Like Father, Like Daughter

Disclaimer: I don't own anything from Star vs. the Forces of Evil


Chapter 29: Only Time Will Tell

Marco wasn't sure what to think of things when the Magical High Commission asked for his and Seraph's help. He was flattered that they would come for him for help. They told him that because of Hekapoo's punishment, she couldn't help, and he was happy to step in.

He agreed. It was supposed to be reasonably safe.

As Marco dodged what seemed to be a giant clockwork cockroach, he wondered if they had the same definition of "safe." Marco slashed at it with his sword, and it jumped back and crawled away. Seraph shot flames at another one of these mechanical bugs, its metal skin turning red-hot and shook as it scuttled away.

"Let's keep going before more show up," Marco waved over Seraph, and they continued to walk up the tower steps.

Marco checked to make sure that the pocket watches Omni gave them were still good; they each had one around their neck. As he looked at the clock, Marco felt he should have asked more questions when he had the chance.

The Commission told them that centuries ago, a Chronomancer did a dangerous spell to allow him to control time and become immortal. It backfired, ripping him across the time winds, which meant he was pretty much erased from existence. Usually, that would be a problem solved, but not in this case. The spell kept going, and energy erupted outwards and twisted time all around this small world. There were no sentient beings on the planet, just animals and plants, so repairing it was not a high priority.

That and they couldn't fix it.

This unique state was bizarre. Without those watches from the Plains of Time, anyone who walked in without some weird time powers would get stuck in it and lost. Omni himself couldn't enter because he'd likely get torn apart by shear stress. Lekmet was too old to deal with these roaches, and no one trusted Rhombulous to handle it on his own.

Even then, things like roaches were something that wouldn't be easy to handle. Omni explained that they were creatures that often materialized when there were time anomalies and threats. Honestly, these were some of the smaller risks of this nature. The dimensional scissors sword and Seraph's flames had a layer of dimensional energies that could harm those bugs.

Usually, the Commission would just let this thing be, but in the last few days, they started to sense something that caused the area to unravel; the time magic was starting to get weird.

Marco looked out of the tower, the air looked sickly green, he couldn't see it from here, but the area of effect was growing. He could also see shimmering green gems in the sky; they were physical manifestations of the time magic. Omni thought that since magic was fritz-ing out, someone managed to slip past and grab some that started to destabilize the weird time zone. Left alone now, it would expand, affecting other worlds or possibly explode. So they needed to handle it soon. To make things worse, they couldn't portal in that weird time zone. They portaled outside it and trekked there, fighting those roaches whenever they showed up.

They made it to the room at the very top of the lab. Siting on what Marco was sure was a pedestal in the center of the room, now twisted with green energy, sat a bright clear crystal ball.

"That's the thing, right?" Seraph chirped.

"I think so."

"Uncle Omni said this was supposed to keep the spell under control."

"Yeah, he didn't explain it too well. He meant that it was supposed to scan the spell, do calculations, or focus his thoughts on controlling the spell better. Try to keep it in check. The problem was the chronomancer himself couldn't keep up the spell."

"I guess that means you gotta be super careful with high-level spells."

"Right," Marco walked around the crystal ball, "Okay, so I think we just need to yank it out, and everything will start to go back to normal."

It took both of them to yank it out of its pedestal. At first, nothing happened, but soon the green tint to ebb away, and the world reverted to its normal state. The tower began to shake and rise into the air as large hands picked it up.

"Hey!" Omni's voice rang out, "Sorry, I saw the magic field fade; I figured I should pick you up." Outside, they saw all those roaches seemingly crawl into cracks in reality as the world shifted back. The rest of the tower collapsed as years started to catch up on it. Omni then took the crystal ball to safety, while Rhombulus ran over and hugged Seraph.

"You okay? Did you get hurt or anything?"

Seraph just shook her head, "No, I'm okay; dad made sure nothing got too close to me."

"Well, okay," Rhombulus pouted, glancing over at Marco.

Lekmet gave a small pat to the girl's head; Seraph smiled and fought the odd urge to tug on his beard.

Omni marveled at the crystal orb, he towered over them and leaned down to speak to them. "Thank you, Marco; we'd have trouble pulling this thing out."

"I'm glad to help."

"You did very well, too, Seraph."

Seraph beamed, "Thank you, Uncle Omni,"

Omni practically gushed, hearing the little girl call him that.

