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Chapter 3:

A day passed with little activity, the normal routine of the land off Aaa passing along with little notice. The prince had made good by his word and had ridden Lord Monochromicorn to see his friend, still slightly sore and worn out from the long night out. The animals hung around together for a time while Prince Gumball caught up with his friend, Fionna. He explained the little adventure he'd had with the undead bassist and how he was curious about the vampire's behavior. Fionna was still under the weather but only offered advice, assuring the prince that he didn't know enough about Marshall Lee to have a proper understanding of the night-walker. The candy man took this to heart as they finally departed to return home, where he spent the rest of the day carrying out his normal orders. The issue of the next celebration came up, and he was left to design the theme and reasoning as he retired to his room shortly after supper.

He climbed the stairwell with his clipboard and pen still in hand, jotting down notes and occasionally scratching them out. With the rest of his staff dismissed to tend to the castle, Prince Gumball entered his room alone and looked to his calendar, trying to decide a proper date for what he hadn't elected as a ball, gala or hootenanny. He'd always wanted to try a hootenanny…

But before he could even sit down at his side desk, there came a rap at his window. He sighed, taking a guess at who could be waiting for him at his 80 ft. high windowsill. Sure enough, a rather rushed looking Marshall was floating outside, his claws pitifully scrapping against the glass to get the prince's attention.

Setting his clipboard aside, the prince was quick to open the window and let the vampire in. Like a flash, the king of the night had darted inside, panting and crouching in the deepest shadow in the far corner as if dodging the setting sun.

"You know, sometimes I wonder how many hours you spend hiding under my windowsill" Gumball remarked as he folded his arms across his chest. "What is it now? Gonna try and give me another injection of fun?"

"Yeah, but we gotta go! It's already started, so we have to change you out of those clothes!" Still wired, Marshall Lee zipped behind the prince, pinching his royal duds. "There's no way I can take you dressed like this. Quick, put something else on and let's go!"

"What the cabbage are you talking about? Go where? And why such a hurry?" The prince frowned and looked down to his regal outfit, "and what's the matter with what I'm wearing?"

"No more questions! Just change!" Still buzzing about with excitement, the undead teen flew to the royal armoire, flinging it open and tossing clothes everywhere. "No. No. Nope. Gross - Jeez PG, do you have anything worth wearing in here? It's all… old man and military junk, and it's not that kind of party. You need something… comfy. Cool." Growling at the rack of formal wear, he dug into the back of the closet, knowing there had to be something the bubblegum youth could wear.

Cringing as his wardrobe was tossed around, the prince walked to his mistreated clothes and began to pick up the more important pieces that had been so carelessly thrown on the floor.

"Um… I've got some casual blouses and a few sweaters in the right top drawer…" The prince flinched as another pair of dress slacks flew over his head. "Marshall… what exactly are you looking for? I can tell you if I've got it…"

"No, I'll find something in this thing… it really doesn't matter what pants you have on," he muttered, "No one's gonna be looking at your pants… I just need … something…" Marshall almost overturned the armoire in his search, but he finally stopped, pausing as his hands touched something soft, and quickly he yanked it out and grinned. "Perfect." Turned around he threw it at the waiting prince. "Put this on."

"Oh, come on!" the prince protested, looking down at the article he'd been handed; it was a pale pink tank top with a Tootsie Pop logo printed across it. "This is just an undershirt Fionna got for me as a souvenir from the City of Chocolate! I can't walk around in just this on my torso! I'd be just about naked!" Frowning, Gumball tried to push the shirt back at the vampire, but, shaking his head, Marshall smirked and shoved it back.

"Look, it's perfect. Now stop whining, take off your crown, and put on the shirt! I heard about this great party, and I don't want Party Patti thinking I'm flaking on her. She is the party expert and throws the best raves, so hurry up!" Marshall Lee turned his back to the royal teen to check his pockets, counting up how many glow-sticks he had managed to shove in there. Dawning himself with a handful around his wrists, he looked back to find the Gumball had changed into the tank top and a pair of dress pants, his crown having been removed and placed delicately on a pedestal beside his bed. Before he could protest anymore, the vampire locked a few of the longer strands of neon tubes around the prince's neck and wrist, and stepped back to admire his work. "Oh yeah, that's great. Now get some better shoes on, because your feet are gonna be moving tonight, and I don't want you whining about blisters."

Slightly put off, the pink teen sat back on his bed and began to untie his laces, removing his violet dress shoes.

"Um… I've got the boots that go with my military uniform… or there's a pair of black formal shoes… but they aren't very comfortable…" Casting about his room as Marshall shook his head disapprovingly, Gumball came up nearly empty-handed. "The only other shoes I've got are my shower sandals…"

"They'll be fine. Who knows, you just might end up bare-foot at the end of this. Can't say that hasn't happened to me. Now get them on and let's go! We're burning moonlight." The sky was getting darker, and the faint moon was mid-way through the sky. Marshall Lee tapped his foot impatiently until the candy prince came out of his lavatory; the laid back attire actually looked good on him! Prince Gumball, however, didn't like the new look and constantly fidgeted with the skimpy shirt and plastic jewelry. The king slapped Gumball's hands away and threw him onto his back, taking off into the early evening in the opposite direction of their last outing, heading towards the wilder lands of Aaa.

