Disclaimer: Nothing is mine.
Maria sighed happily as she rested her head on her husband's chest. This was just how life was supposed to be. True, they weren't in Salzburg, having left for America and built a new life there. They may not be on their homeland anymore, but they were happy.
Georg looked down at his beautiful wife and smiled. That woman lying on his chest had been making his life perfect through their one year of marriage.
The rain poured down outside the house, heavily.
"Goodnight, Georg" said Maria, just as the first lightning illuminated the room.
"Goodnight, my dear"
He kissed her on the forehead one last time and closed his eyes, ready to sleep. At the exact moment when he felt his mind and body drifting off to sleep, the sound of a loud thunder echoed in the house. A little child entered running through the once close door.
"Gretl!" exclaimed Maria, sitting up on bed.
"What is it?" asked Georg, sitting up also.
Little Gretl didn't answer or move, just stayed frozen on her spot near the bedroom door, with teary eyes. Maria quickly got out of bed and ran to her with open arms, hugging her tightly.
"Is it the storm, sweetheart?" she asked, and Gretl, whose head was buried in Maria's neck, nodded.
"Where are the others?" asked Maria.
"I don't know" sad Gretl, in a barely audible voice.
"Well, sweetie, you know how it works. Let's go to bed and wait for them"
Georg frowned. What were they talking about? Surely Maria wasn't saying that his kids were afraid of storms. He vaguely remembered one night, back in Salzburg, Maria's first night as a governess in his house, when he found all the children in her room, singing. It had been raining that night, just as it was raining now, but he never thought that the reason why they had been in her room was because they were afraid of thunders. Were they? His question was answered when another six children threw themselves at bed, one or two even colliding with him.
"We didn't have to wait much this time, did we, Gretl?" Maria whispered to the little girl in her arms.
"I tried to calm them down, but only you can do that, mother" said Liesl with a smile.
While the kids made themselves comfortable in bed, Maria turned to Georg and whispered in his ear:
"I hope you don't mind, Georg. They will probably spend the night here"
He just smiled, showing her he didn't mind. He was amazed; she seemed to have a natural way with the kids, a way he hadn't the opportunity to see much of back in Salzburg.
"Mother?" said a voice at Georg's left.
"I want to sing 'My Favorite Things'"
"Not that bloody song again!"
"Friedrich! Watch your words!", reprehended Georg. Friedrich snorted and crossed his arms. Sometimes it was just so hard to deal with the adolescent.
"Friedrich, apologize now or you'll spend the night in your room. Alone." Just then, a loud thunderstorm made its presence known, as if to emphasize Maria's words.
"I'm sorry, mother, father" he said reluctantly. Georg's eyes widened in surprise. How had Maria accomplished that? It seemed so easy for her to deal with Friedrich, and he had always found it so hard.
"Good. Now, who wants to sing?" all the children, Friedrich included, raised their hands "Liesl, would you like to start?"
For what seemed the millionth time that night, Georg found himself wondering what they were talking about. He'd heard Gretl mention this song when they were hiding in the abbey a few months ago, and he understood that it was a song to cheer up the kids or something like that, but he'd never heard it before. Liesl's voice awoke him from his thoughts.
Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things
Everyone around him was singing, and he was feeling a bit left out, an outsider. As if sensing his thoughts, Maria, still singing, smiled at him and placed his hand within her own.
"Mother?" asked Brigitta, who was still getting used calling Maria anything other than ' Fraulein', when they ended the song. "I'm still scared"
Maria reached with open arms to the girl. She embraced her before speaking.
"So we will have to make the fears go away, won't we?" said Maria, and then turned to the other children "What do we do when Brigitta is scared?"
"Pillow fight!" they all shouted in unison, and without wasting any other second, they grabbed the nearest pillow or cushion and attacked Maria and Brigitta.
Georg stood frozen in his spot. What exactly was happening? A pillow fight to calm his daughter down? But Brigitta was probably the most quiet of the seven; it didn't seem like her to enjoy a pillow fight. But, he thought, she had changed so much. All of the kids, as well as himself, had changed since Maria entered their lives.
