Genre: Drama, Crime, Romance, Family, Humor
Rating: M for sexual situations and language
Disclaimer: I do not own the characters featured on the show Castle, they belong to the creator of the show, ABC, and the others who do own them.
A/N #1: The title of this story is a lyric from the song Devil's Radio by George Harrison, from his album Cloud Nine. The title of this chapter is a lyric from the song My Dear Country by Norah Jones, from her album Not Too Late.
"Stunning as always darling," Martha said when her daughter in law walked out into the bedroom.
"That's more because you did an amazing job with the dress," Beckett said. She went to stand next to her so she would be in front of the full-length mirror and smiled as she said, "I thought it'd take forever to get to wear this."
"I know but Halloween is finally here," Martha said. "By the way," she said as she was studying the fit of the lace dress that was nearly an exact double to the one worn by Maria Menounos in her Dancing With the Stars Paso Doble. She'd made it entirely of darker blue lace though it was only visible on the sleeves; the rest of the lace was on top of a solid dark blue fabric under dress that matched the color of the lace. She checked the heightened collar to make sure it would stand on its own; which it was still doing; before checking the edges of the lace to make sure it hadn't curled. "You're sure about the cutouts?" she asked finally.
"Yes, modest enough," Beckett said with a soft laugh as they'd discussed how much those cut outs should go with the real dress. Whereas the dress on the show had had a cut out on the abdomen on her own it wasn't there. And her back wasn't exposed either in consideration of the cold that had settled on the Hamptons for good since she'd be going out trick or treating with the girls and the others at the party. But the neckline of the dress was low, not quite as much as on the show but enough that she was aware her husband would appreciate it. "It's beautiful," she finally said. She laughed slightly and then said to her mother in law, "I don't know how many times I can say that." She then noticed the look on the older woman's face and asked, "What's wrong?"
"It's not as tight," Martha said. Sighing she said, "My sewing skills must be slipping I thought I'd managed to get it enough after the last time you tried this on."
"I don't mind," Beckett told her. "It doesn't need to be skin tight."
"Then you're ready," Martha said simply with a smile. "Do you need any help?"
"No I'm alright," Beckett assured her.
"Then I'll be in my room making sure I keep an ear out for Richard; I wouldn't put it past him to try and sneak in," Martha replied.
"Neither would I," Beckett said with a soft laugh.
"Oh, will Alexis be talking to us tonight?" Martha asked before she turned to leave the room.
"No, we talked to her yesterday early," Beckett said. "Before you came here and she mentioned she and Louis going to a party at someone's house in town tonight."
"Good, I wouldn't want her not to get the chance to dress up and go dancing," Martha said. "Especially this last year and the studying she's likely doing."
"She said the same thing; that she wanted to relax too," Beckett said with a smile. Her mother in law left then and she turned to change out of her Halloween costume and back into her sweater and leggings she'd gotten dressed into that morning. As she was checking her hair in the full-length mirror she couldn't help recalling when she and Castle had gone with Alexis and Louis to Oxford nearly three weeks before, helping the latter move in with the former though there wasn't much they did that qualified as moving in. She smiled as she recalled how the two had shown their room to them and Castle's equanimity during the day before they'd headed back to London for their flight home the next afternoon.
"Do you mind the floor change?" Castle asked his daughter after she and Beckett had finished making the queen-sized bed there.
"No, we need the space since there are two of us here now," Alexis said with a smile. "And we're only a floor below the washing machine."
"Is that it Lex?" Louis asked his girlfriend as he came back into the room from putting away his suitcase in a storage room on the second floor.
Looking around Alexis nodded and said, "I think it is."
"It looks nice," Beckett said after she and Castle had looked at the room. Since Alexis was sharing it with her boyfriend her stepdaughter had put up just pictures to the left of the bed. Mostly pictures of NYC and around the beach and backyard of the Hamptons that the young woman herself had taken. The other pictures were of Ireland and White Mount Manor that Louis had taken while the other wall; where two desks were side by side that she and Castle had gifted the two with; had one poster in between them since both had bookshelves. "It's a good thing you two love The Beatles," she commented.
"Feel a bit bad that's about all I like," Louis commented.
"Do you two have a song?" Castle asked.
"We do," Alexis said, smiling at her boyfriend. "Our second date we went to a club and we danced to the song Come Away with Me."
"We just knew it was our song," Louis said slightly embarrassed though he was still smiling.
"Good to hear," Castle said. "So," he said. "Should we head to lunch?"
"That'd be great, I know the perfect place," Louis said. With that he and Alexis led the two out before they went to a Greek restaurant near the townhouse.
"You've been here before?" Castle asked them as he and Beckett were sitting across from the couple at a table.
"A couple times, he loves Greek," Alexis replied.
"Been there too; when Erin was three," Louis said as the two looked to him. "I remember the water, beautiful and it was fun."
