Torn and Tattered Seams

Chapter 1: Five to the Chest

A/N: Okay wow. Not a single post since April 2008. I'm kind of stunned that it's been so long, but today I decided that I was going to sit down and write with the intent to post. I have read so much fantastic IPS fan fiction lately, and I'm as equally fed up with the direction that the writers are taking the series in as most of you on here, so I decided, 'what the hell, why not.' Please be forgiving if I screw things up a little, I'm kind of out of practice using other peoples characters in stories, but constructive criticism is very welcome.

Disclaimer: I own nothing other than my degrees, my bird, and any characters that I make up.

Hope you enjoy the ride!

mMm

Albuquerque was cool a night, the desert winds blowing through open windows, bringing with it the scent of night blooming flowers, rustling blonde hair and blue sheets. A groan, muffled by a drooled on pillow became a snarl as the cell phone on her nightstand began to vibrate and ring, skittering across the hard wood for only a second before a long fingered hand closed around it and green eyes blinked tiredly at the glaring red numbers on her alarm clock.

"This better be good Stan," Mary growled into the phone, "It's 2 in the morning for god's sake!"

"Mary," his voice was watery and Mary was immediately awake, back ramrod straight as she sat up, her sheets pooling at her waist.

"What is it Stan?" she was shaking, she faintly recognized. Praying that it wasn't what popped into her head. Praying that this wasn't about Marshall.

"I just got a call from APD. There's been a shooting…" he trailed off, uncertain.

"Damn it what happened?" she was already out of bed, pulling on clothes with one hand the other hand clenching her phone so hard that her knuckles were white.

He was silent for a long moment.

"Stan I swear…"

"Marshall was shot." He blurted it out, unsurprised to hear the phone drop from Mary's hand and hit the floor with a dull thud.

She hit the floor next to her phone and scooped it up, "I need details." She was in detached US Marshal mode, and it was the only thing keeping her from flying apart.

"Marshall went on a call out with Detective Chaffe," he began slowly, "She had received a call on a case she was working, and the address was uncomfortably close to one of his witnesses. He elected to go with just in case."

"And he was shot," she spoke, worrying her lip between her teeth.

"God Mary, they shot him and he still managed to take them both out before he passed out!" Stan exploded and Mary flinched, he was shouting now and she kept the phone to her ear despite his volume, afraid to miss a single detail, "They put five rounds in his chest and he still took them out with a single kill shot each! That worthless fucking detective hadn't even managed to pull her damn gun before it was all over!"

He was panting with fury and Mary was trembling harder now, "Where is he now Stan?" Her voice was deceptively even, and Stan took a deep breath.

"He's in surgery at Albuquerque Main," she heard a faint sob from her boss, "Gods Mary it doesn't look good." He was mumbling now, "I gotta call his parents… after I get out of the APD office… I gotta write up a report…"

"Stan," she interrupted as she moved through her house, snatching her badge, gun, and keys, "I'm headed to the hospital now. I'll call his parents after I talk to the doctor."

"Thanks," he breathed, and she knew him well enough to know that he was rubbing his face and bald head with one hand as he spoke, "I'm so sorry Mary."

"Yeah, I am too," she hung up as she slid into the Mustang, so thankful to be in a car that didn't have a problem starting right up like the probe did. She stared at the dash for a long heartbeat, glancing out of the corner of her eye at the passenger seat, trying to imaging Marshall sitting there with his head cocked to one side. Too tall in a too short car, and she vowed vehemently to herself that if Marshall survived this, she was going to buy an SUV with plenty of head room, in a totally nondescript color.

Or maybe a truck.

She grinned slightly, Marshall would like that.

The sports car roared as she flipped it into reverse and jammed on the gas, tired spinning for a second before she was jetting backwards, car skidding sideways as she shifted it into drive long before it had full stopped. The transmission groaned and she winced, grateful that Peter wouldn't be likely to charge her for repairs on the car when she returned it. Driving the car like she stole it, Mary blew through yellow and red lights, and nearly thirty stop signs before she pulled into a spot in the hospital parking lot. Barely taking the time to put it into park, she yanked the keys from the ignition and slammed the door, running full tilt for the ER.

