But Your Daddy Left You
Elly rang Nick’s doorbell hoping at she wasn’t about to be killed by a Grimm.
“Elly,” Nick said when he opened the door. “Thanks for coming.”
Elly nodded and tried not to look past him into the house to see if she could see his mother she wasn’t sure if she even really wanted to. She was curious; had been since he arrived at her house and told her that his mother was not actually dead and that she’d come to town looking to kill the man going after Nick. Elly trusted Nick trusted him a little more than she ever really expected to but she was worried about his mother. His mother was a Grimm, had left her son to think she was dead and even if she had an amazing reason Elly didn’t think she’d ever forgive the older woman for abandoning Nick like that.
“It’s fine,” Elly said biting her lip.
“I wouldn’t have done this…I shouldn’t have done this,” Nick looked at her apologetically. “I’m sorry I know you’re scared. You don’t have to do this.”
Elly rolled her eyes. “You need help I will help you that’s how this works.”
Nick shook his head. “She’s not like me I shouldn’t have called.”
“Nick,” Elly snapped softening it with a smile. “You need help so tell me what it is, I’ll help and things will be fine.”
“I need you to get me in t-”
Nick was cut off by his mother’s voice behind him. “Nick, who is it?”
Nick turned just as his mother got to the door; she pulled a knife and lunged. Nick reacted stepping and twisting to put himself between his mother and Elly.
“No!” Nick felt the knife dig in but it was a shallow wound glancing off his arm, he knew it would bleed but it wouldn’t do any real damage.
“She is a Blutbad,” his mother hissing baring her teeth.
“I know,” Nick said stepping back a little until he could feel the heat coming off Elly’s body reassuring him that she was safe.
“She is a Blutbad, you should be killing her. Why are you protecting her?”
“She’s my friend,” Nick said. “This is Elly, the woman I was telling you about who has a friend that might be able to help.”
“I don’t want help from a Blutbad,” his mother spat and turned to go back into the room.
“Shit Nick,” Elly breathed out, her breath ruffling the hair on the back of his head.
“Are you okay?” Nick turned to look at her, check that she was okay but she caught sight of his arm first.
“Nick,” Elly grabbed his hand and tugged him behind her down the verandah stairs. “Come on.”
“Where are we going?” He asked following her regardless.
“I have a first aid kit in my car, or do I need to take you to the hospital?”
“No,” Nick looked down at his sleeve, his light blue shirt was now maroon from the blood but he knew it wasn’t a bad wound. If his mother had not pulled her lunge at the last moment he would have been worse and if he hadn’t stepped in he knew Elly would be injured so it was all worth it. “It’s really not that bad.”
“You once told me that an arrow sticking out of your shoulder wasn’t that bad. I don’t trust your medical advice.”
Nick laughed. “To be fair you did ask me before I had a chance to apprehend that guy.”
“Yes after which you passed out because the arrow had been laced with something.”
“Yeah but the guy didn’t get away.”
Elly rolled her eyes and laughed. “Take off your shirt and sit in the car so your neighbours don’t get a free show.”
Elly opened the door and pulled out the dark blue container from under the passenger seat in her little yellow bug. She moved back and waited for Nick to pull the shirt over his head and sit down in the front seat. There was a lot of blood but the cut didn’t look that bad. She opened the case, and started cleaning the wound.
“So what did you need?”
“You’re still going to help?” Nick asked surprise obvious on his face.
“Of course,” Elly said as Nick hissed.
“Okay that hurts.”
Elly smiled and finished cleaning the wound until all the surrounding blood was gone and she could see the cut clearly.
“Elly, I don’t want you to get involved with this.”
“Nick, I have over the last year proven that I am involved in this, you won’t let your mother kill me so tell me what you need help with before I find some lemon juice and torture it out of you.”
Nick laughed. “I need your help me get in touch with some Wesen, they might be able to lead my mother to the people she’s been after.”
“Nick…” Elly stopped herself and held the side of Nick’s cut together to tape them. “It’s probably not deep enough for stitches, I’ll tape it and wrap it but you should watch it in case, it did bleed a lot.”
“That isn’t what you were going to say Elly,” Nick said watching her carefully.
Elly shook her head. “Don’t worry about it. Let me know who you want me to contact.”
“I will,” Nick watched her wrap the white bandage over his arm before she tucked the rubbish into a little plastic bag and closed the first-aid kit.
Elly took a step back and Nick stepped out of the car but didn’t bother putting his shirt back on, he’d just get blood on his new bandage. They stood and watched each other for a moment.
“I still don’t know why she let me know she was alive,” Nick said quietly.
Elly stepped forward and pulled him into a tight hug being careful not to put pressure on his wound. Nick wrapped his arms around her back and held on tight, he could feel her hot breath on his shoulder and he wanted to stay right here with Elly because everything in his house was confusing and overwhelming. He couldn’t work out if he should be happy to see his mother after all this time or angry, angry enough to punch the wall and beat the stuffing out of any Wesen stupid enough to do the wrong thing, that she’d been alive this whole time and she didn’t care enough to tell him.
Nick took two deep breaths then stiffened up his body before pulling away; Elly smiled at him and gripped his shoulders quickly before stepping back. “If you need anything at all, even just to talk.”
“I know,” Nick said. “Thank you.”
“Do you have the list?”
“Can I call you?” Nick asked. “I still need a bit more information from my mother and I don’t think she’d be very interested in telling us at the moment. I wanted you to help try and get the information but…”
Elly nodded. “As soon as you work it all out call me, and Nick promise that if you need anything you’ll call or come by even if it’s not a good time okay?”
Nick nodded stiffening his spine even tighter and then nodded. “I will, thank you Elly. I’m so sorry about my mother.”
Elly smiled and waved him away. “Not everyone is a Grimm like you Nick.”
Nick nodded slowly and then looked up suddenly. “Elly, put the word out to the Wesen you know not to come by, tell them to be careful. She might hurt someone who doesn’t deserve it and I’m worried they will be complacent because of me.”
Elly pulled him back into a hug unable to help herself because he was worried about Wesen getting hurt and she could not believe how amazing Nick was, how different he was.
“Sorry,” Elly said pulling back. “I just, call me.”
“Thank you Elly,” Nick said and watched as she climbed into her car and drove away. He didn’t turn to go back inside until her brake lights had disappeared then took a deep breath gripped his shirt and headed back into the house to deal with his mother.
/ / /
/ / / 2 / / /
Nick opened his front door and stepped inside.
He’d been shocked when his mother had been standing across from him. He barely recognised her she’d been thinner the last time he saw her, she’d been wearing a something soft and flowery but he’d lost the exact memory years ago. He’d remembered his name, said exactly like that; no one had called him Nicky in all the years since the accident.
There was a dead body between them and suddenly his mother was standing before him with scars she hadn’t had before and short hair but she was his mum. He didn’t know what to do at first just stared at her dumbly for a few minutes. She watched him wearily but offered no explanation, no reasons, just watched him silently. Nick shook himself and reached for his mobile; put a call into dispatch – dead suspect. There was the police car outside which he needed to check and the crime scene guys would need to look at the place and they would have called the paramedics to check him out but they couldn’t find his mother here. She must have been the one to fight off Wu at the hotel; she must have been the one to give his partner a concussion and bruised ribs.
Nick dropped his phone and stared at his mother. “I killed him, you were never here.”
She nodded. “I have been chasing him for a while, looking for the Coins of Zakynthos.”
“You know about the coins?”
Nick looked at the dead body in his living room, the mess surrounding him and was glad that he’d never got around to going furniture shopping when Juliette left him; there was much less to clean up than there could have been. He needed to call Hank, tell him that they were safe for now. He needed to call Elly and tell her the threat was gone. He needed to call Elly and ask her what he was supposed to feel when your mother came back from the dead because Nick couldn’t work it out. He needed to call the captain and let him know the guy was no longer an issue and he had to work out a way to get his mother off the list of people they needed to hunt down. Something he didn’t need to do was worry about the coins, he knew they were safe and if something happened to him he knew Elly would find them and bury them somewhere no one would go looking.
“The police will be here soon,” Nick said wondering if he needed to do anything to hide the fact the fight had involved three people instead of two. It shouldn’t be a problem because he’d give his statement and he’d say that it was just him and Akira Kimura and surely there would be nothing to disagree with him.
“Do you know about the coins?” His mother asked again.
Nick frowned at her, now really wasn’t the time to be worried about a set of old, powerful, evil coins but his mother seemed determined. “There is an APB out for you since you attacked Wu and Williams, I will lie in my report, you were never here… were you hurt? Are you bleeding?” Nick knew if she’d bled they would pick up at the very least that she was a woman in the middle of a fight between two men. He could say it must have been from Juliette but she’d been gone almost three months now and the blood would be fresh. They would run DNA; they would discover a family connection that couldn’t be explained because everyone knew Nick had no family.
“I will be back in the morning,” his mother said finally sounding annoyed and looking put out as she disappeared out the back door.
Nick followed her and locked the door and then went out the front to check on the two officers who had been supposed to be watching his house, he knew he should have checked on them before but Kimura didn’t have issues with murder and he had needed to get the man before he went after anyone else. They were both unconscious but not dead, Nick didn’t understand he’d expected to find them dead but regardless he called dispatch back and asked for two ambulances – officers down. He pulled them carefully out of the bushes neither of them were covered in claw marks which probably meant that they had been taken out by someone else. His mother? But it made no sense that she would take them out before Kimura got there and then wait for him to attack Nick. Above his head red and blue flashing lights illuminated the bushes and he turned to greet the other officers, sending some inside to guard the body leaving some here to watch over the two officers. He pulled his phone out again and called the captain.
“I’ve already been notified I am on my way to your house,” Renard said instead of a greeting. He must have been driving and unwilling to waste time. “Have you been hurt?”
“Bruises and scrapes, nothing too bad.”
“Good, see you in ten.”
Nick hung up the phone and called Hank.
“He been to yours?” Hank asked as soon as the phone connected.
“Yeah, he’s dead.”
“Okay, I’ll be there in ten. Nick,” Hank paused for a second and seemed to be debating something. “Is he a Wesen?”
“Yeah, a Schakal like a jackal.”
“Fuck,” Hank breathed out before he told Nick he’d see him soon.
Hank seemed to be taking the new information fairly well. He hadn’t had a mental break, he hadn’t come around to kill Elly or Nick so Nick was cautiously holding his breath and hoping for the best. For now he was not offering information but not holding it back either just waiting Hank out. Nick knew Hank had gone to visit Rosalee the night he’d been shown the truth but she refused to say anything more than that he seemed to be handling things well. Nick had wanted to laugh because well was relative and he was terrified his partner was going to ask to be transferred because Nick was insane.
Nick tapped his phone one last time and called Elly who answered on the second ring. “Nick?”
“Elly,” Nick suddenly felt weary as though the last week, the last month was finally hitting him but he couldn’t slow down just yet. “Kimura is dead, he was a Schakal. I will call you tomorrow okay?”
“Nick, are you okay?”
“Some cuts and bruises, nothing much.”
“One of these days you are going to get that I don’t just mean physically when I ask that question.”
“I have to go the Captain’s here. I’ll talk to you tomorrow?”
“Call when things are done if you need to.”
“And ruin your schedule. I don’t think so.”
Elly laughed and said goodbye and Nick took a deep breath before forging into the fray.
It was close to midnight when everything was done and Nick could go back inside, he thanked everyone for their hard work and the next thing he knew he was standing in front of Elly’s door. He shook himself and turned around to get back into his car. He drove slowly and carefully going home checking his usual route not remembering driving it just a few minutes before. There were no accidents, no injuries so when he got home he went upstairs and took a long, hot shower. He stood under the spray wishing he had have knocked at Elly’s and gone in, wishing he knew what she thought about his mother and everything that Nick was feeling. Honestly, he wished she would be able to help him work out what he was feeling, or at least what he should be feeling because he didn’t know. He turned the water off and crawled into bed not bothering with clothes and was asleep moments later.
/ / / 3 / / /
Nick woke up and remembered the dinner he was supposed to be cooking, the vegetarian frittata that he had shopped for a couple of days ago. He called Roddy and sent him to Elly’s instead, called Holly’s mum with the same news before he called Elly and left a message telling her as well. He didn’t know if he was should be disappointed or glad that she hadn’t answered. He crawled out of bed and had another shower trying to find the calm than he normally found under the heavy beat of hot water. It didn’t help. The Captain had given him today off to recover from his injuries, giving him a long weekend, so he got dressed comfortably and went downstairs to clean up.
He had finished sweeping the debris up, threw away the broken pieces of furniture and straightened the few pieces that would survive. He desperately needed to go shopping for furniture now but his TV and couch had both survived so it could wait until things settled down.
Nick made himself breakfast and expected his mother to drop by but she didn’t. He went down to his basement to spend some time with his boxing bag and running machine expecting to hear the doorbell but it never rang. He ate lunch and watched something stupid on TV figuring she was never going to come back.
Mid-afternoon he heard a knock at his kitchen door. He frowned and went to the door; no one ever came to his kitchen door. He peaked through the blind and shook himself; of course it would be his mother, who was hiding from the police, at his back door. He opened it and stood aside to allow her in.
“Hi, would you like something to drink?” Nick asked not sure exactly what to say as she stood in his kitchen staring at him patiently much like she had the night before.
“Do you have the coins?” His mother asked ignoring his first question.
“No,” Nick said before he even had time to think about his answer. He knew it was the right decision though, something told him telling his mum about the coins hiding in the caravan would end badly.
“Where are they?”
“As far as I know they were taken by a man named Farley Kolt,” there was a hint of recognition on his mother’s face. “He told me he was engaged to Aunt Marie.”
“He was, just before your father died, obviously she came to her senses.”
Nick frowned. “She left him because of me.”
“Good,” his mother looked around the kitchen. “Nice enough house, do you have a girlfriend?”
“No,” Nick turned the kettle on. “Coffee?”
“Sure,” his mother walked out of the kitchen and started moving through the house.
Nick stayed where he was and watched the kettle proving once and for all that a watched pot will in fact boil. He pulled out his plunger and some of the good coffee Elly had prodded him to buy and made the coffee. He took two mugs and headed in the direction she had been going, she was nowhere on the lower level of the house so he put the coffee down and headed up. He eventually found her upstairs in his bedroom going through his drawers.
“What are you doing?”
“Just checking things out,” his mother said no remorse in her voice.
“In my chest of drawers?” Nick asked his confused emotions swiftly started swinging to anger.
“You don’t know how long Kimura was in your house before you got home, it’s best not to take any chances.”
“I am more than capable of checking on that myself,” Nick moved over and closed the drawer.
His mother shook her head. “You should be more careful that this. Did you even check the house out when the police left?”
Nick couldn’t lie and say he had but he hated admitting that he hadn’t been as proactive as he should have been. “The coffee is downstairs, don’t go snooping through my stuff again.”
His mother turned and left the room going down the stairs and sitting at the tiny kitchen table that had survived the fight. She pulled one of the mugs towards her and took a sip. Nick took a moment to take a deep breath putting together his list of questions and sat down across from his mother.
“Kimura wanted the coins.”
“I got that,” Nick said. “I mean what happened the day of the crash?”
“Your father was killed instantly,” his mother said no emotion in her voice. “He visited and tortured Kolt, he didn’t have the coins.”
“Were you in the car?” Nick asked completely ignoring the coin part of the conversation, she was obviously only interested in discussing them but he wanted answers. The more she avoided giving them the more he was able to find annoyance and anger rising to the top of his still swirling mess of emotions. Being able to focus on just one feeling allowed him to focus on her responses, watch her for the body language he was so used to reading.
“Yes, I was driving.”
“Someone forced us off the road.”
Nick rubbed his hand over his face. “Kimura, Soledad Marquesa, Hans Roth and Ian Flynn right?”
“I only know about Kimura, the other three weren’t important just his puppets.”
Nick stared at her. “They killed dad but they aren’t important?”
His mother looked at him and her face relaxed. “Of course they are important but Kimura came after me for a reason, I wanted to know why, the other three were just acting on orders.”
“Came after you? Not dad? Not the two of you?”
“It appeared they came after me,” she said frowning at him. “Your father wasn’t a Grimm, at least he hadn’t come into his powers, his older brother was still alive and living in Germany.”
“I have an uncle?”
His mother shook her head. “I’m not sure if he is still alive.”
Nick sighed; this reminded him of trying to get information out of suspects. “What do you know about the accident?”
“Someone forced us off the road, your father was dead as soon as it happened. I remember being in the car and then I was at my regent’s house.”
“Your regent?” Nick asked.
“By that time you were with Marie so I left you there and started going after the men who came after me, with the help of my regent. It was easier to do my work as a Grimm when everyone thought I was dead. I must have died at the scene, at least for a short period, for your aunt to be called.”
“It took you all this time to hunt down Kimura?” Nick could feel his tone heading into the one he used in interrogations and he desperately wished he was recording this so he could go over it again later. She was evasive and kept deflecting his questions where she wanted them. Nick was becoming more suspicious and annoyed the longer they spoke.
“I had some other work to do for my regent over the years,” she said.
“Who is your regent?”
“Cadmus,” his mother said. “Who is yours?”
“I don’t have one,” Nick said trying to work out what a regent was, the closest he could assume was something related to the ruling families. Ian had said that Grimms would work for the ruling families, regent was close enough that it could be related. His mother stood up and looked down at him as though she were about to leave again.
