Title: Corrin's not-so-fun vacation
A/N: For the Fire Emblem Press Start Zine! I like making happy AUs where everyone can just live together.
Summary: When Corrin entered the Animal Crossing Deeprealm, she'd hoped for a pleasant vacation. However, between talking animals, squabbling relatives, and having an entire island to run, Corrin needed a vacation from her vacation. Fighting a war was easier than this.
Standing in front of the Residential Services, Corrin frowned. She was far too familiar with these large oak doors, with the rooms hidden within. In fact, she could count the number of times she'd visited this place in the past week with both her hands. Most people, she heard, only visited this place once a month at most.
"Is something wrong?" Azura asked, clutching her hands anxiously. Dressed in a blue-white sundress, she looked like the picture of island living. She even had a large, floppy hat.
She wished she could look just as carefree, but summer fun had to wait. Corrin sighed, rubbing the bridge of her nose. "Nothing, it's just…" She eyed Azura again, taking in the healthy tan of her skin, the lack of worry lines on her face. For a woman who used to seem like she was on the brink of collapse, she looked like the epitome of life now. "You like it here, right?"
"Of course." Azura smiled softly. She clutched the brim of her hat as she bashfully added, "I have to thank you for bringing me here. You were right, we really did need a vacation from…well…" Trailing off, Azura glanced at her helplessly. "You know."
Oh, did she know. Corrin could only nod her agreement. There wasn't an easy, quick way to bring up the war between Nohr and Hoshido, between the land of her birth and the land she was raised in. And that wasn't including the heartbreak of fighting her siblings, the strangeness of her newfound powers, or any of the other things that occurred during her mission to bring peace.
The worst part, perhaps, was that it didn't end with peace. No, even with her families leading their respective countries and Xander and Ryoma signing a treaty to end all conflict, there was still so much work to be done. Rebuilding took time and effort, whether it was property or relationships. It was taxing. For months, Corrin's eyes looked like that of a raccoon's. At some point, she just had to take a break from it all. Chuckling deprecatingly, Corrin smiled wearily. "Well, we wouldn't be much help if we collapsed, right?"
"Certainly." Azura tucked a stray lock of hair behind her ear, troubled. "Though I am not sure if it is a good idea to leave our countries for so long."
"It's fine." Corrin reached out and squeezed Azura's hands tightly. "Time passes slower here, remember? They won't even notice we're gone."
"That…is true," she admitted reluctantly.
Emboldened, Corrin continued, "It might just be a single day that's passed. Wouldn't that be funny?"
"I hope so." Azura giggled, a bell-like sound. She smiled appreciatively. "I have to say, though, Jakob managed to find the perfect Deep Realm. This world is quite idyllic."
"I wonder just how many he went through to find this place." Corrin scratched her cheek, considering her faithful butler. Honestly, sometimes she wondered if Jakob was even human—he could track her down anywhere, find whatever it was she needed, and was equally as capable in the castle as he was on the battlefield. "Though the inhabitants here are…strange."
Azura glanced around, making sure no one was within earshot before agreeing. "I still cannot believe there are talking animals here. I am not sure what is odder, that the citizens here are all animals or that there are maybe one or two humans in existence."
Corrin leaned closer, speaking in hushed tones. Even though she doubted anyone here had a weapon, let alone could wield it, she didn't want to raise their ire. She had enough angry citizens to deal with at home. "It's so weird. They sound like they're saying gibberish, but it also makes perfect sense. And they just give away entire islands!"
Azura nodded as she leaned close too, her voice a low whisper. "They did just give you this entire island when we first arrived at that—what did they call it? Airport? Maybe they don't have kings here?"
"But how do they function then?" Corrin raised a brow, unable to imagine it. Leo might know, or maybe Xander or Ryoma. Even with all the time she'd spent pouring over books, absorbing information of the outside world, Corrin had never once read of a place without royalty. "How do they run things?"
At a loss for words, Azura shrugged. Even that simple movement felt elegant from her. "Maybe they do not, and that is why they gave you this island. Though, they are fast builders despite this lack of oversight."
"They are ridiculously fast, aren't they?" Corrin glanced at the building they were about to enter. All she had to do was enter, request a change, and by the time she woke up an entire house had been built. Or moved (and somehow, without the occupant waking up). "I haven't seen any magic here, though, so I don't get how they do it."
"Maybe the magic they use is undetectable by us," Azura suggested, looking toward the beach where the airport was. "We did fly here, after all. And without any incantations or diagrams."
Corrin stopped herself from replying. These were questions that neither of them could answer. There was no point in stressing out over this, that was the exact opposite of the reason they were here. Taking a deep breath, Corrin counted to five before letting go of Azura's hands. "Alright, that's enough of that. We're just going to go in circles."
"That might be the case," Azura agreed, her hands falling to her sides as she also took a deep breath.
"We're here to relax and have fun." Corrin glanced at the door again, remembering just why she had made her nth journey to this building. "And you're having fun, right?"
Azura nodded, giving the same answer she'd given earlier. "Of course. You have done an excellent job managing this island."
"Okay, then if you're having fun here, why is everyone else driving me crazy?" Corrin grumbled, opening the door. Inside was a large room, portioned into two main areas. A counter divided an office space manned by a giant tanuki and a golden dog. "I should have known better than to have everyone vacation at the same time."
"What do you mean?" Stepping after her, Azura gave her an inquisitive look. "I thought everyone liked the island?"
"They do." Despair dripped in her voice and Corrin rubbed her forehead as she walked over to the counter. "They just don't like being together."
Before Azura could press, the tanuki noticed them. Tom Nook, as he was called, got up from his desk and rushed over to them. In a strange, high-pitched voice, he asked, "What can I do for you today?"
