One-shot taking place between The Inheritance and Blond Ambition. A little Trubel perspective and then she learns a little more about Nick's past and he learns a little more about hers. Because apparently I'm on a Grimm kick recently, although this is the last finished one-shot.
Trubel took one last look at the frog-eating-goat—the caption said 'Ziegevolk,' but frog-eating-goat was way easier to remember—and then flipped to the next page.
"Reinigen." This one wasn't particularly scary looking in Trubel's estimation, especially since the one in the sketch looked younger than she was. Although as with the other entries she was more interested in the commentary than the picture because unless she missed her guess, this was one of Nick's books. Well, they were all Nick's books, but she was pretty sure that Nick had written this book, or at least this section of it. If nothing else because almost none of the entries ended with a variation on 'and then I chopped off its head.'
It was…he said he'd thought he was crazy too when he started seeing Wesen, but she wasn't sure that she believed him. Not when she compared a book like this to one of the dozen notebooks she'd started and lost or had confiscated by some shrink or whatever. Hers…well, the sketches were pretty alike, maybe that was just a Grimm thing, but that was where the similarities ended. Along with the sketch, Nick's book had a short summary of the encounter and a listing of some Reinigen characteristics. Her books were filled with demands to know what was happening and pleas to make it stop and whatever other scattered thoughts were running through her mind when the need to do something drove her to sketching. She had no trouble believing that Nick had said 'wow, that's crazy' at some point, but that was way different than living with the constant terror of monsters appearing in place of previously normal people and trying to kill her. Well, okay, some of them hadn't been quite your average citizens, especially when you considered the dives she'd been in and out of in these past few years, but even so making friends with a couple of them like Nick had wasn't something that had even occurred to her.
According to the journal entry the Reinigen kid had been let off with a warning not to sic any more rats on anyone, and she shook her head—this had to be Nick's book—and she flipped to the next page. And then sucked in her breath at the monster staring back at her.
Siegbarste. She'd seen the word before, in the older book the other day when she'd identified it as the monster that had killed her last set of foster parents. Nick hadn't mentioned that he'd run into one. Of course, he'd been about to head out on a case so there really hadn't been time for a chat, but….
Trubel flipped the book shut and stood. That was enough for one day. More than enough for one day. She pulled her backpack onto the table and was debating whether she wanted to take anything back to the house with her or not—Nick had said no to the weapons, but the books were fair game—when she caught sight of the clock. "Shit, I'm going to be late for dinner."
It took her a moment after she'd spoken to process her own words …it had literally been years since she'd worried about something like that. But Juliette and Nick liked eating dinner as a group, and as long as they were letting her stay with them it would be rude of her to make them wait. Even she knew that.
It didn't mean anything. It certainly didn't mean that she was getting used to any of this because she wasn't letting that happen. Not that it wasn't nice to have a safe place to sleep and as much food as she wanted and yesterday to go into a store with Juliette without having to worry about being caught shoplifting—to not have to shoplift—but she'd been on her own for too long to allow herself to start relying on others. That led to loss and pain and other things she'd already had way too much experience with.
She hugged herself quickly and then shook her head. Another week, maybe, but after that she was going to have to get out on her own again, especially if she was starting to have thoughts like that.
But…. She looked down at Nick's book on the table and then picked it up and shoved it into her backpack before slinging her pack over her shoulder. Maybe she wouldn't go too far, this time. She did like having someone like her around, not to mention all these books to look in and see pictures of what she'd seen and know that she wasn't alone. There were new books—or at least new old books—in that trunk, too, although Nick wanted to get the trailer moved somewhere safer before he added the trunk's contents to the horde.
And it had been fun to go out with Juliette, even if their personal styles didn't exactly match. Granted that Juliette was friendly and normal, two things that automatically made Trubel suspicious, but despite that she didn't think that Trubel was crazy. It was a big step up from most of the people that Trubel had dealt with in the past few years.
Trubel hadn't been on a bike in years, even more years than it had been since she'd last worried about being late for a meal, when Juliette had offered hers for use. It turned out that the phrase 'like riding a bike' existed for a reason, though, and she picked up speed as she turned out of the trailer park parking lot. Hopefully she wouldn't be too late.
It didn't take as long as she thought to reach the house, and she scanned the street automatically as she approached. No sign of Monroe's car, but he and Rosalee been over just the other night and from what Juliette had been saying yesterday were probably working furiously finalizing wedding details. It was strange to think about monsters getting married, but then, she was finally wrapping her head around the fact that despite what her mind kept whispering Wesen weren't really monsters, and Monroe and Rosalee were even less monstrous than most. Well, Monroe's other appearance was on the scary side and it wasn't exactly helped by his habit of looming, but he loomed over everyone, and it only took about thirty seconds of talking to him to realize that he wasn't exactly out to intimidate people. And Rosalee was nice.
Nick's truck was parked along the street, but Trubel wasn't sure if he'd taken it in today or if Hank had picked him up. They seemed to trade off. Hank was a cop so Trubel wasn't about to trust him any further than she could throw him—especially since being a cop meant that the mad ninja skills that had somehow replaced her tolerable-enough-for-foster care fistfighting abilities didn't mean as much against him as they did against the average person, although she was pretty sure she could take him if she absolutely had to—but like Juliette he seemed to take the whole Grimm thing in stride despite being perfectly normal himself.
"Trubel, is that you?" Nick called from the kitchen as she entered.
"How do you feel about stew for dinner?"
As far as she could tell none of them had figured out that she'd eat pretty much anything put in front of her, and she shrugged and headed for the kitchen. "Okay."
