Disclaimer: I don't own Tangled, nor any characters, places, things, or ideas therein. The aforementioned belong to Disney and all it associates, etc., plus the writers, producers, and such for the movie. I am making no monetary gain from this fic in any way, shape, or form.
Summary: All he can do is marvel at those small hands, whether they're wielding a frying pan or cradling a flower. EugenexRapunzel
Timeline: During/post movie
Warning: This fic does contain spoilers for the movie. So, on the off chance you're here and you haven't seen the movie, and you don't want to be spoiled - I invite you to come back once you have seen, and hopefully enjoyed, the movie.
Author's Note: I saw this movie a few days ago and absolutely fell in love. It easily catapulted into my favorite Disney animated movie spot. No doubt about it. I've lurked around the Tangled fan fiction area for a few days, trying to get a feel for the flavor of the fandom. I'm not sure if I have it or not (my apologies if I don't), but this little piece implanted itself in my head, and I decided to take a leap and write it and share it. I hope you enjoy it, and thanks for reading!
When Flynn Rider first met Rapunzel, her hands were - surprising. It was obvious just by looking at her that she was thin and fit, that her life had not been one spent idly. She was a worker. But even at that, there was a softness about her that wasn't entirely caused by her obvious innocence. She looked soft, as pliable as her long (very, very long) blonde hair.
And then there were her hands… From a distance they looked pale, supple, as delicate as the rest of her. But up close (once he was able to get past the part where she was always wielding a frying pan with which she was as likely as not to hit him over the head), he could see and feel the calluses that spoke of a life of hard work. While not as rough as his own, he could tell that she was a worker. The tough places on her palms and fingers spoke their own stories - daily grasping of a broom; hours of work with spoons while baking; multi-hued stains made by paint that highlighted where she'd clutched a brush.
Flynn realized that, as much as she drove him crazy with all her questions, her innocent uncertainty of everything (literally everything) she didn't understand, there was a part of her that matched him - the roughness of her hands. It made him sad in a way he couldn't quite grasp.
As Flynn slowly began to (reluctantly) return to being Eugene Fitzherbert, he began trying to do little things that would give her a chance to rest her hands. Once she began to trust him, she handed over the skillet, running from one thing to the next to investigate with seemingly boundless energy. He knew, logically, that carrying a skillet wouldn't ease that much strain on her hands, but he felt like it was one little thing he could do for her. She'd lived her life in a tower, working like a servant girl even when she looked like a princess, and she deserved some time out and away, enjoying herself and not having to do a lick of work.
Okay, yes, he was softening. Maybe even starting to like her. Maybe.
And then… Everything went wrong, and he realized that he did like her, and that realization was too late because there was nothing he could do now to help her. She would be returned to the life of hard work in that dark, dismal tower, and - for both Flynn and Eugene - that was a less than acceptable circumstance.
Like the scatterbrained idiot he'd been accused of being, he ran off to find her. Back to that tower, with the barely-hanging-by-a-thread hope that there was still something he could do to help her, to save her…
And wasn't it just like Fate, the fickle thing, to make him die for his efforts?
But even as the world began to grow dark from the edges in, his blood drip drip dripped to the floor in an infuriating rhythm, and the witch's gloating stung his ears, he knew that he'd done something for her. Not nearly enough, but something. He, one of the worst people in the entire world, had done something good for once. He'd shown a sweet, honest girl how good life could be. It wasn't enough to redeem him from a life of wrong - oh, not nearly so - but it was something.
He so desperately wanted to give her something in return. For in her own way, she'd shown him how life could be, if he tilted his head just so and wanted it enough…
She wanted to heal him. And though he didn't want to die - more so at that moment than any other in his lifetime - there was one thing he wanted more. He wanted Rapunzel to live. To be free. So, with her rough, yet so delicate and gentle, hands on his face, he lifted his own hand with the last of his strength and sliced through her long blonde hair, just below her ears.
The world had gone dark, as if when he'd shorn her hair, he'd somehow destroyed all the light in the world. All that was left was her tearing sobs, the screaming of that wretched witch, and the feeling of Rapunzel's hands - warm compared to the odd coldness seeping through him - on his face: the best feeling in the world.
Then … nothing. He was sure he would never get to feel Rapunzel's hands again.
Until he did.
Now that she was the princess she always had been, and was always meant to be, her hands have gone soft. Well, not completely, since she still sneaks out to have "adventures" and do things more suited to her days in the tower (awful things Eugene always tries to distract her from, and only sometimes succeeds in doing), and his days as Flynn. He's a willing co-conspirator, though, always.
He changed, too. As Eugene, future Crown Prince and husband to the Princess, he realized his hands were losing their roughness, too. They would probably always be rougher than his Rapunzel's, but as long as any changes happened, he realized they'd always come to them as a couple.
Eugene's favorite feeling in the world is still the sensation of Rapunzel's hand against the side of his face, soft and warm, as she smiles up into his eyes with all the innocence and love the whole world could possibly contain. No matter how her hand feels, as long as it's there … the world will somehow be all right.
I've also thought about doing a companion piece to this fic, except from Rapunzel's point of view thinking about Eugene's hands. What do you all think? In the meanwhile, thank you so much for taking the time to read my fic, and I really hope you enjoyed it!