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Bonds to our Destiny [On Hiatus]

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Introduction: Before Once Upon a Time

oOoOoOo

A long, long time ago, in a time long before Once Upon a Time, there was a magnificent kingdom ruled by a King named Hélios and a Queen named Sélène.

They reigned upon their land for years with wisdom and kindness. Loved and respected by their peopled, they cherished them too with all their heart.

One day, as the Queen was pregnant, she gave birth to two healthy twins. The girl was the first to be born when the sun was at his highest point in the sky. The delivery lasted until the nightfall and the second twin, a boy, was born when the full moon illuminated the night sky in all its glory a little after midnight.

As they grew up, the girl was loved by her people for her free-spirit, bravery, and kindness. The boy, shyer than his sister, was loved for his cleverness and compassionate nature.

Both children deeply loved each other, and their connection as twins gave the impression they acted as if they were one unique soul instead of two different people. When one was sick, the other wouldn't leave his or her side until he or she was fully healed. Every single one of their decisions was made in a mutual agreement. And even if they had their share of arguments, they were sure they can count on each other in time of need.

But those children were also very special individuals. They were blessed by the star who had welcomed their birth. Thus, the girl was gifted with the power of the Sun when the boy with those of the Moon.

For the King and the Queen, only a bright future awaited their children for the rest of their lives.

And for those first few years, everything was perfect.

And then, those moments ended.

Once the twins reached the adulthood, darkness rose the kingdom and began to destroy everything.

A lot of people died in the war against the darkness, and even more, had been hurt. The royal family did their best to stop them, but they were powerless.

Because, one day, the younger brother betrayed them. Corrupted by the darkness, and fueled by anger and hatred, he nearly destroyed the entire kingdom in his madness. He was stopped by his sister a day of solar eclipse. She used the power of the Sun to put an end to the chaos created by her brother, and as the power of the two siblings was unleashed, there was a huge explosion which ravaged all the kingdom. The darkness vanished in the blast and everything seemed to return to normal.

But it was not truly the case.

The brother died this day, a small smile on his lips. Overwhelmed by sadness, the sister fell apart and died of grief a few days later.

The King Hélios and the Queen Sélène, distraught and sorrowful, prayed for days and days for the Sun and the Moon to have mercy upon the soul of their dear children gone far too soon.

The celestial bodies heard their cry and took pity on them. They proposed to the king and queen their places in the sky, as they were old and wished to rest for all eternity, to watch upon the human kind the same way they did when they ruled their kingdom. In exchange, the Sun and the Moon promised they'll get the chance to see their beloved children one day, as the story tends to repeat itself.

Both Hélios and Sélène agreed with the proposition and, as the old sun and moon returned to the Earth, they took their celestial thrones in the sky. Separated by the day and the night, they ruled with wisdom the sky and the stars above them, looking after the Earth below for decades and decades, watching kingdoms rise from ashes or be destroyed by the time.

As the century went by, Hélios and Sélène lost all hope that one day their children would be returned to them. By then, they had forgotten why they had taken the role of the sun and the moon in the first place, too accustomed to their duty of Earth's protector….

But deep down in their heart, under layers and layers of boredom and loneliness, a spark of hope still burnt within their soul. The hope that one day, they will be reunited as a family once again.

At one point, this feeling burst out of Hélios's Heart and he felt a wave of melancholia wash over him. Unfortunately for him, he didn't understand why he was feeling this way but, to his own surprise, he shed one single tear. It rolled down its way on his cheek and fell straight from his chin to the Earth.

And now,

Once Upon a time, a single drop of sunlight fell from the Heavens, and from this small drop of sun, grew a magic, golden flower…

~Legends of Corona: the Sun and the Moon~

A shaky hand wrote the final words of the story. The writer put slowly his pen down and looked fearfully at the shadowy figure which was towering him.

“I… I did what you ask me to… P-Please, let me go… I just want to see my wife and my children again, please… “

The Shadow chuckled. “Don't worry, you'll see them sooner than you expected…

“What do you mean by- ?” But the man question was cut short as the figure before him snapped his head off of his shoulder in a flick of the wrist.

The shocked expression of the man mirrored the malicious joy of the Shadow as the head fell in a loud 'thump' on the floor and rolled a little before stopping at the feet of the shadow, scattering some blood on the ground.

Taking the piece of paper that the old man's corpse still held in his hand, the Shadow compared it to the original version of the text.

The one which will be soon forgotten by all the humans.

The hooded figure tore it up in a hundred little pieces of white confetti and then burnt it and let the ashes fell upon the corpse of the dead man with a sadistic smile.

Everything is going perfectly … Thought the Shadow as it looked outside. The sun was setting down as the moon rose in the sky. Breathing deeply, the figure let the dark powers flowed through its body, sipping the remnant life's strings which were escaping from the Sun's Priest body.

Those foolish mortals don't need to know the truth… In time, they'll forget what really happened… And when this time will come, I'll finally get my revenge and we could rise once again…

A vicious grin spread across its distorted face.

They will pay…

Chapter Text

W hen I first saw you

oOoOoOo

As far as she could remember, Rapunzel had been always able to see strings get out of her chest and disappear into the air in front of her.

Well, to be perfectly honest, it was only when the sun shined very, very high in the sky, and never more than a few seconds at each attempt. Plus, it was a very exhaustive exercise so she didn’t try very often to invoke them. She was only six years old after all.

Nonetheless, she knew that she was connected to five people. First of all, there was the string that linked her to her Mother. It was a vibrant shade of red, fiery as her Mother’s temper could be. She deeply loved her Mother but, sometimes, she was very, very scared of her.

… Maybe it was because of Mother scared her sometimes that there was a taint of black mist on it…?

The second link bonded her to Pascal, her chameleon companion. It was made of a lovely shade of yellow, soft in is color, almost shy, but so comforting. After all, Pascal was the one who made her life in the tower a little less lonely.

The two seconds strings were almost transparent. They shined with a profound purple color and the only time she tried to feel them more, as faint as they were, she felt an overwhelming wave of confused feelings that she wasn’t able to stand up for several minutes. She hadn’t tried to feel these strings again. Maybe when she will when she’ll be older.

Maybe.

Then, there was the last string, the string that appeared only two years ago out from nowhere. Rapunzel didn’t know who it was linked, but an almost blinding light emanated from it. It was also a bit more elaborated in its composition. As the four other stings were some kind of rope-line like of faint colored-light, this one was made of two lines intricated in each other in a very complex way. One of them seemed to be made of gold as the other was made of silver. The six-year-old girl could have sworn the string was enameled with several little shining crystals.

Somehow, Rapunzel knew that she shouldn’t try to pull on this particular string, not yet. It’s was simply a feeling, a sort of instinct which told her so. And even if she was very curious about this string, in particular, she could wait a little longer. She was a very patient girl. She lived locked in a tower after all. She was used to waiting.

She heard her Mother climbing up the stair and the little girl shook herself off of the daze that came upon her when she summoned the strings.

She would try later to pull on it when the time will come.

oOoOoOo

It was not his room.

The four years old boy looked around him with curiosity.

At least, this dream wasn’t a nightmare.

