Why Board Meetings Are A Bad Idea
A/N- How in the world did I manage to type all of Chapter One calling Flame Princess Fire Princess? ; ugh. Anyways, enjoy.
The board room was full of agitated royals, corporeal and otherwise. Marceline was currently managing to pick at her nails angrily; Raspberry Duke had not previously thought it possible to do so angrily. Finn and Jake were engaged in a bizarre form of Rock-Paper-Scissors; Lumpy Space Princess was stroking her burnt purse protectively while Flame Princess gazed off distractedly. 'Ardee' felt his work was cut out for him. He looked over the wooden table and its members a final time before clearing his throat.
"Um, welcome all," Ardee mumbled. "We're gathered today because yesterday, uh, you all attacked each other and the meeting was called short."
Marceline snickered. The analog clock in the corner read 7:30. It was much too early for this, Ardee decided.
Other residents of Ooo flickered in and out of their holographs. Turtle Princess was staring intently at her screen along with Wildberry Princess. A few other Princesses roamed in the background.
Lumpy Space Princess impatiently tapped a pen against the tabletop. "We're wait-ing," she announced flatly.
Marceline gave an imperceptible nod of approval and looked to Ardee. "Tell us the agenda, Ards."
Finn nodded. "Yeah, bro! Tell us!"
"Tell us! Tell us!" Jake chanted. Finn joined in.
Flame Princess' eyebrows rose. "Yes, Ardee, tell us." A flicker of a grin appeared on her face. Well, at least she was in a good mood, Ardee surmised. Princess Bubblegum smiled politely at Fire Princess.
"Well," Ardee mumbled, "there is a report about the Lich King."
The faces of the attendees fell. Princess Bubblegum's forehead creased worryingly.
"Undead have been spotted roaming the Goblin Kingdom's borders." Ardee looked to Finn meaningfully. Finn shifted in his leather seat. "What?" Finn asked after an uncomfortable moment.
The Raspberry Duke looked mildly embarrassed. "Well," he mumbled, after a moment's pause, "you are the Goblin King." Ardee scratched his head. "That means protecting the borders is your duty."
Jake's hands slammed onto the table. "That's beaucoup bananas crazy, bro!" he accused. "Finn already told those dudes he didn't want to be king."
Princess Bubblegum looked horrified and turned to Finn. "Finn, did you really not cede your rights as king?"
Finn looked abashed. "Ummm, I gave him his crown back," he said unsurely.
Marceline looked amused. LSP looked curious. "Like, Finn, yeruh Kiiiing?"
Ardee smiled awkwardly. "Apparently so."
Flame Princess merely looked bored. "Well, of course he is," she said, looking at the members of the room rather curiously. "Didn't you guys know that before?"
Her credulous attitude led the attendees to be uncomfortable, especially Finn. Finn shot a "shut up" look at the others before giving a tentative smile to Flame Princess.
"But, you didn't tell me that you…gave…his crown back," Flame Princess whispered thoughtfully. She turned to Finn, her eyes burning. "You, you, I thought you were a goblin."
Finn looked intensely uncomfortable. "No. I mean, yeah, I gave him his crown back," he explained, "but…I…am, uh, a king. But not a goblin but I'm a king. And anyways, uh, uh, I-"
"Uh, well. Anyways," Ardee interrupted. Finn gave him a grateful look. "You need to either cede your rights as king or protect the Goblin border."
Bubblegum's eyes trailed to Finn's figure and Flame Princess' confused expression. LSP was digging in her purse and retrieving popcorn.
Marceline gave a pained expression to the scene at hand before turning to LSP and raising an eyebrow.
LSP sighed, but handed over her purse. Marceline gave a thankful expression before chomping loudly on the popcorn. "It's burnt," she spat out afterwards. LSP shrugged. "Not mah problem," she said, giving a pointed look to Flame Princess.
After a terse silence, the Raspberry Duke gave a suggestion. "We can go back to this later. Just, um, think about it, okay?"
"Okay. The next one was about, ah, some trouble in Lumpy Space. Portals, they keep opening."
Marceline's blasé expression turned to one of concern.
Jake shoved popcorn in his face and spat out kernels as he spoke. "Whoa, dude. That's legit bad. Marcy, are those portals your Dad's?"
"Uh," Marceline mumbled.
Princess Bubblegum turned to Marceline. "Or have you been opening them?"
Marceline looked annoyed. Her mouth began to form 'whatever'; however, a look crossed her eyes and she suddenly looked very, very scared. "It doesn't even matter," she muttered.
LSP frowned. "You hafta spill. It's the rulessss."
Princess Bubblegum groaned and facepalmed.
