Grim Infernal Ripples

Disclaimer: I Don't Own Grim Tales. If I did, this would be on the SNAFU website.

Summary: Mimi and Jeff manage to elude HIM longer than expected. This small mercy, however, has a cruel price for the Grim family which sends ripples across the future. Mandy finally goes too far and forces Grim's hand. Now Grim Junior and MiniMandy will learn the real origins of Grim Senior, the Reapers, and the Underworld.

Beta: Dragon_Wizard91

Regular speak

Thoughts and Emotions talking to person outside mind

Demonic or Animalistic speak

Demonic or Animalistic Thoughts

AN: This fic was partially inspired by Brandon Storm's "Rosario Grim" but this fic is in no way connected to the universe of his fic.

It had been two months since the incident with the Reaper-Beast in Halloween Town. Things had quieted down after that, mostly. Mandy and Grim had sent some soldiers and builders to help rebuild the town, since their visit did cause the destruction, in a sense. The citizens held little animosity for what happened. Barely any of them died and their town was being restored; couldn't ask for much more than that, especially from their royal family.

Back at Castle Grimskull, things had been better than they ever had been. While MiniMandy had gone from a powerful part-demon to a ragdoll, she was happier now than she ever had been. She and her brother finally got along. The staff often saw them playing together, Junior using his new Nergal-powers for some manner of fun. He had learnt to wield them faster than Minnie had hoped. She once joked, out of their Grim Father's earshot, that Junior was born to be a Nergal. Something Nergal Senior found belly achingly amusing.

Best of all, her brother not only knew of her love, but he didn't reject it...sort of. He didn't return it, for the moment, but he didn't outright crush her hopes. She didn't blame him, knowing the ordeals of recent events along with her memories…she must have given him much to think about. If he couldn't love her beyond a sister, she would accept it with a heavy heart...But his actions as of late did nothing to make her think that, if she was honest. Over the last two months, they had become closer and Junior more affectionate, to her occasional embarrassment. He even let her sleep in his bed...and snuggled her in his sleep, to her joy.

However, Minnie had never suspected how quickly and horribly her paradise could end, by one she expected least of all: her mother. She had always known Mandy could be a cruel and evil woman, hence why she was Queen of the Underworld, but she never even suspected she would turn her true cruelty to her own children. Now, strapped down to a table with a mouthpiece to keep her from biting and her body cover in suction cups for shock therapy, all she could see was a woman who would stop at nothing to get what she wanted. A woman that stood right outside the window and watched the entire time with merciless eyes.

She had begged every time, before and after the treatment, to not put her through it again. Without blinking or hesitation, Mandy would always deny her daughter's tearful plea. Minnie might have been more accepting if it wasn't for WHY her mother was doing this to her. She wanted to stop her from loving Junior in a romantic sense. Minnie had no idea why her mother wanted this...and she really didn't care anymore.

Her mother had put her through this for over a week now, and she stopped seeing Mandy as her mother. Just as she stopped seeing Nergal Junior as a father figure in any way. For the half-breed not only knew about it, but did nothing to stop Mandy from harming his daughter. He was even here this time, leaning against the glass. He didn't even have the dignity to watch at what he was about to let happen. He just stood there with his face in his hand while Queen Mandy watched without remorse as she saw Minnie glare at them with a faint glow of red around her eyes.

"I can't believe you can watch this," Nergal Junior said, barely keeping his voice calm. He didn't want to put Minnie through this, but...what else could he do! His daughter was in love with her half-brother! Her half-brother who was not just a reaper, the next GRIM Reaper; which made her actions all the more clear. She had given her eye and powers to Junior and when she had been resurrected, she never once asked for them back.

"I've done far worse than this," Mandy answered unflinchingly. She was two months pregnant with Dan Phantom's spawns, so it wasn't really noticeable yet unless it was someone that saw the Queen on a daily basis or that could sense things like this.

"No, ya haven't," A familiar voice called coldly, causing them both to turn in slight surprise to see Grim Senior himself walking down the hallway, glaring at them in a way that neither of them had ever seen him do...ever.

"What do you want, Grim?" Mandy asked evenly, staring at him hard. For one of the very few times, Grim was completely un-phased and ignored her question.

"It's one ding to do terrible dings to a person. Doin it to a child? Dat's worse. Doin it to yer own child? Dat's abou as low as ya get," Grim continued on, his sockets glaring into Mandy's red eyes, who glared back just as intensely.

"She's not your daughter, she's mi-" Nergal Junior started, taking a step forward, only to stop and jump back as...something...scratched him from the top left of his forehead to the bottom right of his face, breaking his glasses in half as green blood oozed down his face. He looked up and saw that Grim, his scythe nowhere to be seen, was glaring at him with more hate then he thought the old skeleton had in him.

