A/N: 2 weeks++ I didn't update so I really would like to apologize. Reason is, something big had cropped up in school and I just can't update during that period so I'm really sorry guys! So to make up to you, this chapter would be longer than all the previous one. Though I've been away for quite sometime, I was glad that I'm still receiving reviews and readers who put me on their alert and favorite so thank you thank you thank you very much! :D After this chapter would be the epilogue so please don't run off yet. Don't kill me yet too since this chapter won't end just like this. :P
To the anonymous reviewer: Thanks very much for the review! Sorry to keep you in suspense. ^-^ In this chapter, you would understand why Mrs Marianne acted that way and about why Eugene didn't just run away, it won't be explained in this chapter but in the following chapter/epilogue I would write about the funny hardships Eugene needs to go through to just simply run away. (Always save the best for the last right? xD) I hope this chapter would clear your confusion. I'm glad you like my story. Thanks for giving me the 85%. Really appreciate it!
Disclaimer: Tangled characters still aren't mine. Only the maniacal Mrs Marianne is, sadly. Happy Reading!
Chapter 9: Last Goodbye
"Now have you learnt where your place is Rider?" Mrs Marianne spitted out my name as she hovered around the front door of my cell.
"What can I say, ma'am? A free bird would always return to its nest at the end of the day." I joked dryly.
"Well, in whatever situation you're in, you never lose that wit of yours, I see." Her gaze swept as she looked from my face to my bounded hands.
"What do you expect?" I let out a smirked as she gave me a disgusted look.
"Repulsive vermin, you deserve to be there."
"Whoa! You seem to hate me a lot. Have I done anything to you?" I passed the question without asking for the answer when she swirled around as she stared me down furiously.
"You don't remember do you?"
"Re- Remember what?"
She slammed her hands on the iron bars and grabbed it until her knuckles turned white. "You don't remember me? You don't remember what you did to me?"
"You have destroyed me! You took everything that's important away from me!" She bit off her words as she shook the iron bars and started sobbing as I gulped. What had I done to her, really? "Don't you remember how unthinkably you robbed me? That money, that is so important to me that time."
"So it's just that; money. I had robbed tons of rich people, you know, lightening the weight from you rich people's pockets. I never understand why you people carry loads of money around. "
"It's just that? What you took from me is bigger than anything else! You took my happiness away from me! You took what is left from my luxurious life. You took what my husband needed and at the same time, took his life! You freaking murderer!"
"Whoa! Hold on a second. I may rob rich people's money then but I would never ever rob people of their lives."
"Then how do you explain what happened to my dear beloved husband then?"
"Maybe I could if you tell me what really happen."
She hesitated and paused for a while. Convinced that I was not lying of not knowing what happened she started talking.
"Sometime about a year ago, my husband has contracted an illness. He was in a dire need of a cure but at that point of time, my late husband's business was already failing. We didn't have enough income to buy ourselves decent food, what more a cure for my husband's illness but that one day, a foreign merchant had arrived on this land saying that he had owed my husband's money and he wanted to repay him back. Oh, how happy I was then! I thought, finally I would at least be able to brought down a doctor for my husband so that he would be cured! But that happiness was short-lived. You," She glared up at me and seethed her words. "You just had to come at that moment when that merchant was handing me his bag of money. You totally robbed me of my husband's rightful money and fled."
"Are you sure it's me that robbed you? I would only rob people in fancy dresses or suits."
She let out a humorless laugh, "Who wouldn't recognize you with all the WANTED posters of your face being put up all around town? And I would always wear a fanciful dress. I was rich after all. Was." She repeated bitterly.
"I'm sorry." I said out silently when my memory began to work and I remembered her face and the incident.
"You're sorry? If an apology would bring my husband and his business back, I would gladly accept it but that won't happen wouldn't it? He died without a cure a few days after you rob that money away from me since no profit was coming from his failing business. I could have saved him with that money but you just had to intervene. For that, I want to make your life miserable! For that, I want your life to be taken but before that, I want you to know how it's like to have your love taken away from you." She ended with a smirk as she straightens down her gown.
"Wait! What do you mean by that?" My heart began to beat fast when her words dawn on me.
"Uneducated people like you are so dumb. You had made my plan go out smoothly, better actually. When I had known that you are the disgusting savior of the princess, I had instantly volunteered to be her tutor so that I could frame you through her, oh, not to mention the amount of money I would receive. I didn't intend to do anything to the princess at first but you just had to shamelessly fall head over heels in love with her but then again, I'm glad that you did because with that, I would be able to get my revenge."
