Chapter 1

A sweet, warm breeze wound its way lazily through the fluffy marshmallow fields and gumdrop forests of the Candy Kingdom at the heart of the land of Aaa. The realm's sugary prince sat alighted atop a rock-candy boulder in the middle of a gently swaying meadow of red licorice beside his favorite adventurer, passing their down time making shapes of the cotton-candy clouds that passed by overhead. Prince Gumball leaned back, tucking his hands behind his head, weaving his fingers through his bright pink hair and sighing.

"You know Fionna, it's hard to believe that there's a whole world out there beyond the mountains where everything isn't made of candy. I don't know what I'd do if I couldn't look up at the sky and know the clouds were all sweet."

"Yeah, and it stinks when you can't roll over and eat the grass." To prove her point, Fionna grabbed a strand of the red rope and put it between her teeth, chewing softly. "Too bad Cake can't have any. Last time she got into the chocolate dirt and got way sick. Right Cake?" To their left the feline was curled around herself, pawing at a long strand the bent into her reach.

"Uh!" the calico grunted indignantly while not pausing while she batted at the jiggling strip of licorice, "and how exactly was I supposed to know chocolate dirt was really poison?" The cat rolled over onto her paws and leapt at the red strip, tackling it to the ground and wrestling it in all four of her paws.

"Actually, Cake, chocolate is only poisonous to animals like cats and dogs which have allergies to theobromine found naturally in cocoa." The candy prince sat up and gave Cake a sympathetic smile.

"Yeah, well why does that Theo-crud hand to be so darn tasty," she grumbled. Her friends laughed lightheartedly and lay back in the sweet grass, trying to decide if the current fluff looked more like an elephant with a xylophone or a double-headed lake Kraken.

Prince Gumball chuckled and laid back against his rock-candy boulder, nibbling on the end of a string of licorice he'd plucked from the field. He loved how everything always seemed so peaceful when surrounded by sugar, and he couldn't imagine a world without sweets. With saccharine wind in his hair, Gumball must have dosed off, because he was suddenly awoken by a distressed sounding groan from beside him. Looking up with concern in his eyes, the prince noticed Fionna hunched over clutching her stomach and biting her lip.

"Hey, are you okay? Haven't given yourself a stomachache eating too much candy, have you?"

The blonde shook her hooded head hastily, scooting away from him and towards her feline companion. The prince looked concerned and drew near, only to be distanced again.

"What's wrong? Did I say something?"

"Nnnnn," Fionna moaned, "nnno you didn't do anything, dude. Mmmmm aw I'm just hurtin from… girly stuff." Her face flushed at the mention of her womanly weakness, but thankfully Cake had heard and sensed her distress, abandoning the candy toy to wrap her furry warmth around the girl's midsection.

"Oh… um…" not sure if he understood exactly what was bothering Fionna so much, the bubblegum prince smoothed his hand over the back of his head anxiously. "Well if you're hurting, I can take you back to your tree house on Lord Monochromacorn if you want." He reached out his hand, but was too afraid to touch the girl's shoulder for fear that it might cause her more pain.

"No need boy," Cake brushed her long tail against the outstretched hand, "walking will make her feel a little better, but Fionna's gonna need a few days break from adventuring and kickin' buns and all that."

"Oh, ah… of course!" Prince Gumball blushed, finally realizing what it was that had his friend in such pain. "Take all the time you need Fionna, evil can wait."

She nodded, even though that was a total falsehood, knowing that evil never took a day off. But she was in no mood or condition to fight, so the fighter waited until her friend grew large enough and cautiously stepped to ride her back, laying forward to rest herself against the immense warmth of her best friend. The cat wrapped her tail lovingly over the girl and scampered off in the direction of their home, giving a quick goodbye air kiss to her ebony lord before disappearing over the hills.

The prince sighed and leaned forward, folding his arms over his knees and resting his chin on his wrists. He gave a soft smile when his trusted stead nudged his shoulder from behind, turning to stroke the long main of his grayscale unicorn, tousling what hair hung in the creature's face.

"I guess it's just you and me buddy."

The stallion snorted nervously and the pink man looked at him curiously. The magical horse took a step back and began tapping into the grass, using his hooves for his Morse code.

"So wait," Gumball looked to the tapping, watching carefully to catch up. "… 'Actually-I'm-going… to-meet-up-with…. Cake… later-when… Fionna… is-settled… in.' What? You mean you're leaving me too?" The black stallion whinnied apologetically, brushing his face against his charge's shoulder to further act contrite.

His smile contorting to the side into a grimace that was trying to resist becoming a pout, the prince scratched his fingers over Lord Monochromacorn's head. He sighed a little, but forced the inkling of depression out of his mind, telling himself that the unicorn deserved a break too. He could always walk back to his palace through the marshmallow meadow… and the gumdrop forest… and the peanut-brittle badlands… boy that walk didn't sound easy. But it was okay, after all he couldn't rely on his companion to take him everywhere all the time; that would be selfish, and selfish is something a prince is not.

The horse spurted quietly, pressing his nostrils to the underside of his friend's chin and popped it up, a trick that always made the price smile even at a young age. As sure enough Gumball smiled, patting him one his nose to assure that there were no hard feelings. For now they could begin the journey back to the kingdom to the edge of the meadows until the licorice stopped growing. With aid his majesty rose and dusted his trousers off, only placing a hand over Monochromacorn's neck as they started walking.

