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Proper Etiquette

Chapter Text

The alarm clock on the pink-headed boy's nightstand began playing music from the radio station that it was set to. The boy that was under the sheets groaned about getting up. Slowly, the boy stood up and glanced at his clock. It was flashing 5:30. The boy rolled out of his bed, turned off the alarm, and shuffled to the bathroom to take a shower.

Staring in the mirror after his shower, he looked at his damp, pink hair. He ran his fingers through, watching the strands of hair stuck together fall left and right. He sighed, and left the bathroom, a white towel wrapped around his waist.

No one but him was up at this time of day, but he had good reason for it. He needed to get some work done for his father before he left for his first day of school. The work wasn't hard, but there was a lot of it, and if he didn't finish it, his father would be all over him.

The pink-haired teen scanned the clothes in his closet, trying to decide exactly which outfit he was going to wear for school. He settled on a pair of black skinny jeans, a black band shirt on it, and a pink sweater. Happy with his choices, he took out the pile of papers that his father had told him to finish by today.

The work didn't really take as long as the teen expected, he was finished with the work by 6:30, and it gave him enough time to head downstairs and bake some goods before he left for school.

That is exactly what he did, he pulled out some strawberry cookies from the oven. set them to cool for a little bit before taking some and putting them into containers, and the others into a bag that he had placed into his lunch bag. He looked at the fridge, noting the photo help up by a magnet. Underneath the photo it read, "Gumball and Dad!"

Gumball recognized it as his own writing, and wondered if his father had ever written on a single photograph as he left the house with his schoolbag and lunch.

=+=

Not so far away was another boy who was having a little worse time getting ready for his same first day of school. He had nearly broken his alarm clock from smashing his hand on it to make it shut up. He was groaning and cursing under his breath after he had noted the black backpack on the floor near his bed.

He eventually kicked his sheets off to roll off of his bed. He really just didn't want to get out of his bed, much less leave his house to go to what he referred to as prison for children.

This boy pulled himself up, and was now sitting on the floor. He looked at the clothes near him and selected the ones he would wear today. They were a red flannel, a pair of black skinny jeans with holes in the knees, and a plain black t-shirt. Reluctantly, he stood up to put on the pants he had grabbed after he had put on the shirts.

Still waking up, the boy was walking downstairs to the kitchen to grab food, and hopefully evade his step-mother. She was probably out cold from drinking so much, but there was still the chance that she was walking around.

Sure enough, there she was, sitting at the dining table with a beer bottle in front of her. She was staring at it with vacant eyes that showed no emotion. Her stark white hair was draping over her back and the chair in knots She was wearing her clothing for work, which involved a long, blue, almost victorian era dress. The boy merely sighed and walked past his step-mother to get to the food.

"Marshall…" Said his step-mother. Her voice was slurred. Marshall set down the bread that he was about to put into the toaster to turn around and face his mother.

"Simone." Marshall responded.

"You're going to school today, right?" Simone was looking at Marshall with wide eyes. Marshall remembered the (rather one-sided) conversation that he had with Simone the other day when he mentioned going to school.

"Yeah, so what?" Marshall turned back to the bread he planned to toast. He was trying to get his food ready as fast as possible so he could get out of the house. His mother was pretty mellow now, but she was far from a bubbly drunk.

"It's just, I hope you do well at school. I never did well out of chemistry and science, so could you at least try?" Simone's voice was barely understandable, but Marshall got the gist of what she was saying.

"I will, Simone. I promise." Marshall popped his bread into the toaster. He and Simone either sat or stood in the kitchen, with Simone taking the occasional sip from her Crown beer bottle. Marshall's toast finished, and he started to put some butter and strawberry jam on the pieces. He finished eating it fairly quickly, and not long after that he went upstairs to grab his backpack, and left the house without saying goodbye.

=+=

Gumball had reached the school without a lot of time left, given he had about 5 minutes left before school had started. He walked into the doors of the school and was met with the surge of teenagers. Gumball moved his way through the crowd to get to the front desk. He asked the receptionist what his schedule was.

With minor difficulty, Gumball was able to find his homeroom. A few students were already there. Since he didn't want to bring a lot of attention upon himself, he decided that he would sit in the back of the classroom. Without a lot of thought, he chose to sit in the very back corner of the room.

Sitting in his chair, Gumball proceeded to take out the supplies he needed for this homeroom, which he assumed was going to involve guidelines for the school and classes. His supplies consisted of a notepad and a still needed to be discovered pink pen. Gumball considered that single pen his baby, and he wanted to use it. Gumball proceeded to dig through his bag to find the beloved pen when someone tapped on his shoulder. Ho looked up to see a tall, lean boy with black hair and pale skin.

'How have I not seen this kid before?' Was the first thing that Marshall thought when he saw the bright, pink bubblegum hair. In Marshall's opinion, the boy stuck out more than a sore thumb (He was right). Regardless of the kid and his hair, he was sitting in Marshall's spot.

Marshall was standing over the boy, and tapped him on the shoulder. Snickers were heard from around the classroom. Marshall heard this, and considered putting on a little show.

The boy looked up at him with confusion before his face changed to a smile.

"Can I help you?" The boy asked.

'His voice is pretty high for a dude. Late bloomer?' Marshall thought.

"Um… Yeah, you can. Mind getting out of my seat, Pinky?" Marshall said with a smirk touching his lips. The boy huffed.

"Can't you just sit here?" The boy asked while pointing to the chair next to him.

“Why?" Marshall said, leaning in closer to the boy.

"Because I don't want to move." The boy said coolly. That response made Marshall a little ticked off.

"Well, here's the thing, Pinky. I like the seat that you are in. If you don't want to get pummeled by me later today in the parking lot, you will listen and move from that seat. Clear?" Marshall's response earned a lot of laughter from the student around him, and he knew in the back of his mind that he should probably end this soon. Hopefully the kid listens to him so won't be forced to go back on his word.

The boy huffed again before picking up his stuff, but he didn't go very far with it. He plopped right back down in the chair that he pointed to earlier. He then started to dig through his bag again.

Marshall stood still, and heard that laughter that was because of the kid's response. Marshal smiled smugly before walking behind him and sitting in the chair that he had just moved from. He placed his freon theses I, noticing that the boy stopped ever so slightly before he sat up and placed a pink pen on the desk.

'What's with this guy?' Marshall thought. Most people who sat next to him would cower in fear and sit as far away as possible, or they would sit too close to him with the intention of becoming his friend, or getting into his pants. More often the latter.

'This should be interesting.' Marshall th ought.

The teacher walked in a few minutes later. He half ran inside the classroom. Marshall checked his watch and saw that homeroom started about 10 minutes ago.

"Alright class, quiet down." The teacher said. "My name is willow Trunk. I go byMr. Trunk, or Tree Trunks, and… that's about it. Please don't ask about the name, you will know soon enough." Tree trunk sat down pulled a stack of papers from his bag.

The class was still snickering because of the teacher's name. The man was pretty old, with a strange, green suit, and a yellow had wispy, white hair, thick framed glasses, and a somewhat raspy voice.

"Now, everyone be quiet so I can take attendance, then you can talk until I figure out what Admin want me to talk to you about before you go to class. Your schedule is shortened today so we can at homeroom go over the school's rules and guidelines." Tree Trunks said while rifling through papers. Most of the class was quiet, with the occasional friends whispering back and forth.

Since Marshall's name is Abadeer, he didn't need to wait long until Tree Trunks called his name. Tree Trunks went through the attendance fairly quickly so far. Every person that he called quickly said "here." There was, however, one name in particular that caught a lot of people off guard.

"Bubba Gumball."

People were looking around, trying to see the person who gave acknowledgement to his presence, or if he was there or not.

"Here."

=+=

Tree Trunks called Gumball's name, and basically every head whipped left and right to find the person whose name that belonged to. Gumball sighed before raising his hand to the height of his head.

'I should've expected this to happen.'

"Here." Gumball said. Any eyes looking that direction already locked onto him, and any heads turned the other way whipped towards him. All conversations basically ceased to exist.

Tree Trunks continued down the list, and finished it up with near complete silence except for when someone acknowledged their presence. He finished the attendance before setting down the paper and telling the class that they could talk. It took a handful of seconds for someone to break the silence.

"Is that seriously your name?" A guy a few seat over and up asked. He seemed to be a jock.

"Yep." Gumball responded.

"Dude, that's like seriously the dumbest name that I have ever heard in my life." The guy stopped for a second before he asked, "Are you gay or something?"

That question made Gumball stop cold. He really hated when people asked him that because of his name. It was one of his biggest pet-peeves, and that was something that was hard to come by. It was funny in the beginning, because he knew that they weren't wrong. It really is just annoying to him, now.

He doesn't need to answer you." Gumball turned to face the one sitting next to him. It was Marshall who spoke up, the guy that was giving him a small hassle earlier. His eyes were cold, with a mixture of anger that flared with his eyes seeming to burn red. Gumball felt a hint of fear, but then some pity for the jock that Marshall's anger was clearly geared towards.

"It's just a question. Chill out, dude." The guy held up his hands in defense. Marshall only glared, making the guy subtly lean away from them in his chair.

'How does the teacher not notice this?'

"Like I said, he doesn't need to answer you." Marshall practically spit those words out at the jock. A lot of people seemed hesitant to breathe because of the dark aura that Marshall was creating in the class.

"Geez, fine, man. You don't need to get all worked up over an innocent question." His voice cracked at the end of his sentence, and his eyes widened.

"Everyone quiet down, please!" The class got quiet as told by Tree Trunks.

"Okay. Now, there have been changes to the school's rules and guidelines for the year."

Chapter Text

The morning passed by quickly, resulting in lunch happening really quickly. Gumball was excited to be back in school. The Academy of AAA (I give up with a school name) is renowned for its academic excellence and achievement, but he knew that they were also one of the most students from the upper class, mostly because this school was out of the way in the news. Gumball was hesitant because of this. There was, however, another reason he was so excited to get to school. It was the fact that he would be in the same school as the friends he had in elementary.

Gumball walked through the cafeteria to get to the school’s courtyard in order to find his friends. They had agreed to meet outside, but never gave a specific location.

For as much as Gumball wants to have a low profile, his close friends weren’t the average face in the crowd. All of them had huge reputations in the school, and he knew that this will bring him in the spotlight. It was also very helpful when he needed to find said friends. A crowd of people were surrounding them.

Gumball saw his lifelong friend Monochrome, who goes by Mono or MC. He doesn’t talk a lot, and because of the recent popularity of the anime “Ouran High School Host Club,” and the fact that he looked and acted strikingly similar to one of the characters, his popularity was mostly based off of that.

He was the first one that Gumball saw. Mostly because his dark clothing stuck out against the bright colors of the people surrounding him. That, and there was a certain girl standing next to him, clinging onto his arm.

That girl was none other than Cake. Her actual name was Katherine, but it was a name that she has never personally liked, so she settled on Cake. Most of her popularity came from dating MC, and ridiculous talent in gymnastics. She seems to be made of stretchy rubber when she’s up and performing. She was quite literally the best is every gymnastics event, getting gold every time. Gumball remembered not ever seeing her with a place lower.

Her attire was less obvious than her boyfriend’s. She had platinum hair with a swoop of yellow in the front, styled in a bob. She wore clothes that matched her hair. Her oufit today involved a yellow tank top and white pants with rips all along the front of the legs, and Gumball knows that those rips weren’t a part of the original design.

Gumball smiled as he walked closer to the crowd. He soon saw a white bunny hat that wore a blue shirt and blue mini skirt.

That was Fionna. She is the most renowned tomboy girl on campus, as she always wore clothes that had grass stains on them. She was the best player on the girls soccer team, both offense and defense. Her love of the sport was shown with the fact that she always had knee-high socks.

Gumball had reached the crowd, and was pushing his way through. He was near the center when someone grab onto his arm. His eyes trailed that arm up, noting the blue shirt that ended at the fore arm.

“PG! You made it!” Fionna said cheerfully.

“Of course. Why would I miss the chance to meet up with you guys?” Gumball smiled.

Fionna turned around and shouted, “Yo! PG’s here!”

Cake and MC looked over to see Gumball. Cake smiled, and MC gave a nod. Gumball returned both gestures.

Fionna pulled Gumball along to get next to Cake and MC. Gumball and MC did their secret handshake, and Gumball noted that a few guys in the crowd moved closer to see if they could learn said handshake.

“Hey, Sugar, how’s it going?” Cake asked.

“Pretty. Classes have gone well so far. There was the normal strange looks because of my name, and hair, but I’m used to that, now.” Gumball shrugged at the last setnece. He hated having to deal with people that simply won’t drop his name and the fact that it was a little different.

“Dude, that sucks. Want me to go beat them up?” Fionna asked, holding up her fists.

Gumball laughed. “No, that’s alright. There’s no need to do that. I’m used to it, really.”

“Alright, Sugar. The only thing we’re trying to say is that we want to help you get used to this school. I mean, you’ve been at this school for half a day!” Cake said.

“I’ve been here longer than that.” Gumball said defensively.

“Not for an actual school day you haven’t.”

“Fine. Didn’t you say that you wanted to go to a nearby restaurant or something?” Gumball asked.

“Alright. Let’s go. It’s not that far.” Fionna said. She turned to push her way out of the crowd. The other three soon followed.

The restaurant was actually a small business that Tree Trunks ran with his wife. Apparently, Tree Trunks uses his lunch breaks to help his wife manage the restaurant. Since they had really good business, Fionna said that they paid their employees really well. She said that once they gave word that they were hiring, the job position would be quickly filled.

Gumball didn’t order any food, only because he had brought his own lunch that day, but the food he was given by his friends was amazing. Especially the apple pie. It was beyond Gumball ever hoped he could bake.

He and his friends were catching up, talking about the summer and the future school year.

“So, how was homeroom today?” Cake asked, wiggling her eyebrows. Gumball was confused by this gesture. It must’ve shown on his face because she and Fionna started laughing.

“I’m sorry. What’s so important about homeroom?” Gumball.

“Sugar, rumor has it that you sat next to Marshall.”

“I don’t follow.”

“You don’t know who Marshall is, do you?” Cake asked. Gumball shook his head. “Well, what do you know about him?”

“Not much. His name, appearance, and at least part of his personality.”

Fionna jumped in. “He’s the most popular bad boy in the school! People either cower in fear, or have the greatest amount of respect for him. Not to mention the fact that he is the best guitarist in the school!” She was bouncing up and down in the chair. It was a strange action for her of all people, and Gumball noted it.

She continued to ramble on about the pale teen dubbed Marshall Lee the Vampire King. No one knows his parents, or his level of social class. The fact that Marshall has never taken anyone to his house made Gumball curious. Some of the stuff that Fionna said seemed to be a little personal. Gumball made a mental note that he shouldn’t share too much personal information.

“Is there a reason why you know so much about him?” Gumball asked.

Fionna blushed. “No, not at all.”

‘So she has a crush on him.’ Gumball thought, remembering the time Fionna had a crush on him.

“Sure, Sugar.” Cake said.

Gumball looked down at his watch. His eyes widened. “Oh my glob. I have to go.” He abruptly stood up after saying goodbye, and left the restaurant. He started running when he was out of sight.

Gumball made it to the classroom with only a few minutes left. He stood outside, hands on his knees, attempting to catch his breath. A few people passed by him, some holding in stifled laughter. Gumball knew why. His arrival has probably already started a commotion in the gossip.

Once he was breathing normally, he walked into the classroom. Most people had sat in there group of friends, leaving pockets open for people to sit. Gumball chose one that was near the middle of the classroom. He pulled out his textbooks for the class, and set to work on the handout he had.

He was a few problems in when a person tapped on his shoulder.

=+=

Marshall had entered his next class. He really did hate math, and it didn’t help that he got into the AP class. He was not intent on going back to classes after lunch, and he would’ve skipped the class. That is, if it weren’t for the fact that Ashley, his absolutely horrid ex, was apparently looking for him. Not wanting to take the chance, he entered the class.

He looked around to see what seats there were left when he noticed a familiar head of pink hair.

‘Why does he have to be here?’ Marshall thought. Thinking a little more, he figured that it might be fun to torture the pink nerd.

Marshall, with a smirk on his face, strut towards that teen pulling scribbling something down.

He stood above him for about five seconds, noting that Gumball remained oblivious to his presence.

He, again, tapped him on the shoulder. Gumball looked up in surprise from what seemed to be a page of math equations.

“I’m guessing that you want my seat again, huh, Marshall?” Gumball’s eyebrow was arched, and he looked slightly annoyed.

“Nope.”

“No?”

“Yep. I’m going to sit right,” Marshall sat down in the chair that he was standing next to, “here.”

Gumball sighed, “Fine.”

Marshall was staring intently at Gumball until the teacher had came in. Apparently Bubba was really good at ignoring people. Giving up, Marshall looked ahead to see the teacher, who he thought seemed to look a little strange. He had wavy black hair that ended just above his shoulders, matching his olive skin and dark eyes. He wore a red button-up shirt, black dress pants, and shiny black shoes. He set down the briefcase on his desk, took out a red folder, and called the attention of the class.

“Alright, so welcome back to school for another year. Good news is, you are halfway done!” The teacher announced to the junior class. A good portion of said class groaned.

‘He sounds way too cheery to have a such a deep voice like that.’ Marshall thought.

The teacher clapped his hands together before continuing, “Alright, to get introductions out of the way, I am Mr. Ricardio. I don’t care if you refer to me with a ‘Mr.’ or not, but never only ‘Mr.’ You will soon realize that that is in fact one of my biggest pet peeves. The class that you’re in, if you haven’t figured out already, is Pre-Calculus. First of all, congratulations! This is the only Pre-Calc class that this grade has, so great job. Secondly, because you are in the Advance Placement class, there are a few things that you should keep in mind. Your grade will be based on every piece of work that you turn in. I have set it up to where there is a minimum number of assignments you are required to turn in to pass this class. It is pretty understandable in that aspect, and it is roughly seventy-five percent of the work. Now, I am pretty lenient when it comes to behavior and stuff that you do in class. If you get the work done, you can do whatever until class is over. However, I will not tolerate those who interrupt me during lessons, as in you with be purposefully distracting to my class.”

Marshall raised his hand. Ricardio acknowledged it, asking him to state his name as well.

“Marshall Lee. What if we suck at math?” Members of the class were starting to snicker.

“Marshall, you are in Pre-Calculus. That is Advance Placement. You are among students who are excelling at mathematics. You don’t suck at math.” Ricardio answered.

“But what if I cheated to get here?”

“Why would you of all people ever want to cheat to get to a more advanced class? I would’ve expected you to get enough answers wrong to get into the classes for people that need support. And before you ask, yes, I have reviewed all of your finals. At least for the people that were here last year.” Ricardio took a glance to the side of Marshall, clearly looking at Gumball. “Okay! Let’s get with the lesson so we’re not already behind in the year.”

It did not take long for Marshall to realize that this class was super boring. He hated every second of it. Ricardio hadn’t called on him once all class, so he couldn’t make a snarky remark or ask a stupid question. Honestly, all of the work that he is giving is way too easy.

Marshall decided that he wanted to mess with Ricardio’s pet peeve. using one a piece of notebook paper from his bag, he discreetly started to make a paper airplane. When the teacher had turned around, his back facing Marshall, he threw it.

It hit Ricardio squarely in the back of his head. Marshall quickly rushed to look like he was writing down something. Gumball however, had reached out in attempt to grab the airplane, and he looked like he had thrown it.

Ricardio turned around to see the exact same thing. “Bubba, see me after class.”

Gumball retracted his hand, his face going red.

“B-but Mr. Ricardio…” Gumball managed to stutter.

“See me after class.” Ricardio clearly didn’t want to hear an excuse.

Marshall felt like he had achieved what he had wanted. However, the fact that the nerd had gotten in trouble instead of him, made him curious as to how he would react.

As they were packing up fifteen minutes later, Marshall said, “I’ll talk to you afterwards.” He winked at the glaring teen and left.

Chapter Text

Gumball was beyond furious with Marshall’s actions and the consequences that he now had to deal with. He knew, though, that if he gets a detention, the Vampire King will have hell to pay when Gumball sees him. Not that he already doesn’t have to already.

With his backpack in hand, Gumball walked up towards Mr. Ricardio, who was sitting at his desk scribbling something on the work that was turned in that same day by students. Gumball waited for him to finish the paper he was on before he spoke up.

“Mr. Ricardio, was there a specific thing that you wanted to talk to me about?” Gumball asked, making sure that his voice didn’t reveal his anger.

“Oh, yes. I did.” He set down his writing utensil before continuing. “Here’s the thing, I know that you are a new student here, and I don’t know what you were like in your last school, but I do know that you are very intelligent. You’re in my class, for crying out loud! That being said, you need to understand that your interruption today was not the worst that has ever happened, but it still was not called for.” Ricardio paused to hear Gumball’s input.

“Yes, sir.”

Ricardio nodded, and continued, “Not only do I warn you of your behavior in class, I also ask you to be wary of those you choose to hang around with.”

“What do you mean by that?” Gumball asked, confused by what he meant.

“I mean that you are treading into dangerous waters by hanging out with Mr. Abadeer.”

Gumball laughed at the remark, “There’s no need to worry about that. He and I are not on the best of terms, anyway.”

Ricardio nodded, “Alright, Bubba. You can go now. I’ll leave you with a warning, although next time you do this will be a detention.”

‘Why did he refer to me by my first name?’ Gumball thought.

Gumball nodded before leaving the classroom. When he had left, he sighed in relief. However, he was not calm. Gumball still wanted to have a little chat with the King.

He didn’t have to look far, though, because he found just who he was looking for leaning on the wall across the hall from the classroom that they were just in. Marshall had a girl with stark, long white hair and very revealing black clothing rubbing up against him, destroying whatever space bubble Marshall had.

‘I don’t think he had one to begin with.’ Gumball thought.

Something did catch his eye as odd in this interaction, though. Marshall did not seem to enjoy any of what was going on with this girl. Going as far as being on his tiptoes leaning away from the girl. He was avoiding eye contact, and winced at every sensual touch the girl made.

Gumball was angry at this boy, beyond anything else, and truly did consider leaving the teen that nearly got him a detention. He would’ve walked away, down the hall.

If Marshall didn’t see him before he could do so. Marshall locked eyes with Gumball during his attempt of avoiding the girl’s.

‘Help me’ was all that Marshall’s pleading eyes said, but it was enough to make Gumball forget his anger.

Gumball huffed, before striding over to Marshall and the white-haired girl. Slipping into an at of appearing innocent, he shyly said, “Hey Marshall. Want to get going?”

