'Jenny! Let's go!'
'I'm coming, I'm coming.'
Ryan rolled his eyes. He loved his new wife beyond all logical comprehension, but unless it was work-related the woman was never anywhere on time. He didn't consider it a female thing, he considered it a Jennifer Agatha 'Honey-Milk' Ryan thing - their first date, he'd had to tell her the movie time was twenty minutes sooner so that she'd think she was late when she was actually punctual.
Pacing around the living room of their apartment, Ryan headed to the kitchen and checked his reflection in the toaster. Castle had decided this year that his Hallowe'en party would be themed, with Esposito cranking about how Hallowe'en costume parties were by definition themed parties.
'You don't have a costume,' he'd guessed as they'd left the break room with fresh coffee a few days before. 'I bet Meredeth does.'
'Oh, is she going to be Mary Magdalene from Jesus Christ Superstar?'
'I'm hoping she's coming as one of the girls from a Russ Meyers movie,' Castle said with a cheeky grin. 'We all know what he's famous for, and he'd have made Meredeth a superstar if she'd been born in the right time.'
'Can you stop commenting on my girlfriend's breasts, Castle?' Esposito sniped. They were still trying to close in on the identity of the Bodega stalker and even with the excellent lovin' he'd gotten from her before coming on shift, he was still on edge about keeping her out of danger. 'You already have a seventies-movie costume don't you, Kev?'
He sure did - Danny Zuko from Grease. Though Ryan didn't considered himself anywhere near the singer or dancer the young Travolta had been, they did have one thing in common and that was devastatingly piercing blue eyes. He considered himself a decent looking guy, but Ryan knew it was those round turquoise marbles that were his best feature and the reason why he'd been such a hound during his days in uniform. There was many a woman ready to toss her skirt to the wind when they'd seen him in his uniform and his eyes were almost the same colour as his shirt. Hell, it was how he'd gotten Honey-Milk's attention the first time they'd met. When they'd first spent the night together, she'd teased him that they wouldn't need candles if there was a power-outage since his eyes were practically glow in the dark.
He did a quick turn in front of the toaster again, looked at his costume - black leather jacket, white shirt, lot of hair product and some very tight jeans. Okay, he had two things in common with the young Travolta, he thought, liking the way his fine, if narrow, behind was put on display.
'Looking good, Detective. Or is it dy-no-mite?'
'Grease is set in nineteen fifty-one so...' Ryan trailed off when he saw the costume Honey-Milk was wearing: an old-fashioned white nurse's dress, inadvertently cut so it showed off the lovely pair of apples of her cleavage. The skirt itself ended three inches above her knees and she'd donned white stockings while her hair was rolled in a French twist at the nape of her neck and a little paper white hat was pinned on top of her head. She wore a little grey eyeshadow and matte peach lipstick and to Ryan's way of thinking, lived up to the standard of why almost every man included hot nurse on his top-five sexual fantasies. 'Wow.'
'You like?' she asked, turning in a circle.
'I thought Nurse Ratched was supposed to be scary and evil. I just wanna take great big bites out of you.'
'Just what you want to hear when you're a pediatric nurse.' But she crossed over to him, gave him a kiss on the cheek. Honey-Milk knew the look in her husband's eye and if she gave him a real kiss, they'd end up decorating the living room with her stockings and his pants, amongst other things. 'All the tiny-human caretakers are dressing up.'
'So you're a nurse, going as a nurse?'
'I'm changing when I get there,' Honey-Milk laughed as they grabbed their coats, headed out. 'I'm going to be Tinker-Bell and do a reading of Peter Pan with the older kids, and they'll all get orange Jell-O and chocolate ice cream while we watch The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.'
'Is it wrong I'm in my thirties and that still sounds fun?'
'Because it's you, no. Even Castle could get away with it. Esposito...he'd probably just want to eat the Jell-O off Meredeth's naked stomach.'
'Wouldn't happen,' Ryan said as they hit street level, turned for the subway station.
'Javi doesn't eat Jell-O.' Ryan watched Honey-Milk's hips swinging as she walked down the stairs ahead of him, felt his jeans get just a fraction tighter. Down boy, he told himself sternly. 'Why couldn't you have been Tinker-Bell for this party?'
'Because Tinks wasn't in any nineteen seventies movie I'm aware of. But if you promise not to pout over the fact I have to leave for work, I'll wear my little green dress home.'
When they got to Castle's, Ryan was surprised to find the place already hopping despite it being barely eight, but that was secondary to the room full of amazing costumes - at first glance, he saw Michael from The Deer Hunter, Kurtz from Apocalypse Now, Alex DeLarge and Annie Hall.
