Earth and Mewni are reunited, and so are Star and Marco. The Diazes and Butterflies both have their families back together. What will the future hold in this new world of theirs?

A/N: This first chapter is a Cleaved epilogue, AND a prologue of sorts to my upcoming (mostly character/slice-of-life centric, not plot-focused) canon continuation COMIC/FIC HYBRID series, The Greatest Gift which will be hosted on my Tumblr blog (Ngame989). Art by Toxicpsychox (same name on FFnet and Tumblr), with permission, who's collaborating with me on this project. Additionally, huge shout-outs to bmc-nightfury, Seddm, EAurelian, and DinoDinoDude for editing this and helping me make it the best it can be. Check my Tumblr blog header for more information!


"Hey."

"Hi."

Star and Marco's gazes remained unflinchingly fixed on each other, still feeling a bit out of breath from their recent exertions. They were close, so close, but neither made a move. They were here, together, and after all they'd been through it all seemed so fragile - taking that last step forward was change, and change wasn't safe, and change could take it all away from them again. Perhaps it wasn't rational to think that way, but reason meant nothing compared to the overwhelming relief, their chests rising and falling in unison for a few more seconds in this perfect moment where it seemed like nothing could go wrong.

Nothing, that is, until a brush burn running down the side of Marco's leg flared up, causing him to jerk forward as his eyes shut in a grimace. Star let out a small yelp and instinctively dove forward, grabbing his arms to steady him.

"Marco, are you OK?" she warbled.

"Yeah, I just, uh, crashed a skateboard," he sighed, then swallowed hard and took another moment to get his bearings. His body was a bit sore, but the emotional trembling in her voice was the sucker punch that made him nearly double over.

She helped him straighten up again, their eyes meeting once more. Before either of them could consciously recognize it, the invisible tension snapped as Star practically collapsed forward into Marco's arms, burying her face in his chest. "I was so worried, I… I…" Between the muffling of his hoodie and her soft sobbing, any other words were lost. He steadied his footing and slowly caressed the back of her head. Her golden hair was ragged and he found his fingers getting so easily tangled and knotted in it, but it just made it feel that much more real - it made her just feel that much more real.

"It's OK, I had a helmet," he replied absentmindedly, as the feelings of dizziness and relief and love swam through his brain and left him in a daze. Star sputtered out a laugh amidst her tears at his response; when he finally processed his own words and chuckled as well, contagious laughter quickly overtook them both. Finally she pulled back, dropping her hands down to firmly grip onto his own, the gesture bringing immediate comfort to them both. "You're here," he muttered, mostly to try and keep himself grounded, but she heard nonetheless and nodded.

"With you. And you're here with me." Warmth surged in Marco's chest as it all finally clicked and he tackled her, making her take a few steps back while she rubbed his back.

"You're here," he said again, shaking a little bit. "You're here. I'm here! We're here!" He continued repeating the refrain like a mantra, still leaning on Star whose own exclamations began to overlap with his. Wild smiles erupted on both of their faces as their bodies felt ready to explode with energy, rocking back and forth and eventually starting to turn in place. They spun until Marco felt his feet leave the ground, holding onto Star as they laughed and twirled and held onto each other even tighter than when an entire realm was about to collapse in on them, tears of pure relief seeping out from between closed eyelids and glittering in the air around them. Eventually Star felt a lurching in her stomach and slowed their movement, stopping with the help of Marco's feet touching the ground.

"Star?"

"Note to self, don't spin around after eating nothing but pudding," she moaned, and Marco realized he was in a similar situation. "Also… where is here, exactly?"

A third shrill voice suddenly made itself present and caused the pair to jump apart. "No one knows!" They looked to their left to find Starfan13, eyes near filling up her head and jittering like she'd just had a dozen of Star's most decadent sugaritos.

"Pegasus feathers, how long have you-"

"Who cares, are the two of you…" she trailed off, her voice getting breathier by the syllable.

Star and Marco looked sheepishly at each other and nodded. They couldn't seem to decide between holding each other or interlocking their fingers, and they'd have laughed about the most welcome disagreement in history if they hadn't been interrupted by Starfan's sudden shriek as she passed out on the spot.

