Haha! I'm back again with more Mary Poppins...I'm basically having a competition with myself to see how many Mary Poppins fanfictions I can write and publish before I go to university next month - this one is number three!
Anyway, this is an alternative ending to the film because since childhood I have been immensely disappointed that Mary and Bert never made it official...like, seriously...JUST KISS ALREADY!
Anyway, I really hope you enjoy this!
When the West wind blows
Bert had been so happy when he woke up that morning, after all, he had no reason not to be, the sun was shining, it was the perfect weather for him to make a few coins selling kites; but most importantly, Mary Poppins was near to him. Although most of her jobs were in London, things were always so much brighter when her new charges lived near to him, it meant that they could easily see each other whenever they had the time, and for Bert, that was the greatest gift that life could give. Of course, they would travel to meet each other if the winds ever took her to the outskirts of the capital – which happened often – but it wasn't always the easiest of arrangements; and, of course, the winds often took her far beyond their reaches – sometimes to the complete opposite end of the country…so whenever she was near to him, near to his own home, he was eternally grateful.
Mary was his dearest friend, to the point where he would go out of his way for her without a second thought. He recalled a time when the winds had dropped her at a somewhat wealthy home at the outskirts of London – far from where Bert could conveniently reach. They had exchanged letters as they always did and Mary had insisted that he shouldn't bother to see her on her day off because it would be too much of a struggle for him. But on the day in question, they found themselves together. It had been a struggle for him – he wouldn't lie about that – it had cost him a lot to travel so far and he'd also lost a full day of potential earnings, but when he was with Mary, when he was able to make her smile, make her laugh and most importantly, make her happy, he found himself not caring about such materialistic and trivial things. His friendship with Mary was his greatest payment.
Mary often put in the effort for him too. There had been many days when he had been desperate to see her, but had had no way to make it possible, when this happened, Bert would always hear a knock on the door to his flat and Mary Poppins would always be standing – somewhat shyly – on the other side. They just seemed to have something special – something that went beyond a mere understanding – some intricate bond that they couldn't quite understand. Bert always imagined that Mary would be content to never truly understand what this connection was, but he was different, he so desperately wanted to put a label on it, to know what it was that made their relationship so profoundly special. When he thought about everything they did for each other, he often wondered if it could be anything like love, and once he began to explore the possibility it seemed to come to life in front of him. Was it so? Did he love Mary Poppins? Of course, he had never mentioned this to Mary, through fear of scaring her off or being rejected; but as time continued to flow forwards and as they continued to marvel in their blissful friendship, his theory started to become more solid. Then one day he realised it. It was the day when Mary had met him in the park with the Banks children in tow, the day he had danced with her through the English countryside – her lacy dress flowing like the personification of beauty. That was the day he realised that he was in love with Mary Poppins.
So as he sold kites on that particularly windy morning, love was on his mind. He had smiled brightly and sung a sweet melody as he handed out colourful kites to his customers, everyone at the park seemed to be in the highest of spirits – it seemed that was always the case when Mary Poppins was around. Young children chased their runaway kites – epitomising the childhood freedom that Bert admired so – and parents watched with loving eyes; it warmed Bert's heart to see such a bustling sight, it reminded him of the joy that Mary always brought with her wherever she went, how she could fix even the most troubled of people. Wherever Mary Poppins went, happiness was sure to follow. But something caught Bert's eye that seemed to cause his mind to spiral into question, he noticed the entire Banks family had – miraculously – found an empty spot in the park and were all flying Michael's kite. They seemed so happy. Bert was of course overjoyed to see the whole family spending time together that didn't involve raised voices or stern dispositions, but it also made his chest feel hollow with panic, for Mary Poppins was not with them.
He knew that it wasn't her day off, nor was it like her to abandon her duties or charges – she would only do so if her employers had specifically requested her to stay home, or if she felt that she was no longer needed. That's when everything seemed to stop for Bert and his heart began to beat violently. No, surely she wasn't leaving? Not now? Not so soon? And as if by some form of perfectly timed torture, Bert looked up to a nearby weather vane and saw something that made him want to weep; the sign of the West wind.
"No…oh, please no -" he whispered to himself, "—please not now…"
Without a second thought he bolted away from his kite stand without packing any of it away, but in that moment he didn't care about his kites, his job, his money….he didn't care about anything besides his Mary. He scrambled down Cherry Tree Lane – nearly falling several times – but he caught the sight of a slender figure rising off of the ground and over the large gate of number seventeen. He kept running.
"Mary!" he cried out, "Wait!"