"Good, because it'll be done in about three minutes." Nick turned back from a pot on the stove with a quick grin as she entered. "Could you slice some bread?"
"It's just you and me for dinner tonight, Juliette's with a sick mare somewhere outside of town and isn't sure when she'll be back."
Trubel felt her shoulders tense despite herself. It wasn't…she wasn't afraid of Nick. Aside from the fact that he'd done more than anyone to help her make sense of the craziness that her life had become over the past few years, she'd seen the way he looked at Juliette and knew she'd never have to worry about him thinking about her like that. Oh, he was a cop too, and a cop with at least those same mad ninja skills that she had at that and that she probably couldn't beat in a fight, but he'd been more exasperated than angry after the mess with the Lebensaugers and not even that with the Hundjagers at the hospital so she wasn't worried about him suddenly flipping out on her. It was more…well, she just didn't have the greatest track record when it came to being alone with men. And there wasn't even any Grimm stuff going on right now to make things easier.
"Trubel? You okay?" Nick asked.
"Yeah." She wasn't hitchhiking, and this wasn't some seedy dive. It was just Nick and she was fine. "Yeah, uh, knife?"
"Drawer to your left."
She'd sliced off a couple pieces for each of them when he turned around with bowls, and she wasn't sure if her hesitation was visible on her face or not, but he nodded towards the living room. "How about we forget table manners and see if there's anything good on TV?"
She wasn't much for table manners on a good day, and a television program meant attention somewhere besides on her so she nodded. "Sure."
"You go down to the trailer today?" he asked as she got settled on the far end of the couch while he took the chair.
"Find anything interesting?"
"I guess." Maybe TV didn't mean she'd get away without talking, especially since he hadn't even turned it on yet, and she forced herself to add to the conversation. "A lot of your books are in German, though, especially the old ones."
"Yeah," Nick agreed. "I really wish someone had mentioned that to me when I was signing up for high school Spanish. If you need something translated, Monroe's the one to talk to, though. He likes doing that kind of thing."
She nodded. "I…." He looked over, and she ducked her head. "Never mind. None of my business."
"It's okay, you can ask whatever you want. We've been asking you plenty of questions. I just can't swear I'll have an answer because there are some books in there that I still haven't gotten through."
She shrugged and shoved a spoonful of stew into her mouth. It wasn't always the best idea to take that kind of liberty.
"You what?" he prompted after a minute.
"I think I found one of the books you're writing," she said finally.
"Yeah, I've been trying to get the details down when I run into Wesen. Mostly so I don't have to keep constantly referring back to the in-German—or a variety of other language—books."
"Did you have to fight a Siegbarste?"
Nick clearly remembered what she'd told him about her experience with one, but there was no hesitation in his nod. "Yeah, I did."
"You beat him?"
"No, he put me in the hospital. If Juliette hadn't gotten home when she did I'm not so sure I'd be here right now."
"Juliette fought him off?" Trubel wouldn't have figured Juliette for any ninja skills at all.
"Sort of. She threw a pot of boiling water in his face, and that gave me time to grab my gun and shoot him a few times—a few more times—and at that point I guess he decided he'd had enough."
"So he's still around?" She could feel her heartbeat picking up and tried to pretend that she didn't care, but—
"No. No. It's…Monroe took care of it. With Hank as bait, although that wasn't really anyone's plan but Hank's."
"I don't understand."
"I was never the Siegbarste's real target. Hank had helped put him in jail a few years before, and when the Siegbarste escaped he was out for revenge. He killed the judge an a couple other people involved in the trial before we figured it out and the captain put a protective detail on Hank, but then when the Siegbarste couldn't find Hank, he went after me instead."
"Because you're his partner or because you're a Grimm?"
"Partner. He didn't know I was a Grimm until we fought, and as far as I could tell it didn't make a damn bit of difference to him when he did figure it out. But after he put me in the hospital I called Monroe, and Monroe found the stuff you need to kill a Siegbarste in the trailer, and when Hank slipped his detail and went to confront him alone, Monroe followed and took care of it."
"Stuff to kill them? Like one of your swords or something?" A magic sword would be kind of cool, although she didn't ever want to be within arms' reach of one of those things.
"Not exactly. Poison delivered by elephant gun."
"Huh. I wouldn't have guessed that."
"Me either. I owe Monroe a lot."
"Yeah, and you're lucky you have that stuff."
"That too," Nick agreed. "Can I ask you a question about the Siegbarste that you tangled with?"
"I don't know anything about it except that it killed them."
"That's okay," Nick said. "I just…was he the same Wesen who tried to force you?"
"What? Oh, no, I don't know what that one was. I guess I haven't seen that picture yet." Or maybe she had but just hadn't recognized it because her memory of that day was a blur of fur and teeth and claws and fear. "But after they let me out of the kiddie nut-house I still wasn't eighteen yet so they had to do something with me, and they ended up sticking me in a home for high risk kids. That's where…." She trailed off with a quick shrug. "They'd been nice to me, you know? Most people wouldn't have taken a kid like me with that kind of record."
Nick nodded. "I'm sorry. I won't ask again."
She shoved another spoonful of stew in her mouth. Even if he did ask, she'd been telling the truth. She couldn't add anything else. She'd heard her foster mother screaming and when she got downstairs her foster father had already been ripped apart. For a second she'd been frozen in place as it crushed her faster mother's skull, but when its eyes locked on her she'd regained control of her legs and took off out the back door. She'd spent the next four days hiding in the basement of a local church before hunger had finally driven her out, and that night she'd snuck onto a bus and hadn't looked back.
"Where…oh, here's the remote," Nick said, shifting to pull it out from the side of the chair. "Let's see what's on."