Like Father, Like Daughter
Disclaimer: I don't own anything from Star vs. the Forces of Evil
Chapter 33: Flaming Heart
Angie was sitting in the living room as she read one of her poetry books; she was in the odd mood to read "The Road Not Taken." She was trying to distract herself. It was the same advice she had given to Seraph, but she couldn't follow it.
She worried about her son; she worried about Hekapoo, both of them lost to who knows where. She prayed, cried, and hoped they would find their way home.
Space unfolded before her, and she felt her heart catch in her throat as a figure walked out, shaking.
"Seraph?" Angie whispered; the figure did look like her granddaughter, but it wasn't her.
It took her a moment, but she realized something. Something impossible, but she saw it.
This figure turned to Angie looking at her in the eyes, the eyes were filled with tears.
Angie gasped, "Rafael!"
She pulled them into a hug, she couldn't even begin to understand what was happening, but they were in pain.
Rafael showed up and looked just confused. "What's happening?"
Angie held them, trying to get them to calm down.
It took several minutes before Marcapoo was calm enough to speak.
Angie spoke in a soft voice when they stopped trembling into her arms.
"Honey? What happened?"
"Happened?" Marcapoo looked around confused; Rafael brought over a glass of water, letting them drink from it.
Their mind was in a spiral. The more wild emotions they felt, the more unstable they got as a fusion. The only thing holding them together was that they had the same erratic emotions. They weren't even aware of what they were doing; somewhere in the back of their mind, they knew they had to go home.
"What happened?" Angie asked again, "Marco? Hekapoo?" You're different now… and…?"
They noticed the rings on their hands and mindlessly pulled them off; in a burst of light, they split, collapsing to the floor.
"Marco? Hekapoo?" Rafael asked, "Are you all right?"
Their minds were still foggy, but the fog lifted and left them with the older crying Seraph's image.
"Seraph!" Hekapoo yelled.
"Where's Seraph?" Marco looked around in a panic.
Angie spoke up, "She's safe; she's fine; she's with Star on Mewni."
Rafael explained, "They are doing some sort of musical event. Ah, they called it Song Day."
Both parents' eyes went wide as they remembered what the others told them would happen at Song Day.
"We have to go!" Hekapoo pulled out her scissors and opened a portal.
Angie stopped Marco. "Marco, you've been missing for weeks. What's happening?"
Marco paused and hugged her, "Mom, we need to find Seraph right now, but I promise you that I will explain everything when this is done." He pushed past her and raced into the portal with Hekapoo.
"You look great, kid," Rhombulus tried to reassure her.
Seraph was wearing a yellow dress and a black tiara. Since Hekapoo was missing, she needed to stand in for her during these sorts of events.
Seraph wore a forced smile, trying to be proper, "You think so?"
Omni spoke from his crystal ball, "You really do, you looked splendid. You're doing a great job."
"Baw!" Lekmet added.
For all their faults, they had been doing their best to fill in for Hekapoo. They made sure to help her out when she was filling in for Hekapoo. They always made sure she wasn't handling too much. They also made it clear that she could come to them to talk.
Their relationship with Glossaryck wasn't ideal, and they knew Hekapoo was trying to do better, and they were trying to do the same.
They could all tell Seraph missed her parents; her eyes were much sadder than any of them thought they should be. She smiled and everything, but those eyes were just so sad.
Seraph sat beside Star; she didn't know or care about the event but pushed herself thinking this is what her mother would have wanted.
It was nice to take a break from all the stress in her life.
Star still wasn't sure it was the best idea to have a Song Day, but they were there now.
The castle was alive with people eager to hear the song for the new princess.
The High Commission sat in the row before them. Lekmet turned around and gave them a kind smile.
This wasn't what Star had hoped for. Marco wasn't there, and because Hekapoo wasn't, her duties fell on Seraph.
Seraph sat next to Star. She wore a beautiful yellow gown with a black satin belt around her waist, and sitting between her horns was her mother's black tiara.
It suited Seraph, and maybe one day she'd take that crown as her own in due time, but she wasn't ready. Seraph smiled, although Star had known her long enough to know she was putting up a front. Star patted Seraph's hand; they trembled a little. Seraph wanted her parents to be there so badly.
"Moon-Pie!" River stopped her and quickly pulled a twig from her hair.
Moon arrived later than anyone else, sitting down next to Star. She looked winded.
Moon seemed a little out of it.
"Star, I want to tell you something."
"Let me finish; I want to say how… how proud I am of you."
"I know Princess Songs aren't exactly your cup of tea, and I know I can be... hard on you sometimes, so it means a lot to me that you still went through with it."
