Title: Ashes

Summary: Out of the ashes of two, a Grimm is born. But between two worlds, his heart is torn. Which life should he choose? For either way, he will lose.

Rating: PG-13

Pairing: Nick/Juliet (small amount), Nick/Renard, Monroe/Rosalee

Characters: Nick, Renard, Hank, Monroe, Rosalee, Juliette, Bud

Spoilers: Tag to "Leave it to Beavers" so if you haven't seen the episode, consider yourself warned. I've changed the ending a bit as well so it's also an AU.

Disclaimer: Grimm nor none of its characters are mine; believe me, you'd be able to tell if I owned or wrote it. :-)

Author's Note: While I was watching the fight scene at the end, I kept wishing that TPTB would injure Nick. I mean, I know he's a Grimm and a supposedly bad-ass one but still, I find it hard to believe that he got through his first fight without a scratch. SO, I'm writing it where he did get hurt. :-D Gotta love a whumper, right? Come on, you know you love my stories.. :-D

2: Also, I'm changing a bit of the fight scene so that it not only makes sense but works for my "nefarious" purposes. Hope you don't mind too much. ;-)

Part I

Nick walked through the warehouse, his gun held at the ready and his ears open. To his right, he heard the sound of a scythe being unsheathed and he whipped around, cocking his pistol as he moved. Though he'd had the afternoon lesson with the older weapons, he actually preferred to use his gun; it was best for stopping someone in their tracks while doing the least amount of damage.

The noise, as it turned out, was just a diversion because the minute his back was turned, a Reaper attacked. It was easy enough for him to get out of the way before the sharp blade was plunged deeply into his back, his Grimm instincts kicking in more so than anything else. But he knew reflexes weren't everything.

He backed into what appeared to be a heater to protect his fragile spinal chord and held his arms out wide, flattening himself against the metal behind him so that the Reaper would have to work hard to get his body. The Reaper swung and the handle of his scythe smacked harshly against Nick's right wrist, hitting the right nerve with just enough force to send the gun flying. In a flash of metal, the gun went spinning across the floor. He watched it go, hoping it would land somewhere close by and easy to get. It didn't.

Another Reaper came out to join the fight just as the first knocked the gun out his hand. They both swung viciously with their scythes, both aiming to kill him as quickly as possible. The Grimm did the only thing he could think of: he threw himself sideways, miraculously adding a spin to it that he'd only seen in movies.

Quick though he had been in his decision and move, he hadn't been quick enough. Pain seared through his left leg during the turn, followed by the sensation of fluid streaming up and down the limb. He landed on the concrete floor, the sounds of his body hitting the floor drowned out by the constant swishing of the two blades that fought marvelously for the honor of killing him.

Nick gritted his teeth as he hit, thankful for the adrenaline that now coursed through his veins like blood, aiding him in the fight. While the two Reapers continued to swing (and miss) at him, Nick grabbed the closest weapon in his bag. He didn't know what it was called, but to him it was just a baseball bat with pointed spikes on it.

Swinging it at the nearest Reaper, Nick forced the Wesen to back up so that he could get some room and so that he could stand up to meet the second (or first depending on if you're going by appearance). The Reaper swung his scythe, aiming the point for Nick's neck causing the Grimm to bring the bat up to meet him before it cut off his head. The downward motion their weapons created gave Nick enough of an opportunity to elbow the Reaper in the face; his mind barely registered the pain in his elbow as it met the Wesen's cheek.

It was at that moment that the second Reaper joined in, giving his comrade time to reorient himself. He swung at Nick, barely missing the detective's shoulder, and Nick took the opportunity to swing at him with the bat. He gained a hit on the Reaper's face, and then used his right leg to kick the Wesen's stomach, knocking him back into the same heater-like-machine that Nick had been backed against earlier. He faltered a little with all of his weight on his weakened and injured leg but he didn't let it slow him down.

He swung again, hitting the Reaper in the stomach then turned his attention to the first Reaper who was ready for another volley. The Wesen swung downwards where Nick met him with the bat, stopping him from tearing into his already injured leg.

It was a weak defensive point, however, because the Reaper used his position to bring his scythe upwards towards Nick's right, forcing the Grimm to try and adjust his hold without letting go. He managed, but only barely and was forced to release his hold on the next downward strike. The Reaper took that as his cue to renew his attack with vigor and swung at Nick's stomach with all his strength and speed.

Unable to do anything more, Nick jumped back to get out of the way, once, twice, three times in order to avoid getting slashed by the scythe. When he noticed that the Reaper was gearing up to deal its signature decapitating blow, Nick did the only thing he could think of – he threw himself to the ground.