"I get the feeling we'll be going there," Beckett said, looking at her husband with a smile.
After they'd ordered Alexis said to her father, "I'm surprised that the girls took my leaving as well as they did."
"They know this is your last year," Castle replied.
"That and they know you'll be off again by the sixth of December," Beckett said. "Less than two months."
"And they're counting down already," Louis said since he'd seen the girls doing that before they'd left.
"I know," Alexis said with a laugh. "And you Dad?"
"Again, you'll be back in less than two months and this is your last year," Castle said. He then looked at Louis and asked, "You got the papers, right?"
"I did, thank you for them," the young man said as his girlfriend's father had gotten him the form to apply for a green card. "Hopefully though I'll be able to stay."
"We'll make sure you do if you'd like," Beckett said, not surprised when her husband nodded next to her.
"Thank you," Louis replied before he saw that their waiter was coming back with their plates.
As they were eating Castle and Beckett discussed the class schedules of the two and since they were taking a number to be able to get their diplomas they were finishing their meal when they had stopped.
"So it looks like you two are all set," Beckett said to her stepdaughter as they waited outside for Castle and Louis.
"I think we are," Alexis said. "What would you like to do now?"
"We're going into London," Beckett replied. She smiled when her stepdaughter looked surprised and told her, "Your dad wants to go, let you two get used to living together here in particular. And without the girls."
"I'll still miss them; and you," Alexis replied with a smile.
"When are Brennan and Clara coming?" Beckett said, spotting Louis and her husband walking up to them.
"Tomorrow, just a quick visit before they return home since Erin has school that day," Louis said.
"Good thing you two have Monday off," Castle said as they walked back to the townhouse.
"I know but I do want to get to this year and finish everything up," Alexis replied. "Go back home for good."
"So would I," Louis added.
Since the restaurant hadn't been that far from the home the four were soon stopping in front of the fence at the townhouse to look at each other.
"We have one last thing for you," Castle said to the two.
"Dad-" Alexis started to say.
"I wouldn't say no to this," Beckett commented as Castle handed over some folded up pieces of paper.
"A week in Paris?" Louis said, startled as he read over his girlfriend's shoulder.
"An incentive for you two to keep going with your studies," Castle said.
"Brennan and Clara chipped in with us for this," Beckett told them. "Whenever you'd like to go just let us know and we'll set things up for you."
"Thank you so much," Alexis said happily before she hugged them both at the same time and tightly. "This is… perfect."
"It is," Louis added. "We'll have to thank my parents as well tomorrow," he said to his girlfriend while he was shaking Castle's and Beckett's hands. "Thank you."
"Oh, Louis we're going to stay at the George V, remember I told you about it?" Alexis told him.
"I do, I'd say thank you again but I'd be repeating myself," Louis said. "Just know the sentiment is there."
"We know and you're welcome," Castle said.
"What?" Alexis asked, seeing the look her father and stepmother exchanged.
"It's also a thank you for you both taking care of the girls," Beckett said first.
"We were glad to," Louis said. "But my da and mam?"
"We don't know, they didn't say," Castle said. "I guess they'll tell you tomorrow."
"Rick," Beckett said, touching his arm after catching sight of the time.
"Right," Castle said, breathing out. "While we're not so emotional this is still hard."
"It is," Alexis said with a nod. She watched as Beckett embraced Louis, smiling at that before her father shook his hand warmly, both wishing him good luck in achieving his doctorate.
"Thank you; will be doing my best," Louis said. "Lex I'm going to go get the bikes ready."
"You're going out?" Beckett asked.
"We're going to ride around, get reacquainted with the campus," Alexis said.
"Good idea," Beckett said before the young man was leaving them. She then embraced her stepdaughter tightly and murmured, "I'll miss you Alexis but like we keep saying you'll be back soon for Christmas." She then pulled back and asked, "What about Thanksgiving?"
"I'm not sure," Alexis said honestly. "It depends on the professors."
"We'll hope you can come," Beckett told her before they were hugging once more. Once they had parted she said, "I love you Alexis and I wish you all the best this year. Call for any reason."
"I will," the young woman said with a smile at how serious her stepmother was. "And I love you too; and will miss you of course."
Castle smiled as Alexis gave his wife one last hug before they kissed each other's cheeks; something they'd started doing to say goodbye or greet each other after his daughter and Louis had gone to the city for a week during their break. "Okay," he said when she turned to him. "See? Dry eyes but like Kate said we'll miss you and I will definitely miss you."
"Thank you, Dad," Alexis replied with a slight laugh. She embraced him tightly and told him, "I love you, thank you for letting me come."
"There was no stopping you sweetheart," Castle said, embracing her back. "And I will not regret you coming here, believe me. So study hard and, as your gram would say of course, remember to have fun and relax. Oh, and what Kate said about calling? You can do that with me; any time."
