Marshall sat with his feet on the table and his arms behind his head. He seemed to be amused by Fionna. However, he had a bit of a problem and it was odd that she ended up stuck in his yard at a time like this. The Queen wasn't an issue right now. That problem was solved by the last girl that visited Wonderland. He couldn't remember her name. However, the newest king wasn't quite of age yet. So of course his "caretaker" was in charge. Lady Lemongrab stomped around screaming at everyone and threw residents in dungeons for unimaginable reasons. She was cruel to the prince, which was also Marshall's childhood friend. She had him isolated until he reached eighteen and his eighteenth birthday was a few days away. Marshall had to make sure Lady Lemongrab kept her word. He had an odd feeling that she wasn't. Since Prince Gumball was locked away, Marshall had been on his own. He watched as Fionna threw a marble back and forth with the small elephant in the teapot. She was laughing and it was really something to see her face light up. Fionna looked a bit distressed when she arrived, but Marshall didn't think she felt like talking about why. Her blonde hair looked fluffy pulled back in a black headband. She looked to be around sixteen or seventeen. Her blue eyes showed light in them now that she was enjoying herself. However, Marshall could also sense a sort of fire inside of her. She didn't act afraid of everything, including him. She just seemed…sad. She embraced being in a world that made little sense. It was also a world that could be quite terrifying.
"Hey Fi," Marshall interrupted the silence. The elephant ducked back down in the teapot as Fionna caught the marble. "I don't want you to get bored around here, so I was wondering if you can come with me to help a friend of mine out."
Fionna thought it over, but he could see a bit of excitement in her eyes.
"Sure," Fionna agreed. "What's wrong with your friend?"
"Well…he's going to be the new king of Wonderland, but he wasn't old enough yet. So his guardian is being a butt and has him locked away. Lady Lemongrab is currently ruling Wonderland and it's not going well. She's a bit…too demanding," Marshall explained the best he could. "He's been my friend since forever and I just have this feeling Fi that she isn't going to do what she said she would do. His eighteenth birthday is coming up. What if she doesn't let him out?"
"So…we are going to save a prince?" she asked and he nodded.
"Prince Gumball to be exact," Marshall added. He watched her think it over.
Fionna smiled for the first time. "Then I'll go with you," she agreed, "for the sake of Wonderland." Her stomach growled obnoxiously and she blushed. She had skipped dinner because of the argument she had. "Sorry," she tried to apologize. "I haven't ate in a while." It wasn't like she had been eating much anyways. The refrigerator at the orphanage always had a lock along with the cabinets. Marshall saw the sadness reappear in her eyes, and it disturbed him.
"You know what," he said. "I have a ham baking right now; maybe we should go check on it." He removed his legs from the tables and stood up, offering his hand to Fionna. She took it and he lead her inside of his house. His house appeared normal from the outside, but inside it was almost set up like a cave. The walls were made out of stone and torches lit the walls. The flames danced in different colors. However, it had different rooms like a living room and kitchen. He had a leather couch with a coffee table along with a huge comfortable looking bean bag chair. Numerous guitars decorated the walls and there was a radio. The kitchen was small and had a sitting bar. The aroma of ham and pineapple hit Fionna and her mouth began to water. Marshall opened the oven.
"Looks done to me," he observed and reached for some pot holders. Fionna took a seat at the bar, watching her new friend. "I just have to wait on the rolls." A sentient cinnamon bun popped out of a cabinet and threw a few buttered rolls on top of a plate that sat on the counter. Fionna didn't ask any questions. Marshall pulled out a small baked ham with pineapple slices. "I hope you like it. It's an old recipe." His dark eyes faded to an emotion Fionna couldn't quite recognize. Marshall didn't tell her that Gumball enjoyed cooking. He always had some type of new treat at tea time. Gumball mainly focused on sweets, but he didn't restrict himself to it. Marshall remembered countless times when he didn't have to lift a finger in the kitchen because Gumball was already planning dinner, even at their age.
