Here it is! The last chapter and probably the inspiration for writing this fic.
Chapter 5: Adventure Awaits
Finn couldn't believe his luck.
Jake had been hovering around him all morning to make sure he got enough rest and it had been impossible for Finn to sneak out. In addition to that, Finn didn't feel like he had the energy to walk all the way back to Marceline's house. His luck didn't change until the late afternoon. Jake decided to walk to the Candy Kingdom to bring the royal doctor to the Treefort in order to get Finn's injuries properly cared for. Jake didn't want Finn walking all the way to the Candy Kingdom, but his attempts to get a hold of PB over the phone had failed, so Jake had no choice but to head there alone. There must had been an emergency in the Kingdom for the princess to be unable to answer her phone, but Jake was confident that once PB heard about the incident she would insist her doctor check up on Finn.
However, this gave Finn time to travel to Marceline's house and see if she was okay. If Jake got held up in the Candy Kingdom then Finn may even be able to make it back before Jake noticed he was missing.
Finn hated to go behind Jake's back, but he knew his brother would try to stop him and he couldn't wait any longer to see Marceline. He promised Jake he wouldn't "do anything stupid" until he was feeling better, and although Finn woke up still feeling absolutely terrible, after so long in bed he felt like he was going to go crazy if he didn't do something. He was feeling stronger too. He had actually got up quite a few times to get food and drinks from downstairs, and each time he was sent back to bed by an angry Jake. Apparently, he was supposed to ask Jake if he wanted something, which was flipping stupid. He wasn't a baby; he could get it for himself. It was weird to be told what to do by Jake too… geez, who knew Jake could sound so much like their dad?
Finn left for Marceline's house as soon as Jake left for the Candy Kingdom. He knew it would be a difficult trek, but Jake had managed to stitch up the serious wounds while Finn had been out cold, and as long as they didn't reopen he wouldn't suffer much more blood loss. Finn was still experiencing the effects of blood loss, but he would take the journey slow and take lots of breaks. PB and Jake would kill him if they learned about this, but Finn knew he could handle it; Marceline's house wasn't that far and he was very familiar with the road.
He hoped Marceline had made it back home. He didn't know how he would feel if he arrived and found the house exactly as they had left it. Finn kept replaying the fight between Marceline and him over and over again in his head, especially the part where he had stabbed her. In that moment, he had aimed to kill, and if he never saw her again then he would never know if the blow had done its job. Jake didn't understand, he just continued to insist that Finn had been protecting himself and he didn't have anything to feel guilty about.
However, Finn did feel guilty and ashamed and like he had betrayed his best friend. He had killed hundreds of monsters in his short lifetime, but Marceline wasn't a monster. She was his friend, and in one short moment Finn had chosen his own life over hers'. He wasn't sure if he could forgive himself for that.
The trek to her house felt a lot shorter this time, and when he arrived he realized he had no idea what he was going to say. An apology didn't feel like enough, but it was all he had. All he really wanted to do was make sure she was okay; he didn't really expect her to accept his apology or forgive him.
Without much of a plan, Finn climbed into the small row boat and entered the cave.
Once night fell again, Marceline had made her way back to her house. She feared what she would see when she got there, and was relieved that Finn wasn't lying on the floor dead. He must have headed back home. Perhaps that meant she hadn't killed him after all… unless he bled to death and never made it to his house. Marceline cringed and tried not to think about that.
After Marceline had realized what she had done and fled her house, she hadn't been thinking straight. All she knew was she had to get out of there. She had to go far away; away from the scent of human fear and blood. If she stayed, if she tried to do anything to help, she would have lapsed back into a blood-frenzied monster and there was no doubt she would have killed Finn. Barely able to think straight, clutching the deep wound in her stomach, and fighting the urge that told her to 'go back and finish off that pathetic mortal' she flew to the only place left to go: her old home. If she could just tell Jake what happened he would be able to help Finn and possibly save his life. However, when she arrived at the Treefort no one was home, and she couldn't even find the cute little computer that lived with Finn and Jake.
