This is my third one-shot for the Sound of Music, and this does have a bit of the Baroness being a little more mean than she is in the movie. Although I did think that scene with her and Maria in Maria's bedroom was rather harsh, so this story came of that. What if the Captain had seen Maria leave? What would happen?

Enjoy!

"Ah, I completely forgot," Georg said, shaking his head as he stopped dancing with the Baroness. She looked at him with a puzzled look on her face as he stepped back from her.

"Forgot what, darling?"

"I forgot to ask Fraulein Maria if she's a vegetarian, one of the other governesses from the abbey didn't eat meat, and I don't know if it's a rule there or not," Georg explained as he started from the dancing room.

"Can't it wait until after the dance?" The Baroness asked, and Georg smiled at her, gently squeezing her hand.

"It'll only take a moment, I promise, and dinner will be served soon,"

"I'm sure she…" The Baroness tried again, but Georg just turned and walked out, wondering why Elsa was so determined to keep him away from Fraulein Maria. And then he remembered: the dance in the gardens. He sighed as he started towards the stairs and then stopped in his tracks.

"Fraulein Maria, what on earth are you doing?" He said in confusion, seeing her in the dress she had come from the abbey in, her guitar and bag in hand.

"I…I was just…" Maria stammered, frozen like a deer in headlights at seeing the Captain.

"Were you planning on…leaving?"

"I…I have to…" Maria said quietly, and the Captain took a step forward. She stepped back, an almost frightened look on her face.

"What's happened?"

"N-nothing…"

The Captain hurried up the stairs and saw the envelope in her hand, addressed to him. He looked at her questioningly and then reached down, pulling the envelope from her hand. He slid the letter out from the envelope and quickly read it.

"Why are you leaving?" The Captain asked gently, and Maria shook her head, avoiding his gaze.

"I just…I can't…"

"Can't look me in the eyes," He finished her sentence, and she looked sharply up at him before dropping her gaze again. "Was it something I did? The children?"

"No, Captain, I can't stay here anymore! Can't you understand that?"

"No, I most certainly can't," The Captain said, raising his voice, and then glanced at the party. He opened the door and pulled Maria outside. "Why are you leaving?" He asked again, and she replied heatedly,

"Because I refuse to be the one standing between you and the Baroness!"

"What in the world gave you that idea?" He demanded, and she immediately closed her mouth, turning away from him to hide her tears. She hastily wiped them away as his hand gently fell on her shoulder.

"Nothing, no one," She said quickly, and the Captain suddenly caught on.

"Elsa told you that, didn't she?"

"She just said that I'm in love with you, and that you're in love with me, and I didn't want to believe it! I was sent here on God's errand, to prepare the children for a new mother, which is to be the Baroness!"

The Captain was speechless after her outburst. "The Baroness told you that?"

"The last part was my own thinking, but yes."

"And…and are you?"

"Am I what?"

"In love with me,"

Silence fell for a while, and then Maria shook her head, saying quickly, "It doesn't matter. I am here on God's errand, to ask for your love would be completely wrong, I cannot do that," She started down the stairs and the Captain gently touched her arm.

"Maria…you can."

She glanced at him with wide eyes, and then the doors opened and Baroness Schraeder stepped out with a fake smile. "There you are, darling, they're waiting to serve dinner,"

Georg glanced at her and his face was like a stone. "I need to talk to you, Elsa,"

"Well…all right," She said, and they stepped back into the house. Georg glanced at Maria as if asking her to wait for him, and then he closed the door. Maria bit her lip and picked up the bag and guitar that she had dropped in her outburst to the Captain.

She glanced up at the sky and closed her eyes, praying for help and guidance as she came to a crossroad in her life. Minutes later, she opened her eyes, fully prepared to make the decision she thought she was necessary.

Raised voices could be heard from inside the door, and Maria glanced back just for a moment, and then stepped off onto the path, walking away from the children she loved and the man she loved, because she truly didn't deserve them, and she knew it.

"How could you do that, Elsa? Run Fraulein Maria off like that?"

"Oh come on, darling, I merely stated the obvious to the poor girl! I told her she was in love with you, and you were in love with her,"

"That's not all you told her,"

"I also told her that you would get over it soon enough, because men always do,"

"Why would you tell her that?"

"Because it's just infatuation with that girl, Georg, and you know it. We're in love, darling, you know that too,"

"Maybe I don't know that, Elsa. You don't love me, you're fond of me, as I am of you. You love the idea of marrying me, it's perfect in your ideal world,"

"How dare you!"

"I dare the same way you dared to go running your mouth off to Maria,"

"Why don't you just admit that you love her and save us both a lot of trouble?"

"Maybe I do!" Georg burst out, and then fell silent. Elsa had tears shining in her eyes but she just nodded.

"Well then don't worry, I'll be gone after the party," She said coldly, and then turned to go back into the dining room. Appearances had to be kept up, after all.

Georg watched her go with a sigh and then turned to the door, pulling it open and stepping outside. He glanced around for Maria, and was concerned to discover her missing. He hurried down the stairs and towards the lake gate, glancing to the right and to the left for Maria.

"Maria?" He called out, and there was no response. He hurried to the left and towards the gate that lead to the front yard, then to the road. Georg spotted a figure walking down the road, with a guitar case and a suitcase in her hands. "Maria!" He yelled, running down the road, realizing how ridiculous he looked in a dress suit, running after his children's governess.

But at that moment, he really didn't care. Both Maria's and Elsa's words had truly awoken him to the fact that he did love Maria, and he gladly admitted it to himself knowing that she loved him too. He just had to coax her to allow him to love her, and allow herself to love him in return.

"Yes Captain?" Maria asked, biting her lip for a split second as she turned around to face him. He stopped in front of her and said,

"Please, Maria, you can't leave,"

"Captain please, we've been over this, please don't make me say it again,"

"Maria, I heard everything you said, I promise. And now I've got something to say to you,"

"Which is?"

"I love you too,"

Maria was rendered speechless. "But, Captain,"

"No buts."

"Captain, the Baroness,"

"Elsa's leaving tonight, Maria, it's the end of our relationship,"

"And that is exactly what I was trying to avoid! I don't want to be the cause of the ending of your relationship!"

"Maria, it's not the end necessarily,"

"How did you come to that conclusion?"

"Because this is just the beginning," He said softly, and pulled her close, gently pressing his lips against hers. At first she resisted, but then yielded to his touch and her arms slid around his neck.

"I…I love you too," She whispered when they broke the kiss, and Georg smiled at her.

"That's wasn't so hard, was it?"

"Maybe not," She admitted, and he smiled. "You know, you've been neglecting your guests,"

"Oh well," He said with a shrug, and she chuckled.

"Go back to your guests, have dinner, mingle,"

"Only if you promise to wait for me upstairs. I think we have much to talk about,"

"Like what?"

"Like whom I should ask permission to marry you," He said, and her eyes went wide.

"Yes, I suppose we should talk about that." She conceded and he grabbed onto her bag as they walked back to the villa. When they stepped through the front door, he gave her bag back to her.

"I'll tell Max you're not feeling well," He said, and kissed her for a long moment.

"I'll see you upstairs, in the library," She told him, and he smiled.

"Don't fall asleep on me now,"

"Oh I won't," She promised, kissing him again before disappearing up the stairs. He watched her go and smiled before going back to endure the last hour or so of the party before he would be able to see his love again.

Yes, this was definitely only the beginning.

I hope you enjoyed this one-shot! Maybe I'll start writing longer stories for the Sound of Music, but for now, my muse seems to be content with short one-shots. Thank you so much for reading!