"Tell me, Pony Head... what do you honestly think of Marco?"
"Ehh... to tell you the truth Star, I used to think he was like, how do you say, a total idiot. But then, we started hanging out together, I got to know him a bit better, and then he helped save me from having my brains scrambled at boarding school which I'll forever be grateful for. So now, I gotta say..."
"You like him?"
"Nah, don't be silly. I only think he's a bit of an idiot now. But he's growing on me. Like that fungus on my horn, do you remember? Last year?"
"...Yeah, let's not go into that right now, Pony Head. I'm a princess, not a veteranarian. I'm not prescribing pills for you ever again."
"The cutesy eyes with rainbows and hearts aren't going to work this time, either. My parents told me if I abuse the Royal Perogative once more, they'd cut off my hair, ground me 'til I'm an adult and confiscate my spell book. Of course, that last threat no longer carries much weight currently..."
"Huh? What you talkin' about, Star?"
"Oh, who cares, Pony Head? It doesn't matter. Nothing matters anymore. I've lost him forever, and the worst part is, I did this to myself..."
"What? I thought you said you were over Tom. Didn't you tell me a while ago that you'd sooner blast a hole in your head than spend another second in his company? Gee girl, you so fickle..."
"No, it's not him, and I said 'leg' not 'head'. Guess who it is, though... AARGH I can't handle the tension. It's Marco, Pony Head. You put me under too much pressure, and I cracked. I hope you're very proud of yourself, you incorrigible interrogator..."
Star Butterfly had decided she'd had quite enough of moping around the house, waiting for Marco to return with her mortal enemy from their impromptu date.
Nope, not the evil mastermind known as Toffee or even that persistant shrimp called Ludo, but the most dreaded of dreadful fiends, 'Jackie Lynn Thomas'. The mere words made her very teeth itch, but she'd have to overcome this most diabolical of adversaries to get the prize she longed for so, so much.
Again, Nope. Not the return of the missing part of her wand or even being reacquainted with that mysterious magicman by the name of Glossaryck, but the love of her cherished, dear, sweet Marco. All that time wasted, trying to set-up the teenage boy with his childhood sweetheart, while in blatant denial about her own feelings for her so-called 'best friend'.
Star had been way too selfless, giving her main love rival carte blanche to capture the Man Of Her Dreams, while the princess herself had just sat in the corner with her head in the sand, letting the skateboarder get on with her shameless schmoozing.
Well, it was time to put away the fake smile, the non-existent sisterhood solidarity and the false 'I just want him to be happy' narrative. This was going to be an all-out Love War, with only one victor by the time the deathtoll was assessed. Star would have to practice her war cry, sharpen her battleaxe and prepare for a major battle of the heart. It was going to be brutal, uncompromising and possibly a teensy bit bloody as well.
But first, before all of the plotting, backstabbing, catfights and all-round mayhem could commence, it always helped to have a bit of moral support. With Janna Banana being punished for putting firecrackers in the boys' toilets at school, it fell to Star's oldest chum to pick up the mantle... or bridle, in her case.
Yep, her fellow royal Princess Pony Head had flown her big ol' disembodied head to Earth the moment she'd gotten Star's communication about having an 'urgent matter' to discuss with the equine. She'd traded in a promising date with a young Cerebus to spend time enduring Star's grumbles on an unsophisticated backwater planet populated by total lame-os. But, hey... what are friends for, right?
At first, Star thought the main topic of discussion would be the devastating theft of her magical tome, and the little blue pudding-loving teacher who dwelt within. But yet again, her infatuation with a certain Mexican hunk with a red belt in karate and the most gorgeous beauty mark ever on his soft right cheek hijacked the conversation.
The tragic saga that was her lovelife was now a festering sore she couldn't leave alone, and it was time to expose it to others before it burst, spraying pus everywhere. This wholesome metaphor was not construed when she was eating, fortunately enough.
"Huh, I thought you invited me 'round here to hang out and take selfies with cats on our heads. Turns out it's a lot more interesting than that. My little Star's in love!" Pony Head immediately flew over from the cupboard where she'd been searching for oatcakes, eager to hear all the juicy gossip. "So, turd boy, eh? I gotta say Star... you could do a lot better, but you could do a little worse, I suppose. When's your first date, then? If I were you, I'd make him wear that sexy dress he had on when he busted me out of St Olga's. Really matches his disgustingly rosy cheeks, ya know?"
"Actually, that sort of outfit is considered only suitable for females here..." Star said stiffly, in the middle of cutting out all the images of Jackie from the photos she'd taken of them together in her private album. "If he wore that on Earth, he'd get a lot of funny looks and insults from the other inhabitants in the street, and they might even try to beat him up. He'd win of course, but it might delay him from getting to class, or something."
