written for the porn battle xi over on lj.

ps. thank you so much to everyone to has read and reviewed my previous stories, it means a lot.

Parties are something that Castle is very good at. Obviously he's skilled in a lot of other areas, but parties, perhaps more than some things, he's always managed to get right, and his Welcome to 2011 fancy-dress slash cocktail slash semi-formal slash rave and/or dance party New Year's extravaganza (it... gestated, let's leave it at that) is no exception.

He dresses the Old Haunt with lights and streamers and candles and there's even an oversized disco ball that Alexis frowns at because the way it's secured to the ceiling is more than a little precarious (he waves off her anxiousness, overtaken with festivity).


By eight o'clock the bar is filled with people in costumes and cocktail dresses and suits and neon colours and the only thing that really seems to be missing is a certain beautiful and hard-headed homicide detective that should have arrived an hour ago if she had read her invitation properly (which, to be honest, she probably hadn't, both to piss him off and because he'd been badgering her about it for a month already).

He scans the room but his finely-tuned Beckett senses ("Do you know how creepy that sounds?" Beckett had asked him when he first used the phrase in her presence) tell him that she's not here.

"She'll be here, dude," Ryan sways into his shoulder at that moment, very nearly sloshing what's left in his glass onto Castle's suit, "She said she just had a couple of things to take care of first. Cool party." With that, he wanders off into the throng of people.

He back leans into the bar and resumes watching the stairs right as Beckett walks down them, clad in a very short, very red cocktail dress. She's also very alone. He turns, taps the bar, asks for two pina coladas and when he looks over his shoulder he knows she's seen him, her walk purposeful now rather than uncertain.

He's handed the drinks right as she reaches him, so he spins on his heel and holds one outstretched. "You look lovely, Beckett."

She ducks her head and takes the glass, murmuring a thank you in that way that reminds him of their history in dressing up. She sits, taking the seat next to him, and sips her drink.

"No hot date?" he can't help but ask, while he also decides he can't help but check her out.

She twirls her straw. "I'm thinking about going stag for a while."

He frowns at the implication. "Do you want to talk about it?"

"Nope." She looks at him properly for the first time that evening, hard and long. "I know what I'm doing, Castle. Now stop looking at me like that and let's have a drink."

He does as she says, and after a minute or two of silence, he grins, runs a finger along the crease of her elbow. "If we're both here alone, does that mean I can call you as my New Year's kiss?"

She arches an eyebrow. "Who said I'm not already spoken for? For all you know I could be preparing for a hot make out with Esposito at midnight." Her tell is the quirk of her lips into a half smile, and he takes it as his cue to whine.

"Beckeeeeett, don't be like that, you can't take away my first and second choices for New Year's kisses simultaneously."

She laughs, shakes her head, her hair falling around her face. She tucks it back, contemplates him for a moment, then runs her teeth over her bottom lip and traces a ring around the bottom of her glass. "If you don't get a better offer by eleven fifty-nine I guess I can reserve a kiss for you, Mr Castle. Just so long as you don't think it's an all-access pass."

He manages to keep his jaw from hitting the polished wood floor. "There are just so many things I could comment on in that sentence, I don't even know where to begin." Like how he was mostly joking with the proposition in the first place, and that he's just a tiny bit incredulous at the fact that she thinks there's oh, anyone who would be a better offer than her in the whole world let alone the bar they're in, not to mention oh my god she said yes. His thoughts tick over so fast that he fails to notice the goosebumps on Beckett's arms, the tiny smile gracing her mouth as she goes to suck the last of her cocktail out of the straw.

He orders another round.


After the third, her eyes sparkle and she says she's going to dance, he sees her eyes tracking Lanie in the middle of the room and he nods, noticing his daughter down the other end of the bar.

"What are you so happy about?" Alexis asks, and he really does try to dampen down the need to grin like a loon when he sees that she wants to press the issue further.

"Having a good New Year's, pumpkin! Are you?" he throws an arm around her shoulders and she leans her head into his chest.

"I've been trying to convince Gram she doesn't need to sing show tunes until the countdown, but it's not going well."

He winces. "Where's Ashley?"

"On his way. Is Detective Beckett having a good time?"

Ignoring the tone of her words, Castle nods. He glances over to where she's dancing with Lanie, and notices the stares of several men and a pirate who may or may not be a man but who is definitely still looking in the direction of his partner. Then he frowns, suddenly overtaken by the need to be near her again (though it's definitely nothing to do with those guys checking her out, nothing). Kissing the top of his daughter's head, he downs a shot the bartender puts in front of him, and then slips away from her and into the small crowd of bodies taking up the middle of the bar.

He slides a hand over Beckett's waist when he reaches her and hopes to a higher power that she doesn't sock him one, then pulls the hair back from the side of her face so he can whisper in her ear (and he grins at the height of Lanie's eyebrows and her slightly-gaping mouth). "You have some admirers, Detective."

"Are you drunk?" she turns enough so that she can flick her eyes to his, almost smirking.

"Not yet."

"Then what's your excuse?"

He grins, sheepish, and removes his hand from her side. "Sorry. Jumped the gun."

