Star vs. the Forces of Evil was created by Daron Nefcy and is owned by Disney. To anyone connected to SVTFOE that ever reads this, thank you!

This story is dedicated to all the Stars and Marcos out in our world who have yet to meet each other. I'm rooting for you.


Ode to the Dark Lord of the Multiverse Introduction - This is a six chapter story set in the same world as my fanfiction 'Starco vs Parenthood'. If you end up liking this I suggest you click on my profile and check out my other stories. For those keeping track, ODL was already part of the SvP collection but it grew large enough where I decided to post it separately. The only differences, I fixed some grammar and this is where I'm going to post the ending. I'll also be removing the ODL chapters from SvP and go back to using that collection exclusively for short stories.

If you're one of those people who want to know where this all fits in with SvP, this chapter starts a few days before 'Chapter 31 - Star's First Christmas' and the Volcanoes section of 'Chapter 19 - Consent'.

If you don't plan on reading all that, the important thing to know is that it's their first post-Cleave holiday season. Star is currently a junior at Echo Creek Academy while Marco is taking classes at the local community college. In the six months since the Cleave, Earth and Mewni have merged together without causing the end of society as we know it. Instead most issues are being resolved with a mixture of hard work and a healthy dose of compromise (I know, not possible in our dimension but we're going to say it happened here).

Warning, this story includes references to Santa and sadly not every character is a true believer. If you're a believer, ignore what the characters say about him here. They're just misinformed. I bet they didn't even believe in the Great Stump. Also note that any text in italics belongs to Star.

Favs, reviews, and constructive feedback are all really helpful. Thanks!


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Chapter 1 - Does the Past Matter?

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The Glass Serpent

It's the last day before winter break and fifty feet above the ground Marco Diaz flies his dragon-cycle toward Echo Creek Academy. Behind him the object of his affection has her arms tightly wrapped around his waist. As her long blond hair flutters in the wind the two make small talk knowing they won't be able to see each other once school starts.

"What did you make for lunch today? Please-be-something-good, please-be-something-good, please-be-something-good."

"I packed you the leftover spaghetti and meatballs from the other night."

"Yes! Best boyfriend ever!"

"And the steamed broccoli you didn't finish."

"Whaa? You just had to ruin my whole day didn't you!"

Marco expected the overreaction. "I think you'll survive. I also put some grated cheese in a separate container. Maybe try adding it to the pasta instead of straight sugar."

"Whatever rules boy, my lunch my way. So are you going to pick me up after school so we can go shopping?"

"That's the plan although I'm still not sure what to get Janna for the Secret Santa party."

"Hey, later can we go over this Santa stuff? I want to believe but some parts of the story seem a little far-fetched. Like how does he-" Star's voice trailed off once she noticed the scene below. "What's with the flashing lights around the high school?"

"I...I don't know."

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7:12 AM and police cars litter the school parking lot. Between the vehicles dozens of students mill around clearly concerned about what might be going on inside. After circling the building Star and Marco spot Buff Frog speaking to a swat team. Thinking they might be able to help, Nachos and the two teens land right next to Echo Creek's latest reincarnation of the famous opossum statue. Before the couple can dismount, their Russian accented friend is calling them over.

"Ah good, Star Butterfly and Karate Boy! Come-come, we have situation and these human's in their round helmets no listen to me. It like words bounce off plastic heads."

The leader of the police unit, Marco guessed he was a lieutenant based on his badge, was clearly annoyed by the interruptions. "Listen kids, you can't be here right now. We have a dangerous creature inside and my team is preparing to go in."

Buff turned back to the young man. "It glass serpent. Some round boy with face on belly say he brought clear egg to school because he was failing something called 'science class'."

Marco rubbed the bridge of his nose knowing exactly who was being talked about. "Oh Ferguson. Excuse us officers but we have experience with situations like this. Do you know where it is now?

Their green friend replied, "Police toy car drive around and find in Art Department."

"Listen Mister Frog, we appreciate the briefing on Mewni wildlife but-"

Marco ignored the lieutenant and turned back to Buff Frog. "Where's the egg?"

"Round boy locker. If you want to ask more details, belly face over there talking to TV people." Marco and the officers followed the former henchman's finger and saw the red haired teenager being interviewed by a local news reporter...using the face on his stomach.

"I swear I told him to stop doing that, I mean he's a junior now he should have at least some dignity. Alright, Star and I will get it out of the building. Yvgeny, if you know where his locker is can you grab the egg and get it outside?"