Marco couldn't help but smile at that; the High Commission did seem to adore Seraph, and Seraph appeared to love the attention from her newly discovered Uncles. Marco knew that Hekapoo at best had mixed feelings about her "brothers," but it was nice for Seraph to have an extended family. Except for Glossaryck. It wasn't said, but both parents seemed to feel it was better than Glossaryck wasn't around. That stuff that Hekapoo told him about Glossaryck made him hate him a bit more.

Maybe he should talk to Hekapoo about it, he never liked talking to Hekapoo about that little blue man, but perhaps they should. He knew Star told Moon, so the Queen was probably looking for Glossaryck with the rest of the Commission, and it would only be a matter of time before they found him.

Or maybe not, neither Marco nor Hekapoo even liked talking about him getting involved with Seraph.

0000

Later that night at their house, Marco was finished brushing his teeth. Seraph was already fast asleep in her bed. Marco knew she'd have a busy tomorrow; finals were coming soon, so Seraph decided to get her friends to come over so they could all study together. He'd helped out too, besides he needed some help also. He'd made a lot of progress since he got back to Earth, but some stuff was still off.

He went to bed early so he could get plenty of rest.

Though as he fell asleep, it wasn't a comfortable sleep, his mind kept flashing back to the event during his Trial. It was wild and turbulent, and fun too. By the time morning came, he was tired and warm.

"Marco! Honey! Your friends are here!" Angie's voice rang out with a knock on the door.

"Coming, mom!" Marco called out; then, he coughed a bit. His throat must have dried out.

"Okay, I'll let them know." Angie thought he would have woken up earlier. He usually did, but it was the weekend, so she let them sleep in and time sort of got away. Marco coughed as he scratched his head, he headed to the bathroom to clean himself up. His eyes were bleary, and he turned on the water to splash in his face.

He looked up at the mirror and then screamed.

0000

Star, Janna, Jackie, Sabrina, Starfan, and Brittney gathered in the living room with their books to go over things. They were just waiting for Seraph and Marco.

Angie was bringing over some snacks when they heard Marco scream.

"Marco?" Angie questioned.

Rafael looked at the group, "Just stay here; I'll go check on him."

"I'll help," Angie followed behind him.

The girls looked at each other, unsure.

Janna just said, "He just yanked out a chest hair again."

Soon, the two parents reached the bathroom door, Angie knocking on the door. "Are you okay? Should I send your father in there? Is it boy trouble?"

The door opened up, and both of the parents jumped back.

Rafael quickly pushed Angie behind him. "Who are you? What are you doing in our house? Where's Marco?"

"It's me; I'm Marco!"

Before them was not standing the 14-year-old boy, but a 30-year-old man, who seemed to be wearing their son's pajamas, and the top was torn up by his muscles.

Angie stepped forward, looking into this man's eyes, and she saw it, the same eyes of her son, "Marco?"

"Mom?"

Angie's hand rubbed his face; then, she let her finger's trace the scar over his eye. Marco had told them about his Trial that took years, that he had been hurt before. But seeing him like this made it more real than she could have imagined. Their little boy had spent years away from them fighting to survive. It wasn't easy for a mother to let go of a child, but he was gone before realizing it and never came back the same.

"Mijo?" Rafael let out, he let out a soft chuckle, "You got so big, you're taller than me." Tears filled his eyes as he realized the same thing.

He hugged his son, and Angie joined him. Marco didn't understand it but hugged them back.

After a moment, they pulled away. Rafael asked, "You really worked out, didn't you?"

"Yeah, kinda."

"Hey, is Marco, okay?" Star and the girls walked into the hall.

They looked on in shock to see Marco there but a decade-plus older.

"…Marco?"

As they looked at him, they noticed things; his tale-tell mole.

But their eyes were drawn to something else.

"Abs." Star blushed, well, they all were. They were impressive abs.

"Ah, Marco… is that… wow." Jackie felt her face go red.

"He gets hotter as he gets older," Brittney whispered.

"Yeah." Janna bit her knuckles, she hated to agree with Brittney but couldn't this time.

"Ah, huh ah," Sabrina found it hard to string words at the moment.

StarFan looked on, stunned; she slowly started to pull out her camera phone.

"What happened?" Angie asked, "Is this some sort of timey-wimey spacey-wacey thing?"

