Disclaimer: I have no ownership of these characters.

Kate Beckett loses a bet to Richard Castle and finds herself spending the Christmas holidays with him and his family at his cabin, Victory Lodge, in the Catskills. What happens under the Moonlight and Mistletoe? -fluffy & full of sexually descriptive smut- Join me as we explore their story.

Author's Notes:

This is my first published fanfic, so please bear with me. I really hope you like it. This is a Christmas themed story. This chapter is basically build-up.

In upcoming chapters, you'll get a lot of fluff, tons of adventurous sex, light bondage even, and some very nice surprises.

This is an AU story. Montgomery is still alive, and Beckett has not been shot. Castle is at the precinct for his fourth year.

Paula


Kate Beckett sits at her desk, putting the finishing touches to the case file she is working on. She stops and looks at her watch, it's 9:00pm on the Friday after Thanksgiving. She'd been at work for over 17 hours today and is so very, very tired. The past several months have been extremely hard on the detectives of the 12th Precinct.

Kate sighs, realizing she hasn't had a "real" day off in over 2 months. Her team has been working straight through their normal off days. She puts her pen down and stretches her arms above her head. What she wouldn't give for a luxuriously long bubble bath, and to curl up with a good book in front of the fire.

She looks at Esposito and Ryan and they both look haggard as well. Ryan never complains, but he's trying to help Jenny plan their wedding, and he feels guilty for being missing-in-action so much. Esposito's relationship with Lanie is taking a toll as well, due to their long work hours and non-existent days off.

She looks to her left at Rick. He's kicked back in his chair, with his arm on her desk, his closed fist holding his head up, sound asleep. Even in sleep he looks exhausted. She smiles to herself, thinking he's come so far; he stays through all the long hours, just like her and the boys. Sure he doesn't do a lot of work, but he's there for moral support as well as food runs.

Speaking of food, she'd give her right leg for a home-cooked meal right about now. She sighs once more, and goes back to working on the file in front of her.

Several moments later, Captain Montgomery opens his door, and shouts out, "Beckett, you and your team get in here." Kate gets up and pushes Rick's arm which makes his head drop, resulting in waking him up.

"C'mon Castle, Captain wants to talk to all of us." Beckett says, as Rick rubs his eyes. The team makes their way into the Captain's office. As they all enter the office, Kate says "You wanted to see us, Sir?"

Montgomery stares at the four members that make up this team, and nods his head. "I know it's been a very long hard year for the four of you, and I commend you all on a job well done. I know you all are looking forward to your week off at Christmas, and I also know how much you all need that time. However, the Brass is coming down on me to cut back on the overtime till the New Year. So here's the deal - finish up the files you are working on right now, and then get out of here. I don't want to see any of you until the 9th of January, do I make myself clear? You're all on time off until then. Relax, and get the rest you all need. Spend some time with the families you've been neglecting as of late. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to each of you. Now, go and enjoy."

The "Fantastic Four," as the others at the precinct had dubbed them, just stand there with their mouths open. Kate opens her mouth to respond back to the Captain, but he gives her a look that tells her this is NOT negotiable. All four of them express their thanks to the Captain, and exit his office.

Rick's first thought is, "Six weeks without seeing Kate, and at the holidays? No way!" The four make their way back to their desks/chairs pondering the mandatory leave they have all just been given.

Rick stands facing his chair, and looks at Kate. "Want a coffee?" Kate nods her head yes, so Rick heads to the break room. Once there, Rick pulls out his phone and dials his old friend Jacob.

Esposito looks at Ryan, who looks like he's still in shock. "Yo bro, Jenny's going to be ecstatic."

Ryan nods. "Yeah, she'll be excited all right, and this will give me time to get so much done. She's been doing the majority of the work herself, and I know she's dragging along. I bet Lanie will love the news as well."

Esposito shoots out of his chair. "Shit, I better run tell her!"

Ryan says "You could just call?" with a laugh.

Esposito shoots him a look. "Not with this kind of news, this I need to tell her in person." Then he turns and rushes to the elevators.

Ryan looks up at Kate. "Hey Beckett, got any plans for the holidays?"

"Not really, Dad hasn't mentioned anything special this year yet".

Rick returns from the break room, hands Kate her coffee, and sits down.

"Why don't we start our time off right, lets all meet at the Old Haunt when we leave, drinks are on me?"

Ryan looks up again, "Hey, I'm in, let me call Jenny to meet us!"

"Make sure to call Esposito too, and get him to invite Lanie. I'll go invite the Captain too. Beckett, what about you?"

"Sure Castle, I'll stop by for just a little bit."

Rick jumps back up and heads to the Captain's office. "Great, let me tell the Captain, and then I'm going to head over. See you all there."


A few hours later, they're all sitting around "their" table. Many months earlier, Rick had the barkeep install the chrome plaque he had made; on the wall by their table. RESERVED for the 12th' was beautifully scripted.

Ryan and Jenny are cuddled in the corner, talking softly to each other. Faint giggles can be heard now and then.

Esposito and Rick are involved in a serious game of pool, while Lanie and Kate cat-call behind them. Just as Esposito is aiming to take his shot, Lanie walks up and runs her hand across his ass. Needless to say, he misses his shot.

"Damn chica, look what you made me do!"

