A/N: I just found this in my old files after storing a new outline, unfinished, and decided to complete it real quick. It's probably a failure in the comedy department, but I hope you can enjoy it anyway. A/N
Flapjack sighed contentedly, head resting on his arms. "Isn't he great, Bubbie?" he asked the whale upon which he was lying.
Bubbie looked to the man Flapjack was talking about, Cap'n K'nuckles, who was leaning outside the doors of a rotten-looking joint, guzzling syrup. As she and Flapjack watched, the proprietor of said joint came outside and shooed K'nuckles at broom point. K'nuckles mumbled at the man angrily, and then staggered about before wandering off the end of a dock and into the water. Bubbie turned her eyes back up to the little blond boy atop her head.
"No, I'm sorry Flapjack, I'm afraid I still can't see what you think is so great about that lousy bum." she said apologetically.
"He's not a bum," Flapjack assured, "He's a rugged, manly adventurer..!" He sat up and mimicked having large biceps. "He's just tuckered out from bein' awake all day."
Bubbie watched flatly as K'nuckles floundered his way back onto the docks, sopping wet. Once righted, he started moving in their general direction.
"Uh-huh…" she agreed unconvincingly, "Honey, I gotta say, I think you're deluding yourself. Why, I don't even know why I let you hang out with K'nuckles."
"Because you know I love him." Flapjack provided, giving her a pat. Then as an afterthought added, "And because you're afraid of what would happen to me if I ran of with a 'real' adventurer. But no one could ever be better at adventuring than the Cap'n."
The stars in his eyes twirled.
Bubbie gawked at him. After a moment, she said, "That was amazingly insightful of you honey." She then noted something else. "Uh, Flapjack, did you just say you loved K'nuckles?"
"Yeah," Flapjack responded, a lower eyelid rising in confusion, "Wwwhat about it?"
"Well, uh, um, w-what kind of love do you mean, sugar pumpkin?" Bubbie pried somewhat nervously. Her baby couldn't possibly mean-
"I wanna be his wife forever..!" gushed Flapjack, hugging himself tightly.
Before Bubbie could respond, K'nuckles reached them with a garbled greeting of, "Hey Fubbie, hello Jackbap. I'm goin' ta bed, 'k? G'morning…" And with that he fell through one of Bubbie's front teeth. Almost instantly the sound of heavy snoring resonated from inside her mouth.
Flapjack chortled. "Silly Cap'n…" He then sat up and slid his way off of Bubbie's head.
"Well, it was really fun hangin' out with you today, Bubbie, but I think I'm just gonna go take a little walk around Stormalong now, ok?" he said.
"Uh-huh," Bubbie said distantly; her face was scrunched even more than usual. "You go do that, baby. Bubbie's got some things she needs to do…"
"Oh, alright. Bye Bubbie!" Flapjack waved, and ran off over the docks, flailing and laughing happily.
Bubbie watched, making sure he was gone before swimming off in the opposite direction.
"Surgery…surgery…special sale today on surgery…get some surgery, get a free haircut…surgery…"
Doctor Barber stood outside his shop, throwing creepy advertisements at passersby. None of them stopped, however; they all gave him a frightened look and sped away instead.
"Mmm…" Doctor Barber slumped sadly as Lady Nickelbottom fled from his sight. "No one wants any surgery."
Just then, a voice from nowhere whispered loudly, "Psst! Doctor Barber! Hey, I need to talk with you."
Doctor Barber looked up, and then looked around him at the deserted dock. "Hello..?" he ventured, cleaning his ear with a pinky.
"I'm over here, you fool; in the water!" snapped the voice.
Doctor Barber wandered across the way and looked over the edge to see a grumpy-faced whale glaring at him.
"Oh." he said, "Hello. Do you want some surgery?"
"No, I don't want no surgery, you nut job! I'm here to talk to you about Flapjack."
"Flapjack?" Doctor Barber echoed, his eyebrows rising, "Oh. You must be his house. Nice to meet you. But why do you wish to talk about Flapjack? Is there something wrong with him?"
"Plenty a' things." Bubbie told him, ignoring the 'house' comment, "But most recently, he's told me he's in love with K'nuckles. Now, my baby's always had pretty bad judgment, but this one's bad even for him. And even though I think you're totally crazy, you're the only person on this dang port I can think would have a solution."
