Warnings: None. No spoilers yet.
A/n: This is when the others come back. A month after Ivalice becomes a democracy instead of a monarchy.
It was a normal day in St. Ivalice. The sun was up, the birds were singing, there was more snow than in a frozen hell, the usual. Marche was waking up with a new found enthusiasm. For them, it had been 2 years since the went yo Ivalice and Doned had finally managed to walk. He wasn't a strong walker yet and he still needed his wheelchair for long trecks but they were getting somewhere. They were at the point where he could have walked from Baguba Port to the nearest rest stop .75 miles away without getting tired. He was still strongly neglected by his mother but that's life, he figured. He could live with it. He was self-sufficient enough to be alright. Besides, Montblanc had taught him more about life and living it than she ever had. He didn't need her. He realized then that it was the 2 year anniversary of their visit to Ivalice.
'I should do something special for Cid, Ritz and Doned,' he thought. 'Something nice. They were so sad last year... I wonder why Mewt doesn't remember...' That thought had pleagued Marche ever since they got back. It worried him that something that was so precious to Mewt was forgotten by him so easily. Even Mr. Randell remembered so why not Mewt? Somedays Marche was thankful for this. Like today. He was happy Mewt didn't have to feel the oppressive sadness he and the other three felt on this day. Last year they had all been at Mewt's place. It was one of Doned's better days, so Marche had wheeled Doned to Mewt's place with him. Mewt had noticed the saddness in his friends and father and had asked what was wrong. Cid had simply smiled saddly at him and said,
"Don't worry, son. Today just seems like a day for rememberance, that's all." The other three had nodded in agreement and they had left it at that. But he didn't want to leave it at that this year. Today he wanted to celebrate what he had gained from there instead of morning what they had lost. It was times like these that he didn't think that it was fair that Mewt was forced to forget. They had gained such good memories from that place. Such great friends... and Mewt wasn't allowed to remember any of it? How is THAT fair? But Marche had learned to live with that, too. Though he didn't like it. He wondered next how his clan was fairing. Were they still at the top? Did they take a bunch of missions? Had any of them (god forbid) died in the Jagds? A shiver ran through him at that thought. He had been extremely close with his clan and all of it's members. They were his family. The thought of one of them dying just didn't sit well with him. At all. Marche eventually decided to pull himself out of his memories of his clan and back to the present. Speaking of presents he had to hide the ones he planned to give to his friends and brother today. He hid them in a special place (Under his mattress) and got up to make himself and Doned, whom was starting to stir, breakfast.
Ritz woke in a more somber mood than Marche. She missed Shara and her clan. It was as simple as that. She had come to terms with her hair before she left. When Shara told her that the spirits of the viera had blessed her with her white hair, the issue was buried forevermore. She felt special. Like she had a gift that nobody else was allowed to have. She just missed her friends. The excitement of clan life. Always having a mission to do or a monster to kill. Always more jobs and abilities to practice with. Plenty of gil to go around. She missed the general hustle bustle of life there that just didn't exist in her normal life. Things just seemed too calm. Too quiet to the fiery girl. She was still unused to not hearing the mumble of a pub full of early risers when she woke. To not hearing the distant cries of Coeurls and noise of clan battles. She was used to the clan wars and the Borzoi's threats. Not the quiet, calm streets of St. Ivalice. She decided to get up and fix herself and her mom some food. After all she had to leave for Marche's house later. Marche. Another thing she wasn't used too. Everyone who knew them expected them to get together. They didn't understand. Doned expected it. Mr. Randell expected it. Hell, even her own mother expected it. She knew for a fact that Shara expected it at one point. But they all didn't understand that what her and Marche had was more like a brother and sister relationship, not a romantic one. She knew that Marche wasn't in love with her and Marche knew that she wasn't in love with him. She couldn't stand every time someone gave her a look like "You haven't hooked up with him yet?" In Ivalice, not everyone had expected it. In fact some of them saw that it never would happen. Like that moogle friend of Marche's. 'I wonder how all of them are doing,' she thought to herself as she stood up, ready to start her day.
Mr. Randall was a practical man now. He didn't cry over things he couldn't change anymore. He had realized when he came back that crying over the past was useless. It didn't change anything. It was better to look to the future while learning, but not dwelling, on your past. Buy he couldn't help himself when he remembered Ivalice. He had loved that world more than even he had known. There was so much adventure. Being the Judgemaster was fun. It wasn't just a bunch of boring paperwork like his current job was and the people he had worked with in that world were irreplaceable. They had taken up a space in his heart that he hadn't even known was empty. The cooks, the guards, the judges, Babus... All of them became very dear to him and he missed them a lot. He felt upset that his son wasn't allowed to remember it. He felt cheated. As if it was him that had lost his memories instead of Mewt. Marche had expressed similar sediments when he had brought the topic up once. He couldn't thank that boy enough. Though Mewt may have lost his memories, the lessons he learned had stayed with him. He was no longer a weak child. He was a strong presence that let of the feeling that you just don't mess with him. The bullies at school learned quick enough and everybody learned from that. Mewt looked to the future enthusiastically and the cloud of doom that had followed him before had disappeared. Cid really warmed up to Mewt and his friends after the whole fiasco. They were just as much his friends and family as the palace staff had been. He got up and went downstairs to make breakfast for his son and himself. They were going over to Marche's later so he needed to get up and start the day. No sleeping in for him.
