Back to Normalish


An eerie cackle slashed through the night sky as Marceline floated above the candy crowd gathered in the town square. Princess Bubblegum slapped a hand to her forehead. They had only just gotten rid of Sarah Parsnip, and now, yet another usurper was trying to take over the Candy Kingdom. In retrospect, maybe getting a vampire queen to help her take back the throne was a bad idea.

"Marceline!" shouted Finn. "How could you do this!"

"Are you serious? I stole your house and your cave, Finn. What were you expecting?"

Jake patted Finn sympathetically on the back. "She's got a point, bro."

Marceline nodded in appreciation of Jake's support. "Now, everybody get ready to have their blood sucked! Or whatever it is you candy people have instead of blood!"

The townspeople backed away, paralyzed with terror as Marceline stomped across the town square towards them. She was still in her bat form, towering above her prey and matching what was left of the ruined Bubblegum Castle tower in size. Marceline picked up a hapless brown mustachioed candy and lifted him towards her mouth.

"Nooo!" yelled Princess Bubblegum. "Not Starchy the Grave Digger!"

Starchy wiggled in Marceline's giant claws. "Oh no! Don't squeeze me, you'll make me toot!"

Marceline threw Starchy away in disgust. Unfortunately, Starchy was so terrified that he exploded and disappeared in midair. Princess Bubblegum gasped as more of her sweet candy citizens began to run in terror, combusting left and right out of fear.

"No! Don't be afraid, everybody! There's nothing to be afraid of! I mean, besides the giant vampire bat monster, but look for the silver lining!"

Ayn Rand and Glenn Broccoli approached Marceline as close as they could and fired colorful showers of vegetable magic at her, but Marceline was too large for the magic to have any effect. Jake leaped at Marceline and tried to tie her hands together with his elasticized body as Finn leaped forward and pummeled her, but Marceline seemed to be getting angrier the more they attacked her. She hissed, flinging Finn and Jake across the square with a twist of her sinewy arms.

Many of the candy and vegetable citizens who had been gathered in the town square had either run for cover or exploded from fright, leaving Finn, Jake, and a few of the more fearless citizens to fight Marceline. As Princess Bubblegum watched the battle, she felt a vibrating energy course through the air. Time seemed to slow down for just a moment as everything around Princess Bubblegum turned a shade of blue. Then, with a loud popping sound, time and color returned to normal. Princess Bubblegum knew what had just happened. She stared up at the two massive figures that had just materialized out of thin air.

The Gumball Guardians had returned.

One of the Guardians leaned down towards the town square to get a closer look at Princess Bubblegum, while Marceline and her attackers stopped to gape at the scene. The giant gumball machine spoke.

"The vegetable usurpers have left, Princess Bubblegum? You have been restored to the throne?"

"That's right!" shouted the pink princess. "Now, if you please, Guardians of the Royal Promise, could you remove that vampire bat from the kingdom?"

The Gumball Guardians nodded ponderously as they turned to stare at the furry black creature standing beside them. Marceline stared back at her two new opponents, a little hesitant to attack. They were definitely a bit larger than Finn and Jake.

"Marceline the Vampire Queen, this is not your kingdom! Prepare for a trial by fire!"

The Gumball Guardians each belched a jet of flame from their mouths, but Marceline stood back and swept one of her long, pallid arms in the air. The white-hot jets seemed to flatten and pause in midair before they could reach Marceline, and with another flick of her clawed hand, the flames disappeared entirely.

"Fools! I can control fire! Now, let's see what red gumballs taste like."

One Gumball Guardian turned to the other with a frown. "The trial by fire failed," he said.
"Hmm," said the other. "Trial by math?"

"No, that makes no sense in this context."

The second Gumball Guardian thought for a moment. "Trial by shooting gumballs?"


Marceline charged the Gumball Guardians, enraged at the way they were conversing with each other and ignoring her threats, when the Guardians swiftly turned on her and began to shoot gumballs from their mouths. Marceline was pelted by the giant hard candy balls repeatedly, hissing as she shrank back. She tried to shield herself from the candy projectiles, but when the candy hit her bony arms, it hurt even worse.

"Argh! Not fair!"

Finn and Jake jumped up and down in excitement. "It's working! Keep going, Guardians!"

Marceline roared in anger as the Gumball Guardians advanced on her, driving her back towards the Candy Kingdom's walls with a constant stream of gumball bullets. Marceline finally flapped her leathery wings and lifted up into the air.

"Okay, fine!" she yelled. "I was just playing around, anyway. Why would I want this stupid kingdom? I can't even bite most of you people, you just explode when you get scared. What a waste of time!"

