Indeed, there is about a foot and a half of snow on the ground outside.
“No!” Levi shrieks.
Nico promptly ignores him, wrapping his arms around Levi’s legs and lifting him up on his shoulder. He spins them around so fast that the only thing Levi can see is the white carpet of snow rushing by under his head.
“Let me down!” Levi laughs, pounding his fists on the backs of Nico’s thighs.
The layers of heavy sweaters, snow coat and gloves probably make it so that Nico doesn’t even notice, but it’s the thought that counts.
“As you wish,” Nico laughs.
Levi is about to ask him what exactly that is supposed to mean, but he doesn’t get a chance, because just a second later he feels Nico’s hands letting go of their hold on his legs, and then just a rush of wind in his ears.
It takes him a second to realize that he just went from being held upside down to being thrown into the closest pile of snow.
Nico appears into his line of vision with a way too satisfied smile on his face, hands on his hips and hat pulled low on his forehead. Levi can only stare up at him, trying to catch his breath and feeling the snow seeping into his clothes more with every second that passes.
“I won,” Nico gloats.
Levi rolls his eyes and lifts his upper body by digging his hands into the ground by his sides. “Manhandling disqualifies you.”
“It does not,” Nico complains.
“You are unfairly advantaged,” Levi shrugs.
Nico just smiles harder at that. Levi doesn’t have it in him to keep up the fake frown, so he just stretches his arms in front of himself and makes grabby hands at Nico.
“Need something?” Nico tilts his head to the side.
The tip of his nose is bright red. He looks ridiculous. Levi loves it.
“C’mon, help me up,” he insists.
Nico gives in and grabs his hands, digging the tips of his boots in the snow against Levi’s and pulling him up. The movement leaves them standing right in front of each other, Levi’s face coming up just shy of Nico’s chin.
He leans forward to drop a kiss on his Adam’s apple. “You’re gonna catch a cold without a scarf.”
“You’d better find a way to keep me warm, then.”
Levi scoffs and turns around, peeking back at Nico over his own shoulder. He’s still standing where Levi left him, a dopey smile on his face and his cheeks now matching his nose.
He looks adorable and he’s absolutely going to at least get a cough, but for now he’s smiling happily. Levi realizes he sounds redundant, but he really likes all of this. This version of him, this time he gets to spend with him, these moments with him.
Alright, that’s disgusting even for him. Levi opens his mouth to tease Nico about something, but he doesn’t get to even get a word out, because with the corner of his eye he catches the blurry shape of a snowball directed right at Nico’s face.
The impact makes so much noise that Levi can hear it from where he’s standing.
Clary cackles as Nico scoops the snow off the side of his face, mouth held wide open in shock.
“Why?” he enunciates slowly and clearly.
“Yeah, why?” Levi cuts in. “Don’t go for the money maker at least.”
Nico shakes his head at them as Clary comes closer to Levi and holds up her hand for him to high five.
“You’re right,” she nods. “We should aim for something else instead.”
Before any of them have the time to process what she just said, Clary throws another snowball at Nico, hitting him square in the middle of his chest. Levi laughs and steps back, gathering some snow of his own and also launching it at Nico.
He misses by a long shot, but it’s the thought that counts.
“Oh, okay, this is war!” Nico declares.
Before they know it, there’s a full-on snowball fight happening in the backyard. Shrieks and outraged screams echo in the large space, a few swear words also slipping in there and getting shushed loudly by worried parents. It’s everything a family spending time together should be and more.
By the time they decide to call it a tie and declare a truce, Levi has snow in places snow should not be found. He’s shivering so much that he has trouble walking in a straight line, but he’s not the only one.
The weather has gotten worse since this morning, large and fluffy snowflakes coming down heavily and accumulating fast on the ground, and it gets to a point where Levi can barely see two feet in front of himself, it’s so thick.
Suddenly, as he’s spinning on himself trying to find the way back to the house, Levi feels an arm settling around his waist.
He jumps and turns around, almost ready to fight whoever it is, bur it turns out to just be Nico.
“Hey,” Levi breathes.
“How you doing?” Nico asks him, pulling him closer with his arms still around him.
Levi sneaks his gloved hands into the pockets of Nico’s coat and smiles up at him. “I’m great. How about you?”
Forgoing actually answering, Nico leans down and rubs the icy tip of his nose against Levi’s.
“I’m freezing my ass off,” he says, but it’s accompanied by such a big smile that Levi has a hard time believing he actually minds it.
“Do you want to go inside?” Levi suggests, raising up onto the tips of his toes and brushing his lips against Nico’s. “We could have a hot bath.”
