A/N: This had been floating around in my head for a while so I decided to roll with it. Enjoy!
Jake was in a hurry. He should have seen the symptoms days ago. He ran with the unconscious Finn bundled heavily on his back. Marceline and Princess Bubblegum kept him from rolling off.
Finn coughed bringing Bubblegum's attention to him, "Jake, Finn's fever isn't going down. By the time we reach our destination he'll burst into flames." She said over the cold wind.
They were headed over the mountains just outside of Ooo, where Marceline said there was a woman who would know what to do about Finn's sudden illness.
Princess Bubblegum hated the fact that she, nor the best doctors of the Candy Kingdom knew what to do. No matter what they tried, he just kept getting sicker and sicker. "Are you sure you know where we're going vampire?" Bubblegum said with a small amount of venom. It was frustrating to her that the red sucker has a solution and she did not.
Marceline ignored her heiny to wipe Finn's sweating face. Jake jumped over a large boulder and huffed up the rocky terrain. They had just passed through the Ice Kingdom, so the climate was cold and extremely dry. Everywhere you looked, not a single blade of green grass, or any living creature stood. The entire valley was a barren waste land filled with mountains, rocks, and broken metals from before the Mushroom War.
Jake the dog had to slow because it became harder and harder to wind through the debris and sharp rocks. "Marceline are we there yet?" he said weaving to miss an ancient truck.
"There should be a path that leads down the mountain side. Follow it. The path should lead to a grassy field and a large hill." Marceline answered, floating down to place a warm, wet rag on Finn's red forehead; while Bonnibell re-tucked the heavy pelts around him nervously. The vampire queen would never admit it, but she really worried about the young teen.
It had been five days since Finn just collapsed without warning. It had been three days since he last opened his eyes. Last time he did, he tried to get up and leave. Now he was so hot, your hand nearly burned at a touch; his breathing sounded asthmatic; he even started coughing up small amount of blood the day before.
That's when Marceline couldn't take it anymore. She had seen too much death to let it happen to her human. Finn was deathly ill and if he didn't get proper medical attention he will die. She couldn't let Princess Pinky to run any more experiments that did nothing and never would. He's flesh and blood after all, not sugar and cornstarch.
Bubblegum fretted and worried for four days. When the news of Finn's sickness first reached her, she thought the silly boy was faking it-or at least it was not at the extremity that she was told. The Princess felt so horrible for not believing Jake and felt even worse for delaying his hasty exit to a better doctor. She had let her pride get in the way of her hero's health; believing her science would heal him.
Jake blamed himself for letting Finn out when he clearly was not being himself. He saw the symptoms, but brushed them off as his little bro repeatedly said he was fine. Of course Jake couldn't blame Finn, no one wants to admit that they feel weak or sick. He was so glad that the vampire queen knew somebody could help them. Jake had promised his mom and dad that he would take care of the little abandoned human; and right now he felt like he was failing both Finn and his parents.
The ground beneath them sloped downward into less rocky surroundings. Slowly the brown and dead foliage began to turn into green lush grass, till it surrounded them indifferently.
"Marceline, what is this place?" Bubblegum said amazed. She'd never been this far away from her kingdom. "A secret." she answered dryly. "Jake head for those hills." she pointed southern, where rolling hills blocked out the horizon. Jake slowed to a walk, nervous in unfamiliar surroundings.
Soon the soft hills were upon them making Jake stop. They all looked the same. "Marcy..." he trailed off.
Both ladies stood gazing at their new environment. Behind them brown and grey inhospitable mountains, and a few remnants of steel buildings long ago abandoned. Ahead fields of lush spring green grass. Not a single strange creature, no debris of previous eras. The land seemed completely untouched, like power hungry monarchs had skirted this land. Far off in the distance some super tall trees, branches too high to climb-barely visible over the hills.
Finn's violent coughing brought everyone out of their reveres. "Where to?" Jake whispered, afraid someone that wasn't there would hear.
