Like Father, Like Daughter

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


Chapter 36: Thing About Dreams

Life wasn't fair.

No one ever claimed it to be, but people assume. Hekapoo didn't assume much at this point. Life had bent rules to get her a second chance. Still, it might have been nice if her daughter hadn't instantly made friends with the nibling of the guys she might have to arrest.

Hekapoo could have still asked for a bit of a break as she slipped into a pair of shorts and one of Marco's old shirts, the Hot Dawg Shirt.

The Stan guy kept his word and got the family a reasonable rate at a local hotel until they sorted this whole thing out. Marco's parents were okay with staying in town, especially after all this mess started. They got three rooms, one for the married couple and the other two, each with two beds for them to split.

Hekapoo was about to settle into bed when she entered the bedroom to find Marco sitting in bed with a portable DVD player on his lap.

"Oh!" Hekapoo let out, "If you want this room, I can go to the next one."

"Oh, ah," Marco mumbled out, "I mean, you don't have to. We can share a room."

Hekapoo still didn't know how to just be around Marco anymore. The whole they were now bound through magic and metaphysics was something that threw them for a loop. Their lives were now eternally tied together, and when Marco eventually died, she too would die. Their souls, bodies, and minds were in some way always connected now. They still barely had a clue what it all meant, and her old man wasn't even around to help explain it either. That snake could have waited around to explain some things or tell them the mountain would blow up. Not that Hekapoo could complain, considering he saved her when he probably shouldn't have. Now she just had to figure out how to live. It didn't help that now she was just alone with Marco staring down at a life together one way or another.

Hekapoo tried to change the topic to something she felt she could at least deal with at the moment. "Hey, what are you doing there?"

"I was planning on watching a Mackie Hand movie. I meant to watch it on the ride, but I sort of fell asleep. I was going to watch before going to sleep." Marco just looked at Hekapoo. "Huh? Do you want to watch it with me?"

Hekapoo just shrugged before deciding to sit next to Marco, "This is that ninja guy you're always talking about?"

His eyes gleamed, "Okay, so this movie has Mackie Hand going up against a hidden international ninja gang dealing stolen art. Mackie has to go undercover to..."

Marco's voice was drowned out by the start of the movie.

0000

Ford was talking to McGucket as he explained the situation.

"Huh?" McGucket let softly, "Well, you messed up."

"Yes, we are on a sort of timetable now." Ford said, "I don't know how I will persuade Hekapoo not to take me when-"

"Because you did all that stuff. And you are also the reason for Bill getting out in the first place."

"Well, yes," He fixed his coat, "there is something I have hoped for, a discovery I made on my travels. There was a massive dimensional conflation. If I could figure out what it was, I might use it to buy my freedom. Something like that would be very interesting for someone such as Hekapoo."

McGucket tugged on his beard, "Maybe, okay, I'll help you with your research. Just like in the old days, we'll work together. But I need a favor first." The old inventor dragged over a sack he brought with him and pulled out a blueprint. "I was working on an order."

"An order?"

"Someone I've been chatting with asked me to build them something. They gave me most of the details; I had to fill in some gaps."

Ford looked at the blueprint and the notes, "This is very interesting,"

"Yeah, I don't usually take orders, but he was having some trouble, plus he's been a big help. He helped me make sure the government didn't try to fleece me. Heh, also how to make sure they didn't use my inventions to make more weapons and still pay me twice as much as they offered."

Ford chuckled; Fiddleford wasn't a big fan of spending on weapons when they could blow us to kingdom come with what they had. "I see. Well, I can help you get everything ready. Let's get to work."

Besides, this seemed like an interesting project to work on with his old friend to warm up.

0000

Stan and Dipper were in the old RV behind the Shack.

"We work on the girl. The one with the puffy hair and horn,"

"What?" Dipper asked.

"Look, I love my brother, but he doesn't exactly have people skills, and we gotta try this from every angle."

