DISCLAIMER: Castle and everything about it belong to AWM, TEM, and ABC, not me. I'm gaining nothing from this except fun and writing experience.
Having said that, I dedicate this little story to my fellow Sundae Sisters over at the 12th and on the ABC boards. This is also dedicated to all of us girls who have girl crushes on Beckett/SK because we admire everything about her as well as her cool wardrobe. Thanks also to fellow fanfictionier KrisWritesWrongs, author of Kate Gets Her Just Desserts, for a bit of inspiration concerning this little ditty.
THE CASE OF THE WRANGLED WARDROBE
Kate smiled radiantly, walking out of her bedroom with an energetic bounce to her steps. Tonight was special. Tonight was a first. Tonight was her and Castle's first real date. They were going to the Angelica for a night of movies. She was wearing a flirty top with a lower neckline, a pair of stylish jeans, and a rocking set of heels. She had restyled her long, auburn hair in soft waves so that it curled over her shoulders and she'd touched up her makeup. She looked beautiful.
Castle stared a moment and took in the lovely feminine vision before him. His appreciative gaze lingered and then ran up and down her slim form. His breath caught slightly in his throat. Smiling sweetly at her, he walked over nearer to her as his eyes sparkled with a passionate light that shone for her and her alone.
"You look beautiful," he said in a husky voice as he took her hands in his and then lightly kissed her rosy lips. "Ready?" he asked.
"Yeah and thanks," she breathed, dimpling a small smile as a light blush spread across her cheeks and her eyes twinkled like stars. "Just let me get my coat," she said in a seductive tone, her voice thick and sweet like honey.
Walking over to the closet near the entry, she opened the closet door, and then stopped dead in her tracks.
The closet was empty!
"What the…? Where the hell are my coats?" Kate exclaimed loudly as her eyes widened in astonishment under brows furrowed in confusion and her mouth dropped open in disbelief.
"Um, I don't know," Castle stammered, walking up behind her, seeing empty hangers and blank spaces on the clothes rack.
"Did you do this to tease me because it's our first real date?" Kate asked, turning her head to look at him as she pursed her lips in amusement while cocking a brow.
"No, I didn't," he said, answering with an honest smile. "If I was going to hide anything of your apparel to tease you tonight, I'd hide all that sexy lingerie I know must be in your dresser," he added in his smooth, velvety voice with a lopsided grin, seductively wiggling his brows at her.
Kate, clearly understanding his suggestive comment, looked back at him softly snorting a chuckle at his flirty remark.
"You're a big flirt. Ok, smartie. Then who the hell took my stuff?" she asked, nervously laughing.
"The Fashion Police?" he offered, noticing as he said it, the doubting look crossing her face that said 'not likely'. "No, wait. They came and took your wonderful, stylish coats to give to this year's winners of the worst dressed list."
Kate stared at him a moment and then giggled despite the fact she was annoyed about the disappearance of her property and intrigued about what sort of odd ball suspect would steal clothes.
Castle, in an effort to help solve this cockeyed mystery and get them on their way to the theater for their date night, looked away from her and let his eyes scan the closet for any clue or evidence that could explain the mysterious disappearance of Kate's garments. He was just as curious as she was. Glancing down to the floor of the closet, he spotted a folded piece of paper near the open door that appeared to have something written on it.
"Is that your old grocery list?" he questioned, pointing to it.
"No," Kate said cautiously, leaning over and picking up the paper. She unfolded it and read the message out loud.
'Dear Detective Beckett,
If you are reading this note, then obviously you've discovered that your coats are missing.'
"No shit, Sherlock," Kate growled and then continued reading the note.
'Because we admire you so much, really like your wardrobe, and want to look just like you, we've taken it and we're holding it for ransom. If you want your things returned, then hand over The Writer.
The Sundae Sisters'
"Oh shit," Castle muttered.
"The Sundae Sisters? Are they those fangirls gone wild that I saved you from, who had you in a kiddy pool doused with ice cream and whatever else that was?"
"Yeah, that's them," Castle groaned, clearing his throat.
"Then let's go, Castle. We're getting my coats back," she said enthusiastically, tugging on his arm while she kept hold of the note.
"Won't you be cold without a coat?"
"I've got one in the other closet," Kate urged, quickly walking into her bedroom. She slid open the doors to that closet. Moving aside hangers of pants and blouses to retrieve her favorite jean and leather jacket she stopped, narrowing her eyes, as she spied empty hangers where there should have been garments.
