Author's notes: I'M STILL ALIVE! Yes, I'm here, sorry I've haven't posted anything for ages, but I've been revising for my exams and preparing for University.
Anyway, here is my first ever Mary Poppins fanfiction, I've got so many ideas for Mary Poppins stories, but I started with this...sorry that this chapter is so long, but I couldn't really find a place to split it that I was happy with...so enjoy the 9,000+ words!
Please let me know what you think as I'm quite nervous about this since it is my first Poppins fanfiction, but it's also about a fandom so pure! So if you could leave a review I would really appreciate it. I really hope you enjoy this!
Additionally, I have done some historical research to help me write this, but if I have gotten anything wrong, please let me know!
Come What May
Mary always regarded herself as an intuitive person, yet for the past few weeks she was simply unable to find the source of her unease. The winds had been blowing softly, so softly that she could not fly with them. Prior to these nervous sensations she had left London to become the nanny of a single parent family on the outskirts of Bristol; she was there no longer than a month, yet the West wind had simply carried her straight back to London with no new clients to attend to. She was left standing at the door of her Uncle Albert's house and that's where she'd been since. Of course, Mary was glad for the company, she loved her Uncle and it put her mind somewhat at rest knowing she would always be there to stop him from floating up to the ceiling; but she had never had to wait for her clients before. Never. And that was what she didn't like, the unfamiliarity and the sudden change in nature of her duties, she had always been someone who preferred a bit of structure, with her line of work it was something that came as second nature; but she never anticipated that she would feel so lost by the slightest change. She slumped back into the worn armchair that sat out of place in the spare bedroom. Her head fogged with questions and potential answers.
"Could there have been some kind of mistake?" Uncle Albert suggested doubtfully.
"What do you mean? What sort of mistake?"
"Maybe you just followed the wrong wind?" Even Albert didn't believe that.
"Don't be ridiculous -" She responded calmly, "—I'm only capable of following the East and West winds to my clients" Uncle Albert went to suggest something further, but Mary politely answered his question with, "And yes I most definitely took the East wind to my last job and I am positive that the wind changed whilst I was there…I just ended up here when I landed." Mary looked down at the floor quizzically.
"Did you perhaps miss your newest clients?" Albert suggested with a carefully tone.
"I'm almost offended by that notion; I would never make such a sloppy mistake." She commented. Albert scratched his head with thought and rocked gently on the balls of his feet.
"Maybe you're supposed to return to a family you've already worked for?"
"Highly unlikely" She stated.
"Well, you did work for a large family in London right before you moved on to Bristol; maybe they didn't learn their lessons?"
"How impertinent of you, Uncle Albert"
"Sorry, my dear, I just want to help you figure this out." He said quietly. Mary sighed.
"I know, I'm sorry" There was a brief moment of silence, with their tense thoughts making the air around them feel thick.
"What about that other family? The one with the young boy and girl?"
"The Banks family?"
"Yes! That one? Maybe you need to return to them? How long has it been?" Mary thought hard about her uncle's question.
"It can't have been longer than six months -" She paused briefly, "—I left the Banks family and moved on to the Clark family in York, then back to London with the Harrington family before finally moving down to Bristol…they can't have forgotten their lessons in less than six months, it's simply not fathomable" Mary rubbed her temple in frustration.
"It could be something more trivial? Do you have any sort of unfinished business here in London?"
"Not with my clients" Mary replied simply as her cheeks began to flood with red. Uncle Albert raised his eyebrow at her curiously, but one of her stern looks kept him quiet.
"Maybe there just aren't any families in desperate need of a nanny?" The conclusion was one that Albert certainly didn't believe to be true.
"That is quite possibly the most preposterous suggestion so far"
"I know…" He sighed. "Maybe…maybe it's you?" Mary's eyes shot open.
"Excuse me?!" She almost snapped.
"I don't mean that in a critical way, but maybe you're ill or something like that?"
"I hardly think so" She scoffed.
"Tell me, Mary, how do you feel?"
"Well, I feel…I feel…well, I don't really know how I feel, I've never had to use a word to describe it"
"Mary, you and I both know that there's always a word available if you can't think of anything to say" Said Albert almost skilfully.
"I fear that that word is not an appropriate description."
"So you don't feel well?" he questioned.
Mary sighed, stood up gently and made her way over to the window. Her eyes studied London with a keen perception.
"It's not that I don't feel well, but I feel unsettled, just have this intuition that something isn't right, and for the first time I can't figure out what it might be…"
Albert moved behind her and rested a caring hand on her shoulder.
"Maybe you should go and see the doctor? It couldn't hurt could it? It might even do you good"
Mary let her gaze fall to the floor again, this was so unlike her, normally she would know exactly what was wrong as soon as it occurred; never before had she been left in such a state of question. Even the notion of visiting a doctor seemed foreign to her as she was usually so on top of everything. Still, she had to remind herself self that she was only "Practically perfect" and even practically perfect people fall behind.
"I think you're right" She said to him quietly.
"Go there now -" He said encouragingly, "—Get it all over and done with"
"You're quite right!" She said, her tone now perkier as she began to head toward the stairs.
"Would you like me to come with you?" He called after her.
"Oh no, don't trouble yourself, but promise me that you're feet will remain firmly on the ground whilst I am gone?"
