Hello all, yes I have finally updated after months and months are being absent. I hope you all enjoy this chapter and are willing to stick with me even though I am horrible at updating. So sad to know that Grimm is coming to an end soon but I will cherish the few new episodes season 6 has in store.
It would take the pits of hell opening up beneath Sean and dragging him in, to get him to even consider taking his eyes off of Nick. He was sure the three other people in the cramped room would concur. But likely at a much lesser extent seeing as they had no problem moving the small muscles in their eyelids.
On the contrary however, Nick would more than likely appreciate the four of them giving him some space; if the way he won't meet their gazes and his rigid posture is anything to go by. Which is understandable considering what he's just been through. That and the fact that he hasn't had a single moment to himself since he woke up, apart from relieving himself in the bathroom. But even then the four of them had been anxiously waiting outside the closed door.
After Nick had woken up and had been hugged and back-slapped to near bruises, Hank and Monroe had helped a still weak Nick up the stairs to the back room of the shop. Only Rosalee noticed the longing in Sean's gaze as Nick was helped up the stairs. As soon as Nick's backside had met the soft material of the loveseat, Rosalee donned her cape of mother-henning.
A wool afghan was draped over Nick's shoulders and a steaming cup of chamomile tea appeared in his hands as if by magic. And while Nick did appreciate the tender care she was showing him, he had to draw the line when she tried to get him to lay down in order to tuck him in.
Nick fingers the edges of the cup in his hands. He's barely drank any of the tea. But the warmth soothes his still chilled body (and mind) so he continues to sip at the sweet drink every now and then.
No one has yet brought up the elephant in the room. Whether that be because to bring it up would mean shattering the peaceful cloud that has settled over them. Or simply because no one can come up with a decent way to approach the topic no one could say.
Nick would love nothing more than to pretend that the past few days never happened. That he never took on the case of the book keeper's death and subsequent cases that followed. But he's sure that even if he could travel back in time he wouldn't be able to change a thing. Those innocent wesens would still die, the allusion of his loving mother would never be put back together and the Grimm would still have shown him a side of himself that was designed to kill.
Fate, no matter how badly fought, is not something that can be escaped.
With that in mind, Nick looks up from the murkey tea and fires a round right into the elephant's head.
"I killed them. Every last one."
A fog of ice drops over the group. Sapping up any relief that tries to cling on.
No one responds.
They all know what he is referring to. The wesens that were sacrificed in the trials. Each of those wesens, even the Geiers, had had families that loved them but because of an insane Grimm prophecy those families would never see their loved ones again.
Nick continues, "I tried to fight it at first. Get them to join me and turn on-on Her and her clan. But they never did..." his voice trails off as a deadened glaze settles over Nick's eyes.
Sean can feel Nick beginnig to close up on them, his dark thoughts trying to draw him back into the hellish hole they had both just narrowerly escaped.
His left foot jerks forward, as if going rogue on his body to get to Nick's side. But before Sean can follow its lead Rosalee darts to Nick's side and engulfs him in a hug.
"None of it was your fault, Nick. And I won't hear otherwise." She states, her hand rubbing soothing circles into his back as she keeps him in a one arm hug.
"She's right, man. The only villains in this story is that goddamn crazy clan of Grimms" Hank adds. Although he knows, from personal experience, words aren't going to be enough to vaporize the guilt that is settling around Nick like noxious gas. But he, along with the others, will hammer their words of innocence into him until the nail shoots out the other side.
After a long drawn out beat, Nick bites his bottom lips and nods. They can all see the continued guilt that swims in his eyes. But out of respect, they don't call him out on it no matter how badly they want to because all it would do is add to Nick's already wilted state.
"Thanks guys, really. Thank you for everything you did for me." As he speaks his eyes drift past the others towards Sean who by this point has nearly melted into the wall.
"Thank you" he looks directly into Sean's eyes as he speaks, his eyes filled with both gratitude and compassion.
Sean wants to open his mouth but his lips don't cooperate and instead all his can do is audible swallow and offer a shallow nod in return.
