black_sluggard: (ryan and esposito)
Title: Until Lambs Become Lions
Series: Grimm Reflections
Fandoms: Castle, Grimm
Rating: PG-13
Genre: Fantasy, Angst, Romance
Details: Pre-slash, crossover, AU, genre!crack, mythical creatures, fairytales, divorce, cross-cultural relationships, unbetad.
Characters/Pairings:pre-Javier Esposito/Kevin Ryan, past-Kevin Ryan/Jenny O'Malley.
Wordcount: 2,176
Summary: There are things Javier knows about his partner's wife—ex-wife—that Kevin doesn't.
Notes:This is a prologue to a longer fic entitled "Grimm Reflections", which will involve a proper crossover with the characters from Grimm.
All you need to know to understand this story is that there are races of animal-like supernatural creatures called "wesen" (ves-en) that live secretly amongst humans, and Grimms are humans gifted (or cursed) with the ability to see them for what they really are. Grimms act as humanity's defenders from wesen-kind. Historically, many have viewed all wesen as subhuman or evil, contributing to the reciprocal belief among wesen that Grimms are indiscriminate, brutal killers.



"Jenny? Jenny. God damn it, open this door."

Javier couldn't remember having been angrier with anyone in his life, but he was doing his damnedest to try and to keep his temper in check. He wasn't precisely succeeding. It was past three in the morning, and both the shouting and his pounding on the door were far louder than was strictly acceptable. It was also counter productive. After all, Javier just wanted Jenny to open the door and freaking talk to him. That was a lot easier if she wasn't scared out of her mind.

Javier stopped, stepping back from the door to run a hand over his face as he tried to slow his breathing and calm his thoughts.

"Jenny, please. I just want to talk."

His voice, when he spoke, wasn't precisely even, but it didn't quite hold the growl of anger it had before, either. Javier considered it progress—

Though it lasted for all of three minutes as he waited and was met only with silence.

"Damn it—" Javier slammed his palm against the wood as his patience broke. "I will break this door down!"

Finally, Javier was rewarded with a high noise from beyond the door, and he knew Jenny was looking through from the other side. Javier backed away, with a sigh.

"Come on, Jenny. Please."

When the door opened Jenny stood before him, seeming reasonably composed. Javier knew she didn't really think he would hurt her—or at least, he thought she was as certain of it as anyone in her position could ever be. In the years they had known each other, Javier had always done his best to put her at ease whenever she was in his presence, and Jenny had done her best to bear knowledge of that in mind. It had never been an easy arrangement for either one of them. What she was, and what Javier was were simply not designed to interact with one another...at least, not in any fashion that was likely to be repeated.

If anyone had told him years ago that he would one day be tip-toeing around the flighty instincts of a seelengut, Javier probably would have laughed at them. But that would have been before Kevin Ryan had become his partner and his best friend and...basically, the center of his whole life. Javier had done some incredibly ridiculous things for Kevin's sake, but the uneasy truce he had cultivated with Jenny was by far the strangest. Unfortunately, recent events had shaken the foundation of that already uncertain peace. Javier knew she had to be wondering just how much of his good will she still had...

And whether or not it was enough to keep her alive.

Now that they were face to face, some of Javier's anger left him. Not all of it—not even close—but enough that he could approach the conversation with a clearer head.

Probably.

Jenny hesitated briefly before she stepped aside to let him in. Javier entered the apartment, moving slowly and keeping his hands in his pockets. Even with the luxury of his drive over here and the time spent waiting, Javier was still uncertain what he should say. A very loud part of his nature was still insisting that he confront her with the full force of his rage, letting her cry or cower—that part felt it was the least that she deserved. It would have been cruel, though, and unnecessary, and it would not have gotten him the answers he was after. Taking a deep breath, Javier rolled his shoulders and fought to keep his jaw from clenching, not daring to look her in the eye one he spoke.

"Why did you do it, Jenny?" Javier asked her, as softly as he could manage. "Kevin is devastated, and he doesn't understand—I don't understand—why you would do this to him. Why did you leave him, Jenny?"

The hurt he felt for his partner managed to overcome his anger, the tightness in his throat and his chest choking the sound of anything else from his voice. Kevin was back at Javier's place, crashed out on his couch after a long night of drinking, and a hard day of tears and speculation before that. If every word from his partner's lips were to be believed, Jenny was the perfect woman—Kevin was convinced that it was something that he had done wrong. Jenny's silence and her tears when she had served him with the divorce papers had given him little reason to believe anything else. And though he hadn't understood, Kevin had been too stunned not to give her what she had asked for...

But there were things that Javier knew about his partner's wife—his ex-wife—that Kevin didn't, answers she might give him that she couldn't give to the man whose spirit she had just crushed.

