Here it is, folks, the beginning of the sequel to The Family Tree. I have Chapter 3 finished, but I want to kind of space these out so you're getting steady updates instead of long pauses that I'm prone to doing...
I hope you enjoy! It's intense!
Nick was getting real tired of running.
Renard had explained to him repeatedly that they needed to be constantly on the move, lest his sister's army find them, but that still didn't help that he was exhausted and sore. However, he kept going because he knew that if she ever discovered they were alive, they would lose the element of surprise – the only thing they had going for them. Renard's sister – Natalia Renard – assumed that he and Renard had died as a result of what had transpired three months prior.
A while back, at the beginning of this whole catastrophe, Nick had discovered that the lawyer and ally Frank Rabe had been murdered by the Royal family of the Kronenburg House, Renard's family. Barry, his son, gave Nick a set of keys and a warning that the Royal family was coming to Portland. In his trailer, Nick recognized the keys as the Grimm keys. Pulling out his own key, he set them with the others. Soon after, Nick passed out as the keys burned unknown markings into his flesh.
Meanwhile, Renard and Nick still had to deal with the Royal problem. They soon discovered that they needed to head to Germany to stop whatever plans the Royals had. That was when everything started to head downhill.
Three months ago, Nick was captured by Renard's family. They wanted him because he could enter the Library of the Grimms and find a spell that could lower the Veil, a magical barrier created by the first Grimm in order to shield the true faces of the wesen from normal human eyes. The Royals weren't exactly sure how Nick could get into the Library, but they knew his bloodline was the only one who could. However, when Renard and the others went to save Nick, he was cut with a blade that had Reaper venom on it, a venom deadly to Grimms with no known cure. Nick was supposed to have died and Renard soon after due to their bond – but the Grimm keys brought him back from the dead, saving Renard as well. Unfortunately, while Nick and Renard were pretending to be dead to fool some intruders, the others were captured and taking to undisclosed locations around the world. Renard and Nick, while feigning death, discovered the intruders were actually a part of Natalia's army; she had been seemingly loyal to Renard, but actually wanted the throne all to herself.
From what both Nick and Renard could gather about the situation, Natalia had orchestrated a lot of what happened. It all started before the Royals came to Portland. Natalia had always been great at observation, persuasion and reconnaissance, according to Renard. With these skills, she was able to retrieve the Grimm keys from her father as well as the other lesser Royals. She then sent them to Renard and Nick, thinking they would merely be a peace offering to join the side she thought would win. When she discovered that the keys allowed Nick entrance to the Library, she changed her tactics a little. Natalia was going to simply raise an army with Renard to take out the other Royals, then kill Nick and Renard when they returned home. However, with this change in events, she decided to stay with Renard and Nick's side until they went to Germany, raise an army in Portland for Nick and Renard's return, and kill them as a welcoming gift. She was ecstatic to hear that Nick, Renard, and the Royals were all dead, having managed to kill each other in the fight for the Veil. All she had to do was clean up the only people that would try to revolt against her – Nick's allies.
The only problem with her plan was that Nick and Renard were not dead. Natalia might be creating her kingdom with what she thought was no competition, but Renard was the rightful ruler of the wesen world and he would take it back – a fact that Nick had heard at least a thousand times by now. According to the grapevine, Natalia was creating her kingdom in Portland, a creation that made Renard's blood boil. That was his kingdom; Portland was his.
As much as Nick wanted to believe there was some hope in all this, his positive attitude was beginning to falter, as they were no closer to finding his friends than they were three months ago. They had tried to find Nick's parents due to a vision he'd had while he was in "Limbo," as Nick called it, but they couldn't even get a lead on them. No one knew anything of his parents, let alone where they were.
So, here they were, running again because they had been hiding in the Black Forest and they had almost been discovered by a group of Mauvais Dentes, the main attack dogs of the Royals.
Once far enough away, Nick turned to Renard, a tired look on both of their faces. Three months in hiding did nothing good for either of them.
"Sean, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to fall asleep. I was on lookout and I fell asleep. I'm"-
Renard pressed a chaste kiss to his lips. Then, out of the blue, he asked, "Are you okay?"
Nick blinked, "What?"
