him sometime later that morning, still sitting in the
forest, listening to the bird song and the breeze in the
trees. He hands him a brown paper bag, somewhat
incongruously, but when Monroe looks inside expecting to
find a liquor bottle, he sees instead an insulated
travel cup and smells the coffee. It at least brings a
smile to his face.
Nick nods, sits down on the stony ground next to him. Angelina�s grave is behind them, the smashed watch forever marking the time the last fragments of his heart that still belonged to her broke into tiny shards. Somehow it didn�t hurt so much with Nick sitting beside him.
�I�m sorry,� he says softly, and Monroe sips the hot coffee, hands around the paper bag, and lets the beginnings of a smile touch his lips.
�How are you feeling?�
He snorts, thinks about it for a second, because Nick wants the truth, won�t accept the generic �I�m okay� bullshit he�d give anyone else.
�Wiped out.� he says in the end. He�s exhausted, physically, mentally. He�s aching for the loss of his lover, his bones hurt. His body feels like its been hit by a train, his lungs sting with every breath. He needs to sleep, he�s just too tired to.
He feels Nick�s hand splay across his back, the heat in his palm, pressure from his fingers. �I�ll take you home.�
He died last night, his body reminded him when he opened his eyes and saw the afternoon sun creeping in around the edges of the curtains.
He was in his own bed, fully clothed although his shoes were next to the door and his jacket was folded across the back of the chair in the corner. He didn�t remember getting home, never mind going to bed. But Nick was downstairs, he could smell him. He�d made toast and coffee, and Monroe�s stomach rumbled quietly, hungry. He didn�t know the rules, he should have asked Rosalee, checked if there was something he needed to do following his actual death experience. If she was still talking to him after everything that had gone down yesterday.
He went through to the bathroom, stripped and showered. He was hyper aware of Nick downstairs, but he didn�t want to face his friend yet. Everything he�d done yesterday, he�d done for Nick. Or more accurately, to keep Nick in his life. Angelina had sacrificed herself for the same cause. He didn�t want to think too hard about what that might mean.
Dressing again in loose jeans and a wool button down, he dumped his dirty clothes in the hamper and went downstairs with some trepidation. He couldn�t help thinking, feeling, that what had happened changed things on a fundamental level. He�d chosen a side, made a commitment. He didn�t know if Nick would understand, not until he stepped into the lounge and the Grimm looked up from his book. It almost broke him, the unguarded expression on Nick�s face, the depth of feeling in his eyes, quickly shuttered.
�Hey. How are you feeling?� Monroe didn�t answer, just stood in the doorway until Nick rose from the couch, closing his book, putting it on the low table. �Coffee?�
�Something to eat? I can make you a sandwich?�
�Just� toast. Thanks.�
Monroe sank into his couch, feet up on the coffee table, his ankles next to Nick�s book, titled Blutrache. Vendetta. He reached out to pick it up but let his hand drop into his lap before he touched the leather bound volume and put his head back, closing his eyes. He listened to the sounds of Nick being domestic in his kitchen until his mind filled with fog.
Nick was handing him a plate, hot buttered toast, and a mug of sweet, milky coffee.
He lifted his head, took the offerings and felt immediately better than he had done in a couple of days.
�You don�t need to thank me.� Nick sat down again, in the opposite corner of the couch, a mug of his own between his hands. �Don�t think I don�t know what you did for me yesterday.�
Monroe shrugged. But it wasn�t nothing, and he didn�t say it was. He ate his toast slowly, putting the plate on the floor beside him when he was done.
�You could have died.�
He heard the catch in Nick�s voice and glanced across at him over his mug, through the wisps of steam still rising. He was probably imagining the tears in his eyes.
�I didn�t.� Angelina did. But he didn�t say that. It wasn�t Nick�s fault, none of this was. This feud between wesen and Grimm was older than all of them, they weren�t to blame for the casualties it claimed, the many lives and loves it took. He was still alive, and so was Nick. With the years that had passed, he�d learnt to be grateful for small mercies.
�Watching you drink that stuff, watching you die, letting her take your body away�.� He definitely wasn�t imagining the emotion in Nick�s voice now, and those really were tears falling to his cheeks. Monroe felt something inside of him clutch in response. �Hardest thing I�ve ever done,� he finished. Monroe didn�t know what to say.
They drank their coffee in an almost but not quite comfortable silence. Nick lifted his legs onto the table, socked feet rubbing against Monroe�s, toes curling over his toes.
�It�s been a year since all this started,� Nick murmured, �and you�re still the only thing that makes any sense to me.�
After a time, Monroe put his hand on the cushion between them, palm up, fingers spread, and Nick put his hand on top, laced their fingers, palms hot against one another. Neither of them spoke again until Nick�s phone rang for the third time. Three times. He couldn�t ignore it any longer.
Nick had given him a key to the trailer some time back, Monroe couldn�t remember when although he thought that he should, that it should have been an occasion or something, a moment between them. It just hadn�t been, more of an afterthought, the addendum to a conversation over a beer. �Oh, before I forget�.� A freshly cut key on an anonymous metal ring.
