*A friend convinced me to write a Halloween-themed CASTLE fanfic. So, in-between handing out candy to trick-or-treaters, and I worked on this. Afterwards, I reworked it a bit, and now I'm finally ready to post. It didn't exactly go the way I had expected, but it's just for fun, so yeah. Hope you all enjoy. Happy Halloween. Hope everyone was safe and had lots of fun!

When Things Go Bump In The Night

"Where there is no imagination there is no horror."
- Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

His annual Halloween bash had been a huge success this year. All his friends from the Twelfth had come, including Captain Gates and her husband. It was actually quite a treat to meet the man. He was nothing like Castle had expected. Gates was a hardnosed, authoritarian, and by the book police captain, whereas her husband was a soft spoken academic, a history professor at one of the local universities. Her husband had come dressed as the Tom Baker-era Doctor, while Gates had come as the Ice Queen, which Castle found apropos. The man had been a delight to talk with, and Castle noticed how Gates was more relaxed and friendly when with her husband.

Ryan and Jenny had utilized her pregnancy and had come as Paulie Bleeker and Juno. Castle had to admit... Ryan really could pull off those bright yellow shorts. He had surprisingly lean and toned legs. Esposito was lazy, in the costume department, simply coming as a soldier—again. Lanie had come as Elphaba from Wicked, ever square inch of visible skin painted green. And after spying Esposito and Lanie huddle together whispering in the shadows, Castle wondered if the detective had helped to apply the green paint.

His mother had attended as Queen Elizabeth I. It matched Martha's dramatic personality. As for himself, Castle had spared no expense on his King Arthur costume, crown and all. As for Kate… well, she hadn't told him what her costume was, just that she'd surprise him. Just before the party was about to get started, Kate arrived with her father, who'd dressed as Babe Ruth circa 1920. And Kate… she was dressed from head to toe in authentic pirate garb, topped off with a replica dark leather tricorne hat that looked like it had come straight out of a Pirates of the Caribbean movie. Turned out that's what she was, Elizabeth Swann as a pirate.

"Kate," he'd whined when they'd gone into the kitchen to serve drinks. "If you'd told me, I would have come as Jack Sparrow."

She'd snorted out a laugh and shook her head. "But you're so kingly, Castle… all splendid in your ceremonial battle armor."

"You like it?" he's straightened his back and puffed out his chest, smiling proudly.

"Very," she'd batted her eyelashes playfully and stepped closer to him, pushing up on her toes. "I look forward to 'dethroning' you later, if you get my drift."

He still shivered at the memory. It was all kinds of hot.

Their post-party activities were memorable, to say the least. He'd had a thrilling time removing her pirate garb, layer by layer (though leaving the tricorne cap on—he couldn't help it, she was so sexy with that on), until he discovered that she'd gone completely commando underneath. She had smirked seductively at him, and then pounced on him. Kate must have really liked his costume, because she'd never been so demanding or persistent in getting what she wanted, not even during that stormy night over a year ago. It had been the perfect ending to what had been an amazingly awesome night.

Things definitely went 'bump' in the night.

But now, he was awake, in the dead of night, all alone in his bed. Kate was nowhere to be seen. He frowned and sat up, rubbing the sleep out of his eyes as he looked about the room, seeing no sign of his fiancée. Castle slipped out of bed and groped around in the darkness for his robe. Pulling it on, he tied the waist knot and shuffled towards the bathroom.

Light was filtering through the base of the closed door, leading Castle to make the logical assumption that Kate's absence in bed was due to the fact she had to get up to use the toilet. He yawned and scratched the back of his head, stilling for a moment when he felt cold metal. Bringing both hands up, he felt around and was stunned to discover he was still wearing the crown.

He smirked, thinking, Well, I am King of the Loft, and my Queen did just give me the royal treatment.

Castle rapped his knuckles lightly against the bathroom door. "Hey, Kate, you in there?" he called out. No response. He waited a second or two before knocking again and asking his question again. Still, no answer. And that's when he noticed that the entire loft appeared to be silent. He couldn't even hear the normal constant hum of the city that never sleeps.

Furrowing his brow, Castle reached down and gripped the door handle with shaky fingers. Gradually turning it, he pushed the door open and slowly eased across the threshold. Compared to the bedroom, the ensuite was bright. He squinted his eyes and nervously closed the door behind him, heart hammering in his chest.

God, he felt like a paranoid fool, acting all scared in his own house. But there was just something strange going on. It was quiet. Too quiet. The loft had never been this quiet. It made Castle anxious. Then there was the matter that his bed was lacking the warm, lax body of one Kate Beckett. Licking his lips nervously, he quickly did his business and flushed the toilet, pathetically letting out a sigh of relief at finally hearing some noise.

