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Fic: Sobek Drowning

Sobek Drowning Part 3


It was a couple hours before Hotch and Renard compromised on the personnel searching the Taymor residence.  As the BAU arrived, a pale yellow Beetle was departing.

Morgan hitched a thumb in the direction of the Beetle.  “Your tracker?” he asked Griffin.

The detective nodded, but added, “Mostly Nick’s.  If I offer good enough alcohol, he’ll concede to work with me, sometimes.  If Nick vouches for me and he’s unavailable.”

“Did he find the cave?”

“Yes.  Honestly, we probably could have found it without Monroe since De Dau is getting cocky and leaving actual trails, but Monroe got us to the cave quicker and confirmed that there is only one entrance.  Nick’s watching it now.”


The take down was completely different than expected. The cops surrounded the area.  De Dau must have heard something, because he rushed out of his cave and toward the lake (where he had expected to out swim them?).  Detective Burkhardt had placed himself directly in that path. De Dau skidded to a stop because his pathway was blocked and that moment of indecision was all the BAU needed to block any remaining paths.  De Dau surrendered.  It was obvious he was waiting for an opportunity to escape but he wasn’t going to commit to an action without some forethought.

“He’s patient,” Morgan observed.  He was more surprised than not.  “He’s young to be that patient.”

“He’s watching Burkhardt,” Prentiss countered as the detective took the initiative to put the cuffs on the subject and read him his Rights.  “And he’s paranoid.”

Morgan shook his head in wonder.  “I really want to know what the guy did to get so much respect, fear and trust.  De Dau stopped dead in his tracks when faced with him instead of plowing over him.  I would have placed money on the opposite happening.”

“We’re missing something in the profile,” Prentiss said.

“Which one?” Morgan replied.  All of the agents and higher ranking police officers were starting to congregate around them for the post-action review.  He shook his head at the dense forest surrounding the cave.  “Fifty acres.  We’ll never be able to link De Dau to the child’s disappearance without a body.  We’ll need him to confess.”

“There’s a lake,” Burkhardt pointed out, having joined the conversation.  He was looking right at Renard, almost challenging him. 

The captain nodded, “I’ll have it dragged immediately and call out the scuba search and rescue for the places that can’t be dragged.  I’ll coordinate the search while you and Hotch take De Dau in to the station.”

Now that the detective pointed it out, water was the most likely hiding place.  Hotch agreed with Renard’s division of labor.  De Dau was less likely to attempt an escape with Burkhardt present.  The rest stayed behind to search the premises for evidence connecting De Dau to all three of the murders.

Morgan and Prentiss were the first to enter the cave through the layers of blankets at the door.  They had a hard time breathing in the surprising heat that greeted them.  De Dau had multiple propane heaters running but that wasn’t enough for sleep.  He also had multiple blankets in his bed.

“Morgan,” Prentiss called.  “Look here.”  She had found the bullets with minimal evidence of blood or bleeding in a corner with a bloody knife.  “He must have removed them himself.”

“We’ll try to match them with White’s gun.  Then we’ll have evidence of him at that scene,” Griffin promised.  “I found some more clothes with blood and one that smells still of mace.  We’ll try to match it to Ramirez or Nelson.” 

The agents didn’t find much more.  The cave was Spartan and De Dau was a minimalist.  He obviously knew what he could live without.

Rossi stood on the bank of the lake and shook of water off his hand.  “It’s cold.  If he likes that kind of heat,” referring to the cave temperature, “it explains why he went to the YMCA to swim, they have heated pools.  That’s why he ran into Nichols.  The pieces are starting to fit together.”


Not long after all De Dau was processed and chained in interrogation, Renard stopped by the conference room where the BAU was developing an interrogation strategy.  “We found Nichols’ body,” the captain announced.  “He was stuffed into an underwater cave in the lake and stuffed further back was Luke Taymor and six more human bodies, or rather their bones, three of those children.  In the very back of the cave, divers found the bones from at least two dozen animals. We’re trying to match the dental records to missing reports.”

“Well, it’s a clear linear progression,” Reid reasoned.  “Small to large.”

“Least difficulty to most,” Burkhardt agreed.  “We’ll be lucky to find a missing persons report on the first adult because he was homeless.  I’m betting that the first two children were runaways too.”

“It’s still circumstantial.”   As always, Hotch was the voice of reason.  “We’ll need more to get a conviction.  Telling him about his underwater boneyard is not going to shake him.  We need leverage.”

“Interestingly enough, it looks like an animal of some sort has been gnawing on the bones.  The coroner has Nichols’ body and she’s hopeful that she can determine a cause of death.”


