A/N: Oh boy. I think I have read every story on this website about our Fraulein and Captain, and it seemed time I wrote my own. I wanted to do a few chapters based on Hozier's "Take Me to Church", and maybe a few based off other songs of his in this story. I imagine it will be loosely-connected one-shots. Of course, I would love reviews and feedback- it has been quite some time since I've written for fun!

Disclaimer: I do not own "Take Me to Church" or TSOM. I think The Sound of Music owns more of me than I ever will ever own of it!

Take Me to Church: Chapter One

my lover's got humor

she's the giggle at a funeral

Georg gazed at his fiancee as she stared at the sunset, wondering how he had come to deserve such a woman's love. Here stood a woman who was prepared to devote her life to God, fully embracing the role of a woman devoted entirely to him and his children. Though he knew that the watchful eyes of Max and Sister Margaretta were on them, he couldn't help walking up to where she looked out over the lake, grabbing her hand and finding himself rewarded with a shy smile, her knowing eyes searching his pensive ones.

"Penny for your thoughts, Georg?"

"Wouldn't you like to know?" He couldn't resist the opportunity to tease her lightly, delighting in her blush before delighting further in her response.

"Well, yes I would. Isn't it only fair? You seem to be able to read my mind from miles away, but I still haven't figured you out." Maria hoped she had given her statement a light enough tone and that her fiance wouldn't hear the worry behind her words. It had been bothering her since their engagement four weeks before- how was she supposed to care for him and run his household when she could never guess at what he was really thinking?

"Hmm, I suppose it is fair," Georg continued, smiling at her. "I was thinking about you."

"What about me?"

"Where to start?" He took a moment. "First, I was thinking back to dinner tonight and the way you laughed at Max's story-" he was cut off by Maria's groan of embarrassment and she buried her face in his shoulder.

"Oh, please, don't bring it up! I apologized to Max profusely for that but I still feel horrible. He was telling us such a somber story and I could not stop laughing at the one thing Liesl said under her breath!" Maria was still mortified- she had half a mind to ask Sister Margaretta what punishment Sister Berthe would have found appropriate for such an outburst. Max had been telling the story of his mother's funeral, in which his cousin had been so drunk that she had nearly ruined the entire service, when Liesl, remembering the incident from six years ago, had cracked a well-timed joke to her about Max being the inebriated one. Maria had not been able to stop her giggles.

"Darling, please, it was enchanting! You should know by now that Max is the first to find humor in any situation," Georg smiled at her as she looked up. "It wasn't that laugh in particular, but your laugh, generally, I was thinking about. It has loomed over me since you sat on that pinecone!"

"I laugh like I speak- without thinking. It is undoubtedly one of my worst faults," Maria sighed as Georg tenderly brushed a stray hair off her forehead. "I am just thankful Sister Margaretta was there and not Sister Berthe! She was always scolding me for my untimely laughter. Oh, I would have been in so much trouble…" although she trailed off, she was smiling at her fiance. Max had accepted her apology, and told her that Liesl's memory was likely accurate- he had laughed about the matter himself!

"Darling?"

"What is it, Georg?" His look had become dark very quickly.

"I know we have already talked about the difference between our ages, and that you don't mind marrying an older man, but I do want you to promise me something."

"You know I would promise you anything, so why are you bringing this up again?"

"Please, just promise that at my funeral, if one of the children tells a funny story about me, or Max makes one of his jokes, that you will laugh." He was looking at her, now, not their intertwined hands.

"Now, Georg, you of all people should know that age means nothing in life and death, nothing is promised to either of us! Why would you say such a thing?" She pulled her hand away, upset, and turned her gaze back to the lake.

"Please, Maria," he breathed, chaperones be damned, as he nudged his forehead against hers, forcing her to look in his eyes. "I never allowed myself to remember Agathe happily, and you saw firsthand how it prevented my healing. Learn from my mistakes just as I have spent this summer learning from you. Please remember me happily."

Maria didn't know how to respond. Instead, she looked at him and adjusted her position to press a gentle kiss to his lips.

"Please don't ask me to be happy," she said, so quietly he wasn't sure she meant to say it. "I am upset just thinking about you leaving me."

"Maria," he murmured. It was so quiet and tender that her eyes met his before she could stop them. "It was Agathe's wish that I find happiness and marry again; I never paid it much mind until she was sick and brought it up again. What an absurd request!" He smiled to himself, shaking his head. "But here I am, doing as she wished I would, and I could not be happier. The children could not be happier."