"I have my reasons, Javier—"

And Javier could all but smell the excuse headed his way. He raised his eyes to meet hers with a hard glare—a ghost of what he was capable of, but still enough that she stopped in her tracks. Jenny fell into a shaken silence for a few moments before closing her eyes to take a full breath.

"I knew," she said finally, a faint tremor in her voice. "I knew you had feelings for him, Javier. And maybe—"

She stopped, taking in another slow breath before she looked his way, though she didn't quite manage to meet his eye.

"Maybe the last thing I wanted was for you to think of me as a rival," Jenny said, swallowing. "Maybe I was worried that, once you did, it might not be too long before you decided it was easier to think of me as prey."

Javier didn't bother to deny her first accusation—there was very little point, and he was far too preoccupied with the second. He felt the anger begin to push at him once more, his own affront rising to join that he had been carrying on his partner's behalf. He managed to keep himself in check, though only barely.

"I guess I'd be insulted if the thought hadn't crossed my mind," Javier said, a rumble trickling in to deepen his voice as he spoke.

It wasn't a smart response, and with effort Javier managed to draw himself back from the brink.

"But they're just thoughts, Jenny," Javier managed to say, almost calmly. "We're both more than our instincts. I always thought you were stronger than yours. Most of your kind would have run a long time ago. I thought you were over being afraid of me. Until today, I almost considered us friends. It doesn't matter what I want. Kevin chose you. Why—"

Having said it, the sheer illogic of her answer struck him. A beat passed, and Javier shook his head.

"This isn't about me, is it?" he asked, examining her arguments—and her posture, closed off and defensive—once again. "You want me to think it is so I'll let this go, but it's not. What are you afraid of?"

Jenny shook her head wordlessly, looking away from him. Frustration welled up in him, and Javier couldn't stop himself from taking hold of her shoulders, trying to force her to look him in the eye. He succeeded as far as that went, but the move startled her into losing what remained of her control. Soon, her true face began to show through, with its large ears and coat of delicate white fleece, and Jenny looked up at him, her blue eyes with their rectangular pupils bright with fear.

"Please. Javier—"

"I'm not going to hurt you, Jenny," Javier said, though he had to let go of her and step back before even he believed it. "But you broke Kevin's heart. I just want to know why."

Jenny hugged her arms against her chest, eyes on the ground as she fought herself back into control, recovering the lovely human face his partner had fallen in love with, eyes wet with the beginnings of tears.

"I'm not afraid of you, Javier," Jenny finally admitted, voice rough as she looked up into his eyes. "I'm afraid of him."

"What?"

Javier didn't think he had ever heard anything that made less sense in his life. Kevin was...Kevin was Kevin. That was part of the reason Javier had never challenged Jenny for his partner's heart in the first place. Oh, Kevin was fierce enough when he needed to be, and had a competitive streak a mile across that had made it all too easy for Javier to fall for him. But at the core of his being, Kevin was a gentle person—though painfully human, he could have easily passed for a seelengut like Jenny. Too good a person for Javier to hope to keep, that was for damned sure. No. Jenny fit his partner in a way Javier never would. Javier understood that perfectly. He knew better than to try, though conceding without a fight had gone against his own wesen nature completely.

Though, clearly, it seemed as though there was something about his partner that Javier had missed.

"You know about my hobby as a genealogist," Jenny ventured carefully.

Javier did. A lot of wesen Javier knew held an interest in that sort of thing—history, heritage, folklore. Javier never had. For the most part, given his own heritage, Javier was sure he was better off not knowing.

"What does that have to do with anything?" Javier asked her, confused.

"It's not that uncommon for a human to have wesen ancestry they don't know about, Javier," Jenny said, turning to move down the hallway. He followed her. "I was hoping I might be able to find something in Kevin's family. I thought that if I did that maybe I could tell him what I am—that maybe we both could."

Javier wasn't sure what he thought of the idea, uncertain that what she proposed could have possibly gone well, though he chose not to say as much. Instead, he watched from the doorway of the bedroom as Jenny shoved some items aside in a chest at the bottom of her closet, drawing out a folder full of loose papers. She opened it up on the bed, spreading them out for him to see. Reluctantly, he took a step forward.

"You found something," Javier said, knowing that she must have, though hesitant to let it mean...anything at all. Because whatever it was, it wouldn't matter. It shouldn't matter. "Jenny, whatever it was, it can't have been bad enough to merit scaring you away from him like this."

Jenny looked up at him, and he could see it—the sheer horror on her face.

"Javier... Kevin's family, up until his great-grandfather's death...they were Grimms."

Despite his earlier conviction, for a moment Javier was simply stunned. Moments later, he had managed to reject the idea completely.

