Title: Just 'Cause You're Raising the Bet
Spoilers: For the first two seasons.
Disclaimer: I own nothing! The title is from the Bloc Party's cover of Call the Shots by Girls Aloud. (What? It's cool when the lads sing it!)
Summary: Five times Mary kinda, sort of, almost jumped her partner (and the one time he jumped her).
A/N: For mary_marshall's March Month of Mayhem. I completely forgot to post this over here. I hope you enjoy!
Mary stares at her reflection and turns on the faucet in the motel bathroom. She holds her hands under the cold water and breathes in.
It's been a particularly crappy day. A standard transport had dissolved into a car chase and brief gun fight. Their witness was safe, but the guy she shot in the leg when he opened fire on her partner is still in surgery.
Her partner. Marshall. They've been paired up for about three weeks and while she wasn't sure he was going to last, he was certainly capable of holding his own. He'd managed to shove their witness under some cover and took out a guy aiming for Mary.
Yeah, a particularly crappy day.
Her hands are still shaking a little, but you can't see it under the running water.
There's a knock at the door adjoining her and Marshall's rooms.
"Yeah. Just a minute!" she calls out as she turned off the faucet. Mary looks at her reflection for a second longer and drying her hands on her jeans, walks over to the door.
She opens the door and Marshall gives her a half smile and she thinks, 'Why the hell not? It's not like he's going to last the month.'
So, Mary grabs the front of his pants and pulls him into her. He lets out a little surprised noise as she mouths at his neck and starts to undo his belt.
"Uh, wait. Shannon, hold on," he says. "Wait a sec."
"Christ," Mary says jerking at his waist. "Do I have to spell this out for you?"
"Yes, please," he says. "If you wouldn't mind."
Mary pulls back and looks him in the eyes. "I'm stressed and I would like to have sex. Now."
"With me?" he asks his voice cracking on the 'e'.
Mary hesitates and then shrugs. "Yeah. Why not?"
"Because your hands are shaking, you had to shoot a guy earlier, I had to shoot a guy earlier, you haven't had anything to eat in thirteen hours, you hesitated before you said 'yeah' and I don't sleep with my partners."
Her hands still on his waist and Mary stares at the thrumming pulse in his neck.
"Oh, crap," she says.
"No, pie," Marshall says.
Mary drops her hands and looks at him. "What?"
"Pie. That's what you need," he says.
"Really? I need pie?" she asks. "You sure?"
"Positive," he says. "Come with me down the road to the Village Inn and see if after two slices of pie you still feel, uh, well..."
"Horny?" Mary says.
He winces a little and Mary makes a mental note to make him make that face more often, because it is just that precious.
"Yes, that," he says. "Well?"
Mary takes a step back out his personal space and looks him up and down. She feels a little sheepish when she notices his undone belt and the heightened color in his cheeks.
"Pie," she says.
"Pie," he says with a nod.
"Okay, fine," she says throwing up her hands. "But, if they don't have lemon meringue, heads will roll."
It's the Christmas party and Mary is only down in HR for the free booze and cookies.
She sucking on a candy cane and sipping some suspicious eggnog when Marshall sort of materializes at her side.
"If you see Anita from Accounting," he says in a harsh whisper. "You have no idea where I am."
"Awww, snookums," Mary says. "Is wittle Marshall afwaid of the wittle bwonde lady?"
"You'd be afraid too if you were being chased all over by a sweater-set wearing femme fatale," he says. "Don't let the pastels fool you, she's vicious."
"I'll protect you," she says. "Just grab me a couple of snickerdoodles and I'll totally be the Kevin Costner to your Whitney."
Marshall freezes and makes a face. "And there is a mental image I never wanted. Thanks."
Mary grins and watches her partner of a year saunter off to get her cookies. She's feeling pretty mellow and is beginning to wonder just what Stan put in the eggnog.
"Cinnamon-flavored cookie for the badass Marshal," he says when he gets back with a plateful of cupcakes, cookies and Hershey kisses.
"Thank you, kindly," she says and takes a huge bite. "Jesus. I swear, Margie adds more and more sugar every year to these and if I wasn't so sure of my sexuality, I'd propose to that woman."
"I think her husband might take issue with that," Marshall says.
"I'm sure I could talk him 'round," Mary says finishing off her cookie.
She goes to steal a cookie off Marshall's plate when he says, "Hold it. Wait a sec."
