Rapunzel's Tale

A/N: Rapunzel tells her new found parents of her dream as well as her adventure. I retrieved the lyrics for "I See the Light" from the website: www . lyricsondemand soundtracks / t / tangledlyrics / iseethelightlyrics . html (remove the spaces…)

A/N#2: This story, a one-shot, takes place after the realization of Rapunzel's identity and Eugene telling his own story to the king and queen of Corona (which is fully explored in Version 2 of Tangled Up in You)…

William and Catherine, ever amazed to learn that they truly did know of the true self of Flynn Rider, the humble Eugene Fitzherbert, now wish to begin the long process of integrating their long lost daughter into their family. They gently encourage her to tell them of her past, while all the while attempting to restrain their excitement.

"Now, Rapunzel, we do not want to force you to, but would mean a lot to us if you could tell us your story as well," the king said softly as he gently guided her towards an ornate love seat near an unused fireplace, the strength and urgency of his desire to rapidly learn more of her life soonest effectively screened.

Rapunzel was quite awestruck at how totally open Eugene had become to her when compared to the closed up Flynn Rider, and realized that her new dream was possibly completely within her reach. As she regained her composure from her belated realization, she suddenly realized something, or rather someone was missing, and her already large emerald green eyes grew even larger as she herself freaked out.

"Pascal!" Rapunzel exclaimed as she quite suddenly jumped up frantic, looking around in a panicky way; her eyes suddenly and inexplicably locking on the handsome face of her new dream. Her parents were somewhat shocked at the outburst.

"Who was, umm, is Pascal?" William and Catherine asked themselves, their attention suddenly drawn to the slowly smiling Eugene, somehow knowing that he had the answer to this quandary.

Eugene started smirking, a very Flynn like grin gracing his handsome face, as he gazed unashamedly at his new dream.

"WHAT!" Rapunzel exclaimed, somewhat annoyed. After all, Pascal was Rapunzel's only, er, first friend, and she felt quite badly that she had totally forgotten about him. Eugene, however, had not. He knew how important he was to her, tongue in his ear notwithstanding; but still found it irresistible to tease her a little, just a little as he still remembered that it was frying pan 3 – Eugene's head 0.

"You seem as if you lost something, your highness. Are you perhaps looking for this?" Eugene questioned, carefully and gingerly removing a sleeping Pascal from his baggy shirt pocket.

"EUUGEENNE!"

Pascal woke up at the loud report, looked at Rapunzel sleepily, and went right back to snoring in his own squeaky way.

William, Catherine, and Eugene all chuckled lightly at the look of anguish, annoyance, and relief gracing the former Lost Princess' face; not wanting her to feel that she was being laughed at. She hugged Eugene again and sweetly kissed him on the cheek prior to gently taking Pascal from Eugene and stroking his back; smiling fondly at her new dream, knowing that this was just one more reason that she felt she was indeed falling in love with him.

"Mmm…" A blushing Eugene sighed as he reacted to the sweet chaste kiss from his new dream; a reaction that did not go unnoticed by either William and Catherine or an interloping couple.

"Ahh, what a cute friend Rapunzel," the queen exclaimed quietly as she reached out to gently stroke Pascal's back, the king nodding his agreement.

Rapunzel pondered where to start her story; "I really do not know even where to begin. Unlike Eugene, I really do not have a back story. Eighteen years of cleaning, cooking, painting, candle stick making, reading, sewing, and baking can get somewhat boring and repetitive. Not to mention the hours spent brushing my hair. BOOOORRIING!"

Everyone chuckled at that; even Pascal – who had awoken at Rapunzel's retort – in his own squeaky way.

"So, for now, how about I tell you about the best day of my life, the day my life truly began; and how I came to be here?"

Will and Kat nodded, ever eager to know how their own dream was finally answered and how the once notorious Flynn Rider played into it.

"My story begins with a dream," Rapunzel began.

William and Catherine looked to the other, ever eager.