Marco smiled at this. His mom played Monster Trader's, did monthly visits to comic shops and watched a good chunk of fantasy and sci-fi. She would be the first to start figuring things out.

"Did the weird dimensional physics thing get reversed?" Angie started to figure.

"No, it doesn't work that way with Hekapoo's dimension," Marco told her, he had studied with dimensional scholars, so he knew a bit more on this plus he double-checked something after he met Seraph.

Rafael rubbed his chin, "Your chest isn't hairy, I just assumed that with all my chest hair you'd be-"

Marco shook his head, "Trust me, I've asked that question. I think it skipped a generation."

"I'm not complaining," Janna spoke up,

"Wait, did you do anything yesterday?" Angie asked, "You went somewhere yesterday, didn't you? Did you go see Hekapoo or-"

"No, her uh, brothers asked for help with this-"Marco snapped at attention. "Ugh, I probably got exposed to time stuff." Then he paled,

"Seraph! Seraph was with me!"

Marco ran towards her room, and the others followed after.

He burst into her room and went to her bed, pulling the blanket away he found Seraph.

"Goo?"

In a way too big of an orange shirt was a small baby nibbling on her plush dragon. Marco couldn't make a mistake; he saw that picture every time before he went to bed. "Seraph?"

The baby looked up with dazzling eyes and reached for him, "Papa?"

"Hey," Marco reached for her to find her small hand grabbing his finger.

The others started to panic and talked amongst themselves, but Marco just drowned them out; he couldn't help but be entranced by his baby girl.

"Marco?" Angie put her hand on her son's shoulder, finally snapping him out of it.

Marco just looked back at Angie before looking at his daughter. "We have to figure this out."

He went to where Seraph had her mirror and dialed up Hekapoo. After a few rings, Hekapoo popped up in the mirror.

"Oh, hey Muscles, what are you doing with Seraph's mirror?" Hekapoo asked. "And are you in my dimension? Did you come to see me?"

"Hekapoo, I'm on Earth; something has happened. Something has happened to Seraph."

Hekapoo didn't waste another second but opened up a portal right to the room.

Hekapoo quickly found Marco in his adult body.

"Mama?" But her attention quickly turned to the baby on the bed.

"Hey Baby," A soulful smile formed on Hekapoo's face; she picked up Seraph gave her a kiss causing the baby to giggle. "I never thought I'd get to do this again."

How long had it been since she got to hold Seraph like this? She didn't even realize how much she missed it.

After taking a moment, she looked at Marco, "what happened?"

"I don't know," Marco admitted, "I think it has to do with Omni."

"Why?"

Marco explained the situation.

"What the-?" Hekapoo sputtered, "I was free yesterday! My punishment was over! I was running an errand for the Queen at the other end of the Universe."

"So, he was lying?"

"Or something," Hekapoo huffed, "I don't know what he was thinking. I know that place, I don't think it should mess with you like this. I'm not an expert on time stuff, but-" She shook her head, "No, if we are going to figure this out, we have to talk to him."

Hekapoo took out her mirror, stopping Seraph from grabbing it, she did manage to call Omni, but it didn't go through. Hekapoo didn't know if it was the fritz or he forgot to charge his crystal. "we need to find him."

0000

Marco got into his adult clothes since they fit him better. Hekapoo was in the yard with Nachos opening up a portal.

"You'll be careful, right?" Angie walked alongside her son.

"Mom, trust me, we've done this sort of stuff before. This is easy; we just got find Hekapoo's brother-"

"NOT MY BROTHER!" Hekapoo yelled out.

"And ask him some stuff."

"It just happens he lives in a hectic place," Hekapoo pointed out, "The Plains of Time are a little wild and easy to get lost in. And I'm pretty sure things move around. Reynaldo was the only one who could really keep track of that sort of stuff."

Angie looked at Seraph, who was in her arms playing with her long hair.

"Boop," Marco tapped the baby, causing her to giggle.

"Don't worry, kiddo; we'll figure this out. We'll get you back to talking and doing crazy math."

Angie sort of hated herself but asked, "Is this really so bad? Seraph could start over, have a normal life and-"

"I know," Marco told her, "I have thought about it, trust me, but she has a life. She has made friends, and it wouldn't be right to take it from her. I don't even know if her mind has gone back too, she could be trapped. Even if she isn't, it's not my choice to make. For better or worse, this is her life; I'll do everything to protect it."

