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.
Much like when she met the rest of the group, after discovering that pretty much everyone was already in Pandora, the rest of the group quickly embraced her again. Something for which she was grateful and continued to be grateful. Haru couldn´t be happier knowing that she was surrounded by friends again.
And even though she had gotten used to cascade bay, with all the unique and interesting ways that it worked seeing as magic was an actual thing there, she was glad she´d be staying with Ren and Futaba soon. As soon as they had picked up the last of her items from the small apartment she had been staying at. Located neighbouring the herbalist shop she had been helping at.
¨Have you ever been to the Crystal Vales before Ryuji-kun?¨ Haru asked politely as they were passed by a small patrol of knights. Nothing out of the ordinary to her, neither had the somewhat stranger magical beings been earlier. But it was all very different from Japan, or well any place that she had ever been on Earth. A short time later they arrived at her, old, front door. Which she unlocked while making small talk, leading her friend to what until recently had been her living room.
Most of her personal belongings were already packed and in Ark City. Haru didn't exactly have a lot of them, not yet at least. But she did have quite a few plants.And that was why they were now here. She had already gifted the ones that wouldn't survive out in Ark City and that just left them with the rather colourful collection that was coming with her. ¨Thank you for helping me with these, I´ve already prepared the boxes, but some of them can be a bit of a handful¨
Two months. Two friggin' months. Haru had apparently been in Pandora all this time and they just never knew, even when they made a trip over to the mountain resort that, as expected, wasn't around anymore. Ryuji felt kinda bad that they didn't bring Haru along for that but... not much they could do about it now.
"Yeah, we came to Cascade Bay for a beach trip around my birthday," he answered her question as he looked at his surroundings, the knights having grabbed his attention as they passed by. It was still kinda wild that there were real knights and shit in this place. "We also spent a week at the lodge over at those mountains that aren't around anymore. Would've invited you if I knew you were around," his voice became more apologetic as he spoke.
Haru seemed to be doing fine on her own, at least. It sucked that she had to be alone all this time, or at least, she hadn't said anything about any friends she made in the Bay. Either way, she was going to join them now and Ryuji didn't mind helping her with moving.
"Handful?" he asked, tilting his head slightly. "Whaddya mean? They're just plants, right?" he said the last word with a more uncertain tone, as suddenly he felt dread starting to well up in his gut.
Everyone else had been in Pandora for quite some time. It would have been nice to spend that time with them of course, but she was there now. And Haru preferred to look towards the future. She was certain she could make many beautiful memories with her friends now that she was here. And making those memories would be a lot easier once that she had moved to Ark City.
¨That's alright, it´s been a while since I went skiing, i´m not sure how good I would have been. We can go on other trips with everyone¨ she knew she would have been invited. And on her part she would have accepted even if it had been a while since she went skiing. But it had all passed. She hadn't tried to get her phone fixed so how could they have known.
¨Well yes but every plant needs to be treated just a bit differently¨ plants were as unique as people. But a lot easier to read all together. ¨The cacti have thorns and those can be a brittle so you have to take care when handling them¨ the same thorns also stung if you touched them but that was rather obvious. Next she indicated a plant with green leaves and pink dots on it. ¨my polka dot can be a bit overdramatic, but she´ll perk up as soon as i give her some water when we make it to the city¨ even if the move took two days the plant would be fine, though the leaves did look faint.
¨Nephie has trouble containing his veins so he sometimes taps someone with them¨ well tap them and then try to drag them towards the vat of the plant. It was still carnivorous after all. ¨and my vanishing lilly gets shy so she's going to stay like that for the trip¨ the pot looked empty, the plant having pulled up their defenses already. But Haru loved all her plants, and she got great joy out of caring for them. ¨But i promise they'll all be fine¨
Ryuji knew... absolutely nothing about gardening. He didn't have the patience for that kind of thing. It took too long for plants to grow and having to water them, make sure the dirt they were in was good... that stuff felt like an annoying chore.
Haru was pretty good at it though and Ryuji respected that. If she wanted to, she could probably grow her own food and that was pretty cool. The plants she had here seemed to be more for decoration though, or just because she liked them. A lot of them didn't seem all that familiar to him either, not that he knew a lot about plants.
Of all of them, however, the one that grabbed his attention the most was the one in the seemingly empty pot. "Wait, hold up! You tellin' me you have a plant that can turn invisible!?" he asked in awe, stepping closer to it and trying to look from different angles to see if he could spot even a hint of something being there. "Daaamn, I didn't know plants like that existed!" He grinned.
Haru hummed affirmatively. Happy to share her interest in plants with he friends. She couldn't have a greenhouse in cascade bay because she was living in a apartment and her balcony wasn't like the one at home. So for now she only had her indoor plants, maybe she could look into community gardens at ark city, it would be nice to grow her own food again.
