Characters/Pairings: Mary/Marshall
Rating: G
Warnings: None
Spoilers: Everything to date
Summary: I'm just cleaning up the mess in my head left by the finale
Notes: This is a WIP. Tell me where you want it to go. We've got all...well, we have time, let's leave it at that. The muses abandoned me for a while before the finale, but they seem to have returned. Let's keep them busy!

DISCLAIMER: I don't own these characters. Never have, never will. I'm unemployed and broke, so don't sue - there's no point. Big love to David Maples for creating characters we love so much.

2 weeks after the finale

Saturday Morning

Marshall woke with a start to the sound of the phone ringing. He reached for the phone, looking for the clock to see what time it was. 5 am. What day was it? And why was Mary calling him at this hour? Wasn't she on vacation?

"Hey, it's me."
"Mary, its 5 am. Aren't you on vacation? Why are you calling me at 5 am while you are on vacation?"
"I'm back. Last night. It was horrible.. I do not know why I let Jinx talk me into this."
"Mary, I reiterate my earlier question – why the 5 am phone call?"
"I just woke up, had this very strange dream."
"And you felt the need to share? I'm honored, truly, but it couldn't have waited for a more normal hour? Particularly since its…what day is it?"
"Saturday, you idiot. You can go back to sleep when we're done."
"Fine. So this dream?" Marshall decided he should be happy she called.
"Here's the weird part – Faber was in it. Calling me kitten and acting all inappropriate."
Marshall hissed as he tensed at the mention of Faber's name. "Well, he likes you, he's made that pretty clear. And inappropriate is sort of his deal, isn't it? So why are you telling me this?" He desperately wanted this conversation to end, so he could go back to sleep. He'd basically bared his soul to her last week and she'd ran away so fast he could practically see the smoke from her shoes.
"The weird part was he was on vacation with me in this dream. I don't know Marshall. It felt wrong."
"Well Freud insisted that dreams are a form of fulfilling suppressed wishes. Maybe you want to go on vacation with Faber?" Marshall hated himself for even saying such a thing aloud.
"Wouldn't it feel right then?" Mary pressed.
"Jeez, Mary, I don't know. I can't postulate on what collection of emotions and subconscious thoughts in your mind is producing a dream that involves him."
"Ok, well...I'm sorry I woke you. I just...I wanted to say hi. I still have a week of vacation time left, and I guess being away from work and all, I just...I'm not used to it. So, hi."
"Hi." He said softly in response.
"I know its early, and I'm sorry. I'll let you go back to sleep."
"I'll call you in a few hours, ok? I'm glad you're back."
"Ok." She hung up the phone.

Marshall put the phone down, and turned back over in bed. He was glad she called, and he was glad she was back. He didn't know what to make of the dream involving Faber and why she called him about it, but right now, he didn't care. It had been a brutal week at the office in her absence. He wasn't exactly sure why, as he was used to doing her paperwork, and he didn't mind dealing with her witnesses. Maybe it was just the tortured conversation they had before she left, and the silence that ensued in the days leading up to her vacation. He hadn't meant for things to get so awkward when he said those things to her, but he felt like she needed to hear it. Obviously, it wasn't the outcome he was hoping for, but then again, he wasn't sure what he expected when he said that. Did he really think she'd jump up and kiss him and they'd ride off into the sunset together?Moron, he thought to himself. That stuff only happens in the movies. He closed his eyes, and waited for sleep to come again.

A few hours later, after he'd slept a little more, and gone for a run, Marshall felt less on edge then he had when he hung up the phone with Mary. It appeared that although he'd made a mess of it, she was at least speaking to him again, and he should be glad of that. Maybe the damage wasn't irreparable.

He reached for the phone, hesitated for a minute, and then dialed.
"Hey, its me," he said when she answered. "Sorry about earlier, I wasn't really expecting to hear from you."
"I know. Have you eaten? I'm starved and there's no food in my house. It's so weird to come home to an empty house."
"Breakfast?" He asked. "I can pick you up in 10."

Marshall walked to the front door, grabbing his keys and smiling. Breakfast was a good starting place, he decided. He could fix this. He would fix it. There was no other option.