Eugene woke to a scream coming from somewhere. He sat up quickly and listened and heard his name being called.
"Eugene! EUGENE! Come quick!"
Eugene could tell it was Rapunzel. He jumped out of his bed, threw on his robe and raced to where he heard Rapunzel still calling him. He found her in the nursery and saw her clutching their two year old girl, crying hard and repeating "no no" He rushed to Rapunzels side and picked up his fragile daughter. She appeared lifeless and she was hardly breathing. Her eyes were closed and she looked pale.
"Suzie! Susan!" He said trying to shake her awake. He brushed the girl's dark hair she had inherited from him out of her face. Rapunzel remained sitting in the rocking chair with her hands covering her face and crying hard.
"no matter how much Eugene shouted her name or shook her, he could not get the princess to open her eyes and breath.
"no no NO! PLEASE SUSAN! WAKE UP! Wake up! Wake…up.."
A Tear fell from his eye as his voice died off.
Their screams and cries were so loud that Rapunzels parents ran to where they were and they saw Rapunzel and Eugene on the floor of the nursery. Rapunzel holding her baby close and Eugene holding Rapunzel with one hand and the other was on his daughters head. They called the finest doctors in the entire kingdom but they all had lost hope for the child.
The funeral was held on a rainy day and the whole kingdom grieved for the loss of their beloved princess, Susan. Some say it was disease, some the flu, some said she was poisoned. But the doctors said it was from a disease she had. Maybe she had the flu. No one knew for sure.
A year passed and it was time for the festival of lights to begin everyone was getting excited. The town streets were decorated and so was the castle.
Eugene walked into their room and saw Rapunzel sitting at her vanity looking down at her dress. Eugene walked up to her and kissed her on the head.
"I'm fine" she said with a sigh.
Eugene could tell what she was thinking about.
"I miss her too." He said almost in a whisper
Rapunzel turned to him and buried her face into his chest and sobbed.
"Shh, I know." He wrapped his arms around her tightly.
"C'mon now, smile for me" he lifted her chin and looked into her watery eyes.
Rapunzel managed to put on a weak smile then sighed.
Later that day, the kingdom had a parade and Eugene and Rapunzel rode in an open carriage and waved to their people. Later the people danced and Eugene and Rapunzel walked around greeting the people under the watchful eyes of the guards.
Eugene stood in front of an alley talking to people when he heard a sound behind him. He turned but saw nothing. He then politely excused himself and went to investigate. He heard a man talking loudly in an angry tone. The alley was dark, and then he saw a light coming through a window and peeked through it. He saw a rather large man older than him but younger than his father in law. About forty he thought to himself. The man was almost yelling at something but he couldn't see what. He could hear the man clearly.
"Don't you ever run away from me again! Do you hear me? I'm talking to you!" The man walked over to the corner he was yelling at and dragged out a little girl by the arm. It was clear that the small child was scared and crying. The man raised his hand to hit the child when Eugene jumped through the cracked open door.
The man looked at Eugene and cried "who the devil are you?"
Eugene walked closer to the man and when the man realized who he was he backed off and let go of the girl.
The little girl saw this tall handsome man as her hero and ran to Eugene and hugged his leg. She was still crying hard. After giving the man a glare as if to say back off, Eugene kneeled down to the sobbing child.
"What's your name little one?" Eugene said as he gently brushed the girls blond curls from her sweet face.
The little girl wiped her eyes and answered "Juwea"
"Julia?" Eugene said as he placed her on his lap.
"How old are you Julia?"
"fwee" she said as she held up five fingers.
Eugene smiled and chuckled a little.
"What are you crying about?"
"He was being mean" she said pointing to the man as he stood in the corner.
"she's a liar!" the man said taking a step forward.
Eugene stood up to protect himself and her in case he came any closer.
The man once again backed up.
"Small children" Eugene began "In my experience, tend to be extremely truthful when threatened." He said glaring at the man.