She didn't know where Jake could be, but she felt so hopeless. This was all her fault. She had single-handedly killed Finn, and the worst part was the vampire part of her enjoyed it.
The sun was halfway past the horizon by the time she had left the Treefort. The light wasn't bright enough to burn her yet, but it made her skin tingle uncomfortably. She fled for shelter and found a place in a narrow dark cave she didn't recognize. She stayed there all day, pulled between the intense urge to lick the rest of Finn's blood off her skin, and the choking guilt surrounding fact that she had Finn's blood on her skin.
Once the sun set again she made her way back to her home. She had spent the rest of the night trying to clean up the human blood from her house, which was a challenge all in itself. Just the smell made her emotions range from pure bliss to absolute self-hatred and caused her break down several more times that night. When the sun began to rise, Marceline decided to try to get some sleep. Her house still smelt like blood to her sensitive nose, but a little bit of blood she could handle.
She had tried to get some sleep but her mind wouldn't let her. She couldn't stop worrying about where Finn was. She decided to check up on him first thing tomorrow night. She wouldn't let him see her, but at least she would know if he was alright or not.
Hours passed and still she couldn't find relief from the land of consciousness. It was late afternoon when Marceline heard a noise outside that sounded like someone was climbing out of the boat. Curious, Marceline used her invisibility to look out her front window and to her surprise she saw Finn tying the rowboat up to a rock.
Tears immediately sprung to her eyes and she fell out of the air in pure shock. She barely managed to catch herself.
She hastily wiped the tears away when another thought occurred to her.
What in Ooo was he doing here?
Marceline watched as he walked up to her house without a bit of hesitation, his left arm held gingerly to his body. What was he doing here all alone? Didn't he hate her? If he had come for revenge then he was out of his mind, plus, he didn't even bring his sword. If not revenge, than what else could be possibly want?
He knocked on the door loudly. "Marcie, it's me! Are you in there?"
Marceline seriously considered pretending not to be home. She couldn't face him, not after everything she had done to him. After all, she had already decided she was never going to see him again, for her sake and for his, but that was before he showed up on her doorstep calling her name… calling her by her nickname as if they were still friends.
Her curiosity was just as powerful as her shame and she found herself becoming visible again and opening the door. She gave him a blank, neutral stare. She had learned centuries ago that emotions could betray you and it was always safest to appear stoic, especially if you felt like hell on the inside.
Finn, on the other hand, just broke out into that same damn bright grin he always wore. "Marceline, you're alright! Thank Glob! I was so worried about you!"
That just made the world shift beneath her feet.
"What are you-?" she croaked.
"I'm so, so sorry, Marceline! I-I didn't realize what I was doing! I didn't mean to hurt you! I'm so glad you're okay! You have no idea how worried I've been about you!"
This was wrong. This was nothing like she expected; her brain was struggling to process everything. Why in the world was Finn apologizing to her?
"Finn." She took a moment to pause, wondering what was more likely: that Finn had broken his brain or she was actually dreaming. "What are you talking about?"
"I-" he hesitated, "I stabbed you, re-remember?" She could hear his throat tighten around the words and they barely managed to make it out of his mouth. "I was scared I might have…"
That's what this was about? That was… she couldn't... what?
She held out a hand to stop him, a scowl on her lips.
"Let me get this straight," she demanded, "I almost killed you and you were worried about the wound that little toothpick gave me?" Marceline was shaking she was so angry.
"Umm, yeah, it was really deep and then you flew outside and the sun was rising and… I was worried…"
Marceline growled, but he seemed to misinterpret the reason for her anger and he glanced down at his feet.
"I'm really sorry, Marcie, and I understand why you're mad at me. I just wanted to come by to make sure you were okay."
"Finn," she tried to keep her voice calm, but she was sure he could hear it shaking with rage. "I almost ripped your throat open and you're worried about me? Do you realize how stupid that is? I could have killed you, I wanted to kill you, and look at you! You're still badly injured! You should be scared of me! You should never want to see me again! Why aren't you scared of me?" she shouted, practically ripping her hair out in frustration.
