A/N: It's always nice to find like-minded people with whom to write. I had a blast writing with Hannah and badmouthing Abigail. This was a really interesting fic to write, and we are planning to write even more, including a possible follow up story to this. So enjoy, everybody! ~obsessedwithstabler
A/N: I also really enjoyed this fiction! Writing with Amanda has been sooo enjoyable, I can't wait to write more! I thank her for introducing me to co-writing fanfiction! So as she's already stated, Enjoy! ~ Hannanball13
Mary's Point Of View written by: obsessedwithstabler
Marshall's Point Of View written by: Hannaball13
Mary Shannon couldn't help pondering that word as she stared down into her sixth (or was it eighth) shot of whiskey. Her head was swimming, and next to her hand was a white piece of paper that had ripped her apart earlier that afternoon and sent her on the drinking binge.
Marshall Mann and Abigail Marie Chaffee request the honor of your presence at their blessed union in marriage on Saturday, August the twenty-fifth.
She snorted into her shot glass and shoved the paper away. Who was she kidding? She would never be happy, because she was stupid and didn't realize the only person who could make her happy was Marshall. But by the time she did, it was too late.
"Bastard," she slurred, slamming back the rest of her shot.
From the bar, Jack Adams watched Mary with a careful eye. She was one of his regulars, had been for the past three years or so. But this was the first time he had ever seen her get this drunk, and usually she wasn't alone. Loneliness and alcohol was a very dangerous combination.
When she motioned to him for another shot, he made his way to her table and gave her a sympathetic smile. "Mary, why don't we call a ride for you, huh? I know you've had a long day..."
"You don't know shit!" she sneered, knocking over the empty shot glass.
He sighed. When she got drunk, she was usually very quiet or very belligerent. Tonight she was belligerent. "Okay, I'm going to give Marshall a call." He knew that they were some kind of law enforcement, and that Marshall was her partner. He was sure that if he called Marshall, he would be able to get her home safely.
Mary scoffed. "He's too busy with his damn cheerleader."
"I'm sure he'll be able to come." Jack went around to the bar and went through a box until he found Marshall's card. Then he grabbed his phone and dialed the number that was on the card. It was well after midnight, but if he knew anything about cops and partners, it was that they would always come when called.
Marshall Mann sighed. "Wow..." The utterance was breathy, and he couldn't help but smile. Abigail lay on his bare chest, her cheek resting in between his two pecks. Marshall's grin grew wider. "We should do this more often..." His tone was goofy, he stretched. He glanced over at the glowing, red time on his alarm clock. It was after midnight, Oscar was locked out into the hallway, but the scratching at the door had subsided an hour ago. It was peaceful.
Marshall stretched and turned onto his right side, taking Abigail into his arms. He was still quite tense. No matter how hard he tried, even with the warm, beautiful and content woman in his arms, he couldn't rest. His eyelids were no longer heavy like they had felt when he arrived home from work. That look on Mary's face when he had handed her the invitation to his wedding was still fresh in his mind. She had feigned an excited expression as she accepted the paper, but he knew that paper couldn't still be intact. He looked around the room; their wedding invitation was framed on their nightstand.
He attempted once again to close his eyes. He wanted to shut out the day and bask in this exact moment until he fell into his wistful slumber.
Marshall's cell rang loudly in his pants pocket. The pants were lying on the ground, near Oscar's bed. Abigail's eyes flew open and her jaw tensed.
"Who could that be?"
His heart began to pound. Who would be calling this late?
If you call, I'll come.
He gulped, climbed from his bed and crouched down to his trousers and pulled his cell from the pocket of the vacated dress pants. The number was unfamiliar to him, but with the fears crawling around his brain and corroding his thoughts he had an idea of who it was.
"Hello? What?" The voice on the other end was familiar, and his gut twisted as he spoke. "Jack, of course. I'll be there as soon as I can!"
