I don't own the rights to the Sound of Music. This was my 2 AM attempt at delving into a fascinating character that I never understood as a child. In my most recent rewatch of the movie, I've found the Baroness to be quite the classy figure.
Second SM fic, please be sure to leave a review on your thoughts! I'd love to hear what you think of the Baroness.
You don't ask for much. Just one small wish that you cling to as you aimlessly wander this world. One small wish you think the Lord has finally granted you, and something flutters and giggles within you whenever you think of it – a warmth that slowly stitches together a broken wound.
A certain glow is further ignited when the children charm you, dizzying you with wonder – what had you ever done to deserve this radiant contentedness? You see a colorful future, one that excites you endlessly when you dare to let your mind wander at night before bed. Your future. All yours. Your wish come true. You're frightened to say it, as if even thinking of this fragile hope might evaporate it completely – but it seems that these blissful sighs refuse to be contained.
And how these children dazzle you with their playful smiles and animated eyes, with voices that liven the rock that make up these manor walls! You laugh, you applaud, because they are darling, and you are convinced that there are no finer children anywhere.
But when their puppet performance ends, she steps out, and his attention is suddenly distracted, and you can't tell if you're just imagining a shift in his posture, and when he rests his hand on the small of your back, you don't lean into him because it doesn't feel right anymore, and –
But it must be nothing more than your rather whimsical imagination. As a child, you used to have the most inventive mind, carried away by make-believe details. Still, a stitch in the seams of your heart rips as you watch him sing, trying to catch his eye… but his gaze always seems to be averted.
You finally win his gaze when you stand up and propose a ball.
It is nothing, though, you think to yourself when you stare at your reflection in the bedroom mirror later in the day. It is simply you over-thinking small mannerisms. His averted gaze is nothing at all.
Your hands accidentally nudge a vase sitting on your dresser – it's the bouquet of edelweiss blossoms Gretl gifted you on your first day here.
They're wilted now, and you empty the glass in the bathroom.
That healing warmth blisters on the night of the party when you see them dance together, her cheeks alight with a fire kindled by the glow in his eyes – that glow you've always dreamed of. Your glow. And behind a painted smile, you sweep aside the shards that pierce the corners of your heart and take his arm.
"Chilly out, isn't it?"
You glance at him before turning your face away. You suspect there is something cold crawling along your veins, but you can't feel it against the overpowering heat that threatens to suffocate you.
"I found it rather warm."
When she runs away, you're relieved – because everything will be just like it was in Vienna, with no more distractions. Your humble fairy tale is finally coming into fruition after a short detour – which is no problem at all, because every story needs its little obstacles.
His attention is now fixed eternally upon you, and you know that his feelings towards you are fiercer than ever, and you feel just the same. Sometimes, you feel a little overwhelmed by the power he channels when he looks at you. And then when he speaks, there's something lining his voice that echoes that power – something that sounds almost forced, but that couldn't be it. You plead ignorance.
And then there are, of course, the children. Oh, how their eyes have dimmed since you first met them. You try to brighten them, the way she did – but it's no use, because their hearts are already taken. They have been, even before you came. You never had the opportunity to capture their hearts, to win them over with your affection.
But no matter, you have him, and all other things shall fall into place. And every story needs its little obstacles. This is simply another one of them, you think to yourself when your mind decides to spite you and ponder upon the children.
You don't let yourself think that you might be the obstacle in someone else's story. You don't let yourself think that you might be the distraction, because you're not. This is your story.
This is your happily ever after.
The children's eyes are reborn when she returns.
All your efforts to end their mourning over the past day amount to nothing next to the sight of Fräulein Maria.
You remove yourself from your place by the window and walk out, taking his arm and clasping your hand over his.
Her return means nothing to him, at least.
And if his posture is a little stiffer tonight at dinner, and if he's quieter than he usually is, and if the words he speaks to you are unusually hurried, with less of the wit that you expect of him – it's simply your imagination again.
Her return means nothing.
He's gazing over the estate, eyes oddly focused for a man who only stepped out for fresh air and pensive thinking.
Movement below catches your attention – a figure in a blue dress, wandering between the trees.
And so you do the only thing you know how to do: you talk, endlessly, about nothing at all, begging for him to look at you. You aren't even sure what you're saying, but words continue to slip from your tongue, but he's not listening, he's not responding, he's –
Even as you talk, all you can think of is your first husband that left you a widow. How affectionate he was at parties, how distant he was in your lonely manor. You were nothing more than a fair face who knew how to make small talk with titled Austrians, and if there was anything more about you to discover – well, you weren't worth the effort it took.
But Georg isn't like that. He's different, and he cares for you – honestly, not like the shallow way your first husband did. Because Georg knows how to love, as he loved his first wife – and there's something so romantic in his story that you want to claim for your own – that will be your own –
– and please, in the name of the Lord, don't speak, don't break your heart –
- don't say anything.
Because as much as he claims that he has been dishonest, you have been the worse liar.
And it's all acclimated to this moment, where you are forced to speak the truth.
"Somewhere out there is a lady who I think will never be a nun."
The surprise on his face is telling. Even to him, you are nothing more than a fair face. You are not the type to notice details, not the type to think. To realize. To understand.
And even though you're shattered, you paint another smile for him and kiss his cheek, for if nothing else – you will always be a lady.
"Auf Wiedersehen, darling."
Because this is not what you wanted. You never wanted to be the wicked stepmother or the neglected trophy wife. This is not your wish.
You only ever wanted to be loved.
You don't leave a note when you leave, not as Fräulein Maria had.
You know the children don't need you to say good-bye.