Swaying back and forth, to and fro, the brunette sighed tiredly as the baby flailed wildly in her arms, crying. The princess tried to sooth her baby girl as she whined miserably, her fever getting worse. The princess looked over to the bed where her husband sat, watching them both with a look of sadness and lack of sleep. He got up and walked over so he could feel the baby's forehead.
"I'll get a cloth." His wife nodded at him and he left the room to go get a wet rag.
"Shh…Emily, darling, it's alright," she soothed. She ran her hand through the mess of pixie-like brown hair, wishing desperately that there was still magic left to take away the pain her little girl was feeling. She thought for a moment as the child continued to squirm. Could a lullaby possibly help? Did she even remember…yes, she definitely remembered the words.
Flower gleam and glow
Let your power shine
Make the clock reverse
Bring back what once was mine
Emily started to quiet down, still admitting small sounds of discomfort.
Heal what has been hurt
Change the fate's design
Save what has been lost
Bring back what once was mine
What once was mine
The baby let out a small yawn and her eyes drooped heavily until she fell into a fitful slumber. The mother sighed and smiled tiredly at Emily, her green eyes scanning her round face as she tried to fight off an invisible enemy. She gently kissed the crown of the baby's head and corners of the girl's mouth curved upward slightly before frowning and continuing to sleep uneasily. The princess felt a hand on her shoulder and turned her head to see her husband with a gentle smile on his face.
He handed her a tan piece of cloth that was cold and damp. The mother took it and started to dab the infants chubby cheeks and head gently. Emily didn't even stir.
***(5) Emily came running toward her mother before jumping into her widespread arms. She giggled as Rapunzel lifted her off the ground and kissed her cheek. "And where have you been?" Rapunzel asked smiling. Emily showed her mother her hands, which were covered in paint. "Ah, so my little artist was painting."
"They're not nearly as good as yours, Mama, but I'll get better!" the child exclaimed proudly. Rapunzel chuckled lightly.
"Oh, your drawings are just as good as mine, sweetie. Maybe even better," she replied. Emily smiled brightly and then suddenly yawned. Her mother smiled. "I think it's someone's bedtime," she said. The five year old face contorted in displeasure but then her hazel eyes lit up.
"Will you sing me a song, Mama?" Rapunzel raised a brow at the request but nodded.
"What do you want me to sing?" Emily thought for a moment then began to hum a soft tune that her mother immediately recognized all too well. "Ah, so you want me to sing that song," she said. "I haven't sang that since you were a baby. How do you know it?"
Emily shrugged. "I remember the tune. Kind of like a fuzzy picture…but with noise." Rapunzel smirked.
"Ok, I'll make you a deal. You get your gown on and get in your bed and then I'll sing the song. And you need to go to sleep right after, okay?" Emily nodded enthusiastically and pulled away from her mother before zooming into the bathroom, holding her nightgown. A minute later she zoomed out and flew under the cover of her lavender comforter. Rapunzel blinked almost in surprise. Never had her daughter ever been so excited for bed.
"Come on, Mama!" Emily called. Rapunzel walked over and sat on the edge of the young princess's little bed, and began to sing. Emily listened to her mother's voice, complete amazement fixed into her features. The queen's voice was so angelic and soft, it carried throughout the room and it made her eyelids seem heavier. With each note Emily's smile grew and her eyes drifted shut. Once her mother finished she noticed Emily was almost completely asleep.
She ran her fingers through her daughter's long, thick chocolate colored hair and Emily let out a content sigh. "Goodnight Mama."
"Goodnight Emily," she replied. She leaned down and kissed the girl's forehead and left, shutting the door quietly behind her.
***(9)Thunder clashed outside as a monsoon of rain poured down just beyond the barrier of her bedroom window. Rapunzel had never really liked storms. In fact, if she was being honest, she was down right terrified of them. But with Eugene's arms wrapped around her she didn't really mind it as much. She heard the squeak of their door opening and sat up to see Emily clad in her lavender gown and barefoot.
"Mom? Can I sleep with you and Dad?" Rapunzel smiled gently and nodded. She woke Eugene and made him scoot over to the edge of the bed, letting Emily climb under the covers and into her mother's arms. Another bolt of lightning and a clash of thunder caused Emily to admit a small whimper and hide her face against her mother's chest.
"Shh…sweetheart, it's ok. It's just a storm. You're safe," Rapunzel whispered calmly into her little girl's ear. Emily looked up at her mother, revealing a tear-streaked face.
"I don't like storms, Mom." Rapunzel nodded understandingly.
"Let me tell you a secret." Emily raised a brow and leaned forward. "Mommy hates storms too." Chuckling could be heard from Eugene's side of the bed.
"Not much of a secret there, honey," he said smirking. Rapunzel rolled her eyes then turned her attention back to her daughter. Emily giggled slightly, and snuggled against her mother.
