Kevin tightened his tie around his neck. It was his red tie that he didn't wear often, but it matched the sweater he was wearing for Castle's Christmas party. He wasn't in the mood to party though. He kind of just wanted to lie in bed and not get up for another year. Or however long it took for him to feel better.
"I'm so sorry, baby. You know if I could I would give it to you." Javier's voice filled his ear just as he felt strong arms enclosed around his waist.
Kevin closed his eyes and leaned back into his husband's arms. "I know, Javi, I'm just upset there's nothing we can possibly do." He sighed and placed his hands over Javier's. "I don't blame you."
Javier kissed Kevin's temple softly. "We can always adopt. It'll take a while and it may be expensive, but it'll be worth it in the end. I want a baby and so do you."
Kevin sighed and turned to face his husband, but made sure his hands stayed wrapped around him. "Adopting would be fun, but we'd miss everything I'm looking forward to. Their first smile, laugh, word, breath, step…" He trailed off looking up at Javier with his big blue eyes. "I want our own baby."
"There's nothing more in this world I'd rather do than give you that for Christmas." Javier hated seeing his husband like this; the baby topic was sensitive and not brought up often. "But I just can't." He ended in a broken whisper.
"We'll figure something out, Javi." Kevin's promise was followed with a kiss to the corner of his mouth.
"Well, I know one thing I can give you for Christmas," he said with a suggestive smile. "Some great fun devoting all night to the process of making a baby."
"I think that would make me feel a little bit better," Kevin whispered against Javier's lips with a small smirk.
Javier wrapped his arms around Kevin's waist, "Really, just a little bit?"
Kevin pecked Javier's lips. "It all depends, doesn't it?"
"We'll have to see after Castle's party, huh?" Javier grinned as he gave Kevin a final squeeze before letting him go.
"I guess so." Kevin smiled softly and grabbed Javier's hand. "But let's hurry up before Castle eats all of the pigs in a blanket."
Kevin and Javier went in to bring out the bottle of wine ten minutes ago and still hadn't returned. Alexis offered to go see what was holding them up, and Castle of course warned her to check for a sock on the door.
She didn't check for the sock, but she did listen for any sounds that might clue her in to stay away. Thankfully, all she heard was their conversation.
"I'm sorry, Javi. I know I must be so annoying." She heard Kevin apologize and she was just about certain that he was crying.
"No, you're not, corazon. I wish I could do something, but unless one of us magically sprouts a pair of ovaries I think we're out of luck."
"I tried not to worry about this, but Lily just keeps reminding me of something we'll never have. And I know that's not fair at all- she's a baby, but it still hurts."
Alexis peeked around the doorway to see Javier holding Kevin close to his chest. As adorable and rare as it was to see Javier practically cuddling his husband in public and when he was sober, Alexis felt a pang in her chest because she knew something was bothering them.
"I'm sorry, Kevin," Javier whispered as he placed a kiss on the top of his head.
Kevin looked up with his eyebrows scrunched in confusion. "What are you sorry for, Javi?"
"I'm sorry I can't give you a baby. I know how much it means to you."
Kevin smiled sadly. "Of course I want a baby, Javi, but I don't and will never regret marrying you. Baby or not. I love you more than cuddling on a cold winter night. I love you more than the rain pattering on the window during a summer thunderstorm. I love you more than babies or a family. I love you more than the world itself because you are my world, Javier. Never forget that."
Alexis had her fair share of catching Kevin and Javier in the midst of their...activities...but this was the first time she actually felt like she was intruding on something personal, leaving them very vulnerable. And she had a funny feeling in her stomach, telling her she should not have been spying on them, but the more prominent part in her heart was giving her the perfect idea for a Christmas present.
She smiled to herself before leaving the doorway and heading to her room, the bottle of wine completely forgotten.
Later, after dinner was finished, they all sat around the Christmas tree. Presents were exchanged and now it was time to sit back and relax. Beckett was curled in the oversized armchair with a steaming cup of hot chocolate in her hands. Castle and Ryan were on the ground having a tea party with Lily. Javier watched with a small smile as his husband got as enthusiastic in the game as the toddler does. Jim was sitting on the couch next to Martha, resting his eyes after the long night.
"Don't you think it's time for Lily's bedtime before Santa skips her?" Beckett asked as she placed a hand on her growing stomach. She was pregnant with twins.
Lily immediately looked up at her mother with wide eyes. "Would Santa really skip me?"
"If you're not asleep, then yes. You better get into bed or else the girl down the hall will be getting all your toys," Beckett said. Kevin patted her back to get him off his thigh and into bed.
"Hey, who said she's getting toys? I'm pretty sure all I see is coal in this rascal's future." Castle teased, already gathering Lily's toys off of the floor in front of him.
"Daddy," Lily whined, bouncing up and down on Kevin's leg. "I was a good girl!"