The BAU and the detectives stood outside the interrogation room again.  This time watching Hotch prod the brick wall of De Dau’s haughty ego.  Burkhardt turned down the heat in increments.  Rossi looked on and approved.  “I would have put it down to 65 Fahrenheit right off the bat.”  Burkhardt grinned at him and did just that.  The suspect obviously preferred higher temperatures.  It was their job to make his uncomfortable.

Hotch wasn’t get anything out of De Dau.  The suspect didn’t consider the FBI worthy of answering. 

“Can I go rattle him, sir?” Burkhardt asked.

“Yes,” Renard said.

The detective left for a moment for his prop but quickly returned with a simple glass of water.  De Dau was suspicious as Burkhardt casually placed the standard peace offering within reach.  “What’s that?”

“Gift,” the detective answered calmly.

Renard stiffened and then turned his head to hide the tiny smile.  The suspect reacted by swiping the glass and sending it flying across the room.  Though no drops landed on his hand, De Dau obsessively wiped his appendage on his pants.  Hotch didn’t react to Burkhardt’s entrance or De Dau’s over-reaction.  He was watching the suspect carefully for the crack in his armor.

“Did he just threaten the suspect?” Rossi asked.

“How?” Morgan replied.  Both men looked to their genius.  “Reid?”

“Well,” Reid considered.  “De Dau is Sudanese, by heritage and multilingual like many there.  I don’t believe the transliteration means anything in Arabic, you’d have to ask Emily and I have no idea about Dinka.”  The genius’s mind sped through the languages he did know.  “Interestingly enough, if a German said ‘gift’ the translation would be ‘poison’.”

“But Nick’s not fluent in German,” Griffin told them.  “And none of us have any reason to believe that De Dau is either.”

“So it’s a subtle, unsubstantiated threat.”  Rossi was amused.  “He did it in front of witnesses and still it’s not provable, but he managed to throw De Dau completely off his game.  I like it.”  

Hotch pounced while De Dau was distracted by Burkhardt and soon had De Dau’s statement twisted around to the truth.  De Dau was proud of killing Nichols because he hadn’t stayed in his place in life.  Ramirez, White and Nelson were killed for trying to help others ‘born victims.’  De Dau had no remorse.

Reid was pouting that De Dau refused to say how he degraded the DNA in his saliva.  The genius couldn’t find anything in the cave that could accomplish it.  When De Dau did go to trial, DNA would not be mentioned.  Though with the confession and the other evidence, a life sentence was guaranteed and the death sentence was possible but not probable.  The case was solved and the team was packing up.

Hotch had one last thing to do.


“You are aware of Garcia’s talents,” Hotch told the police captain.

Renard just watched him.  Waiting.  Not nervous but very, very wary.

“We asked her to find the connection between you and Burkhardt and she found this.”  Hotch slid the photo over Renard’s desk.  “Burkhardt doesn’t know, does he?”

Renard shook his head mutely, for once not in complete control. 

“Little brothers are a pain,” Hotch told him bluntly and fondly.  “I speak from experience.  Burkhardt’s more likely to believe us.  I know that it won’t be on your timetable, but would you like me to tell him?”

Renard reached for the picture and though his hand didn’t shake, Hotch was sure it would have on a lesser man.  “When are you leaving?”

“We’ll be ready in two hours.”

Renard nodded.  He would consider it.  Renard wanted to keep family close and he wouldn’t risk Hotch stealing his little brother away while there was this chasm of distrust between them.


Burkhardt sat in Renard’s office and for the first time was obviously unsettled.  Hotch would be the mediator.  He handed over the photo.  Burkhardt recognized the woman immediately, even though she was frozen in time at nineteen.  “That’s my mother.  The boy?”

Renard nodded.  “Yes.  Is me.  Your mother worked for my family during her rebellious years.  She was my nanny, part-time.  I saw more of her than my own parents.”

“Oh.”  The word was a breath of understanding more than anything else.

“Your mother was kind in a difficult situation and kept in touch nominally through the years.”

“Do you still have the letters?” Burkhardt leaned forward, losing his reserve.

Renard shook his head, but reached into his desk and pulled out a series of photos.  Burkhardt accepted them without any of his previous reserve.  “They’re me.”  He blinked and then looked up at his captain for confirmation.

“Yes.  You mother knew that life was not guaranteed and asked me to be your safety net in the event of her death.  When the crash happened, I was not in the position to assist anyone and your Aunt Marie was raising you according to your mother’s wishes.”