"Marshall?" Abigail's voice was stern, a warning. It faded to confusion as he swiftly pulled on his clothes and left without another word.
The air was brisk as he hit his driveway, but his mind was a whirlwind of guilt. His car jolted into reverse as Abigail appeared in the doorway, calling to him, only a blanket wrapped around her torso.
He took a deep breath, ignoring his angry fiancé.
Less than fifteen minutes later, Jack was relieved to see Marshall explode into the bar. He knew that he'd woken the cop up, but Mary hadn't given him much of a choice. He met Marshall's eyes and motioned to the booth where Mary was sitting and sulking.
This was going to be interesting.
Mary huffed and crumpled the invitation up in her hands. There was no way she could go to the wedding, even if Marshall needed her there. Her own self preservation kept her from even considering attending.
Suddenly a familiar and subtle cologne filled her nostrils. She sighed. "Fucking perfect."
What a sight.
He stopped just feet away from the booth. Mary had her head in her arms, face planted on a napkin. Marshall approached slowly, summoning Jack with a wave.
"Get me a cup of coffee and two glasses of water- not tap- Mary hates tap," he ordered, inching closer until he stood beside her. He gently placed hand on her shoulder, and her head shot up. Clearly she wasn't so happy to see him. Her eyes were glossy, it was obvious she was drowning herself in a sea of alcohol. The crumpled up and torn piece of paper fell from her hand onto the dirty, discolored floor of the bar.
Jack arrived with a tray, placing it on the table and scurrying away before Marshall could examine the muddled words on the unrecognizable invitation.
"Oh Mare," he whispered, playing his fingers through her blonde hair. "This is not how I imagined all of this."
The feel of his hand in her hair was too much for her. Cracks began appearing in her facade. "Imagine what?" she muttered, the alcohol loosening her tongue. "Imagine how we'd talk, and I wouldn't tell you that I fucked up everything? How I backed off to give you exactly what you wanted, but just succeeded in tormenting myself?"
"No." He paused. "I never imagined I would ever hurt you this badly." He was soft with his words; the sadness lingered in the air afterward. He took a seat across the table, staring at the depressing, disheartening, wallowing mound of human being just in front of him. Once Mary looked up, he was all too surprised to see the tears. It made his heart ache. Marshall reached out to stop them from streaming down her cheeks, but she slapped his hand away. Her face twisted into rage.
"Don't touch me, Marshall! You lost that right when you told me not to call you." She swiped at her eyes with trembling hands. Her vision was blurry, and the world tipped and dipped around her. She groaned and put her head back down, sniffling miserably.
He was taken aback. "I never told you not to…" He stopped, gulping at the gigantic lump lodged in his airway.
I need you to release me.
"I did. Didn't I?" he asked to himself disapprovingly. Why hadn't it occurred to him that this is how it had come across? Why now? Of all times, he swallowed hard again. His mouth was suddenly dry so he began gulping at the icy water that had been placed on the table shortly after his arrival.
His phone buzzed in his pocket, but he quickly pressed End. Abigail needn't be any part of this debacle.
She suddenly lifted her head again, and the room dipped violently. "I'm goin' home." She began patting herself in search of her keys.
At the bar, Jack dangled her keys in his hand. "I'm giving these to your partner." He gave Marshall a pointed look. "You'll get her home, right?"
Mary snorted. "He can't, cause he has to get back to his precious cheerleader."
"Abigail is content at our place, you however are in no condition to be operating any sort of machinery, so I am taking you home- no arguments!" He threw down some cash on the table and stood up to grab Mary's jacket hanging on a stool at the bar. She reeked of strong liquor. "Get up. And don't play games. I won't leave you alone until I know you're safe and sound in your bed!" He pulled at her arm impatiently. Marshall's forehead wrinkled, he knew he couldn't fool her. He'd have to explain more, "Mare, you are my best friend. Forever." She rolled her eyes, or tried. Drunken Mary's expression weren't much to go by. "Being wed to another woman will not change that." He didn't even believe what he was saying, he had said it himself.
