Leaving for work was especially difficult after a weekend full of cuddles and comforting bubble baths spent with his omega. It had been a relaxing, but somewhat difficult time, since in some moments Levi would try to hide in his child persona and other times, he would be almost back to his old snarky self, the one Erwin fell in love with.
The transition was mostly fluent and the alpha came to recognize some signs, like Levi’s increasing need to stick something in his mouth, when he was starting to get anxious, no matter if it was something to eat, something he could chew on for a while, a pen or pencil, or even his thumb at times. Or when he would drag all the blankets and throws into his room to play. At first Erwin hadn’t been sure, if he had late nesting urges due to hormones, but it turned out to be an enormous pillow fort, that Levi created so “daddy could also fit in and read me bedtime stories”.
No matter how adorable this was to the alpha and how nice it felt to lay down with Levi and read to him, until his neck felt skin on skin, crouched into a lying position with his baby boy halfway draped over him, he was proud of every moment Levi was able to fight his trauma and every moment his omega returned closer to his usual self.
Levi was quick to reprimand the alpha’s dirty lazy ass, when he wouldn't hang up his clothing orderly or forget to put something back in its proper place, but also scoffing at him for cutting up the vegetables into too big pieces, when they happened to cook together. Erwin could hear the love that accompanied the snark, fully aware that Levi wouldn’t put up with shit like this, unless he deeply cared for the person.
Every biting word felt like a kiss and it so happened, that they almost burned dinner, because Erwin was distracted with sneaking up to his mate, who was seasoning their food – Levi had forbidden Erwin to ever salt anything again, because his dead taste buds would overdo it. He wouldn’t want his alpha to die due to heart failure, because his sodium intake was going through the roof.
Erwin peppered Levis neck with kisses, feeling quite smug about all the purple marks he had left there and allowed his hands to sneak under the white button up shirt the omega was wearing. His fingers caressed the skin and despite Levi’s protest, he could feel the smaller man lean into his touch, but just when he was about to nibble at the earlobe and tease the small nipples, Levi suddenly yanked away to turn down the heat – quite literary – and rescue the healthy and nutritious vegetable stir fry he was cooking up for them.
“I don’t know how you survived this long without me?” Levi muttered under his breath, as he served the food and Erwin refrained from informing him, that the food in the canteen at work wasn’t bad at all and actually quite healthy, if you choose the right options that is, which he actually did - most of the time. It was cute that Levi seemed to like doing little things for the people he cared about, although he would never admit it, so Erwin left the matter be, chuckling “I have no clue either.”.
So it was understandable, that Erwin would have loved to smack the alarm clock against the next wall, when Monday morning arrived, but he felt relieved that Levi apparently had gotten used to it, only waking up short enough to blink open an eye and demand his kiss goodbye, before turning around to sleep a bit longer.
“Someone got laid.” Erwin swatted Mike away, the moment he felt a nose sniffing his hair. The taller alpha had creeped up to him during lunch break and seemed in quite a good mood. Erwin didn’t know, if this was something to be happy or concerned about, but chose to not point it out for now.
Mike let out a dirty chuckle, at the warning glare he received as a response.
“I am glad that he recovered, I heard from Nana, that he has been making great progress. Also thanks to you.” His friend soothed, as they sat down at a table in the corner of the canteen, not wanting to be disturbed by any concerned co-workers, who meant well and would come up to Erwin and give him their condolences for what happened to his mate. It was insane how quick everything, that was discussed in court, managed to make its way around outside of the courtroom, straight into the rumor mill and although it worked in his favor, it was disturbing how much interest other people suddenly had in his life.
Hanji had laughed about that and reprimanded him, that this was only natural, since the formerly well known ‘work machine with no life whatsoever’ had turned into prince charming on a white stallion – at least in the eyes of all the beta-women.
