black_sluggard: (ryan and esposito)
Title: Grimm Reflections
Series: Grimm Reflections
Fandoms: Castle, Grimm
Rating: PG-13
Genre: Fantasy, Angst, Romance, Humor
Details: Slash, crossover, AU, genre!crack, fairytales, mythical creatures, unbetad.
Characters/Pairings: Castle―Javier Esposito/Kevin Ryan, Richard Castle, Jenny O'Malley. Grimm―Nick Burkhardt, Hank Griffin, Monroe, Drew Wu.
Wordcount: 2,195
Summary: A close call on the job exposes Kevin Ryan to a hidden world that has always existed just out of sight―and leaves him viewing the people closest to him in a whole new light...
Notes: Follows Until Lambs Become Lions.

Chapter Two: The Lamb

Once Kevin reached his car, he wound up driving blind for—God, he didn't even know how long. His thoughts were too confused, too frantic to even consider having a destination in mind. But he couldn't go back to the station, he knew that for sure, and his own apartment was likewise out of the question. Javier and Castle both knew where he lived. Jesus, Javier even had his spare key


Finding a handhold for his thoughts, Kevin finally took the time to find a parking space and pull over. He knew he should be trying to think about this rationally, but it was hard not to feel like rationality itself had long gone out the window. It had been frightening enough to watch their suspect turn into a monster before his eyes, but witnessing the same monstrosity emerge in Javier had all but broken his reason. Though, as he took the time to examine the storm of confusion disrupting his thoughts, Kevin soon realized that the primary emotion behind his horror wasn't simply fear alone...

It was betrayal.

Perhaps Kevin couldn't trust what his eyes had seen, but he had to trust his ears—if both of those senses were lying to him, then Lord help him. And though the full meaning behind their discussion still eluded him, the conversation itself had been too coherent for him to discount out of hand as the product of madness–

He almost wished that he could.

Whether the strange visions he was seeing were real or not, the fact remained that his partner—his best friend—was keeping secrets from him, and had been for God only knew how long. And that fact filled him with a more penetrating dread than nightmare monsters or even the threat of insanity ever could. Before today, Kevin would never have doubted that he could trust Javier with his life—he did so every day. Now Kevin felt as if he hardly knew the man at all, and the sudden loss of faith in that friendship was like a gaping hole that left him feeling ill, his stomach pinched and aching.

The night Jenny had come to him seeking an end to their marriage had been, without a doubt, the most baffling, most unexpected, most disorienting event in his life. Yet, while the divorce had come as a total shock, he couldn't quite say it had come without warning. Though he still didn't understand why, Kevin could recognize that in the final months of their marriage he had seen a dramatic shift in Jenny's behavior. She had become quiet, withdrawn, anxious, and had seemed only to grow more so over time. There had been times when she had seemed reluctant to look him in the eye. It had been distressing, but he hadn't seen any cause for it, and had been at a loss for what to do.

By the end of their time together she had been living like a shadow in their own home.

He didn't understand it, but Kevin knew that, for some reason he couldn't begin to fathom, his own wife had become afraid of him. His confusion, in company with his grief, had very nearly ruined him. Though he had since tried to move on, that confusion—his frustration at never knowing why—had become a lingering pain, like a wound that just wouldn't close. Now, he also knew that Javier had been keeping secrets, and if Castle was to be believed at least one of those might hold the answer to that unanswered question. And the thought that Javier could have kept knowledge like that from him—knowing, as his partner surely musthave known, just how deeply the question had haunted him—hurt more than Kevin would ever have thought possible.

And now Kevin found that beneath that hurt burned a stunned and humiliated rage, so fierce that it left him shaking.

Kevin took a deep, slow breath to calm himself and to ease the knot in his gut. He let his forehead fall against the cool glass of the window, staring blankly at the darkening sky. And Kevin realized, rather distantly at first, that he actually wasn't very far from Jenny's apartment. He hesitated at the thought. Her fear and desperation at the end of their marriage had left such an impression on him that he had been loath to come anywhere near her—he hated the thought of seeing that fear in her eyes once again. He had gone so far as to promise that he would stay away. But with his own fear and his own desperation breathing down his neck, Kevin thought he might be forced to break that promise.

Whatever was going on Jenny was apparently a part of it, and approaching her might just be the safest way for Kevin to find his answers.

The frightening events of the day notwithstanding, Kevin found himself confronted by a very special kind of terror as he stood before the door to her apartment. Though it felt to him like ages, not so very long ago it had been their apartment. They had moved in only weeks before their wedding, each looking forward to spending the rest of their lives together. A lifetime of coming home to her smile...

Now, Kevin was an intruding stranger here—unwanted and unwelcome—hesitant to even knock on her door.

It took a great deal of time for him to gather the courage to knock—more, he thought, than he could probably afford. Even once he had, Kevin found himself fighting the urge to go before she could answer. If he left now, she would never even know he had been here...

Then Kevin heard a soft sound, and though the door didn't open, he knew it was too late.

"Jenny..." His voice sounded too loud to him, though Kevin knew that it probably wasn't—just loud enough to be heard through the door. "Jenny, listen, I know I said I'd never bother you again, but I really need your help."

Several moments passed in silence, and Kevin felt a growing certainty that she wasn't going to answer. Then, just as he was about to give up he heard the chain rattle on the other side. The door opened a narrow crack, revealing Jenny's face—nervousness just as plainly visible in her expression as the effort it took her to keep it in check.

"Kevin?" And a cruel part of him saw fit to feel relief at the real concern in her voice. "What's wrong?"

