A/N: That last scene in tonight's episode was awesome. I am so proud of Mary. And it inspired me to write a little one shot. At least I hope it's a little one. I really don't have any room in my life to do an on-going story...
A/N 2: Sorry, meant to have this up Saturday...real life got in the way. Thank you, Laura for reading and editing! Also, sorry for the title. Haha
She tugged her fingers through her hair and blew out a deep breath. She wanted to pinch herself, to confirm she wasn't dreaming this dream again, but she knew once she started, she wouldn't stop.
Everything seemed amplified and muted at the same time. Her heart was thumping loudly in her ears; it was the only thing she could hear. The voices at the police station were nothing more than a dull murmur.
She vaguely remembered calling Mark and begging him to come over and watch Norah. Could see little snapshots of loading her father into her car, running on auto pilot. Remembered handing her father over to the detective at ABQPD.
Mary had pushed aside everything she was feeling as soon as she touched the cold metal of her handcuffs. She didn't want to deal with. Couldn't deal with it. Not while her father was standing there, two inches away from her.
But now she was left alone. And everything was crashing back into her at once.
Her breath quickened as she desperately tried to dig out her phone from her pocket. "Come on," she whispered frantically. She struggled with it for a brief moment. "Dammit!" Tears blurred her vision as she pressed one on her speed dial. "Pick up. Pick up. Pick up." She wasn't sure how she was still breathing as the phone rang. Mary tried to remind herself to take deep breaths, to focus on that.
"Isn't it a little late to be calling for a babysitter?" Marshall's voice was music to her ears.
Her breath hitched as she heard him. "Marshall." She mentally cursed herself for sounding so weak.
"Mary, what's wrong? What is it? Are you hurt? Is Norah okay?" His questions were delivered in rapid-fire succession.
She shook her head, forgetting he couldn't see her. "Norah's fine. She's at home sleeping."
"Where are you, Mare? Why aren't you home?" Mary could tell he was concerned; his voice always became softer when he was concerned about her.
"ABQPD," she whispered into the phone. "He-" she paused, willing the words to leave her throat. She closed her mouth, drawing in a deep breath.
"Mare?" he prompted gently.
"He's back." A cry fell from her lips. "Daddy's back."
She was exhausted. Completely and utterly exhausted. To be honest, she wasn't even sure how she was still standing.
Mary refused to let any tears fall, not wanting to cry here, over a man who had abandoned her. She closed her eyes tightly and listened as Marshall told her he was coming to get her. "Don't hang up," she whispered in a panicked rush. He was still on the line, though neither of them were speaking. Mary listened to his breathing, trying to synchronize hers with his. She ignored the rest of the people in the department, focusing on the sound of his breath.
In. Out. In. Out.
"I'm here," he told her after a few minutes of silence. She nodded as she heard him maneuver out of the car and shut the door. "Where are you?"
"Right inside the doors," she replied. A wave of relief washed over her as she saw him through the glass doors and she ended the call. He walked straight the her, ignoring the looks that were directed at him as he strode past a few detectives. His arms came around her and held her tightly. She responded immediately, her fingers clutching at his back as she buried her face in his chest. Mary took a shaky breath, and began to cry.
Marshall gently ran his fingers through her hair as tears fell onto his shirt. He didn't tell her things would be okay; he wasn't sure what was going to happen and he didn't want to lie to her. He could tell she was exhausted, but knew that she still had adrenaline coursing throughout her system. Marshall shifted slightly, allowing himself to take more of her weight.
Her tears soon stopped and she pulled away slightly, her eyes staring at their shoes. His hands trailed from her shoulders to cradle her face, gently wiping away the last of her tears. "Mary," he spoke softly, waiting for her eyes to meet his. "I am so proud of you."
She snorted. "Shut up."
Marshall gave her a small smile. "No, really, I'm proud. What you did wasn't easy; turning in a family member like that."
"He's not my family," Mary scoffed.
"Mare, he's your father."
Anger blazed in her eyes. "He stopped being my father the day he walked out on me! He doesn't even deserve the title of 'father'!" She took a breath, the fight leaving her body. "I just want him gone again, Marshall."
He rubbed her arms in a knowing manner. "I know, Mare, but you're going to have to talk to him eventually." She opened her mouth, but he held up a hand, silencing her. "You need to get everything off your chest and have closure with him."
Mary crossed her arms over her chest and stared at him for a moment. "I hate it when you're right." He gave her a smile. She sighed, her eyes red-rimmed and blood-shot. "Can we go now?" He nodded.
Marshall took her hand in his and led her out of the station towards his car. "Doofus, I'm parked over there."
"I know, but you're tired and stressed. I don't want you driving home by yourself." She rolled her eyes, a smile threatening to appear as he opened the door for her.
The house was dark when they entered, even the nightlight in Norah's room had been turned off. Mary sighed and dropped her keys on the table by the door. She noticed a piece of paper lying on the table and scanned it quickly.
'Mary, I took Norah over to my place. Wasn't sure how long you'd be. Mom is picking her up at my place in the morning. - Mark'
"Guess I got the house to myself," she said softly as Marshall closed the door behind him. "Mark took Norah back to his place."
"That's good," he replied. "You'll be able to get some uninterrupted sleep."
Mary shook her head. "I don't think I could sleep even if I wanted to."
He cocked his head to the side. "Why not?"
"It's just...this entire situation has my mind racing."
"Constantly dwelling on it isn't healthy. Just try and shut your mind down. Listen to soothing music; you'll fall asleep eventually." She nodded. "You want me to stay?"
"Nah. You should get back to Abigail. I'll be okay." His eyes searched hers. "I promise."
"Okay, call me if you need anything."
"Yeah, okay." Marshall gave her a smile before moving towards the door. "Actually," she watched as he paused and turned back to her. "It's kinda quiet without having Bug around..."
His smile widened. "I'll go grab my overnight bag."
They were curled up on the couch together, a random movie playing on TV, Marshall had his legs stretched out on the coffee table while Mary had hers tucked underneath herself. "Thanks for staying," she said quietly.
"What are friends for?" They lapsed into quiet, allowing the movie to fill the silence between them. Marshall's mind was racing. James Shannon was back. And had come to Mary. He was concerned what all of this was going to do to Mary. Marshall sighed and pushed it to the back of his mind. He knew whatever happened, he would be there for her.
A weight on his shoulder caused him to turn away from the TV. Marshall smiled, seeing Mary's eyes closed, her breath evening out.. He pulled the afghan from the back of the couch and spread it out over her before moving to a slightly more comfortable position, allowing her to lean on him even more. "Sweet dreams, Mare," he whispered as he pressed a kiss to her hair.