Note: Hello! Well, you know how it is... Essay writing Sound of Music story writing. There really is never going to be any comparison. So here is a new story. I'll be honest, I have no idea how long this will be. I know the storyline, but for the amount of chapters I will be playing it by ear. Oh, and now that I have the chance, I want to thank every single one of you who read and reviewed Tinker, Tailor... I appreciate all of the response I had. I hope you will all enjoy this new story, it is keeping with the storyline of the film, starting from when Georg and Maria return from their honeymoon.
Rating: T
Words: 1,881

Scars to Heal, Mountains to Climb

The train rattled through the Austrian countryside, passing through the fields and by the vast mountains that created the spectacle of this country. The prolonged delay in Vienna had caused little trouble for most of the passengers; least of all the new husband and wife who had spent a little under four weeks on their honeymoon in Paris. The weeks spent their alone had been pivotal - a time where the married couple had discovered nearly everything about their partner. The glow in the young woman's cheeks could not be placed down to anything but the love of her husband that she had experienced throughout the entire of their trip. However, deciding that they had spent long enough away from their children, they had decided to return home earlier than planned.

Georg and Maria both sat beside each other in the train carriage, Maria closest to the window. Her husband had fallen asleep just after their departure from Vienna, and Maria had spent the most of her time since smiling lovingly at his sleeping form. His usually impeccable and pristine hair had strayed from its usual state, and one curl had nestled across his forehead. With the utmost care, so as not to wake him, Maria had stroked the curl away to join the rest of his hair, but as her fingers came into contact with his skin, they lingered there for a few seconds longer. Maria had marvelled at the effect just the feel of his skin would have on her own body. It sent the most pleasurable of sparks through her body, and although at first she had been concerned about them, she soon learnt that it was normal, and the steps she had taken with her husband on their honeymoon were further proof that their relationship had now fully matured.

Finally being able to tear her eyes away from her sleeping husband, Maria's blue eyes focused on what the train was speeding past outside. The mountains brought about the state of relief they had always succeeded in doing. They had always brought ease to her lonely, or aching heart. But now, she also had a loving husband and seven children to bring this comfort. As she saw the Untersberg outside of the train window, Maria smiled. She knew that she was home now…

… But just over an hour later, she was to be mistaken again. As Georg led his new wife into their home, she knew this was where she belonged more than ever. This would be the place where she would find the most comfort for the rest of her life. This would be the place she would share with her husband.

However, as they approached the house the first thing they saw was the huge flag hovering above the front door. Maria was cautious of her husband's response to the flag, and her suspicions were correct as he immediately parked the car and stalked across to tear it down. She followed him promptly, moving one of her hands to his side; hoping it would be a source of comfort.

"I saw the town was also riddled with these," was his only response. His fist was clenched around the bottom of the flag, ready to pull it down.

"Change is happening so quickly, we just have to be ready to deal with it as well as we can."

"I'm just worried that they will… I just hope it is not soon."

Maria could sense what he was talking about, even without him referring to it in words. She too had been living in fear that he would be called to the army.

"Come on," she urged him, pulling him away from the flag that had now been torn to the ground. "Forget about it for now, let's go and find the children." She did not want him to be thrown into a fit of rage at the flag, especially in front of the children.

Georg suddenly turned to his wife, and smiled in appreciation. Then he did something which surprised his new wife.

Taken by surprise, Maria felt herself being lifted into her husband's arms.

She squealed, writhing in his grasp.

"Darling, darling what are you doing?"

Georg could only smile at her exasperated pleas, and before carrying her through the open front door he explained. "I believe it is tradition for the husband to carry his new wife across the threshold."

Maria could only laugh softly as he carried her into their house, and place her down carefully before the stairs. She then looked around, and wondered as to the whereabouts of the children. "I also believe it is customary for the children to welcome us home." Her tone was light-hearted, but a hint of disappointment was present. Those seven children had been her main focus all throughout the summer months, and the three weeks spent without them had proven difficult.

Georg moved to stand by her side after moving some of their bags, and his hand fell to her waist. He too looked around the house. "I left Max in charge," he spoke. "I expect customs have been thrown out of the window. Our home will have descended into chaos these past few weeks."

Maria laughed, turning in his hold to face her husband. "Max isn't that bad, darling. He will have just taken the children into town… Maybe to give us some time alone when we returned?"

Georg noticed the wicked glimmer in his wife's captivatingly blue eyes, and he chuckled to himself. "As much as I love this new flare, my love, I fear the children may return soon."