"I had seen them for as long as I could remember, and I knew that somehow they were meant for me," Rapunzel said. "At first, I was only told that they were stars, stars that would only appear on my birthday. But, I knew better. Stars did not just appear; they had regular paths through the heavens. I became convinced as I grew older that, deep in my heart, they were much more than just mere stars."

Will and Kat smiled happily, knowing that the lanterns sent out each year had not been in vain.

"Shortly before I asked her if I could go see them, Eugene somehow found the tower, the tower I now realize that I was imprisoned in; and, being totally scared of what I had been taught to see as evil, hit him over the head with a frying pan; TWICE…," Rapunzel said embarrassedly, her cheeks beginning to flush a soft shade of red. She felt now, in hindsight, that she might have overreacted; just a little.

The king and queen chuckled at this, the queen remarking, "And to think, the Royal Guard had been unable to catch him for TEN YEARS! And you go and do it in less than a minute." Everyone, even Eugene chuckled at this irony. "So, after knocking him out, I stuffed him in my closet."

The king roared in laughter at this revelation, nothing in any of his experiences could prepare him for such a beginning to what he knew would be the most remarkable story. Eugene looked down at his feet, feeling not only embarrassed, but also beginning to figure out where the other bruises had come from.

"So that is why I hurt all over," Eugene whispered, mainly to himself, although Pascal, who, by now had perched himself on the queen's shoulder and intently watched the goings on, easily heard him and laughed his squeaky chameleon laugh.

"When she returned from the trip early yesterday morning that she had so recently gone on, and feeling confident that I could handle the outside world, I finally gained courage enough to ask if I could go to see the lanterns just this once," Rapunzel said sadly, remembering the violence of Gothel's no.

"She told me no, and that I would never leave the tower, EVER! Defeated, I then asked her if she could go get some special paints for my birthday; paints that would require a journey of several days. In this way, I would be able to go see the lights and return and she would be none the wiser. I figured that I would bribe Eugene into taking me, to be my escort as I journeyed into the world for the first time, in exchange for the crown…"

"YOUR crown, I might add," the king interrupted, smirking, thinking about the revelation told to him many years previously, finally understanding the words of it, though still quite amazed by it all.

"Er, yes, it is funny how things turned out," Rapunzel jokingly replied. "So, after Gothel left to get my paints, I removed him from the closet, and tied him to a chair."

"Tied him to a chair," the monarchs echoed, surprised; "with what?"

"Um…," Rapunzel hesitated, her cheeks reddening in embarrassment.

"Her hair," Eugene muttered; suddenly trailing off and blushing near the end, "and let me tell you, it is a whole lot stronger than it appears. Needless to say, I was totally shocked by the entire thing. First, I thought the tower had been abandoned as I saw no apparent movement from within and that I could hide there until dark, when I would escape the kingdom. Then, I find myself tied up in the purest golden hair. Finally, I slowly traced its path around the tower until I found it's…"

Queen Catherine, sensing something in the words and actions of Eugene, asked an important follow-up question as she sought to learn more about the young man who was so obviously in love with her daughter. "So, Eugene, what did you find?"

"Hmmm. Well, it just that…" Eugene began, his cheeks continuing to flush many shades of red; ever grateful that Rapunzel picked up on the story.

The eavesdropping Amanda and Rupert, still remaining outside in the hallway, giggled at Eugene's reaction, his discomfort so plainly obvious for all to see, Amanda giving him an "I told you so" look as she gently elbowed him in the ribs.

"So," Rapunzel continued, to Eugene's immense relief, with, "after I tied him down in the chair, I had Pascal wake him."

"How?" William and Catherine both asked, almost simultaneously; Catherine willing to wait for the answer to her question until she could interview Eugene at further length herself.

"Um…, with his tongue to my ear. It is quite cold and slimy." Eugene replied; quite embarrassed as the two couples of William and Catherine and Rupert and Amanda both happily chuckled yet again, the latter as yet unknown. The four of them were beginning to really warm up to the obviously quite humble Eugene Fitzherbert.

