*Flashback few weeks ago*
I sighed in the cold night air, steam emitting from a paper cup in my gloved hands. Finally some freedom. I thought about having to go home to my mother, she was always irritated by my short excursions into the city. Honestly Marshall, you have too much of your father in you, you should live up to your name. I rolled my eyes and took a sip of coffee and grimaced. This coffee is terrible. I quickly dumped it into a nearby dumpster and walked along the city streets, leaves crunching under the soles of my shoes in cool Fall air. I turned down a familiar backstreet and turned to stare at what one might assume was an abandoned store cellar in the back of an abandoned Italian restaurant. Heard they served the rats Al Dente way back, wonder why they closed down? I smirked as I lifted the rusted hinges and quickly glanced in both directions to see if there were any cops around. With one finally heft I laid the door on its side and glanced down a dark and moldy stairwell. I shifted as I kicked a piece of glass down into the darkness. When I decided that the coast was clear I began my descent into the underground whistling a soft tune to myself.
It was quiet down in the cellar, all of it had been cleared out a long time ago by scavengers. I looked around and tried to click on the hanging light, before I noticed the bulb was shattered.
"Hey shut that light off," a grizzled voice grunted, followed by a coughing wheeze and a snort. In the corner was a 'Homeless Man', his coat bundled up around him to the point where I couldn't see his waist. He glared at me through clouded pupils, oil and dirt coating his cheeks. I shrugged. "Sorry man, just looking for a place to hang for a while." I closed the cellar door shut behind me and tried to wipe the dust that had gathered in my eyes away. I stifled a cough at the dank surroundings before continuing my decent into the cellar. The 'Homeless man' nodded, "Hanging's not a problem, you looking for somethin' around here?" he eyed me cautiously as I casually weaved my way between abandoned boxes as I made my way towards him. "Just some good booze and a good fight." I grinned as I handed him the the ten dollar 'entry' fee. He tucked it into his enormous coat quickly and nodded before he stood to his full height of 5'8. "Well you're in the right place," He turned to kick open the door to the underground. Orange fluorescent lights leading down into a makeshift sewer walkway. I nodded in thanks and descended another flight of steps as he closed the door. "Bet smart kid," the metal door shut with a clank. As I continued to walk down the worn pathway the walkway became wider the further I walked, and people came out of the shadows from different entrances. Some already laughing as they passed a blunt, others staggering drunkenly towards the underground arena. Screams could be heard the closer one got to a brightly lit stage that sat in the middle of an arc crowded with people. Welcome to the underground.
"MARSHALL!" shouted Mrs. Leamond G. I snapped out of my thoughts and cocked an eyebrow. "What?" I asked annoyed. The class chuckled. Well it was fun while it lasted. "I asked you a question!" she screeched in a shrill voice. Spittle flew from her mouth as she turned hot pink with rage. I furrowed my eyebrows. "Well that's a stupid ass answer, I mean obviously I was ignoring you-" I don't even think she was listening as she pointed a sharp finger in my direction. "SIX HOURS DETENTION!" she shouted. I rolled my eyes "Right. Sure." The bell rung and I flew from my chair without a dismissal. Ms. Leamond yelled as I maneuvered around desks. "I Mean it!" she yelled. I kept a mock serious innocent face as I nodded quickly to every word she said. All the while making a beeline towards the door. "Uhuh, yeah."
"You better serve it!"
"YOUR TOOKUS WILL BE IN THAT SEAT!"
"Yeah it will,"
I ducked out of the classroom grinning and rolling my eyes. "Woof, glad that's over." I looked around leisurely strolling through the crowded hallway before I was yanked roughly into the music room. My eyes widened as the worst case scenarios drilled into my mind by my mother flashed before my eyes. "AH WHAT THE HELL?!" I elbowed the mysterious person in his stomach and followed it with a kick where the sun don't shine. He let out a strangled squeak. I flicked on the light to find a bony kid with curly brown hair underneath a gray ski hat, and a face speckled with zits clutching his crotch and groaning loudly. Judging by his style choice and the baggy pants, I'd say he was a coolio wanna be…..also known as Dork.
