Mary slammed the refrigerator door shut and leaned against the counter as she ran a hand through her hair. She had searched the entire house, twice, trying to find some form of alcohol. However, her man hunt ended in failure. She should have been happy about the fact there were no booze in her house; it meant that her mother had been serious about getting sober. But right now Mary wanted—no, needed—a drink.

Mary eyed her keys where she had left them on the table. She could go to a bar. She pressed her face into her hands, sighing. No, she thought, I can't go. I just got home from work. Raph already bitches I'm not home enough. No need to add more fuel to that fire. She peaked at the table from behind her hands, the keys seemed to be reflecting in the light and mocking her all the same. They almost screamed 'Let's go, take me! Take me!' at her. She was tempted.

But Mary was strong willed and would not allow the keys any pleasure in luring her out of the house. She turned and opened the fridge again, determined to find something in there to ease the anxious feeling she had. Chocolate would have been nice, but seeing as Mary shared her house with two other females she doubted there'd be any. Irritated at the thought of Jinx or Brandi eating her highly prized chocolate, Mary found her self giving a death glare to the empty fridge. Someone would have to go shopping soon. She pulled out her pad of paper from her pocket and added 'Groceries'.

Mary leaned on the counter, looking at her disheveled kitchen. She should clean it up. If Mary had come home and found the house like this she would have someone's ass for it. However, Mary wasn't in the mood for cleaning, even though it would give her something to do. Mary paced around the kitchen noting the things that had to be put away without actually doing it. She could feel the tension build up around her, the blood pumping through her veins. She had the unnerving feeling that she should be doing something, but had no idea what it was. She closed her eyes as she sighed and leaned over the table and putting her head in her hands. When Mary opened her eyes the first thing that assaulted them were the keys.

She glared at them. How could something so small be so irritating? Straightening her back, she stood. She took a look around the kitchen, then quickly grabbed them as though it was something wrong. She felt the coolness of the metal in her hands, and with an option to escape she could feel some of the tension release from her shoulders. Some, but not all. She turned, and the sun reflected in the keys. She couldn't go. Mary's eyes narrowed, I will not lose. She had a staring contest with the keys, before she realized how wound up and crazy she was being. She forced herself to toss the keys into the other room, and to not run in there and pick the keys back up like they were chocolate or something.

"Bad day?" Mary jumped at the sound of someone else, and her hands instinctively reached for her weapon. Mary turned around just in time to see Raph bend and pick up her keys, then place them on top of the counter. Then, he hefted two grocery bags onto the counter as well. Mary was a little touched that he had gone shopping, but the tiniest bit annoyed she had written it down for nothing. Still, she walked over to him and began to pull things out of the bags.

At first, Raph thought that Mary was helping him. He almost had a heart attack right there, Mary would never voluntarily help with house work. No, that was his department. He was the cook, the maid, and the boy toy. Remembering his roles brought up a slight rage about how he wasn't the best friend. Still, Mary obviously wasn't in the mood for fighting, and neither was he. Though, now that Raph realized she was looking for something in the bags, and not putting away the groceries life seemed as it should.

"What are you looking for?" Raph asked. Mary looked up at him, slightly frazzled. She didn't know what the hell was wrong with her, but it was starting to get annoying. Calm Down Mary, Jesus what is your problem? She asked her self, ignoring the retort her brain supplied her. She knew what was wrong, she just chose not to acknowledge it.

"Chocolate?" Mary asked, hope written everywhere on her face. Raph shook his head no, and didn't notice the crestfallen look that flashed on Mary's face. Marshall would've known to bring chocolate. Mary sighed, and walked into the other room trying to forget the thought that instinctively flashed into her mind. She plopped down on the couch, and looked at the remote on the coffee table. She was deciding if it was worth the trouble of reaching down for it. Screw it, there would be nothing interesting on TV anyway.

"So?" Raphael called from the kitchen. It took Mary a minute to remember his question. Mary didn't want to share, she didn't even want to talk about today. She didn't even want to remember today, she wanted it erased from her mind. But, for some reason her nerves were firing off wrong, because she didn't want a fight either. She didn't want to end up screaming at him, and she just wanted to let him question her and get it over with. As she had been doing since earlier that morning, Mary took the easy way out.

"Not Really." Mary said, sounding utterly defeated. She cursed herself; she didn't want to sound that weak.

"But not a good day, either?" Mary looked up, surprised to see Raph standing behind her with soda in hand, and the fact he had gotten her feelings right. She looked at him for a few moments before accepting the drink. She sat in silence, but she could feel Raph watching her. She could feel the questions that were coming from his eyes, and bathing her in their neediness. But Mary could see how he was holding himself back, how he was trying to prevent the 'I can't tell you' fight. Mostly, Mary could see how much he was trying, and that hit home with her. So she decided that even if she didn't want to talk about it, and that saying it aloud might kill her, she was going to tell him because she was getting married to the guy. She had to trust him with some things, right?

"Marshall…" She started but let it trail off. She tried to get herself together, and make sure her voice wouldn't crack. She didn't know why the hell she was so emotional, it was no big deal. No Big Deal, right Mare? Mary inwardly cringed at the voice in her head. "Marshall got a promotion."

"That's great!" Raph said, unsure of why Mary looked to be in so much pain. Was Mary upset that she didn't get it? Raph didn't think that Mary would be upset over something so trivial, well at least not if Marshall was on the receiving end. That man is her everything. Raph dismissed the thought as soon as it entered his head. He wasn't trying to start a fight, but the frown on Mary's face indicated otherwise.

"That's not great?" Raph half asked, as he sat down on the couch besides her. Mary shot him a look like he was crazy. Raph didn't notice her eyes didn't rest on him, but on some imaginary object just behind his head. If he would have noticed then Raph would've understood the glare was at herself. Mary had taken right to that answer; it wasn't great that Marshall was leaving. But the little voice in her head asked her why she was so against Marshall's promotion. Mary told Marshall he couldn't leave, but why not? This was good for him; he would be able to move up in the chain of command. He could even become Chief in a few years, Marshall had the credentials. Mary didn't want to lose her best friend but she didn't want to hold him back either. Why are you holding on so tight, Mare? The voice mocked. The voice made Mary look at what she didn't want to, told her what was right and wrong, and wouldn't let her get away with any bull shit. The voice started off as her dad's, then morphed into her own, but over the last few years it had slowly become Marshall. Why can't you let him go? He's just your friend.

"Mary, you got to let me know, are we happy or sad?" Raph said pulling Mary back into the world of reality. He's just a guy Mary, one you didn't even sleep with. Besides, you're engaged, and your fiancé cares for you? Right, Mare?

"A little of both. He has to move." She whispered, getting up and fleeing into the kitchen. She opened the fridge door out of habit, her eyes didn't see anything in the fridge and she wasn't hungry. It was just something to do, something that would hopefully get her mind off of it. Her strong will, the center of her was crumbling and she couldn't figure out why. Why, oh why? The voice that was always there for her, always told her what was right and what was wrong had become a torment. It constantly picked at her, and kept trying to make her see things she didn't want to see. She didn't want to know what was going on, because once you knew something there was no turning back. Once broken, it can never be repaired exactly right, huh Mare? She had to stop this, she wasn't going to cry. She wasn't going to break down because she was losing her best friend, her only friend. She lived for years before she met Marshall and she could do it again. But what was becoming increasingly clear was she didn't want to. Once you've seen the rainbow of heaven, earth seems to be in black and white.