"Ok, this is a bit ridiculous!"
"They took stuff from this one too?" Castle asked incredulously as he was following her into the room.
"Yes," Kate stiffly answered.
"Is there more on the note?" Castle questioned with a hesitant smile, thinking there could be more clues on the message, as he tried to ease Kate's growing anger.
Kate looked again at the note in her hand and briskly turning it over read out loud again.
'P.S. If you think you have one coat left in the other closet, guess again. We took it when we found and confiscated your shoes and dresses. Ha ha ha.'
"Ok, now I'm pissed," Kate growled with a frown on her face. "I don't believe this! They took my coats, Castle! My shoes! My dresses! What next? My coffee?"
"Apparently, they want to take me…again."
"That's not funny Rick. I can't believe they did this. They took my stuff to get to you. They even took that beautiful red dress you bought me," she said sadly, frowning. "Even that blue designer one."
"Ah, yes that bandage style one you wore to the Heat Wave party that you were totally smoking hot in," he mused with a smile.
"Rick," she scoffed, lightly thumping him in the chest with a bit of a smile despite the upsetting circumstances.
"Well, you were. So, now what?"
"We're going to get my stuff back, damn it," she enunciated, her voice louder.
"Calm down, honey," Castle soothed in a soft voice, purposely letting an endearment slip to get Kate to relax.
"I thought we had an agreement with them from before," Kate complained.
"Yeah, I thought we did too. Obviously, they've renegotiated the terms on their own volition."
"Obviously," she surmised. "So, any ideas on getting my stuff back?"
Rick thought a moment and his expression clearly showed ideas taking form and being considered. Then, a look of enlightenment brightened his face and taking his phone from his pocket, he rapidly keyed in a message with his fingers flying over the buttons.
"There, done," he announced.
"What'd you do?"
"I got onto my official site and left a message on their board saying for all of them to meet me at that place we were at before. Course they don't know you'll be with me." He looked at her then with a thoughtful gaze realizing that this whole crazy mystery was threatening to ruin their entire special evening together.
"Guess this does it for our date, huh," he sighed, looking away from her with a disappointed look darkening his handsome features.
"Yeah, I guess. Oh Rick. Are we ever going to have an evening together without any interruptions?" Her was voice breathy, but sounded despondent with an underlying note of frustration.
"I hope so," he sighed, slightly shaking his head. "But you want your stuff back right?"
"Yeah," she agreed. "Damn, it's Bogie and Bacall night and I had my heart set on Bogie."
"Well, I had my heart set on Bacall. But…"
"But I want tonight for us, Rick, because it's the right time. We're finally in tune with the universe."
"Then I guess we're going Sundae Sister hunting and…"
"And when we find them I'll arrest their sorry asses and charge them with B&E, felony theft, and whatever else I can think of."
"Cut them some slack. Kate…"
"Why?" she sternly interrupted. "You can't be supporting them."
"No, of course not, but I'm sure they don't mean any harm. They just want to be like you like they said. You know, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery."
'I'll flatter them," Kate added.
"Look when we find them try not to be too angry. Just let them have me for a bit, I'll have a nice talk with them, and get your stuff back."
"No way! You're mine and that's that," Kate enunciated, emphatically slicing the air horizontally with her hand.
"I'm yours….now I like the sound of that," his look brightened at her possessiveness. "Come on. Let's go."
Kate smiled at his exuberance and grabbed one of her old, oversized, super thick sweaters from a shelf in the closet. Pulling on the sleeves of the sweater she tugged it over her head and pulled it down around her slim form.
"Will you be warm enough in that?" he asked.
"It'll do," she replied. "This sweater is very warm. I'll be fine." She gently touched his cheek with her hand. "You're sweet to be worried about me getting chilled but I'm never cold when I'm with you."
"Um huh, I heat you up that much, huh?" he whispered with a smile and a mischievous gleam in his eyes.
"You know you do," she purred as the smoldering heat of desire in her eyes matched the sparkle in his.
Their gazes lingered and for a brief moment the only thing that mattered was the intense and fiery love between them. She warred with herself to tear her look away from the intoxicating and hypnotic effect of the smoldering look in his blue eyes. Then, forcing herself to concentrate on the mystery at hand, even though she was quickly losing herself in the fire of his eyes, Kate tore her stare from his and cleared her throat.
"Ah, Rick, my stuff…"
"Right, oh right," he nodded his head as the mystified, enchanted, and dreamy look in his eyes vanished while he refocused his concentration on the reality of the mystery they were solving.
