A/N: Ok, so the ear worm has been annoying me since I published this story, to write Kate's POV. This will also allow me to explain a couple of the plot points that were questioned in the reviews, where I wasn't totally clear on my intent. For everything else, I will quote Richard Castle – don't ruin my story with your logic lol!

It's my party and I'll cry if I want to

Kate's POV

When Kate first received the fancy invitation in the mail, her first instinct was to decline. Castle was famous for his parties, and his Halloween Bash was well known around New York as a great event, but she wasn't sure if she could stand to be around all his "cronies" and enjoy herself. Yes, Lanie and Espo and Ryan would probably be there, but she wouldn't hide behind them the whole night, that would be pointless.

Not only would the Police Commissioner and his wife be there, but also the Mayor and his wife, and a number of other city officials, as well as Castle's sometime poker buddies, Patterson and Lehane. It would also be bittersweet, as the first Halloween Bash since they lost Cannell. And Montgomery. That caught the air in Kate's throat and she swallowed. She put the invitation aside to look at later.

A couple of days later, Castle asked her as they were heading out after finally closing a tough case, what costume she was wearing. He had that cheeky grin on his face she adored, and she couldn't resist teasing him.

"You will just have to wait and see, Castle. It's a surprise!"

If she adored his grin, she absolutely melted at the sight of the full smile he gave her in response to that and his eyes twinkled.

"Fine, then, Detective, but I will also not tell you my costume. It's only fair, after all."

"Detective, remember? I can find out, Castle" she riposted, and then turned left to get onto the Subway.

While she felt guilty for suggesting to Castle she would definitely be there, in costume no less, before deciding on it herself, she figured she could claim a case or something similar at the last minute, if she changed her mind. That all went out the window when she got a call from his daughter, Alexis.

"Hi Detective Beckett, do you have time to talk right now?" Alexis asked, shy and a little hesitant. Their relationship was still a little stilted since the summer, and Kate was keen to repair it as soon as possible. "Sure Alexis, what do you need? And please, call me Kate"

"OK Kate. I wanted to confirm you were coming to Dad's Halloween party this year. I know you haven't responded yet, but Dad seems to be under the impression you said you were coming." Alexis paused, almost like bracing herself for what was to come next.

"If you are not coming, I think it's important to let him down gently now, rather than have him hoping between now and then, and spending his whole evening moping."

Kate knew that would have been hard for Alexis to say, she was such a polite girl but she adored her father and protected him fiercely. Kate reprimanded herself internally again, for not calling for 3 months and causing this rift in her relationship with the Castle clan.

"Yes, Alexis, I will definitely be there, and in costume. I promised your father and I am going to keep that promise." Kate put on her most confident tone, hoping to convey to Alexis how serious she was about the whole thing, and not just Halloween. Alexis thanked her and then hung up, and her tone of voice at the end was a lot lighter than at the start of the conversation. Now Kate just had to figure out a costume.

It was a couple of days later, after closing another case, that Kate was treating herself to a bath. She had begged off from the drinks Castle was putting on at the Old Haunt for the team, saying she had lots of housework to catch up on. Rather than reading in the bath, as was her usual habit, she spent the time thinking about the Halloween party. She determined she wanted to make it special for Castle, after all the things he had done for her over the last 3-plus years. She decided her first order of business was to find out what Castle was planning on wearing, and find a coordinating costume. In past years she had deliberately shied away from couples costumes, not wanting to confirm people's opinions about her and Castle, especially when there was nothing actually going on, but this year was going to be different. It was going to be memorable in a number of different ways.

Using her detective skills, and a little sleight of hand, she discovered that Castle was theming his costume from Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. She wasn't sure exactly what he was going as, but it was close enough for her to find her own costume. She decided up front she wasn't going to go as Guinevere, even if Castle ended up being Arthur. She wanted a strong female character, but not an evil (or cheating) one. She finally settled on Lady of the Lake, who gives the sword to Uther to drive into the stone, and then repairs it after Arthur breaks and throws it away in a fit of remorse.

