Tangled Up in You—The REWRITE!
A/N: Welcome to the re-write. I guess I should apologize for taking so long to get this up. Work has been completely nuts the last four months. I also just started an online MBA, so now I have yet one more thing to steal time from my stories.
This chapter begins a potentially four chapter introduction to where my original story began (the boat scene from the movie). You will note a crossover of an idea from Star Wars. This is a little literary license on my part and adds to the overall story as well as prepping me for Dark Force Rising, which will be published on . So, without further ado:
Chapter One: A Kingdom Prepares to Celebrate / A Princess Needs a Break
The sun was not yet a band of pink gracing the eastern horizon, one fine June morning. Yet, all the people of Corona were already awake, eagerly awaiting the dawn; ready for the celebration of a lifetime. No. That was not quite right. The celebration to surpass any of these past four generations! Thus, as the sun continued its slow trek from the eastern horizon, the people waited with baited breath, ever hopeful. Would the storms of the past three weeks finally be at an end? Would the celebration for the Royal Family be graced by the sun; not drowned in unseasonably heavy torrential rains? As the night finally and quite reluctantly surrendered its darkness to the growing light of the new day sun, the people were overjoyed to note the redness of the western sky the previous evening did indeed signal the end of the storms. The Royal Meteorologist, in his reports to King William and Queen Catherine the night previous, had finally gotten it right, though in his defense it WAS a new science. Red Skies at Night ARE quite the sailor's delight. The sun, the ever glorious symbol of this moderately sized kingdom by the sea, rising ever higher through the eastern skies happily illuminated a deep blue sky; a sky completely devoid of any and all clouds.
The quickly rising sun, gaining in intensity and aiding in the drying out of a swamped capital city as it quickly rose above the horizon, ever the catalyst for all things living, sent a surge of energy through the entire kingdom of Corona the likes of which had not been seen in fifteen years. Indeed; the excitement of every royal, noble and commoner exceeded even that of those marking the celebration that lasted an entire week; the celebration that marked the completely unexpected and highly unlikely return of the once Lost Princess, Crown Princess Rapunzel. She was returned on the evening of her eighteenth year by the unlikely hero, the 41 year old Prince Consort, Sir Eugene Fitzherbert of Avandell; who risked all to not only bring her home to her parents, but much more; his actions in the aftermath of her return firmly cementing his reputation as the bravest of the brave. Thus known as one of only three knights of the realm, the name Flynn Rider was flung into the trash heap of history, now known only, within the inner circles of Corona, as the twin nicknames of their son, William Eugene "Flynn Rider" Fitzherbert; second in line to the throne of Corona, behind his mother.
As the sun continued its steady and inexorable climb into the morning sky, the people of not only the Royal Kingdom of Corona, but also the many visiting citizens of the Royal Kingdoms of Estrella, Constella, and Orion; the latter quite cordially invited by the kind grandfather – the retired King Jonathan, though still quite hale and fit at the age of 78 – of the now 33 year old Crown Princess Rapunzel soon found their boundless energy reaching its limit, as well as their tempers reaching the boiling point as they quite hurriedly and very feverishly worked to ensure that all would be ready for the evening's celebration. The work, that should have taken over a week to complete, to be finished in less than ten hours; the importance of the celebration too great to allow anything to mar its success. The planned celebration, in honor of the Crown Princess and her unlikely hero, was also set to finally acknowledge and celebrate the efforts of the two as yet un-named individuals who ably assisted Eugene in his quest to not only find and best the princess' kidnapper, but her two unlikely and wary accomplices.
As the celebration preparations reached their most feverish and hectic pace, it was soon evident that the boundless energy of the royal staff had also reached its limit. No. That is not quite right. The only thing reaching its limit was the patience level of a certain Crown Princess who in times such as these yearned for the nomadic life of her husband's alter ego; the once infamous Flynn Rider.
Rapunzel, ever the gracious Crown Princess, quickly learned in the months and years after her return that certain things no longer need to be done for themselves. The royal staff was more than willing and able to do anything needed; no matter how undesirable. Thus, she found herself sitting quite impatiently in front of a mirror as the capable Royal Hairdresser worked her usual magic.
"Your Highness!" Penelope the Royal Hairstylist called out, exasperated. "I cannot work my normal magic if you cannot sit still. Please!"
"Penelope! If you please! I am quite able to take care of my hair myself; ok? I mean really! It isn't like I had anything better to do for most of each and every day the first eighteen years of my life as I waited for my life to begin; ever wondering if I were truly alive, trapped as I was in a seventy foot tall door-less tower. Surviving day to day on a dream; the dream to see what I thought were the most unusual stars, yet were in reality the lanterns set free only on my birthday. Lanterns I swore one day to see up close. I would like to think that one thing that I can and should be able to do on my own is to take care of my hair; no matter how it might look right now!"
The 37 year old faithful servant of the Royal Family, Penelope, her mind suddenly transported fifteen years into the past could only stand there wide eyed and mouth open, shocked at the sharp edge of the Princess' words, unsure of herself or how she should react as she had never heard the entire story first hand, nor seen Rapunzel so agitated. She slowly lowered her hands and arms to her side and sadly whispered, "Forgive me, your highness."
Rapunzel, realizing with a start what she had just said and looking to one of her most favorite people of the royal staff with her massive, yet suddenly quite sad emerald green eyes, whispered in return as she gently grasped for her free hand; "No, Penelope. It is me who should be apologizing. You have done nothing that requires forgiveness. This preparation for the celebration is driving me up the wall."
