(Featured image base by: bk bases)
“Hey, mom!” Mareuscript shouted. “It’s getting dark. Maybe we should set up a camp or something.”
Twilight nodded. “Good idea.” she agreed. “Now, someone here wearing red needs to get angry.”
All eyes turned to Romano. “No!” he refused. “I’m not going to do it!”
“Do you want us all to freeze out here?!” Jeremy shouted, causing the Italian to cross his arms tightly and hunch his shoulders.
The former alicorn only smiled. “While a few of you work on getting him angry and building a fire, the rest of us will look for things to build shelters with.” Tapping her chin, Twilight called out names. “AD, Louisiana, Angel, Mareuscript, Justine, Japan, Tokyo, France, Claude, Italy, Venice, and Christi, would you mind coming with me to do that?” They nodded and left.
While they were gone, Naples and America stayed behind with Romano, leaving Sebastian, Ciel, Rainbow Dash, Bardroy, Paris, William, Jeremy, Pinki Pie, Cutie, Rachel, and Angela to gather firewood, as the Italian smacked his head. “…Why me?”
“You’re easiest to piss off, papa.” Naples answered with a smile as she started poking his cheeks.
With Naples and America poking Romano’s cheeks, everyone else piled up the firewood in a large pit that Jeremy made. After hours of poking, Romano lost more and more of his already short temper, but there was no spark, much to Naples’ dismay. “…Maybe Twilight was wrong.” she stated. “Maybe no one here can do that.”
America looked over, a devilish smile spread across his face. “Or…maybe she just was wrong about Romano.” he stated. “Only one way to find out…” With that, he took Romano and bent his hand back, nearly breaking his hand, allowing his scream to echo through the woods in the late darkness.
Naples stood, high alert. “What are you doing?!” she shouted. “Let him go!”
America’s smile only widened when her hands were consumed in flame as tears streamed down her face, at which time, he let her father go and crossed his arms. “Nothing pushes you over the edge like someone messing with your dad and uncle.” he explained. “It’s easier to mess with Italy, but he’s not here. Still, I’ll take what I can get!”
The teen gazed at the ball of heat in her hand before throwing the ball at the pile of sticks that was built over time. Watching them explode into a large bond fire didn’t cease her fear or anger. All she could do once the flame was out of her hands was run up to Romano and hug him tightly, hiding her tear-stained face from the fire’s bright orange light. The American saw just how she reacted and felt a small pang of guilt. “…Is it really that bad…?”
“SI!” both Italians shouted coldly.
The scream was enough to have the group that left for firewood rush back to the sight. “What happened?” Ciel asked.
“Are you alright?” Cutie asked as she staggered at Romano’s side.
The Italian clutched his hurting hand and nodded. “I’m fine bambina.” he huffed out. “That pony or whatever was wrong. I can’t do the fire thing…my daughter can.”
Paris was very confused before he tilted his head. “I guess it must be selective.” he concluded. “I noticed while we were gathering things for the fire that some people don’t have the abilities like Twilight said, but since it wasn’t many, I couldn’t confirm it just yet, and I kinda forgot who all I noticed… I’ll talk to Twilight about it.”
“That was a loud scream.” Rainbow Dash stated. “You think anyone else heard you?”
“I’d be surprised if no one heard him.” Bardroy stated, crossing his arms. “Don’t you remember? We must’ve been at least a mile away when we heard it.”
Rushing over was the other half of the group. Out of them all, Japan was the one who caught what was observed. “Bard-san is right.” the Japanese man nodded. “Tokyo-chan and I were even further and we still heard the scream.”
“Japan-nii, relax.” Tokyo shrugged. “In a forest like this, I doubt anyone could’ve been close enough to hear it. These trees must go on for miles.”
“You sure you’re okay?” Angela asked, kneeling on the ground next to where Romano sat, his daughter still at his side, clinging to his (good) arm.
“I’m fine.” Romano huffed out again.
When Italy saw the swelling in his older brother’s hand, he sobbed and collapsed Romano in a hug. “Are you okay fratello?! I promise I’ll never leave you all alone again! And since Venice already needs to stay with me, and Naples is staying with you, all four of us will stay together FOREVER! We NEVER leave each other’s sight! Never, ever, EVER!”
“I said I’m fine bastard!” Romano shouted. “Get off me! Your ‘hug therapy’ is only making it fucking worse!”
“Italy, please give him some space.” France requested calmly as he made his way over and moved his hands up, the plants following his fingers. Romano freaked out when he saw the plants climbing up his wrist like an odd creature. “Don’t worry, mon ami.” the blonde smiled. “I discovered this while I was searching for building objects for shelter.” he explained. “Apparently, I can control plants by the water inside the veins. I can control water outside plants as well.”
“…All of this…is so…fucked up…” was all Romano could muster as a reply while France made a bandage out of the grass and plants.
