Adventure Time: Into the Multiverse
Part 1: The Land of Ooo
Chapter 1: Friends
Finn and Princess Bubblegum stood before the Flame Princess, in the hall where her father once ruled as leader. This time, her eyes were glowing red and she had an air of regality about her. Behind her, in the jar that long held her captive, was her father. Finn's was sweating profusely, and had a question burning in the back of his mind that he finally worked up the courage to ask. "So does that mean we're still going out?"
"No, I've realized my place is here, ruling these weak and vicious Fire People," replied Flame Princess.
Finn curled up into a little ball, rolling back and forth, in disbelief that his first relationship was formally at its end.
Flame Princess continued. "But we're cool. You're welcome to come back and hang out whenever you like, if you promise me one thing."
"That you'll be completely honest with me."
"Sure, no problem." Finn smiled wanly as he ended the uncomfortable conversation. Once he turned around to leave, the questions in his mind began to race. Was he...rejected? Did she still want to be his friend? Would they ever go out again? Finn knew in the deepest recesses of his mind that the door on this possibility was closed.
Finn wandered silently, trying to process the conversation in his mind on his way back from the Fire Kingdom with PB. "What does it mean? Man, I said I was sorry...and she said everything was cool...what happened? I gotta talk to Jake." The world around him seemed to fade away in the tumult of his emotions. He ambled autonomously through the Fire Kingdom on the long trek back to his house, not even bothering to take his flame suit off once the temperatures around him were at safe levels. The sweat poured out, sticking to his shirt on the warm, sunny summer's day.
Princess Bubblegum walked with him the entire way, trying to figure out just what she could say. She attempted to start a conversation with him several times, but ultimately balked, looking at the sad, lonely expression on his face. She walked beside him uncomfortably for a few hours until they arrived back at Finn's treehouse.
Princess Bubblegum patted Finn on the shoulder and forced a smile. "Bye Finn. I'm sorry it ended this way."
Finn stared at her, but was looking right through her, into the dark recesses of his mind. "Yeah...thanks." He mindlessly opened the door without even saying goodbye to the Princess, who stood at the closed door briefly before making her way back to the Candy Kingdom.
Finn came in the door and Jake was waiting on the couch, drinking some tea. As Finn threw his backpack on the floor without saying a word, Jake got up from the couch and set his tea down on stacks of Ice King's fanfiction, which they had been using as makeshift tables.
"So...how'd it go?" Jake smiled and approached his brother.
"Dude...don't even...it was like...I don't know."
"Man, you gotta be more specific. Are you guys...?"
"Well...we went to find FP...except now she's like, running the Fire Kingdom, and her dad's imprisoned in that thing she was in."
"Ok...and are you still..."
"Well, she said we couldn't get back together...but I could still come hang out. So maybe?"
Jake patted his brother on the back and invited him to take a seat. "I don't know man, it sounds to me like it's over, like, for realsies."
Finn's muscles tightened, and his voice raised. "But she said we were cool, and I could come and hang out anytime!"
Jake hugged his brother briefly, then looked him in the eye. "You've been bro-zoned dude. Just face it. I mean, you can hang out with her if you want, but I wouldn't. You gotta accept she's not your girlfriend anymore."
"But…but…that's just not right man! How could that be? All that time we spent together! I think you're just jaded, bro."
Jake cringed and raised his eyebrow at his brother. "I might be jaded, but I don't hang out in the bro-zone. It'll drive you crazy. I'm just lookin' out for you bro, do whatever you want."
Finn sighed and stayed silent for a moment. "Whatever dude. I'm done with this for now. Wanna get BMO and kill some zombies? I got a great new game you gotta check out!"
At this point, Ice King stomped downstairs from his makeshift room in the attic.. "Face it man, you blew it! It's over! Done! I know a thing or two about things being done…oh, my precious Bubblegum…Now help me unpack the rest of my stuff! You know, this wouldn't have happened if your psycho ex could keep her fiery temper under control! Not that you didn't completely MAKE her lose her temper, but that's BESIDE THE POINT!" Ice King pointed to his large stacks of fanfiction and videotapes, where Jake's tea sat, getting cold.
