Tonight's going to be a great night, I thought as I finished getting dressed. I had invited Ludwig, Gilbert, and Roderich to go out. We would eat at a nice restaurant, go a little sight-seeing, and hopefully spend some time shopping. Of course, since they were all men, I wasn't getting my hopes up for the latter.
I heard my doorbell ring and made my way to the door, opening it all the way. There stood the three, nicely dressed. Even Gilbert cleaned up significantly for the occasion.
"Hallo, _____," said Ludwig. "Are you ready to go?"
I nodded, grabbing my purse. "Yeah. Let's go."
Except for Gilbert's rambling about how awesome he was, the ride to the restaurant was quiet. I, for one, couldn't stand it, so I decided to break the awkward silence.
"So," I stammered, not entirely sure what to say. "How's Elizabeta been, Roderich? She didn't come visit, did she?"
"No, she didn't," Roderich replied plainly. "She had work to do back in Hungary. But she's fine, thank you for asking."
Another awkward silence. However, this time, the silence was interrupted by our arriving at the restaurant. After parking, we went in and were seated at a nice booth near a window. I sat on the inside next to Ludwig, who had a light shade of pink dusting his cheeks as he sat down, Roderich sat opposite me, and Gilbert opposite Ludwig.
We ordered our drinks and were scanning over our menuswell, the boys were, anyway. I had been here so much that I could always choose what I wanted within a few seconds. I looked at Ludwig, who seemed to be having a hard time figuring out what to get.
"You want some recommendations?" I asked him.
"Eh?" he glanced at me, then returned to the menu nodding. "Ja. Sure."
I leaned over to check out his menu. I pointed to an item on it, brushing my hand against Ludwig's for a split-second in the process. Ludwig's cheeks started to grow redder. "This one is good," I said. I pointed to another item. "And I really like this one." My arm rested in the crook of his while I pointed out things on the menu, and Ludwig nodded slightly every now and again, trying to hide the fact that he was blushing like mad.
Gilbert noticed his blushing and snickered. "Having trouble deciding what to eat, bruder?" He wiggled his eyebrows suggestively. "Because I know what you can have." He made a gesture that I didn't catch, but whatever it was, Ludwig didn't seem to like it. He straightened up and started yelling at his brother in German. Gilbert laughed obnoxiously and began replying to him in German. Roderich simply furrowed his brows, crossed his arms, and did his best to tune them out.
I rubbed my temples. "Guys, would you please stop yelling at each other, especially in public?" Being Miss Nice-Girl didn't seem to work, because the two kept going at it. So I resorted to Miss Mean-Girl and shouted over them, "Halt die Klappe!"
All three men stopped and stared at me. Ludwig cleared his throat and relaxed back into the seat. Gilbert just sat back with a smug grin on his face. Roderich said something to Ludwig in German, causing Ludwig to nod and calm down more. He spoke in German to Roderich, which he replied to, and started a whole new conversation that I couldn't understand.
I sighed. "Guys, can you please stop talking in German? I feel like I'm being kept out of the loop here."
Gilbert snickered when he saw Ludwig blush a bit, and Roderich nodded at me. "Ja. Of course, _____. Sorry for making you feel left out."
"Ja, we won't not tell you anything now," said Gilbert with a wide grin.
I raised an eyebrow, and saw that Ludwig was giving him a death glare.
We ordered our food and sat waiting for it to come when I noticed that a man, obviously drunk, in the bar section of the restaurantwhich we were so lucky to be put besidewas ranting about how horrible Germans are. I raised an eyebrow at him. "Yo, sir? Do you mind keeping it down please?"
"Why?" he slurred. "I'm talking to your friends, after all."
The boys started to get uncomfortable now, and I could feel Ludwig tense beside me.
"You guys ought to be ashamed of yourselves!" he shouted to them, to Ludwig in particular. "Going around lying, stealing, killing innocent people! How could someone do that? What kind of monster does those God-awful things?!"