"I'll keep that in mind Dad, I love you," Alexis told him with a slight smile.
"I love you too Alexis," Castle said, pressing a kiss to her forehead. They embraced once more and they left his daughter, getting into the rental car they'd brought out from London. After waving with Beckett out the window to her he drove them down the road that would take them to the motorway back to the capital.
"Have they gone?" Louis asked his girlfriend as he brought her bike from the back.
"They did," Alexis said. She sighed and said, "I feel bad," turning to him. "We'll go to New York so I really won't need to say goodbye to them but you-"
"I know but my da told me something when I mentioned your worry about that," Louis said, smiling at her brightly. "It just gives them all an excuse to come to America and see us there."
Alexis laughed and threw her arms around her boyfriend tightly, kissing him before she said, "If you're alright with that…"
"Aye, definitely," Louis said, nodding seriously.
"Then let's go," Alexis said with a wide smile, waiting for him to get his bike so they could go.
At the same time, Beckett was placing her hand on her husband's arm and she asked him, "Okay?"
"Yeah," Castle said quickly. "She's happy but will still miss us; it's all I can ask from her." He then smiled and said to his wife, "But the former is the most important of course."
"Of course," Beckett said before she squeezed his hand tightly and they focused their attention back on the road ahead of them.
"Hey Kate," Castle said, coming up to the doorway of their bedroom at their hotel suite at the Savoy.
"Yeah?" Beckett asked, folding her coat.
"Better take that with you," Castle told her.
"Why? I thought we were staying in for dinner?" Beckett said. When he smiled at her she pretended to sigh in annoyance before saying, "Where are we going?"
"Chipper," Castle replied.
"Alright," Beckett said, relieved to find her husband in relatively good spirits considering that they'd left his daughter in Oxford for a second time. She threw her light blue coat on and took his hand, making sure he had the umbrella they'd used as it was raining in the city. "How far is it?" she asked.
"The same one we went to with the girls," Castle replied before they left the room. They both could remember the way easily and were soon sitting together on some tall chairs, looking out on the street as they began eating their order. "I was almost going to take you to a play tonight," he told his wife. "But I figured you wouldn't really want to."
"It would have been nice if we were staying here longer," Beckett replied. "Another time."
"So what would you like to do tonight?" Castle asked after they'd eaten in silence for a while. "Watch old Monty Python reruns?"
With a soft laugh Beckett said, "No, the pool."
"I thought that might catch your eye," Castle replied. "I agree, that would be nice. Next time we're here, would you like to stay at the Savoy instead of the Ritz?"
"The girls would love to see it," Beckett replied with a nod.
"Alright," Castle nodded. "I'll remember that." He smiled when she nudged him and he couldn't help leaning over, kissing her gently on the lips and quickly since anyone on the street could see them. After they had finished they walked out together to the street, huddled close underneath their umbrella. "Thank you," he said when they could see the Savoy in sight.
"For what?" Beckett said, wondering why he was speaking in Irish.
"For coming with me; it would have been difficult to do this on my own seeing her with Louis," Castle said.
Squeezing his arm Beckett said, knowing he was referencing his daughter growing up, "You're welcome and I had to see that she would be okay this year too. That I didn't want her to think I was kicking her out of the house."
With a laugh Castle said, "I don't really get the feeling she'd think that but it's nice of you to do." They were nearly at their hotel and he told her, "You're a great mother."
"Stepmother," Beckett corrected him, watching him at that word.
"Mother," Castle said. "Emotionally. It's why she calls us parents when she's talking about both of us."
"Oh," Beckett replied. "She does?"
"And she calls your dad and my mother grandparents when she's talking about both of them," Castle explained.
"Nice of her to say that," Beckett replied.
"He's a good grandfather," Castle said firmly. He then squeezed her hand tightly and said, "And you're a great mother."
Beckett smiled and then said, "It's a natural instinct."
"And you perform it well," Castle said, stopping her. He then leaned down to her and kissed her, not caring they were still walking as he wasn't lingering for very long at that moment. When they parted, he said, "I love you," still speaking in Irish.
"I love you too," Beckett said seriously.
Seeing the doorman ahead of them Castle then said, "Let's go swimming?"
"I'd love to," Beckett replied, letting him lead the way back inside and out of the rain once more.
Feeling arms wrapping around him from behind Castle smiled and said, "Hey love, your costume's all set?"
"It is," Beckett replied. She kissed his temple gently and said, "What're you doing?"
"Just reading over and thinking of something we can write," Castle told her.
"Okay," Beckett said, reluctantly letting him go to grab her desk chair. She sat down right next to her husband and said, "Go ahead."
"Alright we're at the point where Sky comes out of her coma," Castle replied. "I thought of having her reacting to Marion kissing her lips but thought that was too… much."
"Too Sleeping Beauty," Beckett said with a smile.
