I'll Miss You

by "The Enduring Man-Child"

All standard disclaimers apply.

Thanks to rye dot bread for the beta.

Jake had declined to accompany Finn on his visit to Marceline's cave. Though Finn had come to recognize the dark girl as merely mischievous rather than evil (and a good friend, even if she did mess with his head sometimes), his canine brother was still terrified of her.

Well, there was the fact that she once tried to drain him of blood.

Finn was looking through boxes of knickknacks of various kinds that Marceline had collected over the centuries and enjoying every minute of it while the girl herself was strumming her guitar and humming quietly in accompaniment. For some reason she had seemed to become morose and sad as they had begun going through the old books and souvenirs. Finn marked this at first but his attention was soon completely absorbed by the treasures he was finding. He had lost track of time when he realized he had forgotten about Marceline and that he could no longer hear her guitar or her.

He had found some sort of child's toy that was obviously very old and turned to ask her about it when he noticed she was gone. Startled, he called her a few times and, receiving no answer, became quite nervous. Ironically, without the dark brooding girl the atmosphere in the cave, usually fun and adventurous, seemed downright sinister. He at once ran to the exit and there saw his hostess sitting in the moonlight. The usually mischievous girl seemed uncharacteristically sad. Her guitar lay forgotten at her side as she looked up at the moon, sighing audibly.

He had never seen her quite like this before. Apprehensively he approached her and asked, "Marceline? Are you all right?"

She was startled by his voice but got over it quickly, regaining both her composure and her good humor.

"Oh, hey Finn. Yeah, it's okay. It's just that what with going through my old stuff I...got to thinking."

"Really? Math!" Finn exclaimed.

"No, not really, I'm afraid," she said, her pretty smile fading as she turned away from him once again.

"Uh...is something wrong?" he asked nervously. "I mean, is this like some freaky vampire thing where once every hundred years you have to take someone has your vampire bride or else turn to dust and...oh no! Jake was right! You're gonna make me your undead bride! NOOOOOOO!"

He snapped out of this trance when Marceline shook him forcibly. "Finn, you big weenie!" she said, "you can't be my bride! For one thing, you're only twelve. And for another"-here here eyes grew large and her fangs showed-"you're a freakin' boy!"

"Oh...yeah!" he said, embarrassed and a little scared (she could always do that to him).

Her face resumed its usual proportions and she began giggling. "That's why I like you!" she said. "You can always cheer me up, no matter how down I am. That's why I'm going to miss you so badly...!" And she grew sorrowful, turning away to look at the moon again. Finn could almost swear he saw a tear make its way down her pale face.

"Oh no!" Finn said when he realized the implications of what she had said, "y—you're going away? You're going to go back to roaming through the Land of Ooo? Wh...why?" The thought of losing such an adventurous spirit for a friend made his own eyes grow damp.

"No, Finn!" she said reassuringly, "I'm not going anywhere! Sheesh, I have to be careful what I say around you!"

Finn was puzzled. "Then what did you mean? I'm certainly not going anywhere, unless..."

"No, Finn, I'm not going to kill you, despite what your brother is always telling you!"

"Oh. That's a relief. Then... Oh no! You can see the future, and I'm gonna die! AAAAAAGGHHH!" He began running in circles.

This time she levitated and lifted him off the ground to snap him out of it. "No, it's nothing like that, either!" she assured him. "You know, for a guy who's so cool, you really are a weenie!" She gently deposited him back on the ground and resumed her seat.

"Then what's the matter, Marceline? Why are you so sad, and why did you say you were going to miss me when I'm gone?"

The question seemed to make her uncomfortable.

"I don't suppose you'll be satisfied until I give you an answer, will you?"

"No!" he declared. "Now 'fess up!"

"Okay. But let's go back inside," she said.

BREAK

She was once again strumming her guitar thoughtfully as Finn waited for her answer to his question.

"Well?"

She sighed. "You see all this stuff?" she asked.

"Yeah! It's really math!" he told her admiringly. "Just trying to imagine all the great places you've been and adventures you've had is so neat it makes my toes curl! Wow! To think of living for a thousand years..."

