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.
Training. Training, training, training. Getting stronger. Not being the weakest in the room. Those were the kinds of things he thought about these days, being involved with Sword and Shield the way that he was. Maybe it was pride, maybe it was not wanting to let down the Steve Rogers, or maybe it was just Simon legitimately wanting to better himself. It could be all of the above, right? There had to be a motivation for this kind of thing, and in that moment, he had it more than he ever had before. He remembered a time once he had desperately wanted Clary to see him as maybe a potential fish in the sea, find a way to help her look at him as something more than just a best friend, but since then, there hadn't been much to motivate him. He'd been all about his music, all about his dumb finance classes that he wasn't sure he really wanted anything to do with.
Pandora really had thrown a wrench in everything, but not in a bad way. Well. He wasn't sure what Captain America would have thought of him if he'd known that Simon's first act upon entering Pandora was accidentally killing a gnome and going on a space adventure with a genie, but to be fair, he was gonna keep that to himself for the rest of his life. Nobody was ever gonna know.
Swimming was fantastic exercise, Steve had told him and Simon realized as he got out of Pandora's empty public pool that not only was he good at swimming, he really enjoyed it. He'd done a bunch of laps and his body felt tired but good. Except as he wandered back to where he'd dumped his stuff off to the side, he scrunched up his nose and squinted around at the dark shapes that he knew were his clothes and his bag. Normally, he would've done the whole locker thing, but nobody was around and he figured it'd be a quick dip and then he'd dry off and head back to the dorm. Only, as he crouched in those red swim trunks of his and felt around on the bench, something was missing.
"Oh my god, you're kidding," he murmured. His vision was blurry, he couldn't see a thing, and his glasses definitely were not where he had left them. Or where he thought he had left them. Maybe he'd remembered wrong. Maybe he'd been in the water longer than he'd thought, or maybe he'd knocked them onto the floor without realizing.
In all honesty, Elena wasn’t quite sure what she was doing here—except that she’d gotten bored, gone out for a late night snack, and spotted the community pool center, open even at this hour. The woman at the front desk had tasted off, like she’d taken something recently that made her blood taste strange—in fact, if Elena didn’t know better, she would’ve thought it was vervain, but it didn’t burn the same way. Still, she’d only gotten a few sips before the taste hit, and it wasn’t nearly enough to sate her. So she’d compelled the woman to forget her completely, and turned her attention to the pool itself.
There was only one visitor, this late at night, or so the receptionist said. And it wasn’t as if the vampire really had anything better to do. The club scene got old after a while.
Besides, the last time she’d been there, she’d made the mistake of trying to feed from a fairy. Not only did the blood taste foul—like it had been loaded with sugar and glitter bombs—but she’d come this close to getting hexed or something, she was pretty sure. It was a lot harder to tell who could be compelled at a glance in this place.
But she figured that someone with supernatural abilities wouldn’t need glasses. So she picked them up, checked to see just how blind this guy really was, and perched by the side of the pool, waiting for him to come out.
(She could’ve dragged him out herself, of course, but the clothes she was wearing wouldn’t take kindly to the chlorine. And besides, she wasn’t so hungry she couldn’t stand to wait a few more minutes.)
“Can you see anything without these things?” she asked, holding the glasses up to her face and squinting through them. To her vampiric eyesight, the lenses warped everything almost beyond recognition.
Whirling around at the sound of her voice, Simon found the shape of her in mostly just a bunch of big blobs of color in front of him. Yup. His eyesight was so bad and he just really needed those glasses. One day, he told himself. One day, he'd invest in some contacts and be done with stupid moments like these where he felt like an idiot, especially in front of other people. "Oh my god, you're my savior," he said, reaching out with his hand in hopes that she would hand them back to him, but she did no such thing, at least not yet.
Ah. She was one of those goof around kinds of girls. Simon couldn't even judge, he was the same way, but he wasn't super into it when he was pretty much blind. And also half naked in front of a girl he couldn't see. God, this could've at least happened in like two months when he was probably gonna be way more buff and could brag about how Steve Rogers had helped him get into shape.