The costume she found the following day was perfect, and with a bit of adjustment could be used again. It had a fitted silk bodice, with flowing translucent sleeves, and the skirt was made of multiple layers of the same translucent material, strips of soft fabric that all moved independently giving her an ephemeral look, and not incidentally exposing her long legs and thighs even when she stood still. She knew Castle would love it. Then again, he would love her in almost anything. That thought stopped her short. She had finally admitted to herself that Castle loved her, it wasn't just a deathbed line, said to make her going easier. It had taken much work, both on her own and with Dr Burke, to accept that, and also to make her ready to be in a relationship with Castle. She didn't want to be weak and broken, overwhelming Castle with her emotional baggage. She knew now that she was the one who had sabotaged her previous relationships, always keeping one foot out the door, and running when it looked like getting serious. She refused to do that with Castle. The store assistant interrupted her musings to ask if she was happy with the dress, so she took the opportunity to get changed back into her own clothes, paid for the costume, and headed home to continue planning.

After eating dinner, delivered courtesy of the local Chinese restaurant, Kate filled her wine glass again, and sat on her couch to finalise her strategy. She decided that while she was not 100% where she wanted to be, she couldn't keep herself away from Castle any longer. It was increasingly difficult not to touch him whenever he was close to her, to comfort him when he was down about something, to celebrate with him when he was happy. Every time she saw that lopsided grin on his face, she wanted to lean forward and kiss it. She was ready to dive into it with him, and she wanted to make the start of their 'real' relationship a memorable event. It was going to be at his Halloween party, or at least afterwards – she was still not comfortable about being on display in front of her boss' boss.

She was a little stumped about exactly how to go about it, until another phone call from Alexis a couple of days later set her off on a totally different tangent.

Alexis called because the caterers Castle had arranged called the house rather than his mobile, and Alexis picked up the phone, thereby finding out who he was using. She also managed to get the theme out of them, and wanted to tell Kate her guess about her dad's costume was correct. During the conversation, Alexis revealed that Castle had always organised the Halloween party, from decorating to caterers to invitations. He loved to arrange parties, but a couple of times when things were not going his way, he had lamented to his mother in front of Alexis that no one else ever bothered to arrange a party for him. After a moment of disbelief that such a generous loving man should feel that way, she decided that was exactly what she would do. She knew Castle loved surprises, and so she set out, with the help of Alexis, Martha and their precinct family, to arrange the best surprise she figured he had ever had.

Alexis arranged to have the invitations reprinted with a different address, a warehouse venue that, of all people, Martha knew about. Apparently one of her students had come across it as a rehearsal space, and it was available for hire. Martha was a bit concerned it was on the border of one of the seedier parts of the city, but Kate assured her that it would be perfect for what she had in mind, and with the security some of the guests brought, and half the guests being police or close enough, it would probably be the safest place in the city that night. Alexis and Martha then hand delivered the new invitations to each guest, swearing them to secrecy about the change, explaining only that it was a surprise for Richard, and they were not to answer any phone calls from him on the day of the event. Most of the guests were intrigued by this, had a chuckle about someone pulling one over on the eternal prankster, and agreed to keep it secret.

Ryan and Esposito were very willing participants in the "surprise", having been on the receiving end of one of Castle's pranks in the past. Lanie was a little concerned, and pulled Kate aside two days before the event to find out exactly what she was planning.

"Ok, girl, time to come clean. I get that you want to play a little trick on writer boy, pay him back for all the pranks he's been playing, but don't you think the first part of the night is going to upset him? You know he's not that shallow playboy the media makes him out to be, and having no one turn up to his party is going to play on his insecure tendencies."

"Yes, Lanie, I know he's not really that guy, but we need him to buy the story for just a little while, so the surprise is greater. Besides, I have a little extra surprise for him that I haven't shared with anyone else yet, and I think it's going to make him forget all about anything else that night." The smile on Kate's face was the widest Lanie had seen in a very long time, and she opened and closed her mouth a couple of times while studying her best friend very closely.