“We aren’t done,” Nick said watching her until she sat down again.
“What else do you want to know?”
Nick’s list was long. He wanted to know what she knew about his father’s death. He wanted to know why she had allowed him to think she was dead all this time. He wanted to know who the regents were and how they fit into his new world. More than anything else he wanted to know if she would have ever contacted him again if Kamura hadn’t shown up in his town. Nick wasn’t entirely sure he wanted to know the answer the any of his questions, not really. The woman sitting in front of him didn’t seem much like the mother he remembered and the part of him that was a coward wished she’d stop now and he could pretend that the woman he remembered was real, that she hadn’t become something he was afraid to get to know. Nick picked the easiest question, the one most likely to get him a feeling for whether the rest of the answers would be things he wanted to hear.
“What are doing you here?”
“I need to find those coins,” his mother said.
“The Captain had them, lost them, as far as we knew Farley Kolt took them. I don’t know anything else.” Nick said reassured he’d made the right decision earlier in keeping the coins current location secret.
“They never left Portland; I am going to have to do some digging.”
Nick watched his mother and thought about the reaction he’d received when people heard the name Marie Kessler and knew that her doing some digging was going to be dangerous for the Wesen in Portland with nothing to share because only one of them knew anything and she wouldn’t say.
“I have contacts in the Wesen community,” Nick said hoping that if he was there that she wouldn’t do anything. “One in particular might be able to help. Do you have any leads?”
His mother nodded and opened her mouth the speak just as he phone rang. She pulled it out and answered immediately.
“Sir. Yes sir, of course. I will contact him immediately. Yes sir. He is. Unattached. I don’t know sir. He doesn’t know anything of worth about them. Possibly. I’ll be there straight away.” She hung up the phone and looked at Nick. “I have to go, we should meet with your contact. Tomorrow. I’ll contact you.”
Then she was gone without another word.
Nick sat and stared at the empty mug in front of where she had been sitting, his was still full and he couldn’t bring himself to work out what to do now. He needed to do something but his house was clean and he didn’t have anything to do here. He knew he shouldn’t, he knew he Elly was busy tonight but he couldn’t stop himself, he got his keys and got into his car. He turned around three time between his house and Elly’s trying to convince himself not to go there but each time he turned around again and made it a little closer. He walked into her house and Holly and Roddy were sitting there looking up at him with wide eyes and he knew he must look a little crazy. All of the emotions that had been beating around his head since he heard the name ‘Nicky’ were leaking out now that he knew, now that he knew there wasn’t a sweet and protective reason for her faking her own death. She would have said something, she would have explained and he didn’t know his mother at all. She wasn’t the person he thought she had been and he couldn’t breathe properly. Why would she do it? Why would she bother coming back and telling him who she was? Why did his father have to die? Why?
He was alone with Elly and he could hear the faint murmurs of the teenagers in the kitchen but he couldn’t stay still and he couldn’t stop talking. Elly watched him with soft eyes full of sympathy and he wanted to hit something and he wanted to curl into a ball somewhere and cry. He took a deep breath and sat next to Elly.
There was a knock on the door, Nick was out of the lounge room before the second one. Holly’s mum, he closed the bathroom door behind him and stared at himself in the mirror, he hadn’t even realised he’d been crying but his eyes were red and puffy. He cupped his hands under the tap and splashed his face, drank a couple of handfuls and stared at himself again trying to work out what to do.
He thought they’d be gone but when he made it out Roddy was standing there offering support and Nick felt his world tilt slightly back towards normal.
Then Roddy was gone and Elly just walked over and wrapped herself around him. Nick slumped into her and he knew that if she wasn’t a Blutbad she’d never have been able to remain standing but he couldn’t find the strength to worry about it just wrapped his arms around her and took deep breaths.
It took him longer than he’d admit to pull away and smile at her shakily; he moved over to the couch and sat down sinking heavily into the cushions. She put a plate of food on his lap and glared at him until he ate it all and then she forced some water on him. His body felt heavy as he explained the conversation he’d had with his mother.
“I don’t know if I even want to know anymore but she isn’t going to stop looking for those coins, I’m going to have to get her off the scent. She wants to meet my contact tomorrow.”
“Let me know what time,” Elly said easily.
“I don’t want to ask you.”
“And yet I am your contact so you will and you will think of something that will convince her you don’t have the coins and everything will be okay.”
“Okay,” Nick agreed.
The next thing Nick knew he woke up to the familiar sounds of Elly doing her pilates and the overwhelming scent of coffee brewing. He stretched out and turned over closing his eyes and pulled the blanket up higher going back to sleep.
He’d deal with everything when she woke him up after she was done.
I am so sorry for the long delay I got completely and utterly swallowed by this mammoth story I’ve been working on for another fandom. I wanted to have this series done before the start of season two which obviously is not going to happen since I have a couple of chapters of this to go and a fair amount of the Roddy one. Plus they don’t get together until the next one. I am going to try and get this specific story done by the 13th which Wikipedia assures me is the premiere over there. We’ll see.
/ / / 4 / / /
Nick watched as Elly climbed into her car and drove away. He didn’t turn to go back inside until her brake lights had disappeared then took a deep breath gripped his shirt and headed back into the house to deal with his mother. He closed the door behind him and walked into the house, his mother wasn’t in the lounge room so he continued through the house until he found her in the kitchen.
“You should not have attacked Elly.”
His mother turned away from her tea to stare at him. He knew the stare was meant to make him guilty so he would apologise but she hadn’t been around for a very long time and he barely remembered the look from when he was young. It looked just enough like the look Aunt Marie would give him when he’d done something wrong that he knew what it was supposed to be though.
She didn’t speak for a long time before she nodded and dropped her eyes from his. “You are right. I didn’t know she was your friend. Apologise to her for me.”
Nick hated himself for the question in his head about why she couldn’t look at him when she was apologising. He never could turn off the cop in his head questioning things like he was sitting across from someone in an interview room. “I will. She is my friend. She is Wieder.”
“It seems that regardless of how old your children get you still want to protect them,” she looked back up at him now her eyes surprisingly honest.
Nick nodded. “I’m going to get another top.”
“Would you like a cup of tea?”
Nick smiled. “That would be great thanks.”
“Still like it with squeeze of orange juice?”
Nick looked up at her surprised. “I-I haven’t had it with orange juice since…there are some oranges on the counter.”
His mother nodded with a small smile and Nick turned and walked upstairs quickly. He sat on his bed, hands on his knees and breathed deeply a couple of times.
She had remembered something so silly and he didn’t know how to reconcile that to the fact less than ten minutes ago she’d been trying to stab Elly.
Seeing Aunt Marie and that Reaper had been strange and confronting but he had never seen his aunt when she was strong and fighting a Wesen. Seeing his mother with Kimura and now Elly made him wonder just how bloodthirsty and deadly his family really were. He felt like he was being pulled in too many directions. There was a part of him so happy his mother was back, another that didn’t know how to deal with the fact she was. One part of him wanted to know everything she could tell him about Wesen but at the same time he didn’t want to know if they were so willing to attack someone who was no threat. He and Elly had just been standing and talking when his mother had come from nowhere to go after her. Nick sighed, his life had been spinning out of control since his aunt had died but this actually made him feel like maybe he wouldn’t be able to ever be in control again. It was hard to deal with the fact he knew so little about himself, about his family but what he thought he had known was being rewritten and he just wanted it to stop.
Nick pulled a new shirt on, checked the bandage and took a deep breath. There was one thing in life he was still sure of and that was the fact that hiding from things that scared you would never make them go away. He needed to go downstairs and he needed to get answers. He opened the door and walked downstairs forcing all his doubts to stay behind until it was safe and sensible to worry about them.
Nick walked into the kitchen but his mother was still pouring the tea, he took a seat at his small kitchen table and decided however this conversation ended he’d use all those vegetables sitting in his fridge for something tonight. Hank had never turned down free lunch in his life and while vegetarian frittata might not make him nearly as happy as the pie Elly had sent on his birthday he would gladly eat it.
“Nick,” his mother said sitting the cup of tea down before she sat across from him. She smiled at him apologetically before she spoke. “I’m sorry about attacking Elly. In my experience a Blutbad at your door means you are about to be attacked. I did not want that to happen to you.”
Nick nodded and stirred his tea looking down but watching his mother’s face from under his eyelashes. “Elly doesn’t agree with killing anyone, Wesen or human. Aunt Marie died before I learned much but I know Elly only helps me because I do not kill Wesen just for who they are.”
“Nick,” his mother said watching her son carefully until he looked at her. “How long have you been involved with her?”
Nick’s eyebrows knitted. “Elly?” his mother nodded. “We aren’t involved, she’s…she’s my best friend, she’s basically kept me alive since Aunt Marie died and I became a Grimm.” Nick hadn’t intended to share so much, he wanted to protect Elly and the only way he knew how to do that was to keep his mother from learning too much. That particular horse had bolted now in his surprise.
Nick’s mother nodded and watched as Nick turned back to stirring his tea but she kept watching him.
“Marie didn’t tell you about being a Grimm?”
“No,” Nick said quietly remembering that conversation with his aunt. “She told me she was a librarian; I didn’t know anything about the Wesen world until I started seeing them.”
“Our parents told us when we were young, we could never see anything but we knew they were out there, what they were, what would be expected of us. Our mother wasn’t a Grimm but she’d seen enough having lived with dad to believe. He died when I was twenty. I came into my powers and left home, I travelled like my father had moving around and hunting down Wesen. I met my regent not long before I met your father. Your father had not come into his abilities but regardless we knew you’d have more power than either of us.”
“I don’t remember moving around,” Nick said remembering their yellow house with white trim and a little backyard.
His mother smiled. “We settled when I found out I was pregnant. Since he hadn’t come into his powers he stayed with you and I went out after Wesen when required. We were close to New York and there are always a lot of Wesen hiding in cities like that.”
“There are a lot here but I assumed it had more to do with the fact it’s smaller and has a lot of parkland.”
“Depends on the Wesen,” his mother said. “I did a lot of Grimm work around the state of New York when you were younger, since the accident I have been travelling even further than I did before I met your father.”
“Why did Kimura target you?”
“The coins, they are very powerful and very destructive. I was keeping them safe and he found out. I still don’t know who told him about it but he found out and came for us. By the time I got back to our house they were gone but I couldn’t find any proof Kimura had them. Some Wesen seems to have ended up with them here.”
“A Fuchsbau who kept them safe from the people coming after them, they affected my partner and our captain but then they were lost. We all assumed Kolt had them.”
His mother shook her head. “He cannot have had them, Kimura came for him and he would have given them up. I followed him here since he thought there were still in Portland.”
Nick took a sip of his tea, the sweet, tart taste of the orange dragging him back to when he was little and would sit with his parents and drink tea in the middle of winter rugged up between them as they watched a movie. His father would give him a bit of pie and steal half of it to Nick’s protests. Nick shook away the memories and looked at his mother preparing himself to keep lying to her.
“I would like to see if any of your contacts know anything about the coins,” his mother said allowing him to hold the repeated lie in.
Nick nodded. “You cannot attack any of them.”
His mother nodded. “If you tell me they are trustworthy I’ll accept that and leave them alone. You know you remind me a lot of your aunt. She never liked the idea of killing things but from what I hear she got over it.”
Nick nodded. “That’s what I’ve heard. I’m a cop, I only arrest people who have broken the law. Same goes for Wesen.”
His mother smiled. “Reed always said he’d have been a policeman if he hadn’t known about the Wesen world.”
“I remember,” Nick said, that had been the reason he’d become a policeman though he’d never known the reason his father had become a mechanic instead. “I’m not sure if any of them know anything, I asked around when we thought Kolt had taken it just in case and again when Kimura came around but I will talk to Elly and the other Wesen I know and see what I can find out.”
His mother nodded and sipped at her own tea. Nick sat across from her silently and felt himself relaxing, she felt more like the woman he remembered tonight than she had since the moment she’d come back. He couldn’t ignore her actions before now but maybe he hadn’t been seeing everything. She had been alone for a long time and she obviously wasn’t the same person she had been, no one could be. He wasn’t going to bear all of his secrets to her but he felt like he might be able to relax into spending time with her.
She finished her tea and stood. “I have to go but I’ll contact you tomorrow, I assume you’ll be working on Monday?”
“I will, you can stay for dinner if you like, I was going to make something.” Nick found himself not wanting to watch her go now.
“I can’t,” she pulled her coat back on. “I have things to see to while I’m here. I will see you tomorrow.”
Nick nodded and saw her to the door and turned when she’d left to pull the ingredients out of the fridge and started cooking.
/ / / 5 \ \ \
Nick woke up early on Sunday and pulled on a pair of sweatpants and an old top from university before setting out on a run. His normal route took him by Elly’s so he stopped at the bakery that made the fruit pastries Elly liked and knocked on her door.
Elly came to the door with a sheen of sweat on her arms and a towel around her neck. “Nick?”
“Hey, I come bearing those pastries?”
Elly grinned at him. “Come in,” Elly moved back towards her pilates machine. “I have another two exercises to go.”
“I’ll make some coffee,” Nick said watching her lay down on the machine and stretch out reaching for the handles. He shook his head not sure how she was even able to bend that way his eyes catching on the strip of pale skin exposed by her top riding up. Next to her belly button was a smattering of freckles that always reminded him of Canis Major, he smiled as he turned away remembering to never mention that to Elly.
He’d first seen the freckles when he had been living here after the Jägerbar attack. He’d found her reaching for a packet of cereal regardless of the instructions given to her by the doctor. She’d grumbled for half an hour when she realised there was a good reason the doctor had told her not to reach. As he’d helped her back to the couch he’d noticed it and had the overwhelming desire to find a pen and join the dots. Unfortunately he’d need to be both high and suicidal to attempt it so he’d pushed the desire down and away.
Nick pulled out the French press and started making coffee still not entirely sure when he became a person who knew how one worked and how to use it.
Later when Elly came back in smelling of soap and oranges she sat down across from Nick and took a pastry.
“Why don’t you just use your key?” Elly asked after she’d eaten half her blackcurrant Danish and nodded her approval at Nick’s attempt at coffee. He knew if pressed she would assure him the coffee was okay but not as good as hers.
“I have been assured that you don’t just traipse into a Blutbad’s territory.”
Elly laughed. “As though that has stopped you at any point up until now. You barge in here all the time and it’s fairly common for you to completely ignore the no red rule so why on earth would you decide that the only time to pay attention to the things written in your book by other Grimms is when it will interrupt my pilates?”
“I live to annoy you,” Nick said with a grin.
They sat in silence eating and sipping at their coffee until finally Elly took a deep breath and poured Nick another cup of coffee. “How is your arm?”
“My mum said to say sorry about attacking you.”
Elly lifted an eyebrow.
“She seemed sincere,” Nick said. “We had a pretty good talk.”
Elly nodded not looking at him. “Good, I’m glad things are settling.”
Elly lifted her eyes to Nick and he felt like he could read her mind for a moment, her worry, her disbelief, her fear all written on her face for a split second.
Nick stood up. “I should be going; I still need to run home. I’ll talk to you tomorrow?”
“Of course,” Elly said standing with a frown.
Nick left and turned for home running just a little harder than he did on the way to Elly’s; the look on her face before he’d left leaving him with the desire to run until he couldn’t picture it anymore. His mother was sitting on his front porch when he arrived with a small black bag at her feet.
“Hi,” Nick said panting his way up the steps. “Come inside.”
His mother stood and grabbed the bag following him in. “My accommodation is no longer safe.”
“You can stay here,” Nick said without thought leading her inside and up the stairs. “I have a guest room, clean sheets and all.”
“Thank you, I won’t be in your way.”
Nick smiled. “It’s fine, make yourself at home. I’m just going to have a shower.”
His mother walked into the spare room with a smile and Nick continued on into his room and the shower.
He was surprised she had come here. Honestly, he had assumed she would want to remain hidden wherever she had been. If her place had been compromised he was a little surprised she had come here instead of finding somewhere else. He shoved his head under the hot spray allowing the water to run down the muscles in his back and shook off the little voice in the back of his mind that was wondering why she had decided to come to him instead.
His mother was sitting at the kitchen table sipping at a cup of coffee when he came downstairs his arm aching from the hot water. He poured himself another cup remembering the half finished one he’d left at Elly’ house. They sat quietly sipping the coffee for a long time but Nick felt no pressure to fill the silence.
“Did Marie leave you the trunk?”
Nick frowned. “The what?”
“Our parents had a trunk with weapons and books for being a Grimm.”
Nick paused for a moment, the trailer had started as a trunk? His aunt had done an amazing job collecting Grimm artefacts if that was true.
“She didn’t give it to you? I thought she had come and collected it from our house after the…accident.”
Nick knew he should correct her, take her out to the trailer and show her what Aunt Marie had created but there was a part of him that kept hearing his aunt reminding him not to tell anyone about it. She wouldn’t have meant her own sister but he couldn’t bring himself to correct her anyway. He ignored the part of him that remembered taking Elly out there, Elly who was a Blutbad while he hid it from his mother the Grimm.
“The cancer took her suddenly, she didn’t last much past telling me I wasn’t insane for seeing things.”
His mother nodded. “So when you said before that Elly, that’s her name right?” Nick nodded. “When you said that Elly had saved your life what you meant was that she was providing you with information on Wesen?”