Flank to flank the pair walked together until the red candy ropes faded into thick, fluffy booms of marshmallow flowers. They forged a path through the sticky plants, nibbling at a few of the sweet petals along the way. Gumball frowned a bit to see his nice shoes all covered with mashed-up marshmallow, but he kept going, knowing the sooner they were out of the delicious, gooey mess, the better. After what must have been a good twenty minutes of picking their path carefully through the white flowers, the gumdrop forest began to fade in, where tall trees of every color choked out the marshmallow plants with their heavy shade.

Before they entered, Prince Gumball took a few moments to pick the remaining marshmallow fluff from Lord's coat, mostly scrapping his hooves with a branch from one of the first trees of the forest. Once clean, the stallion stamped his foot appreciatively and nuzzled his snout to the man's forehead. Such affections were rare in public, but they were childhood friends and private cuteness was only to be expected. The pink prince laughed and brushed his mane, seeing the way Lord Monochromacorn was shifting his weight back in forth, antsy to leave and be back in the company of his girlfriend. The man waved him off, watching as his galloped away and took off, his long body swaying with the wind and into the sky fluff, leaving him alone.

When he'd finished waving farewell to his steed, the prince turned back towards the dark forest, the shadows only being broken by shafts of light that had somehow managed to penetrate the thick, gooey loads supported by the gumdrop trees. He swallowed a lump of nervousness that had risen in his throat at the sound of a distant bird call. Shaking his head and squaring his shoulders off, Prince Gumball took proud, brave steps as he entered the dense thicket of colorful sweets.

This only last two minutes, his bravery vanishing when a rustle of leaves sounded directly above his head. He flinched and squealed, rushing forward and turning back to see what beast had come at him. From the trembling limbs came a squirrel. He grumbled to himself, seeing on further inspection it wasn't just a squirrel.

It was a baby squirrel.

"Now see here," he growled at the rodent. "This does not leave this forest. Do you hear me?" He pointed a royal finger at the animal, demanding its compliance. The baby cocked its head and scampered off, too young to know the situation. Gumball sighed and straightened his crown, turning back to continue his trek home. As he walked, however, the prince did not watch where he was going and almost ran into the face hovering upside down before him. Luckily, the obstacle spoke before his majesty could bump into it.

"Wassup' PG?"

With another good yelp, the pink teen took a leap backwards, backing straight into the purple trunk of a grape gumdrop tree. Sugar rained down from the heavy limbs as the plant was shaken, sparkling in the air like snow all the way down and alighting on both bodies. Gumball was too busy clutching his chest and trying to calm the pounding of his heart to bother with brushing the sparkly granules from his shoulders and hair. Instead he stood in a kind of horrified suspense for a long while as he breathing became regular again.

"M-Marshall Lee? Don't scare me like that! You… you nearly made me have a heart attack!"

"Aw, is poor little Bubba scared?" the vampire king cooed. Slowly he rotated his body until he was floating right side up in front of the trembling prince. "Oh jeez, Gum-Gum, it's just the Gumdrop forest! Nothing but slinker-slugs and sugar bats in here." A wicked grin snaked its way across his fangs. "But you do have to look out for those baby squirrels though… they're killers."

The prince frowned and flushed a deep shade of red on his already pink cheeks. He clenched his fists in an attempt to calm his flurry of anger and embarrassment, hoping that if somehow he could manage to collect himself, perhaps the teasing would stop.

"Shut up!" the royal teen snapped, "that's not funny! And call me Prince Gumball!"

"Whatevs, PG. So why you walking alone in here anyway? Where's Fifi?" The undead male flipped over to lay face up in the air, crossing his hands behind his head.

Once he'd caught his breath, the prince restarted his trek through the sugar-laden forest, folding his arms behind his back in what he hoped was a dignified manner.

"If you must know, Fionna is… uh… sick and had to go home to rest." Of course the pink teen couldn't expect Marshall Lee to understand what he was hedging around, but he wasn't about to have that conversation with the vampire King.

"Aw man… stupid human sickness." Marshall Lee dropped his hands and leaned back, mopping over not getting to see his bud. "Well that reeks. After she was done hanging with you we were gonna chill…." The vampire looked back at the prince as he walked away, floating after him as an idea crept into his head. "… hey… you doin' anything?"

"Believe it or not, but I've got a pile of important documents on my desk back at the palace that need my attention." Gumball stopped himself, reminding himself not to be rude to the vampire because however much Marshall got on his nerves, he was a king and therefore a dignitary deserving of respect. "But… if you really want, I can spare a couple hours." Boy, being a prince was hard sometimes.

Marshall smiled at the gesture, closing his eyes.

"Nah, you got your kingdom running thing to do. But if you want I'll just float here and bug you. Make sure no more scary cute animals come and scare the poop out of you."

"Ugh, fine…" the gummy teen grumbled before again he remembered his manners. "This place just gives me the creeps, okay? I'm not used to it being so dark during the day, but the gumdrop trees barely let any sunlight through." Pausing in one such shaft of light that had pierced the canopy of candy, the pink prince looked up and smiled at the tiny patch of visible sky.

The king too felt a ray of light touch his arm, and he hissed and retched his limb back, holding it tenderly. Gumball looked back and saw the undead teen rubbing the burn, but Marshall Lee saw him looking and dropped it.

"Yeah, that's the best part. It's nice to get out in the day without having to fry. Plus the sugar bats are fun to play with. Stick a few gumdrops on your fingers and just let them nibble it off."

"To each his own I suppose," Gumball smirked at the thought of the vampire king with sugar bats nibbling on his digits. Stepping out of the shaft of light, the royal teen continued along the narrow ribbon of familiar path through the woods, hoping to make haste back to the castle such that he would be back in time for supper. Mostly he prayed he could get out of the woods before nightfall and lose his floating follower, knowing nothing brought Marshall Lee more joy than bothering the pink boy.