Walking quickly out of the bedroom and into the living room, Kate and Castle hurried toward the door of her apartment. She fetched her car keys from the counter while Castle opened the door. Rushing out of the apartment and noisily shutting the door behind them, they ran downstairs, outside, and trotted to her car. There was no time to lose.
Throwing open the car doors, they jumped inside and Kate jammed the key into the ignition making the engine fire to life. She revved the motor, shoved it in gear, and whipped the car into the nearest lane. Stomping the accelerator, she gunned the Crown Vic down the street several blocks and then squealed the tires roaring into a right hand turn. Castle braced himself with a stiff arm against the dash and his breath came in excited gasps. They were on the chase.
Clearly, Kate remembered precisely where the Sundae Sisters had held Castle during that interesting dessert escapade. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, especially when that woman's a cop. She was a woman on a mission and no one would stop her until she'd gotten back her clothes.
After speeding several more blocks and rounding a few more turns, Kate screeched the car to a stop in front of an old brick building with limestone headers over the windows. Apparently, from the faded painted on lettering across the front windows, the building had been, at some point in its past, a confectionary business. This was the place.
Quickly and stealthily, Kate and Castle stepped out of the car. Kate drew her service piece from its holster on her hip and gauntleted it in her left palm. They both had looks of concentration etched on their faces. Cautiously, they made their way around the side of the building checking as they went for an entry.
Continuing around to the back of the building, keeping a look out for any suspects, they found an old metal door. They slowly and carefully approached the entry from either side listening intently for any sound coming from inside the building. Standing, with ears near the door, they heard the energetic giggling of several women. Castle moved over to Kate's side of the door in an effort to hear more clearly.
"That has to be them," Castle whispered to Kate with his face mere inches from hers.
"Got to be," Kate agreed in a hushed tone, smiling. "Let's get this done. I'm ready for popcorn, movies, and you holding me close, and not in that order."
"Ditto that," he replied, grinning at her honesty. Looking in her eyes he knew without asking what their plan of entry was.
Castle stayed by door and Kate moved more to the right side preparing to make her move. He slowly and quietly grasped the doorknob and prepared to turn it.
"Ready?" he asked.
Kate nodded her head with a look of determination hardening her eyes as she raised her gun.
Castle turned the knob and opened the door while Kate quickly glanced inside. Carefully, she moved forward with gun at the defensive ready for anything. Seeing their way was clear, she glanced at Castle and motioned with her head for him to follow. Quietly closing the door behind him, Castle came up next to her. Their eyes darting to and fro they continued deeper into the building.
The giggling grew louder as they neared an area bathed in the warm and flickering glow of candlelight. Kate and Castle stopped as they saw at least a dozen women roaming in and out of a room that looked Grecian in its décor. On the far wall, a mural of a Greek temple in a pastoral setting had been recently painted. Near a wall to the left, was what looked to be a sort of alter constructed of a large pane of glass laid across two tall, stone Grecian style pillars. The alter, covered with Castle's pictures and books, had a purple banner spread over it proclaiming he was the Patron Saint of All Thing Adorable. Over to the right side was a doorway draped with tied back purple curtains.
Three women were busy hanging familiar coats, two dresses, and removing pairs of high heeled shoes from two bags. Several other women were busy scooping chocolate ice cream into a purple kiddy pool that had been placed on an area rug in the middle of the room. Voices and giggling of the remaining women could be heard from a room to the right beyond the curtains.
Castle cocked an eyebrow at the scene before him and glanced at Kate. Kate's lips tightened as she scowled and then looked at Castle. Looking back at the women, Kate raised her gun to the ready.
The startled women immediately stopped what they were doing. The women hanging garments dropped the items they were holding to the floor and raised their hands in surrender. The ladies with the ice cream nearly spilled the remainder of their icy treat into the pool. Hearing the commotion, the remaining women who were in the room to the right, rushed in to see what was happening. Surprised at seeing Kate with her gun drawn, several of them dropped the lighted candles they were holding causing glass pieces and warm wax to scatter across the floor.
"All right ladies, your little game is over. Give me back my stuff," Kate ordered.
"What are you talking about?" one of the women asked, feigning innocence. "What stuff?"
"My clothes," Kate stiffly replied, glancing at her garments hanging on the rack and laying on the floor.
"I don't know who you are, but you're mistaken. These items are for our celebration and admiration ceremony," another of the women stated.