“Did you hear the good news?” Mike asked him and proceeded to tell him about some new information, that had reached the court. Some new documents were sent anonymously to the lawyer, which held clear evidence, that Nile’s involvement with the Titan Gang was far deeper than they had suspected. Drug money and blackmail were the most prominent things the bastard had been involved in, it seemed like one of his contacts was also pissed off enough at him, to give out the information and handing Nile his ass back this way. With this new evidence, it looked even worse for the bastard and it was likely to gain him a few more years in prison, in addition to what the court was already discussing.
There couldn’t have been better news for the alpha, as a garnish to his lunch and Mike saw it the same way. It had been a long time, since they sat together like this, in such a good mood no less. For a while they ate in silence, quietly chewing and watching some colleges, that passed by and it didn’t take long, until Erwin gestured Mike to pass him the salt.
Erwin just hummed out a thank you in between bites, as he took the salt shaker, seasoned his food and was otherwise being quite focused on cutting the meat on his plate, before taking a big gulp of water, as Mike disrupted the settled silence nonchalantly.
“What did he say about the playroom?”
Erwin almost choked on his drink, as he tried hard to not spit it out, straight into Mike’s face, as he coughed and bumped his own chest, in order to not die on the spot, because of water in his lungs - or embarrassment.
“Not so loud, Mike!” he scolded and leant forward to the now smugly grinning alpha, that was also leaning in, so they could talk a little more privately.
“So?” Mike probed almost in a teasing fashion and Erwin rolled his eyes, whispering in a low tone, so no one could overhear them.
“We didn’t use the playroom.”
This seemed to genuinely surprise the taller man, as he leant back and considered his friend with a calculating gaze.
“But you intend to use it?” He inquired and Erwin almost felt sorry, that he hadn’t spit the water directly into his face, as he saw the amused gleam in his eyes.
“Well, of course I intend to, but we go at Levi’s pace and I want to make sure he is ready. I didn’t even know, that he was ready for ‘this’ yet, so-“ It seemed like Erwin had said something right in Mike’s eyes, as he gave an appreciating nod and suddenly Erwin realized, that this was on one hand a friendly conversation, on the other hand an interrogation on how good his self-control was, when it came to Levi. In short, Mike was checking, if Erwin needed another sock in the face, or if he had been treating his omega right.
“I think, Levi will really like it. The first time I introduced Nana to-“
“Please spare me the details.” Erwin interrupted him and Mike gave him a smug grin, that said everything Mike would actually never had spoken out loud, since he anticipated Erwin interrupting him, before he got to the juicy details, he wouldn’t have shared anyway.
“I am sure you will take good care of him.” Mike said, as he took a look on his watch and decided it was time to gather his things and go back to work, leaving Erwin to finish his lunch in peace. “After all, you learned from the best.”the taller alpha muttered with a hint of pride in his grumbly voice.
Levi had been able to take on more responsibilities around the house, while Erwin was gone for work and thanks to the meetings with Hanji, it had gotten easier to find back to his old snarky self, instead of hiding away.
A few weeks ago, he wouldn't have been able to get anywhere near Erwin's nether regions, without suffering a full blown panic attack, but now he was not only feeling a bit proud of himself for overcoming his fears, that had almost thrown him back into touch starvation, he was also a little smug on top of it.
His mate had been really considerate of his needs and even though he hadn't blown his daddy, and wasn't sure, if he actually would anytime soon, he had at least accomplished that much.
Letting Erwin slip away in the mornings had become easier too, he wasn't as clingy anymore, but his alpha never held back affection, if he begged for it and gave him free reign about his daily activities. He didn't reprimand him for lazing around all day, or scold him for going on one of his cleaning sprees either, he would just hug him real tight and whisper "Thank you." so lovingly it made the omega's heart clench.
After one of the more terrible nights, that had tortured him yet again with nightmares of the past, he didn't feel too bad for watching cartoons at noon, after discarding the breakfast dishes in the sink.
Hanji kept reminding him to take care of himself and if that meant, he wanted to indulge by watching cartoons, cuddled up on the couch with Mr. Plush in tow, so be it.