Kevin lifted Lily off of his thigh and shifted himself so he could put the little girl back without the uncomfortable pressure on his leg. "Listen to your parents, Lily."
"But, we didn't finish our tea, Uncle Kevin." Lily turned her big brown eyes to her uncle, but Kevin shook his head.
"Maybe tomorrow," Kevin said, knowing that Lily would most likely be so distracted with all her new toys that she'd forget about their little tea party. Lily sagged in Kevin's arms and yawned. "You sound sleepy. Dad'll put you to bed, okay?"
Castle outstretched his arms to take Lily from the detective's hands. Lily happily grabbed onto her father. "We better get sleepin', Daddy, or else Santa will pass our house."
Castle gasped. "Oh no, how will I get my presents from Santa?"
Lily giggled. "You're too old for presents, silly."
Castle tickled her belly softly. "No, I'm not. So how about we get to bed-."
"Actually, I have one more gift that...I'd like to...give." A hesitant voice spoke from the front of the room. Everyone turned to face the young woman standing just behind her father.
"We saved your presents underneath the tree since you were up in your room, dear. We called you down, but you didn't answer so we figured we'd give your space." Martha placed her glass of champagne on the table.
"Oh, yeah. Well, those we can open later. This is something I just thought of, you know? The perfect present found in the spur of the moment kind of thing." She fiddled with a few sheets of paper in her hands.
Castle chuckled. "I thought you found everything in the beginning of December. You remember when you spent 8 hours at the mall?"
"I know, Daddy, but this...this is different." She looked down at her feet with a slight blush on her cheeks.
Castle's expression turned serious. "Okay, well, let's hear it."
Alexis looked down at her papers again and opened her mouth to speak, but hesitated. "I, uh...this is for Uncle Kevin and Uncle Javier."
Both Kevin and Javier looked up in surprise. Kevin sat up straighter and said, "Alexis, you didn't have to get us anything special."
Alexis seemed to lose her nervousness as she looked up and met Kevin's eyes. "Are you kidding? Do you guys remember just last week? Even though, I'm old enough to take care of myself, Dad said I couldn't go to my concert unless I had another adult with me. You guys drove me all the way to New Jersey and stayed at the concert for hours with me." She turned to Javier. "You don't even like that music and you didn't complain once."
"I had a good time, Alexis, really. Kevin was buzzed so I got kisses every other second and I got to spend a couple of hours with my awesome niece." Javier kicked Kevin's back lightly when he mentioned the PDAs.
"Hey, wait a second!" Castle cut in. "I thought I said no drinking?"
"You said no getting drunk. And Kevin only had, like, two beers." Javier laughed while Castle eyed the Irishman.
"Hey, Carrie and Samantha, you wanna to talk about Charlotte's alcohol tolerance later so Alexis can give her present?" Beckett asked, clearly amused.
The room quieted and Alexis now had the entire room's attention. "Right. The present. It's nothing big...but I heard you guys over talking earlier and I wanted to do all that I could," she said, quickly handing the papers into Kevin's hands.
Kevin glanced at Alexis questioningly before staring down at the papers. His mouth moved slightly as he read what was printed on the sheets. His eyes flicked back and forth and they widened. "Alexis." His hands tightened on the papers as his voice cracked slightly.
"It's nothing much-."
Kevin shook his head, speechless and handed the now wrinkled papers to his husband. Javier took the papers, but his attention remained focused on Kevin. He noticed with concern that tears were now pooling in his eyes. "Kevin?"
Kevin shook his head again as he pointed to the papers. Javier finally looked down, but instead of reading it in his head like his partner, he read the first words out loud. "Simple Steps to Surrogacy…"
That gained everyone's attention.
"Alexis, this isn't nothing...this is...I don't even know what to say." Javier shook his head and offered her the papers back. "We can't accept this."
Alexis didn't move to take the papers from Javier's outstretched hand. "I see how you two are with Lily and anyone can easily see how much you want a baby of your own. I mean, you could adopt if you want, but that takes a while and you'll miss some of their life. If I carry him or her, then you'll be there every step of the way."
"Alexis," Castle spoke up hesitantly. "You understand what you're agreeing to, right?"
His daughter sighs. "I'm not a kid, Dad. I know what this all involves and I'm not changing my mind. I want Uncle Kevin and Javi to have their own child." Before she could turn back to gauge Kevin and Javier's reactions, she felt arms encircle tightly around her.
"Thank you so much," Kevin whispered in her ear.
Alexis raised her eyebrows and wrapped her arms around the Irishman. "You're welcome, Uncle Kev."
Kevin pulled back with a watery smile. "I can't believe it. I never thought...I never thought I'd ever have my own baby."
And if Alexis had any doubts, the big smile on Kevin's face and the joy in his eyes were enough to wipe them away. "Merry Christmas," Alexis whispered and turned to look at Javier as well.
Javier stood up from the couch to wrap an arm around Kevin as he stepped back. "Alexis, I don't know how to ever thank you."
