Trench Coat Edition, a New Girl one-shot

I do not own New Girl. Just some post Cooler thoughts.

Not a hello, or a good morning, or even a 'did you use the rest of the milk and put the carton back in the fridge?'

No. He's sitting at the kitchen table, next to Jess, when Schmidt comes in and asks, "Nick, why are you sitting on your hands?"

Well, if he's telling the truth, it's so he doesn't have a repeat of last night. But he's not telling the truth. So he lies.

"My hands are cold."

"I'll warm them for you." Jess grabs a hold of his hands and sandwiches them between her own. If anything, it is only making the situation worse. Snatching his hands away would hurt her feelings. Keeping his hands there could have worse effects though.

It's not right to get turned on by a girl who has a half naked boyfriend in her bedroom.

It is really not right when she is your roommate.

Above all, it is not right to kiss a girl who is supposed to be your friend when she's going to do much dirtier things with someone else, who she is not going to dump, because she loves him, and hasn't been up all night replaying those twelve seconds of pure bliss back.

"I'm going to take a shower." He slips his hands out of hers.

Is today over yet?

(the page breaks here)

For the past five hours, he's been thinking about what got him here. He knows that it started that day she moved in.

That didn't mean it had to go anywhere.

He didn't have to sing her 'Time of My Life' when she got rejected.

She didn't have to be his date to the wedding, with her bicycle shorts and fake teeth. He remembers making room for her in his photo booth home. Drunk as anything, he had wanted her to call it home with her. It didn't matter about personal space, or how she'd be his wife. His pretend wife who he couldn't even do with as he pleased, because the booth was only so big, and that would not be comfortable in such a confined space. So instead he embarrassed himself doing the chicken dance, having more fun than he had intended. More than he'd ever admit to.

Despite his photo booth wishes, when she saw him naked, it was not what he wanted. She didn't have to laugh, tearing down his self esteem another couple notches. He was supposed to be handsome and attractive. That's how you get the ladies, named Jess or otherwise.

There was that week that Cece stayed over. She must have said something to Jess, because she dodged each step he took. It offended him. What could be so possibly wrong about wanting to face the person he was talking to? It was the polite thing to do.

As was being nice to Paul. Truthfully, he didn't like the guy. But he stuck it out for her, and got rewarded by hearing all of the things she would love to do to him. He had bit his tongue. There was no way he could ask her to do those things to his body. Thankfully Winston came out when he did. A man can only keep calm for so long.

Especially when he's confiscated a certificate for a rendez-vous that needs to be cashed in. It'd be so easy to hand it over and make her comply. Then he could have her, exactly as he pleased. But she was in a relationship, and it wouldn't be as satisfying knowing there's another guy waiting to have his turn.

Even after the breakup, which he had been unfortunately present for, he didn't go through with it. Instead, he opted to miss his flight, taking her to Candy Cane lane. The sparkle in her eyes had been reward enough for one day. There'd be more opportunities to get what he wanted.

In fact, it hadn't been too long after that one did arise. Granted, it involved his landlord, but a gift was a gift. In this case, it had been a gift that was placed right into his hands and then snatched away, as if it had been given to the wrong person. Could he not have opened it and then had it taken away?

And by opening it, he does not mean doing her in front of his landlord. That would be disturbing.

It would not be disturbing, however, to kiss her.

But alas, she had stopped him. So it was only his duty to stop her from having a one night stand with Schmidt. Of all of them, why would she pick him? He could show her a good time. The only problem would be leaving it at one night and not coming back for seconds.

Or thirds.

Or thirty thirds.

It's hard not to fall for the girl who gets you a real plant. Not some cactus, because they think you can't handle a real relationship. He wants the girl that tells him he's weird, but that it's okay, because they both are. They can be weird together.

If only together had the meaning he wanted it to.

There had been moments when they touched. A guiding hand on her shoulder, his chest against hers as he showed her how to hold a coffee cup.

Her body crushing his into the ground hard enough that he had to go see a doctor.

He wishes he could remember what he told her that night on the beach. He has a feeling that it was important. Something life changing that could have changed how this works. This roommates situation, where he's her friend, and he dates other people because he can't have what he wants. Rather, who he wants.

