So, I wanted to give this story a proper ending, which was difficult.
Thing is that I had enough of all the depression and I didn't want a sad ending, but I also didn't want to force a happy ending that was totally at odds with the first chapter, so I tried to do something optimistic without changing the characters too much, well, see for yourself.
It also has some random Angelica thrown in, which doesn't make a lot of of sense, but it does help the plot along.
3. Won't work
The young man leaves the house with long strides, hurrying for the tree-line. He longs to be alone and hidden away from anyone who might ask stupid questions or try to cheer him up, all the people that he feels are judging him, silently, whispering behind his back, though they can't possibly know.
He quickens his steps and runs into the wood like hounded, only slowing down when he can't see anything but deep forest all round.
Just when he relaxes a little he suddenly beholds a figure standing among the branches. Somehow the face seems familiar.
„Angelica?" he questions dubiously. „Hi Jake." the woman answers.
Jacob is completely nonplussed: „Have you been following us?"
She smiles a culpable little smile and he is amazed at how bizarre the whole situation is.
But he still feels that dire need to be alone and wallow in his personal pain and realizes with some wonderment that he doesn't give a damn about this sudden grotesque development.
„You know what, I don't care, honestly. I'm not interested. Just leave me alone."
He starts walking away but a hand settles on his shoulder. „I know how you feel."
Turning, he looks at her questioningly. „Huh?"
„I want him for myself too." the woman replies, still smiling, in a calm, reassuring voice, but somehow it is freaking Jake out suddenly. „I don't know what you're talking about." he parries and takes a few more steps.
A crystal chuckle rises behind him. „Will of course." she declares as if he was an exceptionally thick schoolboy. „We have a lot in common in that respect. Only I would never be as tolerative as you are." she continues. „One day I will make him mine and when he is no one else shall get close to him. No one." Her voice has taken on a obsessed quality with those last words and the young Grimm stares at her a little on edge.
The woman looks at him in turn searching approval: „Don't you think I'm right? I know you suffer when he takes those strumpets to bed." Her tone is nearly maternal with the last sentence but it hits Jacob like a lead bar to his stomach nevertheless. Panic momentarily clouds his view. 'Nobody is supposed to know, oh god, what am I to do?'
„It's ok." comes Angelica's voice through the darkness, her hands soothingly running over his arms and back. „It's ok." He stands rigid and frozen as she leans her head on his shoulder mumbling softly in his ear. „You wanna sleep? I can help you sleep."
The young man doesn't know what to make of this but the hairs on his arms start to rise a little.
„Remember the sleeping beauty?" she goes on. „One little prick is all it takes."
And before he can react to that there is a sharp sting on the side of his neck and he feels his body growing colder, his mind going dizzy. „What did you do?" he tries to ask but he can't speak and then his vision fades and his legs give way and he is lowered to the ground carefully just before he looses consciousness.
Abruptly Wilhelm sits up straight in the guest room. Something is wrong, he knows it.
He isn't sure how he knows but he's pretty damn sure that he knows and doesn't waste time on searching for a rational explanation but rushes from the house immediately. Acting on instinct he walks right into the woods and he doesn't have to go far before he spots his brother's body lying on the ground as still as if he was dead.
The older Grimm has been sent from the room and is pacing the narrow space at the top end of the staircase when the doctor emerges.
„It's all right." the latter announces instantly. „He's asleep now but he will be fine when he wakes up."
The tension falls from the other man's features. „Thank you doctor." he splutters gratefully, shakes the other's hand and makes for the room.
„Just ..." the doctor starts carefully. Wilhelm stops dead and turns around. „Just what?" he asks dreading the worst.
„Just, if I may note, it seems highly implausible that this sting was an accident, right into the aorta ..." the doctor answers, speaking slowly.
„Then what?" the blond man wonders unsuspectingly.
The other sighs. „I think he injected the juice on purpose."
Wilhelm blinks. „Why would he-" and breaks off. „You mean it was a suicide attempt?" he asks incredulous.
„Well," the doctor coughs, „I have no idea whether your brother knew the exact effect of the poison. But he did come and ask me about an antidote for the Blue-Man's-Blossom only last week – actually that was the reason I came to the right conclusion on time – and this does seem too much of a coincidence to me."
