As Eugene's eyes closed, Rapunzel's heart broke. There was nothing she could do; for the first time in her life, Rapunzel felt completely powerless. There was no magic hair that could bring him back to her, no second chance later, no new argument she could make. And so, she did the one thing she could do – she held him in her arms, pulled him close to her, and wept. Her slim fingers traced the lines of his face, tangled themselves in his thick hair. But the overwhelming sense of helplessness was too much for her to handle. Without hope, she recited the now useless words of the incantation she'd sung since the day she'd learned to speak.

Her voice, once strong and pure, sounded dim and broken to her ears, but she didn't care. The weak, hesitant sound echoed her abrupt uncertainty as to what her life would hold. Though she'd known him only for a few short days, Rapunzel couldn't bring herself to imagine a world without the dashing young thief – her dashing young thief. He was her lifeline to the universe outside the walls of her prison, tethering and pulling her into a life she'd never known. More than all of that, he was the dream she'd never realize – the life she would never have. And every fiber of her being ached for him, willed him to open his eyes and hold her in his arms.

Out of the corner of her eye, Rapunzel watched a golden spark jump from the lifeless form in her arms. Green eyes instantly wide with amazement, she pulled her face away from Eugene's still-warm flesh, barely comprehending what she was seeing. Shining, golden tendrils of light burst from the wound in the thief's side to fill the room. Hoping against hope, Rapunzel simply prayed. Oh please, let it be true. A flower of light bloomed from the blood-soaked fabric of Eugene's vest, releasing a small gust of wind that brushed the short brown strands of the girl's hair from her eyes.

All at once, the light began to fade and recede into the wound that had stolen away Rapunzel's happiness. And the girl's chest began to swell with an unbelievable hope. She reached to smooth away Eugene's hair from his face, hastily brushing away her own in the process. A small, worried frown tugged at the corner of her mouth. Maybe it hadn't worked.

"Eugene?" she called softly, barely trusting herself to speak. Maybe one last miracle was too much to hope for – too much to ask for. Who was she to cheat death now that the sun's gift was gone? She was just another person – nothing special. And normal people don't get to have the people they love come back to life just because they want them to.

But she held her breath and hoped just the same. Her heart could have burst when her call was answered by a weak cough from the heaving chest she held in her arms. His eyelids fluttered open. Please let this be real. Oh God please.

"Rapunzel?" His voice was soft and held a note of confusion. But as his brown gaze met her emerald stare, he let relief sweep over his strengthening frame. Life trickled back into his limbs, and all he could think about was the woman hovering above him. Had it only been three days?

Those brilliant green eyes brimmed with disbelieving tears. "Eugene?" she asked again, not daring to believe that it was true. She had to be dreaming. This wasn't possible. But there he was smiling up at her, a hint of a smirk pulling at his lips.

"Have I ever told you I've got a thing for brunettes?"

Rapunzel just laughed – a musical, sweet sound of pure joy. This was real. Her Eugene. Her dream. His playful smirk grew into a full fledged grin as Rapunzel launched herself at the man on the floor. He sat up and twisted to catch her, burying his face in her shoulder and breathing her in. Not even Heaven could have compared. He was alive. And the girl of his dreams was in his arms. Death could never have managed to keep him away anyway.

Rapunzel pulled away, her face glowing with radiant joy, mirroring the emotions filling the thief to the brim. Without warning, she grabbed the collar of his vest and pulled him into a kiss, letting her lips convey what words could not. The feeling of her lips against hers was perfect bliss, and he cradled her head and deepened that glorious kiss, needing to feel her against him. In that sweet moment of perfection, they knew that they could never be apart again.