AU. Nick Burkhardt and Juliette Silverton are living a contented life with their two year old daughter, Kasey, and working in jobs that they love. But in a single moment, one event can change everything; and today's the day when dreaming ends. Story takes place over the course of one day. Pre-series. First Grimm Fic.
Chapter Two: Change of Plans
“So I have a home visit last thing, will you be able to pick Kasey up from the child minder?”
Juliette Silverton asked, as she placed her veterinary equipment into the back of her pickup truck. She was in the middle of her afternoon house calls and had just learnt that one of the owners of a stud farm she often visited was worried about a pregnant mare, this would be her first foal and so the farm owner was understandably concerned.
Sitting at his desk and taking some notes down from his computer screen with one hand, Nick smiled and gave an unconscious nod. It was a quiet day at the precinct, and so Nick and his partner, Hank Griffin, were catching up on the increasing pile of paperwork they seemed to have amassed.
“Yeah, no problem,” he replied, as he put his pen down and rested his arm across the table top. “I’m sure Hank won’t mind,” he added, with a grin directed toward his partner who just shook his head at the younger detective while he read over a recently finished case report.
“Great,” Juliette said, as she closed the back of the pickup. “I’ll call you when I’m leaving the stud.”
“Okay, great.” Nick nodded. “Love you.”
“Love you too,” Came Juliette’s farewell, a smile sounding through her voice before the sound of the call being disconnected was heard.
Nick placed his cell phone back onto the desk as Hank asked his partner with a raised eyebrow. “So what won’t I mind?”
“Oh, Juliette’s got a late visit to make and she asked if I could pick up Kase,” Nick answered with a slight wave of his hand, knowing his partner and two year old daughter got on like a house on fire; after all, what’s not to love about a pseudo-uncle who teaches you (accidentally, of course) your first swear word.
“Ah, how is the cereal bandit?” Hank asked with a grin, sitting back in a relaxed pose.
The nickname caused Nick to chuckle at the memory of its origins. Hank had come over and Kasey was in the phase of toddling in and out from the kitchen to the living area; the adults had been in quiet conversation, but Juliette had noticed that Kasey hadn’t returned from the kitchen. Seeing Juliette’s worried face, the two detectives had followed the Vet into the kitchen to find a rather contented Kasey sitting on the floor with her small hand in a cereal box she had somehow gotten a hold of. Picking her up, Kasey had merely given the adults a toothy grin and childish giggle – clapping her rather sticky hands.
‘you little cereal bandit,’ Juliette had exclaimed with a quirk of an eyebrow, and the name seemed to have stuck with the toddler; Hank called her by it now every time he saw the youngster and Nick had found it slipping out a few times.
“The Cereal Bandit is doing good,” Nick nodded, sitting back and offering a weak grin. “She wasn’t feeling well this morning, but she seemed to be doing okay when I rang Amanda earlier. Oh, and ‘No’ has now become her favourite word.” He added, with some amusement. “She’s been driving Juliette crazy.”
“She’s becoming a Kid after my own heart,” Hank chuckled, as Nick shook his head with a knowing smirk.
“Well, I’m sure Kase wouldn’t mind being looked after by her ‘Uncle’ Hank again sometime - and then we’ll see how much you’ll love her after the ‘No’s’ and temper tantrums that are set to be starting pretty soon.” Nick commented with a mischievous glint in his eyes that Hank recognised from Nick and Wu’s prank wars.
“Knowing my luck, you’ll ask me to look after her when she’s in the middle of those tantrums.” Hank snorted. “Only nine months to go until Tantrum season dies down to toddler hissy fits.”
“She hasn’t been that bad so far,” Nick shared, “mainly ‘No’ and throwing a couple of toys – but she hasn’t gone to the extremes as of yet.”
“Hallelujah for that,” Hank agreed. Nick chuckled.
“Honestly though man, she’s doing great, “Nick confided. “It’s hard to believe a few months ago she was taking her first steps and now she’s toddling around all over the place, bumping into things and then scaring herself when what she bumps into falls down.” Nick used a hand to rub the back of his neck, while his face showed a hint of wonder at the prospect of being a father even now, two years later.
Hank couldn’t help the smile that formed on his face at the sight of his young partner’s expression. Both Juliette and Nick were made to be parents, and the sight of a healthy and lively toddler proved the detective’s thoughts on the pair being great parents.
After Kasey was born, Nick took to fatherhood like he took to being a detective. The younger man helped Juliette, and was often the one to be found getting up when the youngster had begun to cry – even after his own long shift at work. Juliette was a brilliant mother, who –like Nick- had taken to parenthood. She hadn’t taken her full maternity leave; Nick had shortened his hours for a few months while Juliette returned to work, until they felt confident with leaving Kasey with a childminder, who was also a friend of Juliette’s when Kasey was eighteen months.
“Want some company until Juliette gets back later?” Hank asked.
Nick smiled. “Sure,” he nodded, before the two men turned their attention back to their desks. “But first-“
“We need to get this done,” Hank finished.
“Yup,” Nick nodded, as he retrieved his pen.
“Yup,” Hank agreed, as he returned to the folder he had been reading before Juliette’s phone call.