Tangled Up in You

A/N: I do not own any characters; any similarities with other OCs unintentional; the sharing of my OCs encouraged. My story begins with a kiss on the boat. What would have happened if the Stabbington Brothers did not get to the beach when they did; if they had not gotten his attention with the lantern; if Eugene had realized who Rapunzel was on the boat? This is my take on it. I am open to plot bunnies / suggestions concerning this story. The first chapters are planned out; after that, who knows?

Chapter One: Eugene's Revelation, Part One

A New Dream, Realized

The kiss had been amazing, both Eugene and Rapunzel lost in the feeling. The kiss, illuminated as it was by thousands of lanterns silently criss-crossing the sky above them, was simply magical. No words could describe it; any attempt at speaking sure to spoil the wonderful mood. They could each feel the electricity of their tender touch; their heartbeats merging into a single beat, thumping in sweet unison, as if two halves of a whole. The touch filled with such affection as to defy description; not that either tried, lost as they were in the sweet afterglow. As they separated, they gazed into each other's eyes, hazel into emerald and emerald into hazel. Each lost in the words Eugene had uttered previously: "…you get to find a new dream."

As both continued to hold the other in their gaze, their minds began to wander; "…you get to find a new dream," echoing in their sub-conscious.

Rapunzel, lost in the thought of how to top the realization of a dream 18 years in the making. Was she in love? Could love at first sight be true? She had realized that he was very handsome as she gazed at him from the shadows, with none of the evil characteristics Mother Gothel named, such as pointed teeth; not to mention his kind treatment of her, even if reluctantly at first. She fondly thought of her birthday, at first a sad occasion, and how he transformed it into the best, ever. Why was he so nice to her? Did he feel the same? She prayed that he did.

Eugene, lost in the thought of where does he go from here. It was as he continued to gaze unashamedly into the most beautiful emerald orbs that he realized he had had his first kiss driven by true love; the others rendered irrelevant. Could he have fallen in love so quickly? He knew Flynn Rider didn't; but, Eugene? Was love at first sight possible? He had truly been stunned by her beauty as she emerged from the shadows; her confidence and determination to see the lanterns driving her, as if on a sacred quest; her immunity to the smolder; a definite first; and, her appreciation of his efforts to make her birthday an enjoyable event. Did she appreciate his efforts? It seemed as if she did. Did she feel the same? He prayed that she did.

Another thought worked its way into his mind; she was familiar; hauntingly familiar. Where had he seen her? She stated she had never left the tower, yet he was so sure... If true, how could he have seen her before; or where; or, even, when?

He was so lost in the sea of green, and in his own conflicted thoughts and worries, that he didn't realize that Rapunzel had been trying to get his attention, smirking at his "un-Flynn-ness."

"Euugeene," Rapunzel again called, softly and tenderly, her new found affection for him unmistakable.

His reverie broken by the soft siren call of his new dream, Eugene blinked to clear his vision, and looked expectantly, still mesmerized by Rapunzel's true beauty, and lost in the feelings of adoration for her.

"Yes," he asked quietly and tentatively.

"Eugene," Rapunzel began, "I don't know how to thank you for an amazing day. You began as my guide reluctantly, but in the end you did all the little things that made this the most amazing birthday I have ever had. EVER!"

"Blondie," Eugene exclaimed, so excited that she had enjoyed his company and efforts, "you are most welcome!" Rapunzel grinned and blushed, giggling at Eugene's rambunctious response.

"You are an absolute joy to be around;" Eugene continued, "the way that you light up those around you as if the sun. I had forgotten how wonderful the world truly is; how nice people can be, if you let them. If anything, I should be thanking you! You have captured my heart and set it fr-…," Eugene stopped quickly, very un-Flynn like, his smoothness totally lacking, his cheeks turning five shades of red, Rapunzel softly and affectionately giggling, relieved that she was affecting him as he did her.

Rapunzel continued giggling and blushing five shades of red as well; Eugene remaining quite flushed, laughing softly and very affectionately. A very comfortable silence returned; each enjoying the company of the other; each admiring the lanterns high in the sky, though they were slowly fading from sight.

They soon returned their gaze to the other. Hazel again lost in emerald, emerald again lost in hazel. They slowly joined their hands together, and began to pull into the other's tender embrace. Closer and closer, soon locked so closely that the finest linen parchment could not broach the space separating them; linked as one. Once more they slowly touched their lips together, tenderly, the feelings of love very evident; again, their hearts beating as one. It was with this second kiss that they realized their new dreams; to be together, tower and island totally forgotten. They broke apart at the same time, regaining the gaze with the other, remaining loosely embraced.

"My new dream….," they sighed together, content to be holding the other so closely, not aware the other had heard.

"What…?" they echoed; surprised at their shared common thought.

