12th Precinct Castle Valentine's Day FanFic Competition: Love's Proof

Another story for our fanfic competition. Here you can find all the stories for the 12th Precinct Castle Halloween FanFic Competition. And here you can find the rules.
You can also find the stories at www.fanfiction.net for a possible easier read (blogspot doesn`t agree with word format most of the time).

Story: Love's Proof 
Rating:  K
Words: 3006

"You know you're in love when you can't fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams." – Dr Seuss
She loosens her scarf as she walks towards the door; Evie's hugs are sometimes too close to strangling and, truly, it really wouldn't do to end up with her new navy woollen scarf cutting off her oxygen. Her daughter's voice can already be heard coming from the loft, an excited, loud gabble of words. Martha says she's so kind and generous that she wants to share everything she knows with the world; Kate's pretty sure most of the time Evie just likes the sound of her own voice.
The front door opens and slams into the wall with a bang and she sees her husband grimacing at the sound as their precocious four year old runs out of the loft and throws herself at Kate for a hug. She's learnt to anticipate these displays of love and within seconds she's knelt in the entrance to their home, Evie cuddled up close, small face buried in her thick jacket.
"Ever going to give me a warning before you smother me, Evie? I don't think Uncle Kevin and Uncle Javi would much like the idea of having to come and find me on the floor, suffocated by their favourite niece."
Giggling, Evie pulls back and then extends a hand to her mother. "Hurry up, come inside. Dinner's waiting." Kate raises an eyebrow as she follows the girl into the loft, amused to see her turn back for one more moment, making sure their hands are securely connected. "I am soooo famished, Mommy!"
Castle kisses her, soft and warm, as she closes the door behind her, before taking her scarf and coat from her. It's good to finally be home. Especially today. Smiling Kate turns back to her partner, planting her hands firmly on his broad chest. "She seemed a bit excited when you guys called earlier today, Castle. Get her all worked up about yet another holiday she can't fully participate in, did you? I still shudder when I remember the tears and tantrums we had when she realized she wouldn't be getting any presents for Father's Day..."
"Of course not. You know I never get her over-excited and worked up about things," he replies with a smirk that is so damned knowing she has to resist kissing it right off his pretty face. "She does have several lovely new facts to tell you about Valentine's Day, however, so I suggest practicing your enthralled face."
"Don't need to. I had years of practice of pretending to be enthralled with an over-excited Castle before the little one arrived."
She smiles triumphantly at her pouting husband, wrapping an arm around him and leading him over to the table where Evie is sat straight-backed, her hands clasped in her lap as she stares intently at the pasta on her plate as if it's about to disappear any moment.
Dinner consists of trying to get tiny morsels of food into her mouth as Evie demands both her attention and approving responses to the 'fascinating' facts she's spent today memorising. "Just for you, Mommy, so listen!" Kate hears in scolding tones as she looks desperately at Castle for help. Evil man just sits there, all relaxed and knowing and eating his damn dinner in huge contented mouthfuls. Of course, he probably did spend the entirety of the day trying to sound enraptured by Wikipedia's page on Valentine's Day, courtesy of their far too technologically capable daughter... She decides to forgive him just this once.

