Oh, don't mind me, just starting yet another story I shouldn't. But I've been watching Mary Poppins constantly lately because my seven-year-old cousin who doesn't speak a word of English is constantly climbing into my lap, pointing to my computer and demanding "Mary Poppins!" And how exactly do you say no to that?
Anyways, I noticed the number of scenes that hint at a back story or that seem to be cut off without showing the entire scene (which would have turned decidedly Mary/Bert), so I decided to provide those scenes or flashbacks.
And yes, the dialogue from the movie is almost entirely accurate. I took special care to type it all out as I watched the movie.
I really own nothing.
Oh, and fanfic is horrible and doesn't seem to recognize my favorite word (there's a whole song about it in the movie) as a word and deletes it. So if you see an awkward letter S (or D, if it's backwards) just substitute the word.
She sighs as she gathers her things. Another job well done and another family to leave without saying goodbye to. That's nothing new. But this time there's something that hurts even more.
"Mary Poppins, if you think for one second you fool me, you're fooling yourself," her umbrella squawks. "I know exactly how you feel about him and-"
She quickly grabs his beak. "That'll be quite enough of that, thank you!"
When the dumb bird has been properly silenced, she closes the front door and gets ready to fly away.
"Leaving without so much as a farewell?"
She jumps and turns to find Bert leaning against the tree in the front yard.
"Bert! You frightened me."
"I'm sorry. But maybe you would 'ave noticed if you weren't busy being so sneaky."
"I am certainly not sneaky!"
"No, you really are not," he grins. Then he becomes serious. "You're leaving?"
"The wind has changed."
"Without saying farewell?" The hurt in his voice is evident."You promised to never do that."
She turns her face away from him without answering.
"What do you want me to do 'ere, Mary?" he asks. "I 'aven't stopped loving you an' I don't think you've stopped loving me, so what are we doing?"
"I think," she says slowly. "I need some time. Time to think, to collect my thoughts. Bert, I… I do love you, but I can't- I just don't think I can do this anymore. I can't live with my heart in two places."
He nods. "Suit yourself. Just let me know 'ow the thinking turns out."
"Sweeper's luck, Mary," he cuts her off, holding out his hand. She takes it and swallows the lump in her throat—he hasn't shaken her hand to wish her luck in forever; for nearly two years her luck has been given in kiss form.
"Goodbye, Bert. I hope you can forgive me."
"Not goodbye, Mary Poppins, you know better than that. We'll see each other again. I 'ope you figure out whatever it is you need to figure out, Mary. An' I 'ope whatever it is, it makes you 'appy." He kisses her cheek. "In the meantime, I'll be 'ere. You know where to find me."
She nods stiffly, picks up her bag, opens her umbrella and lets the wind carry her away.
5 Years Later
"Wait! Don't move. Don't move a muscle," Bert orders quickly as a shadow falls over his chalk frame. "Stay right where you are… I'd know that sil-i-ouette anywhere. Mary Poppins!"
She smiles warmly. "It's nice to see you again, Bert. I expect you know Jane and Michael." The grin stays put as she introduces the children. It's been far too long and she is genuinely glad to have finally fixed that, regardless of how they parted the last time.
"Well, I've seen 'em 'ere and about. Chasing a kite last time, weren't it?"
"Mary Poppins is taking us to the park!" Jane explains excitedly.
A sort of mischievous disbelief settles onto his face. "To the park? Not if I know Mary Poppins."
The "and I do" is unspoken, but Mary hears it there anyways. Her eyes widen in alarm as she waits for what he'll say next.
"Other nannies take children to the park. When you're with Mary Poppins, suddenly you're in places you never dreamed of. And quick as you can say 'bogsroggle' the most unusual things begin to happen."
"I'm sure I haven't the faintest idea what you're talking about," she says, a warning behind her prim exterior.
"Well, mind you, it's not my place to say, but what she's probably got in mind is a jolly holiday some ways or other." Mary rolls her eyes as he continues to fascinate the children. "Something along these lines, I shouldn't be surprised…"
His actions are so familiar that a fond smile nearly crosses Mary's face as he enacts his drawings, but she manages to twist it into a vaguely entertained disdain. When he's quite finished, she applauds him sarcastically.
"Oh, that's lovely! If you please, I'd much rather go there!" Jane exclaims.
Mary looks on as Bert extols the virtue of his English countryside and the children get more and more excited. Even she has to watch when he finishes drawing the road to the fair—watching him draw has always fascinated her.
"Please may we go, Mary Poppins? Please?" Michael begs.