Rapunzel took back up the story. "He tried to sweet talk his way into getting me to give his satchel back. When I told him I hid it where he would never find it, he smirked that it was in a nearby pot that was sitting in plain sight. This infuriated me so much that I conked him a third time with my frying pan."

They all broke out in a fit of laughter that went on for many minutes. As they calmed back down, Rapunzel continued, "When I woke him up the second time, I told him I had truly hidden it where he would never find it, even if he tore down the tower brick by brick, and that I was willing to make a deal; take me to see the lanterns in exchange for the satchel."

"I told him that I would trust him to get me to the lanterns and safely home."

"A great mistake…," Eugene added, unavoidably smirking at the memory, Catherine and William, not to mention the eavesdropping Amanda and Rupert all looking upon him in an even better light with each passing moment.

"After leaving the tower, I went through some pretty wild mood swings...,"

"…that is an understatement," Eugene remarked, smirking yet again.

Rapunzel glared at him for a moment before continuing, "…varying between total elation of stepping out of the tower for the first time ever, and absolute horror at the terrible thing I had done; before finally steeling myself to the attainment of my goal."

"Not to say I didn't try to change her mind…," Eugene muttered.

"Yes. He even took me the Snuggly Duckling...," Rapunzel stated, smiling happily, remembering the memory.

"HE DID WHAT!?" The king exclaimed, glaring at Eugene with a look that could melt the strongest steel alloys.

"Where she charmed the place in about five seconds," Eugene quickly added, quite embarrassed; grateful that William appeared at least a little mollified.

"Oh, it was wonderful experience. I had never been in such a fascinating place. Those nice men had unfulfilled dreams, too; dreams that we sung a little song to." Rapunzel said, smiling at the memory of just the day previous.

"They do?!" Catherine asked, quite surprised, as she looked instinctively to Eugene and saw him nodding in agreement.

"Yes."

"What sort of dreams, Rapunzel?" William asked, truly interested as he could easily see the spark in Rapunzel's eyes.

"Well, Hookhand wants to be a concert pianist." Rapunzel replied.

"Really?"

"Yes. I know you would think that a man with a hook for a hand would not be able to play, but he is quite wonderful."

"Well, we will have to request his audience, won't we?" Catherine replied, bringing a happy smile to her new found daughter's flawless features.

"I am sure he will be quite humbled." Rapunzel replied, an even larger smile on her face.

"What other dreams do they have?" William asked, his sincere interest plainly visible.

"Well, Big Nose seeks true love…" Rapunzel replied as she looked at her smiling father's features.

"Vladimir enjoys collecting ceramic unicorns…" Eugene said.

"Tor is quite the green thumb…" Rapunzel continued.

"Gunter seeks to be an interior designer…" Eugene replied.

"…and Attila seeks to be a baker. They all have so many dreams…" Rapunzel sighed; she herself thinking of her new dream.

"Yes. I am set to see that they achieve them, too." The king remarked, suddenly remembering to request their audience within the next few days to discuss it as he was quite sure that they too had skills to aid the kingdom.

"Anyway, I convinced them to help us, and they showed us a secret passage that allowed us to elude the Royal Guards chasing Eugene, and let out at the dam."

"At the dam, the royal guards, led by Maximus…,"

"Maximus; the royal palace horse." The king said, more a statement than a question. He had heard that there had been some sort of amazing scuffle at the dam prior to its unexpected collapse, but had not believed it possible.

Rapunzel nodded to her father, emerald eyes twinkling, as she continued with, "…were pretty adamant in getting Eugene, so I tossed him my trusty frying pan. He successfully used it to battle off the royal guards, before losing it in a sword fight with Maximus."