"The trees." Marceline said almost hypnotized. She hadn't been here since she was a teen.
Upon meeting a small creek that bordered the almost straight line of trees, Jake stopped. The space between the stream and trees seemed to shimmer; like an invisible force field. Marceline stared, this was not here when last she visited.
"It's to keep unfriendliness out. The Candy Kingdom use to have one, but when the witch responsible disappeared, so did the magic." Bubblegum explained. Jake, reassured pressed on, it met with some resistance-like walking through jelly-but they got through alright.
Curious Marceline asked Princess Bubblegum, "Did you know the witch? That was human magic, and it disappeared with the humans."
Bubblegum shook her head, "No. No one did. But it was rumored that she was human." The Princess noticed Marceline's slight confusion, wondering in her sudden interest in her knowledge.
Marceline didn't say anymore, only retreated back down to Finn, who in his coma-like slumber, kept scratching at his neck; right at the jaw line, below his ear. She fixed his hat and pinned his skinny surprisingly strong arms down till his movements ceased. Finn's breathing labored for a moment from effort. Even unconscious and deathly ill, he still refused to give up; Marceline admired his strength. He would make a very good husband for a very lucky girl.
'Whoa! What the hey hey am I even thinking?' Marceline turned her thoughts back to the women they had to find. She wasn't even sure if she still lived there. The vampire queen stood, feeling slightly anxious about her old friend. If Lady Elizabeth refused to help, they would be doomed to watch Finn waste away. "Jake, somewhere around here there should be a short blue tree. Next to it should be a small tunnel we need to go through."
Since they were wondering around a while, they quickly found it. The tunnel was short and sweet, no surprises, which gladdened all of them. Princess Bubblegum kept the restless hero from rolling off Jake. He was sweating too much, it wouldn't bother her so much if he hadn't stopped taking in fluids. "Marceline, are we there yet?" PB didn't sound resentful, but very scared. His skin was a bright red; coughing constantly; he stopped swallowing the water they gave him, only choking on it uselessly; and worst of all, he hadn't relieved himself in a very long time. This meant toxins weren't leaving his body, which is never good. Could mean kidney failure too.
"Yes we're here." All three of them breathed out a sigh of utter exhausted relief.
Princess Bubblegum hopped off Jake's back as he shrank in size. He was still so big that he could carry Finn in his arms. To the girls it looked like Jake was cradling his best friend. Marceline too tired to float, walked to the hill that hid a very cozy home.
Right in the center of a large grassy hill was a wooden door; opened to let the fresh noon air in. PB noticed it looked like a hobbit hovel from that one movie the boys had found a while back. Lady of the Berets, or something like that.
They practically ran into the open door. "Lizzy? Elizabeth!?" Marceline screamed on the edge of panic. There was no one there "Liz?"
A women in plain clothing came running in from her garden. "Marceline, my dear what's the matter. Why I haven't seen you in ages." her voice trailed off when she spotted the barley breathing blue bundle wrapped protectively in Jake's arms. "Oh my Glob."
The Princess steeped forward feeling it was her duty to introduce them. "Please, we beseech you. Ooo's soul human hero is gravely ill. Marceline told us you could heal them." right on queue Finn started a fit of coughing that splattered blood onto Jake's golden fur.
Lizzy knew he was human the moment she laid her eyes on the young man. "Of course; lay him here." Liz cleared off a bed that sat just in front of the door. There Finn was gently placed. "All right, how long has he been sick?"
Jake scratched his paws nervously, "I don't know for sure. Finn never lets on when he's sick. I didn't even know he was till he just collapsed five days ago."
"Symptoms?" Elizabeth asked beginning her exam. Rapid pulse, choked respiration, and sun temperature.
"Fatigue." they said together. It was highly unusual for Finn to be tired unless he had been doing something strenuous.