Eugene bent down to the girl's level once more. "Where are your parents?"
The little girl just looked down at her rags. "They went to heaven" she said softly
"Oh" he said quietly. After a moment of thinking he picked her up and walked out the door.
"Hey, wait! Where are you taking her? She's mine!"
Eugene stopped and looked at the man. "Are you related?"
"Did you adopt her?"
"Then how sir did you come to own her?"
"I…I found her on the street three weeks ago. I took her in, fed her, cared for her, loved her!
Eugene looked down at the child lying in his arms. She was thin, terribly thin and she had bruises all over her. He knew what it was like to be an orphan and feel abandoned and he wasn't about to let it happen to this sweet little girl.
"Yet she looks starved and dirty and bruised, and trying to run away" he paused for a moment "good day sir" and with that, Eugene carried the child into town, through the crowds, through the dancers and got up into the carriage.
Rapunzel saw Eugene holding something from afar. It was getting late and she was tired so she made her way to the carriage. As she stepped up into it, she realized that the thing in her husband's arms was a small child. Eugene just looked at her and smiled.
"Aww! Who's this? "She said as she stroked the girls blond curls.
The frightened girl grabbed Eugene's blue vest and pulled herself closer to his warm body. Eugene smiled down at her.
"This is Julia" he said answering his wife's question.
"She was kinda in a tight spot so I helped her" Eugene gave Rapunzel a look as if to say I'll tell you later.
Rapunzel just winked and smiled. "Eugene"
He looked up at her big green eyes.
"Let's take her back to the castle for tonight or at least til we get everything worked out."
The carriage started to move with a jolt and Julia jumped and pulled herself even closer into her protector's strong arms. Eugene could tell she was frightened by the way she clinged to him. He held her tight to make her feel safe.
After a couple of hours of meeting people and eating, and getting some new cloths, Julia yawned and was tired from her adventure into the grand palace of her hero. Rapunzel sat in her rocking chair by the fire place. She was knitting a scarf for Julia. Eugene sat in his arm chair which also was near the fire place. He just hummed softly while rubbing Julia's back who was snuggled up against him.
"hey, Eugene" Rapunzel whispered to him.
"hmm?" he responded softly.
"where are her parents?"
"shes an orphan"
"oh! The poor dea…."
"shhh!" he interrupted her. "shes asleep"
"oh, sorry" she whispered "its getting late and im tired. Im going to go to bed." She said as she rose from the rocker.
"ill put her to bed" said Eugene looking up at Rapunzel.
"go ahead and use the nursery, I had the maids clean it up today. Its all ready and waiting for her."
"k, ill be in the bedroom, goodnight Julia! She whispered as she left the room.
Eugene slowly rose from his chair, trying not to wake her. She moaned a little but then was silent. He walked down the hallway to the room next to theirs. He stopped before entering. This would be the first time he entered the room since his daughters' death. He took a deep breath and entered. The room was bright and cheery. The maids had taken away the crib and had replaced it with a rather large bed for such a little child. He gently placed her on the bed and pulled the blankets over her until they reached her tiny shoulders. He rubbed her cheek ever so softly and watched her sleep for a minute, then he blew out the candle that was next to her bed and left the room as silent as a mouse.
The walked to the door of their bedroom and entered to find Rapunzel sitting on the bed waiting for him. they exchanged smiles then Eugene walked over to his closet and took off his vest and boots. Then after he had finished changing, he ran to the bed and leaped into it surprising Rapunzel. They both laughed and got under the sheets. Rapunzel snuggled up next to him and sighed. Eugene kissed her on the head and thought for a moment.
E: "what are we going to do with her?"
R: "well, I suppose we could find a suitable family for her"
E: "why wont she talk or interact to any else but me?"
R: "you came to her rescue, you slayed the dragon…you're her hero and she's counting on you to protect her. I bet she's never met anyone like you."
