“How’s Alexis’ new tutor working out?” Kate Beckett asked as she signed the last file on her desk. "She seems nice."
Richard Castle thought for a moment. “She is nice,” he finally offered. “Very nice.”
“What makes you think there’s a but?”
Kate rolled her eyes and looked over at him affectionately. “I know you, Castle. When it comes to Alexis, there’s always a ‘but’.”
“Am I that predictable?”
“Makes me wonder why you stick with me, then.”
Beckett smirked over the desk at him. “Your body, mainly."
"I knew it."
"But you, sir, have changed the topic. Namely, Alexis’ tutor and your misgivings.”
Castle held up his hands defensively. “Hey, whoa. I never said that. You just assumed. I like her.” Beckett shot him a look. “I do! Annie’s very nice. A bit neurotic, maybe, but nice.”
“Which brings us back to ‘but’.”
“Fine. ‘But’... she seems to hang out with some very strange people.”
Annie Edison’s phone rang again. She rolled her eyes and shot an apologetic look to her study partner. “Sorry, Alexis.”
Alexis Castle looked up from the chapter they’d been reviewing and shrugged. “It’s okay.”
From the way Annie smiled, Alexis assumed it was either one of her roommates or one of her friends back home in Colorado, which was good for two reasons. One, either always worked to give Annie a morale boost, which in turn helped them progress more efficiently through their sessions. And two, even if Alexis could only hear one half of the conversation, it was always entertaining. Always.
“Hey, Troy!” Annie chirruped into the phone. “I can’t talk long, I’m in a session. Yeah, with Alexis.” A look of mild exasperation came over her face. “No, Troy, I haven’t asked. Yes, I know, but... Okay! I'll ask, quit bugging me!... I know. I'm sorry, Troy. Yeah, I think it'd be totally cool too. I'll ask, I promise. Okay. Hugs to you and Abed. Bye!"
Alexis raised an eyebrow. “Ask?”
Annie looked incredibly guilty. That was something Annie Edison was very good at doing. “I... kind of want to ask your dad, something,” she admitted. “Well, Troy and Abed kind of want me to ask your dad and his girlfriend, actually. They're writing a screenplay, and they wanted to get some input from a fellow writer, and well, since your dad knows a cop as well... do you think they’d mind? Your dad especially? I mean, I know he's got that working relationship with Detective Beckett as well, and I don't want to impose, I just think it'd really help them...”
"I don't see why not." Alexis shrugged. “Although there was a guy a while ago who wanted to follow Kate around as well; Dad wasn't thrilled.” The apprehensive look on Annie’s face increased. “Oh, but don’t worry; that was totally him projecting. They were right in the middle of their ‘we’re totally in love but too stubborn to do anything about it’ phase. Besides, this is Troy and Abed we're talking about. Dad and Kate’ll love Troy and Abed.”
Annie bit her lip. “You think? I mean, they’re not exactly easy to be around.”
“I’m sure it'll be fine. But in any case,” Alexis added, “if you want to ask them tonight I’d suggest we stop off and have dinner before we head back to my dad’s place.”
“Well,” Alexis said casually, “in the time it takes us to have dinner, Dad and Kate will have gotten home and had time to have sex, so they’ll be more likely to say yes.”
Okay, so it was mean to tease, but the high-pitched squeak and the expression on Annie’s face was totally worth it.
In any event, things ended up something like this:
“Have you ever engaged in a high-speed pursuit through a crowded marketplace or warehouse which involved the destruction of empty boxes and / or crates?”
“Have either of you ever encountered any C.H.U.D or C.H.U.D-like beings?”
“Have you ever driven a car across a bridge that was rising and jumped the gap, making it across with only seconds to spare?”
Kate clapped her hands excitedly. “Ooh! Actually, I did do that once.”
Troy and Abed stared with equally wide-eyes that clearly conveyed upon Kate Beckett the honour of Most Awesome Person Ever.
Castle looked hurt. “You never told me that.”
“Well, a girl has to have some secrets, Castle.”
At the table, Annie glared at her friends while Alexis watched the scene with open amusement. Somehow, she got the feeling this was the beginning of a beautiful friendship.