"Da. Principal call Buff Frog when serpent spotted and showed locker location on map."

"Star? Star?" Turning back around the former knight was surprised to find his bestie tapping on her phone, completely oblivious to the conversation.

"Marco-Marco, Sabrina broke up with her boyfriend last night. They were such a cute couple!"

"Star, have you been paying attention at all?"

"Yeah, I mean he's a little passive-aggressive and he gets this weird wet dog smell when his fur is damp. You're right, I should have seen this coming."

"Star?"

Not looking up, the young woman continued tapping away. "Hold on, I'm replying back to the group now."

"Star, there's a Mewni glass serpent in your school! We need to get it out before the swat team tries shooting it up!" The tone of Marco's voice showed that he was more than slightly annoyed.

"Oh...OH! Sorry!" Looking over at the heavily armed humans, Star shakes her head in disapproval. "You're going to shoot it, seriously? Haven't you seen that meme where the guy fires like a bajillion bullets at one and they all bounce off? Just say out here guys, we got this. And hey, if you see a girl a little taller than me with long brown hair looking all sad, please be nice to her. She's having a really rough morning."

The six police officers looked at each other confused as the teens stepped over the yellow caution tape and entered the high school.

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While strolling down the vacant halls Marco kept an eye out for the serpent while Star focused on her phone.

"I can't believe this happened."

"Yeah, I told Ferguson not to mess with any of the wildlife until everything dangerous is moved out of town."

"I was talking about Sabrina!" Star let out a sigh. "She's so nice, I wonder what went wrong."

"Maybe they grew apart?"

"They've only been dating for two months, that's not enough time for teenagers to 'grow apart'. Hey, if we're going to fight this thing I'm going to stop by my locker and grab my mace."

"You have a mace at school? You know you're not supposed to bring weapons onto school property."

"The rules say no guns, swords, knives, battle axes, halberds, pole axes, bow, crossbows, blow guns, brass knuckles, spiked gloves, explosives, or flammable hair products. Janna checked the student handbook and it doesn't say anything about maces. Now I'm wondering if a glaive would be okay."

"I think the point is no weapons but we don't need it anyway, I was thinking that we go with the rodeo trick."

"Oh nice! I want to be the cowboy though, I haven't been the cowboy in forever!"

Marco gave a disappointed reply, "So I have to be bait?"

"I'm going to need your belt."

"Why do I always have to be the bait?"

"Because your the most beautiful bait in all of Earthni." With that Star gave her boyfriend a quick peck on the cheek while at the same time removing the leather strap that held up his pants way quicker then Marco was comfortable with.

"Wait-wha...how'd you learn to do that so fast?"

"Wouldn't you want to know." She winked while giving him a sly smile.

"Actually, as your boyfriend I would like to know."

Star's face returned to normal as she thought for a second. This was followed by a shoulder shrug, clearly she had no idea. "Natural talent? Now go on, I'll be waiting here."

Continuing down the hall he simply mumbled to himself, "I hate being bait."

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Thirty seconds later Marco was in the art wing. With the school evacuated he figured any strange noises should be the snake unless not everyone got out like they were supposed to. Before the young man could imagine what a glass serpent would do to the average high school student, the sound of chairs sliding across the linoleum floor came from one of the open classrooms.

"Well, there's only one way to be sure it's here." With that the boy let out a short series of whistles, hopefully alerting Star, while he slowly walked backwards. He could see Ferguson's locker down the hall and guessed that the serpent could smell its egg so it likely wouldn't go far unless he got the creature extremely angry.

Reaching into his fanny pack, he planned on pulling out a small container of pepper spray but instead found that someone reorganized it for him. The spot he searched was instead filled with various mustard, ketchup, and relish packets. "Oh Star. I guess I should be happy it's not full of sugar. Well, I hope this works."

With packets in hand, the red hoodie wearing boy rips the condiments open with his teeth while kicking the locker next to him. It was a noise that could be heard clear across campus and he knew it was more than loud enough to agitate a glass serpent. Proof of that was the creature quickly slithering toward him. The beast was the largest snake Marco had seen on Earthni, but compared to the ones he fought in the Neverzone it didn't even make the top five. Once the creature was close enough to strike the boy let the open packets fly. As planned the vinegar based food products landed squarely in its eyes.

At full speed Marco sprinted back down the hall, the thirty foot long snake on his heels. Had it not been for the hamburger fixings the young man might have been easy prey. However, the obstructed vision was enough to cause the viper to slither into lockers and walls as it followed the noise of Marco's feet. That all ended however when Star came flying out of an open classroom. She flipped her boyfriend's belt across the serpent's mouth mid-jump while at the same time landing cleanly on the creature's back.

