The Warm Shower
The loud ring of Georg's alarm woke him from his slumber. With a groan, Georg hit his clock off and sat up in bed. He shivered slightly in the dark, cold room, as the sun would not rise for another forty minutes. Georg was tempted to crawl back under his warm covers, but resisted the urge as he rubbed his sleepy eyes. With another groan, he struggled out of bed. He was no longer a young man, and his muscles ached as a result of last night's physical activity. Adrenalin allowed him to lift his wounded sailor the night before, but now the effects of it were felt in every bone of his forty-year-old frame.
He shivered and stumbled to the bathroom and stepped into the shower. He turned on the hot water to the max and slowly the water warmed. The only advantage of waking before everyone else in a naval base was the pleasure of taking a hot shower before the hot water ran out.
Georg's hand stung as he showered and shaved. When he was done, he re-bandaged it and dressed quickly. He tried to ignore the pain in his hand, shoulders, and back as he walked across the dark, grassy quad to the admiral's office. When he arrived, the door to the admiral's office was locked. Georg was not surprised, as he expected that no one would be there so early after the previous night's incidents, but Georg knew that, had he not shown up in time, he would have been reprimanded again.
Georg sat outside the office, and allowed himself to close his eyes and think of Maria. Maria…he would have to find an excuse to see her over the next few days. He thought of last night, of the shock of seeing in Bremerhaven, and the surprise of the intensity of his feeling for her. There, sitting alone outside the admiral's office, Georg finally admitted to himself what his heart knew long ago: he was in love with Maria. The possibility of being able to pursue a relationship with her made him finally able to admit what his mind at first refused to. The events of last night proved to him that Maria felt the same of him, even if she did not recognize it, even if she felt she could not admit it. He would show her. Georg resolved to not let Maria out of his life again. He would do anything in his power to woo, charm, and court her.
For the first time in months, Georg felt a semblance of peace. Though his body ached, his mind was exhausted, and he felt sorrow for the men that died the night before, he felt a glimmer of hope for himself. If his children were not enough motivation to survive this war, than the possibility of Maria returning his love might just be enough for him to continue working hard for survival, despite the exhaustion and stress that marked his work. He was sure of his feelings. Now he just make sure that Maria felt the same.
It was six in the morning when Maria was finally able to sign out. She had worked all through the night treating the wounded solider form the attack the night before. Her back ached as she changed out of her nurse's uniform and back into the blue dress she wore the night before. Her mind and body was exhausted as she tried to make sense of her feelings. Only ten hours had passed since she danced with the Captain. But to her it felt like weeks. It seemed to her that so much happened during those hours and so many revelations were made.
Ten minutes later, she made her way out of the hospital and walked across the grassy quad to her sleeping quarters. She shivered in the cold; the sky was a cool indigo, as the sun was just slowly starting to rise.
All the female staff in Bremerhvaen slept in the same building. Nurses, secretaries, and cooks all lived under one roof. There were three rooms on each floor and each room had rows and rows of beds. Under each bed was a big drawer to keep personal possessions. Next to each bed there was a small night table and a small closet. At the end of the room was a communal bathroom with a row of sinks and stalls of toilets and shower. Maria had never seen the men's quarters, but she heard from others, that the female quarters were much nicer that the mens. Other nurses complained about the lack of privacy, but that didn't bother Maria as much as the noise level of the room. At night the room was quiet, but if one had to work the night shift than they could not just fall asleep but they had to wait till the room emptied and the others went to their shift. Thus Maria, knowing that sleep would not come easily, took her time getting her self-ready for bed. Her shower was relatively warm, so she stayed under the water for a while thinking of no one else but the Captain. Alone in the stall she was able to fully admit that she was completely infatuated by him.
She wondered when she would be able to see him next. He was probably busy but she hoped that she would be able to see him a little before he went back to sea. She saw a side of Georg that she never knew last night. She was touched by how gentle he was with his solider dying in his arms. She was surprised by the strength he showed carrying an injured man over his shoulder and she utterly moved by the calm he shared with her in the trench.
