Okay, this is not going to become a series… I started this a while ago. It is set during the final episode of season 4. An AU to the scene from the courthouse. Also bits from the episode where he learned Marshall used to play the Oboe. It was an interesting story that I wished we heard more about. By now you've probably realized I like to write about Marshall relationship with his Dad, lol so here is another fic. I hope you like it, please review and let me know.

Enjoy!

A Point To Be Made

"Which one?"

8 year old Marshall Mann looked at his oboe in his dad's right hand and his baseball glove in the left.

He loved playing his oboe, he was good at it and music was something he was better at then his brothers.

"Marshall?"

He enjoyed baseball because he played it with his dad. Just the two of them and his dad had been so proud when he made the school team.

"We're getting ready to move."

Marshall jumped and turned around to see Stan.

"You okay?" His boss questioned, noticing he had startled his inspector.

"Yeah, sorry…I was miles away."

"You sure?" Stan looked at him closely. "How's the head?"

"I'll be picking glass out of my hair for weeks but other than a few cuts, its fine."

"Okay, well we're moving soon…I want you and Mary to stick to the back."

"You got it, chief."

Marshall sighed and ran a hand over his eyes. He thought back to what Abigail had said about him protecting Mary. He did it on pure instinct. When he heard the sound of sniper fire, he didn't even think about it; his body took over and covered Mary but despite what Abigail thought, he did look for her. As they were all falling to the floor, he glanced across and could see she was out of the firing range. Yes, any other time he would have moved to her side, just to show his support but she was a detective, she had experience this kind of thing before. It just so happened that moment of time, Mary needed him more. She was in direct line of the bullets and her condition meant she couldn't move as fast.

He knew he had made the right decision, in his head and his heart but he didn't know if Abigail truly understood like she said she did. Would she ever understand that no matter how much he loved her and was committed to her, his job, his role was to be there for Mary to?

He could envision a future with Abigail. They had briefly discussed it, both of them agreeing they wanted children at some point in the near future and neither of them minded reducing their works hours to take care of them.

What he couldn't picture was a future without Mary being a part of it. A big part of it… like was she now.

Would he be asking Abigail too much to accept that? Would he be willing to compromise to make her happy? Could he give her up to keep Mary happy?

"Hey, you sure you didn't bang your head or something?"

This time it was Mary stood beside him, looking at him in concern.

"What?"

"You were staring off into space."

"Just thinking…" He told her and looked around to see everyone was ready. "You doing okay?"

"I'm ready to get out of here."

"Let's go." He pulled out his gun and headed over the group, waiting.

XxXxX

It was the adrenaline that always got him through things like this. He was extremely grateful that was able to leave Mary somewhere safe so he didn't have to worry about protecting her. When he saw the guard seconds before the lights went out, he knew he had to strike first or he would be dead.

He was good at his job, been on training course after training course and passed with flying colors for each of them but none of them truly prepared him for this. The logical way was to sneak up on the guy in the dark without warning and hit him has hard as possible. That was what he learnt from his training. It was pure luck that made it work. Any other day, he may have been a fraction too slow and end up taking a bullet…but not today.

He was relieved when he caught up with the rest of the group and saw they were safe. Naturally, he made his way to the front, assuring Stan Mary was safe and throwing Abigail a quick glance before getting into position.

"Why do I have to choose?" Marshall looked up to his father, sadly.

"You want to play your oboe while covering third base?" His Dad questioned. "You can't do both…You have to pick one."

Marshall chewed his bottom lip and looked down when tears burned in his eyes….He couldn't let his dad see him cry.

"Listen, Son…You have to learn that you can't have everything." Seth told him, his voice softening slightly. "Life is about making choices and for the right reasons."

Marshall still studied his sneakers, hoping his dad would give in but he knew it was a long shot.

"Think about if there was a fire…If you had to run out of a burning building and you could only save one item…The baseball glove or the oboe…What would you choose?"

This time Marshall looked up, swallowing a little before answering as confidently as he could.

"Items are just things…They can be replaced…Lives cannot be replaced."

Seth couldn't help a flicker of a proud smile on his lips as his son kept a strong eye contact.

The sound of a gun didn't bother him…It never had. He had grown up to watching his grandfather and his dad shot. He first held a gun when he was thirteen.

