Unicorns, Double Rainbows, and Soulmates Part 1 of 2
Disclaimer: I don't own anything or anyone in regards to Castle; the show and its characters belong to a bunch of people who aren't me. I am merely borrowing the characters for my own amusement. Dance puppets, dance.
Author's Note: It has taken me a long time to finish this, but I finally have! This is the first part, but not to worry! I am thisclose to finishing the second part. I would like to thank EllipsesBandit, my fellow pumpkin lover and Nathan fangirl for the beta as well as Smacky30 for ignoring work to edit this. They are both treasures.
She's armed…with a ring.
He's dangerous…with love.
Please join us for a day on the beach for swimming, sand castles, food, drink, and oh yeah, a wedding as:
Katherine Rose Beckett
Richard Edgar Castle
Finally get married! Collect your winnings on
Saturday, August Eighteenth, Two-thousand twelve
One o'clock in the afternoon
3286 Willow Street
Hamptons Bay, New York 11946
Reception to follow at same location.
_ Yes! I will be there with bells on.
_ Yes, but without bells.
_ No I won't be there because I heard there were going to be people with bells and I have a severe phobia of bells
_ No I won't be there and I have no opinion on the bells issue
"Well, it's pretty obvious which part of the wedding planning Castle was in charge of."
Jordan Shaw rolled her eyes after consulting the invitation for the address. She steered the small SUV into a residential neighborhood in the East Hamptons. Rolling down her window, she inhaled the scent of sea salt. A few white clouds dotted the pure blue sky. Castle and Beckett couldn't have gotten a more perfect day to get married.
"Oh I think its fun," her husband Mike commented from the passenger seat. "At least it won't be some boring, rich person, hoity-toity wedding." He gestured to the large houses on either side of them.
Snorting, Jordan shook her head. "Castle's wedding will be anything, but boring."
She then caught a peek of her nine year old daughter's sandy blonde hair as the girl leaned forward from the back seat. "Will we still get to play on the beach?"
Jordan nodded. "You will, Anna, but not until after the wedding."
"How long will the wedding be?" Chris, their eleven year old son, whined from next to his sister. "It's not going to be like Aunt Carol's that was like four hours long, is it?"
"It was only two hours, and no, it shouldn't be like that." Raising an eyebrow, Jordan looked at her kids through the rearview mirror. "But since we're almost there, we should go over proper wedding behavior."
Chris huffed. "We know, Mom. No fidgeting, no yawning, no sighing…"
"No fighting," Anna piped in.
"Don't slouch, don't play the Nintendo DS," Chris continued. "Don't bring the Nintendo DS, clap at the end, and let the wedding party leave first when it's over."
"Good, then we won't have to threaten your lives to make sure neither of you misbehaves," Jordan grinned back at them.
Shaking his head, Chris rolled his brown eyes much like his father did. "We're not little kids anymore. And they do throw federal agents in jail for murder too."
"Only if we're caught, dear."
A few minutes later, Jordan pulled up in front of a large, slate blue house with white trim. Brightly colored flowers surrounded the emerald green lawn. A wooden porch appeared to wrap around the entire house. Driving by slowly, Jordan could see the bright, blue ocean through the gap between Castle's house and his neighbor's.
"Whooooooooah," the kids exclaimed in unison.
Mike let out a long whistle. "Dang. I got into the wrong business. If I knew this is what a writer got, I would've quit being a teacher a long time ago."
Chuckling, Jordan rolled down her window. A woman in a brown pants suit held a clipboard and stood next to a college aged boy dressed in a polo shirt and tan slacks.
"Good afternoon. May I have your name, please?"
After consulting her clipboard, the woman smiled. "Perfect. If your family would like to grab their things, you all can head into the house. Tommy here will park your car for you. Just place your beach bags in the front room, and go straight through to the back with the other guests."
"Thank you very much." Relinquishing the keys, Jordan and Mike helped their kids out of the car and gathered the bags. She smoothed Chris' shaggy hair. The rust color was a near match to her own auburn locks. They'd only recently begun to allow him to grow it out, it was sticking out over his ears in a manner she found messy but he found cool. While he had her hair and eye color, he looked almost exactly like Mike with the same square jaw and rounded nose. Looking at her daughter was like looking into a mirror. The only thing she'd inherited from her father was the blonde hair. Anna learned early on to take charge like her mother, and while Jordan was proud of her, she knew the two would butt heads in a few short years.
