Ch 2 Hot Body

Stepping out of the red portal Marco found himself in a dead looking forest. The trees had no leaves, grass was all brown and flaked away under his feet, he could not hear any animals, and the very air tasted stale and bitter.

Looked back at the portal Marco saw Hekapoo step out. "Okay now that we're here mind filling me in?"

"Sure, you see this place?" she asked pointing at their surroundings.

Marco was a tad confused as he looked at his settings again. "Yeah, we're in some sort of dead forest or something."

"Correct Meat-Bag, but this 'dead forest' as you put it wasn't always so dead. Just a week ago this place had a flourishing ecosystem of such beauty you could just sit down and just gaze in its beauty for hours on end."

"Speaking from experience I assume?"

Hekapoo didn't immediately answer Marco, instead she took in the scenery and remembered better times. "Yeah," she solemnly answered with sadness in her voice, "You would've love to see it in its prime."

Marco saw tears dripping from her face "Hekapoo… I'm sorry," Marco apologized as he closed the gap between them and pulled her in for a hug.

Hekapoo herself did hug back but that lasted only for a few seconds before Marco felt Hekapoo slap the back of his head with her burn flaming hand.

"OW!" Marco screamed in pain as he broke the hug. "What the hell, Hekapoo! What was that for?"

"That was for making me feel all sappy and sad and stuff," Hekapoo answer as she wiped away a tear. "That and I did say this was a time-sensitive mission. Okay look, the forest here is not dead just yet but it is almost on its way to being dead. So, we don't really have much time to talk about the past and stuff. At most, I think we have about 12 hours if we are lucky or at your worst, I think we may have less than 6 hours or so."

"So, then what's the plan then?" Marco asked still rubbing the back of his head and hoping he didn't get a bold spot again.

"Well first off, I cannot have you fighting like this," Hekapoo gestured at Marco.

"You just gestured at all of me."

"I know, that's because I need suave and ruggedly muscular you. Not small weak and scrawny you for this."

"Well if you want my muscles you'd have to wait 15 more years for that. Maybe 8 years if you're lucky."

"I don't have time to wait for that," Hekapoo reached into her dresses cleavage causing Marco to look away with a blush as she pulled out two items. "Here catch Meat-Bag," Hekapoo warned as she tossed the items to Marco.

Marco was a little off guard by Hekapoo reaching into her dress and nearly revealing her voluptuous bosom in front of him, Marco stumbled a little as he caught the items. Looking at the two items he caught the first one was a very well made ornate Bowie knife. The handle was made from some type of bone, dragon bone if he was not mistaken. Marco had seen some weapons and armor made from dragon bone before on his trial to earn his scissors, but they were very rare and far between. He knew that the older the dragon the higher the quality of the bone. By the looks of it, considering the maker of the knife, Marco could guarantee one hundred percent the dragon bone was of the highest and finest quality one could get.

Unsheathing the blade to examine its razor-sharp edge, it appeared so sharp even looking at it could cut flesh. However, that was not the main eye catcher of the knife, as it had glowing red runes carved into it. Most likely some sort of enchantment related to fire, given her motif as it would be the most logical conclusion. The metal that the blade itself was made of was something completely unknown to him, again most likely a very rare and strong metal from some far-off dimension.

The second item was a gilded crystal amulet and within the crystal, Marco could see a tiny pair of scissors overlapping a tiny pocket watch surrounded by what looked like a galaxy. Holding onto the two items Marco could feel that they were warm, not hot just uncomfortable 'warm' to the touch.

"Did you really have to put them there?" Marco asked embarrassingly as he tried to put on a tough face, but his blush gave him away.

Seeing his embarrassment Hekapoo decided to capitalize on it. "What can I say, these Bad Boys make excellent pockets," she pointed out as she fondled and jiggled her breasts lightly.

Marco being the gentleman that he is covered his face as he looked away from Hekapoo's very unladylike behavior.

"Oh, come on, Marco, you've seen and been in way more compromising positions with me in in the past!"

"Those times were with your clones by accident and you know it! Can we please get back to the matter at hand here?!"

