Finn stood up and stretched his legs, grimacing a little at the cracking sounds. He'd been sitting at the human's bedside all night. The warm feeling in his chest swelled pleasantly at the thought. Human. The word was a relief every time he whispered it in the dark. He had the nagging feeling he was missing something every time he looked at her, but he figured it was just because she was human. Just like him! He wasn't sure exactly what he was feeling right now, but it didn't really matter.
He was an adventurer and he had saved the *cough* notsoprincess *cough* from the evil storm, even if he had been passed out most of the time. That meant that yesterday had been a success. AND THERE WAS ANOTHER HUMAN!
He was so excited! He was going to show her everything amazing in ooo and even some of the not so amazing stuff, but that was okay 'cause a lot of that was still pretty cool.
And she could tell him about other humans.
She'd been frozen in the ice so that meant she either got frozen and separated from the other humans recently and he could help her find the rest of them or that she'd been there a long time and would remember stuff about the old humans before the mushroom war.
He was giddy with excitement and trembled slightly at the foot of her bed waiting for her to wake up. He almost missed the sound of the door opening.
"Hey dude," Jake greeted, slinging an arm around his shoulders, "Where you up all night?"
"Yeah," Finn's gaze remained on the bed.
"Are you ok?" Jake asked, concerned for his bro.
Jake didn't push and Finn stood in place, shifting his weight from side to side from anxiousness. The odd family stayed there until the sun chased away all the shadows in the room and gently caressed the sleeping face.
The face that twitched. Finn jumped and was at her side immediately, face mere inches from hers. Jake mirrored him on the right. Her eyelids fluttered slightly while the brothers waited with baited breath.
She came alive with a gasp. Her eyes flew open and her entire body spasmed, tight little jerks shaking the entire bed frame. Her breath came in frantic pants as her hands clutched at air. Jake was the first to react, stretching his arm around her and the bed, holding her down.
Finn grabbed her hands to stop her from hurting herself. Her eyes were wild, franticly searching for something they couldn't see, her body fighting something they couldn't feel. Sounds of fright escaped her lips among strange noises neither understood.
The door slammed open, but neither of them was able to turn to the noise, so caught up were they in their struggle.
"Move, let me see her," Dr. Ice cream ordered. Finn reluctantly stepped back as she held a stethoscope to her chest and listened. Nodding once she grabbed the pink head and held it tight to stop her from moving. At first she fought harder but as time went by her movement slowed and her breathing evened out.
Exhausted, but awake she still panted. Jake let his arm shrink back to normal size, releasing her arms. She curled up into a ball, burying her face into Dr. Ice cream's lap.
"Nnnggg" she moaned.
"Shhhhhhh don't worry dear," Dr. Ice cream stroked her hair, "Your safe here." The lady lifted her head slightly, seeing the room properly for the first time. She blinked twice before a scream split the air. She ripped herself from their grasp, throwing her back into a corner.
"HUARUUU!" she yelled, holding one of the pillows out as a shield. Finn tried to get closer but she furiously beat him back.
"Look we just want to help you!" Finn held his hands up, "What is your name?"
"Huaruu!" she repeated, looking like a wild animal. Finn was suddenly reminded of Susan. What if she didn't know how to talk yet?
"I AM FINN" he pointed to himself, "FINN"
"Dude what are you trying to do?" Jake hissed.
"Same thing we did with Susan," Finn whispered back, "We're going to introduce her to ooo in INCRIMENTS!" He was not going to lose a chance at getting to know her. If he had to do this all over again then he would, at least this time he was sure she was human. Besides he felt a weird connection every time he saw her that wouldn't be ignored.
"FINN," he pointed to himself then her, hoping she would understand. To his dismay she did not. Instead she leapt backwards and started screaming again.
"What's wrong with her?" Jake asked.
"I don't know," Dr. Ice cream answered, "I think she must be frightened waking up in a strange, new place."
"Warami?! Watizat?," the lady seemed to be even more scared by Dr. Ice cream, "Goaway!"
"Jake, Dr. could you guys go for a second? I think your scaring her..." Finn trailed off, gesturing toward the door. The lady's eyes remained trained on them, narrowed with suspicion. Jake hesitated before a reassuring look from Finn set him moving; the Dr. trailed out behind him. Finn brought his attention back to the lady once that was done with.
She visibly eased, tension draining right out of her. Once she was sure that they were gone, her eyes moved back to him. It was strange, now that he thought about it, how much she looked like Princess Bubblegum. Their hair and skin were the exact same color and she had a lab coat just like the Princess. Hers was much more torn and burnt looking, but still... very strange. Maybe that was why she felt so familiar.
"Awrdeygon," she was making those weird noises again.
"FINN," he pointed to himself again, figuring she might understand when she's less scared. To his surprise shook her head. She pointed to her arm and made flapping motions while puffing out her cheeks.
"FINN," he was going to try this one more time.
"Finn," she pointed to him.
"Yes!" he screamed, "You got it! You got it!" Now he could teach her other stuff and then they would be able to talk and she would be able to tell him about the other humans!
