Outliving The Ruins, 4/? (2015-12-08)


Of all the elements, water bending is the most common. Which makes living on the Isle of the Lost a frustrating thing.

Being an island, by definition, means that it is surrounded by water–the shores all around it, a river that cuts through it, and rain that falls from above. But the people of the Isle can’t leave the magical barrier, and it is a very small radius indeed.

Their parents had the entire ocean at their control or, barring that, an entire kingdom filled with moisture-retaining plant life. In contrast, trapped on the Isle, they have nothing.

On the rocky beach, Jemma wishes for an endless blue horizon. From the shallow waves, Uri yearns for the briny depths of the sea. And in a jungle made of concrete, Querida dreams of roses as red as blood.


Lady Tremaine is not a bender, and neither are her two daughters. But her first husband had been one, an earth bender. He had used his skills in his mining business and it had been a satisfactory, if not profitable, marriage.

She learned the second time.

She married a rich man who could provide for her and her daughters; give her emeralds greener than her eyes. As green as her first husband’s eyes had been.

The green eyes which meant power.

No, Lady Tremaine is not a bender, but if she had been…

It would have been easy. A locked door cannot open if the key has been crushed into a useless lump of metal. A shoe made of glass–merely melted and molded sand–cannot fit one foot if it has been resized for another. Gems and gold would have come easily to her fingertips, and she wouldn’t have had to remarry at all.

But Lady Tremaine is not a bender, and neither are her two daughters.

Her eldest and youngest grandchildren, on the other hand, the only boy and the youngest girl–Anthony and Dreda–she sees the way stone trembles under his feet, how metal warps beneath her hands.

And she knows that the Tremaine family will prosper.


Fire bending is rare. As cliché as it might sound, this is because fire benders are either bright enough to control the flames or get burned by them instead.

And even if she’s no dragon’s daughter, Frederique Facilier is plenty bright, thank you very much.

But she knows she can’t really compete with Mal, even disregarding the whole Avatar thing (hey, secrets are the family trade). Freddi’s fire is smaller, warm instead of hot, and maybe for a voodoo witch doctor that would be fine. But her father’s friends from the other side can’t break through the barrier and reach them–meaning the Faciliers are as magic-less as any lowly minion.

So all Freddi has is her fire bending (and her devastating good looks and sharp wit and excellent fashion sense).

But if she had to tell the truth (though she would never out loud), Freddi is only a candle to Mal’s sun.


A/N: Some other bending villain kids on the Isle:

Water benders represent! Jemma Hook and Uri, son of Ursula, I’ve previously introduced in A Tale of Two Kingdoms–a pirate and a sea witch’s son, of course they would be water benders. And then Querida, my “Princess of Hearts,” would almost have to be a blood bender… or at the very least, a plant bender.

Earth bending Tremaines from the horrifying idea that Lady Tremaine would have completely won if she had been a bender. The mice can’t steal the key and free Cinderella if it’s not a key anymore. And it would have been so easy to smash the second glass slipper (if she couldn’t manipulate the glass itself, that is). Dreda Tremaine is also from A Tale of Two Kingdoms as my headcanon Tremaine granddaughter–apparently there are multiple granddaughters in the book, but only Anthony the grandson is named, so I just chose a Dr- name. I’m rather fond of her.

Then Freddi Facilier is from the Wicked World animated short series. Why is she a fire bender? Well… because I needed one and she seemed like a good choice. Also, superficially, her red outfit.

So, basically, we have my Predecessors (The Prequel) gang, my OC Tremaine granddaughter Dreda, and Freddi from the animated shorts which I consider “beta canon” (as opposed to the movie which is “alpha canon”). 😀

Hello there, I was reading your ideas for “The Predecessors” and I found some plot problems with it related with what “The Isle of the Lost” told us for example Jay, Carlos and Evie choose their respective animal sidekicks on Evie’s Birthday party

(2/3) In this case Jay choose his eels, Carlos choose a Lucifer’s kitten called Beelzebub and Evie choose a little parrot called Othello, also in Evie’s Birthday party, Maleficent cursed Grimihilde and Evie for not inviting Mal to the party
(3/3) And so Grimihilde and Evie were afraid of the Maleficent, and they didn’t go out of their castle for almost 10 years in which Evie was Castle-Schooled by her mother, but after ten years she dared to went out and go to Dragon Hall the island school

That’s true… a lot of my fic/brainstorms aren’t book compliant, mostly because I haven’t actually read the book and, well, I’m not sure how book compliant the Descendants movie actually is? Or, rather, it’s more like the movie ignores the book and whether or not they match up is a bit of a conundrum. Like, in the movie, Grimhilde and Maleficent (and the other parents) are so friendly with each other but in the book they’re… not. 

That being said, the animal sidekicks aren’t all that important to the plot of Predecessors (The Prequel). In fact, since the animal sidekicks aren’t inherited parent to child, that’s even better because now I/the author don’t have to adhere to the Uri-Ursula-eels-Jay link. Which means Uri is totally free to be a mentor to Evie.

