Nick fumed, pacing the length of his living room and dining room. He couldn't believe Sean Renard! The man just didn't know the meaning of the word 'NO'! Yes, he understood why he was doing it, but trying to protect him does not give the man carte blanche on methods of doing so. Although, the fact that people seemed to think he needed protection at all just made Nick even angrier.
The other thing that was driving Nick up a wall, was the fact that every time he saw Renard, his heart decided to flutter. The Grimm stopped pacing, growling and clenching his fists. He was swiftly reminded of the piece of glass sticking out of his hand. He held up the appendage and saw that it was covered in blood and the piece of glass was in there pretty deep. He looked down and saw a trail of blood leading from one end of the living room to the other end of the dining room. Crap, he'd been bleeding this whole time? How long had he been pacing again?
A knock at his door broke Nick out of his thoughts. He hid his hand behind his back and went to answer it. He opened the door to see a smiling Rosalee and Monroe.
"Um, hi," Nick said uncertainly. Monroe was sniffing the air, Rosalee had taken a cursory sniff and then sighed. She adjusted the strap of her satchel and pushed her way in the door.
"Let's see it," she ordered, walking over to the dining room table. Nick's shoulders sagged and he trudged over to the table, Monroe walking in and closing the door behind himself.
"How did you know?" Nick asked. Rosalee gave him a soft smile.
"Renard called us," she said. "He told us what happened and said that you had gotten hurt. He was worried you wouldn't take proper care of it, and he was right." She gave his hand a significant look, then glanced at the blood trail. "Give it here."
Nick frowned, his brows furrowing and his bottom lip pouting slightly. Again, Renard was doing something without asking him first. But he didn't want to argue with Rosalee, so he just sat down on one of the chairs and put his injured right hand on the table, palm up. Monroe silently took off his coat, then went to find a mop; the smell of Nick's blood was making him nauseous.
Rosalee gave a wince and a sigh, sitting down in the chair next to Nick. She started pulling things out of her bag and laying them on the table; antiseptic, bandages, gauze, tape, a jar of one of her healing ointments, and, surprisingly, a suture kit.
"I don't think I need stitches," he muttered. She gave him a pointed look and he decided to shut up and let her make the diagnosis. The Fuchsbau carefully took his hand and removed the large piece of glass from his palm and set it aside on a piece of gauze. She looked at the wound carefully, then gave another sigh, before going back into her bag and fishing out a pair of tweezers.
"It's a good thing you buy beer that's in brown colored bottles," she commented. "Splinters of clear glass would have been a lot harder to find." She pulled out a couple tiny pieces of glass from the wound on his palm and then a few more from the smaller cuts on his fingers. He hadn't realized he'd caused so much damage. "Though, maybe it would be a good idea to buy beer in cans from now on?" she said with a smirk, glancing up at him. Nick huffed a brief laugh and smiled at her.
"I wouldn't need to, if I didn't have to deal with a man who doesn't know how to take 'no' for an answer or keep his hands to himself," he replied.
Rosalee gave him a half smile and continued with cleaning his hand. The Grimm hissed when the antiseptic was poured over it. He was thankful that Rosalee had the forethought to bring a numbing ointment to put on it before she started putting in stitches. The cut in the palm of his hand was a lot worse than he'd originally thought it was. He could see one of the bones in his hand in the deepest part of it. Apparently, glass beer bottles were very dangerous things when handled with enough force. He had the thing in his hand when he punched Renard, and the force of the punch that had sent the larger man to the floor, also forced the glass into his own flesh.
By the end of the stitches, Nick was biting his lip and squeezing his other fist to keep from making noises, and to keep from moving around in his seat and possibly making Rosalee screw up. The whole time this was going on, Monroe was silently mopping the floor, cleaning up the blood, beer and shattered glass. Nick also heard him yanking the knife out of the door frame. It must have been in there pretty good, because he heard the Blutbad curse while he was doing it. Nick gave a sigh of relief when Rosalee finally put the bandage over his palm. His hand ended up wrapped in gauze all the way up past his wrist. She put simple band-aids on his fingers, since they didn't need anything more.
Nick looked at his wrapped up hand and really pouted this time. He wouldn't be able to do a damn thing with his hand like this! It was his right hand too, and he was right-handed!
"You should keep it bandaged for a few days. Clean it and change the bandage every day and don't get it wet, I'll leave enough supplies to last those few days. Monroe and I will stay here tonight, in case you need anything," Rosalee said. "Besides, you'd just sit here and brood, if we left you alone." Nick scowled at her, but she just laughed and put her supplies away. "Make yourself useful and order some take-out," she commanded. The pouting Grimm stood up and turned to go get the take out menus from the desk drawer in the living room. When he went to pull his cell phone out... he remembered it was in his right pocket. He tried to reach it with his other hand, but he wasn't quite that flexible. Rosalee chuckled at the look of consternation on his face, and took pity on him. She walked over to him and pulled his phone out for him and put it in his left hand.