"Uh, Star? Is she OK? Should we call-"

"It's fine, this has happened like a dozen times before. Let's just help her up to that bench…" They stepped forward to help, but as soon as Star's grip made contact, Starfan leapt back up to her feet.

"So did you two do this? Was it love magic? I bet it was love magic! Did you have to kiss so hard that everything went boom and dimensions collided and-"

Her words stunned them both into silence until the mention of dimensions, at which point they snapped to attention. They turned their heads in opposite directions to finally get a good look around them, tuning out the continued ranting, and their surroundings finally came into focus. Familiar castles and Earth mountains alike shared a skyline framed by the moons of Mewni, cars tried to navigate around monsters a few blocks away, and a herd of dragoncycles revved their wheels overhead. Star gasped as reality began to sink in.

"Marco, did… did we do this?" Star quietly inquired as Starfan stopped instantly to give the pair her full attention.

"I… I don't know. Maybe when we were in the realm, the second time, before…"

"So it WAS you! Star and Marco magic, Star Marco magic... Starco magic! STARCO MAGIC! STARCO MAGIC STARCO MAGIC STARC-" The girl collapsed once more in a fit of hyperventilation, and this time stayed out cold while she was dragged to and laid down on the nearest bench. Star and Marco just stared at her for a few seconds; despite everything that had happened to them, this encounter somehow still left them feeling the most disturbed they'd been. Their stomachs growled in unison and broke the trance as they looked around.

Marco took her hand again as his eyes darted around their surroundings, trying to figure out what to do next. "OK, so we should definitely try to find everyone, but we should get something to eat or drink first…"

"Hey Marco, Stop n Slurp is right here!" Star motioned him to turn around and he finally noticed the glowing neon sign not far behind them, the building seemingly unperturbed by the dimensional fusion - and the clerk inside not paid enough to care about it. A few minutes later, they emerged with matching cotton candy slushies with red and blue swirls.

They began to stroll through the streets, hand in hand, occasionally leaning so close that they would bump into one another and stumble but welcoming the casual body contact more than anything else. Almost everyone seemed to have taken shelter to get away from the chaos at some point, but their mindless chatter and abundance of relieved coos and sighs was punctuated with the occasional scream, crash, or car horn as the minutes stretched on. Star leaned on Marco as they walked and stared up at him as he rambled on about their few minutes apart; she was eager to explore this new world of theirs, but in this moment her only world was him.

"...and then Janna stopped her pulse with a snap. Gosh, I hope she's OK, maybe we should check on her-"

"She's done weirder, Marco, trust me."

"Yeah, but before that she said she was my friend and that you're cooler than her."

"OK, maybe there is something wrong with her," she jokingly conceded. "Anyway, yeah, we should check on… well, everyone. Maybe we should start with your parents."

Marco halted and turned towards her, raising his eyebrow. "You sure? What about your mom and Eclipsa? Well, um, I know stuff was kinda tense with your mom before…"

Star shrugged him off. "No, that's all fine now, but I think they'll be able to figure out what happened more easily. Besides, you said you were on a stretcher when they last saw you, right? We should let them know you're OK."

"Fine, but then we find your family next," he acquiesced as he squeezed her hand and started walking again.

A dozen or so minutes later, as the Diaz household came into view, Marco could see that the merging had given them a lengthy new tract of land in their backyard. Wait, was that a miniature jungle next to the shed? He knew he should've been relieved that everything seemed OK, that nothing awful seemed to have happened, but a dread crept in instead. How would they react to everything being so different, now? He hadn't- couldn't have known this would happen, but now everything was so different and all their lives would be irrevocably changed and what if-

A hand caressed his cheek, stopping him in his tracks at the edge of the driveway as it wiped away a tear he didn't realize he'd shed. "What's wrong?"

"It's just…" His hand rose up to grab her own, still holding it to his face. "It's finally kinda sinking in what happened, you know? And we're about to see my parents, and… what will they think of all this? What will anyone think of this?"

"Marco..." she crooned understandingly. Whatever she was about to add was interrupted when the front door opened.

"OK, dear, I'll check just to be safe…" the pair heard Rafael placatingly call back inside as he stepped out into the yard. They instinctively jumped back from each other a tiny bit, breaking the contact. His eyes went wide when he spotted them, but only for a second before he charged forward to sweep them both into a bear hug. "Oh, mijos, thank goodness you're OK!"