These two were trying to find a way to make sure Hekapoo wouldn't drag Ford away. Stan's first plan was just to run as far and as fast as they could. Ford shot down the plan stating that Hekapoo's reach was far, and she was likely to find them wherever they went.

Since Ford both did the crimes and admitted to it, Stan doubted they'd be able to convince her otherwise. So they had to give her another reason not to take him.

"Look, if her kid makes friends with Mabel, then maybe this Hekapoo broad won't take Ford away."

"That's kind of underhanded," Dipper admitted.

"Yeah, well, help me come up with a better idea."

Dipper paused and then just started to nibble on his pen. "I'll come up with something."

"In the meantime, we just let your sister do what she normally does. Just as a backup plan. Now how to get a magic lady not to take Ford away."

"I'm making some coffee."

0000

Brenda and Candy were more than delighted to see Mabel; of course, they had stayed in touch over the year through emails, internet, phone calls, text, and even a few old-fashioned letters. Mabel sent the letters with far too much glitter.

They were also delighted to make new friends.

"I swear I got it before," Seraph announced as her face turned red.

"Seraph! You can do it!" Star waved to her, creating fireworks to cheer her on.

"Do it! Do it! Do it!" The other girls cheered on.

Behind Seraph's back, flames swirled out, twisting and forming, becoming larger and more expansive.

Seraph was trying to make wings again. She had tried a few times since the first time and couldn't get it. She could make a sword no problem, but wings were hard. As the flames behind her took the rough shape of wings, she started to manipulate them to flap. Seraph tried not to move her shoulders, but sometimes she did.

Even from a short distance, the girls could feel the heat coming off from the flames. The hot air around her was caught in the wing, and it destabilized it a bit but helped her rise. In the end, she did get up a few feet off the air, her face turning red because of the struggle before she lost control and the flames dispersed. Seraph landed face down on the ground.

"You did it!" Mabel yelled, "I think that deserves some ice cream!"

The girls cheered; they didn't notice how the flames had caught on the building and the forest.

0000

The girls had some Several Timez music playing.

Candy explains to Seraph something, "We know them! We saved them and let them run into the forest! I was sure they would die so fast. I'm not sure if they're alive now since I haven't seen them in a long time. Not since the thing we don't talk about."

"Yeah, that was a weird Summer," Grenda added, taking a huge bite of her ice cream. "AH! BRAIN FREEZE!"

Seraph put her hand on her head, warming up slowly. "Better?"

"What's this?" Star asked as Mabel poured something onto her bowl of ice cream.

"Smile Dip. I haven't had any in a long time. I know a store in town that has them. That store still has boxes of that stuff in the back."

Star smiled pink glitter powder on her ice cream before she took a huge spoonful. Star's eyes went wide as she started to see strange flashing neon colors.

"I know, right!" Mabel took her out own her spoonful.

0000

"Does it look good?" Seraph asked as the other girls gave her a make-over.

All the other girls had makeup and done up their hair and now were working together to give Seraph a new look.

"You look great, and we almost have it," Mabel reassured her.

"Maybe more eye shadow," Candy suggested.

"Ah!" Star yelled out.

Star and Brenda were trying to run a comb through Seraph's curly hair to try and straighten it out. It wasn't going easy.

0000

Star was taking a turn at indoor Mini-golf as Mabel showed her how to play.

Candy was serving as a referee for Brenda and Seraph's arm-wrestling contest. Their arms hadn't been moving much as they both struggled. Candy was pretty sure neither one was going all out.

0000

After eating a ton of unhealthy snacks, the girls crawled into their sleeping bags and talked.

"Okay, okay," Mabel clapped her hands, "Okay, time for the good talk. So how's everyone's love life going?"

Brenda sighed, "Marius is coming later this summer for a visit. He keeps texting me to see how I'm doing."

"He does text you a lot," Candy admitted, "What about you, Mabel? Anyone?"

Mabel snorted, "Are you kidding? I gotta beat people away with a stick!" Mabel sighed, "Okay, not really. What about your Star?"

Star blinked, "What?"

"Anyone you're crushing on?"