Kevin struggled briefly with the question. He had no idea what he should say. He was flying blind with only a few overheard words to guide him. If he had somehow misunderstood, then at best he would come across as a lunatic–

At worst, there was still the nagging possibility that was what he actually was.

"Something's...happening," Kevin finally managed, haltingly. "I don't know what's going on, but Javier–"

He hesitated, wetting his lips.

"There's something wrong with Javier," Kevin said finally, watching carefully for her response. "Or with me. I'm not...I'm not really sure. But I don't know if I can trust him, Jenn, and I didn't have anywhere else to go."

Jenny listened with sad, quiet sympathy, though Kevin also saw the tension already stringing her body draw taut. He watched her swallow dryly, and her fingers knot in the fabric of her skirt.

"When you say there's something wrong–" Jenny began, though she stopped herself abruptly.

Kevin couldn't quite manage to look her in the eye at the unfinished question. He took a deep breath, forcing himself to answer.

"I've... I've been seeing things, Jenny," he said. "I don't know what to do. I... I'm afraid I might be going crazy...but I'm almost more afraid that I'm not."

"Seeing–" Her eyes widened a little and he heard her breath catch. "Kevin, what are you seeing? Are you–"

As she spoke, Kevin could both see and hear it as her nervousness turned into outright fear and when it did he saw– Kevin took a startled step back. The door slammed quickly shut, though not quickly enough to spare him the sight of suddenly alien features—of strange, long ears and hands like the hooves of an animal—or the consuming terror which had stared back at him from inhuman eyes.

On the other side of the door, he heard Jenny sob.

"Go, Kevin, please," she begged him. "I can't help you. I wish I could..."

Steeling himself, Kevin stepped back toward the door. He braced a hand against it, the wood feeling solid and real under his palm—a mocking detail when everything else felt like a nightmare. Frustrated, terrified, he closed his eyes, resting his head against the door.

"Please, Jenny..." he managed wearily. "I don't understand. I just... I need answers."

And silence held for a very long time, soft, almost indiscernible noises on the other side of the door the only proof that she had yet to abandoned him completely. Finally he heard a shaky breath. Her voice was unsteady as she spoke.

"I've...I've heard rumors from a cousin of mine," she said, hesitantly, uncertain. "About a man living in Portland. He's a cop...and he's like you. I don't know much, but it might be enough to help you find him. Maybe if you go to him he can help you."

. o . O . o .

"Damn it, Jenny, what in hell were you thinking?"

Javier felt Castle flinch in the passenger seat beside him as he spoke into the phone. After their initial panic, he and the writer had finally chosen to stake out Kevin's apartment—obviously he would have to come back sooner or later. And they had been waiting for nearly an hour—which was much, much longer than Javier ever wanted to spend cooped up in a car with Castle, and he hoped he never would again—before Jenny had called to tell him the news. The bad news. The very bad news. Though he kept control of himself for the most part, Javier was angry enough that he failed to hold back the growl from entering his voice. And he was certainly too angry to truly care. On the other end of the phone, Jenny let out a startled noise, though to her credit she rallied herself quickly.

"There are things he has to know, Javier," Jenny said, defending her decision. "It isn't safe for him here until he knows them, but he doesn't trust any of us right now. He was scared, and he needed answers–"

"Because you were too scared to give him any," Javier interrupted angrily. "I could have handled this, Jenny. I was just waiting for him to calm down."

"He wasn't going to calm down," Jenny said. "You didn't see him, how terrified he was—how desperate. Listen to me, Javier. This is the best thing for him. What I've heard about the Grimm in Portland... He's–"

Javier hung up the phone, running a hand over his face.

"Goddamned panicky prey animal bullshit..." he muttered, tossing his phone on the dash.

The sentiment wasn't precisely fair, and Javier knew he would feel bad for it later, but from the way things were looking, later promised to be a long time in coming.

It wasn't as if Javier didn't know what she was talking about. Javier remembered Jenny telling him about those rumors before. Seelenguter, like many social wesen, often shared information between their communities. Their information networks, though not organized on the scale of mellifer, were still impressive, and they were probably second only to eisbibers when it came to disseminating gossip. Before things had fallen apart, Javier had often felt somewhat honored when she chose to share those things with him. He had recognized it as a subtle gesture on her part, demonstrating that, through Kevin, she had come to consider Javier not just a friend, but a part of her herd. But those days had ended when she had abandoned his partner, and even before Javier had never considered the information truly reliable.

Some of what had come out of Portland in particular was difficult to believe, to say the least...

The fact that Jenny had sent Kevin across the country based on those rumors angered Javier anew, but he knew that horse had already escaped the barn so to speak. And since this particular horse was still refusing to answer his goddamned phone, there was nothing Javier could do but try to follow.

He sat back and took a deep, calming breath. Then he turned to look at Castle, who was staring at him expectantly. Javier could feel a headache starting to form between his eyes. He was thinking of naming it after his partner.

"He got to Jenny before I could reach him," Javier explained wearily. "Please tell me you have contacts in Portland."

Castle's mouth opened, but his words hung for a second, his answer aborted as he stopped to think. He closed his mouth abruptly with a quick blink, eyebrows raising thoughtfully.

"You know," Castle said slowly, "I think I actually might..."

Chapter Three: The Shepherd

Author's Note: I've never been a huge fan of Jenny the way she was written on the show. In this 'verse I get to excuse a few of her failings on her being wesen...somehow that's made her a bit more likeable to me.
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