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It Won't Be For Long

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"It won't be for long" he had written. And he meant it. He didn't intend to stay unemployeed for long. Thirty-five and growing soft in all the unsavory places, he couldn't be crashing at his friend Levi's house for longer than a few months.

Erwin was well respected, well educated, and well liked in his school district. He had a powerful rolodex of references. However, his last school underwent some budget cuts, and his department of two was cut in half, and unfortunately he was the half to go. He had his resume into every school's inbox in a fifty mile radius, and he was willing to expand it larger than that. Surely somebody would bite. He was well respected, well educated, and well liked after all. And he was growing soft in all the most unsavory places.

Erwin leaned his head back on the arm rest of the loveseat. Everything about Levi's apartment matched his stature--small, stylish, and crafted with purpose. Even though he made well for himself, he was minimalistic, including his furniture in his living room. Erwin kicked his feet along the edge of the couch, bit his lip as he checked the same job posting board for the fifth time in three hours. His cat, Gunner, swatted at his foot once before he hissed him away--another reason why Erwin had to move out. Levi wasn't really an "animal person". And Erwin wasn't really "clean". And they kind of "fought a lot", if he was being honest.

With a groan, he threw his head back and slapped his laptop shut. Closing his eyes, he figured he'd take a little nap before his new housemate got home.

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"It won't be for long"

 

He read the message again before taking a deep breath and putting away his mobile again. It was quite the irony that Mike's childhood friend Erwin, a few years older than Levi, was the one seeking shelter in a rough time and ended up staying with Levi.

Initially Mike was the one to be asked for a place to stay but with his wife, the kids and the dogs the space was limited. And when Mike had told Levi about Erwin's situation while they were doing chest presses, Levi offered to help out. Erwin was okay, a friendly guy, always smiling, immediately getting ones attention with his stunning blue eyes, fucking broad shoulders and..

 

Never fuck a buddy's buddy.

 

Levi furrowed his brows – they had met through Mike and always had seen each other around Mike and only recently had hung out a few times together without the tallest of the three.

 

"Mr. Ackerman?", Petra's voice ripped him out of his little daydream. "I just wanted to let you know that the meeting with Mr. Dawk is all set up for tomorrow. The room is prepared and I just went through the presentation again. If you want to have a look?", she smiled.

"I don't think there's need for me to check it again – but please feel free to send it to me and I can go over it.", Levi rewarded his newest secretary with an honest smiled, pouring himself a glass of water. "Thank you Ms. Ral, you've been a great help since you joined my company."

 

Strictly speaking, it was not his company. Kenny's name was in the papers because Kuchel's will said so but he had never set a single foot into the building ever – neither when Kuchel was building up the charity foundation nor after her death. She had been a fucking angel and too good for this world. His fucktard of an uncle was a drinker, paying hookers and strippers before taking care of bills and basic necessities – the money Kuchel left him should last for a few years and basically he could get profits from the foundation. But not if Levi could prevent that.

 

~~~

“Sorry Mike, can't make it today - long day tomorrow. Do some extra sit ups for me.”

 

Levi was doing some errands and then decided to not go to the gym today, instead he would get some fresh vegetables, meat and other things to prepare dinner at home. He talked himself into believing that he wanted to be fit for the meeting tomorrow and the blonde, handsome, German-teaching guy sleeping on his sofa had nothing to do with it.

 

~~~

 

It was the second day Erwin was with him – one night spent in the quite spacious apartment together – and Levi still had no idea how to behave in his own apartment with someone else around.

 

Once a loner always a loner.

 

Hey.. ehrm.. I wanted to cook something? Would you min-”

What the fuck?

 

Levi's eyes scanned the huge body one the tiny piece of furniture. It was 8 PM on a Monday – why the fuck would you be lazing around if you need to find a job? Levi felt anger rising until he put the groceries on the counter between living room and kitchen. The fucking cat had puked next to it's bowl – awesome, really great. Anger turned into disgust.

 

His eyes went back to Erwin. Maybe he was not lazy at all today and indeed had been running from school to school, shaking hands, giving people his charming smile and convincing them of his skills as a teacher? Erwin didn't seem like a lazy fucker at all.

 

Hands now free, Levi leaned against the counter, unsure of how to proceed, how to wake the big blonde guy on his sofa. Deep, steady breathes left his lips as he scanned the facial features – shit, that guy really was quite a handsome motherfucker. And even now, while dozing in the late evening, the dim light gave his appearance a unique aura. Was he... drooling? Fuck – that was unexpected … and somehow it was quite cute.

 

Never fuck a buddy's buddy.

 

Oi, Erwin!”, he spoke louder to make sure to wake him up. “I'm going to cook – would you mind helping me and maybe get rid of your cat's puke? Can't see the animal anywhere around or I would have asked Gunner directly.”, Levi said with – to his own surprise - a smile. Yet he tried to find the right tone to express his disliking but also wanted to hint that he was looking forward spend some time with his temporary flat mate.

 

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Erwin's eyes snapped open. He sucked in a breath and groaned it right back out as he ran his hand down his face. The laptop on his belly swayed and teetered and smashed to the floor. Twisting his body to look over the edge of the small loveseat, Erwin muttered a curse under his breath. "Fuck... What..." Erwin shook his head, eyes wobbling up to look at the digital clock under the television. 8PM. He slept for six hours. How did that happen?

Erwin hated naps. Erwin hated breaks, honestly. Erwin hated being restless and bored and stagnant... And being in Levi's house was making him all of these things. Being alone and bored made his mind run too wild into places he had worked his whole life to ignore. To think, he had only been here for two days. He really needed to get out of here soon.