Only a half-hour into their flight, the vampire landed, setting his guest down and dusting himself off.

"Alright GumGum - this is a pretty wild party, but don't worry. I'm not gonna leave you alone tonight, ok? Just stick with me, and try… relaxing. It's a party, right?"

Looking nervously around, the prince curled his toes in his flip-flops, fiddling with the bottom of his shirt.

"Hey Marshall, um… I've read about these things and… well… there's not going to be… drugs there, is there?" He looked nervously over his shoulder as if the mention of drugs was forbidden and foul. "I… I'm not sure I can do this…" He took a pace back, seeming increasingly nervous, "I've got a reputation to maintain…"

"Hey, hey, hey," Marshall cooed, placing his hands tenderly over his companion's shoulders. "There's nothing here that's gonna ruin that spotless reputation of yours. It's all just silly fun here; no worries. I know you're still uptight and can't get your hands dirty, but this isn't anything bad. Trust me." Suddenly, there was a very feminine 'yoo hoo' from behind. Both males leaned to look for the source. Coming their way was one very… interestingly dressed bear, her hair done up with a sloppy bow and ripped stockings pulled up as far as they would go. She battered her eyes coyly at them, her shirt tucking in her curves the best it could, but nothing stood out more than the fact that nothing clothed her waist but a pair of frilly panties.

"Oh yeah," Marshall whispered as she was almost to them, "I forgot to mention what kind of party this was…"

"What kind of party?"

"Welcome, boys, to "Party Patti's Fifth Party-Your-Pants-Off Rave"! Marshall, I'm glad you made it!" The hostess immediately wrapped her arms around the undead king, squeezing her body up to his until Prince Gumball was royally flushed. She stepped away after a moment and eyed the blushing prince. "Who's your friend?"

"Party Patti, this is my friend, Pr- um… PG. PG, this is Party Patti."

Giggling, the bubbly bear extended a paw to the prince in disguise.

"Enchanté, PG," she cooed in a crude French accent, curtsying as the prince took her paw, lifting the lacy trim of her underwear as if it was a skirt.

"A pleasure to meet you, Patti," Gumball replied, dipping his head in a humble bow, respectful as always to the hostess.

"And my, aren't you as sweet as honey? Come on in, boys! The beats are hot and the party's hotter!"

As the pair got ready to enter through a sort of checkpoint, a long, vine-covered passage opening forest party, the large bouncer stopped them after the lady had passed.

"No pants, or no dance," the thug grunted. Prince Gumball looked desperately to Marshall, but he had shockingly already begun removing his jeans. Under the ripped denim, the vampire was wearing a pair of grey boxers that had a pattern of twisted thorns winding all around the fabric. Once he had them off, the king handed them to a little bear that served as the coat-check. With his ticket paid, all eyes turned to the prince, waiting for him to swallow the rush of nerves that had him shaking in his casual clothes.

"It's ok, PG - no one's lookin." Marshall said, but, noticing that the other two were in fact staring, he hissed at them, making them jump to attention and turn their backs.

Gumball looked frantically towards the vampire, who only smiled and waved his hands as if to tell the pink teen to go on and remove his pants. Closing his eyes and taking in a huge breath like he was preparing to dive underwater, Gumball turned his back and put his fingers on the button of his red slacks. He scrunched up his face, not liking the idea in the least, but before he even realized it, he'd let the pants slip to his ankles and was stepping out of them. For a moment, it felt liberating, having the chill of the night between his knees, but all that evaporated as Marshall turned around and stared at him expressionlessly.

Marshall didn't know why he was surprised. It seemed blatantly obvious to begin with the with the overall color theme of Prince Gumball's life, he was bound to have pink underwear. But coming face to face with it, the undead king couldn't keep a smile from his royal face for very long. The real thing that kept him from his poker face wasn't so much the color, but the style of the garment; he was wearing panties. Not boxers obviously, but not briefs either. No, these were flat out frilly panties that looked like they were bought for a woman but were passed down to a boy. The garment held him in quite nicely, by all means, but it took some effort to bring himself away from staring at the bubblegum male. Never thought a dude could pull of those before. Wait- what? He shook his head. Things can't get much more awkward, Marshall Lee assured himself. If you can get through this, then there's hope for this yet. But before he could stop himself, a snarky remark slipped from between his fangs.

"Nice undies, G."

"Marshall, you rotten jerk!" the prince snapped back, his face flushing a deep enough shade of red to capture the vampire's attention. Fumbling with his pants, Gumball moved the loose garments in front of his lower body to hide away his shame. "I should have never agreed to come here in the first place! I could have stayed home and planned my hootenanny! I knew I couldn't trust a miscreant like you!" The flustered young man backed away angrily, unable to believe he'd been duped into this self-humiliation.