Their gazes hold their own conversations. Thank you for saving me. I'm so glad you're alive. I'm sorry... All the words they can't seem to breathe into existence.
They hold the gaze for what feels like centuries but is really only a few more seconds before both find the will to look away.
Nick looks back at his other three closest friends and rejoins the conversation. His smile, while more than just tight lipped, still houses a shadow of clinging guilt.
Sean wishes that he had the courage to continue to stand amongst the close knit group and partake in the celebrations of life. However, just because he is looked upon by most of, if not all of wesen residing in Portland as the powerful, wields with an iron fist Ruler of Portland, he is still a part of the human race. Capable of courageous acts of bravery and compassion but at the same time the cowardly habit of fleeing at the slightest sign of danger.
And so, as the four are consumed in conversation, Sean discretely slips out of the room and exits the shop.
Mere seconds after his departure, Nick looks back at the corner Sean had been standing to find the older man had left.
He chooses to ignore the stab of emotion that erupts in his heart the man's silent departure causes.
Hank and Nick pull up in front of Juliette and Nick's house. The two story house is almost completely shrouded in darkness save for the flickering front porch light. Nick had been meaning to change the bulb for weeks now but work and common procrastination had gotten in the way. Now he could add being kidnapped by his mother's insane clan to the reasons that the light would remain flickering.
The older Detective puts the car in park and looks over at his partner.
Nick has been silent the entire ride over, a complete contrast to the usual back and forth banter the two engaged in. Before this case entire shit-storm of a case anyway.
He watches as Nick eyes the house, his eyes uncertain as if sizing up a formidable foe while quaking in his boots.
"What does she know?" Nick asks, his focus still entirely on the house. As if the two are on a stakeout and they are waiting for their perp to make a move.
"Only that you were abducted and that for a while after we found you, we had you laying low in a safe house until we were sure all of the killers were either arrested or dead."
Nick nods, "Does she know I'm coming?"
Hank shakes his head, "I figured you'd want to handle it."
"Yeah, that'd probably be best."
The air seems to fill with the anxious breaths that seep past Nick's lips as he grips the car handle.
"I know I've already said it but I really need to say it again, Hank. Thank you, thank you so much. You could have walked away when I told you about me and the world I was chucked into. But you stayed. Even after all the times you've nearly been killed because of my secret and especially after you learned the truth."
Hank maneuvers around in his seat until he's facing Nick.
"We've already gone over this man, while I was initially pissed off about being kept in the dark I forgave you a long time ago. And as for this recent escapade into the supernatural, I can't say that it won't stay with me a for a while. But I can assure you that it's not going to scare me off. And if crazy ass Grimm clans won't do it, you can bet your ass that nothing will. You're stuck with me, partner."
A ghost of a smile lights up Nick's face as the two laugh over the mend that unknowningly needed to be repaired on their friendship.
"I guess I'll call you later than."
Hank nods in approval.
Nick takes one last lungful of breath and exhales then opens the door and slips out of the car.
Knowing that he can't stall any longer Nick slowly approaches the house. He can't help but feel as if he is headed back into the dark abyss of his mind where the Grimm is waiting to dig it's talons into his chilled skin.
The floorboards creak beneath his feet as he ascends the stairs and he freezes, his heart attempts to jump from his chest. His pinprick pupils scan the surrounding houses and lawns, waiting for lurking shadows to transform into demonic forms.
His surroundings maintain their regular appearance. No demons proclaim their intent to kill him. The Grimm does not crawl up from hell and tear out of his jugular.
Nick desperately wants to knock himself out so that he doesn't have to deal with the shame that wreaks within him at that moment. Shame at the fact that after all that he he's survived he's jumping at shadows and inaminate sounds.
He knew that his recovery from everything he's been through wasn't going to be easy. But he had apparently been naive enought to hope that his own house could be a safe heaven for him. Not a pandora's box of endless nightmares.
There's no way that he can just turn around leave, not just noticeably because Hank is still parked outside and would quickly follow after him. But also because Juliette had been through enough already and she didn't deserve to be left fearing for him any longer. However, what made his feet continue to be glued to the steps was that she also didn't deserve to have to put up with all the misery and danger that, unknowingly to her, that came with loving a Grimm.
