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wake me up

Chapter Text

So wake me up when it's all over
When I'm wiser and I'm older
All this time I was finding myself
And I didn't know I was lost

The lift door closes for the second time and Schmitt’s glasses steam up. He’s feeling hot. Is it hot? Or is it just the closeness of Nico?

Schmitt starts rambling. He doesn’t even know what he’s saying, but he at least knows what he wants. The kiss was… everything. Perfection. He wants more of that.

He hates how calm and collected Nico is. The kiss rocked his entire world, he’s feeling all the things he’s been hiding, even from himself, yet the man across him, standing only a foot away looks at him like it’s just an ordinary Thursday night.

He wants to kiss Nico again, but he doesn’t know if he should. If he can. He can’t help but focus on the lips that were kissing him a minute ago.

“I liked that,” he tells Nico. In response, he softly smiles and looks away but doesn’t say anything. “Ortho,” he adds. He’s panicking. He hates that, he hates the need to overexplain it. “And you’re a really great teacher.”

“Wait.” Nico furrows his brows. Schmitt always says or does the wrong thing, and he can’t believe he fucked it up again. “You want me to… teach you?”

“You said you would teach me and I want to learn.”

The truth is, Schmitt would be to do whatever, to be whatever to Nico. The tension has been there for weeks now and he can’t shake the feeling. He needs, wants, desires more. The stolen kiss they shared in the lift was perfect, but there has to be more.

But he doesn’t know how to do that. He’s a loser by default, he doesn’t know how to date, how to flirt. With men or women. He’s not just asking Nico to be his teacher because he doesn’t know how to date men, but because he doesn’t know how to date. It’s highly appropriate, he knows that.

“I don’t understand,” Nico says as he presses the emergency stop. The lift stills with an alarm going off. “Why?”

It’s risky, but Schmitt inches closer. Nico doesn’t move and he’s grateful for that. The electricity is clear to see between them, he’s feeling it in his bones and heart. Schmitt stares at Nico’s broad chest for a few long seconds before looking up, into his dark brown eyes. “I like you, I think. I know this is weird, but ever since you came into this hospital, I haven’t been feeling the same. I knew something was off and as much as I wanted to deny that, I… my attraction towards you was undeniable.”

Schmitt worries for a second he weirded Nico out, scaring him off. Nico is everything Schmitt only dreams to be: confident, sexy, good-looking and knows what he’s doing. He doesn’t get why he’d want to be with a loser like him.

But then… But then Nico closes the distance between them, pushing against him and backwards until Schmitt is pressed against the wall. Schmitt’s hands find their way to the back of Nico’s neck, pulling him even closer. Nico grazes his teeth against his lower lip, Schmitt feeling the vibrations in every inch of his body. Nico adds his tongue to the mixture, licking and sucking like he wants to make Schmitt lose his mind.

“I always call you Schmitt,” Nico says, slightly pulling back, before pressing a quick peck on Schmitt's lips. “I think it’s time I got your first name.”

“Levi,” he whispers, going in for another kiss.

Nico doesn’t mind and Levi definitely doesn’t mind. He runs his fingers through Nico’s soft, black hair, tugging at the locks slightly. Nico deepens the kiss, immediately taking his breath away.

“What time are you off, Levi?”

“Seven.”

Nico pulls away, this time properly to look into his eyes. “Can I take you home?”

“Yeah.”

He doesn’t even bother asking whose home he’s referring to. His mind was blown and continues to be.

“Cool,” Nico kisses him again, for the last time it seems. They stand in different corners of the lift, both of them breathing heavily. Nico presses a button then the lift starts moving again and they arrive on his floor. He turns and winks at Levi. “See you tonight, Dr Schmitt.”

Chapter Text

Levi stands outside the entrance after his shift. Technically, he’s late. He had to run some tests for Link and had to check on a couple of patients. By the time he’s done with everything, it’s 8:30 and he’s pretty sure Nico left. Without him. He’s probably at Joe’s getting a couple of drinks, finding someone to hook up with… No. He won’t go down that road.

Maybe this was all a fever dream. Wishful thinking. Maybe it never happened, he just imagined it. Maybe his glasses slipped again, and he hit his head. Or maybe, Nico wasn’t going to wait for him in the first place. Levi doesn’t have his number and he can’t just send a message through the loudspeaker.

Or can he?

No, that would be pretty fucking stupid.

He stands there for fifteen minutes until it starts drizzling. He considers going to Joe’s and checking to see if he’s there. Is he that desperate? Maybe. At this point, his life is upside down.

He gets cold standing in the rain so he tightens the coat around himself and with a sigh, he gives up. He turns away from the hospital, walking towards the bus stop. One of these days, he’ll buy a car.

“Finally I found you.” Levi hears Nico’s relieved voice behind himself. He turns to see him, still in dark blue scrubs. “Sorry, the surgery ran long.”

“That’s fine,” Levi says. He can’t help but admit and admire how gorgeous Nico looks in those scrubs. He pushes his glasses up his nose so that his staring is not so obvious. (He’s pretty sure Nico knows, though.) “All good?”

“Yeah.” Nico has three smiles, Levi has learnt. He has a soft smile, a smirk and a charming and sexy smile, ready to knock him off his feet. This time it’s the third smile. “I’ll go change, be right back.” Nico starts walking away, before turning to look at Levi once more. “You should come inside. So you don’t get… wet.”

As confusing as everything is right now, Levi knows what Nico’s referring to. It’s not hard to miss. And he would love to do that, but he’s worried someone would barge in on them.

“I’ll just wait here, I think.”

“Suit yourself.”

Nico leaves and Levi has to take deep breaths to calm himself. Everything is so intense around this guy, he thinks as he seeks cover under the eaves.

The thing is, Levi is scared of things. He still gets scared by the dark and loneliness when he’s done fishing for ice cream at 3 in the morning after a long and exhausting shift. He gets scared of dropping his glasses in somebody again. He’s scared of disappointing his mother.

He’d like to think that he’s not scared of the things to come. But he definitely is. He doesn’t know what the hell he’s doing, he’s in uncharted territory. He’s dated. Well, tried to. They all ended miserably, usually with the other person leaving. However, they were all women. He tried to entertain them, tell funny anecdotes, ask questions, seem interested. But he’s never felt the spark his friends talk about, the connection his mother keeps telling him about. The chemistry just wasn’t there and even though he got their numbers, he didn’t message most of them.

So he is scared. Not of Nico, because Nico hasn’t been anything but nice and kind towards him and he’s definitely been tantalising Levi with his shirtless appearances. But he doesn’t know how to do it. He’s not fit for dating, he’s beginning to think. He never says the right things, he doesn’t know how to be a boyfriend to anyone. Truth be told, this is the first time in his life that he has friends.

So yeah, he’s scared. Of the unknown. Of fucking up. Of letting himself down. Of facing the truth. Of becoming his truest self.

 

By the time Nico arrives, Levi has given himself quite the scare. He’s a mess and he’s not sure he wants Nico to see.

“I think I’ll head home,” he says quietly, not looking at Nico. Not sure he could. “It’s been a long day for the both of us.”

“Are you okay?” Nico puts his hand on Levi’s upper arm and immediately, Levi’s defences weaken.

“Yeah, yeah, I am, it’s just… I think… It wouldn’t be…” He’s rambling again. “Sorry,” he says taking a deep breath. “You do that to me.”

Nico softly smiles, the corner of his eyes crinkling ever so slightly. “I’d be happy to render you speechless… otherwise.”

Levi closes his eyes for a second and shakes his head. “No, you’re… I spend too much time in my head. It’s a really bad thing. I’m not sure you want that.”

Nico drops his hand and Levi immediately misses the touch. Sure, he has a sweater on and his jacket, but he could feel the touch on his arm, burning a mark on his skin. “You asked for a teacher. Here I am, offering my services.”

“But what do you get out of it?”

It takes a moment for Nico to answer, but when he does, his voice is painfully and uncharacteristically raw. “I usually go for guys like you. Nerdy, cute and weird.”

“You didn’t answer my question.”

Nico sighs. “You want the truth? I don’t know. I’ve done my coming out and that was tough. My rational mind keeps telling me to forget about you until you figure yourself out, but it seems, I can’t leave, Levi. I don’t want to go through again, but I keep seeing you and bumping into you and I just can’t… ignore you.” Nico takes a step closer and the world seems to stop. The rain is still dripping from the eaves, sirens sound in the background, but Levi is feeling Nico’s closeness in every fibre of his being. “Can we please get some food? I’m hungry.”

Levi nods and blindly follows Nico to his car.

 

As it turns out, food for Nico is driving to his favourite sushi place to get takeaway and then drive home. Nico’s flat. They don’t talk at all, apart from when Nico asks him what he wants. Levi feels extremely out of place like he’s a kid who ended up tagging along, but no one invited him.

In the end, they make it back to Nico’s flat. The one-bedroom is not far from the hospital in a high-rise and it definitely is a place Levi dreams to have. He follows him into the lift, and up to his floor.

“So uh…” Levi starts awkwardly, once the door is shut behind them.

Nico drops his bag on the floor by the entrance and places the takeaway on the kitchen counter. “You want a beer?”

Levi has no intention to stay longer than necessary, no matter how good it would feel. This feels weird and still has no clue what the hell is going on. “Sure,” he says.

Nico hands him a bottle. “Have a seat, I’ll go change.”

Levi still stands awkwardly near the entrance as he watches Nico disappear into his bedroom. But he does leave the door ajar, almost like an invitation. And Levi is tempted. He doesn’t know what the evening holds, but there’s a voice in his mind telling him to go with the flow and join Nico in the bedroom.

He goes against that. He takes his coat off and throws it on a dining chair and sits on the dark grey sofa. He sips his beer and looks at the artwork Nico has displayed. Levi doesn’t know anything about art, but he likes the colours. They look like they’re out of someone’s dreams and that’s how he feels.

Why does he have to overthink things? He would like things to be simple and straightforward. He fears Nico has expectation Levi can’t meet because he doesn’t know what is happening.

“What are you doing here, Levi?” he mumbles to himself.

“Ready to eat?” Levi spins around only to see Nico in grey sweatpants hanging low on his hips. The blue t-shirt hugs his broad chest tightly, showing his pecs. Levi swallows hard at the sight and he’s pretty sure Nico’s doing this on purpose. “Damn, I wanted to get sake.”

“Beer is fine.” Levi’s voice is high as he says that. He’s a goner, that’s for sure.

They eat in silence, the only noise is The Office playing on Netflix in the background. Levi can’t even feel the taste of the sushi. He’s worried about the point where Nico will change his mind and realise what a pathetic person Levi really is.

After 30 minutes, all the sushi is gone, an episode is watched and they’re on their second beers. Levi can already feel the buzzing in his brain and he’s not sure he’d be making good decisions right now. He’s not drunk and he would most definitely consent to whatever Nico wants to do with him (to him?) but he’s still worried about the fallout.

The Office keeps playing in the background as Nico turns towards Levi with his full body. He’s sitting cross-legged on the sofa, but Levi is strictly facing forward, scared to even look at the man who, for whatever reason, is interested in him.

“So what’s your deal?”

“What do you mean?”

“Why are you not out?”

Levi blinks fast and pushes his glasses up his nose. “I don’t…. I’m not…”

“Levi.”

Nico puts his hand on his, fingers, brushing against his knees. Levi knows he means well, but really, it’s just making the situation worse. He can’t resist any longer.

With a swift move, he turns towards Nico, crashing his lips against his and knocks him backwards, until Nico is on his back and Levi is above him. The sudden kiss surprises both of them, but Nico puts his arms around Levi’s torso, holding him in place. Levi’s hand is on either side of Nico’s neck and he kisses him with all his might.

Nico’s lips are soft, Levi finds. He opens his mouth and Nico deepens the kiss, hands running wandering down his back, near the hem of his sweater, fingers grazing against the small of Levi’s back.

“Fuck,” Levi whispers against Nico’s lips. “What are you doing to my head?”

Nico kisses him again, this time more softly, taking his time to explore Levi’s mouth. “We should talk.” Levi groans and sits up, sadly leaving Nico’s muscly chest. This time, his whole body is towards Nico, sitting cross-legged like the man across him. “As much as I appreciate that kiss and your eagerness, I think we should set up some rules.”

Levi furrows his brows and takes his glasses off and starts cleaning it. In the heat of the kiss, they steamed up. Maybe it really is time to change to contact lenses. “Rules?”

“Yeah, so we don’t think this is more than what it actually is.”

“Sure, yeah.” He puts his glasses on again and takes a quick glance at Nico. His perfect hair got messed up and his lips are shiny. Levi takes pride in knowing he did that. “Let’s hear them.”

“No feelings,” Nico says matter-of-factly.

Levi nods like he understands. The thing is, he wears his feelings on his sleeves - good and bad. But Nico seems to be the complete opposite. He seems to be closed off and not let anyone see what really is going on in his head.

But ever since Nico arrived at Grey-Sloan Memorial, Levi’s attraction towards him only got more intense. He’s as clueless as it gets, but even he recognised signs of flirting. He just doesn’t know what to do with them.

“Okay,” he says, pretending to understand still. He doesn’t know what Nico’s expectations are. He doesn’t know what his own expectations are. He doesn’t know if this will be just them going to bars and Nico being his wingman. Or if more of kisses will happen. He definitely wants those. “What else?”

“Nothing at work. I’ve worked hard for this career, I won’t let anything or anyone to get in the way of it.”

Levi agrees with that. He’s in debt and can’t lose this job. “I have one uh…” Why is he such a wimp? He just needs to speak his mind. “Rule, I guess.”

“What’s that?”

“Can we take things slow? Like I don’t think I’m ready to go all the way just yet, I’m still coming to terms with the whole thing.”

“Sure.”

Relieved that Nico doesn’t want to press for more right away, Levi smiles softly. “So how do we do this?”

Nico watches the TV for a couple of seconds. “You want a teacher,” he says after a while, looking back at Levi. “I want a fuck buddy. Slow or not, that’s the truth.”

“Are you gonna uh…” Levi pushes his glasses up, only to have them slide down a second later. “I mean, I don’t know how…”

“Let me ask you something.” Nico reaches out like he wants to touch Levi’s knees, but instead, he puts his hand on the couch between them. “Are you a virgin?”

Levi blushes and looks away. Okay, so he knows this is kind of necessary for the things they’re about to start, but it’s awkward. “I had a girlfriend. In college. For like two weeks. One night we got drunk and we had sex on my desk but I never heard from her again. But it just never felt right.”

He expects Nico to laugh at him but he doesn’t. He appreciates that, he’s not sure he could deal with more embarrassment right now. From his answer, he’s pretty sure Nico knows that was the first and only time he had sex.

“Have you ever kissed a guy?” Now for that, the answer is yes. Nico. He kissed Nico and he likes kissing Nico. “I mean before me.”

Still avoiding Nico’s eyes, Levi shakes his head. “If you haven’t noticed, I’m not really dateable.”

“Of course you are,” Nico replies without a moment of hesitation. Levi looks at him and sees nothing but genuineness. “But what do you want?”

“I don’t know,” and that is the truth. Levi sighs, resting his head on the back of the sofa. “I don’t know what I’m supposed to want. I just know that…” He doesn’t dare to finish that sentence without weirding Nico out.

“Know what?” Ever so slightly, he shimmies closer. “Know what, Levi?”

“That I want to kiss you.”

“That we can do.”

Nico leans in, not yet kissing Levi. He has his hand on Levi’s neck, sort of cupping his jaws. Nico’s thumb is stroking his cheek and Levi finds that he loves that a lot, actually. He doesn’t know what to do with his hands, because it just feels so awkward so as a last resort, he puts them on Nico’s thighs.

“You’re a really nice guy,” Levi admits, hoping talking will make him seem less nervous. “I don’t want to fuck this up.”

“I won’t let you.”

And with that Nico closes the distance between them, kissing Levi softly and without further agenda. It starts gentle, taking their time. Levi smiles into the kiss because Nico’s a good kisser. He likes kissing him.

Getting encouraged by that, Levi moves his hands from Nico’s thighs to the back of his neck. With a swift move, Nico guides Levi into his lap. Levi straddles him, legs on either side of Nico. He pushes his hands into Nico’s hair, pressing him even closer and deepening the kiss.

A jolt of electricity runs through Levi as Nico moans into the kiss. He can’t breathe and can’t hear anything other than the noises made by them. He opens his mouth and Nico licks into it, then softly bites into his lower lip.

Nico pulls away, but just to leave soft kisses on Levi’s lower jaw and underneath his left ear. Levi’s heart is hammering in his chest, in his throat, in his ears.

“Fuck,” he whispers when Nico hits a sensitive spot.

He reaches under Nico’s jaw, guiding him back to his mouth and this time kissing with a lot more passion. Maybe slow wasn’t the best idea, Levi’s starting to think. He’s tugging at Nico’s hair who seems to like it judging by the low moans leaving his throat.

He can’t help it. He really can’t, those sounds just do something to him. He grinds his hips involuntarily, against Nico’s obviously hard dick. Levi’s eyes fly open and he stops responding to the kiss.

“What’s up?” Nico asks, worried he did something wrong. He doesn’t seem to be phased by it, but Levi is definitely shellshocked.

“Your… I mean… You…” He really is a blabbering mess. “You’re hard,” he says eventually, face crimson red.

“Yeah, so?” Nico still doesn’t understand.

Levi feels nervous. Not because of Nico’s clearly very hard dick against his ass, but because how much he actually likes it. He actually likes the fact that it was all him and their fucking hot kiss. But now that they’re not kissing, he realises he’s just as hard in his jeans. It’s awkward how little time they both needed.

“Can I change a rule?”

“Sure?” Nico seems to be completely lost.

“Fuck slow.”

Levi leans closer to kiss him again, but Nico puts a hand against his chest, keeping their distance. “Levi, wait.” He pushes him back until Levi is no longer in his lap. “No.”

“What, why?” Levi pushes his glasses up and not so accidentally he drops his gaze and sees the shape of Nico’s dick through his sweatpants. He involuntarily licks his lips. Nico notices and with a sigh, he puts a cushion in his lap. “Sorry,” he says rubbing the bridge of his nose.

“No, that’s… You want slow, for a reason. You need slow. I don’t want you to wake up one day thinking this was all a mistake.”

“I won’t,” Levi protests quietly.

“Just making sure. I’d be happy to give you anything you want, but you can’t even talk about my dick without blushing.” Levi looks away, looking at the TV, but not focusing on it. It might be just his horniness, but somewhere deep down he knows Nico’s right. Nico reaches under Levi’s chin, turning his head back. “We can just do this for now and when you’re ready…” Nico hesitates for a second, before leaning closer and whispering into Levi’s ear. “When you’re ready, I’ll give you the blowjob of the century.” He presses a kiss on the sensitive skin underneath Levi’s ear.

If he was standing, Levi’s knees would give in in that exact second. He cups Nico’s face and kisses him gently. “Looking forward to that.”

Chapter Text

Levi has no intention to stay. Like, at all. His plan was to eat the sushi Nico didn’t let him pay for, drink the beer he was offered and make out for a bit. After he got those, he was ready to leave. But a couple of episodes turned into half of the season and couple more beers with lengthy make out sessions here and there. By the time he realises he’s sleepy, his head is in Nico’s lap and it’s well into the night.

“I’ll head home now,” Levi says with a yawn. “What time is it?”

“Uh, two.” Levi sits up and looks at Nico. He looks as tired as Levi feels, but seemingly just as content. “Are you in tomorrow?”

“Yeah, at seven.“ Which means he should’ve gone to sleep hours ago. “I’ll get going.”

He’s already dreading the 20-minute ride back to the suburbs because he’s sure he’ll fall asleep in the Uber. Before he could walk away, Nico grabs his wrist. “Stay,” he says softly. “I’ll drive you tomorrow.”

Despite his reasonable mind telling to get his phone to call an Uber, despite his rationality begging it’s too much too soon, Levi nods. “I’ll sleep on the sofa,” he manages to get out, before Nico could convince him otherwise.

Maybe Nico’s tired, maybe he was thinking the same, but he agrees easily. He gets a couple of pillows and a blanket for Levi as well as a spare toothbrush. Before he leaves to go to bed himself, he’s staring at Levi who’s plugging his phone in.

“I’m glad you’re here,” Nico says quietly.

Levi looks up to see a soft smile. “I am, too.”

Without a second of hesitation, Nico walks over to him. He gently cups Levi’s face and kisses him; it’s featherlight, but it still takes his breath away. “Good night, Levi.”

 

Levi wakes to soft music. For a few seconds, his tired brain doesn’t register where he actually is and he thinks it’s his mom cooking breakfast upstairs. But then he opens his eyes and doesn’t see the familiar posters and clutter of his room.

Then slowly, fear sets in. It’s fear he was expecting, but it still hits him hard. It’s stupid, really, feeling attracted to men is natural, he knows that. But he doesn’t know what it means for his future. Is he gay? Is he bi? It’s all confusing and for now, he’d like to ignore those thoughts. He just knows he likes kissing Nico.

“Levi, you up?” Nico’s voice is barely a whisper from the other side of the room, yet it still makes him jump. Levi sits up, heart beating fast and straining his eyes. Nico’s blurry figure is standing by the door, but even from then, without his glasses, Levi can see that Nico’s shirtless. “You want coffee?”

“Yeah.”

Levi falls back down, staring at the ceiling. His mind is at war. He keeps thinking about liking men, about how it starts to feel finally right, about how it scares him shitless. But he also wants to put his glasses on and stare at Nico unashamedly.

A couple of minutes later, the smell of freshly brewed coffee fills the air. His mind is a jungle of thoughts, all tangled together and he’s not sure where on thought ends and another begins. But coffee will help with that, he reckons.

Without thinking, he gets out of his makeshift bed and makes his way towards the kitchen - towards Nico. Levi can’t see anything, but the gorgeous, lean muscular and very naked back of Nico. He freezes, standing still by the island counters, just staring at him. There’s no way in hell a man like Nico would and should be interested in a nerd like Levi.

“I don’t know how you take it,” Nico starts, “but I figured black would be - whoa!” he turns around.

It’s only then Levi realises he’s wearing nothing but black boxers. So maybe he was more tired and just decided to get undressed completely. His face flushes and crosses his arms in front of himself. At least Nico’s wearing pyjama bottoms, but he at least does have the body to be half naked.