E: "handsome? Smart? clever?"
Rapunzel hit him playfully. "someone who would stand up for her!" she said giggling.
Eugene just laughed. Then his expression became serious.
"What?" Rapunzel asked looking at him in the eye.
Rapunzel thought a moment "why don't we let her stay with us for a few days and see how it goes?"
"Sounds good" he replied with a grin "good night love"
"Good night Eugene"
The next morning Rapunzel had to wake up early to go to a meeting with her parents. She let Eugene sleep however. Before she left, she glanced at her love lying in their bed. His face pleasant, his eyebrows relaxed and his dark wavy hair upon his pillow. She blew him a kiss and went to her meeting.
Later, Eugene woke to a noise that he kind of recognized but wasn't sure what it was. He could have sworn he heard someone screaming. He listened in the dead silence of the early morning. Then he heard it again, it was louder this time and It was someone screaming but who? Just then he remembered. Julia! He grabbed his robe, slipped it on and ran to the girls room. He opened the doors and saw Julia tossing and turning violently on her bed.
"NO! NO! MAMA! NO!" she screamed.
Eugene ran to the bed and tried to wake her up.
"Julia! JULIA! WAKE UP! He shook her a little.
Julia opened her eyes and saw Eugene. She was breathing hard and was sweating a little.
In his attempt not to scare her any more than she was, he spoke softly and slowly.
"Shhh, it's ok Julia shhh" he said, brushing her hair away from her face.
Julia started to cry, so Eugene sat on the bed and held her for a long time, speaking to her in soothing tones and rubbing her back to calm her down.
"shhh, everything is fine, I'm here"
Julia squeezed him tightly and cried and cried.
After a while, Eugene laid her back down.
"Try to go back to sleep now" he said softly while tucking her in.
"No!" Julia shouted making Eugene jump.
"Don't leave me pwease!" she said as she jumped up and hugged him tightly.
"No Julia, I have to go and you have to sleep." He said putting her back down on the bed.
"But if you leave, then he will hurt me!" she said with fear in her eyes.
"What? No one's going to hurt you Julia now go to sleep." He didn't want to leave her, he really didn't, but he had things to do and he couldn't baby-sit all day.
"No Teddy no!" she teared up again
"Julia I have to….what did you call me?" Eugene stopped
"Teddy, don't go!" she said looking up at him with clear blue puppy-dog eyes.
Eugene just couldn't say no to those puppy-dog eyes and sighed deeply.
"Teddy stay?" she asked with a hopeful heart.
"Yeah…Teddy stay" he said smiling
"With a huge sigh of relief, she threw her short arms around his neck and giggled.
Rapunzel came back from her meeting and her breakfast and entered the nursery to find Julia in a beautiful dress and Eugene having tea together.
"Rapunzel tried not to laugh at the sight of Eugene sitting at a tiny table with teddy bears surrounding him but she couldn't help it, she let out a little giggle.
Eugene smiled sheepishly and got up from the tiny table and chairs and walked over to Rapunzel.
"Good morning" he said as he leaned in and planted a kiss on Rapunzels lips.
"good morning, sleep ok?"
"uh, I did but I'm not so sure that she did." He pointed at Julia with his chin.
"why do you think so, Eugene?"
"well, she had a nightmare and from what I could tell….it was pretty bad." He said with a frown.
"like when you used to dream about Gothel and me dying remember?"
"yes, how could I forget!"
"I just worry about her"
"I…oh nothing" Rapunzel looked down
"um, ok? Hey, you alright?" he said holding her shoulders.
"yeah…im..im…uh." Rapunzel lost her footing.
"whoa, easy Blondie" said Eugene as he caught her.
"whoa, im…I feel…real..di..dizzy.."
"Maybe you should lay down for a while." Eugene helped Rapunzel get to their bed and laid her down gently. He then felt her head for a temperature.
"you feel warm, I'm calling the doctor." Eugene got up to leave but Rapunzel grabbed his wrist.