It was all he needed to get the girl to whip her head around, glaring daggers into Gumball. She looked back at Marshall, and purred seductively, “Come on, Marshy. Surely we can have a little more fun.” She made emphasis on the last word by reaching around and appeared to squeeze Marshall’s behind. He winced in response.

“Dude, let’s go. I don’t want to miss my next class.” He shoved the girl aside, before walking next to Gumball and down the hall.

Gumball turned his head around to see what the girl was doing, and it was sending yet again venomous daggers to both him and Marshall.

“Cut into this classroom.” Marshall nodded towards a classroom with the lights off before walking confidently towards the door. He twisted the doorknob, opening it just enough for he and Gumball to get in before he shut the door.

Gumball and Marshall stared at each other silently for what seemed to be minutes of time. During this, Gumball had time to think.

‘Wasn’t I angry at him earlier?’ Gumball thought. When he answered yes to his own question, and remember why he was angry, it didn’t take long for him to huff before getting ready to shout at the other teen.

He opened his mouth to speak before Marshall cut him off.

“I… I… um… Thank you. For what you did back there.” Marshall said, looking down in embarrassment.

“Excuse me?” Gumball winced at his own words. They came out harsher than how he wanted them to. “Sorry. I’m still angry at you because of what happened in class.”

Marshall laughed, “Of course you are, Prince Gumball.” Marshall smirked with the new nickname that he had created for Gumball.

“You are really immature, you know that? Prince Gumball? Please.” Gumball crossed his arms, leaning on one leg as he glared at Marshall.

“How have you not realized that you would fit the bill of a prim, proper, pink, prince of… I don’t know. Some kingdom made entirely of candy or something like that.” Marshall gasped in realization, “A Candy Kingdom!” (A/N: The irony is killing me…)

“Oh. My glob. You are such a child!” Gumball shouted.

“Oh, dear. Did I upset the wittle pwince?” Marshall make a mocking pouty face before bursting out laughing.

“Argh!” Gumball threw his hands up in the air in defeat before stalking over to the door.

“Um…” Marshall said behind him.

Gumball whirled around, “What?!” He spat the word out. Gumball was breathing heavily, his hands balled up into fists.

Marshall held up a familiar pink backpack. “I think you want this.”

Gumball looked down at the hand that held the backpack not too long ago before he stomped over to Marshall, ripped the backpack out of his hands, and started walking towards the door, yet again.

“Um…”

“For the love of anything holy, why do you want me to stop me from leaving this bloody classroom again?!”

“Chill out, dude.” Marshall said, “I… I really do mean it when I say thank you for helping me with Ash.” He paused seeing that Gumball was confused, “The girl from earlier.”

“Ah.” Gumball responded.

“Yeah… she’s my ex-girlfriend that, even after years of separation, still wants to get back together.” Marshall rubbed the back of his neck, “She thinks that she can do that by showing me how sexy she can be so I can be turned on. In all honesty it disgusts me.”

“I thought that you were the kind of guy that would have his way with any girl that shows him anything like that.” Gumball still had his arms crossed, and was ready to leave the classroom as fast as possible.

Marshall chuckled, “You don’t know a lot about my track record, do you?”

“What do you mean by that?” Gumball asked.

“Here, you seem to know some things about me. I’m also guessing that you had friends here already that know about me. Now, I have a question for you Mr. Braniac. Did they perhaps say something that seemed just a bit out of the ordinary, especially for the stereotype of someone like me?” Marshall asked this with a cocky grin on his face.

“No… wait, you never bring anyone to your own house. Meaning, that you go overs to theirs?”

Marshall sighed, “You’re hopeless.”

“Uh-huh. Alright. I’m going to go now so I don’t miss my next class, okay?” Gumball said.

“Which is?”

“Like I would ever tell you.” Gumball almost closed the door before he peeked his head in again, “Um… Do you know where the Music Room is?”

“Dude, I’m standing in it.” Marshall referenced the cords that lined the floor around him.

Taking a closer look, Gumball followed one of the wires that led to an amp up against the wall. He mentally slapped himself for not noticing that earlier.

“Why isn’t the teacher here, then?” Gumball asked.

“Look, she may be the best music teacher that this school has ever had, but that doesn’t mean that she is the best on attendance.” Marshall answered.

“Okay, fine. What is your next class?” Gumball asked.

“If you paid any attention to the walls of the hallway instead of the glaring white-haired bitch-”

“Language.”

“You’re not my mother, pinky.” Marshall pointed at him, “You would’ve noticed that there was quited a few doors before I ducked in here. This is my next class, too.”

Gumball couldn’t help but groan. This day just seemed to get worse and worse to him every passing minute.

“You know what? fine. I’m just going to sit right…” Gumball looked around the classroom again, and sighed. “Where are the chairs?”

Marshall burst out laughing at Gumball’s commentary. Gumball stood rigid, and huffed. He glared at Marshall, who had buckled over and was kneeling on the ground, clutching his stomach. His laughter was rich, almost velvety, and sent shivers down Gumball’s spine, causing him to widen his eyes in surprise, then fear.

‘Oh shit…’ Gumball thought.

He sat down on the carpet next to the other teen, now gasping for breath with his now velvety laughter turned to a harsh wheezing and sharp inhales. Sighing, he raised his backpack and landed it on the back of Marshall’s head.

Marshall stopped laughing immediately as he shot upwards holding the place of impact.

“What the hell, Gumball!” Marshall shouted.

Gumball shrugged before setting his backpack down on the floor and unzipping it. He shut it quickly when he realized that he had forgotten something.

“Shit.” Gumball muttered. He ran his hands through his hair. “Well, at least I left it at home… Damn it. I’m going to have to get it later.”

“Um… What are you talking about?” Marshall asked.

Gumball’s eyes averted to Marshall’s, switching between one and the other.

‘They really do seem red.’

“Just something that I forgot. I need to do some stuff after school today, and I just needed a thing.” Gumball shrugged. “I’ll grab it real quickly after school once I sign up.”

“You into sports or something?” Marshall checked Gumball out, looking down then up again, “You don’t seem to have the body type.”

“Which is exactly why I’m not trying out for sports.”

“Oh, then what is it.  A club? The music club, maybe?”

“Why that one?”

“Well, we’re in the music room, waiting for the next class period to start, and you seem to be interested in music.” Without asking, Marshall grabbed one of Gumball’s hands, holding it up and studying it carefully.

“Hey! What are you-” Gumball was cut off.

“See, I knew it.” He pointed to the pad of his pointer finger. “Your fingers are calloused. Just like mine. Guess we both play a stringed instrument. What do your play?”

“Violin.” Gumball pulled his hand away, caressing it with his other hand. It slightly tingled where Marshall had held his hand. To Gumball’s surprise, he held it rather delicately.

‘Fuck…’ Was all Gumball could think of as he mulled over the sensations from his hand.

The door to the classroom opened, revealing none other than Cake. She shut the door before she had noticed the two teens sitting on the carpet in the middle of the classroom.

She glared at Marshall, something that Gumball rarely ever saw, then looked over to Gumball and smiled.

“Hey, Sugar. Looks like we share music class. I didn’t get to ask you at lunch, but I wanted to know if you shared classes with anyone else from our group yet?” Cake walked over, plopping her yellow backpack down next to Gumball and sitting down cross-legged next to it.

Gumball looked down at his watch, noticing that class was supposed to start a few minutes ago.

“If you’re worried about the teacher being here or not, she isn’t. The Lady Acoustics apparently had an awful sore throat, and won’t be showing up today.” Cake sighed. “As usual.”

“So… What does that mean for us?” Gumball asked.

“Free period.” Marshall answered. Gumball turned to see that he had gotten up and was digging in a pile of instruments. “Meaning, no one is going to be in this classroom for the next hour or so, and I can practice the guitar.” He pulled out a guitar case, opening it to reveal a vibrant red guitar shaped like an axe. Marshall found a lone chair that had various cases stacked on top of it before he sat down and plucked a few strings. It didn’t take long for him to mess with it and get the guitar tuned up to Marshall’s liking and he started strumming.

Gumball felt a tap on his shoulder, and turned to see Cake giving him a look.

“What do you want now? You’re giving me the same look as you did lunch.” Gumball answered.

“Well… I think that I should probably mention that,” Cake leaned in close to whisper in Gumball’s ear, “You’re blushing.”

Gumball’s eyes widened as he tried to hide his face, now realizing that his cheeks had warmed considerably. Cake giggled, obviously holding back the loud laughter that she normally has. Gumball looked over to her and glared, making it even harder for Cake to control her laughter.

“You know what, I’m just going to leave and let you and the king,” Cake said, gesturing to Marshall, “Talk about stuff.”

Gumball couldn’t respond before Cake had already gotten up and left.

‘Are you fucking kidding me?’ Gumball thought. He was started by the Marshall’s guitar being hooked up to an amp and strummed harshly. Marshall was looking down at his guitar, changing the chords rather consistently as he played the chords to a song that Gumball had not expected him to play. Anyone for that matter.

I know the rain like the clouds know the sky.
I speak to birds and tell them where to fly.
I sing the songs that you hear on the breeze.
I write the names of the rocks and the trees.

Oh you fool, there are rules, I am coming for you.
Darkness brings evil things, oh the reckoning begins.

I tried to warn you when you were a child.
I told you not to get lost in the wilds.
I sent you omens and all kinds of signs
I taught you melodies, poems and rhymes.

Oh you fool, there are rules, I am coming for you.
You can run but you can't be saved.
Darkness brings evil things, oh the reckoning begins.
You have opened the yawning grave.


Marshall repeated the last bit of the song, leaving Gumball in shock and surprise. Gumball stared at Marshall as he played the song, and noted that Marshall had made his guitar sound almost like the one in the song. Not only that, but he played the guitar as though it were another extension to his body. To top it all off, Marshall had sung the song perfectly. It really did seem that his rich, velvety voice when singing could be replaced with the actual and he could’ve made it even better.

“You… You have an amazing voice.” Gumball said in a near whisper.

“Thanks, dude. You have a pretty good one, too.” Marshall winked before strumming his guitar yet again.

“What do you mean by that?” Gumball asked.

Marshall shrugged, “You were singing along to ‘The Yawning Grave’. I’m actually surprised that you know who Lord Huron is. Now that I think about it, you’re the only one who knows who they are that I know of.”

Gumball could feel that heat on his face rising when he now remembered that he was indeed singing along to the song. Gumball mentally slapped himself in the face for not realizing that earlier.

“So… Do you want to play?” Marshall asked.

“What?”

“I said, do you want to play?”

“Oh… Um, well, I don’t really know how to play the guitar…”

“I meant the violin, dummy. There’s one in here if you want to try.” Marshall stood up from his chair to walked across the room and dig for the second time in a bunch of cases, however the digging was brief because this pile seemed a lot more organized.

Marshall held up a small case. “Found one.” He grinned as he walked over and set it into Gumball’s lap before he sat down.

Gumball’s hands glided over the black, leather case before tracing down to meet the latches that kept it closed. He opened the case, revealing a black violin.

Chapter Text

Marshall stared at the boy clad in pink staring at the open violin case with almost a childlike wonder and excitement. Marshall wanted to tease the boy about it, but he was also extremely curious as to how this boy would react to the shiny black instrument that lay before him.

Gumball lifted the violin out of its case with a delicacy that seemed almost impossible in the clear excitement Gumball was experiencing. Marshall swore that he could see the boy muttering in excitement, and rubbed an eye to make sure he wasn’t just imagining this.

Gumball raised the black bow of the instrument out of the case, as well, before placing both on the ground and opening a latch that lay under where the neck of the instrument would be when in its resting place. He pulled out a wood block that had something shiny with it as well.

“What’s that?” Marshall asked, seeing Gumball was running the shiny part over the bow.

“Resin.” Gumball answered. He ran the block over a few more times before lifting the violin up again and plucking a string. Gumball winced at the sound that it had produced. He had started twisting the pegs had Marshall realized why.

“It’s that out of tune?” Marshall chuckled, replaying the short scene of Gumball’s disgusted face when he heard the sound. Gumball didn’t respond to the tune, invested in making the sound of the strings to his liking. After a short while, Gumball had succeeded in doing so. Somehow he had kept the bow in the hand twisting the pegs without hitting himself in the face.

Gumball stood up, placing the violin on his shoulder and raising the bow to the strings. He was going to play a note when he lowered the bow to his side.

“I wonder what song I should play?” Gumball muttered to himself. He pondered this question, giving it some thought, before his eyes brightened and he raised the bow yet again.

A long note resonated from the instrument, merging to a higher note. The melody held a grace that Marshall had not heard in a piece of music played by another his age in all of his time of learning the guitar. Marshall was quickly entranced by the song that Gumball had been playing. Noticing so, Marshall tried to occupy himself with something other than the pink teen that stood before him. He only was able to make it so that he wasn’t under a spell from the music, but now was from the features of the creator.

Gumball’s facial features were in a serene calm that Marshall had never seen on the boy that either looked completely oblivious to his surroundings or scowled at the person nearest to him. In that day, it had only been because of Marshall that the pink prince had scowled. Marshall noticed more than facial expressions, and it made him worry, but also feel that he could have a lot of fun with this boy.

The next thing that Marshall had noticed of Gumball was the fact that his lips were slightly open. Marshall would’ve glanced over the detail, and moved on to most likely getting lost in the piece of music now reaching a peak in its pitch.

‘I wonder what his lips taste like?’ Marshall thought. That thought gave him no surprise, however. He knew that he would swing to both genders, but has only dated one of them. That was mostly because he was previously in a school that was so homophobic that the minute you even compliment that same gender on more than just fashion, meaning their looks, that person and basically every person that knew about it would shun you until it happened with another person.

Marshall gave the idea of how he could view this boy in pink, but sighed with a new thought.

‘He’s a total nerd. I don’t even know if he’s gay. Even if he were interested, I can’t do anything about that now. We met today for crying out loud! That seems to be some red flags on my perception of crushes.’ Marshall thought as he sighed again. He pushed the mound of new questions that he had aside to listen to the last bit of Gumball’s song.

When Gumball had finished, he gave let out a huge breath, leaning forwards and allowing his hands to dangle near the floor with the instrument in his hands.

“You got winded with only one performance? Honestly, Gummy, you can do better than that.” Marshall said with his arms crossed.

Gumball shot upwards, glaring daggers into Marshall, “Do NOT call me Gummy!”

Marshall stood up, and sauntered over to Gumball keeping his eyes on him with a cocky grin. He leaned down towards the teen and said, “Make me, prince.”

Marshall had noticed that the teen in front of him had gone a brilliant shade of red. Marshall knew from the start that he wanted to get a little too close to Gumball, to see his reaction. In Marshall’s opinion, if he was going to be shattered by getting close to this boy, might as well make the time he could have fun with him worth it.

“M-Marshall…” Gumball shyly said.

“Yes?” Marshall asked, leaning in closer to the boy, debating whether he wanted to wrap his arms around the boy’s waist.

“Stop doing whatever you’re doing. Please? I need to leave and get something from my house before the period is over.” Gumball’s eyes were a swirl of emotions. Some of it was clearly anger, other portions appeared to be unease, and there were tidbits of other emotions in them, as well, but these showed to be prominent in the boy’s eyes. Those, and one other that Marshall knew, but couldn’t place a finger on.

“Alright. Fine.” Marshall backed away, letting the boy in front of him sigh in relief. “But, I will not stop calling you Gummy until you really do make me.” Marshall chuckled as he walked backwards to sit back down to practice some more chords.

“Hey, Marshall. Are you staying in here until the period ends?” Gumball asked.

“Yeah…” Marshall looked at the clock on the wall above the door. There was another forty minutes left in the period.

“Alright then. I need to go.” Gumball placed the violin and bow back into it’s case, latching it shut before placing it over where Marshall had first got it from. He grabbed his pink backpack before turning to Marshall, giving him a warm smile while saying, “See you at some point.” He left shortly afterwards.

Marshall sighed. ‘I really did want to talk to him more…’ He thought.

Deciding not to dwell on his newfound loneliness, he practiced random chord combinations and ultimately songs he had wished to master. He was humming or singing the songs, depending on how well he know both the lyrics and chords.

After about twenty or so minutes of this, he heard a door quietly click open and shut. He thought it was Gumball, but it seemed unlikely that he lives that close to the school that it would be a ten minute walk to his house. Marshall also figured that Gumball could’ve driven here this morning, so it seemed somewhat more logical. Marshall truly believed that it was Gumball.

If it weren’t for the fact that he heard heel clicking on the carpet. There was only one person that Marshall has ever known that wore heels that clicked today.

Ashley.

Marshall looked up at his white-haired ex to see that she was standing innocently, hands behind her back, her cocked at an angle, and a sweet smile on her face. Her body posture was innocent, her eyes were a different story. Those vibrant, blue eyes that Marshall once loved were filled to the brim with lust.

“Hey, Marshy.” Ashley purred. She walked towards Marshall, her hips swaying left and right. Marshall knew she was trying to be seductive, but every sway of those curved hips disgusted Marshall more and more. Her charms were not going to wiggle her way into Marshall’s heart.

Not now, not ever.

Ashley stood in front of Marshall, looked down at him with those lust filled eyes. She was leaning on one of her legs, hand on her hip.

“Marshy,” She purred again, “Don’t you know that I’ve forgiven you already? Now can’t we just make up and be together again?” Ashley leaned over, placing a hand a little too high up on Marshall’s leg for his liking.

Marshall shoved her hand to the side and said coldly, “There’s is nothing that I did that you should forgive me for. Even if that was the case, I have not forgiven you for what you did.” Marshall unplugged his guitar from the amp and wrapped up the cable.

He placed in the box with the other wires. Marshall set his guitar down into its case, before closing it and latching it shut.

He turned around to see the white-haired bitch. fuming to the point where Marshall felt he could almost see the steam spewing from her ears. Her face was cherry red, and Marshall enjoyed every second of seeing her in her seething rage. No longer was she the perfect, happy girl he once knew. No, not at all. She was showing her true colors now, and her true colors were nothing but the colors of lust and wrath. She has two of the sins down, now what about the other five?

There was, however, one problem that arose with her and her rage of unknown proportions. Marshall needed to get his backpack.

That backpack was still sitting by the chair he sat next to earlier. That chair was behind Ashley.

Marshall mentally cursed as he thought about a way he wouldn’t be assaulted, sexually or no, by the girl that stood in front of him with the aforementioned seething rage. Thinking of nothing, he walked casually around the botch, but stayed far enough away that she couldn’t grab onto Marshall.

He had completely forgotten that she had functioning legs.

Marshall was leaning down to grab his bag when Ashley grabbed his arm. She dug her nails into his skin, likely leaving marks, maybe even scars, into his skin.

He looked her in the eyes and saw the two emotions he had seen from earlier. Both lust and wrath were in her sharp, blue eyes. Marshall glared back at her.

“Don’t fucking ignore me, Marshall.” Ashley hissed.

“Bipolar much?” Marshall asked smugly. Ashley backhanded Marshall in the face at the comment. Marshall’s head jerked to the side sharply, and he landed on the floor. His cheek stung from the hit, and she caressed his now tender cheek meat.

“I just want to be with you again! Can you not be a fucking asshole and realize that I’m going to be the only good thing that you will ever  have in your pathetic life!” Ashley inhaled sharply, and exhaled a shaky breath. “You asshole!” Ashley shrieked before stomping out of the music room.

Marshall stayed on the floor as he held the now likely red cheek that stung even more than it had previously. Before he had realized it, he had smiled.

'Serves that narcissistic bitch right.’ Marshall thought. He replayed the events that happened not too long ago as he thought of what Ashley said.

'Best thing I’m ever going to have? Please.’ Marshall thought of the pink teen that he was having so much fun tormenting earlier. ‘He’s going to be a lot of fun. I can’t wait to become friends with him’ Marshall felt very happy that Gumball was being kind to him, and Gumball was being kind to him, and Gumball had made a very impressive impression on the king. In a way, Marshall really did hope that Gumball would walk in and comfort him.

Marshall still was laying on the scratchy, blue carpet, finding it very comfortable, and closed his eyes to get some sleep.

Chapter Text

Gumball had to leave the school to grab his prized instrument. Even the black violin, as amazing a sound that it had produced, was nothing compared to his beauty at home. On the way, though, he was wondering what piece that he was going to play for auditions.

There was one more thing that made Gumball rather interested in this school. Gumball knew that the academics were good, but there was another thing that the School of Aaa was known for. Its music program. The School of Aaa has one of the most elite music program for the state, as well as it having one of the highest funds for music, only being beaten by other high profit schools that centralize specifically on music.

That’s why the Music Club was so special compared to other clubs, especially within the school. There is an agreement with the parents and the school that is made with them signing the papers for admission. The multiple paged form that is given for every student says at some point that the paper also counts as a permission slip for any clubs and afterschool activities. However, that doesn’t include field trips or other events outside of campus. Meaning, that any student could be admitted into any club that puts them under their roster.

There is a completely different story to get into the Music Club. They only have a certain amount of spots, and they are only free because of the Seniors that had left that year. However, some are given to others because there are previous club members that leave the club, or are kicked out.

For someone to get into the club, they had to audition for the club. That doesn’t seem too hard, if there wasn’t consideration that nearly a quarter of the population of the school signs up to try out for the ten or so spots open in the club. A person who gets into the club would have to be outstanding in their instrument or voice, and will have to impress the judges. Gumball assumed that there would be some bias in who is chosen. For example, there may be some people that are friends with the judges, boosting their chances.

Gumball thought about who the judges were going to be. He knew that they were the president and a few members that they chose who would be the judges. Gumball stopped in his tracks from walking on the cracked sidewalk.

He remembered that the president’s name was none other than Marshall Lee Abadeer.

Gumball mentally slapped himself for not realizing this earlier, and thought that he would have to face the consequences of it later. Since he was the president, he would have the biggest say in who entered the club. That was actually a good thing to Gumball, because he heard that he doesn’t really have a lot of friends. He noticed that in Homeroom and Pre-Calculus. No one walked up to him, passed noted\s, did anything that would be considered a friend thing. Gumball had noticed that he was the only one that had really said anything to Marshall when they were together. Well, except for Ashley. Thinking about it, if there was any bias that was going to be made by Marshall, it would likely be in his favor. He was for the first time, very grateful for people’s bias of him. He just hoped that this teen had a good impression on him.

Gumball walked a little faster after checking the time. It took about 10 minutes to get to his house from the school, and vice versa with it. He’d have to get back to the school in thirty minutes, otherwise he would be late. He didn’t worry so much, but he wanted to get back to the school and practice the piece that he wanted to play for the auditions. That made him stop for a second, before he walked with about the same speed again.

