_________ knew there was something wrong when he entered the house. She heard Ludwig close the front door and slip his shoes off with a heavy sigh. She propped herself on an elbow and looked toward the bedroom door, tempted to get up and go down the hallway to welcome her lover home, to find out what was wrong.
She had noticed it since this morning. When she served him breakfast, he didnt smile but thanked her and remained silent while they ate. Later, as he got ready to go to the meeting, he had an odd air about him. She watched him as he had slipped his jacket on and you could see a look in his icy, cerulean eyes. The blue seemed a deeper shade and the ice in them was more than just frosty or cold. Even when she kissed him good bye and wished him luck as he left, she didnt see the look disappear. When she thought about it, he seemed a lot like this yesterday too.
________ frowned, trying to think of what it could be. Usually when he was stressed with work he would go into his office and come out hours later to join her in bed. If she was awake, she would go into his office and try to coax him out of the paperwork. He worked far too much and need times to rest, but she knew that being a workaholic was part of nature.
She lay down again as she heard Ludwigs footsteps coming up to their room. There was something in the pace of his footsteps. His steps were slow, reflective, as if he were lost in deep thought. She shut her eyes, pretending to sleep. In the darkness behind her eyelids, she heard the door handle turn.
The door opened silently, and she could feel Ludwigs eyes on her sleeping figure. He didnt step into the room, and for a moment, she thought he was just checking her and he would leave to go to his office. She almost opened her eyes in astonishment when she heard him sigh again and step into the room. He quietly closed the door behind him.
He walked over to his side of the bed and she felt the mattress depress under his weight when he sat down. They both remained still, him sitting on the edge of the bed while she pretended to sleep. She could feel his warmth faintly radiating off his body, but she also sensed the slight tension. She heard slide his jacket off his shoulders and the tie soon followed. She slowly opened her (e/c) eyes, and with caution, turned to her lovers side of the bed.
In the faint moonlight that peeled through the gap in the curtains, she saw the outline of his back side. Ludwig was hunched over, his hands busy undoing the buttons of his shirt. She watched him as he stopped halfway and let his arms rest on his knees. With his head bowed and another deep sigh escaping his lips, he looked solemn.
Unable to take seeing him like this anymore, _________ spoke up in a gentle whisper. Ludwig?
He lifted his head upon hearing his name and turned to her, almost alarmed. Did I wake you?
The moonlight dyed his face in shadows and pale blue light. His blonde, sleeked back hair and eyes were shades lighter. Some of his chest was exposed from underneath the shirt, and shadows played across his perfectly muscled torso. Had she not detected his solemn mood, she would have crawled across the bed kissed him silly.
She focused her eyes on his and let a faint smile shape her lips. No, I was awake before. The smile left her lips. Are you alright?
He gave a faint nod. Im fine, schatz. Just
a long day is all. Go back to sleep. He turned away from her again, believing she wouldnt see through his act
She wouldnt take that for an answer and shuffled an inch closer to him. Luddy
I know theres something wrong. Please, tell me.
When he didnt respond in anyway, her concern only grew. The sheets were dragged under her legs as she inched closer to him. I noticed it this morning and yesterday too. There was something on your mind, and it was obviously bothering you. I didnt to ask at the time
but Im starting to think that I should have.
He turned his head as inch over his shoulder. She saw his lips were in a thin line and his troubled eyes were hooded with a typical frown puckered his eyebrows. ________, I dont think this is the time to-
Whats bothering you so much that you cant tell me? Her voiced was laced with slight annoyance, but she managed to regain the concern. Luddy
Im worried about you. She reached her hand out and the fingertips touched his back. She felt him stiffen at the soft action. Please tell me.
Ludwig raised his head, his gazed going to the moon between the curtains. ________ withdrew her hand and waited for him to respond to her. She didnt care how long it took him to tell her, but she grew more worried as the minutes ticked by and he didnt move.
Eventually, the German turned to _________, bringing his legs on to the mattress and turning his whole body towards her. His eyes looked down at hers. Even when they were sitting, he somehow managed to be even slightly taller than her. She waited, putting on an encouraging smile in hopes that the hesitance in his expression would disappear. She knew he always struggled to express himself when it came to his problems and emotions, so she tried to be patient and wait for him.
The smile vanished when the Germans eyes flickered his lap and then back to _________ eyes again.
Years ago, today
He struggled to find the right words. It started.
__________ frowned and couldnt help but tilted her head in confusion. When what started?
His hesitance to give her answer was obvious. She thought for a moment, trying to recall what was significant about todays date.
