By the hands of the Gods, you have been plucked from your time and from your world, dropped into the box.
Only the box is a world of its own.
We are a mass crossover based on the concept of Pandora's Box. Characters from nearly any fandom can be played here. Because of the endless character possibilities, we are canon only here at Pandora. Take a peek at our rules and plot information before starting your new life in Pandora.
Not that she’d ever been particularly antisocial—but, given the nature of her work, the fact that she worked alone and kept her identity as a Huntress concealed to protect herself from the cause of death for so many with silver eyes before her, well… she’d never really been able to form connections before. Not long-lasting ones, at any rate. Usually she’d blow into town, chat with the local population, maybe have a fling (or two—look, she was a woman, and occasionally had needs, ok?), and blow back out with the next change in winds, local Grimm defeated and population relatively calmed, with no one the wiser as to the connection between the two. (At least, until someone got wise and tracked her down, but Pandora had intervened at just the right time, so it didn’t really matter anymore.)
But Pandora was… different. For one thing, she had been staying in the same apartment for months now, longer than she’d lived anywhere since she’d left home to become a Huntress. Working as a bounty hunter took her all over the different regions in Pandora, sure, but she had a home to come back to now. A place to rest and relax. An anchor point.
And she also had friends.
At least one of whom, she thought, might be willing to share some… special baked goods.
In her defense, Maria hadn’t really ever felt… safe enough in her everyday life to just let loose and have fun. And a few nights ago, she’d stumbled across a recipe on StarkNet. It looked harmless enough, just make brownies and add the distillation of oils from a few plants which were supposed to have some… interesting side effects.
The only real mistake Maria had made was eating one of them on her way to Ozma’s place.
Which is what lead to her being on the front porch of a… truly mindbogglingly impressive mansion (which would probably look almost as impressive if she weren’t flying higher than a kite), leaning on the doorbell, and shifting from foot to foot trying to keep the blood flowing. (She probably should’ve dressed in more damn layers, her cloak could only do so much against a bitter winter chill.)
“Ozma!” she shouted, stressing the second syllable and then dissolving into giggles. “Come on, open up—please?! I’m freezing my tits off out here! I have brownies!”
All in all, this had turned into a bit of an unexpected gathering.
He called it a gathering because there were only three people, and three people didn't make a party. Plus, between James and Qrow, Oz was more braced to break up a fight than to actually enjoy himself. Not that they seemed to be heading in that direction yet, but Oz knew them both well enough to know that the winds could shift within a second. James could say something vaguely catty, Qrow would volley back with something definitely catty, and suddenly Oz would be worming his way between them both. One in one corner, and the other in the opposite.
Of course, that had been the case before. Back when he spoke and he knew they were going to listen. Now he was half a foot shorter than them, and they both had a tendency to treat him like some odd combination between an invalid and a child. Goodness only knew if they would actually split up if Oz tried getting between them now. They would probably just pick him up and toss him out of the way.
And then he would probably explode and wipe out half the house. He would probably hurt someone, or worse. He would probably...
He drank, wrinkling his nose at the raw taste of alcohol, because he was definitely not a master bartender. Too much time around Qrow. He seemed to take his drinks practically straight nowadays.
Oz wasn't even with Qrow and James at the moment. He'd crept away (to feel sorry for himself) to breathe and get his bearings, and to send Merlin a(nother) text. Seeing as this had been an impromptu thing, Ozma hadn't actually told him it was happening, so now he felt like an idiot for sending a very belated, half-drunk invitation. He didn't expect Merlin to take him up on it. He would probably prefer the quiet of Schola.
Oz would prefer the quiet of Schola. He missed Merlin already. This was--
His head shot up at the knock at the door, and a slightly familiar voice on the other side, yelling his name. Immediately, Oz's reaction was a visceral swell of uncertainty and tense anticipation, wondering who had found him now.
Then, he remembered exactly who it was, and he relaxed. Maria was a good person. She was clever, and strong, and Oz had felt very much like she needed some friends around her. He didn't know why.
Plus, she could help him break up a fight if James and Qrow decided that was how they wanted to spend the evening.