"Don't ev-a say dat again, ya piece of filth! Ye los all rights ta call her yer daughter de moment ya consented to dis! If you ev-a come into dis house again, or go near MY daughter, I will make ya beg to die!" Grim yelled, the half-demon paralyzed under the angry stare of Death.

Though Mandy didn't show it, she was more than a little startled. She didn't see Grim do anything yet he nearly took off Nergal Junior's head, without a weapon of any kind. And she had never seen him like this, "That's not your call. Now, I'll only ask once more, Grim. What do you want?" She asked evenly. Grim had never been this defiant, always letting her do as she pleased, and knowing that whatever she did was for making their kingdom more powerful.

"Do ya really need to ask, woman, or are ya just try to piss me off even more?" He asked coldly, shocking Mandy with his bluntness, "I want ye to stop dis nonsense. Now!" He answered, now yelling in Mandy's face.

"No. Now get out of my face before I make you Cerberus's chewtoy," Mandy retorted, her anger visibly mounting. The same anger that had subdued and enslaved Death when she was a child and the same anger that had always done the same as his wife and queen. Grim didn't back down though...if anything, he was more angry. And Mandy wasn't sure what to make of that.

"Umm, Ma'am? We're ready to proceed," The doctor, a zombie in fact, called though the speaker next to the window. He looked very nervous, as did the rest of his staff, about six other medically trained monsters.

"Las chance Mandy," Grim threatened. Nergal Junior stood where he had jumped to, shocked by the exchange. Now, as Grim leveled a final warning, the young half-Nergal couldn't help this tingling feeling running through his body. That tingle was fear. For once, he was infact afraid of Death.

Mandy never broke the glare between her and her husband, stepping back only slightly to press the button on their side of the wall, "Do it," She ordered simply.

"Dink very hard abou who you'd rather disobey, Zombie!" Grim spat loud, his glare at the head doctor now. Mandy's glare was now like the fires of hell. First he tried to defy her and now he was trying to turn her subjects against her? Ohh, she was going to be teaching him a lesson after this. And she was going to make sure he watched this session.

The doctor looked between his King and Queen, both glaring at him to do the opposite thing, "F-forgive me, Lord Grim, but she scares me more than you," He said apologetically, nodding to the others.

Grim just shook his head, Mandy smirking at what she assumed was resignation, "Dis is all on you, Mandy," Grim said grimly, to which she rose an eyebrow at.

"And just what are you going to do, Grim?" She asked daringly. It didn't surprise her now that she thought about it, that Grim cold cut Nergal Junior like that. He probably had a few tricks in that skull of his when without his scythe.

"It's not abou what I'm goin to do. It's abou what he is doin," Grim answered coldly, almost sounding...disappointed in her.

"He?" Mandy asked plainly, seemingly unafraid...and then it happened. Just as the doctor was about to hit the switch, the wall opposite the mirror was blown through. Everyone, even Minnie, looked on in shock at the dust covered hole. Except for Death, who just stared grimly at the event. Mandy was genuinely shocked when Pain was thrown through the hole and into the reinforced window, cracking yet not completely shattering it. He was groaning and covered in wounds, "What have you done?" Mandy asked in a deadly calm tone.

"Honestly? I saved ya. From him,"Grim answered as the attacker came through the hole, to Mandy's rage. There, in all his Nergalized-Reaper glory, was Grim Junior, holding Pain's mace and glaring with green eyes at his mother for the first time either of them could remember him doing so.

"Grim Mawet Reaper Junior!" Mandy seethed, her eyes burning brighter than they had in a long while, "Leave, now!" She all but spat the command, her tone promising pain for this defiance. Under any other circumstance, Junior would probably have lost control of his bowels by now…if he had them, and no one would blame him. However, what Mandy was so ignorant of was the fact that she had crossed a line. And with the begging gaze of his sister looking at him for help, Junior couldn't help hating his mother.

The young royal of the underworld had known something was wrong for the past few days. He had noticed Minnie not being around as much immediately, and saw how tired she was when he did see her. He originally thought Minnie was just a bit ill. After all, in the underworld, even a ragdoll could get sick from something. Or perhaps she was training more now that she lacked her Nergal powers. But for the last few days, he had realized something. Minnie wasn't just tired. She was sad. Sad and...scared?