Nick chewed his lower lip. “She has told me if the Wesen are trustworthy or not, occasionally she has my back like when the Reapers came after me. She has contacts in the Wesen world I couldn’t hope to have.”
“They sent a couple after me a while ago.”
“More than one?” His mother’s voice displayed her shock.
“What did your regent have to say about that?”
“I don’t have a regent, I don’t even know if there is one in Portland.”
“There are regents everywhere.”
“I have never met one, what type of Wesen are they?”
His mother shrugged. “I don’t know. I’ve never seen my regent’s true face.”
Nick nodded surprised but before he could ask his mother was speaking again.
“You really don’t have a regent?” his mother narrowed her eyes at him watching him closely. “How do you know who needs to be taken care of?”
“Taken care of?”
“The Wesen that need to be taken care of,” his mother explained standing to pour herself another cup.
“Who are the regents?” Nick asked realising he hadn’t bothered last time.
“The member of the ruling family in your region that you work for.”
“And you have to do what they say, kill the Wesen they tell you to?” His mother nodded. “And if some Wesen is killing little girls and they don’t want you to take care of them? Do you just leave them alone?”
His mother didn’t say anything just watched him though her eyes were soft. In the end it didn’t make him feel any better about her lack of answer.
“How is that any better than working for the Verrat?” Nick asked thinking back to the video he’d watched.
“Grimms live longer when we are associated with a regent,” his mother said with a shrug. “I am only still alive because of my regent; we are both only alive because of my regent.”
“What do you mean?”
“My regent provides protection for me, he hid me from Soledad Marquesa and with you out of the way there was nothing for him to come after.”
“So your regent told you to abandon me and you did it?” Nick said suddenly understanding the sick feeling in his stomach telling him everything he needed to know. It wasn’t just that he’d already been told and it wasn’t just that she had a calling; there was more to the story than she had explained before now.
“It was better than defying him and having you die as well as your father,” his mother said. “He provided you protection if only by allowing people to think me dead.”
Nick nodded and rubbed his hands over his eyes. He’d been so sure things were better than they’d seemed yesterday but he didn’t know what to do with the idea that she had left him because someone had told her to.
“Regents assist Grimms; we are the knives that they wield to keep order in the Wesen world. There was once anarchy in the Wesen world, the regents and the ruling families provided necessary structure to the world allowing Grimms to do their job and Wesen to live in a reasonable way without issue. There is history you have no idea about, the Verrat are not always good people, they are extreme but there is a place in the world for ensuring that Wesen do not take over this world. They are not human; they are stronger and more dangerous than humans could ever be. You haven’t seen the worst of the Wesen world; regents enforce some control over them. Wesen can be barely better than animals Nick, I understand Elly is your friend but you have to be careful with Wesen they can be incredibly untrustworthy.”
“Not all Wesen are the same. I have seen the worst of the human world and Wesen are no worse than humans they just have different abilities.”
“I suppose that is true, Grimms are the police of the Wesen world in a way though we are called to the duty we do not always choose it.”
“I have been going after Wesen who are breaking the law, whatever the law, not just because they are different.”
His mother smiled softly. “That is what I had heard about you.”
“You heard about me?”
“Of course I did,” his mother said her eyes shiny. “I kept tabs on you when I could. I saw you graduate from university, your aunt was there. I thought she saw me but she didn’t come after me. After that I was more careful.”
“You were at my graduation?”
“Your speech was very good.”
Nick sat back and stared at his mother in silence. He’d been so happy to have his aunt there but he’d had no other family, some of his friends had been there and his girlfriend at the time was as well but the idea that his mother had heard him up there speaking changed the whole day.
“What happened with Juliette?” His mother finally asked when he’d been silent for a long while.
Nick blinked at his mother.
“I don’t get to keep in touch with your life as much as I would like to because I am always travelling but of course I knew about a girl you were living with.”
“She broke up with me because I was lying to her. I couldn’t tell her about being a Grimm and I couldn’t explain to her why I was spending so much time away from home.”
“It’s better for her you are not together. You need to continue the Grimm line but honestly it is better to have no one in your life that can be used against you.”
His mother caught his eye. “Exactly.”
Nick stared down at the table.
“You should keep Elly out of your life if you want her to be safe.”
Nick remembered Elly’s black eye and swollen lip and thought about what would have happened, could have happened, if she wasn’t so strong. He knew she’d never walk away. She’d walked into that hospital with his aunt and she’d stood beside him through everything. He knew he wouldn’t be able to keep her out of his life if he tried but there was a part of him that would be forever grateful for the fact she had stood by him all this time. He didn’t say anything to his mother though allowing her to believe that he was giving the idea some thought.
Nick and his mother spent the day talking about Wesen, some Nick had met and more he had never heard of. Nick’s mother made him toasted cheese sandwiches for lunch like when he’d been little and he allowed himself to just enjoy her being here. More than anything else he liked that he was able to speak to a Grimm about being a Grimm even if she was more militant than he ever intended to be.
His mother was not in the house when Nick came downstairs after receiving a phone call from Elly. Nick could find no clue about where she had gone but her bag was still on the chest of drawers in the spare room so he assumed she was not gone for good.
When he woke up on Monday morning the spare room door was closed so he continued on quietly assuming that she was safely tucked inside. He went to work hoping she would still be there when he got home.
/ / / 6 \ \ \
On Monday just before lunch he and Hank were called away from their mountain of paperwork to a double homicide. Two men in an abandoned warehouse in a rundown part of the city. They had been found quickly only because Nick had a good reputation with some of the homeless kids in the city. They had been shot repeatedly, one to each kneecap, one had a wound in his shoulder the other had one through his abdomen neither of which looked like gunshot wounds. Both had final gunshot wounds in their foreheads.
"It looks like someone was looking for information," Wu said at the door. "Kneecapping people is pretty obvious."
Hank nodded. "What do we know about them?"
"There is no identification on either man," Wu said. "Both Caucasian, mid-thirties at a guess, one is wearing a suit and the other is in running clothes. We're not sure of a connection. The forensics people are done so you can have a look around."
Nick and Hank nodded and pulled their protective booties and gloves on before stepping into the scene. The men were on the floor but not touching. There was nothing in the warehouse, the company that left having obviously taken everything with them. They moved around the scene and looked for clues taking stock of the scene. Finally they nodded to the coroner who pulled his trolley into the room so they could get started getting the body ready for transport.
Hank and Nick headed back to the precinct to start their investigation.
They found no hint of who the men were as they started trolling through missing person reports but just after three a uniform called in an abandoned car off the highway. When they pulled the registration information they found one of their victims. Paul Magnus. An accountant from Tigard. They set out to inform his wife of his death. She was a short, thin woman who had sent her three sons out of play while they told her about her husband. In her shock her face shifted and Nick was able to see her Fuchsbau features.
"Mrs Magnus," Nick said sitting forward on his seat.
"Oh dear," she said her eyes wide and terrified.
"You don't have to fear me," Nick said. "I'm not going to hurt you. I just want to know what happened to your husband. Was he a Fuchsbau as well?"
Hank turned to look at Nick his eyebrows pulled together. At Nick's nod Hank took a deep breath and sat back to let Nick have the lead.
"Yes," Mrs Magnus said. "So the rumours about you are true? You'll find who did this?"
"I will do my best," Nick said. "Tell me about your husband, did he have any enemies, any Wesen that he was having an issue with?"
"No," Mrs Magnus said. "He wasn't like people say Fuchsbau are, we are honest people. All his clients are also our friends. I don't think anyone would want to hurt him."
"When did you last see him?" Nick asked.
Mrs Magnus bit her lip. "He left early this morning which isn't unusual. It was probably about 6am."
"We'll need you to come down and identify the body," Hank said sitting forward again. "Here is our card if you think of anything please let us know."
"When should I come?"
"Whenever you can have someone look after the boys," Nick said. "You are welcome to bring them."
"I wouldn't," she said turning to look out the back door. "I can come tomorrow."
"That's fine," Nick handed her another card. "This is the number of the morgue if you call them you can set up a time. We will come down during your viewing."
"How long will you have the body?"
"They have to perform an autopsy and they will contact you as soon as the body can be released but it won't be for at least a week."
Mrs Magnus nodded. "Do you know who the other man is yet?" She had had no idea who he was when they'd shown her the photo.
"We are still making inquiries," Hank said. "We'll leave now unless you have any more questions."
She shook her head and turned to watch her sons running around. "I don't know how to tell them."
"There is no right way," Nick said. "I am so sorry for your loss."
She nodded and saw them out of the house clutching the two cards.
Nick and Hank drove away feeling like they always did after a death notification, it never got any easier, it was always horrible and draining.
Since they had no other leads after a call to Wu Hank drove Nick back to his car and they both headed home to get a good night's sleep hoping the next night will be more productive.
When Nick walked into his house it was empty, after a quick search he discovered that his mother was definitely not in the house. He pulled his phone out and called Elly sinking down onto the couch.
"Hi Elly, how are you?"
"What do you need?"
"Need?" Nick asked.
"You have the voice you use when you need something," Elly explained.
Nick sighed. "I caught a double homicide today, a Fuchsbau accountant from Tigard. Have you heard anything around about it?"
"I haven't heard anything but I will keep my ear on things. So how's your mother."
"She's staying with me but she isn't here."
"Things are…" Elly prompted.
"Good, we had a discussion about Grimms and regents which was disturbing but she remembered that I used to have a squeeze of orange in my tea."
"Orange in your tea?"
"I've seen those sausages you make." Nick said with a smile in his voice. "I don't think you can judge me for a little orange juice in my tea."
Elly sighed over the phone and Nick found himself relaxing back into his chair.
"Have you finished that clock yet?"
"Not yet," Elly started and Nick let her voice wash over him as he listened to the trials and tribulations of her latest clock. "Someone, and this person should be kicked, someone bent one of the cogs inside of the machine so that it won't work. It looks like it's been bent by hand but I can't bend it back because it will just cause more problems so I've ordered a new one and my supplier tells me it's going to be almost three weeks. I called the man who brought me the clock and he said its fine but it means I have nothing to do for another week since I'm waiting on parts for my other two clocks as well."
"You could always go to that clock expo in Seattle you were telling me about that you couldn't go to because of this clock."
"Are you trying to get me out of Portland Nick?"
Nick huffed out a laugh; he'd never expected it to actually work. "Of course not."
"Thought as much. We have been over this Nick."
"And that is why I know my attempts won't work but a guy's got to try."
Nick laughed. "Yeah yeah. Also, you sounded quite sad about having to miss it."
"I was looking forward to it."
"I know, so you could go."
Nick heard a bell in the background through Elly's phone.
"That's Roddy," Elly said. "He's got that showcase coming up. I will think about going, it's only three hours away could just do a day trip. I'll wait and see if any more work comes along."
"Right," Nick said. "Talk to you later then."
"I'll call you if I find out anything about Wesen being killed."
Elly said her goodbyes and Nick could hear her open the door just as she hung up the phone. He dropped the phone back onto the cradle and turned to go to the kitchen. His mother was standing in the doorway between living room and kitchen watching him.
"You're back," Nick said brightly. "Are you hungry? I was just about to find something for dinner."
His mother nodded watching him carefully as he walked past her and into the kitchen. "I have been trying to find information on the Portland regent."
"For your protection."
"I think it is best the regent and I do not meet. I am not going to go after innocent Wesen."
"You have been attacked by Reapers already. A regent can help you with the political side of being a Grimm."
"Mum," Nick found the word felt strange in his mouth. "From what you told me about your regent I have no interest in knowing the one here. I am going to keep doing this job the way I think is right."
"That is a very dangerous path to take," his mother said after a long pause. "Regents don't only protect you from the Reapers they are also part of the greater Wesen world, they have connections in every corner of the populated world and they provide you with invaluable information."
"Is the information always true?"
"My regent has protected me for over thirty years."
"And he ensured I thought you were dead for most of my life."
His mother took a step back and frowned at him. "At the very least you should know who your regent is even if you are too stubborn to align yourself with him," she said sternly before turning and leaving the room. "I'm going to have a shower before dinner."
They had a quiet meal and his mother went to bed not long after saying she was tired. Nick grabbed a book and went to bed himself falling asleep halfway through a sentence the book under his cheek.
/ / / 7 \ \ \
His mother was gone again the next morning when he left for work. They spent Tuesday digging their way through Paul Magnus' life. His wife was telling the truth, his clients were happy with his work, there was no suspicion he'd been ripping anyone off. He had two partners, also Fuchsbau who swore he was an honest Fuchsbau regardless of what people said about them. The two of them swore they had no issues with any of their clients. They had a handful of customers to still look through but as the end of the work day rolled around they called it quits and went home after another less than fruitful day.
Nick walked into his house moments before his mobile rang. He pulled it out of his pocket surprised to see 'Renard' flashing across his screen.
"Nick," Renard said. "We've had another homicide that matches the two you caught yesterday. Down in Forest Park. Hank is going to come and get you."
"Find whoever is killing people in my town."
"Of course Captain."
Nick called Hank who informed him he had just stepped out of his shower and would be another fifteen minutes. Nick took the time to run upstairs have the quickest shower he could since he was be looking at a whole night in the precinct before he made a sandwich. He made it out to the porch just as Hank pulled up outside.
"The Captain gave me the address," Hank said with a sigh. "I called Wu who is already there and he said it looks almost exactly like our last crime scene but there is only one body."
"Do we have any identification on him?"
"Not yet," Hank said.
They got to the crime scene just off an access road. The forensics team was still working so they stayed around the perimeter of the area while they worked.
"I'll call Mrs Magnus tomorrow and see if she knows this guy."
Wu walked over to them. "No ID again but similar wounds, both kneecaps have been shot out. Looks to be the same calibre wound but we'll need to wait for the forensics team obviously," John, one of their forensics team glared at him from where he was crouched next to the body. "Weird stab wound through the abdomen again. And the head shot. He is African American and about the same age as the other victims. Whoever is doing this is looking for something."
"They seem to be," Hank agreed.
They were allowed in to see the body under the harsh glow of the forensics team's halogen lamps but couldn't see anything different between this scene and the last.
They made it back to the precinct just in time to stop and get themselves dinner before they settled down to do some more research.
Nick opened his email as he ate his sub and found an email from the desk sergeant. There was a missing person report that came in earlier that might matching their second victim from the first scene. His name was Greg Williams, a mechanic from the South East section of the city. He had obviously been out for a run when he'd been grabbed. The report had been made by his boss. When he hadn't come into work for two days the boss went around to his apartment but hadn't been able to see any evidence of him being there. The landlord had agreed to have a look in the apartment as he was a friend of Greg's and they found no sign of him there. The boss, Mr John Lewis, hadn't known if he should make the report but Greg was incredibly reliable and always had been.
Nick called the desk sergeant who told him there wasn't anything strange he'd noticed when he'd been taking the report. The boss seemed worried but wasn't sure if something had come up with Greg Williams' girlfriend who was away on holiday with some friends at the moment. The boss couldn't get in touch with her and ringing Greg's phone hadn't given him anything. Overall the boss came mainly because Greg Williams was the type of man to call, and call again if he hadn't been able to get in touch with anyone. Greg had no family beyond the girlfriend who was on a road trip. Nick thanked the sergeant and turned to Hank.
"We'll go and see the boss in the morning," Hank said with a sigh. "Can you tell if he's a Fuchsbau as well?"
"Not if he's dead," Nick said. "I can only tell when they are alive and Woge."
"When they change from human to their Wesen face, what you saw Elly do."
Hank nodded and turned back to his food.
"If you have any questions, if you ever change your mind I will understand," Nick said and then changed the subject. "Whoever it is is hiding their tracks, no ID left with the body. Dumped or murdered in places that get little traffic and generally wouldn't have been found without some luck. There could be more victims around the place that haven't been found."
"Probably best to have a look at other missing person reports that fit, they were about the same age. They all lived in or around Portland so far so our newest victim and any others would be as well. I'll pull them up after I've eaten."
"Now that we have a possible identity on the second victim-"
"The photo provided is too close to be anyone else until he had family but hopefully the boss will be willing to come down and positively identify him," Hank said.
"I'll start to look into connections between them."
They finished eating and started their different searches. They found nothing of interest. There were a couple of missing people that fit the description but they had been missing for a long time, over a year at least. Hank flagged their records but neither of them really thought there was much of a chance for them to be involved in what was going on. With the flag in the system they would be alerted to anything new that might come through. Nick found no connections between either of the victims either.
Eventually in the early hours of the morning they went home for a couple of hours sleep before Nick went to pick Hank up so they could visit John Lewis. He was at his workshop and more than willing to come down and provide an identification if it would help them. John had nothing more to share with them but with a stricken look on his face he told them that yes the body in the morgue was definitely Greg Williams.
When they returned to the station Wu came over and stood next to Nick's desk and lifted a curious eyebrow.
"I found something vaguely interesting."
"Paul Magnus had a long list of very happy clients. I checked on the last few like you asked and found only one I couldn't contact so I did a little digging."
"And…" Hank prompted.
"The reason I could not contact them is that they are no longer in business, the owner, Samuel Bertram, was one of his clients. You investigated his death a few months ago."
"The man who swallowed the coins," Nick said a sickening feeling settling in his stomach.
"One and the same."
Hank frowned. "Could there be a connection?"