He opened the door with a smile, though it was edged with a layer of confusion. Maria already sounded a bit out of it, if he was being honest, and had she mentioned brownies? "You brought snacks? James has snacks, you didn't need-- ooooh."
His eyebrows shot up, and then Oz's smile turned into a definite smirk as he held open the door. "Come in." He debated just trying to force one on James without telling him, but Ozma was too kind-hearted for that. That could be a nasty shock, especially to someone like James.
Qrow, on the other hand...
"Just see if Qrow wants one. He looks like he hasn't eaten in a week. Poor thing." Oz advised jauntily, taking another deep swig of his drink, which was basically empty. "Try not to giggle too much. He might die."
It was new-years-fucking-eve in Pandora, and Qrow wasn't planning on remembering midnight. In a way, it wasn't new years eve. For one, the year marker didn't change going from December to January, like it did in most places. Instead, it was apparently August to September. Didn't stop Oz from throwing a get-together as he seemed keen on calling it. Because 'three or four people isn't a party'. Not with that attitude.
Was he drunk already?
Pandora...Pandora could eat it, honestly. The sort of shit he was dealing with wasn't even something a normal person should have to deal with. Everyone hating you because you ruined your own life without actually being there for it? C'mon. That wasn't fair. Though that sort of went hand-in-hand with his dumb Semblance. Impossibly stupid and bad situations that honestly shoved more alcohol into his mouth. Funny how he was thinking about cutting back right before he entered Pandora.
Qrow took another shot, wincing as that welcoming burn hit him. Wait...where the fuck was Oz? He glanced over at James, before just leaving the room. There were some voices in the distance that drew him in; memory telling him that was in the direction of the front door of this damned labyrinth of a house. Oz was standing at the front door talking to...someone. The voice sounded familiar - causing him to keep on walking forward.
"Holy shit, you invited the Grimm Reaper," he put his arm around Oz's shoulders as he came up behind him - choosing to ignore the comment about his weight. Yeah, yeah - he knew.
"Qrow does want one," he did acknowledge that part at least, reaching over with his free hand to grab one of the brownies - taking a bite without hesitation.
It was New Year's. Or, well. It was supposed to be New Year's. All right, so it wasn't New Year's in this world, but what did that matter? It was New Year's for them, so they might as well celebrate it. If just the three of them gathered in James' spacious living room could even been thought of as celebrating.
James didn't even remember the last time they'd all been together like this. It felt like it'd been months ago, maybe even years ago. All they needed to complete this gathering would be Glynda, but last he'd heard of her she was trying to rebuild Beacon. Which was, in fact, when they'd last been all together.
Well, almost all of them...
Oz was still a strange sight, but James had gotten used to him over the last few months, oversized pyjamas and all. Qrow was even more determined than usual to drink himself into an early grave, and James? Well, James hoped he was doing better than either of them, but the sad truth was that he probably wasn't.
What did you even do in a world that had stripped you of the purpose you'd been striving towards for the last twenty years of your life?
So James just took another sip of wine, feeling pleasantly warm. Or maybe that was because of the fire crackling cheerfully away in the fireplace. It was something of a cosmetic effect, when the house was equipped with central heating, but it was nice all the same. He was starting to feel a little too warm, though. Maybe he shouldn't have worn a turtleneck. Or maybe he should stop drinking.
Or maybe not.
Lost in thought as he was, he didn't notice Oz slip away, but he did notice Qrow slink off somewhere. Sighing to himself, James slowly rose and decided he ought to gather his friends before they wandered off somewhere and gave his staff more work to do.
When he found them gathered at the door, where a young woman was standing cradling a plate of food, James blinked in surprise. “I didn't know we were expecting more company,” he said, already feeling... off-center. It wasn't the young woman's fault, of course not. But he would have liked some warning beforehand.
“Please, come in,” he offered, smiling politely. She didn't look like she was dressed warmly at all, on that note. “Warm yourself by the fireplace.”
Turning towards Oz, he smiled wider and muttered under his breath, “Is there anyone else you've invited to my house that I should know about? Merlin, perhaps? Or the Chancellor of Ark City?”