Louisiana glared at America after his explanation. “Not cool, bro!” she shouted. “NOT. COOL!” With that, she stormed off and jerked her arms straight, causing a tent made of stone to surface and shelter her, cutting her off from everyone else.
Twilight took out a spare paper she found in her pocket and took notes, thinking back to everyone she noticed had or didn’t have the special ability. She made a chart with four rows, one for ‘water’, one for ‘earth’, one for ‘fire’, and the last for ‘none’. Under each of the classified abilities, she wrote the names of the people she knew of that had the power, or not have any supernatural abilities.
Under ‘water’ she wrote, “Angel F., Angela B., Viniciano I., Twilight S., France”. Under ‘earth’ she wrote, “Tokyo, Angel D., Venice I., Rachel, Louisiana”. The only one under ‘fire’ was, “Naples I.”. The list for the ‘none’ column seemed like the longest with, “Japan, Mareuscript S., Justine M., Claude F., Christi P., Romano”.
“Hey!” America shouted. “It got the fire going, didn’t it?!” He stomped his foot on the ground and Louisiana was quickly and suddenly squashed between the elevated floor beneath her and the top of her makeshift tent.
“America! You idiot! I can’t breathe! Are you trying to kill me?!” the sister shouted and struggled.
“America.” Twilight added to her ‘earth’ list as America quickly tried to fix the problem he caused by accident, only making it worse and causing Louisiana to scream bloody murder. Somehow, when it was all done and over with, Louisiana was left with both her arms broken.
Hours later, as the group slept soundly, voices came in the distance. “I think it came from here.” a girl’s voice stated.
“I think you might be right, Katara.” another female voice sighed. “You sure it was a good idea to leave our brothers out of this?”
“Yes, I do, Josiphine.” Katara answered before the rustling stopped. “Where’s Angelica?”
“She wanted to stay with her sister, remember?” Josiphine stated as they made it to the camp where twenty-five people were found asleep, two of which groaning in pain. “Am I really the best one to help here? I mean, you’re the healer. You could’ve just asked Sokka or Chrima to help you out, we all know about your trust issues with me and my brother.”
“I-I just feel better with an extra set of eyes watching my back is all.” Katara stuttered as she wandered in the camp.
Josiphine smiled and crossed her arms. “You just wanted a field trip with me because Zuko and I took Sokka on a field trip.” she stated smugly. “Admit it! You miss the old days when I was Aang’s only firebending teacher.”
“This one is hurt badly.” Katara changed the subject to the man who cradled his unnaturally limp and swollen hand that was bandaged by various plants loosely. “Let’s take him back to camp.”
Josiphine arched a brow. “He’s obviously Fire Nation.” she pointed out. “You gonna trust him just like that?” she asked. “Besides, he has a camp right here!”
Katara groaned. “Let me rephrase it then, I’ll get him back to camp, you wake up everyone here and let them know where I’m taking him.” she stated. “Show them how to get there if they get worried. I’ll come back for her.” she gestured to the girl sprawled out under the earth tent with obviously broken arms. “I just don’t know how to move her carefully.”
The firebender nodded as the healer lifted Romano’s shoulders and dragged him away, oddly not waking him up. Naples stirred in her sleep from lack of cloth in her hand, but ignored it and fell back in her slumber. Josiphine slumped and sighed, approaching the girl in the tent. “I’ll wake them later.” she sighed as she gently took the teen in her arms and walked off, making sure to keep her broken limbs supported. “Thank you, Zuko and Iroh, for that intense training.”
America was the first to wake up and have a panic attack when he saw his sister not there. “Lou?” he called, looking over. “…Loui?!” he called louder as he tore the rock tent into rubble. “LOUISIANA!”
Twilight and Sebastian rushed over. “What’s wrong, America?” the former alicorn asked.
“My sister!” the American cried. “MY SISTER IS GONE!”
From across the camp, Naples searched everywhere she could think in just as much urgency and worry. “My papa’s gone too!” she cried, gaining France and Angela at her side. “What’s gonna happen?”
“Don’t worry.” Twilight stated powerfully. “I’m sure they’re around here somewhere.”
“Yeah,” Bard stated, forcing a smile. “how far can some wounded hot heads go alone?”
As they started to fan out and look, a twig snapping caught their attention and they all spun around tensely to see a teenage girl in a crimson and gold robe, her shoulder length dark brown hair simply hanging down around a flaming scar on her neck under her jaw that was poorly covered by a silver choker necklace. “…Hi.” she greeted. “I’m Josiphine.” she introduced before a little awkward pause and a cough. “I came by to tell you that my friends and I heard screams last night, so we tracked them here and found your hurt friends.” she stated. “They’re being healed as we speak. If you’d like to see for yourself, you can follow me to our camp.”
On the way there, the large group introduced themselves and the people injured. “So, what happened to them, if you don’t mind me asking.” Josiphine asked.
