You probably don't remember me, but my name is Sheep1215.
I wrote a little story called All That Really Mattered.
And I haven't updated in five months.
So here is the final chapter.
You've all been waiting.
I've been slacking.
And you you can begin reading.
(MORE AT THE END BECAUSE I HAVE SO MUCH TO SAY)
I have now come to grips with the fact that I don't own Tangled.
Because like a horrible torturer I haven't updated for five months.
I don't deserve it.
I'm going to go eat ice cream and cry now.
Chapter Song: "This I Promise You" by...N*Sync. Now I know the whole world is going to judge me so I really need to find that ice cream.
The dew hung fresh on the edges of the massive window, the newly-birthed rays of the morning sun glinting off of the shimmering glass pane. A pair of amber eyes watched it intently, eyes flitting to a drop near the top of the very lip of the arch. The slight Spring breeze was causing it to quiver, struggling to break from the cluster of other dewdrops that refused to set it free. However, a gust of wind gave the little droplet strength, and it finally escaped, streaming down the glass almost if the window itself was crying tears of celebration. The young man observing watched it go down…down…Until it had almost neared the bottom. But instead of reaching its demise by dropping to the grass below, it was saved quite unexpectedly by another little misty drop, which seemed to almost reach out to its rescue. Smiling slightly, the vested onlooker watched as the two merged together, now completely stationary in their current position. There was no quivering, no struggling, and no fear of falling. It was just…Them two, only…One.
Eugene still couldn't believe it had been over two whole years since he was that dewdrop.
A life of thievery—He had pretty much known that was going to be his destiny ever since he took his first step out of that orphanage. No more begging, no more waiting…And no more dreaming. All except for one thing: He was going to take the world by storm as a bandit. Be so renowned that he would become rich from his craft. Filthy rich. Dubbing himself as Flynn Rider at the time was going to be the smartest decision of his pathetic, orphaned life. And in just a few years time, he knew exactly where he'd be: Tanning under the tropical sun, watching the seabreeze fan through his palm trees—sweep up his sandy shores—and the only sounds filling his ears being the lapping of the waves and the clinking of the multitude of coins between his fingers as he counted them all…Ah, who was he kidding? He wouldn't be able to count all of his cash in a lifetime! That's how much he'd have. Sure, it was definitely going to be tough: it would take an agonizingly long period of practice time, plus, it'd probably end him with more than just a few scrapes and bruises—Heck, there was even a chance that his attempt to steal could steal away his life. But still, if all went well, it would undoubtedly pay off. He'd be invincible…Unstoppable…Incredible…
Well, he wouldn't be here.
Eugene sighed pensively, leaving his spot at the window, though his mind was still far off as he wandered through the halls of the castle. His castle. The words still lingered oddly in his mind, though now he didn't reflect upon them with a sense of pride, but rather, with one of humility. Something so magnificent and wondrous—Not only the castle, but the whole entire kingdom itself—would someday be under his watchful eye. Even now, he still had a huge field of responsibility, being the royal he now was, after being appointed those two short years ago.
Prince Eugene Fitzherbert.
One thing that Eugene was adept at was adapting to a change in a name. After all, he had been Flynn Rider for how many years? Eventually, it got to a point where, when someone addressed him as Eugene, he completely disregarded them, or didn't even notice them at all. And then, once again, he had to go through the process of readjusting to a new identity. After he had rescued Rapunzel, his old title had been cast aside, and his childhood title regained. And then, just a year or so after that, he gained his third alteration in his identity: Prince Eugene Fitzherbert.
But, surprisingly, even that change in name was not the most baffling title in Eugene's book. Sure, being addressed as a prince was nothing short of drastic, but there was one more label—one more name—that made his heart skip a beat every time he heard it. So much so, that he was certain that he would probably never get used to it. And that name was—
Eugene whirled around at the tiny voice behind him, just in time to have an elfin blur of orange zoom towards him and sail into his arms. The prince laughed, hoisting the little figure up into the air almost immediately, and the child squealed as he affectionately whirled her around, her sunset orange dress flying out wildly behind her.