"Yes, my dear"
"Very good" Were her final words before the door closed automatically after her exit. The streets of London were beginning to grow colder in the October air and the days were getting shorter. But the air still had a crisp bite to it that caused many to still take shelter in their coats. The small heel of Mary's shoe cracked against the stony ground as her mind wondered, seeming like a new thought arose with each dainty step she took. The streets she travelled down were quiet and quaint, the houses and buildings stood tall around her with each perfectly placed yet out of place stone making each one feel like a home. It was like a painting, and Mary wouldn't have had it any other way. London was her home; she was always so pleased when she got to work here; perhaps that was why she seemed to be here more than any other city? Maybe she really did have some kind of unknown control over where the winds took her? She felt an inexplicable fear creep up her spine like a pair of invading hands, maybe she was about to lose what she had known as her way of life for so long…
Doing her best to push these thoughts out of her mind, Mary turned the corner into a slightly larger street and found herself faced with a group on enthusiastic ladies, each one wearing a purple and white sash over their shoulder.
"Excuse me! Madam!" One of them called to Mary before rushing across the street, "Excuse me, but as a woman do you feel that you should have the same rights as men"
"But of course" Mary responded politely.
"And do you think that women and inferior to men?"
"Not at all" Mary replied with a slight laugh.
"And do you think that it is fair that criminals, drunkards or those labelled as imbeciles have the right to vote but women don't?" Cried the woman passionately.
"I think it is most unfair"
"Then please, join the suffragette movement, join our marches, help fuel our protests and we will make sure that we have suffrage and that we will have the same rights as men!" The group of women cheered and clapped before a song of 'Votes for women!' began to build.
"Perhaps on another occasion" Mary laughed.
"Anything you can do to help us will be greatly appreciated, whether it be now or in the far future. We must stand together!"
"I will certainly do my best" Mary said to her with a polite smile. She was about to continue walking when she heard a familiar voice cry out,
"Mary Poppins! Is that you?" Mary whipped her head round and saw the shocked Mrs Banks scuttling towards her. She felt something that she hadn't felt in a very long time: Nerves. "Mary Poppins it is you!"
"Good afternoon, Mrs Banks" Mary nodded and smiled.
"Oh it's so wonderful to see you again after all this time! How are you?"
That's what Mary intended to find out. "I'm perfectly satisfactory at the moment thank you, but please tell me, how are Jane and Michael?"
"They're doing very well, a lot more well behaved thanks to you, and George still spends time with them when he can"
"I'm very glad to hear it" Mary smiled.
"If you don't mind me saying, Mary Poppins, well, the children do miss you so much…why did you leave so suddenly?"
Mary felt her chest become heavy with guilt; she had never found herself in this situation. She had never returned to one of her families before, but now she had to look a mother in the eye and explain why she made her children sad. On a normal day she would simply tell her that she never explained anything, but there was something about the Banks family that she found so special.
"Mrs Banks, I only stay for as long as the children need me, Jane and Michael had learnt their lessons and no longer needed me with them…they may have wanted me, but there were other families in greater need. So that is why I left." She said cryptically.
"I see…are you working with a family at the moment."
"Not at this point in time, no" Mary told her honestly and Winifred's eyes lit up with hope.
"Oh! Would you consider coming back to us?" She asked joyfully.
"Well, I'm not sure if that would be the right decision -"
"Oh please, Mary Poppins, the children miss you so much, I miss you, I think even George misses you! -" Mary laughed silently to herself as she doubted Mrs Banks' claim, "—and if you're currently between jobs it can't cause any harm, can it?"
"There may be a family nearby that needs me more" Mary excused. Whilst she knew this fact was true, she also knew that with her current condition she might not be able to find this family, and as each second passed Mary began to realise that the Banks family might be her only option.
"We need you too, Mary Poppins…if you're worried about the children being upset with you, I promise you they're not, they just want you back. Please, Mary Poppins!" Mary's eyes left Winifred's face and briefly darted to the doctor's office at the end of the street, could she really afford to make any promises?
"Well, I truly appreciate your offer and will consider it, but I should like a few days to think about the appropriate decision to make"
"Of course! Please come and see us once you have made up your mind!"
"I assure you I will" There was a brief pause between them, "Well, it has been an absolute pleasure to see you again, Mrs Banks, but if you don't mind, I must be carrying on now" Mary took no more than a few steps before words of inquisition left Winifred's lips.
"Where are you going, if you don't mind me asking?"
Mary sighed almost silently, she did mind, she didn't want to cause an unnecessary panic or another string of questions that she wouldn't be able to answer. But she liked and respected Mrs Banks and thought that she deserved nothing less than a truthful answer.
"Well, I'm heading to see the doctor"
"Oh dear! Are you ill?"
"Unfortunately I couldn't give you an answer even if I wanted to, but I'm positive that I'm in good health."
"There's no harm in just making sure"
"That's exactly the reason I'm going…take care, Mrs Banks, I'm sure I'll see you again soon."
"I hope so dear, do come and see us and I hope everything goes well at the doctors"
"Thank you, Mrs Banks" And with that, Mary continued to stroll down the now crowded street. It took here a mere amount of seconds before she could finally walk into the doctor's office.
The Doctor looked at Mary from across the desk with kind eyes and sat back comfortably in his chair, Mary remained upright; to the untrained eye it would simply seem as if she wished to remain in the correct posture, and whilst this was true, even she couldn't lie about the fact that her rigid position came almost entirely from her well disguised nerves.
