(lemon start)

"You know, Marce," Furnius said breathlessly as he plopped back on the bed, facing the ceiling. "I'm starting to worry we might be stuck like this all day!"

"And that's bad?" She teased with a fanged grin while fluttering her eyes.

"No, I guess not," he chuckled as he rolled to the side to kiss her nose.

The two cuddled together between the bed sheets, their bodies exhausted yet again from another round of intimate passion. They had just finished sharing a late breakfast together in the past half hour, satisfying their physical hunger. However not long after, the two found themselves already craving for each other's touch. The more they stared into each other, the more they found themselves aching with anticipation. In the short time they've been together, Furnius quickly discovered he was becoming addicted to the lovely vampire. His lust for her burned like a coming storm that soon he would find himself taking the initiative to seize her hips once again at the right angle.

"Haven't you had enough already?" Marcy teased as his hands roamed all over her body.

"I don't think it'll ever be enough," the prince growled lowly when he felt his primal instincts taking over for the second time that day. "You're just too irresistible," he emphasized by having one hand run along her outer thigh before squeezing her shapely bottom.

The vampire gasped in pleasure before she giggled, "Well then... You should know that the feeling is mutual." With that, she suddenly used her natural strength to roll Furnius back on the bed before straddling him over the waist. Needless to say, the prince was completely enthralled from the action and blushed immensely.

"How about I take control for once?" She asked softly as she slowly rocked her hips against his. "I promise you'll love it."

"I'm all yours, Marceline," he answered blissfully as he relaxed in place.

The vampire smiled tenderly before leaning forward to capture his lips. The kiss flared up their desires even more, but the two still took their time to not rush entirely. After a couple minutes she sat back up, her hands interlaced with elemental's as a sign of trust and assurance. The prince silently nodded once he was comfortable and then strengthened his grasp as the two moved against each other over time.

Marceline's breath quickened the more she quelled her urges. Her hips grounded against his with more force and speed that soon she started to work up a sweat. Her lover on the other hand, smiled with clenched teeth as he strove to withhold his release. He knew it was pointless given the circumstances, but he still wanted to give Marcy the courtesy of reaching the same peak as well.

After a few moments, Marcy stopped and went back to kissing him. Her hands cupped his face to express her genuine affection, while the prince responded the same by embracing her at the neck and lower back.

"Glob, I love you," he panted momentarily as he parted for breath.

"You make me happy, my love," she purred with a half-lidded expression.

"I don't want that to ever change," he said thoughtfully.

"And neither do I," she replied in the same tone.

"Would you have me be the one to fulfill your dreams?" he proposed in between kisses. "Forever and always?"

Marceline sighed happily before she replied, "How about I show you?"

Furnius braced himself as Marcy sat back up again. This time however, she took on a squatting position and smiled deviously upon seeing the prince's reaction.

"Marce," he said in shock. "I..."

"I know," she smiled reassuringly as she started lifting and lowering her hips at a steady pace. "It's what I want."

The prince nodded to regain his bearings and breathed slowly to keep composed. He didn't know how long they were together like that, but he knew he was seconds away from his climax as Marcy sped up her movements. Just when he thought he could go a little longer, the prince saw her cry out in rapture as she slammed her hips repeatedly against his with overwhelming force. Her body tightened against his in a vice, and the prince easily succumbed to his release within seconds. When it was over, Marcy rested on top of him with her chest against his until they finally regained control.

(lemon end)

"You made a good call, Furnius," Marcy giggled softly as warmth immensely settled in her belly. "Taking the day off like that."

"Anything for my lovely Queen," he smiled tenderly as he bopped her nose. He wasn't sure if it was possible to procreate given how different they were as a species, but it didn't stop him from trying over and over again.

Unfortunately, a sharp knock at the door interrupted them before they could take another chance. They had tried ignoring it at first by indulging themselves with a series of intimate kisses, but the knocking only persisted faster and louder in an urgent matter. Realizing that the visitor had no intention of stopping, Furnius reluctantly pulled away from the vampire's lips and proceeded to conjure a large bathrobe for himself before leaving.

