An Ending

The sun loomed high in the sky, and a warm breeze floated across the countryside. Birds sang high in the sky, and flowers were in bloom. The world seemed to be at ease, not a shadow or harsh word out of place in all this beauty. And amidst all the happiness there was rejoicing also. The people sang and danced and made merry every moment of this blissful day. From the moment the sun rose above the horizon to the moment it dipped below the hills again, there was cheerfulness among the people.

For today marked the anniversary of when Princess Bubblegum valiantly stood before the Lich and struck him down from his twisted unlife. A year ago today she had saved the candy people, and indeed all the people of Ooo, although it was not until later that she had the heart to tell them. She simply couldn't bear the thought of telling them quite how close to death they had been, but upon further urgings she told the story to hundreds of attentive ears despite herself.

The wind blew softly in through the princess's bedroom window, almost upsetting a pile of papers on her desk. They were piled high, almost so that one could not see the desk. But there was no sound of scrawling penmanship to be heard. No sounds of sighing or impatience would reach one's ears if one drew too close.

Indeed, there was no small pink woman at that desk for once. But she was not in her garden either. And she wasn't in the courtyard, or out in the palace. It was strange, for on this day of celebration the guest of honor was missing. However, Peppermint Butler was not worried for his charge. He was simply busy, assuring guests from far and wide that the princess was safe, if absent for the moment.

There was a rustling beneath sheets, a movement done in sleeping. Princess Bubblegum had no appointments today so she slept soundly. She had forgotten about the anniversary, so she slept with a false sense of security, her unconscious mind urging her to wakefulness from her dreams.

Waking slowly, the candy ruler opened her eyes and stared out into the darkness. She didn't feel like getting up, and it felt so warm in bed that she decided to just turn over and sleep a little longer. Today was her day off, and she was going to take it slowly and enjoy every moment of it. But there was something nagging at her mind. Something in her mind that wouldn't go away, like a small insect flying near her ear.

The nagging turned into a screaming in her mind, as a horrendous realization came over her. Today was the anniversary of the defeat of the Lich. And she was having a huge party to celebrate and she had invited everyone she knew and she was going to be late. The thoughts cascaded messily down her spine as her eyes shot open in shock.

She whipped back the covers and shot out of bed like a bat out of hell. Which is precisely when she tripped and fell into closet doors. Closet doors? Her brain was spinning, and there was suddenly a sense of unease at her surroundings. An unnatural fear sprang up in her mind as she tried to reason out her place in the world. Then a voice interrupted her mounting anxiety.

"Bonnie, what the stuff?" It was groggy, and emanated from the covers she had just recently vacated. With a sigh of relief, Bubblegum felt her mind at ease. She had simply stayed at one of Marceline's many living spaces, having crashed there the night before after a night out. The princess shook her head and walked back to the bed, sitting down on the edge of the mattress.

"Sorry love, I have to get going, I've got to get back in time for my party tonight. You remember, right?" Of course, Bubblegum didn't really expect Marceline to remember it, having forgotten it herself. With a wry smile, Marceline shot a sneaky look up at the pink woman, making her turn a shade darker.

"Yeah, I remember. But that's not until tonight. Come back here, stay a bit longer…" With that, the dark woman reached out and pulled the princess into her arms. After a short round of wrestling back and forth, Bubblegum gave up. She let out a sigh and flopped her arms outwards across the bed looking up at the ceiling.

"Fine Marcie, but just a little longer, ok?" She turned her head to look at the vampire, who already had her eyes glued to the pink woman. Bubblegum knew that look well, and knew it would be longer than a few minutes until she could untangle herself from this dark figure with hungry eyes. With a smile full of charm, Marceline leaned into Bubblegum's shoulder and whispered into the softness of her neck.

"How about you stay until I let you leave?" Her voice was throaty, heavy. Princess Bubblegum felt her whole body respond to the sound, a sort of resonating tingle. Suddenly she could feel the hunger in Marceline's eyes welling up in her own. The need to be prepared and early for tonight was temporarily pushed to the back of her mind as she turned her head down to meet the vampire queen's.

"I think you might have to hold me down to keep me here."