It is the sound of her rock candy wind chimes beating softly against one another in a lazy morning breeze that ultimately wakes the princess. She peels open her eyes, rosy irises fogged with sleep, being pressed down by a pink fist as she slowly rubs her fatigue away. The curtains are drawn, blocking the majority of the early sun, though yellow stripes of light slip through the corners. Bubblegum yawns into her palm, shifting the overstuffed blankets of her bed as she readjusts herself, rolling to face the other direction.
What she sees on the other side of the bed evokes a sleepy smile.
Marceline, face down in the pillow, gives a soft snore. Black hair spills wildly across the white fabric of Bubblegum's bed like spilled ink on paper. Bubblegum watches the slow rise and fall of the vampire's back - her bare back - propping herself up on her elbow in order to gain a better view. The girl's skin is a very pale shade of grey, almost blue when in the right light. Bubblegum doesn't catch Marceline asleep very often; the older girl is usually awake before her, already in the midst of sucking the red color out of a bowl of candy or terrorizing her butlers or stroking her bass on the edge of the bed, pulling Bubblegum out of a wistful sleep with the alluring sound of her music.
Seeing Marceline so relaxed, so loose, is such a foreign sight that Bubblegum does nothing but sit there and stare at her for a good five minutes, relishing in the moment. Then, slowly, Bubblegum lifts the blanket and slides closer, her warm, pink flesh meeting the chilly skin of Marceline. The vampire doesn't stir and, taking a deep breath, Bubblegum quickly situates herself on top of the other girl, lips pressed on the back of Marceline's neck.
Marceline groans under the weight but doesn't lift her head. Bubblegum giggles, using her fingers to comb through the mass of Marceline's thick black hair and moving it out of the way. She kisses the nape of the girl's neck, fingers curling about the vampire's ribs tenderly. Bubblegum follows the easing slope of Marceline's spine. It isn't until she's midway down her back that the vampire speaks. It's muffled into the pillow, nothing but unintelligible sounds. Bubblegum laughs, leaving one more kiss before she lifts her head.
Marceline's head turns. Her eyes ares still closed, but the slender, black lines of her brows are twisted over her nose. "I said, it's too early. And I'm going to kill you."
The princess laughs again, returning to her task of kissing every notch of Marceline's backbone. Slowly, she can feel the older girl being pulled from her sleep, body slowly arching off the bed and following the hot trail of Bubblegum's mouth. The princess' tongue darts out just once, testing the cold skin, bringing out the slightest gasp from Marceline's lips.
Bubblegum is about to sit up and roll the vampire over when she spots something; something black and covering Marceline's skin. She jerks back in surprise, shifting further down the girl's back to see whatever it was more fully. Bubblegum's mouth drops open.
"What?" Marceline's voice is still groggy. "Is there a bug on me?"
"There's something on you," Bubblegum mumbles, her hand slowly reaching out to trace the other edges of a bat. It's wings are long and stretch across the width of Marceline's lower back. The bat has fangs with blood on them and round yellow eyes. Bubblegum leans down to examine the curious appearance further. "Is this - is this a tattoo?"
The vampire's body has suddenly grown stiff. "Butterscotch."
"This is, isn't it?" Bubblegum's voice is tinted with humor now. "How did I never see this before? I've seen you naked plenty of times."
Marceline groans, burying her face back into the pillow. She speaks, but once again, it's nothing Bubblegum can make out. The princess flicks her finger into the back of the vampire's head.
She raises it slowly. "You forget I can change my form. I usually just cover it up." Her head collides into the pillow again, mouth barely muffled by the fabric. "I got it, like, eight hundred years ago when I was young and stupid. I flippin' hate that thing."
"I think it's cute." Bubblegum laughs again, bowing over the girl's back to place a kiss against the bat's mouth. "It's very you."
Bubblegum senses more than sees Marceline roll her eyes. "Yeah, well -" the girl's skin shifts, giving a slight wave-like motion before the bat disappears, replaced by bare grey skin. "That's enough of that."
"No!" Bubblegum whines, wrapping her arms about the girl's torso and nearly crushing her in a tight embrace. The princess' mouth buries itself into Marceline's hair. "C'mon, it's cute! Besides, you shouldn't have to hide things from me! You don't need to be embarrassed about a little tattoo!"
