Captain Charles Forrester's New Destiny
Chapter One: The Revelation Exposed
A/N #1: This is a companion to the wonderful stories: "Rapunzel Goes Home" ( s/6908336/1/Rapunzel_Goes_Home); and,
"Rapunzel Goes Home; The Extended Version" ( s/7485250/1/Rapunzel_Goes_Home_extended_edition),"
authored by bStormhands; and is written with his approval.
A/N#2: I strongly encourage you to read (and please review) his stories as they are wonderful tomes describing the events from the tower (and slightly before) to the party and after.
A/N #3: This multi-chapter one-shot describes what happens to the Guard Captain after meeting the king and Eugene after returning from his escort assignment.
The guard captain, the proud Charles Forrester, as ordered by his king, reluctantly sheathed his sword, perplexed that his highness would allow the thief of the century free rein within the palace, let alone the kingdom. He was further shocked at his next words; words that would leave him wondering if the world had turned upside down.
"Charles, please go see Mortimer. I am sure he will be more than happy to fill you in on the amazing events of the past few days. I am sure you will find the tale captivating, yet so improbable as to seem completely unlikely. Yet, here we are."
"Of course, sire." Charles respectfully replied, still quite unsure of himself.
Quite satisfied that all was under control and that Charles would soon learn the whole amazing tale from Mortimer, the king finished by stating. "Come along, Eugene. We have people you must meet as the Prince Consort to be."
"Eugene? Prince Consort to be?" Charles asked himself not quite so softly or calmly, yet, fortunately for him, out of earshot of either the King or Eugene.
Palace staffers, lucky enough to be near enough to have heard Charles' initial outburst as he sought to capture the notorious Flynn Rider, found themselves front row to the most amazing melt down in the history of Corona or the neighboring kingdoms or principalities; or so they thought.
The one constant in the entire Royal Kingdom of Corona was the inability of the palace or village grapevine to ever get the story straight. As such, it soon became plainly clear that only a handful of people knew the entire story and that it would require much work to set the record straight and to give the Captain his just due. In the meantime, the palace grapevine would work over time, denigrating the man who had served the realm so faithfully.
A plethora of words could be used to describe the proud Charles Forrester. Many, those who had had stolen goods quickly returned to them, would say he was among the bravest of the brave members of the Royal Palace Guard, with efficiency second to none. Others, holding him in a slightly lesser light, might call him arrogant. Still others, holding him in even lesser light, would readily and quite eagerly assign the epithet pigheaded or other such less flattering alternatives to stubborn and egotistical. There was, however, one word that no one would assign to the impassive and stoic Charles Forrester; perplexed, for he never gave cause to think that he could ever be so unsettled as to lose his proud bearing completely. Yet, that is the word those palace attendants lucky enough to encounter him, used in the days following, to describe among themselves the apparent and very public meltdown of the once proud Guard Captain in the aftermath of perhaps the darkest days of his life.
The Morning of the Theft of the Tiara of the Lost Princess…
There was a lot going on right now, and he desperately wanted and needed to find Rider and recover what had been taken. The man had gone from significant nuisance to Corona's most wanted criminal in a matter of days, if not hours. The Captain generally didn't have to deal with thieves as he had many capable Sergeants and Corporals to handle such mundane incidents, but stealing the Crown of the Lost Princess from right under the noses of his guards had been too much.
The beautifully decorated room; a celebration of their lost daughter devoid of all but a simple yet elegant pedestal in the exact center of the room; the Royal Pedestal in the center of the room, empty; the very pedestal the once proud display for the tiara of the Lost Princess. The enraged yet quite saddened King; kneeling in front of the empty pedestal, a few quiet tears running into his beard. The inconsequential wave of the King's hand; as if he regretted promoting him to the Captaincy, as he had apologized for his lack of foresight. He had never felt more a failure in his entire life. He would have rather have the King run him through with his own sword then disappoint him ever again.
He had personally led the chase, and he had almost got him when Rider had knocked him off Maximus and disappeared. He had been so close to capturing him yet again, at the dam, when a lucky strike to the side of the head again caused him to lose sight of his quarry. Later, when the Guard troop reported his capture at the pier, his joy at finally being able to see justice served was tempered not only by the report of him being tied to the very boat he was captured in, but also by the sudden blackness that enveloped him just as he was about to reach the gallows. As he came to, he was shocked to see the prison under attack by thugs and ruffians, and quite nervous at their apparent and quite voluntary sacrifice of freedom to set free Rider; the question of why they would willingly make such a sacrifice plainly etched into his proud features.
