A/N: Got this idea from hearing the song "Somebody's Baby" by Jon Foreman. This is not going to be happy at all. Takes place in season four, Abby may show up, I haven't quite decided yet. Mary is not pregnant though.
Autumn Miller never knew her step father had a gambling addiction. She never knew he blew all his paychecks at the tracks, or that he had borrowed over thirty thousand dollars from two loan sharks. She never knew he didn't pay them back, or that he was the reason she had to leave her life behind.
September twenty ninth had started out as a normal day for Autumn. Her senior year of school had started and she had fallen into a routine of leaving the house by 7:30. It wasn't until she was halfway to school she realized she had forgotten her English paper. The voices in the kitchen floated into the foyer as she stepped inside. "I don't understand, what are you talking about? We don't have any outstanding loans."
Autumn creeped to the archway between the kitchen and foyer, watching as her mother spoke with two men. "It seems you've been misinformed. You owe us thirty thousand dollars, plus interest."
Her mother's jaw dropped. "Thirty thousand? We don't have that kind of money!"
The man who spoke pulled something out of the inside of his jacket. "Such a shame," he muttered before aiming at the woman and pulling the trigger. The sound of the gunshot was muffled and Autumn gasped, putting her hands over her mouth, trying not to alert the men to her presence. She turned and ran from the house, tears blurring her eyes. "Hopefully Daniel will get the message this time that we aren't playing around."
Two hours later, Daniel Tate and Autumn Miller were on a plane to Albuquerque.
Three weeks later
Mary sat with Autumn on the bleachers at her new high school as Marshall walked around the track field, his eyes scanning the area. "How are you settling in?" Mary asked the quiet girl.
Autumn tucked her caramel coloured hair behind her ear, her eyes not meeting Mary's. "Fine."
Mary tried to look the girl in the eyes, but she refused. She grasped her arm and tugged. Autumn hissed in response. The Marshal quickly released her arm. "Autumn, what's going on?" The teen didn't answer her. "Autumn?" Mary sighed and gingerly took the girl's arm in her hands. Her eyes widened as she saw the bruise. "Who did this to you?" She still didn't talk. "Autumn, you have to tell me what's going on."
The teen ripped her arm away from Mary and stood up. "I don't have to tell you anything. God, can't you get it through your head that I don't want to talk? I saw my mother get murdered right in front of me. I saw the men who did it and I agreed to testify, and I will, but stop trying to be all buddy-buddy with me. Stop trying to get me to talk to you. I don't want to talk to you. I don't want to see you. I want you to leave me alone." Autumn turned to leave, but Mary grabbed her wrist.
"Hey, like it or not, I'm not going away. I never said you had to tell me everything that's going on in your life, I just need to know that you're safe and nobody is trying to hurt you."
Autumn's eyes met Mary's. "Nobody is trying to hurt me. I'm perfectly safe."
"Oh yeah? Then where did this come from?"
"I hit it on my dresser this morning." Mary glared at her. "I don't care if you believe me or not, that's what happened. You try getting into a pair of skinny jeans when it's still dark outside." The marshal continued staring. "Mary, I am fine. I gotta go, I have a lot of homework to do." She started down the bleachers.
"Autumn," Mary waited until the teen looked back. "Call me if you need anything. I mean it."
Autumn nodded. "I will, I promise."
"She's lying, Marshall," Mary stated once they got settled into the SUV.
"About how she got the bruise?"
Mary nodded her head. "About everything. Something's wrong, I can feel it..."
He took his eyes off the road to study his partner. Her arms were wrapped around herself as she stared out the window. "Hey," he called to her. She turned to look at him. "You okay?"
"Yeah...just bugged by this." He knew it wasn't the entire truth, but he didn't pry.
Marshall reached over to lay his hand on her leg. "Well check into the histories once we're back at the office, okay?" She nodded.
"You're home late," his voice drifted from the living room as Autumn walked into the apartment.
She jumped slightly at the sound. "Yeah, Mary called and said she wanted to talk, see how everything was going." Daniel moved from his spot to stand in front of his step daughter.
"How is everything going?"
"Fine, which is exactly what I told Mary." His eyes flashed with something she couldn't recognize.
"Good. We wouldn't want everything to not be fine." Daniel turned away from her. "Go do your homework." Autumn shivered at his tone before walking to her bedroom and shutting the door.
Her green eyes opened, her vision adjusting to the dark. A thump sounded outside of her bedroom. Autumn sat up as the door opened and Daniel stumbled in. He reached her bed in three steps. "This is your fault," he slurred. "If you didn't go back to the house, we wouldn't be here. I'd still have Annie."
