Oh my gosh, you guys. This is it. This is the very last chapter of Cassie. Somebody hold me. Yay for me finishing my very first multichap fic in Castle land :D

Also- Anyone else got craaaazy post After the Storm feels? I think my 5.01 hangover is worse than my Always hangover :|

A huge, massive, giagantic thank you to Tadpole24. This fic would honestly be a voice in my head if it hadn't been for her encouragement. She is the best beta an author could ask for.

Disclaimer: I am not Andrew Marlowe. Clearly. If I were, there would be no cases, ever, and just meaningless fluff.

She might have moved house, but one thing had remained the same… her house was alive with sound. It was either the steady tap-tap-tap of a keyboard and the accompanying murmurs it took to bring a story to life, or the reciting of a lengthy monologue written by Chekov. Here, her roommate either blasted music until the walls shook, or strummed a guitar until her fingers bled.

Alexis dropped her keys into the decorative bowl near the door and neatly hung her bag on the hatstand. "You really have a problem with wearing clothes, don't you?"

Cassie leaned over and paused the 1940s track she'd been blasting (and singing along to) before stepping away from the canvas she was working on to appraise her work. "It's hot!" Cassie whined. She gestured to her running shorts and cropped yoga top. "Besides, these are actual clothes. This is really not a big deal, Lex."

"I know. You're just easy to rile up." Alexis tilted her head and inspected the canvas Cassie was working on. "Is this a wedding present?"

"It's not finished yet," Cassie replied sheepishly.

"I really like it." Cassie had taken one of Alexis's numerous iPhone shots from the night that Kate and Rick had gotten engaged and had started the task of transforming it into a black and white acrylic on canvas painting.

Alexis moved over to the corner of the living room dubbed the "boom box" (it was where all the instruments were stored), before picking up her violin. "I want to talk to you about the music for the wedding," Alexis propositioned, slinging her bow across her shoulders.

"And what exactly did you want to talk about?" Cassie asked, flicking at her iPad to take another look at the photo.

"Well, I know Kate asked you to look after music and I assume that you booked your old band for the reception."

"I don't hear a question yet."

"That's because there is no question. I know what songs Dad wants played and I have an idea," Alexis replied. She positioned her violin underneath her chin, before beginning to play.

"Baby Castle!" Cassie gasped. "You are badass! I'm calling the boys right now."

Lanie was giving the nail lady death glares as the Dita Von Teese red shellac was applied to her fingernails. "My fingers do not bend this way," She hissed, when she caught Cassie giggling at her.

"Pain is beauty," Cassie retorted, wrinkling her nose when she saw that the nail technician was exfoliating her feet. She managed to shoot the girl a polite grin, but shuddered when the pumice stone hit her instep.

"I forgot you have ticklish feet," Kate teased, standing up and stretching after spending over an hour in a hairdresser's chair. Her stylist had insisted that the only way to get Veronica Lake waves that would last the whole day of the wedding was a wet set into pin curls the day before. Kate currently had a headful of tightly rolled curls held with neat metal pins.

"That's a really attractive look you're rocking right there, Kate," Alexis joked, waddling over to dry her toenails under the UV light.

"Hey, show a little respect. This time tomorrow I'll be your stepmother."

"She's been watching Cinderella to make sure she does it properly," Cassie added smarmily.

Kate death stared her sister through the mirror, where she was wrapping a silk scarf around her hair, to protect the curls from being mussed.

"Kate hasn't made me clean the house, or tried to buy my love. I'm sure she'll do great," Alexis soothed.

"I have absolutely no need to buy your love. And it clearly didn't work on that one," Kate replied, jerking her thumb towards Cassie.

Cassie looked up from her argument with the nail lady (no, there was no way she was having nail extensions attached to her nails. She kept them short for a reason), and shot Kate a cheeky grin. "Eto sharf zastavlyayet vas vyglyadetʹ kak Babushka," (That scarf makes you look like Babushka), she chirped.

"Eto potomu, chto on yavlyayetsya odnim iz Babushka avtora," (That's because it is one of Babushka's) Kate replied as she sank her feet into a basin of hot water.

"Now come on. It isn't fair when you two do that," Lanie interjected.

"Do what?" Cassie and Kate echoed.

"I have to agree with Lanie," Alexis chipped in.

"When the two of you start babbling in Russian and leave us looking like dumbasses because we can't keep up," Lanie pointed out.

