Castle Christmas FanFic Competition: And, The Meek Shall Inherit The Earth

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 for a possible easier read (blogspot doesn`t agree with word format most of the time).

Story: "And, The Meek Shall Inherit The Earth" 
Rating:  T
Words:  3,493

She stops, realizing it’s him. It’s Castle! Her heart hustles a fast track to her throat, unbidden tears rim her eyes, and Kate smiles in spite of herself. The low rumble of annoyance, frustration, mistrust she’d felt before quickly melts away by simply seeing him here, doing this. 

And, she falls in love with him all over again. 

Three days earlier...

He hops out of the cab, two fresh aromatic coffees in hand, and bounds over to where she is already standing near the body, the commanding posture of her slender frame exudes her complete authority over the crime scene before her. 

“Thanks,” Kate whispers, her fingers linger over his as she accepts the steaming cup, her lips bowing at their familiar, comforting routine. She steals a glance, their eyes briefly meeting, shiny and crinkled, filled with longing - as if they hadn’t started their day naked, sweaty, tangled together in her bed. Which, of course, they had

“What do we have?” He asks, eyeing the crime scene before him. An elderly woman, smartly dressed, sans winter coat, probably in her seventies by the look of it, lays face up in the snow, bruises darting her face, neck, and the back of one hand.

“Hard to tell,” Lanie explains, kneeling beside the body. “She has bruising,” she gestures with her stylus pen at the round bruises. “But, they don’t appear to be fatal wounds.”

“Time of death?” Kate asks, her pen poised over the leather bound notepad cradled in one hand, her coffee cup tucked precariously between her elbow and ribcage.

“Well, she’s been out here for awhile, I can tell you that. Right now, I’d put time of death at between ten and fifteen hours ago.” 

She nods. “Thanks, Lanie.” Kate turns to Ryan and Esposito. “What do we know about the vic?” 

“Name’s Kathryn White, age 74, heiress of the White Industries fortune.”

“Ooh, I know of them,” Castle interjects, wide-eyed. “She’s a philanthropist, much to the dismay of her heirs. She’s spread her fortune far and wide, with huge donations to the arts, schools, social service agencies. You name any nonprofit organization in New York? And her name is probably on their donor list.” 

“Sounds like the first people we should be looking at, then, are her heirs.” Esposito offers. 

“Yeah, you and Ryan run them down. Find next of kin, okay? Castle and I will start looking at her business dealings, including all of the charities she’s involved with.” 

(Section Break)

“So, um, my dad called this morning,” She starts cautiously, stealing a glance at him from the corner of her eye as she maneuvers her cruiser through Manhattan’s mid-morning traffic. “And, he would really like for us to come over on Christmas morning.” 

He sighs, his shoulders slumping. She expects this. They’d been over this earlier and he had been adamant that he had “plans” for Christmas morning, but when she’d pressed him, he’d been annoyingly evasive. 

“Kate. I’m sorry, I really do want to spend time over Christmas with your dad, but,” He rubs his chin, “ I already explained, I have plans for Christmas morning.” He tips the coffee cup to his lips, gulping the tepid liquid. “What about later in the day? I could even do noon. Or, why doesn’t he just join us on Christmas Eve?”

She blows out a puff of air. “I’ll call him. See if we can do something different.”

“Thank you, Kate. I appreciate it. I know I’m being difficult, it’s just, I wouldn’t...” he sighs, “...It’s important.” His words are laced with genuine sincerity, making it impossible for her to be too annoyed with him. 

But she really wants to know what he’s doing on Christmas morning, and can’t understand why he is so secretive about it.  

You have to let it go, Kate. Let him have his private things. You’d expect no less, wouldn’t you? 

Ugh. Reasonableness. It is so inconvenient at times! 

(Section Break)

“What’s the verdict, Lanie?” 

“Okay. This? This is a freaky one!” She exclaims, pulling the sheet back to expose the victims bruised legs. “See these?” She points at a series of bruises marring the otherwise flawless skin on the victims body.

“Yeah,” Castle and Kate reply simultaneously.

“They’re hoof marks!” 

“What?” Kate asks, moving closer to examine the bruises. 

“You mean like a horse? She was trampled to death?”

“No. Not a horse. Something smaller. More likely a deer or a goat.” 

Castle reaches out and grabs Beckett’s arm, a smarmy grin creeping along his face.

“Castle!” Kate warns.

“You mean?” He tucks his lips between his teeth.

“Castle, no.” Kate admonishes.

“Are you saying?” He holds one finger to his lips.

Kate sighs, casting her eyes to the ceiling, resigning herself for the inevitable. 