"Okay, Miss Poppins, after your examination I can tell you that your fears of having some kind of sickness are unnecessary as you are perfectly healthy -" He said to her and she began to relax, "—However, there is one matter that should be brought to you attention immediately -" Even though the doctor's relaxed tone of voice didn't shift, Mary remained tense, the fear now visible on her face, "—Don't look so nervous, Miss Poppins, I'm sure you won't perceive this as bad news." He said with a smile.
"I beg your pardon?"
"Congratulations, Miss Poppins!" He beamed at her.
"I'm sorry but I don't have the faintest idea what you're talking about"
"You're pregnant, Miss Poppins"
That was it, that was the moment where timed stopped for Mary Poppins.
"Excuse me? Miss? Miss are you okay?"
Mary snapped back into reality.
"Yes, I'm fine thank you. If you don't mind, could I have a few minutes alone to think about this"
"Of course you can" Smiled the doctor before exiting the room.
A million thoughts began to rush around her mind – making her almost physically dizzy. She didn't know how to respond, she didn't even know how to feel about it. She didn't know if it was a blessing or a mistake. How would this affect her work? How would this affect her life? Did this mean the end of her days as a nanny? She slumped back into her chair and sighed.
"Well, what an awkward situation you've gotten yourself into now" Chirped the parrot that she had be almost strangling for the past five minutes.
"The last thing I need is criticism from you!" Mary snapped.
"Don't be angry with me, this isn't my fault, you know"
"It's not like I intended for this to happen" She whispered strongly.
"You should've been more careful, Mary Poppins"
"Yes, I know that!"
"This is going to affect you in a big way, you know…you probably won't even be able to go and work for the Banks family now"
"Will you keep your voice down!" She tried her best to silence the bird.
"You're the only one that can hear me, remember?"
"Well, I suppose this explains why I haven't been able to follow the winds…"
"Who's the father, Mary Poppins?"
"I know exactly who it is"
"Are you sure?" Replied the bird, insinuating something rather rude about Mary's love life.
"Of course I'm sure! You can be so rude sometimes!"
"Who is it then?"
"There's only one person who it can be and you know full well who it is"
Yes him, the one and only Bert, And Mary remembered exactly when it happened…
*One month earlier*
It had been a usual day for the both of them, it was Mary's day off and like always, they spent it together. They had met outside the park in the early hours of the morning and Bert had drawn up a colourful interpretation of a meadow for them to spend the day in.
"Bert, it's absolutely beautiful!" Mary marvelled as she breathed in her surroundings.
"Only the best for you, Mary!" He smiled at her lovingly. She wrapped her arm around his and they strolled leisurely through the meadow. Their ears were serenaded with bird song and a gentle breeze reminded them of the freedom they had in this moment, it was just them in this world the Bert had created for them, only them. The grass beneath their feet was luscious and green and fresh flowers bloomed around them, cherry blossoms that were pink and Hawthorns that glistened in the sunlight. Bluebells danced around their feet in a gentle sway that made the entire place come alive. It was perfect.
Mary took this time to think about her relationship with Bert. She had almost lost her perception of how long they'd known each other, and for as long as she could remember whenever she was in London they spent her days off together. They would often jump in and out of Bert's drawings, but sometimes they would simply stroll around London and spend their time in hidden cafes, sometimes Mary felt like her days without magic were the most magical. Yet she had always been so unsure of her feelings towards Bert, they were very close friends, there was no doubt about that, but over the years she had found herself questioning if that's all it was. She often noticed the way he looked at her, his eyes sparkling with adoration; and she had to admit, when she was with Bert everything else in her life washed away, and all she could think about was how much she cared for him and how happy they made each other. And that's what made all of this so hard, she was always travelling around the country, even to other countries on rare occasions and their time together was often short. She knew that she hurt him every time she left London, but he always kept a smile on his face. Leaving London hurt her too, but it wasn't just about leaving the children she would care for, but she knew that she would have to keep leaving the friend she cared for too. Every time she was with him she kept asking herself the same foolish question:
'How do I really feel about Bert? Do I want to be more than just friends?...No! -" She interrupted herself, "—Practically perfect people do not permit sentiment to muddle their thinking!'
Bert was her friend and she was perfectly happy with that. They enjoyed each other's company and engaging in anything more would only complicate her lifestyle and would make things harder for both of them. It just wasn't practical.
"Somethin' on your mind, Mary?" Bert said softly, interrupting her thoughts. He smiled down at her warmly. She smiled back at him.
"I'm just enjoying the scenery; you've really done an amazing drawing, Bert!"
"So you're sayin' that the others weren't amazing?" He teased.
"You know that's not what I mean" She giggled. She felt so at ease with him. They kept strolling until they came to a slightly secluded spot near a lake that was rich with the deepest blues. Mary snapped her fingers and a simple picnic formed on the ground in front of them; Bert smiled, even after all these years her magical abilities still made him feel in awe of her.
"'ow are you getting' on with the Harrington family now? Are they still an 'andful?"
"Quite, but it's getting easier, I guess it's just been a while since I've had to take care of such a large family…the two eldest don't need too much attention and they don't cause any trouble, it's the youngest four that tend to cause the most problems"
"They 'aven't done anything too drastic 'ave they?"
"Not particularly, although Timothy and Elizabeth did try to send their brother into space"
Bert laughed and Mary let her lips curl into a smile.