It took all of forty seconds for him to figure out that the first Reaper had beheaded the second. The sickening sound of the head landing on the floor was his first clue, the headless body of the Reaper was his second; but the thing that really drove it home was the inhuman roar of rage that echoed from behind him.

Taking advantage of the lull, Nick grabbed the crossbow. He'd just scooted back to the heater-machine-thing when the first Reaper turned around, still howling in fury and whipped its scythe down at Nick. Without blinking, Nick fired the crossbow, aiming the arrow right into the Reaper's throat, effectively cutting off his bellowing as his lungs filled with blood. The Reaper fell to the floor to Nick's right, dead.

Nick sat with his back against the machine, panting heavily as the adrenaline slowly began to fade from his system. He leaned his head against the machine while he tried to calm his breathing, closing his eyes while he took a moment for himself. His heart was beating faster than it should be and he wanted to give it a moment to slow down.

Deciding it was time to get up and get the bodies taken care of (not to mention checking on Bud and his friends) Nick slowly got to his feet. He immediately collapsed with a cry of pain, landing hard on his left side. With all the excitement from the fight out of his system, he now felt the pain that scoured his lower left leg and the blood that still dripped down it.

"Nick?" Bud's worried voice called through the warehouse. "Nick, are you okay?"

Nick heard the scurrying of three pairs of footsteps as Bud and his two friends scampered through the warehouse, searching for him. He panted a bit as he waded through the pain, waiting for it to recede so that he could speak normally. Much to his dismay, it wasn't doing so very quickly.

"Nick! Oh, man, are you okay?" Bud queried as he came to sit in front of Nick. The Grimm smiled as Bud reached out with shaking hands as though to examine Nick's bleeding leg.

"Bud, relax, I'm fine."

"That doesn't look fine, that looks pretty bad," Bud countered, panicked but firm. He licked his lips nervously for a second, then reached out and spread the tear in Nick's jeans open, exposing the deep, jagged gash.

At first the wound was hard to see. Nick had his leg stretched out in front of him, thus hiding the injury. Gently, Bud rotated Nick's leg, pivoting it at the hip, and laid it down to rest on the outer side. The cut was long, spreading from the inside of Nick's knee down and across the back of his calf, ending just above the outside of his ankle

Bud and his friends gagged at the sight, looking anxiously from Nick's face to his leg and back. Nick sighed, able to tell that they were close to running around in panic. His hand noticeably shaking, he pulled out his phone and dialed the only person he could think of to call.

"Nick, hey!" Monroe's cheerful voice greeted after four rings. "Did that Eisbiber ever come forward?"

"Monroe, I need your help," Nick gritted through clenched teeth, ignoring his friend's question. Amazingly Bud had retained enough sense to try and apply first aid to Nick's leg and it was taking all of the Grimm's strength not to cry out in pain. As it was, he groaned deep in his throat and pushed his head against the machine to the point of pain; it wasn't a perfect system but it worked well enough to take his mind away from the searing heat in his leg.

There was a brief pause where Nick could tell Monroe had frozen, picking up on the sound of pain in his voice. Nick wanted to say something, anything that would assure his friend that he was alright, but he knew he couldn't do it. Not only would Monroe see right through the ruse but it wasn't exactly a part of their friendship to be so emotional, so he remained silent.

"Do you need help with the case?" Monroe asked, sounding as though he was perking up at the mention of help.

"Sort of," Nick ground out. He actually let out a short cry as Bud tied the makeshift bandage around his calf, applying pressure to the tender muscles and torn skin. The Eisbiber winced at Nick's cry, but gently lifted his leg onto a short box that had been found nearby.

"Nick? Nick, what's wrong?" Monroe asked, sounding alarmed.

"Monroe, I'm going to hand the phone over to Bud and let him tell you where we are. I'll need you to bring your emergency medical kit and a shovel."

Without another word, he handed the phone over to Bud and focused on riding out the pain that raced through his throbbing leg. His hands clenched and released as an outlet for the pain, slowing in their repetitions the more time passed. The elevation and bandaging helped, but it still stung like a mother.

He absently listened as Bud explained to Monroe where to find them, after assuring the Blutbad that Nick was, relatively, alright and would remain so until he arrived. Nick chuckled at his friend's worry. He appreciated it but it wasn't necessary since the injury wasn't life threatening.

Bud's two friends kept watch for Monroe or anyone else that may arrive, while Bud himself stuck close to Nick. It warmed the Grimm's heart how protective they were being of him while he was injured, but he highly doubted they would be of any use to him if another threat appeared.

As if taking that as their cue, footsteps echoed from just behind Nick and he felt Bud freeze in fright. Nick grabbed his gun, which Bud had retrieved earlier, and held it close to his right hip, preparing to fire if the need arose. His heart pounded in his ears as it responded to the renewed adrenaline, threatening to drive all sound out of his mind. He drew in a shallow breath, trying to calm his nerves so that he could focus. The pain in his leg and the realization that they were no longer alone was making it hard for him to remain calm, but he refused to give in to blind panic. He was a police officer for God's sake; he was trained to handle stress like this, even with injury.

