a safe place we can go as we are (love recognizes no barriers)
AU: Canon Divergence, Altered Timeline
"The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned."
"Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope."
The words rattled around in his head for too long after they where said. Things like this didn't normally bother him, but today after everything, they did.
"Tell me, what bothers you about this? That you killed someone or that you killed someone who wasn't Wessen? That's what you Grimms do, isn't it? Because God knows you've killed plenty of them."
The words bothered him up until the point he couldn't take it anymore. He wasn't going to be able to sleep with those words in his head alongside the fractured memories of a man he'd killed when he was under the influence of Renard's brother's servant. He couldn't watch his own hands wrenching themselves free of any grip, couldn't see a body drop to the floor under the brute force in his fists, couldn't see that security tape playing over and over on repeat in his mind. He slipped out of bed and put on his glasses, leaving his two lovers still sleeping, and headed the kitchen. If he wasn't going to be getting any sleep tonight, at least he could catch up on some paperwork. He'd managed to get out of some of it while he was sick, but not all of it.
It wasn't but ten minutes later that a small body came walking semi-gracefully down the stairs. "Nick?" a voice yawned.
Nick sighed, knowing he could never keep it quiet enough for his fox/wolf-like lovers to be left to their dreams. Rosalee had simply noticed it first tonight. "Hey, Rose. Sorry, I woke you."
She shook her head, coming to his side and wrapping her arms around his waist, laying her head on his shoulder as her tired eyes gazed at the paperwork. "Catching up?"
He nodded, "Yeah."
She hummed, then huffed sleepily, "You're still too cold. Leech my body heat and get warm so I don't have to worry about you dying of hypothermia."
Nick chuckled, "I'll try to retain the body heat this time."
She nodded into his shoulder. "Come back to bed and leech Monroe's body heat too so I don't have to worry about you being all alone down here. You tend to drag yourself into spirals when you're left all by yourself."
Nick laughed softly as he finished off his last line and set the papers aside, trying not to think about the way the man's body crumbled after the hit it had taken. "Alright, I'm coming."
Rosalee dragged him back up the stairs still crowded with the last of her and Nick's things from them moving in a few years ago. They'd get the rest of it put up in the attic before too long now. Nick followed Rosalee's insistent tugging into their room and laid back down between her and Monroe, who reach out and pulled him closer, significantly more awake than Rosalee was. "What happened, Nick?"
"I just got to thinking about something Renard said today. He asked if it bothered me I'd killed someone or that the someone I'd killed wasn't Wessen. He said I'd killed plenty of them. It got to me, I guess."
Monroe hummed, "Do you know which it is?"
Nick thought about it. "I've handled plenty of cases with and without Wessen. I hate using deadly force to solve them. I don't like having to kill anyone, Wessen or not. I'm a cop, not a killer."
Monroe sighed, "I know you aren't, Nicky."
Nick didn't hear him, shooting up and into a sitting position, startling Rosalee out of the sleepy state she'd been in, "I'm not a killer. I'm not, I'm not, I'm not!" Nick's eyes filled with tears, spilling over his cheeks and dripping to the blanket below. His mind spiraled in the wake of his emotional realization of killing a person and being considered dead just a few days earlier. He looked at Monroe and Rosalee, eyes darting between them wildly as he pleaded with them. "I'm not a killer. I don't want to kill you, you have to believe me. I'm human. I don't want to kill you. Please believe me," he cried.
Monroe wasn't sure how to handle this, but as he grabbed Nick in the strongest hug he could and held him tightly while he cried, as he watched Rosalee hug Nick just as tightly on the other side he knew two things with a steadfast determination.
1.) Renard had no business telling Nick the things he'd told him when it was his family that had done this to Nick in the first place.
2.) If Nick was going to get through this he would need all the love and support Monroe and Rosalee could provide.
Nick cried against Monroe's shoulder, sobbing so hard Monroe feared he'd be sick, but Monroe didn't let him go. Nick's cries were heartwrenching and neither Monroe or Rosalee wanted to hear him sound like that again. They held him while he cried, happy to let Nick break down when he needed so they could build him back up again. They held him until his cries quieted and sniffles took their place. When he'd finally fell into an exhausted sleep, Monroe and Rosalee glanced at each other and nodded. Both knew that Renard would need to be talked to, be it by Nick or one of them. Since Nick would probably never confront his Captain like that, it would likely be by one of them and only Monroe was forceful enough to get the point across.
They laid down, curling around their third protectively like they could protect him from his nightmares just by staying near. When Nick whimpered as his dreams began to turn bad, Rosalee whispered in his ear while Monroe ran his fingers through sweat-damp hair and Nick would settle peacefully. They hated that Nick was going through this, hated that Nick had to deal with this, but they would be there for him, regardless, through it all.
