Slipping Through My Fingers
AUTHOR'S NOTE: This song is from ABBA. I used the concept from Mamma Mia, when Donna was singing this song as Sophie gets ready for her wedding to Sky.
She wished that Johanna was here. The day every girl dreamt of, she was there, now. Kate Beckett is standing in her hotel room, in her mother's wedding dress, staring at the mirror. The dress had been cleaned from whence she ran to the fiery crash scene - Castle's Mercedes burning - but he was okay. Today, they will continue the fairy tale interrupted by that event. Kate was wearing the sapphire earrings Martha had given her that day, handed over to her like a mother. But now, she's thinking again of Johanna.
"Katie," her mother called out. "I'll be right here when you get out, okay?"
"Okay," Kate replied.
Then she hurried off inside the school.
"Don't worry," Jim told his wife, clasping her hand. "She'll be fine."
Johanna smiled and leaned on his shoulders. Today was four-year-old Kate's very first day at school. But he was right. Kate would be fine.
Kate was crying. She was playing inside her room and was carrying a LEGO Millennium Falcon ship when she tripped, face first, and a piece broke off and became lodged in her nose. They brought her to the hospital and hugged Johanna so hard when the wayward piece was gotten out. It was probably the first time that she saw her daughter cry that hard that on the cab ride home, Kate just slept in her arms, exhausted.
She knew Kate was miserable. She had been absent from school for a week now because she had surgery to remove her tonsils out. To make up for it, Johanna turned on their television and watched Temptation Lane with her.
"Why would you want a motorbike? You're fourteen!"
"It's the fad and it's practical! I get to travel around the city and avoid traffic!"
"No! If you ask again, I will send you to a nunnery!"
Johanna arrived home late from work to hear her daughter and her husband fighting. She set her keys by the hook near the door and went to the living room.
"What did I miss?" she asked as she sat down next to Jim.
"Kate wants a motorbike," he answered.
She turned to her daughter and asked, "Why would you want a motorbike?"
Kate just looked at her and rolled her eyes.
"Fine," she said, shaking her head. "Since your birthday is coming up, your dad and I will talk about it. If we both agree, we will give you part of the money to buy one. But Katie, every time you ride that thing, just remember how much you hate hearing me tell you 'I told you so'."
"Yes! I promise!" was the excited reply. Then she ran off to her room, presumably to call a friend to tell her that her parents agreed.
Johanna looked at Jim, who had a very puzzled look on his face.
"Your daughter is now a teenager," she explained. "She will want things that teenagers want. She will only retaliate further if you keep on reprimanding her. Let her learn her lesson."
Jim just shrugged. But he was smiling.
"Look at the camera, Katie!" Johanna called out. "Smile!"
Kate looked up and her mother snapped a picture. It was December and they were at the Rockefeller Centre. She was tying the laces of the rental ice skates when her mum took the shot. She was home from Stanford for the holidays. They already set up their tree a day before, earlier than the usual. Johanna said it was because she was home for a few weeks.
"My beautiful Kate," her mum said, looking very proud.
Kate smiled at her. It warmed her heart to see that look on her mother's face. She was pre-law, following in her parents' footsteps, and would be the first female Supreme Court Justice. She finished tying the laces and stood up, only to fall back on her butt.
Johanna laughed heartily and pointed the camera at her daughter again.
"Mum!" Kate cried. "Please, no!"
Her mum laughed again but conceded.
They had a great time that day and when Jim arrived and joined in the fun, he took photos of Kate and his wife.
The happier times would then be shattered a mere three weeks later.
Beckett opened her eyes to see the light shining through the curtains. She wondered where she was then remembered that she was on her honeymoon, the third day on their private Maldives villa.
"Good morning," Richard Castle said as he entered their room, bringing a tray of pancakes and omelettes and coffee for breakfast. "How's my sleepyhead?"
Beckett laughed and sat straight up, couldn't help but glance at her left hand. Her wedding ring. She and Castle finally tied the knot three days ago. She still couldn't believe it.
"Still dreaming, my lovely wife?" Castle asked, eyebrow raised, setting the tray between them on the bed.
"It does still feel like a dream," she replied.
"As I've said before, I'm dreamy."
She reached across the tray and playfully punched her husband on the arm.
They ate in silence, just staring and smiling, revelling at each other. After they finished, Castle was about to stand up to bring the tray back to the kitchen when Kate reached out and stopped him.
"Castle. Rick," she said. "Can I talk to you for a second? There is something you need to know. About me."
Rick set the tray down at a nearby table and sat beside his wife.
"What is it?" he asked.
Kate sighed. "You know, when we first met, how I know all your books, all the stories, and you figured I'm a fan?"
"Well, there's more to that."
"A few months after my mum died, I picked up one of your books. It was Flowers For Your Grave. A couple chapters in, I was hooked. I fell in love with the genre. I already know I wanted to be a cop and reading it just fueled that want, that desire more."
She took a deep breath and continued.
"I bought the whole set. Reading your books, it just calmed me down, reassured me that everything will be fine. It made me forget that I was grieving. It made me okay."
"Oh, Kate," Rick said, pulled her to him and enveloped her in a tight embrace. He kissed her forehead. "I never knew."
"I didn't want to tell you," Beckett said, snuggling closer. "I don't want to come off as a crazy fan, especially when we were starting."
"You already came off as a crazy fan," Castle joked. "Subscribing to my website, getting newsletters, knowing every plot point in my books."
Beckett laughed then she continued. "It was on that kidnapped girl case that Sorenson reminded me."
She looked up at her husband.
"I stood in line for an hour to get my copy of your book signed."
Castle stared at her for a moment and stroked her cheek.
"I remember," he said. "Saw a tall, beautiful woman outside the bookstore - purple blouse, black slacks - talking to a man in a suit, a boyfriend perhaps, possibly telling him to wait for her somewhere near. When she reached me at my table, she just told me 'Thank you'. I wrote on her book 'You are extraordinary'. Then she walked off."
Kate straightened up and looked at him.
"I was already contemplating on killing Storm that time. I knew there was a reason why I couldn't write then," he went on. "I was waiting for you."
Castle smiled, those enchanting blue eyes twinkling, conveying how much he loves her.
Kate threw herself at him, tears of joys, of happiness, streaming down her cheeks.
"Hey," Rick said, hugging her back, comforting her.
"I love you," she whispered in his ear.
"I love you, too," Castle whispered back. "Mrs Castle. Always."
Maybe it was fate, or destiny, that brought them back together on that copycat case they worked on. Or perhaps it was Johanna, telling her daughter that everything is fine, that everything will be in place, to let go, break free, to trust, in time, vincit omnia veritas.
They will never know. All they know is that theirs is a great love story, maybe the greatest, and whatever comes their way, they will face it. Together.