31

"C'mon, wake up."

"Mmm mmm." Castle pulled the pillow tighter over his face to block out the light and her voice. He never thought that would happen, but he didn't want to hear her waking him just yet. "Too early. On a Sunday."

"Not just a Sunday, Castle. Easter Sunday."

"So?" he grumbled. "It's not like we've got little kids opening Easter baskets."

Kate smirked. Not yet, she thought.

"That's not what Easter's about. Get up. I want to go to church. I want you to come with."

He peeked incredulously from under his pillow. "Whyyy? It's not like you believe in that stuff."

Kate huffed as she sat on the bed next to his bare torso. "I don't not believe it."

That piqued his interest. "You, who scoffed whenever I brought up a suggestion of anything otherworldly or supernatural, think there could be a God?"

Kate swallowed, trying to find the right words. "Are you saying that you, who believes in aliens, ghosts, and zombies, doesn't think there could be a God?"

"Um, I don't know. But, really, Kate… really?"

She licked her lips and smiled. "Really, Castle. I have an open mind. That means I'm open to the possibility. There's evidence that could sway me to believing there was a Creator. Then there's the part of me who really wants to believe the Easter message. Maybe it's bull, like your zombies, but maybe not. I, for one, like the idea of a new life, a second chance… a clean slate. Everyone associated with my mom's case used the phrase 'because of my many sins,' and were trying to atone for their past. But Easter… someone else loves us enough to take the burden of our sins. I used to not comprehend even the concept that someone would die for me, would bear my burdens for me… would love me enough to think I'm worth the sacrifice…."

Kate took a deep breath. Castle's eyes watered, her words hitting too close to home. She looked into his eyes and continued, "But you make it easier to believe. I know you'd do those things for me. So, if there's a God, then, maybe He'd do it, too."

Rick lifted himself to her to offer a slow, adoring kiss. He smiled and softly answered, "Okay. I'll go."

He headed to the closet to pick out a suit, so she followed. She wrapped her arms around him from behind and murmured against his shoulder blade, "Thank you. I love you."

He turned, his back brushing his collection of costumes, and kissed her again. They were back where they were when this all started, the electricity between them different. No fear, full of hope, and knowing without a doubt that this wouldn't be their last time dressing up for church: at some point in the near future, they wouldn't be dressing up in a suit and a dress, they'd be putting on a tux and a white gown.

He kissed the tip of her nose before letting go. "I love you, too."


xoxo

A/N: Please review! They're addictive like homemade blackberry ice cream, blackberries straight out of my garden.

This is the end, and I SOOO appreciate all the reviews & alerts & favorites! Y'all make me feel so good!