But I guess the other plot problem, that is, Evie being isolated/Castle-schooled by her mother for ten years until she went to Dragon Hall, is the one that I/the author would have to accommodate.

From what I can glean off the Disney wiki, it doesn’t specify which birthday party this decade long “banishment” was decreed. But it definitely has to be either her sixth birthday or earlier. If the book is modeling the Dragon Hall school of an American high school (which are typically four years long, starting with freshman year/age 14) then that could give her almost two years worth of mentoring from Uri (if her “banishment” ended at age 14 and the movie starts when she’s age 16).

A lot can happen in two years. (And, since as far as I know, there is no canon Ursula kid, I/the author could make Uri’s backstory similar to that. Like, Ursula is the only one who lives along the shore and Uri teaches himself how to swim in order to get to the main town and hang out with his gang…)

But thanks for looking out! I know a lot of fanfiction is about picking and choosing what parts of canon you want to keep and which parts you want to alter, but I do like to incorporate canon in my fic as much as I can. It’s probably why I’m always a sucker for fusion/crossovers because it’s TWO sets of canon that I have to blend together. (Or more than two if you check out my brainstorm/outline for the “Rise of the Brave Tangled Dragons”/“How To Train Your Brave Tangled Guardians/“The Big Four” crossover)

edit: i guess, instead of Uri only meeting Evie in the last two years pre-Descendants, if the castle in which she lives in is only accessible through creepy forest or by the shore then Uri could meet up with her sooner. Like, if the forest is monitored for some reason, but the ocean is not (because only he and his mother know how to swim?) then Uri could have been mentoring her for a lot longer than two years.

Fake Fic Summaries 8/?, the Descendants prequel edition (2015-10-11)

A/N1: Heads up, this is super long, so if you want to skip my rambling reasoning behind this fake fic summary and go straight to the brainstorming part, just ignore the parts that aren’t bolded.

Predecessors (The Prequel)

Cruella, Grimhilde, Jafar, and Maleficent were not the only villains banished to the Isle. Carlos, Evie, Jay, and Mal are not the only kids.

Oh no… what have I done to myself.

So let me explain: My subconscious bugged me for a while after I sort of fancast Kristen Stewart as Jemma Hook. And I thought it would be settled when I found and appointed Alfie Enoch as Uri. But then I found Gina Rodriguez’s photoshoot and immediately thought Princess of Hearts.

So then I had three villain kids, who are all older than the Lost kids of Descendants, and my subconscious prodded at my conscious to make the set complete.

And I know Anthony Tremaine is the only named (and only male?) grandchild of Lady Tremaine who, like Cruella, was extremely frightening without having any magic whatsoever. I’m also pretty sure Anthony is older than Carlos, at least, and possibly the other three (since I’m also also pretty sure that the other three are older than Carlos).

Obviously he had to be my fourth.

So it was haunting me–find Anthony Tremaine, find Anthony Tremaine–and at first I considered Dylan O’brien because he’s got that cute upturned nose and also he’s so pretty. But most of his photoshoots don’t really jive with the Isle of the Lost feel. then I remembered that if Anthony is Anastasia’s son, he could be a red head.

Hence, Gustav Morstad as Anthony Tremaine (and, again, just imagine his clothes as a very dark purple, like aubergine, instead of black).

And, foolishly, I thought that would be it.

Except then my subconscious was like… you have to name them. Having been defeated by my subconscious already, I gave in. I named the four of them Predecessors–since they are all meant to be older than the four Lost kids in the movie. And, even more foolishly, I added The Prequel in parentheses because I’m a sucker both for alliteration and parenthetical titles.

The Prequel to what? I asked my subconscious, horrified and resigned.

The Prequel to Descendants, it responded.

… aaaand that leads us to here. Me trying to dispose of this pesky plot bunny via fake fic summaries before it completely takes over my life.

So here’s the actual fic brainstorming:

Descendants makes it very clear that evil is not a nature thing, but a matter of nurture. The Lost kids are good once they’re removed from the toxic environment of the Isle. But I wonder what it would have been like, had some of the villains kids been good in spite of their environment. And I’m not talking extreme charity work and kindness, but a sharp pragmatic kind of goodness. In A Tale of Two Kingdoms, I’ve touched upon the idea that in a new world order even villains will cooperate for survival.

Well, what if they don’t need giant monsters to be pushed that far. Already there exist “gangs,” it makes sense to be protective and generous and vulnerable and kind within your own gang. But what if the oldest of the next generation gangs took it upon themselves to help out the younger gangs? If Jemma, Uri, Cora/Querida, and Anthony are the first children born on the Isle, they would be the first to grow in this environment. They would be paving the way for future children, and I’d like to think that maybe they would want to give them the best possible chance.

Hence, Predecessors.

But, of course, each of them have their own particular favorite. And I want the match ups to be not what you would necessarily expect.