"You don't mean to-?"
"My plan at first was to just get you hanged to death since for some reason our dear King was foolish enough to pull away your supposed sentence but since you already driven yourself to imprisonment and had your heart given to someone else, that is the princess, I might as well destroy your heart just like how you did with mine before your own death."
Her words ranged slowly and repetitively in my own mind. My whole body trembled and my eyes widen with horror. My head had already become numb. I quickly tried to get back my composure as I slammed my body hard against the iron bars, trying to get back the attention of the already retreating figure of the new termed witch, Mrs Marianne. "Wait! Stop there!"
Instead of getting the witch's attention, I had caught the guards' who were already running towards me and past that witch. A striking sensation was felt as I realized I had actually used my left injured shoulder to slam making the pain worse and almost unbearable. I slide down the bars in pain, my consciousness already failing me.
"What is all this fuss about?" It sounded far but still I heard the guard questioned.
Trying so hard to keep my heavy eye lids open, I could only see the blurry figure of that witch. "Please.. Help me stop that witch. She wants to.. She wants to kill.. Rapun.."
Just like that I had collapse, not being able to give the guards the warning I wanted to tell.
I opened my eyes to a bright light a while later. Everything was so foggy then. Where am I? What happened? I tried to rub my eyes to clear it but I found my right wrist being tied beside my body while I couldn't move my left. Right, I almost forgot I'm being imprisoned. Squinting my eyes close and open again, the view slowly came to me and I saw the very beautiful thing I have ever seen in my life. Rapunzel.
"Eugene, I meant Flynn, whatever. You're awake." Rapunzel gave me a blank face. I sat up slowly as she instantly supported me up. I looked up at her silently, looking at her closely now. Her eyes were puffy and her nose was red. Even her cheeks were a little flushed.
"You have been crying." It was supposed to be question but it came out as statement.
Looking away from my face and ignoring the words I had said, she stated, "The doctor said that your dislocated shoulder had hit on a nerve in your neck when you slammed yourself causing you to lose consciousness."
"But you're okay now so," her next words were almost a whisper, "your sentence would still be resumed and carried out before night falls."
My head snapped up to look at her but she was hiding her eyes under her fringe. "Oh, right."
Moving my eyes away from her, I realized I was no longer in the cell. We were in a wide open space though still within the palace as the palace walls climbed up on every side. On one side, there was an entrance and townspeople were filing in filling in the spaces but there was a space in the middle. My heart dropped when I saw why. There in the middle stood a wooden platform, with high above it stands a pole that stretched out with a rope tied on it, to be exact it was a hangman's noose. So this was it. I took my eyes away from it and tried concentrating looking at the people instead.
There were a lot of people. Almost the same amount of people that had attended the princess' coronation ceremony. Skimming through the crowd, a smirking face caught my eyes and my heart went even heavier than before. There, standing among the royalties and royal servants, stood Mrs Marianne. Her gaze was hard on me and I could see a light bouncing from a shiny object she was hiding under her sleeves and I instantly remembered the warning I've wanted to tell.
"Rapunzel." I called out her name urgently.
"You don't deserve to call me that." She snapped unexpectedly.
Not having the time to feel hurt, I continued, "Princess, you got to listen to me. Don't go near Mrs Marianne. She's dangerous."
A surprised look was on her face when she finally looked at me. "What are you saying? She may be hard on me but she's kind on the inside."
"You'll be surprised but you got to listen to me. She's out to kill you. She's out on revenge."
"What revenge? I haven't done anything to make her hate me."
"Not you. Me. She hates me and for that she wants to kill you."
"If she hates you, why does she have to kill me?"
"Since I will be killed physically soon, she wants to kill me emotionally too."
"I don't get you. Stop talking in circles." She frowned.
I hesitated, "She wants to destroy my heart just like how I had destroyed hers she said."
"Then she should have just get an arrow and shoot straight to your heart or use a knife to make it easier." Clearly, she was getting agitated for not being able to understand. She was always like that. Back in the days when she was all mine, I would have already enveloped her in my arms, unresisting to her cuteness.
"Like I said, she wants to destroy me emotionally not physically."
"I still don't get why she wants to kill me so can you just get straight to the point?" She snapped.
