“What Comes Around” was spawned in part by wanting the Magi characters to earn a Happy Ending. Given what’s happened to Balbadd so far in canon, the whole horrific mess with Hakuryuu, and what’s apparently happened to Sinbad, that was looking a bit… iffy. But since reincarnation is part of Magi canon, the plotbunnies said, “well, how about that? Why not make sure they had a second chance in the modern day – oh man, the chaos, if dungeons showed up in the modern world….”
As you can imagine, my bunnies love chaos.
So now I had an Idea gnawing at my brain. But there were lots of details that had to be figured out.
First, names. Reincarnation means a soul ought to have learned a few things from past mistakes. So they may have the same personality, but there are going to be differences.
Second – part of a Good Ending, to my bunnies, is “David and Al-Thamen are kaput.” So I had to find new enemies to jump in. Though given the modern world, that wasn’t too hard. Finding them, at least. Deciding their power level was another matter. In the Magi world all the main characters are skilled and experienced fighters and survivors. People born into modern life? Not so much – at least not starting out! So the level of danger had to start at “survivable with luck” and then ramp up.
Third, I had to figure out how magic worked, given the everyday world we know doesn’t have mages sneaking around every corner. (Darn.)
Fourth, I knew I wanted Aladdin as himself. Meaning there had to be a way he skipped the intervening centuries.
Fifth, given the danger level was going to be ramping up, I had to come up with a way for our heroes to start getting their old tricks back. Which relates to the fact that some poor schmuck in modern times had to know what was actually going on, and that Aladdin wasn’t just a crazy kid with a flying carpet. Ja’far got elected. Because Sinbad will never not be Ja’far’s headache. Hee.
Sixth, I had to find a plausible – or at least possible – reason for Our Heroes to spend a lot of time in close proximity. Whether they liked it or not.
Bunnies: “There’s a classic answer. High School AU.”
Me: Oh, come on, can you imagine Sinbad of Sindria running a high school – because of course he’s the principal, he wouldn’t settle for anything less…. Can you imagine the swordfights in the corridors, the liberal training in stunt falls and other mayhem, the dramatic performances of dungeon raids, the costumes, the-
…Wait. Performing arts school?
…And that’s how I wound up with Hancock High. Where Ja’far is vice-principal, biology teacher, and Simon-wrangler.
He does say it’s better than Chernobyl.
… and I’ll just let your own bunnies chew on that. For now. Though I might point out that people with a Fire Djinn being able to survive volcanic conditions may become plot-critical. The bunnies are still working out the details on that one.