"I'm not sure," Wu said. "That's why you are the detectives," Wu nodded at them both and turned to walk away.
"Let's see if there is a connection between Greg Williams and Samuel Bertram."
"Samuel Bertram was a Fuchsbau as well," Nick said in a low voice.
"So the connection could be that simple?"
Nick nodded but something in his gut told him the connection went further than that.
Hank looked into a connection between Samuel Bertram and Greg Williams but found nothing. Just after lunchtime they received a phone call from the medical examiner, the autopsies were done and she had some preliminary information. They went down to see her.
"Always the most interesting cases," she said.
"What is it this time?" Nick asked.
"Cause of death for both victims is gunshot wounds to the head. They were both shot in the knees which would have hurt, a lot. But without the head shot they would have died regardless. Both of them had puncture wounds. Mr Magnus through his shoulder which nicked one of the main arteries to the heart and Mr Williams who received on that punctured his spleen. They both would have bled out of those wounds. I was able to extract some material from these wounds, it appears to be wood, a hard wood but we won't know what it is until the lab is able to identify it."
"Do you know which wounds came first?" Hank questioned looking down at the report in Dr Harper's hands.
"From the tissue around the wounds I think the kneecaps came first but it is incredibly hard to tell given the time frame we are looking at."
"Any other signs of torture?" Nick said.
"Nothing obvious, some bruising but nothing more than that. One interesting thing. Greg Williams had unusually developed eyes. I looked at them to run some tests and he must have had better night vision than almost any human I have ever autopsied."
"Great night vision?" Nick asked his stomach tightening again. "What do you mean?"
Hank was watching Nick instead of Dr Harper.
"Well I was curious so I did some tests. He had more visual sensory cells in his retina than I have been able to find in any medical journal. There was an obscure reference to something from a journal in the eighties but they didn't have the same tests we have now so I'm not sure if it's the same condition. Some people of course have excellent night vision but this would be off the charts."
"Is there anything else?" Hank asked.
"Nothing of note, you'll have my official report tomorrow. I'm doing the post mortem on your third victim this afternoon."
"Thanks Dr Harper," Hank said as they both walked out. "Okay what is the deal?" Hank asked when they were out in the hallway.
"Do you remember Farley Kolt?" Nick said finally when he was sure they were alone.
"Suspect in the Samuel Bertram murder, or related."
"He was a Steinadler, like a hawk."
"Yeah, one with almost perfect night vision."
"So there could be a connection to that murder?" Hank asked.
"I might have a lead," Nick said allowing his brain to finally connect the dots.
Still haven't watched season 2 but I'm coming to the end of this story.
It is pissing down with rain and there is wind and thunder and it's quite lovely to be rugged up inside with the heater on as I try to learn Library Of Congress Subject Headings but I am proscratinating in between paragraphs and writing this.
I'm not going to watch season two until this story is over so I'm hoping it won't be much longer but there are some very important things I need to get out of the way first. I hope you enjoy...
/ / / 8 \ \ \
"A lead?" Hank asked when they were outside and alone.
Nick took a deep breath and nodded. "Nothing conclusive, nothing we could take to the Captain."
Hank nodded. "Is this a Grimm thing?"
"Yeah I think it might be."
Hank nodded. "The type of thing you used to do with Elly before I knew what was happening?"
"Yes, nothing concrete enough to go down actual police routes but a hunch," Nick watched Hank carefully. "There were of course so many things I couldn't put on the official reports anyway but when I knew someone was Wesen I had to look at that."
"Right," Hank said squaring his shoulders. "So what are we looking for now?"
Nick felt himself relax a little. After he had shown Hank everything, they had been awkward for a while but now it felt like it always had. Nick was starting to think things might be fine…except that there was a very distinct possibility that his mother, who everyone thought was dead, was killing innocent people in his town while he was hiding her. Nick shook himself and started for their department.
"We look into Greg Williams and see if he has any connection to Samuel Bertam or Farley Kolt. I think whoever is killing these people might be connected to Akira Kimura and be looking for those coins as well."
"Nick," Hank grabbed his arm before they left the hallway and stopped him from going inside. "The coins, they were a Grimm thing?"
"And they are safe now right?"
"As far as I know they are somewhere they will never be found."
"But you don't know where that is?" Hank looked suspicious and Nick knew he had every right to.
Nick looked at him but didn't answer and after a moment Hank let go of his arm so they could both go inside and sit at their desks. Nick pulled open his locked bottom drawer pulling out the files on Akira Kimura, Samuel Bertram and everything connected to both cases and spread them out on his table.
"What do we tell the captain?"
"That we are running down background on both our victims to see if anything connects them," Nick said. "Nothing else we can tell him until we know more."
Hank nodded and pulled up Paul Magnus' information. "I'll see if Farley Kolt is connected to Paul Magnus at all."
"Good," Nick said. "I'll start with Greg Williams."
They worked silently beside one another for almost an hour before Hank paused and looked at Nick. "I think we've forgotten something."
Nick finished reading his sentence and then looked at Hank. "Yeah?"
"The woman. The one who attacked Wu and his partner. She must have been working with Kimura, this could all be her."
Nick nodded. He'd known, of course he'd known, but he didn't want to say it. Now it was out there and he couldn't say anything to disprove it because she was his mother and he had lied about it to almost everyone. More than all of that he suspected her too and he knew he couldn't bring her in himself anyway.
"Yes, she very probably is involved in this somehow."
"Right," Hank said. "I'll find the information we had on her."
Nick just handed him a file from his pile. "I was worried we might need it so I kept it with the rest."
An hour later Hank found the connection. Farley Kolt, while he'd been in town, had visited a number of places, they'd pulled security footage at the time, back when they thought he was their killer. Now looking back at it they were able to see Williams, alive and smiling, meeting Farley at some little restaurant near Williams' work.
They didn't put it together for a while after that though. Nick wasn't having any luck with Greg Williams' background until he finally found records from when Williams came to America with his mother, Jane Michaels, nee Kolt. Greg had been only three at the time and when his mother had remarried, Ken Williams, the man had adopted Greg. Greg was Farley Kolt's nephew. Kolt would have been his last living relative. His father had died not long before they moved to America, his mother had died when he was a teenager – cancer, and his step-father passed a week after his twenty-third birthday.
They had their links. Both of these men were connected to the Samuel Bertram murder and those coins.
"We have enough to go to the Captain even if it is a hunch."
Nick nodded and collected up what he needed while Hank did the same. They entered Captain Renard's office after a sharp knock and he waved them in while he finished writing something on his computer.
"What do you have for me?"
"We think there is a connection between this case and Akira Kimura," Hank said to get them going.
"In looking into Paul Magnus' financial records we found that he was the accountant for Samuel Bertram, a man who was murdered and came in with three coins in his stomach. Those coins went missing as you know and Kimura came looking for them."
Renard rubbed at his arm as he nodded. "Yes I remember him quite well."
"Of course Sir," Hank said his eyes darting to Nick before he continued. "Not much to go on but it was interesting. While we were looking into Greg Williams we found out he is…was Farley Kolt's nephew. Kolt was a suspect in the Bertram case, and the murder of the three men responsible for the robbery. Kolt and Williams met up when Kolt was in town."
"So both victims we have identified have links to the Bertram case and those coins?" Renard asked.
"Yes, we still don't have an ID on our last victim but there is a possibility that he will be linked to them as well however distantly," Nick said.
Renard nodded and was silent for a moment, Nick and Hank waited for him to think over everything they had told him.
"We had another suspect in the Kimura case didn't we," Renard said finally. "A woman, though she wasn't there when I was attacked."
"Wasn't at my house either," Nick lied before he'd even had time to question it. He knew she wasn't working with Kimura but lying still didn't sit right with him. It never did.
"I wasn't home when my house was searched but I don't think they found any evidence of her when forensics went through." Hank threw in.
"But she's still a lead," Renard asked.
"Of course," Hank said. "At the moment she's the only one."
"Right," Renard sat forward and stared at them both. "Look back over Kimura's life and see if there are any associates who might also be looking for those coins. Look into the coins, see if anything has turned up at auction or private sale, anything."
"Yes Sir," Nick said. "We're still waiting on the information from the third victim."
"Right well until we get it and it proves that they aren't connected focus on that. Is there anything else?"
"No Sir," Nick said.
"No," Hank said. "But it does fit the way they were murdered the killer; is definitely looking for something."
Renard nodded and then motioned towards his door. "Find whoever is killing these people. I don't think those coins are in the city anymore but we don't need people dying over them."
"Yes Captain," they said almost in time as they stepped out of his office.
When they got back to their desk there was a file waiting for them. Hank pulled it open and scanned the sheets.
"I think I have a problem with our suspect."
"What?" Nick asked coming closer hope flaring in his chest.
"It's the lab report, the wood used in whatever stabbed our victims was made of oak, very very old oak apparently. But that isn't the important part. The guys did some tests, set up some simulations and the different entry wounds and the directions of the stab wounds mean that they can say with certainty our attacker has to be between 5'11" and 6'1"."
"What?" Nick pulled the report out of Hank's hands and read it quickly. "But she is…"
"No where near that tall."
"You need to work on thinking your sentences out before you speak," Hank said. "She either has an accomplice or she is not involved."
"My money would be on the first possibility."
Nick felt the little bubble of hope flying away as he nodded.
"We'll need to find her first," Hank said. "I'll put out an alert."
"Not much we can do tonight," Hank said looking at his computer. "We'll call it a night and start fresh tomorrow?"
Nick nodded again and started tidying up the things on his desk and open on his computer so he could go home. He waited until Hank was done and walking out the door before he grabbed the photos and documents he needed slipping them into his bag and walking out the door.
/ / / 9 \ \ \
Nick drove to Elly's straight after work and knocked on her door. She answered half her face covered in flour. "Nick."
"Can I come in?" Nick didn't wait for an answer pushing his way past and into the kitchen where there was a ball of dough sitting on the counter and a boiling pot that smelled like spices and berries.
"Please make yourself at home. Don't worry about manners or the little fact that this is a Blutbad house and you shouldn't just barge your way into someone else's territory."
"I think my mother and an accomplice are murdering people connected to the Coins of Zakynthos after torturing them for information."
Elly just stared at him.
"I told you about the murdered Fuchsbau?" Nick said after a few moments.
"Yeah," Elly said. "I haven't heard anything and neither has Rosalee. The family didn't come into town much. All I know is that he was apparently very trustworthy. Not something you hear about many Fuchsbau."
"That's what we found out too," Nick said. "But we have reason to connect him to the coins and the other victim was a mechanic and I'm fairly certain he was a Steinadler."
"Greg? Greg Williams down at Lewis' Mechanical?"
"Yeah," Nick sat forward. "How did you know?"
"Best mechanic in town, he always works on Daisy."
Elly gave him a withering look. "My car."
Nick grinned and nodded but decided not to say anything further. "Do you know if he was a Steinadler?"
"Definitely," Elly said pulling her boiling fruit from the stove and putting them next to the bowl of fresh berries.
"He was Farley Kolt's nephew."
"As in Farley Kolt your almost uncle?"
Nick closed his eyes and thumped his head down on the table. "Make your pie. I need pie for this conversation."
Elly left him to it moving around the kitchen and rolling out the pastry. Nick found the sound of her comforting as he sat back and watched her thinking the case over.
His mother hadn't come into town with anyone as far as he knew. There had been no evidence of her having anyone else with her when Wu caught up with her and she hadn't had anyone with her when she'd come to his house. If she was working with someone then it made no sense that she would have come without them, especially as from the description he'd be tall at least and from the depth of the puncture wounds he would have had to be strong as well. If the bodies were dumped, not that there was any real evidence of that, the person hauling them would need to be strong. From everything she had told him up until now she was working alone. There was her regent to consider, there was a possibility that he had come out to Portland to help her, or perhaps sent someone along. Her regent wanted the coins and they were never going to find them. Unless…Nick looked up at Elly.
"Mmmm?" Elly was laying the pastry out over the pie tin and completely engrossed. Nick waited. When she was done she turned to him with a raised eyebrow.
"Has anyone strange been hanging around here?"
"Nope, why would they?"
"If someone is going after the coins and going after people who are connected to people who were involved I was just-"
Elly cut him off. "Trust me if someone was hanging around I'd know about it. Been keeping a much closer eye on things since-" she cut herself off abruptly and turned back to the pie.
"Since my mother, the militant Grimm, came to town."
Elly didn't nod, didn't bother to show him any kind of affirmation but Nick knew anyway. He was glad.
When he was a little kid and he'd felt like his world was broken he used to think about his parents coming to his door one day, just appearing. They'd cry and hug him and tell him there was some big mistake and they were so sorry they hadn't been here. They'd be perfect and love him like he remembered, warm hugs and apple pie and reading books in front of the fire in the middle of winter. Things would be perfect and the gaping pit of pain he'd wallowed in for a long time wouldn't be there anymore. He'd had dreams of them just appearing for years. The day of his graduation he'd looked out at the crowd and searched the faces looking for them even though he knew they weren't going to be there. But that wasn't right anymore, she had been there, so close and she'd never said a damned thing. She'd never come near him, she'd just let him think she was dead for all those years. Nick felt the anger he'd been feeling towards her since she'd appeared in front of him tighten his chest. He would have preferred she had never come back rather than her having come back and distorting and destroying the memory he had of her.
Elly put a bottle of beer, something foreign but he didn't care, down in front of him and then sat on the chair. "What can I do?"
"If she isn't like I remember does that mean my dad wasn't the man I remember either?" Nick asked after he'd had a couple of deep drinks of beer.
Elly frowned at him. "Whiskey," she said before standing and pouring him two fingers. He threw it back and placed the glass back on the table. "Your mother has been alone for a long time Nick. People change over time. I think she was probably like you remember when you were young but chasing Wesen and losing you both would have changed her. It changed you. Made you become a cop. Made you want justice for people. It made you into the type of man who looks at Wesen and sees them for individuals. Okay now I need a drink."
Nick laughed and poured her some whiskey. She took his glass and sipped at it. "Too much caring and sharing?"
"You know how I hate having to prop up the feelings of some Grimm."
Nick let out a deep breath and nodded. "Right. Your mother would be appalled."
"My mother would have me checked into somewhere for assessment and lots of mind-altering drugs. She already despairs of me for going Wieder."
"How are things with her? With your family?"
"I'm still going for Christmas," Elly said with a small suffering sigh. "And I'm still washing everything in wolfsbane before I go to hide your scent."
Nick nodded. "When will the pie be ready?"
"You only come here for my pie and information."
"And your lovely personality."
"Am I feeding you dinner?"
"No I have to go home and discuss the case with my mum. If she has anything to do with it I need to pull her in."
"That almost sounded like a question."
"She doesn't get to get away with murder just because she's my mum."
Elly nodded. "I know."
"What else am I going to do?"
Elly shrugged. "You have to do what you need to do to be able to live with yourself. That is what you have always done as a Grimm."
"How is Roddy going?" Nick asked changing the subject.
"He is a pain in my arse. Some guy at his school has been giving him trouble and only just told me about it."
"Do I need to go and have a word with this guy?"
Elly shook his head. "Roddy said he was handling it but I'll keep an eye on him. You have enough to deal with."
"If anything escalates you will tell me right?"
"Good, when will the pie be ready?"
"You are worse than Roddy at least he pretends to be here for more than the food."
"Like the snark and sarcasm are reasons to visit?"
Elly grinned at him. "Don't forget my second job as a Grimmopaedia."
"You provide information on Wesen not on Grimm."
They sat quietly for a few minutes.
"I got some parts for the clock I've been making. I had a call from a new customer. He's interested in a custom made clock."
"That sounds good," Nick said.
"It is good, wants a wall clock, not a cuckoo but he said he'd heard about my work and was hoping that I would be willing to make it for him."
Nick nodded. "Why do I feel a but coming?"
"Because you're a good cop."
Nick smirked at her.
"You know him, Frank Rabe. He didn't comment on me being Wesen so I don't think he knows but I remembered the name from the Jägerbar case."
"You don't think it has anything to do with the Jägerbar who was killing people, the one who attacked you?"
Elly rolled her eyes just as the oven timer went off she stood and pulled the steaming pie from the oven. "Stop thinking like a cop for a second. Not everything is connected."
Nick looked at her dubiously as she cut out two slices of pie and put some ice cream on one of the plates for him.
She walked back over to the table and sat down. "I will be careful?"
"Eat it," Elly said starting on her own piece.
Half an hour later, after two pieces of pie, Nick dragged himself out of Elly's house and headed home.
This mother was there when he got home standing in front of the stove with a large pot of something that smelled like tomato.
"I'm glad you are home," she said. "I knew you had a case but I was thinking we could have dinner."
"That sounds good," Nick said. "I'm just going to go upstairs and change."
"You have about twenty minutes."
Nick went upstairs and had a quick shower before coming down to sit at the table with his mother. She set a bowl of pasta topped with a vegetable sauce in front of him and sat down.
"How is the case going?" His mother asked.
"It's still in the early stages."
"What have you been up to?" Nick asked.
"I've been looking into some leads."
"Anything come up?"
"Nothing but dead ends."
Nick just held in the wince at her choice of words. "Did you come to Portland alone?"
"I'm a Grimm," she said with a shrug. "I'm always alone."
