Chapter Five: The Axe Bass
Marshall Lee recovered quickly after Gumball's visit. It took him a bit of practice to get back on his feet-- Or more accurately, into the air, but once he did, he hovered in the middle of the room for a long time, concentrating on the action. Before long, he simply floated down the hospital hallway and out the front door, winking at the stunned nurses and doctors as he passed. They merely stared without a word and let him go. None of them really wanted him there in the first place.
By the time he reached his house, he was walking slowly, his feet heavy on the ground. He slammed his front door shut and, breathing heavily, collapsed on his uncomfortable couch. Finding a palm-sized stress ball between the cushions of his couch, he stared at the ceiling as he tossed it into the air and caught it when it came back down. His chest hurt when he moved his arms, but for some reason, he couldn't stop making the motion.
Fionna had saved his life. That was… different. Marshall wasn't quite used to someone caring enough about him to save him. It was always, "That vampire is a menace!" Or, even worse, "If we get close to the Vampire King, imagine what influence we would have on others." Those were the first to leave when something bad happened. Still, it was nice pretending he had friends sometimes. But maybe….
Maybe he really did have friends now.
It made him realize how long he'd been living in the cave. Being immortal, it made sense to move quite often so people wouldn't get attached to him. Or worst, so he wouldn't get attached to them. Keep moving. See the world and live before it became too hard to say goodbye. Because, try as he might to hold onto his mortal friends, they always left him-- one way or the other. They became uncomfortable when he never aged, or they held onto him as they grew old and died. And when they were gone, he was alone to deal with the pain.
Like all vampires, his heart was always his weakness.
He closed his eyes, gritting his teeth together. Maybe it was time he left for good. Sure, it would hurt at first, but it wouldn't be as harmful in the long run.
Marshall didn't know when it happened, but at some point, she stopped being Fionna the Adventurer and become Fionna his Pal and then Fionna the Blonde Mini-Skirt Wearing Hero that Cared Too Much. Sometimes, when she smiled at him, he could swear his heart kick started in his chest. He thought maybe her smiles felt like the sun felt to most people, that it was kind and warm and everything he wasn't.
It was the thought of her tear-stained face that haunted him the most. How could he leave her? And because he thought that question, he knew that it would be best if he did leave her.
A knock startled him out of his thoughts. With a groan, he rolled off of the couch, wincing at the careless action, and walked to open the front door. It was raining outside the cave entrance, and Marshall wasn't sure when exactly had had happened. The skies were clear when he came home.
Fionna stood on his doorstep looking like an abandoned, homeless bunny. Her white hat and clothing were thoroughly soaked, and she held her arms tightly about her chest. Shivering, she asked, "Can I come in?"
He stepped out of the way so she could enter. "What happened to you?" he said, closing the door with the heel of his shoe.
"Big fight with a giganto lizard guy. Then I got caught in a storm. Bleh."
"I can't leave you alone for one moment, can I?" Marshall said, amused.
He didn't want to leave her at all…
"I think I have some spare clothes that'll fit you" he said. "You look like you're going to freeze to death, and a Fionna ghost would cramp my style. Be right back, okay?"
He floated into his room and dug in his closet until he found some clothing that would fit her: A pair of pajama pants that were too short for him and an old faded-black band shirt. Once upon a time, the clothes belonged to his ex, Ashley, and had been left behind as items lost in the breakup. He wondered why he hadn't burned them already and let the memory raise in clouds of grey ash.
Still, they'd at least fit Fionna until she could dry her own outfit.
If Fionna knew the complicated back-story behind the pajama pants and shirt, maybe she wouldn't have taken them and motioned for Marshall Lee to turn around. It took two seconds for him to realize what she was asking, and then, embarrassed, he spun on heel.
"Were you busy?" she asked.
Marshall tried to ignore the sound of shuffling clothes and attempted to not imagine the scene going on behind him. "Nah, I was just going to chill for a while. Maybe play some music or something."
"You healed, like, crazy quickly."
"Yeah, figured. Wish I had super healing. Okay, you can turn around now."
Marshall turned and took in her clothing change: the way her long, blonde hair fell in wet locks around her body and how the pajamas fit her perfectly, but the shirt was a size too large.
Flashing her a smile that was half-way sweet and a little mocking, he said, "You look pathetic." And perhaps what he really meant was that she looked adorable.
However much he loved her smiles, he favored her glares even more. Laughing to himself, he floated over to sit on the couch, ruffling her wet hair as he passed. His arms spread out to rest on the back of the couch.