"Bedy," she announced while pointing to herself, a strange smile on her face. It made him a tad uncomfortable because it reminded him of a mom playing with a baby.
"BEDY," Finn pointed to her then himself, "FINN." She nodded and he almost had another happy fit over the progress. She then pointed the door and he understood she was asking about the others.
"DR. ICE CREAM," he made a cone shape. For some reason this seemed to terrify her, she violently shook he head back and forth, arms shaking in front of her.
"No no! Dr. Ice cream good! GOOD!" he smiled really big to get the point across. Of course this did not work and only scared her more. She scooted further into the corner, back pressed tight against the wall and pillow held out front. Alright, this was not working.
He was saved from anymore misunderstandings by the door once again flying open and slamming into the poor wall behind it. The sight of PB seemed to stun the lady as much as it did Finn, if for other reasons.
"Helow hawawruu?" the strange sounds seemed to hack and gurgle in the Princess's throught. Despite how horrible it sounded to Finn, the lady's face radiated relief and tears started to leak down her face.
"Dankgawd sumun nawt krazi!"
"Krazi? Watuumene?" PB's voice got higher toward the end. The lady however seemed to ignore the question and abandoned her corner to slam the princess with a hug. Her sobs once again renewed, even louder this time with a hysterical edge. She clung to the princess as though she was the key to survival.
"Fyr, fyr, fyr, fyr, fyr evriware! Unh unh mhy ands burnd unhdeyr ded AWLOV DEM! DAY BURND!" She shook and screamed and cried, speech spilling rapidly from her lips in terror. It was then that they were able to see the marks that trailed up her arms and legs. Puffy red in some places and tight silver in others, scars wrapped their way around her body. Shock hit Finn like a rock. She was hurt, really hurt. Even more than just being frozen for centuries.
He only really saw it now. The way her body jerked and almost creaked when she moved as if she was falling apart. The way her arms always shook whether or not she was scared. She had dark bruises under her eyes and a pinched look that only showed on those who were deeply ill. Her chest fluttered, breath quick and shallow like a rabbit. Her face was gaunt, the shadow of starvation covering her. It scared Finn, chilled him to the bone that someone could get to this condition at all. In all his adventures, no matter where he traveled, he had not seen anyone this sick. Sure the evil guys were usually ugly or dead, but this was different. She was a person and so hurt that it was a struggle for her to breathe.
His eyes caught those of the princess and he knew; knew she could see it as well and just as frightened as he was. What could have possibly happened to hurt her so much? He could tell she had been beautiful once. She retained that glow, a kind of warmth that never really left a person even through the worst of circumstances even if it was just a doused coal behind her eyes that spoke of past joy. To see her, to see this Bedy who was once beautiful, burnt and scratched and broken was so deeply wrong it repulsed him.
It came slowly, the understanding. This, this was war. The mushroom war that they had all joked about and laughed about because the name sounded so funny. Finn had to turn away from Bedy, ashamed. All those times he had fantasized about how amazing a battle it must have been now seemed like the selfish dreams of an ignorant child because who, who could possibly wish this on anyone no matter how angry they were? Because the wounds that marred her skin and sank deep underneath were cold and cruel, made without thought or care to the pain they caused the owner.
Finn shuddered and watched as the Princess comforted Bedy. He could only stand and stare, body frozen with his revelation. The excitement had completely drained away leaving a slightly nauseous feeling behind.
"PB, what- what's she saying?" Finn asked because the Princess understood. How could she not with the horrified expression on her face?
"She said they all burned," came the soft reply and Finn reeled back, the dream from days ago rising up and blinding him.
"Hey, are you ok?" Princess Bubblegum took his hand in concern and for once he didn't blush. The memory of billowing flames still danced behind his eyes and the bitter taste of ash burned his mouth. It took a deep breath to steady himself.
"Ye-ah," his voice cracked and tears blurred his vision. He violently rubbed them away and brought his attention back to Bedy whose arms were still wrapped tightly around the Princess.
"What about her? Is she ok?" A stupid question, but he didn't know how to put what he wanted into words.
"No not really," PB frowned down at the even pinker head, "It's like nothing I've ever seen before. Her blood doesn't work right; when we tested her it wouldn't stop bleeding, no matter what we did." Finn glanced down and saw a thick bandage wrapped around Bedy's arm. The soft cotton was stained dark crimson.
Almost as if she could feel their gazes on her, Bedy chose that moment to lift her head back up and release PB from her stranglehold. She still held tight to the front of her dress though.
"Warami?" she whispered softly.
"Yuarin mhycahsell," the Princess answered, gently tugging the hands from her dress. Bedy immediately flinched, yanking her hands away. She backed a few steps away from the both of them.
Finn tried to follow her, but she only moved faster. She backed herself against the wall under one of the windows where the light was brightest.
It was then, in the glow of the morning sun, standing before the ancient arches did Finn remember where he had seen her, how he had known how she should look. She was the same face that smiled up at him from torn photographs in this exact same spot.