Alexis smiled and handed over the sheets in her hands. "How about you thank me by coming to the doctor tomorrow and making this official."
"Deal," Kevin said quickly. And as if no one in the room was watching, he turned to face Javier and leaned up on his tippy toes to nuzzle his nose against his husband's. "A baby, Javi. A baby of our own."
"Uncle Kev just called and said they're just parking their car." Alexis told her dad as they took their seats in the waiting room.
Castle just nodded his head distractedly as he stared down at the floor. Alexis noticed his odd behavior and took a seat a next to him. "Dad, what's wrong?"
Castle quickly looked up and put a smile on his face. "I'm fine, honey."
Alexis raised her eyebrows. "You don't have to lie to me Dad. I know you're not on board with this."
"Alexis…" Castle said, running a hand through his hair. "It's not that I don't agree with what you're doing. I just think maybe you're rushing into this and once it's done, you can't take it back."
Alexis put a hand over her father's and smiled softly. "Dad, I made this decision a month ago. I know it's what I want to do. I'm not going to tell Uncle Kevin and Javi that I've changed my mind. Not after we made the appointment and settled all the paperwork." She squeezed his hand comfortingly. "I know what I'm doing."
Castle sighed. "I know, I know. But you can't blame me for being a little upset about this. I mean, soon my baby is going to be having her own baby."
Alexis laughed. "Dad, I'm twenty-five-years old. And it's not like I'm starting a family and moving away. I'm doing this for the boys. I'm still your little girl."
"Trust me, I know it's for the boys because if it wasn't, there is no way in hell I'd let you be doing this," Castle said with a scoff.
"But it is for them. They're family, Dad. You've always told me to wait to have a child until I was ready and it was with someone I love, right?"
Castle grunted but avoided her eyes.
"Well, I'm ready and I do love Kevin and Javier. I want to do this for them." She wrapped an arm around his waist to give him a small hug.
"Yeah, I love them too." He wrapped an arm around her so they shared the hug. He kissed the top of her head and whispered, "But if you dare tell them, I will ground you until you're fifty."
Alexis laughed but didn't move out of her father's arms right away. She savored the hug for a few seconds and when she finally pulled away, she asked, "So you promise you'll stop giving the boys dirty looks when they're not looking?"
Castle straightened. "What are you talking about? I never-."
"They didn't ask me to do this, I offered. Sure, I'm having their kid, but we didn't actually make the baby together, so put the claws away, Papa Bear."
Castle winced. "Please, I don't need that picture in my head."
"Fine, fine. I promise."
"Good." Alexis turned to the door when she saw Kevin and Javier walking over. "Just in time too."
Kevin's smile was so bright he could probably light up the bottom of the ocean. "Hey, Alexis, Castle. Sorry, we're running a little late."
Alexis stood up. "It's fine. We were only sitting here a few a minutes. We'll just let the doctor know we're all here."
Walking over to the front desk, Castle tried not to think about what they were here to do: get his baby girl pregnant. Nope. They were here for a check-up. Just like when Alexis was a little kid. Maybe if he closed his eyes and thought hard enough he could forget why-
"You are interested in surrogacy, correct?"
Castle's distraction shattered when the nurse spoke.
"Yes, we are," Alexis responded with a smile.
"Follow me then." The nurse nodded and led them down the hall into a small back room. She ushered them in and once they were settled, she said, "Your doctor will be here in a moment or two." She left the room and closed the door behind her.
The four sat in silence once she was gone. Castle was biting his lip hard to stop himself from trying to convince Alexis to think the whole thing over again. He promised Alexis and he was not going to ruin the day. He just had to keep quiet until it was done and there was no way he could convince her otherwise. If he said anything now, he knew that Kevin and Javier would refuse to go through with it if Castle wasn't okay with it. And he did not have it in his heart to take this away from them.
There was a light tap on the door to rescue Castle from his thoughts. The doctor walked in and greeted them with a smile. "Good evening, how are you all doing?"
They all answered with their own variation of "good" and the doctor nodded. "I'm glad to hear that. My name is Doctor Morgan and I'll be helping you with your surrogacy."
Alexis took the lead introducing them. "I'm Alexis, this is my father, Richard and they are Kevin and Javier." She gestured to each of them at their respective name.
"Well, it's a pleasure meeting you all," Doctor Morgan said as she shook each of their hands. Then she turned to her clipboard and checked through the papers. "Well, it looks like we have all of your paperwork here and all the tests give you a thumbs-up to carry."
There had been a lot of paperwork that needed to filled out and tests that needed to be taken by both Alexis and the boys to make sure the surrogacy would be successful.
"You're ovulating and ready," Doctor Morgan said to Alexis and she nodded. Then Doctor Morgan turned to Kevin and Javier. "Then all we need is one of you to donate the sperm."
Before Ryan could say a word, Javier said, "Kevin will."
