The first time Monroe noticed it he and Nick were pressed tight together, hiding from an enraged Lausenschlange that had already strangled one man to death and was now looking to follow up with finishing off the two witnesses to his crime.
He only got the smallest snout full of the scent – full, throaty, making him see red and Monroe reared back, falling out from their hiding place and leading the Lausenschlange right to them.
It was only by sheer luck that Hank found them and took the head shot that killed the creature. Nick forgot to ask him why Monroe had panicked. He was too busy trying to explain how the suspect had swallowed Nick's gun whole. Monroe wished he could read that report. He could only imagine the looks that autopsy had caused.
The second time the two of them were tracking down a Mausehertz that was stealing. It was petty theft and Monroe wasn't really interested. He felt Nick had simply called him because he was bored and his Grimm work didn't give him a readymade partner like being a cop did. He only had Monroe to sit around with during the boring paperwork parts and the stakeouts. Monroe should have been annoyed but he still agreed to come and help Nick out. It beat sitting around at home.
They were out in Monroe's yellow beetle, watching the front of a jewellery store which Nick had decided was the next likely target. Nick was waving his cup of coffee around in front of him, trying to illustrate a story while Monroe was hit by another whiff of that scent.
He wound down the window, ignoring Nick's moaning that he was letting in the cold air and tried to fixate on something else - The restaurant down the street, where some dog had marked the corner of a building a little way along - anything but that smell that was so delicious, so primal it drove him nearly out of his mind.
Monroe had never smelled anything like it and even as he tried to ignore it the scent grew stronger. Nick was leaning over him, only centimetres away, looking concerned.
"Are you sick?" He asked and Monroe forced himself to nod.
"Yeah, something like that, just a bit stuffy in here." He said, swallowing because he'd realised where the smell was coming from.
It was all Nick. He didn't think Nick smelled like that normally – not so earthy, not so sexual. Monroe had smelled the man when he'd obviously dropped by home for a quickie before coming over and even though Nick had smelt arousing then he hadn't smelt anything like this.
"Are you wearing a new cologne?" He asked and Nick sniffed at himself, frowning.
"No…Uh…I kind of didn't have time to take a shower. Sorry, man. I'll remember in the future." He said, shooting Monroe an apologetic smile.
Monroe just wished the ground would open up and swallow him then and there.
It was Nick's natural smell that had been assaulting him. The delicious tang was Nick himself without the scent of other people or deodorant or any of the weird hair products he used. Nick without anything else interrupting the tonal notes of his own body chemistry and Monroe's wolf side was going crazy at every sniff of it. He was rock hard and already Monroe could feel his fangs lengthening, could feel his fingers turning to claws as he ripped at his own car seats trying to control himself. It was only good fortune that bought the Mausehertz into view a moment later and he could free himself and go bound off after it.
Monroe even hated himself for it. Good boy, good dog, running off to play fetch for his Grimm but when Nick smiled at him and thanked him for helping Monroe felt his heart skip a beat.
He had it bad for Nick. It wasn't just his scent although that made Nick impossibly edible. Monroe liked everything about the Grimm. He didn't want to go on stakeouts with anyone else. He would have resented their need for attention and his help but he didn't resent Nick. He welcomed Nick.
He was so screwed.
For a while Nick remembered about taking showers. He was practically dousing himself in horrible, flowery scented cologne and Monroe found himself sneezing at the artificial scent that Nick insisted on wearing.
He bought his Grimm a new cologne that he found more appealing - more woodsy, a little spicy – until he found that he was trying to recreate Nick's own scent and one afternoon mistakenly on purpose smashed the bottle when he popped in to use Nick's bathroom unexpectedly.
He took off after that, unable to be around Nick and went for a run in the woods. It was the first time since Angelina and Monroe really needed it. It would only have been better if he'd had Nick running with him, body pressed against his and Monroe would catch him eventually, roll him onto his back and scent Nick in all those places where his smell would be strongest – his neck, under his arms, between his legs. Monroe would press his nose to each of those places, breath in that heady scent and roll in it till that scent was mingled with his own and they weren't separate any more but one.