Guns didn't scare him…The people holding the guns were a different a story.

Looking through the night vision lens he fired another shot and watched another man fall. He felt no sympathy for him but it also didn't make him happy. He was emotionless…He had to be. Later, when the adrenaline ran out and he was surrounded by peace, he would have to confront his demons but there was no time for that now.

He knew that they had to take out every member of the gang because otherwise they would not survive. It was a fight to the death and he knew they had guns that their bulletproof vest would not protect them from.

His whole body tensed when he saw the red laser dot flash into his face but as he looked through the gun's lens again towards the assailant, it left him and was traced further back.

Abigail.

He knew his girlfriend was next to Ronny…His brain told him that was who they were after…But he couldn't take the risk.

"They told us at school…" Marshall stood up a little straighter. "If there's a fire, you leave everything…Nothing is more important than life."

"That's true." Seth agreed. "But if you could grab one thing on the way out, what would it be?"

"Mom." Marshall replied without hesitation.

"Mom?" Seth repeated in confusion.

"I'd help Mom…" He clarified. "I would want to help you to but you never need help with anything."

Seth stared down at his son in surprise. He was aware of the increasing distance that was growing between the two of them and he had thought that Marshall's vision of him being some kind of superhero was long gone.

"So you wouldn't choose the baseball glove or the oboe?" Seth questioned, clearing his throat a little.

Marshall shrugged. "You and Mom are more important."

He saw Stan briefly glance his way when he started to shift backwards but his boss didn't say anything. He heard Abigail whisper his name, wondering what he was doing but he didn't pause.

He kept this eyes focused forward, taking another shot as the laser dot move once more now that Marshall blocked it but it failed to find the right target.

He knew Delia was behind his left shoulder and he felt her bullets fly by him and he knew Stan was shooting but as he took one more shot of his own, everything fell quiet apart from the sound of another gun being fired.

The sound came from in front of them and he was very aware that the red dot was placed over his chest. He swallowed and pulled the trigger once more as he felt himself being pushed backwards but he knew he had missed again. He knew he was too late.

The gun fell from his hands and he landed on his back, nothing but dull noise surrounded him but he could make out more gunfire. He heard muffled voices around him…He was sure someone had called his name…Maybe Abigail. Then he thought he heard Mary's name but that couldn't be right. He tried to sit up but his body didn't comply with the request, making him realize he didn't feel a thing….He felt completely numb.

Seth looked down at the items in his hands and then to his son. This was not how he expected this conversation to go…He had simply wanted to give Marshall some direction to life…Set him on the right path to what and who he really wanted to be.

"Was that the wrong answer?" Marshall frowned when his dad stayed silent.

"No, son… You're right, your life is more important." Seth assured him. "But you don't have to worry about fires because I'll always be there for you."

"And for mom?"

"Of course."

Marshall gave a small nod before his eyes slowly made their way back to his oboe and baseball glove.

"Let me ask you this…If you could be a famous musician or a pro ball player, what would you pick?" Seth tried a different approach.

Marshall scowled. "I'm going to be a US Marshal."

"Marshall? Open your eyes…Please."

He blinked a few times before his eyes focused on Abigail leaning over him, tears filling her eyes.

"Oh god, Marshall…" She whispered, placing on hand on his cheek. "What did you do?"

"You had to know…" He managed to get out, trying to take a deep breath, it felt like his lung weren't working but all it did was making him cough violently.

She leaned over him further and he realized she must have been applying pressure to his wound. "To know what?"

"Earlier with Mary…she needed me….just then, you needed me."

She stared down at him. "You did that to prove a point?"

"I couldn't….I can't choose." He shook his head a little, his own eyes burning with tears. "In a fire…I couldn't choose."

"A fire?" She frowned. "Marshall, what?"

"I was 8….My dad asked what I love more…what I would choose." He rambled. "I can't choose…truth is I'd die trying to save you both."

Tears fell down her face, she couldn't hold in it any longer but she fought back the sob that rose in her throat. She leaned down and pressed a gentle kiss on his lips. "Please don't die…"

He felt his eye lids becoming heavier as he remember a similar plead from the past and he although he wanted to he could not reassure her.

"Where is the ambulance?" Abigail suddenly looked away from him. "He needs help."