Marceline flew over the Candy Kingdom's rock candy walls, shrinking down into her human form again as she sailed away. After she had finished morphing, she glanced back at the town square with a flourish of her inky hair.

"Be seeing you, Finn!"

Marceline winked and blew Finn a kiss as she flew over the Cotton Candy forest and faded into the night.


A Few Days Later

Princess Bubblegum woke up with a yawn. She stretched her bubblegum arms out as she sat up in bed, feeling a little hot from the bright sunlight that was streaming in through the bedroom window and pouring over her bed. ChocoBerry had been kind enough to give her a temporary place to stay while the Bubblegum Castle tower was being rebuilt. It was no royal bedchamber, but it was certainly better than the knobby tree branch and blanket combination that served as a bed in Finn and Jake's tree house.

Princess Bubblegum primped herself up a little bit, replaced her chemise with a flouncy royal dress, and bounced down ChocoBerry's stairway into her kitchen. The princess was excited. Finn and Jake had already left the Candy Kingdom couple of days ago to return to their tree house, and Princess Bubblegum missed them a little, but she would see them again soon. Today was a new day. A day for changes.

"Why hello, ChocoBerry!"

"Ooh, Preencess Bubblegum, bonjour! Try some of my fresh crepes, if you please."

"Not this morning, ChocoBerry," said Princess Bubblegum as she rushed towards the door and beckoned for the strawberry to follow her. "Come with me, I have some very important announcements to make!"

ChocoBerry clapped her hands together in excitement and followed Princess Bubblegum out of the house as they made their way down a winding street towards the town square. Candy Kingdom citizens paused in their early morning chores as Princess Bubblegum passed them in the street, beckoning for them to join her in the town square. Other citizens peered out of their windows at the commotion.

Princess Bubblegum smiled at the sight of a chocolate malt ball ambling towards her.

"Nice to see you again," she greeted Starchy the Grave Digger. "I see the Guardians of the Royal Promise have re-existentialized everyone who exploded in fright during the battle with Marceline?"

"You betcha," said Starchy. "Second time I exploded from being scared!"

Starchy rubbed his mustache, deep in thought. "You know, if we can come back to life after popping out of existence, you have to wonder, why do we ever get scared in the first place?"

Princess Bubblegum laughed. "I'm no philosopher, Starchy. I'm a scientist. Also an irradiated hybrid of human and bubblegum DNA, but that's neither here nor there. Now come with me, Starchy, I have some important things to say in the town square."

Starchy the Grave Digger shrugged cheerily as he followed Princess Bubblegum in the opposite direction he had been walking. Standing around in the town square was probably more fun than digging graves, so Starchy wasn't going to complain.

"You there," said Princess Bubblegum as she pointed to a cone-like candy person who was passing her in the street. "Mr. Cream Cone! Please come with me, I'll need your help."

"Certainly, princess."

Princess Bubblegum arrived at the town square with her entourage. Part of the square was covered in building materials as a group of candy construction workers worked on rebuilding the Bubblegum Castle and its ruined main tower. Princess Bubblegum was pleased; the palace already looked like it was well on its way to being finished.

Mr. Cream Cone whooped in surprise as Princess Bubblegum picked him up and turned him sideways. "Attention, Candy Kingdom citizens!" she shouted, using Cream Cone as a makeshift megaphone. "Please meet me in the town square for some very important announcements!"

"Ooh, that tickles!" laughed Mr. Cream Cone as Princess Bubblegum's voice traveled through him.

Princess Bubblegum carefully placed Mr. Cream Cone back onto the ground as she waited for her subjects to arrive. Little by little, various candy citizens – and vegetable citizens – poured into the town square to listen to her proclamations. As the trickle of people died down and the crowd's murmurs grew quiet, Princess Bubblegum prepared to make her announcement.

"My sweet citizens," she said, "I am declining to take the royal role of Queen of the Candy Kingdom."

The crowd around her gasped in surprise and began to chatter loudly amongst themselves.

"Please, let me explain," said Princess Bubblegum as she calmed the crowd down. "I've had a few days to think about the mess the Candy Kingdom has been in recently, and I've realized something: the Candy Kingdom's royal system makes no sense!

"Looking at stars and planets to determine when to appoint a Queen is just silly. I'd rather just be a princess, and work more closely with my sweet citizens in deciding how to run the Candy Kingdom. The government should answer to the people, not the other way around, after all. Therefore, I shall decline the position of Queen. If that's okay with the Guardians of the Royal Promise."

One of the Gumball Guardians, who had been lounging around outside of the Candy Kingdom's walls as he blew bubbles and guarded the kingdom, heard Princess Bubblegum's question and turned around to stare into the town square.

"Yeah, whatever."

