A/N: So since watching Let's Get It Ahn like a billion times, I've kept thinking that when Marshall gave Mary her ring back, he should have slipped it on her finger.
Marshall stared at the diamond ring that previously occupied his finger. The sunlight filtered through the window, glistening off it and creating rainbows on the floor. Rainbows were meant to spark happiness and joy; instead he was feeling sorrow and loss.
He knew falling for his best friend would only bring him pain. Marshall just wished he knew how badly it would hurt before he allowed it to go this far. Maybe then he could have gotten his head to win the war instead of his heart.
The realization of her engagement had knocked the breath out of him, forcing him to come to the fact that he was going to lost her. She had promised herself to another man, all because he was too afraid to tell her the truth. But now, could he really settle for just being her friend and watch her spend her life with somebody else?
Slowly Marshall stood and looked into Mary's eyes. He gently took her left hand in his and slipped the ring onto the fourth finger. Marshall swore he heard a sharp intake of breath from both Mary and Eleanor. He let his hand linger on hers and Mary studied them before meeting his eyes. 'Do you really want this?' His eyes were asking her, almost pleading.
She nodded subtly. "I do," was whispered out.
"How about a toast?" Eleanor suggested, hating to ruin the moment, but secretly hoping Marshall would tell Mary the truth.
Marshall cleared his throat. "Excellent idea." He paused for a moment, waiting for Stan to finish topping their flutes. "Here's to the best friend I've ever had…could ever hope to have. The girl for whom no man will ever be good enough. I want you to know that…I love you. And I wish for you nothing but a lifetime of happiness."
Eleanor quickly glanced at Mary's face. 'She finally knows what he feels,' "To happiness." Eleanor and Mary echoed Stan.
The blond watched as Marshall drained half of his champagne. "How about some cupcakes?"
"Yeah," Mary said softly. Her eyes never left Marshall. Slowly she turned away from him, following Stan and Eleanor to the table. Once she reached it, she looked back, watching as Marshall sank into the chair by his desk. 'I love you,' kept echoing in her head. The way he stared into her eyes as he said it made her shiver. She knew he meant it in a way that was something more. His eyes showed everything and when he said those three words, every emotion he was feeling shone through.
But what got her the most was that she didn't want to run. At least not away from him.
Marshall knew her. He knew how to deal with her, how to calm her down, what to say to comfort her, how to tease her.
But most of all, he knew exactly how to love her.
Marshall never pushed her. He never expected anything in return from her. He was always content to just be by her side.
He told her his feelings, knowing he wouldn't get the response he wanted. Marshall didn't expect her to suddenly decide she was in love with him; he knew better than that.
But she kept looking at him now and that scared him.
Marshall looked back down to his now ring-less finger. 'Do I want to sacrifice my happiness for hers?' he thought. His eyes wandered back to Mary to see her smiling at a comment Eleanor had made.
A/N: It was meant to be longer, but my muse totally refused the idea of having Brandi and Mary talk about this little moment that just occurred. Which is totally fine because I have at least nine other story ideas for IPS. And some of them are quite epic….