DISCLAIMER: Unfortunately I do not own The Sound of Music!
Just a little oneshot, set the day after the Captain's apology. Georg shows Maria the gazebo, and we learn where her blue dress came from.
I'm sure this topic has been tackled much more successfully by other writers on this site, but I hope you enjoy this anyway! Please leave a review!
Georg snapped his eyes open, suddenly and bewilderingly returned to consciousness. Immediately he sat up, staring wide-eyed around the room until he had assured himself that he was still in his bed chamber, and was absolutely and unmistakably alone.
He took a deep breath and rubbed his eyes. What on earth had he been thinking?
Fraulein Maria, dripping wet and still wearing that soaked-through, sodden dress... he had been so angry that he had hardly noticed it before, though it now seemed that his subconscious had paid very close attention to her appearance after all.
He had been arguing with her, he thought back over the dream, just as vehemently and single-mindedly as in real life. Unlike then however, he had suddenly found, midway through the confrontation, that he was no longer shouting at the young woman, but was kissing her instead.
Kissing his children's governess! And not in any chaste, passionless way either... no, nothing so appropriate!
He shook his head in denial.
It had been a long day, he reassured himself with a sigh, in fact he wondered that he could feel as wide awake as he did.
He checked his watch. Six o'clock. Hardly worth trying to get back to sleep then, he decided, swinging his legs out of bed and walking towards the curtains. He drew them aside to reveal a pleasant early morning glow which tempted him outside.
He began to dress.
After all, if he were to have any more dreams like that, well then he wasn't sure he wanted to fall back to sleep anyway.
Despite everything that had happened that day, Maria had had difficulty sleeping. It seemed as though she had spent half of the night tossing and turning, her thoughts proving to be uncomfortable bedfellows.
Eventually the morning sunrise had crept its way underneath her curtains, disturbing her fitful sleep once again. Soon it had beckoned her outside, the promise of a crisp and clear morning enough to overcome her nervousness about what the day might bring. She had wandered her way around the grounds, her mind still busy with thoughts of Captain Von Trapp and his seven children, until eventually she had arrived back at the strip of lakeside just in front of the villa. She sat there now, her bare legs resting just below the water line.
It was beautifully cool and calm, and almost as good a place for such morning musings as her mountainside would have been.
She frowned as she stared idly across the lake. She had always hated mysteries. A straight-forward, no-nonsense approach to life was her philosophy, and she had always had little time for people who believed themselves far more enigmatic than they were. Captain Von Trapp however did not seem to belong in such company – yes, he was certainly a mystery – even more so after yesterday – but after his apology she could hardly continue to believe him as arrogant as she had once thought. He just seemed… sad… world-weary… lonely, perhaps?
But it wasn't her place to wonder - or even to care - she caught herself almost immediately. Such thoughts were thoroughly absurd and inappropriate. Captain Von Trapp was certainly not some tragic martyr in need of rescue, she considered with a smile, and besides, even if he was, it would undoubtedly be his children, or the elegant – though perhaps somewhat snobbish – Baroness Schrader, who would perform such a feat. His apology aside, she could not believe that he would immediately come to like her, nor that a rendition of a simple folksong would be enough to release him from his troubles – no, she was not naïve enough for that.
It had warmed her heart though to see how the children had begun to open up to their father again. They had been rather fearful at first, but gradually, and with her encouragement, the family ties had begun to mend. By the end of the afternoon the Captain had scarcely been able to turn around without one of his children asking him to come and play with them, see what they were doing, or help them with something.
It had been one of the most joyous things she had ever witnessed.
"I thought you might have had enough of water after yesterday, Fraulein?"
Maria jumped violently as the words rang out through the still morning air and immediately spun around.
The Captain stood a few feet away, a rather awkward smile on his face.
"Oh, Captain..." she started, rising to her feet, "I didn't know you were out here..."
He waved his hand slightly and walked forwards a few paces.
She regarded him rather warily as he scanned his gaze out across the lake.
"Beautiful morning isn't it?" he said at last.
She nodded, surprised at his amiable tone, and suddenly unsure how best to reply.
"Yes it is," she settled on at last, "I just came out for a walk before breakfast…."
He frowned slightly and turned back towards her.
"How did you get out here?"
"Frau Schmidt- she gave me a key..." Maria held it up, "I got locked outside a few times..." she shrugged as he regarded her rather quizzically, "If you want the key back..."
"No, no..." he waved his hand again before moving to stand with it on his hip, "Keep it, Fraulein... As you can see, I am sometimes partial to an early morning walk myself."
He smiled cautiously again.
They lapsed into silence for a few more minutes before the Captain broke it again.
"Have you seen the gazebo yet, Fraulein?"
"No," she answered, "Well, yes, I've seen it..." she corrected herself, "But it was always locked so-"
"Ah, Frau Schmidt did not give you the key to that then?"