"Are you okay?" Renard reiterated.
The Grimm nodded. "Yeah, I'm okay."
Renard sighed in what sounded like relief. "Okay, Good. We got away; they didn't see us. We're okay so don't beat yourself up over this. We're both tired. I don't expect you – a human – to stay awake any more than me. I know it is futile to think you won't, because you will no matter what I say, but don't beat yourself up about this."
Nick smiled softly, leaning up to kiss his Mate. "Love you," he said.
"I love you, too, even if you are self-depreciating," Sean said, smiling. Somehow they both managed to make each other smile all the time, regardless of their dire situation.
Nick was about to kiss him again when suddenly he heard something with his heightened Grimm senses. Quickly he pulled Renard behind a tree. The man's taller form loomed over him protectively, pressing Nick's back against the tree with his front against Renard's own.
As distracting as it was, Nick pushed through his sudden desire for the man. Through the Bond, Nick said, Keep your breathing as quiet as possible. They're talking.
He felt more than saw Sean's nod of understanding in the dark of the Black Forest.
Nick listened to the group of Mauvais Dentes. "I don't know about you, but I don't see anyone out here." One of them said.
"I know there was someone out here! There were two of them! Two men sleeping!"
Nick's eyes went wide. One of them saw us, he told Renard.
We have to kill them. Renard said. He moved to attack, but Nick held him back.
Wait! I hear something else.
"Listen, let's go back to Berlin. We've already missed the flight back for your stupid escapade. The Queen'll kill us for missing our posts, or did you forget we were supposed to guard the prisoners tonight?"
Nick could imagine one of them rolling his eyes. "There's not much to guard. The Fuchsbau just sits there and the Blutbad just howls. Jesus, that Blutbad is annoying. We're better off without him howling all night. Less of a headache."
Nick could hear them start to walk away. Before they could, however, Nick signaled to Renard that they could attack. They shared a look for a moment before Renard disappeared into the trees while Nick ran out into the open.
Nick was on them faster than they could say, "Hey, stop!" He kicked the first Mauvais Dentes down, silver eyes already locking onto the other two saber-tooth wesen. The moment they woged, they could see the Grimm within. "Grimm!" The other two yelled in a threatening growl.
The silver-eyed Grimm didn't respond. He only charged at the second Mauvais Dentes. The third went to grab him, but Nick was fast. He crouched, sliding across the wet forest floor and into the legs of his original target. The second cursed something in German right before Nick broke his neck in one swift motion. Without missing a beat, Nick rolled off the dead wesen and lifted his body into a standing position. He turned, swiftly kicking the third Mauvais Dentes down before he could grab him. Right as he was about to kill the third one, the first Mauvais Dentes – who Nick thought was unconscious – grabbed him from behind. Nick struggled against him while the third Mauvais Dentes got up and proceeded to punch him in the face and anywhere it could hit. The wesen went to grab his head and snap his neck, however, that was what the Grimm was waiting for. With the wesen's hands gripping him and the other one holding onto him, it gave Nick the perfect opportunity to use his magick to burn them.
In the time that they had been travelling, Nick had gained a significant control of his magickal core. He could pretty much do anything with his magick. The only problem with this was that his magick was so powerful it often left him drained and drew a lot of attention to their location. Because of this, he didn't use it very often.
In retrospect, using fire magick in the Black Forest was probably not the smartest idea, but he was lucky enough that the grass and other greenery were wet from the previous storms and the early morning dew.
The fire burned them, causing them to release Nick. The Grimm dived on the one in front of him while Renard took the opportunity to come in and kill the one behind him.
Panting at the exertion, Nick turned to Renard, the silver in his eyes still prominent, saying, "You could've came in before they hit me in the face"-
He was interrupted by the Royal's lips crashing into his own. He could feel through the Bond that his Mate was completely overtaken by the creature within. Even without the Bond, Nick could feel the pure need radiating off of Renard. He could feel it through the persistent, dominating pressure of Renard's lips against his own.
Nick gave in to Renard's sudden desire for control easily. He knew his Mate wouldn't hurt him if he resisted, but something had made him uneasy, so Nick couldn't deny him the comfort he needed.