And if he couldn't have her, he could at least dream. He could shut himself in his room and picture her there, doing things that he knew were really his own actions. That did not mean he had to let her know of such actions.

Nor did he have to let her know that he missed that feeling of loving someone, instead of the numbness. There were too many things she didn't have to know. Things he didn't want her to know and told her anyway. There was this trust and it made him blurt things out. He was wrapped around her little finger.

He'd rather be wrapped around all of her body, but he'll take what he can get.

The easiest way to forget about one girl was to find another. There had been Julia, but now he was back to Caroline. He could move in with her and forget the way she smiled at him behind her toothbrush, or how she had bought them roller skates. He could pack up his life and forget those little songs of hers. The ones that stuck in his head long after she left, as he stepped into the bathroom singing 'who's that girl-it's Jess!'

He's pretty sure he's not a girl. Not one named Jessica Day.

There was no way he could be the girl who told him that she was better for knowing him, and that he should do what makes him happy. He would have locked her in his arms and never let her go if the situation were reversed.

That is, if he had the nerve. It's what he would want to do, but he'd probably just end up moping around his room, singing that stupid song again. Because life sucks.

He had told her that. Life got better, and then it sucked. And then it was better again, that constant cycle. If he could find the words to tell her how he felt then the pattern could change. If she liked him back it could be better, and better, and better.

He couldn't find the words, much less the courage.

Fluffing was his thing. He could show he cared, building shelves and doing boyfriend like things. Except there were no benefits.

He wanted the benefits. Unless she asked, which she did. Then he did not want the benefits. He couldn't let her know that he wanted things to be physical with her.

That does not mean that he wanted to punch her. In his defense, he is terrified of haunted houses.

It was more like when he had taken her to the pool. He drifted her around, tugging at her swimsuit clad body. He'd had a dream once of this happening. She was wearing a bikini, and his hands had accidentally, a word here which means completely on purpose, undid her strings. They'd fall under the guise of the water and he'd hope that his swim trunks not get lost in the suction of the filter.

They could have made sweet love. Just like how they could have when she worried about her eggs. If any one of them was going to be the father of her baby, it was going to be him. Someone had to balance out all those rays of sunshine.

As much as he likes those rays, the world is only big enough for one of her.

With his grumpy disposition, the kid could level out. It would be the most emotionally sane child ever. Either that, or incredibly bipolar. As long as it had her eyes, he wouldn't care.

Those same big eyes as the character in her student's work. He had thought she was going to die. She couldn't leave him. There was so much they had to do yet. So much that he did not want to play out with his imaginary character Jess Night.

So he had dressed up as Pepperwood. It always made him feel empowered to be the man he wasn't. He could be like Russell, or Angie's boy toy, or the man his father never was.

His favorite was Nick Miller, trench coat edition.

It was him who got trapped in a room with Jess.

It was him who told her he was not going to kiss her like that.

It was him who went out on a ledge, because they deserved better, and he wasn't going to settle.

It wasn't him who kissed her.

Maybe being himself wasn't all too bad.

(the page breaks here)

He hears her voice outside of the shower. "Nick, can we talk?"

"Jess, I'm in the shower!" He covers himself with his hands. There's no use. She's seen it all before, and he wants her to see it again. Not in these circumstances though. He goes back to shampooing his hair.

"Look, I think we should talk about last night." Shampoo gets in his eye. He groans in displeasure.

Rinsing his eye, he answers her. "Yeah. I saw what happened to Melon Me. Let's just forget this whole thing happened, okay?"

He wants her to say no. He wants her to push him against the shower wall and remind him exactly what they're supposed to be forgetting.

He wants everything he can't have.

"Are you talking to Nick while he's taking a shower?" He can hear Sam now. The one reason that he can't have a repeat of last night.

"He forgot his towel," she fibs. It's a terrible lie.

"Isn't that his towel right there?" He can sense that Sam's pointing at the one he's left for himself.

Jess giggles. "Oh, so it is. See Nick, I told you your towel is here."

He shuts the water off and plays along.

"Thanks Jess." He snatches it up, wrapping it around his waist.

Thanks for breaking his heart.

Maybe some day he'll thank her for fixing it again.

Today will not be that day.