"'ow on earth did they think they were gonna do that?" He giggled.
"They tied several kites around his ankles and thought if he got up into the air, they could let go and send him to the moon…luckily the wind never picked up that day" She half joked.
"How much longer do you think you'll be with 'em?" Bert said quietly, he didn't look at her so she didn't have to see the hurt on his face, but she knew it was there.
"I can't say for certain, but I doubt it'll be for much longer than a week"
"I see" He replied plainly, he had hoped she would've stayed longer.
"I'm sorry, Bert" She almost whispered to him.
"Don't be silly, Mary, you've got nothin' to be sorry about"
"I can't help but feel guilty every time I move on"
"Please don't feel guilty, Mary. I'd 'ate to think that you weren't 'appy just 'cos of me! You know I'll always be here waitin' for you!" He gave her a crooked smile.
That was part of the problem, he did always wait for her, and she felt selfish. He was there living his life based around her every move; she would hate to think that he was wasting his time just because of her. But at the same time she often found herself in fear that he would move on, find someone else to spend his time with and then forget about her. She wasn't possessive, but she cared for Bert and didn't want to lead a life without him. Sure they had lived with their friendship like this for years, but Mary often wondering how long they could keep going.
She was about to saying something to him when a clap of thunder startled them both and the beautiful meadow began to melt away. Before they could fully process what was happening they found themselves back in the wet streets of London looking at where Bert's meadow once lay.
"Such a terrible shame, I'm sorry, Bert" She commented.
"Not to worry, I'll get plenty more chances to do some more" He said with an optimistic smile, a distant clock chime let them know that it was still only the afternoon.
"Well, it is still my day off" She said to no one in particular.
"Maybe you should come back to mine and get yourself dried off, even if you do go back to the Harrington's early, you don't wanna get sick!"
"Thank you, Bert" Mary opened her umbrella and they both huddled under it, hand in hand, and they all but ran back to Bert's apartment, with each hurried step drenching them even more. London turned grey underneath the bleak weather, but the two of them did not share the melancholy; all they felt was a childlike rush as they ran through the urban sea. The pair let out the occasional giggled as the water splashed up around the legs or as they would almost slip around the corners of the London streets.
They eventually made it to a somewhat run down, yet oddly charming building the held an array of small flats – most of which were owned by chimney sweeps. Bert's flat – like the rest – was small, but not suffocating. It held a total of three rooms, a bedroom with an adjacent kitchen and a postage stamp sized spare room that Bert had found no use for; and a bathroom. Bert considered his living situation somewhat of a luxury considering his pay. The pair removed their hats, coats and shoes before Mary politely offered to make them some tea.
"I think I should get a fire going" He remarked.
"I think that would be most wise" Mary replied with a smile that she kept to herself.
As Bert crouched against his aesthetically disappointing fireplace he couldn't help but find his mind wandering to issues other than the box of matches in his hand. That moment that he had just shared with Mary, the two of them running through the rain as if nothing else mattered…he liked that, it felt so special to him. He rarely got to see the real Mary. Of course, the Mary that was a nanny was real, but when she was working she portrayed herself with a required professional manner that often clouded over her true, more carefree nature. When he saw her running through the rain, gripping his hand and laughing, he knew that was the real Mary. The Mary that only he got to spend time with. The Mary he wished he could spend more time with…
Of course, he was very grateful that Mary always chose to spend her days off with him, it was something he would never give up; but there were times where he often found himself questioning if their relationship was destined to stay this way. He constantly told himself that he would never, ever give up his friendship with Mary, she was his best friend, but he often longed to know if there could ever be something more between them. There were times when he felt a spark, where he was certain that Mary felt it too…these moments were becoming less and less rare. But he had never worked up the courage to discuss this with her, how could he? She was Mary Poppins, practically perfect and never staying in one place for more than a few months – a year if he was particularly lucky – he couldn't just waltz up to her and ask her to confess any potential romantic feelings that she may have for him; it would certainly earn him a scolding. So Bert left his thoughts there, after all, he was a forbearing man and would never dream of jeopardising his friendship with Mary. As long as she was in his life in some way – and he didn't care what way – he was happy.
Soon he had a fire burning confidently and he sat with Mary on a small sofa that stood perfectly between the end of his bed and the small fireplace. He took a sip of his tea. The fire warmed them slowly and Bert's mind was in conflict…
'She told you she's going to be leaving soon -' He thought to himself, '—why don't you just say something to her?' Then his counter argument kicked in, 'Don't be ridiculous, you'll offend her or scare her off or do something to make her uncomfortable, you'll ruin your friendship so you should just stay quiet. After all, you're happy as you are'
Bert was almost angry with himself, why was he being so selfish? Mary was his friend, why wasn't he happy with that? Maybe he should follow Mary's way of thinking and should stop letting sentiment cloud his thinking.
"Bert…" Mary interrupted his thinking – almost making him jump.
"Are you okay?" She asked him simply. Bert almost panicked, thinking for sure that she somehow knew what he was thinking.
"Uh, yeah of course I am" He lied.
"Bert I'm sorry if I upset you today" She said softly, her simpler words making her sound so real.
"What are you talkin' about, Mary?" He asked, setting his cup of tea down on the nearby table. Mary did the same.
"I saw your face when I told you that I would be leaving soon, and I'm sorry Bert, I know how hard this is for you" She looked down at the floor and Bert's heart almost broke.