Angie peeked her head outside next and she quickly joined the embrace, tears flowing down her cheeks and breaking Marco's heart.

"Sorry I ran off, I just had to-" Marco murmured into his mom's shoulder.

Angie cupped his face and smiled knowingly, and he didn't miss her quick glance at Star a bit behind him. "Marco, honey, we understand. You're both safe, and you're here, and that's all that matters." There was a mischievous glint in their expressions as they led Star and Marco towards the house, who looked at each other quizzically in response.

"Uh, Mr. and Mrs. Diaz, is everything OK?" Star asked as the door shut behind them. A gasp was heard from the kitchen, and Moon appeared in the archway a second later. "Mom?"

"Star?" Another voice came from the top of the stairs, followed by the presence of Eclipsa a second later. The three gathered in the center of the living room as Star stammered incredulously into her mother's shoulder.

Eclipsa glanced over towards Marco, who felt like a weight had been taken off his shoulders as he took in the scene in front of him. "Marco, dear, won't you join us?" The ex-queen's voice startled him for a moment before he walked forward, being pulled into the embrace by the elder Butterflies.

"Pardon me for interrupting, but, um…" Angie trailed off as she got the attention of the others. "What exactly happened? Like, with everything?"

As the embrace ended, the group began to find seats around the living room, with Marco and Star seated next to Eclipsa on the couch and the others pulling over chairs from the dining room. "Well, uh, there was this this crazy buff warrior lady named Mina-" Star began before Eclipsa put an arm on her shoulder.

"We already caught them up with all of that, I think she means with… whatever exactly our new dimension is."

Marco nervously looked at his parents, then at Star. He had to be honest, no matter what. She took his hand in hers and he swallowed hard, the adults' attention fixed on him as he began. "Well, after they all managed to finish the spell to destroy the magic, the connections to all the dimensions started closing. Everyone else went through the Mewni one, and I… I dunno. The Earth well was right there, I was one step away but then I just… I couldn't." His voice cracked briefly, tears threatening to creep out of his eyes. Star gently leaned into him for comfort as Rafael held Angie. "Then the Mewni well closed, too, but Star came back a few minutes after, and there was this big flash of light, and then I woke up on Earth by Britta's. And I guess whatever happened made that big portal everyone saw, and I just ran for it. Before I could get there, it exploded, or imploded, or something, and did all of this. Sooooo I guess that's it."

An uncomfortable silence lingered for a few moments. Marco fidgeted and was about to pull away from the situation entirely when Rafael scooted forward and put his firm hand on Marco's shoulder. "Marco, son, it's fine. We're proud of you, for everything that you did, we love you, and we understand."

Angie joined him with a gentle thumb on his cheek. "We're all going to have to figure out what we're going to do, but you're here now, you're safe, and you're happy, and that's all we could ever ask for you."

"On that subject, I believe your story wasn't quite all of 'it', was it?" Eclipsa chimed in with a smirk and a raised eyebrow.

Star and Marco bashfully smiled at each other before Star spoke up for the first time in the conversation. "Heh, guess not."

Eclipsa clasped her hands together with a bright smile. "Knew it! I'm delighted for you two."

"Aaaaanyway," Marco interjected, "what's the plan for now?"

"Yeah, where's Dad?" Star looked around the room in confusion. "Or Globgor?"

Eclipsa gave a small smile. "Globby is off at the temple making sure everything is settled there. He can still control his size, so he can cover ground quite quickly, thank heavens."

"And as for River-" Moon began to speak but was interrupted by a thunderous roar that came from the direction of the backyard.

"TALLY-HO! CAMPIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIING!" The ruckus only got louder by the second as Star and Marco hurried out the back door to see River charging across the large field on an Earth bear. "Moonpie, I got all the building supplies you asked me to find, they're at the camp. These Earth trees put up far less of a fight than I'm used to!" When he spotted Star and Marco, he immediately leapt off of the bear and ran straight for the house before scooping pair into a crushing, sweaty hug. "Star! My little girl! And Marco my boy, I'm so glad you're alright!"

Star smiled as best she could given the pain from the fatherly constriction."Aw, dad. Wait, camp? What's going on?"