‘What was I going to play?’ At this point, Gumball really had no idea what he wanted to do in particular with his audition. There was a few songs that he had in mind, but he kind of felt that he wouldn’t be a noticeable face in the crowd if he played any of those songs. He wanted to make it so that his chances of getting into the club would be near 100%, as long as his cards were played right. He was thinking hard as he debated what he could do. He thought of something after turning the corner of the street that led to his house, knowing full well what he intended to do.

With newfound excitement, Gumball raced to the front door of his house, nearly breaking his house key in half, twisting it to the side to get into his house. Once inside, he dropped his backpack onto the floor, before sprinting up the stairs to his room. Tearing open his bedroom door to the point or almost ripping it off the hinges, and realizing he was getting reckless, he stopped for a moment to catch his breath, hands on his knees and he inhaled deep breaths.

Once he was able to breathe somewhat normally, he stood up straight. Gumball walked over to one of his two violin cases. He picked it up, placed it on his bed, and unzipped it. Inside was an instrument that he was so appreciative that he had the money to save up for it. A Yamaha electric violin. He didn’t use as often as his other violin, but it produced an amazing sound regardless. It was a little difficult to use, and he knew that he would have to bring the pedal combined with the instrument in order to make sure that he could produce the best performance that he possibly could.

Satisfied with knowing that he had all the wires and equipment in his hands or in the case, he walked back downstairs. Gumball noticed that the case for his electric violin was incredibly light, and rather small. Gumball decided that he was going to bring his prized instrument along as well if he changed his mind on the electric violin, or he couldn’t perform because of technical difficulties. He didn’t think that the latter was possible, but he still didn’t want to take the chance. If the electric violin didn’t work, he would be completely screwed.

Gumball put any wires and the pedal he needed into his backpack before walking upstairs to grab the other instrument. It was in a similar case, but it was more stiff to protect the wood of the instrument, compared to the material that made the violin. He grabbed the case by the shoulder strap that it had, slinging it around his shoulder before walking downstairs again.

He picked up the two other bags that he had set or dropped by the door before he left his house in a much calmer manner than entry. With his backpack on one shoulder, his violin other, and his electric violin in his hand, he walked with a rather quick pace back to the school, noticing that he had only fifteen minutes left before his class was supposed to end.

With the knowledge and satisfaction of knowing the song he was going to play for the audition, he let his mind wander to the events that had occurred already in the day’s time. His mind continuously led back to the moments that happened right before he had left the music room. It sent shivers down his spine and caused his face to feel warm when he thought of how close he was to Marshall. At the time, he lost all of his reason, and nearly grabbed Marshall’s flannel collar, and pulled him into a kiss. Thinking back on it now, it seemed way too ludicrous.

He then thought of his clearly rapidly developing feelings for Marshall, and how ridiculous they had been created.

‘Talk about love at first sight.’ Gumball thought. ‘But is it love, though?’ Gumball dwelled on the question, and because of the fact that he couldn’t solidify an answer, he chalked it down to a crush that he had for the first boy that had ever stood up for him. At least, he was the first for a very long time.

“It’s not love.” Gumball said aloud to help him reason with it. “It’s admiration or appreciation, or something like that.” He left it at that, and began thinking of the academics that he had learned that day.

Gumball had five minutes remaining of the period when he had reached the front gates of the school. He checked his schedule to see what his last class would be. In the 2:05-3:00 time slot of his schedule, it read “Study Hall.”

It seemed almost like a complete miracle that he had basically another free period.

‘Who the heck is in charge of my schedule?’ (I am! Sorry for the absolutely ridiculous free period he has. I wanted him to unveil the song he was going to play before the end of the chapter. Again, sorry if this seems a little bit stereotypical!)

Gumball shrugged off the idea, but was just thankful that this was going to be the last class of the day before his auditions. Gumball had decided to wait for the class sessions to end so he could find an empty classroom or something similar. Before that though, Gumball figured that he would try and find where the Music Club had their sign-up sheets.

Gumball found it funny how his entire mentality on school has changed from near black to white in a day. He left his house saying that he wanted to keep a low profile, but he had already figured that his first impression has destroyed the possible chance of that even happening. Now, he was basically shooting to the top. If he got into the Music Club, he had a good feeling that he was going to be a very popular person. That being said, he didn’t crave the popularity. If he got popular, so be it. He wasn’t going to only try and raise his rank. No, he was going to let the outside forces deal with that.

The cards have been lain, and it is only so long until they are all revealed.

Gumball sat outside the front doors of the school, listening intently for the bell to ring, signaling the start of a mass surge of students hustling to get to wherever they needed to be.

Because he had brought his electric violin, it would literally be used anywhere and not be troublesome to anyone in the slightest. He had headphones in his pocket, a jack adapter for said headphones, and all the cords, wires, and whatever else that he needed to make sure that his violin wouldn’t die before the performance.

Gumball heard the bell that he had kept an ear out for. He picked up the bag and cases that he set down on the steps near him, before ducking inside rather quickly. He saw the sea of students and backpacks leaving classrooms, pushing and shoving their ways through the crowd.

Gumball was not moving from a corner right by the front doors in the hallway, waiting for his peers to disperse to their respective classrooms. He focused intently on what classes were being entered, and by who they were being entered by. One classroom that he thought would be a good place to practice, as no one was getting into it, was soon entered by a girl with a rather revealing top with Gumball’s taste, and some purple-haired jock entered the class giggling.

It took him a millisecond to figure out their motives with the classroom. He groaned with the thought as images filled his head. He shoved them aside, to his disappointment, with Marshall.

Gumball had literally slapped himself in the face this time.

“Focus, on your task, Bubba.” He said to himself.

The hallway was becoming a little more empty as time passed by with a steady pace. It ended up that most of the classrooms in this hallway were filled with a teacher and a class… or two students that had wanted to apparently score.

Gumball tsked at the thought as he walked down the hall, deciding that he could just go to the school’s library to practice.

‘Why didn’t I think of that earlier?’ Gumball scowled at the clearly forgotten detail.

He turned the corner of the hall, and roamed casually on his way to the library. He ended up walking passed the music room, and debated if he wanted to go inside. He answered no, but it wasn’t the answer he wanted to give himself.

A few more turns led him straight to the double doors of the library’s main entrance. He pushed open one of the heavy doors to reveal the library.

This library was not any old library. It had two stories, being one of the few rooms that was as tall as two stories in certain sections. The second floor mainly comprised of records and the study rooms, which was where Gumball was headed now. Gumball walked along the main floor, taking in the vast selection of books that they had to offer. Ita appeared to Gumball to be a bookworm’s dream.

Gumball walked up a spiral staircase that led to the center of the top floor. Up there, he walked to one of the separate rooms the school provided, opened the door, and shut it. He noted that they didn’t have a lock, so he had to be cautious of the door opening again.

Gumball set his bags down on the ground rolling his shoulder with the disappearance of weight of his shoulder. They weren’t heavy, but have those on your shoulder for too long would end in them being sore.

Gumball sighed in content, and picked up the electric guitar’s case. He took out the instrument and it’s bow. He dug in his pocket for the jack adapter so he could plug his headphones in and practice with complete silence. His retrieval of the jack also had his headphones, although they were tangled. Some setting down and picking up things later, Gumball had plugged his headphones, the jack, and the pedal plugged into the violin, and the violin turned on.

Gumball breathed in deeply, and placed the bow on the strings. Gumball played two strings together, the notes notes signaling the beginning of the song he wished to play.

A violin cover of “Secrets” by One Republic.

Chapter Text

Marshall woke up when the end of school day bell rung. He cursed and groaned as he squinted at his surroundings. He remembered where he was pretty quickly, and noticed the time as well. He would literally have to run at this point to get to the auditorium on time.

With that thought in mind, Marshall shot up from his comfortable position to grab his bag and guitar to leave the classroom.

He was very nearly late, but he had gotten to the auditorium with enough time to catch his breath and walk in as royalty would. He knew about what people thought of his presence. He noticed quite a few girls loosen a button or two, or pulled down the front of their shirts to show Marshall what they had in store. He was one to give a warm hearted smile, never taking a glance down at their goodies. He was probably one of the least perverted boys that were currently standing in the hall near their instruments.

He walked into the doors of the auditorium to see one of his fellow judges fuming at him, her bunny ears bouncing with each step.

“Why were you late, Marshall? Everyone, and I mean everyone, was waiting for you. Cake is not happy, either.” Fionna yelled at Marshall, leaning on one leg with her arms crossed. She shook her head. “Never mind, we got to go judge people.”

Fionna grabbed Marshall’s arm and pulled him to a table that was positioned in front of the stage. It had three chairs, and one of them was already occupied by Cake.

Cake looked over at Marshall. “You have some nerve for being late. Some president that you are.” She groaned as she was handed a clipboard with a list of all of the people trying out from another member. “We’re going to be here all day with this last. This is almost a third of the school!” She sighed as she scanned through the list.

“Let me take a look.” Marshall said.

“You’re going to be holding that junk all day. Might as well get comfortable with it.” Cake said as she handed the clipboard to Marshall.

Marshall scanned through the names. Some of them he recognized from last year, others he didn’t. There were, though, two names that had caught his eye. One made him smile, the other cringe.

Ashley Gray.

Bubba Gumball.

Marshall not so subtly put an “X” near Ashley’s name. He didn’t care how talented she was. She would consume the power that she would get from being in the club.

“You turned sour fast.” Cake peered over to the clipboard. “Oh.”

“Yeah. Let’s just all make an agreement that she is NOT allowed to join the club, whether she is good or not.”

“Agreed.” Both Cake and Fionna said.

“Sweet. Now, who’s first?” Marshall asked the two girls.

A good portion of time had passed, and Marshall thought sourly of the fact that they were barely halfway through the list of applicants. Very few of the people that had auditioned already were good enough to consider. It was seriously that bad. Last year we had nearly filled all of the positions by the time we were halfway done. We had to open a few more spots because there were some really good members that we couldn’t get in. We have roughly twenty open spots from the seniors leaving, and we have only filled three. One a pianist, one a singer, and a guitar player.

We had successfully been able to alphabetize the order in which people were auditioning, and we had gotten only through the first six letters. The “G” name were up next. A few people tried, but simply weren’t that good. I checked the next name on the list, and it read Ashley Gray.

I groaned as she basically danced on to the sways, emphasizing her hips and body. Behind Marshall were all of the people that were trying out and had already tried out. They were cheering and wolf whistling at her entrance. She knew how to rile up a crowd up, to say the least. She was giving them a cute, flattering look, and one that Marshall could describe as awful.

“Well, hello…” Fionna said, leaving space for Ashley to give out her name.

“Ashley.” She had replied through the microphone that the club members have given her.

“Oh. Well. Aspley. What will you be trying out for today?” Fionna asked. Clearly she was the only one of us that could keep her temper in the presence of the white-haired bitch.

“I’ll be singing, of course.” Ashley flipped her hair, getting more whoops and hollers from the guys behind Marshall.

“What song?” Fionna asked. Marshall looked over to see that she had her teeth clenched and was gripping the seat of the chair to the point that you could see that her knuckles had gone white.

“‘Wake Me Up When September Ends’ by Green Day.” Ashley answered.

Fionna gave a very stiff nod. “Begin when you’re ready.”

All of her fans quickly shut up from hooting and hollering to listen to her voice. Marshall knew that they were in for a rude awakening.

She had opened her mouth to inhale, and began.

Summer has come and passed
The innocent can never last
Wake me up when September ends

Just as Marshall thought, she was turning the opinions of the members of the crowd faster than an electric mixer. Her voice was cracking all over the place, and she couldn’t hit the lower notes.

Cake was the one that spoke up first, saying, “That will be all for now.”

Ashley stopped abruptly, and was glaring at her. She didn’t put up a fight though, and left the stage after that.

The trio sighed in satisfaction with the knowledge that the witch had left.

“Please tell me that whoever is next isn’t horrible. By the way, what’s their name.” Fionna asked.

“Um… let’s see. Bubba Gumball.” Marshall said.

“What!?” Cake said as she ripped the clipboard out of Marshall’s hands, “I thought he was going to keep a low profile! Why is he trying out, then?”

“I didn’t even know that he could play an instrument. What will he play?” Fionna wondered.

“I don’t know. Hey, Marshall.” Cake said.

“What? Want to know about Pinky?” Marshall asked.

“Is that what you seriously call him? How have you not died yet?” Cake asked, but shook her head. “Never mind. What I want to know, though, is what instrument will Gumball try out with?”

“Violin?” Marshall shrugged.

“I didn’t know he could play the violin! We could’ve totally done some duo thing a long time ago!” Cake said.”

“Guys, shush. Gumball’s getting ready to present.” Fionna said.

Sure enough. Gumball was standing in the middle of the auditorium stage, with what appeared to be a sort of pedal, and a hollow bodied violin. He looked fairly confident, if you ignored the tinge of red in his cheeks. He was holding a bow in his other hand. He had already set down the pedal, and crossed his arms politely, waiting for one of them to answer to him. Both Cake and Fionna were speechless, so it was Marshall that had to speak.

Marshall cleared his throat, “Hey, Gumball.” Marshall was acting relatively formal as to not give the crowd the wrong idea. He was the king, after all. Marshall gave Gumball a lopsided smile, and noticed the subtle drop of the violin in his hand.

“H-hey, Marshall.” He gave a small wave with the hand that held the bow.

“So… what will you be performing today?” Marshall asked.

Gumball rubbed the back of his neck, “Um… A violin cover of ‘Secrets’ by One Republic.”

Some people laughed at his remark. Obviously he was not using someone else to sing or play the second part of the piece. Even Marshall was a little concerned how he was going to do it.

That, and the fact that he is a newbie trying out to become an elite. That takes guts, and many people believe that this boy in pink does not have them. Marshall, Cake, and Fionna all knew better.

“Well, I hope that you do well. Start when you’re ready.” Marshall said

“Um… I haven’t gotten everything set up. The club members kind of pushed me onto the stage after I pestered them to get everything set up right. I want to see if they got it, if that’s okay.” Gumball mumbled. Marshall finally noticed that they had given him one of the microphones that you stick onto your shirt.

Marshall chuckled. “Yeah, but you have a minute, otherwise we move on.”

Marshall leaned back in his chair as he watched Gumball nod and basically run off the stage. It didn’t take him more than thirty seconds to get back onto the stage and be set up to begin. Marshall saw him breathe in deeply before setting the bow on the strings.

He, as predicted, had begun playing the opening to “Secrets”. However, it wasn’t like the violin performance earlier. This violin wasn’t acoustic. Marshall had finally figured out that is was one of those silent violins that have been becoming fairly popular in the music world. He followed the wire the was connected to the instrument, seeing it run along the floor to the speaker system. That must be why he was pestering them, and they got sick of it. There was one more wire that was connected to the instrument, but was a lot shorter, as it was only connected to the pedal.

Marshall was watching his posture, noticing that it was even more professional than when he saw him play earlier, and that was a feat within itself. Marshall noticed that his one of his feet was hovering over the pedal that he brought, but wasn’t pressed down on it.

After the main runthrough of the opening happened, it continued to play as Gumball played a new section of it, reaching much higher notes than he was playing before. The opening still continued to play in the background, and Marshall finally found out what the pedal he was using was actually for.

It was a loop pedal.

People had started cheering for the pink teen when he had now started hitting the body of the instrument to get a good rhythm. Marshall thought that it was impressive that Gumball was able to keep the bow in his teeth as he did the rhythm. Once he was able to get that on repeat, he repeated the same notes as before. He started playing the notes that you would sing after that. Entering into a two note piece, it was so loud that they had to lower the volume of the speakers. Before then, it was making the speakers crackle.

Marshall grinned broadly as Gumball played the piece right before the chorus. By now, his eyes were actually closed, and his moves have become even more fluid than before. He didn’t even have to continue, as it was clear that he was already in the club, but so many have been lost in the sound and performance that he couldn’t help but let him continue.

The chorus blew everyone away. He looked to his two sides, seeing Cake with a look that a mother would have if she was proud of her son. Fionna was leaning forward, her mouth agape and eyes wide.

Marshall, of course, let him continue the rest of the song to let everyone appreciate the one amazing talent that has been presented all day.

Gumball finished the song, leading to a lot of shouts and cheers, this time from both genders.

Cake and Fionna had stood up from their chairs as well to cheer. Marshall shrugged before standing up and applauding as well. He started laughing when he noticed that Gumball was standing rather awkwardly on the stage, his face extremely red.

“Amazing performance, Gummy.” Marshall put emphasis on the nickname he had for the teen. “Come down here so we can give you the club info and you can be on your way.”

The cheering had increased as everyone watch Bubba walk down the stage steps towards the table that the three sat at.

“Hey, Marshy.” Fionna nudged Marshall.

He looked over at her. “Yeah?”

“Could Gumball please take my spot? I’m only really good at judging voices, but you can handle that, right?” Fionna gave puppy dog eyes to Marshall. They were the kind that no one can ignore.

Marshall sighed. “Alright, fine. He technically was in the club the first thirty seconds of the song, so yeah.”

“Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you!” She hugged the king before leaping out of her seat and running to the exit.

“Did I really have to play the whole song?” Gumball asked. Marshall turned to see the teen, and noticed that he was no longer shy. He had the same scowl on as when he was shouting at him in the music room, his arms crossed.

Marshall laughed. “No.”

“Then why did I have to play the entire piece?!” Gumball dropped his hands to his sides and had both clenched into fists.

“For as intelligent as you appear, Gummy, you sure are very ignorant to your surroundings. The entire auditorium was cheering for you. Why do think I would stop your performance when basically everyone here was fangirling about it.” Marshall shrugged.

“Everyone?” Gumball asked, his eyebrow raised.

“I said ‘basically’, Gummy.” Marshall replied. “By the way, you’re filling in for Fionna.”

“I thought only club members are allowed to judge those trying out.” Gumball crossed his arms again, leaning on one leg.

“Oh yeah, did I mention that you were in the club the first thirty seconds of the performance?” Marshall asked.

“Then why did I… you know what? Never mind.” Gumball turned around and was walking towards the stage again.

“Hey, where are you going?” Marshall asked.

“I’m getting my violins!” Gumball shouted back.

Marshall smiled.

‘He gets to stay, huh?’ Marshall thought.

Gumball had a violin case in each hand as he walked over to the table.

“I’ve never seen him that riled up without giving a person a lecture, what’s up with you and him?” Cake asked

Marshall shrugged as Gumball plopped down in the chair the bunny was sitting in not too long ago.

“So, who’s next?” Gumball asked, grabbing the clipboard from Marshall’s hands.

Chapter Text

Gumball woke up at the same time as he did yesterday, although he felt a whole lot more refreshed.

When he was getting ready for his day, he had thought about the possibility of his day today being very different than what it was yesterday, as well.

Gumball had figured by now that he was the new gossip, and was becoming very well-known for his audition. He had guessed that his performance was the only one that the people in the auditorium really enjoyed. He had noticed himself that a lot of the people that were trying out weren’t really that good, and he felt bad for making that comment.

Gumball also figured that he was now loved or hated by a lot of people now.

That answer was soon answered by the time that he had gotten to school.

Gumball had barely entered the school’s campus before someone had already called his name.

“Gumball!” Someone said from behind him. Gumball turned around to see the purple-haired jock that he had seen yesterday sneak into that classroom. Until now, Gumball had not remembered the images that he had created from when he saw the jock and the girl go into the classroom. Soon, they had come flooding back, and Gumball had to shake his head to get rid of them yet again, pushing them to a dark corner in his mind so it could never be seen again.

“Hello.” Gumball said.

“Oh my glob, like, your voice is so totally amazing, too.” the jock said.

“Pardon me, but I don’t believe that I have know your name.” Gumball said sweetly. He gave a smile to add to the effect.

The jock grinned widely before saying, “Just call me, like, LSP.”

Gumball had noticed that LSP had a very feminine posture for someone like him, and spoke a lot like a valley girl. LSP reminded Gumball of the snobby popular girls that were at his old school. He pushed that thought aside as well.

“totally amazing, too?” Gumball asked.

“Oh my glob, do you not know how popular you are? Like, you totally owned the auditions yesterday, and when people went to find you, you practically went poof! A ton of people were trying to find you. Even, like, two teachers! You made a globbin’ frenzy yesterday! That reminds me, how old are you?” LSP finished.

“Um… what?” Gumball asked, trying to piece together all that LSP had said.

“Like, seriously, you look like you’re 13 or something. So, how old are you?”

Gumball crossed his arms and leaned on one leg. “What happens if I don’t tell you?”

“Then I’m going to assume that you are 13.”

Gumball huffed. “Fine. I’m 15.”

“What year are you in.”

“Like I would ever tell you.” Gumball said.

“Sophomore?”

“No.”

“Freshman? Did you get held back or something?”

“No!”

A voice sounded from behind Gumball. “He’s a Junior, Lumps.”

Gumball turned around and sighed in relief when he saw Marshall, who was walking up to the two teens. Gumball turned back to face LSP, who had gone a little pale and was wide-eyed.

LSP swallowed. “H-hey Gumball, are you, like, friends with him?” LSP nodded towards Marshall.

Gumball turned around to see Marshall giving him a cocky smirk. Half of Gumball wanted to slap that smirk off of his face, and the other half wanted to smile in return.

Gumball turned again to face the flamboyant teen and said, “I guess so, yeah.” Gumball shrugged before he began walking towards Marshall. LSP, however, grabbed onto his arm, preventing him from doing so.

“Gumball, could you, like, wait here for a second so I can ask you something?”

Gumball glared daggers into the jock holding onto his arm. Gumball thought for a second, then huffed and said that he would.

Marshall clapped a hand on Gumball’s shoulder. “See you in homeroom, yeah?”

Gumball nodded in response, and watched as the Vampire King walked into the classroom.

Gumball sighed. ‘I’d rather go and talk with him compared to him.’ Gumball thought sourly. He turned to see the teen that he wanted to get away from faster than anything before was looking as though on the verge of fangirling. Gumball sent him a questioning as to why.

“You two are so globbin’ cute together! When did you hook up?”

The remark caught Gumball off guard. “Um… Excuse me?”

“Well, you two are, like, a couple, yeah? When did you hook up?” LSP repeated the question. He had somehow managed to fish out his phone and was tapping furiously on it.

“We are not a couple, and we only met yesterday. Please tell me that wasn’t what you wanted to ask me. If it is, I’d rather be on my way to homeroom.” Gumball said, slightly annoyed.

“Oh, no. That, like, totally wasn’t it. It’s just… Nevermind. I need to tell you something.” LSP put his phone back into his jacket pocket, then leaned in and got relatively quiet. “I need to you something about one of the teachers that were looking for you after your audition.” LSP stood up and crossed his arms.