The blue-skinned male watched his current companion, not knowing quite what to say next.

"You know, if you wanted to, after you're done with being all princely and junk... I could show you." Marshall Lee had always liked hanging around Prince Gumball, finding way too much fun in annoying him. When he wasn't with Fionna and Cake on some random adventure or just relaxing with his ghost friends, he liked bugging his royal gumminess. "Like later, just after sunset, they come popping out of their holes and just eat everything. They're fun to watch." The king flipped his hair dismissingly as to not look desperate for company. "You know, only if you're cool enough to hang out at night."

"Is that such a good idea?" Gumball asked skeptically over his shoulder, eyeing the vampire with scrutiny to try and see through his tricks. "Sugar bats only eat sugar, and I'm made from sugar… don't you think being in the gumdrop forest at night would be a bad idea?" He twisted his mouth to the side, imagining how such an evening would turn out; running from bats through an unfamiliar forest at night while Marshall laughed it up hardly sounded fun.

"Oh," the royal undead said, scratching his chin. "Well I'm sure they won't touch you cause of your gum. It'd get stuck in their fangs and glue it shut, and then they'd starve and die. No, it's not a bad idea at all, PG. Come on, you know it'd be fun."

"I'd rather not risk getting bats stuck all over me," he didn't pause even to consider the idea, the though… running around with this levitating annoyance after hours, when he could be sleeping. No thank you. "I've got papers to sign, bills to approve, next year's budget to construct. No, I'm far too busy Marshall. Why don't you play with Fionna when she's well again?"

"Aw but that'll take forever." Again the teen hung himself backwards, his limps limp beside him. "See, that's why we call you PG! Like the movies. You're no fun, Bubba. Come on, why don't you take a night off and hang out. I won't even try to get you killed this time."

"Isn't there anyone else you can bother?" Gumball snorted indignantly, assuring himself he wasn't about to fall for another one of the vampire king's stunts. "I'm awfully busy, supper is served in an hour and I still have to get out of the forest and cross the badlands. You'll have to find someone else to entertain you this evening, Marshall." His pace increased to show the undead teen he truly was in a hurry to be home.

The king huffed and flipped back over, moving over the prince to fluff his hair.

"Aw don't get like that, Bubba. I'm just teasing." When Gumball shooed away the annoyance with his hands, Marshall Lee quickly grabbed them and hoisted the teen into the air. "Here, at least let me give you a lift."

Per usual, Gumball let out a yelp and started kicking his feet frantically.

"What are you doing you crazy bat?" He demanded giving the king a look that was half annoyance and half shock. "I don't need to be carried like a baby!" But of course Marshall Lee wouldn't relinquish his grip on the prince's wrists as he continued flying through the forest, dodging columns of light smoothly.

"You walk too slow. If you want to make it to dinner on time and still have fun-time with your paperwork girlfriend then you need your feet picked up. Grab my arms or I think your hands will pop off." Letting go for a moment, he swooped down quick enough for him to grab the soft material of the prince's arms, and to his relief Gumball was smart enough to listen and felt his smooth hands cling to his forearms.

"I'm not happy about this," he grunted. Looking up at the smirking vampire, the pink teen frowned to show his displeasure with being carried, but of course Marshall was incorrigible as always. Marshall Lee's smirk almost turned into a grin to see the pink boy pouting up at him like a child who hasn't gotten their way.

With the added speed of flight the pair moved through the forest quickly, and after a few minutes a few of the residents of the woods spotted the prince, bowing as they passed and voiced their respects. The prince tried to acknowledge each and every respect, but all he could do was nod as he flew by. Even a few creatures waved and greeted Marshall Lee, who suck out his tongue playfully before leaving. It took them seven minutes for them to begin to see the edges of the forest, and suddenly the vampire king slowed down and lowered until the prince's feet touched ground.

Gumball let go of his grip on Marshall's arms, slipping through the vampire's fingers and landing gracefully. He looked over his shoulders to see the undead king eyeing the forest's exit warily, unsure how close he could get without the late, slanted light taking its toll on his flesh. Reaching up and patting the other's floating foot, the prince gave his company a reassuring half-smile.

"I suppose this is where we part ways."

"Yeah… Kinda stuck until dark. But that's ok, I'll work on that song I was making up this morning." Reaching behind himself he rotated his axe and plucked a few notes, the solid thuds of the bass filling the space between them. "So if you're not busy later… maybe you'd think about having some fun?"

Chuckling and adjusting his crown before smoothing his hand over the back of his head, the prince gave Marshall and indecisive shrug.

"Maybe, if I don't pass out immediately after doing my 'paperwork girlfriend'."

"What?" the undead teen asked, a grimace finding its way onto his face.


There was a pause, until Marshall Lee's face dropped and a small smirk returned to his lips.

"… go home, Gum-Gum before you get eaten." The king looked over the gum prince, snickering at his joke and floated backward, retracting back into the safe dark of the Gumdrop Forest.

The prince shuddered as Marshall faded eerily back into the shadows, being all too grateful to be walking out into the late sunshine. As he parted the last few branches of the gumdrop trees, his face was hit with a wave of warm air carrying a nutty scent. The woods opened up onto the peanut brittle badlands, sweet solid brown sugar in every direction with peanut boulders breaking the surface. The whole expanse glittered in the sinking light and a smile crept onto Prince Gumball's face.

As he started to walk over the crunchy land of the space, a chill ran past him, making him shiver and fold his arms.

"Cold? It's the middle of summer. This weather sure is getting wacky." Another breeze blew past him from behind, and another shiver racked through his body. Even with his royal attire the chill cut through to cause gooseflesh to rise on his tacky skin.

