Nick watches him sleep, watches his chest rise and fall. There’s nothing cliché about the scene; Monroe doesn’t somehow look ten years younger. His brows are furrowed, forehead is wrinkled. Actually, he looks a little angry. Nick figures he’s just having a bad dream. But then he thinks back to the day when he first met Monroe. He barely had a grey hair then. Now, just a little over a year later, there is more than just the stray grey hair in his beard. He looks more tired, more worn. It seems like whenever Nick calls, no matter the time of day, he’s waking up Monroe. He glances over at the Pilates machine sitting in the corner and notices the fine layer of dust covering it.
Nick sighs, sadness starting to overwhelm him. He wonders if Monroe would be different, better, if they never met or if Nick had never come back after that first case. Yeah, he would. He sits in the chair for a while, thinking. After a while, he pulls on his jacket and boots and walks out the door, shutting and locking it behind him. As he steps off the porch he turns up his collar, shielding himself from the rain. He stands next to his truck, hand on the handle, rain soaking his hair, for a minute or two. He doesn’t want to go, but he knows Monroe needs a break…even if he won’t admit it.
Monroe paces the living room; his stomach’s in knots. He hasn’t seen Nick in three days. He’s gotten a couple texts – Nick claiming he’s busy with a case. Monroe doesn’t buy it. He’s fine. He’s busy. He has a case. A tough one. Probably. He sends Nick a text but doesn’t get a reply. He calls but there’s no answer. I should go over there. Just check on him. Just in case. He grabs his coat and heads out to his car.
He stands at Nick’s door, not sure if he wants to knock or not. Something tickles his nose; sickness. He skips knocking and unlocks the door with his emergency key. He finds Nick sprawled out on the sofa. There’s a blanket pulled over him haphazardly, a foot sticking out. There are crumbled up tissues littering the coffee table along with a can of ginger ale and some crackers.
“Dude, what’re you doing?”
“Sonofa –” Nick jumps, practically falling off the sofa. “Monroe, what are you doing here?”
“Well…I got worried about you and so I came over to check on you. I could smell the sickness from outside so I let myself in with the key you gave me. I just, uh, wanted to know you’re okay.”
“I’m fine, just have a cold.”
“You could’ve called or something. I would’ve brought you some soup.”
Nick sighs and sits up, making room for Monroe to sit down.
“Why didn’t you call me? I would’ve brought soup and orange juice and some doughnuts.”
“Uh, you wanna elaborate on that?”
“I didn’t want to bother you.”
“Dude, you’re sick. I don’t mind.”
Nick shrugs and lays his head back on the sofa; he looks away from Monroe. They sit there in awkward silence for a while until Nick finally looks back to Monroe.
“You look tired.”
“I am tired.”
“You’re always tired.”
“You’re always tired. You always look tired. You’re beard has gotten pretty grey in the last year.” He starts to reach out with the sudden urge to run his fingers over Monroe’s jaw, but he stops, his hand falling in his own lap. “Look me in the eyes and tell me you don’t think it has anything to do with me, with us being friends.”
“Nick, I –”
“You can’t, can you?”
“Come on, man…”
Nick shakes his head. “It’s fine, Monroe.” He takes a breath. “You don’t have to take care of me. I’ll manage by myself.”
“No. I don’t care how tired I am or how grey my beard gets. You’re my best friend, Nick. So if you think I’m gonna sit back and watch you get your ass kicked by wesen or even a cold, you’re out of your mind. Now, go upstairs and get in bed. I’m gonna go pick up a few things from the store then I’m coming back and I’m taking care of you! End of story!”
Nick smiles a little and nods. He wants to say something, thank him, but he doesn’t have the words. He shuffles upstairs and crawls in bed, waiting for Monroe to come back. He spends the entire time wondering if Monroe will really come back, hoping he comes back, worrying that he won’t.
There’s a weight pressing down on the bed, shifting Nick’s body a bit. His eyes slowly open and he blinks a few times to focus. He looks up at Monroe and his heart flutters.
“You came back.”
“Well, yeah. Actually, I came back like three hours ago. Found you up here sleeping like a baby.”
“You stayed the whole time?”
“Yeah. Made you some soup, enough so you have for a few days. There’s orange juice in the fridge, along with some cranberry juice. Your medicine cabinet is stocked with cold medicine, nasal spray, cough drops, and sore throat spray. Uh, your books are alphabetized, so are you DVDs. I also cleaned out your fridge; you need milk. And there’s a dozen from VooDoo on the counter.”
“You didn’t have to do all that.”
Monroe shrugs. “You owe me.” They both smile. “Alright, I’m gonna get you some medicine. You want some soup too?”
“What kind of soup?”
“What kind of – really? Chicken noodle!” Monroe shakes his head as he makes his way back downstairs.
When Monroe comes back upstairs, he finds Nick sitting up, leaning against the headboard, eyes shut. He sets the tray down on the nightstand and sits on the bed next to Nick. He lays his hand on Nick’s chest and gives him a gentle shake.
“Mmm…” Nick leans into the touch.
“Come on. Eat some soup.”
Nick ends up taking an entire week off from work and Monroe doesn’t leave his side – save for once when he goes home to check on things and grab some clothes – for the entire week. They watch quite a lot of movies. Monroe even gets Nick to start watching Doctor Who; Nick won’t admit it, but he likes it. It only takes one night of sleeping on the sofa for Monroe to give into Nick’s request for him to sleep upstairs with him. Of course Monroe grumbles about it, telling Nick to stay on his own side of the bed. He doesn’t; he’s quick to snuggle up to Monroe, who doesn’t even put up any kind of fight. Against his words, Monroe actually seems to enjoy the cuddling, pulling Nick close and keeping him curled up against his chest all night. Half way through the week they cuddle more than just when they’re sleeping.
