A/N: This story is officially over 50,000 words long. I hope you’ve enjoyed the ride so far, and that you continue to do so — though it’s almost over.
This part is a bit NSFW.
Written for Bekuh. =)
Read the previous part of this story here.
TOWER, TOWER - [Part L]
The afternoon dies in a drizzle, and when evening draws its shroud down across the castle a shaded silence descends too on the library, thorough but for the meager ticka-ticka-tat of rain on the windows. Absently Bubblegum listens to that lulling, sibilant drum, her eyes closed, her cheek lax. She drowses—for how long she isn’t sure. At last a flicker of movement along her thigh rouses her, though, and she asks, “Nnn?”
Another hand palms her breast, rolls it roughly over calluses and between rasping fingers. Pinching the peak of it, Marceline smirks into the monarch’s temple and replies, “Awake, Bonnibel?”
“Mm, well.” Slanting an eye open, Bubblegum tips her head back under the curtain of Marceline’s hair. She smiles hazily up into the gloom. “I am now.” She can just make out the silhouette of her knight’s jaw: the slant of her chin. The scarlet smolder of the taller woman’s gaze grants the corridor a frail, seething glow.
“Good,” she says. Between Bubblegum’s legs her fingers stir—stroke too, gently. The princess squirms and Marceline murmurs, thoughtful and teasing at once, “Again, milady?”
Bubblegum demurs, “I couldn’t possibly.”
“Oh”—Marceline’s smile is a grin now; Bubblegum feels the brand of it on her skin just as easily as she feels the vampire slide into her—“let’s see about that, hm? Because I think maybe you could.”
The bell for dinner is the thing that finally pulls them from one another. Sheepish and smiling, they hasten to the library’s washroom, emerging minutes later only mildly disheveled save that the monarch’s dress is wrinkled almost beyond recognition from the knees down. Bubblegum pauses on their way out to gather up her stones again, sweeping them sideways into her bag. Hitching said bag up onto her shoulder, she reaches for her crown next and informs Marceline gingerly, “Peppermint will know. And Lady too, probably.”
“The marks on your neck are pretty telling,” admits the knight. As Bubblegum’s fingers fly to her throat and flare there, Marceline hitches her breastplate back into place and offers, “Not that you aren’t an open book without them. Hey—buckle me up, Bonni?”
She turns, wiggling her eyebrows. With a short huff Bubblegum complies, pulling the wide leather straps of the breastplate taut and hooking the catch below her knight’s arm. “And just how obvious are these marks?” she wonders archly. “There. Tight enough?”
Marceline gives her shoulders an experimental roll. Nodding, she supplies, “Yeah, that’s good. And don’t freak—they’re not bad.” She turns so Bubblegum can attend the straps on her other side. “If you hitch up your collar a bit, no one’ll see ’em.”
“Hmph.” Bubblegum takes up the task of armoring her knight a second time. She makes no move, though, to hide the apparent evidence of her afternoon’s endeavors.
“Do you, uhm.” She looks up—Marceline blinks back down at her, flushed and almost, the princess realizes, shy. “Do you care,” attempts the vampire again, “if they know? Peppermint and Lady, I mean? Because hey, see—Finn. Finn’s perceptive and he’ll get it for sure, but if you want me to tell him to keep it quiet I can… you know. I can make that happen.”
Her eyes skitter away from Bubblegum anxiously.
Beneath the princess’s touch the breastplate’s buckle creaks. Smoothing the brass of the catch to a golden shine with her index finger’s crook, the smaller of the pair contemplates her reply. She says at length, “Do you have any reason to think Finn will mind?”
“What? Nn—well.” Marceline makes a face. Her tongue twists out between her teeth. “Maybe he’ll be a little upset. Because c’mon, he has the biggest crush on you. You do know that, don’t you?”
Thinking of the way the squire fumbles helplessly in her presence sometimes, Bubblegum acknowledges, “I am aware of his affection, yes.”
“Mmm.” Marceline flexes her arms: shakes out her hair. By some unspoken agreement she and Bubblegum slip together toward the library’s exit, accompanied by the shika-shika whisper of the rocks in the monarch’s bag and the low patter of her footsteps on the flagstone. “He’ll be okay,” the vampire decides. “He loves me—and you too. And it might chafe a bit, but I really think it won’t take him long to just, I dunno, be glad that we’re—”
She stops: drifting and talking both. Turning her head cautiously in the princess’s direction, she gazes sidelong at Bubblegum. There is a question in the contours of her face—a creeping hesitation along the slow swoop of her mouth’s curl.
“Yeah. So. What are we?” she asks.
The glow from the lanterns in the hall beyond the library throws Marceline into wan yellow relief. There are faint bruises stippled across her neck too, smudges circling her cursed scars and her collar’s sharp dip. Bubblegum’s belly prickles pleasantly—proudly—at the sight of them.
“I’m happy,” she offers, and hedges, “are you?”
Marceline flushes: laughs, scrubs her hand down her face. Peeking at the princess through her fingers, she grins—shrugs. “Yeah. Yeah, I am.”
The vampire moves again. Bubblegum follows in her shadow’s long reel. “That’s a good start, I think,” the royal murmurs. “Being happy.”
They skirt the infirmary, ascending the stairs back up into the castle proper. At the summit of those stairs Marceline turns abruptly, enough that Bubblegum almost runs into her—she does bark her brow against the knight’s armor. She blinks and then Marceline’s face is inches from her own, all crimson intent and crooked, questing smile flickering for the torchlight.
“My princess,” she insists. “My queen,” she adds, and finishes hopefully, “mine?”
The dinner bell rings once more, insistent, and Bubblegum takes a last step up. She seizes the side of her protector’s armor for balance: pulls the knight down to her even as Marceline’s arm pitches out to steady her too. Their mouths brush—their cheeks scrub and the monarch’s crown cants off to the side, caught in Marceline’s hair. Their hands tangle into a knot between them.
Clutching the lean fingers in her palm’s heart, Bubblegum agrees, “Yours.”
Read the next part here.