He had tried following her once, but his mother sent him away. At the time, he didn't suspect anything horrible, so he didn't risk her wrath. Plus, if it was training with their mother, he could understand being scared. He tried a different tactic and crawled into her bed that night, "accidentally" waking her. She had asked him what he was doing and he had been mostly honest. He said he missed her and asked if everything was alright. With much fear and hesitation, she gave him a strange answer. Their mother was trying to take her love away.

That was when Mandy opened Minnie's door. She very plainly told Junior to go back to his own room. Junior had obeyed, giving his sister a kiss good night, but was disturbed by the glare his mother gave Minnie. Junior, at that point, was too worried to care what his mother would do and followed them the next morning, and found them going to a place in the castle's small medical area that had doors that were more secure than normal. Junior had only managed to see inside by using his Nergal to slide an incredibly small tentacle through a tiny hole in the ceiling of the room.

Junior had watched in numb horror as the procedure went on, trying to make sense of what he was seeing. Over time, Minnie's message became clear. Mandy was trying to force Minnie to stop loving him. Now, Junior had to admit, he was still conflicted on if his feelings for Minnie went THAT far, but he was not about to let his sister suffer through this another night and to hell with their mother!...But he needed to know one thing first.

He went to his father and asked him if he knew what Mandy was doing to MiniMandy...The Grim Reaper's angry swearing and shouting in various languages convinced the boy that the answer to that was 'No.' After that, Grim had told him the plan and asked his son if he thought he was up to it. If not, Grim would handle it himself. However, Grim Junior was truly his father's son in this case. He had saved Minnie from a devil and he'd save her from the Bitch Queen too. And so, here they were, each putting their foot down on what Mandy was doing...

Junior lifted the mace high above his head, looking as if he would throw it at his mother through the glass. She stared, daring him to do it. He threw it...right at the metal door, denting it to prevent the door from being able to unlock.

"Junior, sto-!" Nergal Junior yelled, only to have his face slammed against the wall. He looked over his shoulder and saw Grim himself had done it. And as the Son of Nergal stared into the eyes of Death, he got the disturbing feeling that they weren't just empty sockets...that something was glaring back at him in the darkness of that skull.

"Young bastards like you shouldn't be so arrogant!" Grim snarled as he threw the half-breed down the hall, hitting the wall with sickening cracks being heard.

'...What the hell?' Mandy thought, paralyzed in place. Grim had NEVER done anything like that. He was always near useless without his scythe. Yet here he was, throwing one of the strongest demons in the underworld like a ragdoll.

Junior, meanwhile, paid no mind to his father's display of power. He merely went to tearing off Minnie's suction cups and restraints with his bare claws. She practically jumped and wrapped her arms around his neck, crying into his shoulder. He embraced her, almost afraid to let her go again now. They didn't say anything to each other. Not yet, they hadn't the strength yet. Instead, Junior looked at the cowering doctors and growled lowly before extending his left arm. It turned into four tentacles and they started slaughtering the creatures. He didn't let Minnie go, didn't let her see. He didn't let her see how the lizard was strangled, the naga gutted, the goblin's heart ripped out, the zombie torn apart, or any of the rest. He didn't let her see, but she heard it perfectly. When he was done, he threw the machinery onto them, hiding his work from his sister and sending sparks flying all over the place.

Mandy had finally had enough of all this, enough of this little rebellion. The Queen summoned both of her guns to her hands and took aim at both her husband and her children. Junior never even flinched, just calmly changing his hold on Minnie to a bridal style carry. Mandy barely registered the fact that Grim was now beside her and had ripped the gun aimed at her children out of her hand. She jumped back and aimed the other at him, only for the reaper to grab the top of the gun and rip it clean off.

"How the hel-" Mandy started, only to get the shock of her life...Grim slapped her. She stood there for a moment, almost unable to comprehend everything that had happened in the last ten minutes, "Since when did you have a spine?" She asked lowly, resisting the urge to rub where she had been slapped.

"Since ya messed wit our daughter," He answered evenly, nodding to Junior. He nodded in return and ran out through the hole with Minnie.

"Where are they going?" Mandy asked coldly, trying to retain whatever dignity she had at this point. She was very, very sure that this was not a fight she could win...and the cost of winning could be even worse than losing.

"Away from you," Grim answered bluntly, obviously not sorry in the least.

"...We'll talk about this later," Mandy said in an air of finality, but Grim could see the defeat in her eyes, something he would have loved decades ago. Now, it just made things a bit more bitter, "Nergal, get out! Charles, clean up this mess!" Mandy ordered, turning to leave, her captain groaning to himself, barely conscious, 'Where have you been hiding this side of you, Grim? And why?' She wondered, feeling his gaze on her, almost daring her to try and stop their children. He didn't have to worry, she was far more interested in getting answers from him right now. And she knew he wouldn't go through all this only to send them off some place they weren't safe.

