Once Upon a Dream By Kristen This is the first time I've published a Sound of Music fic and it is an alternate universe of sorts. I also write fiction for The X-files, Miss Congeniality, and Boston Public. Please review. I do not own any of these characters, no money being made.

Maria went to bed with her heart in her throat. She never thought the Captain would ever look at her like that. She knew after her outburst a few days ago the relationship between the Captain and his children had drastically improved, and she knew that he'd become more tolerable of her outspokenness and her opinions, but she never expected him to ever be warms towards her and certainly not friendly, but that was what she felt and saw from him tonight.

The puppet stage and marionette that Herr Detweiller "bought" in the loosest sense of the word had delighted the children and they implored her to develop a program to put on for their father, their Uncle Max, and the Baroness. Maria, of course, enjoyed working with the children and singing with them, and after all it was her duty to organize constructive activities with them, but the talent and enthusiasm of the children made it enjoyable, as well as dutiful.

When the children had told her that their father, gloriously decorated naval hero was actually of a very talented singer she was shocked. When she asked him to sing she was shocked. When she asked him to sing, she was terrified he'd reject her or worse laugh and humiliate her. Instead, he'd mildly protested but quickly agreed to sing, and his choice of song, an anthem to the beauty of Austria, took her breath away. She tried to blame it on the lyrics, the gentle chords, but she finally realized that was not true, it was Captain von Trapp and the way his soft baritone voice made the words seem as if they were mean to be about her.

"Foolishness!" Maria scolded herself, "total foolishness." Baroness Schraeder was practically the Captain's fiancée, she was the one he was singing to. Perhaps, if not her, then his children whom be obviously adored in spite of the difficulties their relationship had undergone since the first Baroness von Trapp died. Either way, Maria decided it was utter foolishness to even imagine anything in the Captain's manner that night had been directed at her. Maria finished changing, knelt by her bed and made the sign of the cross.

"Dear Father," she prayed, "Thank you for giving the children and the Captain this lovely evening and thank you for allowing me to take part in it. God bless the Captain. God bless Liesl and Friederich. God Bless Louisa, Brigitta, Marta, Gretel, and Kurt. God bless the Revered Mother, Sister Margaretta, Sister Berthe, and everyone at the abbey. God bless Franz and Frau Schmidt. God bless Herr Detweiller and Baroness Schraeder. And dear Father about the Baroness, help her to realize what a precious gift she has been given and help her to become an affectionate and understanding mother to these precious children. In the name of the Father, the Son, the Holy Ghost. Amen."

Captain von Trapp paused when he heard his governess' voice coming from her room. He gave a small laugh; so she talked to herself too. Then he realized she wasn't talking, she was praying, praying for him, for the children, for her "family" at the abbey, she even prayed for Max and Elsa. It was, however, her words about Elsa that made him listen more closely.

"God bless Herr Detweiller and Baroness Schraeder. And dear Father about the Baroness, help her to realize what a precious gift she has been given and help her to become an affectionate and understanding mother to these precious children. In the name of the Father, the Son, the Holy Ghost. Amen."

It was clear from those words that Maria.Maria? When had he stopped thinking of her as Fraulein and begun thinking of her as Maria? That was another matter entirely; the matter at hand was Maria's words about Elsa. She too saw Elsa's distance from the children, her lack of interest in them, and it worried her. It worried him, but he'd though it was paranoia, a father's paranoia about the woman who would become a mother to his children. Was she the best choice? Was it the right thing to do? He worried about that constantly. Perhaps, though, since Maria also worried about it, about Elsa's feelings regarding the children, perhaps there was more foundation for his fears that he first realized.

Captain von Trapp heard Maria pull back the covers and he heard the bed squeak as her small form settled on the mattress. It occurred to him then that he was eavesdropping on Maria's private conversation between herself and God and that he should not have done so. He should not be standing outside Maria's door questioning his decision to marry Elsa or thinking about his children's petite governess climbing into bed. It was reprehensible! Deplorable! So, with a sigh of self recrimination, Captain von Trapp retired to his rooms.