"I thought you might think that," Castle replied with a nod. "So instead… can I put it and see what you think?"
"Go ahead," Beckett said, watching him then turn to his laptop.
"Standing behind Marion, Green watched her friend's wife a little sadly as she sobbed with Sky's hand pressed against her cheek," Castle began, saying out loud for his wife as he typed. "'You can't give up hope,' she told Marion gently. 'It's hard not to,' the woman replied tearfully. 'You know Sky is everything to me,' she whispered. Reaching up she gently caressed her wife's face before she froze. 'Was that-' Green said, startled at the exhalation of air from Sky. 'Sky!' Marion cried in joy as they watched the woman's eyes slowly blink before they stayed open, looking at them blearily. Green couldn't help herself and she squeezed Sky's other hand tightly in her joy before running out the door to call for a nurse."
"I think you have it," Beckett said. "Simple and yet very powerful," she told him. "I love that you have them both together and Moor not there."
"I didn't think it would work," Castle replied. "Moor there in the room with them since his connection isn't really that strong with Sky yet. Do you want to write anything else?"
Looking at her watch Beckett shook her head and told him, "It's almost time to get Eliza." She smiled when he looked at his watch in obvious shock and told him, "We were late moving from reading the paper."
"I know," Castle said, standing up as his wife did. He grabbed her hand then and held it tightly telling her, "Kate, tonight-"
"I know," Beckett replied. "And if we're not too tired then we can."
"We've gotten too tired too often lately," Castle said. When his wife laughed he then leaned down to her and kissed her hungrily, pulling her close to him and a little desperately as they'd nearly woken up late and had rushed through their morning routine.
Beckett could have stayed there for a long time kissing her husband but soon after they were interrupted by Rita barking and they looked at each other before the chime to the gate rang. They laughed together and then hurried over to the door so she could press the button as she already knew it was her father. She stepped out onto the porch with Castle to watch her father soon drive over to the garage, waiting for him to park and step out so she could hurry to him and help him with his luggage.
"Hello," Jim said as his daughter came up to him while he was standing at the opened trunk. He hugged her tightly and said, "How are you Katie?"
"Good, relieved for the girls' sake the rain stopped," Beckett said after she let him go.
"Luckily it's not supposed to rain again until tomorrow," Castle said as he walked up to them, shaking his father in law's hand as the dogs were sniffing around them. "How was your drive?"
"Not bad," Jim said simply as he allowed his son in law to grab his smaller suitcase as he was staying through until Sunday afternoon. "Are you ready for your season next week?"
"As ready as I can be," Castle replied.
"He is," Beckett said with a sigh.
"I'm sorry I won't be able to make it," Jim said.
"You've had this conference planned for a long time," Castle replied. "And you've seen my games before."
"He's more concerned I'm there," Beckett said, unaware that her husband was nodding to her father behind her. "Anyways you got here just in time."
"You're walking to pick up Eliza?" Jim asked as he was aware of the time.
"We are," Castle said before he heard his mother coming down the stairs. He watched them greet each other briefly and then said, "Are you coming with us Mother?"
"I suppose I should," Martha said, glancing out one of the windows on either side of the door.
"Why don't you wait until we get Julia; we can go all together with the dogs then?" Beckett said.
"I thought we were letting her and Mari walk home?" Castle reminded her.
"You are?" Jim said.
"We are," Beckett said. "We always talk about letting them go by themselves but we never had. So, I guess this one is a test run when they're in middle school; both of them."
"Then I'll go now," Martha replied. "It might tickle her to see both her grandparents here."
After they had on their coats while Jim watched with the dogs as the three left and then went out to the street so they could go to the school and get Eliza back home for the holiday.
"It feels a lot like fall now," Dawn said to the others as they were walking together.
"I know you think our parents were right and it won't rain tonight?" Peter asked the other three.
"My dad said and his knee is always right," Julia said. She stopped then when they came to a street corner and she and Mari turned to the two behind them. "We'll see you at my house," she said with a wide smile. "It'll be fun tonight."
"Do we really have to dance?" Dawn asked them.
"Maybe not," Mari said. "We just did that for fun."
"I gotta go, my mom's going to come and get me if I'm not home," Peter replied.
"Mine too," Dawn added before Julia and Mari echoed her at the same time.
Laughing with her friends Julia waved with Mari as the two walked in the direction of their homes which were across the street from each other a block away from that point. She then turned to her best friend and said, "Let's go?"
"Yeah," Mari said before they walked arm in arm together towards their neighborhood. "Do you have a lot of homework?" she asked.
"Just some history reading," Julia replied.
"What are you learning about now?" Mari asked.
"Ancient Egypt and it's so cool," Julia replied with a wide smile.
"I can't wait to learn about it," Mari said a little jealously.
