Like Father, Like Daughter
Disclaimer: I don't own Star Vs the Forces of Evil or any of its elements.
Special Thanks to my beta IdeaGenerator
Chapter 02: Meet the Parents
Marco's mind felt sluggish as he opened his eyes. He groaned as he put a hand to his head, his fingers brushing against a sore-feeling bump. Trying to get up and wincing at the pain, he noticed he was laying on the couch in the living room from the sensation of the cushions underneath him. All he could really see at the moment were unclear blobs of color, but he could tell that the biggest ones to him had to be his parents, no mistake about it. Sitting up, he yawned and stretched his arms, smacking his lips.
"Hey Mom, hey Dad. You wouldn't believe what just happened. I just had the weirdest dream..."
"That wasn't a dream," a familiar female voice, one that was just in his dream, said. "You just fainted."
Marco blinked in surprise and confusion as his eyes finally began to make out the concerned faces of his friends, his family, and a certain red haired girl. Actually, make that two red haired girls. An awkward silence fell over him as the events of his 'dream' started to rush back to him, especially what Hekapoo came to tell him.
"…So, um, how long was I out?" Marco said with a wince, trying to cut the tension in the room.
"Long enough for this tea to go cold."
Hekapoo's-his-daughter snapped her fingers and a small ball of fire formed in her palm. She moved the flame closer to the tea cup, heating the cup up until it started to boil, and handed it to her mother.
"Ah, thanks sweetie." Hekapoo smiled before taking a sip of the now warm tea.
A small distance away, Jackie, standing with the others, scratched the back of her head. She didn't know what to think or feel at the moment, especially with how Marco was involved with the whole situation. "Uh, should we even be here right now? This seems way too personal. Maybe we should lea-Mmmfph"
She grasped at the pair of hands covering her mouth, but Janna shook her head slowly, a reignited fire in her eyes and a large smile creeping across her face. "No, this is too juicy to leave alone."
Thankfully, before the situation could get any more stranger than it already was, Alfonso and Ferguson arrived with handfuls of snacks from the kitchen and started passing them out.
"Janna, we got your popcorn, Sensei, I got you an apple, and Miss Skullnick, Ferguson found you some chips."
"Really? An apple?" Janna questioned, letting go of the poor skater's mouth and popping some corn into her mouth.
"I can't have too much. Mom is making meatloaf tonight," Sensei told her.
"Keep quiet, I don't want to miss anything," Skullnick said, shushing them. "As the one that's going to have to file a report on this for the district and not leave any detail out, I demand silence!"
Pony Head grumbled to herself, already getting her phone out. "I have got to text Chelsey about this. She's gonna flip when she hears this!"
Tom, however, put his hand over her phone. "Uh, that may not be such a good idea Pony Head. Chelsey is a gossip and, if word of this gets out, Hekapoo will track it down. To you." He silently tilted his head towards Hekapoo, who was still talking with Marco and thankfully wasn't paying attention to the others' conversations. "You probably should not try to get her attention that way, especially with those…'things' you found."
"…Ah…Maybe Chelsey doesn't need to know about this."
Jackie sighed, tired of being kept in the dark of who this stranger was and why it would be such a bad idea to tick her off. "Okay, so just who is she?"
Pony Head and Tom just stared at her as if they couldn't believe what they were hearing.
"Seriously? Humans don't know who Hekapoo is?" Pony Head said, an incredulous look on her face.
Getting a clueless shake of the head and a shrug from Jackie, Tom began to explain. "Hekapoo is the ruler of her own entire dimension. She's the creator of all dimensional scissors and is one of the members of Magic High Commission."
"She's one of biggest players in all the dimensions!" Pony Head said. "She's got enough power backing her that you really don't want to tick her off!"
"Is that why Star's been stuck on buffering the past few minutes?" Jackie asked, pointing towards the princess.
Star's usual heart marks on her cheeks had changed into two spinning rainbow balls, and Star herself just remained motionless, only staring off into the space before her with what appeared to be a death grip on her wand. Her right eye appeared to be twitching, a contrast to the rest of the blank expression on her face.
"Huh?" Ferguson noted. "Was that me, or did Star's wand just glow green for a moment?"
