A Guardian Angel

Chapter 95

The Blow Up

"I want a life and a future with her, I'm showing her that I'm trying but Marceline doesn't want to work with me on this." Ash said glowering out the window while Marceline sat cross armed on the couch staring at the black haired woman before her, at this point she was barely listening to Ash now, he'd been acting like a petulant brat, and now she was focused on Maja, his "therapist." She was sure at this point that the woman was as much of a therapist as she was.

"Don't you think you should be more open and receptive to Ash? He is trying." This pulled Marceline from her reverie.

"I'm as open as I can be, and I'm not going to force myself to have feelings that are stronger than what I have. I told Ash that if I'm comfortable with our relationship I would stay, but I'm not, my feelings aren't the same anymore and trying to keep this relationship alive isn't fair to either of us anymore. It's hurting both of us…I tried I really did but after everything… It's not in me to stay, all we do is fight." Marceline said standing as she grabbed her purse. Despite Maja's objections she walked from the room and was out of sight with a quickness. Marceline knew doing this would be a horrible idea.

"Well…Do you have anything to say about this Ashton?"

"If anything I'm weak with fear that something's going to go wrong." Ash said softly in the dimly lit room. "I mean is it really such a sin to want to keep what's mine? To keep this relationship? To want her with me?" He asked looking at the dark haired woman who sat across from him.

"No, it isn't, but think about it Ash everything and everyone has to die sometime. You're both falling apart-"

"But Maja you don't understand she has my heart, all of it! And I can barely control it anymore! I keep getting so angry and it's because she's pulling away. We were so strong, our love was so strong and now…I don't know what I'll do if I lose her, I need Marceline in my life Maja, I need her."

O0o0o0o0

Marceline was on edge, they'd been fighting ever since that last appointment and Ash looked ready to blow up. He was a nice guy, he honestly really was, but when he got mad he was explosive and it made her nervous. He hit things, his car, the wall, pretty much everything but her, and Marceline had little faith that she would be left out of the violence if he got angry enough.

They'd been fighting since it seemed that she'd woken up, and Marceline had to admit that the first fight of the day had been her fault. He'd made a mess in the kitchen of their apartment.

Dishes were everywhere and the counters were sticky, but the part that had irritated her the most was that she'd spent the entire night before cleaning it up after making dinner for both of them, which he'd missed…on what would have been their one year anniversary which he'd brought up at least a dozen times that week. Marceline was a little more than angry and granted it wasn't the best way to greet him in the morning, but it's not like he couldn't be a little more sensitive to her efforts to be a good housemate. Instead of apologizing though they had fought and he'd stormed out leaving Marceline to clean up his mess and be angry by herself.

He'd returned in a worse mood after coming back from Marshall's place. Ash snapped on her when Marceline asked what had gone wrong so deciding to give him some space Marceline left the apartment hoping that when she returned things would be better. The grocery store seemed to be the best shot to waste some time and pick up things they were running low on.

This past year had been…different…to say the least. After all the sessions with Ash and trying to keep his temper under control, she'd been talking to Ignitus a lot less again, though it seemed that when she got the chance to she'd always been upset about something. That was another thing with Ash, as nice as he was; he had a jealous streak like no one's business. He'd told her that he didn't like that she and FP talked to each other like they did, so she stopped talking to him as much around him to keep the peace, eventually slowing as the weeks went by until it was once a month or less again.

Marceline hated that she gave in so easily, always she'd prided herself on the fact that she was wild and untamable, yet here she was bending to the will of a man that she was sure she didn't love. Strolling through the aisle she grabbed the few items she knew they were missing and placed them in the cart. She needed more time for him to cool off and she knew it. Moving along at a snail's pace Marceline walked through every aisle at least twice before checking out. She'd been walking in the parking lot trying to avoid puddles of icy slush on the way to her car when a familiar voice caught her attention.

"So what did I do that you're mad at me Marcy?" Looking up Marceline spotted Ignitus sitting on the bumper of her car, he looked a lot better than she'd seen him in a while. Color had returned to his face, his eyes had brightened and he'd put on some weight.

