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moral of the story, everybody needs something

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In a way that takes Levi completely by surprise, it turns out that pandemics really do nothing to help with loneliness and broken hearts. In fact, they make everything much worse. Surprising, really. Completely out of the blue.

What is actually surprising is the fact for once in his life, Levi doesn’t feel like hiding it. He doesn’t want to curl up in a corner and stare at the wall until his heart stops feeling like it’s gonna explode – again –; he just feels like holding his head up and speaking out.

And so, speak out he does. Levi looks people in the eyes and tells them exactly what he’s thinking, he’s confident in the decisions he takes, and he doesn’t cower in front of his higher ups as much as he used to.

He’s doing his job and expecting people to take him seriously. He’s doing good. Well, he was, before the world decided to spontaneously catch fire. Both figuratively and literally.

But still, Levi chooses to take a step back and breathe before reacting to anything that happens, trying to understand why other people act the way they do and doing his best not to take it personally. It’s all great, and it would have continued being great, if it hadn’t been for Nico.

It’s always Nico, apparently.

Nico goes from angry to cold as stone to visibly upset in the couple of seconds Levi spots him throughout the day, but that’s not hard to interpret. Levi can tell he’s worried and sad, maybe even scared about everything that’s going on, and he feels sorry for him.

“I really hope that you’re okay,” Levi tells him, because he’s promised himself he’s not going to keep that kind of thoughts to himself anymore, but Nico is a wall as tall as the sky itself whose only job is to let everything bounce right off of him, and he doesn’t respond the way Levi would like him to.

He kind of doesn’t respond at all, actually, since he just acts annoyed and brushes Levi’s attempt off. It shouldn’t, but it rubs Levi the most wrong way possible, and all his resolutions about being kind and magnanimous go flying right out of the window.

Weeks of hidden frustration and confusion rise to the surface all at once, so it’s only fair that when Levi sees Nico follow him into the storage closet and lock the door, they ignite a fire in the bottom of Levi’s stomach that cannot be smothered no matter how hard he tries.

“What are you doing?” Levi asks, voice steady.

Nico doesn’t answer, just keeps walking further into the room. Levi watches him come closer and closer, until he has to take a step back to maintain enough distance between them. He hates this, all of it.

“I couldn’t help but notice you’ve been a little stressed out lately,” Nico says.

Levi opens and closes his mouth a few times, at a complete loss for words. He can feel that his first instinct is to be calm and understanding, but he’s also still really pissed about their whole… situation. So, yeah, Levi is sure he’ll be forgiven for the way he rolls his eyes and crosses his arms over his chest.

“Well, sorry if I’m not exactly enjoying myself during a pandemic.”

Nico chuckles. The back of Levi’s neck prickles.

“You won’t work as good if you’re this wound up,” Nico continues.

“I’ll work as good as always, thanks.”

The silence that follows settles between them, heavy and foggy, exactly like it has been since that one day, after that one conversation, when everything managed to go wrong at the same time.

“Did you need something?” Levi tries, turning to look around. “A fresh pair of booties, perhaps?”

“I don’t need anything, but I thought you might.”

Levi wants to throw something at him, but he doesn’t, not just yet at least.

“Please say what you mean for once in your life,” Levi basically begs him.

Nico doesn’t let Levi’s tone stop him from continuing on his weird mission. He walks even closer, dangerously so, but doesn’t insist when Levi moves back again, hitting the shelf behind him.

“I’ll say what I mean,” Nico mocks him.

Levi lifts one eyebrow and waits for him to actually do so. Of course, Nico being Nico, he wastes a couple of minutes by just smirking and looking at Levi with that look. Levi can’t see half of his face, but he knows what he’s doing.

“I am officially offering you my services as stress relief,” is what Nico decides is a good thing to say.

A frown slowly scrunches Levi’s face up. He closes his eyes, takes as deep of a breath as he can with his mask still on and reopens them, hoping that everything will make sense when he does.