"Hey, kid!" Eugene smiled, pulling the little girl in close. "What are you up to? Getting into trouble? Without me?" his jaw dropped melodramatically, and, supporting the child with his other arm, he slapped his free hand against his cheek in fake dismay. "I'm shocked! How could you?"
The little girl giggled, cupping her two tiny hands over her mouth and shaking her head. "No, Daddy! I'm not in trouble! I had to ask you a question!"
"Well, ask away, princess," Eugene chuckled, abandoning the overdramatic expression. "What's up?"
The little girl looked up at him, her big hazel eyes curious and inquisitive. She then fumbled with the meticulously woven black braid that flowed from the back of her head, trying to remember just exactly she was proposing a question towards. Eugene once again tumbled into the void of lost thought just looking at her, his daughter. Their daughter.
Rapunzel had always wanted children—she had made that perfectly clear. However, had been Eugene's idea to adopt, and he now noted it as one of the smartest decisions of his life. After all, if he and Rapunzel hadn't visited the orphanage that one day a few months after their marriage, they never would have met that bubbly little toddler with the big hazel eyes. They never would have been able to welcome her into their home, or watch her grow into the bright little girl she was already becoming…
…Heck, if they hadn't gone, Eugene probably would have never been holding their little Grace in his arms right then.
"Um," Grace spoke up, and Eugene snapped back to reality, "I remember now. Uh, Daddy?"
The little girl stretched her neck out, and Eugene looked down at her, confused. Her tiny hand beckoned down to him, and then she quickly put it aside her mouth. "It's a secret," she whispered, "an—And I don't want Mommy to hear."
Eugene grinned. This ought to be good. Smiling, he put his ear down next to the little girl's mouth, and her tiny hand created the wall between her lips, his ear, and the outside world.
"Why does Mommy keep calling you 'Eugene?'" she asked. "Your name is Daddy!"
Eugene chuckled, which seemed to baffle the little girl even more. However, Eugene quickly went into his explanation, in order to reassure her she hadn't said anything wrong.
"Well, Gracie," Eugene clarified, "Mommy and I are married. And I am your daddy. I'm not Mommy's daddy. Just yours. So, that's what you call me. My real name is Eugene. But you call me Daddy."
"But that's your name!" Grace persisted.
Eugene chuckled. "That's only my name for you, because I'm your daddy."
"'Cause I call you daddy?"
"No, I'm your daddy because I'm your daddy!"
"But that's your name!"
"No," Eugene tried again, a big smile on his face. "My name for you is Daddy. But what's my real name?"
Grace fell silent for a moment, her brow crinkled in contemplation. She stared up at the ceiling, her toddler mind racing as she thought long and hard. Finally, her gaze went back to her father, and she answered without any ounce of uncertainty.
Eugene couldn't help but laugh at that one.
"What?" the little girl asked, completely genuine. But eventually, she succumbed to her father's contagious laughter, and began giggling herself, though Eugene knew that she probably didn't even know what she was laughing about. Her innocence was so wonderful in his eyes, and, during moments like this, just plain hilarious.
"I hope you two aren't laughing about me again!"
Eugene stopped short in his laugh at the sound of that familiar voice, and, still smiling, he whirled around to greet his wife, who was walking towards him with a suspicious smile on her face. Her daughter—Their daughter—was still giggling behind her two tiny palms, and, like the little monkey she was, arched backwards over her father's strong arms to get an interesting new perspective at her young brunette mother.
"Hi, Mommy," she smiled, her black braid flopping underneath her upside-down head. Eugene grinned down at her, and, seizing the perfect opportunity, tickled her stomach with a flurry of spider-like finger movements. Grace jolted up immediately, letting out a shriek of laughter and gripping her tiny midsection, and Princess Rapunzel laughed at the sight of her joyous daughter, whose face was beet red—Half from hanging upside down and half because of her father's relentless tickling.
"Eugene, at least let her breathe!" Rapunzel laughed, bopping her husband playfully on the shoulder. "You goof!"
"Y—yeah, Daddy—" Grace yelped between giggles, "—B—Because if you—don't—I might—Explode!"