But before the prince could run away, the vampire was by his side, sweeping him off to the side to have a pep talk in private.

"Hey now, don't get all flipped out… I'm sorry. It's just… they're pink! - I'm sorry!" He had to quickly yank Gumball back to him before he ran off into the untamed woods. "Look, I'm sorry… really. I didn't mean it. Look, there's nothing to be embarrassed about. I'm in my undies too, see? And everyone in the party's gonna have their tighty-whiteys on too.

"Hey, listen." Marshall gently rubbed his shoulder. "I brought you here to have a good time. Trust me; it's tons of fun to be silly with a bunch of people. No one's gonna laugh at you or anyone else cause we're all being crazy together. We don't judge or make fun here. It's just having fun and being cool. No rules here, man. Tell you what: we'll hang out here for a little bit, and if you're not having fun in an hour, then I'll take you home. Deal?"

"Yeah, but it's different for you… You've got boxers… and bears don't even wear clothes… except the one…" Gumball shied away, his cheeks still hot with embarrassment.

"PG, if anyone makes fun of you, I'll punch them in the teeth. How about that?"

"Mmmmmmm" the prince pouted, still not confident about the idea.

"Lighten up, Gum-Gum. You're only this young once, so let yourself live a little." The vampire gave his companion's shoulder a playful shove with his knuckles. "Come on, PG, join the party."

Grumbling and folding his arms sternly across his chest, the prince pursed his lips disapprovingly, but finally gave in however reluctantly.

"Fine, but if it's not any fun, I'm outta here."

With a snicker of victory, the undead king of the night led his partner back to the entrance, presenting their half-naked waists and they were promptly allowed access to the already bouncing party inside. After they exited the darkish tunnel, their ears were bombarded with loud beats and plenty of laughter. Looking around, there were tons of dancers, predominantly bear, but each and every one of them wore some sort of undergarment, as Party Patti had made it a requirement. A few larger icons in the crowd, mostly creatures that hung around and chilled with posses, made remarks to the vampire as he passed, either raising a glass or fist-tapping as he walked by on his way to greet their hostess again.

"Well, hey there, sugar-lump!" the bear said as she turned to see the two newcomers heading in her direction, leaning one arm against the bar next to which she stood and setting down the martini she'd been sipping at. "Heard there was a ruckus at the door; glad to see Marshall finally got your pants off." She gave both boys a surly grin and placed a paw on her hip. "So what do ya'll think of my little shindig? Having fun yet?"

"Well, you'll have to excuse us, but we just got in. Did you say this was a 'shindig'? I was certain Marshall Lee had told me it was a rave," the Prince eloquently inquired. Both normal partiers grinned at the proper speech, but Patti giggled.

"Oh, this? Nah, this is just a little get together. My raves are way bigger and have more glow-paint contests." Marshall laughed at the thought, bringing up the memory of his standing title as Master Glow Artist for the last three Neon Raves. That had been some masterpiece… Jumping back to reality, he began bobbing with the beat, itching to shake his fancy feet and drag Gumball along with him.

"Oh, well, yes… I can see how a party like that would be much bigger-" Suddenly the prince received a yank on his arm, pulling him a stumbling step away from the hostess as his companion began to tug him towards the mingling throng. "Um, please excuse me…" he managed to say before he was completely dragged away. "Marshall, that wasn't very polite…"

"Lighten up, dude. It's a party, so dance." The king of the night demonstrated by swaying to the music in a nonchalant fashion as most men tended to do at such an event. Gumball, however, did not follow suit, and instead fidgeted with the hems of his tanktop again.

"Um… I'm really more of a waltzer… I've been taking lessons in salsa, but I'm still new at that even…"

"Did you say salsa?" Prince Gumball instantly thought it was another attack on his ego, poking fun at yet another thing in his life that the vampire found 'uncool', but instead he felt cold hands grip around his hand and waist, the undead king squaring up with him and quickly pulling him into the familiar steps of basic salsa dancing. Picking up before he got left behind, the bubblegum youth rotated his hips with his partner, moving along with the beat as Marshall did and turned quickly into the swing. Trying to be as casual as possible with the intimate dance, the night-walker dipped the prince only slightly, not using so much force as a normal salsa couple would use. Bringing him back up, Marshall Lee laughed and twirled him, pulling him back to the beginning step to the exciting dance.

The prince did well to keep up with the quick tempo, almost forgetting himself while his brain worked to remember the steps. Things went smoothly, the hot-blooded Latin dance somehow meshing with the heavy techno beat in an appealing manner. Without warning, the tempo of the music began to pick up, and Gumball found himself struggling to keep up with his unintentional dance partner, the vampire moving through the steps with fleet, skillful movements, never missing a beat. Clearly outmatched, the pink teen stumbled, but managed to catch himself before he fell only to stand on the heel of his own sandal. His legs twisted awkwardly as he tried to lift his other foot, the younger closed his eyes as he felt himself beginning to fall.

