Pairing: None. Nick Monroe friendship
Spoilers: Mr Sandman
Synopsis: Set just before the final scene in Mr Sandman. Nick recovers, Monroe tries to help.
Disclaimer - I don't own Grimm
A/N - This is the first fanfic I've written in a while, and my first ever in the Grimm fandom. I'm still getting to know the characters, so while I hope you like this, any constructive criticism would be very welcome.
Nick sat on Monroe's couch in more or less the same position he had occupied for the past three days. His head rested back so far that he would have been staring at the ceiling if his eyes had been open. One thing was for sure, convalescing was boring.
Thankfully, he thought he was almost done with it. Three days after the treatment – the one that made his stomach churn when he even thought about it – had been applied and begun to work its magic, the searing pain had all but vanished, reduced to a dull ache that struck when he kept his eyes open for too long and a sharp sting when the light was too bright. His vision was almost back to normal. It blurred from time to time, reading was still tricky, but it was getting better all the time. Tomorrow, maybe the day after, he would be ready to go back to work. Not bad going for a guy who less than a week ago, genuinely believed that he was facing permanent blindness.
The house was filled with the ticking of clocks. It had always been there, he supposed. He had noticed it before from time to time, but never quite like this. Before, he may have heard the sound of one at a time, maybe two if he happened to be standing in the right place, now he could hear all of them, both as a general background noise and as an orchestra of individual, distinct sounds. At the same time, he could clearly detect the sound of the occasional car as it passed on Monroe's quiet, residential street. He could hear snippets of conversation as people walked by outside, and the far off shouts of children playing in the park.
The new ability was amazing, but it also bothered him. Normal people didn't develop superpowers to compensate if they lost a sense. That was movie stuff. Not even good movie stuff either. It was third rate TV stuff. It was kids shows, after school specials with some moral at the end so obvious that the writers practically hit you over the head with it. In real life, when you went blind you might learn to listen more closely to the world around you, but your other senses didn't really improve, you just learned how to use them better.
Not that Nick was under any illusions that he was a normal person. Far from it. But up until this point he had managed to cling on to the idea that he was still human. Now, he couldn't help but wonder whether a Grimm was more a part of the Wesen world than his ancestors might have wanted to believe. The thought sat less easily with him than he would have liked to admit out loud.
Footsteps from the direction of the kitchen. It could only be Monroe. He was the only other person there, and Nick would have heard if anyone had come in. Besides, he recognized his friend's steps. He brought with him a waft of cooking smells.
The couch dipped at Monroe sat the other side, Nick opened his eyes.
“Still bothering you?” Monroe asked, waving a hand to his eyes.
Nick shrugged, “Getting better,” he said.
With his eyes open, the cacophony of clocks, traffic, and every other little sound that he had never noticed before faded to a more manageable level.
“That's good,” Monroe said. “Rosalee said she'd be coming round later to check up on you. I told her we'd come to her, but she insisted. Not that I mind. I've been dying to try out this new recipe on someone.”
Nick opened his mouth to comment, but Monroe cut him off with a wave of his hand.
“Not that you're not someone, of course. I just meant, someone that might appreciate it.”
“Firstly, you never even tried the pancakes so you don't get to pass judgment. Secondly, It happens to be delicious, not to mention being high in protein and iron. It's a very useful ingredient for those of us who steer clear of the more, you know, traditional sources. But as you asked, no, this recipe uses lentils.”
Nick had stopped listening. His attention was focused on outside, there were footsteps coming down the garden path. Two sets.
“There's someone outside,” he said.
Monroe frowned at he listened, inhaling deeply through his nose to try to recognize a scent. “Can't be Rosalee,” he said. “She won't even have closed the shop yet.”
“No, someone I don't know,” Nick said. It was probably nothing to worry about, it was mid afternoon, full daylight. Bad things tended to happen after dark.
As Monroe got to his feet to check, the doorbell rang. Nick tensed, ready to help if he needed to. Monroe opened the door to the two Girl Scouts, fished in his pocket and exchanged a few coins for a packet of cookies. “You're a useful guy to have around,” he said as he closed the door. His voice was filled with good-natured sarcasm. “Can you imagine what would have happened if you hadn't warned me about them?” He dropped a box of cookies in Nick's lap as he passed. “I hope you like choc-chip. I don't eat them, but I always feel guilty if I say no.”
Nick put the cookies on the table. “I never said it was someone dangerous,” he pointed out.
“Fair enough.” Monroe sat back down. “Still though, all joking aside, that was pretty impressive. I mean, I'd probably have known they were there before they rang the bell, but you noticed them well before I did,”
Nick shrugged. “If I close my eyes and pay attention I can hear what your neighbors are saying two doors away. You wouldn't believe how difficult it's been trying to sleep the past few nights.” He tried to make his tone light, but fell a little short. The truth was, he was tired and it wasn't all down to recovering from his injuries. He was seriously considering investing in a good pair of earplugs.
“Well, yeah. I didn't think of that. Hey, I haven't been snoring, have I? But still, as consolation prizes go, it's not a bad one, you have to admit. Sure, you nearly went blind, but look what you got in return.”
Nick nodded, but he could feel himself frowning. “I can't stop thinking about the other victims,” he admitted. “There's a woman in the hospital right now with no eyes. She doesn't get a consolation prize, all she gets is a white stick and Braille lessons.”
“Well, when you put it like that, you kind of take all the fun out of it,” Monroe told him. He sounded a little guilty.
Nick opened his eyes. He hadn't realized he had closed them again. “Sorry,” he said. “It's just, it was frighting, you know? And that's even with suddenly developing a superpower to compensate. The other victims didn't even have that.”
Monroe clasped a hand on Nick's shoulder. “Look at it this way,” he said. “This can only make you better at what you do. Use it to help more people.”
Nick nodded. “But there's no guarantee I get to keep it,” he pointed out. Once my sight's back to normal and I don't need it anymore, it might disappear again.” He wasn't sure how he felt about that possibility. On the one hand, Monroe was right, it would be useful. On the other, it would be a permanent reminder of things he didn't want to think about.
“Maybe, but I doubt it. The Grimms in the kids stories are pretty formidable. No offense, but you've never exactly measured up, power-wise, you'd have probably learned this somewhere along the way anyway. And once you learn how to do something, it's pretty hard to unlearn. Especially if you use it.” He paused, thinking. “In fact, tomorrow morning, if you're up for it, I've got a way we can get rid of that overripe fruit I forgot to use, and test out what you can actually do. Sound good?”
In the face of Monroe's obvious enthusiasm, Nick couldn't bring himself to complain. He smiled. “I can't wait to see what you've got in mind,” he said. “Besides, anything's better than sitting on the couch with nothing to do?”
“Anything?” Monroe asked as he got to his feet. “So glad you said so, I could use a hand with dinner. You're on vegetable chopping duty.”