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Finn and Simon and Marcy and Martin

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"You know," Marceline broke the silence, "we really need to start throwing these parties at your place, dude."

"No way! Your house is party central!" Finn quickly rebutted. "How come you wanna shut down party central?"

"You can still come over and hang out! But, for one, my house is waaaaay too small for, like, three princesses, an ice... thing, a rainicorn, a dog, and a Simon. Second, the dog keeps eating all the frigging cheesy crackers."

"You can't even eat cheesy crackers!" Finn slugged Marceline in the arm.

"Obviously! I bought the cheesy crackers for everyone else to eat, and Jake downed the entire bowl, like, thirty seconds after he walked in." Marceline returned the slug with an equally wide smile - though her swing was heavy enough to nearly send Finn tumbling off the roof. Ever rough-and-tumble, Finn took it in stride, sitting back up with a hearty chuckle.

"Yeah, he went through like five bowls the last time Prismo threw a party." Briefly, memories of Jake extending extra arms to scoop from several bowls of snacks at once entered Finn's mind. Prismo just kept adding more and more. Horrifying. "We'll just bring the cheesy crackers next time! I bet Prismo can hook us up, actually-"

"Okay, if you're gonna use a wishmaster wish to get cheesy crackers, then fill your place with them. It's like, twice as big as mine." Casually, she leaned back, floating just a few inches off the roof's surface. With her arms behind her head, she looked out at the stars. "I should know. I lived there once. Aaaand I still sneak in like every other night."

"You're messing with me, right? I still think you're messing with me."

"Why would I mess with you?"

"Because you've totally been messing with me for like... five years?"

"Hah!" Marceline snorted, tilting her head to look over at the human. "Yeah, I guess I have. You're pretty consistently fun to mess with, you know? I mean, you've like... gotten taller and wiser, or whatever - but you've always been you."

"And me is totally immune to vampire mind games now!" Finn pointed out. "So I can tell when you're just saying stuff to bunk my brain up."

"Yeah, I guess you have gotten better at it." Marceline admitted, directing her attention back to the sky.

For a few moments, neither of them said a word. It seemed almost like there was nothing left to be said. The gorgeous scene outside, however, was enough to keep both of their attention - at least for the time being. The mouth of the cave that Marceline's shack was tucked away in framed a dazzling view of the night sky, and a lush forest beneath it. All was still, at the moment; but that didn't detract from the sights, in her opinion. As her mind wandered, she made an idle observation aloud, regaining Finn's attention.

"Man, when I still lived alone, I'd sit right here, like, every night. At least for a little while." She began, gaze still firmly set out on the horizon. "Sometimes I'd, like, write songs up here. Helped clear my head, you know? Now I've got Simon with me, so, like- he'll come out and sit with me sometimes. We just kinda watch birds and catch up. I've got way more stories to tell than he does, since... you know," she winced, momentarily looking off to the side, "but it's good - like, to talk to him again. To really talk to him again."

"You ever bring PB up here to make it out?" Finn sensed an urge to lighten the mood.

"Hahah! Dude!" Marceline jabbed him with one hand. "...Yes. But that's not your business."

There was an awkward moment of silence. Finn's smile dipped, and he mulled something over in his head. Marceline didn't think much of it until she heard him speak again.

"I had a question, actually. About that." He spoke up.

"About making out?" She looked right over. "Dude, you're grown up now, you can figure that out on your own."

"No! Blagh! I mean, like-" he made a vague gesture, tapping his flesh hand against his metal one. "I mean about Simon."

That got Marceline to pause for a moment - but she wasn't defensive. "What kind of question?"

Finn took in a deep breath, and put his hands in front of him. "Okay. So. I told you about... my dad, right?"

"Uh, you told me a little bit. But I mostly learned about that whole thing through Bonnie."

"Oh, uh. Sorry, my b. I guess I kinda... burned myself out on talking about him?"

"It's cool." Marceline hushed him. "Just keep going."

"Okay. So... my dad. He, like- I watched him... I dunno, die? Or just zip to another dimension? I don't even know what the comet did. I don't think he's coming back, though. I don't know how I feel, still." Quietly, he looked down at his metallic arm, flexing his fingers. "Every time I saw him, I dunno, it was like- all he did was make me mad! He wasn't anything like I thought my bio-dad would be like. At all. He was just some big sleazy jerk - and he just wouldn't ever give me a straight answer about why he ditched me as a kid, or where I came from, or anything. I never would've found anything out if I didn't go see my mom. When she talked about him, he seemed... I don't even know if he was different. He still sounded like a kinda sketchy guy! Just... she said she never doubted that he loved her, and... she didn't understand why he tried to leave the island with me."