Kevin looked at Javier in surprise. "But, Javi-."
Javier took his hand said, "Don't even try to argue me on this, Kevin. We're using yours."
"But, what about you?" Kevin asked softly.
"Me? Kevin, I want them to look like you." Javier grinned and teased him, "And besides, I have no blue eyes in my gene pool. You and Alexis both do, so maybe he or she will have your eyes."
Kevin smiled, but asked just to be sure, "Are you sure, Javi?"
Kevin turned to face Doctor Morgan and said, "I will be the donor."
"Perfect," she said and handed him a clear plastic cup. "You can head down to the bathroom at the end of the hall and then we can get this started."
Kevin took it with a light blush on his cheeks. "Before I go, and you know, Castle can I talk to you outside?"
Castle grinned. "I'm flattered, Ryan, but shouldn't your husband be giving you the pep talk you need?" Kevin rolled his eyes and Castle laughed. "I'm kidding, of course, you can."
Castle followed Kevin to the hall and stopped just outside the door. Once they were alone, Kevin said, "Listen, Castle, I understand why you're weary about this. Alexis is your daughter. I've known her for the past twelve years and I've come to see her as a little sister I never had. So I know how much this is asking you and I just wanted to thank you for letting her do this." He let out a deep breath. "If you were uncomfortable with all of this, then we would have refused immediately. She is your little girl. But...thank you. Because now, maybe Javi and I will get to have our own little girl. And I'll never be able to repay you for this... because this means the world to us."
"Hey," Castle said, his voice soft. "You don't need to pay me back for anything. You deserve this. And even if I wasn't okay with it, I don't think I'd be able to stop Alexis from doing it for you guys."
"I still can't believe she did this for us. It's so much and I don't know anybody else that would do this. She's an incredible girl." Kevin raised an eyebrow at Castle. "Are you sure she's your daughter?"
"Ha, so funny," Castle said sarcastically. Kevin smiled at him and Castle couldn't help smiling back. "Now you hurry up, they're waiting for you."
"How're you feeling?" Kevin asked as he and Javier walked into Castle's loft.
Alexis rolled her eyes fondly and answered, "I'm fine. Just the same as I was when you asked me yesterday."
"A lot can change in a day," Javier supplied as he greeted Alexis with a hug.
"Hey, don't mock me." Kevin shoved Javier's arm lightly. He turned to Alexis and said seriously, "He's mocking me."
Alexis laughed. No matter how nauseous or moody she was feeling from this pregnancy, these two always managed to bring a smile to her face. "Well, nothing has changed this day." She noticed Kevin's face fall slightly and she knew it was because he was excited to know when their baby started kicking.
Javier picked up on it as well and he rubbed Kevin's arm soothingly. "It's still a little early, Kev."
Kevin nodded. "I know it's only been twenty weeks and it can take up to twenty-five weeks for first pregnancies." He pulled out a set of headphones from a messenger bag he was carrying. "But you know what it's not too early for?"
"Kevin, can we at least eat our lunch before you start spewing your nonsense?" Javier groaned.
Kevin had been using every moment of his free time to research what to expect as their child developed in Alexis and he shared every detail with her when they spoke. She had learned a lot of things since they started their journey a little under five months ago.
"Ooh, you brought me lunch?" Alexis grinned, her stomach was never satisfied nowadays.
Javier waved the bag of greasy McDonald's in the air as he walked over to the kitchen table. "Maybe you'll get it if you can escape my husband."
Alexis followed Javier to the table and sat down. "It's fine, really. It's cute when he does this," she whispered to Javier as he pulled out the food from the bag.
Javier rolled his eyes as Kevin came over. He kneeled down by Alexis and asked her, "May I?"
Just like always, he asked and the answer never changed. "It's yours, Kevin, you don't need to ask."
Kevin smiled and looked at Alexis' stomach. "Hey there, it's your Daddy again. Papa is here too." Javier just smiled faintly; he always just listened to Kevin to their child he had yet to get down next to Kevin and talk with him. Alexis knew that the moment the baby kicked and she let the boys know, Javier would be right there with his partner.
"I brought you a surprise today. My baby book says your hearing should be getting better and you can hear more." He pulled up the headphones and attached his phone to it. "Music is good for you. It can help soothe you and music always makes me feel better."
He looked up again for permission and Alexis nodded again with a laugh.
Kevin smiled and set the headphones on Alexis' stomach. They stayed put on her baby bump and Kevin pressed play. Kevin smiled and said closer to her stomach, as to be heard over the music that they couldn't hear. "You're gonna love him."
Javier came up behind his husband. "Who is it?"
Kevin smirked. "The King."
Javier's eyes widened. "Oh, no, no, no. You are not inflicting your Elvis fetish on our child."
"It's not a fetish," Kevin said with a frown.
"They why did you insist on keeping those costumes from Atlantic City?" Javier raised his eyebrows.