The surprised and amazed royals looked over at Eugene, who waving his hand casually, simply remarked, "A story for another time…"

"I used my hair as a lasso to grab and swing Eugene to safety, but I was now in peril from them. I was fearful for my life as I was not sure all men were as nice as I found the true self of Flynn Rider to be. Anyway, Eugene, who was still holding the end of my hair, told me to jump. I hesitated for a moment, as Gothel had used my hair against me all my life. She had even done it that very morning, telling me that people only wanted me for my hair, that they would kidnap me and hold me for ransom; that I was chubby, clumsy, ditzy, naïve; why would anyone want to be with me or like me, and-, hic, and-,…," Rapunzel trailed off, slightly hiccupping and sighing sadly, a few tears glazing her beautiful emerald eyes and beginning to trail down her cheeks.

Eugene, seeing this, quickly came to her, sat down beside her, wrapped his arm around her shoulders and gently squeezed her towards him as he gently stroked her hair, a tender expression gracing his face as he gazed into the emerald sea of his new dream's eyes. Rapunzel looked up at him through tear stained vision and smiled fondly; her parents and the eavesdropping Rupert and Amanda all sharing a knowing look.

Rapunzel, relieved that she truly could depend on Eugene, took a proffered handkerchief, blew her nose and happily continued her tale, "So, as Maximus was knocking out the dam supports, and they were reaching me, I made the decision to truly trust Eugene and jump."

Eugene was rendered speechless. He had not realized how much that leap had meant to her. He, neither Flynn nor Eugene, would have ever thought of not holding on.

"Oh, Rapunzel…," Eugene tearfully sighed; a sigh that caught the attention of Catherine. She gazed with her emerald eyes at the tear hazed hazel eyes of her daughter's savior and sent the message that she did truly know how much he was falling in love with her daughter and that he needed to know that she too was quite convinced that he could be trusted.

Rapunzel caught the glance of her mother as she looked over to Eugene, smiled and continued. "Needless to say, he proved that not all men were evil doers who only wanted my hair as he held on as I swung to safety with him. We slid down the sluiceway from the dam and took off running towards an opening in the cliff face, not realizing that the dam was collapsing and a large outcropping of rock was falling towards us. We reached the opening just in time; Eugene grabbing my trusty frying pan and trailing hair just as the rocks crashed down, blocking the entrance so that we could no longer go out. The water was not blocked, however, and the tunnel quickly filled up with water."

Will and Kat audibly gasped, each with a darkened expression, terrified at what their daughter had gone through in such a short time, but also feeling a growing affection for and connection with Eugene. He had done so much for her, to include saving her life; in such a short period of time. They urged her to continue, as they were completely enraptured by her story; as were Rupert and Amanda who, with arms wrapped around the other, were still quite motionless outside the room and unavoidably continuing their eavesdropping on the conversation.

"I began sobbing; feeling sorry for dragging Eugene into this situation. I hadn't realized how the real world could be so terrifying, or that the very earth itself could be so evil as well. It was here, when we both thought we were going to die, that he told me the deepest secret that he had. His name, his true name, his birth name; that he was really Eugene Fitzherbert, and that I deserved to know the truth from him. I was so shocked and moved by this admission of his that I told him my deepest secret as well, feeling a growing connection with him. A secret that I now realize had kept me imprisoned for as long as I could remember."

"That your hair glows when you sing…" Will and Kat both stated, comprehending the immense impact of these two events on both of the young people.

Rapunzel nodded, "…it glows when I sing. I began to sing the lullaby I learned as a young child and my hair began to glow. The water swept over our heads, but I was able to finish the song in my head and my hair kept glowing. The glowing hair lit up the cave and seemed to be drawn to some rocks near the bottom of the tunnel as if the water was flowing out. So, Eugene and I dove down and he pushed and pulled enough rocks out of the way until the rocks blocking the tunnel opening collapsed outward and opened up a large enough passage and we fell into the river."

"After getting out of the tunnel, swimming to the bank of the river, and quietly celebrating our escape, we made camp for the night."

"He kept asking, first to himself and then to Pascal, why does it glow. He sort of got hysterical. He was, in a word, freaking out."

William and Catherine shared yet another knowing look.

