Merry Christmas, you guys! By the time this first chapter has been submitted, it's not Christmas, but this is still a Christmas fic. It'll probably be the only Christmas fic I'll write. I'm only writing it for the idea, not for Christmas. But consider this story a present to my readers, once the final chapter comes around, that is.

Anyway, the idea for this story originated some time after my Halloween Adventure Time fic was submitted. It's a multiple chapter story, so stick around to see it through to the end. It's also my first time writing out the Ice King's story, so I hope it pleases you Ice King fans. I hope you all enjoy it!

~Prologue~

Even in the kingdom of cold…

Nothing was colder than his lonely heart.

He reached for his crown and tipped it off of his head, placing it on a hat rack standing by the entrance of his cave. He rubbed the bruise on his face, the one he received when the human boy sucker punched him, and headed to the bathroom to mend his wound. He walked over the litter of trash he hadn't been bothered to pick up, cluttered and moldy from years without maintenance, and reached for the zipper under his grand white beard. He unzipped the blue coat and unsheathed his body, revealing an incredibly skinny and meatless figure that would be mistaken for a case of anorexia. With a toss, his coat glided over to his bed with a tiger printed blanket lazily draped over it.

He had just returned from an unsuccessful kidnapping of the pink princess, crudely interrupted by that boy with the stupid hat and his dog with stretchy powers. He thought he was finally going to succeed with the kidnapping. The thought of wedding the Candy Kingdom Princess filled him with such excitement and overconfidence that he failed to notice the boy sailing the air at lightning speed and slugged the king with a hefty punch to the face. Apparently, the boy had used his dog as a slingshot and propelled himself to catch up to the king just before they entered the Ice King's castle. The blow was strong enough to knock the king unconscious for a few hours, losing his grip on the princess and falling to the ground without the flight of his prehensile beard. He would've been unconscious for hours more if it weren't for the family of penguins that tickled him awake. When he came to, the princess and the boy were long gone and the sun was setting into the sky.

The king sighed as he grabbed a ball of cotton from a jar and a bottle of alcohol from the medicine compartment, uncapping the liquid and dabbing it onto the fluff. He braced himself for the burning sting as he swabbed the cotton across his bruise, staring at his sad face in the mirror as he flinched from the alcohols effect. Soon, the burning sting dissipated the more he swabbed, capping the bottle of alcohol with his free hand. He reached for a small towel and wiped away the liquid from his face, and then he opened the medicine compartment again, trading the alcohol for medicinal cream.

He sighed again as he thought to himself how sad he was. Ever since his mother passed away, he had been alone for centuries, seeking for someone to spend his next hundred years with. Of course, he never tried to be nice and gentle about it. His mother taught him better than that. His mother always told him to keep his mates weighted down with a ball and chain, or else they'd fly away to some city in New York. At least that's what he thought she said, he may have been paraphrasing.

But so far, he has yet to find any lady or princess that he could keep locked in his prison cell. Every time he tried to kidnap a princess, some hero or prince would infiltrate his palace and steal back the girl he had kidnapped. He had been doing this for hundreds of years, and over that time, the princesses would become queens and grow too old for him to marry. He grew depressed with the passing years and what time was doing to the ladies he used to love. But time also withered down the heroes who clashed with him ages ago. He found it karmic at how badly aged the heroes grew, and just when he thought he'd be free to kidnap all the young princesses and ladies of Ooo, some new hip hero would stop him before he could complete his dastardly deed. It had been this way for centuries, the Ice King kidnaps a princess, a hero would save her, rinse and repeat for several years until the ones involved grew too old or sickly. Then replace them with a new generation of princesses and heroes, and repeat the process.

But of all of the incarnations of heroes he's fought, none were more annoying than Finn and his dog Jake.

The Ice King sighed again as he put away the ointment and reached for padding and tape. He placed the padding over his wound and taped an 'X' on his face, concealing the bruise and much of the gauze. He then twisted the dials of the sink, activating the icy water flow, and damped the cloth he had previously used on himself. He twisted the faucet off and cleaned his face with the moist towel, removing much of the sweat and dirt he accumulated during his fight with Finn.

With the self-maintenance done, the Ice King left the bathroom, flipping the light switch off, and headed to his quarters. He looked to the bed, looking very inviting, but decided he wasn't ready for sleep yet, as he walked over to the window where the veil of the starry night sky awaited him.

