For the hurt/comfort bingo amnesty prompt 'imprisonment'
Summary: Monroe spends the night in jail and emerges a little roughed up, sending Nick on a guilt trip
"Nick, I've been calling you."
Nick, who'd been about to sit down at his desk, frowned at Wu and pulled out his cell phone, which was off. Crap. He turned it on to find half a dozen missed calls from Wu, the station - and one from Monroe.
"I guess I had it switched off," Nick said apologetically.
"You friend," Wu said. "Monroe?"
Nick, who'd been about to call Monroe back, looked over at Wu. "What about him?"
"He's in lockup. Cops picked him up near the latest crime scene you were at."
Where he'd been looking for evidence that might help Nick track down the Wesen responsible for the attacks. Damn.
"He got arrested for being near a crime scene?"
Wu shrugged with the air of 'don't blame me for another cop's attitude'. "He didn't have a good explanation for why he was there and they found a weapon on him."
"A knife of some sort."
Right, the silver dagger, which might be the only thing that could kill the Wesen in question. Nick had insisted Monroe take it if he was going to try and pick up the trail without the Grimm at his side.
Nick sighed. "I'll go get him."
Nick used all his powers of persuasion to get the dagger back, spinning a tale of how it was a family heirloom and he'd taken it over to his friend's house to get it authenticated because Monroe knew a guy, and clearly Monroe had just been bringing it back to Nick (and looking for him at the crime scene). That Nick was able to give a detailed description of the ornate carvings on the handle of the dagger worked in his favour. It was a relief to take possession of the dagger once more.
"I figured it was a misunderstanding," the officer said, leading Nick to the cells. "He wasn't upset about being arrested, kept insisting you'd straighten things out. He used his phone call to leave you a message, and when Wu was down here bringing Cameron a coffee, he said he'd call you too."
"My phone was off." Nick would have to do a little more sweet talking with the arresting officers, but if Monroe had behaved himself and not resisted arrest, Nick could probably make all this go away. He filed the fact that Wu was bringing Cameron coffee away for future reference; it always paid to be on top of station house politics and personal dramas.
"Hey," Nick called as they reached the cell. Two other men were in the cell with Monroe. One stared at Nick, sullen but silent. The other was curled up in a ball on the floor, in the furthest corner from where Monroe was sitting. Monroe, chin on his chest, stirred and lifted his head.
"My God!" Nick stared at Monroe's swollen eye. "What happened?"
Monroe shook his head but Nick wouldn't be put off. "Was it the cops?" That was a can of worms he didn't want to open, but if a cop had been rough with Monroe, Nick would deal with him or her personally.
"No! No. Jackass in the corner over there." Monroe jerked his head towards the man huddling in the corner.
Nick shot a glance at the officer.
"Hey, things happen, you know that. We were full last night. Two bar brawls." Seeing this wasn't explanation enough to satisfy Nick, he added, "I was going to let the doc see him later."
"Just open it up."
Nick grasped Monroe's arm, just above the elbow, as soon as the door slid back. He didn't let go on the way out, not even when they stopped to pick up Monroe's personal belongings. It was irrational, but Nick wasn't going to risk being separated from Monroe while still in the station, in case they locked him away again. He only released Monroe when they were finally outside.
They headed to Nick's car where Nick climbed into the driver's seat. He drummed his fingers on the steering wheel, furious with himself.
"Thanks," Monroe said, sliding into the passenger seat. "I was beginning to think you were going to leave me there." He sounded relieved rather than angry.
"My phone was off," Nick repeated, hating himself more with each repetition. What if the situation had been more serious? This shouldn't have happened. And Wu should have called his house when Nick hadn't answered his cell, but that still didn't let Nick off the hook. "I'm sorry."
"Hey, it's okay. Did you get the dagger back?"
"Okay, I'd like to go home and shower – just drop me off at my car, and I'll drive home, give you a call when I'm ready to go out hunting."
"No," Nick said.
"No?" Monroe blinked, taken aback. "No you won't drop me off at my car, or no I can't take a shower first, or no we're not going hunting?"
"No, it's not okay." Nick sighed. "This isn't the first time you've ended up in trouble, or hurt, because of me."
Monroe pointed to his eye. "This? This is nothing. It's fine. It'll be gone by tomorrow."
"Next time it could be worse." The words came out sharper than he'd intended, fuelled by fear.
Monroe sat back in his seat, deflated. "Hey, I thought we were past this. Helping a Grimm is a dangerous business, I get that. I'm willing to take the risk."
Nick swallowed. He wasn't sure what he felt or how to express it. Concern vied with pride and affection, with residual guilt along for the ride.
"What happened, exactly?" he asked, softening his tone.
"You know how some guys are. Insecure in their masculinity. Think if they knock a big guy like me down it makes them look bigger. Johnny there got in my face, and when I didn't retaliate he gave me this. The officer on duty didn't care much, just told us all to keep it down. The cells were pretty full and there were another four guys in with us at this point."
Nick nodded encouragingly.
"Then Johnny started telling me all the things he'd like to do to various parts of my anatomy. So I grabbed him by his shoulders, put him against the bars, and let my inner Blutbad show his face. Guy freaked out like you wouldn't believe. Found God in a hurry and starting shrieking about how I'm a demon. You can guess how well that went down with the cops."
Nick could. "They thought it was drugs?"
"Bingo. Especially since he'd been arrested for dealing. Maybe he was just sampling his merchandise. But it still kept the other guys away from me," Monroe said cheerfully. "Guess they didn't want to take the risk Johnny wasn't delusional."
That explained why the guy had been cowering in the corner. Nick had zero sympathy for the criminal.
"Look, let me make this up to you. We'll get something to eat tonight, or go out for some beers or something."
Monroe grinned. "Yeah! Sure. That'd be good."
It took so little to make Monroe happy. Nick knew he was damn lucky to have Monroe on his side – and at his back - and as his friend.
"But after we kill this thing, right?" Monroe said, interrupting Nick's train of thought. "Before it hurts someone else."
Nick agreed. The job came first. His guilt and attempts at recompense would have to wait.
"Let's go get your car," Nick said, starting the engine. "Because you really do need to go home and shower."
Monroe sniffed at his shirt. "Yeah. Bit rank even by Wesen standards."
Their easy camaraderie was only one of the things Nick appreciated about Monroe, but it was definitely one of the things he liked best.