Gilbert sat calmly with a glare directed toward the man. Roderich seemed pretty unfazed by the man's verbal abuse. I guess he thought that since he was Austrian, the insults did not apply to him. Ludwig, however, was about to lose his temper again. I expected him to get up and yell at the man, but he didn't. Instead, he turned toward the man, looked him dead in the eye, and said in the coldest voice I had ever heard him use, "Where did all of the Indians go?"
The man made a shocked expression, standing quietly transfixed for a second, then slowly and reluctantly returned to his seat at the bar. I stared at Ludwig, astonishment written all over my face.
Our food came, but no one seemed to be enjoying it. Especially Ludwig. "Ludwig?" I asked. "Are you okay?"
"Mm? Ja. I'm fine."
I knew he was lying. He didn't look fine at all. After a moment he put his silverware and napkin on the table and stood up from the booth.
"Ludwig" I started.
"I need some air," he mumbled before heading toward the door.
I sat there for a minute looking in the direction he'd headed, then climbed out of the booth. "Gil, don't eat my food," I said, and went to the door.
The cold winter air greeted me as I stepped outside, piercing my face and making my fingers go numb. I looked around the entrance for Ludwig, but didn't see him. I spotted him when I checked the restaurant's small parking lot. He was standing by our car with his hands in his coat pockets and head tilted upward, as if he was looking at the stars.
I stepped closer to him. "Ludwig?"
He jumped a bit when I said his name, and turned around to face me. "Ah . . . _____. What are you doing out here?"
I shrugged. "Checking on you. So why did you come out here?"
He looked away silently.
I sighed. "I'm sorry. I didn't know that Arschloch was going to be there and say that stuff and"
"It's not just that," he said, hiding his face. "There . . . There's something else. . ."
I looked at him, confused. "What?"
He lifted his head, and I could see the ever-growing blush on his face. "_____ . . . I have this weird feeling when I'm around you . . . I talked to mein Bruder und Roderich und even Feliciano about it. . ."
My stomach knotted up a little as I figured out where he might be going with this. But I stayed calm and nodded. "And?"
"Und. . .they say it is. . .love. . ." He looked at me with an expression I had never seen him make. "_____ . . . I think I am in love with you."
My eyes widened and I felt my cheeks heat up despite the cold air. I moved closer to him, looking at the ground. Hesitantly, I took his hand, making him blush even more. I smiled softly at him. "You know what?"
He looked at me hopefully.
I laughed nervously. "I . . . I think I am, too . . . with you. . ."
His eyes went wide, and I saw a smile tugging at his lips. "Really?"
I nodded slowly, looking away from him. I had had a weird feeling whenever I was near Ludwig, too, but I was never able to figure out what it was until now.
Ludwig took both of my hands in his, and was a bit surprised when he felt how cold they were. "Are you cold?"
I nodded, shivering. "A little. It's mostly my hands, though."
Hearing this, he timidly lifted my hands up to his mouth. After receiving a silent okay from me, he began to breathe on them, warming them up. This caused my heart rate to skyrocket.
I gently pulled my hands away, laughing nervously. "Yay, I can feel my fingers again! Thanks, Luddy!"
He smiled at me, then gingerly placed his hand on my cheek. "You look very beautiful, _____."
"OH VERDAMMT, JUST KISS HER ALREADY!!!"
We both turned around to see Gilbert standing near the restaurant's entrance looking at us expectantly.
Our faces went red, and we both shouted at him as the three of us went back into the restaurant. When we returned to our seat, I noticed that the man that harassed us earlier had left. I was quite relieved, and sat enjoying the rest of dinner. Everyone else had also calmed down and lightened their moods a bit. Without realizing it, we stayed in the restaurant past one o'clock just talking. Well actually, the boys did. I fell asleep on Ludwig's shoulder at around midnight.
When I woke up the next morning, I was back in my room at my house. I climbed out of bed, realizing that I was still in the outfit I wore the previous night. Before I started to change, I noticed a folded up piece of paper on my nightstand. I picked it up to read, and I smiled at what it said:
You fell asleep at the restaurant last night, so I decided to take you home. Don't worry about the bill, we already paid for it. I hope you slept well, and I look forward to spending more time like last night with you.
Ich Liebe Dich,