"So...trains?" Nick asked as they waited for the traffic light to change. How does a red light not trigger... Maybe next time I go in to work, I should ask if there have been any traffic lights stolen.
"Yes, trains," Monroe said. "They're always good gifts. And, on a personal note, they helped me when I was recovering from...it's a long story."
"That and making clocks."
"Never underestimate just how theraputic that is. That said, Holly may be a bit young to start clockmaking."
"Huh. I just don't understand why you need my help delivering these presents to Holly," Nick said as he drove them over.
"Protection," Monroe said.
"Protection? She's sixteen years old."
"I don't think you're grasping the enormity of this, Nick. Holly and her mom were out jogging two days ago, and they ended said jog on my doorstep. Care to guess how they found where I live?"
"Oooh, a play on words. And you wonder why nobody likes Grimms."
"I know, I know, we're all a bunch of killjoys."
"Yes to both," Monroe said. Seriously, you thought a double entrede would stop me? What do you take me for, a -
"We're here," Nick said, pulling up to the curb. "So, you want to wait in the car?"
"No," Monroe said, as reluctant to let go of the final vowel, as he was to let go of the car door once he got out. Like making trains and clocks, I need to lay the groundwork if Holly's going to understand a lick of what it means to be a Blutbad. Besides being able to find someone on the other side of town or whatever.
"To be fair, you did tell Holly that she's not alone," Nick said.
"I meant in the sense that she's a Blutbaden, not some completely random and unique freak of nature. That would suck."
"Right, because after living alone for nine years, she can completely tell the difference."
"Granted," Monroe said as they carried the first few boxes of tracks from the trunk to the front door of the house.
"So, anything I should know?" Nick asked as they waited for someone to answer the doorbell.
"Well for one, she probably has no idea what a Grimm is," Monroe said right before Holly opened the door, her face a mix of human and Blutbad features on display. And she looked at Nick with unveiled confusion, snatching looks behind herself at someone or something in the other room.
"Oh no," Monroe said, coming inside, Nick right behind him.
"What?" Nick asked, seeing Mrs. Clark standing in the living room, rubbing her eyes with one hand, bracing herself on a chair with the other hand. "Hi, we just -"
"Did Holly let you in?" Mrs. Clark asked, looking to Nick's eyes more than a little disoriented. "Holl-"
"That's really not nice," Monroe said to Holly, him and Nick setting down the boxes while Holly came in the living room with them.
"Why?" Holly asked, looking from Nick to her adopted mother. Then, looking at the boxes, "What?"
Monroe let his face change to full Blutbad and return to human. "You need to do that," he told Holly.
Holly just looked at Monroe.
"What's going on?" Nick asked.
"Remember you asked me if I could show Juliet what a Blutbad looks like?" Monroe asked.
Nick nodded. "You said something about the unfiltered wildness of the universe, I think."
"Something like that. And, yeah, that's what normally happens. This is what sometimes happens. Paralytic shock. The human's brain shuts down for the most part, for as long as there's a Wesen around like...well, like Holly right now." Monroe let his full Blutbad face show, and tucked it away a second time; this time, Holly did the same.
"Thank you for coming," Mrs. Clark said to them. "I appreciate your generosity. You already saved Holly; you didn't have to do this."
"We wanted to," Nick said. "So, how do you put these together?" he asked Monroe.
Monroe looked aghast. "You know, when you said you hadn't put track up, I thought it was because you were busy... I never thought you hadn't done it because you're, well -"
"Not the word I would have used, but that works too."
"Toys?" Holly asked.
"Oh, even better," Monroe said as Nick's phone rang.
"We had trains when I was a girl," Mrs. Monroe said. "I think this will be good for all of us."
Nick hung up and said, "Got a case. I'd stay and help explain, but," and shrugged.
Explain? I know how trains work. Unless these are radically different from the sort I grew up with, Mrs. Clark said.
"No problemo," Monroe said. 'I can handle this. If I can't, there's a few numbers I can call."
Nick raised an eyebrow.
"Well I can't exactly call Hap, no matter how cool he'd think this is. But yeah, some individuals who could give me advice - sort of like hwo I've been giving you advice."
"Fine," Nick said, and said his goodbyes to the Clarks.
Half an hour passed in enjoyable company as the three of them assembled the train set: placing hills, tracks, Railroad Crossing signs and zoo animals. Then came the capstone moment, the key piece which would make it all run and work: plugging it in and turning it on.
The train made its expected sound and began to slowly inch forwards along the track.
Monroe and Mrs. Clark smiled.
Holly went slightly Blutbadish.
"Aw man," Monroe muttered. To Holly, he coughed and said, "Person face, please."
"You okay?" Monroe asked Mrs. Clark.
"I don't know what came over me," Mrs. Clark said. "It's happened a few times over the last week. I suppose the excitement of getting my Holly back."
