OK. I'll admit it. I always watch when my sister puts in that particular Raggedy Anne movie mentioned in the beginning. It makes me smile.

Also, "Aloysius" is pronounced al-o-WISH-us. :)

Disclaimer: I don't own Raggedy Anne or the Candy Hearts and Paper Flowers song.


Candy Hearts and Paper Flowers

If you've ever seen that Raggedy Anne movie where they have to save Babette from this pirate, then you might remember that song she and Andy sing where one line goes, "But candy hearts and paper flowers will always keep me close to you…"

Corny? Yes. Clichéd? Yes. Ridiculously sweet? You betcha.

Which is exactly why Marcelyn Potter loved that song.

You see, Marcelyn (not Marcy, not Mars, Marcelyn) was an idealist and a hopeless romantic at that. She loved happy endings and declarations of undying love. She simply adored old movies where the guy always wins the girl, resulting in marriage.

It was just too bad she had never found that one person that could ever make her feel that way. Oh sure, she'd had boyfriends, but they never made her feel like the guys in the movies made the leading ladies feel.

"He loves me… he loves me not… he loves me… he loves me not…"

"Marcelyn, you're killing that daisy!" Alya stared at her best friend, absolutely horrified at what she was doing. "What'd it ever do to you?" she cried, setting down her watering can to pick up the petals.

Marcelyn blushed. "It was on the ground… someone picked it and must've dropped it… I'm sorry…" she apologized sheepishly, looking at the petal-littered ground. She looked sadly upon the few remaining petals. "It looks so sad," she lamented.

"Cuz you killed it!" snapped Alya. She had always been a bit of a "tree hugger," as her twin brother, Aloysius, called her. "You're twenty-one, Marcelyn- almost twenty-two! You're too old to be slaughtering these poor flowers, not to mention you might get fired!"

Marcelyn felt immensely guilty by now; she was even on the verge of tears. "I'm really sorry…" she said, fingering those last petals. "Should I bury it?" While anybody else would have said this sarcastically, Marcelyn was utterly sincere.

Alya was touched. "Thank you," she said quietly.

"Al, you're not making her feel bad about that daisy, are you?" Aloysius walked into the greenhouse where Alya and Marcelyn worked, surveying the multitude of flowers and plants that surrounded them. "Not in this," here he donned his "hippie voice," "'celebration of the world around us.'" He grinned as he popped an Everlasting Gobstopper in his mouth (it lasted all of three seconds- Aloysius had teeth of steel).

Marcelyn bit her lip to keep from laughing as Alya glared at Aloysius darkly. "This from the boy who wanted to give a cheeseburger to the Venus flytrap."

"In my defense, that would have been awesome if you didn't stop me!" protested Aloysius, now looking a little mutinous. "Wouldn't it have been awesome, Mars?" He looked to Marcelyn, who was now far from amused.

"My name is Marcelyn," she said coldly. "And it wouldn't have been awesome." Ordinarily, she would have laughed at his stunts, but she did not approve to being called "Mars."

Aloysius looked profoundly hurt. "That's cold, Mars!" he cried, ignoring Marcelyn's protests. "Worse than ice." He shook his head.

"You had it coming; you know she doesn't like being called Mars," said Alya just as coldly as Marcelyn. "And stop trying to turn my best friend to the dark side." She looked at her twin disapprovingly. "It's bad enough you got her to eat meat."

"OK, go ahead and try to change the world, Rabbit-Girl," said Aloysius dismissively. "I just came to tell you that Wesley wants to get together tonight." He paused and snickered. "Probably to raise an army of rabbits."

"That didn't even make sense!" said Alya.

"Aw, loosen up a little, Al. It doesn't have to make sense." Aloysius ruffled his sister's blonde hair and winked at Marcelyn, shoving an Everlasting Gobstopper in her hand. "See ya later, Alya… Marcelyn."

Marcelyn smiled, rather satisfied. "See ya, Aloysius," she chimed back, popping the Gobstopper in her mouth and returning to sweeping up the ground (she had always considered that particular task useless, but Mrs. Thyme had always been very strict about the condition of her greenhouse).

As her brother left, Alya turned back to watering the plants, muttering, "Army of rabbits… I ask you…"

Marcelyn rolled her eyes. "He's right, you know," she said carefully. "You really need to lighten up." She smiled at the look on Alya's face.