"Ice day for a walk, isn't it?" a high-pitched, frilly voice cooed from behind, making Prince Gumball stop in his tracks and swivel around. Creeping up behind him was the snowy witch known as the Ice Queen, in all over her frozen horror. "…did you- did you see what I did there? Ice day? Ohh I'm so clever!"

In the face of the less-than-witty sorceress, Prince Gumball frowned and squared his shoulders off, trying to look formidable, but knowing without Fionna there was no way he could fight the witch off.

"Ice Queen! What do you want?" Though he asked the question the royal teen already knew the answer; the witch was after him again, probably intending to kidnap and marry him… like always.

"I was just flying around and saw you and thought I'd drop in. That tomboy isn't with you, is she? I just can't stand that brat interrupting." The woman smoothed out her dress and struck a pose, an attempt to woo the young man even with her age disadvantage. "So you're alone, huh? Wanna come back to my place and… I'll make a snow-man out of you. OH I did it again! I'm on fire-Well not really, because that wouldn't make sense- since I'm the Ice Queen and all…" she trailed off.

At once the prince lost his defensive disposition in place of one of disgust; his shoulders lost their toughness as he put up his hands as if to make a barrier between himself and the sorceress.

"Eeeeeeeew," he groaned grimacing and taking a pace backwards and sticking his tongue out to show his abhorrence for the idea. As he backed away slowly, she took another pace forward, creeping forward like a cougar stalking her prey. "I'm not going to snow anywhere with you Ice Queen you old bat!" He snapped, stopping his retreat enough to put his fists on his hips and scowl at the witch. "See, you're not the only one who can make puns!"

She growled and held out her hands, sending out a wave of ice at him, coating his body in the frozen block leaving only his head uncovered.

"Why don't you chill out, Gummie?"

"NO! NOT chill! It's so overused," the prince wailed, unable to ward off the terrible pun by covering his ears.

The chill of his frozen prison set in rather quickly, making the prince's teeth chatter fiercely as the Queen prowled forward. He shrunk away as much as possible when she extended her hand to his soft face, funning a long, claw-like fingernail underneath his chin to force his head up so that their eyes met. The prince gave his captor the firmest frown he could muster with his jaw rattling from the cold, glaring down the witch as she leaned in closer to her prize.

"F-Fionna w-will s-s-save me f-f-from you w-witch!"

"Not with that present good old Mother Nature hit her with!" Gumball's face contorted to confusion, and she sneered. "I have a calendar to track her 'little gift'. She's about due."

The prince's mouth opened to disgust.

"Man... T-that's j-j-just sick."

"Hm," she shrugged, "I take what advantages I can. Now let's get out of here, Gummie-poo." She cackled happily and waved her hand, bringing the ice block up with the price inside, soaring into the air with Prince Gumball protesting the whole way.

But unbeknown to them, someone watched from the shadows of the forest, seeing the abduction. As the pair disappeared into the clouds, the watcher zipped away in the direction of a certain tree-house.

An urgent rapping came on the wooden door to the rugged estate perched in the bowing limbs of an enormous willow tree. Her tail fluffing up and her hears perking to the sound, Cake looked up from where she'd been busy kneading Fionna's aching gut to alleviate some of the pain of being a woman. She quickly assured the human she'd be back in a moment before stretching across the room to the door, opening it to find a certain vampire levitating on their doorstep under a black parasol. The calico hissed and arched her rubbery spine, letting her claws slide out and her tail frizz out to its full size.

"What do you want night-creature?" the cat growled defensively, "if it's blood you're smelling, I assure you there's none here!"

"Shut it, fuzzball. Where's Fionna?" He tipped his parasol back an inch and popped his collar up, feeling a stink rise form the back of his exposed neck. "And you're a terrible liar- it reeks in here."

"She's busy!" Cake snapped back at the rude little vampire. "She's got a hot date tonight and she's getting ready! Whatever it is you want her for, she can't! Now get out of here before I… bite you!" The magical animal's hackles raised defensively and she stretched to cover the doorframe as Marshall Lee tried to peer past her into Fionna's room.

Suddenly he morphed his face, gaining three more eyes and longer fangs that jutted out of his mouth like a shark, his skin turning a sickly purple.

"You bite me kittie, and I'll bite back!" As the feline retracted and whimpered, Marshall Lee snickered and looked over, not seeing the girl in sight. "I just thought she'd like to know that that ice cougar's got PG… again."

Her fur bristling until she looked like a puffball with legs, the cat gasped with alarm, her eyes stretching wide.

"NOT MY BABY'S GUMGUM!" The stretchy cat doubled back on herself, leaving folds of her elongated torso across the floor as her front half darted back into the bedroom. As soon as she'd done that, however, she came back, glaring at Marshall and growling low in her throat. "Don't you dare cross that threshold, vampire, you haven't been invited in!" With that she was back by the adventurer's side, nudging her awake with a surprisingly gentle paw.

The teenage king huffed and crossed his arms.

"It was my tree house first, I'll come in if I want to." He grumbled a bit, but still hid in the doorway, not wanting to cross an already pissy cat. The feline companion never stood up to him unless it was for Fionna's safety, and even then it was hard for the vampire-phobic female.

In the other room, the adventuress was finally coming awake from her exhausted nap with the soft prodding of Cake's paw.

"Baby, Fifi wake up." The cat tickled at the girl's face with the end of her tail and gave her jaw a gentle push to try and snap her out of her stupor. Finally the blonde groaned and opened her eyes if only halfway.

"Nnnnnn, what is it Cake? I'm… so tired." The cat continued to brush her fluffy tail over Fionna's face, causing the girl to grimace and come a little more awake.

