I’m not quite sure when we became friends – somewhere between arresting him, a little hand-to-hand combat, grimm lessons, and quite a few beers – but now I would consider him one of my best friends. With Juliette out of the picture, being friends with Monroe made my days a little less lonely. It wasn’t unheard of for me to call him early in the morning or late at night requiring some of his creature expertise – an expertise I should really have but being a cop really cut into my grimm time, which made reading up on creatures kind of difficult – hell, it’s not even unheard of for me to just show up whenever the need arose. Weird, probably. Unheard of, no.
Monroe always groaned and grumbled when I showed up unannounced, but he always let me in and offered me a beer (or coffee). Anymore when I show up I just kind of help myself. He always talks about me eating him out of house and home, but really I don’t think he minds. He’d usually nag me about boots and mud and ‘I’m not your personal grimm-o-pedia.’ But he never turned me away, that’s got to count for something. I should really tell him how much I appreciate him…
I knocked on his door and waited for him to let me in. The door opened, he took one look at me, and rolled his eyes. He stepped aside and let me in though.
“What do you want, Nick?”
“Do you have plans tomorrow night for dinner?”
“I was going to stay in, it’s…nothing. Um, why?”
“I could really use some company, Monroe.”
He just raised a questioning eye brow.
“What?” Concern washed over his face.
“Juliette left…a few days ago…said she just couldn’t be with me anymore.”
“I’m sorry, Nick, I really am.”
I knew he could smell the sadness on me; there really is no hiding emotions from a blutbad.
Please say yes.
“Dinner sounds good. You want to go out?”
“I was gonna cook, if that’s ok.”
“Yeah, of course.”
“Seven sound good?”
I was heating some soup on the stove when I heard someone knocking on the door. I guessed Monroe. I guessed right. I let him in and took his coat.
He looks rather…dapper. I guess blutbaden can clean up pretty nicely.
“Dinner is almost done. Um…grab a seat on the sofa and I’ll get us something to drink.”
I watched him disappear into the living room. It already felt a little less lonely. I hadn’t really noticed how much stuff was Juliette’s until she left. I was left with a recliner and a coffee table. I had to go buy a new sofa and a bed. But at least now I got to have a nice big tv.
I checked on dinner – still needs a little while – and grabbed a bottle and two glasses. I plopped on the sofa next to Monroe, handed him a glass, and poured each of use a drink. Both our drinks were gone a lot sooner than they probably should have been. We talked for a while. I made sure to talk to him about non-creature things: movies, books, current events.
“Wow, you bought top shelf wine.”
“Yeah, yeah. I may not be the wine connoisseur that you are, but I have decent taste.”
We sat down at the table and dug into dinner. Juliette was the cook, but I managed. Most of my meals had been take-out; it was nice to eat real food. The best I could manage was Caesar salad, vegetable soup, and garlic bread.
“I hope the food is ok, I’m not exactly an iron chef.”
“It’s great. The soup is actually fantastic. And, uh, thanks for leaving out the meat.”
We shared a laugh. I needed it. I really did. With Aunt Marie passing and Juliette leaving, Monroe was really all I had. I mean, sure, sometimes Hank, Wu, and I grabbed a beer together, but it wasn’t the same.
We cleared our plates and he even offered to do the dishes. I thanked him and started packing up left overs: some went in the fridge for myself – so I didn’t have to have take-out for a few nights – and some went in containers for him to take home – he really liked my soup.
“You up for some dessert?”
Monroe sat back down at the table and I placed two plates on the table. I reached in the fridge and pulled out my masterpiece: chocolate cake.
“I really slaved over this, man. I almost quit and bought a cake, but, well…”
I sat the cake down in front of him and his smiled. After our last dinner, where he brought to light the fact that I really didn’t know anything about him or even ever ask, I felt like a jerk. Hopefully this is a step to fixing it. I really should be a better friend.
“Happy birthday, Monroe.”
“Thanks, man. You didn’t have to, really.”
“Yeah I did. You deserve it. I don’t show you enough gratitude. You’re not just my personal grimm-o-pedia or cheap labor, you’re my friend – my best friend. Thanks for always getting my ass out of trouble.”
I pulled a small box out of the cabinet and handed it to him.
“Red bow. Red is your favorite color.”
He laughed at me. He opened the box and pulled out an antique, gold pocket watch. There was a wolf engraved on the front.
“It doesn’t work, but I know you can fix it. I saw it and it made me think of you.”
“Wow, Nick, this is…by far the best present I’ve ever gotten. Thank you.” He had this giant kid-in-a-candy-store grin on his face.
Good. At least I can do one thing right.
He got up and hugged me. I wasn’t expecting that, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t craving human contact – the kind that didn’t involve unfriendly contact with perps. Monroe smelled like a mix of musk and forest; he smelled good.
Stop it, dumbass.
I really didn’t want to let go. The hug had already been longer than it really should have been. He was probably getting uncomfortable. I pulled back and suggested some cake. We put quite the dent in the cake – apparently I can bake very well – and demolished the rest of the wine. Monroe finally left around midnight and there I was alone again.