A Day in the Kingdom
It's been a long night. But finally the sun began to rise on a new day. Jack stretched his legs from stiffness as the light reaches the top of the trees. He looked around to see everyone is sleeping soundly. He takes the opportunity to fly to the sky, and to take a look at what's ahead. The last thing he wants is for someone (aka Flynn) to steer everyone off course. He notions to Baby tooth his plan, and she reluctantly agrees to let him fly around above them.
He twirls the wind to let him fly on its current. He had to be careful not to wake anyone up. But soon, he was high above, looking at the area around him. There were a lot of trees everywhere. But then, he saw that near their camp, is a kingdom with the biggest castle he's ever seen. The whole kingdom was on an island in the sea, with a beautiful castle on top of a mountain of wooden houses. The castle's spires were as high as the sky, with flags blowing in the wind. The sea looked almost as clear as crystal, and just as sparkling. Jack couldn't help but admire the view. It seems like a perfect kingdom to hold a perfect birthday for Rapunzel.
Suddenly, Baby Tooth came to him, in a panic. She started talking really fast, too fast for him to understand.
"Whoa, whoa, slow down," he said gently. "What's going on?"
She pulled his shirt to get him to follow her. He rolled his eyes and flew back down to ground level. That's when he saw someone that almost made him laugh.
Just over Flynn, is a really wet, pissed off horse. Jack recognizes it as the one with the guards.
"Are you kidding me?" Jack said in disbelief. "This horse just doesn't quite."
He can't believe that this horse would risk life and limb, just to get Flynn. Jack knows he better help Flynn out, but how if Flynn can't see him. He can't exactly freeze the horse either. Only one other option, wake the others.
But before he could, the wet drips on the horse fall onto Flynn's face, waking him up.
Flynn, surprising, was cool with the whole thing. "Well I hope your here to apologize." He said before drifting back to sleep.
Jack slapped his forehead at Flynn's stupidity.
Maximus wasted no time; he grabbed Flynn by the boot, and started to drag him towards the kingdom, and prison. Flynn screamed like a little girl as he tries desperately to escape from the mad horse. Everyone woke up with a start, upon hearing the scream.
"No,no,no,no, put me down!" Flynn cried in desperation. He tried to claw at anything to slow the horse down. But nothing was working.
When everyone else figured out what's happening, they rushed in to help. Merida and Rapunzel grabbed an arm, and try to pull Flynn away from Maximus. But the horse had a good grip on his boot, and will not give up so easily. It became a big game of tug of war, with Flynn as the rope.
"Give, us, him!" Rapunzel orders as she pulls with all her might. But the horse kept trying to pull the thief away.
Hiccup stood where his is for a moment, trying to asset the situation. He then got an idea, instead of going to where the girls are, he went over to boot Maximus is holding. Using some quick finger work, he mange to make the boot looser. That freed Flynn from the boot, and Maximus. The girls fell backward, pulling Flynn to their side, while Maximus landed on his rear, with the boot still in his mouth.
Realizing he lost the thief, again, Maximus was really determined to get him, no matter what. Anger filled the horse's eyes as he began to charge at group. Hiccup tires to block the horse, using any techniques he learn from toothless. But unfortunately, horses are not dragons. Maximus ran right pass him, and hit Hiccup with the side of his body, making the boy fall to the ground.
Flynn quickly got back on his feet, and scramble to get away. There was a huge boulder in his path, and be cling onto it for dear life. Merida raced to the charging horse saying, "don't worry, I have a horse at home. I know how to handle them."
She stopped in front of the horse and angry shouts at him. "You need to stop it right now!" She commanded. "Don't make me use my arrows!"
But Maximus didn't hear her, instead, he charged passed her, and pushed her away with the side of his body. Merida fell on her butt, very upset.
Rapunzel realized it was her turn to sooth the horse, but how? She's never been around one before. But she knew Flynn was counting on her, by his scared face. The least she can do is try. So she got up of the floor, puts herself in between Flynn and the horse, and puts her arms out.
"Whoa,whoa,whoa," she said sweetly. "Easy boy, easy. Settle down. Easy boy."
Maximus stopped charging, and tries to get around Rapunzel and get Flynn, but her arms block him in every turn. Growing impatient, he looked down at her, trying to get her to move. But he saw something in her eyes, generosity and understanding.
"Easy," she whispered with care.
Maximus became surprised at this girl, and that she can calm him down with a few gestures and kind words. But he wasn't as surprised as everyone else was. Hiccup, smiled that the horse finally stopped running a rampage, but Merida was shocked on how Rapunzel could tame a wild horse like that. Jack, Pascal and Baby tooth were all amazed and impressed by Rapunzel, while Flynn was still frightened from his life.