The other man stares into nothingness as his thoughts flash back a few months.
Jacob had been reading and he had been, well, daydreaming actually, when the other had poked the book into his face. „Blue-Man's-Blossom!" he'd said triumphantly.
„What?" Will hadn't been very delighted.
„It's the fact behind behind the myth of the sleeping beauty, I'm sure of it."
„Aha." Will had not been impressed but Jake had carried on enthusiastically nevertheless.
„The poison gets into the bloodstream when you scratch yourself with a thorn. But it doesn't kill as fast as one might think. It just looks like you're asleep but there is actually a very effective antidote. If you get that on time you'll just 'wake up' unharmed."
„Hm." Will had pulled a face. „But in the story the girl is woken up by a kiss, not by an antidote, magic potion or something."
„ Yeah, that's interesting." the younger man had nodded. „I wonder how the antidote is composed. Maybe if there was only little poison in her blood and if someone ate the right things to bring together the substances in his saliva ..."
Will had given him a disdainful look that had spoken very clearly about what he thought of that wild theory but Jacob had not been discouraged.
„I know it's a one in a million chance. But that is just the fabric fairy tales are woven from. A million times the girl dies – once she doesn't. Must be magic." he'd said, eyes glimmering mischievously. „I must get my hand on this antidote one of these days ..."
„Mr. Grimm?" the doctor shakes Wilhelm by the shoulder. „I'm sorry. Maybe he had no idea what this plant's juice can do to the human body." he comforts.
„Oh he knew the effect all right." Will answers bitterly and then proceeds into the room without looking back.
As the room swims into perspective Jacob is confused to find himself in his own bed at the guest house. „What? How did I get here?" he asks, scanning the room for other occupants and only then spotting his brother standing at the window and turning his back on him.
„So, you want to leave me then." Wilhelm states bitterly without turning around.
„What?" The other man is completely dazzled.
In one swift movement Will turns to face him, eyes ablaze with anger. „Well first you punch me and then you try to kill yourself. I can't shake the feeling that you don't enjoy my company very much."
„What?" Growing perplexity does nothing to enlarge Jake's vocabulary and his brother doesn't even listen. „You can't just kill yourself. Don't think it's your choice alone. What about me? What would I do? You might just as well kill me too."
Finally managing some coherent thinking Jacob interrupts the other man who is talking himself into a rage. „I didn't try to kill myself."
Wilhelm stops his flow of accusation. „Seriously?" he asks after a moment's hesitation.
„I swear I didn't." the younger Grimm affirms from the bed.
He is taken aback when his brother is suddenly hugging him. „Thank God." Will mumbles into his hair planting a kiss to the parting before he pulls back.
„But what happened then?"
„Someone poisoned me." the younger man starts and then hesitates for a moment. „Please don't think I'm mad." he mutters.
„Why would I?" the other wonders.
Jake sighs. „I think it was Angelica."
„That woman from Marbaden. You know, the trapper." the younger man elaborates wincing a little at the memory.
Something like recognition shines up in Wilhelm's eyes. „Ah, yes, that one. Nonsense. Why would she be here?"
„She followed us." Jake explains.
„Why would she do that?"
„Well ..." the younger Grimm chews his lip searching for the right words. „She's kind of determined to make you her own."
„What?" his brother exclaims. „That sounds a bit crazy."
Jacob shrugs. „That's what she told me."
„And why would she try to poison you? How's that gonna help?"
„She said she wanted you to herself. No one else should be close to you."
Will stares at his brother unbelievingly for a moment and then gets up from the bedside. „That woman is totally mad." he declares.
„You tell me." his brother retorts. „She tried to kill me."
„So she's still somewhere around here, is she?" the older Grimm asks in calculating tones.
„Very likely." the other replies.
Wilhelm nods grimly. „Right. I'm gonna find some men to help me and then we're gonna catch her and lock her up somewhere."
He grabs the door-handle and then turns back pointing a finger at his brother. „You stay here and rest."
„Ok." Jake voices to the already empty room and leans back on the pillow. He isn't sure what he thinks of that plan but he feels tired indeed.
Jake wakes to a scratching noise and opens his eyes just in time to watch a red-clad figure climb in through the window.
