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What I Do For A Living

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Manchester, UK

1924

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Louis hears the front door slam from upstairs.

Nico is home and, from the sound of it, he isn’t too happy. He is already on the phone with someone else, shouting words in a language – Italian, he assumes – that he doesn’t know so he cannot understand what Nico is so angry about. The fire behind his voice is enough for Louis to know he should wait a few minutes to greet his husband. Or wait until he is called upon.

Nico and his “coworkers” as he calls them had organized a raid today against their long-time enemies, Louis couldn’t quite remember their last names. He tried to remain uninvolved in Nico’s whole “company” as he calls it because Nico doesn’t want to get him wrapped up in. “It’s too dangerous, baby, don’t want you getting hurt.” He told Louis once. Louis doesn’t really know what they do, but sometimes Nico comes home pretty banged up so its up to him to tend to his wounds. Whatever it is he does, it allows the two of them to live a lavish lifestyle.

At the young age of twenty-two, Louis has seen a lot of the world. They have travelled all across Europe, even to the States for a few important business meetings, as Nico calls them. He didn’t understand where the money came from, but Louis knew better than to ask too many questions regarding Nico’s line of work.

Louis spends most of his days at home without ever leaving their apartment. He has to find ways to make himself useful while Nico is away during the week. Sundays are the only days where Louis gets Nico to himself for the entire day, but even then, an ambush could ruin the Sabbath day for him. He doesn’t understand why these attacks happen or for what reason. He doesn’t understand why Nico is fighting these bad men – “stupid fucking cunt bastards” – he refers to them usually.

The yelling from downstairs has ceased, so Louis assumes it is safe for him to venture down there and try to ease whatever is bringing Nico so much stress. He tiptoes quietly down the stairs.

“Nico?” he calls out, timid as a rabbit, “How are you? Are you okay?”

He turns left down a hallway towards the kitchen, Nico’s back facing him. He’s quiet, not answering either question Louis asked him. Instead of a verbal reply, he slams his fist on the counter, earning a frightened squeak out of the cinnamon-haired boy.

“Am I okay? Really, Louis, god-fucking-dammit, what a dumbass question.” Nico snaps back at the boy. Louis starts to shake slightly; no matter what he says or how he says it, anything he does could tick his husband off.

Nico turns around, revealing quite a nasty gash on his cheekbone. It stretched from right under the corner of his eye to his jaw. It was still bleeding, dribbling down his chin onto his suit jacket. He doesn’t bother to wipe the blood clean, instead opting to spit a combination of blood and saliva onto their kitchen floor. “Now, clean that up, won’t you? Make yourself fucking useful since you haven’t even fixed me something to eat, Jesus, Louis what do I keep you around here for?” he goes on, banging his fist down on the counter again. Louis is just glad it isn’t his skin that the fist is colliding with.

Immediately, Louis goes to clean up the spit on the floor, grabbing a towel and wiping it quickly before standing up and shaking off the insults Nico has just spit at him. He pretends he didn’t hear him; he knows that Nico isn’t annoyed with him, really, he just had a rough day at work.

Although it did seem like every day was a rough day for Nico.

“I’m sorry, Nico, you got home earlier t-than I thought, so I didn’t have the time yet.” He stammers, placing a hand on his lover’s uninjured cheek, trying to rid himself of the nervous feeling he felt. “Do you want me to get something to clean that with? I’ll bandage it up f-for you? I cleaned the entire house today, scrubbed the tub in our bathroom, maybe y-you’d like a bath once I fix this for yo-“

“No, Louis, I don’t need a fucking bath, I just want you to fucking fix this, since it’s all you seem to be good for.” He snaps, pointing to his gash, simultaneously grabbing Louis by his neck. Louis whimpers quietly, staring right back with his own chocolate orbs. “I don’t give a fuck that you cleaned the house today, that’s what I expect you to do while I’m out working hard so we can have a good life, Louis.” He releases him after that, dismissing him with a wave of his hand. Louis tries to recover quickly, wiping the tears that have begun to well up before sprinting back up the steps to their en suite bathroom, grabbing the medical supplies necessary to fix his husband’s wound.

When he comes back downstairs, Nico seems to have calmed down considerably. He’s now shedding his blood-stained suit jacket off his shoulders, throwing it on the chair nearby. Louis watches as he starts to undo his waistcoat, loosening his tie. He runs a golden hand through his raven hair, letting a deep sigh out of his chest. Louis takes the time to appreciate his beauty before he notices that he’s staring.

Nico is all muscle, bronze skin, and gorgeous dark hair. He keeps it clean cut yet long on top, just long enough so Louis can still run his fingers through it. His eyes are beautiful hazel orbs that could hypnotize anyone, male or female. Before Louis, Nico had been quite the ladies man. Why he had settled for someone like Louis, the younger man could never guess. Nico always said it was because Louis was “a good boy, so beautiful, so obedient, my little pet” although he wasn’t so sure about the whole “beautiful part”. A lady could never keep Nico satisfied quite like Louis could.

Louis breaks his own train of thought and quietly approaches his husband, not wanting to upset him anymore today than he already has.

“I’m sorry, Nico, I’ve got everything to fix the wound, I love you.” He murmurs quietly. Surprisingly enough, the older man turns around and takes him into his arms, kissing the top of his head, being careful to not get blood on his silky brown hair. Louis senses the guilt he feels for having yelled at him. Maybe he should be more upset with him than he is, but Louis has never been one to hold grudges. He loves Nico very much, or else he wouldn’t have married him just five months ago. He works so hard and does so many things for him. Maybe Louis isn’t grateful enough, that has to be it.

“I’m so sorry for yelling at you like that, baby, I love you so much, you have no goddamn idea, you’re too good for me, I’m a piece of shit.” He grabs the boy under his chin roughly and kisses him, teeth mashing against Louis’s. “I can’t believe you married a sonuva bitch like me, you’re too good for me, baby.”

All Louis can do is blush and look down, embarrassed at how Nico is gushing over him. He loves when Nico shows him affection and shows he cares about him because it only happens once in a blue moon. The younger boy has grown so used to Nico coming home angry for a number of reasons. Maybe a raid will have gone haywire, or maybe they lost money. Those are just the reasons he hears Nico complain about in English, the rest in Italian so Louis cannot understand. A guy could just look at Nico the wrong way and he’d be in a horrible mood.

Louis smiles down at the floor before looking back up at the older man, kissing him again gently.

“It’s okay, Nico, you know I’ll always forgive you.” He whispers, smiling shyly at him. He pulls away to grab the tools he needs from the medical kit – he’s gotten a lot of practice with this by now. He just wished Nico would tell him where he goes during the day, who he’s fighting, why he gets so banged up.

For now, Louis lets it go.

“Now let me stitch you up, then I’ll make dinner.”