Wow, I can't believe it's almost been a whole year since I updated this! But since my other story Bloodlines has currently been a little difficult to update with the ending of Season 4 (I'm still recovering), I've decided to pick up some one-shots on this collection again.
This long one-shot will be full of angst and whumpage for our three favorites! I've seen this whole "trapped in tunnel and everyone has a different injury" trope in other fandoms before, so I wanted to try it out on some of our Grimm Gang.
I've also never written Trubel before but I wanted to give it a shot, so I hope I nailed her character. The Grimms are notoriously hard to write! Even though Nick is clearly my favorite, I find his character can be the most difficult to get a handle on at times. Hope this does everyone justice! Also, I based this more on late season 3 Trubel, where she is still learning and really relying on Nick but is starting to be ready to do Grimm things on her own. This is also a fill request (from forever ago, so sorry!) for a reader who wanted to remain anonymous and wanted to see something with Nick and Trubel. I too love their mentor/mentee and brother/sister relationship, so I tried to explore that more here.
The first thing that Trubel became aware of was that everything really hurt.
The second thing was that it was pitch black and she had no idea where she was.
She winced, squeezing her eyes shut in vain hopes of stopping the spinning of her head as she fought to remember what happened to lead to where she was now…and completely drawing a blank.
"Great," she muttered to herself, before taking in a deep breath and slowly trying to sit up in her dark surroundings to try and figure out where she was.
She instantly regretted it.
The motion to sit up sent a throbbing, unbearable pain up her right foot and leg, and she wasn't able to stifle the scream the escaped her lips, echoing off what apparently was a very long and enclosed space.
As the pain finally subsided to a dull ache, Trubel braved a look at her leg to assess the damage, slowly rolling up the bottom of her tattered jeans. Her lower calf was black and blue and her ankle swollen beyond recognition, and even the slightest attempts to move or rotate it in any direction caused indescribable pain. There was no doubt in her mind that it was broken, possibly shattered if the pain was anything to go by.
"Damn it," she gasped as she attempted to shift one more time, trying not to pass out at the intense pain her broken ankle emanated at the slightest movement. Taking another moment to gather her bearings, she blinked slowly as she took in her surroundings, noting in the darkness that she appeared to be trapped in some sort of abandoned tunnel, debris surrounding her in all directions with no foreseeable way out.
Nick is gonna kill me, Trubel thought to herself, remembering her half-hearted promise to him last week to be more careful after a rogue Lowen had gotten his fangs a little too close for comfort after she had decided she needed to help Nick on case. She really didn't want another lecture from him on how impulsive and foolish she could be or how she never took his warnings seriously.
It was then, as her disorientation finally cleared, that that sudden thought hit her like a freight train.
Nick. Monroe. They had been there with her, before….
Before the explosion.
Before the floor of the old subway station had collapsed.
Before all of them had fallen through the gaping hole that had suddenly opened up in the floor and tumbled down in to the forgotten tunnels below.
"Nick! Monroe!" she cried out frantically, searching around desperately in the darkness for a sign of either one of them. Her voice simply echoed back to her in the dark, looming space of the tunnel, as she waited for one of them to answer back.
It had all happened so fast. First they had chased down a suspected Verrat agent to the station, the next thing they knew there had been an explosion and the floor had crumbled beneath their feet…
It had been a trap, and they had all walked directly into it. Hank and the Captain had still been outside the crumbling building when the explosion had happened (at least she thought they had been) so hopefully they had escaped the blast when it had suddenly gone off.
But now she was trapped in the collapsed remains of the underground tunnel with a busted ankle, and she had no idea what had happened to Nick and Monroe.
She shook her head, sucking in deep breaths and trying to push down the rising panic surging through her.
What if they hadn't made it…
"No, get it together," she scolded herself under her breath, shaking her head again and trying not to fear the worst. She couldn't let her thoughts go there, not now, or she would never get out of this tunnel alive.
After forcing down her fear and regaining her composure, Trubel knew her only choice was to try and get up, despite knowing how much agony the simple act of moving would be with her broken leg.
Gritting her teeth, she braced herself and reached for a nearby collapsed wooden beam that had landed close by her, and pulled herself closer to it with both hands, scooting across the debris covered floor.
Although she tried to move slowly, the movement still jarred her ankle, and she was unable to hold back another scream or the tears springing to her eyes at the pain it caused.
After she regained her composure, she stared at the wooden beam determinedly, knowing that regardless of how much it hurt, she had to get up and find Nick and Monroe and get the hell out of this place.
Taking in another deep breath and bracing herself once again, Trubel used the weight of the beam to pull herself upright, trying not to put any weight on her broken leg.
The movement upwards was agonizing, and Trubel was almost positive she was going to pass out before she ever made it to her feet. But somehow, by force of sheer will, she made it upright, leaning haphazardly against the wooden beam with all of her weight centered on her left leg, her broken right leg propped awkwardly up behind her.
Pushing down the urge to vomit, Trubel couldn't do anything more but lean against the beam for a moment, until the throbbing pain subsided slightly once again, and she looked around to see what else she could lean against to move through the tunnel.
Along the formerly sturdy concrete walls of the old tunnel, there appeared to be an old piping system of some sort, perhaps used when this tunnel was still up and running in the early days of Portland's public transit. Although now rusted and decaying, it looked sturdy enough to use as a makeshift handle as she hobbled along the length of the tunnel.
Now all she had to do was make it that far.
Gritting her teeth once again, she took a deep breath, and began the slow, painful process of hopping on one foot to reach the wall, which couldn't have been more than 10 feet away.
It was the longest 10 feet of Trubel's life.
But somehow, someway, she finally made it to the wall, nearly collapsing as she gripped her hands around the rusted metal of the piping system and struggled to keep from blacking out from the pain.
After what felt like an eternity, Trubel thought like she might be capable of moving again, and slowly limped along, using her good leg and balancing against the pipes to keep from jarring her broken ankle as much as possible.
It was incredibly painful, but Trubel was determined to find Nick and Monroe, and that single thought kept her moving despite the unbearable pain and constant feelings of either passing out or throwing up.
She made it about 20 feet more down the tunnel when her good foot hit something in the darkness, causing her to stumble and nearly fall to the ground.
Swearing under her breath at being so careless, Trubel peered down to see what she had run into, and nearly stopped breathing when she recognized the flannel-covered arm on the ground by her foot.
"Monroe!" Trubel exclaimed, dropping to her knees next to his unconscious form, swearing again as she bumped her ankle. Fighting past the darkness swimming her vision, she tried to assess Monroe in the dim lighting of the tunnel, and let out a deep breath she didn't even know she'd been holding when she recognized the steady rise and fall of his chest.
But he was definitely knocked out cold, and Trubel swallowed hard as she got a closer look and recognized the dark, tacky material surrounding his head. It was blood.
Head injury…not good.
"Monroe, come on," Trubel tried again, gently shaking him in vain hopes of waking him up. "Wake up. We have to get out of here."
"Monroe!" she tried louder, moving him more vigorously and putting more pressure against his sternum.
