Part VIII – Epilogue

Nick limped into the station with a bright smile on his face. After three months of not being allowed to do more than walk to and from him bedroom while he healed, the Grimm was finally allowed to go back to work. It was only desk duty for the moment, his ankle, hand, and shoulder still needed more rehabilitation before they'd release him fully, but it was enough for him.

The healing had been slow at first, giving Sean and him plenty of time to talk. Nick had asked as many questions as he could think of while still trying to give his friend his privacy but it had been hard. He was so curious to know everything he could; who all knew about the Regnant within his friend, what his abilities were and how fast he healed were just a few. He begged Sean to transform so he could look upon his partner's Wesen form once again, this time taking in just how beautiful and powerful it was. Nick had asked whether the bite mark on his shoulder came from Sean or the Regnant and he smirked in satisfaction when the older man blushed as he admitted that it had been the Regnant who had marked him.

Their bond hummed pleasantly in the back of their minds, satisfied that all was right with them once again. Nick still hadn't quite forgiven Sean for order the hit on his aunt but he didn't hold a grudge about it either. He knew it would just take time for that wound to heal and he was willing to give it all it needed.

A blush crept into his face as every officer he passed came up to him, welcoming him back and giving him friendly pats on the back. It was obvious they were happy to see him but still he felt like it was too much; it was as though he'd been injured in the line of duty or anything.

When he entered his part of the station, Nick let out a breath of relief. It seemed that everyone was gone except Hank and Sean. As he walked, Nick felt Sean's eyes follow him, watching closely for signs that he shouldn't be back yet.

To say that Sean disagreed with Aubrey's decision to allow him to come back would have been an understatement. The man had thrown a fit worthy of royalty, going so far as to threaten Aubrey with banishment if she didn't change her mind but still the doctor was not swayed. Nick had appreciated his concern, really he had but he had been so excited when Aubrey had stood her ground that he actually cheered and gave a small dance; one that had cost him to do.

Hank gave him a broad smile as he sat down at his desk.

"So, the Captain finally let you come back I see," he commented wryly though his eyes were positively beaming.

A couple days after Sean and Nick had talked, Hank had shown up for a visit. At first it had been great to see his friend but after being questioned for the fortieth time whether or not he should be moving, Nick had begun to grow annoyed. It wasn't like he was trying to walk already, he was just doing some stretching as his body allowed and shifting to get comfortable on the bed.

Sean had laughed at Nick's exasperation, telling him that now Nick knew how he felt while at work. Every time Hank was around, Nick wasn't allowed to do anything. If Nick needed something, even if it was from the bedside table, Hank got it. If Nick gave the smallest wince of pain, Hank was on him about pain medication or other forms of relief. Nick had never known just how much of a mother hen had resided in his work partner and friend until he'd gotten injured and it was enough to make him hope and pray that this was the last time he was ever hurt this badly, for his sanity's sake.

"Yeah," Nick replied as he slowly settled into his work chair. His body had healed quite well but it was still stiff, making moving quickly hard to do. "If possible, I think he was less thrilled about it than you were."

Oh yes, Hank had argued with Aubrey about letting him come back. He'd relented quicker than Sean had but not before threatening to handcuff Nick to his bed if he even tried to interfere in cases.

The left side of Hank's face quirked upwards in a half smile. "Can you blame him?"

Nick opened his mouth to say that yes, he could but he quickly shut it. He knew that if their roles had been reversed, Nick would be acting the exact same way, maybe even worse. He smiled at the realization, "No, I guess not."

He opened his email inbox and his jaw dropped at just how many emails he had, inquiring after his health and asking when he was returning. He'd been allowed to check his email quite regularly but three weeks ago when he'd been discovered trying to help out with a case via email, Hank had taken the computer away and placed it on the bookcase in the living room. Sean had flat out refused to get it for him, fully supporting Hank's reaction; he even moved the computer to a place that Nick had yet to find.

"I guess I was missed, huh?" Nick commented absently as he continued to scroll through the messages.

"More than you know brother," Hank answered with so serious a face, Nick thought that one of his exes had walked through the door.

Nick blushed at the sheer amount of raw emotion in his friend's chocolate brown eyes and nodded his thanks for the sincerity and sentiment. "Well, it looks like you had a handle on things while I was gone. You and your new partner."

"Don't get me started on that guy," Hank quipped immediately, making a face that conveyed his dislike for the man. "He was weirder than you."

"I'm weird?" Nick pouted not bothered in the slightest by the comment.

Hank laughed at this jibe. On his hip, his phone began to ring, drawing his attention to it, rather than Nick.

"Griffin." There was a pause as he listened to the person on the other end of the line. "Uh-huh. Yeah, alright, where? Yeah, I know where that is. I'll be there in ten."

"We got a case?" Nick asked hopefully, beginning to rise from his seat out of instinct.

"No, I got a case. You have paperwork." Hank laughed as the roles from so long ago were now reversed.

"Hank, come on!" Nick whined as his partner exited. He remembered the angry look Hank had given him as he and the Captain had left to investigate the car stolen by the Siegbarste. This situation wasn't exactly the same but the irony wasn't lost on him either.

"Payback's a bitch huh?" Hank called back.

"Hank!"

The laughter that followed Hank out of the precinct echoed pleasantly around the station. Yep, it was good to be back; even if it was just desk duty.

~Fin~


And it's DONE!

Thank you all for sticking with and being patient through the sometimes-lengthier-than-you-would-have-liked updates! Even though it's finished, I would still love to hear what you thought so please remember to review! :)

M