AN: Hi everybody! This is just a quick little one shot I thought up a while ago, about whether Rapunzel at a young age could really understand what pain is all about. I hope you like it :)

Disclaimer: I do not own Tangled. Disney does.

When Rapunzel had been younger, she had been intrigued by the concept of pain, mainly because she had never felt it herself.

Of course, she had felt physical pain, had experienced that shocking sensation when Mother pulled the brush a bit too hard through one of the many knots her hair had in the morning, or when her mind began to wander while she was cutting bread for lunch and caught the side of her finger with the knife instead. She had even felt pain that was deeper then her skin or hair, pain that radiated from every inch of her body as Mother frantically forced her to drink potion after potion, becoming more and more terrified as each concoction failed to cure her of her fever. Of course, Mother had eventually found the right combination, and within a few weeks of drinking it, she had been good as new, singing and dancing as Mother watched on in tired relief.

But were those the pains Mother always warned her about, the pain that she had to be protected from?

Rapunzel didn't think so, but if they were, then obviously the tower wasn't doing a very good job.

It was clear that those types of pains were normal and happened almost everyday. How many times had she seen Mother cut part of her hand while she was cutting up the vegetables for dinner? How many times had she watched as Mother got her hairbrush caught in her hair and had to force it out, bringing tears to her eyes when her struggling finally succeeded, though the brush had taken a small clump of torn strands with it? How many winters had Mother come home soaking wet from the snow, her nose red and her throat sore from the horrible cold? Even stuck in the tower, those pains were able to reach the two of them, forcing Rapunzel to wonder about the pain that she had yet to experience.

From her storybooks, she learned about the pain of heartbreak, of being so utterly betrayed by that one person that was suppose to love you that your heart broke into a thousand pieces and it seemed like you would never see the light of day again.

From Mother's tales about her past, she learned about the pain of death, of losing someone to that ageless enemy of humanity, one Mother had spent her entire life fighting against.

From Pascal she learned about the pain of living outside her tower, at least for a chameleon. He had told her about the struggles he has lived through before he had climbed into the tower and met her, about the constant fights for food and shelter, about living in the forest in the dead of winter and during the harsh summer rains. For a chameleon, living outside the tower was one long string of painful events called survival.

Then there were all those other thing Mother was trying to protect her from, the monsters and nightmares that haunted both her dreams and reality, taunting her from the shadows of the night while inhabiting her books during the day. Spiders, snakes, quicksand, poison ivy, men with pointed teeth, the list went on and on. It was a collection of everything that could and would hurt her, a group of things that would take their greatest pleasure from her pain. It was a list of things she should be terrified of, the exact reasons why she should never leave her tower.

But even as she agreed with her mother's warnings, Rapunzel couldn't help but still want to leave her tower, to experience the world and see what it could offer her. The world couldn't be all bad, right? If there was heartbreak, then there must be some powerful force that broke it, something so strong that watching the person you love walk away could destroy your life even as looking into their eyes fixed it. If there was death, then there must first be life, a life that was filled with sadness, pain, anger, hate, love, joy, and everything else that was a part of living. Even Pascal had admitted that, despite the hardships he had gone through before meeting her, he had seen nothing more beautiful then the sun slowly rising over a valley filled with wildflowers, its golden rays shooting off the petals and turning them into flames, flames that swayed and danced with the whistling spring wind. Nor had anything been more magical then watching as the full moon rose in the night sky over the same valley, though this time it was a blanket of perfect snow that accepted the light, turning into a gleaming silver ocean that seemed to ripple and move before them, a perfect stage for the magical creatures that had once lived in the forest to dance upon, had they still trusted the world of man enough to emerge.

The world was a wonderful place, one that could never be entirely explained by her books and stories. She could read a thousand times about how grass was somehow at the same time both soft and prickly, but she would never understand what they were talking about until she touched grass for herself, until she could personally feel the soft prickliness of the plant in her hands and under her feet. She could be told that sheep were fluffy and horses were kind, but she even with all the pictures and stories attesting to those qualities, she would never truly know how a cloud and a sheep were a like or how a horse would do anything for the person it loved and admired. Until she left her tower, Rapunzel was sure that she would never be truly able to live.

Even with all the pain and sorrow that she would have to go through, Rapunzel was sure that experiencing the world for all the joy and wonder that it held would be worth it.

AN: Thank you all for reading! I really hope that you liked it. :)