"Mary!" He heard Stan's voice.

"Get off…"

Marshall blinked in surprise when his partner came into view.

"Marshall?" She lowered herself awkwardly down to his side, opposite Abby. "You know you're meant to move out the way of bullets, right? Not step into their path."

He wanted to sleep but he knew he had to try and stay awake because the two most important people in his life were by his side, willing him to be okay. He could hear Stan barking orders and Delia, Ronnie and the other members of the group voices all blended together.

He turned his attention back to Mary when she squeezed his hand. She looked terrified.

"It's okay." He coughed again. "It'll be okay…"

"Are you trying to win some kind of award for bravery or something?" She joked, resisting the urge to throw up.

He managed a small smile. "Baby?"

"Still where I left it…" She answered, knowing what he was asking.

He briefly closed his eyes again and when he reopened them, he rolled his head to look to Abby.

"Abs…"

"Shh, don't talk." She cupped his cheek again.

"But…"

"Don't you say goodbye to me, Marshall Mann…" She told him firmly but her voice cracked and she continued in a whisper. "Don't you dare say goodbye."

Mary swallowed and her eyes widened, suddenly realizing how serious this was…How close she was to losing her best friend…The only person that had proven he was there for her time after time, no matter what.

This time it was him that squeezed her hand, so weakly that she barely noticed it. He was looking at her again, his breathing growing shallower and shallower by the second. She could see his eyes were almost closed through her own tear filled ones. She wanted to tell him to hold on, to stay strong, and to stay with her, that she needed him but she couldn't get the words out and just shook her head, hoping he'd get the message.

When she felt arms around her, trying to lift her to her feet, she fought against them.

"Mary…" Stan tightened his hold on her. "Mary, let the medics help him."

"Stan…" She protested as he pulled her away.

"Just let them help him." Stan whispered, looking down at Marshall sadly when Mary stopped fighting.

She was barely aware of Stan pulling her further away but her eyes didn't leave Marshall's now still body. Abigail had moved but only to the top of Marshall's head, giving the medics room to work. She wanted to protested, wanted tell them it should be her staying with him; she was his partner.

"Mary?" Stan's turned her forcibly to face him "An EMT is going to look you over…"

"But Marshall…"

"Marshall is being taken care of." He tried to assure her but knew it wouldn't work.

"I'm fine…"

"Inspector, you're heavily pregnant and have overdone it today...Let them take care you of you." Stan said before adding the only thing that might get her to agree. "Marshall would want you to…"

She stole another glance over her shoulder to Marshall, remembering him asking about the baby and more tears filled her eyes; even when he was fighting for his life, he was still concerned about her and her child.

"Come on, Mary." Stan said softly and guided over to the waiting EMT.

He could feel himself growing weaker and when he felt an oxygen mask being placed over his mouth, he allowed his eyes to close. He could hear Abigail, still talking to him…still begging him. He could hear an unfamiliar voice, probably an EMT, calling his name.

But he couldn't hear Mary.

He briefly contemplated trying to get up to look for her but he just couldn't. Slowly, he felt himself drifting off.

"Being a US Marshal is hard work." Seth warned when he got over the shock of Marshall's declaration. He had never imagined his youngest son following in his footsteps. He was incredible smart and Seth didn't doubt that he could do anything he wanted to do. He had no idea why he would want to be like him when had so many other options.

"I know." Marshall nodded.

"And dangerous."

"I can handle it." Marshall nodded. "I won't let anything scare me…"

Seth smiled a little sadly; being brave was a good thing but there were things that he had seen and been apart that he didn't want Marshall involved in.

"I'll be the best…" Marshall continued, thinking he needed to convince his Dad. "I promise, I will work as hard as possible…I won't let you down."

A week later, while Seth was working away, Marshall went to his bedroom to get his oboe to begin practicing but when he opened the case, he found it was empty apart from a scrap of paper.

'To be a US Marshal, you must look at everything closely and take everything into consideration…Remember, everything matters.'

TBC

Okay, I'm not completely mean…I'm not going to leave it there. I'm pretty much done with the next chapter (probably final chapter). I originally planned for this to be a one-shot fic but this chapter is a lot of Marshall and his views, where the next tends to move focus to Mary and Abigail, so decided to split. Please review and let me know what you think!