He was in the middle of a black-gray nowhere surrounded by a sort of fog that lingered at his feet. Looking up, he saw the Full Moon shining in the strange sky of the place as a feeling of safety washed over him. He let out a long sigh of relief as he began to walk without a goal in the noplace that his dream brought him into.

But it all seemed amiss, like a void, as if something was lacking to this place, but Varian couldn’t point out what. Somehow, the young boy had the feeling that he had to be here, that someone was calling out for him and that this very nowhere-place was made for the only purpose of helping this person.

Then, he heard it. The footsteps coming his way. He turned on himself to look at what was approaching him from behind.

His baby blue eyes meet emerald one and something just shift within him.

The girl before him seemed as confused as he was and, after a few seconds of silence, she asked

“Where are we ?” her childish voice was soft and comforting. Varian, without knowing why, liked the sound of it.

“We’e in my dream !” he said with his babbling voice. He paused for a second and scratched his head,  “Well… I think we a’e!”

The girl only nodded and stay silent. A few moments passed and Varian couldn’t help but stare at the stranger in front of him. It was at this moment that he saw that her eyes were a little red as dry tears still ribbed her cheeks. He tilted his head a little and knitted his brow. He didn’t like the sad look on the girl's face.

“Somet’ing wrong ? Why are you c'ying ? You’e hurt ?”

“N-no ! Not all !” said the girl frantically, shaking her head in denial as she wiped her tears away, « It’s just me…Well, you know, I just… I… »

The younger saw her fidget on her feet as a blush appeared on her cheeks. The four years old sighed a little, deciding that this situation couldn’t last any longer.

“Wanna play ‘ith me ?” she looked at him and at the hand he had extended her way, slightly confused before nodding, a smile returning to her face.

“Yeah, sure! Huh, well… I-I never got the chance to play with someone else before…” she scratched the back of her neck at this, looking away.

“You don’t ‘ave friends?”

“Well, I have Pascal but… “ she shook her head and smile at him, “Wanna play Hide and Seek?”

The younger flashed her a wide grin.

“ ‘kay ! But you count first!”

So she covered her eyes and the game began.

Varian didn’t know how long they play in this strange place, but the four years old was happy to see the older girl smiled at him. Once the ended their game, they sat in the middle of the nowhere and began to talk. She told him that she was eight years old and that she lived in a tower with her Mother and that it was forbidden for her to leave it. He tried to ask her why, but she wouldn’t respond, so he didn’t push the subject much and talked about himself, about his passion for science, or how deeply he loved his father.

He learned that the little girl was really, really lonely sometimes and that’s why she was crying earlier.

She asked him how was the outside world, so he described her his village, the way he lived and how far the Capital was from where he lived.

The little girl listened to him with wide eyes, a little gleam of wonder shining behind their emerald-like color, a grin spread across her face.

Looking at her, Varian felt something rose inside his chest, a warm feeling that washed over him like a sweet wave of sunlight. So, he smiled shyly at her in response.

It was as if had stopped its course as they continued to talk together.

Suddenly, he heard a loud crack resonate inside the noplace as if someone was tearing apart a sheet of paper. He felt a harsh burning bloomed across his chest as the floor beneath his feet began to disappear. One of his hand flew to his heart as the pain began to increase, almost unbearable for his little body.

In front of him, he saw the girl reached out to help him, but her hand was only meet by a wall made of glass that prevented her from coming closer. As the burning continue to consume him from the inside, he felt smooth, cold hands took hold of him and pulling him away from the immediate danger as a voice began to ring in the back of his mind.

The foggy world of his dream began to vanish as he saw the older girl disappear too. He tried to struggle against the invisible hands that pulled him away from her. While he had felt complete in the other girl presence, the void that he had first felt when he woke up in his dream was back once again.

Then he realized. He didn’t ask for her name.

He yelled.

“WHO ARE YOU ?!”

As the older girl tried too to stay in the dream too, he heard her say from the other side of the wall

“I’m-!”

“Varian, please! Wake up, son!”

His eyes snapped open as a cry died upon his lips. His throat was sore as if he was screaming. He was shaking badly, sweat covering his forehead as tears were rolling down his cheeks.

He was still feeling the ache of the burning rolled upon his chest, even if the pain began to dull a little.

Already, the little girl’s face was disappearing from his mind, leaving behind it only the feeling of a warm smile.

Varian looked around him, trying to figure where he was. But before he could understand what was happening, he found himself caught in a powerful embrace as fingers combed his hair, trying to soothe him.

“It’s okay, son, I’m here. It was only a dream, you’re safe now…”

The deep voice of his father anchored him to reality and he clung to the big frame of his father’s body, crying madly but not knowing why.

“I-It wasn’t a nightmare…” he said between two sobs, “It wasn’t a nightmare at all, Daddy… There was a girl, and she was sad, but then we played together and… Oh, daddy, the burning… !”

“It’s okay, son… Just, try to calm down a little, would you? I’m here, so hush, don’t you cry my little Varian, don’t you cry… “

It took several minutes for the young boy to stop his tears. His father’s embrace soothing his shaken nerves. A few moments later, tiredness took possession of his body and he felt himself drift into a peaceful dreamless sleep.

He didn’t notice the panicked look on his father’s face as he hadn’t noticed that his hair was glowing with a silver-blue light, illuminating the dark bedroom with their soft gleaming.

So this is all true… Thought the older man with a point of fear. Unconsciously, he hugged the sleeping boy a little closer to his chest in a protective embrace.

A ray of Moonlight fell upon the glowing freckles sprinkled across his son’s button nose. A few moments later, the faint light began to disappear but Quirin felt a shiver run through his spine a the simple thought of what the future may hold for his sweet little Varian.

And for the first time in a very, very long time, Quirin was truly afraid of what could happen to his dear son.

He didn’t leave Varian’s side for the rest of the night.

oOoOoOo

Rapunzel opened her eyes slowly as she felt a hand brushed her hair in a soothing way.

“Mother… ?” she asked in a sleepy voice

“Yes, my Dear, I’m here… You had a bad dream, sweetheart… “

“A bad dream? No, Mom, I-”

“Hush, my Little Flower, it’s okay now. I made them go away…” cut the sweet tone of her Mother voice, “Now go back to sleep, would you? I promise you’d be safe now.”

The girl frowned a little, but she didn’t try to argue with her Mother. They already had their argument earlier this day and she didn’t want to upset her again.

“Thank you, Mom…”

“You’re welcome, sweetheart…” she bent a little to kiss a forehead « I love you, my dear »

“I love you more…”

“I love you most… Goodnight.”

And with that, she was gone and Rapunzel was left alone in her bedroom. She snuggled under her sheets and thought about the dream she just had.

When she had fallen asleep after her argument with her mother, crying, she had wished to have someone to talk to, or to play with, just for once. And even if it had been only her imagination, the sweet little boy from her dream had been exactly what she had needed.

She couldn’t remember his face but that really doesn’t matter at this moment. She hoped that he was okay, as he seemed to be in pain the last seconds she saw him before waking up, but the little girl assumed it was the case. She fell asleep in a matter of seconds, a small smile on her lips.