Like–instead of the pirate girl mentoring the boy thief, Jemma has a fondness for Carlos. And, well, it explains why his symbol are crossbones–I practically wrote an entire story about this.

And since Mal’s symbol is two dragons forming a heart, couldn’t that be a nod towards the Princess of Hearts’ dual-colored heart symbol? Which makes her comment in the movie, about not wanting to go to a school full of “prissy pink princesses” interesting. She doesn’t have a problem with princesses–even in canon, because Evie is a princess and everyone on the Isle acknowledges her as such. But if you put it in the context of Mal having been mentored by the Princess of Hearts, her disdain for the Auradon princesses are because they fall short of what she knows.

Anyway, that leaves the two boys, Uri and Anthony, for Evie and Jay. Symbols-wise, it’s a lot more of a stretch. Evie’s is a crown (with a crack in it?) and Jay’s is a cobra. In contrast, Uri as the son of Ursula either has octopus, eels, or a spiral shell. Whereas Anthony, as the eldest Tremaine, has… what are Lady Tremaine’s symbols even? She has emerald broach+ring, a cane, an evil fluffy cat… not particularly inspiring, this.

On the one hand, Jay’s book canon has him being the owner of the eels Lagan and Derelict–who are obviously a reference to Ursula’s Flotsam and Jetsam–and so an Uri – Jay mentorship would make sense. But I don’t really know how to proceed with that? And, also, that would mean Evie gets paired up with Anthony which… I don’t want. At all.

Because, after Princess of Hearts, you’d think Evie would be mentored by the Heir of the Noble House of Tremaine. And you’d think, if she were to have been taken under Anthony Tremaine’s wing, she would have some kind of defense against goddamned Chad Charming.

And, in a way, I like the idea of Anthony teaching Jay how to be beguiling (flirting with Audrey and Lonnie, anyone?) instead of just using physical means. And with Uri, well, I like the idea of he and Evie bonding over not being what they should have been born into? Like… he should have been a sea wizard, and she should have been a princess. And, also, potions bonding.

But the symbols then don’t really make sense, but then again, those aren’t a be all end all thing with me. It might just be that Carlos and Mal bonded more with their respective mentors. I dunno.

Aaanyway… as for actual plot… The Predecessors teach the Descendants some stuff, maybe plant the seeds of goodness in them. And you know what, maybe the Predecessors are training the Descendants to actually be their successors. Or to expand the gang. Because maybe they want to lead a revolution against the parents AND against Auradon, because they know that they shouldn’t be punished for their parents’ mistakes.

Probably they die. Some of them, at least. Or maybe they escape… I mean, one of them is a Hook from Neverland and the other is a princess from Wonderland. If anyone is going to figure out how to go to a different world it would be them. (Oh! What if, a little selfishly, the Predecessors were hanging out with the Descendants because they needed to learn some things about the other villains so they could escape. Like, using them for knowledge, but they were honestly planning on taking the younger gang with them…)

And then the Descendants movie happens. Maybe as canon, maybe a little tweaked. But… meh. That’s all I’ve got.

A/N2: Anyway. It’s ambiguous. And honestly? Not all that appealing to me. Hopefully it’s completely out of my system now.

Gustav Morstad as Anthony Tremaine (grandson of Lady Tremaine and son of Anastasia Tremaine… hence the red hair. Also, imagine his clothes as a very dark purple instead of black)

[okay, this is kind of random, but it’s been bugging me. So here is Anthony Tremaine to round out that accidental older set of four Lost kids that I’ve apparently been constructing in my head. For the other three:

Kristen Stewart as Jemma Hook (daughter of James Hook)

Alfie Enoch as Uri (son of Ursula)

Gina Rodriguez as Cora (or Querida? for the Q, or is the similar k-sound enough?) / Princess of Hearts (daughter of the Queen of Hearts)

To be honest, I don’t actually properly fancast them so much as I fancast their outfits/looks. Though I suppose since three out of the four are actors it would work? I dunno…

… for now I guess I’ll tag them all with “predecessors (the prequel)”]

A Tale of Two Kingdoms, part 1/11 (2015-08-15) [1]


Magic is a delicate topic on the Isle, as much as something can be considered delicate in such a place. It’s true that the worst villains, the most powerful ones, were so successful due to magic. Curses and shapeshifting and mind control, as impressive now as they were decades ago. But magic is also the reason why everyone is trapped on an island in the middle of the ocean with no way to escape.

Magic is a double-edged blade, has always been one, and while usually villains don’t care about the collateral damage when using magic… In this case… well.

Four determined magicians shatter the barrier around the Isle; but they also manage to tear a hole in something along the ocean floor. And there are things bigger and badder on the other side.

Auradon first learns of the kaiju when one comes up off the coast of Charmington and proceeds to decimate the town.

It takes a while to understand the situation, to call for help, to get effective aid. By the time Fairy Godmother arrives, wand in hand to wave the problem away, over one thousand people have been killed.