"no you're not, look at you, you can hardly think straight." He said with worry in his eyes.
"I just need…some rest" she said weakly.
"well…if you don't feel better after that I'm calling him."
Eugene went back to the nursery but didn't see Julia.
"Julia? Julia? Where are you?"
Worried, Eugene franticly searched the nursery but couldn't find her.
"Julia?" he started to panic. He peeked under the bed and saw Julia peacefully sleeping. Eugene sighed with relief and managed to pull her out and place her on the bed and covered her with the blankets. He realized he wasn't as sad anymore, he was happier having a little person to watch over and protect. He smiled and kissed her softly on the cheek. Julia smiled and moaned a little but nothing else. Content, Eugene left the room and took a walk in the palace gardens.
An hour later, Eugene returned to Rapunzels room and gently kissed his sleeping beauty on the cheek. He sat on the edge of the bed and looked at the flowers he had borrowed from the gardens. Rapunzel stirred and turned to see Eugene sitting next to her. She rubbed his back and it startled him. she slightly giggled and he turned around and presented the bouquet. "for you my lady" he said proudly as she grasped the flowers.
"oh, they're beautiful! Thank you!" He grinned and bent down and kissed her tenderly on her lips.
"Feeling any better?"
"What's a little?" he raised up with worry plain in his amber eyes.
"Really Eugene, I'm fine." She said putting on a weak smile.
"hmm." He replied looking at her with an unsure face. Rapunzel had lied to him before and she wasn't any good at it. When she lied, it was always for a good reason, like when she told him that she would be fine when Gothel was about to take her away. But he could tell she was lying then, and he could tell she was lying now, something was up.
"Your sure?" he said flowing his hands through her short hair.
"Absolutely" she said rubbing his other hand. She knew how worried Eugene gets when she isn't feeling good, but she wasn't sick…she was just a little sidetracked at the moment…
Late that night, Rapunzel woke to stomach pains and feeling sick. She felt warm and dizzy. Slowly, she pulled back the bed sheets and slipped out of bed trying not to wake a Sleeping Eugene next to her. She walked swaying from the light headedness she was having, and found her way to the powder room. She then felt really sick and threw up in a waste bucket. She tried to be quiet but her chokes and coughs were loud and they strained her voice into loud wheezing sounds. Eugene herd a painful choke and got out of bed and found Rapunzel in the powder room. She choked once more over the waste bucket that sent a jolt through her body.
"Rapunzel? Are you alright?" Eugene tried to calm her by rubbing her back. He found a towel and cleaned her face.
Rapunzel rose slowly, moaning. Her face was pale and she looked tired. Her head spun and she lost balance. Eugene caught her and lifted her up into his strong arms bridal-style.
"your sick and Im calling the doctor" he said carrying her back into the bedroom. He gently laid her down and felt her head again. She was burning up. Eugene dampened a towel and put it to her head.
"Eu…Eugene" she stammered
"shhh, just calm down blondie." He rose and opened the bedrooms doors and summoned a guard to call the royal doctor. He then came back and sat by her side and kept dabbing her head with the cool cloth.
"I..know whats happening" she said straining to talk over her sore throat.
"whats that?" Eugene looked into her green eyes and waited for an answer.
"Eugene…Im..im.." Rapunzel was so dizzy she could hardly keep her eyes open.
"you can tell me later" he said as he stroked his wife's hair.
"no…Eugene im…pr..pregnant." she said softly looking into his light brown eyes. A smile appeared on her mouth as she waited for his response.
"y…you…your…." His eyes widened and he gasped for breath. He tried to talk but was too stunned. He started panting real hard when Rapunzel squeezed his hand.
"please don't freak out!" she said quickly.
"AAA…..? ? He finished tucking his hands under his arms and rocked back and forth nervously with a slight goofy grin on his face.
"A little while I guess?" She said giggling.