"You didn't do anything at all." She said softly feeling that somehow Ash would know that they'd talked, like he'd be able to somehow sense it. Ignitus stood watching her as Marceline opened the back door and began putting the groceries in the car.

"Then what's up with the cold shoulder? The only times you talk to me now is when you and Ash are fighting."

"I just- It's complicated Ignitus." Marceline said quickly keeping her eyes averted from his gaze.

"Since when do you call me that?" He asked sounding almost hurt. "You never call me Ignitus."

"What?" She asked looking up finally meeting his eyes and feeling as a warmth swept over her as she did so. The feeling of comfort was so sudden and intense that she felt her shoulders sag and her face crumple. Quickly she tried hiding it as she looked away, but the way he stopped speaking just to stare at her, she knew she was caught.

"You call me Iggy or Ig or something like – Wait, Marcy is something wrong?"

"No, nothing's wrong." She said quickly shutting the car door, but before she could open hers Marceline felt the gentle grip of his hand around her arm holding her in place. Almost immediately she flinched, and it was something she'd been doing a lot lately, and it was something he'd definitely noticed. The intensity of his stare grew as he searched her face.

"Has he hit you?" Ignitus asked quietly watching her face intently searching for any trace of a lie as she breathlessly shook her head.

"No." She breathed. "But-

"But what?" He asked pulling her closer to him. Now Marceline could smell him, the familiar scent of his body wash and shampoo was intoxicating as she closed her eyes. He felt familiar, but more than that he smelt like safety and comfort, god she missed that smell. The moment she felt his fingers against her cheek Marceline blinked her eyes open. "But what Marcy? You know you can tell me." He murmured knowing that he now had her attention and watching as she swallowed. Honestly she was a shell of her former self. The Marceline he knew was loud and brash and impossibly difficult, but the woman before him, she was so different from the Marceline he knew. There was no fire in this woman's eyes, it was all but diminished.

"I'm afraid he will." She said feeling the icy cold sensation of realization wash over her as she spoke. "I'm terrified of him and I- I did try and leave, but he won't- I don't… Now I don't know what to do." She said letting out a sob before quickly regaining her composure by closing her eyes and taking calming breaths.

"Move in with me."

"Ig I don't even know where you live anymore, isn't it with Ember?" Marceline said sounding so miserable.

"Nah I just tell the guys that." He said softly, and leaning forward he whispered the address into her ear, lingering before kissing her cheek lightly. She turned instinctively, her lips seeking his, but he'd already taken a step back.

"I'm serious though…but if you don't want to, even then if you ever need a place to be…only you know where I am Marcy, not even the guys, so you'll be safe." With that said he took another step backwards before turning and walking away in silence. She wanted nothing more than to call out to him, to have him come back so she could feel the comfort of his arms around her, to feel that layer of safety that he always made her feel. Slowly she opened in the door of the car and sat inside of it with her eyes closed. She could still smell his scent, and it made her smile.

The ride home was quiet and short, and grabbing the few groceries she'd decided to buy Marceline walked into the apartment complex hitting the button for the elevator and riding it to their floor. Leaning her face into her shoulder Marceline smiled sighing a little bit as she breathed in the safe smelling scent on her sweatshirt walking out of the elevator before stopping dead. She could smell Ignitus on herself, and if she could, then chances were that Ash would be able to do so as well. Chewing on her lip Marceline wondered what to do, and as she made her way to the door she just decided to hope that he wouldn't notice. Besides it's not like they were a thing anymore.

Entering the apartment quietly Marceline headed towards the kitchen pulling the groceries out of the bag and jumping with shock when she felt a pair of arms wrap around her waist.

"Hey Marcie."

"Hi." She stood there silently hoping he couldn't smell what she could.

"So are we okay?" He asked nuzzling his face into her neck.

"Ash, stop that's–

"What the hell Marceline I told you that I don't like you hanging around him!" Ash snapped releasing her immediately.

"What are you talking about?" Quickly she was grabbed and spun around, her back hitting the counter.

"You know exactly what I'm talking about! All Ignitus wants is to screw you! He just wants in your pants!" Ash snapped glaring at her.

"That's not true Ash I'm allowed to have friends-

"Yeah, friends that don't want in your pants!"

"That's not what he wants!" Marceline yelled back feeling the frustration and anger grow.