Renard had been like this for a few days. Something would happen that didn't seem like a big deal to Nick, but Renard would go into "dominant, protective Mate" mode anyways. For example, three days ago, Nick was gathering food from the marketplace in Baden-Baden – something he'd been doing over and over again for a while – but, when he came back, Renard had gone protective on him and asked where he'd been, what he'd been doing travelling alone. Nick, not one to quiver in fear in front of his powerful Mate, stood his ground and told him he'd just been gathering food like he always did. Later, Renard had apologized with words as well as with mind-blowing sex. Afterwards, Renard admitted he wasn't sure what made him react this way. Nick just shook it off, saying it was probably just the high stress they were both feeling.
Yesterday, Nick was hunting a deer with Renard when he fell out of the tree he was perched on. The fall didn't hurt him in any way, but Renard was practically up his ass for the rest of the day, and not in the pleasurable way Nick usually preferred.
Right now, Nick could guess by the desire to reclaim that Renard wasn't too happy that those Mauvais Dentes had touched Nick, had hurt his Mate. Normally, Renard's possessive behavior didn't bother him (in fact, he usually found that it was quite the turn on), but if Renard got possessive because someone touched him during a fight, it could have bad consequences.
"Sean," Nick gasped out when Renard released his lips to suck on his neck. "Sean, as much as I would love to continue this, there are three dead wesen here that are kind of killing the mood."
Renard growled low, obviously not happy that his Mate wanted to stop, but pulled away anyways. He would never do anything his Mate didn't want.
Pulling away from each other for a moment, they got to work in hiding the bodies in the forest. Nick used his magick to hide the bodies under a thick layer of dirt so they weren't visible to anyone walking by. As he did so his thoughts wandered to a cartoon he once saw about a kid who could control the elements. He chuckled softly when thought about himself being a twelve year old bald monk.
Once finished, they got out of the area to set up camp somewhere else. Nick settled himself between Sean's legs, resting comfortably. Now that the heat of the fight was over, the memories of what the Mauvais Dentes were talking about came back to him. "Sean, I think I got a lead!"
"I heard the Mauvais Dentes talking about a Blutbad and a Fuchsbau in Berlin. What are the chances that they'd be holding a Fuchsbau and a Blutbad together who aren't Monroe and Rosalie?"
Renard nodded, considering what Nick said. "Those chances would be very slim," he said. "We can head there tomorrow after we've rested." At Nick's angered glare, he said, "We would be no good to Monroe and Rosalie if we marched in on a wesen citadel completely exhausted."
Nick's anger dissipated into petulance as he mumbled, "You're right..."
Renard smiled, kissing Nick on the top of his head. "Get some sleep, Nick. I will watch over you the first half of the night."
Nick nodded, then walked over to their sleeping bag, falling into an uneasy sleep with a strange dream.
Nick dreamt he was back in the Library of the Grimms. He walked up to a blank book on the one desk in the middle of the Library, curious. "Why am I here?" He asked.
The book opened up, its blank pages filling with words and pictures. He looked down at the pages, discovering it was his family tree. He looked down the list, seeing himself, his parents, all the way up to Philipp Grimm. He looked over his family tree when he discovered something on his mother's side. In the nineteenth century, his ancestors were listed as 'John Jones and Jacob Terrier.' It wasn't the fact that it was two men in a relationship that confused him; he was in the same situation. No, that normally wouldn't confuse him. What confused him was the fact that they had a son who supposedly carried his family bloodline all the way down to him.
He understood the entire family tree up until it came to John and Jacob. Even if they had a kid together, that kid wouldn't have the Grimm blood. The only way the Grimm bloodline could continue is if the Grimm in the relationship had a kid with a woman on the side.
"But the tree wouldn't show the other man," he voiced aloud. "The tree wouldn't show both John and Jacob. It would show John or Jacob and the other woman..."
He thought about it for a moment. Men couldn't have children, so what happened? "Who is this kid's mother?"
Jacob Terrier's picture began to glow a pink color, signaling he was the mother. Even more confused, but going on a hunch, he asked, "Is Jacob Terrier or John Jones the Grimm?" Sure enough, Jacob Terrier's picture filled with a black aura, showing he was the Grimm as well.
"So what? He's a Grimm and the carrier of the child? How is that even possible?"