"Sorry, guys. I don't even realise I do it. I was just telling Kate she looks like our Grandma. She actually used to pin her hair like that all the time when we were kids."

"She did too! I'd forgotten all about that!"

Cassie had one hand wrapped tightly around the handle of her handbag, the other twisted with Kate's fingers. They hadn't made this visit together since she was fifteen years old.

"Hey, Mama," Kate whispered, her fingers tracing the outline of her Mom's name on the tombstone.

"I really hate that you're not here for this," Kate sighed. "I'm getting married tomorrow." Kate dropped the bouquet of purple Singapore orchids and gardenias against the headstone, before sitting down in front of the smooth granite stone. "I really think you'd love what we have planned. The ceremony is at St. Michaels and my dress is just divine."

"She's going to look really beautiful, Mama. And the guy she's getting hitched to… let's just say you'd be a big fan," Cassie joked.

Kate managed to shoot Cassie a withering glare. "Momma, I'm marrying Rick Castle," she confessed. "Which is insane, right? I remember you joking with me way back when you read his first novel that he was perfect for me," Kate paused, feeling happy tears well up in her eyes.

"He is, Mom. He really is exactly what Katya needs. I don't think I've ever seen her so happy," Cassie added, her hand coming up to rest on Kate's shoulder, squeezing gently.

"And now Cassie's gone and found herself a writer too. Honestly, Mom, you ruined the pair of us with the amount of books you forced us to read as kids."

"Cassie has not found herself a writer. Cassie met a gentleman, who happens to be a writer, whom she has had coffee with one time. There is no need to get ahead of ourselves and there is absolutely no indication that he sees me as anything other than Kate's annoying little sister," Cassie clarified.

"You should see how Cassie lights up when she's around him, Mama."

Cassie elbowed her sister in the ribs lightly. "You know, this visit isn't about me," Cassie twisted and rummaged through her giant handbag, fishing out her ukulele. "The visit is about Katie and her fiancé. They're pretty awesome. They're the kind of couple that people like, write stories about. I don't really write stories, but I do write songs."

"You wrote us a song?" Kate interjected, her voice hushed.

"Well, kind of. You guys totally inspired some of it. It's not quite finished yet, but I hope that's okay?"

"I'd really love to hear it," Kate whispered, bumping Cassie's shoulder.

"That was the idea, you dork," Cassie teased. She looked over at the headstone. "I don't really write many songs. And when I do, I don't play them for people. So this is kind of a big deal." Cassie gave Kate a wink, before picking her ukulele up. She paused for a second, and then started to play.

I'm just a little bit caught in the middle
Life is a maze and love is a riddle
I don't know where to go I can't do it alone I've tried
And I don't know why

Cassie bit her lip playfully, swaying along with the sunshiney tune of the song

Slow it down
Make it stop-
Or else my heart is going to pop
'Cause it's too much
Yeah, it's a lot
To be something I'm not

I'm a fool
Out of love
'Cause I just can't get enough

Kate smiled fondly at her little sister. She didn't quite know how Cassie managed to smush so much of her optimism into one song, but Kate was quite certain that Cassie was the only person who could make the fear of the unknown sound exciting.

I am just a little girl lost in the moment
I'm so scared but I don't show it
I can't figure it out
It's bringing me down I know
I've got to let it go
And just enjoy the show

Cassie played the final note of the song, and then let silence settle over the graveyard.

"It's not quite finished yet," Cassie shrugged. "But I guess I was inspired by you guys being able to let go of all the dark and the crappiness and all the stuff that kept you apart, and you were both brave enough to fight for what you wanted, and you were okay with the fact that you didn't know what was going to come next."

Kate moved so that she was behind Cassie, the pair of them facing their mother's tombstone. "Mama, you were so right. Having a little sister is the best thing in the world."

Cassie was clearing the table, mentally spinning out at all the changes that had taken place in the last few months of her life. She'd spent quite a bit of time on the plane from Sydney trying to imagine what life would be like when she got back to New York. Eating dinner at her father's house on the night before her sister's wedding was not one of the scenarios she'd had in mind.

"Katie, I thought you might want to look at this," Jim suggested, gesturing to the white leather photo album on the coffee table.

"Is that your wedding album?" Kate asked.

"Just don't laugh at the monkey suit."

Kate waited for Cassie to finish loading the dishwasher, before opening up the album.