"You know, you should learn to be more grateful. After all, I just gave you two very powerful items and I still haven't heard you say thank you yet," Hekapoo smirked but saw how annoyed Marco was and decided it was time to actually take this seriously. "But you are right. We do really need to get back to the matter at hand here."

Marco saw her demeanor change from her usually laid back and moxie attitude to a more serious one. Looking down at the items he couldn't help but think of the past when he was hunting down Hekapoo's clones. Back then, Hekapoo would only at very rare times give Marco some food to eat back when he was just fresh on the trail and didn't know yet how to feed off the land or have any coin to spend, not including that one time she gave him some new clothes to wear. To make a long story short, when one gets not only older but also starts building some (a lot) of muscle a small red hoodie will no longer suffice.

Swallowing his embarrassment and pride Marco did kind of need to thank Hekapoo for the knife and amulet because they were cool though he favored the blade a little more.

"Thanks, Hekapoo they're really cool, especially the Bowie knife," Marco complimented.

"Really~" Hekapoo's signature grin returning to her face, "I thought you would've like the amulet more than the silly little knife?"

"Why?"

"Put it on and you'll find out."

Marco looked the amulet with concern, "It's not going to kill me if I wear it, right?"

"Nope, it won't."

Marco shrugged his shoulders and was about to put it on until he thought of something that might happen if he put it on.

"It's not going to give you control over me, is it?"

"Pffffffft hahaha!" Hekapoo bellowed out in laughter "Oh Marco, I practically already own you so having an amulet that does that would be redundant."

"Whatever you say."

With no more room for doubt in Marcos mind, he took one deep breath and placed the amulet around his neck, instantly bursting into flames. Marco didn't even have the time to scream out in pain though that was not an issue in this instance. There was no pain as the fire dispersed within a fraction of a second leaving Marco unhurt but changed.

"Got to say, I like what I see," Hekapoo complemented leaning back a bit to get a better view.

Marco looked over at Hekapoo who now looks notably shorter than she was a second ago. Bringing his hands to his face Marco saw his arms were jacked. Looking down he saw his well-toned and defined abs that he had back in Hekapoo's dimension.

"My hot bod! It's back!" Marco cheered in his more masculine voice as he flexed his massive biceps feeling the strength he now had back "Oh it feels so good to have these bad boys back!"

"Yeah, I know what you mean."

Looking back at Hekapoo Marco couldn't help but notice that Hekapoo wasn't making any eye contact with him. Instead, he felt her eyes were looking down on his lower part of him. As he looked down at himself again he saw his abs, as in he could acutely see them when he clearly remembered that he was wearing a tuxedo.

Turned out when his body was engulfed in flame and his body grew three times in size, the clothes that he was wearing ripped and tore under the strain or maybe it was the flame, Marco didn't know. The only article of clothing that didn't rip, tear or burn off was his underwear, but they were only holding on by a thread. Marco could feel Hekapoo's eyes glued to his crotch. Without feeling how tight it was Hekapoo didn't need to use her imagination to know his current.

Marco quickly covered himself up to preserve some of his dignity and self-respect, but sadly that was far too late for that.

"Oh, ~ did I forget to mention that it doesn't work well with clothes that aren't meant to stretch out? Sorry, not sorry."

"Oh hahaha, very funny Hekapoo," Marco laughed sarcastically. "I assume you have also brought a spare set of clothes for me to wear somewhere around here."

Hekapoo didn't bother to answer the question, instead pulling out her personal pair of dimensional scissors, cut a small portal, reached into it, and pulled out a pair of new clothes and shoes. She then handed them to Marco and waited for him to start changing into them.

"Um, a little privacy here would be nice."

"Oh come, I have seen you naked before."

"You know Hekapoo, I was very busy with the ball before I came here to help you. So consider yourself lucky that I'm still around to help you."

"Oh please, it's not like you had a choice in the matter. You would have helped me no matter what you were doing previously."