Monroe knew this was something he'd have to deal with on his own. Nick was straight. He had a lovely girlfriend who Monroe had met a few times and a nice house that Monroe was only allowed in under duress. Most likely, Monroe had to admit, because he went around smashing things. Nick didn't come over to his house and smash things, apart from that first time when he'd gone over every inch of Monroe's home on the off chance he was hiding a little girl.
The last thing Monroe wanted was to make Nick remember that time, how much he'd feared Monroe was a creature acting on instinct and blood rather than the reformed person he was. Monroe couldn't figure out a way to tell Nick that his scent made him hard without imagining an awkward, strained conversation where Nick tried to let him down gently even though Monroe already knew it was a hopeless case. And then the visits and phone calls would become more and more infrequent, Nick would have other things to do and eventually they'd just stop talking.
Monroe couldn't deal with that. Nick was the first real friend he'd made in a long time. Nick mattered to him a whole lot more than he liked thinking about and just because occasionally Nick made him crazy mad with lust it didn't mean anything. Monroe would get passed it and he'd get used to Nick covering himself in cheap cologne.
Then Nick broke up with Juliette. It came out of the blue for Monroe. If he'd been in a relationship with someone –even someone as hot as Nick – he wouldn't have put up with the lying the way that Juliette had done. Monroe had thought they were just in it for the long haul and Juliette was one of those very forgiving people who could make excuses for cancelled dates and missed anniversaries as Nick slipped deeper and deeper into his Grimm world but apparently she'd had a line and Nick had crossed it.
It was hard dealing with his heartbroken best friend when all Monroe wanted to do was dance a jig on the dying embers of that relationship. It wasn't dignified. He didn't like himself for it but that was still how he felt. It didn't make Nick any less straight but at least now there wasn't a nice, sweet woman for Monroe to ineffectually compete with. At least until the next one came along. Nick seemed to want to take time to nurse his broken heart and Monroe was confident that Juliette wasn't coming back. She'd taken her things, moved into a new apartment, stopped answering Nick's drunk phone calls.
Monroe just wished Nick was getting over it so well. He'd stopped showering again which was driving Monroe crazy and occasionally their boy's nights out involved swinging passed Juliette's new place just to check that everything was okay. Monroe hated it. Firstly, he considered it borderline stalking which he was not pleased Nick was dragging him into and secondly he usually had a morose, delicious smelling Grimm sitting next to him looking vulnerable and edible. Nursing Nick though his break up was giving Monroe the worst case of blue balls since he'd been in high school.
Drunken nights were the worse. Nick would turn up with the organic brew Monroe favoured, asking him all sorts of questions about Wesen that Monroe knew was simply cover. Two beers in and Nick would be outlining every mistake he'd made in his relationship while climbing over Monroe in a display of drunken friendship Monroe could have lived without. He always put Nick to bed in his spare room and shut himself away in his own bedroom. Sometimes it was easy to believe what Nick really wanted was Monroe to tell him that he was still wanted, to kiss him but Monroe figured that was just hopeful imagination on his part. Nick probably wasn't trying to get drunk to lower his inhibitions and let Monroe jump him and even if he was Monroe wasn't that sort of guy.
Nick just wanted to get drunk with the one friend he had who could understand the difficulties of dating when you had a secret, dangerous part of your life you needed to keep from them. Monroe had tried a few non-Wesen dates when he first reformed and he'd ruled it out pretty quickly because there were some things he just couldn't explain – like why he preferred if his dates didn't wear red. Nick couldn't exactly sob in Hank's ear about the fact that he'd been dealing with Lions rather than wining and dining his girlfriend but he could tell Monroe that. Everyone else just thought it was the pressure of being involved with a cop that had got to Juliette and Monroe wondered if it wouldn't have eventually but the secrets on top had been the last straw.
