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Blinded

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Part 1: Blinded
Varian:

"Gah! Blast it, what was I thinking?"
There I was, laying flat on my back in the middle of my lab, the latest experiment splashed all over my face.

"O-ow oo hoo hoo... that hurts... a lot." I groan as I try to wipe most of the chemical of my face, but it feels as though my skin is being peeled off too. groaning I grope around on the floor until I find a nearby table and use it to hoist myself up off the ground. "Okay, let's just, ow, stay calm, and get this-this, stuff out of my eyes."

Finding a clean (as far as I can tell) test cloth I use it to wipe some of the experiment off my face, and, making a concentrated effort, try to open my eyes. But I immediately regret doing so when they start to sting uncontrollably, and the area around begins to burn even worse than before. the pain is enough to bring me to tears, but the salty drops only amplify the searing pain. leaning against the table I grit my teeth, " gah, Okay, no opening the eyes, yet. Let's just take it easy and don't pass out from the excruciating pain coursing through your eyes. Easy! Just-just get some water in there and clean yourself up, and-and everything will be fine. Yeah, I-i got this."

moving from the safety of the table I made my way through the mess of my lab, arms outstretched to keep from colliding with any walls. Getting to the sink proved to be harder then I thought with all the broken vials and supplies littering the floor. I had never really made an effort to keep things tidy, after all, I knew exactly where everything was, and it's not like anyone ever comes to visit...

"W-whoa, ahh!" tripping over something about the size of a large box I threw my hands out to stop my fall but the object is just the right hight that it caches my knees and I land on my stomach my entire body draped over the box. "oof! aw well, that wasn't so bad..." just then the box tips over and sends me sprawling on my back and banging my head on the hard floor.

"oof, gah ow..." Groaning I reached down to rub my bruised knees "well, that happened, note to self: I have got to clean my, ow, floor." sitting up I immediately got dizzy as a pounding headache coursed through my skull. "oo that's gonna leave a mark. and probably a concussion too." moral of the story: cleaning is not a waste of time!

after a moment I used the box that I had just somersaulted over and pulled myself up ignoring the pounding headache. "ow Okay, onward, to the sink-Oof! (you really know your level of intelligence when you walk straight into the same object twice, especially after you just used it to pull yourself up after the first time) That-that was the box, again. well done Varian old chap! you've managed to run into the same box twice. Wait, no... no a table. Ah, yes, its a table, that would explain why it tipped over so easily. Ah ah ah, focus Varian, focus. Um, let's see...where is that sink? where-where am I?"

I was still in my lab, of course, but I was completely turned around and disoriented. I could have been going in circles for all I knew! maybe I should just wait here until dad gets back from the castle...
No. dad couldn't find me like this. He'd freak and band me from doing alchemy and then...

"wha-whoa! what the?"

a blinding light interrupted my train of panicked thoughts. my eyes were shut tight, but white spots were erupting everywhere in the darkness. Squeezing my eyes shut harder only made the light spread faster, so I dared open them.
Gasping, harsh white light filled my vision, and I blinked hard, trying to adjust to the blinding light.
I should have been relieved that the suffocating darkness was gone but this light was harsh and painful like waking up to the sun in your eyes but without the warmth. my eyes couldn't seem to adjust, and all I wanted was to get away from the blinding light.
After a stunned moment, I shut his eyes tight, hoping to block out the white light. But, my eyes... they-they wouldn't close!
pulling off a glove I gently reached my hand up to my face, and... my eyes were closed. But the light, it was still there, blinding as ever!

"Oh no, this is bad. This is very, very bad. I-i can't see... anything! Well, aside from the light, and it's making my headache worse. Ow, and my face still feels raw. What is this stuff going to do to my skin?! and my hair, I'm pretty sure I got some in my hair. I really need to rinse it off; who knows what my experiment will do... Wait, are those footsteps?" I couldn't tell, the ringing in my ears and the pounding headache were getting in the way of my other senses. yep, I definitely got a concussion.

"Hello? anyone home?"

uhuh someone was in the house."Blast it, can't get distracted!; but I suppose i can't help it, I'm a very distracting guy,." yep, I definitely got a concussion.

Someone was coming down the stairs into my lab, and I was utterly defenseless, and frankly, I was terrified. I may have been joking around just a moment ago, but that's just how I cope with pain, well physical pain at least.
It was all I could do not to crumple up and just let the stranger have me. Before dad had been... had been out of commission (encased in amber), my worst fear was going blind, and now that had actually happened. I was in pain, I was helpless, and I was scared.
Not feelings I enjoyed, so time to stand up and face this stranger head on! No need to let the stranger know I was in a bad situation. "All I need to do is keep a cool head and act like nothing is amiss."

