Disclaimer: I don't own. The end.
A/N: I am so excited! Raph broke up with Mary! I really didn't think it would happen, but it did. So, now, how does Mary feel about this? This is my idea of how she feels. Oh, and let's say she still hasn't been wearing her ring at work. Anyway, enjoy!
There was something going on with her. No doubt about it, there was something off here. Marshall couldn't tell exactly what it was yet, but Mary pushing the pie around on her plate instead of eating it was a definite indicator.
"Mare, what's wrong?" Marshall asked. He frowned when she made no move to look up at him or answer. "Mare?" She still didn't move.
Marshall decided he would have to resort to drastic measures. He reached over and put his hand on top of her left hand, resting on the tabletop and called, "Mary!"
She gasped and pulled her hand away while her eyes flew up to his, "What are you trying to do? Give me a heart attack? What is your problem, Doofus?"
"I called your name twice," Marshall told her.
Mary's eyes slid back down to her plate. "Oh, I didn't hear you."
Marshall rolled his eyes. "I realized that." He tapped the table in front of her pie plate with his finger. "Hey, look at me." When she looked up at him he continued, "What's wrong?"
"What makes you think something's wrong?" Mary asked, her eyes dropping back down to her plate again.
Marshall frowned at the loss of her emerald orbs. "Well, first of all, you're pushing your pie around on your plate trying to give the illusion that you are eating it, which doesn't work." Marshall wanted to give her a fact about when that started, but finding out what was wrong with her was more important right now. "And two, you just dropped your eyes when I specifically asked you to look at me."
Mary brought her eyes to connect with his again and her face took on a sheepish look.
"Now, I know nothing's wrong with any of our witnesses, so is something wrong at home? Is it something with Brandi or Jinx?" Marshall asked her.
"No," Mary assured him. "Brandi…well, Brandi is missing, but Jinx got a job teaching at a dance studio. She is even talking about moving out of my house."
"Mare, that's fantastic!" Marshall said. "So, you're not eating because Brandi's missing?"
"No, Peter said he thinks she's fine, and I trust him," Mary told Marshall. "I'm not eating because last night I realized that I suck!"
"Excuse me!" Marshall exclaimed. "You what?"
Mary rolled her eyes. "You heard me. I suck!"
Normally Marshall would have come back with a witty comment or a funny quip, but he could tell this was a serious problem, so he responded semi-seriously. "What brought you to this happy conclusion?"
Mary sighed. "Raph dumped me last night."
"Raph…What happened!" Marshall cried. He didn't like the whole engagement from the beginning, but if anyone were to break it off, he would have thought it would be Mary.
Mary shrugged. "He said I didn't love him. When I told him that I did, he said I didn't love him enough. He then told me that if he was wrong I should stop him before he got to the door. As much as I wanted to stop him, I knew I couldn't. My conscious mind kept telling me to say something, but my subconscious knew that I suck, kept telling me how right Raph was."
Marshall shook his head. "You don't suck. And I'm sorry."
Mary gave a half-smile. "Don't lie. You aren't sorry. You've been against this since before it started."
"I wasn't against it," Marshall hedged. "I just…didn't think he could make you happy. But no matter how I felt about it, I never want to see you hurt."
"I'm not hurt!" Mary defended. "I just figured out I suck, that's all."
"You do not suck!" Marshall insisted.
"Oh no?" Mary asked. "Well, if that was the case, then every man I ever dated wouldn't leave me. Brandi wouldn't be missing; Jinx wouldn't be talking about leaving-"
"Brandi and Jinx didn't leave because you suck," Marshall interrupted. "Besides, when has Brandi and Jinx leaving you ever been a problem? And before you even start with your father, he didn't leave you because he thought you sucked!"
"Don't you see, Marshall," Mary whispered her eyes back on her plate. "That's the biggest indicator of all. He had to go and get him another family and another daughter, one to replace me."
If Marshall didn't know Mary so well, he would have sworn she was crying. Because he did know Mary so well, he knew he couldn't push her anymore right now. He also knew that she wouldn't talk anymore until she was ready. There was nothing he could say to make this any better either, so he just sat quietly, finishing up his pie.
After Mary had composed herself she directed a question to him, "Can we leave now? Are you done?"
