Castle Halloween FanFic Competition: Simply Epic



Another story for our fanfic competition. Here you can find all the stories for the 12th Precinct Castle Halloween FanFic Competition. And here you can find the rules.
You can also find the stories at www.fanfiction.net for a possible easier read.

Story: Simply Epic

Rating: K+
Word count: 2497



It was going to be epic.

Castle had fully intended to rope Kate into being his better half . . . for the party, of course. She might not be ready to pick a china pattern, but surely she'd understand the need to commemorate their first Halloween as a couple. Right?

He had outed them the previous week by showing up to a crime scene wearing a smear of Kate's lipstick on his cheek. Even the unflappable Detective Beckett couldn't help but blush under the other detectives' intense scrutiny. When Lanie had threatened to swab Castle's cheek and Kate's lips for evidence they had to confess.

Gates had graciously chosen to look the other way so, now that they were safe, Castle's biggest concern was their costume.



He and Alexis had done every Star Wars combo imaginable, that was until "The Admiral Ackbar and Mon Mothma Incident of '02," after which Alexis had held an intervention. Castle had rebelled by being a space cowboy for the next three years.

The pressure was on. Sonny & Cher? Cleopatra & Marc Antony? Two ends of a cow? He was getting desperate. He was a best-selling author with an imagination the size of Wyoming. Why in the world couldn't he come up with something more clever?

Ooh, maybe they could be the Borg and 'assimilate' all their guests? Hmm, he liked the concept but costume hijacking would no doubt be in poor form according to polite society.

"I'm not going to wear spandex, Castle." Kate hadn't even looked up or paused while typing her report.

She was good.

"Well, that eliminates all superheroes, most Bond girls, and Seven of Nine." His brow scrunched.

"Can't we just be Waldos and disappear into the crowd?"

"Well, I'd have to redecorate the loft to incorporate random striping so we'd blend in, but I'm not totally opposed to the idea."

She rolled her eyes but the edges of her mouth tugged only just concealing her amusement. "How about 'red shirts' then we can leave the party half-way through?"

He leaned his elbow on her desk, closed his fist and rested his chin on it. "That would depend on why you wanted to leave the party early." He quirked his eyebrow at her.

She couldn't help but smile, but her expression quickly turned pensive.

"Castle," she looked around the bullpen to make sure they were out of earshot of others. "I know they knowabout us, but being in joint costumes will make it seem like we're . . ." she was searching for the right phrase, "hosting together."

"Well, yeah. I mean, I'm hosting and you're going to be my date so I guess that could be taken as hosting together." He studied her then added, "but this is about more than an issue of semantics, isn't it?" He glanced away.

Kate rested a hand on his knee to make her point.

"Castle, it's not that I don't want to advertise that we're together, it's just that I'm used to being in the background. In all the years you've known me, how many parties have I thrown?"

He looked conflicted then covertly caressed her hand as he weighed his words.

"Kate, you've always known that the spotlight is part of the Richard Castle package. Everyone's been discreet so far, but I am a public figure so it won't be long until page six is all over this and that will be much more invasive than a private party." He dipped his head to try to meet her lowered eyes. He added patiently, "Kate, you know I would never pressure you into anything, but I won't always be able to shield you from that part of my life."

He brushed her hand with his fingers one last time then straightened. He had expected her to drop her hand from his knee but instead she applied enough pressure to still his movements.

She finally looked into his eyes, her expression open and vulnerable. "Castle, you've sat in that chair patiently . . . well, persistently anyway, for four years." His expression softened to match hers. "I guess it's time I stepped into your world, and one day maybe I'll be as comfortable at a book launch as you are at a crime scene."

"I'd like that."

She shook her head, "I just wish I could be everything you need me to be right now."

He leveled his eyes at her playfully, "Why, Detective Beckett, you are much more than what I need, you are my dreams personified."

She rolled her eyes, dismissing his sappy sentiment. "Well, I guess I could at least be your arm candy at the party."

He asked in a shocked tone, "You mean you would host the party with me?"

She laughed lightly. "Semantics."

"I'll take it as a win."

"Castle, nothing outlandish."

Just then Ryan and Esposito entered.

Castle asked them, "You're both coming right?"

"You Bet."

"Wouldn't miss it, Bro."

"Beckett, I think I have the perfect solution so you won't feel singled out." He turned to the boys, "Have you picked your costumes yet?"




