"So, Anne..." Sasha crowed, sticking her head into the room her target was in.
"That's a scary tone." Anne replied, glancing over to her. She was wearing the same suit she'd worn for her Frog Of The Year party, minus the sash, of course. Sasha was wearing a similar black tuxedo and a mischievous smile. She stepped into the room, quietly shutting the door behind her.
"Anything in particular you're planning to ask a certain someone?" Sasha vaguely gestured in the direction of the room Marcy was in. Anne gave her a warily confused look, turning towards a mirror to continue brushing her hair, and to hide her slight blush.
"You'll to have to be more specific than that." Anne hoped she wasn't talking about what she thought she was talking about. Sasha sighed with an amused smirk, and leaned forward with her hands held behind her back.
"Marcy." Sasha held back a laugh as Anne blushed more at their friend's name and slammed her hairbrush down against the table. "How did you-"
"Oh, come on, Anne. In the short time I've spent with you two recently, I've never seen anyone have it as bad for someone as you do for her. Honestly, it looks like if you go any longer without telling her, your heart will explode."
"Feels that way..." She mumbled, crossing her arms over her chest. Sasha's expression softened.
"...Could you do it for me?" Anne glanced up at her friend. Sasha looked almost startled.
"The Breakup Queen? Asking someone else to confess for her?" She replied with a sarcastic tone.
"I'm good at breakups, not the opposite! Say you will?" Sasha held her unamused expression. "Or that you wish you could? Convincingly?" She sighed, but shook her head with a soft laugh.
"I don't wish that I could, because I could, but definitely shouldn't. This one time, it's all up to you... Except for your hair. I'm helping with that." She picked up the hairbrush before Anne could complain.
Surprisingly, Sasha hadn't done something horrible to her hair like she had in most of the makeovers she'd performed on Anne. She made it look pretty much the same as the frog of the year party. Anne was happy with it, but it was a bit of an uncomfortable reminder of the night of their previous reunion. They left and went down the hallway into a massive crowded ballroom, Anne immediately spotting Marcy in her red suit and waving her down, much to Sasha's amusement.
"Oh, hey! Where have you two been? You're 27 minutes late!"
"Sasha insisted on doing my hair for me." Anne replied sheepishly, gesturing to the blonde who grinned proudly in response.
"Well, she did great! For once." Marcy remarked, Anne blushing and muttering something like a thank you while Sasha scoffed.
"At least I didn't shave all her hair off!" She retorted. Marcy, briefly turning red, failed to stutter a reply as she recalled the incident.
"I'm going to get both of you back for those!" Anne crossed her arms over her chest. Sasha nudged her with her elbow, wearing a mischievous smile as she whispered to her.
"Me, maybe. Her? You don't have the heart." Anne blushed again and gave her an almost offended look, before her expression changed to confusion.
"...Was that a pun?" Anne asked quietly, causing Sasha to burst into laughter. Marcy glanced between the two, bewildered.
"What? What did she say?"
"Oh, don't worry about it-" Sasha waved nonchalantly. "Just an... inside joke." She leaned over to Anne and whispered to her again. "Get up the nerve, 'cause really, what's the worst thing that could happen? Go make your move!" Then she pulled away, turned towards Marcy. "Anyways, I'm gonna go see if this place has something edible. By human standards, not frog standards." She wandered away into the crowd.
"What was that about?" Marcy wasn't any less confused.
"Er... I don't know. She's been acting weird all day."
Without Sasha to keep up the conversation, Marcy became increasingly aware of how crowded it was. Anne, quickly picking up on her discomfort, gently grabbed her hand and pulled her away from the chaos out onto a balcony.
"Thanks." She sighed with relief. Anne gave her a soft smile, still holding her hand. Then she noticed something... off about the balcony. There were garlands of green roses and some other blue flowers she didn't recognize decorating the railings, but she hadn't seen anything like them inside.
"Oh! Gentiana autumnalis!"
"Those blue flowers. They're Pine Barrens Gentians, sometimes called the Flower of Victory, although most blue flowers represent desire and love for the unique, like if you give a blue flower to someone you're telling them "You're one of a kind". Super rare too, they usually grow where wildfires caused by lightning are common."
"...So if the blue flowers represent that, what do the green roses represent?"
"Green flowers usually mean renewal, excitement for new beginnings. Green roses specifically are used to show others you think positively about their future. Although, these garlands are a little messy, I don't think these were done professionally..."
"Oh. N-neat." Frog dammit, Sasha. How on-the-nose could you get? The music inside suddenly got a bit louder, making them both briefly look towards the door then turn back towards each other. Marcy smiled and held out her hand, Anne took it without a word.
