Like Father, Like Daughter
Disclaimer: I don't own Star Vs the Forces of Evil or any of it's elements.
Chapter 01: Surprise
Marco was finding it hard to readjust to his old life. The smallest things seemed to get odd reactions out of him. Living in forests filled with monsters eager to gobble him up kept him on alert all the time, even in his sleep. He would wake up from the smallest sound creaking throughout the house late at night, even when it was just his own father walking down the hall to use the bathroom.
He had trouble waking up in the morning, having been used to sleeping in as late as he wanted to or could for years. Waking up at a set time every day was difficult now.
He wasn't having any luck at school, finding it a little hard to focus on classes. Classes in which he had a hard time remembering what they had covered, to him, over a decade ago. While his teachers went over concepts he wasn't able to learn about or had forgotten in another dimension, Marco constantly found himself thinking back on his adventures and how they had affected his life back on Earth.
His relationships had changed by a huge margin. None of these people he had seen for over a decade and a half. He remembered them, but it felt odd to be around them all of a sudden again. Ferguson and Alfonso were nice enough to try to give him all the space he needed. They too were trying to readjust, settling with having lunch together talking about anything and listening to him as he told them about his adventures.
Janna, simply put, was annoyed with him. She had loved getting a reaction from Marco before, but now she found it hard to get even a peep out of him. If she stole anything from him, he didn't really care, he'd lived without such things for years. If she hid a snake in his locker, he would check to see if it was not venomous and carefully take the snake somewhere else where it could live peacefully. She should have realized that things would change when he asked for his password from her.
Miss Skullnick was noticeably worried about his 'recent' change of attitude. She had asked if anything was wrong and said that if he needed someone to talk to, she was always there for him. He'd admitted that something had changed, but he just wasn't up to talking about it at the time. He did appreciate her concern though. If anyone could understand having your life changed so suddenly it was her. He said that he was fine and that he might eventually come to talk to her, but still, she told Marco her door was always open if he wanted to talk.
Even Tom noticed something was different despite the limited time and bonding they had together. Before, they mostly played ping-pong, but Marco was usually never much of a challenge for Tom back then. Now, after he had come back, things changed between them. Sure, Tom still had his demon powers and everything, but Marco had started to close the gap between them. In fact, he was actually eager to make Tom push him more, asking for more dangerous games to play. Marco seemed more at ease with the demon just for the fact that he provided a challenge to him. Tom, however, wasn't used to Marco of all people feeling this way about him, something that made him uneasy at times. He just didn't know what to make of this new Marco.
Jackie, on the other hand, was more than a little worried, and that was to be expected when they hadn't even been on more than one date when this kind of development came up between them. She was unsure of what it meant for them, where they would go from here. To be honest, even he didn't know where their relationship would go on out from here. He had accepted that he would never see Jackie again years ago, and now when he tried to take her out on a date, his stomach never fluttered and his heart never jumped like they used to anymore. Not since those years he'd spent chasing Hekapoo had come to an end.
Marco could tell that Sensei had sensed a different flame within him, that he had changed. Movements that felt strange and forced, from fighting in a body he wasn't used to anymore, told a great deal to his old master. Marco was still skilled in the martial art, but it wasn't easy getting used to fighting in his fourteen-year old body again. At he still had the drive to perfect himself, though he felt a tad conflicted and guilty when his mind occasionally thought of looking for another sensei, one that could help him regain the other skills he had now lost. Thoughts he sometimes felt that his sensei could hear but didn't show it.
With Pony Head, he found her talking to him with a surprising amount of respect at times, much more than he expected out of her. According to her, he now had this presence, this aura about him that reminded her of her kingdom's best knights and warriors. Marco didn't know how she got that impression from him considering he just acted like he did normally, but then again, his definition of normality had changed so much that he didn't know where to start. Maybe it was his adult life unconsciously bleeding into his actions, or that he had forgotten what it was like to act like a fourteen-year old again, which was a sobering thought in itself.