"Varian, was that you?"

oops, I had spoken out loud again, hadn't I? It was a weird quirk that had been forged of many years alone in my lab with no one to talk to.

"Hello? Varian?" uh oh, the strangers still here and doesn't seem like they're leaving any time soon. gotta say something!
"Uh, no. Varian's not home!"

Gah! what was I thinking? The concoction and pain were definitely making me loopy.

"Oh, really? Then where can I find him?" the stranger said suspiciously.

That voice was familiar, but I was way too out of it to figure out who. time to play it smoothly.

"Um... depends. Whos asking?" well-done self! smooth as a rat on rollerblades.

"Who-whos asking?! I'm offended!" okay maybe not so smooth. "I can't believe you don't recognize my extremely masculine voice. It's me, Eugene. It hasn't been that long since we last spoke. ah there you are... whoa."

it was Eugene, what timing! boy was I glad to see him. but no, I've got to be tough if team awesome was making a come back I've got to prove I can handle myself in a tough situation. its what Flynn Rider would do, and even if Eugen wasn't THE Flynn Ridder, he would always be Flynn rider to me.

"Oh, yeah, I-i knew that. I can see you just fine, ya know... uh, What-what do ya need cuz I 'm-I'm a little busy at the moment." yeah, that sounded tough!

"Uh, Varian? Behind you, and whats-whats with the new hairstyle... oh no. Varian, what happened?"

Chapter Text

Part 2: I'm not about to leave you.
Flynn:

"Ah, there you are... whoa."

I could see Varian standing in the middle of the lab, broken glass, and supplies littering the ground around the kid. That wasn't so unusual, Varian's lab was always a mess. But the kid's hair... whoa. Instead of its usual black color with streaks of gray and that one weird blue stripe in the front, it was white, like, platinum white. And, if I wasn't mistaking, it was slightly glowing in the dim light of the lab.

"Oh, yeah, I-i knew that. I can see you just fine, ya know... What do you need cuz I 'm-I'm a little busy at the moment."

What? How could Varian 'see me just fine'? He was facing the opposite direction. And what did he mean he was busy? He was just standing there!

"Uh, Varian? Behind you, and whats-whats up with your hair..."

"What?! What's wrong with my hair!"

Varian turned around and was now facing my direction.

"oh no."

Varian had a distinct bleached aria around his eyes nose and cheeks as though someone had splashed bleach on his face. Even Varians freckles where... wait a minute. Where they blue? Yes, the freckles in the bleached area had turned slightly blue! Ha, blue freckles who would have thought? I almost laughed out loud... until I looked into the Varian's eyes.
They were open wide, staring blindly in my general direction. Instead of those big gray-blue eyes with huge black pupils, they were electric blue, even the pupils.
concerned, I made my way to Varian, careful not to knock anything over or break any glass.

I knelt and laid my hand on his scrawny shoulder. "Varian, buddy, what happened?"

"gah!"

Varian jumped back as though he had been shocked, and shoved my hand off his shoulder.

"whoa, jumpy much?"

"I- I didn't realize you were that close!"

"no kidding."

"it's not what It looks like, I promise! See I-I was just and then ... oh, who am I kidding? I probably look like a mess, this probably looks like a mess. Heck, I don't even know what it looks like now! I just, I was adding the moonstone, and it didn't turn white, so I, well... and then bang!"

"Whoa, okay, calm down." the kid was freaking out, and frankly he was freaking me out too.

"I only took my goggles off for a moment! It wasn't supposed to explode! Why did I take my goggles off in the first place? ugh, I'm such an idiot!"

Varian buried his face in his hands and immediately cried out as his gloves rubbed against the bleached area that was still raw and tender.

"gah! ooooowwww oh gosh, that hurts! ahahah, please Eugene help me, it stings, it's excruciating!"

"Whoa, it's okay, kid," I admit I was losing my cool, all I wanted was a reinforced frying pan for rapunzel (maybe something that would fly back into her hand after she threw it, cuz that would look awesome). I was completely unprepared for this-this drama. "I got you, don't worry." the kid was a mess, with bloody knees and a scraped up face. "We need to get you cleaned up and to the infirmary..."

"Wait, no! I can't, my-my dads at the castle! If he sees me like this, he'll freak, and-and he'll never let me practice alchemy again and..."