"It's because you're important to me! If anything were to happen you, I swear that it would be worse than getting hanged. It would kill me on the inside and not even a magical healing incantation could save my shattered heart and unforgiving regret."
Rapunzel went silent with her mouth slightly open, trying to say out something. For a moment, her eyes were shining but then, she looked down, "Stop fooling with me Flynn. Why must I still trust after what you did?"
"But Rapunzel, I meant Princess, you got to trust me in this. Its okay if you don't want to believe what I just said but I beg you, please, keep yourself away from Mrs Marianne. She's definitely dangerous!"
"Stop it Flynn! Enough of trying to make Mrs Marianne look bad! You're just mad at her for putting you in the situation you're in right now. You're on denial, aren't you? You know what? You really deserved to be hanged. See if I care! I regret ever trusting you! I regret ever being involved with you! I rather stay trapped in that hell of a tower than meeting and being saved by someone as hateful as you!"
Rapunzel stomped off as I stared at the empty space where she just stood. She doesn't trust me anymore. What should I do? That witch would surely get her if I don't do something.
"Well, Flynn Rider, your time's up now. The stage is yours now." The guard joked darkly as he led me towards the 'stage'. My eyes made a last glance to the royalties who were sitting higher than the platform I was on. The King and Queen had a regretful look on their faces and they clearly tried their best to not look at me. Rapunzel was sitting beside the Queen with Pascal on her feet. Rapunzel had a tired smile on her face but she didn't bother even looking at my direction unlike the King and Queen. When I looked at Pascal, he looked so dejected. His head laid low on the ground with his body curled in.
"Go up there Flynn and put this sack over your head." The guard directed and I complied willingly. The witch said she would kill Rapunzel before I'm hanged right? Since I 'm here now, she has no chance to. As I walked up the crowd begins to lower in their volume and all eyes were on me. Just as I about to put the sack over my head, I heard the witch shouted.
"Leave out that sack Flynn!" Mrs Marianne stepped up in front of the royalties with a big smile. All eyes were averted to her even Rapunzel with a shocked expression. "I'm sure everyone wants to see his face to make sure he really gets his punishment."
It was quiet for a moment with just stares when suddenly the townspeople suddenly shouted their agreement. She smirked with victory when the King nodded with her request. What is she planning to do? She couldn't probably..?
The hangman stepped up and took the sack away from me and pushed me to put my neck over the noose. As I did it, my eyes never left that witch. The hangman went down from the platform and went straight to the lever that would mark my end. That's when I saw the witch approached Rapunzel from behind whilst digging her sleeves. I could almost hear my heart plunged down but what I had really heard was the lever being pulled down.
I panicked. It's not for my life that's going to end but it's for the life that would end because of me. The time was as though slowed down as my eyes widen when I saw that witch had fully unsheathed her knife and was ready to strike Rapunzel who were covering her eyes with her hands. Nobody else seems to notice what was going to happen to Rapunzel as almost everyone was either busy looking at me or closing them. In a wink, just before the floor cave in fully under me, I grabbed the noose with both my hands and pulled myself up and threw myself backward. The loud thud as I fell backwards thankfully caught the witch's attention and made her pause wide-eyed.
Not wasting a second, I lunged forward and jumped as high as I could so as to reach where Rapunzel was, then, jumping over her to slam against the witch.
"Mrs Marianne!" I heard everyone gasped as we rolled through the floor. When we finally stopped, I was on top of her with her gasping for breath under me.
"Get off her!" I heard Rapunzel shout but I just grabbed her tight with my trembling hands on the witch's wrist.
"Foolish," she smirked as she yanked her hands away from mine with a knife that's already covered in blood. Slowly, I looked down to see that both of us were covered in blood. "You prefer ending your life in a harder way, huh?"
"Wha-?" I was cut off by a pain that almost brought me back at the tower. I clutched my stomach as I glared at the witch's eyes. The knife must have been jabbed me when we were rolling just then.
"Oh well, at least I get to kill you with my own hands," she laughed as she pushed me off her. I gasped in pain as she knelt beside me and whispered to me, "Now that you're helpless and injured, you can't do anything now, don't you, as you lay here and see me kill your precious princess?"
As if on cue, Rapunzel, along with the King and Queen rushed to us and stood behind Mrs Marianne. "Are you okay Mrs Marianne?" I heard the King asked as I curled myself in pain.
