Hey friends, I'm back! As promised, here is the start of the one-shot series featuring a whole lot of Grimm whumpage and lots of friendship, angst, and humor with our favorite fictional peeps.
This first one is looong, so I apologize for that. I really don't know how to make my stories any less detailed, and this probably should have been a two-or-three shot, but oh well *shrugs shoulders*.
This first prompt I actually came up with on my own, although someone informed me there was a very similar prompt on the Grimm Meme thing? Good thing I don't know what that is or else I'd probably be writing a whole bunch of crazy stories. This one takes place sometime in early Season 3, and there will be some vague references to Last Grimm Standing, so spoilers? I guess.
Warnings: some blood, violence, swearing, and as always, angsty feels!
Disclaimer: I don't own Grimm or the characters, NBC does. That's probably a good thing too, or Nick would get beat up waaay too often…
The one where Monroe is drugged and tries to kill Nick.
"Hey man, don't stay too late," Hank stood up from his desk, grabbing his jacket off the back of his chair.
Nick sighed, looking up from the report he was typing to look at his partner. It always took a little longer to write up reports involving Wesen, since it took some creative wording to fill in what really happened.
"Thanks, I won't," Nick replied, leaning back in his chair. "Where are you off to? Hot date?"
An infectious smile broke out across Hank's face. "As a matter of fact, yea."
Nick raised his eyebrows at this. "Who? The physical therapist again?"
Hank nodded in response. "That'd be the lucky girl."
Nick chuckled at that, shaking his head. "You finally got her to say yes, huh?"
"Took long enough, but I think she realized the error of her ways," Hank started walking away, patting Nick on the shoulder as he passed by.
"Sure she did. Hey, have fun man," Nick turned to look at Hank's retreating form.
"Oh you know it," Hank called over her shoulder as he headed for the precinct door, before adding as an afterthought, "and YOU stay out of trouble, please. I don't want any interruptions tonight."
Nick laughed, waving him off. It was wishful thinking that he wouldn't have an eventful night for once, but that was the life of a Grimm.
He glanced at his watch and sighed, before shooting Juliette a quick text to let her know he'd be home late. He turned back to his computer, determined to finish the last report before he ended up sleeping at his desk. Again.
"Sorry Burkhardt, but I've got one more for ya," Sergeant Wu's voice pulled him from his train of thought what felt like only moments later. Nick hadn't even heard Wu approach, or known he was still at the station for that matter. He turned to see a young man, no more than eighteen or nineteen, standing to Wu's left. He was tall and awkwardly gangly, with a mop of blond curls, and he was looking rather nervous as he looked between him and Wu.
"Mike, this is Detective Burkhardt," Wu introduced, as Nick stood up to shake the kid's hand. "And this is Mike Palmer."
"Hi Mike, what can I do for you?" Nick asked, nodding as Wu saluted him before walking away in the direction of the coffee station.
"Well, uh," Mike continued to look around, shoving his hands in his pockets before leaning in closer to him, "I was hoping we could talk somewhere a little more private. I'm told you're the best cop for these types of…situations."
Nick raised his eyebrows, studying Mike more carefully. He waited as Mike slowly shifted, and it suddenly all made sense.
"Lowen," Nick whispered quietly, more out of surprise than anything. He would have taken the kid for an Eisbiber or Mauzhertz or something less intimidating with the way he presented himself. Nick looked around as Mike shifted back to human form, and realized they did need to talk somewhere out of earshot of the remaining few officers stuck on the late shift.
"Come with me," Nick motioned, and Mike nodded, following wordlessly as he led them into one of the empty interrogation rooms. Once the door was securely closed and Nick was sure that no one was behind the two-way mirror, he turned to face the nervous young man.
"I know you don't have a good history with my kind," Mike put up his hands in a placating gesture, "but you have to believe me when I say that I'm not like the others and I wanted NO part in the Lowen Games."
Memories of fighting in the ring next to Monroe flashed across Nick's mind. Leo Taymor had disappeared, and the games put to an end. Nick shook his head, focusing back on the present. "You know about that?"
Mike shrugged. "Well, yea. I went to a few. I mean, you get looked down upon by the others if you don't act like you're one of them. But I never liked it, I swear!"
Nick nodded slowly, trying to get a read on the kid. He seemed genuinely concerned about something, but he still didn't know what he wanted from him. "Ok. Why are you here, Mike? Why do you need my help?"
"Well, my friend Luke," Mike began, then hesitated, shoving his hands deep in his pockets again, "well, he's not really my friend. But he's the older brother of the girl I like, Jenny, so I'm trying to be his friend…"
"Mike," Nick held up a hand, trying to stop the rambling teenager. "What's going on?"
Mike sighed, his shoulders slumping in defeat. "They've started the games again," he replied quietly, before looking back up at Nick.
Nick's heart sped up and he unconsciously clenched his fists in anger at his side. So he would have to put those sadistic games to an end once again. "Are you sure?" he asked Mike, being sure to keep his voice steady.
"Yea," Mike nodded, looking at Nick earnestly. "Luke and his buddies did. That's why I need your help. To stop it."
Nick nodded, putting a hand to his chin, regarding Mike with a serious look. "Where are they being held?"
"About an hour outside Portland, at an abandoned sawmill," Mike answered quickly, his voice rising with panic. "And they're holding another one, tonight. We've got to go now!"
"Ok, ok," Nick stepped forwards and put a hand on the teen's shoulder to calm him, "I'll take care of it, don't worry. I just need to get a unit together…"
"No!" Mike shouted, his eyes wide. He looked around, waiting for someone to come bursting into the interrogation room at his outburst. At Nick's raised eyebrows, he continued more quietly. "I mean, if the cops show up, they'll just kill all the prisoners and then leave. They have look-outs around the warehouse, and they'll know you guys are coming a mile away."
"So how do you propose that we help then?" Nick asked, wondering where the kid could be going with this.
"I can get us in," Mike answered, a look of determination replacing the meekness in his eyes.
"I can't let you go," Nick shook his head. "It's too dangerous."
"You won't get anywhere near this place without me," Mike countered. "Please, you have to let me go. They won't hurt me, I'm one of them."
"Even if you bring a Grimm to a Lowen party? I doubt they'll just overlook that," Nick scoffed. "I'm sorry kid, but you can't. I can't have innocent parties getting in the way."
"Fine, fine, I get it," Mike sighed, turning away. "I don't suppose you have a Blutbad friend lying around somewhere."
Nick paused, caught off guard by this. That was just a little too convenient that he did indeed have a Blutbad friend lying around, and alarm bells started going off in his head. The kid couldn't know about his friendship with Monroe, could he?
"Wait," Nick said, and Mike turned back around to face him. "A Blutbad? Why does that matter?"
"Well, I kind of told Luke that I had a Blutbad buddy that wanted to buy in on some of the matches tonight, and I think Luke is hoping he can make him fight instead," Mike answered, shaking his head. "He told me not to show my face unless the Blutbad comes with me. Blutbads are a hot ticket item in the ring, for some reason."
Yea they are, Nick thought to himself, remembering his and Monroe's turn in the ring. "Do you even have a friend who's a Blutbad?" Nick asked, looking skeptically at the kid.
Mike nodded his head slowly. "Yea, I do actually. But he wouldn't come even if I paid him to."
"So you told Luke that in hopes of what? Coming to Portland and finding one willing to go with you?"
Mike shrugged. "I don't know. I was out of options, and if I don't impress Luke…then I have NO chance with Jenny. Like ever."