“I’ll get dressed,” Levi mumbles, already rushing to the armchair where he left his clothes. He can just have a shower before his shift.

But before he could grab any of his stuff, Nico makes his way to him, his hand on Levi’s upper arm. He turns him, so they’re face to face, then puts his hands up to his shoulder. Levi likes being this close to him and he likes that he has to look up. “You don’t have to.” Nico moves his hands to Levi’s back, holding him close, chests almost touching. Levi definitely likes the warmth radiating from Nico. “Is this okay?”

Levi doesn’t know. It feels good, but the thoughts in his head are still at war. He knows this is normal and not looked down on and he likes it, but for so long, he’s had an image in his mind, an image of who he is and what his life should be like. Then Nico came, and now left is right, up is down and Levi likes being this close to him.

“Yeah,” he says eventually. Nico’s chest is soft and hard against his own. Levi takes a daring step and puts his hands on Nico’s sides, fingers instinctively caressing his skin. “Why do you care? About me I mean. You could get anyone you wanted.”

“Maybe it’s you I want.” In that instant, Levi’s knees go weak and if Nico wasn’t holding him, he’d be on the floor. “Stop doubting yourself.”

Levi shakes his head; it still feels weird and he can’t shake the uneasy feeling.

“I won’t. You’re just… You’re so hot and sexy and every time you wink at me, my heart goes crazy and it’s stupid really, but you’re so sexy and…”

Nico silences him with a quick and firm kiss, not even caring the slightest about Levi’s morning breath. “You think I’m hot?”

Levi blushes again, hiding his face in Nico’s chest. Fuck. He feels the urge to kiss his chest and it’s an urge that’s very hard to resist.  “Shut up,” he mumbles.

“Do you really have to go to work today?”

“Shit!” he steps away, already missing him. “I’m gonna be so late.”

Nico grabs his hand, briefly intertwining their fingers. “Come back to mine after?”

Levi really should go home. His mom will probably start worrying, while him not being home for two nights is not unusual (he’s an intern after all), it’s still odd. But he wants nothing but to spend some more time with Nico. As weird as it is.

“Yeah.”

Nico lets him go and goes back to his coffee, watching Levi get dressed, head cocked to the side. Levi is fucked. So fucked.

 

Nico lets Levi pick the music for the ride. He chooses Green Day, just to be safe, but Nico seems to enjoy it. It’s a short ride and they don’t really talk, but occasionally, Nico reaches across to squeeze Levi’s hand.

When they get to the hospital, Levi sees Helm get out of her car. He just hopes she won’t see him, otherwise this will be very hard to explain.

“I never got your number,” Nico says, dragging Levi out of his thoughts. He hands him his phone and Levi types his number in. “Where are you today?”

“Ortho.” Levi smiles because that means he gets to work with Nico.

“I guess I’ll see you around, then,” he says, suddenly cold and distant. It shocks Levi how different this Nico is. “Don’t worry,” he says quietly. For a second, he’s back to his soft self. “Rule two. Nothing at work.”

“Oh, right, yeah, I knew that.” Levi pushes his glasses up. “I’ll just… Bye!”

He gets out, only stumbling a bit, but he quickly finds his feet and soon he’s walking towards the hospital. This will be the longest day in history, he knows.

 

Helm and Parker are already in the changing room, talking about a case Helm had last week. Levi only hears a couple of words as he’s getting changed (screw having a shower, he’ll just douse himself in deodorant, he really can’t miss the rounds), but his head is in a pink haze. Nico isn’t around for a while so he can let himself relive yesterday.

It’s crazy. It’s fucking bonkers, truth be told. He still can feel Nico’s lips on his, his hands on his back, even his goddamn dick against his ass. He tries not to think about that, not because it’s awkward, but because he wants more.

“Schmitt!” Helm shouts practically in his face, dragging him out of his memories. “I know you’re always daydreaming, but you will end up killing someone.”

Levi and Parker flinch simultaneously. “It’s too early, Helm,” Levi says, turning back towards his locker because he just can’t hide his smile. Nico is on his mind still.

“You’re glowing. Oh my god, are you pregnant?” Levi looks at Helm. “No, wait, you had sex! Oh my god, baby Levi had sex! Who was it? Was it good?”

“Jesus, Helm!” Levi says, face crimson red. “I didn’t have sex!” But he came too damn close to it with a sex god he can’t stop thinking about. “Maybe I just have a good day.”

“Bullshit, you’re a loser, you never have a good day.” Helm’s words should hurt him, but it’s the truth. “Besides, you’re wearing the same clothes as yesterday.”

“Why do you remember what clothes he had on yesterday?” Parker says, coming to his rescue.

“Because!” is her answer. Parker and Levi look at each other, still feeling confused.

“What are you waiting for?” Webber’s booming voice says. He’s standing by the entrance, watching them and the other interns. “Get to work!”

 

The day goes slowly for Levi. He doesn’t see Nico at all, who got pulled into a surgery, while Levi is doing blood work and general running around. By 4 pm, he’s tired, hungry and generally fed up.

He calls his mom in the five minutes he has to eat to apologise for not going home. She’s utterly delighted, which shocks Levi.

“Dr Schmitt to Radiology,” a woman announces on the loudspeaker, “Dr Schmitt to Radiology.”

Fear runs through him, he’s sure he fucked up one of the very expensive machines. He says goodbye to his mom before casually mentioning that he might not be coming home tonight either and hangs up before she could say anything. Baby steps.

Radiology is not on fire when he gets there. No one is looking to murder him which just confuses him. No one’s told him to do any tests nor he’s waiting on results. He asks one of the nurses who just points him to the viewing room.

“Hello?” he opens the door, only to see Nico, still in his OR cap, leaning against the table. And he looks good. “Oh, hi.”

“Close the door.”

Levi does and the next moment, he’s pressed against it as Nico kisses him with hurry and eagerness, leaning down. He loves the height difference so he stands on his tiptoes, his hand on the back of Nico’s neck. Levi opens his mouth and Nico deepens the kiss, then softly bites into Levi’s lower lip, pulling it a bit. It seems Nico likes doing that. And so does Levi.

“Fuck,” Levi says when Nico lets him breathe.

“This is stupid,” he whispers against Levi’s lips. “But I’ve missed you. I shouldn’t have missed you, but kissing you is becoming my favourite thing, Levi.”

To prove his point, he kisses him again, taking his time. Nico’s hands move to Levi’s shoulders, then to his back, then to the small of his back, just playing with the waistband of his scrubs.

It makes Levi’s heart beat a little bit faster. Okay, a lot faster. He runs his fingers through Nico’s hair. This is becoming Levi’s favourite thing, too.

He pulls Nico closer, as close as possible, pulling him against his body, so he can feel every bit. Levi moans into the kiss, which only encourages Nico. He pushes his hands further, just a teeny bit, so now the tips of his fingers are underneath the waistband.

Levi breathes heavily when Nico moves to his jaw, hitting that soft spot beneath his ear. Instinctively Levi pushes his hips forward, against Nico’s.

“Jesus,” Nico says, putting his forehead on Levi’s shoulders for a second before looking up.

“I thought you said nothing at work.”

“Yeah, well…” Nico pushes Levi’s glasses to the top of his head to kiss his cheeks. Levi’s heart is ready to burst, his insides feel warm and generally gooey. Nico smiles at him before lowering his glasses. “Sorry that I paged you, my phone is still in my locker.”

Levi stays quiet, thinking about what Nico said. ‘I’ve missed you’ keeps replaying in his head, very contradictory to their first rule. It’s not that he minds, it’s quite the opposite, but it still feels… strange. Especially considering Levi is still coming to terms with something he hid so long from himself.

Nico puts his hands on either side of Levi’s face. “I know what you’re thinking about, I think,” he says softly, like he doesn’t want to scare him. Levi’s breathing stops because he’s sure Nico is about to through rule number one into the trash. “You said you want to take it slow, but all I want to do is kiss you.” After a couple of long seconds, Nico shakes his head, then his arms drop and he straightens his back. “Maybe I’m not right for you. Right now, I mean. Maybe this isn’t what you need.”

“Nico…” Levi starts. He’s taken aback how quickly things went from good to fucking awful.

“No, hear me out.” Nico starts pacing, but Levi is still pinned against the door, this time by shock. “My mother had a plan for me. She’s a lovely lady, but growing up she always said she wants me to have a nice family with a lot of grandkids. It wasn’t that being gay was never an option but I believed that the only way I could make her happy is by having a wife.” Nico sighs and briefly stops to look at Levi, before continuing his pacing. Levi’s heart aches, hurt by Nico’s words because his own mother said something similar. “When I said I’ve done my coming out, it didn’t just mean accepting myself and telling my family. It meant that whatever vision I had of myself, whatever vision my mother had of me, it all had to change. But it’s a big change, and that was before the end of high school, when the most important thing for everyone was junior prom. I wasn’t distracted by my career, by the… intensity of life.”

“Nico,” Levi says again, this time more firmly. “I can take it,” he steps in front of Nico, putting his hand on his upper arm. “I know what you mean, I know that I need to accept stuff, but I can take it.”

“I don’t want to corrupt you.”

Levi laughs quietly. This is a side of Nico he’s never seen before. A contradictory side, a softer side. Nico is always confident, winking at him, flirting with him, and he likes those, but this is his favourite Nico: soft, vulnerable and unsure.

“You won’t, I promise. This is a crisis I would be having with or without you, you’re just making it better.”

“If you ever want me gone, will you tell me?” Levi nods, moving his hand to Nico’s lower arm. “Let’s add another rule, yeah? If you don’t doubt why I’m interested in you, I won’t try to push you away to do you coming out.”

“Sounds fair.”

“Dr Kim to the ER, Dr Kim to the ER.”

Nico sighs. “I better go.”

“We’re all good, then? No one’s leaving?”

Nico shakes his head. “No. But we gotta talk more about this.” He leans closer to press a quick kiss on Levi’s lips. “I’ll find you after work.”

Nico leaves, but Levi stays there, sitting in one of the chairs. He didn’t expect that. He thought Nico would be all charm trying to woo him. He’s only human, Levi knows that, Nico has fears and worries, so this shouldn’t have surprised him, but it did. He’s not about to let such a good thing in his life go.

His mind is really at war with itself. It’s a confusing time, really. One minute, he wants to be with Nico and forget about everything, the next minute he wants to figure out his life before he can actually be with him. Nico’s right, they do need to talk about it and Levi needs to do some self-acceptance. But he’d rather do that with Nico by his side.

 

Chapter Text

By the end of the day, Levi ends up with Nico, doing boring paperwork. But it’s still good because Nico unashamedly winks at him from time to time, making sure Levi’s cheeks stay dark pink. And Levi definitely likes the flirting and teasing.

“Want me to get you some eyedrops?” Levi asks without looking up.

“You like it,” Nico says, gently bumping his knee into Levi’s. Levi looks at him and he’s greeted with a charming smile. Nico signs one last piece of paper and pushes it away. “All done. Come on, hurry Dr Schmitt, I’m hungry.”

Levi turns with his whole body. He’s feeling a sudden rush of cockiness that will probably last for five seconds. “Are you now? For food or… for something else?”

Nico stares at him, with a small smirk and a proud, but slightly confused look. “For food, but I’m not gonna say no to… dessert,” he says and to prove his point, looks up and down Levi’s body.

Levi adjusts his glasses, his heart rate becoming elevated. “That’s uh, good! There’s always time for dessert.” He scratches the back of his head and turns back towards his stack of paperwork.

Nico chuckles softly. “Since we’re surprisingly off this early, we could go somewhere and grab some food.”

“Like a date?” He looks up again.

“Yes, Levi, like a date.” Nico quickly checks if anyone’s around (they’re in one of the empty patient rooms) before he reaches across the table they’re sharing to hold Levi’s hand. “Unless you don’t want to.”

“What? No, of course I do.” He clears his throat and squeezes Nico’s hand, just a bit. “Are you sure you’re okay with me coming over again?”

“Yeah.” A nurse walks past, she doesn’t even notice them, but they still let go. Levi already misses Nico’s soft hands. “Would you rather just come back to mine and make out while we wait for takeaway?”

Levi blinks fast for a couple of seconds. As much as the promise of a date excites him, he can’t say no to making out with Nico. Without even saying anything, he starts scribbling faster, getting his notes and signatures gathered in record time.

“Done, let’s get going.”

 

About an hour and a half later, they’re back at Nico’s apartment and the Chinese takeaway is eaten, but Levi has got none of his promised kisses. About 97% of his body minds it only; the other 3% is happy to be snuggled up next to Nico as they continue with The Office. Nico’s arm is around Levi’s back, holding him close, occasionally stroking the small of his back.

Levi has a hard time focusing on the TV show, though. Being pressed into Nico’s side is nice. He actually spends more time looking at him than the TV. He should stop staring, but he doesn’t. He can’t. Levi watches the way Nico’s eyes crinkle when he smiles at a funny bit, the way his hair covers forehead when he laughs and the way he can see his carotid artery pulsating. Nico is gorgeous.

When he can’t take it any longer, he turns his body so he’s sitting on his heels and presses his lips against the soft skin just over his pulse. It surprises Nico a bit, but he melts into the kisses Levi is pressing on his neck.

Levi takes a deep breath while he’s still this close to Nico. He smells like the disinfectant on the scrubs and warmth and manliness. Levi definitely likes those and it just encourages him. He puts his hand on Nico’s stomach, spreading his fingers against the six-pack he’s hiding under the black t-shirt.

He kisses the underside of Nico’s jaw, taking his time licking and sucking. Nico turns his head to the side so more of his neck is exposed. Levi moves closer and makes his way up towards Nico’s cheeks, then to the bridge of his nose, before kissing him.

It starts slow, a nice tension building up. Levi softly bites into Nico’s lower lip like he does (after all, Nico does teach him something), grazing his teeth against the sensitive skin. Then he kisses him, this time properly. Nico immediately moans into the kiss, hands on Levi’s back guiding him into his lap. Levi happily moves, never pulling away as he straddles Nico’s hips.

His jeans feel just a little bit tighter as the kiss gets hotter and more intense. His hands are in Nico’s hair, pushing his head closer. Levi’s sure his body left cloud nine and he’s on his way to cloud number ten. Whenever Nico makes a noise, a guttural sound, almost primal and needy, or whenever he licks into Levi’s mouth, those jeans just feel smaller.

Nico’s hands are at the hem of his sweater on his back, slightly teasing. He’s a perfect gentleman, but fuck, Levi wants more. “Nico,” he whispers.

“Can I take this off?” Nico asks softly, now holding the bottom of his sweater. It’s as if he’s reading Levi’s mind.

“Yeah.”

He raises his arm and Nico pulls it off, throwing it on the floor. For a second, he just keeps his hands to himself, quietly admiring Levi’s upper body who feels utterly exposed and ridiculous. Levi knows he has a weird body, too skinny and too small, but also too hairy; he knows he will never look like Michelangelo’s David. But to feel Nico’s gaze on him, a gaze that’s ready to eat him up alive and that’s just fucking hot.

Levi cups either side of Nico’s face, just holding him, before kissing him gently and sweetly. He really likes this bit.

“Do you want to talk, Levi?” Nico’s hands are on his back, caressing the skin. “We should talk.”

“I don’t want to,” he says against Nico’s lips.

“I’m just worried you’ll freak out on me.”

Levi sighs. Reasonably, he knows Nico’s right, but he’s tired of words, he’s tired of thinking, he would just like to enjoy the kisses. They really should talk because that’s what mature people do. But he’s sure of himself, sure of Nico and he’s never wanted anything more. “I promise you I won’t.”

“We’re going in circles,” Nico says with an edge in his voice. Levi worries he’ll push him away. He doesn’t, yet. “I just want to make sure you’re comfortable with everything we do.”

“I-I am.” Okay, stumbling over his words is not helping his case. “I am,” he says more firmly. “Are you worried that I’ll flip when I realise that you have a dick?” Levi squints as he’s trying to read whatever thought is going through Nico’s head. “Because I know you have one, that’s kind of the point.”

He licks his lips and does something utterly crazy. He’s sure Nico will stop him, but he can’t even see this coming. He reaches down between them, lifting his hips a bit so he has better access and touches Nico through the fabric of his sweatpants. He feels Nico’s semi-hard dick and it makes his own blood rush.

“Fuck, Levi.” Nico’s eyes flutter shut and he takes a deep breath. “Fucking hell.”

“Good?” He definitely likes what he’s feeling, but there’s a lot of clothes between them.  Levi cups Nico through the sweatpants, moving his hand just a bit, to keep him interested. He knows this is too fast and will probably spend tomorrow worrying about just how fast it is, but this is what he needs. What he wants. “I know what I can take, I promise.”

He removes his hand and Nico looks at him. There’s still worry in his eyes, but also lust. “You can say no, okay? And we do things one step at a time.”

“Is that enough for you?”

Nico smiles, his hand on the back of Levi’s neck. “It’s enough.” He leans in to press a kiss on Levi’s shoulder. “You’re enough.” This time around, Levi knows Nico means it. He tugs at Nico’s shirt and soon it lands on the floor. Then he puts his hands on Nico’s chest and just stares at him. He can’t stop looking. He can feel Nico’s fingers on his back, roaming endless circles. “You okay?”

“Yeah, ‘course I am. You’re just so handsome.”

“Oh, Levi…” Nico takes a deep breath, but his smirk stays. “You’ll be the death of me.”

Levi replies by kissing him. He can still taste the chow mein they had for dinner on Nico’s tongue. He feels drunk, his head is dizzy as Nico deepens the kiss. Levi instinctively grinds against him. Nico moans, the sound resonating through Levi’s body.

They set a nice, slow rhythm, just kissing, hands exploring and grinding once in a while. Levi feels he’s about to lose his mind any second.

“Please,” he whispers against Nico’s lips. They’re both taking deep breaths and now Levi’s jeans feel incredibly tight and he can also feel Nico’s own, very hard erection pressing against the back of his thighs.

“What do you want?” Nico’s voice is gentle but deep. “Just tell me what you want.”

“I want you.” Levi kisses over the pulse point on the right side of Nico’s neck, softly. He keeps moving his hips against Nico’s, building the tension, but he already feels the sensation building low in his stomach. “I want you.”

Nico doesn’t reply, at least not with words. He presses a kiss, merely a peck on Levi’s lips, before kissing his lower jaw, sucking and licking. His hands are on Levi’s hips, helping him grind.

Levi feels ecstatic. He feels fucking amazing, as he keeps moving, with Nico now kissing just below his left ear, down his neck, kissing his shoulder and kissing his collarbone. Levi’s hands are in Nico’s hair, holding him in place as he just keeps moving.

“Oh fuck, Nico!” he curses as he embarrassingly comes in his pants embarrassingly quickly. Levi keeps going with Nico’s hands still on his hips, working him through his orgasm. “Fuck,” he breathes, once he gave all that he can. He’s breathing hard, forehead on Nico’s shoulder. Now, that his mind is not so occupied with, well, everything, he feels the wetness of his jeans and Nico’s still hard dick. “Shit, I’m s-sorry!” Levi looks up, blushing and pushes up his glasses.

But Nico just keeps smiling at him. He puts his hand on the back of Levi’s neck. “You look hot when you come.” This just makes Levi’s cheeks straight up maroon coloured. “You do.” Nico kisses him tenderly and Levi’s not sure how much more he can take.

“But uh… Did you? Finish, I mean.”

Nico laughs. “No, but it’s fine. I’ll survive.”

Except, Levi won’t. Either he can stay scared of everything or just be fucking brave. And right now, after he just had the best orgasm yet, he feels pretty confident.

“Can I touch you?”

For a second, Nico furrows his brows, but then nods. “You can do whatever you want, Levi.”

So he does. He kisses Nico with a purpose for what seems hours, but then he moves a bit, so he can reach down once again. “I think it’s only fair you come in your pants as well,” Levi says against Nico’s lips with a cheeky grin.

Nico’s breathing stops. “Levi, you don’t…”

“I do. I want to.” His fingers reach the waistband of the sweatpants.”You have no idea how much I want to.”

“Are you sure?”

“Are you?”

As a reply, Nico kisses him hard while he puts a hand on Levi’s, guiding him into the sweatpants. He feels soft, curly hair against the tip of his fingers, just above the waistline of Nico’s boxers. He’s teasing, running a finger against the band of it, never pushing in, just playing.

Then, he moves his hand further down, between the sweatpants and the boxers, until he can make out the shape of Nico’s dick. He touches the tip with his fingers. Nico takes a sharp breath and he pulls away from the kiss. “Levi, I’m fucking begging you…”

So this time, Levi takes a daring step. He could choose to tease Nico further, but he needs this as much as Nico does. Still inside the sweatpants, Levi tugs as the boxers, until they give way and Nico’s cock springs free.

The angle is awkward, his wrist will hurt soon, but right now, he doesn’t care. He puts his hand on Nico, just holding him for a few seconds until he gets to know the unknown, yet familiar shape.

“You okay?” he asks Nico.

He’s absentmindedly moving his hand on Nico’s thin, long dick, up and down, just to get him going.

“I… Fuck… Levi…” he responds and Levi knows he’s good.

Levi runs his thumb across the slit, precome already leaking. It gives him enough lubrication to make it smoother. He moves his hand down slowly, right down to the base, before going back up and flicking his wrist. Nico is already squirming.

He leans in to kiss Nico who kisses back eagerly, fingers digging into his shoulder. They stop kissing but never leave that shared space. Their noses are almost touching, as Levi keeps his hand moving, up and down, flicking at the end. It seems that’s the move that makes Nico lose his mind. Nico’s breathing hard against Levi’s lips, silently cursing.

It surprises Levi, but it doesn’t, how easy it is. How much he likes it. How much he likes seeing Nico’s breathing speed up, the way his fingers are digging into the couch. How much Levi likes his own fingers wrapped around Nico’s dick and he’s going through bliss because of him .

“Faster…” Nico groans loudly.

So Levi starts moving his hand faster, up and down, up and down, then his thumb slides across the slit, before pumping again. Then the next moment, without any warning, Nico moans, he furrows his brows and Levi feels the warm come hitting his fingers and palm. He works him through his orgasm until Nico sighs contentedly.

Thinking it’s already ruined, Levi pulls boxers up before wiping his hand on it. He climbs down, sitting next to Nico, shoulders pressed together.

“You okay?”