"CLEAR THE WAY!"

This was the last thing the officers heard before Marco ran outside. A second later the glass serpent burst through the metal double doors being ridden by the one and only Star Butterfly. Now with more room to maneuver the former princes begin steering the beast by pulling the belt strung across its mouth. Once she established control off toward the closest park she rode. Not even a minute after Buff Frog hopped out of the school with a foot tall transparent egg in which a young snake could clearly be seen growing. The amphibian tossed the serpent's most prized possession to the young Diaz who was waiting on his dragon-cycle.

"Good job Karate Boy. You find safe spot in park for this. Later today I come back with team of monsters to move her far from here."

After a nod Marco was gone. As he flew past his Star, she looked up and gave a wave. The snake was bucking and bouncing but the young mewman, with her strong grip, was too much for the creature.

As directed Marco found a lightly wooded location not even a half mile from Echo Creek Academy. Star, who had been following, rode her slithering mount close enough where the serpent could finally see its shelled child. After giving her boyfriend a signal for help, in a flyby maneuver Marco grabbed his Star by the arm before pulling her up onto Nachos. He got a glimpse of her face as she secured herself and was fairly certain there was a tear in her eye.

"Hey, are you alright?"

"Not really."

"Did you get hurt!?"

"No-no, I just keep thinking about Sabrina and I feel really bad for her."

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The Great Lunch Debate

Five hours after the serpent situation, a deep philosophical discussion is taking place in the Echo Creek Academy lunchroom. Normally Janna, StarFan, and Star joked around or talked about ships but today there was an important topic that Star needed guidance on and Janna was more than willing to give it.

"So like I said, Santa is a marketing tool. He only exists to guilt parents into buying toys for their children. Stick with your Mewni Stump, the world doesn't need anymore mindless slaves to consumerism. Seriously, corporate America made Christmas to bleed money out of the working poor. To top it all off, all that plastic junk ends up in a landfill by summer." As Star's favorite troublemaker stated her case, the poetry fan placed her boots up on the table while at the same time playing a game on her phone.

Not happy with Janna's statement, StarFan furrowed her brow while giving her counter argument. "Don't listen to her Starrr, Santa is real! You know Janna, if you believed in Santa maybe you wouldn't be on his naughty list every year."

"If there really was a list keeper in a red suit who watches everything we do, he'd know I enjoyed earning my place on the naughty list. But instead of worrying about a magic fat guy making secret judgments on our morality, we should be talking about the Dark Lord of the Multiverse and what she might have done to Sabrina."

Star and pho-Star looked at each other and then back at Janna utterly confused.

"Fine, how about we talk about Star's birthday." She smirked at the former princess. "What are you going to do this year with only one boyfriend to fight over you?"

Star had been shoveling Marco's pasta into her mouth as she listened. The most well known girl in Echo Creek even added some of the cheese her bestie recommended...and a little sugar. "There's no big b-day plan but what I'm really looking forward to is a whole vacation week away from Skullzy. Think about it. Staying up late, sleeping in, no worrying about Marco having to rush off to class, m-m-m-m. Santa or not, this is going to be a great week off. I was reading about how guys take off their shirts before they fight so they don't overheat. If there is a fight on my birthday we convince Marco to do that...cause...I-ah...I don't want him to overheat."

Janna glanced over at Star again while wondering if annoying Marco added to her naught total. "You know, since you're turning sixteen, in some states you'll finally be old enough to date your thirty-something without him having to worry about jail time."

Star just smiled, tomato sauce stuck to her lips. "I'll make sure to mention that to him the next time we're making out. I'm sure he'd love to hear that."

StarFan looked back and forth between the two, again confused. "Starrr, I thought Marco turned sixteen at the end of November."

The troublemaker grinned once she realized that StarFan didn't know the story. "Seems our red hoodie had a sixteen year affair with a certain top heavy member of the Magical High Commission back when-"

"Janna, that is NOT what happened." Star looked back over to StarFan, ready to give a better explanation. "Marco was tested in this super dangerous place called the Neverzone and by passing he earned his own pair of dimensional scissors. The weird thing is that time works differently in this other world so he was thirty and totally hot when I showed up to save him. Marco almost stayed but I told him how much he'd be missed and that was enough to get him to come back to Earth with me. Then because of magic and weird dimensional stuff he went from Mister Abs back to normal fourteen year old Marco again."