Slipping back out of the bathroom, leaving the light on, cause, yeah, he was kind of scared of the dark, especially on All Hallows' Eve. Castle breathed heavily, just to make some noise, as he carefully tiptoed across the bedroom and towards the wall of backless bookshelves. He narrowed his eyes and peeked between the shelves, searching for Beckett.


His office was empty. No one in sight.

Frowning, he opened the door and stepped into the office, glancing around with quick movements of his head. He probably looked like a spooked chicken. Yeah… a spooked chicken with a crown. He gulped, trying to suppress the feeling of unease permeating his entire body. A sudden chilling breeze drifted through his office, and Castle shivered, the hairs on the back of his neck rising. Biting his lower lip, he turned around, eyes wide with unmanly fear.

The kitchen light was on. But it was flickering, winking in and out, giving off a strobe-like effect. As he strode out of his office and towards the blinking light, Castle had a sudden flash of Weeping Angels in his mind's eye. Damn. Those episodes of Doctor Who had managed to make statues scary. Gritting his teeth, and puffing his chest up—and not blinking—Castle marched into the center of the kitchen, and glared up at the offending light bulb. He glanced around for the stepstool. Finding it, he dragged it over, making as much noise as possible. He just couldn't handle the deathly silence of the loft.

Rotating around in place, Castle gave the opened loft area a cursory examination for any ghouls or goblins hiding about, before stepping up on the small stool and reaching up to adjust the bulb. He knitted his eyebrows together as he turned the bulb slightly, and it finally ceased it's erratic winking. Sighing with relief, because despite all his bluster, he really was a scaredy-cat, Castle hopped down off the stepstool and took the crown off, wringing it in his hands as he flirted his eyes around the open lounge area just beyond the kitchen.

Again, there was no one in sight. The furniture was still pushed back, where it had been moved to create space for the partygoers to mix and mingle. Silence engulfed the loft, and Castle just stood there, clutching his prop crown in his sweaty hands as he stared out into the darkness.

And then there was loud bang, like a door slamming as a result of a wind draft. He spun around and gazed back at his office. The door was still wide open, as was the door leading to the bedroom. Neither had moved an inch. The upstairs was empty, as Martha had gone out with a 'friend' and didn't expect to be back until, at the latest, mid-afternoon. And with his relationship strained with Alexis, there wasn't any chance that she and Pi were upstairs. She hadn't even made an appearance. He found that sad, and a little depressing. This was the first Halloween bash he'd thrown at the loft that Alexis hadn't attended.

It was just him and Kate tonight, so it wasn't a complete loss. They had the loft all to themselves. Which was quite alright with him, as it had allowed them to be as loud as they wanted to during their post-party activities. But then there was the matter of Kate missing from his bed when he woke up. He frowned, starting to suspect that she might be behind the strange goings-on. It would be just like her to prank him on Halloween. Honestly, Castle was thrilled with this playful side of Kate. He loved it when she could cut loose and just be free. Plus, it helped that it was a major turn on for him. He'd never known someone who had the effect on him that Detective Kate Beckett did.

There was another loud bang, this time coming from the opposite direction. Castle pirouetted around in place and glared out into the darkness, hiding a smirk. This was totally Kate's doing, making things go bump in the night. She was trying to get a rise out of him. And oh, she was. But she had no idea what she'd just unleashed. He was going to make her pay… oh yes. He was going to enjoy this.

Smirking mischievously, with a touch of smugness, Castle placed the crown back on top his of head and walked around the island counter. He marched with purpose towards the coat closet by the front door. If he knew anything about pulling off Halloween pranks, and he most certainly did—after all, he was Rick Castle—then it was that that particularly closet was the perfect place to hide. Wiggling his fingers in gleeful anticipation of catching Beckett off guard, Castle slowed down and softly padded the rest of the way.

He was just reaching for the handle of the coat closet, when there was a sudden knock on the front door. Castle paused, frowning. It didn't make sense. If Kate were hiding in the coat closet, why would there be a knock on the front door… unless. God, he'd been such a paranoid fool. She hadn't been pranking him; she'd probably just popped out for a second to get them a late night snack from that 24-hour diner on the corner of the block and forgotten her key. They'd both expended a lot of energy in their post-party activities. Plus, it made the best 2 AM coffee in New York. One of the first things Castle had learned once he and Kate first hooked up, it was that she had a penchant for having a late night snack after a really good round of lovemaking. And if she was going to for the coffee as well, then that meant she was planning another round.

Castle grinned, and turned towards the front door. "What's this?" he questioned, making sure he was loud enough so that Kate could hear him on the other side of the door. "Is there someone rapping at my chamber door?" When in doubt, quote Poe. After all, there was a reason he'd selected Edgar as his middle name.

"Just open the damn door, Castle!" Kate growled out on the other side of the door.