Later at about noon, Marche was brimming with excitement. He couldn't wait to see how his friends reacted to the presents. He hoped it would be positive. He didn't want to upset them... He started to rethink it all, getting nervous. Doned noticed his brothers wavering emotions easily and was confused.
"Marche, relax. It's only friends visiting, not the whole damn royal guard. You were less nervous when you had a bounty on your head. Calm down." he said. Marche took his brother's advice and started calming down. Marche was glad that his brother didn't pry and ask what was wrong. But then, Doned was just like that with his family. But he probably could've gotten it out of him if he had pried. Doned was, after all, a very well informed streetear. He has to get his information someway, after all. A few minutes later, Ritz, Mewt, and Cid knocked on the door. Doned walked to the door only wobbling slightly. "Hits, guys. Come on in why don't you?"
"Don't mind if we do," Ritz said, smiling at the smaller boy. The three people stepped inside and Doned closed the door. Marche grinned at them in a suspicious way, making them all give him strange looks. "Um... Is he okay?"
"I don't know," Doned replied truthfully. "His emotions have been up and down all morning so be cautious." Marche then started hopping up and down like a hyperactive bunny. Mewt steped forward and bitch slapped Marche, who stilled.
"Calm down Marche! Now why are you all happy today?" Mewt said calmly. Marche felt himself instantly calm down and smiled more normally.
"Heh. Sorry," he said blushing slightly from embarrassment. "A week ago I found a sack of stuff and... Just hang on a second." He ran up to his room to grab the stuff. He put it in the burlap sack it was all in and went back downstairs. The others had all moved into the living room while he was upstairs. Marche was glad his mom was gone for the weekend. She would've freaked out if she saw the things that were in the sack.
"That's a big sack," Doned said. "What's in it?"
"See for yourselves," Marche said. Ritz peered in there first and gasped. She pulled out a beautiful silver rapier. It looked like a shorter thin lance and it shifted colors as the light shined on it. This had been the weapon she had been using when the world changed back. It even had the same scratches. She knew it was the same one.
"My Epeprism," she said amazed. Mewt stared wide eyed at the blade.
"It's changing colors!" He exclaimed amazed. Marche chuckled.
"Yeah it is." He replied. "You should look in it next, Judgemaster." Cid looked at him confused and reached into the bag. He pulled out his Judgemaster sword that he was given on the day of his appointment to the position. He stared at it in awe. Here was proof, in front of his eyes, that the Ivalice they had all visited was real AND still existed, apparently. Mewt stared at his father's weapon with more awe than Ritz's.
"That sword is huge," he stated. "Wow..."
"You're next little brother," Marche said. Doned reached in and pulled out a few pieces of clothing. A viera in the clan he was part of in Ivalice had been fond of creating clothing for the rest of the clan members. Celia he thought her name was. He could tell that the clothing had just been recently created and that Celia had used the best materials available to her to make them, as well as the greatest care. It looked like the clothing he had worn in Ivalice but the material was chosen to protect from colder weather. He smiled and hugged the clothing close to him, a few tears welling in his eyes.
"This is amazing..." he muttered. Mewt looked at the bag then back at Marche, who nodded. Mewt reached in and pulled out a beautiful blue rod. It was crafted out of dark blue wood that was knoted in many places. The bottom came out in a rounded point. At the top, two sections of wood created a mini upside down arch. Attached to one was a piece that came out and curved halfway horizontally. This part held in place a light blue crystal ball. (A/n: This is the staff he is shown holding in his character picture. Just google "FFTA Mewt" and you'll see it under the images tab) He couldn't ever remember seeing it anywhere but as he held it, he felt a warm feeling pass through him. As if he had found part of a missing piece of himself. He gripped the rod tightly and couldn't help but smile at the contentment rising up in him.
"Wow..." he breathed out, unable to say anything else. Ritz looked at Marche, confused.
"Did you get anything," she asked him. Marche nodded and pulled out what he had gotten. He held some seemingly rare mission items. He had an Esteroth gem, a Master Brave metal, and an Insignia. He smiled wistfully, remembering back to his clan.