“Which teacher?” Gumball thought that LSP was warning him about a teacher.

“Ricardio.” LSP responded.

“Yeah, what about him?” Gumball asked.

“You know him?”

“Yeah, he’s my math teacher. What about him?”

“Well, I was just going to say that you should probably, like, be careful around him because he;s totes gay.”

Gumball scoffed. “Just because I’m his gender type does not mean that he is into me specifically. You should worry the same thing about yourself if you’re so bent out of shape because of that.”

“He’s, like a pedophile, too.”

‘Okay, that changes matters drastically.’

“Wait… You’re being serious about this?

“Totes serious.”

Gumball sighed. “That wasn’t actually a question as it was a statement. Can I go now?”

“No, I have one more question.” LSP held a rather pudgy finger.

“Fine. Shoot.” Gumball said, his arms crossed and gaze radiating annoyance.

“Geez, like, calm down. It’s just a question. So, are you, like, gay or something?” LSP asked.

Gumball didn’t answer the question, and just walked past the purple-haired teen and into the school.

When Gumball walked into Homeroom, he saw Marshall sitting in the same spot as yesterday. Gumball walked up to him and sat in the same spot as he did the day before, as well.

Marshall looked over as he walked up. “Did the Gossip King get the scoop he wanted?”

“LSP is the Gossip King?” Gumball asked. Marshall nodded in reply, and with little thought, the interaction that he had with the jock earlier made a whole lot more sense with this new form of information.

“So, what did you tell Lumps?” Marshall asked.

“That you and I are not a couple. Other than that, he was telling me stuff.” Gumball thought for a second, confirming that was all of the important stuff that he had told the purple jock.

Marshall, on the other hand, had now burst out laughing. A few people looked over at the Vampire King, before shrugging and going back to their social group.

“What’s so funny?” Gumball asked.

“Lumps thought that we were together? That’s ridiculous!” Marshall said between laughs. What he said pluck the wrong chords in Gumball’s heart, but he pushed it aside before he could dwell on it.

Marshall had stopped laughing, and he had his voice get quieter. “Honestly, he of all people should have a clear idea of my track record. Doesn’t he realize anything about how I treat others?”

“What is a bloody track record?!” Gumball asked.

“‘Bloody?’ Are you British now, or something?”

Gumball huffed. “That’s not the point!”

Marshall sighed, shrugged, then leaned back in his chair. “Ask your friends about it at lunch if you are so intent on knowing. I’m not telling you.”

Gumball glared at Marshall. He sighed before digging in his bag for a stack of papers that he had printed earlier. They were all of the classwork sheets he would be needing for the day. He started on his math work, seeing that it was the only that he hadn’t done yet.

Marshall peered over at what he was doing and asked, “So, whatcha doin’?”

“Today’s math work that we need to turn in today. I want to see if I could get tomorrow’s from Ricardio so I can finish that to when we’re in class.”

“Do you just happen to have access to all of the teacher’s assignments they are going to give the students?” Marshall asked.

Gumball shrugged. “I have my people on the inside that get the work for me.”

“How did you just turn probably the nerdiest thing that I have ever heard in my life into something that sounds like it could be in a super badass spy movie?”

“Language.”

“You’re not my parent.”

“Not your mother?” Gumball asked with his eyebrow raised.

“You’re not my mother.”

“Really? How can you be this immature?” Gumball asked as he scribbled down on his paper.

“I’m not immature, I’m eccentric.” Marshall said defensively.

Gumball gave him a questioning glare before going back to his problems. Marshall was staring very intently at Gumball, and it made the pink teen generally nervous.

“What do you do in your classes if you have all of the work done already?” Marshall asked.

“Depending on the teacher, I could either have a free period during that time, or do whatever I want when I’m in their class. That being said, It depends on the lesson, too. Say if we had a lab in Chemistry, I would have to stay for that to make sure my partner doesn’t blow something up.”

“Of all the things you’re worried about, You are concerned for the kid who mixed the wrong mixtures.”

“Chemical fires are a huge danger! Depending on the chemical, You could literally create a bomb in Chemistry class!” Gumball said defensively.

“That sounds fun. Tell me how to do it!” Marshall said.

“Not in a million years.” Gumball replied.

Gumball picked up his work, and made sure that he had written everything that he needed down.

“Hey…”

“Shush up, I need to check my work.” Gumball cut Marshall off.

“I thought you were still working on it.”

Gumball held the paper up to show Marshall the back page. “I’ve finished it, already.” He deadpanned.

Gumball watched Marshall stare at the paper wide-eyed before stuttering out, “Bu… B… How?!” Marshall made an attempt to grab the paper, to which Gumball promptly raised it over his head and away from the teen.

“You are not going to touch this. You need to do the work all by yourself.” Gumball said.

“Who said I was going to copy off of you? Now come on, I want to see the first question and see if I get it right.” Marshall stood up to try and grab the paper from Gumball’s hand, and succeeded in doing so. He flipped to the front, and stared at it intently for about a minute, before giving Gumball an explanation of how to answer the problem. To Gumball’s surprise, he had actually gotten it right.

Marshall handed the paper back and said, “See, I didn’t cheat off of you. YOu can put more faith in me than that.” Marshall gave a lopsided smile. It faltered for a brief second, then fell away and was set to a somber look. “Why did you assume that I was going to cheat off of you?”

“Can’t a nerd like me think that when sitting next to a bad boy who has questionable work ethic?” Gumball asked.

‘What is he trying to get at?’ Gumball thought.

“Well, if you knew this school, nerds are the ones that bully, not the jocks. Yeah, it happens on occasions, but you see more of the nerds being in charge. I don’t normally see a nerd on their knees and giving their work to another peer.” Marshall stared into Gumball’s eyes. His eyes widened a little.

“What now?” Gumball asked.

“Your eyes. They’re purple.”

“Yeah. So?” Gumball said.

“Oh… Um.. it’s nothing.”

People had begun packing up, and Marshall and Gumball followed suit. They both said their goodbyes before setting off to their respective classrooms.

Chapter Text

After Gumball had left his homeroom, he had dropped into his next class, turned in all of the work

for the day, asked the teacher about their restrictions, and he was able to leave the classroom and do whatever until his next class.

He was now sitting under a tree near the football field, and was absentmindedly listening to the music playing from his headphones.

Gumball waited for his hour class to end before he popped into his next one and did the same thing. He had decided to head back to the tree, seeing that it was fairly comfortable.

Gumball was walking back to it when he noticed that Mr. Ricardio was sitting on the bleachers. Gumball waved to him, and almost immediately Mr. Ricardio had waved back.

‘Odd that he was already looking my direction.’ Gumball thought.

Gumball plopped his backpack on the ground near the tree. He dug in his backpack, pulling out his phone and his pair of pink headphones.

He put the jack into his phone and put the earbuds into his ears before opening his phone anf scrolling through the music options. Gumball chose a cover of “The Scientist” by Vitamin String Quartet. He leaned back against the trunk and closed his eyes, getting lost in the sounds.

A few songs had played when someone had kicked his foot. He opened his eyes and saw a jock standing above him. He took out one of his earbuds to make sure that he was listening to the guy.

“Can I help you with something?” Gumball asked.

“You can kiss my ass, you fucking faggot.” the jock sneered.

Gumball absolutely despised that terms, but he wasn’t going to let it get too far under his skin.

“Could you please leave me alone?” Gumball asked politely.

“You can’t tell me what to do.” the jock said.

“Fine. Then I will leave, and you can stay.” Gumball said, picking up his backpack and stowing away his other earbud in his pocket along with his phone. He stood up and started walking away.

“Oh, no you don’t.” the jock said, grabbing onto Gumball’s jacket and yanking him back.

Gumball fell onto the ground, letting out a small noise because of the impact. Without a second’s hesitation, the jock kicked Gumball in the stomach, causing Gumball to start coughing and wheeze as he curled up and held his now injured stomach.

Gumball heard the jock walk along the grass before stopping somewhere close to Gumball’s face. Gumball opened his eyes to see the jock, now squatting, reach out and grab a fistful of Gumball’s hair. The jock yanked his head with the pink strands of hair, and spit in his face.

“Learn your place, faggot .” the jock said, lacing venom in the slur. He slammed Gumball’s head into the ground before standing up and walking away.

Gumball didn’t do anything. He stayed on the ground in complete silence. He listened to the wind blowing, and he watched as a tiny lock of his hair in his vision quiver ever so slightly. Back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. He lay there on his side, on the grass, thinking.

“Did this really happen again?” Gumball asked himself. He let his mind wander as he sat up. He leaned back against the tree, and let himself replay the past.

_Flashback_

It was 8th grade, and Gumball was on the floor of his school’s hallway scrambling as fast as he can to pick up any salvageable papers. Behind him, he heard a rip of papers, and a crumpling of papers. He felt something drop onto his head, and Gumball looked up to see a friend turned enemy giving him a malicious grin before nudging him against the wall, making him land on his said. He got up quickly and went to pick up the rest of the papers.

~

It was now 9th grade, and Gumball was being shoved against a locker. The person that had done so grabbed him by his shirt and lifted him off the ground.

“Give me my fucking homework, fag.” the guy said. Gumball nodded hurriedly, and the guy set him down on the ground so Gumball can scramble around to open his backpack and take out a stapled stack of paper. The guy yanked the stack of papers out of Gumball’s hands,  grinning.

“See? No fus, no fight. I’ll see ya next week.” the guy said before walking down the hall, leaving the pink teen on the verge of tears.

~

“I… I like you.” Gumball stuttered.

“Yeah, man. I like you, too.” the teen that Gumball had confessed to said. Gumball knew that he didn;t understand. The friend meant like as a friend, and Gumball meant like as a… well, as a crush.

“No. I mean, boyfriend like.” Gumball tried to say, hoping that he would have to avoid the much more powerful “L” word.

The teen had stopped walking, and was staring at Gumball with a sense of confusion and disgust.

“What the fuck, dude?” the friend said.

Gumball could tell that this was getting very sour. Gumball swallowed. “Well… I thought that you would understand. You seem pretty accepting on this stuff, so I…I thought that…”

The friend didn’t hear any of it. He pushed pushed Gumball away, causing him to stumble and fall.

“Freak.” was all the other teen said before walking off.

_Flashback_Over_

When Gumball let his little memory montage finish up, he had noticed that it was now lunchtime.

Gumball was not at all intent on seeing his friends after something like that happening. Every single jock would be interrogated and possibly beaten up by Cake and Fionna by the end of the day. Even if he could face them with a convincing smile, there was no way he could wiggle his way with the condition of his clothing. Cake had a knack of seeing through his lies before they’ve even been said.

Gumball grabbed his backpack and stood up. He honestly didn’t know what to do, now. He hadn’t befriended really anyone else in the school, so it wasn’t like he had a separate friend group to talk to.

‘There’s always Marshall.’ Gumball thought.

A small smile spread on the pink teen’s face. He could find Marshall and hang out with him. Talk to him about music. Get to know him better. That is, if he could find him. Gumball had no idea where he could find the teen. Gumball didn’t know really anything about Marshall.

Gumball sighed in defeat, and sat down again, leaning against the tree’s trunk yet again, as well. He pulled out his phone to just sit and listen to his music for the next hour.

Gumball was somewhat thankful that he had chosen to sit in a rather secluded section of the field, and that he had kept his lunch in his backpack. He did not want to risk the fact that he was away from his friends at the moment by going to his locker and getting it. He had brought a few more of the cookies that he baked the day before, as well as the pasta he had cooked for himself the night before.

Gumball sat in silence as he ate his lunch. He watched people around him talking and socializing. He noticed that he was the only person to not have someone to talk to. Well, not at the moment. Everyone was smiling. Everyone was happy.

Gumball had wondered, rather childishly, where all of the unhappy students were.

‘The bathrooms.’ Gumball answered his own question.

The notion made his mood instantly darken. He needed to stop thinking about that. He needed to bring his mind to other things. Academics? No, too simple. Music? It would help, but not get the job done.

Gumball whimpered as he brought his knees to his chest, and started rocking back and forth.

“Need to stop thinking. Need to stop thinking. Need to stop thinking. Need to stop thinking.” Gumball whispered the mantra over and over again, trying to block out the thoughts, the memories, the fear.

And was failing miserably.

Gumball stood up rather quickly, before he went to the bathroom to check out the condition of his clothing.

He walked with lengthy strides across the schoolyard, trying to get to the school building as fast as possible. His breathing was ragged and short, but it wasn’t from exercise. He was able to get to the school building, and duck into some of the nearest bathrooms.

When inside, he immediately went to the farthest sink and looked in the mirror, and he didn’t like what was being reflected.

Grass and dirt stains covered all of one side of his jacket. Looking down at his pants, it was a similar situation. he looked at his face, noticing the dirt on it. His hair was partially flattened from the upward hairstyle he had left his house with. Blades of grass were mixed into the locks of his hair.

He ran a hand through it, getting the grass out of it. He turned the water on in the sink, got a paper towel, and attempted to try and rub off some of the dirt on his face and clothes. He had succeeded with his face, but he could only lighten the stains on his clothing. He sighed, knowing that they were going to be a pain in the bun to get out.

Gumball looked in the mirror again, assessing his appearance. It wasn’t too bad. He could walk among the crowd without being called out for dirty clothing, but it wasn’t all the way gone. Someone could see it, if they knew what to look for.

“What are you doing in here?” A voice startled Gumball. His head whipped in the direction towards the voice and he saw that Marshall was leaning against the bathroom wall, a smirk on his face.

Gumball cleared his throat. “I got some dirt on my clothes from sitting on the ground outside. I came in here to clean it off.” He held up the paper towel that he was using to show proof.

“Is that so?” Marshall pushed off of the wall, and strode towards Gumball, hands in his coat pocket.

“Yeah. Do you think that I’m lying?” Gumball asked.

“Maybe. Maybe not. You can’t read my mind.”

‘I wish that I could, though.’ Gumball thought.

Marshall reached down and yanked the paper towel out of Gumball’s hands.

“Hey, what are you…”

“You still have dirt on your face. Hold still.” Marshall delicately held up Gumball’s face under the chin. His cool fingers were sending chills down Gumball’s spine as he felt the wet paper towel being rubbing his cheek. They both stood there in silence as Marshall did this. He turned Gumball’s head to the side, having it face one way, then the other, and finally right at him.

“I think I got everything. You do realize that you can’t get dirt on your face if you were actually sitting on the ground. If you were sitting, it would be on your… Why were you laying on your side?” Marshall asked, clearly showing concern in his eyes.

“Reasons.” Gumball replied. He averted his eyes to the ground.

“Hey, I’m not blind. If you don’t want to talk about it, fine. But seriously, I don’t tolerate any bullshit pulled on anybody like this.” Marshall said.

“Maybe I can.”

“Keep telling yourself that, Gummy.” Marshall stood up straighter and grinned. “Let’s head to our next class, yeah?”

Gumball nodded before following the teen outside of the bathroom to his math class.

‘I’m used to the pain, not this. What are you doing, Marshall?’ Gumball thought.

They walked into the class about 5 minutes before they would be late. Mr. Ricardio was already sitting at his desk, pulling things out of his bag. Gumball didn’t want to be in class, regardless of who was in that class. He’ll stay in class for music, because hopefully it would only be he and Marshall, but he did not want to do it now.

“I’m assuming you’re not wanting to stay in the class, right?” Marshall asked him.

“I don’t think so. I’ll be in music, but now is not the time for me to be in class right now.”

Gumball went to the side, and set his bag on the floor. He sat on his heels as he unzipped the bag and took out today’s worksheets. He stood up straight and walked over to Mr. Ricardio’s desk.

“Um… Excuse me?” Gumball asked. Mr. Ricardio looked up and gave the pink teen a toothy grin. It was creepy to say the least, but Gumball didn’t dwell on it long.

“Is there something you wanted to asked me, Gumball?” Mr. Ricardio asked.

“Yeah. I was wondering if I could leave the classroom if I turn in all of the work that you would’ve assigned us today now.” Gumball held out the stack of papers that he had. Mr. Ricardio gave him a puzzled look as he took the stack. He thumbed through it, nodding as he did so.

“I’m sorry, Gumball. This work is beyond exceptional, but there is too much risk of you skipping class. I said this yesterday, you can do whatever you want, but it has to be in class.”

Gumball swallowed. This was NOT what he wanted to go down. He wanted to hide, he wanted to get away. Not here. He didn’t want to be here. He wanted to be outside. There’s open spaces outside. That’s far better than a classroom. Far, far better.

Marshall placed a hand on Gumball’s shoulder. Gumball looked up at the teen, who was gesturing him to sit down.

Yeah, sit down. Calm down. That’s what he needed. He looked over at the teen walking up the aisle with him, who gave him a lopsided smile. That was when he realized that he needed one more thing right now.

He needed Marshall.

Chapter Text

Gumball was forlorn for the rest of class, leaving Marshall in complete silence. In honestly annoyed Marshall. After all that he did for the boy, he still hasn’t gotten any thanks. Nonetheless, the fact that Gumball got quiet really fast after his talk with Ricardio worried Marshall even more.

‘What happened to him in his last school?’ Marshall thought.

If is wasn’t a red flag enough that Gumball mute, when he slid over his school work to Marshall, with a small note written in pencil saying, “Copy off of this if you want. I don’t really care.”

Marshall stared at the stapled packet of today’s math work, truly tempted to right everything that the pink nerd had written down, and do whatever he wanted afterwards. He nearly picked up the paper when he saw the blank look that Gumball had as he stared ahead at the class, clearly off in his own little world.

This caused Marshall to feel bad. That’s when he stopped for the first time in what he was doing. How could he , of all people, care for the sorry little nerd that was sitting next to him. Now that he thought about it, he had been too nice to this teen.

However, if he thought about it more, he found nothing wrong with it. The teen was nice, and made Marshall feel powerful. Why not hang out around the teen? He was fun enough to hang around, and he was someone he could hang with at school now that his bandmates have left the school. That reminds Marshall that he has band practice after school. His band was going to play a gig that weekend, and they needed to be prepared.

Getting back to what was happening at hand, Marshall merely slid the packet of papers over, figuring that it would make a better impression on the teen, and at least get him out of this pitiful state.

It at least did something, because the pink teen was now giving Marshall a surprised look, to which Marshall returned with a shrug. Gumball pulled out a small notepad and scribbled something down on it before passing it over to Marshall. Marshall smiled, before writing on it and passing it back.

G: You really want to do all of the work?

M: Why did you even pass it to me when you get all huffy puffy with cheating off of others.

G: Oh. Yeah… that’s seems really out of character for me.

M: No kidding, you weirdo.

G: Don’t worry about earlier today, okay? Things happened and… I just want to keep this out of the gossip mill, alright?

M: That makes sense. In our next partner problem, could you show me how you actually do the problem? I don’t exactly remember how to.

G: You’re ridiculous, but sure. It should be pretty easy, though.

M: Look. I was dared by some of my other friends to try and get into the AP class, and I barely made it in. I really hate it, but if I lost the dare, which I did, I would have to sit through at least one semester of this crap.

“Alright, now for this problem I want you all to discuss it with your partner.” Ricardio said.

Marshall sighed. “Finally, that took too freaking long.” He put his desk and let his hands dangle by his sides. Next to him, he could hear someone giggling.

‘I wonder if that is one of the girls in this class? Hopefully some of them are really hot.’

Marshall looked up to see Gumball was the one producing that laughter. His hand was covering his mouth, and his eyes crinkled at the edges.

Marshall stared at him wide-eyed for a second before saying, “I only thought girls could giggle.”

“Does it even matter?”

“Yes, because if you laugh like a girl, that must mean that you are one.” Marshall said with a smirk.

“Oh, hah, hah. Very funny. You can be so bloody childish at times I don’t even know how you are in high school.” Gumball glared, “Do you want to get this problem done, or what?”

“Yeah, whatever.” Marshall said. He sat up a little straighter as he listened to Gumball guide him through the problem. Marshall noted that he was very good tutor.

“Okay, you got it?” Gumball asked, his pencil pointing at the answer of the problem.

“Yeah, I think so.” Marshall said.

“Good. Now shut up.” Gumball said ass Ricardio was calling the class back to focus.

“You can’t tell me what to do.” Marshall said with a huff.

“I never said I was telling you to do anything. You make your own decisions in the end.” Gumball said.

“Mr. Abadeer and Mr. Gumball.” Ricardio called the two teens, causing one of them to give out a high pitched noise. Marshall saw that Gumball was going very red. He looked down after that, and started wringing his hands.

“Wow, the nerd got in trouble again.” Marshall muttered.

Gumball shot a look of pure hatred to Marshall, enough so where Marshall actually felt threatened by the prince. Surprising how this is the first time. Marshall only shrugged and smiled back to the teen, regardless of how he was feeling.

Gumball growled at him. An actual, genuine growl from the proper prince of the land of candy. He really was pissed off, Marshall knew that. However, he didn’t know how angry until now. That left him with a decision. He could either continue annoying the teen next to him, or he could leave him alone and let him defuse his own bomb.

Marshall decided that he had the wire cutters and intellect to defuse said pink bomb.

Marshall was consistently annoying the teen for the rest of the class, whispering things to the teen, messing with the stuff that he had on the table, leading to Gumball being one of the first people to get up and leave the classroom. Marshall gave a small grin, as he had succeeded in his mission to torture the teen. Marshall just had to get back on Gumball’s good side before he could continue anything.

Meaning, that if he didn’t get the teen in a happier mood soon, his next class was going to be hell repaid twice.

Marshall got up and left the classroom, beginning his trek to the music room by weaving through all of the students. He sighed, getting somewhat irritated about the large amount of students currently in the area, but he also knew that there wasn’t much that he could do about the problem.

He walked into the music room, and saw, surprisingly, that Gumball had already arrived and was digging out a violin case. His back was turned from the Vampire King, and said king huffed before striding over next to the teen to grab his own instrument. He grabbed his case, and set it down on the floor, opening it up and getting the beloved instrument out of it. He briefly noticed that the pink teen was giving him a death glare, before he stood straight up, a flash of pink by his side.

Marshall was very confused as to why there would be a flash of pink when this said teen was already decorated in the color, he looked up, and had difficulty hiding his laughter. Gumball, the prince garbed in pink, had a pink violin as well. This couldn’t even getting any richer.

“I assume you’re laughing at me.” Gumball scowled.

At this point, Marshall simply couldn’t contain anything, and burst out laughing. Seriously, Gumball was priceless, to say the least. Gumball groaned, and moved away from Marshall, standing in the middle of the classroom.

“I also assume that the teacher is again not going to be in for today.” Gumball muttered.