Moon wanted to say the same things that her mother told her; she knew she had to because there was so much more she wanted to hear from her and couldn't. With Hekapoo gone, they brought back memories of losing her mother; and she couldn't miss any chance to let Star know how important she was to her.
"Thanks, Mom. But, uh, you know, Ruby and me, we kind of changed some stuff. I mean, it's just not going to sound exactly like your Princess Song did. So, you know, don't freak out or anything."
"Thank you for telling me, Star, but I trust your judgment."
"Ohhhh, thank you! But we really went off-script. It's all good, but there might be, like-"
The announcer yelled, "And now, Mewni's newest court composer, the songstrel Ruberiot."
"What?" Hekapoo paused; they had arrived outside of the castle. "I meant to portal into it!"
"They have to have a crystal here!"
Hekapoo groaned, "Yeah, probably to stop anyone trying to crash the Show."
"Lady Hekapoo," One of the Knights guarding the event spotted them, "you're missing!"
The Knight didn't know what to make of it; they knew that Hekapoo and Marco had gone missing because of Star's flyers. They didn't look like they were in the best shape; their clothes had rips and tears. "Do you need first aid or?—"
Hekapoo shut him up, "Is my kid there?"
"Lady Seraph? Yes, she came in with Princess Star."
Music started to play.
"The Song!" Marco yelled.
Hekapoo barked orders, "Start evacuating the area! Get everyone out of there, and someone removes the Tramorfidian crystal!"
"Do it now!"
The knights all around them were startled by Hekapoo's sudden reaction.
Hekapoo didn't bother to waste another moment as she picked up Marco and started to run as fast as her feet could take her. She didn't have the time to argue; they had to find Seraph.
They could hear music filling the halls as they ran.
"It's starting," Marco noted.
"Who is the maid with the buttercup hair?
Who sleeps on moonbeams and dances on air?
With tears made of Honey and a heart full of bunnies
Whose infinite virtues are known near and far
It's Mewni's own sweetheart, our dear Princess Star~."
Hekapoo continued at full speed, she had been here before for other events, other Song's days but didn't come here often, and there might have been some changes to the layout. It didn't help that she wasn't exactly focusing as she worried about her daughter.
"And under the shimmer and rubies and pearls.
Lies hidden a fierce and adventurous girl
The forces of evil that lurk in the night
Will cower in fear when this shooting Star...
The rhythm of the music suddenly changed, becoming more upbeat. Yet that kinda helped; it pushed Hekapoo to run faster. Hekapoo tried to focus her mind; she had the spell in effect, the Mark of Hekapoo. It was a spell she had crafted to track people; as long as she was in the same dimension, anyone she marked she could track. It's how she followed Marco on his trial; it was how she could always find Seraph. If her portals worked adequately right now, she could teleport next to her; the only problem now was she didn't know the area.
"Weaving magic like a born spell-caster
And wreaking havoc like a natural disaster.
She rocks her Narwhal Blast and Warnicorn Stampede.
She's gonna earn her crown, so hail to the quee-e-e-een!~!"
Then they saw the light at the end of the tunnel, bursting out of it and onto a balcony.
They found her, and a wave of relief washed over them.
"Mom! Dad!" Seraph's eyes burst into tears of joy, and she jumped onto them for a hug.
"Marco!" Star's eyes lit up, seeing her best friend.
She wanted to rush to them but was stopped by her mother. Star understood why; they looked so happy to be with each other, holding each other so tightly. Seraph was crying tears of joy just being with her parents; Star wasn't sure she had ever seen her as happy.
"'Cause she's a rebel princess, she's the best.
She's a ball of lightning in a hot pink dress~."
Marco held Seraph so tight he was afraid he would hurt her, but he couldn't help himself. Seraph was smiling as she cried; Marco couldn't help but remind Sera and her last smile. "I promise you; I'll make sure you have those happy years."
Hekapoo was silent but nodded; they owed Sera more than they could ever pay back.
"She's a thunderstorm roaring through the night.
She's our shooting Star, and she's lighting up the sky!
Seraph clung to her parents and, after finally regaining her voice, "Where were you? We were looking for you! I was so worried."
Hekapoo stroked her daughter's hair, "Don't worry about that; we're back now. We have to get everyone out here now."
"We have to evacuate!" Marco insisted.
The music that they had ignored had changed tones; it had gotten a slow, heavy beat.
"Shooting Star shining in the night so bright
She started to attract a pair of envious eyes~."
"Evacuate?" Moon asked, "What's the meaning of this?"
"We really don't have time to explain. This performance has to end." Hekapoo told her, not looking for an argument.
"This is a tradition; we can't just stop it in the middle."
"People are going to die!" Marco blurted out, the fear in his voice was enough to shut them up.
"The villain rose up from behind the jester's cross.
She drove him away but didn't know what she had lost~."