"Well, Rapunzel, what would you do in my place?" Eugene softly asked, his cheeks a rosy red and slightly embarrassed by this admission of weakness; though not denying it in any way. He did not realize the impact of this admission on his part. William and Catherine, already warming up to Eugene, began looking at him even more affectionately with each passing moment; as were Rupert and Amanda. It was quite obvious to all four of them that it was indeed be true that Eugene and Flynn were two different people; a revelation, William realized with a carefully concealed sigh, which might aid him in the future.

"I then told him that it didn't just glow," Rapunzel continued.

"Didn't just glow? What else does it do?" Will and Kat were really wondering about the side effects of the magical sun flower. They had been surprised that Rapunzel had golden hair, but that she was taken so soon after her birth that they didn't have the time to find out why.

"Eugene had injured himself in the tunnel. I took some of my hair, wrapped it around his injured hand and sang the lullaby. The hair's glow began at the roots, as you saw earlier, went from the top of my head, along my hair, and down to his hand, healing it."

"Healing it?" Will and Kat questioningly echoed.

"Healing it." Rapunzel confirmed.

Will and Kat looked at each other and spoke the same thought, "It doesn't just glow when you sing and heal injuries…"

"It doesn't?" Rapunzel and Eugene both asked; surprised at this revelation, as were Amanda and Rupert. Pascal, knowing for sure why Rapunzel had been held prisoner, nodded his own confirmation of the royal's words.

"No. Unless I am mistaken it does much, much more; but that is for another time. Please continue Rapunzel," the king softly encouraged his daughter.

"The next morning, the ever determined and efficient Maximus found us. I awoke to Eugene screaming, and saw Max trying to drag him off, by the boot. I convinced him, with Pascal's help of course, not to chase Eugene; I let him know it was my birthday and that he was a very good horse and that he could chase the mean, mean man the next day. To my relief, Max agreed."

"Mean, mean man?" Eugene questioningly muttered, feeling slightly betrayed.

"Oh, Eugene, I was only trying to get him to let down his guard for 24 hours, and it worked. We made it to the village in the late morning, and I was totally enthralled with everything." Rapunzel remembered fondly, "after getting my long hair stepped on, we found four wonderful young girls who braided it for me."

Eugene couldn't help but smile at the memory of just that morning, a smile picked up on by the royal couple.

"Everything was so amazing. I had never seen so many wonderful things, nor did anything so exciting. I visited the library, ate cupcakes, which were delicious, drew a wonderful picture with chalk, and danced. Max, somehow knowing of our growing affection for each other, knocked Eugene into the dance, though we only got together at the end. It was so joyous, but at the same time sort of sad. I know now why everyone seemed to lack energy…,"

"…happiness broke out everywhere we went, though," Eugene interrupted, smiling; remembering Rapunzel's look of wonder, and how much the people smiled when Rapunzel smiled, as well as the dance; even if they only got together at the very end.

Will and Kat also smiled at Eugene's words, having heard quite briefly of the strange girl with the large braid who brought much happiness to those she touched. For not knowing she was a princess, she sure did know how to act like one!

"At the end of the dance, we heard a call about some boats. Eugene grasped my hand, asked me to come along, and took me to the dock, where we got on a boat. Eugene gave some apples to Max as a thank you, and I asked him where we were going, suddenly feeling quite nervous and scared for some reason; and he stated that as this was supposed to be my best day ever that I deserved the best seat."

Will and Kat smiled warmly at the ex-thief, their already positive impression getting even brighter. It was obvious to them how much Eugene had come to care for their daughter in not even two days. A girl who he didn't even know was the Lost Princess. She was just a girl whose only companion for so many years was a chameleon and a dream; a dream she didn't even fully understand.