"Oh, Mary, don't be silly, you didn't upset me! I know that you 'ave to be travellin' back and forth all the time, that's just who you are and what you do" He said with a small smile.
"I see the hurt in your eyes, Bert, every time I tell you that the end is in sight and I can see the way you silently wish for more time…" She paused briefly, "…it hurts me too, knowing that no matter how many families I make happy, I'm always hurting you" Mary could feel how uncharacteristically sentimental she was being, but she couldn't help thinking about how many times they had done this. How many times she had watched his face fall when he knew she would go…how she would see his lonesome figure slump as she ascended into the clouds. There was only so much even she could handle…and she was reaching her limit. But as always, Bert would do his best to pretend he was okay, just to try and make sure she was happy. She felt she didn't deserve him.
Bert rested his hand on her shoulder and her head turned to look at him.
"Mary -" He began, but his mind froze…
'Tell her how you really feel!' His mind screamed at him.
"—Mary you are my best friend and no matter how many times you 'ave to leave, I'll always be waiting 'ere for you"
"That's what makes me feel so terrible…you spend your life waiting for me to return, you don't deserve to be so hindered by my lifestyle…and I certainly don't deserve someone so…so…kind" She said simply. She could almost feel tears building in her eyes. Almost.
"It's the choice I make, Mary -" He told her softly, "—Please, don't feel bad, not even for a single second, as long as you're my friend, I could never be unhappy" It sounded so hyperbolic, but in its essence it was true, sure it made him ache whenever she left London, but he knew that she would always be back and that was what kept him going; it was a light that always shined in his life. "I know you think I'm lying to you, Mary, and maybe I am exaggerating a bit, but please, never, ever feel bad for doing what you do…" He repeated. He wanted so desperately to say more, but he had never seen Mary like this before, she was rarely an outwardly emotional person, and to see her getting upset over him…it made his chest feel heavy.
Mary sniffed in response as she found herself on the very edge of crying. She boldly shuffled across the sofa and rested her head on his shoulder and allowed herself to slightly cuddle into his side. Bert's arm snaked around her shoulder and comforted her. Mary didn't know if she could do this again, she didn't know if she could say goodbye and keep a clear head. This conversation seemed to initiate some kind of awakening, although this was not the first time they had had a deep conversation, this was the first time in which they seemed to be pushing the boundaries of their friendship. Mary panicked, thinking that perhaps she had made it worse; but then she thought, could it be any more painful? Bert moved his head slightly so that his nose nuzzled her hair so delicately that they almost couldn't feel it, but he was careful with his actions. Both of their hearts slowly began to pound in their chests, this was an overly intimate situation for them and they were somewhat fearful of the unknown…where would this lead? Did the other one feel the same spark? Would this ruin them?
Mary shifted her head slightly and looked up into Bert's eyes and seconds began to feel like hours. He looked down at her, her eyes filled with questions but also requests. They both felt something, an invisible force that made their heads spin and their chests flutter, but neither one moved. Mary was following the almost suffocating rules of proper behaviour, and Bert was following his polite and patient nature; they were both negative forces. But in the end one of them broke the restraints and uncharacteristically leaned towards the other. It was Mary. Softly, she captured his lips against hers and all of their anxieties melted away. They leaned into each other, driven by the satisfaction of their feelings but there was still a lingering question: was this the right thing to do? Would this make it worse? Mary pulled away ever so slightly, but their noses were still touching, their faces barely apart.
"Bert -" She breathed almost silently, "—Sorry"
"Please don't be sorry, Mary" He brought his hand up to gently caress her cheek and her eyes fluttered shut from his touch. There may have still been doubt, but now they both knew how they felt, they both knew that these feelings had been building up for so long that it was a battle to fight against them, a battle they lost to their emotions. Bert brought her lips to his again and the kiss that followed was fuelled by a much stronger need. The touch of their lips sent electric through them, a pulse that awakened them to something new. Bert leaned towards Mary and parted their lips to deepen the kiss and she responded by running her hands through his soft brown locks, she was more fiery now than either of them had ever known. Bert's hand travelled down her body to her waist, grazing the side of her breast as it moved, he let his lips move from hers, across her cheek and down into the crook of her neck. Mary's head rolled back.
"Bert…" She breathed, still trying to retain some form of emotional control. She almost felt like she was a different person, she was overwhelmed by these emotions so suddenly that she questioned her actions for the briefest moment, but there was some unknown feeling inside her telling her that this was right. She listened to that feeling. Boldly, she brought her hands to his chest and began to shyly undo the buttons of his still damp shirt. Bert moved away from her neck and looked at her as his shirt fell open.
"Mary…are you absolutely sure?" He asked her with caring eyes. She sighed and gave him a smile.
