A/N: Just a quick note before we start. This is my first Tangled fic, and I hope you all like it! Rated T for mild violence and maybe later chapters...? Pretty much to be on the safe side. Pleease review, I live off of reviews! I love hearing what you all have to say and how you think I could make my stories better!
Flynn's voice echoed, even in the walls of the tower, and I struggled helplessly against the chains that held me bound to the wall. I tried to scream, but all that came out were muffled strains of my words. I couldn't warn him with my voice, so my mind willed Flynn to turn and run now, before it was too late.
"Rapunzel, let down your hair!"
I inhaled sharply, pulling with all my strength against the iron chains. I screamed, chest heaving, heart throbbing faster than ever, but still, nothing. Nothing more than what sounded like squeaks exited the gag. All of my muscles braced against the chains, and I wished and prayed and hoped that there would be a weak link and they would give in. But my mother was too selfish and intelligent to not have checked, and all I heard was the sound of metal on metal as I pulled and strained. The metal dug into my wrists, but I couldn't feel the pain. All I could feel was cold, harsh fear. It gripped my mind in it's long, spindly hand, caused me to panic and shudder and jolt like a fish out of water. I didn't know how else to handle this situation, but I did know that I couldn't give up, not when a friend's life was on the line.
I watched in sheer horror as my mother, the woman I had loved, who had tended to me, raised me as her own, dropped my hair down for Flynn, helping him climb to his demise. I struggled and screamed, tore at the chains, braced against them praying for a miracle, but none came. In record time, Flynn was visible through the small window, his voice full of relief. "Rapunzel, I thought I'd never see you again." His face contorted with shock upon the image that greeted him, though, as I struggled and tried to scream, still muffled by my gag, still a prisoner of the woman who I had once loved. Now all I could feel for her was hatred. My eyes widened in horror and I tried to warn the dashing thief as the very same woman approached him from behind, a knife clutched in her hand, but it was too late. My silent sentences that were little more than sounds made no sense to him, and before he could even turn around, she had plunged the knife into Flynn's lower abdomen, causing him to groan and double over. A small moan escaped his lips and he fell to the ground with a thud, causing me to pull at the chains, try my hardest to get free. All I could think was that I had to heal him. I had to get to him so I could take care of him, make this all better, or at least fix him, since there was no hope of my life ever being pieced back together.
"Now look what you've done, Rapunzel."
My eyes grew wide with horror as I watched Flynn clutch at his side and curl into a ball on the ground, the pain clearly etched on his face. I couldn't help him. I was weak and useless, nothing more than a tool in Gothel's plan to live forever. I hated her. I hated her more than ever right now, more than I ever thought I could hate a person.
"Oh, don't worry dear, our secret will die with him."
Die. Flynn was going to die there, in vain, for nothing. And I would die, too. I would live with Gothel forever, wherever she decided to lock me up next, and I would never be free. Those past three days had been absolute heaven, and now it was being ripped away from me, faster than it had been given. Fate was a cruel, cruel joker, I couldn't help but conclude as I continued tugging and bracing and pulling, heaving and pushing and trying. I would never stop trying.
"And as for us, we are going where no one will ever find you again!"
Gothel undid the chain holding me to the floor, but I just pulled against her. She was bigger than me and had more leverage, but I had more life, more will power, and more reason to fight. I struggled as she reprimanded me with a quick, "Rapunzel, really! Enough already!" She had me close enough to the trap door, but I wouldn't go. I refused. She would not have her way with me like she had these past eighteen years.
"Stop fighting me!" She cried, frustrated by the way I was pulling against her chains. She hated that I had grown a mind of my own, I could tell by the way she looked at me with utter frustration and anger.
Finally I managed to use my shoulder to get the gag out of my mouth, and I inhaled deeply, my chest heaving from the physical exertion as I fell to my knees and pushed away from her. She continued pulling at my chains, but I had my words now.
"No!" The world fell from my lips, and the rest poured forth as if I had been uncorked. "I won't stop! For every minute of the rest of my life, I will fight. I will never stop trying to get away from you!" I spat the words out, my anger evident on my face as I continued pulling against the chains. All I could think was that Flynn was bleeding out, and I needed to save him. If I didn't hurry, he would die quickly, and I wouldn't let that happen. My heart swelled at the very thought of the man who had brought me my freedom. He deserved better than death in an empty tower, and he definitely didn't deserve to lose his life in this manner.
My breath was coming in ragged gasps from struggling, and finally my facial features softened as I realized what had to be done. I had to save him, and Gothel had to get what she wanted for that to be done. I was willing to sacrifice myself just to know that somewhere, Eugene was alive and well. That in itself would make me happier than anything else, and that thought alone could keep me going. "But, if you let me save him, I will go with you," I said, my voice soft and calculating. Her face as well softened in thought, and from the window, I heard Flynn whimper.
