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Queen of Hearts; Summer 2017;Tagging VoltTurtle~
Topic Started: Feb 1 2018, 01:37 PM (209 Views)
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Who is this sassy lost child
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Sometimes, when her head got too full of thoughts, Dolly just paced back and forth in her room. She would abandon whatever she was doing for a couple of minutes at a time to walk from her window to her bathroom door - the larger upstairs bedroom had an in-suite which Dolly had all to herself. Sometimes she would stop to look at herself in the mirror, adjusting her hair, making sure that her makeup wasn't faded or smeared. Long ago, years ago, her parents would sometimes come up to her room to see what she was doing, but the rest of the family had well gotten used to the occasional sound of muffled footsteps creaking back and forth from Dolly's bedroom.

She said that it helped her focus, but it might have been more truthful to say that it helped her get her mind off of things for a minute or two, clear away all the cobwebs before she could return to whatever she was actually supposed to be doing.

Today, of all days, she certainly couldn't abide any cobwebs. Dolly didn't often get nervous, but that seemed to be the only fitting word to describe her current mood.

Everything was set up already, of course. It was mid-afternoon, long enough after lunch that people might start feeling peckish (other people might, at least; Dolly didn't have much appetite at the moment). There were pitchers of lemonade and iced tea waiting in the fridge and assorted trays of baked goods and finger sandwiches cooling on the kitchen countertop. She had pulled the lace tablecloth that they used for parties out of the hall closet and spread it over the patio table in the backyard, and she had even made sure that the umbrella that went with the table was dusted and clean.

Maybe she was going overboard with all the preparations, but Dolly didn't do things by halves. Her mother had remarked with laughter that Dolly was introducing her girlfriend to the family, not announcing their wedding. Maybe there had been an edge to her laughter. Had there been? Her parents had accepted it with grace when Dolly casually responded to an inquiry about boys that she wasn't in the market, and had gone on to explain exactly why. It hadn't been planned, but she had no intention of hiding. Fortunately, Marceline was on the same page.

Well, somebody here was in too deep, be it Dolly or her parents. Dolly didn't intend to be the one who caved, if anyone was going to. She had made too many fancy tea sandwiches.

Satisfied by the seventh or eighth review of her makeup, Dolly turned away from the mirror before she could start picking out flaws which might not really exist and paced back to her bedroom window, trailing her hand over her bedpost, then her desk chair, and then the wall next to the window. She peered out to find that the street in front of the Uptons' house looked just as it had a few minutes ago, as did the houses across the street. Marceline still wasn't here yet, but it was early.

Dolly wished that she would hurry up, though. She could readily remember her parents jokingly warning her that she was going to wear a hole in the carpet with all her pacing.
"Art enriches the community, Steve, no less than a pulsing fire hose, or a fireman beating down a blazing door. So what if we're drawing a nude man? So what if all we ever draw is a nude man, or the same nude man over and over in all sorts of provocative positions? Context, not content! Process, not subject! Don't be so gauche, Steve, it's beneath you."
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The girl who dreams on the back of a giant space turtle.
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Marceline crept up towards the Upton's front door from around the side of their house, preparing to surprise her girlfriend by ringing the doorbell after remaining out of sight.

She knew that Dolly was the type to incessantly check for her arrival, so she thought that it'd be more fun if she came up from out of view. Once she got close enough to the Upton's house, all she had to do was sidle into the neighbor's yard and approach near the bushes that were out front.

Given that her girlfriend had not already opened the door by the time she got up to it, it seems her plan worked. After a dramatic flick of her wrist to celebrate a victory that nobody else would know about, she rang the doorbell, the noise from it sounding out as clear as day.

Marceline ran her fingers through her hair as she waited for the door to open, checking her makeup in the reflection of the Upton's doorknob. She was uncharacteristically nervous–meeting up with Dolly was never a problem, but meeting her girlfriend's parents was a new experience. Most of the time Marceline succeeded just by acting like she always does, she was a free spirit that didn't see the need to act differently depending on the present company. However, she couldn't help but feel that her normal behavior might be off putting to people like Dolly's parents. She couldn't have things go badly, especially since they were likely to be her in-laws in a few years time–

Before she could finish her thought, the door opened in front of her, and she soon found herself in the welcoming embrace of her girlfriend.
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Marceline still hadn't appeared in the window's view, and Dolly resisted the urge to reach for her phone and send a nagging text. She knew that Marceline wouldn't hold things up intentionally today, but that just made Dolly worry about what might be keeping her if she didn't turn up.