Neither of them were particularly good at dancing, but away from the crowd, just them and the night air, the stars streaking across the sky whenever they spun and the soft golden light from the doorway decorating them like a spotlight, it didn't matter. Even when they stepped on each other's feet or when Marcy accidentally dropped Anne during a dip (which she apologized profusely for), they felt like the other was greatest dancer ever. As the song ended, both of them felt longingly sad when they let go of each other.
Marcy walked over and sat down with her back against the railing, sighing contentedly as she closed her eyes. She patted the ground next to her and Anne complied, sitting next to her just a few inches apart. They didn't say anything for a while, Anne at first trying to secretly glance at Marcy but eventually giving in and just plain staring. She didn't seem to notice, lost in deep thought. Her expression changed subtly as the minutes passed, at first a range of contemplation, then frustration, then worry, and even though they could still hear the music from inside, Anne found the silence in just watching her infuriating.
"Whatcha thinking about?" Anne finally asked, briefly startling Marcy before she made a guilty look.
"I've been thinking..."
"Uh... well... gosh, how do I word this?" Marcy muttered under her breath, staring at the ground. Anne opened her mouth to speak but was quickly interrupted.
"I want to stay here!" Anne shook her head for a second, confused.
"We... don't have to go back inside-"
"That's not- I mean, I want to stay in Amphibia. I don't want to go home. I... can't, go home." She pulled her knees to her chest, wrapping her arms around herself.
It suddenly clicked to Anne, and she turned to face her. "Shit, Marcy-"
"But what if you and Sasha can't go home if I stay? What if I'm being selfish and-"
"You're not! Listen, no matter what, I'm here. I'm here, and I stay." She grabbed Marcy's hand, giving it a reassuring squeeze. "Don't know about Sasha though." She joked, laughing briefly but stopping when it clearly didn't lighten her mood. "Sorry. I mean it, though. And chances are, she won't leave if we don't." Marcy looked away, staring at the ground again. Anne inhaled steadily. Now or never, she started to speak, but found herself interrupted again.
"Th-there's one more thing."
She was shaking. Anne gulped in worry, whatever this was, it was somehow freaking Marcy out even more. Anne's eyes glanced away in thought, but she didn't have to worry for long, as Marcy turned and kissed her. It was a surprise, but a warm, welcome one that felt like the safest place in all of Amphibia. She quickly returned the kiss, both holding it for what felt like simultaneously hours and mere seconds before Marcy pulled away.
"You know what I've always wanted?"
Anne caught her breath, gasping out a dazed "What?"
"To stand in the middle of the loudest thunderstorm possible. Yeah, to swim far, far out into the ocean so that I can't see the bottom anymore." She was speaking so fast, Anne couldn't manage a reply. "Point is, I've always wanted to do things that scared me. But, well, it's not so easy to be brazen," She breathed in, slowing down her flustered ramble. "When the thing that you want, th-that scares you to death, is sitting right in front of you."
"...I scare you?" Anne smiled sympathetically. Marcy turned and wrapped her in a sortof sideways hug, burying her head in her shoulder.
"Sometimes, yes, you do, because I really, really like you and I just-" She sighed, burying her head further. "Just jump in any time, because I really, really don't know how to do this."
"Oh, sure you do." Anne mumbled softly as she fell over, pulling Marcy down beside her. She intertwined their hands as they looked up to the starry sky. The two stayed there in peaceful silence for a while, Anne only realizing Marcy had fallen asleep when she whispered "I really, really like you too." and was met with nothing but her soft breathing. She glanced over to the door, noticing the party had mostly dissipated. And, most surprisingly, Sasha was leaning against the doorway watching them, who smirked when Anne flushed in embarrassment.
"How long have you been there?!" Anne whisper-shouted to her. She merely shrugged and sauntered away back inside. She looked over to Marcy, who was still fast asleep. Anne really doubted the stone floor was comfortable, and wondered how long it'd been since she had gotten a good night's rest. She rose to her feet and gently picked her up, surprised at how light she was, and carried her past the small lingering crowd still remaining in the ballroom and into the winding halls of the palace.
It was a bit of a struggle trying to remember which paths led where, but eventually she found Marcy's room and brought her inside, settling her down on the bed then laying down next to her. Marcy snuggled into her side as she pulled the blankets over the both of them, and as Anne drifted off to sleep with her girlfriend (Was that the right word? It felt right, but she'd have to ask in the morning) laying right beside her, she felt safer than she'd ever felt before.
In that moment, she felt at home.