Still, there was a lopsided smile on his face, if not a little bit tight due to his own discomfort as he stood there, cold from the chill of the air since he had gotten out of the water. "Uh-- Uh, yeah, no, I super can't. I mean, you've got brown hair. That's something, I guess, right?" Absently, his arms wrapped around his bare chest. He would have admittedly been feeling about sixty-seven perfect less self-conscious if he could actually see.
You’re my savior, he said. Elena couldn’t help but laugh at the idea, the corners of her mouth turning upwards into a grin that might have almost seemed innocent and mirthful, were it not for the hungry look in her eyes. Which he couldn’t see, as she still held his glasses in her hands—he held a hand out for them, and she climbed from her chair with the gracefulness of a cat stalking its prey, stepping just out of his reach. “Yeah, I guess it is,” she said, twirling the glasses around one finger as she surveyed him from the corner of her eye.
Not that she wouldn’t still retain the obvious advantage, even if he could see, but she couldn’t help but enjoy the helplessness radiating from him like a beacon. And she had to admit he was cute—he’d probably make a decent snack on occasion, provided she didn’t forget herself and drink too much.
Lucky for him she wasn’t so hungry she wouldn’t be able to stop after a few mouthfuls.
Even if he had been able to see, she moved faster than his eyes would’ve been able to track—she was behind him in less than a second, carefully settling his glasses on the bridge of his nose, and resting her hands on his shoulders. Her touch was deceptively light—if he tried, he would fight himself held in place by her iron grip. “Come here often?” she asked, her voice low as her eyes focused on the pulse-point just below his jaw. He smelled divine, underneath the stench of the chlorine.
Expecting the glasses to be in his hands in a second seeing as any decent human being would have just given them back, Simon found himself standing there dumbly when they, well ... weren't. The blur of color that had been her was gone in a split second, which he might've chalked up to some fluke of the imagination or his eyes going all nuts on him if it weren't for the touch of her hands at his shoulders. Before he could comprehend what was happening, his glasses had been settled onto the bridge of his nose and he could see again, blinking his eyes rapidly to adjust to the familiar sight of the pool in front of him.
"Uh-- Uh, I mean, I'm-- I'm starting to," he admitted, moving to try to turn. That was when he realized something was up. Her group was strong, way stronger than he realized. Simon was weak, but he wasn't that weak. He'd gone still again then, starting to drift into his own head for a second as he went through the possibilities. Maybe she was a superhero. Maybe this was all totally fine.
It wasn't really striking him as totally fine.
Suddenly, he cleared his throat, shifting uncomfortably. "You're, uh-- You're pretty strong, huh? You must come here a lot. I heard there's a Pandora version of American Ninja Warrior, I bet you'd do great." He was rambling now. It was a nervousness thing, and he was definitely starting to feel nervous.
He was stammering, and clearly flustered, and once upon a time Elena might have found it cute, even adorable. A stray thought crossed her mind—he almost reminded her of Jeremy—but that came dangerously close to poking at emotions she had no intention of letting back in, so she pushed it away and settled for rolling her eyes as he continued to babble, before that hungry grin slid back across her face.
“Oh, believe me, you have no idea,” she said, releasing his shoulders after a bit of a pregnant pause and circling back around to face him. Elena had to look up—he was several inches taller, which honestly suited her just fine—to see into his face, and one corner of her mouth twitched upward, pulling her lips into a smirk. “It’s actually my first time here. But I may just have to come back for more.”
She tilted her head—her eyes kept drifting back to where she could see the pulse jumping at his neck, and she wasn’t sure just how long she intended to draw this out. The longer she stood there, the more her fangs ached with the urge to bite. “What do you think?”
"Wow, you're, like ... inspirational and ominous at the same time. Crazy," he murmured, but a moment later, she released his shoulders and he felt himself breathe again. Maybe it had just been his imagination. Or maybe it was paranoia since he had a bad habit of running into the wrong people. But then again, that was probably because he also had a habit of exploring haunted castles on Halloween.
