Chapter Four: The Dream, According to HookHand.

A/N: I feel so, so, so bad! I left this story on the "bookshelf" of my computer's hard drive for far too long. I have no excuse, except work, work, work; and, school, school, school! Hope you enjoy this latest installment1

A/N #2: In the previous chapters the proud, yet hot-headed, Captain of the Royal Guard learns the devastating news that the once Coronian Public Enemy Number One was now the soon to be announced Prince Consort. How would he react to the news as the entire incredible story is revealed to him?

A/N #3: Lyrics for "I've Got a Dream" courtesy of: read/t/tangled-lyrics/i_

Charles somewhat patiently stood before the ornately decorated double doors leading into the Royal Conservatory. He was unavoidably mesmerized by the beautiful sounds of the Adagio sostenuto as they wafted into the hallway. Mortimer found himself grinning as he clandestinely observed Charles' harsh exterior softening as the first movement ended and the Allegretto began.

"What a wonderful pianist." Charles softly said as he listened to the wonderful strains of the second movement.

"I could not agree more." Mortimer replied.

"Where did you find him?" Charles asked.

"Well…" Mortimer began; stopping as he heard the second movement end and the Presto agitato begin.

"Yes…?"

"Let's wait for him to finish and then we can enter and you will have all your answers. Ok?"

"I guess it will not hurt…"

The music soon came to an end, and as Charles listened to the soft and polite applause he slowly reached for the door handle. As he opened the door, Mortimer could not help but chuckle as Charles took in the sight of the pianist.

"But, but, but…" Charles stuttered as he stepped into the conservatory and took in the sight of a fearsome looking Hook Hand.

"Who would know, right?" Mortimer asked, trying and failing not to break out in absolute laughter at the sight of the proud guard captain as he absorbed what must have come as a total shock to him.

The shock of seeing the fearsome Hookhand playing Mozart had barely wore off before the happy laughter of the court children wafted in from the rear of the conservatory. The source of their laughter? A mime, of all things; but not just any mime!

"That would be Ulf, Charles." Mortimer replied to the unasked question of Charles.

"But, but, but…" Charles stuttered yet again as he not so calmly absorbed another shock.

"Cupcake, sir?" Attila politely asked as he held a fine silver platter before Charles.

"Why yes, that would be..." Charles began, his words dying in his throat as he took in yet another shock.

"I can see you are having issues, yes?" Mortimer kindly asked.

"That would be an understatement!" Charles replied as he gently rubbed his temples yet again as his headache came roaring back with a new vengeance.

"How about we let them tell you how they came to be here?"

"I guess so…"

"Hook Hand, could you spare a little time and describe to the captain here how you came to be, well, here?"

Hook Hand, his new hook gleaming in the light of the sun streaming through the tall windows of the conservatory, gestured for all to gather around the piano.

"You see, captain, it was a normal day for us at the Snuggly Duckling. The entire band was there, acting all tough and whatnot when low and behold who should enter but Flynn Rider with some young woman with long blonde hair in tow. Needless to say, we were quite shocked at the brashness of Rider. We did not realize that he was attempting to scare the young woman into surrendering her dream of seeing the floating lights."

"Floating lights? You mean the lanterns set out for the Lost Princess?"

"Yes, the lanterns."

"What happened next? I mean you sent out one of your band for the guards, yet by the time they got there something had happened to change your mind. What was it?"

Hook Hand, pausing for a moment as the other thugs chuckled, simply stated, "SHE happened."

"She happened? You mean the Lost Princess?"

"Why yes. Just as I was about to split Rider in half, she wallops me with this frying pan…"

"…so that is where THAT came from!" Charles muttered.

"As I stood there, taking in the sight of this brave young woman, the one who showed no fear, she asked me the question that was to change my life; no, all of our lives, in more ways than one."

"And, what was it?"

"Haven't any of you ever had a dream?" The Crown Princess asked as she came into the room with her mother, the queen.

