"Dad! Wake up!"
What time was it? He opened one eye to check the clock on the bedside table.
"What is it, Fritz?"
"Come on, I'm gonna be late for the first day of school!"
Ludwig rubbed his sleepy eyes. Then he said "You do know that schools starts at eight, right?"
Fritz didn't seem to see his point. "Yes, I know. Come on now!"
Ludwig was going to put Fritz back in bed when Annika appeared at the door.
She asked sleepily "What's going on, dad? Fritz was making a fuss and he woke me up..."
Ludwig felt Feli stir beside him. She yawned and asked "What's up here? What time is it?"
Ludwig sighed. Now the whole family was awake.
"Nothing, Fritz is scared about school and he woke up Annika."
Fritz pouted. "I'm not scared! I just don't want to be late!"
Feli stretched and said "You should go back to sleep. School starts in two hours anyway."
Fritz said "That's exactly it! It starts in just two hours! And I haven't even had breakfast yet!"
Both Ludwig and Feli had a feeling on how it was going to end.
Ludwig said "It's much too early. How about you stay here with us until it's time to go?"
Fritz looked thoughtful for a moment, but then climbed in bed with his parents.
Annika looked at them, hopefully asking "Can I stay too? Please please please?"
Feli chuckled. "Of course. Come here, tesoro."
Annika threw herself in bed along with Fritz, lending straight on Ludwig's stomach.
When the both of them were comfortable enough, they fell fast asleep.
Feli tucked them in and brushed their hair out of their faces.
Fritz had grown up to look exactly like Ludwig, apart from her trademark curl. His eyes, hair, his personality too...
Whereas Annika, their four – year old, whose real name was Anna Maria, looked much more like her, both in character and looks. Even if she had green eyes. Both Feli and Ludwig knew exactly where that color came from. It was Gerhart's.
When Francis had come to Venice with Fritz, he had told them the truth. That Gerhart had offered his life in exchange for Fritz. Ludwig had been devastated, but happy that his father had died an hero's death, even if he had lived his whole life as a Nazi. He was sure that his father would be proud of his beautiful grandchildren.
Ludwig smiled and said "This really is the only time when they look peaceful, you know. When they're asleep."
Feli looked up at Ludwig and grinned. "I wish I could say that you're wrong."
Ludwig reached his hand over the sleeping children to cup Feli's cheek. He said nothing, but Feli knew what he was thinking. He was still shy and easily embarrassed, but she was glad that he had not changed over time.
She put her own hand over his. There was no need for words.
They shared a slow, loving kiss.
Things were well once again.
Not perfect, though. If something is perfect, it's just unreal, right?
Yep. Little fluffy epilogue. No way I would not introduce Annika. In my mind, she just had to be a part of the family. Imagine her as a green - eyed Chibitalia with no curl =D
So HRE and Chibitalia are together again! As siblings, but it's still cute!