This is another idea given to me by the same person that requested the "Bad Dreams, Good Hugs" Story. They have really adorable ideas and I'm thankful they shared them with me.

I was told the inspiration for this was Oliver & Company, a Disney movie.
(I loved that it was mentioned, because I really liked Oliver & Company!)

~ Valeal, VarianLeAlchimiste

Ah, this... This place seemed familiar. Where was this place...

Oh no this was...no..no no...

The cold, grey bricks; the thin blankets, pillows and mattress. The faint amount of sunlight that teased Varian in this imprisoning dungeon cell. This was the Corona Dungeon's cells, when he had been arrested for crimes against the King. But why? He was good now, why was he here?!

Varian looked around, his eyes darting from brick to brick. Ruddiger wasn't here, where was he? Ruddiger liked to sleep underneath the bed, but he wasn't here...

Footsteps, he heard footsteps.
Not of the guards, no, of Andrew.

The one who made him join the Separatists of Saporia; pretending that he was his friend.

Why was Andrew here?

The cell doors open, making Varian's heart skip a beat. Andrew was there, staring him down, his eyes covered by the dark shadows that lingered the cell. Varian looked up at him, staring with glassy eyes. He didn't belong here! He didn't belong with Andrew either!

Varian was a good guy now!
Andrew wasn't!

He didn't belong here!

Just as Andrew reached for Varian's wrist...

Varian shot up from the bed, kicking his blankets off and gasping sharply. Ruddiger was startled and jumped off the bed onto the desk, knocking a few beakers and flasks off the desk, jump down off the desk to hide underneath the bed. He was in his office near the castle.

After recollecting his thoughts, he remembered that he had took a nap from doing his royal engineering work in the office. Varian rubbed his eyes, and then looked at his shaking hands. He shook his head vigorously, there was no way he could go back to sleep now.

Varian shakily stepped out of bed, his goggles falling off of his head since they had barely been hanging onto his head from the sleep. Ruddiger peeked out from underneath the bed and chirped. "H-Hey Ruddy. I'm okay, just a little nightmare, I'm okay..." Varian said, repeating the I'm okay part as if to convince not Ruddiger, but himself.

Footsteps, he heard footsteps.

Varian's voice cracked and he stepped back towards the bed, his hands quickly placed on his chest, his heart racing. No, it couldn't be Andrew... He was in prison, wasn't he? In the dungeons? Somewhere, locked away...

The door creaked open, Varian was so terrified, he just wanted to run away, but he had been frozen from the shock. It...wasn't Andrew, oh thank sundrop.

It was just Lance, he had a bag of something over his shoulder. "Hey, I heard something fall, makin'sure you okay." He peered at Varian, "Buddy?" Lance waved his hand to try and catch Varian's attention, because Varian seemed a bit frozen and unresponsive.

Varian shook his head vigorously and stepped back, knocking down a few more flasks off the desk, startling Ruddiger again. "Yeah, yeah! I'm okay, don't worry, I'm okay..." Varian nervously laughed and then reached down to grab the beakers and flasks, them clattering and clattering from the glass-to-glass impact and Varian's shaking hands.

"You look a little, uhhhh, shaky. You sure?" Lance put down the bag.

"Yes, yes! I'm fine!" Varian flashed a fake smile.

Lance raised a brow, the other one narrowing down. "Mm. Not so sure 'bout that but okay."

"What...are you doing here?" Varian set up the beakers and flasks back onto the desk. "Oh! I was going to see Eugene after I shopped a bit for the girls." Lance said a bit proudly, "I'm glad I'm a dad, I like to think I'm a good one." Lance added.

"Oh." Varian shortly said, looking over the beakers and flasks to make sure that was all of them and they weren't somewhere they could fall. Varian sighed heavily and began rearranging his sheets and blankets, fixing his pillow and making sure the bed didn't look so... Well, like just about everything in Varian's office, to be fair. The office had stuff everywhere, cogs, gears, sprockets... Beakers, flasks, pipettes... Books and newspapers...

Lance nodded, then grabbed the bag. "Gotta get back soon, I'm sure the girls are waiting for dinner." He turned around slowly, as if he didn't want to leave. "Wait!" Varian raised his voice, then paused when Lance looked at him; "I mean..." Varian frowned and looked away, avoiding eye contact with Lance. "Yeah you probably should, never-never mind." Varian turned away and shook his head, continuing to adjust his bed sheets and blankets.