Fionna sat beside him with her shoulders slumped over. "Gumball's getting married," she stated.
He eyed her for any signs of heartbreak, and when he didn't detect any, said, "Who would have thought, right? I could have sworn ol' Gumgum was gay."
She was quiet, her eyes locked on the blank tv screen. "I thought I'd be sad about it. But I'm not. It made me realize there was someone else I like."
Great. Someone else she was madly in love with. Who would it be this time? The Flame Prince? That would end well.
He felt her gaze on him and reluctantly turned his eyes to hers. The seriousness in her expression made him uncomfortable. Marshall swallowed to get rid of the lump that suddenly developed in his throat. "Who would that be?"
She moved closer to him, and Marshall wasn't sure if he wanted to back away or lean toward her. Her hand landed delicately on his chest, covering the place where his heart would be, and he felt her touch echo throughout his body. He swallowed again, his heart jamming into his throat. A thousand thoughts ran amuck in his head until they were a dull buzz of senselessness.
Her face was hovering over his. He couldn't take his eyes off of her half-lidded gaze. God, she smelled like grass and daylight and strawberries.
"Marshall." Names have power, and his, whispered on a breath, was no different. At the right moment, with the right tone, a person can summon or construct or destroy with a name. Perhaps if she'd spoken his last name instead, which carried a power in itself, she would have had him forever.
Her lips brushed against his lightly, and they were chapped and rough and flawless. He inhaled through his teeth, the sensation reverberating throughout him like an electric shock. If the world stopped or shifted, he could have felt it. His head lifted to kiss her again, closer this time, more solid and substantial. He pulled her nearer, his hand resting on the back of her neck. His lips moved against hers, sweetly at first, then more intense and urgent, and he could tell that she was inexperienced compared to him; that she had never really been kissed like this before. That was okay; it was Fionna, and she didn't have to be perfect at anything she did. The heat of her blush was warm against his face, and he wanted to take in her warmth and sweetness and never leave her. He drank her proximity like fine wine, and the effect was similar: his universe tilted, and if the problems plaguing him existed, they were somewhere far off.
Fionna moved her leg over his body, straddling him. Surprised, Marshall broke their kiss and glanced over their current position. A small bit of logic formed in his slowly-moving brain. This wasn't right. But it was, wasn't it? "Uhm, Fionna, maybe…" Words were having difficulty materializing, and when they did develop, they slipped from his grasp. He licked his lips, and he could still taste her. "Maybe we should slow down?"
With one quick kiss, she cupped his cheeks, smiling at him with so much affection that he doubted he deserved it. "It's okay, Mar-Mar. Promise." She sounded like Ashley.
Her mouth pressed against his once again, and her body melted against his. Every argument dissolved like the pain of a pinprick.
She was inexperienced, yes, but she was learning quickly. She kissed his cheek, then trailed her lips down his jaw line and onto his neck. Her mouth found the two bitemarks on his throat and moved against them. He hummed a note of surprise and arched toward her, breathing roughly through his mouth. Her fingers played with the hem of his shirt as she twisted her hips against his. With a deep sound in his throat, Marshall tilted his head to the side, giving her more access. Because he had been hers for a while anyway.
Her hands crept beneath his shirt, exploring the muscles in his bare chest. Something about the motion snapped him back to his senses. "Uhm, hold on," he said in a small, uncertain voice. When she didn't stop, he moved her off of him and stood from the couch, his entire body trembling. Some part of him screamed that he was crazy, and maybe he was.
Fionna looked up at him, and he could see all the hurt and rejection that had built to this moment. It took everything he had not to wrap his arms around her once more. "Look, it's not that I don't want this. I do. God, Fionna, I do. But I don't want to do something we'll both regret." He shoved his fingers through his black hair. "You're really new to this whole thing, and I don't want to move too fast. Let's, I dunno, take things slow, and see how it works out first."
With equal parts confidence and doubt, Fionna stood and stepped toward him. His eyes traveled over the swaying movement of her hips. "I have thought about this, Marshall Lee." For every step she took toward him, he matched it with an equal step back. "I won't regret anything. I'm tired of being the one always rejected."
His back was against the wall. With her arms forming a barricade to each side, she kissed the underside of his chin. His eyelids drifted shut. "Are.. Mmm, are you sure?"