“No. I mean, yes, but not now.”
“Want to make sure we both lose a couple fingers before we go?” Levi chuckles.
“No,” Nico brushes a snowflake off of where it landed on Levi’s cheek. “I want to have that conversation.”
Levi’s stomach does a couple of flips, but he ignores it in favour of putting on a fake stoic expression.
“So, when two people really like each other…” he starts, but gets interrupted by Nico laughing and shutting him up with a real kiss.
He sighs into it and tries to deepen it up, but Nico pulls away again. “Not that kind of conversation.”
“What kind, then?” Levi asks innocently.
“You know,” Nico shrugs. “The us kind.”
Levi looks around, trying to see if there is anybody waiting for them. They’re completely alone in the backyard, and the snow is quickly accumulating on their heads, and their arms, and their everything, really.
“And it can’t happen inside the bathtub?” Levi tries.
“The sooner we have it, the sooner we can go inside.”
“What, are you holding me hostage now?” Levi lifts an eyebrow.
Nico huffs and tries to fit his hands into his pockets as well. It’s a tight fit, but their hands are pressed together and definitely warm, so it’s okay.
“You know when I said that you were the only person I asked to come with me?” Nico asks.
“Oh, is it confessions part two?” Levi teases him.
“Shut up,” Nico dips his head to press their foreheads together. “You know why?”
Levi grins. He can’t feel his cheeks anymore. “I might have an idea.”
“Does it involve me having a crush on you for like, six months?” Nico mumbles.
The snow is sticking to their eyelashes at this point, falling down Levi’s cheek every time he blinks.
“Six months?” he asks, honestly surprised.
“Is it as pathetic as I’m afraid it is?”
Levi leans up and kisses Nico, but the way he’s smiling makes it so that it quickly turns into just a pressing of lips against lips.
“It’s flattering, for sure,” he says. “And sweet. Really sweet.”
Nico makes a face. “Sweet isn’t really sexy.”
“Oh, we were going for sexy?” Levi bites his lower lip.
“I don’t know what I’m going for,” Nico admits, shaking his eyes with his eyes closed. “I just really like you.”
It’s probably inappropriate, the way Levi just can’t help but smile at Nico obviously having a bit of a hard time with this. He’s just ridiculous, and Levi could have never predicted that this is how all of this would turn out when he agreed to it, but it somehow did.
He’s definitely not complaining, though.
“I like you too,” he murmurs. “Like, a lot.”
Nico smiles just as wide and squeezes Levi’s hands still inside his pockets, then leans forward to rub their noses together again.
“So we’re doing this for real?” he asks.
Levi pulls his hands out and wraps them around Nico’s neck. “Was it ever anything else?”
Nico laughs. “C’mon, say it.”
His lips are turning blue. Levi is pretty sure that his aren’t that much better off, so he shrugs and kisses Nico quickly. “We’re doing this for real.”
“Oh, oh, oh, yes!”
Nico looks a mix of weirded out and amused as he leans against the doorjamb and watches Levi putter around in the bathroom.
Levi reluctantly takes his hand out of the hot water stream, jumping around on the tips of his toes, trying to get some feeling back into them.
“Should I leave you alone for a while?” Nico jokes.
“I’m so cold I would almost say yes,” Levi squints at him, rubbing his hands over his arms.
Nico moves like he’s actually going to leave, but Levi stops him by reaching out and grabbing his hand to pull him further into the room.
“Reconsidering?” Nico smiles.
Levi rolls his eyes and lets him go for just long enough to take his shirt off, then moves back onto Nico’s space and thumbs the bottom of his sweater.
“You’re the least subtle flirt I have ever seen.”
Nico looks like he didn’t expect that. “What?”
Levi light hits his chest. “Swimming in your underwear? Really?”
“We didn’t have swimsuits,” Nico shrugs.
Levi hits him again. “Stripping off, just like that?”
“You did that too!”
“You did it first.”
Nico grabs Levi’s hand, presumably to stop him from keeping up the hitting. “I don’t remember any complaining coming from you.”
The snowstorm has picked up even more since they ran inside, the soft sound of the snowflakes hitting the window drowned out by the rushing of water. It’s definitely not as cold in here, but it could also be warmer. Levi is getting his hot bath if it’s the last thing he does.
“There was nothing to complain about,” Levi says as he pulls Nico’s sweater up.
Nico lets him take it off all the way, lifting his arms over his head and then letting them fall on Levi’s shoulders, hands sliding down his back until they’re just skimming the top of his pants.
Levi looks up at him through his lashes, eyes flickering between Nico’s eyes and his lips. He reaches back and covers Nico’s hands with his own, pushing them down so they cover his ass.
