The sign is the first thing she sees when she wakes, dangling as it is from the top of the door that leads to the bathroom.
At nearly 33 weeks into her pregnancy, it’s a nice reminder that Castle still finds her attractive since, to Kate’s own mind, she’s rapidly approaching the size of a small killer whale as her first-born grows in size and strength with each passing week.
She generally has kept quiet about her feelings on her outward appearance, far too grateful that her child’s heart and still beating, and that her pregnancy was viable after taking a bullet to the abdomen.
She hadn’t known, had never even paused to realize that she was late or that the sweeping nausea might have been from something more than the stress of juggling her duties as Captain and the investigation into Loksat. If she had, Kate would have never crossed the lines or taken all the risks she did.
Today, perhaps moreso than any other year in her life, she’s merely grateful for the fact that she’s lived to see 37 and that her wake up call arrives in the form of her unborn baby kicking at her internal organs as a good morning greeting.
“Yes, I feel you, peanut,” Kate says once she’s rolled out of bed, bones popping and muscles stretching with movement, “Good morning to you, too,” she adds with a hand lying low on her stomach, the grin automatic when her child’s steady kick vibrates against her palm.
She’s still standing there, counting the baby’s kicks as the minutes tick by, when the low hum of Happy Birthday begins from somewhere out in the office. She knows the voice as well as she knows her age and her home address, and even though Kate rolls her eyes at her ridiculous husband, she’s grinning by the time he’s made it through the bedroom door.
He’s singing full voice now, a booming baritone that always surprises her with the possibilities of talent within, a bright grin plastered on his face that falters when he discovers an empty bed. “Oh, you’re awake,” Castle says, adjusting his grip on the breakfast tray loaded with all of her favorite things and one extra large, vanilla cupcake with white frosting and glittering, multi-colored sprinkles that are shimmering under the lights of the enormous sparkler candle that’s rapidly burning itself out.
“Mmm,” Kate hums, pushing away the memory of another day in this room with a similar cupcake and a phone call that nearly cost them both their lives and their marriage. “Your offspring wanted to say good morning, ruined your surprise by playing soccer with my bladder.”
“Well,” Castle huffs, approaching the bed to gently place the tray onto the mattress as the candle gives one last burst of light and flickers out. He’s knelt down in front of her a second later, a stern gaze fixed on her protruding stomach, “Cosmo, my man, you can’t wake your mommy by kicking her,” he instructs to her stomach, grinning at the automatic eye roll Kate gives at his use of the nickname she hates. “It’s rude,” Rick continues, framing her belly with his hands and pressing one quick kiss to the fabric of her sleep shirt, “You’ve gotta wait till she’s awake and then kick her, bud. Play by the rules, yeah? It’s mommy’s birthday and we want her to have a good one.”
As usual, her husband’s voice is the calming balm to their little one, the frequent kicks stilling at the low timbre of his words. After a few minutes pass, Castle tilts his head back to grin at Kate in triumph, leaning forward for one more touch of his lips to her stomach, “That’s my boy.”
Back on his feet, he dives in to capture her mouth for a long kiss, that lop-sided, little boy grin spreading against his lips once they’ve parted, “Happy Birthday, Kate,” he mutters against her mouth, coaxing out a smile from her and a second, much quicker peck.
“Thanks, babe,” she sighs, easing herself back onto the mattress with only a muffled groan, already regretting taking a seat as she’ll undoubtedly have to get up to pee in a few minutes. But settled comfortably enough, Kate glances towards the breakfast tray, snagging a cubed piece of pineapple from the selection and popping it into her mouth.
“You know, we could have a girl,” she tells Castle once she’s chewed and swallowed her bite, “And you could be giving her an identity crisis.”
“Nah, this is a boy,” Castle replies, pulling the burnt out candle from the cupcake and discarding it into the trashcan, “I can feel it.”
Her lips twitch at that, just the slightest waver to telegraph her amusement, but he still notices, bringing a hand to his chest and extending his bottom lip in an over dramatic pout, “Your doubt wounds me, Beckett.”
Munching on her second pineapple cube, she shrugs at him, swallowing it down, “Didn’t you think Alexis was a boy before she was born?”
“Rookie mistake,” Castle dismisses with a wave of his hand, “I’m older and wiser now, and I’m gonna be right, you wait and see.”
This time, Kate laughs outright, swiping a finger through the frosting on her cupcake and lifting it to her lips. “Even if you are right, we aren’t naming him Cosmo,” she says, pausing to lick her fingertip clean and doing her best not to grin at the way her husband’s eyes go dark and lusty.
“What? I figured now was the time to ask.”
“Never gonna happen,” she replied, picking up a piece of bacon from the plate and breaking it in half, passing the larger part to him, “Consider it one of my birthday presents.”
More carp! I got lucky to catch them in the mood to be at the surface (you could
perhaps…feed some fish?!) at a moment the light was good for photos.
They are coming out of winter and starting to be more active again.