"How do you know!?"

"Because we've already had sex and he's still my friend!" She shouted watching as he scowled before storming away from her, quickly returning looking furious.

"So you cheated on me!?" He was angry, angrier than she'd ever seen him.

"What!? NO of course not! You can't be mad at me for something I did before we were even together Ash! We were drunk it's not like we knew what we were doing!" There was no way he could be this insecure, there was absolutely no way…none…

"You were drunk? What were you drunk earlier because you were still with him when I told you not to be!"

"You're not my father Ashton you can't tell me who I can and can't be around!" Marceline said stomping her foot in frustration.

"I'm your boyfriend!"

"No, you aren't!" Marceline snapped in annoyance. She heard the sound before she felt the pain, and when she hit the floor she was stunned. He'd hit her, he had actually hit her. Gingerly her trembling fingers touched her cheek feeling the hot swollen skin beneath them. All was silent as they stared at each other, and it seemed to take forever for Ash to realize what he'd done. She watched as his eyes widened with shock, glancing from his hand to her. Quickly he reached for her and immediately Marceline scrambled away from him.

"Marcie- he said reaching for her again.

"Don't you touch me!" She said angrily, her trembling voice the only telltale sign of her fear. Slowly she pushed herself up using the counter as support.

"Marcie it was an accident, it won't happen again." Ash said softly reaching for her only to watch as she stepped back staying out of his reach.

"You're right, it won't happen again…because I won't be around for it to happen." She said grabbing her keys from the counter and hurrying from the apartment.

"Marceline!" She was in the elevator jamming the close button watching the doors slowly close as he hurried after her. "MARCIE!" The moment the door closed she jumped hearing the sound of his fists slamming against the elevator door. Her heart was pounding violently in her chest, and her body was trembling as she walked from the elevator heading to the car. She started it and was pulling out of the garage when she heard Ash calling after her again, and ignoring it Marceline left not once looking back.

She was NOT going to become one of those women, one who stayed with a man who would hit her. Even if all Ignitus wanted was sex, at least he never hit her. And as horrible as it sounded, she could live with that. She could live with being a sex object because that was something she chose to do, but never would she allow anyone to hit her, never. It wasn't hard to find the place, and when she did the only thing left to do was find the apartment.

Ignitus had told her what it was but right now her mind was so scattered that she just couldn't remember it. Silently she stared at the large mail box searching for his name until her eyes settled on a set of familiar initials. I.F. Flint. With a sigh of relief Marceline began making her way to the sixth floor.

O0o0o0O

He'd been sitting on the edge of the window smoking a cigarette, as bad as they tasted they helped distract him from his cravings for the methadone. His mind was wandering a lot lately, and mostly it lingered on Marceline, especially after their meeting today. He'd never seen her like this, he'd never seen Ash like this either. Ignitus never expected his friend to be the kind of guy to treat a woman in any kind of inappropriate way especially with how he grew up. Putting out the cigarette he flicked it over the balcony watching as it fell into a pile of snow down below.

He didn't know what to think, he wanted Marceline to come over…but if she did it was because she was running from something, that something being an abusive ex-boyfriend, and the last thing he wanted ever was for somebody to ever put their hands on her. Honestly Ignitus didn't know what he would do if she did come over, because just at the thought of it he wanted to beat Ash's guts out…but Ash was his friend…and as much as he wanted to he knew that he shouldn't. Leaning against the rail on the window he watched a familiar car pull up, and immediately he recognized her from the bluish sheen of her black hair.

Quickly Ignitus walked from the apartment not even caring to lock his door and made his way down the hall. He could hear someone making their way up the stairs, and by the time he made it to the second floor she was just arriving on the landing. He could see the mark on her face and the sight of it enraged him. Slowly they approached each other, and reaching out his fingers grazed along her bruised cheek making her wince, though to his surprise she pushed her cheek into his hand stepping closer and lowering her head. His other hand tilted her face upwards and Ignitus watched as silent tears ran down her cheeks.

Marceline did not cry, this was something he knew, and letting his anger go Ignitus pulled her into his arms holding her tightly, feeling as Marceline's fingers clenched onto his shirt as she began sobbing.