StarFan's eyes glazed over as story possibilities swirled around in her head. "Wow, you're so lucky Starrr. If he's thirty you have this totally experienced boyfriend who must know all sorts of romantic stuff. Marco must be the best kisser ever."

Star was taken aback, not expecting their lunchtime to go in that direction. "Well, he's not that experienced but yeah he's a good kisser."

Janna's phone was away at this point, this conversation needed all of her attention. "Star, I love you like a sister so I'm not saying this to hurt you, but I have a hard time imagining a thirty-year-old Marco not being 'experienced'."

"No-no-no, he would have told me if-"

"Star?"

"He totally would have told me!"

Pho-Star interrupted with a question. "Starrr, is he a good kisser because you two have been practicing a lot or is he a good kisser because he stuck his tongue down another woman's throat for sixteen years?"

Images of Marco sitting in Hekapoo's lap suddenly appeared in the blonde teens head. "Well...ah...before the Neverzone h-he used to practice with a mirror...a-and-"

"Starrr, this is going to make for the best drama everrr!" As Janna and Star continued the conversation, StarFan opened her laptop and began outlining the plot for her next fan story while at the same time finishing off a juice box.

"You know Star, if you're not sure we can ask Jackie."

"Wha?" The former princess' face showed how much she didn't like Janna's idea.

"We'll ask her if he was a normal teen when they dated or if he was some sort of super experienced lover type."

"No-no-no-no, I'll just ask Marco where he learned to kiss. He wouldn't hide anything from me."

"Come on Star, don't you want independent verification? Jackie dated him after his Neverzone trip right?"

"Y-yeah, before and after."

"Perfect. Since she was his girlfriend while he was in the Neverzone she should know if the first kiss back was a normal teen safe-kid kiss or an experienced older I totally know what I'm doing kiss."

"I-I don't know. I mean I'm kinda interested in knowing. I could ask him directly but he'll get all stressed out and think he's done something wrong. B-but there is no way I could ask Jackie a super personal question like that. What happened while they were dating really needs to stay between Jackie and Marco."

"Don't worry Star, your naughty-list-sister has your back. Plus it's better to learn now then waiting until you two have been dating awhile. We need to make sure you and Marco stay way ahead of the Dark Lord."

Before anyone else at the table could react, the young troublemaker was out the cafeteria door and down the hall. As Star thought about her boyfriend and all they had done together, she felt certain that he'd already told her all his Neverzone secrets. And yet as the young woman looked down at the remnants of her lunch, she realized that she was too nervous to keep eating.

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Skater-butt

Star Butterfly peeked out her classroom window and smiled from ear-to-ear after spying both Nachos and her Marco waiting in the parking lot. The last bell had rung and now she only needed to drop a few things off at her locker before having over a week of freedom. Before she could get too far however a certain beanie wearing friend snuck up behind Star and began pulling her arm. The girl had other plans for the former princess.

"Janna, I have to hurry. Marco and I are supposed to do some shopping for the Secret Santa party and then he'll want to get a few more toys for his sister."

"Squire boy isn't going to cry if he has to wait a few extra minutes. Come on, if you don't do this now you're going to regret it."

After walking the labyrinth of hallways the two are in front of Jackie's locker just as the super chill teen is putting on her helmet. "Hey ladies, to what do I owe the pleasure?"

Slowly leaning in, Janna whispers a single phrase. "...Skater-butt..."

Just like that Jackie stood with her arms at her side and blank expression on her face. Star looked Marco's first girlfriend up and down, completely bewildered by how this whole hypnotism trick worked.

"Go ahead Star, ask her."

"Janna! You didn't have too-"

"Star, I know you want the dets on this stuff. Just ask, she isn't even going to remember."

The mewman gave Janna the same look Marco gives when he thinks the trickster has gone too far. The last time he did this was when Marco found out Janna taught Star how to get into his internet history. "Fine. Jackie, is Santa real?"

"W-what? Santa?" The skater girl stuttered her response before completely dropping character. "Janna, you said she was going to ask me an important question about Marco."

The beanie wearer rolled her eyes, completely disappointed with how this was going down. "Arrgh...fine. Star, I asked Jackie to pretend to be hypnotized but I only did it to help you out. I knew you wouldn't ask her otherwise."

"Ask me what exactly?" At this point Jackie was completely confused. "You know I'd tell you anything."

"Star wants to know if Marco turned into this super experienced lover from all the time he spent in the Neverzone."

