A/N: Hello, again. After finishing my last IPS ficlet, our darling marshals decided that they wanted to hang around for a while. Who am I to deny them? This story, as should be obvious, takes their relationship to the next level. If you so desire, this can be viewed as a continuation of sorts to Being There, my previous story. In not, forget about it.
Disclaimer: These characters are not and never will be mine. Rather, for the time it took me to tell their story, I was theirs.
When Mary Married Marshall
On the day Marshal Mary Shannon become Mrs. Marshall Mann, she sat on the edge of the dance floor rubbing her sore feet and wondering what the hell she was doing.
Seriously. What the hell?
Marshal Mann was her best friend. For years now, he had be her only friend; he stood beside her no matter what, understood her like no one else, and worked constantly to prove to her that she was worth loving. When she got knocked up by her ex husband and he was dumped by his girlfriend, it seemed like the natural next step was for them to get married.
However, the more Mary thought about it, the less sense it made. As she cycled all the evidence through her mind like a new case file, she began to tune out the world around her as her eyes absentmindedly sought out her husband. They needed to figure this out.
As she opened her mouth to ask the nearest person where her Marshall was, she felt his hand on her shoulder.
She frowned slightly as his voice washed over her, answering a question she did not need to ask. "Mare, we got married because I love you. Remember?"
Face going blank, she ran this new piece of evidence through the same filters as before. It fit.
Still cautious, she turned to look up at him. "Really? Huh."
He rolled his eyes. "Yes. Really. Didn't we just go over this?"
"Yeah. About that. Is this whole thing really legal?"
He looked at her sideways. "The wedding or the punch? Because I think this punch is outlawed in seven states."
She smacked his side. "The wedding. I mean, for god's sake, the priest was named Eugene. Are people really named Eugene?"
Rolling his eyes for what he knew was only the second of many times to come that night, he sat down beside her and tried his best to respond. "Yes, and yes."
"That sucks." She shifted uncomfortably in her white gown, wondering why she hadn't changed before the reception like any sane woman. Oh. That's why.
Marshall let his eyes drift mostly shut. "Care to clarify?"
"It sucks balls. Hard."
"I meant, what sucks? Our marriage?"
Mary took her turn to roll her eyes. "Of course not, Numbnuts. The fact that someone gets landed with the name Eugene. Our child gets a good name. That doesn't begin with an M. Or Q. Like Quentin. God, can you imagine being named Quentin?"
"Since the time of the Romans, thousands of people have been named Quentin, including Mysterio. As in, Spider Man."
Mary smacked her husband. "Nerd."
"So get a divorce."
"King Henry VIII annulled only 3 of his 6 marriages."
"So he's a man whore."
"You do realize that whore is not a term used exclusively for women?"
"You do realize that I don't care?"
"Mary," Marshall strung out her name like a warning, his tone a strict contradiction to the way her was reaching to hold her hand.
"Marshall," Mary mimicked her husband's tone.
"Mary!" Brandi's voice interrupted the steady exchange like a wrench in a series of gears.
Mary ignored the interruption and turned to mutter a bit too loudly to be polite in Marshall's direction. "There are too many damned m's in my life."
Smiling at his sister-in-law, Marshall muttered back, "M is the twelfth most common letter in the English language."
"Twelfth is a stupid word. Who the hell decided how to spell it anyway? He should be shot. In his bits."
"I hate to complain, but you seem to have a phallic fixation today."
"Did you really just say phal'"
"Mary!" Brandi shouted, causing the rest of the room to hush and turn to stare. Typical.
In a strange mirror of the couple's earlier behavior, Brandi rolled her eyes. "You two haven't even been married six hours yet and you're bickering like an old married couple."
Marshall cringed slightly, doing his best to repress a Mary-esque "No pun intended."
Brandi looked confused for a moment before shaking her head and staring past them to catch Peter's gaze. Eyes locked, they had a silent conversation; to any outsider, they could seem more like a newlywed couple than the man and woman dressed like cake toppers. "My point is, Marshall, why haven't you dragged Mary out onto the dance floor yet? You have barely touched the floor and its your wedding reception."
Marshall really did try his best not to let his gaze linger on Mary's protruding stomach. In exchange, Mary really did try her best not to bruise him when she smacked his shoulder in retaliation.
Rubbing the newly sore spot, Marshall responded to Brandi, knowing that Mary would not. "For certain reasons, Brandi, that may not be wise." Seeing Mary lift her hand once again, he lifted up his hands in surrender and shrugged in what he dearly hoped would be viewed as a non-threatening manner. All those hours spent in seminars on hostage negotiation had nothing on Mary Shannon.
Shaking his head at his own thoughts, Marshall froze. Mary watched as a grin spread rapidly over his features, making him look like one of those dweeby theater masks. "Everything all right on board Nerd Trek Voyaging?"
The smile stuck to his face like a tongue to a cold pole. "Voyager. And don't even try to ruin my happiness, Miss Mary Sunshine."
"What the hell got into you? You're acting like someone beat you over the head with a wedding cake." Mary paused, her face showing a mildly disturbing mix of hunger and thoughtfulness. "Actually, we can give that a go if you'd like." Seriously, that grin was starting to get creepy.
"Mare? I was just thinking."
"Shocker. What has His Geekiness discovered this time? The cure to annoying younger sisters who eavesdrop when they are least wanted?" Looking only slightly put out, Brandi took the hint and walked away.
Uncertain of how to respond, Marshal Mary Mann stared at Marshal Marshall Mann, the man who had changed her life in more ways than she could count or was even comfortable thinking about. The grin plastered to his face showed her just how happy he was, how happy she had somehow made him; the look he held directed only at her spoke so clearly of his love for her than even she, the Queen of De Nile, had to see it for what it was.
Uncertain of how to respond to the strange happiness she felt, Mrs. Marshall Mann leaned against her husband's side and rested her head on his shoulder. As he stared down at her, she said the only response that came to mind.
"No shit, Sherlock."