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Pray for the Preacher's Daughter

Chapter Text

Saturday 14th February 2015

“Are you sure?” Pippa whined. “You can come with if you want.”

Bonnie waved away her concern. “And be the third wheel on your Valentine’s date? No thank you.”

“But you’ll be all alone,” Penelope pressed, her voice dragging out all the syllables like being alone on Valentine’s was the worst thing she could imagine. “Nobody should be by themselves. Not today.”

“I think you’ll find – statistically speaking – that quite a significant portion of the population spends Valentine’s all by their lonesome,” Bonnie told her drolly. “It’s fine. A common occurrence. Besides, I’ve spent every Valentine’s so far by myself. This one shouldn’t be any different.” Only damn right it was going to be different.

Pippa made another keening sound, her face doing a contortionist routine trying to convey how distasteful she found this situation. “But… that’s pathetic. And lonely.”

“How about,” Bonnie sighed patiently. “You go on your romantic evening thing with Jake and I’ll call Marceline and we’ll eat ice cream and wallow in our single status while mocking everyone who puts stock in the holiday. Maybe – just maybe – we’ll even watch the fireworks from the porch.” Her eyes lit up. “And we can hate-watch rom-coms.”

Pippa’s face went flat. “You know that sounds like exactly something Marceline would enjoy,” she grumbled. “Promise me you’re not suggesting that because you still think she’s some hot stuff and you’re going to overlay some silly fantasy across the evening?”

Bonnibel whipped out her best scandalised expression but not laughing was proving troublesome. “Why, Pippa! I resent that whole insinuation. I was positive you thought more of me.”

The dead look she got for that spoke volumes. But since they weren’t compulsory reading material for the year, Bonnie elected to overlook them. Pippa rolled her eyes.

“Yeah sure, whatever, Banner,” she scoffed. There was a moment before she spoke again where her gaze softened. “You try to have an alright evening for me, yes?”

Bonnie smiled. “Naturally. You have a good date.” She winked. “I expect details.”

Pippa snorted and headed down the drive. “You’ll get nothing from me,” she called.

“That’s what you think!”

She stayed where she was until Penelope had hopped back up into Jake’s car, waved, and driven off. For extra safety, she waited a moment, listening to the sound of his engine fading away. Then she let out a long breath she hadn’t even realised she was holding.

Bonnie had honestly completely forgotten Valentine’s Day was a thing. To be fair, she forgot it pretty much every year – until someone reminded her anyway. Might’ve been nice to have a bit more warning than simply turning up to lunch at school the day before and have Ellen jump down her throat.

What is she doing? Does she have a date? Is there some kind of Singles Anonymous meeting she’s going to attend for psychiatric treatment? Because surely spending Valentine’s alone is traumatic.

Then had been the realisation that she and Marceline had a date scheduled for that exact day and with that came a question: had Marceline planned it that way? While she ate a sparing lunch – multitasking by preparing dinner as well – that was the only question she pondered. In the end, Bonnie concluded it didn’t really matter one way or the other. So she stopped pondering.

Just as there was a knock on her door.

Frowning curiously – because she wasn’t expecting Marceline for another two hours – she turned the stovetop down and went to get the door. Bonnibel didn’t know why there was a thrill of excitement tingling through her veins, braided with trace amounts of confusion and a little bit of nervousness, but there was. So she rolled with it. (Well… the excitement she understood. It was just the rest that confused her a little.)

“Hey,” Marceline said softly, feet shuffling on the stoop.

Stepping aside to let her in, Bonnie noted, “You’re early.” Once the door was closed she latched onto the hem of Marceline’s shirt, pulling her in for a quick kiss. That’d never get boring. Ever. No way.

“Yeah… I got sick of waiting around.” She held out her arm (probably trying to distract Bonnie from the pink now tinting her cheeks); still wrapped in a cast, offering Bonnibel the bag dangling from it. “Here. This is for you. And so are these.” With a tentative grin, she flourished a bouquet of flowers; carnations in a flurry of different colours (red, orange, yellow, pink, white). It was very impressive.