“...that GRANDMA got run over by a REINDEER?” He holds one fisted hand against his lips in an unsuccessful attempt to contain his giddiness.

“Ugh.” Kate sighs, rolling her eyes. 

Lanie looks up at him through the thick fan of lashes framing her brown eyes. An amused grin on her face. “No. Castle. These injuries were sustained postmortem.” 

Kate jerks her head towards Lanie, startled, “Postmortem? So, what was the cause of death?”

Lanie hands her a toxicology report. “Our vic was poisoned.”

(Section Break)

They order pizza, staying in at her place to watch It’s a Wonderful LIfe, and debate whether to make it a double feature by watching the 1947 version of Miracle on 34th Street.

But, filled up with wine, pizza, and each other, they instead manage to fall asleep on the couch, wrapped in each others arms, blanketed by a warm crocheted throw. They drift off just before George Bailey realizes that he does, indeed, have a wonderful life.

When he wakes up, the DVD player has gone into safe mode, it’s logo bopping around the screen in anticipation of their next move. He shuts it off, then shuts off the TV before gently bouncing his shoulder to wake Kate, who is nestled against him, safe and warm, content.  

“Kate,” He traces her cheek with one finger. “I should go. It’s really late.” 

“No, Castle. Don’t go. Stay.” She says sleepily, nestling even closer to him, her face buried in his neck, her hand slipping beneath the folds of his untucked shirt, her fingers tracing lazy circle eights against his back. 

He smiles. “But, it’s a school night, remember? You have an early shift...”

She opens one groggy eye, her pupil constricting against the soft light coming from the lamp behind them. “I know, but we’re so cozy, and it’s cold outside, and you’re already here. We can break the no-sleepovers-on-the-night-before-an-early-shift rule just this once, don’t you think?” She tilts her head to kiss him softly on the mouth. “Hmmm?” 

He smiles against her lips, returning the supple kiss. “Okay,” He gently peels the throw from her shoulders, “Let’s go to bed, then.” 

They cork the wine, place the dishes in the sink, turn off the lights, double check the locks on the door, and then crawl, pajama clad and weary eyed, into bed. They quickly resume the nestled position they had so easily fallen into on the couch, Kate snaking her hand beneath his t-shirt to caress his deliciously soft skin, and they drift warmly, easily, contentedly off to sleep. 

(Section Break)

“Wow, Castle,” Kate exclaims looking up at him as he enters the precinct, freshly showered and dressed, two paper cups of coffee in his hands. He hands one to her. “You weren’t kidding about the number of charities she supports. There are over five hundred organizations on this list!” 

He nods, “Told you.” 

She hands him a file, “We’d better start looking into these, see if we can find a recent connection to the vic.” 

(Section Break)

“Don’t feel badly, darling. He won’t tell us what he does, either.” Martha reassures Kate, patting her on the back of the hand as they stand in front of the tree, freshly poured goblets of red wine in their hands.  “Ever since Alexis was a baby, he’s been going off by himself on Christmas morning. He was always back in time to watch her open her presents from Santa,” She glances across the room at her ginger-haired granddaughter, who was, at the moment, engaged in an animated conversation with Kate’s father about, baseball, of all things. “She had to wait sometimes, for him to get back, but he was always here.” 

“And, all these years, you have no idea what he does? Where he goes?”

“Kate. He loves Christmas. But, I have always had the sense that there is some sadness about it, too. It was just the two of us, you know, for many years. And, I sometimes wonder...” She abruptly stops talking when Castle sidles up next to Kate, slipping his hand around her waist he pulls her close, she leans into him.

“Dinner is ready,” He announces, smiling down at her. She smiles back, how can’t she? He’s wearing a santa hat, for god’s sake. 

(Section Break)

“I’m glad you brought an overnight bag,” he purrs, nuzzling his face against her neck, planting tiny little kisses in a line along her throat before his mouth finds hers, his tongue teasing her lips apart. They kiss, long, and slow and deep. She is both submissive and commanding in an inexplicable yet perfect sort of way. 

She wiggles closer to him in the bed, their bodies intertwined, warm and humming, she rubs one sock clad foot up his calf, slipping beneath the fabric of his grey and white striped pajamas, “I wasn’t sure, since,” she hesitates, “...since you have plans tomorrow morning, and I...”

He shifts in the bed, interrupting her, “Kate, it’s only a few hours in the morning. I’m all yours the rest of the day, and after brunch and gift opening, we can do anything you want.” He pauses, “You’ll wait for me?”  

“Castle, I, ah.” She scratches her nose nervously, her body stiffening. “I didn’t know how to tell you earlier, but, um, I volunteered to work tomorrow.” 