"But Varian..."

Varian was grasping my shirt now, as though it was the only thing left in the world, and he'd fall if he let go.

I couldn't handle this on my own. This was a job for someone who had things like empathy and who was good with kids, not me. But I knew just the person. "Okay, Let me at least get Rapun..."

"No! The princess can't see me like this!"

"Look, Varian, I know..."

The kid was devastated and I was about to leave for help, but looking into those pleading eyes, they reminded me of the older orphans I'd seen all those years ago. That same look of pleading in their eyes as they begged there parents not to leave them. Grasping their father's shirt, just like Varian was doing now.

"Okay, we'll try and do this on our own. But I need to know what happened..."

I stood up from off the ground, but as I did so, he lost hold of me and cried out in fear as he fell forward.

"Aa! Wait, no, don't go!! Please!"

Catching Varian before he could hit the ground, I scolded myself for not realizing just how vulnerable Varian was at the moment.

"Whoa, hey it's okay,"

The fear etched in the boy's young features, and the pleading in those now sightless eyes broke my heart as I tried to comfort him.

"It's okay, I'm here, and I'm not about to leave you."

Chapter Text

Part 3: I wonder what Cassandra is doing right now?
Varian The day before:

Sighing, Varian got to work on his latest project, fast working bleach. Not the most exciting thing, he had to admit, but he couldn't be picky these days.

"Here we go, hundredth times the charm, right? Please work..."
Varian pleaded as he poured the new concoction of bleachy chemical onto yet another test cloth.
"Aw fudge cakes."
Varian didn't even blink as instead of turning white, the fabric burst into blue flames, once more.
"Uhg, why won't you work, you stupid piece of cloth?! Why must you sit there and do nothing but burst into flames?" Varian said, frustrated. "I-I'm sorry I just really need you to work. Old lady crowly will be here to pick you up any day now," Varian hunched over in a poor imitation of the cranky old crown. "and she's expecting, 'no less than perfection you whippersnapper!' and you know how she is!"
The blue flame said nothing.
"And here I am talking to a piece of cloth," Varian said, burying his head in his gloved hands.

Ordinarily, Varian loved doing alchemy to help the people of his town, but lately, he had to charge people for any little job they asked him for, and he felt awful.
Varian hated having to use his gift for personal gain. Still, Varian and his father had fallen on hard times ever since old Corona was relocated after the black rock incident, and they were barely scraping by.

"Listen, I'm gonna be 16 soon; its-its time I contributed to the family.
But, no one seems to want an "unstable, insecure, accident-prone teen alchemist who attacked their princes and tried to overthrow the kingdom" as an apprentice believe it or not." Varian said, chuckling. "so I'm stuck making cat hair repellent and slow-melting ice for spar change. But, we need the money, and every last coin counts."
no response from the test cloth.

"and why am I still talking to an inanimate object?" Varian asked himself again, taking off his gloves and rubbing his eyes. It was getting late, and a full moon was just starting to rise.

"it's beautiful, The moon... just like Cassandra. I wonder what she's thinking about right now? if-if she regrets it as I did..?"

Varian's eyes began to sting as he thought of Cassandra and the horrible betrail she had pulled on Rapunzel. Shivering, he wondered if the hurt he was feeling now was how rapunzel had felt when he had betrayed her? Varian felt terrible for what he had done to Corona and the worry he had put the princes through.
Varian had tried to make amends, and people kept telling him they forgave him, but he didn't think he would ever get over his guilt and shame.
"Whew! no need to get stuck in the past, again," Varian said, straightening. "I have a job to get done!"
stretching Varian pulled his gloves back on and was just about to get back to work when...

"Huh. That's... interesting." Varian said, tilting his head and raising an eyebrow like a curios puppy.

There was a slight glowing from under a test cloth. Pulling the fabric aside, it revealed the small piece of Cassandrite Rapunzel had returned to Varian the day she told him of what happened at black rock castle.
The small crystal had changed color from deep purple to pure white and was slightly glowing! Dropping everything, Varian crouched down to examine the element more closely.
Oh, and by "dropped everything," he literally dropped everything.
The bleach he was holding fell out of his hands, and Varian watched as it splashed all over the glowing stone. With a blinding flash, the spilled bleach was gone, replaced with a mess of white past covering the table.
Varian nearly choked when he saw how much the precious piece of Cassandrite had shrunk, obviously being corroded by the bleach past. There's no way I'm going to lose you! Varian cried as he held the delicate piece in his hand.
Rapunzel had said that Cass had carried it with her the whole time, and she had only found it when Cass had left the castle leaving the Cassandrite behind. Rapunzel had told Varian that Cassandra would have wanted him to have it.
Varian still couldn't believe Cassy had really carried this with her that whole time. May-maybe there was hope; maybe it wasn't so crazy to think she might come back and fall for me one day!" Varian said hopefully, holding the stone to his chest.
No, he was crazy; Cassandra had probably only taken the element with her cuz she thought it might be useful.