Marshall didn’t answer, only because he still was wheezing on the floor, his guitar next to him.

Gumball sighed, and Marshall soon heard him playing notes on the violin. He heard him growl to only look up and see that Gumball was twisting the pegs.

“I didn’t know you were so picky.” Marshall managed to say.

“I didn’t know you would be such an ass.” Gumball snapped back. “Just… Don’t talk to me for a little bit. I know that whatever mood I’m in right now, which I know is downright awful, is only going to get worse in the future. Please leave me be.” Gumball looked at Marshall with a sort of pleading look.

Marshall held his hands up in defense. “I still don’t see what had gotten your pink panties all up into a twist.”

“You know why that isn’t the case? there are not mirrors in this room. Please shut up.” Gumball said. He had finished tuning his violin and ran the bow along the strings of his violin for yet another time. Deeming it satisfactory he stopped for a second to think of a song, Marshall had assumed.

Gumball soon closed his eyes, and played a simple melody, but it become a melody that Marshall had recognized, leading to the possibility of yet another fit of laughter.

Gumball was playing the lyric melody of All of Me by Sam Smith. Now, Marshall had nothing against the singer. In fact, he respected the artist greatly for this exact song, it was the fact a nerd was playing this song that made it so funny to him. Never did he ever expect Gumball to even know that song. Then again, that was Marshall thinking that Gumball had never heard about the mainstream.

Regardless of that, it didn’t stop Marshall from listening to the pink teen play the piece near perfectly. Every note was precise, and Marshall couldn’t help but feel a little awful about how he had treated him.

He listened to him play the rest of the song, when he sighed afterwards. His shoulders slumped as he looked over at Marshall at gave him a glare.

“Did you really have to watch me do the entire song?” Gumball groaned. “So much for standing out of the spotlight.

“I found nothing wrong with it. You at least play really nicely, Gummy.” Marshall shrugged.

“Why Gummy? Seriously, everyone else is fine with calling me either Bubba or Gumball, but you.”

Gumball said, pointing a finger at Marshall,” You just adore messing with me. What’s your angle?”

“Ever wonder why I am almost always called the bad boy?” Marshall asked.

“I’d assume that you love to get in everybody’s pants, simply adore attention, even though that said attention is of the negative kind, and you can’t help but torment others that you deem to be different or lower than you.”

I’m just going to say that you got maybe one of those correct. I do love attention. And I don’t torture people because I think that I’m above them or anything like that. My reason is pretty simple.

“And what is that?” Gumball asked.

Marshall picked up his guitar and sang, “Because I can!” While playing really fast chords.

He heard Gumball groan loudly before he heard the boy say, “Do you really have to play that now?”

Marshal stopped and shrugged, “I do what I want.” Marshall said.

“That is really immature of you, you know that, right?” Gumball muttered before he set his violin on his shoulder again and playing another piece, The beginning part of “Secrets” yet again.

“Yo, how many songs do you actually know on the violin?” Marshall asked.

Gumball stopped, “Um…” He bobbed his head quickly, likely counting in his head. “I think… over twenty? Thirty? Maybe more, I don’t know.”

Marshall gave an impressed whistle before standing up and grabbing his things.

“Where are you going?” Gumball asked.

“Nowhere important. I do have to tell you one thing, before I head off.”

“Oh, yeah? And what, may I ask, is that?”

Marshall’s voice quieted. “There is one other reason why I love to torment… certain people.” He leaned in and whispered, “I love to see their reactions.” He made sure that his voice was low, almost seductive, and stood up straight again. He had noticed that the Gummy was again blushing furiously.

“See ya later, Gummy.” Marshall winked, and left the room, leaving the pink teen in surprise.

Chapter Text

A few weeks have passed for the prince in pink, and he had to say that he was having more fun at this school than at any of the other ones.

The teachers were beyond nice to him. He was bonding extremely well with Tree Trunks, and got what he considered to be life saving tips on baking pies. Gumball still believes that it won’t be enough to beat Tree Trunks’ pies, and that was an achievement within itself to Tree Trunks.

Another one of the teachers was the Lord Acoustics. He is the music teacher, and it became obvious as to why he was given such a nickname. He either carries around acoustic instruments, or is singing. He has a type of sing song voice, so much so that it appears that he is singing a melody of his speech everywhere he goes, and that fascinated Gumball. He was an astounding teacher, and that put him with high regard in Gumball’s book.

The third teacher that Gumball was getting friendly terms with was Mr. Ricardio. However, he was a little different when it came to talking to Gumball. He asked a lot more questions to Gumball than vice versa, and a lot of them weren’t about academics. They were a little more about his past and social life than anything. Not that Gumball minded. There was something special about telling someone knew about his interests and hobbies. His friends basically knew him like the back of their hands, so nothing really could be “new” to them. Telling Mr. Ricardio, though, it was all news to him. He knew so little about Gumball, and even though it was clear that he wanted to know more about Gumball, there wasn’t really much that Gumball wanted him to know. When he mentioned his past and social life, it was generally basic. Most of it was funny or entertaining stories of his past, and when it got too personal, which rarely happened, he put in a fews twists and tugs to the story to pull out the sensitive info.

Mr. Ricardio, who has started asking his classes to just refer to him by his first name, also knew quite a bit about one of Gumball’s favorite things besides baking, which was of course chemistry. The fact that Gumball could  be nerdy about one of his favorite things with someone that actually bothered to listen was nearly unheard of for Gumball. None of the people in his social group cared about science and chemistry, and more often than not barely even cared about academics. Gumball was similar to a computer when it came to chemistry. He could explain, in detail, the all about it with the same detail as a college professor. 

Then there was his peers. He was, as well, getting along famously with the other students. He and LSP had hit it off pretty well, although it seemed that LSP only wanted to be friends with him to know more about him. Gumball’s knowledge of what LSP is physically capable of with his lightspeed fingers, a phone, and being friends with nearly every single student on the campus, a simple slip could lead to drastic consequences and misunderstandings.

Through Fionna, he met someone who went by Flame, because of his fiery red hair and temper. He was very shy, very sweet, albeit that he has a very short fuse. He’s on the basketball team, attractive, and social when he wasn’t ticked off.

Besides the people that he had newly met, one was giving him so many mixed that it spread across the entire board. Marshall

The first day he was incredibly nice, the next he was a mix between a pretentious asshole and someone that Gumball felt comfortable with to spill all of his secrets. Since then, it has been jumping from two extremes of Marshall being as though he and Gumball were extremely close friends, to them appearing to be sworn enemies. It made whatever relationship they had all the more interesting. Frustrating, but interesting.

That led to today, where classes have officially ended, and Gumball had to go to Music Club, which was something that Gumball had mixed feelings about, and it was only because of its president.

With his violin strung on his back, he went to the library, which was where the Music Club was allowed to meet. He walked down the thinning hallways, seeing others walk in his direction with music cases, as well. Among them was Fionna and Cake. They spotted him as well and called him over.

“So, how was your day today? We didn’t see you at lunch.” Cake asked.

“Oh, yeah. Sorry, I was talking to Ricardio.” Gumball rubbed the back of his neck and smiled.

“Oh. Ricardio.” Fionna said bitterly.

Gumball picked up on her tone. “What’s so wrong about him that you don’t like?”

Fionna shrugged. “I don’t know. He just seems really… off.”

“I smell jealousy.” Cake said in a sing-song voice.

“I am not jealous!” Fionna said.

“Keep telling yourself that, honey.” Cake said, “So, what do you plan on doing in Music Club?” She asked Gumball.

Gumball shrugged. “I don’t know. Probably just practice some new song that I want to polish up.”

“Does it have lyrics?” Fionna asked.

“I don’t think so. If you want to practice with me, I’d have to create a song that has some.” Gumball thought for a moment. “You know what, let’s do that.”

“Sweet!”

“Can I join in on this biz, too?” Cake asked.

Gumball shrugged. “The more, the merrier as of right now. Let’s see if we could get a spot in the back of the library so we don’t get interrupted, yeah?”

“Are you shy about your music, Gumball?” Fionna asked.

“What? No, not at all.”

“Will you two stop squabbling so we could get this going?” Cake asked.

The two of them grinned before they both started laughing, as they headed into the library, barely taking any time to check in and claim a back corner. Gumball and Cake pulled out their instruments, tuning them the way that they want.

“So, what do you guys want to do?” Fionna asked.

“I thought that you said that we were going to make a song?”

“Oh, yeah. right, sorry.” Fionna said.

 “Okay! Let’s get started, yeah?” Gumball asked.

The trio set to work, coming up with a song that they thought would be absolutely amazing and that they could perform in front of the club. With about 10 minutes of the hour at the club remaining, they had gotten a near perfect song.

“Come on! let’s see if we could show the other peeps it before they leave!” Fionna, said excitedly.

Gumball groaned inwardly. “Are you certain about that? I mean, we’ve only gone through this once or twice.”

“Gumball, chill out. I bet that you don’t really want to do it because you’re one of the main singer.”

“Which I don’t understand why you decided that I should be the one! I’m not even that good of a singer.”

“Hush up and come on, we don’t have a lot of time left.” Fionna said, grabbing Gumball by the arm and pulled him along. Gumball looked behind him to see Cake smiling brightly white carrying her hammered dulcimer along to the front of the library.

Most of the club members and then some were near the front, performing for one another and giving suggestions on other’s performances. It was one of the main reasons the club was even created. It was to help the great musicians become even greater, and they would be able to show themselves and other how to be greater, as well. The club has been student run for nearly a decade, and had many of the students entering into competitions, where they could likely be noticed by big-time record labels, and boom! Their life laid out on a silver platter. If only it were that easy for every sinlge promising member of the Music Club.

“Hey, PG. What’s up?” Someone asked to the side of Gumball’s peripheral. He looked over to see a guy that he had gotten closer to named Shoko. It was an odd name, but he would be a huge hypocrite if he judged the guy because of it.

“I’m being dragged to my doom.”

Shoko laughed. “Are those two making you perform?”

“Making would be an understatement.” Gumball grumbled.

“PG, come on,we don’t have all day.” Fionna whined.

Gumball groaned. “Fine.” He turned again to Shoko. “I’ll see you.”

“Yeah, see ya.”

Cake was calling the attention of all the people currently in the library, and this was then Gumball had officially regretted even agreeing to practice with his two closest friends.

“So, we as a trio decided to create some random song, and I will honestly say that I know that it seems like one of us will have the hots for the person that is mentioned in this song, but I assure you that it isn’t the case.” Cake was about to step away from the microphone before she added quickly, “I should probably mention that this is going to be a little short.

Gumball set his violin down, and grabbed one of the ukuleles that they offered. He couldn’t play guitar, but playing a ukulele wasn’t that hard to pick up.

The students of the club were silent, interested on what the trio had in store. Gumball played the opening chords and began to sing.

I feel like nothing was real until I met you.
I feel like we connect, and I really get you.
If I said, "You're a beautiful girl," would it upset you?
Because the way you look tonight, silhouetted, I'll never forget it.

Oh, Oh, Fionna.
Your fist has touched my heart.
Oh, Oh, Fionna.
I won't let anything in this world keep us apart.

And finally, Fionna jumps in to sing the last line of the song: I won't let anything in this world keep us apart.

The newly formed crowd started clapping after the song had ended, and Gumball became very self conscious when a certain Vampire King was applauding them, as well, giving one of his signature smirks.

Gumball turned to see that Cake and Fionna were currently bowing to the crowd, grinning widely doing so.

Gumball slowly stepped away from the crowd to grab his violin, before heading to get his stuff in the back of the room and just get away from this crowd.

He thought that he had succeeded in doing so, and picked up the pace once he was out of sight of the majority of the group. He had reached his bags, and was getting ready togo when a person spoke up behind him.

“Leaving your fans hanging?” Marshall asked.

Gumball gave a high-pitched yelp of surprise when he heard the teen’s voice, leaving Marshall chuckling at the reaction. Gumball, in a shrill voice, said, “What the flip?”

“Calm down, man, it really shouldn’t get you this razzled.” Marshall said.

Gumball sighed. “Fine. Are you going to let me leave, or are we going to get into another argument where you call me a faggot and stalk off?”

“Okay, when did that happen?”

Gumball pretended to check his watch. “If i’m not mistaken… yesterday.”

“Oh, yeah.” Marshall laughed, then rubbed the back of his neck. “Sorry about that.”

That’s all you can say about your little fit yesterday? Sorry? Honestly, you can do better than that.” Gumball huffed, and went to pick up his bags.

“I guess you’re still a prim, proper prince, huh?” Marshall sourly said, arms now crossed as he leaned on a bookshelf.

Gumball scoffed. “Do you really think that a simple few weeks in a new environment would change that part of me? Honestly, you need to learn that everyone that you meet is not going to be perfectly who you want them to be.” Gumball became the one to walk off after saying that, leaving Marshall calling after him. He really didn’t want anything to do with it, so he’ll let his anger boil for a while and simmer down later. Now just didn’t seem the time.

“Gumball, are you coming?” He heard Fionna say as he passed by her to get to the main doors of the library.

“Coming where?”

“LSP’s party, of course!”

“Excuse me… what?!”

Chapter Text

“I’m not going.” Gumball said, arms crossed.

What do you mean ‘I’m not going’? You’re going.” Fionna said.

“No, I’m not!” Gumball slightly raised his voice.

“Yes, you are.” Fionna replied.

Would my two best homies stop this cat fight? It’s obviously getting nowhere.” Cake interrupted.

“Thank you!” Gumball said, somewhat relieved to think that Cake was on his side.

“I was only saying that because I’m making you go to this party, too.” Cake said.

“No.” Gumball said, turning around to leave his two friends in the dire need to get home. Someone had grabbed onto the back of his shirt and gripped it tightly before Gumball had even made two steps.

“You’re not going to leave, “Fionna said, revealing the culprit of the shirt grabber, “You’re going to leave with us. We want to hang out with you, and this seemed like a fun opportunity to do so.”

Gumball took this new notion into consideration. He really hasn’t talked to either of his friends for much time. Mostly at lunch, but even then he was a little separated from the conversation. Has he been lost in his own that often recently? When Gumball dwelled on that, he had realized that exactly that was going on right now, so he had officially concluded that yes, he was getting lost in his head.

“If you put it like that… I guess…” Gumball said, a little uncertain of his decision.

Fionna let go of his coat before pumping her fist into the air, excitedly shouting, “Yes!” over and over again excitedly. Gumball smiled at her child-like behavior.

“That’s all it took to convince you?” Cake asked.

Gumball shrugged. “We don’t really talk all that often, and I figured that we should at least try and talk more, even if for just one night.”

“Strange reasoning, but alright. Do you want to wear the stuff you have on now, or something else?”

Gumball looked down at his clothing, “Is there something wrong with it?”

“No! Not at all. I’m just speaking from experience that someone,or you,could spill something that you really like, and the smell of beer is kind of sucky. Especially if you’re sober.” Cake reasoned.

“Oh. Well, Um… I guess that I would like to go home and change into something that is a little more casual. Am I going to have to drink at this?” Gumball asked.

Cake giggled, “Drunk you does sound very fun, but you don’t need to drink at this thing. I don’t really suggest it either.”

“Your reasoning is?” Gumball had noticed that the two girls had started walking towards the exit, and he began to follow.

“Things always get a little crazy when it’s one of LSP’s parties. This one is by far one of the craziest, and I don’t even plan on drinking anyway. Fionna can.”

“Really?” Fionna asked excitedly.

“Well, duh. I had set up from the beginning that I would be your designated driver.” Cake said.

“Oh, yeah.” Fionna said, seeming to remember the memory.

“So, do you want us to take you to your house real quick before heading to ours, or do you just want us to just go home and we’ll pick you up later?”

“Um… How about that we just make a stop at my house to get changed, then we go to yours?” Gumball suggested.

“Sure. Come on.” Cake said, making a gesture for the other two to follow. They did so and followed cake to her car, a yellow Volkswagen beetle.

Gumball climbed into the back seat, Fionna and Cake in the front, and they set off for Gumball’s house.

In less than ten minutes, they had turned the corner onto Gumball’s block. They stopped right in front, letting Gumball leaving the room to go inside and change.

As he walked upstairs, he was thinking of what the actually wanted to wear. With Cake’s warning of some form of liquid, likely alcoholic, that was going to get on his clothing, he didn’t want to wear something that he absolutely loved, nor something that was particularly pricey.

He was standing in front of his closet when he had made the decision of his choice of clothing. He decided on a black t-shirt, black pants, and pink converse. No matter what, he was never going to leave his house without some form of visible pink clothing. Knowing that his phone was in his pocket, and that it was fairly charged, he had set off down the stairs and out the door once again to climb into Cake’s car.

“Ready to go?” Cake asked. She looked towards the back seat to see that Gumball had given her the go ahead, and they were off, heading to Fionna and Cake’s house.

Twenty or so minutes passed in comfortable silence. Gumball watched the houses around him pass by in something similar to a blur. He let his mind wander to wherever it may go, and didn’t blink at the thoughts that were clearly leading and were about a certain black-haired teen.

“So, have anyone caught your eye?” Cake asked directing the question to Gumball. This caused him to jump out of his travel in Lala-land.

“I’m sorry, but what does that exactly mean?” Gumball asked, confused.

“Well, think about it. You’re in a brand new high school with all of these attractive men and women, and I just maybe assumed that you had someone in mind.” Cake looked through the rear-view mirror with a look that gave that she knew more than she let on. This bothered Gumball, but he didn’t want to push further, and at the very least, not now.

“I don’t exactly think so. I mean, I still am trying to figure out what gender I am into.”

‘Liar.’

“If that’s the case, then I’m assuming that you at least have a type for whatever gender you end up preferring.”

“You think so?”

“Honey, I know so.”

“Well, if that’s what you think, then I probably have to say that I have literally no idea what my type is.”

“I am almost certain that you will find out by the end of the year. Luckily for you, this school isn’t exactly that homophobic, so you won’t have to worry about people not accepting you for the way you end up being, if you do swing that way.

‘Yep, she knows.’

“I’ll keep it noted.”

Gumball looked out the window, noticing that they were now on Cake and Fionna’s street. Knowing the fact that they were sisters, it was obvious that they would live together. They lived with their dad, who Gumball believed to be absolutely amazing. He had a kind of feel that you would get from the detectives on the old spy movies that had the very strong New York accent. He always had a fedora on, and it truly did add to the appeal. Cake parked the car, and exited the car, letting Gumball move the seat forward so he too could exit the beetle. They walked up the steps of their leafy green house, and opened the door.

Cake, her apparently had grabbed her bag from the trunk, had plopped it down on the entryway floor with a loud thud. She had immediately walked over to the kitchen opened the fridge, and dug out quite a few things that Gumball had assumed that they were going to have for snack and possibly dinner later. Cake picked up and apple and took a big bite out of it before tossing one similar to Fionna, who did roughly the same thing.

The two ate in silence for a second, and Gumball had as well moved towards the kitchen to sit in of the bar stools that were placed under the edge of their kitchen island.

“How’s school going for you two this year?” Gumball asked.

Cake shrugged. “It’s okay, I guess. As far as school goes, in my opinion. You can’t believe how pumped I am knowing that we are more than halfway through high school. I hate it, a lot.

“Same here. I hate school.” Fionna piped in.

“I think that I have finally realized that I am not at all from whatever planet that you two come from.” Gumball said, now used to knowing that Cake and Fionna complain about the school and school work all of the time.

“Well, you’re probably from… well… I don’t know. Some planet where they especially breed supernerds that literally know everything and can never be beaten by any other student and always have, like, 120% on every frickin’ test that is shoved in their faces.” Fionna said.

“Well, what planet do you believe that you came from?” Gumball asked.

“Obviously the adventure planet. Cake did, too.” Fionna asked, not even pausing for a second.

Gumball had started laughing at this comment, and Cake had soon joined. Gumball reached over to grab some food from the pile, before sitting upright in his chair again with a small smile. The trio talked about random stuff for the next hour and a half or so, when Cake has mentioned that she and Fionna were going to get ready to go.

It took Fionna less than five minutes to change into jeans and a different t-shirt, and Gumball laughed at her attempt to stuff her hair into her bunny hat. Cake had done generally the same thing, but took much longer apparently trying to choose the outfit, and touch up on her makeup. She had come downstairs around five ‘til six, and Gumball had remembered her noting that the party was going to start really soon.

“Is the place close?” Gumball asked as he followed the two girls out to the car.

“Nope.” Cake replied.

They all got into her car before driving off once again. The car ride wasn’t filled with comfortable silence this time. Instead, it was full of Cake and Fionna debating over the silliest of things, Gumball playing the devil’s advocate for no one in particular, poking holes in whichever argument of either of the two of them whenever he felt like it. This often led to him being told to shut up before they laughed and continued their debate as always.

Cake turned a corner, leading to a streets with no more the five houses on both sides combined. Gumball marveled at the sight of the houses. They were basically mansions, all of them, with huge yard, albeit them turning somewhat yellow because of the dawning season of fall.

“We’re here!” Cake said excitedly. She and Fionna opened their doors, and Cake released the latch on her seat to let Gumball out of the car. Standing up straight, Gumball noticed that there were quite a few cars lining up and down the streets, most of them bunching up to where a house, that even though it was only around half past six or so, there was already loud music that was directly sourced from said house. Teens, most likely from the school, were walking up the steps to this house, and he could hear them laughing and talking as they walked inside.

“Are LSP’s parties always this early?” Gumball asked.

“Not usually. Normally he has them way later, like 10 or something. He said on his Facebook page that he wanted to do it earlier this time so more people could enjoy each others’ presence for a little bit before everyone got themselves completely wasted. If that makes sense.” Cake said.

“I guess it does. I’ve never really heard of that happening before, though.”

“Believe me, I find it better that way. It’s mostly because you can talk to people you actually want to talk to before they become super drunk. The parties that normally start later, people are already hammered, or they are going straight to the beer.”

“I thought that you were one for alcohol.”

“Alright, I’m gonna be all mama bear and simply say that I’m not a fan of a large group of teens getting together in order to do nothing to get drunk. They should all at least socialize.”

They were walking as this was happening, and the house was getting ever closer, the music just a little more discernable. Gumball swallowed. Cake put a hand on his shoulder.

“Stay with me if you’re nervous about  this, alright? I’m assuming this is the first time that you’ve really gone to a full-on party, and I want you to at least enjoy it enough to go with us to another one, alright?” She said reassuring.

Gumball looked up at the huge mansion. She was right, this was the first time that he had ever gone to a party before, and it was absolutely nerve racking. He wanted to do it, though, and without saying another word opened the door.