"He was so angry…he told me that I couldn't be around you and we got into another fight and…and then he hit me. Ig I'm not going back there, I never want to see him again." Marceline said in a shaking voice.

"That's okay you don't have to go back there, and you don't have to see him again if you don't want to." Ignitus said leading her up the stairs to his apartment listening as she told him what had happened. The more she spoke the angrier he got wanting nothing more than to punch Ash's lights out. Accident or not you never ever hit a woman, even as pissed off as he got, with both the drugs and alcohol he knew better than to ever touch a woman like that.

Entering the apartment he led Marceline to the couch and made his way to the little kitchenette to make her a cup of something warm…looking around he realized that he had nothing of the sort, and taking the mug Ember had bought him more than a year ago he filled it with mountain dew.

Walking over he handed her the mug and sat down next to her watching as she took a sip and then gave him a strange look.

"Mountain dew?"

"Code-red."

"Ahhh." She said softly taking another drink from the mug before putting it down on the table in front of the couch. "That's…"

"Yeah I honestly wasn't expecting company…like ever…that and I ran out of cocoa."

"Of course you did." Marceline said with a teasing smile as she closed her eyes and leaned her head back against the couch with a sigh.

"Are you okay Marcy? I mean I know it's a dumb question but…"

"No it's not a dumb question, and no I'm not okay. I just don't want to talk anymore about it Ig." She said softly wiping her eyes dry once again.

"Okay." He said quietly watching as she continued sitting on the couch, her eyes drooping until she was out for the count. Standing he made his way into his bedroom and grabbing a blanket, Ignitus brought it out covering Marceline with it watching as she nuzzled into the blanket smiling as she did so. Standing there, he stared at her for what felt the longest time. Right now in this very moment she looked so at peace, so relaxed. Turning Ignitus walked into his bedroom and lay on the bed closing his eyes and allowing sleep to take him knowing that now because he knew she was safe, he could rest easy.

O0o0o0O

Marceline woke in the darkness shivering and expecting everything to have been a bad dream, that her face wouldn't be sore to the touch, and that she hadn't run from her apartment, her home for the last year, determined never to go back…but it wasn't. She could smell the familiar scent on the blanket and all around the small apartment. It didn't take her long to find the bedroom, aside from the bathroom it was the only other room in the apartment. Carrying the blanket with her Marceline crawled into the bed covering them both as she snuggled against Ignitus.

The warmth he radiated was astounding, he was like a furnace, and in an effort to not wake him she snuggled just close enough so she wasn't touching him. Marceline lay there her eyes closed relishing in the warmth feeling as Ignitus turned in his sleep beside her, his arm landing across her waist, moments later she was pulled against him.

Ignitus woke to shivering, which was weird because the last thing he remembered was going to sleep alone. Opening his eyes he spotted her trembling as she slept, and reaching out he pulled her against him, nuzzling his face into her hair. Slowly her head tilted upwards her eyes meeting his. In his arms now, the only thing Marceline could think of was what Ash had told her, that all Ignitus wanted from her was sex. That, and their very first fight about how she didn't want to be just a distraction, to become another Angel for him. She knew she loved him, and that's what hurt the most. It wasn't a question anymore because being with Ash had solidified that for her.

She was undeniably in love with the man before her…and the worst part was that it was probably true…every time they were together when neither were in a relationship they'd ended up having sex. It seemed that Ignitus could sense her thoughts because before she could voice them he spoke.

"Every time…every time I see you with another guy, I get so angry." He said softly as Marceline blinked taking in his words. "I get angry because I want you all for myself. I know that in the past you were worried that all I wanted you for was your looks, but if I did…it wouldn't hurt this much to watch you walk away every time. I don't want anyone to hurt you ever, but what I'm afraid of most is that I'll be the one to hurt you. That's one thing more than anything that I want to avoid. I don't want to be the one to cause you pain Marcy. I'm absolutely in love with you but I don't want to be the one to hurt you-

"But you are. Every time you say that you care about me but you tell me to walk away that hurts Ignitus! I don't care because if it's from you, I can take it okay!? I don't care, I just want you. I just want to be with you, nobody else." She said watching as the redhead looked at her nervously.