"Every time it's the same thing," the king said, "I kidnap a princess and those two always interfere with our plans."

The man sighed again. He rested his head on his hands, elbows planted on the edge of the window.

"I try so hard to attain happiness. Why can I never get it?" he asked himself, "No princess ever wants to marry me, and everyone always keeps themselves distant from me."

He looked up into the starry night. His eyes caught sight of a very bright star glimmering with a fervent desire to outshine all the other stars in the sky. He remarked in his mind on how bright it was and how rare the star itself was. Of course, he knew what it was and had seen it before. He had spent every night of his life staring into the nightscape.

"Oh, it's the Nick Star," he said with no sign of acknowledgement, "Is it that time of the year already?"

Everyone knew that the Nick Star meant the coming of the coldest day of all that year. One would think that the Ice King would take a special fondness to this astronomical sign in the sky, but to the contrary, he had little care for it or the wintry day to follow. The coldest day of the year didn't compare to the soul shivering feeling in his heart, which only grew colder as the days went by.

The king sighed again, staring at the star in the sky as it continued its beacon of starlight. He tried to find something else to distract him from the conspicuous glow of the star, but his eyes remained fixed on the Nick Star as if the star wouldn't allow his attention to go anywhere else.

The thought of wishing upon the star had crossed his mind eventually, as his woeful mind inevitably brought it up. But he's already tried that before, several times in fact. He even wished on the Nick Star itself a few times before as well. But the hope of his wishes being granted only dropped the temperature of his heart when he sees his wishes failing to come true. It only brought him more depression and hopelessness that he grew to dislike the flimsy idea of star wishing with a great passion. He hadn't made a wish upon a star for years now. He tried to keep his mind away from the pointless thought of star wishing, but the sheer brightness of the star itself almost seemed to beckon a wish from him. Giving in to the feeling, he decided to cast one more wish to the nonresponsive ears of the cosmos.

"Oh star…" he started, "…wait, how did the spell go?"

He tapped his head, trying to remember the chant, "Oh yeah." He coughed a little, to clear his throat, "Star light, star bright, first star I see tonight. I wish I may, I wish I might. Have the wish I wish tonight."

The star seemed to twinkle a bit in response to his words.

The Ice King thought for a little while, looking for the words for his wish. He had to be specific and not too vague, because that's how wishes worked.

"…I wish I could find happiness," he said.

He stared at the star after he finished his sentence, almost expecting an immediate change to happen. After about a minute or so of silence, the king sighed again with disappointment.

"Should've known better," he said, lifting his head from his hands and turning around to retreat to his bedroom.

He walked towards the bed and removed the coat he had laid on it. He folded the clothing and placed it in a drawer near his bedside so that he could wear it the next morning. He grabbed the corners of his tiger print sheet and flapped it against the air, clearing it of any dirt or other foreign objects it somehow accumulated during the day. After a few more cracks of air, the king laid the sheet across the mattress neatly. He then reached for his pillow and gripped two ends of it and began mercilessly crushing and stretching it, ridding it of any dust or dirt like he did with the blanket.

While he was doing this, he heard a loud crash.

KABOOOOM!

No, more like he felt it.

The Ice King groaned in misery, feeling for the ground to find that he had landed on his mattress slightly knocked out of arrangement from the blast in the room. He lifted himself off the bed, now splattered with chunks of ice from the walls of his palace, and shook his head to rattle away any dizziness he contracted from the explosion. The first thing he took notice to was the obnoxious brightness plaguing his room, casting a huge shadow of himself in front of him. He turned around to meet the aftermath of whatever explosion befell on his abode, becoming wary to whatever danger intruded on his territory. To his surprise, there lay in the center of the room a large glowing orb sitting in a crater. The window was replaced with a huge gaping opening, decimated from the arrival of the strange sphere. The walls surrounding what used to be his window were cragged and cracked, spilling pebbles of ice, still shaken from the impact.

The blue monarch slowly approached the strange ball of light, one hand raised and humming with ice magic. With his other hand he shielded his eyes from the bright light of the object as he drew closer to its questionable presence. He squinted his eyes as the shield of his arms shadow wasn't enough to deter the unnecessarily high brightness of the object, the brightness itself was beginning to feel harmful to health. Boldly powering down his ice powers for a moment, the king tapped the object with a wicked hand, the sound was reminiscent of glass.