When they got inside, the four of them stopped to gawk at their surroundings. A creamy coffee color adorned the front room walls. A huge, incredibly comfy looking brown couch sat under large cover art pictures from Heat Wave, Naked Heat, Heat Rises, and the latest book, Heat of the Moment. Just beyond the front room, on the left hand side, was the entrance to a study; well, more like a library with its floor to ceiling bookcases. On the other side there was another small door and white stairs with dark brown trim leading to the second floor.
They left their things sitting against the wall opposite the couch, the pile of brightly colored bags appearing impatient to be outside in the sun. Jordan smiled to herself as they walked down the hallway. The walls were mounted with pictures of Castle and his family. Many were of his daughter and mother throughout the years, but there were some that included Beckett with the three of them along with a few of just the happy couple.
The Shaw family came to the kitchen, which looked as if it belonged on a television cooking show with its state of the art appliances and black, granite counter tops. The huge windows afforded them a spectacular view of the beach as the waves rolled gently in. Plates of sliced vegetables, fruits, crackers and cheeses covered the counter tops. The aroma of tangy, smoky baked beans mixed with the smell of grilled meat that came from outside making Jordan practically salivate.
The door leading outside to the beach opened and she was soon welcomed by Detective Ryan.
"Agent Shaw!" he greeted. "It's good to see you again."
"And even better that is has nothing to do with work."
He laughed, and she introduced him to the rest of her family.
"Well, before you head outside, I must give you each one of these." From a box on the counter, he fished out four small bells. "We're going to ring these at the end of the ceremony."
Anna, already began jingling hers, replied, "Cool."
"Castle's idea?" Jordan asked.
"Nope." Detective Ryan shook his head. "Mine. I thought Beckett would like it."
"I'm sure she will."
"Mom," Anna tugged excitedly on her dress. "Can we go outside now?"
"I'll take them," Mike offered. "So you two can catch up."
The words were barely out of her husband's mouth before the kids had already taken off through the sliding glass door. "Don't get dirty before the ceremony!" Jordan called after them. "Or wet!"
She sighed, turning back to Ryan. "Was it really wise to have a wedding on the beach with children present?"
"Or Castle present, for that matter? Alexis has been trying to keep him from playing outside all morning."
They both laughed as they heard other guests made their way into the house. "Excuse me." Ryan reached for more bells. "Let me give these people their bells and I'll be right back."
"Detective Ryan," she called, and he turned around. "Aren't we forgetting something?"
At his confused stared, she kept her expression neutral, but held out her hand expectantly. Shaking his head after a few moments, he reached into his pocket, handing her a thick stack of bills.
"Here you are. Two thousand dollars you won from the pool."
She flipped through the money before placing it in her purse. "Thank you"
"You're welcome. Just don't let Lanie see you walking around with that wad. She was pissed as hell when Castle and Beckett told us they were engaged. She was only one day off from winning."
Jordan just smirked. "Duly noted."
"How did you pinpoint the exact date Castle was going to propose?"
"Like a magician, profilers never reveal their secrets," was all she offered.
"Of course." Before he faced the newest guests, Ryan told her, "Just F.Y.I, there's another pool going for when we see the first Castle-Beckett kidling. Esposito is taking numbers and dates."
Where the hell is he? I need to find him before the ceremony. This house isn't that big.
Completing her fourth round of searching, Kyra Blaine sighed to herself. She'd been everywhere-the front, the back, the kitchen; she even peeked upstairs, but there was no sign of him. And she desperately needed to find him. It had been way too long.
Kyra smoothed the front of her strapless violet dress as she chose to wait by the staircase.
Nervously tapping her foot, she continued to look around impatiently. The more time that went by, the more anxiety she felt.
She looked down the hallway for the hundredth time as more people filed inside. When she turned, she nearly fell as Martha Rodgers bumped into her.
"Oh excuse me, dear I didn't mean…" Martha's apology stopped as she recognized the younger woman before her. "Kyra."
"Hi Martha," Kyra returned. "How are you?"
"I'm doing well." Eyeing her suspiciously, Martha crossed her arms over her chest. "I didn't expect to see you here."
Kyra blinked at the slight hostility in Martha's voice, but she answered politely. "I wasn't surprised to get the wedding invitation from Rick, and I didn't want to miss this. By any chance have you seen-"
But her question was immediately cut off. "Richard is upstairs getting ready to marry Kate."
"Um, okay." Kyra wrung her hands nervously. "Well, I really need to speak to-"
"No, dear. You really don't."
Huffing, Kyra cocked her head in confusion. What was Martha trying to pull? "Listen, I've been looking for the past twenty minutes and-"
It was then that Martha asked to speak to her privately. She followed Martha across the hall to the large study, away from all the traffic of the other guests.