"Marceline you know I have a problem with drugs, I'm trying so hard to get clean and if I fail I don't want to drag you into that." Ignitus murmured, Marceline shaking her head at the comment.

"You won't Ignitus you know that's not something I'll fall into, and I know how hard you're trying to quit, I can help you with that. Just let me try. Please Iggy, just let me try."

"Why? Why are you trying so hard to save me? I'm an ass and almost everyone hates me." He said softly.

"I don't, and it's because I see someone worth saving." She whispered leaning forward and pressing her lips to his. She kissed him once, twice, and three times before he finally responded holding her flush against him as he kissed her back. Ignitus tangled his fingers into her long black hair kissing her desperately. He couldn't let her go, not again, not after this. Marceline needed someone who would take care of her, someone who would be able to bring back the fire in her eyes that was so diminished, not someone who would suffocate her and try to douse that flame.

Now he was on top of her kissing everywhere he could reach, she was so hurt by someone who was supposed to love her, somebody he had called friend, and the thought was crushing him. Ignitus could see the hesitance in Marceline's eyes though, he could see it clear as day and knew what she was thinking. It all went back to their conversation about Angel years ago, Marceline didn't want to be a distraction, not to him.

"I will never let anyone hurt you again Marcy." He said lacing his fingers through hers and resting his head on her forehead. There was only one way he could be sure that she would be his and his only.
"I know that I was your first in a lot of things, but right now I want to be your last in everything. I want to be the last person you see every day, the last pair of lips you kiss good night and the last man you'll be with. I want to be your last, and I want you to be mine." He murmured waiting in silence for her answer. He watched as her mouth opened to respond, her voice a hushed panicked whisper as she began shaking him.

"Ig, wake up, Ash's here!"

Waking with a start Ignitus looked around finding his bed empty and Marceline standing by his bedside looking nervously towards the direction of the front door as the loud pounding began again making her jump. Ignitus stared at Marceline taking in the look of fear on her face before getting off the bed.

"Go in the bathroom and lock the door, don't open it for anything, got it?" He asked in a low voice watching as she nodded doing as she was told. It was just a dream, all of it had been just a dream, and that in and of itself had been so disappointing to find out. "Of course it was." He whispered softly to himself. He watched listening as the bathroom door clicked shut before making his way over to the front door ripping it open.

"What the hell is your problem it's 3 in the morning!" He snapped glaring at the man who stood on the other side of the door.

"FP, where's my girlfriend?" Ash asked.

"Why the hell would I know where Marceline is? And how the hell did you find ME?"

"Because her cars out front I'm not an idiot."

"Really? I never knew too many guys who were bright that hit their girlfriends." The redhead snapped as he clenched his fist tightly.

"That was an accident!"

"No dude falling down a set of stairs is an accident, bumping into someone is an accident, hitting your roommates no accident. Besides she's not here, Fionna and Marshall grabbed her an hour or so ago, she's with them now, and you know Fionna and Marsh aren't gonna be too happy if Marcy tells them what went town at your guys' place." Ignitus had no idea how he was telling all of these lies so smoothly, so perfectly that Ash was believing it. "Go home, cool off, think about what you did and if you're anything close to lucky she might just call you, but knowing her like I do, I doubt you'll even get that much from her now." Ignitus said as he began to close the door.

"I know about you and Marceline." Ash said just before it shut, watching as FP opened it again with a peculiar look.

"What?"

"I know you guys slept together." The brunette said glowering at him.

"It was never a secret Ash. What about it?"

"How many times?"

"It's not like I kept count, and it was all before you anyways. Why?"

"Do you know who she was with before you? She would never tell me." Now all Ignitus could do was scowl. He knew why Marceline didn't tell him, and it's because he'd have been more pissed with her possibly making this happen sooner. But now that she wanted out, now that she was leaving him, Ignitus didn't care how he would react.

"There was nobody before me Ash, now go home, before I beat the shit out of you." Ignitus said slamming and locking the door listening to the sound of fading footsteps. Going to the bathroom Ignitus knocked on the door. "He's gone now." He said softly listening as the door unlocked before slowly opening. "Are you okay?" Ignitus watched as Marceline nodded.