Princess Bubblegum adjusted her diadem and smiled, pleased that her idea had been received so well.

"Excellent! Now, we've all seen how dangerous the The Pea Party was. They operated on ignorance, placed a partisan parsnip into power, and undermined the Candy Kingdom's safety! With the power vacuum created by their defeat, the Kingdom was almost overrun by an even more dangerous enemy, Marceline the Vampire Queen."

"Didn't you invite her here?" shouted one of the citizens from the crowd.

Princess Bubblegum coughed. "Er, yes. I must take the blame for that decision. Sorry about that, I was such a patoot! But the point is, even if citizens don't know what they're angry at, there is always something that caused their anger. I've realized that I have overlooked some of my sweet citizens, particularly the vegetable variety.

"From now on, I'll try harder to help all of my citizens and include them in the political process, even if they live in a Broccoli Forest that's really far away and kind of gross. And eating candy is great, but I think we can all compromise and eat a few vegetables from time to time, don't you think?"

"Uuugh!" shouted the crowd. Despite their disgust, however, most of them appeared to be shrugging and nodding amongst themselves in agreement.

"I will also try to increase education in the Candy Kingdom, so that people are less likely to believe the misinformation that a paper like Squash News spreads. And, finally, government will be more transparent."

Princess Bubblegum motioned to the Bubblegum Castle being rebuilt behind her.

"Literally! They're building it out of clear rock candy and gelatin. You'll be able to see right through it!"

The crowd oohed and aahed at the castle's construction, and a chorus of claps gradually rose up around Princess Bubblegum. She smiled and bowed to her subjects. Of course, mused Princess Bubblegum, considering the way she wanted to run the Candy Kingdom from now on, they wouldn't really be her subjects anymore. She walked through the crowd and shook hands with her sweet citizens until she reached the edge of the town square.

"Now," she said, "if you don't mind, I've got to pay a visit to some dear friends."


The hills surrounding the tree house rang with the sound of laughter and music. Finn and Jake were hosting a party to celebrate the restoration of the Candy Kingdom, and all of their friends in the Land of Ooo had been invited. Unfortunately, Princess Bubblegum and many of the Candy Kingdom's citizens were actually too busy rebuilding to attend the party in their honor, but Finn and Jake figured it was still a good excuse to have a party.

Since it was such a pleasant, sunny day in the Land of Ooo, a group of tables and chairs were set up outside the tree house where the partygoers could talk, dance, and eat to their heart's content. A rickety wooden stage had been put together beyond the tables. Due to popular demand, Finn was on the stage performing an encore of the science dance.

"Science dance, science dance!" yelled Jake as his friend swung his arms and legs in angular motions. "Yeah, that's the ticket!"

The other partygoers were just as enthusiastic as Jake. They stamped their feet and clapped in excitement at the sight of Finn's wild science dance. Manly the Minotaur and the Keyper were amongst the people attending the tree house party; the Keyper stood on Manly's shoulders as he cheered Finn on.

"Yah, that's right Finn," shouted Lumpy Space Princess. "Like, omigod, I can't believe he's dancing like that. Shake that booty, Finn. This party is like, totally off the hook!"

Finn laughed as he continued to wow his guests with the expressive power of science. "Too bad Princess Bubblegum isn't here," he said.

"Yeah," agreed Jake. "Guess she had things to do."

Jake looked up at his girlfriend, Lady Rainicorn, who was sailing around in circles above the tree house, enjoying the cool afternoon breeze. "Hey Lady Rainicorn, how do you like Finn's science dance?"


Finn finished his science dance and left the stage just in time to see Tree Trunks open the tree house door and step outside with a tray of fresh-baked cookies balanced on her back. She trundled out between the tables as the party-goers sniffed at the smell of warm cookies wafting through the air.

"Well now," said Tree Trunks, "I just finished up my bakin'. Everybody get themselves a nice cookie!"

Finn and Jake both grabbed cookies from the elderly elephant's green back.

"Thanks Tree Trunks!" said Finn. "I sure am glad you got yourself out of that crystal dimension."

"Why thank you Finn," laughed Tree Trunks. "It wasn't hard, just a matter of exercisin' my womanly charms on a few of them crystals."

Finn and Jake laughed as the sat down at a picnic table with their friends. They took a bite of their cookies – as usual, Tree Trunk's baking was delicious. Finn was about to force Jake to do the philosophy dance when he caught sight of group of familiar figures coming over the crest of a nearby hill.

The group traveled on top of bouncing mallows as they bounced down the hill towards the tree house. Finn waved at them. ChocoBerry, Mr. Cupcake, and Professor Pea were amongst the approaching figures, and at the front of the procession, Princess Bubblegum waved back to Finn. The group stepped off of their bouncing mallows as they arrived at the tree house party.