I scowled before hiding my shock with an angry face hidden with sarcasm. "Oh I'm sorry, were you-" I turned my head to look behind me, then back sarcastically. "Did you want something?" I finished innocently. I swear if he wasn't already rolling in pain I'd smash his face in. His face scrunched up as he blushed. " My name is Jeff! Y-You stole my G-Girlfriend!" He tried to gain as much ground as he could and glared. Wait...What? I squinted in confusion. His jaw dropped in a disbelief shock. "….Caley?!" he yelled. My face broadened in recognition as I scratched the back of my neck awkwardly. "Oh yeaaah, I remember her. Pretty girl, band geek." I knelt as he fixed his hair under his hat and gave him a sincere smile, "Look…..Jack-" I started."Jeff!" He snapped redder than a tomato. I slow blinked…glob I hate interruptions. "Right…Listen, I understand what you're going through young love hormones and all that. But there is no point in defending her" I gestured to his body. "I mean you just got kicked in the balls dude. Look, she was a lot of things; Good listener, great personality, awesome lover. Greatest one night stand I've ever had hands down," I said looking at the floor wide eyed and nodding. He struggled to get to his feet.
I tripped him and he fell to the floor with a stifled grunt….once again….I took the knee.
"But Faithful…she is not…Definitely not, let's face it John, Casey is a freak-" "CALEY!" he shouted clenching his fists. I rolled my eyes and sighed in frustration, can't this comminor see I was giving him advice? "Anyways after she was finished with me, she went after that Peter guy. You know, the football star? Yeah anyways, if you want to talk t her or something, you might wanna check there, but don't get your hopes up, that girl gets passed around faster than a chip bowl at a house party," I pursed my lips and pat his shoulder as I stood cracking my back and I sighed in relief. "Later Jerry!" I left closing the door behind me and dusted myself off. Jay-sus I get that a lot. But! I just do what most people would do in this situation….blame the other guy, of course!
I watched as a tall guy was chased down the hall by a bunch of angry slightly younger kids. And apparently I'm not the only one. I smiled and waved. "Hey Pete!" he was too busy yelling profanities as all of the younger boys tackled him. Jack...Jason?...finally left the band room, his eyes scouring the hallway before he pointed and shouted at Peter and didn't hesitate to join the mix. "What the hell?! I didn't DO anything!" Peter yelled in exahsperation as he tried to fight off the oncoming barrage of angry ex-boyfriends. "Oh so you DIDN'T sleep with Sharon?!" one asked. Peter hesitated before nodding his head and rolled his eyes in consideration. "…Okay yeah I did, but that's not the point it was One girl!...Okay a couple!" the boys' shouts grew louder. I turned on my heel grinning and headed towards my locker. As I pulled a red apple and my IPhone from my book bag I casually closed my locker and bit into the fruit walking in the opposite direction of the commotion. Just as I was putting my songs on Shuffle Peter's shouts increased in volume behind me "No…wait! WAIT!". I turned up my music with an evil grin.
I hummed on my way to the lunchroom when I was grabbed once more…this time full out palms on my face as I was dragged into a corridor. My muffled voice was heard through the practically empty hallway. " IF THIS IS ANOTHER PUNK ASS DWEEB, I SWEAR TO GROD I'LL BURN YOU ALIV-!" he took his hands off, showing the glare I was accustomed to. I dead panned. "…Oh…hey Bubba," I leaned against an empty locker. "What…was that?" he asked in his most sinister tone. Bubba was my secret bodyguard, who branched from a secret organization that my Father was apart of. I heard that they even had child soldiers that could be rented out for the protection once upon a time. Wealthy men and women rushed to get their own personal Marines for their precious heirs, and due to being forced to go to these social events, I even met a few kids that had a few. I grimaced at the memory as I remembered the children's vacant eyes as they followed skipping children that were rich enough to be happy. I may be an asshole sometimes, but that was just horrible.
