Thank you, God, for everything.
DISCLAIMER: I do NOT own Tangled. Thank you for reading! God bless you!
It was a quiet morning at the Snuggly Duckling. Seeing as it was morning, there was bright sunlight coming through the dusty and badly needing a cleaning windows. The crowd was not very big, due to many of the patrons working at the docks of San Fransisco. Just a couple at the bar, with Hook at the piano on the karaoke stage.
Rapunzel peeked into the bar, Pascal on her shoulder doing the same, and looked about carefully, looking for Flynn. She had just managed to escape the house after cleaning the kitchen and setting up a stew for a slow boil until supper. Her aim was to get home by four o'clock, which would leave plenty of time to look like she had been there all day before Mother got home.
Now it was ten AM, and she spotted Flynn lounging in one of the corners, hidden by a small kitchen opening and to the left of the stage. It was small, smoky, and had a light with cobwebs hanging over it. He had his legs crossed. He was leaning over a piece of paper on the table, a concentrated look on his face, his eyebrows bunched together. He reminded Rapunzel slightly of Mother when she got annoyed.
He noticed her, though, at the door, and she quickly stepped in, pulling her purse instinctively closer to her. Pascal hid in her hair as she made her way around the tables, stopping and smiling at Hook, who winked at her from the piano.
She took a rickety wooden seat across from Flynn, who let out a breath and slid his papers easily under his leather jacket, hiding them from Rapunzel. She cleared her throat and he said, "What?"
She smiled at his hipster look, and he scowled and instantly grabbed his reading glasses, which he had been using, and hid them in the hand pocket of his leather jacket. He usually only used them when he had to, and he scolded himself for thinking that just because he was in a tiny, hidden corner of the Snuggly Duckling didn't mean that he wouldn't be seen with them.
"Sorry 'bout that," he said, straightening in his seat.
Rapunzel straightened as he did, and didn't say anything about the fact that she didn't care if he wore them or not.
"Let's get down to business, shall we?" he said, and she nodded eagerly, a few stray pieces of blonde hair falling from behind her ears into her face. Pascal came from behind her neck after a few minutes of them talking. Flynn asked professional questions that Rapunzel answered with excited or short or flustered answers; none of them were satisfactory to Flynn, who sighed and chewed the inside of his mouth on more than one occasion.
Pascal scowled and sat on the table next to Rapunzel's loosely clasped hands, hands on his hips, glaring at Flynn. Rapunzel looked at him, slightly worried, on occasion.
Flynn sucked in a breath and said, "Well, let's see. You won't give me your home address, email address, phone number, cellphone number, date of birth, nothing." He looked up at Rapunzel, who bit her lip and looked very worried. "I've got your first and last name and age. You're eighteen, though?" She hardly looked older than fifteen.
"Um, about that . . ." she said, tracing the ridges of the table.
"Wait, what now?" Flynn said.
"I'm going to be eighteen on the day of the concert," Rapunzel said, gesturing with her hands and looking sheepish.
"You've got to be kidding me," Flynn said.
Rapunzel straightened at his tone and said, almost sternly, thinking frantically that he sounded too doubtful, "That's the truth, and I'll be legal the day I'm singing. So I'm fine."
Pascal came him an affirmative nod.
"Kid, this means I can only have you practicing with me for a few hours every day," he said. He shook his head and muttered to himself, "I don't think I can make this work."
Rapunzel looked to Pascal, who looked back at her with a slightly worried look. It disappeared after a moment, though, and he frowned and pounded his palm with his fist in a suggestive manner. He wanted her to go for it. She looked back to Flynn, who was looking at nails and sighing. She frowned; she needed this. He needed her singing and she needed this deal.
She straightened in her seat, "Look, Flynn Rider, I'm here because you offered me a deal-"
"That deal didn't have you being a fraud-" he said quickly.
"And you aren't?" she said incredulously. She couldn't help it, from Hook's warning to the way he was so flippant. It just seemed he was this mysterious character, this Flynn Rider, who just popped up. She knew what a lie was, and she had a feeling he was lying.
He looked up from his nails at that. "Hey, I've got a reputation as a talent scout in Hollywood. That's what you want, don't you, Blondie?" Flynn said quickly, almost defensively.
"Well, yes-" Rapunzel started.
"Then don't look a gift horse in the mouth," he said, leaning back in his chair, looking like he thought he had won the argument.
"What?" Rapunzel said.
"Nothing," he said, waving her off, making her frown harder.
She suddenly lurched forward, almost next to his face, and said, "Look here, Flynn Rider, we have a deal. I sing for you at this concert, and you have my voice. If not, I can tell the concert people that you have come up short with your job, because without me, you have an empty gig."
Flynn knew that she was definitely the singer he wanted; she had talent, a stage presence, beauty, and let's face it, a certain charm. Still, it almost sounded like the kid was threatening him, something he never thought possible coming from such a tiny teen.
"Look, Blondie," he said.
"My name is Rapunzel," she said quickly, frowning still.
"Yeah, I know-"
"Okay. Now, do we have a deal, or what you rather not have me singing?" Rapunzel said. She gave Flynn her fiercest glare; Pascal, next to her, nodded, glaring at the talent scout with a scowl.
Flynn sighed and said, "Look, I didn't want to have to do this, but you leave me no choice; here comes the Smolder." He dipped his head and came back up to look at her, his lips scrunched up, his eyes dazzling with a wee bit of innocence. Rapunzel thought he thought that it would make her comply to his rules, but not when she wanted this all to remain as secret as possible.
His seductive 'Smolder,' as he called it, didn't work, and it simply made the Pub Thugs around them break into chortles, making Flynn scowl and sit up straighter, his Smolder sliding off. Rapunzel raised an eyebrow but didn't say a word as Hook made a joke, making Flynn say to him loudly, "Hey, knock it off."
