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64 th Day, Uncle Gumbald’s Cabin,

I’ve never been one for diaries, never had the time for such childish wallowing, but I do have far more time on my hands than ever before with the loss of my kingdom, my citizens and my laboratory. And I suppose I do have some stuff I should work out and staring at my pumpkins was only making me “grouchy”, according to Peps, anyway. Marceline came to see me a few days ago, first time in a while and she helped me fight some varmints — for all the good it did me, those little [something illegibly scribbled] — and we talked. We talked like old friends, something I thought we’d lost forever and… it felt good to talk with her like that again. She was the only person I had left I could talk to one adult to another, who wasn’t one of my citizens or someone I’d created; I’d forgotten how much I needed it. How much I’d missed it. How much I’d missed her company.

She sat with me on the porch but let me sleep until just before dawn. I had told her to wake me up after a short while, but listening has never been Marceline’s greatest talent. She stood there on the porch for a few minutes, cast in shadow as the sky grew light behind her, her inky hair caught by the zephyr and said, “Sorry to make you watch the dawn alone, Peebs, we should watch it together someday.”

I thought she just wanted to sound cool, but I think she meant something behind it, she’d mentioned before how we only ever hung out a night (she was not impressed by my reminding her of her issue with sunlight). I think she’s growing dissatisfied with her life as a vampire; we’ve talked about it before, but not for decades. Her words have been echoing in my head for days and that’s the only logical conclusion I can draw: I’ll start work on the machine tomorrow morning.

 

79 th Day, Uncle Gumbald’s Cabin,

I knew it! Marceline wanted her vampire essence removed. Lucky I started work on the machine when I did, I just managed to get it ready in time. I would have preferred the ability to fully test it before I tried it out on her, but thankfully it worked without error. She was tired after and slept soundly through the night, I checked on her a couple of times, but she seemed comfortable and rested well (despite somehow still managed to slip out without my noticing to sleep-walk around like an idiot). She was in good spirits the next day and I’m glad that the procedure worked so well (to thankfully save her from being murdered at the belligerent hands of tiny farming folk).

It was interesting to see just what an impact Marceline’s return to a human form had: as soon as she was mortal again, the higher order vampires returned. Interesting coincidence, huh? She must have been much more powerful than I ever gave her credit for. It was odd seeing Marceline in full sunlight; she might have been missing her vampiric element and most of her hair, but there was something in the way she carried herself. There was a cool confidence in her, the kind burned in memory by experience. I was happy to let her take the lead, vampires aren’t my area of expertise but… there was something else, too.

I find myself wondering about just what she must have experienced back then, how much about her life hasn’t she told me?

 

80 th Day, Uncle Gumbald’s Cabin,

Marcy’s tired; we’re only two vamps down but I can tell there’s some anxiety gnawing at her, like we’re building up to something but she won’t say what. At least she finally agreed to work with us, Finn and Jake will help keep her grounded and I can keep her safe; whatever she’s scared of won’t be a match for us all.

Addt.— The day started with so much hope and almost ended in tragedy; it felt so natural to be out adventuring at Marcy’s side again, something else we haven’t done for what feels like decades. But a moment of carelessness and delayed action almost cost Marcy her life and I was useless, no lab, no knowledge of what kind of poison it was—I’d never felt so powerless in my life and I’d never faltered like that before either. I just saw the state she was in, saw how close to death she was, how feverish and unresponsive she was laying in my arms and I froze.

Something that could never have happened if I hadn’t invented the technology to remove her vampiric parts. I’d even joked as I started the removal procedure on her a few days ago that I’d be the one to bury her; that memory brings the bile to my throat now. But I can’t dwell on that, it’s happened and thank goodness she pulled through and again has the regenerative strength of the vampire known as “The Moon” and, I hope, will never come that close to death again. I’ve always had a lot of pride, I got used to having to take responsibility and this time I almost failed and it cost me one of my dearest friends.

At least I now know what she’s worried about now: The Vampire King.

 

82 nd Day, The Remains of Uncle Gumbald’s Cabin/Candy Kingdom,

A lot’s happened. The V-K found us, we removed his effluvium and he turned into a lion; Peps lost his sight and spilled said vamp-juice, destroying the cabin and unleashing some sort evil, giant, semi-sentient cloud-sheep. Mondays. The dark cloud wasted no time in attempting to spread its destruction though it was oddly lacklustre. It would swallow up all the victims it could, but that didn’t kill them, or injure them. I managed to rescue many of the farmers, thankfully. The biggest surprise, though, was Marcy, she seemed so defeated; like she was prepared to let the V-K, or whatever part of him remained, wreak havoc. It felt like she was denying all the work we’d done, throwing away her role in keeping the balance. I wanted to be angry, but, I guess I understood, maybe it wasn’t so different from when I walked away from the Candy Kingdom after that “election”; she just needed some time to wrap her head around it all.

But seeing her, floating like gleaming shard of Rhodonite, standing strong against that dark sentient cloud of hate — I’d never seen her like that! All that power so perfectly contained and executed… I never imagined Marcy had that power inside her, I’d never thought to look beyond and see… just how amazing she is. She’d never spoken about it, or bragged about doing it… amazing that even for as long as we’ve know each other there is clearly so much more about her I need to learn. She said to me “thank you for helping me grow up”.

 

83 rd Day, Candy Kingdom,

“Thank you for helping me grow up.” Those words have been rolling around my head all day and the more I think about it, the more I think she helped me, too. At first it seemed just like we were hanging out for a few days, killing vampires with Finn ad Jake, but I suppose we were reconnecting, too. It came so easily, we felt like partners again; she even said she’s had a dream of us together in the future, “I was old and withered and you were still nice and pink.” At the time, I was more shocked she admitted she thought I was nice but now I think of it, I’m more shocked she’d thought about us being together for years. It’s been so long since we’ve been able to call ourselves anything other than acquaintances but I never wanted to admit my part in that. We pushed each other away and I don’t want things to be like that anymore—

 

“Marcy!” Bonnie ripped the book from her girlfriend’s hands, “Don’t read that, what the heck?”

“Peebs, you liked me!” Marceline grinned, floating just out of Bonnie’s reach, as said gum threw her old journal in a drawer and locked it. She turned back to Marcy with her ams folded and a playful frown on her face,

“Duh I liked you, I asked you out.”

“Then why’d it take ya so long?” Marcy pushed, spinning upside down, her long hair almost brushing the floor.

“I was a bit busy what with having been reverted to my elemental essence and all.” Bonnie rolled her eyes at her antics.

“And I was right there with ya, you had plenty of time, y’know?”

“And why was the onus completely on me?” Bonnie asked as she walked out of the lab and into the main hallway, Marcy floating behind her.

“Because I asked you out the first time, it was your turn.”