"Honey, honey it's Gumball. Wake up Fionna. The Ice Queen took Prince Gumball again. You gotta get up sweetie. We gotta go rescue him."

Fionna sat there for a moment, and then threw the blankets back over her head.

"Uhhh… can you go do it? I'm cramping out the wazoo, sister."

"Aw baby. Somebody's gotta go save him or Ice Queen will marry him and do… awful things to him."

"Like whut?"

The calico shuddered.

"… Make him listen to her boring stories and rub her nasty, icicle feet."

The fighter sighed loudly and turned under the covers.

"Uhhh… but I feel like crud! Man, I want to save him, but I want to lay in bed more. Mmmmm I hate being a girl."

"I'm sorry baby, but if you don't save PG, who will?" The cat's brow furrowed as she kneaded the girl's side in an attempt to rouse her. "I don't know of any other adventurers around these parts."

The girl groaned and buried her face in her pillow, clearly frustrated and in pain.

"Uuuuuuh Why am I a girl?" She complained shivering as another cramp gripped her abdomen. "Why can't you make Lee go do it? He can fly. It should only take him an hour to get to the hag's castle…"

"I don't know, sister. He might not go-"

"Go where?" The two women jumped at the addition of a new voice, the vampire appearing at the top of the stairs to their bedroom.

"I THOUGHT I TOLD YOU-" Cake started, but a pillow thrown in her face silenced her. Marshall finished his climb up and crossed to the bedside, placing his hand on Fionna's forehead after she turned three shades of red at his closeness.

"You feeling ok, Fifi?" he asked, looking her over.

"Um not really," she whispered, clutched the remaining pillow on the bed. "I feel terrible and now Prince Gumball's in trouble. If someone doesn't go and save him, the Ice Queen will make him rub her stank feet."

The royal teen smirked and leaned over, kissing the blonde's warm forehead.

"Oh alright, I'll go. You just feel better, ok?"

Across the room, Cake growled and narrowed her eyes at the boy, not liking the way the vampire king's touch made her human's cheeks flush.

"Um… right." Fionna smiled up at her friend with a furrowed brow, "hey, would you take Cake with you? She's totally algebraic at picking locks and stuff."

"What?" the calico protested, her tail lashing furiously and her ears folding back. "I'm not going anywhere with this creep! I'm staying here and taking care of you baby girl!" In an instant, Cake was by the blonde's side, nosing her shoulder insistently.

"It's alright," the adventuress gave her companion a weak smile, "I can take care of myself just fine, dude. Now you help Lee rescue PG." With a tired hand the girl reached out and scratched the feline behind one of her pointed ears.

Cake looked pleadingly to her friend but was met with an even more pleading look from the human, being in more of a position to ask for help. The cat grumbled and looked over her shoulder to the teen, grimacing as he twisted his face to open unnaturally wide in a gruesome smile.

"Alright… but only cause it's you, baby. You just rest till we get back." Cake kissed Fionna's head as well, hoping to mask over the royal pain's touch. The girl smiled only for a second before groaning and rolling back into a blanket burrito.

As the pair departed, the cat went to open the door, but was quickly cut off my Marshall Lee.

"So how do you except me to get to the Ice Kingdom in the middle of the day, Cupcake?"

"Why don't you make like Marry Poppins and whip out that fancy little umbrella of yours, shadow-monger" the cat growled in response, lashing her tail and scowling over her shoulder at Marshal. "Remember, I'm only tagging along for Fifi in case you run into a snag rescuing her sweet Gumgum." The feline pawed anxiously at the ground, feeling uneasy about all the stalling.

The male glared back at the cat.

"Get your own nicknames. Shesh." With that he let the door fly open. He zipped under his parasol before cake could see, and slowly the thing began floating lazily, gently gliding out the door like it was propelled only by the breeze.

"Really, Marshall? We have to move faster than that if we're-" But suddenly the latch snapped shut, closing up and dropping to the ground.

"Then carry me there until I gets dark. I can't move around when it's this bright out. Come on, I don't weight anything." The vampire king was heard within the folds of the umbrella, having shrunk to his bat size.

With a heavy sigh, the female stretched down and grabbed the little black parasol with her mouth before raising a good thirty feet into the air on stilts-like legs. With the handle dangling from her jaws like a dead rat, Cake started off in the direction of the frozen mountains known to be the home of the Ice Queen. Though she wasn't at all pleased with having to travel with the little undead monster, the made haste towards the peaks all the same, keeping the prince close in her mind.

It took her almost forty-five minutes to make the trip, only having made good time with her spectacular reach. The little royal bat was uncomfortable squishing inside his parasol, but he made no completes, thinking of how he was going to rescue the Prince while still having a bit of fun. Maybe he'd drag the whole ordeal out, play with them a bit. It wasn't like his life was in danger or anything. The Ice Queen was crazy but not psycho. At least he thought she wasn't. But looking through the material he could tell that the surrounding light had faded and the sun was making its way down. Soon, he'd burst out of his temporary prison and have some real fun.

At the base of the Ice Queen's mountain, Cake glanced over her shoulder just as the last of the visible sun slipped beyond the horizon and the sunset faded into dark purple, signifying the arrival of nighttime. Shrinking her legs back down to normal size, the feline picked up the umbrella and pushed it open causing the little bat to fall out at her feet.

"You look like a dead rat," she chuckled at the small creature sprawled out limply by her paws. "Come on night-walker, it's hero-time."

