I wrote it because the plot bunnies are rabid. :D And because Flynn is still amazing.

...although, I must say, my boyfriend's smolder is much better than his. (Shhh! Don't tell him!)

Also, I'd like to thank EVERYONE who reviewed my last Tangled fic! The feedback was tremendous, and definitely not something I saw coming! Thank you all so much!

Disclaimer: I own nothing but a Flynn Rider Barbie doll and a cast-iron frying pan that my best friend got me for Christmas. -hugs-


Hangman's Noose

A "Tangled" two-shot

by doodlegirll

...oOo...

There was not a sound to be heard for miles around except the click click clicks of the soldier's boots on the cobblestones beneath their feet, and the soft rattle of keys at one man's belt. He supposed he could count the thundering beat of his heart in his chest and the pounding of blood in his ears as definitely a sound, because to Flynn, it seemed that it was deafening, bouncing off the stone walls around him as he was marched down the corridor of the prison towards the outside, where he would then be taken before the King and Queen of the kingdom. Outside these prison walls and bars, his fate awaited him.

Judgement day had finally caught up to Flynn Rider.

And as far as he could tell, it wasn't going to be pretty. No amount of wit, cleverness, cunning, or good looks were going to get him out of this, not like they had in the past. Even his infamous smolder was broken.

Not even the weather seemed to want to cooperate with him. The rain fell from the sky by the bucketful, drenching everything. The guards seemed unfazed as they shoved him through the door at the end of the hallway out into it, so hard he stumbled forward into a mud puddle that came up to his ankles, nearly falling flat on his face had he not found some sort of stability from an unknown force. The cold rain soaked his clothes and skin, his hair sticking to his head and forehead. Villagers lined the curb, all wrapped in shawls and cloaks for protection against the elements. No one spoke a word as the condemned criminal was marched forward through the streets. Some people watched him in solemn fascination as he passed, while others jeered and pointed at him, mothers glared, holding their children close as though to protect them from being snatched up and whisked away like some priceless treasure. He couldn't say that he blamed them. He was, after all, a thief.

The soldiers grabbed his bound arms and pushed him onwards, the magnificent castle looming overhead as they neared it. Flynn glanced nervously around him, and he took in slow, deep breaths, savoring each and every one, unsure if he would ever taste fresh air again.

They led him, shivering, into the inner wall of the castle and into the towering building itself, dragging, pushing, shoving him ever forward as they did so, their grips on him never lessening, and Flynn was sure he would have bruises where their fingers had dug into his flesh in the morning.

If he ever saw the morning...

He was shown to a massive corridor, where two gigantic doors stood tall and silent ahead of him. More guards stood at every corner, their faces straight and serious, but Flynn could hear the snickers and see their triumphant grins at having finally brought the infamous thief Flynn Rider to justice. They were reveling in his downfall.

Two of the guards standing at attention opened the huge doors as they neared them, and Flynn found himself inside the royal throne room. At the far end of the room sat the King and Queen atop their mighty velvet chairs, stoic and almost menacing looks upon both of their faces. Courtsmen and women stood off to one side, watching him as he was brought before them. And at the King's right sat the newly discovered Princess Rapunzel, her face mimicking those of her parents. Her green eyes were cold and hard, and Flynn was nearly thrown aback at the sight of them.

Those were not the eyes he knew.

The captain of the guard stepped forward, bowing to the royal family.

"Your Majesties," he said. "I have brought Flynn Rider, as you ordered."

The King nodded to the captain.

"Very well, thank you." He said to him. Then, in a louder voice, he addressed the room. "The trial of the thief Flynn Rider will now begin." He said.

Flynn swallowed hard, stealing at glance at Princess Rapunzel. Surely she would stick up for him! They had been through so much together...he had rescued her from the woman who had kidnapped her as an infant for her magical hair, shown her the world outside that miserable tower where she had spent eighteen long years completely ignorant of her royal blood. He had taken her on the adventure of a lifetime, and somehow in the midst of it all, he had fallen in love with her. And not long ago, just before he brought her to the kingdom for the second time to be reunited with her long lost parents, those green eyes had sparkled and shone with what could be nothing else but love for him as well.

But as he searched her beautiful face, he could see no love in those big green eyes. She didn't even pretend to recognize him.

