A/N: Welcome all! :) What should I say, I started my first multi-chaptered story for Tangled ... and I'm totally excited. There's not even much to say, except that I - once again - thank my hero and beta Kassandra for reading over it and encouraging me to post the story. :) And that I hope you like it and will let me know. *wink-wink* Also, although it seems like a crossover it's not really one. It's more like a little sidestory for the fun, because the major part of this story is simply about a royal thief finding a lost princess and their adventure of bringing her back, and what will happen after she's brought back ... because this is really when all the adventure will begin. ;) But enough said. Hope you enjoy! And remember: Feedback is love! ;)
Disclaimer: Not mine. Disney's the genius.
- A story about a lost princess and her royal thief -
The truth about Flynnigan Rider was that he was a lie.
During the day Flynn Rider's name was Eugene Fitzherbert, Prince of Laventie, younger brother of Prince Adam of Laventie, who was hit by curse which turned himself into a Beast and all the castles residents into animated objects.
Of course nobody knew about that fact except for Eugene and his Uncle Victor, and a few other confidants. The only reason why Eugene didn't turn into an animated object himself was the fortunate coincidence that he was visiting his Uncle at the time the curse hit the castle. This was also the reason why he couldn't return to his home. If he returned the curse would take effect on him too. As much as he loved his brother (although he was an arrogant, hot-tempered man), Eugene really was against the idea of him being a powder box or something similar. This was the reason why he had lived with his uncle for nearly eight years now, since he was about fourteen.
Victor, Comte D'Artent du Laventie, was a generous, good-hearted man. He lived as Laventie's ambassador in Darrington, the capital city of Corona, always looking out for the people he loved and cared about. He was wise, and genuine, and diplomatic, and when he heard about his nephew's misfortune he took over the state affairs. To the public Prince Adam fell very sick with a highly contagious illness and the doctors were searching for the healing medicine, this also being the reason why Prince Eugene lived with his uncle and not at his brother's castle.
Years went by and still the curse was unbroken. Eugene turned into a handsome, charming man, as generous and good-hearted as his uncle, but also slightly arrogant like his brother. He was living a happy life in Corona, but ever since the tragic incident of the kidnapping of Corona's Princess, which took place thirteen years ago, Corona fell more and more into the hands of the corrupted. King James' heartbreak over the loss of his only child made him blind towards the many things going wrong in his kingdom. The rich people got richer every day, while the public suffered under it.
So when Eugene turned eighteen he decided to no longer just watch, but instead do something against it: Flynn Rider was born. During the day Eugene played the role of the smug and bored noble, but when the sun went down behind the great lake, the handsome, charming thief made his appearance. It also didn't hurt that he learnt how to use a sword from his earliest days on, as well as riding, and climbing, archery and close combat. And everything else which was useful for his life as Flynn Rider. Just like in the stories of Robin Hood, his uncle read to him when he was only a child, Eugene took from the rich and gave to the poor.
For the court and the kingdom and the guards, Flynn Rider was a thief and a criminal.
For Corona's common people he was a hero.
And this brings us to the day this story begins …
The night was rough. Cold and windy, the guards were pushier than ever. It felt like they chased him through half of Corona before he finally got rid of them. Without Max, his loyal stallion, he wouldn't have made it at all.
The sun was about to rise when he slipped out of the stables and into the house, unseen. Sleep would be rare tonight, court was about to meet in a few hours and he needed to take part.
He stepped into his room, carefully closing the door behind him, and released a sigh. The bath which waited for him, as well as the food, turned cold a while ago. The candles were nearly burned down all the way and of the wood in the fireside only the blaze was left.
He had known his uncle was waiting for him even before he slipped into the room. Victor was a patient man, but also worried too much.
"I'm fine," was all Eugene answered while taking off his vest and putting it into a hidden closet behind the bookshelf.
"I didn't ask about your condition, although it's good to know that you're fine. I simply stated that you're late."
The young man could read his uncle like a book. Right now he knew that he was worried sick for him and probably stayed up all night to wait. He may have sounded casual but he surely didn't feel as calm as he tried to show.
"The guards were just pushier than normal. But like every time before tonight, I got rid of them. It just took me a little bit longer." He tried to assure the older man, although he knew it wouldn't do the magic. Victor was not stupid. He knew very well about the dangers his nephew exposed himself to every night. He also knew that he couldn't stop him from doing it again the next night.