“You didn’t have to get me anything,” Bonnie told her. But there was probably too much fondness in her tone as she took the gifts. The bag had a box of chocolates in it. Cliché, sure, but thoughtful. She quirked an eyebrow. “Did you know carnations are my favourite flowers or was it just a guess?”

Marceline grinned. “It was an educated guess. And I don’t have enough money to be buying you roses. Maybe one day when I’m rich. But it is Valentine’s Day and you deserve the best. So.”

“You can continue with carnations,” Bonnie muttered, rummaging around in the cupboard to find a jar or something she could put them in. “I got you something too.” So she pulled open the fridge and handed Marceline the little container.

“A punnet of strawberries,” she laughed. “I guess you do know how to buy me after all.”

“You can eat them now, or you can save them for desert.”

“You baked desert?”

“I might’ve.”

“You are too good for me,” Marceline exhaled wistfully. “How can I help?”

Bonnibel waved her away, pressing her out of the kitchen gently. “Just sit on that stool right there and look pretty. Once it’s done we can watch a movie.”

Marceline’s expression crumpled doubtfully. “I’m not sure I know how to look pretty, Bon,” she grumbled.

“Just your usual face is fine, thanks.”

“Oh, good.” She perked up immediately. “And speaking of movies; I brought the rest of those silent films around.”

Bonnie leaned across the counter, smile flickering. “I was wondering if there was a chance we could hate-watch some romance movies,” she murmured, unable to keep her gaze fixed solely on Marceline’s eyes. “If not, that’s fine. But… it was a thought. Since the whole reasoning behind today is a load of crap.”

Marceline was obviously doing her best not to grin as she said, “Are you the Valentine’s Grinch, then? Hating on the love and good feels.”

“It’s not that I hate the idea, but the notion that you need a set day to be nice to people bothers me.”

“Like… if you love someone you should tell them every day, right? Not just once a year?”

“Exactly.”

The grin slipped through then, Marceline’s face lighting up. “I didn’t expect you to be so practical about it. I figured you’d be really into the whole thing.”

Bonnie shrugged. “While normally I’d love to regale you with how commercial and materialistic the holiday is on principle, I kind of don’t want to. Maybe when I’m thirty and cynical.”

“Fair enough. Do you own any romance movies we can hate-watch? I can get them sorted while you finish in the kitchen, if you’d like?”

“You’re the best.” She waved her spoon in the general direction of the television cabinet. “They’re hidden in the bottom drawer so I don’t have to look at them. The fact that they’re even there is a travesty.”

Marceline slipped off the stool and headed for the lounge, laughing the whole way. Bonnie watched her cross the living room and sink to her knees in front of the cabinet; it took her longer than it should’ve before she remembered the food on the stove. Good thing it hadn’t burned – that would’ve been embarrassing.

Deciding it was most likely done judging by how thick the sauce was, she slid it off the heat and left it to cool. She flicked the knobs on the oven off as well on her way past. No sense burning the house down.

Marceline had a disc in; the screen paused on black so Bonnie wouldn’t know what it was. Typical. She sank into the spot beside Marceline, eyeing her worriedly.

“Should I be concerned?”

“No. But I’m going to keep trying to surprise you with movies until I get you,” Marceline told her, beaming. “One day, Banner.”

“In your dreams maybe. Play the movie.”

Surprisingly it was Marceline who pulled Bonnie towards her letting her head fall against her shoulder. Bonnibel glanced at her curiously but all she got was a sneaky smile so she wound her arm around Marceline’s middle and focused on the movie. As the opening scenes faded in she felt Marceline’s fingers wind into the fabric of her shirt. Bonnie couldn’t fight the smile creeping onto her face. This was simultaneously awkward and really, really nice.