Nick felt like he'd been hit. It was so definite and honest the way she'd said it. As though there were no other possibility if you were a Grimm. Nick remembered his Aunt Marie doing the same thing. Get rid of Juliette, but he'd been so sure he could do it all. Juliette had realised before he did that he couldn't have everything. He wasn't surprised to note that the old disappointment and pain had gone. She was better off without him and he had to admit he was better off without her as well. Now he didn't have to worry about his Grimm activities putting her life in danger.
"So you never work with other people?"
"Only when absolutely necessary but generally no."
Nick nodded and went back to eating.
"My Wesen contacts haven't heard anything about the coins being here and there is still an active search running for them from when they disappeared. It is likely they haven't been in Portland since they disappeared."
"This is the last place they definitely were so this is the place I started looking."
Nick didn't comment that she hadn't started looking until Kimura had come to town. "If you get anything solid or if you want me to look at the people you have already talked to I can check them out for you."
"Nothing solid yet."
"Well who have you been looking at?"
"There are a lot of Wesen in Portland."
"Exactly," his mother said. "Anyone who could have been connected to the coins is of interest to me."
"Who have you looked into so far?"
"A couple of Fuchsbau who knew the man with the coins, they don't have them. There are signs when you have the coins. Very obvious signs."
"What are their names? I can see if there is anything on them, anything they have that could hide the coins."
"If you have the coins you cannot just hide them. You have to look at them and touch them, they get under your skin. It is not good enough just to know you have them. They want to be used and once you use them you cannot stop."
"I know," Nick said remembering the Captain and his press conference ideas. "I've seen them in action."
"Did you touch them?"
"Of course I did," Nick said. "They were evidence and I didn't know what they were in the beginning."
His mother nodded and looked at him closely. "But you weren't affected?"
"No," Nick said. "No grand plans for world domination."
"Hmm," was all his mother said.
"But you had them once didn't you?" His mother nodded. "And you didn't react to them."
Something flicked in his mother's eye and he thought maybe there was more to him not being affected than him simply being a Grimm. "Of course I wasn't! But they are dangerous and I need them back."
"So what leads do you have?"
"I told you nothing solid."
"I want to help," Nick said pressing a little more. "Tell me what avenues you've been looking at and I might be able to help."
"Why are you interrogating me Nicholas?"
Nick felt his spine stiffen at the tone, at the name.
"I have three bodies all related in some way to the Coins of Zakynthos which you are in town looking for. They are all Wesen."
"Maybe you should just ask me about it then."
"Did you murder them?"
"No, but if I had I wouldn't have done anything wrong."
Nick blinked at her and pulled the files from his bag. He dropped three photos in front of his mother. "These people did nothing wrong and they were all tortured for information they didn't have."
"How do you know they were innocent? They were Wesen. How did you know they had no information?"
"Because the person is still looking. Because this guy had a wife and a couple of kids and everyone who knows him says he was a good person. This guy was apparently the best mechanic in Portland and he was just related to someone who might have once held the coins."
"Wesen are never completely innocent Nick. Do not be naïve."
"I am not naïve. I do know that you cannot assume that an entire group of people is guilty because they are different."
"It's not just differences Nick, they are dangerous. You haven't seen what they are capable of."
"I've seen plenty and I've seen much worse things from humans than I've seen from Wesen."
His mother shook her head at him. "You need to talk to your regent, you need the real truth about Wesen not what you are being fed by the ones you know."
"I told you, I don't know my regent and have no real desire to."
"Of course you know him. You work for him already. Captain Sean Renard is your regent."
Please remember I have not seen any of Season two so I don’t know if anything I have written here is in complete disregard of things we have learned. As a result please don’t tell me if I’m wrong just consider it AU.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
/ / / 10 \ \ \
Nick had no idea what to do with that piece of information.
Captain Sean Renard his regent? Renard was a Wesen?
Nick put his fork down, nodded once to his mother and left the house.
He assumed he was driving randomly until he found himself sitting in front of Elly's. He really wasn't surprised though. It seemed he went to Elly's whenever things were stressful in his life. He couldn't pinpoint the exact moment she because his best friend but he was pleased he had someone he could be completely honest with. Nick had always assumed he would spend his life doing the right thing that he would never find himself hiding information in a murder investigation. Yet here he was again and he found himself with a friend who knew he was doing it and was being supportive. As he sat looking at his front door he knew Elly was the one who'd help him bury the proverbial body but then she already had hacking off that Reaper's head. Nick started his car again and pulled away from the kerb, Elly wasn't the right person for this though. For this he needed to know what was written about Regents in the trailer.
Nick drove like he had when he'd first moved the trailer, he found himself deliberately checking for tails, taking a more complicated route than he really needed in order to get there. Finally he let himself into his aunt's trailer and started looking at the few books which were actually about Grimms. In one he knew there was a family tree, he'd found it when he'd first started looking and even though he didn't need to he opened to the correct page and found the pen he used when writing in the Grimm books. He very carefully crossed out the date of death and the cause – 'car accident' so innocuous on the same page as 'eviscerated by Jägerbar' and 'beheaded by Reaper' but it had fit with the entry he'd made under his aunt's name – 'cancer'. Nick shook his head and started looking, he'd read these before but he hadn't needed to look for Regents then, hadn't even known they existed.
He had finished with the first book when there was a knock on the door. Nick reached for his gun and his first thought was that his mother had found him. The dread that accompanied that thought made him both weary and guilty. He had always followed his instincts but he didn't like what his instincts were telling him about his mother. Nick stood and tugged the side of the curtain over so he could see out but whoever was out there wouldn't be able to see much of the interior of the trailer. Elly was standing on the other side waiting for him patiently, at the flick of the curtains she smiled and held up a covered dish.
Nick pulled his hand back and opened the door letting her inside while he went back and slid the gun back into its hiding place.
"I saw you outside my house but you were gone when I opened the door. Figured you'd be here since something drove you from your house."
"You brought pie," Nick said.
"Seemed like it might be needed. Coffee too and I have some whiskey in the car if we really need it."
Nick laughed. "Thanks Elly."
"Captain Renard is my Regent apparently so now I need to find out what a Regent is. My mother told me they are ones who tell the Grimms what to do and who to do it to. That fits only in so far as Renard hands out the cases but he's never said anything and…I need more information."
"Okay," Elly said putting her things down. "Which books am I looking in?"
"I have the ones that deal with anything to do with Grimms but they may be mentioned in other volumes."
"Sounds like a delightful way to spend the evening."
"You don't need to help Elly."
"'Course I do but one day I am going to ask you to let me read these books for fun."
Nick smiled, he loved that Elly seemed to take joy from all of the Grimm related things he asked of her, well the ones she didn't complain about. "Anytime."
Elly pulled a tome out and started skimming through it. Nick returned to his next volume but found nothing as he scrolled his way through. Lots of information about Grimm work in the middle ages but nothing about Regents.
"Elly?" Nick said between one book and the next.
"Did anyone follow you?"
"Are you worried about your mother finding the trailer?"
"No I made sure no one followed me, like I always do."
"Yes Elly," Nick asked looking at her.
"If the Grimms in your family looked after these coins for all those years why are you so worried about your mother getting a hold of them?"
Nick turned back to his book and shrugged.
"Okay," Elly said.
Nick heard her return to her own book. It wasn't that Nick wanted to hide his reason so much as he was scared of admitting his reason.
"Oh wow," Elly said. "This is so cool, one of your ancestors apparently met a Leistungsstarke Tod. They are like the bogey men of the Grimm world. It only says two words. Run away. Oh man this is so cool. I thought they were a myth. My grandfather told me about them, they are supposed to be incredibly powerful, more so than any other Wesen but they are also supposed to be incredibly rare. My grandfather used to say they were stronger than other Wesen and that they were able to hide their Woge from Grimm. He said they were the types of creatures that all Wesen and humans should fear."
"And they are real?" Nick abandoned his search to walk over and look at the book over her shoulder. There was no picture and nothing more than a name and those two words, not that Nick could read them but he trusted Elly's translation.
"It looks like," Elly said. "But there isn't anything more and nothing about Regents in this book. I'll keep looking?"
"We can stop for coffee?"
Elly nodded and Nick grabbed the thermos she had come with and the two travel cups. He poured them both a drink and settled next to her on the bench he'd uncovered.
"Something about the way she is looking for them reminds me of Hank and the Captain when they were under the spell of the coins. I don't know why she wants them but I don't think she'd accept my word that they were safe and out of the way. I worry about what would happen if they got into the hands of her Regent. He was the one who pulled her out of the car wreck and the one that made sure I thought she was dead."
Elly nodded. "What else did she say about Regents?"
"That he protected her from Reapers and was in charge of who she dealt with as a Grimm."
"So if her Regent wants the coins?"
"I think she'd get them for him. Aunt Marie said nothing about Regents and the closest I have heard to anything like it was what Ian Harmon told me of the royal families."
"Do you think the Regents are connected to the Verrat? I agree they must be connected to the Seven Royal Families."
"I don't know. That's why I need to find out what it says in here. Then I am going to have to speak to Renard. I don't plan on changing the way I am doing my job as a Grimm but I need to know what's happening."
Elly stood up and walked over to the bookshelf pulling more of the books down and into her arms. "Alright, let's go."
Nick followed her lead but didn't find anything helpful until almost the end of the next book he looked at.
"Elly," Nick said. "I think I found something, but it's not much."
Elly stood behind him and with one hand pressed into his shoulder she read the words out loud.
The Seven Royal Families are Wesen though what species they belong to is their most well-guarded secret.
Born of the seventh son of the seventh son the patriarch of these families (known as Der König aller) (King of all) has powers known to no other Wesen or human. He is rumoured to have the ability to see beyond the words said to the thoughts of men. Born with the ability to control those around him the man bore sons with the seven strongest families keeping for himself the seven sons he begot before sending the women back to their families with no memory of their imprisonment. Der König aller and his seven sons rode a trail across Europe collecting Wesen and human alike to fight with them, for them. It has been said that at Königsstuhl he bade his men to leap from the cliff and as they did he called their souls into his power.
When they had marched on all their enemies the man declared his sons kings of the lands that he had brought to kneel before him and sent them off to rule over the lands and to do his bidding. The seven royal families held thrones in both the Wesen and the human worlds for centuries though as time progressed some of them moved their bases of power to the new worlds opening to them. Each generation one son is born to each bloodline created by Der König aller and it is said that they are the only members of the family that hold the power that he did. All other relatives are spread out among the Wesen world and act as law enforcement for the will of the Seven Royal Families, the strongest of these are known as Regents.
"What bollocks," she said when she was finished. "He called their souls into his power. How silly. And he could hear people's thoughts. But the rest of it. Seventh son of a seventh son had always been said to grant powers and that could be true especially for Wesen."
"So the Regents are definitely connected to the royal families."
"It appears they are the cousins and distant relatives, but only the strongest. What do you think that means? Strongest?"
"I think it means that if Renard is a Wesen then he has done an amazing job hiding his change from me." Nick said marking the page with a bookmark.
"Almost like a Leistungsstarke Tod," Elly said with a laugh.
Nick turned to her. "Could they?"
Elly shook her head. "If my Grandfather was right about them being able to hid their Woge maybe but Leistungsstarke Tod are basically the most blood thirsty, evil Wesen that has ever been spoken about. If Renard was one he'd be more likely to be killing people than to be stopping the people who are."
Nick nodded. "If Regents were Leistungsstarke Tod then there would be more written about them."
"Yeah," Elly said. "They are more likely to be like the Reapers and be pulled from different species. Are we still looking?"
"I need to know everything," Nick said. "You can go if you want."
Elly shook her head. "Celebration pie? We found some infroamtion."
Nick nodded. "I just want to finish this book first."
"Okay," Elly said turning back to her own book.
"El, look to see if there is anything about Wesen who can hide their Woge from Grimm, or who don't Woge, something like that." Elly looked at him strangely for a couple of moments. "What?"
"Nothing," she went back to her reading.
At the end of their books they stopped for pie.
"I don't want to disrupt your whole rhythm Elly, you can go."
Elly rolled her eyes at him. "As if I'm going to miss out on this. I told you Nick, I'm in this which means the almost dying, which I don't enjoy by the way, as well as the fun stuff like poking through a Grimm's stash of goodies."
Nick smiled. "Well then, thanks."
Nick pulled the very last Grimm book out and Elly started on another book.
"From now on I'm always bringing pie when I come to do research," Nick said quietly and Elly's only response was a low laugh.
It was almost an hour, another cup of coffee and almost every book in the trailer before they found any more information.
"Nick, this mentions regents, but it's all in German," Elly said before slowly deciphering it. "You know what this will be easier, and more thorough, if I write it down."
Nick found her a notepad and pen and went back to his book while she worked. He looked up to mark her progress every time he turned a page and found himself getting almost nothing done. He'd just resolved to not look again when she stood suddenly and came over to him.
"I looked into the Verrat back when Ian brought them up," Elly said. "The human information on them anyway and they were a separatist group in Germany that lead to civil war. It's all a conspiracy theory apparently but I think that is just that something in the Wesen world leaked out beyond our control."
"That's pretty much what I found as well," Nick said.
"This isn't a lot of information but it's something," Elly said handing him the piece of paper.
The Verrat are purposed with maintaining purity in the bloodlines. Their origins remain secret but the Seven Houses support them and their mission. The Hundjäger, a particularly vicious breed, are the enforcers of the Verrat's will. While for centuries Wesen remained separate, segregated from one another over time more instances of interspecies marriages have occurred. The Seven Houses and their representatives, the Regents, have spoken out against what they have termed an atrocity. The official reason for the death of these Wesen is that any child born of a union like this would be an abomination, neither the gift of one nor the other parent would be passed on and therefore the child would be weaker and thus would weaken all Wesen. The Verrat have employed extreme measures to ensure that the bloodlines do not become polluted. Their fight against the Widerstand (resistance) has spilled out of the control of the House of Conradines and is now spreading across Germany. There are Grimm who have forsaken their roots and agreed to work for the Regents as though that is not working for the very things we are trying to control.
There have been reports of mass executions. My cousin who is the Grimm of his bloodline now works in the service of a Regent. He has told me tales, not knowing I do not agree with his methods, of some missions he has been in command of. He works with Hundjäger, Hexenbiest and Reapers to cleanse the Wesen. I reminded him that Reapers kill Grimm but he did no more than wave his hand and say that his Regent offers him protection.
I hid my identity and travelled to the village of Kollrunggermoor and watched such a coupling that has been declared subversive. The man a Jägerbar and the woman a Reinigen had married quietly and moved away from both their parents. When I arrived it was obvious she was with child though she tried to hide the evidence. I watched them for months before the Verrat came to the village. They were both dead before I was able to make it to their cabin. In the months I have been here I have seen no proof of anything that could result in their deaths. I left the village the next morning and will travel over to Budapest where I know a Grimm resides within the city. I hope to discover how far the reach of the Verrat stretches.
"Where did you find this?" Nick asked.
"It was in the tiniest little book that was tucked into a corner."
"Let me have a look," Nick stood but Elly pushed him down.
"I'll get it but there was more, it was written in a different hand though. I wrote it one the back."
Wilhelm arrived at my door with a vicious cough and died during the night regardless of our best efforts. I have read his notes and will add what I can to his journal. The Verrat have not moved into Hungary yet but I fear their spread will bring them here before long. I will send this book on to one of my distant cousins in America hoping that the spread of the Verrat will slow before it reaches their shores. The Regent in my city provides information when needed though neither of us acknowledges the help. I do not know if his help is at the behest of his King or not but he has said he sees no reason for us to be at war. I know war is coming though and it will engulf us all. My Regent, who hails from the House of Rurik, has aided in the death of many Wesen who threaten the humans that reside in my city. His information has always been good but he does not offer to be my Gazda as the German Regents do. A Reinigen within my city and a Mauzhertz have married and borne children. I have followed the boy since I received this journal and have found no proof of him being an abomination. I have seen his Woge and he takes after his father as a Reinigen. I see nothing to support the claim of such unions creating abominations but I do not know of any other such pairings. I have provided all the information I can; I hope it assists whoever finds it.
"I don't know what Gazda means I've never seen the word before but it is probably Hungarian," Elly said when Nick had finished reading. "This is the book, but I couldn't find anything in it after that entry."
"So I'm not actually the first Grimm to not kill Wesen indiscriminately," Nick said finally.
Elly nodded. "You were once the police of the Wesen world as humans could not see us and had no power to match us."
"You've told me that before," Nick said tucking the book into his desk so he could look at it again. "I'm definitely going to have to take those German lessons."
"You looking to get rid of me Grimm?"
Nick laughed and found himself unable to stop. The last few days, and how can it have only been a couple of days since his mother came back from the dead, had been a mixture of surreal and hectic. Nick finally stopped and looked at Elly.
"Never," he was surprised at how fierce his voice sounded given his short laughing fit.
Elly ducked her head. "Only a few books left. Come on, I might even get home before the sun comes up."
Nick looked at the clock and swore. He needed to be up in a couple of hours to try and solve this murder. "Okay."
"You owe me some good Swiss chocolate," Elly said and even though Nick knew she was joking, knew she expected nothing for helping him he told himself he'd go to the place around the corner from the precinct that had the chocolate Elly liked.
"For some measly translation work? Ha."
Elly laughed and then was quiet settling back into her work.
They found only one short reference to Regents in any of the other books, under an entry for Käfer Gebläse.