"Monroe, wake up!" Trubel yelled desperately, grasping the front of his shirt and pulling him upright, even though in the back of her mind she knew probably she shouldn't be moving him with his injuries, but she just didn't know what else to do.
It worked. Monroe's glassy eyes suddenly came open, disturbingly unfocused and not really looking at her, but open nonetheless.
"There you go, Monroe," she could barely hide the relief in her voice at seeing him awake. "Come on back."
Suddenly, Monroe's unfocused gaze turned red, and Trubel shrunk back in surprise at the sudden shift as the Blutbad came forward.
"Whoa, Monroe, it's ok!" Trubel put her hands up in a placating manner, but Monroe didn't seem to notice. Now fully wolfed out, he leapt unsteadily to his feet, backing up a few steps as he tried to regain his balance and looking around frantically, looking much like a panicked animal trying to escape a cage.
"Monroe, calm down," Trubel tried again, trying to keep her voice calm. She wasn't sure the extent of his head injury, but she could tell in the darkness that the back of his head was coated in blood. He stumbled around, still desperately looking around, as if he was trying to figure out what was going on, but his panicked gaze never settled on anything.
"…Trubel?" he finally asked, his voice gravely and confused as he slowly woged back, coming to a standstill and trembling ever so slightly.
"Yea, it's me," she let out a sigh of relief as Monroe came back to himself. "It's ok, you're ok. Just calm down, alright?"
He turned towards her again at the sound of her voice, but his now brown eyes still weren't looking directly at her, but rather right past her, towards the crumbling tunnel wall behind her. Trubel swallowed hard as she realized that something was really wrong.
"Monroe," she asked as calmly as she could muster, "can you see me?"
Monroe didn't say anything for a long moment, still not looking at her, before he finally closed his eyes, his shoulders dropping in defeat.
"No. I can't see…I can't see anything."
Just as Trubel had feared, Monroe was completely blind, and still very disoriented from his head injury, just adding to the seriousness of their situation. She desperately hoped that his condition was just temporary…but she quickly realized that if they didn't get Nick and get out of there soon, their injuries might do them all in before they even had a chance to escape.
"How's that?" Trubel asked, sitting back to assess her handiwork. She had ripped off the long sleeves of her undershirt, making as good a tourniquet as she could around the back of Monroe's injured head and carefully covering the front of his eyes, looking like a blindfold of sorts. "How you doing?"
"Well, considering that I'm blind, we're stuck in an abandoned tunnel that could collapse at any minute, and we still have no idea where Nick is…not too bad," Monroe tried to joke, but all he sounded was tired. Trubel knew he was desperately trying to stay hopeful about their current situation and not panic, but things were looking bleak. Trubel had filled him in on the details after he had finally settled down, telling him everything he had missed. They were still trapped in the tunnel with no foreseeable way out, they both had serious injuries…and there was still no sign of Nick.
"Yea, right," Trubel sighed in reply as she inspected the makeshift brace she had tried to make for her ankle.
"What about you?" Monroe asked, turning his head in her general direction but still not directly at her. Although his sharp sense of smell was nearly unparalleled and normally would compensate for his loss of vision, the hard blow to his head had currently thrown off all of his senses, even his sharpest one. "How's your leg?"
Trubel shrugged, before remembering that he couldn't see it. "Uh, it's ok. I'll survive."
"You had better, or Nick will kill you," Monroe snorted, eliciting a small chuckle from Trubel despite the gravity of their situation. "He's been a little overprotective when it comes to you."
"Tell me about it," she responded knowingly, but her smile quickly fell and her tone become somber again.
"We have to find him Monroe."
Monroe's smile also fell at her words, a serious look crossing his face. "I know. And we will. Hopefully sooner rather than later. Knowing Nick, he's probably fine and already looking for us."
"Yea," Trubel sighed, wanting to believe Monroe's optimism, but she was unable not to worry that they still hadn't seen Nick yet amongst the debris of the tunnel and she tried not to fear the worst. "Well, either way, we need to keep looking."
"Agreed," Monroe nodded, unsteadily climbing back to his feet and reaching his hand out towards her. "You ready?"
"As I'll ever be," Trubel replied, reaching for his outstretched hand and stifling a moan of pain as he helped her back to her feet.
"You good?" he questioned again, steadying her as much as he could while trying to keep his own balance.
"Good enough," she gritted her teeth in determination. "Come on, let's find Nick and get the hell out of here."
"Don't have to tell me twice," Monroe responded under his breath, offering his arm to help her hobble along through the tunnel as they looked for the missing Grimm.
It was slow going, as Trubel had to guide Monroe over every step and all the debris surrounding them, and he had to act as her brace as she hopped along next to him, using his arm to keep the weight off her broken ankle.
After what felt like ages, Monroe froze suddenly, causing Trubel to grunt in pain as she came to a sudden stop next to him, unprepared for the sudden change in motion.
"Sorry," Monroe said after a long moment, taking in a deep breath. "I just thought that I smelled something…but my head is still pretty messed up. I really can't tell anything down here."
"It's ok," Trubel reassured him, trying not to let the disappointment in her voice show. She had been hoping that maybe he had caught a sign of Nick, but he was still too disoriented from his cracked head for his heightened senses to be of much use.
"Come on, he has to be…" Trubel stopped abruptly as she scanned the darkness again and a slumped figure in the corner finally came into view.
"Trubel, what, what is it?" Monroe could barely keep the panic out of his voice in anticipation of what she had seen.
"He's over here, come on!" Trubel exclaimed, pulling Monroe in the direction of where Nick was. Without a moment's hesitation, she threw herself up on his back, wrapping her arms around his neck for balance and crying out when her ankle bumped against his side.
"Whoa! Little warning next time?" Monroe stumbled backwards, unprepared for the sudden weight of the young Grimm on his back, but he quickly recovered and hurried in Nick's direction with Trubel guiding the way among the wreckage from the explosion.
Within moments, they had reached Nick's side, and Trubel tried to push down the gnawing feeling that Nick hadn't moved or responded at all, even as they called out to him.
He's just unconscious…just like Monroe was…
"Nick!" she called out as Monroe stopped a few feet in front of him. Nick was half-sitting up, propped up against some collapsed concrete slabs behind him. But he was so so still, and Trubel's heart nearly leapt in her throat at the sight.
Nick was her mentor, the older brother she had never had, and never known how much she wanted, the person who had given her life meaning and changed it irrevocably.
To see him so still, so unmoving, felt like a bucket of ice water had been thrown over her, like an ice pick had been driven straight through her heart.
Without a second thought, she threw herself from Monroe's back, landing with a solid thud on the ground next to Nick, not even noticing her throbbing ankle for once as she scrambled on her knees to Nick's side and took inventory of his injuries.
It was so much worse than she thought.
"No," she breathed, reaching a shaking hand towards Nick and being afraid of what she would find.
"What? What is it? Trubel, what's going on?" Monroe sounded increasingly panicked above her, his earlier hopeful sentiments now gone, but she just wasn't able to answer.