River finally dropped the two back down onto the grass, where they staggered for a second before plopping down. "Your mother and I wanted to get away from the old village for a while. And what better area than here, right on the outskirts of the Forest of Certain Death, huzzah! So much wildlife to hunt, we'll be living off the land and-"

"What your father means to say, dear," Moon stated exasperatedly as she appeared behind them, "is that we wanted to be closer to you, and we figured you two wouldn't want to be separated. Besides, most of your belongings are already here, are they not?"

Star sat up on the grass and looked in the general direction of her mother, still seeing double. "Mostly, I think."

"Globgor should be back here around sunset to take Eclipsa back, we told him to bring anything important of yours that was still there just in case."

Star smiled widely, jumping up to hug her mother excitedly. "Aww, you guys are the best!"

An hour or so went by without much fanfare. Rafael insisted on preparing dinner all by himself, so the others passed the time keeping an eye on the news and playing with the babies. Star and Marco seemingly never got more than a few inches from each other's presence, a fact which didn't escape the notice of the adults present. It was decided that, for the time being, Star would continue staying with the Diazes, but that she (and Marco) were more than welcome with any of them at any time. An intoxicating aroma of meat and vegetables wafted through the living room, delighting everyone present who hadn't had a proper meal in quite a while; when Rafael triumphantly announced that dinner was served, he was almost trampled by the rush.

The dining room was largely silent, aside from the feverish chewing of those present. Star leaned back in her seat, having eaten her fill already, and just took in the sights around her - some oxymoronic blend of chaos and serenity that made her heart soar. Angie and Eclipsa cooed over their fussy daughters who were giggling at each other in their high chairs. River's head finally surfaced from his plate, flecks of pork and red sauce visible in his beard. "Rafael, old boy, you MUST show me how you make these… what did you call them again? Turtles lava got us? They're brilliant! It's feels like my mouth is on fire, but it's not actually on fire! Earth food is simply extraordinary, hahahaugh," River choked out before dousing his entire face with his glass of water before digging right back into his third sandwich. Even Moon found herself giggling at the antics, and Meteora clapped along and happily swished her tail. And beside her was Marco, clearly enjoying this scene same as her.

The pair noticed the light from outside gradually taking on a different hue. First reports on the TV earlier had indicated that, despite no one being quite sure what the exact geography of this world was, that most natural phenomena like the day-night cycle and the tides miraculously stayed largely the same, and by the clocks in the house it was definitely approaching late evening. Star raised an eyebrow at him and got a knowing nod in response - same page, as always.

"Thank you so much for the dinner tonight, but Marco and I are gonna go for a bit. We'll be back soon." They quickly got up and strolled out the back door hand in hand to see the sun approaching the horizon in the new sky. Marco helped boost Star up onto the roof and took her hand to get himself up there as well, sitting down together to watch the first ever sunset in their new home.

"So what do you think they're going to call it?" Marco asked, eyes fixed on the sky above.

"Call what?"

"All of this. Whatever happened… whatever we did. Earth and Mewni, I guess? Are any other dimensions here too?"

Star bit her lip and nervously kicked her feet. "I… I don't know, really. It looks like most of the kingdoms are around Echo Creek, but Mewni's a really big place. I honestly don't even know what was on most of it."

"What if it was named, like, Mearth? Or Mewth? Earni?" Marco overdramatically drawled out each name, causing Star to have giggle fits. "Mewnearth. Ewni? Mewnth!"

"Pfffthahaha stop it Marco, I can't breathe!" she clutched her stomach as she howled in laughter.

"Earthni!"

It was as if time itself stood still. Marco's corny jokes, Star's uproarious laughter, even the ambient noise around them all seemed to stop at that one utterance. She glanced at him, tears in her eyes, trying to suppress the inevitable final outburst. His facade cracked first and she followed immediately after, clutching each other for support while they laughed at the absurdity of what was clearly the silliest suggestion yet until they were completely out of breath, clutching the roof for dear life to make sure they at least stayed upright. Eventually they calmed down and sat back up, facing towards the imminent sunset but looking only at each other.

Before anything more could happen between them, a barely-perceptible noise was picked up by both of them in the distance, but it seemed as though it was rapidly getting closer.