"I'll show you the pictures in my book," Julia promised her. They had reached the Foster home by then but instead of going to the front door they walked down the path in between their homes to go to the beach. Stopping there they hugged each other tightly and she said, "Are you ready?"
"Yep, I know how I'm gonna look like Derek and everything," Mari replied. She giggled when her friend looked at her, a slightly horrified expression on her face, before she told her, "I won't have blonde hair but I'll sorta try to look like a boy."
"But I told you, you don't have to," Julia said, trying not to sound exasperated as they'd had the discussion before.
"Are you sure?" Mari asked. When Julia nodded she sighed and said as they let go of each other, "I was gonna make my hair look shorter and then slick it back; my daddy was gonna help me."
"Put it up in a braid, it'll be good still," Julia reassured her.
"Okay I-" Mari began.
"Mari, come inside honey," Rebecca called behind them from the deck of the Foster house.
"I gotta go," Mari said, making a face. She and Julia embraced one more time before she rushed to her home crying, "See you later!"
Waving to Rebecca herself Julia then turned and walked over to her own home; not surprised to see her mother standing at the top of the steps up to the house from the grass. "I didn't take that long Mommy," she said quickly as she hurried up the lawn to her.
"I wasn't here for that reason," Beckett said before her daughter hopped up the stairs. She embraced her as soon as Julia had reached her and asked, "How did it go?"
"Really nice," the girl said with a smile. "But it was a quick walk."
"If it was longer we would have picked you up," Beckett said as they let go of each other. "But since you're nearly in middle school do you want to walk home on your own?"
"After my dance classes?" Julia asked. When her mother nodded she said quickly, "No way! Maybe if there aren't any classes like today," she told her.
"Alright," Beckett said with a smile. "Let's go in and see what you have for homework."
"Just reading, hi Daddy," Julia said, adding the last when her father appeared in front of them.
"Hey, so how was it?" Castle asked.
"Fun but really short," Julia replied. "I told Mommy the same thing. Is Grandpapa here?"
"Come on," Beckett said before they went over to the kitchen.
"Hello Julia," Jim said as he looked over to see his granddaughter walking down the hall.
Crying out Julia took off down the rest of the hallway before she wrapped her arms around him as tightly as she could. "Are you ready for tonight?" she asked, looking up at him.
"I am," Jim said with a smile. "I heard you got to walk home alone today."
"Yep but it wasn't special, just real fast," Julia said. "Hi Lizzy," she said to her little sister who was standing behind their grandfather, one of their mother's old shirts on her as she was painting. "Did you see Mommy's dress yet?"
Giggling softly Eliza shook her head and said, "No, not until later."
"No one's seeing it until later," Beckett said, looking pointedly at her husband as Martha came into the kitchen.
After she'd greeted her grandmother Julia sat down at the table, eating some apple slices and trying to pay attention to her history text book. But after a while she realized that her memory of the steps that she had practiced with their friends at lunch since the school year had begun was keeping her from taking in what she saw on the page.
"What if we don't dance?" Dawn asked the other three.
"It's exercise?" Peter asked. When they laughed he did so as well and told them, "My dad says that."
"Does he care that you dance?" Dawn said, looking at him worriedly because he usually didn't mention his father since he lived in the city as his parents were divorced.
"No, he says it keeps me out of trouble," Peter said with a shrug. "Whatever that means. So let's start."
"Come on," Julia said before they hurried over to the corner of the playground where she could take out her phone. She opened the clip of the dance and she, Mari and Peter watched Dawn as she watched the dancing on it.
"How can you do that?" the girl said when Julia had pocketed her phone.
"Easy," Peter said before he took Julia's hands and they began to go around in circles, kicking their legs as Maria and Derek had at the beginning of the dance.
"You think I can do that?" Dawn said, her mouth opened in shock as they stopped.
"What?" Julia said, seeing Mari was covering her mouth with her hands.
"Nothing, that was really good," the little girl replied.
"Can you do that?" Dawn asked her.
"Sure, we learned together when I was at Julia's house and they practiced," Mari replied with a shrug.
"Do it," Dawn said.
Sighing Julia took her friend's hand and then got into hold with her before they were doing the same dance themselves. When they stopped she was startled when she saw some of the other kids were staring at them and she said, "Um… we should start on
"Julia?" Beckett said, cutting into her daughter's thoughts. "Are you okay?"
"I think she's sleeping; she's almost drooling," Castle said, taking the plate that had had some apple slices on it from his wife.
"My eyes are open Daddy," Julia said, giving him a look.
"You could still sleep," Castle said in mock protest, making her laugh at his tone.
"What's wrong sweetie?" Beckett said, sitting with her.
"Oh… just thinking about us teaching Dawn to dance," Julia replied. "She has it down pretty good now…"
"But?" Beckett asked, raising her hand outside of the girl's view so Castle would stop in his approach to them.
"I have to dance Derek's steps," Julia said quickly. She sighed and said, "Mari couldn't get them she's not used to doing the lead ones."