And now it was Monroe who was being driven mad by secrets but they were his own. He didn't want to start pushing Nick away but he didn't know how to handle himself. Nick was the closest he'd ever come to losing his composure and Monroe hadn't always been good. He'd done some bad things. It was hard to remember when he was tucking Nick up in to the spare bed at night that he wasn't supposed to just crawl in beside him. It was hard telling his instincts that Nick didn't need a good mating to make him forget Juliette. It was hard but not impossible. It just involved a lot more yoga.
Then, thankfully, Nick cheered up. There were fewer late nights of drinking, fewer mornings when Monroe would come down and find Nick in his kitchen groggily trying to fix himself coffee and have to stop himself because Nick would always be in just his boxers and his t-shirt because that was all he'd had and Monroe wouldn't give him any of his own clothes to sleep in because he valued his self-preservation too much and Nick in Monroe's clothes, covered in Monroe's scent, would have been too much for him to stand. Those dark, depressing times stopped and were replaced by cheerful, hopeful Nick who wanted them to go running in the woods and put some of his Grimm training to good use.
So that was how Monroe entered the next circle of Hell. This circle involved bodily contact and Nick throwing himself at Monroe, into his arms practically, and demanding to wrestle over the leaf strewn forest floor. Monroe knew that Nick could have gone to the gym with Hank. Nick didn't need to train with him, not really but Nick was worried about taking down Wesen and Monroe was his handy on-call Blutbad who lived right next to the woods. There wasn't really a polite way to turn Nick down and Monroe didn't want to turn him down by having a talk that involved the words 'scent' and 'testicles' so he had to agree.
Even if he wasn't doing it intentionally Nick new how to get his motor running. There was a lot of panting, a lot of physical noises like grunts and growls and he even wanted Monroe to fight for dominance. He told Monroe to come at him from any angle and how was Monroe supposed to take an invitation like that? Pinning Nick to the forest floor, burying his nose in Nick's hair and just enjoying the feeling of Nick struggling underneath him while Monroe sat on his back was how he did take it.
Nick was spitting leaf mould and moaning at him that Monroe didn't play fair but Monroe didn't care. Everything about Nick was teasing. The way he tilted his head like he was offering his neck, the way he bent over in front of Monroe to stretch before they started their training, even now when he was bucking around in the dirt, trying to rub himself up against Monroe. All of it was designed to throw Monroe right off track and take him right back to the 'bad times', to the wolf he was before he'd cleaned up.
"God, Nick." He groaned, feeling himself swelling and Nick just kept on wriggling. "You need to stop, man. You really need to stop. Nick, you don't know what you're doing to me." He could feel his teeth lengthening and Nick seemed to really hear the panic in his voice because he lay still finally.
"Monroe?" He asked, turning his head just slightly, revealing the white column of his throat and Monroe wanted to howl.
"I can't, Nick. I just can't." He stumbled up, trying to get away from Nick because he was really too close to the edge now, he was almost in full wolf mode and Nick's his friend – it's not Nick's fault that he's a tease and that he smells good enough to mate and eat. Nick didn't ask for any of this. He didn't ask to be a Grimm, he didn't ask to have Monroe come into his life. Nick's a decent guy and Monroe is a bad, bad man for everything he's been thinking and feeling. He should be in control of the animal inside him and he's tried so hard to be.
Nick has just always broken through his defences. He should never have invited Nick in for that first beer. That had been when it had all started. He should have just walked away. He shouldn't have helped but he'd been overwhelmed by Nick. He'd never have helped someone else, it had always been Nick.
"Monroe!" Nick was calling after him but Monroe couldn't stay. He raced through the woods, needing to get it out of his system, knowing he was too fast for Nick to catch him and Nick wasn't good at tracking without Monroe at his side to smell out the danger for him. So Monroe just ran and he didn't stop running until he could pass for human again.
Then he went home. He locked his doors. He made himself a cup of coffee and eventually he phoned Nick. He hung up when it still went unanswered after the fourth ring. That was enough to tell him that Nick had known what was going on between them or more rightly that he's discovered Monroe's dirty little secret and is disgusted by him.
Monroe sends him a text – 'sorry'- because he can't just leave things the way they've been left and then he goes to get something a lot stronger than coffee.
