(Featured image base by: naoko tomomi)
Though he was unhappy about it, Tomoe got the four guest rooms ready for the 35 unexpected visitors. In two of the rooms, he placed 8 futons while in one of the other two, he had nine, and the last had ten futons inside. They separated by families and went in the rooms that best fit them.
In one of the rooms, America, Louisiana, Angelica, Toph, Bardroy, Rachel, Sokka, Katara, and Chrima decided to sleep. In the room across the hall, Sebastian, Justine, Twilight, Mareuscript, Japan, Tokyo, Ciel, and Christi stayed. In another room right next door, Zuko, Azula, Josiphine, Claude, Angela, Angel, Pinki, and Cutie plopped on the mattresses. Rainbow Dash, AD, France, Paris, William, Jeremy, Romano, Naples, Italy, and Venice decided to reside in the room across from Zuko’s and Claude’s.
Poking his head around in curiosity, he peeked in the first room. America was clutching his head agitatedly while Angelica and Louisiana were fighting over him; Bardroy, Toph, and Rachel sat in the corner trying so desperately to ignore it. Off to the side, Katara, Sokka, and Chrima were successfully ignoring it and having a serious conversation.
“He’s MY brother! He has been forever!”
“Well, news flash, America likes me better now! Face it, American! You’re being replaced!”
“News flash to you, fancy pants! America and I went through so much more together than just a few months’ worth of lessons that he’ll never need to know again! He can NEVER replace me!”
America looked up to see the fox in the doorway. Eyeing the two teenage girls bickering, he slipped around them and sneaked to the door to meet the host. “Sorry about that.” he apologized, Bard saw the American move as he rushed to follow his lead. “I promise, Louisiana is usually more well-behaved than this. She never picked a fight before.”
At the silence, the American looked over at the yokai as the blonde newcomer made his way over. “What’s up?”
As Tomoe shook the confusion from his head, his white fox ears smacking his face, Sokka and Katara got up from the side and made their own way to the fox, clearly with something important to say. Tomoe simply smiled. “I never got to properly introduce myself. I am Tomoe, the familiar of this shrine.”
“Name’s Bardroy.” the cook stated, shaking the fox’s hand firmly. “Over in the corner is my little sister, Rachel, but we met already…sorry about the prank from earlier. I promise it won’t happen again.”
Tomoe nodded in acknowledgment. “I’m Sokka.” the brunette teenage boy introduced. “This is my sister, Katara, and that’s our baby sister, Chrima.”
The fox nodded before turning to the other American. “America. Nice to meet you, and again, sorry about my li’l sis.” America smiled, extending his hand. As the young adult’s fingers curled around his slender hand, Tomoe yelped in pain, to which America let go, shocked as Bard, Sokka, and Katara jumped from the yelp. “…I’m so sorry!” he apologized. “I swear I didn’t put that much in the handshake!”
Tomoe forced a smile through the pain of his throbbing hand. “N-no need to apologize.” he stated. “You’re simply much stronger than you look…I think my hand is broken…” He looked down at the crooked fingers that turned red from the blood clogged in his veins from the impact.
The American cook took a look at the hand and smiled. “Nah!” he laughed. “Just give it some space. It’ll be fine before you know it!” The yokai simply smiled forcefully.
Katara shot America a glare. “…With or without bending, you still can cause problems.”
“I said I was sorry!” America shouted. “GOD! You’re NOT going to let me live ANY of that down, are you?!”
The teen girl sighed as she looked over to Tomoe kindly. “Are you alright? I could bandage that for you.”
“I’m fine.” the fox insisted.
Sokka looked at his sister confused. “Just bandage?” he asked. “What about your freaky water magic?”
“You’re STILL on that?!” Katara shouted. “It’s NOT magic! It’s waterbending!” She then folded in herself in embarrassment. “And…I can’t use it anymore…” she mumbled. “I tried, but I probably won’t be able to until we get back to-”
She was interrupted as Tomoe’s ears went straight up. The two girls started to throw things at each other, a lamp aimed for the fox’s head. Hurriedly, he shut the door as America leaned back, Bardroy ducked, and Sokka pushed Katara out of the way to the side, all dodging narrowly. With that, the yokai clutched his head. “…Teenagers…”
Continuing to the next room, he peeked in the door to see the futons moved to where two were on the left, right, and four along the back wall of the room. To his left, Mareuscript, Tokyo, Christi, and Justine giggled and laughed as they whispered amongst themselves in the corner. On his right, Sebastian, Japan, Ciel, and Twilight held a conversation as well, but much more serious. They tossed ideas back and forth on what to do now. Taking a deep breath, Tomoe approached the parents and brothers. “Hello.” he greeted. “I’m sorry to interrupt, but I just wanted to properly introduce myself. My name is Tomoe, I am the familiar of this shrine. I assume you already met my daughters, Asami, Akimi, and Natsumi.”