"Flynn Rider," the King boomed, "You are brought before this court found guilty of several accounts of robbery and evading arrest."

"Y-Yes sir." Flynn said, forcing himself to sound and appear as calm and steady as possible, though his knees felt like they were going to give in any second, and all the more his heart pounded like the beat of a drum.

The King eyed him. "Do you have anything you'd like to say before we announce your sentence?"

Flynn took one more look at the princess, but she looked back at him with cold indifference. He sighed, and looked down at his chained hands, then back up at the king.

"Your majesty," he began. "What you say is true: I am a thief. I've been on the run for as far back as I can remember, dodging soldiers and flying arrows and densely populated areas. But I appeal to you today to allow me the chance to redeem myself."

The Queen threw her head back, laughing harshly.

"Redeem yourself?" She spat. "How could a lowly criminal such as yourself possible redeem yourself?"

Flynn chewed his bottom lip, searching for the right words to aid him in this. She was right, of course, but somehow Flynn had to find a way out of this.

He said softly, "Allow me to go free, and I'll pay back every debt I owe you and your kingdom."

The King, eyes still narrowed at him, said nothing.

"Please, your majesty," Flynn begged. "Allow me one last chance."

The King shook his head, much to Flynn's dismay.

"You will repay your debts, indeed, young man." He said, no warmth in his voice at all. He turned, looking at the princess.

"Rapunzel, what do you think we should do with this man?" He asked her.

Rapunzel looked at him, and he implored her to remember the events that had lead up to this moment, his heart silently begging her to love him the way he had thought she did, the way he did her. Her green eyes flicked, and for a moment, Flynn thought he saw remorse and pain, but it was gone in a second, replaced by the icy, emotionless expression she wore before.

"His debts are far too great for him to repay in any way other than death," She said coolly.

Her father nodded and turned back to face Flynn as he stared at the princess, his heart breaking nearly in half at her harsh words. Again he searched for the right words to defend himself.

"Your majesties, surely returning the Lost Princess is enough!" He said desperately.

"Not enough for you." The king said. He stood to his feet, and in a booming voice said, "Flynn Rider, I hereby condemn you to death via hangman's noose immediately following this meeting. May God show you more mercy than I."

Flynn's eyes widened, shock ringing through his entire being as though he had just been struck down by a bolt of lightning. The guards quickly grabbed his arms, wrestling him backwards.

"No!" He said as he tried to wrestle away from them. "NO! Please!"

The King paid him no heed, and he turned his attention to the princess, to the woman he loved.

"Rapunzel, please!" He begged. "You know me! Please remember!"

She stared at him blankly.

The guards roughly spun Flynn around to face the door, dragging him along. He dug his heels into the plush rug laid out on the polished stone floor. If he was going down, he wasn't doing so without a fight.

"No!" He screamed. "Please!"

He cast one final glance over his shoulder, and he could have sworn he saw tears streaming down Rapunzel's face.

The guards pushed him along the corridors out into the plaza, where the rain continued to pelt against his face, the cold drops stinging his face and eyes. It was almost as if the weather carried the pain his heart now felt.

They marched him to the gallows that stood at the center of the city square, where people had lined up to watch as a silent warning to all those who dared defy the law.

The silence once again overcame the earth, and he heard whispers from the villagers around him. The guards led him to the base of the steps, and he looked up at the gallows, the noose swaying ominously in the cold breeze, and he looked back over his shoulder, where he caught sight of Rapunzel and her parents standing behind the crowd. Her face was blank, her father's hand on her shoulder. The King's other arm was around his wife's shoulders, and he glared at Flynn as he nodded at the guards.

Flynn slowly made his way up the short steps to the gallows platform. The guards led him to the center, where he could see the square of wood he knew to be the trapdoor, just big enough for his body to drop down through.

One of the guards held him in place as the other grabbed the noose and placed it around his neck, tightening it to the point where Flynn wondered if he would die of suffocation before they even had the chance to pull the lever...

He looked one more time at Rapunzel and her parents, pleading with her to look him in the eye. If he was going to die, he wanted her to know that he truly loved her first.

And for a moment, their eyes did meet. And in those eyes, despite being more than twenty feet away, Flynn saw nothing. Not a shred of love for him, no recognition, no memory of their adventure at all. Nothing but cold, hard contempt.

One of the guards reached for the lever, and pulled.