Chapter 1: Memories

This was the day.

The day Maria will leave the von Trapp villa and return to the Abbey.

It was hard, considering how much memories they all shared with each other.

Memories.

Not only memories from the children, but from the Captain as well.

Many things happened after the night of the party. The Captain found out about what the Baroness did and sent her back to Vienna. There was so much anger in him, so much that he could've been compared to a volcano erupting.

"Do you know what you just did?"

"I did! I did know it was the right thing!"

He slammed his fists on the table. Elsa flinched.

"The right thing? For God's sake Elsa, what's right about driving an innocent woman away?"

Elsa looked at him furiously, obvious that he was defending Maria. She thought of something to say.

"I defended us, Georg."

"Us? When was there an 'us' between us?"

She didn't expect those to come out from him. Quickly she shot back:

"Don't tell me you're just saying that because you have fallen in love with your little governess!"

"And so what if I did? She gave my whole life back!"

"I thought I brought some meaning into your life?"

"Yes, you did. But that doesn't pay off from what you've done!"

"Why are you even falling for a person not your level?"

"And so? Does that even mean anything in love?"

Elsa stood silent.

"Leave."

"What?"

"Leave this house. Go back to Vienna. It's where you belong," Georg said, sending her a glare and leaving her dumbfounded.

Then there was Maria and him. They were awkward yet still friendly- no, friendly isn't the word, they where hopelessly in love with each other, and yet haven't said it yet.

The Captain had been fighting it for weeks, as well as Maria. She blushes around him. They have had a few hugs and kisses on the temple or the cheek, and that was that. But, they still wouldn't admit it.

The children even tried to get it out of them. During meals, planning a dinner date by the lake, anything to just make them say it.

Like when they had their first hug.

Georg clapped at the beautiful performance made by the children, and Maria.

They sung a rendition of "Ave Maria" by Franz Biebl, which was a long song that lasted about five minutes or more, considering the three chanters and singing "Hail Mary" in Latin for three times, before going on to sing "Amen". It was a wonderful piece, and Maria was clever enough to create the harmony for it and putting the children into right character.

"That was magnificent!" Max marveled, clapping his hands fast with a grin on his face. His face stated "money" on it. You could almost see bills and bills of money reflected in his eyes.

Georg smirked and shook his head. He went over to his children.

"That was wonderful," he commented. Little Gretl beamed at the compliment, causing him to smile wider and pat her cheek.

Then he saw Maria.

Her angelic face, her angelic smile, and those breathtaking, beautiful eyes.

Maria felt the Captain's gaze, and then turned to look at him.

Both were now staring at each other, not minding the presence of the children or Max.

"That was beautiful," the Captain muttered, a gleam in his eyes. Heaven knows he was falling for this beautiful woman before him, but he couldn't know how to admit it to her. Heaven forbid she learnt the double meaning in that statement.

But Maria did, causing her to blush.

Max suddenly led the children to sing another piece outside, and they obliged. They left the two 'lovebirds' alone in the sitting room.

"Congratulations," he said, walking nearer to her. Maria bashfully smiled. "No need to congratulate me, Captain. The children did a very fine job," she replied. "But you did as well," he stated, smiling.

They both chuckled for a moment, before calming down.

"Thank you," he said, taking her hand, and caressing her knuckles with his thumb. Maria did nothing but smile. That beautiful smile that brightens up anyone's day- especially his.

He then suddenly hugged her. Maria slightly gasped in surprise, but then found herself hugging back.

"Thank you for coming into my life," the Captain said.

The children saw the scene through a peek through the door. Georg saw them huddled there while hugging Maria and Brigitta sent him a "say-it-to-her-already" look.

But still, he didn't.

Yes. That was their first hug. And after that, they all act like a couple and such, but they still haven't told what they really felt for each other.

Then the kisses on the temple and cheek, that happened on the death anniversary of Maria's parents. And also started to happen usually.

Maria stared at the only picture she had left of her parents. The pain was coming back, she missed them. Every memory she had still, she held on to.

She promised to stay strong for them. And she did just that. But looking at their picture again on their death anniversary, she felt how much she missed them. She was so young to lose two most important people in her life, and that was the first stage of her childhood that made it, as she called, 'miserable'.

And then she was brought to her uncle. Always making her do all the chores and come back every night drunk. He slapped her, hit her, and usually takes out all his frustrations on her. She's always bruised, scarred, embarrassed, hurt, and always felt fear and sadness. That added physical pain to emotional pain, making one of the stages in her childhood 'wicked'.

