My Kingdom for...
An Adventure Time fanfiction by TIBryant.
Summary: The life of a royal isn't all that it's made out to be, especially when secrets begin to come out after the death of the King.
Alternative universe setting.
Pairings: Marceline/Bubblegum, Gumball/Marshal Lee

This story is set in an alternative universe. Gumball and Bubblegum are not candy people and Marceline and Marshall Lee are not vampires.

This is a Work in Progress. I usually don't post a story before I have all of the chapters written, but I need a little bit of inspiration for this one and I'm hoping posting it can inspire me.

Chapter 1; My kingdom for... a friend

Princess Bonnibel had been given the nickname "Bubblegum" when she was just a child. Her mother had thought her adorable, with her stringy hair that was so strawberry blonde it was nearly pink, and had started calling her the name due to her bubbly personality.

It wasn't long before the whole castle was referring to her as Princess Bubblegum in jest, although during serious moments they would of course call her by her real name. Still, the little girl enjoyed the nickname and it made her smile whenever one of her staff would call her such with a large smile on their faces.

The Princess was an adventurous type and loved to pull pranks on the people around her. She was never really one to stay inside and learn lessons about how to be proper, which drove her parents crazy, but she'd never really minded at the time.

She spent most of her time outside, exploring the garden and trying to learn anything and everything she could about all of the things in it. She had a thirst for knowledge that was insatiable.

She was only about five when she'd started mixing various plants and liquids, studying their reactions with one another.

But she wouldn't dare tell her parents, who wanted nothing more than for their little girl to grow up and marry some prince so that their kingdom could become stronger. They didn't care for a daughter who wanted to learn, no matter how much they loved her.

It was on the day of Bonnibel's seventh birthday that she met the one person who would come to care most about her appetite for knowledge. And while she wished it could be because her nearly lifelong friend was a guest at the party, in actuality the truth was a bit more painful.

She'd been showered with gifts and had politely accepted each of them, even though they weren't exactly her thing. Dresses made from fine silk and hats that probably weighed more than she did. Only one gift amongst them was worth her while and that had been given to her the night before – a set of tools used by magicians to create potions, though where the person giving it had found such a thing was beyond her ability to comprehend, as magicians were a rare bunch and many believed they did not even exist.

After the party was over her father, Leimon, pulled her aside before her nightly bath and informed her, "I have just one more gift for you, my darling."

"What is it, father?" She inquired, excitement running through her. Certainly a gift he couldn't give in front of anyone else had to be thrilling?

And it had been, though not in the way she'd been expecting.

The girl was only about two years her senior and had the palest skin that Bonnibel had ever seen, beneath layers of long black hair that twisted up properly into the buns that the maids usually wore. The Princess couldn't remember seeing her around the castle before, but later she would come to learn that it was because she'd only just been 'broken in'.

"She'll be your own personal servant," Leimon had informed, although what he should have said was slave. Because although the palace staff was treated well (for the most part), they were still kept ultimately against their will and were not allowed to leave. "She'll be here to get you anything you need and do anything you want her to do."

The pinkish haired child had been heartbroken. She'd wanted more gifts like her potions set… not a person forced to do her bidding. The castle staff, though friendly, was extremely boring and no doubt this girl would be the same.

Then he'd left and the girl had just stood there, looking politely at the floor, her form stiff with what appeared to be pain and her expression broken.

After a long silence had passed, Bonnibel had finally mumbled, "What's your name?"

"Marceline," The girl had replied automatically, her voice hoarse.

Hoarse from screaming, as the Princess would later find out.

As it turned out, however, Marceline was anything but boring.

After the first week or so the pale girl had become more relaxed around the little Princess, who she'd found was kind and gentle. In mere months they'd begun to consider each other friends and it wasn't long at all before Bonnibel was inviting her servant out to play with her, instead of letting her watch from the sidelines.

Marceline liked music and the color red. She hated wearing her hair up in buns and preferred to let the long locks roam free, like the Princess herself. Often times during the night, after they'd retired for 'bed', the two girls would let down their hair and dance around, singing to themselves.

The dark-haired girl never spoke of her life before the palace and Bonnibel never thought to ask. She was young and didn't think about things like the past, instead focusing on the present and living her life as it came. Even as they grew older, though, the Princess never brought it up, eventually deciding that if her best friend wanted to talk about such things, she would mention them herself.

Growing up was a pain, however. By the time she was fourteen she'd been pulled away from her potion sets (which she had become very clever with, able to create concoctions beyond her wildest imagination) to attend balls and go on dinner dates with different Princes. And as always, faithful Marceline was at her side, making silly faces behind the heads of others and making her strawberry blonde friend burst into giggles.

By the time she was fifteen, however, her parents had grown tired of her playfulness and sat her down to a serious talk about the kingdom and its needs. They spent hours explaining how she was needed to make an alliance with another land, so that they could prosper from trading routes and the boost in economy. The entire situation struck her deep and her care-free attitude gave way to a seriousness that swept away any sort of innocent youth she had left.

