Notes: Written for the grimm-challenge picture prompt challenge.
"Miami," Nick said again, horrified.
"That's the third time you've said that." Monroe lifted one eyebrow. "Are you okay?"
No, he wasn't. Monroe was talking enthusiastically about Miami and the house he'd purchased there in a great neighbourhood with access to shops and schools and hospitals and everything else one might need or desire.
Miami was a long way from Portland.
Monroe would be gone from Nick's life.
It hurt more than he'd ever have thought.
"Just…work," Nick lied. Who would he turn to for help with Wesen hunting? Sure, there was Rosalee, but she wasn't Monroe. She wasn't his…his friend. Not the way that Monroe was.
"Anything I can help with?"
Nick shook his head. "So, when are you moving?" His voice didn't sound as raw as he thought it might. Good. He didn't want to upset Monroe. Not when he was so excited.
"Moving?" Monroe put down his cup and stared at Nick. "I'm not moving."
Nick tilted his head, puzzled. "You're not?"
Monroe's expression darkened. "You haven't been listening to a word I've said."
"I was! Miami!" Nick blurted out.
Monroe folded his arms. "It's a business opportunity with a friend of mine, an investment – forget it, I'm not explaining it again. God, Nick, I'm not going to leave Portland. I love it here. This house. The forests. The people…" He trailed off, and looked away.
Nick smiled in relief. Then he schooled his features into a mask of contrition. "I'm sorry I wasn't listening."
Monroe nodded and picked up his cup, studied the contents. "This is cold. I'll make a fresh one."
Nick followed Monroe to the kitchen. "I'm glad you're not going anywhere."
"Yeah." Monroe rinsed the cup in silence. Nick waited, unsure what else he could do to smooth things over. Finally, in a hurt tone, Monroe asked, "You think I'd buy a house in another state without telling you?"
Yes, he had thought exactly that, but it had clearly been a mistake. Nick shrugged. "I guess not."
Monroe studied him for a moment before he finally sighed. "I wouldn't. We're friends. Friends tell each other things."
Nick nodded solemnly. Monroe seemed satisfied and changed the subject. "So, what are you working on right now?"
Nick began to relate the story of the day's events, knowing he'd been forgiven.