Janna shushed him before he could say anything else. "Quiet! I can't hear anything. And it looks like things just got interesting."
Marco was moving his mouth, trying to get words out, but they simply weren't coming out. He looked at Hekapoo and then at the girl next to her. He didn't think Hekapoo was lying to him. She would trick and tease him back during their game of chase, but this wasn't something she'd lie about. This wasn't anything any decent person would ever lie about.
Marco looked at the girl once more. He was surprised just how much of his mother he could see in her.
He didn't know why he liked that so much.
Marco had never really given much thought about what a kid of his would look like, but he never thought that they would have any traits from his own parents. Then again, as he studied her-his daughter, he reminded himself-for a moment, small yet familiar traits started to become apparent. Her bangs reminded him of his own, and her red hoodie looked almost exactly like the pairs he had upstairs.
She had a certain look in her eyes, a look he saw every time he looked in a mirror. It was something he just couldn't describe but something too familiar to not be from himself.
Emotions he couldn't understand, ones he had never felt before, started boiling up in him. Yet, at the same time, his entire body just felt numb and unresponsive.
"Hekapoo…" Marco said, unsure of what to say next, "How?"
"How what? I'm not a mind reader you know," Hekapoo said with a smirk on her face. Her look faltered as she noticed Marco glance towards the elephant in the room currently feeding Nachos a few apples from the fruit bowl the older Diazes brought with the tea, then her expression set back in place and she turned towards her daughter. "Oh, uh, sweetie, why don't you talk with the rest of the guests and make some friends? The adults need to talk right now."
"Okay mom!" With that, she got up and beckoned Nachos to follow her to the other side of the room, where everyone were trying their best to get their act back together.
With that taken care of, Hekapoo turned back to the Diazes and put her finger on her chin. "Hm, where were we? Oh, right. 'How?' Well, Marco, you already know the answer to that. You were there when it happened," Hekapoo answered with a wry expression. "The night we had together right before you blew out my flame."
"That's not what I meant!"
"Wait!" Angie spoke up, a delayed yet sudden realization appearing in her and Rafael's eyes. "You two-"
Marco did not want to have that conversation with his parents right now. "I was thirty at the time!"
He winced at the pair of soul-piercing gazes he felt upon him. "We'll talk about this later, Marco Ubaldo Diaz."
Never had he felt so much dread during the harrowing adventures he had while chasing Hekapoo as he did right now. This was not something he wanted to deal with today. "I said I was thirty, okay?!"
"Well, you were in your twenties the first time," Hekapoo mumbled.
"Not helping!" Marco gulped as the intensity of his parents' glares increased tenfold. "How could you not tell me we had a daughter until she was in her teens?"
"Oh, that." For the first time he could remember, Hekapoo actually looked a little bit sheepish. "Well, it wasn't exactly intentional on my part. We know I like messing with you sometimes-well, okay, a lot-but not about anything like this. A few days after you left, I started to feel sick, but it wasn't like I thought I was pregnant at the time."
"Because you're a-"
"And it shouldn't be possible for-"
"Then how did you find out you were pregnant?"
"I'm getting to that. So, after not getting any better for a while, I decided to go to a doctor to see what was wrong with me. But the moment I left my dimension, it actually got worse."
"But how? I mean, we're not even the same species."
"Yeah, well, the thing about cross breeding is that if both species are structurally similar enough, it can happen. But the thing is, our species aren't even that compatible. In this case, it was a complete fluke. The doctors figured that, somehow, we had met all of the impossible conditions for us to have a child."
"...Oh." Nearly everyone else in the room could almost hear the gears in Marco's head turn at this. "So, what happened? Why didn't you tell me right away?"
"Well, when I got to the hospital, I just about went into labor. The doctors were just as confused as I was. It just didn't make any sense to anyone. I mean, I was already pregnant even though it had only been days after you left. Eventually, I gave birth and the doctors ran some tests to figure out what the deal was in the first place." Here, she paused, as if trying to find the right words. Her characteristic smirk had completely disappeared in favor of a frown.