"I ONLY said that I was interested in knowing where he learned to kiss from."

"Yeah-yeah, but we all know what you were thinking. Come on Jacks, give up the goods."

Jackie paused awkwardly before replying, "Shouldn't you be talking to Marco about this?"

Star answered, "Janna thinks I need 'independent veri-something'."

The young skater wrinkled her brow as she thought. "Totally the truth, he always seemed to know his stuff but he never gave me the super experienced vibe. Maybe he practiced kissing with that little head that used to live on his neck? So you know Star, we really didn't do much together. Seriously, most of the times when Marco and I hung out he was talking about Mewni or you. This is kinda weird so unless it's super important I'm not sure if I want to get any deeper."

Janna shook her head, not happy with that answer. "But the dude's over thirty, he must have learned something? Did anything seem different to you after he was in the Neverzone?"

"Listen, when we kissed it was fine and he didn't really talk about this Never-place. It was almost like he avoided it. The one thing I'll tell you, the dude was awful at guessing what I was thinking. Super nice but the two of us were never really in-sync. Does that help you Star?"

"It does. Thanks Jackie. I think Janna here is more worried about Marco's 'experience' than I am."

Jackie winked at the most well known girl in Echo Creek. "If I didn't know any better, I'd think Janna was his girlfriend."

The trickster rolled her eyes, "I'd break him in a week."

"If you ladies don't mind, I need to run. I'm supposed to teach Lobster Claws how to skateboard. It's weird, he can roll backwards fine but moving forward messes him all up."

"Have a good holiday Jackie!" After waving goodbye to the shorts wearing teen Star turned back to Janna. "She's still so cool. So are we good now?"

The troublemaker still wasn't satisfied. "Not yet. Do you remember the day you and Marco got the whole Blood Moon thing removed?"

"The curse? Yeah, I remember parts of it."

"Before he went to talk to you, he asked me to help him deal with his feelings so I hypnotized him for real. I tried to make him only like you as a friend but it didn't work. However, while he was under I asked if there were other girls into him. I wanted to redirect his feelings to someone he could date."

"So you didn't try to make him date you?"

"This was after."

"I'm sure he said Kelly. Everyone knew she wanted to get her hands inside his hoodie. But what does that have to do with Marco being in the Neverzone?"

"Hekapoo. His response was his special immortal friend Hekapoo. So next I asked what happened in the Neverzone and he started talking about old Mackie Hand movies, a thunder goddess, being a root vegetable, ghost people...anyway it didn't make any sense."

"That's fine Janna, really it doesn't matter. If something happened there that might impact our relationship now he'd tell me about it. I trust him."

"I trust the dork too but...I just don't want to see you get hurt. I've been watching you two be a couple for what, four or five months now? You guys seem really happy when you're not stuck dealing with all the leftover Cleave crap and I don't want to see that get messed up. And then after hearing about Sabrina and thinking about the rules of the Dark Lord I realized that if you guys don't have a solid foundation she might get you too."

"Da who now?"

"The Dark Lord of the Multiverse. You know about her right?"

The question was answered with a blank stare.

"I don't believe in Santa or anything like that but there's a Dark Lord of the Multiverse and she controls a bunch of the fundamental laws of our universe."

"Ah...did you get knocked on the head when the snake was in the school this morning?"

"I'm being serious."

"Right-right, but I'm not following. I've totally never heard of this lord person before."

"Star, she talked about herself right in the Book of Spells. You never saw that?"

The former princess replied with a shrug.

"I admit I didn't think much of it at first but I was searching for info on demonic magic and accidentally found all sorts of stuff about her."

"You know I could set you up with Tom if you really wanted to learn demon magic. Oh! Since you're his Secret Santa you should get him something arts and crafts related. It's one of his little secrets. Did you know he and his mom hand make decorations for the Underworld's annual Burn the Mewman festival?"

"Please stop shipping me for a minute and listen, once I started taking the Dark Lord seriously I did some digging. Evidently she put out tons of hidden messages in old Mewni writing as well as in 80s and 90s Earth media. That's how she tells us about the parts of fate she messes with."

"Okay, so if she does exist what exactly does she control?"

"How people change over time, how every solution creates a new problem, how issues like racism can't immediately go away. The Dark Lord is even why the main ship in most TV series doesn't happen until the end, when there isn't enough time left to explore what the characters would be like as a couple."

"I HATE it when that happens. So you're saying that she controls how people think or does she control your actual fate?"