He turned back to Rapunzel and said after a moment of watching her intent face, "This is kind of an off day for me; this doesn't normally happen."
"It doesn't?" Rapunzel said, sounding still firm but curious.
"Yeah." He sighed and leaned back in his seat, saying, "Fine, I'll keep you on."
"Really?" Rapunzel said, almost incredulously. Her hand, which was holding her purse to keep it close to her on all occasions, lifted up along with her other hand in a victory whoop, hitting Flynn in the face.
"Ow!" he said loudly, cradling his nose.
She quickly drew her purse to her chest, saying, "Oops."
"You broke my Smolder," he said. He rubbed his nose and sighed, looking to her, "But luckily not my nose."
"Thank goodness. So, um, when do we begin?" Rapunzel said.
Flynn said, "Well, basically, I need you to come over everyday to this address," - he slid a card to her, which she took - "where we will work on your vocals and singing. Compose a song, write one-"
"Wait, we're writing a song?" Rapunzel said, sounding surprised. She had expected that he would come up with a song that everyone else knew, that she'd just sing that.
"Yeah. You've got your own act; we're not going to have you do a cover." He straightened and said, "How'd you come up with that song you sang yesterday, what-what was it called?"
"It was a bit of a song I've been working on," Rapunzel said quietly. She cleared her throat and said, "'When Will My Life Begin.'"
"You have the rest of it on you?" he asked, nodding to her purse.
She instinctively clutched it a bit tighter to herself, but she knew that he just wanted to know if she kept the pages in her purse. She shook her head and said, "I can bring it tomorrow, though."
"You've got a tune with it?"
"Yes, of course," Rapunzel said. Pascal nodded eagerly.
Flynn frowned to himself, more in thought, though, not in irritation. She had a song; from what he heard yesterday, she had song writing skills. 'Course, most anyone could write a song; it was having the right, catchy tune that went and lent and moved the lyrics; that was what he needed for this to become big. This could be big; The Princesses and Sebastian and the Sea were big, world-class acts, always at award shows and royal coronations with best selling albums and singles around the world.
He looked to Rapunzel, who was having some sort of one-sided conversation with Pascal. In a way, though, it was like her little chameleon was talking back to her, chirping and moving his hands around. She nodded back to the little green guy, saying quiet things like, "I know, but this could be it. I know, Mother . . ."
"Let's work on it tomorrow. Bring it with your guitar and leave the frog at home," Flynn said, standing up and moving his seat back into the table.
"Chameleon," Rapunzel said matter-of-factly.
"Nuance," Flynn said. He gave her a nod and hurried around the bar tables, leaving Rapunzel to squeal with Pascal at what had just happened. He shook his head at their weirdness as he left, wondering what he had just done and whether it was smart or not.
Rapunzel rushed to her bedroom, not even taking off her shoes now. It was only eleven o'clock, and Mother should be safely at work now. The teen entered her room, which smelled like spring, the open window scenting the room, and darted to her dresser.
Rummaging through one of the drawers, she pulled up a piece of paper. It was yellow, with words sprawled across it in pink pen.
She let out an excited breath and looked to Pascal, who sat on her shoulder, and gulped.
"I hope this works," she said. She then said, "Oops!" and grabbed her pink pen from her bedside table. Instantly, the last few lines were crossed out, allowing Rapunzel to let out a long breath.
"That's better," she whispered. Those lines had the intention to never be shown to anyone. Especially Flynn Rider.
Pascal could only nod.
Flynn looked at the yellow piece of paper in his hand, a hand at his forehead, the other wrinkling the yellow corners. He said the words under his breath, raised an eyebrow at the scribbles on the bottom of the paper, and finally looked up to Rapunzel, who was sitting on a bar stool in their vast practice room, a lightly colored, wooden floored room with mirrors and lights overhead. They were the only two in the room. Well, the only two humans. The frog was glaring at Flynn from where he was standing against one of the stool's legs, crossing his arms.
"This it?" he said.
"That's all," Rapunzel said, shrugging sheepishly. She had her hair in a braid once more, a hairband in her hair today, though. It made to show more of her face and large green eyes. She looked pleased, and that was probably because Mother had left for work that morning without a catch.
"Can you play the tune?" Flynn asked.
Rapunzel nodded and quickly found her spots on the guitar strings. Gently, strongly, she began to pluck a tune, bobbing her head to the beat.
It was a gentle guitar tune, and while Rapunzel looked pleased with herself, Flynn instantly shook his head and walking over to her, said, "No, no, no, no, no."
"What?" she said, surprised, stopping her playing.
"Look, I know it has a basic guitar tune, but you need backup, Blondie. A piano, a drummer, a-a something, a tambourine, heck, even an accordion. It's lacking; this isn't going to be some acoustic song. It needs to have depth; it needs to pop." He snapped his fingers in emphasis.
"I don't have any of those," Rapunzel said, straightening, frowning.
Flynn flashed her a smirk. "And that's why I, talent scout numero uno, is going to get musicians."
Rapunzel sighed and Flynn turned to his cellphone, and that was when Pascal ran up the leg of the bar stool and caught Rapunzel's attention.
"What is it, Pascal?" she asked. Pascal curled his fingers into a hook, wore a funny sneer, and made his paws go slightly up and down.
Rapunzel caught on quickly and said, grinning, "Brilliant idea, Pascal." She looked up and called to Flynn, "Hey," capturing his attention away from his cellphone to turn to her.
"What? I've got someone on the phone, Blondie-"
Rapunzel smiled and said, "I have an idea."
"Of who we should have playing the instruments."
Pascal smirked and Rapunzel high-fived him at the stricken look on Flynn's face.
Thanks for reading! God bless you!