I sure do hope you enjoy! Thanks for all of the reviews on that last chapter, what super readers you all are!

"Are you sure you don't mind taking Norah?" and "I love you, Bug," were the last things Mary uttered when the clock struck seven forty five. One hour ago in the midst of pizza and Norah induced conversation they had sat for a delightful meal, and anyone who knew Mary, knew she was anything but delightful. The little girl giggled throughout her dinner as Marshall and Mary fidgeted, awkwardly and uncomfortable.

"I've waited too long for you to say that," still echoed in Mary's ringing ear drums. All of it seemed surreal, even the savory pineapple, ham and ranch pizza that was tingling her screaming taste buds couldn't distract her.

Mary couldn't even find her disgust for the stares and the bubbly old ladies stopping every two seconds to congratulate her. That entire eight cut, she was dreading the moment she was alone with him.

Now, not so much.

I thought we were just going to talk. Mary thought, as he pulled her in. He caressed her cheek, inching closer and closer, pressing his warm body against hers. Marshall's hands traveled down her sides, his cool fingertips resting on her little stomach. "I have a confession to make." He breathed on her neck, whispering into her ear. Mary made a few incomprehensible noises and he continued. "Just being this close to you thrills me. And I'm a fool not to have done what I did sooner." He said, slipping his hands underneath her shirt and sliding it skillfully over her head.

Mary ran her hands down his back, feeling the muscles she enjoyed to explore. Her fingers began working at the buttons, impatient and famished for a feel of his bare skin, then his pants, ripping his belt from his waist, undoing the buttons on his trousers much faster than she had on his shirt. Suddenly, she was comfortable, no longer shaky as he unsnapped her bra and took her breasts into his hands. He relaxed under her grasp too. It was something Mary never had experienced, being so welcoming to another person's body atop of hers and relaxed in the heat of a passion.

She kissed him, hard and determined to taste the sweetness within his mouth and the remnants of his sweet breath sitting on his sly tongue. Tangled in sweaty sheets, the guilt free perspiration rolled down their bodies, glistening and wet. Mary's breath came in heavy huffs; she bit her lip to quit from smiling like a fool. He did the same. For the first time her heart didn't feel heavy in her chest, but light and fluttery, nearly palpitating with jubilance.

"Marshall?" She whispered.

"Yeah?" He asked, turning onto his side, to run his lanky fingers across her chest to her navel.

She looked at him, smirking in one of her weak, most convincing ways. "I'm pregnant." She shuddered.

He returned her gaze quizzically, "I know." He stated carefully and quietly.

Mary rolled her eyes, blushing a little bit. Realizations are funny. They hit you hard and send you to the earth with a thud. Unless you're one of those lucky people, who realize something like Mary had, that she would never touch the ground, never have the chance to taste anymore dirt. Because Marshall was there, he had picked her up, dusted her off and now wouldn't ever let her back down. She was soaring, high and proud. Why was this sex with Marshall so enlightening?

Had it really been the guilt weighing her down? The absolute, scary mind boggling amount of 'what if's'?

"I mean…" Did she know what she meant? "I mean, I'm not mad anymore." She sighed. "And I mean it this time." Mary swiped some of his brown hair from his face, tracing the fine, soft hair along his eyebrow and adding, "Is this what it feels like?"

Marshall smiled. "What, Mary? What—what feels like?" He inquired softly.

"Being happy?"

His grin grew wider, his eyes still tired, but for a different reason. Marshall reached in slowly, touching his lips to hers. What compelled her to do it, she didn't know, but she grabbed his hand. Gently, she pressed his large paw to her tiny belly. "Wait." She responded quickly, stopping what he was about to vocalize with one quick gesture.

"For what?" He reveled at her seriousness and the way she stayed so still with her fingers tightly intertwined with his.

"Just wait." She insisted, still unmoving, her eyes closed, whispering to herself. "Say something Marshall, anything." Mary coaxed.

"What do you want me to say?" he asked sweetly. He glanced down at their interlaced fingers wonderingly as the small life force in Mary shifted, causing the surface of her stomach to guggle discretely.

"He does that." She smirked. "All the time when you talk." She continued. "He really likes your voice." She looked away purposely, so he wouldn't see the tears, ready to fall for no reason. "Norah liked it too." She mumbled, remembering all of those times, as she moved uncomfortably in her office chair, especially when Marshall set off on one of his Shakespearean rants or philosophical musings. They both loved it, especially this one, swimming around in there, Mary thought, his voice must sound so mystical, so much smoother, and flowy. She assumed that's why Norah enjoyed listening to him now as well, sometimes she listened just a little better to Marshall. Mixed with the thumping of her heart it must be a little sanctum in there.