When she backed away, it wasn't Fionna he was looking at. Her skin was a light shade of grey, and her blonde hair had been replaced with a white, unstyled Mohawk. The old band shirt fit her body in a way that was familiar to him. "What are you so worried about?" Ashley said. Her thick eyelashes fluttered. Her fingers dipped around the waist of his denim jeans, unbuttoning them with all the expertise of someone that had done it before. "We've only just started."
Dumbfounded, Marshall could only watch in horrified shock as Ashley brought her lips to his. Broken out of the trance by the kiss, he clutched roughly on her upper arms and shoved her away.
Fionna blinked back in surprise. "What?"
Marshall breathed in evenly as his mind tried to work out what was happening. Perhaps he was finally losing his mind after all these years.
Fionna placed her hand on the back of his neck and breathed, "Stop worrying so much."
Maybe she was right. Maybe he was just over thinking this whole thing. Her soft gaze and slight pout certainly weren't making things any easier. Making a sudden decision, he roughly shoved his mouth against hers. She made a note of surprised delight and kissed him back like she could never have enough. With his hand exploring her sides and stomach beneath her oversized shirt, Marshall turned their position around till her back was pressed against the wall. His body molded into hers, and she inhaled a silent gasp. His kisses traveled to her throat, to her rapid pulse. It pounded into his head like a hypnotism. Her head tilted back, exposing her neck further. Because she was his, and he was hers, and that was how it was now. His lips parted to unveil his sharp teeth, and he sank his fangs into the soft flesh of her throat, allowing the rare taste of human blood to fill his mouth.
* * * ************************************** * * * *
With a gasp, Marshall Lee jerked awake on his couch. His eyes darted around the room, landing first on the blank tv and then on the stress ball that was on his chest. His breathing gradually slowed as he processed the events of his very vivid dream.
It wasn't real. He didn't kiss Fionna or bite her, and she hadn't morphed into his ex. Okay. With his nerves wrecked, he shakily stood and made his way to the kitchen fridge. His fingers wrapped around a red apple, and he weighed it in his hand. The red was a taunting reminder of his dream, and, in annoyance, he threw it against his cabinets, where it cracked and bruised before falling useless to the floor. "Dammit, Marshall," he said to himself as he leaned against his refrigerator door. "We don't think of friends like that." And he wasn't sure if he meant as romantic interests or as food or both.
Whenever he was upset, creating music always made him feel better. Still slumped over, Marshall floated into his bedroom to find his axe bass.
* * * ************************************** * * * *
Whenever Fionna or Cake was on an adventure or cooking or even when they were just bored, they liked to make music. It was a habit they'd picked up as children, and it had stuck with them ever since. Over the years, the two girls had created a number of quality, catchy numbers that could be stuck in a person's head for days if given the chance.
The song they were currently singing was not one of those. Cake beat boxed into her hand as Fionna rapped:
"We're two tough girls,
We're on a plight
To retrieve a bass
From the dead of night.
Our route is dark,
Our hearts are light,
So back off, creeps,
Lest you want a fight!"
Cake beat boxed a finale with the sound of a scratching record and looked up at her much-taller sister. "Did you say route?" Cake asked. "As in root? It's rowt, not root."
"Nah, Cake, it's root."
"I don't like how that sounds."
"Heheh, I think I'd punch someone if they said tomah-to."
Fionna laughed. "Me too. Hey, where are we?"
The two paused and examined their surroundings within the Dark Forest. It looked the same as it had five minutes ago. "Hm, I thought you knew," Cake answered.
Fionna spun around slowly in a circle. "I was following the trail and it just vanished."
"Hmm. Man, this place is wack creepy. What's Marshall doing haunting this place anyway? Pret-ty weird if you ask me."
"Marshall likes spooky stuff."
"You're tellin' me." Cake held her hands out. "Alright, Fi, I got this." She pressed her ear against the ground with a thoughtful, "Mm-hmm," then stood and sniffed the air.
Fionna giggled. "What are you doing?"
"Algebraic cat powers, lil' sis! Just you watch and try to learn!" She licked one finger and held it in the air, nodding. After a triumphant, "A-ha!" she exclaimed, "Follow me" and darted off to the right.
Fionna followed, loving the sense of exploring and the feel of the breeze on her face. She lived for adventures. Her pink sword was heavy against her back, and she was itching for a chance to use it.
Cake led her into an area that Fionna instantly recognized. "I know this," she said. "The monster had attacked me here, and it chased me… This way!"