Maybe it would be for the best if he just slunked into the shadows and disappeared completely. Not just from Juliette but Hank, Monroe and Rosalee too. Ever since the three had been indoctrined into his little group of allies they had been in constant danger. He knows however that they would never let him go, they were too stubborn and kind to do that.
And then there was Renard...Sean...
Nick couldn't even comprehend the search the older man would conduct if Nick were to up and vanish. The thought shouldn't have elicited such a warm, feeling deep within his heart.
He was startled out of his thoughts when the front door suddenly opened and he was met with the stunned face of Juliette.
Without another word Juliette takes his hand and tugs him inside the house. The door closes behind them with an almost ominous thud.
As soon as the lock engages Juliette fully switches to the role of overly concerned girlfriend/doctor.
"Do you want something to drink or maybe to eat? I can fix you up some spaghetti real fast?" before he can even open his mouth, Juliette has flitted into the kitchen to begin preparing the meal leaving Nick standing in the middle of the entryway.
The sounds of clattering pans can be heard from the kitchen followed by muffled curses. Nick sighs and walks towards the continued sound of chaos and leans against the kitchen doorway as he watches Juliette scower the cabinets and fridge for the correct ingredients.
"Juliette, I'm fine. Really, you don't have to make me anything." He assures her.
Despite his words she continues to hunt, her eyes narrowed and stormy as if she is searching for the most important piece of American History.
Realizing that he's going to have to be more physical in his assertion, Nick steps fully into the kitchen and gently grasps Juliette by the arm. Her movements abruptly halt as she grips the edge of the cupboard, her eyes slowly cracking out of their hardened chocolate coating.
Like a shattering mirror, tears start to fall from her eyes as a heart wrenching sob creaks out of her causing her body to shutter like a rickety shack in a storm.
Unable to do anything else, Nick wraps his arms around her and plants a kiss on the side of her head.
For a few minutes he simply holds her as she reacquaints herself with his scent, warmth and the feeling of his body against hers. And he takes comfort in the fact that he is able to provide her this comfort.
He doesn't dare relinguish his hold on her out of fear that she will somehow combust without his steady hold. She swallows thickly and licks her lips as she tilts her head up to meet his gaze. Her eyes are red from the tears that have evacuated her and her skin is a visual representation of the mess that is swirling inside her.
Her pain hits him like a freight and if she hadn't been holding on to him he's sure he would have fallen over.
She raises a shaking hand and tentively brushes her fingers down his cheek. His days worth of stubble rasps against her fingertips. He stands in rigid silence as her hand moves down his neck to the top of his chest. Like a knee jerk reaction Nick grabs her hand before it can travel any further.
Juliette's searching eyes take in his own and what she sees reflected back at her is much like the dog that had been brought in a few days ago after having being hit by a car. Terrified, in pain and seeking a relief that will knock it on its ass.
Slowly, as if she is attempting to soothe a wild animal, Juliette raises her free hand and cups Nick's face. He flinches, as if burned, but she is not deterred and instead rises up and plants a kiss on his lips.
At first he is unresponsive, his muscles tensing as if bracing for an attack, and his lips remain still and solid. As Juliette prepares to pull away, an apology on the tip of her tongue, Nick surges forward and collides his lips with hers. His breaths come out in sharp gasps as he seemingly attempts to mold their bodies into one.
Nick backs Juliette against a counter and cages her body with his arms as he continues his assault on her lips. With both hands now free, Juliette wraps her arms around Nick's neck and enacts her own response.
Sean sits silently in his living room. The moon's rays casting deep contrasting shadows across his face as if taking ownership of half of his identity.
His bottomless black eyes swirl with the flickering of the flames from the fireplace as they click and dance out a demonic jig.
Sean raises a glass of whiskey to his lips and take a long drink, the sharp sting of alcohol as it slithers down his throat barely phases him. His mind and soul too consumed by the lingering pain he feels at having to walk away from Nick. He knows that if he hadn't, he would have done something unforgiveable, like claim Nick in front of all Nick's closest friends, and only death would have made him stop.