"Cut the bullshit, ladies. You know exactly who I am and who he is, and what you've done. It's time to stop playing around."
"Ok, so we do know you guys," a third lady stepped forward and admitted, "but how do you know who we are?"
"That's easy. You're the Sundae Sisters. I recognize all of you from our last encounter and I'm sure my partner does too," Kate replied, looking at Castle for confirmation.
"That's right," Castle agreed nodding his head. "Look gals, we know you broke into her apartment and took her clothes over there. You might as well confess."
"See, I told you this wasn't a good idea and that it was a trap," a lady calling herself Betty, who Castle assumed at his initial meeting was the ringleader of the group, chimed in a whisper. "You knew he'd show up with her. The two of them are like this." She crossed her first and middle fingers tightly to show the closeness of Kate and Castle's relationship. "Where one goes the other automatically follows."
"What makes you think this is a trap?" Kate questioned, hearing the woman's whisper.
"Um, figure of speech. No reason," Mel, a therapist, said with her eyes darting around as she tried to look innocent.
"Shut up, Betty," hissed Lala, the lady Castle recalled kept running her hands through his hair and admitted to having a fetish for it. "Are you trying to get us in trouble?"
Kate and Castle exchanged glances. Clearly, they were undermining some of the women's confidence.
"But what makes you think we had anything to do with this?" a lady Castle remembered had called herself Nathanfan, asked.
"Yeah, where's your evidence?" a lady named Anne countered.
"The fact that you've all returned to the scene of your former crime after I messaged you on your own thread to meet me here," Castle said.
"That's not proof," Yvonne, a lady who had noticed Castle's tattoo on his right hip during his first ice cream bath, argued.
"Ok, so say, hypothetically, we did have something to do with this so called theft," a lady known as Stroppy who was a master at naming all things Castle, said. "What's our motive?"
"Your motive is the fact that your admiration society focuses all its desiring attentions on everything about my partner, for one. Secondly, some of your members are seamstresses or enjoy doing crafts. Who else but someone who knows about sewing, fashion, and could take design inspiration or reproduce various clothing items would want to highjack someone's wardrobe for ransom."
"She's got a point," Cyn, who wrote seductive and sexy fan fiction and who was now contemplating more sinful literary thoughts, said. "But that's not enough to prove we had anything to do with the disappearance of your stuff."
"Then this is," Kate said holding up the note from the closet as she leveled a steely stare around the room at all the women.
The women looked at the note and then around at each other. After a moment a lady with long brown hair wearing a lavender negligee, who logged in as Kastlefan and whose hobby was sewing, stepped forward to inspect the paper.
"But this note's typed. Anyone could have produced it," the intuitive seamstress stated.
"She's got a point, Beckett," Castle agreed raising his brows.
"But who else would sign a note 'The Sundae Sisters' and steal only my clothes?" Kate pursed her lips as she continued her questioning.
"Nuns taking donations for local charities," Mel suggested with a smirk.
Rolling his lips to smother a grin, Castle snorted a chuckle. Kate turned her head and shot him a small warning glance.
"Well, it was funny," Castle mumbled.
"Look, ladies, we can do this here or down at the station," Kate growled, her patience sliding away, "and from the provocative way some of you are dressed, trust me, you don't want to go there."
Kate was getting more and more irritated with the women and Castle knew it from the hardness of her face and eyes. Though she'd holstered her gun shortly after breaking up the ceremony preparations, her body was stiff and tight, almost coiled for an attack. Castle realized they'd better get something useful out of these women before Kate snapped from the strain of the Sisters being uncooperative and her desire to salvage her and Castle's date.
"Kate, come on," Castle urged in a soothing voice, "give them a break and we can continue with our special plans for the evening."
"Special plans," asked Betty her curiosity piqued, "you mean date night plans?"
"Yes," Castle answered.
"Your first date?" a Castle fan from Arkansas then said excitedly. "Oh, my gosh. We are so sorry. We had no idea."
"Ok, so we took your stuff," Stroppy confessed for all the women of the group. "But we only did it because we want to be like you."
"Yeah, we didn't mean anything by it," Anne offered. "We love you and Castle and just want you two to be together. That's why we did it."
"Guess we jumped the gun," Mel admitted. "Sorry we interrupted your evening."
"We'll give back your stuff," Kastlefan sincerely offered. "In fact, that stipulation about giving us Rick is, uh, cancelled. We know he's really yours."