¨If you´re gentle you can try touching it, it just looks like there's nothing there but you'll feel it eventually¨ and it felt like any other plant really. ¨Pandora has a lot of plants that don't exist back home. Like that one¨ and like a few other plants there. They were all lovely and unique.
¨I´ve been trying my best with them, and they are all still growing¨ some were growing a bit too much and worryingly so. But that was more because of the plant then because of her care, she just had to make sure she kept up with caring for it.
Curious, Ryuji tried to poke the plant as gently as he could possibly manage. The last thing he wanted to do was piss off Haru by hurting one of her plants. Hell, he wasn't sure if he would make out of it alive if he did that. He slooowly moved his forward, until he actually felt it touch something even though he couldn't see anything. He even brushed his finger against it a couple of times just to make sure.
"This is so cool!" he said, his voice sounding like an awe-struck child.
Unsurprisingly, this kind of plant didn't actually exist in their world and was more of a Pandora thing. A bit disappointing to hear, but still, pretty wild. He hadn't actually seen any weird plants in Pandora so far. Weird animals, sure, he even had his own, but plants were something he didn't usually care about.
It then dawned on Ryuji that he was getting very distracted from he was supposed to be doing here, so he straightened himself up and looked back at Haru. "So, uh... how should I go about takin' 'em to the house?"
It was little moments like this that made experiences like this one and the friendships she had formed. For her everything in this room was just part of her life in pandora. But for Ryuji it had been something entirely new, and something he probably wouldn't have gone out of his way to experience otherwise.
But they did have a job to do and Ryuji was right to get them both back on track. ¨I was thinking that I could go over them, make sure that they've had a final trimming, and then you can wrap them up¨ she had brought some burlap for insulation and keeping the stems safe in transport. Everything else should be fine.
¨After that you can place them in one of the two boxes and then we can each take one of those back¨ and that should be it. She could unwrap them and give them all a new spot back home, it would be good to see them all there.
Sounded simple enough. Wait for Haru to go over a plant, then wrap it and put it in the box. He had to be... careful to not damage the plant while wrapping it, but that shouldn't be too hard... right?
... Maybe it was better to play it safe, unless he wanted to risk pissing Haru off.
"Sounds good! Just, uh... can you show me how to wrap 'em without hurting 'em? Just, y'know, makin' sure I'll do it right," he said, his voice sounding more nervous as he flashed Haru an awkward smile.
Ooh right yes, Ryuji clearly had a lot less experience with plants then she did. Maybe she should help him with the first. All in all if he showed the same care as he had just done then they would be fine. ¨Of course let´s take the Lilly first, that should be the hardest seeing as you can´t see where the plant actually is¨ she said with a small giggle, picking up the pot and walking over to the packaging materials, putting it down for him.
¨Ideally you want the burlap to give a bit of extra support. So just wrap it around the plant gently, they are just house plants so the stems, flowers and leaves are quite movable but you don´t wanna over stretch them, otherwise they might break. and no one needed an impromptu trimming.
Dealing with the invisible flower first, yeah, that was a good call. Ryuji paid attention to what Haru said and proceeded to slowly wrap it with the burlap, making sure to not pull any part of the plant too far although... it was kinda hard to tell when he couldn't see shit. Still, he didn't hear anything snap as he wrapped it so... that was good enough?
Once he was done with it, Ryuji perked up. "'Kay, let's finish this up then!" he spoke with renewed confidence.
Now Haru could do her last check-up on the plants and all he had to do was wrap this ones that were ready to go. If he could do it to an invisible plant without destroying it, then the other ones were going to be easy.
The first plant went well and satisfied with the result she carefully placed the now wrapped plant in the box. Giving Ryuji the next one. Most of her plants were just like that, straightforward a few of them could probably have survived the rougher treatment without extra protection.
Things went by rather quickly, until they were down to the last few plants. Including her nephie. The only plant she had trimmed the night before on account that it got a bit testy when that happened. As soon as she picked up the pot it tried to wrap one of his vines around her wrist, only for her to dislodge it and going on with bringing it over to her friend.
¨This one might be a little active, but if you get all of it´s vines it´ll be fine¨ well if he didn´t put his fingers in the plant´s vat, that would sting a bit. But she was sure Ryuji would know to avoid that.
Doing this wasn't exactly fun or exciting, but at least it wasn't boring. Ryuji started off being a bit clumsy about wrapping the plants, sometimes using too much or too little of the burlap because he couldn't measure it properly, but he got the hang of it after a few more tries.