This time, Fionna led the path. "And Marshall Lee showed up here, and we flew over here to get away. Come on!"
Before long, the two ran into the clearing where the main battle took place. The large creature's corpse was still there, swollen in death. Cautiously, Fionna crept around the body as though it would raise its monstrous head and attack. Zombies existed. It could happen.
To her relief, Marshall's axe bass was in a nearby bush. "Got it!" she exclaimed, clutching onto its neck and lifting it into the air. A string hanging from the instrument caught her attention, and her heart sank. One of the strings had broken. She'd destroyed Marshall Lee's favorite bass. What was she going to tell him?
In her distress, neither Fionna nor Cake noticed the dainty woman sitting on a nearby tree branch until she spoke. "That belongs to a King."
The two girls snapped to attention. Cake immediately leapt in front of her sister on the defense. Her fists raised in a threat as Fionna reached for her sword.
The woman was petite and elegant with short, cropped black hair and pale grey skin that was similar to Marshall's. A dark green cloak covered her head and concealed most of her body. "Seriously," the woman said, "You should probably leave it alone."
"We're going to give it to him," Fionna said, holding the axe close to her.
One finely arched eyebrow rose over her black eyes. "You know him? It's so… quaint to see what company he keeps now a days." She stated the words like an insult.
"Who are you, and how do you know Marshall?" Cake asked, her voice harsh compared to the two other females in the area.
The woman shrugged. "Every vampire knows Marshall Lee."
At the word vampire, Cake tensed, her pride immediately deflating, and announced, "Well, now that all of our questions have been answered, we can head over to Marshall's place, right, Fi? Thanks for talking to us, ma'am, and not drinking our blood and turning us into members of the undead." Cake spun on heel in the hopes that Fionna would follow. No such luck.
Fionna drew her sword and pointed it at the woman. "If you're looking for a fight, vampire, you've picked the right people to terrorize!"
The cat's eyes widened, and she leaned over to whisper, "For real, Fi, let's get the flop out of here."
"I don't want a fight. Really," the woman answered. "What you CAN do is tell me where Marshall Lee is staying these days."
"Why would I tell you that?"
"Cause his kingdom needs him, sweetheart."
Fionna blinked. "His kingdom?"
"You know. Everything the Vampire King supposedly rules over?" She waved a pale hand in a circle. Her fingernails were a deep green to match her cloak. When the two adventuresses gave her blank looks, she rolled her eyes. "Look, I don't have time for this. Just… when you see Marshall, tell him Natalie's looking for him. You can at least do that, can't you?"
"Yeah. We'll see him soon," Fionna agreed, and Cake elbowed her in the side.
"Good." The woman stood on the tree branch as though ready to leave and then hesitated. "Kind-of a dangerous place for the two of you, don't you think?"
Fionna smiled proudly, holding her sword up in triumph. "We battle evil all the time!"
Her dark eyes glinted in the night, and she smiled derisively at the two. The gesture looked particularly evil in the forest setting. "Cute." With nothing else to say, the woman shifted into a smaller bat form and faded into the shadows.
"Whoa," Cake said. "Marshall knows some hot vampire babes."
Not liking that thought, Fionna frowned. "Come on, man, let's take this bass back to Marshall Lee's house before he notices it's missing."
"You can take it back to him. I've had enough vampires to last me the rest of the year." But Cake walked with Fionna until Marshall Lee's cave appeared in view.
* * * ************************************** * * * *
Marshall Lee the Vampire King had some serious trust issues. It began when he was a child left alone during the Mushroom War amongst the death and chaos, and his only friend went insane to protect him. Later on, his ex-girlfriend stole his favorite possession and sold it for a lame plant, which effectively ended the ill-fated relationship. Not only that, but his mother was a demon ruler of the Nightosphere that spent her time backstabbing others and devouring souls.
So it was no real surprise that the Vampire King had difficulties trusting others, even when those others were close friends of his.
Marshall Lee's axe bass was missing.
Now, that bass was one of the few things in the world that Marshall really valued, and it was unusual for him to let anyone else put their hands on the weapon-turned-instrument. But the last person he handed it to was Fionna because, for better or worse, Marshall trusted her.
Where was it now? Shouldn't she have returned it already? He collapsed onto his uncomfortable couch, closing his eyes in concentration as though he could will the bass to appear. Being the naturally distrustful vampire he was, scenarios ran through his mind of what could have happened. What if she'd lost the bass and hadn't had the courage to tell him? Maybe he'd misjudged, and she'd sold the bass? That particular scenario made him feel sick, so he scowled and drummed lightly on the couch arm with his fingers. She wouldn't do that to him… would she?