Nick sighed, having heard enough of the teen angst. Something about this story still wasn't adding up, but Nick couldn't quite put his finger on what was wrong. But, if the Lowen Games were in fact running again, he couldn't just sit by and let it happen.
"Listen, give me the location of the mill," Nick grabbed a pen and a piece of paper, and the teen hastily scribbled the directions on it. "I'll check it out. But you're still not coming, got it?"
"Fine," Mike grumbled, shoving the paper back at Nick. "But be careful. It's only a small group tonight, just one scheduled match, but they're dangerous. I mean, for a Grimm."
Nick smirked at this. "I can handle myself. But thanks for the info. Now go home and stay away from these losers, ok?"
Mike nodded slowly, but Nick saw the look in his eyes. The kid was heartsick for this Jenny and he wasn't likely to stop trying to do whatever it took to get her attention, even if it meant making more bad decisions and hanging out with the wrong crowd.
"Thanks," Mike shook Nick's hand again, "you're pretty cool…for a Grimm." Nick tipped his head in acknowledgement. With that, he led him from the interrogation room, waving farewell as the kid left the precinct.
As soon as he was gone, Nick dug in his pocket and started to dial Hank, before hesitating. Hank was on a date tonight, and it might not be worth interrupting him for. For all he knew, this kid could be exaggerating and it could just be a bunch of teens trying to start up their own Fight Club. Nick quickly scrolled through his contacts for the next number, waiting for the person to pick up. It only took two rings.
"Hey, Monroe," Nick greeted once he heard his friend's voice. "What are you up to tonight?"
"I can't believe they started up these sick games again," Monroe shook his head in disgust from his position in Nick's passenger seat as they headed out towards the sawmill, per Mike's directions. "And I thought this ring was shut down after what happened before, anyways."
"It was," Nick replied wearily, "but apparently some Lowen teenagers thought it would be a great idea to start up their own version of fight night."
Monroe snorted at that. "Great. If the Lowen Games weren't bad enough, then the Lowen Games run by a bunch of idiot kids will be even worse."
Nick gave him a knowing look before turning back to the road. "I think we're almost there."
Monroe cracked open the window, sniffing slightly in the cool night air. "Weird. I don't smell anything. I mean, Lowen have a pretty distinct smell, I should be able to catch their scent a mile away. Especially if there's a whole group of them."
Nick furrowed his brows at this. Something about this whole situation still wasn't sitting quite right with him, but he couldn't just ignore what Mike had told him. Someone had to stop the Lowen Games from happening again…and that someone was him.
Besides, how much trouble could a group of teenagers be?
"Well, I'm just going to pull off here," Nick replied as he carefully parked on the side of the road and turned off the engine. "This Mike kid had said they had look-outs posted for anyone coming, so we better check things out by foot first."
"Great," Monroe grumbled, sliding out of the passenger seat and quietly closing the door as Nick walked around the other side of the car to join him. "Why do I feel like we're walking right into a trap?"
Nick shot a sideways glance at him, unable to deny that he had the same gnawing gut feeling about this whole situation, but he had to at least find out if the games were actually starting up again. "Well, it could be, but it's only supposed to be a small group tonight, just one match. But if a couple of Lowen teens are too much for you, you can just wait at the car."
He didn't miss the narrowed gaze Monroe threw his way, and he was barely able to contain a smirk.
"Fine. Let's get this over with."
Nick nodded in amusement at him, before carefully holstering his gun and following Monroe as he trudged into the darkness of the woods along the side of the old service road.
After about ten minutes, Monroe paused suddenly, raising his hand up for Nick to stop behind him.
"What is it?" Nick whispered as he came to stand at his shoulder, peering into the darkness and trying to make out what he had spotted.
"I think that's it," Monroe whispered back, nodding at a clearing between the trees. Nick looked through to see an abandoned structure, of what used to be part of an old logging operation, nestled up on the top of the next hill. It looked eerily quiet and abandoned from the outside, as if no one had been here for years, let alone tonight.
"Are any of them outside?" Nick asked quietly, looking around and wondering why there weren't any Lowen kids guarding the sawmill as Mike had described. If there were, he was sure Monroe would have sensed them by now.
Monroe paused, sniffing the air carefully before turning back to him with a dumbfounded look. "No. I can't smell anything. I don't even smell anything coming from inside. It's like no one is here." He looked around again, testing the air one more time before turning back to Nick with a questioning look. "Dude, as you sure this is the right place?"
Nick nodded slowly, furrowing his brow as he looked around, wondering what the hell was going on here. "Yea, I'm sure. This is the place the Lowen kid told me about."
Monroe scoffed quietly at that. "Well maybe that kid was just messing with you, because I don't smell any Lowen around here."
"Maybe," Nick sighed, looking around the darkened woods once again, "but he seemed pretty genuinely concerned about what was going on here." He paused, hoping that he wasn't losing his touch in being able to read people (or Wesen for that matter), and he vaguely wondered if his natural Grimm instincts hadn't profiled the kid correctly. "I don't know. At least let me check out the mill, just to make sure, and then we can get out of here."
"Fine with me," Monroe nodded in agreement. "Although, if I came out here tonight for nothing, I'll need a better excuse for Rosalee about why I missed date night again."
Nick chuckled at that, looking back at Monroe over his shoulder as he stepped out of the clearing. "Aren't you going to blame it on me, like usual?"
Monroe snorted, shaking his head. "That excuse doesn't work anymore. It's been overused."
Nick just smirked at him again, before slowly making his way towards the saw mill, unholstering his gun and aiming it out ahead of him. "Well, I'll be right back. You just stay here and think about a better excuse."
"Yea, thanks," he heard Monroe mutter sarcastically as he moved up the hill towards the abandoned structure.
Nick carefully cracked open the rusted metal door on the side of the crumbling building, that was still barely hanging on by its hinges, and stepped inside with his flashlight in one hand and gun in the other. He quickly scanned the darkened room, looking for any signs of Lowen activity, but the place was eerily quiet. No one was here.
He moved further into the room, listening intently for any noise in the darkness, stopping suddenly in the middle when the beams of his flashlight landed on a familiar looking structure.
A large cage, similar to the one from the last Lowen Games, was erected directly in the middle of the large open room. As he cautiously came closer, quickly scanning the inside of the cage with his flashlight, he saw the large amount of blood spatters decorating the floor, some of it looking recent and still slightly wet.
So the Lowen Games were up and running again.
Nick felt the anger and disgust rise up inside him at this notion, and teens or not, these Lowen wouldn't get away with what they had done here. Unfortunately, it looked like they had already ditched this location. Maybe someone had tipped them off that he was coming…
Maybe Mike had tipped them off that he was coming.
Nick's heartbeat picked up as he realized that this could really be a trap. He had had a feeling all night that something was off here, but he had let his pride and sense of duty get in the way, with his determination to shut down the Lowen Games once and for all.
But Monroe hadn't been able to sense any Lowen in the area…
If this was some sort of a set-up, they needed to get out of here, and now. He wheeled around in the darkness, an increasing feeling of dread washing over him, and at that moment all his Grimm senses went off simultaneously, telling him that in fact imminent danger was present nearby.
Without any hesitation, he crashed back through the metal door, taking it completely off of its hinges this time, and scrambled to make his way back to the clearing where he had left Monroe.
"Looking for him?"
Nick spun around, gun still outstretched, and peered into the darkness to see five Lowen teenagers, white teeth snarling at him in the moonlight, with a now unconscious Monroe slumped at their feet.
Nick's heart froze in fear to see Monroe surrounded by the Lowen kids, but he refused to let it show, squaring his shoulders and facing down the closest young Lowen who had spoken to him, a massive young man in either his late teens or early twenties, with broad shoulders and dark blonde hair.