The Regent for my area gave me information on the Wesen that has been terrorising the area surrounding Schwarzanseeweg. She called it Käfer Gebläse and it has been killing the elders in families, they have been found covered in small cuts, their blood missing from their bodies. I found the creature he described with a victim at his mercy. His skin was hard to the touch and almost impenetrable. I needed to stab him in the heart before I was able to remove his head. The cuts to the bodies were made with small pincers that covered the Käfer Gebläse's hands. I found evidence of no more in the area; they appear to be solitary Wesen.
"Information from a Regent, but nothing more?" Elly asked when Nick had read her the entry.
"No," Nick said. "It appears that some Regents provide information and others control their Grimm."
Elly was silent for a moment. "Like Grimm and Wesen you have to judge them on behaviour."
They cleared their things away and Nick tidied up while Elly put all the books away. Neither said anything else until they were standing outside in the cold next to Elly's car.
"I don't think I can trust what my mother says about Grimm or Wesen or Regents. At least not completely."
Elly opened her mouth to reply when Nick's phone rang.
It was an unknown number. "Hello?"
"Nick? Is this Nick Burkhardt?" A female voice said barely above a whisper.
"Yes, who is this?" The voice sounds familiar but Nick couldn't place it.
"It's Gracie, do you remember me."
"Of course," Nick can feel the jump of adrenaline that always comes with knowing something is wrong. "What's wrong?"
"I need your help."
I’ve made up a bucket of stuff which has been such fun, if anyone knows German or Hungarian and I’ve got it wrong please let me know and I shall fix it. I used an online translator to get them. All other research has been done on the internet so I hope it’s okay.
Leistungsstarke Tod (powerful death)
Der König aller (King of all)
I haven’t given translations for the Wesen I made up.
FINALLY!I am so very sorry it took me so long to update this, a big bang ate my brain and then things were bad in RL and then other things and etc. etc. and now I'm here and I'm updating and I hope to have this finished soon because I still haven't watched the second season since I am waiting until this is finished. I really want to watch the second season.
There should only be a couple more chapters. I do hope that there are still people wanting to read this. Enjoy...
/ / / 11 \ \ \
Nick drove to the address Gracie had given him as quickly as he could; he was caught in that period before dawn when the roads were busier than they would be again until rush hour. He had had to force Elly to go home instead of coming with him and he'd sent a message to Hank to let him know that he was following a lead and might be late into the station. He'd asked Elly to call Hank if she hadn't heard from Nick in an hour or so.
Gracie hadn't been able to give him much information beyond where she was and that she needed help. Nick parked a block away from the address, checked his gun and jogged to the right building. It was a deserted warehouse, like the scene of the first murders and Nick slowed down as he got closer, his eyes darting around looking for any sign of Gracie outside of the warehouse. There was no one there so Nick headed for the side door that was already slightly ajar.
Nick took one, two steps in and Gracie appeared in front of him.
"He's gone," she said looking scared and yet determined. "But the body is still here."
"Who's gone," Nick asked though he followed behind her, looking around to make sure there was no danger.
As soon as they were out of the short passageway that lead in from the doorway Nick could see that they were alone in the large empty room even though there was a body lying on the ground in the middle of the room.
"The man who killed him, he was here. I was staying here the other night and I came back to get some things I'd stashed. He didn't see me, so I called you."
Nick turned on Gracie. "How well did you see him?"
"I could describe him to you."
"Was he alone?"
"Yeah," Gracie said and Nick felt like dropping down to the, rather disgusting, floor and just resting for a little while. "Just him and the man who is dead. I wasn't sure if he was already dead and then he made this sound. It was horrible, Nick. It was just after I called and then the murderer left."
"I need to call my partner, don't move," Nick said and moved slightly closer to the body. Gunshot wound like the others, definitely dead and nothing Nick could do would change that, he stayed away for forensics and called Hank.
"Nick, what's this lead?" Hank asked after a brief hello.
"I have another dead body," Nick said. "And an eye witness, we can get a description."
Nick told Hank the details of where they were and then called it in to the precinct and got the ME and forensics on their way. He was about to call Renard when his phone rang...Nick's pulse jumped when he saw the name but he hit the 'Answer' button and forced his breathing to slow.
"I hear we have another body and a witness."
"Yes, Sir, a woman I have talked to before saw some of the murder, looks like the same MO but I haven't disturbed the crime scene."
"I'll have the sketch artist here within the hour."
"Sir," Nick said and it covered his acceptance, agreement and the end of the call.
"Where are you staying at the moment?" Nick asked turning back to Gracie.
"Here and there," she said.
Nick smiled at her evasive answer. "I need you where I can find you and safe. If I organise a place for you to stay for a couple of days will you stay there?"
Gracie looked at him shrewdly for a moment. "With you?"
"No," Nick said. "A female friend. It would look wrong if you stayed with me and were then our star witness. It's only if I can't get you into one of our safe houses."
"Didn't think you were the type," Gracie said. "I'll stay with her."
"You should probably check though, those places don't have that many beds available."
"It's a person not a shelter," Nick said and pulled away to call Elly.
"Are you okay?" She asked immediately.
"Fine, another dead body but we have a witness and she can identify the male murderer."
"Male? Not your mother? Brilliant…why do you have 'do me a favour' voice?"
"Well…" Nick said and smiled into the phone. "She is homeless. Do you remember me telling you about Gracie?"
"I do," Elly said ending the sentence in a way that told him to keep talking.
"This guy is killing Wesen and she's seen him. I think she needs to be in protective custody but I'm not sure if Renard is going to agree."
"If he says no, could you please take her in and keep an eye on her for a few days."
"Does she need an eye kept on her beyond this murderer?"
"No, she's a good person, just on the streets. I wouldn't send someone like that to your house."
"No you wouldn't," Elly said. "But I spent some time very close to living on the streets and unfortunately it is a possibility."
"Before I decided to become a Wieder," Elly said. "It's not important at the moment. I'll make a stew, come over when you're done even if she doesn't need to stay here and I'll feed you instead."
Nick laughed and thanked her. When he hung up and turned back to Gracie she was watching him closely.
"So," she said. "You and Juliette broke up?"
"How did you know?" Nick asked.
Gracie smiled. "Just a hunch, she is willing to take me in?"
"She is a good person. And she's making stew."
Gracie laughed and moments later the door opened and Nick turned to find Hank walking into the warehouse.
"Gracie, this is my partner Hank," Nick said nodding at his partner.
From what the forensics team and the ME said the body seemed to be the latest in the series of murders. The sketch artist arrived back at the station so Nick left Hank to the preliminary work and took Gracie, after stopping for some food, there to sit down and describe everything she could remember.
Nick and Renard had a quick meeting about what Nick knew and where they were going with the overall investigation. Nick didn't know what to say to Renard, he didn't know if he should mention something, should he drop the word regent to gauge Renard's response? There were so many possibilities and Nick didn't know what to say or do so in the end he was awkward and the conversation ended with Renard looking at Nick funny and Nick trying to work out the subtext of everything that was said to see if he could get a firmer grasp on what a Regent did. Nick walked away from the conversation not entirely sure what he had said to Renard but he did have a slight headache and was not sure what Renard was thinking.
Renard agreed that Gracie needed protection, and agreed to Hanson going as well, so Elly was off the hook. Nick drove Gracie to the safe house while they tried to find out who the newest murder victim was and how he related to the Samuel Bertram case and the other murder victims.
Nick and Hank worked until after dark.
"Hank, Nick," Renard said from behind them and Nick jumped, knocked a folder off the table with his elbow and then spun around to look at Renard with a wide eyed stare. He berated himself when Renard frowned at him.
Nick could handle Wesen and criminals with guns but he wasn't maintaining his calm and composure now. Nick knew he needed to wrap his mind around what Renard's new position meant to him and to do that he would need to confront Renard. Nick knew he could not do that now so he needed to push it out of his head until he could get some time alone with his Regent.
"Sorry, Captain." Nick said and paused for a second to take a deep breath before he did something else to embarrass himself.
"It's fine," Renard said. His eyes flicked to Hank and back. "I think the two of you should go home, start fresh tomorrow."
Hank stood up. "Yes, Sir."
Nick nodded and waited for Renard to step away before he dropped down and started to pick up his papers.
"Are you okay?" Hank asked and crouched down to help him.
"Just tired," Nick said with a quiet smile. "I'll go-"
Nick stopped and grabbed his ringing phone.
"Hello? Hey Elly, it's late you don't need to…yeah I do but…what I'm saying is…right, I'll be there soon."
Hank was smirking at him when he hung up.
"She made stew." Nick said by way of an explanation.
Hank laughed as he stood up, put his jacket on and continued laughing all the way out the door.
Nick drove past his house on the way to Elly's, even though it was out of the way, and found no one home. He sighed and continued onto Elly's knowing he would be fed and she would convince him to crash in her spare room because it was late. He smiled when he opened her door; she was on the couch watching something in German. He showered and came back down in some of the clothes he kept at her house. As soon as he sat down she handed him a beer and a bowl of stew.
"Thank you," Nick said before he settled.
"I have no idea what to say to Renard, and I am not sure how to act."
"What are you going to do?" Elly asked.
"Tomorrow, when there is a moment, I am going to say something. I would like to wait until the case is over but I don't want my mother to be gone if I have more questions."
Elly handed him a second beer and changed the channel to something Nick could understand. Nick fell asleep on the couch halfway through whatever they were watching and when he woke up in the middle of the night there was a blanket over him and a large glass of water on the table in front of him.
/ / /
/ / / 12 \ \ \
Nick drove past his house in the morning on the way back to work. His mother's door was closed and he left a note asking her to call him when she woke up. Nick wasn't sure if he expected her to actually call him or not.
Thirty minutes after he came in Renard called Nick into his office.
"Captain?" Nick said as he knocked on the door.
"Come inside and tell me what progress we are making on this case."
Nick outlined what they were doing to try and find out the identity of the latest victim, including looking into the people that were connected to Samuel Bertram and the other victims, and that they had the sketch from Gracie and were planning to have her come in later that day for her formal interview. Nick had told the officers watching her to wait until she woke up – she didn't get to sleep in an actual bed very often and he wanted her to enjoy it.
The captain nodded his acceptance and then looked at Nick carefully. "Samuel Bertram had those strange coins didn't he? He was the one who swallowed them."
"Yes, Sir," Nick replied tightly watching Renard carefully. "They were stolen by Farley Kolt."
"Except Kimura came to my apartment looking for them."
"And mine," Nick said. "Strange that he would pick the two of us."
"He also went after Hank," Renard said quickly.
"Who he knew had held the coins, they were strange coins," Nick said carefully – he knew that Renard was fishing but he didn't know how much the other man knew and suddenly Nick realised this was his moment. "Dangerous too, for all sorts, even regents."
Renard barely reacted…barely, but Nick had always been good at reading people and Renard had tried to hide the reaction though he had not done a good enough job to keep Nick from noticing.
"And who is that?" Renard asked finally.
"I don't know exactly what they are," Nick said. "I've only just heard about them but apparently they are a part of this precinct and I am beginning to wonder about their agenda since they have been playing things close to the chest for so long."
Renard smirked at him and Nick knew this conversation would continue to remain pure conjecture. "Distance has been known to ensure things are done the right way."
"Whose version of right?" Nick asked without pause.
"The one out there catching the criminals of course," Renard reclined back into his chair. "Allowing people to know everything about you is dangerous and forming alliances has been known to force a person's hand in a very grim fashion."
Nick clenched his jaw against a smile. "Well, so long as all parties do understand that they are officers of the law, first and foremost, and that is the most important thing not any personal agendas."
"The police officer's moral code is an excellent thing, Detective. I know that everyone takes it very seriously."
"And a grim view is taken only when a law has been broken."
"As has been the way for centuries," Renard said with a slight head tilt. "For police officers of course," he added after a pregnant pause.
"Of course," Nick said.
"Out of curiosity, Detective Burkhardt, who informed you about this…element…within this precinct?"
Nick took a moment to think of the best answer overly aware of the weight of Renard's gaze upon him. Nick didn't want to mention his mother, but he did want Renard to know that he had gained the information from another Grimm.
"I was told about the position of regent by a grim individual who is involved with regents in other law enforcement situations."
Renard folded his hands over his stomach and rested back into the chair. "I assumed as much, something about the recent activities lead me to believe that there may be outside forces involved. I do hope you understand that past behaviour should be just as much of an indicator as whatever you have heard from this person."
"That really goes both ways," Nick said leaning forward in his chair to be closer to Renard to be sure that the other man was really paying attention. "Because what I have heard is neither positive nor likely to be repeated in this precinct."
Renard smirked at him. "Understood, is there anything else about the case we need to discuss?"
"No," Nick said. "Though I am uniquely suited to this case."
"I know," Renard said and nodded. "I would like to be kept informed about any advancements in the case."
"Of course, Captain," Nick said standing up.
He felt better about both Renard being a Regent, they may not have had an open and honest conversation about it and Nick may not have been able to find out exactly what Renard intended their future relationship to be but at least they were on a somewhat even standing now. Nick would like to know exactly what Renard's objectives were but he felt better having at least told Renard that he would not be moved from his current moral standpoint.
"Nick," Renard said just as Nick was about the open the door. "I understand that those coins were lost, and probably for the best. I do hope though that whomever has them knows how to hide them from everyone, absolutely everyone."
Nick shrugged with a smile. "I'm sure they are somewhere well hidden, Captain."
"Excellent," Renard nodded once and let his eyes flick to the door.
Nick turned and left the office, he smiled at Hank and they settled down to work. By lunchtime they had a name for their latest victim and Gracie was coming in for her interview.
/ / / \ \ \
"Hey, Gracie. This is Hank, my partner, we're just going to ask you some questions about what you saw."
Gracie smiled at him. "Okay."
"To start could you tell us why you went into the building and what you saw up until the point where the police arrived?"
Gracie took a deep breath. "I had camped out at the warehouse a couple of days ago, and I'd stashed some stuff in one of the rooms since it was supposed to be raining. I went back to get it and walked into the hallway when I saw two men. One of them was lying on the floor, he was bleeding and moaning. He was asking the other man to stop. That's when I left to phone you, I was gone about five minutes and when I was coming back," Gracie started to talk very slowly now and Nick wished he could reach out for her hand and comfort her but he couldn't do it now – not until she had finished this. "When I was coming back…I…I heard a scream and it was terrible. I looked and the man, I don't know who he was but he was holding a gun and the other man…he was dead. The man who killed him checked on the dead man but there was so much blood and there was no way he could have survived and then the man put his gun in his pocket and left. I was scared and I didn't follow him."
"It is a good thing you didn't," Hank said jumping in. "You never know what a man like that may do."
Gracie looked worried and turned to Nick.
"We will protect you," Nick said. "Don't worry; you and Hansen will be safe."
Gracie nodded once decisively and then continued with her story. "Then Nick arrived and the rest of the police."
Hank pulled out the sketch that Gracie had put together with their police artist. "Is this the man you saw with the gun?"
"Yes," Gracie said though she only looked at the sketch quickly before looking back down again. "That is him."
Nick smiled at her reassuringly. "Why did you call me?"
"I knew I could trust you," Gracie said. "And I knew that you would believe me."
Nick smiled. "Did you see anyone else, when you were coming or when you placed the phone call?"
"No," Gracie said. "There was no one anywhere."
"Did either of the men say anything?'
"The one on the ground was groaning and he asked the other man to stop but I wasn't close enough to hear anything else so I'm not sure."
"Would you be willing to testify should this case go to court?" Hank asked.
"Yes," Gracie said. "But, it is hard to get in touch with me."
Nick smiled. "I promise that I will find you."
Gracie smiled and they went through their end of interview procedures until Nick was able to walk Gracie back to the police officer who would take her back to the safe house.
As they were passing Nick's table he saw a couple of officers standing, very innocently, next to his desk. Only one thing made the officers pay attention to any desk like that – there were a number of girl, or boy, friends as well as spouses around the station who knew how to bake or cook and could be relied on to provide batches of biscuits and cakes to make the days go a little faster and the only person in Nick's life who ever baked for him, or the precinct, was Elly. He could see her now sitting in his chair with a grin and offering pieces of cake to the men and women around her.
"Come on, Gracie," Nick said. "Have a piece of cake before you leave."
"Is she your new girlfriend?" Gracie asked.
"She is a friend," Nick said. "Elly, she's the one I was going to ask you to stay with if we hadn't been able to organise the protective custody."
"Ah," Gracie said slowly. "I would love to meet her."
"Hey, Elly," Nick said when he came to his desk. Elly smiled and handed him some cake. "This is Gracie, the young woman I was talking to you about last night."
"Hello, Gracie, would you like some cake?" Elly said with a bright smile.
Something about the way they were looking at one another made Nick distinctly nervous but in the same moment his phone rang and he pulled it out of his pocket. His home phone number flashed at him and he gave Elly a tight smile before he excused himself to somewhere private to take the call.
As he walked he realised that everything Gracie had told them well and truly cleared his mother – she had not been there. Even though everything had pointed to her being involved before he couldn't stop the sigh of relief now that he knew that she was innocent.
/ / /
I am doing a better job of updating...see. I shall try to keep it up!
I apologise in advance, I'm sick so if my editing is bad, sorry.
/ / / 13 \ \ \
"Hello?" Nick said as soon as he was in a quiet place.