Chapter Text

The party was, in a way, the way that Gumball thought it would be like. Loud music, crowded areas, People doing questionable things on the couches. He really did think that people would be sensible enough to not reach the stereotype. Apparently he was wrong.

Fionna didn’t hesitate to seperate herself from both Cake and Gumball. She was there, and then gone in an instant.

“Well, it’s going to suck to try and find her again. Do you want something to drink?” Cake asked.

“Anything not spiked or alcoholic.” Gumball grumbled.

Cake laughed, “Very well, I’ll help you scope out the scene, and then I want to be social with people before they get wasted.”Cake grabbed Gumball’s hand, pulling him through the crowded first floor of the house. She appeared to know her way around, and quickly got into the kitchen, where on the counter there was quite a few cardboard box with beer labels on them. Of course. Cake let go of Gumball’s hand, and went to the fridge, completely ignoring all of the liquid poison. She opened it, and leaned down to see contents.

“Hmm… There is milk, obviously water. Oh! An unopened thing of apple juice!” Cake pulled out what she promised. She dug in the cabinets and got out two cups and started pouring out the apple juice. She handed one to Gumball, of which he took a sip.

“I’m only going to be drinking kiddie drinks all night, huh?” Gumball took another sip.

Cake was in the middle of drinking her golden liquid when she quickly stopped, the sign that she had something to say. “That reminds me.”

“Drinking apple juice reminds you of something?” Gumball raised an eyebrow.

“Not about the apple juice, but drinking specifically. There are a couple rules that I always have to follow if I ever go to a party, and they’re pretty damn huge.” Cake held up a finger, “First, never take a drink that you don’t know where it came from. Normal drinks could be spiked with alcohol, or even narcotics. I almost made the mistake of doing that, and I kid you not that drink has a rape drug in it. Fionna actually beat that guy up after she found out that he tried to drug me. Basically, this one applies to both whether you plan on drinking or not.”

“Okay.” Was Gumball’s only response.

Cake nodded, and continued, holding up another finger. “Second, and this one builds off the first rule. When you get a drink, always see or be the one breaking the seal of the bottle, can, whatevs. Anything that is left alone could be spiked, and never, ever, drink punch just left out. Even if it’s in the punch bowl. It doesn’t even matter if you were the one to bring it.”

Gumball nodded.

Cake held up another finger. “Never leave your drink alone. Even if it was for, like, fifteen seconds, don’t do it. Consider it at that point dead to you.

“And finally, do not, and I mean DO NOT let anyone take you to another room while you are drunk. I don’t care if they were kind of good friends with you. NO.”

“Is that all?” Gumball asked.

“It’s what I can currently think of, but it’s probably the best advice I could ever give you. You will live a long life with my wisdom.” Cake said. She clapped a hand on Gumball’s shoulders. “Just… Don’t get yourself in trouble, okay? I really don’t want you to be mentally scarred at your first party. Promise?”

“Promise.”

“Okay.” Cake downed the rest of her apple juice, slamming the cup onto the counter. By how hard it hit, she was lucky that it wasn’t glass. “Alright, I’m going to wander around. You’re welcome to tag along, and you’re welcome to stay. Doesn’t matter.”

Gumball thought for a moment. “I think I’ll stay, if you don’t mind. I want keep on my salvation.” He said, nodding towards the plastic jug of apple juice.

“Alright, buddy. Have fun. Don’t be afraid to socialize either. You are at a party.” With that note, Cake walked through the door they entered through to get to the kitchen, and left Gumball alone. He got another glass of juice, and drank it without saying a word. He listened to the loud music, muted by the walls, and wondered how LSP wasn’t charged for it being this loud.

Gumball thought of the words that Cake had just said to him. He found it almost repetitive, but they were wise indeed. He was glad that he was being taken care of by her. She was almost literally like a mother to him, and any of their other friends. Gumball took another sip, remembering the events that had happened in the car. It was so obvious that Cake knew about his… feelings… about the famous king of the school. He should probably admit it to her, getting the “I know” comment before moving onto another topic. He actually prefers that fact that Cake is completely aware of it, instead of it being a complete shock.

Fionna, on the other hand, is going to be a completely different story. He knew that she also has a crush on Marshall. He has memories of her lashing out when something hits too hard, and the emotional impact is devastating, to her and all of those involved. He, in those moments, had a perfect understanding of how awful mood swings in the red week, the most awful of times most people, could actually be. It also did not help that the only times something horrible comes around, Fionna’s in her week. Really, really, sucks.

Gumball had realized what he had just been thinking of, and did so with horror. Why would he think of that ? It was such an absurd topic. Gumball pulled his mind away from that train, moving on to other topics that suited his taste, like that one recipe that he found on the internet that he’s ying to try, of that one song that he needs to practice sooner rather than later.

After a while, Gumball checked the time, and noticed that he had been sitting with his thoughts for an hour. He deemed it long enough, and decided that he would follow Cake’s advice and socialize. He now wondered why there was literally no one really coming into the kitchen for any reason at all. Gumball checked the beer boxes that were on the counter, and, as he expected, they were empty. No aluminum or glass in any of them. Gumball now had doubt on whether he wanted to go outside of the room.

As it so happened, Gumball didn’t need to. People had now started walking into the kitchen. Gumball almost thought about hiding somewhere. As it turned out, one of the people that had entered the room was in fact Flame. He stomped his way into the room, followed by a group of guys, of which were mostly jocks. They were pushing, shoving, not exactly caring what was going on. They were sitting at a table that had been there for a while as gumball stared at them in shock. They were completely oblivious to his presence. That is, until Flame noticed him.

“Hey, Gumball! How ya doin’? Flame laughed as he stood up and walked over to Gumball.

“Good…” Gumball managed to mumble out before Flame bear-hugged him.

“That’s awesome, dude. Do you want to sit with us. You know, hang out?” Gumball looked over at the group. They were all looking at Flame, all smiling and laughing. Boy, were they loud. Gumball, however, did want to be social…

“I guess.” Gumball shrugged.

“Alright!” Flame wrapped his arm around Gumball’s shoulders, having him sit in a chair between Flame and some other jock. Gumball, wringing his hands in his lap, felt uncomfortable in the present situation. He didn’t try to start any conversations as the jocks were drinking, shouting, and pushing each other over.  He was considering to brave the main areas of the house when someone had finally brought him into the conversation.

“So, what school did you go to before AAA?” A jock with wavy brown curls asked. It took Gumball a second to realize that the teen was referring to him.

“It was a really small school that you probably don’t know about. It’s called Acacia.”

“Like after the tree?”

“Yep.” Gumball wished that the conversation would send him away from being in the light, and he was begging for that to actually happen.

“So, Gumball.” It was Flame talking, now. “Are you exactly interested in anyone?”

“By what context?” Gumball realized, in an instant, that he just gave the worst possible answer to his question.

“Well, is there anyone that you want to fuck?”

‘Yep. worst mistake ever.’ Gumball had felt his face go hot, and he could tell that it was visible because Flame’s buddies were now laughing louder than they were, which Gumball thought was impossible.

“N-no, n-not at all.”

“Liar!” A random jock shouted out.

“I agree.” Flame leaned in closer. “So, who is it?”

Gumball regained his composure. “No one. I told you, I’m not interested in anyone.

‘He can’t know, he can’t know, he can’t know, he can’t know.’ Gumball was realizing that he was freaking out, and there was literally nothing that he could do about it but not make the situation tip away from his favor.

“Oh, come on. I know that look. Some girl has caught your eye. Is it Fionna?” Flame’s friends were hollering, being almost childish in Gumball’s opinion.

“No, it’s not her.”

“Than who? Not Cake, for sure. I mean, unless you wanted to get your heart broken by the knowledge that she already has a boyfriend. Unless, it’s someone else entirely.”

Gumball shook his head. “It’s not anyone. Why can’t you accept that?”

“Because at this, I have a pretty good idea that you have gaga eyes for someone, and I want to figure out who the chick is.”

‘Chick? Hardly.’

“Yo, Gumball.” A slurred feminine voice sounded from behind him. He turned to see Fionna, swaying ever so slightly.

“Oh my glob, Fionna. Are you okay?”

“I’m fine.” Fionna, in finishing her statement, collapsed forward, right into not Gumball, but Flame.

“Damn. She’s out.” Flame had his arms around her, making sure she didn’t fall onto the floor.

Gumball looked at the jocks, “Do any of you guys happen to know where Cake is?”

“Is she Fi’s DD?” Flame asked.

“What?”

“Designated driver.”

“Oh. Yes, she is.”

Flame nodded, “I think I saw her near the front of the house. Here, help me move her so I can try and pick her up.”

Gumball did so, and Flame now had Fionna in his arms, carrying her bridal style. Her arm swung back and forth. Gumball looked at her face, noting that she was completely out of it. Flame said that he would be back in a little bit before he asked Gumball to open that door to the party outside the door.

Gumball felt that he was justified in fearing the immediate world outside the kitchen. The place was a mess. Cups were strewn about everywhere, people were stumbling around, and doing rather graphic things on any surface that Gumball bothered to note. He only hoped that they were using protection.

It took Flame and Gumball about ten minutes to find Cake. She was near the front of the house, talking to people who weren’t entirely drunk. When she saw Flame with Fionna, she stood up abruptly, and without apparently saying goodbye, rushed over to the trio.

“What happened?” Cake asked.

“Probably had too many drinks. She walked into the kitchen and just collapsed. She’s out like a light.” Flame said.

Cake sighed. “Can you carry her to my car? I need to take her home. I’m ready to go, anyway.” Flame nodded, and she started walking towards the door. She didn’t really wait for Flame and Gumball to follow, but it wasn’t like they were going to stay.

Flame had been able to successfully get Fionna to Cake’s yellow bug, setting her in the back seat. Cake thanked him, saying that she and Fionna both owed him one. He told her that they didn’t, and walked off, heading to the party.

The rest of the day was pretty simple. Cake had dropped Gumball before leaving to head to her own home.

Gumball, when he was inside his house. Managed to collapse on his bed in five minutes flat.

‘At least Flame thinks that I’m interested in a girl.’ Was all he could think before he was in the embrace of sleep.

Chapter Text

Gumball was angry… no, livid about what he had just done. How on Earth could he’ve been this stupid? If there was a chart of how stupid decisions were and everything single stupid decision on it, Gumball was certain that what he had just done would be at the top of the charts.

What had he done that was so , utterly, horrifically stupid?

He woke up late.

Gumball was running as fast as he could, which was admittedly very fast. Considering, especially, that he had a backpack and violin that day. Regardless of that, he was furious with himself for not waking up on time. He had woken up only five minutes ago, and he had less than five now to get to school on time. It was officially the first time that he could be late for school. In all of the years that he has been at school he hadn’t missed a single day. He was getting stitches in his side, but was determined to get to school on time.

His backpack, although not that heavy, was bouncing around and felt like lead weights on his shoulders. His violin at his side, he was trying to desperately to prevent the case from banging into his leg, for his and the instrument’s sake.

Gumball was not ready to start running at this pace. Granted he ran fast, but he felt stronger in short distance sprints, and was not the fastest when it came to long distance. Running this fast for this long surely would have Hell to pay at the end of it all.

He barely took anytime to get ready this morning, his hair wasn’t styled properly, his clothes in disarray. Hell, he didn’t even have breakfast.

With some luck, he was now running along the side of the school when he had heard the bell ring. He just hoped that it was the first bell.

He felt so screwed.

Gumball practically ripped open the school doors, and found what he was expecting. An empty hallway, with the last students walking into their classes. It would take him two minutes tops to get to his classroom if he ran. The thing was, there were teachers that didn’t have homerooms keeping tabs on the halls. He would get a detention, surely, if he did that. That would mean that he would want to walk.

If his legs weren’t jelly already.

During this whole thought process, he was leaning over on his knees, and taking huge breaths of air. He felt like he could die right then and there. His chest was burning, the stitches were agony, and they would slow him down for sure.

Gumball managed to start shuffling down the hallway, and it was now likely that it would take him ten minutes at least to get to his class.

Detention was inevitable.

Gumball lost hope, and therefore took the time that he needed to go. He never rushed, as he had apparently accepted his fate. He was walking normally when he had bumped into someone that he really didn’t want to see right now.

Ricardio.

Ricardio was walking down the hall, and immediately caught eye with Gumball. A smirk played across his face, as he walked now with more purpose towards the pink boy.

“Late now, are we?” Ricardio asked.

Gumball sighed, “Sadly, yes.”

“Shame. Perfect attendance gone to waste. You were one of the few students to actually hold their streak for this far into the year. Quite impressive, I must say.” Ricardio now stood in front of Gumball, hands casually in the pockets of his slacks.

“Don’t remind me.” Gumball said, “Can I start heading to my Homeroom now? I’m getting anxious, and I need to make sure that I have everything that I needed for today.” Gumball rubbed his arm, a sign that clearly showed his anxiousness to the math teacher.

“Here, how about I take you to your class, and I’ll tell your teacher that you and I were having an educational discussion that went overtime?” Ricardio offered, making Gumball incredibly confused.

“I’m sorry, but what?”

Ricardio chuckled. “I’m offering to take you to your class, giving you an alibi.”

“But… why?”

“Why? Well, to put it simply, you are one if not my favorite student. With that in mind, I feel that I should be a nice individual.”

Gumball thought about this for a moment. “That still makes no sense at all.”

Ricardio put a hand on Gumball’s shoulder. “It doesn’t have to. Now, let’s not make you any later than you already are.”

The two of them walked down the hall, not really having a lot of conversation on the way. Gumball looked straight ahead, his mind in a whirlwind of thought. He was still thoroughly confused as to why Ricardio was being so pleasant, and was especially why he was over a matter like this. He wasn’t really a teacher to take things lie tis very lightly, and it made the whole ordeal all the more confusing, and frankly awkward.

Ricardio gave a smile that was meant to be warming, but in the current situation it just looked… off to Gumball. There was no other way to describe. It didn’t look forced. Infact, it was one of the most smiles that Gumball has probably ever seen in his whole life. There was a small difference, though, in the way that that Ricardio held himself that threw Gumball even more off his groove than he already was.

Gumball sighed. He just wanted this over, and even made a few attempts to speed up how fast the two of the were walking.

A minute or two later, they had turned the corner to their final destination. Gumball felt that he could kiss the floor he was so grateful that this torture was over. Gumball shyly began to move his way behind Ricardio in hopes of not seeing the people in the classroom that he would have to walk into.

Ricardio was the one to open the door. He didn’t give any warning to the pink-headed boy, but that wasn’t going to make him feel any better, anyway. When it opened, the conversations of the students were no longer muffled, and were a lot louder than Gumball wanted. However, they did quiet some when Ricardio had walked in, Gumball following him.

Ricardio didn’t wait for any recognition of his presence and immediately spoke to Tree Trunks, saying, “Gumball was just with me. We were having a chat that ran over. He’s been here since before the bell had rung.”

Tree Trunks looked up at the math teacher, over at Gumball, back, and nodded.

“Please go take a seat, Gumball.”

Ricardio turned to Gumball, winked, and said, “See you in class, Bubba,” before leaving the classroom.

This was when Gumball noticed that a good portion of the class was now staring directly at him. He’s been noticing a lot more now that he is one of the very few students in the school that gets all of this attention. The only other people that have more than that are the really popular kids. If that wasn’t saying, Gumball didn’t know what would.

However, at the current moment, Gumbal wanted to hide away, and the best way he could do that was keep his head low and sit in the back of the class. He took a quick glance up to see that the King was here, with an eyebrow raised. Of all the people that Gumball wanted to see right now, Marshall was down in the list. Way, way down.

Gumball knew that there was no other seat in the class that would be worse, so he begged that Marshall would be a fairly nice individual right now, and that he would cut Gumball some slack.

Gumball plopped himself down in his seat, and attempting to get his mind off of the teen sitting next to him, proceeded to take out all of his supplies and lay them out on the desk, making sure that he didn’t miss anything when he was rushing this morning.

“Was there a reason that you happened to walk in late and behind one of the strangest teachers at this school today?” Marshall asked without much hesitation.

“Not one that I would want to share with you.” Gumball said harshly

“Well, someone woke up on the wrong side of the bed today. Or, from what I’ve seen, a bit late from the bed. When did the wittle pwince wake up from his elegant and fulfilling sleep?” Marshall burst out laughing.

Gumball didn’t say a word, and now put all of the items on his desk into his bag. He scowled at the teen next to him.

“Ooh, I’m so scared of the Candy Prince. Look at how he shall dish out his justice. Please sir, be kind to poor little old me in your punishment.” Marshall held his arms out in front of his face, trying to make shield with his arms. Gumball saw that Marshall was on the brink of bursting out laughing the whole time. His smile was spreading ear to ear, and the thing that made Gumball so pissed at himself was the fact that he felt butterflies at seeing that smile.

His mind was going against him, and he was getting angry.

Regardless of that, he composed himself in a manner that he deemed respectful. He was going to hold himself in a way to apear to Marshall as though none of this was affecting him in any way.

In a calmer voice, Gumball merely said, “Sometimes I wish I had the power to do that.”

“Ah! You have wounded me with your harsh words! I fear I may not survive the day!” Marshall held his hands over his heart and pretended to faint.

Gumball only groaned.

“Hey!” Someone said off to the side of Gumball. He looked over and he saw someone that immediately made him angry. It was the jock. He had stood up, and was now walking over to where Gumball sat, and maintained eye contact with him the whole time. He leaned over the desk, getting up in Gumball’s face.

“So, I see that the fag has gotten himself a new boyfriend. Such a shame that he’s a million years older than you.” The jock said.

“I’m sorry, but excuse me?” Gumball was really confused as to what he was talking about.

“The math teacher, you fucking idiot. You are late, and you walk in fifteen minutes after the bell rings. That seems like enough time for a blowjob in my opinion.”

Gumball was enraged, he wanted to lash out, but he couldn’t. He only sat there, his mouth open, making a noise similar to croaking.

“Leave him alone, will ya?” Marshall but in.

“Sorry, vamp, but you’re not adding your own opinion to this. Whatcha gonna do about this anyway, go to the fucking teachers? They won’t care at all. I mean,” the jock said gesturing to me, “unless you go to his boyfriend for help.”

That apparently has really ticked Marshall off, and he shot up in his chair, and now he was in the jock’s face. “Listen here,” he said, “I’m gonna make this clear. Leave the nerd alone, or would you rather that I meet you in the parking lot after school? Pick your choice, but I’m pretty damn sure that you know how well that ended for the others I’ve had a problem with. You got it?”

That was enough to scare away the jock. Although he tried to not show it, his eyes widened as soon as Marshall mentioned fighting before he glared at Gumball and said, “Don’t expect your knight to be around forever.” Before he had left.

That made Gumball curious as to what Marshall has done in the past that has given him his title. He wasn’t the bad boy type in where he hooks up with whoever girl throw themselves at him. That only left the fact that he would be the one that got in a lot of fights. If Gumball thought about it, he would remember that Marshall would sometimes come to school with roughed up knuckles, and sometimes a scratch or two. It made a lot of sense.

“I swear, if that guy even toes the line, I will beat him to a pulp.” Marshall looked at Gumball, “You good? I mean, that is some really fucking creepy and shitty things that he said.

Gumball found his voice. “Yeah. Yeah, I’m good.”

“Fantastic.”

The bell had now rung, and Marshall quickly stood up, but he had waited for Gumball to be ready to go. On their way out, he saw that the jock was talking quietly to his friends, not taking his eyes off of Gumball. It had frightened Gumball. A lot.

Marshall nudged Gumball with his elbow. “Don’t worry about it, alright? Just tell your friends or something about him. Or, if he ever does something like he did the first time, I‘ll be happy to knock his teeth in for you.

“You’re talking to me like I’m a damsel in distress.” Gumball muttered.

Marshall thought about it for a second, then said, “Yeah, I guess I am.”

Chapter Text

As if the world could be any more against him today, now was the time that it was. Gumball, after his horribly embarrassing showing up late to his room, He really just wanted to stay out of the spotlight.

And he succeeded.

Mostly.

No one really cared if the nerd was late for class or anything. No, that wasn’t the issue. It was the whole issue with Marshall. Yes, that stupid idiot. He stood up for Gumball again. About basically the same issue.

Gossip has been spreading. Someof it favoable, some of it not. The favorable, in all honesty, really wasn’t that favorable. It was now a rumor that Gumball and Marshall were getting down and dirty in the sheets, and that was why Marshall was so pissed about Gumball giving or receiving a blowjob from the math teacher. The other rumor was that Gumball was doing the horizontal hokey-pokey with Ricardio, which was far worse in Gumball’s opinion.

It didn’t take long for it to spread. At the very least, it had reached his friends by lunch. They had heard the first one, luckily.

“So,” Cake said when Gumball sat down for lunch, “I see that you are getting lucky with the vampire.”

“No, I’m not.” Gumball said a little too harshly.

“Don’t worry, darling, I gotcha covered.” Cake winked, and Gumball groaned.

“Whydo you think I would keep something like that secret from you? Why would I keep it secret from MC? Fionna? I would tell you on the spot.”

“Well… is it a secret?” Cake asked, eyebrow raised.

Gumball threw his arms up in the air. “No! Nothing happened!”

“Whatever you say sugar, but let me just say, “Cake leaned in to whisper, “I know that you’ve been after Marshall since day one. The music room was literally all I had to see that would prove that.”

That memory instantly came back to Gumball, and he now wished that it could be erased from history forever.

“I know that I’m not wrong, sweetheart. Just tell him.” Cake said, still whispering.

“What are you guys talking about?” Fionna asked.

“Oh, just that we boththink that you have the hots for little redhead over there.” Cake said, pointing to Flame.

“What?! Why would think that?” Fionna said, but in a lot of way she was clearly lying. Her cheeks instantly became red, and she began sputtering out a weak defense.

Cake looked over at Gumball, and gave a look that looked like it said, ‘See what I mean?’ Gumball realized that he would need to get a lot better at lying in the future.

“Anyway, what actually did happen with Marshall? I want to make sure the rumor went hazy before it went crazy.” Cake asked.

Gumball shrugged. “Nothing much, really. Some kid came up and called me-“

“Dumb-fuck?”

“Bitch.”

“No.” Gumball sighed, “He called me a fag.”

Cake and FIonna looked like the pins on their grenades were just pulled. They looked like they were ready to kill someone, and if they weren’t calmed down, they probably will.

Cake slammed her hand down on the table. “What does this fucker look like? Fi and I will put our own input in on his actions right now.”

Gumball sighed. “He’s already been threatened today. I don’t think that it will matter.”

“Oh, yeah! What did Marshall say?” Cake leaned forward excitedly.

“Basically? Meet me in the parking lot if don’t leave the nerd alone.” Gumball said blandly.