"Oh shove it."

--

So it was a cliché. Girl goes to college in a whole different state. Girl meets best friend who just so happens to have a fraternal twin. Girl falls for said twin. Twin gives Everlasting Gobstopper to girl. It was like something from a Disney movie.

Well, even Disney movies can get some things right.

"Times get bad and then I worry… how we'll ever see it throooough… but candy hearts and paper flowers… will always keep me cloooose… tooooo… yoooouuu…" sang Marcelyn quietly as she unlocked the door to her small apartment where she met her other best friend, the friend that actually didn't take everything so seriously.

"Let me guess… Aloysius?" Cassarah's knowing smile made Marcelyn blush. She was washing paint off of her arms and hands- the battle wounds of working at a daycare.

"That obvious?" Marcelyn smiled weakly as Cassarah nodded. "You know me way too well…" she murmured.

"Well, for one, you're glowing," said Cassarah, ticking it off on her finger, "For two, I heard you singing the candy hearts song before you came in, and for three," here she held up a Post-it note, "you left this." She cleared her throat and read, "'Hey Cass, at the greenhouse. Might go to Alya's afterwards, but not sure.'"

Marcelyn looked at Cassarah sheepishly. "Well… it's not like I knew he'd be at Alya's… just cuz he makes a habit of popping up every now and again… especially in the summer…" She was turning redder by the second.

Cassarah grinned, shaking her head. "Next time you go over there, I'm coming with you. Besides, I haven't seen Alya in a while and I rather like hanging out with the both of ya."

Marcelyn suspected Cassarah's intentions were less than innocent, no matter what she said. "And you want to tell Aloysius that I kinda… sorta… you know…" By now, she was redder than a chili pepper.

Cassarah's grin turned into a dark smirk. "Uh-huh… just what I thought…" Before Marcelyn could say anything more on the subject, Cassarah said, "Ordered pizza. Pepperoni." She paused. "And I got a nice little box of chocolate."

Marcelyn grinned. "You rock, Cass."

Cass beamed as she slapped down a slice of pizza on a paper plate. "I know I do."

--

"Aloysius, watch it!"

"OW!" Aloysius sucked on his finger, which had been pricked by a cactus (he wanted something to lean on because he was the type of person who leaned on things a lot). "Evil little thing." He shot a glare at the cactus, which just sat there completely apathetic to Aloysius' pain. Of course, it was a plant.

Alya rolled her eyes. "I warned you," she said in a singsong voice, sprinkling water on the "evil little thing."

Aloysius rolled his eyes. "You should keep that thing on a shelf, not a table," he said, now rather annoyed. "You could kill someone."

Alya had to smile, something that not many people had seen. "I sincerely doubt that a cactus has ever killed anyone," she said dryly. That's when the phone started to ring and Alya set down her watering can. As she walked inside the house, she warned her brother, "Don't touch anything. You might hurt the plants."

She didn't hear Aloysius mutter, "If they don't hurt me first…"

Alya walked into her kitchen (of course, it was filled with flowers and vases) and picked up her phone. "Hello?" she asked, looking outside suspiciously.

"Hey Alya, it's Marcelyn's roommate, Cassarah."

Alya relaxed and a smile appeared on her face. "Oh. Hi Cass," she said, actually sounding happy. "How are you?"

"Fairly well, thank you. And yourself?"

Alya walked over to the window. "Good as long as my stupid brother doesn't hurt any of my flowers…" she said. So far, her "stupid brother" had not. "So what's up?"

"Oh, I just thought that we should all hang out sometime." Cassarah paused. "Maybe see a movie or go bowling…" She trailed off and Alya suddenly heard shouting in the background. "Hold on, Al." Alya heard Cassarah shout, "No! You can't stop me!"

"Oh yes I can!"

There was a loud thud and then high-pitched screams. Alya saw Aloysius looking at her Venus flytrap curiously and gasped and ran outside, phone still in hand. "Aloysius, whatever you're thinking, NO!"

"MARCELYN, LEGGO OF MY HAIR!"

"DON'T DO IT!"

"YOU'RE ACTING LIKE A MIDDLE SCHOOLER!"

"I AM NOT AND SCHOOLER'S NOT A WORD!"