Not realizing in time what was happening, the undead had become light on his feet for the next spin, but with hand still secure in his partner's, he was yanked down as well. Together they tumbled onto the dirt dance floor, thankfully clear of any other dancers. But the collided and lay intertwined for a moment, trying to collect themselves before they realized where they were. Marshall was first to notice their position; his now heavy body knelt over Gumballs' sprawled out one. His brain fried for a few seconds, not knowing the proper response. Was he supposed to freak out? On the other hand, they were both grown-ups and could handle an awkward situation like this. But he got his answer when the prince came to, seeing Marshall Lee crouched over him among the anonymous legs of the other partygoers. To break the tension, the vampire oddly smiled.

"You ok, PG?"

"Yeah," came the prince's meek reply, turning his face away from Marshall's so that their eyes were not so close together. "I'm just not so quick on my feet yet… I lost the tempo…" Any second now he would feel that closeness disappear as the vampire stood off of him, offering his hand to pick Gumball up, but waiting for that moment was like waiting to be rescued from the Ice Queen; long and uncertain.

And long it was, as the vampire king couldn't help himself but take advantage of his current power. He nodded his head to show he understood, but after he simply stayed, wanting to see his limit. These days were different now, and limits had been moved and redrawn, and without the confidence to outwardly confirm them yet, he had to see… So he held his position, keeping deathly still, waiting for his limit to show up, and enjoy every second until it did.

Gumball lay there beneath his unelected dance partner, wishing for all the world that he was invisible, even if no eyes were on him save for the vampire's. He waited for the space between them to widen, for Marshall to get off of him; it was like hanging in suspense, but the longer it lasted, the more unbearable it became. Finally, when it was clear the undead teen wouldn't be releasing him any time soon, the prince broke, lashing out in desperate fear of the unknown. Soft hands were on Marshall Lee's chest in an instant, shoving him off with unexpected force while Gumball scrambled backwards, forcing space between them.

"What's the matter with you, Marshall?" the pink boy snapped, his face showing traces of anger, hurt, and embarrassment. "Can't you give a guy some space?"

Marshall shied away from the remark, almost if he had been physically struck.

"Yeah… sure, PG, I wasn't- I didn't mean anything by it. Just…" The vampire picked himself up and looked around, making sure no one had seen the incident. "Just wanted to make sure you were ok, GumGum." He leaned over and offered his hand, just as the prince had wished he would have done earlier.

Averting his eyes, the prince helped himself up, refusing the hand that was offered to him. Though Marshall only caught a glimpse of the expression before it faded, the pink teen was flushed and distraught. However, the vampire king wasn't the only one good at hiding it when he was hurt. Before he could say anything more, Gumball was brushing the dirt from legs, his face giving no hint as to how he was feeling inside.

"I'm okay. I may not be any match for Ice Queen, but I'm not made of paper and glass." He gave the undead a look that was almost impossible to read, as is the prince didn't know how to feel. "I don't need to be protected at every turn. I'm just… I'm fine…"

Holding out his hands defensively, the vampire king let the moment go, knowing there wasn't going to be any change here and now. But before the collision was totally dropped form subject, the party's hostess came sauntering up, a sliver of concern on her heavily made-up face.

"You two ok? Hear about a little misstep and wanted to make sure my guests ain't hurt. You alright, sweet thing?" Her attention was fully on Prince Gumball, knowing well that it took a lot to harm Marshall Lee the Vampire King.

"I said I'm fine!" he snapped turning on the bear, but once he saw it was Patti asking about him, the anger faded from his face instantly as if he'd seen a ghost. "Oh gosh, Patti! I'm sorry, I just… I thought that…" He trailed off, looking down apologetically.

"No worries, sugar. Just wanted to make sure you weren't hurt." The hostess smiled and patted the teen's shoulder before putting one finger under his chin, tilting it up to look at her. "Hey, lighten up! It's a party. Can I get ya'll something to drink?"

"How 'bout a Bloody Mary, Patti?" Marshall added, "I know I need one. But I don't think his roy- PG! I don't think PG drinks, so does a root beer sound good?" The undead partier looked to his companion, holding a friendly grin to try and silently apologize.

"One Bloody Mary for the blood drinker and a -"

"Actually," Gumball interrupted, looking up from where he'd been shuffling his feet, "could you make mine a ginger ale?" The bear smiled and tousled the prince's bright pink hair.

"Sure, sweetness. Anything for a cute thing like you dear." With that Patti gave the pink teen's cheek a gentle pat and turned towards the bar to place their orders.

"What an affection monster," the vampire sneered playfully as she left, trying to lighten up the mood with his fun demeanor, but he realized it hadn't worked when he witnessed the prince's dismayed face. Slowly the mood became infectious, fading the elder's smile and breaking through his facade. "Hey, you are ok, right? Cause if you want… I'll take you home. Don't want to make you stay if you don't want-"

"No… it's fine… but um… why…?" Gumball tried to busy himself by smoothing over where Patti had mussed his hair, correcting his perfect gummy quaff.