"No, no Rapunzel," He cried, his voice marred with pain. He was in so much pain. The words echoed through my head and I knew I needed to make that pain go away. I needed to make him better, heal him and keep him safe and happy. It didn't matter what happened to me, as long as Flynn was safe and alive.
I continued with my barter. "I'll never run, I'll never try to escape. Just let me heal him, and you and I will be together, forever, just like you want! Everything will be like it was, I promise." I breathed deep, my plea leaving the air electrified with tension. She was thinking. Gothel knew that if I made a promise, I usually kept them. And all she wanted was to live forever. Should she risk it? I could read her thoughts as she considered, and my mind willed her to think faster. The longer we sat there, the more blood Flynn lost. I wasn't going to lose him, not now. I couldn't. "Just like you want," I said in a breathy voice. I was still physically exhausted from struggling. "Just let me heal him," I plead, my eyes wide, pleading. She couldn't say no. She couldn't deny me this one last request. Her face was slowly changing, turning from anger and rage and softening. This made her happy, I could tell. She didn't like that I struggled, and it was understandable. I watched in mild horror as she reattached my chains to the floor, thinking she was just going to go and finish Flynn off. Instead, though, she grabbed another set of chains and manacled him to the wall, his back against a support beam. Eugene's face distorted in pain as she moved him, and his hand always stayed over the wound. Tears threatened to fall, but I couldn't show weakness. If I cried now, it would show Eugene that I had no faith in ever getting out of here, and I wanted him to have at least some faith for himself. He was going to go and live, for the both of us. He had to do that for me.
"In case you get any ideas about following us," Gothel said to no one in particular as she let Flynn's shackled hand fall to the ground. She then let me free of my chains, and I ran as fast as my legs would carry me across the tower to kneel next to Eugene, who was gasping and shuddering in pain.
"Eugene!" I cried, as I put my hands to his cheeks and brushed some hair from his eyes. He was coughing, now, and his breathing was labored. I looked down at his lower abdomen, which his hand was covering, and gently moved his fingers away as he let out a groan of pain. I'm so sorry," I breathed as my hands went to my hair. I felt horrible, knowing that this was my entire fault. In inhaled deeply and grabbed at my hair. "Everything is going to be ok though," I said with confidence. But he was determined, despite being weak from blood loss.
"No, Rapunzel," he pushed my hands and hair away as I made false promises, begging for his trust. His face was contorted with pain as he explained himself. "I can't let you do this," he struggled to push my hands away and my heart jolted. Seeing him in pain made it feel as if the dagger had gone through my own heart. I leaned over him, determined to heal him.
"And I can't let you die," The words were soft, full of more emotion than I knew I was capable of feeling towards one man. My hand gently caressed his cheek as he spoke up once more.
"But if you do this, then you will die," He pressed his skin against my fingers, and I fought back a new wave of tears. The pain was evident in his face. I had to make that horrible, painful expression go away.
"Hey," I said, biting my lower lip as my fingers gently stroked his cheeks. "Everything is going to be alright," I whispered, not even believing myself. How would everything be alright if we weren't together? At least we would both still be alive, and just knowing that we would both be living under the same sky would be enough to get me by. He would move on, go on to live a full life as he was meant to be, and I would be a prisoner to my hair, living a hollow life forever. It was how it had to be. This was how fate wanted our stories to play out, and we were slaves to fate. No one could change their destiny.
I bit back tears and inhaled, ready to start my song of healing. A few tears were trickling down Eugene's cheeks. "Rapunzel, wait…" He gasped out. The words hardly escaped his lips as his fingertips brushed against my flushed cheeks. His fingers were cold but left my skin feeling hot and feverish where they had touched. He pushed my hair back, then, and his other hand came up. I thought he was going to kiss me, and welcomed this idea, closing my eyes and leaning into him. Instead, though, I heard a horrifying noise that sounded like ripping, and then Eugene's hand fell, revealing a shard of mirror he had grabbed from the floor. All at once the truth crashed down. He had cut my hair. Eugene had cut my magical hair that was the only hope of saving his life.
"Eugene, wha-" I gasped, grabbing at my hair, my heart and mind gripped by panic. My eyes widened as I felt the short strands of hair, and the loss of the pounds my hair provided. In my hands the hair grew brown, foot by foot changing from glistening blonde to a smooth brown. Gothel seemed almost as upset as I was. A drawn out 'No!' escaped her lips, and I watched in horror as she aged what seemed like hundreds of years before my very eyes. Her hair turned white, her eyes sunk down in her head, and her skin wrinkled and marred.
