The most difficult part of the plan, Adalind thinks in reflection, was obtaining the blood of the Grimm. It had taken contacts - and money - to procure. What was disguised as a mugging granted her a vial of Grimm blood. Now, that same blood is dispersing into black coffee. Undetectable.
A young woman stands nearby, texting discreetly in the corner. She doesn't know Adalind, but Adalind knows enough about her to have chosen her. Interns. Gullible enough to believe the deception when Adalind strides up to her and holds out the coffee. "This is for the Captain. And I'd be quick, darling, he hates it when his coffee is late."
Suitably intimidated, the young woman nods. She hurries away, cup in hand.
Adalind Schade walks out of the police station, stands in the crisp morning air, and smiles.
Sean Renard has had better days. And it isn't even 9 o'clock yet. His head hurts, he's hit a dead end trying to fish information from the Royals, and Nick keeps barging into his office and apologising for the Musai incidenct. As though anybody blames him for being drugged by a psychotic wesen. Everyone is glad it didn't end with the cutting off of ears. Sean is glad it didn't end with Nick's death. The reason for that relief should be to do with the key.
Someone knocks at the door, then enters without waiting. He opens his mouth with a prepared speech, then closes it again just as quickly. A brunette girl is holding out a coffee. The second it has been safely deposited on his desk, she flees the room.
"Interns," he mutters, sipping at the bitter drink. They all seem to think he bites.
Ignoring the strange, growing warmth in his chest, Sean continues drinking. He puts it down to the fact he was cold, and the drink is hot. That's all. It may not be delicious, but it's still coffee, and he can definitely appreciate the caffeine.
Only...when he reaches the bottom of the cup, something painful etches across his lips. It soon turns sweet, though, followed by a rush of heat that unfurls inside his chest. His vision blurs, then clears just as quickly. The taste on his tongue is as sweet as his favourite wine.
Nick strides past the Captain's office, hesitating at the door but quickly continuing towards his desk instead. He's apologised to everyone a hundred times, but for some reason it never feels like enough when it comes to the Captain. Maybe because he was the one who saw Nick almost kill a guy. Maybe...maybe because Nick cares about what Renard thinks about him.
Dropping into his chair, he looks at Hank. "How's the ankle?"
"Physical therapy seems to be helping," his partner replies. "How's things with Juliette?"
"She left. We decided that whatever we were, whoever we were before, we're not those people anymore."
"You doin' okay with that?"
"Yeah. Better than I thought I would. My aunt said that I'd have to let her go, back when all this Grimm stuff was just beginning. And I couldn't imagine it, not having Juliette in my life. But…people change."
"Well, so long as you're alright," Hank says, a little dubiously.
Nick nods absent-mindedly, glancing towards the Captain's office. "I'll be right back."
The door swings open, and Renard struggles to look up at Nick as the younger man enters.
"Captain," he says by way of greeting, then adds, "Is everything alright? You look a little…pale."
"Everything is…fine. The coffee's been better, that's all."
Nick frowns. "Coffee? Tasha hasn't dropped off our delivery yet. Did you use the coffee machine in the break room? That thing makes coffee that can kill a man."
Looking down at the cup, Sean blinks in confusion. A chill spreads up his spine. "Find that new intern and bring her in here. Now."
Confused but always obedient, Nick leaves the room. He returns a moment later with the brunette.
"Where did you get this drink?" Sean asks, voice stern but still polite.
She looks between them with wide eyes. "The blonde woman told me to bring it to you."
Nick's eyes snap up, meeting Renard's. The Captain growls in frustration, then grabs a photo from his desk drawer and holds it up. "This blonde woman?"
"Yes. Did I do something wrong?"
Sizing up the way Sean's teeth are beginning to grind, Nick quickly nudges the intern towards the door. "No, go back to whatever you were doing. If you see that woman again, you come straight to one of us. Go on."
Nick turns to Renard as she hurries out. He is turning the cup over in his palms. Frustrated, he slams it down onto the desk. "I should have known she was back in town."
"You can't always know everything," Nick tells him as he takes the coffee cup. "I'll take this to Rosalee, she might be able to tell us what was in it."
Rosalee can't, as it turns out. She looks for the usual suspects, including the mixture that Adalind used on Juliette. Nothing shows up. But nothing horrible happens, and they all start to forget about the coffee. Days that turn into weeks pass.
