Author's note: Oh hai, fanfiction peeps! Long time no see! This story is inspired by tonight's episode "I Remember You." I kind of thought I had retired from AT fanfics because things have been pretty cri-zazy this semester and I wanted to devote more time to original fiction, but what can I say? Fanfiction is addictive and I just love continuing with those episodes that have such intense character development! Anyways, sorry this is just a one-shot, but I hope you enjoy it. I have an alternate ending as well, but I'm debating whether or not to post it.
I should have never let him stay. I should have let Finn and Jake just do their thing- sure kick his butt, tell him to stay away from the ladies, send him back to that giant ice tomb that buried Simon.
It would have been easier that way.
But no- I was stupid. I had to just see if spending time with him could be anything like it used to be, back when all we had was each other. Back when he gave me Hambo- so small, untouched, and unwanted- just like me. You'd think I would have learned better after a thousand years- learned that Simon is dead and Hambo, the only memory I had of the man who saved me, was lost to some witch just because I moved out with that jerk, Ash. I really only did it to upset Dad. He wasn't worth losing Hambo.
Was I lost, too? Just like my tattered, dying bear? No, I couldn't ever be lost, even though I'd tried. The Ice King always found me. At that awesome treehouse, in the ocean, below the earth, and just tonight in that dank, remote cave. Simon always hated closed in spaces. I thought he'd never come there even if he somehow found out I was there. He always came back, though. It was just painful that he didn't know why.
I snatched a piece of paper off my carpet and started to scribble down lyrics when I heard a knock at my door. I didn't float towards it because I already knew who it was. Those dweebs were way too nosy.
Knock knock Knock knock Knock knock Knock knock….and way too persistent.
I flew over and flung opened the door, thinking of turning into a form scary enough to make Jake wet himself. When I saw them looking at me, though, with those big, stupid, innocent eyes; I just didn't have it in me.
"Go away, you guys." I mumbled weakly.
"No way, Marcy!" Finn exclaimed in his typical, too-energetic way. "Something's up with the Ice King and we want in on it!"
"GRARGH!" I screeched, growing fangs and slashing a rip in my wall, "Why the glob do you dorks keep trying to protect me?! Have you forgotten that I'm a VAMPIRE QUEEN? I could kill you just by looking at you wrong! You think I can't take some freak like the Ice King?! You've got some nerve, you insolent little-"
"NO, Marceline, stop!" Finn interrupted. I turned to him and saw that boyish tenderness in his eyes- and Jake, who had fainted from my outburst.
"What, Finn?" I asked flatly.
"It's just- yeah, I know you can take anybody in Ooo. I just wanted to defend, like, you know…" he looked away and blushed "your heart-gut-feelings and junk. You looked really sad when the Ice King came in your house and I thought it was weird that you didn't beat him up yourself for barging into your house."
At that I lost it, and did something I'd never imagined doing in front of Finn. Before I could regain myself I had collapsed into his arms sobbing. I could feel him squeeze me awkwardly and make stilted, nervous shushing noises. He was so warm; I'd forgotten how warm mortals were. I closed my eyes and suddenly I was a little girl in Simon's arms. He was so much bigger than I was and I felt like he could protect me from anything. I cried in his arms pretty often, about how everything was gone. He was a little weird, but he loved me. When he finally went crazy and forgot about me, I felt abandoned. I didn't understand yet that it wasn't his fault. I almost wish that it was so that I could have someone to be angry at.
Simon wasn't this warm, though. And he didn't smell like adventure, dog, and soot (I'm guessing that was from Flame Princess). I pushed myself back from Finn, floated up in the air, and wiped my face. "Where did he head, Finn?"
"Uh…" Finn's face was stunned as he touched his tear-stained shirt. "He flew off to the candy kingdom to sing."
"What?!" I shouted, "No! He's going to sing that song we just did to Bonnibel? But it's about me!"
I soared into the night sky, but wheeled around back at Finn. "If you ever tell anyone about tonight, I'll rip out your squeaky little throat."
"Y-yeah, sure. Our secret."
"Right." I said, rolling my eyes and leaving Finn on the ground, just as confused as ever.