As a child, living without her parents, he held on to the little things that made her happy. Her 'favorite things', nature, her faith in God (even though her uncle insists that God doesn't exist), her mountain- and singing.

She held on to them until now, and that kept her strong. But now, the emotional pain she's feeling, she jut let them flow. Memories of her childhood when her parents were still there went to her mind, and it hurt how much she missed them.

The Captain was on the way to visit Maria in her room an have a small chitchat, like they now usually do. It became a habit, her comfortably going to his study to consult in something or have small chats, and him going to her room to fond someone to talk to. Max was there, but sometimes his chats get annoying and boring and he doesn't seem to enjoy it.

He arrived at her door, and heard sobs from the inside. He quickly opened the door.

Maria gasped upon seeing him.

"C-Captain?" she said through sniffs. She wiped away her tears with the back of her hand.

"What happened?" he said worriedly, closing the door and going to her.

"I-It's nothing, really, I-"

"What happened."

"It's my...parents' death anniversary," Maria replied. Water was forming in her eyes again.

Georg just looked at her. He then hugged her while combing her hair and the other hand patting her back comfortingly.

Maria's tears fell again, soaking the Captain's tie and polo. The Captain just comforted her, whispering words of comfort into her ear and caressing her back. Maria just let her tears flow. She'd sometimes cry herself to sleep when she thought of them, like last night. And this was the same- only, the Captain was there.

"Everything is going to be alright, Maria," he said. He broke away and cupped her face into his hands. He wiped the flowing tears with his thumb.

"You know Maria, you're one of the strongest people I know. Every challenge or struggle, you remain strong an find a way to solve it. Every experience you go through that's bad, you just go with the flow, you even crack a joke or two when you trip," Georg said, trying to cheer her up. Maria smiled a bit, but came back to crying.

"Shh, shh, it's alright. I've known that feeling. You know that very well- you even brought me out of those walls of grief an despair. What I'm trying to say is, whatever hurt you are feeling, I'm right here for you. And that feeling- you're strong enough to wipe away those tears and smile. I know you're parents will be happier of they see that you remain strong for them," he said. Maria just nodded. He hugged her and...kissed her forehead.

Maria nearly jumped. That kiss lasted for how many seconds, yet it felt like eternity passing by- and she doesn't want it to stop. His lips were soft on her forehead, gentle and caring. It felt like heaven.

They broke away, staring deeply into each other's eyes. Maria wiped away her tears and gave him her brightest smile. He smiled back.

"That's it," he said. Maria just giggled.

Minutes later after breakfast, the children made their way to the nursery. Maria made her way to Georg and planted a kiss on his cheek. Georg looked at her in surprise.

Maria gave him a smile.

"Thank you."

With that, she went to the nursery.

That was their 'first kisses'. It was innocent, until it became a habit. Like a day they went to a picnic.

Maria sat down beside the Captain on the picnic blanket. The children were playing a game of hide and seek. They were currently doing "magic fingers" to find out how many the it would count and if the it will count it fast or slow.

"Forty counts! Slow!" Louisa called. The children scrambled for hiding spots.

Maria giggled at the children's enthusiasm. Georg looked at her, smiling, admiring and drinking in her beautiful face.

Maria caught him staring.

"Captain?"

Georg looked back at the children, suddenly feeling nervous.

He suddenly felt soft lips on his cheek.

He turned to look at Maria.

"Thank you for giving the children a great time," she said. He smiled and put a hand around her waist, and pulled her close. He kissed her temple. "You're always welcome," he replied. She rested her head on his shoulder. He rested his head on her head.

Minutes later, all of them were playing tag. Georg suddenly stumbled on Maria, causing them to roll on the grass. Maria was on top of him as they stopped rolling.

Their faces were very near, their noses touching.

Maria just chuckled, smiling a smile that showed her teeth. Georg chuckled as well, and they both started to laugh. After they stopped laughing, Maria rubbed her nose on his, moving it left and right. He complied, rubbing his back. They giggled. Maria got off him, lying on the grass beside him.

Georg suddenly got an idea and looked at her slyly.

"What are you planning to do?" Maria said, sensing that something was up.

Georg suddenly got on top of her and tickled her. Maria was squealing, laughing.

"Stop! Oh God stop!" she screamed between laughs.

