AUTHOR'S NOTES: Hey guys! SO here is the latest chapter - another fluffy one!

Now, I've made the decision to not do anymore writing until this semester of university is over...I know that sounds a little intimidating, but it ends on Friday, it just means that there won't be any new chapters next week. But, as soon as all my exams and essays are done, I'll be straight back t writing again!

So, thanks again for being so patient with me and chapter will be coming out a lot more frequently after the 8th of December (Whoop! Whoop!) - I also had the idea of doing a cute little Mary/Bert Christmas one-shot, so - if I find the time/inspiration - you can expect to see that!

Anyway, enjoy!

A Thing Of Beauty Is A Joy Forever

Chapter Fourteen - One Month

Now, one thing I always loved about Bert was his seemingly everlasting positive attitude; even on the gloomiest of days, he could always be seen with a smile on his face. But there were times, when such an attitude would run away with him…or, that's how I sometimes viewed it. But, I'm here to tell the stories, not to criticise them.

My next assignment came a few days after the last memory I told you about, however, I was very lucky as the family I was caring for lived in central London – merely a stone's throw away from Bert. If my memory serves me correctly (which it usually does) it was the Rawcliff family, which meant that I was caring for five children of varying ages; it was one of my more difficult assignments, but that didn't mean that I loved them any less. However, I did treasure my day off and just so happens that that day was exactly a month after our first kiss – a fact the Bert was well aware of.

Bert was a screever that morning, so we had agreed to meet in the park and upon my arrival, Bert leapt from his 'workstation' and was beaming stupidly as I approached him. He had a couple of chalk smudges on his cheek. When I was close enough, he softly pressed his lips to mine and let them linger. The kiss was still rather tentative, but that didn't stop my legs from threatening to give underneath me. I felt flushed as he pulled away.

"Must you do that when we're in public?" I asked semi-seriously.

"Sorry, Mary…" he blushed, "…but I just wanted to celebrate the occasion."

I raised an eyebrow at him – genuinely unsure of what he was referring to.

"And what occasion might that be?"

"Our anniversary, of course!"

I blinked several times.

"I beg your pardon?"

"Our anniversary"

I continued to look at him with confusion.

"It's been exactly a month since we started courtin'!" he beamed.

I pinched the brim of my nose for a few seconds before rolling my eyes.

"You can't be serious?" I questioned – though, not without humour of my own.

"Oh, I'm serious…won't you agree that it's been a fine month together?"

"Oh, it has indeed, but a month is hardly worth celebrating"

"Well, that's where we disagree, Mary Poppins, y' see, I never thought I'd be lucky enough t' be with you, so I wanna celebrate every second of our time together!"

"Oh, Bert…" I blushed.

"I mean, a whole month! I can hardly believe it!" he said more to himself than to me.

"You really are light-headed!" I laughed.

"But a month, Mary! Don't ya think it's flown by? An' don't ya think it's been the most special time of your life… -"

I could hardly disagree.

"-…it's been like an 'ole new adventure, just you an' me"

"Bert, whilst I do appreciate this wonderous flow of compliments, don't you think you're going overboard?" I teased.

His face softened and he simply smiled at me.

"Come on, I've drawn somethin' special for ya" he smiled as he took my hand.

He had indeed drawn something very special. As I looked down at his chalk creations I saw a beautiful river, a flourishing bank and the most mesmerising sunset I'd ever seen. I gazed down in fascination for a few elongated seconds.

"It looks beautiful" I breathed.

"Well, I'm sure you'll find it much more appealing once you're in it!" he smirked.

"Oh, will I?" I teased.

"Sure"

"Well, I suppose there's only one way to find out" I squeezed his hand and gave him a slight nod before we finally leapt into his drawing.

Gosh, it was so wonderful! The sunset gave the entire setting such a warm feeling, like it spread down from the sky, skipped across the river and wound its way around us…it was a perfect summer evening. So peaceful and so tranquil – so intrinsically beyond what we were used to in London. Of course, I loved my home, the city was so very alive, but there was nothing quite like being able to go into one of Bert's drawings and being able to appreciate the beauty of nature; to be in a place where time seemed to be non-existent…where everything seemed to almost stand still while also being so very alive. In these drawings you could sit back, take it all in with a breath of fresh, countryside air and just relax in a void separate from time. There are few things less soothing.

