rajko: (Cake)
[personal profile] rajko
Title: The Grimm
Author: Rajko
Rating: R
Category: Grimm
Ship: Nick/Eddie (Pre-slash), Nick/Juliette (UST)
Genre: Angst, Drama, Mystery, Noir, Romance
Disclaimer: This is all just a bit of fun.
Warnings: Unbeta'd.
Notes: Written for a brilliant prompt over at [livejournal.com profile] grimm_kink, which I used for the summary (thanks, anon!). I tried, initially, to find a "clever" title for this but drew a blank so...I hope you enjoy it!

Summary: Nick Burkhardt, Private Detective, is hired by the beautiful Juliette to find out what happened to an old lady she knew, Aunt Marie. But as he finds himself plunged into the case, he finds there's more to this Marie than first appeared. Along the way he meets a colorful cast of characters, including the wisecracking clockmaker Eddie Monroe, the copper Hank, and his Captain, Renard.

Is Juliette as innocent as she seems? Is Captain Renard just another crooked cop who can be bought with the right amount-or is there something more sinister about his motives? And what secrets is the clockmaker Eddie Monroe hiding? Most importantly, how is this all connected to Nick Burkhardt?

In this exciting adventure of the supernatural and shamuses, Nick will find his most interesting case yet: his past!


The Grimm

1.

If this were a dime store novel, it might have started something like: she came into my life like a cool breeze; elegant and brazen, with legs that went on for miles and a figure that could bring a grown man to his knees. But this wasn't a novel, it was my life, and there was nothing cool or brazen about the way she was looking at me: all bright eyes and trembling lips; her shiny red hair tucked stylishly beneath a tastefully somber hat and veil that did nothing to diminish her peaches and cream complexion. That she was standing framed in my doorway, one hand lost in the folds of her overcoat while the other clutched tightly to the doorknob, made it all seem that much more like reality: I'd seen plenty of desperate people in my line of work and, as pretty as she was, it was easy to see that she was one of them.

"Mr. Burkhardt," she began hesitantly, her voice a strange mixture of soft seduction and school girl timidity. "You are Mr. Burkhardt, aren't you?"

"Yes, ma'am," I replied, standing politely. Though I'd only been with my parents for a short time before their deaths, my mother had still managed to drum politeness into the fabric of my bones. "Can I help you, Miss – ?"

"Silverton; Juliette Silverton," she responded, something that might have been relief flashing in her eyes. She took a cautious step inside, hand slipping from the door handle. "I – you may call me Juliette, Mr. Burkhardt."

"Juliette," I repeated, tasting the name. It wasn't the usual fair I got down here, where every dame was "you can call me Betty" or "Nancy" if they were feeling particularly adventurous. Even so, I wondered if it was her real name; not many people gave their real ones when they went looking for a private dick.

"Nick, then," I offered easily, moving to perch on the edge of my desk. It was cluttered with items of the trade: unfiled papers from an old case, a battered looking typewriter, a green blotter I never used, and a couple of Pulp magazines I'd made a point to sit on. Summoning a friendly smile, I asked: "what can I do for you, Miss Juliette?"

"Oh, just Juliette," she corrected hastily, her own smile appearing, faint though it was. She took another tentative step forward. "I'm sorry for barging in like this. It's just –" she gestured vaguely behind her, the dimly lit hallway that made up my "reception" area flowing out behind her. "I hadn't realized this was your office. I mean, of course I knew it was your office, but I didn't realize you didn't have a…well, I didn't realize."

I nodded my understanding. Unlike most PIs, I didn't have the perky or plucky receptionist that usually went along with the stereotype. I just couldn't afford it. Not yet, anyway.

"It's no problem," I said, waving a hand towards one of the oaken armchairs before me. They weren't the most comfortable things in the world but then, they weren't meant to be. "Would you like to sit down?"

Juliette nodded, a soft "thank you" passing her crimson lips before she moved to sit on the edge of the chair, her heeled feet flat on the floor as if she were ready to flee at any moment. A whiff of perfume, something warm and vanilla-scented, wafted towards me, and I inhaled deeply, stomach tightening in appreciation. It wasn't often I got to spend time with a doll like her.

Oh, sure, I got the Betty's and the Nancy's; the beautiful and not-so-beautiful women who came into my office looking for someone to catch their cheating husbands or questionable boyfriends, but they weren't the same and my body knew it. Unfortunately, so did my pocketbook, and I wasn't about to jeopardize that. Even for a pair of long legs.

Eyes flicking to the open doorway, I jerked my chin towards it, trying not to notice the way she was looking up at me, bottom lip caught between glistening teeth. "Mind if I close the door? We'll have more privacy that way."

Hesitantly, she shook her head, a small motion that made another waft of her perfume tickle my nose, before murmuring: "I don't mind."

Nodding, I slid from my position, using the time it took to close the door to study her without being noticed. She was an attractive woman; there was no doubt about it. A few years younger than myself, she wore her worn but fashionable overcoat with refinement; her short-heeled shoes and modest smattering of jewelry a testament to the times rather than any lack of style. It made me wonder what kind of life she lived – she didn't have the look of all the Dumb Dora's I'd seen – but I filed the thought away. There was plenty of time to think about things like that once she was gone.

Clearing my throat, I made my way back around my desk and sank into my swivel-chair, angling it solicitously towards her. "Now, then, what can I do for you, ma'am?"

For a long moment, she said nothing, her green eyes searching my features, looking for something I couldn't have named, before she sighed, swallowed, and said:. "Could you – ? That is to say, I thought –" She paused, eyes closing as she took a deep, steadying breath. When she opened them, she started again: "I need you to look into something for me, Mr. Burkhardt."

"Nick," I reminded, smiling. It seemed to relax her; the familiarity of pleasantries washing away some small part of her anxiety just like I hoped it would. "And what is that you'd like me to look into?"

"Murder," Juliette murmured, shinning eyes piercing my own. "I need you to look into a murder, Nick."
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