"You should become a teacher mommy because teachers receive more Valentine cards than anyone else."
"Mom, did you know that more than 9 million people buy presents for their pets for Valentine's day? Mom, when can we get a kitty?"
"A long, long time ago girls used to ate really weird foods on Valentine's Day cos they thought it would make them dream about the boy they were going to marry."
"Every Valentine's Day, there's a city in Italy which gets about 1,000 letters addressed to Juliet cos that's the name of a pretty lady from a famous play and her boyfriend's dead so he can't send them to her."
Young Miss Evelyn Castle only stops talking when her father (smugness written all over his face as he watches Kate get increasingly fidgety) starts pretending to eat her dinner.
Kate tries to make herself comfortable on the bed but Evie is wriggling around so impatiently that every movement she makes is met by a pointed elbow in the chest or a kick to the shins. Eventually, Castle pulls her into his lap, giving her big raspberries on her belly until she swears to stop being a little wriggly worm. Both parents are sceptical but it's getting late and they've promised a story before Evie has to go to sleep.
When, once again, she feels the hard angles of knees and elbows coming into contact with her stomach, she sweeps her daughter's bangs off her face and lays a soft, firm hand on her forehead, stilling Evie's excitement. Small sparkling blue eyes meet her own, becoming quieted and near sombre in one brief non-verbal exchange. Kate adores the exuberance and joie de vive of the small girl but it's bedtime (more importantly, storytime) and she needs to calm down. After all, she thinks, resting her hand on Castle's thigh, she has unfinished business with her husband; this morning's attempt at celebrating Valentine's Day had ended abruptly the moment Evie had nearly banged their bedroom door down in an attempt to get cuddles from her parents.
"A story about Valentine's Day, please?"
Some nights they read from a book and some nights her husband makes stories up from his head. Kate knows Evie wants one of the latter tonight and so she kisses Castle's cheek, relishing the feel of the slight stubble, gives him permission to tell this particular story. What else would he tell, after all? Most of their personal stories regarding this day aren't exactly appropriate to tell a four year old...
"Daaaaad. Come onnnnnn."
He chuckles and pokes Evie's nose gently. "Hush, little one. Try and find a little patience for once."
"But I AM so patient. We've been here for ages and you keep staring at Mommy and not telling me a story."
"Yes, simply ages," Castle affirms, reaching out for Kate's hand, entwining her long slender fingers in his thicker ones. She loves his hands. Always has, especially when he's holding her, touching her, breaking her apart. And when they cradle or cherish their daughter. She loves that almost as much. "So, my little one, how about I tell you about the first Valentine's Day mom and I had together?"
She straightens her posture and leans into Kate's side, clutching her arm tightly, her mouth slightly open in anticipation. "Please."
"Well, Daddy was trying to make Mommy like him at the time but she wasn't having any of that. She thought he was annoying and silly and very, very in the way." Kate smothers a laugh at the disapproving, almost pitying look from Evie. "You know how Mommy keeps candy on her desk, right?"
"I looooove the pink ones."
"Yep, well I replaced all the ones there with little candy hearts on Valentine's Day. Lots of lots of adorable little hearts with nice messages on them."
"Did Mommy like them?"
"Not sure. She pretended nothing had been changed; just ate them and refused to say anything about them. She did let me eat a few though."
Evie leans back into her pillow, her grip on Kate's shirt lessening, much to her gratification. It was stretched enough without the extra help. "You didn't even say thank you?" her daughter asks, yet another disapproving look all too evident, small wrinkles appearing on her forehead as she frowns.
"No, and I should have but I sometimes wasn't very nice to Daddy."
"She wasn't being mean though, darling, like that boy at the playground the other day. She was just teasing me."
"Most of the time..." Kate adds, looking to where Castle sits on the edge of the bed. "Anyway, I took the candy home that night and ate all of it."
"You didn't even share? Did you hide in the guest room so Daddy didn't see you eating it?" Looking confused, she adds under her breath, "He always catches me..."
"I wasn't living here then. I had my own little apartment where I didn't have to hide. Makes enjoying candy on your own much easier."