“If I talk through the movie will you be upset?” Marceline mumbled.

“No. Why?”

“Because I hate these types of movies and wanted to know if conversation was okay.”

“Yeah, go for it.”

She didn’t speak straight away, just let the film play; which was fine by Bonnie too. Ten minutes in though she sighed.

“No, I can’t watch this rubbish. Let’s do something else instead,” Marceline groaned, turning the volume down. “Twenty questions?”

Bonnie laughed. “The proper version or the one we played in the library last year?”

“Obviously the latter.” Marceline rolled her eyes. “First kiss?”

Once again she laughed, sliding her fingers between Marceline’s, tilting her head back. “Norman,” she replied.

Marceline’s face crumpled in thought. “Isn’t Norman a boy’s name?” she asked carefully.

“Norman is a boy,” Bonnie explained, positive she was failing at keeping the amusement off her face. “When we were eleven all our friends were beginning to do that dating thing, but we’d both been pretty disinterested in it. I knew I was gay and he… well I don’t know. He was battling with a little bit of homosexuality too and he just wanted to know what it was like to kiss a girl, since he’d never done it. I argued with him at first, I was like… ew, gross. But he convinced me that at the very least he wouldn’t be expecting anything and there are worse people to have a first kiss with than your gay best friend.” She shrugged. “It was easily as ‘ew, gross’ as I’d anticipated.”

Marceline cackled. “Did he decide whether he liked girls?”

“Not straight away, it took him a few more months before he decided that sexuality doesn’t need labels,” Bonnie told her. “He came to the conclusion that he’d date anyone if he liked them enough.”

“Fair enough. Mine was a boy in fifth grade. It was a birthday party Keila had insisted I accompany her to and we played the cliché but apparently necessary game of spin the bottle.” She hunched a shoulder. “I didn’t like the kid and I’m pretty sure he was just as thrilled about it as I was. But my life has been a series of disappointments so I really don’t know why that should’ve been different.”

“Lame,” Bonnibel opined. “How disappointing is this?” She waved around the room, hoping the implication got across.

Marceline only grinned and leaned down to press her lips to Bonnie’s. “Not at all,” she mumbled. “Not in the slightest.”

Bonnie hummed, brain shorting out. “First crush?” she eventually whispered.

“Ugh,” Marceline offered, rolling her eyes. “That’s actually a tough one. It’d either be the guy who played the saxophone at my second school… I was twelve. Or his fourteen year old cellist sister. He was so dorky it was cute and she was always really nice to me. She’d always say ‘hi’ and smile and he’d always look at me like he wanted to say something and wasn’t brave enough. I wasn’t at the school long enough to find out. You?”

“A girl in my geography class,” Bonnie mused. “We’d been partners in the class for three years and in sixth grade I realised I was the tiniest bit attracted to her. Her name was Candice. She was this petite girl who knew everything about geography and was never without a pair of headphones…” She sucked her bottom lip between her teeth, turning her eyes to Marceline’s. “Maybe I’ve had a thing for short musicians for a lot longer than I thought.”

“Very funny,” Marceline deadpanned. “Just because she listened to music doesn’t mean she’s a musician, anyway. First person you ever turned down when they asked you out?”

She huffed. “It was… eighth grade… pretty sure. Most of the boys in my primary school knew of my apathy towards dating because we’d been in classes together for years. But when I got to high school it was apparently fair game. So this one boy from Saint Joseph’s with a sister in some of my classes comes up to me in the library after school… I think his name was Mike? Doesn’t matter, but he was this real suave kind of kid, for a thirteen year old there was a lot of swagger to his step. He knew he was good looking – with perfect hair and a killer smile; he knew any of the girls would die to go on a date with him – the kind of guy who grows up to be a heartbreaker.

