Castle Halloween Bash 2015 Entry

Rick Castle finished putting the last decorations up for his Annual Halloween bash mid-afternoon. He was so lost in planning, he didn't realise it was so quiet until he put the unused decorations into the hall closet. Where was Alexis? Usually his daughter was right in the middle of all these festivities with him. He checked his phone to make sure it was not on silent, and he hadn't missed any messages, then pressed speed dial 1. It rang quite a few times before Alexis picked up.

"Hi Dad, what's up?" she said, like it was any other day.

"Hi pumpkin, I just finished decorating, and I thought you would be here by now", Rick answered.

"Sorry Dad, not going to make it this year" Alexis said, seeming distracted.

"What? But this is our tradition! We always do Halloween together. And I need you here to save me from the publishing monster" Rick tried to joke, but his heart was breaking inside. What was going on with Alexis?

"Sorry, Dad, I think I'm a bit old for Halloween now, and I think you are too. It's just a bunch of people wanting to be seen, all fake smiles and bitchiness. I don't have time for that now, and I have some exams coming up in a couple of weeks, so I thought I would just stay at Paige's house. They never get trick or treaters here, the doorman doesn't let them in, so we will have peace and quiet for a change."

Rick was heartbroken. His little girl was growing up way too fast, and now she was ditching Halloween too? It was so not fair! But being the good father he was, he couldn't let Alexis see how much this was hurting him, so he put on a happy voice for her.

"Okay pumpkin, if that is what you want, then go for it."

Thanks, Dad. Oh, and Dad, I really don't like the nickname Pumpkin any more either, it's for little girls and especially wrong this time of year. Sorry. Gotta go, bye" and all he heard was dial tone.

Not only was she not going to be here for the ultimate party of the year, now his daughter didn't want him using his favourite nickname for her. The one he had used since she was born, in honour of the gorgeous colour of her hair, nothing to do with Halloween at all. This was terrible. But Rick knew the party would be starting in a few hours, and he had to put a brave face on for his guests, so he tucked that pain away and dialled the next number on his phone.

"Martha Rodgers" his mother answered on the second ring, out of breath and seeming rushed. "Oh, hello, Richard, what can I do for you? I am really busy at the moment, dear."

"Sorry Mother, but I thought you would be here by now getting ready for the party. Or are you planning on making a grand entrance?" Rick asked, knowing his mother's flare for the dramatic.

"Oh, sorry, darling, didn't I tell you? I got invited to a party and script reading with Trip Cullman, you know, the director of that off-Broadway show I have been telling you about? There could be a part in it for me, and I am so excited! I am sure you will be fine without my presence for this once."

"But, Mother" Rick started, wanting to say at least one of his family should be here, after being abandoned by his daughter, but she cut him off.

"Sorry, dear, have to get ready. Have a great time" and then he got dial tone again.

Well, this was ridiculous, Rick thought to himself. It was Halloween, and he was on his own. His family had abandoned him, with no warning, no chance to talk them out of it, or prepare for it. But, he decided after just a few minutes of sitting in his empty loft, feeling sorry for himself, he was a big boy, and he could cope with it. So he got himself a drink from the punch bowl, already set up on the kitchen island, and sat down to watch a little holiday programming on the TV until the guests started arriving.

Except, they didn't. It was over an hour after the party was supposed to start, and he knew some of his guests had a habit of being even earlier than that, and still he was on his own. This was really weird. What on earth was going on? He couldn't call the Mayor, or Patterson, or Connelly, as that would probably be seen as desperation, and if they thought they had somewhere else, somewhere "better" to be, then so be it. So, who could he call? The boys, Ryan and Esposito confirmed only yesterday they were coming, so he called Ryan.

"Hey Ryan" Rick said when the phone picked up, again putting on a cheerful voice, and belatedly realising that he was sitting in silence, which wouldn't sound good on the other end of the phone. "Sorry, just had to turn the music down, it's very loud in here" he said, making the excuse before he could be asked about it. "When are you and Jenny and Espo planning on getting here? Want to make sure there is still punch left for you" Rick figured that was the most subtle way he could ask what he wanted to know.

"Sorry, Castle, we caught a case this afternoon, so I don't think we will be making it" Ryan said, although he didn't sound as contrite as Rick thought he should.

"Oh" is all Rick could think of to say, at being bereft of his friends on this night as well.

"Yeah, and Beckett is being ridden hard from 1PP on this one, so you will have to fly solo, bro. But I am sure it's a great party, and you will have a ball, so much fun you won't even miss us."

Rick was about to respond when he heard some voices in the background, Beckett's being one of them. There were also some strange noises, but he put them down to the bullpen in full flight mode with a case. He wished he could just ditch this non-party and go down there to work with them, but that would not do his reputation any favours. So he slowly switched the music on, as if he was walking back towards the party, and said goodbye. Then he huffed and almost threw himself onto his couch, feeling utterly dejected.

He was shaken from his musings a little while later by a loud knock on this door. Finally, he thought, some of my guests have arrived. But when he opened the door, he was greeted with only 4 police officers, whose collar pins identified them as from the 20th precinct, his local station. They had serious looks on their faces, and the sergeant in charge wasted no time in stating their business.