"I didn't think you were scared of anything, Mommy," she said. Rapunzel smirked.
"Everyone has fears. Even your daddy over here," the queen replied. Eugene grunted in reply which caused Emily to giggle again. Emily heard her mother start to hum and then she started to sing the lyrics to the song her mother had to have sung to her a million times by now. Her voice was no more than a whisper but it made her mother smile at its beauty.
"Mom?" Emily started in a whisper after she was done.
"Hmm?" came the queen's half tired reply. Another clap of thunder came from outside and Emily only stiffened slightly before relaxing in her mother's embrace.
"Where did you learn that song?" The brunette looked down at her daughter and saw the curiosity in her eyes.
"When I was little, this woman taught me."
"What was the woman's name?" Rapunzel was almost reluctant to answer the question, and took her time.
"Her name was Gothel," she finally answered. She felt her husband tense at the name of the woman who had caused so much grief for the both of them. Rapunzel still had the nightmares occasionally.
"Oh." Emily paused then asked, "What happened to her?" Rapunzel wished her daughter wasn't so curious.
"She died. Long before you came along. I was eighteen." Emily saw her mother's eyes take on a filmy quality and shook her slightly.
"You ok, Mom?"
"I'm fine, honey."
"What happened to her?" Rapunzel tried to smile.
"That's a story for another time, darling. Right now we need to sleep," she replied. Emily reluctantly agreed and her eyes started to drift shut.
"I love you, Mama." The young girl smiled.
"I love you more, darling."
"I love you most." Rapunzel suddenly felt uneasy. Those words she hadn't heard in a very long time. She looked back down at her daughter and the unease vanished.
***(13) Emily watched as the people laughed and danced to the music that was being orchestrated in the town square. It was the night of the lanterns. Even with the lost princess found all those years ago, the people had wanted to keep the tradition going, as a reminder of the miracle that brought the princess home.
Emily had helped make her mother breakfast for Rapunzel's birthday that very morning. Her and her father had sort of left a mess in the kitchen but they had cleaned it up…mostly. At the moment Rapunzel and Eugene were in the middle of the festivities, dancing and laughing. They had asked Emily to join in on the fun but the young princess had simply smiled and shook her head.
She watched as her parents smiled and danced together. Adoration in both their eyes whenever they looked at each other. To Emily it was like something out of those fairytale books her mother had read to her numerous times. She smiled.
"Just look at those two. It makes me sick to my stomach." Emily looked around for the speaker and saw a boy, at least sixteen, with jet black hair and eyes as blue as the night sky. He was sneering in the direction of Emily's parents. The princess let out a irritated sound.
"They're in love. So why don't you mind your own business."
The boy seemed to finally notice her and rolled his eyes towards the heavens. "They're idiots. I bet'cha Rider just married the girl for her money anyway," he replied. He looked her up and down. It then struck the Emily that the boy had no clue who he was talking to.
"He did not!" she defended. "You wouldn't know half the stuff he went through to be with her."
"He's a thief. He stole her crown. He happened to get lucky and find the princess. Realizing that he could be rich, he married her. He will always be Flynn Rider, the notorious thief, at heart." Emily was well aware of her father's past. He had told her the story of how he met her mother when she was younger. The way he told the story, made Emily believe without a doubt that he loved her mother and vice versa.
"And I cant believe they're going to give the crown to that spoiled princess. She's not worth the title if you ask me," he continued indignantly.
"You don't even know them." It was a simple statement. "And just so you know, you're dead wrong about everything." The boy scoffed.
"And what makes you such an expert?" he asked smugly.
"Well, for one, they're my parents." The boy's expression didn't even waver, but some shock relayed in his blue eyes. "And second you have no right to make judgments about my family…or any other family for that matter," she replied in her most princess-y tone. The boy once again rolled his eyes.
"Whatever, Princess Screw-up. Have a good time at the festival." Emily watched as the rotten boy walked off, seemingly without a single care in the world. Emily glared at him from her spot on the stone wall. But when all was said in done, Emily pondered on his words about her.
Was she really not ready for the throne? Would she really screw it all up? The princess shook her head. She shouldn't let the boy bother her.
"To the boats!" someone yelled. Emily looked up from her thoughts to see her parents walking toward her, hand in hand, to take her to watch the lanterns from the lake. Emily didn't even think about the boy for the rest of the night.
****(17) Emily crossed her arms over her chest, a look of defiance on her face. "Why cant I go?"
"We've discussed this over a dozen times," the Queen replied.
"Well, we're going to discuss it again. What's the real reason?" Rapunzel stared at her daughter in disbelief.
"What real reason? The reason you cant go is because you don't have enough experience to handle something like this."