"No, I am not done," Marshall corrected. "Done is a word that is used for pies, chickens, casseroles and things that are put in the oven to cook for a set amount of time. Since I was not cooking in the oven eating my pie, I am not done. Finished would be the correct word."
"See, I didn't even know that!" Mary said. "That proves I suck."
Marshall rolled his eyes. "Since when does imparting a piece of information you don't know constitute you sucking?"
Mary couldn't help it…if the joke worked. "If it gets you to stop spouting off your trivia, every time."
Marshall shook his head. "Nice try."
"Are you finished," Mary stressed. "Can we go now?"
Marshall closed his eyes and took a deep breath, "Yes, we can leave now. If you promise to at least wrap up the pie so we can take it with us so you can eat it later. Pie makes everything better."
Mary shrugged her shoulders. "Fine."
Marshall looked at her, uncomfortable because she hadn't kept eye contact with him for more than five seconds. He knew she was more upset about this than she let on. If he knew where Raph was right now, Raph would wish he was never born. Of course, if he did that, Mary would be very angry; she could fight her own battles. He sighed, something had to be done. The only question was: what to do?
"Mare, you know you don't really believe you suck," Marshall said as they got into the car, her pie in hand.
"I do suck," Mary told him. "But it's okay."
The quiet resignation in Mary's voice cut Marshall like a knife through the heart. He knew that beneath her tough as nails exterior she was still the seven-year-old girl waiting at the window for her father to drive up, becoming more and more hurt when he never came.
"Mary," Marshall began.
"Marshall, just stop!" Mary told him. "There is no way you can convince me that this isn't my fault. As much as I don't want it to be, I know that it is. I manage to push away every guy I come into contact with and none of them have enough balls to push back at me."
Marshall just stared at Mary for a few seconds. Was he not a guy? Of course he wasn't, at least not to Mary. He was just her geeky partner. He wished she would start seeing him as something more, after all, he saw her as something more.
"What?" Mary asked, becoming annoyed by his unwavering stare.
"None of them have enough balls to push back at you?" Marshall asked, repeating her last statement.
Mary shook her head, "No! None of them!" She then paused and her facial expression changed while looking at Marshall. "None of them…except you."
Marshall smiled. Finally. They made some progress here. Well, not much, but at least she recognized him as a guy, even if it was only for a second.
"Why are you smiling, idiot?" Mary asked him.
Marshall just shrugged, looked away from her, started the car and began driving back to the office, leaving her question unanswered.
Mary was irritated. It had only been three hours since the pie break she and Marshall had and only three hours since she realized that Marshall was the only man who had stayed with her throughout everything. He was the only one who knew how to handle her and when to handle her. He was the only one who cared enough to push back when she was angry and the only one who knew how to push all her buttons and bring her carefully constructed walls tumbling to the ground.
While she was thinking all this, her mother's words kept returning to her head, "A relationship takes work, Mary." She couldn't help but think that she worked more on this relationship with Marshall than she did with her ex-relationship with Raph. She was sure Marshall worked more on this relationship than he should. That said something about them, Mary just wasn't sure she liked what it said. This was all so complicated.
Marshall looked over at Mary. She had been eerily quiet since their pie expedition this morning. He wondered about the cause of the silence. Normally, he would be able to tell, but Mary had him all screwed up today. He never would have believed she would ever say she sucked as vehemently as she did this morning. Therefore, assuming the reason for her withdrawal seemed to be over his head.
"Mare," Marshall called.
She looked up at him. "Yes?"
"You have been silent for far too long," Marshall informed her.
Mary almost smiled. "I can't believe you need me to talk to keep you entertained. Can't you go on the internet and Google some amazing facts that you don't know yet?"
"I don't need you to talk to me," Marshall clarified. "I was just commenting on your silence."
Mary shrugged. "I'm just thinking."
"That's dangerous," Marshall told her.
"Believe me, I'm finding that out," Mary said.
Marshall shook his head with a pitying look on his face.
"Don't do that," Mary pleaded with Marshall.
"Don't do what?" Marshall asked, really not knowing about what she was speaking.
"Don't pity me," Mary clarified. "I don't want it nor do I need it."
"I'm not pitying you," Marshall said, being completely truthful.
Mary rolled her eyes. "Yes, you are, Doofus. If you weren't, that pitying look wouldn't be on your face."