Suddenly, the glass object exploded in a veil of light, the Ice King quick to shut his eyes and bring his arms up in defense. The gale brought on by the explosion waved his beard backwards as well as what little hair was left on the Ice King's scalp. The gust was short and the brightness of the object dimmed after the explosion, allowing the blue king to peer his eyes unto the mystery of the shining phenomenon. He opened his eyelids and lowered his arms, expecting an angel or some other otherworldly being to present itself to him. Unfortunately, it was a spirit, but one he was too familiar with.

"Hi," the spirit nonchalantly greeted, waving a gloved hand.

It was a floating spirit, donned with dirty and raggedy clothing and a large black witch hat. His gloves were filthy farmer gloves, his tattered cape waved without the assistance of wind. Beneath his ghastly shirt blazed a burning flame of a spirit tail, the flames light being all that was left to light the room. The head of the spirit itself wasn't a typical humanlike structure or that of a skull but rather that of a pumpkin, a face carved into its side and animating as the spirit spoke and made expressions. It was the spirit of Halloween himself, and here he was presenting himself to the king of all that is cold.

But the Ice King was less than happy to see him again.

"You again?" he exclaimed, "Didn't you cause enough trouble last year?"

The spirit, known to Ooo as Jack Hallow, looked at him, puzzled.

"A year? But it's only been a few weeks."

"All too soon for you to come back!" he retorted.

Jack shook his head and held his hands up in defense.

"Now now. I'm not here to cause trouble. I'm here to grant your wish, silly blue man."

The king's expression changed from deep rage to anxious hope.

"What? You mean, you'll help me find happiness?"

"Why, yes indeed," he said with a nod.

The king's opinion on Jack's presence suddenly changed to that of glee and joy. He couldn't help but giggle and clap his hands meekly at the thought of finally attaining what he long sought for.

"Oh, this is so exciting!" the king said gleefully and nearly dancing, "I get to marry a princess, have a reason to wake up every morning, have kids, and-"

"Whoa, there, old timer," the spirit interrupted the king's overhyped wish, "That's not what I had in mind."

"Huh? It's not?" the Ice King was now confused, stopping his jig and staring at the pumpkin spirit.

Jack raised a hand with a pointed finger, "But what I do have in store for you is much greater."

"Better than a wife and kids?" the king asked, scratching the skin above the border of his beard, "I don't know… what's better than being married to a princess?"

"The secret to eternal happiness?" Jack innocently asked.

The Ice King hummed for a bit.

"I suppose so," he shrugged, turning serious, "Alright then. Tell me, what is the secret to happiness?"

Jack crossed his arms, almost seeming reluctant to reveal the secret to the king, "Well, before I tell you the secret to happiness, you have to do me a big favor."

The king, who'd normally be mad at the conditions, chuckled jovially, "I figured there would be a catch. Go ahead, what do I have to do?"

"So you'll do it?" Jack asked, brow raised, "Huh, I figured it'd be a little harder to convince you."

In truth, the Ice King would normally do no such thing as he wasn't exactly known for doing favors. But for the secret of happiness, being the one thing he wanted more than anything in the universe, was something he couldn't say no to. Not to mention that he'd accept Jack's apology for trashing his palace with that entrance, once he brings it up, of course…

"Come on, spill. I'll do whatever it takes to have eternal happiness," the king demanded, holding his hand out like one would emphasize upon a request.

Jack was rather skeptic. "Are you sure?" he tapped the lines of his mouth with his gloved finger, "It's a pretty big favor to fill."

But the Ice King was impatient. "I don't care!" he shouted, holding his arms out dramatically, "An opportunity like this doesn't present itself to me every day!"

Jack sighed a little before smiling, "Well, fantastic!" he said with arms held out as he hovered to the entrance of the palace.

Jack reached to the floor and scooped a handful of snow from the edge of the calamity, caused by his arrival via comet.

"See, I'd do most of the work myself, but as I have little power, because it isn't Halloween," he turned around and floated towards the Ice King, "I'm gonna need you to do most of the hard work for me."

He opened his mouth and dropped the powdery snow into his mouth, which contrasted the belief that he would avoid water or other forms of it being so near his flame. It was an odd sight to the Ice King, considering, a few weeks ago, he and Finn's friends, united by a temporary truce, attempted to slay Jack by dousing the flame in the spirit's head. They managed to encase him in a block of ice, courtesy of the king himself, but it failed and resulted in everyone but Finn seized in his traps. Needless to say, the night ended better than they had expected.