Rapunzel felt like she's getting on the good foot with the horse, maybe he'll listen to her. "That's it," she said with a sweet voice. "Now sit."
Maximus looked at her in surprise. 'Did she ask me to sit?' He thought.
"Sit,' she repeated. Not wanting to upset her, he sat on his rear.
"What?" Merida said confused at what she's seeing. Her horse never behaved like that.
Rapunzel smiles with the horse listing to her, but she notices that the boot is still in its mouth. "Now drop the boot," she commanded.
Maximus's ears perk at what she just asked.
"Drop it," she repeats with force.
He really didn't want to let it go, it's been the closest thing he got to catch the criminal. But she is so sweet and nice, how can he refuse. So he opened his mouth, and let the boot drop the ground.
"Oh, you're such a good boy," Rapunzel said rubbing his muzzle and petting his head. It made Maximus so happy and relaxes a bit; he began to wag his tail like a dog.
"You've got to be kidding me," Merida said standing up.
"Just when you think you've seen everything," Jacks nods in agreement.
They continue to watch as Rapunzel gently pets the horse. "You all tired from chasing the bad man all over the place," she said with a pouty face and voice.
Maximus nods his head in pity.
"Excuse me?!" Flynn said taking offence in that comment.
Rapunzel leans closer to the horse, giving him a big, loving hug. "Nobody appreciates you, do they?"
He shakes his head with sadness. He's been helping guards chase the worst of crime, and they don't even offer an apple as thanks.
"Oh come on!" Flynn said not believing what he's seeing. "He's a bad horse."
"Oh he's nothing but a big sweetheart," Rapunzel told Flynn. Maximus neighs with delight at Rapunzel's gentle touch.
"Isn't that right..." Rapunzel looks at a crest on his chest for his name, "...Maximus?"
Maximus began liking this girl more and more. She seems to be the only one who really gets him, and has been nice to him.
"You've got to be kidding me," Flynn said rolling his eyes and crossing his arms.
Maximus glares at him, before Rapunzel moves his head to her direction.
"Look," she said as sweet as she can. "Today is kind of the biggest day of my life, and...the thing is...I need you not to get him arrested."
Maximus grunts angry at the thought of letting Flynn go that easy.
"Just for 24 hours, and then you can chase each other's content, okay?" Rapunzel asks with a sweet smile.
Flynn didn't like this form of truce as Maximus. They've been playing this game of cat and mouse for a while. But it's for Rapunzel, and Flynn did promise her to take her to the kingdom. As much as it pains him to agree to this partnership, it will make Rapunzel happy. So he extends a hand to call the truce. But Maximus was not please at all. He turned away in disgust at the thought of working with a criminal.
Rapunzel leans in to the horse, and gently whispers to him, "and it's also my birthday. Just to let you know."
Maximus thought about that, he's only met her for a few minutes, and she's been the nicest person he's ever met. Surely he can't ruin her birthday. He reluctantly puts his hoof in Flynn's hand, agreeing to the truce. The girl can have her day, as long as Maximus keeps an eye on Flynn.
The others just continued to watch how Rapunzel turned the whole situation around just by being kind. Some of them aren't sure about an alliance with a horse that almost drowned them, but it was too late to object.
Everyone turned to the sound of bells in the distance. As everyone began together their stuff and walk in that direction, Maximus took the opportunity and hoofed Flynn in the gut.
"Oof!" He said in pain while clutching his gut.
Maximus just smiles at the pain.
When everyone was ready, and when Flynn can walk again, they began to make their way towards the kingdom. When they got to the bridge, they took a moment and marvel at it. It was so beautiful in the daylight and more magnificent then anything they've ever seen. Merida was so used to a stone castle and green forestry around her, she's never known anything like a beautiful castle could exist. Hiccup grew up with a small village on an island, and never seen anything this fancy before. But the most excited was Rapunzel. This more than she could ever dream. Not only is she going to be in a place full of fun and excitement, she's going to live her dream about seeing the lights.
"Come on," Jack said with a smile as he points in the direction of the kingdom. "Let's get the show on the road."
Everyone walked across the bridge, and was soon at the palace gates. As they grew closer, Flynn notices there were guards waiting. He became worried; he can't afford to get caught now. The others grew a little nervous too, after their last encounter with the guards.
"What do we do?" Merida whispers.
"Just act normal, and smile," Hiccup said anxious.
Maximus knew the kids might get by the guards, but Flynn is a wanted man. As much as he wants Flynn to get captured and thrown in jail, he knew he had to keep his deal with Rapunzel. So he saw a man with a cart full of flags nearby.