I need to be free enough to have a life with Abigail, and I need you to be okay enough for that to happen.
He could plainly see that she wasn't okay.
"It already has." Those three small words hit them both hard, and another shudder went through Mary. He had promised years ago that he would always be there for her. She had accepted his words at face value, not expecting that he meant until the woman he would marry came along, or until he started a family of his own, leaving her out in the cold.
"You're right," he admitted glumly. What could he do about it? He was getting married and Abigail wouldn't stand for him spending his little free time he had with Mary. Although, there had been many occasions where he wished he was grabbing a slice with his former partner rather than playing a game of scrabble with his fiancé. Sometimes, to be sitting in his home with Abby felt so wrong and the idea of putting Norah down for a nap and joining Mary for a glass of wine seemed so right. He wiped any of those ideas from his mind and made another advance in Mary's direction. "Come on let's get you home." Marshall was quiet. "I apologize, Mare. it hurts me to see you like this. You mean so much to me and I can't fathom you ever thinking otherwise. And right now, I can plainly see something I have done has struck you in the wrong way, but you have to help out. I don't understand what's exactly going on. Is it just the wedding? Is it our time apart?" He was confused and he had no right to be. Marshall knew all of his promises to her had slowly made their way down the drain, but he hadn't realized just how much it had truly hurt her.
"Damn it, Marshall..." She ran her hands through her messy blond hair. "Just take me home. I won't remember any of this tomorrow, and we can go back to the way it was." Back to his obliviousness, back to her denial and misery about his upcoming wedding... yeah, that was what she needed to do.
"Can you stand?" he asked, reaching to help her from the booth, Marshall watched sadly as she attempted to get to her feet. How was he supposed to forget all of this? How was he supposed to look Abigail in the eye and act as if nothing went down tonight? He thought about lying, saying it was a witness, but that just seemed… impossible. He wanted nothing more than to take Mary in his arms and tell her everything would be okay. Unfortunately, he knew she wouldn't allow him. He shook his head and repeated himself, "Can you stand up?" Marshall stood there, jacket slung over his shoulder.
Mumbling to herself, Mary reluctantly followed him out of the bar.
Jack watched the two leave, and he smiled to himself.
They did make a nice couple.
A few miles away, Abigail Chaffee felt tears slide down her cheeks as she reached Marshall's voicemail again. He didn't have to tell her where he was going. She already knew, and she couldn't do this anymore. She loved Marshall more than anything in the world, and she accepted being second to his job. What she couldn't accept was coming in third to the job and her. She had given him an ultimatum: tell Mary to give him some space, or she was gone. He had said that he would always choose her.
Deep down, she supposed that she knew he was lying all along.
Trembling, she put her phone down and got out of bed. Strolling over to the closet, she grabbed a suitcase and began shoving clothes into it. Tears blurred her vision and fell down her cheeks as she muttered to the empty room, "I'm sorry, Marshall."
She was nearly passed out by the time he buckled her in. Damn how he wished she would have let him carry her! It would have been so much less heart breaking not to see her as a bumbling fool, trying helplessly to keep herself straight. Staring at her beside him in the passenger's seat, he couldn't help but smile to himself. He reached out and rested his hand on top of hers. She fidgeted slightly, but didn't wake. Marshall sighed, "I wish I could tell you how much I love you…." It was a low, breathy whisper; even if she had been conscious she wouldn't have caught it. "It's been ten long years, Mary Shannon." He paused. "Ten, great, perfect years…"
Fifteen minutes later, Mary jerked her head up as Marshall parked his truck in her driveway. They hadn't spoken on the ride to her home, but now she was a little more sober. She refused Marshall's help as she slid out of the passenger's seat and her feet hit the ground. A dull ache had made itself known in her head, making her stomach churn. God, why was she doing this to herself? Why had it taken him becoming engaged for her to realize that she was insanely in love with him? Now he was getting married... Marshall was getting married.
