Lady's house had always felt more like home than her actual home. But right now, sitting in Lady's living room, knowing that not only did she not want to go to her family's house, just down the road, but she was not allowed there, well. It was different than the days in high school she had spent there, sobbing on the couch as Lady comforted her and her mother offered the two of them pizza, or the option to rent a movie. Still now, Lady's mother fussed over Bonnie and Marcy as they lay on top of their sleeping bags in the living room. Marceline's parents had payed to store their things until they could come and help them move on the first of the month. Marcy said Simon and Betty would be coming.
She was glad of that. She liked them.
Lady sat cross-legged on her couch. Next to her were Jake and Finn, who greedily shoved handfuls of popcorn into their mouths, barely watching the horror movie that was playing in the background in their effort to swallow as many kernels as humanly possible.
Lady rolled her eyes, but it was an affectionate gesture. Bonnie sat at Lady's feet, her eyes fixed on the screen. Beside her, Marceline nibbled at a sandwich.
“So, wait, I don't get it. Why are all the dolls haunted now?” Bonnie said, her brows furrowed.
Marceline shrugged, “Uh, his evil spread? Magic maybe? I dunno dude, but they better kill somebody soon. We're an hour in and there's been four sex scenes but no doll murder. This is a disgrace.”
Bonnie nodded, “Not even good sex scenes.”
“No offence guys, but you're all like my family. I wouldn't watch sex scenes with my mom, and I'm not super into it with you guys, either,” Finn said, crossing his arms.
A devious grin spread across Bonnie's face, “Hey Finn.”
“Uh, hey Bonnie.”
“Jake, your brother. He's had it. Y'know, sex.”
Finn let out a mock wail and covered his ears, “No, my sweet baby ears. Tainted forever!”
Marceline laughed and nudged Bonnie, “Wait till you hear about me and Bon here.”
Finn groaned, “Stop it, I'm just a simple teenage boy.”
Lady leaned over and ruffled Finn's hair, which he accepted with a pout, “Y'know, I'm gonna move in with Tiffany and never talk to you bullies again.”
“But I thought we were family,” Bonnie teased.
Finn sighed, “And I love you.”
Lady leaned over, “Speaking of moving in, when is the place gonna be ready for a grand tour you two?”
Marceline hummed, “Well, we'll have to unpack, reorganize, settle in a tad, so,” she trailed off.
“Like, a month?” Bonnie said.
Bonnie shrugged, “I'm tired.”
Lady tapped Bonnie's cheek, “You get a week before I go through withdrawals and climb in through the window.”
Marceline chuckled, “She looks serious, Bon.”
“Lady's never said a serious thing in her life.”
“Care to test that?” Lady asked.
“Oh, I'm petrified,” Bonnie said, “but fine, we'll have it presentable in about a week. But don't get your hopes up too high.”
Lady sighed, “I can live with that.”
“And how about you, Lady? Moving in with the boys?”
Lady hummed, “Yeah, but I'm gonna spend summer mostly at home, I think,” she smiled towards her mom, “I've missed this place.”
Most people may have looked at her with sympathy after making such a comment, but she was glad that Lady was the exception to that rule. She was happy that Lady had such a loving relationship with her parents, even if she couldn't say the same for herself. Besides, Lady's mom was like a proper mom to her, and always had been. And hell, if she stayed with Marceline long enough, maybe she would start to feel the same about Marceline's family. The thought made her smile to herself.
“Hey, look,” Marceline said, pointing at the television, “so the dolls are evil because a bunch of kids died there. But now, see, what I don't get, is why they're killing these random dudes.”
Bonnie's focused shifted once again back to the movie, “Uh, maybe they're related to the murderers?”
Marcy shook her head, “No, 'cause the murderers killed themselves, remember?”
Bonnie shrugged, “Distant relatives? Or maybe they just look like them.”
“I hope it's not that. That'd be dumb.”
“This movie's dumb.”
Bonnie leaned back to look at Lady, “I'm being bullied by my girlfriend. Beat her up, please.”
