24 May 2013 - AN: I apologize, but I have decided to retire this fanfiction. It will not be completed, it will not be continued, what is here is all that will ever be here. For the sake of anyone who might like this, I will leave it here. If you would like to contact me about this fic or about anything, please check my profile page for details.

Thank you.

Marceline sat on her couch – or, technically, floated above it – gently strumming the strings of her guitar. Her long black hair brushed the seat below her, and she flicked her head to one side in irritation. She was about to begin playing when a knock interrupted her. Looking up, she saw the edge of a white hat through the window, bouncing slightly. Setting her guitar down on the couch, she floated over to the door and opened it, looking down on Finn with a crooked smile. "What's shaking, baby?" She purred, grinning over at Jake who glared at her openly. Returning her attention to Finn, she noticed that he was bouncing up and down slightly. One of her eyebrows slid upwards, silently questioning his poorly contained excitement. He beamed at her, practically shouting "I need your help with something!" Marceline tilted her head, amused as she asked "What with?"

Surprisingly, he stopped bouncing and blushed a bright shade of red, making her even more curious about why he was here. "Umm…" he avoided Marceline's questioning gaze, biting his lip as he muttered "Bubilshm wa to gut me…"

The vampire stared at him. "Bubblegum wants to gut you? As in kill you?" she laughed, wondering what the hell was going on. Finn's eyes widened as he waved his hands in front of him.

"No! No!" He sighed, looking away before he said "Bubblegum wants to go out with me." She floated silently for a second before crossing her arms and smiling her trademark smug smile. "And what, exactly, does that have to do with me?"

Finn hesitated, staring off to one side, while Jake shook his head in the background. "Bubblegum wants to go to this dance with me, and I think it's a date, but I'm not sure what to do or what to wear…" He paused, obviously embarrassed to be talking about it.

Reluctantly, Jake stepped in on his behalf. "I tried to give him advice but he wants your help because you're a girl. Technically."

Marceline laughed, her fangs flashing in the fading light. "I see." Shaking her head, she turned and floated inside, her long black hair trailing behind her. When she didn't hear any footsteps, she turned back to see the human still standing on her doorstep, his bear-eared hat dappled with shadows. "Are you coming in, or not?" Her question seemed to confuse him even more.

"So… You will help me?"

Rolling her eyes, she replied "Duh, weenie. Otherwise I would have closed the door." Her answer seemed to wake him up a bit, as he entered her house with Jake trailing behind. He removed his green backpack, putting it beside the couch as he sank into it gladly. Ignoring the vampire, Jake went and sat in the corner, keeping a wary eye on his friend. Satisfied, she closed the door, floating over to rest beside Finn on the couch. Lifting a jet black eyebrow, she watched him, her curiosity mounting.

He was clean enough – well, for Finn anyway – and his hat seemed to have been washed at some point in the last couple of weeks. There were some fresh cuts and grazes on his knuckles and knees, but that was nothing new. He looked healthy enough, and there were no dark circles around his eyes to indicate any problems sleeping. Bonnibelle must have asked him just this morning.

Snapping out of her thoughts, she noticed that Finn hadn't even realized she'd been silent for a full minute. He seemed far away, his eyes distant. Suddenly, his eyes moved, and he turned to face her. They looked each other in the eye for a second, before he grinned half-heartedly.

"Sorry. Guess I'm a bit distracted." Marceline smiled in response.

"Okay, weenie," she began, rewarded with a small frown at her use of the name, "why don't you start from the beginning?"

Finn sighed, staring off to one side. There was a long pause, and Marceline was about to ask again when he began.

"Bubblegum wanted Jake and I to come over for a party the Candy Kingdom was holding in celebration of Stanley's birthday. When we got there, she asked me to come into the lab - something about a project she'd been working on. Her lab looked normal to me - full of potions and other stuff I'm not allowed to touch because I usually end up breaking it. Anyway, I asked her what she wanted me to help with, and she didn't say anything for a second. Then she turned and asked me out." Finn shook his head, as if still in denial that it actually happened.

"What did she say?" The vampire asked, wondering why Bonnibelle had changed her mind about Finn all of a sudden.

"Well, she said that she had 'underestimated me' and that she had 'realized that she should give me a chance.'"

Marceline frowned. "That's all she said?" He nodded, and her frown deepened slightly. Shaking it off, she scratched her ankle through the gap between her jeans and her boots. "So, what are you two going to do on this date?" He confirmed what she had already guessed, a candlelight dinner and dancing. Sometimes, Bonnibelle was a little bit too predictable.

Finn watched as she went and fetched a small table from her kitchen, along with two chairs, a tablecloth, and a candle. She lit the candle, then got two glasses, some tomato juice, two plates, and two sets of cutlery. Setting everything out neatly, she poured them each a glass of juice, then sat on the chair furthest from the sofa. He was surprised to see her actually sit in the chair, not just float above it.

Smiling at him, she gestured to the chair opposite her. "Let's begin."