A/N: So this took forever. I'm very sorry. I have no idea when the next chapter will be up either, because I don't even know what's going to happen in it. As always, please review and tell me your thoughts.
Eugene found an inn within a few minutes, leading Rapunzel inside. She stood a little bit behind him as he went to the counter to get a room. She felt safe back there, pretending that no one could see her. She wasn't paying attention much as Eugene was talking. She looked around a little, knowing that he would take care of things.
The man behind the counter went to go get them a key, and had look of confusion on his face when he returned. "Hey, aren't you that Rider guy?"
Eugene sighed. Not what he needed right now. "Look, I'll pay you extra if you just don't tell anyone I was here, okay?" He took the key, handed over more money than necessary, and went to take Rapunzel's hand again. She had been lost in thought but went along with him anyway. Eugene wondered for a brief moment what it must have looked like to see Flynn Rider getting a room with an attractive girl, but he pushed that thought anyway. The innkeeper could think whatever he wanted; Eugene didn't do that stuff anymore.
He led her down a hallway and found their room quickly. Once they were both inside he closed the door. It was a fairly small room. There was a bed, a nightstand, and not much else. He felt awkward almost at once. "I'm, uh…sorry there's only one bed. If you want, I'll sleep on the floor."
"No, don't do that," Rapunzel said. This didn't really bother her. She walked forward sat down on the bed, where Pascal scurried off her shoulder to sit next to her.
Eugene simply nodded. He didn't want to make her uncomfortable. After what happened, he really didn't want to do anything that would seem suggestive to her. He wanted to make sure she knew that he wasn't like them. But if she didn't mind, he guessed he could do this… He walked around to the other side of the bed and sat down against the headboard with his legs criss-crossed, looking over at her. "Are you alright?"
Rapunzel sighed, turning back to glance at him before looking straight again. "I'm fine."
"You sure? You seem a little out of it…" Then again, he would be too if he was her. "Can I get you anything?"
"No, I'm fine," Rapunzel said again, smiling a little before going back to looking kind of sad. She had been thinking a lot but she was brought back to reality when he started talking. He was really being very nice to her. She would have liked to be with her mother, but she was so thankful he was here with her.
"Alright," Eugene said, not taking his eyes off of her. "If you want anything, just tell me."
Rapunzel nodded slightly, letting out another sigh. Eugene didn't know if he should keep talking to her or what. Maybe leaving her alone would be better. But he didn't like seeing her so like this. "Do you…wanna talk about anything?" he asked.
Rapunzel shook her head, wiping a few tears from her eyes. She moved to sit beside him. "I don't know," she muttered.
Eugene frowned at this. There was a long pause. "Do you still hurt at all?"
She nodded, not looking at him. She was still on the verge on crying, though she hadn't gotten quite there yet. Her sadness was contagious. She felt sore all over her body, but it was better than before.
"God, I'm sorry…" Eugene muttered. "I still think this is my fault."
"It…it wasn't," Rapunzel said. "Not really."
"Yes it was. I'm so sorry," he said, sighing and putting his face in his hands.
"It was not," Rapunzel said. She didn't feel like discussing this anymore. She really didn't think it was his fault. It just happened. She lay down a little bit, letting Pascal crawl onto her hand.
"How are you feeling? Do you want to go to sleep?" Eugene asked. He felt like he had to ask these questions just to know how she was doing. If there was anything wrong he wanted to fix it.
She knew that sleeping would be good for her. She might feel a little better in the morning. "Yeah. If I can," she muttered. Even though she knew she should be, she wasn't very tired. Too much had happened to her today for her to be tired.
Eugene leaned over her a little bit. "It might help," he said, tucking some hair behind her ear.
Rapunzel looked up at him, not used to this contact. But she nodded. "Yes, it might," she agreed.
He pulled away and kicked off his shoes and took off his vest, throwing it to the floor. He glanced at her when she noticed she looked worried and sighed a bit. "Don't worry. I'm not going to be taking off anymore clothes than that."
Rapunzel nodded. She had been thinking stupidly anyway.
She was quiet for a while, which Eugene noticed. He really wished she would try to sleep, but he could understand why she didn't want to. "Um. Do you want me to take the braid out of your hair?" He figured that would make her more comfortable whenever she did decide to sleep. Besides, her hair didn't look so good right now. It was very messy, strands were coming loose, and there were dirt and leaves stuck to it in spots.
She nodded, sitting so she faced away from him, with her feet dangling off the bed. "Yes. That would be good. Thank you."