"At the palace, Finn sneezed and his nose started bleeding. Like gushing." Bubblegum blurted, then blushed a little, "I thought it was because of the new dress I was wearing."
"Three weeks." Marceline said, levitating closer to her friend. "Three weeks he's been sick. He coughed some at my house while we were jamming. Ruined the recording. He keeps scratching his neck. I didn't think anything of it because he will do that once in a while." Marceline gently pried off Finn's iconic hat.
He groaned a bit in protest. Liz gasped, but not because of his unruly long blonde hair, or the tacky tan line, but at the fist-size purple rash on the side of his neck. This mysterious rash extended downward till it became unseen by his blue shirt. "Oh dear."
"What!" Jake almost yelled.
Liz didn't answer him but with careful shaking hands she brushed back the hair that covered his ear. Behind that ear (which was redder than the rest of his skin) was the start of a deadly rash; mean and ugly it shone bright purple-almost black. Deep bleeding gouges glistened where he constantly scratched-even in his sleep.
"Marceline, help me take his shirt off." Liz was passed her shock, and in hyper drive she thought of medicines that would help his symptoms.
Bubblegum blushed a little when Finn's muscular chest became exposed, her eyes widened at the ghastly sight. Jake whimpered. Marceline laid him back down and turned his body.
Elizabeth traced the terrifying symptom down his neck, across his shoulder blade, curving toward his ribcage all the way to his pant line. Princess Bubblegum looked away as Liz edged his waist band down. Marceline didn't look away, she wanted to see. Jake's eyes locked on Finn's pained face as his whimpered and tried to turn away from the strange hands.
Liz sighed, the rash ended on his hip bone. "Is it?" Marceline asked, an edge of worry in her voice.
"Yes." Liz turned around to retrieve some necessary herbs.
Jake on the other hand was tired of being patient. "WHAT! What is it!? What's wrong with my little brother?"
Liz came back with an ointment that would help soothe the rash. Sitting on the edge of the borrowed bed she started rubbing it on his overly warm skin. "Violet fever." she gave the container to Marceline to finish the job. "When humans were more than just a few handfuls scattered all over the world, they were plagued by many things. One of the worst was this disease. Few survived."
This didn't give Jake the dog any reassurance. Liz went back to the kitchen to brew some tea for the young man. Princess Bubblegum followed.
"May I be of any assistance?" she asked shyly.
"Of course dear." Liz bent down and picked up a rather large book and set it on the counter. "Follow this recipe. It will help Finn fight of the virus."
"You're human." PB stated mater of factly.
"Sigh." she stopped squashing herbs to take of the scarf that covered her head. A tumble of long golden hair fell about her as she went back to her herbs. "Yes. There used to be more in Ooo, but they passed on. How did you know?"
"You have the same kindness about you that Finn has. You're eyes had the same concerned look that he gets. And I just guessed." Bubblegum said quietly.
"Not all humans are as kind as the young man out there."
Princess Bubblegum didn't respond, instead read the page Elizabeth had directed her to. "These ingredients are harmful."
"To candy people yes. But not to humans."
Princess Bubblegum of the Candy Kingdom had never thought that medicine that were harmful to her and her people would be a possible cure for Finn. She thought over what she had recently discovered; both about the female human and the strange concoction she was helping cook.
Elizabeth took the nasty smelling liquid to Finn, who was at that moment stirring. Slowly, ever so slowly Finn opened his eyes. Elizabeth was shocked and Finn's small family relieved. Liz nearly dropped the cup she was holding upon seeing the boy's blood shot brilliant blue eyes. Marceline was the only one who noticed poor Elizabeth's strange reaction; the others' eyes were glued on Finn as he desperately tried to focus what little focus he had left in his sickness.
"Jake. Jake." he repeated sounding like an old dried up hag.
"I'm here buddy." Jake reassured him.