Maria heard the footsteps as they passed her doorway and offered a silent prayer the Captain didn't hear her prayers for the Baroness. If he did hear it, she feared he would view it as mere jealousy on her part and less concern for her charges. She hated going to bed afraid, she'd done so most of her life and in doing so now, even in her adult life, she was plagued by wretched dreams and memories. She tried to squelch that fear, knowing Captain von Trapp was too much of a gentleman to mention it too her, yet she did fear that he would read more into her concern for the children. And she did fear, that if that was the case, he'd be right. Maria rolled over and pulled the blankets up to her head. She took a deep breath and tried to reason with the knots in her stomach. Oh, it brought back so many memories.

Maria skipped down the rolling green hill towards her uncle's home. She'd been living here for three months now and nearly everyday she'd been forced to remain inside either because of weather or because of punishment for some infarction or another. Sometimes she preferred it when he'd hit her, at least the bruise stopped hurting after a bit, but the pain of being forced into that dank and dark cellar on a gorgeous and fragrant spring day was less than unbearable. Sometimes he'd do both, lock her in the cellar and issue her a harsh beating. Those were the worst times of all.

In the distance the Abbey bells rang and Maria's heart sped up. She was supposed to be at her Uncle's before the bells rang for the evening. She looked around her and saw the sun setting behind her mountain. It must be after six. She was due home by five for supper. She turned and ran as fast as she could, tripping over a rock and wrenching her ankle.

"Blast!" she swore to herself, then immediately asked forgiveness, the pain from her ankle would slow her down even more. She'd be ever later now. After that, her Uncle would never let her out again.

Meanwhile, Liesl was coming out of her room, heading for the water closet. She'd been restless that evening ever since the Captains had sung Edelweiss to his children. Liesl suspected that while he chose that song because he knew it well and it meant a great deal to him that he was not singing it for the children or to the children, but to Maria. Liesl watched and her father's eyes had scarcely looked away from Maria for more than a beat or two of the song, mere seconds of time.

Liesl passed Maria's room and paused when she heard the governess murmuring incoherently. She passed Fraulein Maria's room before and she'd never heard that sound.

Gently she raised her hand to turn Maria's door knob but decided she'd first attend her business then return and see if Maria hadn't settled down. After all, everyone had a bad dream every now and then.

It took Maria over an hour to get home with her injured ankle. By the time she reached her uncle's home it was almost completely dark.

"I'm sorry, Uncle," she hurriedly apologized, "I lost track of time, then I fell when I."

A stinging slap across her face silenced her, "I didn't take you in so you could spend you days roaming about day dreaming. I took you in so you could earn your keep. Well, you aren't doing that are you?" he accosted painfully dragging her across the floor to the cold concrete steps that led to the cellar. He didn't loosen his grip as he pulled the door open and shoved her down the steps and onto the cold cellar floor.

"You'll stay down here until you learn to be grateful to me," he cackled as he watched the terrified girl cry on the cold stone floor before he thumped up the steps and locked the cellar door with a resounding click.

Maria stayed three days in that cellar. She was fed scraps at night and given water. While down there, Maria thought about all of nature's wonders, all of God's gifts to the world that made it a beautiful lovely place.

Raindrops on roses Whiskers on kittens Bright copper kettles And warm woolen mittens

She made a whole list of favorite things in her head and while she prayed daily her uncle would relent and let her out, she also praised God for all His gifts to man and woman alike.

Finally on the fifth day, one of her schoolmates Teresa tapped at the basement window.

"Maria! Maria! Are you all right?" the soft voice inquired as she gently tapped on the wood.

"No! No!" Maria cried, "Help me. Please, I need help. Please!"

Captain von Trapp was unable to sleep, the day's events and Maria's prayer still weighing heavily on his mind. Perhaps a bit of strudel would ease his mind. When he passed Maria's room, he heard a muffled cry which he noted as unusual but he was not sure he should investigate it.

Lost in his thoughts Captain von Trapp nearly collided with Liesl as she returned to check on Maria.

"Liesl? What are you doing up at this hour?" the Captain asked not at all unkindly.

"I'm sorry, Father. I was using the." she glanced toward the water closet.

"Ah, very well then," he smiled and kissed her forehead, "Have a pleasant night."