On the stage, the music continued as large puppets were moved on to it, one of them held a wand.
"Is that Ludo?" Hekapoo asked.
"Glossaryck and her book of spells
How could she know Ludo would take 'em for himself?"
"What?" Omni let out.
"Ludo has the book of spells?" Hekapoo said, horrified.
When she arrived in the future, she just wanted to get back home; she didn't want to see Seraph turned into a warrior by war and loss.
She should have asked more questions.
She knew Erebus attacked but never asked why? She didn't care. Sera never said. Why would she? Most of her family had been killed that day, and she had never met Glossaryck. Why would she even give him a second thought?
Hekapoo should have known something was up. As big a disgrace as he was, Glossaryck would usually get involved if that shadowy freak attacked them.
"She confessed to her parents, all full of dread.
The King and Queen exchanged a look, and this is what they said.
This is what they said; this is what they said:
We will keep your silence for you.
From the citizens of Mewni and the High Commission, too~."
"Star?" Moon asked her daughter, who was shrinking in her chair.
"Mom, what did you expect? I told you I couldn't do some puff piece. I had to do what felt right for me," She sighed, "Look, it's over now, Marco and Hekapoo are back, everything is good now, so we just gotta move on-
"You knew?" Hekapoo said blankly.
"This is not something I knew!" Rhombulus yelled, his snakes just looked away.
Seraph just looked away, "Ah, yes, this is not something I-whose Glossaryck?"
"To keep the peace, we will play the game.
Royal secret from royal shame
Royal secret from royal shame~."
"Marco!" Hekapoo focused on the father of her daughter.
"Yes," he admitted. "I told Star to tell her mom, and she did. I didn't know she didn't tell you. It was before we met, and we never talked about Glossaryck."
"Royal secret — one last to tell
A princess under true love's spell~."
"Wait, what-?" Star asked, confused, she thought the worst was done.
An upbeat rock beat started to pick up.
The audience was quiet after the revelation, and the stage was changed as the puppets moved. They had been replaced by other puppets as the music continued.
"Is that me and mom?" Seraph pointed out.
The song and show depicted events, Hekapoo giving up her daughter to Marco, and then Star showing up. The Star puppet was playing with Seraph and raising her.
The group was too distracted to listen to the words, but they got the intent. Then the Star puppet and the Marco puppet moved together.
"Who is the boy in the earthly attire?
The prince of the princess's deepest desire
I don't need to show it; I think we all know it.
But just to be certain, I'll say it again.
Star Butterfly is in love with her best friend!~"
They were all pretty stunned in shock; the verse basically said that Star had become a second mother to Seraph. As time went by, she started to fall in love with Marco.
"And his name is Marco Diaz.
Not sure why it had happened, but the second half of the song made it pretty clear that Star loved Marco. It also implied that Marco felt the same.
Star cringed and pulled on her hair. She never said any of that. She never even knew about that part of the song. Why would he do that? What did that do? Even if she did, which she would never admit to, what good could it do? She wanted to be honest, but something super private about her friends? Her friend, who she had an already complicated relationship with. Did he take her worry for love?
What was wrong with Ruberiot?
Just when Star didn't think it could have gone worse.
The crowd was either in shock or whispering to each other. Some were getting ready to scream and riot.
Star wasn't paying attention to that, just Seraph. There was a look in her eyes that Star didn't recognize.
Was it betrayal?
Was it fear?
Was it hurt?
"At least it couldn't get worse," Star mumbled to herself.
Ruberiot was on stage trying to calm down the crowd; they weren't taking his song as well as he had hoped.
A flash of green energy erupted from the sky and crashed on the stage and blasted back the bard. The green flames died out, and a figure spun out from them. He flipped his cape behind him and straightened his top hat.
Erebus took a step forward, "So, did he just say Glossaryck was missing?"
The stage began to burn with green flames as his shadow spread and split from him. The sounds of cracking skin could be heard from under that mask of his.
They had gotten distracted. They hadn't acted fast enough, and the universe seemed like it didn't want to change.
Erebus disliked Glossaryck; he didn't know of a single being in the multiverse that had actually liked him. The Giraffe had father issues, but he doubted that would have been counted for like. Some caused him trouble, but they were more or less fun, providing a challenge or a bit of game. Glossaryck didn't do anything except hurl him into the sun, bury him under the mountain, or something. Solaria sliced him in half, but that was at least different, it felt earned at the least, plus it wasn't nearly as dull. If Glossaryck was gone, this meant it was a chance to finally play to his heart's content, do anything, and see what everyone would do.
Was someone screaming? He hadn't really done anything yet.
Erebus looked over to see that Hekapoo had hurled Marco at him. Marco turned his scissors into a sword as sped towards him.