"Wow," Cassie breathed. "Mom was a big Farrah Fawcett fan, wasn't she?" She traced the close up of her mother, hair blowdried into the loose waves that had been made so famous by the Charlie's Angel.

"Huge. She adored her," Jim interjected quietly.

"Oh, her dress was gorgeous. It totally looks like something you'd wear, Cass," Kate commented.

Cassie shot Kate a look. She didn't want to get into her own politicised views on marriage with her father. Not when they were having such a lovely, civilised evening.

"I actually have it up in storage, if you ever want it, Cassie," Jim added, perching himself on the arm of the couch the girls were sharing.

"I just need to find someone to wear it for," Cassie joked.

Kate flipped through the pages of the album, commenting quietly on the various photos (particularly on the fairly hideous shade of Jaffa the bridesmaids wore). She flicked over to the first photos of the church.

"Holy shit, Daddy! You had a porn star moe! That is disgusting!" Cassie gasped. She bit her lip when she realised what she'd said. She hadn't called her father Daddy since she was ten years old. She looked up at him and saw him giving her the same gentle smile Kate often did.

"It was the 70s, sweetie. We all had moustaches," He teased, squeezing her shoulder. Cassie noticed that he didn't move his hand from her shoulder. She didn't say a word.

They continued flicking through the photos, Jim recounting the occasional anecdote from the day.

Kate looked up from the final photo to shoot her Dad a grin. "Looks like you guys had an amazing day," she rasped.

"It was perfect," Jim answered. "Katie, your Mom would be bursting out of her skin tonight if she were still with us. She'd be so proud of you."

"Thanks, Dad," Kate whispered in response, her voice hoarse.

"Now you girls better get home. Your Mom would've had my head if she knew I was keeping you from your beauty sleep!"

Cassie checked the time on her phone. "Lex and Lanie will be back at my place soon. We should get moving."

"No problem. Would you excuse me for a second?" Kate said quickly, dashing down the hallway.

"Did you have a lot of toasts at your wedding?" Cassie asked.

Jim nodded. "Oh yeah. Nobody warned me that it was vodka from the old country," He recalled fondly.

Cassie opened her mouth, but paused as she searched for the right words. "Katya's been kinda discerning about the old school Russian traditions she wants as part of the wedding. We're not ransoming the bride or anything like that, but we are going to have at least a few toasts," Cassie explained. She took in her father's reaction, but stopped him before he could speak. "Clearly, that isn't really something you're going to want to get in on, but believe me, the family will talk if you don't."

"Your aunts still haven't gotten over the fact that your Mom married outside of the cultural circle."

"Yeah, so, I spoke to the venue. They're going to carry trays around and you need to make sure you grab the glasses that have the green rim on them. They'll be water, or sparkling grape juice. Nobody will know a thing."

"I appreciate the thought, Cassie," Jim said quietly.

"No problem." Cassie bit her lip, before throwing caution into the wind. She reached out and pulled her father into a hug. She felt her father stiffen for a second, before he wrapped his arms around her waist, squeezing her into a Daddy bear hug. Cassie smiled against his neck when she felt his lips brush against the crown of her head.

Kate walked down the hallway, her face paler than usual, bearing all the signs of having had water splashed on it to wash away the evidence of tears. She took a look at the embrace happening in front of her, before hastening over and slipping each arm around her father and sister.

The three of them stood there, locked into an embrace, quietly commemorating, before Jim insisted that the girls get home and get to bed.

Cassie bustled around the kitchen, throwing together her and Kate's signature breakfast. She rinsed the blender, before assembling a tray and sneaking back into her bedroom.

Cassie managed to get the door open one handed, entering the room with her back on the door where she saw Kate wide awake, leaning against the headboard with a pillow behind her back.

She looked up from where she was inspecting her ring. "I'm getting married today," she murmured, incredulity colouring her tone.

"You are getting married today. I am so excited for you, Katie," Cassie reiterated sincerely.

Kate bit her lip to hide her smile. "I'm really excited too," she glanced over at the dress hanging behind her door. "Will that fit me if I eat all of this?"

"Don't be a fat bitch. Half of that is for me."

Kate had just managed to drag her butt out of the shower and was applying moisturiser when there was a knock at the door. She slipped her robe on and wandered to the door. She smiled when at the foot of the door, four grande coffees sat in their paper tray, a note sitting innocently on top.

Just wanted to put a smile on your face this morning, even if I won't be around to see it.