"Charles, a bit of advice fer ya and de res. Dink very carefully abou who ya serve, mon," Grim advised darkly, Pain shivering as he slid off the window, never knowing his master to be this...this...this...he didn't even know how to describe it. Grim glared at the still recovering Nergal Junior, bones obvious broken, "As fer you, if ya try to go after MY daughter, Junior will kill ya." Grim warned, the half-breed feeling as though he was being crushed by an ocean, even as Grim left the room.

'...I have got to talk to dad about this,' Nergal Junior thought numbly, not looking forward to his father finding out about 'everything'. He could barely convince himself this was the right thing to do, let alone his father.

Grim, meanwhile, was happy; relatively at least. Happy that it ended as well as it did. If they had pushed him a bit more, if the sheer shock of what he did hadn't overwhelmed Mandy and Nergal Junior like it had, that fight wouldn't have ended so quickly...and likely with him reaping Mandy. And while he despised what she had done to Minnie, he still loved the dark woman that was his wife and had no desire to send her off yet. But not even God himself would lay a finger on his children while he was around and reaping. And Mandy was NOT the exception to that. With Death, the only exceptions were on his whims...

Still, his little display of power was going to cause more ripples than Grim would like. But perhaps it was for the best. He had said that Mandy made him a worse person and a better reaper. And now, she had almost forced him to be something far worse than she could have expected. Something that hadn't been seen in eons, 'Dat woman, always sturrin up dings she shouldn't,' Grim thought in both fondness and annoyance. He turned his mind to Junior and Minnie, knowing they were already out of the castle by now, 'I would have rather shown and told ye it all meself, Son, when yer powers fully came in. Sadly, dat's not goin to happen,' Grim thought in disappointment, 'I jus hope yer sister and ya will get use to dings down dere...'

Meanwhile

Junior had indeed gotten out of the castle and even to the bottom of the mountain already. His sister was now half-asleep in his arms as he ran across the rocky terrain with his Nergal-enhanced speed. He only glanced once at his home, that castle on the mountain looming behind him, as they sped away. He may not have very kind feelings for his mother right now, but he hoped his father could soon sort things out to the point he believed it safe for them to be around Mandy again. After all, Castle Grimskull was still their home...well, his home. He wasn't sure if Minnie could still consider it that now after what had happened.

He blinked and came to a sudden halt, thinking he saw something. Turning, he saw exactly what he had thought had been there. Mimi, standing by a large rock. She looked like she had been peeking over it, but was now staring at him in confusion. As Junior took in her appearance, he could make out some bruises and cuts that were still healing, her red-with-white-puff outfit was a bit torn and dirty, and he believed that her horn was chipped lightly. All in all, it looked like the young she-devil had been through a lot since the they last met.

He wanted to say something. Ask what had happened or why she was here, tell her to come with him and Minnie, warn her about how dangerous it would be to go into the castle now of all times. Something, anything! But he couldn't. The look in her eye spoke more words than she ever had to say. Whatever she was doing, she was doing to save Jeff. He knew because he saw the same look in his own eye after he realized what his mother was doing to his sister.

With a heavy heart, but with his sister as his current concern, Junior nodded in understanding. Mimi nodded as well and gave a small snap of a claw and he assumed that was a thank you. He suddenly smirked a bit and made a tail form and extent over to Mimi, to her confusion. She stared at it, not sure what the reaper was doing exactly...then the tail became a mouth and gave her a small bite on the cheek. She glared at the boy who grinned playfully back at her before running off. The demoness watched him leave while rubbing the mark, the...love bite, she guessed. She didn't know what was going on around here, but she got the feeling it was either really good or really bad for her. With a shrug, she turned her attention back to the mountain and the castle on it.

'That girl tasted goooooooood,' Junior's Nergal, Gal as he called it, commented in an almost lecherous tone. It got no response, however, 'Do you even know where you're going?' Gal asked, growing increasingly annoyed with its Master, 'Hellloooooooooooooo? Underworld to Skullboy! Do you read me Skullboy!? Testing! Testing, testing, testing, testing, testing, Testing, Testing, TesTing, TesTing! TESTING!' Gal yelled, mentally gaping as Junior ignored him perfectly, '...Seriously, you know where you're going, right?' Gal asked, starting to get nervous, '...Junior? Sir? Boss? Come on, don't give me the silent treatment! I'll be a good symbiote, I swear! Just please answer me!'

'...You say something, Gal?' Junior asked absently, making said Nergal-beast feel like withering away right then and there.