With a few motions of the jaw and an inhale, the Halloween spirit exhausted a fierce gale of snowy wind at the Ice King point blank. The king shut his eyes and mildly shielded himself with his arms against the wintry breeze, as he had been struck by the spirits trickery before. Only difference was that it was snow and not fire, altered by the addition of snow Jack had consumed. Last time the spirit breathed on him, he had changed forms and acquired the existence of a ghost, along with a very convincing pirate get up. Just as Jack ceased his ghastly spell of wind, the Ice King figured there would be a costume change in store when he opened his eyes.

His assumption was correct. Once the snow wind died and he opened his eyes, the Ice King felt himself in new clothing, seeing red sleeves replacing the view of his naked arms, ending with white fluffy cuffs. He peered down his body over his huge shaggy beard to see what little of his new outfit looked like. It was a very red suit adorned with cotton fluff at the rims from what he could see. But for a full review, he had to look in a mirror.

He turned to the huge mirror in his den, noticing he was now wearing some sort of warm footwear as he stepped. He gasped at his reflection, gazing over the articles of clothing he had acquired from Jack's spell. His balding scalp was hidden by a red nightcap, adorned with white cotton sown at the rims and a fluff at the tip. He was wearing a red coat, similar to his normal blue wear aside from the black belt and golden square buckle, as well as fluffy rims complementing the design. Unlike his coat, it was short enough to reveal a pair of red pants and black snow boots clothing his legs.

In the Ice King's opinion, he looked more like he was ready for bed, the outfit was reminiscent of pajamas.

"So?" Jack inquired, hovering behind the king's reflection, "What you think?"

The Ice King wasn't sure of the costume. He didn't hate it, but it wasn't something he'd want to wear. "Uh…it-it's nice…"

The red clothed man scratched his cheek modestly, staring at Jack in the mirror as he hovered with a smile.

"…do I have to wear this?" he asked.

"Absolutely!" the spirit said joyously, "For the most part, this was the best I could do with what little power I was able to use."

"…so, what do I have to do?" the king asked, turning to the spirit as he hovered backwards.

"To attain the secret to eternal happiness," Jack said, closing his fingers, "I want you to sneak into the house of every resident in Ooo, leave a present under their Fortune Tree, all while riding a sleigh of flying mutant deer in a single night."

The king took a moment to comprehend this request.

He began to have regrets about this.

"Are you SERIOUS?" he shouted angrily, "What sane man would do such a thing? I mean, breaking into a person's house is one thing, but not stealing anything? I'm supposed to leave behind a present? For every house in Ooo? In a single night? That's just a yard beyond impossible!"

"But you have my help," Jack placed a hand over where his heart would be, "And you're already wearing the suit."

"Forget it! I'm not doing this impossible prank of a request!" the king said nastily as he reached under his beard, searching for buttons or a zipper to undo his clothes.

"Are you really sure about that?" Jack said as he crossed his arms, "You're just going to throw away the opportunity to attain happiness forever?"

He had found the buttons of his suit, undoing them as Jack spoke, but stopped himself when he finished his tempting offer. If Jack really did know the secret to eternal happiness, would he really throw it away like this, even if the request was unbelievable? Would the Ice King really go door to door, leave behind a present to a random family of strangers, for every household in a single night?

The king sighed as he buttoned the suit back on.

"Will you promise me the secret of happiness when this is all done?"

"By the Honored Code of the Spirits," Jack spoke as he reached his hand out, fingers folded aside from the pinky, "I swear it."

The king looked at the small finger, still considering the audacity of this challenging favor. At least the ghost was going to help him with this impossible feat, and eternal happiness was far too tempting to deny.

He reached his hand out, folded like Jack's and their pinky fingers crossed, clutching each other in the mightiest embrace their little muscles could do. The deal was set and the challenge had started.

"Terrific," Jack said as he retracted his hand, "Now, all we need is a sleigh…"

This was going to be a long night.

End Prologue

Let's think about this for a minute, and think real hard. Whose houses is the Ice King going to visit? What sort of tomfoolery will he engage in? And what happens when the unwary residents wake up while he's still there?

Find out in the next chapter when it's finished! Read and Review!