Outside his window, Levi could see the night sky lay like a blanket on the ever-bustling city. Even from the top floor of his quaint two bedroom apartment, he could hear the muffled sounds of the city moving around him. When he first came to the city, Levi couldn't stand the noise you couldn't seem to escape, he told himself that as soon as he had the chance he would move to the country to be in peace. But as luck would have it, it was only two weeks after his arrival that he unceremoniously bumped into a bright eyed individual, spilling his coffee all over the two of them when he was on his way to a meeting he had been running late to. Long story short, Levi missed his meeting that day and instead opted to get a new coffee; this time in the company of the man who would eventually become his husband. Now, eleven years later, Levi still wants to move to the country and get a bigger house for his family, and maybe some inspiration for his writing, but he admits that it would be much harder to sleep at night without the lullaby the city sounds provide.
Sighing, Levi turned his gaze from the window back to the computer that sat in front of him, a mostly blank document glaring back at him. He was a novelist, and even after a few successfully publish books, it never got easier to start a new one. He had a few ideas running through his head, but none of them were solid enough to get anything down; there were no characters stepping up and introducing themselves to him, no sceneries that painted themselves across the back of his eyelids and so, Levi could find no words to type out and start a new adventure with.
Pressing a hand to his forehead, he decided that he wasn't going to make any good progress that night. And he would make no progress at all without a cup of tea by his side. So slowly standing up out of his chair, Levi grabbed the empty cup that had previously been full to the brim with the deliciously steamy brew, and made his way into the kitchen.
The house was quiet compared to its usual activity; Eren, his husband, was away on a business trip. He was a police detective and sometimes there were more serious crimes that required his attention that were a bit further out of the city. While the salary of one of the best detective's in the city was nice to have, it also came with a fallback of constantly being called out of the familiar radius to work.
Walking past the living room, Levi observed the top of a mop of unruly black hair; the couple's only child. Henry was a quiet kid, usually only speaking when he thought it was absolutely necessary, so without Eren engaging him in a conversation, albeit slightly one-sided, or actually getting the kid to act a little more like a giggly five year old, Henry was happy sitting amongst the multitude of pillows he scrounged up from all corners of the apartment and quietly reading a picture book or drawing with some sort of colourful medium. Tonight, he had opted for the latter, hunched over his notebook, tongue stuck out in concentration. Occasionally his hand would slow and his hunch would grow deeper, eyes slowly dropping closed. But just before he actually fell asleep, each time he would jolt up and go back to drawing. Levi smiled softy as he observed his son; it was hard not to find him endearing in the first place, but since he took after Eren so much, besides the black hair and pale skin, Levi found it so much harder to not coddle him and spoil him rotten.
"Almost time for bed there, kiddo?" Levi spoke up, causing Henry to raise a lazy head in his father's direction.
"Yeah just a few more minutes, Papa," He said before going back to working on his drawing. Levi carried on and went on his way to the kitchen.
As promised, a few minutes passed and Henry was walking into the kitchen, favourite blanket in tow, while Levi was pouring hot water over a new tea bag. He walked over to Levi's side and stood for a moment, observing his father's actions as he replaced the kettle and took the string of the tea bag, bobbing it up and down in the cup. Levi snuck a peak down at his son, and silently watching his serious face, waiting for him to be the first one to break the quiet.
"Papa," He eventually said. Levi hummed in acknowledgement. "I'm going to bed now."
"Okay," Levi replied lightly. "Goodnight Henry." He knew exactly what Henry wanted, it was a bit of a routine which Eren usually did, but even though Levi dotted on the child and tried his best not to spoil him, he wasn't going to let him get away with not even asking for something and getting it anyway.
"Papa," He repeated, a little more forcefully.
"Yes?" Levi drew out the word innocently.
"Can you do the thing?" Henry asked a little more quietly. Levi hesitated a moment, like he was actually contemplating the decision. In truth, he just thought Henry's eager expression looked adorable; showing his emotions so obviously was another thing he picked up from Eren.
"Blanket," Levi said simply, holding out an open hand waiting for Henry to deposit the soft fleece blanket into. The kid's face lit up like a Christmas tree, his face breaking into a large toothy smile. He practically shoved the blanket into Levi's hand.
Taking the blanket, Levi walked down the hall to a small room by the entrance, Henry following in succession. In the room, there were two machines, a small counter, and a few shelves built into the wall. The machines were the washer and dryer, respectively.
Opening the dryer, Levi tossed the blanket it in and re-closed the door. He spun the knob until it hit the 'regular dry' setting. Then, before pushing start, he turned around to observe Henry reaching up the shelves, on his tip toes, and grabbing the small egg timer they kept there. He then proceeded to carefully turn it, making sure to not go over the time he knew would be prime for blanket warming.
"Timer ready?" Levi asked. Henry nodded eagerly. Turning back to the dryer, Levi firmly pressed the start button and the machine roared to life. Straightening up, he turned to face his son. "You know what to do," He said, eliciting a firm nod.