His eyes twinkled and she wondered if he was teasing her.
"I'll show you, if you like?"
He nodded his head in the direction of the curious glass structure which Maria had seen many times on her outings into the grounds.
"I… well… yes, that would be lovely, Captain…" she followed his rather awkward gesture towards the path, before settling into step beside him.
It was curious, she mused as they walked side by side – certainly Captain Von Trapp had not given the impression of being a man who was much bothered by social niceties…. After all, he had not shown her around the villa when she had arrived, had not seen it necessary to introduce her to the other members of the household staff… so why would he bother now?
She regarded him out of the corner of her eye, subtly enough she thought, but he of course noticed. His lip twitched into what was almost another smile and Maria blushed again, returning her gaze resolutely towards the path ahead. He laughed lightly but did not explain what he found so amusing and she did not ask.
Perhaps this was just his way to try and make peace after their confrontation of the previous day.
They soon reached the gazebo and the Captain retrieved another key from his pocket. It was silver and the top had been moulded into the shape of a heart.
"I always keep it locked when I'm away..." he explained, pushing open the door which creaked slightly on its hinges, "Habit I suppose..." he shrugged at her questioning look, "Friedrich managed to put a cricket ball through one of the windows when he was younger."
His tone did not sound admonishing in the slightest, in fact he just smiled again as though indulging in a memory which he had forgotten.
She led the way inside at his direction and gasped in delight. It was a wonderful room - panes of glass on all sides in an octagonal shape, rising up into a pointed dome at the top, and a bench running around the perimeter. Sunlight glinted through the windows, suffusing the interior with a dappled green light.
Maria spun around smiling and heard the Captain laugh from behind her. He walked inside to stand beside her and turned in a circle himself.
"I don't come in here nearly often enough..." he said.
"It really is quite wonderful Captain," she said, smiling back now and suddenly feeling more at ease. Yes, she would accept this olive branch of friendship which the Captain was offering, she decided… and hope that it did not come with hidden thorns, she added to herself, remembering a maxim her aunt had often liked to quote.
"Hmm..." he agreed, still seeming lost in thought, "Yes - the ideal setting for a party, Elsa told me yesterday."
"Oh no!" she exclaimed without thinking.
The idea of so many people filling the gazebo was rather abhorrent- it would undoubtedly lose its charm if it were packed with party-goers, she was sure.
"It's much too intimate a setting, Captain."
He raised his eyebrows just fractionally and she turned away from his gaze again, blushing properly now.
He seemed to bite his tongue, as though he had thought of a response and then decided he would do better not to say it.
"Did you have it built yourself, Captain?" she changed the subject hurriedly.
"Ah, yes," he answered, "An act of romantic foolishness, perhaps."
"Why foolish, Captain?"
And why romantic, she added to herself, not daring to ask. Had he had it built for his wife?
"Well I think you'll agree that it's much too small for a ballroom," he smiled around fondly, "Yet… uh… perhaps too large to be truly uh... intimate..." he repeated her word with a gleam in his eyes.
Maria shrugged. It was just perfect, she thought.
Max Dettwelier was sure he had already lived through his fair share of surprises for one day, but apparently he was quite wrong. The scene which greeted him on his way down to breakfast most definitely fell into the surprising category.
It had begun with the sound of the front door closing, followed by the unmistakable sound of Georg's laughter. The impresario had frowned at that- surely he could not already have failed in his chaperone duties? But no, he realised in amusement as he peeked over the upstairs railing, it was not Elsa who the Captain was laughing with, but Fraulein Maria.
He raised his eyebrows.
'Where on earth had they been?' he wondered.
He did not catch what they were saying but she was laughing too.
"...most definitely Captain..." she finished.
"And sensible clothes only, Fraulein..."
"But, Captain..." at this she sounded rather offended and he wondered whether they were about to begin arguing again. He took a step back from the railing, skulking in the shadows where he could hear the conversation and just about see its protagonists.
After all, the argument of the previous day had been most fascinating to observe.
"I will not..." he began rather more harshly now, "Have my children continue to run about the countryside dressed up in a pair of decrepit curtains..."
The idea suddenly seemed rather funny, and Max watched as Georg, and the Fraulein, both smirked.
"... it is not... befitting to them..."
"But their uniforms-" the governess was resolute and Georg held up his hands in desperation, cutting her off.
"Alright Fraulein..." he regarded her carefully, a smile still playing on his lips, "How about... a compromise...?"
She met his gaze with a challenging one of her own, raising her head slightly and regarding him carefully. Not angrily, though, Max decided- the mood was very different from the one he had witnessed yesterday.
"This afternoon I will buy the children a set of... play-clothes which I deem suitable for them."
He stared at her, amused as she began to smile.
"I'm sure that will be quite acceptable, Captain," she answered.