"Mary?" Raph called from the couch, her head snapped towards him. "Did you hear? I was talking about a going away party, we could get cake an-" Raph continued on but Mary wasn't listening anymore. A going away party? In what sick world would anybody celebrate the fact that Marshall was going 1,607 miles away? Why would anyone eat cake, and merrily wish him well when he was going into the most hellish place Mary could think of? What twisted minds created these things? I won't be able to see you anymore, I won't be able to call you and have you over here in five minutes, no more fun rides to work in the mornings, no more late night stake outs, no more anything. You won't be here, so let's celebrate.

"We. Can't." Mary stated. The harsh tone cut Raph off mid sentence, what was going on? He gave her a questioning look. "We can't celebrate him going away, Jesus Raph what the hell message would that send? Have a nice stay in the freezing shit city of Cleveland? Seriously, where is your brain? Who would wish that upon someone?"

Can't send away her golden boy, eh? Raph hated the voice in his head, it had somehow gotten to sound like Marshall. Raph knew that everyday he was competing, and he was competing with Marshall. Mary might not have been aware of the extra things Marshall did or question why Marshall knew where her bags were packed, or which outfits she liked the most for trips, or where to get books for her, or have a completely memorized manual of how to deal with Mary that came with foot notes and descriptive explanations. But Raph did. He wanted to know why Marshall knew all of this, but the one time he had gotten up the courage to ask all she would say was 'He's my partner, and best friend.' Raph had hid is secret joy when she said Marshall would be moving. Marshall was the one weakness Mary had, and Marshall was constantly ten points ahead of Raph on the score board. If Marshall ever made his move, Raph was sure he'd be out on his ass in a second.

So the anger Raph had been pushing down into a ball was starting to come back up. She didn't care that he'd gone shopping, or tried to fix her house, or tried to help her out. She didn't want it. The only thing she cared about was that her precious boy was going away. Raph wasn't a violent man, and he tried not to be a jealous man, but seeing the obvious love Mary had for Marshall he couldn't help himself. He even wondered who she pictured he was in bed. Was he Raph or Marshall? He couldn't say anything to Mary's question, and he knew that was bad. He had to say something, he could already see Mary eyeing her keys.

"Alright, so let's talk about it."

It was something in the way Raph said it that had fixed whatever was broken in her head. Somehow the gears started turning, the buttons clicked, and everything was back in working order. Exhaustion, stress and fear, though she would never admit to the last one, filled her in a wave one after the other. She could feel her body shifting into fight mode, like at some point in time this verbal fight would turn physical. Her weight shifted to the balls of her heels, and her knees bent slightly. Her hands were shaking, so she balled them into fists. Her eyes locked onto his, and showed all of her animal fury as she crossed her arms as best as she could. Raph responded in accord trying to straighten up, an attempt to use his height against her but she faced down criminals and liars everyday. Beside, in comparison to the height difference between her and Marshall, Raph's few inches seemed to be nothing.

"No. I don't want to talk about it." Mary snagged her keys, and pushed through him. She couldn't stay here anymore in this house, it seemed to be draining her. She would have nothing to look forward too. Marshall was leaving in the morning, and she was sure the story Stan had told her wasn't the entire truth. There were things being left out, but she had accepted it. Not wanting to confirm what she already expected.

"Yes! Mary this is what couples do. They talk to each other about their problems!" Raph shouted as he grabbed her arm. She spun around and pointed a finger at him.

"You obviously don't understand how hard it was for me to open up that little bit. I don't feel like talking anymore!"

"So where are you going then?" Raph gestured at her keys, and her hand clenched on them automatically. She wasn't really sure where she was going, but she did have a suspicion to where she'd end up. When she didn't answer, Raph picked one for her.

"With your lover boy, of course." He let go of her arm, and half turned.

"What the hell? Where am I going?"

"To be with you lover boy, your errand boy, you golden boy Mary, the person you never seem to stop spending time with!" Raph yelled. Mary had gotten the point it was to be Marshall after the errand boy comment, but Mary didn't understand how he could accuse her of sleeping around when he was the one who cheated on her with that fat ass physical therapist!

"Marshall is my best friend, and my partner!"

"No! I'm supposed to be your best friend, and your partner! You won't let me, Mary. Why?" Mary didn't have an answer for him, she didn't know why Raph while being her lover had never made it into the aspects of friend, maybe because she slept with him. True friends didn't want you for sex.

"Its because you already have one right?" Raph had answered for her again. It was getting on her nerves. Why, cause he's hitting home? Mare, you're not a coward. Face it. Mary didn't know if the voice was talking about the fight or bigger problems. She decided to focus on the fight. But her focus came too late, someone had taken his brave pills this morning, and found he felt better getting everything off his chest even if it ruined everything they had.

"You tell him all your problems, he gets to see you at work, all your overtime and even on off days. You let him in all the time, you tell him things I don't even know about and he gets to know everything about you without you labeling him as a threat. He gets your trust, and loyalty and devotion. He gets the benefit of the doubt, and he gets to push you. He can take care of you, or argue with you, or tease you or mess with you without you pushing him away. He can do anything, and you'd be right there Mary. He gets to see you smile, and be happy because you're not like that here. Even today, you've come home early from work, to be with your family and fiancé and he gets your thoughts. He gets everything that I want Mary, everything but the sex. If I could I'd switch, because Mary you're in love with him and not me. "

"I'm not in love with him, Raph. Jesus, He's my partner, it's a purely plato-"

"Why is it that when I went to Florida, at lot farther than Cleveland, and you barely noticed but the second you hear he's going there your world came crashing down?!"

"Because he's my everything!" Mary shouted before she could stop herself. She hadn't meant to say it, she didn't mean it but she couldn't take it back. She couldn't stop it, everything within was screaming to slap Raph, to punch him but she had let him talk. And he pushed her, he pushed every button she had, then he slammed on her biggest trigger. They had the fight about Marshall before, like he was their unruly child and they were arguing on the best parenting skills. Raph scarcely brought up Marshall because it brought out a strong defensive urge in Mary. Almost as though she had to protect Marshall from everything, even harsh words though Raph was sure Marshall could handle his own. Raph was betting it all tonight, he was placing everything on the line. He was tired of poking the tiger, he wanted to get in there. He was either going to be eaten alive, or come to an understanding. Raph just couldn't stand being stuck in the middle any longer, it was something he couldn't accept anymore.

"So let me be." Mary looked at him in surprised, she was sure there was going to be yelling, a lot more yelling in fact. She shook her head at him, clearly showing she had no idea what was going on. But Raph didn't know that's what Mary did when she was trying to work something out, he took it as a no, because he hadn't taken the time to study her like his rival had. Raph couldn't spend hours watching her sleep on late night stake outs, or staring at her longingly while in the office because well when Raph did see Mary, it wasn't for long.