"Can I sleep with you in your bed?" She asked.

"Yeah." He said as she took his hand leading him back to the bedroom. Never letting go Marceline crawled across the bed and lay down pulling him down with her. Feeling her hand clutching his, Ignitus lay beside Marceline wrapping his free arm around her feeling as her back rested against his chest. They lay still for the longest time before Ignitus pulled her closer kissing her shoulder.

"Are you still awake?"

"Yeah."

"Can I ask you something without you freaking out?" He said feeling as she nodded. Burying his face into the crook of her neck Ignitus began speaking softly. "Do you love me Marceline?" He asked feeling her fingers moving along his hand as she lay in silence.

"I do love you Ignitus. I love you more than I've ever loved anybody. Can I ask you a question?"

"Yes."

"You do love me for more than just my looks right?"

"Of course I do. If I only loved you for your looks it would never hurt as badly as it does when I watch you walk away from me and go into the arms of another person." He whispered. "Marceline, I don't want to see you get hurt like this anymore. I will never let another man touch you, never let another person put their hands on you..." He was trying to remember how he'd said it in the dream he'd had. Dream him had been so smooth. "I want to be the last person you kiss good night, and the first person you see in the mornings, that's if you'll have me." Ignitus could feel as Marceline turned over to face him, her hand still holding his.

"Are you asking me to marry you Ignitus?"

"Is that too much, because if it is it doesn't have to be that way," He said quickly "I mean-I-" before he could finish his sentence Marceline spoke, her voice breathless.

"Yes."

"What?" This had caught him off guard…was this another dream?

"Yes, I'll be yours, through good times and bad times, through better or worse, through sickness and health, I'll be yours if you'll be mine." She said softly, her fingers grazing down his cheek.

"I don't want anyone else but you." He said whispering as he drew his face close to Marceline's.

"Me neither." Leaning forward Marceline brushed her lips against his feeling as he kissed her back, it had been months since she felt such a gentle sensation. She could feel the outpour of emotions through the kiss and gasped before kissing him back hard her eyes pooling with tears feeling as they cascaded down her cheeks.

"Marcy don't cry, please don't cry." Ignitus said softly using his thumbs to wipe the tears from her cheeks.

"Kiss me again." She breathed, and in moments she felt his lips against hers once again, his hand now tangled in her hair as he kissed Marceline more insistently feeling that familiar pull he felt only with her.

"I love you, I love you so much Marceline, and I do want to marry you, I really do."

"Okay, we'll go to city hall tomorrow." Suddenly Ignitus climbed from the bed leaving Marceline confused as she watched him dig through the top drawer of his dresser before returning to the bed and gently pulling her upright.

"My dad's pissed that I have this, but Emma wanted me to have it." He said pressing something small into the palm of her hand. "If you're really serious about being with me, I want you to have it, it was my Nana's." Ignitus said softly watching as Marceline looked down at the item in her palm before gasping. It was his grandmother's engagement ring.

"Ignitus, I-

"Please Marceline…" He said softly giving her a pleading look.

"Thank you. I know how much this means to you Iggy." Marceline said looking at the ring. It was beautiful, stunning really and it looked like it would fit her. "Do you want to put it on me?" She asked watching his eyes widen.

"Really?"

"Really." She said holding out the ring in the palm of her hand feeling as he gently picked it up taking her left hand in his looking uncertain on how to go about doing this.

"Ask me again."' She whispered.

"Will you marry me?" Ignitus asked softly.

"Yes, I will." Carefully he slid the ring onto her finger before pulling her close, his lips claiming hers as Marceline pulled him back on the bed.

This chapter has a M version. If you want it message me your email address putting a space between the . com part. The M chapter will be ready in the next day or so. The M Chapter is rated so for a much more a much more volatile and triggering response from Ash and a Marceline's fight.

Congratulations to all of my Readers who have stuck with me for all of these years, some that I'm friends with on facebook have gotten into college and I'm SO PROUD OF YOU!

So far we're at 1,429 reviews, don't forget that every 100th reviewer gets a prize! Commander Chandell 919 Last chapter was for you (totally forgot to mention that then) but that was your chapter and I hope you like it, also sorry for the wait guys.