"According to what they could piece together, because she was conceived in the Afflicted Forest, where things are a bit more wonky time-wise, and because of the differences between our home dimensions' timelines, time works...differently for her. I had been in the hospital for a few days trying to figure out what to do before I took her home, and I had planned on telling you sooner, but then some...stuff happened."
"She grew, like, really fast. She's really only about a month old in relative time."
"A month?!" Marco was shocked. "She's only a month old?" he asked, looking in the direction of the girl who looked older than she had any right to be. She was trying to make small talk with the rest of the guests who looked strangely uncomfortable, which was to be expected with the given surrealism of the current situation. It was a feeling that Marco was all too familiar with at the moment.
"Yes, she is, and it only slows down when she leaves my dimension. The doctors think something in her system must have been triggered by the time dilation when we got back to my dimension. She ages rapidly in my dimension..." Hekapoo said quietly. The whole room seemed to become filled with silence as she just looked at her tea cup with a blank stare.
"She just...grew up so fast. I didn't even notice it for the first few days. Then, she was just getting so big and picking up things so fast and growing so much and-" Hekapoo sniffed-actually sniffed-as tears were welling up in her eyes. She moved to hide them, but it was clear that she was wracked with sadness at the moment.
Marco saw something in her eyes, something he never thought he would see from her. He saw fear, real fear, and despair. Marco ran the numbers in his head. If his daughter was already about fourteen years old in body but only about a month old, about thirty days, it would mean that for every day she lived, she would age about five months.
Marco could understand where her fear came from. In Hekapoo's dimension, with how quickly their daughter grew, it was very possible that Hekapoo could watch her grow old and pass away in less than year. This wasn't some sort of curse of immortality, this was a tragic twist of fate.
The very idea of losing someone like that was horrible. Even having just learned about his daughter, he felt like someone was crushing his own heart in a vice.
No wonder she hadn't told him sooner. She was busy raising a daughter and running a dimension alone, several years worth of child rearing all squeezed into a month.
"…but, " Hekapoo said softly, "We found out she ages normally outside my dimension. I know this is a lot to ask of you, but would you be able to take care of her?"
Marco already knew what he wanted to say, but someone else beat him to the punch.
"She can live with us," Rafael said without missing a beat.
"We would have to move some things around but it shouldn't be an issue," Angie added.
"A-are you sure?" Hekapoo asked, surprised at the lack of resistance to her request.
"Of course!" Rafael smiled broadly before moving across the room to hug the surprised young girl, unintentionally crushing her between his arms. "She's family, we would do anything to help."
Angie quickly joined in on hugging the silently gasping girl. "Besides, it gives us a chance to get to know our granddaughter."
"She takes so much after you," Rafael told his wife.
"Deary, you can just call me Grandma," Angie said.
"Call me Abuelo!"
"Gack!" Their blue-faced granddaughter gasped for breath. "Need air!"
Hekapoo smiled and gave a small, tired chuckle as the two adults released their grips on the poor girl. "I should have figured."
Marco had a kind heart. He was the kind of person who would help others whenever he could, no matter the cost. He would give even a monster a second chance if they said they wanted to be good. Hekapoo knew that much from the several times he had stopped in the middle his pursuit of her and her clones, just to help people in need. It was, in a way, a trait that she admired. One that she knew she could depend on, especially for this task.
Marco came from a family that opened their home to exchange students from all around the world, it was not hard to see where he got it from. When a reckless princess crashed into their lives, despite the dangers and the craziness she brought to their lives, they loved her like family. They were people with a lot of heart and a lot of love. That they accepted her daughter so easily was something that filled Hekapoo with joy, knowing that she could trust her daughter to their care.
Marco took a deep breath and stepped forwards, looking at the girl his parents had finally let go of. Her-his daughter's eyes locked with his own and he gulped. What was he supposed to say?
"Ah, h-hey." Marco tried to smile through the tension he felt in his face. "So, uh, i-it's nice to me-meet you. I'm Marco…I'm your dad." He held out his hand to shake hers and instantly mentally scolded himself for such a stupid idea.
"Hi!" She smiled brightly. "I'm Seraph."
"Seraph?" Marco's heart felt warm after hearing that, his smile feeling more natural than before. "T-that's a nice name."
