A/N: I don't own Grimm or make money from this.
Monroe likes going to clock conventions. They’re a way for him to get out, be social, while still keeping the wolf tucked away. Well, he used to like conventions, when there was nothing at home to miss.
The motel room is small, dingy, familiar. He stays in the same room at the same motel every time he’s in Seattle. The place is wesen friendly, as the owner is a fuchsbau. The walls are still the same dull blue, carpet still a dirty grey color. He’s pretty sure it may have once been white. If he didn’t know better, he’d swear he slept on these exact sheets last time. Oh well, he thinks, it’s cheap and only for a few days.
He sits alone in bed, watching the news on a tiny television set that might be as old as he is. He’s wearing a worn pair of pajama bottoms and his favorite sweatshirt. His phone vibrates and he grabs it from the nightstand; his lips curl into a smile when he reads Nick’s name on the screen.
Text: when r u coming home?
Text: Why? Grimm trouble?
Text: You miss me, don’t you?
Text: *eye roll*
Text: no really
Text: I miss you
Text: Miss having someone to make you dinner.
Text: miss my best bud!
Monroe’s lips curl into an involuntary smile. He frequently catches himself smiling because of Nick in one way or another. He’s not really sure why. Nick drinks his beer and eats his food. He makes stupid jokes and drags him into dangerous situations. Nick is a cop and a Grimm and far too clingy. Why on Earth should Monroe miss him? Because maybe Monroe kind of likes Nick. A lot.
Text: Miss you, too, man!
Text: u dont mean that
Text: Yes, I do.
Text: It’s weird not having a beer with you before dinner.
Text: Ya know, my grandfather is rolling in his grave right now – the thought of me liking spending time with a Grimm!
Monroe waits for a smart-ass reply from Nick, but never gets one. He sighs and scrolls through his phone, reading all his old texts; he always saves ones from Nick. The texts go all the way back to when Nick had the case with the ziegevolk. He closes out of the messages and pulls up the keypad, dialing the number for the cab company. He cancels Friday’s cab and reserves one for Thursday morning instead. He finally gets a “good night” text from Nick and he replies with a simple “good night” back. He sets his phone back on the nightstand, pulls the covers up, and lets himself drift to sleep, lips still curled in a smile.
Nick has an especially long day at work; all of his leads turn into dead ends. The captain gives him the rest of the day off, along with tomorrow; he’s more than aware of how much Nick needs a little time off.
Normally, when Nick has a rough day and needs to clear his head, he goes over to Monroe’s house and they share a beer or two. Lately, he and Monroe have been playing a lot of card games. Nick’s not really sure why, but it helps. Monroe helps.
He’s pulling up in front of the empty house before he even remembers that Monroe is at that convention in Seattle. He shrugs and decides to just stay; he’s already there, so why not? He lets himself in with his key and sheds his boots and coat by the door before heading into the kitchen for a beer.
He finds himself aimlessly wandering around the house. He notices all the little trinkets sitting around, sharing space with countless clocks. He wonders how he’s missed them all the other times he’s been here. His fingers move over the spines of the books on Monroe’s shelves.
He starts to sway back and forth, matching the ticking of the clocks; he finds it soothing. He plops down on the sofa and notices one of Monroe’s flannels lying over the back of the sofa. For some reason he pulls it on over his t-shirt. He smiles; it’s like a perpetual Monroe hug. It smells just like Monroe and that comforts Nick even more. Nick’s never actually hugged him, but he’d really like to. He wants to wrap his arms around Monroe’s waist, wants to rest his head on Monroe’s shoulder.
He sighs, wrapping his arms around himself. Usually he and Monroe would be sharing a few beers and talking about what to eat for dinner – leftovers or take out. Nick remembers the leftover Chinese foods in the fridge and goes to help himself. Eating alone on the sofa is weird. He should be picking off Monroe’s plate – trading some veggie lo mein for an egg roll. Nick didn’t realize how integral Monroe has become to his life. He washes his dishes, dries them, and sets them back in the cabinet. He finds himself poking around the fridge again.