Luckily, Martha didn't draw out the moment. She closed her eyes for a brief moment before taking a deep breath. "I know you and Richard have this long history together and that there were some unresolved feelings after you two broke up."
Krya's eyes widened when she realized where Martha was going. "Oh Martha, I'm not here for that."
But Martha was as unstoppable as tired New Yorkers trying to push on the F train at rush hour. "Now, I thought after the case with your friend's unfortunate death that you two had cleared the air, but…" Martha gestured to Kyra. "…with you here, there is obviously something still unresolved on your part."
"I think I need to explain-"
"No need to explain anything. I know why you're here." Crossing her arms over her chest, Martha eyed her sternly. "You want to make some last ditch effort to get Richard back."
Mouth hanging open, Kyra's mind went blank; she didn't even know how to begin to respond.
"Let me tell you something: Richard has waited a very, very, very, very long time to be with Kate. In fact, you could hear him cheer all the way in the Bronx when Kate first told him she loved him."
Kyra huffed again, and Martha's eyes widened causing Kyra to put her hands up. "I don't mean to disrespect what you're saying, but you definitely misunderstand why I'm here and who I'm looking for."
But Martha appeared not to care. "No I understand perfectly why you're here. Dressed in that." She spat out the last word, waving at Kyra's dress like it was some leather cat suit. "No husband in sight. There isn't exactly another message besides 'I'm here to get my ex-flame back!'"
Kyra turned to find Alexis, wearing a dumbfounded expression. The girl appeared torn between mortification and bursting out laughing. Next to Alexis was Kyra's husband, Greg.
"Greg!" Kyra exclaimed. "I've been looking everywhere for you. You two were gone for a long time, I was getting worried." Walking over to them, she held her arms out for their five month son, Aaron, who was propped on his shoulder.
"Martha, this is my husband, Greg," Krya pointedly stared at her. "He took our son outside when he started crying." Turning to her husband, she asked, "So what happened?"
Greg sighed. "I couldn't find his stuffed duck so I went back to the car. It must have fallen out of the diaper bag. Once I got Mister Quackers all was right with the world. I went looking for you when the bird decided to take a swan dive." He smiled at his own goofy joke. "Rick's daughter got it back to Aaron just before he could do another volume test, then she offered to help me find you."
Martha continued to work her jaw up and down several times before she finally managed, "Well, I'm...glad everything is all right now. It's, uh…It's very nice to meet you…Kyra's husband." She swallowed around a clearly embarrassed smile. "I was just telling Kyra what a pleasant surprise it was to see her today."
"I'd told Rick he'd better invite me to the wedding after Kate caught the bouquet at our wedding." Purposely, she ran her free hand down Greg's arm. Kyra remembered the moment clearly; at the small reception Rick had come by to congratulate her again. They talked, promising to remain friends and keep in touch with each other. Before he left, she informed him she better be there when he married Detective Beckett.
Even though they'd been dealing with their past at the time, it was obvious to Kyra that Rick cared deeply about the detective. Sputtering, Rick turned a bright shade of red as he insisted he and Kate were never getting together, let alone get married. Two and a half years later, she left him an "I told you so" voicemail on the day she received the "Save the Date" invitation.
"Well…that is so wonderful. You and Richard are still friends."
"Just friends," Kyra replied nicely.
Still flustered, Martha gestured aimlessly behind them. "I have to go check on…things…It was lovely to meet you." Her eyes had narrowed as Alexis' shoulders shook with silent laughter, the girl barely contained the snort she'd let out. "Come, dear." She grabbed the teenager as she hurried out of the room.
When Martha was out of earshot, Kyra threw her head back and laughed loudly, causing Aaron to giggle with his mother.
Greg's brow wrinkled in confusion. "What was that about?"
Kyra just shook her head. "There's a reason Martha is the actress and Rick is the mystery writer."
"Okay, we'd better get going. Dad is pacing at the altar and if we leave him there any longer, he's going to pace himself right into the sand."
Alexis looked out the back door again to see her father walking all over the small length of the gazebo, constantly looking back in her direction. To the untrained eye, it might look like he wanted to make sure Kate would be walking down the aisle. But to everyone that knew him, he was just too excited to marry her to stand still.
"Well, we can't exactly get going without the bride," Esposito commented. He then nudged Ryan. "Unless Kev here wants to take her place." The other detective sneered at him, making Jim laughed.
"Oh don't hide your true feelings, Esposito. We all know you want to be the one marrying Rick today."