Wiggling through the sliding doors before they were fully open, Mary strode towards the desk standing tall with every ounce of authority she possessed in spite of the fact that she was wearing too big sweat pants and a tank top with no bra underneath.

But a teary, and still nauseatingly perky voice cut through her like a knife.

"Oh Mary," Abigail sobbed, "Thank god you're here!" Mary turned to face the girl who was moving towards her, arms open, undoubtedly for a hug, and she snapped, snarling like the lioness that Marshall often accused her of being.

Mary stalked towards her, her lips pulled back in a vicious smile, as she went right over the coffee table between them instead of around it. "You fucking bitch," Mary growled, rearing back as she came into striking range, her fist colliding with the smaller woman's jaw with a sickening crunch. Her left came up with just as much force, smashing into Abigail's nose, sending her sprawling onto the black and white tile floor. She was just about to pounce on the woman, every ounce of fury bubbling under her skin like magma when a voice cut through her rage.

"Are you the family of Mr. Mann?"

"I am," Mary turned to face the Doctor as a nurse rushed in to attend to the woman on the floor.

"Would you be Mary Shannon?" he asked, looking anxious.

"Yes," she nodded as she followed the man into a private room.

"Good," he sighed, taking a seat and motioning for her to do the same. "You do know that you are listed as Mr. Mann's medical contact and that he has you filed as having his medical power of attorney should he be incapacitated.?"

"Yeah," she rubbed her face with her hands, trying to keep the tears at bay.

"I'm going to need you to sign some paper work about the procedures we already performed, and I need your approval for an invasive procedure to remove the final slug which is buried in his spinal column," he spoke slowly, as though expecting her to attack him, and he flinched when her head shot up.

"Buried in his spine?" she was trembling again.

"Yes," the Doctor nodded slowly, "It is in a very bad place, wedged between two vertebrae and putting pressure on his spinal cord. We need to get it out as quickly as possible to reduce the chances of paralysis, but we needed to get him stabilized before we could attempt it. And we need your permission."

He handed her the clipboard and she signed it quickly, handing it back to him, "Is he going to be okay?"

"I wish I could give you a definitive answer to that," the man looked tired, "Any of his wounds, by themselves are survivable, but when you put them together, it is a lot of stress on his body." He gauged her mood carefully, and despite the murder in her eyes, he continued, "His heart has stopped three times already. We were able to shock him back each time, but…"

"Can I see him?" she asked softly, staring down at her hands, "Just for a minute?"

"I can take you back for a moment while the OR is prepped for his next surgery," the Doctor spoke softly, as he stood and she followed him from the room.

The first glimpse of Marshall was horrible, wires, IV's, and tubes everywhere, his already pale skin nearly the same color as the white gauze and blankets he was wrapped in. A sob escaped her a she moved to his side, and the Doctor stepped back to give him her a semblance of privacy.

Calloused fingertips ghosted over his cheeks, as tears finally spilled over her cheeks, "Idiot," she murmured gently, leaning forward to press her lips to his gaunt cheeks and forehead. "Don't you dare give up! Don't you even think of leaving me, even for a second!" Her voice was harsh and feral, "I need you numbnuts." She laughed ruefully, "Someone has to keep me from mauling the unsuspecting public." She thought of his girlfriend in the waiting room, "Though the cheerleader deserved it."

"Ms. Shannon," the doctor called gently to her, "They're ready for him."

Nodding, Mary backed away, tears in her eyes as she watched them wheel Marshall away from her.

mMm

A/N: Okay guys, I'm gonna warn you now, I can kind of be a bitch. I've been known to torture characters, though never anything to horrendous when it's a character I really love. But that being said I can be very, very cruel to characters I dislike. If I could have figured out some way for Mary to snap Abigail's neck in the waiting room and get away with it, I would have done it. Suggestions and critiques are very welcome and will hopefully keep me updating regularly, though work does tend to get in the way.

Love Y'all,

DToB (My penname is just too damn long…)