"And you just black out," Monroe asked.
She nodded. "Sometimes I think I'm dreaming."
"Because of what you see."
"It's fine, really," Monroe said. He sighed. "This is so definately not the conversation I wanted to have, with anybody - nothing personal, I just never thought much of the prospect of, well...having to explain."
"Mr. Monroe?" Mrs. Clark asked.
"I'm a Blutbad. Your daughter is a Blutbad. We are Blutbaden. Sometimes, if we aren't careful, our other face comes to the fore." Well, on the plus side, I won't have to awkwardly ask for some alone time with Holly to explain her heritage to her. Now I can tell them both. So hoping this doesn't turn around and bite me.
"Other face? I'm afraid you've lost me."
Holly put her arms around her mom's shoulders.
"When you're having a dream in a blackout," Monroe said, "do you ever see your daughter looking a bit more...wolfish?"
"How did you...?" Mrs. Clark asked him. "Then I wasn't dreaming?"
"It's not a dream," Monroe said.
"And you said you're a... bluet baad as well?"
"Yup, I'm a Blutbad too. Wild guess here, your next question is What is a Blutbad?"
"People who paralyse other people?"
"That doesn't usually happen, actually," Monroe said. Normally you end up with the IQ of a particularly bright broccoli.
"Is there anything, any special requirements? Do Blutbaden keep kosher?"
"Some of us do, yeah. But there aren't many hard and fast rules about dealing with Blutbaden. The first one's a biggie, though: no red."
"I like red," Holly said.
"So do I. We all do - that's just it."
"I don't see how that's a problem," Mrs. Clark said.
O-kay. "Does Holly act differently when you wear something that's red?"
"She does - normally she keeps close to me. But when I have something red on, she doesn't leave my side."
Monroe nodded. "That's what I call the Collect And Take Home drive." And Monroe was willing to leave it at that, given the look Mrs. Clark was giving him right now. "Any other questions?"
"Is your friend friend Detective Burkhart a Blutbaden?"
"Because he didn't seem to have any difficulty with..." Mrs. Clark said.
"Um, yeah, Nick's what we call a Grimm. They can see us, whether we want them to or not."
"Grimm? Like in stories," Holly said.
"Oh on so many levels," Monroe said to himself. To them, "Yeah. A lot of the Grimms' storybook tales are based on run-ins with -- Well, it's why... There's no easy way to say this."
Mrs. Clark nodded, seconding it.
"Traditionally, Grimms hunt Wesen," Monroe said.
"Wesen?" Holly asked.
"Blutbaden and others."
"Hunt?" Mrs. Clark asked.
Monroe was reasonably proud of how he handled the next few minutes, given how he had to keep both Holly and her adopted mom from panicking, calling the cops on Nick, or running for the hills. "A bit more explanation would be good," he said, once the three of them were sitting around the kitchen table.
"It would be very good," Mrs. Clark said.
"Nick, he's...He's a good Grimm," Monroe said, knowing that, to someone raised in the traditions like he had been, that was like saying A polite serial killer. "Ideally, Grimms only go after Wesen who start killing people. Nick's true to the noblest ideal of the Grimms." The other noble ideal of the Grimms is - at least supposedly - keeping a trophy room of all your kills. Note to self, politely refuse to see Nick's basement, no matter what disaster's going on. Then again, if there's a disaster...
"But he still kills Wesen like Holly," Mrs. Clark said.
"No!" Monroe insisted. "If Nick was that sort of Grimm, he wouldn't have brought Holly back here. He saved her life - getting her medical attention, stopping some gun-toting guys from shooting her."
Mrs. Clark held up a hand. "Fine. And I'm grateful to both of you - and Detective Griffin - for keeping my Holly safe and bringing her back home. But I don't have to let him anywhere near her anymore - do I?"
"Not if you don't want to. Wesen obey the law, and so do Grimms."
"What hunts Grimms?" Holly asked.
Hooooo boy, no little questions with you, huh? O-kay, well, based on what I know, which I admit is founded on legend and tradition...and is peppered with hearsay and rumor... "Rogue Grimms get taken out by any and all other Grimms," Monroe said.
"No Wesen?" Holly asked, and Monroe could swear she sounded disappointed.
I'll admit, it would be a feather in anybody's hat, the moreso with she'd be going from isolate to Reaper in record time. "No," Monroe said. I could say 'good Wesen don't hunt Grimms' but that would open a whole 'nother barrel of Fuchbau I'd rather not deal with.
Mrs. Clark's face suggested she didn't entirely believe him, but she didn't say anything. More importantly, Holly bought his claim as being what he said things were.
"Does that help any?" Monroe asked.
"It...clarifies some, yes," Mrs. Clark said. "I think we need some time to think about what you've said."
Monroe nodded. "You've got my number now, so if you have any questions..." and headed for the door.