Nick's mouth literally fell open when none other than Captain Sean Renard came into his line of sight. He was too stunned for a moment to realize that the look of his normal calm captain was nowhere to be found and instead a furious captain had replaced it. Beside him Bud immediately cowered and bowed, but Nick felt no need to do either.

Both police men swung their guns in the other's direction, one waiting for the other to figure out who they were. In the end it was Renard who'd lowered his gun first. Nick eventually followed, but it wasn't immediate. The Grimm instincts inside him were screaming at him to keep the weapon trained on the man, but eventually his detective's side kicked in and reminded him this was the Captain and not a threat.

For a minute, neither man spoke. Nick was too busy trying to comprehend why his captain was there and looking totally unsurprised to find Nick leaning against a machine in a warehouse with two dead bodies lying near him.

Renard, it seemed, was too busy inspecting the bodies. He looked at the one that still had its head, using his foot to turn the head so he could see the left side, before letting out a growl of something Nick knew to be Wesen.

Something akin to indignance, power, and fury slammed into Nick like a freight train punching through a thin sheet of glass. It knocked the breath out of Nick's lungs and sent his head spinning from the sheer force of it. He felt almost as though he'd been plunged into a deep, freezing river and he couldn't break the surface. He swallowed thickly, almost struggling to breathe regularly as he did his best to appear calm and collected while the police captain continued to inspect the Reapers' bodies.

"Did you kill them?" he asked Nick, low and cautious. He wouldn't look at Nick and that fact bothered the Grimm for reasons he couldn't explain.

"Yes," Nick replied, refusing to show remorse since he felt none. He attempted to straighten up so that he looked stronger than he felt, but stopped with a hiss when the movement put pressure on his wound.

Renard's head snapped over to Nick's position. The normal green hue had fled the irises, leaving a deep orange in its wake. In a strange way, it was almost beautiful to see the colors replace one another and Nick couldn't help but stare in wonder. The Captain's eye sockets seemed to elongate, helping to accentuate the no-longer-human-eyes, but if it hadn't been for Nick's abilities, he knew he wouldn't have noticed a thing. The eyes traveled over Nick's form, landing almost immediately on the bloodied bandage and the torn jeans.

"It appears they were able to get a shot of their own in as well, I see," he commented dryly. He turned so that his entire body was facing Nick and approached him as though he were an injured but dangerous animal. "May I take a look?"

Nick's first instinct was to very adamantly say no, but something kept him from saying it. He wasn't sure if it was the almost gentle way the Captain had asked or the fact that he'd seemed to be struck dumb by the man's appearance that had stopped him, but in the end, it hadn't mattered. As though he were a frightened child, too scared to speak to the adult, he simply nodded his assent.

With a nod of something Nick couldn't figure out, the Captain knelt down beside Nick's injured leg. He didn't seem to either notice or care that his expensive suite was getting dirty as he leaned over and began to gently finger the limb.

"The bandaging looks well placed," Renard commented as he gently inspected it. Thanks to the slight elevation, the bleeding had slowed considerably, but it had been sufficient enough at first to soak through the makeshift wrapping. The Captain looked up to where Bud was hiding just behind the machine and complimented him, "You did well."

"Th-thank you," Bud replied, stuttering just as much as he did when he was in Nick's presence. Almost as an afterthought, he added, "Sire."

Whoa! Wait a minute – sire? Who the hell was he calling sire? Couldn't be the Captain, could it? Oh, this mystery just keeps getting bigger and bigger, he silently ranted, though Nick suspected Renard had been able to read it in his eyes.

"It needs re-bandaging," Renard announced as though he'd just made a diagnosis. He didn't even bother consulting Nick before he left and retrieved a kit from his car, wherever that had been, then came back. "How deep is the cut?"

"Uh, pretty deep, I think," Bud answered nervously. He was no longer hiding behind the machine, but his hands were wringing so much he could have performed surgery if he'd had a bar of soap with him. "I thought it best to stop the bleeding so I didn't really look that hard."

Renard nodded though he didn't reply. Gingerly, he moved Nick's leg from the uncomfortable box to a more comfortable position on his suit-covered thigh. He slowly removed the bandage, taking care not to re-open already clotted portions of the cut, then tossed the soaked linen away. It landed on the floor with a splat that made Bud flinch, but as far as Nick could tell, Renard took no notice of it.

He opened the small white box he'd retrieved and quickly spread some gel-like substance over the open wound before Nick had even had a chance to ask what it was. The accompanying burning sting, typical of raw alcohol in a wound, told him what it had been – antibiotic ointment. He hissed as the fire slowly spread from the surface of the cut down further until it charred his bones.

