Measure of a Mann
Mary and Marshall had just finished up a long day and decided to grab a bite to eat. Mary was in a bad mood because one of Marshall's witnesses was being very difficult. No matter what her partner tried to do for him, he was never satisfied. First, he wanted a bigger apartment, there weren't enough cable channels, and today he complained that the job that Marshall had worked hard to get for him wasn't good enough for him.
John Mitchell had arrived in Albuquerque about a week ago. His name was once Tim Duncan, Vice President of Queens Bank, at the main branch in New York City. He had started out as a teller when he was eighteen years old and worked his way up to VP when he was twenty-seven. Once he became Vice President, he began to grow rich in exchange for keeping the fact that the President of the bank was laundering money and working with some pretty dangerous people.
For a while, Tim loved growing rich and keeping quiet about the laundering ring was not a problem for him. At least it wasn't until he witnessed his boss' body guards kill two men. One of them he knew as one of the bank's employees who walked in on them at the wrong time. He didn't know who the other one was, or the number of people that his boss had killed before, but he didn't stick around to find out. He ran and went straight to the police. He soon entered into witness protection in exchange for his testimony against his boss, who managed to escape custody of the police and they haven't been able to find him since.
Now Tim Duncan had become John Mitchell, a man with hardly any money and a job working as an accountant in a small cubicle at an office building. He hated his new life and missed being rich. He treated Marshall with disrespect and Mary was angry with Marshall for letting him get away with it.
"Marshall, Mitchell is nothing but a royal pain in the butt," Mary said. "I wanted to shoot him after the things that he said to you earlier. Why do you let him talk to you like that? I can't believe that his attitude has gotten even worse from when I first met him.
"Mare, I warned you before that John wasn't the nicest guy, remember," Marshall asked? "It isn't like I haven't tried to do anything about his attitude. There's just no pleasing him. I honestly wish that he would just drop out of the program, but then I wouldn't be doing my job as a marshal if I let him."
Mary responded, "Maybe not, but if you keep letting your witnesses walk all over you, you will burn out. Even your annoying, optimistic attitude won't be able to protect you for long."
Marshall replied, "Believe me, Mary. I hate it as much as you do, but I can only change their identities, not their attitudes. This job wasn't meant to be easy; we both knew that coming in. However, I remember that you are there to watch my back when I need you. You always have been. It gets me through the day."
"And you are always there for me too," Mary said. "Do you want me to kick Duncan's butt for you? I will, since you are too nice to do it yourself."
"Thanks Mare, but I can take care of myself for now." Marshall said.
Mary ordered a steak and a baked potato, while Marshall ordered a chef salad. The rest of the evening was relaxing as they took turns venting about the problems in their life. For some reason, it always made them feel better. Marshall paid for his and Mary's food and they left the restaurant to go home for the night.
Two days later…
Mary had her head down on her desk with her arms covering it up, trying to block out everything that their new boss was saying. Allison Pearson was a witch and she didn't care, which made Mary hate her even more. Mary didn't get along with Eleanor when she first arrived either, but eventually they came to respect each other and enjoyed the witty banter back and forth. There was no talking with Pearson, just demands and orders.
Marshall looked like he was listening, but Mary knew better. He hated their new boss as much as she did. He just kept his opinions to himself. Mary put her head up and sarcastically told the woman she would do whatever she said. Allison walked away as she threw her hands in the air and Marshall just smiled. Mary missed when it was just her, Marshall, and Stan. Those were the good old days.
Stan walked over and asked, "Did either of you hear anything that Allison said?"
Mary answered, "Please Stan, I think you know us better than that. All she tried to do was give us more orders. I don't care about anything that comes from that woman's mouth. If you actually agree with something that she said, then you can order us to do it. Then, maybe we'll listen."
"I think that she said something about cutting down on coffee, unless you pay for it yourself," Marshall said. "However will Stan and I get through the day if you don't get your coffee fix?"
Stan just laughed and said, "I don't like her any more than you do, but she is here to report back to who ever it is that we answer to. I suggest you try to get along with her, or she may try to fire you from the marshal service."
Later that evening, Mary and Marshall went together to go visit one of Mary's old witnesses, Jay Arnstein at his photo gallery. He had recently gone through a divorce with his wife, Marci, who left the program. Jay stayed in and kept up with his gallery. Mary still thought Jay was an idiot, but she promised him that she would come for a party he was giving. She and Marshall tried to convince him not to have the party because of the risk of photos being taken, but he assured them that everything would be just fine, not that Mary really believed him.
What Mary and Marshall didn't know was that someone else was going to be at the party, who was going to change their lives forever. Tonight, someone's past would come to light and one marshal in particular would pay.