He's just lost his best friend in the world and even if Monroe knows it's for the best in the long run the pain is worse than anything he's ever felt. Nick's been the one constant in his life for the past few months, more than just his friend because Monroe loves him in a way he's only ever loved one other person which was Angelina and in a way that's completely different from her because he and Nick were good together, they did good together but he still made Monroe lose his composure. Monroe knows that his life will be better without Nick, his routine will be ordered once again.
He just doesn't want an ordered routine as much as he wants Nick.
It's foolish and he's really on the brink of losing everything that he fought hard for but Monroe knows when he's beaten. If Nick snapped his fingers then Monroe would come running because he can smell it on Nick just how right Nick is for him and Monroe wants to find a way to balance himself, to make both halves of him whole. To stop living in secrets and lies because those just tore them apart like it ruined Nick and Juliette's relationship but Nick's already made it clear how he feels and all Monroe can do is sit alone in his house and drink rum till he starts to feel sick.
It's the most effective way of getting over a broken heart he knows. His father gave him his first glass when Molly dumped him. He drained whole bottles of the stuff to get over Angelina and now he swallows down shot after shot to rid himself of Nick and his scent and his smile and everything that made Monroe's heart glad to see him.
He has to or he'll go mad.
The knock on the door is unexpected and for a long time Monroe doesn't answer it because he can't tell the difference between it and the pounding in his head. He finally rights himself, shot glass still in hand from where he passed out on his couch the night before after downing half the bottle of rum. He catches sight of himself in the hallway mirror and he's looked worse but usually when he's been in a fight. There are dark circles under his eyes, his skin is grey and washed out, his hair is everywhere. His clothes are all askew and he stinks of drink.
This should certainly help his reputation in the neighbourhood as the strange weirdo that kids know to avoid. If it's the postman then he'll tell everyone on the street which is just the way Monroe likes his business spread about. Still, he likes his new, overly chatty postman more than the previous one. This one hasn't tried to abduct and eat any girls yet.
Monroe opened the door and was assaulted by a scent he knew by heart. It's Nick, smelly, dirty, not had a shower Nick who's panting and leaning against his doorway.
"My car wouldn't start…" He wheezed. "Got your text…Ran all the way."
"You ran all the way to my house?" Monroe puts his shot glass down on the hall table and reaches out an arm to wrap around Nick's shoulder, hurrying him into the house and shutting the door behind him. "Dude, you could have called. Or texted. I texted! Texting is a very useful form of communication." And it didn't bring Nick into Monroe's house smelling so impossibly fuckable that Monroe just wanted to throw him up against the wall and have his way with him.
"I had to see you." Nick leant into his arms. "I am so sorry, Monroe. I thought…" He swallowed and Monroe watched the bob of his Adam's apple and bit his lip hard enough to taste blood. "I know Juliette and I broke up a couple of months ago and maybe this isn't appropriate and you've always had girlfriends but I thought we were…close."
"Close?" Monroe snapped his eyes back up to Nick's, making sure he was really hearing what Nick was saying, making sure that Nick didn't mean something else.
"Yes, close." Nick's tongue darted out, wetting his lips, making them even more invitingly pink if that were possible. "In the woods I thought it was all foreplay. I mean, I read some of my Aunt's books and it was all foreplay. I knew I should have talked to you."
The world came rushing back to Monroe but suddenly the world looked very different. He and Nick were on the same side of the coin, fumbling towards each other without knowing what they were doing. Monroe should have smelled it, should have noted arousal because he could smell it on Nick now but he'd been so angry at himself, so guilty for what he was feeling that he hadn't even considered it when he'd had Nick pinned before.
"Yes." He said, much more calmly then he felt. "You should have talked to me."
He took a deep breath, enjoying the freedom of being able to smell Nick and not have to fight his impulses. He pushed Nick up against the wall, kissed him hard, kicked his legs apart so Monroe could slide between and everything he did Nick welcomed. Nick's hands where in his hair, tugging at it and Monroe knew he had to taste disgusting but Nick didn't seem to care, sucking Monroe's tongue into his mouth, moaning in a filthy way that did things to Monroe's cock. He was right when he'd thought Nick was a tease because Nick was pretty much pure temptation wrapped up to look like a pretty-boy cop.