Sunrise, top, is the most shy of the three koi, and almost never comes close enough to the surface long enough for photos. So cute, lurking in her cinder-block fish house, which is where she prefers to spend much of her time. She’s also the least tolerant of camera noise. She was a rather drab pet-store fry when I got them last year, but is becoming rapidly much brighter—she’s a beautiful fish, and I cherish my glimpses of her.
Big Red, in the middle photo, is not a koi, she’s a really big pond comet (4 year old feeder goldfish). She almost never comes to the surface; only long enough to strike and submerge.
Morning Sunlight the ogon is last month’s addition, may she get huge enough to require a new tank as quickly as she likes; she is just ridiculously pretty.
Sunset, last pic, has also outgrown drab fryhood in a spectacular way, and is the tamest. She’s the only one who definitely associates me with food and will sometimes bring the rest to the surface if I hold still long enough. She is only recently big enough to see the orange inside of her mouth, which I find adorable!
So I wanted to wait to write this out fully and not in a jumbled mess (even though I’m still freaking out 12 hours later!!!)
On Tuesday night at half 10, Taylor Nation DM’d me on Twitter asking for contact details (I freaked out cause I was like I THINK I KNOW WHY) and I sent them across but didn’t actually hear anything from them until half 11 the next day (why I got less than 4 hours sleep!!)
Sierra from Taylor Nation called and it was a U.S. number so as soon as I saw it I FREAKED out even though we were at the train station. She told us Taylor saw our photos lurking on tumblr and said “yep I wanna meet those girls” 😭😭 so we got given all the info and then got on our train to Manchester, checking in and getting ready and getting to the arena at about 4.
At 5 we could pick up our letters from box office and then I thought I would just lose it for real but we had to queue up to get in at 6 even though our meet and greet was at 6:15. We SPRINTED to the meeting place but in the end we weren’t let in until like 7:15 anyway 😂 we got given wristbands and then headed inside loft 89 where there was pizza and cookies and drinks and we all just freaked out as we could hear her behind the curtain and even SEE her sometimes. We saw management with a clipboard of stuff and our tumblr post taylor screenshot we was on it!!!
I think we were the third or fourth group in and literally the curtain opened and she was like “OH MY GOD ITS THE PRETTIEST PRINCESSES IN THE ROOM!!!” And was doing the shake it off shimmy thing and looked so hyped and immediately gave us BOTH hugs 😭 she then was like about the tutus “aren’t they just the FUNNEST things to wear like ever?” And we were shaking around in them and I was like yeah people stared at us all day but we love it!! I then I said how seeing us on her camera roll killed me and she was like “yeah, y'know…I’m creepy, I’m very creepy” and did this ADORABLE face like 😏😏 HER LIPSTICK WAS SO ON POINT AS WELL JUST SAYIN.
I told her about how when she played Ours as the surprise at Red tour (my all time fave) I freaked out and fell down the stairs and bruised me knees bad and was like crying with happiness and she pulled this adorable lip pout sad face and then laughed and was like “best reaction EVER!!!” And Alice said how we love her songs and I said how Clean changed my life so she goes “well I’m playing that one tonight just as a warning so try not to hurt yourself again, okay??!”
Then the photographer was hurrying us along and Taylor goes “should we do like a ballet pose like something like that?” And then after the photo she gave us hugs AGAIN (she gives the best hugs omg) and was like “you guys are adorable I love you enjoy the show!!!” 😁💕
SORRY THIS IS SO LONG BUT I NEVER THOUGHT I WOULD BE SHARING A MEETING TAYLOR STORY!!! Thank you SO much taylorswift for making all my dreams come true 💖💖
I’m emotional when I think about the fact how many our posts Taylor sees during scrolling through her dash. How many stories she already read, how many conversations between friends she probably wanted to join, how many pictures of your face she already saw and how many times she thought you’re beautiful. It’s obvious she can’t like everything but the fact that she can see your post right now, and read about your love life, about your hard day at school or work about your ups and downs is breathtaking. You never know when Taylor Swift decides to click your url after seeing your random post or photo, and lurks your blog silently. Remember about that.
Mafumafu: “While saying “I’ll try my best to work until 20:00! People who don’t work hard today won’t work hard tomorrow”, I dived straight into my bed and listened to my favorite seiyuu’s radio for around 10 hours. Alright, it’s become 20:00 huh!! I tried my best today too!! Let’s sleep!!!”
Mafumafu: “Noo－－－－－－－－ I don’t want to work I’m sleepy－－－－－－－－－－ Noo aaaaaaaah I’m already sleepy－－－－－－ I want to sleeeeeep I want to watch animeeeeee－－－－ I want to become happy－－－－ I want a little sister uaaaaaaah I can’t do this anymore aaaaaah I’m sleepy you knowwwwwwwww aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah”
Shounen-T: “Good evening! I’m your little sister! (falsetto)”
Mafumafu: “Mafumafu has uploaded a photo of a demon lurking in the deep sea”
Noname: “Mafumafu, “Gakkou Gurashi”! Are you watching it! I’d recommend it you know!”