Though Renard's eyes briefly flicked upwards, he offered no apology for the pain he'd just caused. Nick figured it was because both of them knew that it was necessary to help prevent infection, so he did his best to downplay the pain by simply clenching his teeth instead.

Next, Renard withdrew a rather long piece of padded gauze and wrapped it around the entirety of Nick's lower leg.

"Come here and hold this in place so that I can continue," he instructed an uneasy Bud. Slowly the Beaver did as he was instructed; offering Nick a small wince of apology when he'd accidentally applied a bit too much pressure to the tender limb.

Renard's hands were steady as he skillfully wrapped a constriction bandage loosely around Nick's leg. As he watched, the Grimm found himself becoming almost mesmerized by the movement and the hands themselves (though he would never admit that to anyone out loud). They moved almost rhythmically as they worked; in and out, over and under, in and out, over and under. The hands were strong and able and the veins on the back stuck out just enough to be attractive.

"Ah!" Nick cried when one of the injured calf muscles decided to begin cramping. His entire body tensed as it responded to the nerves that were screaming their discomfort. He grunted out a breath as he rode the wave of pain, praying that the muscle would relax soon because he knew he couldn't take much more of it without shedding any tears.

When Nick heard a familiar growl, he did his best to relax his body. The Grimm knew that Monroe could smell the pain on him and he also knew that the Blutbad was protective of those he considered a friend. If Monroe thought the Captain was hurting him, things were bound to get bloody, so he tried to calm the man by showing that he was alright. Getting up to bodily protect Renard would, not only, not work given his injury, but he was pretty sure that the man would be highly offended and unappreciative of the movement so he knew it wasn't an option.

"Monroe!" he called in an effort to grab his friend's attention, but it was too late. The Blutbad was already charging at Renard, his teeth bared and red in his eyes.

In a flash of expensive clothing, Renard stood, rotated his torso and pulled out his gun all before Monroe had even had a chance to get close. Nick could tell that the action had been well-practiced; making him wonder how many times the man had had to do that. By the time Monroe had arrived at his target, Renard had his gun aimed squarely at his chest, making the clockmaker run painfully into the barrel before he could stop.

"I am not your enemy," Renard stated. Given that the Captain was facing away from Nick, he couldn't see the expression on the man's face, but if he had to guess, he would have said that it was the same expression he carried on his face everyday – calm indifference.

Monroe growled his answer. Apparently he wasn't convinced that the Captain hadn't been hurting Nick on purpose, so Nick felt he should intervene.

"Monroe, I'm fine," he said calmly, at least partially able to mean it. "Did you bring the shovel?"

It took a while but the red slowly faded from Monroe's eyes as he looked from the man holding him at gunpoint to Nick on the ground. Very briefly, Nick could have sworn that he saw recognition dawn in Monroe's now brownish-red eyes but he was at a loss as to how the two could possibly know one another. Then again, if Renard was a Wesen, it wouldn't be too hard to imagine that they had crossed paths at one time or another.

"Monroe, did you bring the shovel?" Nick asked again when his friend still hadn't looked at him.

As though snapping out of a daze, Monroe turned his attention to Nick and for a second, the Grim saw blood invade the brown eyes once again before they returned to their normal color.

"Yeah, man, I brought the shovel but, are you okayt?" Monroe asked in return. His eyes traveled down to Nick's slowly bleeding leg then slowly back up to Nick's face.

"I'm fine," Nick soothed, seeing anxiety in the Blutbad's eyes. He offered his trademark crooked smile, hoping it would help.

"Well, seeing that you are now in capable hands, I will go," Renard interjected but not uncomfortably. "I have some business," the implications in the word made Nick shiver, "to take care of. Nick, you and I will talk when you're ready."

"Is that when I think I'm ready, or when you think I'm ready?" Nick asked, completely baffled at the hostility in his own voice. This was his captain for God's sake; the man could easily reassign him or just make his work life a living hell if Nick pissed him off. But, seeing as how Nick had always been the kind of guy to say what's on his mind when it came to things that were important to him, the words had tripped off his tongue without thought.

Amazingly, Renard just smiled, though it was only half filled with humor.

"When you are ready," he clarified. He started to walk away, paused then turned back around. "And don't bother showing up for work on Monday," he warned almost genially, "I already know you won't be allowed to work."

Nick's eyebrows rose into his hairline at what he thought may have been a small joke. "And what if I have a doctor's note?" he countered, wincing when he realized how flirty that had sounded.

"It doesn't matter," Renard replied. "Your boss won't let you get through the front doors."

With that he walked away, leaving Nick and company to stare at his back in confusion and wonder.