"I'm so sorry, Marce," he said apologetically. "I'll be right back."

"Don't sweat it," she nodded in understanding as she fixed her hair. "I'll be right here."

Furnius smiled at the vampire before he turned away. As he walked closer to the entrance, his face quickly shifted into an upset expression and demanded to know who was foolish enough to interrupt his spare time.

"I've asked not to be disturbed!" The prince stated out loud irritably as he hastily turned the locks. "This had better be critical!" Right when he finished his sentence, he flung the door open to identify the visitor. The moment he did however, he instantly regretted it. He thought it was merely an ordinary guard who didn't get the memo, but that changed when he saw a particular elemental he had no trouble distinguishing.

"P-princess Phoebe!" Furnius stammered as he was caught in surprise. "H-how are you doing c-cousin?" His lisp slipped upon the sudden stress.

"Good afternoon, Prince Furnius." She greeted with a livid expression, with her hands posing on her hips. "Are you having a nice day? Did you sleep well last night?" She asked mildly with a hint of sarcasm.

The prince knew right then and there it was pointless to answer when he could see the fiery look in her eyes. He remembered in the past report how Flint lost his disposition from that time with the artillery bombardment, but Furnius never thought he would ever find himself on the receiving end.

"I'll take it as a yes then," she answered icily as she stepped forward inside while he backtracked. "Tell me, are you alone?"

Furnius remained frozen in place when he glanced over his shoulder. He suspected Marcline would run and turn invisible at the sound of his cousin's arrival, but instead the vampire slowly walked out of the bed room already dressed in her casual grey top and pants. The former flame monarch widened her eyes briefly at the vampire's courage to face the confrontation, but she quickly scowled back into concentration.

"So... it is true," Phoebe exhaled as she clenched and opened her fists slowly. "This wasn't a made-up story."

"Cousin," Furnius struggled as he tried mustering enough confidence, only to withdraw immediately when Phoebe raised a right palm to stop.

"There isn't a single thing you could tell me right now that would excuse your conduct," She chastised sharply before looking to Marceline, "And especially YOU!"

"Wait hold on," Marcy explained carefully as she stepped in front of the prince protectively. "The feelings we felt towards each other from last night are real as they are now. None of it was forced."

"That's not the issue here!" Phoebe retorted with a slight blush. "It was HOW you two handled it! Tell me, do either of you have ANY idea of what you represent?!"

Marcy and Furnius exchanged glances.

"You are royals!" The former monarch answered for them. "One who is entrusted to lead several kingdoms under one banner, and the other associated with the Nightosphere itself."

"So what?" Marcy frowned. "I don't take my title too seriously if that's the case."

"But the people DO!" Phoebe yelled. "Like it or not Marceline, you are part of a realm that is capable of harboring absolute chaos! I may know well enough not to get the wrong idea, but that doesn't account for everyone else. Because right now, you got them thinking in fear to the point of mass hysteria."

"That's their problem not mine." The vampire argued dismissively.

"Oh, but it is," Phoebe nodded. "We are now in a time where everyone knows everyone a lot more thanks to the return of mainstream media. Had it been anyone else, maybe they could have cared less. And your stunt with my brother doesn't help well either!"

"Now that's MY fault all of a sudden?!" Marcy shouted with her eyes glowing bright red.

"You brought up your ties with your father Hunson in front of thousands of Fire elemental troops," Phoebe countered with an unyielding expression. "I know you meant well with that, but did you honestly think no one would remember and say anything about it?"

A tense silence filled the room momentarily.

"So, I took my title seriously for one lousy moment," Marcy admitted flatly as she threw her hands. "But I'm still not liking the impression that being with Furnius was a mistake." She accused as her blood boiled.

"I didn't say that," the elemental answered as she composed herself. "But how many people have the same role like my cousin here?" She looked over to him on cue, "Before I abdicated, you knew from the get-go the level of responsibilities and expectations you had to handle. It's one thing if you just lead the Fire Kingdom, but now it's a different story since you represent so much more. You are well versed in the traditions of royal etiquette, to lead before others, and to symbolize integrity. If it weren't for Cinnamon Bun covering for your conduct unbecoming of a leader, I would have been here a whole lot sooner breathing down your neck!"