“He slides up onto the desk and taps his finger on top of my notebook and seems totally confused when I glare at him. But he hides it behind this cocky smile. So he asks me to the party what’s-her-face was throwing while her parents were out of town. And I keep glaring at him. When I tell him that well, no I don’t want to go to her party, and I especially don’t want to go with him he looks absolutely stunned. I told him there was a reason no one asks me out and it’s because I always decline. Then I gathered my books and walked out.”

Marceline exploded with laughter. “I can just imagine the look on his face. He was gobsmacked, right? Like… how dare you turn him down?”

“Yeah,” Bonnie agreed, smiling with her. “That’s exactly what it was like.”

“I bet it’d suck to be knocked back by you. Wow.”

She sighed, squeezing Marceline’s hand. “You’ll never know.” There was a beat of silence before Bonnie prompted Marceline, “And you?”

It took a moment for her to answer and (even though she didn’t look up) Bonnie thought it was because Marceline was staring at her. “Um… would you believe it was Ash?”

“No,” Bonnibel chuckled. “I bet that’s a good story though.”

“Oh it is. The first time he asked me out was near the end of grade six. Like me, he ended up at Reich High as a last resort because of bad behaviour. His parents live in Blackwater and he was visiting them one weekend. Since I was a boarder, I stayed at the school in Blackwater all year, only coming home for holidays. His mother worked at the school I attended so he stole her keys and went around the campus with a bunch of friends breaking windows and spray painting buildings.

“I was in one of the courtyards with Keila – who lived there at the time – and we were practising on our guitars. Ash and his thugs come wandering in, lobbing rocks at the windows of the boarders’ tower. They were so loud. And they saw us sitting there, quiet by then, really worried. Or Keila was. I’m pretty sure I was expressionless.

“I can remember him swaggering up to us, asking our names, wanting to know if we’d join in. He asked if maybe there was a teacher we particularly disliked. They sniggered and offered to deface their car; whoever they were.

“When it clicked in his mind that my dad was the preacher in Reich, something about him changed. He became really nice, polite, snapping at the guys who made lewd comments. Suddenly he was a gentleman, a knight in somewhat sullied armour offering to take me away from – literally – the tower I lived in.”

Marceline paused, playing with Bonnie’s fingers, eyes unfocused – lost in the memory. “Keila warned me against him,” she muttered. “It was good advice, and at the time, I wasn’t too far gone that I didn’t realise that. So I told him to leave us alone. I grabbed Keila’s hand, picked up my bass and hastened away. I always deny it was running, but it was close.

“Two years later and I’d been at Reich for a year – give or take – and he’d been making crass advances the whole time. The school basically assumed we were together and no other guy would dare to ask me out in case Ash brained him against a brick wall. The longer I held out, the nicer he seemed to get.

“Then one day, I’d gotten another detention, and he was coming out of the sports’ shed with a baseball bat. I stood and watched as he beat the crap out of Gregory’s car. Ash had failed some class or other and Gregory refused to let him sit the test again because he didn’t deserve a second chance.

“Ash came up to me and asked if I thought people deserved a second chance. Thinking about how rubbish everyone treated me I said of course they do. He asked me who’d given me the detention and I explained that Gregory had because I’d missed my first two classes. He handed me the bat and told me I’d feel better.

“So I broke his windscreen. And I did feel better. Ash asked me out, really politely. I agreed. At first it was just as nice as he’d made it seem. We went to the movies, hung out at the skate park, he’d buy me food. Pretty typical dating stuff, I guess.

“The longer we were together, the worse he got. After maybe… eight months? He was exactly the monster Keila had originally warned me about. I don’t know why it took me another year to break up with him, but I’m glad I did. Should’ve done it sooner.”

Marceline looked like she was going to keep talking, as if maybe she’d forgotten where she was and all she could do was continue speaking. Bonnibel reached up to slide her fingers behind Marceline’s ear, turning her gaze. “Stop,” she murmured. “It’s done, past. You lived through it. You’re fine, okay? No more Ash. Just me.”

