Disclaimer: It was late and I was rambling and this came about. Obviously our Marshall wouldn't actually relate to this tune, but I gave it a shot- a one-shot! Please enjoy and keep an open mind. There are a few OOC moments.

The car was cool and the sun had set only moments ago a waning gibbous floating in the sky. Marshall Mann clutched the steering wheel with white knuckles trying to dodge anymore questions about his younger love life. It brought back memories he couldn't handle sometimes, irking him in ways he thought were the past, but as Mary rambled on groggily about her fruitful endeavors in her sexuality during college, his heart only beat faster and faster and unprecedented sweat began to trickle down from his hairline.

"Come on Doofus, you can't tell me you weren't a virgin until your mid-thirties. I know you; you had to have been a virtuous boy, interested in the vast cultures of different countries and math more than a girl's cup size or lusty reputations." She was proud of herself, stretching in her place and adjusting the seat belt which was digging into the soft flesh of her neck. Mary Shannon smiled mischievously, only the moonlight revealing the playful twinkle in her green eyes.

"I'd rather not get into stories of my less than plentiful encounters with the youthful ladies of my day."

"Is that your way of denying that your cherry wasn't popped after your mid- life crisis? Or is it just one of your doof like attempts to stray me toward a different conversation? Because we have hours before we touch Albuquerque concrete, Marshall, and I don't give in very easily." She snorted, reclining a little in the passenger's seat, staring at his hard expression whilst he was driving.


"Come on!" She yelled, interrupting him. "I told you mine now you tell me yours!" She was like a small child, her eyes placed wildly on his adamant features.

He gulped.

I was twenty and she was eighteen we were just about as wild as we were green in the ways of the world…

"I was twenty, a sophomore in college and she was still in high school. I remember her pick up, the truck was red, this angry, rusty red and the power steering was all but optimal…. It was her fathers." He sort of laughed, as if recalling a more stimulating memory that he wasn't sharing. "She picked me up on campus one night and we ended up cruising through the little town just a few miles away…"

Mary turned her head, her eyebrows rose and she gestured her hand wildly. "Keep going, tell me more! Please tell me you were wearing suspenders, oh! And oh, please say she couldn't undo your nerd belt!" She crossed her fingers and closed her eyes, biting her lip in a facetious manner as she waited for him to continue.

We'd park way out in a clearing in a grove, And the night was as hot as a coal-burning stove
We were cooking with gas, knew it had to last

In the back of that red ragtop, she said please don't stop…

"Well, needless to say she turned onto this dirt road and I had- had no intentions of…." He sighed, rubbing at his neck nervously. "I had no intentions of getting back to my dorm that night with her virginity and missing mine." He blushed. "She had a blanket, stowed behind the seats and she got it caught in the driver's side seat belt buckle and it tore. The innards of it were entangled in locks of her hair once we had…" Marshall Mann shifted uncomfortably. "Mary, I don't think I can tell you anymore. It's late and you should really rest…"

"I'm not tired! Look at me!" She pointed to her wide eyed look and serious face. "I'm wide awake! Now, do it, tell me everything, and don't hold back!" Mary was determined, waiting intently like a child for a bedtime story.

He didn't know how to go about it any longer, what was coming next would surely send Mary into a tiff of some sort, whether it be baffled or angry or just plain disappointed. He supposed it would be disappointment he would least want to see overcome the face of Mary Shannon. His heart pumped loudly in his ears and he unbuttoned the top three buttons of his dress shirt, his left hand still wrapped around the wheel of the SUV.

Well the very first time her mother met me, her green-eyed girl had been a mother-to-be for two weeks.

"As with any young relationship we wished it could last- that amazing first love feeling. That kind of emotion that compelled you to do whatever, whenever, disregarding everything and we did… Mary?" He rasped his throat suddenly dry.

"What?" She asked cautiously, watching the tears begin welling up in his exhausted, anxious pools of cerulean.

"Promise me you won't hate me for what I'm about to say?" Marshall's voice shook and the fear that took hold of her partner's tone shocked her.

"Of course not, Marshall." She whispered sweetly. Her brow was furrowed and she tensed preparing herself for whatever was about to come from his trembling lips.

"We were foolish, Mary. Very foolish." He shook his head. "And we—let's just say I thought we would be together forever. Like you always do the first time and I was terrified. Terrified." He repeated. "I met my first loves mother two and half hours after that test turned positive."

There were the tears, the onslaught sliding down his cheeks.

"Jesus, Marshall…" She mumbled, looking down at her lap, fiddling with her hands. "What the hell did you do?" It was obvious she realized once he shuddered.

So we did what we did and we tried to forget, and we swore up and down there would be no regrets, in the morning light, but on the way home that night
From the back of that red ragtop, she said please don't stop loving me…

"I held her." He stated softly. "We weren't ready for that and.. and I…" He let out a chilling sob, and turned the vehicle off of the road. Marshall continued once the car was in park. "I didn't work and I didn't- I couldn't… To this day, I realize that things could have been so much different than they are now. And I promised up and down that I wouldn't ever go… Up and down…"

"And what did she do?" Mary wondered gently, not meaning to prod.

And her eyes were green

And I was in an old scene, I was back in that red ragtop on the day she stopped loving me- I was back in that red ragtop, on the day she stopped loving me

"We parted. And I've tried not to think of it…" He wouldn't look at her, wouldn't attempt a glance in her direction, her shock radiated from her person, her voice low and scratchy. Mary felt overwhelmed with guilt and she grabbed his hand.

"Marshall." Now she pressed her palm to his warm face to turn his head to hers. "You can't blame yourself anymore. That was so long ago…"

"And yet so vivid in my mind." He replied sadly. "I'm sorry for not telling you."

"I wouldn't have told me, either. If that's any consolation…" Mary whispered, her eyes glued to the bump in her middle. "Especially not now."

"I really am sooo sorry…" He cried, intertwining his fingers into hers. "I didn't feel like hiding it from you anymore, not when we're here, like this…" Marshall could feel it, deep in his aching heart he could practically hear the 'goodbye' about to pass from her lips, but he was surprised to hear a huff.

Well you do what you do and you pay for your sins
And there's no such thing as what might have been
That's a waste of time, drive you out of your mind

"I love you…" She said breathily. "And a mistake like that will never ruin this. What we have, right here." She pointed to her stomach. "This is now Marshall. Don't drive yourself bonkers thinking about all of that… Not anymore." Mary sighed. "It was my mistake. Let's get home cowboy, I miss our little girl." And she smiled, pressing a soft kiss to his cheek bone as he shed his last tear and sniffed.

"For the record…" He stopped to look back at her. "I don't regret having done it." It came out so harsh, and he wished it weren't incredibly true. "Because then I wouldn't have met you."

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