"Actually, I'm looking for you," Nick replied coolly, taking a deep breath as he leveled his gun at him. "You must be Luke."
Luke scoffed, crossing his arms over his thick chest and looking thoroughly unimpressed. "Great work, detective. You found us."
"I have to say, I'm a little disappointed I didn't get an invite to your party," Nick motioned with his head at the sawmill, struggling to keep the contempt out of his voice. "Looks like you guys have been having a little fun out here."
Luke shifted back to human, the rest of the young Lowen doing the same. Nick paused when he saw Mike Palmer standing in the back of the group. He didn't miss the way the teen studiously avoided his gaze, looking at the ground and not at him, shoulders hunched forward in defeat.
So Mike had set him up. He should have known…
"We've been having a great time out here," Luke grinned lecherously at him, slowly pacing around Monroe's still form on the ground like a lion would its prey. "But we've been getting a little bored with the same old fights. It gets so predictable. So then, I thought, why not get a Blutbad to fight instead? They're almost as strong and violent as us," he gestured as his friends, "although not nearly as smart. Who knew a little bit of wolfsbane would make it so easy to catch one?"
Nick gritted his teeth at that. Wolfsbane. So that's how they had gotten the jump on them. These kids were more cunning and ruthless then Nick would have given them credit for.
"Of course, Mike here was actually useful for once," Luke continued on, and Nick met Mike's ashamed gaze as the teen finally looked up at him. "Thanks to Mike, he led you guys here, and now we have both a Grimm and a Blutbad for our fight tonight. This is going to be epic." He turned to look back at Mike. "You might be one of us yet, Mike. Good job not screwing up, for once."
Mike just hung his head in shame, looking down at the ground once again and shoving his hands in his pockets. Nick frowned at this. Even though Mike was the reason that he and Monroe were currently in this predicament, he certainly didn't look pleased about it like the rest of his friends.
Nick turned back to Luke, narrowing his eyes. "You do realize that you are essentially killing innocent people here. You are all murderers, and what's worse you are enjoying it. This ends now." He paused, clicking the safety off his gun and aiming it Luke again. "And if you think there's any way that I'll fight him, then you're delusional."
Luke's eyes flashed murderously as he looked back at Nick. "Let's get something straight here, Grimm. You will get in that ring and you will fight him," he stepped over Monroe's motionless form and jerked up his head by the back of his curly brown locks, "or I'll kill him right now." With that, he ran his now elongated claws dangerously across Monroe's neck, drawing a small amount of blood that began slowly trickling onto the ground.
"Leave him out of this," Nick replied dangerously. "I don't want to hurt any of you if I don't have to, but if you hurt him…." He really didn't want to hurt a bunch of teenagers, and he would have much preferred arresting them, but he couldn't let them kill Monroe either.
"Put down your gun, or I slit his throat, right now," Luke growled in reply, more lion than human now, his fangs shining in the moonlight.
"If you let him go, you can take me," Nick replied, trying to hide the desperation in his voice, "but only if he's left unharmed."
"I don't think you heard me, Grimm," Luke's voice rose sharply in anger, "put down that gun now, or he's dead!" With that, he bared his inhuman teeth, and went to bite down on Monroe's jugular. Monroe remained still and motionless the entire time, completely oblivious to what was happening around him while he was knocked out.
"Ok, ok!" Nick raised his hands in surrender, knowing there was no other choice. He reluctantly put his gun slowly down on the ground and stepped away. "The gun is down. Now let him go."
"Yea right," the young lion laughed sadistically, "we can't let our biggest attraction just walk away." He motioned at the two large Lowen teens to his right. "Restrain him."
It took all of Nick's self-control not to fight back as the two young Lowen (who were abnormally strong) roughly grabbed his arms, wrenching them behind him and tying his hands securely behind his back. But if he had any hopes of getting Monroe out of this safely while he was still down for the count, then he had to go along with their plan for now.
"Mike, get his phone and gun," Luke ordered the other teen, and Mike hesitantly approached Nick, slowly taking his gun off the ground and then the phone from his pocket.
"Mike, you don't have to do this," Nick tried as the teen's eyes met his, steadily holding his gaze. "You're better than this, better than them. Make the right choice here."
Mike looked back at him sadly, hesitating with an unsure look on his face, before he finally shook his head slightly and slowly backed away to return to Luke's side. Nick sighed in defeat. He had thought that maybe he could get through to Mike, who didn't seem to have the same violent ruthlessness as the others.
Nick grunted as the other Lowen teens jerked him forwards, each one with a massive hand on either of his arms, forcing him to look upright as their gang leader approached.
Luke came towards him slowly and stopped to look him directly in the eyes. "I'm the one in charge now, so you had better listen carefully."
"You guys won't get away with this," Nick replied calmly, although his voice was clearly laced with anger. "I'm a cop, and the Portland PD will be looking for me. Stop this now, and I'll be able to help you even. I can ask for a lighter sentence for all of you, but I can't do anything if you kill me or him. Just think about what you're doing guys, before it's too late to fix it."
"You're not going to arrest any of us," Luke growled back, his eyes glowing as he looked at Nick, "and I won't be killing anyone. You will."
"I already told you, there's no way I'll fight him, or anyone for that matter," Nick should his head vehemently as he regarded the deranged teenager.
"Well, then you'll be the one that dies," Luke shrugged nonchalantly. "Doesn't really matter to me."
"Monroe won't fight me either," Nick tipped his head at his unconscious friend, "so your great plan isn't really all that great."
"Maybe normally he wouldn't," Luke paused, smirking back at him with an unsettling gleam in his eyes, "but with what I've given him, he won't able to control it."
Nick's blood ran cold at his words, and he narrowed his eyes at Luke in accusation. "What did you do to him?"
"Oh, just a little natural enhancement," Luke replied with a tone of amusement, walking over to nudge Monroe carelessly with his foot, "and it works great on Blutbads and Schakals, to name a few. Really brings out their wild side, you know what I mean?" He turned back to Nick with a look of pure sadistic pleasure on his face. "So however much he may call you his friend and not normally want to rip you apart…in a little while, he won't even know who you are. All he'll know is that he's locked in a cage with a Grimm of all things, and I hear Blutbad protective instincts are really gruesome…."
He paused, giving Nick a careless shrug. "So it's either kill or be killed, because only one of you will walk out of that ring alive. Either way, it's going to be a great show."
"Monroe, wake up."
"C'mon Monroe, wake up!"
"Ugh," Monroe slowly peered open his eyes, groaning as the dim lights above assaulted his retinas and made his already pounding headache even worse.
He blinked rapidly as he brought Nick into focus, hovering anxiously over him. "…what the hell, dude?"
"Hey, you're awake," Nick breathed a sigh of relief, sitting back to give Monroe some room as he gingerly sat up. He placed his head in his hands, wincing at the deep throbbing at the back of his head.
"What happened?" he grimaced, glancing slowly back up at Nick, who was still kneeling next to him.
"Well, uh, remember what happened last time we were at the Lowen Games?" Nick began slowly, before gesturing with his hand to their surroundings.
It was then that Monroe finally noticed that they were in a large cage, very similar to the one they had been forced to fight in before. He quickly scanned the cage, noting the archaic weapons and fresh blood stains, as well as no exit to be seen.
"Dude," Monroe groaned as he gave Nick a dubious look. "How did this even happen?"
"Wolfsbane," Nick answered between gritted teeth, standing up and offering Monroe a hand, which he gratefully accepted. He swayed on his feet a little bit, the world still spinning from the force of the blow to his head, but Nick quickly reached out and steadied him.
