[Adventure Time is the creation of Frederator Studios for Cartoon Network. This work is done without their knowledge or involvement. May I burn in the Fire Kingdom forever for even thinking such a thing. I've removed one word from the title, that never appears in the story. -HJC]

"Finn."

I ignored him and continued to look out over the field, my legs dangling out over the balcony of our shared treehouse.

"Finn, there you are." Jake stretched out his neck from within the treehouse and turned his head to look at me. He can do that. It's part of his powers as a magical dog.

I didn't look at him, but I may have sighed.

"Finn, let's go on an adventure."

Finally I responded, if only to get it over with. "Why, has there been some problem?"

"Naw, it's been quiet. Too quiet. Let's go check on the Ice King. We haven't heard anything from him in almost a year."

"I can't attack him, if he hasn't done anything wrong. It's against my alignment."

"Now look, who said anything about attacking him? Let's go see if he's turned over a new leaf."

"Good for him then."

"If he's behaving himself now then we ought to establish relations. That way we can prevent trouble in the future."

"Why bother?"

"You know how dangerous his powers are. If we prevent fights then we can keep innocents from getting hurt."

"Very well, if we must." I stood up and went into the house.

We packed up some traveling things, including warm furs, and I strapped my sword onto my backpack.

We traveled quickly to the Ice Kingdom. I rode on Jake's back as he stretched out his four legs to stride like a giant. Finally he climbed up the side of Ice Kings mountain and I dismounted to jump through the always open door of his ice cave.

"Finn! Thank the Cosmic Owl, you've come."

I turned towards the Ice King, and my hand went to the hilt of my sword.

"It's my princess. Something terrible has happened to her."

"Your princess?" I didn't like the sound of that. I followed after the Ice King, with Jake right behind me.

"Yes, she used to be so lively, but now she just lies there. I fear something dreadful has happened to her." Ice King pointed towards his bed which had a gray figure lying there.

"Who is it?" I walked up to the bed.

The figure slowly turned her head in my direction and as she spoke I knew who she was, even though her voice was now so faint. "Finn?"

"Flame Princess!" I reached out and grabbed her hand, which felt cool to my touch.

"I don't know what's wrong with her." The Ice King walked up next to me. "She used to have these fire outbursts. I'd treat them with lots of snow and ice until she'd settle down, but now she doesn't even have those anymore."

"You did this to her!" I spun with my sword in hand and ran it through his foul heart.

His eyes blazed for a moment as he raised his hands and then he collapsed, held up only by the sword which pinned him to the wall.

"Finn, I, aigggh!"

"Flame Princess!" I turned back to her. "Don't worry, we'll get you out of here."

"Finn, we can't move her."

"Why, Jake?"

Jake pulled the covers from Flame Princess's body, revealing a large lump on her belly. "It's her time."

"Her time for what?"

Flame Princess screamed ever so softly and I reached out for her hand again. Her grip was so weak. I stayed there by her side as she struggled for several minutes and then she seemed to relax.

I heard a cry and I turned to Jake, who was wrapping a baby in a fur.

"Where did that come from?" I asked.

"It's her baby boy." Jake stretched out his front paws to hold the baby where she could touch it.

"A boy?" FP tried to move her right arm and I helped lift her hand to him.

"I'll call you Ray..." FP collapsed. The final bit of strength left her arm and her head dropped to the side.

"Flame Princess! Nooooo!" I gathered her up in my arms. She felt so light as she lay there limply. She made no noise and didn't even breathe.

"Please no, no, no." I sobbed over her for minutes, until I heard the baby crying.

"We best get Ray here home." Jake held the baby in his paws. "We've got milk and it's warmer there."

"Yes, do that. I'll take the Flame Princess back to her kingdom."

"Finn, are you sure?"

"She deserves to be back with her people." I stood, and yanked my sword from the chest of the Ice King, who collapsed onto the ground. I wiped the blade on his robes to clean it, then strapped it to my backpack again. I turned back to the princess and wrapped her body in the blankets. As I lifted her into my arms I noted how light she was. I thought of how she must have suffered.