What she didn’t know was that downstairs, her Mother was cursing in a hushed voice as she tried to reinforce the spells that protect to tower from any intruder.

She couldn’t take the risk that someone sneaked into her Magic Flower’s dreams once again, it was too dangerous.

But each of her attempts was sold by a failure. She cursed out loud once more deciding to try it again the next day.

And outside, the Moon snickered at her.

Chapter Text

"Watching over you"

oOoOoOo

Quirin looked at his son's sleeping face with a fond smile as he brushed some of Varian's black locks off his forehead.

At nine years old, Quirin's son was quite a gifted boy, very curious and eager in all new things that captured his attention. At such a young age, he had developed a great interest in science and alchemy, and for his seventh birthday, Quirin bought him some vials and stuff for him to do little experimentations. And after two years, nothing had exploded, yet.

It was a good start.

Outside, the sky was pitch black, only enlighten by the stars as it was the new moon. And as Quirin look aimlessly in the air before him, he let out a sigh, thinking back at the events that happened earlier this day.

The village's children thought of Varian as a sort of weirdo and they did everything in their power to make him felt rejected. Between the very bad pranks and the stupid nicknames, the last one recorded was 'Weird-rian', Varian had reached a certain line that the children should not have crossed, but they had, and the little boy became very, very angry.

The problem lied in the fact that Quirin wasn't aware of all this bullying stuff until one of the bully's parent came to his home with a very upset Varian and their own nose-bleeding boy, explaining that the nine years old one had attacked their 'sweet-little-Steve' without any reasons and that 'he should teach his boy how to act properly in society'.

Quirin had only looked down at his son with a very reproving glare of his own, and before he got the chance to say anything, Varian apologized with a very quiet voice and run straight to his bedroom without looking back. Steve's parents only snorted at the little boy manners and, after several Quirin's apologizes for his son behavior, went to return to their house.

And while he was watching them disappeared in a corner of the village street, he could have sworn that the little Steve had glanced back at him with a victorious gleam in his eyes as a vicious grin was spread across his lips. Quirin had frowned at this and quietly reached Varian's room, peaking a sneak inside, only to see the young boy trying to silently wash what seemed to be a pretty bad cut on his forearm.

His blood had just simply frozen in his veins at the view and Quirin had rushed inside his son's bedroom, to the very much surprise of the younger, to help him healed his wound while asking him what was exactly going on.

And after few silent seconds, Varian had begun to cry, a lot, in his father shoulder, telling him that he was bullied for a few months already by some children of the village, that they tough he was a weirdo because he didn't talk too much or because he spent a lot of time at reading books than playing with them, or because he was a boy too sensible and that it was not normal to be so emotional.

And between the sobs and the mumblings, Varian managed to apologize at least a hundred times to his father.

Quirin had felt hopeless and the only thing he did was drawing circles in his son's back in a soothing way, telling him that he shouldn't apologize for what happened, because it was not his fault, and that he should have come to see him sooner to talk to him about his problems instead of resorting to violence. Varian said nothing at this as he continued to cry in Quirin's shoulder until he was too tired to keep his eyes open. He drifted to sleep in a matter of seconds after that, his breathing becoming deeper and less erratic from his earlier's cries.

Since then, Quirin watched over him, making sure that the cut on his arm was okay. He had palled as he saw all the bruises Varian had on his body and he cursed mentally himself for not having noticed it sooner.

Sighing deeply, he looked at the window and at the moonless sky.

This part of the month was the one where Varian's mood swings were at their top. Not that Varian was a moody child, but he tended to be very emotional when it was the new moon, more restless and nervous than when the Moon was full, periods when he was peaceful and at the top of his abilities, both physical and psychic.

He knew that the natural cycle of the nocturnal body had some effects upon his son, it was expected, knowing Varian's… Abilities. Maybe he should find a stone or something like this that could help him calm his mood swings…

Maybe he should ask him for this…? Yes, maybe he should, he had told Quirin that he could ask him anything if needed after all…

Sighing once more, Quirin stroke once more his son's head, his fingers lingered a little longer upon the streak of blue that colored his black hair before bending over him and pressed a kiss upon Varian's forehead. He heard a sight of delight escaped his son's lips and Quirin realized that maybe, maybe, he should be more expressive toward his son.

He didn't want for him to grow up believing that he always disappointed his father or that Quirin was not proud of him.

Because he already so much was.

oOoOoOo

Those dreams had something very unsettling that made Varian almost restless.

Some weeks had passed since the incident with the children's village, and his father seemed to be more cautious of him and tried to be a little more expressive toward him.

The little boy was very happy that his father tried to be more here for him, he even gave him a gift while it was not his birthday! It was a sort of handmade necklace made with a thin cord on which his father had hooked a little purple-yellow stone, a certain variety of opal, he said but he didn't tell him where he found it, to help him stabilized his emotion and to not get angry as he did last time with Steve. In a certain trick of the light, the stone sometimes appears as if it had a deep blue-silver color instead of the purple one.

Varian had no idea if it really worked, but he was now used to the cold feeling of the opal upon his chest, as he kept the necklace under his shirt to avoid breaking the rope and, yeah, he hadn't had the urge to punch someone nose for quite sometimes now, so he suppose it was okay.

As for the dreams, he hadn't dared to talk about them with his father yet. Because he knew deep down that his worries were unfounded, because it was just dreams, but also because Quirin claimed to be a man of science and Varian only wanted to be just like him when he would be older.

He shouldn't believe in nonsense like magic, and yet… He did because he couldn't avoid thinking about them.

The fact was that the dreams were kind of recurrent, even if not regulars, and it was always the same girl, and Varian felt it in his guts that something was wrong with them.

Well, not 'wrong' in a bad way, but rather because they did not seem to be just simple dreams. But no matter how hard he tried to give them a logical explanation, he always faced a dead-end in his researches.

Looking down to his notebook, the young by rereading the few pieces of information he had about them :

1) They are not regular and do not seem to follow a certain schedule, I can have them for twenty nights straight and then not having a single one for almost three months.

2) It's always the same girl who appears in them, it appears that she is older than me

3) They happen always in the same nowhere-place.

4) I can't remember her face, no matter how many times I saw her.

5) I can't hear her name too.

6) It seems that she had the same problems

Well, he thought, It's a beginning to work with…!

He drew a long sight as he leaned back in his chair. Who was he fooling? It was pointless! It had been almost six years since the first dream had occurred and no matter how hard he tried to understand them, those dreams seemed to keep their secrets under lock and except for the obvious, he had literally nothing to work on.

(And yes, maybe sometimes Varian forget that he was still a child)

Upside, he heard his father walked into the living room. Stretching a bit, he stood up, put the notebook in a hidden drawer of his desk then shook off the numbness in his limbs before climbing up the stairs to join Quirin on the ground floor.

As always, they will share a father/son moment while watching the lanterns that royal family launched for their lost little girl's birthday each year. Varian felt sad for them, as they were good friends of his father, and that he gets the chance to meet them a few times. They were very nice people, and they certainly didn't deserve what had happened to them all those years back.

"Varian? Are you coming?"

"I'm right here Dad," he said as we walked toward the big figure of his father. The older held two unlighted lanterns in one hand as he stretched the second one toward his son.