'...No, no, nothing at all,' The Nergal answered in depression.

Junior smirked to himself, loving how easy it was to mess with his Nergal. It turned out that Nergal-beasts, when not insane/on a feeding frenzy, were very social creatures with their hosts, much like how the original Nergal longed for friends. And as their hosts were usually the only ones they could interact with, the best way to mess with one was to simply ignore it. It worked every time and the effect, while annoying, was always funny.

'Soooo, where are we going?' Gal tried again, a bit cautious.

'You weren't listening when dad told me?' Junior asked, raising a mental eyebrow.

'...I was hiding,' Gal admitted, nearly making Junior trip and fall while holding back a laugh, 'That skeleton was scary as hell after he found out what that Bitch was doing!' Gal defended, trying not to seem weak right now.

'True,' Junior agreed, to Gal's surprise, 'I've never seen Dad that mad before either...I never thought Mom would ever do something like that though,' Junior mused in a mix of anger and sorrow.

Gal didn't say a word to that; in a sense, he could understand. Technically, Nergal Junior was Gal's father, or his symbiote was at least. And yes, while Gal had a bit of a ravenous appetite, he had been with MiniMandy since birth. It wasn't too far off to say that Gal was Minnie, from a certain point of view. Or, at least, he had experienced everything with her up until Halloween. And while Gal had always thought nastily of Mandy, he had never thought she would do anything like this. And Nergal Junior? The man had doted on Minnie all her life, it just didn't make sense! Even as just a symbiote, the Nergal-beast knew that incest wasn't a big deal in this realm. Yet, these two were pushing it to be stopped for one reason or another. Then again...Mandy and Nergal Junior had been raised in the human world...

"We're here," Junior announced as he stopped. Gal, to his embarrassment, realized that they had traveled a great distance without him realizing it. Still, it didn't look like much…just a small cave in the middle of nowhere. Seriously, Gal peeked out and looked around, seeing nothing but small rock formations around. The mountain of Grimskull wasn't even visible any more. The only thing unique about this spot was this little bit of land formed into a cave sticking out of the ground.

'THIS is where your old man wants us to stay?' Gal asked, highly unimpressed.

'Noooooo, this is where Dad said we have to get to so we can get to the place we need to get to to get to where we want to get to,' Junior explained condescendingly.

'...My brain hurts,' Gal whined, his eyes swirling as he tried to follow what Junior said.

'Just shut up so I can wake up Minnie,' Junior ordered with a sigh as he walked in a bit and laid his sister down against the wall of the cave, "Minnie? I know you're probably tired, but you have to wake up now," He called gently, shaking her shoulder lightly as he crouched in front of her.

The young demoness-now-ragdoll awoke very easily, her eye soon opening...Junior didn't know if his heart wanted to break or not at the look in her eye. He could see so much in that eye, once filled with more purity than a demoness should be capable of; now, there was a hollowness in it. Their mother had ripped asunder the innocence Minnie had left from the Reaper-Beast incident. Yet, through that bleakness, Minnie gave her brother a look filled with more gratitude and love than he had ever seen.

"Brother...Thou hath saveth me once more," She said in a small and tired tone, lifting her hand to stroke his cheek. At her touch, his Nergal-flesh faded away and he pulled down his hood, revealing his skull to her. The skull she had always known as her brother's face.

"It's okay, Minnie, she won't hurt you again," Junior promised soothingly, rubbing her hand gently.

"Father and Thee...thou both darest to incur the great wrath of our mother on mine behalf," She said with deep sorrow mixed with the greatest of joy, "I thank thee..."

"There's nothing to thank, Minnie," Junior replied with a boyish grin, "Dad leaped head first into the Reaper-Beast for me and he'd do the same for you. And I...might not be too sure about you as more than a sister yet," He admitted awkwardly, cheek bones blushing, "But what Mom did was horrible, even for her."

"I know not what could be the foul root of our mother's most extreme and cruel action towards mine affection of you, Brother...but I am only fortunate that you and Father came to mine rescue before the desires of her and ...Nergal Junior could be fulfilled," Minnie commented, almost spitting the name of her blood-father like it was the worst of curses.

Junior nodded slowly, before rising to his feet, holding a hand out for her, "Dad wants us to stay away from Mom and the castle for a while, so he told me how to get to some...old friends of his," Junior explained, keeping it vague for now.

"I still don't get why we stopped here," Gal interrupted, poking a tentacle out from under Junior's sweater, "I mean, it's the middle of the wastelands! No one for miles!"

"You sure about that, Gal?" Junior asked mischievously, raising an eye at the talking appendage as he helped Minnie to her feet.