“Yeah?” Nico breathes. “No more slow?”
“We can go slow,” Levi shrugs as he pops the button of his jeans. “Or we can go fast. We decide.”
Nico mirrors him, pulling his pants down and stepping on the backs of his socks to take them off. That leaves them standing in front of each other in just their underwear, cheeks flushed. Maybe it’s from the cold, maybe it’s from something else entirely.
Probably the latter, Levi thinks, as Nico hooks his thumbs into the elastic band of his own underwear.
“Water’s gonna get cold,” Nico whispers.
“We’d better get in, then,” Levi leans in to kiss the closest part of Nico’s body, which turns out to be his collarbone.
Nico sighs, one arm wrapping around Levi’s shoulders to keep him close and the other reaching down to close the faucet.
“How are we going to do this?” Nico asks.
“You in the back, me in the front,” Levi explains.
Nico lifts a mischievous eyebrow, but doesn’t say what they’re both thinking. Levi is silently glad, because then he’d be morally forced to tease him until he takes it back, and he really has something else in mind.
“Alright,” Nico nods.
He makes quick work of pulling his underwear down his legs and stepping out of it. Levi looks away until he realizes that he doesn’t have to, after which he lets himself freely gawk at Nico trying to get into the bathtub without slipping and hurting himself.
Once he’s finally sitting down, Levi wiggles out of his own underwear and climbs in after him, settling between Nico’s legs with his back resting against his chest.
Nico immediately wraps his arms around Levi’s waist, one hand staying pressed against the middle of his chest, the other travelling lower to thumb his hipbones. Levi smiles with his lower lip held between his teeth, tilting his head as Nico moves his mouth up and down its side.
“If you’d told me a week ago that this is how I would be spending Christmas, I would have laughed at you,” he says quietly.
The steam is quickly filling up the room, and it’s almost surreal looking at the snow falling outside through the window while sitting in hot water almost up to his shoulders. Levi covers Nico’s hands with his own, but doesn’t stop his gentle exploration.
“Same,” Nico answers, lips pressed behind Levi’s ear.
His voice is low and a bit rough, and it sends a shiver down Levi’s spine. That one definitely isn’t from the cold.
“Glad that it did turn out like this, though,” Levi continues.
Nico lets his fingers skim the stretch of skin from one of Levi’s hipbones to the other, just under his bellybutton.
“Same,” he says again, this time biting gently down on his neck.
Levi gasps and reaches back to grab Nico’s neck, twisting his torso uncomfortably and simultaneously pulling Nico forward so he can kiss him. It goes from zero to a hundred immediately, three days of tension catching up with them.
“Wait,” Levi suddenly pulls away.
Nico complains at the broken kiss and tries to follow him, but Levi laughs and leans even further back.
“Was our first date dinner with your whole family?” he asks.
“Fuck no,” Nico immediately shakes his head. “I’m taking you out as soon as we get back.”
Levi hums. “That’s assuming that I’m gonna say yes.”
Nico lifts an unimpressed eyebrow. “You want a formal proposal?”
“Of course,” Levi nods.
Nico moves his hand even lower, so that his fingertips graze the fine hair at the centre of Levi’s body. Levi stops him from going further, grinning innocently when Nico makes a frustrated sound.
He stares at Levi and Levi stares back, both of them holding their ground until Nico finally breaks.
“Levi, will you go out on a date with me?” he finally relents.
“I don’t know, I’m pretty busy,” Levi pretends to be thinking about it. “I’ll let you know.”
He pats Nico’s chest and goes to turn back around, but Nico grabs his arm and pulls him close, kissing him before he can say some other dumb thing. Which is probably for the best.
Levi lets go of his hand, and Nico doesn’t waste time in continuing his mission. He brushes his fingers over the soft skin of the inside of Levi’s thighs, up and down until goosebumps erupt over Levi’s arms.
“Fuck,” Levi whispers.
Nico chuckles against his lips and uses his free hand to brush against Levi’s cheek, then dipping under the water to rub it on Levi’s chest, occasionally catching his nipples.
“Can I?” he asks after a couple of minutes of just petting Levi.
Instead of answering, Levi rolls his hips back against Nico, feeling him hard right against the small of his back. Nico makes a surprised sound that turns into a quiet moan when Levi doesn’t stop.
They can’t be that loud, Levi imagines, even though the walls hadn’t seemed particularly thin the previous nights. Still, better safe than sorry.
“You may,” Levi decides to answer.
Nico laughs and finally, finally wraps his hand around Levi’s cock.