"Yo, you try being cramped into a tiny umbrella for like an hour and not look bad." He stretched out his wings, flapping them enough to get blood back into circulation. It sucked when his wings fell asleep. He heard a soft, slippery noise, and looking up he saw the feline lick her lips. Smiling a toothy grin, Marshall Lee grew exponentially until he towered over her, picking the spotted cat up by her nape and stared at her with large glowing red eyes. "Thinking of eating a little snack? That might not be a bad idea." He clicked his fangs at her, and once she squealed he laughed and plopped her onto his abdomen, letting her sit on his abs as he flew up towards the icy witch's lair.

Folding her arms across her furry chest, the calico pouted, not being fond of sitting on the undead teen much less having to cooperate with him. At the thick glacial gate to the solid-ice fortress, Cake leaped off of the vampire's chest, plopping into the snow until she was up to her ankles. She stretched until she was at eye-level with the keyhole, poking her nose into the little opening and breathing deeply.

"Mmmmm… Mm-hm… Gumgum's definitely in there, the whole place reeks of sweetness." With that she put her paw against the keyhole and molded the limb into the perfect shape to fit the lock, turning her arm until there was a low click and the frosted door swung in.

Before it opened too wide and brought attention, the vampire king grabbed it, bringing his face to look just over the edge. Looking about he spotted the prince and queen on the far side of the chamber, Gumball suspended in a large frozen birdcage. As he tried to slip in, a furry paw snatched at this collar and yanked him out.

"Hold up there, battie. We can't just go in there like Fionna and I do."

"Well why not? It's not like I can't handle her."

The cat grumbled and folded her arms, waving her tail in annoyance, looking away for a moment and rolling her eyes.

"Wh- well for starters, you've got no weapons, and if you get frozen, I am not thawing you out." Pursing her lips, Cake gave the vampire a scowl. "I don't want to have to fight that woman if I don't have to. Besides, it would be much more fun to sneak in and take Gumball without her notice."

"Oh…I like fun." The blue-skinned teen grinned at the thought, but then dropped it. "Wait, how are we gonna snag PG without Ice Witch seeing?"

"Well you're gonna distract him, goof."

"Why me? I hate that chick."

"Because I- wait why?"

"Dude, I'm like a thousand year old, and she's like a hundred or something. We've met."

Cake's tail ruffled and he pupils grew until they blocked the whites of her eyes.


"Yeah, I knew her back when she wasn't queen. I mean she wasn't that bad looking back in the day, but she's still flipping crazy. Besides, how am I supposed to distract her?"

"Well," the feline purred, "she's looking for a young… ish man to marry. So turn up those boyish charms and seduce her!"

The calico covered her muzzle with her paws and chuckled quietly, unable to hold back with the thought of how silly Marshall Lee would look chasing after the lecherous queen.

"What?" the undead teen puffed out his cheeks and made a frustrated looking pout, second guessing the idea to sneak in and take back the kidnapped prince without notice. "Why on earth would I want to seduce that old witch? I said she used to not that bad looking, as in past tense."

"Oh come on, night-walker. You know it will be hilarious once I've busted Gumball out of there and you just let her know you were just kidding and float out the window."

"… Uuuuuhhhhh fine. But I'm not gonna like it until she freaks out."

"Whatever let's go," Cake hissed as she pressed herself flat and slithered under the door. The teen grumbled to himself and huffed, quickly popped his collar and smoothed back over his midnight hair. Putting on the fakest grin he could, Marshall Lee pushed open the door and floated in, his hands tucked in his pockets.

The woman in question was standing at the bars of a rather small prison made purely of ice, the size of the cell keeping her captive within arm's reach at all times. Subsequently the giddy queen was busy stroking the cheek of a loudly protesting Prince Gumball, fawning over his sweet, softness, commenting how the teen's skin was smooth as a baby's bottom.

"D-Don't touch me y-you frigid old h-h-hag!" the pink prince shouted, trying to squirm away from the sorceress's talons.

"Well stop being so bitter and cold to me. You're going to be here for a while so why don't you cool down?"

"Uuuhhh would you stop with the terrible puns! They are making me ice-sick-cle."

"Ooohhh, good one! Sorry deary, I'm just snow glad you're here." The woman giggled even though Prince Gumball's face dropped.

"No wonder the only way you can get a man is by kidnaping him and locking him in a cage! Your sense of humor is snow awful!"

The witch cackled as yet another ice pun was made, reaching through the bars and running her long, spider-like fingers through the prince's fluffy, pink hair.

"You really need to chill out, Gumball. Here, why don't I pour us something to drink, then I can find out how many licks it takes to get to your gummy center!" With another wicked laugh, the Ice Queen prodded the horrified prince's stomach with a finger. As soon as she'd turned her back on him, he was looking around frantically for any means of escape, his eyes almost instantly finding the vampire levitating just inside the door. He motioned frantically to Marshall, not daring to make any noise lest it draw the witch's attention back to him.

At the sound of the undead teen clearing his throat, the icy blue sorceress looked up from where she'd been pouring a pair of tall glasses of white wine. Setting down the heavy bottle she turned to face the new man in her home, her long, slender brows raising with intrigue as Marshall approached through the air as if on silent, invisible wings.

"Oh, Marshall Lee. It's been a long time, hasn't it?" The queen smoothed her slender hands through long, snow-white locks before stretching her arms in an attempt to appear seductive while she limbered up for the new chase. "What brings you so far north dear?"

Swallowing every instinct to sneer at her advances, the vampire king smirked and sauntered over, bringing himself to hover beside Gumball's prison.

"Well I was traipsing around the ice kingdom and I thawght I'd drop in and see how its beautiful queen was doing. So how are you doing, frosty lady?"

In the cell, the kidnapped prince made a face that was an odd mixture of confusion, horror, and disgust. The queen, however was delighted, placing one frigid hand on her mouth while her cheeks flushed bright cyan and she chuckled in as womanly fashion as she could muster.