But that would never happen for it was not his hand that Nick would cling to when the sure storm of nightmares would plague him. No, that duty belonged to Juliette, the one who held Nick's heart in a gilded cage and wore the key around her neck.
He lifts the glass back to his lips but is annoyed to find that glass is empty. Sighing in annoyance he forces his body to rise from the couch and amble towards the bar area to pour himself some more. Or drink straight from the bottle, his zauberbiest biology definitely had its drawbacks, but his body's ability to burn alcohol was not one of them. That and it also helped to numb the piercing pain that had taken residence in his heart.
However currently he wished he could get drunk. Maybe then he could get so black out drunk that the mere mention of the Grimm wouldn't cause him such nerve slicing agony.
He carelessly tosses the lid to the bottle of whiskey and brings the bottle to his lips. The amber liquid coats his throat as he chugs, the burn not even registering which is a shame because it would have been a relief from the fiery pain continuing to burn in his heart.
The coats and robes hanging from the hook on the door drop to the floor as Nick pushes the bedroom door open. Juliette clings to his torso like a superglued monkey as she licks and kisses his neck. Nick moans when she rubs her crotch against his clothed member which twitches at the invitation but quickly brushes off the attention.
Growling, whether from arousal or frustration Nick couldn't tell you, he carries Juliette further into the room and tosses her onto their bed. She lands on her back and bounces for a moment before sitting up. Her pupils are completely blown, the lust pooling in her very bones having come to a complete boil.
As Nick takes in the erotic sight before him, particularly that of Juliette's almost demonic eyes, an unexpected image flashes in front of his eyes. Sean's dark eyes and concerned face as he leans over Nick. He can see every fine wrinkle that paints the creases by his eyes and he can practically taste the air that passes between them.
At this his dick comes to full attention in his jeans as if someone had injected viagra straight into his bloodstream.
Nick almost falls over from the unexpected surge of arousal that shoots through him after the image of Sean has faded away, much to his surprised remorse. But before he can take the embarrasing tumble backwards that his body is steadily reclining towards, Juliette tucks her legs under her body and rises off the bed. She jerks off her ratty t-shirt and tosses it aside leaving her upper body in a lacy black bra.
With a seductive grin on her face, she reaches out and grips his stained and frankly odorous shirt which had been loaned to him by Hank and tugs him towards her.
While Nick's mind is busy going over the confusing emotions wreaking havoc on his body, Juliette caresses her elegant fingers down his torso to the bottom of his shirt.
Before Nick can even think to stop her, she hikes his shirt up to his chest and the lustful expression she once wore drops and is replaced with a horrified gasp. Silvery scars are painted across Nick's skin and range out in such mesmerizing crisscrossing patterns that it's almost as if a spider has claimed his torso as its masterpiece.
Juliette's gasp brings him out of his rattling thoughts and he quickly jerks his shirt down. His erection quickly dies and the only emotion he feels is fear and rage.
"Oh my god, when did... how did you...?"
He knew exactly what she was looking at. The scars. When he had first seen them as he was slipping into the borrowed shirt he had almost puked. The silvery wisps that now littered his entire torso would forever remain a reminder of the hell he had taken part in. He wasn't selfish enough to call what he had experienced his own personal hell. Because while he himself had faced brutal atrocities he knows that the wesens who had been forced to engage him in battle were in fact facing their worst fears.
Sickeningly he can't help but feel that the wesens had gotten off easy. Certainly they felt as much or even more fear than Nick had felt during his time in captivity. But at least their torment had an end. They weren't forced to live with the haunting echoes of screams or the twisted mobile of vacant eyes that danced around his mind.
They didn't have to look at their hands and see them coated in the blood of their victims.
As Nick's subconcious pummels him with self loathing thoughts and images, Juliette rises from the bed and steps to his front.
"Nick?" she cups his face and turns it so that she can look up into his eyes which turns out to be a terrible mistake.
As soon as he looks into her eyes a strangled gasp is wrenched from him because swirling in her brown orbs is the grotesque features of a zauberbiest flexing along his face.