"Are you finally going to do what I think you are?" Kate just nodded, the smile getting wider.

"Good on you girly, that man ain't gonna know what hit him! And may I be the first to say, it's about damn time!" Lanie then wrapped Kate up in a huge hug, and whispered one more thing into her ear before letting her go "and I am so happy for both of you."

On the day of the party, Kate was so nervous she broke a precinct coffee cup, bled ink onto the second set of paperwork she had to complete for one of their recently closed cases (the first set had coffee spilled on it), and snapped at Castle more than once. By lunchtime she was ready to send him home, to give herself a breather, before she chickened out of the whole thing. Luckily he spoke first, saying he should get home so he could decorate for the party. With her whole team in on the surprise, none of them argued with him, and bid him a cheery goodbye, saying they would see him that night. Kate made one more half-hearted attempt to find out what his costume was, but Castle just winked at her as the elevator doors closed. Esposito make sure Castle had actually left the precinct, then came back to let Kate know, who dialled Alexis straight away. Everything so far was going to plan.

One of Kate's concerns with moving the party without Castle's knowledge was the waste of food that would be left at the loft. There was no way to prevent that without exposing their plan too early. Alexis assured her that most of the food was finger foods only, refrigerated until just before serving, and Castle wouldn't even bring them out until his guests had arrived, so there would be minimal spoilage. All the alcohol would be on ice anyway, and could always be refrigerated again. With that detail taken care of, Kate left Alexis and Martha in charge of decorating the new venue, ably assisted by Lanie and Jenny Ryan. By 5pm when Kate and the boys showed up, everything was in readiness. Now all they had to do was set up the guest of honour.

The first phone to ring was, of course, Alexis'. The girl suddenly panicked and looked to Kate, shaking her head that she couldn't do this, couldn't lie to her dad, even for a little while. Martha walked over and put a hand on her shoulder, and told her she had those amazing acting genes, now was the time to use them. Alexis nodded and finally answered the phone.

Kate was stunned at how calm and disinterested Alexis sounded on the phone to her Dad, especially as she could actually see the girl's eyes, which still held a hint of panic. When Alexis hung up, she got a hug from her grandmother, and then Kate was there to give her one as well. Kate did have to ask one question, though, that troubled her about the conversation.

"Alexis, why did you tell your dad you didn't like the nickname Pumpkin? I thought you loved that name, especially as he gave it to you when he first held you in the hospital?"

"Yes, I do love it, and it was very hard to say it and keep my voice calm. But I also know that my Dad is very curious by nature, and if he actually starts to think about all this, he will probably figure it out eventually. I wanted to make him upset enough that he wouldn't be thinking clearly, keep him off balance, if you like. Do you think it was too much?" Alexis looked unsure now, thinking she had perhaps taken it too far.

"No, Alexis, I think it was perfect, and I think you are right that if your Dad thinks clearly, he will figure out the surprise before we can spring it on him. Well done!" Kate said, and she could see Alexis glow at the praise.

Next phone call was to Martha, and she handled it wonderfully. When she hung up the phone, Martha smiled at the team and said

"He is definitely unbalanced and already sounding a little sorry for himself. Katherine, this idea of yours is just brilliant. It's great to see my son get a little of his own back, and I can't wait to see his face when he actually gets here."

As the guests were soon to start arriving, everyone then went to specially prepared dressing rooms to get dressed. The first guests arrived not long after, and while everyone knew the party would really start when Richard Castle arrived, they wasted no time in opening up the bar and refreshments.

Kate was getting a little nervous a bit later, when there was no more word from Castle. She almost called him, but Martha grabbed her arm, and whispered "stay strong, Katherine, the result will be well worth it" before replacing her phone with a glass of champagne. Just before she gave in and dialled his number, Ryan's phone rang. Everyone knew what was going on, so just by Kate raising her arm for attention the room lapsed into silence. Ryan played his part so well; Martha asked him afterwards if there were any actors in his family tree. Kate even lent it some credibility by speaking loudly to Esposito about a case, when she heard what Ryan was telling Castle about 1PP.