Varian carefully placed what was left of the crystal in his apron pocket, and began to wipe the paste off the table.
"Beautiful mother of alchemy!" Varian exclaimed in aw as he saw what the white past had done to the previously stained black wood.
Wherever the past had touched was pure white.
Inconceivable! More tests need to be run, the implications are incredible, just one problem, only a bit of Cassandtite left. No. there's no way I'm going to lose my last connection to the girl of my dreams. not even in the name of science!"
But a little wouldn't hurt, would it?

So, carefully scraping a bit of Cassandrite into a glass vail, Varian proceeded to add just a drop of bleach. Now that the amount of bleach was proportional to the Cassandrite, the mixture turned a bright white. Pouring the concoction on to the already white table resulted in a fantastic transformation. Standing in front of him was the table, but where the bleached area had been, it had turned entirely transparent! Varian could see right through it as though it were made of glass.

"Made of glass... hmm?"

Varian shoved the table over, expecting the top to shatter into a million pieces, but instead, nothing happened other than a heavy thud as the table fell onto the wood floor.

Utterly in aw, Varian stood it back up and examined it for dents and scratches, but other than the cuts and scrapes that had already been there, it was completely unharmed.
"Inconceivable! Incredible! Fantastic! Amazing! A complete breakthrough in the science of alchemy!"

Chapter Text

chapter 4

There was a knock on the door, and I ran upstairs to see who it was.

"Hi, Varian."

It was the princes!

"Oh! Hello, your highness, I-i mean Rapunzel. Come in, come in! How-how can I be of service?" I say clumsily.

"Oh, I don't need anything, I actually came to offer you something," she replied with a bright smile.

Reaching into the satchel at her side, Rapunzel held a bag of coins out to me.

Surprised and confused, I accepted the bag from her. "Wha-whats this?"

"It's the relocation charity money the king has been offering to everyone who was affected by the black rocks," she answered kindly.

the heat rushed from my face as I realized what the money was for, "ha, see, the funny thing is my-my dad just left a day ago to, uh... well, to tell the king that he was-was declining the charity money." I say, embarrassed.

rapunzel smiled warmly, "I know. Your Quien arrived yesterday but, I really think you and your dad could use it; I mean, its the least I can do after what happened to him, and, after all, it's my fault you and your dad had to be relocated in the first place..."

Wait, what? did the princes really blame herself for what happened? it wasn't her fault at all, it was mine! "Rapunzel, no. If it weren't for you, my dad wouldn't be here. I'm-I'm forever in your debt for what you did for my father, for what you've done for me! If anybody should be offering their help to anyone, it should be I. I looked down at the bag of coins in my hand, suddenly feeling undeserving of them. "your highness, you've already done so much for us so, if my dad won't accept the money from the king, I can't accept it from you. Not after what I did..." I held out the bag of coins to her.

Then the princes did something completely unexpected, she-she put her hands on my shoulders and looked straight into my eyes and said with tears suddenly in her warm green eyes... she said:

"Varian, now you listen to me. You are the most kind-hearted, helpful, creative, and compassionate person I know. You are something special, something this world desperately needs. not only are you kind-hearted and compassionate, but you're determined and ambitious. No matter what happens, you're sure to get through, no matter how difficult or how many times you fall, you will never, ever give up. You've more than proved that to Corona by making up for your mistakes and then some. you've made more than just your father proud, you've made all Corona proud."

We were silent for a moment, and I felt so unworthy of her prase. I could hardly breathe as she looked at me with those kind eyes. Did the princes of Corona hold me in such high esteem? Did Corona?

"Do you really think that princes?" I whispered.

"Of course I do, Varian!"

Throwing her arms around me, she held me there in her warm embrace like I was the most important thing in the world to her at the moment. I felt like I would melt right then and there.

"Are you sure there's no way you will take the money?" Rapunzel asked as we finally pulled out of the hug and made our way down the stairs into my lab.

"I'm sure..."

