Disclaimer: It's "I Don't Own It" time!
Author's Note: I have a bunch headcanons about these two, but I'm never sure how to work those ideas into stories. Here's an attempt. There are undoubtedly better ways to write this, but I was trying to keep the flavor of the episodes. If that makes any sense. :'D
Warnings: Bubbline. I haven't quite caught up with the series yet—I'm at the end of season three, though I've seen a few eps from four. So if I eff up the canon, that's why. Sorry. XD; Possible OOCness. Probably reads stupidly. Also crap editing.
Dedication: A very happy Christmas to IDK mah BFF Hannah. Thank you again for all of that "Adventure Time" money. 8D
"All right, Finn. I need your box to lay me down a steady beat."
"Gotcha!" Finn trilled, arms flopping like cooked spaghetti as he gave an enthusiastic jump. As per usual, the white-capped teen failed to stay airborne—not that he'd ever give up trying—but he did manage to exchange a high-five with the floating Marceline before gravity reasserted its hold. The vampire queen grinned her appreciation, pleased by his overall eagerness… But still, there remained a weariness in her eyes that worried him. Finn wasn't what one might call "observant," but even he'd sensed something was wrong with his friend when she'd stopped by the tree house that morning.
Admittedly, it'd helped that she'd dropped in through the roof. And that her first words had been, "I need your help. It's an emergency."
"What's wrong?" he'd demanded, half-heartedly resisting her impatient tugs towards the door. Not that there was ever any use in resisting Marceline. In the end, he'd allowed her to hook her gloved arms beneath his own and lift him into the bright spring sky without much fuss.
"Inspiration," she'd finally grunted in answer, scowling at the rainbow of flowers that'd begun to blossom across the valley. For a little longer than an instant, Finn had considered protesting again—that didn't seem too horribly urgent, and he was supposed to meet Princess Bubblegum to help set up for the Candy Kingdom's annual Sugar High Dance Off— but when he'd looked up, he couldn't help but notice that Marceline's expression had seemed unusually dark. Even taking into account the shadow cast by the brim of her hat.
So he'd stayed quiet. At least, until they were in her living room and she'd asked him to make some noise.
"This is totes important, okay?" Marceline prompted, giving her axe bass a final tuning. Finn nodded animatedly, just to prove he was listening. "I need you to lay down a chill track for me. No interrupting. Or asking questions," she added in a mutter, gray cheeks flaring with color.
"But what if—?"
"I said no questions!" Marcy shrilly snarled, hair standing on end as she hissed like a cat. The guitar in her grasp screeched warningly as sharpened nails scraped across the strings; Finn moaned in pain and clamped his hands over his ears, answering with a fervent nod. Hidden safely in his pocket, Jake did the same.
"Good," the vampire queen encouraged, calming again with a delicate clearing of her throat. "Okay, then. Let's start recording. And a-one, two, three…" She kicked out her foot, in the same way others might extend a prompting hand. Recognizing the gesture from other sessions, her friend pressed the appropriate plastic button on Marceline's voice recorder. Inside the boxed contraption, a cassette clicked into place; the whirling of its cellophane tape served as the first layer of the song's tempo.
"Boom-shk-shk-a-boom," the human then began, his skinny little limbs whipping back and forth as Marceline started strumming and humming.
"Bluebells are blooming in my garden
I didn't know that they were there," she warbled, eyes closing in the reverential way they often did when she was composing a ballad. Realizing this meant that he'd be able to get away with a bit of curious nosing, Finn peeked outside her living room window; there really were bluebells sprouting. Huh. Was that the whole of her inspiration? Had that been what had prompted this emergency jam? But why? He didn't think Marceline was allergic to pollen or anything, and it wasn't like bluebells were poisonous or prone to choking people to death with their roots… So what the heck? Bewildered, Finn turned his attention back to his hovering pal, watching as her dark locks slowly swirled in somber spirals.
"The last time that I saw some
I braided them into your hair."
Oh. Okay. Finn stole a glance downward, wordlessly conferring with Jake. He got it, now. This was just like Marceline's Dad and cold fries, then—a song about somebody and the thing that reminded her of them. That was why the flowers made her so glum. Grasping this, the brothers shared a curt, congratulatory nod, impressed by their own detective skills. But still, knowing why Marceline was hurting didn't help them make her feel better; they'd have to pay super-close attention, then, and figure out just who she was singing about in order to cheer her up.
"Do you remember in the spring
When I picked for you that bluebell?"
If only she'd make it easy and name the person, like she did in her Daddy song. But if the blush on her face was any indication, this particular ditty embarrassed her more than anything she'd ever sung for them before, so they probably wouldn't be so lucky, this time around. Still, she wasn't done yet, so maybe…
"It sounded to me like your name
And you loved it, I could tell," Marceline crooned, sprawled on her back as she glided around the vibrant room, drifting along just beneath the pale purple trim of the ceiling. (Actually… Now that Finn thought about it, it was almost a bluebell color, wasn't it?) His friend's rosy cheeks burned a bit more brightly as she whispered her brief chorus: "And I miss you…
I wonder if you miss me, too."
