The call came early on a Wednesday morning when Roddy was on the way to school, 'The Imperial Death March' blared at him as he answered the phone.
"Roddy, how are you?"
"Good, on the way to school so everything's fine."
"Excellent, listen I know you were supposed to come over for dinner tonight but I can't do it anymore."
"Case?" Roddy was getting used to this, Nick tried not to do it but occasionally he had no choice but to cancel plans to work."
"No," Nick said and there was a long pause while Roddy waited for Nick to explain. "Family is in town."
Roddy frowned. "I didn't think you had any famil-oh I see, Grimm, no worries I'll stay low."
"No, yes, I didn't think I had any either, Elly is going to have dinner instead, I might be able to make it but…have a good day."
"I will, you too."
Nick did make it after Holly and Roddy had finished eating while Elly was trying to give them more as though they hadn't eaten in months; one moment there was no one there and then Nick was standing in the doorway looking worried, stressed and tired.
"Oh dude, please don't use your evil ninja Grimm skills like that," Roddy said when he spotted him.
Elly took one look at the Grimm and stepped over. "There is cake on the bench and fruit in the fridge," she said as she pushed Nick out of the room, they didn't make it far but Roddy could only hear words every so often and they didn't make a lot of sense. Mum, not dead, here, why – Nick kept asking why every few minutes in a desperate needy voice that made Roddy uncomfortable.
Roddy watched Holly finish her food and then took both their plates to drop into the sink rinsing them off.
"Do you want cake?" Roddy asked his eyes still on the doorway they'd left through.
Holly nodded her eyes on the doorway too. "Nick mum alive?"
"Is that what they are saying?"
Holly nodded. "More."
"They are saying more? But all about Nick's mum?"
Holly nodded twice and Roddy felt his gut twist, when his mum died he'd begged and prayed and offered up his ability with a violin to get her back but she was still dead. His skin felt too tight; prickled and hot remembering the way he'd felt when he realised he really could do absolutely nothing to bring her back. The day he'd realised his mum was never coming back was the worse one of his life, it must have been even worse for Nick. Nick lost two parents, Roddy had his dad, who had done everything he could to keep them both going, had sacrificed and worked hard to give Roddy the things he wanted, the things he and his mother had dreamed of. Roddy couldn't imagine his life if he'd lost his dad as well, he'd never really thought about it but Nick and Roddy had both been about the same age when they lost their mothers. Roddy tried to think of anything that would keep Nick's mother away for all that time, that would have allowed her to let her only son think she'd been killed, Roddy knew his mother wouldn't, she wouldn't have let anything convince her to leave him she'd told him all the time how much she loved him.
Roddy swiped a hand over his face and got two plates, cut the cake, opened the fridge, pulled out the strawberries and put them on the cake knowing they were Holly's favourite.
Roddy put the two plates on the table but he never picked up the fork. He didn't bother trying to hear what Nick and Elly were saying because he knew why Nick had sounded like that, why he kept asking 'why'. Roddy tried for just a second to think of his mother coming back and he could feel the prickle of tears at the back of his eyes, the sour taste of sorrow filling his mouth. He pushed the thoughts as far down and away as he could.
Holly finished her piece of cake watching him carefully.
"Yeah, I'm fine." Roddy said. "I'm just worried about Nick."
Holly nodded. "Nick sad."
"Yeah," Roddy didn't think about it just pushed his piece of cake over to Holly earning a bright smile.
It was a long time before Elly came back into the room and Roddy could see that she was affected by what Nick had been saying to her. "Holly, your mum's here."
"I'm going to ask her to give me a lift too," Roddy said standing. "You stay with Nick."
Elly nodded but reached an arm out for Roddy's elbow before he could leave. "How much did you hear?"
"Nick's mum's alive, Holly heard more than me," Elly nodded. "Is Nick okay?"
Elly shook her head her eyes bright. "No."
"I'll go, let you two sort it out."
Elly walked them to the door and had a quick word with Holly's mum. Roddy hadn't seen Nick when he walked through the lounge room figuring he'd disappeared when the doorbell rang.
"Roddy," Elly said quietly. "Be careful while Nick's mum is in town, I don't know why kind of Grimm she is."
Roddy nodded looking out at Holly.
"Don't worry; I already talked to her mum."
Roddy nodded and darted forward to hug Elly, squeezing tightly before pulling away and staring at his shoes. "Tell Nick, if he needs anything I…um…well I probably won't be much help."
"Thank you Roddy," Nick said. Roddy looked up and saw Nick standing behind the couch, his finger were digging into the material beneath his hands and he looked devastated. Roddy didn't know what to say so he nodded and with a small smile turned to leave.
"Bye," he said closing the door behind him. He walked over to the car and thanked Holly's mum for the ride not able to bring himself to talk on the short drive thankful that the older woman already knew the way.
When Roddy walked through the door his dad was sitting on the couch watching football so he went and sat next to him sitting just a little bit closer than normal. He didn't know how to say any of the things he was feeling but he sat there with his dad until the game finished, even though his dad would normally be in bed by now he stayed there watching the news next to Roddy until he finally found the words to tell his dad about Nick's mother. Roddy's dad wrapped his arm around him and pulled him close.
/ / / This is where 'But Your Daddy Left You' fits / / /
This might not be updated until after 'But Your Daddy Left You' is finished but we'll see, it definitely will be continued though.