The Bubbline-shipping side of the internet dissolved into hoopla two weeks ago when Marceline’s voice actress appeared to confirm the fan-favorite pairing’s canonicity at a Q&A session. “Bubbline is canon!”, everyone from shipping blogs to geek journalists declared joyfully. However, to paraphrase one of The Mary Sue‘s commenters, everyone seemed to be playing fast and loose with the idea of ‘canon’. It’s nice if the creator has an extensive backstory for a character, and nicer if that backstory includes queerness, but canon means it happens in the show. Like, where cute little LGBTQ+ kids can see that not all romantic love has to be between a girl and a boy.
Anyway, frustrated with all the shenanigans, I decided to turn to fanfic, where I knew I would find people with the guts to actually include queer characters in their narratives. And in honor of the source of the drama, I’ve got a lovely Bubbline fic for you this week.
“You’re right,” Marceline says, grinning ferally, tips of her incisors glittering brightly. “I am completely incapable of taking things seriously.”
“That’s not what I –“
“Always have been.”
Bubblegum wants to know what she’s missing. It’s easy to figure out what’s bugging her subjects. If they’re hungry or cold or unsatisfied with their jobs, if they were born marzipan when they wanted nothing more than to be meringue. Marceline is a Vampire Queen without any subjects, who laughs at ghosts and people who cringe away from her in fear, who blows off parties and plays awful pranks and still hasn’t forgiven her father for eating her fries.
And Marceline shrugs, and she’s just Marceline again. “I’m going to go and try to tame the monster koi,” she says, pulling out an umbrella as she pushed out the window to float outside in the sunshine. “I haven’t been waterskiing in centuries.”
It’s another one of those things that doesn’t make sense to Bubblegum, that she hasn’t found in any book, like bungee jumping or –
“You wanna come with?”
And it’s only then that Bubblegum realizes that Marceline is waiting for her, hovering outside the windowsill expectantly.
This fic is a delightful character study that ties the Marceline/Bubblegum romantic relationship into the canon in the way I wish the show would: as something that’s present, but not that big a deal—just a part of Bubblegum’s life. It gives us Peebs struggling to cope with all her responsibilities as princess while also trying to understand her biggest personal quandary: why can’t she understand anything about Marceline? Everything about the Vampire Queen intrigues and frustrates her, and while she tries at first to dismiss it as scientific curiosity, eventually she has to admit that she just likes having Marcy around. I obviously recommend you check this fic out, but if you’re not already sold, consider this: it includes a scene of PB attempting to use chaos theory to map the way that glitter, that crafting STD, spreads even to places glitter was never used.
So we all are growing young is a short fic at only three and a half thousand words – check it out here at the AO3.
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