A/N: I prefer handwriting fics before typing them up because there tend to be less typos and such, but it's been a busy day and depression's been kicking my butt this whole summer, so instead I'm straight up typing this as 11pm in my backyard surrounded by fairy lights because it's 23 August.
speaking of which:
A Lady Needn't Fear… will definitely be updated eventually, but the days have been getting away from me and I've just felt too empty to produce the next chapter (where do you think chapter 5 came from?) so, please hang tight!
A lot of you probably know this scene - it's not an original idea to turn it into a one-shot - but I just needed to write something for my own sanity.
and yes, Julian Fellowes, I totally ripped your dialogue...
I've Never Said I Love You
Goodbyes are always the hardest. Not just for Mary Poppins, but for most of the world. But moreso Mary Poppins, because she has to say them so very often. With all the families she has helped, one would think she was used to saying goodbye, but it will never get easier, she'll only get stronger.
But there is one Goodbye she'll never be able to get used to.
"That's dainty, Bert."
A ghost of a smile creeps onto Mary's face as she catches a glimpse of her dear friend's pictures on the pavement.
She had taken a moment to appreciate each one: a landscape of a meadow, with a warm pink sunset, a beautiful bouquet of an array of coloured roses, and an ocean so blue it's a bit difficult to distinguish where the water meets the sky.
But her eyes returned to the roses. It's a picture that is quite simple in thought, but is executed with such detail.
"They're yours, Mary." Bert smiles, turning to see Mary with her signature umbrella and carpetbag in hand.
"I painted 'em for you!" he continues, a slight blush entering his cheeks as he pulls the bouquet from the picture.
Mary accepts them with a sad smile. She steps away, not enough to make Bert thing she is leaving without a goodbye, but enough that he knows she will be going.
"It's tonight, isn't it?"
They've been through this routine countless times, and it never fails to break both their hearts.
"Yes, Bert." Mary turns back to him, still holding onto the roses. She'll probably press them into her diary - she keeps everything Bert gives her, no matter how big or small.
Bert doesn't know what to say, he never does. He can't tell her not to go because that would be selfish. There are families who need her.
But he needs her too. He would never tell her that though. For a moment, a simple string of words form in his mind, but they don't reach his lips: Mary would disapprove of such a comment. But the phrase remains there - at the front of his mind, as always - as she sorrowfully looks into his eyes.
"Goodbye, Bert. Look after yourself."
Normally, she would turn and fly away, off to change more lives. Today, however, she does things a bit differently. She takes a step closer to Bert, his breath catching in his throat. She places one gloved hand to his cheek and places a light kiss on his other. His mind goes blank, save for the one phrase that's always there when he's with Mary Poppins.
Before he can even wish her well, she is gone. She knows it would be cruel to leave Bert without a goodbye, but could never stand hearing him say the words to her.
Bert stares at the spot Mary was just standing, bringing a hand to his cheek. He tries to smile, but it normally cheery disposition all but vanishes during these exchanges. He takes a deep breath and turns back to his drawings, not even daring a glance up at the sky. He doesn't need to to know she's there, reminding him of his inability to speak his mind.
As he packs up his chalks, the absolute last thing he thinks is that Mary has the same thought in her head. But he does hope it could be true.
"One day," he says to himself despondently "one day you'll say it."
Mary takes a seat upon a cloud, awaiting her next assignment, looking down on the speck that is her dearest friend in the bustle of the park across from Cherry Tree Lane, allowing her mind to wander to her feelings - a rare occurrence which never seems to make her feel better after a farewell. She shakes her thoughts of Bert from her mind.
Practically perfect people never permit sentiment to muddle their thinking...