Your name is Dave Strider and there is a monster under your bed. It’s gray and has horns and claws and sharp teeth and a migraine. You sidle up next to him, shimmying along on your belly, and pass him a can of Coke and some ibuprofen. He rumbles and tucks close against your side, dry-swallowing the pills and pounding back the soda. You roll on your side and cradle his pounding, staticky head to your chest. He sneezes at the dust you managed to mop with your shirt and his face thumps hard against you, knocking his glasses askew. He frowns up at you, eyes in a painful squint. You kiss between his eyebrows and he almost purrs before pressing his face back into your chest.
Your name is Dave Strider and it is cold as fuck outside. Wrapped in a beanie, scarf, and blanket, you sit and shiver on the couch. Curled in a pod of blankets under the coffee table is your favorite monster. His thumbs mash at your worn Nintendo 64 controller. From under his cocoon of comforters peek his feet and toes, gray and curling and wiggling. They writhe and try to shelter one another from the scraping cold of an unheated apartment. You toss a throw pillow over them and in a minute or so, the monster under the table starts to purr. Over his back sit two mugs of hot chocolate with marshmallows in them.
Your name is Dave Strider and you are in love with the monster that’s sitting next to you on your kitchen counter, beneath the cabinets. The two of you are each on your respective laptops, fully absorbed in your projects. Not a word passes between you, but everything he needs to know is written carefully in the way your arms and thighs press together. It’s not in the air between you, but rather in the air that isn’t between you. For just a moment, he tears his eyes from the screen and plants a kiss on the side of your neck that sends a thrill through you. You tilt your head against his shoulder and business continues as usual.
Your name is Dave Strider and there is a monster under your bed. You peek over the edge and he grins up at you, all mismatched eyes and knifesharp teeth. He scoots out a little farther and props himself up on his elbows to press a kiss on your lips. You lace your fingers behind his head and pull gently, trying to tempt him to sleep on top of the bed with you for once. He begrudgingly follows, but it’s all for show, if the purr rumbling from deep in his chest is any indication. When you fall asleep, he is curled loosely around you, with his glasses tangled with yours on the nightstand.