She walked with him to the front door, but when she pulled out her keys and tried to open the door, her hand shook. She gasped when his warm hands clasped hers and helped her guide the key into the lock. She looked up and found herself staring into warm cerulean eyes. Before she could blink, her lips were on his, hot and probing. The door opened, and they stumbled inside.
He had made the ultimate mistake, leading her hand to the door was touchy territory, but if she hadn't wanted him to touch her she would have slapped his hand away, right? Marshall was surprised to feel how cold her hand was under his large paw. When she looked over at him, he pressed his lips to hers. They were warm and wet on his face. The after taste of alcohol stung his tongue, but he continued exploring her mouth, planting small peck along her neck and one on her chest. Mary finally shoved the door open and they stumbled inside, still clinging to each other, Marshall massaged her scalp with her fingertips. How could he have been so stupid? Yes, he realized he had loved her years ago, but then Abigail had come along and filled the domestic void Mary couldn't fill (Or so he thought).
The house was still. Norah was with Mark, which was the only explanation for her absence in Mary's home. Brandi must have been asleep or staying with Jinx. He didn't really care. However he did care that Mary was drunk, he did care that this could be mistaken for him taking advantage of her,
"Perhaps we shouldn't do this," he suggested, but Mary growled, pulling him down onto the couch. "Mary, please don't resent me when this is over," he said in between kisses. "I love you." It had slipped, he didn't mean for those words to fly from his mouth. She didn't respond, but rather fumbled with his belt. With a flick of his own wrist he flung it off to the center of the room. Nimbly, he began to unbutton her blouse, hungry to know what she felt like underneath all of these garments. He felt around her hips, and near her stomach, her ribs were not prominent by sight because of the extra Norah weight she still carried around, but she was beautiful nonetheless and all the more rousing to him. I want her naked, he thought, tearing the rest of her clothing off.
Marshall lay on the living room floor. The carpeted floor wasn't the best for his back, but it didn't matter. He held his snoring Mary in his arms; this was where he needed to be and where he wanted to be. "I love you," he whispered this for the second time this morning, this time not caring if she heard him or not. She shivered in his grasp so he placed a throw blanket over the both of them. His phone buzzed from his pants against the arm of the sofa. Whoever was calling could wait, he had who he wanted in his arms. She was all he wanted.
All I know is that more than anything in the whole world, I want you to be happy….
She made him happy.
She heard his words, but couldn't bring herself to respond to them. Not yet. She was consumed by thoughts of him, of his touch on her skin and his lips on hers. God, she wanted him, and had she been sober, she probably would have put a stop to this before they even opened the door. Briefly she thought of his fiancée, the woman he'd left in bed for her, but then his hand was cupping her breast and she couldn't breathe. He whispered those three words again, and what they meant finally hit her. He loved her. He still loved her. Freeing her hands, she reached out and cupped his face in her hands. "Marshall." He hesitated for a moment, but when he finally met her eyes, she offered him a small smile. Then she kissed him again, her fingers moving slowly into his thick hair. "Do you really?" she whispered when he broke the kiss. Her eyes frantically searched his. "Do you still love me?"
"How could I ever stop?" He took deep breath, the sun was rising and he knew they wouldn't have enough time for another go around. He smiled his heart beating rapidly as her fingers crawled through his hair. "Mary?" he looked down, her face was pressed against his chest, he knew she could feel the way his heart sped up awaiting a response.
Her fingers moved slowly through his thick hair. "I love you, too, Marshall," she finally whispered. And with those five words, she felt the last of the walls around her heart crumbling. The light that had been missing from his eyes for the past few months finally returned, and she found that she was indescribably happy. She ran her thumb slowly over the strong set of his jaw. "You're... Marshall, you're it. You and Norah are everything to me." She was terrified of putting herself too far out, but she couldn't stop the words from pouring out of her mouth. "I shouldn't even be saying this. You're still engaged to Abigail, and she's better for you than I could ever hope to be. But God, Marshall, she can't love you like I can. I know that." No one could love him like she would, or protect him like she could. And she was so tired of hiding how she felt from him.
