A/N: You know how these two get...pushy, pushy.... This is just a little bit of ficlet fluff that attacked me this morning, and I wanted to share. I hope you enjoy.
Mary had owned her BlackBerry for quite awhile, and it was a steady, functional tool for her. It had certainly saved her life numerous times. She had used it to send email, make calls to check on her witnesses, even to look up directions to new locations when she and Marshall had been sent out of town. It was always holstered on her hip when she was awake, and when she was asleep it was sitting in its charging cradle on the nightstand near her head. She didn't think much about it.
This is why when Marshall changed over from his older flip phone to a newer BlackBerry, she was somewhat amused by watching him with his new toy. She knew he was a relentless technophile, but his love affair with this gadget was a new all-time high, even for him. For a week after he unboxed it, it was constantly in his hands as he sent texts, tweets (whatever the hell those were), emails, downloaded applications, and customized the phone.
He was hunched over it as they ate lunch, fiddling with it one hand and shoveling food in with the other when Mary noticed that it no longer even looked the same on the outside anymore.
"Marshall. What did you do to that damn thing now?"
Marshall looked up, startled, and turned the phone over in his hands to show her the battery door. "Like it? It's a skin. I ordered it online." He grinned. The phone had some kind of sticker on it with a pattern in blue and silver. Mary snatched it from his hands and looked at it more closely. The pattern resolved itself. The blue background held tiny little stars. She snorted. Of course it did....
"What, did they not have one with little cowboys on horseback?"
She turned the phone over to look at the front, and her amazement grew. "Where did you get this theme?" Marshall's screen had also gotten a makeover, and instead of the standard set of icons for email, making a phone call, and so forth, she saw instead replicas of their own U.S. Marshal badge with labels.
"I made it," was the reply.
"There is," Mary drawled, "such a thing as taking one's devotion to duty too far, Marshall...."
He just laughed and reached for the phone, showing her how he'd been able to make each icon spin, wobble, or bounce when selected, and she had to admit that it was actually a lot more interesting than the rather boring set she had on her own phone.
"Okay, so you get two points for ingenuity, but why? I don't understand. Didn't it work okay before the way it was?"
Marshall, still smiling, looked down at the phone, idly playing with it with his long fingers. "It's just the way I am, I guess. I have to personalize everything I get. When I get a new computer, the first thing I do after I get everything loaded up is change the background to something that suits me. Whenever I've changed offices, I've always brought in something silly from home on the first day so that new space feels like mine..." He shrugged. "I just like to tweak stuff."
Tweak. I'm torn between admiring him and giving him hell. He's sitting there spinning a BlackBerry he built a custom theme for less than a week after he got it and using the work tweak. I don't know what to do with this brilliant geek sometimes.
"What else have you, um....tweaked....on it?"
"Well, I put a lot of my music on it for when we travel, and of course I customized all my ringtones...."
"Oh God, you didn't," Mary groaned. "Customized ringtones are the absolute bane of creation."
"Because everybody uses some lame-ass pop song that was SO over last year and forgets to change it or they else they use that synth version of Beethoven. You hear the same stuff everywhere. It's horrible. This is why mine has a nice, simple professional ringer."
Marshall made a face. "It's dull. Besides, I can guarantee you that I did not pick a single pop song for anybody on my call list."
Mary made a face.
"Come on, Mare. Zero curiosity about what I picked out for everybody? No guesses? I promise I picked out songs that fit everybody's unique personality...." he teased.
"Okay, let me see the damn ringtones. I can see I'm not going to get any peace today until I do."
Marshall pulled his chair around to her side of the table and scrolled through the menus to show her his choices. For Stan and anything coming from the WITSEC office, he'd chosen the Imperial March from Star Wars. Mary had to laugh and she poked him in the arm.
"Oh my God. You are such a geek." Marshall was snickering right along with her. "Next."
Calls from Marshall's parents would ring to the William Tell overture, long since better known as the theme song to the Lone Ranger. "I knew you'd manage to get cowboys in there somewhere," she said, rolling her eyes.
Marshall replied, "Of course. Well, actually, if you want to know the truth, that one was really my Dad's idea...."