Finn's eyes found his big bro and smiled. Even near death his smile was so adorable and innocent it became sad. "I-I don't feel so good." Finn tried to sit up, but because of not eating or drinking anything in days, not to mention his illness, he couldn't do it.
"I know buddy. You should've told me sooner man." Jake scolded him softly.
Elizabeth over-came her shock, forced the tears back and touched him. "Finn sweetie, drink this. It will make you feel better," Lizzy place the cup between his lips, but he moved his head away.
Finn looked at her through his blurry vision, 'Her voice,' he thought to himself, 'I know that voice.' "It smells." he said out loud feeling light headed and woozy.
"You must drink it Finn. You don't have much time left, it will make you better." PB said. Finn wanted to turn toward to make sure he wasn't hallucinating, but it hurt to move his neck.
"I'm surprised you can smell with all that gunk in your nose." Marceline said trying to lighten up the mood in the bleak room. He sniffled to confirm what he thought he heard her say.
"Drink this please." Liz said again pressing the cup once more to his pale lips. Feeling confused, sore, and very unwell he obeyed. It was instinct to try to grab the cup to feed himself. He succeed in grasping the pale blue cup, but was for too weak to actually hold it, so the strange woman had to do it for him. Despite the awful smell Finn found he loved the taste of the strange green liquid.
When it was all gone, Finn tried hard to stay focused and alert to the goings ons. Only able to comprehend that he was safe in the hands of the lady in brown, who was currently ushering people away from him. "Go on, all of you. Don't crowd the poor boy. He will need to be bathed and left alone for a while." she ordered.
'What? Bathed? How long have I been asleep?' Finn asked himself unable to comprehend anymore because he lost the battle he was fighting against sleep.
"Another day or two and he would have died. It will take a while for him to fully recover, but he will. After all he has his youth and will to fall back on." Liz said pulling back his lips to check his gums, then using a small flashlight to check his pupils. "He won't wake up for a while."
"It seems to me as if you know him." Marceline prodded. This peeked Jake's interest.
"This disease progresses very fast with little to no symptoms. Once the rash appears it's almost too late. It killed even the strongest in three days." Liz said ignoring the assumed question. "The people who didn't get the disease were immune. But with no proper labs, no cure could've been made." she wondered into the kitchen where she continued to talk. "Violet Fever appeared just after the Great War; and laid dormant for hundreds of years, but one day it just randomly popped up with no prior warning." sounds of cooking could be heard, "But the good news, is that like Chicken Pox, you can only get it once. That is, if you lived."
"Fascinating." Princess Bubblegum breathed out.
"What I don't understand is how Finn could have this fever for so long and still be alive. From what I have heard he hid his illness very well, and he's very active; so he should be dead." sounds from the kitchen stopped and she walked into the room. "You asked me if I knew the boy. I don't, I honestly thought I was the last human in Ooo. He just reminds me of a boy I use to know, the only person I knew who survived Violet Fever."
"How do you even exist?" Jake asked suspicious, "My parents searched everywhere for surviving humans, but found none."
She shrugged sadly, "I ran." Marceline was seen in the background, snooping. "About not finding people, I can't say for sure. There weren't very many humans left alive after the awakening of Violet Fever, fifteen years ago. People then started disappearing and mysteriously dying. But humans are a resilient race that don't go down without a fight. I wouldn't be surprised if Finn and I are the last; nor would I be surprised if there are more."
She moved toward Finn, and with surprising strength lifted him up as if he were some small teddy bear and not a hundred and ten pound child. (He had lost a lot of weight).
"What are you doing?" Marceline asked.
"I'm going to bathe him." she answered heading toward the bathroom.
"Are you sure that's a good idea? He's sick, and a boy! What if he wakes up?" Bubblegum exclaimed in horror.
"Relax Bonnibell; she's had her share of naked boys." Marceline laughed.
"Marcy!" Liz cried out. Jake chuckled a little at the word naked.