Rapunzel, now happily seeing Penelope's smile return and grow larger, smiled back and continued, "I understand your drive to help me and I truly appreciate it. You are, after all, one of the best and I am fortunate to have you and your able skills at my beck and call. I'll tell you what. It is only 10:00 o'clock now. I will take my husband, children and my best friends and their children for a walk around the city and I promise I will give you more than enough time to work your magic. OK?"
"Yes, your highness. You are most generous. The celebration begins at 7:30 this evening. Please be back by quarter till seven as that is all I should need."
"Penelope, I will ensure that I make it back in time." Rapunzel called back to her as she quickly left the room, relieved to make a quick escape; ever grateful to be spared from a two hour long dissertation of village and palace gossip."
"I'll be waiting!" Penelope happily replied to the door as it slammed shut behind the princess.
Rapunzel, as always, running through the palace hallways, her bare feet slapping the ornately decorated tile floors as she went, began calling out; "Eugene? Andrea Rapunzel? William Eugene?" As she ran through the hallways of the royal residence, she was met by stony silence. Intrigued by the silence, as none of the three replied, she headed out to the Royal Guard House, ever sure that they would be in what had become Eugene's favorite haunt, the massive and well equipped training room. She was not disappointed as she found not only her family, but, quite happily by coincidence, also Amanda and Rupert, and their children, Lisa Amanda and Stephan Rupert. She was still, however, surprised as she entered the main hall, as yet still hidden she thought, and saw her children and the others engaged in what appeared to be close order combat training; garbed as they were in specially padded clothing that would amply protect them from inadvertent impacts without unnecessarily hindering movement. As she covertly, or so she thought, watched, Stephan stood back up. Apparently, his older sister had gotten the best of him, somehow.
"Now, Stephan, remember your earlier lessons. Do not always rely on what your eyes tell you. Ok?" The 39-year old Rupert kindly told his nine year old son, grinning as he felt his son's tension flood away and his wavering aura solidifying. "You must not trust your sight but your instinct; for while your eyes can deceive you, your instincts rarely will."
"Yes. I understand, father." The younger MacIntyre replied, as he picked up his practice weapon and his father placed the specially made helmet, which in addition to providing protection also effectively blocked out all vision forward, on his son's head.
His older sister, the eleven year old Lisa Amanda, similarly garbed, equipped and as vision deprived as her brother, was placed in the right place and stance by her ever protective mother, the 37-year old Amanda. She too, was giving last minute words of advice to her eldest daughter; feeling the tension flooding out as well as her aura strengthening as well; yet also feeling something else...
The two well prepared younger MacIntyres; facing each other from about five to eight feet away, stood there a moment ready to begin sparring. They had just raised their padded training swords and held them at the ready awaiting the signal to begin when they paused, the perplexed look upon their faces well hidden by their helmeted masks. The confused feelings of the two youngsters, however, were quickly picked up on by both the omniscience Amanda and her husband, who, instantly noticing the arrival of a certain interloper as well, innocently asked all the while unsuccessfully stifling a giggle. "What is wrong, children? Do you sense something or some..?"
"…YES!" The two children cried out together, interrupting their mother and father. Their two cousins, Andrea Rapunzel and William Eugene, who were patiently waiting their turns also nodded, as they quickly stood up from where they had been seated, though not yet facing the still hidden visitor.
"And…?" Their mother and father; and aunt and uncle; prompted, small smiles gracing their features.
"AUNT RAPUNZEL! MOMMA!" The two MacIntyre children, and their cousins, the ten year old Andrea Rapunzel and the twelve year old Paul Eugene suddenly yelled out in reply as they all quickly rushed towards a more than slightly surprised Crown Princess, all four eagerly racing the others to be the first to give the Crown Princess the biggest hug possible.
"Andrea Rapunzel! William Eugene! Stephan Rupert! Lisa Amanda! How did you know I was here?" Rapunzel asked as she shyly emerged from the shadows and walked towards the center of the room, a huge toothy smile gracing her beautiful face as she bent down on to her left knee to better hug and kiss her children as well as her niece and nephew; all the while knowing the answer.
"Your aura; of course!" The four children enthusiastically called out in unison, each happily seeing the strong emerald green aura of the Crown Princess.
"But of course! I should have known that I would never be able to sneak up on any of you. Hello, my dearest." Rapunzel happily replied, her emerald green aura significantly growing and blazing as bright as the sun as she went up and gave her dream of fifteen years a huge hug and kiss.
"Hello yourself, sweetheart; you are as beautiful now as always." The still enamored Eugene replied, his royal blue aura brightening significantly at the sight of his new and definitely most favorite dream, returning the hug and kiss, quite enthusiastically of course, before continuing, eyebrows wagging. "You are early. Did you finish with Penelope so soon?"
Rapunzel, letting out a huff and rolling her eyes as only she could, simply stated; "Don't ask! Let us get out of here and go for a walk. I need fresh air and sunshine. Being cooped up in the palace reminds me too much of the…"
Eugene, seeing the sudden dimming of Rapunzel's aura, quickly replied; "Yes, of course. I should have realized that the weeks of foul weather keeping you inside might tend to… Let's go, everyone!"
"YAY!" The four children yelled in unison, happy for the smallest of diversions from their training sessions.