Kate plucked her coffee out of the tray (conveniently marked out with a K on top), a smile creeping on her face unbidden as the taste of espresso and vanilla hit her tongue.

"Kate! What are you doing? The makeup artist is going to be here any minute!"

The bridesmaids had all had their hair rolled into vintage perfection, a large white gardenia decorating a victory roll.

"Now, that Russian Red isn't going to go anywhere with the blotting I did and not with that sealing coat over it, but just for your own peace of mind, keep this tube in one of your handbags," The makeup artist instructed, waving the black tube of Mac lipstick. Alexis intercepted it, and tossed it into the beaded purple clutch that was being shared by the girls for the day.

Kate's hair was given one last spray with hairspray. After that, her cage veil was delicately set over her curls, a branch of Singapore Orchids pinned atop the headband holding it onto her head.

"Oh, Katie. You look like Rita Hayworth," Katie breathed.

Kate couldn't help but twirl around, a giggle escaping her lips.

"C'mon, let's get you dressed."

The photographer had arrived and had damn near broken the button on the camera with the amount of snaps he'd taken.

Kate and Cassie piled into the 1940s model Rolls Royce, bound for the church. Cassie had taken great delight in waving to other cars like Julie Andrews, giggling at the cheers and honks.

Kate grabbed Cassie's hand. "Look at me for a second, milaya," (sweetie) Kate ordered.

Cassie turned from the window to face her sister. "What is it, Katya?"

"Thank you," Kate spoke. She grabbed both of Cassie's hands. "For everything. For coming back here like Cyclone Cassandra and shaking up my whole life. I never would have been brave enough to fight for this moment if you hadn't kicked my ass about how far I've come."

"I just want you to be happy, Katya. You kidded the world for so long that you were, but you never had me fooled."

"I'm happy. I'm happy in a way that I didn't think was possible after Mom," Kate leaned forward and rested her forehead against Cassie's. "I want this for you, Lapushka. You deserve to be this kind of happy."

The car slowed to a stop, and Cassie sighed. "C'mon, Katie. Let's get you married. Then you can worry about me laying a big wet one on the best man. Not that he's actually interested in me." She shot Kate a charming grin before sweeping up their bouquets, darting out of the car and stepping into the lobby of the church.

Cassie snuck a look down at Castle and couldn't help her giggle at how visibly nervous he was.

Alexis darted forward and pressed her cheek against Kate's (too scared of smudging her lipstick to kiss her properly), "I'm really excited to be your stepdaughter," She chirped.

Kate caught her in a swift embrace. "Can't wait to be your stepmom," she shot back.

The opening strains of Songbird by Eva Cassidy began to play throughout the small church. Lanie turned to Kate. "You ready for this, girl? We've still got time to go Runaway Bride."

"Oh, go walk down the aisle!"

Cassie snuck a look at her father. She hadn't ever seen that look on his face.

"Come on, Katie. Let's get you hitched," He whispered, linking arms with his daughter. His other hand briefly brushed Cassie's shoulder.

Cassie straightened the skirt of Kate's dress. She gave Kate a smile, before cradling her flowers. "See you on the other side," Cassie whispered, before stepping out into the aisle of the church.

The energy in the room was palpable. She couldn't help it. Cassie gave Castle a cheeky wink when she saw him bouncing on the balls of his feet, impatiently waiting. And Kate…

Kate was radiant. She beamed the entire way down the aisle, her eyes trained at the altar, where her-husband-to be waited. For a few moments, she looked as though she might burst into tears; instead, she got the giggles when Castle stuck his tongue out at her.

Kate stopped at the end of the row with her father, slipping her arm out from his. Jim rested a hand on Kate's shoulder, the other coming up to brush the ring that hung around Kate's neck. "Be happy, Katie," He whispered, leaning forward to brush a kiss against her cheek. Kate's cheeks coloured, and she held his hand, ready to take her final steps as a single woman.

"Take care of her, Rick," Jim uttered quietly, placing Kate's right hand in Rick's.

"Always," he answered solemnly.

Kate beamed radiantly at him, gently squeezing his fingers.

Most of the ceremony was a blur. Cassie was far more interested in watching the happy couple than listening to the readings and she dutifully fixed Kate's train as she moved from place to place. She accepted Kate's bouquet of Singapore orchids and lilies, sitting in the front pew with Alexis and Lanie, gripping both of their hands.

