Chapter 1: A Problem Like Maria
The Reverend mother looked down at the letter on her desk and sighed. She doubted Maria would do better at the von Trapp residence than at the abbey, but how did one solve a problem like Maria? Former potentials were often sent to convents, unsuited and untrained for life in the ordinary world and used to a disciplined regimen, but the transition from constant activity to constant stillness was difficult. Maria was her favorite of the girls sent to her over the years, but was not adjusting well. She eyed the letter. So be it. It was better than nothing.
Chapter 2: Georg's Surprise
"No, Kurt, you're letting your left shoulder drop."
Fraulein Maria was a constant surprise, but this … digging his old fencing gear out of the attic and teaching the boys how to use it in the ballroom?
Friedrich noticed him. "Fraulein Maria?"
"What?" She looked up and saw him. "Captain," she said, her voice tenser than when she'd confronted him at the riverside.
Georg didn't like that, so he forced himself to relax. "Where did you learn this?"
"An old man back home taught me. He said I had … potential." Maria smiled. "Swords were my favorite toy."
Chapter 3: Freedom
On the first anniversary of the day Maria knew she would never be a Slayer, her former Watcher suggested—firmly—that she retire to the convent. She was too wild to be on her own, he said, with no skills to earn a living. She had no vocation for it, but she loved him and had found no place for herself in civilian life, so she went. She loved God, loved the Mother Superior; it was not enough. The gates shutting behind her felt like prison.
On the second anniversary, Maria married Georg. The church bells chiming sounded like freedom.
Chapter 4: Potential Problem
Challenge: #095—swifter, higher, stronger
On their honeymoon, Maria took Georg to Vienna. Her old Watcher was there. She wanted Georg to know what he'd married. He said he believed her, but he didn't understand. Not really.
"May I ask, why you have no Potential?" Maria asked. "I had hoped to show Georg what my training was like."
"Nazis know about Slayers," her Watcher said. "Want to study them, take them apart, give that power to their Storm Troopers, to make them stronger, faster. All Potentials have been evacuated from Germany and the surrounding countries. Hitler is obsessed with the Occult—let him handle the demons."
Chapter 5: Dancing
"It still surprises me that you never formally learned to dance," Georg said. "You are quite good at it."
Maria laughed. "Thank you, Georg," she said, as he led her around the floor. "Once I had been identified and taken away by my Watcher, what good were dance lessons? I had no time for boys or parties, and no need of attracting a husband. Years of weapons drills ensured I know exactly how my body moves, how to do precisely what I want to, and how to follow instructions. The rest is just having a good partner to lead me."