“Yeah,” Nico says with a smile and looks at Levi. He looks sleepy. He looks cute, Levi determines. “Are you okay?”

“Yeah.”

That’s about that much conversation their euphoria-filled brain can handle. They are just sitting there for long minutes, next to each other, until Levi can feel his jeans getting colder. But, he’s not freaking out. Finally, things make sense. Finally, the puzzle of his life is beginning to be filled. Finally, he can face the things he was kind of ignoring. He’s happy. He’s fucking happy and Nico’s the cause of that.

 

Soon wetness starts getting awful and uncomfortable. Either he can go home into the suburbs with stained jeans or… Levi looks at Nico and sees the dark, wet spot on his grey sweatpants. They did kind of ruin a couple of clothes today.

“Could I use your shower?” Levi asks.

“Sure, I’ll get you some towels.”

“Might as well save some water, right?” He stands up, holding out a hand.

Nico furrows his brows, looking confused. It seems the evening has been more confusing for Nico than Levi. “Are you sure? We don’t have to…”

Levi takes Nico’s hand, pulling him up. He kisses him softly before looking into his eyes. “I really fucking do.”

“I like how dirty your mouth is.”

Nico leads Levi to his bathroom, which thankfully has a shower big enough for two people. And Levi’s excited to be doing this. He’s never been more certain in anything.

He keeps staring at Nico once they’re inside the bathroom. But that’s okay, because Nico’s doing the same, albeit a bit more puzzled.

“Nico?”

“Hm?”

“Please stop doubting me,” Levi says, because he’s a 100% sure that’s what Nico was doing.

“I just want to make sure you won’t regret this in the morning.”

“I won’t.” Levi stands on his tiptoes and kisses Nico. Through the kiss, he can feel Nico’s hesitation leaving as he deepens the kiss, hand on his sides. Levi grazes his teeth against Nico’s lower lip as he pulls away a bit. “Can we take off the clothes, though? It’s getting horrible now.”

“If you want me to leave at any point, just say.”

“Oh my god.”

Levi’s now getting frustrated, so with a swift move he unbuckles his belt, undoes his jeans, pushing them down. They just kind of pile around his ankles and looks at Nico expectantly. Levi holds onto the sink so he doesn’t faceplant the ground as he steps out of them.

Finally, Nico gives in. He turns the shower on, and soon the glass panel starts steaming up. “You really are killing me.”

He steps out of his sweatpants, throwing them into the laundry basket. Levi follows suit, eyes never leaving Nico’s body. Is it shallow? Probably, but Nico is one gorgeous, hot, sexy, attractive human being. So Levi steps closer, pushing a hand against Nico’s stomach. He looks up and although his glasses are starting to steam up, he can see Nico. The beautiful man in front of him.

Levi kisses his chest, over his collar bones, up towards his neck. Nico’s hands are on his back, like that’s the place they belong. His fingers are going in circles, caressing the skin.

Levi reaches for Nico’s hand and pushes it down, to his ass. He smiles against Nico’s Adam’s apple when Nico squeezes it just a bit. Levi’s teeth gently graze the soft skin, which earns a low and breathy moan from him.

“Can we get in the damn shower now?”

Nico squeezes his ass again, and Levi’s starting to like that. Really like that. “You first,” Nico says as he takes a step back.

For a second, Levi hesitates. He’s worried that Nico will finally see him the way he really is, the scrawny kid, the nerd who really has no clue what he’s doing.

But then he realises it’s Nico. It’s the man who kissed him in that stupid elevator, it’s the man who, for some reason, is into him, it’s the man he’s been making out with for the past two days. It’s the man who finally made Levi realise who he really is. Gay. He’s gay. He’s not confused anymore, about his attraction to men, particularly his attraction to the man standing across him.

So he smiles at Nico, confident, and takes his boxer off, dropping them on top of Nico’s sweatpants in the laundry basket.

Nico grins at him. He’s definitely checking Levi out, top to bottom, involuntarily licking his lips. He’s taking his damn time, that’s sure. But the look in his eyes, the lust and want, all directed at Levi is fucking great. And it’s definitely making him hard again.

Then, Nico takes his own boxers off, just standing there naked. It should be ridiculous, two idiots just staring at each other. But Levi can’t have enough of the sight. Bare chest and stomach give way to a dark happy trail on Nico’s body, leading to a dark patch of hair, then a beautiful lean and cut dick that’s already semi-hard. He’s never seen anything more wonderful.

“You okay?” Nico asks. “You’re quiet.”

Levi takes his glasses off, putting it on the sink. There are a lot of things he could say. He could tell Nico how good he looks, or how much he wants this. But instead, what he says is, “Just kiss me.”

And Nico does. He gently cups both sides of Levi’s face, thumbs running over his cheeks, then kisses him softly, lips barely touching. He takes Levi’s hand next, pulling him into the shower.

The hot water is almost burning, but it feels nice. Once they’re both standing underneath the spray, Nico kisses him again, this time properly. He runs his tongue over Levi’s lower lip, before deepening the kiss. Levi is holding on the wall with one hand because otherwise, he’d slip just because how good this feels. He steps closer, everything from chest to dicks pressing together and he’s sure he won’t last long. Again.

“Shampoo?” Nico asks suddenly because they are supposed to be having a shower, not get off for the second time in less than half an hour. He doesn’t wait for Levi’s answer, instead, he squirts some in his hand and soon the scent of lemon fills the air. Nico then starts softly massaging Levi’s scalp, lathering his hair. “I’ve always wanted to do this.”

Levi hums, his eyes closed. He melts against Nico’s touch. “It feels really nice.”

“I’ve never… My last boyfriend never let me,” he says quietly. Levi’s eyes fly open; Nico looks hurt a bit and it makes his heart ache. “No one ever did.”

“Can I do it as well?”

“Yeah.” Nico continues in silence for a few seconds, before speaking again. “Is it weird? Me talking about my past relationships while I’m shampooing your hair?”

Levi shakes his hand and presses a quick peck on Nico’s lips to reassure him. “No, I do want to know. I don’t like how it makes you feel, but…”

“But?”

“But hopefully this makes up for it,” Levi says quietly.

“It does.” Nico sighs, lowering his hand. “Rinse.”

Levi tilts his head backwards, letting the water wash away all the foam. Now that his neck is exposed, Nico seems to think it’s a good time to kiss Levi’s throat. He’s gently grazing his teeth, before kissing again. Levi can’t help but shiver, because it feels good.

“Your turn,” he says before they get too much into it and he’s unable to focus on his task. They switch, so it’s Nico standing directly under the water. Levi puts some shampoo in his hand and starts lathering Nico’s hair. “Is this okay?”

“Yeah, it’s good.” He puts his hands on Levi’s sides, pulling him close, so everything is touching again. They both gasp quietly when they touch. Then he moves his hands to Levi’s ass, squeezing it. “Tonight’s been nice.”

“You want me to wash your hair or not?”

Nico laughs and then starts rinsing his hair. “No. I want to touch you.”

“Fuck,” Levi groans, because the promise of it sounds so good.

“Can I?”

“Yeah.”

So Nico does, reaching between them, until he has Levi’s semi-hard dick in his hands, moving painfully slowly. “I haven’t forgotten, by the way.”

Levi’s already breathing hard and it hasn’t even been a minute. “Forgotten what?”

“The blowjob I promised you.” His dick twitches at that and his brain short circuits. Nico keeps pumping, setting a sluggish rhythm, twisting his hand at the end. Then he stills and Levi looks at him. He is really, really close and now Nico decided to torture him. “Do you trust me?”

“I do.”

“Tell me if this is not okay.”

For a second, Levi wants to ask what he means, but then Nico takes both of their dicks in his hand, wrapping his fingers around them. Levi feels sparks of electricity running through his body as their cocks come in contact. Nico starts moving his hand again, even slower this time, but it feels amazing.

Levi wants to last. He really does, but when Nico’s hand is around him, holding both of them, when Nico’s fingers are doing their magic, when Nico is breathing hot and heavy against his shoulder, when Nico is moaning his name, when Nico, Nico, Nico, how can he? He starts feeling the warm tension in his stomach, ready to burst out.

“Fuck, Nico, god…” Levi groans, as Nico’s hand speeds up.

“Are you close?”

“Fuck, fuck!” Levi doesn’t even have the time to answer properly, because the next second he’s coming, against Nico’s hand, come seeping through his fingers. He gives all that he can and feels like his orgasm lasts for hours. He’s spent, his dick is sensitive, but Nico still keeps going, chasing his own high.

Nico groans loudly, biting into Levi’s shoulder. Then, a couple of seconds after Levi he comes, his cock pulsating. Levi holds onto him as he’s riding the waves of his orgasm.

“Sorry,” Nico says with a tired smile. He kisses Levi’s shoulder where his teeth were. “You okay?”

“I’m great, are you?”

Nico nods. “Should we finish this shower finally? Then bed? I hope you’re not sleeping on the sofa tonight.”

“Definitely not.”

 

Ten minutes later, they’re all dry and in bed. Without any clothes, because clothes are not needed. Levi likes that, just how natural it feels. How good it feels.

They’re facing each other, cuddling, legs and arms tangled together. There’s something intimate about this, not because a hand job or making-out is imminent, but because this is new and good and not scary. Comfortable. Warm. Perfect.

“You okay?” Nico asks, again, for like the fifth time in two minutes.

“Yeah,  I really am. You really need to stop doing that.”

“Sorry. I just want to make sure you won’t end up spiralling or feeling guilty or anything.”

Levi smiles. He appreciates how thoughtful Nico is, but he definitely won’t be doing any of that. “I’m not. I won’t.” He takes a deep breath and words start pouring from his mouth. “I’m a nerd. I’m no more ashamed of being attracted to guys than I am of anything else in my life. Do you know what I did almost every night before I went to college? I sat in my mom’s basement, with three other debate club kids, playing Dungeons and Dragons. And it’s the same basement I live in now. Trust me when I say, no one was having sex. With guys or girls.” Nico smiles at that, but Levi just continues. “Sex was… Sex was like the Sun Sword.” Nico furrows his brows. “It’s a magical weapon in the game that’s really hard to find. It’s basically like a talking lightsaber. Never mind, it doesn’t matter.”

“You’re cute when you talk nerdy,” Nico says quietly.

“Shut up,” Levi mumbles with a blush. He’ll never get used to Nico’s compliments. “The point is, sex wasn’t on the table for us, so I didn’t know I was gay. I-I knew I had feelings for boys, but I didn’t understand it. Not until you kissed me. You kissed me. And I felt the opposite of shame, I felt like I… existed and everything fell in place. For the first time, I felt like I was holding the Sun Sword.” Nico kisses him suddenly, it’s slow but passionate, the kind that takes Levi’s breath away. “Are-are you just kissing me to get me to stop talking?”

“No.”

Levi stares at Nico for a few seconds, before cupping his face and kissing him deeply. It’s a grateful kiss for a lot of things, but mainly for igniting that match.

“How are you real?” Levi whispers against Nico’s lips, sharing that same breath.

“I could ask the same.” Nico presses a kiss on the tip of Levi’s nose and pulls him into a proper cuddle. Levi’s the little spoon, Nico’s the big spoon. Levi can feel every inch of Nico against him because somehow, they fit together perfectly. And it feels nice. “We’re sleeping in tomorrow.”

“Good idea.”

Nico turns the light off and hugs Levi again. There are a lot of things going through Levi’s head, but it’s all around the idea of just how amazing this feels. This should be too much too soon, but no. It’s great.

Being together with Nico is everything he’s ever hoped for and more. His heart has always wanted something, has always been missing something, but up until now, he wasn’t sure what. Now he knows. It was a person. It was Nico.

Chapter Text

Levi Schmitt, if asked, would’ve said his favourite sleeping position was on his front, head buried in pillows. That was two days ago.

But now, after everything, after Nico, his favourite sleeping position is his and Nico’s limbs tangled together, bodies seemingly fused together, his head on Nico’s chest. He likes the warm cocoon he’s in, how engulfed he is in Nico’s arms.

He likes sleeping in, especially when he’s comfortable. And he’s definitely comfortable right now. He wakes before Nico, though, but he doesn’t mind at all. Nico is taking soft, deep breaths, that ruffle Levi’s hair and he definitely likes that. He just lies there in the almost darkness, listening to Nico’s heartbeat and the quiet that surrounds them.

He never imagined it to be this nice. He’s never had anything like this so he can’t compare it. But this is lovely. The feeling he has in his heart is warm and unique. He’s not sure what it is, but there’s some sort of emotion he’s feeling towards Nico. As he just lays in bed, next to the soundly sleeping person and watches him breathe, he knows it’s there.

He tries to deny it, tries to hide it. Not because he’s not ready for it, but because of their stupid rule. He doesn’t know why Nico suggested it in the first place or why he needs it, but right in this moment, Levi think he can manage. He has to.

Half of the rules are out of the window, anyway. They did kind of make out at work and they did kind of forget to take things slow. Levi doesn’t regret those. He’s quite happy actually, because otherwise, he wouldn’t be here, in Nico’s bed, in Nico’s arms.

So that feeling, be it gratitude, happiness or something else, is there, lingering whether Levi wants it or not.

 

He falls back asleep because being in that warmth is the nicest. When he wakes up for the second time that morning, Nico is seemingly still asleep. This time, Levi is the big spoon which seems silly considering just how much bigger Nico’s frame is.

Also, he has a raging boner which he does try to keep at bay. He moves his hips away because he really isn’t sure what’s normal and what isn’t. Morning and being this close to Nico’s hot (literally and figuratively) body does not help either. He presses his forehead against Nico’s shoulder, pressing a featherlight kiss on his skin.

“Come back,” Nico mumbles sleepily and pushes his ass against Levi. He moves (wiggles, Levi’s brain supplies) on purpose, kind of grinding into him. Levi can’t help but moan at the touch, which he hopes comes out quietly. It doesn’t, judging by Nico’s snickering. “Good?”

“Fuck, Nico.” Levi sighs. It’s too early for his tired brain, but he’s already horny. Nico’s doing things to his mind and body and the truth is, he really likes that. “Sorry I woke you.”

“It’s alright,” Nico answers and he pushes against Levi’s painfully hard dick. “I’m guessing you’re happy to see me.”

Levi blushes, his cheeks get hotter than the Sun itself and he’s glad Nico can’t see him. “Are you working today?”

“Yeah, but I’m doing a night shift.” He grabs Levi’s hand and pulls it tighter around his torso. “You?”

“Tomorrow, but it’s like a tajillion hours.” Nico laughs quietly again. “What?”

“Nothing, you’re just such a weirdo.”

Levi sadly sighs. He’s heard that a million times, but never expected that from Nico. “Thanks, you’re not the first one…”

“I meant that in a good way.”

“Oh.”

“Yeah, like you have these weird words you throw around and they mean something to you but nothing for the rest of us.” Nico intertwines their fingers, sort of reassuring Levi. “You have your own vocabulary and I find that, I don’t know, endearing? It’s very cute.”

Levi doesn’t say anything, because that feeling is there again, fluttering around in his chest, sort of poking his heart. Nico’s nice and Levi’s worried he’ll do something or say something and this thing, this special whatever they share, will break, shattering his own heart.

“Shut up,” he says, pressing kisses on Nico’s shoulder. He comes to a realisation. “So since you’re not in until later, I guess you have some errands to run? I mean I’ll leave to let you get…”

“Levi, stop,” Nico says firmly. He turns around, still hugging him. Only then can Levi feel Nico’s semi-hard dick pressing against his upper thighs. That kind of erases any and all doubts. “All I want to do is spend a day in bed until I have to go, yeah? Can we have that?” It’s still semi-dark in the room, but there’s some daylight filtering in. So he nods, blushing a bit because he’s a blushing mess and he knows Nico can see him. “We can start the day by having a chat.”

Levi groans at that. “I’m bored of words.”

Nico leans closer and presses a kiss on the tip of his nose. “I know, but we kind of have to. The sooner we get it done, the sooner we can focus on… other things.”

If there’s one thing Nico knows best, it’s how to tease Levi. “Alright, fine. What do you want to talk about?”

“Are you okay? In general and with what we did?”

“I am, yeah. Next question.”

“Levi.”

“What?” Levi pushes his head against the pillow which sort of feels uncomfortable right now.

“You said you wanted slow and I agreed. You did need slow. You do need slow. But last night was the opposite of that. I just want to make sure you’re doing fine. Coming out is a journey and it doesn’t happen overnight. Even if you’ve been thinking about it for weeks, for months, it’s a process. You don’t just come out once, you have to do it over and over again.”

Reasonably, Levi appreciates how thoughtful and considerate Nico is. It does feel nice, but at the same time, it’s the same conversation they’ve been having for the past two days. And he’s getting sick of that.

“I’m not weak, I hope you know that. I can say no. I would’ve said no, I would’ve stopped if I wanted to. But I didn’t. You didn’t pressure me into anything, Nico, I really wanted last night to happen.” Nico’s quiet so Levi continues. “I liked last night. It was the most fun I’ve ever had.”

“You promise?”

“Yeah.” They’re both silent for a while. Levi has something to say, but he’s not sure how to say it. He’s worried he’ll scare Nico off for good, but he also knows this is something he needs to hear. “When I asked for slow, I didn’t mean that I needed it for my coming out. I meant what I said last night. I’ve always had feelings for boys. Then it dawned on me that it didn’t mean that I was jealous of them or that I wanted to be like them. It meant that I wanted to kiss them. Then you kissed me and you made me realise that I definitely wanted to kiss boys and boys only.” He takes a deep breath. He’s glad that Nico’s not interrupting him. “When I had sex with that girl in college, I was really drunk. I’m not sure what would’ve happened if I was sober. I’m a mess, Nico. I wanted slow not because I have to come to terms with it, but because…” He stops. He knows what he has to say next will definitely scare Nico off.

“Because?” Nico asks softly, cupping his face.

“But because this is nice and I don’t want to fuck it up.”

A second later, Nico kisses him with such intensity that would knock him off his feet. It’s a hot kiss, all tongue and filled with passion. Nico pushes his fingers into Levi’s hair, tugging at the locks, scratching his scalp. Levi responds by grinding against Nico, a movement that proves to be rewarding.

“I won’t let you,” Nico says quietly when they move apart. He gently kisses Levi’s cheek. “Does morning breath bother you?”

After a kiss like that, how could it? “Nope.” Levi presses a quick peck on Nico’s lips. “I like kissing you.”

Nico shows a beaming smile. “Lucky you, because I like kissing you too.”

Levi laughs, hiding his face in the crook of Nico’s neck. He kisses his soft skin, still laughing. “This is so silly.”

“It is, but sometimes you have to have that.” Nico tightens his arms around Levi and he moves his hand down, until he can squeeze his butt. He definitely likes his butt squeezed. “This okay?”

“Yeah.” Levi keeps kissing the underside off Nico’s lower jaw and neck. He takes a ragged breath when Nico presses against him, moving against his erection. “ Fuck me, ” he mumbles with the same breath.

“Not yet.” Levi’s sure he can hear Nico’s smug smile when he says that.

It surprises him just how attracted he gets to Nico in that very second. He’s not sure if it’s Nico’s confidence, cockiness or casual flirting that messes with his head, but a moment later, he kisses Nico, almost crashing against him. Levi bites into Nico’s lower lip, before kissing him properly, all wet and with tongue.

Nico throws the duvet off of their bodies, then his hands are on Levi’s lower arm, pulling him. It takes a second for Levi to understand what’s going on, but when he does, he moves over Nico, straddling his hips, a hand on either side of his head. They never stop kissing, not for a moment. The need to breathe doesn’t seem to be necessary. It’s a heated kiss, the kind that gets all of Levi’s blood moving.

Nico squeezes his ass, pulling his cheeks apart. Levi groans at that, because Nico just seems so greedy and he loves that.

“Nico,” Levi whispers. He needs it, Nico’s touch. He’s so hard and he could come from a single touch. “I want you so fucking bad.”

He kisses Nico again who seems to hesitate a bit. Levi almost asks what’s wrong, when Nico flips them so he’s on top of Levi “You trust me?”

Levi runs his fingers through Nico’s hair. It’s a tender moment, despite their very obviously raging boners. “Of course.”

“Tell me if you want to stop.”

Levi nods. He’s sure whatever Nico has planned will be pretty fucking amazing and he has absolutely no desire to stop that.

Nico kisses him softly and it seems to last hours. He’s a really good kisser, Levi thinks, as he melts against him. Then Nico moves onto his neck, kissing and biting. His teeth graze Levi’s earlobe which sends a shiver through his body and holds onto Nico just a little bit tighter.

Nico kisses down his neck, to his shoulder, then moves to his collarbones, to his sternum. Then… Then he kisses Levi’s left nipple who gets surprised by that for a second. He arches his back as Nico runs his tongue against it, swirling, nibbling and licking.

“Fuck, Nico.” Levi’s fingers tug at Nico’s hair who just exhales, sending a rush of cold air against Levi’s chest. Then he turns his attention to Levi’s other nipple, giving it the same treatment. “Nico, I’m begging you.”

Nico laughs and looks up. His hair is ruffled, his lips are shiny and dark pink and he looks so hot. “It’s been a couple of minutes and you’re already begging? This must be some kind of a record.”

“Shut up,” Levi says and gently hits his shoulder.

“Should I just stop then? We can’t have you begging already, can we?”

“Don’t be a wise-ass, Dr Kim.”

Nico grins at him. “I like how sassy you get.”

Levi rolls his eyes. “Kiss me.”

And Nico does. He moves back up just a bit, so he can push his lips against Levi’s, kissing him with purpose. He licks into his mouth and moans as Levi’s fingers dug into Nico’s upper arm.

“Kissing or kissing ?” Nico asks with a wink.

If Levi wasn’t so horny, if his dick wasn’t quaking with anticipation, he would choose more of those mind-blowing kisses where Nico bites into his lower lip, where he properly takes his breath away. But this time around, Levi just presses his hand against the top of Nico’s head, pushing him downwards. He now has a very clear idea of what’s coming and well, he’s almost coming.

Nico doesn’t seem to mind either. He chuckles, then kisses down to Levi’s collarbones, then to his chest. He doesn’t stop there, he kisses Levi stomach, softly biting and nibbling. Nico’s hands are on either side of Levi’s torso, caressing him. Levi’s are clutching the sheets, trying to keep his begging for later.