"We were sitting in the boat waiting for the lanterns to fly, when I began to worry, a lot. I was scared, but ecstatic. I had so many questions and conflicting feelings running through my head. What would happen if the lanterns were not everything I thought they would be? What would that do to me? Eugene told me they would be everything I thought they'd be. I then worried; what if they were? What did I do then? Again, Eugene knew exactly the right thing to say; 'I guess that is the good part. You get to find a new dream.' It was at this point that I realized that I did have a new dream, a dream that I had thought impossible; a dream that I didn't even understand at first. A dream that caused a flittering in my stomach…," Rapunzel trailed off, embarrassed, her cheeks flushing many shades of red.

"What was this new dream?" The queen asked her daughter as she stood up from the chair in which she was sitting, walked over to the love seat where her daughter was sitting and gently hugged her about the shoulder, already knowing the answer as there was but one possible reply.

Rapunzel blushed and shyly stated in barely a whisper, though her voice did become louder as she spoke, more to her mother than to the room at large, "Wanting to spend my life with Eugene. I had met Gothel last night when Eugene went to get some wood for the fire and, after stating that she had followed the sound of absolute and utter betrayal…,"

"…something that doesn't exist…" Eugene interrupted, inwardly exalted at Rapunzel's words of devotion to him, a lowly commoner and thief, well ex-thief. What a difference three days could make!

"…I know that now. I told her that I had met someone who was going to escort me to see the lanterns and that I thought he was beginning to like me. She then bitterly told me that he was only in it for the crown as she shoved the satchel towards me; the satchel that I thought well hidden under the stairs in the tower. She said that I should test him, as she was so sure that I was wrong about his feelings towards me. And that…, well…, tha-, that he would leave with the crown once I gave it back to him; leaving me to find my own way home; leaving me to face the many perils the real world can throw at you." Rapunzel concluded, sadly; more tears forming in her emerald eyes.

Eugene, seeing her intense distress; distress caused by the thought of what the selfish Flynn might have done, though not the selfless and caring Eugene; moved once again to her, sat down beside her and quickly embraced her while gently and tenderly kissing her cheek as he pulled her towards him in the most loving embrace he could muster given the circumstance, the royals smiling fondly as he asked. "Rapunzel, is this why you were so worried last night when I came back from getting the firewood?"

Rapunzel nodded, shyly and guiltily, feeling bad that she had almost believed the lies of Gothel.

"You do realize that you are my new dream; right? And that I will never, ever leave you as long as you will have me and wish for me to remain?"

Rapunzel' expression brightened and as she gazed up at Eugene's handsome features, she was relieved to see his mirroring hers; their twin thoughts on the other and the future. She smiled softly, gently caressed his cheek with her petite fingers and replied, "I do now."

Eugene laughed softly in relief, gently hugged her yet again and kissed her forehead, smiling at her parents as they fondly looked upon the reformed thief.

Rapunzel quite happily continued the tale of her adventure of the escape from her prison. "As I saw the reflection of the first lantern in the water, I almost tipped the boat over in my excitement. Just when I thought it couldn't get any better, the lanterns more beautiful than I ever imagined, Eugene produced two lanterns of his own for us to release. It was ironic. The lanterns were for me, and here we were releasing our own; in my honor! We were both so overcome by the emotion of it all that we began to sing to each other; a song of our lives, our dreams and seeing the light."

She stood up from the loveseat and began to sing yet again, with Eugene happily joining in; her parents and the eavesdropping Rupert and Amanda tearing up at the sound:

All those days watching in the windows

All those years outside looking in

All that time never even knowing

Just how blind I've been

Now I'm here blinking in the starlight

Now I'm here suddenly I see

Standing here it's all so clear

I'm where I'm meant to be

And at last I see the light

And it's like the fog has lifted

And at last I see the light

And it's like the sky is new

And it's warm and real and bright

And the world has somehow shifted

All at once everything looks different

Now that I see you

Eugene happily sang of his growing affection for Rapunzel…

All those days chasing down a daydream

All those years living in the blur

All that time never truly seeing

Things, the way they were

Now she's here shining in the starlight

Now she's here suddenly I know

If she's here it's crystal clear

I'm where I'm meant to go

Eugene and Rapunzel joining in for the final chorus…

And at last I see the light

And it's like the fog has lifted

And at last I see the light

And it's like the sky is new

And it's warm and real and bright

And the world has somehow shifted

All at once everything looks different

Now that I see you"

As they concluded the song, they leaned into the other … and kissed; the love between them so obvious as to be unmistakable.