Eugene laughed, finally ending the ticklish torture. For some reason, Grace had originated her own theory that, if a person held their breath for too long, they would explode into a pile of confetti. In Eugene's opinion, the little squirt would end up bursting into a pile of cookies, considering all the ones she had swiped from the kitchen in her short little lifetime. Yep, she was his kid alright.
And man, he loved her so much.
Grace's giggles fizzled but her beaming smile remained, and she directed it to her mother, whom Eugene promptly deposited his little bundle towards.
Rapunzel giggled as her daughter wrapped her arms around her mother's neck, and the princess gave Eugene "the look". "Well, well, your majesty, I see we're getting work done, alright."
Eugene tugged slightly on his vest and flashed her a roguish grin. "Work? What work? That measly stuff? Why, I simply cleared my throat and it was gone!" he poked her nose affectionately. "Unlike some people, I don't take an eternity to do a five minute job."
"Oh, really, now," Rapunzel countered with a smile, and Eugene flinched as her finger made contact with his nose, "well, unlike some people, I actually do work, instead of fantasizing that I did it. For all you know, the whole kingdom could be getting devoured by trolls right now!"
"Grarg!" Grace's troll-like input was duly noted.
"Trolls, huh?" Eugene chuckled. "Next time I'll see one, I'll let him know you mentioned him."
Rapunzel smirked. "No need. I'm looking at one right now."
"Ooh, Blondie," Eugene chuckled. "Cold…"
Rapunzel rolled her eyes, stepping closer to him. "But that's ok," she smiled. "You're my troll."
And with that, she stood up on her tiptoes—Her bare tiptoes—And kissed him fondly on the lips.
Eugene barely had time to return her kiss before a juvenile "Ewwwwwwwww!" emitted from their daughter. With a laugh, the young man turned his attention to the little girl, placing a hand on her head and mussing her already ruffled black hair. "Just you wait, kid. That'll be you soon enough."
Grace's response was a face of pure disgust, similar to the face one might give an especially revolting troll if they had seen it in passing.
Eugene retaliated by sticking his tongue out at his daughter, then sticking his hands under her arms and swooping her upward. Rapunzel smiled as the little girl squealed, and Eugene moved his hands to her ankles as soon as he felt the tiny weight safely on his shoulders, and her petite hands running through his hair.
"I would say you have work to do," Rapunzel shook her head. "But you two are having too much fun."
"Thanks for understanding, Blondie—"
"I'm still mad at you."
Eugene's gaze flitted to his wife, confused. "What? Why?"
Rapunzel rolled her eyes playfully, crossing her arms at him. "Because you didn't invite me."
Before Eugene could respond, the little girl on his shoulders piped up. "Oh, well, you can come, Mommy! We're gonna go on an adventure!" she leaned down to look into her father's eyes, and Eugene chuckled as her braid whapped him lightly in the nose. "Right, Daddy?"
"An adventure, huh?" Eugene replied, looking up at her. "Well, originally, that wasn't in my agenda…" he looked at his wife, a fond smile on his face. "But I think I can squeeze one in."
Rapunzel smiled back at him, and Eugene's heart radiated with warmth at the familiar spark of spirit in his wife's jade eyes. "Same here, Eugene. Same here."
And as her hand slipped into his, Eugene once again slipped into the realm of reflection, an area that welcomed him with open arms. A sun-baked island and a few shiny coins were nothing compared to what he had now: A beautiful wife—a princess—who, through thick and thin, had accepted him for who he was and, in turn, shown him more love than he had ever received before in a lifetime. He had a kingdom, a title, and a purpose—He was someone important, someone people actually cared about. People would look to him for guidance, and, in turn, he would give them everything he could manage, because they were to be his responsibility. And, of course, he had a daughter, whom he knew he would die for in an instant, as well as strive to fill any more minor needs she may require. Who cared if she wasn't really their child? Adopted or none, he loved her as much—if not more—than he could ever love his own flesh and blood. She was the newest addition to his world, and he knew that his universe would flourish with both Grace and Rapunzel at its core.
