You hummed to yourself as you swirled a wooden spoon through the batter you had spent a while actually creating. Holding the bowl that contained this batter, you walked around the kitchen in attempt to keep yourself busy. Your bare feet padded across the floor as you continued to stir, letting your mind wander as the stirring of this batter began to become something of routine.
You were awake at a ridiculous hour, knowing that you should be sleeping, but unable to. You couldn’t help but to have let your mind wander to other things as you had laid there in bed, unable to go back to sleep. Out of all these things that ran through your mind, you found that what stuck the most to your conscious thought was a new way to fix snickerdoodles, and it seemed that this new possible recipe refused to let itself stay dormant until morning came around. So here you were, slowly mixing the batter.
You would have been humming to yourself, but you were trying to be as quiet as you possibly could, your steps not yet eliciting any moans from the floor and no surprised squeaks had managed to be drawn from your lips. Letting a small, but obviously tired smile pass over your face, you continued to mix the ingredients together that would eventually transform itself into a wonderful dessert as thoughts of a particular man drifted into your head. Setting the bowl down so that you could rummage around in the cabinets for a baking sheet, you allowed yourself some time to think about the other person in this house.
Ludwig, your Ludwig. You let your smile grow, pulling out a sheet you thought would suit your needs. German, tall, wonderfully blue eyes, orderly blonde hair that was always slicked back, it all hit you the first time you had seen and talked to him. He was so perfect in the way he looked, and the way he acted only helped to reinforce how you thought of him. He acted defensive, that was of course to be expected, I mean all you had to do was look at his general appearance to figure that out. Always wearing extremely pressed clothing, his facial expression always level, and his physical actions always managed to come off as stiff. Still, he could be sweet and kind, and when his signature blush slowly spread across his cheeks you found you couldn’t help but smile.
Slowly you began to line up the cookies to-be on the baking sheet, your fingers working quickly and nimbly despite your fatigue. Rolling up dough only to put it on the sheet and pressing it down only to repeat the action, but it was no real matter. As you did the somewhat tedious work you could let your mind wander, and once these cookies were out of the oven you might actually be able to go back to sleep. You continued to think about your German as you continued to prepare your cookies. You were, of course, living with him. When he had asked you, you had been surprised at the actual idea. Ludwig didn’t really seem the type to ask for anyone to move in with him, and for the person he asked to be you...
Another sweet smile curved your lips up as you wiped your palms, slick from the butter in the cookie dough, on the bottom half of your apron. Ludwig had to be the best sort of man you had ever even met. You carried your tray over to the heated oven, opening the door and sliding the cookies inside it, setting the timer to the designated cooking time. You wiped your forehead with the back of your hand and made the quick walk over to the small table that sat pressed to one of the walls of the kitchen. Sliding out a chair from under the table so you could easily let yourself fall into it, you let out a sigh, happy to be off your feet. You were almost beginning to regret this whole escapade. Cookies could not be this important, you were beginning to think nothing was at this hour. You let yourself cradle your head in your hands, your (h/l) (h/c) cascading down in front of your face, some strands curling in between your fingers. You closed your eyes, letting your shoulders relax as you focused mainly on the breath you took into your body and the air you pushed out. You felt yourself begin to tip off to sleep, but you couldn’t even manage to gather up enough effort to care about it. If being able to reach the wonderful heaven that was sleep meant falling asleep in a chair, you would take it.
At the sound of the familiar, low, German-accented voice your head shot up. Immediately his gaze caught yours, but he couldn’t keep you busy for long just looking into his eyes. You soon found yourself looking his body up and down. It was summer, so he wasn’t about to sleep with a shirt on, so he was standing half-naked in your kitchen with his hair disheveled.
You let a small, guilty smile creep onto your face. “G’morning, Ludwig...” you muttered after you let your eyes flick to the clock mounted on the wall. One-thirty in the morning. God. You really should be in bed. The thought made your eyelids threaten to fall over your eyes again.
And then, suddenly he was there at your side, a hand on your shoulder to keep you from falling out of the chair. He shook his head and sighed, looking down at you. You were so innocent at times. Doing things like waking up in the middle of the night only so that you could bake cookies, or at least that is what he supposed you were baking, was just one of the few examples he could come up with that accurately described just how innocently sweet you could be. Ludwig supposed all the ways in which you managed to be so kind was one of the few reasons he found himself... attracted to. He had seen so much pain, so much death, so much sadness, and so much evil, yet here you managed to exist. The epitome of kindness, and you were his.
You were falling asleep. There was nothing you could do to prevent it anymore. You were just so tired, even moving your lips to talk seemed like a laborious task, but you still managed to get a few words out.
“Sorry... if I woke you...” you whispered out, feeling the grip on your shoulder loosen you almost thought he was going to leave you for a moment, but all potential worries disappeared as you felt yourself maneuvered in such a way that let you be snuggly enwrapped in his arms, part of your body pressed to his chest as you were hoisted up off your chair. After a moment of silence, and a moment to let himself piece together what he might say to you in his mind, Ludwig finally spoke.
“Zhere is nozhing to apologize for,” his voice was gentler, kinder. You knew it was the voice he used whenever he was trying to calm you down or send you off to sleep when you couldn’t quite drift off. “You vill never have anyzhing to apologize for...” You felt a calloused thumb smooth itself over your cheekbone as more of his words poured steadily out of his mouth. The tone was so relaxing... and the words so kind...
You curled yourself even closer to Ludwig’s chest, only managing a happy, but rather pitiful sounding, mumble as you pressed your face where his heart would be. He always seemed to radiate such warmth around you, it always made you smile to think about him being your personal sun. Something, no, someone, who was entirely yours.
When you would awake the next day, you would only be able to faintly remember the ease at which Ludwig carried you into your shared bedroom. You would detect the faintest hint of the memory that was made up of the covers being tucked around your body as a tender, but quick kiss was placed to your forehead in the way one might send a child off to bed. If you were to have trouble remembering any, if all, of these major details, you might pass up the way the bedspread smelt of him, or the feel of some strands of his hair brushing against the skin of your forehead as he kissed you. No, it wasn’t likely you would remember the tenderness of his touch or the warmth the sheets lent you, but you would remember his kind words, that was for certain.
While you would have difficulty in recalling that night’s events in your future, Ludwig would remember them perfectly. From getting up to see where you had gone at an hour he would wish to forget, to having to carry you to bed because you were so tired. Ludwig would remember his mission to remove your cookies from the oven so his house wouldn’t burn to the ground and so your cookies wouldn’t find themselves a burnt disk. He would remember carefully sliding the baking sheet out of the oven and setting it down on a cooling rack, the smell of the cookies finally managing to spread throughout the kitchen. Ludwig would even remember making sure that he turned off the oven before heading back into the room to find you were fast asleep, and he would remember the warm feeling he got in his chest as he climbed into bed with you and wrapped his arms around your waist, drawing you close to him as you let out a happy hum. But, above all these things, Ludwig would remember trying out three words on his lips. Three words, not all entirely new unless put together.
“Ich liebe dich...” he spoke softly, looking down at your sleeping face for a moment to make sure you were not awake and you hadn’t heard him, and then he shook his head. Silly. Not love... Not so soon.
But much later, years later, Ludwig would look back and remember that perhaps it wasn’t too soon.