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In Her Room

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The first time Nick went into Jess’s room while she was sleeping was one week after they all got back from that weird-ass cruise.

He got home really late one saturday after an exhausting shift at the bar. There were 2 bachelors' parties and those dudes simply didn’t know when to stop drinking. He was just so tired he couldn’t see anything in front of him.

As soon as he got to the loft he went straight to Jess’s room. Her bed was so comfortable that he wouldn't need more than 5 minutes on it to fall asleep. But the moment he opened the door and saw her, he remembered: They weren't a couple anymore.

He wasn't allowed to sleep in her bed. The harsh reality of not being able to hold her made him immediately awake. Nick was about to leave to go to his own room when he heard Jess mumble something in her sleep that he was really sure sounded like his own name.

Taking a closer look at her face Nick noticed the smeared traces of makeup there. She had been crying. That thought made his chest hurt. Not too long ago he would be the first person that Jess would go to when something upset her. And now the only reason he knew she had been crying was because of his lapse of memory that made him go to her room uninvited.

He stayed there for 5 or 10 minutes, just looking at her. They hadn’t been this close to each other for a while now, and he missed her face. After a while he realized how creepy he was being. Who just watches someone when they are sleeping? Stalkers, that’s who. And he is definitely not one.

Walking slowly back to his own room he could hear Schmidt’s heavy breathing. All he wanted to do was to go back to across the hall. With Jess in mind, he slept well for the first night in over a month.

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The second time Nick went into Jess’s room while she was sleeping was the day he first heard the name “Ryan”.

He accidentally heard Jess on the phone with Cece talking about this new teacher and how hot he was. Nick knew this would happen eventually. She was single, amazing and the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. He was actually surprised this hadn’t happened sooner. But knowing this would happen wasn't enough to make him ok with the situation.

Sure, they were slowly going back to being friends and he was happy with that. Anything was better than not having her in his life. Even if meant that he had to put all his feelings inside his box of things he didn’t want to deal with.It was hard, but he was learning how to act like he wasn’t in love with her anymore.

Watching her sleep gave him a mix of feelings he was surely not in the mood to deal with. The only thing he really wanted was to hold her as she slept. But those nights were now long ago. And soon another person would do that.

He could only hope that this Ryan person could make Jess happy the way she deserved.

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The third night Nick watched Jess sleep was after his bar crawl. He was still drunk, but not drunk enough to say he didn’t know what he was doing.

It was the middle of the night when he heard Ryan leaving the loft. He wasn’t sure what had happened that night between Jess and her perfect British boyfriend. Well...not exactly perfect. If Nick was being honest, Ryan sometimes looked like a big pile of saltine dust. He was just so... boring! Everyone else seemed to think Ryan was the most gorgeous of all men on Earth. He couldn’t see it. Maybe he just couldn’t notice beauty in guys... whatever.

Anyway... he was observing Jess with the guy that night. They seemed to be having some sort of discussion. Nick couldn’t tell exactly. He forced himself to not pay that much attention. He was sure whatever was happening, he wouldn’t like to know.

That night he couldn’t sleep. Even watching Jess peacefully sleeping for a while hadn’t worked. He now had too many images on his mind.

Images of Jess in the hallway, Jess on his bed, Jess crying and hugging him. Random girls he couldn’t remember the faces or names, Kai. Ryan.

What a mess his life was right now. Things had to change. He couldn’t go on like that.

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Against his better judgment, the fifth time Nick went to see Jess sleeping was the night Coach had left with May.

He couldn’t sleep thinking about Jess, their sex mug and the clean break stupidity. He didn’t want a “clean break”. Jess would never be just an ex...or just his friend.

He knew he hadn’t dealt with those feelings in a long while, but from time to time he would be aware of it. It could be in a form of a dream where they were still together, or a memory that would randomly pop up. Tonight was the mug.

Man... how many amazing nights he had once upon a time because of that mug. He started to remember all of them and just knew he couldn’t let it go. He had to get the mug back.

Once he saw it was not on the trash anymore his first instinct was to go to Jess’s room. It was surely there. Maybe Jess was awake and they could talk about it...or not talk.

But she was sleeping. He looked around and couldn’t see the mug. So he just stayed there, once again, looking at her. She looked a bit tired lately, but ever since she had broken up with that british guy (what was his name again?) it seemed that she was smiling more. Long distance relationships are hard and that one was making her miserable.

Nick was surprised by Winston as he went back to his room. They both looked at each other with a guilty face, but neither could tell exactly why. Before closing his door Nick heard Winston talking to his cat. “Those two are idiots”.

Yeah...that was the only thing he would always agree.

Nick Miller was an idiot.

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After that last time Nick tried to restrain himself on going to Jess’s room. He couldn’t risk being labeled a creep for watching her sleep.
Winston never asked him what he was doing there, but Schmidt certainly would. And Cece was spending way too much time in the Loft now.

But after Jess left for jury duty Nick caught himself thinking about her more often. He was now in a constant state of missing her.
Even her annoying songs about baking. He would go to her room, even if she wasn't there. Just to feel close to her. He could smell her perfume just by going inside.

Once again the memories were too much to deal with.

No! I can’t do that. Not again. Enough!

And he left Jess’s room.

One week later Reagan moved in, and it was no longer Jess's.

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That Christmas Eve (Eve) he was not supposed to get caught going into her room.

He just felt really bad for everything. They had been so distant lately. He knew something was wrong with her, but he couldn’t tell exactly what. So he would leave the cocoa on her night stand and leave. Sure, it would be cold when she’d see it. But it’s the thought that counts, right?

"Oh, you're awa... you're awake. Great."

"Nick, how often do you sneak into my room in the middle of the night?"

"Uh, you're awake, uh, this is a first". Really smooth, Miller, he thought. But hey, at least he didn’t start sweating like crazy. That was a victory.

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The night he came back from Socalyalcon the first thing he did was go to her room. But she wasn't there either.

After Reagan had fallen asleep Nick went to Jess’s room again. He knew she wasn’t there, but he couldn’t help it.

His anxiety levels were rapidly increasing and he could feel his heart racing. Something was really wrong and he couldn’t tell exactly what. But Jess was missing and no one else seemed to be so worried like he was.

Obviously Cece knew what was happening, but wasn't telling him. He went to bed thinking about talking with Cece first thing in the morning.He went back to her room every night the rest of that week.

The night before Reagan was supposed to go to San Diego she saw Nick leaving Jess’s room. They looked at each other, but didn’t say anything.

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The last time Nick went inside her room while Jess was sleeping was one week after she came back from Portland.

He came home after closing the bar that night and went straight to Jess’s room. Again he just stood there looking at her. He couldn’t believe his own luck. He was actually allowed to touch her again. To sleep in her bed (that soft, comfy bed he missed for so long).

"Hey. I was waiting for you to get home, but I guess I was more tired than I thought."

"It’s ok, go back to sleep."

"What are you smiling at?"

"Nothing...just admiring how lucky I am."

So much had happened this last week. So many emotions. But Nick couldn’t feel happier. Her room stopped being hers a few days later.

It was now theirs.