From there she began to become entranced in politics, trying to choose the best kingdom to marry into and discussing with her parents what route would be the best to take. And while Marceline was always there, standing in the background, they'd begun to grow apart and the dark-haired girl had once again become just a trusted servant, instead of a trusted friend.

And now, eighteen years old, Bonnibel found herself swept up into the political world of being a Princess, about to take flight into a new world.

She was to be married.

"Your Highness, it's time to awaken."

As always, Marceline was up early and had a warm cup of tea at the Princess' bed side as she roused her from her sleep. And as always, Bonnibel gave an annoyed huff and rolled over, throwing a pillow over her head.

The maid let out an annoyed noise and reached down, grabbing a handful of the blankets that covered the strawberry blonde haired girl. With one loud yell of, 'Wake up!', she pulled the heavy comforter off and nearly pulled the other completely from the bed.

"Marceline!" Her master cried in alarm, sitting up and grabbing handfuls of her long hair to push out of her face. "That was rude!"

"Well then maybe you should get up when I'm all, 'oh, it's time to wake up, your Highness'," The black haired young woman replied, lifting one fine eyebrow up above the other. "Now, do I have to pour this tea all over you, or are you gonna drink it before it gets cold?"

With a huff of frustration, the Princess grabbed the glass and brought it to her lips, trying to take a sip. She hadn't expected the heat, however, and as soon as it touched her delicate skin she jerked back in surprise, spilling a bit onto her pale pink nightgown.

"Honestly…" Marceline sighed, grabbing a small towel off of the tray – she'd placed it on there as if she'd expected this to happen – and dropping to her knees. The strawberry blonde watched with flushed cheeks as the dark-haired woman began to dab at her night dress with a sour expression. After a few moments, the nearly-pink haired girl mimicked the expression before turning her face away. When she was finished, the maid stood and tossed the rag back onto the tray. "Today you've got a meeting with that brat, so like, dress up or whatever."

"Marceline, really, such language is unbecoming of a royal servant!" Bonnibel cried, sipping at her tea (which had cooled down enough by this point) before standing up. "You sound like a peasant."

"I was once, your Highness," The dark-haired woman reminded, rather coldly, as her companion crossed the room and opened up her closet.

"Well, you're not anymore," her master replied as she slipped inside and tried to find a proper outfit to wear. "And don't refer to him as the brat. Aiden is the crowned prince of the Flame kingdom and my future husband, which makes him your future master. So I think you should try to show a little bit more respect."

"Whatever," The maid muttered as she followed the strawberry blonde Princess into the closet and watched as she eyed the rows of clothing that nearly suffocated her. Honestly, the pale-skinned woman couldn't imagine wanting to dress in much more than the dark ankle-length dress and white apron that she was given to wear. Some of her companion's outfits were just ridiculous! "After that, your mother wants to see you about that party she's planning."

"Oh, of course! I'd forgotten all about that. How silly of me," The shorter woman breathed as she picked out a simple dress with a deep violet fitted bodice with a slightly lighter ankle-length skirt and sleeves to match. "Marceline, grab my brush, please. I think I'll do a simple hair style, today."

"Yes, your Highness," Marceline sighed, walking across the room and beginning to prep the setup that the royal girl had in front of her large mirror.

When she had first become the Princess' personal servant, she hadn't known much about styling hair or putting together outfits. She'd been given quick training but really, it was all lost on her by the time she was actually shoved into the 'field'. When she was younger, the other maids had helped her out, but after years of practice she had come to known the ins and outs of getting her majesty into her form-fitting dresses and putting her hair into elaborate styles.

Oh, if only her family could see her now… she'd imagine they would laugh at the thought of her prissying up a Princess for a royal date.

After what felt like hours of prep work (and the satisfaction of putting a corset on her 'friend'), Bonnibel was leading her down the hall and to the dining room, where her mother was seated. The girl's father had died only days ago, leaving a distraught wife who was trying to hold everything together.

"My darling! Good morning. My, you look as beautiful as always!" Queen Honey informed with a sad smile as her daughter leaned in to kiss her on the cheek. "I heard you're meeting with His Highness Aiden today, yes?"

As she was instructed to do from an early age, Marceline slipped from the room to leave the two women together. Sleep and meal times were the only points during the day that she had to herself and she spent them as well as she could, feasting on what measly scraps the servants were given before returning to her broken little bedroom.

Today all that was left out for them were small dinner rolls left over from the night before and she grabbed only one, knowing that she was one the first to eat and that there probably wasn't enough for everybody. She'd never grab more then she needed and often times she found herself grabbing less, just to make sure some of the younger, slower servants ate. (Such was the case of most of the other staff here as well, since they all had some sort of unspoken agreement.)