"BITE ME!" Pause, and then Cassarah suddenly shouted things that would have been "bleeped out" on TV. "NOT LITERALLY! Man, you actually drew blood…"

Aloysius, however, had lost interest in the Venus flytrap because Marcelyn and Cassarah's fight was extremely loud, so he could hear it very well. "I think Mars is winning," he commented lightly, holding out his hand. "May I?"

Alya laughed dryly, handing over the phone. "By all means."

After another minute or so of Cassarah and Marcelyn's screams, Cassarah made it back to the phone, breathing heavily. "OK… sorry, Alya…"

Aloysius said quickly, "Not Alya. Aloysius."

Cassarah sounded as if he had said he achieved world peace. "Oh, hey Aloysius! How are you?"

Aloysius heard a loud gasp in the background and laughed. "I'm good… did you kill Mars?" he asked curiously.

Cassarah chuckled darkly. "No…" She cleared her throat and her sugary sweet voice returned. "So, I was thinking that we could all get together on Friday. You, Alya, me, Marcelyn… and of course, you can bring anyone you wish."

Aloysius looked back at his sister and nodded slowly. "Sure," he replied with a smile. "Alya will wanna bring Wesley, of course."

Cassarah laughed. "Of course." There was a pause and then a distinct thud, followed by, "Ow! Hey!" Cassarah cleared her throat. "Will you be bringing anyone?"

Aloysius paused to think for a moment. "I do not believe so. Sherman's out of town for the weekend." Sherman was Aloysius' best friend since middle school.

"Alright, cool… Friday at seven?"

Aloysius said, "Hold that thought." He looked to Alya and asked, "Getting together Friday at seven? You can bring Wesley."

Alya looked up from her snapdragons and nodded. "Friday at seven," she agreed.

"Friday at seven," confirmed Aloysius.

"Sweetness. See ya then!"

"See ya."

--

"Alright, let's see." Cassarah clapped her hands impatiently. "Come on out, Marcelyn." She had forced Marcelyn to try on every outfit she owned; they had fallen into their seventeen-year-old mentality in a quest to find the perfect outfit for Marcelyn.

There was a definite sigh as the door to Marcelyn's room opened, showing a very embarrassed Marcelyn. Cassarah shook her head disapprovingly. "We're going bowling. Lose the skirt." She snapped her fingers. "Chop, chop, we only have an hour until we have to leave."

"Why can't I just wear jeans and a t-shirt!" cried Marcelyn from inside her room.

"Oooh… how 'bout those capri's you got last Saturday?" suggested Cassarah. "And the blue tank top!"

There was a long silence broken only by drawers opening, which meant that Marcelyn was following Cassarah's suggestions. After a minute or so, Cassarah heard Marcelyn sigh unhappily. "What's wrong?" she called.

"The tank top shrunk… I'm not gonna wear it…"

Cassarah laughed. "Dude, it can't be that bad." She clapped her hands together again. "Let's see."

Marcelyn slowly opened the door, bright red at how she looked. Indeed, the tank top did shrink, but Cassarah believed that her friend was overreacting. "It's fine," she said assuredly and then she laughed. "Actually, better. It was way too baggy before." Taking note of the uncomfortable look on Marcelyn's face, Cassarah relented. "I think you look fine. But if you really want to, you can change your shirt."

Marcelyn walked back in her room, looking in the mirror skeptically. "OK…" she said, still sounding rather unsure.

Cassarah reiterated, "I'm serious. If you're that uncomfortable-"

"No, I'm fine."

--

"Dog-effin-gone…" muttered Aloysius under his breath. After having nobody to talk to other than Alya and Wesley (who were talking animatedly about the flower festival- they both had a great passion for plants), seeing Cassarah and Marcelyn was like a breath of fresh air. But the Marcelyn he saw wasn't the girl he was used to.

For starters, she hardly ever let her hair out of a ponytail, let alone all the way down. Secondly, he had never seen her wear that tank top. He didn't even know she had a tank top. But there was something else very different about her that night… he just couldn't pinpoint it….

"Hey guys!" chimed Cassarah brightly. She sighed contentedly as she leaned against the counter. "Hope you haven't been waiting too long." She looked up at the clock- 7:13- and cringed. "Oooh… sorry."

"It's OK," said Aloysius coolly. He motioned towards Alya and Wesley. "Just listening to these two rabbits talk about saving the earth." He smirked at the offended looks on Alya and Wesley's faces. "Aw, you know I like messin' with ya." He chuckled and turned to Marcelyn. "Well hello, Mars."