"I've never been more sure" She told him simply. Their lips came together again and Mary slid Bert's shirt off of his body; she ran her delicate hands down his chest, feeling every inch of him. Bert was the one that made the next bold move, his hands snaked up to the buttons at the back on her dress and he undid them with gentle precision, he knew he'd be in trouble if he tore her clothing. The dress slid off of her easily and as soon as the fabric hit the ground Bert swept Mary into his arms and carried her to his bed – never breaking their kiss. He laid her down before positioning himself next to her and worked on removing the rest of her clothing; as she lay beside him, fully exposed, Bert breathed sharply before whispering…
"Mary, you're so beautiful" She blushed in response and kissed him again. The intensity between them began to build as she rolled onto her back and Bert started trailing kisses down her body. His lips went across her smooth skin before reaching her breasts. Mary began to let go and allowed soft moans to escape from her throat as Bert caressed her with his lips. His mouth travelled further and further down, across her stomach and round to her inner thigh and she could feel her need for him grow. She breathed loudly as his lips came closer to her aching centre, he was almost teasing her, but when he kissed where she needed it most she arched her back and gasped. Mary could feel her climax growing as Bert continued to kiss her centre; she laced her finger in the blankets of the bed and threw her head back onto the pillow.
"Bert, wait…" She breathed almost assertively. He looked up at her, worried that he'd made some kind of mistake, but she gave him an almost devilish smile that beckoned for him. Bert removed the rest of his clothing and moved so that he was on top of her, making sure that his weight was on his arms and not on her delicate frame. He looked down at her with adoration, but his eyes were once again seeking confirmation from her, Mary whispered what some would consider a plea.
"Please" It was almost silent. Their lips locked in a kiss as Bert slid into her. Mary gasped into the kiss sharply, Bert held himself still for just a moment – allowing her to get used to the sensation. She looked so beautiful to him, even when she was not as composed as he was accustomed to. They were nothing more than their desire for each other, and he found this moment, this moment where they were simply sharing their adoration for each other truly special. He began to move his hips slowly, watching as Mary gasped and moaned with each thrust. Mary's nails began to dig into his back as Bert's thrusts became quicker, he buried his face into her neck and feathered her skin with kisses. The pins in Mary's hair became loose and her locks fell around her shoulders like a veil.
"Bert!" She gasped repeatedly as her climax grew closer, but she was still holding on to reality; she squeezed her eyes shut and tried to hold on.
"Let go, Mary" Bert panted. "Let go with me" So she did, and after a few more thrusts they were riding out their climaxes and moaning each other's names. They had come together as one to share something truly special and it maybe them wordlessly happy. Bert rolled onto the bed and pulled Mary into him for a hug. They lay their silently for some time, revelling in what they had just shared.
"Bert -" Mary whispered, "—do you think we've just made things more difficult?"
Bert considered it for a moment, but he looked down at the beautiful woman that lay in his arms, the woman that he had wanted to be with for so long. All her could do was smile and place a feather light kiss on her lips.
"No, I don't think so" He told her.
"Well, are you going to tell this Bert then?" The bird squawked.
"Of course I am! It would be cruel not to"
Just then the doctor walked back into the room and Mary shot back into an upright posture.
"Everything okay, Miss?" He inquired.
"Perfectly" Replied Mary with perfect composure.
"Good. Now, Miss Poppins, how familiar are you with the recommended lifestyle changes?"
"Very familiar" She replied, trying to ignore the endless amount of panicked questions that raced through her mind.
"Wonderful, well as I'm sure you know it's nothing too major, we just recommend a reduced alcohol and tobacco consumption, a nutritious diet, plenty of fresh air, light exercise and sleep and of course less physical strain in the later months of the pregnancy…oh, and a change of clothing will also be needed, make sure it's light but warm when appropriate; after all, pregnancy is something that should be dealt with modestly, you won't need to make a drastic change, just nothing that's too tight around the stomach, perhaps a maternity corset?…but I'm sure you knew that already" He smiled.
The Doctor rose from his chair and escorted Mary to the door.
"Well, once again congratulations and I'm sure your husband will be quite pleased with the news!"
"Yes" Replied Mary flippantly, but she had never felt this scared before, she was venturing into the unknown and she was taking Bert with her.
When Mary exited the Doctors rain was thundering down across London – creating the perfect pathetic fallacy. She opened up her umbrella and began to almost run through the now deserted streets. The rain drops slid off of her umbrella and created a private waterfall that acted as a cage and it kept her as a prisoner to her thoughts. She had to remain collected and logical. Firstly, she knew that this would dramatically affect her work, she knew that no one would hire a pregnant nanny, so she would get a few months of work if she was lucky, then there was the issue of what to do after the baby was born; it wasn't like she would have the baby and then go back to work, she would have a child of her own that would always need her. Would anyone hire a part time nanny? Would she be able to work and also look after a child of her own? Would she have to give up work all together? Perhaps she would be forced into taking a period of 'confinement' during the pregnancy? And of course, she would have to hide the fact that she was an unmarried mother…
Then there was the issue of Bert, she felt so awful that she was about to drop the weight of this on him, after all, this wasn't just going to affect her life, but his as well. Would he be okay with this? Would he want to be a part of this? Although it would not be in Bert's character to abandon her, she couldn't help but feel paranoid since the gift of an unplanned child wasn't the nicest. She almost felt like it was some kind of betrayal.
"Stay calm, Mary Poppins" The bird told her.
"I am calm" She lied.
"No you're not" Said the bird with an almost smug tone.
"Okay, maybe I'm not as calm as usual, but I'm in a bit of a difficult situation" She huffed and quickened her walking pace. "I don't know what this means for my employment…it might be years before I can work again, I don't know what this means for my financial situation and…" She trailed.
Mary swallowed hard. "I don't know what this means for Bert and I" She said difficultly.
"Where are we going, Mary?" The bird asked on a tangent.