Star's cheek marks started to glow brightly as she blushed, "Aaaaaaah!"

The three girls leaned in quickly, picking up that Star did have a crush on someone.

"Who?" Mabel prodded.

Star started to stutter as she remembered the night of her song. "I'M SORRY, SERAPH!"

She looked at Seraph, but she had already fallen asleep after a sugar crash.

"You like Seraph?" Candy asked.

"Okay, I mean, she's cute," Brenda confirmed. "I wasn't getting the romantic vibes from you two."

"No! I don't like her like that!" Star told her, "It's complicated," Star crawled into her sleeping back.

The girls weren't sure what that was about, but they had learned from the previous summer that sometimes it wasn't a good idea to pry into people's love life.

Seraph slept soundly.

0000

Marco hadn't had this dream in a long time. He woke up in a coffin wearing a suit as he looked into a red sky.

"I haven't had this dream in a while."

As he walked onto the beach, he found the same old red balloon before him, and it would float up to the sky and always be just out of his reach.

The balloon paused, "Hey do you want this?"

Marco found himself before a small girl in overalls in a colorful shirt and shoes. She had a dark complexion and puffy brown hair tied into small pigtails.

Marco blinked; he was sure he never saw this girl in his dream before. "Hello?"

"Hiya," She studied the balloon before turning to Marco. "Are you sure you want this? This is definitely some outside influence. This is saying something since you seemed to develop some resistance against dream dropping. Well, one specific type anyway."

"What?"

"Yeah, I made it too easy for others to walk into these things. I have gotten so many complaints about that. I can't change things now," She crossed her arms. She looked at the balloon, "Way too much Stephen King for my tastes. Did you know that world-renowned writer Stephen King was once hit by a car? Just something to consider."

"What? What is that supposed to mean?"

"It means I don't like that clown!" She let the balloon fly away. "Hm, so you and the redhead, huh?"

"What? Hekapoo?"

"Yeah. The scissors forger."

"What about us?"

"You've made a stir lately. My uncles and cousin have been paying attention to you."

"Is that good?"

"Meh, some people say getting my uncles' attention just means trouble. Well, at least the one with the stars in his eyes and webs at his feet. Technicolor dream coat is pretty okay. Still, my weaving uncle, I don't think he's happy about the extra chapter about a dark future and the rewrite. I know Veri isn't happy about that, but he's never been a fan of time travel. That's why he set up things to be so hard to change. Well, you've twisted my uncle's strings around you with that one."

"Wait, what about that?"

"Did no one explain that to you?" She tossed her hands in the air, "You can't just re-shape time and fate without consequences. You mess with time, and it messes back. You are in the middle of something, a storm centered on the shift. It's fallen onto-"She snorted, "Never mind, why worry about something you can't possibly stop. Even I don't know what the consequence is so-"

"Then why did you say something?"

She shrugged, "Just talking, and I like talking. I say a lot of stuff, and sometimes it sounds important when it isn't."

"Was that important?"

"More important than you could ever possibly imagine. Or maybe not. I'm not the one in charge of destiny or reality." She spun on her heel

"I don't know what's happening!" Marco grabbed his head.

"Me neither! I just noticed someone spying on the dreams of people here. Figured about the cosmic oopsie you guys did and Uncle L giving you the plus one mushroom." She stopped and tapped her chin. "Though if I remember, there was this guy who messed with the dreams of people here last year. Maybe it has something to do with that." She stood on her head to try to think clearer.

Marco twitched, "Oh! A dream! This is just some weird dream."

"That is accurate." She hovered upside down before him, and she hovered, so their eyes met. "I'd look into that red balloon if I was you. That looks like it could mess with you marbles." She poked at Marco, and he spat out several marbles.

"Well, I'll leave you to your regularly scheduled dreams. Don't tell anyone I was here. Mom and Dad can get weird about me talking to strangers."

"I don't even know who you are."

"Oh!" she grabbed his hand, "Hi, I'm Nefelibata. People just call me Nefi."

