A/N: Hey, it's been awhile since I've played the writing fan fiction game. Too long. I decided to write this because I loved United States of Tara, Marshall in particular. And so I decided to write this! I had no intentions of publishing this, it was just for fun. It'll be multi-chaptered, so, yay! It'll be new because let's face it Tara fans, we're not really good at doing anything but one-shots. Oh, in this fic, Marsh is 17, so it's jumped a bit, and because I started this before the 2nd season finished, Lionel and he never dated. So, let the fic begin!

Marshall was, in a word, lost. For the past 17 years - which could also be called "His Life"- he had been attracted to men. Since the young age of lets say, 10 (coincidently after seeing the 1960's version of Romeo & Juliet) he had decided that he had and always would be gay.

Always. Always. That's the word that seemed to strike Marshall as, to put it lightly: way too permanent. Or was it just permanent enough? Truth be told he'd just started questioning the word "always" quite some time ago. After his tragic ( an also short lived) fling with possibly the straightest guy in school: Jason.

Jason. A Sophomore to Marshall's Freshman. Jason was complex and single minded. Raised in a church going family- due to the fact that his father was a Priest- Jason was taught at an early age to conform. While the former part Marshall had simply just observed, the latter part was the part about Jason Marshall hoped wasn't true. Or was. Well, it depended on what context and what subject it was pertaining to.

Anyway, Marshall was smitten. Over the course of a few months, they got to know each other. One thing lead to another and suddenly (but not without the assistance of our good friend Jack Daniels) they were kissing. Or was it making out? Marshall hadn't done the first one, let alone the second. And he'd never imagined- well he had but, he never thought they'd you know, come true- that he would be making out (kissing?) with Jason.

It happened in a blur and then Jason was kissing him back. Then things started to get faster. There was an urgency to both ends of this kiss. Neither of them had been ready to start it, but both of them hated to think to have it stop. Time passed and they developed a fluid pattern: It'd get fast, then slow and it'd pick back up again. While no clothing was taken off in this seemingly endless kiss, it was most certainly disheveled. Jason's shirt went up more and more with each of Marshall's touches. Whilst this was happening, Jason easily released the hold Marshall's tie had around his neck.

Then after what had seemed like (and probably was) hours, they both became aware of the time and let go. Little was said after they stopped whatever it was that they had been doing. But it wasn't an uncomfortable silence. Because, you see, everything that both teenaged boys had wanted to say, was said vicariously through that hiss.

A few days later, everything began to tumble down. And Marshall thought he'd never be the same.

Marshall never wanted to date Courtney. But what he did was though, was to want to date Courtney. He thought being gay came with way too much heartbreak and not enough in return. He didn't know if his place in the LGBT community, let alone if he had one at all.

"One bad gay outing and you're quitting? Are you going to stay celibate for the rest of your live? Because everyone and their brother knows you could never date a women." Kate, Marshall's 17 year old sister berated during one of their endless talks.

"I don't want to date a girl, but I don't want to date a guy either." Marshall said, starting at the ceiling.

"Oh, are you going to be one of those weirdo's who aren't attracted to anybody? Because I always pegged you as gay all the way.

"Well, it's not that. It's just…dating a girl seems a hell of a lot more easier."

"Look on the bright side, at least you have one thing in common with Courtney."

"And that would be?"

"That you're both helplessly in love with men."

"When did you know that you were unequivocally, without a doubt, gay?" Marshall asked Lionel who was just about the gayest man Marshall had come across. He also happened to be Marshall's best friend.

"When I got it up for Brad instead of Angelina." Lionel said breathlessly.

"Come on, I'm serious."

"And you think I'm not? I'm hurt Marshall. But in complete honest, I love women, I really do, but they're just not for me. And I finally pin pointed this at 12. So, you've 2 years on me." He shrugged.

"I know I'm gay, it's just, I wish it weren't this…fucking complicated."

"Tell me about it, stud. This is why I got me a man who doesn't go to our school."

"What? Who?" Marshall screamed.

"Yes, I am a taken man. His name is Tyler." Lionel said, dreamily.

"Thanks for telling me. You know, I'm not that important. Not like we've been best friends since we were 14." Marshall threw a shirt at him.

"If it makes any difference, we're not technically together." Lionel folded more shirts. One of the many perks at working at Burlington Coat Factory: endless amounts of….fabric. See, Lionel and Marshall both worked at the mall. While Lionel worked at Burlington, Marshall spent his afternoons and sometimes weekends at Hollywood Video adjacent to Burlington. While this talk was taking place, Marshall had just gotten out of work.

"When did you meet him?"

"Yesterday. He just so happens to be the new cashier." Lionel admitted.

"When'd you get a new…" Marshall said, looking over his shoulder to get a glimpse.

Right when he was about to see Tyler's face, Lionel grabbed Marshall by the shoulders and they were soon crouched down, hidden behind a rack of sweaters.

"Hello!"Lionel hastily snapped his fingers in his friend's face. "Wake up! You can not look at him! Well, you can, but not now! It'll look too suspicious." Lionel scolded Marsh.

"Forgot. Oh! I see him…damn, he is gorgeous. What's with you and blondes?"

"I'm not even going to acknowledge that last part and say, he sure is."

"Is he on our side?" Marshall asked.

"Oh, so is that what the kids are calling it now of days?" Lionel mocked.

"Just answer the question."

"If he isn't queer, then my name isn't Lionel Train."

"It wasn't for that 2 months when we were 15. It was just….Lionel." Marshall pointed out.

"Was that around the same time you dated Courtney?"

"15 were dark times." Marshall shrugged.

"Besides, I've all summer to find out. Until then, I'll casually talk to him in the workers lounge."

"What time is it?" Marshall looked at his watch. "Shit, I should've been out of here: It's 5:04 PM. My shifts over."

"Hasn't it been over?" Lionel pointed out.

"Yeah, but I'd only planned on stopping her for a quick second."

"Fine. And while you're doing what ever it is you're going, I'm going to be here." Lionel wallowed.

"I'll see you tomorrow."

"You look down right-"

"Doable. We get it." Marshall finished his father mid-sentence as he walked through the garage door, into the kitchen.

Max and Tara, his mother, smiled.

"Hey sweetie, how was work?" Tara asked.

"You'd think people would comprehend that yes, in fact, Hollywood Video does carry video games. But I guess not."

"Don't worry, they only get dumber." Max smiled.

"Oh, Marsh," Tara said remembering. "You got a letter in the mail." She held it up.

"NO! Gus Van Sant replied this time?" Kate gasped, walking into the kitchen, feigning excitement.

"No," Marshall turned the letter over. "It's from NYU."

"NYU? What's in there?" Tara asked.

"Oh, this summer film/theater study program. I applied in like, February. I'd totally forgotten about it." He said, opening the envelope.

"So what's the prognoses? Are we taking a road trip of what?" Max asked lightly.

"From the looks of it, no?" Marshall said, still staring at the letter.

"I'm sorry honey-"

Marshall cut his mom off.

"I have to be there in 2 days. We have to fly." He said, looking up, a grin forming on his face.

A/N: So I hoped you all like it! I'm not going to updated for at least another 2 weeks. I know the USoT section doesn't really get a lot of traffic, so I'm going to see how it plays out. I've up until chapter 4 typed out, and probably 12 chapters in my jounrla. I'm hoping to make this about….14 or 15 chapters? All the same length as this one right here. So, reviews at always welcome, and if you're going to mark this as one of your favorites, alert it, might as well tell me what you think about it!


Mel (aka parADream)