“Can I?” Nico asks, looking up.

“Yeah,” Levi breathes out. So Nico moves further down, kissing just below Levi’s belly button. “Stop the teasing, please…” he moans out as Nico’s chin brushes against his dick.

Nico grins at him and he cocks his head to the side. His hands move to Levi’s thighs, pushing them up and apart. “If I give you what you want now, will you let me kiss you all over your body one day?”

Levi’s heart skips a beat; he’s not sure if it’s because of what Nico said or because he placed a gentle kiss on the tip of his cock. “Uh-huh,” he manages to get out, because the next second, Nico is kissing his inner thighs, low at first, before moving upwards. “Fuck, Nico,” he says, when Nico bites into his thigh.

“You’re the worst,” he says, then finally, finally it happens.

Nico takes the tip into his mouth, wrapping his lips gently around it. It shouldn’t, not this early, but it blows his mind. “Nico,” Levi moans as his hand moves to Nico’s hair, pulling the locks on the top of his head. Nico makes a sound, a sound that resonates through Levi’s body and he takes him into his mouth further.

Levi groans because fuck, that is the best feeling ever. Nico goes about halfway down, before moving up, but only to lick the underside of Levi’s cock from base to tip, swirling his tongue. Then he takes him into his mouth again, deeper this time.

Levi is ready to let go of control. He’s ready to fall apart as Nico, with experienced moves bops his head up and down, slow, then fast, then slow again. Levi’s writhing, he’s already feeling the pull low in his stomach. He knows he’s a goner when Nico’s nose is against his lower abdomen, when his dick hits the back of Nico’s throat, but especially, when Nico swallows around him.

He’s moaning, swearing, groaning. He says words that don’t make sense, he says curses that would put a sailor to shame. But mostly, he’s chanting Nico’s name.

“Do you want to get breakfast afterwards?” Nico has the audacity to move away as he asks Levi casually. Levi looks at him, but his eyes have difficulty focusing. He’s puzzled as to why and why right now. “I could make you eggs or something.”

“Are you…” Levi’s breathing is heavy and he’s so hard it actually hurts right now. He was so close, he is so close, so this interlude is not good. “Do I have to beg you?”

Nico smirks. “Yup.”

“God, I hate you.”

Nico reaches up to put his hand on Levi’s chest, over his heart. He must feel how hard it is beating. Still smiling, he moves his hand further up, until it’s on Levi’s throat, just holding him, then it’s on his jaw. Levi turns his head to the side and he presses a kiss on the pad of his thumb.

“You’re so gorgeous when you’re falling apart,” Nico whispers, then he takes Levi into his mouth again, still looking at him.

His movements speed up, up and down, up and down, but his hand stays. Maybe it’s the pleasure, maybe it’s the control Levi no longer has, but he takes Nico’s thumb into his mouth, softly biting into the pad, then mimics Nico’s movement of sucking.

Nico stills, eyes filled with hunger and lust. He locks eyes with Levi; there’s some softness shared, a tender moment in a heated situation. Then Nico moves his head again, with more purpose and determination. He runs his thumb across Levi’s lower lip and he keeps sucking.

It doesn’t take long. Levi’s breathing gets ragged, there’s a warm feeling running through his veins. “Nico, I’m…” he says, trying to warm him when he feels close.

Nico doesn’t pull off, but he makes a noise that sounds like agreeing and he keeps bobbing his head, getting Levi there. He doesn’t move when Levi comes, moaning Nico’s name, come shooting down his throat. Nico works him through his orgasm, making sure he’s well cared for.

When he’s spent, when he gave all that he can, Nico pulls of, placing soft, gentle kisses on Levi’s inner thighs. He moves back up, next to Levi, cuddling into him.

The thing is, Levi wants to say something. He wants to say how much he loved it, he wants to say thanks as awkward as it is, he wants to say how great Nico was, he wants to say how ashamed he is of the fact that he came so soon. But he can’t, because his insides feel like jelly and his brain is a mushy mess. The best he can do is turn towards Nico and hug him.

“Good?” Nico asks softly, hand on Levi’s back. Levi nods. He really is good. “I hate to say this, but I’ll be right back.”

“What?” Levi manages to say. “Why?”

“You know why.” He gestures down, towards the end of the bed.

It takes a moment for Levi’s tired mind to realise. “Oh.” His energy levels seem to be normalising after that orgasm, so he reaches down, putting his hand on Nico’s stomach. “You don’t have to leave when I have a perfectly capable hand.”

Nico rolls his eyes while he smiles fondly. “You’re very bold, aren’t you?”

“I do try.”

And with that, he takes Nico’s hard dick in his hand. He likes how comfortable it feels, how natural it comes. He tilts his head up so he can kiss Nico, tasting bitterness, tasting himself on his tongue. It’s weird, but at the same time, he loves it.

It’s hard to multitask but he manages, just. Nico’s kisses take his breath away, knocking everything out of his mind. He remembers that he’s doing this to make Nico feel just as good as he made Levi feel, but it’s hard when Nico kisses like that, when he licks into Levi’s mouth, when he moans into the kiss when Levi runs his thumb across the tip of Nico’s dick.

Nico curses, but it doesn’t sound English or maybe he’s so blissed out that this time, it’s him making up words. Either way, that just encourages Levi more, wanking Nico’s dick with purpose, never letting him go and never stopping with the kiss.

Soon, Nico starts whimpering against Levi’s lips, but Levi never stops. He moves his hand to the tip, before going back down, tightening his fist around the base, fingers brushing against Nico’s balls who seems to love that move. He kisses Levi with more vigour which can only mean one thing: he’s close.

“Are you gonna teach me?” Levi whispers, hand still moving.

“Huh?” Nico asks, but he’s completely out of his mind.

Levi really is feeling bold, so he says, “How to give you a blowjob. I want to make you feel just as good as you made me feel.”

“Oh, fuck,” Nico groans and he’s coming hard, against Levi’s hand and stomach, covering him in come as well. Levi keeps moving his hand, until Nico’s breathy and hot as fuck moans turn into whimpers when he can’t take it anymore.

Nico turns his head, burrowing his nose in the crook of Levi’s neck. He’s breathing hard, ruffling his hair. It would be nice, cuddling him and riding their highs together, but the come puddling in Levi’s hand means that he can’t cling onto Nico. But still, he enjoys his closeness, covered in come or not.

It takes a couple of minutes for Nico’s breathing to quieten. He doesn’t move at all, he’s still pressed up against Levi.

“You okay?” Levi asks eventually, his voice low.

“You don’t even need a teacher.” Nico kisses his neck, sending shivers down Levi’s spine. “You’re good enough,” he kisses the underside of his jaw, “on your own,” he says before kissing him, slow and sweet.

“Yeah, well, I still meant it,” Levi says. “I still want to give you a blowjob.”

Nico moans quietly and Levi definitely likes the reaction. “You’re torturing me, Schmitt. Seems like sex is doing you some good favours.”

Levi rolls his eyes fondly. “Or maybe it’s you,” his mouth says before his mind can catch up. It’s not even that bad of a sentence, but his mind jumps to rule number one straightaway: no feelings. And the worst part is that Nico doesn’t reply. “I’ll uh… I’ll go and clean up.”

He gets out of bed, running towards Nico’s bathroom, like a coward. He closes the door with more force than he intends to and washes his hand.

No, he’s not a coward, he realises, staring at his reflection in the mirror. (Technically, he’s just looking at the blur.) He can’t be called a coward just because he speaks his mind, right? Sure, they have that stupid rule. The feeling in Levi’s chest is there again, stronger this time. It has wings now, fluttering around, but it’s not able to soar just yet. He tries to bury the undefined emotion under a rug.

He’s a man of science. He knows how brains work, he knows how hearts work. He knows the nerves and muscles and blood vessels keeping them alive and running. He knows those bits. But he doesn’t know how emotions work, how he’s supposed to do this, whatever this is. Keeping feelings out of the picture is easier said than done.

There’s a soft knock on the door, followed by an even gentler, “Levi? Is everything okay?”

Leave it to Levi to ruin things. With a sigh, he opens the door. Nico’s looking at him worried; but he’s also looking gorgeous and them being naked does not help things. “Yeah, it’s fine.”

“Why did you leave?” Nico leans against the door frame, crossing his arms. “You didn’t have to…”

“I wanted to wash up,” he says looking away. It’s pathetic, really. Yet another thing he ruined.

“You’re clearly overthinking something.” Nico walks to him and pulls him into a hug. There’s something intimate about this, some sort of affection that kissing and sex can’t provide. He holds Levi tightly, before kissing the top of his head. Height difference be damned, Levi thinks as he steps away from the hug, from Nico. He can’t do this. “What’s wrong? Wait…” he chuckles sadly. Nico starts backing away, giving Levi space, giving himself space. He runs his hands through his hair. “I knew it. You do regret it.”

Levi closes his eyes, shaking his head a bit. “No. No, I don’t.” He puts his hands on Nico’s torso, but Nico steps away. “I don’t regret any of it. I-I-I liked it a lot and everything finally makes sense. It’s not about the sex or the fact that you’re a dude.”

“Then what is it?”

He takes a deep breath. The magical bubble they shared in Nico’s bed is already burst, so there’s no reason to withhold it. “I know you said you don’t want feelings, but I don’t think I can do that.” Nico furrows his brows, but stays quiet. “Don’t get me wrong, what I’m saying is not that I have feelings right now, but I’m only human, Nico. I’m awkward and a nerd and drop my glasses into patients but I’m also not afraid to be who I am, to love and care about my friends out loud and to-to call my mom during a long shift. My emotions are loud and they can’t be shoved into a shipping container and shipped off to China. I want to respect the rule because you said it for some reason, but I just… I just don’t think I can do it. I don’t think I can continue this, as much as I want to and not… be myself. I could try to deny it, but that wouldn’t be good for either of us.”

Nico nods. He only nods and doesn’t argue. It breaks Levi’s heart, really. They had a good morning, a fucking awesome morning but now it’s overshadowed by the fact that, well… Levi just can’t stop thinking and talking.

“I wish I could just…” Nico sighs and looks at Levi. He’s just as upset. “I think we’re just looking for different things.”

“Yeah.” Levi, realising there’s nothing else to be said, walks past Nico, back into his bedroom and starts getting dressed, only to realise most of his clothes are ruined. He left his backup at the hospital, so he has to ask Nico for some spare clothes. “Hey, could you…?”

“Sure,” Nico answers before Levi has the chance to finish it.

“I’ll get it back to you tomorrow or whenever we’re on the same…”

“Don’t worry about it.” And with that, Nico gives him a couple of clothes and takes dark blue sweats with him back into the bathroom. “For what it’s worth,” he says, before leaving Levi to his own devices, “I had fun.”

And he disappears, leaving Levi in the bedroom that feels too strange now. It sucks because it feels like a breakup to Levi and they didn’t have anything. This isn’t a breakup.  They never went on any dates. They are just two people who kissed, had a couple of orgasms and that’s it. They weren’t supposed to be anything, he knows that. But it still feels like shit.

Levi gets dressed; the clothes are too big for him and despite the fabric conditioner, it smells like Nico. He feels stupid and lost and awful as he gathers his belongings. He shoves them in his bag and hesitates for a few seconds. The water is running in the bathroom and it seems Nico doesn’t want to talk to Levi.

‘It is what it is’, his mother will say. And that’s true. Sometimes people just meet at the wrong time or in the wrong circumstances. But that doesn’t make it any better. With a heavy heart, Levi leaves, closing the door behind him. It’s a stupid reason, they could work things out. But at the same time, someone would end up suffering. So as much as Levi doesn’t want to go, as much as he liked the past two days, as much as it hurts, leaving is the best option. Maybe it just wasn’t meant to be.

Chapter Text

Levi, undoubtedly, feels weird. He feels off. He knows he shouldn’t, but he still does as he sits in the back of the Uber. He’s missing Nico already. An hour ago, everything was fine. More than fine, really. An hour ago, they were kissing. An hour ago, he was giving Nico a hand job. This should’ve been easy, them just making out and having sex. Feelings could’ve been kept out of it.

The truth is, deep down, Levi knew how this was going to end. He’s seen the films where the same thing happens. Two people start a ‘friends with benefits’ relationship, but one of them develops feelings over time. He just didn’t know it would come so suddenly. It’s stupid, really, because no time has passed. He knows it’s impossible for him to actually have feelings and he doesn’t, at least he doesn’t think so. But he knows that if they were to continue this… thing, he would develop feelings. Which Nico so clearly doesn’t want. It stings that Nico didn’t stop him. Seems like he doesn’t even deserve a goodbye. Working with him will be awkward, that’s for sure.

When he arrives home, he’s starving. He can already imagine his mom’s cooking and he needs that comfort. But also, his mom . What the hell is he going to say to her?

He unlocks the door and can immediately smell the scent of something freshly baked wafting through the house. Levi gently shuts the door and drops his bag on the floor. He hears her humming coming from the kitchen. She’s listening to the Mamma Mia! soundtrack again.

“Mom?” he calls out as he walks towards her.

“Oh, baby!” she turns towards him, dropping the sponge she was using to clean the counters. She dries her hand with a kitchen towel. Her small figure almost disappears behind the flour covered apron. When he walks up to her, she gives him a rugelach. “What do you think?”

He bites into it. Apricot. Still nice, even though he prefers chocolate. “It’s good.”

“Only good?” She furrows his her brows. Levi knows she is probably thinking about what ingredient she left out.

“It’s really good, mom. You’re a great baker.” That’s the truth. Ruth Goodwin is an excellent mom all around, be it raising Levi on her own, cooking Sunday dinner while supervising Levi’s Dungeons and Dragons session or making rugelach. “I missed it.”

She turns toward him. There’s clearly some worry in her eyes. “How was your shift? You work too many hours, I’m telling you.”

Levi sits in a chair, taking his time to answer. There’s no easy way to tell this, is there? He feels incredibly anxious. He’s never really hid anything from his mom and it’s not like she’s gonna love him less. He knows that. But it’s still nerve-wracking to tell such a big thing, especially when it’s new, even to Levi.

But also, this is something he can’t stop. He knows it’s been only a couple of days, but it’s something that’s becoming a force to be reckoned with. It’s becoming a part of his identity, whether he wants it or not.

“Uh, yeah, it’s just my intern year, you know. It’ll be over soon,” Levi says matter-of-factly.

Even though Levi is focused on the pattern of the table he knows so well, he feels her eyes digging into his skull. Then she pulls a chair out and sits across him.

“Levi?” He can’t help it. Tears form in his eyes in a matter of seconds and he can’t hold them back. Suddenly he’s feeling like a five-year-old who scraped his knee. She immediately pulls him into a hug and fat teardrops darken her teal t-shirt. “What’s the matter, baby?”

He can’t lie, he can’t deny it. He’s spend too many hours, days, years not admitting it to himself and he’s so sick of that. “I’m gay, I think,” he says mid-sob. Then the same thing happens when he kissed Nico: he can finally take a breath, finally let go, finally be.

“Oh, sweetheart,” she says and she starts crying as well.

They are just sobbing messes for the next few minutes. It feels nice, crying tears of relief, though Levi didn’t imagine this going down so quickly and so suddenly. The past few days were a lot, emotionally tumultuous and a bit messy. He has a lot of things inside him that, a lot of things that need to be said, a lot of feelings that need to be felt. Relief, happiness, guilt, sadness. Those are all waiting to be processed.

“Do you hate me now?” he asks quietly, still crying.

“Of course not!” She puts his hands on Levi’s cheeks. “You’re my baby, the best thing in my life, I could never hate you.” She kisses his forehead, silently saying something. “Is that why you didn’t come home? You didn’t know how to tell me?” She sounds hurt.

“No, of course not. I…” Fuck, how does he do this? How much should he tell his mom? “I know I can talk to you, but…”

She fixes his glasses. They’re tear-stained and a bit fogged up. “I know.” She smiles at him. “I love you, Levi. I will always love you, no matter what.”

Ani ohev otach, ” Levi says weakly. He knows it’ll make his mom happy, hearing him speak Hebrew.

She smiles at him and puts her hand on his cheek. He lies into it, enjoying the warm touch. Then she looks at his outfit. “Whose clothes are those?”

Levi hesitates for a few seconds. “A coworker’s.” And that’s the truth. He can’t say ‘a friend’s’, because the only things he knows about Nico are his name and how his mouth tastes. And unfortunately, those do not classify him as a friend.

“So why didn’t you come home? Work?”

“No, I was… uh…” he wipes the tears from his cheeks. “I was with someone.”

Her eyes light up. “Oh? Is he nice? What’s his name? When will I meet him?”

He smiles sadly. “He’s the nicest. And you won’t, unless you break your hips which I do not want you to do.”

She looks at him, wondering, and points at his jumper. Nico’s jumper. “Is that…?” she asks and without her having to say anything else, he nods. “What happened?”

Tears poke his eyes again. It’s really silly crying over something that never really existed. “We just want different things. He doesn’t want to do feelings. And I don’t want to do just...” That’s where he draws the line, he won’t talk about his sex life. Which has, once again, became non-existent.

“That’s silly. That man needs to get a grip. You’re such a good boy, Levi, anyone would be lucky to have you.”

Levi laughs bitterly. Right at this moment, there’s only one person he wants. “Well, I guess this is my life.”

“Oh, Levi.” She sighs. “Tell you what, have a shower then we’ll have something to eat. There’s nothing food can’t fix.”

He nods and stands up to leave. His mom stays sat at the table, deep in thought. Levi looks back at her and says, “Mom? I really do love you.”

She smiles at him. “I love you too, baby. I’m really proud of the man you’ve become.”

 

Half an hour later, he’s freshly showered and back in his own clothes. He’s sitting in the living room, watching a rerun of a TV show his mom so dearly loves and he’s stuffing his face with rugelach . Everything feels normal and ordinary, but it isn’t. He’s just sort of on autopilot. He put his clothes and Nico’s in the wash because he’s determined to give it back tomorrow. His phone is in the pocket of his hoodie. From time to time, he thinks he can feel it vibrating; maybe a text from Nico or a call. It’s stupid, hoping for something he knows will never come.

The day passes by in a blur. He eats, drinks, watches TV and talks to his mom. He probably has some studying to do or anything, but just can’t be bothered to do it.

He goes to bed early. It’s been a day, really. He feels exhausted, emotionally speaking. Besides, he has a long shift ahead of him, so he needs all the sleep he can get. He keeps tossing and turning, though; he still feels Nico’s touch on his body and the kisses he gave him and it’s just… it’s making things worse.

His alarm goes off way too soon. He already hears his mom upstairs; she always wakes up if he has an early shift. He can already smell eggs and toast cooking upstairs so after ten minutes of pretending he has more time to sleep, he gets out of bed.

Today’s better. A little bit, but it’s better. It stings less. It’ll be good to keep busy, the only thing he has to do is to avoid Nico. Should be easy, right?

“Good morning,” she greets him and immediately gives him a cup of coffee. Eggs and toasts are piled on two plates, steaming and looking delicious. “Did you sleep well?”

He can only nod as the coffee burns his tongue. “You didn’t have to wake up.” It’s a game they always play, but it’s always the same result: she wakes up no matter what.

“Don’t be silly,” she sits by the table with her own coffee, reading something on her iPad. Levi sits with her and checks his own phone. There are a couple of emails, a couple of new messages in his intern group chat, but nothing from Nico. He doesn’t even know why he’s waiting for it. “You miss him.”

“It’s that clear to see?”

“You wear your heart on your sleeves, it’s just who you are.”

“I don’t want to, though. There wasn’t anything, really, so I don’t… feel like I get to miss him.”

She smiles at him kindly and it makes things about one percent better. “You can and that’s okay. The thing about love and feelings and relationships is that it doesn’t have to make sense. You can just go with the flow and still get to a place that makes you happy.”

“I would. I was going with the flow, but he just didn’t want it.”

“Did you let him talk? You know you have a tendency to panic and ramble when you’re feeling anxious.”

Levi knows that’s true, but it still feels awful to hear. “He didn’t want to. He just… disappeared into the bathroom and that was it.”

She makes a ‘hmm’ sound and goes back to reading. He knows there’s more to come from her, but he’s not sure he’s ready to hear that. He downs half of his coffee then grabs a toast and bites into it. “I have to get ready.”

He stands, gives his mom a kiss on her cheek and goes back downstairs. As he sits on his bed, he feels the urge to text Nico. Good thing he never actually got his number.

Maybe his mother is right, he never really gave the chance to let Nico explain. But maybe, everything would be the same. They’re just fundamentally different people with different needs and wants.

Or maybe, Levi should just man up and talk to Nico.

He’s not sure that would do anyone any good, though. What’s done is done. Will it be awkward? Yeah. Does Levi wish it happened differently? Sure. Does he wish he could change Nico’s mind? Absolutely. But he won’t spend his shift moping, ruining his career he worked so hard for.

So he gets ready. He packs his bag. He replies to a funny video with a gif in his intern group chat. When he’s ready, when his hair doesn’t look so atrocious, he heads upstairs. His mom is still in the kitchen, but her feet are now propped up on a chair.

“When will I see you?”

“Tomorrow at some point.” He gets another toast. It’s cold and a bit soggy now, but still better than no food. “I’m supposed to be finishing at 8 but we’ll see.”

“Call me when you can, okay?”

In that very second, he realises he doesn’t appreciate his mom enough. She gets up early morning to see him off, stays up late to wait for him. She supports him, she accepts him, she loves him.

“Yeah.” He fixes his glasses and smiles at her. “Mom?”

“Yeah, baby?” She puts her iPad down.

“Thank you for everything and… like not having a problem with me being…” he clears his throat, “gay.” It’s weird to say it out loud, now that he’s 100% sure it’s true.

She stands up and with a swift move, she engulfs him in a mama bear hug. “Oh, Levi. I will always love you, no matter what. You're my baby boy and I'm so proud of you, you don't even know.” She kisses his temple. “Gay or not, you’re still an incredibly smart kid and you will be an excellent surgeon.”

He nods; only then he realises his cheeks are wet again. Stupid tears, stupid emotions. He feels so relieved though, now that it’s out in the open. “Thanks, mom.”

She runs her fingers through his hair. “Is he going to be there?”

“He finishes before I start, I think. I hope.”

“I know you said there wasn’t anything, but… When you’re ready, you can talk about him,” she says softly. “But only if you want.”