William and Catherine, along with Rupert and Amanda, were simply amazed at the total feelings of adoration that Eugene and Rapunzel felt for the other; feelings that most surely and definitely mirrored those felt by the other two couples. They beckoned with their eyes for Rapunzel to continue.

"At the end of the song, as we stood there with our hands gently clasped together, illuminated by the light of the many lanterns, we slowly yet surely leaned into each other; emerald gazing into hazel and hazel gazing into emerald; getting closer and closer, until…."

"Yes…?" The tearful queen prompted her obviously quite love struck daughter, smiling even more brightly than before.

"…we kissed. It was an amazing end to an amazing day, or so I thought," Rapunzel sighed dreamily with a small smile; she and her true mother sharing a knowing look.

The king, William, however, gave Eugene a glare that would melt lead; before tearfully chuckling and pulling him into another fatherly hug, murmuring. "Thank you for my daughter, son."

Eugene was inwardly in shock and awe; "son." It was the most amazing thing that he had ever been called in the last twenty-one years.

"And you know the rest. We were in the boat, having shared two wonderful kisses, gazing contentedly into each other's eyes. Both sets of eyes that were reflecting the beautiful light of the thousands of lanterns, his hazel into my emerald; and my emerald into his hazel; when it suddenly occurred to him that he thought he knew who I was. I was worried at first. How could he know something about me, when we had just met not even two days previous? Most importantly, how did he know? He picked up his satchel and, as he explained himself, took the crown out and placed it gently on my head, saying that he knew for sure I was the Lost Princess and that the tiara was actually mine and that he had to act. I was worried that something terrible might happen to him, given his relationship with the kingdom, but he said it was far more important that I be returned to my rightful home, and that he would gladly suffer any fate to befall him. It was quite understandable, therefore, that I was somewhat taken aback by the guard's reaction, especially given the actions of the guards at the dam, as well as his kind words to me. I still do not understand how he knew who I was, or that Eugene was the true self of Flynn. Happily he did give pause and beckoned for you to come. So, here we are."

Meanwhile, outside in the hallway, Rupert beamed happily at Rapunzel's kind words. The still tearful Amanda wiped her eyes as she saw the Eugene she had grown to love as her surrogate dad roaring back to life from the past.

The queen chuckled as she walked to the young pair, hugging them both happily, kissing them both on the cheek, and smiling brightly, her emerald aura glowing with a brightness to challenge that of the sun as Rupert, Amanda and Eugene were to note, stating. "I must say, Rapunzel, you are most definitely an amazing young woman. You are everything we prayed everyday that you would become, and even more! We were so worried that you might have become something maleficent. How gratifying to know that we were wrong; you are the most special gift a person could have bestowed upon them, as I am sure Eugene will attest. First, you capture the notorious thief Flynn Rider single handedly and hold him for ransom. Second, you successfully coerce him into taking you to see the lanterns, with the result that you have been safely recovered after all these years. Finally, you completely steal his heart, causing him to want to be a better person and bringing out the real him. You out-thieved a thief! I am so very proud of who you have become, what you are able to do and, most importantly, who you wish to be with."

She finished with a whisper to the young pair as she kissed them both a second time, "Needless to say, you both have my blessing. I am pretty sure your father will also bless this future union."

Rapunzel beamed, happy that her parents, her new found parents, were accepting of the quite awestruck Eugene.

The royals looked over at Eugene, who was grinning shyly; his humility and modesty so gratifying to see as he absorbed the queen's words.

"What can I say?" Eugene muttered as he continued his soft gaze into his new dream's stunningly beautiful emerald eyes, focusing all his attention on her; saying more to her, "I got tangled up in you."

A/N#3: Please review…