AN: This story was started on a whim and ended up taking almost a year to write. And now it is complete, I feel I should add a proper disclaimer:
I do not own the characters from the show In Plain Sight, the show itself or anything related to it.
Spoiler warning: Spoilers for seasons one and two, although departs from canon after Once A Ponzi Time (S2E14).
Now, on with the story...
Albuquerque, we have a problem
Chapter 1 - The Big Guns
Marshall drove down his road planning on how he was going to spend his evening. He was about to pull into his drive when he spotted the car already parked there. He slowed to a crawl and continued down the road past his house before pulling over to where he had a clear view of both the car and the house. Something here wasn't right. He wasn't expecting anyone – the only person that ever showed up unannounced was Mary and he didn't have any other friends. So whose car was that? And where had he seen it before?
Movement caught his eye. A shadow fell across the window blind then moved away.
Marshall reached for his cell phone and checked his weapon while he waited for his partner to answer.
Mary stood in the local grocery store, pondering the selection of candy available when her phone rang. She stole a quick glance at the caller ID before answering.
"Can you believe they're out of Milk Duds?" Mary asked as a way of greeting.
"Yeah, I've got company." Marshall ignored the irrelevant question, trusting that Mary would get the message.
Mary put down the basket she was carrying, "Where are you?"
"My place," he informed her.
"I'm on my way." She left the store, the basket containing her week's groceries abandoned in the middle of the aisle.
Marshall saw Mary's car round the corner and pull up near his. He returned his gaze to the wing mirror where he could still see movement in his house. His attention didn't waiver as Mary opened the passenger door and slid in next to him.
"Hey," she acknowledged him.
He glanced in her direction briefly to see her peering out the rear window, weapon already in hand.
"They're in the kitchen," he told her, "I think there's only one of them."
"What do they want? Who are they?"
"I don't know."
"Wanna go find out?" Mary asked with a grin.
They both got out the car and made their way to the front door quickly and quietly.
They paused, flat against the wall either side of the door, weapons held ready. Marshall held up a hand to indicate Mary should wait while he opened the door. He slid the key into the lock as silently as he could and turned it. He nodded to Mary who pushed the door open just as quietly.
Marshall entered first.
He looked around the hallway, but saw no one. He was just about to check the first room when he heard a voice in the kitchen.
Mary shot him a puzzled look as she went to push past him, only to get even more confused when his hand shot out and held her back.
"What is it?" she whispered to him.
He shook his head as he holstered his weapon. Mary broke free of his grasp and was about to peer around the corner when Marshall grabbed her round her waist and pulled her back to the doorway.
"Jesus, Marshall!" she hissed.
When she recovered from the surprise of her partner manhandling her, she tried to face him but found he still had a firm hold of her. She was used to Marshall being a bit odd, but this was weird even for him.
She started to worry, just what was in the other room?
What was it that was causing Marshall to act so strange?
What was capable of putting that look of panic on his face?
And what the hell was he doing with his hand?
She looked down to see Marshall running his hand across the front of her jeans.
Mary stared, stunned into inaction. If any other man had her pinned like this and was displaying such a obvious case of wandering hands, he'd have been the recipient of a sharp elbow in the ribs and maybe a broken nose. But this was Marshall and Mary couldn't focus on anything past 'What the hell?'
She could have been stood there hours for all she knew. In fact it was only a couple of seconds until the groping stopped and was replaced with Marshall sticking his hand into her pocket. He emerged with her engagement ring and stepped away.
Marshall crept forward and peeped round the corner. He glanced over his shoulder at Mary who was still stood in the doorway trying to work out what had just happened. He strolled back to her as she put her weapon away, finally noticing and being reassured by the fact Marshall no longer had his in his hand.
"We're gonna need the big guns for this," he said with a smile, "put this on."
He handed her the ring.
She hesitated for a moment, still perplexed, before slipping the ring on and following him into the kitchen. She reached the kitchen in time to see Marshall hug a tall, dark haired woman. As they broke apart the family resemblance became very apparent.
"Mary, this is my sister, Ellen," Marshall said, turning to face Mary.
Mary shot a puzzled look in Marshall's direction before shaking Ellen's hand. He'd never mentioned a sister. Marshall just gave her a smile. A smile that didn't quite reach his eyes. No, his eyes were too busy pleading with Mary. They were silently pleading with her to play along, to go with the flow, to accept his sister without comment.
At least, that's how she interpreted his expression until he said, "Ellen, this is Mary, my fiancée."