Before the book could give him an answer, he felt himself pulled away from and out of the dream.
"Nick, Nick. Come on, babe. You need to wake up. It's time to go."
Nick groaned his protests at being shaken awake, but woke up anyways. He turned to Renard, wanting to tell him about his dream, but something deep within him told him to wait, that this was not a good time. Instead, he asked, "Why did you let me sleep?"
Renard kissed him on the forehead. "Because you fell asleep on your last watch. You needed it more than me."
Nick glared. "You need sleep, too, you know."
Renard nodded in agreement. "Yes, but not nearly as much as you. I am over two-hundred and fifty years old. I've slept enough in my life."
Nick just nodded, still too tired to fight. Standing and stretching, he asked Renard, "You ready to go to Berlin? I don't even know where it is from here."
"It's about a seven hour drive from Baden-Baden."
Nick nodded. "How are we going to get there?"
"We're going to rent a car."
Nick's brow furrowed in confusion. "Do I really need to list all the reasons why that is a bad idea?" Nick questioned. "First off, we destroyed our credit cards, we destroyed our cellphones, Identification cards, anything that could help Natalia's men identify us. Second, we have no money and, even if we did, the car company would run our records, which would immediately get sent to the Portland PD with a red flag. Who knows what the department is doing about us? We were supposed to return eventually; they probably think we're dead," Nick shook his head away from the tangent. "But regardless, Sean, Portland will be notified and so will Natalia."
Renard just nodded like he thought everything Nick was saying was entirely valid, but that he was missing something. "You are absolutely right, but you seem to have forgotten that you are a Witch."
Nick blinked. "Yes, Sean, I know this. How is that going to help? I can't exactly create cash out of thin air." Renard just smirked when Nick said this. At his amused expression, Nick ventured by saying, "I can create cash out of thin air, can't I?"
Renard laughed. "Not exactly, but you can make someone think you have it."
"So what, I'm creating an illusion?"
Renard nodded. "Yes."
"How do you know I can do this?"
"My family has had quite a past with the Witches, as I'm sure you know by now. I know everything they can do. Plus, my mother is a hexenbiest, as you also know, and they have extensive knowledge of Witch powers, considering where they got their own powers in the past. She used illusion spells a lot when we were on the run from my father."
Nick nodded, sympathy bleeding through the Bond from the Grimm. Renard gave him a reassuring smile, telling Nick with no words that he was fine. "Well, now I know I can do it, but the real question is how do I do it?"
Renard furrowed his brow. "I admit that I honestly didn't think that far. I assumed you had some sort of method. How did you learn half the spells you know?"
Nick pondered this. "Most of the magick I know I learned in the middle of a fight. I don't really think about it; it kind of just happens. Afterwards, it's like the instructions for the spell are ingrained in my mind," he said, though it didn't feel like a good enough description. It felt whenever he was trying to explain something to someone, but he couldn't find the exact way to describe it so he supplemented similar words. As he thought about the right words, they came to him like an epiphany of relief. "No. They're not ingrained in my mind. It's more like the spell is stored in my core."
Renard nodded slowly, considering this piece of information. "So, what you're saying is that spells will come to you when your instincts override your rational side?"
Nick nodded. "Yeah, that makes sense."
Renard smirked devilishly, an unsettled, foreboding feeling washing over Nick. "Sean, the last time you gave me that look, I was sent into the middle of a Blutbadden territory war."
Renard looked offended. "I said before that I didn't know the other Blutbadden pack was there," he defended. "I apologize for that. I should've done more research on the situation."
Nick chuckled. "I know. It's fine. I'm just teasing you."
Out of the blue, Renard said, "Do you trust me, Nick?"
Nick nodded. Without missing a beat, he said, "Of course I do. I trust you with my life."
"Good, because you're going to hate me for a while after this. Just know I love you and it's for the others." He leaned in and pressed a chaste kiss to Nick's lips.
Nick tilted his head in confusion when Renard pulled away and called his instincts forward, the green eyes of the Royal within shining forth. "Sean? Wha"-
The Grimm had to send the Royal back with a strong gust of wind when he reached forward as if to rip his throat out. "What the Hell?!"