"Ready?"

"More than ever " responded Varian with a small smile, slipping his hand in his father's bigger one, and on that, they were on their way to the Capital.

As always, the festivities at the center of Corona were magnificent, with all the music and dances, and Varian enjoyed all that the Capital had to offer with his father as he hadn't spent a lot of time with him for a few weeks already.

Quirin seemed a little… Off, but he did his best to not show his feelings to Varian and the little nine-almost-ten-years-old didn't mind very much.

The launch of the flying lanterns was gorgeous to see, no matter how many times he already had the chance to watch it. But as Varian and his father were on their way back to Old Corona, a little part of his mind wished to he would have been able to take a little bit of the view with him in a part of his head to show it the Girl of his dreams later, as she longed to see them in real one day.

'It's my dream !' she had said one night, as it seemed that her own birthday coincided with the event. He had asked her why she didn't ask her Mother to take her to the festival as a birthday gift one year. The Girl had only sighed and said that she tries, once, to imply the idea that maybe she would like the go to see them and that her Mother answer was a categoric 'no'. He had asked her why and, as always, she said that she couldn't tell him the reason.

Maybe he should work on this problem to solve instead of trying to understand the origins of the dreams?

He decided that he'll think of it later. A yawn escaped his lips before he could register it and he felt his head fell upon his father's shoulder as they reached the village with their little cart. By the time they arrived at their house, Varian was already sleeping and Quirin had to carry him to his room. He took off his son's apron, shoes, and goggles before settled him in his bed. And as he did so, he saw the steak of blue in his son's hair began to glow before its silver-blue color spread all across his son's head.

So he had those dreams again… They would never stop, would they ? he thought bittersweetly.

… Of course not, they wouldn't. Things would be so different if Varian never had them if Varian had never been…

He drew out a long sigh and close his eyes, stroking again his son's black hair. And so, Quirin didn't register the coming glowing light until he heard something bump against the window's frame. Looking in the direction of the noise, he saw that it was a lantern that found its way to his son's room. Frowning at the strange event, Quirin stood up and went to take it between two hands and saw that it was not a common lantern but the that was launched by Frederick and Arianna.

Bewildered by the strangeness of the situation, Quirin returned to his son side and, on a whim, put the object on Varian's nightstand. In the distance, Old Corona's chief heard a bell rang twelve times. The lost princess's birthday just had ended, but it was not over yet. He counted two minutes in his head before leaning back over Varian and pressed one kiss on his forehead.

"Daddy… ? " ask Varian's sleeping voice, not noticing the surreal brightness of the room, "What is it…?"

"Nothing, son. Happy Birthday," he murmured as he stroke his son's shinning hair, lulling the younger to sleep, a small smile on his lips.

A few moments later, Quirin made his way out of Varian's bedroom to his own, aiming a good night of rest after having spent several weeks working like a madman.

But before that, he had to reinforce the spells that kept his house, and mostly Varian, safe. And even if he knew that he still had some years before hells break loose and that he wasn't the only one watching over his son (even if it was still from afar), they would reassure Quirin a little more about Varian well-being.

Once he was sure that everything was okay, the older man let himself fell straight into his mattress, barely pulling a sheet over himself, falling asleep almost instantly.

Chapter Text

 

oOoOoOo

« Wait a second… You never told me that your birthday was the day just after mine! »

Varian gave a sheepish grin to the girl, rubbing his arm « Ha, ha… Sorry about that… »

Well, as expected, a few minutes after falling asleep, the younger had been rejoined in his dreams by the other girl and he had the chance to wish her ‘Happy Birthday’ before the clock strike its twelves bells. But the alchemist would have never thought that his father would have wait until the exact minute to wish him Happy Birthday… Neither that the girl in front of him would have been able to hear it too.

« Well, It’s not really a big deal so-

« Not a big deal ?! » cut the blond-haired, sounding outraged, « Your birthday, not a big deal? Are you kidding me? A birthday is always a big deal! »

Taken a little aback by his counterpart’s outburst, Varian found himself mumbling, « Well, y-you know… W-we… I’ve never c-considerate that… And then, t-the lanterns coincide with y-yours and… »

The older girl let an exasperated sigh out and grab Varian by the arm to enfolded him in one of her bear-hug trademarks.

« Happy ten-years-old Birthday, silly! » She said with a smile in her voice « Don’t you dare think that it is not a big deal! It’s important to me! You are important to me, so don’t ever tried to denigrate yourself again! »

 Varian blinked several times, a little surprised by the older’s words, before hugging her back, « Thank you… » he murmured in her shoulder, feeling oddly at ease with the rare gesture which was kind of foreign to him but also achingly familiar…

They stay this way a few moments longer before the girl pushed him back with a loud gasp.

« Oh, my! I don’t have any gift for you! »

Varian recoiled a little, «N-no! it’s okay! Really! Also, I didn’t give you anything for your own birthday so don’t worry about… That… » His voice trailed off at the end of his sentence as a faint light caught the corner his eyes. He frowned a little and moved toward the gleam.

« What is it… ? » asked the girl as she followed him, seeing the strange gleaming thing too. Varian said nothing and suddenly, their surroundings began to change a little and the two could see the blurry shape of what seem to be furniture…

Varian gasped, recognizing the form of his nightstand.

« What’s happening… ?

« I don’t know but… For whatever reason, we could see a little of my room, of the reality… »

Knitting his brows together, Varian extended his arms toward the light. His hands seemed to pass through a sort of wall made of blurry-water and he felt something between his palms as he reached for the glowing object.

He retracted back his hand when he was sure he had a good hold on the gleaming thing and, as he repassed the water-like-wall, he had the feeling that the thing was, in a way, melting in his hands before solidifying once again.

His puzzled expression changed into a surprise one as he saw, a lantern, -the Royal Lantern !- in his hands. Next, to him, he heard the little girl let out a marveled gasp.

« Is that…? » Looking back at her, and even if he was a little stunned by the strange event, the younger smiled at the fourteen-years-old girl and hand her the glowing object.

« Huh…?

« Take it, » he said, « As your birthday gift. You wanted to see the lanterns, right? Maybe it’s not the real deal with the hundreds of them but… It’s a beginning… »

Ever so slowly, her hands found their way toward the glowing object that the just-happened-ten-years-old held up to her. Gently, she took it between her two hands, her fingers brushing slightly with his ones, and her eyes began to shine with unshed tears, a gleam enlightening their deep-green-color as a huge smile slowly made its way across her face.

Varian watched her with soft eyes, a warm feeling spreading across his chest. When she looked back at him, the only thing that he could read in her eyes was gratitude.

« I… I don’t know how you manage to do this but… Thank you…! I wished I could offer you something too but…

« It’s okay, » he said while rubbing his neck, « I don’t know how this is possible too and, really, you don’t need to-»

Once again, he was cut in his sentence by another bear-hug, but he really didn't mind. He hugged her back and then she was once again to the lantern, marveled by the simple, and yet very important object.

And seeing the girl smile like this, Varian decided that he really didn’t need a birthday gift.

oOoOoOo

When Rapunzel woke up several hours later, she had a peaceful smile on her lips.