Therefore Victor just nodded and turned to leave.
"I'll send Sarah upstairs to prepare another bath and bring some fresh food. Jones will be here any minute to rekindle the fire. Try to get some rest, court will meet early today," he gestured with his arm to the davenport in the corner of the room, "and before I forget: A letter from Lumière arrived this evening."
Victor was gone before the young man was able to say something. He rushed over to the table, picked up the folded paper, hastily broke the royal seal and started to read:
Mon cher ami Prince Eugène,
I hope this letter finds you well. I'm sorry for not writing earlier, the last couple of weeks were hectic, you soon will find out why.
Cogsworth, Mrs. Potts and moi decided we need to tell you, although it will make you worry. My boy, the rose started to wilt. Truth to be told it started quite a while ago. Until now she didn't lose any petal yet, but we're worried that it starts soon.
But let me tell you, mon ami, we also have some exciting news: Une mademoiselle arrived. Okay, maybe she didn't arrive arrive, but got blackmailed by your brother to stay, but nonetheless there is a girl. She's beautiful and kind and we all think she reaches your brother. He seems calmer and more patient, doesn't scream and bark that often anymore. The master seems like he changed overnight, it's incroyable.
Maybe in a few weeks time the spell will be broken and you can finally return home.
Until then we wish you all the best, mon prince, take care of yourself and don't get into too much trouble. Cogsworth sends his salutes, Mrs. Potts sends kisses and I send you bonne chance.
Court was a very lame, very boring, but at the same time a very enlightening affair. Eugene always tried his best to look annoyed. He wore his most hideous outfits and his face showed no interest at all. For the outside world he looked like a pompous, spoiled brat. This suited him perfectly. Nobody would have suspected him being Flynn Rider, thief extraordinaire.
Court also had the positive affect that he learned about where to find the most valuable pieces for his nocturnal prows. No one would have thought that nobles could brag about their newest additions to the jewelry box the way they did while in court. Every ring, necklace, tiara, earring, etc. needed to be discussed. It was like they wrote a shopping list for him. Except, he didn't pay for any of the items.
Today, although, he was drop dead tired, and he had to watch out not to let his façade slip. His uncle was up at the front talking to Queen Lillian and he was stuck here with Princess Belinda, or Bimbo-Blond as he called her secretly, one of the many princesses here in court who made eyes at him. She was the daughter of Duke Harrowing and her biggest wish was to marry into royalty. Although Eugene only was second in line to the throne of Laventie (and as soon as his brother would produce an heir – if ever – he would only be third), he was good enough in her eyes. This was such a pain.
"Well, Prince Eugene, you look handsome today," she said while fluttering her eyelashes.
"Well, Princess Belinda, you look stunning today," he answered and flashed half a smile at her. She giggled and blushed lightly, and he nearly gagged. He sincerely prayed that someone would save him. Soon.
And just as the thought crossed his mind the announcer called for attention because King James entered the room, closely followed by Lord Erevan, his closest confidant. Everyone bowed and the King took his seat beside the Queen. He opened court for the day and Bimbo-Blond needed to shut-up for the rest of the morning.
This was the same morning Eugene learned about the fact that one of Corona's most valuable pieces was about to get relocated, only a day before the lantern festival was to be held: The crown of the lost princess.
Madame Winchester was the headmistress of Darringtons orphanage. The building was too small and too old, the roof was leaking, the windows didn't hold back the cold winter wind, they had not enough clothes and blankets and food, and way too many children to take care of. She really tried her best, but she could only do as much. Proof of the entire grievance were the deep wrinkles on her face.
Therefore it gave Eugene a really good feeling when he saw them disappear, as he watched from his hiding spot, as the lady found the sack full of golden coins he had put there minutes earlier.
He wrapped his cloak tighter around him and turned to head home. He really needed a few more hours of sleep. He also needed to start to work on a plan of how to steal the royal crown.
His fist was throbbing with pain after he hit the guard, who brought the news of another one of Flynnigan Rider's coups, unconscious. He was not amused, he was really not amused. This Flynn-Rider-character was raining on his parade, and this just wasn't acceptable. He needed to take care of this problem, as soon as possible. Or better: He needed someone to take care of this problem for him. And he knew exactly who he needed for a job like this.
"Get the Stabbington Brothers here."