Finn shook his fist, trembling all over. "Ice King!" He paused for a moment and hung his head low. "….eh, you're right. I'll help you unpack. Wanna join us later for videogames?" Finn got started on the slow, boring task of helping the Ice King organize his fanfiction and video tapes. They hung a makeshift curtain dividing the bedroom in two, and used some of his first drafts to prop up a mattress they crafted out of straw for him. Hours rolled by silently as Finn persisted on his lonely task. Once they were complete, Ice King joined Finn and Jake for a marathon night of video gaming, which extended way into the early morning hours.
Several weeks passed with little change in Finn's habits. He stayed around the house and played videogames until late, then woke up some time around mid-afternoon only to repeat the process. Jake tried his best to give his brother leeway, as he knew that Finn really hoped that his first relationship would work out. Finn said little to Jake or Ice King, ate very little, and had stopped showering.
Finn woke up groggy one morning, up late again from another night of slaying zombies. He felt like he needed to leave. Jake was making a late breakfast for both of them. "You gonna eat anything bud? Gotta get your nutrition, start the day out right!"
Finn put his backpack on and grabbed his sword. "Nah man, I'm good. "Haven't been hungry lately. I think I'm gonna go out, get some air, maybe find a dungeon and kill some stuff, get some treasure, ya know?"
"Man, you gotta get over it at some point. You don't look or smell like any brother of mine...when's the last time you showered?"
Finn smelled his armpits indifferently and shrugged his shoulders. "Eh...who needs a shower? I don't smell that bad."
"Dude...seriously. If you can't smell it, I can't lead you to water. Though I probably should try anyways."
"I'll shower later, bro. I'm goin out by myself."
"Alright man, but you gotta get over it at some point. It's been like 3 weeks dude."
"Whatev, man, I'll be out until whenever. Don't wait up for me."
"Come on Finn, it's not the end of the world. Snap out of it!" Jake looked up and realized that Finn was no longer in the room. The door slammed shut.
Jake had been concerned about his brother, and this latest development was more troubling. Finn seemed to lose all motivation until just then, when he suddenly wanted to go out dungeon hunting by himself? He hadn't seen Finn this way since his plagued pursuit of Princess Bubblegum. He felt guilty for his previous intervention, which landed Finn in this situation to begin with, so he resigned himself to allow Finn to come to terms with his own feelings. "He'll come around, eventually…he'll see it's not the end of the world," Jake said to himself, turning back to his lonely breakfast, getting cold on the table.
Finn emerged from his house for the first time in weeks and decided to take a long walk around Ooo. He told himself that it would get his mind off of things, but all he really wanted to do was think about the situation with some fresh scenery around him. Jake was sympathetic, but couldn't understand, as he was in a good relationship with Lady. Ice King was as annoying as he always was, and his ideas of what constituted a relationship generally involved kidnapping and reading bad stories where he was the main hero.
Finn couldn't accept that it was really over. "Man, I really liked her...we hugged like 17 times, we almost...kissed It can't end like this. She wants to be my friend, eh? Well I'll show her what a great friend I can be!" Finn found himself saying aloud, as if Jake was beside him. "Oh right, I'm all alone...alone...forever..."
Finn thought long and hard about their relationship, walking along the path to nowhere in particular, kicking small pebbles as the mood would catch him. He felt betrayed that Flame Princess was now running the Fire Kingdom, the place that imprisoned her for most of her life. He wondered, "how exactly did she take over...was she ev..." He stopped himself mid-thought, unable to go down that dark path. More questions than answers were running through his mind, and he was getting fatigued trying to take in the complexity of all that had happened. Once he hit an impasse, he realized what he had to do. He had to go on another adventure. Finn decided to stop his aimless wandering, and turned around, heading in the direction of the Candy Kingdom. Bubblegum always had something that she needed him to do, and he knew he'd feel better after a successful quest.
Finn arrived at the Candy Kingdom after wandering around for hours. It was a beautiful day outside. Finn had deep circles under his eyes and trembling hands, betraying his inner chaos to those who bothered to look deeper. Finn greeted the banana guards, who gave him quick passage into the castle. The Princess was in her throne room. He walked up the stairs and made his way into the throne room to see her.
"Hey Peebles," Finn said absent-mindedly.
"Ah Finn! Great to see you! How have you been?"