Cassie listened intently as the pair exchanged their vows. Rick had insisted that they write their own for when they exchanged rings; and Cassie had spent hours listening to Kate try and perfect her own.

The priest was a surprisingly young man, his face was generous, and he gave off the sense of being fully consumed by the joy of his vocation.

"I invite you then to declare before God and his Church your consent to become husband and wife," The priest indicated for Rick and Kate to hold hands.

"Richard, do you take Katherine as your wife, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, all the days of your life?"

The whole church could have disappeared for Rick, with the way he seriously committed himself. "I do," He answered, eyes fixed on Kate's face.

"Katherine, do you take Richard as your husband, for better, for worse, or richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, all the days of your life?"

The smile on Kate's face was so big it threatened to split her face in two. All traces of Detective Beckett were gone, Kate Beckett standing in her place. "Always," she swore.

That was the straw that broke the camel's back. Fat, manly tears began to slip down Rick's cheeks as the priest offered a blessing.

Cassie and Alex both took that as their cue. They both stepped forward, each of them holding a wedding band. Cassie wasn't so sure where she stood on the blessing thing, but she pushed as many positive vibes out into the universe as she could.

Kate plucked Rick's ring out of the box Cassie held. "I, Kate, take you, Rick, to be my partner, loving what I know of you, and trusting what I do not yet know. I eagerly anticipate the chance to grow together, getting to know the man you will become, and falling in love a little more every day. I promise to love and cherish you through whatever life may bring us. I promise to be there when you need me, to fill your days with sunshine, to comfort you and encourage you, to help you reach your goals, to be your best friend ever and to love you all my life with all my heart," Kate managed to hold back her own tears, looking up at Rick through the fine web of her veil, eyes dancing with merriment as she slid the ring onto his finger.

"You were my new chance. My new opportunity to stand up, to challenge myself to be a man. You make all the stories make sense. Where there has been cold, you have brought warmth; where there was darkness, you have brought light. Our miracle lies in the path we have chosen together. I enter this marriage with you, knowing that the true magic of love is not to avoid changes, but to follow the path together, hand in hand. Let us commit to the miracle of making each day work, together.

"Whatever lies ahead, good or bad, we will face together. Distance may test us for a time, and time may try us. But if we look to each other first, we will always see a friend. For better or worse, richer or poorer, in sickness and health, in joy and in sorrow, to love and to cherish, to be faithful to you alone."

Kate closed her eyes as his words washed over her. The words that had first drawn her to him, like a moth to flame. Her eyes opened when she felt him slip her wedding band onto her finger, quickly moving her engagement ring to match.

"By the power vested in me by God, and the state of New York, I now pronounce you husband and wife. You many kiss the bride," The priest intoned.

A collective laugh rang throughout the church at the slightly lecherous waggle of Rick's eyebrows, before he grabbed his bride, dipped her and kissed her. The photographer jumped up and snapped the shot as the church rang with applause.

The marriage licence was signed and a traditional blessing for a married couple was given in Russian, before the bridal party made their way out of the church to the chirpy tune of I'm Yours (Cassie had tried to cajole into a bridal flashmob, including dancing down the aisle; Kate had told her to have her own wedding for it).

Like all proper Russian weddings, photos had been taken all over the city, (including Central Park, a very specific set of swings, at Kate's insistence, plus a recreation of the famous kissing photo taken in Times Square celebrating the surrender of the Japanese troops), before making the trip across the city to Coney Island Amusement Park.

Kate couldn't get the grin off her face. "We're married," she repeated for the umteenth time. She leaned forward and grabbed her husband's face, pressing a smacking kiss against his lips.

"You look beautiful," Rick told her sincerely, his lips brushing across her cheek, slowly moving down her neck.

"We are not having sex in the Rolls," Kate informed him, gently pushing at his chest.

"Why not?" Castle whined.

"Because the entire reception would know it. Besides, anticipation is half the fun," Kate reasoned.

"That picture you sent me earlier today was mean," Castle pouted.

Kate thought of the cheeky snap of herself in her retro inspired underwear she'd picture messaged to Castle, and giggled. She gently bit her lip, looking up at him, doe eyed. "There is one thing that could change my mind," she hinted, tongue coming to poke out between her lips.

"Oh yeah?"

"Yeah," Kate agreed. She leaned close to his ear. "Tell me where we're going on our honeymoon."