"What do you mean? Just look-" Gal started, turning to the mouth of the cave for emphasis before stopping dead in his tracks. Outside the cave wasn't a wasteland of jagged land formations anymore. Instead there was a dense forest; it was dark, for the trees were tall and thick, and if one could see the sun, they would know it was low in the sky. Behind them, was the cave, which was now a part of a mountain that loomed over the trees, like a giant over men. The symbiote looked between the forest and the cave many times before finally giving up, "Skullboy, I fucking hate you sometimes," Gal commented, the main eye of his tentacle twitching in annoying, only getting a pat on the head from his master.

"Brother, this forest surpasses even the Hinterlands in its melancholic beauty," Minnie said in amazement. The whole place radiated a gloom that, to an Underworldian, was all too peaceful and inviting, "However did we cometh to such a place? Art we still in the depths of the Underworld?" Minnie asked, looking around in wonder.

"Not exactly, Minnie," Junior said, scratching his head thoughtfully, "It's called the Forest of Durante. As for how we got here...old trick that dad showed me," He explained obscurely.

"What trick? You didn't DO anything!" Gal protested, hating how out of the loop he was even while living "Inside" this skeleton.

"That's half the trick," Junior retorted simply, looking around, "Now, we wait." He said patiently.

"What for, mine brother?" Minnie asked, tilting her head in curiosity.

"A lion, a leopard, or a wolf. Doesn't really matter which, or so dad says," Junior answered, looking around.

"Now you're just pulling this out of your ass," Gal commented in annoyance.

"Father wishes us to stay hither in these lands?" Minnie asked, starting to realize that her brother was speaking in riddles and half-answers.

"No, he told me how to get to the place we had to get to so we can get to the place we need to get to to get to where we want to get to," Junior answered, suppressing a grin at his little word game.

"...Please, Mistress, tell me. Did you follow that?" Gal asked pleadingly, his eyes swirling again.

"Brother, thou art making an unusual amount of effort in giving me unsatisfying answers to my queries and taking great joy in it!" Minnie protested, recent events and light exhaustion making her more impatient then she would normally be.

"Sorry, sorry! Got a little too wrapped up in teasing Gal," Junior apologized sheepishly, still laughing a bit, "Any way, Dad told me how to get to a cave and use it to get here, basically. And, I'm serious here, he said we had to wait for someone... that will most likely be a wolf, leopard, or lion. Or all three," Junior answered honestly.

"You could have just said THAT," Gal pointed out in irritation.

"You say something?" Junior asked absently, making the tentacle just drop its head and feel like withering again.

"A wolf, a leopard, or a lion...Brother, why dost this peculiar grouping of mixed beasts tug familiarly at mine memory?" Minnie asked thoughtfully, knowing something about this seemed familiar.

"I think you'll figure it out soon enough," A feminine voice, calm and cool like a breeze of spring, called from above them. The siblings looked up and resisted the urge to jump.

Above the cave entrance stood a big wolf; A BIG one. It stood majestically on the perch at at least eight feet tall, its golden honey eyes gleaming down at them in interest. The fur was of several colors. The body was the white of the purest of snow, the red of thick blood stained the paws, black of the darkest of shadows concealed the legs and belly up to the underside of the snout and back to the tail, and adorning the spine was a mane of the light brown of infertile earth.

"Prince Death, I presume?" She asked, looking directly at the skeleton boy.

Junior, now standing in front of Minnie, blinked at the title but nodded, "Yeah, that's me. And you are...?" He asked, raising a brow at the wolf, him and his sister moving back a few paces to make room as the large canine jumped to the flat ground.

"My name is Tyra Vaetta Hrodvitniddottir. I take it this ragdoll is your...sister?" Tyra asked, her gaze on the blonde now. Minnie was no coward or judger of appearances, but she did not feel entirely comfortable under the she-wolf's gaze.

"Yes, she is," Junior said pointedly, one arm Nergalizing.

"I meant nothing by it, Prince Death," Tyra replied, almost hurriedly but still calmly, eyeing Junior's arm warily until it returned to bones, "I merely find her odd. A quarter-demoness whose soul made it to the Pearly Gates? And now a ragdoll? She is quite the unique one," She explained diplomatically, sounding as though she was trying to pacify the Heir of the Scythe.

"...Well, when you put it like that," Junior admitted with a shrug, acknowledging that Minnie's case was a bit of a one-in-a-trillion thing.

The wolf nodded slowly, "Now, shall we be off? From what little I was told, you two could use some rest," She asked, trying to ease the awkward tension a bit.