He paused for a moment, and Marceline was thankful; she needed a moment to let that set in. This was heavy, and she didn't entirely expect it - but she could tell that this must have been weighing on Finn for quite some time. She didn't say anything, at least not yet - but her gaze was now fixed firmly on her friend. It was clear that she was paying attention.

"Dangit, I didn't even get to what I was gonna ask," Finn huffed, putting a hand to the side of his head. "I was gonna ask... Marcy, do you think, maybe-" he gets just a touch quieter, "Do you think my dad could've been like Simon?"

Marceline didn't want to jump to conclusions, so she asked for clarification. "Like, how?"

"Like-- like he was a good dude. Like my mom said he was. But something... happened to him that he didn't want to happen, and it turned him into someone he didn't wanna be. And that's why he couldn't remember me, or why he left mom, or... whatever." Finn hugged his knees to his chest. "Is that a dumb question?"

"No! No, dude. That isn't a dumb question." Marceline, with a moment's hesitation, put her hand on Finn's shoulder. "Look, I don't know if I can give you a straight answer to that. I mean, that crown was... seriously messed up, and it seriously messed Simon up. I don't think your dad found a cursed crown, or something, but... hey, maybe something did mess with his head, and make him do stuff he wouldn't normally do."

Finn opened his mouth to reply, but Marceline cut him off. "But. All you've been able to do is complain about him. He's just been making you freak out and worry if his garbageness is genetic." Through talking to Princess Bubblegum, and hearing Finn vent once or twice, she knew this to be true. She looked him in the eyes to solidify that. "So, man- even if he was just a trashy dude, with no head-bonking involved... I just kinda want you to remember that doesn't say anything about you. And, you know- even if this dad wasn't great, you still had a dad who was great. A dad who actually cared about you and taught you hero junk. You had family then, and you got family now, Finn. One jerkwad doesn't change that, or who you are, or anything."

Finn was quiet for a few seconds. He didn't feel like crying - that wasn't something he liked to do in front of other people, anyways. He just needed a moment to digest what Marceline said. Having been in Finn's shoes before, Marceline let him have that moment of quiet. All and all, he knew what she said was true. In a moment like this, where he was so down, he wasn't sure he could make his brain hold on to it. But that didn't detract from how much it meant to him. He broke the silence after a moment by turning his head and smiling at his friend.

"Yeah. Yeah, you're right. Thanks, Marcy."

"I'm usually right." Marceline smiled in return, flashing her fangs. "I know a thing or two about dealing with complicated family stuff, anyways. I mean, you've met my dad."

"Yeah, but you've got Simon! Like, permanently and stuff!" Finn offered. "Isn't he, like, your kinda-dad?"

Marceline thought on that for a moment. "...Yeah. He's... he was a better dad figure than my real dad was, way back when. I mean, it's not like my actual dad helped me when the crown made Simon go nuts and leave me behind. I felt at home with him back then. I still do! I mean, if I have a real problem, I'm still probably not gonna go to my dad dad, I'm gonna go to Simon."

"Well that makes sense. Your dad is kind of a soul-sucking wad." Finn noted. "I guess he calmed down a little. But he's still a wad."

"Yeah. He's a wad." Marceline snorted. "Enough of a wad for me to, like... still have dreams about being raised by Simon. Like, properly, with no world falling apart, no stupid magic crown. I'm talking about regular dreams, not daydreams- like I go to sleep and I keep having this same dream. I'm just in a cozy little house, with Simon and Betty... everything's normal..." after a moment, she trailed off. "I guess part of my brain still really wants what I didn't get to have. I didn't even really get to know Betty outside of her going nuts. It's messed up."

"Yeah... that is messed up." Finn's gaze went south. "I'm sorry."

"...It's cool. I kinda feel better just having talked about it. I don't even really know if I've put that last thing to words before. We were just on the subject, you know?" Quietly, Marceline shifted her hand, now wrapping her arm around Finn to embrace him from the side. "So thanks for listening to me."

"Thanks for listening to me too! I kinda bottled all of this up for waaaaaaay too long, 'cause I didn't know if Jake would get it, and I didn't really wanna talk to Peebles about it, and... I dunno."

"No, I get it. I think we just kinda get each other as far as this stuff goes. Similar experiences. Not the same, but... similar." Marceline thought on that for a moment. "So let's promise to talk to each other when there's something like that we gotta get off our chests, kay? We can even write dumb overly personal songs about it. Flute and bass can work together. Deal?"

"Deal." Finn smiled.

The two sat in relative silence for another few minutes. There were plenty of reasons to go back inside; but this was a moment worth savoring.