"It's more like she manages fate. On top of that there is a whole other group of beings above her who really run things but they let her take care of the day-to-day stuff. Also for a 'dark lord' she really isn't that bad, I'd definitely hang with her if she wanted to chill. Maybe I'd invite her to a poetry reading. Now the Dark Lords of Conservatism, those guys are pure evil. Anyway, one of her hidden messages has me worried about you and Marco."

"..."

"Relationships between teenagers don't work out."

"Seriously, there's a woman who comes up with rules like...wait-wait-wait...what do you mean relationships between teenagers don't work out!? I'm a teenager, I've never heard about this!"

"Sorry Star, if you play the original Sailor Moon theme backwards at twice-speed, this teenage dating rule is there as plain as day. Relationships that start when people are teenagers don't survive into adulthood."

Star stood in front of her friend stunned. As she tried to wrap her head around this new information, one of the monsters who everyone called Squire Girl stepped next to the pair and cleared her throat to get Star's attention. "Hey, Lars is telling the mewmans that Santa is going to burn down their houses when they sleep."

"Arrgh. Can you please remind Lars that I might not have magic but I still have fists like hammers and if that doesn't get him to stop let Marco know. He's in the parking lot."

"Got it, thanks."

Turning back to Janna, Star puts a finger to her chin as she prepares her reply. "Is that why Sabrina broke up with her boyfriend?"

"Probably."

"And you think this Dark Lord of the Multiverse is going to make it so Marco and I can't be happy together?"

"Maybe. Some of this information I just learned so there could be more out there. What I do know is that today's news about Sabrina and then this talk about the Neverzone made me realize that if you guys aren't careful you could be next."

"Janna, I'm glad you told me about this but Marco and I are totally working right now. I haven't thought too much past next week but I'm sure if the dork and I are meant to be, we're going to be fine. But hey, if Marco and I do start having any problems you'll be the first to know."

"Yes. Yes I will."

"I'm going to head out before Marco gets worried, you know how he is. See you at the Secret Santa party and thanks for looking out for us. Really, thanks."

Janna gave a quick wave before reluctantly heading in the other direction. In a few steps Star was finally at her locker. As she rearranged the contents of her bag the former magic wielder tried to figure out why Janna was making such a big deal about Marco's Neverzone time and was there really some person called the Dark Lord of the Multiverse? If there was an all-powerful woman who managed all facets of fate, Star wondered what her thoughts were on shipping.

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Author's note: We're at a time skip. During this jump SvP 'Chapter 31 - Star's First Christmas' and then the Volcanoes section 'Chapter 19 - Consent' both take place in quick succession. You might want to read them before going ahead if you haven't already, but who am I to tell you what to do?


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Late Night Gift

It's the night before New Year's Eve day, only a few days before the end of winter break. Since her last class a number of things have changed for Star. First is that she's now sixteen. Not only does this mean the start of driving lessons, it also had the mewman thinking about possible getting her first job assuming being queen for four days, teaching Eclipsa how to rule, and serving as junior ambassador for Mewni didn't all count. Second she experienced her first Earth style Christmas. There had been lots of foods Star didn't recognize, gift exchanges, stories of Christmas past, and even a few sing-a-longs with the extended Diaz family. It had taken the young woman a few weeks to warm up to the idea of Christmas, worried that the holiday might upset the Great Stump, but now that she'd experienced all the Earth event had to offer she was sold. Third and just as important as the others, the make-out sessions with Marco since her birthday had become unusually intense. Their relationship was slowly beginning to change and she was very excited thinking about what might happen next.

The only downer was the mistletoe kiss incident. Marco's parents weren't overly concerned but Star had to have another long conversation with her dad about why it was still okay for her to share a room with her bestie. Her main arguments centered around the Diaz family helped her with schoolwork, Marco always being a perfect gentleman by doing things like sleeping on the air mattress, and how she'd never be able to get to school on time if her former squire wasn't there to fly her in every morning.

The young mewman still had some questions about Christmas, but as the newly showered Star Butterfly walked into their shared bedroom she was pretty sure she'd be fine living the rest of her life with the chores of Jingle Bells repeating over and over again in her head.

"Hmm hmm hmm, hmm hmm hmm, hm hm hmm hmm hmmmmm. Hey Marco, this Santa dude...I'm still not sure where I stand. I get Janna's point that if he did eat cookies every fifty houses he would need to stop and use the chamberpot or something. I searched online and I couldn't find any reports of Santa using people's bathrooms while delivering presents so maybe Janna is right about him not existing? She also said something about him being created by corporate greed, whiny kids, and parents trying to make up for mentally abusing their children. But then StarFan is telling me that it's all true and Santa's Magic is powered by cookies so he wouldn't need to go."

