"I'm so sorry, Mar-Mar. I love you," he whispered.
The wizard lifted his sword and made his way to the cabin, ready to end the Abadeer family line once and for all.
In the moments before Ash attacked, the cabin was silent for the first time since they arrived. Princess Bubblegum sat at the kitchen table with Simon and Doctor Princess, Finn and Marceline were sleeping in each other's arms, and the SSA's were diligently watching for any signs of danger. The silence was broken, however, when Ash used his magic to throw a boulder through cabin's picture window, and everyone snapped into action.
"Hide," Princess Bubblegum ordered.
"But we can't just-" Simon began to protest, but stopped when Princess Bubblegum glared at him.
Without another word, Simon led Doctor Princess away from the table and into the small pantry. Princess Bubblegum pulled up her pink dress to reveal a small handgun strapped to her outer thigh. She expertly loaded the weapon and ran to the sitting room, where Ash was battling three Special Security Agents, cackling as he created small knives from nothing and sent them flying through the air. Two SSA's lay on the floor, their throats slit.
"Oh hello, Princess," he said mockingly when he noticed her arrival.
With a flick of his wrist, Ash effortlessly killed the last of the SSA's. Princess Bubblegum gasped, and angry tears sprang into her eyes. She blinked them away and held up her gun.
"Ash, please stop this," the princess spoke firmly. "I can pardon you for your crimes, and no one else has to get hurt."
Ash laughed. "I'm not that dumb, Bonnibel."
The wizard pointed his wand at the princess and the gun disintegrated. Crying out in surprise, Princess Bubblegum stared down at her hands. She barely saw Ash running towards her, sword outstretched, until its tip pierced the wall and sliced off a chunk of her candy hair. He pinned her to the wall, his nose almost touching hers.
"I know all about you, Bonnie," Ash sneered. "How Marceline used you for kicks when you were young…She told me all about it you know: how she stole the virginity of the primmest princess in all of Ooo, and how that dumb Bubblegum bitch is still chasing after her twenty years later."
"No," Princess Bubblegum whispered. "No, that's not true!"
"Believe what you want to, your highness, it won't matter soon enough. Tell me where Marceline is and I'll leave you alone."
"She's not here!" Princess Bubblegum said indignantly.
Ash smiled, and used the tip of his sword to cut a straight line in the princess` clothes. They fell away, and a small drop of blood ran from between her breasts and down her flat stomach. She gasped and turned her face away, unwilling to show Ash the fear in her eyes. He grabbed her nipple, rubbed it between his fingers and repeated his command. When the Princess refused to answer, he pinched her hard and gritted his teeth.
"Alright, bitch this is getting old. Tell me where my Mar-Mar is!"
Ash thrust his fingers between Princess Bubblegum's legs. She wanted to scream, but she bit her lip. She wouldn't give Ash the satisfaction of knowing how much he was hurting her.
"You like this, Bubblegum? Does this remind you of your precious Vampire? Tell me where she is!"
"I will not!" Princes Bubblegum used every bit of her energy to push the wizard away.
Ash landed on the floor and hit his head on the wall. The princess used the opportunity to try to run away, but she had taken no more than a few steps when she fell. Ash stood up and pointed his wand at her. Suddenly, she felt an unimaginable pain shoot through her body, and she began to scream.
Marceline heard the princess' cries, and clung tighter to Finn. He had started to check on his friends as soon as he heard the breaking glass, but Marceline had begged him to stay. He couldn't, however, stay hidden when one of his best friends was obviously in pain.
"Marcy, listen," Finn said, gently guiding her face up to his. "I have to go, and I need you to stay here. Can you do that for me?"
"Don't leave me!" Marceline sobbed.
"I'll be right back," he assured her. "Just be quiet, okay?"
Reluctantly, Marceline nodded. Finn untangled himself from her and started to walk out the door. He paused for a moment, turned back to Marceline, and kissed her for a brief, yet passionate, moment. Before she could open her eyes, Finn was gone.
Ash had left Princes Bubblegum writhing in pain to search the cabin. When he came to the small kitchen, his sensitive ears picked up the faint sound of labored breathing, yet he couldn't pinpoint its location. The wizard muttered a spell and an orb of light shot from the tip of his wand and illuminated the pantry, revealing Doctor Princess and Simon's hiding spot.