"Are we going to find out the sex?" he asked, still mesmerized by the little ripples at the surface of her little protruding tummy.

"I didn't for Norah." Mary looked at him. "But, if you want to, we can." She replied. "I think it's a boy."

"What makes you think that?" He wondered, now rubbing in a circular motion, awaiting another flourish or tiny ripple.

"I don't know. I guess I just do."

She lied. After, that plus showed up on that test she had made up her mind there was a little boy who had set up shop in there, clinging with determination and fierce stubbornness to her insides the way Marshall had clung to her for so long… With sprouting brown hair and wonderful cerulean eyes, ones which would sparkle and twinkle with joy and curiosity like Marshall's. Always thinking, always knowing. "Marshall?"


"What does this mean?" She quivered, lying with his arms around her a few moments later.

"Whatever you want it to mean." Marshall chuckled.

"I'm sorry I told everybody. I was angry."

He sat up, the bed sheet only covering his bottom half, his chest bare and flexing as he reached over to touch her face for a change. "Don't be sorry. I reacted in a way totally inappropriate, and quite frankly I couldn't care less who knew…Because… I'm… proud of us Mary."

"Proud?" She asked confusedly.

"I know- what a horrific way to describe my emotions, but it's true. For over a decade I wondered where I'd be in ten years. This is precisely the place I wanted, Mary. Precisely. And I don't care what I've screwed up, what I've done to get to this point." He shuddered. "The balcony…" He cringed. "That was wrong. I spent every day wondering if you'd ever trust me again…"

"Obviously I did." She answered dumbly, glancing toward her gut.

"I've just really made some bad decisions."

Mary's heart fell. What did he mean?

"If that's how you feel- She began defensively.

"No! This is not one of them; you are not one of them!"

"I've been a lot of people's mistakes, Marshall." Mary said sadly. "I don't want to be yours. You know me. You do, and if you think you won't be able to deal with me being my overprotective and neurotic self then you need to get out now. So I can start building my emotional barrier before this kid comes, rather than later."

"Mary Shannon are you implying that you want a relationship with me?" He teased.

"You know how much I hate the word relationship…" She sighed.

"I'll do whatever you want, I'll be whatever you want Mare. If you say jump I'll ask how high so please, just tell me."


The sound of a phone ringing startled both of them, Mary crawled out of bed, toward her jacket, digging through her pocket for her blackberry. "Hey Brandi can- what?"

Marshall moved toward the end of the bed, closer to Mary, a worried expression plastered on his face to match hers.

"Brandi- I'll be right there! I'm coming- Squish! I'll be there!" Mary hung up the phone, throwing it to the floor as she began to slip on each shed garment. "I have to go."

"I have to go." She stated flatly.

"What's happening?" Marshall asked, scrambling for his boxers sensing the urgency flooding her eyes and her voice.

"It's Riley. She's sick." Mary was rushing through her sentence, losing her breath much faster than she should have been. She gulped. "I told Brandi a few days ago it was probably just the flu." She began to cry. "It's not Marshall. Her fever's up to 104…"

"Calm down…" He stopped, his belt undone and his shirt half on, grabbing her shoulders. "It's gonna be fine, Mary. She'll be fine. Toddlers get sick. Your niece is no exception." He tried to soothe.

"Brandi's hysterical!" Mary cried. "And it's my fault. Why did she listen to me?"

"Fever is no big deal; a doctor can get her fever down no problem…" He attempted again.

"That's not the point Marshall. The f-fever… That's normal , but Brandi had to call an ambulance because— she shuddered- Riley had a seizure when Peter was trying to put her down for a nap." She finally choked.

His eyebrows rose. "I'll get the keys."

"You don't have to come, Marshall!" She sniffed, pulling her shirt over her head, clipping her badge to her belt and reattaching her glock to her holster. "You don't need the drama."

He took her hand, squeezing tightly.

"I'm coming." Marshall let go. "And you can't stop me!" He called as he made his way down the hallway, buttoning his shirt. "This is our family, Mary!"

She stopped furrowing her brow.

Our family? She thought, why did that sound so… right?

Hope you enjoyed, please review and tell me what you think?