Levi lets out a deep breath and bites his lip, turning around so he can go back to leaning against Nico’s chest. The water slows Nico’s movements even more than they already are, but the water is so pleasantly hot and Levi is so comfortable that it really doesn’t take long to get worked up.
“You’re unbelievable,” Nico whispers into Levi’s ear.
“Huh?” Levi asks eloquently.
Nico leaves a row of kisses down the side of Levi’s neck before answering. “You’re so hot.”
“It hurts me to disagree, but that’s you, mate.”
“Don’t call me mate,” Nico complains.
Levi can basically hear the frown. He smiles to himself and gasps as Nico does something clever with his hand – honestly he’s not paying attention, he’ll accept anything as long as it feels this good –, trying to find a way to be as annoying as possible, even now. Especially now.
“Want me to call you baby?” he jokes.
Nico must not think it’s a joke, though, because he makes a noise and squeezes his hand tighter. Levi gasps loudly and spreads his legs, lifting his knees out of the water.
“This is going to be over way too fast,” he moans.
“It’s okay,” Nico shrugs. “We can make it last longer some other time.”
“Still granted I-“
Levi gets shut up by Nico kissing him again, which is starting to become a trend, but right now he doesn’t mind. All he care about at the moment is the tugging in his lower back spreading with every flick of Nico’s wrist.
He focuses on the task at hand – pun absolutely intended – and grabs the rim of the bathtub, hold so tight that his knuckles turn white.
“Mind if I…” Nico mumbles, but doesn’t finish the sentence.
Levi makes a questioning noise, but Nico just shakes his head and presses on Levi’s chest so he’s flush with Nico’s, his cock rubbing again the tight space. They both let out a satisfied groan, both at the change in position and at the way it somehow makes everything feel better.
“C’mon, baby,” Levi urges directly against Nico’s jawline.
Nico picks up the pace, hand moving quickly over Levi’s cock and the water lapping up against the sides of the bathtub from their movements.
“Yeah, baby,” Nico whispers into Levi’s ear.
It doesn’t have the ‘I’m making fun of you’ tone that Levi was using. Instead, it sends a zap of electricity through Levi’s body.
He grabs the arm Nico has around his chest and sinks his nails into the skin, breathing heavily as he closes his eyes and leans his head back against Nico’s shoulder.
Nico is moving against him as well and they’re probably flooding the bathroom, but it’s a problem for later.
For now, all that matters is that Nico squeezes the base of Levi’s cock and then twists it up, and Levi doesn’t stand a chance at holding back.
He lets out a choked moan and comes into the water, Nico stroking him until Levi clenches his legs and traps his hand between them. He laughs at Levi, but it sounds strained and breathy.
Levi rolls his head on his shoulder until he can kiss Nico’s neck softly, looking up at him with a smile on his face.
Nico looks back at him with an expression that looks almost pained. He dips his head to kiss Levi, cradling the side of his face with his hand. It’s only a couple of seconds before he gasps against Levi’s lips and comes as well.
They stay in the by now lukewarm water for a while longer, gently petting each other and coming down from their highs in silence.
Levi’s heart keeps beating just that bit too fast, but it’s okay. He can feel Nico’s doing the same thing right against his back.
Leaving the next day is almost as hard as arriving had been.
Clary gets Levi’s number, then hugs both of them and makes them promise that they’ll stay in contact for gossiping purposes. When Nico mentions that double date again, both she and Levi blush.
Nico stays back to let his mother tell him something as Levi waves to all the little kids gathered once again at the window, sitting down into the car and waiting for him. He messes with the radio in the meantime, his hands shaking a bit if they don’t have something to do.
He’s not nervous, not anymore. It’s just that he’s kind of waiting for the moment he’ll realize that this is just some elaborate dream that his mind came up with. He’s almost at the point where he’ll convince himself that it’s all true.
When he’s done saying goodbye to everybody, Nico climbs into the driver’s seat and starts the car. His mother waves at both of them and sends them kisses from the front steps until they start driving down the driveway.
Levi turns to Nico with a smile. “Everything okay?”
Nico beams at him, quickly leans in for a kiss, then turns back to the street, pulling his sunglasses down from where they’re perched on his head.
“You know that nobody will believe us if we tell them about this, right?” he laughs.
Levi shrugs, then grabs the hand Nico is resting on the gearshift and twines their fingers together.
“It’s alright,” Levi nods. “We’ll be unbelievable.”
Nico laughs and Levi follows him, the sun warm on their skin and bright as it reflects on the snow on the ground. It’s a beautiful day, and it’s so regardless of the weather.
“Yeah, let’s be unbelievable.”