Rick had insisted that he be allowed to plan the honeymoon, without input from his bride. Kate had figured out that because he had asked if she had a current passport, it was A) most likely overseas, and because she hadn't been ordered to the doctor's surgery for nasty vaccine shots (the thought made her shudder), B) they were most likely going to a developed country.

Kate hadn't even been allowed to pack her own bag. She'd been whisked out to a romantic dinner three days before the wedding and she'd returned back to the loft to find Cassie sitting on top of a packed bag that she hadn't been given access to. Not even forty five minutes of tickle torture had gotten Cassie to reveal what she knew.

Rick feathered kissed across her cheek, working his way across to her ear. "Never going to happen," he replied.

Kate growled, before pushing him back against the seat and kissing him furiously. She didn't let him escape her grasp until there was a knock against the Perspex that separated the driver from the happy couple.

"We're just pulling up on the venue now. Just thought you'd want to know!" The driver called out in his thick New York accent.

"Thank you," Rick responded. He looked out the window and saw all the flashing lights of Coney Island's amusement parks. "Coolest wedding ever," he sighed happily.

Kate rolled her eyes affectionately at the man child she'd permanently hitched her wagon to. "Come here," she beckoned. "You have red lipstick all over your face."

The bridal party lined up to be introduced at the reception. Cassie couldn't help fluttering her lashes a little as Alex set his fedora at a rakish angle on his head. "Gosh, it's warm," he commented. "I can't wait to take off this jacket," he added, adjusting the coat of his 1940s style suit.

"Now, Alex, are you just saying it's hot because I'm around?" Cassie asked teasingly, testing the waters with her flirtation. She gave him a wink when he spluttered. She trailed her fingers up the inside of his wrist before gentle resting her palm against the inside of his elbow. "Come on," she gestured to the door. "Let's go host the shit out of this night."

Cassie and Alex made their way into the room, stepping up to in front of the bridal table. Martha gave them both a wink, before gesturing for them to be given microphones.

"And now, let's welcome the happy couple… Mr. and Mrs. Castle," Martha boomed, raising a hand to where Kate and Rick walked in.

Cassie smirked when she heard chants of "gorko, gorko, gorko!" come from the tables that had Russian family members sitting at them. She giggled, chiming in. The chants got louder and louder, before Kate finally caved. She grabbed her husband and planted a bold kiss on his lips. She didn't stop until the chanting did. She leaned over and whispered something in his ear, before turning to her family members and giving them a mock salute.

The bridal party moved to their table and Cassie and Alex took to the floor, microphones in hand.

"Good evening everyone," Alex greeted.

"I'm Cassie, and this is Alex, and in addition to being the greatest maid of honour and best man team on the planet, we are going to be acting as your MCs for this evening."

"We're in charge of everybody having a good time tonight, so please, if you haven't already, turn to someone you haven't met yet and introduce yourself," Alex instructed.

Cassie nodded to the bar and the staff began to move around the room, trays in hand.

"My role tonight is to be the translator of all things Russian. So I apologise to half the room for the chanting earlier. Gorko basically means bitter in Russian. The idea is that when it gets chanted at a wedding, the couple has to kiss until they get rid of the bitter taste of vodka in their mouths," Cassie explained. She nodded to the staff, who began to hand out the shotglasses of vodka on their tray. She looked over at her Dad, who gave her a wink.

"And let's face it, what is a Russian wedding without toasts?" She asked.

"Now, I was told that smashing your glass after the toast is a good thing, right?" Alex asked.

"Absolutely!" Cassie answered. "It's a really old tradition, but basically, it smashes away any bad luck. So you should all knock that baby back and smash the glass on the ground," Cassie instructed.

Alex raised his glass. "There is a wisdom saying that the wife is the heart and the husband is the head of a good marriage. May you never suffer a heart attack or have a headache!" He toasted, quoting an old Russian fable Cassie had mentioned to him.

"Vypʹyem za lyubovʹ! Gorko!" (Let's drink to love! Gorko!) Cassie added. She tapped her glass against Alex's before swallowing the shot, and tossing the glass against the ground, grinning when it shattered.

"Take a seat, everybody. First course is on its way," Alex invited.

Somewhere between courses Alexis snuck up to Cassie's chair. "So. I don't know if you've noticed… But take a look at your Dad and my Gram," she pointed out. "Don't make it obvious!"