Finn looked taken aback, like the thought hadn't even crossed his mind. "But Marcie," he began softly, "That wasn't you, I know that wasn't you. I was stupid and I forgot you were a vampire. You didn't try to kill me, your vampire side did. I know you would never hurt me because you're my friend."
She stared at him, the silence weighing heavily between them as he waited for her to respond
"I'm not your friend, Finn," she informed him harshly. "Friends don't try to kill each other. A part of me still wants to kill you, even now. How can you consider me a friend now that you know that?"
"Marceline, of course you're my friend!" he insisted. "That stuff doesn't matter; all of us have good and bad in us, even me, even though I don't think you believe it."
He was right, she didn't believe it. Finn didn't have an evil bone in his body.
"But," he continued, "it's what we do that matters, like our actions and stuff."
Marceline blew a strand of hair out of her eyes. "Like almost killing you? That sort of action?"
"No, like fighting against your nature and probably saving my life! I saw you fighting Marceline, every second you were fighting."
She had to look away. She could feel the sting of tears behind her eyes and she didn't want him to see them water.
"So yes, I was scared when I was attacked, but I'm not scared of you, and you're still my friend." He reached out and touched her arm. His hand was so warm and alive; it was comforting and a miracle to know he wasn't afraid of her. He wasn't afraid of the monster who hungrily tried to tear him apart a little over twenty –four hours ago. He wasn't afraid just because he happened to be friends with said monster.
The vampire backed away, using her hair to cover her face.
"This is dumb," she informed him, but her voice sounded more like a stubborn child than she intended.
"Marceline, I'm fine! I wasn't hurt that badly."
"Don't lie to me, Finn." She gave him an angry glare that she had perfected over centuries.
"Okay, I was hurt, but I've been hurt worse before. Just… please don't feel bad Marceline. I don't blame you at all."
"I don't feel bad!" she shouted defensively, and the moment she said it Marceline knew it was a lie. A stupid lie and Finn knew it too, but she couldn't help it. She was Marceline the Vampire Queen; he was a mortal that she sometime let hang around her. She wasn't supposed to feel bad and she wasn't supposed to care for him.
Finn just smiled a happy smile without any hint of bitterness or belittling. "Good!" It was just a naïve, joyful, honest, pure smile.
Sometimes Marceline felt like dirt.
Finn really, truly didn't blame her. He had come over to check on her because he cared about her, and he wasn't scared or hesitant because he trusted her. To him, it was like she accidently spilled some milk on his shorts instead of nearly ripping out his throat out, because he had known it had been an accident. It was ridiculous, but in some small way he did have a point. She would never intentionally harm him. The part of her that did harm him was a part of herself that she couldn't control, and Marceline would do everything in her power to make sure it never happened again.
In fact, the only thing Finn seemed to care about in the whole incident was when he stabbed her with his sword and managed to pull her out of her blood lust trance, which was the most absurd thing to be guilty over. Sure, she was still healing and it had been a long time since a weapon had done any sort of damage to her, but she had been grateful. There was no doubt in her mind that she would have killed Finn if he wasn't so handy with his sword.
Marceline chuckled a little, feeling a little bit more like her old self, but the movement caused her abdomen to ache and she placed her and over her stomach on reflex. "Normally you're supposed to use wood to kill a vampire, but I have to admit, that demon blood sword of yours isn't half bad."
Marceline regretted joking about her injury as soon as she said it.
Finn's face fell and he looked devastated. "I'm sorry! I didn't want to hurt you! I don't really remember what happened, I just-"
"Finn!" she yelled, catching his attention. "Why are you so- girrrr!" Marceline growled placing a hand on her forehead. "Just stop, okay? Stop it. You have nothing to apologize for."
"No! I almost killed you, Finn. You had every right to defend yourself! Yeah, I'm hurt, okay whatever." She rolled her eyes. "But I'm undead, you weenie! In a few days it will be like it never happened." A few days healing was a long time for Marceline, and that just spoke to how powerful the sword was if it managed to slow her vampire healing powers.