"…Hi, I'm Marco."

"Okay, bye-bye." She poked him in the eyes, and everything went dark. Marco just felt like he was falling backward.

0000

Seraph found herself in the middle of a forest, and she was walking along, unsure of where she was going.

She could hear the quiet ticking of a clock. The deeper she walked, the odder the forest looked. It looked a bit tilted to the side. Several strange, vibrant flowers bloomed in the shadow of the trees.

That's when she spotted something white in the clearing between the trees. A stuffed animal of a white rabbit in a fancy orange coat holding a silver watch. Seraph picked it up.

"Hello, Mister Rabbit, what are you doing here?"

She turned around and found a table suddenly set where she had passed. The table was set up for a tea party, and there were strange stuffed animals, each sitting in a chair and one free chair.

One was a rabbit with a red coat, and it had an energetic expression on its face.

The second one was a brown mouse in a pink and black coat with an expression that made it look like it was asleep.

In the third seat sat a black cat with a manic expression wearing a blue coat and a blue top hat.

"That one, he's the Cheshire and mad as a hatter."

Seraph looked around and couldn't see anyone speaking.

Seraph, finding an empty chair, went to place the rabbit down.

"Hm, are you sure you? Is that where the rabbit should go? Are you very sure?"

"Yes," Seraph said, placing the rabbit in the chair.

"And my little rabbit is always running late. Time is never on your side."

Seraph heard the voice almost whispering in her ear and turned to find a mirror.

She didn't see herself but a version of herself made of flames.

In the mirror, she saw something moving in front of her reflection, and she could hear clicking but not of a clock but like a key turning in a lock.

The figure became more and more apparent to her, a girl with straw-colored hair and a dark blue dress reaching for her—a glinting silver key around her neck.

Dark eyes turned to Seraph and looked straight into her, and she could feel as if something was staring into her.

"… Has apocalyptic song to sing, on that dreadful day…."

Seraph tumbled back into the chair of the rabbit, but the rabbit was no longer there.

The sun in the sky had gone out. For a moment, the forest was lit by moonlight and the stars. Slowly but surely, the stars began to go out, and the moon tumbled from the sky.

In the dimming light, she looked around, but the other stuffed animals vanished, as had the tea party. Instead, she found a small pine tree with a shooting star carved onto its trunk before the tree was what looked to be a small lake where a purple otter and blue frog swam.

Then she saw something moving throughout the forest. The dimmer light didn't help Seraph make out what was moving in there, but she spotted something. It was something pale, almost bone-like, and something stretching out throughout the whole forest. It was circling her, curling around all the trees; she could hear cracking and a strange familiar sweet smell of cinnamon.

A horrible noise that Seraph couldn't describe filled the air. She had to cover her ears to try and drone it out. She hated the noise, and it hurt her deeply. It was everything that music wasn't.

Then she felt a hand on her shoulder.

"You okay?"

Seraph opened her eyes to find Mabel standing over her.

"Are you okay? You looked like you had a bad dream."

"Dream?" Seraph was still drowsy, and as she tried to remember what she dreamed, the less she remembered.

One thing stayed with her, "Hm, I want cinnamon."

"Okay, well, it's almost time for breakfast."

0000

Angie walked into the adjoining hotel room to wake up Marco and Hekapoo and was surprised by the sight before her. She found Marco and Hekapoo fast asleep, curled together contently sleeping in each other's embrace. The DVD player rested on top of them, playing the menu screen music on loop.

Angie smiled to herself and closed the door to give them a few more minutes of sleep.

0000

"Wake up!" Stan smacked Dipper away.

Dipper rubbed his eyes and wiped away some drool.

"Did we figure anything out?"

"Ah, no," Stan told him, "Ugh, we promised we'd meet them at the dinner."

Dipper cracked his back, having slept at an odd angle.

As they walked out of the RV, they wandered to the front of the Shack to gather everyone to get breakfast.

Some of the early morning tourists were starting to roll in.

"Morning, guys." Wendy was walking in at her usual time, 30 minutes late.