“He got me into drinking,” Marceline said hoarsely, the arm around Bonnie’s waist tightening. “A lot. To the point where I needed it. I don’t know at what point someone qualifies as an alcoholic, but I was pushing it.”

“Marceline,” Bonnie muttered, shifting her weight, twisting so she could look more easily in her eyes. “Look at me.”

At last, Marceline’s gaze returned to their current plane of existence. She made a strange noise in her throat but didn’t speak.

“He’s gone, alright? In your past. I’m sorry for all of it. But I don’t care what happened then, you’re not that person, you just have her problems.” She ran her thumb across Marceline’s cheek. “I am still here, okay? And I’m not going anywhere just because your dickhead ex-boyfriend encouraged you to drink underage.”

Marceline exhaled, eyes fluttering closed. “I’m sorry,” she mumbled, turning her face into Bonnie’s palm, placing a kiss on the skin. “I feel like every time we talk some stupid issues from my past pop up. It’s lame and I hate how it makes me feel and how the conversation feels and I suck. I’m sorry.”

Bonnie straightened, tightening her fingers in Marceline’s hair and forcing eye contact. “You do not suck,” she said vehemently. “You are not lame and your issues aren’t stupid. I care, okay, Abadeer? Get that through your thick skull. And if you ever need to vent or rant or talk to me about less than heart-warming things that happened before you met me, go right ahead. Because I want to know about it.” She sighed, pulling Marceline toward her so she could rest their foreheads together. “Don’t you dare ever think this stuff isn’t important. Just know that it’s in the past and it doesn’t matter to me. Well it does, because it makes you upset and I hate that. But it doesn’t change how I feel about you now, alright? You with me?”

Marceline nodded her head into Bonnie’s collar. Her hands were warm on Bonnibel’s back, her grip in the fabric of her shirt tight. She felt Marceline suck in a deep breath and let it all out slowly, calming down. She didn’t let go though.

“If you want,” Bonnie mumbled into Marceline’s cheek. “I can tell you about the first person I ever agreed to go out with. That’s a fun story. Might make you feel better.”

She got an affirmative sounding grumble and another nod but Marceline didn’t let go of her either.

“Well see,” Bonnie began quietly. “There was this girl no one liked. They called her nasty things and spread awful rumours about her. Most of them weren’t true, but nobody knew that. She was really mean to people because she didn’t want friends.

“She did something stupid and got transferred into my class and I ended up tutoring her.” Bonnie could feel Marceline smiling into her shirt then. “We sort of became friends after that because she’s secretly a sweetheart and I’m pretty endearing when I want to be. She did call me a liar and stop talking to me at one point, but I forgave her because her dad’s a bit of a nut job.

“As it turns out, I kind of started liking her more than was probably healthy,” Bonnie went on, rubbing circles into Marceline’s shoulder blades. “I didn’t think it would amount to anything, but one day she sort of asked me out. It was awkward; she looked terrified. It still took a lot of self-restraint not to kiss her though.”

She leaned out, Marceline’s hold contracting in an attempt to keep her close. “I’m glad she asked me out,” Bonnie whispered, pushing hair out of Marceline’s face. “I quite like her.”

“She sounds pathetic,” Marceline murmured. “Probably doesn’t deserve you.”

“Too bad.”

In spite of herself, Marceline smiled. Her head fell forward, bumping into Bonnie’s. “Is that true? Or did you just say it to make me feel better?”

“Porque no los dos?” Bonnie grinned.

Marceline did not look impressed. “What?”

“How about both,” she translated, laughing. “It’s true and it made you feel better.”

“You’re a dork.”

“Mmhmm.” Bonnie rocked towards her, kissing her slowly. “Do you mind?” she asked against Marceline’s mouth.

“Not even a little bit,” was the mumbled reply.

“Good. How about you put on a silent film then? Turn off this rubbish and when it’s done we can eat dinner and watch the fireworks.”