"Alright," he said, getting off her. He stood up and helped her up.

"Maybe we should call the children to eat," he said.

"Great idea."

"Oh, and please call me Georg, Maria."

"What?"

"Just say it."

"Alright, Georg."

They chuckled and went to do their task.

See? They really acted like a couple. Even when they argue they do.

"Come on, Georg! The children waited this long!"

"I am not risking anyone to drown!"

"It's been three weeks after their last swimming activity, yes, I nearly drowned, but this time just let the children have fun in their summer!"

"No! If you won't be safe then no!"

"Why me? It's the children who badly wants it!"

"No!"

"Georg, please!"

"I said no!"

They looked at each other. Maria wasn't furious, there was just a pleading look in her face. She found it sweet that Georg is concerned about her safety, but her main concern here is the children.

"Georg," she said, holding his arm. "You know how much the children wanted to swim again. Just this once. Please?"

Georg looked at her pleading face- God she was so beautiful- and found himself changing his mind.

He sighed. "Alright."

"Thank you!" she exclaimed, hugging him and kissing his cheek. Georg smiled and kissed hers back. "Sorry I was stubborn, I was just worried about you-"

"Don't mind me, Georg. I find it sweet that you're worried about me, but let's think about the children, alright?" she said.

"Okay. But be careful," he said.

"Yeah, yeah."

He chuckled and kissed her temple.

Then finally, that dinner date planned by the children.

"Wh-what's this?" Maria said.

"Just wait," Brigitta said. She led her to the chair and made her sit. "Don't remove the blindfold, okay?"

Next was their father. They brought him to the venue as well.

"Now, remove your blindfolds," she said. They all ran to the bushes they were assigned to hide and spy.

Georg and Maria removed their blindfolds and was surprised to see the other and their dinner there. They were by the lake, a candle in the middle of their table, and some other candles in glass around them as light. There were rose petals around them as well.

"Everything seems so...romantic," Maria muttered. Georg faked a cough. "Yes. It does."

They stood in awkward silence for a few seconds.

"Would you like to eat dinner?" Georg finally said.

"Sure," Maria replied. She said the grace before meals and they started to eat and had happy chatters.

After the meal, they decided to walk around. The children were spying, notepads in hand and signals ready.

"So...um..." Georg stuttered.

"So?" Maria replied. Georg looked up.

Maria looked up the sky and was amazed.

"Oh! Stars! They are so beautiful!" she gushed.

Not as beautiful as- nevermind, Georg thought. "Well, they are," he said.

"You know that stars have names, am I right?" he asked.

"Why yes. I am familiar with some, I don't recall the others," Maria replied.

They got into a conversation about stars and constellations, Georg teaching her about how it could be used for traveling, and some names of stars and constellations.

"I remember the little dipper and the big dipper," Maria stated, chuckling.

"What's taking father so long?" Kurt whispered to Brigitta. "I. Don't. Know," Brigitta answered.

The "almost-couple" was laughing, now telling stories. Georg looked into the children's direction.

Brigitta slapped a hand to her face.

"Go!" she yell-whispered.

They showed a sign stating "Say it to her already" and sending him glares.

Georg nervously laughed and scratched the back if his neck.

"Georg? What's wrong?" Maria then asked. Georg turned to look at her.

"Ehrm, Maria, I...I wanted to tell you that, well, I-"

Maria put her hand in both sides of his cheeks. "Yes? Georg just tell me," Maria said. Georg looked into her eyes. He was scared of telling this to her. About what he felt. Because he feared he just might be rejected. So he'd been holding it in.

"I'll...miss you," he said instead, since she was leaving in a few days. Maria offered him a small smile and hugged him. He kissed her forehead, closing his eyes and savoring the moment.

"I'll miss you too," she said.

Now, Maria sat on her bed, carpet bag and guitar case ready, her 'ugly' gray dress on, and her hat on. Something she wore on her first day that'll always be remembered. She packed the dresses she made as well for remembrance, and if possible, donate them to the poor.

Maria breathed in, standing up, making her way out of her room, and to leave the villa. Memories here will be cherished, and the dear people she had met here will always be in her heart.

She set off to the grand hall with a tear threatening to fall.


A/N: Hello! It's been awhile. ;) Thanks for ALL the support you've given me in my previous stoies. I'm thinking of starting a Julie and Chris fic after this. I'll update slowly, though. Well, hoped you liked the first chapter, and do leave a review. :)