"Thank you," Nick said, an embarrassed blush on his cheeks, as he dialed the number on the Chinese take-out menu.
Sean Renard stood in his apartment, just standing there idly at the end of the hallway, in the doorway to his living room and kitchen. He hadn't even put his coat down, it hung off of his arm, close to simply falling to the floor. He stared off into space, while his mind ran in circles around the subject of his Grimm.
He understood why Nick was angry, but he didn't understand why he was putting up so much of a fight. He was doing this to protect him! That's all he wanted, was to protect Nick. He didn't ask Nick for permission before he started the bonding process because he knew he would just say 'No', but that didn't seem to matter. Even with the influence of the Binden Process coursing through his veins, Nick was still giving him a resounding 'No'. Nick should be feeling a sexual attraction to him by now, but either it wasn't working or Nick was hiding it very well. If he was hiding it, that might also explain why he was so angry. He was denying the attraction and was only frustrating himself by doing so.
Sean fingered the badge in his pocket; Nick's badge. He'd intended to give it back to him and tell him he wouldn't accept a resignation, but he never got the chance. Instead, he'd gotten a punch to the face with a beer bottle and had a knife thrown at his head. Sean sighed softly, finally going into his bedroom and hanging up his coat and removed his shoes, jacket, tie and shirt. He threw the jacket, the tie and the shirt in the trash, since they reeked of beer and he knew the smell and stains wouldn't come out. He looked into the mirror in his closet and noticed the blood on his cheek in the middle of a gigantic bruise. He put his fingers to it and felt it sting the cut on his face. The glass must have nicked him when it shattered against his face. He cleaned up the wound in his en suite bathroom, deeming a bandage unnecessary, then went back to his closet.
After putting on a clean shirt, leaving the top few buttons undone, he walked out of his bedroom and poured himself two fingers of his best scotch and downed it in one go.
Sean wondered how Nick was doing right now. He'd hurt his hand pretty badly, judging by the amount of blood dripping from it. He saw the piece of glass that was stuck in it, and he knew Nick was... chronically neglectful of his own health. Since he knew Nick wouldn't let him touch him with a ten foot pole, Sean had called Rosalee and asked her to check up on him, after he'd explained what happened. He'd been surprised that the Fuchsbau hadn't gotten defensive of her friend. If anything, she sounded resigned and weary. Just how often did Nick go to her with injuries that he knew nothing about? Knowing Nick the way he did and the work the Grimm got up to in his off time, Nick could be going to her every day for medical attention. That probably didn't include all the times he neglected to go to Rosalee with other possible injuries as well.
His worry for his Grimm increased ten-fold, and he had to pour himself another drink to stop himself from going back to Nick's house to check on him and force the Grimm to let him inspect his body for possible untreated injuries. No, doing that would just set him back even more. He needed to try a different approach of getting Nick to agree. But what approach should he use? Should he be rougher or gentler? Any other member of his family would just tie the Grimm down and do whatever they wanted, but he wanted to be different from his heavy-handed Royal family. He didn't know how to proceed. He needed Nick to agree to this process, if he wanted to successfully protect him and reap the benefits of being mated to a Grimm.
It was all so messed up and his head was starting to pound with the beginnings of a migraine.
That night, Sean Renard ended up passing out on his couch, half drunk and wholly tired.
The next day, Sean went to work in a gloomy mood, but he hid it behind his well practiced mask of indifference. He had to field questions about Detective Burkhardt's sudden resignation and he had a very uncomfortable conversation with Detective Griffin about the possible replacements for his partner. The man didn't want a new partner, Sean didn't want to give him a new partner, they both wanted Nick back at his desk with his badge on his belt, but the higher ups wanted answers and they wanted the questionable vacancy filled. There was too much work for it to be left open. He hadn't even told anyone that Nick had resigned, but Nick hadn't exactly been subtle about leaving, so it wouldn't have been difficult for the information to reach his superiors.
If that wasn't bad enough, Wu was giving him strange looks. After what he'd seen yesterday, and the way Nick had left, he could only imagine what was going through Wu's head about what was going on between him and Nick. They couldn't have been good ideas circling in there or the Sergeant would be teasing him about it, not staring at him like he'd personally offended him. He must have thought his Captain had been sexually harassing the detective.
The words Nick had said to him the day before ran through Sean's head, reminding him that Nick said he had been sexually harassing him. Sean had to put his pen down and rub at his forehead. He could feel a migraine building in his head. He hadn't intended it to be sexual harassment, he'd thought things with Nick would be going better than they were, since the detective should feel attracted to him. But Nick was being his usual stubborn self and now Sean looked like a pervert. Great, one more thing for him to worry about; his officers thinking he was a sick pervert who liked to force himself on his younger subordinates.