She remembered her surprise to know that the Dream Boy (as she like to call him)’s birthday was just after hers and even if she was upset he never told her  about it, or maybe by the fact that after six years visiting each other’s dreams, she had never thought to ask him when his birthday was ! What an awful friend she was!

Friend… For long, she thought that the only friend she’ll ever have would be Pascal but now, she has this Boy in her dream and… She was happy to have a someone to talk with who was not her mother…

Because he gave her another view of the outside world, and even if she was still scared of it, she wondered more often why her Mother had to darken the picture. And even if the world still appeared full of rogues, plagues, cannibals or poisons, she knew that not everything was bad either, look at the boy with who her relationship is the closer of what a friendship looked like with real people!

More like a little brother, she second-thought, laughing a little as she snuggled under her sheets, hugging closer a soft fabric against her cheek-

Whut… ?

Slowly, she opened one eye, then two as they grew bigger than saucers, looking at the object she hugged between her arms. Schoked, she jerked away from the once-glowing object, making it flew a little before it landed softly on her cushion. Pascal, startled by the sudden motion, climbed on her shoulder and made little noise of concern.

« It’s okay, Pascal, it’s just… This shouldn’t be here… It’s impossible… » She pinched her arm, not quite sure she was awake.

Dumbfounded, she looked down to the object and, very slowly, delicately took the lantern between her two hands, afraid it dissolved into dust at the simple touch. Pascal, still on her shoulder, looked at the strange object before glancing up at Rapunzel face, a question in his eyes.

« I… I can’t explain how this come here but… It’s a lantern, Pascal, like all the ones which are launch every year on my birthday… »

Like the very one, he gave me last night… But how…?

Still, the fourteen-years-old girl gazed fondly at the lantern, tracing with her fingers the sun-pattern drew on it, lost in thought and stayed like this for a few moments longer, warm spreading into her chest.

I’ll have to ask how he did this little trick… Still, it’s the best birthday gift I ever had until now…

When Pascal almost shouted into her ear, she realized that her Mother was at the foot of the tower and was calling out for her.

She can’t see it! She’ll destroy it if she ever found it… ! Thought Rapunzel, a little panicked before tossing the object under her bed and heading straight to her waiting-mother at the window.

With a wide grin on her face, Rapunzel launched her already long hair to Gothel.

oOoOoOo

«Varian? Are you awake, son?

« Barely… ! » shouted tiredly back the ten-years-old boy at his father, rubbing his eyes. He heard him chuckle a little.

« My, my… You should be very tired last night…! It’s almost noon… ! »

If Varian wasn’t struggling against the strings of sleep that tried to take him back into slumber, he would have gasped in shock. Maybe he wasn’t an early person, but he certainly wasn’t the kind who stay in bed this far in the morning… !

But gosh… I’m so tired…

For a few seconds, Varian wondered what could have happened for him to be so exhausted, but he couldn’t find a reason.

With a yawn, he stood up on his bed, took his boots, not very surprising to see that he was still wearing the clothes of the past day, and headed downstairs, smelling delightfully the sweet scent in the air as he entered the kitchen. His father turned on his heels to face him and, with a smile, embraced him, « Happy Birthday, son… », then, with a deep chuckle, added « again ».

Varian hugged him back, « Thanks Dad ». Then he turned to the sink and began to wash his hands, yawning once again. He didn’t see the strange look his dad gave him as he stayed silent for a few seconds.

« Varian…? », the younger turned his head to him, « Yes, dad? » « Don’t you… See something on your nightstand when you woke up this morning… ? »

Varian frowned a little « … No, I saw nothing… Should I…? » Now, it was Quirin who frown deeper, « Really, Varian? But last night, I left a lantern on your bedside… »

The younger one eye widened a little « A lantern…? »

« Yes, I don’t know how, but a lantern found his way to your room- The Royal Lantern! Nothing less ! But I’m surprised that you didn’t see it while I left it on... » but his sentence died on his lips as Quirin heard his son mumbling to himself, his gaze lost in the nothingness in front of him,

« So I really give her a lantern last night… »

Every single drop of blood frozen in his veins earing those words, and before he knew it, he had to take Varian by the shoulders, locking his eyes with Varian’s, his voice low, cold and utterly laced with fear.

« What… Did you… Say…? », Varian looked at him with shock, not understanding what was happening and stay silent, looking at his father with frightening, questioning eyes.

« Varian », repeated his father, « What. Did. You. Say? »

The younger voice was trembling now, shaken by Quirin’s strange behavior, as he answered to his father.

« T-The girl! In my dreams! I kno-know that I never talk to you about h-her, but she’s nice! It seems that we share dreams! I tried to understand them, but I can’t, a-and I didn’t tell you about this because I-I don’t have any a-answers! A-and i-it was her birth-birthday yesterday, and then she discovered my birthday was after hers, just after midnight, you know? As you always told, and because she heard you wishing me it, and then we saw my room in the dream, and we saw a light, and then there was the strange curtain, and I took the lantern from the water-like curtain, and then I gave it to her, and- »

« How long ? » Quirin’s voice was cold, sharp and cut the rambling boy mid-sentence

Varian knew instantly what his father meant and said « S-Six years… Six years that I see her in my dreams sometimes, not a-all the night! B-But I can’t rem-remember her face, but she’s kind and she tried to understand t-too what th-those dreams are-» But Varian didn’t finish this sentence too as he felt his father’s grasp on his shoulder tensed and, ever so slightly, shacked.

With a low, sharp voice, Quirin said between his teeth,

« Listen carefully, Varian… I don’t ever want to hear about those dreams anymore … I don’t want you to even try to understand what they are- What am I saying ? Those dreams are nothing but an invention from your mind to fill your nights… ! » he paused, « The girl that you meet in your so-called ‘dreams’… she doesn’t exist…

« But Dad! You don’t understand! They exist! She exists! Somewhere! I know it’s not an invention of my mind! Even if I can find a logical reason for their existence, they are…! I know they are true! And I can’t shake the feeling that is something related to some kind of mag- »

« Enough, Varian ! » cut sharply his father « I don’t want to hear you talk about those dreams, or even mention ‘magic’ in this house, ever! »

Varian closed his mouth at the outburst, swallowing a lump in his throat, scared by his father and feeling his hands shaking a little. Nodding numbly, the younger only said in a weak voice « Y-yes dad… »

Quirin sighed tiredly as he drew away from his son and rushed a hand through his own dark locks, looking down at the ground

 « …I’m sorry son, I didn’t want to raise my voice to you, but it’s really important for me that you forget about those ‘dreams’… Please, don’t talk about them to anyone anymore… And tried to avoi- to forget them…» he paused, « Don’t forget, son; we are men of science, nonsense like magic, or « share dreams experiences», as you said, didn’t, don’t and will never exist.»

Varian nodded silently, looking at his boots. His father gazed at him sadly and then, after a few moments of tensed silence, open his arms a little, unsure, not knowing if it was the right thing to do.

When Varian canon-balled into his arms, Quirin let out a relieved sigh out of his lungs. He was aware that his son was crying silently, and that he wouldn’t listen to him about the dreams, but he had made his point clear, and he was sure that Varian wouldn’t talk about them to anyone. And even if lying to his son made him sick as hell inside, he knew he had to do it.