Maria finished showering and quickly dried herself and changed into a flannel nightgown. She slipped under her covers and as the room began to empty out and quiet she closed her eyes and hugged herself, remembering the feeling of Georg's arms around her as she fell asleep.
Maria's next shift was less hectic. It was during that shift that she saw Georg again. She was walking between beds when she noticed him standing near Johannes's bed. His back was to her, but still she was able to recognize him. His dark uniform stood in contrast to the white bedsheets and the doctors' and nurses' uniforms. He held his hat in his hand as he spoke to Johannes. His did not see her yet, but she felt her legs carrying her to him, as if she was drawn to him by some sort of magnetic force.
He must have felt her near, because as she approached Georg turned away from Johannes and smiled widely. Maria smiled back at him.
"I came to visit the boys," Georg explained.
"Of course," she replied.
They shared a smile as Johannes stared at both them with his eyes wide and mouth agape. Georg cleared his voice. When he scratched his right ear nervously, Maria noticed his bandaged hand.
"You hurt your hand, Captain?"
"Oh, its nothing, just a little scratch," Georg said looking down at his hand.
"May I look at your hand?"
"Oh, yes, yes, I suppose that would be a good idea."
The two walked away from Johannes to a cart in the corner with bandages and other medical supplies. Johannes followed them with his eyes. While he could not hear them he could see them. Maria blushed, and what shocked him was that Captain von Trapp actually smiled. He never saw him show as much as a grin. Johannes blinked twice, maybe his eyes deceived him, and after all he did suffer a concussion two days before. Rubbing his eyes, Johannes plainly saw the Captain smile deeply-he even saw a dimple formed on his right cheek.
Georg was smiling. Maria had taken him to the side to look at his hand.
"I didn't notice you getting hurt," Maria said as she unwrapped his hand.
"Well, let's just say it was self-inflicted."
"What happened?" She asked as she examined his hand.
"I was angry and I punched in a mirror," Georg said sheepishly when Maria looked him the eye.
"About what?" Maria asked.
"I can't say," Georg said, looking around him wearily. He didn't want to say anything with people around him.
Maria nodded, understanding what he meant.
"Well, your knuckles looks infected, I'll need to clean it," she said as reached for the iodine solution. "This might sting a bit."
"I'll be a big boy, I promise." Georg said with a grin as she blushed.
Maria held his hand tightly as she cleaned his wound. Georg squirmed a bit and was surprised by how strongly she was able to hold his hand in place. She worked quickly and was so immersed in her work that she failed to notice how Georg looked at her.
She finished bandaging his hand, put away her supplies and took off her latex gloves. When her hands were free, Georg took the opportunity to take her hands in his.
"When can I see you again?"
"I... I...don't know," Maria stammered.
"I do want to see you again," Georg said urgently. He took at a pad and paper and wrote something hastily down and handed it to her.
"I need to head back now," he said glancing at his watch." This is my room number if you would like to contact me. I don't want to pressure you in any way. If you want to see me, leave me a note under my door, I'll know it is from you." His voice dropped to a whisper. "Just so you know, they are monitoring all of my mail."
Georg gave her one last look before squeezing her hand. "Thank you," he said as he turned and left before she could respond.
Maria stood for a moment clutching the paper deep in thought.
When Georg returned from his dinner with the Admiral, his heart soared when he saw a sealed envelop on the floor of his room.
In a neat cursive handwriting Maria explained her work schedule. Her responsibilities were only to the hospital; as long as she was not working she was free. She also left him instructions on how to reach her.
Georg smiled to himself. He had wanted to leave the decision to see him up to her. He did not want to pressure her in any way, and although he was sure of his feelings for her, Georg thought it would be prudent to have the relationship develop at her pace. With a grin, Georg began to prepare for bed, cognizant that he had a look on his face of a love-struck boy.
For the first time in months, he had something to look forward to.