He smiled, sauntered to the pantry door, and slowly pulled it open.
"Well hello, Simon. So nice to see you! And you, Doctor!"
"Leave Marceline alone!" Simon yelled, wishing desperately that he still had command of his ice powers.
"Tell me where she is, old man. You don't want to end up like the princess over there!"
"Go to hell!"
Simon sprung at Ash, and wrapped his hands around the wizard's throat, only to be quickly thrown off, into the large kitchen window. The glass shattered around him, and Simon dropped to the ground outside, his leg twisted unnaturally under him.
"Now," Ash said, turning to Doctor Princess, "I'm going to ask you this once. Where. Is. Marceline?"
"In the bedroom down the hall!" She sobbed, clinging to Ash's boots. "Next to the painting of King Gumball! Please don't hurt me!"
Ash kicked Doctor Princess away and she fell on the floor, blood from her busted lip pooling with her tears. The confidence he had lost over the past few days was coming back, and he began to wonder if becoming the Vampire King was still a possibility. He strutted down the hall, his combat boots loud against the wooden floors.
"Come out, come out wherever you are!" Ash called as he studied the portraits lining the hallway. "I just want to talk to you. I love you, Mar-Mar!"
Finn burst from Marceline's room, sword drawn.
"You're not going to hurt her anymore!" He yelled as he lunged towards the wizard.
Ash dodged the attack at the last moment and his sword crashed against Finn's. Inside her room, Marceline was sitting on the bed hugging her knees to her chest. She was slowly rocking back and forth, trying to block out Ash's taunts, Finn's grunts of pain, and the never-ending clang of metal on metal. Without even realizing it, Marceline began to sing, her song punctuated by sobs.
"Making your way in the word today takes everything you got. Taking a break from all your worries sure would help a lot. Sometimes you wanna go-"
Marceline heard a cry of surprise and pain from outside her door. Carefully, she scooted to the edge of the bed, slipped off, and stumbled towards the door. In the hallway, Finn had pinned Ash to the ground, his sword poised on the wizard's neck. Ash was struggling against him until he saw Marceline, shoulders hunched, her face twisted in pain.
"Mar-Mar! Save me!" The wizard yelled. "Please, Mar-Mar."
Finn turned to look at Marceline, his eyes wide with surprise. His momentary distraction gave Ash an advantage and he tackled the hero to the ground. Laughing, he looked down at Finn.
"Looks like I out-brained you again, kid," he said. "Now you're going to have to pay. I think I'm going to pluck those eyes right out of your head."
Ash put the tip of his sword at Finn's eyelid. Marceline gathered all the strength she had and rushed at him. When she hit him, the sword slipped and cut a line from the hero's forehead down his cheek. The impact momentarily knocked the air from the wizard's lungs and he lay back on the floor, panting. Marceline tried to punch him, but she was so weak that her hits were ineffective. Ash considered killing her right then, but the part of his mind that had been invaded by the Dark Man wanted her to watch Finn suffer.
He picked Marceline up and threw her against the wall. Several paintings fell to the floor around her and Marceline sat up, eyes dazed. She watched in horror as the wizard advanced towards Finn, his sword gleaming. In a movement almost too fast for even a Vampire to see, Ash lashed out with his sword and severed the hero's right arm with the ease of cutting through paper.
"Finn!" Marceline screamed.
He fell to the floor, his face drained of color. Blood poured from the stump where his arm once was, and he stared at the pool it made dumbly. The sound of Ash stomping towards Marceline, however, reminded him of the danger they were in.
"Marcy, run!" Finn yelled, feebly reaching for his sword.
Marceline tried to run, but Ash stuck his foot out and she landed face-first on the floor. He knelt down beside her and she rolled over to face him.
"Hey babe," Ash whispered, cupping Marceline's face with his hands. "I've missed you. Why'd you run away from me?"
Ash smiled and ran his hand down her neck, lingering at her fang marks, stopping for a brief moment squeeze her breast. Marceline squirmed underneath him as she felt his uncomfortably warm fingers continue to trail down her body and settle on her protruding stomach.