Before Marco could say anything else, Seraph jumped over and hugged him. "Nice to meet you too, dad."
Marco's arms shook, but they slowly wrapped around her and gave her a hug. She felt warm and soft and smelled like charcoal, and before he realized it he was hugging her tighter. Marco didn't understand any of this, but he knew that he wanted to protect her and make sure she was okay. He didn't know how it was supposed to work, but he was already falling in love with this girl. His girl.
Rafael and Angie smiled at their son. They recognized that same reaction as one they had a long time ago. Remembering back to when they held their son for the first time and felt those same familial instincts take hold, their eyes teared up with joy.
After a moment, Hekapoo cleared her throat. "I, uh...I guess I should leave you be and let you get settled." She got up and started to walk towards the door, but it looked more like a dead man's march. It was clear that this was something she didn't want to do, to leave her daughter behind, and that every step just tore into her heart even more and more. She tried to keep a straight face, but her true feelings poked through the cracks in her mask.
Marco wanted to say something, to comfort her, but he didn't know what. He knew she had a lot of work to get back to in her dimension, and with the Magic High Commission and the leak in the universe, she couldn't stay very long. Not even for her own daughter. Who could truly know what to say in a moment like this?
"Mom, wait!" Seraph said as she reached for her mother's hand, "Do you really have to leave right now?"
Hekapoo came to a sudden stop, her composure truly breaking down and letting her feelings known to the world. She was rooted in place for a second, struck by indecision, then she turned around and pulled her daughter tightly into her arms. Her shoulders heaved with emotion as her sobs filled the air.
"Mom, is everything okay?"
The sobs slowed as Hekapoo looked up into her daughter's eyes. Her own were puffy and streaked with tears as a caring smile crossed her face. She wiped her eyes and caressed Seraph's cheek with her hand. "Everything's fine sweetie. Mom just has to go somewhere for a little while, but I promise you that I will come to visit you as often as I can. For now, why don't you spend some time with your dad? Behave for your grandparents, have fun, and know that I love you." Hekapoo punctuated her sentence by kissing Seraph on the cheek.
"Ew! Mom!" Seraph yelled, her cheeks flushing.
Hekapoo mussed up her hair, a chuckle coming from everyone and finally breaking the tension in the room as the young girl protested against the action, though they could all tell she loved it. "I know, I know. I love you sweetie, and I'll see you soon." She stepped back and pulled out her dimensional scissors. With a smooth motion, she used them to tear a hole in space before her.
Half a step into the portal, Hekapoo paused, then turned back to look at the living room, at one boy in particular. "Marco, take care of her."
Marco gave her a respectful nod, for he had no more words left to say. With that answer, Hekapoo smiled one last time, and she stepped through, the portal closing behind her.
Marco didn't say anything, but he thought that smile was a sad one, full of unspoken hope and pain. They both knew she didn't want to be separated from their daughter. But, as the way things were right now, this was the best thing she could do for Seraph. And Marco was determined not to mess this up.
Hekapoo found herself walking back into her castle, which seemed colder and more quiet than she felt it should have been. It had only been a month, but in such a short time, her little girl had become such a huge part of her life. Hekapoo had gotten used to hearing Seraph running through the halls and her screams of delight echoing off the walls. She could remember when Seraph had first said "Mama," when Seraph took her first steps, when Seraph crafted her first ordinary-not dimensional ones, of course-pair of scissors.
All of these and many more memories flooded her vision as she looked around her home, nearly everything bringing forth to mind another memory. There were the scorch marks on the floor from when Seraph tried to ride Nachos without her supervision when she was eight days old. And those were the misshapen pieces of metal from when Seraph was learning how to use the forge, up there on one of her shelves.
Hekapoo smiled a little, picking up a little metal figurine from the shelf. Seraph had tried her hand at metal artwork a week ago, crafting a statue of her mother. Her face was misshapen, her horns were pointed too closely together, and her legs weren't that big, but Hekapoo loved it all the same. Turning it over, she took a look at the words Seraph had engraved into the back.
I will always love you mommy.
Her smile shattered as it finally hit her, what she had done. What she had to do. For her daughter's sake.
It had broken her heart when she learned about Seraph's condition, but now, she just felt numb to the world.