"Bert's apartment, I'm going to tell him straight away, it's only fair"
The rain beat down harder, making her cheeks feel icy and she shivered for reasons that went beyond just the weather. She came to the park where Bert could often be found as a screever and the bleeding colours across the pavement indicated that he was not far. "He'll be home by now" Mary said matter-of-factly and headed off down a small road without waiting for the bird's verdict. A harsh wind began to wash through London, feeling like shards of glass across Mary's cheeks; but thankfully, she soon found herself at the block of flats that Bert called home. As she climbed the stairs she did her best to remain outwardly composed, but her heart was thundering and her hands presented the slightest of trembles. She knocked gently on Bert's door.
'Everything's going to be fine' She thought to herself, 'You've been in difficult situations before, just stay calm, composed and tell him what's going on'
The door opened and Bert's eyes lit up with joy when he saw who was standing on the other side of it.
"Mary Poppins! Is it really you?" He asked stunned, but his face began to drop as his eyes studied her. She was completely soaked from the rain, her hands were quivering, her body shivered and he couldn't tell if it was rain drops or tears that clung to her cheeks. "Mary are you okay?"
Mary knew she had two options now, straighten up and try to reclaim her composure or throw it all away and collapse in front of him.
"Bert, it's not very polite to keep a lady standing in out in the hall" She said with a shaky voice, Bert almost smiled at her familiar tone, but he could tell that something was wrong, and the fact that he could tell this from Mary's outward appearance scared him somewhat.
"Oh, of course, please come in" He moved aside and let Mary walk in; he took her coat, hat and umbrella for her and put them aside to dry. Mary breathed heavily and felt her nerves grow. Mary stood near a window and examined the room that had not changed since she had last been here. Bert moved across the room so that he was close to her, Mary took a step forward and wrapped her arms around his neck, and his arms found her waist; things had not been awkward since they'd slept together, but they had never had time to explore where it had left them.
"It's lovely to see you again, Bert"
"You too, Mary" The separated, but remained standing close. "So 'ow long 'ave you been back in London for?"
'Strange that she didn't come and see me with her newest family…' he thought to himself, 'How can she possibly have the time to be here this late in the afternoon?'
"No longer than a week" She said truthfully.
"So where's the new family? It's strange that you're able to be away from them in the afternoon like this" He almost laughed, Mary looked down at the floor and he saw the conflict on her face. "Oh, I wasn't insinuating nothing" He explained, "I just thought it was strange" Mary smiled at him briefly before letting her lips fall again.
"The truth is, Bert…I'm not with a family at the moment" She told him.
"Oh, so are you going to see 'em soon?"
"Well, in all honesty, I don't have a family to go and see"
"What? Sorry, Mary, you've confused me" He rubbed the back of his head.
"I spent just under a month in Bristol after I last left London, and when the winds carried me away I just ended up on Uncle Albert's doorstep, with no letter from a family or any kind of indication as to where I was needed next. So I've been staying with Uncle Albert since"
"'ow can that be?" He pondered the situation for a moment.
"Over the last few hours I…I do believe I've discovered the solution" She said, her voice becoming shaky again. Bert looked into her eyes – his face conveying worry.
"Mary, is everything okay?"
Mary folded her arms nervously across her chest and lingered. 'Just say it' she told herself repeatedly, but every time she opened her mouth her throat went dry and her mind went blank. Her heart began to pound painfully in her chest and she was almost angry with herself for not maintaining her composure. She sighed and furrowed her brow with defeat.
"Oh, Bert, I'm sorry" She said. He placed his hands on her shoulders.
"Hey, don't get upset -" He said supportively, "—now take a deep breath and tell me what's wrong" He gave her a soothing smile. She nodded to herself before sighing once more.
"Bert…I'm pregnant" Her voice was tiny, but Bert heard every word like it was a scream. A single tear rolled down Mary's cheek, "And you're the father" she added with a broken tone. Bert just stood there, his mouth hanging slightly; it was as if time had stopped. He blamed himself for this, he knew how much this would this would affect her work.
'You Idiot!' he scolded himself, 'Mary wouldn't be in this situation if you hadn't been so selfish!'
"Bert I -" Mary was about to speak when she was interrupted by Bert flinging his arms around her and until it happened she hadn't realised how much she needed it.
"Is that what you were so scared to tell me?" Bert whispered. He felt her nod against him.
"I didn't know how you were going to act and…well, I just felt so bad"
Bert pulled his head back to look at her.
"Mary why should you feel bad? This isn't your fault…it's mine…I was selfish and I was the one who took things as far as they went…I shoulda been thinkin' about the consequences…I should've been sensible about it..."
"No, Bert, I was the one who…I was the one who kissed you in the first place…" Mary trailed off.
"Mary…do you regret kissing me?" He asked fearfully.
"Of course I don't, I'll never regret that decision…but I should've been thinking straight…"
"I guess we both got a bit carried away, huh?" they gave each other a small smile. They embraced each other again, savouring the closeness of the other.
"I think we should discuss this" Mary said quietly.
They moved over to the sofa that sat in front of the fireplace; the sofa where it all began.
"How long have you known?" Was his first question.
"Not long at all, probably less than an hour…as soon as I left the Doctor's I came straight here"
"So nobody else knows?"
"Not yet, though I will have to tell Uncle Albert as soon as I can"
"Of course…What about your job, Mary?"
