Three word prompt: Ellery Mother's Day
#305 (Dash Universe) May 13, 2018
Kate wakes to the smell of coffee and bacon, nose wrinkling at the heavy grease sizzle that she always hates. Always stinks up the loft, soaks into towels and furniture. Ug. Castle knows better. Why the hell-
“Shh, baby girl, come on back. Let’s finish making her breakfast.”
“In a minute, hush.”
Damn, she could really use that coffee, but apparently her kid has other plans.
Kate plays at sleep for another second, then opens her eyes and sits up, drawing her knees towards her chest. Dashiell is at his grandmother’s for the weekend, they’ll head over at lunch, but Kate has a million things to do before work on Monday, and breakfast in bed isn’t really one of them.
With bacon. Ug. Fine. Ellery likes bacon; Kate can withstand the smell for her sake.
She scoots up to the headboard and reaches for her phone, texts Rick How long do I have? Shower?
His response isn’t immediate, though the dots show up to indicate he’s working on it. Probably trying to avoid Ellery’s notice.
Kate leans back against the headboard, scrapes her hand through her hair. Saturday night was rough at the precinct, ever since Captain Montgomery…
She’s been acting captain for the last few months and it hasn’t been pretty. She’s not cut out for the job; she doesn’t want the job, doesn’t like being stuck behind the desk and justifying her case closure rate to a bunch of budget-conscious bureaucrats who have never walked the beat.
It hasn’t been a good month for her. Montgomery…
Her phone vibrates in her hand and she reads the alert. Plenty of time.
Good. Save some time, get this show on the road. She needs at least two hours in the office before lunch with Martha and Dash (she can’t, for the life of her, remember why Castle made such a big deal about this lunch date, but she knows better than to cancel on them). At least if she gets in her shower now, she can be that much closer to getting out of here.
Kate hops up and heads for the bathroom, making quick work of it, flushing the toilet and washing her hands. She twists on the shower, strips off her pajamas, throwing them towards the open closet door.
Kate jumps into the shower and squeaks as the hot water scalds her. She has to arch out of the way and adjust the temperature, but then it’s instantly exactly right.
God bless Castle’s shower.
One of the biggest reasons she kept coming back here when she was pregnant with Dashiell, this shower. The luxuries Rick kept - ha - showering on her. She didn’t want to be spoiled, no, but there has always been something about the way he gives.
Gives of himself, his resources, his energy, his love. She couldn’t stay away.
Kate bites her lip and tilts her head under the spray, closing her eyes.
But she doesn’t have time to wool-gather, not even to moon after her husband. She doesn’t have time period.
She quickly shampoos, rinses, goes back for the cleansing conditioner. She runs her fingers through her hair carefully, rinses that too, and then soaps up. Shaving takes a matter of fifteen seconds and then she’s shutting off the water and stepping out.
Towels are on the heated rack and actually warm - Rick must have turned it on before he left the bedroom. Sweet man. The tile floor is still cool, and the difference between the warm towel and her chilled toes is lovely.
Kate dries off, finds clean pajamas, and slides back into bed. Her hair is damp, but she twists it into a bun and plucks a rubber band from the bedside table, keeps it off her neck.
Her phone is calling, alerts stacking up, and she scowls but dutifully checks. The Twelfth often feels like it’s running at breakneck speed down a mountain, and she’s the one in charge of this thing. Disasters averted at every turn.
One of these days the disaster will be fully formed, and she has no idea what she’ll do.
Kate is deep into another emergency when the tap-tap comes on the door. She lifts her head just in time to see little Ella sneaking inside, a bowl of fruit clutched in her hands.
“Oh,” Ella says, pausing at the foot of the bed. “You ‘wake.”
“I am, but hey, did you make me something?”
Ella beams and glances back to Castle, who has come in behind her, and Kate hurriedly slides the phone under the pillows. “Make breakfast!” Ellery turns back around and comes running, a mad dash towards Kate, heedless of the cut strawberries and blueberries bouncing around in the bowl.
Kate jerks forward, catching Ella under the arms and hoisting her up onto the bed. Whew. “Wow, baby girl, what did you bring me?”
“Make it! I make it!”
“You did? Oh, how lovely.” She kisses Ella’s cheek hard, hugging her against her side. “Sit with me, baby. Show me what you made.” She lifts her head and winks at Rick, and he follows Ellery down, sitting close at Kate’s other side.
Ellery squirms and drapes herself over Kate’s lap in an effort to reach all the food. She points to everything at least twice, naming off Kate’s breakfast. ‘Cakes, dem strawberries for ‘cakes Mommy, hmm, what this Daddy, oh I know, not say, not say it, I know, sammied eggs!
Her daughter is three and half and still speaks like a toddler, but she speaks. Kate can be okay with any and all of it, even as she has to elbow Castle into silence before he can correct the child’s grammar.
“Mm,” Kate hums, dipping two fingers into the bowl for a blueberry. She pops it into her mouth and makes an elaborate display of loving it. “So good, my sweet girl. Making me breakfast in bed.” She leans over and kisses her daughter’s cheek. “What’s the occasion?”
Ellery and Castle both stare at a her a second, and then Rick scrapes a hand down his face, chuckling in a way that sounds… hollow.
She swallows, feels that dread of knowing she’s missed something big.
But Ellery comes up on her knees and hangs on her shoulder, nudging Kate’s hair to one side for a little kiss.
“It’s a happy mommy’s day,” Ella whispers in her ear. “You be happy?”
Kate turns, abruptly encircling Ellery in her arms. “Oh, baby, I’m so happy. This is the best job in the world, being your mommy.” How true that is, how entirely true. “And this is the only job I’m doing today.”
She glances over her shoulder, burning a hole into Rick until he lowers his hand and meets her eyes.
I promise, she mouths.
He nods, and then he hauls Ellery out of her arms and tucks the girl between them.
Kate puts her phone in the bedside drawer and closes it.