“I'm on it,” Finn shouted from his vantage point on the couch, and without another word lunged onto Marceline's back. She doubled over, her face slamming uncomfortably onto the carpeted floor.
“Oh, shit, sorry,” Finn whispered, clambering off her, “I'm used to rough housing with Jake, and-”
He was interrupted by Marceline shaking herself off and launching a counter attack, sending Finn rolling across the room. He cackled loudly and pounced like a cat onto her back, causing them both to roll across the floor to Bonnie's feet.
Marceline snorted and kissed her cheek, “There's casualties in every war, babe.”
“And there will be no war in my living room,” Lady's mom scolded, though her eyes sparkled and her smile betrayed her.
Finn smiled sheepishly and flopped back onto the couch, “You're neat Marceline.”
“You're neat too, for a dork,” Marceline shot back.
Bonnie smiled. Seeing her girlfriend banter with Finn, who was like a brother to her, felt right.
Felt like family.
Marceline was roused by excited knocking at Lady's door. She groaned and rolled over. The knocking repeated, louder this time. With a sigh, she dragged herself out of the snug sleeping bag she shared with Bonnie and dragged herself to the door.
“Hello?” she grumbled as she opened the door.
In a flash, she had arms around her neck. Panic.
“Simon!” she cried, wrapping her arms tightly around her uncle's waist.
Betty stood a couple steps behind him, smiling, “Big day,” she said.
Marceline broke away from Simon, rubbing her eyes, “What time is it?”
“Six o'clock,” Simon chirped, “perfect time to beat traffic. Up and at 'em, get your lovely girlfriend, say goodbye to your friends, and let's haul butt!”
Bonnie wobbled to her side, “You're yelling,” she said, interrupting herself with a yawn, “I'm sure everyone knows what's up already.”
Sure enough, Lady hauled herself down the stairs, Finn not far behind. As for Jake, well, that dude would sleep through the apocalypse- she bet her life on that. She'd text him later- he was grumpy when he got woken up.
Lady put two and two together and wrapped her arms around Bonnie in a sleepy hug, “I love you,” she said, yawning, “I'm sleep, but text me when you're moved in.”
“Thanks for having us,” Marceline said, pulling her into a hug. Lady nodded and yawned again. Finn gave the two of them more energetic hugs before the two of them hauled themselves up the stairs and back into their beds. Marceline felt a tad jealous, but it was overwhelmed by two things.
First, Simon and Betty were here. Her heart felt ready to burst with excitement based on that alone. Second, she was moving in with Bonnie. Her girlfriend, who she loved.
Bonnie was slipping a cardigan on top of her baggy PJ shirt, “Marcy, are we gonna bother with looking nice?”
Marceline laughed, “Uh, no. I think our landlord will have seen worse.”
“Thank fuck,” Bonnie said as she rolled up their sleeping bag
The two, with some help from Simon and Betty, shoved the few belongings they had brought along with them into two duffle bags, which Simon readily slung over his shoulders.
“Simon, let me take one,” Marceline said, tugging at one of them.
“Oh nonsense, Marcy,” Simon scoffed, lumbering towards the entrance, “I may be an old cook, but I still have some strength in me,” as he uttered the last word, he tumbled to the side, crashing into a wall, “but, er, if you insist,” her placed a bag on the ground and righted himself, tilting his head high as he walked out the door and clambered into the rented moving van.
Betty rolled her eyes and picked up the discarded bag, following close behind.
Bonnie pulled Marcy in close, her eyes bright, in spite of the dark circles under her eyes, “Our own place.”
Marceline kissed her, “Yeah, I know. Let's get going before they come back and tease us.”
Bonnie snorted, but slipped on her sandals regardless and made her way to the large van. Marceline followed close behind, stopping to scribble a thank-you note to Lady's mom and taping it to the door, before running out to meet her girlfriend and family.
Marceline spent the majority of their drive to the storage unit staring out the window, while Bonnie dozed off. They elected to let her stay that way while they loaded the truck. They had plenty of time, after all.
She awoke as they were hauling a couch that Simon had bought for them onto the truck. She knew it was in trouble when she slammed it against the side of the car, creating a harsh clashing sound and a tremor in the car. She knew that buying a four seated couch was a bad decision. Too heavy. Too hard to maneuver.