Each member of the help was given their own tiny room, barely big enough for a bed and a bar to hang their work clothes on. Her own was one of the smallest, which she had traded long ago with a little boy so that he had a bit more space, seeing as he struggled with being confined.

Taking a seat on the bed, the dark-haired girl leaned back against the wall and lifted her eyes to the ceiling as she pulled small pieces from the roll and ate them slowly, hoping the relaxed speed would fill her stomach faster.

As usual, her alone time was spent with her mind drifting and her lips humming silent tunes. Even after eleven years of being contained in these walls, her love of music hadn't left and she made sure to take time out at least once a day to sing (or at the very least, hum).

She tried to let the lyrics come to her, but instead they began to drift away and she felt her heart begin to break a little bit at a time.

No! She hadn't wanted to think about this… but the thoughts came anyway and she let herself curl up on the bed, fighting to keep the tears away.

His birthday… today was his birthday. He would be what, nineteen now? She tried to imagine what he would look like but the picture just wouldn't come like it used to… no, he would be much different from the tiny little eight year old that he'd been when she'd been captured.

Captured… did he even know? Or did he just think she had abandoned him? Her heart felt like it would rip in two at the very thought. No, he knew her better than that… He'd had faith in her back then and she could only hope that it hadn't disappeared after all those years.

Marshall Lee… her tiny little brother with that cute baby face, all grown up now and doing glob only knows what. Had he made a life for himself? Gotten a job somewhere and maybe found someone to love him? Or was he still living on the streets, starving and weak, like the two of them had been all those years ago?

Silently, Marceline let herself cry for some time, before she managed to calm herself down and clean herself up.

There was no point in crying about it anymore, since there was no way she was ever going to see her brother again.

No matter how much she wanted to.

It wasn't Aiden that Bonnibel ended up meeting with, but instead his father, a man that everyone usually just referred to as the Fire King. He was a tall man with flaming red hair and broad shoulders, a cold expression painting his squared face at all times.

The man gave her a nod as she took a seat, Marceline moving to stand near the entrance of the room, her expression blank and her eyes distant.

"Your Highness," The Fire King greeted across the table, not bothering to touch his tea. "My son tells me of your beauty, but his words do not do you justice. I am sorry to hear of your loss."

"You flatter me, my lord," She replied with a polite smile. "My father's death has been an emotional tragedy, but I shall not let his departure get in the way of our agreements."

"I must tell you, I do not discuss matters in front of slaves," He informed, shooting a distasteful look toward Marceline, who returned it with a disgusted glare.

"Marceline is a friend," Bonnibel assured, sending the dark-haired girl a stern look. (Inwardly, Marceline wanted to say, 'You haven't treated me like one in years', but she didn't bother to.)

"In my kingdom we don't make friends with slaves," The Fire King told her rather sternly. "And we don't plan on starting."

"All the same, in my kingdom we do," The Princess insisted, a frown crossing her features. "And Marceline will be joining me when I come to live in your kingdom, so whatever you have to say to me can be said in front of her."

The man's fiery eyebrows went up for a moment, before he bellowed out a round of sharp laughter that made the strawberry blonde shrink back with a deep frown. After a moment it died down and he hit himself on the chest, as if trying to clear his lungs. "Oh, my son didn't tell me you had a sense of humor!" He cried, a grin on his squared face. "Of course she won't be joining you, your Highness. We will accept you and you alone, no more and no less."

Bonnibel's eyes went wide and a clash of emotions spread over her face. Shock, confusion, sadness, and then finally anger.

There was no way she was leaving her life-long friend behind! Marceline had been there through thick and thin for eleven years, she wasn't going to throw that all behind just because some fiery old man told her to!

But then thoughts went through her head and she remembered the politics behind the situation. The Flame Kingdom was rich in both farmland and culture… they would be a huge benefit to have in the royal court.

Was she really willing to throw that all away just for one maid?

"If you say so, your Majesty," The Princess finally mumbled, letting her eyes lower with a sour expression.

She hadn't expected the sudden shriek of, "Are you serious!?" That filled the air and her nearly violet blue eyes snapped up in alarm, looking at the angry face of Marceline. "Eleven years of friendship and all you have to say is, if you say so!?" The pale-skinned girl continued, the hurt evident in her honey-colored eyes. "You're really going to throw away everything we've had together… just like that!? Do you just not like me anymore!?"

"Marcy-" Bonnibel began in alarm, her expression completely dumbstruck.

"NO!" The dark-haired girl snapped, her fists clenched at her sides. "No, you don't get to call me that anymore! You don't get to talk to me anymore! Find yourself a different servant, Princess, because I'm DONE!"

And with that, she turned and stormed from the room, not caring about the repercussions of her actions. No amounts of beating and torture would ever match up to the heart break she had just felt and if her outburst meant she never had to see the strawberry-blonde Princess again, it would be too soon.

Note: 'Aiden' is the name I've given to Flame Prince, as he does not have a cannon first name.