This little thing popped into my mind this morning, so I just started writing it down. Some parts may not be totally believable (in real-world type of reality), but since this is fiction, and the series and characters are fiction anyway, I thought I'd take a few liberties. And even though it may not be 100% believable, I hope it will be fluffy and fun. Not sure how long it will be yet, but I have some ideas. Should definitely be several chapters, if it's well-received.

I'm not sure when it's set, but for simplicity sake, Josh is no longer in the picture. And neither is Gina. They're still dancing around each other, but they're getting closer even though nobody will admit anything yet. They have the easy comraderie that we've seen so far in season 3.

(Disclaimer: No, I don't own the characters.)

Please read and review...I love to know what you think!

ADDITIONAL NOTE, edited 5/16/2011: It's Castle Season 3 finale day! As I write this update note, I think back on the last 6 1/2 months since I started this fic. At that point, I wasn't even sure I could write 10 chapters of it, and as of today, there are 65 with more to come. New people still tackle this fic all the time, I believe, and I love it, and I thank you if you're one who is willing to take the plunge. I just want to say if you are one of those who are just reading this for the first time, please leave me some reviews for some of the chapters along the way...don't just wait until the end! There are a lot of twists and turns, and despite the fact that I may have written the chapter months ago, I still LOVE to read your comments and thoughts about those earlier chapters. A few people have done that, and it was so fun for me, as an author, to sort of re-experience the story again with them as they travel through all of the chapters.


Rick Castle smiled sneakily at the bit of information he had just found out. Oh, there was nobody around to see him as he sat alone in his office, but that didn't stop him from the grin or even the evil laugh. He didn't know how he could have gone without knowing this piece of information for as long as he did, but what was important was that he knew it now. And now that he had the information, he also knew he just had to do something with it. Something big. Something awesome. Something so awesome that it would outshine every other awesome thing in the history of awesome things.

Next week was Detective Kate Beckett's birthday, and he was going to do something about it.

But he needed help. He knew that. He jumped up and started to pace the room. With the idea that was quickly forming in his head, he knew he'd never be able to pull it off without some help. Kate was too smart...she would know something was going on. And, frowning, he admitted that she was also too suspicious of him to just blindly go along with him, even if he begged. So that left letting other people in on his plan. He hoped he could trust them.


His first stop was to Captain Montgomery. To make this work, he knew he needed the Captain on board with his idea. But he knew he couldn't let Kate see him talking to the Captain, so he called him and arranged to meet him at his house.

Now, sitting across from him in his homey living room, Rick proposed his plan to him, and then sat back. Montgomery drummed his fingertips together and didn't say anything.

Getting worried, Rick continued on, "The biggest part of this hinges on you. You're her have to approve it if it has a chance of working. If you OK it, I know I can do the rest. If she lets herself, you know she'd enjoy this. And you know how hard she works, how many hours she puts in. She needs this too. And what better time than for her birthday?" He paused and looked at the Captain, who was still sitting there, looking back at him, expressionless. "Come on, Captain, I'm not a perp. You're weirding me out. Just let me know what you think. Will you help me?"

Montgomery smiled. "Castle, I don't know if you know what you're really getting into, but you're an adult. If you're willing to put yourself in the direct path of Kate Beckett when she's mad, then I say you should go try. Because I have to admit you're right...she's been working too much lately. So if you want to put yourself in the line of fire, then I'll approve it."

Castle slumped back into the chair and blew out the breath he didn't realize he'd been holding. "Thanks, Cap. You had me worried there for a minute."

"Castle, I'll go along with this, but I do have a couple of conditions. When all is said and done, she does need to be able to walk away if you're not as good at convincing her as you seem to think you are. Anything else would be, you know, kidnapping? Federal offense? And man, no matter what the reason, I can't be involved in anything like that. Nor do I want to be on the bad side of Kate Beckett once this is all over."