The palace attendants, having heard the outburst and recognizing the voice, rapidly glanced into the very hallway where Charles had first seen and sought to confront Flynn. The sight they saw was one to behold. Charles, quickly briefing the King on his successful mission to rid Corona of the ever troublesome Stabbington Brothers once and for all, and ever eager to continue his search for the ever elusive Flynn Rider was shocked and awed to see the very target of his quest benignly coming out of the King's private office where he had just completed the successful first test of his worth to be Prince Consort. The test Eugene easily passed as his once greedy eyes now only saw the beauty of the Crown Princess; all other valuable devalued to nothingness in comparison to the emerald green eyed brunette who had done what was once thought impossible; steal the heart of the once infamous Flynn Rider. His shock doubling when, as he was about to finally succeed in his quest, he was told the most amazing tale of the man standing before him; that he was no longer Flynn Rider, he having died to save a Princess and reborn from the power of the sun as his original self: Eugene Fitzherbert. The man who earned the right to the hand of the very Princess he selflessly sacrificed himself for.
"Eugene?" Charles repeated to no one in particular, yet to everyone within earshot in general. "That man is Flynn Rider, for crying out loud!"
As he stood there, totally unaware of the audience his meltdown was generating, Charles began to slowly attempt to figure things out, not willing to simply meet with Mortimer and let him set things straight. Thus, Charles started to vocalize his confusion, to the amusement of all present.
"Eugene is Rider?" Charles began, completely uncertain of himself.
"No! It is Flynn is Fitzherbert! Yes?"
"No! That is not it, either!" He exclaimed, banging his head against the wall, his finely shined helmet unceremoniously crashing to the floor; the clattering of it bouncing several feet from him drawing unwanted attention.
"Oh, yes; I have it! Flynn Rider is really Eugene Fitzherbert!" He quite confusedly exclaimed as he walked along the maze of palace hallways and corridors, totally unsure of what he had even said. Though, in his defense, and unknown to all but one of the palace staff, he had had quite the last few days; going through more for his kingdom in two days than most would in a year or more. First; as he was about to nab his quarry the first time, a sudden boot to his side knocked him off of Maximus and into a tree. Second; as he was yet again about to nab Flynn, at the dam, for the second time in one day; a frying pan to the head knocked him into next week. Finally, as he was finally about to see justice served, he yet again found himself on the ground looking up, his entire head aching as it never had before.
Among those watching the meltdown was Doctor Cornelius, the Royal Physician; a sad look gracing his weathered features. As he watched the poor Guard Captain struggle with a new reality; the doctor sadly noted the confusion easily discernible on his one proud facial features. He quickly realized that Charles most probably was suffering from the aftermath of at least one and possibly two or more severe concussions. It was plainly obvious that he would need to meet with the King immediately to ensure Charles was given a long and most well deserved vacation. The doctor ordered absence of Charles from the palace for a period of several weeks sure to give the good doctor time to repair the damage; with help, of course.
He most assuredly noted that he most definitely needed to find Penelope, Gossiper Extraordinaire. As the most capable hairdresser to serve both the royal family and nobles as well as having great connections within the palace kitchen staff, the doctor knew instinctively that she was the one to save the day. Only she could undo the damage to Charles' reputation, indeed; he was quite sure that she would be most instrumental in ensuring the Captain's continued high standing in the Kingdom. Greatly cheered to have a plan of action, the doctor quickly made his way to the Royal Hairdresser's office within the Royal Compound.
Unaware of the Doctors observations or the damage to his reputation, Charles continued his rambling as he made his way to the office of Mortimer, right hand man to the King. Upon reaching the door, he paused for a minute, gathering his thoughts and unsuccessfully willed his headache away before proudly and firmly knocking on the ornately decorated door of the Seneschal.
"Come in Captain," Mortimer responded, a cheerful tone reflecting in his voice that Charles at not heard for a very long time.
Surprised by his forethought, Charles paused briefly prior to firmly opening the door and striding in, his confidence returning.
"Good afternoon Mortimer." Charles cheerfully greeted the king's right hand man; the man responsible for the smooth operation of the entire royal staff.
"Ah, a very good afternoon to you Captain," Mortimer replied, his eyes never brighter, his smile ever larger; continuing with, "I am sure you are here to discuss the events of the last few days? Yes?"
The captain was taken aback by this omniscience on Mortimer's part, not realizing that the king would have surely informed him of the captain's need, paused briefly before nodding in the affirmative.
"Well, Charles, it is a most wonderful series of events. Events that one would have never believed had they not witnessed them firsthand; I myself at first amazed at its improbability." Mortimer began; his happiness of the last several days still so evident in his eyes.
"How does Rider fit into all this?" Charles asked, interrupting, not willing to believe that anyone could change that quickly.
"Well, that is the crux of the matter. Isn't it, Charles?" Mortimer asked in reply to his question.
The captain nodded his affirmation of this, prompting the seneschal to continue.
"Well, let see;" Mortimer began, "I guess you need to know of the events as they occurred from the time Rider, now Eugene Fitzherbert, found the lost princess; to his capture at the pier?"
"Yes;" Charles replied, prompting more from the seneschal.
"Then, you need to know what happened after he escaped your custody until you met him, just now." He finished.
"Very good, Mortimer." Charles replied. "So, what did happen?"