Author's Note: Welcome to my newest attempt at fanfiction. Yes, it's another Bubbline. Yes, it is a chaptered story this time! I'm actually taking a lot of care to plan this out and put a lot of effort into it and the plot! Please let me know what you think, and I will work to get the next chapter up soon. Thank you for reading and commenting, I love you!
Random Note: I've made up a lot of stuff for this, and kind of imagine everyone to be a bit more humanoid than in the original show. If you could roll with it, I'd appreciate it. Thanks.
Marceline pushed open the heavy door with ease entering into the library that doubled as a personal study. Hunson Abadeer, King of Nightos, scribbled furiously onto the paper in front of him. His blue-grey skin fell loosely around the contours of his body, making him look like a deflated balloon. Marceline's adoptive father had been the King of Nightos for almost five decades now, one of the longest reigns in history. She could tell, however, that his reign would soon be coming to an end.
"Ahem," Marceline cleared her throat when the man failed to notice her presence.
Hunson's yellow eyes flitted up to view his visitor. "Ah, Marceline. Please sit down."
She sat silently, crossing her right leg over her left and resting her hands on her knees. After a few more seconds, Hunson tossed his feathered pen onto the desk. "I've been in contact with the newly crowned king of the Candy Kingdom. They desire a treaty."
Marceline raised an eyebrow. "That's a bit… out of no where."
Hunson grinned mischievously before sipping his cup of wine. "Ahh… Yes, well. It seems they desire military support from us in the case of an attack from the Ice Kingdom."
"Isn't the Candy Kingdom in a union-bound treaty with the Flame Kingdom for such a thing?" Marceline asked, dubious. Newly-crowned kings demanding treaties were always suspicious… especially when they were demanding such things of Nightos, the most unpopular kingdom in the Land of Ooo.
"You know as well as anyone that Ice and Flame merely cancel one another out. They'd be at an eternal standstill. What was all that military training for, if you can't even remember that?" Hunson licked the end of his pen in disappointment before signing another paper.
"Of course, sire," Marceline lowered her eyes. She attempted to revert the subject. "So you are in talks with the Candy Kingdom concerning a treaty."
"Yes," he looked up from his papers again. "Once the treaty is enacted, Nightos will receive well-increased import and export rights, as well as better deals on things like the produce we need for our people. The one area our great country has always had difficulty in is our international relationships. This is a huge opportunity."
Marceline merely nodded. Hunson wouldn't have called her here just for this. She waited for the true purpose of the late-night summons.
"However," he finally interrupted the silence. "We need something a bit more permanent than a floppy piece of paper claiming we have a treaty. Something more physical… more visual for the people to fully comprehend and appreciate."
Marceline suddenly had a dark suspicion where this was headed.
"Candy King Gumball has offered us the hand of his sister, Bubblegum, for a treaty marriage. I want to suggest you as her fiancée."
Marceline didn't respond. She had expected something like this, and yet to have it presented so blatantly, like a careless detail that didn't matter, was somewhat… more difficult than she expected.
Hunson must have taken her silence as simple contemplation, as he continued unaffected. "I haven't sent the letter yet. There is no guarantee for your future, so you may as well have a say in it. Look at the pros," he began to list the reasons why she should accept.
"One- the increase in foreign relations will get you support from the merchant classes whose livelihoods depend on trade.
"Two- the increase in food, as well as decrease of prices, will gain you support from the lower classes.
"Three- since our chain of rule isn't hereditary in Nightos, you already know well that the rulers are expected to never procreate. You will never pose a 'threat' to the Royal Society, as you will be married to another woman.
"Four- being married will keep the Royal Society and Council from attempting to force you into a bad marriage later.
"Five- it is a marriage that will allow you to stay in Nightos.
"Six- … Well, you could do a lot worse than the Candy Kingdom Princess in terms of matches."
Marceline cleared her throat slowly. She would have to be careful in the way she phrased her next points, less she come across as trying to undermine Hunson's 'brilliant' plan. "What about the cons?" she asked conversationally. "It is much more difficult to sell a married image to the fanizens than a single one. It could hurt my public approval rating. Also… the Candy Princess is known for being headstrong and… independent. She may not be willing to cooperate with us to help our image. There's no guarantee she can be reasoned with."
Hunson smacked his hand onto the desk in front of him, a bit harder than was really necessary. "Marceline, to this point you have done very well in winning the people by charm and… whatever it is that you have. But if you want to have any hope of support for the Inheritance Ceremony, you need to start showing them your stability as a leader. Being in a stable, caring relationship is a good way to start. Especially when that relationship is accompanied by a treaty that grants so much good for the people."
"You believe this is the best course of action," Marceline stated.
"I believe," Hunson's stare bore into her eyes, "that from a tactical standpoint, it is the next best move for you. But it must be your decision. You are a free woman."
Marceline almost laughed aloud at the last statement. This was hardly a decision. This was all a part of Hunson's plan, and he was giving her the first option that didn't involve her marrying a daughter of one of the Royal Society families. It was his version of a kindness.
"You're sure the Candy Kingdom will not take offense to a political marriage, and not an union one?" she asked. A union marriage was made between people of the opposite sex, to help strengthen and extend blood lines. Political marriages were made between people of the same sex, in order to create a powerful international link without bloodlines being involved.
"The Candy King requested a political one himself," Hunson assured her. "It would seem he doesn't wish his sister to produce children that could return to challenge him to his throne in the future."
Marceline thought hurriedly. She could be signing a death sentence on her popularity, or she could be taking the first step towards a stronger image. The key, and yet unknown, factor was the Candy Princess. How would the Princess Bubblegum factor into all of this? Marceline glanced at her father and knew that there was no real choice here.
"Thank you father," she said hollowly. "I will accept the marriage with Princess Bubblegum."
Hunson beemed at her, obviously pleased with the outcome he had desired in the first place. "That's my girl."