Once he was able to stand without the threat of toppling over, he looked back over at Nick again. "Wolfsbane, huh? These punk kids are a little smarter than we thought."
"Unfortunately," Nick shook his head, before looking back at Monroe regretfully. "Listen, I'm sorry I got you into this mess. Again."
Monroe shrugged at that, gently massaging his temples in hopes of lessening his massive headache. "Wouldn't be the first time. But hey, look at it this way, at least they put us in here together to face down whoever we're fighting."
He didn't miss the look of hesitation the crossed Nick's face at his words, or the way he suddenly avoided his gaze, and he quickly narrowed his eyes at him. "Ok, just tell me. What is it?"
Nick sighed, looking back at him with concern. "They want us to fight each other."
Monroe gave him a dumbfounded look, before he scoffed, shaking his head. "Yea right. They should know that's not going to work. There's no way we'd actually fight each other."
"Yea, that's what I said," Nick responded, looking back at him seriously, and Monroe felt a tingle of dread run down his spine.
"But?" he encouraged, bracing himself for whatever he was going to say next.
"They did something to you," Nick replied, running a hand roughly over his face.
"They did something to me? Like what?" Monroe stepped closer to the Grimm, searching his face urgently for answers when he didn't immediately reply. "Nick, something like what?"
Nick shook his head, looking uncertain. "I'm not exactly sure, but the Lowen kid who is running this whole operation said he gave you some sort of 'natural enhancement', that would put your primal instincts in control…"
"Oh my God," Monroe breathed, his blood running cold at Nick's words.
"Do you know what it is?" Nick questioned in concern when he saw Monroe's reaction.
"Oh man," Monroe ran a hand through his hair haphazardly, wincing slightly as he brushed over the large knot on the back of his head, "if it is what I think it is, then this is really, really bad."
"So this drug will really make you lose control?" Nick's eyes widened at this realization.
"Dude," Monroe started pacing uneasily around the cage, looking desperately for a way out even though he knew there wouldn't be one, "it turns Wesen, like me, into pure animals. All shred of humanity is stripped away, and only the beast is left. It's highly illegal and hard to find, I don't even know how these kids got their hands on it…" He paused suddenly, turning back to Nick in sheer panic.
"They want me to kill you," he realized painfully, closing his eyes. "Oh my God, that's why they have us locked in here together." His eyes flew back open to look at Nick. "They want us to fight to the death."
Nick smiled grimly at him. "I know, Monroe."
"Well, shouldn't you be, I don't know, a little more concerned?" Monroe shot back, pacing in agitation around the cage again, still frantically looking for a way out.
"You really think that you would try to kill me, even while drugged?" Nick raised his eyebrows in surprise, stepping closer and laying a hand gently on his shoulder to stop his pacing.
Monroe stopped sharply at his touch, giving him an apprehensive look. "Like I said, it will make me pure beast. I won't be in control, and I won't know you as my friend…but the primal Blutbad side will know you as a Grimm, and there is no just erasing centuries of bloodlust instinct against your kind."
Nick swallowed thickly, his hand dropping quickly from Monroe's shoulder as he realized the gravity of the situation. "So what do you want me to do?"
Monroe put his head in his hands, taking in a shaky breath, before he looked back up to meet Nick's worried gaze, a pained expression clearly etched on his face.
"You have to kill me."
"Wait, what?" Nick replied in utter disbelief, looking at him in confusion. "Monroe, you can't be serious."
"I am," Monroe replied hoarsely, looking miserably back at Nick. "You have to kill me before I kill you."
"No," Nick shook his head vehemently, "no way in hell. There's no way I will kill you Monroe, no matter how violent you get. There has to be another way."
"Nick, listen to me," Monroe said urgently, stepping forward and tightly gripping him by both shoulders, desperate to convince him now. "You don't understand how ugly this is going to get. Once I lose control, I will stop at nothing to rip your throat out, don't you get that? You have to do this, or you're dead."
Nick held his gaze firmly, and Monroe found himself secretly hating his stubborn streak at that moment. "If I have to fight you, I will. But there's no way I would actually go through with it."
"You don't get it," Monroe could feel the panic rising up in him again, and he fought frantically to push it back down, "I'll just keep coming for you until one of us is dead! This drug won't wear off until there's blood."
"Well, I'll hold you off for as long as I can," Nick tried to reassure him, but it fell on deaf ears.
Monroe shook his head in disagreement, sighing deeply. "No you won't. You won't be able to hold me off forever. Blutbads in full kill-mode have more endurance than any other Wesen. That's why we're so dangerous in packs…" he trailed off, looking back at Nick with full remorse. "Oh God, I'm going to end up killing you…because you're too stubborn, or maybe stupid, to save your own life." He turned away, running his hands roughly over his face, sucking in a deep breath to calm his rapidly fraying nerves.
"You wouldn't kill me," Nick replied calmly, trying to sound confident, but Monroe could hear the slight undertones of doubt in his voice. "I don't believe that deep down you won't know me, on some level. So the drug might make you attack me, sure, but I don't think you'd actually go for the kill."
"And thinking like that is what's going to get you killed!" Monroe wheeled around, his eyes momentarily flashing a crimson red, causing Nick to involuntarily take a step back. "Jesus, Nick, the only thing that will stop me from tearing you apart is if you kill me first!"
Nick opened his mouth to respond, to no doubt argue how he still wouldn't kill him regardless of his warnings to do otherwise, but Monroe just turned away, pacing once more around the cage in desperation. He could already feel the wolf within starting to rise up, and he fought madly to suppress it. He knew it wouldn't be much longer until he lost full control, and turned on Nick…
He couldn't let that happen.
"Hey!" he shouted out into the empty sawmill, looking for one of the Lowen kids, banging loudly on the metal bars of the cage. "Hey, you idiot Lowen! Let me out of here right now before I tear your hearts out!"
"Monroe…" Nick tried to placate him, but Monroe just brushed him off, continually shouting until his throat was raw, determined to get their attention.
"Enough!" Luke finally emerged, glaring murderously at Monroe through the bars of the cage, Mike and another Lowen teen at his side. "We're about to let in the guests, and it's bad for business if you use up all of your energy now." He crossed his arms over his chest, smirking slightly. "Save it for the fight."
"Listen here you little…" Monroe growled, straining through the bars to take a swipe at the cocky young Lowen, but Luke just took a careful step back out of reach. He nodded at the burly teen next to him, who stepped forward with an electric cattle prod in his hands.
Monroe paused, backing away from the bars slightly as he remembered the effects of the cattle prod from the last Games. "You were saying?" Luke raised an eyebrow, looking amused when Monroe didn't respond.
"End this now," Nick stepped up to the bars shoulder to shoulder with Monroe, narrowing his eyes at Luke. "You won't get away with this."
"But I think I already have," Luke shrugged, not looking the least bit concerned with the consequences. "Seriously, by the time anybody finds you guys, one of you will be dead, and the other one will be my new star attraction. It's gonna be great."
He turned to look at Mike, who was standing a little ways away, watching the whole exchange with a look of shame. "Mike, why don't you actually be useful and guard these morons until the show starts. Make sure the fighting doesn't start too early, or you know what will happen." Mike swallowed thickly, nodding in understanding, and slowly took the cattle prod from the other teen.
"Good," Luke said, before he turned back to glare sadistically at Nick and Monroe. "May the best man win."
"Oh man, this is bad, this is so bad," Monroe was pacing around the cage again, repeatedly running his hands through his hair and looking as though he was about to fall apart.
