Marceline awoke the next morning to see a very familiar face leering down at her. She scrambled away and fell off of her bench.
"A-Ash!" she stammered, rolling to her feet and stepping back. "Wh-what do you want?"
"What's always been mine," he snarled. Marceline looked at her watch.
Come on, Finn! she pleaded silently as Ash pulled her away from her bench and into a family restroom. Please...
"Y-you're late," Marceline hugged herself when Finn arrived thirty minutes later.
"Sorry!" he panted. "Jake got mad and locked the door and hid the house keys and—did something happen?"
"What? No!" she denied.
"N-no it didn't!"
"I'm being honest!"
"Then why is your shirt all rumpled up?" he examined her with a critical eye. "God, Marceline! Your jeans aren't even buttoned!" she hurried to do so. "What shook you up that much?"
"I-it was nothing."
"No," he sat beside her and wrapped an arm around her shoulders to draw her in. She squeaked and stiffened. She knew that Finn wasn't one to do that (as far as she could tell), but the feeling of having a man touching her was very, very bad at the moment. "Oh my God! Were you raped?" Finn hissed. Tears filled Marceline's eyes.
"No," she lied.
"You were," he growled. "I can see it in your eyes. Who was it? Who was it?" he sounded furious! Marceline scrambled away. "Oh shit!" FInn ran his hands through his hair in clear dismay and distress. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to scare you!"
"It's fine," she whimpered.
"No, it's not fine."
"Are we just gonna argue all day?" she asked quietly.
"No. I'm taking you to an awesome bar I know. I only go when I really need a good time, and I figure you could probably use one," so Marceline slung her guitar across her back and followed Finn to the street, where they caught a taxi. "Take us to Kevin's, and make it snappy."
"Usually one picks up a girl after going to a bar. Just going for the drinks?" the driver wiggled his eyebrows. Finn growled.
"She isn't my girlfriend, she's my friend, and we're going for the experience; she's never been. Now step on it!"
"Well hey, if she's free, so am I..."
"I said, step on it!"
"It's fine," Marceline whispered. "I can take it," but Finn gave her a look that said he knew she was lying.
"Shut up and drive fast, or I'll have you arrested for verbally, sexually harassing a young woman," Finn ordered.
The driver shut up and drove.
Wasn't long before they reached a corner bar. There was a bulky guy outside.
"He's just there to scare off any kids," Finn told Marceline, "and for crowd control."
"Whoa there!" the big man caught Marceline by the shoulder. "No weapons!"
"She's with me," Finn gave a winning smile.
"Oh. Well that's a little different," the man released Marceline. "Sorry 'bout that," he waved them inside, and in they went. It wasn't crowded at all, so Marceline could take in the scene; a dance floor, a stage, a bar, some tables...pretty cool. Jake waved from a booth.
"Jake! What're you doing here?" Finn asked as he hurried over, Marceline trailing behind like a lost puppy.
"I brought m'lady. You?"
"Just showing Marceline around."
"Finn, it's not like she's two. She knows the city," Finn blushed.
"Well yeah, but she lives on a bench, man! You expect me to just abandon her?" Jake looked at Marceline.
"Okay, she is pretty cool...for a homeless chick...but she can't meet Lady! I don't want her to mess stuff up!"
"Okay okay, jeez. We'll go," they walked out of the bar.
"Thanks for showing me that place, Finn," Marceline said quietly as they started to walk.
"No problem! Next order of business; I'm buying you a cell phone. It'll go on my bill, don't worry," so he bought her a cheap little TracFone (he had tried to buy her an iPhone, but Marceline had refused) with triple minutes. He put his number into the phone, and he put in his home number, and Jake's cell phone, and even Bonnibel's home and cell. "If you ever need help, it's just a call away," Finn told her. Then he bought her a thousand minutes, which translated into three thousand. The clerk was left gaping. They went to WalMart, and Finn bought Marceline a red apple for her lunch. They went back to the park and lay under a sprawling oak tree in the heart, with only the gray sky for warmth.
"This morning, m-my ex, he..."
"Hey, it's okay," Finn propped himself up on an elbow and wiped away her tears. "You don't have to talk about it."
"Ash...that's his name. Ash Figglefaggart."
"I'll be sure to give him a call," Finn said darkly. Marceline bit her lip.
"You really don't have to..."
"Really, Marceline. It's okay. I want to. Any jerk who goes around raping young women deserves a little reality check."
"Okay then," was her weak reply. Finn stood and pulled her to her feet, handing her a one hundred dollar bill.
"Go have yourself a nice dinner," he said before leaving.
But she didn't.
She couldn't afford to.
"Hey Mar-Mar, get up," Marceline blinked awake to those all-too familiar brown eyes watching her. "Your little chump? He doesn't scare me. I'll be back for you, Mar-Mar. Until you love me again, I'll be back."
And then Ash Figglefaggart faded into the night, leaving his ex cowering on her bench.
Thanks for trying, Finn...