“Well? Are you up for it?”

All hell breaks loose inside Levi.

“You’re aware that I could murder you and get away with it?” Levi hisses.

Nico laughs. He actually laughs, like any of this is funny. Levi forces himself to stay where he is and not attack him. Not yet.

“This just keeps proving my point,” Nico shrugs. “You didn’t talk like that when you were getting laid regularly.”

“Excuse me?” Levi raises his voice.

“It’s true.”

He’s putting up this insensitive front to protect himself from whatever it is that’s bothering him, that much is obvious, but it doesn’t mean that it’s any less infuriating. Levi doesn’t want to make a scene at work, or at all for that matter, but this is getting out of hand.

“Please just get out,” Levi tries.

“I insist.”

Levi exhales heavily. He hangs his head and closes his eyes for a few seconds, trying to find a way to have them both survive this.

Truth is, he has been incredibly stressed, but he doesn’t think there’s anybody who hasn’t. And that includes Nico, even though this is his weird way of dealing with it. He’s always had a weird way of dealing with stuff, that much isn’t new.

And even though it pains Levi a great deal to admit, Nico is kind of right. The more time they spend in this small space this close to one another, the more evident it becomes. Like, really evident.

“You’re the most absurd person I’ve ever met in my life,” Levi says.

Nico smirks. “Is that a yes?”

Levi sighs. Nico doesn’t even hesitate for a second before dropping to his knees in front of him. A shiver runs down Levi’s spine. This absolutely never gets old.

“On two conditions,” Levi says.

Nico makes a noise as he focuses on getting Levi’s pants open. Levi holds onto the nearest shelf for dear life and clears his throat.

“One, I can keep my mask on. Two, you admit that you need this just as much as I do.”

That makes Nico stop his quick but precise movements and look up. He lifts one eyebrow and bites his lower lip, but Levi just stares back and waits patiently.

“I haven’t had-“

“No, just say it,” Levi interrupts him.

Nico groans and sits back on his heels. He hooks one finger in the waistband of Levi’s pants and tugs them down ever so slightly, still glaring up at Levi.

“Doing it by myself isn’t the same as doing it with you,” Nico admits, speaking fast.

The sheer honesty seems to take both of them by surprise. Levi recovers first, clearing his throat and leaning back against the shelf, pushing his hips forward as a silent invitation.

They don’t comment on it. Nico just pulls Levi’s pants down to the middle of his thighs and wraps a warm hand around Levi’s cock. Levi jumps a little at the first contact, but then immediately relaxes into it, tipping his head back.

It’s comfortable, it’s safe, it’s something both of them know already, but it’s still so good. Levi’s already more than halfway to hard because he’s absolutely not immune to Nico openly offering himself up like this, and it’s been so long that it’s probably going to be over soon.

The first touch of Nico’s lips makes Levi’s knees buckle, but he keeps himself up by holding onto the nearest thing, which turns out to be a bedpan. Romantic.

Nico holds the base of Levi’s cock and takes the rest into his mouth, going from zero to a hundred in a split second, probably aware of the fact that they’re supposed to be at work. Levi definitely doesn’t mind.

“Do the- the thing,” Levi breathes, reaching down to grab Nico’s shoulder.

“Oh, so I’m taking orders now?” Nico jokes after he pulls off.

“Shut up, just… you know I can’t…”

Levi doesn’t have to explain himself, because Nico knows exactly what he’s asking for. He grabs Levi’s hips and pulls him forward, his nose tickling the skin under Levi’s bellybutton as the fingers of one hand reach down and cup Levi’s balls.

“Fuck,” Levi groans, the tips of his fingers tingling.

It’s good, so good, because it’s always been good and Nico knows it. Levi looks down at him and he’s such a sight, one that in his currently compromised mental state he’s not ashamed to admit he’s missed, so he looks as much as he wants, maybe or maybe not to memorize it.