Rick nodded. "Yeah, I know. But I think I have a way around that." He explained his idea, which the Captain grudgingly admitted might just work. And more importantly, he agreed to it. "Hey, you said a couple of conditions...what's the second?"

"Whatever happens with this little escapade, you keep it out of the precinct. And out of your books. As tough as she is, she doesn't need everyone knowing about this. If that happens or if she's mad at you, she's not effective, and that's bad for me and for my unit. Capisce?"

"Capisce." Castle replied solemnly.

After talking a bit more, the men stood up and shook hands. "Remember," Rick cautioned, "I was never here, and we never had this conversation. You were watching bad network TV tonight, and I was working on my book." Nodding in agreement, Montgomery walked Rick out, and Rick got in his car and drove away, on to getting agreement with phase 2 of his plan: Lanie.


"You want to do WHAT?" Lanie squealed.

Rick glanced nervously around the dimly lit bar where he had arranged to meet Lanie. "Keep it down, will you? We don't need to draw that much attention. With volume like that, if the ME thing doesn't work out, you could go into public address announcing without the public address system. But you heard me right. Montgomery already agreed to his part. Now I need a few things from you." He went on to outline how the whole thing would go down, the part he needed her to play, and the extra favor he needed to make it a little more comfortable so Kate would ultimately agree to the plan. As he related everything, using his storytelling abilities to paint a picture in her mind, he could see the transformation in her facial expressions as she went from incredulous, to a bit skeptical, to a willing accomplice.

"So will you do it? Will you help me? She might not thank you at first, but you know it will be good for her. And there's a weekend at a spa in it for you...", he added as a little incentive/reward.

"Wellll..." she said as she looked at him slyly, "I think I could be persuaded to help you out. But I need to know something. What's in this for you...what are you planning once this whole thing is underway? What's your hidden agenda?"

Castle smiled, knowing what she was getting at. "Dear Doctor, much as I know exactly what you're asking, I don't know how to give you the answer I think you're looking for. What I have planned is exactly what I told you. Anything else that happens will be entirely up to Kate. And what's in it for me? I get the satisfaction of using all of this money I have to do something nice for an extraordinary person, one who is always giving to others, and who could stand to take a little time for herself."

"Nice? Son, this isn't nice. Flowers and a box of chocolates are nice. This is, like, hoo-wee smokin' hot, have-I-died-and-gone-to-heaven awesome!"

"So you think she'll like it? That she'll go along with it?" he asked excitedly, and Lanie got a glimpse of the 9 year old on a sugar rush persona that Kate used to use to describe him.

Lanie shook her head. "Now don't you go putting words in my mouth...that girl is a hard nut to crack. What works with other people just won't work with her. I'll help you get her there, but you have to do the rest. But just don't do anything stupid and I think you'll be OK. Can you promise me to NOT do anything stupid? You know, like last summer when you left her high and dry and walked away with the blonde bimbo on your arm?"

Castle cringed and got a wounded look on his face. "Don't remind me. I had enough dirty looks from that episode to last me a lifetime."

They talked for another 20 minutes, with Lanie and him deciding that it would be best for Lanie to explain the situation to Ryan and Esposito and tell them what their roles would be. Kate tended to get suspicious if she saw Castle talking to Ryan and Esposito, especially when it would be obvious that they were up to something since everyone knew they couldn't keep a secret like that to save their lives. Rick knew they'd go along with it, especially when she relayed the incentive of box tickets to the sporting event of their choice. Castle would make the arrangements and let Lanie know the details, and they would put the plans in motion with some prearranged code words.

Lanie left the bar first, and Castle ordered another drink as he began to make a few calls. After another 10 minutes, he threw some bills on the table and walked out of the bar, whistling. Yes, this was going to be supremely awesome. He just hoped that Kate came to that realization before she ended up killing him.

So that's the end of Chapter 1. More to come, IF you think it's a story that you'd like to read more of. Can anyone guess what the surprise is? I hope you liked it so far!