"...aaaaaaaaAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA" They looked to their right and saw an object flying towards them. Marco's eyes went wide as he braced for impact, Star clutching him from behind for support. He caught it like a football and let out a grunt as he was knocked backwards, barely staying steady. Star leaned over his shoulder to examine the unidentified crying object, and it was… no. It couldn't be.

"Delivery for… Star Butterfly... and... Marco Diaz. Ow," the hoarse, high-pitched voice of the delivery monster girl wheezed out.

"Get outta town!" Marco shouted, almost dropping her off the roof before Star grabbed her and gave her a seat between them. "What?"

"Yes, I was instructed, to, um, let me see here… he just said to go to a certain point at a certain time, close my eyes, and stand perfectly still. I-I heard an explosion not long after, and a lot of weird noises. Eventually I opened my eyes and saw this big scary machine on wheels coming for me, and before I could run it hit me into the sky, and I guess I somehow landed here."

Star and Marco's eyes almost bugged out of their heads before he spoke back up. "OK, um, do you know who sent whatever it is you have for us?"

"Oh, right! So sorry, please don't hurt me again, I have it right here." She pulled out a decadent golden envelope. Star very, very carefully began to pry it open and held it out, cowering a bit when she made the final tear, unsure what could possibly await. "I think it was from a… Sir Terms? He licked his elbows to seal the envelope, if that helps."

"Oh no." Star intoned, a pit forming in her stomach upon having the independent revelation at the same time as the girl spoke. The only thing inside seemed to be a letter with a few brown stains on it. She carefully opened it up and began reading.

"At your service, m'lady and m'arco. If you're reading this, I'm off in that great pudding factory in the sky, boom nuggets! For real this time, it's not a joke, Gloss is dead and you have killed him. Hope you kiddos are enjoying your new home. Congratulations, even I'm not sure how you managed to pull that one off. I looked right up into the future and saw it, and went 'Huh?' so hard that I almost knocked over my jigsaw puzzle. Maybe I should give those mortal "feelings" of yours a try after all. Hey, hey monster girl. Yeah, you, the one cowering in the corner waiting for me to finish writing this. I love you! OK, just shouted that, and… nope, don't get the hype. But the journey is the most important thing, you know?

I honestly can't say exactly what happens from here. Magic as you know it is gone, probably for good, but the world's a pretty magical place. Like, did you know they make CHOCOLATE TRUFFLE PUDDING? That power is clearly beyond my domain. Anyway, I wanted to give you a parting gift. Well, besides my bratty kids being gone. You weren't a terrible student, Star, but more importantly you weren't a boring one. The kid probably had a lot to do with that, so tell him I said thanks before you do that huggy thing you two always do. I'm inclined to be a lot more neutral than you on whether Mewmans should have had magic or not, but even I know you two earned these."

The paper was signed with a doodle of Glossaryck smiling, because of course. Attached to the bottom of the page were… stickers? Star held up the decorations - two pairs of pink hearts and two pairs of light red crescent moons. Marco took the moons and the two stared at them incredulously.

All of a sudden, a large bird-like monster swooped in and grabbed the delivery girl by the back of her shirt and began to carry her off. "Um, guess my, uh, ride is here! Byeeeeeeee-" she trailed off as the pair stared, still in disbelief. Star shook her head to get back to reality and once more looked down at her hands.

"Heh, in all the mess I hadn't even realized you'd lost your cheekmarks, honestly," Marco lightly said with a lopsided smile. "They were cute on you, but you're just as cute without them." His half-smile erupted into a beaming grin.

"Marcoooooo," Star cooed, leaning into him. "Yeah, I gotta admit, I'll miss them a bit. And I guess I won't get to see you with yours either, I barely remember it!"

"Well what if I just do this instead." He held up the stickers to his face and began to make obviously fake spellcasting noises. Star mirrored him, goofing off for a few minutes before settling down.

"Magic had its moments, but you know what? I'm fine with it."

"Star-"

"Like I said before, we have me and you, and that's what matters most."

"Uh, Star-"

"But don't you dare think about losing that mole of yours, Diaz, 'cause that's an important-"

"STAR!" Marco grabbed her face with his right hand, a bit less gentle than he would've liked. Star saw nothing but shock in his visage as he rubbed a thumb over her cheek. "You have your marks again." Her heart leapt into her throat. "Wait, are mine back too?" He began frantically pawing at his face with his free hand.