"Eh...you know. Same old. Got anything for me to do?"
"I have something in mind for you. But it's dangerous…and you have to be able to keep a secret."
"Anything that'll get my mind off of this, PBB. This is like, the weirdest I've ever felt. One minute, I'm like on top of the world, the next, I'm stuck in the darkest part of the Nightosphere alone with Marce's dad."
"Ok, Finn, if you're willing. Cinnamon Bun hasn't come back or even called me since he went with Flame Princess to the Fire Kingdom several weeks ago. I'm worried he might be...in danger. She's still unstable, and I wasn't able to complete my analysis on her emotional and physical makeup. I'm just worried about him. Can you check up on him and make sure everything's ok?"
A smile crept onto Finn's tired, creased face. "You got it, Peebles!" He would get to go on an adventure AND have a good excuse to spend time with Flame Princess! He couldn't resist.
"But Finn, there's one thing…"
"What is it?"
"Finn, you can't let Flame Princess know that I sent you. She's…probably not happy with me after I tried to examine her. She DID run away before my tests could be completed, after all. It's hard to say what she might do to him if she finds out that I'm the one sending you. You've GOT to keep it a secret, okay?"
"Of course!" Finn ran out of the Candy Kingdom hurriedly, and rushed home in jubilation. The day seemed brighter, as Finn finally expanded his myopic view and saw the world around once more, the color rushing back into his world with the thrill of this new opportunity.
"I'm home, Jake!" Finn exclaimed as he burst through the door. Jake was playing videogames on BMO and sitting on the couch.
"What's up, bro? Feelin' better? You got a spring in your step...did you meet a new girl or somethin?"
Finn laughed. "Nah, man, nothin' like that. I did run into Peebles though. She's got this awesome mission for me."
"Heh heh...it's not find an eligible princess and kiss her or anything, is it?"
"Way more awesome than that. I get to go to the Fire Kingdom to check up on Cinnamon Bun!"
Jake squinted skeptically at his brother. "I don't know man...you sure that's a good idea? I mean, getting over FP is one thing...but you're like...going back into the lion's den. You sure you just ain't gonna get your hopes up all over again?"
"Nah man. I've got total clarity now. We're just friends, right? I'm gonna go get my flame suit and head out."
"Well alright, man. If you say so. I'll be right here playing Zombopocalypse if you need me."
Finn went upstairs and put on his flame suit. He already had his other adventuring provisions from earlier, so once he grabbed a quick bite to eat, he headed out for the Fire Kingdom.
It was a hot day in the Fire Kingdom, as most days were. The sense of foreboding pervasive during the rule of Flame King was replaced with a nervous sense of optimism about the future. Many Fire People were out and about, and greeted Finn as he wandered through the Kingdom.
Finn was hopeful that his meeting with the Flame Princess could be the start of something new. He had almost forgotten he was on a mission from Princess Bubblegum as he made his way to her throne room.
"Oh hey, dude, it's you." One of the Flame Guards eyed Finn.
"Yeah man, can you let me in to see the Princess? It's like, totes important."
"Uh, sure. Step right in."
As Flame Princess saw Finn, she stood up from atop her throne and smiled broadly. "Finn, what are you doing here? It's good to see you!"
Finn blushed a little. "I just wanted to stop by and hang out, you know, like old times?"
"Well, I'm a little busy now, the pressures of running a kingdom, you know? But you're welcome to come hang out with me while I make my rounds."
Finn jumped high up in the air, despite the heavy weight of his flame suit. "I'd love that!"
They wandered around the Fire Kingdom, and Flame Princess was showing some of the improvements she had made since becoming ruler. Houses were being built for many of the homeless and more unfortunate subjects. Roads and bridges that had fallen into disrepair were feverishly being fixed. As they walked along a road that was being repaired, Flame Princess explained her ambitious plan for the future of the Fire Kingdom.
"Now that we run an HONEST kingdom here, I've finally managed to do something about the high unemployment rate. Working people generally don't commit treason, you know?"
Finn was absorbed in his own romantic thoughts about Flame Princess. Her eyes seemed to dance playfully as she talked, and she looked beautiful standing there, with the flames dancing around her. Her regal dress only served to highlight the curve of her face and her lovely auburn hair. "Uh-huh, yeah…they can like work and stuff…" he replied absent-mindedly.