So like ...
Oh. She was pretty. It was the first thing he noticed when she'd come around to stand in front of him, and suddenly, Simon was smiling at her like an idiot, all crooked and stupid. A part of him wondered if she was flirting seeing as she wasn't being the most subtle in the world about it, and that was coming from somebody who was generally pretty oblivious to girls looking at him at all. Girls who weren't Clary, at least. His own obliviousness, though, led him to believe people didn't see that kind of interest in him too often.
"Uh-- I mean-- I mean, yeah, totally! I'm here at least twice a week." This was his first week here. "Three times a week! I mean, I could be ... not that you have to come when I'm here! Just ... you know, I like to think I'm a pretty entertaining guy. I do music, you know? Play. I mean, I play music. And write it, too." Was this giving him cool points?
The effect when he actually saw her was almost immediate, and Elena couldn’t help but preen a little. It was always fun to be able to get someone wrapped around her little finger before she even considered using her compulsion—and it was an ability that, in hindsight, she’d made tragically little use of back when she was human.
No wonder she’d been so miserable.
If she ever saw Rebekah again, maybe she’d even thank her.
Elena took a step closer, her hands coming up to rest lightly on his still-damp chest. She tilted her head, hair spilling across her shoulder as she smiled, though it didn’t quite reach her eyes. “Not sure I’m in the mood for music, right now,” she said, her voice a low purr. The veins around her eyes began to darken, her fangs slowly extending. “Don’t scream, ok? It won’t hurt. Much,” she said, invoking her compulsion as their eyes met. “You’re much more entertaining this way,” she murmured, before leaning up onto her toes and sinking her teeth into his neck.
The sight of the veins and the fangs brought on a split second of panic, but it barely even had the chance to make it to his face as he heard those words and just sort of ... listened. It wasn't something he would have known how to describe had he thought to try, but even then, he just didn't. He didn't try to understand it, didn't ask questions, didn't argue, just listened, and it became all the clearer the way that it had affected him when she leaned up onto her toes and sank her teeth into him like she was Count Dracula. Or Drusilla from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
God, he hoped she wasn't a Drusilla.
Whatever the case, he felt it. She'd lied. It hurt, it hurt as the fangs sank in and his lips parted, exhaling a sharp breath, but he was otherwise stood there in silence, his arms dangling there at his sides. This was actually happening. This was literally happening, and he was stuck between some sort of internal fit of panicked hysteria and sheer disbelief. Maybe he was asleep. Maybe he was dreaming. Or maybe this was literally just Pandora being Pandora.
Of course the one girl interested in him would be a hungry vampire.
Ok, so she’d lied a little. She didn’t even have the excuse of not actually knowing what a vampire bite felt like—she’d been on the receiving end more than a few times over the tail end of her pitiful human life—but she also… didn’t really care. So long as he wasn’t screaming and flailing around, making things messier than the had to be, and her compulsion had seen to that. Less blood got all over the place if her food wasn’t struggling, after all.
It was lucky, for her prey at least, that Elena wasn’t all that hungry. He was a tasty morsel, sure, and she probably drank a little more than she should have, but it wasn’t that difficult to pull herself away before she wound up with another dead body on her hands.
Letting him die would’ve been a waste. At least this way, she’d have a snack available whenever she wanted one. Besides, with fewer corpses left behind, she’d be less likely to get tracked down by some upstart vampire hunter or other. So she released him, with a contented sigh, though she didn’t move far—the veins faded from around her eyes as her fangs retracted, and she was left to wipe some of the excess blood from the side of her mouth, licking it off her thumb as she looked up at him, smirking like the cat who’d just eaten a canary. “That wasn’t so bad now, was it?” she asked, the picture of innocence… were it not for the blood still on her lips. “If you’re worried about a scar I can always give you some of mine.”
On the other hand, it was scarf season. And didn’t guys think girls found scars all sexy? “Tell me your name,” she added, almost as an afterthought—it just occurred to her she had no idea what to call him.