"Morning," Dipper stretched but was surprised as Wendy grabbed the hat he had and put another one on.

Dipper blinked, finding his old Pine Hat on his head now.

Wendy smiled, taking back her old hat. "What? I promised I'd give it back. I wanted to do it yesterday, but things went crazy."

"Yeah, I guess we didn't get much time," Dipper fixed his hat, "How have you been?"

"Can't really complain. Since Soos took over, he's been playing more, which has been pretty good. I'm saving a bit for college."

"College?"

"Right, well, I'm going to graduate High School in two years, so it's about time to think about it. My dad is going to help pay for stuff, and there are scholarships and stuff, but having a bit more cash can't hurt."

"Wow, never heard you talk about that stuff."

"Well, last year, the world nearly ended. If there's going to be a future, I might as well do something about it. I don't know what I want to study, but it isn't part of going to college to find out what's right for you." Wendy shrugged, "Maybe I'll take a gap year. I haven't figured it all out yet."

Dipper smiled at Wendy, and he didn't have plans since he wasn't going to start high school until after Summer. If Dipper had to admit it, something of his crush on her remained, but he could see it wouldn't work some distance. The long-distance wasn't easy, especially so young.

"So, how're things going for you? Any new crushes?"

"Ah! What! Gah!" Dipper sputtered. "No!"

Wendy smirked, "Yeah, okay."

"I mean, I don't-"

"Dude, I have young brothers; you're pretty easy to read. If you ever need some girl's advice to help deal with a new crush, feel free to call."

"Well, I go-Mabel!" Dipper looked over to where Mabel had somehow got her braces stuck on Seraph's horns.

Grenda was trying to yank her off while Star readied to blast her off.

"Yeah, I love Mabel. She's my girl, but I think she's got a bit more to learn in romance before giving advice. I'm no expert, but I'm a bit ahead of you guys."

"Noted." Dipper smiled.

Wendy smiled back, "I'm going to start work." She shook her head, "Soos is just too nice. I start feeling guilty if I don't help out."

Wendy waved goodbye reminding him to stop by later to hang out.

Meanwhile, Soos was fixing the sign to the Triangle Statue. He was marking up the price for pictures to 50 dollars and 75 to shake it.

"Looks like I taught you something," Stan smiled at Soos.

"Thanks, Mister Pines."

"I'm not your boss, Soos. You can call me Stan."

"Sure thing, Mister Pines."

Stan rolled his eyes, "Okay, if you see my brother tell him not to screw things up any worse."

"Uh, Mister Pines, I wanted to ask you a question."

Stan sighed, "Sure, okay, shoot."

Stan glanced over to find Soos holding out a diamond ring, "… Soos, I'm flattered but -"

"I'm planning to ask Melody to marry me."

"Oh, thank God. I mean, amazing! Great on you! Don't screw it up. You can't do better. I mean it, you can't."

"True," Soos laughed, "So how do I do it? You know so that Melody will say yes."

Stan scratched the back of his head, "You're coming to me for advice?"

"Yes, you're the smartest guy I know."

Stan was so used to talking himself up but stopped, "Look, Soos, maybe you should talk to someone else. I had one serious girlfriend in my teens who dumped me for a hippie. I got married twice, and the time I got married to a robot might not count since I used my brother's name. Also, a robot."

"What about the other one?"

"Other one?"

"Marriage, you said you were married twice."

Stan grunted, "Marilyn, a pale-skinned beauty with a sharp tooth and wearing a shirt saying 'Over 30 and & Very Flirty' and that she was. Look, Soos, that was a wild ride. We knew each other for 48 hours and married for about six. Hey, I'll give her credit. She fooled me about being a waitress. Most people couldn't pull that much on me. I don't even mind that she tried to steal my car and my stuff before ducking out into a weird door at a canyon."

"But what about getting married?"