"What is that?!" Rapunzel interrupted pointing to the Wightegen table in the corner.

she ran over to where the table was standing, examining the transparent top from every angle.
.d completely forgotten about it.
"Oh-oh, that? That's just a little I was working on, that's all." still in a daze i had completely forgotten about my latest experiment.

"Its beautiful, Varian! A work of art!" rapunzel exclaimed as she explored the new discovery.

"I-I was thinking more along the lines of "a wonder in alchemy," but-but that works too," I say pleased with her reaction.

"It is incredible, how do I make one?" she asked excitedly as though she could just paper mache one right there on the spot.

"Well, uh, hehe it doesn't really work like that... you know what? You can have it, I've already run all the experiments I need to." I'm not sure exactly why I said it, but I felt like it was the right thing to do. besides, the table would be kind of hard to explain to my dad...

"Oh, Varian, I could never, it's too much."

"No, go ahead, I insist."

rapunzel bit her lip and looked from me to the table a couple of times. then she seemed to have come to a decision and, Running over to me, she wrapped me in her warm embrace yet again, and I thought for sure I'd pass out or float away. "Varian, I love it! Thank you so much. How can I ever repay you?"

I pulled away from the warm embrace, "Oh, please don't worry about it. you've more than..."
something fell to the floor, and she stooped to pick up the bag of coins.
Rapunzel looked from the coins to me and gave a small smile.

"How about a trad? ill pay for the table with the coins, deal?

"Rapunzel I..."

"I won't take the table unless you accept the coins."
"but, i..."

"Varian, I insist," she said, stubbornly.

"Oh, ok. Th-thank you." I say finally, rubbing my neck.

"No, Thank you, Varian!"

Still feeling like I was floating, I helped carry the table out to the carriage and stuff it in.
The princes of Corona, Rapunzel, had hugged me, twice!

"BEST DAY EVER!!!"

Chapter Text

part 5: An hour before the accident: Varian's point of view:

I could hardly contain my excitement as I set up the various vials and beakers getting ready for the moment of truth.
I had tried replicating the bleach incident by placing different elements, stones, and crystals onto a table and pouring bleach on them. Trying to see if any of them could give me the desired effect the Cassandrite had given, without using my last piece of the precious element.
At last, I had found the perfect replacement. Moonstone! I found it entreging that this semi-precious stone did the trick.

"Hmm, interesting... I wonder, does the moonstone have any connection with the strange new properties of the Cassandrite that had seemed to be strangely connected to the moon, which was now connected to Cass who... ah ah ah, focus Varian! There will be time to think about that later and now is not that time. Now is the time for science!"

"Now that I have found the perfect replacement for the Cassandrite (though Cassandra herself is irreplaceable, am I right), I will pour a precise amount of bleach into this here beaker. Then after letting the bleach settle, I shall add just a pinch of powdered moonstone, which, in turn, should trigger the critical color change from clear to white."

At that moment, Ruddiger scurried in and jumped on the window sill tilting his head slightly as if to say:
"Who ya talking to, buddy? Or have you finally lost it?" Either that or: "You didn't happen to see where your dad moved that food storage, did you?"

"Not now, Ruediger. Cant you see I'm busy, and it's not like you ever listen to what I have to say. It gets lonely down here, ya know, and myself happens to be a great conversationalist."

Looking at me slightly offended, Ruediger seemed to say, "Are you saying I'm not a good companion?"

"What, no! You're a great companion, I just..."

Ruediger had jumped off the window sill and was santering out as though nothing had happened.

"And here I am talking to a raccoon. You can't even talk back."

Turning around as he was about to walk out the door, Ruddiger looked at me with what can only be described as a smirk as though to say: "you never let that stop you." then quick as a flash he was gone.

"Well, fine then, be like that! Raccoons, am I right? Ok, back to the task at hand."

Getting to work, I began measuring and pouring. Everything was going beautifully, this was the kind of alchemy I lived for! Then, carefully measuring the powdered moonstone, I gently poured it in with the bleach and slowly mixed the concoction. It was happening; the crucial color change was taking place.

"Wha-wait a minute. Just hold on a sec."

There was something off about the liquid's color... was it slightly blue? No, it couldn't be, it was just my goggles they were tinted. Yes, that had to be it. Setting the vail down, I lifted the goggles off my face for just a moment.

"Oh, no. No, no, no, no, no! Blue? Why was it blue?"

Picking the vial up, I put it right up to my face as though staring at it would make it turn white. All of a sudden, the concoction started to bubble, and I realized my mistake too late. The first rule of alchemy: never remove your goggles.

BANG!