Marceline starts to protest, only for her words to be squeezed out of her throat by the pressure of Bubblegum's arms. "Bonnie, you're -"
"I can't breathe -"
"You don't need to breathe! Bring it back!"
"Okay, okay! Just let me go!"
Bubblegum instantly releases her arms. The vampire takes a deep breath more for dramatic effect than anything, shooting the princess a twisted face over her shoulder before the skin of her lower back ripples again. Once again, the bat appears, much to Bubblegum's squealing delight.
Marceline's eye rolling is visible this time. "If you tell anyone about that -"
"I won't." Bubblegum pinches her fingers together and moves them across her lips in a zip-like motion. "Promise."
The vampire twists under Bubblegum's legs until she's resting on her back. She folds her arms behind her head. "Now," she says, her cockiness taking over her earlier embarrassment. "How about you focus on other parts of my anatomy?"
The princess crosses her arm and sits back, trying to keep her face passive even though the very naked Marceline beneath her is terribly inviting. "Magic word?"
The vampire laughs, pushing herself up on her elbows. Her head tilts back, slender, grey neck exposed. The tip of a pink, snake-like tongue slithers across her lower lip. "Please, Bonnibell?" Two of Marceline's fingers begin walking up Bubblegum's thigh. She ventures higher, inner, until her cold fingers are touching something hot and wet and -
Marceline laughs again.
Bubblegum takes Marceline's wrists in both hands, throwing them over the older girl's head and melting their chests together. "You think you're awfully funny."
"I'm hilarious." Marceline drags out the 's', her tongue once more making an appearance and flicking out to tap against Bubblegum's lips before quickly retreating.
The princess lifts a hand and taps a single digit against Marceline's chin. "Let's put that tongue to good use, hm, Batty?"
A moment of embarrassment floods to the surface again, but Marceline is quick to snuff it out by leaning up and kissing Bubblegum full on the mouth, definitely putting her tongue to better use.
"What is this place?"
Bubblegum takes a step away from the foreboding door. There are various skulls all over it, and images of large needles and splattered blood all over the windows, of which she can't see through due to the heavy, black curtains on the inside. The princess takes another step back only to collide into Marceline's chest, whose hands rest on top of Bubblegum's shoulders to steady her.
The sun is about to set, so Marceline is only wearing her wide-brimmed hat. In the shadows of it, she's grinning almost viciously.
"A tattoo parlor." Marceline's voice is laced with amusement. "You thought so highly of my tattoo and it gave me an idea." She releases the princess' shoulders, slowly walking around the girl until she is standing in front of her, hands on her hips. "How about you get a tattoo?"
Bubblegum's face pales. "I, uhm, I don't know, I - I'm a princess! Princesses certainly don't get tattoos -"
"I'm a queen." Marceline raises her eyebrows. "And I have one. Why shouldn't you get to have such a lovely experience?"
"My ... my skin! Yes! I don't have skin like you do. I was engineered completely out of real bubblegum. Hence my name. Surely they don't have the resources to tattoo flesh like mine -"
"Oh, trust me." Marceline's smile makes Bubblegum's spine shiver. "They can tattoo anything."
The princess can feel her heart in her throat, throbbing. "...Won't it ... hurt?"
"Not too badly." Marceline pauses. "Are you really considering it?"
"Isn't this why you brought me here?" Bubblegum tries to swallow, but her throat feels like sandpaper.
The vampire hesitates before shrugging her shoulders. "I'm not going to make you do anything, but it'd be totally wicked, Bonnie."
Bubblegum chews her lip for a moment before giving a slow nod of her head. "Okay. Just a small one, though."
Marceline, taking a moment to filter through her surprise, throws her arm over the younger girl's shoulder and draws her close, her other arm extending to push the door open with a loud rreeekkkt. The shop is small, with a long desk in the front and a door that leads to, she assumes, where the tattoos take place. The innards of the shop are almost as horrific as its outside - there are cobwebs (which may or may not be real, she can't tell) in every corner. There are no light bulbs, just torches, pegged into the walls. The flames flicker ominously, casting shadows across the floor.
A thin, blue creature with tattooed eyebrows and an enormous ring dangling from his nose perks up from behind the counter. He grins, revealing two rows of pointed teeth. "Good afternoon, ladies." Taking note of Bubblegum's yellow crown, he bows his head. "Your Majesty."
Bubblegum smiles, but it trembles at the corners and soon falls away. "H-Hello."