The four of them turned to the sound of Kate's voice, finding her walking down the stairs, followed by Lanie and Martha. Of course Alexis had been there to see Kate getting ready, but she stilled grinned when she saw the detective. Kate looked absolutely stunning in a strapless, white dress with a lilac ribbon just above the waist. Alexis' and Lanie's dresses matched the color of the ribbon perfectly. The silk material then flowed down and swished around Kate's feet. Her hair was tied back in an elegant bun with tendrils framing her face. She wore her mother's ring and Martha's mother's pearl earrings and the biggest smile possible. Practically floating down the stairs, Kate joined them on the bottom floor.
"Damn, girl." Esposito studied her, hands in his pockets. "You clean up good."
"A crude way of saying, 'You look beautiful.'" Ryan corrected, earning him another elbow in the stomach from his partner.
"Oh, Katie." Taking his daughter's hand, Jim shook his head in amazement. "You are stunning."
"Dad…" she tried to sweetly admonish, but Jim wasn't having any of it.
"You've become everything we always wanted for you." He squeezed her hand. "I am very, very proud of you, and I know your mother is too," Jim said, his voice hoarse with emotion.
Biting her bottom lip, Kate's breath hitched while her eyes sparkled with tears. Alexis found herself wiping her own eyes. A quick glance revealed Lanie doing the same.
Luckily, Martha was there to bring a little levity back to the moment. "Okay, okay us ladies spent a long time doing our make-up. We can't have you messing it up before the ceremony. We need to make it through the pictures before we get all sweet and sentimental."
They spent the few minutes before the ceremony chatting idly, trying to put Kate at ease. Esposito and Ryan told lame jokes, and Martha told some embarrassing stories about Rick.
When the wedding planner came back and told them Judge Markoway was about to have Rick arrested for annoying him, they lined up for the procession.
Letting out a long, shaky breath, Kate closed her eyes. Alexis noticed a bit of a tremble in the other woman's hands.
"Remember, it's just Dad down at the end of the aisle," Alexis whispered to her.
"Exactly," Kate answered.
They shared a smile before Alexis squeezed her hand. For a long time, she'd questioned if Kate even loved her father half as much as he loved her. Kate, she learned, wasn't as open about her feelings as the Castles were with each other. But Alexis discovered that actions do truly speak louder than words. Like the first time Kate walked out of her father's bedroom early one morning to find Alexis and Rick engaged in a Wii lightsaber battle. Gina, and even her mother would have told Rick to put those silly toys away. But Kate simply got a cup of coffee, wishing them a "May the Force be With You." Heck, Kate had even joined on some of their Mario Kart tournaments and given Rick pointers when she walked in on a laser tag battle. Maybe Kate didn't give her "I love you's" as freely as the rest of the family, but she did tell him in her own way everyday.
The opening chords of Frank Sinatra's "It Can Happen to You" started, and Martha began down the aisle. She was followed by Lanie and Ryan, and then Alexis would be escorted by Esposito.
With a short bow, Esposito offered his arm. "Miss Little Castle."
Rolling her eyes, she hooked her arm around his. A long wooden aisle had been set up from the bottom of the stairs leading to a small, shaded gazebo. Beautiful, bright daisies, lilies, and violets ornamented the altar. A soft breeze blew the mix of floral scents all around them. Alexis smiled at her father when she reached the end, taking her place by Lanie. He looked so handsome standing there in his tux. He smiled like it was Christmas morning and he'd spotted Santa Claus placing all the gifts he wanted under the tree.
Finally, everyone stood up as Kate and Jim walked down the aisle. Alexis watched her father's eyes soften when he finally saw Kate. He seemed to ignore everything else as she came closer to him. When Kate had first stepped down from the deck, her grin widened at the sight of Rick.
Reaching the gazebo, Jim kissed Kate gently on the forehead before placing her hand in Rick's and taking a seat up front beside Martha.
Clearing his throat, Judge Markoway began. "Friends and family, we are gathered here today to celebrate this very long awaited moment between Rick and Kate. What began as a grudgingly accepted deal of partnership, at least on Kate's part, blossomed into two souls finally finding their mates, and we are all very blessed to witness this next step in their lives together. If any person has just cause as to why these two shouldn't be married, let them speak now before a woman who holds the record for distance shooting at the range, several armed members of the NYPD, and the master of the macabre himself, or forever hold their peace.
Several people made discreet looks around. They all wanted to see who would be dumb enough to say something, because surely right after they spoke up that person would probably be dead.
