The weekend the Varia were not working was supposed to be as all other weekends were; bonding as a family by doing an outdoor activity from the random activity box. Last week it was ice skating, the week before that was rock climbing. This week they were supposed to be going hiking, but it was put on hold due to the overwhelming heat. It would have been good if skating was picked this week, Fran mused wistfully by the window. The heat wouldn't have been terrible if the air conditioning wasn't broken. The mist user was broken by a shout from outside, "VOI! Where's the brat?"
Fran rolled his eyes and teleported to the veranda by the pool. "What is it, sword sempai?" he asked irately.
"Don't be so rude Fran-chan." Lussuria scolded from where he was lying by the pool.
"Join us by the pool, brat. It's still bonding day, whether we go out or not." Xanxus said from next to Squalo.
Fran huffed but sat between Levi and Lussuria to please his boss. It was cooler out here, Fran admitted, and it was nice to be beside the people he bonded with. "What's Froggy doing without his hat." Belphegor asked menacingly.
"It's too hot for that Prince of Nothing." Fran shot at the self-proclaimed prince.
Belphegor growled but didn't move from where he was, "You're lucky I'm too hot to kill you right now Froggy."
"Quiet, both of you!" Levi growled menacingly.
Fran shot a glare at the annoying prince but followed his sempai's threat. It was still hot, although part of the reason may be because he hasn't taken off his jacket. Fran rolled on his side, looking to have a cat nap, when Lussuria singled him out. "Why are you wearing so many layers darling? You're going to get a heatstroke with all that on Fran-chan."
The rest of the Varia turned to scrutinise the uncomfortable, sweating illusionist in training. Fran turned defensive, "I'm not that hot sempai, Bel-sempai on the other hand…"
Remarkably, the bloodthirsty prince didn't take offence but looked rather concerned. "You're pretty flushed Froggy, there's no harm in taking your jacket off is there. Kekeke."
"Just take the damn jacket off trash." Xanxus snarled concern belying his anger.
Fran got up to leave before anyone got the bright idea of forcing his clothing off, but Levi grabbed his gloved hand to stop him. Before he could stop himself, Fran hissed in pain and snatched his hand back to cradle it gently to his chest. By now, the rest of the Varia were worried and got up to see what had hurt the young illusionist. "That's it Fran, take your gloves off right now!" Squalo shouted in concern.
"No!" Fran yelled back defiantly, "I'm going back inside to sleep."
Xanxus grabbed his mist around the waist and forced him to sit on the couch, unwilling to let Fran escape. Fran went limp in his Sky's hands, scared tears unwillingly trailing down his pale face. "Oh sweetie." Lussuria cooed as he sat beside the silently crying teenager.
"What's wrong with your hand Fran, don't you dare try to lie to me." Xanxus asked firmly.
Fran looked down at his gloved hands, "Nothing Boss, just leave me alone."
"Like hell we would you little brat." Levi denied as his grabbed one of Fran's hands. He slipped the glove off the teen and had to take a step back at what he saw.
On the teenage mist's hand was a massive, faded burn scar, easy to see against the pale skin it tainted. "When did this happen Froggy?!" Belphegor shouted in anger, nobody hurt his kouhai and got away with it.
Fran looked down at his unveiled hand in fear and disgust, more tears flowing out his eyes. He didn't protest as the other glove was slipped off, revealing a similar scar. Lussuria sat down next to Fran to give the silent teen a hug. Seeing the others wouldn't let him go without an answer, Fran steeled himself to speak. "My mother did this."
Xanxus curled his lip in disgust, "Why?"
Fran curled into Lussuria as the others watched on, "She was mad at me, I didn't make her tea correctly for breakfast so she." Fran cut himself off.
The bond all the Varia shared flared to life as they comforted the upset mist. "Sorry." Fran whispered tearfully. A reassuring squeeze on his shoulder from Squalo made him continue the story. "Because I had messed up, she grabbed the boiling water and poured it on my hands. She made me remake the tea to her liking before sending me to my room for the rest of the day."
Xanxus was furious, he had thought that the baby mist had lived under his Grandmother's care, a thought the rest of the Varia shared. "How old were you Fran." Squalo asked piercingly.
Fran took a second to think and bathe in the protective flames that were coming from the bond. "It was before she started smoking so I was about three."
Tensions skyrocketed as the Varia heard the disturbing news that THEIR baby mist had been abused by his disgusting caretaker when he was supposed to be treasured. Fran, misinterpreting their anger, shrunk back in fear. Lussuria was the first to notice and hugged him gently, "We're not mad at you sweetheart, your mother should have never done something like that to you."
The Varia reigned in their flames and gathered closer to their illusionist. A brief, but comfortable cuddle pile was formed before Xanxus stood up. "Inside, all of you. It's nearly time for lunch and the air conditioning should be fixed soon."
With fleeting glances at the sky and mist, the rest of the elements quietly trailed inside, leaving the two to talk alone. "You know we won't do anything like that to you don't you, mist brat?" Xanxus asked.
"I know, you're flames don't lie to me." Fran answered quietly.
With that line of thought shut down, the sky and mist joined the elements for lunch.