"Bedroom." He growled, pulling away from Nick long enough to bite at his bottom lip and then Nick was shoving him away, regaining a little bit of that control that Monroe had always liked about him and was hot-footing it up the stairs. Monroe was right on his tail, unable to believe that this was finally happening, that finally he was going to get to fuck Nick Burkhardt. Nick was through the door to his bedroom and Monroe tackled him, sending him sprawling onto the old wooden bed. Nick bounced on the mattress, laughing and pleased and Monroe leant over him to kiss him again.
Nick tugged him down, rolling them over playfully and Monroe felt the peace he was supposed to be feeling. Nick might not look like very much but he was strong, he was a Grimm and he could keep Monroe's wolf in check. He pushed his hands up under Nick's t-shirt, pulling it off and then pressed his nose to Nick's chest, breathing in great lungful's of the scent that had driven him crazy for such a long time. Nick was still laughing, the sound vibrating through him and it was a warm, happy sound that made Monroe want to tug him closer and never let him go.
"So," He nuzzled at Nick's right nipple, taking a little moment to kiss it as he voiced his question. "I'm not completely sure how to do this gay sex thing. You have any pointers or should we do some research?"
Nick's fingers combed through his hair and Monroe glanced up to catch Nick's smile. "Yeah, I've had boyfriends before, Monroe. I know what I want you to do." He ground down against Monroe and Monroe was glad that Nick had some blueprint of what came next because this was one area that Monroe couldn't have been that helpful on. He figured they either rubbed their dicks together which sounded good, they blew each other which sounded better or Nick showed him so hitherto unknown way to fuck which Monroe was really looking forward to.
Nick squirmed off him which was disappointing until Monroe realised that he was taking off his pants and he copied him, pulling off his clothes and leaving them in an unceremonious heap on the floor. He faced back to Nick again, taking a moment to run his eyes over Nick's hard body and appreciate all of him. Nick was lean, he obviously worked out, he was practically hairless all over which Monroe put down to a serious personal grooming routine and one that he didn't follow. Nick pressed his hand against Monroe's chest, feeling the mess of hair there and Monroe didn't bother with grooming the way Nick did. He liked being a little shaggy and untamed and apparently Nick liked it too from the way his breathing sped up, from the stronger hit of lust in the air.
Nick's cock was hard and pink, jutting out from a clipped nest of pubic hairs and Monroe really had to admire the dedication Nick put into this. He looked fresh and young, good enough to eat and Monroe found himself licking his lips, his own cock twitching at the thought.
"Do you have any lube?" Nick asked brightly.
"Uh…" That shook Monroe out of his thoughts. "No." Because he hadn't had any reason to have any around. "I have some salad oil?"
Nick wrinkled his nose a little at the thought. "This is kind of awkward." He said, laughing again and running a hand through his hair, making it messier and reminding Monroe that really Nick should be down on the bed and that Monroe should be the one putting him there.
"Tell me about it." He murmured, fingers brushing over Nick's hip. "If you were a girl I'd just throw you down onto all fours and have at you!"
"Yeah, not without lube. Fuck, Monroe, you're huge."
"And because you don't have anywhere for me to put it." Monroe countered, puffing his chest up a little bit at the mention of his cock being big. He'd never had any complaints and he'd never had any need for any help despite what his last conversation with Nick might have led Nick to think. Nick however was giving him an odd look, one eyebrow raised, as if he didn't quite believe Monroe.
"You weren't lying when you said Blutbad were traditional." He muttered and then in the next moment he was on his front, ass in the air, fingers splaying his cheeks apart for Monroe to get a good look at his pink, puckered hole. "You go in there. Only if you want to and not today because I'm not a salad and I don't need dressing."
Monroe had never considered that before. He liked to think of himself as a cultured guy, liked to think he was well read and he knew a lot but he'd never spent a lot of time thinking about how two men could have sex, not until Nick at least and that had never crossed his mind before. Nick was shifting, starting to sit up again but with a growl Monroe grabbed his hips, holding him in place.