The once beautiful resort town empties within the week, a rubble strewn graveyard.

Magic has gotten them into this mess. The ambitions of one sorcerer and three witches, the sacrifice of one boy’s life. Jafar, Maleficent, Grimhilde, and Ursula, the Isle’s foremost magicians. Uri, who would have been a sea wizard had he been born underwater, with tentacles instead of legs.

“That bastard was my best friend,” Jemma says, a pirate who has been land-locked her entire life, “He was going to send storms after my enemies, and I would throw all the prettiest prisoners overboard just for him.”

It’s as close to a declaration of love as they get on the Isle. Carlos understands that this is an act of trust, of desperation.

“Build me something to avenge him,” Jemma demands, because she cannot ask. Cannot ask Carlos to build something to save them all.

Magic got them into this mess. Science is going to have to get them out.

The kaiju are not from the Isle. The kaiju are getting bigger and stronger. The kaiju can learn.

Soon, Fairy Godmother’s magic can no longer contain them, can no longer destroy them, can no longer stall them.

The coasts are no longer premium real estate, the nobles and royalty move inland–not that titles mean much anymore.

Futilely, Auradon sticks to what they know, they attempt to contain that which they fear. They begin to build the Wall.

The Isle of the Lost is less tempting a target for the kaiju, but they are still conveniently right next to the tear. There is no more barrier around the Isle, but there are also no more barges from Auradon.

Many islanders make confused, fearful noises, surely the heroes won’t leave them to die? But they are villains, and the kids of villains, what do heroes care for their lives?

“Are we Auradon? Scurrying around in fear whenever things get tough? Do we run and hide behind barriers like those spineless sea-slugs? No!” Jemma Hook shouts, standing atop a tin roof, every inch a brave captain her father only pretended to be, “We fight!”

Even villains know that in the face of a greater force, cooperation is key to survival. Carlos is given whatever he needs.

Auradon no longer cares about what happens to the Isle of the Lost. They are too busy trying to survive. Many citizens escape inland, to other kingdoms and nations and entirely, if they can. But not all can, not all choose to.

The royal family will not leave, not while there is still someone under their protection that remains. They were once the kingdom to which others sought refuge, besieged by their respective villains. But this time, the enemy is not a single megalomaniac whose pride will ultimately be their downfall, it is not something that can be outsmarted or outlasted.

The Wall means nothing to the kaiju and, soon enough, distance from the ocean will mean nothing to them either.

The first jaeger is an ugly thing, cobbled together from defunct ships and old automobile parts. Carlos still has it painted red and white and black. It is ten times the size of the tallest building on the Isle, and still smaller than the most recent kaiju sighted.

“If anyone is going to captain this crocodile killer,” Jemma says, back straight and chin up despite the suicide mission it entails, or maybe because of it, “It’ll be me.”

That first jaeger is named Jolly Roger. Despite being a prototype, it holds up remarkably well against the kaiju. The same cannot be said of it’s captain.

After the Jolly Roger’s fourth battle, Jemma has to be helped out of the cockpit, blood streaming from both nostrils. She waves it away as no big deal.

It takes three more battles for Carlos to realize that it’s not enough, One jaeger is not enough. One captain is not enough.

This is not a story about the heroes defeating the villains. This is not a story about villains’ kids realizing their potential for heroism. This is not a story about good versus evil and the unlikely places both can grow. This is not a story about a boy defying both nature and nurture to save the world. 

This is a story about survival.



Uh, so… here was my thought process. I gave some sample prompts here, a little jokingly but then it stuck in my head, then I happened to see this post regarding how socioeconomic levels in Pacific Rim works and how the poorest would be most grateful for the jaeger program, than I saw Kristen Stewart’s recent cover of Nylon– 


–and while I don’t actually fancast her as Captain Hook’s daughter, I definitely fancast her outfit. So… yeah.

Unsure if I actually want to continue this or not. And, I know, there’s such a distinct lack of the actual canon characters that it’s weirding me out too. The next part would definitely have more of the movie-canon characters, but I do have some non-movie characters I want to play around with a bit before that, and then there would be an eventual Ben as one of the last Auradon, decides to help with the jaeger program. He’s drift compatible with Mal, but it would maybe still be Benlos? I dunno. Maybe both?

This was just bugging me while I was trying to write Ain’t No Rest, and I figured if I didn’t get this out, it wouldn’t leave me be. This one’s probably only three parts max, so if it wouldn’t take long for me to get the entirety scraped out of my head. I dunno, we’ll see.

(Also, it’s my birthday today. Hooray me!)


[okay, so this isn’t my post for 2015-09-24, but this is what I spent tonight/this morning’s failure of an attempt to sleep wondering about.

After seeing a different picture from Kristen Stewart’s Nylon photo shoot–


My brain basically just decided. Yep, that’s Jemma Hook for sure. Specifically, Jemma Hook on the rare occasions where she’s relaxed–aka, hanging out with Uri.