"Meh, I was young and stupid, we both got too drunk. It's Vegas, and anyone can get married at a drop of a dime. I don't think either one of us thought it was real." He shook his head, "Look, Soos, don't ask for advice from a guy whose most real experiences with marriage were a lie. Besides, I think you're doing just fine. You got a ring, and look, I don't know the girl too well, but it's easy enough to see she's crazy about you."

Soos smiled softly at the comment, "Okay, uh, Mister Pines would you like to have dinner with us. I would really like it if you and Melody would get to know each other."

Stan huffed, "I guess I can make some after all this is settled."

After Dipper helped pull Mabel off Seraph, they headed out to meet the others at the dinner.

0000

Everyone was gathered within a couple of booths, and Seraph leaned over, talking about a strange dream she had.

"There was a tea party, with a white bunny, a rabbit, a mouse, and a cat with a top hat."

Angie chuckled, "Oh, I used to love Alice and Wonderland as a little girl. A young girl falling into other worlds" Angie glanced over to Star, "I should show you my copy. It has some beautiful illustrations. Not sure which version you saw that has the mad hatter as a Cheshire cat too."

Seraph shrugged, "This is the first time I've heard of Alice and her Wonderland."

Angie mussed, "Curiouser and curiouser," Angie mused to herself, "You must have watched a clip from one of those movies."

Marco paused; he was sure he had some sort of strange dream last night but couldn't recall it. It was almost like someone didn't want him to remember it. The more he thought about it, the more he forgot.

A lady with a lazy eye came over to take their order.

"So, what can I get for you?"

"Bacon." Hekapoo quickly told her, "I want bacon."

"Hekapoo," Marco quietly scolded,

"I guess I'll also get some eggs and hash brown but don't forget the bacon."

"Bacon got it," Lazy Susan repeated.

"No," Hekapoo reaffirmed, "I think you think I mean 'bring me some bacon.' I'm talking about bringing me a big plate of just bacon. Just for me."

At their other table, another waitress came over.

"Okay, welcome to Greasy's Diner. What can I get you?"

Dipper blinked at the source of the annoyed-sounding voice, "Pacifica?"

"Dipper?"

Dipper was a little surprised to see the formerly rich girl there in a waitress outfit. "What are you doing here?"

"…Uh, working here. After all the stuff with Bill, my folks aren't as well off. I had to start making some extra money if I wanted stuff."

"Uh, well, that's good."

"I don't need your approval. Now, I'm on the clock, so what are you having?"

"Waffles!" Star interrupted. "I wanted chocolate chips, fruits, and syrup, and can I get extra whip cream."

"Diabetes special, got it," Pacifica glanced at Dipper, "Whose she?"

"Uh, Star, she's a girl we just met."

"Hi!" Star waved at her.

Dipper continued, "It's complicated. It's about my uncle and-"

"Yeah, okay, I stopped caring," Pacifica flipped her hair away at Dipper and began to take Candy's order.

Mabel glanced over, noticing her brother flinching as he looked at Pacific and Pacifica, trying not to look at her brother and maybe a faint blush on her face. Mabel looked around to find Seraph looking over to her parents as they bantered back and forth about bacon. Marco was scolding Hekapoo for getting so much bacon while Hekapoo blamed Marco for introducing her to bacon.

She also noticed Stan looked worried about how much this was going to cost him.

Gears started to spin in her head. "Hey, Pacifica!"

"Mabel."

"When do you get off from work?"

"What?"

"We haven't seen you in a year. Let's hang out. We're going to be showing our new friends around town, and maybe you can come along."

Pacifica paused at the sudden invitation and glanced at Dipper before turning away, "Okay, I suppose I could do that. I have a few more hours, but I could catch up."

"Great! Dipper, get her number, put it in your phone."

"What?" Dipper objected, "Why don't you get her number?"

"Pffft," Mabel tapped her head. "I forgot to charge mine, and it's dead."

Dipper sighed, handing his phone to Pacifica.

After everyone's orders were in, Mabel grabbed Seraph and yanked her away, "We should wash our hands." After they were a safe distance out, Mabel whispered to Seraph, "I got a great idea. "

"Huh?" Seraph asked, confused.