A sound outside of his house caused his fingers to stop their rhythmic drumming. He tilted his head, listening to the soft, steady footsteps. Two feet. Definitely humanoid. A frown curled the corners of his lips. He definitely wasn't in the mood for company. If he ignored them, they'd more than likely go away.
But when the doorknob started turning without a knock, Marshall sat straight up in attention. Who in Aaa would dare to break into the Vampire King's house? He floated up to the ceiling to hover in the corner, pressing his body into the shadows and out of sight. Whoever it was picked the wrong home to break into. His muscles tensed, his teeth sharpening to long daggers. Intimidation was his favorite game after all.
But when the door creaked open and a bunny hat peeked into his living room, he relaxed. Why was Fionna breaking into his house? Cautiously, she looked around for any signs of life. When she completely missed the vampire in the room, she stepped through the doorframe, dragging behind her his infamous red bass.
Marshall couldn't help the soft smile that appeared on his face as his eyes narrowed. That sneaky little human. Trying to put the instrument in his room without him noticing?
He waited till she was in the center of the room before he drifted down behind her, allowing his face to contort into something akin to a wolf. It wasn't like this didn't earn her a bit of a scare after all.
Fionna must have sensed something behind her because she hesitated and nervously grasped the neck of the axe. Marshall floated over her head and hovered upside-down in front of her face. "What are you doing?" he said in a half-snarl.
She shrieked, one arm flailing into the air while the other clumsily lifted the guitar as though ready to use it as a weapon. Marshall grasped onto the bass with one clawed hand and the front of her shirt with the other, balancing her before she could topple backwards.
"Hey, you found my bass," he said, his amusement adding a devilish gleam to his eyes.
"You poo brain!" she exclaimed. Her fist rammed into his upper arm, and he had to admit her punches-- even the light ones-- were full of painful force.
He shifted back to his regular form, making his smirk all the more pronounced. "I'm sorry," he said in a tone that clearly said he wasn't sorry. "Did I scare you?"
A glare that promised violence and pain was his only response.
His fingers gently pried the axe bass from her hand. He did a backflip midair to float upright, spinning the instrument in a full circle like a deadly baton.
Fionna's expression softened when she saw the bass in his possession. "I, uhm, may have broke it."
His gaze darted to the instrument, and she caught the millisecond of fear there before it faded to a more neutral expression. "A broken string is no big deal." He retrieved a thin white envelope from his side table drawer and sat on the couch. With the envelope held loosely between his teeth, he began unwinding the broken string.
As he worked, Fionna took a seat beside him. "I didn't expect you home so soon."
That much was obvious. With the broken string removed, Marshall took his new replacement out of the envelope and began threading it into the bridge and winding it around the tuner. "They didn't want me there anyway," he replied. "And I'm a fast healer."
Once the string was replaced, he began plucking at the notes, his head tilted as he paid close attention to the tone.
Fionna watched him and how his hands moved, listening for the proper tone herself. Although she loved music, she had never learned how to play. "I wish I knew guitars. I love to hear your music and voice."
Marshall grinned. Although he'd never admit it, quotes like that meant a lot to him. Music was his art and part of who he was. Through it, he confessed his mistakes and weaknesses, giving people a rare glimpse of who he really was. It was something he took a lot of pride in. "How about I play something then?" he said. "Since I got this new string and all."
At her enthusiastic nod, he began a tune; something soft, a little playful and silly, but also sweet; something that reminded him of her. Once the melody was set, he created the lyrics:
This hero's here to save the day.
She saved my bass,
So what can I say?
This song's for her,
I'll play it slow.
Our favorite tune,
Cause Fi, can't you see?
Without you, Where would I be?
Lost words, where to start?
I stole your light,
And you stole my heart.
His eyes were closed, and he let the melody drift through him, allowing it to expertly conduct his fingers. His father's words popped into his head from centuries before: "Never force your music, Marshall; let the music guide you." He didn't remember much advice from his father, but that quote had always stuck with him.
The notes to the song changed slightly into something a bit sad and longing, and Marshall adjusted his voice to this new tone:
So Fionna likes my sound,
And she saved my life.
Will she stick around?
Cause the song's almost over,
What is there to say?
Fionna, please don't go away.