So now I’m wondering. WHO WOULD MAKE A GOOD URI?]

A Tale of Two Kingdoms, part 7/11 (2015-08-21)

The islanders are reluctant to share their knowledge of what exactly happened, not because they’re distrustful of Ben, but because it involves magic. The only ones who really understood magic were the ones involved, and they’re the ones missing.

“Good riddance,” one woman mutters, face hidden by dirty blonde hair and a grungy scarf.

The woman next to her jostles her sharply, hissing a warning, “If the captain heard you, you’d walk the plank.”

“Well the captain’s dead, she’s not here to protect her damned pet squid. It’s because of him that the kaiju are around.” The woman spits back, before shuffling away when the expression on her conversation partner’s face clearly doesn’t agree.

The remaining woman glares at her retreating back, before turning expectantly to Ben and Chip. Her back is hunched and her clothes are dirty, but the set of crossbones stitched onto her beanie are a bright clean white. “You’ve got questions, then?”

“Yes,” Ben says politely, “I’m trying to figure out–”

“What happened to the other magic kids, eh?” She interrupts, eyebrow raised slyly, “You think the entire Isle don’t know about your mission? And I’m not talking about finding those three.”

Ben tries desperately not to blush.

He obviously fails from the way the woman laughs raucously.

“If you could please–” Chip starts, only to be interrupted as well.

“You’re a bit too clean for my own tastes,” the woman says to Chip appraisingly, “but that can be fixed easily.” She winks, and now Chip is also flustered. Great.

“Ma’am, we need to know what happened.” Ben says, bringing them back on topic, “How is it that Uri’s death is confirmed, but no one knows what happened to the others?”

“That’s easy,” she scoffs, “How else?”

Ben waits for her to explain, but Chip is the one to answer.

“There was a body.”

It’s not like Carlos is just waiting for Auradon to come back. He has a lot to do around the docks; it comes with the territory of being the head of the jaeger program. That being said, he has no idea why Jane and Lonnie keep following him around.

He’s still a bit suspicious of them, ever since they tricked him into talking to Auradon. So it’s not his fault his face automatically turns into a squinty eyed stare in their presence, especially Jane’s.

“It worked out for the best,” Lonnie says, absolutely steady from her perch on the catwalk railings.

Carlos only grumbles back at her, combing through some basic wire work on the fourth jaeger. Jane, at least, has the decency to sit on the actual walkway, safe from tipping over. Not that her being in Carlos’ peripheral vision is making him any less nervous.

“I think it’s absolutely romantic,” Jane sighs, head propped in her hand, and Carlos is not fooled at all.

But he still asks, “What is?” and ignores the feverish sensation on the tips of his ears.

“A knight on a quest to prove his love,” Jane responds wistfully. Carlos wonders if this is what she was like before coming to the Isle, if she would have been just a daydreaming teenage girl, instead of a jaeger pilot capable of destroying giant monsters. Well, now he gets to deal with both.

Lonnie hums in agreement–correction, now Carlos gets to deal with both twice over–before adding, “Usually the prince ends up with the rescued princess, but traditional stories are so two decades ago.”

Jane barks out a laugh, “It’s not like your parents were very traditional,” she reminds teasingly.

“I like to think they were trendsetters,” Lonnie shoots back.

Their easy banter washes over him, familiar at least, if not soothing, after weeks of it; but Carlos is still stuck on something in particular.

“Auradon is a prince?”

Finding where Jemma Hook is buried is easy. Finding where Jemma Hook buried Uri? Not so much.

“Captain was real torn up about his death,” a man nearly two feet taller than Chip says morosely, casually shrugging a crate of potatoes onto one shoulder, “She would’ve buried him wherever she hid her treasure.”

“Good luck finding that,” someone else snorts, unashamedly interjecting himself into their conversation, “She kept that a secret to her own grave.”

“It’s true,” the first man says, “Any decent pirate would have a hidden stash, Captain Hook’s would be particularly hard to find.”

“You know, if anyone could find it,” The second man suggests, “It would be that damn thief; or maybe the princess, if there were enough gems.”

“You think this boy would be bothering with the Captain’s treasure if he already had Carlos’ gang?” The first man scoffs, reaching out to cuff the other on the back of the head.

It nearly bowls him over, but he keeps to his feet, “Just saying,” he scowls.

“No wait,” a third person says, bodily inserting herself into their discussion by ducking under the first man’s arm, “He’s onto something. The ones who would best be able to find the captain’s treasure would be Jay and Evie.”

“Neither of whom we have,” Chip reminds.

“So the closest thing you have to that is their parrot.” The girl says, a mischievous grin on her face.

“A parrot,” Ben finally says, leaning forward in interest, “Tell me more.”

“Don’t you dare hurt Othello,” Evie warns, even as she brings up his image onto her mirror and passes it over to Jay.

“You think I’m going to risk our one chance by purposefully messing with that bird?” he asks, hands on the mirror, eyes beginning to glow.