Maybe she should have burned some of that white sage Violet gave her to "clear away negative energies" or whatever. Dolly wasn't exactly a believer, but it couldn't hurt, right? She believed in practicality, but there was something to be said for luck - or for the placebo effect.

She had just paused in the middle of her room, absently chewing her thumbnail to consider this, when the doorbell finally range, making her jump. Dolly let out a sigh that was half exasperation and half relief; of course Marceline would turn up when she had her back turned. Still, she couldn't help the smile that spread across her face as she hurried out of her room and down the stairs to throw the front door open and pull her girlfriend into the foyer and into her arms.

"Hey," Dolly said, squeezing Marceline's waist more tightly than necessary. "I hope you're hungry, because I made way too many snacks."

That was a good thing to start with usually, the food. Pretty much everyone she had ever invited over liked having food provided to them, and starting off greetings by pointing out that Dolly's parents were milling around in the music room pretending that they weren't milling around and waiting for Marceline's arrival just like she was would only make them both nervous.

Instead, she gave Marceline one last squeeze and stepped back with a smile, pulling her in by the wrist so that Dolly could shut the front door behind her. "The table on the back patio is all set up, I'll bring the food out." She raised her voice slightly so that her parents would be sure to hear in the other room and could make their way out accordingly.
"Art enriches the community, Steve, no less than a pulsing fire hose, or a fireman beating down a blazing door. So what if we're drawing a nude man? So what if all we ever draw is a nude man, or the same nude man over and over in all sorts of provocative positions? Context, not content! Process, not subject! Don't be so gauche, Steve, it's beneath you."
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The girl who dreams on the back of a giant space turtle.
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Marceline's stomach fluttered as Dolly squeezed her waist, wanting nothing more than to stand there with her until the end of time.

Unfortunately though, they couldn't actually stay that way forever, and Dolly eventually let go. Marceline smiled, her voice jubilant. "You know I'm more than happy to eat anything that you've made, your cooking is fantastic." She glanced around Dolly's house, mentally taking note of the locations of every room visible from the entrance. She always had to know her surroundings in order to be able to feel comfortable, otherwise she could never actually relax.

She turned her attention back to her girlfriend and gave Dolly another hug, pulling her close until their chests were touching, taking in the delicate lemon scent of Dolly's hair. She felt warm, whenever they were embraced. This is where she felt like she most belonged, right here with the girl she loved. She let her head affectionately touch the side of Dolly's own. Dolly was the only thing she really lived for, the other parts of her life just didn't compare to the amount of joy she got from being with her girlfriend.

"I love you," she said, before she pulled away. She sheepishly grinned and began to rub the back of her head, letting out a small laugh while she did so. "Sorry about that," she began, "I just can't help but want to be close to you when we're together."

She put her hands on her hips and cocked her head to the side. "After all, you're preeeetty hot."
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Dolly had her own burst of butterflies in the stomach at Marceline's words. The follow-up was more or less expected, as was its ruining of the genuinely sweet moment between them. Dolly laughed a little, waving Marceline's words away. "I love you too," she murmured, voice low, before she resumed her previous, slightly elevated volume.

"Come on, this way." She took Marceline by the wrist once again, pulling her through the foyer, past the kitchen and downstairs rooms, and to the back door.

Dolly's parents met them there. They both looked professional and put-together like always, though Dolly had a suspicious feeling that her dad's smile was more genuine than her mom's. Not that Dolly was going to be the one to point that out. She had planned all of this out, just short of writing a script for her parents to follow. Despite the ample opportunity any such meeting had to turn ugly, it was really getting Marceline and her parents together in the first place that was the hard part.