Maria smiled at him knowingly. "I can understand where you are coming from, Georg, I really can. We certainly would not be where we are if you had not opened up to your children again, and allowed yourself to remember all you'd forgotten… I just hate to think about it. I'd rather not."

"Then let's not think about it again after tonight. I will even make you the same promise- as you pointed out, I should know better than to assume that death takes her prey fairly. But I promise you this, Maria Rainer, and I will promise it again when you are Maria von Trapp," His breath caught, her eyes radiating joy when he gave her his name. "That I will not make the mistakes of my past. I may be sad, but I will not wallow in it; I will accept the children's love as an extension of your love and, if the situation arises, I will laugh at all the memories we are sure to make."

"Georg, you know I could never deny you anything. Even a conversation that dwells on a terrible topic just months before our wedding!" She smiled. "This will be the last I say on the matter: I promise I will be unafraid to laugh just as much as I will be unafraid to cry. And I promise to one day, after I have healed, laugh with enough joy to reach the heavens where you can hear it."

He kissed her then, unable to resist, his hands cupping her sweet face. Savoring their moment alone, he attempted to deepen their embrace, seeking entry into her mouth when she pulled away.

"Darling, we have an audience," she smiled, slightly tilting her head backwards to indicate their chaperones on the terrace. He noted that her mood had lifted. He had hated to dampen it, but he would never forgive himself if anything happened to him and he had not explicitly given Maria his blessing to heal and move on. He knew her Catholic guilt would have eaten away at her otherwise if she were ever to consider another relationship after his passing.

"Hmm? I don't see anyone." Georg smiled then, knowing they were alone.

"Well look harder! You know Max is always catching us when we think we've given him the slip."

"Ah, darling, you underestimate my ability to be completely aware of my surroundings. Sister Margaretta always retires at 8:00 sharp, which we are well beyond as the sun is completely below the horizon." As he nodded out over the lake, she realized how dark it had gotten. Sneaking a glance at the terrace, she didn't see Max either.

"Where is Max? Surely he wouldn't leave us unattended." Her smile was flirtatious, and she knew it. Four weeks had seen them kissing on the terrace, in the gazebo, in the study, in the ballroom, and, to both of their delight, several unoccupied closets that they had both been passing. Anywhere they could steal a moment alone was good enough.

"Ha!" Georg nearly snorted. "You have far too much faith in Max. He is smart. He likely spent thirty seconds weighing the risks of us doing anything too improper outside with the gain of access to my wine cellar!" Maria laughed then, wrapping her arms around him and leaning in, wanting a kiss. She had a nagging thought in the back of her mind, one she knew she would have to come to terms with: surely her desire to kiss him was sinful. She knew what her faith commanded: "The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want." She was not supposed to want, but his touch was all she found herself wanting anyway, even after many sleepless nights of prayer. Perhaps that was a question for Sister Margaretta. She would be too embarrassed to ask Georg- what would he think of her?

Georg caught a flicker in her eye before he kissed her properly, something he had not been able to do since two days ago. He was sure her sighs would keep him awake and he found himself unable to care. He would address whatever it was she had been worrying about later. For now, she was his. And in two more months she would be his in the eyes of God. He knew as their kiss continued and his hand found its way to her breast that he had to pull back. "Maria…" he whispered. "We should stop, shouldn't we?"

"I suppose we should," she sighed.

"It's almost like you don't want to," he teased quietly, watching her blush. "I don't want to either." He was rewarded with a smile.

"Oh, really, Georg? And here I thought…" She trailed off, grabbing his hand to begin their walk back to the house. "Oh, I don't know what I thought."

He stopped her. "Yes, you do. And you know you can tell me what you're thinking, too. I am sure this is all overwhelming to you, but I can help."

Maria was reeling, from their kiss and his confession after. She was so sure that wanting to continue was a sinful desire, but she knew now that he wanted her too! And although she was still sure it had to be sinful, the fact that he felt it too made it hard for her to care. She took a breath, looking at him with a confidence she did not quite feel, and smiled. "Darling, very little overwhelms me after dealing with seven children all day. You'll have to try much harder than that."

She took the lead then, grabbing his hand and making her way towards the villa. Georg watched her, bewitched. He promised himself that he would soon find out what exactly it was that she thought. He knew that all he thought about was her- her grace, her beauty, her wit, her kisses, and, yes, her laugh. He shook his head, chuckling to himself as he gently kissed her goodnight before they parted ways. He fell asleep wondering how he had ever deserved such a woman. Through all his excitement for the future, one thing was crystal clear as he fell asleep.

i should've worshipped her sooner