Placing a heavy foot on the floor, Erwin rolled off of the couch and stood up straight to stretch. His back popped and cracked all the way up through his elbows and knees. He moaned out and shook out his limbs as he limped into the kitchen to greet his host in the kitchen. "Good evening, Levi." He smacked his lips, moved to the refrigerator, opened it, but closed it soon after as he turned to lean against the counter. He smiled down at Levi, rubbing the sleep from his eyes as he rubbed a palm to into his eyes. "Sorry about Gunner. He's just as nervous as I am, I think." Swaying off the counter, he lumbered over to the paper towels, pulled off one too many squares, and roamed around until he found the pile of kitty barf and picked it up in one scoop. He shivered at the sensation, walked it to the trash, and dropped it in. Moving to the sink, he washed his hands with soap before turning off the faucet and turning back to Levi.

Levi had become a decently close friend over the past few years. They never hung out without Mike as a buffer before recently, but he'd had a few relatively revealing conversations over messenger that may or may not have involved alcohol on lonely nights. It was those conversations that prevented Erwin from venturing alone with Levi--it's what made him hesitant to accept the invite that Levi had offered.

Because, what wasn't charming about this elegant small man? Well off and successful, clean and well put together, quiet and mysterious, humorous and blunt.

Erwin didn't have a crush on Levi.

And he definitely didn't feel the heat around his neck as he thought of the time he said Levi was cute when he was far too drunk to remember to censor himself.

"Do you need help with cooking?" Erwin said, and it came out like a croak. "I warn you: I'm not that great." He offered a genuine smile, and he hoped it would hide the red creeping across his skin.

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Seeing Erwin wake up was probably the best thing so far today and Levi's gaze stuck to the huge body that seemed so out of control, the owner disoriented as his laptop fell to the floor. Erwin surely had been sleeping soundly before Levi interrupted him.

When Erwin got himself up, stretching while his back and joints made odd noises, Levi couldn't help but look at this guy's ass. Eyes widening, palms getting sweaty.

What a perfect piece of meat. 

Levi forgot the breathe for a moment as he couldn't decide whether to follow those fucking long legs or to pay attention to the broad shoulders under the wrinkled shirt. The shorter one was curious about the body beneath denim and cotton. Just from this view right now and their most recent encounters where hugs were shared as a goodbye he... 

Pull yourself together!

Levi started to breathe again, chest widening unter his shirt as he gasped for oxygen. Erwin moved closer, his face looking all wrinkled and tired and yet Levi thought he looked fucking cute. An awkward nod followed as Erwin greeted him and then he looked up as the taller one positioned himself nex to him.

What a man!

He smelled good, Levi had to admit, sleepy, comfy and warm. The small and normal gesture when Erwin rubbed his eyes with his palms brought another "cute" to Levi's mind and he licked his lips. While Erwin fulfilled his cat-puke-removing-duty Levi watched closely as limbs moved, muscles flexed and - Jesus Christ - Erwin's face was a story on its own.

"No worries... but lemme ask you what you and your cat could probably be nervous about... should you want to talk about it." It was not as if Levi was the strictest host there was... he just liked his place clean, things put back where they belonged, shoes taken off, toilet seat put down, hair removed from the drain immediately, trash taken out daily, laundry separated by colours and textiles... well actually he might have some irks and quirks that could seem strict or over the top. But it was HIS place after all. Never shared a flat, never lived together with someone. So Erwin would have to deal with Levi's rules for the time being.

"It won't be for long" - he recalled the message after he had offered Erwin to stay here. They were quite good with messaging - and even Levi was surprised how easy he would open up to Erwin after a glas of whiskey or wine. He was a loner, always had been, but writing with Erwin felt natural... somehow. Yet he struggled to get a real conversation going with his temporary flat mate and would rather just try to avoid being awkward while he would hang on Erwin's every word. He definitely was good with words, knew very well how to say things, how to express himself - a true teacher, someone willing to share his knowledge. It was awesome to just listen to him speaking about the things he liked. He really had enjoyed their encounters without Mike. And although it might have looked like it from the outside but they have definitely not been dates.

But maybe Erwin actually did like his host in more than one way after all? Levi was shit with interpreting people's intensions but the word "cute" definitely didn't belong to the vocab he remembered being called in the past. So Erwin was a premiere in quite a lot of ways...

The taller one came closer again, offering his help and ... Jesus he was so fucking cute. Like a big puppy. Levi pressed his lips together, fingers digging into the kitchen counter and he sucked in some air. The "I warn you, I'm not that great with cooking" was like a scripted scene from a movie and Levi was conflicted on how to react. If it wouldn't be Erwin that was asking with his big, beautiful, blue eyes and this fucking cute smile with a gentle flush taking over his face, Levi would know what to say right away. But it was this goddamn guy, that was standing next to him, looking fine as hell, smelling good.

Levi gulped heavily, his reply taking him too long already. "Are you-", his voice came out much higher than intended and Levi hoped that Erwin wouldn't notice as he coughed and turned away from the taller one. "Are you not able to cut things in pieces or is it the herbs and spices; getting it put together that you are not 'that great' with?", Levi asked quite bluntly and bit his tongue. Shit. That came out far more aggressive than he had intended. Shit shit shit. With flushing cheeks he started to unpack the grocery bags, placed meat and veggies, eggs and ham, cheese and fruits, ice cream and whipped cream alongside other things on the counter while starting to mutter: "Cooking is not that big of a deal. I can show you some... teach you, if you'd like?", was the pest peace offering he could give,

Once a loner, always a loner.

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