Eugene was the first to speak, nervously and not too sure of how to describe the feelings he was experiencing. He was Flynn Rider, and he didn't fall in love; did he? Was he Flynn Rider; the thought gnawing at him? What about this wonderful feeling; one that Flynn might feel repulsed by but that Eugene definitely welcomed? He was now Eugene; wasn't he? Of course he was; um-, is; and he loved; no, correct that, loves the feeling. A feeling, however, he was afraid to acknowledge and share for fear of losing it, but not willing to ignore.

He decided to take the plunge and go for it, gently caressing her cheek as he began, "Rapunzel, you were right about my arrival in your small world. It was fate, AND destiny, not a horse that brought me to the tower. After all, what else could bring me to you in time to bring you here for your birthday? The timing was just too good. Even Max isn't THAT good of a horse; though, and please do not tell him I said this, he does have outstanding personality traits, especially his dedication to his profession. But, most importantly, Hookhand was right, my old dream did stink."

"Your old dream, Eugene," Rapunzel asked, very surprised, "not quite sure where Eugene was going with this conversation.

"Yes, Rapunzel, my old dream," Eugene replied, grinning unabashedly at her before continuing; "Just as you fulfilled your dream of seeing the lanterns fly and now get to go find a new dream; so do I, for; while one might think a dream should be fulfilled before seeking another; right now I can see that it is not always true that one must always have a dream realized just in order to seek a new one."

To say this was the most shocking of revelations to young Rapunzel was to underestimate the impact of Eugene's words on her. Understandably; Rapunzel, a look of shock adorning her beautiful face, stood there, mouth slightly open, for a minute; not daring to believe, fearful yet not; she was almost afraid to ask what his new dream could be.

"What could it be? Is it her? Could it b-…? She was klutzy, naïve, clumsy, chubby, ignorant…; no one but her mother seeing her special, yet her putdowns endless, other comments never positive;" Rapunzel pondered, before coming to the realization that, "Eugene was still HERE; he hadn't abandoned her! He had the satchel; yet, he WAS here!"

Could the wonderful fulfillment of her new dream be closer than she thought? Could her dream and his be one? She knew; just knew; in her heart; as Eugene was still there, even after being given the satchel; that Mother did NOT know best! It was with extreme confidence, a confidence she knew she had had her entire life, that Rapunzel took the plunge as well and grinned widely as she sweetly asked, "What IS your new dream, Eugene?"

Eugene smiled shyly and stuttered out, grimacing as he did so, "Not w-what, but w-who."

"Oh…," Rapunzel said slowly and shyly, her facing brightly lighting up as if the sun at his sudden shyness, a shyness caused by her; his unique Eugene-ism, "Ok, then. WHO is your new dream?"

"W-who do you think, Rapunzel," Eugene smirkingly asked, though still slightly stuttering, his confidence slowly returning at the reality slowly filling him; gently, yet firmly, tightening their embrace, telling her a thousand things in his embrace; gazing unashamedly at her beauty; expectantly, as if almost afraid of her reaction to his revelation, yet knowing he needn't be. She did feel the same; of this he was never surer! She knew the arrogant Flynn was gone, conquered by her sweet innocent and wonder; replaced by the kind and humble Eugene Fitzherbert, the orphan! She knew; she knew absolutely; his heart was entirely and completely hers; as she knew he had accepted hers!

Still; as he eagerly and nervously awaited her answer; he did have slight fear residing in the back of his sub-conscious still gnawing at him. He had suffered such terrible heartache in his short life that he didn't know what it meant to be filled with such joy. Nor did he know what it truly meant to fall in love with someone. Despite a new found confidence, one question remained; would she reject him, as he had been, so many times before? While awaiting her answer and, needless to say, he was very, very nervous.

Rapunzel, still grinning and blushing, and realizing; Eugene's apparent discomfort due to uncertainty of if his feelings for her were feelings mutually shared; simply stated, "me."

Eugene; his face a portrait of obvious relief, gently sighed, and exclaimed happily; all conflicted thoughts gone, exuberantly replied; "Yes! You are so right, Rapunzel. You have filled me with feelings I thought were lost and buried forever. When I am with you I feel so much happiness and, as I get lost in ocean of your expressive emerald eyes, I realize that you are what matters. Money and material possessions are irrele-….; ohmygosh ohmygosh ohmygosh!"

"Eugene," Rapunzel exclaimed worriedly, "What's wrong? Why the panicky attack?"

"Whaat," Eugene blankly remarked, surprised, unaware of his excited rambling.

"I asked what is wrong," Rapunzel repeated, wondering about his outburst; "You were talking about your feelings when you suddenly stopped; freaking out. Why are you freaking out?"

"It just hit me; I have seen someone that looks like you before; I know who you are," Eugene exclaimed excitedly.

Wait! Who is she?

You know I can't tell you; YET!

What happens next?