Hotch wondered if Burkhardt could understand the emotional complexities of a young boy, a bastard child of an influential family, and his nanny.  Renard was probably fonder of Kelly Burkhardt than of his own biological mother, who had rarely been in the same country as Renard.  Emotionally, Renard considered Burkhardt to be his younger brother despite the fact that the relationship might always be one-sided.

Burkhardt returned the childhood photos on himself to Renard but retained the single photo of Kelly Burkhardt and the small smiling Sean in her arms.  “Can I keep this for a little while?”

The captain nodded and admitted, “I have one of the originals still.”

Hotch could see that this was becoming personal, dismissed himself from the conversation and exited the room.  His team had already said their goodbyes and was ready to leave.  It was time for the BAU to return to DC and eventually, the next case.


Juliette fixed her cup of hot cocoa and set it on the corner table.  She cuddled next to Nick, her boyfriend, and smiled as he wrapped one arm around her and set the photo he had been studying aside.  “Have I thanked you yet?” he murmured into her hair.

“For what exactly?”

“Being wonderful and accepting and… helpful is too small a word for you.”

Juliette pulled away from him only long enough to pick up her mug and then returned to his side.  Ever since Nick had ‘fessed up after the Wildermen deaths, the silences between them hadn’t been heavy with secrets.  Nick had confirmed her suspicions that Larry had been more than human in a way that he could always see and she would never see.  The fairy tales that had scared her as a child were real and deep with an beautiful, winding subculture.  Nick had revealed the entire community that had Eisbibers delivering gifts and dämonfeuers abducting her.  Nick had brought Monroe over again and this time she heard a truthful answer to every question.  Monroe woged and cheerfully explained about Blutbaden.  The two of them had taken her to Aunt Marie’s trailer at Forest Hills Storage and showed her Nick’s heritage as a living Grimm.

Immediately she grasped the importance of the reference books.  The next day, she bought a laptop and a scanner.  Every free hour since the revelation, Juliette would drive to the trailer and start the painstaking process of scanning in the books and entering enough key words for searching ease.  Monroe was horrified at the idea of exchanging the solid books for something digital but he could be bullied into helping (mostly translating the German into English) when he wasn’t off chasing the dangerous Wesen of the week.

Ever since Nick had been assigned to the Ramirez’s murder, Juliette had buried herself in her new project.  She also had a side project of cataloguing wesen woged DNA.  Her database was too small to even be considered a database, but it was growing with every sample Nick smuggled to her.  De Dau’s spit being only the most recent added.  She had a lot of free time on her hands with Nick busy with the Feds.  She had been the one to stumble over the Grimm journal entry of Dooshaboon Molt, the murdering wesen.  The name meant ‘drag death’ in Arabic.  According to Nick’s ancestor, the wesen in question was crocodile like.  It preferred warmer climates and would eat anything it could kill by blunt force or drowning as they were excellent swimmers. They excelled at camouflage and were patient enough to lay in wait. It was protected by its parents for the first couple years and then abandoned.  The child could survive in the wild near water and if it was ‘rescued,’ it would eat its rescuers as soon as it was big enough to accomplish it.  Dooshaboon Molts were big into hierarchy and considered Grimms to be their equal.   In one way they were correct, for every Grimm a Dooshaboon Molt killed, the Grimms killed in return.  They would not work with the Seven Houses and so the Royals offered a bounty for any proven killed.

Dooshaboon Molts were hard to kill, as everything would become lodged in their tough hide of their woged form.  A few had been killed from a distance with a high powered rifle with a bullet that would rip through their body before they had a chance to woge, but Dooshaboon Molts were extremely aware of their surroundings and had excellent hearing.  If a person could get close enough and had a sharp enough blade, they could be beheaded.  The most common way of killing Dooshaboon Molts was through poison.

Bulebuk De Dau was a unique case.  Even Agent Garcia of the BAU wasn’t sure how he had been shipped over to the US and into Luke Taymor’s care.  The local wesen had considered Taymor to be a mean SOB, even for a Löwen, and no one had looked too hard for him when he disappeared after De Dau’s graduation and subsequent trip to the Sudan.  Nick was only guessing, but Taymor might have taken De Dau in for presumed future rewards in the wesen gladiator fights.

The Verret had chased De Dau out of Sudan and back to the country of his schooling.  Renard shared that De Dau would probably rule the prison hierarchy until the time when someone trying to gain the Verret’s good graces would pay some cook a fortune to poison him.

That was only if Adalind Schade didn’t get to him first.  Once Adalind had given Nick an idea of his woged form, Juliette remembered reading about the Dooshaboon Molts.  Nick had called up Bud, his Eisbiber contact, and received a name of the only one that had gone to high school in the area.  The Portland wesen knew all about the bully and his favorite victim.  It hadn’t taken Nick long to link De Dau to White through Nichols.  He found evidence of the fight between Nichols and De Dau, but because it would have raised questions about wesen in general, he had only taken Nichols’ cell phone and borrowed gun to the police station and the Feds. 

