Author Note: The story takes place just as the movie ends. I do not own the Sound of Music or any of its character. Enjoy, and please review, this is my first Sound of Music fanfic so criticisms and recommendations are welcome.
The Ostrich Chapter 1: Perhaps
Chapter 1: Perhaps
Steadily they walked, further and further up the mountain, Georg von Trapp carried Gretel on his back and led the way, followed by the whole family, the whole family. He repeated that in his mind over and over again.
They were together and that was all that mattered, right?
Georg turned to look back at his family; they looked tired, and hungry. It broke his heart to see their weary faces, but even worse, was seeing the trust they still held for him in their eyes. Perhaps he was mistaken, maybe he should have taken his post at Bremerhaven, at least they would not have suffered a terrible trip across the Alps.
At first he thought that he planned their escape well, but he now realized how he had left too much up to chance, and as an experienced sea captain he should have known; never leave anything up to chance.
Trying to ignore his fatigue Georg thought to his last day at home.
Georg walked into his study with the telegram from Berlin clutched in his hand. He and Maria had just arrived from Paris by train and spent the last hour driving through his beloved Salzburg and witnessing the effects of the Anschluss. When they drove up to the house and saw the flag of the Third Reich hanging over the door of their home, a raged to engulf him like no other. Only Maria's delicate hand on his arm broke him out of his trance as looked down and noticed how white his knuckles were as he gripped the steering wheel.
As he walked into his study, Georg began to feel calmer. It was a charming room to say the least and in a way it was his haven. Three out of the four walls were of mahogany – bookcases which ran from the floor to the ceiling filled with an assortment of books; books on war tactics, famous literature, philosophy, biographies, fiction books.
The fourth wall consisted of bay windows, behind a very sturdy yet handsome desk. How many days and nights did he spend sitting at it brooding over Agatha's death? The truth was before Maria entered his life he rarely left the sanctuary of his study.
He sat down and opened the telegram, and quickly scanned its contents. He swore out loud, and heard his heart pounding in his ears. He knew it would happen eventually, during their honeymoon, he and Maria planned for the possibility that he would be asked to join the German naval forces.
But so soon?
He quickly rose from his desk and crossed the room. As his hand touched the door knob he took a deep breath to calm himself. Now was not a time to get frenzied he must be calm and take careful steps to ensure his families safety. War was imminent, he knew war and he would not let his family suffer through one, he would not fail them.
"To join them would be unthinkable, and refusing would be fatal for all of us" he put his arm around his new wife, and held her tight "we have to leave Austria and this house tonight"
They stood close to each other for a few moments until Maria broke the silence. "Georg we'll be alright"
"I know" he replied, as he kissed her tenderly "with you I always am," he added.
How cruel it was that they just came home from their honeymoon, and would not even stay a full day at their villa "Welcome home baroness" he murmured, as he took in the irony of it all.
Georg was in his study making the final arrangements. A month ago he wired a significant amount of his money to Paris with not only his honeymoon in mind. A lot of his wealth was scattered in different Swiss banks, some under aliases, in addition to a small house in Berne he purchased with Max's help. And of course there was always cash.
A heard a knock at his door which interrupted him from his thoughts.
Earlier Georg exchanged all the necessary information with Maria, however with such a large family it would be prudent to have others knowledgeable in the plan, just in case they were separated. As much as a part of him still wanted to believe that Liesl and Friedrich were children, deep down he knew that they are not really any more. Liesl was practically a woman, and while Friedrich was not a man quite yet-it was time his goofy, mischievous son took on the role of one.
"Come in" he called.
Liesl and Friedrich entered the study curious as to why they alone were summoned to their father's study.
He motioned them to sit in front of his desk
"I have something important to tell you, now listen carefully"
He explained to them the contents of the telegram he received earlier and went over the plans of their escape with them. Georg would carry his own passport, while Maria would carry hers and Gretl's. Liesl will take hers, Louisa's, and Kurt's, while Friedrich will look after his, Brigitta's, and Marta's. He gave each a large wad of cash and the account names and passwords to two Swiss bank accounts, an address of a safe house in Switzerland, and a name of friend who could help them.
Everything was committed to memory and they reviewed all the details till Georg was satisfied.
"Okay, any questions?" Georg asked looking at their nervous faces.
They shook their heads 'no'.
"Good, Liesl help your Mother get the others ready, Friedrich I want another word with you." Liesl rose to leave, but not before her farther gripped her hand and gave it a squeeze and a reassuring smile-something he would not have done months ago. She smiled back and left the room.
His oldest son remained seated and looked expectantly at his father. Georg opened the bottom drawer of desk and pulled out an old army knife.
"This was mine when I was in the navy; it's a little battered but still is useful I'd like you to have it."
"Th... thank you sir," Friedrich stammered, as Georg handed him the knife.