The nanny's head whipped around and when she saw him her firm expression seemed to soften – but there was a hint of sadness in her eyes, perhaps even regret. Regardless, she brought herself back down to the ground and managed to give him a weak smile as he finally caught up with her.
"Hello, Bert" she greeted plainly – her tone somewhat sombre.
"Mary…you're leavin' aren't you?"
Mary's head bowed with sadness.
"Yes" she whispered.
"So soon?" his kept his voice tight, but only because he felt it might crack if he didn't.
"The wind never lies…my duties here are done, the Banks family are happy again and that's…that's as it should be"
Bert pondered this for a moment….Mary Poppins never stuttered when speaking.
"Must you leave, Mary?" he asked quietly.
Bert had never really asked her about the power the winds had over her, he never knew if she was destined to follow them forever, if she would only be bound to them until a certain point in time, or if it was her choice. But he never asked because he was afraid of what the answer might be…besides, she would probably never tell him.
"There are other families out there that need me, Bert…and the wind will take me to them" she did not give a definitive answer.
Bert fought with himself for a while, here he was standing in front of Mary Poppins, the woman that he absolutely adored, in fact, treasured…and she was about to leave him yet again; who knows where she'd end up this time, the wind could take here a mere ten miles away, or it could take her to the very top of Scotland if it needed to. He didn't know when he'd next be able to see her and he didn't know how long he could carry on without saying what had been on his mind for so very long. It was like an ache in his chest – and ache that only the presence of Mary seemed to cure, he knew how he felt about her and he hoped with every fibre of his being that she would somehow, in some way, feel the same. He flexed his fingers slightly as he felt himself tense with anticipation, but as he stared down into her ocean-blue eyes, things seemed to feel right…but he was still terrified.
"Mary…" he began nervously, but they kept their gazes locked, "…there are other people that need you too, you know? People outside of the families you work for…" his voice seemed to get quieter with every word, but Mary still heard each syllable.
She raised an eyebrow at him.
"Bert, I'm afraid I don't quite understand" she said innocently, but there was something in her eyes that suggested that she knew where he was going with this.
"What I'm tryin' to say is…I 'ate it when you leave…me life just ain't the same…I miss ya" he said quietly.
"I understand, Bert…I miss you too when I'm away"
"No, I don't think you do understand, Mary…"
"I didn't say it right"
"Then I suggest you figure out the right way to say whatever it is you wish to say"
There was a brief flash of trepidation in her eyes and Bert's gaze dropped to the ground. Mary noticed the way his expression conveyed his turmoil and she took a step forward so that she was that little bit closer to him; she was growing very concerned, she had never seen Bert like this, he was always so blissful. In fact, seeing him in this way – conflicted and saddened – was a lot more painful that she ever would've imagined, it was such a huge contrast. She was desperate to know what on earth was causing the happiest man she knew to where such an expression of grief.
"Bert, is everything alright?" she asked softly.
He briefly caught her gaze as she moved a supportive hand to his arm, but he tensed under her touch and she quickly removed her hand from him – now she was truly fearful that there was something seriously wrong – and not knowing was killing her.
"Mary…" he began again, "The thing is that... – no – what I'm tryin' to say is…well, lately I've been thinkin' that…well, I've kind of been feelin' like…" he eventually gave up as he realised that he couldn't seem to finish a single sentence.
He silently cursed at himself for not being able to produce anything more than incoherent stuttering. He knew that he could do this, after all, this was Mary Poppins and whatever happened, he knew that she would always be his friend.
"Bert, you know that you can tell me anything" she said – as if to provide emphasis for his silent thoughts.
He sighed – his shoulders bobbed with his deep breath.
"Mary, I've been thinkin' a lot about our friendship an' 'ow much I treasure it…'ow much I treasure you…an' lately I've started to realise that we've got somethin' really special, you make me feel somethin' magical…I've tried so many times t' put me finger on what that feelin' actually is, an' the way I see it, there's only one conclusion…Mary Poppins, I've fallen in love with you"
After so long, he'd finally said it. Mary blinked a few times – truly lost for words. Each second felt like an hour as there was a brief pause, Mary's eyes flashed with turmoil…why did he have to say this now?
"Bert, I -"
"Mary, I understand if you don't feel the same way, but I just 'ad to say it...keepin' it all bottled up inside was killin' me"
He took a small step back.
"Bert, wait" she found herself saying – if not with a slight hint of desperation in her voice.
Bert stepped back towards her – their bodies were now almost touching.
Her thoughts had become so muddled, when the word 'love' had fallen from Bert's lips she had panicked slightly,
'Not this…please not this…' she had thought to herself.