"Nicky," his mother said. "You left me a note to call you."
"Yeah, we haven't seen one another much and I wanted to see if you would be home tonight."
"How is your case going?" She asked instead of answering. "You have been at the precinct a lot."
"Had another victim," Nick said. "But we also have a witness and a solid lead on the person committing the murders."
"That's good," she said. "I'll stay home tonight and we can have a meal."
"I'll make sure I'm home for about seven but I might need to come back in afterwards."
"All right," his mother said. "I'll cook something, perhaps that baked chicken you liked when you were young."
Nick smiled; it felt different now to think back to his childhood. She was different to how he remembered her, harsher and definitely less loving but when he had believed she may be killing people to get to the coins he had felt that everything he had known had been a lie and remembering had been painful. Now, though she was still very different to the mother he remembered, the memories felt sweeter and she had remembered something small but important. It was one of the few things she had cooked but it had been one of Nick's favourites and he had not had it since she died though he remembered how to make it.
"I would like that," he said with a smile.
"I'll see you later," she said. "Go back to your witness; she is more important than I am at the moment."
"Okay, thanks, see you later."
Nick's mother hung up and Nick smiled as he turned back to the squad room. He nodded at Elly and went back to eating his cake before he said goodbye to both Elly and Gracie so that he and Hank could settle down to work.
At half past six Hank and Nick left the station for a night off and Nick arrived home to the smell of food cooking and it dragging him sharply into the past. The little house he had grown up in seemed like it was in front of him suddenly, he almost expected his father to throw open the door and try to hug him. His father had always been a hugger though his mother hadn't been. Nick hung his coat next to the door and walked through and into the kitchen where his mother was standing next to the oven checking on the meal.
She looked up and smiled at Nick and he felt like it was the first genuine smile he had seen since she had come back though he wondered if that was just how he felt towards her rather than anything else. He said hello and asked if he could do anything but she waved him away so Nick slipped upstairs to shower and change. He came back just as the food was being put on the plates and went to get them both glasses and drinks.
"You case is going well?" His mother asked when they were both settled.
"We have a solid lead," Nick said. "Hopefully, we'll catch the guy soon and people can stop dying."
"Wesen," his mother corrected.
"Yes," Nick said. "Though I don't think it makes a difference."
Kelly looked at him closely for a moment. "You remind me so much of your father when you say things like that."
Nick swallowed heavily. "Really?"
"He was always talking about balance and harmony and he always compared Grimm to policemen with better eyesight."
Nick couldn't hold back the laugh. "Even before I started seeing them I had always been good at reading people."
"Of course you were," Kelly said. "You don't remember all of the memory games and observation games we used to play? It was all to prepare you."
Nick nodded once and focussed on his food for a moment.
"Have any of your contacts heard about the coins?" His mother asked a few minutes later.
"No one had heard anything, not even a rumour. As far as everyone knows they left Portland with Farley Kolt."
"Not possible," Kelly said firmly. "He had been looking for them for years there is no way he would have let them go if he got his hands on them. Someone in town has to have them."
"I know the three people who had them and not one of them has them now."
"Renard, Hank and your ME," his mother said and Nick tried to remember if he had mentioned anything about Dr Harper. "None of them show any signs of having the coins and they would not be able to resist them if they did."
"How did you resist them all those years," Nick asked curiously.
"I am a Grimm and our bloodline has always been especially resistance to that kind of influence, you would be even more so since you are your father's son as well."
Kelly paused and took a sip of water while she obviously thought about how best to answer. "For Wesen or Grimm genetic traits pass down to children like they do for normal humans except the traits being passed are not hair colour and the shape of your nose they are the ability to see in the dark and to smell pheromones. In my line we have resistance to some influences, heightened sense of smell and being faster than others. It is all down to what you have in your bloodline, somewhere an ancestor bore the child of a Wesen and the traits breed into the family line. Your father's bloodline had better eyesight and apparently a desire to be in the police force. There would be more mixed in but over time it weakens in the DNA and may even skip generations."
"So that is why you said I would be stronger?" Nick asked remembering their conversation from…was it only days ago?
"More than that," his mother said. "You were given the Grimm gene from both of us, down two lines, more pure and therefore stronger. You are a stronger Grimm than either of us would have been though that is just natural talent and, as you know, that doesn't mean anything unless you work at it and then you could be…amazing."
Nick wasn't sure if he should be happy or not about the idea of his DNA being more pure, something almost clinical about his mother's description.
"So," Nick said. "If I had a child with a Fuchsbau?"
His mother's face darkened. "The child would have some traits from the Fuchsbau line. However, when you have children – which you should to continue the line – I would encourage you to seek out another Grimm. Your child would be much more powerful that way. Unless you chose to have children with a Blutbad or Jägerbar – a powerful Wesen."
Nick was not entirely sure what to say to the idea of his mother's breeding beliefs but he did remember the affection between his mother and father so they had obviously not held to the same beliefs then.
"If a Wesen had the coins," Nick said steering the conversation back on topic. "They would not be able to hide it, right?"
"No, the coins would take them over unless they were strong enough to resist them until they were in a special box."
"So…if no Wesen in Portland are acting strangely the coins cannot be here," he finished hoping she would accept his logic.
"It's possible," she said and then was quiet while she thought. Nick focussed on eating and hoped that she would begin to believe him about the coins no longer being in Portland. They were silent for the rest of the meal but Nick felt that it was a companionable silence.
"Have you made contact with your regent?" Marie asked him when dinner was over and they had been sitting in comfortable silence for a while.
"I spoke to him this morning, we have an understanding."
"Good," she said with a smile. "It will make things easier, you may not always like what they ask you to do, Nicky. But, they are doing it to protect you."
"I don't think you understand," Nick started a strange feeling in his stomach making him regret that second piece of chicken.
"Of course I do," she laid her hand over his with a smile. "It's hard the first time, it's not what you would do alone but they really do understand the grand scheme of things better."
For some reason Nick remembered a setting just like this one. His dog had been run over by a car and he'd seen it happen, he had been absolutely beside himself with grief and he had sat down and cried and cried as only an eight-year-old could. His dad had not been home but his mother had laid her hand on his then as she was now and she had told him that it was for the best – the dog was getting old and it had been quick, that these things happened and that death was a normal part of life. He had nodded but the moment his dad came home he had flown at him and sobbed into his father's soft cotton shirt. Nick had been held tightly and his hair had been stroked and his father told him that these things did happen and it was right to be sad. Nick had fallen asleep on his father's lap and woke the next morning in his own bed wrapped up in his dad's big flannel shirt. They had buried the dog, Nick said some words and cried some more and then his mother had laid her hand on his shoulder and told him it was time to stop now. Nick had forgotten all about that early lesson in death but he was suddenly vividly reminded of it.
"Like stopping Wesen that don't deserve it and letting others go who are hurting people?" Nick asked remembering her silence from their last conversation on this topic.
"There is a plan, there is a global plan and we are only the foot soldiers," Kelly said gently. "I know it is hard to understand now but it is the best way. Marie never really understood and she had a harder life because of it."
"Marie refused her regent," Kelly said. "It is not a smart idea, she could have had an easier life and perhaps it would not have been so bad at the end."
"Why didn't she work with a regent?"
"Some nonsense about control and tradition. I never got to speak to her about it obviously but before I died she made her feelings for my regent known. She told me that Grimm were meant to be above all of that, like we were supposed to be separate from everything, it was nonsense."
Nick sat back with a smile – one more thing he had in common with his aunt.
"What's funny?" Kelly asked.
"When I spoke to Renard today I told him I was going to continue only arresting the Wesen who have broken the law; that is the understanding we came to."
His mother let out an exasperated sigh. "One day you'll understand and hopefully he will still be there to help you."
Nick smiled and nodded thinking that the only help he even wanted from Renard was purely related to police work but he did not want to argue with his mother anymore.
"Will you tell me more about Dad?" Nick asked even as he made a decision to seriously work out a plan to make his mother think the Coins of Zakynthos had left Portland – if not with Kolt then with someone else that his mother would never be able to find.
Nick's mother nodded and smiled. "I'll just clean up first."
"No," Nick said. "I will. Would you like a cup of tea?"
Kelly nodded so Nick collected the dirty plates and began to make tea even as his mother began talking about his father.
"He loved you so much," Kelly began. "He was happy when he found out I was pregnant. It made being a Grimm hard but then the doctor suggested that I shouldn't try again after you were born so it was all worth it."
"Why?" Nick asked turning to look at his mother who had her back to him as she spoke. He thought it was odd but shrugged it off and walked to stand in front of her. "What happened?"
"I had a very hard delivery," Kelly said with a shrug, her eyes on the table. "Almost died. The doctor said I shouldn't have any more children and your father, and my regent, both agreed it too much to dangerous. Reed was quite worried that my powers may skip Marie and go to you as you were my direct successor. Obviously that is not how they work but that was that."
Nick stood at the kettle's noise and made their tea, his mother didn't say anything else until he was sitting in front of her but he wanted to give her space – he had never known that his birth had almost killed his mother. But…
"You talked to your regent about having more children?" Nick asked sitting down.
"Of course," Kelly said with an easy shrug. "I almost died and he is a part of any big decisions I make."
"Even marrying Dad?"
"He thought it was a very good match," Kelly said. "Your father trained every day just in case he was ever called to fight."
"I remember him working out," Nick said. "That old punching bag and he'd run every day."
"He trained when you were asleep or at school."
"He picked me up from school every day," Nick said remembering his father leaning against the red station wagon they had had…that he had died in.
"He insisted," Kelly said. "His work was quite flexible since his boss was a friend and he loved being a father."
"Tell me something I don't know about him," Nick said eagerly the permanent ache in his chest flaring hard just thinking about his father. "Something that has nothing to do with Grimm things."
Nick had felt like his world ended when they had died but over time the debilitating pain had dulled to an ache that was always there, just behind his ribs. It would be noticeable on birthdays and holidays and when he saw things that had reminded him of his parents but most days he didn't even acknowledge its existence – it had been a part of him for…what felt like forever.
"He once won a cooking contest when he was a boy. He baked a berry pie and won the contest."
Nick remembered that pie – it was the one that his father made on special occasions and whenever anything went wrong in Nick's life. The first girl Nick had ever had a crush on – when he was nine and thought she was very pretty, had kissed his best friend on the cheek. When Nick went home upset his father had hugged him, but he was much too grown up for that, and then he had started to bake. It was one of the reasons that Nick loved Elly's pies.
They talked about Nick's father for over an hour. They discussed the fact he had been an excellent drawer – something he had almost passed onto Nick. Kelly talked about their first date in New York at a pizza parlour and then on to an art show. She told Nick about his father's skill with cars and the first word Nick ever said – 'car'. They talked about a trip that Nick and his father had taken to see Aunt Marie when Kelly had been working a Grimm case and the days they had spent at the beach. Nick remembered so many things he had not thought about in years but as the stories continued Nick realised how much of them were about his father and Nick, his mother appeared but she was like a supporting character in the life that Nick and his father had led.
Finally, the insanely long days caught up with Nick and he said his goodnights when the stories slowed down and slipped upstairs to bed and dreams full of his father.
/ / /
/ / / 14 \ \ \
Nick woke early the next morning and showered and dressed as quietly as he could. When he made it down to the kitchen his mother was sitting at the table with a cup of coffee between her hands.
"There's more in the pot," she said with a smile.
"Morning, Mum," Nick said and poured himself some coffee.
"Early start?" Kelly asked as Nick made himself toast and decided to take just a little more time for breakfast this morning.
Nick nodded. "I wanted to stop and pick up some coffee that doesn't taste like tar and water."
"For your partner?"
"Hank," Nick said. "I wish you could meet him but you're still wanted over what happened with Wu."
"Maybe next time I'm in town," she said with a smile. "I'll try not to attack any of your colleagues."
Nick looked up sharply. "You're going to come back?"
Kelly smiled softly. "I have missed you over the last nineteen years; of course I will be back."
Nick couldn't have controlled the smile that took over his face if he'd even wanted to. They chatted about nothing important while Nick finished his breakfast. He said his goodbyes and left.
Instead of turning left towards the coffee shop and the station he went right and towards Elly who should have finished her pilates by the time he got there, he stopped for pastries just in case.
Elly's door opened as he started walking up to the stairs. Her hair was damp and she smelt of raspberries so she'd obviously had enough time to shower after she finished her exercise.
"Morning Nick, is one of those a custard danish?"
Nick smiled and handed her the box. "Morning, El."
"What's brought you here so early?"
"I need you to help me convince my mother that the Coins of Zakynthos left Portland and are somewhere far, far away."
Elly closed her eyes and swore. "Why do you only come to me with the crazy plans at 6am? Come into the kitchen I've made some coffee and am baking a pie."
"It's 6am and you're making a pie?"
"Roddy and Holly are coming over later this morning for a practice session."
Nick smiled and wished he could make it – it felt like forever since he had heard Roddy play. "Say hello to them both for me."
"I will," Elly said and began to pour out two cups of coffee. "Why are you going to trick your mother into leaving town?"
Nick nodded. "We had a talk last night, we talked about dad and Grimms and her regent."
"What did she say about regents?"
"That they should be allowed to control your life," Nick said with a scoff. "She would do whatever her regent asked her too and she wants me to do the same with Renard."
Elly sat down across from him at the kitchen table. "So you talked to Renard?"
"We had one of those conversations where we didn't actually talk about anything."
Elly frowned at him. "Either it's early or that made no sense."
Nick laughed. "I never called him a regent and he never admitted it but I made it clear that I am not going to change how I do Grimm business."
"And," Elly said. "You're mum isn't happy about that plan?"
"She thinks I should be in my regent's pocket and she sees nothing wrong with that. She needs to go after those coins somewhere else before she works out I have them."
"Are you sure you want her to leave?"
Nick closed his eyes and took a deep breath. "She told me that Grimms live longer if they work for a regent."
"She thinks that that makes it okay, that just because her regent was able to pull her out of that crash and that I was already with Aunt Marie it was okay that she left me to think she was dead. I was twelve!" Nick didn't realise his voice had risen until the end and he knew he needed to calm down; none of this was Elly's fault but now that he'd started he didn't know how to stop. "I asked her, I asked her if she would stop a Wesen who was hurting people if her regent told her not to and she didn't say anything. You kept telling me that I don't act like normal Grimms but it didn't hit me until this, she is so completely and utterly uncaring about the lives Wesen have, she only cares about what they are. Her regent, who she works for, would have killed me. I was twelve and they would have killed me because she didn't do what they wanted. All these years she has been out there working for her regent and I had no idea, how could she do that?"
Elly stood up and pulled him into a hug. "I don't know, Nick."
Nick pulled away from her not really wanting to be comforted at the moment. "I don't trust her regent and I'm not sure I trust her either so I think I need to move her focus on the coins away from Portland."
Elly smiled and pulled away. "I have to finish this pie. Then we will work out how to convince her that the coins left Portland. Okay?"
"Thank you, Elly."
Elly walked over to the pot and stirred the fruit before tossing something into the bubbling mixture and turned it off. She went back to her dough rolling it out and laying it into a pie dish. He sat back and watched her work, there was always something comforting in watching her cook. Marie had never been a great cook, she kept them fed and healthy but nothing like he remembered his father being. He would create amazing things in the kitchen and he'd taught Nick some of it before he'd died. Nick had always sat in there though, their tiny kitchen was warm and his dad would explain what he was doing as he made things, he'd never measure correctly just take a guess and it always seemed to work for him. Sitting in Elly's kitchen reminded him forcibly of then, of watching his father cook and create and the joy on his face while his family ate. His mother wasn't the same as he remembered from back then and he would never know how much of it was the false memories of a twelve year old and how much of it was the life she had led since then. A large part of him, a part he was trying to ignore, was wondering if he had pushed aside the memories that had been less than rosy. Regardless of anything else, he didn't trust her enough to give her those coins – he had seen what they could do and he wouldn't give them to anyone.
Hank called just as Elly slid the pie into the oven and Nick had to leave before he and Elly had come up with anything but they had a lead on the suspect and for now that was more important.
/ / /
Short but I'm getting there...
And for my next trick...I shall pull a rabbit out of my hat! One more chapter after this, enjoy.
/ / / 15 \ \ \
Elly left him a voice message just before lunch. "I have a plan, call when you can."
Nick didn't get the message until well after five.
They had managed to catch up to the man that Gracie had described just after lunch in a rundown warehouse and he fought them hard. Hank was in the hospital overnight for observation on his concussion, luckily his arm hadn't been broken only a sprained wrist and bruised elbow. When Nick had checked on him Rosalee was sitting in the hospital room with him. Nick had allowed himself a smirk before he'd gone back to investigating the man he had waiting in an interview room. From what he could tell the man was not alive, never had been and was a figment of Nick's imagination. His fingerprints didn't exist; the sergeant who had printed him was surprised that there was just nothing, like he had been attempting to print another part of the man's skin. Nick had spent half an hour in the room with the man where he did all the talking and the man stared straight ahead. He was frustrated, Hank was injured, his mother wasn't answering his phone and he was exhausted.
Renard was standing over his shoulder when he had finished listening to Elly's message.
"What do we have?"
