Happy Valentine's Day, or, as one of my friends calls it, Single's Awareness Day! This is a bit of a late Valentine's Day fanfic (considering it's 9:15 pm where I live), but it doesn't really matter. It is still, technically, Valentine's Day!

For those who read my other story, Sleepers, Awake: I know it's been forever since I updated, but Microsoft Word has randomly closed without saving my work three times, so I am VERY behind where I would like to be. I will try to update soon, but I am preparing to go to Disney World (YAY!) in just over a week, so it may not be as quick as usual. Hopefully before the end of the week!

Disclaimer: Not mine. But I do own a TON of Tangled merchandise! :D

Eugene Fitzherbert, soon after birth, was a penniless orphan, left in the care of women in the orphanage who could barely give him the attention he needed with all the other children. He grew up longing for love, and learned the hard way that nobody cared for an illegitimate orphan.

So he became Flynn Rider, the man who was everything Eugene wasn't. He was dashing, he was brave, he was daring—and he was a thief. He cared for no one but himself, and managed to convince himself for years that Eugene did not exist anymore.

But then he met Rapunzel, and he became Eugene Fitzherbert again—but not the same Eugene. This Eugene was madly in love, and did not long for riches or power. He longed for Rapunzel. He almost lost her—and she lost him, for a few moments—but he was given a second chance at life, and he was determined to spend it with Rapunzel.

Every day, Eugene fell even more in love with almost everything about Rapunzel—excluding her talent at knocking him out with frying pans—but there were some parts of her that caught his attention.

Her short and petite stature. She was so small, it looked as if anything could harm her, though those who had met her knew differently. He loved that he was taller, the differences in their sizes making him feel as if he could protect her should the need arise—he could keep her safe. The fact that, the previous two times she had been in trouble, he had been completely incapable to help, was partially the reason he felt that way. He had been incapacitated by the Stabbington Brothers and sent away on a boat, right into the hands of the guards. And then Rapunzel was rescued from the Brothers by Gothel, only to be chained and nearly dragged away when she learned who she really was.

Though Eugene tried to rescue her, he couldn't—Gothel stabbed him, and, seeing Rapunzel being forced away by the woman who had pretended to be her mother for so long, Eugene hated that he could not do anything. He hated that he couldn't even save the woman he loved. Everything had turned out all right in the end, but the feeling of helplessness still resided in his memory, and he was determined to protect Rapunzel if the need should arise.

Her eyes. On first glance, they were merely a brilliant shade of green, but closer inspection—which Eugene often conducted, for he loved her eyes—showed that they were a rainbow of colors. Close to the pupil, they were very dark green, gradually lightening to become the dazzling jade that was apparent to everyone. But even then, the colors ranged from very pale green to the brightest shade of emerald that Eugene had ever seen.

It was not just the color that drew him in. Some have said that eyes are windows to the soul, and, in Rapunzel's case, it was correct. Looking into her eyes, Eugene felt that he could see into her mind, see what she was feeling. When she was joyful, the delight radiated out of her eyes, dazzling all. When she was miserable, the life in them faded. He had found out, in a way that broke his heart, that tears magnified her eyes, making the pain and sadness in them even more evident. He made it his mission from the moment he first saw her look so devastated to try to prevent any pain from coming to her.

Her hair. It was short and messy, the complete opposite of her blonde hair, but it was his doing. He still felt guilt over cutting her hair, convinced that she hated it, but she had told him that she loved it because he had been the one who cut it—the loss of her blonde hair had been her liberation from the metaphorical and literal chains that held her to Gothel. Her blonde hair was her life as a slave, keeping Gothel alive, living off the false love that she was given. Her brown hair was her new life with Eugene, with her real parents—her life as a princess. It was the symbol of second chances, and neither of them would change it.

Her smile. Her lips were a lovely shade of pink, and whenever they turned up in a smile—whether it was mischievous, happy, or overjoyed—it lit up the room. Combined with her eyes, her smile could win over the hardest of hearts—it won over Eugene, after all, when he still operated until the alias of Flynn Rider, when all he considered was what he could steal and what he could not, when his mind was filled with the dreams of living on his own island with all the wealth he could want. She changed him, and he never regretted meeting her, even though some townspeople still shot him dirty looks, and the guards would never trust him—she gave him a new chance at life, a life with love and companionship in the place of loneliness, a life where, though he finally had the wealth he had dreamed of, it wasn't what he wanted anymore.

The list continued for ages, for he truly loved everything about her—her soft hands, her nimble fingers, the way she treated everyone with respect and kindness, even those who did not deserve it. He tried to find ways to tell her how he felt, how he absolutely adored her, how she had so completely changed his life and dreams. He could never find the right words, but finally learned that he was able to sum it up in three.

I love you.

He did not just love her—he admired her, he adored her, he esteemed her, he cherished her. He wanted nothing more than her, though he did enjoy teasing her by pretending otherwise. She turned his life around, and he would never be the same again.