"How old was Gumball when Lady Lemongrab locked him away?" Fionna finally asked as Marshall set her plate in front of her. She immediately dug in. She wasn't a picky eater at all, given how much food was restricted at the orphanage.
"Fourteen," Marshall said as he sat down next to her with his plate. "Time flows differently here though, so it seems longer. If I had to guess, it's been about eight years. Lady Lemongrab banned visitors."
"So you've spent eight years alone?" Fionna asked. He tried to hide as much as possible that she hit a sore spot.
"I get company every once in a while, but Gumball is my childhood friend. It's not the same without him," Marshall explained as he picked at a piece of pineapple with his fork.
"I'm sorry," Fionna said, feeling bad for him. There was another silence and then Marshall felt like being a bit mischievous.
"I'm not trying to change the subject," Marshall smirked. "But why do girls always wear white undergarments?"
Fionna's face flushed and she threw a dinner roll at him, which just made him laugh. "It's the only color I have!" she yelled.
"Don't be so boring," Marshall teased. She hit him with another roll and he laughed.
"You couldn't have looked away when I was stuck in that stupid tree?" she felt her face grow hotter from anger and embarrassment.
"It's a guy thing," Marshall laughed and flinched thinking she was going to hit him with another roll.
"You are unbelievable!" Fionna fumed at him. "I'm trying to eat!" She huffed and began eating again. After they finished, she helped him clean up. She had no way of telling time in Wonderland, so she didn't know if it was late at night or early morning. Maybe it was afternoon.
Marshall plopped down in his bean bag chair with a bass guitar and started softly strumming it again. Fionna assumed it was the way he relaxed in the evenings. She took a seat on the couch.
"When are we going to see Prince Gumball?" she asked him.
"I was thinking we leave in the morning," Marshall strummed his guitar as he spoke. "It's going to be a bit of a journey and I won't be giving any piggy back rides."
"I can handle it," Fionna said firmly. She watched him strum the bass and it was relaxing in a way to just sit and watch him.
"There's just one rule," he added. "No matter what, you have to stay with me. You can easily get lost in Wonderland and it might take me days to find you."
"I can deal with that," Fionna agreed. She yawned, her eyes were growing heavy.
"I have to ask though. How did you get here?" Marshall asked, watching her sleepy form lay down on the couch. She looked up at the ceiling with her hands folded across her stomach. Her hair fanned out behind her.
"I was running through the woods and there must have been a hole I didn't see. The ground was covered with leaves, so there's no way I could have known it was there. I just fell into a hole," Fionna explained. Marshall stopped strumming his bass.
"What were you running from?" his voice seemed to echo across the room. Fionna stiffened and it didn't go unnoticed. "If you don't want to talk about it, it's fine."
"Well," she thought about how to explain it to him. "I lived at an orphanage my entire life and the owner is one butt of a human. Her butt is even humungous, but that's not the point," Fionna rambled. "She only took in children because the government paid her for it. She got a check for every child and we never saw a dime of it. We didn't even have beds! Some children got adopted out, but I always stayed. She would constantly tease me about being unwanted and I finally got tired of it. I threw a pan at her and it missed. She would have beaten me half to death for it, but I ran away. Of course she could care less, so she didn't chase me. That's when I ended up here."
Marshall had to gather his thoughts. "Wonderland is finicky about who it lets in. I'm guessing it was because we might need you for something, and we need someone more permanent. I just hope this is a place that is much better."
"So far it couldn't be any better," Fionna huffed. She was growing sleepier, and finally shut her eyes. She could feel her body sinking into the couch. All she had ever known was a cold, hard floor. She heard Marshall get up and felt something soft cover her. She assumed he had given her a spare blanket, but she couldn't open her eyes. Marshall sat back down in his bean bag chair and played a gentle tune on his bass. Fionna listened to it until she drifted off to sleep.