You bit your lip, frantically scrabbling with the small knife. You’d been assigned to prepare the potatoes for the next day, but by the looks of it you were going to have to stay the night to finish peeling your assigned batch.
Sighing in despair, you whimpered as you narrowly avoided slicing off one of your own fingers. Your hands were sticking and slippery due to the spilled potato juice and you were feeling frustrated. You’d only just started working at this restaurant and you wanted to leave a good impression, but so far, no good.
“Right, we’re closing up.” The boss clapped his hands, telling everyone to leave. He noticed you depressedly cutting the potatoes and came over to your counter. “Not ready yet? Hey, you need to peel these properly!” He picked up one of the peels and held it accusingly in front of your tired (e/c) eyes.
“You’re cutting off too much! Ugh!” He sighed, shaking his head. “Beilschmidt!” You gasped quietly at the name, was he really going to make HIM help you? Ludwig Beilschmidt was one of the top chefs and didn’t tolerate anything half-arsed.
Though whenever he actually was cooking, he had such a happy look on his face, a feeling of contentment radiating from him. He was always so proud when the waiters came back and told him how his food had been received by the guests.
It made you feel warm watching him, and you always rooted for him when he paced up and down nervously, awaiting the response to a new recipe he’d created. He was still scary when it came to discipline though.
And it was for that reason that you quailed slightly as the blond joined you, wiping his hands clean on his pristine white apron. “Ja?”
“Miss (y/n) doesn’t exactly know how to do the potatoes. Teach her.” Your boss told him and as he left he gave you a look that spoke volumes.
Ludwig sighed, slicking some of his hair back. “Vell then....” He sat down next to you, his heart pounding. He’d wanted to help you for a while now, hating the pain that crossed your face whenever you nicked yourself with the blade.
Truth was, he’d watched you ever since you’d been hired, you often needed help reaching the top shelves and such, but unfortunately someone always helped you before he could.
He frowned when he saw how you’d peeled them and you sniffed, disappointed in yourself. “I-I don’t know, ho-how and-“
He shook his head, smiling gently at you. “Don’t worry. I’ll teach you.” Getting a knife for himself he picked up a potato, indicating that you should copy him.
“The trick is to slice the skin as thinly as possible.” He explained as he started peeling his one. “Ri-right.” You muttered, trying to move your knife like he did. He winced as you gasped, feeling your blade graze your skin.
“Nein, how are you holding that?” He put his tools down and grasped your hands. Immediately he let go, cursing in German. “How the hell haven’t you sliced yourself open with your hands that wet! Wash them, now!”
You did as he ordered, tottering to the sink and scrubbing your palms. “There, that should do it.” Returning to your seat, you dried your hands and then the hilt of your knife on your apron. Ludwig raised his eyebrow when you’d picked up your knife.
“The way you hold it is strange.” He murmured, his fingers interlacing wit yours. “Here this is where your fingers should be.” The warmth on your hands disappeared and you were left with an unfamiliar position on the hilt. “But this is-“
“Trust me, use your forefinger to do the work, let the others guide it through. Trust me.” You felt his ice-blue stare on you and you shivered, doing as you were told.
“A bit higher, wait c’mere.” He pulled you onto his lap, his arms around you and he took your hands, showing you what to do.
“Try yourself.” You nodded, your face red. A rhythmic thumping on your back distracted you but you shook your head, clearing it. Then you cut.
It was as if there was no resistance, you simply sliced and a perfect cut formed, the peel dropping to the floor.
You could hear a pin drop and you smiled in success. “Yes!!” You cried, flinging your arms around Ludwig’s neck. “It worked!!”
He yelped, blushing and held your arms still. “Careful! You could’ve had my eye out!” He said, though he smiled back at you.
“Sorry.” You murmured, happy you’d been able to do it. Suddenly it dawned on him which position you were in, as your arms were pinned to your sides, you were completely at his mercy.
“Lud...wig?” You asked tentatively, wondering what had gotten into him. Slowly he leaned towards you and brushed his lips gently against yours. You could taste some of the potato juice on his lips and he pulled back again, his ears red.
“G-good work!” He said, coughing to hide his redness. Giggling, you kissed his cheek. “Thank you Ludwig. Was that my....reward?”
He nodded, resting his forehead against yours. “Though there’s plenty more where that came from.”
Smiling, you gazed lovingly into his eyes. “But then again, I do love those desserts you make.”
He blushed, he didn’t think anyone knew what he used the kitchen for when he was working ‘overtime’. “Which one would you like?”
You looked at the ceiling, thinking, then grinning at him. “All of them!”
“That’s one hell of a lot of pastries you know.”
“I know,” you pecked his lips and added, “but we’ve got time.”