"How in the world did you get fatigues with the ranks and names of the Stargate SG-1 characters in our exact sizes? Wait, isn't this impersonating an officer?"

"I know people, and technically 'no' since the Air Force changed from the traditional camo to the pixellated uniforms a few years back. Anyway, only you and Espo have ranks. I'm an alien and Ryan's a civilian."

Castle had already affixed a bald scalp piece to cover his hair and was adhering a golden emblem to his forehead while Kate tied her combat boots. He turned to admire her. "And I thought spandex was hot! I have to say you definitely know how to work a uniform, Major Carter."

She looked at her lapels and nodded, "So it's Major Carter, then?"

"During the best years of the show."

"Well, Teal'c, when are Daniel Jackson and Colonel O'Neill getting here?" She groaned, "Espo's going to insist I salute him, isn't he?"

Rick schooled his expression and flicked up a single eyebrow, "Indeed."

She followed him into the living room where he tossed her a replica of the 'Carter Special,' a modified assault rifle, then he started wielding a staff weapon. She rolled her eyes as he flipped it over and pressed a button that split the end and activated a blue light.

"Wow! You should feel the weight on this, I think they might have actually gotten this from off world!"

She turned on her heel. "I think I need a drink already."

Castle started whipping the staff weapon around, pretending to fight off enemy Jaffa. He was facing away from the kitchen then suddenly spun around, whirling his extended staff and . . . THWACK!

Kate hit the ground, her glass went flying towards the kitchen and shattered.

Rick froze in horror for a split second then dropped to her side.

She was curled on the ground, moaning and covering her face. All he could mutter was, "Oh, Kate!" He had felt the sickening crack reverberate through the metal as it had squarely made contact. His hands hovered but he hesitated to touch her. "Are you okay?" He shook his head – definitely a stupid question. "I mean, let me see."

She removed her hands to expose first one very watery eye then her inflamed nose and the gush of blood emanating from it. She turned towards him fully and he saw her swollen cheek as well. His own eyes pricked from the guilt of what he'd done. She clenched her eyes shut, but through the pain she gripped his arm and managed, "Castle, it was an accident."

"I'll get some ice then we'll go."

"No, I'll be fine in a few minutes."

He ran to the kitchen, grabbed an icepack from the freezer, wrapped it in a towel then dampened another cloth. She tried to smile at him, "Thanks." He ever so gently tried to clean the blood from her face and then held the towel against her nose to try to stem the bleeding.

To Castle, words had never seemed so impotent. Every phrase he could conjure to convey his self-loathing sounded in his mind like nothing more than, 'Gee, Kate, sorry about your face. My bad.' Silence won by default.

He settled on the floor behind her and scooted them so he was leaning against the couch and she against his chest. He held the cloth with one hand then secured her firmly against him with the other.

Kate couldn't keep her eyes from tearing. She focused on feeling Rick's breath against her neck and his hand splayed on her stomach rather than her rapidly swelling nose.

After a few more minutes of stunned silence Castle kissed her hair, "Kate, we need to go to the ER. I felt your nose break." He winced as his mind replayed the horrific moment.

"Maybe Lanie will come as Dr. Frazier and she can magically cure me. Seemed to work for SG-1 on a weekly basis." She tilted her head towards him and awkwardly attempted a smile. "I'm okay, really."

He clenched his jaw tighter than Kate thought possible.

"Castle, would it make you feel better if we went?"

"It would make you feel better, so yes."

"What about the party?"

"It will be in good hands. Mother's slinking into her 'Cats' outfit right now and Alexis will be over with a few friends from college in about half an hour."

Despite his penetrating concern, it was really hard to take him seriously while he was bald and sporting a gilded tattoo.

"Alright."



No amount of name-dropping, or badge flashing could jump them forward in line. They sat in the company of a vomiting vampire, a family dressed as life-sized crayons, a limping Abraham Lincoln, and three zombies, whom had Castle on edge. To pass the time he entertained Kate with an elaborate story that tied them all together, weaving new characters into the mix with each whoosh of the automatic doors. Kate leaned into him as he alternated playing with her hair and brushing his hand along her arm. The constant touching did more to sooth her than the four aspirin she had taken.

Despite the pain she kept reassuring him that it was just an accident.