The mask Nico has pulled down to under his chin ruins the picture, momentarily reminding Levi that nothing is okay at the moment. Still, he’s receiving a blowjob from his ex-boyfriend in a storage closet while he’s at work, so there’s a lot to unpack there.

Levi must not be making as much noise as Nico wants, since he doubles his efforts both in sucking and pressing his fingers to the skin just behind Levi’s balls. Levi bites on the inside of his cheek and arches his back, Nico following his movements, never letting go.

There is no doubt that Levi could come like this and soon, too, but his mind suddenly supplies him with a million mental images of memories and possibilities, and he finds himself wondering if it could be possible to find lube and a condom in here.

He even starts turning to look for them, convinced and determined to get fucked in a closet at work – he’ll think back to this moment later and he’ll reconsider every life decision of his – but somebody tries to open the door, bangs on it and then presumably leaves.

“Jesus,” Levi jumps.

“Just ‘Nico’ is fine, thanks,” Nico smiles.

“Shut the fuck up, you always make… made that joke and it was never, not even once, funny.”

“You always laugh, though.”

Levi ignores him and his choice of words. Not the place, not the moment. Instead, he covers Nico’s hand with his own and gets him to keep moving, chasing that release he was promised. Nico shakes his head but complies, eyes focused on Levi’s face because he’s a little shit who likes winning.

It doesn’t take long, because Levi is so wound up that his legs are shaking, and the mask is making his breathing even heavier, so he doesn’t think he can be blamed for the way his arm jerks and the bedpan goes flying into the side of Nico’s head.

Nico frowns and makes a complaining noise in the back of his throat, but all it does for Levi is send vibrations right through him, finally tipping him over and making him come with a strangled moan.

“Oh my god,” Levi sighs as Nico works him through it.

As soon as Nico lets him go, Levi slumps backwards and down to the floor. Nico crosses his legs underneath himself and swipes the corners of his mouth with his thumb, then sticking it into his mouth, all without ever looking away from Levi’s eyes.

“You’re obscene,” Levi comments.

“And you just tried to kill me.”

“Again, I wouldn’t have to try if I really wanted to.”

That makes Nico laugh, for some reason. The sound is contagious, though, so Levi finds himself smiling as well. He pulls his pants up then sits back down, more relaxed than he’s been in what feels like months.

“Ah, it worked,” Nico smirks.

Levi rolls his eyes, but can’t find it in himself to argue anymore. He just sits and watches as Nico fixes his clothes and hair, both of them catching their breath. Levi closes his eyes to bask in the feeling just for a few more seconds, and when he opens them he finds Nico sitting way closer than he’d been before.

“Put your mask back on,” Levi reminds him.

Nico scrunches his face up, but does as told. Levi finds himself wishing that they could touch, hug, do anything. The fact that they can’t because they’re broken up is somehow more hurtful than the fact that they can’t because of, you know, deadly viruses and stuff.

“Do you want me to return the favor?” Levi shrugs.

“Nah, I’m good.”

“Okay,” Levi nods. “Hey, so, do you…”

A pager goes off just then, interrupting Levi and the thought he would probably regret saying out loud.

“Shit, sorry, gotta go,” Nico mumbles as he struggles to get up. “See you, uh, around.”

And with that, he disappears into thin air. Levi stays where he is for just a little bit longer.

He’s not necessarily struggling to understand what just happened, because he’s very aware. He only wishes he could stay in the mindlessness of spontaneous blowjobs until the world stops spinning out of control, but that doesn’t look like it’s gonna happen anytime soon.

So, Levi gathers himself and stands up, bottom of his spine still tingling but heart strangely heavy. He takes a deep breath, smooths his scrubs down, then steps towards the door to go back to work.

He’s not sure if Nico seeking him out for ‘stress relief’ is something he likes, hasn’t decided yet, but at least it’ll be something to keep bouncing around in his head while he deals with patients and their loved ones.