On the bed her jammied boyfriend just nods and listens.

"Is there really Earth magic that's powered by food? I mean Earth food is really good. If it isn't fueled by cookies should we have left directions pinned to the tree on how to get to the bathroom just in case he needed to go? Seriously Marco, I saw all the presents Christmas morning so I want to believe but how can all of this Santa stuff be real?"

As she spoke it became obvious to Star that her boyfriend, with his nervous smile and hands behind his back, was concealing something. "Ah...well...if you want to believe then you should."

"Marco, this was my first Christmas. Remember last year we weren't on Earth so I missed all this. Can you please fill me in? The whole Santa story doesn't make any sense unless there's a Magical Christmas Dimension that can make wrapped presents on demand and if there was I totally would have heard about it before now."

The former knight just gave a shoulder shrug.

"You're hiding something from me Diaz."

"Well-ah...it's late but I have another gift for you if, you know...if you want."

"A gift?" Star's mood completely flipped. "I like gifts!"

His face was red with embarrassment as he hopped off of the bed and handed her a box wrapped in heart covered red paper. On top he had placed a tiny white bow. "Late happy birthday."

"Wait-wait-wait, you already gave me a gift for my birthday. Look at you, my cute little bad-boy giving me extra presents!"

"About this...so this is the kind of present I don't want my parents to know about. It's an -us- gift?"

"An -us- gift?"

"An -us- gift."

"Like us-us gift?"

"Just go ahead and open it."

In under a second Star tore off the paper revealing a cardboard box that she quickly ripped into. Hidden within several layers of crushed pink tissue Star found three round containers. Taking the top one out she held it up to the light so she could better read the label. "Ah...body butter? Is this for cooking people?"

"Not exactly. There is also some foot cream and massage oil. I was also going to get some nice smelling candles too but I didn't want my parents to start asking questions. Here, get comfortable on top of the blankets and I'll show you what they're for. I was thinking we should try the foot cream first."

Star was uncertain about what she should do so Marco led her to the bed and had her lay down on her back with her feet dangled over the edge. "Foot cream...sounds like something you put in your tea if you like how feet taste. But this is for rubbing feet? You're going to rub my feet right?"

"Only if you're okay with it."

"Yeah, totally-totally-totally." She nervously wiggled her toes as Marco placed a warm blanket over the young woman before tucking it around her. Once he was done only her head and feet were exposed. "Marco, is this a magic blanket? It's really warm."

"It's a small electric blanket, no magic. Instead it has a heating element inside. I got it for cabin camping years ago but never ended up using it. I figured it would be good for helping you relax."

"If I didn't know any better I'd say this was totally Earth magic. I could get used to this."

As she spoke Marco moved to the head of the bed before leaning down to give Star her instructions. "My plan is to try out some things I watched online. You should close your eyes and do what you can to relax. Just let me know if I do anything you really like or you really don't like. Most importantly, never check my browser history. Searching for 'things you can do to your girlfriend's feet' came back with lots of results I was NOT expecting."

Star smiled as she listened and when he was done talking she lifted her head up so they could share a kiss before he started. With eyes closed she listened to the bottle being opened...and still being opened...and..."Hold on, all this safety plastic is hard to get off. Oh, I almost forgot the music."

She just giggled as she imagined the look on his face as he struggled with the container. A few seconds later the sound of soft waves began playing over the new smart speaker that Santa had given Marco.

"Here we go. I'm going to rub it in my hands first to get it warmed up."

Questions began to pop in her head as she waited in anticipation. "So what made you decide to get me these lotion thingies? Is this going to feel all slimy between my toes? What happens if it tickles?"

"I've been thinking about this since your birthday when we talked about -practicing-. I'm thinking if you don't like how it feels we'll wash your feet off and if it starts to tickle I'll stop. Ready?"

She gave a quick nod and immediately began feeling his soft touch on her left foot. "Eww, totally slimy."

"Sorry...I-I'll work it in. I need to make sure your skin is covered so my hands can slide around."

For the next few minutes the room was silent except for the repeated crashing of ocean waves. The young man focused on moving his fingers between each toe and then pressed his palms against her arch. She enjoyed the heated blanket and it didn't tickle but overall Star was not impressed. That all changed however once her bestie started pushing his knuckles into her left heel.