Quickly, the women walked over to the clothes bar. Some grabbed the items off the rack while others picked up the coats from the floor and put the shoes in bags. Rushing back to Kate and Castle with armloads of garments they handed over the items stepping away with apologetic looks on their faces.
"If we'd have known about your date," Cyn chimed in, "we wouldn't have taken your stuff, Kate."
"We're really sorry," Kastlefan agreed, promptly returning with Kate's red dress and handing it to her.
Castle took the items from each woman and then adjusted his hold on two bags of shoes, several coats, and the blue dress. Kate took the rest of the coats as the individual women handed them to her and laid them over her arm with the red dress.
Kate sternly looked around at the women considering her options. She wasn't happy that these women somehow managed to sneak into her apartment and then steal her garments. Castle saw the hard look in her eyes and the scowl that crossed her face.
"Come on," Castle urged. "They admitted what they did and gave back your stuff. Don't file any charges. You'll just waste everybody's time. Cut them some slack, honey."
"Did he just call her 'honey'?" Cyn whispered with a smile to her friends as her eyes widened.
"Yeah, he did," Lala answered.
A whispered sigh spread through the women.
Kate stared around the room at the women deciding what to do. The women knew they could really be in trouble and they collectively held their breaths waiting for her decision.
"Ok," Kate said after several moments. "You girls are off the hook. I won't file any charges. Just don't ever do this again."
"We won't," the women promised, letting out breaths of relief.
"Again," Betty spoke up, "we're truly sorry we sort of ruined your special evening together."
"Don't worry ladies," Castle said with a smile. "You didn't."
Kate and Castle turned and walked away weighted down with Kate's clothes. Their mystery was solved and they were happy. Turning their heads toward each other they smiled.
"Hey, have a great evening," Betty called waving.
"Don't do anything we would do to him," Cyn said chuckling as she looked at her fellow Sundae conspirators with a knowing smile. A seductive and secretive sounding laugh then erupted through the women.
"You know I will," Kate called back over her shoulder and then turned a smoldering, sexy look on Castle.
Castle swallowed, raising his brows and widening his eyes.
"Did you see that look? He's getting it tonight," Mel chuckled.
"You bet he is. Look out Ricky," a second woman named Castlefan said.
"No fair. She'll get to see that tattoo up close," Yvonne sighed. "Lucky her."
Several minutes later after a brief taxi ride, Kate and Castle stumbled into her apartment carrying all her things.
"Well, that's not how I envisioned the first part of our evening," Castle said setting down the two bags of shoes and laying the coats and dress over the arms of a chair.
"Me either. But at least we got my stuff back," Kate replied laying the coats and red dress on the couch. "Let's get this stuff hung away," Kate suggested picking up several coats as she walked over to the closet and grabbed hangers. Hanging the coats on the hangers she returned them to the closet.
"What about the shoes and dresses?" Castle asked.
"Just leave the shoes there. I'll put them away later. Bring me the rest of the coats and dresses."
"That was nice of you not to press charges on them," Castle said carrying over the coats and the two dresses in his arms so Kate could take each one and hang it up.
"There wasn't any point," Kate chuckled, continuing to hang the coats as she took them from Castle's outstretched arms.
"True, but at least we can still make the movies."
"If we hurry, we can catch the end of the first one," Kate smiled, grabbing another coat off his arms and hanging it away. She quickly hung away the two dresses.
"Um hum," Castle agreed, putting away the last three coats that still were on hangers. "Then four more hours of Bogie, Bacall, and most importantly, you."
"Wouldn't have to be just four," Kate smiled seductively, moving closer to him. "What about all night? I'd like to try a couple things those Sundae ladies did."
Castle's mouth fell open and his breathing turned shallow. He stared up and down at her with his eyes sparkling.
"You have fixings for sundaes then?" he murmured in a husky voice.
"No," she purred looking at his eyes then down at his lips and back into his eyes. "But I do have whipped cream, chocolate sauce, and handcuffs."
Castle swallowed and cleared his throat.
"Oh, Ricky. Have you forgotten what I told you the first time we met?" Kate caressed his chest with her hands as she stepped very close to him.
"That I have no idea."
"That's right. You don't," she leaned in even closer while whispering seductively into his ear. "You can even call me kitten as much as you want."
Nuzzling his ear with her lips, she stepped back from him and saw the look of desire racing through his eyes and across his face. She kept her gaze on him while grabbing a coat from the closet.
"Here kitty, kitty," Castle mumbled with a smoldering look as he quickly helped her with her coat.
Tonight truly was special and would be one they would never forget.