"Such a lovely place. Don't you think it's lovely, Mary Poppins?" Jane adds.
Mary looks away. Bert smiles mischievously. "You 'ave to tell 'em, Mary Poppins. No one's looking."
"Please, Mary Poppins, please?" the children plead in unison.
"I have no intention of making a spectacle of myself, thank you!" she replies, turning up her nose.
Bert grins. "All right, I'll do it myself!"
She whips her head to look at him disbelievingly. "Do what?"
"Bit of magic," he says simply.
"A bit of magic?" Michael asks.
"It's easy!" Bert says cavalierly. "Let's see… You think… You wink… You do a double blink…" Mary watches in amusement, knowing he's getting this terribly wrong, knowing that he's just baiting her and enjoying every second of it. "You close your eyes and jump!"
"Is something supposed to happen?" Jane asks when nothing does.
"Bert, what utter nonsense," Mary snaps, heaving a large sigh before she steps over the drawings. "Why do you always complicate things that are really quite simple?" It's a question that reaches beyond performing magic but the children don't need to know that. "Give me your hand please, Michael; don't slouch. One, two…"
They jump again and this time they end up in the drawing.
"Mary Poppins, you look bea-u-tiful," Bert comments, drawing out the last word.
"Do you really think so?" Mary inquires, knowing full well the answer.
"Cross me 'eart you do! Like the day I met you!"
Newly eighteen, Mary Poppins walks through the park. Her mother had handed her the black umbrella, carpet bag, and tape measure that morning and promptly left her to strike out on her own. Mary isn't exactly unhappy with the circumstance—her mother has always been a domineering presence in her life and she can't say she's upset to be rid of it.
Still, at eighteen years old, she hardly feels ready to suddenly take up the role she was always meant for. She knows theoretically she has all the tools, but there is a wide gap between theory and practice. And now, for the first time in her life, she finds herself without a home.
She stops walking when she comes to a row of chalk drawings. One in particular catches her eye—the artist seems to have drawn the most idyllic place Mary could possibly imagine, a beautiful cabin in a forest. The chimney smokes happily and the water of the pond seems to glisten on the pavement.
Mary bites her lip; dare she? She looks around quickly and sees that no one is around. She closes her eyes. One… Two…
"'Scuse me, miss. Are you alright?"
She nearly jumps out of her skin, her eyes popping open in surprise. "I, uh, oh, I'm fine, thank you." She turns around and nearly jumps again. She hadn't expected that the speaker was going to be so handsome or that he would have the kindest blue eyes she had ever seen. She can't get an exact handle on his age, but she'd guess it to be somewhere between twenty and twenty-five.
"You sure?" The blue eyes squint in concern. "You look pale."
"You just startled me, that's all," she replies. "I assure you I'm fine."
"Glad to 'ear it then," he grins. "Th' name's Bert. Bert Alfred."
She rewards him with a small smile. "Mary Poppins."
She waits for the recognition of her last name, for the reference to the rather large fortune her father had amassed before his death. It never comes. "You 'ave a lovely name, Miss Mary Poppins," her new acquaintance says. "Nearly dances off the tongue!"
She smiles a little wider at such a novel description of her name. "Thank you. I'm quite fond of it."
"I can see why."
After a few seconds of silence, Mary coughs. "I really should be going."
"If it's not too personal, Miss Mary Poppins, could I ask what you were doing when I showed up?"
"Oh, I, well…" she stammers. If she were to tell him the truth, he'd have her committed to the insane asylum.
"Because it looked to me like you were about ready to jump into that drawing there."
Her eyes snap up to meet his. He couldn't possibly know… could he? "Certainly not," she lies. "I was just admiring it. It certainly looks as if you could just step into it."
He grins. "That's me favorite too. O' course, I like 'em all, since they're all from memory, but that one's me own special favorite."
Her eyebrows rise. "You drew these?"
He nods modestly. "Not Royal Academy or anything like that, o' course, but not bad, ey?"
'They're beautiful," she breathes. "Did you say they're from memory? You've been to all of these places?"
He nods again. "Well, everywhere but that one," he says, indicating the drawing of the cabin that started the conversation. "That one's more a memory of the future."
Her brow furrows. "I beg your pardon?"
"I'll get there someday. I just 'ave to wait for the right moment. An' maybe a little bit o' magic."
Her breath comes a little faster. He knows. He has to.
"Mr. Alfred, this may sound like a silly question, but do you believe in magic?"
"I do," he grins. "I believe in miracles and moments too."
"May I show you something?"
"Be my guest."