"A thousand and sixteen," she corrected him. "But that's the problem. Don't you understand, Finn? I'm immortal. You're not." She turned away suddenly.

"Wow. Never thought of that," Finn said. Then suddenly he turned white.

"You mean...you mean you're gonna miss me after I croak? Wow! That's...awesome and icky all at the same time!"

Marceline fought to choke back another giggle. "See, Finn? No one has ever made me laugh like you do."

"You mean in a thousand and sixteen years?" he asked, incredulously.

"No. Never," she assured him. "You make me laugh, you go on adventures with me, you let me scare the bajeebus out of you and your brother... Yeah, traveling all through the Land of Ooo is fun, but it's nothing compared to having a friend. And in a thousand and sixteen years, you're the best friend I've ever had. In all that time the fun I've had with you makes all that foofing around pale in comparison. Do you understand now?"

"Yeah!" Finn beamed, "you're saying that I'm the best thing to happen to you in a thousand and sixteen years! I must be GREAT!" He pumped a fist victoriously.

"Oy!" Marceline said, slapping her forehead in frustration, "I knew it was a mistake telling you this, but I thought you'd be depressed. Guess I didn't figure on your killer ego!"

"Oh...yeah. The croaking. Definitely not math," he said. Then looking back at her he asked "but if you're not seeing the future and don't know that something's gonna happen to me soon, why are you so depressed? I'm only twelve! I got a whole lifetime ahead of me!"

"I know, Finn, I know," she told him, "but when you've lived a thousand and sixteen years a normal human lifetime isn't that long. You could live to be a hundred, and as far as I'm concerned you're still gonna be gone too soon."

An uncomfortable silence followed.

"Oh. Um. Well," Finn tried to break not only the quiet but the mood, "how about I promise to be very, very careful so I live as long as possible?"

She seemed to get an idea of her own. "That is one way," she admitted, "but I think I have a BETTER IDEA! BLAAAAAAAAHHH!" she said, morphing into one of her horrendous, inhuman forms.

"Oh no! Jake was right! You are gonna make me your soulless, undead minion for all eternity!"

Just as quickly she resumed her human form. "Psych!" she said playfully.

Finn exhaled nervously. "Wow. How is it that no matter how nice you really are you can always do that to me? Unfair!"

"Yeah, I know," she said, tousling his hair, "and don't you ever forget it!"

"I don't think you'll let me," he replied.

"Just...do me one favor, okay? Don't tell anyone how nice I really am...especially that dog of yours."

"Hey, Jake's my brother, not my dog!" he reacted defensively.

"Whatever. Oh...and Finn? Please promise me one more thing?

"Sure. What's that?"

She removed her beret and with a smile placed it on his head.

"Promise me that you really will always take real good care of yourself. I want to have you around for a long, long time!"

END

Afterword: This is a most unusual fic for me for several reasons. First, it's based on a show about which I know very little (I saw one episode and the inspiration fell upon me!), and I'm sure the regular fans of the show will skin me alive for getting everything wrong and writing everyone out of character. Second, it's a friendship fic rather than a sappy romance fic, which is what I usually write. Although they'd make a cute couple, I'm certain Finn and Marceline are not meant to get together in that way. And third, this story cuts against the grain by featuring a vampire. I personally have a tremendous aversion toward the occult in any form, and toward vampires in particular. The latter fact may be understood if one knows that I am a chiropterophile (see my profile pic). And the vampire thing is almost single-handedly responsible for the image of bats as evil supernatural monsters rather than simply animals (hence the scarcity of bats as animal characters in most cartoons and fiction, and my love for Foxglove). Furthermore this image is not a mere unfortunate prejudice but has real-world consequences for actual bats, whose status as an order of animals is very precarious. (I hope Foxy will forgive me for this story! I'll have to write one with her in it to make up for it.)

All the same, despite all these negatives, I couldn't not write this fic. I hope members of the fandom will forgive its imperfections and accept it as the odd contribution of an outsider. Thank you.