Angie did feel a little ashamed to say it. She remembered the teen Seraph asking her questions and everything, and she'd miss that girl. Angie could only look at Marco.

"Let's get going, Marco," Hekapoo called out. "I'll be back soon."

Marco ruffled Seraph's hair and followed. The portal closed, and Seraph looked around, confused, "Mama? Papa?"

Angie held the little girl close. It would be so easy, but would it be right?

0000

At the Plains of Time, Hekapoo and Marco settled Nachos back, Marco climbed on, and Hekapoo sat behind him. The red-haired forger wrapped her arms around his waist.

"I thought you got your own Dragon-cycle?" Marco asked her.

"I did," Hekapoo confirmed it, "But Cinnabar is at the groomers, so we are going to share."

"Okay, it's not that I mind or anything." Marco pulled on Nachos' handles; they drove on passing the River of Time.

0000

The girls continued to try and study for their test, but things weren't too great a start, everything that happened was very distracting.

"Where's Seraph?"

"Oh?"

"There's Seraph!"

"Aha!"

"Where's Seraph?"

The group turned to the side where Starfan had decided to play peekaboo with baby Seraph.

Angie and Rafael decided to go out and get some things for her in this state. Hopefully, it would be resolved quickly, but they would need somethings.

The girls said they could watch her for a bit.

Starfan lowered her hands, and the baby giggled at her.

Brittney just glared, "Do you have to do that right now?"

"Yeah!" Starfan told her, "babies get bored easily, and then they get fussy and cry! I babysit to make some extra money, so I know it's best to keep them happy."

"Let her," Janna defended, "come on, smile for Mama Janna. Can you say, Mama Janna?" Janna grabbed Star's wand and shook it in front of her. Seraph pulled it away and started to nibble on it.

"Ah, Janna, maybe we should give the wand to a baby." Jackie objected.

"Yeah, that isn't a baby rattle," Star told her.

Janna snorted, "Come on, what's the worst that could happen?"

Seraph shook it, and the broken star crystal glowed. A fire erupted out of the wand, and it took the shape of a giant dragon's head. The head let out a grand roar as it flailed around. The girls all had to fall back to avoid it, Star barely jumped over and pulled away from the rattle and the flames dispelled.

Seraph began to cry, and Starfan picked her up and rocked her back and forth.

"It's okay, don't cry!"

"That's what could go wrong!" Brittney scolded Janna, who now had a scorched hat.

0000

"Should we ask for directions?" Marco asked as they rode on.

"From who? Time Hamsters?" She motioned to the giant blue hamster drinking some water.

"Well, where am I supposed to go? I don't know where Omni lives. Star told me he just kinda shrunk down from the sky."

"Yeah, he Shrinks, he likes to stay bigger, but he can fit into places it's just a hassle for him. He usually stays in one of the mountains."

"Which one?"

"Meanwhile Mountain, the problem it's that it's always moving."

"Okay, how hard could it be to find a moving mountain?"

0000

"She's so adorable!" Rafael said without any reservations.

They had returned with baby stuff, including a few outfits for Seraph to try on. At the moment, she was wearing a baby Jack O' Lantern costume.

Angie and Rafael had a professional camera ready, taking several snapshots of the baby. They had even gotten Sabrina to hold a white sheet and Star to hold a flashlight.

Seraph, who didn't seem to know what was happening, just sat there in her costume, chewing on her hand.

"Is this the right time for that?" Jackie couldn't help but ask them.

Rafael looked at her looking crestfallen, "But we never got to do this before, we never got to take pictures of our first granddaughter in her little Halloween costume!"

"We got it!" Angie proclaimed in victory before picking up the baby to change.

Jackie sighed; she wasn't a parent, so it would have made sense that missing milestones like this could have been a big deal.

Janna walked over with her arms crossed, "Okay, I gotta speak up for Seraph. When Marco and Hekapoo come back and undo this, she's not going to love the idea of you putting her in costumes."

"Okay, I got her next outfit." Angie came holding Seraph in a cute pink dress.

Seraph smiled as she tugged a little on the cute little bow in her hair.

"Like-"Janna blinked at the baby.

"AAAAH!" She screamed, startling everyone, Sabrina toppled over in shock.

Janna pulled Seraph away and kissed her and cuddled her. Seraph laughed at the new attention.