She was afraid of what that answer might turn out to be.
Closing her eyes, she forcefully shoved her fingers against Nick's neck, feeling for a pulse and fearing for the worst.
It was the longest moment of her life, but finally a weak thump thump was evident under her finger tips, and she became nearly lightheaded with relief.
"…he's alive," she finally choked out, looking back at Monroe who had haphazardly knelt down at the other side of Nick, waiting anxiously for her response. He turned in her direction at the sound of her voice.
"Good, that's good," Monroe sighed deeply, not even bothering to hide the relief in his voice. Trubel knew he had been worried about what had become of Nick too, even if he had been trying to hide it. "Alive we can work with."
He stiffened suddenly, taking in another deep breath. "Wait a second…I knew it! I smell blood. I smell Nick's blood."
Trubel smiled grimly, even though Monroe couldn't see it, but she knew there would be no hiding the truth from the Blutbad, even if she wanted to.
"It's bad, Monroe," she replied, turning her eyes back to Nick and just staring at his injury, thanking a God she wasn't even sure she believed in that he was still alive and wondering how he even still was.
"Just tell me," Monroe replied hoarsely, trying to suppress the fear in his voice and failing.
Trubel let out a deep breath, knowing there was no easy way to say it.
"There's a metal pole," she began slowly, "running straight through his chest."
"He's been impaled."
"Oh my God," Monroe breathed at her words, completely stunned. "Are you serious?"
"I wish I wasn't," Trubel replied somberly, turning back to Nick. "But yea, I am."
"I mean, how big a metal pole are we talking?" Monroe questioned, leaning closer as if his vision would magically clear and he would be able to see for himself.
"Uh, I'm not sure," Trubel replied as she inspected the wound more carefully. The metal was protruding straight out from the left side of Nick's chest about two or three inches, and was likely dangerously close to his heart. From the looks of it, the metal was about 1/8 of an inch thick, which she relayed to Monroe.
She gently pried Nick's jacket back to get a closer look, swallowing down the sudden bile rising in her throat at the amount of blood coating the front of his shirt. Luckily, it seemed as though the bleeding had slowed now, but there was no telling how much blood he had already lost from the terrifying amount on his shirt and pooling on the ground next to them. Taking a deep breath, she then looked to see if there was an exit wound from his back, and was disheartened to find that the pole appeared to be firmly attached to the concrete slab behind Nick. There would be no easy way to move him out of the tunnel and get him to help in time.
"This is bad, Monroe," she turned back to him then. "It's all the way through his back, and it's at least a foot deep into the concrete behind him."
"Damn it," Monroe growled at this information, sitting back on his heels as the seriousness of their situation suddenly became worse. "This is so not good."
"I know," Trubel breathed, trying not to let the feelings of hopelessness over take her. "How are we going to move him like this?"
"Well, we can't," he replied quietly, subconsciously leaning in her direction again as he followed the sound of her voice. "There's no way we can move the pole, and honestly the only reason he is probably still alive right now is because the pole is keeping him from bleeding out."
Trubel hadn't even thought about that fact. "So what, we just sit here and wait for someone to find us?"
Monroe sighed deeply, nodding his head at that, although he obviously didn't like that solution any more than she did. "Yea, now we wait."
"We don't even know if Nick has that long!" she replied in frustration, biting back unwanted tears between her worry for Nick and the throbbing pain from her ankle.
"Well, moving him could be a death sentence too," Monroe tried to sound rational, but Trubel could hear the worry and doubt creeping into his voice as well. "Captain Renard and Hank must have seen what happened to us, right?"
"Yea, I think so," Trubel replied half-heartedly. "I mean, I think they were still outside when the place blew up, so hopefully they escaped the blast."
"Well I bet they have a full-fledged search party looking for us already," Monroe added with forced hopefulness. "And if I know anything about Rosalee and Juliette, they are probably up there with shovels digging a hole halfway through the upper mantle by now."
"Yea, you're probably right," Trubel sighed, trying to feel reassured by his words, but just glancing at Nick again made her heart sink in her chest.
If we wait much longer, can he even survive this?
"But, we should probably try to wake him up," Monroe added a moment later, clearly sounding worried now. "The longer he's unconscious, the harder it will be to…"
"Yea, I know, I know," Trubel cut him off, not wanting to hear Monroe's warning that if they didn't wake Nick up now, they might never be able to wake him up again.
"Nick," Trubel began, grabbing one of his limp hands and squeezing gently, trying to notice how cold and clammy it was. "Nick, you gotta wake up."
No response…not that she really thought there would be.
"Come on man, open your eyes," Monroe chimed in from the other side, groping helplessly in the dark until he found Nick's other arm, shaking it gently.
"Nick, come on," Trubel tried again, looking helplessly at Monroe for reassurance before she again realized that he couldn't see her anyways.
"Nick, you have to open your eyes," she tried again, squeezing his hand more firmly. She was afraid to shake him for fear of causing more damage to his already battered body.
"Nick, dude, you have to wake up," Monroe added, squeezing his other shoulder in hopes of bringing him back to consciousness.
Trubel was starting to feel desperate now. There was no way she was just going to sit there and let the only family she had ever known just slip away in front of her without doing everything she could to save his life.
"Damn it Nick, wake up!" she suddenly yelled in frustration, slapping him hard across the face before she even realized what she was doing.
Monroe startled at the resounding slap from Nick's other side, looking in her general direction with a clear look of surprise etched on his face.
"Did you just…?" he questioned, and even without the use of his eyes gave her an incredulous look.
"Yea," Trubel sounded sheepish, realizing what a foolish move it was. "I had to try. We have to try everything we can."
Just then, Nick elicited a low groan, moving his head ever so slightly.
"Well, looks like it might have worked!" Monroe exclaimed, leaning closer to Nick as he slowly stirred back to life.
"Nick, can you hear me?" Trubel asked worriedly as Nick slowly raised his head, his face pale and bathed in sweat and his gaze unfocused.
"…Trubel?" he breathed painfully, wincing at the effort of simply trying to talk and breathe at the same time.
"Yea, it's me," she breathed in relief, reaching out to steady his drooping head with her hands. "I'm here. So is Monroe."
"Hey man, you back with us?" Monroe asked anxiously from his other side, and Nick's unsteady gaze finally searched him out in the darkness.
"M-monroe? What happ'n'd…" he mumbled hoarsely, closing his eyes and swallowing convulsively.
"Nick," Trubel started, forcing her voice to stay level and calm, "what do you remember?"
Nick opened his eyes again and looked at her, and she tried to ignore how pain filled and hazy his eyes looked. "…I-I'm not really sure…"
"We were chasing down that Verrat agent, remember?" she began in earnest, hoping that it rang a bell.
"…y-yea. I remember that..."
"And we were at the old subway station, outside of town," Monroe added hopefully.
"Yea…" Nick groaned in reply, wincing as he shifted ever so slightly.
"But it was a set-up, and there was an explosion," Trubel continued, hoping it would trigger his memory.
"…it was…a trap…." Nick ground out slowly, letting out a pained cough as struggled to remember how they had ended up in their current predicament.