"All right, all right," he shouted back. "No need to get your panties in a knot… oh wait, you weren't wearing any panties!" Chuckling at what he saw as a clever joke, Castle turned the handle and pulled the door open, expecting to see a very annoyed and frustrated Kate Beckett. He smirked to himself, he'd soon make her feel better—a lot better, especially if she had remembered to get those little white powdered donut holes. God… he loved those. They were so addictive.

But upon opening the door, Castle was met with a curious sight.

No one. The corridor was empty. He stuck his head out and looked both ways. Nope. Beckett was nowhere to be seen. Frowning, he rubbed the back of his neck. Well, this was puzzling. He stepped back into the loft and closed the door, drumming his fingers against his chin in confusion. He shook his head, and scrubbed his hands up and down his face. He must be hallucinating. It wouldn't be the first time something like this happened on a Halloween night. Castle would be the first to freely admit that he did tend to have a habit of consuming way too much candy on the one holiday that was famous for candy. Tonight certainly hadn't been the exception to that rule.

Castle closed the door, and leaned back against it, thoroughly perplexed as to what was going on. There was no sign of Kate anywhere. And the loft was still empty and silent.

The coat closet door suddenly swung open


"Ahh!" Castle squealed like a little girl, jolting back and nearly falling down on the floor in fright.

It was Kate standing over him, wearing that terrifying Creaver mask. She pulled the hideous thing over her head and tossed it back into the coat closet. She grinned wickedly at him and laughed boisterously, her face lighting up with mirth and amusement—all at his expense—as she reveled in triumph and reached back into the closet to pull out that tricorne cap, affixing it back on top of her head, adjusting it until it sat just right. Castle placed his hand over his heart, trying to calm the rapid beating beneath his ribcage.

"Are you trying to kill me, Kate?"

She gave him a sheepish look, and offered him a hand. He took it and she helped stabilize him as he regained his balance. "I'm sorry, Rick," Kate chuckled softly, still highly amused. "You're just an easy mark. I couldn't resist, especially when you keep insisting on wearing that ridiculous crown."

He stuck out his lower lip on a child-like pout. "But it makes me look so kingly."

"You don't need a crown to look kingly, Castle," she told him, reaching up to lift the crown off his head. She held it up in front of him, before smirking and turning around to toss it over to the couch, where it landed on a bounce. She looked back at him and sighed. "Better." She stepped closer, running her fingers through his ruffled hair as she pulled him in for a deep and long kiss.

Castle hummed in approval, letting his hands slip down to her waist. It was at that moment that he realized she was, in fact, naked. He pushed back, eyes wide with surprise and wonderment, looking down with delight at her nude form. His eyes skidded back up to her eyes. "You're naked," he stated the obvious.

Kate laughed, and struck a pose. "You approve?"

He bobbed his head, a little too enthusiastically. Then he spotted the tricorne cap, sitting atop her head, tipped back slightly. "I like that hat."

"I know," she purred, brushing her hands along his shoulders. "And if you hadn't noticed, I'm cold." She pursed her lips. "Very cold."
"Oh… I noticed," Castle asserted, his eyes flirting down to her nude form once again. "So, how long were you waiting in the closet?"

"About an hour," she grimaced, scrunching up her nose in annoyance. "It took you longer to wake up than I thought it would."

He chuckled. "And here I thought you were done hiding in my closets."

"God, I know, it was bad enough the first time, and that wasn't even my choice," she grumbled, then shook her head and laughed with him.

"So… how'd you do it? I mean, your voice… it was definitely coming from the corridor."
"Oh, wouldn't you like to know," Kate purred seductively, giving him a wink.

"Yes. Yes I would," he said, squeezing his hands around her waist.

"I have my ways," Kate answered enigmatically, flashing him a sultry grin. She moved closer to him, teasingly running her hands down his chest. Castle gulped, feeling his heart rate start to increase again, but for an entirely different reason this time. She lined in and kissed him fiercely, reaching down to untie the knot around his waist and slipped her talented hands inside.

Castle gasped in surprise. "Cold hands," he shrieked, jumping slightly as he shivered.

Kate laughed, and hugged him, pressing all her soft curves against his solid form. "Care to help warm them up, Mr. Castle?"

He bobbed his head in the affirmative, and Kate smiled alluringly, pulling her hands back and grabbing his, tugging him along as she guided him back to the bed. As they walked through the living room, Castle stretched out an arm and plucked the crown off the couch, and with a flourish, placed it back on top of his head. Kate glanced back at him and rolled her eyes. Castle smirked boyishly and waggled his eyebrows. It was time to make things go bump in the night.

"Best Halloween ever," he declared as they disappeared back into his bedroom, kicking the door closed behind them.

The loft grew silent again, and in the kitchen, a single stubborn light bulb began to flicker.