Goo's Note- These are actually a couple of details merged together that I meant to put at the end of the fic to lead into the Committee. I sincerely forgot about them in my rush to finish the fic and I regretted it, but rather than go back and rewrite the chapter I decided to add to it. Hope this works...
Wilhelm's Manuscript- Epilogue
By A Girl Named Goo
"Shh! Be quiet, I am trying to conduct business here!" Ban snapped. He turned his attention back to the phone, speaking fluently in German. "Yes, this is truly the missing manuscript of Wilhelm Grimm. One of a kind. I am sure you were all missing it very much."
"Actually, we weren't looking for it at all," the man on the other line explained. "When we found it we thought it was a great find, but testing showed the paper to be too new. About twenty years old at the most."
Ban paled. "There must be some mistake! Who else would leave a manuscript like this under the floorboards of the Grimms' home?"
"I am not sure. We were going to just discard it when someone who read an article about the possibility of it being real called to make a bid on it. When we explained it was a fraud she still didn't care. You may want to try selling it to her. Her name is Katrin Blauvelt. She lives in Japan and I heard she recently encountered problems during it's transport there. She may reward you for returning it."
"Ban-chan..." Ginji tried again, tugging on the tails of Ban's shirt.
"Was ist es?!" Ban growled, clearing his throat and repeating himself in Japanese. "What do you want, Ginji?"
"Clayman-san..." Ginji said, gesturing toward Clayman. She was sitting at the counter near Hevn, the former looking over the apparently useless manuscript, the latter looking over what appeared to be newspaper clippings.
Ban raised his eyebrows for a moment, then turned his attention back to the phone. "Can't you give us something for it? It should be publishable if you thought it was real! Come on, just ten thousand?"
"Yen?" the man from the German Historical Society asked.
"Euro," Ban corrected.
"That is outrageous, sir. I am sure it's interesting for what it is: someone's collection of takes on the Grimms' stories, but the fact remains it is not the real manuscript of Wilhelm Grimm. You can see if the Grimm Museum will make you an offer, but I am afraid we cannot help you."
"We already tried them! They didn't want it either! They told us to try you guys! Fine, 10,000 yen. Anything. Just take this!"
"I am sorry, sir. I cannot justify such an expenditure. Good day." And with that he hung up.
Ban groaned, switching off his phone and putting his head on the counter. Clayman looked over and him, pulling the top pages back over the sheaf of papers. "Having no luck selling it, Midou-san?" she asked, sounding unusually sympathetic to their cause. Although not the kind of person who was entertained by the misfortune of others, she rarely took an interest in their money troubles.
"Wilhelm bought it fair and square," Ban muttered. "If we'd just taken it from Jakob and given it to her we'd have gotten paid and been spared all that trouble..." He suddenly glared at Hevn. "I blame you for all this!"
"What?!" Hevn cried indignantly. "I didn't know any of that! A job was a job-"
Ban was suddenly in her face. "If you'd only checked with the German Historical Society-"
"And it would have been only a transport job. I'd have only called the transporters instead of-"
"Himiko-chan?" Ginji asked. Ban and Hevn both stopped in their arguing and turned to check the door. No one new had entered the café, however. They both then followed Ginji's gaze. In a slightly-yellowed newspaper clipping, above a short passage written entirely in German, was a picture of two people. One was an older man in an expensive and old fashioned suit, bald and donning glasses and sporting a neatly-trimmed beard. He had his arm around a girl young enough to be his daughter, a girl with neatly cropped dark and and cold, lonely eyes who looked distinctly familiar. She was wearing a neat button-up blouse that had probably been white (although the picture made it hard to tell), and a neatly pleated black skirt.
Ban picked up the clipping, looking long and hard at the picture before averting his gaze to the text below. "It's an engagement announcement," Ban explained. He then translated the text out loud. "'Daniel Ostheim, heir to the Ostheim Real Estate Fortune and once confirmed bachelor, is pleased to announce his engagement to seventeen year old Katrin Grimm. Miss Grimm is the descendent of Wilhelm Karl Grimm, one of the famous Brothers Grimm. They will be wed on Wednesday, June...' This is nearly twenty years old. Himiko wouldn't even have been born."
"Katrin Grimm...isn't that-" Ginji started.
"Yeah, it is," Ban confirmed, putting the clipping down. He looked down to notice more clippings with the same girl and in various stages of womanhood. In the earliest ones the girl was smiling, but as she aged that cold look intensified until finally she donned a cunning smile. "Hevn-"
"I just got these when we got back. I requested everything on both Karl Hamrich and Katrin Blauvelt before I left. I found nothing on Jakob, but Katrin Blauvelt was traced back through all four of her marriages to her maiden name," Hevn said sadly. She looked at the engagement announcement again. "The resemblance is scary. No wonder she was so interested in Himiko-san..."
Clayman smiled sadly and lowered her tea. "You should have consulted me sooner. I've heard things about her from the Underground," she explained. All three (plus Paul) turned to look at the woman, who sighed and leaned on the manuscript. "I was there to get a painting from Masaharu. I didn't care about the manuscript until I got caught up in your retrieval. However, Katrin Grimm was quite famous before she became Wilhelm. She was an accomplished pianist and a writer, and as these earlier clippings show she was happy for it. But in spite of her famous bloodline her family had no money. When she was seventeen they agreed to marry her to Daniel Ostheim, not knowing he was a crime lord. The marriage slowly drained all the happiness from her until she finally killed the husband she hated so much...and inherited his criminal ties. It was then that the Wilhelm we met was born."
"So then the mansucript was written by..." Ban left the sentance unfinished.
Clayman nodded, taking another drink of her tea. "It wasn't written directly by Wilhelm Karl Grimm. It was written by his descendant and I have reason to believe his reincarnation, 'Wilhelm' Katrin Grimm. She hid the manuscript before her marriage because she believed she would have to give up everything she loved. By buying back the manuscript she probably hoped to reconnect to her old life, before she was the monster we met."
They all took a moment to reflect on this information. Hevn then turned to look at Clayman again. "What are you doing here, Clayman-san?"
Clayman smiled mysteriously. "I wanted to see if you sold that manuscript yet."
"You'll by it from us?!" Ban cried, stars in his eyes at the prospect of actually making a profit after that hellacious job.
"No," Clayman said. Ban promptly deflated. Ginji looked down at him with surprised eyes. "I collect art, not literature. I am not budgeted for anything else. Otherwise I would be happy to take it from you. It's a fascinating piece, surely. I will ask around for people who may be interested, though."
Ginji stopped poking Ban's liquified body. "But Clayman-san, you said that manuscript was special like your paintings are. It's the same thing, just a different kind of art. Couldn't you please buy it?"
"Well..." She looked down at the sheaf of papers, looking tempted.
"Please?" Ginji asked, looking at her with his puppy dog eyes.
"I really shouldn't. It's not in budget..."
"Please?" Ban asked, suddenly appearing next to Ginji and attempting to mimic his puppy dog eyes without the same degree of success.
Clayman sighed, pulling what appeared to be a checkbook from her pocket. "I hate to see you resort to begging, Midou-san," she sighed. She scribbled out a check and offered it to them. "Here. 100,000. It's all I can spare right now."
"Thank you Clayman-san!" Ginji cried, reaching for the check. It was suddenly snatched from their grasp.
"This should help toward your tab," Paul said, smiling around his trademark cigarette.
The retrieval agents both sank to the floor, a physical manifestation of their sinking spirits.
"Did we just not get paid again?"
The Real End