Instead of answering Javier, Kevin turned to Alexis' stomach again. "Don't you worry, Papa is just jealous." Kevin stood up and winked over at Javier.
Javier just rolled his eyes fondly and said, "Eat your burger, Kev."
They ate lunch in somewhat silence, except for Kevin and Javier asking Alexis how she was feeling every now and then. If she didn't love these two so much, she'd find the coddling annoying.
After their lunch, Kevin and Javier said their goodbyes and Kevin took back his headset with a smile. Every time Kevin came to visit her, he liked to let the baby listen to Elvis and even Alexis found herself increasing the volume to the radio when she heard one of his songs.
If Kevin was lucky, the baby would kick at the sound of his singing. If Javier was lucky, he wouldn't hear about it for the rest of their lives.
When it did happen, it was a coincidence the entire family was there for it. They were gathered at Castle and Beckett's loft watching a movie after dinner.
Beckett had the armchair to herself. She was huge and ready to pop out her twin boys any day now. Castle was curled up on the floor with Lily in all of her blankets she had dragged out. Alexis was on the couch getting ready to relax. Kevin had just put on those headphones so the baby could listen to something while they watched the movie. Javier told him to stop bothering Alexis, but like always, Alexis was fine with it.
Kevin had just pressed play and was leaning against the crook of Javier's arm when Alexis felt it. It was soft and for a moment, she thought she imagined it. But then, there it was again.
"Kevin, Javier," she said quickly. "I think I just felt a kick."
Kevin sat up with wide eyes. "What?"
But Javier didn't waste a second before grabbing Kevin's hand and putting it on Alexis's stomach. They waited a few moments with bated breath. After what seemed like an eternity, there was another soft kick. Kevin and Javier's faces both lit up immediately.
"That's our baby," Kevin whispered to Javier. Javier nodded with a smile but didn't say a word. They kept their hands on her stomach for a few extra minutes, but there were no more kicks. They were too ecstatic to be disappointed.
"I think he or she really loves Elvis, Kev," Alexis said with a laugh.
"I knew you would," Kevin cooed to his baby softly.
Later that night when Kevin and Javier were driving Alexis home, Javier asked her quietly if he could say goodbye to the baby. Alexis quickly responded, "You don't have to ask, Javi."
Javier nodded and kneeled down looking unsure of what to say. A hand on his shoulder calmed his nerves. "It's okay, Javi, just say anything."
Javier curled a hand around Alexis' stomach and said, "This is your Papa. I know you've never heard my voice before, but I guess I always felt silly. But now...now that I felt you kicking around in there, I want you to know my voice too. Not just Daddy's and Elvis'." Kevin laughed at that.
"In a few months, you're going to be here soon and I can't wait to hold you." He cleared his throat well he felt a lump form. "But I'll talk to you soon, okay? Goodnight."
He stood back up and gave Alexis a hug and kiss goodbye. "Thank you," he whispered to her and she held him tighter.
Castle walked into the waiting room, still wearing his scrubs and they all stood.
"Well?" Martha asked, breaking the silence.
Castle looked at everyone with his red-rimmed eyes and said, "She's fine. Just gave birth to two healthy baby boys." He smiled widely. They all took their turns giving Castle a hug and congratulating him. Once they were all finished, he asked, "Do you wanna see them?"
After they washed their hands so they didn't get the newborns sick, they all took their turns meeting the two newest additions to their family. When Javier and Kevin walked into the room together, they saw Beckett laying in bed with one baby in her arms and Castle sitting beside her with the other.
Beckett smiled when she noticed them walk in. "Hey, guys," she said, her voice was full of exhaustion.
"Hey, Becks, how ya feeling?" Javier asked as they walked up to them.
"Just a little tired," she replied with a grin. She noticed Kevin looking down at the small bundle in her arms and said, "Ryan, I'd like you to meet Reece."
"May I?" He asked softly and she nodded. He carefully lifted the baby up in his arms held him close to his chest. He remembered when he first held Lily like this when she was born.
Castle stood up and held out the other twin to Javier. "Javi, this is Jake."
As Javier held Jake in his arms, it clicked in his head and he turned to look at his friends. "No, you guys are kidding me."
"It was nothing, Javi. You two are our best friends," Beckett said. "You cannot be mad at me for naming my little boys after my big boys." She had done the same when she had Lily; she'd named her after Lanie.
Javier smiled softly and rocked Jake slightly in his arms as he began to fuss. Kevin came up beside him to look over at him. They looked identical, but Kevin knew as they grew older it would be easy to pick them apart. Already it seemed that Jake would be the loud one while Reece seemed to be happy sleeping in his uncle's arms.
"You know, Javi, soon we'll have our own little baby to hold," Kevin whispered.
Javier leaned over to kiss Kevin's lips softly. "And I can't wait."