He was just zapping through the channels for an appropriate programm, when the news drew him in. It had been a while, since he had caught up with the outside world after all. He could watch the weather report without worrying after all. But what caught his eye, wasn't the weathermen, it was a photo of the Da Vinci he had stolen in France, all those months ago. His last big coup. He was wondering why they would bring it up again, as he turned up the volume a bit to listen, feeling his jaw go slack, when the news reporter kept recapping the event, before dropping the bomb, that said, they had found a suspect.
There hadn't been any police to see him, or talk to him and he sure as hell wasn't locked up in arrest, so he kept on watching, hugging Mr. Plush tighter.
He silently begged, that they wouldn't show Farlans face, but what appeared right next to the grainy footage of the Louvre wasn't at all his blonde wild haired old boss. It was a mugshot of Nile's ugly face, as the reporter drowned on about the case. Reciting Nile's recent arrest for assault of a mated and pregnant omega, when the court had been forwarded documents that tied him to the Titan gang, drug deals and money laundering, as well as evidence of being involved with the robbery of the century, as they called it.
Levi's jaw had gone slack, lips quivering and brain going a mile a minute, as he tried to digest the way the news reporter had talked about his misery so matter of factly, after all Nile the bastard had done to him. His hands kept shaking, clenching and unclenching around Mr. Plush, as his mind reeled.
He was becoming increasingly agitated, as the tension in his body rouse, sight becoming blurry at the edges, but instead of letting himself be consumed by the tidal wave of emotions, that would have pulled him under into another brutal flashback, he grabbed the base of the land line, lying on the coffee table and hit the speed dial for Erwin's cell phone. Praying to every god in the universe, that the alpha wouldn't be stuck in another meeting.
Erwin always kept reassuring him to call, if he needed anything and right now, he didn't really know what he needed, other than the alpha's soothing voice in his ear, telling him, that all was fine. That he would be ok. That he was safe and there was no crazy Marie banging down their front door. There won't be uncle Kenny calling him names and touching him in places he had no right to do so.
Despite knowing it wasn't useful, he closed his eyes, unable to keep looking at the mugshot, as the reporter drowned on and on, when his mate finally and thankfully picked up after the third ring. The call connecting, and dropping Levi from the suspense. The omega already had trouble breathing, as panic started to set in.
"Levi? … Levi?... Is everything okay, darling?" Erwin's voice finally registered in his foggy brain.
"Er.. Erw… daddy!" He managed to sniffle into the receiver.
"I'm right here darling boy. Everything's okay. What got you so upset, my sweets?" His alpha immediately picked up on his confused state, he could hear the murmur of the TV in the background, but not much more, to clue him in. Levi kept crying for a few moments longer, unable to talk, while Erwin stayed on the line patiently waiting, whispering reassurances.
After all he had always told Levi to ring him, in case of an emergency and was already packing up his briefcase, ready to hightail it home, if he had to. Fuck those papers seriously.
"There… on TV… I… I just wanted to watch cartoons." Levi sniffled down the line, feeling like an idiot all of a sudden.
"It was just on TV, baby. It can not hurt you on a screen. How about you turn that off for now?" Erwin suggested gently, still unaware, what would have upset his mate this much.
"But… but Nile and… Nile and…" Levi kept stuttering, trying to explain, stumbling over his words, as the emotions were trying to wash him away from his sanity. He couldn't hear Erwin sigh deeply over the phone.
"Shush… it's okay. Nile is in prison holding. He's still under arrest. He's not coming for you. I promise you that, darling. He can not hurt you, being contained by walls and barbed wire and guards." Erwin easily explained, loading his left over papers up on MIke's desk with an apologetic smile, before waving in the general direction of the exit and towards his phone, to let him know he had to leave, because something came up. His friend didn't mind. He could hear crying on the phone and it wasn't a hardship to add 2 and 2 together to get a picture. He waved Erwin off, who hurried home to console his distressed mate.