“There’s a reason he likes me better,” Evie says, before turning silent, focusing on her precognitive abilities. She needs to keep an eye out for any of their hunters, especially now that Jay is occupied with possessing Othello and Mal has brought down their shield. They’re not actually sure if it will work, which is why Mal is using her magic to amplify Jay’s.

“This is ridiculous,” Mal murmurs. It sounds like one of those fairy tales, she thinks, a prince following a bird to one secret area. Then following another set of animals to a different secret area. All as part of a quest to rescue a princess. So what if that bird is a parrot being magically possessed, and the next set of guides are eels, and there’s an evil fairy’s daughter and an evil sorcerer’s son being rescued alongside the princess? “So ridiculous,” she repeats.

“This is great!” Ben enthuses as he and Chip pick their way along the trash-strewn shore, following after the blue and yellow parrot. “It’s really like a proper quest.”

Chip, done with absolutely everything–especially the parrot who not only scratched and bit him, but also pooped on his shoulder–is distinctly less impressed.

“Mystery, a hidden treasure, an animal guide,” Ben lists off, before the parrot screeches– “Hurry up!” – and they both pour on the speed.

They wouldn’t want to lose the bird for a second time. At least it seems to be intelligent enough to not only get the gist of what they need, but also to circle back and find them. Suspiciously intelligent, Chip thinks to himself, but that may just be his newly found bias against birds speaking.

The parrot brings them to a rocky outcropping, a small five foot cliff of sorts. Looking around, neither of them can see a place where something can be buried.

“Did this thing take us on a wild goose chase?” Chip asks belligerently, before flinching when the parrot lands on his shoulder.

Ben laughs, out of breath, but his hands clench into fists with irritation as well.

“Lagan! Derelict!” The parrot screeches, disastrously loud right next to Chip’s ear.

It takes a few moments, but soon enough, in the water below them, the long sinuous bodies of two eels appear.

“You’ve got to be kidding me,” Chip says in disbelief.

“Multiple animal guides,” Ben amends, before steeling himself and jumping into the water. “Come on!” he calls up to Chip.

Chip stares balefully down at him instead, looks at the parrot on his shoulder in commiseration, realizes he’s doing so, and decides to flee from the feathered pest by jumping down after Ben.

The water is cold and kind of slimy feeling and Chip hates everything about this. He says as much.

Ben just grins obnoxiously back, “It’s not over yet.”


A/N: Yes, that’s how I’m ending it because I can’t believe it’s not over yet. AAAAAGH. We will get there soon. Hopefully.

Thanks to theotpauthor for letting me know that the eels are not just a strange fluke. Hence, Othello the parrot, who is technically Evie’s but is descended from Iago so… yet another timeshare pet?

And jalencolbert, in case you didn’t see my edit on the last post. Lagan and Derelict are the book canon names for the eels, I didn’t come up with it. But I think Uri as Ursula’s son’s name is my creation? Not sure, there are only so many U names. Feel free to use that as well, though.

A Tale of Two Kingdoms, part 6/11 (2015-08-20)

There is really only one thing that Carlos–Carlos the boy, not Carlos the head of the jaeger program–wants.

He wants his friends.

It’s not something that’s easy to admit. The Isle has been critical of such soft, positive emotions–you have minions or a gang or, if you’re particularly lucky, partners in crime–but friends are for the weak. Friendship just means admitting a person is your weak spot.

But that was before. There’s a new world order on the Isle; in the face of kaiju, posturing as a tough, heartless loner is not only useless, but detrimental. Survival means cooperation now. The strongest of them, the jaeger pilots, are only such because they are drift compatible. To protect one’s family, for the love of lost friends, to contribute to the community–that’s what the Isle now holds above all else.

But it’s a lifetime of conditioning to work against, so it’s still difficult to admit. And, truth be told, Carlos is scared.

It’s a selfish request, to risk their source of, well, everything, just to try and figure out what happened to three people who may or may not be…

Carlos doesn’t know what happened to them; the mystery is as much a source of hope as it is despair. If he doesn’t know, then their deaths can’t be confirmed, they could still be alive. But surely, if they were still alive, they would have come back by now?

And what use would it be to know now, after over a year? What if its dangerous, what if it’s pointless, what if…

But Auradon asks, and that’s the only thing Carlos wants.

“You don’t have to,” Carlos says, fingers tugging nervously with the ends of his gloves. He’s said the same thing dozens of times already, voice conflicted, eyes filled with both hope and fear, “You don’t have to, really.”

“Auradon,” Ben says, just to get Carlos to look at him. At Ben. Not a resource, not a king, just Ben.


“That’s what you call me. And, you know, there’s a bit of a tradition in my kingdom,” Curiosity makes Carlos quiet, waiting for more. It’s better than him being worried, so Ben continues, “A boy goes on a quest to prove that he’s worthy.”

“Worthy of what?” Carlos asks, confused.