Despite her assurances, he would never forgive himself.

"Castle."

"Yeah."

"Sorry you're missing your party."

He looked at her suspiciously. "Wait. Beckett, was this an elaborate ruse to get out of hostess duties?"

"You got me. I used mind control to make you whack my face."
He considered. "You know, it's a bit early in our relationship for my first domestic abuse charge."
"Your first? Are you planning on running me over with a sleigh at Christmas? Setting off fireworks inside my apartment on 4th of July?"

"Only if you need an excuse to dramatically escape from a social obligation. Never doubt that I have your back, Partner."

She nuzzled the back of her head into his shoulder and played with his fingers.

"I never have."

Finally, after an x-ray and multiple recitations of how exactly she had been injured, the doctor set and taped her broken nose, packed it with gauze, gave her Vicodin pills, and ordered her to rest.

Kate had refused to take the meds until she was snug in her own bed. Castle couldn't leave Alexis with clean up duty, nor could he leave Kate alone in her apartment so he asked her to stay at the loft for the night.

"The least I can do is wait on you hand and foot. Please, Kate, let me do this." She nodded, if only to assuage his guilt, although the last thing she really wanted to do was walk into a party looking and feeling as pathetic as she did.

They opened the door to quite a sight. Five gallons of liquid chocolate had spilled on the floor from the tipped fondue fountain, Martha was belting out 'Memories,' with a smitten gentleman caller, Esposito was cuffing a young guy whom Ryan had pinned, and Alexis was running her hands through her hair while pacing in circles, unsure where to start with damage control.

Kate raised her eyebrows at the chaos. Castle, unfazed, led her to his bedroom mostly undetected then closed the door and eased her to the bed. He filled a glass with water and shook a pill into her palm then unlaced her combat boots and tugged them off. He placed his fists on the mattress on either side of her hips, leaned into her, and tenderly kissed her good cheek. He brushed his own cheek against hers and breathed, "I'll be right back." She ran the back of her finger down his forearm and nodded.

Alexis met him at the bedroom door, handed him an ice pack then briefed him.

"Gram got a hit on her gray-dar, obviously. Patterson and Judge Markway found our light sabers and got into a duel that ended badly for the fondue fountain and culled the ghost Peeps. My study partner, 'Thor,' over there apparently goes from polite brainiac to moron after one drink. He used a pick up line on me that Detectives Esposito and Ryan found inappropriate. They subdued him to defend my honor.

"Good." God bless Esposito and Ryan.

Castle surveyed the scene before him then looked back at his bedroom door.

"Dad, I'm still your wingman. I've got this. Jenny and Lanie are going to help me clean while the guys make sure Thor 'gets home safely.'" She used air quotes.

She nodded towards the door to his room. "Go." He grimaced, feeling both thankful and guilty that his daughter was taking charge.

"Pumpkin-"

"I know, what would you do without me? Yeah, yeah, now, scoot!"
Castle kissed his daughter's temple then returned to the bedside. Kate was sprawled with her mouth slack and brow relaxed in sleep. Her cheek was turning a vivid purple and her nose had to be throbbing relentlessly. His hands still felt the echoes of the mortifying vibrations from the moment of impact and he knew he'd be forever haunted by them.

Still, seeing his partner asleep in his bed was such a precious sight. He gingerly undressed her to the comfort level of a well-worn t-shirt and underwear then tucked her beneath the covers. He stroked her hair and lightly kissed the corner of her mouth while being mindful of her injuries. His heart swelled in adoration as he whispered, "You being here, Kate, . . . Best. Halloween. Ever."

He'd even call it epic.

Captain Founder, Administrator, Editor and Writer

The moment that I met you, my life became extraordinary. You taught me to be my best self, to look forward to tomorrow's adventures. And when I was vulnerable, you were strong. I love you, Richard Castle. And I want to live my life in the warmth of your smile and the strength of your embrace. I promise you I will love you. I will be your friend and your partner in crime and in life, always. - Kate Beckett The moment we met, my life became extraordinary. You taught me more about myself than I knew there was to learn. You are the joy in my heart. You're the last person I want to see every night when I close my eyes. I love you, Katherine Beckett. And the mystery of you is the one I want to spend the rest of my life exploring. I promise to love you, to be your friend, and your partner in crime and life, 'till death do us part, and for the time of our lives. - Richard Castle

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