"Pfff-ha ha ha ha…" laughed Doctor Barber, "Flapjack is in love with Cap'n K'nuckles? Oh my, that is funny." He wiped away a few tears, and caught the look Bubbie was giving him.
He cleared his throat. "Well," he said more seriously, "There's not really much one can do about love. It's an unstoppable illness that eats us from the inside out. There is no cure." He finished darkly.
"None?" Bubbie pressed.
Doctor Barber scratched his head thoughtfully, racking his brain.
"Weeell…" he offered, "It's not really a cure, but there is an operation. You cut open the ribcage, go in through the heart, and suck out all of the juice inside the love glands, or, remove them entirely, depending on how little you want them to care." He mimicked the operation as he explained. "This is called 'heart reduction surgery'. But it's usually only reserved for extreme cases in which caring too much is endangering a person's life; like someone who gives away all their money to charity."
"Mmm-hmm…" Bubbie went, "Is it really that dangerous?"
Doctor Barber laughed good-naturedly. "Yes." he suddenly cut himself off with eerily.
Bubbie stared silently, very creeped out.
"Bubbie, you're not really gonna make me get that surgery, are you?" a voice cut in suddenly.
Bubbie jumped when she saw Flapjack standing right next to her.
"Flapjack!" she cried out, "W-what're you doin' here, puddin'? Aren't you supposed to be out walking?"
"I was. I saw you and Doctor Barber, so I came over to say hello. Hello, Doctor Barber." he threw in politely. Doctor Barber nodded. "Then I heard you guys talkin' about surgery… Bubbie, do you really not like me bein' in love with the Cap'n?"
"I, well, uh…" Bubbie floundered, "I-it's just that, well, I don't think he's the right one for you, Flapjack. I mean, you're a sweet little angel-faced puddin' pop, and he's a rude, smelly, ungrateful jerk who thinks he's an adventurer. That an' he oooollld…"
A jostling sound came from inside Bubbie's mouth, and suddenly K'nuckles was present, drowsy, and obviously just awoken from slumber.
"Huh, what? Who's talkin' about me?" he asked, dangling half out of Bubbie's mouth.
"Cap'n! You're awake!" beamed Flapjack.
"Sure I am; why wouldn't I be? I was just sleepin' off a little syrup." he said, "Now what're we talkin' about?"
"Love." Flapjack answered.
K'nuckles showed disgust. "Blech! What would you want to go and do that for?"
"Cuz I love you."
"So? Doesn't mean ya gotta go and talk about it..!" K'nuckles groused.
"Woah, woah, waaaaaait a minute." interjected Bubbie, putting her fins on her hips, "K'nuckles, you knew Flapjack's in love with you?"
"How could I not know he loves me? He says it every day." K'nuckles argued reasonably, "I've even said it, on occasion."
"Yeah, but Cap'n, this isn't that kind of love." Flapjack informed him, "We were talkin' about the 'bein'-together-forever' kind."
K'nuckles blinked. Then he fell out of Bubbie's mouth and hit the dock.
Sitting up, he asked in shock, "You…you love me that way..?"
"You are my fire." Flapjack answered softly, nodding, "My one desire. Except maybe for Candied Island…" he added as an afterthought.
K'nuckles blinked again. He stood, and then turned and walked away, still looking stunned.
Flapjack gasped. "Hey! Cap'n K'nuckles, wait!" He ran off after him.
Bubbie and Doctor Barber stood silently, unsure of what just transpired, and of what to say.
"So…" Doctor Barber said after a moment, "Are you sure you don't want surgery?"
"Cap'n! Cap'n, wait up! K'nuckies!" Flapjack called, racing after his captain. Finally, he got close enough, and pounced on him from behind.
K'nuckles splatted to the dock below him, and from on his back, Flapjack inquired, "What's wrong, Cap'n? Why'd you run off?"
Still dazed, and not from his fall, K'nuckles lifted his face from the wood it had been ground into, not noticing the many splinters, some of which were stuck in his eyeballs.
"Flapjack," he questioned, "Did you really mean what you just said back there? Do you really love me that way?"
"W'll sure, Cap'n. Why? Don't you love me?" Flap jack said innocently, clasping his hands worriedly.
"You know I love ya, Flap," K'nuckles told him, "But just…not like that, I don't think."
Flapjack gasped again. "Whaaa..?" he said, sounding hurt. His eyes got big and watery.