"These were the items my clan and I always brought with us on missions. Each of them had a special power that we learned how to unlock early on." He reflected. "They're very rare so it's hard to get them. There's only three Esteroth gems in the entire world there, they don't give this medal to just anyone, and how many rookie clans did you see running around with an Insignia pinned to one of them? Not many. The items used to make it are also rare and hard to obtain and the guy who makes them won't make you one unless you bring him the materials. I don't know why my clan would give up their most valuable items but... Oh, yeah! Something else came with this stuff." Marche pulled out a manila envelope that contained some smaller envelopes. It had the names Marche, Mewt, Doned, Ritz, and Cid on it's front. "This came with the stuff but I didn't want to open it before you guys were with me."
"It has all of our names on it..." Ritz muttered. "What could it be?"
"Lets open it and find out, shall we," Cid asked. Marche nodded and opened the envelope, dumping its contents onto the table. Six envelopes fell onto the table. Five of them were normal sized while one of them was bigger than the others. Each of their names was on a small envelope while the bigger one was not labeled. Each person grabed an envelope with their name on it and opened it. Ritz gasped, tears welling up in her eyes as she read the paper. Marche's eyes widened and he read the letter in earnest. Doned smiled wistfully as he read his. Cid chuckled as he read his letter and Mewt at first looked confused, disbelieving, lost, and then astonished. He had just remembered a few things from Ivalice. Not everything, but a few things. Like the palace, his staff, and Babus.
"No way..." he muttered. "How..." Marche looked up at Mewt, confused.
"Are you okay?" Marche asked him. Mewt stared ahead and then looked over at him, eyes wide.
"I just remembered some things, Marche... Did we really go there...?" Marche nodded.
"Yes, Mewt. We did," he replied. "And apparently, it still exists. These couldn't have been writen more than a week ago. But they've only gone through a month there while it's been a whole two years here."
"So what's going on with your clan, Marche," Doned asked him.
"According to this, they're all living at the palace now," he replied with a grin. The others all looked at him with shock.
"WHAT!" They all cried out. Marche's grin widened.
"Yep, and Ivalice is now officially a democracy instead of a monarchy." Their eyes widened.
"No way," Ritz said. "How would that even work in a country like Ivalice?"
"Apparently it's only temporary. Until they get a new royal family since every single one of you disappeared." Marche replied. "But it's working for now, Montblanc said. My clan is the spokesperson clan for all of the others."
"Read it to us. I must hear this," Doned said. Marche nodded.
Where the hell are you when we need you, kupo? Maybe if you were here, we wouldn't have to camp out in the palace. It's very likely that if we leave, we'll get jumped, dragged to the Jagds, and murdered. Every clan is after our position. We had to put up a makeshift government after the royal family disappeared because by the end of the week, Ivalice was falling appart.
We didn't have anyone to replace the royal figureheads so we called each town to pick two representitives and send them yo the palace to discuss what we'd do. They decided to put our clan in charge and left the rest up to us. But other clans are after our job. So we have to stay in the palace to avoid being killed. But despite our obvious loss of freedom, being here at the palace isn't too bad. It's much more convenient for all of us.
Monte (that stupid lizard! Grrrr!) has already managed to blow up the kitchens. Then Nat accidentally broke a whole bunch of rare items in the hallways. Babus and I yelled at Monte for five minutes then they cleaned their messes up. We've also been threatened by a foreign criminal band called the Redwings whom took over the Borzoi and smuggled themselves down here. We aren't exactly able to handle it right now since we're trapped in the palace, though. Babus is also suspecting that there are corupt judges on the loose. I agree but we haven't found any concrete evidence to base out claims off of yet. I can't send anyone out there to investigate out of the risk that they might be kidnapped and held for ransom or killed.
I couldn't thank Babus more for letting us stay here. After Mewt and Cid left, Babus was the only one who could keep any sort of order in the palace. But the first week he needed help because everyone was more disorganized than usual. I volunteered the clan and myself to help him. We got the fake government in order and everything. But we were put in our position because we were at the top. So Babus let us stay there so that we wouldn't get killed. Apparently, he got attached to all of us. He muttered something about it being too quiet if we leave.
We've practically become part of the staff here. I help Babus run things in other parts of the palace while everyone else is spread out to help in certain areas. If you were still here, we might have been feared enough to be able to do missions without getting attacked. But life here is good. Everyone loves it in the palace. We get along well with the people here. There's always plenty of work to be done. The place is huge. We still haven't seen every room yet. I hope this letter finds you in good health. ...we miss you, Marche. Please take care of yourself and the ones who left with you.
"Hmm... Seems Babus was nice to your clanmates after all." Doned said. Marche thought for a second.
"Yeah... I wonder if he still hates me..." he mumbled softly. Mewt thought about it for a second.
