A/N: After a few gin and tonics and reading several of Darling Pretty's little oneshots for her Snapshots fic, this sort of tumbled out. Nothing like writing a little Mary/Bert oneshot at 4am when you're tipsy eh? I'm sure this is full of glaring errors and is just pointless fluff, but there you have it. Consider this payment for my Skinny Love fic. Enjoy kiddos.
"Please, mmm, don't...nnnnmmm...stop, nnnff, kissing me."
"Now why...nnnng, would I ever do that?"
Suddenly Mary bolted upright in bed, her chest heaving as she panted, her brow dripping with sweat. She wiped at her forehead and noticed her night-gown clinging to her. She took a moment to let her heart-rate settle before lying back down on her pillow with a soft 'thump.' Her dream had been so impossibly vivid, it was amazing it wasn't real. He'd been kissing her so passionately, and she had begged him not to stop. His hands groping her, his mouth finding hers over and over...
Stop it Mary. To even think such things is entirely improper. Mary sighed as she closed her eyes and clung to the little wisps of detail of her dream. It wasn't her fault if her brain conjured up these images while she slept. It's not as if she had any control over such things. And yet, while she internally berated herself for even having them in the first place, she secretly quite enjoyed waking up to the vivid and passionate dramas of her mind.
"If only they weren't just dreams," she whispered quietly to herself in the dark. She knew it was wrong, and improper, and foolish, and she knew society would frown upon it, not to mention her employers, but there was a part of Mary that greatly wished Bert would one day return the sentiments that stirred in her heart. And, as of late, in her brain. She couldn't begin to count how often she dreamt of such romantic moments, only to wake up alone and to find that it was all in her head. Despite harboring such affections, Mary had always known that Bert was only a very good friend. After all, he was a care-free spirit who did whatever he pleased, whenever he wanted. Mary was a regimented soul that did her duty and played by the rules, at least, when it suited her to.
We aren't a match at all, Mary thought bitterly. She lay in the dark, and knew that sleep would not come so easily now. What she needed was some fresh air, she decided, and after slipping on her bluest coat over her night-gown, hurriedly pinning up her hair, and putting on her most sensible black boots, she soon found herself floating out of the window and across the night sky. After a few minutes she alighted on an empty rooftop, one where she could see not only the Thames and Big Ben, but St. Paul's Cathedral as well. It was a glorious sight, and she already felt much better.
The night sky was clear, and Mary was able to make out stars shining above the city. She could smell a bakery nearby already baking the goods of the day before open, and the sound of ships in the Thames was incredibly soothing.
"It's sumfin innit?"
Mary's head whipped around to see a familiar figure standing just a few feet away on the rooftop. She knew who it was instantly, but it wasn't until he came forward to sit beside her on the edge of the roof that she knew for sure.
"Why Bert! Whatever are you doing up here at this hour?" Mary asked, trying hard to hide her smile of surprise.
"I could ask the same of you Mary!"
Bert positioned himself beside Mary, scootching close to her and letting his long legs dangle into the abyss. He had a goofy grin on his face, his newsboy cap was to the side and his corduroy blazer sleeves had been pushed up his arms slightly.
Mary sighed, content but also confused at the early morning she was having. "I had a rather...vivid dream and I couldn't fall back asleep. Thought I'd clear my head."
"Was it a nightmare?" Bert asked, concerned.
"Oh no, not at all. In fact it was the opposite. I just didn't know how I felt about it and started thinking too hard. I came out here to forget it," Mary answered honestly.
"Well now, if it was such a good dream why would you try to forget it? Most people do the opposite."
"Well I'm not most people, now am I?" Mary retorted, a sly grin starting on her face.
"Now that is for sure," Bert winked at her.
"You haven't told me why you're out here as well."
"Couldn't sleep a wink either. Going for a stroll on the rooftops is better than staring at me ceiling when that happens."
"Why can't you sleep?" Mary asked softly.
Bert turned from looking out at London to look into Mary's concerned blue eyes. "Do you want me to be honest?"
"Of course Bert, I always want you to be honest. You can tell me anything, you ought to know that by now," Mary smiled encouragingly.
"You can't hold it against me when I've told ya."
"Oh honestly Bert," Mary said, her tone annoyed but her eyes playful as she swatted Bert on the arm.
"Well all right then. Ya see, lately whenever I try to go to sleep I can't seem to shut me brain off. I keep thinking about the same thing over and over again and I just can't stop long enough to get enough rest."
"Oh? What is it that you keep thinking about?"
"It's this...woman," Bert said, sheepish. He rubbed the back of his neck awkwardly. Mary tried not to look surprised or upset, but she suddenly had no desire to continue the conversation. This is your dearest friend and he needs your help, don't be so selfish.
"I see," Mary said, gesturing for him to continue.