Yes, life would never be a walk in the park—In all reality, no one's life ever was. As a prince, there'd be trials, there'd be scares, and yes, there'd even be the occasional Robert. But he and Rapunzel had accomplished it all, and he was certain that, no matter what, they could find a way through it once again.
"Daddy, what are you waiting for?" Grace's tiny voice broke through his thoughts. "Are we gonna go?"
Eugene peered up at her. "Of course. I was just…pausing for dramatic effect."
Eugene knew the three-year-old didn't comprehend about half of that, but apparently, she didn't care. With a little finger, she pointed forward, sitting up straight and relishing towering over her parents for once.
"Then, onward we go, Eugene!"
"Eugene?" Rapunzel laughed, surprised.
"Hey," Eugene grinned up at the little girl. "That's Mr. Daddy to you."
Grace covered her face with a tiny giggle, and Eugene began walking, scheming in his head what this little family "adventure" would end up being. But, in retrospect, it didn't really matter. As cliché as it sounded, Eugene was with his family—The two most important people in the world. A wife that loved him against all odds, and that he loved to the ends of the earth, as well as a daughter that made every single day a new adventure, trolls and piggyback rides or none. He had a family, a home, and love.
And that was all that really mattered.
A lot to say here, so bear with me.
Writing ATRM has literally been one of the biggest experiences of my life. (MY LIFE IS BORING SOMETIMES DEAL WITH IT) And now that it's finally over...It...It's just so weird. May sound melodramatic, but it's kind of like losing a friend. And as for the five month wait, I can't tell you all how sorry I am. I'd come up with a million excuses of how busy I was and how lifeish life is, but you all are humans, and believe me, if I was a human being, I think I would be very agitated with excuses by now. I bet I have like, two followers to this story now. So...Thank you, those of you who stuck with me.
I love you all so much. I may not have met any of you, but I feel I have a very close connection with my readers. People who take an acutal interest in my work...It's phenomenal, knowing someone actually cares about something that came out of your mind...Something you created. It's just...
Bluh. Getting emotional.
So, I've already wasted-
I just realized.
This was over a year in the making.
Ok, now I really am going to cry.
Because some of you people have devoted over a year of your lives to this.
And I couldn't be more grateful.
Like I said, I can't thank you enough. At the point of publishing this, there are 870 reviews on ATRM. When I wrote this, I was maybe expecting about 200 tops when the story was finished. This was beyond anything I could have ever imagined. With submissions to tvtropes, hellyeahtangled, and even a search suggestion on Google, this entire experience has been so humbling. My mind is blown.
To keep it short...Gog, I just love you all.
A few short notes before I sign off for good here...
1. AskRobert, I'm sorry to say, totally fell through. I recieved tons of wonderful-And sometimes, hilarious-questions, and it stuns me to know that an askblog for MY OC stirred up that much hubbub, but the drawing/answering proccess was just too demanding. It made me really sad to see it go, especially after such a short run. But I do appreciate everyone who sent me a question or just gave it a scan. You all are amazing. I do have an acutal tumblr now, which is "immaplatypus. tumblr. com" (without the spaces) for anyone who would like to take a look, but I do just want to give a special shout-out to AskRobert's visitors, and let you know that the blog is closed for good. Sorry. :(
2. I forgot what I was going to say here...
3. OH YEAH! You guys' fanart...It still amazes me that people did that for my story. If anyone'd like to still draw some up, I'd be happy to accept it. But I'm still in awe of all the wonderful fanart I've recieved. I stumbled across one of my older submissions the other day and it made my heart explode into cookies and confetti, because it was so adorable and it showed that people actually cared. I wanna thank you guys for that too.
4. I may or may not be putting up an acknowledgements chapter, even though I've done a million thank yous here. You see, there are certain people that really helped me through this, and I want to give them a special shout out, because they deserve it more than anything.
So yes...This really is the end.
I'm still going to float around fanfiction, probably, however, there are new fandoms I'd like to dabble in and new things I'd like to pursue. Like I said, even when I'm not on fanfiction, I still have the tumblr and deviantart, for anyone who'd like to pop in.
Thank you all, for everything. I love you all so much. :')
P.S. I said I was over,
And thought that was true
But just needed this poem
Cause, guys, I love you.