"The royal bubble here wants to get a tattoo." Marceline, completely at ease, leans against the counter. "You can squeeze her into your tight schedule, can't you?"
The blue man flips open a book. "I've got a guy coming in here to get a zombie peppermint on his -" The man jerks his gaze toward the princess and coughs loudly, deciding not to finish his sentence. "Anyway, that's not for another hour, so if it's a small one, I should be able to get you done, Princess."
Bubblegum gives another weak smile. "Oh, joy."
"Hey." Marceline steps toward her, her hands finding the girl's elbows and giving them a squeeze. "You don't have to do this, Bonn. I was just teasing."
"No. No, really." Bubblegum lifts her chin with a deep breath. "I want to. If you can do it, so can I, right?"
Marceline cocks a brow before nodding slowly. "Sure. Don't put anything on your face, please."
The princess laughs. The blue man calls her over toward the door. Marceline starts to drift after her only for Bubblegum to lift her hand, pressing it against Marceline's chest. "No, you stay."
The vampire pouts. "Why?"
"It's a surprise."
The blue man ushers Bubblegum into the other room, leaving Marceline to pout in the lobby, glaring at the cobwebs on the walls.
"Cheese, Bonn, will you just take off the stupid patch?"
Bubblegum traces the square of gauze, directly above her heart. "He said to wait four to five hours."
Marceline rolls her eyes. "It's been almost six and you still won't let me see it."
The girl's cheeks blaze a dark shade of maroon. "What if you think it's stupid? It seemed like such a good idea back there at the parlor and it's really cute and I like it but what if you say it's dumb?"
The queen drifts across the princess' wide room until she's floating just above the other girl's lap, perched in the center of her bed. Tilting down, the vampire lets her legs hover above her head while her face inches toward Bubblegum's. "I don't care if you got a flippin' purple turtle wearing roller skates. I won't think it's dumb."
Bubblegum doesn't look convinced. "Promise?"
"Promise. Don't make me do the pinky thing."
"I'm making you do the pinky thing."
Rolling her eyes, the vampire curls her pinky around one of Bubblegum's. "There, satisfied?"
Bubblegum nods slowly, her fingernails slowly picking away at the tape holding the gauze to her skin. The tattooing process had taken a little longer than usual due to the uniqueness of her flesh, but the man had insisted that it wasn't the toughest he had had to work with. "Look away," Bubblegum orders, and waits until Marceline has covered both of her eyes before she removes the gauze completely. "Okay. You can look."
Marceline removes her hands and - "Oh."
It's the outline of a bat. It's small, with no face, but it's obviously a smaller version of Marceline's without all the detail. The skin around the black lines is inflamed, but overall the tattoo looks clean and simple.
Bubblegum is blushing again. "I just ... you know ..." She ducks her head. "Love you, you know? And I thought if we got kind of matching tattoos, it would ... bind us, or something?" Bubblegum touches her cheek. "It sounds so silly, it made much more sense in my head -"
"Bonnie." The vampire lowers to the girl's bed, sitting cross legged before her. "Bonn, look at me."
She does so, albeit reluctantly, a nervous smile on her lips.
Marceline inches forward, cold fingertips resting just below the fresh tattoo. "It's adorable," she says, cracking a wide grin. "Much cuter than the beast I have on my back."
"Shush. Batty is way cute."
Marceline finds Bubblegum's eyes, scooting closer, leaning in to peck her on the lips - at least, that was her intention, but it turns into a full blown real kiss after a few moments of lingering. Bubblegum leans back on her pillows, fingers tangling in the vampire's hair. Her legs hook around Marceline's narrow waist and draw her closer.
"For the record," Marceline says, breath broken with pants as she wrestles with wiggling out of her shirt. "I love you, too."
Bubblegum giggles. "I know."
"Is that a tattoo?"
Finn's voice is incredulous, his eyes wide. Bubblegum, who had grown so accustomed to the tattoo, hadn't thought twice about it when she put her bikini on for a swim. Now her face flushes, a hand crooking over it as she struggles to think of an answer.
"Mine is much more impressive." Marceline twirls her umbrella over her shoulder, standing so she can turn and hike her shirt up the back. "See this beast? Gnarly, right?"
From the shadow of her umbrella, Marceline winks at Bubblegum.
The princess leaps into the water, spraying both of them with cold drops of blue.
A/N: The title is an awful pun, I know. I couldn't help myself.
Hope you enjoyed!