"And I'll never get the experience if you don't let me try!" the Princess replied. "They asked me to come, to see if I'm ready to take the crown. Don't you think we should honor their request?"
"You're not ready." Rapunzel said calmly. "And besides, your father can handle this."
"Mother, I've never been outside the kingdom. All I want is a little freedom! Surely you know what I mean! So what's the real reason?" Rapunzel stared at her daughter. It went completely silent. Then the Queen sighed.
"I am your mother and this discussion is over. I'm only doing what's best for you."
"Is that what Gothel said to you?" The Queen froze. This seemed to be all the proof Emily needed. Her hazel eyes stared at her mother's green ones. "Hurts, being lied to, doesn't it?" That had been a low blow, and the Princess knew this. But she had a point to make. "Bet you never thought you'd turn out just like her, did you?" And with that she walked out of the study, slamming the door on her way out.
Rapunzel sighed and dropped to her knees. A slight squeaky gurgle sound caught her attention. "You heard all that, did you?" The chameleon nodded his head and made another sound. "I'm not acting like her, am I?" The chameleon gave her look that wasn't exactly reassuring. She sighed.
**** "So are you still in line for the thrown?" Emily ignored the boy who had decided to disturb her peaceful stroll through the village. "Wow, they must be rather desperate if they're still considering it." Emily bit her tongue to keep from saying anything. "Tsk. Tsk. I thought a princess would have enough manners to acknowledge someone when they're talking to them."
"I only talk to people who have something interesting to say," she finally replied. "Not people who continuously slur my family's name."
"Now that definitely wasn't very princess like." He smiled smugly at the shorter girl. Emily continued to walk through the streets, the boy keeping pace easily.
"What has my family ever done to him?" she thought. "Thomas, would you please just leave me alone?"
"And why should I? It's not like I'm distracting you from any of your princess-y duties." Emily stopped walking and looked him square in his blue eyes. "So has your dad ran off with the gold yet?" He was trying to bait her. Trying to get her to do something she would regret. It wasn't going to work.
"I don't have time for you today, you ignorant toad. Now I suggest that you leave me to my business and I'll leave you to your's."
"Are you leaving the country? Because that would be stupendous." Emily wondered for a moment if he realized that was her dad's favorite word. She almost laughed at the irony, but settled for smiling, knowingly.
"You have a nice day, Thomas." She walked off, looking over her shoulder just to see Thomas's sour expression.
Emily wanted nothing more than to prove Thomas wrong. Ever since their first meeting the boy had done nothing but try to get a rise out of her. This is why it bothered her so much that her mother wouldn't allow her to go. (Use your imagination on what she's trying to go to) It infuriated her to no end. So as she sat in the palace garden, her bare feet in the cool pond, she couldn't help but remember that haughty boy's words from one of their many and unfortunate meetings. Someone cleared their throat.
"Mind if I join you?" Emily shrugged as her mother took a seat next to her in the grass, and dunked her bare feet into the pond as well. She let out a sigh of relief.
"I really hate wearing shoes," she said. Emily nodded, her thoughts going somewhere else. "Why does this mean so much to you?" The Princess sighed and lay back against the little stone wall.
"I want to prove that I'm ready for the thrown. I want the people who doubt me to see that he's wrong."
"He?" Emily's eyes widened slightly. She hadn't really meant to get specific. "Whose this 'he' that doubts you?"
"Just some stupid boy in the village. But he's not the only one. I've heard other's say that they're not sure about me either."
"But you mostly just want to prove this boy wrong, correct?" Emily sighed and slowly nodded. "Hmm…well in that case, I believe you better start packing." Emily looked over at her mother.
"Are you serious? You're actually going to let me go?" Rapunzel smiled softly.
"You were right. You need to get some experience on this subject. And besides, your father will be there with you…" Rapunzel still looked unsure.
"Mother, I'll be fine." Emily hugged the Queen, Rapunzel returned the embrace without a second thought. Knowing it would be at least a two weeks before she saw her daughter again.
"Just promise me you'll be safe."
"And make sure your father doesn't insult the chefs again."
Emily chuckled. "Don't worry mother, I'll keep him in line too." Rapunzel nodded and released her daughter before standing up and smoothing out her dress. Emily followed suit.
"Well…I guess I better go get ready then."
"I guess you should." Emily was practically floating where she stood. She started to walk away before stopping once more.
"Oh and Mom," Rapunzel met her daughter's eyes. "Thank you."
The queen smiled. "You're welcome."
*** (22) "Ladies and gentlemen! May I present, Corona's new queen, Queen Emily!" There was a roar from below as the villagers cheered for their new queen. Among the people were the Snuggly Duckling crew, Maximus, and on top of him, Pascal. Emily stood at the balcony, beaming at the people. She turned to face her mother and father, who both had proud smiles on their faces.
