"__________? Do you have a minute?" Your best friend, Ludwig, asks, blushing profusely.
Ludwig was a muscular guy, with blue eyes and blond hair that was always slicked back. He was German, and, though his appearance intimidated a lot of people, he was really a sweet person once you got to know him.
"Sure," you shrug as he watches you.
"_________, I....I...Ich liebe dich." He stutters, his eyes downcast.
You stare at him in amazement, your (e/c) eyes wide. "L-Ludwig, I...thank you, but...I'm going out with Lovino. I-I'm sorry."
"Nein, don't apologize. It vas my own fault." He says with a stoic face.
"Ludwig...I really am sorry."
"Forget about it, fraulein."
"We-We can still be friends, right?" You ask hopefully.
"Thanks. Do you want to hang out later?"
Ludwig pauses, thinking it over. "Zat sounds...nice."
Your face lights up at his response. "Danke, Ludwig!" You exclaim, quickly hugging him before heading to your next class, Italian.
Closing the door behind you, you take your customary seat next to Lovino. The Italian's tanned face brightens, and his strange curl of auburn hair pops up. "Ciao, bella." He purrs, grinning, as you put away your things. Lovino cracks a smile as you blush and turn away from him.
"Hey, Lovi." You say, not turning to look at him. He grabs your shoulder and forces you to face him.
"What's-a wrong, bella?" He asks, face serious.
"Nothing, Lovi. Just a really weird day, that's all."
Lovino releases his hand from your shoulder and asks, "Hey, _________, want-a to hang-a out-a later?"
"Sorry, Lovi, but I already made plans with Ludwig."
Lovino opens his mouth to retort, but, before he can say a word, the teacher begins class. Five minutes into the lesson, Lovino passes you a note.
'Why do you want to spend time with that potato bastard?' You read as you open the paper.
Scribbling back furiously, you write, 'Because he's my friend, Lovi. Besides, he's had a rough day. And I always hang out with you.' You toss the note back to him, hitting him in the head with it. You watch his honey brown eyes grow wide as he reads it.
'So what happened to the jerk?' He writes quickly.
'Lovi, he's not a jerk. I don't know why you have to alienate everyone you come in contact with.' You reply scathingly, your protective instincts kicking in.
Lovino's eyes narrow at your response, and he furiously writes, 'Just tell me what happened to him, ragazza.'
'No. It's personal.' You write back.
'Did he ask you out?'
'No, he didn't. I'm not going to tell you, so stop asking.'
'He told you he loved you, didn't he?' Lovino writes, ignoring you.
Your (e/c) orbs widen at his question, and you wait a moment before responding, 'No.'
'I don't want you around him anymore, ragazza.'
'I'm not doing that, Lovi. He's not going to do anything.'
'Ragazza, listen to me. Men are evil creatures, and when they want something, they'll do anything to get it.' Lovino warns.
'So you're telling me that you'd force yourself on me?'
'No! I meant most men.' Lovino hurriedly writes.
'Well, Ludwig isn't one of them.'
'I still don't want you around him, ragazza.'
'I don't care. He's my friend, and I'll be damned if I don't step in and help him.' You write back.
'Fine, have it your way. But don't come crying to me when he does something.' Lovino writes dejectedly.
'I'm not going to because I won't need to.' You write, passing the note back to him and returning your attention to the lesson. You see his face redden in anger, and he crumples the paper. You smirk and turn away before he can notice.
~3 Hours Later~
"Hey, Lud! Ready to go?" You ask as you gather your things.
"Ja, fraulein." He replies slowly before taking your hand. You follow him as he leads you to his house.
Once more, you throw your bag on the floor and plop down on the plump couch. Ludwig looks at you skeptically, asking, "Shouldn't ve be studying, ___________?"
"Oh, come on, Ludwig. It's the weekend! That test isn't until Wednesday."
"So you're going to cram zat morning, right?"
"Hey! I'll have you know that I did that for the last two tests, and I scored higher than you. Obviously, my method works."
"Vatever you say, __________." Ludwig chuckles, sitting next to you.
"When do you think we're getting that snowstorm?"
"Any day now, __________. Zey said it might knock out ze power."
"We'll be fine. I almost never lose power. It takes a lot for us to lose it."
"Lucky you." He teases, getting up and moving towards the kitchen. "Do you vant anyzing, fraulein?"
"Not right now, Lud." You reply, looking outside at the dark mass of clouds covering the sky. Any day now, they would release millions of small, sparkling crystals. Ludwig interrupts your thoughts as he sits back down.
"Looks nasty, doesn't it?"
A faint buzzing draws your attention, and you look around, trying to find the source. A loud, bolting sound follows it, and the house becomes silent as the lights go off.
"Lud?" You call out, not able to see anything in the poor lighting.
You crawl to the other side of the couch, feeling around for him. "I guess now's not the best time to tell you that I'm kind of terrified of the dark."
"Yeah, it's stupid, I know. I've just never gotten over it."
"It's not stupid, liebling. You have to be afraid of somezing."
"I guess that's true. I really wish the lights would come back on, though." You say as your hand comes in contact with Ludwig's arm. You close your eyes and hold on to him tightly.
Several minutes pass in complete silence before a loud cluncking sound makes you jump. The faint hum resumes, and you open your eyes to see bright light flooding the room. You start to move away from Ludwig, only to realize that you were sitting in his lap. Fiery red conquers your face as you blush, and a faint tinge of pink decorates Ludwig's cheeks.
"What I said earlier...I take it back. Lovino's an ass. I don't know why I didn't realize sooner...that you've always been there for me."
"Vat are you saying, ___________?"
"Ich liebe dich auch, Ludwig."
He looks surprised for a moment, then leans in and tenderly presses his lips against your own. You close your (e/c) eyes and kiss back swiftly.
"Vat about Lovino?" Ludwig asks as he pulls away.
"He can do whatever the hell he wants. I don't care anymore."