"What?" Erebus said, unable to understand what was happening.
Erebus barely felt as Marco sliced him through his waist, he realized what happened when he fell to the ground and saw his own legs topple.
Marco rolled to a stop and readied.
Erebus snapped out of his funk; he grabbed his bottom and pulled it towards his top. It couldn't kill him; if he pulled himself together, he could heal almost instantly.
Then he felt the flames; Hekapoo threw Marco and launched herself behind, forcing flames to rocket her towards the battle. The second Marco rolled away, Hekapoo threw down as much fire as she could conjure.
"Okay, this is new," Erebus mustered before the flames hit him, he screamed afterward. As he did, the green flames died down. Hekapoo's flames soared high into the sky, almost lighting everything like it was daytime.
Moon blinked; she looked to the side; she could barely register everything that had happened. They didn't have a moment to react, but Hekapoo and Marco acted without hesitation.
Part of her mind was trying to understand. They had talked to Marco and Hekapoo of their actions after the Dream Eater. Yes, Erebus had all agreed that they needed to be stopped by any method but ran towards danger without hesitation.
Something was wrong; why were they taking this so personally?
Moon shook her head and turned to River, "River, get the knights, get them all to evacuate the area as soon as possible."
"Be careful," River pleaded.
Moon smiled at him before she transformed into her Butterfly form and took off into battle. Lekmet grabbed Rhombulus before taking off into the air. Hekapoo was the grounded one, she was the reasonable one that kept the rest of them from doing something stupid, and she was running towards the danger. Something was wrong, so they had to pull her back.
Seraph followed behind them; unwilling to stand back, she jumped off and shot her flames towards the ground to slow her descent. Star called upon Cloudy and flew her down.
Hekapoo was conjuring as many flames as she could, the stage burning around them, forcing Marco to jump off.
Hekapoo collapsed from the strain, and with magic on the fritz weren't helping.
The flames burst away, huddled on the ground, Erebus was covered in shadows that began to peel away. He managed to pull them up at the last moment to protect some of himself, but parts of his clothes were scorched. His actual body was stitched itself together, black shadow like scabs forming over the wounds.
"What brought this on? Why are you here? I meant to send you 16 years into the future, not a couple of weeks. So much for DYI,"
He coughed, adjusting his mask; the only thing that looked more or less intact.
Cracks filled the air as his neck snapped back in place, bones and tissues burned into ash started to put themselves back in place. The world twisted around him as his body parts shuffled around.
"Something is very different. Something is very wrong about the two of you."
"It ends here," Marco told him.
"Really? Why? Lots of people have said that none of them have carried it out before. I wish they would just say I didn't have to hear that again. You know how many times people I've heard people say that!"
With one loud crack, he stood upright.
"You haven't even tried to hit me that hard since Malfraun." He looked over to Hekapoo.
He looked around, seeing everyone else was a safe distance away, preparing to attack him. The knights were already evacuating people.
"Hey, where's Omni?"
There was a loud sound like something big speeding towards the ground.
"Oh, there he is."
Erebus looked up to see a giant fist speeding at him. Followed by darkness as the fist collided with him.
"You've always talked too much." Omni pressed his fist into the ground to hold him down.
Moon looked at Marco and Hekapoo, and they both had a look in their eyes; they would not settle for anything less than the death of Erebus. She wasn't sure they could talk them down.
Moon considered using her darkest spell; she looked down to her gloves to where the dark taint remained. She didn't know what would happen if she tried it again. Maybe for Erebus, it was worth it, she knew the stories, how many had died because of him? How many more would continue to die?
Omni flinched and suddenly blasted away into a now empty tower. Rhombulus and Lekmet were shot back, and Moon jumped and created a shield before Star and Seraph. Hekapoo and Marco didn't flinch and prepared their weapons.
Erebus stood with his fist up.
"Okay, that's how you want to play? I'm up for it." Erebus glanced around, "Sure, but let's make it a game worth playing, Hekapoo. You're in no condition, so I'll give you time."
Hekapoo growled, "No, we finish this now!"
"No, go home." His voice was like bugs crawling into the ear, "Rest and try to think of a way to kill me. That's what you want. You got until tomorrow on Earth, I'll find you. When the hands are both pointing up, I'll find you, so be prepared. We can finish this then."
Erebus sunk into the shadows; the instant it happened, a sword and some scissors stabbed into the ground.
He was gone.
They picked up their weapons.
"Mom? Dad?" Seraph squeaked behind Moon.
Their faces broke into relief, seeing everyone was safe. They picked up their weapons and rushed over to hug her.
Moon was scared; they had to kill someone who couldn't be killed for intensive purposes and kill again.
"Let's go home," Hekapoo said, opening up a portal.
