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"Whoever said that love is blind, didn't understand mankind
What he really meant to say, was love can't see... shades of grey." -- Josh Woodward, Can't Take Our Love Away

Lucca woke up to the sound of something hitting her window. She fished for her glasses, pulled herself out of bed, and opened the window, looking down to see which one of two people would think that -- she glanced at her clock -- 1:23 was a good time to come visiting. The figure was short and slight in the moonlight, wearing a cloak over what looked to be a very full dress. "Marle? What..."

"Daddy and I had a fight," Marle said, straightening up from where she was picking up pebbles from the ground. "Can I spend the night?"

Lucca sighed. Not again. "Since you're already here -- you didn't walk all the way from the castle in the dark, did you?" She couldn't tell if Marle had her crossbow with her, but she certainly hadn't bothered to change into something more appropriate for fighting monsters. Lucca knelt beneath the window, taking out a rope ladder that she had started keeping there since the first of these visits.

"No, of course not, silly. I used the improved Telepod you put in. I only walked from town." Marle had no problem climbing the ladder in a full dress. "And, before you ask, I did tell Daddy that I was going to your house. I'm not running away."

"I'll bet that went over well," Lucca said holding the ladder steady and helping Marle over the sill. Marle gave her a brief kiss as she stepped into the room. "I'm sure he would rather you were running off to go see Crono."

Marle laughed. It wasn't exactly a happy laugh. "Funny how things changed. Can I borrow a night-shirt? I was a bit in a hurry."

"You left one here last time," Lucca said. "Mom washed it... and told Dad that guest's clothing couldn't go in the new washing machine until after he was done testing it." Lucca retrieved it in the light coming from the window, and handed it to Marle. "Do you need any help getting out of that thing."

"Why, Lucca…" and Lucca didn't need any light at all to know Marle was grinning at her. "How shameless of you."

"You know what I mean," Lucca said. "It's a very nice dress, but I like clothing that doesn't require a maidservant to get in and out of."

Marle laughed. "You give me a line like that and how do you think I'll take it? But, if you could get the buttons on the back, I think I can manage the rest."

It was a good thing that a lifetime of working on machinery meant Lucca was very good with her hands, even in the dark where she had to work by touch -- and Marle's back and shoulders beneath her hands were drawing her interest enough that she did catch the double entendre that time. She unfastened all the buttons and Marle stepped away, drawing the dress over her head and tossing it on the floor. Lucca sighed and handed Marle her nightgown from where she had set it on the bed. "I'm hanging your dress up. It looks expensive, and I like a clean room."

"I've seen your workroom, Lucca," Marle said.

"That's mostly Dad." And the fact every project over the year seemed to collect extra parts, leftovers and tools, far faster than they could make space for them. Lucca wanted to put everything away, but she'd run out of space every time she tried.

Lucca picked up Marle's dress, a ghostly shape in the light, and found a hook in her wardrobe that was free of winter coats or protective gear. She had a few dresses of her own, but they mostly lived in the back of the wardrobe, where things for special occasions were kept. It took longer than she thought, working by touch in the vain hope that if she didn't light a candle, it would be easy to fall back asleep. By the time she was sure nothing would fall down, though, she'd been up for long enough that she was pretty certain that it wouldn't be as simple as drifting off, even if she had been alone.

Marle was seated on the bed when she finally turned around, her knees drawn up to her chest and her hair down from the bun she had been wearing it in. "Lucca? Are you sleepy?"

"A bit, but I'm awake now," Lucca said. Despite her teasing before, Marle's tone wasn't one of flirting, but more like she was lost in thought. "Do you want to talk a bit before bed?"

"Mmm."

Lucca sat on her own bed, next to Marle -- it would be a narrow fit for two if they lay down, but they'd done it before. Marle leaned her head on Lucca's shoulder, wrapping her near arm around Lucca, and Lucca drew her close with her own arm. "I told you I had another fight with Daddy," Marle said.

"You did," Lucca replied.

"Did I tell you what it was about?"

"I was too busy complaining about how you got me out of bed at one thirty to ask."

"It… he's worried about the royal succession," Marle said. "He… at this point, he said he'd accept anyone if they could sire him grandchildren. I don't suppose you have some science that-?"

"It's not my field at all," Lucca said. "Unless he wants a robot grandchild"

Marle laughed, which meant she had to raise her head up off Lucca's shoulder. "You know, I think that's worse that what I told him."

Lucca turned to face her girlfriend. "Marle, what did you tell your father?" Lucca said, realizing that whatever Marle said next, it was probably going to make her either groan with secondhand embarrassment or laugh. Or both.

"Well, I pointed out I didn't have to be married to the father of my child, and I'm sure Chrono would be willing to do a favor for his two friends," Marle said innocently.

Lucca had been right; it was both. She had to grab a pillow so that her laughter wouldn't wake her parents in the next room. "You had to know that would go over like a lead rowboat."

"I was already pretty angry at him," Marle admitted. "Dammit, we went through this when I started hanging out with Crono. I'm sick of this. I just want him to be happy for us, like he promised Mom. I wish he was more like your parents."

That sobered Lucca right up, and she embraced Marle. "I'm sorry. But… tomorrow we'll go talk to your dad. I'll ask Mom and Dad to come too, and maybe even Crono's mom. Maybe they can get through to him. If that's all right."

Marle smiled, and kissed her. "Of course it's all right. Crono's mom alone would probably scare him straight."

"Let's get some sleep, all right?" Lucca said.

Marle placed her hands near Lucca's face, carefully removing her glasses and setting them on the nightstand, right where Lucca normally left them. "Let's at least go to bed. We'll get to sleep eventually. And… I want to spend more time with the woman I love."

Lucca chuckled. it would be another late morning tomorrow, it looked like, as it normally was when Marle stayed over. Another point of teasing between them. More and more, her life was becoming entwined with these inside jokes and shared moments, and it filled her with another kind of warm feeling, distinct from the one she was getting now that Marle had her hand on Lucca's thigh. "Fine, have it your way." They'd sleep. Eventually.