Nick sighed, glancing over at his friend and refusing to start panicking himself. At least one of them had to remain calm if they were going to get out of this mess. "Monroe, just calm down. You getting worked up isn't going to help the situation."
"Damn it Nick, I'm not worked up!" Monroe growled, more wolf than human, and effectively kicked one of the discarded shields at the side of the cage in Nick's direction. Nick quickly ducked out of the way as the shield flew by his head, landing with a loud crash against the bars behind him.
Nick turned back to look at Monroe, unable to hide the surprise on his face or his growing concern. Monroe just stared back at him in shock, wide-eyed and mouth slightly agape.
"Uh, Nick, I'm so sorry, I didn't mean…." he trailed off, shaking his head and sucking in a deep breath, sounding completely defeated. "I'm already slipping."
"Already?" Nick raised his eyebrows at this. He had thought that maybe they had a little more time.
Monroe shook his head miserably, closing his eyes and turning away from Nick, his voice barely more than a whisper when he replied. "Yea."
"Just try to stay calm, for as long as you can," Nick tried unsuccessfully to reassure him, and Monroe just nodded, turning away from him and continually sucking in deep breaths as a last ditch effort to reign in his inner wolf, muttering quietly to himself.
Nick swung around to locate Mike, who was standing just outside the cage bars, watching the whole exchange with wide-eyes. "Mike, please, you have to help us. You know this isn't right, and I know you don't agree with what Luke and the others are doing. You can stop this."
Mike swallowed thickly, glancing nervously over his shoulder to make sure the others weren't nearby. Certain that the coast was clear, he stepped even closer to the cage, talking to Nick in hushed tones.
"Nick, I'm so sorry," he said hurriedly, still glancing around in case Luke might suddenly pop up next to him, "you have to know that I never wanted any part in this…"
"It's ok, Mike, it's ok," Nick quickly soothed the anxious teen, trying his best to muster up a reassuring smile. "But you can fix this, right now, by letting us out of here."
Mike shook his head miserably. "You don't understand. It's Jenny."
Nick looked back at him in confusion. Something in the kid's tone concerned him. "What about Jenny?"
"Luke has her locked up somewhere," Mike replied urgently, looking at Nick in desperation. "That's why I set you up. Luke knew you were friends with a Blutbad somehow, and he said Jenny would get hurt if I didn't convince you guys to come here. I'm so sorry Nick, but if I didn't do it, I didn't know what he would do to her. He's crazy!"
So that's why Mike had set them up, against his better judgment. His almost-girlfriend was in danger, from her own sadistic brother. Nick clenched his jaw in anger at this thought, before looking seriously back at Mike. "I promise you, Mike, if you get us out of here, I'll do everything I can to help Jenny. But I can't do anything from in here, do you understand? Please, just open the cage, and I swear to you Luke won't get away with this."
"If Luke finds out you're gone, then he'll know I did it, and Jenny is toast!" Mike said remorsefully. "I'm sorry Nick…but I just can't. Please try to understand."
Nick sighed, pinching his nose between his thumb and forefinger in frustration. He did understand, who knows what lengths he would go to if it was Juliette in danger, but if they didn't get out of that cage, and soon, Nick feared he would be locked in a death match with his best friend.
He glanced back up at Mike, who was still looking back at him helplessly, waiting for guidance. "Ok, well don't let us out of the cage then. But you can still help us, and Luke won't even know until it's too late."
Mike blinked back at him in confusion, listening eagerly to his words. "How?"
"Do you still have my phone?" Nick asked quickly, dropping his voice even lower in case someone else might overhear.
Mike nodded his head in confirmation. "Yea, it's in my pocket."
Nick breathed out a sigh of relief at that information. "Good. As soon as the match starts, slip away and call Hank Griffin from my phone contacts. Tell him what's going on, he'll understand, and he'll take care of the rest. Then you get out of here as fast as you can, got it?"
Mike swallowed, nodding in agreement. "O-ok," he replied shakily, "I'll do it. Promise."
"Thanks Mike," Nick looked back at him gratefully, "and I swear to you, we'll get Jenny back."
Mike nodded in understanding, before quickly stepping away from the cage. A moment later, the rusted doors on the other end of the building swung open, and Luke stepped in, ushering a large crowd of guests into the abandoned structure.
Nick backed away from the bars towards the center of the cage, narrowing his eyes in contempt at the bloodthirsty Lowen and other lowlife Wesen who had come to see him fight Monroe. There was a mix of teens and adults, and Nick was disgusted that there were adults who were actually supporting Luke's sick behavior. He shook his head, clearing his thoughts, and glanced to the other side of the cage at Monroe.
Monroe had stayed uncharacteristically quiet the entire time he had talked to Mike, but now Nick could see why. He was leaning against the far bars of the cage, breathing heavily, and slowly wogeing in and out of full wolf mode. His hands were wrapped tightly around the bars, as if he was trying to anchor himself there.
The drug was starting to take effect.
"Monroe?" he asked gently, taking a few cautious steps towards his friend.
"Stay back," Monroe growled in response, his voice more animal than man.
"Monroe, listen to me," Nick tried again, keeping his voice soothing and calm, approaching him much like he would a wounded animal. "You know it's me. You won't hurt me, no matter how far gone you are." He came closer, stopping just behind Monroe now, trying to get him to turn and look at him, but the Blutbad refused.
"Don't come any closer," his voice had a deep, threatening tone to it now. "I mean it, Nick."
"Monroe, it's ok," Nick tried again, determined to get through to his friend, regardless of the danger. "I trust you."
"Damn it Nick, stay back!" Monroe wheeled around, eyes red and full of anger, and he suddenly lunged forwards and shoved Nick back with an impossible strength. Nick was completely unprepared for Monroe to turn on him, and he went flying backwards across the cage until he crashed into the bars at the other side, effectively smacking his head on the hard metal as stars exploded before his eyes.
As the thickening crowd gathered around the cage, several of them cheered and hollered out, while others quickly moved to finish their bets.
"My money's on the Blutbad!"
"I'll take the long odds on the Grimm!"
"Oh this is going to be a shitshow!"
Nick shook his head, blinking to clear his vision, and quickly scrambled back to his feet, leaning against the bars for support as he stood too quickly and the world tilted dangerously for a moment.
Monroe was still at the far end of the cage, back in human form now for a moment, and his whole body visibly trembling with the effort to not wolf out again. He looked despondently back at Nick, shaking his head in defeat.
"I'm sorry Nick, I'm not going to be in control much longer. I'm so, so sorry…"
"It's ok," Nick quickly shook his head to reassure him, "I should have known better than to come up behind you like that. I'm fine."
"Yea, well you won't be in a few minutes," Monroe closed his eyes painfully, clenching his fists tightly and sucking in a deep breath. "Get a weapon."
Nick nodded absently, looking to his left to see the shield that Monroe had kicked at him earlier, and quickly bent to pick it up. He surveyed the other weapons carelessly littered around the cage, but found that there was nothing he could use to face Monroe without seriously injuring him.
He hoped the shield would be enough.
"Welcome, welcome," Luke suddenly said from behind him, and Nick turned around to see the Lowen teen up on a stool next to the cage, excitedly greeting the bloodthirsty crowd. "I'm so glad you all could make it to this very special edition of the Lowen Games!"
The crowd roared in delight at his words, and Luke grinned, relishing in their applause and waiting until it died down to continue. "Tonight's fight will feature a Blutbad versus a Grimm, which has to be a pretty rare thing. Hurry and get your final bets in folks, the match will be starting any second now. And in honor of what my Uncle Leo started so long ago, and in his memory, let the games begin!" The crowd cheered and clapped loudly again at his words.