Autumn shrunk away from him, his entire being emitting the foul stench of booze. "This isn't my fault," she stated. "You're the one who lost all our money and owed lone sharks. You're the reason my mother is dead."
Daniel's eyes darkened and he lunged towards her. Autumn quickly dove off her bed and ran towards the door. "You little bitch!" He spun around and stumbled towards her. She moved the chair from her desk into his path and watched as he fell over it. Daniel didn't move, his eyes closed. Autumn quickly ran down the hallway to the bathroom and locked herself in.
"Three more weeks until I'm eighteen and then I can leave him. Just hold on for three weeks," she whispered to herself.
Mary sighed in frustration as she stared at her computer screen. "I swear there's something hinky with this guy."
Marshall moved from his desk to stand behind her. "Did you find anything on Daniel?"
She shook her head. "No. No felony charges, no misdemeanors. This guy doesn't even have a parking ticket."
"What about Autumn?"
"What about her?"
"Have you checked her hospitalization records?" Mary shook her head and Marshall reached around her to type on her keyboard. Their eyes scanned the document.
Mary shook her head. "Marshall, something isn't right, I don't care what the files say."
He laid a hand on her shoulder. "Hey, if you're concerned enough we can swing by for a visit."
"No," she breathed out and rubbed her eyes. "Maybe I am wrong about this whole thing. Maybe I'm just caught up in the past too much..."
"We'll go drop in on the next week," she promised as she turned back to her computer. Marshall sighed and walked back to his desk.
They dropped by unannounced at Autumn and Daniel's house on October twenty seventh. Daniel was sober and clean-shaven and Autumn smiled brightly while answering their questions. Mary couldn't figure out why she still had that feeling in the pit of her stomach. She waited until Marshall had engaged Daniel in a talk about sports and what they played in high school before pulling Autumn into the kitchen. "So, two more weeks until the trial...are you ready?"
Autumn nodded. "Yeah. I tell them everything I saw, who I saw and then it's done."
"Exactly." They stood in silence for a moment. "You turn eighteen soon, right?" The teen 'mhmm'd' in response. "You think you would want to live on your own?"
Autumn narrowed her eyes. "Live on my own?"
"Yeah, I mean, most kids your age would be thrilled to have their own place. I just thought if that was something you would want to do, we might be able to help you arrange it..." For the first time since they met, Mary saw true happiness in Autumn's green eyes.
As the marshals left the house, the pit in Mary's stomach diminished slightly.
On the day of the trial Marshall drove with Mary to pick up Autumn and Daniel. There was a bit more traffic than usual as they made their way. Mary felt sick as she saw the lights of the police car up ahead. Marshall stopped and pulled over to the side of the road as Detective Chaffee walked up to the vehicle. "Abigail," Marshall greeted. "What's going on?"
"ABQPD got an anonymous call this morning about a body of a young girl lying down in the ravine."
Marshall watched as Mary paled and jumped out of the SUV. He quickly followed her down the steep incline to where the police were hovering. "Mary!" He called to her.
She skidded to a stop and knelt on the grown next to the white sheet. Her hand pulled back the fabric as Marshall appeared next to her. She closed her eyes to ward of the tears that were welling up as she stood. "Dammit," she said softly. "God fucking dammit!" Mary marched away from the body and Marshall quickly followed.
"Mary." He reached out and grabbed her wrist, stopping her from going any farther. "It's not your fault," he whispered to her.
She turned to him, anger blazing in her eyes. "The hell it isn't! I knew something was wrong Marshall, and I didn't do anything about it. I let her stay with that piece of shit when I knew he was hurting her!"
He increased his grip on her. "Did she actually tell you he was hitting her? Mary, we looked at both of their histories, there was nothing in there to suggest that she was being abused. We dropped in on them unannounced and everything was okay. It's not your fault. Do not make it your fault."
She shook her head. "It is my fault," she whispered. "I could have saved her." The tears were back. She couldn't stop them from falling. Marshall pulled her to him, holding her tightly as she cried. He didn't know what he could say to her. He wished he knew how to make it better.
Nobody deserved to die that way. Especially on their birthday.
Wow, that only took two hours. And I actually like it. Anyway, this is the verse that gave musey the inspiration. Today was her birthday, strangely enough when the cops found her body at the foot of the bluff, the anonymous caller this morning tipped off the police. They got her ID from her dental remains, the same fillings intact, the same nicotine stains, the birth and the death were both over with no one to grieve. She's somebody's baby, she's somebody's baby girl. She's somebody's baby, somebody's baby girl and she's somebody's baby still. She's somebody's baby still. Tell me what you guys think.