Lanie smiles innocently at him. "Sorry sweet-cheeks" she laughs.

Rick exclaims, "I won! Sorry Javi, you snooze you lose".

Kate looks at Rick all smug from his win. "All right Hot-Shot, bet I CAN beat you!"

Rick studies Kate for a moment. "Sure, let's do this. But let's raise the stakes. If I win, you and your father spend the holidays with us."

Kate ponders what he's said a moment. "OK Castle, what's a few hours? But if I win, you have to help me paint my new apartment."

Rick smiles, thinking, "This is a win/win bet for me." He chuckles silently.

"Sure Beckett, you're on. Do you want to break or shall I?"

The game swiftly moves along. Esposito informs Ryan and Jenny of the stakes of the bet. The gang proceeds to seriously try to frazzle the two players.

Finally, Rick winks at Kate. "Eight ball in the corner pocket."

"Ha! Castle you'll NEVER make that shot!"

"Oh detective, you have such little faith!" He proceeds to take his aim, and lands the shot.

"Booyah!"

The others laugh at Rick's excitement. Kate cocks her head and looks at Rick.

"Ok you hustler, you'll have to let me know your plans and when we should show up."

"Oh, my dear, dear detective, we leave tomorrow at noon."

"What? Tomorrow? Leave?"

"Yes Beckett, we'll all be spending the holidays at my cabin in the Catskills. Make sure to pack a lot of warm clothes. They've already had a ton of snow fall."

"Castle, I can't possibly spend the entire holiday up there!"

"Beckett, a bet is a bet, you agreed, and you lost!"

"Besides, my father will never go for it!"

"Too late Beckett, I already called your dad, and by now he's packed and ready!"

"You did what? You mean to tell me you already had this all planned?"

"Well, umm, it was going to be a surprise, but you made it SO much easier."

"Castle, I'm NOT spending the entire next month playing house with you!"

"Beckett, you need the time away, time to regroup and rest up. It will be fun, I promise. Besides, it won't be just me. Alexis, Ashley, Mother and your dad will all be there too! You'll have your own room. What do you have to lose by going?" Rick explains.

"My sanity! Spending more than twenty-four hours with you will surely find me needing to be committed." She shakes her head and adds, "No, absolutely not."

Lanie winks at Rick. "Kate, you've always been a woman of your word. Girl, you bet, you lost. You wouldn't want people to question your word, would you? Time to pay the piper."

Esposito pipes in, "Yeah, Beckett, you wouldn't want people doubting your word. Besides, maybe we can come up and visit sometime."

The Captain tosses a wink at Rick, and adds to the conversation. "Beckett, this is just what the doctor ordered. Who knows, you might even enjoy yourself a little." He leans closer and gives her his 'serious look'. "You know, a leader always keeps their word."

Rick winks at Roy, Lanie and Esposito. "OK, one more round, and then I need to head home and finish a few things up tonight."

Kate thinks for a few minutes, and knows she doesn't have a choice. They are all standing behind Rick, and the bet. There's no way out. Hell, even her father has agreed to this insane idea. She decides to let it go, and keeps further arguments to herself. The drinks arrived, and the gang wanders back to their table.

Ryan, Jenny and Roy leave shortly after, and then Kate decides it is time for her to leave as well.

When the pub-door closes, Lanie turned to Rick. "That was a smooth move, writer-boy. You better take good care of my girl."

"Yeah bro, just remember, you hurt her, you answer to me. And it won't be pretty." Esposito replies.

Rick cringes. "Guys, you don't have to worry. I'll never let anything happen to Kate. She'll come home unharmed."

The pair seems happy with that statement, and the three of them leave the bar, agreeing to meet up again at the Old Haunt to celebrate the New Year.


Kate enters her apartment, hangs her coat, and drops her keys, gun and badge on the entry table by the door. She pours herself a glass of wine and stretches out on her couch.

Richard Castle sure was driving her crazy. He planned this little "trip" assuming she would readily agree to go. If she hadn't been tricked into the bet, would she have agreed to go otherwise? Yeah, she probably would have caved in, simply because of her Dad. How had he convinced her Dad to go? Why had he not said a word to her? She felt like they were all conspiring behind her back.

After finishing her wine, she heads to her bedroom to begin packing. While she is packing, her phone rings.

"What now, Castle?"

"Such a cheerful greeting there, Beckett. I was just calling to tell you to be sure to bring a swimsuit, a short coat, your gloves/mittens, and a nice dress."

"Castle? A swimsuit in the middle of winter?"

"Yeah Beckett, the cabin has a semi-enclosed hot-tub, and I'm sure you wouldn't want to go naked. Or would you?"

"No, no, Castle, thanks for the heads up. I've barely started packing, so let me get off here and get that done."

"OK Beckett, until tomorrow then."

Kate continues to finish packing and then climbs into a steaming bubble bath, talking to herself.

"This is going to be one interesting holiday; I wonder what all Castle has planned? I cannot BELIEVE I got myself into this mess! I must have lost my mind."

She relaxes and slides deeper into the tub to enjoy her bath.


Note:

I really hope you enjoyed the setup of what will be a multi-chaptered Christmas fic.

Stay tuned for all the activities and excitement (and tons of sex) to come.

I promise this story will heat up in the future chapters.

Hope you enjoy. Let me know what you think, please!

Paula