"It'll be fine," Castle said before his wife could speak.
"He's right," Beckett said when their oldest looked at her. "If it was better for you to take Derek's steps then you should."
"If we dance," Julia said, smiling as she felt better then.
"Why not? I want to see this dance," Castle said.
"I think it depends on Dawn," Beckett said, studying their daughter's face.
"Yeah, she's a little shy," Julia replied.
"Did you read?" Beckett asked then, touching the text book. "At all?" She wasn't surprised when Julia's cheeks flushed and she bowed her head. "It's alright sweetie," she told her. "I think we need a change of scenery."
"We do?" Julia asked hopefully.
"Mmm-hmm," Beckett replied before she reached over to her and took her hand. "We'll be in the library Rick."
"Have fun," Castle said with a smile as he watched them go over to the stairs before he went into the family room where Eliza was with her grandparents.
"How come we're here?" Julia asked, watching her mother sitting on the window seat her parents had had installed earlier the month before. It was at the window that looked directly down on the ocean and it was her favorite spot to read in the house.
"Because I know how much you love it," Beckett told her, reaching out for her.
After she was sitting next to her mother, leaning against her Julia said, "Are you gonna read?"
"It's not my assignment," Beckett said simply. She smiled when her daughter laughed and she tenderly kissed the top of her head before she listened to Julia reading about the Ancient Egyptian deities until she had finished the chapter. "Good job," she said. "And now you can spend the rest of your Halloween without worrying about your homework."
"Mommy?" Julia asked her. "Could Lizzy and I watch you get into your costume please?"
"Yes," Beckett replied with a smile as her daughter looked so hopeful.
"So, I'm not going to be the one to see it first," Castle pretended to complain from the doorway.
"Your mother was," Beckett said wryly as she gave him a look. "What is it?" she asked.
"I'm just checking to see if you guys are aware of the time," Castle replied.
"Change into your costume Rick," Beckett told him teasingly. "I'll change and then help the girls."
"Where's Lizzy?" Julia asked.
"I'm here," Eliza said, hurrying over behind her father with the dogs.
"Come on you two," Beckett told them.
"Are we gonna change?" Eliza asked as she took her mother's hand when she passed her.
"No, we get to see her get dressed in her costume," Julia told her excitedly.
"We do?" Eliza asked, her tone matching her sister's.
"Yes, since your sister asked so nicely," Beckett replied. She took them into her room; Castle in one of the guest bedrooms; and she quickly put her hair up into a bun as the girls were watching. Once she was done she went to where she'd put the dress in the closet, having hidden it from her husband before that point. "Here it is," she said to the girls as she walked out to them.
"It doesn't look very pretty," Julia said.
Looking at her oldest before she smiled Beckett said wryly, "You're so much like your daddy when you do that."
"Good," Julia said with a wide smile before she and her sister watched eagerly as their mother opened the dress cover. "Oh," she breathed as soon as Beckett had it out.
"Mommy it's so pretty," Eliza breathed.
"It is, your gram did a wonderful job," Beckett said, still smiling at her daughters' reactions. "Alright, let me change into it." She pulled off her sweater before she removed her leggings and then stepped into the dress.
"Mommy your-" Julia began to say.
"Hold on," Beckett said, swiftly taking off her bra before she slipped her arms into the sleeves. Once they were set she turned her back to Julia and felt the zipper being pulled up before she turned around. "Okay, I'm almost ready," she told them.
"What do you have to put on?" Eliza asked, watching her mother going around then to the closet again.
"Her shoes," Julia told her sister with a smile.
"The dancing ones?" Eliza asked hopefully.
"They are," Beckett replied as she walked out to them. She sat down on the bed and smiled again when the girls flanked her before she told them, "What're you two doing?"
"Watching you," Julia said, looking on as her mother buckled her shoes. "You look so pretty."
"Now that I have the shoes on?" Beckett asked.
"Yeah," Eliza said, nodding rapidly. "I wanna see you and Daddy dance."
"I'm sure we can manage a few steps for you," Beckett replied. When the girls gasped she said, "We're still taking the dance classes for a reason," before she stood.
"Can we get Daddy now?" Eliza asked, beaming up at her mother.
"I think he's here," Beckett said when she heard a knock on the door. "Go ahead," she told them, watching them racing over to it so they could open it.
"Hey, so how does she look?" Castle asked, looking pointedly at the girls though he knew his wife was there.
"She's here Daddy and you look really good, like Derek," Julia said.
"Thanks," Castle said before he walked into the room fully, closing the door behind him. "Kate," he breathed out when he saw her.
"Not bad?" Beckett asked jokingly as she stepped up to him.
"Not at all," Castle said admiringly as he wrapped his arm around her and placed his hand flat on her back. He watched her straighten his high collared black jacket over a plain white shirt and said, "Same for me."