„Hi Jacob." she greets pulling a knife from her belt.
Fear grips the young man, strapping his throat tight. His muscles are still weak with the poison, making every move an exhausting effort and he sees little chances for him to ward off an assault.
„I don't want to die." he manages in a croaked voice.
The woman sighs. „I don't want to kill you either. Really, I like you. If I could trust you to stay away from Will I'd just send you off, but … I can't. You know Will, he wouldn't stop before he got you back. I'm sorry, but there is no other way. I need you dead so he is free to open up to someone else."
„Why me?" Jake questions desperately. „We're not ..." he halts.
„You're the one he sticks to." she answers promptly.
„Yes, but-" he tries again but she cuts him off. „He stays with you and he fucks you."
„I saw it." she adds when Jacob pales measurably at her words. „That's what makes a couple, no?"
„No." the young man blurts. „No, it's not, we're not ..."
Angelica shrugs. „Would be good enough for me. Not with all those one-night-stands he has of course. They will have to go as well. But you are the main problem."
She weighs the knife in her hand. „So, I'm sorry, but that's how it is. But it will be quick, I promise."
She steps forward and grabs his neck and Jacob fights like a kitten, pushing and squirming weakly.
The woman laughs. „You're only making it harder on yourself." Desperately groping around, Jake's fingers curl around a heavy object by the bedside. Bringing it up with impetus he whacks the grinning brunette off her feet. When to his dismay he sees her stumbling upright, clutching her head with a deadly look on her face, he hears running steps on the stairs. The door bursts open and four men are pouring in, Wilhelm in the fore.
„Get her!" he commands and strong arms grab the dazzled woman. The older Grimm turns to his brother. „Are you ok?" he asks worriedly. His eyes fall on the object the younger man is still clinging to. „And did you hit her with the glass slipper?" he questions on now doubtful.
Jake finds his speech. „Affirmative." he manages. „Both."
Will shakes his head, a chortle escaping his lips and sags visibly, relief radiating off him in waves.
When the others have left, Will sits down by his brothers bed. „I'm glad you're ok." he confesses fondly, leaning in and pressing a kiss on his brother's lips.
„Will." the latter whispers hoarsely, an unspoken plea in his voice.
When you have just had two near-death-experiences you can ask nearly everything of people.
Will already starts unbuttoning his shirt while he deepens the kiss.
„I don't want to leave you." Jake mentions later when they lie relaxed and exhausted next to each other.
His brother chuckles. „Hah. Now you say that."
The other just grins.
Will takes his brother's hand and caresses the scabbed knuckles. „What was it I said to you that night?" he asks incidentally.
Jake sighs. „That I would never get enough of you." he informs flatly.
„And that's why you hit me?" the older man challenges incredulously.
His brother looks at him. „I do hate it when you're right. It really doesn't happen as often as you might think."
Wilhelm pulls a face and thumps the other lightly. „I love you too."
Jacob leans back and smiles.
If it is good enough for a maniac, murderous, raving mad trapper-woman why shouldn't it be good enough for an incestously inclined con-artist/folklore scholar who fights fairytales for a living?
They make their own happy endings on a weekly basis, anyway.
And Jacob knows what those look like from behind the scenes. Mostly springs and wire and cheap scenery. But in front of them the people were happy and smiling because they bought into it.
Why should he not buy into it too?
Because Angelica was right on one point.
Will does stay with him. He does care. You might as well kill me too. What more can you say?
And, … yes, ... he does fuck him.
And from a certain angle, if you squint, this might look like the perfect happy ending.
Of course if you wander round the back a little you'll see that Will is no knight in shining armour, not by a long way.
That he keeps fooling around with every willing female he meets and quite a few that have to be persuaded as well.
And that he will never lay his heart down at Jake's feet, never speak the words „It's you, it's only you." – but does he really have to?
Life is not a fairytale.
And the problem with the perfect happy endings in the fairytales is that they are, well, endings.
Everything's perfect but then it's also over.
Whereas in life you have the good fortune to go on.
Life might not be perfect but sometimes it comes close enough and at least you get to live it every day.
And maybe, Jake thinks as his brother starts snoring next to him, maybe that's a reason to be happy and not something to be all depressed about.