"I got a deal for you,"

"Ah, maybe. What's going on?"

"Look, my brother has a crush on Pacifica."

"Yeah, okay, I saw that. Yeah."

"You help me set them up together, and I'll help you with your parents. We'll parent trap them."

"You want to trap my parents?"

"No, I mean like nudge them together."

"…deal!"

0000

Ford stretched out as he smacked his lips. McGucket was fast asleep in a chair. Nearby the device they had been working on was finished in his bag. They had started to work on something to persuade Hekapoo. They weren't making much progress.

"Looks like you've been burning the midnight oil."

Ford turned around to see Hekapoo walking down the stairs.

"Neat little hiding spot, behind the vending machine."

"Are you here to- "

Hekapoo waved him off, "Save it, I said you had until the trip was over. I just came to check up on you."

"I thought you would be with the kids,"

"I am. That's the beautiful thing about being me." She motioned to the flame above her head.

Ford cleared his throat and brought something up on the computer. "You see, I've been looking into this phenomena. Recently I detected an entire dimension collapsing into nothing I-"

"Save it," Hekapoo told him, "That's my dimension; I was there when it happened."

"That was your dimension?" Ford gulped.

"Yeah, not eager to make small talk about it." The fire above her head flickered a little bit, and this trick was taking more effort than it used to. "So, why don't you tell me something else. Why does Gravity Falls feel so weird? Why is gravity off here? Why does it feel like I'm going to get a headache standing here? Or about this?" Hekapoo pulled away a curtain to show the broken remains of the portal.

Ford sighed as he explained the situation and the weirdness field. Everything about Bill coming to him becoming his muse before he realized that Bill was using him. How Bill tricked him into building a portal? How he tried to stop Bill but ended up traveling the multiverse. How he got back and how he failed to stop Bill. That the kids and Stan finally finished him off.

"Yeah, there's that headache. You caused the problem and then failed to solve it."

"I don't know if I'd say I'd cause the problem-"

"Yeah, this strange entity just shows up and offers you everything you could want for nothing. Yeah, nothing suspicious there. Didn't your mama ever teach you not to make a deal with people you don't know? You sure caused a lot of trouble. I mean, Bill CIPHER! The guy's name means puzzle. He's going to hide something. "

Ford grumbled, "If Bill was such a danger, why didn't the magical High Commission deal with him?"

"I think we have," Hekapoo mused out loud, "First off, humans don't have the tech or the magic to make a working portal."

"Wait-"

Ford was stopped, Hekapoo continued, "You barely made a portal, and a super unstable one at it. You just happened to do enough damage that a rift Cipher could be formed. Bill was stuck in the Nightmare Realm, a dimension on the verge of collapsing. It's a half-formed boil on the dreamscape just waiting to pop. Given enough time, that would have dealt with itself. We never dealt with Bill directly; I remember we cleaned up a mess he made back in Egypt. Bill tricked some locals into making a portal, and it was worse than yours. It just popped out Anubis. He was real grumpy about that. I think we picked up on something here or there about him, but nothing that was even that successful."

Ford was going to argue about the incident with the shaman, but the shaman had found Bill out faster than he had.

"You're not filling me with a lot of confidence, Ford," Hekapoo sighed.

Ford didn't have a lot of confidence in himself. The dimension disruption he was going to study was something Hekapoo already knew about. The stuff with Bill and the portal now looked worse as the High Commission didn't consider it an actual threat. Given a few years, it would have resolved itself, and with the state of the world, there was likely no one else on the planet who could come close to making a portal.

Hekapoo sighed, "Okay, so you punched a hole in the universe to a place, given some time would have formed a stable nexus. Not sure what this place is going to be like now that you had. It really could have become a really nice tourist spot for multiple dimensions. Well, at least I know why gravity fell off."

Ford gulped as his mind wondered what could happen though he reassured himself that something dangerous could take years.

"I'll just get out of your hair," Hekapoo told him, "Make sure you got something for me before I leave." She blew out her flame and vanished.

