A/N: My first #Castleficathon! Well, mini, the 30,000 words is a little daunting. :)The story is what the title says it is, a year in the life of Rick and Kate as told through the major (and a few minor) US holidays. I've never seen a story like this one and I thought it would be fun to write. There will be 14 chapters in all. I hope you enjoy!
It was New Year's Eve. Castle peeked into the bedroom where Kate was sleeping. The flu had been making the rounds at the precinct and Kate had been hammered with it, so no party tonight. Martha and Alexis had gone out, for which Rick was grateful. He wanted it quiet. Kate needed to rest.
He went into his office, intending to write. He didn't feel like celebrating without Kate, but it did feel odd to not be out and about. Moving over to the window for a moment, he could see revelers walking and the faint sounds of horns honking, getting ready to ring in the new year.
He noticed the clock showed 11:00 pm, so he set the alarm on his watch for an hour. He'd wake Kate up at midnight to give her a kiss and then let her go back to sleep. But just as he switched on the computer, Kate came out of the bedroom.
"Rick?" she mumbled.
Castle looked up in surprise. She had just been sound asleep.
"Kate, what are you doing up?" he asked. "Come on, let's get you back to bed."
"No, Rick. I'm sorry," she whimpered, "I had to get up to…you know."
"Oh, Kate, don't be sorry for that," he objected softly.
"No, I'm sorry that you're here. You should go out, have fun. I'll be okay."
Castle sat up straighter and pulled Kate onto his lap.
"You want me to go out and have fun?" Even Kate, sick as she was, could hear his incredulous tone of voice.
"You think I could have fun," he went on, "while my wife is home sick in bed?"
"It's New Year's Eve," she frowned. "You shouldn't be stuck here with me."
"See this is how I know you're really not feeling well." He pushed her gently off his lap and stood.
"My badass detective," he continued with a smile, which she returned shakily, "might be okay with staying in, having our own private party. But…"
Kate winced, thinking of something, but Rick didn't notice. He began leading her back to the bedroom.
"My badass detective, would handcuff me to the bed if I even thought of going out and having fun without her. So, Captain, my Captain," he grinned as she rolled her eyes. "What do you think about that?"
He pushed her carefully, trying to get her to lie down, but she resisted.
"Come on, Kate," he pleaded. "You need to rest."
"It's almost midnight, Castle. Dance with me?"
She had such a forlorn expression on her face that he relented.
"All right. But if you have to make a run for it, it's back to bed. Deal?"
"Way to kill the romance, Castle," she giggled.
"Hey, if that happens, I'd say the prime suspect would be you."
She smacked him lightly on the chest, then took his hand and pulled him back toward the living room.
They parted for a moment – she to the stereo, he to the kitchen.
"Ginger ale in lieu of champagne?" he called, making her stop and think again.
Misunderstanding her hesitation, he went on. "Might help settle your stomach."
"Yeah, thanks Babe, that would be great," she told him, still thinking while she brought up the playlist of slow songs they liked to dance to. She wasn't up for anything wild. Even the thought of a fast waltz made her queasy.
She also thought that perhaps she might be drinking ginger ale for a lot longer than tonight. No one else in the precinct had been hit as hard with this flu as she had. Maybe there was something else going on.
She didn't want to say anything just yet, though. No need to completely freak him out and possibly spend the first day of the year in the ER. She could hear him now.
'She has the flu, and a low grade fever, but it's still a fever, is she going to be okay? Are they both going to be okay?'
No. She'd wait until she felt better before telling him her suspicion. Ugh. If she ever felt better. Right now she'd be happy if she could keep one meal down.
'Ooh. Don't think of food, Kate,' she thought as Castle made his way over with two champagne flutes filled with the soda.
Handing her a glass, he made a toast.
"To us in the new year. May it be full of surprises and joy."
Kate smiled and added her own.
"And to quote this author I kind of like," she pushed the button on the stereo, music filling the air, "'May the dance never end and the music never stop.'"
They each took a sip, then Castle took the glasses and placed them on the coffee table.
"Did it help a little?" he asked.
"A little," she replied, smiling at him. He was too good to her.
They continued to dance slowly during the final half hour of the year. Hearing the cacophony of partiers outside the window, Rick and Kate were content to simply sway to the music. Not talking, they breathed each other's air; safe in the bubble of their arms.
Rick kept the swaying slow, so as not to upset Kate's sensitive stomach, but he thought he might have kept it slow even if Kate had been well. He liked this New Year's 'party' with just the two of them. He loved to just be with her.
Kate for her part was nearly overwhelmed with Castle's quiet care. She knew she only felt this way because she wasn't feeling well – or possibly hormones – but she could stay here forever, just basking in him.
The noise outside began ramping up. Horns honking, people yelling, firecrackers being shot off.
"It's almost time," observed Castle. "You want to turn the TV on?"
"No, let's not," Kate replied. "The people outside will announce it. That's all I want of the outside world coming in tonight.
He smiled down at her with so much love in his eyes that tears formed in hers. He noticed and frowned.
"What's wrong, Kate?"
She shook her head, annoyed with herself.
"It's just this flu." 'Or maybe more,' she thought. "It's making me all sappy."
"Don't laugh at me," she grumbled, albeit with a smile.
"I'm not," he protested lightly. "I just like this sappy you. It's so unlike you, Beckett."
"Yeah, well let me shake this off and I'll show you how unlike me this really is."
This time he laughed aloud.
"I'm looking forward to it, Kate." He ran his hand through her hair. "I just want you to get well."
She wrapped her arms around his waist and burrowed her face into his chest.
Castle's watch chimed, surprising them both.
"Happy New Year, Kate," he whispered, kissing her softly as the party outside continued to crescendo.
"Happy New Year, Rick," she whispered back.
"Party's over, let's go to bed. We can sleep all day."
Leaning into him Kate smiled.
"That usually means something different than actually sleep," she teased.
He waggled his eyebrows.
"But not this time," she croaked. She could barely keep her eyes open.
"Come on," Castle started pulling her toward the bedroom.
He tucked her in and then returned to the living room to grab the ginger ale, just in case.
She was sound asleep when he got back to the bedroom, her arms wrapped around her waist almost protectively. It made him want something he wasn't sure he was supposed to be wanting yet.
But it was New Year's Day – barely. A day to discuss new things. A day to decide if it was time to start wanting certain things.
He looked down at Kate's flushed face again.
Maybe he wouldn't bring it up today. They could start talking about wanting things next week.
He climbed into bed, wrapping his arm around her, tangling his fingers with hers over her belly.
Kate dreamed of a blue eyed boy.
Rick dreamed of a dark haired girl.
And the party continued out on the streets of New York.
A/N: I know this is mostly New Year's Eve, but there's a little bit after midnight in there, so I say it counts. :)I'm hoping to be able to post twice a week, if RL doesn't get in the way. Next up, Valentine's Day.
I'd love to hear what you think!