"Let me be your everything." He stated again, calmly and clearly. He knew he had no chance of winning, even if Marshall wasn't aware of the scoreboard. Mary might not even notice she was the one who kept score, but Raph could see in her eyes everyday that Marshall would've won without any recount. Raph noticed the way she smiled on the phone with Marshall, or the laugh she gave or how happy she looked just standing next to him. But with Raph, there was no smile or laugh or even a fake look of happiness. But he wasn't going out without a fight.

"I don't-"

"I can do it Mary. Please. I know. I can learn, I'll do anything Mary. I can be your everything."

"I can't do this now. I can't. I gotta…I gotta go."

"No." Raph said it simply, casually, in a steady tone, as though he was asked if he was going out for the weekend. He would become her everything, but he couldn't just let her slip through his fingers. "We talk this out."

Mary shook her head and turned away from him. Perhaps it was his silence, or trying to work out that her fiancé thought she was in love with her partner that made her hesitate at the door, regardless she stopped hand half reaching for the doorknob when she heard his soft whisper.

"If you leave now Mary, I won't be here when you get back. If I can't be your everything, then I can't be your anything. It's me or him."

"An ultimatum?"


Mary's hand hit the doorknob. She twisted it roughly, opened the door and walked through feeling as though the weight of the world was just lifted off her shoulders. She paused for a minute in the door way. Outside was bright, and windy. It seemed to be filled with freedom, but could she lose the stability the relationship had shown, especially with her other worlds crashing down around her? Walk through the fire, and let it…Burn.

It wasn't long before the crushing blow of having another man run out on her hit. Maybe Raph didn't run out for cigarettes or a carton of milk and not return, but still. He came right out and said it. I'm leaving because you're pushing me away and I can't take it. That was the explanation, it was the reason behind the ultimatum, the reason why he wouldn't be there by time she got home. Mary sighed, wiping the tears away from her eyes before she looked up. She had pulled the car over the minute she felt the tears hit her. It only took a second for Mary to recognize where she was. She sighed at herself, she had driven in the opposite direction to avoid this. She looked down at her hands, apparently her subconscious wasn't going to just let it go.

She opened the door, and stepped out. She stood in front of her car, and stared at the house. It was Marshall's house, the one place she needed to run to for comfort after her break up with Raph, and the one place she dreaded going. Mary knew she couldn't accept the flimsy excuse that Stan gave, it was far too sudden. If it was just a promotion, Marshall would have weeks to pack and get ready to move, not just a day. Unless Marshall's been planning on running for a while?

Mary shook her head, and laughed. It was ridiculous Marshall had promised her he would stay with her, they had already been passed secretly trying to leave, no. Mary could recall Marshall's face from that morning. Mary had walked into the office to see Marshall and Stan arguing in Stan's office. Marshall was livid, his face red from screaming and his hands moving wildly, he looked ready to punch Stan. Though, in the state Stan was in, it looked like Stan would welcome a fight. The vein in Stan's forehead that always told the Marshals they were in trouble was pulsing and he was red down to his neck. Mary couldn't hear what was going on, Stan's office was sound proof, as was every other room in the WITSEC office, but Mary could tell whatever they'd been arguing about was big.

The fight stopped when Stan slammed his hand down on his desk, and Marshall stopped. Both men stared at each other in a stand off before Marshall looked away and Stan mumbled something. Marshall seemed resigned to his defeat as he walked out of the office into her, Mary had been waiting. Marshall opened his mouth to say something, but didn't. He sighed, ran a hand through his hair, and turned to look at Stan. Marshall gestured with his hands, that Mary was Stan's problem, something Mary understood clearly. Her eyes narrowing as Marshall took off out of the office, and Stan stepped up towards her warily.

Mary remembered his hasty explanation, 'Marshall got a… sort of promotion and I just couldn't let it pass him by. This promotion was just to good, he's leaving for Cleveland tomorrow, so we'll have to pair up for a while until we can get you a new partner.'. Stan took off quickly after that, going to hide in his office. Mary was almost positive that Stan had locked his door, Eleanor looked ghostly pale, and once she got her bearings back sent a deathly glare in Stan's general direction before turning her eyes back on Mary.

Mary could remember the numb feeling she had as she walked calmly back to her desk. She looked down at her hands now, and flexed them before raising her head to look at Marshall's house. The memory of the morning's events sent a little shot of anger through her. So if Stan didn't want to tell her the whole story, she'd get Marshall to tell her.

It took an effort it shouldn't have for Mary to move herself to his door. Standing in front of his door she stopped herself before opening it. Should she knock? When do you ever knock, Mare? Mary cleared her thoughts and pushed open the door, she was tired of this nervousness, she wasn't going to walk on egg shells anymore. For a half a second after she pushed open the door, she saw Marshall's house the way it had been in her memory. Knickknacks crowding every available space, but somehow still in an organized and orderly fashion. Each thing had been some bizarre memorabilia. Mary could still remember how he talked about his lighter cufflinks in true 007 style, he had memorized the ad. It takes its rightful place in your toolbox of chivalrous accouterments, right alongside your puddle-familiar trench coat and your rapier wit.

But as the scene faded she was knocked with what his house now looked like. All the knick knacks had been packed up, and the front room of his house empty, barren with nothing but piles of boxes to give any clue why. They were piled high, and Mary could read some of Marshall's scribbled hand writing on the sides of them, but did not see him in person. She walked in and shut the door, walking around hearing the empty echo her shoes produced on his hardwood flooring. It was so eerie, and she realized that this would be the last time she would be here. Once Marshall left the house that she'd been using as a refuge for years would be gone, she was standing in the skeleton frame of what used to be one of her favorite places, and it would be her last time here. Her hand trailed over one of the shelves, it was lacking the figurines of ancient Aztec Gods, and the pictures of photography that someone he knew took. She would never see them again, right? She wasn't going to go to Cleveland anytime soon, just to see pictures and figures she'd seen a million times before but never really looked at because she never believed they would be gone.

"Hey, you guys can pack all o-" Marshall's voice startled her out of her thoughts, and she looked at Marshall. It made her realize, that she looked at him a million times before but never noticed how blue his eyes were or how cloudy they got when he was upset it looked like a storm was reflected in his eyes, or how he half smiled anytime they were together, or how his eyes brows furled into thought or how cute he looked. Mary now saw him now as she saw the house, and had a deep longing of something missing in her heart. She had seen him almost everyday for the past four years, and she never really looked. She never really saw him before, and she never took a second glance, because why should she he was always going to be there tomorrow. Mary never really had to think about it, she would wake up and see Marshall, which were two things that were almost given daily. She now cursed herself for not paying attention, because he would be gone and she wouldn't get to see him. Now she had to commit the perplex Marshall to memory in a few short hours, why hadn't she done this before? Why didn't she see this? You don't obsess over your best friend's face like this, Mare. It's weird, even for me.

Mary frowned at the voice in her head. It wasn't weird to miss your best friend, and that's all she was doing, she was missing Marshall. But he's not even gone yet..

"You've come at the perfect time," Marshall started breaking her from her thoughts again, "everything is packed away and ready to go. Once again you seemed to weasel me into doing all the work." Mary broke out into a smile.