Beckett shook her head, though she was smiling, and she told him, "Stop fishing for compliments." Before he could say anything, she leaned into him and kissed him gently before saying, "You look perfect."
Castle couldn't help smiling widely at her before he then kissed her deeply, forgetting for a moment about their daughters until Eliza suddenly sneezed. "Um… I'm sorry," he said, about to say that to the girls before directing it to his wife.
"It's okay," Beckett said. "It's a compliment." She smiled when he nodded rapidly and she kissed his cheek before they looked at the girls.
"Julia? Can you take a picture of us with my phone? I want to send it to Alexis and just have it there," Castle asked her.
"Sure," Julia said, taking the phone he handed her. She waited for her parents to stand together before she took a picture and then hurried to show them.
"Perfect," Beckett said. She was going to say more when her husband suddenly leaned over and nipped at her earlobe before he murmured, "Just like you," in Irish. It took her a moment to gather her thoughts before she could say, "We need to help them get ready."
"Not yet," Julia said sternly. When her parents looked at her she said firmly, "You didn't dance."
"Oh of course," Castle said.
"Mommy you promised," Julia said as she could tell her mother was going to protest.
"Okay," Beckett said with a sigh, letting her husband lead her over to a clear area behind the bed. When he turned to her she stepped up to him to let him take her into hold and once they were ready she allowed him to begin the first step and they danced a few of them they knew from their classes. They stopped with Castle dipping her, making her cry out in surprise in reaction before she laughed with the girls as they had been watching them closely. "Help me up love," she told her husband when he took a while to do that.
Letting her stand Castle said, "It works."
Beckett laughed softly at his tone and was going to reach around her neck to take off her pendant when her husband stopped her. "What?" she asked.
"Leave it," Castle replied. "It doesn't take anything away from your costume."
"He's right Mommy," Julia said quickly. "It stands out."
"I'll leave it," Beckett said, smiling as Eliza had added a, "Yeah!" to go with their comments. "Let's get you two dressed." She and Castle took their daughters out to the hall where they walked down to their rooms, splitting up as she was going to help Julia while he would assist their youngest. "Okay," Beckett said to her daughter after closing and locking the door. "Get undressed, I can't help you put on your pants if your jeans are still on," she told her jokingly as she went to the closet to grab the costume.
"I could try," Julia said teasingly. "I'd be warm."
Beckett just looked at her daughter before she saw that she was taking off her clothes and she quickly helped Julia into the pants before assisting her with her white blouse. "Tuck that in," she told her as she held the jacket her daughter would be wearing over that.
"What about my hair?" Julia asked after she had closed the fly of the trousers and pulled the blouse out a little so it was loose and comfortable for her.
"Good point," Beckett replied with a smile before she walked over to the bathroom to grab her daughter's brush. When she was sitting on the side of the bed she then brushed out Julia's braid and braided it back up before she then rolled that into a bun that was close to how Maria's hair was during the dance the costume was from.
"Now my jacket," Julia said eagerly, putting the coat that had a split tail on. She then waited for her mother to tie the bowtie that went with the 'tuxedo' and was white before she smiled and told her, "You do this for Daddy huh?"
"I do but he knows how to tie it," Beckett replied. "He prefers that I do it."
"Good, you should do that Mommy," Julia said before her mother rolled her eyes playfully that made her laugh softly. "I'm ready," she then said.
"Not yet," Beckett said. "You forgot your hat."
Julia smiled at the sight of the tiny hat that was attached to her hair by some pins. Once it was ready she went to her mirror and then looked at her mother saying, "How do I look?"
"Very grown up," Beckett said, smiling lovingly at her. "Come here."
Julia hurried over to her and hugged her tightly before she said, "Thank you."
"You're welcome, I don't mind the costume if you thought I did," Beckett replied. She heard a knock on the door and said, "We should go, everyone's going to start arriving."
Julia nodded and walked hand in hand with her mother over to the door and when it was open she gave a loud squeal and said, "You're at Hogwarts Lizzy!"
"You're gonna dance!" Eliza said, squealing herself and jumping up and down before she and her sister hugged. "You got a doll hat," she said, beaming at the hat perched atop her sister's head.
"You got a wand," Julia said. "Should we go show them?"
"No need," Martha said, she and Jim walking down the hall to the doorway then. "We're here and you two look adorable," she told her granddaughters.
"Thanks Gram!" the two said together.
"Who are you Gram?" Eliza then asked.
"Either Marlene Dietrich or Whitney Houston," Castle commented. When he saw his wife was looking at him he shrugged and said, "She played Marlene in one of her videos."
"The former," Martha said with a heavy, affected sigh as she embraced her granddaughters. She was dressed in a tuxedo, completely white, with sequins on the lapels and around the band of the top hat. She'd pulled her hair back and did resemble the actress though her hair was different in color.