I flew so fast over Ooo that my eyes started to sting. I liked flying at more of a chill pace, but I had to get there before the Ice King revealed our past to PB. She never saw him for who he really was. All she did was badmouth him, which is why I couldn't stand to be friends with her.
I remembered the night a few hundred years ago when Bonnibel and I first met and walked home from one of my shows together. Her kingdom wasn't quite so big yet, and the Ice King didn't know she was a princess. She was girly and nerdy, but she liked good music and she was fun to be around. She was the first real friend I had in a long time.
Then one day she came to my house pretty late for a movie we were planning to go to. I asked what the deal was and she was all like "Ugh, I meant this creepy Ice Wizard guy today! He saw my crown and went all blabloozy crazy and kidnapped me! Can you believe that chiz?"
My face sank and I tried to keep my cool, "Well, maybe he wasn't creepy. Maybe you just reminded him of someone and he got a little infatuation. You are really pretty, so who can blame him?"
She stopped short and gave me a derisive stare, "Marceline, he kidnapped me. He put me in a cage! Thanks for being so concerned about my traumatic experience! The guy is a freak!"
"Well maybe that's not his fault! What, all your royal peeps think I'm a little strange- do you call me a freak behind my back, too?" I shouted. I knew I was being irrational and harsh, but I didn't care. She was charting into territory I thought I'd gotten far away from.
"What are you even talking about? You're my friend! I may not hang out with you very often any more, but you're still awesome!"
I said sorry, but from then on our friendship rapidly fell apart. Every time we went out, bam!- there was the Ice King, trying to kidnap her and giving hardly a casual nod to me. I couldn't hide my resentment from Bonni and we started to get really distant.
One day, a couple of months later, she came to my house unexpected.
"Oh, hey princess. Break away from your busy schedule to drop in on little old me?" Listening to myself, I sounded like such a petty wench. Why couldn't I just be nice to her anymore?
"We can't be friends any more, Marceline. I don't know what's happened to us, but it's too much for me." Her face was flat and businesslike. She never was one to beat around the bush.
My unbeating heart sank in remorse, but I was too prideful at the time to drop the apathetic façade. "Whatever, Bubblegum. If that's how you feel then I don't need you."
I saw a flash of pain across her face before she regained her blank facial expression and thrust a black bundle of material into my arms. I looked down at my old band t-shirt like it was a punch in the gut. Suddenly she was walking away and I was holding the soft cotton in my hands. I furtively sniffed it, absorbing the candy-scented fabric softener.
Then I threw it at her back and slammed my door. We'd never been close to friends since then. We made nice in front of Finn, sure, but he could never come close to knowing all the past from before he was around.
I shook the memory out of my mind as the painfully brightly colored Candy Kingdom emerged below me. I scanned and saw a speck of blue by the Princess's balcony.
I clenched my fists; he was already singing.
"…Please forgive me for whatever I do, when I don't remember you," sang the Ice King, finishing the song. I stopped and watched him and the princess, unable to move. She'd heard everything. The Ice King took the last words Simon had left me and cheapened them to a pick up line.
"Well, Princess, whadaya think! I'm pretty damaged, right? That makes me sexxxyyy!" The old perve leaned in and nudged her, wiggling his eyebrows.
PB had that familiar look of patient annoyance on her face as she pushed back from him, "Ice King, I don't know what the heck that song was about, but I think you're getting me confused with someone else."
"Well, I don't quite remember who it was to, but it's just a song! You know, to show you how damaged I am! Don't'ja wanna fix me?"
"You don't remember?" I shouted zooming in his face, no longer caring about Bonni's presence. "Seriously?! We just sung this, old man!"
"Oh yeah, thanks for helping me write it, Marceline! I think it worked, this just might be the night Bubblegum marries me."
I let out a horrible roar and slapped him across the face, "Where are you, Simon!?"
"Ouchie!" he said, rubbing the rising welt on his cheek. "Heeheehee, wow that really hurt! I guess that means no more hugs, huh, Marcy?"
"Leave now, Ice King!" said Bubblegum, interjecting suddenly with her royal voice.