"Oh Marshall Lee, what a cool thing to say." She batted her eyelashes flirtatiously at the vampire and pressed one hand to her bosom as if to check her own heart rate. "Can I pour you a glass of red wine?"

"You snow me all too well. I'd love one." As she turned around to walk to her liquor cabinet that was cleverly hidden, the vampire hovered after her, looking over his shoulder to wink at the feline hiding in the ceiling's shadow. The prince turned to see Cake, almost yelping in happiness, but quickly covered him mouth lest he blow the plan. With Prince Gumball's freedom close at hand, Marshall Lee stuck out a tongue of disgust until the snowy enchantress turned back, a freshly poured glass in her hand.

"Ruby Desire, very old. I hope you like it strong."

"Well if it's in your collection it must be good. You have such good taste." The teen accepted the glass and tipped it back until the liquid touched his lips, quickly sucking all color out of the strangely warm drink. He licked the remaining red from his top lip and sighed, actually loving the flavor. "Great taste… except in boys."

"Hmm?" the queen asked, taking her lips away from her own glass of wine and raising an inquisitive eyebrow. "And what's wrong with my taste in men?" She lowered her eyes and smirked over the rim of her glass. "I've got a taste for you haven't I?"

"Well that may be, but when I'm not around you chase after all of these little boys. A woman like you shouldn't waste your time with the unripe. Besides…" Marshall drug his feet along the frozen floor as he swooped in around her, using the force of his flight to turn her around until the rescue efforts were to her back. "… Why settle for a prince… When you could have a king?"

"Oh?" She seemed surprised at first, but the look was fleeting as it faded into a lecherous smile, "finally embracing the title?" She took a pace forward, setting her glass of white aside and reaching out, placing a frosty hand on the vampire's shoulder, squeezing gently and feeling the toned muscle of the undead teen's arm. "You and I both know a queen is nothing without a king by her side." The sorceress lowered her lashes and popped one hip to the side, smiling seductively as she dragged a long-nailed finger down Marshall's chest. "What do you say you and I start a kingdom?"

With her icy fingers touching over his body, the blue-skinned male fought every instinct to scream and slap her hands away. But not able to deal with the frostbite that was already stinging his flesh he grabbed her wrists and held them between them. He smile grew large, trying not to let a horrified face creep its way on.


"What was that," the queen asked, blushed deeply at his hands on her.

"I-I said… D-don't you already have a one? And you know me- I'm not the kingdom type. I like to roam wild and free, wherever the breeze blows me junk."

"Is that so?" The ice queen's voice had suddenly dropped to a whisper, clutching the vampire's hand tight in her own, her lashes fluttering. "I'm so sorry to hear that, I didn't think a gentleman like you would turn me down cold." Her smile was beginning to take on a wicked look, her pointed teeth beginning to show from behind her lips. "You're familiar with how things turned out last time. You know I'm not a woman who takes rejection lightly." She leaned in closer, keeping the vampire from floating away by clutching at his wrists and pulling him down to her level until their noses were mere centimeters apart. "Marshall Lee. Won't you reconsider? Be my king and with our combined might the two of us could take control of all Aaa, casting it into an eternal frozen night!"

Flashing back to one of their last encounters, he cringed at the familiar pit in his gut.

Oh yeah, she was psycho all right. Several years ago, when she was much younger and hadn't received her queen's title yet, back when she was little ice princess, she had tried the same tactic. Creepy intimidation. Before, he had been much taller than her and had easily let her down gently. She being not the type to accept a no, the young princess had royally flipped out, even going so much as to stalking him for a brief period. But with a 20 year vacation to an unknown realm the vampire king successfully avoided her, slipping back into Aaa without her finding out. But even as time passed she eventually found out of his return, but with some much more royal boys to choose from she lost interest in the slippery teen.

Marshall Lee tried to yank his hands out of her grasp, but being much older than her teen self, the cougar had developed quite a grip. The teen looked over her shoulder and grinned at the sight of Gumball seating on Cake's back, the feline giving him a thumbs-up before slinking towards the door.

"Yeeeeeeah… nope. See ya!" Even with her adult size towering over his, he took to the air, pulling her up with him and swung her back into her liquor cabinet, letting her destroy the ice furniture and fall into its heap. Making a break for it, he looked over his shoulder. "Later, Frosty the Snow-witch!"

The queen took a moment to recover from the shock of having a solid ice shelf full of assorted wines break over top of her, but when she realized that her king and prince were escaping, the sorceress howled like a banshee. Throwing large chunks of ice off of her, the witch noticed her regal dress stained from all the wine that had broken open as the case collapsed. She shrieked and in a rage summoned ice up from underneath her feet, converting the very foundation of her palace into an attack fueled by blind fury. Like riding a frozen tidal wave, the Ice Queen pursued her deceivers, smashing through the heavy gates of her own icy fortress to find the prince and Cake beating a hasty retreat down the mountainside with Marshall close behind.

"I'll put a stake in your cold heart, Marshall Lee!" she shrieked, raising her hands above her head, manipulating the ice around her with the power of her magic tiara. Icicles as sharp as razors levitated behind her, poised to strike for a heartbeat as if they were frozen in time. Screaming at the top of her lungs, the witch thrust her hands forward and the shards of ice followed suit, flying like daggers in a deadly barrage towards the three escaping down the mountain.

As Gumball gasped at the oncoming attack, his stead threw out her legs and wrapped her body like a blanket around the prince, forming into a ball and started rolling down the hillside. With PG perfectly safe, Marshall Lee grinned at the challenge. Changing fast, he grew into his giant bat form, wrapping his wings tight around him and spun, letting the cold daggers bounce off him, never once piercing him. After they all had been deflected, he threw them back open, flapping them a few times and let the big strokes gust at the Ice Queen, stirring up his own snowstorm.

