A Royal Guest
"What a wonderful day, Jake."
"You said it, Finn!"
Finn laughed merrily as he skipped through a sun-dappled forest with his canine companion, Jake. It was a wonderful day – every day was a wonderful day in the Land of Ooo – but Finn's good mood was not due to the weather.
"I think we did a good thing back there buddy," said Jake. He twisted and turned through the undergrowth with his elastic legs, being careful not to end up too far ahead of his human friend.
"For sure!" agreed Finn. "Things will be much smoother in Lake Celazon now that we taught that Giant Cuttlefish the value of sharing."
"Hop on my back! I'll give you a ride over the treetops so you can feel a breeze."
Jake lowered himself closer to the ground in order to let Finn hop on his back. Extending his legs, he sent his body sailing up to the forest canopy as he galloped through the forest. Perched on Jake's back and gazing over the tree line, Finn could see a tapestry of green stretching out in all directions. The sun's rays beat down as a soft wind tickled his face.
Before long, the forest reached its edge and tapered off into a grassy plain. Finn could see the tree house where he lived with Jake in the middle of the hilly plains. He was glad to have helped the denizens of Lake Celazon, but now that their adventure was over, Finn was looking forward to a relaxing afternoon of video games with his best friend. Perhaps they could fight Shark and Science Cat when they appeared in the plains at four o'clock on the dot.
Jake shrank his canine body to a normal size and let Finn climb off as they began walking at a leisurely pace through the plains and towards their house. Finn passed over a hill and noticed a floating ear of corn with a face drifting towards them.
"Hi Corn Princess."
"Why hello Finn and Jake!"
"What's the haps?"
Corn Princess wiggled with excitement. "Ain't you heard, sweetie? Princess Bubblegum's been crowned Queen of the Candy Kingdom! I'm all flustered with excitement, I tell you what!"
"Whoa," said Jake.
Finn pumped his fist in the air. "Pythagorean! We have to go visit her and tell her congratulations, right Jake?"
"Maybe after we play some video games though." Finn waved at Corn Princess as they continued towards their house. "Thanks for the update, Corn Princess. Have a nice afternoon."
"I will. You boys keep yourselves outta trouble now!"
Finn arrived at the door of their tree house to find it unlocked. He opened the door with the shrug; they must have forgotten to lock it before they left on their adventure. Not that it mattered, seeing as a lock could not keep out too many creatures in the Land of Ooo if they really wanted to get in.
"Hope you're ready to get your butt kicked in Adventure Master," Finn said to his friend as they walked up the stairs to their living room.
"I don't think so dude. Your moves are wea – wait, what's that sound?"
Finn and Jake hesitated on the stairs as they heard the faint sound of someone crying. They tiptoed the rest of the way up to the living room and peeked inside. A weeping pink-hued figure sat on their couch, her crown perched lopsidedly on her head. She looked up at the sound of Finn and Jake's arrival and sniffed.
"Oh, hello Finn and Jake."
Finn rushed over to Princess Bubblegum's side and patted her on the back as he sat down on the couch beside her. "There, there," he said. "It's alright. What's wrong?"
"I've been deposed!" wailed the Princess.
"Deposed? How? Corn Princess sad that you just became Queen of the Candy Kingdom."
"Oh, it was horrible," said Princess Bubblegum. "Everyone was there in the Candy Foyer of the palace, watching me get crowned Queen by the Gumball Guardians, when it happened!"
"When what happened, Princess?" asked Jake. Finn nodded in agreement. The two of them found Princess Bubblegum's story entirely too confusing.
"A coup?" echoed Finn. "What's that?"
"Oh, it's too much to explain. I don't want to talk about this anymore, Finn. There is nothing to be done now anyway. Let's just forget about it."
Finn frowned. "Are you sure, Princess? Or should I say Queen?"
"No, I suppose not. I can't be Queen now. I'm not even a Princess anymore, really. By the way, now that I can't live in the palace, I was wondering if I could stay with you guys for a while."
Jake felt a little hesitant. As much as he liked Princess Bubblegum, he wondered if her presence in the tree house would interrupt his quality time with Finn. However, Jake could not ignore the way Finn was shaking with barely restrained excitement. Finn's crush on Princess Bubblegum was obvious to everyone besides himself. And perhaps Princess Bubblegum.
"That sounds awesome!" shouted Finn. "I mean, uh, yeah, that's alright. As long as Jake's fine with it. What do you say buddy?"
"I guess so. Why not?"
"Thank you boys so much. Once again, you've saved the day!"
Finn patted the remaining empty space on the couch, motioning for Jake to come play Adventure Master with him. Jake was happy to oblige.
"You want to play whoever wins this round?" Finn asked the Bubblegum Princess.
"No, that's alright." Princess Bubblegum leaned back on the couch and spread her arms out as she stared at the ceiling. "I'm just going to sit here and mope."
A Week Later
Finn whistled a meandering, auto tuned song as he prepared lunch, chopping food and shaking a skillet on the stove. Meals had been a little unusual lately, seeing as he was now cooking for three instead of two. He glanced back at the couch, where Jake was reading a manuscript on the best places to pole vault through the Cappycrag Mountains.
"Hey Jake, why are you reading that anyway? You can just walk through the mountains with your elastic legs."
"Yeah, but knowledge is power my friend."