It was two months after Jake and Reece were born that Kevin and Javier got the chance to babysit them without Beckett there in another room. They insisted on letting them have a night to themselves, but Castle and Beckett also knew that they wanted some practice before their own baby came. Alexis was a little over a month away from her due date.
"Are you sure you're okay?" Beckett asked for the dozenth time as she handed a smiling Reece to Javier.
"Yes, Mom, we'll be fine. We'll call you if anything happens," Javier assured. "We babysat Lily plenty of times. She turned out just fine, right?"
They turned to stare at Lily who was currently trying to shove a red MnM up her nose. Castle and Beckett raised their eyebrows at Javier. Javier raised his hands in a defensive manner. "Hey, don't look at us. Castle's the one that got the Skittle stuck in his ear last year. And he was sober."
"Point taken," Beckett said glancing at her husband. "Remember, their bottles are in the fridge and when they need to be fed just boil them. Diapers and wipes are on the changing table."
"We know, Beckett. Now go before you miss your reservations." Kevin turned her around to the face the door.
Castle smiled at them. "Thanks again, guys. We'll be home in a few hours."
"Take your time. Enjoy yourselves," Javier said as they walked out the door finally.
Once the door was shut, Kevin grinned. "This should be easy."
"As long as Jake keeps sleeping," Javier said as he walked over to the couch and sat down. He cradled Reece in his arms and cooed, "Your brother is a very loud and grumpy baby, did you know that?"
Reece didn't understand him, but he reached out his little hand and Javier let him grab his pinky with his chubby fingers. Kevin kneeled down next to Lily and pulled the candy from the toddler's hand.
Lily pouted up at him, but he shook his head. "No sticking anything up your nose." He scooped her up underneath her arms and sat down next to Javier with her on her lap.
"But I want red boogers!"
Kevin scrunched his nose. "Your boogers will be red when it gets stuck and to get it out, the doctors have to cut into your nose."
Lily's eyes widened and Kevin really hoped she didn't repeat that to her parents. At least she dropped the MnM to the ground and they wouldn't have to take a trip to the emergency room tonight. That was not fun with Castle.
"How about we watch a movie while your brother takes a nap," Kevin suggested to get her smiling again. "Uncle Javi can make us dinner."
"Mac and cheese?" Lily asked hopefully.
"If that's what our little princess wants." Javier cradled Reece in his arms and lifted his other arm for Lily to come and snuggle next to him. She smiled and crawled over his lap to fall on the spot. He pulled her even closer to his side.
Kevin grabbed the remote from the table and set up Netflix. Thankfully, some her favorite Disney movies were on Netflix for them to watch over and over. She'd be more than happy with watching her movies, as long as Reece was being held, he'd be happy and as long as Jake stayed asleep, he'd be happy.
And if the kids were happy, Kevin and Javier were happy.
"You've been quiet all day," Javier said as he sat next to Kevin on their bed. Kevin shrugged his shoulders and remained silent. Javier sighed and tried again, "You wanna tell me what's wrong? And don't tell me nothing."
Kevin took a second to gather his thoughts before he said, "The baby is due in a few days."
Javier smiled. "Just over a week." His smile faltered when he saw that Kevin wasn't smiling. For the past nine months, Kevin hadn't been able to contain a smile at the thought of their soon-to-be-baby. "Don't tell me you're changing your mind. It's a little late."
Kevin continued to stare down at his lap. "I don't know how to do this." He paused and clarified, "How to raise a child."
Javier wrapped an arm around Kevin's waist and pulled him close. "I'm new to this too, babe. We'll just have to figure it out together."
Kevin shook his head. "I don't want to ruin his or her life. What if I mess up? Kids are very impressionable."
Javier frowned. He used a hand under Kevin's chin so their eyes met. "You aren't going to ruin their life, Kevin. I think he or she will be incredibly lucky to have you as a dad."
"Sometimes things change," Kevin said.
"Never with you." Javier kissed his forehead gently. He pulled away and let Kevin's eye fall back to his lap. Javier wished he could read Kevin's mind.
They didn't say a word for a few minutes and neither moved. Finally, Kevin whispered, "I wasn't a bad kid."
Javier raised his eyebrows and stared at the side of Kevin's head. Kevin's father was always a sore subject. Javier stayed quiet, nothing he could say could help Kevin. His father had done his damage and it was there to stay.
"Maybe I talked back or maybe I forgot to wash the dishes." Kevin's voice was shaky and he squeezed the hand Javier offered.
Kevin looked up at Javier desperately, like he could fix everything that went wrong. Javier wishes he could. "I used to ask my mom why he always got so mad. She would always say, 'His dad was bad to him.'" Kevin laughed bitterly. "Like it wasn't his fault that he beat me. Just because he had a crappy dad, it was okay for him to be a crappy dad."
They were quiet for a few seconds as Javier held his hand and tried to comfort him as best as he could.