There is absolutely no response he can think of for what happens next. Beckett whirls, threads her arms around his neck, and her mouth is a moment from his. Now it's his turn to gape like a dying fish.

"Don't make me change my mind about this, Castle. As you can see it's not like I haven't got other options." And just as suddenly as he was looking at the deep dark oh lord so incredibly gorgeous green of her eyes; he's looking at the back of her head as she goes back to dancing with her best friend.

He shuts his mouth and goes back to the bar for another shot.


He finds Beckett again at eleven fifty-five, her hair a little mussed, eyeliner smudged in the corners, but still completely and totally coherent. Unlike him. He's not... wasted, exactly, but he's definitely drunk and he's definitely over having to keep his hands to himself. He grabs her wrists and pulls her gently from her seat, letting one of her arms drop but taking her other hand with one of his, lacing their fingers together.

He addresses the pirate (male) she's been talking to, "Sorry to steal her away but we have a prior engagement," resists the urge to make a joke about wenches and scurvy, and begins to drag Beckett away.

"What are you, a caveman? Stop pulling."

He concedes, and is surprised when she doesn't loosen her grip on his hand. In fact she doesn't put up any kind of fight until they head behind the bar and he goes straight for the trap door.

"What are you doing?"

"Would you rather our colleagues have video and photographical evidence or just the rumour of our sordid coupling to tease us with for the rest of the year? Plus, you know I'm quite popular on page six..." At that, she's the one to open the trap door and pull them into it, though he doesn't miss her it's just a kiss, for Christ's sakes. Castle gives the thumbs up to Brian, who earlier promised to bang on the door when it was safe to come back up.

It's much quieter in the office. Still loud enough to hear a countdown, but there's less of an overbearing buzz in their ears. Beckett leans against the desk.

"You haven't changed it much."

He shrugs, not really interested in small talk, too distracted by the curve of her hip, the absent rub of her tongue over her lip as she looks around. "Didn't want to."

Eleven fifty-eight.

"You never said why you were here alone." She tilts her head, not pressing, but her look suggests she'd like to know.

Looking at the floor, he's silent for a moment. "I guess I'd just had enough of not being in love."

Her eyes widen, search his when he looks at her, but she doesn't say anything. He starts to wish he wasn't drunk.

She stands. "You have any scotch left?"

This, among many reasons, is why Kate Beckett will always be extraordinary. "You are an amazing woman."

"And you're a predictable man," she replies, watching him pull the half-empty bottle of St Miriam's from his desk drawer, along with two shot glasses.

He fills them and hands one to her, and they clink them before downing the contents. Beckett closes her eyes, smiling lazily, and he wants so badly to kiss her already.

They down another, and just as he's about to say maybe we should just skip the countdown a hush falls above them before the rippling wave of ticking seconds rolls overhead.

At six, he stands and holds out an unsteady hand.

At four, she is flush against him and he feels electric, every nerve ending on fire and every place they're touching is vibrating with the need to be closer to her.

At two, her hand goes to the back of his neck, fingers sliding in his hair. Beckett and her wide doe-eyes, her body solid but almost liquid against him, smiling and barely three inches from his face.

At one her lips are on his and he feels every tense fragment of self-control he has go up in flame. Her mouth opens at the same time his does and he licks at her tongue, dizzy with the spicy taste of whiskey that still lingers. His arms tighten around her and he finds himself moving her backwards, invading, pressing, feeling and then she's up against the wall and for some reason not making any protest. He hears the groan in the back of her throat and swallows it, his hands trying to touch any part of her that's skin, subsequently rucking her dress up to the tops of her thighs. She either doesn't notice or doesn't care, running her tongue along the bottom of his teeth, his top lip, sucking his lower into her mouth.

When he presses two fingers to the damp cotton of her underwear she trembles, her breath a sharp inhale against his mouth. Her eyes stay closed.

He doesn't move away, instead he speaks against her lips. "I know you said something about an all-access pass that I forget the exact wording of but—"

"Richard Castle if you don't finish what you started this instant I will end you."

Not one to disappoint a beautiful woman, he puts his lips to her pulse point and sucks while his fingers tug aside her underwear and dip into her, wet and hot and all of a sudden there is nothing so important to him in the world than getting Beckett off because she is absolutely the most magnificent person to exist in it. He pulls her leg up over his hip and his fingers slide deeper and deeper still when she rocks against his hand, breathy little moans in his ear. He draws out then in again, picking up a rhythm and her head falls back against the wall. He nicks his teeth along her chin, down her jaw, bites at her earlobe. Her fingers start to scramble at his chest, nails digging, her lips nipping at his. He lets his fingers curl. Her mouth falls open, nose pressed to his cheekbone, and she starts to shudder around him. He curls his fingers again, once, twice, presses his thumb to her clit and she falls apart, stifling a cry with a hard, bruising kiss to his lips.

His fingers still slick inside her, he presses feather-light kisses to her face. When he thinks he can form proper words again, he says quietly, "See, aren't you glad we didn't stay up there for the countdown?"

She slaps his shoulder in response then bites his lip, runs her teeth back over it slowly before releasing it. Her eyes are so dark they could be endless.

He swallows. "Happy New Year?"