"I'm okay, just a little scratch from the roll." She stood up and brushes the dirt from her dress away as she glazed her eyes over me, "I'm lucky that I was able to block the knife away from me but I'm afraid that it had hit him instead."
I forced my lids to open to glare at the witch, only to meet with Rapunzel's teary eyes with her trembling hands over her mouth. For a moment, I thought she would come and knelt down beside me but with a shake of her head she shuts her eyes close and turned away.
"Someone, please bring Mrs Marianne to her room so that she may rest. Now who is responsible for letting him carry a knife?" the king voice full of anger.
"My king, what about him?" the Queen looked worriedly at me as she held the King's arms.
"It would be no use to call a doctor. He would need to meet his end anyway so we might as well leave him be," the witch suggested. By this time, I had already lost a lot of blood. I could feel a puddle of my blood being formed at the place where I laid. Slowly, my consciousness began to fail me.
"Is there anything wrong Princess?" the witch looked at Rapunzel.
"That would be cruel." The Princess answered immediately.
"It won't be to someone as cruel as him," she jabbed.
"No, I won't allow it! Can someone get a doctor for me?" Rapunzel faced a maid, one of them too familiar. She must be the one that assist my bath that day. The maid nodded and turned immediately only to be held off by the witch.
"No, you don't. I want him to die an agonizing death," Mrs Marianne bit of her words.
"But I don't want him to suffer," Rapunzel's voice broke.
"You still say that even though it was him that causes you to suffer? That's foolish!"
"The sentence would be enough."
"It's not for me! He caused me great pains and heartache! I want him to taste what I had tasted. He deserved to be left like that! He deserves to die! Not only that, he deserves to feel how it's like to lose someone that is so dear to him, and that's too bad that the one he held dear is you Princess. So to get my revenge done and make him suffer just like I did, I might have to kill you Princess. Die!"
Pulling out the same knife that she had hurt me with, she raised her hands and charged towards Rapunzel. Like as though the time was frozen, everyone else just stood in shock. Using the last of my strength, I began to pull myself painfully as I launched myself at Rapunzel just as the witch's knife drove towards her. I saw the maniacal glint in the witch's eyes as the knife hurtled towards me and in a split second, I pulled Rapunzel away from the knife just in time as it protruded through me. I winced in pain but it wasn't until she carelessly pulled out the knife from me that I shouted in agony.
"Why, you, just watch and suffer just like how I wanted you to! Let me kill your beloved princess!" She began to strike again when finally a guard intervened with a single thrust, drove the blade of his sword into Mrs Marianne chest, straight to her heart. "What.. Why?" she stared blankly at the guard.
"We are permitted to eliminate anyone who is posed as a threat to any one of the royalties." The guard said curtly and with a guttural sound from her throat, the witch collapse on the ground, lifeless.
Breathing out gladly, I sank to ground with Rapunzel instinctively catching me. "Eugene! Oh god, Eugene!" Rapunzel sank down with me as she tried to stop the blood that was already flowing out freely from my wounds.
My vision was already blurred and I couldn't see much of Rapunzel so with my blood-stained hands, I tried to feel for Rapunzel's face that was already wet with tears. I let out a small chuckle, "Another weird sense of déjà-vu isn't it?"
"That wasn't funny. Stay with me Eugene," She sobbed as she turned away and shout "Can someone get a doctor already?"
My whole body was already hot and cold at the same time and my head spun badly. "Don't bother. I'm just a lowly thief after all. I don't deserve to be saved."
"You saved me so I need to save you. Stay with me, my brave knight."
"I would.. if I could." Suddenly, it gets even harder for me to breath and it seems that I began coughing. My mouth started to taste like iron with a sticky texture. Blood.
"You could so don't leave me." Her voice became urgent and distant. "If you plan to leave me, you better consider killing me, Eugene so don't leave me!"
My heavy eyelids began to shut completely and the last thing I could hear was distant screaming as I felt Rapunzel cradling me.
Flower gleam and glow,
Let your power shine,
Make the clock reverse,
Bring back what once was mine.
Heal what has been hurt,
Change the Fate's design,
Save what has been lost,
Bring back what once was mine.
What once was mine..
This time the healing incantation nor the magic hair or tears worked. Time wasn't reversed, the wounds were still there and I couldn't be saved. I guess this was my Fate after all. This is my end.