"You sure you don't want any of this, blondie?" He looks around the tower room, where she spent eighteen long years painting over lies and betrayals with pastel pinks and yellows. Painting over the hurt into a child's rendition of home.

She doesn't answer at first, fingering the short brown locks that had replaced golden silk. Looking out the window and seeing a pile of dust where grass and flowers refuse to grow and the animals fear to tread.

Broken mirror cracks and splinters beneath the soles of her shoes.

She always wears shoes on the days she's sad. As if she doesn't want anything to touch the open wounds left behind.

"No. Nothing. Burn it to the ground."

Burn the white seashells and the hazelnut soup, the guitar and the puppets. Melt the candles into the brick foundation and turn all the deceit into a column of smoke. She doesn't need any of it.

His hand is warm against her shoulder. Consoling. Comforting. She knows he'd burn it down for her. He'd burn down the whole world- - strongly advise against it, yes, but burn it all the same- - if only to see her smile to come out from hiding.

She buries herself in his hold and lets his arms anchor her to the ground. "You don't need this, Rapunzel. Let's just go home, alright?"

Home is love, and love is Eugene. She feels it in his embrace, smells it in the spicy, earthy scent of his skin. The fluttering of her heart, like a bird's wings. He pulls away slightly, tucking a brown strand behind her ear. The better to see her face.

Mother Gothel had only ever pulled it in front, a curtain to hide the unwanted.

"Come on." She nods and he takes her hand in his and she can feel the rough calluses and agile fingers as he leads her from the tower. "I love you." He tells her.

"I love you too."

[I love you more

and I love you most.]

I absolutely adore Tangled and suddenly felt inspired for this. Please review.