Well, here's another story that I really shouldn't be starting. This is just a wee bit crazy, but I'm going to blame the cold medicine for the craziness.
As always, I own nothing.
"Goodbye, Bert," Mary says fondly as they reach the street she knows he lives on.
"What? The night is still young, Mary," he protests.
"I know," she sighs. "But I really should be getting back. The children are expecting me and I can't disappoint them."
"Well, I'm not letting you walk 'ome alone. Not through this neighbor'ood."
"This isn't up for discussion, Mary." His voice holds absolutely no question.
She sighs heavily. "Fine then. Come along."
He offers her his arm and she takes it. They stroll through the streets, cutting through the theater district. As it gets later, Mary sees why he was so uncomfortable with the idea of her walking home alone.
"'ello, guv. Per'aps you'd like a flower for the lovely lady?"
Bert turns around, a grin on his face. Mary pauses. He clearly knows the fairly bedraggled woman offering up rather pathetic violets and heavens knows what else. She isn't sure why she's so surprised; it isn't as if they run in the same circles outside of the park. But she had never given any thought to his other acquaintances.
Bert hands a coin to the woman, selects a violet and then hands it directly back to her. "Every lady deserves a flower," he says gallantly. If Mary weren't beyond such base emotions, she'd feel a pang of jealousy.
"Gawrn," the woman blushes, finally turning away from Bert so Mary can get a good look at her face.
"Oh," Bert says, suddenly remembering the social code. "Where are me manners? Mary, this is-"
"Well, if it ain't Miss Too-Big-For-'Er-Britches," the flower girl snaps. "Finally decided to come crawling back to yer rightful place, 'ave you?"
"Eliza!" Bert exclaims, obviously shocked by his friend's nasty turn of behavior.
"It's quite alright, Bert," Mary reassures him. "My sister never has been graced with good manners."
"At least I know my rightful place! I don't parade around, pretending to be 'igher than I am, do I? I know 'oo I am, make no mistake about that. Some of us din't get the chance to abandon our families to play make believe."
Mary's nose rises into the air and her posture becomes even more rigid as she tolerates the abuse. "I have worked hard to get where I am," she says haughtily, her voice dangerously low. "And you can't take that away from me, Eliza, no matter how you try. I admit that I was lucky, but I have never once relied on that luck to see me through."
"Oh, sure," Eliza sneers.
"Just because I had the good fortune to-"
"Good fortune, ha!" Eliza laughs cruelly. "You've never been lucky in anything. You've planned an' plotted an' never once actually lived. I've never met anyone as cold as you an' you don't even 'ave the good grace to admit it."
"Aow, go back to yer finery, Mary. Me n' Dad 'ave gotten along just fine without you for years n' we still can."
"Y-you've… Father came back?"
"After you left. What's it to you?"
"Eliza…" Mary's voice holds a warning.
"It ain't as if you ever needed us before now. Mary Doolittle 'as never needed anybody. Oh, it's Poppins now, ain't it? So nobody'd ever know yer 'umble background."
"Eliza!" Bert exclaims.
"I shan't stand here and be insulted by you, Eliza. I am glad I left that miserable orphanage. I'm glad I left you."
"Mary!" Bert cries, horrified by the way his two friends, usually such pleasant company in their own ways, have devolved into hurling such hurtful words.
"I really must be heading home," Mary says. Bert can hear that her voice is thick with unshed tears that she won't allow into her eyes.
"Of course," he says kindly. "Let's go. G'bye, Liza."
"Bert-" Eliza says quietly but he just shakes his head and continues to escort her sister home.
Well, come on! I'm surprised nobody else has decided to take advantage of the Julie Andrews Eliza Doolittle/Mary Poppins thing! I think this could be fun, but I don't want to waste my time on something people aren't interested in, so please let me know what you think!
I'm not putting this story in crossovers because it's going to focus pretty much solely on Mary and Bert, along with Mary and Eliza, but that's pretty much the only element from My Fair Lady I'm planning on bringing in.
Oh, and sorry I'm butchering Eliza's accent so terribly. I'm working on it.