“Wait, what? Why would you do that?” He sits up, pulling away from her. 

She sits up, too. “I’m sorry. It’s just. Elder asked if I could cover for him, he has little kids, and, I thought,” She pauses, the hurt look on his face is killing her. “...since you were busy in the morning anyway, and we didn’t really have plans, that I should cover for him.” 

“You’re punishing me, aren’t you?”

“What? No! Why would you think that?” 

He stares at her, the vertical lines between his eyes thick and angry. 

“Castle. I’m sorry. I thought you’d understand.”

He roughly combs his fingers through his hair, staring at her with a mixture of grief and anger. “Well, I don’t.”

“I’m only working the day shift, we can still spend the whole evening together.” She pauses. “We can wait until then to open presents, can’t we?” She searches his eyes, pleading with him with her own, tentatively snaking her hand over his where it sits in his lap. “Besides, I think Alexis would like to have some time with you to herself.” 

Although Alexis had been warm and inviting, had welcomed Kate and her father into their Christmas Eve tradition, she could tell that the girl was longing for time alone with her father. 

Kate inches closer to him, rubs her palm up his arm, his shoulder, cupping his cheek. “Castle, I’m sorry. I should have told you right away, I should have asked you before I said yes.”

His face softens. “Yeah, you should have.” He covers her hand with his, presses his lips against her palm in silent forgiveness, closing his eyes. “But, I’ll survive. I’m just,” He sighs, “...disappointed.” 

She winces.  

He scoots down below the covers, resting his head on the pillow. “Let’s just get some sleep, okay?” He tugs at her to join him. 

Her heart aches and she kicks herself for being so thoughtless. She wonders if in some small way maybe she was trying to punish him? 

She lays next to him, her hand on his chest, a lump in her throat as she nuzzles against his neck. “I’m sorry, Castle.” 

He kisses her forehead, “It’s okay, Kate. What’s done is done.” He shifts suddenly, rolling over on to his side, and moves her so she is against him. He reaches up, smoothes her hair off her face, and tucks it behind her ear. “Let’s not let it ruin our Christmas.” 

(Section Break)

Neither of them sleeps well and Castle slips out before Kate has even had her morning coffee. She quickly showers, dresses, and heads to the precinct where only a skeleton crew keeps watch as the rest of the city awakens around them. She can almost hear the collective squeals of the city’s children as they discover that Santa had snuck into their homes while they lay sleeping, dreaming of snowflakes, and Santa Elves, and ginger bread houses, their bellies full of sugar cookies and candy canes, to leave them presents beneath the tree.

She thinks of Castle and wonders, with equal parts exasperation and concern, where he is, what he’s doing. And, is he okay? She imagines him wandering the streets of New York, melancholy and reflective, perhaps remembering difficult Christmases of his past, perhaps thinking of his father, and mourning all of the Christmases of which he never partook. She wrinkles her nose as sadness spreads over her like a heavy tarp. Why can’t he tell me? If he’s sad, or having a hard time, or even just wanting to be alone, why can’t he tell me? 

Because some things are still private, Kate. Let it go. 

She shakes her head, her long chestnut hair bouncing in response, and fills her mug with hot coffee before returning to her desk. 

It isn’t long before the phone rings and she is torn from her anxious thoughts by the work that awaits her. 

She picks up the receiver, “Beckett!”

(Section Break)

She badges her way past the security officer stationed at the front door of the New York Crisis Nursery, and approaches the receptionists desk. “Kate Beckett, NYPD, I’m here to meet with,” she consults her notes, “...Melissa Turner?” 

The receptionist nods, picking up the phone. 

Kate had received a return call from the director of the charity, with apologies that she was only available for an interview about Kathryn White today, which is fine with Kate, because it distracts her from the plague of sadness that still engulfs her any time she thinks about Castle and his secretive Christmas morning.  

The receptionist hangs up the phone and motions for Kate to follow her. As they wind their way along a series of long hallways, she becomes aware of the muffled tinkly sounds, the cinnamon apple scents, of Christmas happening on the other side of a huge set of elaborately decorated double doors. The receptionist throws them open and Kate gasps, her eyes huge, filling with the sights of the dazzling winter wonderland before her. 

She slowly enters the gymnasium, her senses immediately assaulted by the cacophony of Christmas sights, sounds and scents. Thousands of tiny glass icicles and snowflakes hang from the ceiling, their sparkle magnified by the hundreds of twinkling lights strung end-to-end above them. The decorations remind her of the set of a Christmas movie, complete with a toddler size train track weaving it’s way through the room, gleeful children riding as it’s conducted by a red and green clad elf, who toots the horn to the tune of Jingle Bells as he takes them on an imagination-fueled ride throughout the expansive hall. 