"I don't think he ever truly bated you, Marche," he said. "I don't remember everything that happened there, but I do remember a conversation Babus and I had once. He hated you for what you were doing. But he never hated you as a person. But he eventually realized what you were doing was the best thing for everyone so he probably stoped hating you then." Marche looked at him strangly.
"Do you even remember what I was doing?" He asked him.
"Something I didn't like," Mewt said with a shrug. "But that's all I remember on that topic. I know I hated you for quite a bit but in my opinion now... I think I was being childish. I was throwing a tantrum about it but I never found out why. I never even attempted to talk to you about it and try to work it out. We were all a bit childish there, weren't we?" Everyone of them agreed laughing slightly. Mewt looked up at the ceiling, a far off look in his eyes. "But if I had the chance to visit again I would. I missed that place still, even without my memories. And now that I have some of them back... I really miss Babus and the staff at the palace. I miss the magic and there being more races than just humans. Each was so unique..."
"I would too," Marche said sheepishly. "I may not think that it should be a permanent escape but I did love it there. I miss my clan a lot. They are as much my family as Doned is. As all of you are. I honestly would prefer to live there. If we hadn't just been running away from our problems, I honestly would have kept that world. Like now. If we went back now, I'd have no problem with staying there forever because we aren't running away anymore. It is just that we prefer it there. I don't see why that life can't be just as real as this one is." Ritz looked shocked.
"You mean, that if we had been there for an entirely different reason before, you wouldn't have tried to get us home?" she asked.
"Yeah. I mean, I would've at first, but I probably would've lost my drive and just happily let things be," Marche replied. "The only thing that truly drove me after the first crystal was the fact that we were running away from our problems and it would hurt us later if we didn't face our demons. We've been able to face everything that came after Ivalice because we learned to face them there. That world wasn't there just because we wanted it. It was there because we needed it. We learned things from there that we would've never learned from here. We made the kind of friends there we probably never would have made here. We tried things we never could have tried here. That world has literally made us the people we are today. If we had never gone there, we would've never changed. We would've never gotten anywhere in our lives. We're going somewhere now and we have Ivalice to thank for it."
"You're right..." Doned said. "But sometimes I feel like we've learned all we could from this life. And I wish to be back in Ivalice again so I could learn more. I feel trapped because at our age, you can't really do much of nothing in this world."
"Yeah. They consider us too young to be allowed the freedom we had there," Ritz said. "I'm stuck where I am right now because of my age. I'm not truly allowed to do anything of importance. There we influenced the entire country. The whole world. Here we're hardly significant."
"There isn't much for me here either," Cid said. "My reputation here is still trashed. No matter what I did there, it doesn't make any difference here. Because of what I did, I can't get a good job or anything. I have more in that world than I do this one, and that's just sad." They all sighed, each remembering their time in Ivalice.
"So, whom were your guy's letters from," Marche asked all of them.
"Mine was from Babus," Mewt said.
"Shara," Ritz replied.
"Azimov," Doned said, chuckling slightly. "He was my best friend in the clan that took care of me. He was a bangaa bishop. He even extends the s in his writing."
"Mine was from a multitude of the royal guards," Cid said. He smiled wistfully. "All of them became very attached to me. It hurt me to break off the judges from the palace because it also meant leaving them. But, like the stubborn people they are, most of them followed me and left the palace themselves so they could work under me. We all ended up as close as any clan."
"Hey, look at that big envelope. What do you think is in it," Doned asked. Ritz picked it up.
"It's very light. Let's see..." she said as she opened it and pulled out a large sheet of paper. Then she laughed. "Geez, Marche. You clan is full of craziness, isn't it? In fact, every single one of our friends is crazy. Except Babus, maybe..."
"You couldn't tell from that letter?" Marche asked, chuckling. Then he paused for a second. "Wait, what? Give me that." He took the paper from her quickly. "What could they have possibly...done this time?" He started laughing. It was a picture.
Whomever had the camera wasn't far from Babus. He looked at the camera and the person with it as if asking "What is THAT?" Montblanc sat next to him but he wasn't paying attention to it. He looked exasperated and slightly depressed, as if he just gave up on something, his orange pom-pom and wings drooped slightly. It was easy to see what it was. There was nothing but complete chaos behind him. It seemed to go like this.
A human soldier looked pissed all the way to the left because a single dark rain cloud was raining on only him. Not to far away, a Nu mou illusionist was laughing while holding a teal blue ball of pure magic in his hands. A small moogle Animist with a purple pom-pom and wings floated closely behind him, laughing along. Meanwhile, a viera assassin with light lavender hair who just didn't wear the face mask was hugging a crying moogle gadgeteer with a yellow pom-pom and wings. A human theif, who was currently getting yelled at by Shara, had thrown a ball at the little moogle, sending her flying. A Red Mage and a Mog Knight with a red pom-pom and wings, were yelling at a moogle Juggler with a green pom-pom and wings whom was sitting on top of the large wall surrounding the palace. The Mog Knight was pointing at the ground so they were obviously telling him to get down from there. A moogle Time Mage with a blue pom-pom and wings looked at the high up Juggler, worried.