Ford sighed to himself; these last few days were rather humbling. Not only was he showing how little he had managed, but it also shoved it into his face how much he broke.

"At least it can't get worse."

0000

"… So, what's that thing you said about me not being the owner of the book anymore? Hmm?" Ludo asked Glossaryck.

They were just outside the cave next to a fire where Glossaryck was trying to make a perfect ball of pudding.

Ludo had been spending the morning trying to use the book but getting launched away. Honestly, Ludo wasn't sure why he kept stopping at the edge of the city; it was almost like some force was pulling him back. Weird.

Glossaryck, still focusing on his pudding ball, said, "Yes. Well, that's um… that's the thing.

"What's the thing?"

"The book thing. You don't… You don't own it anymore. That's it."

"But that doesn't make any sense! I took it! It's right there! How can it not be mine?"

"I don't know. Why don't you ask the book?" The pudding fell of the stick. "Ohhh!"

Ludo shrugged and moved to the book, "Hmm... Book! I demand that you let me write in you this instant, or I'll turn this car around so fast, it'll make your head spin!" Ludo briefly paused, hoping to get a reaction out of the book. When nothing happened, he groaned. "Look! I'm sorry, okay?! I'm sorry. I'm sorry. It's just that you have something I want, and you won't give it to me. And it so much! You and I aren't really that different, you know? We both like magic... and, uh... other stuff. What I'm trying to say is I really appreciate you and all you've done for me. So if you're not letting me write to you because of something I did or I said, I-I... All right. I'm just going to come right out and say it. I love you, book. I do! I love you! And I'd be honored if you let me write in you."

Glossaryck burst out laughing, clapping with his feet.

"I'm sorry. It's, it's... It's a book. You cannot talk to the... to the book!" He continued to laugh. "I'm sorry... Ahh. I thought you were in on the, uh... Oh, never mind."

"Oh, yes. Funny. Yes, I suppose it is. Funny that I ever believed you would take me seriously! Funny, that ugly little Ludo wants to be a mighty magical superstar! What a joke, right?!" He let out a loud fake laugh, "Joke on me! Star was always your favorite, wasn't she? The cute little sparkles on the cheeks. I'm just a sad little dingus in a chip bag. Who you never believed in! Well, if you don't want me in your book, then I don't want me in it, either!"

Ludo, in a fit of anger, tossed the Book of Spells into the fire. The fire turned green and started to consume the book. Ludo's eyes began to glow green.

Glossaryck's body began to burn. "Well, Toffee, it looks like you finally got him to do what you wanted."

Toffee through Ludo spoke, "I didn't want this. This was all Ludo. But now that you're gone, I can finally get him to do what I wanted. I'd love to chat more, but it looks like you're out of time."

The book was little more than ashes.

"Hmm. You know, even though I knew this was coming, it's, uh... it's still kind of a surprise." Glossaryck finally successfully roasts a ball of pudding. "Hey! Hey, look! It worked!"

With that, the ancient keeper of magic vanished.

Ludo regained control to see sparks of green and pink consume the last bits of the book.

"Aah! Glossaryck! Oh, no! No-no-no-no-no! Glossaryck! What have I done?! I'm sorry! I'm sorry! I... "Guilt rushed over his body, "No, no, no, no! No, no, stop! Come back! I didn't mean it!" He curled up in a ball and cried.

The wand hummed to him.

"Huh? What do you mean it's for the best?"

It hummed to him as the spider and eagle moved closer to their master.

"Right. The book was a distraction. We don't need it anymore. We don't need anyone anymore!" Ludo then looked up to the sky outside the cave with dark determination in his eye. "Butterfly Castle… I'm coming for you."


Author's Notes: So yeah stuff has come up in my own life so writing has been slow. Okay, so stuff is happening. I'm sure a couple of you have figured out what this arc is blending into, like which show arc this is mixing into. So tell me what you guys think and what you like and whatever. We are getting to 1000 reviews.