But out of everyone, his parents were the most concerned. When Star gave the shortened version of what happened with Hekapoo to them, they had been shocked and scared, but he told them he was fine and that he just wanted to get things back to normal. He still helped around the house, went back to school, and was as kind as ever, but every interaction with them seemed distant and almost forced, a stark contrast to the closeness they once shared. More than once, they had walked in on the middle of his new training regime to bring his current body back to it's 'original' shape, and Marco could see the worried look in their eyes every time when they couldn't find anything to say to him and left.
So maybe it shouldn't have come as a surprise when he woke up Saturday morning and went downstairs to find just about everyone he knew waiting for him.
His teacher, his friends, his sensei, his family, and whatever Tom would be classified as were all sitting in the living room on the couch, waiting for him.
"Marco," Rafael spoke in a calm, tired voice, "would you please sit down for a talk?"
"Ah… Okay, is something the matter?" Marco looked around as he took a seat front of everyone, his instincts flaring up as he suddenly felt the need to bolt. He glanced at the window, realizing that it was probably the easiest escape route, but not trusting that he would be able to make it out in his current teenage state and body. That, and he knew deep down this was something that had long been coming.
Angie smiled sadly at her son. "Marco, we're all worried about you. We know a lot has happened to you and…" She bit her lip, stopping in the middle of her sentence.
"And what?" Marco asked.
"We just want you to talk about it." Star said, speaking what was on everyone's minds.
"I-I-I don't feel like talking."
Skullnick spoke up. "Marco, please, we're trying to understand-"
"I do appreciate that, I really do. I get that you're worried about me, that you're all concerned and want to understand." Marco felt tired, almost as if his real age was finally catching up with his body. "The thing is...you just can't understand what happened to me."
"Marco." Star looked at him. "I told them everything. I told them that you lived 16 years in another dimension. I told them all about how you almost didn't come back home. We all know about that. We just...We just want to make sure you're okay."
Marco opened his mouth to respond, but Jackie spoke before a word could come out. "Maybe it would help if you talk to us about it. Help us understand what you're going through a little better." She sniffled, her eyes starting to tear up and fill Marco's heart with guilt. "You've just been so distant lately."
Marco closed his mouth and was silent for a moment, his eyes cast downward. His throat was strangely dry, and he struggled to swallow. Looking up, he stared into the faces of his worrying parents, his friends and family. "I'm...sorry. I'm sorry I've been so distant. I-I'm not doing it on purpose, I've just been having a bit of a hard time readjusting. After everything that I've seen and done, it's just so...hard to go back to life back here on Ear-"
The sound coming from the front door interrupted what he was trying to say.
Everyone turned to the door as the knocking continued.
Rafael got up to answer the door, intending to ask whoever was knocking to politely leave.
Opening the door, he said, "Hello, I'm sorry, but me and my family are in the mid-"
He stopped when he saw a swirling, orange-red portal in front the door, a pale white hand coming from it. Quickly enough, a young woman with long red hair, a pair of yellow horns, and an yellow-orange dress stepped out of the portal, which vanished once she fully emerged.
"Yeah, sorry to be a bother, but does anyone named Marco Diaz live here?"
"Hekapoo?!" Marco cried out from his seat, standing up at hearing such a familiar voice.
"Hekapoo?" Star, Tom, and Pony Head also exclaimed, the latter two rather put off by her unexpected appearance. They pulled back a little from their spots on the couch as Hekapoo came through the door, the others following suit.
Hekapoo turned her attention to Marco and waved. "Hey Marco!"
"Oh, is this the girl you were chasing for 16 years?" Angie asked, both concerned with the girl related to all the recent changes in everyone's lives and wondering what purpose said girl could be here for.
"Yeah, uh, she is," Marco admitted, rubbing the back of his head, "She's the ruler of her dimension and the forger of dimensional scissors. She's also a very good friend of mine."
"Hello!" Rafael greeted her, shaking her hand with what could almost be called a smile on his face.
"Nice to meet you!" Angie added, a similar expression on her face. "We're Marco's parents. Why don't you sit down and we'll make you a nice cup of tea?"