Her body against his, those words from her mouth- It was like heaven. What once was a spark was now a flame, burning within his heart and noticeable in his eyes. Marshall didn't care how goofy he sounded, "Those words have never sounded better from anyone else's mouth." He kissed her softly on the temple "I've been waiting for so long to hear you say it. I love you, with all of my heart and Norah as well, unfortunately…" he hated bringing Abigail up at a moment like this, "But I must be skedaddling." Marshall began untangle himself from her, kissing her once again, We wouldn't want Brandi catching light of this quite yet…"
She was deeply reluctant to let him go, but she understood his unspoken words. He would never make her his mistress. Other things would have to be dealt with... "Yeah, you're right." She let him help her to her feet before she kissed him again. It was getting harder and harder to let go of him. "I should get some sleep and go rescue Norah." Her hands moved slowly up and down his arms as she tried to put her most worrisome thought into words. "You... I'll see you later, right?"
"Of course. It's unfortunate they I have to lea- mphm." She kissed him again. He grinned, "Get some sleep Mare, you look beat." Marshall climbed into his pants and pulled his shirt over his head. He looked at his phone. Fifteen missed calls from Abigail. That was excessive, even for a worried fiancé.
The car ride was lonely and the scent of Mary was still strong in his nostrils. Such a sweet smell, he thought, for such a bitter woman.
When he got back to his home, he tossed his keys onto the end table near the sofa, searching his home for his fiancé. Marshall made his way toward his bedroom, expecting Abigail to be asleep. He glanced down at his watch.
"I apologize for the de-"
Marshall was faced with an empty bedroom. His brow furrowed as he made his way over to their bed. The framed wedding invitation was lying there, ensconced in blankets.
I'm sorry Marshall, but I think your priorities are a little skewed. I love you with all of my heart, but this is not what any of us want. Yours truly, Abigail.
The engagement ring was wrapped in tissue paper, lying on his pillow. He lowered himself to the floor. It was still a shock- to come home to an empty home. He was suddenly alone… but he wasn't.
He had Mary.
Later that afternoon, Mary was still sleeping in her bed. After Marshall had left, she hadn't even bothered with a shower. Her skin smelled like him, lulling her into a deep, restful sleep. But that sleep was interrupted when the bed dipped and a pair of strong arms slid around her. She stirred and yawned, subconsciously knowing who was with her and that she was perfectly safe.
A gentle hand brushed her hair back away from her neck. Then a pair of soft lips found the vulnerable hollow of her neck. She smiled softly.
"Shall we get on with the rest of our lives?" he asked, the familiar words were still fresh in his tired mind from the balcony not too long ago. He rested his hand on her stomach, inching closer and closer, until he could hear her breath and feel her heart.
"Yes." She turned over so that she was face to face with him. He looked tired and run down, so she ran her thumb lightly over his cheek. Then she kissed his forehead affectionately. "Mark said he can keep Bug until tonight, or tomorrow." She pressed her body closer to his, enjoying the warmth and contact their closeness provided. She hadn't bothered with getting dressed after he left, and every inch of her skin was exposed to his eyes.
He shuddered, her body pressed against his was one of the most wonderful things he had ever felt. She climbed on top of him and he took her by her hips, "What do you think we should do in all of this free time?" he questioned. He loved her, and he loved the way she felt on top of her, everything just felt, good again.
"Hmm..." She brushed her hair back as she straddled his waist. "I'm sure we can think of a few things..." Her entire body was on fire, and she moaned as he gripped her hips tightly, pulling her more firmly against himself.
Oh, yes, she could think of more than a few things...