"I'm sorry, boy," K'nuckles tried to console him, "I just never even considered- I mean, me and you- me! ME! Is it even possible? I don't know if I- just- I'm sorry."
Flapjack looked at K'nuckles, his eyes huge and his nose drooping. His mouth was in the biggest sad frown it had ever been in. He sniffed.
And then he got up and ran away, bawling wildly, curtain of tears pouring from his covered face.
K'nuckles watched him go, feeling rotten for making him cry, but also feeling like he pushed away too fast.
"…DO I love Flapjack like that?" he wondered aloud. He righted himself, and meandered off, now thinking he should really get to the bottom of this.
Tears mostly gone, but still looking quite sad, Flapjack made his way back to Doctor Barber's. The doctor and Bubbie were still outside.
Sniffling some more, Flapjack walked up to them.
Upon seeing him so sad, Bubbie instantly became maternal.
"Flapjack?" she cooed worriedly, "Flapjack, honey, what's happened to you?"
"Bubbie. Doctor Barber." Flapjack addressed them icily, "I've just decided to have that operation."
"What?" cried Bubbie, moving to hug him, "Oh, honey, I wasn't even going to make you do that. It's too dangerous."
"No, Bubbie." said Flapjack, "I want to have it. K'nuckles doesn't love me, and I don't think I can stand living with that. Please, Doctor Barber, remove my love." He slumped dramatically, his arms puddling on the ground.
"Are you certain?" Doctor Barber asked, though he seemed quite thrilled, "You know you won't just stop caring about K'nuckles; you'll stop caring about everything…"
Flapjack looked to Bubbie, and then back to Doctor Barber. "Yes. I'm sure."
"Eeeexcellent…" Doctor Barber walked Flapjack into his shop, while Bubbie looked like she really wanted to stop them.
In fact, she tried, but she was much too big.
"Oooo, curse this large stature of mine!" she complained, and hurriedly swam off, obviously intent on a new mission.
K'nuckles wandered about the docks of Stormalong, his mind still swimming. He'd decided to poll various passersby on the situation, having been unable to make any progress on his own.
He stopped one of the street urchins as he went by.
"Hey, you don't think I love Flapjack, do you?" K'nuckles asked the boy.
"That happy lad? Why sure, sir. Why do you ask?" The urchin answered.
"Ah, what do you know?" returned K'nuckles, pushing him away. He spied Lolly Poopdeck a ways ahead.
"Hey, Lolly!" called the captain as he ran up, "You know me, right? Am I in love with Flap?"
Lolly looked surprised. "You mean you don't know? I thought you were playing hard-to-get with him."
"Aaaaaaagh!" cried K'nuckles, and fled with his arms waving. Lolly shrugged.
Everywhere K'nuckles asked, people gave him the same kind of answer:
"Isn't it obvious?"
"I thought you were already a couple..!"
Eventually, K'nuckles tired of all the running and collapsed, heaving, onto some trash bags behind the Candy Barrel. His expression was one of disbelief.
"Do I…really love Flapjack in such a way?" he asked of the empty alleyway, "I mean I know we do a lot 'a stuff together and I know I like him, but…if it's so bad that everyone already thinks we're in love…" He clutched a bag of garbage to him for security. His heart pumped quicker at the thought of being romantic with Flapjack. It fluttered and lightened at the very notion. K'nuckles took note of this.
"Whaaa..?" He sat up and looked at himself, shocked. His heart pumped away, skipping for joy in his chest. "Huh. I guess my heart hasn't loved in so long that I forgot what it felt like. I do love the boy! I do!" He jumped up and raised his arms high, surprisingly happy at this discovery. Just then he heard a familiar call.
"K'nuuucklllles! K'nuckles, was that you? Where are you?" The voice of Bubbie rang out across the docks. K'nuckles raced toward it and leaned over the docks curiously.
"Whaaat, what is it?"
Bubbie looked panicked. "K'nuckles, it's Flapjack…he's decided he wants the surgery because-a what you said! You gotta stop him! I already woulda, but I can't get onto the dock..!"
K'nuckles blanched. "What? He decided that so quickly? W-what am I supposed to do?"
"I don't know, but you'd better do something! If my baby gets hurt because of you or loses his heart, I'm-a hurt you so bad even I don't know just how bad it'd be!"
K'nuckles raised his hands defensively. "Hey, hey! I don't want anything to happen either. I care for that boy!"