Hekapoo had only left for a few minutes, but it felt so much longer. Never had the castle felt so empty. And because of Seraph's condition, her daughter could never come back home.
The room fell silent as the portal closed, everyone in the room looking at the space it once took up. No one was really sure who should break the silence first. They were still processing everything that had happened today, and nobody wanted to disturb the heavy atmosphere that still stayed around Hekapoo's departure. One in particular was deep in thought and concern.
For Marco right now, it was finally settling in that he had a daughter. He had a daughter, whose mother had no other choice but to come to him to raise his daughter. Their daughter, he corrected. And he couldn't help but worry for Hekapoo, whose grief and pain he could very much understand. She was hurting inside, but Marco had faith that she would be okay someday.
But for now, the Diazes had to prepare the house for the introduction of the newest member of the family. They were going to celebrate.
"You know, I think we need... a cake!" Angie broke the silence with her cry, bringing back some energy into the atmosphere. "Let's all make a warm welcome for Seraph!"
"That's right!" Rafael agreed. "We need lots of food! We need to make a big meal-no, a feast-to celebrate her homecoming!"
His enthusiasm was infectious, as the cheers from the other guests demonstrated quite clearly. "And we should get her room ready!"
"I'll go get ingredients and you get her room ready." Angie said, the car keys already out in her hand.
Angie ran out the front door to the car, quickly screeching down the street, while Rafael ran upstairs to get a room ready. Soon enough, the sound of thumping and things being moved around came from the ceiling.
"Wow, Grandma and Abuelo sure are…energetic." Seraph noted, both impressed and a bit taken aback by their enthusiasm.
"Yeah, they are pretty great." Marco admitted.
Behind him, Nachos moved forward and tugged at Marco's sleeve.
"Nachos!" Marco looked down, elated to see his old companion again. "Wait, you're staying here too?"
"Why not? Nachos is my best friend." Seraph explained, then she chuckled as the dragon-cycle got up and started licking Marco's face.
Skullnick decided this was enough, "Okay, let's get going. This is really a family matter at this point."
The others agreed silently that it would be better to leave now, leaving Marco to deal with the dragon-cycle on his own.
Skullnick looked back at Marco as she left, letting out a long, tired huff, "I'm gonna have to do a lot of paperwork because of this, I just know it."
Slowly, the rest of the group walked through the front door. They all wanted to properly introduce themselves to Seraph and talk with Marco about everything, especially Jackie, but they knew that it could wait for another day. Not today, at the very least.
Marco had someone more important he needed to talk to right now.
The group stepped out of the house and didn't share words, they quickly split ways to carry on with their own lives.
Jackie strapped her helmet on and paused looking back at the Diaz household. She was confused, hurt, conflicted and worried. She had a lot of questions and she knew she'd have to wait to get her answers.
As she got on her skateboard and skated away she left wondering where she stood in all this.
"Huh?" As she was about to turn down the sidewalk towards her own house, Janna noticed a certain wand-wielding girl walking out the door of the house behind her. She turned around in surprise. "Star? Where are you going? Don't you live here?"
With barely a response, Star just walked past Janna with a blank look on her face, almost completely oblivious to the world. Janna could faintly hear what sounded to be 'Marco' and 'Hekapoo' come from Star's mouth.
"Okaaay, um, how 'bout I get you some donuts? You look like you need some Star."
Star absent-mindedly nodded as Janna, concerned for her friend, steered her in the correct direction of the donut-shop and away from the parked car she almost walked into.
Back at the house, Nachos had finally gotten off Marco and was now chasing the laser puppies in the backyard. Meanwhile, Marco and Seraph were sitting down at the couch.
"Hey Dad!" Seraph called him.
Marco took a moment before he realized she was referring to him. He wasn't sure he'd ever get used to being called that. "Yeah?"
Seraph's smile grew, delighted by the fact that she finally had a chance to talk to her father. "I've wanted to talk to you for so long! Mom told me so much about your adventures and the times you and Mom met together, but there's some things I really want to know from you."
Marco blinked. "Oh, okay. So, what do you want to know?"
"Well, what did you do when you met Mom? She told me you had to chase her clones everywhere," Seraph said, moving her arms out for emphasis.