Nick barely had enough time to recover before Renard was charging at him again. "Sean, stop! At least tell me what you're planning!"
But Renard didn't answer him. He simply attacked him again. Nick glared. He was trying to hold his Grimm instincts at bay for as long as possible; he needed to know what his Mate was planning before he could go along with it.
He decided to find out what Renard was thinking through the Bond, but couldn't read anything. It was as if the connection between the two of them was completely cut off. He couldn't even read his emotions.
This pissed Nick off significantly. How dare that bastard do that! He thought. Sean might be a Royal, but I'm a fucking Witch, he thought, anger coursing through him. I'll force my way through the Bond.
He pushed with as much magick as he dared – he didn't want to hurt Renard – but the only thing he got was a heavy, threatening growl, telling Nick that, if he pushed, he would be disobeying the order from his dominant Mate.
In the three months they had spent in the Black Forest, Renard and Nick didn't have much else to do but talk. During this time, Nick learned a lot about the Mate Bond he shared with Renard. He learned that the Bond was similar to a combination of the bonds between the fictional Alpha with an Omega and a king with a loyal follower. Renard was the Alpha and the king while Nick was the Omega and the loyal follower, so to speak. In the case of the Alpha and Omega, the Alpha would give an order and the Omega would be forced to follow it. The Omega didn't have a choice. In the case of the king and the follower, the king could give an order and the follower had the choice to follow it but, because the follower was loyal, he would most likely side with his king.
In regards to Renard and Nick, Renard had given Nick an order to stop pushing the Bond. Like the follower, Nick had a choice whether to follow the order however, like the Omega, he would feel compelled to follow it. Nick knew all of this but, because of his overwhelming desire to please his Mate, he did not push any further. Because he knew he couldn't push, it only seemed to make Nick angrier. As silver bled into Nick's eyes, Renard would soon see that his Grimm side was coming to the forefront. If Renard wanted to fight, he would get a fight.
Renard's assault on Nick was unrelenting. It went on for what felt like days. Every time Nick would try to run, Renard would always find him. If this keeps up I'll die of exhaustion, Nick thought as he fought off another attack from Renard. I need to hide.
He couldn't hide though. Renard kept attacking him every time he turned around to run. I'm so tired… He thought miserably. He was already tired because he hadn't really slept well in the past week or so. If I could just turn invisible for about five minutes, I would take the shortest nap in existence. He thought to himself.
Just like that, he felt a tug at his magickal core. It was a strange, yet familiar feeling. The core was trying to create what Nick wanted, which was invisibility. Nick stood there, closed his eyes, and concentrated on letting the core do its work. He could only pray that Renard didn't punch him with his eyes closed.
He took a sharp intake in breath when he felt his magick envelop him in a shroud. Quickly, he opened his eyes and moved right as Renard was headed his way. The Royal looked around, even stared right at Nick, but didn't appear to even see him. Then, just like that, Renard turned his features back into their human façade. "Nick, where are you?" He called. "I just saw you a moment ago."
Nick, deciding to be petulant, didn't reveal himself right away. He let Renard panic for a moment before he revealed himself. Still invisible, he walked over to Renard, attempting to ignore the distraught expression on his Mate's face. When he revealed himself, Renard jumped. "Jesus, Nick! You scared me!"
"I scared you? What the fuck, Sean! You attacked me out of nowhere! What if someone from Natalia's army was near? We would've been so exhausted that they would've killed us!" Nick seethed.
"But Nick, I"-
"No, no excuses. I don't care about the reason. You attacked me without even bothering to tell me why."
"You blocked our connection to the Bond."
"Not to mention you've been acting really weird lately, Mr. Overprotective."
"Why have you been acting like that"-
"Nick! Give me five minutes to explain and then you can be pissed at me." Renard finally got in.
Nick considered this. "As much as I want to say no, you bastard, go ahead."
"You said it yourself that you were under duress when you learned different spells. Well, I put you under duress. That's why I attacked you. I was trying to get your core to do something. We need to create an illusion. While invisibility is not what I had in mind, I think we can work with that."
"Why didn't you tell me that's what you were doing?"