Lance put the bag down again and walked over, "I don't think you're okay. You keep sayin'that but you're not." He put his hand on Varian's shoulder. Varian's muscles were tight and stiff, not in any way relaxed and was cleared stressed or scared.

"See? Your shoulders are all stiff." Lance put his other hand on Varian's other shoulders and sat Varian down on the bed and began rubbing them. "What happened?" Lance asked, attempting to calm Varian.

Varian slowly relaxed his shoulders, though he was still shaky and stuttery from what had happened. "It's nothing, really..." Varian muttered, looking down. Lance squinted his eyes at Varian and took his hands off of his shoulders once he had relaxed Varian a bit, then he sat down beside him on the bed and wrapped his arm around him. "Hey, look, between you and me, I can tell when someone's stressed out. You're not okay, something happened and I want to know a way I can help." Lance said. "..." Varian stayed quiet.

Lance looked at the wall for a moment, letting Varian have some time to come up with a response if he chose to spoke. He wouldn't try to convince him to talk about it anymore if he really just did not want to talk about it.

"It...was a nightmare." Varian muttered.

Lance looked at him and frowned, "I figured as much. You look like you just woke up." He said, as if to crack a joke to cheer the boy. Varian did a small smile, but it quickly disappeared, him looking away. Lance frowned too, but he pulled Varian a little closer.

"Do you want to tell me what it's about? Or no?" Lance asked.

Varian bit his lip and his eyes watered. "You won't understand it, you've never experienced it. Being...imprisoned..." Varian shook his head. Lance raised his brow, "Oh ho ho, I have, trust me. I've been in the dungeons before, not...in Corona, but I've been in'em for sure." Lance laughed a bit, "It's not fun, I know that." Lance added.

Varian's expression softened.
"Well...I had a nightmare about it, and it really scared me. Because it felt so real, like I was there again. With him." Varian explained quietly. "Him?" Lance nodded.

"It was this guy, Andrew, he's a jerk." Varian sniffled and glared, a tear rolling down his freckled cheek. "Ohhh, yeah I heard about him. Cassandra said he was a jerk too, and that his real name was Hubert." Lance shook his head in agreement.

"Didn't he try to take a book or something?" Lance asked.

"I...think so? Herz Der Sonne's Journal. It ended up getting messed up by King Trevor of Equis, according to Rapunzel though." Varian nodded. "Oh, oh, the thing used at the Day of Hearts festival! So romantic. They made a new one from my understanding." Lance said.

"Mhm." Varian wiped his tears and sniffled. He was very tired, he didn't get enough sleep. Heck, he just didn't get enough sleep anyway. Nap or no nap. He would stay up for hours upon hours, sometimes he'd even pass out from the lack of sleep, face planting straight into his desk, Ruddiger could confirm, Varian once fell asleep like that on Ruddiger's tail. That hurt.

Varian sighed and looked down again, still not making eye contact with Lance.

Lance then pulled him into a warm hug. Varian was a little startled at first, but then he closed his eyes, letting tears roll down his cheeks. "Well, if that guy ever, and I do mean ever came back to try and mess with you, I'll get'em! I'll whack him in the head for you!" Lance said prideful. "Thanks Lance..." Varian smiled, though it was still smaller than Lance wanted to see.

Lance grabbed a hold of the blanket on the bed and then wrapped it around Varian.

Varian laid his head on Lance's chest, it was warm... He nuzzled into Lance's chest and quietly sat there, held in Lance's arms. Varian almost fell asleep when he blinked one eye open. "Hey, Lance?" Varian raised his voice so Lance could hear him.

"Yeah buddy?" Lance replied.

"You said you hoped you were a good dad to the girls..." Varian mumbled. Lance raised a brow, wondering where this was going to go.

"I think you're a great one."

Lance stared at Varian for a moment, and noticed Varian had suddenly fell asleep. "Aw." Lance smiled and felt touched that Varian thought that Lance was a perfect dad.

After a few minutes, Lance carefully grabbed Varian, blanket and all and laid him into the bed, resting head on pillow. Lance stood up and quietly walked back to the bag, grabbed it and put it over his shoulder, turning around to look at Varian and smiling at him.

Then Lance left so he could fix dinner for the girls...