"And I just can't stop thinking about her. Whenever I try to go to sleep I just keep wishing she was in my arms and warm in bed," Bert blushed. Mary felt hot tears coming, stinging her eyes as they threatened to fall. Don't give in, she thought. "I'm sorry Mary, I'm being too forward about this all, aren't I?"
"No Bert, it's...fine. Really. I want to help," Mary said, trying her best to hold her composure.
"And really, I'd be lying to you if I told you that I can't stop thinking about how much I'd like to kiss her."
"Oh? Then why haven't you?" Mary said, struggling. She suddenly found her hands very interesting, staring at them in her lap.
"Well see, I'm scared she doesn't return my feelings. She's also above my station. We lead rather different lives a lot of the time, and I don't think she'd ever really be interested in someone like me. Not...like that anyway," Bert said sadly. Mary continued to scrutinize her fingernails.
"That is a predicament," Mary sighed.
"But she has the most perfect ruby red lips I've ever seen. And the blush in her rosy cheeks is simply unrivalled," Bert said, now daring to look at Mary. She continued to look down at her lap. "She has a laugh that sounds like birdsong and a wind chime all in one. Her hair is the most beautiful and rich color of brown I've ever seen."
Mary's heart suddenly began to race when she realized what Bert was saying. Her face felt hot and flushed, and she could feel Bert's eyes on her.
"And she has most piercing and gorgeous blue eyes in the whole entire world," Bert finished, just as Mary's eyes connected with his. Her hot tears of frustration quickly turned to happy ones as Bert suddenly broke out into a lop-sided grin.
"Bert," was all Mary managed to whisper.
"I can never stop thinking about her but I've never had the guts to tell her until right now."
"Bert, are you serious?" Mary asked, still unsure if she wasn't still dreaming.
"I've never been more serious in my life," he replied, getting up from his perch and putting out his hand for Mary to take. He gracefully pulled up Mary from her spot on the edge and pulled her tight to him. Mary tried her hardest to regulate her breathing, she knew for certain he'd notice the quick rise and fall of her chest as she attempted to maintain her composure.
"I don't know what to say."
"It's all right Mary, I never really thought you'd return my sentiments but you can't fault a man for trying."
Bert had had her by the hands, but at this point he let go and gave Mary some room. Mary's eyebrows furrowed together in confusion and disappointment.
"What do you mean?" Mary asked, puzzled.
"It's ok Mary. I know you don't feel the same way," Bert shrugged, attempting a smile. It fell flat and his face took on a strange, pained expression.
"Bert, what utter nonsense," Mary fumed. She nearly stamped her foot in frustration.
"Please don't try to cheer me up or anything Mary, just forget I ever-"
Bert was cut short when Mary stepped purposefully forward, closing the gap between them, and began passionately kissing him on the lips. Bert didn't respond at first, clearly taken by surprise by the woman before him, but he eventually loosened up and returned the favor.
"Don't but Mary me, kiss me," she whispered, her face so close to his that her breath made him tingle with anticipation.
"Kiss me, please," she nearly pleaded. "Don't make me ask you again."
Bert smiled before slowly kissing Mary. He could feel her smiling, all of her, and her hands began grasping his neck, his face, anything she could grab hold of. They kissed again and again, growing faster and more passionate, hardly breathing at all.
"Is this...mmmfff...what...nnn...you thought it would be?" Mary panted.
"Not at...nnng...at all," Bert replied.
At this statement Mary stopped, and pulled away to examine Bert's face. She had a small frown on her face, her nose slightly scrunched up in disappointment. Bert merely laughed at her.
"Oh Mary darling it is so much better than I imagined."
Mary laughed at this, a tinkly, musical laugh that made Bert smile wider than before. He chuckled with her, the two of them elated to have gotten everything off their chest.
"I feel like I'm still dreaming," Mary whispered, laying her cheek on Bert's chest.
"My incredibly vivid dream from before? It was very similar to this."
"Oh I see," Bert said, placing his arm around Mary's slender waist and putting his hand on her soft, messy bun of hair.
"Please don't let me wake up," Mary sighed.
"It's not a dream darling," Bert smiled, "this time it's not a dream."
"Can we just stay like this forever?"
"If that's what you want," Bert whispered into her hair. She smiled and looked up into his eyes.
"Do you think you'd be able to sleep tonight, if you had me in your arms to keep you warm?"
"I don't think I'd like to sleep anymore," Bert smiled, and both he and Mary blushed profusely at his bold comment.
"No I don't think you would," Mary replied, smiling.
"Shall we go home then?"
"I think we shall," Mary agreed. "Even if this is a dream, it's better than any one I've ever had."
Bert kissed her gently on the cheek. "Let's get you to bed, and then you can dream up some even better ones, eh?"
"Mmmm, this one will do nicely."
And with that, Bert took Mary's arm to lead her away from the brilliant view of London, just as the sun began to peek out from the horizon. Their evening on the rooftop had come to a close, but their dreams were only just beginning...