AN: These characters are from a TV show that is not owned by me (as opposed to all the ones that are). Implied spoilers for everything to this point (2x13) but nothing specific.

2.54 AM. Somewhere east of Liberal, Kansas.

Marshall lay as still as possible. His eyes wide in the dark but focused on nothing. He was concentrating on his breathing, trying to breathe as infrequently and as shallowly as he could. Every breath he took reminded him of the weight on his chest. The weight that was preventing him from sleeping.

He had to get out of this. He needed a plan.

He closed his eyes and took another shallow breath, willing his brain to come up with a solution. His brain was not inclined to oblige him, however, probably in protest to the lack of blood it was currently receiving.

Another dangerously painful breath.

He really needed to move before he was killed.

He shifted slightly. That was better, the body next to him was no longer digging awkwardly into his side. And he could feel the circulation returning to his hand. As the feeling returned he realised he held in his hand his own death warrant. His hand held a time bomb. His right hand was going to be what got him killed.

He sighed in the dark, quietly so as not to disturb his captor.

His eyes roamed the room, looking for a way out. They came to rest on his cell phone, mere feet away.

He considered his options. Did he risk moving to get it? Would the noise and movement wake his captor? If so, would he be killed instantly, or would he be able to play for time?

How much time would he need? How long had he been trapped here?

He looked around the room again, searching for the clock.

2.54 am.

He'd been awake just twenty minutes and he was already prepared to reveal the locations of several of his witnesses. Only the annoying ones of course, but still....

...this was a very effective torture technique. He contemplated telling the FBI about it when he got out of here. If he got out of here.

That thought echoed in his mind.

If he got out of here....

What would he do if he got out of here alive?

Breakfast – Definitely.

What else?

Kill Eleanor – That was a must.


Take a nice long hot shower – That would certainly be on his wish list, although with the way his luck was going at the moment, it would have to stay there. The only showers he could truly envisage in his future were of the quick and cold variety.

Still he could dream. He had to believe he was going to get out of this alive. He had to keep his hopes up.

He looked toward his phone once more. He was getting desperate enough to risk it. But who would he call?

Stan? - Probably not.

Eleanor? - Definitely not! She was the reason he was in this mess!

Mary? - That could work. She kept her phone on her all the time and would answer if he called, even in the dead of night.

But if he called her, he'd have to explain why. He'd have to admit she'd been right about Eleanor.


Mary had known not to trust her. She'd tried to convince him several times that she was a double agent. Or had been planted by the Director to spy on them. Mary had suspected all along.

But now Marshall knew the truth about their Office Administrator. And the truth was more scary than anything Mary had imagined.

And now it was down to Marshall to kill her.

For he alone knew the truth.

Eleanor was Satan.

It was the only possible explanation.

Marshall was aware his mind was wandering. He needed to focus if he wanted to see morning.

He reviewed his situation again. His hand was still trapped and it still held the potential to get him killed. Nothing had changed there.

He looked down once more at the blond head resting on his chest. With his free hand he unthinkingly brushed some hair out of Mary's eye.

Marshall froze as he realised what he had just done, the risk he had just taken.

If she woke up now he was as good as dead.

If Mary killed him, then no one would ever know the truth about Eleanor. On the plus side, Mary would never find out the truth about him. Unless Eleanor told her, of course. He wouldn't put it past her, she was evil after all, but he'd be dead by then so he wouldn't care.

And he would, at least, die happy.

Death was a fair price to pay for a night with Mary asleep in his arms, her head on his chest. But his arm was trapped under her and while he'd willingly trade the blood flow in his right arm for the knowledge that his right hand was cradling Mary's breast, he didn't think Mary would be happy if she ever found out.

Marshall glance once more at the clock.

2.59 am.

Time to take the bull by the horns.

Time to strap on a pair, as Mary would say.

He took a deep breath, wrapped his free arm around his sleeping partner and pulled her closer, freeing his right hand and reluctantly moving it away from the danger zone. And then he held his breath as he waited for Mary to wake up and the subsequent fallout.

Mary sighed contentedly in her sleep.

Crisis averted.

He closed his eyes, resolving to kill Eleanor tomorrow. Or at least tell her he'd make his own motel bookings from now on.

With Mary resting on top of him, secure in his arms, he slept.