"Mom, Dad," Dolly began, "this is Marceline. My girlfriend." More butterflies, probably equal parts nerves and affection this time. Dolly wasn't able to completely keep the smile off of her face the edge.
"Art enriches the community, Steve, no less than a pulsing fire hose, or a fireman beating down a blazing door. So what if we're drawing a nude man? So what if all we ever draw is a nude man, or the same nude man over and over in all sorts of provocative positions? Context, not content! Process, not subject! Don't be so gauche, Steve, it's beneath you."
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"Hellooooo, Mr. and Mrs. Upton!" Marceline said, as she gave a little wave. "Like Dolly just said, I'm Marceline, and I'm her girlfriend."

She smiled, her anxiety at meeting Dolly's parents melting away now that she was in the moment. She was always at her best when she was improvising, planning ahead had never been her forte.

"It's a pleasure to meet both of you." She said, her ecstatic grin growing even wider. "Dolly and I met a while ago and I think we're a really good match for each other. We've got lots of things in common, including things you might not expect!"

Her smile turned slightly mischievous, as she hoped that Dolly would understand the true meaning of those last few words, where her parents might not.

Marceline extended her hand towards Mr. Upton, intent on getting a handshake. "Regardless... I'd like to think your daughter is in good hands with me, so you don't have to worry."
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Dolly exhaled slowly as Marceline started chattering, watching her parents' expressions. If they picked up on any innuendos, real or imagined, they didn't show it. Dolly was thankful for that. She loved Marceline, but even she was still sometimes thrown off by Marceline's... candidness.

Fortunately, her dad stepped forward to keep the situation moving before anything untoward could escape from Marceline. He smiled warmly at the both of them and grasped Marceline's hand, shaking it firmly.

"We're very pleased to meet you too. You can call my Christian, if you like." He glanced over at his wife, who stepped up to offer a handshake as well after a moment of hesitation.

"And I'm Dominika. It's lovely to meet you."

Good, good, this was all good. Dolly smiled at her parents over Marceline's shoulder with a little too much intensity. "Great! Now that we're all introduced, all of you go out to the back patio, and I'll bring the food." She gave Marceline an encouraging nudge towards the back door and had already turned towards the kitchen when her mom spoke up again.

"I'll help you, sweetheart." She moved past Dolly before Dolly could protest.

...Right. Was there an ulterior motive here? She couldn't be sure. But damned if Dolly was going to be the one to make a scene if there was.

She waved Marceline and her dad towards the back patio again and followed her mother to the kitchen.
"Art enriches the community, Steve, no less than a pulsing fire hose, or a fireman beating down a blazing door. So what if we're drawing a nude man? So what if all we ever draw is a nude man, or the same nude man over and over in all sorts of provocative positions? Context, not content! Process, not subject! Don't be so gauche, Steve, it's beneath you."
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The girl who dreams on the back of a giant space turtle.
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Marceline's absentmindedly raised her hand towards Dolly as she left, before lowering it. As much as she wanted to hold her girlfriend close and never let go, there were better times for that. Right now was about Dolly and her parents, not about Marceline.

She turned back towards Dolly's father and the Upton's patio, letting out a sheepish chuckle at her affectionate display being witnessed. "I uh... guess it's just us, Mr. Upton," she said, before sitting down at the patio table.

Few words were exchanged between Marceline and Dolly's father while they waited for Dolly and her mother to return, with small talk being used to clear the air of any tension that was being built up in Dolly's absence. Marceline soon found herself absentmindedly fidgeting with the utensils that Dolly had laid out for her. Normally by this point she would have pulled her phone out of her pocket, the feelings of the adults in the room at her constant need for stimulation be damned, but she felt that this special occasion necessitated that she reign in some of her usual behaviors, at least for a while.

Eventually, the silence between the small talk lasted too long for Marceline to bear, and she decided to speak up. "You know uh..." She paused, taking time to think about what she wanted to say. "Your daughter is a really good person, she makes me so happy just by being herself. So... I think you guys did a good job raising her."

Dolly's father smiled in response, thanking Marceline for the compliment and complimenting Marceline's demeanor in return.

Silence returned after that, and Marceline began craning her head back towards the Upton's backdoor, wondering why it was taking so long for Dolly to get back.
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