She suddenly found herself in such a state of confusion and suddenly had no idea how to define how she actually felt about Bert; for the longest time she had been trying to avoid the subject of their relationship; not because she didn't treasure her dear friend, but because the idea of love scared her. There had been many times when she had been with Bert, when she had danced with him or when she had spent long nights with him on the rooftops, that made her heart do flips and her knees go weak and that was what she was afraid of. The feelings she had when she was around Bert sent her far away from her comfort zone, into a deep ocean of uncertainty; Mary was afraid of that unknown, she was afraid of not being in control. She knew where sentiment could lead, she knew what it could lead a person to do, and although she had never written off the idea of being in love with somebody, she had never imagined just how much it would intimidate her. She wasn't ready to try and figure it all out, but Bert was standing right in front of her, his sad eyes locked with hers and she knew that she had to say something to him.
"I'm sorry if I crossed any boundaries, Mary…" he mumbled, "…I just…I just 'ad to tell you 'ow I felt"
The main reason Bert had finally confessed was that there was some part of him that had desperately hoped that she would return his affections and whilst that chance still existed, Bert knew he would never be able to ignore it. Mary looked up at him, she seemed so lost.
"Don't apologise, Bert" she said simply. There was so much that she was holding back.
Bert hesitated for a while, fighting with himself over what his next move should be, but eventually he decided not to press her, for he knew that if she said nothing, it was for a reason.
"Bert, may I say something?" she asked timidly.
"Of course" Bert said it as if it were obvious – which it was – but he was also terrified of what she might say; he knew that rejection was the most likely outcome, but he wasn't sure if he was strong enough to take it.
"Bert -" she began as she set down her umbrella and carpet bag and took his hands loosely in her own, "—what you said was truly flattering and I really do care a lot for you, but the thing is…with my line of work, with my lifestyle…I fear this would only make things more painful…"
Whilst there was a degree of truth to what she was saying, she knew that her true fear was fear itself. She was afraid to pursue anything because it would cause her to be thrown so helplessly out of her depth. Bert held onto Mary's hands tighter and eventually asked the question that she hoped he would've avoided,
"Mary…please forgive me for pressin' the subject, but, 'ow do you feel…about me?" he regretted those words as soon as they left his lips and he almost shut his eyes and panic begin to rise within his mind.
Mary let her gaze drop for a moment – but she kept their hands entwined as the breeze tousled her hair. However, for a while she didn't look back up to him through fear that she would find herself at the mercy of his sombre eyes…and because tears were threatening to stain her cheeks; she knew that if she looked into his eyes, then they would fall.
"Bert, I -"
In truth, Mary had no idea what to say. She thought hard about how she felt about Bert and soon began to realise that he was the one person that always seemed to be on her mind…he was the one constant in her world of controlled chaos; she knew that wherever she went and whoever she met, Bert would always be waiting for her when she returned to London. But their bond went beyond that and she knew it, she had known it for so long; in fact, when Bert had brought up the prospect of love she wasn't at all surprised. But that didn't calm her fears. Stupidly she looked back up and Bert and single tear dripped down onto her cheek. Her words caught in her throat, so she stood there silent and helpless.
"Mary, what's the matter?" he whispered, but she still couldn't find her voice, "Mary, 'ave I upset you?" he questioned – his voiced now laced with a new kind of fear.
"No, no of course you haven't" she choked.
"You're cryin'" he noted sadly.
"I know…Bert, I -" her words trailed off as one of Bert's hands moved up to wipe away her tears and then rest lovingly on her cheek.
That's when she noticed just how close their faces were. And that's when Mary had that feeling again, that feeling that made her heart race, her legs week and her mind blank. The palm of his hand was so warm against her cheek – like a shield from the wind; Mary had to fight to stop her eyes from fluttering shut from his hypnotic touch. The feeling stretched throughout her entire body – reaching every single cell – it was like falling into a pit of ravenous flames, but also knowing that she would be safe. She felt as if the oxygen had left her lungs. It was frightening how someone like Bert – someone who was once a complete stranger to her – so easily became the person she was infatuated with…but he had also become the person she never wanted to be without; for she knew that neither of them would ever be able to replicate this bond with another. She could deny no longer that she was in love with Bert.
"Mary, please tell me what's wrong" she could feel his warm breath against her face…had his face gotten closer to her own?
"Bert…I'm…I'm scared…" she whispered hesitantly.
Bert was taken aback; he never thought he would ever hear Mary Poppins utter those words.
She gave a slight nod – his hand still on her cheek.
