A/N: Well, I wasn't sure I was going to finish this tale before I had to start working feverishly again, but I managed! It is entirely new, and an entirely different spin on its plot than most of my stories. The chapters are much shorter (most of them, anyway) and written completely in letter/e-mail form.

I feel it's probably important I give a brief synopsis in addition to the one on the main page, in case the letters don't speak for themselves. Almost the whole fic (minus the final three chapters,) are back-and-forth e-mails. Marshall, almost immediately post-finale and newly married to Abigail, has gone to Mexico for six months in order to help out the Marshal/detective division with his WITSEC skills. Abigail has gone with him. Their phones won't call back to the states. That is pretty much the gist, and I try to work in the other details in the messages as best I can, and in a way that seems natural. The date of each e-mail was supposed to be in the upper right, but the site won't format it that way, so it's on the left, unfortunately. You will have to suspend some disbelief for this story, but I hope you can manage!



June 7th

My dearest doofus,

Your eyes are not playing tricks on you, skinny. (And getting skinnier, no doubt, now that you're bunking below the border and spending all your time snagging felons.) I actually took the time to write you an e-mail, and I expect full and complete credit for it when you return to the hellhole that is the southwest in six months time.

(Six months? Seriously? How the hell you expect me to keep from flaying Delia alive before that moment is a mystery to me but hey, the blood's on your hands.)

I figure that since you said the cell phone service would be 'sketchy' down there, this might be the best way for me to make sure you haven't – you know – been seriously injured scrutinizing some rare type of cactus or something. And, it will give you more time to spend with Abigail. I can't imagine how she is faring in the drug-bust business, but I know you're doing your part to reinvent the poor lost souls down there. You're like Doctors Without Borders now, only without the coat and a much more impressive haircut.

To avoid having to answer these questions twice, I suppose I can give you the run-down. Norah is thriving; don't think I'm fooled into believing you don't want to know about her more than you want to know about me. She's not wild about how hellishly hot it's been here lately, but Brandi convinced me to take her swimming yesterday and she's like part girl, part flounder. Jinx bought this ridiculously tacky plastic pool to set up in the backyard; the next thing we need is the family dog drinking water from the hose.

Oh, wait. I already have one of those thanks to you. For the record, I am changing Oscar's name to Oaf and you owe me. You owe me big. Between him and Norah and the little fidgeter in Brandi's stomach, not due to come out 'till September, I practically have a fleet here at home. It's pretty sick, but at least Brandi is becoming a decent babysitter. 'Bout time she earned her keep.

So, I really doubt that you'll be able to squeeze me in between your nightly Shakespeare readings with Nancy Drew and slamming the drug-smugglers, but I want some serious glory for this novel. Honestly Marshall, my fingers are getting sore, not to mention my ass from having it planted in this chair all day long. Since you ditched the chief position and they brought in that asshat from Denver, I've been more swamped than ever. Hope you're happy.

Don't get blasted or stabbed, my little dimwit. That's a lot of messy paperwork.

- Your Mary Sunshine


June 10th

Dear Mary,

I ought to have known you would make light of my noble affairs. What you see as abandoning my prior position, I see as the opportunity to hone my well-established WITSEC muscles and do some good where I am stationed. It is Abigail who is doing the drug-busting, and she has no qualms with it either; that, I can assure you. It is I who is modeling the young citizens that have been brave enough to stand up and show they have a voice – to do their duty for a country, be it theirs or the new world beyond the border. It is simply Witness Protection rejuvenated; those individuals who are courageous enough to do their part are sent on a new adventure to Arizona, Colorado, or our homeland of New Mexico. I never would have thought the greater southwest WITSEC and, indeed, D.C. would ever approve Abigail and I heading down here, but the Marshal Service was in dire need. Everyone craves a clever detective and her witty sidekick. The more we manage to turn around in the six months we've got, the better.

I do encourage you to give Chief Inspector Hanson a chance. He was much acclaimed in Colorado and will be an asset to the Albuquerque office. I hesitate to say he does not need a surly co-worker to put stress on his transition. Abigail and I also have to content ourselves with the upper crust here in Mexico. We have been assigned to a deputy donned Cliff. He does not exactly operate to mirror my own style, but I am adjusting, and Abigail seems to enjoy him.

The place where we are staying is actually quite homey. D.C. made sure we were put up in a less-than-temporary apartment, with the six month stay and all. Abigail is excited to start decorating and has already put flowerpots on the windowsills. While I am thrilled to have a place to call our own, I cannot help feeling selfish when I glimpse some of the areas we go into. Seeing children with little to eat, little to wear, and almost literally lacking a roof over their heads makes me quite melancholy. Our building is more outside the poverty-stricken vicinity, but you are correct about the cell service. It is patchy at best. Fortunately, we have radios and the cellular does seem to work within the region, but getting a call back to the states is difficult. For emergencies, we are supposed to go into headquarters, which is quite a trek.

I am buffeted to hear that Norah is getting along relatively nicely. Despite your disdain for the swimming pool, I cannot picture a better solution in the heat. You may have to let Brandi stretch her maternal wings, as she is destined to have her own just after Labor Day (how ironic.) If you deem it of importance, you will have to let me know how she is feeling. Do tell her I extend my hellos, and to Jinx as well.

It seems a paradox that I can connect to the Internet from my laptop, but rarely use the phone. Abigail has been talking about getting a landline for our stay, but we will have to see how that plays out.

Give my love to Norah, even if she cannot understand because she is a baby. I do hope that you will write again, and that the first attempt was not too taxing.

- Marshall


A/N: Feel free to ask questions if anyone is confused about the set-up here (in case it's not clear.) And, like I said, it requires some suspending of reality with phones not calling, but e-mail working, etc. We tweak things for the purposes of our fics. Also, I am not trying to imply anything by using Mexico as the setting for Marshall's work. I'm not intending to make stereotypes about how people live down there AT ALL; many areas throughout our nations have drug problems or poverty. It's not supposed to be specific to Mexico; it's just the area I chose.

Hope you enjoyed this first installment!