Marceline sighed. “That sounds perfect apart from the part where I’d have to let you go and get up. That bit sounds awful.”

“I’ll be here when you get back.”

With a reluctant groan, Marceline disentangled herself and rolled to her feet, hastily stuffing the other movie in the tray before flopping back down. Bonnie was quick to drag the blanket off the back of the chair and wrap herself around Marceline again, pulling the cloth with her. Listening to Marceline’s quiet breathing and feeling the steady thrumming of her heart through her ribs would probably be enough to lull her to sleep. The only thing keeping her awake was the knowledge that if she slept, there would be no more kissing. That just would not do.

Every time Marceline muttered something after that it was deliberately light-hearted, as if she were afraid to break the comfortable quiet around them. The funny thing about a silent film is that talking through it doesn’t hinder what’s going on. So the way Marceline would insert lines where people would talk in a modern movie was really quite hilarious.

It wasn’t until the credits began to roll and Bonnie craned her neck to check the clock on the wall that she even realised what time it was.

“How long was that movie?” she asked quietly.

“Mmm,” Marceline hummed. “Long. I’m so hungry.”

“Food then?”

“Definitely. What did you cook? It smells great, which probably isn’t helping my stomach,” Marceline grumbled, prodding her belly.

“Garlic prawns and basmati rice,” Bonnibel laughed, sitting up so they could stand.

“Garlic and prawns?” Marceline’s mouth fell open as she rocked unsteadily to her feet.

Bonnie paused in the act of circling the island into the kitchen. “No good?” she asked worriedly.

“No. That sounds amazing. Both of those things are great on their own, together they must be great squared.”

“Nice to know,” she chuckled. She didn’t mention that it would be doubled, not squared. That wasn’t the point. “Do you want to watch the fireworks?”

Marceline checked her watch. “When are they? Six?”

“I think so.”

She rolled her eyes up at the ceiling. “Only if you want to.”

“Let’s do that while we eat. It’s nearly six now, yes?”

“Mmm… Yes.”

Bonnie nodded decisively. “Fireworks and then another movie.”

“Alright. Do you want the blanket?”

Marceline didn’t wait for an answer, just snapped the blanket they’d been using on the couch over her shoulder and grabbed cutlery from the drawer on her way to the door. She even held it for Bonnie as she stepped out with their plates. How sweet.

There were wicker chairs in the yard that Marceline hauled together so they could sit close and share the blanket. It was starting to cool down, the pinpricks of the stars beginning to wink in the navy sky. Off towards the lake in an empty paddock, flashlights blinked between trees and the waving grass as the local police set up the fireworks.

Marceline draped the blanket across their knees as Bonnie offered her the food. They didn’t wait for the show to start, honestly if Marceline was half as hungry as Bonnibel was she’d be shocked if the food wasn’t inhaled. Somehow it felt like years since she’d last eaten.

“God, Bon,” Marceline mumbled. “You’re the best cook in the world. What’s your secret?”

She grinned impishly. “I don’t use a recipe.”

“No.” She dropped her fork, staring open-mouthed at Bonnibel. “For real?”

“Yep. I just throw stuff together and see what happens. That’s how my dad taught me to cook.”

Marceline shook her head, eyeing her plate again. “You’re a wonder.”

She smiled quietly as the first of the fireworks leapt into the sky, showering the area in yellow and red light.

“Do they do this every year?” Bonnie asked quietly, stacking the now empty dinner dishes together. She shuffled around so she could rest her head on Marceline’s shoulder.

“No,” she replied. “I think this year we’ve got fireworks because Hayden’s dad has a licence. With luck we’ll get fireworks for all the holidays this year.”

“There’s always a pretty display in Ormeau,” she muttered.

Marceline shifted in her seat, glancing over at her. “Do you miss it?”

The first of the fireworks shot into the sky before Bonnibel answered. Yellow and red fizzled above them, fading into the night again as the next whistled up to shower down in an array of greens. She sighed.