"Well you know me, I'm never late." Marshall rolled his eyes as he put down the box he held in his hands, Mary pointed to it and he shook his head.

"It's the last one." He said, sadly. Mary could hear 'last one' echoing in the empty house, and it brought back her feeling of impending doom. She shook it off, trying to pull her thoughts away from the depressing topic. The silence between them stretched, and Mary was searching for anything to talk about when Raph's voice popped into her mind. 'Mary you're in love with him'. Mary figured she couldn't wait a week to tell Marshall about the break up, she already knew how much she hurt him when she put off telling him about the engagement, but she just didn't feel right telling him. It almost felt like she was cheating on Marshall by agreeing to marry Raph. Mary walked around to sit on his couch, and he followed plopping down next to her.

"So…?" Marshall started off for her, laying his head back against the cushions and turning towards her. He could tell that she wanted to tell him something, and he'd been waiting for it all day. Marshall had been waiting for her to run after him when he stomped out of the office that morning without a word, or for her to call him or storm into his house, he just wasn't expecting it this late. He had promised Mary that he would never leave her, and if she wanted him to stay with her he would. He didn't care about the supposed promotion. He knew what it was really about, he knew that it was coming but he never expected it now. Marshall knew that if he didn't take the "promotion" that he was "offered" he would be kicked out of WITSEC but right now he didn't care, if Mary wanted him he would stay.

"Raph and I broke the engagement today, Wedding's off." Mary had managed to say without showing any of the pain she was feeling about another man leaving her. On the inside, Marshall was giddy with joy, he was practically jumping up and down at the fact Mary had finally thrown Raph to the curb, but on the outside Marshall had to be supportive because even though it sounded mutual Marshall knew deep down Mary was in pain. This was no time to let his ego go wild, or let his hopes rise to far. He was moving to Cleveland, the next day. There was no way they could work now, Mary would need time to heal before she was ready for another relationship, if she was ever ready, and Marshall would be a thousand miles away.

"What happened?" Marshall pushed after a few minutes. He had waited for Mary to relax and adjust, so sharing would be easier and to make sure his voice wouldn't show his over flowing joy.

"He had the most ridiculous reason," Mary said laughing as she stood up and began to pace. She was still laughing, making Marshall nervous. He half stood getting ready for tears or a nervous breakdown. "He said, that I was in love with you. Like that could ever happen, I mean really we're just partners you know, there could never, never be anything real there right? I mean it is ridiculous, right?"

Marshall had gotten to his feet the second the 'you' had left her mouth. He stood in front of her, but she had hung her head looking at her feet looking like a little kid who was about to get yelled at for asking a stupid question. Marshall wasn't sure if she was hoping it wasn't ridiculous, and using this fishing method to try and pull it out of him or if she really believed that the idea was ridiculous but it was pissing him off either way. His feelings for Mary wasn't something to be laughed at, especially the way she was completely ignoring any possibility that they might have ever gotten together.

"It's not that ridiculous is it?" Marshall said, and Mary's head popped up. The sound of his voice seemed like a broken puppy. Mary could see the hurt in his eyes, but couldn't -or rather, wouldn't- read into them. It had to be hurt that she would even suggest it right? Marshall didn't love her, right? And she had defiantly proved that she didn't love Marshall. He was her partner, that's all. Right, everybody thinks like that about people they're not in love with. Not crazy at all Mare.

"Just tell me not to go, Mare. I won't" Mary looked at him with bug eyes. She couldn't ask him to give up the promotion could she?

"You're getting promoted, I couldn't-"

"You told me I wasn't allowed to leave, so why is it different now?"

"That's not it!" Mary yelled, before becoming still and silent. "I can't hold you back anymore, I just can't."

"It's forced, Mary. They're forcing me to go. I don't want to leave you, but if you want me to go."

"Marshall, it's not that I don't want you, but I mean even if it's forced I can't hold you back!" Mary whispered, deathly silent. Marshall thought she would cry for a moment, but she didn't she just stood there. As if nothing he said had gotten to her, like she was taking everything the way she wanted. Couldn't she see how much he loved her? Why couldn't she see it, if he told her everything would go to hell. The last four years of friendship and partnership would be in a hand basket to hell, but he couldn't leave it like this could he?

"If you don't won't me to leave than tell me. Say it."

"I won't. I won't hold you back, it isn't right of me!" Mary responded, "How could I, I mean we're just partners. That's all, right?"

It must have been something in the way she said right, it was a question not a statement. It was something that she wasn't sure about, and Marshall had nothing to lose. He didn't know if it was because Raph had left and she needed anybody to be there for her, or if she really had feelings for him but he was taking this chance. He was going to be gone in a few hours, and this would never come again. He would never get her to be his again, even if she was his for only a few short moments. He would take that chance, he would bet it all because if he didn't he'd be carrying the regrets of letting this go on that plane with him tomorrow and for the rest of his life, but if he did this. If he tried, and prevailed, he could have years of happiness, or at least as long as Mary would tolerate him. This wasn't part of the plan to show Mary he would always be with her, it wasn't how he'd picture the two getting together but he would take it. All he could do was try.

He cleared the space between them in two steps, and looped his fingers around her belt loops pulling her too him. He watched her as he leaned in forward, watching her face keeping track of her every movement. Slowly he began lowering his head towards her. She could feel him get closer, and she found a need for it. She could feel his breath in front of her resting softly on her lips, and her eyes seemed focused on his. She couldn't move her eyes away from them, and she couldn't take the slow pace. She pushed herself up onto her tip toes eyes fluttering closed and pushed their lips together.

Lightening pulsed through Mary's lips down to her toes at the contact. He had the smell of rain around him, and it only intoxicated her more. She maneuvered her hands up his chest, around his neck and pulled tighter on him. She opened her mouth inviting him in, he took it without second thoughts. She could taste him, he even tasted like rain and clouds. Mary didn't know where her mind had pulled the thoughts from, but it was what her brain told her she was tasting. It was like they were outside on a spring day right after it rained, and it was pure heaven. She couldn't get enough of the odd combination, it was like her own personal addiction. She was almost positive she would never get enough. She didn't know how she was going to let him go, she couldn't now.

Her hand made its way up to wrap around his hair and pull him closer to her. She needed this, she needed him. She pressed herself against him and he responded by placing his hands on her hips now, pulling her closer. She couldn't stop this. She wouldn't stop this, it was everything she had ever wanted in a kiss, something she had never found before. It was sweet but demanding, gentle but strong. It was comfort and desire, and Mary never wanted to break away. She knew she would become addicted to this, it was going to be rough not to attack him anytime she saw him.

But inside her head she couldn't stop. She couldn't stop the doubting. Who said I loved you Mare? Did I? Marshall had never directly told her he loved her, besides in the toast and that didn't really count did it? 'I hope you know I love you'. Did it count? Was it a confession, but didn't he call her his best friend a few seconds before that? Was she reading too much into everything? Yes she had been surprised that day, but she didn't think anything of it. What had brought this up, it was Raph who put the idea in her head right? How could she be so confident? What if he was going to run, what if she'd just screwed up the only working relationship she ever had? What if right now with each second that passed she was killing everything they had in the last four years, what if….? What if pigs could fly, and we ate pigeon as bacon, Mare. What if's will get you nowhere.