“Yeah, that’ll do it.” Fionna nodded.

“What do you mean that’ll do it?”

“Over the years, Marshall has gotten into quite a few fights. He never tells anyone why he does, but he does. A few times, he’s beaten some people up to the point of being almost unconscious. It’s absolutely crazy that they never filed something to the police. He’s now kind of terrifying to anyone who wants to start a fight.” Cake said.

“That’s… yeah. That’s terrifying.”

“You guys talking about me?” Marshall said as he plopped down next to Gumball, who squeaked. Marshall laughed at this, of course, and Gumball returned that with a glare.

“What are you doing here?” Gumball asked.

“Just checking up on my friend. Now why would that be a bad thing?” Marshall asked, slinging an arm around Gumball’s shoulder. Gumball froze up at the touch, and he had to be quick not to widen his eyes. He wouldn’t be able to live that down.

Marshall laughed, but then he got quiet, and only talked loud enough for Gumball to hear, “You do realize that jock over there has been staring at you all of lunch? I figured that I would give him an indirect threat by hanging out with his target.”

Gumball swallowed. “Target?”

Marshall started getting louder again. “Yeah! There’s this thing at target that people have been going crazy about! I kind of want to get it, but I think I will be trampled by someone on the way to get it. Maybe you should come with me afterschool to be my backup, huh?” Marshall winked at Gumball.’

‘What is he trying to do?’

“Um… Sure. Why not? How about we meet up after Music Club?” Gumball said cheerfully.

Marshall made a pouty face. “Ah, boo. Why can’t we hang out during Club? It wouldn’t hurt.”

Gumball sighed. “If you want to we can.”

“Sweet! Hey, Cake.” Marshall said, directing his attention to her. She was apparently lost in thought, was brought out of it b surprise.

“Whatcha want?” Cake asked.

“Well, how are you and MC doing? You’re kind of the power couple of the school. Two popular kids always being shown in the light as people either want to be them or be with them.”

“We’re great! I’ve never been happier than I have been since we got together. I wish I met him earlier, because my life would’ve been that much better.” Cake said excitedly. She loves to talk about MC, and it makes Gumball so happy to know that two of his friends are happy with the way that their life has become.

“Well, that’s awesome. Have you heard about the new indie movie that that that company down the street created?” Marshall grinned widely

“No! I didn’t even know that there was an indie movie company nearby! I’ll look into it. Do you think that it’s any good?” Cake asked excitedly

“I think so. It is has a really good concept.” Marshall began to get into a deep conversation with Cake on the idea of indie movies. Gumball was definitely intrigued by the ideas that they were talking about. Gumball made a note to maybe look into a couple movies when he gets the chance.

“I think that their terrifying.” Cake said, who shivered a little at the statement.

“I know, right? The sky s the limit for what they can put into their films. I swear, I would’ve been scarred for life if I had discovered the horror genre anytime before I actually did.” Marshall said.

“Same.” Cake stopped for a second. “Why are you sitting here?” She asked.

“You know that group that I normally sit with?”

“The alcoholics? Yeah I know ‘em.” Cake crossed her arms and leaned back.

“Well, they think that the thing that I did was… out of line? Whenever something like this happens, it’s almost like getting yelled at by parents. I didn’t want to deal with it, so I decided to go somewhere that I wouldn’t be judged.” Marshall shrugged. “You don’t mind, do ya?”

“Not really, no.” Cake looked over at Gumball, and noticed that Marshall arm was still around his shoulder. She smiled. “Hey, Sugar, if you want to hang out with more, don’t hesitate to sit with us, a’ight?”

“I’ll think I’ll take you up on that offer.” Marshall said, smiling. The bell rung, signaling the end of lunch.

“I’ll see you around, yeah?” Marshall asked.

“Why not? See ya, Sugar.” Cake said before she stood up and left with MC, Fionna following her. Gumball wondered why she didn’t talk more at lunch.

“You know, if I didn’t know any better, I’d think you have the hots for me.” Marshall said.

Gumball turned to Marshall and his eyes widened. Marshall was close. Really close. Gumball felt his face heat up, and when Marshall noticed it, he smirked.

“Wh… What are you talking about?” Gumball managed to stutter out.

‘Way to go, Captain Obvious. If that wasn’t a glaring sign, I don’t what would be.’

Marshall chuckled, shaking his head. “You are a really, really bad liar.” Marshall took his arm off Gumball’s shoulder, and stretched, having his arms reach towards the ceiling. “We better head to math. You won’t get away with being late this time.”

“Shut up.” Gumball said.

Marshall laughed, and both of them stood up. On the way to math class, Marshall walked a lot closer to Gumball than he normally did. Gumball wondered what Marshall was really thinking about this. Was Gumball a lot like every other person that has a crush on Marshall, or was this different? It didn’t seem like he hung out with really anyone else that was trying to get togetherwith him. Unless…

‘No. That’s not what’s happening. He just thinks I’m a friend, that’s all. Don’t get your hopes up…’

Gumball sighed, and he followed Marshall to their next class.

For the rest of school, Gumball had to deal with Marshall. He decided to flaunt his knowledge of Gumball’s little secret. He sat a little too closely in math class. In music he kept on staring for too long. Gumball realized that today in Music Club is going to be torture. Interesting, but torture.

In Music Club, Marshall had just so decided that he wanted to practice in the most secluded corner of the library. No one really bothers to look for people in the club, so no one would bother them if anything happened. Granted, as long as here wasn’t loud in what they were doing. At every possible moment, Marshall made everything that he could dirty and sexual. He would literally blurt out anything that he could think of, and it was pretty damn obvious what he mean.

For example, when Gumball was practicing a song, he got somewhat lost with it, closing his eyes. Depending on the song, Gumball will begin to sway and dance with the music. This time, it even went as far as his breath was going with the rhythm. When he finished, he opened his eyes and noticed that Marshall was on his stomach, his head in his hands, and his legs swinging up and down from the floor.

“Are you that sexy when you make love? I must say, that whoever you hook up with will probably have the night of their life.” Gumball tried to ignore this, but his face had already heated up.

Gumball just wished that he could bring his electric violin so he could surround himself with music. That would not be the case.

“Why did I agree to hang out with you?” Gumball muttered to himself.

“Because you want to get me under the sheets.” Marshall said.

“OH MY GOD!” Gumball said. It startled Marshall. He calmed down a bit. “Will you stop!?” Gumball turned to Marshall. “I have done nothing that makes me deserve whatever you’re freaking doing right now, and I’ve had enough! I have never seen you act this way the entire time that I’ve known you. You are driving me out of my mind right now. What are you trying to achieve by doing this? Do you think that I’m going to fucking fall for you because all of a sudden you have made all these stupid advances? It’s immature, cruel, and I wish that I didn’t like you!” Gumball realized what he had said, and clasped a hand over his mouth.

The best way to describe what he did after that was somewhere between a squeal and scream. He had to put both hands over his mouth to quiet himself down enough that no one would hear him.

“Hey, hey, hey.” Marshall said quickly. Gumball looked up and glared at him before turning away. “Look,” Marshall said calmly, “I… fuck. I didn’t know you, like, actually had a crush on me. I just thought it would be funny to joke around as to why you never bothered to shrug my arm off your shoulder or something. I mean, I noticed something, but god damn, I didn’t know it was an actual thing.” Marshall paused. Will you look at me?”

Gumball wanted to run. He felt so embarrassed, so angry. He wanted to slap Marshall. He wanted to so badly. It was incredibly tempting.

At the same time, he wanted to kiss him. His mind was clouded, his hormones were basically raging at this point.

Before he could decide, Marshall had placed a hand on his shoulder, and Gumball initial response was to fling his arm around and attempt to backhand him.

Marshall caught his hand by the wrist. Gumball was now facing Marshall, and again took note of how close they were. If he just leaned in…

Marshall, still holdingonto Gumball’s wrist,used his other arm to wrap around Gumball’s waist, pulling them even closer together. Gumball gasped, and unconsciously placed a hand on Marshall’s chest. His mind was going crazy. He couldn’t think, couldn’t focus, and was tempted to do so many things that he couldn’t file which were good or bad.

Marshall slowly let go of Gumball’s wrist, which didn’t go out and smack him. It too rested on Marshall’s chest, letting Marshall wrap another arm around Gumball’s waist.

“I guess… now that I know about your… feelings, how about instead of hanging out like friends, let’s, um… go on a date or something after this?” Marshall said softly.

Gumball didn’t say anything, he only stared into Marshall’s eyes.

After some time where neither of them talked, Marshall began to lean in. Gumball didn’t think anything of it, and leaned in, too. They were both hesitant. Backing away some before leaning in a little further than they already had.

Their lips connected. It was a soft, simple kiss. Still, it lasted for a long time.

Now, here was where the pink teen would be having problems. Thing was, he has never kissed anyone other than family. Ever. He never played truth or dare with his friends. Because of this, he had no idea what to do. However, he did his best. Which was apparently, really good, as Marshall had pulled him closer as they had another kiss, more passionate than the last.

Gumball forgot everything that was around him. He only felt sensations in his lips, which felt they were burning, and a sort of twisting in stomach that felt like his stomach was doing a flip and his butterflies were having a rave. He felt incredibly hot, like he was standing somewhere that was ridiculously humid and 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

Marshall pulled away, and he rested his head on Gumball’s shoulder.

“Wanna head out?” Marshall asked.

“Won’t someone notice?” Gumball managed to breath out.

“Mmm… I don’t think so. Let’s go somewhere.”

“Well, where would we go?”

“I have an idea.”

Chapter Text

What had just happened between him and Gumball has been replaying in Marshall’s head over and over. He didn’t even think that he would do that, but at the same time, he was done with trying to ignore the fact that Gumball’s crush stuck out like a sore thumb, and his acknowledgement of his own feelings for the nerd would be left unnoticed. He wanted to tell Gumball sooner rather than later, but this was about as close as he would be able to get to confessing. Hopefully.

He and Gumball packed up their stuff, and constantly kept glancing at each other. Marshall had a feeling that they both had the same idea in their mind. It was clear that both of them had feelings for one another, and he was confident that this would lead to one of Marshall’s best relationships so far. Again, hopefully.

They were out of the back door of the library about five minutes before the club ended, so it really wasn’t any loss of time to leave early.

“Here’s what I think we should do.” Marshall said. He looked over at Gumball, and smiled, “How about we get this stuff dropped off, “Raising his guitar as an example, “And then get something to eat, yeah?”

Gumball nodded, “That sounds like a good idea. Should we go to your house or mine first?”

“Where do you live?” Marshall asked.

“About a ten minute walk from the school.”

“Alright, then. We’ll go to yours first.”

‘He lives that close? That’s honestly ridiculous. Not to mention that the houses in this neighborhood are not cheap. At all.’ Marshall thought.

Marshall lead Gumball to the parking, to the far back corner, where he had his car. It was one of those old surfer trucks, that he was able to find in pretty good condition when he bought it. He loved that thing so much. There was a lot of space in the back for his stuff, and he wouldn’t ask for anything else.

Marshall opened the back, and set his guitar and backpack down. He turned and offered his hands out so he could get Gumball’s stuff in the back, too.

“I’ll do it myself, if that’s alright.” Gumball said shyly.

Marshall held his hands up in defense, “Whatever you say, Candy Prince.” Marshall stepped to the side and let the nerd put his violin and backpack down in the car, too.

Once all of their stuff was in the car. They each got in on their respective sides.

Marshall never really kept anything clean, so it was no surprise that his car had food wrappers and trash in it. For once, though, Marshall felt very embarrassed about the garbage.

“I assume that you don’t have a lot of people in your car.” Gumball said, moving aside a McDonald’s wrapper on the floor with his feet.

“How’d ya guess?” Marshall looked over, smirking.

“Oh, you know, the fact that it looks like you live in your car.” Gumball smiled.

Marshall scoffed, “Rude.” When they pulled out of the parking lot, Marshall asked, “So, which way is your house?”

“Oh! It’s… uh. Left. Go left.” Marshall followed the directions.

Gumball continued to give directions, never quite giving street names, and when they turned onto Gumball’s street, he just asked Marshall to stop in front of one of the houses. Marshall turned off the car.

“Is the trunk open?” Gumball asked as he opened the car door.

Marshall pulled a lever, unlocking the trunk. “Now it is.”

Gumball looked over and smiled. “Thanks.”

Gumball climbed out of the car and fished his stuff out the back. He ran inside, not even saying a word to Marshall. He stared at the house, marvelling at how big it was.After how long he knew the nerd, he didn’t think about the fact that maybe he was wealthy. It might actually explain the electric violin that he has. Those things aren’t cheap.

Marshall sighed and closed his eyes. The only that came to mind was how Gumball’s lips felt. Marshall then smiled when he remembered when he was in the music room with Gumball, and how he thought about what Gumball’s lips tasted like. He got the answer. Gumball, well, he tasted better than anyone he’s ever kissed, and that was a lot. Admittedly, a lot of those were at parties with spin the bottle, so it makes sense that most, if not all of his kisses tasted like beer and alcohol.

But this one was meaningful. Incredibly so. Still, it was weird to think about how it actually started Gumball was all over the place. He has the weirdest temper. He gets angry really quickly, and as soon as you can get him off of the topic that pissed him off, her forgets completely.

‘I wouldn’t be surprised if he didn’t have any grudges.’ Marshall thought.

Marshall glanced at the house, and saw that Gumball hadn’t made it outside yet. He sighed, and turned on the radio. There was a lot of emotions, and frankly, a lot of hormones going through his system.

‘Wait, was I his first kiss?’ Marshall now was genuinely curious. To be honest, the nerd was a bit of a square. He wasn’t very adventurous, and it didn’t look like his mind was controlled by hormones. He just was… a nerd. A very, very stereotypical nerd.

Gumball walked out of his house, and Marshall noticed that Gumball had changed clothes. He was messing with the hem of his shirt, but otherwise looked completely composed in his own skin. It wasn’t a bad look on him either. Marshall chuckled because he had realized Gumball probably changed to impress him.

Gumball opened the passenger door and climbed into the car. He looked over at Marshall and smiled.

“So,” he said, “Where are we going?”

Marshall thought for a second. “Um… We can go to McDonald’s?”

Gumball glared at me.

Marshall  laughed. “I’m kidding, I’m kidding. We’ll go to Burger King.”

Gumball’s glare never wavered. “No.”

Marshall raised his hands in defence. “Alright. Where would you like to go, your majesty?”

Gumball stared through the window, obviously in deep thought. He looked at Marshall with a blank stare, and shrugged. “I dunno.”

Marshall sighed. “That doesn’t help me. Is there anything that you want to eat?”

Again, Gumball stared on. He was clearly trying to come up with an answer. His facial expressions changed consistently, as though he were going through different foods. The way that he balanced all of his choices with careful consideration was adorable. Now that Marshall had accepted his feelings, he was thinking freely about how the pink nerd was making him feel.

Marshall wondered what Gumball wanted to eat. ‘Candy? No, not that. That would make him a cannibal. Hamburger? Italian? Honestly, I don’t care what he wants to eat. I want food, and as long as it’s edible it is good.’

“Um… I… don’t… know…” Gumball voice got quieter with every word he said.

‘Oh, my glob. He’s embarrassed because he’s indecisive!’ Marshall thought, marveling in the cuteness of the teen.

“Italian?” Marshall suggested.

Gumball shrugged, “Sure.”

Marshall smiled. He turned the car back on, pulling out of the driveway. “We still have to drop by my house.” Marshall paused. “Actually, I think I can just keep my stuff in the car. We’ll just get food.” Marshall spoke this as confidently as he could. He knew that his house was in a sketchy part of town, and it is likely that his mother was home. He didn’t want Gumball meeting his mother, which made perfect sense. She was probably drunk, and Marshall didn’t want to deal with her not even acknowledging his presence.

“Alright. It’s your stuff, so it doesn’t really matter. You'll take it home at some point or another.” Gumball said, looking out his window.

‘He doesn't find it odd?’ Marshall thought.

He didn't dwell on the idea, instead thinking of the restaurant that he and Gumball should go to.

He thought of it pretty quickly, and turned the street.

“So, where are we headed?”

Marshall shrugged. “You'll figure it out soon enough.”

Gumball gave him a questioning look.

“Hey, don't judge me. It's a surprise.” Marshall flashed a wolfish grin. Gumball looked down at the floor, a small smile on his lips.

“Where’d you come from?” Marshall asked, glancing at the pink teen.

“What?” Gumball looked at Marshall for a second, obviously torn out of his own world. “Uh, Portland.”

“Really, now? Didn't see you as a Oregonian.”

“Not what's that supposed to mean?”

“I dunno, just is what it is.”

“That doesn't make sense.”

Marshall reached over and ruffled Gumball’s hair. “Doesn't have to.”

“Careful! It takes a long time for me to be able to get my hair right.”

“It that so? Not what if I tell you that you’ve been wandering around with post make-out hair?” Marshall smirked. The pink teen’s eyes grew wide, and he basically ripped open the ____ to check his hair. Marshall couldn’t tell or not if Gumball emitted a high pitched squeak at seeing the condition of his hair.

“Shoot.” Gumball muttered, running his hands through his hair to try and make it look better. In Marshall’s opinion, Gumball couldn’t look any better. Granted, he always looked good, but hey. Small details.

Gumball sighed in frustration, admitting defeat with the fact that his hair just wasn’t going to get any better.

“Relax. Just because it’s makeout hair doesn’t mean that it looks awful.” Marshall said, smiling while keeping his eyes on the road. He could see Gumball look at him through his peripheral.

Marshall turned another street, and pulled over to the side to park. “We’re here,” he said.

Gumball looked through the window as he opened the car door. “What is this place?” Gumball asked. He looked at the bright green sign that reads Pasta Tony’s with the image of a stereotypical chef next to it happily eating spaghetti. Gumball squinted his eyes in confusion.

“This,” Marshall said, “Is my all-time favorite Italian joint. I have never found somewhere that rivaled this truly exquisite cuisine.” Marshall turned to Gumball, holding out his hand. “So, do you want to consume edible matter?”

Gumball looked at the hand, surprised with the odd statement, and laughed, taking Marshall’s hand. The raven-haired teen smiled widely, and led Gumball into the restaurant.

There was a waiter with olive skin and curly brown hair standing at the front, who looked up from his textbook and smiled. “Hey, Marshall! What’s up?”

Marshall let go of Gumball’s hand to give his closest friend Kyle a high-five and bro-hug. “Nothing much. How about you? Is the job treating you well?”

Kyle shrugged, “Pretty great, actually. Michael isn’t angry when I have my textbooks out. How’s school going?”

“God awful.”

Kyle nodded. “Damn straight.” Kyle looked over Marshall’s shoulder. “Who’s pinky?”

Marshall looked over at Gumball, who had a look of confusion on his face. Marshall reached over to grab Gumball’s hand, and pulled him forward.

Wrapping an arm around Gumball’s side, Marshall said, “This is my date.” Marshall looked over at Gumball, who was blushing furiously.

Kyle laughed, “Finally got the taste of the gay?”

“Sure.” Marshall smiled, seeing the Gumball was incredibly embarrassed.

“So,” Kyle said, picking up two menus, “Want to get a table?”

“Yep.”

“Alright! Follow me.” Kyle led the two teens through the restaurant, stopping at a booth near the kitchen. Marshall and Gumball sat down on opposite sides of the booth. Marshall looked at Gumball, giving a wide smile. Gumball reciprocated with a smaller, but still genuine smile.

“I will be your waiter for the night. May I ask what you would like to drink?”

“Root beer?” Marshall asked. Kyle nodded, and wrote it down on his notepad.

“I’ll just have some water.” Gumball said. Kyle nodded again, and wrote down Gumball’s request.

“Alrighty, then! I will be back in a bit with your drinks?” Kyle said before putting his notepad into his pocket and walking off.

After a few seconds, Gumball broke the silence, “So, how do you know the waiter?”

“Oh, Kyle? He and I are in a band together. He’s my best friend.” Marshall said.

“I didn’t know that you were in a band!” Gumball said with enthusiasm.

“Isn’t it obvious?”

Gumball shrugged, “I mean, I don’t know. I knew that you were really good at playing the guitar, but the idea of you being in a bang just, never occurred.”

“Huh. Alright, then. Speaking of music, how long have you been playing the violin?” Marshall leaned for, setting his hand on his fist.

“Um, I think about… four years? I would’ve done it at a younger age, but my dad isn’t all down with the arts, you know?”

“Really?” Marshall asked, intrigued.

“Yeah, I mean, he’s big on math and science, right? So, he was never huge on art, or film, or music, for that matter.” Gumball said, matter-of-factly.

“Seems rough.” Marshall said.

“Ehhh. Not really. I mean, he’s barely home, so it’s not a huge problem.” Gumball stopped, and looked passed Marshall. Marshall turned to see what the pink teen was looking at, and saw Kyle coming back with their drinks.

“Here are your drinks!” Kyle said, setting down their beverages. Kyle smiled, taking out his notepad. “So, are you guys ready to order?”

“Um… I think we need a couple minutes. I haven’t even looked at the menu.”

Kyle looked at him, not convinced. “You know that menu by heart, Marshall.”

“Shhhh, Gummy doesn’t need to know that.”

Kyle laughed. “Gummy? I didn’t know that you were into terms of endearment.” Kyle looked over at Gumball. “I don’t think I caught your name, date.”

Gumball looked down. “Bubba Gumball.”

Kyle blinked, “Well, I’ll be damned. You do have quite the name, Bubba.”

“I would prefer to be called Gumball, if you wouldn’t mind.” The pink teen said shyly.

“Sure, thing pal. Now, are you ready to order?” Kyle said, nodding to Gumball. He nodded, opening up the menu.

“Um… how about Fettuccine Primavera?” Gumball said, setting the menu down and closing it.

“Hmm… Looks like you two share tastes.” Kyle winked at Marshall and put his notepad in his pocket. “I will take these from you,  if you don’t mind.” Kyle reached over to get the menus, before walking off to the kitchen.

Marshall looked at Gumball, who was looking off into the distance. “Why is your dad gone most of the time?”

Snapped back to reality, Gumball stared blankly at Marshall as the question processed. “Oh.” He said, realizing what the raven asked. “He has to travel a lot for business, and he normally doesn’t take me along. Not that I mind having the house to myself, and I do see him, just probably not as much as I would’ve wished.” Gumball voice fell off, getting quieter as he spoke. He looked down, as though he was ashamed. He looked up, smiling oddly.  “What am I doing? I barely know you and I’m telling you all of this stuff as though we’re good friends.”