Hekapoo waited silently for Marco to respond but he never did. All he did was stand his ground and glare at her. This to her was clear, this was not the same weak-willed human that was standing beside her five minutes ago. Guess the mind changes with the body.

"Fine! You win," Hekapoo turned around, facing away from Marco and even covered her eyes with both her hands. "Happy now?"

"Very!"

Marco made sure that he changed quickly, keeping an eye on Hekapoo during the process. Just to make sure that she didn't try anything funny, after all. He couldn't ever let his guard down around Hekapoo. Marco had found that out the hard way when he was hunting her and her clones down.

"Okay, you can look now I'm decent."

Turning around Hekapoo couldn't help but applaud herself for how well Marco's new outfit suited him. She was worried how it would turn out because she wasn't very experienced in textiles compared to her metal work, but now seeing the result she was very happy with it. The new clothes Marco was wearing had somewhat the same look as what he wore the last time he was in her dimension. However, these clothes had a cleaner, sleeker, and updated look to them and were made with the highest quality materials. Compared to the patchwork outfit he had before. After all, if she were to make anything it would have to be exquisite and not something half-assed.

"Got to say Hekapoo, I like the new threads."

"What can I say, I'm an artist."

"So... what's with the amulet and knife, if you don't mind me asking you?"

"Well since you asked nicely Marco that amulet you're wearing is the only one of its kind. You see the tiny pair of scissors?"

Marco looks at the amulet "Yeah, but now that I'm thinking about it, it kind of looks like my pair of scissors you forged for me."

"It should, because I made it so."

"I don't get?"

"Of course, Dumb-Dumb, I haven't told you its function yet."

"Oh, continue."

"You see those scissors have made a tiny portal inside the amulet that leads into my dimension, allowing the flow of time to encircle the wearer."

"No offense Hekapoo, but that sounds like something way out of your field of expertise to do."

"Ouch! Marco, kick a girl down when she's giving you nice stuff why don't you," Hekapoo joked. "But you are right I did have help in making it. That little pocket watch for starters, I had to hunt down Father Time to get that which is the part that pulls out the time from my dimension."

"Did you really have to 'hunt' him down?"

"Yes! Because for some reason, someone gave Father Time the bright idea of riding on top of a gigantic cog being pulled by equally gigantic time hamsters! The guy does not stay in one place for a second!"

Marco thought it would be best if he didn't mention his involvement in that as he is still in a lot of trouble with Hekapoo and he did want to get in any more.

"So, what about the galaxy part?"

"Oh, that's just Omnitraxus' handiwork. He helped freeze the flow of time to keep it in place while also allowing you to freely move in your original time stream. Think of it like a frozen river, the top part may be frozen over, but underneath the ice the water still flows. So, if you wear the amulet you are practically ageless so long as you wear the amulet. The crystal it's made of is Rhombulus's doing. That's just there to make the amulet hard to damage and to keep the other parts together."

"So, I'm immortal now?"

"You know you're lucky you're cute when you act so stupid," Hekapoo teased. "But being ageless and immortal are two very separate things. For example, if someone cut off your head you'd be dead. That and immortality doesn't really exist, everyone dies eventually one way or another. It's just the way things are no matter how powerful you are."

"Okay then… so the knife. I'm theorizing that it must have some sort of fire-based ability when in use. Like if I swing it well an arc of fire may just shoot out or well it just burns whatever it cuts"

"And what makes you think it's just fire? What about water, earth, wind or all the above?"

"Because I know you too well. Water is cool calm and collected. Don't get me wrong you can be all those things at times, but your fiery personality always overrides the former. Earth is typically strength, endurance, and stubborn resolve, all of which you have in spades. However, earth is slow, basic and very predictable, some may even say stupid. And with my adventures hunting you I've learned that you're quick on your feet, able to run circles around me, complexes in your actions that you take and very cunning and strategic in mind."

Hekapoo was silent as she simply listened to Marco point out her faults and strength in detail and couldn't help but blush a little. All the compliments Marco was giving her was making her start to lose some, if not most of her cool, but her stubborn resolve to allowed her to remain cool, calm, and collected. At least for now.

