It was Christmas Eve. You and your husband of eight months were on your way over to Alfred's house for a party that night. The backseat of Ludwig's BMW had the presents and your duffle bag for the overnight stay. Both of you were looking forward to seeing your friends all together since your marriage.
You and Ludwig Beilschmidt were classmates in college. Both of you had crushes on the other. One day during fall semester, you ran into class late and the only seat left was next to him. There was an awkward moment between you two before Ludwig mustered up the courage to talk to you. Ever since that day, the two of you were joined at the hip. You married him at the end of May, not long after you graduated.
The drive to Alfred's house was a long one. You got slightly carsick and decided to close your eyes. Before you realized it, you were fast asleep. Ludwig glanced over at you periodically as he drove the two hour distance. Your frequent waves of tiredness worried him. "Ve're almost zhere, Liebling," he said to your sleeping form. He carefully took a hand from the steering wheel to hold yours.
You were roused from sleep when Ludwig parked the car in front of Alfred's house. "Oh, gut. You're avake." You looked over to see Ludwig smiling.
"I slept the entire time?" you asked with a yawn. You rubbed at your (e/c) eyes to rid them of sleep.
Ludwig nodded. "I zhought you slept gut last night," he recalled as he unbuckled his seat belt.
"I did, but I guess I needed a nap." You turned your head to give Ludwig an apologetic smile. "I'm sorry the drive was so quiet."
"It's alright, (y/n)," he assured you. "I'm glad zhat you vere able to rest." Ludwig placed a hand on your cheek and gave you a loving kiss. You hummed and smiled against his lips, which made him chuckle deeply.
A loud slap on the outside of the door made Ludwig shoot up, cursing in German. He turned around to glare at the grinning and laughing albino waving at him. Feliciano was next to him, waving enthusiastically as well. With a roll of the eyes, Ludwig unlocked his door and opened it. Feliciano glomped him once he had room to. The sight made you laugh.
"I'm not even out of zhe car!" Ludwig complained. "Get off of me!"
"No! I haven't-a seen you in months!" Feliciano said cheerfully. Gilbert hefted both of them out of the car, to your surprise.
"Ve've missed you, Vest!" Gilbert added as he squeezed him tightly.
"Ja, I've missed you too," Ludwig gasped. He patted their backs awkwardly. "Now--let me go."
You still giggled as you got out of the car. Elizaveta greeted you with a hug while Roderich walked up. Alfred came up behind him at a jog. With their help, you and Ludwig had the car emptied and entered Alfred's house.
After adding your gifts to the already huge pile under the Christmas tree, Alfred showed you and Ludwig to the room you'd be staying in. He told you that dinner would be ready in about an hour and to make yourselves at home. He closed the door behind him before hurrying back down to the kitchen. He didn't want Arthur to touch any of the food.
Your stomach did a small flip-flop. The beginnings of a headache weren't a good sign either. On impulse you placed a hand to your stomach. The fingers of your other hand made circles on your temple in an attempt to ease the headache and nausea. Ludwig walked over to you and sat you down on the bed. He dropped the duffle bag at the foot of it
"Are you alright, Lieb?" he asked with a hint of worry. His blue eyes reflected what he felt. "Are you ill?" He pressed the back of his hand to your forehead to check your temperature.
You gently removed his hand. "No, I'm not sick, Lud," you assured him. "I'm just light headed. A little food with chase it away."
Ludwig knew better. "No, it von't," he said, trying to keep his irritation down. "(y/n), you've been zhis vay for a vhile now. At least a monzh. Have you been to zhe doctor yet?"
You tried to keep the panic off your face. Ludwig was very good at reading your body language. You had no idea that he paid that much attention to you. This was going to be hard. "Yes, dear," you told him. "He said it's because of an allergy. Once I figure out what I'm allergic to and remove it from my diet, I should be fine."
"Und have you found it yet?" Ludwig raised an eyebrow at you.
"No, not yet." You felt your face betray you. The corner of Ludwig's mouth curled up in a smirk.
"So, it's somezhing else zhen?" he questioned as he pulled you closer to him. The playfulness in his eyes made your heart race. Ludwig had you right where he wanted you. He placed his mouth beside your ear. "I vonder vhat it could be?" he breathed in your ear.