Nick gritted his teeth at Luke's words. Uncle Leo, that could only mean Leo Taymor, who had been behind the Lowen Games before. Of course his nephew would be the one to start up the family tradition again.
Some sudden gasps from the crowd caught Nick's attention then, and suddenly all the hairs on the back of his neck stood up. He turned around to see a fully woged and angry Monroe descending on him, his deep red eyes full of bloodlust and no recognition.
"Monroe, it's me!" Nick cried out as Monroe slammed him up against the bars again, holding him up by the collar of the shirt and growling dangerously in his face. Nick struggled to push back, but his feet were barely touching the ground and his arms were pinned at his sides.
"Monroe, listen, you won't do this," Nick tried again, fearlessly looking his far-gone friend in the eyes. "You won't kill me."
Monroe growled again, sharp teeth bared, before slamming Nick up against the bars again with tremendous force. Nick fought to stay focused as his body was rammed against the hard metal bars once again, searching his friend's face desperately for any recognition. "Monroe, it's Nick, can you hear me? Do you know who I am?"
Monroe paused at his words, and Nick thought maybe the furious wolf recognized him for a moment. Monroe suddenly stepped back, dropping Nick carelessly in a heap at his feet amidst the cries and cheers of the crowd around them.
Nick shook his head, quickly trying to clear the stars before his eyes for the second time in what felt like just minutes. He hastily scrambled to his feet and away from Monroe, picking up his fallen shield.
Monroe stood, in full Blutbad form now, breathing heavily, claws elongating and whole body trembling with effort. He made to move towards Nick again, before suddenly taking a step backwards, shaking his head and growling in visible frustration. Nick's eyes widened in realization of what was happening.
Monroe was fighting back against the drug.
"That's it Monroe," Nick talked to him, keeping his voice as calm and as steady as possible. "I know you don't want to do this. Keep fighting it, don't let these sick Lowen turn you into something you're not."
His words elicited booing from the crowd, and several jeers from the rowdiest onlookers.
"Just kill him already!"
"Tear his face off, you ugly Blutbad!"
"I thought Grimms were supposed to be killers!"
Nick winced at the last jab, turning to glance briefly in anger at the crowd, before turning his full attention back to Monroe. He had already made the mistake of turning his back on Monroe once, and he knew he better not do it again while he was in this state.
Monroe was still standing, rooted to the spot, and looked like he was fighting some sort of an inner battle, and Nick couldn't even begin to imagine how painful it must be. His red eyes were still fixated on him, but he made no move to lunge at him again. Nick started feeling hopeful that maybe Monroe would be able to hold out long enough until Hank arrived with back up.
That hope quickly dissipated when one of Luke's gang members came around the side of the cage and effectively struck Monroe with the cattle prod.
Monroe howled in rage, wheeling around and trying to strike at the young Lowen through the bars, knocking the cattle prod out of his hands and into the cheering crowd before the shocked teen could even react. Nick waited, arming himself with the shield in front of him, and his heart stopped when Monroe turned back around and his bloodthirsty eyes settled on him.
The Blutbad in front of him was no longer Monroe. It was pure killer.
Without any hesitation, Monroe lunged forwards in full attack mode, straight towards him. Nick braced himself for the attack, and found himself slightly amazed at how quickly Monroe moved while in this form.
He struck Monroe hard in the shoulder with the shield, throwing him slightly off balance as he flew past him, giving Nick just enough time to side step his attack. However, the force of Monroe hitting against the shield was so powerful that Nick stumbled a bit, and barely had time to prepare himself for Monroe's next attack.
Monroe was on him in a fury now, teeth bared and claws swiping, looking at Nick with such rage that he wasn't sure how long he would actually be able to hold him off. Monroe threw him back against the bars again, and Nick pushed back with all of his strength with the shield between them, finally able to shove Monroe back far enough to duck into a somersault, landing nimbly on his feet behind the angry wolf. As grateful as he was for his quick Grimm reflexes, he was beginning to doubt that he would have enough moves to hold off a murderous Blutbad in a small cage for very long.
Monroe turned quickly, clearly sizing up the distance between them, before leaping up into the air at an impressive height and landing nearly on top of Nick. The force of his landing threw them both to the ground, and Nick knew if Monroe got him pinned, then this would quickly be over. He rolled with the force of Monroe's weight, throwing him upwards over his head as he kicked his legs out. Monroe flew into the bars at the other end of the cage, landing in a heap and looking stunned for a moment that Nick had used his kill move against him.
Nick quickly wiped the sweat from his brow as he jumped to his feet, holding the shield in front of him again and bracing for another attack, trying to ignore the fatigue that was already settling in his muscles from the effort of fighting against Monroe. If he kept attacking with the force he was using now, Nick wasn't sure how long he could truly hold him off.
Where the hell was Hank?
"Monroe, c'mon man, it's me," Nick tried again desperately as Monroe slowly climbed to his feet, circling around the cage across from Nick much like a wolf sizing up its prey. "You know me. I know you don't want to do this."
Monroe paused, eyes glowing murderously at him, but he didn't make another move to come towards him.
"Fight it, Monroe, keep fighting it," Nick urged, wondering if his words were actually getting through to his friend beneath the murderous Wesen in front of him. "I know you're in there, just listen to my voice. This isn't you, we both know you're not a killer."
Monroe shook his head, fighting some inner battle again, before he let out another howl of rage and turned to the bars behind him, gripping one with each fur-covered hand and shaking them with unbridled strength. Nick's eyes widened in surprise as the bars actually began to bend under the force of Monroe's strength.
But Luke was quickly there, using the cattle prod himself this time, zapping Monroe again. Monroe howled in rage once more, turning to look back at Nick, but he made no move to lunge at him this time.
"That's it, Monroe!" Nick told him encouragingly. "You got this! Don't let them win!"
"Shut-up, Grimm!" Luke snarled viciously, in full Lowen form now as he struck Monroe with the prod again. Monroe grunted in pain, falling to his knees next to bars of the cage, whole body shuddering with effort not to attack and the effects of the prod's electrocution running through his body.
"You won't win this, Luke," Nick shot back angrily, clenching his fists. "End this right now!"
"No way!" Luke yelled in fury, striking Monroe again and again with the prod. "Get up and fight, Blutbad! Kill the Grimm before he kills you!"
Monroe was on his hands and knees now, whole body shaking uncontrollably, but he made no move to get away or to fight. He slumped there in defeat, letting Luke electrocute him again and again.
"Stop!" Nick demanded, throwing down his shield and making his way towards them. He had to stop Luke before he killed Monroe, and for some reason Monroe was no longer trying to attack, just sitting there and accepting his fate. Luke ignored Nick, yelling again and again at Monroe, striking him with the prod even more urgently as the crowd began to boo loudly, some even demanding their money back.
Nick looked around frantically for something he could use to stop Luke, and noticed a bloodstained sword to the right side of the cage. He quickly knelt and grabbed it, jumping to his feet and rushing to Monroe's side.
Luke was so focused in rage at Monroe not getting back up to fight that he didn't notice Nick until he was right next to them. Nick swung down with all his strength through the narrow space between the bars, using the blunt side of the sword to hit Luke right in the head, effectively knocking him unconscious. The Lowen slumped to the ground outside the cage amid gasps of surprise and wonder from the crowd.
"My money's on the Grimm!"
Nick stood, breathing heavily as he looked down at Luke's unconscious form in disgust, sword still in hand. He was too distracted to notice Monroe slowly looking up at him.