"… Why what?"

"Why would you…? Um… nothing…" Again the prince averted his eyes, forcing himself to keep from flushing again.

"Oh, no, you don't," Marshall tipped Gumball's chin similar to how Patti had, making him lock eyes if only for a second. "What's up? Why did I what?"

"I said never mind! Just drop it, Marshall," the prince replied, pulling his chin away from the vampire and turning away for probably the hundredth time. Not to be avoided, however, the undead began to hover, floating over Gumball's head, turning upside-down until he was staring into the other boy's eyes again.

"Don't gimme that. Tell me what's eating you, PG!"

"Why do you have to get in my face all the time?" Shutting his eyes he shoved Marshall away from him again, but the blue-skinned teen kept a hold of the prince's soft shoulder. "… And why wouldn't you let me up when I tripped?"

"PG… I'm sorry… I-"

"Sorry doesn't answer my question."

Now that his apologies had been dismissed, Marshall finally allowed himself to get miffed, offended that despite his over the top good behavior he was being punished.

"Well, why do I owe you an explanation? I take you out to have a fun time, and all you want to do is bash me for asking if you're ok. We're not in the castle, your royal stuffiness, so lighten up."

"I didn't ask for this!" the younger hissed, hinting to Marshall Lee to keep his voice low. "And don't tell me to lighten up! You asked if I was okay, I said I was fine and then you just held me there! Do you just like to humiliate me?"

"Well, I don't know why you're always getting embarrassed and offended." The vampire's shouldered slumped as he tried to keep his cool, but eventually lost it on the side of the dance floor. "Do you just hate me? Is that why you get all weird when I'm close to you? I'm I just too freaky, or something?"

"Why would you even want to get close to me?" Gumball frowned, wrapping his arms around his own shoulders in a self-conscious manner, covering his upper arms with his palms. "It's not like I'm Fionna or some other girl…" Looking up with anger at the vampire, the prince's frown softened as he took in his first sight of hurt in Marshall's blood-red eyes. "Wait… It's not like I hate you or anything… I just don't know what to think of you at all."

"Well, if you weren't such a prude, you might just find out." The blue-skinned teen turned his back, not wanting a screaming match between them. He had done so good to get Gumball to open up, and a fight would only seal it up and leave an ugly scar. "I guess that's why you don't invite me to any of your little bashes, huh?"

"Even though you show up anyway," Prince Gumball snorted.

Marshall Lee snickered and tucked his hands behind his head, letting the music drown out the dying argument if only for a moment.

"If you want me to figure you out then why not just answer the question?" Gumball asked to his companion's back. "I just wanted to know because it… was weird… and I'm trying to figure that out too… maybe being shut up in the palace with all those books all the time has made me dumb about people…"

"No, you're not dumb," Marshall muttered, combing through his dark hair. "I just got this crazy idea that if I hang around you, and get close… you might not think I'm a bad guy anymore. If I'm nice and comfortable around you… that you might not hate me so much."

"Now you're the dumb one," the prince snorted, wishing he had some pockets he could shove his hands into smugly, "I never said I hated you, and I don't know where you got the idea. Like I said… I don't know what to think of you." He tried to smile as Marshall looked over his shoulder checking on what the prince was doing. "And as far as getting close… well I'm not one for getting close with people… not like spatially anyway…"

"You don't seem to have a problem being close with Fionna…"

Gumball's forced smile vanished and he looked up, pretending to gaze at the stars filtering through the mesh of leaves overhead.

"She's different…"

"Maybe..." the vampire mumbled more to himself than him, "maybe I want to be different." Over the roar of the party and the laughter of its inhabitants, Marshall hoped he hadn't heard his weak confession.

"What was that?" the prince asked, making the vampire sigh with relief.

"Oh… uh… look! Here comes your new girlfriend!" Chuckling the undead teen flipped around mid-air so he was floating belly-side-down. Seeing Patti coming their way, drinks in paw, Gumball grimaced at the 'girlfriend' remark.

"Sorry that took such a long time, honey." She smiled at the duo, tilting her head to the side in a manner she surely thought to be charming. Passing each his beverage, she smiled and leaned a little closer to Gumball. "Don't let Marshall swallow it all at once, PG," she whispered secretively, "He's not himself when he chugs his liquor."

"I'll keep an eye on him," Gumball assured as the hostess was called off by her other guests. Party Patti smiled and excused herself, resuming a wild, party girl demeanor. But as the royal youth turned back, too late did he fail his promise. Marshall Lee had already downed his drink, a small drop of tomato juice caught in the corner of his mouth. "Marshall?"

The vampire sighed happily and wiped his mouth on his sleeve.

"What? That was good."

"Well, you didn't have to… You didn't even like… 'suck' the red out," the bubblegum man commented, disappointed in the face that he had no problem downing alcohol so quickly. He wondered if this behavior was common.