"And last, but not least, wind is the element of freedom, associated with someone who isn't tied down by rules, regulations, responsibilities, and commitments. If a random person were to meet you for the first time, they'd think all those things were true about you, but I know that it's just a facade you put up. You may act laid back and carefree, but who are you trying to fool here. You're a part of 'Magic High Commission', an organization that just screams authoritative figure."

Marco grinned as he looked down on Hekapoo, her arms now crossed and a pout showing clear signs of embarrassment and frustration.

"So that's how I know that this knife doesn't have any other element than fire imbued with it. Plus, you can only do fire enchantments, so the other elements are out of the question. I know you enchanted this knife with something else, but I don't know what and I don't know how to use it so uh please tell me."

Straightening herself out Hekapoo cleared her throat before she started to speak again trying to casually regain her composure.

"Well since you asked so nicely Meat-Bag I tell you, draw the knife," Hekapoo ordered as Marco did as he was told. "Now focus, think of fire or really something hot."

Closing his eyes Marco envisioned a lit candle as an easy starting point to gauge its power from lowest to highest. Opening his eyes Marco looked at the blade to see it was glowing a faint orange and that embers were coming off flickering off it.

"That looks so very pathetic!" Hekapoo insulted as she had a look of disbelief plastered on her face at the sight of the small flickering embers. "Do you need to learn how to meditate, because it really does help. I could even teach you how to meditate if you wanted to… oh, wait. Scratch that I almost forgot we're pretty stretched for time as it is now but maybe if we..."

"I know how to meditate okay?!"

"Then why is the flame so small and puny if you know how to meditate?"

"Because I envisioned a candle, okay?"

"A single candle?"

"Yes, a single candle," Marco clarified.

"I told you to envision fire, not a small minuscule candle!"

"Well, I just wanted to play it safe! I thought that if I envisioned something like the sun I may set myself on fire. Also given the fact there is lots of foliage and dried out trees that could catch fire I thought we could avoid dealing with a forest fire right now!"

Hekapoo silently stared at Marco for a second before she started to giggle a little, soon laughing wholeheartedly.

"Hehehehehehehe! Now there's the Marco I remember. No matter how much older you get or how muscly you become you'll always be the same old safe kid from the day I first met you."

"I so regret telling you about that, it's so embarrassing."

"Really? I find it quite endearing, it shows that you care. Remember that time you saved one of my clones from a rock slide and later scolded her for two hours on the dangers of mountain climbing."

"Yeah I remember. Clone 36 if I'm remembering it correctly, she called me an idiot for saving her instead of letting the rock slide kill her as it would have smothered her flame out."

"You do still realize it would have counted as your victory, right?"

"Yeah, but that would have been a hollow victory. I wanted to win by my own hands and not by circumstances that were out of my control."

"Okay that's enough, we're wasting time here. Let's get back to the problem at hand with the knife and your lack of focus on fire."

"I don't have problems with focusing I can envision fire just fine I only started with a candle so that I could properly gauge its power starting from a weaker point of view that's all there is to it, okay?"

"Okay then, prove it."

"With pleasure," Macro declare with zeal.

Closing his eyes again, Marco now envisioned a campfire. For some strange reason also picturing his mom and dad beside him as they were roasting marshmallows over the campfire to make some s'mores. Pondering on that thought for a moment Marco realized he'd not seen his parents for some time now.

'After this is all done, I think I should visit mom and dad to see how things are going' Marco promised himself in his mind.

Opening his eyes, he saw the knife now fully coated in flame as well as Hekapoo looking on to him with a gleeful smile.

"Well~ guess you could do it," as she said this Marco flashed a cocky smirk "Ready to learn the next feature I placed on the knife?"

"Heck yeah!"

"Now try thinking of your knife becoming a sword."

Doing as he was told he instinctively took up a sword stance as the knife in his hand turned into pure red-hot, molten metal in his hands. That caught Marco off guard for a moment, but he noticed the molten metal didn't burn or singe his hand. Instead, it re-shaped itself into a large broadsword and like the knife before it, it too was reeved in flames.

