Chapter Twenty

"Ah, a lovely day!" Mary said as she emerged from the TARDIS. " Time for a visit with my old friend, Bert."

The Doctor and Amy came outside. The Doctor shut the door and they followed her while she hurried down the street. They followed her while she turned down side streets, leading them further away from the TARDIS.

"Does she even know where she's going?" Amy said to the Doctor.

"Why are you asking me? I barely know her," the Doctor said.

"This way," Mary said, turning around. "I…wait, where's Melody?"

"I left her in the TARDIS, far away from you, ya daft woman," Amy said.

"I was hoping we could bring her along. Still…this way, follow me!"

"I wonder if she wants Melody," Amy whispered to the Doctor while they followed about ten feet behind Mary. "You know, sort of a Hansel and Gretel eat the child for supper sort of witch?"

"Dunno, I just want to know how she made those books and toys move around," the Doctor muttered. "Just keep calm and pretend like you're her friend while we investigate."

They turned a corner and went down an alley. Up ahead of them, they could see a man wearing dirty, dark clothes. His face was smudged with soot and he had a chimney sweepers brush in his hand.

"As I live and breathe, Mary Poppins!" he said, doffing his dirty cap.

"Hello, Bert," Mary said, walking up to him.

"I haven't seen you in donkey's years," Bert said. "I missed you."

"And I…have missed you."

The Doctor and Amy watched while Mary wrapped her arms around Bert and snogged him senseless.

"Ahem!" the Doctor said after the tonsil hockey went on for two minutes.

"Oh!" Mary said, pulling away. "Yes, Bert, these are my friends, the Doctor and Amy. Doctor and Amy, this is Bert."

"My pleasure," Bert said, doffing his cap. "I'm sorry about me clothes. I'm a man of many trades and today I'm a chimney sweep."

"Wait, aren't you a bit old for that?" Amy said. "I thought chimney sweeps were all skinny little boys. How old are you? Thirty?"

"We're on an outing today, Bert," Mary said.

"Splendid! I know just the thing!" Bert said.

"I'm not cleaning out chimneys if that's what you have in mind," Amy said.

"Follow me, I was a sidewalk artist earlier and I'll show you some of me paintings," he said.

"What'd he use to draw his pictures, the soot off his clothes?" the Doctor muttered to Amy while they followed Bert and Mary.

They walked across the street and Bert proudly pointed out several examples of his sidewalk art to him.

"Hmm, he has talent, I must admit," the Doctor said as they studied them. "Listen, why are you sweeping chimneys when you could be doing this full time…"

The Doctor and Amy looked up and noticed Bert had Mary up against an iron fence, snogging like there was no tomorrow. They jumped when the Doctor bellowed, "AHEM!" and the broke apart. Mary smiled at them while she straightened out her rumpled clothes. Bert came up beside her and pointed down to the chalk drawings.

"This here's me artwork," he said.

"Like I said, very impressive," the Doctor said. "Perhaps you can do this full time instead of being a chimney sweep, a profession you're too old for, as Amy pointed out."

"Nonsense, there's nothing better than being a chimney sweep!" Bert said.

"Oh yeah, nothing better than getting lung cancer from all the soot in your lungs and getting stuck in the chimney and dying there. Why give that up?" Amy said.

She sighed when Bert ignored her and began to dance around with Mary while he sang Chim Chim Cheree.

"I can see why these two are mates," the Doctor said. "I think both of them definitely have toys in the attic."

When they finished dancing and singing, Mary tapped Bert on the shoulder.

"Oh, Bert, you know what we should do?" she said.

"Go to Bedlam and beg them to let you in?" Amy muttered to the Doctor.

Bert beamed and nodded. The Doctor and Amy shared a glance.

"So…they're on a telepathic wavelength together, it seems," the Doctor said.

Bert ran up to the Doctor and Amy and took their hands.

"Now, we're gonna count to three and then jump into this drawing of a lovely English countryside," he said, looking down at the chalk drawing in front of him.

The Doctor and Amy shared another glance and tried to wriggle out of Bert's iron grip on their hands so they could get away. Bert count to three and jumped on the painting. The Doctor and Amy , who didn't jump with him, looked at each other and stepped up their efforts to get away from him.

"It didn't work," Bert said to Mary.

"Yes, that's because it's a bloody chalk drawing, ya loon," Amy said.

"Oh, Bert, you should know better by now," Mary said airily as she walked towards him.

Amy tried to jerk her hand away when Mary reached for it. But she wasn't fast enough and Mary took it.

"Now, everyone on the count of three…1…2…3…jump!"

Bert and Mary jumped and the Doctor and Amy gasped when they felt themselves being pulled along with them while they shrank and went down into the drawing. When they were finished, the Doctor and Amy looked around, shocked into silence when they noticed they were standing in a cartoon depiction of an English countryside. The moment Bert and Mary let go of them, Amy ran to the Doctor.

"Where are we?" Amy said to him.

"Um, Amy, I think we crossed the void and we're in a parallel universe now," the Doctor said.

"The what?"

"Void, the dead space between universes. I think we crossed a void and now we're in this cartoon world."

"There ya go, nice isn't it?" Bert said, walking up to them. "See that little dirt road. Over the hill is a little country fair. Let's go."

"Wait, how did we cross the void?" the Doctor said to Bert as he took Mary's hand and they began to follow the path. "How are you doing this? Are you Time Lords, Eternals, the Black and White Guardians? Where are we?"

The Doctor sighed angrily when Bert and Mary ignored them and high stepped their way down the lane.

"Come on, Pond, the only way we're getting back is to follow the singing, dancing lunatics," the Doctor said, taking her hand.

"Oooh, it's a jolly holiday with Mary, Mary makes your heart so light!" Bert sang as they high-stepped down the road.

The Doctor and Amy hurried around them and put as much distance between themselves and the loonies as they could while they followed the country lane. They reached the hill and looked down. The only thing they saw was a merry go round.

"That's the country fair, the merry go round?" Amy said, pointing to it.

"Who knows, Amy, I'm no longer trusting the delusions of two singing, dancing witches. But…we need them to get back to our reality so let's wait for them."

The Doctor and Amy walked down the hill towards the merry go round while they waited for Bert and Mary to catch up to them.

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