"What? Oh, heck no..." Pony Head shook her single head in exasperation, as she prepared to deliver one of her patented I-told-you-so speeches. "Didn't I like, try to warn you that Earth was an intolerant wasteground of ignorance? Never mind... why don't the two of you spend your first special day together on Transo? Frock-wearing for all the guys there is considered mandatory, eyelashes have to be curled at all time for both sexes and best of all, they have a totally rockin' DJ who pumps out sick beats all year long. So, how about it, Star?"
"Well gee, Pony Head... let me think..." Star suddenly spun about to face her equine friend, with a most unprincessy-frown decorating her usually cheerful face. "That would've been a great idea, only yesterday. It's just... there's a small problem now. Actually, at least three small problems. And they go by the names of Jackie, Lynn and Thomas..."
"What?" Pony Head was all businessmare-like all of a sudden, as she abruptly dropped her stolen oatcake to tug brusquely at Star's collar with her mouth. "Well, what are we still doing here, then? We need to go to the fortress of these monsters, and get your man back! We'll sneak in at nighttime, and I'll pummel Jackie and Lynn while you handle Thomas. He sounds like a real bruiser, and you're the one with the wand..."
"No, no..." Star slumped down again, her abridged photo collection spilling out onto the floor by her feet. "Jackie Lynn Thomas is just a single horrible, awful, terrible, lucky, lucky individual, and she's not holding Marco prisoner. Well, maybe as a prisoner of love, but I'm pretty sure it's voluntary. At least, all my tests so far indicate that it is..."
"Oh, now I kinda remember her from the sleepover. Wow, that was a wild night." Pony Head picked up one of the cut-out silhouettes of Star's new love rival with her teeth to examine it closer. "Yeah, you can tell something's a bit off about her. What's with those strange marks in her eyes? I ain't seen nothing like that on any other human I've been unfortunate enough to meet. That weird green streak in her hair, too... and that thing she's carrying on wheels? Everyone knows, the only method of transportation worth taking is flight..."
"No, no, no!" Star was beginning to melt into the sofa, as she began to wonder if inviting her friend around for comfort was in fact having the reverse effect. "That's the main problem I have, right there! You see, the thing with Jackie is, she's practically perfect in every way for Marco. She shares his interests, is always ready to help him and never gets mad on the regular occasions that he screws up! I feel bad for even hating her, since she's so gosh-darn nice. But I can't control my feelings, and I love him ssoooo much. Oh, Pony Head... whatever shall I do? Maybe I should just g-give u-up..."
The soaring equine reflected on those words carefully, before nipping over to Star's ear to berate her. "Princess Star Butterfly! I'm surprised at you... whatever kind of an attitude is that to take, from such a strong, independently minded female?! Who was it that rescued Marco from Ludo's castle, all on her lonesome?"
Star stopped wallowing in self-pity for long enough to reply. "T-That would be me, I guess."
"And who..." Pony Head continued on the same train of thought. "...Was brave and smart enough to save me from a fate worst than being brainwashed into a perfectly perfect boring pony princess, when she stormed St Olga's to set me and all the other rebellious royals free? Giving the Earth boy some credit too, I suppose."
"Erm... give me a minute..." It took a while for Star to finish deliberating on this all-important question, before the penny finally dropped. "... That would be me, also."
"Now..." Pony Head's eyes flashed for a moment, as the true intention of her cunning plan became clear. "Who is going to go down there right now to kick lil-miss-freckles's nicey-nice butt, and claim what's rightfully hers? You've never admitted defeat before, no matter how fantastic the odds, impossible the chances or size of the queue for goblin dogs. Now, are you with me?"
"Yeah! Let's pin her down and give it to her, right in the keister!" Star suddenly leapt up with renewed vigour, and unleashed one of her many random blasts of magic, causing a large hole to appear in the ceiling. It was a good job Marco's parents were such tolerant, intelligent people, and had taken out a special 'Star Butterfly' clause in their home insurance to cover such wanton destruction. "Except, I don't really want to use physical violence, aanndd..."
"Except what, Star?" Pony Head halted preparing the popcorn she was making for the big fight ahead, and turned back to look at her friend with curiosity.
"He's due to return in a few minutes anyway, so there's no point in starting anything big now..." Star remarked, while nervously fidgeting from foot to foot. "Plus, I'm going to be in enough trouble when my folks find out I 'mislaid' the magic book and Glosseryck. I don't need to get into even more bother, and give them the excuse they need to send me back to Mewni permanently..."