"By the way, Elizabeth you should tell us what happened to your husband and baby. It may clear some things up." Marcy said, trying not to make eye contact with her old friend.
Elizabeth looked down at Finn's vacant face, Jake took notice of this as some puzzle pieces struggled into place. "I was told that my child died. My husband on the other hand died in my arms. Before you ask how, he was hit square in the chest by a flaming arrow.
After Lizzy had re-dressed Finn and put him back to bed everyone had dispersed. Bubblegum sat outside reading the book she had borrowed from Liz's bookcase. Marceline got bored and wondered off somewhere. Jake however didn't move; he sat by his brother watching him sleep. He knew how much Finn hated that, but he couldn't help it.
"I'm sure you have questions Jake." Liz said some where behind him. "I'll answer to the best of my ability."
"Is he getting better?" Jake asked worried.
Liz giggled, "It's too early to tell. But I'd bet my life on it, that he will get better. Finn is very strong. I'm surprised he fought off this fever so well on his own. However he will have this rash the rest of his life." she brushed hair away from his ear, showing Jake the start of the angry blue-violet blemish. Once blood crusted and swollen, now clean angry red welts since the bath.
"How will we know he's getting better?" "Look," Lizzy gently took the blankets away and lifted the off-white tee she had chosen for him. "The rash is like any other rash, as he gets better it will shrink and lose color." she pointed to Finn's hip were it was a light lavender. "You know, I wasn't really expecting these types of questions." she told him re-tucking Finn in.
"I know, but I think it would be best if Finn were awake for the answers. But how do you know Marcy?" Jake asked, still not convinced of Finn's condition.
"We use to hang out when I was younger. We became good friends, but something happened and she left. I think she was still know as Marceline the Vampire Princess."
"That's weird, Marceline has never once mentioned you or any other humans." Jake stated suspicious.
"After what happened fifteen years ago, I left. I made Marceline promise to never tell anyone, not even one she trusts her life with. This place is actually hers, she's letting me live here, obviously." Finn coughed some then rolled over in his sleep.
"What happened?" Jake said absorbed.
"Well it's kind of hard to explain. What happened was-" Elizabeth became interrupted by Finn waking and trying to get up.
He seemed unable to focus on anything, and looked super confused. "Mommy. Where's the bathroom?" Lizzy's heart skipped a beat and Jake looked at Finn confused. Their mom died years ago. Without waiting for an answer Finn shakily stood. Bubblegum and Marceline had come in at that minute.
"Mar-Marcy can you-you show Finn the bathroom?" Liz stumbled, catching Finn as he nearly fell flat on his face.
"Sure thing Lizzy." Marceline guided Finn out of sight.
"Why did he call you that?" confused, Jake stared at the women's shocked face. She shook her head.
"I truly have no idea." she got up to fetch more medicine in time to hear the Candy Kingdom princess to say: "At least he's relieving himself."
When Lizzy got back, Finn was in bed falling back asleep. "Drink this sweetie, then you can go back to sleep." she said sternly, no longer in the mood for arguing. Finn nodded, drank it all with much gusto, then laid back down. Princess Bubblegum put her borrowed book in its proper place. "I really must be going. Finn is recovering nicely and my kingdom must be missing me by now." "Are you sure you'll be alright Princess?" Jake asked.
"Yes of course Jake." PB left out the door, followed closely by Elizabeth.
"Princess!" she called once out the door. PB turned back toward her. "Please, tell no one of this place. It must be kept a secret." Liz begged.
Bubblegum nodded, understanding. "Of course Lady Elizabeth. Upon my word, no one shall ever know." 'Lady' Lizzy nodded relieved; her anxiety pegged down several notches.
When Lizzy came back in, the sun was well on its way beyond the horizon, Jake was curled up on the bed next to Finn-asleep, and Marceline floating around aimlessly strumming on her guitar. She went to her own room after checking on the boys and went to bed herself.
A/N: Please review, I am open to helpful criticism!