"Finn, are you listening to me?"
"Y-y-yeah! Of course! Totally, FP!"
Flame Princess scowled at Finn as she crossed her arms. "Ok, then you'll know where we're going next."
Finn saw his chance. "To see…Cinnamon Bun?"
"Well, what I actually said was that we're going to see one of the new bridges being built, but Cinnamon Bun will be there. He IS my chief advisor and head of the project, after all."
"Whew…" Finn muttered under his breath.
After a short walk down the newly-built road, Finn and Flame Princess approached the bridge. They were working out a way to connect two previously separated parts of the kingdom that spanned a large lake of fire. The support arches were being built at both sides simultaneously out of granite blocks that were trucked in from the nearby mountains. There were about 50 flame people working feverishly when the arrived.
Cinnamon Bun was tinged blue from the flame protection spell he had cast on him, and wearing a hat indicating he was the foreman of the project. Despite his blue tint, he was still short, brownish, and squishy. His vapid gaze quickly turned to the two familiar people approaching him.
"Uh…hi Flame Princess, hi Finn! What are you doing here?"
"We're here to see my favorite adviser, and to check on the new bridge," replied Flame Princess.
"Uh, yeah…we're building the bridge…it's not done yet."
Finn nervously laughed. "So how are you doing, CB? Flame Princess treating you well?"
"Uh…yeah…she's not mean like Princess Bubblegum was…she was ba-"
"Now Cinnamon Bun!" Flame Princess chided. "You know she's not really bad, and you shouldn't say those things."
"Uh…ok Flame Princess...but I like you better than her. Look at the bridge we're building…"
"I like you too," said Flame Princess happily, "and you're doing a good job."
Finn was tapping his foot impatiently, having had his fill of all the boring drudgeries that Flame Princess was dragging him through. . All they were doing was just running around from place to place, checking on this and that person or project. What was clearly missing here was a sense of adventure. He was very happy that he wasn't the one running a kingdom, and had a newfound respect for Flame Princess as well as Princess Bubblegum. His thought train led him to a clever idea.
"So, you wanna go on an adventure some time, Flame Princess? You know…like…old…times?"
"Finn, don't you see that my people here need me? People like my father have neglected and abused them for as long as anyone can remember. I have a lot of work to do…I don't have time to go on silly adventures like I used to…but I appreciate the thought."
Even through the flame suit, Finn's muscles could be seen tensing up briefly, then releasing as he stood slumped and resigned before her. "Ok, well, you seem like totally busy here FP, so I'll catch up with you later."
"Later, Finn," FP replied absently, focused almost entirely on the engineering specs on the bridge.
Finn turned around so she wouldn't see the tears in his eyes, and sauntered out of the Fire Kingdom. As he wandered out on his solitary trek out of the volcano, he turned his inner eye to the chaos that turned underneath. He was again rejected. Finn avoided the gaze of all the flame people who tried to greet him on his way out, knowing that he would scream at the first person who spoke to him in his present state.
At least he could tell Bubblegum that Flame Princess had not harmed Cinnamon Bun, and actually seemed to be treating him quite well, and giving him responsibilities no one thought he could handle.
Finn arrived home later that evening in the pouring rain, which fit his mood perfectly. He knew he'd have to talk to Jake about the whole mess, but wasn't sure if he was ready to go through with it. He stood outside in the rain, steeling himself for the conversation, which would just reopen the fresh wounds that he felt. He came in silently, put up his flame suit, and headed back downstairs to see Jake, who was waiting for him in the living room.
"What did I tell you man?" Jake patted his brother on the back. "Totally bro-zoned. Sucks, don't it?"
Finn just crossed his arms and sighed. "Yeah man…I just don't get it. I mean, we were so…I don't know…COOL at one time. She called adventures SILLY, man! That's like, UNFORGIVABLE, and totes lame."
"Look, bro, you just gotta get your mind off it. Why don't we go do a jam session with Marceline? That always cheers you up."
"Yeah, that'd be cool," an ethereal voice said. The room slowly got dark, and when the lights came back on, the form of Marceline appeared, floating in front of them.
