AN:

This chapter has a lot of stuff going on. Including a small scene with our killer. No real answers yet only some more questions.

~Kelly~


Chapter Three

"Long night," Hank asked when Nick collapsed at his desk. Judging from the look his partner was giving him Nick must look at least as bad as he felt. Probably worse.

"Something like that," Nick replied opening a case file and pretending to read. "Juliette and I had a fight," he admitted after a couple of moments.

Hank wished he could say he was surprised. However after three divorces he'd learned that work could ruin any relationship. "About the case?"

"Pretty much. She hates how much time it's taking up."

"I'm sorry man. I know how that sucks," he said sincerely, leaning back in his chair. Unfortunately, Hank had no words of advice for his friend.

"Yeah. I just wish I knew how to fix things," Nick mumbled frustrated and still angry. Not just with the case or even Juliette but himself.

"As much as I hate to say it... sometimes these things can't be fixed."

"You're not helping Hank," he pointed out needlessly. It wasn't unusual for a case, especially one this high profile, to mess with a relationship.

"I'm sure things will get better after we catch this guy."

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The M.E. was not happy to see either Hank or Nick later that day. "I'm starting to think you two hate me. Or really like me. I haven't decided which."

"You let us know when you do," Hank teased thankful to be out of the squad room. Nick might not mind hours of research but he was more of an action guy. All this waiting was starting to make him twitchy.

"Whoever is doing this is thorough," she said pulling back the sheet to reveal what was left of the body. "I had a hard time figuring out the cause of death."

This wasn't news to either Nick or Hank. But they also knew the M.E. was good. "But you did figured it out, right?"

"Of course, I did."

"Let me guess strangulation," Adams offered easily from the doorway.

"You got it in one."

"These are the FBI agents helping on the case," Nick told the doctor. He had a feeling they'd all be well acquainted by the end of this case.

"Well this is new," she said slightly surprised that the FBI had suddenly taken an interest in this case. "I take it you're not surprised by the COD."

Taylor shook his head at the question. "No, about half the bodies have strangulation as the cause."

"At least our guy's consistent."

"Yeah. There's that," Hank muttered not sure if that fact was a good thing or not. It didn't really help them catch the guy just prosecute him later.

"Let me show you what else I found."

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Renard sat comfortably across from the Mayor. The Fuchsbau was understandably anxious since the discovery of yet another body. Even he was concerned by this new case. However, that didn't give the Mayor the right to give him orders. That was not how things were done in his canton.

Apparently, the other man had forgotten how things work. Maybe a lesson on who was really in charge was in order. Of course, any lesson would have to wait until this murder was caught.

"How can you have no leads," the Mayor demanded to know, once again. It had been the same question William had been asking for weeks. Too bad Renard had no information for the man.

"It seems this guy has been killing for a number of years. In that time he's become not only smart, but careful too," Renard reminded the man regretfully. He was well aware that this case was drawing too much attention.

"I heard about the two FBI agents showing up. It's not going to be a problem is it?"

"My detectives have been instructed to cooperate."

"And will the Grimm? Cooperate, I mean," William asked not bothering to hide his disdain for Nick. Another issue between the two men.

"Detective Burkhardt has done nothing to violate the law or even police procedures."

The Fuchsbau shook his head at the statement. Apparently, that fact had little effect on the man. "He is a Grimm, Renard, isn't that enough?"

"I understand your concern, especially given who his aunt was, but no. Nick Burkhardt is a good detective... a good man. He isn't hunting Wesen for fun. Whatever he does it's inside the law."

"For now. You know it won't last. He's going to turn out like every other Grimm, a blood thirsty killer."

The room immediately grew silent. William immediately knew he had gone too far with his concern over Detective Burkhardt. This belief was confirmed when Renard spoke, "I believe this conversation is over."

"Renard... sir... I didn't mean..."

"But you did," he said standing, effectively ending their conversation. Heading for the door Renard paused halfway across the room. Clearly they needed to get at least one thing worked out before he left. "I will let you know when we've made progress. Do not bother me again."

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"I'm not sure if that was helpful or not," Hank admitted, collapsing at his desk. This day felt like it would never end. Thankfully, the FBI had not joined them back at the station.

"We knew more than before."

"Nothing that really helps. This guy is a ghost, Nick."

Nick took a moment to think back on the last few days. He could only think of one possible new source of information. "You think they're holding out on us," he asked referring to Taylor and Adams.

"Probably. They've had this case a long time not to have nothing."

Before Nick could comment the Captain stormed through the squad room. He was obviously not in a good mood. "The Captain looks..."

"Pissed," Hank supplied when his partner trailed off.

"I was gonna say scary but pissed workS," he said easily agreeing with Hank's assessment. "Guess we know how the meeting with the Mayor went."

"Yeah, not well. I haven't seen him this mad since he was attacked awhile back."

"You guys might want to hide," Sargent Wu warned the two detectives while handing Nick two files. "Word is the Captain stormed out of the Mayor's office."

"Wanna canvas the last scene again?"

"You think that's far enough away?"

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The office had gone silent when Renard walked in. Clearly his men could sense his anger. Although anger wasn't the correct word, well not entirely. He was more frustrated than angry at this point. Shedding his jacket and loosening his tie Renard sat down.

He knew, logically, that the Mayor meant well. Like him, the other man wanted to protect the people of Portland. Both human and Wesen. William, he hoped, was simply stressed by this new case.

Casting a glance to the squad room Renard was satisfied things appeared to be back to normal or at least what passed for normal around here. Letting out a sigh he pulled opened a drawer. Pulling a cell phone out Renard immediately hit the speed dial.

The phone barely rang once before it was answered. "Hello?"

"How are things going?" Renard asked hoping but not expecting good news.

"Slow," the voice admitted reluctantly, "but I believe that is about to change."

"For the better?"

Renard could almost hear the smile on the other end. Finally, a breakthrough. "Very much so. Your men should be hearing about it soon."

"Good. Excellent."

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The forest was dark and quiet as he stalked his prey. Portland was turning out to be a rich hunting ground. Even with the presence of the Grimm he was happy with the location choice.

Nearby a branch snapped alerting him to the Mouse's movement. While not ideal prey they did give a good chase. Their timid nature made running instinctual. Stupid useless creatures.

Another branch snapped this time slightly further away. Now that wouldn't do. He couldn't have an escapee. Their game while fun was about to come to an end.