Kevin spoke again, "Where does that leave me? What if being a shitty father is like bad gene and I can't help it either? My dad was bad to me, just like his, so I guess, I'm going to bad to our child. I can't...I don't want to make my baby feel like I did." A tear fell down his cheek.
"Wait one minute. I never met your grandfather and I know your dad was a piece of actual shit, but I know for a fact that you are nothing like them." Javier wiped the tear off Kevin's face. "There isn't a doubt in my mind."
"What if you're wrong?"
"Not about this," Javier said with a soft smile. "When I said my vows, I was committing myself to you for the rest of my life, so if you think I would do so if I thought you weren't the perfect man I fell in love with, you're insane."
"But if I ever get out of line, you have my complete permission to punch me." Kevin nodded his head, looking a little panicked.
Javier laughed but then looked at Kevin and realized he wasn't joking. "Wait, Kevin, c'mon, now. That's something your father would do. I'm not your father, you're not your father."
"I never wanted kids when I was little. I didn't want to ruin their lives." He paused. "But then I fell in love with you and I couldn't imagine our future without kids."
"And I can't wait to raise them with you." Javier took Kevin's hands. "Because I can't think of anyone else that would raise our baby as well as you will."
"You mean that?" Kevin asked quietly.
"Of course, I do." Javier wrapped his arms around Kevin again to pull him in for a hug. "There's no one else that I want to raise our baby with."
Kevin's hold on him tightened and he whispered, "Thank you, Javi."
Javier felt his heart break more for his love. "You don't need to thank me, corazon." Because he really didn't. It was sad that it was his father that made him think he needed to apologize.
If there was one good thing the elder Ryan did for his son, it was to show him exactly how not to raise a kid. Javier knew Kevin would never let their baby feel so unwanted like he once did. Their baby would be the most loved baby on the entire planet.
"Are the daddies staying in?" The doctor asked as Alexis screamed through another contraction.
She nodded her head with gritted teeth. "Yes."
The boys knew they were staying but that didn't mean Javier was any more prepared. Once Alexis was done, his baby would be in the world.
What if their baby realized he or she liked it better inside the womb? What if their baby didn't like Javier as a dad?
"Stop thinking so loud." Javier relaxed slightly when he heard his husband whisper in his ear.
"Kevin, we're about to have our baby and I may be freaking out."
Kevin laughed, stepping out of a nurse's way as she helped get Alexis setup for the birth. "I can see that."
Javier turned to look at Kevin, his eyes wide and panicked. "There's no going back," he said.
"Wow, you're just realizing that?" Kevin mused with a smile.
Javier shook his head. He had been so calm the entire pregnancy. Even the past few days when Kevin was losing his head about how he was convinced he was going to turn out to be a horrible father, Javier was always there to be Kevin's rock and keep him grounded.
Now Javier was starting to see why Kevin was panicking. Even if now the Irishman looked collected.
"You know what helped calm me down before I came in here?" Kevin asked, a grin on his face.
Javier was honestly expecting Kevin to pull out drugs to lower his anxiety like this. But instead, he pulled out his phone and earbuds.
He stuck one in his ear and the other in Javier's. He pressed played and instantly, a soft voice filled his ears.
Javier did feel his heart slow down as he listening to the soothing voice. But that didn't stop him from eyeing Kevin and saying, "I know I joke about this but I think you have an actual fetish for this man."
Kevin laughed and swatted at his arm. "Shush and let The King make everything feel good again."
"Yup. Definite fetish."
Kevin rolled his eyes and didn't argue it anymore. They spent the next minute listening to Elvis croon a slow song that Javier had the urge to sing to Kevin as they danced around the kitchen.
Their mediation was halted when Alexis' yelled over to them. "Whenever you're done listening to the ocean waves over there, your kid is squeezing their way out of me and it hurts like a mother."
Quickly apologizing, Javier pulled out the earphones and went to Alexis' side. He grabbed her hand. "Come on, you can do this."
Kevin was right next to him, encouraging her to breathe and push.
After a handful of long minutes listening to Alexis yell at them and how they're lucky she loved them or else she would not be doing this. She was yelling about a lot of things but soon, the doctor announced that he saw their baby coming out.
Kevin was behind the doctor as fast as he could get there and Javier watched his face intently. The smile on his face had Javier smiling as well. "You're almost there, Alexis." He squeezed her hand and she squeezed it right back, just much more painfully.
After what felt like hours later, a new cry soon filled the room. The doctor and nurses began to fuss over the newborn and Alexis fell to her pillows.
Her eyes immediately closed and she panting heavily. Javier brushed her hair from her sweaty face and gave her a kiss on her forehead. Her lips curled into a small smile at the contact. "You were great," he whispered.
"Only for you two," she mumbled tiredly. "Now, shoo, go see your baby and bring them to me. I was in labor for hours, at least I can see the cutie."
Javier nodded and turned to look where the love of his life was cradling a small bundle in his arms. Javier felt his eyes burn when reality sunk in that he was holding their baby to bring home and keep forever.