"Marceline! How long have you been there?" asked Finn, perplexed more than he should have been. Marce made a regular habit of causing mischief and spying on them.
"Oh, a couple of hours," she replied, nonchalantly. "Yeah Finn, you gotta get your mind off it for a bit. Come on, let's go to my place and jam."
Ice King appeared from upstairs and had some tapes in his hand. "Or, or, or, or…now just hear me out here…we could watch some of my home movies. I have some with Gunter cleaning my house, here's me reading my fanfiction-a bit too racy for the ladies maybe-and some with me wearing glasses and talking like some kind of brain."
Ice King had been watching a lot of the movies he had made while he was Simon lately. He wasn't really sure why he was watching them, but he was drawn inexorably towards them now.
Marceline sighed. "Ugh, no way, Simon. No one wants to watch you read your gross fanfiction! Come on guys, let's go."
"Later, Ice King. Enjoy reading your fanfiction to your usual audience." Finn chuckled.
"But I'll be here all by myself...oh come on guys! Don't leave me hanging."
"Later dude!" Finn, Jake, and Marceline left before Ice King started watching tapes of dramatic readings of his latest draft.
Marceline turned into a giant bat and carried Finn and Jake on her back as she flew away to her house . The house was in a dank and spooky cave. The porch had a basketball hoop on the side, and the house itself was warmly lit on the inside, welcoming visitors who had braved the cavern.
"Sorry about the mess, guys, it's been a while since I last cleaned," Marce apologized as they entered her house. Dirty clothes and various half-consumed apples, strawberries, and other food less recognizable strewn about. "Just make yourselves at home. I'll go get my axe and we can jam for a bit." She floated upstairs to search for her guitar.
Finn and Jake moved some dirty clothes aside, sat down on her couch, and began to talk. "Dude, I just don't know what to do," said Finn. "I've never felt this way before. I'm just..."
Marce floated down the stairs with her guitar. "Well guys, enough chatting, let's make some music!" Finn, not waiting for anyone else, jumped in, encouraging everyone else to follow his lead.
I can't keep pushing this down any deeper,
Why do I keep trying if I can't keep her?
Every move I make,
Is just another mistake,
I wonder what it would take,
Because it feels like there's a hole inside my body,
Like there's a hole inside my heart.
It's like this feeling is gonna consume me,
If I keep hoping for us not to depart.
Oh, I feel like I'm all burned up inside,
It's like I'm all burned up inside,
It's like I'm all burned up insi-i-de... i-i-ide.
"Wow Finn, that's really deep," exclaimed Marce.
Jake, who knew the song, couldn't help but shed a small tear. It was this song, after all, that was the beginning, and now the end of Finn's first relationship. "Aw Finn, come here! It's brohug time!" Jake wrapped himself around his brother, who just stood there in response.
"I….just don't get it, man…" responded Finn after some time, despondently. "Why do relationships have to be so complicated? I thought for sure Flame Princess was the one…I just made one mistake, dude…I just...I just…" Finn sat down on the couch and released the torrent of sadness that had been welling up inside him.
Marce, who was generally uncomfortable with such a raw display of emotion, chimed in. "Finn, it's not just you. Sometimes, it just doesn't work…it doesn't mean you're a bad guy."
Finn wiped the tears from his face and sniffled to clear his throat. "Really?"
"Yeah, I mean, I think you're a great guy. I'm sure you'll find someone eventually, someone more like you. She wasn't right for you anyways. You guys just didn't have anything in common."
"But, how could it have felt so good if it wasn't?"
Marceline sat down on the couch beside Finn. "Well, hat's kind of the thing with love. It can play tricks on you. Trust me, I'm over 1000 years old. I've been through it all."
"So, what do girls want? I mean, like really want? Not like being chased by wolves or wrestled with."
"Finn, it's a lot more complicated than that. I can't give you just a simple answer. Different girls want different things. Just be nice, and be yourself. You're bound to find someone whose interests and personality match up more with your own eventually. It's not the end of the world."
Finn forced a smile through his tears. His eyes, although bloodshot, sparkled with a glimmer of hope. "You promise?"
"I do. Guaranteed. You can put me in a headlock and pin me down to the ground if I'm wrong."