"What have you done? What have you DONE?" She screamed at Flynn as she tried to collect up the hair. But it was too late; the deed was done, and all of the magical powers my hair possessed was gone as well. She lunged for us, then, pulling her cape up and around her face, screaming all the while, trying to hide her aged face from the world. She turned and continued back pedaling then, and with a little help from Pascal, managed to trip over the hair, which sent her flying out the window.
Despite hating her, my instincts reminded me that this woman was my mother. As she fell out the window my arms instinctively grabbed for her, my face marred with worry. She was… she was gone. I inhaled deeply and shuddered, looking at the feet of now brown hair in horror.
How was I going to save Eugene? I couldn't let him die, not now that I had finally gained my freedom. I turned back to him then. He was lying limp on the ground. I raised his head and rested it in my lap as he coughed and sputtered, barely alive. Blood pooled around the both of us, staining his shirts and some of my skirt, but I didn't care. I had to save him. I had to. "Look at me, I'm right here! Don't go, stay with me, Eugene!" Tears threatened, and I did the only thing I had ever known when someone was hurt. I pressed his hand to my hair and sang. "Flower gleam and glow, let your power shine," tears were filling my eyes as it seemed as if Eugene's death was imminent. "Make the clock reverse, bring back what once was mine…" All I wanted was Eugene. I had just lost a mother and the comfort of my hair, I couldn't stand to lose the man I had grown to love over these past few days. It would send me over the edge, and I would die alone in the tower, that much was for sure.
"Rapunzel." Eugene's voice was urgent, and still filled with pain.
"What?" I asked him, the tears threatening to fall as I held his hand to my check, willing my own life to translate into his body. I was desperate for any glimmer of hope I could grasp onto, but none seemed to be appearing.
A small, pained smile creased up Flynn's lips as he managed to push out a few words. "You were my new dream…" Oh, god. He was giving up. He knew he was going to die and he was going to leave me alone in this tower to die. I couldn't do it without him.
"And you were mine," I gasped, my breathing labored as I fought back my tears. I felt the life leave him. His body tensed for a moment, and then with a small gasp, his head went limp. The tears in my eyes weren't going to be contained anymore, and a few trickled down my cheeks as I cradled his head in my hands, inspecting his face. The serenity there, the peace he seemed to have found in the loss of his life, scared me. I was all alone. Completely and utterly alone. I did the only thing that was familiar to me anymore. "Heal what has been hurt, change the fate's design. Save what has been lost, bring back what once was mine. What once was mine." Oh, how ironic those words were. Everything I knew was crumbling around me. I would do anything, including give my own life to resurrect this man. It was almost funny how only minutes ago it seemed like such an easy task to change fate, and yet now I was powerless in fate's hands. I was totally and completely alone.
One solitary tear fell onto Eugene's cold cheek then, as I sobbed against him. But suddenly, a glowing came from his chest, and long tendrils of light seemed to blossom forth from the wound, enveloping both of us in a warm, glowing light. The light exploded, then, illuminating the whole room, and I couldn't help but feel a new found hope blossom in my chest thanks to this light. The light absorbed into Flynn's body then, and with it went all traces of blood. My eyes grew wide as I looked at the spot that had just been a gaping wound and was now nothing more than smooth skin. What had happened? My fingers gingerly probed at the spot, and then I turned my attention to Flynn's head, which had just shifted in my lap. Next his breath returned, and finally his eyes fluttered open. "Rapunzel?"
I gasped and uttered the one word that was on my thoughts: "Eugene?"
He looked up at me from his spot on my lap, his face illuminated by the light coming in through the window. A faint smile crossed his lips, then, as he looked at my face. "Did I ever tell you I've got a thing for brunettes?" He mumbled, his voice still weak.
I couldn't help it. Immediately I threw my arms around him, pulling him as close to my body as I could. He smiled and held me close, his arms wrapping around me in the most comforting way possible. My face fit perfectly in the crook of his neck, and I shed the last of my tears as relief came over me like a wave. I felt drained, and I didn't ever want to let go of Eugene. Exhaling I pushed myself up and he sat up on his elbow. I couldn't help but laugh lightly and look at my hands before a strange urge over took me. I wasn't close enough. I needed to be close enough to feel him against me, and know he really was alive and my mind wasn't deceiving me. I grabbed his collar and pulled him in close, pressing a quick kiss against his lips. His arms went around me then, and he pressed back, something that caused me to smile and pull back. Eugene was alive. He was alive and well and we were both going to live together, free of the tyranny of Gothel and my hair. My hair… I Ran my fingers through the short brown locks once more before standing and helping Eugene to his feet. It was as if he had never been stabbed.
"C'mon, let's get out of here," he said as he pulled me close and pressed a quick kiss against the crown of my head. I wrapped my arms around him, inhaling deeply, finally feeling safe, as if that was exactly where I belonged.