Finn bit his lip. She could see him thinking over what she had said.
"Besides," she added, "stabbing me knocked me out of that trance…" She shuttered and then mumbled quietly, "I should be grateful, I hate losing control like that."
"You're grateful…" Finn paused for a moment, taking it in, "you're grateful I stabbed you?
Marceline shrugged. "It's better than the alternative."
It's better than you losing your life at my hands.
"Okay." Finn took a deep breath. "Then, we're okay?" he asked hopefully.
Marceline wanted to scoff. How the flip could they be okay? How could they still be friends and carry on as if nothing happened after all this? But… they were okay. Finn seemed to have an utter disregard for his future safety and an almost saint-like ability to forgive; plus, Marceline's stomach would heal in about forty-eight hours, and although she would never forgive herself for hurting him, she was starting to understand that it was an accident and she would never let it happen again. So yeah… it was ridiculous, idealistic and borderline crazy, but yeah, they were going to be okay.
Instead, Marceline rolled her eyes to the heavens. "Oh, if you must continue to hang around me then I guess I can allow it. I do need someone to jam with once in a while who isn't a complete wuss."
Finn laughed and threw his hands in the air. "Alright!" He paused and his face scrunched up in pain. "…Oww!" he brought his hands back down and cradled his left shoulder.
Marceline raised an eyebrow at his forgetfulness. "We should probably be a bit more careful, and I doubt we'll go adventuring together again after this."
"What? No! We have to go adventuring together again, you're the best!" Finn pleaded, his eyes growing impressively wide.
"Finn!" I couldn't help but laugh. "After last time, do you really think that's a good idea?"
"Hmm." Finn seemed to consider it. "Well, what if Jake always came along, Marcie? Then you could still be with us and if one of us gets hurt we can help each other," he proposed eagerly.
"You really want me to come along that bad, huh?" The kid was a real charmer; he always wants everyone together having fun. It's like he can't stand to see anyone left out. "Alright, if I'm not doing anything then I'll still adventure with you guys once in a while."
"Mathematical!" In his excitement he threw his arms around her waist, and she tensed automatically. She wouldn't be that opposed to a hug, even if it was a bit mushy for her tastes, but Finn was still injured and even though a lot of his blood had dried, his wounds were still fresh enough to put her on edge.
"Finn!"She pushed him away harshly. Marceline pointed to herself. "Vampire, remember?" She tapped him on the forehead. "You're still hurt. What do I have to do? Wear a sign? Stay the plop away from me when you smell like food, would you?"
Finn blushed a deep red. "O-oh, sorry! I didn't mean to! I guess I just forgot… again."
Marceline rolled her eyes. "Yeah well, whatever. If I couldn't handle a little bit of blood I would have never gone monster fighting with you in the first place. Although, I'm not surprised Jake tagged along just to make sure I wasn't going to try and eat you again." She smirked.
Finn's eyebrows lifted in confusion. "What are you talking about? Jake didn't come along."
He doesn't know?
"Oh yeah, well how come I can smell him by those rocks over there?" she asked, pointing to the large boulders sitting where the end of the lake met the cave. Finn followed her gaze.
"Jake?" he questioned.
They heard a nervous laugh and a small, orange dog no bigger than Marceline's fist crawled out from between the rocks.
"H-hey guys!" he greeted, stretching back to his normal size.
"Jake! What are you doing here, man?" Finn seemed genuinely astonished by his brother's appearance, but Marceline had known he had been there since Finn first arrived. She just assumed Finn knew too.
"I was just… you know…umm, playing the stalker game! Yeah, that's it! It's super fun, Finn! Unless there is a vampire that gives you away." Even though Jake mentioned Marceline, he still didn't look at her, and instead, focused his attention on his brother.
"The stalker game? Come on man, you know that game is really called ninjas. Admit it: you were following me because you didn't want me to go to Marceline's! Not cool, man!"