"Maybe you better save your strength," Monroe noted worriedly at the wet sound of Nick's cough. "We're ok now, we just have to wait for the Captain and Hank and the others to get us out of here."
"Yea, yea, they'll be here in no time," Trubel added, but her attempt at hopefulness fell completely flat.
Even through the haze of pain, Nick didn't miss that something wasn't right. He picked his head back up, looking more closely at Monroe then.
"…Monroe, your head," he noted in worry as he finally noticed the makeshift bandages around his friend's head.
"Oh, this old thing?" Monroe gestured vacantly at himself, "this is nothing. Just a little bump on the head, right Trubel?"
"Right," Trubel added quickly, trying to move her busted ankle out of sight but failing before Nick took notice.
"Your leg," he breathed painfully, as he stared at her makeshift brace. "What 'bout…your leg?"
"It's just my ankle," she tried to reassure him quickly, although it was clear from the look he was giving her that he didn't believe her at all. "It's fine, really."
"…don't lie to me," he said quietly, looking slowly back and forth at both of them.
"It's not that, man," Monroe tried to placate him. "We just want you to focus on taking it easy right now, ok?"
"Yea, exactly," Trubel added.
Nick's pained expression turned into one of confusion. "Why? What's going on…"
He trailed off midsentence as he finally chanced a look downwards and noticed for the first time the piece of metal jutting straight through his chest, like something out of a horror movie.
Visibly paling at the sight, he closed his eyes, leaning his head back against the concrete slab behind him and swallowing convulsively, looking as though he was about to lose consciousness again.
"Well…t-that's not good…"
"It's ok, Nick," Trubel tried to reassure him uselessly. "It's gonna be ok. Just don't pass out, alright?"
"What? What's not good?" Monroe asked worriedly, unable to see what was going on.
"He finally saw it," Trubel sighed, glancing briefly at him before turning her attention back to Nick.
"Yea…" Nick breathed, opening his eyes again and squinting at them both, his breathing starting to accelerate as he realized the full extent of his injuries and panic started to set in. "There's a metal pole…
"Yea man, we know," Monroe cut him off, not wanting to give Nick a chance to panic. "And there's no need to rehash the details, ok? Help will be here soon, and you're going to be fine. Come on, you've had worse than this."
Trubel gave Monroe an incredulous look at his words, and even though he couldn't see it, he could sense her reaction. Even in his battered state, Nick arched an eyebrow at him skeptically.
"Seriously?" Trubel couldn't stop herself from saying in response.
"Ok, look, I know this isn't a great situation we're in, but we've been in plenty of not-so-great situations before, and we always find a way out," Monroe continued on, but the confidence in his voice was wavering now, as if he didn't fully believe what he was saying himself. "We are all going to get out of this, together."
"Right…" Nick responded breathlessly before Trubel even had a chance to open her mouth. "Except…you c'n't see…Trubel can't w-walk…and I-I'm a human skewer."
Damn it. Nick was so perceptive, even in his current state, that they weren't able to hide their own injuries from him.
"Nick, we're going to get out of this," Trubel pulled his attention back to her. "I promise you, we will get out of this."
She desperately hoped that it was a promise she'd be able to keep.
Nick nodded slowly, taking in a few more ragged breaths before responding, but he sounded anything but convinced. "Yea…we'll be ok."
"Yea we will, don't worry man," Monroe tried to reassure him again. "Renard and the others will find us in no time, I'm sure of it."
Nick didn't say anything, just nodding at his words, as he tried to take a deep breath. It was painful to listen to him wheeze every time he inhaled, and Trubel tried not to think about what that meant the pole might have done to his lung, or any other internal injuries for that matter.
She sighed, scooting closer to Nick and offering whatever support she could with her presence. She squeezed his hand, and couldn't help but smile slightly as he gave a weak squeeze back.
"Thanks," he whispered hoarsely, looking over at her gratefully with a pained smile.
"Anytime," she whispered back quietly.
With that, the three friends settled back to wait for rescue, hoping that it would be in time.
A while later, as they sat in the darkness, waiting to live or die, Monroe suddenly sat forwards, clutching his head and letting out a howl of agony.
"Monroe? What is it?" Trubel asked in worry as the Blutbad buried his face in his hands, rocking back and forth.
"…Monroe?" Nick questioned breathlessly, unable to move any closer to his distressed friend and do anything to help.
"Argh," Monroe finally growled out, "my head…is going to explode…"
"Just lie down," Trubel suggested, attempting to scoot over to his side and wincing as she moved her ankle yet again.
Before she could even make it that far, Monroe pitched forwards suddenly with another pained howl, collapsing on his side in a crumpled heap.
"Monroe!" Trubel exclaimed in worry, crawling as fast as she could to his side with her busted ankle and trying not to throw up as she bumped it in her haste.
"M-monroe?" Nick croaked again in worry, powerless to do anything to help.
Trubel finally reached the Blutbad's side where he now lay on the cool dirt floor of the tunnel. "Monroe, are you ok?"
"Monroe, come on, can you hear me?" Trubel asked again, shaking him even harder, and having a nauseating case of déjà vu from when she had found him earlier.
But Monroe was out cold, finally succumbing to his head injury. She leaned in closer, and noted that his chest was still rising and falling steadily, and his pulse was still strong and even. He seemed stable, just unconscious.
Trubel knew she should probably keep trying to wake him up, but he was in so much pain that she didn't know how she could, and there was no telling how long they might be down there. She made a silent vow to try to wake him up every so often (wasn't that what you were supposed to do with head injuries?) to check on him.
She slowly crawled back over to Nick's side, not missing the worried look on his face.
"…is he ok?" he asked hoarsely, his pained face full of concern.
"Yea, he's out cold, but he really just needs to rest for a little while," Trubel said calmly, hoping she sounded more confident than she felt. Somehow she was the best off of the three of them, and it was unnerving to somehow be the one in charge, the one reassuring everyone else, when usually it was one of them. So far, she wasn't loving this role reversal.
"…and how about you?" Nick asked quietly, bringing her out of her jumbled thoughts.
"Me?" Trubel scoffed incredulously at his words. Nick would have a metal pole running straight through him and still be worried about how everyone else was doing. "I'm fine, Nick. It's just a busted ankle. I'm not the one with a metal pole sticking out of my chest!"
The moment the words were out of her mouth she instantly regretted them. She managed to look chagrined as she met Nick's gaze again. "Sorry, I didn't mean…"
"It's ok," Nick shook his head slowly at her.
"No, it's not," Trubel's face fell. "You're hurt, I mean really hurt, and there's nothing we can do."
"It's not…th't bad," he replied breathlessly, and Trubel couldn't help but notice it was taking even more effort for him to talk than before.
"Yes it is," she couldn't help but feel unreasonably angry all of a sudden. At their predicament, at their injuries, at Nick still trying to play off his injury and being the one to comfort her, at the fear of losing the one person who meant more to her than the world and being unable to stop it.
"Be honest with me, Nick. How bad do you feel?" she questioned him, holding his gaze steadily.