He slowly walked to Kevin's side and took a look at their new crying baby. Javier smiled, the tears falling down his cheeks. He wrapped his arms around Kevin and let his head rest against his.
"She's so beautiful," Kevin whispered.
Javier's eyes widened. "She?"
Kevin nodded, his own tears now falling. Javier placed a kiss on his cheek, catching a kiss before it fell.
"What do you say, Dad? Wanna cut her imbecile cord?"
Javier looked up to the doctor, realizing he was talking to him. He nodded silently and took the scissors to cut it while Kevin held her safely in his arms.
Their baby was still crying and covered in a white, greasy coating but Javier didn't care. He brought his lips to her forehead.
"We'll clean her off quickly and then we'll be back shortly with her." One of the nurses held out her arms.
"Wait," Javier said. "Alexis needs to see her."
Kevin nodded in agreement and brought the baby over to her. Alexis took her with eager arms and smiled down at the baby. "How do you like it out here?" Alexis cooed. "You're out here with me and your daddies now. No more tummy blocking us."
The baby girl had no idea what she was saying but she seemed to calm down slightly at the sound of her mother's voice. Alexis continued to hold her for a few minutes before the doctors had to take her back to get everything in order and cleaned up.
Once she was gone, and it was only the three of them in the room, Javier said, "I guess it's time to go tell the family."
Kevin grabbed his hand and smiled. Together, they walked to the waiting room where Martha, Beckett, Castle, Lanie and even Mama Esposito were waiting. They all jumped to their feet when the boys entered the room.
"So?" Martha asked, hope in her voice.
Javier pulled Kevin closer to him and announced, "Kev and I have a baby girl."
Immediately, the group broke out in cheers. They were congratulating and telling them how happy they were for them but it was hard to hear one over another.
Mama Esposito came up to them first. "Oh, mis hijos." She gave Javier a big hug and then the same to Kevin. "I can't wait to meet the little one."
Castle was next to grab Kevin in a large hug. He squeezed the Irishman tightly and then asked the boys, "How is my baby girl?"
Javier laughed. "Probably trying to catch up on her rest. She promised to kill both of us a few times during the birth."
There were a ton of more hugs after that, some repeated. "Does she have a name?" Beckett asked, looking at Ryan and Esposito.
The boys exchanged a look and shook their heads. "We haven't decided yet."
Castle clapped Ryan on the back and told them sarcastically, "Don't worry, you have a few years until you need to pick one."
Javier rolled his eyes with a smile. "We're going to give her one soon. We haven't had the chance to really sit down and talk about it yet."
"What were you two doing the past 9 months?" Castle asked with a smirk.
"Keep that up and you won't ever get a chance to meet her."
"You can't keep her favorite Uncle out of her life," Castle said, looking mortified that Javier would even suggest.
Kevin smirked at Castle's antics and asked, "Technically wouldn't you be the grandfather?"
The mirth died instantly from Castle's face. "Well played, Kevin Ryan."
Kevin laughed. "Well the position is empty." It was meant as a joke but everyone in the room could sense sadness in Kevin's voice.
Javier placed a soft kiss to Kevin's cheek. "Baby Girl has enough family members, don't you think?"
Kevin smiled, a slight blush tinging his cheeks at the affection from Javier in front of the others. But he looked around at his best friends surrounding them and realized that baby would defintely be loved enough to fill the spots from those that left Kevin's and Javier's life.
Javier smiled down at Kevin as he held their baby in his arms. She was sleeping soundly as Kevin softly sang to her. He pulled up a chair to sit down next to the two loves of his life.
"Love me tender, love me sweet. Never let me go. You have made my life complete, and I love you so," Kevin continued to sing in a soft voice.
Javier closed his eyes and listened to him sing the next verse. As much crap as Javier gave Kevin about Elvis, his songs were beautiful. And they did wonders at keeping their baby girl happy.
His opened his eyes when he had a sudden idea. "Hey, Kevin." Javier waited for him to pause his singing before he said anything. "I have an idea for a name. Feel free to say no."
Kevin laughed, keeping it quiet so he didn't wake her. "Seeing as the closet to a name we have so far is Baby Girl, I'm open for ideas."
Javier smiled softly and met Kevin's eyes. "How about Presley?"
Kevin's lips grew into a big smile and tasted the name on his tongue, "Presley." He nodded his head. "Yeah, I like that."
"Yeah?" Javier asked, leaning closer to Kevin.
"I love it," Kevin whispered softly before they shared a kiss.
When they pulled back, Javier looked down at their daughter to see her blinking her blue eyes up at them. It was her first time awake that Javier had seen her without her screaming. "Welcome to the world, Presley."
Her eyes closed again and Kevin whispered, "You know, Javi, I think we're gonna be damn good dads."
Javier kissed Kevin's cheek and laughed softly in his ear. "Yeah, Kevin. I think so, too."