Erwin's steady and calm voice, helped the omega to not have a full on break down, as his alpha kept soothing him, reassuring him, that he was on his way home and he wouldn't hang up on him, before he arrived back at the condo. He went through the awareness exercises they had both learned, during their sessions in the center together, one exercise after another to divert Levi's attention, in between sweet talking and a bit of smalltalk. It was an odd mix, but they had found out, it worked pretty well for Levi to keep it together.
It was still possible, that he would suffer a panic attack, upon Erwin's arrival, but at least he could keep him out of harm's way, should shit hit the fan.
"Sweets, I'm almost there okay, just gonna park and hop in that elevator, can you hold on 5 more minutes for me? Give Mr. Plush a real tight cuddle, he was probably just as scared, right." Erwin murmured, aware the connection would cut off the moment he entered the steel cubicle. Levi had descended into hiccups, as he sobbed. "Yes. Yes daddy." His voice sounded so small in that moment, it almost broke the alpha's heart.
Erwin parked his car and rushed to the elevator. Every second separating him from Levi counted and he could not bear the thought, that Levi might panic, because he wasn’t there. Again.
He hated, that his mate had to suffer, because Erwin couldn’t be with him due to work, especially during these stressful times, no matter how important dealing with Nile’s case was. Hanji could tell him as often as they liked, that some time apart would do them some good, so they wouldn’t end up co-dependent, but they were mated for fucks sake and this was as co-dependent as it could get.
Erwin tried to get his own thoughts sorted, as he pushed the button of the elevator impatiently, wondering how long Nile, despite being locked away, would haunt them. As if the elevator wasn’t already feeling too slow for his tastes, Erwin cursed his luck, as it suddenly halted on the second floor and before he could comprehend what was happening, the door opened and Marie stepped inside.
Apparently she didn’t notice him either, looking at the floor with her head hung, but obviously fuming with the rage and anger of a desperate woman. Whatever must have been on TV, that had just distressed his Levi, she must have seen it, too. The moment Marie noticed, that she wasn’t alone, but with Erwin of all people, who stared down at her with the coldest gaze he could manage, she stumbled backwards against the already closed doors. The elevator started moving again and there was nothing left for her, as she clutched her purse in front of her chest, as all fight left her. Whatever possessed her to try confronting Levi again in her own frustration and helplessness at the situation, hoping to find him alone, she crumbled away at the sight of Erwin. She tried to stutter something, which sounded like a weird mixture between an apology and accusation, but ultimately ended in the fact, that Levi would never be as alone, as she was.
Whatever it was she wanted to get out, Erwin didn’t want to hear it. Nile had fucked up so bad, he had neither spare time, nor patience to handle his furious wife, especially at this moment, when he knew, that Levi was just a few floors above him, waiting for him and close to panicking.
With an annoyed huff, he hit on the button of the elevator, so it would stop at the next floor, still a few underneath his own apartment. Of all the things he didn’t need right now, was Nile’s wife throwing another fit in front of his apartment, so loud that Levi might hear her, the top of the list. The second the doors of the elevator opened, Erwin gestured for her to get out, not even wanting to waste his breath on her, but suddenly she launched forward and clung to his coat, fingers clutching at the heavy material, as she looked up to him desperately, still trying to find the right words.
“Out!” the alpha snarled, as he pried her hands away a bit harsher than necessary, before he pointed his finger for her to leave. A sob escaped her, as tears welled up in her eyes, as she stumbled out of the elevator. The only thing coming out of her mouth he could hear, while the doors closed again, was a choked out “It wasn’t him!”
Erwin couldn’t care less for whatever she tried to tell him, the only thing on his mind was Levi.