Then, Haru brought over a plant that Ryuji did spot was trying to wrap some vines around her wrist. Was that thing... alive? Well, plants were alive in general but... they didn't usually move like that, at least not that quickly.
"Uh, Haru? What's this one?" he asked, cautiously grabbing the pot and eyeing the plant with concern.
Haru was always happy to share her interests with her friends. And Nephie would intrigue people who didn’t know about it. ”Ooh it’s a Nephentes Sapiens, but i usually call him Nephie” she spoke of the plant with a tone which gave off a great sense of endearment. ”Isn’t it lovely” because it was a magnificent plant. Just maybe not one most people kept at home.
”He might be a little active” she noted, as sure enough he was already trying to make a grab at Ryuji. ”But that’s because he’s a bit of an over eager eater” and an optimist. Nephie was far too small, and she was responsible enough to make sure he never would be that size.
Well, it was a kinda pretty flower, Ryuji supposed. Still, something about it just felt off. It was even trying to grab him with those vines. Either it was a really clingy sort of plant or...
"Eater?!" Ryuji voiced his surprised with his usual loudness. "This thing is tryin' to eat me?!"
It wasn't that Ryuji felt threatened by this tiny plant. He knew that carnivorous plants and stuff like that existed, but as far as as he knew, none of them acted like this... outside of like, monster plants in movies and games. That was why this whole thing was making him feel uncomfortable.
"Uh... Haru, how big can these things get?" he asked, sounding very concerned as he tried to keep his distance from the plant.
To Haru it had been obvious that the plant was a carnivorous one. After all there were certain traits that were similar enough to the carnivorous plants in their own world. And she wasn’t even an expert on them. But to Ryuji it had clearly been a surprise with how he reacted.
Haru hadn’t actually seen a fully grown one. There was a bigger plant at the shop, which might be a little bit dangerous but customers weren’t allowed to go near it. ”Usually they aren’t by themselves in the wild, but in small groups of two or three plants” maybe her Nephie was so active because he was lonely. Keeping two though would be dangerous. ”But a group like that could fill this room i think” the vines tended to spread out quite a bit after all.
”Nephie isn’t going to grow that big though” it was a unique challenge. She had to keep the plant healthy but also keep it from growing to much.
These plants hung out in groups? Animals hunting in packs was one thing, but plants? How did that even work? It wasn't like they could move on their own, or... at least, Ryuji hoped they couldn't because that sounded real freaky. Especially because it sounded like these things could get huge if you weren't careful.
"Hey, uh... Haru? Are you sure keeping this one around is safe?" he asked, eyeing the plant while holding the roll of burlap. "Not that I think you can't do it or anythin'. Just... that plant sounds scary as shit." He grimaced.
Why was she even raising a plant like that? Sure, she like gardening and all, but couldn't she keep it to normal plants? Or at least, plants that didn't eat people? He was pretty sure that there was more than enough variety for her to pick from. Then again, Ryuji was well aware that Haru had some pretty... dark interests, so maybe he shouldn't have been too surprised by this.
If Haru didn’t genuinely believe she had the trust of her friends she might have been a little ticked off at that. But seeing as it was Ryuji and he just really didn’t know she simply laughed, almost a giggle ”You do have to keep an eye on them, if you don’t they grow very quickly and then they start causing trouble” which was that allegedly had happened to some of the clusters that lived somewhat close to towns and cities. But not her nephie though.
”But if you’re afraid of it i can just wrap it up” she added with her ever friendly and polite tone of voice. After all they had been through it was a little silly to think of a plant being something scary, but she wouldn’t judge him if that were the case. Things were different for each and every person after all.
"Start causing trouble" sounded like a very nice way of saying "they'll grow freaking huge and start eating people" but that was also very much like Haru. At this point, Ryuji was just glad that he lived in the other house. Haru probably had it all under control but... yeah he wasn't too fond of this.
"I'm not scared!" He huffed in protest, then began wrapping the burlap around the plant for the sake of his pride.
Future concerns aside, the plant really was harmless in this stage. Creepy with the way the vines moved but otherwise it was just a weird plant. It really was no different from the other plants as far as getting it wrapped up for the move was concerned.
Haru had been perfectly honest. She was willing to wrap nephie up herself if it was such a problem. But it was a little bit funny just how quickly Ryuji reacted once she spoke the word afraid out loud. Luckily it was just the two of them because it was the sort of thing Mona-chan definitely would have made a remark or two about the situation.
When he was done she put the plant away and gave a satisfied nod. ”Nephie was the last one” just as she planned the two boxes were now filled with her plants. ”We can just take the boxes and walk back to the portal” this was the last of it. She could find a new place for her plants in her new room at the house, maybe one or two would liven up the living room.