Somehow, Quirin felt that this simple incident dug a little pit between Varian and him and that it would only grow larger and larger as the years will pass, because Quirin couldn’t tell him the truth, not yet.

All those secrets will be what will tear them apart, and Quirin held his son closer to the simple idea of losing him one day.

But if it was the price to pay to ensure Varian safety, he would take the shovel and dig himself if he had to.

But as it was still a small pit that he still could easily cross, Quirin just soaked in his son warmth, holding delicately his small moonbeam between his arms.

And in the back of his mind resonated a faint plea,

I’m so sorry son… for all the pain I had already caused you and will… Please, forgive me…

One day, you’ll understand why I had to do this, and I can only hope that when this day will come, you would not fell apart.

 

 

 

Chapter Text

It’s okay, right?

 

oOoOoOoOo

After what had happened this day in the kitchen, Varian knew that argument ( if he could call this incident like that ?) was just the beginning of something big… Very big, and that, no matter how hard he’ll try, something had just torn something in his relation with his father.

And deep inside, the young alchemist dread the coming-day where everything will just blow up into his face.

Still… There were the dreams…

Varian knew that his father forbade him from trying to understand them but… He couldn’t help himself, he had to know what they really are.

But why?

It was like a sort of gut feeling, his mind working, always looking for some kind of answers because he was a man of science, didn’t he? He had to do some experiences with them to understand how they worked. But what frustrated him the most was that he couldn’t use alchemy to study them.

To be honest, Varian had been surprised when the Girl told him the following night that she had awakened with the lantern in her arms. And despite his father warnings, he knew that was only the tip of the iceberg and that he had to investigate further.

Some months have passed since their birthday and the Girl and he had tried some experiences about this « Water-curtain event », as he liked to call it (and because it was the best way to define it), like how make it appeared by command and not by chance: for that, both of them seem able to do so, even if it appeared that the task was easier to accomplish for Varian, his side clearer, mostly when the moon was full, even if he couldn’t understand why. The Girl side, on the other hand, was always blurry, she struggled more to make it appear and she couldn’t take any object from the other side of the curtain. Same for sleeping with an object: Varian could take them in but, on the other hand, was unable to take something from the dream to the reality, where the Girl could, might it had been brought by Varian himself or was created inside the realm.

Oh yeah, because they had recently discovered that they could create things from nothing in the noplace and that, from night to night, the objects left in the dream were still there when the came back.

Thus, the noplace transformed itself from a void nowhere to a full organized chaos where paint material, alchemy stuff, invented objects, various plants, furniture, carriages ( ?!) and other improbable things were side by side in a strange harmony.

Sometime, Varian wished he could bring back with him some stuff from the dream realm to his room, like the prototype inventions that would take months to create in reality but were easier to do here as the time worked in strange ways in the noplace, but also because the Girl gave him a lot of things, mostly painting and Gosh this girl is really gifted with a paintbrush !

But one of the other things that Varian couldn’t truly understand about those dreams was the fact that he truly felt complete in the Girl presence. It was a sort of a warm, familiar feeling he felt bloomed in his chest each time he saw the Girl smile, even if he couldn’t see her face, or at least remembered how she looked like.

Once, he asked his father about this feeling.

« Why, are you in love, Varian? »

The young alchemist had really thought hard about it for the rest of the day.

Yes, he did love the girl but… In a way, it was something more similar to what he felt toward Quirin than the love between two lovers like he saw sometimes in the street of Old Corona. But it was different from the love a son had for his father too, it was as if there was something… more about his relationship with the Girl, deeper by many aspects, but he couldn’t point out what.

So one night he asked her

« How… How do you feel toward me…? »

The question had popped out during one of their comfy silence where the Girl hummed slightly a very enjoyable tune while drawing random stuff on a sheet of paper upon her knees. She just stopped and looked at him straight in the eyes.

« Why do you ask me that?

« It’s just… I can’t define what our relation is… » he chuckled nervously, « it’s just that you are very important to me a-and it’s just like I feel complete only when I’m in your presence and… » Varian cast his eyes down, « Well… I do love you, but not in a romantic way… But also different from what I feel toward my father, and it’s not quite friendship so… » he voice trailed off as the Girl stayed silent.

~*~

Rapunzel blinked at the boy, trying to process his words. Yes, she had too thought about her relationship with the younger one and she knew exactly what he was feeling because… She felt the same way too.

So slowly, she headed toward the younger one and put a hand on his shoulder. The Boy looked up at her and gave Rapunzel a very shy smile and she felt her heart melt.

On a whim, she put her arms around the younger and drew him into a sweet embrace. He hugged her back.

« I know exactly what you are feeling… » she said in his ear, « … I tried to understand too but I can’t find a good way to definite it but… » she pushed him smoothly out of her arms to lock her eyes with his, « …But I think the best way to define it is that you are just like the little brother I never thought I would ever have, and maybe even more… » she chuckled, « Still, the words failed me because they aren’t strong enough… »

The Boy smiled back at Rapunzel, beaming at the older’s answer. Then, he tilted a little his head and a playful glint alight his blue eyes « In that case, you are the Big Sister I always dream  to have.»

Rapunzel paused for a moment and then giggled at the (bad) pun the Boy had made before giving him a last squeeze on the shoulder.

Even if he had said this as a joke, she saw that he really meant what he had said, and just knowing this fact warmed her lonely heart a little more.

But, Rapunzel still had the feeling she owed him something… He had given her so many things and… She couldn’t repay him, she couldn’t even give him a birthday present, and it frustrated her so much!

Surely, there should be something that can she can do to repay him, right?

The fourteen-years-old girl thought hard, thinking about what she can do to thanks the young alchemist… And then an idea popped in the front of her mind.

She hadn’t tried to invoke them during the night for a long time, and never in a dream before. Rapunzel knew that the exercise was easier to do during the daytime but she wouldn’t be able to show him them if she was awake… But, it worth the try, right?

And, to be honest, she thought that the way she could see the world sometimes was truly a gorgeous sight, and she wanted to share it with him.

So she put a hand on the younger boy arm, « Tell me… I want to show you something, but I’m not sure that it’ll work but… Still… Do you want me to try it? »

The boy tilted a little his head and looked at her with intrigued eyes, « Well… I’m a bit curious now… What is it? »

« It’s something that I can see when I’m awake but I never try when I’m asleep… » The boy gave her an encouraging smile « Don’t doubt of yourself, I’m sure you can do it! »

Rapunzel beamed a little at this words and then close her eyes, reaching for the familiar tug inside of her chest, pulling on it.

A few seconds passed before she heard a gasp coming from the boy in front of her, and she allowed herself a smile. She opened her eyes to look at the familiar sight before her.

When she was younger, Rapunzel could only see a few strings, five to be exact, but as she grew older, she began to see more and more bonds crossing the sky, the air, the walls, everything in a gleaming web of billions of colors. And now, she was able to share the view with the younger boy.

His eyes were glowing with wonder as he turned on himself, the head tilted backward and the mouth slightly agape.