"No," Javier said certainly, shaking his head. "If he was, Jenny, believe me I would have noticed. The things we've been through together—"

Javier's control of himself was...adequate, but it had never been spectacular, and the events of the past few years had been trying in the extreme. Javier thought about the Racine case, when his control had been all over the place. He thought about Lockwood putting Kevin under the water, and the smug look on the königschlange's face at the knowledge that hurting his partner would eventually force Javier to break. He thought about the night Montgomery had been killed, when Javier had been so out of control he had attacked his own partner. If Kevin could see what Javier was, he certainly would have seen it then.

No. It was impossible for him to believe that Kevin was some kind of Grimm in sheep's clothing. And it was irrational and cruel to blame him for actions his ancestors had perpetrated upon a world that Kevin didn't even know existed.

"Even if that's true about his family, Jenny, he's not. I know he's not."

Not that a part of him didn't find the idea intriguing.

"Even if he's not, I've already given notice at my job," Jenny said, sadly. "I'll be here for a few more months, but after that I'm moving back to live with my family. I need to be with my own kind...it was a mistake for me to ever think otherwise."

She shook her head, looking up at him.

"We can each fight our natures for a time, Javier. But not forever."

It tasted like another excuse to Javier, but he knew arguing would be a further waste of his time. Seelenguter were stubborn, and it was practically useless to try to talk them out of anything once they had gotten the idea in their head. And if she had already spoken to her family and had them back up her decision, as it sounded like she might have, it would be all but impossible.

Javier finally gave up. Unhappily, he told himself that if Jenny didn't love hard enough to fight her own nature for Kevin, then his partner deserved better anyway.

After having wasted so much effort fighting his own nature, for fear of driving Kevin away, Javier just wished that better could have meant him.



Next: Grimm Reflections


Author's Note: A recent introduction (and obsession) to Grimm prompted the writing of this in the past couple days. I'm not sure when I'll manage to get the sequel to this finished, since I have so many other stories already. But it's guaranteed to be at least two other parts.

Plus the weirdest photomanip I've probably done in my life.

Seelenguter (German for "kind-hearted") are sheep-like wesen, normally tied to a herd-like mentality with others of their kind. Other types of wesen commonly view them as prey. Löwen (German for "lions") are wesen with leonine characteristics, and tend to be very aggressive toward their competitors.

Date: Saturday, 24 November 2012 01:13 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] indigocat.livejournal.com
Loved this. Do you have an AO3 account I can subscribe too?

Date: Saturday, 24 November 2012 02:11 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] indigocat.livejournal.com
Found the AO3 account. Subscribe. When I get home, I'm downloading some of your fic to my Kindle.

Date: Saturday, 24 November 2012 04:24 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] sulien.livejournal.com
Loved this story! I'd not have thought of Esposito as a Löwen, but it fits well enough. Kevin as a Grimm...I could see it as much as Nick Burkhardt, honestly.

Also have to say that I LOVE your LJ handle. Ivanhoe is still one of my favorite books and the Black Sluggard was one of my favorite characters, as much for most of his actions as his mystery.

Date: Saturday, 24 November 2012 05:56 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] cyren-2132.livejournal.com
Ooooh, it's almost like, if I have a fandom, you're writing in it! :) I'm way behind on Grimm, but I'm assuming that won't really matter much, since Portland and New York are just about as far away as could be.

Are seelenguten the lamb people? Very fitting for Jenny if they are, and it makes the "Grimm in sheep's clothing" line all the more appropriate.

Edit: Apparently all I have to do is read the author's note...or you know, the TITLE...to answer my own question.
Edited Date: Saturday, 24 November 2012 05:58 pm (UTC)

Date: Sunday, 25 November 2012 02:13 am (UTC)From: [personal profile] jedibuttercup
jedibuttercup: (nick burkhardt)
Oooo. I look forward to the next part!

Date: Sunday, 2 December 2012 09:53 am (UTC)From: [identity profile] adja999.livejournal.com
Wheeee!

This is gonna be good.


Well... If a Grimm and a Blutbad can be together... (they so are, at least for half the wesen in Portland) :D

ugh. I can imagine how weird it'd be for Kevin to 'become' a Grimm. Suddenly the two most important people in your life are freaking you out...

Date: Tuesday, 2 April 2013 01:52 am (UTC)From: [identity profile] nevcolleil.livejournal.com
Oh! This is fascinating :) I don't watch Castle regularly, but I've seen enough of the characters to like the idea of this pairing and you pack a lot of characterization into this. Also, outside pov's are fun - seeing what Esposito and Jenny's pov would be if Ryan was a Grimm is really cool. I'd love to read more of this!

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