"Yeah, I haven't slept in almost two days," Junior admitted with a small grin as he held out his arm, asking Tyra to lead the way. She did with a simple nod, the two siblings walking to her right.

"Pray tell, fere wolf, whither dost we quest for?" Minnie asked curiously.

Tyra stopped and blinked at the one eyed girl before looking to Junior, "You...didn't tell her?" She asked, vaguely confused.

"Didn't exactly have the time, to be honest." Junior admitted with a sheepish look.

Tyra gave him a blank look that told Junior she didn't buy that one, "I think that THIS is not something you purposefully surprise someone with, Prince Death," She scolded/advised, sounding a bit annoyed at the bones of a boy.

"Brother? What dost she speak of? What hast thou been concealing from thine sister?" Minnie asked, looking at her brother with a confused and almost lost expression.

"I've been trying to get an answer out of him since before we got here," Gal commented in, poking out of Junior's hoodie and getting a surprised look from Tyra.

"What...is that thing exactly?" The multi-colored wolf asked, blinking several times at the tentacle.

"Allow me to introdu-OH!" Gal started, sounding like a gentleman until Junior wacked the back of his tentacle.

"This is Gal, my Nergal-beast," Junior explained simply, not bothering to say anymore when he saw the recognition in Tyra's golden eyes, "I take it you heard about Halloween Town?"

"Let's just say you're a bit more famous down here than you were to begin with," Tyra said bluntly and vaguely, getting a confused look from Junior.

"Junior," Minnie murmured pointedly, bringing Junior's shocked gaze to her's. Junior could count the number of times he recalled Minnie calling him Junior on one bony hand, "Whither dost thou hast the intentions of taking me to?" She asked. There was no anger in her voice. Just a request that he not keep her in the dark.

Junior looked very awkward at the moment, "Well...I don't know any easy way of saying this, so I'll just say it," He said, pausing to place both hands on her shoulders, making her a bit worried to the answer. "Sis...we're going to Hell." He answered evenly. MiniMandy had no shame in gapping at her brother at that one, unable to comprehend that statement fast enough to keep her worn composure. And Gal had little shame to begin with, so he didn't really care if Junior laughed at him for fainting.

"Well...she's taking this about as well as I thought she would," Junior mumbled, waving a hand in front of her face.

Tyra shrugged, sitting patiently, "I think you'll both like it down here. Now, would you please snap her out of it? I'm on a bit of a schedule," She requested.

"What, the Devil keep a tight working routine?" Junior asked curiously, his sister blinking as she came to.

"More like Dad doesn't like me up here very long," Tyra grumbled, looking highly annoyed with a twitching eyebrow.

"Brother...art thou certain this be a wise path to take?" Minnie asked, not sure what to think of going to Hell of all places. After all, she herself had been nearly allowed into Heaven. Could she be seen as a traitor among the damned and the fallen?

"Do you trust me, Minnie?" Junior asked simply.

"With mine soul," She answered honestly and without hesitation.

"Then believe me when I say it is," Junior said with a small smile. Minnie managed one of her own and nodded her consent. Her brother had helped saved her from two devils: HIM and their own mother. A third would probably make little difference in his mind if it came to it. She hid her sadness at that thought, of Junior having to save her a third time, an easy task due to her own ordeals and tiredness giving her an excuse to look less than thrilled.

Tyra looked between the two subtly, 'Aaaaaand they have it bad for each other,' She thought humorously, 'Ray is going to love these two.'

"Lady Hrodvitniddottir, if you please, may we be going now? I find mine-self desiring greatly to close mine eyes and head the call of Somnus." Minnie requested, biting back a yawn.

"AKA, she's sleepy," Gal quipped, getting whacked by Junior again, who appeared to punch his own gut in doing so, "Will you stop hitting me!?"

"Lead the way, Tyra," Junior said, glad to be back on track. The wolf just shook her head in amusement as she started walking again.

Unseen to the group, several pairs of eyes flickered hungrily from atop the mountain, as they gazed down upon the group, "This time, no one is going to save you, little Tyra," One said in a voice of hate and loathing,"Not even your father." With that, the group took off with flaps of their great wings, knowing the forest would protect them from being spotted...

Castle Grim

Mimi peeked in the hole in the wall curiously yet cautiously, having climbed up the castle wall to get to it. There was no one in these hallways, but it was obvious the area had been cleaned up, meaning it would be repaired and closed soon. Still, she wondered what had happened here for Junior to blow a hole in the wall to escape. Perhaps Junior and his sister had parental issues like she did? She didn't know and for the moment, she didn't care much. She just had to get the Hand and get out.