Nick sighed heavily, looking up at the collapsed ceiling of the tunnel before replying.
"Honestly?" he said quietly, still not meeting her gaze.
"Yes. Tell me the truth."
"Ok," Nick breathed, turning to look back at her, "well, earlier…it felt, i-it felt like som'ne was ripping my heart…str'ght out of my chest."
Trubel winced at the description, but she really hadn't pictured anything better. She couldn't even imagine how much pain he was in, even with her broken ankle. Their injuries didn't even compare.
She froze then, realizing what he had said. "Ok, you said it felt like that before. What about now?"
Nick was quiet for a long moment before replying, and Trubel was afraid that maybe he was losing consciousness again. "Nick?"
He sighed painfully, meeting her gaze once again. "Now…ev'rything…sort of feels…numb."
Trubel swallowed thickly at that.
That's not good. That's really not good.
"We have to get you out of here," she said urgently, starting to feel the familiar surge of panic once again. "We can't keep waiting down here!"
"…Trubel," Nick exhaled heavily, trying to keep her from panicking, "You hav' to st'y calm…."
"No more waiting," she shot back, starting to move back towards Monroe to try to wake him up again, "we can't stay down here any longer!"
"Trubel…" he tried even louder, breaking into another painful bout of coughing.
"We have to get out of here!" Trubel was losing it, and although the rational part of her knew that she needed to stay calm, especially for Nick's sake, she was quickly slipping into hysteria.
"H-hey, listen to me," Nick tried again, but Trubel couldn't focus, couldn't listen.
They had to get out of there, before he ran out of time.
There was no time.
"Trubel!" Nick raised his voice as much as he could, trying to catch her attention, and began wheezing painfully as he tried to catch his breath.
Trubel turned back to him at that, cursing at herself for getting him so worked up and moving back to his side, gritting at the pain in her ankle as she reached him.
"Sorry, Nick, I'm sorry," she said, coming closer and trying to force herself to be calm, if only to keep him from panicking too. Even in the face of death, he was always so steady, and no matter what happened, he was always the anchor in her life when things got to be too much. She had never had anyone she could count on before, and she suddenly realized how much she needed that in her life.
The thought of losing him now was unbearable.
"I'm sorry I freaked," she apologized again, looking at him sympathetically as he struggled to just breathe.
He nodded at her words, still unable to catch his breath, and she just sat next to him, patiently waiting for him to be able to talk again, silently scolding herself for being such a wreck. Nick needed her right now, and she was letting him down.
"…you ok?" he finally managed as he slowed his breathing, looking back at her with glassy eyes.
"Me?" she scoffed, but realized that Nick needed to know that she and Monroe were ok, and at the moment, she would do whatever she could to make him feel better.
"Yea, I'm ok. Sorry."
Nick nodded slowly in understanding as he breathlessly replied. "It's ok…to be scared…Trubel."
She nodded, hating herself as she blinked back tears yet again. "No it's not. You need me, right now, and I'm letting you down."
"No…no you're not," Nick reassured her between haggard breaths. "If an'thing…I'm sorry…for g'tting you into…this mess."
"Getting me into this mess?" Trubel looked at him dubiously. "Nick, I volunteered for this, remember? And it's not like you could have known this was going to happen. Besides, it's not like you could have stopped me from coming if you wanted to." She sat next to him, nudging his shoulder gently. "You can never stop me, you should know that by now."
"…true," Nick scoffed slightly in agreement at that, bringing a small smile to Trubel's lips.
"I want to keep learning, there's still so much about being a Grimm that I don't know," she continued, holding his gaze steadily, "and the only way that I'll learn is to keep going with you, for you to keep teaching me. So that means you have to pull through this Nick, and that all three of us have to get out of here, and go home."
"…you know," Nick replied quietly, struggling to keep talking between each breath, "you alr'dy…know…more than you…realize. You d'n't…need me…that much anym're."
"Are you kidding? Of course I do. Who else will be around to tell me when I'm wrong, and remind me that I'm being a reckless pain in the ass?"
"I'm sure…there's plenty…of people…who would," a pained smirk slowly crept over Nick's face.
"That's not the point," Trubel shot back at him playfully, but it was laced with worry. "That person needs to be you. I need you Nick. You're all I have."
"Not true…" he shook his head. "You've g-got a whole family now…don't forget that."
It was true. She knew deep down that she had Juliette, and Monroe and Rosalee, and Hank, and heck even the Captain to a certain degree to rely on and call her makeshift family, but none of them could quite understand the close bond between her and Nick. It was something that only two Grimms could understand.
She couldn't lose him. Not now…
"You know…ev'rything…in the trailer…is yours too," he continued quietly, slowly moving his gaze away from her to stare into the darkness, sighing tiredly.
"Nick, I know that," she furrowed her brow in worry at his words. "But it's still yours, and you still need to show me everything in there."
But Nick didn't really appear to be listening to her, still looking off into the darkness of the tunnel.
"Might be time…to move the trailer again..."
"Yea, and we'll do that once you get better."
"And Juliette…stay in the house w'th her…she'll need you…"
"Nick, I'm not going anywhere, and neither are you!"
"And Monroe 'n Rosalee…will still need…a Grimm around…"
"Yea, and that's gonna be you, Nick."
"And Hank…will n-need help…on cases…"
"And that's your job, because you're his partner!"
"Even the Captain…needs more allies…j'st be careful…who you trust…"
"I trust you, Nick, that's why I need you around!"
"You're ready…Trubel…just trust your instincts..."
"Damn it, Nick, stop it! Just stop it!" Trubel finally shouted, facing him now as she grabbed his shirt collar, forcing him to look at her. "Stop saying goodbye! You're not going to die, do you hear me? You're not!"
Nick gave her a sad, pained look, before he finally replied.
"…you and I both know…that I'm not making it out of here."
"Yes you are," Trubel gritted out between clenched teeth, feeling both helpless and furious at the same time. "You don't get to give up that easy, Nick Burkhardt, got it? I won't let you!"
"May not…have a choice," he replied hoarsely, and Trubel felt her heart sink at the realization that he was right.
Nick was literally dying, right in front of her, and there was nothing she could do to stop it.
But she was a Grimm, and so was he, and the last time she checked, Grimms didn't back down without a fight.
"You are a Grimm, Nick, and you taught me that being a Grimm means you don't just quit when things get tough," she continued with determination, grabbing both of his shoulders and squeezing firmly. "It's your job to protect us, to lead us. We all need you. Don't you know what it would do to us if we lost you? Did you even think about what would happen if we don't have you around? You don't just get to quit on us!"
Nick's glassy eyes were a mix of pain and regret as they locked gazes, but she saw a spark of determination at her words.
"…alright," he finally replied, his weak voice sounding just a little bit stronger.
"You just need to hang in there a little bit longer, ok?" she said a little more gently. "Just a little bit longer, Nick. Promise me. Promise me!"
After a long moment, Nick replied with a deep sigh.
No sooner that the words were out of his mouth, the tunnel around them began shaking violently, more debris raining down on them from above.