'I wonder what Castle's dressed up as,' Honey-Milk said, stowing her bag of work clothes discreetly in Castle's office.
They turned and Honey-Milk didn't have long to wonder as Castle, or rather King Arthur appeared, a stuffed bunny with dripping red fangs in one hand and a set of coconut shells in the other.
'What is your name?'
'What is your quest?'
'To come to a Hallowe'en party?'
'What is your favourite colour?'
'Excellent.' Castle grinned broadly, stepped aside. 'You may join our soiree.'
'Jenny's never seen Quest for the Holy Grail,' Ryan explained as Honey-Milk looked at the writer in utter bafflement. 'I'm hoping becoming friends with Meredeth might broaden her movie horizons.'
'In the meantime, do you have anything here acceptable for a nurse about to go on shift in two hours?'
'Right this way my dear,' Castle said, gesturing in an after-you way, then glanced over his shoulder. 'Oh, have you seen Kate yet?'
Castle offered his buddy a toothy grin. 'She lost a little wager we had, which means I got to pick her costume.'
'Will I recognize her?'
'You have hot-blond radar, you'll find her.'
Ryan furrowed his brow as he went to a table full of different kinds of hors d'oeuvres. He considered himself open-minded, even curious about various kinds of foods, but there was something about eating the oozy, gooey, or chewy on Hallowe'en that gave him the weirds. Loading up a plate, he decided to play it safe with crab dip, spinach puffs, and pretzels with tzatziki. He'd long ago learned the golden rule of being a cop - food breaks weren't regular so you ate what and when you could. It was a practice that often served him well at parties.
Knowing his girl would get him a beer or some other kind of drink, he people watched, looking at the ingeniousness of some efforts - like one guy who'd dressed as Obi-Wan and made a lightsabre out of a flashlight, some clear tubing and green tissue paper, and a woman who'd donned a nude body-stocking with strategically placed shark fins, a blond wig and some green fabric ropes for -
Ryan blinked and nearly choked on his spinach puff. He knew that gait, he'd seen it striding towards crime scene tape a million times. Hot skippy damn he thought, as he tried very hard not to laugh. Setting his plate down, he dusted off his fingers as Honey-Milk came back, a blood-red drink in one hand and a beer for himself in the other.
'Hey, I bumped into Lanie. She looks awesome, she's dressed like-'
'Honey, who's the woman over there in the blonde wig?'
Ryan grinned now; he couldn't help it. 'The one with the shark fins.'
'I don't know, she...' Honey-Milk's mouth dropped open as the woman turned around, fire in her eyes and colour in her cheeks. 'Beckett? What the hell is she wearing?'
'All Castle said is that she lost a bet with him and he got to pick her costume.'
'Wouldn't mind seeing you in that, showing this off,' he murmured, patting her hips, letting his fingers trail over her stomach.
Honey-Milk felt the rush, wondered why she was being so cruel holding out on him until she got home from work the next morning. It was Saturday night, it was Hallowe'en, what was wrong about a little extra candy?
'I'm going to go ask her about it, you keep an eye out for Meredeth and Javier.'
'Mm.' Ryan eased back, picked up his food again. 'Espo said he let her sleep an extra hour after she was sprung from Saint V's, so they won't be here until closer to nine.'
'Damn, I'm on shift at ten. Think I can...screw, I'll say I got stuck downtown in Hallowe'en craziness. I want to see this costume Meredeth's been telling me about. Your partner's going to flip his lid when he sees it.'
'No fair.' Ryan pouted magnificently, but let it pass when he saw Alexis and Patrick make their appearance from the kitchen and he had to go compliment their Mel Brooks-inspired creations - they'd dressed as characters from Young Frankenstein, one of Ryan's favourites.
He didn't realize until almost forty minutes later that his wife had disappeared; it tended to happen upon occasion at Castle events where getting sidetracked was not only bound to happen, it was expected. As he thought about circling back to ask Beckett, who was still fuming over her costume despite the praise she got for its originality, Ryan felt his cellphone buzz in his pocket. Fishing it out of his jacket, he saw it was an incoming text from Honey-Milk.
Trick or treat lover.
He blinked; he didn't even want to guess where she'd tucked her phone on her costume. Ducking to a somewhat quieter corner, he hit 'Reply'
Where are you?
A few seconds later, he got his response.
The bathroom upstairs.
Then what he read next made him wonder why he'd chosen to wear a black leather jacket, as he felt like he might burst into flames.
Come join me for a little Hallowe'en candy.