"Marcelyn," she said quietly, and it was a good thing that the bowling alley was dimly lighted, because she was the most interesting shade of red.

"You're pretty quiet tonight," commented Alya curiously, although she had a pretty good idea why. But before she embarrassed Marcelyn any further, she snapped her fingers. "Just remembered." She dug into her purse and held out a bag of miniature Reese's peanut butter cups. "Found this in the back of the fridge. Anybody?"

Of course, the contents were gone by the time they had all gotten their shoes on and started the game.

CRASH! Everybody had to admit, even if Wesley was a Rabbit-Boy (as dubbed by Aloysius, of course), he was a most formidable bowler. He walked back to the table, not saying a word as he took his seat, not even rubbing it in that he had just made his fifth strike.

Marcelyn was next. She took a deep breath and walked up to the lane, grabbing her orange bowling ball. She blew on the ball (that was her bowling superstition) and let it fly down the lane, immediately turning her back on it. CRASH!

"Mars, you got a strike!" proclaimed Aloysius, watching MARS flash on the screen (he had been in control at the panel).

"Marcelyn," chimed the brown-haired girl as she practically strutted back to the table. She took one of Aloysius' Everlasting Gobstoppers and motioned for Cassarah to take her turn.

"Wesley, next time my friend Sherman's in town, we're gonna take these girls here again and we are going to leave them in the dust," said Aloysius determinedly, pounding his fist into his palm. Wesley grinned at the thought.

Alya laughed skeptically. "Unless we kick your-"

Cassarah plopped down in her seat, crossing her legs and saying coolly, "Gutter balls." It was a well-known fact that Cassarah couldn't hit a pin to save her life. "G'ahead, Al."

Aloysius smiled over at Marcelyn and winked as he got up, taking another Everlasting Gobstopper. "Watch and learn," he said, earning laughs from everyone else. He followed his ordinary good-luck charms (taking three large steps, spinning around his ball before picking it up, and whispering, "God save the Queen") and the ball flew down the lane in a streak of dark red.

And then…

"HA! YES!" Aloysius hurried over to the TV, which was now flashing, "ALOYSIUS" with a giant red X. He smirked and placed his hands at his hips. "Score."

Marcelyn burst out in laughter as the others smiled and shook their heads. "Alya, you're up." She patted Alya on her shoulder as she stood up.

By the end of the night, no one was surprised when Wesley got first place and Cassarah came out with a whopping total of zero points- an all-time low which she took great pride in. "Anyone can hit a pin, but it takes true talent to get twenty gutter balls," she had said.

"Just like it takes talent to get spares and strikes every frame," Wesley had retorted.

As the five returned the horrendously ugly bowling shoes (Cassarah's theory was that the ugliness was an anti-theft device- who would want to go around wearing mismatched shoes?), Aloysius fell back with Marcelyn. "Good game, Mars," he said fairly.

Marcelyn half-smiled. "Marcelyn." She had no idea how many times she had corrected Aloysius on this. "And right back atcha."

A grin spread across Aloysius' face. "Thank you very much." He looked at the girl analytically. "Something about you's different tonight."

Marcelyn blushed and, figuring he meant the tank top, she lied, "I don't wear this too often… only when all my other shirts are in the wash." She smiled sheepishly.

"You should wear it more often," commented Aloysius, and being a very blunt person, he said, "You look totally hot." He smiled wickedly, but the smile didn't reach his blue eyes as he said, "And any guy would see you're dead beautiful if you wore it more often." It was a good thing Marcelyn was notorious for not picking up on the most obvious things in the world.

Marcelyn mentally noted that Aloysius had a great talent for making her turn as red as a rose. "Thank you," she said quietly. She paused and then chimed happily, "My birthday's the Monday after next."

Aloysius grinned and pulled Marcelyn into a half-hug as they reached their respective cars. "See ya later, Mars."

"Marcelyn…."

--

With Mrs. Thyme constantly keeping Alya and Marcelyn at the greenhouse, Cassarah helping with refurbishing the daycare (they got that new swing set they wanted and people to patch up the "tree house"), and Aloysius working the college's bookstore and taking classes on the weekends (poor Aloysius), the week before Marcelyn's birthday seemed to drag by. But finally, that Monday arrived and that evening, Alya had come to Marcelyn and Cassarah's apartment bearing a Snickers cake.