“This should be weird, shouldn’t it?” Nick says as he leans against Monroe.
“You don’t mind?”
Monroe shrugs. “Not really.”
“But you smell like me.”
Monroe shrugs again. “Well then, I guess it’s a good thing you smell good.”
Nick grins before nuzzling Monroe’s neck, laying his head on his chest, and falling asleep.
By the end of the week, Nick feels as good as new. He still has another day off and convinces Monroe to stay that extra day – just to be safe. Really Nick just wants another day to spend with Monroe.
“You wanna do something tomorrow? Got one last day off.” Nick lifts his head from Monroe's chest to look at him.
Monroe shrugs. “I don’t know. Kind of enjoying not having to do anything.”
“Yeah, that is pretty nice.”
“They’re showing Indiana Jones down at the theater. We could go.”
“Can we get a jumbo popcorn and slushies?”
Monroe rolls his eyes. “Sure.”
Nick lays his head back down on Monroe’s chest. “Thanks for staying here this week.”
“I expect you to pay me back if I ever get sick.”
Nick’s hand starts to rub up and down Monroe’s side; he doesn’t even realize he’s doing it. Then his leg slips over Monroe’s and he wiggles a little closer. The next thing he knows, his lips are on Monroe’s neck and he’s nuzzling his check against the other man’s beard. And then Monroe’s rolling them over, his body pressed down against Nick’s, their lips finally meeting in the kiss they’ve both been thinking about for far too long.
Monroe’s lips are softer than Nick imagined. He kisses with a gentle strength that makes Nick’s entire body respond to the contact. A shiver runs down his spine as goosebumps start to cover his skin. He parts his lips to deepen the kiss, tongue dancing around, searching for Monroe’s. He raises his hips to grind up against Monroe. Monroe pushes him back down, hands firmly grasping his hips. Nick breaks the kiss, head falling back, barely able to contain his desire. He just wants less clothes and more Monroe.
“Monroe,” Nick pants out.
“Hmm?” Monroe hums against his neck.
“I want you.”
Monroe nips at Nick’s neck and licks along his jawline. His hands pull at clothes – both Nick’s and his own. Nick’s eyes marvel over Monroe’s body as his clothes are shed, one layer at a time. He wants so badly to reach out and touch him; he’s so caught up in his desire that he doesn’t realize he’s actually reaching out until his hands are touching warm skin. His hands slide over Monroe’s chest, lingering at the patch of hair right in the middle. They continue down, over his belly, settling on his hips to pull him back close. His hands snake around Monroe’s back, sliding up to his shoulders, and he pulls him in for a kiss.
Nick wraps his legs around Monroe’s waist, pulling him closer, their dicks rubbing together. They both moan and a shiver runs down Monroe’s back. Nick wants this so badly, Monroe wants it even more. He wants to take Nick, mark him, claim him. He wants to touch and hold and feel. Wants to taste, kiss. But most of all, he wants to love Nick and make love to him. Nick’s panting, grabbing for Monroe, trying to get his mouth on whatever skin he can get to.
“Please, Monroe,” Nick begs.
Monroe reaches a hand down between them, giving Nick’s cock a few stokes before continuing underneath him. He slides one finger into Nick, earning a low moan. He works his digit in and out until he can fit in a second, which makes Nick fist his hands in the sheets. Monroe relishes all the sounds coming from his lover’s mouth; they go right to his already hard dick. When Nick starts moving against him, rocking his hips to meet Monroe’s hand, Monroe adds a third finger.
“Fuck, Monroe.” Nick grinds down, hard, against Monroe’s hand.
Monroe growls in response and reclaims his hand, causing Nick to let out a pitiful whimper. But then Monroe settles his weight between Nick’s legs and pushes into him. Nick bites his bottom lip and his fingers grip Monroe’s biceps. They’re quick to find a steady rhythm and it’s not long before they start rutting against each other like animals. Nick moans and yells out a string of profanity. He bucks his hips up and arches his back. Monroe thrusts into him, hitting that perfect spot. Soon, Nick’s tossing his head back and crying out in passion.
When the fogginess in his brain clears, Nick realizes that Monroe is still buried inside of him, moving slowly, gently. Nick’s lips curl into a smile. He whispers, “you want me to roll over?”
Monroe nods and pulls out gently. He watches Nick turn and lay on his stomach, then push himself up onto his hands and knees. There’s a growl rumbling deep in Monroe’s chest as he watches his beautiful prey, bent over before him, body in the most inviting position. Beautiful. Perfect. He kisses down Nick’s spine before kneeling behind him. He pushes back in and sets a fast, steady pace. One hand stays on Nick’s hip, the other slides up his back, resting between his shoulder blades. When Nick starts pushing his hips back, it only takes a few more thrusts before Monroe’s howling his gratification.
When they both come back to themselves, they do a little bit of quick clean-up. Monroe lays back down next to Nick, pulling him close. He curls around the smaller man, pressing a kiss to his shoulder. His hands wander over Nick’s body, thumb tracing a scar over Nick’s side, close to his hip. Monroe knows how Nick got most of his scars – some he was there for, others were just stories. Of all of them, this one was the one that really got to Monroe. He felt his chest tighten.
“I’m sorry. I should have been there.”
“It’s okay.” His voice is quiet. “You’ve saved me when it’s counted the most.” More times that you’ll ever know. He raises his hand and tangles his fingers in Monroe’s hair. “I never thank you and I’m a jerk for it. You do so much for me. You helped me in my Grimm life. You were a friend when I needed one most.” He presses a kiss to Monroe’s jaw. “Thank you. For everything.”