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Pray for the Preacher's Daughter

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Thursday 26th March 2015

“Bonnibel Banner!”

She jumped out of her skin when her name was shrieked at such an ungodly pitch across the hallway. Fingers wound into the fabric of her shirt over her heart, she spun – shaking – to see who had aged her ten years. Penelope… And a particularly intense frown.

“What?” she gasped, sinking back against the wall, attempting to slow her racing heart. “Oh my god. And don’t scream at me like that.”

“What are you doing here?” Pippa demanded, stopping in front of her, hands on her hips. “You finished exam block yesterday. So there is no need for you to be at school. Are you that desperate to educate yourself?”

“No,” she sighed. “I’m waiting for Marceline. Sheesh. Cool your jets.”

Pippa’s face did that thing where it didn’t really change, but some subtle shift indicated she was entertaining ideas Bonnie wouldn’t like. Usually that she and Marceline were dating. Or that they should be. Either way.

“Why?”

Bonnibel rolled her eyes (and silently thanked her propensity for preplanning that she already had an excuse worked out). “Because we’re going to see a movie to kick start the holidays. And the reason I’m going with Marceline is because it’s a horror movie and Finn and Jake have that physiology exam tomorrow so they can’t come.” She shook her head. “Why, what did you think we were going to do?”

The smile that crept onto Pippa’s face then just confirmed her suspicions about the devious plotting happening in her pretty blonde head. “Oh… I don’t know. Maybe you were going to stare at her wistfully for a while.”

“Who are we staring at?” Marceline picked that moment – naturally – to arrive. She blinked innocently but the little smirk quirking her mouth said she knew exactly what they were talking about.

Penelope narrowed her eyes at Marceline. “Talking about you, as a matter of fact.” Her gaze returned to Bonnibel after those somewhat melodramatic words. “You’re lucky I believe you.”

“Sure. You know, for someone who claims to be one of my best friends,” Bonnie teased. “You’re awfully suspicious of everything I do.”

She sighed, grabbing Bonnie’s hand. “Just looking out for you,” she murmured. “Be safe in Blackwater.” Letting go, Pippa vanished around the corner, already calling out to someone else. Probably Ellen since she’d scamper now that exams were done.

“What was that about?” Marceline asked as they headed for her car. “Also, hey and why did you walk? I would’ve picked you up on my way past.”

“Figured I’d save you the hassle. Plus I was bored so I went for a walk,” Bonnie explained with a shrug. “And Pippa’s just concerned that I’m hanging out with you for unhealthy reasons so she tends to over analyse anything we do together. Like going to the movies.”

Marceline snorted. “It is a date.”

“Pippa doesn’t know that.”

“And why is she so suspicious of me anyway?” Her arched eyebrow was almost mocking.

Bonnie offered a faded glare in reply. “I did tell her I find you attractive, you know. She probably thinks I spend time with you to satisfy some sick self-delusion or whatever.”

“Yeah,” Marceline sighed, sinking into the divers’ seat. “It’s probably not healthy.”

“Luckily for me,” she pointed out. “You asked me out. So it’s totally fine.”

“I dunno about totally…” Marceline sang. “You are dating me. Nothing will ever be fine.”

Bonnie clucked her tongue. “That’s not very nice. You’re fine.”

Marceline cast a funny look over at her. “Sometimes you say nice things and I have to wonder if you even know who I am,” she grumbled. “Like… you know why people avoid me… right?”

“Yes, you’ve told me stories,” Bonnie affirmed. “I maintain that stuff you did before doesn’t matter. What’s that saying… you’ve got to put your past behind you?”

“Thanks, Timon,” Marceline chuckled, rolling her eyes.

“Everyone deserves a second chance, Marceline,” she asserted. “So stop worrying.”

“You’re quite unusual.”

“Thank you.”

Marceline didn’t continue with that line of conversation. Despite anything Bonnibel might say it was obvious she’d harbour some form of uncertainty for a long while yet. But that’s okay; Bonnie would beat it out of her… Well, not beat because that’s just wrong. But she’d be there to help.

And in the meantime, she was perfectly happy to talk about all the things Ellen would get up to now that they’re officially on holiday. Or just sing along to whatever tunes Marceline had playing. Actually, Marceline seemed pretty enthused about whatever reaction Pippa would have when she finally found out about the whole dating thing. Admittedly, Penelope’s response would be pretty exciting, for sure.