"Monroe?" Nick sounded confused but Monroe just leant in. Nick's scent was so strong and the fact that he'd be able to fuck Nick, to be inside him and mount him like he wanted to drove Monroe to press his tongue against the little hole, needing to feel it open under him. Nick moaned, trying to spread his legs and Monroe let him, eager to taste more of the earthy, rich taste that he'd come to know as Nick. The taste was even better than the scent. It made Monroe's mouth water and he drove his tongue into Nick, lapping at him, mimicking with his tongue the way he'd one day fuck Nick with his cock. He didn't doubt Nick that they'd need something to ease the way. Nick was tight, his hole kept clenching and unclenching around Monroe as he fucked him slowly on his tongue, working him open and Monroe never wanted to hurt Nick. He wanted to make everything right between the two of them.
Monroe reached between Nick's legs, finding his heavy hard cock and wrapped his hand around it, stroking him in time with the thrusts of his tongue. Nick was making muffled, delighted sounds of enjoyment, hips buck back against Monroe's seeking tongue and then forward into his eager fingers. Monroe had never seen what was interesting in another man's cock before but everything about Nick was interesting – every noise he made, every little movement was something Monroe wanted to catalogue and record so he knew just what to` do to make Nick as crazy for him as he was for Nick.
"It's good." Nick panted softly. "It's really good, Monroe. Keep going, yeah…" He trailed off and then his hole clenched tightly and a second later he was coming into Monroe's fingers. It was weird and it was perfect and Monroe pulled back, licking his lips, never wanting to lose the taste of Nick. He let the other man right himself as he pulled back, licking his fingers clean of Nick's come and getting another hit of Nick's very essence.
Nick's blue eyes were half closed, his lips were bruised red and his expression was fucked-out. He smiled at Monroe, sliding forward till he was lying at Monroe's bended knees and he nudged them apart.
"Wow." He murmured, nuzzling up against Monroe's cock. "I can't believe you did that. And it's your first time with a man? Really?" He licked the head of Monroe's cock and Monroe whimpered. He'd forgotten how hard he was till Nick reminded him. He grabbed the back of Nick's head, guiding him and Nick chuckled softly, letting himself be moved so he could swallow the whole of Monroe's cock, greedily taking it inch by inch till it hit the back of his throat, not even half of it in his mouth.
"Nick." Monroe knew he was whining, he could hear the tone in his voice but he wanted to feel and he wanted to come and he didn't know how he was going to do that if he couldn't even fit in Nick's mouth but Nick was smiling at him. It was a slightly disconcerting smile with his mouthful of Monroe's cock but then he set to work, head bobbing up and down, humming softly and every sound he made went straight through Monroe's cock, straight to his balls. He could feel them swell, could feel his cock swell and it had been so long since anyone had touched him like this. He'd been on the edge for so long, wanting Nick but not able to have him and now it was Nick who was sucking his cock like it was the best treat he'd ever had, Nick who was moaning hungrily for him, Nick who was in his bed. It was everything Monroe wanted and in that split-second he knew he was going to come.
He pulled out, ignoring Nick's muffled surprise and gripped his dark hair tightly, holding Nick in place while he painted his face with long strips of come. Nick gasped, shutting his eyes and some of it fell on his lashes, some of it into his hair but most was on those dark, kiss red lips. Monroe leant back against the headboard, gasping for breath and Nick opened his eyes again, blinking and then licked his lips.
"Wow, Monroe." He said again and Monroe opened his arms for Nick to crawl into. The smaller man huddled against him, fingers stroking through the hair on Monroe's chest. "You are a lot kinkier then I thought. I guess I'll have to update the books now about Blutbads and scent marking, won't I?" He teased and Monroe nipped his shoulder playfully in retaliation.
This was what he'd wanted and he hoped what Nick had wanted too. No more secrets, no more lies. Just the two of them together, a Grimm and his Blutbad and no more dual lives to destroy them. They could be whole now.