Jake sniffed the air eagerly. "What's cooking?"
"I'm making some snagglepuff sandwiches. The puffs are still heating up, but it'll be ready in just a minute." Finn turned to the guest bedroom's door. "Hey Princess Bubblegum! You up yet?"
"Uunnngh," came a noise from behind the door.
Jake sidled up to Finn beside the kitchen counter. "Dude," he whispered. "I wonder if she sleeps this late normally."
The two of them stared at the guest room door until, after a few moments, it creaked open. Princess Bubblegum stood in the doorway and stared back at them. Her hair was about as mussed as the hair of a bubblegum-human hybrid person could be mussed. Princess Bubblegum stared at her new roommates and groaned, holding a hand to her back.
"Don't you guys get tired of living in a tree?"
"What do you mean?" asked Finn.
"These living arrangements aren't exactly comfortable. I believe your guest bed is pretty much just a blanket thrown on top of a wooden knob."
"Sorry, Princess. Hey, are you wearing my sweater?"
Princess Bubblegum looked down at the sweater. "Why, yes. Yes I am. I had to stretch it out to twice its size so it would fit down to my knees. I hope you don't mind! Now that I'm not royalty anymore, there is no point in dressing up, is there?"
Finn found the question depressing and decided to avoid it. "Do you want a snagglepuff sandwich?"
"Why yes Finn, I would like that!" Princess Bubblegum seemed to perk up momentarily as she sidled over to the kitchen counter. "Cut it lengthwise please!" She pointed to the sandwich as Finn worked. "No crust. Remove the crust. That's the way my courtier does it!"
Princess Bubblegum ate the sandwich in several bites and let loose a petite burp. "I'm going to go use your powder room now," she announced.
Finn sat down on the couch to eat his sandwich with Jake. The dog glanced behind them before leaning over to Finn and speaking in a low voice. "Hey Finn, how long as she staying here for?"
"I dunno, Jake. We have to be nice to her though, she's a Princess!"
"Yeah, that and you totally have a crush on her."
Finn blushed. "I don't think so!"
A voice shouted out from the bathroom across the tree house. "Why do you two always leave the toilet seat up!"
"It's a toadstool toilet, Princess," shouted Finn. "It doesn't have a seat."
Jake finished his sandwich and stretched an elongated arm across the room in order to throw the paper plate out of the open window, where it would be eaten by paper flies. "Finn," he said, leaning over conspiratorially again, "Don't you think she's getting a little annoying?"
"I dunno what you're talking about."
"She sure complains a lot, don't you think? Like maybe she's used to being royalty?"
"Maybe we should be asking her why she doesn't have anyplace to go in the Candy Kingdom."
"She gets all upset whenever we bring that stuff up, dude."
"Well, I'm gonna ask her."
Jake sidled back to his own place on the couch and whistled tunelessly as Princess Bubblegum returned. She sat down in the center of the couch between Finn and Jake, pushing them aside as she scratched herself idly. "What's up, boys?"
"Not much," Finn said nervously.
"So, Princess," said Jake, "why exactly did you get ousted from the Candy Kingdom? More horrific tampering with the laws of science and nature? Experiment gone awry?"
"No, silly. The people just didn't want me to be their ruler anymore, I suppose. The citizens made their choice. Some of them, that is..."
Jake noticed Princess Bubblegum narrowing her eyes and gritting her teeth at some passing thought. He pressed her for more information. "Which ones exactly?"
"The vegetable citizens."
Jake and Finn exchanged glances. "Vegetable citizens?" asked Finn. "I didn't know there were vegetable citizens in the Candy Kingdom."
"Oh, there are," nodded Princess Bubblegum.
"And they voted you out?"
"Well, some of them. A group called the Pea Party."
"I told you boys, I don't want to talk about it. It depresses me." Princess Bubblegum folded her delightfully rosy bubblegum arms together and uttered an indignant hmph!
"But Princess," said Jake, "you can't stay here forever. As much as we'd totally love it if you did, because it's not like you're imposing or anything at all, but still, maybe there's some way you could take back your place as Princess of the Candy Kingdom if you just told them you didn't want to be Queen!"
"I had to be made Queen at the appointed time, just as I was made Princess," said Princess Bubblegum. "It's not my choice. It's just the way things work!"
"There must be something you can do," said Finn.
"I don't think so, Finn, I'm sorry."
Finn slapped an emphatic fist into his palm. "Well, I bet there's something me and Jake can do! We'll show these vegetables who's boss!"
"I don't want fighting in the Candy Kingdom on my account, Finn."
"We can check out what's going on at least. Come on Princess, it'll be a fun adventure!"
Princess Bubblegum pondered Finn's offer for a moment as she looked around the tree house. She did miss being Princess. Finn and Jake had no science equipment, and the living conditions in their house were simply awful. And she did feel terribly lost without her sweet citizens around her.
"Well," she finally said, "I suppose it can't hurt."
"Slamacow!" exclaimed Finn. "It's vegetable fighting -" he noticed Princess Bubblegum throwing him a stern look. "Uh, I mean, it's adventure time!"
I hope you guys enjoyed this first chapter. I do have a general idea of where I'm going, and there will be at least a few more chapters to go. Leave me a review and tell me what you think, and put the story on alert if you want to keep track of it. Thanks for reading!