She ducked into a hallway as she saw a shadow down the hall. She peaked out and saw what she knew to be the Grim Reaper walk down the hall. She almost smirked as he walked on his way, not seeing her down the hallway. She pulled out the map to examine it again, then blinked...was that shadow there before?

She looked up and went wide eyed at the figure of the Grim Reaper glaring at her in annoyance. Her tail subtly moved to pull out a weapon...and found that she couldn't, causing her to blush lightly as she had no underwear on.

"Hammerspace. A good trick dat one is, but I'd recommend not puttin it in such a private place," Grim advised, sounding a bit amused. Before the demoness could run away or attack, he held out his right fist, holding it upside down. He then pointed his index finger straight. Mimi rose an eyebrow...or tried to, finding her body frozen. Grim pointed the finger up higher and the daughter of HIM found herself levitating, still frozen. "Look child, I'd be in a bad mood righ now, and really don't wan to put up wit ye're sneaky stuff. However, since me son took a shine to ya, I won't reap ya fer sneakin into me home," Grim said evenly, opening his hand, but keeping it raised. This allowed Mimi to move about again, but unable to get out of the air.

The first thing she did, unsurprisingly, was stick her tongue out at the skeleton, looking at him in a clearly defiant tone. She had no intention of stopping now, not when she was this close to saving-

"Now, I take it dat dis has someding to do wit dat spider of Billy's?" Grim asked, having been filled in by his son about the closeness between the half-breed and the arachnid. Mimi perked up at that, looking at Grim cautiously, "I may have a way of turnin dis situation to both our likings. Interested?" He asked, smirking at the much, MUCH younger creature. Mimi knew that look, the look that said someone was about be screwed, big time.

End of Chapter

LONG first chapter, at over seven thousand. So, yes, Bradon Storm's story inspired this with the simple part of Minnie dropping the words 'Shock therapy' on his readers. And here we are, Mandy forcing the love out of Minnie for some reason with Nergal Junior's consent, prompting Death Senior and Death Junior to put their boney feet down. How, Mandy's pregnant, so Grim can't hurt her even if he wanted to. Why Mandy and Nergal Junior did this will be better revealed later, along with a LOT of stuff.

If any of you are wondering why it's called the Forest of Durante, Dante is a nickname for Durante. You can probalby guess the rest. Yes, this fic will literally go into the Pits of Hell and possibly beyond. But it's not going to be as simple as Dante's Divine Comedy. As for Grim Senior, yes, his spine is showing and yes, he's not really the pusher he pretends to be. His story will be explained later. As for Mimi, well, not much to say here that won't be explained later. Though, for any that didn't get it, her hammerspace is in her pants and her tail couldn't get into the hammerspace- do the math.

Now, there are gonig to be numerous xovers and probalby some OCs- it's Hell people, I have to fill it with what I can. However, I will be pulling in Mythologies as well. Tyra Vaetta Hrodvitniddottir, for example, is the daughter of two characters that are not OCs. Her father is potentially obvious to mythology buffs like me. Hope her design wasn't too crazy to imagine.

Lastly, Gal...dear gods, I have no idea what inspired me to turn the slimy thing into this, but I'm loving it. Yes, he's comic relief. And I'm loving it and I hope you all do to as well. I'm trying to remain true to Grim Tales theme of having a dark plot with humor mixed into everything. And I think Gal might be what I needed to pull this off.

PS Somnus is a Latin name for Hypnos, God of Sleep...ironically, the twin brother of Thanatos, god of death.

Questions To Ponder: Why did Mandy do this? Why did Nergal Junior consent to it? Did they succeed at all? Even if they didn't, how badly did the procedure effect Minnie? Is Mandy now just a figure head or will Grim allow her to retain her power over his kingdom? What is Grim Senior hiding and why has he been hiding it for so long? What other powers has he been hiding? Who are his friends in Hell? What is it Grim Senior wanted to tell his son when his powers came in? What's it like down there for demons and the like? Will Grim Junior be safe do there? Will Minnie? How long will they be in Hell and what will they do down there? Will they meet souls of the Damned or the even Devil? Just who and what is Tyra? Who is her father, or mother for that matter? Who is Ray and why would she like the Grim siblings? Why is Tyra so wary of Junior? Who and what is following/hunting them? Will there be another power struggle between Grim and Mandy? What will Nergal Senior think of all this? What idea or deal does Grim have for Mimi? Will she take it? Will Mandy find out about the little She-devil in her home? Will Mandy try to get her kids back? Is Gal ever going to get a break? And are the Grim children ever going to forgive their mother and uncle? Will they even want forgivness?

And, out of curiousity, what do you all think of Gal as comic relief? Funny, not funny?