Jake lowered us to the foot of the mountain and then we parted company as he rushed back to the treehouse, while I headed the other way, towards the distant volcanoes.

I walked through the sunset and all through the night. By sunrise I was walking up a hill. I couldn't see very far through the smoke and before I knew it I found myself at the edge of a volcano's caldera. I looked down into the lava and then at my bundle.

As good a place as any, I thought. I raised her covered body in my arms. "Good bye Flame Princess." I threw her as hard as I could.

I strained my eyes to see through the smoke and heat and I thought I saw a tiny spark as the bundle landed in the lava. I stood there for a few minutes choking on the ash, when suddenly the volcano erupted. I leapt back and ran downhill, lava chasing after me as stray sparks bounced off my clothes.

I turned back after a few miles and saw that my path into the Fire Kingdom was blocked, so I headed home.

My vision was swimming as I turned the doorknob. And I fell forwards into our front room.

"Finn!" Jake stretched out his front paws to catch me. "You're all burned up. What happened? Did the Fire King send his troops against you?"

"I saw no one." The darkness overcame me.

I awoke to the sound of Jake singing. I looked out from my bed and saw that he was rocking the baby gently in his arms.

"Is Ray okay?" I asked.

"He's fine. Aren't you little buddy?"

The baby gurgled happily.

"Don't worry, Ray." I walked over and looked down at him. "You'll be safe with us. We're all orphans here."

Jake sniffed and seemed worried.

"What is it, Jake? Does he need to be changed?"

"No, it's smoke. Are you sure that nobody followed you from the Fire Kingdom?"

I got dressed as quickly as I could. "You take the baby to safety, while I handle this." I picked up my sword and ran out the door.

There was an immense figure of flames walking towards us through the fields. I ran towards it with my sword at the ready.

"Finn!" It shouted in a loud crackly voice. Then with an obvious effort it shrank down to a human sized pillar of flame. As she spoke again I recognized her voice. "Finn, hand me my baby."

"Flame Princess?" I was so surprised that I dropped my sword.

"Here you go." Jake stretched out his paws with the baby.

"Jake, no!" I reached out my arms, but he lifted the baby forwards above my reach.

"Ow!" Jake yanked his empty paws away.

I looked away and yet I heard neither tiny screams nor the sizzle of burning flesh. I looked towards Flame Princess, who had undone her top and was holding her baby to her breast. He seemed to be feeding. I looked away again and blushed.

Jake looked up from licking his paws. "Flame Princess, will you be returning to the Fire Kingdom now?"

She looked up from her baby. "I cannot. My father could not bear the embarrassment of my shame. He would kill my baby."

"Stay with us."

"What?" Flame Princess turned to me.

"Be part of our family." Somehow I found the strength to look right in the eyes of a princess who was standing in front of me with her top undone. Though I had to admit that she seemed quite a bit fuller in that area than when I had first seen her almost a year before.

"Finn, I." She seemed to be lost in thought as she shifted her baby to her left arm so she redo her top with her right hand.

I shifted my gaze to look at Ray, who seemed to be sleeping happily and now had a faint shimmer of flame above his head.

"Yes, Finn. I accept." FP stepped up to me and put her right hand around my waist. Her touch was warm, but not scalding. She lifted her head to mine and kissed me on the lips. Then moved a little back to look me in the eyes. "You will be my prince."

Two weeks later, after Ray's third fire tantrum, we all stood outside the treehouse, to let the smoke clear.

"I'm sorry to cause you such problems." FP stood with her baby in her arms as Ray looked up fascinated at the smoke.

"Well, that's just the drawback of living in a wooden house." Jake tossed another bucket of water through the window, then walked back to the well.

"Let's move to a castle of stone." I put my arm around her. I felt this need to comfort her. I couldn't stand it when she was unhappy.

In an instant the sky shifted from blue to overcast as a sudden snowstorm hit.

"Aiie!" FP huddled over and Ray began to wail as the cold sliced through them.

