As writers we ask a lot from complete strangers. Not only do we expect them to want to read our stories based on a twenty word summary, but we then expect them to read our story, enjoy it and then write a review. Whether they write a review or not, they still receive a new chapter or a new story. So there really isn't much of an incentive to write a review, right? Well there is one very special reviewer out there who doesn't read your chapter once she reads it twice, like Santa. She then goes and writes a constructive, helpful and fun review. I came back onto the fan fic scene earlier this year; my intention was to write 1 short little fic and then move on to reading others. It has been ten years since I was heavily into the fan fic scene. Thanks to her helpful and rewarding reviews of my story Strange, Weird and Wonderful, I decided to embark on another writing journey, thus creating my now longest fic ever, Ain't No Mountain High Enough. During one of our many discussions she mentioned that when she entered the Castle Secret Santa challenge that she was the only one who requested a story about Castle and Beckett meeting Santa. This really surprised her and made me think, this is what she would really like to read a story about. And how can she read a story, that hasn't been written? So I decided to write it for her as a Xmas present despite the fact that I wasn't her secret Santa.
So to author and fantastic reviewer Little Lizzie Zentara. Thank you for your wonderful reviews; you truly are an amazing person. Our friendship over the past few months has been an unexpected delight. Thank you so much, Merry Christmas.
The Magic of Christmas
Beckett woke with a start; she wasn't sure why she had woken up. She instantly grabbed the gun under her pillow, something was wrong. Someone was in her home, she heard them moving around. Sitting up, she stealthily made her way towards the sound of someone shuffling around. Spying a huge frame waking towards her Beckett raised her arms and pointed her gun at the figure.
"NYPD, stop where you are."
The figure before her shot up his hands.
"Don't shoot. I mean you no harm."
Beckett continued to point her gun as she fumbled with the light switch. When the light came on Beckett stared in shock. Never in a million years could she have imagined that the person who had broken into her apartment would be dressed the way this man was dressed.
"Please Ms. Beckett, I need your help."
"Who are you? How do you know my name?" Beckett glanced over towards her front door which was closed. "How did you get in here?"
The man before her lowered his hands and placed them on his belly as he gave out a loud jolly laugh.
"Hands up!" She yelled at the intruder.
"Ms. Beckett, I mean you no harm. There has been a murder and tomorrow is Christmas Eve. I need your help to figure out who did it or I can't do my job and you must realise how important it is."
Beckett shook her head. What!
"Look, if there has been a murder than call 911, don't go breaking into my apartment."
"Calling 911 isn't really possible where I live and I didn't break into your apartment."
"Then how did you get in? And you still haven't answered my question: Who are you?"
The man laughed again. "Ms. Beckett, do I really need to answer either of those questions?"
"If you don't want to get shot, yes."
The man gave a laugh again. "I can see why you are so good at your job. The answer to both of your questions is that I am Santa Claus."
Beckett starred at the man in the red suit.
"Right, now who are you really?"
The man shook his head. "Always the sceptic. I guess you need proof."
Beckett watched in shock as her white flannel arm that was holding the gun at the man in front of her was suddenly covered in red wool. Glancing down she saw that she was now fully clothed. Jeans, boots, red coat. What the…?
"What's going on?"
"I told you, Ms. Beckett, there has been a murder at the North Pole. I need you and your team to come with me now and find out who did it. Please."
Beckett looked at the man before her. His suit looked to be made of good quality fabric, not like those almost see through ones Santas on street corners wore. His boots were super shinny and black and she had to admit his beard looked real.
"Ok so maybe you are who you say you are. Who was murdered?"
"My Reindeer Wrangler."
Beckett raised her eyebrows. "Reindeer Wrangler?"
"He is the elf that is in charge of looking after my reindeers. He trains them, looks after what they eat, everything. He was found dead and I need to find out who did it. I can't have a bad seed on my team. I need to find out who killed him before Christmas Eve. I can't deliver presents if there is a bad vibe at the North Pole; it taints all the gifts I deliver. I don't want to have another repeat of the Christmas of 76."
Beckett contemplated what he had said.
"Ok, so you want me to go with you to figure out who killed your Reindeer Wrangler."
Santa nodded at her. "Yes and time is of the essence. Christmas Eve is tomorrow, after all."