Sean pushed back from his desk and got up. His head hurt and he needed coffee, and not the sludge that was available in the bullpen. Some fresh air and a change of scenery might do him some good. The police captain grabbed his coat and walked out of his office. He paused long enough to inform one of his sergeants of where he was going (he had to tell Franco because Wu walked away from him before he could even open his mouth), then walked out of the police station.
He walked down to the little cafe down the street, his mind wandering to Nick again. He needed to come up with something to convince the Grimm that this binding was good for both of them, that he would benefit greatly from it too. They would both lose enemies and gain allies by doing it. Most of their enemies would back off because they wouldn't want to take on a Grimm and a Royal at the same time, who would have gained said allies as a result. They would gain even more allies who would support them because they wanted the protection they would get by affiliating with a bonded Grimm and Royal. As it was, more and more allies were moving in and offering their allegiance to him, and Sean really wanted to be able to assure them that the Grimm would be on their side as well. As it was, Sean couldn't even tell them that the Portland Grimm would know they existed and that they needed his help and protection. That's what a Grimm is supposed to do, protect their territory, and Nick was doing that, but he'd be able to do it a lot better if they could say that he and Sean were together.
It was an old way of thinking; a Grimm and a Royal bound together to protect their canton. But it's what people wanted, something that they all needed and something they were all desperate to see again. It was finally possible to give it, but the biggest hurdle in those plans was the stubborn Grimm who wouldn't consent to completing the process!
The idea of just forcing Nick ran through his head again, but he quickly dismissed it. It wouldn't work on Nick, he was too bull headed. He also didn't want to force him. More than anything, Sean wanted Nick to willingly fall into his bed. He didn't see that happening with the way things were going. Maybe he should ask Nick's friends for advice on how to approach Nick with the subject again?
Sean walked into the cafe and ordered an unsweetened latte with an extra shot of espresso. He needed the caffeine if he wanted to make it through the day. He took his coat off and sat at one of the little tables by the window, waiting for the barista to bring him his drink. He studied his folded hands as he waited, thinking about Nick again. He looked up when someone sat in the seat across from him, and froze, all the color draining from his face.
"Hello, brother," Eric Renard greeted him with a big smug grin on his face. Sean just stared at him, barely noticing when his coffee was set in front of him. "What's the matter? You look like you've seen a ghost?"
"I thought you were dead?" Sean asked, finally shaking himself out of his stupor.
"Yes, well," Eric said, taking Sean's coffee and taking a sip. He grimaced and grabbed the sugar from the middle of the table, pouring liberal amounts of it into the strong coffee. "That was kind of the point, wasn't it? To make everyone think I was dead. It was father's idea, really. Apparently, I'd made too many enemies for his liking and he decided to make them all think I was no longer a problem. He gave me all new employees that no one will have had the chance to corrupt and even hid me away in the wild west, where no one would look for me. Not even my own brother. Or maybe I should say, especially my own brother?" Eric sent a smile at Sean. "It was your bomb that was put in my car, wasn't it?" he asked in a dangerous tone.
Sean's mouth gaped, his mind grinding to a halt and then whirring back to life too fast for him to think of a response. Eric chuckled at the look on his face, as he took another sip of the coffee, seemingly satisfied with the adjustment in flavor.
"What do you want?" Sean finally managed to say.
"You already know what I want," Eric said, drinking Sean's coffee. He smiled at Sean again. "The same thing everyone else seems to want. The pretty little Grimm of Portland." Sean clenched his jaw to keep from spewing obscenities at his ass of a brother. "You could make things simple and just hand him over. You wouldn't even need to do anything more than make a phone call to lure him to the right place and time." Eric watched Sean carefully as he spoke.
"That wouldn't work anyway," Sean said, sighing. "Nick and I aren't really on speaking terms at the moment. Last time I spoke to him, he threw a knife at my head."
"Aw, what a pity," Eric said, giving Sean a fake frown. "Perhaps I can talk some sense into him?"
"I don't want you going anywhere near him," Sean growled through his teeth. Eric smiled indulgently at Sean. "I mean it, stay away from him!" Eric only chuckled, taking another long draw of the coffee, before he set it down in front of Sean.
"See you around, my dear brother," Eric sang, standing up and walking out of the cafe.
Sean watched him walk out, as two men in suits walked up to Eric's sides and accompanied him down the street, where he no doubt had a car waiting for him. Sean looked down at his half empty overly sweetened coffee and had to resist the urge to angrily fling it across the room.
Rosalee and Monroe were making lunch for themselves and Nick, when Monroe's phone rang. The Blutbad looked at it and mouthed 'Renard' to Rosalee, before he walked out the back door to answer it.
"Hello?" Monroe answered.
"Is Nick with you?" Renard asked by way of greeting.
"Yeah," Monroe said. "Well, I mean he's not with me personally, he's in the living room and I'm standing outside in hopes that he won't hear this conversation, but I think that's a lost cause when you're within a mile of his freakish sense of hearing."
"Okay, stay with him and don't let him out of your sight," Renard commanded. He hesitated before adding the rest of his warning. "My brother is back, and he's in Portland. I just had a wonderful chat with him." The word 'wonderful' was said with so much sarcasm and disdain that Monroe winced.
"But I thought your brother was dead?" Monroe asked, whispering into the phone.
"So did I," the other man said in a weary tone. "Turns out he faked his death."
"Oh," Monroe said. "That's... not good."
"No, it isn't," Renard said. "You need to keep Nick with you and try to keep him safe. Eric is still after him, like before. I don't know what he has planned or how many people he has working for him or who. He somehow managed to get to Portland without me hearing a word about it. He just surprised me at the cafe when I randomly decided I didn't want the coffee at the precinct, which means he has people watching me."
"Crap," Monroe muttered.
"Keep your eyes open for suspicious persons," Renard said. "I don't doubt he has people watching Nick and his friends, especially you and Rosalee. Is there anyone within your line of sight from where you are outside? Anyone you don't know?"
Monroe looked around and noticed a neighbor who was trimming a hedge... in the autumn... and he kept glancing at Monroe. Monroe frowned. That neighbor moved into the house next door months ago. He'd met him, he was a Lowen and came into the Spice Shop on a regular basis. Have they been watching Nick that long or was he being overly paranoid?
"Um," Monroe said, turning away from the neighbor. "I see Nick's neighbor who keeps looking at me, but he moved in ages ago. You think they've been keeping an eye on him that long?"
"I wouldn't doubt it," Renard said with an audible sigh.
"I've met the guy, he comes into the Spice Shop for tinctures all the time," Monroe continued. "He's a Lowen."
Renard cursed in colorful French. "Oh, how did things go to Hell so fast?" he asked, more to himself than Monroe. "Is there somewhere you can go that you don't go very often? Someplace they wouldn't know about?"
"Um, no, not really," Monroe said. "Unless I want to go visit my parents, but they live halfway across the country, and Rosalee's family lives in Seattle." Renard cursed again.
"What about the Eisbiber? What was his name?" Renard asked.
"Bud?" Monroe offered. "I don't know, he might flip out and, like, permanently woge himself, if we showed up at his house and said we needed to hide from dangerous Royal employees. He has kids in his home, man, it would be a bad idea. Plus, let me just add that Nick might not even go, if he so much as thinks you're giving him more orders. He is really not happy with you. I'm pretty sure that if you try to tell him to do anything right now, he'll do the opposite just to spite you." The line went silent and Monroe had to look at the phone to make sure it was still connected. "Hello?"
"That stubborn, suicidal, crazy, little... GRIMM!" Renard ranted, deciding to keep the real name he wanted to give Nick to himself.
"Yeah, tell me about it," Monroe commented.
"Oh, please, do tell," Nick's voice came from behind him. Monroe jumped so high his feet left the ground and he woged, as he spun around and looked at the Grimm who snuck up on him. He hadn't heard him coming at all, not even when he opened the door.
"Nick! Dammit, don't do that!" Monroe shrieked at him, woging back to his human face.
"Give me the phone," Nick said, holding out his uninjured hand. Monroe handed it to him slowly, keeping his eyes on Nick's face to try and gauge his emotions. He didn't really need to, though. It didn't take a genius to know the man was pissed. Nick put the phone to his ear. "Why can't you and your family just stay out of my life?" he growled at the Royal on the other end of the line.
"Nick," Renard said. "I can't..."
"No! I don't want to hear any more excuses," Nick cut him off. "Tell me the real reason you won't leave me the hell alone!"
Renard paused on the other end of the line. "I can't tell you that right now," he said. "You'll only misunderstand and get even more angry with me."
"Oh, yeah, 'cause that answer is giving me so many more reasons to trust you," Nick said sarcastically. "You know what? Take your protection schemes and shove them up your ass! If your brother wants to come for me, fine. I'll deal with him when the time comes. In the meantime, you stay the fuck away from me!" Nick hung up the phone and handed it back to Monroe, who was staring at him like he was nuts. He'd never heard his friend curse like that before.
Nick spun on his heal and walked back into the house, going past a stunned Rosalee who had heard Nick's end of the conversation, since he'd pretty much been yelling the whole time. Monroe turned to look at Nick's neighbor again, but noticed that he wasn't there anymore, his trimming sheers laying on the ground, forgotten.
"Oh, no," Monroe said, looking around for him and not finding him. Monroe ran back inside to attempt to talk some sense into his Grimm friend. Now was really not the time to be so defiant as to put himself and others in danger just to spite the big boss.