Fandom: In Plain Sight
Characters/Pairing: Mary Shannon/Marshall Mann
Summary: Mary rarely feels vulnerable. Raph can do that. But Marshall can do it in a different way.
Notes: Spoilers for like everything.
Word count: 973
Leo's adoption party.
It isn’t until Marshall is holding their youngest child that she begins to get snarky.
“What is the deal with babies? I don’t get them.”
What is the deal with Marshall? I don’t get him.
Like this. Things like this catch Mary off-guard and get her throat too thick for her to speak.
Which really pisses her off.
She shouldn’t be left feeling vulnerable because he’s playing with a fucking baby. It makes sense that he is. It’s Marshall. But although she doesn’t change her stance, she crosses her arms tighter while she watches him.
* * *
It hurts to look at him sometimes.
With his riotous still-sleeping hair and his little airplane PJs. It’s three in the morning and he doesn’t have any pretenses. Not right now. It’s just him.
And Mary knows him well enough to get that. She can see it when he’s punching her and making her spill Stan’s coffee on him and when he berates her for not tipping the coffee people and when he buys her an extra crappy churro even though he knows she’s just going to throw it out anyway. But it still catches her unawares and makes her chest constrict. Like it does when she sees him playing with a fucking baby.
And then he draws himself up. And he’s taking care of that kid and her throat constricts again—and so she crosses her arms even tighter. He’s a good man—and this impresses her now far more than he ever will when he is trying.
* * *
Mary rarely feels vulnerable.
Raph can do that.
But Marshall can do it in a different way. He can look at her that way, which feels sharply painful even to Mary, who’s pretending not to notice. He can wake up in plane pajamas and disheveled hair and be too tired to be anything but nakedly honest. That’s almost worse than anything because that makes her feel soft-bodied and makes her want to sob for the deep, painful loss of something even if she doesn’t even know what. Which in turn makes her want to kick herself real hard for being a sappy little shit.
And then there’s dressing like this.
She looks like a whore. She feels physically naked and thoroughly dirty—like there is slime on her skin that she is now going to have to scrub off but which she will never quite get out.
But instead of Marshall seeing her in a new light or in a new way or taken aback (although she is sure he is all three) she feels like she is seeing Marshall for the first time. Does he always look at her like this? And why can’t he look at her? And why is he sitting so stiffl—what the hell is going on in that car?—
Christ. Jesus hail Mary Joseph mother and god.
She has given her best friend a boner.
* * *
She has managed to forget about the boner—although it has been on her mind all night. Marshall. Jesus Christ. Her best friend.
But it’s honestly not that hard to forget when you’re standing less than twenty feet away from your witness and two South African diamond dealers with guns they’re itching to use trained on her.
“Follow my lead.”
Let me muss up your hair and untuck and rumple your shirt. Hold still. Let me smear lipstick on your face. Wait. Wait. Wait.
Where did this come from?
“What are you doing!?”
Goddammit, Marshall! Couldn’t you have done this some other damn time? Because maybe then I wouldn’t have stop—
“Just follow my lead!”
She’s out of the barn and a good twenty paces ahead of him, but she can still hear him whisper, “I thought I was!”
* * *
They’re outside and they’re waiting until nightfall.
“You should try and get out then.”
She doesn’t want to.
“It’s going to get ugly.”
Goddammit, Marshall! Doesn’t she know that!? I’m not going to leave you here, you festering idiot! I lo—
No. No. No. No. No. No. She can’t.
Nightfall is coming.
“Am I the reason you wanna go? Because of how I am?”
“It has more to do with—” He is paler now than he was five minutes ago. “—How I am.”
Don’t die, you dipshit. Don’t die.
“I can’t believe I’m getting the ‘It’s not you, it’s me’ speech from you! Am I really the reason you want to leave the Marshals Service?”
“No.” He looks at her. “Not exactly.”
It’s painful to look at him because he’s looking at her like he’s dying and it’s not because of the fucking wound. And she gets it. She probably should have gotten it the first time she ever saw that look on his face. But she gets it now.
“I feel like” I love you.
Mary is so sure that there is nothing else he can say—nothing else he could possibly want to say—nothing else that she could possibly want him to—
No. No. No. No.
“—I’m the keeper of this—exotic—animal.”
Maybe she’s disappointed. Maybe a little. Maybe a little bit. But there is no way in hell that Mary Shannon is going to let herself acknowledge it.
Marshall Mann is her best friend.
* * *
Come on, Marshall, you douchebag. Don’t die or I’ll kill you.
I need you.
She doesn’t even like thinking that because Mary Shannon isn’t supposed to need anyone.
But she knows when she’s beat, even if she takes a while for her to admit it. And this time around Mary was beat a long time ago.
This is the first time I have ever written fanfiction so constructive criticism is welcome and more than encouraged. Let me know what you thought of it!