Monroe growled menacingly at him, taking in Nick standing over him and holding a sword, sizing up the threat. Nick realized too late that standing over Monroe with a weapon in hand had set off every alarm bell in the Blutbad's heritage that he was a dangerous threat that needed to be eliminated.
"Monroe, look, it's me," Nick said quietly, slowly backing away from him with his hands raised in surrender. "Don't do this. You don't want to do this." He started to carefully set down the sword, when one of the spectators banged loudly on the bars next to Monroe.
"Kill the Grimm!"
Monroe jumped at the loud noise, and any waning control he might have had was suddenly gone. He was on top of Nick before he could even set down the sword, throwing him to the ground with such force that all the air was knocked out of his lungs.
Nick still had the sword in one hand, and instinctively he brought it up, trying to hold off Monroe as he snarled above him, teeth getting dangerously close to his jugular with every second. He was pinned helplessly under Monroe this time, and there would be no quick moves to get away with the death grip he had on him.
He pushed the edge of the sword up against Monroe's neck before he even realized what he was happening, his own instincts and sense of self-preservation kicking in. The only thing holding Monroe off from tearing out his throat was the edge of the sword's blade pressed up against his neck, but he didn't even seem to notice in his furious rage, even as the blade drew a small trickle of blood against his skin.
Nick froze as he realized what he was doing, swallowing thickly in dread. He had no room to maneuver to deliver a striking blow as he had done to Luke, or to even hit Monroe somewhere else that would injure but not kill him. He was pinned with the sword up against Monroe's neck, the only thing between them, with no other chance of escape. All he had to do was thrust the sword up into the Blutbad's neck…
But he couldn't do it. He couldn't kill Monroe, even if that meant Monroe would kill him.
"Damn it," he breathed, before dropping the sword carelessly to the side. He tried pushing Monroe off of him with all of his strength, but it was no use. Monroe had the upper hand this time and there was no getting away, his sharp fangs getting closer and closer to him, even as he fought.
"Monroe, stop, it's me!" Nick tried desperately one last time, but the eyes looking back at him held no trace of his friend. Nick was tiring quickly, unable to hold off the snarling Blutbad on top of him much longer, and he knew Hank wouldn't make it in time.
It was over. He just hoped Monroe wouldn't blame himself for this.
"Monroe, listen to me," Nick began again, his voice full of defeat, "if you're in there, this wasn't your fault. I don't blame you." Nick closed his eyes, painfully whispering the last words.
"I forgive you."
With that, Monroe finally overpowered him, and all Nick knew was teeth and blood and pain before everything went dark.
Monroe groggily opened his eyes, the world fuzzy and spinning above him as he lay sprawled out on his back, the hard surface uncomfortable beneath him.
"Ugh," he groaned, closing his eyes again, "you owe me for this one, Nick."
It was then that he became slowly aware of loud voices all around him, as if he was in the middle of a crowd or a concert or something, and he opened his eyes again, swallowing thickly as he tried to recall what had happened through the fog of his aching head.
It was then that he noticed it. Blood. He could taste blood.
His eyes shot open as everything started to come back to him.
There were Lowen kids, and he and Nick locked in the cage, and the drug…
Monroe sat up quickly, almost vomiting at the wave of nausea that came over him, the world spinning wildly around him as he blinked rapidly in a vain effort to clear his vision.
He was still in the cage, and the spectators were still milling about outside it, demanding money for their bets and cheering wildly if they had won. But Monroe ignored them all, scanning desperately around the cage, and his heart stopped when his eyes finally landed on the eerily still form a few feet away.
Nick laid motionless on his back on the hard cage floor, a pool of blood slowly growing around his head. Monroe turned to his side and promptly vomited when he realized what he'd done.
"No," Monroe breathed in disbelief, wiping his mouth subconsciously on the back of his hand and turning back to stare at the motionless form of his friend.
"No no nononono…."
Nick was dead, and it was all his fault. He had killed him.
"Oh God," Monroe was hyperventilating now, running his bloody hands wildly through his hair as he looked at Nick. He couldn't bring himself to come any closer, just staring in shock and agony at his unmoving form. "Oh my God…Nick…I didn't mean…Oh God…no…"
Just then, a loud crashing noise and several shouts briefly snapped him back to his senses, and Monroe looked over to be blinded by flashing lights as the Portland PD finally arrived, Hank leading the brigade. He just stared at them numbly, as the crowd began to frantically disperse, yelling and scrambling to get away, but the police had the place surrounded.
Monroe shook his head, looking back at Nick again as he sat frozen in place. He miserably half-hoped one of the cops would realize what he had done to one of their own and shoot him on sight. He would have gladly pulled the trigger himself at that moment.
His eyes were glued to the disgusting amount of blood on the ground next to Nick's head. Monroe closed his eyes painfully, unable to block out the taste or smell of his blood. It was everywhere.
Blutbads always went for the kill, for the throat…and there was no surviving that.
"Monroe!" a voice startled him suddenly, and he opened his eyes to see Hank in the cage now, kneeling next to Nick, looking worriedly over at him and then back down at his partner. "Monroe, are you alright? What the hell happened here?"
Monroe just stared at him numbly, unable to register anything past the fact that he had just killed his best friend.
"I, uh, I…" he began lamely, unable to form any coherent words. He sighed, shoulders slumping in defeat as he looked back at Hank miserably, closing his eyes as he whispered the words. "Nick's dead…"
Hank shook his head in disbelief, quickly leaning over Nick and assessing his injuries, placing his fingers against his neck and checking for a pulse. He sat back, breathing out a sigh of relief. "No he's not, but we need to get him to a hospital. He's hurt pretty bad."
Monroe's eyes flew open at these words, and his heart picked up a beat, hoping against hope that Hank was right. He staggered to his feet and made his way over to Hank and Nick, falling hard on his knees next to his still form. It was then that he noticed the shallow rise and fall of Nick's chest, and when he finally examined the heavily bleeding wound, he noticed that is was centered on Nick's shoulder, and not his neck after all.
Nick was alive.
Monroe could barely breathe at this realization, feeling as though he was losing his grip on the world around him. He looked back at Hank with such a dazed and pained look on his face that Hank raised his eyebrows at him questioningly.
"Are you alright? You're covered in blood," the detective asked worriedly, looking Monroe up and down. When Monroe nodded vaguely in response, Hank nodded, before turning away to call the paramedics urgently over to them.
The paramedics swarmed the cage, surrounding Nick and assessing his injuries. Hank stood up and took Monroe's arm, reluctantly pulling him out of the way so the paramedics could work.
"What the hell did this to him?" Hank asked quietly with a tone of disgust, his jaw clenching as he watched the paramedics work on Nick. He turned to look at Monroe, waiting for an explanation.
Monroe was quiet for a long moment before he looked over at Hank, his voice hoarse and pained when he finally spoke.
"Hey, you're up early."
Monroe jumped in place from where he had been staring absently out the kitchen window, coffee in hand as he watched the sun peek up over the horizon.
He turned around to look tiredly at Rosalee. "Yea. Couldn't sleep."
"Again?" she frowned, coming closer to him and assessing him with worried eyes. "You've hardly been sleeping the last couple of weeks."
"Yea, kind of hard to sleep when all I dream about is tearing Nick's heart out," Monroe gave her a pained look, before turning to look absently out the window again, his hands shaking so hard he had to set down the coffee cup before he broke it.
"Monroe," Rosalee tried gently, coming to stand next to him and grabbing one of his shaking hands, "you know what happened with Nick wasn't your fault. No one blames you for what happened, least of all him."