"Marco!"

"Sorry!"

"No-no, whatever you just did...don't stop."

"Oh, like this?"

"Yeeeesssss. I think you were being too soft at first. Ahhhhaaahhahhhaa...that's nice. Keep pushing hard like that pleasssse."

"As you wish m'lady."

For the next five minutes Marco stretched toes, twisted and bent joints, and pressed into the bottom of her foot until Star almost found it painful. This was followed by the exact same process taking place on her right. The whole time the former princess made little squeaks and moans as she imagined herself floating on a cozy cloud while her best friend hovered over her doing his best to make her feel amazing. When it was done he left but quickly returned with a warm damp washcloth which he used to clean up the remaining lotion. "So what did you think?"

"Marco...t-that was something. If that cost $650 dollars it'd be totally worth it."

"You relaxed enough to sleep now?"

"Well yeah...but wait, you deserve a foot rub too. I can't be the only one getting these."

"Star you don't have too-"

Popping up from under the blanket, Star grabbed his hand so he couldn't get away. "No-no, I might be half-asleep but fair is fair."

"Star, I haven't showered since this morning. What if I have sock lint stuck between my toes?" Although he resisted, Star was winning the battle of getting him to lay down with his feet uncovered.

"With how many times I've touched your sweaty back or smelled your hoodies after a day full of battles, I think I can handle some sock lint. Now relax! If these lotions are MY gift then I get to decide how we use them."

Completely giving in, the young college student closed his eyes and took a deep breath while his girlfriend got to work. The lotion was cold since she forgot to warm it up and then he had to bite his lower lip to keep himself from laughing when he found the light touch of her fingers ticklish.

While Marco tried his best to not give away his discomfort Star stood at the foot of the bed not really sure what to do now that his feet were slimy. After thinking about it for a second she went with copying the motions Marco had done. "So hun, I know you said that you looked stuff up online but is this something you've done before? Once you started pushing down hard it felt way better than I expected, my bad-boy totally earned a foot rub belt tonight." As she spoke she started pushing harder, having remembered what she liked.

"I don't think I did anything like this before but I'm glad you liked it. Star, I know you have fists like hammers but maybe not so hard. I'm worried you might break a bone."

"Sorry. So what do you mean that you don't think you did? You don't remember doing this when you were dating Jackie or hanging out with Kelly? You can tell me, you know I won't judge."

"I never did anything beyond kissing with Jackie, I would have remembered if I'd done anything else. For Kelly, she was nice and sweet but like I told you before, I was never into her like that. I just said I don't remember because the Neverzone is kind of a blur to me. There was this one time when I cornered a Hekapoo clone and she said she wouldn't put up a fight if I helped her work out a foot cramp...but...but I think she was just faking it...and it wasn't quite like this with the cream so I don't think it counts. A-and there was this time when Brunzetta...had a wound on her ankle that...I helped bandage for her...but again it wasn't the same. Hey, now that you aren't pressing...so hard...this is...this is really relaxing."

"So ah, wha-what other things happened when you were in the Neverzone?"

"Some bad stuff...some good stuff. You know...battles...hunting for food...chasing...H-poo...sometimes I almost miss..."

Star kept repeating the same movements over and over as she watched the boy she loved drifting off to sleep. Once he was breathing deeply she made sure he was completely covered by the blanket before leaning down to give him a kiss goodnight. After washing her hands, she flipped off the lights and climbed onto the air mattress, right in the spot where Marco would normally settle. Every night they would say a few final words to each other before closing their eyes but with Marco already out it was just Star.

"I love you too."

In the darkness the young man dreamt all sorts of crazy happy dreams, but not his Star. All she could do was lay with eyes wide open contemplating everything new she'd learned over the past week. Foot rubs were awesome. Christmas might be the best holiday ever. There was an all powerful being who makes sure teenage relationships don't last. And most importantly in Star's mind, she really did care about what Marco might have done in the Neverzone.

.

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Dear wise and powerful Dark Lord of the Multiverse,

Hopefully my offering pleases you. If this is not enough and instead you wish for a chalice of tears or the wails of endless suffering from the countless hoards that follow you, let it be known and I shall forever compile. I only wish to serve.

Your humble servant,
Olin Nordenn


For those that aren't aware, the Dark Lord of the Multiverse is mentioned in the real life Book of Spells, right inside the cover. You get two points if you can guess who the term refers to. Almost forgot, cover art is by Mono1472. You should checkout his stuff on Tumblr and Ko-fi. - Olin