“I know.” He squeezes her before he lets go. “I gotta go, I don’t want to be late. I’ll call you later.”

Levi finishes his half-eaten toast as his mom walks him out. She waves goodbye and he makes sure to look back. He has a really good mom.

 

He spends his commute by texting Taryn. Thankfully they’re working the same shift, so it’ll be a little more bearable.

When he gets into the hospital, she’s waiting for him by the entrance.

“You look like shit,” she says instead of greeting him.

“And good morning to you, too!” He adjusts his bag on his shoulder.

“I’m just telling you the truth.”

“Thanks, Helm, I appreciate it.”

They make small talk as they make their way to the locker room. He’s not paying attention to where he’s going or what they’re talking about, he’s still on autopilot.

Then it happens. The thing he was trying to avoid. When they walk around a corner, he bumps into, physically bumps into Nico. Who’s wearing a blue t-shirt. Who has his bag on his shoulder. Who’s probably going home. Who’s looking gorgeous. Who’s not his.

“Oh,” Levi says, blushing immediately. It’s a stupid reaction, but it’s a typical Levi reaction. He’s looking into Nico’s beautiful eyes and he can feel Taryn’s on them. “Sorry, didn’t see you there.”

“That’s fine,” Nico replies with a small smile.

They’re standing there for a few seconds, not moving, not even breathing and the feeling in Levi’s chest gets stronger. He tries to silence it, but it demands to be felt. Then he remembers. “I forgot to bring th--”

“That’s fine,” he reassures him quickly. Nico starts raising his hand, maybe to touch Levi’s but he changes his mind. “Uh, better go, I had a long one, but Link’s just got in.”

Levi nods that almost looks like a head shake. “Right, thanks.” He tries to smile back but it’s not his best one. “Sleep well.”

“And you.” Nico furrows his brows and then quickly walks away.

He wants to get to his locker quickly and hide in it for the next twelve years, but Taryn stops him. She looks at him questioningly, but he refuses to say anything.

“Talk about awkward,” she prompts.

“Uh-huh.”

He walks away, but she doesn’t follow him. And then… “Oh my god. You had sex! With Kim!” she says loudly (Levi’s pretty sure it classifies as yelling) and a couple of nurses look at her. Levi immediately feels blood draining out of his face.

“Taryn, shut up!”

“You did though, didn’t you?”

With a sigh, he walks back. There’s no reason to hide it. He knows she won’t give him shit about it, but she will also never stop talking about it. “Yeah.”

“Oh my god, baby Levi had sex with an ortho god!”

“Do you have to yell it, though?”

“Why was it so awkward? You were like two magnets both pulling and repulsing each other. Was it not good?”

“Oh my god, I’m done talking about it.”

He starts walking away and this time, she goes with him. “Uh, you kind of gotta. A couple of weeks ago you were totally freaking out about him, now you casually dropped this bomb. Spill the beans, Schmitt.”

He really has no choice. Taryn will be all over him if he stays quiet and more people would find out, which, truth be told, is more terrifying than simply telling her.

“Alright, fine,” he says, keeping his voice down. “He’s not just an ortho god. He’s good and kind and… fuck.” He can’t. It hurts when it shouldn’t. He’s a pathetic mess. He can’t continue to relive those memories, not just yet. “Nothing happened, really. He doesn’t want to do feelings and I can’t not do them. End of story, quite literally.”

“Shit, I’m sorry.” She puts her hand on his upper arm as they walk into the lounge. “So are you like…”

“Gay? Yeah, I think,” Levi says with a shrug.

“Nice!” Casey says as he walks past them, giving the confused Levi a high five.

“I was actually gonna ask, if you’re okay, but yeah, that answers that.”

She gives him a smile and goes to her locker. Levi does that same.

Well… That wasn’t that awkward, was it? It was okay, not the best, but could’ve been worse. Maybe working with him will be okay after all. Okay is better than nothing, right? Casually talking to him is okay. It’s super okay.

Levi is so very fucked.

Chapter Text

Today is the longest in Levi’s life. He goes days without sleep when he has shifts that never end and he went days when he was at med school. He knows long days, he can do them.

But today just never seems to end. He’s currently in hour 10 of 25 and he’s tired. The first half seemed to go too slowly, doing paperwork, running errands for attendings. He’s still on ortho, but with Nico not being there it’s just… not good. Maybe ortho’s not for him after all.

He misses Nico. Terribly. He keeps looking up, expecting to see him standing there, talking to a nurse or a patient, or maybe, just maybe smiling at him. But it never comes. Sure, different schedule and whatnot, but Levi misses Nico.

Then, a trauma comes in, multiple car crash; it means all hands on deck and it means broken everything . Maybe it’ll take his mind off of Nico for a bit. Whether he likes ortho or not is a dilemma that can wait because he gets to scrub in and surgery is good (for him, definitely not for the patient.) The only downside? He scrubs in with Link which, retroactively might not have been the best idea.

It’s fine, at first. Levi figured it would be awkward because he’s sure Nico told Link about the nights they spent together. He figured Link would be giving him shit or worse, just ignoring him. But no, Link asks him questions (medical ones) and lets Levi observe real close. The lady on the table has a nasty pelvic and femur fracture, so it’s definitely good to learn.

It takes hours and thankfully they fly by. Link, not once, said anything about Nico which Levi is really grateful for. He’s thinking he might just survive without getting anything, but then it happens.

“You know, she might have a history.” Link pauses. He looks up to Levi, making sure he has his attention. “A history she’s not really proud of.”

Levi furrows his brows. “Dr Lincoln?”

Link looks at a nurse, who’s looking at the two of them just as confused. “I’m seeing bruises. She must’ve had a bad fall. See?” Link points to a part of the exposed pelvis but Levi doesn’t see anything. “The point is, we can’t judge.”

“O...kay?”

“What we need to do is talk to her afterwards. We need to tell her she has to take it easy.” Link extends his hand towards a nurse. “Clamp.”

Then Levi suddenly realises: Link’s not talking about the lady. “Oh. Is she fine though?”

Link smiles at Levi’s understanding of what’s going on. “Yeah, but a little conversation will help.”

Levi doesn’t say anything. The fact the Link is talking about Nico in the middle of a surgery, above some poor woman’s exposed pelvic area while using said woman as a metaphor for Nico is a bit… unusual. In most cases, but it seems to happen at Grey-Sloan very frequently.

Either way, he does appreciate the way Link cares about Nico. He’s biased, them being friends and all, but he only has one side of the story.

Levi watches as Link operates for a couple of minutes in silence. He’s here to learn, and he should be but his head is just elsewhere.

“She was brought in with her husband,” Levi says suddenly, sort of just staring the bloody hands of Link. “He got lucky, he only has a broken arm. But he might have hairline fractures elsewhere.”

“That’s correct, but…”

“I’m just saying that he’s got his own breaks. And his own side of things.”

Link nods. He asks for screws, titanium rods and other instruments and once in a while points out things to Levi, things he should know, but otherwise stays quiet. Levi asks questions; they both keep it strictly professional.

They finish her surgery an hour later, and Link leaves promptly, leaving a fourth-year resident to close up. Levi should stay and help because he would get to do the sutures, but he’s feeling either stupid or brave (maybe both), so he follows Link to scrub out.

“You should’ve stayed…” Link says with a sigh, as he starts washing his hands.

“It’s awkward, I know that Dr Link, at this point that’s my middle name. I know it’s stupid and very inappropriate talking to you about this, but you brought it up.”

“Nico’s a good guy.”

“I know, I’m not questioning that.” Levi disrobes and washes his hands. “But sometimes things just don’t work out.”

Link stops the water and dries his hands. He leans against the counter, taking his time to answer. “Has he told you when we met?” Levi shakes his head; they didn’t get quite that far. “He was a sub-intern, I was a final year resident. We became instant friends, and have been ever since. He’s only ever been upset twice because of some guy. And one of them is you.”

“He’s sad?”

Link hesitates, then says. “Ask him about Emmett.”

And with that, he leaves, the confused Levi still standing in the scrub room.

 

He willingly does the paperwork after that surgery. He’s tired, both emotionally and physically, and sitting down feels nice. Besides, he doesn’t have to spend more time around Link.

It’s around midnight Taryn finds him. She’s just as tired, judging by her messy ponytail she ends up having halfway through a long shift, but somehow, she’s always bubbly.

“Wanna get a coffee?”

“Yes, please.” He’s close to falling asleep, so walking will help. It’s a slow night, he might be able to sleep a bit, if he’s lucky. “How’s your day been?”

She talks about Grey performing lifesaving, life-changing surgery she was also a part of, and about a man trying to steal some morphine.

“You’re always so hyper when we pull an all-nighter.”

Taryn laughs. “Trust me, I’m not. You’re just witnessing the triple T. Totally Tired Taryn.”

“And you sure coffee’s the best idea?”

“Oh, yeah.” She downs half of her coffee. “So what about you? How was your surgery with Link?”

Levi shrugs, staring into his cup of watered down coffee. “Weird. I don’t know, I’m not sure how much uh…”

“Go on.”

“I don’t know how much Nico’s told him. I’m worried it ruined whatever chance I had with ortho.”

“Isn’t that just being interns?”

“I’m just… so pathetic.”

Taryn smiles empathetically and puts her hand on Levi’s shoulder. “You are.”

Levi snorts. “Yeah, thanks.

They don’t talk for a few minutes. Levi finishes his sad coffee as he catches up on some Facebook notifications. His mom shared a couple of posts. A friend of his got a new cat. Some article about an actor dying. Nothing different. Everything is the same. Unfortunately. No text messages, no missed calls.

“You miss him.” It’s not a question; the candidness in Taryn’s voice stings.

“I don’t think I’m allowed to miss him.” Levi sighs and his voice turns quieter. “We were nothing. It’s so stupid, but I just can’t stop thinking about him. I was so distracted, I was taking a poor old man’s blood earlier today and I kept poking him.”

“It’s not stupid, Levi.” Taryn’s phone beeps; she checks it, then a wide grin appears on her face. “I gotta go.” She stands and almost leaves when she looks back at Levi. “Text him.”

But Levi knows, no matter how sad, pathetic and stupid he is, that that’s the only thing he won’t do.

 

After his break, he checks up on some patients, finishes a couple of notes and wanders around the hospital. It’s a quiet night, no big trauma, no lifesaving surgeries. There are a couple of strokes and heart attacks, but generally, he’s not needed. His phone is on him, if anyone needs him, they can just call him.

So he finds an on-call room that’s empty. He’s tired and he needs every second of sleep he can get. As soon as his head hits the pillow, he’s fast asleep.

He wakes to a voice. Not even sure if he’s awake or somewhere off in dreamland still, but he hears the voice he wants to hear, the voice he longs to hear, the voice he needs to hear.

“Finally found you.”

Levi goes to rub his eyes, only to realise he fell asleep in his glasses. His eyes take a second to adjust, but by the time they do, he feels the bed dip next to him.

“What are you doing here?”

“This okay?” Nico’s arm hugs Levi’s torso, pulling him closer.

Automatically, as an instinct, Levi adjusts himself so his legs can slot between Nico’s. He sighs and his body relaxes.

“What are you doing here?” Levi asks again.

“I’ve missed you,” Nico admits quietly.

Levi’s heart starts beating faster. He wants to, really wants to resist, but he just can’t stop himself. He leans in, kissing Nico softly, taking his time. It’s only been a couple of days, but he became addicted to Nico’s lips. Levi puts his hand on Nico’s jaw, running his thumb across his cheek.

“I’m sorry,” Levi says, pulling away from Nico. Not just from the kiss, but the cuddle as well.

“For what?”

“For ruining things, I guess. I talk a lot. I babble mostly, like a kid who has a lot to say but nothing of value. I can get very rambly when I’m nervous, I don’t know…”

“Levi.”

“Right, sorry. I can’t change your mind about things and you can’t change mine. You said it yourself. We’re looking for completely different things.” Nico doesn’t say anything, doesn’t even react to that. “How did you find me? Wait, either Dr Link or Taryn messaged you.”

“They didn’t.”

“I still don’t understand why you had to see me after everything. I thought we both agreed.”

“I just… I just got so used to being with you.”

“But…”

Nico runs his fingers through Levi’s hair. “Stop doubting me. I want to be here.”

Levi eases into Nico’s touch. It feels really soothing and that’s definitely what he needs right now. “But come morning, you’ll be gone.”

“Not without you.”

At that moment, Levi remembers what Link told him. He’s worried he’ll ruin the moment between him and Nico, but at the same time, he knows he needs to do this.

“Who’s Emmett?”

Nico closes his eyes and takes a deep breath. He answers a minute later, and Levi’s definitely not expecting to hear that. “My ex-husband.”

Chapter Text

Levi sits up so quickly he gets lightheaded. He blinks for a few seconds, trying to calm his racing heart.

“Your what now?”

Nico sighs and sits up as well, putting his hand on the lower back of Levi. “My ex-husband.”

“Oh thanks , I did hear it right.”

For a while, the world stops existing around Levi, but for the wrong reasons. The worst reasons. He doesn’t hear the buzzing of the lights from the corridor anymore. He doesn’t hear the shuffling of the nurses outside the door. He certainly doesn’t hear Nico’s breaths next to him.

Maybe Nico’s talking to him, maybe they’re sitting in awful silence, he’s not sure, because his head is not processing anything. When Link said the name ‘Emmett’, Levi expected a crush, an old boyfriend, an attending at Nico and Link’s previous hospital that was a rockstar. He didn’t expect to hear ‘husband’.

That’s not true, his heart whispers to him. Levi did expect to hear husband from Nico one day in the future in a different and happier context. But that was before Levi fucked up.

Or maybe, he didn’t. Maybe he didn’t fuck it up, maybe it was always meant to happen. Maybe he was reading more into it from the very beginning. So the problem is with his head and his heart.

“Levi, you’re zoning out.”

“It’s uh…” Levi clears his throat, his brain rebooting. “Fine. We’re good.” He looks at Nico, who’s looking back at him with worry. But surprisingly, Levi’s calm. Maybe he got really good at faking that calmness. “We drew a longer stick, but it was still short. I don’t need to hear about him.” Levi pushes past Nico, until he’s up on his feet. “I’m gonna go check on some post-ops. You should go home, you have the chance to sleep in a normal bed.”

“Levi, I’m not leaving!” Nico says, almost shouting. With a grunt, he stands up turning the light on. Levi wishes he didn’t. Nico’s wearing black skinny jeans, a deep blue t-shirt and a grey zip-up hoodie that accentuates his biceps. “Damn it, man, just listen to me. You didn’t fuck anything up, I did. I was too scared to talk to you about something that had to be said out loud.”

“Why? I had plenty of shit to tell you. You think it was easy?” Levi doesn’t know why he’s angry, but he is. There’s no point, he knows. “I gotta go, but uh… see you around.”

Levi tries to push at Nico, who’s still standing in the door, blocking his way. And the thing is, Nico’s like a rock.

“Sit, please,” Nico asks, his breath ruffling Levi’s hair. Standing this close is really not a good idea, Levi reckons but he has no chance of leaving. So he sits back on the bed, but Nico thankfully doesn’t follow him. “Thank you.”

“I don’t want to argue.”

“Me neither.”

“Can we just… move on and forget this ever happened? Can we just have awkward small talks about the weather or patients?”

Nico relaxes his posture, slouching. He looks tired.

“I don’t want to forget. And I definitely don’t want to move on. Just hear me out, please.”

With no way out (he would rather not risk jumping out from the third floor), he might as well. “The floor is yours.”

“Only Link knows about Emmett here,” Nico begins, still leaning against the door. “I wanted to have a fresh start, so we stayed quiet. I didn’t want to tell you because I didn’t want you to see me as damaged goods.” He’s hurting and Levi needs a lot of willpower to stop himself from taking Nico’s hand. “We met when I was in my third year of residency. I fell in love with him in two minutes, he was funny and charming and everything I wanted in that chapter of my life. We got married four months later. We got divorced two months later.”

“What happened?”

“He cheated.” Nico chuckles sadly. “As it turns out, he was seeing others the whole time.”

“Why did you get married, then? I mean I know you found out later, but… Why did he say yes?”

“Don’t know. Never asked.” Nico shrugs and sits next to Levi, shoulders touching. As he continues talking, his knee keeps bumping into Levi’s. “That’s why I don’t want to do feelings.”

People say, the truth is ugly. And it certainly is. “Because you’re still in love with him.”

“What, no!” He turns and takes Levi’s hands into his. They’re soft and delicate, and Levi’s fingers fit perfectly with Nico’s. “I fell out of love the second I found out he was cheating. I don’t, or didn’t, wanna do feelings because I was protecting myself. I’m still running scared from feelings or even the potential of having feelings again. Then Link ever so kindly pointed it out for me. You’re not Emmett. You’re kind and funny and nerdy and talk about stuff I don’t understand but I don’t care because you’re you, Levi.”

Levi takes a deep breath; hearing Nico say things like that warm his insides.

“Who are you and what did you do to Nico?”

“What do you mean?” Nico furrows his brows.

“You’re cocky, usually. Smug, even. But not with me, you’re like a new person when it’s the two of us. You're soft.”

“Well, yeah. You deserve to see that side.”

Silence falls on them. Levi’s biting down on his lower lip, deep in thought. He definitely likes this Nico, even though he doesn’t like seeing him so heartbroken. He understands where Nico’s coming from, why he was trying to hide this piece of his history. For years, Levi had a secret, something he kept to himself, never telling anyone about it. He knows how heavy it was, the burden he was forced to carry on his shoulders. But now that secret is out, now he’s out to his friends, to his mom, to himself, he feels lighter, like a bird flying free.

His heart really goes out to Nico. Levi himself has never been cheated on, but he can imagine just how it feels. So he doesn’t know what to do or say. Should he continue this… colleagues with benefits thing with Nico? God knows he wants to. He likes kissing Nico, he likes the way his lips, his tongue taste, he likes how Nico’s hands feel on his naked skin, how he kisses Levi’s neck… (Okay, so maybe thinking about it is not the best.)

But, at the same time, should he hide his feelings just for the sake of Nico? Levi knows he doesn’t have to protect him, he’s an adult who can handle such things but he’s also worried that his personal life will end up infecting his professional.

So Levi, to say the least, is torn.

“You’re quiet,” Nico says eventually. “It’s too much, isn’t it? Sorry I shouldn’t have…”

“No, no, it’s,” Levi puts his hand on Nico’s knee, “it’s okay.”

Nico sighs and when he speaks again, his voice is small and lost. “That’s why I kept quiet. I got the pitying looks, people feeling sorry for me. Now you’re doing the same and it just… fucking sucks.”

“Of course I feel sorry for you. He’s a horrible person and you deserve so much better.”

“The thing is, for a while I was sure we would get back together. Like if he apologised, my stupid heart would’ve taken him back. I hate the effect he had on me.” Levi doesn’t know how to reply to that, so he keeps quiet. Thankfully, Nico continues. “But then I met you.”

Nico leans down, pressing his forehead against Levi’s shoulder whose heart is ready to burst. He’s feeling a lot of things for this man in that very second. Maybe it’s too soon, but fuck it. How does the saying go? The heart wants what it wants.

“But you don’t want the whole thing. You just want the sex.”

“I don’t even know anymore. Is that so bad? You said you wanted a teacher.”

“This is the thing, I can’t separate the two, I’m not built for one night stands.”

“I’m just worried…” Nico moves away, even standing up. He shakes his head. “Never mind. Maybe coming here was a bad idea, but we needed the closure.”

“Worried about what, Nico?”

“That you’ll do the same. Reasonably, I know you’re not like Emmett and everyone knows that and is willing to point out, but I just can’t stop thinking about it.”

“I would never…

“I know.” In the distance, there’s a call for a doctor, but Levi’s not really hearing it. The only thing he can hear or imagine hearing is their heartbeats breaking the deafening silence. “But every time I try to imagine us , I remember how it felt when I found out he was cheating. I know, I know you’re not him, but I can’t stop.”

How can Levi convince him? There’s no point. There’s no way. “You’re right. I’m not him. I would never do that to you or-or-or to anyone. I know what he did was awful, I can’t even begin to understand how bad it felt, but it’s been years, Nico. At some point, you’re gonna have to let the past go. I know it’s hard, but you can’t be happy until you’re clinging onto it.”

“I know.” Nico sits back down next to Levi, but it’s not as close. “You’re right. And the thing is, it’s better every day and that’s thanks to you. But I can’t just change overnight, it’s not gonna go away immediately.”

Levi nods. “So what now? Do we just… leave things? Wave when we walk past each other? Because if so, just tell me now, just rip off the band-aid.”

“No, I don’t want that. You have… no idea how badly I want you. Not just for sex, but dorky talk, watching TV shows, even teaching me Dungeons & Dragons. But also like, cooking dinner together and going out for a drink and…” Nico’s hands flail. “Everything.”

Levi blushes; he’s never been wanted and it feels good. Also, hearing Nico mention DnD is beginning to cloud his judgement and perhaps it’s not the best time for that.

“But you don’t want feelings either. I’m lost, Nico, help me out here. You want sex, you want pretty much every element of a relationship, but you don’t want an actual relationship.” Nico runs his fingers through his hair and stays quiet. “I understand why, but I just… as much as I like you and I’m not afraid to say that, I don’t think I can do that. I’m not saying I want to do feelings right away or even a relationship. You know what being an intern is like, I’m tired, I’m overworked, I don’t think I could spend a lot of energy on a relationship.”

Nico looks up. “You like me?”

Levi rolls his eyes. He’s sleepy, he wants to actually sleep some before he’s inevitably thrown into another surgery. “I thought that was a known fact.” He sighs. “We’re going in circles. I tell you one thing, you tell me another and we keep repeating the pattern. So…?”

For a while, Nico just looks, no, stares, at Levi. His eyes keep moving, taking in all of Levi’s features and truthfully, it’s making Levi feel a bit odd. “Can we just sleep? It’s been a long day for everyone.” Levi nods, expecting Nico to leave. Instead, he takes his shoes off and lies down. Once he’s on his back, he opens his arms for Levi. “This okay?”

In theory, Levi has choices. He could move to another bed. He could force Nico out of the room. But he wants this. After turning the lights off, he lies next to Nico, curled up next to him, his head almost on his chest, but not quite.

“Thanks for telling me.”