"Can I go there when I want to eat ice-cream cos Daddy always tries to eat mine and if I try and stop him, it makes such a big mess?"
"Ah, no, sorry, my love. Someone else lives there now and I don't think they'd like having a little girl running over to their home and wanting to eat candy in the living room."
"Even if I shared with them?"
"Even then."
Evie sighs heavily then touches her father's knee. "More story, then?"
"Of course. Five more minutes then light's off, okay?"
"If you must," Evie nods solemnly.
"Okay, so, we finished early that day at work. The bad guy was caught and mommy and I were packing things up, ready to go back to our own homes. Alexis was doing her homework at her friend's house though and I wanted to stay a bit longer because it would be lonely at home."
"Wouldn't you get bored at work though if there were no bad guys left to catch?"
"Yep. And mommy was leaving anyway so there wasn't much point hanging around. But then your mom really surprised me."
"What did she do? Did she buy you a surprise present even though it wasn't your birthday or Christmas or anything?"
"Close enough. She asked if I wanted to go and catch a bite to eat and a drink with her and Uncle Kevin and Uncle Javi and Aunt Lanie."
"So?" Evie looks quite confused at the story. "I had dinner with them the other night when I was having a sleepover with Kayleigh and Sean."
"Yes, but this was the first time EVER that Mommy had asked me to come and have fun with them when work was finished."
Kate stifles yet another laugh at Evie's quick intake of breath. "Ever?!"
"Yeah, exactly. We went to Remy's and Mommy even let me buy her a milkshake. Can you believe I had to ask her what her favourite flavour was?"
Kate's fairly sure she's never seen her daughter as bug-eyed as she currently is. A brief yawn and then Evie's alert again, gripping the edge of her blankie tightly.
"Eventually, the strawberry milkshake arrived and the rest of our food. I got to sit next to Mommy and she laughed at my stupid jokes."
"Very stupid jokes," Kate amends and Castle raises an eyebrow but she refuses to back down. "He was trying to impress me with his silly jokes and I tried very hard not to let it work but..."
"But what, Mommy?"
"But, my little one, I was pretty impressed. At work it was frustrating sometimes because Daddy distracted me from doing my job properly but at Remy's we just ate, drank and joked around a lot. We had lots of fun and that kind of surprised me."
"You didn't think Daddy was fun?"
"Oh, I knew he was. I just thought I liked boys who were a bit more serious than he was."
"And your mommy didn't know I could be serious as well as silly. Look, Evie, tell me this face isn't scary serious." Castle frowns and almost squints his eyes trying to look as sombre as possible. The lines around his eyes are more in number than they had been all those years ago and his hair isn't quite as brown or as thick but Kate has never loved him more, she thinks, as their daughter shifts over on her bed, lying herself over her mom's legs so she can reach Castle and press her little fingers to his mouth, trying to pull the edges up and make him smile. "Nope. Not even you can make me smile," he insists, as his lips are manipulated by Evie. "Nothing."
She relents and lets go. "I like you smiling more, Daddy."
Kate silently agrees and pulls Evie back under the comforter and rearranges the now slightly tangled sheets. "C'mon, baby, time for sleep, I think. Story time over for the night."
"Do you like this Valentine's Day better, Mommy? I mean, you didn't even get chocolates or flowers or breakfast in bed back then, did you?"
"I sure didn't. But then I didn't have your daddy around to do all those things and I certainly didn't have a beautiful little helpful girl to bring it all to me in the morning." Evie puffs up proudly and Kate kisses her nose. "I am so, so, so lucky to have all that now."
"Love you, Mommy."
"Mmm, love you too. Very much."
Another kiss and then Evie settles back into her pillow again, a quick glance down at her comforter telling Kate another question is forthcoming. "You're Daddy's Valentine, right, Mommy? And Daddy's yours?"
"Of course."
"Who's mine, then? Because I got pretty flowers and a chocolate from both of you? Can you have two Valentines, like can I have you and Daddy?"
"Sure. You can have as many as you want."
"Daddy told me that some people send flowers to themselves on Valentine's Day. That's sad."
"It is a little bit, yeah. But I buy myself chocolate sometimes and that's not sad, is it?"
"That's just yummy."
"I like sharing your chocolate."
"I know you do. It took a very long time trying to get it all off your pretty face, didn't it?"
"You scrubbed FOREVER."