Mary braced her self, automatically feeling herself tense up. She pulled away gasping for breath, a smile plastered on her face before her recent thoughts burrowed into her head once again. There it was the look of shock horror, he was standing as though he was a deer in the head lights, and Mary hated herself in that moment. Then she began to hate Marshall, he would never deny her anything but was it because he loved her or was it just easier? Mary turned on her heel and bolted. Marshall didn't follow.

Marshall felt himself being taken over by the white hot passion that was Mary. He had been the one to lean forward, the one who slowly began to initiate his dreams. Mary had been laughing at the prospect of them being in love, and he couldn't leave having her think that. He would never see her again, yes they would keep in touch for a while but for how long? He knew she wouldn't be flying down to Cleveland, she couldn't she had work, and besides he would be busy too. Criminals didn't take weekends off, and neither could they. But when Mary had stood up, and flung her hands into his hair he couldn't hold back. The small kiss that he was going to give her in his last ditch attempt to show her how he felt was gone, he could no longer control himself. He could no longer take only a taste of her, he wanted, - no, needed- all of her. He wasn't going to let her go, and his fingers untangled themselves from her belt loops.

He got better purchase by placing his hand on the side of her waist, and squeezed gently before pulling her closer. Despite the fact he knew there was no possible way for them to get closer, he kept trying, he needed her to be closer to him. He wanted her to feel how hard he was pulling, so that she would know he would never stop. Nothing would ever be enough. She tasted like butter and sugar, it was delicious and she moved allowing him more access to her.

In those few precious seconds there was nothing but pure bliss. It would have been fitting for a chorus of angels to be signing in the background or some miracle to take place around them. They wouldn't have noticed, even if an elephant stampede came through the house. Their thoughts only held the perfect-ness of the moment in them, trying to commit it to memory, so that even in their old age's they would never forget this moment of ecstasy. But the moment came when both needed to breathe, and they had to part.

Their moment of bliss gone, everything went tense. Marshall had felt her tense up right before the kiss broke, it was his cue. He knew the inevitable would be coming, and there was nothing he could do to fix it, there was just no way that Marshall could. So the stand off started Marshall waiting for her to run and Mary waiting for the secret signal that would tell her to run. Their heavy breath was all that was heard before the proverbial shot gun went off, and Mary took off. Marshall let her go, watching out the open door as she ran down the drive way into her metal death trap which started almost instantly as though sensing Mary's need to run, and watched her peel down the street before he moved. Slowly walking into the kitchen, he grabbed himself a beer out of the fridge. He took a sip, before his knees gave out certain now that she was really gone. He lay on the floor in a heap, Marshall had seen her face full of disgust and anger.

For his one moment of bliss Marshall was now going to pay for it with years of hatred.

Marshall had let her go. He didn't follow her out to her car, he didn't stop her or shout after her or give any indication that he didn't want her to leave. That meant he didn't like her like that right? It meant he didn't want her, right? Where the hell was the movie cliché? He should've been running after her car screaming his love, or he should've magically known where she was and came confessing his love in an overly public horrendously embarrassing way. Maybe that did only happen in the movies, maybe clichés were only that, clichés. They came with no promises or guarantees that it would happen to you, or that you would get your happily ever after. Mary should've known better not to be waiting around for some guy. She knew fairy tales didn't happen, that happily ever after was only a myth, something never truly proven. But why had she been so ready to believe now, was it because she believed in Marshall?

Mary glared at her beer bottle, it was her third in the short half an hour since she'd left Marshall's place finding the first bar she drove by welcoming, and with plenty of booze in stock unlike her home which she couldn't go to. It would be too empty, Raph would still be there, and she couldn't go back to Marshall's. Mary had single-handedly destroyed both of her places of refuge in a little less than an hour. It had to be some type of record right? No one else had screwed up their life worse in less time, it just couldn't be. If someone did, Mary wanted to meet them, maybe they could compare notes.

Sighing, Mary shook her head before downing the rest of her beer, staring at the shot she had ordered. She looked at it. Why not? If she was going to hell, she might as well do it properly. She downed the shot, and called the waitress over. She was going to let everything go tonight. Raph would be gone, Marshall would be gone. Mary could survive this. She didn't need any man. Come tomorrow morning, Mary would pick herself up, brush herself off, and start life anew.

But why, in the pit of her stomach, did Mary feel like there was no life to start anew?

Mary's eyes bore into the glass, as if it would magically make everything better. But that's what alcohol was supposed to do right? It was the reason why her mother and millions of others drank, it made it better right? It made everything fantastic, it took you to a buzzing glazed over fantasy land, and you left every doubt and problem back in the real world. Beer became your best friend, and to prove how good of a friend it really was, it gave you these goggles that let you see everything as pure magic, Mary was certain that unicorns and leprechauns were supposed to come singing about sunshine and happiness, or something like that. But like she had done with everyone else, Mary must have pushed beer away because it did not help her. It didn't come offering her warm feelings and goggles, it didn't allow her to avoid her problems, or to push them aside in a foggy bliss. It didn't do anything besides give her a minor headache, and heart ache. Yep, the beer is making your heart hurt.

Mary's eyes narrowed, she could imagine the voice in her head rolling it's eyes at her. This wasn't good if she beginning to envision Marshall instead of just hearing a similar sounding, just as annoying voice that acted as her conscious. Mary sighed slumping down in her chair. Mary had downed as much alcohol as she could afford, before slowing down to savor the last few precious bottles sitting on the table awaiting Mary. She became angry that the beer didn't make her feel better, but just let everything cut in clearer despite her buzz. She was upset, and aggravated, and she had believed for a few brief seconds that Marshall had loved her, and then she'd realized she made the biggest mistake of her life. Oh yeah, Because he was really complaining, huh Mare!

Mary ignored her subconscious. Even if Marshall was in love with her, even if he'd been harboring this lover for her like Raph said, didn't Raph say you loved him?, it wouldn't matter because Marshall really was leaving her like everyone else had. He did offer to stay with you. Mary glared at her little voice, gaining weird stares from the other patrons, even if Marshall had stayed he would have left her eventually, he would. It was fate, Mary pushed everyone away. Eventually everyone would leave her, so it was better if she did so first, Marshall would get tired of her and her attitude, and he would find someone better and he'd fall in love with her, and then Mary would have to watch him go, and it would kill her.

Mary ignored she even thought about that last part, Mary was going to be just fine. Marshall was leaving her now, it didn't matter. Mary would survive, wasn't that the whole reason Mary was here. She was celebrating her survival, not drowning her sorrows. Nooo, of course not. Mary downed the rest of her beer.

"Going for the world record?" Mary fixed a steady gaze on Bobby D as he sat down. He looked too smug, too confident like he always was giving off his law strut, even if he didn't notice it. Bobby D reminded her of an older brother finding his little sister drinking when she was underage, and sitting down to give her one of those talks. Mary's face soured at just the thought.

