They have one day off together this week. Nick doesn’t know if Catherine chose today on purpose or if it’s a coincidence; he assumes the latter, though he guesses it’s possible she’s got a few romantic bones buried in there somewhere. Truth is they’re the only ones on the night shift with much reason to celebrate, so maybe she was doing them a favor.
He wouldn’t even know that today’s any different from yesterday or the day before if it wasn’t for Archie complaining about what to get his girlfriend, but since he does know, and they’ve got the time off, he might as well make the most of it.
He gets up early to start their weekend ritual, slicing bananas for the pancakes and putting on the water for the coffee that will eventually tempt Greg out of bed. He hums a Nitty Gritty Dirt Band song under his breath as he waits for the pan to heat up, going through the motions of making breakfast without thinking much about the process. He pours the batter carefully, trying to remember the way his mom did it when they were kids, then he presses banana slices into the batter and listens to them sizzle.
Ever since the first time he made pancakes for Greg, it’s become sort of a routine. Most days they still grab coffee and a sandwich or something on the way into work, but when they’re both home for the day, Nick makes a habit of getting up a little earlier than Greg to cook. He likes the routine, mostly because he knows Greg likes the attention.
But there’s a part of him that likes the quiet; he likes getting up before Greg, leaving him burrowed under the blankets in the bed Nick used to sleep in alone. If they’re in the middle of a case he spends the time thinking about that, going over the details in his head to make sure they haven’t missed anything. Sometimes he doesn’t think at all; he just focuses on what he’s doing, making sure the coffee’s perfect and the pancakes are cooked through before Greg wanders into the kitchen looking for breakfast and a kiss good morning.
That’s his favorite part of this whole thing, and Nick grins to himself at the mental image of a sleepy, tousled Greg rubbing a hand through his hair. But there’s no sign of him so far, and by the time Nick pours the first cup of coffee he still hasn’t made an appearance.
Nick frowns and glances at the clock; it’s not that late, but Greg’s usually up by now, even on their day off. He picks up the warm mug of coffee and walks down the hall to the bedroom, crossing the room and setting the coffee down on the nightstand.
“Hey,” he says, leaning over Greg and reaching out to shake his shoulder. “Breakfast is getting cold.”
“You mean I don’t get breakfast in bed?” Greg asks, and when he rolls over Nick can tell he’s been awake for awhile.
“It’s Valentine’s Day,” Greg says, grinning at him as he pushes himself up to lean back against the headboard. “Breakfast in bed is romantic.”
Nick never really understood why that was supposed to be so romantic, but Greg did have a point. “I brought you coffee in bed,” he answers, grinning when Greg laughs. “That should count for something.”
“It’s a start,” Greg says, hand sliding around Nick’s neck to pull him down for a kiss. Nick expects the sour taste of sleep, but Greg tastes like mint. Which means he got up at some point and brushed his teeth, and Nick laughs against his mouth when he realizes Greg’s been in here waiting for Nick to come looking for him.
He kisses Greg again, long and slow and thorough. By the time he’s done Greg’s panting under him, hips thrusting up against him and Nick’s not even sure when he stretched out on the mattress. Greg’s hands are sliding up his back, pressing against Nick’s skin in an effort to pull Nick back down again. But he went to all the trouble of cooking, and if Greg wants breakfast in bed, that’s what he’s going to get.
“Hold that thought.”
“Where…where are you going?”
“Your breakfast is still getting cold,” Nick answers, pressing one last kiss against Greg’s lips before he disentangles himself from Greg and climbs off the bed. He takes the time to heat up the syrup before he pulls the pancakes out of the oven where he’s been keeping them warm, piling them high on a plate and pouring syrup over the stack.
When he’s done he looks down at the plate, sighing at the oddly shaped pancakes. They didn’t turn out exactly the way he was hoping – his mom had always made it look so easy – but they’ll still taste good, and he figures that’s what counts. He grabs a fork and another cup of coffee and heads back to the bedroom, setting his coffee and the plate down on the nightstand before he climbs back onto the mattress.
“You do love me,” Greg says, grinning as he reaches for the plate with both hands. He lifts it up and looks down, staring for a second and Nick braces himself for confusion or maybe just laughter. “Are these…heart-shaped?”
“Yeah. Sort of. They were supposed to be,” Nick admits, a hot flush creeping up his neck. “My mom’s a lot better at it than I am.”
“They’re perfect,” Greg says, glancing up at Nick long enough to flash him a delighted smile. And they’re not; Nick knows they’re not, because he’s looking right at them, and they look pretty funny. But Greg could tell what he was going for, and that counts for something. Besides, he looks pretty happy, which is all that really matters.
Greg balances the plate in one hand and digs the fork into the stack of pancakes, then he slides the fork into his mouth and closes his eyes. Nick grins at the little noises of contentment Greg makes, leaning in to catch a drip of syrup at the edge of his lip. He lifts his finger to his mouth and sucks the maple flavor off his skin, eyes on Greg while he swallows his first bite.
“Why aren’t you eating?” Greg says when he opens his eyes again, sliding the fork back into the stack of pancakes.
“I’d rather watch the show,” Nick answers, laughing when Greg grins at him.
“I’ll share,” Greg says, pointing his loaded fork at Nick. Nick opens his mouth and catches the bite before it drips onto the sheets, chewing slowly before he swallows.
“Guess you love me too.”
“Guess so,” Greg says, still grinning and Nick’s heart skips a beat at his expression. “Or maybe I’m just trying to keep your strength up for later.”
“I can live with that,” Nick answers, leaning in for a chaste, maple syrup-flavored kiss. He lingers for a few seconds before he pulls away, reaching over Greg for his coffee. “Finish your breakfast.”
Greg laughs as Nick settles back against the headboard to watch him, but he turns his attention back to the plate of food in front of him. “You know, nobody’s ever brought me breakfast in bed before. I could get used to it.”
It’s the first time Nick’s ever brought anybody breakfast in bed, but he thinks maybe he could get used to it, too. He already likes the bed part a whole lot, after all, and making Greg smile like that is the kind of bonus that makes everything better.
“I’ll keep it in mind,” is all he says, but when Greg looks up at him Nick can’t help smiling. Because the truth is, if it makes Greg happy, Nick will bring him anything he wants.