"(Name) I do not understand vhy you spend so much time here ven you could be out having fun with friends." You almost laughed at the usual statement that was your greeting upon entering the room of your main charge, Walthari Beilschmidt. The old man was so serious but you couldn't help but find him adorable. Ever since you'd started taking care of him at the nursing home you worked at, he'd treated you like his own granddaughter. And you loved him like he was your grandfather.
"I've told you before, Grandpa Germania," you said, calling him by the nickname you'd given him after you'd learned of his love for the long gone country. "I much prefer being around cranky, smelly, old people all day long. Namely, you." Walthari snorted and patted your arm as you stood next to him, adjusting the blanket that lay across his lap.
"I have never met a mädchen with as much attitude as you, lieber ein. I didn't think I vas zat smelly." This time you did laugh, as you took a seat next to him.
"You get pretty gross sometimes, Grandpa Germania."
"Ah. I vill have to have to request two baths a day zen." A comfortable silence filled the room as you both stared out the window at the park next to the nursing home. To be honest, you really did prefer spending your time here with Walthari. Sometimes you got tired of all the drama that college students still managed to get into. It was like high school all over again. But whenever you were here, you could always relax and not worry about much aside from taking care of the residents.
"Mein Enkel is coming to visit tomorrow," Walthari said, reaching over to his dresser to grab a photo frame. You didn't even have to ask what the German meant. Walthari slipped so much random German into his conversations that you knew more German vocabulary than you ever imagined you would.
"Which one is it?" you asked, taking the picture he'd offered. He told you so much about his two grandsons; you could tell he was unbelievably proud of them.
"Ludvig," he said, pointing to the blond male in the picture. "Although he vill look a bit different now. Zat picture vas taken almost five years ago, ven he vas still in high school. He's filled out a bit since zen."
You nodded and scanned the face of the boy in the picture. He was incredibly handsome in the picture. You could only imagine how he must look now.
"Ludwig is my age, right?"
"Ja. He vould have been in your grade if you'd gone to ze same school." You nodded absentmindedly and continued looking at the photo, unaware of Walthari's eyes on you.
Unbeknownst to you, Walthari was playing matchmaker for you and his grandson. He loved you like his own and wanted you to be happy, but was worried that you would never find someone right for you if you spent all your time at the nursing home. So he decided to have Ludwig come visit him during a time you would be there, and hope that the two of you hit it off. At the very least you two could maybe be friends.
You stood up and set the photo back on the dresser before grabbing the handles of Walthari's wheelchair and pushing him out of the room.
"It's almost sunset, Grandpa Germania, we should head downstairs."
"Ja. You take such good care of me, (Name)."
"Don't say it like that, Grandpa Germania," you said, laughing weakly. "You make it sound like you're not going to be around much longer."
"Ve never know, mein Kind," he replied, heaving a sigh. You leaned over and pressed a kiss to the top of his head as you waited for the elevator. That was the only problem with getting close to the residents. Whenever something bad happened to them, it broke your heart. Part of you was in constant fear of Walthari dying.
But as you entered the elevator and made your way downstairs, you were determined not to let such a thing prevent you from doing your very best for him.
You entered the nursing home the next day and after clocking in, headed straight for Walthari's room. You were kind of anxious for his grandson's arrival and wanted to see if he was here yet or not.
When you entered the room and saw only Walthari, reading in his chair, you wanted to sigh in both relief and disappointment. You shook your head and went over to sit next to him.
"Guten Tag, Grandpa Germania," you said, knowing how proud he felt when you spoke to him in German. A smile appeared on his face as he took off his reading glasses and looked over at you.
"Guten Tag, (Name). How vas class today?" You began telling Walthari about your day, happy that you had someone that would always listen to what you had to say, no matter how unimportant it was.
A knock on the door halted the conversation and the two of you looked to the entry way. Walthari smiled again and motioned for the man to come in.
"Ludvig, it's so good to see you. Come sit down."
You tried to force down a blush. This was Ludwig?? This
German Adonis was Walthari's grandson?? You could definitely see the family resemblance in his startling blue eyes and blond hair. Walthari had been right when he'd said Ludwig had filled out since high school.
You quickly stood up and moved to the side so that he could sit next to his grandfather. Ludwig looked like he was about to protest, but was cut off when Walthari took a hold of his arm and guided him to sit down.