Moon wanted to stop them, they needed to plan, but she couldn't stop them; they needed to time together after everything.
Hekapoo opened a portal; the family walked into it, and Star quickly gave chase.
As Star stepped out of the portal, they found themselves in front of the Diaz household. The house lights were on, and the streets were quiet. She could hear the yelps of the laser pups. The door opened wide as Angie and Rafael stepped out. They both sighed in relief to see them safe and sound. Star watched as Angie and Rafael scooped up the family into a hug.
It took several minutes before Angie or Rafael would let them go. Marco spent some time trying to explain things but held back a lot in front of Seraph; there were just things she didn't need to know. They told them they were hurled a few weeks into the future in a ruined world.
"What took you so long?" Angie cried, "It's midnight, already. You know, we don't like you staying out that late."
Marco could almost laugh; he glanced inside the house to see a clock's hands turn to midnight.
The two hands were ticking up into the new day.
It happened so fast, he sprouted out of Hekapoo's shadow and plunged his fist through her torso.
Erebus stood there, whispering into her ear. "Yeah, I wasn't fond of your little surprise attacks. I at least told you exactly when I'd show up. With magic being weird, I doubt they'll revive you quickly. I'll see you when they manage."
He pulled away and let her drop.
Hekapoo gasped; this was one of the worst pains in her very long life. As she started to fall, she looked around at Seraph, crying out for her; Marco was trying to rush to attack Erebus. She knew what would happen. How couldn't she? They showed her the future.
It's funny how fear affects you, how it made the world slow down for her, and how she got an idea. She saw all the possibilities before her and saw the one with the best outcome.
She could almost laugh at it; if she did it right, odds were no one would be able to revive her. She looked at Seraph, already crying, she remembered her promise. Hekapoo was going to keep it.
She pulled out her scissors and cut open a portal and let herself fall through.
The portal blinked close.
"Mom!" Seraph yelled.
Marco had his sword out and swung it at Erebus as he prepared to counter.
A portal formed beneath Erebus, and he stood there on it, not sinking or anything; it was like a force kept him from falling.
Then Erebus sunk through the portal, just barely missing the sword.
Hekapoo pushed the doors open and stumbled into the forge. She held her side as she bled.
This was a significant injury; she wasn't sure if a potion would do it, not even sure if they would work enough with magic on the fritz. Not that she had time to look for one. She wasn't even sure she had any; she never bothered to restock.
She made it to the Heart of the Forge, to her heart, feeling the flames before her.
"Never thought I'd do this. Hey, Old Man! If you're listening for once, do what I say! Take care of them for me! Do that much! Do better with them then you did with me!"
She stretched out her hands and called every drop of magic she had, every drop of power and arcana she could muster.
She took out her scissors and opened a portal; she placed it beneath him; he wouldn't have time to move.
This was her dimension; here, she made the rules. If she wanted to make the outer shells of the dimension serve as a barrier to Erebus, it would. If she wanted it to let him in, then it would work like that.
She could already feel him start to fall in. She needed to make changes, it would be one way, and no one else could get in ever again. Marco would try to run in if she gave him that chance; she couldn't let him.
Even with the time differential, she wouldn't have long.
For centuries Hekapoo had tried to spirit away the places that Erebus attacked. Sometimes she could pull in countries, cities, people, and occasionally whole worlds into her dimension. To the one place, Erebus couldn't touch. Over the years, hundreds of civilizations flourished in the dimension. It was a tremendous effort to do any one of them. Today she was going to send them all back, to take everyone out of her dimension and into safety.
It would be a near-impossible task at her peak, and magic was on the fritz; she just hoped she could manage it.
The portal pulsed, and Erebus was shot out, slamming into the wall.
Hekapoo tugged into her connection with the magic realm; it made her feel sick to try and draw power.
She needed to remember why she was doing this. She looked back on her life, it hadn't been perfect, far from it, but it all hadn't been bad. She was going to miss people.
She was going to miss partying with Millie.
She was going to go on rides with Nachos and Cinnabar.
She already missed people; she missed that Little girl who called her the cool aunt. She remembered when she invented a drink for her. She remembered when Festivia asked her to be a bridesmaid, the only queen to ever do that. There was so much she wanted to say to her.
She was even going to miss her brothers, those idiots; they would trip over their own feet without her. As stupid as they were, they tried. They were trying to be so hard to be good uncles, and she actually believed they might do it.
Oh, she was even going to miss Reynaldo. She felt terrible for not waving back. He would have loved to met Seraph, and she would have loved met and deal with his stupid riddles.
Maybe Moon would take her to meet him. Moon knew what it was like for a girl to lose her mother; she'd make sure Seraph was all right.
Hekapoo still couldn't wrap her head around it; the stiff and stuffy Moon fell in love with the goof River.
She guessed it was love; she didn't understand it but maybe now.
Maybe that was the key to everything, love. That was why she was doing this to make sure Seraph would have plenty of happy days. To keep a promise to the brave warrior who gave everything for her, so that Marco and Seraph could be happy.
So that Star, Janna, Jackie, or maybe someone else who would treasure them as much as she did would have a chance to meet them. They would be happy; that was all that mattered; it was all for them.
Dark energy flowed into the forge, but as Hekapoo continued to think about them, the magic turned gold and warm.
She could feel it; across her dimension, everyone started to move.
"What are you doing?" Omni yelled, "Hekapoo, that could kill you!"
Moon felt it; the rest of the commission seemed to be reacting to it with the same distress.
Omni tried to open a portal to her dimension, but it wouldn't open for him.
"Omni, what's happening?"
Omni looked up into the sky, "She's putting them back, every world she's taken to save from Erebus she's putting back. Everyone in her dimension is being forced out."
A giraffe in a toga sat on his boat, "Dearest sister, why would you risk so much? What would make you risk the cost? What worries you such? I hope you know what you are doing."
On a cliffside, Ludo sat beside a book, and a blue man sat next to him in silence. From where they were, they could see the flames coming from Mewni.
Glossaryck winced, "Erebus,"
Ludo crocked, "Ere-who? Is that a name? Its sounds like that guy who was supposed to eat my toes if I didn't eat all my-"
His eyes glowed green, and another voice spoke, "The dark one has returned?"
"It looks like it," Glossaryck looked unsure; he didn't mention Hekapoo. He wasn't asked, not that he understood it. Things were happening, something he hadn't expected. There was a factor he hadn't foreseen.
Ludo-no Toffee, gripped the wand, "We need to move. Leave this dimension."
Marco slashed the air with his scissors, and Seraph did the same. They both recognized the portal; it was one to Hekapoo's dimension. Why would Hekapoo let him in? It was the one place he couldn't reach. Marco kept slashing at the air to try and make a portal.
"Is this your forge?" Erebus jolted up, confused.
Hekapoo collapsed onto the forge; there was a relief, feeling everyone else had escaped. All those shifts in space would probably sync time between dimensions for a few minutes. Hekapoo got some comfort knowing she was experiencing time the same rate as Seraph right now.
Hekapoo smiled; she only had to do one last thing.
It wasn't going to be pleasant.
She reached out her hand and absorbed the flames from the forge, the flame on her head glowing brightly.
"You wanted to play, right? Let's play."
"Dad, something is happening?" Seraph spoke, "I don't know what, it felt like space was bubbling. Things moved, big things, lots of things."
Marco paused; something was unsettling Seraph.
She shook her head, "I don't know how, but mom has something to do with it."
Marco mind spun; Marco might know Hekapoo better than anyone. She had to have a plan. Taking Erebus into her dimension was-
Unless she took out everyone-
But then it would-
Marco started slashing at the air faster and faster, more and more desperate, "Hekapoo, let me in! You can't do it!"
After a moment, Marco collapsed onto his knees. "Come on, please!"
He pleaded for something to help him, his hearts begged for an answer, and something listened.
In his hand, a key materialized.
He choked out a laugh," Please let this work."
He held out his scissors and his key, one twisting, and one slashing.
With the click of a lock undoing a portal formed, Marco jumped into the portal.
"Dad!" Seraph rushed for it, but Star tackled her.
Seraph tried to pry her off, and she held her down.
She didn't know what was happening, but she had the feeling it was dangerous, too dangerous. She was Seraph's godmother; she was supposed to protect her. If she was right, then she did, and Seraph could hate her for the rest of her life, and she would be okay with it.
The portal closed, and Seraph got up, trying to open it again.
Star could only hope Marco would come back, but Star wasn't sure he was in her heart.
Hekapoo's body crashed through the wall; Erebus walked out as the forge began to collapse.
"I'm guessing you have more planned." Erebus strode towards her, "I mean, this all very quaint. I thought there would be something else. Like, I don't remember why I wanted in. Like, there was a reason. Maybe I thought it would be big and impressive or something."
He reached her and grabbed her by the horns before slamming her into the ground. There was a crack, and Erebus found himself holding one yellow horn.
"Okay, huh, maybe I can start a collection. Is collecting horns a thing?"
"Get away from her," a gruff voice ordered.
Erebus turned to see a tall, muscular man with a sword and large key.
"Who ordered the beefcake?" He dropped the horn.
"I won't ask you again,"
"Marco?! Wow, you-like just the whole-wow. Is that milk? Juice? Push-ups?" He paused, "Wait- Is that a key blade? Where did you get a key blade?"