Emily curtsied and Eugene placed the crown on her head; it stood out against her dark brown locks. She straightened and her father kissed her forehead. Her mother enveloped her in a hug that almost knocked the wind right out of her.
"We're proud of you," Eugene stated, smiling at his girls. Rapunzel pulled away and pushed a piece of Emily's hair behind her ear.
"You'll do great, Sweetheart."
"Thank you. Both of you." She turned to face the crowd once again.
"Queen Emily!" shouted the squire once more. The crowd roared again, this time twice as loud. Emily waved at them. (Ok I know she's kinda young to be Queen but I figure Rapunzel's like...40 and Eugene has to be like...um...45? So I figured its time for them to retire...so there)
*** After the ceremonies, it was time for the party. There was dancing, laughing, and of course, your general merry making. Laughter echoed across the courtyard. Emily was dancing with these two little kids that had dragged her out into the middle of the crowd, her lavender dress twirling with her. She was twirling the little tykes around when she spotted something…or should we say someone?
There, leaning against the wall, was Thomas. He was wearing a long sleeve white shirt with a black vest over it, and his trousers were also black. His normally messy black hair was fixed. As clean as he looked, he also looked absolutely bored. Emily, excused herself from the children and walked over toward the boy. Of course he noticed her coming.
"Well, if it isn't her royal highness." Not a trace of venom could be found in his voice, only a joking tone.
"Well, if it isn't the village idiot." Thomas smirked at that. It was just a joke to them really.
"So how's it feel to be queen?" Emily shrugged.
"So far I feel the same."
"What a shame. That would mean you cant kick me out of the kingdom."
The Queen's face was that of mock surprise. "Oh, you're right! Darn! That was the first thing on my to-do list!" Both just laughed at this. "You look nice, Thomas?" And he did. Especially with the way his blue eyes sparkled in the dim light cast by the setting sun.
"So do you," he replied. He looked down and notice that her dress was covering her feet. He knew what that meant. "You don't have any shoes on, do you?" Emily just laughed. Thomas knew that was a yes. He couldn't help but smile at how they had changed the last four years.
Emily playfully shoved him. As the melody changed, Emily looked out at the crowd. Thomas looked hesitantly out at the crowd then back at the new Queen in front of him. He sighed and bowed playfully. "Would you like to dance, mi lady?"
Emily rolled her eyes but played along and curtsied. "Why of course, good sir. I be ever so delighted!" Both laughed and Thomas escorted her out into the crowd.
*** Eugene and Rapunzel watched as the boy lead their daughter into the crowd.
"Do you see what I see?" Eugene had a frown on his face.
"I better not be." The former Queen rolled her eyes.
"Don't be such a killjoy. Besides, don't they remind you of some people we know?" Eugene continued to watch the two young adults. He sighed.
"Yes. Yes they do." Rapunzel smiled. "But that doesn't mean I have to like it." Rapunzel shook her head and returned her attention back to the dancing couple. She couldn't help but smile. The main reason for that being, the boy had no clue how to dance.
*** "I'm so sorry." Emily rubbed her sore feet as the two sat down against the wall, far from the crowd. "I'm sorry," he apologized again. Emily looked over at him and smiled reassuringly.
"Its not that big a deal," she stated. "Though, it wouldn't hurt to take some lessons." She was joking, of course, but Thomas missed it. He placed his head in his hands.
"How's your foot?" he asked through his hand.
"I'll live. How's your ego?"
"Dented." Emily placed a hand on his shoulder.
"Hey, seriously, its no big deal." He nodded but didn't look up at her. Emily sighed and made the boy look over at her. "Its alright, Tom. Its not like you made me lose my leg or something." And with that she kissed his cheek.
Just then, the trumpets sounded throughout the courtyard. Emily sighed and stood. "Its time for me to say goodnight to my adoring public," she said with a smirk.
Before she could leave, Thomas grabbed her hand. She turned and saw his signature crooked smile. "Don't go getting a big head now, Princess."
Emily waved her hand at this. "I wouldn't dream of it." Thomas released her and watched her walk away with a smirk on his face. He continued to sit there as Emily told everyone thank you and wished them all goodnight. Their eyes locked once before she turned and disappeared inside her castle. He couldn't help but smile.
He thought back to when he used to make her life a living hell. He used to torture her with snide comments about herself and her family. Thomas wished he could take all those words back. He almost laughed at the fact that he had listened to all the lies his parents had shoved down his throat about her family. But as he actually got to know her…his parents voices started to fade into the background.
How long had they known each other now? Nine years? And they'd been friends for four.
As the crowd cleared out, Thomas leaned his head against the wall and shut his eyes. He had it bad for her, this he was sure of. But he knew it wouldn't be long before reality caught up with him and woke him from his dream.