“Marcy!” Bonnie's voice sounded alarmed, and a bit peeved. She rounded the corner, her hair sticking up awkwardly on the side where she'd been leaning against the window, “why didn't you wake me up to help?”
Marcy smiled, “Would you wake Sleeping Beauty?”
“Uh, yes, I believe that's the point.”
“Oh, she's a sharp one,” Simon said, nudging her. Marceline glared at him, which only made his smile widen.
Marceline finished pushing the couch into place and walked towards her girlfriend, whose arms were crossed and face was formed into a hard pout. She leaned over and kissed her cheek, earning her a sigh and an eyeroll, “Whatever, just let me help load my books at least.”
“Yeah, I'd been avoiding that. How do you even read so much in a single lifetime?”
“She probably hasn't read half of them. Us readers prefer the tried and true art of re-reading the same book over and over while feeling guilty that we have fifty unread books sitting on our bookshelf,” Betty said as she walked by, struggling with a box of the aforementioned books. Bonnie's sheepish smile told her that Betty had been on the mark.
The remainder of the loading went quickly with an extra set of hands, and within the hour they were stopped in the back parking area of their new apartment.
“Let's start with the big stuff,” Simon said, opening the massive back door of the moving van. They had positioned the bed parts so that they would be accessible immediately. They moved the mattress first, which went smoothly. Then the box spring. That one took some fancy footwork, but eventually fit enough into the elevator for the door to close, though admittedly with Marceline crammed into a corner. Then came the couch.
Oh boy, the couch.
She'd known the four person couch had been a bad idea.
Elevator was a no-go. It was way too tall to even attempt.
Second option was the staircase.
“Well, fear not girls, for I cam prepared,” Simon said, pulling rope from his bag.
“Oh, boy,” Betty sighed.
“Oh, boy,” Marceline and Bonnie repeated in unison.
Bonnie narrowed her eyes towards their shared balcony, “With all due respect, Simon, we're on the third floor. Do you really think two out of shape college students and a professor can haul a thousand pound piece of furniture over that balcony?”
“I work out,” Simon objected.
“You do not,” Betty shot back, “well, we'll give it a try. If we need to call in someone, we need to call in someone.”
Bonnie seemed to accept that. Simon and Betty would be paying, so all she needed to worry about was inconveniencing them. A few minutes later, herself, Bonnie, and Simon were positioned on their balcony while Betty directed the couch from the ground. It was like hauling an elephant, or at least what she thought that might feel like. Her muscles felt like they were on fire as she tugged, and her brain buzzed with paranoia that the rope would snap and crush Betty, though Simon assured her repeatedly that it would not happen.
Eventually, their landlord of all people saw them struggling, and came in to assist. Not much of a first impression, but at least he wasn't shitty about it.
Eventually, the couch landed over the side of the balcony with a distinctive thud. Their landlord went over to inspect the area where it had fallen, but quickly determined that- thankfully- there was no damage done. Losing their damage deposit on the first day would have been straight pathetic.
After their landlord vacated, kindly telling them to call if they needed anything, they collapsed on the newly positioned couch.
“Are you sure we have to move everything today, like, we can't just die?” Marceline asked.
“'Fraid not,” Bonnie said between ragged breaths.
Betty arrived moments later with two boxes balanced precariously on top of each other, “Break time's over folks, let's get moving.”
The rest of the moving went without much interruption. Once they had finished, Simon and Betty left them to relax, promising that they would be back the next day to treat them to dinner, at the very least, which they readily accepted.
Now, the two of them sat on the couch that had caused them so much trouble, eating stir fry with plastic utensils out of a take-out box.
Marceline sighed, “So, you ready for another exciting year with me as a roommate?”
Bonnie smiled, “Yeah, and you?”
Marceline nodded, “Yeah.”
Honestly, Marceline wasn't sure what was going to come next. Second year was like a distant blur to her, unobtainable right now. She didn't want to think about it, or anything besides living happily with Bonnie.
One thing she was sure about? It had been a long damn year.