"Oh! MY! Gaw! You look so adorable!" Janna couldn't help but cuddle her. "I could just eat you up!"

Janna hated herself. She loved the color pink, and Seraph looked so cute she couldn't resist. She hated putting her in any normalized gender roles or anything, but she could make a small exception, right?

Rafael took a few candid pictures.

0000

The two parents drove on, and at Pocketwatch Rapids, Marco spotted what looked like a giraffe in a canoe waving at them.

Hekapoo grabbed the handles and drove them away from the rapids,

"This way."

"I thought I saw-"

"Nothing there, let's keep going this way,"

0000

They eventually pulled Janna away from the baby and got her into an orange onesie. Jackie decided to stop fighting them and let them have the chance for pictures. Jackie's idea was to put Seraph on her skateboard and push her along a little. Jackie even put a helmet on, not that it fit, but Seraph was just sitting on it as Jackie pushed it gently.

Seraph kept fiddling with the oversized helmet.

Jackie took the helmet, "Come on, let me help you with that. Your dad would never let us live it down if he saw you on the board without a helmet."

Jackie took off the helmet and found Seraph looking up at her. Seraph grabbed her hand, smiling at her, "You have a strong grip."

Jackie smiled, Seraph looked so small and fragile but so strong at the same time. Yeah, she had a lot of her dad in her.

Jackie picked up the baby and smiled; Seraph smiled right back at her.

0000

They weren't finding any mountain, but they found the Memoratorium.

Marco had been there before with Star, he remembered it as a sort of museum of history with large cameras that jumped out of the walls.

"Let's look in there," Hekapoo spoke almost detached from the situation.

"You sure?" Marco asked her.

"Yeah, it might be helpful to check it out. I don't think it will show us where Omni is right now, but it might give me a clue to what he was planning." Hekapoo scoffed, "Probably a long shot, but I think it's worth a short detour."

Marco nodded, trusting her judgment, he turned Nachos towards it. Soon they parked and walked inside.

0000

Sabrina took a turn carrying Seraph. Sabrina didn't have much practice with babies, but she got some tips and was careful. Maybe she didn't know Seraph like the others, but they had become her friends. Seraph was curled next to her chest, gurgling happily.

Sabrina walked gently around the living room, rocking the baby back and forth, the laser pups running around her excitedly. One puppy shot a laser, and it struck her eyes, blinding her for a moment, and she tripped over one of the dogs.

The cheerleader reacted quickly as her face collided with the floor. Still, she managed to raise her hands, keeping Seraph above her and safe.

Groaning in pain, she lowered the infant to the floor. "You okay?"

Seraph giggled and patted her face.

Sabrina couldn't help but smile, the pups joining in and giving a few playful licks.

0000

Memoratorium hadn't changed that much; weird eye-like cameras were scanning them as soon as they entered it. As they walked in, they were quickly shown glimpses of their past. Marco saw his life on Earth, his adventure on the Trial, and his new life with Seraph. On Hekapoo's end, there were flashes of her with the High Commission, dealing with threats, dealing with the Queens, and making clones to do things like building her forge. There were a lot of scenes of her alone with her clones in her dimension.

Then they saw things merged just as their histories merged. They same themselves get together, and eventually, it's the result that was Seraph. For a moment, Marco got to see Seraph birth; he got to see her and Hekapoo together at the forge.

Hekapoo got a glimpse of Seraph living with Marco and going to school together.

They realized that they would never be able to have a whole life with her. Hekapoo had to look away and tried to find a screen. Hekapoo soon found a screen showing Marco and Seraph talking with Omni. Marco couldn't turn away from the screen, seeing a young Seraph taking her first steps and playing with Hekapoo.

Marco just watched, unable to pull away at the moment.

0000

Brittney sighed as she found it her turn to hold Seraph. She didn't have a clue how to act; she cursed Sabrina for tripping and hurting herself. Brittney just walked around in a circle, rocking the squirming baby Seraph.

Seraph for her was just running her fingers through Brittney's long silky hair. Brittney didn't think much of it, that seemed like something a baby would do.

"Ugh, you are so troublesome." Brittney muttered, "If it's not Dream Monster or Angry Lizards, then you just turn into a baby. You said you'd help me with math today, but instead, here I am, babysitting you."

Seraph just looked up at her.