She blushes. "I'll need to take your hand."
He gives it freely. "Just promise to give it back, alright?" he jokes. "I need it to draw."
She closes her eyes and counts down. When she looks around, they're surrounded by chalk trees and the pond sits at their feet.
"Cor, Miss Mary Poppins, forgive me for saying this but you look beautiful."
She will never forget that he didn't even ask how she managed to get them into a drawing, just mentioned how she looked. She's dressed in a pale blue dress and sensible shoes, he wears brown trousers and a white shirt.
"Thank you, Mr. Alfred."
"Feel that?" he asks suddenly.
She frowns. "Feel what?"
"Something special just 'appened," he explains. "Can't put me finger on it, but something just 'appened. Why, we've 'ad a moment!"
She laughs merrily. "I daresay we might have."
"Mary Poppins," he says earnestly. "I can't 'elp but feel like life just changed."
She knows exactly how he feels because she feels the same way. But she'd never let him know that. "Well, I, for one, would like to explore this forest!"
They spend the day running through the forest, talking and laughing—even, at one point, climbing. She can't believe how compatible she and this stranger are.
Finally the light changes, becoming dark and gloomy. There must be a cloudburst because the drawing starts to melt around them. She grabs hold of his arm and they go back to London. "Oh, Bert," she sighs sadly. "Your drawings!"
"No matter," he says with an easy grin. "The memories are worth far more than the drawings."
She smiles. "It was a joy to make your acquaintance."
"Will I see you again?"
She sighs. "I'm afraid I'll be leaving London for a time."
"No matter. Look me up the next time your life brings you 'ere. I'll watch for you."
"You are something else, Bert Alfred."
"Feel as if I've known you all me life, Mary Poppins. Wish I'd known you sooner. But we've got all the time in the world."
"Not goodbye," he replies, taking her hand and brushing his lips against her knuckles. "Farewell, until next time. Goodbye is permanent. Farewell's not."
"Farewell then. And au revoir."
Mary blushes and looks down, remembering that day that had seemed so perfect. "You look fine too, Bert."
He preens but then Michael asks about the fair, so he gives Jane and Michael directions, instructing them to give the fair's operators his name. Once Mary calls after them not to fall and smudge the drawing, she and Bert are on their own.
As they walk, he starts to sing and Mary smiles. "I feel like I could fly." With that, he flaps his arms and lifts off the ground.
She rolls her eyes. "Now, Bert, none of your larking about," she chides.
Even though she scolds him, it feels so good to be walking with him again that she can't keep a smile off her face for long. "You haven't changed a bit, have you?" she asks as he sings to her. He really hasn't—he's the same happy-go-lucky goofball she fell in love with.
He just pushes on, extolling the wonders of a jolly holiday with Mary, causing her to blush and demure, "Oh, honestly."
When he comes to a line about holding hands and hearts like big brass bands, she feels her own heart quicken but covers it with a laugh. "You are lightheaded."
"It's a jolly holiday with Mary, no wonder that it's Mary that we love." Oh, she could hear him say that line over and over again. She's missed him terribly.
After a quick barnyard serenade, they take off down the path, dancing and laughing the entire way. He picks her a bouquet that turns out to be a group of butterflies. She doesn't think she's ever seen anything quite so magical.
Finally, she sings back, trying to let him know just how much it means to her that they're still able to do this after the last time. And she hopes he'll understand that she's still hopelessly in love with him. He makes light of it, but she thinks he gets her meaning.
It becomes even clearer when they sit down for tea. He helps her to her chair, confirming her evaluation of him as a gentleman, and then summons the waiters… Well, penguins.
She orders the same thing they've always had at tea time and he offers no objections.
The penguins tell her their entire menu is complementary just for her—after all, she is their favorite person.
"Right you are!" Bert agrees whole-heartedly. "It's true that Mavis and Sybil have ways that are winning and Prudence and Gwendolyn set your heart spinning. Phoebe's delightful, Maude is disarming…"
The smile on her face fades.
"Janice, Felicia, Lydia…" the penguins add helpfully.
"Charming!" Bert exclaims. "Cynthia's dashing, Vivian's sweet, Stephanie's smashing, Priscilla a treat!"
"Veronica, Millicent, Agnes, and Jane," the penguins feel the need to add to the list.
"Convivial company time and again!" he says. Just how many women does he know? Mary thinks jealously, even though she knows he's just doing this to get this exact reaction.
"Dorcas and Phyllis and Glynnis of sorts, I'll agree are three jolly good sports!" Mary turns away with a huff. This is becoming absolutely ridiculous and she's through hearing the entire list of every woman he's ever met or dated in his life… At least she hopes it's the whole list.