“I don’t know yet,” Ben says with a laugh. Carlos wrinkles his nose, to which Ben shrugs helplessly, “I’ll bring them back to you,” he says seriously, grasping both of Carlos’ hands to stop his fidgeting. And because he wants to, “One way or another, I’ll find them and I’ll bring them back to you,” Ben vows.

This vow is more crucial than bringing back cars and boats and planes and engineers and pilots. Because this isn’t a promise between a king and the head of the jaeger program. This is a promise from one boy to another, from a boy in love to the one he loves.

“And when I succeed,” Ben says, squeezing Carlos hands between his own, “I’d like it if you used my real name.” And he brings them up to his lips, brushing a kiss against bare knuckles.

Carlos tugs his hands away, a flush high on his cheeks, and Ben thinks he’s screwed up. But Carlos says, “You’ll have to come back and tell me what it is, then,” before he stomps away, no doubt back to the jaeger docks.

Ben smiles goofily after him, until Chip cuts in with a not so subtle cough. “Very smooth,” he says, completely straight faced.

Ben squints at him suspiciously, unsure if Chip is being sarcastic or not.

“It’s better than your dad at least,” Chip says reassuringly which, considering the story behind his parents’ get together, is not really all that of a consolation.

“Are you sure you want to come with me?” Ben asks, echoing a conversation they had months before.

And like before, Chip says, “I’m not letting you go alone.”

There is something strange about magic on this side of the tear. Or maybe, on this side of the ritual, on this side of Uri’s death.

The barrier being taken down was just a side affect, the tear between worlds an unintended consequence. The ritual was meant only to use son of a witch as fuel to revive the power of four magicians. Except there weren’t just four magicians–there were seven; even if three of them were young and unknowing.

Rituals are delicate things, everything must be done precisely or else it’ll end up a mess. The magical backlash, along with tearing down the barrier and tearing open a path between worlds, caused enough chaos for the three of them–back up sacrifices and accidental vessels–to escape.

But they didn’t know then which way they were escaping. Instead of going back, to warn the rest of the Isle, they went forward; into the world of the kaiju.

In this world, magic comes easily to them, thankfully. Otherwise how would they have survived without Mal’s constant shield. Without Evie’s precognitive warnings. And how would they have figured out the truth behind the kaiju without Jay’s mind magics pulling the truth out of one.

If only magic could bring them back.

But they’ve learned in the past couple of days–weeks–months–that magic doesn’t always need to be the solution. Not with Carlos.

“He’s sending us a prince,” Evie says, voice elated in a way Mal and Jay haven’t heard since they’ve been trapped on the wrong side of the tear.

“How will that help us?” Jay asks, disbelief blatant in his voice, even as he stares eagerly at Evie’s mirror.

“If he can find the ritual site, he can act as an anchor for us on that side,” Evie explains, excited grip causing the mirror’s frame to dig into her palm.

“We’d be able to find an opening that isn’t where the kaiju are being sent through,” Jay says in understanding.

“However we came through in the first place,” Mal agrees, “If there were some way we could lead him there…” she trails off, unsure. The ritual site had been Ursula’s choice, a cove that she had kept secret from the rest of the island.

“The eels,” Evie suggests, at the same time Jay says, “Lagan and Derelict.”

Mal looks at both of them skeptically before shrugging, “I suppose if anything can get him to Ursula’s secret lair, it’d be Uri’s pets.” And how poetic it would be, if creatures that Uri cared for were to help expose his murder.


A/N: Okay, so according to Jay’s wiki page, he’s the one with pet eels which I find kind of odd since it’s clearly a reference to Ursula’s Flotsam and Jetsam… unless that means Jay’s mother is Ursula?!?! Uh… well, let’s just say not since I have Uri in this story. Maybe in this universe Jay and Uri have a timeshare on the eels or something, I dunno.

Uh, yeah, strange ending. Sorry about that. :/

EDIT: (Because I don’t know how to reply to replies). jalencolbert, I just pulled the names for the eels off Jay’s wiki page so I don’t own them. As far as I know, Uri isn’t a canon name for Ursula’s kid (if she even has one) so that is sort of mine, but feel free to use that as well.

The Green Knight, Part 1 (2015-05-05)

The thing about being a mafia assassin is that, once said mafia famiglia stops being a crime organization and starts being a vigilante group, the need for assassinations decreases significantly. She isn’t exactly out of a job, because technically she’s a Guardian, not just any run-of-the-mill assassin (though it could be argued that any assassin isn’t run-of-the-mill, much less one from Vongola, much less one of the Decimo’s guardians), but she does end up having a lot more free time on her hands.

It’s gotten to the point where even the Secchione Sezione (“We are R&D!”) are getting sick of her hanging around and offering to test out their latest and greatest gadgets. She’s also careful not to push too much of her luck with the Foundation. Though the members remain rather fond of her, Kyouya-senpai is still disdainful of any crowding.