"Yeah," Mary said, without any slur. Mary knew she wasn't trashed, but it seemed like she was losing her buzz and that was bad. If Mary didn't have that little buzz in her skull she didn't know if she could keep the anger. Mary needed the anger, she needed it so she could lock all her other emotions away, she wouldn't deal with those now. She hadn't been looking at some of those emotions for a while, but one thing she couldn't block was the voice. It wriggled through all her chains, and took her anger head on, just like the real Marshall would. What are you so angry about? It asked in its tormenting way, and Mary wanted to say something but she couldn't remember why she was angry. Did her anger come from the fact Raph had tricked her into thinking Marshall was in love with her, or the fact Marshall wasn't.

Once again, Mare, you seem to be confusing things. He said you loved Marshall, not that Marshall loved you. Mary sighed, and she knew the second after she had done it, that it was a bad idea. Bobby leaned forward, and looked intently at her. Mary knew she was going to end up talking about tonight, she had to keep at least one relationship going, and besides all Bobby had to do was order her a few more beers, and she would probably tell him the whole story start to finish. But Mary didn't want to admit that it was just a crazy idea. Marshall being in love with her, was something she must have invented, because obviously as the voice had pointed out Raph thought Mary was in love with Marshall, but she ignored that the second it popped into her head. If she looked any deeper than that she would fall apart. Deeper like if you were the one who was in love with him, and his rejection hurt you, right Mare?

"You want to start it off or should I just interrogate it out of you?" Bobby D joked. He wasn't stupid, he didn't think he would get anything out of Mary that she didn't want to share. He had tried to pry information out of her before and it never went well. Bobby watched as Mary thunk'd her head down onto the table before staring up at him. He felt like she was checking him out, double checking something before she went on. It unnerved him and he had to work hard to suppress a shudder.

"We're friends, right Bobby?"

"Sure, you could consider us friends." Bobby said slight unsure of what was going on. Mary seemed to accept his answer, she nodded before opening another beer bottle. Bobby looked around secretly for Marshall, there was far too much alcohol here for Mary just to have been drinking. Still, with the obvious inner turmoil Mary might have sent him on a while goose chase to get some alone time, or he could just be in the bathroom. Maybe Bobby was looking for warning signs in coincidences, but as he'd stated before he didn't like coincidences.

"Well, glad I still got one."

"Congratulations, you two finally get together then? Where is he?" Bobby asked. Later Bobby would regret this, yet enjoy it at the same time. Still, he didn't know why his mind jumped to this point instantly, but it seemed logical. If Mary only had one friend…

"What?!" Mary half screamed, looking not only paranoid but outraged at the same time. Bobby paused taking a sip of his beer before responding to Mary. He had just made a very big mistake, and unleashed whatever pent up rage Mary had on to himself, and no where in sight was the one man Bobby had ever seen survive or stop Hurricane Mary.

"I just assumed that you and Marshall fin-"

"Why?" Mary asked, and Bobby was taken back. "It's not like he's in love with me or anything." Mary said with more flair than she needed to. It was almost like she was trying to make it into a joke, trying to make it into something that would end up broken and wrong and not at all what Bobby thought would happen. Bobby sat back in his chair, eye brow raised. How could Mary not see why. It should be as clear as day, hell clearer than day it should be as clear as cellophane. Bobby didn't understand what was going on but he did understand one thing. Maybe it was the alcohol in his system that was making him stupid, or maybe it was his annoyance at watching them flounder for the past two years he'd seen them and God only knows how much longer before he met the two but he didn't think about the wording of the next question into consideration at all.

"What did you do!" Bobby asked, Mary looked taken aback and he was sure she would pull out her gun right then and there and shoot him, but she didn't. She yelled her next answer at him, without being hurt by the obvious hit to her soft spot. Bobby accounted that to the alcohol. He could see a few empty shot glasses and several empty bottles still not cleared away.

"Why is it me? Why do you assume it was something that I did!"

"Because there was no way Marshall rejected you, not after what happened." Bobby said, making Mary look down. "Surprised they didn't transfer him right then and there."

Mary's head jerked up at Bobby's words. What had happened? Mary knew there was a reason for the quick transfer, but now she was curious. They're forcing me to go. I don't want to leave you. Marshall's voice popped into her head, his pleading desperate words, and that brought her back to the kiss. One hand ventured up to touch her lips, before she realized what she'd done. Mary moved her hand, and Bobby stayed silent finally some sense kicking in. Bobby had said something about transferring Marshall after something that happened, but in the past six months Marshall hadn't done anything that could get him transferred, hell he was stricter on her not allowing her to get away with so many things. Mary bit her lip, damn. Well, she had said if she was going to hell, might as well.

"After what happened?" Mary asked, looking directly at Bobby. She could see the shock in his face and even hear it when he asked, "They didn't tell you?" Mary shook her head 'no'. He mumbled something about inter office politics, and then something about blood sucking something or another before he looked at her again.

"No one told you?" Bobby asked again, out of total surprise. He was sure that someone in the office would have told her, but maybe Marshall got them to be quiet. Still, Bobby couldn't believe she didn't know, and he stared at her hard as she once again stated she didn't know. Sorry Marshall, he thought to himself, but someone has to tell this woman or else all you work is for nothing.

"Six months ago, you got shot. You remember that?" Mary nodded, so Bobby continued on. "Well, then you know how at first they had you unconscious preparing for surgery. Every second Marshall could be at the hospital he was until we go a lead on who shot you. To make a long boring drive short, we found the suspect holed up in an abandoned building, we went in and apprehend the suspect. We cornered him, and I called it in all ready to take him back when he bolts. Somehow he had gotten out of his hand cuffs and took off, Marshall on his heels. I lost them both. Everyone went out looking for them, a big man hunt. Marshall went off the grid, couldn't get a hold of him or track his phone."

"Wait, if you couldn't track his phone then that means…"

"Yeah, he took out the battery. He shows up two hours later, and the suspect is just a mess Mary." Bobby looked into her eyes. "Marshall's face was completely calm, he looked like it was just another run of the mill case, but the suspect. He had bruises covering his face, and arms. He was bleeding from his nose, and his hand was so damaged I don't think it will ever function correctly again."

"Marshall is something though," Bobby chuckled, "the suspect wouldn't say what happened, never indicated Marshall at all."

Mary sat back taking in all the information. Marshall had really done that? She could see it, he was one bad ass lawman when he needed to be but for her? No, Mary couldn't even doubt that. She knew he had forged sleep while she was kidnapped running every lead, trying everything he could so he could get there. So when Mary looked up and saw him coming down the stairs and see the relief on her face she was so happy. She was so glad Marshall was the first person she saw, and then he hugged her. He pulled her in and breathed in what Mary could guess was the first time since they'd gotten news she was gone.

"So, you see…" Bobby stated after a few moments, and the clouds in Mary's eyes had settled, "there is no way Marshall put his career, hell his namesake, on the line for someone he wasn't in love with."

Images began to assault Mary. Flashes of smiles of his or when she caught him staring. How he was there for her no matter what the problem was, or how much of an inconvenience it was for him, or how much pain it caused him. She could see him in the dinner, trying to be calm and steady, reassuring her, not showing the pain so she wouldn't feel guilty, he was telling her everything was going to be okay, when he wasn't sure and he was the one who would be going. He told her he'd live, just for her, even though he knew it wouldn't be with her. He told her he wasn't a hero, but he was. He really was Mary's hero.