"Yes," Marceline admitted flatly, shifting in her chair. A boot-clad foot dangled lazily from one of its edges. "Some of them are mine." Marceline struggled to keep her face expressionless; her brief show of fear seconds before, however, was still in everyone's mind. "But the rest are from different Underworld dimensions. People have been showing up and-"
"Getting up, like, in your grill and stuff?" LSP suggested, flipping her purplish, frizzy hair over a shoulder carelessly. "Yeah, I, like, know the feeling."
An unusual expression crossed Marceline's face for a moment before she nodded. "Yeah, getting in my grill or whatever you dweebs say." Her arms crossed involuntarily and her red eyes glared at the seated royals. "Nothing I can't handle, though."
Bubblegum opened her mouth to speak, but the Raspberry Duke interrupted. "We can, um, discuss that in a closed session later if you want," he suggested, gesturing towards the screen interface. Various royalty were standing, enraptured, watching the meeting.
Marceline frowned and bit her lip before nodding. "Yeah, that's fine."
"Okay. Cool," Finn declared. "So what's the next deal?"
Ardee glanced over the agenda for a moment. "There's something about colonies of-"
The bell rang loudly. Ardee grimaced. "Meeting is adjourned," he spoke politely. His lumpy figure turned to the room's occupants. "Should I teleport you all?" he inquiried.
Finn shrugged. Jake shook his head. "Nah, man! Me and Finn're gonna stretch it out." His legs grew and his elastic arms swept Finn onto his back.
Princess Bubblegum stood for a moment, silent, before looking bothered by something. "I would like to be teleported, if you could. I neglected to ask Lady Rainicorn to come retrieve me. I didn't ask for a carriage back either."
Ardee shrugged and complied. Bonnibel went up in a swirl of smoke.
Flame Princess looked conflicted for a moment before determination crossed her face. "I'll walk," she declared. Finn looked incredibly uncomfortable before LSP spoke up. "I'll, like, take her home or what-everrrr."
Finn still looked disbelieving. "Um, no offense, LSP, but-"
Marceline groaned. "Shut up, dude. I got it, okay?"
Finn and Jake looked surprised, but Marceline merely waved them away. "Really. No prob." LSP nodded as well and linked arms thoughtlessly for a moment with Flame Princess, only to be burnt.
"Owwwwwmylumpppps," she hissed. Marceline sighed, looking regretful of volunteering, and motioned towards the door.
When the three royals had exited, and the two heroes had finally gone, Ardee collapsed in his chair. Exhaustion plagued his limbs.
The clock cheerfully declared it to be nine-o-clock.
The path was long to the Fire Kingdom. Marceline floated above the stone path, as did LSP; Flame Princess' footfalls, however, were loud against the stones.
They walked in silence for a moment before Marceline looked at Flame Princess questioningly. "Are you sure you don't want me to portal you there?"
Flame Princess shook her head. "No, I like to walk. Stone doesn't burn when I step on it."
LSP observed the winding stone path. Her eyes opened with realization. "Oh. You, like, don't get to do stuff a lot, do you?"
Flame Princess burned brightly for a moment and stopped to glare at LSP. Her mind readied for a defense before her eyes dulled, and her tightened fists unballed.
"Yeah," she muttered. "I, um, guess you could say that."
Marceline gestured impatiently for them to continue. LSP relented and kept floating, and Flame Princess walked steadily across the scattered stones. "Floating is, floating is lame," she teased, attempting a joke. Marceline grinned mischievously and broke out into a full trot on the path. LSP poked out her feet tentatively at the path but grimaced when they brushed against the rough stones. "Like, I pass," she said.
Marceline merely stuck out her tongue and kept running with Flame Princess. LSP, chagrined but amused, followed, floating.
Turtle Princess raised her coffee mug to her lips. "So, what did you guyyys think about the shoooow?" she asked mellowly.
Wildberry Princess gestured excitedly. "The Duke is doing such a good job! I remember when he was really little, he would always leak juice everywhere! It was kind of gross, actually," she finished.
Ghost Princess spoke in a ghostly moan. "Itttt wasssss okkkaaaaaay," she conceded.
Peppermint Butler stood behind the royals, looking vaguely disapproving.
Starchy shrugged his shoulders; Jungle Princess was frowning.
A few minor royals were gossiping intently behind the others. Wildberry Princess sighed and turned to the higher royals. "Let's leave before they start asking us stupid questions about our friends." Hotdog Princess, formerly quiet, nodded and left with her friend. Ghost Princess looked depressed but drifted away.
a/n- I hope you guys like it so far ; it's about to get COHERENT PLOTTY up in here.