"Smart people," Judge Markoway continued. "As always, Rick being the modest writer he is, didn't think any other words would do besides his own…and of course Kate's." Gesturing at them expansively, he said, "You two may now share your vows."
When Kate turned, Alexis took her bouquet of flowers, and gave her the ring in return. Taking a deep breath, Kate visibly tightened her grip on Rick's hands. "When Roy first told me you be shadowing me, I wondered what the hell I'd done to deserve that kind of punishment. You were talkative, annoying, immature, and obnoxious. You insisted 'the butler did it' or some sort of CIA conspiracy theory. You teased me endlessly, pulled my pigtails, and made me seriously consider plotting a murder," she grinned. "But mostly, you were there. You were always there. Whether I wanted you or nor, whether I needed you or not. You still kept showing up. And it was then I realized having you in my life wasn't a punishment. It was a gift."
Kate's voice turned hoarse. "I didn't want to admit it, but you made all of those sappy songs make sense a long time ago. And then I found you sweet, charming, and yes ruggedly handsome." Rick, of course, nodded in agreement. Disentangling their fingers, she slid his ring on. Kate's hands shook as much as her next words. "I promise to look for double rainbows with you, indulge in your culinary creations, and always leave cookies for Santa, but mostly I promise to love you. Always."
The tears Alexis' father had been trying to hold in slipped freely down his cheeks as he chuckled. "Well, now you can't say anything when I bring you a s'morelette for breakfast tomorrow." That earned a ripple of smirks through the small crowd. He then sniffled. "Jeez, how am I supposed to follow that?" Swallowing, Rick took his own deep breath. "I guess I'll give it a shot.
"Kate, I thought I'd be following you for just a couple of weeks. See a couple of dead bodies, play good cop, bad cop with some suspects and I'd be on my way. Turns out you were way more fascinating than the toys and technology the forensics guys had." He ran his thumb over her knuckles. "I told you once that I knew you were a mystery I was never going to solve, and even though as a mystery writer, I am always looking for the story, I…I'm okay with that. Because it just means I get to spend the rest of my life trying to.
"I was honored that you called me your partner, because it meant that the annoying, immature guy got a place in your life. But I am more honored that you are calling me soulmate today. I promise look for unicorns with you, to make everyday magical, find new and fun ways to make you laugh, but mostly I promise to love you. Always."
If Alexis had any remaining doubts about her father and Kate, they'd just been erased. No one could ignore the sincerity and fierceness in their voices as they pledged their lives to one another. After he and Gina had gotten divorced, she'd wondered if there was any woman out there that would put up with her dad's craziness and his one-of-a-kind, energetic personality. It turned out to be Kate, and really Alexis couldn't have asked for anyone better for him.
Judge Markoway picked up the ceremony again. "Marriage might be seen as the end of this story, but that is hardly true. This is only the beginning of the next set of stories in your lives. You two have many, many more chapters to write ahead of you. So to begin that next chapter, by the power vested in me, by the state of New York, I now pronounce you husband and wife. You may now-well, I don't why I bothered to say anything!" the judge laughed as he finished.
Of course her father couldn't wait. Even as the judge made his pronouncement, Rick moved toward Kate, wrapping his arms around her waist. They sank into a long, sweet kiss, like there wasn't a person around them.
Esposito let out a "whoop" and started shaking the bell he'd hidden in his pocket, signaling everyone else should do the same. Soon, a chorus of jingling filled the air, making both Rick and Kate laugh against each others lips. The two headed back to the house amidst the bells, clapping, and cheering.
When the rest of the wedding party finally joined them, Rick immediately engulfed his daughter in a bear hug that Alexis thought would break her ribs.
"I'm so happy for you, Dad," she told him after she wheezed for him to let her go.
"Thank you, Pumpkin," he replied cheerfully. Her dad looked so carefree and happy that she feared he might just float away with the breeze like a balloon.
Turning to Kate, the two women shared a less crushing, but no less intimate embrace.
"Thank you for letting me become a part of your family," Kate whispered.
"Thank you for loving him, for loving us," Alexis whispered back.
The two women let each other go, and Alexis knew they'd both be reapplying eye makeup before the photographer started taking pictures. She watched with a soft smile as Rick reattached himself to Kate's side.
She'd thought if Rick was ever lucky enough remarried, she'd being giving up her father to his new wife. But really Alexis hadn't lost anything. Not only was her father happy, but she'd been gifted two new family members in Kate and Jim. Alexis was the lucky one.
She laughed at her poetic turn of thought. She was definitely Richard Castle's daughter.