What the what? I'm going to do something quite brave. Or stupid. I'm going to start multiple writing projects at the same time. My Elsa story will come in due time, but in the meanwhile…

This is going to just be a series of one-shots based on an alphabet prompt list from askboxmemes on tumblr. I was inspired to do this by Kissman who wrote 'Chelsie Me', a series of vignettes in the 'Downton Abbey' forum (and if you're a fan of DA, you've probably read it. Or should). I will not come even CLOSE to that kind of brilliance but I just want to try and see what happens. Kissman created another alphabet prompt list and I may just pick and choose which prompt appeals more for each letter. My story, I can do what I want.

You can find Kissman's prompt on tumblr, too (kissman91). PM me if you are interested in the link for the actual prompt list (if you do tumblr, please do a nice and reblog the list). You should totally try this with me.

The vignettes stand alone, are in no particular order (pre-engagement, post-wedding, in America) and can be AU or canon. I anticipate that they will all be K+ rated, but if not there will be sufficient warning. Ready?

A is for Amuse: one character tries to cheer up another

Georg found his wife staring blankly out the living room window from a chair she had dragged from the corner. She sat with her legs tucked under her, her head resting heavy against the sill. The house was quiet, too quiet. Maria's mood and energy fed off the chaos of their seven children and it pained him to see her so melancholy.

"Is everything all right?" He inquired softly when his presence failed to bring her out of her daze. She turned and offered a weak smile.

"Everything is as it should be," she sighed. He nodded, unable to bring himself to point out that she didn't answer his real question.

"It won't be so bad. Liesl is getting married, she isn't moving to the moon."

"No, but she won't be here. And I miss her already."

"She upstairs sleeping and dreaming of a life of love and happiness. Isn't that what you want for her?"

"Of course, I do. How could I begrudge anyone what I have," she responded with another half-hearted smile. "I would have thought you'd be having a harder time than me. She's your daughter…"

"Our daughter, thank you very much. And no father enjoys the thought of another man taking his little girl away and becoming more important than him. I hate it really… but not as much as I love seeing her happy." Georg reached out a hand and Maria took it slowly. He pulled her gently to her feet and into his arms. He felt her fight it, but eventually sensed her give in to his words. Her body slumped against his and her arms eventually reached around his waist for support. He rubbed his palms lightly over her back in soothing strokes as he heard her sniffling into his lapel.

"I want her to be happy," Maria managed once the tears subsided. "I know I'm being selfish and silly. But she wasn't just a daughter, she was my friend. My confidant." Georg murmured his sympathy and continued to comfort her until Maria finally pulled away and wiped her eyes. "I'm just going to be sad and mopey for a while, darling. I don't know how you'll put up with me."

"I shall do my best." Maria pulled back and stared at him incredulously.

"That's it?"

"I'm sorry, was that not the right thing to say?"

"You're supposed to try and cheer me up," she answered with a gentle huff. "Isn't that what marriage is supposed to be all about, anyway? You pick me up when I'm down?"

"Well, I…," Georg sucked air through his pursed lips as he scratched behind his ear. "Well, I could take you out to dinner, or maybe a concert. Both?" Maria crinkled her nose and shook her head. "Buy you a present?"

"No, I don't want you to buy me anything. I don't want to go anywhere."

"Recite poetry? Try to juggle? I'm afraid my soft shoe is a bit rusty... let you beat me at chess?"

"Oh, sing for me!" Maria leaped out of his arms and brought her hands together, prepared to plead. Georg moaned and rolled his eyes. "I love when you sing. But if you really don't want to cheer me…"

"But you're the singer, not me," he reasoned, pulling her to him again and reaching for her with his lips. "My talents for cheer lie elsewhere." Maria held him off with two palms firmly against his chest.

"Please?" He looked into the deep pools of her eyes and felt his resolve slowly weakening. It was no use; he knew he could refuse her nothing. He sighed heavily and shrugged his consent. He decided right then that the anguish would be worth it as she beamed at him with pleasure.

Georg told her to sit down by pointing to a settee in the middle of the room and then retrieved the guitar from its usual place nearby. He strummed a few strings to tune it and gave her a smile before beginning a jaunty strain.

"It has been a while since I've sung one, but would you fancy a sea shanty?" He said with a smirk.

"Will it make me blush, Captain?" Maria twisted her lip as she returned his flirting.

"You're a married woman, Maria. I didn't think you blushed anymore." Maria opened her mouth to respond but only giggled instead. She sat back and waited for him to begin singing. Already she could feel her heart begin to beat faster in anticipation.

Maria loved to hear her husband's voice anytime and anywhere. The way he spoke gently to his children, softly to her during moments of quiet intimacy or even bellowing at his morning paper when the news is unpleasant. But hearing him sing always brought her mind back to the first moment she heard him do it. It was the first moment she felt the stirrings deep and low for this man.

Come me own one
Come me fair one
Come now unto me
Could you fancy a poor sailor lad
Who has just come from sea

You are ragged, love
And you're dirty, love
And your clothes smell much of tar
So be gone, you saucy sailor lad
So be gone, you Jack Tar

If I am ragged, love
And I'm dirty, love
And me clothes smell much of tar
I have silver in me pocket, love
And gold in great store

And then when she heard him say so
On a bended knee she fell
I will marry my dear Henry
For I love a sailor lad so well

Do you think that I
I am foolish, love
Do you think that I am mad
For to wed with a poor country girl
There's no fortunes to be had

I will cross the briny ocean
I will whistle and sing
And since you've refused the offer, love
Some other girl shall wear the ring

Oh, I am frolicsome and I am easy
Good-tempered and free
And I don't give a single pin, me boys
What the world thinks of me*

When he finished, Maria clapped in appreciation, but grinned at him with something much fiercer. She stood and made her way to his side slowly, taking the guitar out of his hands and gently placing it back against the settee.

"Come with me, my saucy sailor," she called to him with outstretched arms. Her voice was low and husky and Georg instantly sprang to his feet.

"Where are we going?"

"To bed. It's my turn to cheer you up."

"Oh. I didn't realize I was sad." Georg let her pull him toward the stairs, his own yearnings slowly building inside him. Maria stopped for only a moment and then continued.

"You're eldest daughter is getting married tomorrow, and all you'll be able to think about is how soon it will be Friedrich's turn and then Louisa's… by the time Liesl says I do, you'll be picturing Gretl under that veil." Georg swallowed hard.

"Yes, you're right. I'm very sad. I may need lots of cheering up," he agreed solemnly, following her down the hall toward their bedroom.

*I first heard the song 'Saucy Sailor' sung by the Wailin' Jennys, but it is based on a real sea shanty. These lyrics were written (and recorded, find both on youtube) by Steeleye Span.

Next: B is for Burden