“So are we having lunch or dinner?” Marceline asked her as they headed into the Blackwater Mall.

“I haven’t eaten yet,” Bonnie told her. “You?”

“Nope. Lunch it is.”

“We can always stop and get something on the way home,” she muttered. “We could go to Ivy’s for dinner?”

Marceline waved a hand dismissively. “Dinner is hours away. We’ll think about that when it gets here. What would you like for lunch?”

 

-*…*…*-

 

“You’re so weird though,” Marceline opined, scrunching her nose up.

“Says you.”

She gestured at the ‘evidence’ at hand. “You mix and match your frozen drinks,” Marceline accused, looking horrified. “How can you not be perfectly happy with just the raspberry flavour?”

“Because,” Bonnie explained, holding her cup away from her friend. “The more the merrier.” She grabbed Marceline’s wrist and tugged her towards the counter. “Come on, let’s get tickets now.”

“Are we really going to see that horror movie? You don’t want something… not that?”

“If it gets too much then you’ll just have to deal with me holding your hand,” Bonnie laughed. “Maybe ending up in your lap.” She blinked innocently. “Problem?”

Marceline’s face was suddenly extremely impassive. “Nope,” she whispered. “Nothing wrong with that. I’m fine. Horror it is.”

As Bonnibel had been told, there was a pretty blonde girl working at the register. “Hey, Marceline,” she said in a much too bright tone. It took a lot of effort for Bonnie not to frown at her. “Not with Keila today?”

“Um… no. Not today, Tori. Two tickets to see Remedy, if you would.” She was doing her utmost to keep a straight face still. It was kind of funny.

Bonnie tuned her out as she chatted with Marceline, meandering over to the concessions stand to pay for their drinks and buy a bucket of popcorn. She was back in time to hear the tail end of their conversation though and it made her giggle. Marceline was now fighting to keep her face from going bright red. Only she wasn’t really succeeding.

She said something quietly to Tori and hastened away, mouth pressed into a tight line as she shook her head. “If I didn’t know better,” she grumbled under her breath when she reached Bonnie’s side.

“If you didn’t know what better?” Bonnie laughed. “Who is she? Ex-girlfriend?”

“Oh my god, no,” Marceline exhaled, the red in her cheeks flushing deeper, spreading down her neck. “Keila and I come to the movies a lot while she’s working.”

Bonnie bobbed her head. “You think she’s cute.”

Marceline’s head shook so fast it should’ve fallen off. “Nope.”

“Yeah you do,” Bonnibel sang, skipping up the aisle of the theatre to pick seats. “You totally do.”

Wary now, Marceline sank into the chair beside Bonnie. “I don’t,” she repeated. “But if I did…?”

Bonnie snorted. “You’re still here with me. Hell, she is cute. But she’s also very straight.”

Marceline’s jaw fell open. “I feel like this was some sort of test,” she breathed. “Did you set me up, Banner?”

She just smiled.

“God, you did. Why would you do that?”

She shrugged, still smiling softly. “I guess I just wanted proof that I’m not the only girl you find attractive,” she admitted, leaning over to kiss Marceline’s cheek. “Relax. There’s nothing sinister going on. I just didn’t want to be the only reason you consider yourself to be not straight.”

Marceline just blinked at her, uncomprehending. “Excuse me? Why?”

“Paranoia? It would absolutely suck if you thought you liked girls and then you realise you don’t and we break up and…” she sighed. “That’d hurt.”

Marceline’s face collapsed into something gentle. “You could’ve just asked me that you know.”

“I like to see things with my own eyes. It’s the curse of being scientifically minded.”

“You’re not the only girl I’ve ever found attractive,” Marceline murmured. “You’re just the only one I’ve ever asked out.”

Bonnie exhaled. “And what was it you said about our conversations always ending up deep and meaningful?”

Marceline laughed. “I think it’s a good thing, right? Means we’re communicating?”

“This is true. Thank you.”

“No worries.”

The only conversation after that was about the movie (and the ads preceding it). Which was good in its own way. Once the movie got underway though – just as Bonnie had promised – she ended up with her fingers clamped so hard around Marceline’s wrist she was surprised she couldn’t hear the bones breaking.

But Marceline just pushed the arm rest up and pulled Bonnie into a hug. And that was the best thing that had happened all day.