Strings were crossing in front of them too, and he reached a hand toward the strings to touch them, and his fingers simply passed through the tin cords. Finally, the Boy looked down at the Girl.

« What are they…?

« I’m not sure, but I have my own theory…

« Which is…?

« I suppose them to be the bonds that tied people to each other all around the world… Each time one meet someone else, a bond is created…

« So, we do share one of them?

« Maybe, but we never met in real before so… » she frowned a little, «Let me try if I can find it… » And slowly, she put one hand to her heart and let her own bonds coming out of it. First, it was the red string from her mother, then Pascal’s, the two purple one and finally…

She let a small smile appeared on her lips. In a way, Rapunzel wasn't surprised at all to see which one was her bond with the little boy.

~*~

Varian gasped once more when he saw the string poured out of the Girl’s chest straight to his own.

And even if he was still marveled by all the strings that stripped the sky above their head, he was far more fascinated by the bond that linked him to the Girl. He never could have thought that it would be like that!

It seemed to be made of silver and gold knitted together in a very complex-yet-artistic way, some crystal enameling the bound and making it shining under the colorful light of the other strings surrounding them. But what intrigued him the most was the fact that the string shined with a faint gleaming light different from the others.

Unlike all the other strings that surrounded them, he could feel the bound between his fingers, pounded with energy, and for a split of seconds, Varian and the Girl mind were connected as if they were one.

It was as if he was himself, her, but also somebody else, as if he was a newborn and a thousand years old man at the same time as if he had everything to learn from the world, but also had all the knowledge of it in the palm of his hand.

During this split of a second, his eyes connected with the Girl emerald ones and he knew that she felt the same way. And as he looked into their deep, a wave of nostalgia hit him with force, leaving in the back of his mind the taste of forgotten memories from a life he hadn’t live.

Flamming hair…

Singing voices…

Warm days…

Life and death…

Renewal…

Light…

Darkness…

Sorrow…

Regrets…

Danger…

Protect, Protect, PROTECT!

A voice crying

« No, please! »

A plea…

« Stop it before it’s too late… »

… Please, don’t repeat my mistakes

And as soon as the sensations took over him, they disappeared in a blink, leaving behind only a strange taste in his mouth.

Still looking into the Girl green eyes, he could see that she felt something but… It appeared that she didn’t experience what he had just seen.

But he didn’t remove his hand from the bound, soaking in the sweet warmth emanating from it.

And more than before, he had never felt as complete as at this moment. Varian stayed silent for a few seconds, still trying to process what he had just seen. It was at this moment that he noticed that he was shaking a little.

The Girl seemed to see this too and she crossed the short distance between them and pulled him into one of her trademark hugs.

« Are you okay… ? » she murmured into his hair.

Varian only shook his head, not trusting his voice yet, one hand still clinging to the bond, the other around the Girl in front of him.

A storm of confused emotions had settled itself inside his chest, as well as thousands of questions. And deep down, he knew that it was only the beginning.

« I… Don’t know » Varian managed to say after a few moments

« It’s okay, I… I’m not sure to truly understand what’s happening but… I suppose it’s okay, right? »

« Sure »

Through the bond, Varian could feel the Girl concern. Once again, this strange, familiar feeling bloomed into his chest.

Finally, they stopped hugging each other but didn’t let the other go yet. They simply sat in the middle of the nowhere, surrounded by all their creations, the strings still stripping the sky above them, and their own link gleaming between their two hearts.

And even if he still had a slightly bad foreboding after seeing what he saw when he first touched the gleaming cord, he knew that everything going to be okay, right?

Right…?

 

Chapter Text

« And now, one… Little… Tiny… Gram of… Potassium Sulfate… », Holding his breath, the twelve-and-seven-month-years-old alchemist poured the last ingredient in his mixture as a sweat drop rolled upon his temple.

Varian looked down at his experience before him and let out a relieved sigh when nothing exploded at his face after a few seconds.

Well, his compound was only made of powder but… He wasn’t cent percent sure that it was safe tough. Looking back at his list of ingredients at his left, the alchemist knew he had just finished the purple one color. If he wanted, he could carry on with his preparations but one glance at the window told him it was pretty late and that his father would come soon to see if he was still down there.

But Varian didn’t want for Quirin to see what he was doing down in his lab. He wanted it to be a surprise. After all, it was his first time preparing firework and he wanted to test them himself before showing them to anyone. And if everything went according to plan, Varian was sure that they’ll be ready before Christmas, and maybe he could even do a launch for the New Year's Eve.

But all of this was based upon a big ‘if’.

And so, carefully, he put a little of his mixture in a special tube he had prepared a little while ago and close dit, then tucked the surplus in a box, wrote an indication about the content on it before putting it with several other boxes in shelf, next to the Firework’s book the Asian traveler had sold him some times ago, and covered them with a sheet.

He clasped his hand together and then brushed his apron to getting rid off of any suspicious dust and made his way to the ground floor of his house. Pushing open his lab’s trap door, he slipped through the hole and closed it after him.

And his father wasn’t here. Good. He wouldn’t ask what he was doing down in the basement and so, he wouldn’t disapprove his little experimentation.

At this thought, Varian felt a pang in his heart and tried to forget the memory of his father pained, disapproving, disappointed face as he began to prepare himself a ham sandwich.

« B-But, Dad! I was just trying to-

« That doesn’t matter, Varian » his father deep voice cut him mid-sentence, « The fact is, you almost destroy the stables with your little experimentations! When will you learn when to stop? »

Swallowing hard, he tried to ignore the familiar guilt that settled itself in his chest and ate silently his meal.

When things had gone wrong? When did his father begin to have high expectation for him? When did he become a pale excuse for a son?

When things will return the way they were before… ?

There, Varian felt the sob at the back of his throat but he wouldn’t give in. He clenched a fist and took a deep, steady breath.

Now, the urge to cry had disappeared.

Good.

As he swallowed the last piece of his sandwich, he wondered why his father had changed this much in the last few months. He tried to remember when the things had shifted so drastically but he couldn’t point out an exact moment. It was like one day his father had simply decided… To change, and Varian wasn’t prepared for this. And it was still the case.

But why… ? The alchemist knew that his father had high responsibilities – he was ruling an entire village, nonetheless! But still… Why did he have to constantly remind him how much a failure he was…?

Varian frowned. Wait, why am I thinking that? Dad never told me I was a failure…!

Ye, snickered a vicious voice in the back of his mind, and Varian pushed the thought away. He shouldn’t have these kinds of thoughts! He knew his Dad still love him, it was just…

Varian let out a frustrated sigh as he leaned against the back of his chair.

But what ‘it was just’is? Good question. But the twelve years old boy hadn’t had the beginning of a clue of what that could be. And it was upsetting him!

Tears began to gather at the rim of his eyelids.

He just felt so helpless… !

Instinctively, his left hand went to his chest and pulled out of his shirt the familiar stone that his father had given him years ago, and the young alchemist sought for the cold, grounding feeling it gave him.

For an odd reason, Varian had a feeling of familiarity each time he reached for the opal, and today was not an exception. Plus, it was the new moon and, as always, dark thoughts plagued his mind and he was a little more unstable...