Maria groaned, something which excited and stirred Georg's heart and lower stomach. He soon found his new wife leaning across and attaching her lips to his own. "Then we can do something else."

"Unpack?" Georg suggested, raising his eyebrows at Maria as she firmly shook her head.

"No," she ordered. Then she took his hand and led him down the stairs. "Something else you promised me you would do when we returned from Paris."

"And what is that, my love?"

Georg was being led through the house, and eventually they reached Maria's intended destination. It was the music room, and in the middle of the room stood a large, grand piano. Its beauty was clear to any one, the wood was polished and it gleamed in the light that the large windows provided. Light was streaming through the windows, and as Maria led her husband across to the fine, leather-coated stool they became almost the spot-light. The light drowned them both.

"You promised you would teach me."

Georg looked at her. "Right now? Are you not tired?"

Maria shook her head without saying a word, and pulled her husband down to sit beside her. The stool was small, but they both sat so close to the other that there was no fear of falling off.

"Well, alright then…" Georg announced, and lifted the lid to reveal the white and black keys. He took a deep breath, the memories of this old piano stirring feelings inside, and then pressed his fingers down on the keys, checking their tuning. When he was satisfied, he turned to his new wife and took hold of her hand. "We'll start simple."

As he began to teach her simple scales, he marvelled at the way her slender fingers descended upon the keys, even with his help.

"That's right," he encouraged her, but was taken aback for a moment as her eyes closed, from what he presumed to be tiredness, however she also began to sway. He watched his wife with concern as her face turned pale. "Maria?"

Maria opened her eyes suddenly, and gave him a reassuring smile that told him perhaps she was just a little tired from their long trip. "I'm fine, darling."

Georg was not entirely convinced, but as Maria continued to play the instructed scale, he cast aside his worries for a few moments. Soon, she could play one of the more simpler scales without help, and once finished Maria looked up at her husband with an accomplished smile across her face.

"And you thought you wouldn't pick it up," Georg teased her, nudging her side slightly.

"You have no idea how long it took me to learn the guitar… all of the tantrums I threw," Maria laughed to herself and so did her new husband, having come to learn over the past summer that his wife was in fact tenacious, and very repetitious when it came to not getting her way. Maria subconsciously shifted closer to her husband on the small stool. Her husband did not mind her new position, and embraced her willingly. As Georg felt her head rest on his shoulder, he smiled, and was surprised when she made a sudden request. "Play me something," she whispered in a small, tired voice.

Unable to resist, he straightened his back and moved his fingers to the keys. He warmed up for a few seconds, before playing a tune that he knew for certain his wife would know. This song held many strong emotions - it was patriotic, and simple to his country. But it also held memories for the two of them now, a song which he had once sung in her presence.

As the opening notes flowed into her ears, Maria hummed along to Edelweiss and when her husband began to sing, his deep voice filling the room, she did too. Their voices matched perfectly, just like the children's voices did. Maria sung softly with her head still nestled into his shoulder, and Georg sung with similar volume.

Neither husband nor wife noticed another eight presences by the door to the music room, and both were understandably shocked when a series of claps sounded.

It was Max who spoke first. "Well maybe it's the two of you I should be asking to perform. That was beautiful, the pair of you."

Georg sighed happily at the sight of his children; Maria had lifted her head and held the usual warmth in her eyes whenever in their presence. He shut the lid to the piano and stood, approaching Max as Maria left to see the children. While Georg voiced his concerns to Max of the unwanted flag hung outside his front door, Maria was receiving a tonne of attention from the children… Her children.

"Fraulein Maria… I mean Mother," Brigitta corrected herself. "We didn't expect you to be back so soon." The ten-year-old was the first to be in her new mother's arms, and Maria embraced her warmly. Ensuring that she made eye contact with all of her children, and giving them a smile, she then noticed Louisa. Her look was almost passive, and there was definitely worry there too. Maria made sure to give her another reassuring glance, which also told her they would speak later if she wished.

But there was no time for a response, Maria was surrounded with the term "mother" all of a sudden, firstly from Brigitta and Marta, then Gretl and Kurt. As she then felt the presence of her husband beside her; as she then felt his arm slip around her waist, she knew she had chosen the right path; that this was the will of God.

Thoughts? There's a reason for what I did with the children, that shall all come in later chapters. How are the characters? Too saccharine? If so, I can work on it! Please let me know what you think.