"Where's Aloysius?" asked Marcelyn as Alya placed the cake on the table. "I thought he said he was coming."

"He is coming," Alya assured Marcelyn. "He was a little… busy when I left." She did not say anything more on the subject in spite of Marcelyn and Cassarah's questioning looks, but she did present a small white box. "Happy birthday, Marcelyn."

Marcelyn smiled as the three girls took their seats at the table and she opened the box to find a flower bracelet. "Thanks, Alya." She beamed brightly as she put it on. "It's beautiful."

"OK, you got your beautiful gift." Cassarah got up and opened the cupboard under the sink, retrieving a small bag. "Now the gift that'll make you go 'ahhhh…'" She and the other two laughed.

Marcelyn looked inside and found her favorite sweet pea lotion. She opened the top and breathed in the heavenly aroma. "Ahhh…" She said this just to make the other girls laugh, which they did. "Thanks, Cass."

Cassarah beamed and clapped her hands together. "And Cassarah said, 'Let there be cake!'" As Alya took the plastic top off, Cassarah continued, "And Cassarah looked upon the cake and saw that it was very good."

At this, Alya and Marcelyn burst into laughter once again.

--

He came just as Alya was leaving and Cassarah headed off to bed (although Marcelyn suspected that her roommate had no intention of going to sleep, and would rather leave Marcelyn and Aloysius alone). As Aloysius walked through, his hands suspiciously behind his back, he greeted with a bright smile, "Hey Mars."

"Marcelyn." Marcelyn looked up to Aloysius, who was holding something behind his back. "What're you hiding?"

"Your birthday present, of course," laughed Aloysius. "Couldn't find a box or a bag delicate enough, so I improvised." He motioned for Marcelyn to sit back down.

Marcelyn started to smile as she sat in her usual chair, but she couldn't help but ask, "Why were you so late? You missed Cassarah being blasphemous and the Snickers cake…"

Aloysius smiled apologetically. "Sorry, Mars. Had to finish something up."

"Marcelyn."

"You'll always be Mars to me," insisted Aloysius, making Marcelyn smile sheepishly. He sat down in the chair next to Marcelyn and continued, "Cass told me about your favorite song."

Marcelyn's smile fell and she turned bright red. "She did?" she asked nervously. She knew what was next: Aloysius teasing her about liking a song from a movie for little kids. He'd never let her hear the end of it….

But that didn't happen. What did happen completely stunned Marcelyn.

Aloysius chuckled at the look on Marcelyn's face and sang softly, "Times get bad and then I worry…

How we'll ever see it through…" He was moving closer to her. "But candy hearts and paper flowers…" Here, he set down the small bouquet of multicolored tissue-paper flowers and the little box of Valentine candy hearts that he'd had behind his back. "Will always keep me close to you…" His blue eyes met her brown ones.

Marcelyn looked from Aloysius and then to the candy hearts and paper flowers and then back to Aloysius. "Thank you," she said gently, positive that she was redder than a tomato.

Aloysius moved closer…. "You know I was serious when I said you're beautiful…" he said very warmly. "And that any guy could very easily fall in love with you…"

Marcelyn's eyes had widened to the size of saucers. "Aloysius, what're you talking about?" She swore those butterflies had never flown around as much as they were right then. "What do you…" She never got a chance to finish that sentence because just as the words left her mouth, Aloysius stopped any more from coming out.

Maybe it was a cliché, but it was firstly love from the moment Aloysius gave Marcelyn that first Everlasting Gobstopper way back in their freshman year to Marcelyn's break-up with a boy named Ishmael to Aloysius' constant visits to Mrs. Thyme's greenhouse to all the days and nights they all spent together and to this very moment….

It might sound ridiculously sweet and Disney-ish, but the only thing running through Marcelyn's head for the rest of the night was, "But candy hearts and paper flowers will always keep me close to you…"


So... who's gagging from all the shameless fluff?

Ever since the last time my sister put in the Raggedy Anne movie, I wanted to write and or draw something with the theme of the candy hearts song. I ended up writing it.

The ending's a little iffy in my opinion, so any suggestions on that would be greatly appreciated, unless it's the last line, because I refuse to change it. I'm stubborn like that... :)

As you can expect, have some cake and candy hearts. :D