"It's absolutely stunning" I breathed as I let myself take it in.

With his hand still entwined with mine, I felt him press a kiss to my temple, it made my heart flutter – as it always did.

"Only the best for you, Mary Poppins"

We strolled peacefully as the freshly scented air whipped around us and the cool summer breeze was so soothing. We spoke about almost everything we could think of, but, in a way, it didn't matter too much, we just wanted to enjoy our time together, for I didn't know how long I'd be in London for. As we came towards the end of the river, Bert stepped in front of me and bent down to kiss me lovingly…and since we were alone, I was more than happy to let him do so. I couldn't help but smile into the kiss…it would take me a while to admit it, but he made me positively giddy.

"My, what was that for?" I teased softly as we parted.

"Because, Mary Poppins, today 'as been absolutely perfect, in fact, the last month we've spent together 'as been perfect too…"

"Bert…" I blushed.

"…I mean it, Mary…Never in my entire life did I think that'd I'd be lucky enough to be with someone as incredible as you; you're the most wonderful woman in the 'ole world" he breathed.

Whilst my heart fluttered at his comment, I felt it sink too.

"Thank you, Bert" I said softly, but the gusto was missing form my voice. My gaze dropped to my feet.

"Mary, are you alright?"

"I'm fine"

"Mary…I know when there's something you're not tellin' me…please, if you're upset or…or if I've upset you, then please tell me…"

"Please don't take this wrong way, Bert…" I began, but for once, struggled to find the words I needed, "…it's nothing you've done to upset me per se…you see, I adore all the compliments you give me, but sometimes, when you talk about me in such a way, well…it just makes me feel like I'm being put on a pedestal or that I'm something forbidden – something that cannot be touched…I sounds a little pathetic, but over the years, my practically perfect nature has attached itself to me quite permanently, it's made me feel a bit inhuman…whilst it's my goal not to be or appear weak, I cannot deny that I'm still very much human…I have feelings just like everybody else does…sometimes, despite my desires to be something more than the average woman…sometimes I just want to be perceived as normal…and to feel as such…" I trailed of there – still not meeting his gaze.

A few seconds passed where nothing was said, and I wondered if I'd upset him...but eventually, I felt Bert lift my chin so that my gaze met his own. He kissed me lightly.

"I really care about you, Mary Poppins, and I never want you t' feel bad about yourself ever again…you are everything you want to be…please know, that I only said those things because I wanted to please you…"

"…I know you did, Bert, please don't think anything of it"

"I can't disregard your feelings, Mary, but I to me, you really are somethin' incredible…but it goes beyond what so many others would only see as practically perfect…I see you for you, Mary, I hope you know that"

I just had to kiss him after that, didn't I?

"Don't ever think that you're not good enough, Bert…"

"I'm nothing special" he shrugged.

"Don't ever let me hear you say that again…" I said softly, "…you're the most wonderful person I've ever met…" I left my comment there – fearing where the sentiment would take me.

All he could do was smile at me and feather a kiss to my forehead.

"It's gettin' late, do y' need to be headin' back soon?"

"I'm afraid so..."

"Come on then, I don't wanna get you into trouble with your employers" he smiled.

Before he knew it, we were back in London. He walked me back to my employer's house under the warm glow of dusk – his hand perfectly entwined with my own. The entire journey was in a comfortable silence, but it was broken when he had brought me to my destination.

"Thank you for today, Bert, it was wonderful" I said truthfully.

"The pleasure was all mine, Mary…will I see you in the park anytime soon?"

"I'm almost certain of it" I smiled.

After making sure that no one was looking, he stepped forward and brushed his lips against my cheek.

"Happy anniversary, Mary" he grinned.

**!**

AUTHOR'S NOTES: So, that was that! I really hope you enjoyed it and there's plenty more romance on the way!

Please leave a review (pretty please) ;)

See you soon! xxx