"Bert, I'm scared because I'm in love with you too -" she practically whimpered, "—I've never felt like this before – about anyone – and it makes me feel like I don't have control…like I'm so helplessly out of my depth…"
"Oh, Mary" he breathed as he snaked his arms around her so that he could pull her into a secure embrace, "You 'ave nothin' to be sacred of" he whispered into her hair, "I would never do anythin' to make you feel uncomfortable"
"I know that, Bert…but…"
"It makes you feel vulnerable, doesn't it?"
Mary considered this for a moment…he was right. While she trusted Bert more than anyone else, the prospect of love would mean that she was putting her heart in his hands, along with all of her trust, it meant giving him the power to either make or break her. She pulled her head back slightly so she could look up at him.
"It does…Bert, I know that you would never do anything to hurt me…but please try to understand my trepidations, love has never been easy for me, think about my occupation, all love has ever done is bring me pain…"
"I would never do that to you, Mary…" Bert whispered as his face seemed to inch closer.
"I'm just not sure if I know how to handle these feelings"
"I don't think you're meant to know, Mary, I don't think anyone is…it's about the journey…these sorts of feelings aren't a set of decided definitions, it's different for everyone…that's what makes it so special"
Their noses were practically touching now.
"Mary, you can't 'elp 'oo you fall in love with, sometimes things just 'appen an' you don't 'ave any control over it…I know that's what you're afraid of, but sometimes you just 'ave to give these things a chance…"
He was right, they had both felt a spark the first day they met – if that hadn't of been the case then they probably never would've seen each other again; yet their friendship had lasted for over almost a decade and every moment they spent together, everything they ever did never felt forced or questionable…it always felt right. After all, here they were opening up to each other about their deepest feelings, something Mary never did…except for when she was with Bert.
They were tantalisingly close to each other now, both desperate to know if they would be brave enough to take a chance on love, and rather unexpectedly, it was Mary who answered for both of them,
"Anything can happen if you let it" she said softly – it was almost inaudible; but Bert heard every single part of it.
Finally, Bert closed the last bit of distance between them and captured her lips with his own; the kiss was tender, but it sent shockwaves crazing through them and seemed to cloud their minds with fireworks; it made the world dissolve around them, as if years of hidden feelings were finally being released into the air. They hadn't realised how much they needed it until it happened. Their lips were static for a while, as if they were testing the waters of their own bravery, but their lips eventually began to move together slowly, sensually – delving deep into their feelings for each other. The kiss eventually deepened into something much for fiery, something that showed how much they truly cared for each other; Mary found one hand sliding up to Bert's chest whilst the other raked through his hair – knocking his cap to the ground, but also pulling his face closer to hers. Their lips moved together so perfectly and it made them realise that there was no need to doubt how they felt about each other, for the kiss proved that they had fallen into a love that was inescapable…but they didn't want to escape.
They had no idea how long they stayed like that, but their need for air was what finally parted their lips. Bert rested his forehead against Mary's and gazed down at her - his chest rising and falling heavily. He caressed her cheek softly. Mary felt so secure, not just because she was held tightly by Bert's loving arms, but because his mesmerising blue gaze seemed to speak endlessly to her and she knew that she would always be safe with him, that wherever he was is where she would belong. Bert felt like he was dreaming, he cared for Mary beyond words, all he ever wanted was to be with her and make her happy; now he had the chance to do just that. He knew that there would be moments when they were apart, but regardless of what their future held, he swore that he was going to treasure every moment he had with her. She was his love and his lifeline. But togetherness was always followed by separation and Mary felt the winds beginning to tug at her impatiently.
"I have to go" she whispered – feeling her voice begin to crack ever so slightly.
Those words broke both of them and Bert wanted to just hold her, never let go and beg her to stay – but he said nothing about the matter, deciding that he would only make it harder for them both. But there was just one thing he had to say first,
"I love you, Mary Poppins"
"I love you too" she replied softly as she stepped out of his embrace. She felt cold without him.
She picked up at her belongings and their gazes met again, they both looked at each other with small bittersweet smiles and a new understanding of who they were. Mary placed another loving kiss on Bert's lips – just to let him know how much she meant what she had said. She stepped back and opened her umbrella…soon she began to float lazily off of the ground.
"I'll see you on my day off -" she said matter-of-factly, "—I don't care where the wind takes me…I want to see you"
"I'll see you soon, Mary Poppins" were the last words he said to her before she was nothing more than a silhouette in the sky.
There you go you lovely people, I really hope you enjoyed that! Please let me know what you thought! :) xxx