He moved closer to her and began to unbraid her hair. He didn't have much experience with hair, but he could do this, at least. He took out the flowers and placed them in a neat pile on the bed, while throwing the twigs and leaves onto the floor. (Someone was bound to clean this hotel room sometime, right?) Those girls in the village had really outdone themselves. Her hair was criss-crossed and twisted together so many times and in so many ways that he wondered just how long it would take for him to get it back to its usual seventy foot state.
Rapunzel felt a bit more comfortable with him as he worked on her hair. She was still a little uneasy, but she was getting a lot better as he continued. He was obviously very concerned for her, and she felt bad for not trusting him at first when he had found her in the forest.
Rapunzel cleared her throat. She still felt on the verge of tears after all this time, a feeling that wouldn't go away, but she tried to talk anyhow. "Eugene. Um…thank you."
He shrugged, undoing one of her mini-braids. "It's no big deal. I don't mind doing this."
"No. Not this. Just…everything. Everything you did tonight. I mean, honestly…you saved me." As she said it, she realized how much this was true. She owned everything to him.
He swallowed nervously, because he supposed this was true, and he felt a sudden rush of affection for her when she said it. "They were already gone when I got to you."
"They only left because they heard you…" She said this quietly. She didn't like thinking about the incident at all, but everything was still very clear to her and she couldn't get it off her mind. She remembered how terrified she had been before Eugene got there and she tried to get rid of that thought, shaking it away. "Oh, and thank you for taking me to see the lanterns. I never got to thank you for that…"
"Hey. I made a promise, didn't I?" Even though they had only made that promise last morning, it felt like forever ago. "I'm just sorry your birthday turned so awful at the end…"
"I really liked the rest of the day, though," she said, turning her head to glance at him and giving a small smile. Eugene thought about the lanterns for the first time since he had went to return the satchel. He had felt something for her when they were out on the boat watching them… He wondered if after what happened to her, if she still felt anything in return for him. He guessed she had more to think about right now than those kinds of stupid feelings though…
"I did, too…" he muttered. Spending the day with her in the kingdom, the boat ride…that had all been perfect. But none of that really mattered anymore. After a little while, he finished getting her hair all undone. He didn't have a hairbrush, but it looked pretty good the way it was. "All done," he said, somewhat cheerfully.
Rapunzel smiled a bit (it made him really happy to see her smiling), and she gathered the majority of her hair into a big pile next to the bed. Eugene looked over at the flowers that had been in her hair. "Do you want to keep these?"
"I suppose. They're rather pretty…" Rapunzel looked the flowers, remembering how she had been placing some of them on the water while they were waiting for the lights.
He figured he could keep the flowers in his satchel, and that's when he realized something. "Shit…I left my satchel on the beach." He had forgotten all about it in his efforts to comfort Rapunzel. His heart sank a little. That meant the Stabbington Brothers must have it. He was giving it back to them anyway, but the fact that they might actually make a good fortune off that crown made him sick, because they didn't deserve it at all.
"We can buy you a new satchel, right?"
Eugene nodded. "Yeah, we can." He moved away from her, back to his side of the bed. Hopefully he could get those bastards arrested soon. Maybe he would report them in the morning, but that might be difficult, considering he couldn't really risk getting spotted by any guards.
Rapunzel crawled under the covers, pulling them around her. Part of her thought that they would protect and nothing bad would happen again. This stopped as soon as Eugene got under them as well. She lay very still, trying not to move or else she might accidentally get closer to him and they would touch, which would be awkward. It was a pretty small bed, and there was only about a foot separating them.
Pascal lay next to her, curling himself up in some of her hair. He looked tired, and he was still a sad shade of blue.
Thinking about the morning had Eugene kind of depressed, because that's when he was going to take Rapunzel home. He guessed he would just have to see how she felt – if she really wanted to go home then he would do it. But he really wasn't ready to say goodbye yet. Not after everything they'd been through.
Rapunzel was thinking similar thoughts, but she tried to forget about them. Of course she wanted to go home. Eugene was…well, he had been helpful…but no matter how safe he was making her feel, it was nothing compared to her tower. She tried not to think about it too much. At least she was okay tonight, and they could deal with tomorrow when it was time.
"Goodnight," Rapunzel said, looking over at him.
"Goodnight, Rapunzel. I hope you get some sleep." He wasn't quite sure what he was supposed to say to her.
She nodded. "Thanks again for everything."
"You're welcome," he said quietly.
"Really. Thank you so much." She didn't think she could describe all he had done for her. First the amazing birthday, then rescuing her from those men, and then how kind of comforting he had been tonight.
He nodded slightly. "Of course. Sleep well, okay?" And with that he turned over, turning off the lamp in the room and leaving them in darkness.
Rapunzel turned away from him as well, and noticing that even Pascal had dozed off, she closed her eyes and attempted to go to sleep.