Sebastian stood straight and smiled. “We have met Asami and Akimi, though, I don’t recall seeing Natsumi. They have mentioned another sister earlier though.” he stated. “I completely apologize for not showing proper manners. I am Sebastian Michaelis, and over in the corner is my daughter, Justine. The young blonde talking with her is my Young Mistress, Christi, and this here is my Young Master, Ciel.” Ciel huffed in annoyance at the sound of ‘Young Mistress’ and ‘Young Master’, however, he didn’t bother to speak his mind.
“I’m Twilight Sparkle.” the former alicorn introduced herself. “Over there with Justine is my own daughter, Mareuscript.”
“And I am Japan.” Japan bowed. “Speaking with Justine-chan and Mare-chan is my younger sister, Tokyo-chan.”
The yokai took in a deep breath, choosing his words carefully. “My daughters already introduced me to your daughters, and your sister earlier.” he stated with slightly gritted teeth.
To that, the crow demon smiled nervously as the Japanese man lowered his head in an apologetic bow. “I apologize for that.” Japan stated. “Tokyo-chan is usually better behaved than that.”
“I too apologize.” Sebastian added. “It’s my daughter’s friend, Angel Faustus. She has the power to multiply and create illusions. She and Justine both have pulled similar pranks on me, her mother, as well as Angel’s own parents countless times before. Teenage girls will be teenage girls I suppose.”
Tomoe smiled. “It’s alright. For now, if you need any help, don’t hesitate to ask.” The four smiled and nodded with a small bow as the fox left the room.
Looking in the next room, Tomoe was quite frightened of the night black haired fifteen-year-old that appeared to be losing her mind. Her hair fell over her golden eyes and she curled up in the far corner. Looking at her in concern was the seventeen-year-old boy with the large scar over his eye and the fourteen-year-old girl with dark brown hair. Across the room, the spider demon clung to his daughter’s side, annoying her to quite a degree as the teen’s mother simply watched them from the sidelines, giggling slightly. Paying no attention, by the side wall, was Pinki and Cutie as they both pulled out random coloring books and started to color quite sloppily, both of them still not used to having hands instead of hooves.
Tomoe entered, cautiously approaching the trio of teens. “…Is something wrong?” he asked the teenage boy.
“My sister just has mental breakdowns when she finds she doesn’t have any power.” the prince sighed.
“We can’t firebend here like we could back at home for some reason.” the young princess added.
A light went off in the fox’s head when he remembered what Katara had said about not having some water ability anymore. Awkwardly, he cleared his throat before struggling to return the smile to his lips. “…I only came to see if you needed anything and to introduce myself. I’m Tomoe, the familiar of this shrine.”
“I’m Zuko.” the teen introduced. “These are my sisters, Azula and Josiphine.”
Hearing names out in the open, the black-haired father turned his head and smiled. “I’m Claude Faustus.” he introduced himself. “This is Angel, my daughter, and Angela, her mother.”
“Asami and Akimi already introduced me to you.” the fox stated, his tone adding a sharp edge to his voice as he looked down at the teen. “The ability to copy, if I’m not mistaken.”
Hearing his tone get darker and more threatening, Angel tried harder to back away, only to be pulled tighter to Claude’s side, as impossible as she thought was. The spider smiled sweetly with his eyes shut to emphasize the innocence. “I apologize for my daughter’s behavior. I promise it won’t happen again. This is your home, and we are simply grateful guests. Right Angel?”
“I’m sorry Mr. Tomoe.” Angel apologized with a low bow. “I promise I won’t use my powers to make copies of Akimi again.”
“We’re sorry for doing that too, Mr. Foxy!” Pinki apologized, pausing in her coloring. “As Cutie’s mom, I should be the responsible one, but I wasn’t. I take full blame for our participation.”
Angela looked up at Tomoe questioningly after the pink haired woman’s apology was acknowledged. “You said this is a shrine.” she stated. “What is this shrine for? A memorial?” This question attracted Zuko’s and Josiphine’s attention and detached Pinki and Cutie as the two Pies returned to their coloring books. The two teens strayed from their crazy sister and drifted to the new conversation.
“Not exactly.” the yokai explained. “My Lady and Mistress, Nanami, is the Land God of this region. This shrine is built as a place for her worshipers to come and pray where they know their prayers would be answered, or at least heard.”