Cassie picked up her glass, casually taking a sip as she looked over at the table. Jim and Martha were sitting far closer than in laws who didn't really know each other all that well should sit and both had pink flushes on their cheeks.

"Oh my God!" Cassie spluttered. "What? How? What are we going to do?"

"We're going to make that happen," Alexis answered, like it was the most obvious thing in the world.

Cassie stared at the two, pondering the idea. "What would we even call them? Operation Jartha? Rogett?"

"Operation Jimtha," Alexis decided. She raised her hand for a high five.

Cassie slapped her hand, waggling her eyebrows. "Let's do this."

Several wedding traditions had been played around with. Speeches had been given. The floor had been swept and delicate mood lighting was coming into play.

"You've got this, right?" Cassie asked Alex.

"Yes!" He answered. "Now go, get yourself ready," he ordered, shooing her away.

Cassie rolled her eyes, but scooted away none the less.

"This is a wedding tradition that we're all familiar with," Alex began. "I'd like to invite Rick and Kate to the floor for their first dance as husband and wife."

The wedding guests hushed as Kate and Rick stepped out on the floor. The sound of Big Band began to echo around the room and Rick began to lead Kate in a smooth foxtrot.

I've got you under my skin.
I've got you deep in the heart of me.
So deep in my heart that you're really a part of me.
I've got you under my skin.

Both the bride and the groom looked up when the lyrics began. Cassie gave them a wink from behind the microphone she stood behind on the tiny stage set up for the band, before gesturing for them to keep dancing.

I'd tried so not to give in.
I said to myself: this affair never will go so well.
But why should I try to resist when, baby, I know so well
I've got you under my skin?I'd sacrifice anything come what might
For the sake of havin' you near
In spite of a warnin' voice that comes in the night
And repeats, repeats in my ear:
Don't you know, little fool, you never can win?
Use your mentality, wake up to reality.
But each time that I do just the thought of you
Makes me stop before I begin
'Cause I've got you under my skin.

Kate couldn't believe this moment had come. She'd found the guy that made the songs make sense, and now she got to keep him. Her day couldn't be any more perfect.

I would sacrifice anything come what might
For the sake of havin' you near
In spite of the warning voice that comes in the night
And repeats - how it yells in my ear:
Don't you know, little fool, you never can win?
Why not use your mentality - step up, wake up to reality?
But each time I do just the thought of you
Makes me stop just before I begin
'Cause I've got you under my skin.

And I love you under my skin.

Cassie curtseyed from the stage. "Could I invited Alexis Castle and Jim Beckett to the floor for the father daughter dance, please?"

Cassie looked over at the boys, and then winked at Alexis. She grinned when she heard the opening notes begin to play.

She's got a smile it seems to me
Reminds me of childhood memories
Where everything
Was as fresh as the bright blue sky
Now and then when I see her face
She takes me away to that special place
And if I'd stare too long
I'd probably break down and cryOh, oh, oh
Sweet child o' mine
Oh, oh, oh, oh
Sweet love of mine

Cassie could see Rick make Alexis giggle uncontrollably as they danced. Guns'N'Roses songs had been the only ones Rick knew all the words to when Alexis was born, and he'd sung her to sleep with Sweet Child O' Mine since she'd arrived home from the hospital. He was absolutely stoked when Kate had agreed to have it as the father daughter dance. (Gina had flat out refused and had insisted on something completely saccharine and awful for wedding number two.)

She's got eyes of the bluest skies
As if they thought of rain
I hate to look into those eyes
And see an ounce of pain
Her hair reminds me of a warm safe place
Where as a child I'd hide
And pray for the thunder
And the rain
To quietly pass me by

Oh, oh, oh
Sweet child o' mine
Oh, oh, oh, oh
Sweet love of mine

Cassie saw the look of surprise when Martha came and cut in on their dance, but Alexis was quick to scoot away, and dash up to the stage.

Oh, oh, oh, oh
Sweet child o' mine
Oh, oh, oh, oh
Sweet love of mine

Cassie watched as Daz bounced on the balls of his feet. Alexis counted herself in, and the pair of them began to play a violin and guitar duet of the greatest guitar solo of all time. Cassie was content to bounce on the stage, until she felt someone grab her hand. She found herself tugged onto the dance floor with her Dad and sister. She grinned, grabbing both their hands and dancing with them the way she did when they were little. She barely made it back onto the stage in time to finish singing the song.

