a/n: post-Gothel fic when they are still in the tower. yesh.

please read and review :)

He's kissing sunshine. He can't really focus on anything else. He tries to for a second, a moment, an instant, but that would mean a second, a moment, an instant away from her and she just tastes so damn good, like golden leaves and sunny afternoons and—

Hell. The world's gone awry when he's thinking in poetry.

Something digs into his side, waking him up from his dream. He grimaces and she moves back quickly, biting her lip. "Eugene? Are you still bleeding?"

He feels her fingers pushing his hands away to inspect his wound but nothing is there, no blood, no crimson, no stain, and he almost laughs at her concern. Instead he smiles.

"No. But your magical healing hair failed to get this chain off." He tugs at the last remnants of Gothel's failed plan; it chafes at his wrist and he throws his hand out awkwardly to one side to avoid the metal biting into his rib cage.

She laughs, but it's a light, melancholy sort of laugh, and he watches as she touches the back of her hair at the thought of Gothel, the jagged, chocolate brown edges wild and unruly. He straightens up. He aches from lying in a semi-awkward position for so long, and also a little bit from being dead. Just a little. She climbs slowly to her feet and he has the sudden urge to tell her to put some shoes on, namely because he's watching the pale sole of her foot dance dangerously close to jagged mirror.

"Rapunzel?" his voice is quiet. He feels old, only there is no magic hair left to help un-age him. She smiles softly and, with one pointed foot, toes the beginning of the long, thick, rope-like cord of hair that lies, dark brown and dead, along the floor of the tower. It pushes easily along the stone, like a snake.

"I feel lighter. It's strange."

He says nothing, just watches as she teeters down, rather unsteadily, to pick up a piece of glass from the mess. She holds it up to study her reflection, and he's reminded of an old children's poem they used to teach everyone at the orphanage (mirror, mirror, on the wall) until she tosses it to one side with a clatter and suddenly-

She's back in his arms, and he's whispering sorrysorrysorry (because he's sorry about a lot of things, but mostly at this moment sorry about her being truly parent-less and without a single strand of healing hair and about having to cut it, because she must have been somewhat attached to it, right?) and she's shaking her head with a watery smile saying aboutwhateugenefitzherbert (because there isn't anything to be sorry about, because he saved her from a lifetime of imprisonment, because he broke out of jail for her, because he took a knife for her, because he met the parent (s) and survived)?

"You saved me. You saved me." She buries her head in his neck and stays there, and for a moment longer he's back in that blissful place kissing sunshine and watching gold stream through the inner corners and recesses of everything, because, hair color be damned, she will always be golden, which means, by association, he will be too.

"What'dya say we get out of here, huh?" He says finally, after a long, long, glorious moment, tugging at the chain tying him to the support pole once more. It clatters noisily around. He wants to be free of this place, mostly so he can be closer to her, but also because, the longer he lies there, the more he gets creeped out by the fact that he died in this position. He wants to make a comment but the word 'dead', while he can think it easily enough, is having a hard time getting up past his throat. He thinks then that maybe they are better off not discussing it, until they are far, far away from the tower and the memories.

There isn't much he can do to help aid in his escape as she gets to her feet once more and, gingerly avoiding the glass, moves to find something heavy to chip away at the lock. After a moment:

"Do you think a book will work?"

"What kind of book?"

"Botany book?"

"No. If it was a New Age Capital Dictionary or Map of Ages, Second Edition, then maybe. But a botany book? No."

"Fine, fine, how about a box of paint?"



"Can you lift it over here?"

"Well of course I can—"

"Without hurting yourself?"


And so, Eugene thinks bitterly, he meets his end after the wicked witch is dead and the Brothers Grimm are in jail and he has the girl and it's all because he can't escape some stupid, damn, idiotic lock-


He jumps, eyes wide, hair flying, and watches in awe as she brings up the cast-iron frying pan and the lock clatters away to the floor. He rubs his wrist. "How many of those do you have?"

"Oh, enough." She smiles.

Both of his hands free, he stands. He feels one-hundred percent perfect, good as new; he might as well be new. He's never been one for much religion (reincarnation and all that) but he has to admit, Eugene Fitzherbert was calling for him pretty darn hard after his journey to death and back. Maybe he is a new person. He clenches and unclenches his fists, wants to run a mile, a marathon, steal a crown, something, but settles for grabbing up her fingers, noting how they slip so easily into his own. He moves towards the open passage leading down towards the ground below, a somewhat less laborious route than climbing the tower. The stone cover is lying haphazardly to one side. The ladder looks to have seen better days-he can make out the top few rungs from his vantage point, and they sag with mold and damp and who knows what else.

She stops as they pass the open window. He almost suggests going out of it, for old times sake, but thinks of Gothel lying somewhere along the ground there, battered and broken, maybe, dead and gone, for certain, and decides against it. He turns a questioning glance her way, at the pursed lips, and knows that Flynn Rider is no more when, dignity be damned, all he wants to do is kiss her.

"This is really it, huh?"

"I guess so. Are you ready?"

"Of course." That smile. He'd die all over again for that smile.

He steps, over the shards of glass, over the hair, away from the dark and to the ladder. He is gingerly placing his foot on the first rung (because, just his luck, the ladder would break and he would tumble to an early grave) when her hesitant voice floats done to him from somewhere above. "Eugene?"


"I need to tell you...something kinda important. But, please don't freak out, ok?"

He climbs back up the ladder, the wood feeling rough and grainy and infinitely real against his skin as his nerves flair up. Nothing is as real as her face, though, when he comes back to floor-level. She's looking nervous. His stomach does an uncomfortable sort of flip.

Why would he freak out? What can she tell him that he doesn't already know? Nothing can surprise him anymore. Nothing at all. He's seen magic hair, and glowing hair, and healing hair, and really long hair. Nothing can possibly freak him out—

"I'm the lost princess."