He spoke up again, knocking her out of her train of thought. Whenever this date comes along, I see it all before my eyes, like flashbacks, and I cant sleep
every time, the same images
Back then, I was so desperate, and I was willing to follow any crazy scheme to have my country become the powerful nation it once was. I followed him! I helped drag millions to their deaths, to those damn camps! I almost annihilated the only close friend I had when he left! I cant ever forget what I did or what I saw. I cant forget
that lust I relished
wanting more, always wanting more and more
until I consumed the whole world
By the end his voice was constricted, as if he were almost on the verge of crying. His expression was harsh, anger clearly contorting his features and creating more shadows across the planes of his face. _______ felt her heart clench as she realised why today was significant and what was causing his pain.
The day World War II began.
She looked back at him, unsure what to say. How long had he been having these flashbacks, and why had he never told her? They moved in together a few months ago, but even before then, she had never notice him act in such a way. When she thought about it, on this date she had never seen him in the past and he would contact her a few days later.
Why hadnt she noticed until now?
Shaking those thoughts off, she concentrated on her lover again. She saw the mixed emotions that glazed his eyes. She knew how hard it was for him to admit and explain his troubles. In her heart, she knew the words she had to say.
So deep in his thoughts, Ludwig didnt notice her reaching her hands out and taking his face between them. His eyes widened as she tilted his face back up to her. Her eyes gazed at him with deep concern and love. _-______?
She shuffled closer, her face inches from his and her knees on his lap. She faintly felt his hot breath on her face. She didnt break her gaze from his as moved her hands into his hair. He let a quiet surprised sound escape past his lips as ________ started to gently pulled the gelled back strands out his usually hairstyle. The frown deepened as confusion now settled into his angered expression. Whatre you
I know who you are
________ whispered. I know how hard you work, I know your name, I know youre a nation
I know how you laugh, and how you smile
Ludwigs eyes drooped at her words and actions. Strand by blonde strand, his hair was coming undone and her fingers massaging his scalp relaxed him. He couldnt stop himself as his head fell forward and rest itself on her shoulder. A tired groan rumbled through his chest.
________ let out a sigh of her own. And I know that you are worried about slipping into the darkness again.
She felt him go rigid at the statement. She took that as confirmation that was what troubled him the most. Her fingers stopped, instead going to the back of his back of his head and holding him. But if theres one thing Ive known about you since I first met you
its that you wont slip again. Youve learnt from the past, and because you are so horrified by it, so guilt ridden by what you did and how you felt, I know you wont go back.
Youll move forward, like you always do. The past is there to remind us the mistakes never to make again
you dont have to worry anymore. Accept what happened, as horrible as it was
and move on, Germany.
Saying his nations name felt odd to her. She was use to calling him by his human name, and she was one of the very few to be allowed to call him by it.
After _________ finished, he didnt move.
She turned and placed a gentle peck on the shell of his ear as her fingers pulled the last strands still stuck. Ludwig didnt move, and for a moment she thought maybe he had fallen asleep. Lud-?
He pulled back from her shoulder. As he leaned back, his hands shot up and grabbed hers and brought them down between their bodies. His hold on them was tight but ________ wasnt focusing on that. Her widened eyes couldnt look away from the cerulean blue that gazed back at her. She felt a small blush colour her cheeks as she took in the expression Ludwigs face wore.
His harshness had disappeared completely, and with hair pulled out of its usually style and the expression he wore, she barely recognised him. What sat before her was not the stoic German she had come to know; all of that had crumbled, and what was left were the raw emotions that lay underneath.
His expression was soft, vulnerable, and held three emotions she could identify amongst the many that swam around in his eyes. She saw shock, guilt, and the most prominent, love. She felt her heart skip a beat as her eyes took in everything before her. Her heart raced further as he leaned. He whispered her name in just before their lips connected in a gentle kiss.
His hands released hers and found her waist, pulling her closer to his hulking form. Her hands landed on his chest, and she was shocked when she felt his rapid heartbeat. It matched hers. When they pulled away, they found themselves being drawn back seconds later.
With each kiss, the gentleness turned to passion. Every time their lips disconnected, he whispered her name and sweet murmurs in German. The rest of night was a blur of emotion, and the world rest of world faded away.
The past was forgotten for that night.
The past was unchangeable, but it remained so that they knew their mistakes and how theyve come.
In the present, they were in a solace of emotion, sweet words, and tangled limbs.
The future had yet to come, but as far was the two were concerned, their future was right in front of them, in their arms.