"Oh, uh, I'm not sure if that would be interesting for you to hear. The first couple of days were kind of just me trying to find shelter and stuff, dealing with the rain and-ugh-wet socks." Marco shuddered. Even though he had to bear with the feeling over the years, it still was something that he hated to feel. And Seraph seemed to share in his sentiment.
"Ugh, bleh! That does sound terrible! Don't you have any other stories to tell me?"
"Well, have you heard of the Swamp of Sadness or the Bog of Eternal Stench? Let me tell you, you wouldn't believe how useful onions can be..."
A little while later, Angie arrived back home, bags full of food in her arms, when she stopped for a moment in the doorway. She saw Marco and Seraph talking, apparently discussing his adventures from when he was chasing Hekapoo across the dimensions.
"No, everything was on fire! Like, I mean, everything! Bless your mother-even though we were technically 'against' each other-she didn't hesitate to help me out. Mind you, I was in my twenties back then. I was bigger than her and everything, but she just picked me up like I was nothing and carried the both of us out of there. And the thing was, it was actually her, not a clone or anything. She saved me when the mountain came down on us. I would have preferred she didn't princess-carry me but I'm not complaining."
Seraph laughed at the mental image. "So, what happened to the Balrog?"
"Well, I'm getting to that. After making it out, we..."
As the pair kept talking, Angie smiled. She was afraid that those sixteen years would have changed her son permanently, keeping him from making connections and leaving him isolated from everyone, but she was overjoyed to see him being so open and talkative again.
Angie admitted to herself that she didn't know Seraph that well, but in her heart she couldn't believe that any child of her son could be a bad person. She still had some mixed feelings about Hekapoo for the sixteen years of her son's life that had gone by, but since Marco spoke so highly about her-and because Angie could sympathize with the pain the unexpected mother was going through-Angie was willing to give her the benefit of the doubt.
And as she took a closer look, Angie saw something in Seraph's eyes, something new and yearning for a family. Becoming a grandmother so soon and in such a manner still shook her to her core, but she felt that, maybe, this was a blessing in disguise and something for the whole Diaz family to celebrate. After all of this consideration, she walked past her son and granddaughter as discreetly as possible and started to prepare the kitchen.
Tonight, they all would share their first meal with the newest member of the family. All the while, Marco and Seraph continued to talk, the occasional laugh or two ringing out into the room, as Angie started chopping up her ingredients, Nachos still in the backyard with the puppies, and Rafael almost done preparing the room for the newest guest of the house.
It surely was going to be a good night at the Diaz household.
Star was walking down a lonely street, the moon just starting to peek over the horizon as she nibbled on one of the donuts Janna had gotten her a few hours ago. It had helped a little, a welcome distraction from everything else going on in her life at the moment.
She knew Marco had been in Hekapoo's dimension for 16 years, but she never considered that Marco would've changed so much in that time, that things would actually change between them. And she especially didn't consider that he would've done that, to actually have a daughter!
Now, she found it hard to think of anything else.
A turmoil of emotions raged inside of Star, but she couldn't tell what those emotions were. However, one of them, something down deep in her, stood out among the rest. It felt bitter and angry and frustrated at the world, one that just filled her with an indescribable feeling. She hated the feeling and she hated that she felt them towards people that she knew didn't deserve it, but she just didn't know why.
She found herself at a door step of a house. The Diaz house. For a while now, this place had been her home, but now, she could barely recognize it even though it looked as it always did.
One feeling that was in the forefront of her mind was that of fear. She was afraid that she wouldn't belong there anymore.
Did she still have a place with Marco? Did she still have a place in his house? Did she still have a place on Earth?
Star was scared, but she wouldn't let her fear hold her back. Finishing her donut and turning the doorknob, she pushed open the door and walked in with a smile on her face and was greeted with the sound of people talking and the smell of delicious food.
It still feels like home, she thought.
She followed the smell and sound towards the dinner table, where she found all of the Diazes sitting and talking together. Including that 'Sarah,' she noticed absently, her smile slipping a little.
The table quieted down when they noticed her. "Star, where have you been?" Marco called out to her. "The food's starting to get cold and we didn't want to start eating without you."