"Nothing," Nick said frustration colouring his voice. "I mean utterly nothing," Nick sighed. Even sitting in the room with the man and dropping subtle hints about being a Grimm hadn't elicited anything. The man hadn't shifted…hell he hadn't even acknowledged that Nick was talking. He'd had one of the sergeants 'accidently' pipe the fire alarm sound into the interview room and the man had twitched…just twitched so Nick at least knew he wasn't dealing with someone who legitimately couldn't hear him, just someone who chose not to hear him.
Renard went to sit in Hank's chair and looked at Nick. "I watched the interview before and he isn't going to give us anything."
"We have Grace's identification which I have set up for tomorrow though he looks a hell of a lot like the description and the sketch. The forensics team is still at the place where we found him trying to link him to the crime scenes but honestly if he isn't going to acknowledge us speaking then I don't see how we could possibly get anything out of him. I've hit something of a brick wall."
Renard nodded. "Have him sent down to the holding cells for the night and go home, come back tomorrow and we'll all start again. Hank won't be here but I'll work with you."
Nick nodded and stood to go and supervise the movement down to the cells, just in case, when he remembered who Renard was…what Renard was. If this guy was a Wesen coming after other Wesen for the coins then as a Regent he might know something. Nick remembered his mother's words and hesitated in asking, they might have a tentative acceptance of what Nick's stance was but he didn't know what they could and couldn't offer one another without it becoming something Nick didn't want. By the time Nick had decided not to ask Renard anything his captain had risen and was walking to his office.
Nick organised the transfer, made sure the man was secure and then went back upstairs to shut down his computer. He tried his home number again, starting a message knowing his mother would pick up if she was there knowing it was him.
After he had swung his coat on and was standing outside in the cold air he pulled his mobile out and called Elly.
"Nick," she said as soon as she answered. "It's late, bad day?"
"Exhausting," he said with a sigh. "I'm sorry, I only just got your message about half an hour ago."
"That's okay, are you going home to see your mum?"
"She isn't there," Nick said with a sigh. "I'm not sure where she is."
"Come over, dinner will be ready by the time you get here."
"I love you, Elly," Nick said his whole body sagging down with relief at the fact he had a nice place to go now that the day was over.
Elly laughed heartily into his ear like he knew she would and it caused him to smile.
"You liar," Elly said. "You only love my cooking."
"Well…yes, but you're cooking is a part of you."
Elly laughed again. "See you soon, Nick."
Nick drove past his house on the way to Elly's but it was silent and dark. The door was open when he got to Elly's house and he slipped inside. She was singing to herself in the kitchen as he locked the door behind him and kicked his shoes off and hung his coat.
"You have time for a shower," Elly called out.
"Bless you," Nick said. "I'll be down soon."
The hot water was possibly the best thing that had happened to Nick all day and he desperately did not want to leave the shower. Eventually he shut it off, found comfortable closed and went downstairs.
"Did I ever tell you about my uncle Frank?" Elly asked him when he'd come back from the shower and had fallen on his food.
Nick shook his head as he shoved the eggplant parmigiana into his mouth.
"He was never on the right side of the law," Elly said. "He was a great guy but he was never very good at following rules. He had a way of dealing with a lot of it, and he taught me a lot when I decided to go off with Angelo. He spent years building up aliases, a number of them connected to Wesen that were decidedly not Blutbad. He had a couple that were good enough that it would take a deep background check to know it was fake, some he spent decades building up. He gave one to me when I came of age, I don't know why he had a female Fuchsbau alias but I never really commented on it. I used the alias sometimes, though I never did a good job looking like a Fuchsbau. The alias is still valid and as far as I know doesn't link back to me at all."
Nick paused. "Are you suggesting we send my mother after this alias when it could possibly lead back to you? Because, that is something I cannot do."
Elly smiled. "How else are we going to safely send her off after someone who she cannot kill?"
"She might come back to you," Nick said.
"I haven't used the alias since before I became a Wieder Blutbad and it was in Mexico so I really don't think that could happen but you could run it to see what you, as a policeman, can dig up. If not she could easily be given a link to Samuel Bertram and perhaps Farley Kolt and then since the last official sighting was in Mexico a few years ago it would take her somewhere far away and led her to a person she cannot kill."
Nick fiddled with his glass of water and the bottle of beer that he had almost finished already.
"Check the alias out tomorrow," Elly said. "Then you can make a decision."
"You haven't mentioned aliases before," Nick said a few minutes later after he'd decided that it couldn't hurt to check out the alias.
Elly smirked at him. "We also haven't shared our loss of virginity stories or the age at which we learned to ride a bike, we don't know everything about one another."
"Funnily enough both of those stories happened on the same day," Nick said. "It's a good story."
"I bet," Elly said. "And then you became an astronaut."
Nick laughed and then sobered suddenly when he had a thought. "Is there anything that might come back and cause you legal problems? You don't need to tell me the specifics but should I be keeping an eye on you?"
Elly smiled at him gently. "I have some cupcakes for after."
"Don't worry about it, Nick. I'm not."
Nick knew she was deliberately not answering his question but he let her have it and smiled at the idea of cupcakes – he loved cake.
Nick was exhausted but as soon as he'd finished helping Elly clean-up he went home and crawled into bed. His mother still wasn't home.
/ / /
/ / / 16 \ \ \
He woke up to a loud noise some time during the night and dragged himself, and his gun, out of bed and went down the stairs. He found his mother in the kitchen making a sandwich.
"I thought you'd be asleep," she said before he'd even made it into the kitchen.
"I was," Nick said. "I'm not used to noises in the middle of the night."
Kelly nodded. "I lost my grip on the door, sorry."
"It's fine, everything okay?"
"I've been chasing some leads," Kelly said putting the kettle on.
"Anything?" Nick asked.
"No one knows anything apparently."
"I might have something," Nick said. "I'll know tomorrow night…later today. If everything's fine I'm going to go to bed."
Kelly smiled at him. "'Night, Nick."
Nick went back up to bed, he stowed his gun and was asleep before he even managed to get his blankets back up to his shoulders.
Nick woke up earlier than he wanted to and he gave serious thought to turning over, going back to sleep and ignoring the day for a little while longer but he knew he needed to get moving so he ended up throwing back the covers and dragging himself up. He made it into the precinct before the captain, a rare enough occurrence. He booted up his computer, collected a gigantic cup of coffee and was about to begin another fruitless search when he thought about the blood on his mother's cuff that morning.
Nick entered the name Elly had given him and began to dig his way into her background.
Sila Giuntoli had been implicated in some non-violent breaking and enters, a couple of thefts and one very odd episode at the New York Museum of Modern Art but the last incident under the name had occurred in Mexico as Elly had told him. Nick printed all of the information he found the deeper he dug into the alias. There were three dates of birth on file putting her somewhere between ten years older and two years younger than Elly. Nick tried to ignore the timeline for Elly that was building in his head and focus on trying to break the alias down. There was no picture on file, anywhere, she had never been arrested – she had disappeared from each town before an arrest can be made but each time there was overwhelming evidence that linked her to the crime. The first incident with the woman had been when Elly would have been…twelve so her uncle had apparently been good at pretending to be a woman.
By the time Renard made it into the precinct, a full hour before he needed to be there, Nick hadn't been able to find a single hole in the life of Sila. He called Elly but she didn't answer and he decided not to leave a message and closed down his searching and locked the information he'd found into his bottom drawer – the Grimm drawer. Moments later Renard slid into Hank's chair and looked at Nick.
"What do you have?"
"Absolutely nothing," Nick said with a sigh though he attempted a smile.
"What time is the witness coming in for the identification?"
"Nine," Nick said.
"Right," Renard said. "You keep going and I'm going to have a go at chatting to our guest."
"Best of luck," Nick said wondering if perhaps Renard was going to use whatever skills that made him a Regent on the man in the interview room.
Nick tried Elly again, this time she answered the phone.
"It was hole proof, are you sure I can use it?" Nick said at a whisper trying not to look at all suspicious in a room full of police officers.
"Yes," Elly said without thought. "Do whatever you need to with it."
"It's what I'm here for," Elly said with an obvious smile in her voice. "I am your go to gal for all your Grimm needs."
"No," Nick said his voice serious. "This is above and beyond you helping me with the Grimm stuff."
"One day," Elly said dropping her voice to imitate the Godfather. "I will ask you for a favour."
"Nick," Elly said. "I want to help you, regardless of what it's for. We are friends. You don't need to get so serious about this. I won't ever need that alias again so use it with my blessings and hopefully it will work out."
Nick let out a sigh.
"I know you don't want to lie to her but-"
"She came back this morning with blood on her sleeve," Nick said. "I don't like to think about the Wesen that she met so I need to do this…I just wish there was a way that didn't involve you."
"I'm a big scary wolf; I can take care of myself. Just tell me how you want to go about telling her and I'll be there."
"No," Nick said. "I'll be doing that; I have a plan and everything."
"Huh," Elly said with a surprised tone. "So that is possible."
Nick let out a bark of laughter before he promised to contact Elly when he had everything sorted out. Nick made sure that Renard was in the interview room, being ignored by their suspect, before Nick began to link Sila to Samuel Bertram, and Farley Kolt, in the official records. A fake police report about a woman, matching the light descriptions available, that ran out on her hotel bill just before Farley Kolt left Portland. It wasn't much, he didn't want to overdo it but he printed out what he'd created and put it into a file ready for when he went home that night.
Not long after, Grace came into the station and they ran through the identification procedure. Grace took less than thirty seconds to identify their suspect with utter conviction and then Nick ran her through the official transcript of her interview and explained how things would proceed.
"It's nice have a bed," Grace admitted.
"Do you want to get off the streets?" Nick asked.
Grace looked at him, assessing something about him, but didn't answer.
"If you ever do, come and see me and I will do what I can."
Grace beamed at him. "I know you would."
Nick sent her off with the officer and went to find Renard in his office.
"Any luck with our suspect?"
The Captain laughed. "He just stared at the wall, it's very frustrating."
"Did you have any luck?"
"None," Nick said. "I have been looking at the victims and links and quite honestly I have no idea who this man is."
There was a knock on the door.
"Come," Renard said.
"Captain," one of the lab techs said coming in. "I have some fibre comparisons done and they link the place the man in Interview 1 was with the second crime scene."
Renard smiled. "Good work."
"We have more to look at obviously but I thought you'd want this straight away."
Renard took the report with a smile and the tech turned around to leave.
"That is a good start," Renard said. "Take a look and then get the paperwork started. I'll contact the DA and get things going there too."
"Sir," Nick said standing up.
"Nick," Nick stopped and looked at him. "Are you sure about Grace?"
"I am positive," Nick said. "She's helped me before. We can trust her."
"But can we find her when it comes time to go to court?"
"I'll keep an eye on her until then," Nick said. "She will be there, I promise."
Renard waved a hand. "If you trust her, I'm sure she will be there."
"Sir," Nick turned and left his office to start the paperwork.
When the paperwork was filed, just after lunch, Nick took his break to go and see Hank.
"How is the case going?" Hank asked.
"The suspect won't speak," Nick said. "He just stares at the wall regardless of what we say. He wouldn't talk to me or to Renard but we have Grace's identification and the techs have found fibres and boot prints that put him at the scenes so the DA is more than willing to charge whomever we have in custody."
"Whomever?" Hank asked.
"We have no fingerprints and the DNA will take some more time. So far we have no idea who he is."
Hank raised his eyebrows in surprise. "Nothing? Not even…"
"If he is a Wesen he isn't showing it."
The door behind them opened and Nick turned to watch as Rosalee came into the house. "I'm back, Hank. They didn't…oh, Nick, hi."
"Hello," Nick said with a smile. "Taking care of the wounded?"
Rosalee smiled brightly. "Just helping out."
When Nick looked back at Hank he would have sworn that the man was blushing.
"Well," Nick said standing. "I'll leave you to it now that I know you are in good hands."
"If anything new comes up give me a call," Hank said and walked Nick to the door.
Nick drove back to the station and set himself to doing whatever he could to tie up the left over parts of the investigation which were more numerous than he remembered. They still didn't even have connections for all of the victims. Nick let out a sigh; it was going to take him another couple of days to get just the paperwork sorted out.
Just before four the paperwork came from the DA and Nick went into the interview room to go through the formal procedures and read the charges against the unknown man. When he was done with the formalities Nick sat down in front of him.
"We have forensics tying you to the locations of the murders," Nick didn't mention an eyewitness – it wouldn't remain a secret but he would protect Gracie for as long as he could. "We have the murder weapon," the team of policemen who'd been searching the warehouse, they had found the man in, had finally found the little hiding place where the murder weapons had been hidden.
The man didn't react.
"We have everything we need to make our case against you," Nick went on. Every word felt pointless but he continued on regardless. "If you talk to us, explain to us why you wanted to hurt these people then it could help you. If anyone else was involved it's better if you tell us now."
The man continued to stare over Nick's shoulder.
"We know you did this. We would like to know why, so that we can tell their families."
"Did you do it to find out where the coins are now?
The man didn't even blink.
"We will find out who you are eventually, and then we will know why you wanted to do this."
The man turned to Nick and smiled. "What makes you think that?" But he refused to say anything else.
Nick couldn't get anything else out of him but he tried for another half hour. Eventually he gave up, called in the sergeant and they transferred the unknown man back down to their holding cells. Nick went back to his desk and set himself to typing up the one-sided transcript of his 'interview'.
"So," Renard said slipping into Hank's chair again. "The man spoke."
"Yes," Nick said. He explained the few words that had been said to him.
"Do you think he was questioning our ability to find out who he is or why he did it?"
"I don't know," Nick admitted. "There was something about the way he said it that made me wonder if it even had anything to do with what I was saying. Maybe he didn't want to do anything."
Renard's face dropped into a mask of annoyance. "I do not like all of the unanswered questions in this case. It makes it too easy for reasonable doubt at the trial."
"Unless he refuses to talk there too and they understand what we were up against."
Renard smiled. "It could happen…it probably will. You've gone good work, Burkhardt, you and Griffin."
"Thank you, Sir."
Renard nodded and went back into his office.
Nick continued to work his way through his list of things that needed to be done until it reached almost five o'clock.
"Detective," Renard said stopping by his desk and pulling Nick out of his work. "We've got the person responsible. Go home, have a weekend off and I'll see you Monday. Everything else can wait."
Nick looked at the report he was working on, he was at the end of a section and could finish it next week.
"Okay, Captain, see you Monday," Nick nodded at the other man and didn't waste any time shutting his workstation down then he collected what he needed, and the file for his mother, and went home.
He stopped on the way and picked up some Indian, he remembered it being one of his mother's favourites, and was rewarded with a smile when he got home and she saw the food.
"You're home early," Kelly said as she grabbed plates and set them out on the table.
"We have arrested the man we had in custody so the Captain sent me home for a weekend off."
"That's good," his mother said. "Perhaps we can spend some time focussing on the coins."
Nick sighed but nodded. "Yes, of course."
They ate and talked about nothing in particular but Nick noted the way she still avoided the butter chicken and went straight for the hottest dishes, just like he had remembered. It was strange that before she had come back he couldn't have told someone what her favourite dish was but now that she was here he was able to remember more than he had in years. He thought about the information that was sitting in his bag, the information that would lead her on a wild goose chase and allowed himself a moment to feel bad about it.
"Actually," Nick said as he was putting the leftovers in the fridge. "I did a little digging around about the coins today since it was a little bit less busy."
"Did you?" Kelly asked nonchalantly.
"Yeah, I know I haven't helped as much as I should but murders tend to take precedence over other things."
Kelly nodded. "I understand."
And strangely enough she must have, it was odd to find that they had this in common – this need to 'get their man' even if their methods and reasons were different.
"I was looking into Samuel Bertram again."
"Anything?" Kelly said looking more interested.
"A relative, cousin's daughter, was in Portland around the time of his murder and left just before Farley Kolt did. She left in a rush and didn't pay her hotel bill."
Kelly looked thoughtful. "And if he had the coins and she knew about the coins…"
"It's really nothing," Nick said. "But I'm going to follow it up."
"Good idea, what do you know about her?"
"A few run ins with the law, places she's been, it's hard to look at it all in-depth at the station in case someone asks questions."
"Of course," his mother said. "That's smart; your Regent cannot protect you from other people's nosiness."
"Now that I'm not searching for the man who murdered those people I can spend some time helping you."
Kelly smiled at him and Nick waited until later, when she was busy doing something else to take the file from his bag and tuck it into his desk in the study. He knew she was watching, he knew the lock was flimsy but he needed her to believe this.
When he was done they watched some movie together and then Nick went up to bed.
When Nick woke up his mother was gone; all of her things with her. Nick searched even knowing there wouldn't be anything there and when he gave up and sat down on his couch he didn't have a note or any sign she had actually been here at all and he felt like he was twelve sitting in a room staring at a strange cop who was telling him his parents were dead, he had been the one to give her a reason to leave but that didn't stop him wishing for something better, something more. He still had so many questions and no way to get a hold of her so he could get the answers – not that he thought he would ever get answers. He pulled out his phone, dialling without thinking.
"Nick?" Elly's voice said in his ear.
"Oh, Nick. I'll be there in twenty minutes."
Nick nodded even though she couldn't see him.
And now I get to watch season two…exciting! I bet there were some who never thought this would end...understandable really but I really want to watch season two.
I probably won't post the next story until I'm all caught up. Elly's getting a boyfriend, surprisingly enough Nick isn't as happy for her as he should be. How shocked are you?