"Boom-shk-shk-a-boom," Finn relentlessly continued, though he'd begun to frown a bit, as well, perplexed by the mystery of it all. Whose name sounded like 'bluebell'? Well, if nothing else, he could certainly knock himself and Jake off of the list of possible suspects… Simon, too. But who else was Marceline close to? Who else might…?
"Were you lying when you told me
That I made blue your favorite?
I never really cared for pink
At least, until the day we met," the morose vampire sang, lowered lid cracking open just enough to look almost-guiltily at her walls. Which, Finn only now realized, were really very pink, weren't they? That edible shade seen everywhere in a certain kingdom. It was a hue that the human knew well— he just couldn't quite put his finger on why it was so familiar…
…wait a minute.
"Did you know your name means 'pretty,'
Like a flower, fine and fair," Marceline murmured, fingers expertly plucking out chords and melodies as she glared dreamily elsewhere. Apparently, while busy glowering at her paint job, her body had shifted a bit; now she was doing as Finn had earlier: staring out the window, distracted by the scattered bluebell sprigs that had popped up here and there on the far corners of her lawn. "What you did to me was neither,
But still— those bluebells hang just like your hair
So I miss you…
And I wonder if you miss me, too."
"Yeah, I miss you,
And I wonder if you miss me, too," she finished with a final strum, voice fading into silence as Finn swallowed, watching his friend drift sadly back to earth. She landed without sound in the middle of her red couch, carefully cradling her bass. While it'd been a vain hope, part of Finn had thought maybe just helping her record the song might make Marcy feel better. Nope. When she was done, she set her instrument aside, pulled her knees to her chest, and simply looked more depressed than before.
Well, if music had failed, then friendship would just have to do.
"…you know," the teen said after a lengthy pause, tromping over to the couch and flopping heavily atop its uncomfortable cushions, "I think Princess Bubblegum really likes bluebells. This one time, Jake and I brought her flowers, but she burned them. I mean, yeah, she was possessed I guess, but still. Anyway, when we brought her those flowers, there were already a couple of dried ones on a high shelf in her room. I didn't really look at 'em closely or anything, but I think they looked like the ones in your garden. But, you know. Old and dead. And she didn't set those on fire. I think she even had a picture of them, or something," he told Marceline, pleased when she looked up, obvious surprise overtaking her expression of depression.
"R-really?" she returned, trying to sound conversational as she swiped a hand beneath her eye. Not that she was crying, or anything, of course.
"Yeah. And actually…" Finn furrowed his brow, tapping his chin and turning his face upward, as if caught in the undertow of a brainwave and needing oxygen. "I guess I hadn't really thought about it, but now I'm glad I did, 'cause PB's having this big dance tonight, and I'm supposed to go help set up. But I've been so busy adventuring, I never figured out what decorations to bring. And also, I forgot that I'm supposed to go help Flame Princess pick out a dress. So… Maybe you could take some bluebells from your garden and go help PB out for me? Since I helped you lay down your track."
For what felt like painful ages, Marceline said nothing—instead choosing to stare blankly at her pudgy blonde friend. But then, shyly and sweetly, a small smile began to tug on the corners of the vampire's lips. "Yeah, okay," she eventually agreed, taking once more to the air as her face again turned the same color as her walls. "I guess that's fair."
Then, with a snort of laughter, she kissed his cheek and grinned.
"Tell Princess Bubblegum we'll see her later!" Finn cried, waving an exuberant goodbye from the stoop of Marceline's porch. He knew the vampire would have returned the gesture, but her arms were now overflowing with freshly-picked bluebells; one or two tiny blossoms escaped her grasp as she soared away, leaving a little petal-trail behind her.
"See you guys at the party! And thanks again for, you know, everything!" she returned—with a meaningful wink— before vanishing on the horizon.
"Aw. That was awful nice of you, buddy," mini-Jake peeped, popping up and out of Finn's front pocket like a tiny prairie dog. Stretching out a needle-thin arm, he patted Finn approvingly on the nose. "To help Marcy out like that, I mean."
"Thanks, Jake," his brother beamed, looking appropriately pleased with himself. It was nice to see the vampire queen in better spirits... He was glad he'd been able to help. There was nothing quite like taking something that made you sad and turning it into someone else's happiness. "All in a day's work for a hero."
Still… He paused then, musing.
"I wonder who that song was about."
"Eh. Who could say?" Jake shrugged, mumbling something like "girls are a mystery, man," as he shrank back into the warmth of Finn's shirt. Finn smiled, unperturbed.