The moment she had pulled away from him, fangs retracted, Simon seemed to come back to his senses as much as he possibly could in that dazed, confused state of his. He was staring at her with wide brown eyes, his lips parted like he was stuck somewhere in between laughing hysterically and panicking, both of which would have been very Simon of him to do. Absently, he lifted a hand to his throat, smearing blood on all over his fingers and pulling them away to stare down at them as though it were further proof that what had just happened really had just happened. He hadn't dreamed it or anything like that.
And she was really standing there in front of him, blood still on her lips. His blood.
"Your ... scars?" he murmured stupidly, not quite catching on at all to what she was suggesting. Swallowing thickly, he came right out with his name. "Simon." As though he had felt compelled to despite the fact that she hadn't literally compelled him to. It wasn't a feeling he really knew how to describe. Everything about what he was feeling, in fact, wasn't something he knew how to describe.
Maybe he thought he was just having a nightmare still.
Elena watched with barely-disguised amusement as Simon seemed to settle on confusion as his primary reaction to what she’d just done. It was better than screaming, she had to admit—and especially better than crying, like her last meal had done. In fairness, she could probably have compelled the woman to just shut up, but she was bored and the noise was irritating, and a snapped neck did the job far more effectively.
Unfortunately, it also meant that she had to look for a new source of food. And Simon was the lucky winner.
She chuckled at the thought, even as her eyes focused on the hand he’d lifted to his neck. It came away wet with blood, and Elena couldn’t help herself—well, she could, but chose not to, when she grabbed his hand gently and licked the trail of blood from his wrist and across his palm. “See, it wasn’t that bad, was it?” she asked innocently, licking up the last few drops and then wiping her mouth with the back of her hand.
“So tell me, Simon—where do you live? Alone?” Not that she needed a place to stay right this second, but it was always nice to have that option—especially one most other vampires wouldn’t be able to intrude upon.
There was a part of him that knew how he should have felt. He should have felt afraid, and maybe he was in a way, but there were so many emotions swirling around in his head in that moment that he couldn't seem to really pinpoint them all. Simon wanted to go away, he wanted to be far away from her, he didn't want to be borderline casual the way he seemed to be behaving with her. But another part of him didn't really want to go anywhere at all. The rest of him wanted to know who she was, really know. It took a certain kind of person to do what she had just done, right?
It was stupid. He was so stupid.
"No," he admitted, but then suddenly started backpedaling. "I-- I mean-- I could." What? Simon pulled a face. "I mean, I couldn't because I have a roommate, but like, he's-- he's out a lot, so sometimes it's-- sometimes it's like I ... live ... alone." Slowly, he cleared his throat. "... Uh, wh-- why? Do you wanna--?"
Do you wanna what? Simon's lips parted and then closed again, feeling a little like he was floundering when he should have been escaping. What the actual hell was going on right now? "I mean, it would be totally inconvenient for you, it's all the way in Cascade Bay." Portals made it totally not inconvenient, but now he was-- well, he was backpedaling. Again.
Were Elena remotely capable of remorse at this point, she would probably have felt bad about the effect she was having on poor Simon right about now. As it was, she kind of thought it was funny, the way his words were running all over themselves and he seemed barely capable of stringing a single coherent thought together. It wasn’t usually the effect simply drinking some human’s blood typically had, but maybe it was just him.
This would probably get annoying if it went on too long, but hey, she didn’t mind taking advantage of it right now. And she could always knock him out later, if it really came to that.
“Tell me about your roommate,” she said, moving back into his space—she wasn’t compelling him again, just yet, relying on the way she knew she was affecting him, though if he seemed at all reluctant she wouldn’t hesitate to resort to it—and eyeing the still-dripping wound at his neck. “Who is he? Human? Would he mind you having company?” she asked, as she leaned forward to lick at a line of blood dripping down his neck. She was careful not to start drinking again—she didn’t want to accidentally take too much—but she had to admit, he tasted good.
“You can tell me, you know,” she practically purred in his ear. “I may bite, but I know better than to take more than you can stand to lose.”