"Didn't have to. If I wanted to suck red, I'd have ordered tomato juice. I wanted a drink, PG, so I drank it. That was so good, I think I'll have another." He grinned wickedly and looked towards the bar, contemplating dragging his guest with him.

"I don't think you ought to," the prince frowned at Marshall and folded his arms sternly across his chest. "That stuff is vulgar, indecorous, and uncomely… not to mention it stinks and puts one out of their right mind."

Marshall Lee only huffed, slowly floating away from him towards the crowded bar.

"Well, I feel like another, so stay put." Without another warning he weaved through the crowd and abandoned the misplaced prince. As the undead king disappeared, plenty of dancers filled his void, shaking and bouncing to the new beat. A few only looked to the awkwardly standing bubblegum man, but most tried to engage him, laughing and hooting encouragements for him to dance. Eventually, to appease them, he swayed side to side, and that seemed to satisfy them.

Off in another part of the crowd, Marshall Lee slammed down another Bloody Mary, trying to get back his poise and confidence. Hopefully with dulled senses, he'd stop being so on edge with his companion. Checking back, he smiled at the sight of him trying to entertain a group of dancers, joining in with his uncomfortable shimmying. But he smile was erased at the sight of a few overly tipsy bears getting too close to Prince Gumball, his pink face showing off plenty of discomfort by their grinding on him. Setting down his third empty glass, Marshall swooped through dance pods to come up right behind Gumball, placing his hands protectively over his shoulders.

"Scuse' me guys, but this is my date. Mind backing off?" His eyes ominously glowed red, trying his best not to be too frightening when scaring off the bears.

"M-marshall!" the prince protested, his cheeks flushing an even darker shade of pink at the comment. "Don't say things like that!"

"Hey, don't worry Gummy. These bears know this is my turf, and nobody touches what's mine…"

Suddenly the mortified look on the pink teen's face faded into a look of disappointment as he turned to face Marshall. Carefully removing the vampire's clawed fingers from his shoulders, Gumball gave his companion a look of disapproval.

"Marshall, you're drunk…"

"I… am not," the vampire pointed, keeping his composed face. "I'm just saving your buns… yet again- you know, you get into more trouble than anyone I know. Seriously, for a rule-lover you get yourself in the worst situations. But, anyway, I'm not anywhere close to drunk; I've just loosened up." He smiled, careful not to let his slight hazy feeling make him in any way sloppy. "It takes me like twenty-six of these to do any real damage, so we're good."

"Is that damage to your liver or damage to your brain?" the prince scolded with a frown pursing his lips. "And maybe I wouldn't be getting into this sort of trouble if you'd have just let me wear something decent." Gumball shook his head and sighed. "You're grown, and I can't tell you not to, but I wish you wouldn't drink. It's just… disgusting, to tell you the truth... and it reeks."

The king narrowed his eyes irritably, only for the prince to reply with a slight upturn of his nose and a sip form his ginger ale.

"To tell you the truth, I don't know why I brought you here. How did I ever think you could just relax, have a good time, and maybe not be such a prude for once? You know what, how about i just take you home? Why don't I just take you back then and dump you off back into your perfect little world? That ok, your highness? Your royal majesty?" He couldn't tell if it was the slight buzz or bottled up anger talking, but it felt great and nauseating to vent in the crowded party, were the others could care less if he had words with the anonymous prince.

"Well, you're sick of me raining on your parade and I'm sick of you calling me a prude!" the prince snapped. "You think you're gonna snatch me out of my element and I'll take to it like a fish to water? You want me to be fun?" Suddenly Gumball crunched the half-empty can of ginger ale in his hand and threw it onto the ground angrily, "Here! I'll show you that I'm no wet blanket!" The vampire opened his mouth and trailed a hand outward as if to interject, but he was cut off as the pink young man grabbed the bottom of his tank top and pulled the only thing covering his chest up over his head. "Still think I'm no fun?" With a huff, he threw the shirt on the ground, "Just got a double-dipping of fun!"

Quickly, Marshall picked up the garment, about to try and force it back on him, but suddenly there came a reaction from the crowd. It started in murmurs, but then erupted in hoots and hollers. One by one, the bears ripped off their tops until each partier danced in nothing but undergarments.

"Check it out, dude!"

"Aw-yeaya!"

"Best party eva!"

From the other side of the dance, Party Patti, stripped as well, laughing at the turn in her shindig.

"That's the spirit- UNDERWEAR PARTY, Y'ALL!"

The vampire didn't know what to think of it, but he smiled and joined the movement, winking at Prince Gumball as he too stripped his shirt off.

"Well, look at that, PG… you're the life of the party now."

"You're darn right I'm the life of the party!" Gumball shot back; still not having come down from his riled-up huff, he gave the crumpled ginger ale can a swift kick, sending it sailing through the air. "Looks like you underestimated the wrong dude… dude! Because I am hip! I'm cool! And I'm… I'm… holy stuff I'm naked!"

His comrade laughed and bumped into him, trying to coax him back into dancing.