They both rose from the desk and Georg placed his hands on Friedrich's shoulders and looked his son straight in the eyes. "If something happens to me, you are to take care of the family, can I count on you?" although Friedrich's eyes betrayed his fears he nodded and stood even taller.
"Good" Georg said satisfied "you're a man now Friedrich."
They continued walking till nightfall. In stark contrast to the sunny weather they had during the day, the mountains were now enveloped in a thick fog making it nearly impossible to see two steps ahead of themselves. And although they were close to the Swiss border, they had to stop walking. To proceed any further would be dangerous.
When they came to a clearing, Georg stopped and set Gretl down. He then motioned the rest of the family to join them and they happily flopped down on the grass. Maria began to hand out the berries they gathered earlier for the children to eat. She watched from the corner of her eye as Georg scanned the area.
She marveled at the sight of him. Last night she had been so frightened, when Zeller had found them, when they fled the festival, when they hid in the abbey…and when Rolf pointed his gun at Georg, Maria felt chilled to the bone. And all the while Georg remained so calm and poised, taking care of everyone's needs before his own, carrying Gretl and Marta most of the way and the night before he did not sleep, but insisted that she rest while he watched over the children. As much as she wanted to argue she really was tired, so last night she slept.
Tonight she decided that she would stay up, while he and the children slept. So after she helped the children settle down to sleep she joined Georg as he sat against a tree. He extended his hand to her which she took and pulled her down to join him on the ground. His lips soon found hers in a short but passionate kiss.
For awhile they sat close to each other with their hands intertwined as they gazed at their children who were either sleeping or soon to be. Despite all the hardships they faced since their honeymoon, Maria relished the feeling of being close and held by her husband.
It was hard to imagine that forty-eight hours go they were in Paris.
"You should get some rest, darling," Georg finally said.
"And what about you Georg?" she replied. "You haven't slept since Paris."
"When you and the children are safe then it will be my time to rest."
"Georg" she started to argue but she was silenced with a kiss.
"Maria you're exhausted, and you need to sleep, can't have you getting hurt, I insist you rest"
Maria saw the concern he had for her, and it made her heart melt. She knew that Georg has made up his mind and that arguing would be futile, so she settled down in his arms. He held her tight as he stroked her face softly.
As much as the concept of sleep was tempted him, Georg knew he had to be the one to stay awake; after all it was his fault that they were in this mess.
For the next few hours he watched the family sleep. Glancing at Maria, he was thankful that she had fallen asleep. Georg was worried about his new wife, the trip across the Alps had been hard on her, and as much as she tried to hide it she really was tired. In fact she had been very tired of late.
Suddenly the voices of men broke his reverie.
Georg trained his eyes and ear to find what loomed just beyond the shadows; he quietly roused Maria and with his finger motioned her to remain quiet. But the silence was soon broken by barking dogs and bright lights.
Someone found them.
The von Trapp family was now wide awake huddled behind Georg as they fearfully stared at three soldiers.
Georg spoke first "Thank g-d you found us, we were took a hiking trip up the mountains and got lost" he said in hope to savvy his way out of the precarious situation they found themselves in.
"Who are you?" demanded a tall burly soldier who by the decorations on his uniform, Georg concluded was a lieutenant.
"I just told you we just went on a hike and got lost-
"Are you sure you weren't trying to go over the boarder?"
"I just told you, we just got lost" while he said this, Georg sneaked Rolf's gun into Friedrich's hands, who stood directly behind him.
Friedrich felt the cool metal on his palm, and felt terror fill him as he held the gun that almost took his father's life. He struggled to remain calm as he hid the gun in his coat.
"Stop this nonsense, who are you!" the lieutenant snarled as he took out his gun and pointed straight at Georg's chest. He then roughly pulled Georg forward, separating him from the family. The lieutenant motioned to the two other soldiers and commanded them to pat Georg down to make sure he was not concealing any weapons. When they were done they pointed their guns at the children and Maria, while the lieutenant kept his gun trained at Georg-point blank.
"You seem to be tight lipped so let me help you loosen it! You tell me who you are and what you're doing here so close to the Swiss boarder and I won't kill your family."
The cruel ultimatum was set, and Georg could see no way out.
"Well, who are you?!"
Before Georg could reply Maria's eyes locked with his, and the look in his scared her more than anything they went through last few days. She shook her head, and with her eyes she implored him not to do what she knew he was about to.
Georg held her gaze, and drank the beauty in her eyes, for he knew it may be the last time he would ever see them. He swallowed hard and forced himself to break their contact, for looking at Maria any longer he would not have the strength to do what he must.
He looked back once more at his children he knew what he had to do. He hoped it would not have come to this, but if it meant their safety over his, he would choose theirs in a heartbeat. He made up his choice, he was defeated, the game was up.
With a firm and steady voice he replied "Georg von Trapp"