Author's Note: As promised! Sorry it took so long for me to write this! I've been so busy and haven't had time to fully embrace all the wonderful Tangled ideas that I've gotten. So, here's another moment from the kingdom montage! By the way, I just re-read Books and Islands and oh my God, that needs to be edited! So, look forward to Books and Islands 2.0 very soon! Anyways, enjoy!
He was constantly amazed by her.
Here they were—in the Kingdom that would kill him if he was found—and she was making this simple trip seem like the most important thing he had ever participated in. The way her eyes would light up as they passed things he normally took for granted, the way her smile became huge when she encountered a new object—all the little quirks like that. She had, for instance, marveled over a fountain for a full 15 minutes before she had gotten distracted by the Kingdom's crest hanging above her in neat rows.
And now she was staring at a set of paints as if they were the most precious, the most wonderful things on Earth.
"Amazing," She muttered, her eyes seemingly growing bigger with each passing second. "I didn't know you could get paints like this."
"Well, of course you can," Flynn informed her, a bit taken aback by just how in love with the paints she was. "You have seen paints before, right?"
"Yes!" She exclaimed as she met his gaze. She tugged at her hair nervously and Flynn suddenly felt back for taking that cold tone with her. It wasn't her fault if she didn't know what paints were—she had been locked up in a tower for 18 years. He had to be more understanding! "It's just; Mother would always have to travel for three days to get me new paints."
And there it was again—the feeling like he had to do something to help her. It was getting to be quite a pesky feeling for he found that he couldn't allow himself to think about a day without her. He was getting attached to her and getting attached meant that his career as a thief was over. He shook his head, trying to dispel the image of him being with her and he tried to focus on the situation at hand. She was just commenting about paints. That's all that this was about—paints—not love, or commitment or anything ridiculous like that.
"Do you want those paints?"
It flew out of his mouth before he can even think about it. This girl . . . she was going to be the end of him! Here she was, just standing by him, and he was already doing something for her that he had never done for anyone before.
"Oh!" Her eyes lit up with happiness and joy and Flynn finds himself smiling at the sight. "Would you? Then, maybe I could paint something!"
So, he bought her the paints because he knew deep down, there was no way he could refuse any request she made of him. With a small smile that he can't keep off his face no matter how hard he tries, he handed her the set of paints and she stared down at it like it was the most exquisite thing she had ever received. Then, without warning, she embraced him.
"Easy there, Blondie," He mumbled, frantically trying to cover the fact that he hadn't been expecting the hug, but also cover the fact that he really enjoys the hug. "It's just paints."
"But it isn't!" She protested, letting go of him. "These are amazing paints, Eugene! They mean a lot to me. So, thank you." She smiled and nodded her head in acknowledgement and it suddenly hit him—
He always wants to be the one to put that look on her face. Now, that her eyes were trained on his and her smile was meant for him and only him, he knew that he must do more things to get her to look at him like that again. She was just so beautiful—almost like an angel—and her love of something so trivial caused something to bubble up within him.
He's falling for her.
He can't fall for her. Falling for her would mean him having to give up his thieving way—and all dreams of a castle—and it would mean keeping her away from insanely overprotective mother. Falling her would mean saying goodbye to his dreams of being so rich that he could do whatever he wanted, of feeling the excitement that came from stealing something.
But not falling for her would mean giving her up.
Could he give her up? Could he send her back to a mother that would keep her locked up in a tower for who knows how long? Could he allow her to walk away from him?
"Huh?" He quickly snapped out of his trance and met her concerned gaze.
"Are you alright?" Her green eyes are filled with worry and fear. It's a look he didn't like to see in her beautiful eyes. With a smirk, he dismissed her concern with a quick flick of his wrist.
"Yep," He replied. "Now, may I ask what you're going to do with those paints?"
"I'm going to paint the town square!" She shouted it so loud that instantly five pairs of eyes were on them and Flynn wondered briefly if any of these crowd members would recognize him. Getting thrown into jail probably wasn't a good way to end Rapunzel's best day ever.
"Mama," A little girl mumbled, pulling on her mother's skirt. "Can I paint too?"
"Oh, no, dear," Her mother informed her regretfully. "You don't have any paints."
"I'd love to share!" Rapunzel instantly exclaimed, kneeling down to the little girl's level. "I have plenty here to share. Would you like to paint with me?"
And that's how they ended up in the town square with a huge crowd of spectators watching Rapunzel paint along with the local village children. Her hands were caked in purple paint and yet, Rapunzel didn't seem to care. As Flynn watched the wonderful masterpiece that Rapunzel was painting come together, he saw that all she was doing was smiling. The grin never seemed to leave her face even as it became to clear to Flynn that she was going to run out of paint.
"There!" She exclaimed as she stood up and wiped a bead of sweat off her forehead carefully. "How does it look?" He pulled out the little banner that he bought her earlier—another story for another time—and he smiled as he looked down and saw that she done the Kingdom's symbol beautifully.
"It's great," He confessed. "But aren't you upset that you're almost out of paint?"
"No!" She told him forcefully. "Look, at all these other wonderful paintings! I could've never done all of these paintings by myself."
Then, she smiled wonderfully, brilliantly.
God, he was a goner.
There was no way he could let her walk out of his life tomorrow. He needed her to stay with him, to be with him. He had never felt so strongly about anything like this before. This feeling that he had when he was with her—it was a feeling he wanted to always feel.
He could tell her right now, right here. He could tell her how much he was in love with her and how she had other options—options that included him in her life. All he needed to tell her were the feelings that were weighing on his mind so heavily. All it would take was three little words.
I love you.
"I really like the painting you've done."
He can't bring himself to say it. She could reject him or worse, he might actually hurt her by telling her how he felt. He could do something stupid and cause her to be upset—to cause her to lose the smile that he treasured so much.
"Thanks!" She informed him. "Hey, I still have some paint left. Wanna paint something too?"
He can't refuse her. He nodded his head and she pulled him down to the ground where she handed him the paints.
"What should I paint?"
He is so hopelessly in love with her and has no idea what to do about it. How can he tell her about how much she meant to him if he wasn't sure if he could accept the feelings that she conjured up in him.
"Whatever you want," She explained. "Whenever I paint, I pretend that I'm painting something for Mother or Pascal. I paint what I want them to know, but I don't know how to tell them."
He wants to paint her and him together under a beautiful sky filled with glowing stars. He wants to send her a message that she doesn't have to go back—that he doesn't want her to—but he can't find the way to tell her.
He ends up painting a girl with long golden hair staring wide-eyed at a set of paints.
"That's me!" Rapunzel exclaimed. "Oh, Eugene, it's so wonderful!"
But it isn't.
He's such a coward that he can't even tell her how he really feels, what he really wants, and how special she makes him feel.
In the end, the infamous Flynn Rider can't even let the girl who stole his heart how he feels about her.
And tomorrow, she'll walk out of his life forever.
"For what?" He asked her, astonished. What could he have possibly done that would make her think that she had to thank him for anything?
"Just for all of this," She explained. "For helping to make my dream come true."
But in reality, it's her that has made his dream come true. She's turned him from this cynical thief who hadn't felt anything for anyone in years and made him into another, better person.
"No, Rapunzel," He corrected her gently. "Thank you."
And in that moment—that one special moment when her eyes only saw him and he only had eyes for her—he vowed to keep her safe.
Because Flynn Rider or more simply, Eugene Fitzherbert, was in love with this wonderful girl.
Author's Note: I think this might be my favorite Tangled fanfic! I really love the way this turned out! What about you guys? Please review!