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Watching The Detectives

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It ought to be really uncool to have to go to her dad's work, such as it is, and wait for him so that they can go out to dinner. But her dad's always been cool, though probably not as cool as he thinks he is, and hanging out at the precinct is always hilarious. They're like their own little dysfunctional family there and everyone makes Alexis feel so welcome. She's happy though to just sit in the background and wait for her dad. He's been working on a case with Detective Beckett for almost a week now, but apparently they've caught the bad guy, confession and everything, and now there are just a few formalities to sort out and they can leave.

Alexis is sitting at Detective Beckett' Kate's desk. She's been told so many times to call the detective Kate, but Alexis Castle is nothing if not polite, and every time she means to say 'Kate', what comes out is 'Detective Beckett'. She suspects as well that Detective Beckett thinks she's adorable: that's often the word she's heard used to describe her. Other words too, like 'intelligent' or 'charming' or 'so completely unlike her father': sometimes she kind of wishes for 'cool' or something like that, but she's happy enough the way she is.

She spots her dad then following Detective Beckett down the hallway from the interview rooms. She can't quite hear what they're saying yet, still a little too far away, but Beckett looks exasperated and is gesturing at something behind her. Alexis' dad has his most innocent face on; the one that clearly means that whatever someone thinks he's done, he's done. Alexis has seen that face many times, and she suspects Detective Beckett has learned to recognise it too. Detectives Ryan and Esposito are sitting at their desks watching as well - she has the feeling that 'The Beckett And Castle Show' has become something of a favourite among the others who work in the precinct. That's what she and Grandma refer to it as anyway. The relationship her dad has with Detective Beckett is like something out of an old black-and-white screwball comedy.

"I don't care, Castle," Detective Beckett is saying as she reaches her desk and turns around to face Alexis' dad, frustration written clear across her face even from this distance.

"He confessed," he points out with a tilt of his head, "I thought that was the most important thing."

"It is important," Detective Beckett agrees through gritted teeth, "but if what you do gets our confession thrown out..."

"It won't," Alexis hears her dad say, "I'm far too charming for that."

Alexis' eye roll is pretty much instinctual. She can't see Detective Beckett's face too clearly, but from the renewed attempt her dad is making at looking innocent and aggrieved, she's fairly certain that Beckett rolled her eyes as well. There was definitely an irritated-looking shake of the head: rolling the eyes is just the next step up from that.

"No, it probably won't this time," Beckett agrees, gesturing angrily with her hands, "but next time, it could. This is real life, Castle, not some book. There are rules to follow and when you don't follow them, bad guys end up back on the streets."

She sits down at her desk and pulls a pile of files over from one side. Alexis watches as her dad looks down at the desk, back towards the interview room, and down at the desk again. He turns then and goes back down the hallway, returning a few minutes later with a cup of coffee - clearly a peace offering.

"They're so married," Ryan mutters from his desk and Alexis can't quite hold back a snort: she's heard her dad and Detective Beckett say exactly the same thing about Ryan and Esposito. She hears someone chuckle behind her and turns to see Lainie standing there. Alexis starts to apologise but Lainie puts her hand on her shoulder and shakes her head.

"They're all as bad as each other," Lainie says, "The rest of us just stand around and watch. What are you doing here anyway?"

"My dad and I are going out for dinner," Alexis explains, "I'm just waiting for him to finish up before we go."

"I think he's probably done," Lainie points out.

"I know," Alexis agrees with a shrug, "but..." She waves her hand vaguely in the direction of her dad and Detective Beckett and Lainie gets it. It'll be easier if she just lets them sort everything out now instead of having her dad come home and mope around because he's in Beckett's bad books.

Her dad stands awkwardly with the coffee by Detective Beckett's desk for a moment before she looks up at him and he gives her the cup.

"I'm sorry," he says sincerely and whatever else he says after that is just a little too quiet, irritatingly, for Alexis and Lainie to hear. He seems to have been forgiven though and Beckett stands up again. They talk for another few minutes, still quiet, and then everyone in the precinct can hear the 'ow' when Detective Beckett kicks Castle in the shin.

"Right then, my work here is done," he announces loudly, grinning even as he feigns a limp walking away from the desk. "Evening, pumpkin," he adds, kissing Alexis on the cheek.

"Hi Dad," she replies.

"Where do you want to go for dinner?" he asks as she loops her arm through his.

"I was thinking Chinese," Alexis suggests.

"Chinese it is then," her dad agrees, "Good night, Doctor Parish, detectives." He looks around and nods dramatically at each of them, and again Alexis finds herself rolling her eyes, though it's with fondness. Her dad's always had a flair for the dramatic and a love of the spotlight and really, she wouldn't have it any other way.

"Night, Castle," Detective Beckett calls from her desk, barely even looking up from the files in front of her, "Night, Alexis."

"Good night, Detective Beckett," Alexis replies.

"Alexis," Beckett says, glancing up from her files to fix Alexis with a strict look, "You can call me Kate."

"Good night, Kate," Alexis says, still feeling awkward as she says it, but Detective Beckett smiles back at her and goes back to her work.

"Night," Lainie says, heading towards Beckett's desk with an exhortation for her to put the pen down and get her coat on.

"You have a good day at school, sweetheart?" Alexis is asked by her dad as they walk towards the elevator.

"Yeah, it was okay," she replies, hitting the 'down' button, "Your day sounds as if it was pretty eventful."

"Let me tell you about," he starts, switching immediately into story telling mode, "It was a cold, frosty evening in New York City, and it was just two weeks before Christmas..."