"Seemed like it, little one, yeah."
Kate kisses Evie's forehead one last time and is about to manoeuvre herself off the young girl's bed when her daughter's small hand reaches out to touch Kate's belly. Her touch is soft and a smile crosses Castle's face as he watches carefully. They've had talks about Evie needing to be gentle now but sometimes she forgets. Now though, her fingers lightly caress Kate's swollen belly almost absent-mindedly. Kate runs a finger through the newly-tangled brown hair, bemoaning the fact that a comb barely seems worth it some nights. "Evie?"
"You'll still share your chocolate with me next year, right? The baby won't get it all?"
Kate does laugh then. Loudly. "Oh, darling, of course. Babies don't get to eat chocolate for a long time."
"But he'll still be your Valentine too even without getting chocolate?"
"Yeah, Valentine's Day is just about telling people you love them. See, I can say that as much as I want, whenever I want, without giving you special treats, can't I?"
"Mmm, you do. All the time."
"Exactly. And your little brother can be our Valentine and yours without chocolate or even flowers. You'll be able to see him then cos he won't be in my tummy anymore and you'll be able to give him a big cuddle like Daddy gives you every night."
"But Daddy CRUSHES me. A big bear hug. Babies can't get bear hugs cos they're too tiny."
"Have to wait til he's a bit bigger then, hey?"
"Yep. Little tiny hugs for the little baby."
Kate gets off the bed with the aid of Castle's outstretched hand and they smile down at their daughter. Her husband bends down, his huge arms wrapping around their daughter's body in a tight hug. "Yep, big, big bear hugs for our beautiful big girl and when the baby is here, tiny little hugs for our beautiful little boy."
"And I'll have three Valentine's."
"We might have to include Grandma if she's here next year, too."
"Four then," she counts on her fingers. "But Grandma does need flowers."
"Definitely a necessity." Castle kisses Evie gently and hands her the small teddy which is her ever-present bed companion. "Good night. Love you."
"Love you too, Daddy. And Mommy. And my brother."
They turn the lights out, Castle wrapping an arm around Kate's waist as she smiles up at him, a sly smile, one she knows signposts her intentions for the rest of their evening as clearly as a neon sign in Times Square.
Their bed is luxuriously large, Kate thinks, when compared with their daughter's tiny one that they've been squashed onto for the past half hour or so. Castle returns from the bathroom, shirt newly removed and pants slung low on his hips. She watches him with a grin as he approaches her. "You left the pants on? I've never been more impressed with you."
"Wouldn't want to assume anything."
She beckons him to come closer and he falls next to her on their bed, covers already pulled back. She runs a finger along his jaw before pressing a quick kiss there. "Because it makes an ass of you?"
Kate lets her hand fall further down his body and gives his rear a suggestive squeeze through the thin striped sleep pants. "I like ass."
He chuckles and pulls her in closer, kisses her long and hard, one hand tangled in her hair as he caresses her side under her shirt with his other. "Mmmm, I know."
This time she moves her hand to his front and gives him a firm stroke. "And that."
He groans deeply and kisses her again. "I like you. All of you. Love you, Kate."
And she knows it. He's never failed to show his adoration for her and tonight will be no exception. "Love you too." She gestures for him to lift his hips so she can remove his pants and does so swiftly, more than ready to finish what they started so many hours ago. "Now, undress me, handsome."
Kate has a very obedient husband.

Captain Founder, Administrator, Editor and Writer

The moment that I met you, my life became extraordinary. You taught me to be my best self, to look forward to tomorrow's adventures. And when I was vulnerable, you were strong. I love you, Richard Castle. And I want to live my life in the warmth of your smile and the strength of your embrace. I promise you I will love you. I will be your friend and your partner in crime and in life, always. - Kate Beckett The moment we met, my life became extraordinary. You taught me more about myself than I knew there was to learn. You are the joy in my heart. You're the last person I want to see every night when I close my eyes. I love you, Katherine Beckett. And the mystery of you is the one I want to spend the rest of my life exploring. I promise to love you, to be your friend, and your partner in crime and life, 'till death do us part, and for the time of our lives. - Richard Castle

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