This started life as a challenge from TheGreyWolfGhost and it has taken me a while to get out! I have some ideas but would welcome any suggestions!

"Don't matter if you believe in them or not. If they're there, they're there."

Joan Lowery Nixon

Beckett appraised the sweaty, nervous looking suspect sat across the table from her. An eyebrow raised and a look of complete contempt covered her face.

"I'm telling you the truth lady," the man leaned in. Beckett subconsciously leaned further back in her chair. Beads of sweat were dripping down the sides of his face, making his jet black sideburns shine under the harsh light in the interrogation room. His beady eyes darted from side to side before he dropped his voice to an almost whisper.

"I was just sitting there, minding my own business, checking out this cute waitress." He turned his attention to Castle with a knowing look. "Man you should have seen her, little blue skirt, hair all dolled up, ginormous…" he trailed off when he caught the look on the detective's face. "Anyway, yeah I was smiling at this lady when BAM," he slammed his fist on the table that made Castle jump a mile. "It appeared from nowhere! This…thing…all white and wispy lookin' glided right through that guy and he just fell on the floor. Dead!"

Castle turned his head towards Beckett, eyes glinting with excitement. Beckett rolled her eyes at her partner. Of course he was falling for this; hook, line and sinker. He loved a good ghost story.

"A ghost? Really?" Beckett questioned in a bored tone.

"Scouts honor." The man raised his left hand with a solemn look on his face. He was obviously never a scout.

She huffed herself out of her seat giving Castle a not so subtle look to follow her out of the room.

"Sit tight Bill, you're going to be here a while" she informed the suspect as she stalked out.

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Castle was hot on her heels as they made their way over to the murder board. She could feel the excitable energy radiating off of him in waves.

"A ghost! Beckett it all makes perfect sense!" She plonked the files on her desk before slumping down into her chair. It had been a really long day. Castle parked himself in his usual seat, but right on the edge, a foot tapping up and down.

"Let's look at the evidence shall we? A) Ghosts don't show up on CCTV footage so we can't see it on those tapes, B) Our victim did go really rigid like something had possessed him before he fell over, C)…"

Beckett quickly interrupted his list before he got even more carried away. "Yes Castle let's look at the evidence. Namely, this was definitely not a murder by a ghost. End of. Bill is just a sleazy murderer laying down the groundwork for his insanity plea."

Castle pouted and opened his mouth to argue back.

"Here you are boss; Perlmutter's autopsy report," Esposito chucked a file onto Beckett's desk, silencing Castle's comeback. With her eyes still on Castle, and a slight smirk on her face, she reached for the report. She knew it wasn't professional to have favorites in the Precinct but Lanie would have had this report to her a lot sooner and would have saved all this ghost nonsense from filling his head and clouding his judgement. Flipping over the cover she quickly scanned the first page.

"Ha. Poisoning." A triumphant look on her face. "See Castle, a real explanation to go with a real murder. NO, don't even think about trying to convince me that a ghost somehow poured the poison into our victim when he 'passed through' him," she told him as she got out of her chair to go and formally charge Bill, "we all know that ghosts can't actually hold onto anything."

Wait. "What? Kate Beckett did you just acknowledge that there are such things as ghosts?!" Castle gaped after her. She turned her head with an eyebrow raised before she rounded the corner. Castle turned to Esposito, his mouth still slightly open in shock.

"Did you hear that?! Skepticus Maximus definitely acknowledged that ghosts are real," he whispered in awe.

"Bro, you know Beckett, she is just yanking your chain."

"She wouldn't do that," then at the look he was getting from the detective, "ok maybe she would." He slumped, feeling a bit deflated. He wanted her to believe in something other worldly; it was exciting and hopeful. He knew there was no such thing as ghosts, but he liked to believe. It was like the excitement a child would get at the thought of Santa, whether they knew the truth or not; the idea that there was something out there... he had been accused of being a man-child on numerous occasions, his supposed belief in the supernatural certainly fit into this.

"Yeah, I know it wouldn't have been a ghost. How it could it have been right?" Castle sighed.

Esposito wasn't clueless; he was a detective after all. Although Castle's crazy stories, crazier theories, and downright outrageous plans drove him up the wall at times, it's what made him Castle. He knew that he held Beckett on such a high pedestal, that she could do no wrong in his eyes, and while it was fun to watch her make fun of him, he felt bad for the guy. It was hard to watch him get crushed over and over again by the boss. She crushed him because she loved him, not that that made any sense! But that is how their relationship worked. He would say something stupid, she would tell him just how stupid it was while giving him love eyeballs. Verbal sexual swordplay between Mom and Dad. Gross.

Time for an intervention, supernatural style.

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Esposito and Ryan were in The Old Haunt with a beer, relaxing after finally wrapping up the case. A poisoning was hard to prove; no murder weapon, no fingerprints. But, as always, they had managed it. Turned out that Bill was the brother of the victim's ex-girlfriend. She hadn't appreciated him cheating on her so got her brother to get revenge. She had kept the keys to his apartment and so her and Bill let themselves in to kindly swap his sugar substitute with something altogether more deadly. A partial fingerprint of the sister had been found in the kitchen, and since the couple had been broken up for a while, it had led the detectives to the ex, and a rather dramatic confession.

"She was one crazy girl, did you see the wild look in her eyes?" Ryan asked while taking a swig.

"Why is it always the hot girls that turn out to be psychopaths?" mused Esposito. Lately he had been attracted to a number of their suspects that seemed like kick ass girls, but actually turned out to be insane.

"Dude, you are so messed up," Ryan replied with a slightly disgusted look on his face. "Get over your commitment phobia and get back with Lanie. She isn't psycho."

"She cuts up dead bodies for a living; there has to be a little crazy in there."

"You are a homicide detective. That is just as messed up. A match made in heaven I would say."

"Anyway" Esposito started to steer the conversation away from his relationship issues and onto another "I think we have a problem."

"Yeah? With what?" Ryan only looked vaguely interested. He had one eye glued to the game that was playing on the TV above the bar.

"Castle and Beckett"

"Eugh I know, that love eyeball thing is really grossing me out."

"No, not that! Though yeah, that is really gross," Esposito trailed off, replaying earlier memories in his mind and causing a shiver of disgust to run up his spine. Shaking his head, as if to try and shake away the image, he continued "Beckett keeps kicking Castle like a little puppy, and while I enjoy watching him squirm, I can't help but feel bad for the guy."

"So, what are you suggesting? You are crazy if you are thinking of telling Beckett how to treat her boyfriend. I may as well shoot you now and get it over with!" Ryan snorted.

"I was thinking more along the lines of having a bit of fun with this. No reason why we can't get a kick out of helping our boy out while getting Beckett back for keeping their relationship a secret from us in the first place" he quirked his eyebrow, a mischievous glint in his eyes.

"I take it you have a plan?"

"Remember the ghost story that sleazy guy told Castle and Beckett…."

Laying the ground work! Reviews and ideas much appreciated