Beckett nodded at him. She was still a bit confused. Santa had come into her apartment and wanted her to solve a murder. Yes it was weird but if what Santa said was true, Christmas was on the line here. It had been years since she had really celebrated Christmas but she didn't want to be the reason others couldn't enjoy it.
"Umm ok, let's go." She walked towards the door when Santa placed a hand on her shoulder to stop her.
Beckett heard the jingle of bells and then was suddenly standing on the street outside her apartment. Before her stood a horse and carriage similar to those that took tourists through Central Park, except this was a little different. Eight horses were attached to the carriage which seemed a bit of an over kill considering at the moment there were only four people in the carriage.
"Lanie, Esposito, Ryan, Jenny. What are you guys doing here?"
"Santa needed us to help solve a murder," Ryan told her.
Jenny held up her hand. "I'm just along for the ride." She then quickly tucked it back under the blanket she was sharing with Ryan and Esposito.
"If you could get in, Ms. Beckett, we still have one more stop to make."
Beckett climbed into the carriage and took the empty seat next to Lanie before the carriage took off.
"Thank goodness you're here, girl. I am freezing!"
Beckett pulled the blanket over herself and snuggled close to her friend.
"I offered to sit with you instead of making a Ryan sandwich with Jenny."
Lanie shook her head at Esposito who was sitting across from her. "I am not going to respond to that with Santa sitting behind me and Christmas one day away."
Beckett rubbed her hands over her ears as the wind whipped past and chilled her body. She now understood why Santa wore a hat. Within no time the carriage pulled up in front of a familiar looking building.
Santa turned from his position at the reins to address his travel companions.
"I'll just go and get Mr. Castle. Hopefully I won't be as long as last time." He then disappeared in front of their eyes.
"What took you so long, Beckett?" Ryan and Jenny had been Santa's first stop. The couple then had to wait for Esposito, then Lanie, then Beckett who by far had taken the longest.
"A guy in a red suit comes into my apartment in the middle of the night; you don't think I'm going to ask questions?"
Beckett turned to see Castle climbing into the carriage and taking the seat next to her. He picked up the blanket edge and covered himself with it. Santa climbed into the driver's seat and started his team of horses.
"Santa, you were gone like a second."
Santa shrugged. "All I said was I needed his help to solve a murder at the North Pole, I didn't even have to show him magic first."
Castle rubbed his hands together. "This is so cool. Santa needs our help to solve a murder."
"Hold on, everyone."
The gang watched as the horses gained speed at an alarming rate. The sound of jingle bells could be heard before the carriage they were in changed into a bright red sleigh. The horses then transformed into reindeer and lifted off the ground. The eyes of everyone in the carriage bulged out of their heads.
"Beckett, check this out!" Castle said, pointing to the glittering lights below.
Beckett leaned over Castle to look at the lights below but the wind gathered up her hair, blocking her view. Her leather gloved hand swatted at her face trying to clear her view. Castle elbowed her while trying to dig something out of his pocket. He produced a woolen item and handed it to her.
"Here, I know you normally don't wear a hat but I figured if we are going to be dashing through the snow you might need one."
Beckett took the item and placed it on her head before leaning over again, watching the lights of New York City get smaller and smaller.
"Ok team lets go. Now Daniel, Now, Dawn! Now, Paul, and Violet! On, Chris! On, Charlie! On, Don and Bob!"
The gang looked at each other and frowned. Bob! Finally Castle took the initiative.
"Ah Santa, aren't the reindeers called Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen? Oh, and we can't forget Rudolf. At least they are in all the story books and writers never get the details wrong." He chose that point to look at his friends who had raised their eye brows at him. "Well, thanks to you guys I never get the details wrong."
Santa laughed. "This is my 'B team.' You never hear about them in the stories. The reindeers you know and love are my 'A team'. I use my 'B team' to get around and if anyone on my 'A team' isn't up to standard on Christmas Eve."
"Santa has an 'A Team', that is so cool!" Castle gushed with delight.
Authors Note: Ok just a warning this story is going to be weird and unusual. I am taking certain liberties with Christmas folk lore and adjusting it to my liking; you may never look at Christmas the same way again.
Make my Christmas and review pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease.