This probably takes place sometime after Rapunzel first moves in with her parents at the castle. Maybe a week or two? I didn't really specify time when I was writing this, so just let your imagination fill that part in!

Disclaimer: Sadly, I was not given the rights for Tangled over Christmas. I do not own Rapunzel or the amazingly awesome and hot Eugene/Flynn.

There was darkness, darkness everywhere, and the only light was far in the distance. Rapunzel could just see Eugene's outline in the small glow, and she followed it as fast as she could, breathing heavily as she ran, trying desperately to catch up to the small beam of light ahead of her. But, as she ran, it moved as well, going farther and farther away and taking Eugene with it.

Tears fell down her cheeks as she sprinted towards him but grew no closer.

"Eugene!" she shouted. "Eugene!" Panic colored her voice. When she could go on no further, she collapsed on the floor in defeat. A voice rang out above her.

"Didn't I tell you so, Rapunzel? It does no good to try to catch up with that thief. You'll never find him." Mother Gothel's voice was high and cold, coming from every direction.

"Mother?" Rapunzel gasped. "Where are you?"

Gothel's voice seemed to come from every direction, each one throwing insults at her.

"Why would he like you? Come on now, really!"

"Look at you! You think he's impressed?"

"Plus, I believe, you're getting kind of chubby."

"Sloppy, underdressed, immature, clumsy!"

"Ditzy and a bit, well, hm, vague!"

"Gullible, naïve, positively grubby!"

Rapunzel looked in every direction, her green eyes wide as she searched for Gothel, wanting to make the insults and harsh words stop, but not knowing where to turn. They all spoke at once, but each word was easily understood to her, imbedding itself in her head and making her wince.

"No! You're not my mother!" Rapunzel screamed. No real mother would be so terrible to her child. "Eugene! Eugene!"

"He's not coming back. I told you so," Gothel's voices were all speaking the same words at once, the multitude of voices echoing across the room. "But, no, Rapunzel knows best! Rapunzel's so mature now, such a clever grown up miss! I told you, if he's lying, don't come crying, but no, did you listen to me? No, you came crawling back to Mother after he left you!"

"No! He didn't leave!" Rapunzel cried out to the darkness.

"Look around you! Do you see your precious little wanted thief here? I warned you!"

"No!" Rapunzel screamed. "It's not true! Eugene! Eugene!"

"Rapunzel!" another voice said, a voice that was strangely familiar. Gothel's arms closed around her and she struggled, screaming.

"No! No! Eugene!"

"Rapunzel, I'm here!"

"Eugene! Eugene!"

"Rapunzel, wake up!" Someone was shaking her, hard, and she finally opened her eyes to see Eugene in front of her, panic clear in his eyes.

"Eugene?" she whispered, unsure if he was a dream or not.

"I'm here," he said seriously. Was it her imagination, or was his voice a little thick, as if he were holding back tears.

Her eyes scanned the room and she recognized it as her room in the castle. Everything flooded back to her and she sighed with relief. Eugene hadn't meant to leave her then, Gothel was dead, Eugene was here and alive and with her. Her magic hair was gone, but as long as she had him, everything was okay.

She threw herself into his arms, sobbing against his shoulder as he held her tightly and stroked her back, his other hand caressing her short brown hair.

"How bad was it this time?" Eugene whispered in her ear.

"Horrible. It gets worse every night," she breathed, hiccupping. She remembered the horrid dream and burst out crying again, burying her face into the crook of Eugene's neck.

"It's okay," he whispered. "Shh, I'm here. I'm never going anywhere. I'll always be here."

"Promise?" she mumbled into his neck.

"I promise. Now it's time for you to go back to sleep."

"I can't," she whispered. "If I do, I'll see Gothel again."

"I'll stay here until you fall asleep." He gently pushed her back so she was lying on the pillows and he leaned up against the headboard, gathering her into his arms and rubbing her back soothingly. He hummed softly, not very talented musically, but his voice helped lure Rapunzel back to sleep.

"Eugene?" she whispered just before her eyes closed.

"Yes, Rapunzel?" he murmured.

"Thank you."

"Anytime, Blondie."

She smiled softly at his old nickname for her and fell asleep.