Title: (Not So) Secret Santa
Genre: Humor, Friendship, Supernatural, Angst.
Characters/Pairings: Javier Esposito/Kevin Ryan, Richard Castle.
Details: Slash, genre!crack, werewolves, friendship, Christmas, Castle being Castle, unbetad.
Word Count: 808
Summary:Though their strange condition had turned out unexpectedly benign, there were still times when Kevin thought the whole werewolf thing was kind of a drag.
For a relative time for this, I suppose that Trier of Fact would have taken place over September and October, Evidence to the Contrary in November.
The thing was, Kevin actually liked surprises. Or, at least, before the universe had sprung the whole "werewolves exist" thing on him he had. And when it came to the harmless, fun kind of surprises, he had to admit he still did.
Though those kinds of surprises were growing unfortunately scarce these days.
Both he and Javier had each always been very alert and perceptive—those were only two of the many traits that made them both good detectives. But with each full moon that passed, he and his partner had grown more at home with the changes that had taken place, more familiar with the overwhelming quantity of information that had newly opened up to them. Now a whole world of scents and sounds existed for them that had once been beyond their reach. These days they were aware of so much more, all the time. The new, constant awareness of details that, before, Kevin would never have been able to imagine often left him feeling like he inhabited a different world entirely from the one he had known all his life...
And yet, at the same time, there were moments when it felt so natural that Kevin could almost forget he had ever been any other way.
Between the confirmed existence of things beyond the natural, his transformation into one of them, and the keen senses that transformation had granted, Kevin sometimes thought he might no longer even be capable of surprise.
Though, quite often, he was unsure how he should feel whenever life managed to prove him wrong.
Kevin had been pondering just that problem not hours ago, feeling a bit low-spirited—and also just a little stupid for feeling that way. He had mentioned it to Javier, and to be quite honest his partner's reaction hadn't helped. All things considered, Kevin almost would have preferred if Javier had mocked him outright rather than giving him that look—the one with the soft, faint smile that could almost go unnoticed by anyone else, and his head tilted just slightly. The one that told Kevin that, apparently, his partner found his disappointment surrounding the season somewhat endearing. Which really wasn't remotely fair...
After all, if there was ever a time when it was nice to be surprised, Christmas was definitely it.
Though Kevin wasn't actively keeping track, in the back of his mind there was a running tally of the holiday surprises that his new senses had managed to ruin. Now, he and Javier were standing around in the bull pen for the station's Secret Santa thing at the yearly Christmas party, and Kevin found himself much less enthusiastic about it than was normally his habit. Of course he still loved giving gifts, and he loved getting gifts, but "Secret Santa" wasn't very secret when he could already make out the gift-giver's scent clinging to the packaging...
Though, when he opened the wrapping and lifted the lid, Kevin was treated to a moment of very surreal surprise when the source of the fresh, new-cotton smell turned out to be a very vibrant, very red hooded sweatshirt.
The tense silence that crept into the room was, by far, more predictable. Kevin could feel the way the energy of the room had changed. Because they all knew, of course—almost the entire station knew what had happened to them by now—and they all got it. And Kevin had a feeling none of them were quite sure how he or Javier were going to react.
Of course, even without the sharpness of his new senses, Kevin would have known who had given him that gift... There was really only one person who would have dared.
"Seriously, Castle, that's not even remotely funny," Kevin managed.
His heart was beating a little fast—Kevin was nervous enough at being the sudden center of so much attention, and the wariness he was scenting on the other officers certainly wasn't helping. Nonetheless, his startled amusement managed to carry through into his voice.
"Besides," Kevin finished, throwing the writer a soft smirk, "we all know I'm the big bad wolf in this relationship."
Then Javier flipped Kevin off, and Castle laughed, and Kate elbowed Castle in the ribs, though it had done nothing to dim the writer's grin. Suddenly, all the tension that had filled the room shattered like glass, and that was the last Kevin really heard or thought about it for the rest of the night.
(Except for once, from Karpowski—hours later after too much brandied eggnog—but since they had been standing under the mistletoe at the time, Kevin had considered it a fair enough question to ask, so it really didn't count.)
And though he never thanked Castle directly, Kevin thought that reminder of just how little had really changed might have been the best surprise of all.