If his sister or brother called, Marshall's phone produced the theme song from the Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck Looney Tunes cartoons. Mary and Marshall were laughing so hard other people in the restaurant were looking over at them to see what the odd noises and hilarity might be about.
"I've never even met them, but now all I'm going to be able to see in my head every time you mention them is Bugs and Daffy shooting each other and dropping anvils," Mary gasped between laughs.
Marshall took a deep breath, cocked his head to the side and squinted his eyes in mock concentration, and burst out laughing again. "Yeah, that sounds about right."
The best one, though, was the one Marshall had chosen for witnesses. Marshall scrolled through the menu briefly, looked into her eyes, and raised one eyebrow. "Wait for it," he said, and pressed his thumb down on the button. The 1966 novelty song from Napoleon XIV belted out of the BlackBerry's speakers:
"They're coming to take me away, ha-haaa, They're coming to take me away, ho-hoo, he-hee, ha-haa, To the funny farm. Where life is beautiful all the time and I'll be happy to see those nice young men in their clean white coats and they're coming to take me away, ha-haaa!!!!!"
"That is the MOST appropriate one of the whole batch! I need that one for my witnesses, too," howled Mary, clutching at Marshall's arm. "Wait, wait," she panted between laughs, "no, for Brandi and Jinx instead!" and she dissolved into another fit of laughter imagining the two of them dancing around to the lyrics of the silly song.
Marshall was as hysterical as she, and it took the two of them a few moments to reign in the ridiculous images parading in their heads.
"Oh Jesus, Marshall. Thank you. I needed that. Maybe these ringtones can be fun after all."
"You haven't asked me what your is."
"Oh...no, I didn't." Mary blinked a little, amused but uncertain suddenly. How did he define her? What image of her did he have in his head? "What did you pick for me? Wait. Let me guess. You found the theme for the Wicked Witch of the West from The Wizard of Oz somewhere?"
Marshall laughed. "Actually... I decided to let you pick yours. I would never presume to try to label the great Mary Shannon." He held the phone out to her on the palm of his open hand, and after a moment, Mary took it from him. "You can use any of the stuff that's already on there, or you can look through my music and use one of the songs instead."
Mary looked at him a moment, just cradling the BlackBerry in her hand, weighing him, and then she hunched over the phone scrolling. Marshall concerned himself with the remains of his lunch, deliberately not watching what she was doing. A few minutes later, she exclaimed, "Ha! That one," and performed strokes on the phone that would set her choice as her own ringtone. She cleared the menu out and handed it back to Marshall with a sassy smile.
He took it from her without further comment, returning her smile with one of his own, and he holstered his phone. They paid their bill, left, and went about the business of protecting and visiting the witnesses stashed in Albuquerque. Although he checked his phone several times to receive incoming mail or calls, he did not have time to go through and find out what tone Mary had set for herself. Mary was very pointedly watching him. Curious, aren't you? Marshall tried not to think about the mystery ringtone practically burning a hole into his hip on his BlackBerry.
Once they returned to the office in the afternoon, Marshall sat down at his desk to begin to deal with the neverending paperwork and Mary took a set of her notes and went downstairs to consult with Bobby D. about overlapping concerns WITSEC had with ABQ PD. Marshall watched the elevator doors close, and his hand was in the motion of flying to his waistband to slip his BlackBerry out of its holster when it vibrated twice and rang. Startled, he almost fumbled it before he realized it was playing a song he'd never heard come out of it before, Tom Jones belting out "She's a Lady." He was laughing as he managed to answer the call to hear Mary's voice say, "Well, I did try to pick something appropriate."
He snarked back the expected and now-routine insult between them, "I'm going to have to change this. You're no lady, Mary Shannon. I'm not sure you're even a girl."
She just laughed. "Bite me, Mann," she sneered, and she hung up. Bobby D. was waiting, after all.
Marshall didn't change the ringtone, though. He enjoyed far too much hearing the last part of the song, just before it was about to cut off to go to voice mail, "She's a lady...and the lady is mine..."
To what songs does your phone ring?