The older girl just let out a long tired sigh; maybe it was recent events, or it was just the situation, but she couldn't yell at a baby. "You're lucky you're a cute little thing," Brittney grimace, which caused the little hybrid to giggle. "You are lucky. You got parents who love you; the only reason they are not here right now is that they are trying to fix things. Your mom ran across dimensions just to make sure you were safe. I mean, your dad even rushed in to save you from that lizard thing. You can count on them. So just make sure you-" Brittney flinched as she felt wrong, she looked at her arms where Seraph was licking her hair.

"Someone get this baby off me before I drop her!"

0000

The parents walked out of Memoratorium, Hekapoo had seen Marco interacting with Omni, but she didn't recognize the crystal ball; if it were a time thing, Omni would know it. They still had to find him if they wanted any clues to what was happening.

Hekapoo brushed her bangs aside, letting out a tired sigh, "I guess we have to keep looking for the big lug."

Marco was thoughtful, trying to understand the situation. He had spent years chasing after one commission member how hard it could be to find one trying to run away. "Okay, okay, so let's just stop and think about this." Marco took a deep breath, "Omnitraxus took that orb thing, it seemed important. It was glowing with power, and it wasn't working as it should. Something like that, you don't put on a shelf or in a box or whatever you guys do with dangerous magical items."

"You've seen my closet,"

"Yeah, if he's anything like you-"

"That's a big if,"

"You wouldn't leave something glowing with energy just anywhere. You'd try to turn it off or something."

Hekapoo wagged her finger, "Okay, that's a good idea. There's a place here, the Waywhen Waterfalls. Omni might be there trying to fix or wipe it clean or something. Let's head out there. I know the way."

"Let's ride," Marco smirked.

0000

Jackie had taken another turn with Seraph, walking her around, "Okay, holding the head. You cool, Seraph?"

Star and Janna were close by watching them.

Jackie smiled at the baby as she nuzzled to her chest. "Is something wrong, you-Yow!" Jackie yelped, yanking the baby away.

"What? What happened?" Star asked, looking at Jackie holding the baby out.

"Ah, she bit me," Jackie said, looking down at the small spittle stain on her shirt.

Angie walked in, carrying a bottle, "Ah, yeah, I had the same trouble when Marco was a baby. She's hungry, and well, babies tend to latch on to…"

Angie took Seraph into arms and, with previous experience, gave her the bottle. "Drink up, Seraph." Angie smiled, "And just as a treat, I gave you a small spoonful of chocolate mix. Just-"Seraph sat out some milk and started to cough hard.

"Whoa!" Janna shouted, "Is she choking?!"

Angie took away the bottle handing it to Janna and patted Seraph's back gently. "You're okay; cough it out."

Seraph spat out a small rubber baby bottle nipple.

Some of the milk had spilled on Janna; she held up the bottle, "She bit the top off."

Angie put a finger into the baby's mouth and raised a lip showing some sharp fangs. "Ah, wow, she already had such sharp teeth." Angie could feel the teeth, and they could probably cut into the skin if Seraph tried.

Janna just marveled at the damage the girl had done with one bite, "I suddenly have new found respect for Hekapoo. Imagine taking care of baby Seraph when she's hungry and-"

"I don't have to," Jackie rubbed where Seraph bit, "She didn't bite hard, but it stings."

Angie mindlessly used her blouse to wipe Seraph's face quickly. It must have been hard for Hekapoo, Angie realized. Hekapoo was suddenly a mother and struggling on her own, trying to figure it all out. Angie knew bits and pieces about it but never stopped to think how hard it would be for a new mother.

Angie sighed, "We better clean up. Ah, Star, can you hold her for a minute? I'm bringing over some napkins."

"Wait- I-"Before Star could protest, she found Seraph in her arms.

The other three went to the kitchen to clean off milk or saliva.

Star just held Seraph aloft and watched her baby legs dangle.

"Hi!" Star's voice cracked.

"Goo!" Seraph replied, wriggling in her hands.

Star hesitated but realized that if she didn't hold her better, little Seraph could get hurt. Star pulled her closed and tried to copy the others,

"Okay, so hand beneath you and then- ah, holding your head. Is this right?"

Seraph wiggled in her arms.

"I guess not," Star adjusted her hold, "I'm sorry I don't know what I'm doing. I thought that- if- I-"

Star felt a small hand reach up and stroke her cheek. Seraph with her big amber eyes looking at her with wonder as her tiny little traced the outline of Star's heart cheek marks.