A playroom sized two-story ginger-bread house occupies one corner, tendrils of smoke rising from it’s chimney, produced, no doubt, by dry ice. An artificial ice rink occupies the opposite corner, dozens of ice-skate clad children teetering in a circle around it, laughing and whooping as they fall on their butts, only to get up and try again. 

In the center of the room stands the largest Christmas tree Kate has ever seen outside of Rockefeller Plaza. It twinkles with the light of a thousand bulbs, whimsical elfin decorations adorn it’s broad branches, and beneath it, wrapping around the broad circumference of the huge tree, are hundreds of wrapped presents. 

And sitting at the foot of the tree, a toddler on each leg, a dozen more children of all ages and races, boys and girls, squatting in a circle at his feet, sits a bearded, jolly, Santa. An open book cradled in his hand, he begins to read aloud from The Polar Express. 

And, as she hears his booming voice, his infectious laughter, a familiar playful cadence, a bolt of lightening courses through her veins as she realizes, Santa is really Castle

She ducks behind a candy cane striped column. 

“Detective Beckett?” 

She spins around, her mouth agape, and comes face to face with a young elfin-costumed woman. “Yes,” she stammers, trying to regain her composure. 

“I’m Melissa Turner, I’m sorry about having to do this today, of all days,” She sweeps her arm around the room, “but I leave for a two week vacation tonight, so...”

“It’s fine,” Kate answers, she glances back at Castle. “That Santa, you, ah, you know who he is, right?” 

“Of course. But, please don’t tell anyone, he really doesn’t want this leaked to the press.” 

“No, no, I wouldn’t do that.” She pauses, “How long has he been doing this?”

“He’s been coming here for the past fifteen years, and each year he makes it more magical than the last. He arranges all of this,” she gestures around the room. 

“And the presents?” Kate asks, pointing at the huge pile of them beneath the tree. 

“Buys them himself. He gets a list from the social worker of what each kid wants, and he buys them all.” 

“Wow.” She is breathless, wordless, filled up by wonder and awe for this man she loves so much. 

“Yeah. He’s an extraordinarily generous  man.” 

“Yes, ” Kate nods in agreement, “I know.”

She steals a moment to refocus and take the woman’s statement, when she suddenly feels him beside her. 

“Did you follow me here?!”

She turns to face him and his eyes are ablaze with the accusation. 

“Castle, I...” He doesn’t let her finish, and instead roughly grabs her elbow, towing her quickly out of the room.

They stand in the hallway. “Kate. What the hell are you doing here? I told you, this is...”

She holds up a staying palm. “It’s a coincidence, Rick, I promise. I’m here to take a statement in the Kathryn White murder. I had no idea you were even here.” 

“Oh.” He visibly relaxes, stroking the fake beard that looks amazingly like he’d grown it himself. “Oh. I’m sorry, I thought...”

“It’s okay,” she assures him. “But, Castle,” she lowers her voice, “...why is this such a secret?”

He frowns, the lines on his face indicate he’s mulling his options. “I just want to give them a happy Christmas, Kate. They’re here, without their parents, they’re scared, and alone, and.” He regards her with glassy eyes, “I just want to give them a happy Christmas. I keep it a secret because it’s not about me, it’s not about Richard Castle the novelist doing this generous thing. It’s just about,” he thumbs behind him, “...them.”

Her heart swells and she frames his face with her hands, his Santa beard tickling her fingers. She kisses him. “Just when I think there are no more surprises, Castle.” Her lips warm and wanting, her breath hot against his mouth, their kiss like a talisman against the remnants of their fear, their hurt. She presses up against him, a familiar heat spreading throughout her veins. “Do you think, maybe, you could bring that Santa suit with you when you come over tonight?” 

Castle grins, his eyes twinkling. “Why, Detective Beckett, are you suggesting we engage in a little Christmas cosplay?” 

She kisses him again, her fingers toying with the black leather belt around his middle. “Maybe.” 

He lowers his voice, “Does that mean you’re going to wear that naughty Mrs. Claus costume I bought you?” 

A kittenish grin curves her lips, and she cocks her head to the side. From beneath the long fan of lashes that frame her hazel eyes, she glistens at him. “I will, if you let me ride your sleigh, Santa.”  

She cups him. 

“Whoa, ha, ho, ho, ho.” He growls, leaning into her, kissing her again, his lips lingering on hers before heading back to the room full of children. 

She watches him disappear through the double doors, and remembers why, exactly, she fell in love with him in the first place. 

And then, she falls in love with him all over again. 
Agent Angie 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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