Even a deaf person could hear the change in Nico’s heartbeat as he says, “Look at me.” Levi does. The small smile on Nico’s lips would knock him off his feet if he was standing. “I meant it. I want you.” Nico closes his eyes for a couple of seconds before opening them again. “I want all of you, even the possibility of something more than sex. But I’m scared shitless.”

“I know. I’m scared too. I’ve never really had anything like this so I spend about 90% of the time worrying I’ll fuck things up.”

“And the other 10?”

Levi blushes. He can’t stop the redness from reaching his ears. Even in the darkness, he knows Nico can sense it. “Either kissing you or thinking about kissing you.”

“You know, if you’re glad to see my softer side, you should know I’m really fucking glad to see your confident side.”

“Shut up,” Levi mumbles against Nico’s chest with a small smile. His heart really is bursting for this man.

“Hey, Levi?” Levi looks up. “Kiss me.”

They talked enough for one night. For a week, even. Levi’s not sure if kissing is the best idea considering they still have things to resolve, but his willpower is weak, especially when Nico’s asking such a thing.

So Levi tilts his head back, until his lips find Nico’s in the darkness. He kisses him, taking his time. He doesn’t want to let it turn passionate or anything more than this right now. Levi’s worried that if the kiss gets hurried, Nico might leave or this soft, sweet moment in the middle of a storm might end. For now, he just wants to enjoy.

Tomorrow, he can deal with the aftermath.

Chapter Text

Soon, too soon, in fact, Levi’s phone starts vibrating. He would sleep through it happily, but Nico presses it against his chest so he can’t really ignore it.

“You’re on call,” Nico mumbles, but he tightens his arm around Levi. Levi furrows his nose further into Nico’s neck, not wanting to leave. “You have to go, Levi.”

“Urgh,” Levi replies, followed by a yawn. He only had half an hour of sleep at best. He checks his phone, another car crash is coming in. “Do I really need a career?”

“You do.” Nico kisses his forehead softly. “Go.”

Levi sits up, rubbing his eyes. He should be running towards the pit, but… But he’s worried that by the time he gets back to the on-call room, if he gets back here, Nico will be gone. But then again, he doesn’t want to mention this to Nico. He’s been talking about nothing, but his worries, so this would be just the cherry on top of an anxiety sundae.

“Alright.”

“What time do you finish?”

“8-ish.”

“Okay.” Nico kisses his forehead again, before kissing his lips. It’s a deliberate kiss, slow and almost hesitant. Unspoken words all pressed into a single action. “Go.”

Levi climbs out of the bed and by the time he opens the door, Nico seems to have fallen back asleep. But as he keeps looking at him, he can’t help but feel his heart breaking. It’s weird. Their interactions have been nothing but positive. Open. Nico shared a piece of his past that he tried hiding. He told Levi about a vulnerable part of his life and they talked about future possibilities. But now, as Levi is just stood there, leaning against the door frame, his heart is shattering. The kiss felt like a goodbye. Nico asking him what time he’s off felt like a finality. Maybe it’s Levi’s head imagining things, but he does feel like things, the whatever it was they had or did, have come to an end.

 

There’s no surgery this time. The car crash was two teenagers crashing against a lamp post and one of them has a broken arm. Levi doesn’t want to face reality, meaning he doesn’t want to go back to an empty bed, so he volunteers to take the kid up to an x-ray.

Things don’t take too long. It only takes an hour to get the teenager his cast. Levi does the paperwork, slowly because he doesn’t want to face the music. He knows Nico’s gone. He expects him to leave. He has no reason to stay, or at least that’s what his brain telling him.

Levi then spends another hour checking in on post-ops, changing bandages or neatening up some paperwork. Then he takes a couple of minutes checking his schedule, then messages Taryn for a coffee, but she’s busy.

Link finds him like that, almost wallowing. Levi’s done everything he could possibly think of, and more. He’s hanging out by the nurses' station, pretending to be checking a blood test result on the tablet.

“Everything okay?” Link asks him as he puts some papers down by the computer.

“Yeah, just… Tired, I guess.”

Link is looking at Levi like he’s waiting for him to say something else. When that doesn’t come, Link leans against the counter and says, “Alright, out with it.”

“Out with what?” Levi furrows his brows.

“I know tired, this isn’t tired. This is moping.” He pauses before continuing. “Is it Nico?”

Levi blushes, the redness reaching his ears. The lines are blurred between personal and professional, but this is way beyond that line.

“No, it… I mean…” He takes a deep breath and says the first thing, other than Nico, that comes to his head. “Am I a good enough surgeon, Dr Lincoln?”

Link chuckles. “Schmitt, no one ever starts as a pro. I wasn’t born an ortho god. Pierce wasn’t born a cardio god.”

“I mean, she kind of was,” Levi adds.

“Alright, you got me there. My point is, up until recently, you spent your life learning from a textbook. That’s the reason you feel more confident in your theoretical knowledge. You’re nothing but a baby pigeon, you need others’ help before you can learn to fly on your own. The more you do it, the more you practice it, the more confident you’ll feel.”

Levi nods. He wasn’t expecting it to be so lifting and so self-esteem boosting. “Thanks, Dr Lincoln.”

“But if you can, try not to kill anyone while you’re on ortho, yeah? I don’t want it to ruin my statistics.” But Link winks at him so Levi doesn’t really take it to heart. “How are our post-ops?” Link takes the tablet from Levi who updates him.

 

By 7 am, by the time the day staff starts to arrive, Levi’s more than ready to go home and hit the hay. Taryn found him around 6 and took him for a coffee and blueberry muffins, but they were both exhausted to talk, so just sat there while aimlessly scrolling on their Facebook feeds.

Casey joins them in the ICU while the attendings have their morning handover. He looks well-rested and generally pumped for the day ahead of him.

“Morning, sleepyheads.”

“Hope you had a nice, long sleep in your very comfy bed. Is it comfy?” Taryn asks slowly because she is that tired.

“Oh yes, definitely.” He takes a sip of his own, homemade coffee that’s about 100% better than the one they have at the hospital. “Aiko makes sure we have nice, plump pillows.”

“I didn’t know your girlfriend’s name was Aiko,” Taryn says.

“Oh, a bed.” Levi sighs. He’s not back for two days, so he has time to sleep, maybe even watch a bit of Netflix.

“Anyway. Missed anything last night? Did you do anything fun and exhausting while I was sleeping in my comfy, comfy bed?” Casey grins, clearly enjoying. This is a game they play, every time someone has to pull an all-nighter.

“What’d I miss?” Dahlia chimes, appearing out of the blue.

“Well, hello miss I have a day off,” Casey teases her, bumping against her shoulder.

“God, Casey. You’re cute but annoying.” She turns towards Taryn. “What did I miss?”

“Not sleep.”

“Oh my god!” She throws her hands in the air. “Levi?”

“My coming out?” He offers, and Dahlia just stares at him.

“So, clearly a lot.”

The next hour is spent doing the morning rounds. Levi can’t stop looking at his watch. He tries not to think about Nico and the fact that he (probably) left. He just wants to go home and sleep for all eternity, or until at least this wallowing goes away.

Once they finish their share of the rounds, Taryn and Levi practically run towards their lockers. But the lift is slow, then there’s a ‘wet floor sign’ (Levi almost falls, but he manages to avoid it), but eventually, they get to their lounge. Levi lets Taryn go first, who stops, before looking back at Levi.

“You know, you’re very fucking lucky,” she says with a grin.

Then Levi sees it. Him. He almost starts sobbing. He knows that would be embarrassing, so instead, he tries to casually walk towards his locker.

Nico is leaning against it, looking very chill, on his phone. When he sees Levi, he smiles and pockets his phone.

“Hey.”

“You stayed.”

“What you…” Nico cocks his head to the side, “you thought I would leave?”

“I mean… yeah.”

Nico pulls him into a hug. Not just a small, friendly hug, but a proper embrace. He holds him, close, so close. There and then Levi realises it was just his head overthinking it. His heart, well that wasn’t shattering, the heavy weight he had on it was breaking. When he felt that something was ending, it was only the things they had up until that point. But this is now the start of something different.

“I told you. I want all of you. But I need you to give me time.” Levi’s body kind of freezes, not understanding the contradictory statements. “I meant with the whole… more than sex thing. I don’t want you to be just a rebound, but… what Emmett did was hurtful and it did a lot of damage and some of it still needs to heal.”

“I know.” Levi tugs at Nico’s hoodie, to say that he’s there and he won’t do anything like that. “I just like spending time with you, so that’s enough for me.”

“Good,” Nico kisses Levi’s forehead, which seems to be his new favourite thing to do. And Levi doesn’t mind. “Right, we both need sleep.” He lets Levi go and steps away from his locker so Levi can get to his bag.

“That we do.” Nico sits and Levi turns to him. He catches a glimpse of Taryn who winks at him and gives him double thumbs up. Levi rolls his eyes and looks back at Nico. “I thought you were going home to sleep.”

Nico chuckles quietly. “I need to be more clear, it seems. You’re coming home. With me.”

Levi blushes. The way Nico said it, so enticing and intoxicating, just makes Levi’s head spin. Either that or the lack of sleep.

“Can I shower I yours then? The water pressure is so much better.”

Nico turns around for a second to see how far Taryn is. She seems to be busy with her bag, but suspiciously so. Levi knows full well she’s listening and he’ll have about seven text messages about it.

“Might as well save some water then.”

“You’re so cheesy.”

“Hurry up, there’s a shower waiting for us.”

Levi gets changed in record time, all the while Nico is watching him. He feels a nice boost in confidence as Nico checks him out over and over again.

Once he’s dressed and has his bag on his shoulder, he turns to Nico. “All set.” Taryn is looking at them, part proud, part jealous. “Bye, T, sleep well!”

Nico walks out of the lounge as Levi texts his mom. He deliberately puts Nico’s name in the message but also tells her that he’ll call her later. He knows there will be a couple of missed calls from her.

“All good?” Nico asks him when they’re in the corridor, heading towards the parking lot.

“Yeah.” Levi smiles at Nico. “Definitely.”

“Good.”

Nico extends his hand and looks at Levi, expectantly. He doesn’t seem to be hesitant or worried to be seen by their co-workers which makes Levi’s heart beat like crazy. So he takes it, lacing their fingers together.

Levi never knew holding hands would be this nice. Nico’s hand is giant compared to his smaller, his fingers lost amongst Nico’s.

“Hey, Nico,” Link says when they’re just about to walk out of the hospital. He is still in dark blue scrubs, seemingly not wanting to leave. “Dr Schmitt!”

Levi opens his fingers, letting go of Nico’s hand, but Nico, instead of actually taking the way out, he squeezes his hand around Levi’s. Levi tries to contain his smile but fails. And he knows Link definitely sees their linked hands.

“Link, go home, please,” Nico says to him. “Despite what you think, you’re not invincible.”

“You’ve never seen me and Batman in the same room, have you?”

“Oh my god, we’re leaving. Go home, dude.”

Nico and Levi start walking away, but Link calls after them. “Have fun, guys!”

Nico turns and gives him the finger for a second before anyone could see them.

 

“I was gonna take you to breakfast,” Nico says when they’re sitting in the morning traffic jam, “but you’re exhausted.”

“I thought you were breakfast,” Levi replies before his tired brain could stop him.

Nico replies with a laugh. “Yeah, well… I know I’m hot but I have no nutritional values.”

“And sweet. You’re also sweet.” Nico reaches over to squeeze Levi’s thigh. “But insanely cocky as well.”

“Alright, you got me there.” He smiles at him, then starts drumming his fingers on the wheel. “I’m sorry.”

“For what?”

“For all the stupid… arguments. I never should’ve let you leave that morning. I wanted to tell you but I wasn’t sure how you’d take it. I almost went after you.”

“Why didn’t you?”

“I don’t know,” Nico admits with vulnerability so clearly heard in his voice. “I was afraid you would judge me.”

“I would never.”

“I know that now, but… I don’t know, I wanted to seem like this cool guy who’s confident and perfect and has never had anything bad happen to him.”

“Nico, you said you wanted everything, yeah? I do too. The good, the awesome, the hot, the…” Levi pauses and just mumbles the next bit, “the amazing sex.” Nico grins. “But also the bad, and that’s a part of that. You don’t have to do it on your own.”

“I know.” Nico turns to him when they stop at a red light. “Thank you.” He leans over to give Levi a peck on his lips.

 

Once they’re back at Nico’s place, Levi’s hit with a sense of familiarity. Which is weird, considering this is definitely not his place and he only spent two night here. Yet it reminds him of their first making out session, when Nico made him come for the first time (his tired, yes, but his cock twitches at the thought of that), when they cuddled.

He throws his bag on the floor and watches Nico put two slices of bread into the toaster. “Something quick to eat before bed?” he says, his back towards Levi.

Levi’s heart suddenly swells with feelings, now that he lets himself to feel them. He’s happy. Stupidly, ridiculously happy. And he’s floored that Nico, Nico, choose him.

So he walks over to him, hugging him from behind. It looks silly, their height difference making it seem so funny, but Levi puts his arms around Nico’s waist and hugs him.

That is until Nico turns around and picks Levi up, setting him down on the counter. He nudges Levi’s knees apart so he can stand between them. He leans in, almost kissing Levi but not quite.

“The bread will burn,” Levi says.

“I don’t care.” His lips, or the ghost of them, brush against Levi’s.

“But I do.”

Nico reaches over to the toaster to turn it off. “Better?”

“Much.”

Levi puts his hand on the back of Nico’s neck and pulls him into a kiss. He’s missed this. The familiarity of their lips pressed together that he became so used to. Nico’s warm hands on his cheeks, holding him closely. The silky feeling of Nico’s hair between his fingers as he tugs at them because a simple kiss is never enough.

It’s not a kiss that lasts minutes, but it’s hot and heavy with promise. What promise, Levi isn’t sure and he doesn’t really know why he feels that; he just knows it’s there. Nico presses his forehead against Levi’s, noses touching.

“Wanna go out for food tonight? As in, for a date?” Nico asks quietly. He looks at Levi with such intensity that for a second Levi doesn’t really understand how this is the same person as the guy who put his feelings in a box under a rug.

“Yeah, I’d like that.” Levi stifles a yawn. “Shower?”

“We can do that after you sleep.”

“But I stink.”

“You smell like my Levi.”

They’re both quiet after that. Nico looks away, seemingly almost ashamed of what he said. But Levi’s never been happier. He smiles, as silly as it is tears almost forming in his eyes because he’s just so damn happy. He puts his hands on the back of Nico’s neck and pulls him in for a kiss.

He pours everything he feels, but can’t really say, into that kiss. Joy. Anger. Passion. Worry. Trust. Fear. Pride. Regret. Lust. Euphoria. Desire. He gives and gives because Nico deserves that, because he wants him to know, because for the first time he can. And he knows that Nico does know, just from the way he kisses back.

“Bed?” Levi asks softly, pulling away.

“Bed.”

Nico helps him get down from the counter, then takes his hand, leading him into the bedroom. His bed is neatly made, the curtains are closed, but there’s some light seeping in.

Nico kisses his forehead before reaching for Levi’s t-shirt, slowly pulling it off. He kisses just beneath his ear on the left side, before kissing on the other.

“Nico,” Levi breathes, sparks running up and down his spine.

“We’re sleeping, I promise. You need it.”

“I need you more.”

Nico chuckles. “You have me. Once you wake up, we can do whatever you want, okay? But for now, we need to sleep.”

“Alright, fine.”

Soon they make it to bed. It feels like a cloud, soft and Levi’s more than ready to get lost in it. His back is pressed against Nico’s chest who holds him close. It doesn’t take long for sleep to come. Sure, he’s tired, but he’s also warm and safe and just feels perfect. Falling asleep while he’s being cuddled by Nico is just so damn nice.

Chapter Text

Levi wakes up to an empty bed. He feels like he was hit by a truck. He’s still not used to all-nighters no matter how hard he tries. He groggily pats around to double check that he is, in fact, on his own. But this time, that emptiness doesn’t echo in his heart. He’s surrounded by Nico’s things and he knows that.

He takes his time waking up. He rolls over to his stomach, his face hitting Nico’s pillow which smells just like him. He smiles and feels incredibly happy because he is. He falls back asleep for a couple of minutes. When he wakes again, he hears Nico’s distant voice, talking to someone.

He reaches for his phone, only to realise he left it in the kitchen. He stretches, he yawns and tries to fall back asleep, at least for a couple more minutes. But he actually really needs to pee, so instead of drifting off to sleep he puts his glasses on. One of these days, he’ll try contact lenses.

Levi makes his way to the door then pauses. As quietly as possible, he opens the door just a tiny bit, just to make sure that there’s no one else in the apartment, only Nico. Truthfully, Levi doesn’t want to meet Nico’s parents yet, not when he’s exhausted and half-naked.

So he listens. He listens to Nico’s quiet and deep voice talking to someone. It takes a couple of seconds for his sleep-deprived brain to notice, but Nico’s not speaking in English. However there’s no other voice, so Levi opens the door a bit more. Before walking out, he kind of wants to make sure that he’s not visible if Nico’s FaceTiming.

Nico laughs and says something that sounds like Italian. Levi pokes his head out. Nico’s sat on the sofa, his back towards Levi, holding his phone. He has his headphones in, so he doesn’t see or hear Levi.

Being seen is not as bad as a burst bladder so Levi makes a run for it. Thankfully, the sofa’s pretty far away so he hopes he remained invisible.

When in the bathroom, he debates having a shower. On one hand, he really does need one, on the other, he was promised a shower with Nico. So he settles for washing his face which makes him feel a lot better. He also notices that Nico kept the spare toothbrush he gave Levi a couple of days ago, so Levi brushes his teeth as well.

When he’s done, he listens. Nico’s still talking. Honestly, hearing him speak Italian is so intriguing for Levi. He opens the door, almost silently, yet this time, Nico hears it. He smiles at him, then turns back to his phone. He says something, something quite lengthy. Levi’s Italian knowledge is non-existent, yet he still recognises ‘bye’ and ‘I love you’ amongst whatever Nico said.

“Come here,” Nico says, putting his phone down on the coffee table. Levi makes his way to the sofa, feeling very exposed, considering Nico has a t-shirt on, but once he’s there, he sees he has no trousers on. Levi sits next to him, and Nico puts a blanket over both of them. “Morning.” He kisses Levi’s temple.

(Levi definitely feels that the soft kisses are quickly becoming his favourite.)

“Morning.” Levi snuggles up to Nico. “What time is it?”

“Uh, it’s after 4. Perfect time to be waking up for our date.”

Levi rolls his eyes. “You really are cheesy.” But he likes it, this unseen side of Nico. “Who were you talking to?”

“Oh, that was my aunt. My mom’s sister, she lives in New York.”

“And… in Italian?”

“Well, yeah.” Nico furrows his brows, unsure of what Levi means.

“I mean, that’s cool. I didn’t know you speak Italian.”

Nico chuckles, the lines on his forehead disappearing. “Yeah, that’s kind of like a thing when you have an Italian mother.”

“Oh, I didn’t know.”

Nico’s arm tightens around Levi. “Yeah, no, I know. I wasn’t really sharing things, was I?”

“That’s okay.” Levi’s hand find Nico’s thigh under the blanket, squeezing it. He looks at Nico, eyes full of amazement. “Damn, you’ve got strong thighs.”

Nico bursts out in laughter. He puts his hand on Levi’s jaw, softly holding him, his thumb caressing Levi’s cheek. He doesn’t say anything for a few seconds. He’s just looking into Levi’s eyes, those dark brown eyes that Levi can’t get enough of.

“I’m so glad you’re here.”

Levi replies by kissing Nico. Now that it’s not the middle of the night and he’s not exhausted, he can fully appreciate Nico’s lips against his. He truly loves kissing this man.

“So what are we doing tonight?” Levi asks after a couple of long seconds of kissing, that left him quite out of breath. But it was also the kind of kiss that made him feel all hot and heavy and definitely ready for more.

“There’s a nice Spanish restaurant a couple of blocks away, I thought we could go there.”

“Or…” Levi tugs at the neck of Nico’s t-shirt. “We could stay here and cook food ourselves.”

“But I wanted to do something nice that doesn’t involve loading the dishwasher.”

Levi sees the appeal in that. But he has a better plan, a bit more naughty. “First of all, I don’t have any nice clothes with me. Second of all, I have something different in mind.”

“And what is that?” Nico cocks his head to the side, looking at Levi with a sly grin. Levi suspects that Nico knows what his plan is.

There’s a universe somewhere, where Levi and Nico have never met. Where Levi is still his timid self, almost afraid of facing his own sexuality. Where Levi doesn’t know just how amazing Nico is.

But in this universe, where Levi is cuddled up to Nico, he’s actually pretty fucking brave. He knows Nico’s rubbing off on him, so he gets more and more confident every day.

Naturally, when he says, “If we make food here, imagine all the kissing we can do…” he doesn’t blush that much.

Nico looks at him, playfulness in his eyes. “Maybe you’re right. Maybe…” He smirks, cheekily so, and Levi somehow knows he’s not ready for it. “Maybe I could put you on the counter again, kiss the hell out of you.” He kisses lips softly and quickly. A shiver runs down on Levi’s spine. “Maybe I could just kiss down your neck, even leave a hickey right here.” To prove his point he gently nibbles on Levi’s neck, just beneath his ear. He moves his hand from Levi’s side, down to his thighs, close to where his boxers end. “Maybe I could just kiss down on your chest…”

“Nico, I want…”

Nico, however, pretends he doesn’t hear it. “Maybe I could just reach down with my hand while kissing you.”

“Oh, fuck.” That’s all Levi could bear.

He crashes his lips against Nico’s, pushing him backwards. He puts his knees on either side of Nico. He kisses him with passion, with want, with need . He tugs at Nico’s t-shirt who doesn’t even budge. Nico pushes Levi away, but he’s laughing.

“You really are a force of nature.” He holds Levi, who’s desperately trying to kiss Nico. “Please? I want to have a normal date with you.”

“I’m pretty sure staying in and cooking and making out counts as a date. We can light candles if you want.”

“No, Levi,” Nico says softly. “We haven’t had normal so far. What we… had or did was chaos. I want this. If we stayed in to make food, we would end up with no food.”

“Are you saying I’m too distracting?”

Nico presses a kiss on Levi’s lips. “Of course you are. Can we do a date then? We can do whatever you want afterwards, but I want this one thing.”