"Alright, I can see it's that time of the month for you guys. I'll try again next week!" Within a few flaps of his beard that crazy old man was out of sight.
"Marceline." I heard Bonni's voice behind me, suddenly tender and compassionate.
I turned the side of my head to her, but didn't turn around, "I'm sorry, Bonnibel. You never deserved to get in the middle of this. Please don't ask me what that was all about."
"I think I understand enough, Marceline. I hope you're ok."
"Whatever, Bonnibel. I've missed you."
"Well, do you and Finn want to-"
"Can we talk about this later? I've got some personal stuff to take care of."
I was about to fly away when she caught the end of my hair and pulled me into a quick, awkward, sweet hug, "Bye, Marcy."
"Later." I smiled weakly and flew away. I still had a long night ahead of me.
I flew in silence towards the Ice Kingdom. I took my time now, not looking forward to what I was about to do. For years I had thought there was just a tiny bit of Simon Petrikov left in all those layers of insanity that was the Ice King. Tonight he proved me wrong, though. Repeatedly.
When he tried to make out with me when I hugged him (yuck).
When he refused to remember any of his own journal entries.
When he forgot what that song meant immediately after we sang it.
Simon was dead.
All I had to do now was remove the life support.
It would be easier on everyone. The Ice King was a demented, tormented, lonely creature who was a menace to everyone. He would never be happy. He would never be what he once was. It would be easier for everyone, including him, if I let him go.
Finn and Jake fought him all the time, but they would never do it. They were too pure. My history wasn't that clean, though. My dad is king of the Nightosphere, after all. If I killed some possessed husk of a human being who should have naturally died 1000 years ago, what would it matter?
I saw the Ice King's open, triangle window and slowly glided through it. He slept there, surrounded in a bed of penguins. A few woke up and started to squawk at my presence, but I quickly grabbed all of them at once and tossed them out the window miles away. I watched the Ice King sleep. For a few seconds it was peaceful, but then he started to mumble terrified things about invisible spirits torturing him.
That was the only reminder I needed that I needed to follow through on what I came here for. I placed my hands on the cold metal of the crown, subtly humming with a possessive energy. The Ice King's white hair fell into his eyes and I slowly brushed it to the side.
"I'm sorry I couldn't save you, but this is the best I can do." Tears welled up in my eyes for the third time that night.
Within two hours I had buried that crown so deep that hopefully no one would ever find it again. Covered in dirt with tear stains sticking to my cheeks, I just felt like going home, but something pulled me back towards the Ice Kingdom. It was a sick curiosity, but I guess my hope wouldn't die until the Ice King was as dead as Simon was.
Soon I was back by his bedside. He was sleeping more peacefully than I'd expected. I just watched him, deciding to stay with him until the last moment.
An hour later, as the sun was about to come up, he opened his eyes. "Marceline?" he said weakly, the manic, crazy tone barely there. "What are you doing here? Where's my crown?"
I was silent for a long time before I quickly choked out "It's gone."
He leaned his head back on the pillow breathing hard. "It feels good to have it off."
"Do you remember me now? From when I was a little girl?" I asked, with that stupid childish hope I kept burning through the centuries.
The Ice King stared at me for a long time, his eyes weak but more present than I'd seen them in centuries. Finally he let out a distraught groan. "Umm, no. Should I?"
I looked down at my hands, saying nothing.
"I'm going to die very soon without it, aren't I?" he said quietly.
"Probably." I shrugged.
The next few hours were awful. I held him through all the withdrawls- the shaking, the screaming, the warming skin, the shortening nose.
Finally, when he didn't even have the power to lift his head anymore, he almost looked like he did when I first met him, but in a shrunken, frail, ancient way. I cradled him in my arms, slowly rocking him back and forth.
At that moment, he used all of his strength to look into my eyes, a moment of lucidity there that I never expected to see again, "Marceline! Oh Marceline, I'm so sorry." He moaned as tears welled in his eyes.
"Simon?!" I asked frantically, clasping his cheek with my bony fingers.
"I remember you," he whispered.
Then I felt him go limp in my hands.