Levi and the delay she had caused. He almost felt relieved, as he finally opened the apartment door and was able to face his omega, who stood closely in front of it, together with Mr. Plush, who he held in his arms, looking a bit lost and afraid, but thankfully not as panicked anymore, as he had sounded over the phone. Still the alpha couldn’t help himself and pulled him into a tight hug, with no regards for the poor Mr. Plush squished between their bodies, as Levi returned the embrace and kept holding onto it, so he could get lifted up by the strong arms surrounding him.
“Daddy…” the omega whimpered, as he was carried into the living room, to be set on the couch again. Erwin immediately noticed, that Levi must have followed his advice, since the TV was turned off and couldn’t disturb him any further, instead setting his focus on Erwin only - his daddy - who was finally here for him.
“Do you want to talk about it, honey?” the alpha inquired, after a while of simply cuddling Levi tight to his chest, crooning and whispering sweet nothings to him. Levi needed a while to put some sense, into what he had just seen on the TV, stumbling over the words almost similar to the way Marie just did, but between the “Nile was there. Please don’t let him get me.” Erwin could comprehend, that the news had been about a very valuable Da Vinci – probably the Mona Lisa, Erwin filled out the blanks for himself - which had been the coup of the century, where they found another suspect and it was supposed to be Nile. Although Erwin didn’t trust Nile to pull off something this epic, in such a professional and almost genius fashion, he couldn’t hide a smile.
“But this is perfect, baby!” he exclaimed a little too enthusiastically, regarding Levi’s startled and still slightly panicked expression. “With something like that, he will never get out of prison again!”
This seemed to be exactly the words he shouldn’t have said, since Levi’s eyes suddenly widened, as a slight shiver rushed through his body, leaving the pale skin, that was exposed by his PJs covered in goosebumps.
“No, no, no, no!” the omega started chanting and Erwin was confused by the sudden fear he had triggered, with the – at least in his eyes – good news. He tried to calm Levi down, hushing and reaching out, to stroke his back in a soothing manner, but his mate was wiggling around, as if he wanted to shake the thoughts out of his head quite literally.
“I don’t want to go to prison!” Levi’s wail died down to quiet sobs, as he somehow calmed himself down a bit, in the steady hold of his alpha’s arms.
“But darling, you won’t go to prison. Nile will. Forever and he won’t come back ever again.” Despite Erwin using his most calming tone, the baritone of his voice could manage, Levi started struggling again, shaking his head feverently.
“No! He will escape! And then he will come get me for what I did!” And while Levi broke down in tiny whimpers again, Marie’s words suddenly made sense to Erwin. ‘It wasn’t him’ she had told him and of course it wasn’t Nile. As if he could ever do something this brilliant, that required so much expertise and talent.
The alpha couldn’t help to stare down at his mate in total amazement, fondness shining in his eyes, as he tried to comprehend, what the shivering mess in his arms was capable of and even more important, able to do. He probably felt a little bit too proud of his baby boy.
“It was you? ” He crooned out, still a hint of wonder and disbelief in his voice. “You are truly amazing, Levi. My amazing little boy.”
The omega snorted at the adoration he received. It was not what he expected, but seeing the confidence of his alpha, who didn’t seem worried in the slightest, eased his own fear a bit.
“Everything will be okay, sweetheart.” Erwin gently stroked the black hair aside, so he could look at Levi properly, take in every bit of his unique features, from the slim line of his eyebrows, to the elegant bow of his upper lip. Levi was a miracle to him and he wondered, what more there was for him to discover. “After all, even the police know, that you are humanities cutest. They don’t need to know, that you are also humanities smartest.” Erwin exclaimed with a small chuckle, before planting a kiss on his baby boys forehead. He couldn’t wait to hear the full story at some time.
Levi marvelled at his alpha's generous proclamation. Erwin was truly amazing in his ability to comprehend and show understanding for his mates shortcomings.
"Daddy is best." Levi whispered shyly against Erwin's lips, before hiding his head in the alpha's neck again. He was still shivering slightly, but the big tremors had subsided, so he snuggled into his daddy's hold with a big sigh.