He let himself in. He never came unless Nick asked him to, and he�d asked him to meet him there tonight although he hadn�t said why.
Nick was late. Monroe made himself at home, taking off his coat and seating himself at the desk in the centre of it all, pulling forward a book from the top of the pile in one corner, handling it with care, with the respect such history deserved. He opened the cover and turned the page, marvelling in the detail of the drawings, the attention in the work.
He looked up when the door opened and Nick stepped up into the warmth. It was dark outside. It had been when Monroe had arrived.
�I�m sorry. There was a break in at a jewellers and we�re a man down.�
Monroe shrugged it off. �Don�t worry. There�s enough here to keep my occupied for years.�
Nick laid his coat over Monroe�s on the chest in the corner and stepped behind him, looking over his head at what he was reading, hands settling on his shoulders.
Something inside Monroe�s chest unfurled at the touch, while something in his groin tightened. They�d been dancing around one another since the days after Angelina�s death. Monroe�s self-control was iron tight but even that was being tested. Had he not had reason to think Nick wanted more, he would have let it go, let it be, a fleeting idea passing into what might have been had things been different. But Nick kept coming round, kept buying him coffee and dropping in for breakfast and dinner, bringing increasingly expensive and interesting wines to accompany the varied vegan recipes Monroe had turned to the internet to find.
And now the heavy, hot hands on his shoulders. The warm breath across the top of his ear, along his jaw, on his neck. The ghost of a kiss at the pulse point in his throat. He couldn�t hold back the low growl, blushed even as he tilted his head sideways, giving Nick a wider canvas to paint with wet kisses and dry nips of careful teeth.
Finally, when he was sure Nick wouldn�t bolt, he turned, scraping the legs of the chair on the floor of the trailer, hands going to Nick�s waist, pulling him into his lap as he searched blindly for Nick�s mouth with his own. Nick�s tongue pressed inside, demanding. The low sound in Monroe�s throat drowned out Nick�s humming. He felt the ripple of the woge and pushed it back. Right now, Nick needed Monroe�s human facade. The rest might come later but for now he had to take it slowly. He�d never been with a human before. It was reckless, dangerous, but no more than being friends with a Grimm. Another incremental step in their relationship wasn�t going to change the way people already felt about them. Not much, anyway.
And besides, he wanted this.
Nick straddled his thighs, shifted forward, fingers in Monroe�s hair, tongue reaching for his tonsils. Monroe could only hope he knew what he was doing. His cock was hot and hard in his jeans, hands splayed over the back of Nick�s sweater, plucking it from his waistband until his fingertips were resting against flushed skin.
Nick was already working the buttons of his shirt undone with one hand, his other sliding between them, palm flat over his erection. He swallowed Monroe�s growl before tearing his mouth away and sealing his lips to the side of his throat, teeth working at the vulnerable skin.
Monroe got his fly undone at the same time as Nick got his jeans open, the annoyance of underwear pushed away so that finally their dicks slid together, silk against steel. Nick�s moan of relief matched his own as he took them both in one large hand and jerked them off slowly, losing himself in the heat of his friend, in the teasing ache of his gentle bites. If there was a later, a second time, he would assure Nick he liked to be bitten, that he could let go without fear of hurting or reprisal. But that was for another time, for when he could direct and be directed. For now, it was enough, more than enough.
The pungent smell of their sweat and Nick�s arousal, the rush of blood, the swelling of his cock, he couldn�t hold back for long. He started to come before Nick and finished after him, at least giving Nick a taste, a warning, of what it would be like if they took this further. If Nick noticed, he didn�t mention it, not then, slumped in Monroe�s arms, sitting on his trembling legs, getting his breath back. When he lifted his head, he was smiling.
�We�d waited long enough,� he murmured, kissing the tip of Monroe�s nose, swiping his tongue over his bottom lip. Monroe caught the tip of it in his teeth for a moment before letting go.
He nodded. �You could have just asked,� he pointed out and Nick shrugged. �We need a shower.�
His place was the only option. Juliette might not remember who Nick was, but she was still under the illusion he was her boyfriend.
As Monroe wrapped himself around and over Nick under the sluice of hot water, he knew he was going to have to change that. He wasn�t good at sharing.
He rubbed himself against Nick�s back, got soapy hands all over Nick�s body, let the wolf out for a second or two. Far from running scared, Nick encouraged him. It wouldn�t always be like this. Nick wasn�t subordinate in any way. He was as much an alpha male as Monroe and while he could see that causing friction in the future, he could see it being interesting, being fun, being fucking fantastic.
Sitting on Monroe�s bed later that night, Nick stroked him again to orgasm and leaned down to lap at the knotted base of his cock while he came.
�Want to feel that inside me,� he whispered, and Monroe growled, dropped onto his back on the sheets and wondered if Nick was going to be the death of him after all.