Bert sees her get upset and wraps it up with a boyish grin. "But cream of the crop, tip of the top, it's Mary Poppins and there we stop!"
She's never been able to stay mad at him, not once he flashes that grin. The twinkle in his eye lets her know he was joking and she chuckles, wishing she could stay angry longer, but his dance with the penguins is just so charming that she can't help but laugh.
And then he pulls her up out of her seat and they begin to dance, careful to keep an appropriate distance between them. But it just feels so good to be back in his arms again. It feels right just like it always has. She ends up inching closer until she could rest her head on his shoulder if she'd like.
She smiles softly up at him. "The drawing is truly lovely, Bert," she tells him.
"You know what it reminds me of, don't you?" he asks.
She nods. "You always did say we'd end up back here again someday."
"Oh, Bert," she sighs. Her brow furrows as she tries to find the least painful words she can. "I can't… I simply can't."
He coughs to hide a frown. "Right."
"Bert, I would. You know I would. But I can't be a nanny and a wife at once. That's a juggling act even I can't manage. And I can't give up nanny-ing. Not yet. Not when so many people still need me."
"Right," he repeats.
"I am so sorry."
"No, Mary, I get it." He shakes off his disappointment and grins. "One day, Mary Poppins, I'm going to draw this place again. We'll come back and I'll ask you again."
"One day, Bert, when the timing is right, I'll be able to give you the answer you're waiting for. I promise."
"And then you 'ad to go an' disappear for five years," he says.
She looks down. "I'm sorry. I was scared. I didn't know what to make of anything."
"You were scared?"
"Of how badly I wanted to say yes to you and how certainly I knew I couldn't. I didn't want you to have to suffer through my indecision with me. I was miserable enough as it was and to have you suffering as well… that would have been more than I could bear."
At this point, they're stopped dancing, though they are still in position. Mary looks up into his eyes and sees the happiness there. By mutual unspoken agreement, their eyes close as they lose themselves in a slow kiss.
"So what does that mean?" Bert asks when they pull away.
She takes a deep breath. "It means I was a fool for leaving in the first place."
"And," she continues, only hesitating a little. "It means… I think you should ask me the question again."
He grins, a molasses-slow smile that pours over his whole face. "Mary Poppins, I… No, not here."
"I beg your pardon?"
"I don't want… that is…" She lets him flounder for words, since he's the one refusing to propose to her. "Mary, this is the most important question of me life. It should 'ave it's own moment and this isn't it."
She bites her lip. "You will ask again, won't you?"
"Cross me 'eart, 'ope to die."
"I hardly think anything as extreme as dying is necessary!" she laughs. "In fact, I would much prefer that you not die."
He picks her up and swings her around joyfully. "I love you, Mary Poppins."
She beams. "It's been far too long since I last heard that. And I love you as well, Bert. Very much."
He kisses her again but she pulls away after a moment. "We really should find the children. I'm worried about what sort of trouble they'll manage to create without supervision. And Bert, I think it would be best if we kept this to ourselves. I don't want the children to think I'm here for any reason other than them."
"Whatever you think is best, Mary Poppins," he smiles. "I'm just 'appy to call you mine, whether or not anybody else knows it."
She smiles her thanks and they walk to the fair, finding Jane and Michael contemplating the merry-go-round. "Mary Poppins!" Michael cries when he sees them. "Come on the merry-go-round with us!"
"Very well then," she assents. "Come along."
They get situated on the four horses that are perfectly matched to their personalities and the carousel starts to move. Jane and Michael instantly start laughing and playing around.
"Very nice," Bert comments, a twinkle in his eye as he leans back. "Very nice indeed… If you don't want to go nowhere."
Mary leans forward with a smile. Oh, how little faith he has in her. "Who says we're not going anywhere?" She calls out for the guard and thanks him when he pulls the lever that sets the horses free.
The guard narrates as if this is a race, which, of course, puts the idea into Michael's head and he claims his horse is the fastest. Bert won't have that and pushes his horse faster. Mary rolls her eyes. "Now really, Bert, you're as bad as the children."
"Sorry!" he exclaims as he grabs the reins on Michael's horse and brings them to a stop. "Just a bit of high spirits, Mary Poppins," he grins, his smile hinting at just why his spirits are so high.
She keeps her nose in the air and doesn't allow the children to think that anything has changed. "Please control yourself," she scolds him. "We are not on a race course."
