of onion and melted cheese stir their appetites.
Kate pushes the croutons around the bowl with her spoon, then pauses and looks across at her father. He's watching her quietly, knowing his daughter, waiting for the awkward silence to force her into talking. Her father, the lawyer who had always been able to get her to 'fess up by just looking at her patiently and waiting. She has to hide a smile as she imagines Castle being faced by her father, then can't help the smile breaking out as she remembers their arrival at the precinct … Castle almost tripping over the two detectives in his rush to get to her.
Observing the play of expression on his daughter's face, Jim sips some soup and waits. He knows there's a lot he's not privy to in his daughter's life, and he tries to live with that knowledge. But the obvious changes in her over the last month or so have both worried and relieved him. He's not sure which is uppermost right now, if he should be relieved or worried. The way she and the writer had stared at each other in the precinct had set all his parental alarms going. Watching them as they'd said goodbye he might have been fooled, except for the way his daughter had kept on rubbing her hand in the lift, the one that she'd tried hiding rather suspiciously after the handshake.
Of course, he might not have tied two and two together if she hadn't let the cat out of the bag at their lunch a couple of weeks ago, … about a writer helping her out … and when he'd first spotted the writer at the precinct he still hadn't recognised him … not until the detective had introduced him as Mister Castle … then the extended handholding with his daughter … the two of them seemingly lost in each other …. Hit me over the head with a two-by-four and maybe I'll realise what's happening he muses.
Kate drops her spoon into the bowl, a little soup splashing over the edge and running down onto the plate below. Looking across at her father she sighs. "What do you want to know?"
"How close are the two of you?"
The question has all sorts of connotations and she knows he's referring to shared confidences, to trust, to how much she has told him of herself, her Mom's death, not to how close they've become in other ways. She bites her lip, not sure how much she should tell her own father, the man who until recently knew her best … and even then, knew nothing about her secret life … how could she tell him that Richard Castle knew her better than he would ever know her, that in little more than a month, the writer had uncovered all her secrets … and that though she's still terrified at how easily she's given all her secrets away … yet she wouldn't want it any other way.
Jim's surprised, he sits back and looks at her closely, he knows how private she is with her personal life, knows that other boyfriends have been privy to Johanna's death, but he always felt there was a door beyond which they were not allowed to go. This time she didn't seem to be shutting that door. Did he know about her downward spiral after Johanna's murder? Did he know about his own trip to hell?
"Do you trust him?" It was a stupid question, obviously she does or she wouldn't have opened up to him as much, but he still has to ask.
The question makes her angry, partly because she herself has had those doubts … despite Castle proving himself time and again. She's angry with herself, angry with her father for making her face her own doubts … and then she thinks back to the last hour, to the pressure of his foot next to hers as he fed her the questions that might help crack the case, as she remembers the pressure of his fingers and the gentle circular motion of his thumb as they'd said goodbye, the look in his eyes as the lift's doors closed.
"I do" she almost sighed.
Several minutes passed in silence as Jim observes his daughter, then he nods. "I'm glad for you" and he returns to spooning his soup.
Kate's surprised by his words, stares across the table at her father for several moments, then picks up her spoon, and copies him. A small smile tips a corner of her mouth, then slowly it grows and she lets out a pent-up breath she hadn't even realised she was holding.