"You've got an eyelash," he says. He hands her the plate of cookies and says, "Hold on."
Mary stands there frozen as Marshall delicately presses his index finger to her cheek, right below her eye and then moves his hand away. There is a small lash on the tip of his finger and Mary feels her throat go dry.
"Blow," he says.
"Excuse me?" she asks.
"Blow it and you get a wish, dummy," he says rolling his eyes.
"'M not a dummy," she mutters. She blows a breath at his finger and says, "I wish for a faster metabolism so I can eat all of this without having to go to the gym."
"You're not supposed to say your wish out loud," he says taking the plate back and choosing a chocolate cupcake.
Mary rolls her eyes, takes a red Hershey's kiss and says, "It's not like it's going to come true, either, doofus."
"Well, you never know," he says gazing off into the distance. "Many a wish made on an eyelash has seen the light of day."
"I don't need an eyelash to make things happen," she says popping the chocolate in her mouth.
"True," he says. "If anyone on the planet could just make things happen by sure will alone, it'd be you."
Mary looks at Marshall and the expression on his face is so open, so trusting and so filled with...something. What if she just leaned in a little and...
"Oh, crap," he says his eyes widening. "It's Anita. She found me!"
"Quick, out the back," Mary says. "I'll cover you."
Marshall winks at her, grabs an oatmeal raisin cookie and disappears.
There was a night in the middle of football season in which Mary just had to prove that she could drink everyone under the table. As a result, Mary only has a fuzzy recollection of sitting on Marshall's lap and whispering something in his ear.
He's never told her exactly what she said, but for weeks afterwards, anytime someone mentioned handcuffs, he'd blush.
When she started pressing her mouth all over Marshall's face in the horse stall, the only thing Mary was truly thinking was how was she going to get Treena out of this mess alive. It was all about survival.
That's totally what she was thinking.
When his hands clutched at her face and he made a move to kiss her back, it was shock and disbelief that made her jerk away. Not that panicky feeling she got in her stomach when she was about to feel more than she's supposed to for her partner. It wasn't an urge to kiss him back and sink into a bale of hay and just. let. go.
Shock and disbelief.
Raph has been gone for a week.
Mary has made the most of this by working. A lot. And not thinking about how she really managed to screw up the longest relationship in her life by not loving her fiancé enough.
Ladies and gentlemen, introducing the woman who cannot love. No. Wait. Cannot love enough.
At least that's what he said when he walked out. Now, Brandi isn't talking to her, Jinx is trying to be supportive but is really only managing judgemental. Mary's pretty sure Raph's family has put a curse on her and the fella in question came to pick up his stuff while she was at work, so...
The only person who hasn't said anything one way or the other has, of course, been Marshall. He just handed her a cruller and has taken her to all her favourite greasy spoons for lunch all week.
So, she is currently doing paperwork, because paperwork is far less painful than going home, and ignoring Marshall's glances in her direction. Because, even after all these years, he won't leave until she does.
This little fact hits her right between the eyes and she actually has to sit back in her chair.
Mary looks over at him and studies the lines of his face, the angle of his cheekbones and the color of his eyes.
The color of his...? Oh, he's looking at her.
"Mer, what's wrong?" he asks.
Mary smiles crookedly. "Everything?"
Marshall just shakes his head. "Not everything. And it's not always going to feel this bad."
"That's kind of the thing," Mary says. "I'm feeling bad about not feeling worse."
"Ah," he says. He pauses for a moment and then he turns a little in his chair and with a push, he starts to roll towards her desk. She's inadvertently smirking by the time he rolls to her side. He meets her eyes and says, "You did nothing wrong, Mary. You have done nothing wrong."
"I led Raph on," she says. "I was that girl. That girl who teases and breaks a guy's heart and, damn it, Marshall. I never wanted to be that girl."
Marshall actually doesn't have much to say at this point and it occurs to Mary that Raph is not the only one who's had his heart broken in the last few months by her.
"Oh, Christ, Marshall," she says. "How can you stand to be around me?"
"You're kidding, right?" he asks. "The question is 'how can I not be around you?'"
They stare at each other for a few minutes, the hum of their computers the only sound in the room. Mary makes the slightest of movements towards him and he just gives her the tiniest shake of his head.
"I am always going to want you," he says quietly. "Don't do something now that could be construed as an act of pity or rebellion. This won't be a rebound thing. It can't be. Not for me or for you. It'll be natural and in its own time."