After another beer he’s wandering upstairs. He pokes his head into Monroe’s room; it’s remarkably tidy. Nick walks in and looks around, taking in every little detail. He sits on the edge of the bed, bouncing a few times. Wow, he thinks, soft. He sits there for a bit, not really doing much of anything. He wiggles, shuffling his body up the bed, and lays down. Really comfy, he thinks. His eyes fall shut and he wonders what sleeping next to Monroe would be like. Probably warm, cozy. He’s a cuddler, definitely the big spoon.
Eventually, Nick finds himself drifting asleep. He knows he should get up, go home, sleep in his own bed. But he can’t move, doesn’t want to; he needs the comfort of Monroe. He didn’t realize he’d miss his best friend so much; he doesn’t know what to do without Monroe. It was only Wednesday night and Monroe wouldn’t be back until late Friday afternoon. It’s going to be a long two days.
Monroe’s up and ready by six o’clock and sitting in the diner across the street eating a doughnut by six-thirty. By seven he’s sitting in the back of a cab, on his way home. He spends part of the ride sleeping and part of it reading. He’s finishing the last page of his novel as the cab turns down his street. Monroe checks his watch; it’s ten-fifteen. He’s a little surprised to see Nick’s car parked out front. Surprised, but happy.
Walking inside, he expects to see Nick on the sofa or in the kitchen, but both are empty. He sets his bags down, kicks off his shoes, and follows his nose. As he climbs the stairs, he realizes Nick’s scent is coming from his bedroom. Weird. He actually starts to fear for the worst, his brain splitting into a million different directions. He’s relieved when he sees Nick sleeping, his chest rising and falling.
Nick wakes up at about the same time Monroe crosses the threshold into the room. Their eyes lock in an awkward stare. Nick doesn’t move; he’s frozen. Monroe opens his mouth, as if to speak, but says nothing. After a few too many seconds of painful awkwardness, Monroe breaks the silence.
“You’re…you’re in my bed. And that’s…you’re wearing my flannel.”
Nick just nods and pulls the covers up to his nose, hiding much like a child would.
“Umm…why?” Monroe’s voice is soft. There’s no anger, just overwhelming curiosity.
Nick shrugs, letting go of the blanket. “I missed you.”
“Oh.” Monroe’s not really sure what to think.
“I’m sorry. It must smell like me everywhere. I’ll go.”
As Nick goes to push off the covers, Monroe steps towards him. “No.” He sits on the edge of the bed, looking at Nick. “I like when everything smells like you.” His voice is almost a whisper, as if speaking too loudly would wake him up and this would all be a dream.
“Really?” Nick sits up and leans towards Monroe.
He nods, fighting the urge to crawl into bed, curling his body around Nick, and snuggling him for the rest of the day.
Nick smiles, but then scrunches up his face. “I thought you weren’t coming to home until Friday.”
“I missed you.”
Nick practically throws himself at Monroe, wrapping his arms around him, and pulling him in an almost-too-tight hug. They lay there, haphazardly, on the bed for a while, snuggled close. Nick nuzzles Monroe’s beard, finally noticing how Monroe smells like the woods – pine and rain – with just a hint of cinnamon. Nick already knows what he smells like: leather, gunpowder, and coffee, with a hint of aloe vera. Monroe had told him once, a few months ago.
“I missed you.” Nick’s voice is soft. He plays with the hem of Monroe’s shirt. “I didn’t really know what to do without you.”
“Can I ask you something?”
Nick nods. “Of course.”
“Why’d you come over?”
“I had a rough day at work. I wanted to see you. You’re the first one I go to when I have a bad day. I forgot you were away; didn’t remember until I was already pulling up.”
“So you stayed?”
“Yeah.” It comes out as almost a whisper.
“I’m glad you did.” Monroe dips his head down, kissing Nick’s neck. He runs a light hand over Nick’s flannelled chest. “It looks good on you.”
Nick chews on his bottom lip, looking up at Monroe with puppy-dog eyes. His voice is low, “you know you’re not getting it back, right?”
“I better not.” Monroe’s lips finally meet Nick’s and he smiles into their kiss. They kiss until they’re out of breath. Their cheeks are flushed, lips are swollen, and they’re breathing just a little heavier.