Great Expectations by Gaslight Anthem

She hadn't wanted to come back here. Ever, really. She'd left Jersey behind a long time ago. It was not her home anymore. Or it hadn't been. She'd thought Albuquerque was home. But then she and Marshall had fought. Or rather, she and Abigail had fought. And after calling your best friend's girl friend a whore and a backstabbing bitch, and not having the courage to face him….She'd grabbed her go bag and hopped the first plane. Of course it had been to Jersey. She just hadn't expected Marshall to follow her here. She should have though, because that's what he did. He followed her, he always had, and no small part of her was happy to see that he pretty much always would.

Now he stood ten feet away, looking confused and hurt, but not angry. He spoke only one word, but he always had been able to convey a million thoughts merely by saying her name. She didn't give him a chance to say more. "I'm sorry. I shouldn't have…"

But Marshall cut her off. "No, you probably shouldn't have, but it doesn't really matter now. Come home."

She had expected anger, a demand for an explanation, name calling on his part. Not what sounded like exasperation. "Marshall, she was…"

Again, he cut her off. "I know. She told me. After you left and I asked her why. For a detective, she's not very good at bluffing."

"I'm sorry."

"Stop apologizing, Mare, you didn't do anything wrong. She's the one that cheated."

"I should have told you."

He shrugged, "You would have. No way would you have let her get away with not telling me."

"I'm still sorry."

He gave a weak smile and reached a hand toward her, "It's still not your fault. Now, let's go home."

Men in Black by Will Smith

Mary huffed watching the men in the black suits deep in conversation with her boss in the conference room. She never liked to see suits enter the Sunshine Building, it rarely boded well for her and her partner. Said partner stepped up next to her, having just arrived to work. "What's going on in there?"

Mary didn't take her eyes off the men on the other side of the glass. "Not sure. They came in here flashing badges and told Stan they needed to talk. Whatever it is, it's not good."

Marshall agreed, but decided to try and calm Mary instead, "Well, let's try and narrow it down. Have you broken any laws lately?"

"Ha ha." Sarcasm dripped on her retort. "This isn't going to end well, Marshall. I have a bad feeling about this one."

Say You Like Me by We the Kings

Marshall had always figured he'd fall head over heels at first sight. He'd read so many of the great classic novels growing up, he'd always assumed things would turn out that way for him. He pictured himself the Romeo in a balcony scene, just one day his Juliet appearing onstage and his fate being sealed.

It hadn't happened that way. The first time he met his Juliet, he'd thought she was crazy. He'd tried his hardest to get out of having to spend three days with her, let alone his lifetime. But fate had had other plans. And as she walked down the aisle toward him, he figured that was probably for the better. Romeo and Juliet had died within about a week of meeting. He and Mary had been together for 3 years, partners for triple that, and were still going strong.

Put Your Arms Around Me by Texas

They stood on the balcony. It seemed apt, that's where they had most of their important conversations. Work had been Mary's refuge since she'd first got a job, doubly so once she'd found Marshall and moved to Albuquerque. She was her most open at the office, because this was her safety net.

She wasn't looking at Marshall. She didn't feel quite that safe. She was staring out at the city skyline, lit a blazing pink due to the setting sun. She was afraid to look at him because even after all these years as his partner, everything they'd been through, she was afraid of seeing rejection in his eyes.

She needn't of feared. There was no rejection from Marshall here, only hope. "Are you sure about this, Mare?"

She turned to him now. If she couldn't face him, it would never work. "I'm sure. I love you, Marshall."

The Last Song by All American Rejects

"I have to go." His voice was quiet. He didn't want to say these words to her. They would hurt her and that was the last thing that he ever wanted to do. But he didn't have a choice.

He watched the emotions play across her face. There was surprise, of course, how many times had he sworn he'd never do this to her. Then there was pain, she'd spent so much energy keeping him out to avoid this very moment, and it had all been useless. But all of that was dwarfed by anger. She'd fought tooth and nail against every hole he'd put in her armor. And though he was so happy to have made it into her heart, he wished more than anything that he could spare her this pain. She opened her mouth to scream and yell and curse him. But before the vitriol spewed forth, the fight left her body and her shoulders sagged- resignation.

"Ok." She met his gaze, and he saw in it her heart. "Just promise me you'll try to come back."

He knew what it cost to utter those words. It wasn't the first time they'd been said, in fact, they'd both whispered them to the other, in run down diners, or dark hospital rooms. And he gave her the only thing he could, "I will try. For you."

Devil in Disguise by Elvis Presley

He watched her move across the dance floor, once again cursing undercover assignments. For all that she complained about them more- sexism and misogyny and being 'a marshal not a flank steak to be ogled and slapped'- they were always harder on him. He was the one who had to watch from the background as she was palmed and squeezed and attacked. Of course, he didn't worry so much about those actions, because they both knew she could take care of those men herself. No the hardest part was when she would saunter past him, pretending to be oblivious, when they both knew that she was taunting him. Just like that night at Trina's bachelorette party. It was in those moments that he wondered, briefly, if it was right to bait the hook with something so deceptive. Because he knew better than anyone that Mary Shannon was not what she seemed.