Liesl headed back to bed, but stopped before she went into her room. She'd forgotten she wanted to check on Fraulein Maria, so she turned and wrapped gently on the door, "Fraulein Maria?" she called, "Fraulein Maria, are you all right?"

Liesl wasn't sure what to think or what to do. She knew she distinctly heard Maria call out for help, but help from whom, help from what? Perhaps, she should go in and wake her if she was dreaming. But what if she wasn't? What if someone was in her room? What then? She decided the best idea would be to get the Captain he'd surely know what had to be done.

The sound of Liesl's footsteps startled the Captain as he sat at the table eating a strudel, but not nearly as much as the frightened and worried look on Lisle's face when he turned, "What's the matter, Liesl?"

"Father, I." she hesitated suddenly not sure going for her father was the best decision, "Father, I just.that is, Fraulein Maria, I heard her cry out and I thought, perhaps."

"Liesl, Fraulein Maria is entitled to her privacy."

"Father, I know that, but she distinctly said, 'Help me'. I was afraid.please Father, could we at least check on her. What if someone got in?"

Captain von Trapp rolled his eyes, but then his ears perked up to a noise on the stairs. It was Gretel and she was crying.

"What's the matter, Gretel?" he asked moving to his youngest daughter.

"I had a bad dream and when I called Fraulein Maria she didn't answer," she sobbed her voice muffled by Liesl's night dress as she clung to her sister.

"Please, Father. Let's just see," she requested, while Gretel stared at him with wide teary eyes.

A few months ago, even a few days ago he could have resisted this, but since Maria, "All right," he capitulated, "just a quick look inside." Normally, he wouldn't have agreed, but he had an uneasy feeling in his stomach about the murmuring and such coming from Maria's room.

Liesl carried Gretel upstairs and the Captain instructed Liesl to bring Gretel to her bed and wait for him. Captain von Trapp paused with trepidation outside Maria's room and heard the muffled sobbing mixed with pleas for help. He held his breath and prayed when he opened the door he found Maria in bed dreaming whatever horrible event she was experiencing instead of finding that something terrible was indeed happening to her.

Cautiously the Captain opened the door and stepped into the room. It was empty save for Maria and him. It was only a dream, a nightmare, but it wasn't real, it couldn't really hurt her.

As the Captain turned to leave the moonlight fell across the bed and he paused to gaze down at Maria as she slept. She was tossing fiercely and fresh tears were streaming down her cheeks.

Without thinking the Captain crossed to Maria's bedside and gently shook her shoulder, "It's all right now," he whispered softly, not wishing for her to wake and discover him in her bedroom, "It's all right now. You're safe."

Somewhere in her unconscious mind Maria felt rather than heard a gentle yet strong voice. She knew its owner meant her no harm, in fact the deep rich voice mad her fell the safely its words promised her, "It's all right now. It's all right now. You're safe."

Maria settled down against the pillows and gave a soft sigh. Her tears stopped and she seemed to fall back into a contented slumber without waking, much to the Captain's relief. He'd not want to explain his presence to Maria or Elsa for that matter. Little did he know, the Baroness was roaming about the halls of the Villa as well and saw him leave Maria's room near midnight.

Captain von Trapp went to Liesl's room where she anxiously awaited news. Gretel had fallen asleep in her arms, he dreams erased by her big sister's comfort.

"Father?" Liesl asked expectantly.

"It was a bad dream, Liesl," he replied, "Now you get to sleep. I'm sure Fraulein Maria will have plenty of work for you children in preparing for the party. I'll take Gretel back to bed."

Carefully, Liesl handed her little sister over to her father who only a few weeks ago would have reprimanded them both for being up past bed time. Fraulein Maria in just the short time she'd been here had completely transformed their home and their father. They owed Maria for that, if only there was a way to thank her.

Captain von Trapp gently laid his sleeping daughter on her bed and tucked her in. He placed a feather light kiss on her temple before he left her and Marta to their rest.

Before the Captain returned to his bed, he once again passed Maria's room. There was now silence coming from behind the door and he smiled. Maria had brought so much change to this house, and to him, music, laughter, but most of all.love. He should tell her that, he should try in some way to repay her for all she'd given the family. He'd have to think about that, after; he concluded he'd discover what plagued her dreams.