No matter how many times she heard it, Corrin couldn't shake the strange feeling she got when she heard the locals speak. Their voices sounded like Elise's scribbles when she had been younger and learning to draw. Yet the words organized themselves perfectly in her head. Still, they could communicate, and that was all that mattered in the end. With a strained smile, Corrin admitted, "I need you to move two houses apart."
"Again?" Incredulous, Tom stared at her. Awestruck, he pulled out a form. "You're really reshaping the island! I wonder what it'll look like now."
"Who needs to move?" Azura asked, looking surprised as well.
"Xander and Ryoma." Corrin sighed, slumping forward slightly as she remembered her older brothers' arguments. They were the kings of two nations. They'd fought in a war, created peace, and were even drinking companions at night. Yet somehow, on this island, they had developed a fierce attachment to their houses. "They're both trying to recreate Hoshido and Nohr in their homes, and—this is like the war all over again. Ryoma wants a bamboo fence, Xander wants a stone wall, and there isn't room to have them both."
"Oh." Patting her shoulder sympathetically, Azura consoled, "I see what you meant now. Perhaps it would be better if they requested these changes themselves?"
"Unfortunately, we can only accept our leader's requests," Tom interrupted, an understanding smile on his face. "Though I am sure they are impressed by all of your hard work."
"I hope so," Corrin grumbled. Before Tom filled out paperwork, he pulled out a map. She leaned forward to study her brothers' houses. It looked like the river blocked them one way, an orchard the second, the museum the third, and the town plaza the fourth. There wasn't enough room to move them apart from each other, nor was there anywhere she could relocate one of them. "There's nowhere to go."
Tom studied the map before nodding sadly. "No, I' m afraid there isn't."
"Drat." Corrin pinched her nose but she was still here, staring at a useless map. "Alright, I'll let them know then. I guess they'll have to sort it out themselves."
"I'm sure they can handle it," Azura comforted, squeezing her shoulder now. "They managed a peace treaty, after all."
"I hope I don't have to jump through as many hoops for this." Corrin straightened her posture, forcing away her irritation. "Alright, they're going to have to compromise. Thanks, Tom."
"Let me know if anything else needs moving!" Tom offered, rolling away the map.
"Hopefully not," Azura answered, a weary smile on her face.
Corrin side-stepped to Isabelle's half of the room. She was a strange, dog-like person and looked like a cuter version of Kaden's fox form. "Anything I should know, Isabelle?"
Isabelle worried her lip as she grabbed several papers and stepped closer. With a nervous smile, she started, "Well, first things first, our town's rating has gone down."
"What?" Azura gasped, covering her mouth. "But we've been taking such good care of this place."
"You have," Isabelle agreed, looking a little antsy. "The problem is that there's a lot of trash."
Corrin blinked, not sure if she'd understood. "Trash?"
"Yes, trash." Isabelle rubbed her arm. "Takumi's house has been overrun by trash."
"Takumi—" Corrin had a sinking feeling she knew why her brother was in that state. "What about Leo? Did he do something? Or get something?"
"Well, I don't know if he did anything, but he is certainly having a terrible time himself. There have been rotten turnips around his house, attracting swarms of flies." Isabelle rubbed her chin. "I don't get how that happened."
"A minor war," Azura sighed. "I would expect this from Takumi, not Leo."
"Like I said, I should have just had them both on different islands. One for Nohr, one for Hohsido. There wouldn't be any issues then." Honestly, she should have just snuck here by herself, or with Azura. Just a small vacation for the two of them, sans any annoying siblings. Corrin hesitantly asked, "Anything else?"
When Isabelle nodded, Corrin wondered if she really needed to hear the answer. Pulling out another sheet, Isabelle continued, "Elise and Sakura have requested that the town's flower be changed."
"Elise and Sakura?" Corrin echoed, not sure if she'd heard correctly. "They both want it to be changed?"
"They're working together!" Azura clapped her hands happily. "That's good."
"Oh, no, they both want a different flower." Reading the sheet, Isabelle explained, "Sakura has asked for it to be a sakura, while Elise wants it to be a daffodil."
"Oh…okay…" Corrin felt her energy drain. Well, there went that short-lived hope. "That's a simple thing, at least."
"And I have a letter for you from the airport!" Isabelle held out an envelope, her smile bright. "And that is all I have for updates."
"Camilla and Hinoka seem happy," Azura consoled. "That's good, right?"
"Yeah, that's…" Corrin trailed off as she looked at the letter. That was Hinoka's writing. There were no two ways about it. Suppressing a groan, she opened it. "What happened now?"
"Corrin, save me!" Azura read aloud. Startled, she glanced at Corrin. "She's in danger? I thought there was nothing harmful in this world."
"No, we brought the harm ourselves." Corrin continued reading the letter aloud, "I keep trying to get into the island, but the airport refuses to let me in. I've given them all my weapons, so it isn't that. They said someone's blocking the entry. Could you check?"
"Is there something wrong with the airport?" Azura asked, perplexed.
Isabelle shook her head. "There is nothing wrong. If anything, Camilla has been flying in and out a lot lately. Our airport is running in tiptop condition!"
Corrin had a sinking feeling she knew exactly what was going on. "Camilla isn't letting Hinoka on the island."
Surprised, Azura glanced at the letter again. "Can she do that?"
"Yeah, if she keeps going in and out like that." Corrin groaned. All of her siblings, all eight of them, were causing chaos on this island. On this vacation. She was supposed to have a stress-free couple of weeks. This was the exact opposite of that. "Azura?"
"Wanna run away together?" Corrin asked, half-serious. Maybe they could start afresh on a brand-new island. An island only filled with animal-people.
It would be so peaceful.