They walked out of their small laundry room and back down the hall. Where Levi went back to the kitchen counter to retrieve his cup of tea, Henry went and sat down at the four person kitchen table, setting the timer down in front of him and staring at it like it would grow legs and run away if he didn't watch it carefully enough.
Taking the teabag out of his cup, Levi made his way back to his office to see if he could at least get some type of work done before turning in for the night. He settled down in his chair, sipping his tea as he stared at the computer that sat in front of him, trying to muster up the energy to take it off sleep mode and do something productive.
Sighing heavily, he set his cup down and got to work. Glancing at the time, he saw it was just past nine, which meant he should be expecting a call from Eren soon; they may be a few hours drive apart, but that never stopped them from at least calling each other and talking on the phone for hours like a couple of teenage girls. He smiled softly at the thought.
He was checking emails about fifteen minutes later when he heard the soft padding of Henry's bare feet against the hardwood floor enter his office. He stood by his side and pulled on Levi's sleeve to get his attention. "Papa," He said.
"Did the timer go?" Levi asked him.
"Yes," Henry replied.
"No time to waste then," Levi got up from his chair, heading back to the laundry room, Henry following behind, a small hand clutching the back of Levi's shirt. Stopping the dryer, Levi removed the now warmed blanket and turned to his son, still crouched so they were eye level with each other. He handed over the blanket to Henry's out reach hands, who then proceeded to quickly wrap the blanket around himself, making sure it was draped over his head too. By the time he was done, you could only see his face peaking through, the blanket being so long that it trailed on the ground and even covered his small feet.
"Thanks, Papa," He said with a wide smile, before yawning largely.
"Off to bed now?"
"Yes," Another yawn.
"Okay, sleep tight, kid," Henry nodded before turning around and shuffling out towards his bedroom.
"Henry," Levi said sternly, stopped the kid in his tracks. He look at his father with concern in his eyes, wondering what he did wrong. Levi just looked back at him, spreading out his arms instead of saying anything. Henry understood the motion, and all the worry left his face, replaced by a bright smile. He shuffled back to Levi as quickly as his feet could carry him without tripping over the blanket, and threw himself into his dad's arms. Levi happily wrapped his arms around the ball of warmth, pulling him into his chest.
"'Night, Papa," Henry said, voice muffled by the blankets and being pressed into Levi. He shifted his head up so he could plant a kiss on his father's cheek.
"Goodnight, kid," Levi responded, kissing the top of his head in return. Satisfied with the hug, Levi released Henry and the small child happily waddled out into the hall and down to his room.
Levi followed him out and watched the end of the trailing blanket disappear behind Henry's bedroom door, labeled as such with a colourful poster Eren had helped him make soon after Henry properly learnt how to hold a pencil. Although, it was probably Eren who had been the most excited about the small art project, and did more of it than Henry did.
He was halfway back to his small office, when a vibration and small chime rang from his left hand jean pocket. Already knowing who was calling, Levi couldn't resist smiling as he dug out his phone, taking a moment to admire the contact picture he had set for his husband; a quick picture Levi had snapped of Eren half asleep with a completely asleep Henry laying on his bare chest.
"You know your son's bad habit of always wanting to be wrapped in a cocoon is going to cost us a lot in our electricity bill," He greeted after sliding his thumb across the lock screen.
"Last time I checked he was your son too," The voice on the other end of the line replied, and Levi could tell Eren was smiling as he said it.
"When he leaves that big of a mess of pillows in the living room, he's your son," Levi said, observing the pile of pillows Henry had been previously perched upon. He was way too tired to clean it up at this point though, more motivated to talk with Eren than do anything else. He figured that's how he knew the brat that dumped himself into his life was the one he wanted to settle down with; even cleaning seemed boring when compared to talking about even the most mundane things with Eren.
Levi could hear Eren laugh to himself from other end, and even though it was muffled and not nearly as wonderful as it was in person, Levi let himself revel in the sound.
"You did the thing for him then?" Eren asked.
"Of course," Levi replied easily, walking into his office and settling down at the chair.
"Fifteen minutes in the dryer?" Eren pressed.
"Yes, dear," Levi replied sarcastically. "It's shocking how little trust you put in me to warm up a blanket correctly."
"No-no! Of course I trust you," Eren panicked over the phone, making Levi smile at the thought of a flustered Eren sitting in his hotel room thinking he actually offended him. "I'm just worried you know, I want my baby to be happy."
"He's hardly a baby anymore,"
"Shh! Don't say that Levi, I'm still ignoring the inevitable fact that he's growing up," Eren was more of a fussy mother than most of the mothers Levi had met, combined. It was endearing in its own way, but hell, Levi found almost everything about Eren endearing.
"Well the faster he grows up, the faster he moves out so we can go back to fucking on every square inch of the apartment," Levi remarked; he could practically hear Eren's blush from the other end.
They continued their banter, back and forth until it was hours later and it would take twice as long for both of them to respond because they were both growing increasingly tired, sometimes drifting off a little. Eventually Eren completely fell asleep, and while Levi thought in the back of his mind that the phone bill would be horrendous, he couldn't find it in himself to care and with that, he let himself slip into unconsciousness, a faint smile on his face.