"How's our precious child?" Ash cooed. "Daddy's here."
"Stay away from us!" Marceline yelled.
Suddenly, the Vampire was fiercely protective of her child. She brought her knee up as hard as she could into Ash's crotch. He lost his balance and rolled over onto the ground, his face twisted in pain. Marceline crawled over to Finn and discovered that he was unconscious. Desperately, she tried to wake him. When that didn't work, she threw his arm around her shoulder and tried to drag him into the bathroom where she could lock Ash out. She hadn't got far when Marceline heard Ash's heavy footsteps behind her.
She clung to Finn's limp body, one hand protectively on her stomach. She was waiting for Ash's sword to send her to darkness, but the darkness never came. Instead, there was an explosion and a blinding flash of light. Marceline looked up to see her father, in his monstrous form, clutching Ash in one of his thick tentacles.
Ash tried to fight against Hunson, but the Demon was too powerful. He wrapped a second tentacle around the wizard's neck and tightened it slowly before violently ripping his head from his neck. Marceline watched, an odd mix of horror and happiness stirring inside her. She looked up and saw Finn, his face unnaturally pale. The Vampire hid her face in his chest, and a dreamless unconsciousness overcame her.
Finn was floating through the darkness among thousands of stars, yet he felt unafraid. Suddenly, a feathered wing shot out from the black expanse and Finn was looking up at the large owl that had visited him in his dreams so many times before.
"The Holy Mother is safe for now," the Cosmic Owl said. "But there is still danger in her future. You must keep her and her child safe at all costs. The son she is carrying will save Ooo and usher in a new time of prosperity and peace. It is now your duty to protect them. Can you do this, young hero?"
"Of course," Finn said. "I love her and I'll never let anyone hurt her again!"
"The universe thanks you, Finn the Human. Your task begins now."
The Cosmic Owl opened his wing and Finn was falling. When he hit the ground, he opened his uninjured eye and looked around the sterile, white room. His eye fell on Marceline, who was sleeping in a recliner by his bedside, an open book in her hand.
"Marcy?" Finn whispered, realizing his voice was quite hoarse. "Marcy? Wake up!"
Marceline sat up in the recliner and looked vaguely confused for a moment. Then she saw Finn's tousled hair and bandaged face, and everything rushed back to her: Ash's attack, waking up in an unfamiliar hospital, and the hours she had sat by Finn's bedside since she was deemed healthy.
"What happened, Marcy?" Finn asked. "I mean, I know about my arm and all that junk but after that? Is PB okay? And Simon and your dad? Did they catch Ash? Have you heard anything about Jake? Did-"
"Whoa, slow down, hero," Marceline said. "Bonnie is in the next room resting; Ash put her under a spell that causes pain, but she's recovering now. Simon shattered his femur and got some internal injuries, but they say he'll be fine. Dad didn't get hurt; he made sure we don't have to worry about Ash anymore. They haven't been able to reverse the paralysis spell on Jake, but they're still working."
"And you? Are you okay?"
"I'm okay. Doctor Princess did another ultrasound and she says the baby is stronger than she could have imagined. I…I think I'm happy about that."
"That's great," Finn said, smiling up at Marceline.
He patted a place next to him on the bed and Marceline sat down. They sat in silence for a moment, and Finn could tell that the queen was struggling to put her thoughts into words. He held out his remaining hand. Marceline grasped it and took a deep breath.
"It won't be too long before the baby is born and…Well, it's hard to raise a kid by yourself and…Since Ash is gone I was just thinking…It's stupid, but I was wondering if you might want to be there sometime. You know, to be a good influence. On both of us. If you want to, I mean."
Finn pulled Marceline close to him.
"Don't worry, Marcy. I'll be there. Always"
"Thanks," Marceline said, her face relaxing with relief. "Dweeb."
Finn smiled and his lips gently met with hers. Her stomach pressed against his, and he felt the first movements of the child who would one day become the greatest hero Ooo had ever seen. He thought of his dreams; they were muddled now, but he couldn't help but shake the feeling that something huge had been set in motion.
A/N: Thanks so much for reading and reviewing! This has been the first story after a long break, and you guys have encouraged me to write more. If you are interested in a sequel, leave a review and let me know!