You bit your bottom lip to keep from making a sound. "It just might be a stomach bug," you suggested quietly.
"Nein. You're not sick, remember?" Ludwig slowly breathed his way down your neck, wanting a reaction from you. This was one time you wished he didn't know your weak spots. His hands traveled down your sides to rest on your hips. The tips of his fingers danced across your lower abdomen. It took all of your control to keep from flinching away.
"I've noticed zhis too," your husband said as he made lazy circles around the slight bulge there. "Are you gaining veight, (y/n)?" He gave you a smirk.
"N-no I'm not!" you said as you pulled his hands away. You stood up in an attempt to leave, only to be pulled back down by Ludwig. He chuckled at your reaction.
"Zhen vhy are you so sensitive about it? You're not--" Ludwig stopped mid sentence. His mind quickly pieced together your emotions and reactions all at once. He added his observations over the past few months. You started feeling nauseous and lightheaded last month. The month before that you grew more tired. And that was when you last had your period.
You watched your husband's face display one emotion after another: shock, disbelief, acceptance and awe. Ludwig took your hand in his. "Are you really . . .?"
You stroked the back of his hand with your thumb. "I wanted to tell you tomorrow, kind of like a Christmas present."
"Und I ruined it," Ludwig said with a heavy sigh.
You laughed as you shook your head. "Honey, it's okay, really. I probably did a poor job of keeping it from you."
Your warm smile lifted Ludwig's spirits. "Actually, you did very vell," he chuckled. His smile mirrored your own as he placed a hand on your growing belly. "Zhis is real. I'm going to be a vatti."
"Yes you are." You covered his hand with one of yours.
"Ich liebe dich, (y/n)."
"Ich liebe dich auch, Ludwig," you echoed tenderly. Your husband placed his lips to yours, gingerly coaxing you down onto the bed as it became a passionate one.
There was a soft knock on the door. Ludwig stopped mid kiss with a groan, which made you chuckle. He hated interruptions. "Ja?" he called out. You quickly sat up.
The door to the bedroom opened to reveal Matthew. He smiled shyly. "Alfred sent me up to tell you dinner's ready."
"Thanks, Mattie," you said as you stood, drawing Ludwig with you. "Why don't we go together?"
After fixing the collar of Ludwig's white turtleneck sweater and your own on your sweater dress, the three of you went downstairs for dinner.
Once you had some food, you perked right up. It was exactly what you needed. When everyone finished, you made your way into the living room. As you sat down on the couch with Ludwig, you took in the decorations. There were some stockings hanging on the fireplace mantle. A welcoming fire warmed up the room. The Christmas tree reminded you of a candy cane with its red and white lights. Silver snowflakes of various sizes and designs hung on the branches, glittering in the soft glow.
Light conversation started among the guests. You looked around the room to see Ivan, Yao, Francis, Antonio, Kiku, and Arthur, as well as the people you greeted on your way inside. With a huge grin on his face, Alfred pulled out a game from behind his back. "Who's up for Catchphrase!"
There was an outburst from Lovino at the mention of the game. Ludwig wasn't looking forward to it either. Alfred ignored them and had everyone gather in a circle and split up into two teams. He made sure that couples didn't sit next to each other, to Ludwig's disappointment. You ended up on separate teams anyway. Elizaveta, Francis, Mattie, Alfred, Feliciano and Yao were your teammates. Ludwig had Arthur, Gil, Toni, Ivan, Lovino, Roderich, and Kiku on his team.
Since the electronic version of Catchphrase had the winning total of ten points, you played best two out of three. Each team won one round. The last one was a nail biter. The scores were tied. Your team had just scored your ninth point. Ludwig's team started the round, getting their word quickly and then passing it to yours. Your team got the next word thanks to Yao's hilarious explanation. Ludwig was still laughing when Alfred passed him the game. When his eyes fell on the word, his face went blank. His hand went to push the pass button when Gilbert stopped him.
"Nein, bruder! No passing!" he reminded him. "You have to describe it." The increased speed of the timer was getting to his teammates.
"I-I can't!" Ludwig shouted. "It's an awkvard one!"
"Do it anyway!" Lovino yelled back.
Ludwig stared at the word as his cheeks gained a dust of pink.
"It shouldn't be that bad," Ivan piped up.
"Just try!" added Arthur.