Unfazed by Barneby's presence I looked around casually. "Oh yeah, you see this guy named, Berry?..." Bubba waved his hand in irritation. "No. Not in the hallway I mean in the class," He said his glare deepening. My eyes widened in realization. "Oh, you mean with that girl…Fionna…Man she's kinda hot," I said casually as I bit my apple again and savored its sweet flavor. "Marshall for the last time, you are not here to prey on the commoner women, you are here to get the mediocre education that you begged your mother to allow you to have." I 'tched' and leaned casually on a locker. "For the record Barneby I chose to go to a public school because I can't stand those aristocrat bitches. And whatever happened to 'Not blowing your cover?' aren't you afraid that your "Mother" might find out we know each other?" I checked my nail casually. Bubba crossed his arms and glared sternly at me. "Marshall I do not care about your school life, and fairly I don't care who warms your bed at night. But you keep that cassanova crap away from Fionna."
"And why do you care about her exactly?" I asked suspiciously. Barneby remained unfazed. "She's my friend. We go way back. Frankly, I don't think that even she knows how far." He said as he finally broke eye contact and looked at the ground. I furrowed my brows in confusion. "Go way back? What the hell is that supposed to mean?" I asked as anger arose. I'm not really sure why this is though. "What are you guys bros? Penpals? Dare I say it Fuck buddys? I'm hurt Bubba, I thought we were bros." I said sarcastically as I shifted my weight on the lockers. Bubba's eyebrow twitched in irritation. "The issue of with whom I am most close, is beside the point. You stay away from that girl specifically. And I do not care how you feel about it, am I clear? 'bro'? "Bubba used air quotations as he raised an eyebrow. I sighed and straightened as the lunch bell rung. "Don't tell me what to do Bubba." I said before taking another bite of my apple. Barneby raised his voice as I turned away from him. "I am serious Marshall. You don't know what's going on. If you find out something you aren't supposed to, then I will have to report to your Father" I stopped mid-chew as a heavy silence ensued between us.
I swallowed and glared at him as he stood with the same level glare. What is his deal? She's just a girl I like and now he's willing to sentence me to my Old man for this? What does he have a death wish? I wiped my mouth on my sleeve calmly, and then checked a nail. "You wouldn't do shit Bubba." I said with finality in my tone. I Dared him to say otherwise. His eyebrow twitched as his expression softened momentarily from fear. "Look, I get that…what with girls and you, it can be a little hard to hold in your self control, but Marshall this one if Off. Limits." he said his tone pleading and yet commanding. "I thought you promised to tell me everything Bubba, I don't know if this is serious or if you're just trying to put me on a leash, but Fionna and I are not even that close." I could have laughed. Bubba narrowed his eyes "But you want to be close to her." it was not a question. I froze and hesitated. "What are you blabbering on about Barneby?" I tried to say casually but it came off as strained. Bubba gave me a knowing look. "Come now, you were never really adept at making friends now were you Young Master Lee" Bubba said in a condescending tone as he used my full title. "Shut up. And you're not a frickin butler Bubba stop calling me that-" "Obsessing over every blond that you see isn't going to bring her back Marshall." Bubba cut me off, but now with a softer tone. I flinched again and balled my fists angrily. Damn you Barneby. "I thought we agreed not to mention-" I whispered angrily. Bubba once again cut me off.
"Marshall. This isn't healthy… but… living alone with this isn't helping you out either." Bubba muttered to himself as he sighed. He made eye contact with me once more, but the anger I once felt was drained by sorrow and now I just felt tired. "Fine...I will cover for you as best I can Marshall. And only because I consider you... my... friend." Bubba hesitantly tested the word on his tongue. It almost sounded foreign coming from him. "But if you find out something that you are not supposed to know, I must do my job." He said sternly and I nodded, even though he was still technically leaving me in the dark, but who cares? A free pass from Bubba is as rare as it can get. I grinned at him. "Aw, Barneby. You do care. But! It looks like I'm late for lunch so, see ya!" I turned on my heel and made a beeline for the lunchroom grinning like an idiot.