"This is so cool!" Marco commented as he gave a few test swings seeing it was perfectly balanced. "This is way cooler than my previous sword."

"Well~ I know what my man likes."

"By the way, what happened to my sword I had before?"

"That old hunk of scrap, you left it in my dimension and after a few years it rusted away to nothing."

"Aw man, I really liked that sword. It took me forever to find a katana."

"Oh, please Marco, katanas are overrated. I mean come on, they tend to chip and brake because of how thin they are. You need something more durable and heavy making this perfect for someone with muscles like you. Plus, broadswords have better hand guards, after all, I don't want you losing any finger because you wanted to be a weeb."

"I guess you're right. The sword I had before was getting some chips and dull."

"Aw, don't fret Marco you look more like a proper knight with that sword in your hands. Well, mostly because I made it and if you used a katana you'd look like an out-of-touch tryhard in Mewni."

"Thanks, I guess."

"No problems. Now I should also mention that it can change into different weapons like spears, whips, axes, and bows. However, you need a little more practice with it to use it fully, but for now a knife and sword will have to suffice."

"Okay then, what now?"

"Well the place we need to be is quite a way from here, so we will need some transportation."

Upon hearing that Marco became all giddy as he knew that could only mean one thing. Pulling out her scissors again, she opened a full-sized portal this time and moments later a dragon-cycle flew past her straight into Marco's waiting arms"

"Nachos!" Marco called out to his dragon-cycle as she tackled Marco to the ground and proceeded to lick his face in excitement in seeing her rider. "Aw I missed you too, Boo-boo."

Seeing Marco and his dragon-cycle fawning over each other was a sight to behold. She found it to be a very touching moment, but they had already wasted too much time on their witty banter and needed to get moving.

"Okay that is enough you too, we need to get moving now. You can catch up with each other when we've finished with our business."

Agreeing with her, Marco pushed his dragon-cycle off him and then mounted Nachos. Hekapoo quickly followed suit as she jumped on behind Marco and wrapped her arms around Marco's abdomen.

"Make sure you hold on to my muscles tightly, they'll keep you safe."

"Just drive, Meat-Bag."

"Yes ma'am. Come on Nachos, let's ride!" With a might roar Nachos sped off in the general direction Hekapoo pointed towards.

As they were riding deeper into the dying forest Marco couldn't help shaking the feeling about the ball and hoped that Star would be fine without him there. Hekapoo seeing the distress in Marco's face tried to put his mind at ease with his inner turmoil.

"I know you're worried about Star and I can tell you this right now. She's a big girl with magical powers that can blast away a nearly invincible lizard-man in one powerful blast. She doesn't need a knight lording over her."

"I know," Marco responded in a very serious tone of voice. "She needs a friend."

Hekapoo couldn't help but roll her eyes at that. "She's both practically and literally surrounded by her friends and family, Marco," she pointed out. "But I'm not and I really do 'need' you right here and now to help me out, Marco. So, don't worry about Star, worry about me and yourself right now but you know… mostly me. And after all what can Star really do to mess up an officially sanctioned ball within her own kingdom?"

Marco smiled as he thought about it and Hekapoo was right, as she always was. In his own opinion, Star had grown up to be, not only more responsible but also able to think of her actions completely through before acting on them like she usually did when he first met her. Well, sometimes if she was lucky if he was being honest.

"I guess you're right H-poo."

"I always am and stop calling me H-poo you know I hate being called that," not noticing a small smile had crept on her lips followed by blushing just a little because of the little nickname.

"No, you don't, you love it when I'm calling you that. You even blush a little when I do."

"N…no I… it's just hot in this dimension, OK?!"

"Says the girl that has fire hovering above her head," Marco laughed at his own joke at Hekapoo's expense but was quickly silenced by a quick smack across the head. "OW!"

"How's that mark of Hekapoo treating you?"

"Touché H-poo, touché."

"You're just lucky I find you too cute to just burn to a crisp. Now shut up and focus on your driving."

"Yes ma'am."