They nodded in understanding before Josiphine smiled. “If your Lady and Mistress is a God of this world, does she have the power to return us all home?” she asked.
Tomoe took a deep breath through his clenched teeth as his spine tensed at the triggering question. “…I wouldn’t depend on it.” he stated. “Though Nanami is very determined, she is still not a true god. She doesn’t have the full power yet, and still has much to learn.”
“Is there anyone else you can think of who can help us?” Claude asked, turning his head slightly in the kitsune’s direction.
The yokai thought for a moment before he shrugged. “There are many gods, and thousands of yokai more powerful than me, but there’s always the question of one, do they have the power to return you home, two, are they willing to help.”
“Well, we’ll figure it out.” Zuko stated confidently. “We’ve been in worse situations, right, Josephine?”
To that, the sister shrugged. “…Well…I guess…? That is one way of looking at it…I just wish Uncle Iroh were here.”
With that, Tomoe bowed slightly. “If there is anything you need, please come to me.” Once they all nodded in understanding, he left the room and shut the door. Shaking his head slightly, he sighed before moving on.
In the last room, Rainbow Dash, William, and France were deep in conversation. Across the room, Romano tossed a random tennis ball to the ceiling as he laid on his futon. Jeremy gazed out the window, off in his own little world. Just like with Justine, Mareuscript, and Tokyo, AD, Paris, Italy, Venice, and Naples held their own conversation, which must’ve been lighter hearted with how much they giggled and laughed.
Tomoe entered the room, going straight for the more serious trio. “Hello.” he greeted. When their attention was on him, he took a deep breath to repeat the same line once again. “I came to properly introduce myself, I’m Tomoe, the familiar of this shrine.”
Rainbow Dash gave a nervous chuckle as she rubbed the back of her neck. “…About earlier…sorry. It was your kids’ idea!”
“I too apologize for Jeremy’s behavior.” William apologized on his son’s behalf. “Won’t happen again.”
“It’s alright.” he huffed. “If I’m not used to Asami’s pranks by now, I’ll never be used to them.”
“Yeah, yeah, yeah.” Romano huffed. “You came to tell us your name. When you come in here to tell us you can get us all home, then call me.”
“Papa!” Naples scolded before turning to the offended yokai. While she stood and rushed to Tomoe to speak face to face, Italy jumped up and hugged Romano for his long awaited ‘Hug Therapy Time’ as Venice sat straight and stiff. “Please excuse him.” the teen chuckled. “He’s just a little homesick is all. I’m Naples, and that’s my papa, Italia Romano…the one hugging him to death is mio zio, Italia Viniciano, and there,” She pointed to the young girl. “is my cousin, Venice.” Tomoe nodded before Naples rubbed her arm. “I’m also sorry for the prank earlier. Asami and Akimi said that if we didn’t participate, then we wouldn’t be able to properly repay them for their hospitality. I didn’t know you were their father.”
The yokai smiled and sighed. “Don’t worry about it.” he reassured. “I’m going to have a long conversation with them later either way.”
Regardless of the awkwardness, France smiled. “I’m France, and over with AD and Naples is my little brother, Paris.”
“And I’m William.” the grim reaper introduced. “By the window is my own son, Jeremy. Though, you’ve already been acquainted.”
“I get it, dad! Nothing I do is right! You don’t have to drill it in my head every time you feel the need to say something to someone!” Jeremy shouted.
Tomoe looked over at the young man gestured to, and furrowed his brows. “Is he alright?”
“He’ll be fine.” William stated. “As long as I keep him in check, he’ll be fine and far from trouble!”
“Screw you too ‘dad’!”
Naples tilted her head in thought before taking a deep breath. “Well, everyone else should help us think of a way home.” she stated. “It involves them too.”
Rainbow Dash groaned. “Do we really need Scar Face and his crazy sis?” she asked.
Paris nodded. “Believe it or not, they are really useful.” He then turned to Tomoe. “Would you mind spreading the word?”
The kitsune smiled. “Not at all.” he stated. “I will also let my daughters know. Perhaps they’d have an idea that is over our heads.”
Once everyone gathered in the backyard, due to the main room of the shrine being too small, Twilight was the one who started the meeting. “I know we are all tired, and a little upset that the plan failed,”
“AGAIN!” Romano added.
The deep purple eyes of the alicorn glared at the Italian. “…Yes. Also, I understand you are all very homesick, I am too, but we need to put our heads together and hopefully it will work! Five times the charm, right?”
Tomoe raised his brows. “…Five times?” he asked. “You all have been jumping from realm to realm four times already?”
