A/N: Happy Christmas Eve/First night of Hanukkah!

Currently Playing: Aly&Aj Christmas album
Currently Wearing: My Disney ugly Christmas sweater

because I am still an 8-year-old.

Reviews are always appreciated! ((and you could check out my other fics too...))

Enjoy! - Jillian xx


23.08 Christmas Eve

Mary Poppins has always loved Christmas because, no matter where in the world she was, she would always be home.

And her home, of course, was London.

Tonight, the soft flurries sticking to Mary's hat and coat don't bother her. She has nowhere in particular to be and the city lights look beautiful reflecting off the fresh snow.

Well, to say she has nowhere to be isn't entirely accurate. She certainly doesn't have charges to worry about, but her sensible shoes certainly have an exact destination in mind.

Mary walks the familiar streets before stopping in front of a tall building; it was normally bland, blending in with the others, but, for some reason, its decorations always stand out around the holidays.

Mary quickly climbs the stairs, grateful for the warmth of the inside. As much as she loves a white Christmas, she was never too fond of the cold.

At the top of the stairs, Mary removes her gloves, tucking them into her coat pocket. As she reaches to knock on the door, she pauses, noticing the snow that covers her sleeve. She takes her coat, hat, scarf, and boots off as well, putting them on the coat rack beside the door.

This time she does knock, three times just below the wreath, and she waits.

Nothing

"That's odd." the nanny thinks, knocking again.

Nothing

Reluctantly, Mary reaches into her carpetbag.

"If I must do everything myself." she mutters, pulling out a key.

The flat looks rather nice, strings of tinsel and holly, some lights - nothing too tacky - and a small, but cozy-looking Christmas tree. The smell of gingerbread fills the air.

Mary spies the cake on the counter and smiles.

"I suppose I can wait."

After a few minutes of deafening silence, Mary sighs impatiently. She decides to busy herself with letting her hair down, and running her fingers through her freed curls.

"Mary, is that you?"

A voice startles Mary to her feet, leaving her with a slightly red face and an uncharacteristically shocked expression.

The man behind the voice laughs at her expression. Mary, unamused, gives him a light smack on his head before berating him.

"That was not funny, Bert. You honestly gave me such a fright! Where on earth did you come from?"

"The bedroom." Bert responds as though it was an obvious answer.

"For ten minutes," Mary answers back with a serious expression., "you didn't realise I was here? Did you not hear me come in?"

"Kinda 'ard to 'ear anythin' through that wind outside." Bert replies, looking up.

Mary rolls her eyes and smacks him yet again.

"The roof, Bert, really? Did you really think I'd be crazed enough to fly in this?"

"Did I say I was lookin' for you?"

"Well why else would you be out there in weather like this? What if you fell?" Mary asks, her tone getting warmer.

"What, I can't e'en get a greetin' before ya scold me?"

Mary practically flings herself into Bert's arms at his comment.

"Of course you can, I'm sorry, dear." She mumbles into his shirt.

Keeping her in his embrace, Bert pushes Mary off just enough to look into her eyes.

"That's better." He smiles.

"I've just missed you so much, I was so eager to know where you've been. I couldn't bear to lose you! Oh, Egypt was terrible: so dreadfully hot, nothing to do, no city distractions to distract me from my own mind - I thought I was going to return completely mental! Honestly, I don't think I've ever been so happy to see sn-"

"What are you doing?"

Mary cuts off her own rant, arching her back at an awkward angle to avoid what appears to her as an attempt to steal a kiss from her.

Bert reluctantly removes his hands from Mary's hips, seeing her quizzical expression.

"I haven't seen you, and you're blabbering away. I was trying to be be a cute, but I'm sorry."

"Kindly don't do that, thank you." Mary matter-of-factly responds.

"Look, I said- Oh, that?" Bert realises her statement's intent, slightly embarrassed, as Mary takes his hands to return them to their former position.

Mary gives Bert a sympathetic grin.

"I said I missed you, I just wasn't expecting a kiss for it."

"Nah, you've never liked surprises; I shoulda known better."

After another moment in each other's arms, the two separate and walk to the kitchen.

"So… gingerbread?" Mary says, her eyes darting between Bert and the cake.

"Oh? Yea." Bert nonchalantly responds, mocking her. "Picked it up from Mrs. Corry's earlier. It's been in the oven most o' the day, so it should be pretty warm. Why - do ya want some?"

"Yes." Mary answers a little too quickly.

The two manage to polish off half the cake while catching up, completed with two cups of hot chocolate.

Mary walks over to the sink with their dishes.

"Leave 'em for me." Bert comments, coming upon behind Mary and twirling his arms around her waist.

Bert begins leaving a trail of kisses down her neck in an attempt to get her attention.

"I like the dress, Mar. Silver brings out your eyes." he adds between kisses.

"My eyes are blue."

"But they glitter like silver."

"Do you actually like the color, or just the wide neckline you're clearly taking advantage of?" Mary playfully retorts.

"Cheeky." Bert mutters, pulling away.

"You know," Mary finally faces him, "you talk an awful lot for someone trying to get a kiss."

"Well, is it working?"

Mary responds with a wicked grin before leaning up to press her lips to his.

Bert immediately returns the gesture, firmly resting his hands on her hips. Soon after, Mary's arms find their way around Bert's neck. He lifts her onto the counter, holding her as close to him as possible, as though he might lose her if he doesn't. Mary steadies herself (mentally and physically) by placing her hands on Bert's broad shoulders.

The position is also what allows her to reluctantly push him off her but a moment later.

Bert opens his mouth to speak, but Mary beats him to it.

"No apologies, please. I'm merely stopping before we can get, er, carried away." she blushes.

Bert can't suppress a smile.

"You never told me why you were in Egypt?"

"Well, you never told me why you were on the roof earlier."

"'Ey, I asked ya first!"

"Actually," Mary scoffs, "I told you quite a few times before I left that I was helping out at an orphanage, but I guess you don't listen to me."

"You told me no such thing." Bert replies. His eyes betray him though, having shown Mary that he did remember.

"And, for your information," Bert starts, "since you said eleven, and you were not 'ere at eleven, I met up with some of the sweeps. They like t' go 'round to some 'omes with kids and make 'em think Santa's visitin' 'em. Call it cruel, but it gives them 'ope. That's why I was on the roof when you arrived."

"Well, I'm sorry I wasn't anticipating the snow." Mary chides.

"So, are you staying the night?" Bert says, leading Mary to the bedroom.

She faces back to him just to roll her eyes in response before walking ahead of him.

However, she freezes in the doorway, turning back.

"Really, you put mistletoe in the doorway to the bedroom?"

"Oh, did I?" Bert feigns confusion, walking to her side.

"Well, I guess we shouldn't break tradition, right?" Mary suggests.

Bert is never one to deny a request from her. He closes the door as she pulls Mary into the room, kissing her with as much hunger as love he feels for the woman in his arms.

"That was rather naughty of you, Bert." Mary winks at him.

Bert can't help but laugh as he pulls her onto the bed with him.

"Welcome home, Mrs. Alfred."