Hekapoo awkwardly took a seat on the couch as the rest of the group moved to make a space for her. The living room was silent except for the sound of Marco's parents making tea in the kitchen. Everyone just sat in silence, waiting to see who would break it first.
Finally, Marco decided that it would be him.
"Hekapoo, what are you doing here?" He asked. "You're not typically one to visit people."
"Yeah, well, what can I say?" She shrugged. "I had something to tell you."
"Me?" Marco raised an eyebrow, then widened his eyes as fear crept down his spine. "Did something happen to Nachos?"
"Nonono!" She held out her hands. "Nachos is fine."
"Nachos?" Jackie whispered to Star.
"Oh, she's a dragon-cycle that Marco tamed. It's really dope. Super cute too."
Ignoring the side conversation, Marco continued on. "So what did you want to tell me? Is something wrong with my dimensional scissors or something?"
Hekapoo snorted at that. "First off, no. My scissors are always top grade and made to last. Experience any trouble with a pair of dimensional scissors? That's a counterfeit." She clicked her tongue and shook her head as she recalled some of the shoddy knockoffs she'd encountered before. "Who would even make a dimensional chainsaw? Unstable piece of junk that would of course get jammed."
"So what bring you here then?" Marco leaned closer to her.
Marco's parents brought in the tea for their guest, placing it on the coffee table before her.
Hekapoo took a moment to pick her words, but couldn't find anything to say. Eventually putting her hands in her lap, she sighed. "You know, I planned on just telling you this alone, but maybe it's for the best that your parents are here as well."
The Diazes looked on, wondering what it could be that she wanted to tell them.
Suddenly, a swirling orange vortex formed in the middle of the room, opening wide before them.
A loud roar ripped through the portal along with the sound of flapping wings and a powerful rumbling. The other guests all tumbled backwards, trying to get away from the portal as a girl shot out on a familiar dragon-cycle, Nachos. She seemed to be in great health and was happy to see her old friend, even in his current body, but everyone was more preoccupied with who was on top of said dragon-cycle.
Stunned, the Diazes looked at the girl, who unnervingly resembled a teenage version of Angie. Her flowing red hair, strikingly similar to Hekapoo's but with a brownish tint, was held together by a torn-y scrunchie as a pair of yellow horns poked out the top of her hair. A pair of bright amber eyes glimmered as she brushed off the dust from her red hoodie and yellow shirt, black pants, and brown boots, taking her time as she got off Nachos. She smirked, small fangs poking out of her mouth as she did. "Hey there!"
Hekapoo's palm met her face as a tired sigh escaped her lips. "I really need to time these things better. I always forget about the time difference between dimensions." She took a deep breath, an awkward smile and wince crossing her face as she gestured towards the strange girl. "Marco, this is my daughter. Our daughter."
"WHAT?!" Everyone yelled as all chaos broke loose in the living room.
"Sup, pops!" The young girl greeted cheerfully.
"WHAT?!" Marco repeated even louder as the world started to swirl around him.
Right before he blacked out, he barely made out Pony Head in the background. "Dang, wouldn't have thought Marco would have had it in him. Like, seriously."
Author's Notes: First off this idea came from a fan comic done by Moringmark on tumblr. The basic design of the character is based on the fan comic. I'm planning on making her look a bit different as the story goes on, give her different outfit and make her more separate from her parents. I had an idea and planned for this chapter to be longer but then I realized something…. I didn't have a name in mind for her. So, yeah, I'll work on that if you have any suggestions let me know and when I got a name we will continue. Let me know what you think in a review and if you have any ideas for the name. Then I'll continue the story about Marco being a teenaged father to a teenaged daughter. Yeah, things are going to get a little wild, things are going to get a little weird.
Beta Notes: First off, it's been a great honor to be invited in to work on this project. I've helped clean up and flesh out a few parts of this chapter, and I hope that you guys will enjoy the rest of this crazy, crazy trip with me. This is IdeaGenerator, signing off.