"Doesn't really make me feel any better," Monroe muttered under his breath, glancing sideways at her. "I tried to kill him."
"But you didn't Monroe," she reassured him. "Have you talked to him since the hospital?"
Monroe shook his head in response. He had initially gone to the hospital, and once Nick was out of surgery and he was sure he would be alright, he had firmly kept his distance. Nick had called him multiple times since then, but Monroe couldn't bring himself to answer the phone or call him back.
How was he supposed to face Nick now after what he had done to him?
"You should talk to him, Monroe," Rosalee urged him gently, "he's been trying to get a hold of you."
"I know," Monroe sighed, shaking his head miserably. "I just can't…"
He was interrupted by a sharp knocking at the front door. He furrowed his eyebrows at Rosalee. "Are you expecting anybody?"
She shook her head, moving from Monroe's side to head towards the front door. "I'll get it."
Monroe nodded absently, before tentatively sniffing the air and knowing immediately who it was.
"Rosalee, wait!" Monroe called out, following her into the living room, but it was too late.
"Nick, Juliette, what a pleasant surprise," Rosalee smiled, swinging the door wide and letting them both in.
"Sorry we're here so early," Juliette apologized as she and Rosalee exchanged a warm hug, "or that we didn't call."
"Don't apologize, you guys are always welcome," Rosalee reassured them, guiding them both into the living room. Monroe stood awkwardly in the doorway between the kitchen and the living room, unable to make himself take another step closer as he looked at Nick. Despite his injury, the only visible remains of the attack was the blue sling that was currently supporting his injured arm.
"How's the shoulder, Nick?" Rosalee asked him as Nick carefully settled himself on the couch, avoiding jostling his injured arm.
"Much better," Nick smiled at her, his eyes flickering over to Monroe before moving back to Rosalee. "A couple more weeks of physical therapy and I'll be as good as new."
"That's great," Rosalee patted his knee, before looking over to where Monroe was still frozen in his tracks. "Hey, Juliette," she turned to look back at her friend, "I was just about to make breakfast…"
"Sure, I'd love to help," Juliette smiled, quickly catching on, before both women moved into the kitchen, leaving Monroe and Nick alone to talk.
Monroe awkwardly shuffled into the living room and sat down in the chair across from Nick, not missing the way the Grimm was watching him. After an awkward pause, Nick finally broke the silence.
"We found Jenny," he said, watching him carefully, "and her and Mike are both ok."
"Uh, that's good, that's really good," Monroe responded quietly, absently nodding at Nick's words.
"And Luke and his friends have all been charged with attempted murder," Nick added quietly. "They won't get away with this."
Monroe gritted his teeth involuntarily at mention of the teenage Lowen who had been responsible for this whole mess. "That's even better news."
"Yea. The Lowen Games are over again. Hopefully this time we can make sure it stays that way," Nick responded, a hint of resolve in his voice.
Monroe nodded in response, not really knowing what else to say. After a long pause, he finally asked, "so, your shoulder is really better?" He was barely able to meet Nick's gaze.
"Yea, it's really better," Nick told him firmly, leaning forwards across the table to look directly at Monroe. "Really, the only thing that's wrong now is that you won't talk to me."
Monroe blanched at his words, dropping his gaze and studying the rug on the floor intently. "Sorry," he offered lamely, unsure what else to say.
"Monroe, look," Nick sighed, looking at him seriously, "you have to stop blaming yourself for this. It wasn't your fault."
Monroe's head snapped back up, his eyes glowing a faint red when he looked at Nick. "Nick, I tried to kill you. Kill you. And I almost succeeded. What don't you get about that?"
"But you didn't," Nick shot back, his voice determined, "you could have and you didn't. That has to count for something."
Monroe shook his head, jumping back up from the chair and purposefully avoiding Nick's gaze. "All it counts for is the fact that we shouldn't be friends anymore. It's too dangerous." He looked painfully back over at Nick. "I'm sorry, but I think it's for the best if we stay out of each other's lives, from now on."
"What?" Nick asked incredulously, standing up off the couch now and moving closer to Monroe. "Are you kidding? All this time we've been friends, you've been in danger because of me, and now you suddenly want to cut me out because of this?" he waved at his injured shoulder. "That's ridiculous, Monroe."
Monroe shook his head, steadily holding Nick's questioning gaze. "Nick, I tried to kill you. Hell, I wanted to, I remember that much. I wanted your blood. And I would have killed you, if…"
"But you didn't," Nick argued, looking at Monroe in exasperation. "Monroe, you didn't go for the kill, you went for my shoulder. I think deep down, even with the drug, you knew it was me, whether you want to admit it or not. Otherwise, I wouldn't be standing here right now."
"And that's just the point!" Monroe shot back, running his hands roughly over his face as he regarded Nick. "What's to say that this doesn't happen again, that I don't lose control, and actually succeed in killing you next time?"
Nick shrugged simply with his uninjured shoulder. "Because I trust you."
Monroe huffed in frustration, before his shoulders finally slumped in defeat. "Why?" he whispered painfully, looking back at Nick sadly.
"Because," Nick stepped forward and placed his hand on Monroe's shoulder, "you're my friend, and you've had my back more times than I can count right now. I wouldn't have even made it through the first few months I learned about all this," he gestured between them, "without you, and I'm pretty sure I won't make it very far without you now."
"That's because you have the survival instincts of a lemming," Monroe grumbled in response, but he offered Nick a faint smile. "And besides, you've come a long ways since then. You don't need me that much anymore."
Nick raised an eyebrow at him. "Yes I do. If I don't have you watching my back, what's to say some other Wesen doesn't take me out?"
Monroe scoffed, nodding his head slightly at this. "True," he responded, before letting out a deep sigh. "But dude, you've seen the deepest, darkest part of me. I never wanted anyone to see me like that. That's the monster within, the reason your ancestors wrote about how bad Blutbaden were. You really want to be friends with me, knowing what I'm capable of? What I almost did to you?"
"Yes," Nick told him firmly. "So I've seen you at your worst, you've seen me at my worst too, remember? Does the Cracher-Mortel spell ring a bell?"
"Oh, right," Monroe mused as he looked back at Nick in understanding. Nick had been essentially drugged and tried to kill him before, too. He'd somewhat forgotten about zombie-Nick (and he didn't really want to remember him that way). "Guess you have a point there."
"Exactly," Nick raised his eyebrows at him. "I'd say we're even now."
Monroe snorted, shaking his head, but he was smiling now. "Dude, we're so far from being even. But for what it's worth, I'm so sorry for what I did to you. Is there any way I can make up for it?"
Nick grinned at him, and Monroe laughed, already knowing what Nick was going to say. "Well, the Captain has restricted me to light duty until I get rid of this," he motioned at his sling, "but there's a new case that Hank and I just got, and I'm not sure what it is…"
Monroe held up his hand, sighing in mock exasperation. "Ok, ok, I got it. Trailer?"
"Guys, breakfast is ready!" they heard Rosalee call out from the kitchen just then, and they both paused, looking at each other.
"How about after breakfast?" Nick questioned with a raised eyebrow.
"Sounds perfect," Monroe smiled, and they both headed towards the kitchen.
Hope you all liked this one! Thanks for reading, and as always, for your lovely reviews/follows. They motivate me like you wouldn't believe!
Up next: A prompt from the lovely Lostinarwop, who wanted to see something with some more zombie!Nick and that whole experience (since the show sort of dropped the ball on that one, amirite?), and of course I loved this prompt! I'll get that one up as soon as I can, but it may take a little bit.
Still taking requests, so if you have one, don't be shy!