"Truce! Truce!" he heard Brigitta's laughing voice from under the pillows.
"Mercy! Your mother is too old for things like that! Mercy on me, please!" Maria finally emerged, laughing also, as the kids collapsed in bed, exhausted. "This was fun! Are you feeling better, darling?" Maria turned to Brigitta, who was still in her arms.
"Yes, thank you, mother"
Maria smiled and turned to the others.
"What do we do now?"
The storm was slowly dissipating. There were no more thunders or lightening.
"Tell us a story, mother"
"I don't know, Marta…"
"Yes, mother, please"
"Alright", sighed Maria dramatically, upon hearing the children's protests. "If I must, I must."
Georg, who had watched the scene develop, smiled as he recognized the story Maria was telling. She had changed it a little bit, but indeed it was their story. Kurt, who was still sitting next to Georg, laid down so his head was resting on his father's lap, and Liesl, who was sat at Georg's right, rested her head on his shoulder. Seeing his family around him, listening attentively to Maria's sweet voice, he felt complete. This was just how life was supposed to be.
When Maria was close to end of the story (the sergeant had just married the nanny), he noticed that only Liesl was still awake. She was looking at her mother with smiling, but tired eyes. Maria noticed that the children were asleep, and quickly resumed the story.
"That was beautiful, mother" said Liesl, stifling a yawn.
"Thank you, darling. Now, we really should take these little ones to bed, I doubt we all will be able to asleep here"
Georg got up and walked over to the window, looking outside. He then spoke for what seemed the first time that night.
"The storm died. Let's put them in bed"
Liesl and Maria got up as well. Georg picked Kurt up, while Liesl embraced Gretl and Maria brought Marta into her arms. After tucking the three kids safely in bed, they turned back to the master bedroom to pick up Friedrich, Louisa and Brigitta.
"I'm going to bed too." Said Liesl. "Goodnight, father", she tiptoed in front of him to give him a kiss on the cheek "Goodnight, mother", se hugged Maria tightly and whispered a 'thank you for everything' on her ear. When she had closed her bedroom door, Georg put his arm around Maria's waist and pulled her close.
"I think we should go to bed also" he said, and leaded her to their bedroom.
"You're very quiet while the children were here" said Maria, when they lay on bed once again. "What were you doing?"
"I was watching you"
She smiled confused at him, so he went on.
"You're so wonderful with them, do you know that? And they love you so much."
"And I love them just as much"
They fell into a comfortable silence for a few moments, before Maria spoke:
"Did you always like big families, Georg?"
He thought for a minute before answering:
"I suppose I did. I was an only child, and the idea of having many brothers and sisters always thrilled me. I wasn't lucky, though."
"But, seven children? Don't you think it's a bit too much?"
"Why, are they wearing you out already?" he asked playfully, but afraid of what she might be trying to say "In fact, I wanted more than seven. But then Agathe died…" his voice trailed off.
"So, how would you feel about eight instead of seven?" she smiled.
"I would love to…" realization hit him "Are you saying what I think you're saying?"
Maria slowly stood up and sat on bed, next to him. He did the same, and grabbed her hands, as her face grew serious.
"Georg, I'm pregnant."
It took a second or two for her words to sink in, but when they did, Georg stepped out of bed, pulled Maria with him and spun her around. He was happy, thrilled. He was having a baby with the most amazing woman who had ever set foot on earth. Life couldn't get any better than that.
"I love you, Maria" he said smiling, when he put her down.
"And I love you, Captain"
A few minutes later, Maria rested her head on her husband's chest, just as she had done before the children stormed in. She smiled and reached up to him to give him a goodnight kiss, and soon drifted off to sleep, tired from the events that had just occurred.
Georg looked down at her, and thought about how peaceful she looked when sleeping. He replayed the events of the night in his head, and smiled as he remembered they would have a new addition to the family. Thinking that they would have to make an announcement at breakfast tomorrow, he closed his eyes and gave himself in to exhaustion, but only after one last thought. This is just how life is supposed to be.
A.N.: My first TSOM fic, so review please, let me know what you think. I'll be forever grateful ;D - Thanks to ForeverJulie for pointing out my errors.