Star hesitated a bit, unsure of where to sit now that there was an extra person at the table, especially since said person was sitting where she usually sat. That detail bothered her almost as much as the fact that they barely even noticed that she left the house. But she wasn't given much time to ruminate on those thoughts.
"Come on Star!" Marco waved her over. "We've all been getting to know Seraph while we were waiting for you, and Seraph really wants to meet you."
"I've never met a real princess in person before!" Seraph said, her eyes full of excitement. She pointed to the empty chair next to her. "Why don't you sit next to me?"
"Yeah, okay...I guess I can sit next to you." Star still felt unsure about how to feel about the situation, but she didn't want to be rude in front of a guest, especially Marco's daughter-she was still in the middle processing the fact.
As Star sat down next to her, Seraph turned to the princess with an eager smile. "You're the princess of Mewni, right? Your mom and my mom work together on that commission thing. Did you know that?"
Star smiled back, though a bit more awkwardly, and nodded hesitantly. "...Yeeeah, I...I did."
"So, you're my dad's best friend? Like, how did you meet my dad?"
Now this was something Star knew how to answer. "Okay, well, so, the story starts with me at Mewni on my fourteenth birthday, when I received my family's prized heirloom; the royal magic wand!" Star brandished said wand in front of her with a proud expression on her face, though it quickly turned sheepish.
"...And then I accidentally set the whole kingdom on fire. After the fires got put out, my parents sent me here to Earth to study my magic. It was so strange and bizarre, and I loved all of it! Lightbulbs, boy bands, fortune cookies, indoor plumbing, Earth is a great place! But most important of all, the first friend I made here on Earth was Marco. And together, we made a pretty great team, especially when Ludo came and we. Kicked. Their. Butts!"
Seraph was awestruck, Star could tell, from the amazed look on her face. "Tell me more, tell me more!" Seraph said, bouncing in her seat.
Star turned her head and smiled at Marco. "Well, the first thing you need to know about your dad is that there is no one better at keeping you safe with kah-rah-te," Star said, mock-chopping the air in front of her, "If you ever need help with school work or fighting monsters, he's always there to lend a hand. He also makes great nachos! Have you tried them yet?" Star practically jumped out of her seat, her face leaning into Seraph's for a moment, but then she backed up as the girl stared at her with wide eyes.
"No, not yet, but is that why he named his dragon cycle Nachos?"
At this, Marco looked away rubbing the back of his head, a faint but clear blush on his cheeks. "Uh...I thought it was a good name?"
"Oh, right, you named your dragon-cycle Nachos." Star sat down, stifling a laugh as the fact came back to her. "Oh you are such a dork!" She playfully batted at Marco, who too began to laugh at the situation as the senior Diazes started to pass around the food, dinner finally starting for the family.
To be honest with herself, Star found it hard to truly dislike the girl. Sure, she still didn't know how to feel about the whole situation, but she would try her best to put those feelings aside. After all, if she was part of Marco's family, than she was part of Star's family too.
Besides, it wasn't like anything could really come between her and Marco, right?
The moon shined brightly as the night set in. In a sparsely decorated room, Seraph nuzzled a small stuffed dragon as she slept in her new bed. Being only a month old, she didn't have a lot of things, only a small bag full of essentials and trinkets, but her stuffed dragon was her oldest and most prized possession. It was the very first gift her mother gave her, and she simply could not sleep without it.
At the foot of her bed slept Nachos, and a few laser puppies were bunched up around Seraph, having decided she made a good bed. All in all, it was a moment begging for a picture to be taken.
Marco peeked at this scene of serenity from a crack in the door. Making sure that she was well asleep, he quietly closed the door and headed to his room. Passing his bed, Marco opened the window and climbed out onto the roof. There, he sat down and stared up at the stars, his arms resting on his knees.
A swirl of light and sound formed behind him, and he didn't need to turn around to know who it was.
"Hey there," Hekapoo said as she stepped out of the portal.
"Hey H-Poo." Marco smirked.
She gave him a tired groan. "Don't call me that." Shaking her head, she sat down next to him, her dress billowing out under her.