Slightly farther to the right, a bunch of bangaas were having a big battle. A Bishop led one side of varied jobs. White Monks, Gladiators, Dragoons, and Warriors. The other side was all made up of Templars and Defenders. They fought viciously. It was a shock that none of their attacks hit anyone else. There was an amused judge watching the battle. An amused Elementalist with light teal hair looked on as well.
A whole bunch of viera, a Sniper, 2 Fencers, a White Mage, an Archer, and a summoner, stood on a balcony on the palace overlooking all of the chaos, laughing. Each had different colored hair. The Summoner had long red hair in a braid. The Sniper had short orange hair. One fencer had long yellow hair and the other had long dark green hair. The Whitw Mage had dark blue hair cut short and slightly curled. The archer had light purple hair to her sholders in two side braids.
A Nu Mou Beastmaster sat higher up, on the roof, seeming to be contemplating something while a small moogle theif with a pink pom-pom and wings, probably bairly over the age of a baby moogle, slept beside him. "My clan is insane! I love it."
"What IS it!" Doned asked impatiently. Marche gave the photo over to Doned, Mewt, and Cid. Doned and Mewt laughter while Cid looked amused yet jokingly disappointed in the guards.
"They know better than to have all out wars in the courtyard," Cid said, mock disappointment in his voice. They all laughed happily. "That look on Babus's face! He probably thought the camera was a laser or something."
"Montblanc looks so exasperated," Ritz said. "Your clan must be like that all of the time."
"Most likely," Marche replied. "They've always been that way. Even when I was in charge."
"Awwwe," Mewt said. "Look at the baby moogle. So cute!" Doned chuckled.
"That's Migomi. She was the last person to join before we could offically become a clan." He pointed to the Nu mou next to her. "His name is Benkman. If you see him, you know that Migomi is always nearby." Next he pointed at the red haired viera on the balcony. "That's Celia. She's the oldest out of all of us. About 16. She'll actually be 17 next week if only a month has passed there. She always took care of us like a mother would. You see, we are your typical, off the streets, orphan clan. None of us had parents in Ivalice and we all lived on the streets.
Celia ran a small shop by herself when she saw Benkman walk by one day. She could tell he had no home and so she asked if he'd like to work there. He said that he couldn't because he wished to join a clan. She had wanted to be in a clan when she was younger so she asked him if he'd like help gathering members. He said yes and the set off to find some clanless people. They found Azimov," here he pointed to the Bishop leading half of the bangaa war. "And asked if he was part of a clan. Azimov was a White Monk who dreamed of becoming a Bishop. He saw a clan as a good way to get his training so he agreed. Next they found Victory." He pointed to a Dragoon on Azimov's side of the war.
"He was a warrior. His parents had recently died and he thought being in a clan could help him get over it. So he joined. Then they found me." He sighed sadly. "They could tell right away that I was too weak to fight. I was barely strong enough to walk at that point. They were going to pass on by when a thief took all of their money. It was easy to tell that was all the money any of them had. I felt sorry for them so I manipulated the thief into giving them their money back and 200 Gil extra for taking it in the first place. After that, they pratically begged me to join. So I did. Then we found Migomi."
"The little moogle was crossing the street when a bunch of thieves surrounded her. They were going to mug a baby in the middle of the street just because they could. Everyone in town feared them so they weren't going to do anything. They backed her against a wall and were about to attack when without waiting for any of us, Benkman ran right through the thieves and stood in front of Migomi with his instrument out to defend her. The thieves staryed laughing at him because an instrument is useless for fighting. It doesn't do much damage to something unless its sharp.
To top it off, the instrument was the Blood Strings. In that town a harp, no matter how cool it looked, was considered a girls instrument. But when he played it. A Tonberry came from the forest nearby and killed all of them in quick succession. The Tonberry then stood by them. Migomi lifted her arms up to it as if she wanted it to pick her up. We were worried and thought that Benkman was crazy when he let the Tonberry pick her up. But instead of killing her, it simply put her on it's head and let her happily sit there. We were astonished.
Benkman explained that he had trained the Tonberry himself. It was one of his best friends. We were much more relaxed after that. It's name was Donjiri. It was really quite friendly. Turns out, Benkman has had a whole tribe of Tonberries under his command for 5 years now."
"Wow," Marche said. "That's your entire clan's story." Doned nodded happily.