She whipped out her phone to look at her reflection and saw that, yup, the hearts were right where they'd always been. "No, no, yours are still gone," she absentmindedly replied, "but… yeah, wow, my cheekmarks are back. Should… should we be worried? What if magic wasn't destroyed? What if this problem will just start all over again? What if your family and all of Earth gets dragged into it too?" Star felt herself gasping for oxygen until Marco touched his forehead to hers, her attention being consumed by his chocolate pools gazing at her, through her, as though they were trying to directly comfort her very soul.

"Star, I'll be honest, I… I don't know. Glossaryck, well, he's a lot of things, but I don't think he's a liar. Do you feel any connection to magic right now? Even the slightest bit?"

Her eyes closed as she tried to channel the powers she'd mastered over the last handful of months, but found absolutely nothing awaiting. "No, none at all."

"See? I don't know what this was, but… maybe just take it for what it is. So your cheekmarks are back, that doesn't mean you didn't achieve what you wanted to achieve. Like you said, we'll just see what happens and figure it out, together. Because I love you, Star, cheekmarks or no cheekmarks, magic or no magic." Her heart soared hearing it from him, him him, not some weird loopy (but still honest) magicky version.

"Why are you so good to me, Diaz? You're my former squire, best friend, boyfriend." Marco's face nigh-imperceptibly shifted at the unexpected word, but he was immediately stilled by the boundless affection radiating from her, tiny hearts dancing amongst the sapphire flecks below her lashes. "My soulmate, with or without some dumb moon." Their free hands, holding them upright on the roof, met between them, fingers intertwining. "You're my Marco, and that's why I love you, too."

Neither was sure who leaned in first, but the emotional dam burst as the pair's lips met for the third time so far in their lives. Star's left hand rose up to delicately hold Marco's as he continued to stroke her cheek. As they breathlessly sighed and melted further into the bliss, they knew there was something more special, more right about this one than even their moment of passion in the barn. For the first time that either could recall in a while, there was no looming spectre of danger or destruction, no "if"s or "but"s or any other obstacles left. The sensation consuming them was hope: not the kind that's a last resort against daunting odds, but a steadfast promise of more to come that they couldn't wait to see through.

After many long seconds, they leaned back and gasped - the hearts on Star's face had begun to glow, a visible yellow in the dusky light, but more interestingly, Marco's moons were glowing themselves. They sat there breathing heavily as the glows subsided; Star's marks stayed while Marco's faded entirely, leaving their visages as they'd always known each them.

"Looks like the sunset's finally about to start," Marco said after eventually taking his gaze away from his girlfriend. "Can't think of anyone I'd rather watch it with than y-oof!" he grunted out as Star tightly wrapped her arms around his chest, fully leaning into his shoulder. He put an arm around her and took one of her hands in his own in front of his chest.

"Yeah."

No more words were needed as the beauty of the orange-purple sky marked the end of the first day of their new home, but both knew they were ready and willing for the promise that their future had in store.


"Are you sure there's nothing else we could assist you with?" Moon inquired as the Diazes finished rinsing the last of the dishes from dinner.

"Oh, Moon, you two have been through enough lately. Please, go rest. And if there's anything you need to help get set up, let us know," Angie responded gently.

"I FOUND CURTAAAAAAAAAINS!" River ran down the stairs and almost bowled Moon over as he ran out the back door to deliver his haul.

"Angie, dear, were those all our blankets-" Rafael poked his head out into the dining room. The trio, as well as Eclipsa who had just descended from the nursery following River's commotion, went out into the backyard to find that the Johansen man was long gone into the dusk. The group turned around and was captivated by the vibrancy of the sunset on what the news had announced was tentatively being dubbed "Earth-ni" until they noticed a competing light from on top of the house. All of the adults' eyes widened, but perhaps for different reasons, as Angie bolted inside as quickly as her frame was capable of doing.

"Are those…"

"Seems so, Moon," Eclipsa said, seeing the brilliant display of glowing cheekmarks - one she had some significant experience with, herself. While there were a hundred worries whizzing through her head over what it could mean, her heart swelled over seeing the pair embrace what made them special and find a happiness Eclipsa now knew beyond any doubt was as true as could be. "You know, whatever it is, I trust that it will all turn out alright with those two."