"Wait a second... you lost your magic book? And you told me, before your parents?" Pony Head starting flying around wildly, while emitting strange anxious neigh-like noises. "Oh, this is bad. This is real bad..."
"Hang on, I mentioned that already, when you first arrived..." Star pointed out, with a raised eyebrow. "And whatever happened to 'friends are always there for another'?
"Forget that..." Pony Head suddenly brandished her scissors and tore a hole in the fabric of time and space, which she was seconds away from nipping into. "My father told me that if I did one more thing wrong, he'd send me off somewhere even worse than St Olga's... like, the 'Glue Factory', whatever that is. Sorry Star, you're on your own this time . My final advice though is don't give in, always reach for your dreams and uh... other such inspirational stuff. Well, see ya. Stay in touch..."
"Hey, wait. You can't just leav..." Star commented, but apparently Pony Head 'could'. The portal closed, leaving star all alone and miserable to contemplate how she was going to stop this rapidly growing black hole inside from swallowing her from up entirely.
Great what am I supposed to do now she lamented, sinking back into the long-established groove she'd made in the couch earlier that day. My pony friend has abandoned me, my parents are gonna hate me, and the love of my life is in the talons of that, that...
She could just see the skateboarding seductress now, with her hands probing Marco all over, touching all the spots that should be rightfully hers. Thanks to Jackie's overbearing niceness, a trait that he apparently couldn't resist, it would appear as though JLT had this one sown up. But, hang on...
"I'm pretty 'nice' myself..." Star vaulted off the sofa yet again, her hopes returning in a flash. "If I'm sweeter than his childhood sweetheart, perhaps he'll finally see sense and go with the right girl instead! Which would be me, of course! Oh, why didn't I think of this before? All I have to do is figure out how to show how much I truly love him. Hmmmm..."
And, as she pondered how to achieve just that, a single skateboard pulled up outside the house.
It had been a rough day for poor, disheveled, put-upon Marco. What had been advertised as The Perfect Date, had been more like My Insane Girlfriend. Here's a selection of some of the 'highlights':
*Being pushed along a busy main road by an enthusiastic Jackie, only missing being hit by a car because the board happened to mount a ramp, depositing him straight into a tar pit.
*As soon as he'd painfully removed all the little black pieces from cotton and skin alike, the pair had gone to see a movie... but not the five-star Oscar nominated for Best Foreign Film Mexican weepfest Marco had wanted to watch, but the seventh entry in the increasingly woebegone series The Accelerated And The Annoyed. Jackie's choice, naturally.
*Having his new girlfriend carry him home(!) and being ready to give her a quick handshake at the front door by means of a 'goodbye', but she had other ideas. A full three minute smoocheroony followed, with Marco's arms firmly forced behind his back by the ever-affectionate Jackie, while the French-kissing girl made sure a certain someone was watching from the window, before signing off with a little spank on his clothed buttocks. "See ya later, sport." A highly inappropriate gesture copied from Janna, no doubt.
Notice what those entries have in common? They spell out 'BAH'. Which summed up the whole sorry experience. 'BAH' indeed.
Well, at least after being thoroughly emasculated all day long, I can look forward to some quiet time now with my best friend, Star Butterfly. He sighed with relief while juggling his keys, trying to find the right one...
He didn't need to find to the end, as the door was nearly thrust off it's hinges in front of him and a nonplussed Marco was greeted by an irrepressible Star, who'd apparently majorly overdosed on caffeine. "Marco-it's-so-good-to-see-you-can-I-take-your-coat-oops-sorry-I've-ripped-it-never-mind-I'll-magic-you-up-another-one-later-hey-your-favourite-TV-show-is-on-let-me-turn-on-the-set-whoops-my-bad-I-didn't-mean-to-smash-the-screen-oh-well-as-long-as-we-have-each-other-that's-all-that-matters-right-who-wants-a-strictly-platonic-hug-I-want-a-strictly-platonic-hug-there-do-you-feel-better-now?"
But Marco didn't 'feel better'. At all. And, as he felt as if he was going to choke in Star's superhumanly strong grip, what he didn't realise is that things were about to get a whole lot worse.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: I just had to continue this fic after the A-MAZ-ING season finale yesterday. I get the feeling, that why this fic most likely won't be canon now, the conflict between Star and Jackie will. Did you see the look on Jackie's face, when Star admitted she had a crush? Oohh... can't wait! :)
The only drawback is, we'll probably have to wait another year to see all this emotional turmoil resolved. Still, on the plus side, I doubt you'll have to hang on for that long until this fic resumes...