"I think that's what I'm most confused about…If I'm lucky someone may hire me to work for the first few months, but after that I'm not sure what I'll do…I doubt anyone would hire a part time nanny, let alone one that's expecting a child…"
'Expecting a child' those words were scary to them both.
"…And I don't know what to do after it's born…I keep thinking it over and the more I think about it…the less likely it seems that I'll be able to go back to work…"
Mary's face dropped and Bert felt as if his heart would break, he knew that she loved being a nanny, even if the constant travelling did make it hard for her, and regardless of the fact that neither of them could blame themselves, he felt as if it was all his fault. He took Mary's hands into his own and looked deep into her sapphire eyes.
"Mary, I care about you so much, and I know that this is goin' to affect you in so many ways…but I promise you that I will support you and that I'll be there for you no matter what, okay? I'm not lettin' you go through this alone."
"I'm going to help you any way I can"
"You don't have to, Bert, I know things aren't easy for you financially, I'm sure I'll be able to manage on my -" Mary was silenced by Bert's lips capturing hers softly.
"I want to be a part of this, Mary…I'm not going to abandon you and I'm not going to abandon this child either…" He stammered for a moment, "Our—Our child"
"Are you sure, Bert?"
"I've never been more sure" He referenced.
"I really am sorry, Bert"
"Hey, you've got nothin' to apologise for, okay? Please don't blame yourself…I know this is a difficult situation and I know this isn't going to be easy, but I'm not upset or angry, I could never feel that way. Let's just take one day at a time; everything will work itself out eventually. I know that we can make this work"
Mary couldn't help but smile at him, she had no idea what she'd done to deserve someone as kind and selfless as Bert, but she knew that she never wanted to be without him. He wrapped his arm around her shoulder her and placed a kiss on the top of her head.
"Thank you, Bert" She said simply. They stayed like that for what seemed like hours, Mary was simply overwhelmed by the support he'd offered her; of course she was still fearful of the future, but now that she knew Bert was going to be by her side, she felt like she could handle anything.
"I saw Mrs Banks today -" She said eventually, "—she offered me a job, I was against taking the position initially, but I think it would be wise to see her within the next few days to see if she would consider hiring me…even in my current condition"
"Normally I wouldn't return to a family unless they needed me desperately, but I think the Banks family are my only option. I'll just have to explain the 'situation' and hope that they're generous enough to give me a position"
"I'm headin' towards Cherry tree lane tomorrow; I'll walk you there in the mornin'"
Mary looked over at the wonky clock that hung on Bert's wall, it was starting to get late, and the October sun wouldn't last much longer. She sat up, but didn't break away from Bert's embrace.
"It's getting late…I think I should head back to Uncle Albert's"
"Why don't you stay 'ere, Mary?"
She raised her eyebrows slightly at his suggestion.
"I mean, you've 'ad quite a stressful day, so I think it might do you some good if stayed 'ere and got some rest…saves you walkin' all the back to Albert's…I can sleep on the sofa if you want and…-"
Mary laughed at his slightly panicked tone.
"There's no need to sound so worried, Bert. You've made a very kind offer and I gladly accept, but I shall have to let Albert know" Mary stood up from the sofa and moved over to the window, she opened it to reveal the fresh evening air. The rain had stopped and a beautiful fiery sunset was painted across the sky. She leaned out of the window and began to whistle a lyrical tune that carried through the air like bird song. Bert sat back and marvelled at how her tune had lured a robin onto her fingers. Mary smiled down at the robin and spoke to it sweetly,
"Please tell my Uncle Albert that I'm perfectly healthy and that there's no need for him to worry about me. And please tell him that I shall not be returning but I shall be with Bert instead" The robin whistled in confirmation before disappearing into the London sky.
"Albert can talk to animals too?"
"Of course, it's quite easy, you know?"
"I'm sure it is" He laughed. Mary paused for a moment, there was one final issue that she needed to address and she knew it wouldn't be easy.
"Bert there's one more thing I need you to do for me?"
"Please decline if it's an inconvenience to you, but…well, as you're well aware, I'm an unmarried woman and I don't want to be further stigmatised by this pregnancy, so if anyone asks, could you please say that we're married?"
Bert froze again, her request was so out of the blue, but the more he thought about the more understandable it was. Pregnancy was something most women kept hidden when in the public eye as the society they lived in was so unable to grasp the normality of what goes on between a man and a woman – Mary was likely going to suffer from that, but unmarried, expectant mothers were social outcast, many were even institutionalised because of the situation. He would happily do this for her, without a second thought.
"Of course" He replied. She kissed his cheek as thanks. "Get some rest" He told her softly.
Mary made her way into the bathroom and peeled out of her dress once inside, she left it folded neatly and examined her petite figure. She knew that soon her corset would be laced loosely and that her stomach would begin to swell, she felt that within the last few hours she had embraced this pregnancy as best as she could, but the future was still so clouded in her mind. She was still scared. She stepped out confidently in just her undergarments and found Bert admiring the sunset. She suspected that he was trying not to stare at her; after all, he was still a gentleman. She laughed silently to herself before climbing into his bed.
"Bert" She beckoned.
Her next words caused them both to blush harshly.
"You don't have to sleep on the sofa, you know?"
Author's Notes: Really hope you enjoyed that! Hopefully the next chapter will be up soon as I'm on study leave and hopefully it'll be a bit shorter!
I'd really appreciate it if you left a review! :)