Marceline sighed. As much as she hated siding with authority… wait, was Jake authority to Finn? He was his older brother and that was a type of authority, but he didn't act like an authority figure most of the time. Anyway, as much as she hated to side with someone trying to make the rules, she could definitely see why Jake wouldn't want Finn to come here on his own.
"Like I said," Marceline interrupted, "Jake came here to make sure I didn't eat you. He was trying to protect you… from me."
"But Marcie!" However, no one was listening to Finn anymore. Jake was finally lookin- glaring at Marceline, his whole body tense. "Jake?" Finn tried.
"You hurt him." Jake said gruffly. Marceline had never seen him so serious.
"But, Jake, I told you! She didn't mean it! It was an accident!" Finn protested, walking up to his best friend and tugging on his arm. He received no answer.
And the great Marceline the Vampire Queen couldn't even hold the dog's gaze. She looked down. "I know."
"Marcie?" Finn whimpered and took a few steps closer to the vampire. He was in-between them, but still only an arm's length away from Jake. He would always be closer to Jake, and there was nothing Marceline could do, or would want to do, to change that. It was where the human belonged.
A few seconds passed and Marceline finally managed to look Finn's older brother in the eye. "I'm sorry," she admitted quietly, but it didn't feel like enough. There were no words to express how sorry Marceline was.
Jake's gaze softened and his shoulders loosened a little. "I know."
Marceline blinked in surprise.
Jake shrugged. "I've been here the whole time, I heard everything." There was a short pause and then, "If you hurt him again I will kill you."
Marceline didn't even bother pointing out the impossibility of that statement, both because she was already dead, and because she was way too powerful to be felled by him.
Instead, Marceline just nodded. "It won't happen again." None of this felt like enough. There was no way Jake could know how much of Marceline had gone into that promise. He couldn't possibly understand how much it killed her to know she had hurt Finn.
Jake nodded, and then his lip twitched into a little half-smile "So, you're coming adventuring with us in a few weeks, right?" Or perhaps… he did understand better than she thought.
Finn laughed and nodded his head. "Yeah, she is! This is going to be great! My best friends in the world off on an adventure!"
Finn's energy was contagious and Marceline found herself smiling at Jake, a smile which he returned.
Marceline couldn't believe it. She hadn't expected Jake to forgive her… or, if he hadn't completely forgiven her yet, then it looked like he was at least trying, most likely for Finn's sake. Marceline doubted Jake would ever be fully willing to trust her around Finn, and after this incident she didn't even trust herself. However, she was grateful it looked like she hadn't completely lost Jake's friendship. As for herself, it would take a long time to even come close to forgiving her carelessness and nearly killing Finn, and she doubted she ever would.
However, there was one thing she was completely sure of. Even if she continued on to see another thousand or even ten thousand years, she would never again find mortals quite like these; ones that made her feel welcome, happy, and strangest of all: alive.
To treasure something she knew would eventually be gone was painful, but not as painful as letting time with them slip by.
And in centuries from now she would look back and remember them: Jake the dog and Finn the human. But until then…
I just wrote the words 'The End' on a story. I just finished a story! WOOT! Sorry for freaking out, but this is the first time I truly finished a multi-chaptered fic. That's it! It's done!
However, if there is one thing you should know about me is I have trouble letting projects go. And as soon as I wrote those last two words, Adventure Awaits, I knew that was going to be the title of the sequel. I was never planning to do a sequel when I started this story. I write for myself, only myself and not for a review number. The only reason I post stories is to connect with the fandom, meet awesome new people, and get feedback for my work. That's why reviews mean so much to me! If I wanted I could have kept this story to myself, it was already mostly written anyway, but I wanted to be a part of the community. I just never realized how wonderful you guys would be.
Seriously, thank you for everything. I never expected so many people to like my story. Your enthusiasm and kind words have inspired me to write the sequel. The sequel is out now so go check it out!
Okay, enough on that. Please review and tell me what you thought of the last chapter! It's been so fun writing it and you guys are the best!