His eyes opened slowly, and reality gradually returned. It occurred to him what exactly he'd just sung and to whom. Reluctantly, he looked up to see Fionna staring at him with her cheeks tinted a deep red. If he could have blushed, he would have been a similar shade. Marshall loved his music, but he also had a tendency to say a bit too much through lyrics.
"I know how to play the flute," she said because she didn't have anything else to say. "Kind-of. But not guitar. Not like you know how to play."
Happy for the change of subject, he asked, "Would you like to learn?"
At her nod, he held out the instrument, and Fionna took it once again. She weighed it in her lap so the sharp blade wasn't cutting into her leg. Her fingers found a random fret and strummed it harshly, causing Marshall to wince. "No, pay attention to the sound each note makes and how they interact together." He pointed to each position on the bass, naming off the names of the notes and the sharps and flats.
"Here, I'll show you." Marshall crawled on the couch and sat behind her, so that each leg was on either side of her. Up until that point, he hadn't realized how close and intimate the position was, but since he was there, he decided to go along with it. It was too late to change anyway.
His hands wrapped around her to take control of the bass still in her lap. His chin rested on her shoulder, and he could feel the heat of her blush all the way down her neck. Her body tensed awkwardly at this new proximity. Perhaps it was the lingering memory of the dream that was driving him to this because he wasn't sure he'd be this close to her otherwise.
"Watch how my hands move."
And she did watch as his fingers expertly traveled along the instrument, creating a simple tune that she recognized from the concerts. "When you play music, you feel the notes. If you stare at the strings, you'll think too much and lose the emotion behind it."
His hands then wrapped around hers gently and guided it to the first note in the melody. Together, they played the chorus of his song, repeating it till Fionna was playing it by memory.
Marshall smiled as she took over his song. The notes were the same, but there was something different about her playing; something sweeter and innocent.
"Not bad, hero," he said.
"Who taught you how to play?"
He hesitated as his hands took over the instrument once again. "My dad."
"Oh…." It was the first time she'd ever heard him mention his father. Fionna wondered if his dad was anything like his mom. "Where is he now?"
Marshall shrugged. "Dead now."
"Not your fault."
Her head rested against his collarbone as she listened to him play. Before long, he began humming the tune as well, and she could feel the deep vibration in his chest. She smiled in content as her eyes drifted shut. Cake would have a fit is she saw the two of them like this.
How many people could say the Vampire King played songs solely for them?
Sure, Marshall could be annoying and brash, sometimes cruel, and quite often very scary, but he had a smooth, soft singing voice that was raw and occasionally even sad. If songs are a glimpse into the soul, Marshall's were a big clear glass reflection.
"You're falling asleep," he said with a hint of accusation.
"No, I'm not. Keep playing."
"Most places have to pay me to perform."
"You've been selling out stadiums lately, Marsh. Your concert next week's sold out too. You wouldn't happen to have any extra tickets, would you? We were wanting to go."
"Yeah, I'm sure I could dig up a few. In fact…" He floated up from the couch, leaving her with the axe bass, and dug around in his side table drawer until he located a lanyard. He looped it over her head. "Come hang out with me after the show."
Fionna examined the laminated card on the lanyard. 'Marshall Lee and the Horror King's Wake the Dead Concert,' it read. 'VIP. Band.' "Whoa, that's totally math, dude!" she exclaimed. "But won't you need it?"
"Nah, they know who I am."
She smiled like the sunlight and tossed her arms around his body in a hug.
"Hey, easy, I'm still an injured victim here," he said lightly, and she loosened her grip on him.
"I've gotta head home before Cake pitches a fit." She frowned in an exaggerated fashion and imitated her sisters' voice. "What are you doin' over at that vampire's house so late anyway?"
"Oh! And before I forget," Fionna said, snapping a finger. "Some girl named Natalie is looking for you?"
His face fell as a heavy dread filled his eyes.
Fionna saw the instant change and cautiously asked, "Does that mean anything to you?"
He tried to shrug nonchalantly, but she could still see the weight in his expression. "Not a thing," he answered.
Once Fionna left, Marshall collapsed back onto his couch, rubbing the bridge of his nose.
Natalie… Of course she'd be looking for him.
He picked up the axe bass and thought over the events of the night instead. Fionna had brought him back his axe. Why had he ever doubted her? After all, it wasn't like she was anything like Ashley.
NEXT CHAPTER: A KISS GOODBYE