"Your highness!" The entire room exclaimed as they took in the unexpected entrance of the queen and her daughter and bowed as one to the queen and her daughter.

"Hook Hand, if you please…" Rapunzel said as she went to stand behind Hook Hand.

Hook Hand smiled at her as he began to sing and play. "It would be my pleasure…

Hook Hand Thug:
I'm malicious, mean and scary
My sneer could curdle dairy
And violence-wise, my hands are not the cleanest
But despite my evil look
And my temper, and my hook
I've always yearned to be a concert pianist

Can'tcha see me on the stage performin' Mozart?
Tickling the ivories 'til they gleam?
Yep, I'd rather be called deadly
For my killer show-tune medley
Thank you!

'Cause way down deep inside
I've got a dream.

The other Thugs present in the Conservatory:
He's got a dream!
He's got a dream!

Hook Hand Thug:
See, I ain't as cruel and vicious as I seem!
Though I do like breaking femurs
You can count me with the dreamers
Like everybody else
I've got a dream!

Big Nose Thug (who the captain had not noticed as he was busy flirting with his new true love):
I've got scars and lumps and bruises
Plus something here that oozes
And let's not even mention my complexion
But despite my extra toes
And my goiter, and my nose
I really want to make a love connection

Can't you see me with a special little lady
Rowin' in a rowboat down the stream?
Though I'm one disgusting blighter
I'm a lover, not a fighter-
'Cause way down deep inside
I've got a dream
I've got a dream!

Thug Chorus:
He's got a dream!

Big Nose Thug, his arm around his girlfriend:
I've got a dream!

Thug Chorus:
He's got a dream!

Big Nose Thug:
And I know one day romance will reign supreme!
Though my face leaves people screaming
There's a child behind it, dreaming-
Like everybody else
I've got a dream

Thug Chorus:
Tor would like to quit and be a florist
Gunther does interior design
Ulf is into mime
Attila's cupcakes are sublime
Bruiser knits
Killer sews
Fang does little puppet shows

Hook Hand Thug:
And Vladimir collects ceramic unicorns!

Rapunzel:
I've got a dream!

Thug Chorus:
She's got a dream!

Rapunzel:
I've got a dream!

Thug Chorus:
She's got a dream!

Rapunzel:
I just want to see the floating
Lanterns gleam!

Thug Chorus:
Yeahh!

Rapunzel:
And with every passing hour
I'm so glad I left my tower-
Like all you lovely folks
I've got a dream!

Thug Chorus:
She's got a dream!
He's got a dream!
They've got a dream!
We've got a dream!
So our diff 'rences ain't really that extreme!
We're one big team...!
Call us brutal-
Sick-

Hook Hand Thug:
Sadistic-

Big Nose Thug:
And grotesquely optimistic

Thug Chorus:
Cause way down deep inside
We've got a dream!

Hook Hand Thug:
I've got a dream!

Big Nose Thug:
I've got a dream!

Thug Chorus:
I've got a dream!
I've got a dream!
I've got a dream!

Rapunzel:
I've got a dream!

All:
Yes way down deep inside,
I've got a dream!
Yeahh!

Rapunzel, just as she had done a few days earlier, gently kissed the blushing Hook Hand on his cheek.

"Thank you, Hook Hand. Your playing is absolutely wonderful!" The queen replied.

The impromptu audience broke into boisterous applause as many had not heard the full tale of Rapunzel's run in with the Thugs or how she had so completely changed them for the better.

Mortimer, seeing a look of understanding upon the proud features of the captain, and appreciative of the perfect timing of the crown princess' arrival, kindly stated, "Charles, I do believe that it is time for you to hear from Crown Princess Rapunzel, herself."

Charles nodded, his headache slowly ebbing as the herbs in the tea finally overwhelmed the pain.

"Yes, I do believe it is time for you to hear from me!"

A/N #4: Please review! THANK YOU!