Supposed to Be by Jack Johnson

Marshall stood at the back of the church, looking down the aisle. She'd sent him an invitation, even made an impassioned plea on his answering machine. But Marshall had ignored both. He just couldn't do it. As much as he loved Mary Shannon, he could not stand next to her at the altar while she tied herself to another man. He just wasn't strong enough. So he stood in the back and watched. Because he wasn't strong enough to let her go, but he wasn't strong enough to leave her alone either.

What is and What Should Never Be by Led Zeppelin

Mary rode in silence. She could feel Marshall's glances in her direction. He was good about it, not staring at her, trying his best to keep his eyes on the road, rather than on her. More than that, he kept his mouth shut, which for him was practically a feat akin to turning straw into gold. But for the first time in their very long partnership, Mary didn't want silence. She had just spent 18 hours in a basement, with nothing but silence and threats and her own brain. Right now she needed the comfort of normalcy. And normalcy was Marshall, rambling on about something ridiculous and pointless.

And just when she thought the silence would make her scream, a voice came from the driver's side of the car. "Isaac Asimov is the only author to have a book in every Dewey-decimal category."

Just like that, Mary felt the knot in her chest loosen. Whatever else might have changed, she knew that this, them, would always be the same.

Thunder Road by Bruce Springsteen

Marshall sat in his truck, eyes locked on his own porch. Mary was pacing back and forth. It was a testament to just how distracted she must be that she hadn't even heard his car approach. She was wringing her hands, stopping in front of his door every few moments, raising her hand to knock, only to then walk away again. He'd been watching for almost ten minutes when he realized what was truly off about the picture. Mary's shoulders were shaking. Whatever was running through her mind, it was truly wearing her down if it had brought tears. He thought back to earlier in the day, when he'd practically told her he loved her, begged her to try 'messy' just once in her life. He'd known it went against everything she tried to turn her life into, but he'd done it anyway. And she'd run. But now she was here. Taking that as a positive sign, he rolled down the window, "Let's go for a drive."

Her head shot up, eyes locking on his. He saw the weight lift off her shoulders. And he thought maybe they did have a chance after all.

Mad World by Gary Jules

Marshall stared at the envelope in his hands. It was addressed to him, with no return address, but he'd recognize his partner's handwriting anywhere. He turned it over and slid a finger under the flap, slightly hesitant. Mary had been on vacation in the Caribbean. She had been due back two days ago, but hadn't shown. Neither Brandi or Jinx or Stan had heard from her, and the hotel she'd given him to contact her had steadfastly refused to put him through. He'd been thinking about making a trip down there if she didn't show up soon.

Inside the envelope was a handwritten letter. A quick glance revealed several tearstains. Marshall swallowed down the fear rising in his throat and began to read the short missive.

Dear Partner,

I am sorry. Whatever else you might take from this letter, above and beyond all of that, I want you to know that I am sorry. Despite the harsh realities that we deal with every day, I always assumed that we would have more time- more time to hang out, more time to get close, more time to explore this thing between us. Yes, I'm admitting to it, I heard what you said the other day in the office, about me needing messy. And you were right, I do need messy, I need messy more than I need anything else in my life. But you don't. I couldn't live with myself if I infected your life any further with my messiness. It's part of the reason I left. Because I love you, and I love you enough to shield you from what is coming. Five months ago, I went to the doctor. The diagnosis was not good. He didn't think I'd even make it this far. He used big words like inoperable and terminal. You probably know what they mean, I didn't. I do now though. They mean that all that time that I thought we'd have was just an illusion. There's no time left. No time to tell you all the things I should have been telling you from day one. Things that matter, the kind of things I don't have a lot of practice saying, but things I mean with all my heart. You saved me, Marshall. Ten years ago, you walked into my manhunt, and you changed my world. You showed me what I was capable of, that despite how screwed up I was, I could still fix other people. You gave my life purpose. You were my friend when I had no one, my raft when I was sinking, and my beacon when I was lost. Though I wasn't always the best friend or partner, you always were. I am better for knowing you, and my life is better for loving you. I only wish I could have loved you the way you deserved, the way I've recently realized I wanted to.

You may have guessed from the tone of this letter, but I will not be returning to Albuquerque. Remember me as I left, strong and sure, tough. If I know that, that you, if no one else, will be able to remember me fondly, as I was, then I can go peacefully. I have only one regret, Marshall, and that is that I was never brave enough to make that leap with you. But sitting here, knowing that this is the end, I am glad that I could spare you this pain. Forever, Marshall, that is how long I will love you. And though I've never let down my walls enough for you to see, you have always been in my heart.



Marshall crumbled the letter, cursing his pig headed partner. How could she leave him like this, with nothing but a letter to break news like this? He swiped a quick hand over his face to erase the tears and grabbed his jacket. He'd be damned if he was going to let her get the last word here, damned if he was going to let her be alone. He had his phone out as he made his way to the truck, ready to call Stan, and have the jet standing by.