"Ok, Marce, you're on! I won't let this get me down. I had no idea you were so totally deep. You're totally rad, and a great friend, thanks for talking me through it…and you too bro." he said, turning to Jake.
"No problem, now can we keep playing? I haven't jammed in weeks, and I've got a great vibe going right now," asked Marce, picking up her guitar. Finn, Jake, and Marce played music, sang, and danced well into the early morning. They all ended up crashing on Marce's couch in exhaustion. Even though the couch was uncomfortable, Finn slept peacefully that night, thinking of how great his friends were and hopeful that he would one day find that special person.
The next morning, after they all awoke, and Finn and Jake went back home. After a quick afternoon lunch, Finn realized there was something he still had to do. Even though the wounds on his heart were still fresh, he would have to give Princess Bubblegum a full report on Cinnamon Bun. He made his way later that evening to the Candy Kingdom to parlay with her.
Princess Bubblegum had been expecting Finn to show up, and quickly invited him into her private study when he arrived. Finn and Bubblegum sat down and closed the door behind them. Finn began to provide her the details of his run-in with Flame Princess.
"I don't really like it," Bubblegum rubbed her chin thoughtfully, after listening patiently to Finn's account of the events that had transpired. "But if that's how it is, just keep a watch on him for now, Finn."
Finn looked grieved at the prospect of so soon returning to the Fire Kingdom. "Princess, I don't really want to go back right away. That meeting…it cut me deep, you know? Can I go back later, maybe when it won't hurt so bad?"
"I suppose we could wait a little while. It might take her a while to put her plans into action, anyways."
"What plans, Princess?"
Bubblegum tensed up slightly. "Oh…nothing, just if she's up to something we might not know right away. Does…she suspect anything?"
"Not that I could tell at least. She seemed like, totes absorbed into her work. It was mad crazy. She was acting just like you do, with her 'kingdom' this and 'duty' that."
Bubblegum suddenly turned a dark shade of red. "I AM NOTHING LIKE HER!" She exclaimed as she rose out of her seat.
"A-a-anyways," she said, quickly regaining her composure and sitting back down. "Just keep an eye out for me, okay? I want to make sure she's stable and not harming my dear, precious Cinnamon Bun," she said sweetly, with a smile on her face.
"You got it PBB. I'll keep any eye out. You can count on me!"
"I know I can, Finn. That's why you're the right man for the job." As they both got up to leave the room, she gave him a little peck on the cheek.
Finn blushed. "T-t-thanks!" he stammered, then made his exit.
Finn went back home, trying to figure out how he was going to keep making excuses to go back to the Fire Kingdom. "At least she didn't give me a deadline. I'll get to it when I feel better."
Finn, spent the next few months playing games with BMO, watching movies with Ice King, and embarking on adventures with Jake. He was finally beginning to move on, and feeling more like the old Finn. "I don't need anyone right now," he thought to himself, "I'm happy just taking things as they come!"
In the midst of his self-healing and self-discovery, he had forgotten about his promise to Princess Bubblegum to check up on Cinnamon Bun and the doings of the Fire Kingdom. But then, a prompt reminder arrived, knocking at the front door, as Jake and Finn were eating breakfast.
"Go get that, BMO, we're busy," said Jake.
"Who is it?" Asked BMO. "Are you a criminal? Are you going to rob me or something?" He asked innocently, looking at the living incarnation of flames in front of him.
"I was told this is where I could find Finn the Human," the flame guard bellowed. "Is he available?"
Jake and Finn rushed downstairs at the same time. It was good to have BMO around to answer the door sometimes, although his demeanor was less than helpful if it were someone important at the door.
"I'm Finn the Human," Finn suspiciously eyed the out-of-place visitor. "Oh, so let me guess…"
"The Flame Queen requests your presence immediately. Please come with me." The guard stated.
"Totally called it! You owe me bacon pancakes tomorrow!"
"Alright, fine," said Jake, upset at having lost yet another bet in the 'who's at the door' game. "Can I come along this time? You know, just so it doesn't end up like it did the time before?"
"Of course, bro. I know you got my back."
"Both of you, please equip yourselves properly and follow me. It is a matter of urgent need," the guard said. They ran upstairs and got their provisions quickly. About ten minutes later with their flame suits on, they headed out the door, accompanied by the guard.