The remains of the damaged tunnel were collapsing in on them.
Trubel was nearly blinded by panic once again as the world around them began to crumble. She realized belatedly a moment later that Nick was calling her name.
"Trubel….get outta here…go!"
She wheeled back around to face him, still feeling frozen in fear, but then their eyes met and she felt renewed determination.
They were not going to die like this. Not if she could help it.
Ignoring the searing pain in her crushed ankle, she crawled back over to Monroe's side, sparing a quick glance to make sure he was still breathing, before she resorted to her earlier method and slapped him with incredible force across the face.
Although still unable to see, Monroe lurched forwards, completely disoriented once again, and promptly vomited next to Trubel, narrowly missing her lap.
"…ow," he moaned, rubbing his cheek with one hand and holding his head with the other. "What the hell?"
"Monroe, we have to go, now!" Trubel's panicked tone seemed to snap him back to his dulled senses, and he suddenly realized that the tunnel was shaking around them, and pieces of debris were falling from above at an alarming rate.
"We gotta go," he replied quickly in agreement, and the concern and fear in his voice was clear.
"What about Nick?" Trubel asked helplessly as they turned back to their friend.
"We'll have to move him," Monroe replied grimly, groping around in the dark until he reached Nick's side again. "We don't have a choice."
"…no, just go," Nick protested weakly, but it fell on deaf ears. "Both of you…go…now!"
"Yea right," Trubel scoffed, shaking her head at his words. "As if we would ever leave you."
"Yea man," Monroe added at that, still sounding incredibly groggy but at least conscious now, "you're stuck with us, whether you like it or not."
"Ok," Nick sighed, knowing he wouldn't win this argument, "then we b'tter go…now."
"Don't have to say that again," Monroe replied, but his tone became somber a moment later. "But not gonna lie to you man…this is going to hurt."
Nick nodded slowly at his words, but he knew there was no other choice. He clenched his jaw in determination. "Just…do it."
Trubel sighed, squeezing his clammy hand once again to give some semblance of comfort. "Sorry."
He smiled grimly at her. "Don't be."
"Ok, Trubel, on the count of three," Monroe instructed her, after she guided his hands into position at Nick's other shoulder. "Just pull him forwards quickly, but as smoothly as you can."
"Got it," she nodded, biting her lower lip in worry. It was going to be agony for Nick, but as the tunnel shook again even harder, she knew they had to do it, and do it now, before they were all buried alive.
"Ok, one, two…three!" Monroe counted, and with that, Trubel supported Nick's weight as best she could as she wrenched his body forwards.
Nick cried out in pure agony, making Trubel's heart clench, as they slid him halfway up length of the pole, new blood spilling out as they dislodged it slightly.
"Nick, you ok?" Trubel asked worriedly as she and Monroe got into position to slide him forwards again.
He shook his head, unable to reply, just struggling to breathe through the pain.
"Sorry Nick, but we have to keep going, before this becomes our permanent home," Monroe added sympathetically, but his voice was still laced with urgency.
They were running out of time, and quickly.
Nick nodded shakily, giving them the signal to continue.
"Ok," Monroe sighed heavily, "let me know once he's far enough to slide him off the pole, ok?"
"Got it," Trubel replied through gritted teeth as she gripped Nick's shoulder again.
"Alright, one, two, three!"
Using as much strength as she could muster in her own current condition, Trubel heaved Nick forwards as smoothly and as quickly as she could, forcing herself to keep going at Nick's anguished cries echoing throughout the tunnel.
"That's it, just a little more!" she called out to Monroe, and he nodded, pulling again with renewed determination.
And then he was free.
Nick collapsed against her as he came off the pole with a disgusting squelch, quickly losing his battle with consciousness. Blood was pouring freely from both sides of the wound now, causing her heart to leap into her throat.
"Whoa, whoa, Nick!" she shook him uselessly as he fell against her, and she was barely able to support his weight. Monroe was at their side then, and helped to blindly roll Nick onto his back.
"He's unconscious again," she told him worriedly as the Blutbad hovered over his friend.
"He probably passed out from the pain," he responded with a heavy sigh, finding Nick's shoulder and gently squeezing it. "That had to have hurt." He paused, sniffing the air deeply for a moment.
"He's bleeding out," he inhaled again, his sense of smell still strong enough to give him some sort of feedback. He hastily ripped off his own bandages from his head, since most of the bleeding had stopped anyways. "Here's let's put this on his wounds to try and stop some of the bleeding at least. And hurry!"
The whole tunnel shook again violently at his words, and they knew they had only minutes at best before they whole place came crashing down on top of them.
Trubel could barely control the shaking of her hands as she fastened the makeshift tourniquet around Nick's upper torso, doing her best to put pressure on both the entry and exit wounds.
"There, done!" she cried triumphantly as she somehow was able to steady herself enough to finish tying off the bandages. "Let's go!"
Monroe nodded, and grabbed one of Nick's arms, throwing it over his shoulder, before staggering to his feet, fighting against his own vertigo and the dead weight of Nick now against him.
"Lead the way!" he called to Trubel, who staggered to her feet on his other side, leaning against him only enough to keep the pressure off her leg. She couldn't lean on him as much as before because now he was bearing Nick's full weight too, and every step was torture as she jostled her leg.
But none of that mattered right now because Nick was bleeding to death and they were about to be buried alive.
"This way!" she yelled to Monroe over the roar of the tunnel coming down, and they moved as quickly as they could towards the far end of the tunnel, Monroe dragging Nick along as Trubel balanced precariously as his other side.
It may have been disorientation, or panic, or foolish hope, but Trubel swore she could see sunlight near the end of the tunnel ahead.
"Monroe, I think I see…" she began hesitantly, knowing that if she gave false directions at this moment, they could easily be buried underneath the impending collapse. There was no time for error.
"…an exit," Monroe cut in before she could finish, taking in a deep breath before he grunted, shifting Nick up higher against him as he pulled the unconscious Grimm along. "I can smell it, Trubel. I can smell the air!"
Trubel couldn't help her laugh of relief that escaped at his words, and as they moved closer and the light became brighter, she thought that maybe, just maybe, they were going to make it out of this after all.
Her relief was short-lived as the compromised tunnel finally gave way, the entire structure collapsing in on itself now.
"RUN!" she cried out in pure panic, although she didn't know how that would be possible in their current condition. She moved to Monroe's other side and grabbed Nick's other arm, helping to pull him even faster out of the tunnel.
Out of determination or fear or just some pure will to survive, her and Monroe began to run for the end of the tunnel, dragging Nick's comatose form along with them.
At that moment, it didn't matter how badly her shattered ankle hurt, or that Nick was still unconscious, or that Monroe couldn't see. They were so so close now, she could almost taste it…
As the walls began closing in around them, she and Monroe gave it everything they had, and dived through the opening at the end, dragging Nick with them. The three bodies toppled over and over, rolling in a heap as they landed in the hard dirt just outside the tunnel's opening, narrowly missing landing on the dilapidated tracks still laying at the end of the tunnel.