Oblivious to the reason behind Nick's sudden fear, she stands in puzzlement as Nick stumbles away from her hesitant approach.
"Nick, honey what's wrong?"
Instead of answering Nick dashes into the bathroom and slams the door behind him. Even in his frazzled mind, he knows that Juliette will come after him but he can't have that. Not now, especially not now.
He locks the door and almost immediately the doorknob tries to turn.
"Nick, please! I'm sorry I don't... I'm sorry. Please, open the door."
Her pleas are accompanied by persistent knocking and the doorknob continues to rattle as if beating in time with the pounding of Juliette's anxious heart.
Nick presses his hands over his ears, applying so much pressure that an outsider would be in fear of him crushing his skull. But no matter how hard he pressed, Juliette's continued pleas, her banging knocks and the consistent rattling of the doorknob managed to get through. His head feels like a hollow tube being assaulted by an influx of competing marching bands.
Turning away from the door Nick comes face to face with his reflection in the mirror. A gush of relief sweeps over him when he recognizes the petrified face staring back at him as his own. Juliette's continued pounding fades into white noise as Nick lowers his hands and approaches the sink, his need to confirm the image he sees overriding his instincts.
His relief however freezes over into a glacier of horror as right befoe his eyes, the skin covering the muscles of his jaw melts away, as if someone had poured acid over it, exposing the bone beneath with only jagged waves of skin connecting his jaw to his face. The horrific effect crosses over to the right side of his face to the area surrounding his eye which goes on to expose various spots of muscle and bone around the fragile organ.
He nearly loses consciousness from shock when his eyes glow a fiery red.
The last few sips of liqour glides down his throat and he finally brings the bottle away from his lips. His tongue dips out and greedily laps up any stray drops it can find around his mouth.
He forces himself to set the bottle down and walk away. Because if he doesn't he knows he would continue to drown himself in alcohol, searching for a solution for a clouded mind and dissected heart. But the only thing he would find is an unending thirst for something to fill the void in his soul.
His eyes stray to the cloth bound book sitting comfortably on his coffee table. He can practically feel its hidden magic singing to his inner zauberbiest. It's siren lullaby promising salvation from the decaying of his heart. But the frightening and most alluring lyrics are the lines telling him that Juliette may have the key to Nick's heart but Sean can own the mold.
Sean's humanity desperately tries to scream above the chorus, pleading with him to turn tail and flee. For once embrace a cowardly mentality or else embark on a path that he will never be able to return from.
His traitorous body defies these pleas and continues to approach the Grimoir, his fingers tingling with anticipation. As if God himself if responding to his verge of inhumanity, Sean's cell phone begins to ring.
Taking it for the escape it is, Sean locks the tempting thoughts away and walks towards the ringing device. Its shrill tone echoing off his relatively sterile walls. His movements are mechanical as he picks up the phone. But as his eyes check the screen to see whom is calling him, ice fills his veins.
In place of his already naturally dark eyes, are holes of endless darkness that give audience to the darkest pits of hell.
There is no mistaking the eyes glaring back at him.
The eyes of a Grimm. Only these are not just any ordinary Grimm's, no, these belong to the benevolent Grimm residing in Nick.
Never before has he felt such bone deep fear, not even when his mother and him were on the run from the Royal family.
It almost feels as if the soles of his feet have taken root and the seed that will bloom is making its journey through his throat down to the bottom of his gut.
The phone continues to ring. Its shrill tone ghosting across his eardrums.
Unable to maintain his grip on the phone, the phone slips from his fingers and clatters to the floor. Its protected body slides across the floor and comes to a stop behind his couch.
What little control he thought he had of his body continues to fall apart as he finds himself backing away from the phone as if it was some sort of detonating bomb. His back eventually meets the side of his dinner table. He doesn't register the sharp sting of pain that slices across his back.
His phone's answering machine clicks on and after the beep Hank's slightly faint voice comes on.
"Hey, Captain. It's Detective Griffin. Just calling to let you know that I've dropped Nick off at his house and that for the most part he's okay. But I'm going to keep an eye on him, just in case... I also wanted to thank you for all that you did. I know you risked a lot and without you I'm not too sure Nick would still be with us. So... thanks. And I'll see you tomorrow."