"Yep, and we're happy for it. Nobody else ever joined but that's okay. We're happy with our current size." Doned replied. "Who are your people?" Marche indicated pratically the entire left side.
"There's Montblanc, the soldier is Visconti, the Illusionist is Nat, the Animist is Mick, the Assassin is Dusya, the Gadgeteer is Milay, the thief is Marius, the Red Mage is Eldena, the Mog Knight is Lini, the Juggler is Norbert, the Time Mage is Nothclif, the Dragoon bangaa next to Victory is Lief, the bangga Warrior behind him is Bismark, and the elementalist watching the war is Littlevili."
"Well, the viera on the balcony and Shara are mine," Ritz said. "So we can assume the rest of the bangaa belong to the royal guard?"
"Yes," Cid said. "But they aren't half of them. There are more races, but they are usually inside the castle working."
"This is hilarious," Mewt said. "Whomever took this picture should be paid. A lot!"
"How'd they get this stuff here," Ritz asked.
"According to Babus, Montblanc has an uncanny ability to find the rips in space we left and knowing where they go," Mewt said. "Montblanc found a rip that went to your backyard, Marche. He said they just dropped the stuff there."
"He was right then," Marche replied. "Cause that's where I found this stuff. Right in the middle of the garden shed back there."
"Wait, if that's true, could we go back through there," Ritz asked eagerly. Mewt shook his head no.
"He said that they weren't sure if the seams were stable enough to bring people through and back. Plus, Montblanc is the only one who seems to have enough power to call them. Babus was worried that Montblanc was crazy enough to try and go through himself," Mewt replied. He looked over at Marche. "He seems to have gotten attached to your little friend. Half of his letter was about Montblanc. He also said that he'd follow him through the seam if he attempted it, whether it killed him or not. They've probably become best friends since we left."
"Yeah, now that our feud isn't in the way..." Marche muttered. "Was it our fault that it didn't happen sooner?"
"If it wasn't for us, Marche, they probably would've never met," Mewt replied. "Don't worry about it. If anything, it's our fault that they're friends in the first place."
"Yeah, you're probably right..." Marche said, smiling slightly. That was when they heard a loud crash in the backyard shed.
"KUPO! IT WORKED! YES!" The five people looked at eachother, eyes wide in disbelief.
"No way!" They all said at the same time.
"Is that really..." Doned began but he was cut off.
"Yep," Mewt said, grinning. "And apparently Babus, too." They went up to Marche's room and opened the window facing the backyard slightly while keeping the shades closed and curtains down so that they wouldn't get caught. They heard the shed door open and shut. Then they heard them start talking.
"I told you not to do it! What if you got killed!" A very angry and shaken sounding Babus exclaimed quietly.
"But I didn't, kupo." Montblanc said. "Calm down, Babbi."
"I've told you not to call me that!" Babus said in an angry tone. But he sounded more flustered than angry. Montblanc laughed lightly.
"Aw, lighten up." he replied. Then there was a pause. "Damn it's dark, kupo. Can you see?" Another pause.
"No," a shocked sounding Babus said. "I've seen in darker forests perfectly before, though! Why... What time is it here?"
"Kupopo? You expect me to KNOW this!" There was a pause before Montblanc sighed. "About 23:00 hours."
"That's 11:00 PM!" Mewt whispered to them shocked. "It's that late already?" Marche pulled out a cell phone he had bought with the money he earned at his job.
"Yeah! It is!" He whispered back, just as shocked. "Damn!"
"I'm hungry..." Doned muttered.
"Shush!" Ritz breathed out harshly, annoyed. "Be quiet! I'm trying to listen to this!" The three boys shrugged then went back to listening.
"It's so cold! Kupo!" Montblanc quietly whined.
"No shit, Sherlock," Babus muttered. "OF COURSE it's cold! It's snowing for gods sakes."
"But I'M COOOOOOLLLLLLLD!" Montblanc whined, loudly this time. "REALLY..." The last bit was muffled as Babus had probably covered Montblanc's mouth with his hands.
"Shut up," he whispered harshly. "You're gonna wake up the whole damn neighborhood!"
"That's kind of the point," Montblanc said in a muffled voice. Babus let out an annoyed sigh.
"Well don't." He said. There was a slightly longer pause and the five at the window wondered what happened before a surprised gasp was heard.
"Babus... Your hand feels like a human's... Kupo..." Montblanc said, sounding shocked.
"Your's does too," Babus said, sounding just as shocked.
"Uh-oh..." they both muttered. Then there was the slight sound of running.
"We left the living room light on, didn't we." Marche whispered. "They're probably at the back door now, then." There was a bit of silence and then...
The five almost died trying to keep from laughing.
"Well, I didn't see that coming," Cid whispered, a few quiet chuckles escaping him.