“At first it wasn’t on purpose.” Mareuscript stated. “You see, how it started was that my mom was trying to learn a new spell to teleport herself at a great distance, then we ended up in another realm, and we got caught in this cycle.”
Azula looked up at Twilight, crossing her arms. “So, we have you to blame for this pathetic peasant game of Ring Around the Rosy.”
“It wasn’t Twilight’s fault!” Pinki shouted. “It was the spell’s fault for making this happen!”
Rainbow Dash glanced at the pink haired woman. “…That made…no sense…”
“You’re acting really high and mighty, since you got caught in this mess too, Azula!” Jeremy shouted.
Azula looked over at the far off teen. “I’m sorry,” she chuckled sarcastically. “Do I even know you?”
“You are SO lucky that I don’t have my death scythe, otherwise, I’d REAP you in your sleep!”
“Jeremy!” William shouted, clutching his son’s sleeve as the young reaper attempted to get up. “Right now isn’t the time!”
“Yes, listen to your babysitter, Jeremy.”
“Azula!” the princess’ younger sister scolded. “You can’t just say things like that! Not here at least!”
“And why not?” she huffed out.
“Twilight’s a princess back at home!” AD defended the alicorn. “Just like how you were a princess in yours.”
“Honestly, who cares?” Natsumi asked, bringing attention to herself for the first time. “Royalty, generals, nobles, everyday people…or ponies…who cares who you all were back in your own homes?” she asked. “What matters now is that you are all in this situation together, and you need to work together to get out of it.”
Chrima smiled. “She’s right!” she exclaimed. “It doesn’t matter how we all got roped in this big mess! We’ll all get out of it together!”
Angela then took control of the meeting. “Tomoe, are you sure that your Land God isn’t powerful enough to at least get us out of this realm?”
“Nanami can barely make the flowers bloom.” Tomoe answered. “No one else who can help you comes to mind.”
“That’s not true!” Akimi shouted to her father. “There’s Mikage-oji! Remember?”
To that, the fox sighed. “…Sweetheart, Mikage hasn’t returned to the shrine in twenty years. Seeing as how he gave his mark to Nanami, I doubt he will return at all.”
“Who’s Mikage?” Ciel asked. “Is he, or is he not, willing to help?”
Tomoe rubbed his purple eyes, groaning. “Mikage is the former Land God of this region.”
“But…this Mikage-sama…” Japan stated. “He still has the power to return us home.”
The yokai shrugged, tilting his head one way before quickly tilting it the other way. His head went back and forth for a few moments as his face scrunched up more and more in uncertainty. “…Yes, I suppose he could help, but there’s the problem of finding him.” he continued. “He disappeared twenty years ago, and has yet to return.”
“So, the new plan!” Rainbow Dash exclaimed. “Find Mikage, get him to take us all home, then move on with our lives.”
“I like this plan~” sang a new voice behind Asami as the teen girl jumped.
Turning around, the oldest kitsune daughter growled. “MIZUKI!” she roared, choking the snake in her tight grip. “What are YOU doing HERE?!”
“Lord Otohiko decided to take Nanami for a little boot camp for her divine power.” he croaked. “She told me to come back, so I thought I’d see how things were going here, and if I missed anything.” His turquoise eyes looked around the large group. “…I think I missed quite a lot, but I’m catching up~ You want to find Mikage so he could help all these people go back home. That plan seems flawless~”
The large group nodded, murmuring small things that all basically said that it was a good plan. “Are you all deaf?!” Tomoe exclaimed, silencing the 35 visitors and even his daughters and Mizuki, who included themselves in conversations with the Louisiana, Paris, Justine, and Chrima. “Mikage has vanished! He is a former god! For all I know, he could be nowhere near this shrine, this town, this city, this country, or even this REALM! He could be anywhere!”
Asami, Natsumi, and Akimi were about to say something but were hesitant in the dense silence. “…But Oto,” Natsumi finally whispered, no louder than a needle landing on the grass even a cricket would’ve overpowered her. To the group though, she was as loud as thunder. “We have to at least try.” she sighed.
Gazing at the group of faces, she gestured to each small family. “Twilight is a princess in training, still didn’t get used to her wings, but still trying her hardest. Mareuscript is supposed to be training to expand her magical abilities. Rainbow Dash is the captain of the weather team and the Rainbow Factory. AD volunteers to care for animals while her mom works, and learns to fly higher and faster when her mom is there to coach her. Pinki Pie and Cutie Pie hold responsibilities for a record of all the residence in their town and the cheerfulness the population carries. In an instant, they had to give up everything they know to transition from pony to human.