Hank hangs up and after a few clicks the message is saved and his screen turns black.
Sean blindly grapples for a nearby chair, his fingers shakily gripping onto the back of one. Without looking, his body drops into the chair and he hunches over with his hands automatically moving to cover his eyes.
Nick's limbs magically turn numb and his body instinctivally senses that he's in danger of falling, so his legs fold beneath him and he finds sitting on pine scented tiled floor. The coldness seeps through his think jeans but does little more than tickle him as he contends with the horror that his own face has given birth to.
"Nick, you're scaring me. Please, just open the door and we can talk. Go to bed, whatever you want just... just please, please open the door."
Juliette's voice sounds wracked with tears as she continues to pound on the door, her knocks softening with each passing moment. He wishes he could open the door and assure her that he's fine, that he was just having a momentary flash of pain that he didn't want her to have to witness.
But his body won't listen to him and remains splayed out on the floor and his lungs try to expand around the compressing walls of his chest.
"Nick, I can't even imagine what you've been through. But I want to help you. You don't even have to open the door but at least talk to me."
He would love nothing more than to be able to do just that. To be able to tell her everything, not just about what he endured while being held captive by his own mother but also about the second life he's been living as a Grimm.
But wishing is for shooting stars and seeing as there are no stars in sight he is left with only one option: lying.
"If you don't want to talk to me, then maybe you'll talk to Hank."
Never before has he experienced such difficulty with opening his own mouth as he does now. The muscles controlling his lips movement do their best to remain stubbornly locked together.
"No, no I'm-I'm fine. I'll be out in a minute." His voice sounds like it was forced out through a meat grinder. Each vowel obliterated to nothing more than slime coated chunks.
His breath feels like tar in his throat as he waits for her response.
"Are you sure?"
He self-consciously lifts his hand to his cheek, jittering nerves expecting to feel the grotesque pumping of blood vessels. Instead all he feels is days old stubble along with small flecks of blood that glitter to the floor.
"Yeah, I promise. In fact, I'm actually a little hungry." He does his best to put a little levity into his voice but it comes out more like garbled salt.
"Okay, I'll go make us some pasta then. Shouldn't take more than a half hour at most." Her voice is hesitant, no doubt sensing the bull nearby that has just taken a huge stinking pile of shit.
He listens as her footsteps retreat and it is only when he can faintly hear the clanging of pots downstairs that he finally breathes a long exhalation of relief. Or what an outsider would call relief. To him, the breath feels more like a countdown to the trouble that is looming ahead.
Apparently since coming into his Grimm abilities, catching a single day to just breath and pretend to be normal is too much to ask.
Somehow Nick manages to keep down half a plate of pasta. Each bite tastes like wet carboard and every time he swallows, he feels like his asophegus has shrinked to the size of a coffee stirrer.
He can feel and see Juliette's attempt of covert gazing on him, her concern for him blaring like a foghorn. She tries to hide her glances in between bites of her own meal but it's hard to miss being stared at when your putting on your own act as well, gaging each action so as to come across as being okay.
Unable to stomach the sight of the remaining pasta, Nick rises from his seat and puts on a show of stretching his muscles, he even goes as far as to rub at his eyes a few times.
"I think I'm gonna head upstairs and get some sleep." He picks up his plate and glass, prepared to put them in the sink but before he can, Juliette stands from her chair and grabs the dishes out of his hand.
"I got this. I'll finish up here and join you soon." With a soft smile she kisses his cheek then walks to the sink.
Sighing heavily, as if a weight has been taken off his shoulders, Nick leaves the dining room and walks to the stairs.
As soon as he raises his foot to take the first step the room around him seems to tilt, as if the entire house is a part of a funhouse. He barely manages to plant his foot back on mostly solid ground with only minimal swaying.
His insides feel like they are on a wild rollercoaster ride wherein the exit is his mouth. Luckily he manages to keep his pasta from making a reappearance, but only slightly. He does however gag at the acidic taste that bursts across his tastebuds.