It's almost a month after the incident when Nick and Renard are in the trailer looking through the cupboards for a certain type of powder. The Grimm spots it and reaches out. His wrist slides against a brutally sharp weapon. Blood immediately begins to flow from the wound, and he hisses in pain.
On the other side of the trailer, Sean stands suddenly upright, almost hitting his head on the ceiling. His pupils dilate almost the full width of his iris, dark like he's high. For just a heartbeat he loses control, woges and knows Nick has seen the slip. He pulls himself back into the human guise, but it's difficult to keep himself that way.
Nick moves to wrap something over the cut, but strong hands curl around his wrists and prevent the action. The Captain's hands are slick with blood in seconds, but it's not enough. He lifts the wounded hand to his mouth, breathing deep before licking a clean stripe up the skin. The heat moves like a firework to Nick's groin, but he steps back and wrestles free regardless. Even as the blood continues to drip from his hand, he stares at Renard.
Red smeared across his lips, eyes black, he watches the Grimm with a frightening intensity. At his sides, his fingers twitch, stained with blood.
"What…" Nick trails off, his voice strangled. "What the hell is going on?"
"I think we might have a problem," Sean says. "It's possible I've been previously dosed with your blood."
"Dosed?" Realisation hits them both at the same moment. "The coffee! Adalind was trying to take away your powers. Make you human, like I did to her."
Renard shakes his head, trying to move away from the detective. He suddenly feels caged by the trailer, too hot in his own skin, trapped here with a bleeding Grimm and he needs more.
"That might be what she was trying but it doesn't…I'm a half-breed, a bastard. Grimm blood affects half-breeds differently. Which, clearly, Adalind doesn't know."
"Captain," Nick asks tersely, "what does Grimm blood do to a half-breed?"
"It makes us want more," he says, eyes cast downwards, "Need more."
Nick tries, subtly, to hide the fact he's not upset by that answer. It doesn't stop Sean's gaze from sweeping over him, coming to a half as he registers the Grimm's growing hard-on.
He takes a step closer. Then another. "It makes us crave."
There's something rough in his voice, something that Nick latches onto. With one hand, he curls into Renard's tie, marking it red as his bloody wrist smears across it. With that hand, he pulls Sean closer still. Then he reaches up and smears blood onto the side of his throat. The welcome is obvious, undeniable. Renard visibly struggles with the urge to take, his frown deepening as he tries to move away. Nick looks drunk, looks perfect.
His lips find the blood at the base of Nick's throat, moving hot across the skin. Nick's body trembles, and Sean's hands wrap into the younger man's shirt, unable to manage anything else. They're pressed together now, close as they can manage, body heat shared between them.
But it's not only his blood Sean craves. He pulls away, eyes losing a little of their wildness. Nick watches him curiously, waiting for his next move.
They do nothing for what feels like forever. Then Renard's hand come up, trailing blood against Nick's cheek. He leans in and kisses him fiercely, hoping to all hell that Nick knows this isn't about blood or craving, it's about needing him like has for a long time now.
Nick knows. He realises it now, with full clarity. Sees the way Renard's treated him in a whole new light. And he kisses back like his life depends on it, like they're both doomed men caught in the calm before the storm.
"Your hand," Renard pants as they break apart for air. "Your hand."
"Right," Nick says, hopelessly out of breath. He picks up the cloth and starts to wrap. Sean takes over, gently wrapping the wound and tying the cloth in place. "Thanks."
Stepping back from the younger man, Renard nods.
"I, ah…we…this probably shouldn't happen again."
"It shouldn't," Sean says. He looks up, takes in the blood on Nick's cheek, on his lips and his throat, then looks away. Shuts his eyes. Then opens them, determined, and pulls Nick into a kiss. Nick returns it with the same fervour, the same desire. His hands move over buttons, then over bare skin, feeling muscles contract and release beneath his palm.
Adalind comes back to her hotel room, talking intensely with someone on her cell phone. There's a bouquet of flowers on the desk, that hadn't been there when she left. She takes a few tentative steps towards it and grabs the card set atop the display. It's typed on white card, with no to or from written anywhere. She opens it and tugs out the message.
Thanks for the coffee.