"Too late now. Just go with it PG! See, I knew you were cool- just had to annoy you bit. Come one, keep going, PG!" All around, the others were doing the same, cheering on their new party leader to cut a rug.

"Come on, PG, you're the man!"

"Yea, PG- Pink Guy! Come on, Pink Guy!" Suddenly the name caught on like wildfire, the mosh pit chanting "Pink Guy".

The prince flinched away from the excited mob at first, but as the shouts grew louder, an inkling of a smile began to grow on his face. It reminded him so much of the cheers of his adoring royal subjects cheering for his grand entrance into one of his regal galas.

"Well… If you can't beat 'em…" Before Marshall could react, his companion hand snatched his hands and threw the off-balance vampire into a low dip, supporting the undead teen's back with his palm. "This time, I lead."

A flashy smile from the undead agreed to the role-switch, and away they went. Seeming like an odd pair and even more out of place by their dance style, the two royal boys spin and shimmied together with the beat of the music, having evened out to something calm yet jumpy. But as they swung together, the others parted in their path, respecting their suave dance together.

The motions were rich and fluid while the beat stayed slow enough for the prince to keep his feet underneath him. For the first time that evening, Gumball had forgotten his worries and his pride, having to admit to himself that he knew no one at the party, and no one knew him, all save for Marshall Lee. Still it felt awkward to have the blue-skinned male as his dance partner in lieu of a female, but this notion too was thrown to the wind as the pink teen finally let himself relax.

Coming out of the spin, Marshall threw out his arm, a couple ducking casually to clear his path. The king was highly respected in the nightlife circuit, so more than often he was catered to like this. Normally he wouldn't be so careless, but, at the moment, he hadn't a care at all. Bringing them back together, he let Gumball pull him in and wrap his arm over behind his neck, spinning the vampire to untie them. A few more steps in and they met again, arms intertwined into the sultry moves. Marshall Lee sighed quietly, reveling in the comfort of letting his partner lead and let him simply go with it. With no thought to leading, he took the opportunity to enjoy the prince's company, his closeness. That perfect bubblegum scent wafted as they spun together time and time again, creating almost a mist of masculine candy perfume. And his hands, soft yet commanding; perfect hands of a dominant dancer.

With the pulsing beat driving their movements, Gumball poured himself into the dance, arguing that if it was worth doing, it was worth doing right. The ballet was swift and high-octane, and the young prince couldn't ignore the way his partner clung to him with a gentle eagerness every time their hands met. Keeping his eyes closed, the younger of the duo focused on the steps, forcing himself to keep his footing this time, focusing on recalling the moves he'd memorized. With perspiration on his brow, the pink teen fought to keep going along with the music though with the high pace his stamina was fading fast. He took his opportunity to let go, releasing his partner and breaking away from the crowd as one song ended and another began. Gumball was unused to such vigorous physical exercise, leaving his lungs gasping, and his skin slick. As he expected, Marshall followed quickly behind, joining him on the sidelines of the dance while the prince caught his breath.

"Well, I didn't know you had that kind of fancy feet, Bubba. So… are we having fun yet?" Marshall asked this cautiously, not knowing if such a question would only re-spark their earlier fight and ruin the remainder of the night.

"Trust me," the prince gasped as he fell backwards onto one of the stools set up around the outside edge of the dance floor "it's not easy keeping up with you, what with your floating… you don't hardly have to make any steps." He paused for a moment, looking around at the throng of bears and other creatures, all nearly naked and shaking their tails to the tempo. "You know… I almost wish I hadn't thrown that ginger ale away now…"

"Want another? I know Patti will set you up with one." Marshall crossed his legs and floated midair, and eventually gravity took its toll and flipped him over.

"Nah, I'll be fine if I can just catch my breath," the pink young man replied, waving the offer off with a flick of his wrist. "That reminds me, though; how late do you plan on staying out?" To specify his concern, Gumball looked up where the sky was beginning to show through deep navy, indicating the approach of dawn. "I mean, there's still probably a few hours before the sun reaches the horizon, but I'm wondering how close you're gonna cut it…"

"Well, you've got a point, GumGum… Plus, you're gonna be super tired. I hate having to bring you out when you have your royal junk to do in the day." He smiled. "Thanks for hanging out with me. Did I tell you that yet? If not… thanks man."

"No worries, dude… Sorry for… well… going all crazy and stuff…" the prince leaned back and scratched the back of his head a little in a nervous attempt to ward off any further embarrassment. "Despite this being all weird and awkward and stuff, it was pretty fun…" His smile suddenly fell and he narrowed his eyes at the vampire king skeptically. "But if you ever breathe a word of this to anyone, I'll… I'll string you out in the sunshine… er something…"

The dark-haired king smirked and flipped himself over, laying out in in the air to cup his cheek in his hand.

"Noted. So time to blow this teddy bear stand? I know it's waaaay past your bedtime. And it's getting a little cold."