"Let's get you inside!" I threw my arms around them and tried to guide them to where I thought the treehouse was. I found the door and nudged them inside. Then as I turned to close the door, I heard a voice I was sure I would never hear again.

"Give me back my princess, and my son." The Ice King's voice had changed. Gone was any hint of human feeling. Now it was dry and cold.

I grabbed a sword, then shut the door behind me as I charged into the storm. "You can't have them!" I sensed the ice bolt over the howling winds of the storm and just barely managed to deflect it away.

"They belong to me, Finn." The robes, beard and crown of the Ice King stepped through the storm, worn by a skeleton. "You have no right to keep them from me. They're mine."

"What's happened to you, Ice King?" Jake lunged forwards. "You've gone all bony."

"What? I feel fine!" The thing that had once been the Ice King fired another ice bolt at Jake, who dodged the attack.

I took advantage of the moment's distraction to lunge forwards, but had to dodge another bolt myself. "He's turned into a lich, Jake."

"It's to be expected when you kill an evil wizard." Jake stretched in a wavy pattern to avoid a volley of ice bolts.

"I'm no lich. If I'm thin it's only because I'm worried about my family. I won't be happy until they're safe in my house again. Urk!" Suddenly the Ice Lich was struck by a fireball. He turned towards the source. "There you are, my princess. See, you're just having another of those fire attacks. Don't worry, I'll cool down your fever."

"You will not touch me again." Flame Princess had put on a fur coat. Apparently she had left Ray back inside the treehouse. She raised both hands and launched another fireball.

"There, there, it'll be all better soon enough." The Ice Lich launched two ice bolts, one to cancel out her fireball and the other one directly at her.

"Flame Princess, no!" I ran forwards, but I was too far away. I couldn't block the ice bolt.

Suddenly Jake stretched in front of her and was frozen in a big block of ice as the bolt struck him.

"One more shot ought to do it." The Ice Lich stepped to the side to get a clean shot at FP.

I shattered his bony neck with my sword and he dissolved into a pile of snow that blew away on the breeze.

I used the hilt of my sword to crack the block of ice off Jake, then asked him, "What happened?"

"As an elemental lich he needs to return to his element to reform." Jake rubbed his limbs. "He'll be back."

"Don't worry, FP. We'll never let him have you."

"Are you alright, Finn?" She ran up to me.

"I'm fine, but what about Ray?"

She rushed back into the house and returned with the baby in her arms.

Just then I heard the sound of wings and turned to the sky. I saw who it was and strapped my sword to my back.

The swan landed. Princess Bubblegum stepped off its back and walked towards us. "It can't be. Flame Princess, you're alive? Everybody's been looking for you all over the place. That baby, is it yours?"

"Yes, your highness. This is my Ray."

PB turned to me and blanched all the way to spearmint. "Finn, what have you done?"

"Do not talk to my prince that way."

"Your ... prince. Oh my." PB turned to FP then stepped back and sat on her swan again.

"What's wrong?" I racked my brains for what I could have done to make PB act this way.

"Finn!" PB stepped up and grabbed my hands. "There is only one way we can prevent war from consuming all of Ooo. I will host your royal wedding at the Candy Kingdom."

"A wedding?" I looked at her befuddled, as she backed away.

"Yes." Flame Princess stepped up and grabbed my right hand with her left hand, as she held Ray in her right arm. "As I said, I accept."

PB turned to FP and asked her, "Your father does not know about any of this?"

"No, the circumstances have been awkward."

"Best that he learn about it from the wedding invitation then. All of you, come to the Candy Kingdom tomorrow. And, Finn?"

"Yes?"

"I'm sorry that I seem to have waited too long to tell you about certain things. I always thought you were too young. But I think you've made the right choice."

"I know I have." FP leaned over to kiss me.

PB turned and without another word mounted her swan, then urged it into the air.

The Fire King seemed a bit unhappy at the wedding, but everybody else seemed happy enough.

That night FP showed me what sex was. It was wow, algebraic.

-HJC