"Montblanc..." Marche muttered trying, and failing, to stop his snickers.
"Quite the character, that one..." Mewt laughed out quietly.
"Brandy must have seen them..." Doned muttered.
"Who?" Ritz quietly asked.
"Our little puppy," Marche replied. "We found him last week... Poor little guy, he was half starved to death."
"Awe, cuteness!" Montblanc said outside.
"Montblanc, don't let him see you!" Babus said quietly. "He might start..." He was cut off by Brandy's high-pitched barks. "...barking." Doned grinned. Time for them to be found.
"Marche! Go see why that damn dog's barking," Doned cried in an eerily accurate imitation of their mother's voice.
"But..." Marche began whining, though he was grinning.
"NOW!" Doned said forcefully in their mother's voice. Marche let out an annoyed sigh, grinned at the four, then started downstairs. They listened to them through the window again, grinning.
"Oh shit," they heard Montblanc and Babus mutter at the same time.
"Maybe he'll recognize us," Babus muttered.
"Maybe he won't," Montblanc said, sounding terrified. "Kupo! He might shoot us..!"
"He's not gonna shoot us." Babus said, sounding exasperated.
"Kupo! But what if he does! There are no judges in this world! Oh, kupopo!" Montblanc said in a panicked voice. "He could! And he probably would too!" The two were suddenly silent. Marche must've been at the back door. All was quiet and then...
"HI GUYS!" Marche happily yelled and flung open the door which sent Babus and Montblanc, whom were right in front of it, flying. They landed flat on their faces a few feet away. Babus looked terrified while Montblanc looked dazed.
"Oops..." Marche said. Mewt, Doned, Ritz, and Cid started laughing hysterically. They had pulled the curtains and shades back just in time to see Babus and Montblanc fly from the door step. Babus looked up at the window when he heard the familiar voices of Cid and Mewt.
"Master Cid? Your highness!"
"That...Was...Hilarious!" Mewt spoke between laughs. "You flew, like... ten feet!"
"That is comedy gold, right there!" Cid said, laughing. "There should be a whole TV show with stuff like that!"
"Heh, Heh... Sorry 'bout that..." Marche said sheepishly from the backdoor. "You guys okay?" Babus pushed himself up ten looked over at Montblanc.
"I think you knocked out Montblanc," he said when he didn't see the silhouette move. He poked him a few times to make sure. "Yes. You definitely knocked him out."
"Shit," Marche muttered. "I'm a dead man when he wakes up!"
"Damn right you are," Babus said, grinning. "In fact, the only reason you aren't right now is because you're his best friend, so count yourself lucky." He snickered when he saw the boy visibly shiver in fear.
He was shocked at how much younger they were in this world then in Ivalice. At least five years, in Marche's case. They were literally children forced to grow up before they were ready. He felt a little guilt stab through him for sending a child who couldn't have mentally been more than eleven years old at the time to prision. When Montblanc explained that a month in Ivalice equaled two years in St. Ivalice when they weren't present in their world, he assumed that they had only been two years older then their ages in this world. But he comes here and finds out they were at least 7 years younger mentally then they were physically in their world.
Suddenly, all of Mewt's temper tantrums made sense. Even though the prince was seventeen in his world, he was technically taking care of a 10 year old. They were forced to mentally mature beyond their ages so they could survive in Ivalice and take care of the responsibilities that they had to take care of. There is a reason that the usual minimum recruiting age in Ivalice is 15. Technically, a 10 year old had practically been running the country. Now he was more like a 17 year old stuck in a 12 year olds body.
Babus picked up Montblanc's admittedly still quite small body, cradling him in his arms, and walked over to Marche.
"Where should I put him," he asked. Marche led him inside to the living room and pointed to the couch. Babus got a clear look at what Montblanc looked like now. He was only 9 years old in St. Ivalice. 'No wonder he's so little,' Babus thought absently.
His hair color matched his old fir color perfectly. It was cut in multiple layers that got shorter as they got closer to the outermost layer. His bangs were parted in the middle. He was very pale for a human. He wore the same clothing that he had worn before but it was resized and proportioned to fit his new body and a ruby earring was hanging from his ear. Probably the same one he was always equipped with.
Babus then turned to look in a mirror opposite from him. He couldn't be any older than ten, maybe. He wore his usual clothing and it was resized to fit him, just like Montblanc's. His golden hoop earring was on his ear still. His hair was pure white and styled so that his bangs fell over his left eye. He was just as pale as Montblanc was.
No wonder Montblanc had been cold enough to scream. He was wearing shorts in sub-zero weather! At least Babus had his robes to protect him from the cold. The poor moogle turned human didn't have hardly anything to help him. He was wearing shorts for gods sakes. Babus idly wondered whether the protection charms he put on the earring worked there as he absentmindedly started twirling a lock of Montblanc's hair with his finger.
