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Easily Overwhelmed

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“Aren't you going back to your room?”

Levi has been gaming with you for hours now. As much fun as it's been, he can hear your yawns. Every so often, you blink your eyes rapidly, like you're having trouble keeping them open. If you're late to RAD tomorrow, Lucifer is going to kill you both.

“Can I stay in your room tonight?”

You yawn again, but Levi is too distracted to notice.

“All right,” he says without thinking.

In fact, he's thought about this so much in the past, that's probably why he can reply so easily now. There have been so many nights where he's swaddled himself in blankets, curled up around a body pillow or let the weight of one rest on top of him and stared at pictures of one of his 2D crushes, pretending they were in his bed next to him.

Then his throat starts to dry up. You're real. Not 2D. But it's no different than cuddling up with a body pillow, right? Except for the part where you're a living, breathing person.

All of a sudden, his mind is filled with things that could go wrong – he doesn't want to disturb you while you're sleeping, but at some point he'll probably wake up and have to pee. Or check his phone. Maybe tonight will be one of those nights where he tosses and turns, and his restlessness will prevent you from falling asleep entirely. And there's an event in one of his gacha games that ends tomorrow, so he had an alarm set to go off early in the morning for a few hours of last minute grinding.

He usually sleeps in his demon form.

Levi grimaces as he realizes he should have thought of this earlier, before he accepted your offer to spend the night in his room, before he tricked himself into thinking any of this was a good idea.

“Let me, uh,” despite knowing exactly what he wants to say, Levi, for some reason, pauses before he manages to say it, “set up another bed on the floor.”

Problem solved. You can sleep in his room, like you wanted, and neither of you will have to worry about you losing any sleep over how annoying and restless he is at night. Except, when he turns to look at you after throwing a few spare pillows and blankets on the floor, he can't deny the somewhat hurt look you're giving back to him.

“B-bed or floor?” he asks, weakly, hoping that will somehow solve the problem. “Because I-I don't mind either way – ”

“If it makes you uncomfortable, just say so. I can go back to my room.”

“No, no, no...!” He's lying when he says the next part, but it's a small lie, “I-I-I... Oh, do you want to change out of your RAD uniform first?”

He can't read your expression, and it makes him uneasy. But then you finally say, “Sure,” and head out of his room to change.

A sigh of relief escapes Levi as you shut the door behind you. Now he has time to prepare – rearrange the pillows and blankets and make everything look nice by the time you get back. He'll tidy up some of his controllers and throw a few empty bottles into the trash, and even though you already know what the state of his room looks like on an average day, maybe looking a little neater will help ease his nerves. So he can pretend he's not a hopeless, disorganized otaku that leaves anime merchandise and trash lying around everywhere.

It occurs to him that you never answered if you wanted to sleep on the floor or his “bed”. He was kind of hoping that you'd answer with the tub, and maybe give him a second chance to curl up next to you as you both fell asleep.

Now that you're gone, he has time to try and reorient himself to the idea. This is – it's one of his biggest fantasies. He has no idea why he panicked so much when he thought about it earlier.

Ten minutes pass.

But that's all right, it takes a while to get to your room from where his is located in the House of Lamentation, and he's a little impatient. That's all.

Then it's twenty minutes, thirty.

By the time he musters up the courage to message you on your DDD, he's convinced you've already fallen asleep and aren't going to answer him anyway. Telling himself that you were just tired, that nothing happened to you and that you don't hate his guts for suggesting you sleep on the floor, is the hard part.

What was he even thinking?

His floor probably smells like old socks and soda spills. Not that his bed would be much better – the bed smells like Levi, and specifically, a Levi who is an otaku that wears old socks and spills soda on everything and sometimes doesn't shower for days.

Maybe some other time? is all he types. He wants to add Have a good night, but it doesn't seem appropriate when you're probably not going to look at his message until tomorrow morning.

Suddenly, he's not in the mood to check his Devilgram anymore, and he puts his phone down and sighs. It's been a struggle finding time to play all of the video games he wants to play now that you're always with him. He could – he supposes – maybe try that new horror game from the human world that everyone is talking about.

The one that he spent tons of grim to get imported from the human world on release day, because he was so excited.

But he's not in the mood for anything scary right now.

Levi gets a small dose of terror regardless, when his phone pings with a notification from you. You were supposed to be asleep? Is this the part where you finally decide he's too much trouble, that you're breaking up with him –

Didn't seem like you were into the idea.


Well, that's a touchy topic, because he is definitely into the idea –

I don't want to make you uncomfortable, is the next message you send, just a few seconds later.

He sends a sticker, because it's the only response he can think of. Stupid otaku brain. You're definitely going to break up with him.

Have a good night, Levi, you say, typing the same thing he'd wanted to say just a few moments ago, but talked himself out of writing. He was such a coward, a predictable coward, that he should have known it would end up like this.

Numbly, he types back a You too, and then hesitates before sending it. His finger hovers over the message for a moment.

Levi doesn't want to tell you good night. Not yet.

He doesn't have to say it like this.

Can I come to your room instead? he messages instead. Time slows down as he waits for your response, and the dots indicating you were typing something seemed to stick around forever. Are you sure? you question back.

Of course he's not sure. He's always worried about what could possibly go wrong, what other people might think – Levi's never sure of anything, except that he's an otaku, he loves anime and video games, and he has a hard time imagining how someone else could possibly love him. Except you do, for some reason, and even though he has a hard time understanding why, it makes him happy that you do.

And snuggling would make you happy.

So even if it's something that gives him anxiety, it's something he wants to do for you.

I'm sure, he says back. Just in case you need an excuse, he adds, my room is a little messy, and I don't want my anime figures to feel like I'm betraying them.

Your response is to laugh, which is, okay, not exactly reassuring, but Levi doesn't want to tell you that.

It's not like I'm asking you to hold hands, you say, sarcastically. Thank goodness Levi actually picks up on the sarcasm – but at the same time? Holding hands? In front of his anime figures and posters? With all of those eyes watching the two of you?

It's a more serious issue than you seem to think.

So I can come to your room? he asks.

For at least five solid minutes, he does nothing but ask variations of the same question, over and over again. It's a game you two play frequently at night. Levi bothers you with round after round of inquiries, insecurities, and somehow you never tired of giving him the same answers each time.

Okay, he says finally. He usually sleeps in sweats and a t-shirt – the clothes he typically wears all day, unless he's going some place fancy – so it's not like he has to waste time changing. I'll be there soon.

It'll be fine, Levi tells himself.

He barely sleeps that night, starts playing his mobile game hours before his alarm goes off, but he has you next to him, warm and comfortable and in love with him. And you don't mind when he turns on his side in his efforts to fall asleep or when he wakes up to use the bathroom or even when he shifts into his demon form, and his tail somehow drapes itself on top of your body.

“Now that wasn't so bad, was it?” you ask the next morning, at least an hour before he usually notices you're awake.

You're still yawning, meaning there's a small chance Lucifer might still kill you both – if you fall asleep in class, that's it. The two of you are done for, since Levi's own crappy grades, still getting worse, thanks to all the time he spends with you, have him on thin ice already.

He's too embarrassed to ask if you'll let him sleep next to you or cuddle with you again.

But he really hopes you will.