Marco rushed at him, slashing with his sword. Erebus jumped back, avoiding it but got slammed with the key blade, and it burned him.
Marco smirked, seeing him flinch. Before Erebus could react, he pointed the key at his gut. White energy erupted, launching him into the forest.
Marco rushed at Hekapoo, "H-Poo? Please talk, are you-"
"I'm fine, Muscles," Hekapoo hummed, she was bruised and bleeding badly. "Where did you get a key blade? We really could have used that with the heartless."
"We need to get out of here; we can talk all about it later."
Hekapoo gave him a weak smile, "There isn't going to be a later, get out of here."
"I'm getting us both out of here." He leaned down to her.
"Oh, I love hearing your adult voice," Hekapoo purred, "Go, I have a plan-"
"I get it, but I'm not letting you give up. Seraph needs you. I need you."
"It's the only way, and it's like the Dream Eater. Unstable space, instead of ripping him across space, we leave nothing left. Everything needs light, energy, matter, dark matter, and space to exist. It can't possibly exist if there is no space."
"I know! I get it! But if you do that-"
"I can do that, if I collapse my dimension, forcing the dimensional value down to zero, even space will be gone, and anything still in it is gone. It's the only way around the whole conservation of matter."
"Hekapoo, to do that, you have to take in your heart, and you have to die."
"But you and Seraph will be safe." She motioned to her wound, "And Erebus had done the rest, I don't have much more time. Just run, tell Seraph I love her and-"
The forest shuddered, and Marco used his body to cover Hekapoo as it exploded. Erebus walked out of the remains of the woods.
Marco groaned as he felt splinters dig into his skin.
"Okay, now I'm angry." Erebus closed the space between them and kicked Marco away. "I don't remember the last time I was this angry! This is disappointing! I think I liked dealing with Glossaryck more than you!"
Marco raised the key blade to attack, but Erebus slammed it away, forcing him to drop it. Marco didn't waste a second plunging the sword into Erebus' side. The shadow man grabbed Marco's neck and lifted him up.
"You are a pain in my side! Pun not intended." With his free hand, he pulled the sword out.
He squeezed Marco's throat so he couldn't talk.
"You should have at least done for my heart or my head; a vital spot might have at least stunned me for a while." He spat venom with every word, "You won't give up, I know human well enough to know that. You'd burn yourself to the ground to try and burn me. I love that, but I'm not in the mood. You guys ruined my game, I wanted to make your girl stronger, but you came back, cut me, and set me on fire. Are you more willing to die than play this? So let's start a new game. Hekapoo is going to die, that's happening. But what about your daughter? I was going to leave her alone, let her get strong. No, I'm going to push her now. What is she going to do without her father? Or with her father as her enemy."
Erebus, with his free hand, reached for his mask.
"I don't wear a mask because it's stylish. I do it because it would be too easy. Because whenever people see my real face, what they see… well, they lose themselves. They will do anything I say, hurt themselves, or even those they love, and not one person has been able to resist. Some people die during the experience so let's see what happens with you."
He raised his mask, and Marco saw something so familiar and so different. Why was that?
Who was that?
Who was he?
What was he?
Marco's mind blanked. A man with broad shoulders and a short woman with a kind smile and puffy hair was a couple. Who were they?
A girl with a shell and a blue streak in her hair. A girl with a smirk and hat. Wait, what did their faces look like?
There was a skinny guy with glasses and a tubby guy with red hair.
What was he saying?
There was a blonde girl with hearts on her cheek.
He saw a girl with long red hair, skin like snow, and a pair of horns. Next to her was a girl with puffy brownish-red hair and horns like the other. They both smiled so brightly and so warmly.
Then they were gone.
Marco felt tears running down his face.
Why did it hurt?
Why was he crying?
Who was Marco?
Erebus smiled. Marco stared up at him as he laughed uncontrollably as tears flowed from his eyes. Marco was fighting but losing; the longer they fought, the more likely they were to survive. Though maybe not as themselves. They would be clay to work with.
Erebus laughed; he was going to win.
That was the last thought he had as a yellow horn was shoved through his head.
"I-I remember," He muttered.
He fell to the ground. His mask slipped onto his face.
Hekapoo huffed, "Thanks for breaking my horn, and the tip to aim for your vitals."
Marco huffed as he saw the red-haired woman, his senses slammed back into him, starting with her. "Hekapoo."
Hekapoo collapsed, and Marco caught her, "You did it, it's done,"
"No," Hekapoo gave him a sad smile.
The horizon in the distance vanished, the world trembled, and at a distance, he heard the sound like thunder as the world started to break away. "It's too late, that took everything from-"
Her voice gave out.