Suddenly, Levi realises he wants it, too. Not necessarily the whole date thing or going out to a fancy restaurant with a hot date where he’ll feel out of place, but because Nico so desperately wants it.

“Alright, on one condition. We have a shower. Together. Right now.”

Nico laughs. “That I can agree with.”

Levi pushes himself up, then reaches for Nico’s hand who takes it. Levi leads him straight to the bathroom, then lets Nico turn the water on. While he’s busy with that, Levi takes his boxers off. When Nico looks back, at the now naked Levi, he bites into his lower lip.

“What?” Levi asks all innocently. He doesn’t want to take his glasses off, not yet, because he wants to see him. “See something you fancy?”

“God, I’ve missed you.” Nico raises his hand to touch Levi’s chest, but he suddenly hesitates. “Can I?”

“Always.”

Nico touches Levi’s chest, his fingertips lightly brushing against his skin. Then he moves his hand to Levi’s waist with a swift move, pulling him closer until he’s close enough to be kissed.

But he doesn’t. Nico just holds him for a few seconds, then starts backing him, towards the shower. He practically pushes Levi into the shower. “Have fun!” And with that, he starts leaving.

“Oh, you fucking bastard!” Levi yells, but Nico just laughs.

“Let me do this one thing right. Let me take you out for food, then we can do the naughty bits.”

“You’re the worst.” Levi flicks some water drops towards Nico, who has the audacity to keep laughing. It slightly pisses Levi off, but in a fun way. So he holds his palm under the stream, until it fills, then throws it at Nico. Immediately, he stops laughing as the water darkens his t-shirt. “That’s what you get for not showering with me.”

Nico rolls his eyes. “Alright, fine.” He grabs the hem of his t-shirt and pulls it over his head, then gets rid of his boxers as well. Levi involuntarily licks his lips as Nico steps into the shower next to him. He can’t stop staring at him and checking him out. “Happy?”

“Very.”

Levi takes his glasses off and puts it on the shower shelf. Then he stands on his tiptoes, a brave feat considering his clumsiness. He throws his hands around Nico’s neck, pulling him closer.

“You’re very stubborn and demanding,” Nico says as he puts his arms around Levi.

“Kiss me.”

And he does. Nico pushes Levi against the back of the shower, who jumps when the cold tiles touch him. But when Nico does actually kiss him, warmth fills his bones, cold tiles soon forgotten. Levi twists Nico’s now wet hair around his fingers, as he pushes his head closer, deepening the kiss.

“We kind of need to get ready, though,” Nico whispers against Levi’s lips, before he gently bites into his lower lip, grazing his teeth against the soft tissue, pulling it. “I have a lovely evening planned for us.”

“Care to share?” Levi reaches for the shampoo, pouring some into his palm.

“Where’s the fun in that?” Nico closes his eyes as Levi starts washing his hair. “That still feels nice.”

However, this exact scene reminds Levi of something. He doesn’t know when he should bring it up, or if at all. He doesn’t want to ruin the moment, let alone make Nico upset, but he wants to know. He also knows that if he doesn’t ask, he’ll just worry about it for all eternity.

“Last time we were here, you said your ex never did this. Was that Emmett?”

Nico slowly nods. “I didn’t want to say ex-husband. I figured ex-boyfriend would soften the blow.”

“I’m sorry for bringing it up. Rinse.”

Nico tilts his head back. Levi uses this to kiss his neck and chest. At first, it surprises Nico, but then he melts against Levi’s touch.

Levi soon finds just how amazing this is. Nico’s chest is both soft and firm at the same time. His pecs are worth dying for, but his skin is smooth. He keeps kissing his way around Nico’s chest, roaming endless circles, even when Nico’s done rinsing his hair.

Eventually, Nico puts his finger on Levi’s chin, lifting his head up. “I like the scruff. It makes you look so damn sexy.”

Nico kisses him, hot and heavy. It seems to go on for ages, until Levi can’t breathe anymore, until everything feels jellified.

“I thought we’re going out.”

“Oh, we are. I’m just trying to make sure you’re well-kissed before we do.”

“Alright, I get the message.” Levi rolls his eyes. “The sooner we go, the sooner we can get back to the kissing, yeah?”

“Yep.”

Levi sighs. “Fine. Hand me the shampoo, please.”

 

Forty minutes later, freshly showered and dressed, they’re ready to go. Levi’s wearing his own jeans but he had to borrow one of Nico’s shirts.

The only problem is that Levi ended up looking like a kid trying his dad’s clothes. He tried tucking it into his jeans, but they just look awful. And the fact that Nico laughs at him doesn’t help, either.

“Are you sure this is the smallest piece of clothing you have?”

“I mean, I have a couple of t-shirts my sister left here. There’s a bright pink with a deep v-neck and…”

“Not in public.”

Nico smiles at him. He’s sitting on the edge of his bed, watching Levi try on his clothes and strut in front of the mirror. “You look fine, Levi.”

“Then I think fine, by your definition, is me wearing a shirt three times my size.”

“If you want, we can stop by a store to get something more fitting,” Nico offers.

Levi can’t help but notice that Nico keeps checking his watch every couple of seconds. He sighs, accepting his fate that he’ll look stupid. “No, that’s okay. We should go.”

Nico stands and walks to Levi. “It’ll be worth it,” he says, before kissing his forehead.

 

Soon after, they’re at the restaurant. It’s a cosy place, with lit candles providing most of the lighting and quiet, Latin music playing. It’s crowded, tables occupied by couples or groups of friends.

They are actually a bit early, so their table is not ready. The host asks them to sit at the bar which they do. Nico orders two beers for them.

“To us,” he holds out his glass towards Levi.

“To us.” Levi takes a sip of his cold beer and suddenly he’s back at Joe’s. “I think I actually owe you a beer.”

Nico drinks, then looks at Levi, puzzled. “What do you mean?”

“You got me a beer after the whole uh… Nisha thing.” Nico smiles at him, nodding along. “You didn’t stay so I never had the chance to get the next one.”

“We were…” He chuckles. “Really awkward, weren’t we?”

“Oh yeah, definitely. But we got here in the end.”

“We did.” Nico reaches for Levi’s hand, squeezing it. Then he grins, all teeth and it’s the brightest thing in the whole restaurant.

“Although you did kind of ignore me when you asked me out, so…”

“Alright, fine, that one’s on me.” He pauses before continuing. “Remember our first surgery? You were so nervous you dropped that pan.”

Levi’s face turns crimson red. He knows that even in the dimly lit room Nico can see it. “ Thanks. I try not to think about it.”

“No, what I mean is, you’ve become so much more confident, so sure of yourself.”

“I have?”

Nico doesn’t reply. He studies Levi’s face for a while, while playing with his bottle of beer. Eventually, he says, “That Levi never would’ve asked me for a blowjob.” Levi almost chokes on his beer. While this is absolutely true, Nico’s statement is just plain bold. Nico doesn’t even wait for his answer, he just confidently takes a sip of his beer before saying, “You know I’m right.”

“I mean, yeah you are, but I just…” Levi pushes his glasses up his nose and wriggles in his seat a bit. “Can we not talk about blowjobs?”

Nico’s eyes immediately fly to Levi’s crotch. With a cheeky grin, he says, “Sure. But,” he leans in. Levi feels his hot breath on his ear, “just so you know, it’s probably happening tonight.”

Levi gets flustered, so he grabs his bottle and downs half of it.

Then the host comes up to them, informing they can sit at their table now. They follow him, until they reach the back wall of the restaurant, in the corner, nonetheless. It’s pretty much the darkest of places, only lit by two candles on the wall, right next to their table. The host hands them the menus and says that their waiter will be with them shortly.

“This is… Cosy,” Levi says as he studies the melting candles.

“Yeah, sorry, this is on me, I think. I asked for a quiet table, but I didn’t realise it would be this dark.”

“It’s still nice.”

For a while, they’re silently looking at the menu. The food selection is not big, but still, Levi hasn’t heard about half of them. He immediately skips seafood, which is just not his cup of tea. He thinks about getting paella, but he doesn’t really fancy that either.

“You don’t like it here.”

Levi looks up at Nico, who has his menu down as he’s studying Levi’s face.

“No, I do, it’s just… I never really have Spanish food so I don’t know what’s good.”

“You want to go? We can grab a burger at Joe’s.”

Levi reaches across the table and takes Nico’s hand. “No, I just need you to order for me.”

“Oh,” Nico says with a laugh. “Sure.”

And Nico does, after making sure he orders stuff that Levi doesn’t actually mind. He goes through the menu with such patience it makes Levi’s heart ache. As Nico carefully chooses for him, Levi realises over and over again just how amazing this man is. Sure they’ve had their differences and fights, but in the end, they made it. To where, Levi’s not sure, but things are much brighter now.

The waiter comes and Nico gives him their order and asks for two more bottles of beer.

“I am not trying to get you drunk, I promise.”

Levi finishes his first beer and licks his lips. Now it’s his time to study Nico’s face. The man is gorgeous, but that’s given. There’s also some worry, some vulnerability visible. It’s a feeling Levi knows well, so it’s easy for him to understand.

“Are you nervous, Nico?”

“No,” he scoffs, but his cheeks redden a bit. “Why?”

Levi softly smiles. “You know, you can be. I know this is not your whole image, but I don’t know. It’s nice to see it.”

“I just… I just want this to go well. To make up for the fight and whatnot.”

“You don’t have to.” Levi bumps his foot against Nico’s. “If you’re nervous, we don’t even have to call it a date.”

Nico looks away for a second, before turning back. “I know I said that with the fellowship year I don’t want to do the whole dating thing and with… Emmett I know I said I need time.” Levi opens his mouth to speak, but Nico continues. “And I do, that’s not where I’m getting at. But you said you wanted a teacher and I said okay. You needed to and need to do your whole coming out, the whole being confident in your sexuality thing. But I think…” Nico pauses as the waiter comes back with their drinks. They thank him and wait until he’s out of earshot. “Nevermind, it doesn’t matter.”

“It does, Nico. Everything you say matters to me.”

Nico’s eyes are soft. There’s a small smile on his lips and he looks like he’s about to say something, but he doesn’t. He just sits there, looking at Levi like he’s the eighth wonder of the world. And it makes Levi feel all nice and gooey.

“I just think that I need you to teach me, too. I know this was supposed to be a fun and steamy thing, I guess, and we added chaos into the mix. But I think, that somewhere along the way it became more than that.” Nico shakes his head. “You know what I mean. After everything, I’m just not really sure how to do the whole emotions thing. I’m not in touch my feelings like you are and… what?”

Nico pauses because Levi can’t stop grinning. “Nothing, just… in touch my feelings? It took me a quarter of a century to realise I’m gay. So no, I’m not in touch with them. They’re on a different planet.”

“You’re so nerdy. But my point still stands.”

Levi doesn’t answer right away. What he wants to say is that they can figure it out together, but they’re not together. Sure, the word has other meanings, but in this case, there’s no other word to describe it. Levi doesn’t know why he’s so anxious to put a label on it or to put it in a box. For now, they are just two people enjoying their time together, having sex and going on dates.

“Yeah, I see where you’re coming from. Let’s take this one step at a time, okay?”

“Sounds good.”

Their appetizers arrive soon after. Amazingly looking tapas, in neat little ceramic dishes. As it turns out, Nico knows his Spanish food, because it tastes as good as it looks.

While they eat, they keep the chatter light and casual. Levi asks where Nico got his knowledge for Spanish cuisine, to which he replies, “I had a Spanish roommate in college. He made a lot of food all the time, so I was ought to pick some stuff up.”

The banter and flirting are off the charts. They play footsie under the table like smitten teenagers and reach across the table to hold hands, disrupting their meal more often than not. Nico even feeds Levi some sun-dried tomatoes that leave olive oil on his lips. So naturally, Nico leans across the table to kiss the oil away.

“Stop,” Levi says, almost sounding like he’s out of breath. He certainly feels like it.

“You don’t like it?”

“I do and that’s the problem. By the time we get back to your place, you will have murdered me.”

“Maybe that’s the plan.”

“So one of your kinks is necrophilia, good to know.”

Nico laughs. “I love how easily it comes to you, saying stuff like that now. So you wonder what my kinks are?”

“Shut up,” Levi blushes. He doesn’t wonder, not really. At least not until now, but after this, he definitely will. “How did we get from you talking about being in touch with your feelings to necrophilia?”

“Well, I mean it’s you.” Nico winks at him and Levi swoons. To be honest he’s been swooning since Nico winked at him for the first time. “Your brain is so… awesome, like you go from one thought to another in a matter of seconds.”

“You make it sound like it’s a blessing. It’s not.”

“Don’t change the topic. You’re curious about my kinks?”

“No,” he replies, trying to sound casual, but he fails. Nico keeps smiling at him, so he sighs and continues. “I don’t know enough about kinks to make an educated guess.”

“Well then,” Nico wipes his hand, pushing the empty platter away, “I guess we have a lot of work to do.”

 

The rest of the dinner goes smoothly, without any mentions of kinks or necrophilia. They return to casual bantering seasoned with a lot of flirting (which Levi still sucks at, but he’s getting there). They eat their mains and finish their second, then third bottles of beers.

By the time they get to dessert, Levi’s head is buzzing. He feels like he’s floating, definitely feeling the effects of the alcohol. It wasn’t enough to get him drunk, but he’s lightheaded.

“What do you want for dessert?” Nico asks him.

“You look so very sexy,” Levi tells him because it’s the truth and he’s wanted to say it all night long. Nico grins back at him, glowing. “I want you for dessert.”

“Apart from me.”

“Well, I’m full.” Levi pats his stomach. “But I’ll try if you’re having something.”

“Let’s walk home. I have ice cream in the freezer.”

“Sounds excellent.”

Levi insists on paying half of the meal, but Nico refuses. He pays for everything, even the beer Levi was supposed to get him.

Their walk back is slow. There’s no rush as they make their way down the streets of Seattle. It’s a balmy autumn evening. There are no clouds, so they take their time, enjoying the rain-free state of the city.

“I told my mom, by the way,” Levi says as if he’s just remembering it. He turns around, walking backwards so he can look at Nico properly. “That I’m gay.”

Saying it is so natural now. He’s proud of it. For so long, he was being crushed under the weight of it, like a heavy boulder he was forced to carry, all the while hiding it. But not anymore. He’s gay and he’s with Nico.

“You did?” Nico’s soft smile just warms his insides.

“You have a really nice smile, did you know? Like it can be either sexy or cute.”

“You’re such a goner, Levi, I can’t believe it,” Nico says fondly. Neither of them thinks too much into it, but Levi’s definitely hearing it. “What did she say?”

“She was okay with it,” Levi says, barely avoiding a street light. With his clumsiness, it might not be the best walking backwards, but he’s committed to it. “I was so nervous, then we cried, watched TV and that was the end of it.”

Nico quickens his steps, until he catches up to Levi. He puts his hand on the back of his neck, pulling him closer, until he can crash his mouth against Levi’s. It’s a hectic kiss, needy and hot, yet, at the same time, it’s also providing comfort for Levi.

“I’m so fucking proud of you, man,” Nico says, letting go of him.

Levi grins and feels that the world is his. Things are looking very good. Surprisingly good, considering it’s Levi we’re talking about. But he finally gets to be who he wants to be. He no longer has to hide a part of himself, from the world, from his friends and family and from himself. He has an awesome job, an awesome career, awesome friends and, for whatever reason, an awesome man by his side.

He feels confident. For so long, he had bad things happen to him: dropping his glasses into a patient, fainting at the sight of blood, little to no social life. So yeah, he does feel like he deserves this.

“You did this.” Levi reaches for Nico’s hand. They’re now walking side by side, fingers intertwined and no one can separate those hands. “Or triggered it, at least. If you hadn’t kissed me…”

“I’ll happily keep kissing you.” Nico pulls Levi closer and kisses his temple. “I meant it, I like kissing you.”

“Even though I’m bad at it?” A dog with its owner walks past them and Levi reaches down so the dog can sniff his hand. The pupper happily wags its tail, but then the owner is pulling him. “And bad at everything else?”

“You’re not bad,” Nico promises. He has a sly smile playing on his lips. “I mean, you’re very bad and so am I, so I think we need to practice a lot more.”

Levi laughs. “You’re such a dork.”

Nico stops him and moves his hands to Levi’s face, cupping his jaws. Levi loves how he has to tilt his head back to look into Nico’s eyes. “Takes one to know one, eh?”

“Definitely.” Levi stands on his tiptoes and presses a kiss on Nico’s lips. “I was promised ice cream and sex.”

“And which one’s your top priority?”

“Ice cream, definitely. Who wants to have sex with Nico fucking Kim when I can have Ben and Jerry’s?”

Nico laughs, then takes Levi’s hand once more, pulling him back towards his apartment.

 

Back at Nico’s, they get rid of most of their clothes. There’s no reason, as they’re just sitting in front of the TV eating ice cream straight out of the tub. But they’re sitting on the sofa in their underwears, wrapped up in a single blanket.

Nico is flicking through the channels, then checks Netflix. Meanwhile, Levi’s hogging the ice cream.

“Don’t eat all of it,” Nico says, ripping the tub out of Levi’s hand.

He digs out a particularly big chunk of cookie dough, and for some reason, that’s such a nice sight for Levi. Or maybe it’s the familiarity of, how he gets to see this side of Nico, a domestic, cosy side.

“You’re pretty.” Levi gently strokes Nico’s cheek. He’s not tipsy anymore, so he can’t use it as an excuse, but maybe it’s time to say whatever’s on his mind.

Nico looks at him, seemingly a bit stunned. There’s some pinkness on his cheeks, like it’s a compliment he’s never got before. His lips are also covered in ice cream a bit, so Levi leans in, kissing them. It’s a soft, unrushed kiss, mainly because Levi wants to enjoy the sweet taste of Nico’s mouth.

“You’re pretty, too,” Nico whispers, sounding out of breath. Then he chuckles quietly. “We’re really sappy tonight, aren’t we?”

“You can go back to your cocky self tomorrow, but I want this Nico tonight.”

“Then you have it.” He gets a spoonful of ice cream and feeds it to Levi. It dribbles down onto his chin; Nico wipes it away with his thumb. “Do you mind it? Being here, not at home.”

“No, of course not.”

“I just feel bad for keeping you here all the time, but the truth is, I don’t want you to go.”

“I want to be here, Nico. You know full well I do.”

“Okay.” He opens Hulu instead, and puts Brooklyn Nine-Nine on in the background. They’re quiet during the cold open, but Nico turns to him. “I feel like at some point you’ll end up thinking I’m just… I don’t know, pretending to be this person you see right now.

“What makes you say that?”

Nico shrugs. “I don’t know, you just keep talking about how cocky and smug I am, but I’m not really, I don’t think. I’m just worried you’re gonna think I’m acting.”

Levi likes how open and honest Nico is. He understands what he’s saying, even it’s silly. “I know you’re not pretending. You’re the confident Nico, but you’re also this soft Nico. They’re not enemies, they can co-exist. That makes you a fully fleshed character in your own story.”

Nico smiles, and suddenly, at that moment, feelings wash over Levi, knocking him off his feet. Maybe it’s the vulnerability in that smile, maybe it’s the fact they’re having a conversation, but Levi’s ready to fall. Into gratitude, into lust, into hope. Maybe more, but he doesn’t allow his mind to wander that far.

“You’re a great person, Levi.”

“Great enough to get more ice cream?” he asks, trying to break the tension and distract himself.

“Well… I can be bribed.”

Levi rolls his eyes. “You’re awful. Gimme that.” He takes the tub out of Nico’s hand and he settles against his side. Nico puts his arm around his shoulders, pulling him even closer. “You’re not so bad yourself,” Levi says, giving Nico a bit of ice cream.

 

They watch two episodes of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, laughing at the silly jokes and chatting about how much they love the whole show. By the end of the second episode, all the ice cream is gone.

“Bed?” Levi asks, stretching. The blanket slides off of his torso and hides his smile as he notices Nico checking him out - again.

“You’re tired?” Nico checks his watch and looks back at him with lines between his eyebrows.

“No.”

And with that, Levi stands and walks towards Nico’s bedroom. He falls on the mattress face first and waits.

It doesn’t take long. Soon, the mattress dips around him as Nico puts his knees on either side of him, straddling his thighs. His big hands start caressing Levi’s back, going on circles, before massaging his shoulders gently.

Levi’s not proud of the fact that a loud moan leaves his mouth so quickly. It just feels too amazing to remain quiet. Nico’s fingers work their magic, as Levi melts more and more into his touch. Then his hands are replaced by his lips.

Nico kisses down Levi’s back, along his spine. His lips are barely there, but it still gives shivers to Levi. Nico kisses along his ribs, before kissing the small of his back.

“You taste good,” Nico whispers against his skin, just above where Levi’s boxers end. “Tell me to stop and I will.”

Levi nods, because his mind walked away. It just feels too good to be real, yet it is. Sadly, Nico skips his ass, but he kisses down his thighs, mixing it with soft nibbling, followed by licking where he just bit him.

Levi’s losing his mind. He presses against the mattress, he’s now sporting a semi and needs that friction. He turns his head a bit, just to see Nico, kissing down his thighs.

“Fuck,” Levi says when he can’t take it any longer. “C’mere.”

He turns as Nico crawls over him. As soon as he’s there, Levi crashes his mouth against his. He also lifts his hips, chasing the gratification.

Nico pulls away. “What do you want?”

“You. Everything,” Levi breathes and goes for Nico’s mouth again, but he doesn’t give in just yet. “I want you, I want your hands on me, your mouth on me. Everything.” Levi closes his eyes because he’s not sure he’ll be able to look into Nico’s when he says what he wants to say. He knows he won’t be able to stop the blushing, though. “I want you inside me.”

“Not yet,” Nico replies softly, placing a gentle kiss on Levi’s burning cheek. “You’re not there yet.”

Levi’s eyes fly open. “But…”

“Trust me. Soon, I promise, babe.” Time seems to stop existing then. The air stills around them, as they both realise what Nico just said. Levi knows the longer they wait the more awkward it’ll get, but he just can’t bring himself to say anything. Truthfully, he’s basking in it. But Nico quickly says, with panic in his voice, “I mean… I didn’t mean… I just… It’s a reflex.”