"Ludvig, I vant you to meet ze young lady who's been taking care of me," he said, grabbing your hand and bringing you back over to them. "Zis is (Name). (Name), zis is my grandson, Ludvig." You shyly held out your hand to him and offered a smile.
"It's nice to meet you," you said. "Grandpa Germania's told me a lot about you."
"It's nice to meet you as vell," Ludwig said, wrapping his hand around yours and shaking it. "Großvater has talked about you over ze phone." Your smile became more relaxed as you let your hand drop back to your side.
"Would you like a drink or something? It's about time for Grandpa Germania to take his pills anyway."
"I don't need any damn pills," Walthari muttered defiantly, making you laugh and Ludwig chuckle.
"Yes you do, Grandpa Germania. Your arthritis could get worse if you don't."
"Zat's just vat ze doctors say to get more money out of me."
"Yes, because all of the world's doctors are out to get you." Walthari continued grumbling to himself as you turned back to Ludwig. He noticed you looking back at him and flushed.
"Uh, nein, I'm fine. Thank you, though." You nodded and smiled again before heading out to get Walthari's medicine.
As soon as you were out of sight, Walthari motioned Ludwig closer, who raised an eyebrow in confusion but complied anyway.
"Vat do you think of her?" Ludwig's other eyebrow joined its twin as he leaned back a little bit.
"Vat? Vat are you talking about, Großvater?" Walthari wiggled his eyebrows suggestively at Ludwig, who caught on immediately and blushed.
"Großvater, is zat ze reason you asked me to visit??" Walthari was about to respond when you re-entered the room.
"Well you lucked out, Grandpa Germania," you said, not noticing the redness of Ludwig's face. "The pills you normally take had something wrong with them, so someone had to go get more. So you're safe for one more day." The two men chuckled as you went to sit on the ground next to Walthari. You reached up and grabbed his charts from his small table and began flipping through them as the two men conversed, occasionally chiming in yourself.
More eagerly than normal, you made your way inside the nursing home to Walthari's room. It had been about a month since Ludwig's first visit, and since then he'd been visiting several days a week. You two had gotten to know each other very well, and you couldn't help but be drawn to him. Despite his stern appearance, he was a huge sweetheart and you loved that about him.
Your grin widened as you entered Walthari's room to see Ludwig already there, standing next to his grandfather. Both men turned as you stepped in and greeted you.
"Guten Tag, (Name)."
"Guten Tag, mein Kind."
"Guten Tag, Ludwig, Walthari," you responded, smiling brightly. You went over and gave Walthari a quick once-over and sat down, unaware of the blush that had appeared on Ludwig's face when you came into the room. You didn't know it, but Ludwig had fallen for you as he got closer to you and had desperately wanted to become more than friends with you. Walthari, of course, knew all about this and had decided that he'd waited long enough for you both to get together.
"(Name), I need to go to ze bathroom. Can you keep Ludvig occupied?"
"Are you sure you don't want me to come help you?" Walthari shook his head and began wheeling out the door.
"I'm not zat old, (Name)." You just laughed and turned to face Ludwig, not noticing Walthari hide in the hall next to the door.
"So how are you, Ludwig?" This time you did see the blush on his face.
"I-I'm fine. How are your classes going?"
"I've been getting a lot of homework lately because finals are in a few weeks. Are you okay? Your face is red." Having attention drawn to his red face, only made Ludwig blush harder. You reached out a hand and rested it against his forehead.
"You don't feel like you have a fever."
"I'm fine, (Name)," he said, gently taking your hand from his head and holding it in both of his. It was your turn to blush as you looked at him quizzically, silently asking him what he was doing. Ludwig stared at the floor for a moment before lifting his eyes to meet yours.
"I-I vas wondering if y-you vould like to go
o-on a date with me." You just about squealed as you nodded vigorously.
"I would love to, Ludwig." He sighed in relief before smiling at you.
"About time!" Walthari called out from the hall, causing your faces to redden. You and Ludwig glanced at each other and laughed.
"Meddlesome old man," he muttered jokingly, before leaning down to press a kiss to your cheek. You grinned and touched your forehead to his.
"We should thank him for his meddling though." Ludwig only nodded in agreement as he moved to kiss you. Maybe you should start calling Walthari Grandpa Matchmaker from now on.