Trubel closed her eyes as she finally came to a stop, afraid to open them and find out they hadn't made it. Her ankle was on pure fire now, a pain she hadn't thought she could ever experience, but she was too numb at the moment to even react.
Finally, she peered her eyes cautiously open, to see blue sky above her, and she exhaled a sigh of relief, not realizing she had even been holding her breath until that very moment.
They had made it.
Monroe and Nick lay on the ground next to her, both of them unconscious now. She should get up, and check on them, but she was so tired now, and it was getting harder to think straight…
She vaguely thought she heard voices shouting in the distance, and they sounded vaguely familiar, but she just didn't have the energy to look and see who it was or to even answer.
The voices were getting closer, and try as she might, Trubel couldn't keep her eyes open anymore. She let them slip shut, and the darkness over took her.
The tunnel collapsing…Nick is hurt…running…almost there…
Trubel sat up with a start as the vivid images flashed through her mind, breathing heavily as her heart raced uncontrollably.
Trying to catch her breath, she chanced a glance at her surroundings, completed disoriented to where she was.
After a moment, as the initial panic subsided, she tried to slow her breathing as she looked around the darkened room. A quick observation of the stark white bed sheets and the machines beeping quietly around her immediately told her where she was.
As everything slowly came back to her, she hurriedly moved the bed sheets aside, noting that there was now an impressive cast on her leg, encasing her whole foot spare her toes and running up to just under her knee. Miraculously, it didn't hurt anymore, and that's when she noted the I.V. tubing in the back of her hand and realized why.
Her scattered thoughts then wandered to Nick and Monroe.
Were they alright? Where were they now?
Determined not to wait for answers, Trubel pulled out the I.V. without a moment's hesitation, letting it dangle off the side of the bed. Then she swung her legs, cast and all, over the side of the bed, precariously balancing at the edge as vertigo from the drugs and her ordeal nearly sent her toppling to the floor. Her broken leg felt alien to her in the heavy cast, as if someone had set it in an ice block to slow her down and make it numb.
She put her good foot on the floor and tried to stand up, testing her weight on the cast. But to her surprise, her knees weren't able to support her body, and she began collapsing to the floor, unable to stop her fall.
"Whoa, whoa, I got ya," a familiar voice was suddenly at her side, and strong arms grabbing her before she could face plant on the cold floor. She looked up to see Hank pulling her back up to her feet and setting her back in the bed.
"Hank," she said in surprise, finding her balance at the edge of the bed again and gripping the sheets tightly to keep from falling forwards.
"Yea, don't look so surprised," the detective smirked at her, but she could see the tired lines of worry around his face. "I figured it would only be a matter of time before you either tried to escape or stirred up some trouble, so I've been hanging around."
Trubel couldn't help but feel a little sheepish at his words, but shrugged nonchalantly in reply. "Yea, well, thanks for catching me."
"Wouldn't be the first time," he replied good-naturedly. "But next time, why don't you try your call light? Or a wheelchair?" he gestured behind him at the waiting wheelchair by the door, that in her hurry Trubel hadn't even noticed.
"Yea, well I was too busy worrying about Nick and Monroe," she replied, looking back at him with concern etched across her face, fighting down another wave of panic.
I've got to be better than this.
"Yea, trust me, I get that," Hank replied knowingly, furrowing his brow. "You three gave us all quite a scare."
"I'm fine," Trubel scoffed, gesturing at her cast. "It's just a broken ankle."
"Try shattered," Hank grunted, but Trubel ignored him.
"What about the others Hank? Nick and Monroe, are they ok? Where are they?" her voice was quickly rising in panic now, despite her best efforts to remain calm and collected.
"Hey, hey, calm down," Hank moved to sit next to her on the bed, squeezing her shoulder tightly in reassurance. "They're fine. Well not fine, exactly, but they will be."
Trubel sagged against him in relief at those words, but only for a moment. "Ok, so they're alive anyways. But Hank, what do you mean by 'not fine'? That doesn't really make me feel any better."
Hank nodded, raising an eyebrow at her. "Well, Monroe is still blind technically, but he is starting to see shapes and shadows again, so that's a good sign. The doctors are optimistic that when the swelling in his brain goes down, he'll recover most or all of his vision. He took quite a blow to the back of the head when you guys fell through into the tunnel." Hank paused, sighing deeply at the memory. "Rosalee hasn't left his side since we found you guys, but I keep checking in to see how everyone is doing and to give them updates on the rest of you. I don't think Juliette has slept in two days between worrying about you and Nick."
Trubel nodded, grateful that Monroe sounded to be on the mend, and that the others were worried about her, but her heart clenched painfully as she prodded him for more information. "And Nick?"
He was quiet for a moment, and Trubel felt her heart speeding up again. Hank had said that he was fine more or less, hadn't he?
Hank shook his head. "Nick is another story. He was in surgery for nearly four hours…they didn't even think he would make it when we got here." He paused, swallowing thickly, and Trubel knew he was trying to stay composed in front of her. "It was pretty bad, Trubel, I won't lie to you about that."
Trubel nodded solemnly. "I know, Hank. I saw his injury first hand." She shuddered at the memory.
"Well, then you'd be happy to know that you're also the reason that he's still alive," Hank told her, causing her to look back at him with a start. "Yea, that tourniquet you made stopped the bleeding just enough so that he didn't hemorrhage to death before we could get him to the hospital. You saved his life, kid."
Trubel just blinked back at him in surprise. She hadn't thought about it at the time, she had just been so determined to keep Nick alive…that she hadn't really processed the fact that she was the reason that he had made it.
"Come on," Hank urged gently, standing back up from the bed and retrieving the wheelchair from the door, "why don't you go see for yourself."
Trubel nodded, unable to swallow past the new tightness in her throat, and didn't protest as Hank helped her get into the chair. Once he had her settled with some blankets tucked tightly around her and her cast propped safely up on a foot rest, he wheeled her into the bright hallway and towards the ICU unit of the hospital.
Trubel couldn't help the anxiousness building up in her at the thought of seeing Nick. Even though Hank had said he would be ok, she didn't think she would really be able to believe it until she saw him for herself.
Hank came to a stop just outside the closed door. "Well, this is it. You ready?"
Trubel nodded, taking a deep breath to push down a sudden surge of emotions. "Yea."
He slowly opened the door, and wheeled her into the darkened room. Juliette was by the bed, slumped over in a hard plastic chair, but she quickly jumped to her feet as they entered.
"Trubel," she smiled warmly at her, but she could hear the fatigue in her voice and see how pale and drawn her face was. "You're up. I've been so worried about you. How are you feeling?"
She leaned down without warning and pulled Trubel into a tight embrace, which she readily accepted. When she pulled back, she finally answered. "I'm fine. Just a broken ankle."
Juliette raised her eyebrows as her skeptically, her tired eyes shining with a hint of amusement at her words. "Right."
Hank snorted in agreement. "Yea, caught this one trying to escape the bed on her own. No surprise there."
