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Chapter One of Four

He wasn't planning on being the sensible, responsible one. To be honest, he had planned to get completely sloshed. But, when Esposito finally arrived at Castle's little shin-dig, he realised that wasn't going to happen.

Esposito had been the last to leave the station that evening after they discovered someone needed to re-interview Mrs Spencer (their key witness). Beckett played the female card (which was so rare, they were all caught a little off guard), claiming it took her longer to get ready for Castle's party than it did the rest of them.

"Unless you're planning on curling your hair and putting on make-up," she'd teased them. "Ryan I have a lipstick that would look great on you!"

Castle had immediately declared he had a million things to do to get ready for the party and therefore couldn't possibly assist in the re-interviewing process. Esposito was sure he had hired people to do everything for him, but it wasn't like Castle could interview her on his own anyway, so he accepted it.

Ryan had simply blurted "Shotgun! You're it!" when he went to open his mouth.

And so Esposito had been stuck with the near-painful task of re-questioning Mrs Spencer. Normally, he would have just asked her the new questions and been finished within half an hour, but Mrs Spencer was an 86 year old woman who was hard on hearing... and comprehending.

"Hey I remember you! You were here with the pretty little blue-eyed boy the other day. What do you mean you have to ask me more questions? I already answered them all!"

"Yes ma'am I know, but we have some new information and I just need to check a couple more things with you."



"Alright, alright, no need to shout young man."

Esposito swallowed a sigh.

"The day before you heard the gunshot, did you notice a blue van outside?"

"A blue man? No."

"A blue VAN."

"I said no. Are you deaf? I'm pretty sure I would have noticed a blue man outside."

It had taken Esposito two and a quarter hours to question Mrs Spencer, only to discover their hunch was wrong and they were back to square one. By the time he'd driven back to his apartment, showered and changed and caught a cab to Castle's place, the party was already in full swing.

"Heeeeey! Esposito!" Ryan greeted him loudly as he slid ungracefully from his stool and made his way over.

"Hey man, having fun?" Esposito smirked as Ryan wobbled in front of him.

"Yes! This party is great! But you took sooooo long to get here!"

Apparently long enough for you to get hammered, Esposito thought. And now I'm gonna have to be the one who remains sober enough to get you home.

"Yeah well I had to re-interview Mrs Spencer all by myself, didn't I? So much for my partner backing me up, eh?"

Ryan frowned. Then hiccoughed.

"Here! Have some!" he suddenly said excitedly, thrusting the remains of his drink into his partner's hands.

Esposito grinned. He couldn't stay mad at Ryan for wanting to unwind. Not when it was what he had planned on doing himself. And not when Ryan's blue eyes were sparkling at him excitedly like that.

"I'll think I'll go get a fresh one, bro," he said, but needn't have bothered as Ryan had gotten distracted by an attractive woman sauntering past with a bright purple cocktail.

"That drink is mighty bright! What is it?" he heard him ask her, as he turned to make his way to the bar.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. Chapter two will be uploaded tomorrow. Reviews are always appreciated in the meantime! :)