The routine.

The alchemist took a few minutes to collect himself and rub his eyes, trying to get rid of his bitterness.

It was at this moment he heard the scratch.

He froze, then waited a few seconds before a second scratching sound was heard.

Puzzled, he got up and walked toward the window and stay silent a few moments longer.

There, something was hiding behind his window sill. Glad he hadn’t thought to close it earlier, the young boy silently leaned over it to looked outside.

He nearly cried in surprise when small, brown, intelligent eyes looked back at him.

«Rrrrrr? »

Varian felt his heart melt at the face that faced him. Clearly, it wasn’t a baby raccoon but an adult one. Still, the alchemist could only see the animal as « cute ».

 And even if it was a little unusual for a raccoon to come this close of human habitation, the twelve-year-old boy decided not to dwell too much upon it.

« Aw, hello there lil’ buddy… » the raccoon gazed back at him and Varian had the feeling that the animal could understand what he was saying, « … You’re lost ? »  the raccoon shook his head in negation, « … Well,… I wondered why you’re here and not somewhere else… I’m sure that you have a lovely lady raccoon waiting for you back home… » and for the second time, the wild animal denied his assumption.

Varian frowned at the cleverness of the raccoon before asking, « So… You’re all alone… ? »

The raccoon nodded. Varian sighed and leaned on the window sill, his chin planted upon his crossed arm.

« … You’re not the only one… » the young boy murmured, his gaze lost in the nowhere in front of him. Suddenly, he felt a soft nuzzle against his arm and the alchemist locked his eyes with the raccoon.

Without any hesitations, the kind that one could only expect from a wild animal, the raccoon began to chirp and nuzzle against him, as if he tried to give Varian some form of comfort.

A little puzzled, the young boy reached an unsure hand toward the animal and began to pet the silver-grey fur. As the animal didn’t seem to recoil from the touch, Varian didn’t stop and scratch the raccoon behind one ear too, a small smile dancing on his face.

At one point, Varian was sitting against the wall inside his house, the raccoon tucked upon his laps, his hand running along the animal’s fur. The young alchemist felt at peace, the raccoon presence soothing him as the oddly familiar comfort that the animal had brought with him was all that he needed at this moment.

Sometimes later, Varian heard the clicking sound of keys in the door’s lock and the raccoon swiftly made his way upon his shoulders, then to the window as his father frame walked through the door. Quirin’s dark eyes first spotted Varian siting form on the ground then traveled to the open window.

Everything was still for a few seconds as his father’s gaze looked upon the wild animal. Something seemed to shift in his eyes as a strange emotion filled his dark orbs, and then he let out a breath, looking down,

« Varian…

« Yes, Dad…?

« Just… » he saw him sigh, « Just… Be careful. » With that, he moved away from the door, closing it behind him, and made his way toward his office. Varian, extremely puzzled by what just happened, was, in one instant, on his feet and followed his father further in the house.

If he had taken the time to look behind him, the alchemist would have seen the raccoon knowing gaze as well as the approval nod he made toward Quirin. Then, he was off in the open space outside and disappear inside the wood that bordered the village in a matter of seconds.

oOoOoOoOo

The fireworks weren’t a failure after all.

Even if Varian had to admit that he had some difficulties to sneak out of his house in the middle of the night to do his little experimentations, he was quite pleased with the result.

Sure, he had to avoid several times to not get burn too severely but, in the end, the show worth the risk.

His father was the first person he showed his fireworks. Quirin was so afraid that his son might get hurt (not knowing that he almost had been several times before) that Varian had to yell at him to stop him in his tracks because it was him who would get hurt if he had come to close of the little flammable objects.

So Quirin had to sit down on a broken log (‘Because Dad, you know, it’s my Christmas gift to you, and I want it to be special !’) and watched as his son worked around his fireworks, and could only admire in awe strings made of light shot from the ground straight to the sky and burst in a million a shining sparkles.

He had to admit that Varian was truly gifted with science, his little display for Christmas Eve was enough proof. And so, when Varian finished with the fireworks, Quirin crossed the distance between them and crushed him in a powerful embrace.

He tried to convey in it all the unsaid that existed between them: his pride, his love, his sadness, his guilt too.

Because Quirin knew that his son’s skills were what will be his own demise, that Varian will hurt him sooner or later, and that experience might break him. Quirin only hoped that he still had time and tried to ignore the « tick-tock » sound that the fate’s clock kept running in the back of his mind.

But the future is still clouded… Things might happen the way they will as they might not…

Those wise words rang in his ears once more and Quirin sigh as he broke his hug with Varian and put one gloved hand on his son's cheek.

« Thank you, Varian… », he said, eyes shining, « Now, shall we go back home? So we can share our Christmas dinner and I could give you your present…

« Sure Dad ! » he said while taking his father’s hand in his own, « You have no idea how glad I am that the fireworks, well, worked and that you liked them! »

And with that, they were on their way home, Varian bouncing on his feet as Quirin looked at him with a smile upon his features.

Yes… he thought, Maybe Varian will hurt me one day but… I already forgive him… I have faith in the future, but more than ever in my little Varian…

In my oh so, so precious child….

Chapter Text

This is not an update.

And I'm actually hating myself right now.

I hate when someone began publishing a story then stop without explanation, and I didn't want to do that.

When I started, I truly believe that I would be able to carry this one quite easily, but it appears that I was unable to do so.

To put it simply, I wasn't in the best state of mind when I started Bond to our destiny, I've just discovered the Tangled fandom and, yeah, I let it all came to my head a little too much.

For this story, even if I have a clear idea of the ending, I absolutely didn't think about it through and through, leaving huge blank spaces, telling myself 'that's fine, I'll fill them later'

I suppose you already know that I didn't.

I don't want to make you wait for an update any longer, so I warn you that this story is on HIATUS until the day I'll put the final point of the final chapter and that I won't update it until then.

I really hope I'll find my will back for this story before the end of the year, but as the show is in a sort of stasis point, I've lost my interest in it, and without this to fuel my inspiration, I'm unable to write something that I'm proud of for the moment.

And I certainly WON'T publish something I'm not 1000% sure that it's good enough to my own standard. As I said in an earlier update, I went through a bad period, but its something more swing between feeling 'more or less well' and 'totally down', this story happens between and… I don't know, I can't write something correct for the plot of this story, so yeah, I'm going to take a break from it.

So, for the time being, I'm going to concentrate on other writing projects that I'm actually having fun to do.

I really tried to go through this one, but I couldn't, and I'm really sorry for letting you all down.

I promise that one day, you'll be able to read the ending of this story. I really plan to finish it, but just not now.

I hope that you won't be too upset and that you'll understand my reasons.

I still will publish stuff non-related to Tangled, as I have project about a fanfic on Sailor Moon, Pokemon and Harry Potter (which one is a translation from English to French which is going to take me a lot amount of time), so, if you're curious, you can have a look at them !

I really hope you all are doing great, and I support every one of you in your future projects, let them be fanfic, drawings, animatics, studies, work opportunities, or anything else you can think of! I wish you all the best of luck!

And until then, my dear readers, I hope you all have a great day!

Mitsuki.