“Nico.” Levi puts his hand on his face. “It’s fine. You’re fine. We’re fine.”

“Sorry.” He climbs off of Levi, falling onto the mattress next to him. He covers his face with his arm, hiding from Levi. “It just... came out.”

Levi pushes himself up, then it’s his time to straddle Nico. He puts his ass against his thighs and groin and can’t help but grind his hips as soon as he feels Nico’s erection against his ass. He keeps moving, hoping it’ll erase any and all doubts.

It seems so to be working. Nico puts his hands on Levi’s waist. He tilts his head back, exposing his Adam’s apple. Levi leans down, kissing his throat, before kissing his lips.

“You’re fine,” he repeats, pulling away momentarily. “I’ve said a lot of shit I regretted soon after, haven’t I?”

Nico thinks for a few seconds, then nods. “It just feels weird with our situation. And we both know it’s soon.”

“It’s okay. These things happen. Can we go back to our regularly scheduled programming?”

Nico laughs, the (bad) tension disappearing from his body. “Alright. But I think we’re wearing too much clothing.”

“Mm, agreed.” Levi pauses. Suddenly a lightbulb goes off in his head, and the thought fills his mind within moments. “What do you want?”

“I’m down with anything. It’s about you.”

“That’s where you’re wrong. You trust me?”

“Of course I do.”

“Good. Tell me if it’s not good.”

He begins by kissing Nico’s neck. He starts at his right ear, nibbling on the soft tissue of the earlobe. Then he moves down to the skin just beneath it, moving across his jaw and neck. He kisses the underside of his chin and down on his throat a bit, before repeating the whole thing on the left side of his neck. Then he kisses across his cheek, until he finds his mouth and kisses the hell out of him. It starts as needy, but it quickly turns into hot and passionate.

Levi moves his hand from Nico’s chest to his stomach, until his fingers find his happy trail. He lifts his own hips so he has better access to Nico. Just for a few seconds, he pulls away from him. Nico knows what he wants to ask, so he nods then kisses Levi again.

The angle is awkward, but Levi still manages to push past the elastic of the boxers. He runs his fingers through the soft hair, gently tugging at them. Nico makes a small noise, almost an inaudible whimper, but Levi hears it perfectly. He moves his whole body down a bit, never leaving Nico’s lips, so his short arms can reach. Soon his fingers are touching the base of Nico’s dick.

Levi, for a few seconds, marvels at just how easy this has become. A week ago, he was constantly doubting himself, his self-confidence, his sexuality. Now, he’s here, touching another man like this and it just feels… Good. Natural.

He closes his hand around Nico, who shudders at the touch. Levi smiles against Nico’s lips as he tightens his grip just the right amount, moving it up ever so slightly.

“Stop teasing,” Nico begs, moaning into the kiss.

“Never.” Levi moves his hand, until his fingers reach the tip. The dry fiction isn’t ideal, but he’s too into it to start looking for lube. He spends a couple of long seconds working Nico’s dick. He wonders how it feels, how it tastes and suddenly, he wants to do it. He wants to make Nico feel as good as he made him feel on that morning. “I want to blow you,” Levi whispers, dragging his teeth on Nico’s lower lip. “I want you to teach me how to give a blowjob. I want to make you feel fantastic, but... I’m just worried you wouldn’t like it.”

“Oh, trust me I would. But, are you sure?” He puts his hand on Levi’s jaw, cupping it. He also scrunches his nose as Levi’s hand has never stopped moving. “You don’t have to.”

“I do want to, you have no idea how much I want it.”

“You sure it’s not too soon?”

Levi grunts and removes his hand. Then with a swift move, he’s making his way downwards until Nico’s crotch is right at his face. “Tell me if it’s good or not, yeah?” And with that, he drags Nico’s boxes down.

His mouth waters at the sight of Nico’s dick. For a few seconds, he can’t help but stare at it. It’s beautiful. Not that he has anything to compare it with apart from his own, at least not in this setting, but it’s gorgeous. Thick veins run on its entire length. It’s not particularly long or thick, but Levi still wonders how it will feel inside him.

And truthfully, he can’t wait.

“You don’t have to,” Nico repeats, noticing Levi’s hesitation.

“I’m just…” Levi blushes and he’s glad Nico can’t see him. “You’re so stunning.”

He’s not sure how to do it, at first. He tries to think back to the way Nico did it, but his brain is refusing to access most of the memories from that morning. So he starts by kissing the soft skin just below the navel. He kisses alongside Nico’s happy trail, until his lips hit the top of his pubes.

Nico’s squirming, but Levi’s not ready to give him what he wants, not just yet. He’s glad to be teasing him, so he moves to his inner thighs. Nico spreads his legs, giving more access to Levi who settles between them. He looks up to Nico, who has his eyes covered once again.

Before Nico can start doubting his confidence again, Levi gets to work. He kisses his way up on the right side, nose brushing against Nico’s cock who almost jumps at the touch. Then he kisses on the left sight, gently biting into the soft skin. He kisses the exact spot, to make up for the roughness, but Nico’s already losing his mind. Levi is as well, because Nico’s naked and ready for him.

It’s both exciting and nerve-wracking; he just can’t wait to feel Nico in his mouth, but at the same time, he wants to make it good for him. He can try.

He presses one last kiss on Nico’s thigh, before pressing his lips on the underside of his dick. He licks his way up to the tip, kissing it gently. The taste is not what he expected, but damn, it’s giving his blood more cause to rush. Levi parts his lips, taking just the end into his mouth. He hears Nico sighing with joy or relief, and it’s giving him confidence.

He goes down, just a bit more. He doesn’t even get to halfway, but it’s making Nico squirm. It’s heavy on his tongue, heavier than he expected, but he likes it. Levi, for one, doesn’t know what the hell he’s doing, but Nico seems to be enjoying it so that’s what matters.

“Teeth, watch your teeth,” Nico calls out suddenly.

“Shit, sorry,” Levi says, pulling off. “You want me to stop?”

“Never.”

Levi smiles, even though Nico can’t see it. He goes back down, pressing kisses on the underside of his dick, then on each side. Then he licks the entire length, from base to tip, going as slow as humanly possible. Finally, he takes the tip in his mouth again, swirling his tongue.

Nico moans loudly, as he reaches backwards, gripping the headboard. For a moment, Levi stops what he’s doing; with Nico’s dick still on his tongue, and stares. At Nico’s muscles as he’s holding the metal bar of his bed and at Nico himself, biting into his lower lip.

God, Levi can’t take it any longer. He doesn’t know how, but he’ll try his best to give this man an at least mediocre blowjob. He takes Nico into his mouth again, still only going down halfway, but he closes his lips around him. He makes sure he pulls his teeth back, then moves up, dragging his tongue on the underside of it. When he goes back, Nico whines, then he takes a shuddering breath as Levi starts bobbing his head. His hands squeeze Nico’s thighs, holding him in place.

His jaw soon starts to ache, but it’s something he could get used to. His own dick between his legs are getting painfully hard, but for now, it’s about Nico. He moves his head up and down, swirling and licking and teasing.

“Fuck, Levi…” Nico breathes. “Fuck…”

Levi doesn’t stop. He doesn't stop when Nico starts seriously writhing or when his breathing turns shallow and rapid. He keeps his mouth on him. He’s definitely getting used to the taste of precome on his tongue.

It’s not a good blowjob, Levi knows that. It’s sloppy, too wet and he can’t take him down enough.

“What else?” Levi’s out of breath. He’s been doing it for a couple of minutes, but it feels like a good kind of torture, both for him and Nico.

“You’re fine, just… keep going.” So he does. He’s bobbing his head faster and faster, and soon he feels Nico’s hand on his head. “I’m close, you don’t…”

Levi knows he’s not there yet. He might get cocky from time to time, but he knows he’s not ready for it. He wants it, but somehow he knows he wouldn’t be able to take it.

So he moves away, pulling off. He replaces his mouth with his hand, but he keeps close. He’s working Nico towards his orgasm, as he’s kissing the base of his cock. He moves his lips further down, until he can lick the sensitive skin covering Nico’s balls.

Nico comes suddenly and with a huge force. Levi just keeps moving his hand, while also licking whatever dribbles down. His mind leaves his body as he gets a taste for come. For Nico’s come. Sure, it’s not pizza, but fuck. There’s something insanely hot and erotic about it. He’s the cause of Nico’s ecstasy who’s currently moaning as he’s coming down from his high, just as Levi licks him and his own hand clean.

When it’s all gone, he places soft kisses on Nico’s thighs who giggles quietly and almost drunkenly in response.

Eventually, Levi moves up to cuddle Nico. His dick is rock hard and pressing into his leg, but he needs it as well.

“Sorry if that was bad,” Levi says quietly, still feeling the taste of Nico in his mouth.

Nico turns on his side and puts his hand on Levi’s chest. He’s absentmindedly playing with his chest hair, but he’s looking into his eyes. “It wasn’t. Considering it was your first time, it was fucking amazing.” He presses a kiss on the tip of his nose. “Did you like it? It’s okay if you didn’t, it’s not everyone’s cup of tea.

“I liked it a whole lot.” Levi bites into his lower lip. He wants to kiss Nico, but he doesn’t know if he’s allowed or what Nico’s stance is on post blowjob kissing. “I could definitely practice it more.”

Nico laughs. “Yeah. We’ll do that, we have time.” That single sentence sounds like a melody sung by angels. They’re quiet for a few moments. Nico’s still smiling deliriously with his eyes closed. Levi’s just enjoying the bubble. But then, Nico says, “What about you? Whatever you want, it’s yours.”

There are ideas flooding Levi’s head. He wants everything, so he doesn’t even know where to begin.

Actually, he does. He really does want to kiss Nico; everything else is just an added bonus.

“I want you to stay like that.” He leans in, not yet kissing him, just hovering. They’re close enough to feel each other’s breaths, close enough to kiss at any second, but the build-up is just better. Levi’s heart is working hard; he’s sure Nico’s hand, that’s still on his chest, can feel just how fast it’s beating. “Does it bother you? That I want to kiss you but I just had your dick in my mouth.”

Nico groans. “You asked about my kinks. You talking dirty is definitely one of them.”

He pulls Levi in for a kiss that starts slow. Nico’s exploring his mouth with expertise, as if he’s trying to taste himself on Levi’s tongue. But soon, the kiss turns frantic, demanding. Levi’s clinking onto Nico, pressing everything, from chest to groin together. He loves the pressure on his cock, pushing it against Nico’s thighs. He seeks the friction, so starts grinding.

“Nico, please,” he begs. He’s been hard for a while now and he’s ready to reach the high heavens.

“Boxers, down, now.”

They don’t move, never leaving that cuddling, kissing, grinding position, but together they get rid of Levi’s boxers, or at least until it’s around his knees and his cock springs free. Without any hesitation, Nico takes him in his hand.

Embarrassingly, Levi’s already close. He’s been wanting this, waiting for this for days and giving Nico a blowjob, being the cause of his orgasm got his gears moving, so by the time Nico starts wanking him, he’s ready to let go.

They keep up the kissing, hot and heavy, as Nico runs his thumb across the slit of Levi’s dick, before moving his hand down, to the base, and more, cupping his balls. Levi gasps, the air getting knocked out of his lungs.

“Fuck,” he groans as Nico moves his back to his dick and starts pumping.

“Fuck, Levi, you feel so good.” He kisses Levi’s neck, sucking at the skin just over his pulse point. “I can’t wait to be inside you.”

Levi’s mind is floating. For the second time that night, he feels the buzzing, but this time, he’s drunk on sex and Nico’s hand on his dick and Nico’s lips on his neck and Nico and Nico and Nico. He can’t get enough of this man.

He wants to last, but he fails. Nico’s fingers are working their magic, breaking Levi into pieces as he takes him towards his orgasm. It’s shamefully fast, only taking a couple of minutes at best.

Nico’s return to his mouth as he nears his orgasm, kissing the living hell out of him even. Levi grabs his shoulder, gripping him tightly, moaning into the kiss. Then he comes and comes, into Nico’s hand, and on their stomachs.

The buzzing gets replaced by a million ants, crawling over his skin, because that’s exactly how he feels. His bones are jellified, his brain is mush. He feels Nico’s lips on his cheekbone, then forehead, on the bridge of his nose, on his neck and then on his lips. A soft kiss is definitely what they need in that second.

Levi doesn’t even notice Nico leaving. However, he does notice the cool, wet rag against his stomach, as Nico cleans up. He watches him with fondness, and at that moment it overwhelms him. He knows that in a week, month or year he’ll definitely have feelings for this man - if Nico lets him. And he’s okay with that.

Nico completely removes his own boxer, then Levi’s. He lies back, covering the both of them with a blanket and pulls Levi into a cuddle.

“Good?” Nico asks after a while.

He’s tired. Good tired. It’s not even late and he’s only been awake for about 6 hours, but what 6 hours it’s been. “Perfect. You know I’m really really glad you kissed me in that lift.”

“I am too.” He smiles. “I could be in this bed, on my own, thinking about you giving me a blowjob because it never happened.”

Levi blushes and hides his face in Nico’s chest. “Shut up.”

“God, when I first saw you… I was so fucking attracted to you, you don’t even know.”

“You were?” Levi looks up, because that definitely surprises him.”

“Yeah. You were walking around with that perfect ass,” to illustrate his point, Nico squeezes Levi’s backside, “and God, I just had to know.”

“Horndog.” Levi grins and rolls his eyes.

“I like spending time with you. Sex or not.”

“Lucky you, cause I like spending time with you, too.”

Nico kisses his forehead and keeps his lips there. “I’m sorry it’s like this. I’m sorry it’s not self-explanatory and easy.”

“No, Nico, it’s okay. I know.” He yawns. “You working tomorrow?”

“No, thank God. You?”

“Nope. Sleep in, lazy morning sex?”

Nico laughs. Levi keeps staring at his Adam’s apple as he does. Fuck, why is this man so attractive?

“Who’s the horndog now?”

“Kiss me.”

And Nico does. Their bubble feels good, it feels like something they both need. Whatever the future brings is for their future selves. For now, they exist in the moment, just kissing and talking and flirting and having sex as they please. As for the rest… That can wait.

Chapter Text

Over the next two weeks, life is hectic. Levi and Nico both work a lot: either doing similar shifts or completely opposite ones. They are at the hospital a lot, doing long hours, saving lives. In the process, their personal lives are on hold. 

It means that in the two weeks all they can do are stolen kisses in the middle of the night until a trauma comes in, holding hands while waiting for lab results and flirting while filling out paperwork. One night, on a particularly quiet Wednesday evening, they’re both in. Levi is currently on pediatrics, but they had a case together earlier that day: a kid with two broken wrists, following a skating accident.

So that evening, after they scrub out, Levi and Nico sit in one of the offices for some peace and quiet. 

Levi’s doing the admin while Nico’s just sitting in the other chair, slightly behind him. Once in awhile, Nico kicks his feet, nudging him as if he’s trying to tell him to hurry up. 

“Can I help you?” Levi turns to look at him, once the kicking made him irritated.

“I’m bored.”

“‘Course you are, you’re doing absolutely nothing.”

Nico puts his hands on the arms of the chair, pulling Levi closer. The wheels of it drag on the carpet, but Nico’s strong enough and Levi’s light enough for him to achieve that.

Once Levi’s close, Nico puts one hand on his thigh, the other on his neck, fingers tangled in his hair. This is the most intimate thing they’ve done in the past couple of days. 

Levi sighs, melting into Nico’s familiar touch. He’s hungry for those moments, even stolen ones. They just don’t seem to have the time now. Levi’s always busy, running around, trying to make sure that his intern year is as good as it can be, so they don’t have the time to fool around, really.

“I miss you,” Nico says quietly.

Levi forgot how nice it is to see this version of Nico: vulnerable and soft, seemingly just reserved for him. 

“I miss you, too.” Levi scoots closer, putting both his hands on Nico’s knees. “How long until we’re both free?”

Nico checks his watch, frowning. “12 hours. Theoretically.”

Even hearing that almost makes Levi cry. “And technically?”

“Well, if we make a run for it, we can be at the airport in less than an hour. In about 6 hours we can be in Honolulu.”

“And then? We open a small clinic in a bodega where I work my ass off while you’re off surfing and fucking surfers?”

Nico laughs. “That’s where you’re wrong.” He kisses Levi’s forehead. “Surfing yes, but I’d only be fucking you.”

“Wow, letting me do all the work? What else is new?”

“You’re so dramatic. Tell you what. I’ll go get us some coffee and then we’ll do the paperwork. Together.”

 

Half an hour and a dislocated thumb later (not Levi’s, a patient’s), they go on separate ways for a bit. Levi checks on some kids who are all sleeping, thankfully, updates the case files with lab results, eats an apple.

When he meets Nico again, it’s 2 in the morning. He’s looking wiped and sleepy and without even asking, Levi takes his hand, pulling him to an on-call room on the floor.

Within minutes, they’re in bed, Levi curled up next to Nico who sighs and tightens his arm around Levi’s body They both definitely need sleep, but this is something they need right now. Just some peace and quiet, cuddling on the old mattress. They need all the rest they can get before things go south.

“Changed my mind,” Nico mumbles. “We’re going to Iceland, we’ll have a cabin and we’ll spend 85% of our time cuddling.”

“Is that so?” Levi chuckles. “What about the 15%?”

“Hmm,” Nico says, but doesn’t say anything afterwards, making Levi think that he’s fallen asleep. “10% of our time will go towards making food and eating, 5% to having sex.”

“Am I only getting 5%?”

Nico’s eyes fly open and he stares at Levi with a smug smile. “If you’re good, you can have 6%.”

“Gee, thanks.” Levi laughs. They should be sleeping but he’s missed this stupid banter too much. “Can we do that date night again? I loved that a lot. I mean I don’t know how it fits in with the ‘kind of no feelings’ rule but I was just thinking…”

Nico kisses him to shut him up and then looks at him. “Of course. I enjoyed it, too.”

“Good, that’s good.”

Levi doesn’t know why he’s feeling anxious all of a sudden. Or maybe anxious is not the right word. He’s not nervous or worried, he’s just… wary. Wary of what this might be. He hasn’t once thought about this thing with Nico since their falling out. He hasn’t been doubting himself, his feelings nor does he think he should. It’s not a relationship, he knows that, but he likes Nico. He likes his stupid smile, his stupid laugh, his stupid hair, his stupid personality.

God, he likes Nico. He really likes him, actually. 

“What?” Nico asks, on the verge of falling asleep. “You’re staring.”

“Sorry, you’re just…”

“Am I just…?”

“Pretty. You’re so pretty.”

Nico smiles and runs his fingers through Levi’s hair. “You’re pretty, too.”

Levi’s certain that he falls asleep with a smile on his face.

 

They wake up at 5 am to Levi’s alarm. No disasters happened, thankfully, so they managed to get some sleep. There are some errands to run, though, before they can get away.

While they’re walking down to the cafeteria for some coffee, Levi checks his phone and sees a text from his mom. She only sent it two minutes ago, meaning she’s awake. So being the dutiful son like he is, he rings her.

“Oh, Levi!” she says with a smile he can most certainly hear.

“Mom? Is everything okay?”

“Yes, yes, don’t worry about me, it’s you who’s doing nights. Anyway, is this a bad time?”

“No, uh… We’re just going to get coffee.”

“Oh? Is a certain gentleman next to you?”

Levi rolls his eyes but looks at Nico who’s ordering the brew for him. Somehow, the fact that Nico knows his order is the most domestic and intimate thing ever.

“Yeah.” Levi’s told his mom about Nico and the fact they were sort of seeing each other again. Nothing in detail, she doesn’t need to know that.

“Great, then I caught you at the right time. Ask him to come over for dinner.”

Levi blinks so rapidly that he’s sure his contacts will fly out. Dinner? Nico and his mom? 

“Uh… I need to find out but I’ll let you know.”

“Levi, you’re not dodging me.”

He sighs. He can’t do that to her. He’s panicking and it’s definitely not the best place to have that happen. Not when it’s early in the morning after a long shift, not when Nico’s stood next to him.

“I’m not, I promise, I just… need to find out. I’d say yes, but I need to figure out how he’s feeling about the possibility of it.”

“Alright, baby. Just… Tell him that he either comes over or I’ll have him arrested for kidnapping.”

“Mom!”

“What? I’m just saying I ought to know the person you spend more time with me nowadays.”

“Okay, uh… we’ll see. I’ll text you later.”

“We can do it tonight if he wants. Or whenever he’s free.”

Levi sighs. He’s panicking, his mother is a menace and Nico’s handing him his coffee. It’s way more than he can handle.

“Alright, fine, I love you.”

“Love you too, baby.

Levi pockets his phone and quietly follows Nico to a table. They sit and Levi takes a sip from his coffee, not even tasting the bitter acidity of it.

“Everything okay?”

Levi nods. Technically, everything is okay. His mom inviting Nico over for dinner just seems… like a relationship. Something they’re definitely not doing so he doesn’t even know if he should be saying anything.

But Nico’s giving him a look so Levi can’t hold it back.

“Are we like… doing the meeting the parents thing?”

Nico blinks, he’s just as surprised as Levi was. “I… don’t know.”

“I mean we don’t have to, it feels too forward even for me, but mom asked you to come over for dinner.”

“Oh,” is all Nico says, completely maintaining his poker face.

Levi fidgets with his hands. Seemingly, every couple of days, something happens that destroys the carefully built balance between them. Most of the time, they just enjoy each other’s company, be it making out or sex or something as simple as sleeping in an on-call room. But then Levi overthinks, or his mom asks Nico over for dinner and that status quo is gone. They’re not dating, Levi has to remind himself. This is just sex, not a relationship.

“Sorry, I shouldn’t have…”

Nico gives him a small smile. “It’s fine, it’s not you and it’s not her. Emmett… Emmett never talked about his parents and never wanted to meet mine. I know that’s not the best standard to follow so this just surprised me.”

“I know, sorry, it’s too early to be dropping a big bomb like this. We can talk about this later or like, not at all.”

“No, Levi, I promise, it’s fine. She raised a pretty great son.”

“Well, she said you’ll either come over for dinner or she’s going to the police saying you kidnapped me. She’s not all sugar and spice.”

Nico looks at Levi with a puzzled expression, but the playful smile on his lips reassures Levi that this is not a bad pause.

After a couple of seconds, Nico says, “So what kind of flowers should I get for her?”