“What are you going to do about Captain Renard?”

Nick sighed and dragged his thoughts to the current problem and away from the solved problem.  “I have no idea.  He spilled a lot of information considering there had been a Fed in the room.  My mother once worked as a Grimm for one of the Seven Families.”

Juliette held a hand out for the photographic proof and Nick obediently gave it.  She studied it with a woman’s eye.  “I think your mother loved him to spend so much time with the child.  I would think that the Royal family would have tried to keep her busy.  She intentionally made time for the captain.”

Nick looked yet again at the photo over her shoulder.  “You think so?”

“Yes.”  She pointed at the little boy.  “Look at him, no fear.  He’s barely holding on.  He knew that she wouldn’t drop him.  Your mother made him feel safe.  So, I ask again.  What are you going to do about Captain Renard?”

Nick shook his head.  “Is there anything to do while I wait it out?”

Juliette handed back the photo.  “Just don’t be mean.”

The detective blinked.  “Me?  Mean?”

“And I don’t just mean unintentionally.  I’ve heard stories from Hank of what you do in interrogation and I know that Monroe isn’t telling me everything about your Grimm work.  You know how to be cruel, just please don’t do it to the captain.”

Nick thought about it.  “This is like you telling me to help Adalind even though she tried to kill my aunt.  That has not been a picnic.”

“She didn’t succeed and it’s a good thing that she trusted you since she could describe the wesen in question to someone who knew the truth.  Otherwise, the Feds –and you- would still be chasing your tails.  And what about those kids she’s helped.  You haven’t found any untoward in those cases.”

“Nothing provable anyways,” Nick murmured.  He still didn’t know how one foster mom ended up surrendering to the cops for child abuse of her own free will and scared out of her mind.  There was a reason that Adalind was not allowed to be alone with either Hank or Juilette as a part of her Grimm Parole (as Monroe called it) complete with spot checks of her apartment.  Monroe had been forced to work with the ex-hexenbiest but he treated Adalind much like Nick did, as a very dangerous, very untrustworthy but potentially useful person.

“Renard can’t be worse that Adalind,” Juliette argued.

“He’s smarter, less impulsive.  He is more dangerous, but I don’t think he planned on the BAU finding his connection to Mom.  But there’s always the slim chance that he planted the evidence for the BAU computer tech to find.”

“You’re paranoid.  That’s a very slim chance.  So what are you going to do?”

“I’ll wait and give him a chance.  He has protected me but he certainly has his own agenda.”

Juliette settled against Nick’s chest with a small smile.  “Well, it’s a start.”


Author’s Notes: Dooshaboon Molts are specifically based on the Nile Crocodile.  I needed something that Monroe wouldn't be familiar with (they are never in Europe and so wouldn't have a German name) and something with a sense of hierarchy.  Wikipedia, of course, is my favorite resource for such things.


( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 17th, 2013 04:44 pm (UTC)
What an interesting universe you've created here! Loved the story.
Jun. 18th, 2013 11:51 pm (UTC)
yea! Glad you enjoyed it!
Jun. 18th, 2013 09:23 pm (UTC)
This was amazing! I adore the interactions between the BAU and the Portland PD! ;DD Nick's badassery was shown! Seriously. Awesome. I'm a little sad that Monroe only made a brief appearance, but I guess it does make sense because I think if he made a more prominent role in the case, Hotch and the BAU would be so suspicious!
Jun. 18th, 2013 11:53 pm (UTC)
thanks for the wonderful review. I would have preferred Monroe but he didn't fit with my POV. :(
Jun. 18th, 2013 10:38 pm (UTC)
Really really interesting - I'd love to see more :)
Jun. 18th, 2013 11:53 pm (UTC)
thank you. More's always an option.
(Deleted comment)
Jun. 19th, 2013 09:15 am (UTC)
I love the exact same genre. I'm glad it fulfilled your requirements. A sequel? Maybe, someday.
Jun. 20th, 2013 12:29 am (UTC)
I liked this one very much! Solid police profiling in between all the fantastical elements that the reader knows about, but the BAU team doesn't. Plus I like Outsider POV on the Grimm team there. The bits with Adalind were great and made me laugh. And the idea of Nick's mom being Renard's nanny was a cool one.
Jul. 2nd, 2013 12:36 am (UTC)
Thank you! Your review made me smile and fed the muse.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )


vi, no words

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