Chapter Nine

Monroe paced impatiently back and forth in the waiting room. The doctors had rushed Nick straight in to be looked over half an hour before, and no one had spared a moment to come and let him know how the young Grimm was doing.

The car ride back into town and to the hospital had been filled with tension and worry. The smell of blood was overwhelming to the reformed Blutbad, but his concern for Nick helped to keep his urges at bay. Nick himself had drifted in and out of consciousness the minute he was set in Adalind's car, and it was all Monroe could to do keep from barking at her to drive faster.

Adalind was sitting calmly in a chair nearby, flipping through a magazine as she waited. Her job was over, but she had yet to be dismissed by Renard.

"What could be taking them so long?" Monroe huffed. "He wasn't that badly hurt. Or was he? Did we miss something? Maybe internal bleeding?"

A cell phone cut him off before he could get too carried away. Adalind set her magazine to one side and answered the phone. Monroe thought briefly about eavesdropping, but the conversation ended before he had the chance.

Adalind stood, gathering her handbag. "Let's go."

Monroe gaped at her. "Go? We haven't seen Nick yet. They haven't even told us if he's okay!"

"Renard is on his way here with Nick's partner and girlfriend," Adalind stated. "It's best if you come and visit him in a little while. It'll look less suspicious. Besides, neither of us is listed as his emergency contact. They won't tell us anything anyway."

Monroe sighed heavily. Casting a longing look towards the nurse's desk and the door that Nick had been rushed through, he followed the Hexenbiest out of the waiting room.

Hank and Juliette ran into the waiting room of the hospital and to the nurse's counter, Renard right on their heels. The nurse at the desk jolted in surprise to suddenly find three people in front of her, two of whom were throwing questions at her in a jumble of words.

Renard placed a hand on both Hank's and Juliette's shoulders, quieting them. "We're here for Detective Nick Burkhardt. He was brought in not too long ago? I'm Sean Renard, his captain. This is Juliette Silverton, his girlfriend, and Hank Griffin, his partner. We should be on his list of emergency contacts."

The nurse shot Renard a grateful look and began typing on her computer. "Yes, Mr. Burkhardt came in about forty-five minutes ago. I'll go and let his doctor know you're here."

"Thank you." Renard steered Hank and Juliette away from the desk and over to the chairs.

Juliette glanced between the two cops. "Explain to me again what happened to Nick?" She turned to Hank. "Why didn't you say something was wrong when you called me this morning?"

"I didn't know for sure anything was wrong," Hank replied. "I didn't have anything to go on, and I didn't want to worry you unnecessarily."

Juliette nodded. "If there's a next time, and I hope to God there isn't, but if there is, then worry me unnecessarily. Okay?"

Hank was saved from responding by the arrival of an older woman with graying hair and sharp brown eyes. "Family of Nick Burkhardt?"

"Yes, how is he?" Juliette demanded, hurrying up to the doctor. "Is he all right?"

The woman smiled kindly. "He's going to be just fine. He was very lucky."

Juliette covered her face with her hands, his shoulders slumping in relief. Hank draped an arm around her shoulders and tugged her into a one-armed hug, closing his eyes in a silent prayer of thanks.

"What are we looking at?" Renard asked gently.

Seeing that she had everyone's attention again, the doctor explained. "It's mostly a lot of cuts and bruises; it looks like he took a bad fall down a hill. We've cleaned those up, but we'll keep an eye on them in case there's an infection. He has a sprained ankle, a broken wrist, a bad laceration on his other arm that took seventeen stitches, and a moderate concussion. We'll be keeping him overnight at the very least, longer if necessary. Would you like to see him?"

"Yes, please," Juliette answered for all of them.

"Follow me." The doctor turned and led them away. As they walked from the room towards the maze of hallways, Monroe ducked back into the waiting room, his eyes tracking the path they took.

Nick was lying peacefully in bed, eyes closed and breathing steady. Several bandages spotted his face and arms, with more hidden beneath his hospital gown. His left wrist was encased in plaster, and his right arm was swathed in another bandage.

Juliette entered the room first, tentatively walking up to Nick's side and taking his hand into hers. At the touch, Nick's eyes opened and lifted to his girlfriend's face.

"Juliette," he said, his voice hushed. "Hey. Sorry I missed our lunch date."

Juliette smiled, tears pooling in her eyes. "I guess you'll have to make it up to me another time. How are you feeling?"

"Like I fell off of a mountain," Nick replied honestly. "They've got me on some good stuff, though." His eyes flickered behind Juliette. "Hey Hank. Captain."

Hank and Renard moved to Nick's side. "You had us worried, man," Hank told him. "Do me a favor; next time you want to run down a lead, you take me with you?"

"It's a deal," Nick replied. His eyes drifted shut of their own accord. He forced them open again.

Juliette placed a hand on top of Nick's head and leaned over, kissing his forehead. "We'll let you get some sleep, okay? I'll be back later."

"Take it easy, Nick," Renard told him quietly. "We won't expect you back to work for a few days."

Nick nodded, his eyes slipping shut again. Juliette slid her hand out of Nick's limp grasp. Gently ruffling his hair, she turned and walked from the room with Hank.

Renard lingered, his eyes tracing Nick's still form. He felt relief that his detective had been recovered safely, but he knew he would have to find some way to make sure Nick stopped putting himself needlessly in danger when on his Grimm duties.

Turning, he headed for the door. Pausing at the exit, he half-turned back to Nick.

"Keep an eye on him," he said softly before leaving the room.

Several moments passed, then Monroe crept out of the shadows towards Nick's bed. He didn't question how Renard knew he was there. Claiming a chair near Nick's bedside, Monroe settled himself in to watch over his friend.


A/N: Whew! First multi-chapter story published in quite awhile. It's nice to be back in the swing of writing again. Thank you to all of you who reviewed or sent me PMs. I really appreciated the comments! I enjoyed writing these characters a lot, and am hoping to continue some more soon. Thanks for reading!