Her baby soft feet finally touched the rugged, green fuzz spread like warm blankets around the tower. Grass. She was finally on the grass. Soft, cool, green blades wiggled up between her toes, tickling her. Her hands flew to her mouth as she gave a quiet giggle, and her wide green eyes eagerly surveyed the ebony night.
At last she was outside the tower, in the quiet, serene forest; her feet padding against the forest floor. More giggles bubbled from her throat, giddy and happy ones. This was so much fun! She uttered a squeal of delight as a few leaves from a tree gently brushed against her cheek, and she stumbled into a patch of flowers. Smiling, she clutched the lilac bud close to her chest, inhaling its saccharine aroma and closing her eyes in pure bliss.
The moment ended, and she screamed at the abrupt sight that greeted her opening eyes: dark, looming shadows – all reaching for her. They grabbed at her hair, and she wailed as they tore at it with their greedy, grabbing hands. Blades came into view and started slicing away at her golden locks. She cried for her mother as the golden magic drained from its brown roots.
Rapunzel awoke with a strangled, sobbing scream far too quiet to wake her mother, though it caused the mahogany irises at her bedside to snap open, and the baby chameleon quickly scrambled up onto her bed, crawling up on her chest and looking at her curiously. Rapunzel whimpered, hugging the poor lizard so hard she siphoned off some of its air. She still had yet to name her new little pet.
The comforting scales and familiar mattress reminded her that she was safe, in the tower, with her pet and her mother. Away from where the bad people would try to hurt her and cut her hair. Still needing reassurance to help her frazzled nerves, Rapunzel crept quietly into her mothers room, and fell down on her rump at the door.
Yes, she was there, sleeping silently, her chest breathing in and out, like it had been when Rapunzel went to bed for the night. She advanced slowly, still scrubbing the salty tears away as she tiptoed to her mother's bed side.
She wasn't going to wake her, knowing how her Mother hated being woken up during the night. All Rapunzel needed was the comfort of knowing she was still there and in the room with her.
Cautiously, the tot peered out the tower window, worried little eyes darting around to see if the mean shadows were there. Nope, it was just a dream. She smiled to herself and turned – hair slapping a glass off the bedside table, and the girl watched with horror as it shattered onto the floor.
Gothel instantly shot up, instinctively grabbing a blade she kept under her pillow for safety reasons. The tot gave a squeak when her mother pointed the sharp, jagged knife towards her, but Gothel recognized the chubby, pale face, and she dropped the blade.
"Oh, Rapunzel, it's just you." Her voice was both flooding with relief and tinged with a bit of annoyance. "What are you doing out of bed?" She leaned in to her surrogate daughter, frowning. "Mommy has told you she does not like to be woken when she sleeps. So, what is it?"
The tiny pink lip trembled as a few more tears spilled over, and she hurriedly wiped them, gently gripping her mother's arm. "I-I had a bad dream." Gothel gave a long suffering groan.
"Oh, is that all, Rapunzel?" She held her forehead, sighing. "It was just a dream, dear. Off to bed now – you're too old to be frightened by nightmares; you're nearly five years old." She caught the pleading look on her four year old's face. "And you're too old to be sleeping with Mommy," she added.
Rapunzel cried more, tiny sniffling sobs shaking her little frame. "Oh, please, Mommy… 'm scared!"
"Rapunzel," Gothel began sternly, but it was cut off with the pathetic, whimpering "please!" The woman's frown deepened, but the cries did her in and her eyes softened. "Oh, alright." She pulled back the blankets, and the tiny blonde ball launched herself onto the bed, scrambling under her mother's arm as the blanket fluttered back into place over them.
Rapunzel smiled away the last of the tears, snuggling in as her mother's arm gently wrapped around her little waist, and the woman's head hit the pillow.
Softly, her voice a little hoarse and groggy from sobbing, the tot trembled out her mother's favorite song, grinning when Gothel smiled, smoothing a few long fingers through the soft glowing hair.
"Make the clock reverse..
Bring back what once was mine…
What once was mine.."
"I love you, Mommy," Rapunzel whispered into the darkness, as her hair dimmed back to normal and melted into the dark room.
Gothel kissed the top of her head, running her gentle and possessive fingers through the silky hair.
"And I love you, my flower."
(Did this surprise you? I thought so. Yeah, ponies and Tangled has been all that's on my mind (fandom wise) the past while now, and this was in the making for a week.
You know, I am deeply intrigued by the relationship of Rapunzel and Gothel and I find it really, really interesting. She's definitely not your typical Disney villain, but she's not exactly a Frollo either.
Despite blatantly using her daughter for her hair, I DO see a speck of affection in her for Rapunzel. What really stood out to me in the movie was after she screams at Rapunzel that she's not leaving the tower: when Rapunzel asks for those special shells to make more paints, it was the smile there when she gave in.
I mean, think about it: a three day long journey just to get her daughter some shells. She could have said – screamed no, and Rapunzel would have dropped it. Yet... It was that and a few of the non possessive, non feigned, actual genuine motherly smiles that had me see it this way.
Now does that change the fact that she's a bad woman? No. No it does not. She lost her mind at the end and was intent on dragging her daughter away in chains – literally. But invoking insecurities in her child, imprisoning her child and using her aside, she was a good mother.
Course you all know me; I try to see the good in every bad guy, but I really did see something this time.
(Also, if I find a way to interpret the fact that she can use magic without having a glowing mane, I might do a Dislestia Tangled based fic. …Maybe.)