Rosalee woke up first and made breakfast while the other two slept a bit longer. Nick needed it. Monroe woke him when the time came, checking his pulse before he did because it still scared him to see Nick so pale and death-like. They went down to breakfast, Nick telling them he was going to work later than normal and once he did, Monroe glanced at Rosalee and raised an eyebrow. "We both know last night was awful. I want to know why Renard decided it was a good idea to say that to Nick."
Rosalee nodded, anger sparking in her eyes. "I'm tempted to go and find out."
"We can go and spend Nick's lunch with him." Monroe suggested, "Maybe ask Renard a few questions while we're there, Nick won't mind."
"Agreed." Rosalee finished the dishes and sat down next to her Blutbad lover, leaning her head on his shoulder. "Seeing him upset like that, Monroe. God, the way he cried."
In truth, screamed or wailed would've been the better term. Monroe nodded his understanding. They'd both known early on in the relationship that if Nick had the chance, he'd rather have taken a suspect in without a fight. What he'd done under the influence of that toxin wasn't his fault. It was just too bad Nick couldn't see it that way yet. Monroe wrapped an arm around Rosalee's waist and sighed, leaning his head on hers. "I just wish we could've avoided it. We're Wessen, we could've helped him. Maybe one of us should've stayed with him."
Rosalee sniffled, wiping her tears away, "The past is the past, Monroe. No use crying over it. We just have to help Nick get better now."
Monroe nodded again. "Right."
They both wished that statement didn't hold so much sadness.
When they made it to the precinct to take Nick lunch, they found he was out at a crime scene and would be back soon. They both decided to let him be so he could focus on the case. They did, however, see Renard and have that talk with him.
Monroe knocked lightly on the door and held it for Rosalee when allowed into the office. "Hi, Captain."
"Monroe, Rosalee. I wasn't expecting to see you." Renard greeted, signing a file and setting it aside. He set down his pen and gave the pair his full attention.
"We were just dropping off some lunch for Nick. Rosalee makes great vegan dips," Monroe replied, "But we came to talk to you."
Renard raised an eyebrow, "Oh?"
Rosalee smiled, stepping closer. "Yeah, see, we had a chat with Nick last night and he told us something that didn't sit well with us. It seems someone asked him if he was bothered that the man he killed wasn't a Wessen."
"That same someone seems to forget that Nick is dating two Wessen. The question sent him into a panic, you see, and we can't have him being afraid of us thinking he'll kill him." Monroe continued, crossing his arms.
"See, we know very well that what happened with that man wasn't Nick's fault. He was under the influence of a very powerful toxic compound that made him do things he otherwise wouldn't have done. We can't prove that in a court, of course, but that's what happened." Rosalee's smile turned cold, she took another step forward.
"We're highly protective of what's ours, Captain, and we don't appreciate it when people insinuate that Nick is happy to kill anyone, let alone a Wessen. We don't hesitate to take care of anything that has hurt him, be it a Wessen, another cop, or his nightmares. We'll go to jail a hundred times over to keep him safe." Monroe's eyes narrowed, glowing crimson red.
Renard had the decency to look scared. "Are you threatening an officer?"
Rosalee laughed, glancing at Monroe with a smile far less cold, "Oh no, Captain. We would never dream of threatening an officer. We're simply telling you, sir, so you could investigate. We'd very much so appreciate it, we take 'for better or worse, in sickness and in health' very seriously, though we aren't married yet."
Renard swallowed. He knew Blutbaden and Fuschbau, they didn't have casual sex or one-night stands. When they fell in love, they fell hard and they fell deep. The same couldn't be said for Zauberbeist, Renard had never truly felt any emotion connected with love. The closest he'd gotten was with Juliette Silverton and that had been under the influence of a drug.
"Make no mistake, though. We love Nick very much. We don't want him to be upset. Think you could help us out?" Monroe asked.
Renard nodded, "I'll see what I can do."
Rosalee stepped back and the glow faded from Monroe's eyes. "Thank you, Captain. We'll be going now."
They left, Monroe once more holding the door, and met Nick, who was just getting back from the crime scene, on their way out.
Renard watched them interact, taking in the way Nick seemed lighter with them around, the tension melting off his shoulders as he spoke with them. Monroe was always touching Nick in some fashion and Rosalee's smile was bright and warm. Nick asked what they were doing here, but they mentioned nothing about their talk with Renard, only that they'd brought him lunch. Renard watched Nick relax as they spoke, only to watch the tension return when they gave him hugs and departed. They really where Nick's safety net, his one safe place.
Renard nodded to himself and called for Nick to come to his office. He had an apology to deliver and he'd be damned if he made Nick wait any longer.