"So, the snow leopard wants to play. Bring it Grandma!"

With fury burning in her ice-blue eyes, the sorceress didn't miss a beat, capturing the snow with her manipulation powers and pulling it all together. Packing like clay, the snow molded under her magical control and formed a gigantic, glittering, white serpent with blades of ice for fangs. The creature screeched and struck at the bat, snapping its deadly sharp teeth at Marshall as he narrowly dodged the bite.

"I'll make you feel the icy fangs of rejection!"

He growled at the serpent and grabbed its neck, breaking its head off and tossed it back at the occupied queen. It thunked against her head, making her drop her hands to clutch the bump.

"Ow," she whined, rubbing her temple and pausing the battle for a moment. "Why do you have to be so mean, LeeLee?"

The undead male wrinkled his nose to her familiar nickname, hating it more than ever. With the fight stopped for a moment, he took the opportunity to move in on her, hovering above her and spreading his wings out like some great hell bat. She shrunk back a bit, put off by his sheer size.

"Why do you have to be so crazy, Icey? If you keep it up, you're just gonna be forever alone."

"But… LeeLee…" She whimpered, putting up her hands as if to shield herself from the giant monster looming over her. "I… I thought we had something… I just don't understand why… why you could betray me like that… I… I thought you loved me Marshall…" The Ice Queen looked up at the vampire with wide, sad eyes and snow in her hair, appearing as if she was on the verge of tears.

For a moment the undead king was taken aback. Sure, he thought the Ice Queen was a gnarly old hag and a psychopath, but he hadn't intended to make her cry… Perhaps there was a soft heart underneath that shell of ice…

Before he could complete his though, however, a searing pain shot through his left wing and his pale blue eyes stretched wide with agony as a massive icicle shot up from the mountainside and pierced the extra appendage. The bat creature howled in anguish as blood suddenly sprung from the wound, staining the ice crystal scarlet. All the while just under the vampire's roar of pain, the sound of the sorceress cackling victoriously rung out until both had quieted and Marshall fixed the queen in a hateful glare.

"Syke! I can't believe you fell for that teary garbage!" Again the Ice Queen cackled manically, grinning wildly with pointed teeth bared. "Of course, I've only got ice for you!"

Reaching back and ripping out the frozen thorn from his wing, he crushed the weapon and hissed angrily.

"Enough with the stupid puns!" Even with a new wound, Marshall Lee's smile grew wickedly large, showing off his own set of gleaming fangs. "Well if you like me so much, then you're gonna love this next trick. I learned this little number in the FIRE kingdom!"

Ice Queen's smile vanished.

"Oh crud."

The enormous bleeding vampire stretched out his wings as far as they would go and snapped his fingers. Instantly the membrane of both his wings were engulfed in flame, blazing brilliantly in the dark tundra. The bitter witch held up her arm against the warmth, but with a massive beat of his flaming wings, Marshall rushed molten air at her, swallowing her up in the roast.

The witch shrieked as the blast of hot air roared over her, trying desperately to raise up icy defenses only for them to melt away before any formidable barrier could be made. When finally the wave of fire subsided, the Ice Queen crumpled into the slush, clutching at what cold was left at her feet as if desperately trying to lower her temperature.

"My face!" she wailed, keeping herself hidden from Marshall's view by wrapping an arm around her head. "My beautiful face!" Staggering through the wet snow, the sorceress beat a hasty retreat back into the heart of her palace where the temperature was coldest, the slamming of doors and her agonized cries following her all the way into the hollow of the mountain.

The victor laughed and flapped his wings again, waving them until they were extinguished. As the flame was snuffed, a steady stream of smoke poured off the remains of his wings. Looking over his shoulder, nothing remained of them but the fingers of the limb, having burned off all of the paper-thin membrane in the fire.

"…well that sucks."

Quickly he fell from the sky, but transformed back into his normal form before his feet landed in the snow. He quickly slid down until he reached the bottom where Cake and the unharmed prince stood waiting.

"That was amazing," the female said, her tail on edge from the excitement. "How'd you do that!"

"Oh, you learn a few things when you hang out in weird places." The trio smiled and laughed lightly, until Marshall Lee became mute and fell face-first into the snow. Prince Gumball gasped and knelt down to help, but cringed back at the ghastly pair of bloodstains leaking through the back of his shirt over his shoulder blades.

The prince's hands trembled at the sight of blood as if it was something terrible and foreign, the likes of which he'd never laid eyes on. Of course he'd encountered blood before, but a nick here, a scrape there, the kind of thing that could be patched with a Band-Aid and healed with a loving kiss. But this? There was no patching a wound that stained a red shirt even redder. He looked fearfully over his shoulder to the feline who seemed equally shocked, her nose crinkling at the sharp scent of blood.

"C-Cake… what do we do?" Gumball's voice trembled slightly and he made a movement as if he was about to lift the vampire in his arms, but came up short at the sight of blood again. "We've got to… to get him out of the snow. We've got to get him out of here!"

"Calm down, baby, I'll get him. Here, get him on." With that the cat stretched out her body to accommodate a second rider. Gumball hesitated for a moment, not sure if he could pick the other teen up. "Come on, GumGum!" Snapped out of it, he leaned over and dragged the unconscious vampire to his shoulder. He did weight a bit more than the bubblegum prince, but he grunted through it enough to throw him over Cake. Throwing his leg over the cat, he rode behind Marshall, keeping his body balanced on her body as she extended her legs and began sprinting towards the Candy Kingdom.