The fox hunt crosses their path. "Follow me, please," she orders. The children follow immediately and Bert brings up the rear, sulking.
Their efforts to save the fox bring them, wouldn't you know it, onto the race course. Through skill and a bit of polite trickery, Mary Poppins wins the race.
As the reporters gather around her, Bert takes Jane and Michael to get candy apples. She poses for pictures and answers questions as best she can. Finally she holds up a hand when they suggest that she simply doesn't have words for how lucky she is.
"Now, now, now, now gentlemen, please," she says. "On the contrary, there's a very good word. Am I right, Bert?" she calls. Well, it is his word, after all!
Mary studies the contraption. It hardly looks sturdy. "No. Absolutely not," she refuses.
"Aw, Mary, don't be so afraid," Bert pleads with her.
She turns away from the thing. "A respectable person like me? On that… that… thing? How dare you suggest it!"
He laughs. "Mary, it's a motorbike an' you'll love it if you'll just give it a try."
"No," she refuses.
"Come on, Mary, don't you trust me?"
"You, yes. That contraption, not in a million years!"
"It's perfectly safe, Mary. An' it's the best way to travel!"
She shakes her head and purses her lips.
"Mary Poppins, it's just like flying!"
"I know what flying feels like, thank you, and I sincerely doubt it's anything like that!"
Bert sighs. "Alright then. I was going t' take you to get gingerbread but if you insist, I'll just be on me way…"
"Gingerbread?" Mary can't help but ask.
He nods with a sly smile. He knows how to push his best friend's buttons to get her to do as he likes. She's a master of manipulation but he's a quick study. "From Mrs. Corry's shop."
She swallows and he almost thinks she licks her lips. Secretly, Mary Poppins has the biggest sweet tooth that Bert's ever come across and she loves gingerbread.
"But only if we take the bike," he adds.
She looks up shyly. "You… you won't let me fall?"
"Mary Poppins," he says, holding a hand to his heart. "I would kill meself before I'd let any 'arm come to you. You 'ave me word I'll keep you safe."
She nods nervously. "All right then, let's get on with it."
He grins and hands her his scarf. "'Ere. For your 'air."
"Thank you," she says curtly as she wraps it around her head. He gets on the bike and she climbs on after him, wrapping her arms carefully around his waist.
"You'll 'ave to 'old on tighter'n that," he informs her with a laugh. She readjusts and rests her chin on his shoulder shyly.
"If you get scared," he yells over the roar of the engine. "Close your eyes. I've got you, Mary Poppins. Don't you worry about a thing!"
They zoom through London and once Mary has the feel of it, she opens her eyes. It's magnificent to see all of the colors whizzing by.
After a good ten minutes they pull into Mrs. Corry's shop. "Well?" Bert asks as he helps her off.
She throws her head back and laughs. "That was nothing like flying. But it was… it was spectacular! Only that doesn't quite seem to describe it. I don't think I know a word for it!"
"S," he replies.
"I beg your pardon?"
"S!" he repeats. "A word for when you've got no words!"
"S," she tries it out slowly. "I like it! Where did you hear it?"
"Came up with it meself, I did!"
"Really? I'm impressed!"
"You're welcome to use it any time you like," he informs her graciously.
"Thank you… Now, I do believe you promised me gingerbread. And I'm holding you accountable!"
Bert grins. "Tell 'em what it is."
"Right," she smiles, taking off her hat and proceeding to explain all about the word.
Bert joins in and she feels far more carefree than she has in years. In fact, in the midst of their dancing and grinning at each other, she even jumps and clicks her heels together, a move that surprises even her. There's a lull in the music and she gets a mischievous twinkle in her eye as she turns to him. "You know, you can say it backwards, which is D, but that's going a bit too far don't you think?"
His mouth drops. It may be his word, but no one's said it backwards before! "Indubitably," he manages to reply.
Unfortunately, as the song ends, so do the sunny skies. Mary calls for Jane and Michael and the foursome huddle under her parasol. "Stay close now," she orders. Bert's hand rests on the small of her back but the children don't notice so she doesn't move.
The drawing washes away and they return to London. "Oh, Bert!" she cries, looking down at the soggy street. "All your fine drawings!"
"Well, there's more where they came from," he replies, keeping a larger distance between them now that they're back where propriety has to be observed. "Meantime, I'm changing businesses. This 'ere is lovely hot chestnut weather!"
"Come along, children!" she chirps before anything else can be said. "Bye, Bert!"
They leave him singing and dancing happily in the rain and remnants of his drawings.
Do let me know if you'd like to read more! I have a rather large chunk of this story written!