He knew eating had been a bad idea.
Not wanting to be outdone by simple pasta, a meatless one at that, Nick grits his teeth and does his best to fight through the wave of dizziness that does its best to knock him over. Each step he takes makes him feel like he's wading through cooling lava.
He finally makes it to the top of the staircase what feels like hours later. The achievement he feels at having made it at all speaks volumes about how warped his body is feeling.
Knowing that he doesn't have long before Juliette joins him, Nick enters the bedroom and walks straight into the bathroom. He promptly shuts and locks the door behind him because the last thing he needs nor wants is Juliette walking in on him.
He can only meet his reflection for a split moment before having to avert his gaze, the fear of seeing his rotting face again too great. Phantom shivers run up his spine as the memory of exposed muscles, trembling along his face returns to him. He squeezes his eyes shut, his fingers dig into his skull as if they are trying to plow the image out of his memory bank.
Only after the image fades, does he open his eyes and pointedly turn his body away from the mirror and promptly turns the showerhead on.
His body moves of its own accord as he strips out of his clothes. He doesn't give himself the opportunity to stare at his scarred body for more than a brief second before he steps into the shower and pulls the curtain. He has never been more thankful for the fact that the light in the bathroom has never managed to pass through the curtain too well.
The moment the hot, bordering on scalding water, grazes over his skin he sets out on his task to scrub away all the memories of the blood that painted his skin. And the dying breaths of the wesen he was forced to kill.
But no amount of scrubbing will ever cleanse him of the silver scars that now adorn his body. With each vicious scrub across his increasingly reddening skin, he feels a small layer of relief spreading across his frazzled conscious like a soothing balm. Much like the sensation he felt back at the Grimms' camp as he pulled at the stitches holding his wound together.
Consciously, he knew hurting himself was one of the most unhealthy coping mechanisms there was. But it was the only one that anchored him to the world while at the same time inflicting the punishment he justly deserves.
As he goes to reach for the shampoo an echoing ring picks up in his head. At first it feels like a bee hive has taken residence in his head, the buzzing vibrating in his skull like a compressed out of control jackhammer. But the jackhammer quickly gives way to a high pressurized air horn glued to his eardrum.
His hands clamp over over his ears in a desperate attempt to stifle the agonizing sound but all it manages to do is muffle the noise. Barely.
The water continues to run, the pinging of the droplets hitting the tile little more than whitenoise in an ocean of pain. The impact of his knees hitting the soaked tile floor doesn't register above the agony in his head as he grapples the slick sides of the tub to ground. To give him something to solidify that he is more than just a conduct for pain.
The impact of his knees hitting the soaked tile floor doesn't register above the agony in his head as he grapples the slick sides of the tub to ground. To give him something to solidify that he is more than just a conduct for pain.
Unawares to him, his body reverts to a fetal position, as if by placing itself in this form his body and mind will be comforted by the soothing beat of his mother's heart. But with the unmasking of his mother there is no comfort to be had for the beating of her heart would require her to have had one.
Is this his punishment for all that he has done? To forever be entrenched in the pits of blaring sirens. To continuously have his skull drilled into, inch by inch for all of eternity?
The caress of flames searing into his exposed muscles. Needles piercing his eyes and his limbs stretched to severing would be preferable to the orchestra of torture occuring in his head.
If ever there was an occasion for a deal with the Devil, this was it.
The siren zeroes in on his eardrums. The battering demons clanging around his skull like over hyper children after consuming bags of sugar.
For the longest time he had been able to bite his tongue, to keep the piercing scream inside his lungs. But it only takes a single fan of fire into his heart that releases the caged scream. Its spasmic raven wings are lined with pulsing veins which weep blood with each flap. And eyes that drip tears of oil.
As soon as the scream penetrates the air the ceiling light, which houses a single flourescent bulb, explodes and the mirror above the sink cracks.
Nick doesn't notice nor taste the blood that seeps from his mouth. And he definitely doesn't react to Juliette storming the bathroom and whipping open the shower curtain.