"Why do you look at me like that?" Star could almost cry, seeing this tiny little thing look at her with wonder and love.

Star smiled and closed her eyes and kissed her on the forehead and let herself dream.

0000

Nachos flew over, and after a few moments, they saw the towering figure of Omnitraxus by a waterfall. They landed near the top.

"Hekapoo? Who's your muscly friend- Is that Marco?"

"Yeah, he woke up like this. And Seraph woke up as a baby!" Hekapoo's flame started to grow.

"What?" The giant let out.

"Don't play dumb!"

"I'm not playing dumb!"

"Exactly! You told them I was busy! That I couldn't do a mission and instead got them to do it! I could have done it! You choose to lie to them! Then they touch that weird orb! You did something! I'm not an idiot! Don't treat me like I am! What were you doing ?!"

Flames erupted around Hekapoo, and both Marco and Nachos scooted back.

"I DIDN'T DO ANYTHING!" Omni held up his hands, "Okay! I did do one thing!"

"What?" The flames died down.

"I- we were trying to help. We've heard a bit about Marco, and we've asked around, and well, we wanted to get an idea of who Marco was. I mean, Seraph is our niece too. We wanted to make sure she has been well looked after."

Hekapoo growled, "So Lekmet and Rhombulous are in this too."

"Ah," Marco spoke up, "So, what did you think?"

Omni cleared his throat, "You are doing a good job, you are doing everything you can to support and protect Seraph. We looked into the Tournament and the things with magazine interview, and we doubt you could have done more in that position. The Dream Eater was a bit sketchy, but you made sure it couldn't harm her again. That primal instinct to protect your child. And during that little quest, you always stayed with Seraph. When there was a risk to her, you were ready to get her out of there or take the hit. You even taught Seraph while doing it, and helped her improve during the whole thing."

Marco started to smile at that.

"Don't change the subject!" Hekapoo yelled. "What did this?"

"Ah, well, we did have a theory." Omni began to explain. "That crystal ball was meant to help stabilize time, keep it in place. We thought that maybe if we could figure out how it worked, then maybe we could use it to help with the situation. But I've been testing it. Even without the fritz, it wouldn't work. It would just keep them in place forever. With the fritz, it must have snapped them back to another point in their time track. My guess would be the previous time before they had been affected by dimensional time shifts. My guess that it will just wear off after a while."

"It will wear off?" Hekapoo asked, calmly.

"Yeah, the magic is broken and weak, it just spilled on them. It drips away, time will catch back, and they'll go back to normal."

"Okay," Hekapoo sighed.

Hekapoo sliced open a portal and turned away and ran.

"What's she doing?" Omni asked, not noticing a portal had formed right behind his head.

Before Marco couldn't even try to answer, Hekapoo was speeding at them and rushed into the portal. She jumped out the other end at full speed, hitting Omni right in the back of the head.

The Plains seemed to shake as the giant collapsed to the ground. Hekapoo stood on his skull; Marco thought there might have been a new crack.

Hekapoo snarled, "If you ever do anything to my daughter or Marco without running it by me- there won't be a place where you will be able to hide. Make sure Lekmet and Rhombulus know it."

Omni huffed, "Will do."

"Marco, let's head out!" Hekapoo called out as she jumped off the giant skull.

0000

The chocolate milk wasn't a good idea; a baby Seraph took to the sugar even worse. They had to change her back to her orange shirt. And they also had to deal with a few scratch marks and put out a few fires. They would also have to repaint the ceiling.

The group was exhausted, and when a portal formed before them and Marco returned with Hekapoo and Nachos, they were glad for reprieve.

"Mijo," Rafael asked, "Did-"

Marco smiled, "We just have to wait, it will wear off-"

"Papa! Mama!" Seraph delightedly called out to her parents.

"Hey little SpitFire," Marco smiled, seeing his delighted daughter. He took her from his mother's hands.

Seraph grabbed one of his fingers so tightly and smiled so happily, but the other's paused, Marco had the same delighted smile. Marco was holding his baby daughter; he held her; he had never gotten to hold her. Marco marveled at his baby, seeing all those visions only dug in how many things Marco had lost with Seraph. He held her close, knowing this too wouldn't last.

The rest of the room understood; this was a time that they couldn't take from Marco or Seraph. They silently left the family for this time.