Where do we go?
Where do we go now?
Where do we go?
Oh, oh

She leaned out on the stage, bending forward to grip Kate's hand.

Where do we go?
Where do we go now?
Where do we go?
Oh, (sweet child)
Where do we go now?
Where do we go now?
Where do we go?
Where do we go now?
Where do we go?
Where do we go now?
Where do we go?

She and Alexis were probably the world's most strangely dressed rockstars, both wearing their purple vintage cut dresses and black heels.

Where do we go now?
No, no, no, no, no, no
Sweet child,
Sweet child of mine

Cassie added a few extra head bangs with the dying notes of the song, before grabbing Alexis's hand and bowing.

Alexis carefully stowed away her guitar, before linking arms with Cassie and making their way down to the happy couple.

"Happy wedding present?" Alexis offered with a grin.

"Oh yeah," Castle agreed, grabbing both of them by the necks and pulling them into a hug.

"May I have this dance?"

Cassie looked up at Alex. His face was so wide and eager. "Alright," she agreed.

She followed him out onto the dancefloor, her hand held in his. She gave him a smile, internally cringing when the boys saw them, and instantly began playing Kiss from a Rose by Seal.

They danced for a few moments in amiable silence. "I like you," Alex blurted out.

"What?" Cassie breathed.

"You're like… chocolate ice cream on a hot day. I think you're awesome."

Cassie stared at him, slightly open mouthed for a second. "Why are you telling me this?" She asked.

"Because somebody should. Because you're awesome. Because I really want to take you out for dinner and I really want you to say yes."

What the hell. "Okay," Cassie agreed.


"Really." Cassie froze. "Wait, this wasn't some kind of dare or something, was it? You know, let's be cute because we're maid of honour and best man, or something? Because if that's the case, I'll just kiss you now and you don't have to worry about dinner," She growled, her hackles slightly raised as she jumped to conclusions.

"Cassie! Relax!" Alex soothed her. "I just thought that I'd never have a shot with a girl like you. I figured it would take a lot more convincing to get you to consider it."

Cassie refrained from rolling her eyes. "Coffee was my idea, remember?"

"I just thought you wanted to talk about the wedding."

"I talked non-stop about the wedding because I was worried I'd end up saying something about how much I like the shape of your butt."

Alex laughed out loud, before spinning and dipping Cassie. She squeaked, clinging to his arm. Maybe there was something to be said for American writers, instead of French ballerinas.

The bouquet had been tossed (Alexis had caught it, much to Rick's chagrin). The garter belt had been retrieved. Cassie had stolen the mike from Daz at one point, proceeding to sing Shake It Out by Florence and the Machine on the dancefloor, shaking what her mama had given her with Kate and Lanie.

"Have an amazing time," Cassie whispered to Kate, squeezing her tightly.

"Thanks for everything, Cass," Kate whispered back.

"Remember that when you're buying presents, capiche?" Cassie joked. She gave Kate one last squeeze, before stepping away and hugging her new brother in law.

"Look after my sister or I'll kick your ass," she threatened.

"Look after my daughter and we're square," He replied. Cassie pulled him into a hug, accepting his kiss on the cheek.

"Now will you tell me where we're going?" Kate asked. Castle only smirked, pulling her into the Rolls.

Cassie stood with Alexis, her arm slung round her as Cassie rested her chin on her shoulder. "So, Operation Jimtha?" Cassie proposed.

"I don't think we're going to have to do anything," Alexis pondered.

"What do you mean?" Cassie asked.

Alexis pointed over to where Martha had grabbed Jim, planting a kiss on his lips, completely oblivious to any of the wedding guests around.

Cassie gaped. "We are so good at this."


Aaaaannnd... that's a wrap, folks.

I just want to say a massive thank you to anybody who took the time to read it, put it in their story follows, their favourites, and especially all those who sent a review. Your kind words have meant more to me than I can say.

Photos of the dresses, and links to appropriate Youtube clips can be found on my tumblr. Feel free to follow me there, and on twitter (brookemopolitan)

Next up for me is a Bones/Castle crossover, cowritten with the lovely AnnieXMuller (if you haven't read any of her work, go and read it right now. She's amazing). There's a possibility of a sequel to this (essentially a pregnancy fic on crack) if there is enough interest. So if you're keen... let me know.

This is the last time I'll remind you of this... but reviews are love. Anyone sending me a review gets a Stana hug :D