"Ah-ha... then there is some hope for you yet Fraulein!"
Max frowned again at that. Georg was undoubtedly teasing her, and the governess looked as if she knew it. He watched as she pursed her lips slightly, as though not completely certain whether he was joking.
The Captain did not give her enough time to decide whether whatever it was that she was thinking was appropriate to say.
"Breakfast, Fraulein?" he stretched his arm towards the dining room door.
"I'd better see to the children, Captain..." she replied, gesturing towards the upstairs landing.
"Ah yes, of course..." he smiled again and she returned it as she made her way towards the opposite staircase.
The impresario smirked again, watching as Georg gave the Fraulein a rather more thoroughlook than was necessary as the young woman turned her back to him.
It could be a most interesting summer.
Elsa Schräder already owned more gowns than most women ever wore in a lifetime, but did not see the harm in buying one more. One of her reasons for visiting Salzburg that summer had been to make her name known amongst their finest couturiers after all.
Money was a wonderful thing, she considered as she skimmed her way through a portfolio of designs. The late Baron Schräder, for all his many faults, had at least provided her with the ways and means to live exactly how she chose.
And she would live exactly how she chose, of that she was determined. She would find a dress which would make the great Georg Von Trapp go veritably weak at the knees. Then he would not be so reluctant to move on with their relationship, she considered with a smirk as she regarded the Captain from across the store.
He was impossibly handsome, she decided. Even when he looked as bored as he did now.
She turned another page in the catalogue but only gave the sketches half of her attention as she watched Georg, pacing his way regimentally around the shop for perhaps the sixth or seventh time, suddenly come to halt next to a tower of rollers on which hung various colours and styles of material.
He had a rather far-away look on his face as he lifted his hand up to touch one of the materials- a light blue, quite delicate looking fabric. She frowned slightly. Was he wondering whether she would suit such a colour? For if he was then he most definitely did not have a good eye for fashion. It was a much too... innocent colour... nothing like the striking reds and dark blues which she was accustomed to wearing.
An assistant had approached him now and he was engaged in conversation. She watched as he gestured his hands this way and that, as though explaining something to the young woman.
She did not seem to reply positively, for a look of annoyance flickered briefly across his expression before he shifted, almost casually, to lean against the roller, a smile suddenly playing on his face and a gleam appearing in his eye. Elsa stifled her laugh.
Yes, he was impossibly handsome, and insufferably aware of that fact.
"Georg?" she called down the aisle.
He smiled up at her before placing his hand gently on the assistant's arm and leaning just fractionally closer towards her, as he finished his request.
As soon as she had finished nodding he flashed her a winning smile before striding up the shop floor to where Elsa was standing.
"Yes my darling?" he asked, leaning over the countertop.
"You seem to have left that young lady in quite a fluster..." she teased him, "What wicked schemes are you devising?"
He chuckled, turning his gaze back down the shop to where the young woman was now measuring out a length of material.
"I thought I might buy something..." he began before suddenly looking rather sheepish, "Fraulein Maria's dress was ruined yesterday in the lake..."
He trailed off and Elsa fought to contain her surprise. He was buying material- expensive material- for a dress for his children's governess?
He seemed to sense her displeasure.
"Now, then..." he began hurriedly, "What have we got in here?"
The sudden attention he applied to the design catalogue was truly extraordinary.
The Captain returned home that evening laden down with parcels, beginning a rather chaotic hour of unwrapping as the children tried on their new clothes. Finally all seven assembled in the salon, now dressed in their very appropriate, yet suitably informal, play-clothes. Maria, quite exhausted from the task of persuading her charges into their new outfits, rested against the doorframe, a satisfied smile on her face as the Captain paced neatly in front of them.
"Do they pass inspection, Captain?" she ventured as he reached the end of the line.
He looked up in surprise before shaking his head slightly.
"Yes, they'll do, Fraulein…" he smiled around at the children, "Now go play…"
The seven of them scampered away immediately, and Maria turned to follow them through the door.
"Fraulein?" the Captain called her back.
She turned around once more to see him stopping to pick up another package from the floor.
"Here…" he pushed it into her hands rather gruffly, "To replace your damaged dress."
"Oh Captain you really didn't need to I-"
"And you may as well have this…" he cut her off, his tone still rather brusque, before reaching a hand into his jacket pocket, "I have a spare."
He held out a silver key, the top of which had been moulded into a heart.
Maria blinked in surprise.
"Fraulein I haven't got all evening!"
He jerked his hand and she took the key wordlessly, staring at it dumbly for a second before lifting her eyes to his face.
"Oh Captain this is-"
"Think nothing of it, Fraulein…" he interrupted her for the third time, "I expect the children at dinner on time."
He strode away without a backward glance and Maria permitted herself an indulgent smile. No, Captain Von Trapp was perhaps not as mysterious as he pretended to be.