"Sorry, Sir, but we have had a number of noise complaints, so we need you to come down to the station with us."

Rick had about reached his limit tonight. "Seriously? Noise complaints? Can you see anyone else in this place apart from me?" he asked the police, his voice shrill as he opened the door and swept his arm dramatically around the loft.

"Sorry, sir, as I said, the complaints have been made, and need to be dealt with at the station. Please don't make this anymore unpleasant than it needs to be, and we can have you back to your party in no time." The sergeant kept his tone light, but he had a no nonsense look on his face as he stepped to the side and indicated for Rick to accompany them.

Rick felt like he was in some sort of twilight zone, or alternate universe, but the series of shocks he had received this afternoon had numbed his mind to the point that he went along willingly. He closed and locked the door, then followed the officers into the elevator and down to the squad car, where he was put into the back seat between two of the junior officers, while the sergeant rode shotgun and the last officer drove. He zoned out, musing about how this was the worst Halloween ever, and when he eventually got home he would just go straight to bed, probably assisted with a fifth of scotch or two, then get the cleaners in to remove all the decorations tomorrow. He didn't really want to look at any of it any more.

Slowly, he realised it was taking a long time to get to the precinct, and looked around in the car, taking notice of his surroundings for the first time. They were in a run-down part of town, driving down an alleyway between abandoned warehouses, when the cruiser came to a stop, and all the officers jumped out, the driver now holding the door open for him to get out at well.

"What…. Where" Rick started, but was stunned anew when the driver took his arms behind his back and put handcuffs on him. The sergeant then came up close to his face, and said, in a growl "Somebody wants to have a word with you." Oh God, what had he gotten himself into? And he hadn't even been paying attention on the drive, so he had no idea where he was, how to get out of here. He suddenly realised that all four "officers" if they were even cops, were well muscled and could take him down if he tried to make a run for it. Now he really wished he had ditched the non-party and gone down to the 12th precinct to work with Beckett and the boys.

He was led to the warehouse door, which slid aside with an almighty creak, one any horror movie master would have been proud of. It did nothing for Rick's nerves, however. When they had walked about five meters inside, the door was slid closed again, and there was pitch blackness. Rick wasn't sure what he was expecting to happen next, but for a long minute all sorts of terrible things went through his mind. Then another door ahead opened, and all his senses were assaulted at once.

"Surprise!" Shouted a hundred voices, and suddenly the inside of the warehouse lit up like Times Square. Having gotten used to the darkness, his eyes took a little time to get used to the scene, but slowly things started to come into focus. He was in a large room, the size of a football field or more, and around the edges he could make out tables with food and drink of all descriptions. He could see all sorts of Halloween decorations hanging from the rafters, and now people were moving slowly towards his end of the room, with smiles on their faces, some of them laughing openly.

But the most arresting sight was right in front of him, and it was surreal.

Beckett stood there, in all her ephemeral beauty, dressed as the Lady of the Lake. Her flowing gown did nothing to hide her gorgeous curves, and stunning legs, and for a second Rick was lost in the sight. But then his mind caught up with him, and he flicked his eyes up to hers again, to see her smirking at him, and biting her lip.

"You did all this?" he asked, but even before the words were out of his mouth he knew it was true.

"Well, with a little bit of help from the rest of the family" she responded, and indicated towards her left, where Alexis, Martha, Ryan and Espo were all standing, all dressed as characters from King Arthur. How did they even know he was dressing as Merlin this year? He had been so careful not to let on to anyone. Beckett smirked at him again, like she knew exactly what he was thinking.

"Detective, remember. Seriously, Castle, you have been watching me for years, did you not think I could be observing you as well?" as she said it, there was a twinkle in her eye, that had Rick mesmerised all over again. She had been watching him? Why? Unless… he dared not to hope. Her next words had the hope exploding out of his chest, though, and overtaking the rest of his body like a flock of startled butterflies. She leaned in close, making it clear the next words were meant only for him.

"And I like what I see. So how about we mingle and socialise with all your guests, and then later, you and I can enjoy your loft all by ourselves."

Rick thought his heart would burst, and only just managed not to stumble towards her when she half-turned to lead him towards his family. He glanced at her profile, and saw the shadow of a smile flit across her face as they approached the boys. Then Alexis was in his arms, apologising for what she said on the phone, but explaining it was all part of the ruse to get him here, and that she still loved the nickname. He raised an eyebrow at his mother, who just said "you throw the best parties, dear, I wouldn't miss it for the world and with Katherine helping, I knew it was going to be extraordinary."

"Yes." Rick sighed, "Extraordinary". It was going to be the best Halloween ever.


A/N The writing bug for this caught me very late, so I apologise this is a little rough. And being in Australia, we don't really do Halloween, so I am basing all my insight on what I see in movies and TV – like Castle lol.

This is set around Season four, because we didn't have a Halloween episode that year, and you can probably tell I have ignored a few inconvenient canon truths. Thanks for reading, and to all the other fanfic writers for sharing their much better talents in this little event.