Furnius looked down in shame, while Marceline became more upset.

"You could easily tell me to get lost or have me throttled out of this room," Phoebe stated as she noticed the vampire's growing anger. "But how about the rest of the world?"

"They'll deal with it." Marcy sharply retorted.

Phoebe shook her head slowly and replied, "It's not so simple, Marcy. The fact is, you have more to lose than I ever would at this point. I don't have a companion to pour my heart out to, nor do I have another pair of parents." She stated glumly.

Marcy blinked and her anger dissolved in realization.

"I've done the math," Phoebe continued. "Everything would change drastically for those around you or maybe it wouldn't. Question is would you be willing to take that chance?"

The vampire looked down and glanced away briefly. Up until now, she hadn't realized the weight of her actions.

"What do you want us to do then?" Furnius asked in resignation as the vampire remained silent. "It seems like things will be ugly either way if we stay or go." He finished as he grasped Marcy's hand in comfort beside him.

"Be forthcoming with them," Phoebe answered. "Let them know that you are exploring this relationship on your own terms and nothing else. You'll still get flak on how you two were.. hasty, but at least they won't be paronoid to assume the worst."

"It's a start," Marcy finally breathed.

"This is the life you two have chosen for each other," Phoebe concluded firmly. "I hope for your sakes you two will commit to it.. I really do."

"S-so.. does that mean..." Furnius hesitated.

"Don't get me wrong, cousin!" Phoebe seethed with a narrowed expression. "I may be happy for both of you, but I am still ticked on how it happened! I suggest you two resolve this to the public immediately before any more damage is done." With that she began to storm off.

Just when the former monarch reached the door, a bright flash went off behind her back. She could hear Furnius and Marcy gasping in surprise, then turned around to investigate. Once she did, she saw an entity resembling a giant owl that seemed gold-like in color. Her eyes widened upon recognizing the deity and her blood ran cold for a fleeting moment.

"I'm afraid such matters are trivial in light of a new development," Cosmic Owl announced grimly to all three.

Phoebe was the first to recover and her expression hardened after recalling her conversation with Jake. As much as she wanted to raise questions regarding the staged fight with Ice King, she willed herself with self restraint and asked, "What could be more urgent compared to my cousin's predicament?" She emphasized by crossing her arms.

The cosmic being looked at the elemental before sighing, "The end of the world."

Everyone was in disbelief at the disclosure before Marcy seethed, "Now hold on a minute! This world's gone through so many moments where everything should have ended time and time again! You expect us to believe all of sudden that today's that day?!"

"It's the Catalyst Comet," CO elaborated firmly. "A major transition is imminent."

Prince Furnius paled instantly while the others frowned.

"Wait a minute," Marcy said out loud in thought. "If that's the case, then Simon already has the key to drive it back! Why would you waste your time coming to us first?!"

"That is only the first half of the issue," CO explained. "The other being is that a cosmic criminal is attempting to siphon its power, right here on Ooo. You manage to stop him, the crisis can be averted altogether."

"Does he have a particular name?" Phoebe asked.

"That's not important," he stated matter of fact. "All you need to know is that he's a shapeshifter," CO answered carefully with narrowed eyes. "Recent reports state his previous form was that of a penguin."

Marcy blinked before becoming distressed, "He was at the Ice Kingdom? Where my Mom and Dad are?!"

"They're fine," CO assured. "The shapeshifter had no interest to make a move against them. He only wanted to hide up until now."

"So where is he?" Marcy seethed. "I'll hunt him down myself!" Her right fist tightened.

"He's here in this city," he replied. "I tried to take care of it last night, but he managed to elude me just before I would have the chance." The cosmic being then closed his eyes and took a deep breath. After a brief moment, he mustered enough will to swallow his pride and spoke with heavy reluctance.

"I need your help."