Hekapoo walked closer, "Be careful if you give her a chance she's going to jump out of your arms. Also, watch out her bites."

Marco sat down, and Hekapoo sat next to them as they both just marveled at their daughter.

Hekapoo finally asked, "Do- do you ever wonder if we- we could just make this happen? Try to keep things like this and start over?"

"Yes," Marco admitted, "through this whole thing, I kept asking myself if we should even try to fix it. But, our teen daughter, she loves going to school, running, and going on adventures. I don't know if she's waiting or what, but- that's Seraph, and this is Seraph or how she was. I know it's confusing, but the point I'm trying to make is that we don't get to choose how the cards play out. Seraph has a life; she loves going to school and doing all sorts of stuff we don't get to decide what she gets to be. We don't get to pick her life. But we can protect her, and help her reach her potential."

Hekapoo rested her head on his shoulder, reaching out and letting her fingers tickle Seraph. "I know, but I wanted to hear you say it."

It was a tempting thought, but getting a do-over wouldn't work. The Universe doesn't like it when you cheat. So for the moment, they just played with their daughter.

Hekapoo did try to enjoy their time together; this wouldn't last after all. Hekapoo knew Seraph deserved a chance to spend some of her childhood with both a mother and father.

0000

Rafael was preparing some food at the barbeque. It was a small thank you for helping take care of Seraph. Some of the girls were helping Angie and Rafael get the food ready, Starfan was making sure that neither the puppies nor Nachos tried to get scraps, Brittney was just on her phone making sure her butler would show up in time to pick her up. Star was messing around with the camera looking at the picture Rafael had taken. One was a picture Rafael had snuck when he got some food. Marco and Hekapoo had fallen asleep on the couch with baby Seraph sleeping soundly between them. Even in their sleep there making sure that their baby is safe in sound, holding her so carefully.

They looked like a family.

There was a loud yawn coming from the house as they saw someone walk out. It was Seraph still looking half asleep, and following her were Marco and Hekapoo, everyone back in their proper ages and in their regular clothes.

"So, what happened?" Seraph smacked her lips, "Did I sleep through the whole day?"

Marco smiled, "Something like that, I'll explain it later, let's get you some food."

"Okay, my mouth tastes like rubber and choco-moo. I kept having weird dreams, I was playing with giant puppies and I was wearing pink… and there was a fire."

Angie and Rafael ran over and gave Seraph, giving them a big hug.

Rafael smiled, "You must be hungry. Come sit down, and let's eat."

Hekapoo smiled happily to know that there were so many people that cared for her daughter; she turned around and grabbed her scissors.

"Where are you going?" Angie put a hand on her shoulder.

"Ah, this seems like a-"

"You're Seraph's mother; you're family. You are always welcomed here."

"Okay, I guess I could stay and have a bite."

"We'd be glad to have you."

Hekapoo smiled as she was led into the other room.

Star looked back to the camera, switching between the pictures. Her eyes fell onto the one of her holding Seraph, Rafael must have spotted them and taken a picture silently. A sad smile had spread across her face; Star hated what she had done.

Just for a second, she let her imagine how a child between her and Marco would be like and believe that Seraph was that baby. It was a small fantasy, she told herself it was harmless, but she felt so guilty about it.

0000

After eating the girls went their separate ways, Brittney was feeling good enough to give Sabrina a ride home. Jackie was giving Janna a ride on her skateboard when something happened, a portal formed before them.

Hekapoo walked out and simply said, "I think we need to talk."


*we see a young man wearing an Assassin's Creed Hoodie with a keyblade based on a gaming controller trapped to his back step out of a portal*

hello everyone, I'm RJ Writing Ink. A few months ago, ADdude put out a request for a new beta reader for his stories, and I got lucky enough to get the job. I hope I did good and ADdude continues his work.

Hope you enjoyed the chapter. I thought it was adorable seeing everyone react to Baby Seraph. And go check out the other story I beta read for, The Celestial and the Princess by ROTHEM.

Author's Notes: Yeah, Okay. So stuff happened. Still is happening.

I hope you are all well. I didn't get much done lately because i updated another episode of my adridge series Soul Eater Meisterhood. And then I had an ulcer that took me out for a week. My dnd campaing fell apart. All my cons got cancelled. Lifes not great but we keep going. We got another Beta so hopefully things go faster. Leave a review telling me what you guys think.