She sighs gustily, sprawled out on Hayato-kun’s office sofa which is positioned so perfectly in sunbeam. Uri who, unsurprisingly, tolerates her more than he does his master, is similarly sprawled over the back of the sofa. Yuzuru, her own box weapon familiar, is coiled up in his smaller form on her stomach. At the ensuing silence, she sighs again. The figure at the desk twitches but says nothing.

“Don’t make me do it again,” She warns lazily, fingers tracing along Yuzuru’s smooth, scaly body. He reciprocates by flicking his tongue  along her wrist in a friendly manner.

“Tch, just because you don’t have any work doesn’t mean the rest of us are similarly blessed,” Hayato-kun half-heartedly grumbles, typing continuously.

“Surely there must be something I can do? I’m beginning to become superfluous. You’re going to have an excess of bored Lightning natureds if this keeps up,” She thinks about Lambo-kun who, though much better than he was seven years ago when they first met, is still a force of mayhem. While she’s not quite at that level, she’ll admit to having some destructive tendencies of her own.

Whether he’s thinking the same thing or not, it makes Hayato-kun pause, shudder, and finally look in her direction, “Haru and Spanner are being productive,” Technically, Haru and Spanner are both dual natured Lightning and Storm. But she gets what he’s trying to say.

“But they’ve always been part of Secchione Sezione–”

“–They prefer to be called R&D–”

“And plus, I’ve already been by to see if they’d like my help. And they just turned me away,” She sighs once more, lolling her head around the sofa. It’s a very nice sofa.

“Well if you’re that bored…” Hayato-kun begins, turning back to his screen and sending a file to her contact lenses. As computers, the contact lenses have minimal memory, more suited to operating the aiming system and relaying video feed to the Vongola network. But within the vicinity of said network, it can be used to share small files for convenience. Or out of laziness.

“The Kingsman?” She wouldn’t say their meeting with the Kingsman was a disaster, necessarily. It had certainly gone better than what she had either hoped or expected. But she was sure they were at the level of civility and courtesy rather than beginning to swap favors. Even though the file–more a missive, really, from the one they called Merlin–is entirely in English, her fourth language of fluency, she thinks she gets the gist of it, “Why do they want one of us to take their tests? Surely they know Vongola is going to take priority over anything from them,”

“It makes sense,” Hayato-kun argues with a shrug, “They don’t actually want us to be one of their agents, they want to see what our abilities are. Seeing how far a member of Vongola, Guardian or not, can get through their tests gives them a good approximation of our relative strength.”

It’s when Hayato-kun talks like this, frankly and freely, that makes her realize how much all of them have grown. Six years ago he would have been crowing about how any Vongola member would breeze through such a test; as if being part of Vongola, being part of Tsunayoshi-kun’s famiglia, somehow made a person invincible by proxy. And while the Hayato-kun of six years ago (then still Gokudera-kun) had been willing to speak of his own personal insecurities to her, he would have rather cut out his own tongue than say anything negative of Tsunayoshi-kun (then still Sawada-kun) or his inheritance.

“Ah, is that so?” She demurs, briefly, “What were you thinking of doing with the…” She pauses, unsure of how to phrase it, “… invite?”

“To be honest, I was going to refuse it. I considered sending one of the more combat focused of Shamal’s subordinates–”

“–Kyoko’s minions–”

“But better to not send anyone than give a poor showing. Or worse, reveal Flames to them. The alliance we have with them is still precarious, we don’t want to give them more than we need to,” He continues, disregarding her interjection.

“It’s for several months though, why not send Mukuro or Chrome? They haven’t been as active recently either,”

Hayato-kun looks at her flatly, almost edging towards disbelief, “Because the alliance we have with them is still precarious,” he repeats, “And we do actually want them to trust us.”

Considering how the Mist guardians’ missions usually end up… yeah. She sees his point.

“Does that mean you trust me?” She smiles teasingly.

“I trust you not to fuck up,” He bites back, though a hint of a blush creeps along his face, “And you’re bored. Prendere due piccioni con una fava,”

“If you say so,” She agrees mildly. Which only causes him to blush more.

“I’ll send a confirmation and have the details sent to you. Now get out of my office!”

Oh, Hayato-kun, still so easily flustered. But she decides not to push him, because he did just give her a reprieve from boredom. So she leaves, gently draping Yuzuru over one shoulder, from which he settles himself around her neck with familiarity. For his sake, she tries not have too much bounce in her step; but she can’t help it–she’s excited.



For context: POV character is my OC Lightning Guardian, Tetsuki Kaiza from Trailblazers, a KHR fic I’m maybe not actually writing. She’s a year older than Tsuna/Gokudera/Yamamoto/etc, the same age as Ryohei, and a year younger than Hibari.

Also, “Secchione Sezione” means Nerd Department/Section. The two words sound remarkably similar to me–though I don’t actually speak Italian–so I thought it’d be a teasing/informal way to call Vongola’s R&D. And “Prendere due piccioni con una fava” means “To catch two pigeons with one fava bean,” which is basically the Italian equivalent of “Kill two birds with one stone.”