"Thank you for coming." His lips brushed against Erwin's scent gland as he spoke, inhaling the smell of lingering cologne and the pine, firewood frequence that was his alpha.
"It's okay, babe I told you, anytime. I'm so proud you called me for help." His mate soothed, one hand rubbing gentle circles into the small back.
"But I have to say I'm curious about the Da Vinci story." Erwin admitted. Levi gave a small nod, not wanting to hide any secrets from him anymore, as he was already starting to tire out from the stress, the panic had caused him.
"Can we go nap and I'll tell you?" He inquired with a small voice.
"Of course." Erwin left a kiss on his forehead once again, before lifting Levi up easily to carry him over.
"My bed." Levi yawned, as Erwin made his way through the hallway. The alpha complied, entering Levi's own room, and setting him down on the freshly washed sheets, watching him roll up and of to the side, to allow room for the alpha to join him.
Erwin shed his suit jacket, kicked off his loafers and loosened his belt and tie, undoing a few buttons on his dress shirt, before snuggling up to his omega, still stuck, in his now wrinkled business suit pants.
"Off." Levi tugged at his pants, making Erwin smile, as he got back up, to get rid of the offending garment, before settling back in, with Levi taking up residence on his chest.
"Better now, my sweet prince?" He nuzzled the omega's hair, feeling the sharp pointed chin dig into his sternum, as the omega nodded satisfied.
"In January Farlan called, that he got a new job for me. I went to his office, had just returned from some mission in Egypt. I was still getting that fucking sand out of my undies for fucks sake. Some client of his wanted the Mona Lisa, all expenses covered. I took my forged papers, packed and took the next plane to France. I lived there for the time it took to scout out the object. Did all my work, you know learn their schedules, security systems, daily routines, how to get into their alarms, all that jazz. It was a nice time. Officially I was a registered housekeeper for some snobby rich lady, but she never existed, as far as I know. Had a house to myself, took my time, some days I did sightseeing, some days I just sat in the coffee shop at the corner drinking tea, enjoying the sun. The only deadline was, getting shit done by august 30th, including shipment. My part was just the figuring shit out and stealing it. I don't know, who did the shipment." Levi re-arranged his position and dragged the duvet up higher, before he continued his story, to his attentively listening daddy. " I went in, I looked around and during lunch, there was a shift change. I dressed as one of the security guards, I had papers at hand, that said the Mona Lisa was supposed to be renovated, yearly clean up or some bullshit, because easter holiday was coming up. They are really trustworthy and religious dicks over there, so no questions asked. I might have knocked out some guy to snatch his uniform in the back rooms though, that was pretty dope, because he put up one hell of a fight. I dropped off the painting at the requested spot and pissed off. I got home, Farlan was happy and I got paid a small penny and forgot all about it. Was just a couple hundred bucks, not even 1k." Levi rambled in between yawns.
"That's a shitty pay for such an awesome job." Erwin murmured, fingers whispering through his omega's soft hair. Levi simply shrugged his shoulders, holding on tighter. "Normal job, I rarely stole shit for myself, or my own fortune. If they would have caught me, I would have had solid alibis, from a multitude of people. I liked the thrill and it paid the bills. I don't know, who pinned it on the douchebag, as if this motherfucker, would know shit about breaking and entering." Levi scoffed, trying not to say his name or even think of Nile.
"Thank you for telling me, sweetheart. So I assume, I hopefully wasn't one of your regular jobs." Erwin successfully distracted him again.
"Nohoooo." Levi yawned, rolling up more in Erwin's hold. "Shitbag's fault, talked about your map, wanted money. I had none." Levi murmured sleepily, already drifting off half way. For the first time he felt remorse for his actions. Glad that Erwin had caught him red handed, rather then busted his ass.
"You won't have to get it, you won't have to pay him. You got me and you can look at the map, whenever you like, knowing it's yours now too." Erwin soothed, watching Levi's breathing evening out into slumber.