Mary finds herself smiling and says, "You really have all the answers."
"No, I just know that you like pecan pie on Wednesdays and French fries on Thursdays and have never, ever wanted a big wedding," he says.
She grins and says, "Then I suppose you know what today is?"
Marshall nods seriously. "Tuesday. Cherry slushies from the 7-11. But, I am not chugging one this time. I refuse to sit in pain as my brain freezes and let you cackle at me."
"Oh, but it's Tuesday! I have to get my cackle on!" Mary pleads. "Please?"
"Fine," Marshall says. "But I want a Coke slushie, no cherry."
Mary stands in her kitchen and contemplates her very empty refrigerator. She sighs. Jinx is gone, back to Jersey to stay with her sister. Lord knows how long she'd stay away this time. In fact, Mary keeps waiting for the door to fly open and her mother appear.
Brandi moved in with Peter two days ago and so far, that actually seemed to be working.
Mary closes the door to her fridge and tilts her head.
She smiles a little. Then she rolls her eyes. She has silence and her house back, but no food whatsoever.
Then someone knocks on the door.
Mary pads over and looks through the peephole. She grins and opens the door. "There had better be something with carbs, sugar and transfats in that or you can just march yourself back to your car."
Marshall simply hands over the white bag and says, "And a lovely morning to you, too, Miss Sunshine."
Mary just waves as she bites into the cinnamon raison bagel already slathered with cream cheese and she walks back towards her kitchen. Marshall shuts the door and follows with the tray of coffees.
She leans against her counter and closes her eyes as she munches happily on her bagel. Her eyes fly open as the smell of coffee suddenly fills her nose. Marshall just smirks as she takes the styrofoam cup he offers her.
Mary swallows. "Thank you."
"You're welcome," Marshall says getting out his own plain bagel. Mary frowns.
"Why is it that you can eat every single different type of pie on earth and yet you always eat plain bagels?" she asks.
"I like the plain ones," he says after taking a bite. "It lets me relish the taste of the cream cheese."
Mary rolls her eyes and takes a sip of her coffee. And then she notices Marshall staring at her with an unreadable expression on his face. "What?"
"It's quiet," he says.
"I know. Jinx is gone and Brandi left yesterday to stay with Peter. Indefinitely," she says. She gives him a crooked smile. "I almost don't know what to do with myself."
Marshall appears to swallow hard and he sets his bagel on the counter and studies his hands. He looks back up at Mary and the look in his eyes makes her catch her breath.
"What? Now?" she asks. "The time is now? This is its time?"
"If you're still okay with that," Marshall says quietly.
Mary's jaw drops. "I'm wearing sweatpants and I haven't washed my hair."
"I'm wearing mismatched socks and plaid boxers," Marshall says. "There's no dress code to this, Mer."
She frowns and then shrugs. "Okay, then."
And suddenly, he's there. In front of her, his hands on the sides of her face kissing her. Without hesitation, her bagel is on the counter and her hands are clenching Marshall's waist as she opens her mouth to him.
He tastes like coffee and cream cheese and her best friend. He makes a sound like a growl and a whimper as she slides her tongue against his. She does it again and finds herself pressed hard up against her refrigerator. She rucks up his shirt and splays her hands on his back. He shivers at the touch of her hands on his bare flesh and proceeds to press his hips against hers.
Mary lets her head fall back and thud against the fridge while Marshall trails his lips down her throat and nips at her collarbone.
"I'm, oh, Jesus, Marshall, I think we should have a dress code," she says hitching her leg up and rocking her hips into his.
"Mmm?" he says as he alternates kissing and sucking on her skin. "Jumpsuits? Tuxedoes? Balloon pants?"
"No, god, right there," she says. She reaches up and pulls slightly at his hair so he could lift his head and meet her eyes. "I want you naked, Marshall."
"Will you be naked, too?" he asks hoarsely.
"Then I am all in favor of this proposed dress code," he says sliding his hands down her sides and brushing lightly against her breasts. "And I suggest forthwith that we adjourn to your bedroom and to commence with the removal of clothing."
"Will you be taking minutes during the removal of says clothing?" Mary asks sneaking a hand down to palm the front of his jeans.
"No," Marshall says over a groan. "I'll be throwing you onto the bed and ravishing you to within an inch of our lives. Does the committee approve?"
"The committee approves," Mary says with a smile. "Commence with the ravishing, cowboy."