"Hello, Finn the Human," said Princess Bubblegum. "Hello, Jake. It was a nice day, so I thought some of us in the Candy Kingdom could take a break from rebuilding the castle and come to your party." She noticed the cookie tray on Tree Trunk's back. "I hope one of those is for me," she giggled.

"Why certainly, young lady."

"So," said Jake, "what's it feel like to be Queen of the Candy Kingdom?"

"Oh, I'm noth queenth," said Princess Bubblegum through a mouthful of cookie. "I stepht down!"

Finn and Jake raised their eyebrows in surprise as Princess Bubblegum's announcement pelted them with cookie crumbs. Corn Princess, who had been floating around the tables set up at the party and chatting with people, overheard Princess Bubblegum's announcement and began to shake wildly, popping her kernels in surprise.

"Still not queen?" Corn Princess popped. "Oh lawdy, that's just horrible!"

The other partygoers rushed to gather Corn Princess's freshly-popped popcorn as Princess Bubblegum tried to calm her down. "It's no big deal," she said. "I chose to step down – I didn't want to be queen."

"Really?" said Finn. "Why not?"

Princess Bubblegum swallowed the rest of her cookie. "I decided I'd rather just be a princess!"

Lady Raincorn flew down from above the tree house and stood beside Jake as she gave Princess Bubblegum a smile and a nod. "Orenmanida!"

"Nice to see you, Lady Rainicorn. How was your visit back to your family on the Island of Coria? I hope the radiation wasn't too bad."

"Aniyo," said Lady Raincorn. "Coria daedanhan naraimnida."

Princess Bubblegum gave Lady Rainicorn a hug and then began to mingle with the rest of the partygoers. As Finn started eating another cookie, Jake nudged his arm and pointed to a nearby hill.

"Check it out, dude!"

Finn looked at the hill Jake was pointing towards. "Slamacow!" he shouted.

On top of the hill, a cat dressed in a lab coat and glasses and a shark with a sword materialized out of the air. Finn smiled. Saving the Candy Kingdom and helping Princess Bubblegum had been a lot of fun, but it was nice to be back at their tree house, where they could play video games and fight Shark and Science Cat every afternoon at four o'clock sharp.

"Hey Princess Bubblegum! We're gonna go fight Shark and Science Cat. I just have to go get my sword from inside. They show up every day at four, and then we cut their heads off, and they reappear the next day. It's totally trigonomical! Want to watch us?"

Princess Bubblegum noticed the two figures on the hill that were approaching Finn and Jake. The science cat was wearing a lab coat, and he appeared to be mixing a couple of potions together.

"Only if I can try to talk to Science Cat, Finn. I want to see if he has any science secrets!"

"If you say so, princess."

Finn rushed inside his house and came back out with his sword. Princess Bubblegum waved goodbye to the partygoers as she followed the boy and his dog across the hill towards Shark and Science Cat. She felt absolutely wonderful. Changing the Candy Kingdom's government had been a good decision.

Princess Bubblegum knew that her decision to step down from the role of Candy Kingdom Queen had been the right one. Being queen wouldn't leave her a lot of time to do whatever else she wanted to do. Mallow Tea Ceremonies, for instance. Conducting science experiments in the Bubblegum Palace. Perhaps going on more adventures with Finn and Jake in the future. Or, just hanging out with her two friends more often. After all, what could be more important than that?

The next time Finn and Jake had a sleepover, however, Princess Bubblegum would have insist her friends get a better bed for their guest room.


Some translations for what Lady Rainicorn said (at least according to the Korean phrase sites I visited!):

Gwiyeowoyo = "it is cute"

Orenmanida = "long time no see"

Aniyo, Coria daedanhan naraimnida = "No, Coria is a beautiful country"

I have heard that Pendleton Ward said Adventure Time actually takes place in a post-apocalyptic landscape, but none of the characters are aware of it. I kind of liked to imagine that even though Lady Rainicorn is supposedly Princess Bubblegum's pet, she comes from what used to be Korea, and "Coria" is an echo of that. The radiation was a little hint at what might have happened before the Land of Ooo became what it was, hehe.

The story is now complete, so let me know what you thought! Thanks to everyone who reviewed and read along, I'm glad people seemed to enjoy this story. Normally I write stores for the show Kim Possible, and this was my first attempt at a different show. I like Adventure Time's surreal, bizarre, and light-hearted tone, and I like how there is a lot of leeway to throw some ridiculous things into the story, so I thought it would be fun to write.

I don't know if I will ever write another Adventure Time story. However, if you like Kim Possible, you should check out my other stuff.