“Yes,” Bonnie whispered. “And no. I miss the city and the people in it. I miss my friends, my family, our little apartment and the view of the park.” She turned her face into Marceline’s shoulder. “But some of those things aren’t there anymore. And I do like it here. The trees, the quiet… you.”

Marceline exhaled. “Yeah.” Pink and orange flared in a sea of sparks. A series of white followed swiftly, twinkling like so many extra stars.

“Don’t sound so glum,” Bonnie told her, smiling. “I do like it here. It’s much less stressful than the big city is.”

“I can’t wait to get out of here,” Marceline huffed. “Don’t worry.” Purples danced next, filling the sky with a faded gradient.

They were quiet after that. Fireworks illuminating the trees, Bonnie smiled when Marceline began fiddling with her fingers. She turned her gaze away from the lights to stare at Marceline’s profile.

A smile curved Marceline’s lips. “You’re missing the fireworks.”

“I’m okay with that.”

“Do you want to go watch another movie?”

Bonnie pretended to think about that. “Only if you promise to keep doing that to my fingers.”

Marceline laughed softly. “Yeah, okay.” As they collected the dinner things together and headed back into the flat, fireworks continued to flash in the sky. Once again, Marceline held the door for her, smiling in a strange way. “Didn’t you say something about dessert too?”

“Oh right. Would you like some?”

“Of course. What is it?”

Bonnie dumped the dishes in the sink and yanked the fridge door open happily declaring, “Chocolate cake!” Carefully, she slid the plate off the shelf and onto the counter. “With handmade icing and everything. Can you grab the strawberries from the top shelf please?”

“You really are amazing, you know that?” Marceline breathed, doing as asked. “Do you need a hand?”

“Nope. You could put the movie in though.”

“Oh… duh,” she said, shaking her head before going off to do that.

When Bonnie wandered into the lounge a few moments later with two plates, she found Marceline all ready and waiting; movie paused, remote in hand. She bounced down onto the chair beside her, relinquishing one plate. And once they were done with the cake (‘Oh my god, Bonnie this is heaven in my mouth,’ was Marceline’s astounded compliment) it was with a great deal of satisfaction that Bonnie curled into Marceline’s side, fingers wound into her shirt.

She pretty much fell asleep, actually.

Her brain was fairly foggy when Marceline tilted her head to place a gentle kiss to Bonnie’s cheek. “Happy Valentine’s, Bon,” she mumbled against her skin. “I should go.”

Unconsciously, Bonnibel’s grip on Marceline tightened. “You should stay,” she corrected sleepily.

She felt the chuckles vibrate through Marceline’s ribs, amusement evident. “That’s a bit forward, don’t you think?”

“Wouldn’t be the first time we’ve slept together…” She trailed off, going red when she realised what that had sounded like. “I mean…”

“I know. But I told you I didn’t want to push things.” Marceline’s voice wavered, a tremor of uncertainty creeping back in.

The doubt lacing her words caused Bonnie to twist so she could see Marceline’s face. There was a pinch to her brow, no doubt brought on by anxiety. “Am I complaining?” Bonnie asked her softly.

Marceline blinked. “No…”

“Then just be my pillow, okay? Please?”

“Are you sure?”

“Absolutely. You said you didn’t want to do anything that might make me uncomfortable. Moving right now would make me uncomfortable. So… stay?”

And that time, Marceline smiled. “Alright.”

Bonnibel offered her a quiet smile in return, tipping forward to plant a lingering kiss on her lips. “Happy Valentine’s, Marcy.” Then she rested her head on Marceline’s shoulder, wrapped one arm around her waist and sighed; pretty content with this whole thing.

Tentatively, Marceline’s hand wound around her middle; she was obviously being very careful not to take some kind of horribly inappropriate liberty. Bonnie couldn’t have cared less. So it was with the same curve to the corners of her mouth as before that she fell asleep.