I don't know why, but I like this particular story of mine. It turned out better than I thought it would. Hm. Well, leave a review and tell me what you think of it!

Disclaimer: Unfortunately, I don't own Tanged. But, in 15 days, the DVD will be mine!

Eugene smiled indulgently at the brown-haired princess who, after a long day of frolicking about, discovering new things, bursting randomly into song, dancing around the castle, painting, surprising all the palace chiefs with her culinary skills, discovering more new things, talking to Eugene, kissing Eugene, and apologizing to Pascal after said kisses embarrassed the chameleon, had finally fallen asleep while he read to her.

She was obviously tired from such a day and at Eugene's suggestion had allowed him to read her one of her favorite books of assorted fairytales. He had not expected her to end up quite so close to him—she was curled up in his lap, her face nuzzled into his neck, her arms wrapped loosely around his torso—but, after the worry about what someone would think if they came in wore off, it ended up being quite pleasant.

She was so small and fragile, despite her skills with a frying pan—it looked like just a simple touch would shatter her, like glass. Having her in his arms, knowing for sure that she was safe and that as long as he held her, no harm would come to her, was a relief.

He would never hurt her. He knew that it was inevitable that someone would hurt her, either her feelings or physically—though the latter would probably be an accident, as everyone adored her—but he would never do that to her. He'd always be there to comfort her when she was upset or hurt.

A small voice in his head whispered that it was impossible not to hurt her at some point—it may be inadvertently, by mistake, but he would still hurt her. He pushed the voice aside, irritated that it was correct when he so wanted to never be a source of pain for her. But, if that ever happened, he knew he'd make it right. He'd heal her hurt, comfort her, love her.

Without even a conscious thought to the action, Eugene felt his fingers reach out and run through Rapunzel's short brown locks, very gently working out the tangles and knots that had formed during the day. It was less effective, perhaps, than a hairbrush might have been, but that hardly mattered. It was soothing to him, sitting here with the girl he loved sleeping in his arms, his fingers gently running through her hair.

She stirred slightly after a moment, and Eugene froze, worried that he had woken her. After a moment, she just snuggled into him, tightened her grip on his torso, and murmured his name before settling back to sleep.

He smiled at hearing his name from her lips even when she was unconscious and dreaming. He pulled her tighter to him, though not tight enough to disturb her from her sleep, and kissed the top of her head, leaning his cheek against her hair.

Almost six months ago, he was still Flynn Rider. He'd never even known Rapunzel existed, let alone was the Lost Princess. His mind was still occupied on wealth and his own personal island. Flynn dreamed of being alone, free from the irritating guards who always chased him about.

He knew that Flynn Rider would have scoffed if someone had told him that, in less than a year, he'd be Eugene Fitzherbert again and would have fallen hopelessly in love with the princess.

First of all, he would have insisted that the princess was dead—gone for eighteen years without a trace, there was no possible way she could still live.

Secondly, he would have denied that Eugene Fitzherbert existed. There was no Eugene Fitzherbert—Eugene had been left behind years before, when he'd run away from the orphanage.

Thirdly, Flynn Rider didn't fall in love.

But Eugene did. He fell in love, and he fell hard. He was completely wrapped around her finger, and—sometimes—she knew it. But she loved him, too—maybe even as much as he loved her. Maybe. If that was even possible.

He felt his eyes closing as he felt the weariness come upon him. He didn't have Rapunzel's boundless energy, and she had dragged—well, hardly dragged; he willingly did whatever she wanted because he was, after all, wrapped around her finger—him along with her.

Before he knew it, he had fallen asleep, cheek resting on top of Rapunzel's dark hair. His arms still held her tightly, as she clutched him, and they were still like that when, an hour later, the Queen entered the library in search of her daughter and Eugene. Luckily, she had entered quietly and did not wake the slumbering couple.

After pausing for a moment to smile at the picturesque moment before her—she could still remember the early days of her marriage to the King; many a time had they fallen asleep in a similar fashion after a long day—she left the room as silently as she entered, shutting the door behind her.