“A good friend would know this stuff about you. Besides, you haven’t exactly said anything that I can hold as dirt against you. I’m curious about what your whole deal is, and these are basic questions. If you want, I could ask questions I would ask a close friend.” Marshall said wiggling his eyes.

“Um… no. Sorry, but you have a very… perverted… mindset. I don’t trust you.”

“You are incredibly rude saying that you don’t trust me.” Marshall said, feigning hurt.

Gumball picked up his drink, and took a sip. “You’ll survive.” he said.

Marshall gasped. “How dare you! I am truly hurt.”

Gumball laughed, setting down his glass. “What did Kyle mean?”

“Huh?”

“Saying that we had similar tastes.”

“Well, let’s just say that every time I come here, which is a lot …  I order Fettuccine Primavera, too.”

Gumball sat there, with his mouth agape, and then burst out laughing.

“That… is… the cheesiest thing… that I have ever heard.” Gumball was holding his sides, leaning forward, his head lightly touching the table.

“Stop it. It’s not that funny.”

“Yes… it is.” Gumball was looking up, blinking back tears, and taking gasping breaths trying to calm himself down.

“What the hell!” Marshall said, smiling. “Why are you laughing at that ? I’ve made all kinds of jokes today, and you laugh at the fact we chose the same goddamn meal?” Marshall sighed. “I don’t understand you.”

Gumball made one last sigh, grinning broadly. “I don’t have the crude humor you have.”

“So, what does that mean? Do you think that I’m dirty?”

“Um…” Gumball said thoughtfully. “I wouldn’t say that. Your mouth definitely is.” Gumball said matter-of-factly.

“Well, you weren’t complaining an hour ago.”

Gumball stared at him in confusion. “What?”

“Dude, we fucking kissed.” Marshall said, wondering how completely out of it Gumball must be for forgetting something like that.

Gumball apparently thought the same thing, and flushed with embarrassment. Burrowing his face into his hands.  “Goddamnit, do you really have to pull something like that? I didn’t need that.”

“Consider it charity.” Marshall said, laughing.

Gumball glared at him, and sighed, looking down. Gumball looked up and asked, “What about your family? I mean, I’m curious.” Gumball leaned back, taking a sip of water.

‘Fuck.’ Marshall thought. ‘ Of all of the conversation topics Gumball could’ve brought up, why did he choose that one?’

“Um… Well, I live with my mother. Step-mother, actually. She’s incredibly kind, even though she isn’t… around… most of the time.” Marshall said, his eyes darting off to the side.

“Oh. Does she work a lot, too?”

‘She’s drunk half the time, and I don’t even know what she does as a job.’

“Yeah. Something like that.” Marshall looked at Gumball, and saw that the pink teen looked incredibly concerned.

“Marshall…” Gumball said, clearly trying to find words.

‘He knows that there is something wrong. Goddamnit, I didn’t want to talk about this in the first place!’

“Don’t worry about it!” Marshall says, pulling a smile. He felt his smile falter. “Really. It just is how it is.” Marshall hoped that would change the conversation.

Gumball looked a little defeated. He reached out and grabbed Marshall’s hand, squeezing it a little. “Hey, if you ever need something in the future, just let me know, alright? I know we aren’t really all that close right now, as we’ve known each other for only a few months, but as we hopefully get closer I hope that you would trust me enough to tell me what’s going on.” Gumball smiled, and began to let go of Marshall’s hand.

Marshall held Gumball’s hand firmly. This surprised Gumball. The pink-haired teen stared at their hands, and Marshall knew he was wondering what was going on. Gumball would never understand just how meaningful it was to Marshall that he didn’t press more questions onto him about Simone. Every single person that he has done that, Kyle included. And here was Gumball, who obviously saw that things weren’t right, saying that he would give Marshall time to tell him.

‘I think I fell for him even more with that one sentence.’

Marshall didn’t want to let go of Gumball’s hand, and he didn’t plan to, either.

“Here’s your food!” Kyle said enthusiastically, smiling. He noticed that the two teens were holding hands. “Well, what do we have here? Aren’t you two just adorable!” Kyle winked at Marshall, who felt embarrassed. He had completely forgotten that his best friend was their waiter. He was never going to hear the end of this.

“You’re not going to get any tip from me if you don’t shut up.” Marshall said.

Kyle scoffed. “Excuse me? Don’t you dare deprive me of my money! I need to eat you know, and something that isn’t Ramen for once! Those textbooks are starving me as much as they are giving me back problems from carrying them around.”

Gumball held a hand up to his mouth, trying to hold in his laughter, and failing miserably.

Kyle looked over to him. “Well, glad to know that you enjoy my suffering, Gummy .” Kyle smiled broadly. He nodded to the both of them. “Well, I’ll leave you two lovebirds alone.” Kyle walked off without saying another word.

“You have a very interesting choice of friends, Marshall.” Gumball said. He took a bite of his food, and his eyes lit up. “Oh my glob.” Gumball said, covering his mouth. “This is incredible .” Only incredible sounded more like “incrabbable.”

“Why do you think I get it?” Marshall said, taking a bite.

“Not going to lie, I thought this was going to be some weird subpar restaurant with okay food, but damn .”

“I told you, now didn’t I?” Marshall said, smiling.

That sat in silence for about five minutes straight, enjoying their meals. Occasionally, they glanced at each other and smiled. Each of them hod consumed a good amount of food before someone broke the silence.

“How’s the dessert like?” Gumball asked.

Marshall smiled “To die for.” Gumball smiled back, before taking a large bite of his food humming in satisfaction. “So.” Gumball looked up. “How’s school going?”

“Well, I’ve been doing well in my classes. I’ll need to study a little bit for the math test coming up, but I’m not worried about it.” Gumball said, taking a drink.

“You are the biggest nerd. I’m going to need you to tutor me at some point.” Marshall said.

“Really, now? Which class?” Gumball asked.

“Math.” Marshall said, banging the table lightly, staring straight into Gumball’s eyes.

Gumball laughed. “I don’t think you’re that bad at math.”

“I’m serious. I have a D, and I’m certain that it is barely high enough to pass.”

“Well, then.” Gumball said. “We’ll have to figure out a time to do that.”

“Please.” Marshall said.

“Alright.” Gumball said, already thinking about when a good time would be. “What are we getting for dessert?”

“Pie. Lemon Meringue. Best damn thing here.” Marshall said without complete confidence.

“Got it.”

The two teens moved on to a couple of different topics, most of them involving school, with Marshall saying at least one incredibly suggestive comment. Gumball made the notion of the fact, and accepted as just how Marshall was.

“You haven’t performed all that much in front of the club, have you?” Marshall said.

“What do you mean?”

“I mean you’ve performed once or twice to the club besides tryouts. Most people do something at least once a week. Why not you?” Marshall said, pointing a fork at the pink teen.

Gumball shrugged. “I did not know that it was supposed to be a competition.”

Not surprisingly, they got a slice of pie each a few minute later. Both pieces were consumed within a span of five minutes.

Marshall leaned back into his chair, rubbing his stomach. “I have to say, it is worth it every time that I go here. How was our food?” he asked.

Gumball hummed in satisfaction. “One of the  best things that I’ve eaten in a long time.”

“Agreed.” Marshall paused, “What do you want to do after this?” Marshall asked.

“What do you mean? I thought that it was just going to be a thing where we both just head  home after this?”

“Well… I don’t know. Don’t me wrong, I enjoyed this dinner. Because of  that, I kind  of, sort of don’t want to stop hanging out with you.” Marshall voice grew to a near whisper that was barely audible to Gumball.

“Aww,  someone’s a little clingy.” Gumball said.

“Shut  up.”

“I  mean, if you want to hang out more  after this, do you want me to come over to your house?”

Marshall paused, “No. Not exactly. What about your place?”

“Sure!” Gumball smiled.

“I’m assuming that you guys are wrapping up for thee night?” Kyle asked.

“Yup.” Marshall said with a  wide grin.

“Thought so. Here’s your bill.”  Kyle said, and walked off.

Marshall quickly picked  up the bill, and tried not to wince at the price. He kind of forgot that part of going out  to dinner. Before he could say anything, Gumball had taken the bill, and slipped his own credit card in without looking at the price.

Marshall stared at it blankly, “What?”

“I figured that I should pay.”

“No, no, you don’t need to worry about that,  I got it.” Marshall said, attempting to get the bill back. Gumball had other plans, and was raising it high above his head away from Marshall. Unfortunately, Kyle  came back just then, and took the bill. Marshall stared at it as Kyle walked off with it.

“You didn’t have to do that.” Marshall said.

“I know.” Gumball said,  smiling. “I figured you were going to pay, but your very clear disgust of the cost was pretty obvious.”

Marshall looked at Gumball,  and cursed under his breath. He should've paid, not Gumball.

“Alright! It looks like you two are ready to go! Have fun tonight!” Kyle said, winking at Marshall. Kyle clasped a hand on Marshall's shoulder and gave it a squeeze before walking off to whatever he needed to do.

The two teens sat there, one of them blushing, and the other extremely uncomfortable.

‘Maybe it wasn't a good idea to suggest lengthening tonight.’ Marshall thought.

“We should probably get going, huh?” Gumball suggested. His cheeks were close to a deep crimson, and it was very clear what he was  thinking.

“Yeah, we should.” Marshall said. They both got up and walked out of the restaurant to Marshall’s car.

“Do you want to just head to my house?” Gumball asked.

Marshall nodded as he smiled while looking over at Gumball, and he started the ignition.

 

Chapter Text

The car ride back was fairly silent. It was mostly filled with shy glances, and pitiful attempts to create conversation. For as easy as it was for the two of them to talk at dinner, they were both having problems finding a topic to work with.

Admittedly, Gumball knew why he couldn’t talk about anything. None of the things that he would be comfortable talking about are what he really wants to talk about.

‘What are we now?’ was the question that went through Gumball’s head over and over and over. The whole time during the dinner, he couldn’t help but question Marshall’s motives. Now, he knew that the word motive was far more sinister than how he should describe it, but it was hard for him not to. He and Marshall have been a mix of being at each other’s necks, and something that was a form of flirting. The way that Marshall basically flip-flopped between one or the other made it difficult to gauge how he would be like in a relationship. As far as Gumball is aware, Marshall has had only one actual relationship, which was with Ashley, and he doesn’t even know what Marshall was like with her.

At the end of the day, Gumball really did like Marshall, and he hoped to glob that Marshall really liked him, too. But now it is still a question of what is their relationship defined as? Are they actually together? Testing the boundaries? Or are they something completely different?

Gumball sighed as he looked at the attractive raven-haired teen sitting next to him. He looked away before he stared for too long, opting for his window. At times like this, he wished he could read minds.

“I… forgot the way to your house.” Marshall said.

Gumball snapped out of his thought and looked at his surroundings. They were actually really close to his house. “Left here.” Marshall made his car do just so. “And then my house is that one.”

“Huh.” Marshall said, pulling his car to the side of the road to park.

“I’m actually surprised. You really weren’t all that lost.” Gumball said, smiling.

“I am, too.” Marshall said. He turned off the ignition, and the two of the exited the car.

Gumball fished his house keys out of his pockets. He opened the door. “Pardon the mess,” He said, “I wasn’t expecting a guest.” He walked inside, casually kicking a strewn pillow that was on the floor for some reason. Looking behind him, he saw that Marshall was looking around, and taking in his surroundings.

“This is a lot better than my house, if it makes you feel any better.” Marshall said, closing the door.

“That seems a little concerning.” Gumball said,

“Eh. It’s just what it is.” Marshall said.

Not knowing what else to say, they awkwardly stood looking at each other blankly.

Gumball cleared his throat. “Do you want to sit down? Something to drink?”

“Oh! Sure!” Marshall said, walking immediately to the couch. He plopped down. “What do you have to drink?”

“I think we have water, milk, maybe a soda or two, and some apple juice, but I don’t know if you’d want that.”

“I would love some apple juice.” Marshall said.

“Why do you want apple juice of all things?”

“Because milk is gross, I already had soda, and water is just boring.”

Gumball paused, trying to understand the absurdity of what Marshall said, and gave up. “Alright.” He turned, heading for the kitchen.

“Thank you!”

Gumball open one of his kitchen cabinets, getting a glass for him and Marshall. When he was pouring it, he heard the front door open and shut with a bang. Gumball jumped, spilling some of the juice. He cursed under his breath as he tried to clean it up. When he figured out what was going on, the apple juice was forgotten. He entered the living room, and noticed that Marshall had disappeared. Gumball sighed, chalking up the fact the door slammed was because of that idiot. He walked back to the kitchen to get the drinks.

Marshall burst open the door, and slammed it a second time when Gumball was making his way back to the living room. Again, Gumball jumped, and the drinks sloshed around, threatening to spill.

“Jesus Christ, Marshall. Stop doing that!” He said.

Marshall looked over, confused, and then he smiled. “Oh! Sorry about that. I just got kinda… excited.”

Gumball looked down and saw what Marshall had in his hand. It was his guitar. “What are you doing with that?” He asked, moving his way to the couch.

“I wanted to practice!” Marshall said.

“You’re addicted to that thing, I swear.”

“It’s a passion, so why wouldn’t I be?”

Gumball sat down. “That seems a little rude for you to work on your own stuff.”

“Oh, no. I’m not working on my own stuff. You’re helping me!”

“What?”

“Get your violin and I’ll show you!” Marshall said excitedly. Gumball sighed, half dreading what was going to happen next.

He got up. “I’ll be right back.” The pink teen said, and wandered to his room. He picked up his violin, and stared at it. He was honestly confused as to what Marshall wants him for.

He made his back downstairs, and heard Marshall playing a few chords. It sounded like it wasn’t random. Marshall started to sing.

Let’s go in the garden
You’ll find something waiting
Right there where you left it
Lying upside down

When you finally find it
You’ll see how it’s faded
The other side is lighter
When you turn it around

Everything stays
Right where you left it
Everything stays
But it still changes

Ever so slightly
Daily and nightly
In little ways
When every thing stays

Gumball stared in the stairwell, mesmerized by Marshall’s voice. He had forgotten just how beautiful the other teen’s voice was, and now he wanted to hear it again. Gumball swallowed, and went the rest of the way down the stairs.

“What was that song?” Gumball asked. Marshall jumped, startled.

“You heard that?” Marshall looked behind him. “I thought you were still upstairs.”

“I was in the stairwell. That song’s very pretty.”

“Oh. Thank you.” He looked at his guitar. “It’s a song that my mother sang to me when I was younger. I would sometimes wake up with nightmares or I just couldn’t fall asleep, so she would sing it to me.” Gumball made his way to Marshall, sitting down next to him on the couch. “When I got older, I started learning guitar, and soon enough I tried to figure out the chords. It was a little difficult, but I was able to do it. I love it.”

“That’s really cool.” Gumball.

“Cool?”

“That fact that you can figure out what the chords are to that song ages after you first heard it. Especially since you didn’t know where it had come from. I think that it’s awesome that you were able to. I don’t think I could ever do that.”

“Are you complimenting me, your majesty?” Marshall asked.

“Shut up.”

“Awww, you’re so cute.”

Gumball sighed. “So, what did you want to even do?”

“I wanted to do this song to perform for Club, and I think that it would sound even better with your vocals and talent with your violin.”

“You want me to sing?” Gumball asked.

“Duh. You’re really good.”

Gumball blushed. “Oh. Thank you.”

“Don’t mention it. Anyway, ever heard of Something?”

“What do you mean by something?”

“You know, the song by The Beatles?”

“Yeah, I have. That songs seems kind of a little different from what you normally do.”

“You don’t know what I normally do.”

Gumball paused. “I guess that I don’t. What do you normally play.”

“Whatever I want, really. I have nothing in particular that I focus on.”

“Alright. But still. Why that song?”

Marshall thought about it. “I really don’t know. I just kind of like it. Don’t be rude.”

“Oh. Sorry. Hang on, let me see if I can find any sheet music to help us out.”

Marshall open his case and pulls out a folded thing of paper. “Here.”

Gumball blinked. “Okay?” He skimmed through the pages. Nodding as he went. It wasn’t incredibly hard, so it wouldn’t be too much of a problem to learn.

“Can you sight read?”

“For the most part. I can read it, if that’s all that matters.” Gumball said.

“Alright! Let’s try it.”

Gumball stopped. “Now?”

“Yeah.”

“Um…” Gumball paused. He really didn’t expect to start right away, normally, he has to get normally adjusted to the music before he showed anyone else. Regardless, he wanted to try it. A new challenge. “Let’s see…” Gumball went through the first few measures, messing up a few sections, but otherwise being pretty okay. He stopped when he thought that he went far enough. He shrugged. “This is fairly easy, to be honest.”

“Show off.” Marshall said.

“What else was I supposed to say?” Gumball asked.

“I’m just kidding. Either way, it sounded nice already. I think we’ll get this down pretty quickly.”

“What about you, don’t you need to learn it, too?” Marshall asked.

“Well…“ Marshall played a couple of chords on the guitar. “I’m actually pretty good, too.”

Gumball nodded. “Fair enough.” He looked at the neck of Marshall’s guitar. “Those seem really hard to press down. They’re thicker than the strings on my violin.”

“Really? I never thought about it that way.” Marshall looked up from his guitar and smiled, “Do you want to try?”

Gumball backed away a little. “No! No. I don’t think that I should.”

“Oh, come on. Try it.” Marshall said, setting down his guitar down to stand up. He moved his way towards Gumball.

“It’s fine, really. I don’t need to. Maybe another time?” Gumball said, backing up even more. Marshall practically threw himself at Gumball in order to grab him. Gumball didn’t have a chance before Marshall had a grip on his arm and was pulling him to the couch.

“Sit.” Marshall said, pushing Gumball down onto the couch.

“Marshall. Come on.” Gumball tried to protest

“Here.” Marshall shoved his guitar onto Gumball, who gripped it as though it would break. “Now, put your fingers here, here and… here.” Marshall pried Gumball’s fingers into the position that they needed to be in. Gumball was tensing up all over, his arms didn’t want to move, and his fingers felt rusted solid. During this whole time, though, GUmball still couldn’t quite figure out just why he was so nervous. Was it because he was scared to break Marshall’s guitar? Gumball chalked it up to that.

“Okay, so you’re going going to hold the pick like this, and strum.” Marshall grabbed Gumball’s hand, moving it around to make it work, and brought it down on the strings, making an awful twang. Gumball retracted his hand, hiding it between the guitar and himself.

Marshall laughed. “Hey, don’t worry about it. You haven’t done this before. It’s new to you. Come on. Try again.” Marshall reached for Gumball’s hand, only to find that it was pressed firmly against his side. “Jesus christ, Gummy, calm down.” Marshall wedged his hand into Gumball’s, pulling it away from his side. “I know that it might seem a little hard, but I promise you, it can get a lot easier if you relaxed. I think the problem you had was that you didn’t push down the strings hard enough. I don’t know.” Marshall said.

Gumball looked up at him, seeing a smile in return. Marshall looked away. Gumball looked down at the guitar strings, a small smile growing on his lips. Cautiously, he moved his hand, and played the chord. This time, it sounded far nicer.

“See! There you go!” Marshall said. Gumball looked at him, and smiled. “What chord is this?”

“A minor. It’s a pretty easy chord, but a really nice one to know. Want to learn a different one?” Marshall asked.

“Um… sure.” Gumball said.

“Okay, if you leave those two fingers there, and move that finger here, it’s a C chord. Not that hard, right?” Marshall said.

“Not exactly, I guess.” Gumball rose his hand to his face, balling it into a fist, then spreading his hand wide. “It hurts, though.”

“Ha! Yeah. It kind of does, doesn’t it?” Marshall said. “Want to practice a little more?”

Gumball thought about it. “I’m good. Maybe some more later.” Gumball pushed the guitar towards Marshall.

“Alright. That’s perfectly fine.” Marshall said, taking the guitar. “We should watch a movie.”

Gumball looked at him. “What?”

“A movie! What have you got?” Marshall asked.

“I don’t really know. I mean, we got Netflix?” Gumball suggested.

“Oh! Okay, so there is this really weird show that I want to show you.” Marshall said.

“Alright? I guess that I’ll set it up.” Gumball looked around for the remote, turning on the tv. Soon after, it was ready to go.

“What is it that you wanted me to watch?”

“Here, let me just see the remote.”

Gumball handed over said remote, and watched the screen as Marshall looked up the show. He looked at Marshall when he saw the title.

“You want me to watch that?” Gumball looked at the screen. “It looks a little odd.”

“Trust me, it is incredible.” Marshall said, and pressed play.

=+=

“Okay, what the heck did I just watch?”

“You watched one of the best things that I have witnessed in my entire life, and I think it will be for you, too.”

“But nothing made sense! It was all absurd and… I don’t even know. Why?” Gumball asked, looking towards Marshall.

“That’s why it is the most amazing thing that has ever been created.” Marshall grinned widely

Gumball punched the bridge of his nose, shaking his head. “You’re not allowed to choose anything else. Give me the remote.” Gumball said, reaching for it.

Marshall grabbed the remote, raising it away from Gumball’s reach. “Nope.”

“Give it!” Gumball launched himself towards Marshall to grab the remote. Marshall only pulled it away further and further. Gumball tried to crawl up Marshall in a final attempt to grab it when he found out that Marshall had wrapped an arm around his waist, keeping him in place. He couldn’t move any further.

Gumball looked down at Marshall. “Let me go!” He tried to wiggle away from Marshall’s grip. Gumball heard the remote hit the floor, and he tried to beeline for it. Of course, Marshall had wrapped his other arm around Gumball’s waist, and he was stuck. “What the-?” Looking at Marshall, Gumball glared. “Let me go!”

Marshall thought for a moment. Then he looked at Gumball directly in the eyes. “No.” He grinned.

The pink teen groaned. Gumball kept wiggling, trying to get his arms out. He succeeded, and tried to push himself off of the couch. He placed his hands on the side of Marshall’s head, and he was able to lift himself off the couch considerably. Then he slipped, falling on top of Marshall. The teen below him made a very clear “oof!” sound, but it didn’t weaken Marshall’s grip on Gumball in the slightest.

Gumball was able to prop himself up slightly and look Marshall in the eyes, who was grinning like a complete idiot, barely holding in his laughter. Gumball glared back, and before he said anything else, Marshall leaned in to kiss him. He caught the pink teen by surprise, but Gumball leaned into the kiss as well. Marshall’s grip had loosened, and he rested both of his hands on Gumball’s fist.

They broke apart. “Why?” Gumball asked, flustered and confused.

Marshall shrugged. “I felt like it.”

Gumball looked even more confused, and then burst out laughing. He hid in Marshall’s neck, who wrapped his arms around Gumball and squeezed him tightly.

“Want to watch something else?” Marshall asked.