A/N: Written for the April Showers Drabblethon at the Day_by_Drabble LJ community.


Spring Fever

"Eugene!"

Rapunzel is right there on the other side of my bedchamber door when I open it, as she is every morning. Unlike every morning, I flinch at the brilliance of her smile as much as I do from the brilliance of the sunlight pouring in through the big arched windows that line the corridor.

"Do you know what day it is?" she asks, oblivious to my physical discomfort.

I think for a moment, which hurts like hell, but manage to remember that despite what the mother-of-all headaches I've woken up with would lead me to believe, I did not spend last night at the Snuggly Duckling with the guys. In fact, I haven't had a hangover in months, and the clientele of the tavern actually are rather snuggly now. So there's only one day it can be:

The first day of Spring.

'Tis the season I want to sing, to be allergic. Fa-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-CHOO! Only I don't sing or sneeze, because singing isn't macho, and neither are seasonal allergies, and God only knows how little machismo I have left since I dropped the whole Flynn Rider alter-ego and settled for a name like Eugene Fitzherbert, settled down with a princess in a palace.

Also, Rapunzel's been counting down to the first day of Spring like kids count down to Christmas-the only season she hasn't experienced outside her tower. I can't spoil that for her by letting on that I'm allergic to blossoms and-

"Bunnies!"

Yes. Exactly what I was going to say. I have a strong allergy to bunnies. Specifically, to humping bunnies, which is what the ones Rapunzel spotted out the windows are doing.

I move to shield her eyes from the public display of considerably stronger feelings than affection, but not before she asks, "What are they doing?"

For a moment I'm tempted to tell her they're wrestling, but the same pushover part of me that can't stand to spoil anything for Rapunzel also can't stand to let her go through life in ignorance, and there are so many, many things she's ignorant about, thanks to that controlling hag Gothel, which no one but me ever seems to realize Rapunzel doesn't know.

Also, we're back to that whole macho thing; manly men don't get all squeamish about sex, do they?

"They're twitterpated," I say, and immediately do a facepalm. Because twitterpated is so totally the kind of manly word to use when discussing male/female relationships.

"Gesundheit!" says Rapunzel, a little absently, her attention rapt on the humping bunnies.

I should go with this, especially since my allergies give me a legitimate excuse to extricate myself from giving an impromptu lesson in sex freaking ed.

Apparently I'm a glutton for punishment.

"Twitterpated," I repeat. "You know-in love."

"Oh." Rapunzel's forehead scrunches up as she observes the bunnies, processing my explanation, but for once doesn't ask any follow-up questions.

Thinking I'm actually going to get off easy, I make a sweeping bow, not quite as gallant as I'd like thanks to my nose deciding to run like a faucet and me having to wipe it on my sleeve to avoid a humiliating request to borrow her hankie, and then offer Rapunzel the other, not-snotty arm.

"Allow me to escort you on your first Springtime stroll, m'lady?"

She giggles as she takes my arm, and as we make our way out into the palace grounds, she is too overwhelmed by nature to speak. I have to confess, watching Rapunzel take in every little detail, from fat, furry honeybees alighting on velvet rose petals to the pink cherry blossoms against a sky the color of the robin's eggs nestled in the crooks of tree branches, gives me a new appreciation-okay any appreciation at all-for Spring as something considerably more than an irritant and animal breeding ground.

And then she says, "Eugene…You and I are twitterpated."

So I do the only thing a man could do in this situation.

"A-CHOO!"

Immediately Rapunzel rounds on me, her eyes perfect green saucers serving up a hearty portion of concern. "You have a cold!"

"Addergies," I say, exaggerating my stuffiness and giving a big sniff for good measure. "I'b seberely addergic do Sprig."

"How awful!" cries Rapunzel, then she gets that lovey-dovey look, brushes my hair back from my forehead, and kisses the tip of my drippy nose. "But how sweet of you to come out with me anyway."

"Could'ut biss your first Sprig, Goadie."

"And I won't miss your first Spring allergy attack," she says, taking me firmly by the arm and leading me back toward the palace. "I'll get you tucked into bed and feed you chicken soup and be your own personal nurse."

To hell with machismo-I'm gonna milk these allergies for all they're worth.

"…and you can tell me more about what couples do when they're twitterpated."

On second thought, I think I'll shoot for the world's quickest recovery.