"You know, Seraph just went to bed. I'm sure she wouldn't mind getting up if you-"
"No," Hekapoo stopped him, "It's better if she gets her sleep, you know-a growing child and everything." She then tilted her head down, casting her face into shadow. "Besides, it would just make things harder."
Marco looked away for a second, unsure of what to say, but then his voice returned to him. "I'm sorry."
Hekapoo turned towards him, eyebrow raised. "For what?"
"For not being there when you gave birth. It must have been scary to go through it alone."
"Well, it wasn't exactly pleasant, but it's not your fault. You didn't know, I didn't know what was going on at the time, and when I did, I wasn't exactly able to tell you, being in the hospital and all that. Life's just like that."
"I know, it...it just sucks and everything, and I didn't even know until today about Seraph and-" Marco sucked in a deep breath, trying to calm himself down. "It's just that...I just think that it would have been nice to...you know, hold my first kid when they were born."
Hekapoo gave him a wry smile. "You're a lot more sentimental than I thought."
"Shut up." Marco rolled his eyes as he pouted.
"Oh, sorry, did I hit a nerve?" She chuckled. "Well, I do have something for you." With a flick of her wrist, a small flame whirled into existence over her palm. It vanished as she closed her hand around it, which she then extended towards Marco. "It's a copy for you, a little something I had one of the nurses take."
Marco took the object from her and saw it was a picture. Hekapoo was lying in a bed, clearly exhausted but with a smile on her face as she held a small baby in her arms. Their baby. Even though she didn't have horns yet, Marco would recognize those eyes anywhere.
"It's not the same as being there, but-"
"Thank you." Marco held the picture close. It was more than anything he had hoped to get.
"Yeah, I came here to say that to you." Hekapoo sighed. "You know, thanks for doing this. I know it's gotta be weird for you and all, but-"
"Don't worry about it. She's my kid and I want to get to spend some time with her." Marco smiled, his face somehow seeming both old and young at the same time. "At least it's better than nothing. Besides, I've gotten used to the weird."
Hekapoo laughed at that. "That's true, but if you need anything, just let me know. Like, anything. It's not like I'm broke or anything."
"Don't worry. I think we're fine for the moment, but I'll keep the offer in mind. But please, just make sure you visit often. Seraph should get to see you too. She should be able to spend time with both of her parents."
"If you say so. You don't have to worry about that, you know you won't be able to keep me away," Hekapoo said with a wink.
"Well, that would be a nice change in our relationship." Marco laughed as Hekapoo playfully batted his arm, then the two got closer as the nightly chills started to set in.
They sat together, Marco's head on Hekapoo's shoulder, underneath the stars in silence. Marco still felt exhausted from the emotional whirlwind he had gone through today, but here, in the bright light of the full moon, he felt content, and so did Hekapoo.
However, every moment had its end.
Eventually, they parted ways, Hekapoo returning to her dimension as Marco headed back inside the house. As he settled into bed, he placed the picture on his nightstand and sleep finally overtook him, a small smile on his face as he slept. For the first time since he arrived back on Earth, he felt like he truly belonged there, like he finally got back home.
All the while, a princess was lying on her bed, still wide awake. Her hair was splayed around her as the night breeze drifted in through the window of her tower, a window right above the area where a newly-discovered father and mother just were a short while ago.
Author's Notes: So, Chapter 2 is up and what did you all think? Introducing Seraph the child of Hekapoo and Marco. Honestly, I don't even remember where I got the name from. I had it in place when I learned it meant 'Burning One' and then I heard someone broke down Hekapoo and it means 'Hundred Flames' and I just liked that reflection it had and went with it. Anywho, Marco kinda got hit by a truck full of fatherhood, Hekapoo's story is kinda a tragedy at the moment, Star is a glass case of emotions, Marco's parents … are Marco's parents. A new status quo is set up and now let's see how people deal with this. Also, I'm thinking of getting a cover for this story commission so let me know if you have any ideas for cover.
Editor's Notes: This was a pretty fun chapter to work on, I have to say, though you guys wouldn't believe how much had been added to or changed around from the first draft. Now, I hope that you'll all enjoy what we've got here, and kudos to anyone who notices the two references I snuck into here.