He doesn't feel Juliette's frantic fingers fluttering across his face or neck as she checks his pulse. And he definitely doesn't hear her pleading words for him to stay with her, that she loves him.
All he sees and hear is the inky blackness of offered by his closed eyelids and the lulling rumble of his blood surfing through his veins.
Even though he had just barely managed to force himself from giving in before, Sean finds himself seated in front of his coffee table flipping through his mother's Grimoir. His eyes scan each page, lingering on any spell that even vaguely relates to the suspicions roiling around his mind.
He knew that the spell would have repercussions, how could there not be when connecting both physically and mentally with another living soul? But he had prayed that none of them would involve the symptoms he's been experiencing. That the repercussions wouldn't lead to a more painful, not to mention psychologically damaging, situation.
Now nearing the end of the book, his hopes of finding the solution are hanging by a thinning thread, when he finally comes across his answer. As he reads the ball of lead that has steadily been traveling down his stomach has now taken permanent residence in the bottom of his gut.
If he doesn't act now, he knows that his symptoms and that of Nick's will only get worse.
Knowing that he can't afford to make a single mistake he rereads the instructions at least three times before marking the page and closing the book. When he rises from the couch he is hit with a sudden bout of vertigo that nearly sends him to the floor. Luckily he manages to collapse back onto the couch and take a moment for a few deep breaths.
Vertigo however is not what this is. Vertigo or even low blood sugar would be preferable to what is actually occuring. No, this was solidifying proof that his fears were correct and he knew that it was only a matter of time before he was hit with soul warping agony.
He doesn't know how far along Nick's own symptoms are or if he's even experienced any. But if Nick hasn't yet, he soon will and because of their unique differences in physiology, though not by a lot, they will be substantially greater than Sean's own.
Once the bout of dizziness has abated, Sean stands from his couch once more and gathers the book in hand and collects his thankfully undamaged phone from the floor.
As he goes to dial a newly memorized number, his phone starts to ring. The bright screen displays the caller as Rosalee and immediately a swell of fear rises within him. Even before he accepted the call and brought the phone to his ear, he knew the message he was about to receive.
"Sean, it's Rosalee. Nick's in the hospital. I'm in the waiting room with Hank, Monroe and Juliette." He closes his eyes, his mind conjuring up images of Nick laying in a hospital bed attached to dozens of machines.
"What was his condition when he was brought in?"
"He was unconscious and unresponsive. They took him into the back to run some tests but we haven't heard anything since. Juliette says she found him unconscious in the shower after having heard him from scream from downstairs."
Sean opens his eyes and heads for the door. He does his best to ignore the buzzing throb taking shape in the base of his skull.
"The doctors won't be able to help him, but I can. I need you to meet me at the Spice Shop as soon as you can. I'm on my way there now." He closes and locks the door behind him then practically sprints down the hallway towards the staircase. Waiting for an elevator would only stunt his mission in getting to the Spice Shop.
"Sean, what's going on?" his feet fly down the stairs, their shape little more than blurs.
"I'll explain everything to you when I see you. Right now just know that I can help Nick." He pushes the door open and enters the lobby of his apartment building. The nightguard gives him a sideway glance before returning to watching the security feed connected to his desk.
"Okay, I'll see you in a bit then." She hangs up and Sean tucks the phone in his pants pocket.
Spying his parked car in the parking lot he is about to take out his keys and head for it when he is hit by a flare of pain in his head that quickly, but not quickly enough, fades away.
At this point driving would likely lead to him ending up in the hospital as well. And so with that in mind, Sean turns away from the parking lot and heads for the sidewalk. As soon as he sees an approaching cab he lifts his hand and calls out for the cab to stop.
As soon as he is inside the overly warm cab, he gives the address to the Spice Shop.
While the cab driver pulls back onto the street, Sean uses his free hand to rub at his temple. The pain from earlier has returned with a vengeance and Sean knows that it is only a matter time before he will be unable to help Nick or himself.
My muse has a sadistic pleasure in hurting Nick, I really should stage an intervention. So sorry for the cliffhanger but I assure you I am starting on the next chapter already and hope to have it up sometime next month.