“America is a commander of the American air force, and the best flier on their squad, as well as second in command for anything political in the United States. Louisiana keeps the peace between America and the Europeans and Asians, as well as conduct experimentation for war bombs, assisted in inventing the Atomic-Bomb, the Hydrogen-Bomb even, and is the co-founder and first in command at NASA. Romano and Viniciano…are…very much loved and missed by their family and friends.” The older Italian’s face turned bright tomato red at the sound of that as he averted his eyes, finding a sudden interest in the soft, green grass while the younger Italian was left unphased. “Naples is the Top General of the Italian army, lead men into battle, mostly coming home victorious. Venice is soon to follow in her cousin’s footsteps, already learning how to plan a battle and how to counteract an attack. Japan and France both, like America, are second in command with anything political in their countries and are responsible for military action and training. Tokyo is the commander of the navy, and the one responsible for peace negotiations, as well as war declarations. Paris trains in the French armies and is skilled with a rifle. He, along with his brother and friends were all ripped, not only from their realm but also from their own time, landing in London England from the 1890’s.
“Sebastian is responsible for the life of Ciel and Christi. He has organized the manner he works at into a battle fortress with four of the best humans in the realm. Justine has the same responsibility for the same children, but she is also a Grim Reaper. Her reaper mother overreacts and worries about her safety (a lot like you). She is currently the top in her reaper class. William trains new Grim Reapers and is Justine’s uncle and Jeremy’s father. Jeremy holds more pride for his race than is good for him while constantly competing with his half-sister, Justine. Ciel is known in his hometown as the Queen’s Watch Dog and has a double job. By day, he runs factories all over his world, by night, he solves murder cases and carries out a sentence. Christi is in the process of learning what she can from Ciel so she could carry on the family business when she’s not even a Phantomhive by blood.” Everyone was shocked by this, especially Pinki Pie. “In truth, Christi is Sebastian’s youngest daughter, however, has to pretend to be Ciel’s sister due to complications. Bardroy is one of the four best humans Sebastian chose to protect the home they serve. His daily responsibility is to prepare meals, but he also is in charge of weapon inventory (often mistaking the flame thrower as a cooking utensil). Rachel is another human hand chosen by Sebastian alongside her older brother. Her own daily responsibilities include assisting the main maid in her own chores, but she has also been put in command of many of the weaponry, especially the ones including fire power. Angela is still new to being a mother. She works as an assistant maid for a Trancy boy, and what time she could spare, she spends with her only daughter, teaching her, mainly how to fly, but also to understand the angel side of her of which was never taught to her. Claude is basically a slave to the same Trancy boy, working as a butler, and works hard to satisfy his roller coaster needs and emotions, as well to keep his daughter busy, entertained, and happy. Angel is the only daughter of Claude and Angela and feels as though she is ripped in half being half angel half demon. She works as an assistant butler by her father’s side and has since he fell under a contract. All of them were separated from their responsibilities, with no clue as to what is happening to the manners they serve, nor how to return home.
“All three of those groups haven’t seen home in months.
“Zuko is a banished prince with a complicated, painful past. He was born to be the next ruler of the islands his family rules over. Azula is the middle child of the royal family but never experienced life any less than the finest. She was always the most powerful teen her nation has ever seen. Josiphine is the youngest, and, like Zuko, has a complicated past. She served as her brother’s guide since his banishment and stayed by his side, even when she knew he made a wrong decision. Angelica is the first born to the richest family of her realm. She has the responsibility of caring for her younger sister due to her blindness. Toph is the most powerful in her skills. She invented a way to see without using her eyes and instead, feeling vibrations through her feet. Her and Angelica make up the most undefeated ‘wrestling’ team in their realm. Sokka and Katara hold their own responsibility to a young boy, Aang, tasked with his safety when the fate of their world depends on the survival of that boy. Chrima has no memory of her past from before she was found by Sokka, and the longer she is from their world, the harder it would be to put her past back together. Now, none of these people have anywhere close to the same power they had, literally, this morning. They have to learn new ways to do everything from defending themselves, to just walking around without smacking into a wall.”
Asami looked at her skeptically. “…How did you know all that?”
“Justine told me everything.” she explained.
Her father bit his lip in thought, crossing his arms. “…Alright. Here’s my proposal. You all can stay here as long as you need, and, to keep your cover up, you will all attend the same school as my daughters and I. I still say it’s a fool’s errand, but I will supply you with all that you need to search for Mikage. Once you find him, you request him to return you to your homes. Does that sound fair?” Everyone nodded in agreement.