"Fine." Ludwig started to explain the word just as the timer stopped. There were groans of frustration and disappointment from his team as they lost the round.
You and your teammates whooped and cheered in victory.
"Vhat vas zhe vord, anyvay?" Gilbert muttered as he snatched the game from Ludwig. He read the word and gave his brother a baffled expression. "Seriously, Vest? You couldn't describe zhis vone?"
"Do it for him," Roderich suggested with a smile.
"Alright." Gilbert sat straight and cleared his throat. "Vhen a man und a voman have sex vizhout protection, zhe voman could get--"
"Pregnant!" Feliciano declared with gusto, even though he was on the other team. Everyone laughed, save one person in particular.
Ludwig groaned and ran his hands through his blond hair. Gilbert found his brother's reaction quite interesting. He bent over to look at him. "You're taking zhis razher seriously, bruder. Do you have somezhing to say?" Gilbert smirked.
"Nein," Ludwig muttered. "If I did, I vould have told you already." He locked eyes with you. His glare gradually stopped your laughter, but your smile stayed on your face.
'Sorry,' you mouthed to him. Ludwig's eyes softened and his lips turned up at the corners.
Gilbert watched the silent exchange. His suspicions grew. He looked to you with narrowed, cheeky eyes. "(y/n), could you stand up for a second?" Gilbert asked you, motioning with his hand.
You raised an eyebrow skeptically at your brother-in-law. Your glanced to Ludwig, whose facial expression warned you to stay put. "I have no reason to, Gilbert," you told him. "I am quite comfortable on the couch."
"Zhe dress you're vearing is quite nice. I'd like a better look at it." Gilbert quickly looked to Francis for help.
Francis glanced over at you. "It is very flattering, (y/n)," he added. "Please stand so we can see it."
Ludwig growled. "I don't see zhe point of zhis. You saw it earlier!"
"Oh, just stand up and do a little turn, (y/n)," Elizaveta said with a nod of her head.
With a blush you complied. You stood, walked towards the center of the room and did a small turn. Gilbert stood and watched you. His eyes took in every inch. "Alright, you can stop, but stay standing." He motioned for Francis and Toni to join him as they walked around you. Your blush deepened as you watched their eyes examine your body. The threesome huddled together, speaking in hushed tones. This angered Ludwig even more.
"I've had enough of zhis," Ludwig muttered as he got to his feet. "You are being ridiculous, Gilbert."
"I am not! Zhere is a purpose to zhis!" Gil defended with a pout. His little huddle broke as Toni and Francis stood on either side of him. "Und zhanks to Toni and Francis, I now know vhy you are so up tight." He grinned at Francis. "Vill you do zhe honors?"
"Of course.~" Francis said with a smile. He smirked at Ludwig as he walked up to you. Your husband remained tense and still, keeping an eye on Francis. Toni and Gil stood alert in case he lashed out.
"So, what's up?" Alfred asked, clearly confused. He wasn't the only one, either.
"I don't know if anyone else besides Gil noticed, but since zhat last round, Ludwig 'as been out of sorts. And it's because of zhe word 'e 'ad to describe." Francis circled behind you. "Look closely right 'ere." Francis' hands framed your lower abdomen. You felt your face heat up at the touch. "Zhere is a difference. I can assure you zhat zhis isn't added weight. It's somezhing else." He gave you a warm smile, which darkened the hue of your blush. "Somezhing precious."
It took less than five seconds before everyone realized what Francis meant. The room erupted in shouts of surprise. All who were sitting stood and went to you and Ludwig, giving their congratulations. Ludwig had slaps on the back and boyish nudges from the men around him, which made him flush in embarrassment. Feliciano happily hugged each of you in turn. You and Ludwig shared a relieved gaze. It was probably better for everyone to find out now instead of later.
Once all the excitement simmered, Roderich sat at the piano and played Christmas carols. Those who wanted to gathered around him and sang along. You and Ludwig stood by the fire. He had an arm around you, holding you protectively to him. Alfred stood on your other side.
"I swear, that was an unexpected--yet pleasant--surprise," Alfred said aloud.
"Don't you usually surprise each of us vizh somezhing every year?" Ludwig reminded Alfred.
Alfred shrugged. "Yeah, but I won't this year. Your surprise was much better than mine."