Moon reluctantly nodded before turning around and heading towards River's yurt-in-progress. "Perhaps you're right. Let's let them have this, they deserve that much," she spoke fondly. Angie emerged from the house with a camera in tow, stopping to take a quick photo (that they didn't seem to notice) before almost carrying her husband by the arm to join the others for a walk.

"We can't thank you enough for bringing our son back safe and sound to us," Rafael said after almost ten minutes of a gorgeous stroll in silence.

"That was hardly our doing."

"Then thank you for everything."

"I suppose we owe you much the same."

They all nodded, bonding over having just experienced one of a parent's greatest joys: seeing their children grow up to be happy, healthy, and fulfilled. As they neared the camp and met up with River, Eclipsa looked back across the field towards the house and the almost-invisible sunlight left trickling over the horizon.

"I need to rendezvous with Globby, please take care, everyone! Visit often!"

Eclipsa briskly walked the dozen or so minutes to the Diaz abode to find Globgor, normal size, waiting for her in the backyard with some supplies which he was carrying indoors. She snuck behind him and hopped up on her tiptoes to give him a kiss on the neck, at which he started briefly but quickly realized its origin. They shared a quick kiss and resumed moving all of the things indoors.

"Alright, is that everything?"

"Yes, there wasn't very much left. Unfortunately there were some humans who were very spooked by me on the trip over, but I think that's just how it will be sometimes. One complimented my… speed-oh? Whatever that means. I'll take confusion over hatred," he chuckled as he rubbed the back of his neck. "Alright, we just need to get Meteora and then we should get back home." Eclipsa nodded but stepped into the yard to check on Star and Marco one last time and found them locked in an embrace, heads leaning on one another. Upon a closer glance, however, she could see Star's head turned at an odd angle - it didn't seem as though she was looking at anything.

"Globby, dear, can you come over here?"

"What's up?"

"Can you check on Star and Marco and see if they're alright? And give them a lift down?" She pointed to the roof and he nodded, growing to about double his normal size before gently cupping them in his hands. He lowered them to the ground as he shrunk to keep it gentle and Eclipsa helped support them. The pair were fast asleep, tightly wrapped around each other to the point where neither of the adults could find a good way to pry them apart. Wordlessly, they eventually came to a mutual conclusion that they could simply transport them upstairs. Globgor enlarged his arms to act as a cradle while Eclipsa guided the way up the stairs, keeping them steady. The strain was clearly taking its toll, so they hurried into the nearest bedroom on the second floor - Marco's - and gently deposited them on the bed before stepping back out of the room.

"Are you sure it's OK to leave them like this?" Globgor fidgeted, feeling a bit out of place as the only one in the group that hadn't known either Star or Marco for a long time.

"Star's a Johansen, I'm not sure we could wrestle them apart if we tried. I trust them completely to behave, dear. Well, far more than I would've trusted us around their age," she joked with a snicker. "I'll take the fall if there's any fuss, but for now let's let them have their day."

They were about to leave when a light breeze drifted through an open window, causing the prone forms of Star and Marco to shiver.

"Perhaps we should find something to cover them up with, though, but River took all the blankets earlier."

Globgor raised his finger and tiptoed down the steps before coming back up a minute later. "I found this hanging on Star's wall, maybe it will help." He held up a pink cape with a blue gem in the middle, filled with various stitched scenes of Star and Marco.

"This looks like a Mewni knight cape… hang on a minute." A light-bulb went off in her mind as she strolled into Marco's room and found what she was looking for hanging on the door: a blue cape with a pink gem to mirror the one in her hand. "Aren't they just the most precious things?" she whispered, showing Globgor the scenes from Star and Marco's lives stitched into the fabric. "I'll finish up here, you go get Meteora from the nursery, it's quite late for her." He nodded and left the room, leaving Eclipsa with the sleeping pair.

She gently set the capes on top of them, the fabric in the middle overlapping and folding into itself slightly. Glancing back to the hallway, she saw her wonderful husband rocking their sleeping child in his arms. Taking one last look at Star and Marco, her heart swelled up. So much of her own happiness was thanks to them, it meant the world to her that they were able to find that same contentment in each other. The former queen's hand brushed aside a tear from her face as she exited the room and shut the door behind her. In her mind, a promise was made right then - she'd care for them like they were her own.