"You do look great Martha," Beckett said. "Dad, you too," she said with a smile.
"I'm not sure how this works exactly," Jim said as he was wearing a simple suit in black.
"Oh, here," Castle said, taking something out of the pocket his mother had sewn in his jacket. "Now you're Roy Orbison. But I wouldn't wear those out if you're coming with us."
Jim felt a little foolish trying to appear like the singer, especially with the sunglasses on, but when his granddaughters squealed that he looked great he smiled slightly. "And you all look very nice; I told Martha that when we stepped out at the same time," he said to them all.
"We do," Castle said, smiling at Eliza who was showing Jim her Hogwarts uniform that his mother had made. She had a skirt and vest, the latter having the Ravenclaw colors and even the crest on it, also a Ravenclaw tie he and Beckett had ordered for their daughter. She was wearing her Ravenclaw robes as well and he said, "At least you'll be warm in that. Julia?"
"I'll be warm Daddy," the girl said, turning to him.
"No, I forgot to tell you that you look really close to how Maria did," Castle told her quickly.
Julia smiled, blushing a little at her father's sincerity, and she hugged him tightly saying, "You look really handsome too, Mommy thinks."
Castle couldn't help laughing at the way she'd turned that into a compliment from her mother and he said, "Thanks, you too Kate."
Beckett was about to open her mouth to reply when she heard the chime for the gate ringing. She smiled and said, "Go," so they would head down to open it for their guests. She held Eliza back and was about to pick her up when the little girl gasped and stepped away.
"No Mommy," Eliza told her seriously. "You will rip your dress!"
"I won't," Beckett replied. "It's a little loose." She then picked her daughter up and kissed her temple saying as she started down the stairs. "I wanted to tell you that you look like we'll be sending you off on the Express tomorrow."
Giggling Eliza said, "Do I?"
"Mmm-hmm," Beckett replied, kissing her forehead. She shared a kiss with Eliza after the little girl had thanked her and set her down as they had reached the foyer. "Who is it?" she asked her husband as he was looking outside with Julia.
"I think nearly everyone," Castle said. "The Fosters, Davises… Dawn and Peter too. Why didn't their parents come and Eliza-"
"Dani is my friend," the little girl interrupted him.
"Okay," Castle said slowly, looking at his wife who was just looking at him.
"What about Auntie Lanie?" Eliza asked.
"And Tio Javi?" Julia added.
"They're on their way," Beckett assured them. "First it's everyone else. Hey," she said as Mari was first to appear.
"Happy Halloween!" the little girl replied before she was hugging Julia tightly. "You look like Maria! How do I look?" she asked her friend rapidly after stepping back for her to see.
"Perfect," Julia said with a nod. "If we dance we'll look really good."
"Yeah," Mari said. She turned to the others and waved saying, "Hi, thanks for the party."
"You're welcome," Castle said first before he watched as Mari went to Beckett to look at her dress. "You two look ready," he said to David and Rebecca who were stepping up onto the porch.
"Ready for what?" David said.
"Flying?" Jim suggested. "Those are great costumes," he told them as the two were wearing 30's aviator's clothes.
"Thanks, we did our best with them," Rebecca replied with a laugh as they stepped inside to get out of the way of the Davises and the two kids with them. "Here's our little Gryffindor," she said, setting Dani down.
"She looks adorable," Lily said from behind them.
"She does," Beckett agreed with a smile, the toddler wearing a uniform just like Eliza's but in the Gryffindor red and gold colors. "And you all look great too. Rick?"
"Um… fantastic? Authentic?" Castle said with a shrug before they laughed together. "But she's right; I wasn't expecting a family of pirates."
"They wanted in," Brad replied. "By the way, this is the only time I'm going to be lawless."
When Lily groaned Beckett asked, "He's been telling that joke?"
"A number of times already," Lily replied. "But look at Peter and Dawn; their parents left them off since we were there at the gate."
Seeing that Peter was wearing a tuxedo like Mari and Dawn was dressed like Julia Beckett said to the two, "You look fantastic too."
"Are there anymore words like that?" Peter asked jokingly.
"Come inside to the family room," Castle said laughingly. "We're just waiting for the last of the guests."
"Who are here," Martha said.
"Can you take them?" Beckett asked her mother in law. When Martha had done so with Jim she turned to the others and said, "Remember they're not staying for too long."
"We know… why did they come though?" Julia asked.
"They wanted to see us again, as we haven't since August," Castle replied.
"Oh," Julia said. "I'm glad they came," she said quickly in case her parents were wondering. "I just wondered." She smiled at her mother as she placed her hand on her back but then watched with them as they watched while the two cars parked in the driveway, away from the graveyard display they'd all set up that year and the others then stepped out. She waited a little impatiently for the group to reach the house, hoping that they were dressed up already as she couldn't quite see them yet until they got closer.