"If you knew, the situation wouldn't be real. You wouldn't be in a situation where your core would react," Renard explained. If Nick were to study the Royal's face, he would see that his Mate looked similar to an animal tamer trying to calm an enraged beast.
Nick glared. He knew Renard was right, but he was still upset for some reason. He wasn't usually like this. If he heard solid reasoning for a bad situation he was usually fine. The fact that he was still upset and didn't really know why was only making him more upset.
Renard, having reopened the Bond, could feel Nick's unease about something. With worry etched on his features, he asked, "Nick, what's wrong? Are you okay?"
Nick didn't say anything. He just leaned against Renard for comfort, the Royal giving it willingly. "Nick, what's the matter?" Renard asked again.
Nick shook his head against the larger man's chest. "I think I'm just tired," he said in barely a whisper.
Renard nodded. "I know I landed quite a few solid hits. Does it hurt anywhere?"
Nick pulled away, a heated glare in his eyes that was pointed towards Renard. "It hurts everywhere, you jackass. Why don't you put your ego away for a minute? Yep, you landed a few solid hits on me. No need to brag about it."
Renard blinked, Nick's sudden mood swing catching him off guard. "I'm sorry, Nick. If I offended you with that statement I did not mean to." Renard was going to explain to Nick that he merely said that he landed a few solid hits to mean that he hit him pretty hard, but something was telling Renard to placate his Mate; rationale would not work in this situation.
Nick just ignored him and stormed off as if he were angry, but Renard could feel through the Bond that something was bothering his Mate. Renard could only follow him.
They ended up setting up a campsite in silence. As they settle down for sleep, Renard felt a pang of hurt that Nick didn't lie down right next to him. The hurt dissipated when he felt through the Bond that Nick was actually really upset, almost to the point of panic, but not at him. Nick was more upset with himself. Careful to send positive energy through the Bond, he then spoke through it. Nick, are you okay?
Silently, he watched as Nick just stood up and walked over to him and laid down, curling his body in such a way that he was pressed right against Renard. The Royal could feel his Mate shaking so he wrapped his arms around him protectively, as if to shield him from the world that was upsetting him. Sean, I'm sorry. He said. I'm so scared. I don't know how we're going to fix this. I wish we could just all be back in Portland again playing that stupid drunk truth or dare game, but that's never going to happen again. We'll never be able to go home.
Renard pulled him impossibly closer. Yes we will, Nick. We're going to fix this.
Nick laughed humorlessly. Usually I'm the one saying that. You're usually the cynical one.
Renard kissed the top of his Mate's head. Yes, but that's why I have you. You always pull me out of my own head with your insane positivity.
I bet you're wondering whether all that 'insane positivity' was a lie now that I'm laying here having a damn near panic attack about how freaked out I am.
Renard shook his head. Of course not. You're allowed to be scared, Nick. We all are.
Are you scared, Sean?
Renard thought about lying for the sake of comfort, but there was no comfort in their situation. They only had each other, and lying to each other would only create a rift. I'm scared to death, Nick. I'm scared that we're not going to save everyone. I'm scared that by going into this alone, it's a surefire death sentence. I'm scared for our friends. He paused. I'm scared that I'm going to lose you again. But you know what?
It doesn't always have to be acts of undaunted heroics that make people do great things. Sometimes fear drives people in ways a fearless hero can't compete with.
Because the moment someone grows tired of being scared is the moment fear becomes a motivator instead of a constraint. Heroes who say they're fearless have never hit rock bottom; they don't know what it's like to lose it all. So, they stay in this world they've created in their minds, not realizing that one wrong action could destroy everything. When their world is gone, fearless heroes usually can't recover from something like that.
However, when you're scared, you know what it's like to hit the bottom – you're already there – and the only way out is up.
We admit we are scared. Now the only thing we have left to do is decide what we're going to do about it.
Nick nodded. "I love you, Sean. We can do this."
"I love you, too, Nick."
I get so inspirational when I write glorified gay porn, don't I?
Please! Tell me what you think! And tell me how awful I am for making you wait this long. Honestly I kept writing and rewriting this because I hated it. I think this is the best one I wrote, to be completely honest. I'm really excited to finally get back on the writing train. College left me with no time, but I'm almost graduated now! Accounting major, Spanish minor for the WIN.