He was there hunting down anyone who ever hurt her, Mary could see his stony angry face, had that look turned on her once before and knew he'd go through with anything. Hell, he did go through with it. Mary knew that the Department of Justice couldn't pin anything on Marshall if the guy wouldn't talk, they could only get him for going off grid, and with Marshall's pristine record, he'd only get a little wrist slap. That's probably why it had taken so long to make him transfer, they had to do it the hard way. Mary could feel tears behind her eyes. Marshall would do anything for her, she could see his face coming down the steps to that basement, see the relief on his face. She felt his warm comforting hug, and she tried to place when she felt like that since then and came up with nothing.

She could hear his toast in her head, something she didn't even know she could recall. Best friend I ever had or could had. It made her heart flutter. A girl whom no man would be good enough. She smiled to herself, he was the perfect Mann for her. I love you. It had been his confession, one that he probably didn't know he was going to make. His love was probably something he'd never realized before then, or it was a desperate attempt, but what Mary could picture the clearest was the flash of pain shooting through his cobalt eyes. It made her heart wrench that she was the cause of his pain. I wish you nothing but a lifetime of happiness. Even if it was wishing her happiness with someone else, even if he could never be apart of that happiness. She felt every word, and she felt like she could say it back to him, though not that sappy or in those exact words but she had come to a conclusion now.

She was certain, there was no way around it, no matter how much she might want it too, but for some reason Mary didn't feel the need to run. It was like something that had always been around but she'd never knew the exact name. Like the plastic things on the ends of shoe laces, something you had for years without ever knowing what they were. Aglets. Her Marshall voice provided her and she smiled, it was a comforting thought that he was hers. Or would be, if she hadn't ruined everything by running out of the house. She hadn't called him back even though he'd called her a couple of times, and it was oh, almost two. She grimaced, she had a few hours to sober up. Not to mention the fact, she had no idea when his flight was or where, only that it was early the next morning, or today. Should she even try? It was pointless right. She looked to Bobby.

"I think I'm in love with him, Bobby."

"So what are you waiting for?" Mary looked up at Bobby, she kept wondering how it seemed so obvious what she should do to everyone but her. Was it so easy? Marshall was moving a thousand miles away, in a few hours. Could she really have this work? Really be so selfish as to have him stay? Could she even convince him to stay, but the Mary realized Bobby didn't know.

"He's moving to Cleveland tomorrow." Bobby didn't even seemed fazed by the idea.

"Well then you really don't have time to be wasting here, do you?"

Marshall wasn't surprised when she wasn't there to ride with him to the airport. He wasn't surprised that she didn't show up at the airport with Stan and Eleanor. He wasn't surprised she didn't call farewell, or show up after Stan and Eleanor left. He wasn't surprised at any of it. In fact he had expected it. After what happened last night he was sure Mary wouldn't be talking to him again. Everything had been perfect, a split second after he pulled away he could still see the pure bliss in Mary's face. It gave him hope, something he shouldn't have allowed. Marshall shouldn't have been so stupid, such a horny school boy.

Marshall frowned at himself, after that split second of bliss reality crashed down. Mary had seen everything that they'd been ignoring, and it scared her. Mary had run, and he watched. He knew that she would run, and even though he knew it wouldn't make any difference, he tried to call her. She wouldn't even pick up her phone. Any chance of staying in touch with her was shot to hell. Marshall ran his hand through his hair, looking down at his ticket.

He couldn't get on the plane. He sat there while they called for boarding for his flight, and sat through last call. He couldn't make himself stand, couldn't find the motivation to move, to get up, to walk the few feet over, or to do anything really. Marshall knew that this would make him late; he knew that his perfect record of timeliness would be spoiled, but without Mary there Marshall had no reason to keep his record perfect, if she wasn't there for him to hold it over her, what good was it? Marshall didn't really care about his record anymore. In a way he was slightly glad he was leaving. He knew that he was head over heels six feet deep in love with Mary. Every day he was with her, he needed her more. The incident six months ago was enough to show him that his unrequited love was bordering on unhealthy, now he was being forced to leave and without Mary to stay behind for he would continue on with his job. He knew the distance was going to slowly rot his heart out, but he could only hope that he'd be able to reverse the damage given time and space since it was apparent now that Mary wanted absolutely nothing to do with him. The look of horror on her face as she ran out of the house was enough for him to know that Mary would be avoiding him, possibly until he gave up trying to contact her which could be years, but the image in his head should be enough for him to get up and get on that plane.

It wasn't. Even after forcing himself to remember Mary's look of pure disgust at him, he still couldn't get his legs to move. Sighing, he shifted in his seat. His plane had left ten minutes ago. He looked over at the counter. He focused on the counter, forcing himself to get out of the strange depressed funk he found himself in. The counter was his goal, he was going to get up, get his ticket changed, and still make it to Cleveland before he was expected to show up at the office there. Now, he wouldn't have the extra time he'd given himself to check out his apartment there or the area but at least he wouldn't be late.

Marshall wasn't surprised when he still hadn't moved after another five minutes, but he was surprised when a blur of a person ran by his right heading in a mad dash straight for the counter. He was even more surprised when that person turned out to be Mary. She was out of breath in what looked like the same clothes as last night; she was talking rapidly to the lady at the counter which turned into yelling. Marshall found he was on his feet before he knew it. It only took a few steps of his long legs to arrive behind Mary; she was waving her badge around yelling.

"You can tell me, see U.S. Marshal. Does the badge mean nothing to you?!" Mary spit at the woman behind the counter, and she scrambled around typing fervently on the computer. All Mary wanted to know was if a Marshall Mann was on the plane. How hard could it be? The girl was an idiot first spouting off something about confidentiality, but Mary had got around that just like she had gotten around the tight airport security, she flashed her badge. She could hear Marshall in her head, Way to abuse your authority Mare, then he would sprout some type of statistics on how corruption was easily spread, or something. But right now Mary didn't care, she had to find Marshall and she had to get him to stay, or at least tell him how she felt or tell him anything to make the pain in her heart go away and for her stomach to stop flipping around. It was all Bobby's fault she was like this. He had to go and tell her that heart warming story, and make her feel all those stupid 'warm and fuzzy' feelings and turned her into a stupid giggling schoolgirl. Her hand was itching towards her gun in irritation, she already wrote 'Shoot Bobby D' on her pad. Now, Now Mare. Don't leave a paper trail.

"Come On!" Mary snapped at the girl, who was probably calling security by the way Mary was hovering over her loaded weapon. Mary's eyes narrowed at the frightened blonde. The blonde seemed to be calling for help with her eyes to anyone, it seemed like she found someone behind Mary. Mary however was not going to be intimidated, but whatever silent conversation had been going on ended and the girl mumbled something about getting a manger before running off. Mary sighed, and hunched over the desk eyeing the computer. It couldn't be too hard to search up if he'd gotten on the plane. Obviously if that nervous little twit could do it, Mary could find it too. It couldn't be too difficult…right? Don't even th-

"-ink about it, Mare." Mary froze. She would have sworn that he was there, but he couldn't be. Marshall was never late. Well, never because of him, if he was late it was waiting for her to get ready or she held him up making him late, but Marshall was never late otherwise; so it couldn't be him behind her, but she was positive that she heard what she just heard out loud. It came from behind her, not inside her head. Did she dare turn around and find out she was going crazy or did she ignore it and pretend like she never heard it? Crazy was crazy right? Did it matter if she confirmed it or if she denied it?