"None," Juliette mused in agreement, but her smile wavered slightly as she glanced back over her shoulder at Nick, who was currently sleeping soundly in the bed. "Sorry Trubel, but he's been out for a while now. But why don't you sit with him for a while?"
"Yea," Trubel nodded, "can I?"
"Of course," Juliette reassured the young Grimm, squeezing her shoulder gently. "Hank, why don't we go get some coffee?"
Hank made a face at the thought of drinking hospital coffee but readily agreed. "Yea, good idea. Besides, I better let Monroe and Rosalee know that Trubel's finally back in action."
"Yea, go ahead, I'll be fine here," Trubel replied, forcing her voice to sound steady. "I'll just stay here with Nick."
"Ok, we'll be back in a few," Juliette replied, and her Hank left the room, shutting the door quietly behind him.
After they were gone, Trubel slowly wheeled her chair over until she was at Nick's bedside. He was hooked up to a disturbing number of machines, with a nasal cannula running under his nose, and his chest was bare and bandaged heavily in thick white gauze. He was pale and looked disturbingly vulnerable like this, not like the strong and brave man that she knew.
Without consciously realizing what she was doing, Trubel reached over and took his clammy hand in her own, squeezing it gently in the same fashion as she had when they were trapped in the tunnel.
"Well, we made it," she said quietly, even though he was fast asleep. "We all survived."
It was a miracle, if one believed in that sort of thing, but after everything Trubel had learned about the Grimm world, anything seemed possible at this point.
Nick groaned just then, shifting slightly in the bed, and suddenly his eyes peered open, meeting her own.
"Hey," he said hoarsely as he saw her. "You're finally up."
"Yea," she smiled at him, unreasonably relieved to see him awake and talking again, "yea, I guess I've had enough beauty sleep."
"I don't know about that," Nick smirked tiredly at her, and Trubel couldn't help but swat his arm playfully.
"Hey now, injured person here," he protested with a laugh, which quickly turned into a painful cough.
"Easy now, maybe you're not ready just yet to be cracking jokes," Trubel teased, but her voice was laced with concern.
"I'm fine," Nick shook his head, brushing her off. "How's the leg?" he asked her a moment later, studying her carefully.
Trubel shrugged nonchalantly. "It's not a big deal. I've got a pretty sweet cast now, and I'm sure it will heal in no time."
Nick raised his eyebrows at her. "Well, you better take it easy for a while. Hank told me it was a pretty bad break."
"Yea, yea, I know," Trubel sighed in mock exasperation. "Are you seriously going to give me that lecture right now when you're the one laying in a hospital bed?"
Nick didn't even protest at that, but sighed in defeat. "Yea, we're all going to have to take it easy for a while. Not my favorite thing to do."
"Well with Juliette and Hank and Rosalee hovering around the three of us, I don't think we'll have much of a choice," Trubel smirked, eliciting a small chuckle from Nick.
"Tell me about it," he replied, wincing as he shifted again to get more comfortable in the bed.
A long silence stretched between the two Grimms, as they took solace in the fact that they were both alive, and that they survived their ordeal.
"Trubel," Nick finally broke the silence, his voice serious now, "I'm just really glad that you're ok. And Monroe too."
"Me too," she replied quietly, unable to stop the wetness now filling her eyes, but for once, not really caring. "I'm so glad that we all made it out of there alive."
"We did, thanks to you," he squeezed her hand again, and she squeezed it back. "You're the reason that Monroe and I even got out of there."
"No, I mean, Monroe helped too, and you really couldn't, I mean with the way that…" Trubel was rambling now, uncomfortable with being labeled a hero when she felt anything but that.
"Trubel," Nick interrupted her gently, bringing her focus back to him again, "I just wanted to say thank you. For saving my life."
"Well, yea, Nick, as if there would have been another choice," she hung her head now, not wanting him to see her tears. "You were the one who gave me mine. We're family now."
"Family," Nick echoed firmly, but when Trubel still didn't look up at him, he prodded her gently with concern. "Trubel, are you ok? Look at me."
She finally looked up at him, tears streaking down her face now, and she haphazardly wiped her face with one hand as she faced him. "Sorry, this is so stupid…"
"No, no it isn't," he shook his head. "It's not stupid at all."
"It's just," she looked at the ceiling, trying to blink back tears now and failing, "I almost lost you Nick, I mean I know I was trying to act brave…but you almost died back there, and I just don't know what I would have done…" She shook her head as more tears began streaking down her face, hating herself for being so weak.
"Hey, hey, come here," Nick told her firmly, and Trubel didn't even hesitate. She pushed herself up from the wheelchair and landed with a heavy thud on the side of Nick's bed, falling into his waiting arms as he pulled her into a tight embrace.
Trubel hadn't gotten many hugs as a child, but since she had come to live with Nick and Juliette, she had gotten more hugs from her makeshift family than she had ever gotten in her entire life. And she realized now that she wanted these hugs more than anything, that she felt safe and protected and loved and understood here, and that was all she had ever really wanted. To think that she had nearly lost it all, that Nick had almost been taken from her, was overwhelming in a way she didn't really understand at the moment, but Nick didn't seem to mind. He didn't say anything, just hugging her tightly, just letting her know that he was there. Her tears finally stopped and she began to regain her composure, feeling reassured by Nick's tight hug that everything was really going to be ok. He just held her as she wrapped her arms gently around him in return, holding on and never wanting to let go.
And that was exactly how the rest of the gang found them when they entered the room a few minutes later.
"Hey, are you guys ok?" Rosalee asked in concern as she wheeled Monroe into the room, followed by Hank and Juliette.
"What's going on?" Monroe asked. His eyes were open and more focused than they had been before, although his vision hadn't completely cleared yet.
"We're fine," Nick responded as Trubel sat up, hastily wiping her tears away.
"Yea, we're good," Trubel responded throatily, quickly plastering on a smile.
"I'm glad," Juliette smiled, coming closer to look at both of them and gently squeezing Nick's shoulder, as she and the others choose not to comment further on what they had seen. It was a private bonding moment between the two Grimms, and they left it at that.
"Me too," Hank chimed in as he stepped further into the room, two large pizza boxes in his hands, "because I brought dinner!"
Trubel instantly perked up at that, her stomach rumbling as she suddenly realized she was hungry.
"And don't worry, this one is just for you," Hank smirked as he handed her one of the pizza boxes, causing the others to break into laughter.
"Great! Because I'm starving!" Trubel replied, breaking into a genuine smile this time.
Nick nudged her then, and he motioned for her to get back in her chair so she could eat. She gave his arm one last quick squeeze as she quickly propelled herself back into the chair on her own, even at the protests of everyone around her to wait for help.
"What? I can do it myself," she shrugged, eliciting familiar groans and chuckles from all of them. She glanced back at Nick, who shook his head at her, but couldn't hide the smirk spreading across his face. She smiled back, before diving into her first slice of pizza.
And as she sat in that hospital room surrounded by her new found family, Trubel had never felt more at home.
Working on a Kelly and Nick centric one-shot right now, as well as another Nick and Trubel centered one…we'll see which one I finish first!