All fingers pointed to America. “…What?” he asked before he groaned. “Okay, I might’ve bent Romano’s wrist a little, but it was just to get Naples pissed off enough to get the fire going!…And I might’ve accidentally smashed Louisiana in her tent, but that was a complete accident! I didn’t know I’d do that!”
This caught the firebender’s attention. “…An earthbender your age…who doesn’t know the basics of earthbending?” she asked. “I have to say, I never heard that one before.”
“It’s true!” Rainbow Dash shouted. “Spiky, Black, Bulk Glasses, Paris, Pinki, Cutie, Bard, Shrimp, and I still don’t even know if we have these special powers, not that we even have a clue how to use them!” Sebastian and Ciel looked at her with furrowed brows at the sound of the odd nicknames while William shot her a glare through his glasses.
“…I have an actual name, you know.” the young Earl sighed in annoyance. “I do not require a nickname, so please don’t assign one to me.”
“…Sorry Shrimp.” Rainbow Dash huffed. Sebastian had to keep a firm hand on Ciel’s shoulder to keep him from ripping the former pony’s face off. Twilight glanced over as Rainbow Dash casually stated, “Add him to the list. If he had the special ability, his hand would be up in flames by now.” The former alicorn nodded and added “Ciel P.” to the ‘none’ list.
Josiphine glanced at them in curiosity before the former unicorn explained. “We’ve been making each other angry whenever we need something like a campfire or a tent, or to just figure out who has the abilities or not.” Mareuscript stated, causing the experienced firebender to shake her head.
“That’s not good.” she sighed. “Especially for firebenders. You lose your temper once, you go just a little too far off the deep end, you’ll easily do something you’ll regret for the rest of your life.” After some silence, they made it to the camp. “Well, here we are, Team Avatar Campsite.”
Naples made a beeline to the sound of Romano in a tent, Italy not far behind her after quickly telling Venice to stay with Japan. America rushed after them in high hopes that his sister was there too. “Papa!” the Italian teen called. “Papa!”
“In here!” Romano called in the tent as the three entered. Across the tent was a teenage girl in a light blue and white robe, a glowing glove of water on her hand that touched Romano’s hurt wrist. To the side, Louisiana was still asleep.
America collapsed next to his sister and hugged her tight, effectively waking her. “OW! America! Put me down!”
“Sorry!” the older brother dropped his sister, causing her to yelp again. “Sorry!”
She cringed for a while before she looked around the tent where Naples clung to Romano’s shirt and Italy wouldn’t stop hugging his brother. “…Where are we?” she asked.
“I’m sorry for the inconvenience.” the girl in blue apologized. “My name’s Katara. I found your camp not far from ours and saw that you were hurt, so we brought you here.”
Naples squeezed herself around her father’s waist. When she couldn’t find room between the brothers, she just hugged them both. “Papa, I thought you were gone!” Tears flooded out of her eyes as the father’s back started sizzling.
Out of instinct, Katara dowsed the three in heavy water. “…Sorry.” she apologized before continuing her work on the wrist. The splash was enough to snap Italy from his hugging as he moved his hands to bend the water out of his, his brother’s, and his niece’s clothes. “I know a fire starting when I see one. You should get that under control. We have two well trained and experienced firebenders who’d love to help you keep your hands in check.” She then turned to America. “And you.” she almost growled. “Romano told me all about what you did back at your camp. We have earthbenders who can teach you to control your abilities too. Find them and learn to control yourself.” She lastly faced Italy. “I can personally help teach you and any other waterbenders in your group also. Water is a healing element, but it could also be a deadly weapon.” Katara then tilted her head. “That reminds me, who bandaged Romano’s hand?”
“Big Brother France.” Italy answered. “He moved his hands and plants followed his motions, moving on their own like they were possessed! He’s always been good at health stuff, but that was scary!”
“Well, if he didn’t do that when he did, Romano would’ve been worse off.” the master sighed. “He deserves thanks.”
“Is Papa going to be okay?” the teen asked.
Katara sighed. “I need more time to examine it, but he should be just fine with proper care.”
“What about my sister?” America asked impatiently. “Will she be okay?”
The healer again let out a sigh. “I haven’t had time to look at her injuries yet. Now, I’m sorry to be rude, but I don’t want to be in the same tent as inexperienced benders while I’m working on them.”
“Can I stay?” Feliciano asked. “I can do the waterbending thingy too, so I can help, right?”
The master bender sighed. “…Alright. I can go right into it and show you some healing techniques if you really want to help.” As the waterbending Italian got closer to the master, Katara looked again at the other two in the tent. “Please. You can start training now, or you can wait outside the tent. Either way, I prefer if you two leave. Nothing personal.” The daughter didn’t want to leave her father, but sighed and nodded, leaving the tent, dragging America behind her.