Once Ryan hung up, and made sure the call was disconnected, Kate grabbed everyone's attention again, and spoke.

"Ok folks, we are about to start the end game of this little party, so I would appreciate your cooperation. Our good friends here, Sergeant Wilson his fellow officers from the 20th precinct, are going to collect our guest of honour. Just before they pull up out front we will ask for silence, and then turn all the lights out while we bring him in. Then, as soon as all the lights come back on, I want us all to shout Surprise. Are you all good with that?" she asked, and received quite a few nods and affirmative comments in return. Wilson and the others were actually cops, from the 20th precinct, in fact, but would be changing out of their uniforms as soon as they delivered Castle, so they could enjoy the rest of the party. Getting permission for this part of the plan had been the hardest part of the whole thing, but the Captain of Castle's local precinct was also a fan and happy to help out. He was one of the guests of the expanded party, no longer limited due to the size restrictions of the loft, thereby allowing Kate invite a few more people, vetted by both Alexis and Martha, who she thought Castle would love to see. Sending 4 cops to pick him up was probably overkill, and might make him suspicious, but they needed to make sure he would actually get to the party, even if he had to be carried here.

When the text arrived to tell her Castle was around the corner, she quietened everyone down, got into position in the front of the warehouse door, and nodded to Alexis to turn the lights off. Because of the silence, she could hear as soon as the car pulled up, and the doors opening and closing, then after a short delay the external door being opened and closed. Anticipation was a heavy lump in her gut, surrounded by a flock of butterflies that seemed to be beating their wings against the inside of her chest. They were not going to get the better of her this time, though. She had made up her mind on what she wanted, and tonight she was going to finally let herself have it.

"Surprise!" the voices of all the guests were a roar that blocked out every other sound in the room, but because Kate was looking straight at Castle, she saw him gasp then take a deep breath, as he worked to win his eyesight back. No surprise that his first action was to look at her, to run his eyes lovingly up and down her figure. When he was in control again, he had just one question.

"You did all this?" his voice was breathy with surprise and awe, and she could see the realisation in his eyes that she had done it for him.

"Well, with a bit of help from the rest of the family" she replied, indicating Alexis, Martha, and of course their precinct family. She saw the word 'family' register with him, and knew it was time to take the final step, even as she knew that he was wondering how on earth she had figured out his costume.

"Detective, remember. Seriously, Castle, you have been watching me for years, did you not think I could be observing you as well?" She saw the surprise on his face that she knew what he was thinking, then the confusion about why she would be watching him, then the flare of hope, which finally reassured her that he still wanted this – them – just as much as she did.

She surreptitiously nodded to Wilson, who was still behind him, who quietly removed the handcuffs, which had not actually been done up in the first place. Castle was still so distracted by Kate and her words (and wasn't that a change) that he didn't even realise his arms were now free, even though they fell to his side.

When Wilson stepped away to get changed, she lent in for the last part of what she wanted to say to him, to make it clear what tonight was all about.

"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."

Kate almost laughed at the look on his face, and how he almost stumbled into her in his eagerness to get closer. To save him from doing something he may regret later, if only because it was in front of all his friends, she led him towards their family. She hadn't actually touched him yet, but she could feel the electricity sparking between them. Alexis moved to meet them and hug her Dad, apologising for the things she said on the phone. Kate firmly believed he had already forgotten those words, if only because of the smile on his face while he kept one arm around his daughter, and looked around finally at all his guests, accepting their good natured ribbing about being pranked with his own Halloween party. Martha said something that Kate couldn't quite hear, but the look on Castle's face when he glanced at her again, and whispered "yes, extraordinary" confirmed that she was right, tonight was certainly going to be memorable for both of them and a fitting start to the next stage in their partnership. Of course, the problem was, how on earth was she going to top this?


A/N2: would love to hear what you think.