I always love your FFFV events! How about 🔦 (lost in the woods) for Fran? Thank you!
Leaves crunched beneath his sneakers, a harsh crackle in the otherwise quiet night. The sky was pitch black, Fran’s only source of the light being the silver glow of the full moon. The fourteen-year-old glanced around his surroundings for the hundredth time and once again did not see any landmark that was familiar. Just dozens of trees, the branches nearly naked as the coloured leaves snapped off and drifted to the forest ground.
“Well, this is not where I expected to die, but here we are,” he muttered.
He had left the mansion a little bit after dinner, wanting some solitude and time to himself. After years of navigating the forest, he had enough confidence that he’d be back home before dark. But apparently he didn’t know the woods as well as he thought, and was now wandering aimlessly among the trees.
His phone was resting uselessly on his nightstand table. Fran tried to shift himself back to the mansion, but his anxiety was rising up and his abilities were hindered. Fran liked being alone, when he chose to be alone. But now it was forced upon him, just him and the sprawling forest, with the others gathered in a mansion that Fran was unable to locate.
Fran took a deep breath and tried shifting once more, but only ended up in another section of the forest, which was either closer or farther from where he wanted to be. Throwing his hands in the air in frustration, Fran gave up and dropped down to rest against the trunk of a tree.
“I hate this stupid forest,” he grumbled.
He sat in silence for a moment, feeling the knot in his stomach grow with each minute that passed. He jolted at the sound of something coming towards him and glanced over his shoulder. “If it’s another bear I’m gonna–”
Out of the shadows appeared Xanxus, who looked far from pleased. His scowl sharpened at the sight of his charge and he growled, “Do you have any idea what effing time it is?”
“I forgot my phone, so the answer is no.”
Despite his flippancy, relief flowed through their bond and Xanxus let out a soft, exasperated sigh. “What the hell are you doing?”
“I wanted to take a walk and I got lost. We really need to put up signs.”
Xanxus quickly understood how his junior illusionist had gotten so deep into the woods, and what caused the anxiety that prompted him to search for Fran in the first place. Fran would take walks when he needed moments of solitude, but otherwise preferred being with the Varia. He had already felt alone for most of his childhood, and got anxious whenever the feeling overcame him.
Xanxus threaded his fingers through Fran’s hair and pulled him upright. “Next time you need to take a walk, stick to the yard or the road. I’m tired of coming after your stupid ass.”
“How am I supposed to learn my way if I don’t practice?”
“You’ve been here how long? And you’ve gotten lost more times than you’ve successfully found your way in and out of this place.”
“I’m a slow learner.”
“Clearly, considering you never know when to shut up.” Xanxus gave Fran a whack across the head. “Let’s go.”
Fran followed Xanxus, kicking up leaves as he went. “How long have I been out here?”
“Damn. It seemed a lot longer than that.”
Xanxus agreed, for though he had spent the better part of an hour searching for Fran, it had felt much longer. But he wouldn’t admit it aloud.