"Well, yeah it's getting cold now that I've stopped dancing and I'm nearly naked!" With an awkward chuckle, the prince pushed some of his drooping bangs away from his forehead. "I don't know how I ever let you get me into these situations! This is ridiculous!" He folded his arms across his bare chest in an attempt to cover and warm his cooling exposed skin. "Dude, if anyone here knew who I was, I'd be so dead meat right now…"

"Relax; it's just the bears. They don't do the whole fancy-pants scene… They apparently don't do the regular-pants scene either," he laughed. Looking over to see if he'd gotten a reaction, Marshall only saw Prince Gumball shiver again. He sighed and looked over to the stools beneath him, seeing where he had tossed his long-sleeved shirt earlier. The prince flinched as the garment was thrown into his face. "Here. I don't get cold that easily."

The prince looked down at the plaid flannel shirt skeptically; inspecting it to make sure it was clean before he wrapped it around his shoulders and smiling appreciatively up at Marshall Lee. "Thanks, dude…" He looked down at his feet for a moment, shuffling his toes in his sandals before glancing back up to see the undead teen floating and watching him contentedly. "Hey, Marshall?"

"Yeah, PG?"

"Don't ever let me take off my clothes in public again please… This may have been fun, but, at the same time, it was a horrible idea!"

"Ok, I'll make sure you don't do it in public."

With that the two found Patti and said their goodbyes, and, as they departed, the crowd applauded, a few chanting "Pink Guy" for giggles. The royal men collected their pants and quickly redressed, save for Marshall's shirt. With the dawn coming quickly, Prince Gumball was quick to hop on the immortal's back and hold on, the vampire king taking off in hopes of beating the sun.

Per usual, the vampire aligned with the younger teen's windowsill and let him off, perching like a rook on the hard-candy ledge. Looking to the mess that had been left on his floor, the prince groaned and shuffled through the disaster in search of his pajamas. When he'd found his sleeping attire, he set those clothes aside and returned to the window, pulling the plaid flannel shirt off of his shoulders and offering it back to Marshall.

"Thanks –ah…- for letting me borrow this," he said through a yawn as the vampire accepted the garment back. "And thanks for taking me to that party, even if things got a little awkward and stuff…"

"Hey, no problem, Bubba. It was a great time." He sat there and pulled his arms through the sleeves, leaving the front open. "Hey, Gumball." The tired prince looked back from where had crossed to pick up his clothes off the ground. "Thanks… for hanging with me."

"Night, Marshall." He replied with a sleepy smile, eventually deciding to clean the wreck his room had become once he'd gotten some rest. He crossed to his window and shut it quietly to keep out the cool night air. At this point, he was almost too tired to even put on his pajamas; it had to be at least three in the morning. Still, he managed to force himself to start changing, beginning by covering his torso with a purple night-shirt.

With the window shut, Marshall smiled to the success of a good night and was about to depart. But something lingered in his brain, that mischievous child that wanted one last hurrah before he got home. He grinned wickedly and contemplated his best choice of horrifying face to scare the sleepy prince with, but turning back to the window his already changing face dropped back. Just the look of Gumball… the moon was perfectly glowing against his rose colored skin, only cut off by the cloth of his pajamas, a beautiful periwinkle. Slowly the vampire placed his hand on the glass of the window, but as the sharp cold touched his skin, he pulled away.

"What am I doing?" he whispered to himself. Before Gumball could turn and possibly see him still lingering, the undead king flew off, rushing for home before the day came to painfully greet him.
Again... awkward preview image is awkward...

We amped up the sexual tension in this chapter just for you fans! I hope you enjoyed it! Sorry for the slightly late release, but they played two hours of Adventure Time today, including the "Adventure Time with Fionna and Cake" episode and I just had had HAD to watch it!

Thanks again to my roommate and sister for helping me edit and write this chapter respectively!

Chapter 2: [link]

Chapter 4: [link]

this chapter is dedicated to ~noraelie
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:iconyaoiwillkillme:
YaoiWillKillMe Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2014
HOLY MOTHER OF GLOB THIS IS AMAZING!
i have an exam tomorrow nd im reading this...CURSE YOU! 
BUT ITS WORTH IT!La la la la  oh nd could u please send me a link to fanfiction.com? thanks! 
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:icongreenstar2001:
greenstar2001 Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Ha! Party Pattie! You`re so creative!
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:iconkevakmt:
kevakmt Featured By Owner May 17, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
great story!
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:iconluno97:
Luno97 Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh my god I love it! :D
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:iconinsanepaintstripes:
InsanePaintStripes Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
It's genderbend Party Pat! :D
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:icontricky213:
tricky213 Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
holy- ok that was sorta disturbing....
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:iconstelera:
Stelera Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Don't like, don't read.
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:icontricky213:
tricky213 Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
sorry im not a very big Gumball X Marshall Lee fan i knows u got ur own opinion sorry
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:iconanime4liver:
AnImE4LiVeR Featured By Owner Oct 31, 2012  Hobbyist Artist
i love pattie! i could so see someone like her in real life. love it.
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:iconemily5637:
emily5637 Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2012  Student Artist
what are you doing?
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