"I swear, it's not you I'm pitying," Marshall repeated.
"If it's not me, who is it?" Mary questioned.
"It's Raph," Marshall said.
"Raph!" Mary exclaimed. "Why?"
"He's an idiot because he lost you," Marshall said. "You're a one of a kind. I don't understand why relationships never work out for you. The guy that says good-bye to you is…out of his mind."
Mary's eyes widened. "Are you saying what I think you're saying."
Marshall looked at her searchingly. "What do you think I'm saying?"
"I knew it!" Mary shouted. "You cannot just dump that on me right now! I am not ready for this!"
Before she got a chance to storm out of the office Marshall jumped out of his chair and grabbed her wrist. "I am not dumping anything on you. I was telling you that I'm not pitying you. I was telling you how I feel, that is all. I don't expect you to do anything with this information, I just wanted to tell you."
Mary sighed. "Marshall, you should've kept your mouth shut. Are you an idiot?"
Marshall shrugged. "It's been suggested."
…One Year Later…
The TV was flashing images of a movie that they had both seen numerous times. Still, though, laying on his bed, Mary and Marshall watched the movie like it was the first time they had seen it. Well, at least, to the naked eye that's what it looked like they were doing. In reality though, they were both deep in thought.
Marshall couldn't believe he was laying here right now with his arm around Mary's shoulders. When he had told her how he felt in the office so long ago, he really hadn't been thinking. He was able to save himself pretty fast and he never expected it to go anywhere, especially when nothing happened for three months. Then, nine months ago when she told him calmly one day she was ready, he was very confused. She, of course, called him an idiot.
Mary couldn't believe she had come so close to asking him out on a date instead of him asking her. If he hadn't been so dense, she wouldn't have had to spell it out for him. She told him that she was ready and when he was obviously confused she called him an idiot. She then said, "If you were to ask me to go to dinner with you tonight, I would say yes. Also, if you were to say we were going on a date, I would accept that also." Mary remembered giving Eleanor a dirty look after she gave that little declaration, because Eleanor caused a huge scene. She did help them hide it from Stan though, so that was a plus.
Marshall couldn't decide what to do now. He didn't want to scare her. They had been together for six months and Mary wasn't stupid. Therefore, she must suspect something. On the other hand, Mary could suspect it all she wanted and nothing would be wrong, but if she heard it, it was very likely that she would high-tail it to the hills without a second thought. Marshall didn't care though. He was going to do it.
"Mare," Marshall said.
Her eyes fluttered open, having recently started to doze, and she looked at him, waiting.
Marshall took a deep breath and gave his declaration, "I love you."
Mary smiled, pressed a quick kiss to his upper arm and rested her cheek against the spot her lips just vacated. "Yeah, I figured."
Marshall studied her for a minute. He finally concluded that the smile on her face was real and she wasn't scared. He turned his head back to the movie, happy that he had at least told her how he felt. After all, this was Mary, it wasn't like he was expecting to get the same words in return.
Mary continued to look at him with a smile until he resumed watching the movie. She knew what he was looking for and she knew that looking away would just make him nervous. Right now though, she was nervous. She loved Marshall, she really did, she just wasn't sure if she was ready to bring herself to say those words.
She moved her cheek from his shoulder and tried to get his attention, "Marshall."
He looked at her with his eyebrows raised. He was waiting for her to say something.
Mary rolled her lips together and then decided she might as well just say it. "Marshall…I'm pretty sure I love you too."
Marshall's face lit up in a smile and Mary couldn't help but laugh and tease him a bit. "You're smiling like an idiot." She knew why he was smiling, but she couldn't help but make fun of him; it was what they did.
"I'm happy," Marshall revealed to her simply.
Mary smiled and moved her cheek back to its original position against his arm. "Me too."
The smile stayed on Marshall's face. All he had ever tried to do was make her happy, he was ecstatic to know that he had finally accomplished that. "I'm glad."
Mary moved her head again so she could look into his eyes. "Me too."
Blue eyes met emerald and both were filled with love and tinted with a hint of desire. They brought their lips together slowly and the movie was forgotten. Everything slowly faded away until their world consisted of only each other and the declarations of love they continued to share well into the night.
That's it! Did you like it? Yes? Review and tell me! No? Review and tell me! Thanks!