"No," Marco picked her up, he picked up his sword and his key. "I'm going to get us back home. I'm going to find a way to save you. You are going back to our daughter. It isn't going to end here!"
Hekapoo looked up to him, determined as ever. He was beautiful.
She felt the last of her energy start to slip away. Marco changed his sword into scissors and began to form a portal, but it collapsed. Space was becoming unstable; it wouldn't hold a portal now. If she focused, she might be able to stabilize the space for him to escape.
Her world was dying; she was dying. Dying in his arms wouldn't be the worst thing. Still, she would have loved to see Seraph one last time.
The world fell apart around them; chunks of land collapsed and fell into endless darkness that came from beneath, dissolving as they did. Erebus' body fell into the abyss and vanished into the shadows. She watched the lake, the swing, the forge, all fell into an infinite black. The home she tried to make for their daughter was gone and would never come back.
Marco created a portal and rushed through it, taking his foot off the ground as the last bit fell into the black. As they entered, it closed on them, and the last bit of light in that dimension was snuffed out, leaving nothing behind.
On a sailboat, a man with six fingers looked at his watch. His brother was steering the ship through the sudden rough storm. The tide was splashed against them, but he couldn't care; his watch displayed figures he couldn't understand.
Hidden away, a small golden box with three gems glowed brightly for an instant
A witch was haggling with a customer when she and everyone on those isles felt a terrible sensation. She and everyone present felt it was better to get home. As she cleaned up, she pulled out a small key that felt like it was vibrating for a moment.
Omni and the rest of the commission fell to silence and put on expressions of dread.
Moon pulled out her scissors and dropped them; it felt ice cold.
"Vox!" A young-looking man in a blue coat ran down the halls.
"You sensed it?" A black orb with a glowing red eye asked.
"Sensed it!? I think everyone with magic on this planet sensed it! Beatrice and Scarlett are checking in on everyone, but-what happened?!"
The orb projected dimensional maps.
"Dimension X-103 just vanished." Vox surmised the situation.
"Dimensions don't just vanish. Not just like that, there would have been signs or something."
"One just did, no signs."
"That's Hekapoo's dimension," He paused, "okay, okay, damage control. Send out a statement, spread it online, and sent it to scientific journals, a solar flare on the other side of the sun struck a meteor that is believed might have held a rare ultra-dense isotope. That it caused an explosion with effects on the non visible spectrum, which is causing equipment on the planet to get strange readings."
"Will that hold up?"
"Yeah, very few people have the tech needed to pick up on other dimension stuff. The ones that do won't say anything. If anyone else figures it out, they will have everyone questioning everything, with few answers. They'll start questioning if they were right to start. I'm giving them an answer that they can accept. It will be buried under the papers and forgotten by the end of the week with conspiracy theories of aliens or secret government tests. Well, send some of that out tomorrow," He sighed and ran his fingers through his messy hair, "Tell everyone to be on alert. This sort of stuff usually means trouble is coming."
Seraph was crying, trembling, and her grandparents were trying to comfort her. Seraph held onto her scissors like a life raft.
Rafael asked, "What's wrong?"
Star held onto her wand; she felt it; she never felt anything like that before. She wasn't sure if Marco or Hekapoo were alive. She felt a significant absence like nothing before.
Seraph snapped up, there was the sound like a lock turning, and red light filled the sky, it twisted and turned before finally a portal formed, and two figures fell from the sky.
Seraph moved to go after them, but two figures ran past her and into the air before she could react.
Cinnabar and Nachos rushed into the air catching them and matching their speeds before slowing down. The others ran towards them to find Marco and Hekapoo holding one another on top of the dragons. Their eyes were closed, and they were barely breathing, but they were alive.
RJ "Jay" Writing Ink is sitting at his desk inside his workplace located who-knows-where, looking at his laptop as he finishes reading the chapter, a stunned expression on his face. After a moment, he gets up from his chair and snaps his fingers, making a fridge appear. He then gets out a drink, walks to the couch, and lies down as he thinks about what he just read as Janna comes in.
Janna: So, you all done reading ADDude's new chapter of "Like Father, Like Daughter?"
Janna: And how good was it?
Jay: Let me put it this way. If it weren't for the fact that everything in this story is copyrighted by either Disney or some other corporations, I'd encourage ADDude to publish this as a Light Novel. It's that good. And I don't even know where he's going with it!
Janna: *whistles* Pretty high praise. So, you gonna get back to work now.
Jay: Janna, I literally just finished my- oh, yeah, my own project. Yeah, let's go do that.
Author's Notes:Okay, we are going into the last part of this season. Next chapter is in the works. I had to redo some stuff in it so it is taking longer. The next chapter will answer a lot of questions you've had for a while. I don't have much to say right now, so leave a review and tell me what you think.