Mary decided if she was going crazy, she wanted to know. She turned to see him standing there, just as she imagined he would be, arms crossed, eyes narrowed, giving her his patented parent look. She smiled at him.

"I could do it, I wouldn't get caught. Besides," She waved her badge at him, "I got this handy dandy no trouble button right here." How easily they fell back into their banter, how easy it was with him. It seemed like since her conversation with Bobby that she couldn't stop noticing how 'wonderfully' they fit together. Her jaw slightly clenched at that thought, she really had to get Bobby's words out of her head and find something better. Marshall half smiled back, and gestured towards his seat. Mary could see his bag, and ticket sitting on it. Her eye brow popped up on its own accord and she responded before she knew what she was saying.

"You missed your flight?" Mary asked. She could see his posture defeat a little. Marshall now understood that it was nothing important, she wasn't running here to catch him, or because of some emergency. It was Mary, Mary was late to some things. He was a little relieved, Mary showing up meant that she didn't hate him but the running away meant that she wasn't in love with him either. He wanted to sigh but refrained, Mary was here and before his own self-imposed exile he might as well enjoy his last few minutes with Mary.

"I mean you would never miss your flight, hell anything. You're not late, for anything, if I didn't cause it!" Marshall wanted to cringe, he was never late. It wasn't in his character, while Mary valued being punctual she didn't live by it. If it had to do with her job, Mary was never late but anything else Mary wasn't late either, everyone else was just early.

"Who says you aren't the reason I missed my flight?" Marshall replied, not looking at Mary but rather at his chair. The blue pattern had become increasing interesting, as Mary's silence stretched on.

"Why?" Mary said in such a low whisper Marshall whipped his head up, he wasn't sure what he was hearing.


"Why would I be the reason?"

Marshall watched her. She was pacing, and her head was down. She wasn't meeting his eyes. She seemed anxious and nervous, something that Mary never showed. She looked like she about to be scolded, or laughed at. Her body language practically screamed, 'Oh yeah, I thought it was ridiculous too…', it came with nervous laughter and all. Marshall watched her with trained eyes. Would he be so stupid to try it again? Jesus Marshall, do you like pain or something? Mary's voice rang in his head, she was an intricate part of him. Yes, he would probably end up with a broken heart, and yes he would probably get on the next plane in almost tears, but he had to try again. He wasn't going to give up on Mary. He had been sticking with it for almost four years, he wasn't just going to be a push over now. It wasn't who he was.

"You're the reason I do everything, Mare."

She looked at him in shock, her eyes big. He gave a little half smile, yes he would definitely be getting on that next plane now. He wanted to escape, but he wouldn't let himself. He would see it out, he would watch her run again. He would watch her take down the airport running as though she was on fire or being chased by rabid dogs. Marshall would have his heart split open and he would let everything pour out, then slowly he would take his heart and get on the plane. He could only hope that the distance and time would allow him to mend his heart and that he could find someone else who would fill his heart once again. He couldn't stay in limbo anymore, he couldn't just float along watching Mary anymore. He couldn't be trudged along, it was like instead of ripping open his heart Mary was slowly slicing him up with a pair of dulled scissors, it would take years before she completely broke him and the prolonged effort would allow his heart to slowly heal making it even more difficult when she finally broke him.

Mary wasn't sure she was hearing correctly. Was this another confession, was it hidden behind his words or was it just a joke. What was he trying to say, why the hell did he have to be so cryptic.

"What the hell are you trying to say Marshall?" Mary shouted, annoyed and frustrated. Marshall's breath almost stopped, what was he trying to say indeed. Did he have the nerve to come right out and say it? Mary didn't have the patience for this game he was playing, it was his turn to look like a deer caught in the head lights. His mouth floundered, and Mary felt her eyes being drawn to his lips. She unconsciously licked her lips remember the pure pleasure that he had given her with one simple kiss. She found herself transfixed, screw it. If he didn't like it, he sure as hell didn't have to respond. Marshall was a big boy, he could tie his shoes and everything.

Marshall was still floundering over what to tell Mary, he had never expected her to be so straight forward even though that was how Mary worked. Marshall was distracted, and didn't notice the quick steps Mary had taken over to him or see her hand dart out and lock itself onto the front of his shirt. So it was a surprise when he felt himself begin to lean forward, but he was more surprised when upon opening his mouth a butter sugar taste entered his. He knew this taste, and it didn't take long before he pulled her into him reeling in the pleasure that he gained from her kiss. His hands traveled up around her shoulders so when Mary pulled away she wasn't going anywhere, both stared at each other.

"Did you get what I was saying there?" Marshall asked smug. Mary's eyes narrowed at him, before she pulled his head back down to touch her lips again. The two shared another kiss, it was pure simple and slower. And then another kiss, and another. Neither one wanting to break away, Mary could suffocate for all she cared. She just wanted to stay in his arms, and feel his warmth until she died, even though she would never admit it out loud. But it didn't take long before the rain cloud came over Mary's head. She pushed away and stared into Marshall's blue depths. How could she tell him not to go? He had offered before, but still it was good for him. Mary knew that even at their office, Marshall would've become the Chief Inspector in a few years, but still in the bigger branch in Cleveland he would be able to move up in rank quicker, and maybe even higher than Chief Inspector. Could she really ask him to leave it all behind? Her inner turmoil passed through her eyes.

"Just say it, Mare. Tell me not to, and I won't."

"But, how… I can't expect you to just drop everything!"

"I will, though. I will do anything you ask of me."


"Because I… I'm in love with you."

"Then don't go."

Marshall smiled, it was what he'd been waiting for her to say since that morning. Since Stan had told Marshall to pack up, that he was going to be in Cleveland by tonight, and that there was no if, ands, or buts about it. It was move or leave WITSEC. Marshall was pretty sure Mary didn't know about the second part, but Marshall would do so. Yes, it was his namesake and yes it was his life but for Mary… Marshall was pretty sure he could walk away and still be happy. He would still work in law enforcement, he would still be connected and though Mary wouldn't be his partner at work, Marshall was fairly certain Mary would be his partner in other ways.

He leaned down capturing Mary's lips, something that would happen that night over and over and over again. Marshall would never get on a plane that day, or the next or the next or the next. He wouldn't change it for anything in the world though.

Hello all, this is my first In Plain Sight fan fiction, so I apologize if anyone is OOC. I'm sorry about Bobby D, he's one of my favorite characters, but I don't think I wrote him well. Any tips or comments?

I'd love any feed back you have. Also, if I should leave it here or if I should write a closing for the story. What do you think? Thanks.

EDIT: Thanks for all the help, sorry about the many mistakes.=] I've fixed the ones I've found, and you guys pointed out.

1: Vintage Lighter Cufflinks can be found on line at 'The Prop Shop'.