"Then quit standin' there and go already!" barked Bubbie. K'nuckles jumped at the order and hurried off towards Doctor Barber's place.
Flapjack lay on an operating table in a dark room, eyes closed in remorse. He didn't struggle against the giant strap across his body. The only light came from the jointed lamp above the table. Doctor Barber was washing his rubber-gloved hands in a nearby sink, already prepped in a heavy tan splatter apron and welding mask.
Finishing, he came over to the table, picking up the nasty-looking saw-splicer doohickey on a stick that was resting in the sterilization bucket.
"Now, before we begin, I must ask you once more…are you sure you don't want to take advantage of the free haircut?" he drawled.
"No, that's alright. Go ahead." answered Flapjack.
Doctor Barber shrugged at the reply. He then raised the doohickey, commenting, "This will probably splatter a lot…"
The sound of a door bursting open suddenly rang through the room, accompanied by the sound of someone shouting, "Waaaaaaait!"
Flapjack and Doctor Barber blinked. There was a click and the lights came on, illuminating K'nuckles standing in the freshly burst-through doorway of the shop.
"Oooooh…" Flapjack and Doctor Barber recognized.
K'nuckles approached the table, pleading, "Flap, don't do this! I don't want you to ruin your life cuzza me!"
Flapjack stated, "But, Cap'n, you don't love me."
"No, see, that's just it..!" pressed K'nuckes, "I do love ya, boy..! I just pushed ya away cuz I was surprised and forgot what love was..! But even if I didn't love ya, this is still a heck of an overreaction."
Flapjack had only heard one part of that. He gasped, "YOU LOVE ME, CAP'N?"
A little creeped out by the gushing face Flapjack was making, K'nuckles confirmed, "Um, yeah."
Flapjack laughed wildly and burst from the table, the strap breaking like licorice, and attached himself to K'unckles' head, constricting tightly as he continued to chortle.
Doctor Barber raised his doohickey, inquiring, "So…no surgery?"
"No surgery." K'nuckles repeated, backing up slowly.
Back outside, Bubbie was waiting worriedly for the outcome. When she saw Flapjack clinging to K'nuckles' head she cheered up instantly.
"Oh, my baby!" she cried joyously.
"Bubbiiiie..!" Flapjack smiled, and ran to go hug her. The indents from his last hug stayed on K'nuckles' head.
"Bubbie, Cap'n K'nuckles said he loves me!" Flapjack smiled, "And he saved me from unnecessary surgery!"
"That's great, sugar." She caught sight of K'nuckles watching tentatively and pulled back with a sigh, turning serious. "But I'm partly to blame for that. I put that idea in your head that your love was wrong. Look baby, I'm sorry I tried to stop your true love.
It was wrong of me to try and interfere, even if I disapprove of your choice. Mama just didn't want to see you get hurt. But now that I see how much you care for K'nuckles, and that K'nuckles actually does care for you, so I promise from now on to stay OUT of your love life, ok sweetie dumplin'?"
Flapjack smiled warmly. "Ok, Bubbie. I forgive you." He rubbed her cheek consolingly and gave her another hug, which she returned with glee.
He released Bubbie, and she swam away to let him be alone as K'nuckles walked over to join Flapjack. Flapjack looked to him and noted, "Boy, isn't it amazing how we wrapped up an entire relationship drama in only eleven minutes?"
K'nuckles groused, "Yeah, yeah, just don't expect us to be getting' married anytime soon…"
"Hu-wha..? But Cap'n, we're already married..!" giggled Flapjack.
"What're you talking about, boy?" shot K'nuckles.
"Don't you remember, that time with the mirror in the shop window, and I dressed up as a girl so you would be happy, then we got married, but when we got home and you got all surprised when you pulled up my-"
"Awright, awright, yes, I remember, now shut up about it!" K'nuckles flailed his arms, blushing madly, "Fine..! Just don't expect anything to, y'know…happen between us. After all, I've got no tuchus and no nether regions."
"Yeah, I know. I've always wondered: how d'you go to the bathroom, Cap'n?"
"Trust me, you don't wanna know."
"Oh. Ok." Flap shrugged, "Well anyway, don't worry about it. I'm perfectly happy just to hold your hand and watch the sunset." He whispered and embraced his captain sweetly.
"Awww-" K'nuckles started, beginning to hug back.
"And kiss. With tongues."
K'nuckles' eyes burst from the strain of inflating. Flapjack?
"And have you suck my-"