The others entered the room soon enough and sat down in the seats accross from them. Babus looked up at them and waited for one of them to start talking while still subconsciously still playing with Montblanc's hair.
"So, to what do we owe this visit, Babus," Cid asked. Babus pat Montblanc on the head to indicate him.
"This idiot's carelessness," Babus replied, smiling slightly. "I'm sure you found our letters?"
"Yep," Mewt replied. "So you guys weren't sure that the seams were stable enough for a person to cross..."
"...yet the moron went through it anyway. I swear, he just pisses me off SO MUCH sometimes..." Babus replied.
"Heh! The irony," Marche muttered. "I've done the same thing to him. He gets so m angry at me sometimes, but I can't blame him. Sometimes I am really stupid..."
"Sometimes," Doned asked with a teasing tone of disbelief.
"HEY!" Marche cried out, slightly insulted. The other four chuckled at his expense.
"Babus, if the seam allowed you two to come here, would it let us follow you back?" Ritz asked eagerly. Babus looked a bit wary of the idea.
"I'm not sure... Maybe... Why?" He asked. To his shock, Marche answered the question.
"Because we're BORED!" Marche whined. "We've faced our demons here and we want to go back. We're not running from anything so I don't see the problem with it."
"But isn't our world just an illusion?" Babus asked, confused. To him it seemed like Marche's opinion had completely changed in two years. "Isn't it unhealthy for you guys to be there?"
"You misunderstand me, Babus," Marche said. "I said it was unhealthy for us to use your world to hide away from our problems in this one. But we've faced all of our problems here so it's our choice from here on out whether we want to live there. Your world isn't an illusion, proved by your ability to come here. It's just as real as ours. It's only a different reality with different rules, not La La Land. It's perfectly healthy for us to live there. We'll still face the trials and problems we'd come across here, so it's perfectly fine."
"But we're still not sure about the seam," Babus said, worried. "We could've just gotten lucky this time around. What if we end up somewhere else? How can we possibly know that we won't?"
"Because I'm the one who chooses where the portal opens to." They all looked down and saw a very dazed Montblanc waking up. He yawned cutely and purred happily at the feeling of Babus playing with his hair.
"What do you mean," Mewt asked. Montblanc glanced up at him.
"Usually you can only travel clockwise through dimensions. You leave one and you can't go backwards to get back. You have to go all around the circle of dimensions in your area to get back to your own." Montblanc said. "But I can open seams that let you go counterclockwise. So we can just go straight back to Ivalice."
"So... We won't die...?" Marche asked tentatively.
"Oh I'm not saying that," Montblanc said nonchalantly. The other 5 glanced at eachother with fearful eyes. "I'm just saying that you are more likely to survive if you stay with me. Traveling through dimensions is a dangerous thing. But if anyone dies it'll be me so don't worry about it." This made the others even more upset.
"How could you put so little value on your own life?" Marche asked, shocked.
"I don't," Montblanc said, shrugging. "You guys are just more important as far as I'm concerned. I value my life, but I simply value your lives more. Besides, I don't think it'll come down to that. I think we'll all be fine if we go through there again. At least I hope so... But if we don't go back eventually, the rest of the clan will come looking."
"We wanna go with you," Doned said.
"Yeah," Ritz agreed. "And we don't care about the danger."
"We wanna go home," Marche said, a slightly desperate tinge to his voice.
"I miss my friends and my family there," Mewt said sadly. "I miss home."
"And now that we know there's a way back, we won't take no for an answer." Cid said, a "no questions" tone in his voice. The group looked at the two with a demanding yet pleading look in their eyes. Babus looked at them, feeling torn. Then he looked down at Montblanc, who looked straight back into his troubled eyes with eyes filled with innocence and trust. In that moment, Babus trusted Montblanc completely, with the prince's life, the other's lives, and his own life. He decided to go out on a limb and follow that trust. See where it would lead him.
"Fine," Babus said, looking back at the others. "Just stay close to Montblanc, okay?" The four children cheered happily while Cid smiled thankfully at Babus. The others looked like they wanted to violently attack his personal bubble with hugs but they wisely refrained from doing so for fear of harming the small moogle sized human near him.
"It's strange talking to a ten year old that's several years more mature than us,"Marche commented lightly. The conversation turned to lighter topics. And if anyone else noticed that Doned and Marche's mom didn't come home all night, nobody mentioned it.
So, what do you think? Please review and no flames. Because flames burn and even though I know it's not usually true, when I get no reviews it makes me feel like you guys don't think that my writing is good enough for you to even take time review so please, please someone review. Even if it's only a simple, friendly hi. I need to know this is being read and liked.