Barneby watched as Marshall walked happily to the lunch room. A feeling of dread pooled in his stomach as he turned his watch over and pressed in a code. He was patched through immediately due to his rank. Barneby took a deep breath as he listened to the silence on the other line, that was followed by a friendly tone that held authority. "Barneby, …. nice to hear from you again. How's my boy?" the voice asked. Barneby paled, despite this man's friendly tone, he could easily sentence Barneby to death if he wished. "Sir, I am sorry to disturb you?" The man made a light, dismissive noise as he played chess on the other line.
Mr. Abadeer sat casually in his office, dark drapes blocking the sunlight as he stared intently at his obsidian and ivory chess pieces. "Nonsense Barneby, Nonsense! You rarely call, and I can only assume it is because a situation has arose." casually knocked over a pawn in the game, he could practically hear the fear emanating from the boy. "Y-Yes sir. It's Marshall, he… has...he met a girl that he wishes to befriend." snorted derisively to himself. About time he got over that. "Yes?" said slowly as he wished for him to continue. His opponent brought his rook into play and Abadeer nodded to him in approval as Barneby stuttered on the other line. "Well, that is..the issue here, you see he has befriended one of the... scattered child soldiers from Project C." Mr. Abadeer paused, one elegant finger poised over a knight piece. Pleasure found itself rolling in waves off of his body as satisfaction caused a smile to spread across his face. Mr. Abadeer's opponent's interest was peaked as well. "Oh? An ex child soldier you say?" He couldn't hide the curiosity in his voice. On the other line Barneby glanced at the speaker and furrowed his brow. He was shocked that this was going so well. slowly slid his piece into lay, the satisfaction increasing his confidence as his opponent took one of his knights. "And do you happen to know the identity of this ex-c?" Mr. Abadeer remained casual as he used the organization's nickname for the disbanded children. He reclined in his office chair.
Barneby swallowed tensely as he prayed that it would not matter. Not just for his sake, but for Fionna's as well. However, orders were orders despite the fact that they pained him. "Yes sir. It's ex-c 1038...a Fionna Mertens, sir." Mr. Abadeer's opponent froze midway through reaching for a an ivory bishop. Piercing blue eyes met cold burgundy ones as Mr. Abadeer smirked. He loved it when a plan came together so smoothly. "I see...well monitor them Barneby. If my son finds out something that he isn't supposed to, you know you must report directly to me." Barneby felt the corridor of the school grow darker as the man's chilling voice met him through the speaker. "Surely I do not have to remind you of the consequences?" Mr Abadeer's cool voice reached Barneby. Barneby's adoptive mother flashed through his mind. She didn't want him to get hurt. It's not her fault she adopted a monster. Barneby looked to the ground as hair covered his face. "I..I understand sir." smirked on the other line as he once again looked towards his opponent and most trusted friend. "Excellent. Will that be all, Barneby?" moved to pick up another chess piece. "Y-Yes sir…" Barneby's quiet voice whispered through the other line. "Very well, you are dismissed Barneby." the teenage boy gave a sound of confirmation and ended the connection before he slouched against some lockers and slowly placed his head in his hands. Fionna...if you find out...please forgive me.
Hunsen Abadeer ended the security line as he pressed the button and looked towards his associate. "Well, it appears my plan is now in motion." smirked as he leaned back in his chair. Now that this fortunate variable has come into play, his associate will have no choice but to help him in the matter. "Yes...it appears so," the man's piercing blue gaze met Hunsen's as he quickly moved a chess piece. "I will do everything in my power to make sure that we succeed in our goal." The blue eyed man took a sip of chilled vodka from a glass. Hunsen smirked as he looked at an ivory pawn and picked it up to admire it. "At long last...I will have an heir worthy of Abadeer. And if all goes swimmingly, you and I will become very powerful indeed. Isn't that right, Luke?" Luke Mertens smirked through the glass as he gazed towards Abadeer. "I assure you, I will do everything in my power to move this along. We will retire very wealthy men Hunsen." Luke could not help his own grin from forming. He knew Fionna very well. She will fall into this line, just like her mother did. grinned as he moved to pick up the ebony queen. At long last Marshall. Hunsen moved the queen to the center of the board. At long last.