"Celebration flags!" He called out in glee. "Get your celebration flags here! Symbol of the royal family, for a good price!"
As the others kindly refused, Maximus kicked the cart, making two baskets full of flags fly into the sky, and land in Flynn's arms. He carefully adjusts his new balance, with some of the flags covering his hair and face. Some of the flags fell on the floor, making Hiccup picking them up and carrying them.
They soon made it to the gates, with the guards stopping them.
"Hold it!" One of them said with authority. "State your business."
"We are here to see the lanterns," Rapunzel answered sweetly.
The guards carefully looked at the companions she's traveling with, but then also noticed her long hair.
"She's growing it out," Merida said looking at them.
They looked at Merida, noticing her arrows. "You carry weapons."
"Yes...well..." Merida said pushing her arrows out of their view. "We've travel a long way, and I needed them in case we ran into a bear."
They all looked at the gang again, and see Flynn with the flags. "Who's in there?" They asked.
The girls and Flynn panicked a bit, but Hiccup came up to the guards. "He's my uncle, good guy really. He offered to carry a lot of our stuff so we can enjoy the celebration." He said with a sweet smile.
One of the guards walked a little closer to Flynn, but all he can see under the flags was one of his eyes, his nose and mouth. Maximus came up and gestured that the man is ok.
"Well, if the royal horse says their ok, and I guess it's safe to let them in." The guard said back to his post.
"Are you sure?" The other asked.
"Of course," the guard nods as he pushes the door open to let everyone in.
"Thank you," Rapunzel curtsy as she and everyone walked in.
They were about in the clear when a guard said, "Hold it!"
Everyone freezes as they turned to face the guard holding a flag.
"You dropped this," he said putting on top of the pile Flynn is carrying.
"Thank you," he said in a high pitch voice. The guards then left the group and assumed their position.
As soon as they were in the clear, everyone let out a huge sigh of relief.
"That was a close one," Rapunzel said in gratitude.
"Uncle?" Flynn questioned looking at Hiccup while dropping the cargo. "Out of everything, uncle?!"
"You're welcome by the way," Hiccup said sarcastically.
Rapunzel turned her head away from the group, and became amazed at what she's seeing and living. All around her were people smiling and walking around. The smell of food was everywhere and the stones on the road were cool under her feet. The village street was bustling, all decorated with flags and banners as far as the eye can see. Seeing all of this for the first time in her life, it felt like a dream Rapunzel didn't want to wake up from.
As she looked, Jack flew by and gave her one of the flags Flynn carried.
"What's this?" She asked with a smile.
"Think of it as a souvenir," he said, "or a birthday present."
She smiles at him and looks at the flag. 'This is the symbol of the royal family,' she thought, 'it's a beautiful sun.' But the a she looked at it closer, feeling its somehow familiar to her, but doesn't know why.
"Come on." Rapunzel turned to see Merida hooking her arm with her own. "Let's go."
Rapunzel nods as she sees the people she cares about walking with her. But as they take their first couple of steps, they've noticed two things. One, Jack kept fazing though people like air, so it was clear that no one in the kingdom can see him. They did feel sorry for him, but he kept telling them that he's used to it, and kinda expect that that was going to happen. The second was Rapunzel; she kept feeling her hair being tugged. It was being dragged on the ground, and people were stepping on it. It was a new experience for her, and also a big problem. Going through town with about 70 feet of hair was almost impossible. Flynn gathers it all in his arms and joins the group.
"I know you can't cut it blondie," he said, "but you've got to do something with it."
"But what?" Rapunzel's asks.
Everyone tries to think of something, but they never did anything with their hair. Hiccup has too short of hair to do anything big, and Merida never cared about her hair.
But then Merida notices a bunch of little girls braiding their hair. She gave a loud whistle to get their attention. It worked; their faces lite up and their eyes became wide at seeing Rapunzel's hair. They all ran to the group with excitement.
"Excuse me," Merida said leaning down to see their faces. "Could you be so kind as to help my friend with her hair?"
They jump in excitement and screamed with glee.
"I'm guessing that's a yes," Hiccup said with a smile.
Rapunzel kneeled down, as Flynn lays her hair down on the road as straight as he can. The girls first made a wave in the front to get the hair out of Rapunzel's face, and then they began to make a braid, jump rope style. As they were going, Jack notices a lot of cut flowers at a florist shop nearby. So he summoned a bust of wind to blow some flowers in the girl's direction.
"What are you doing?" Hiccup asked Jack.
"Just thought maybe those would look nice in her hair," Jack said with a smile.
But Hiccup knew Jack can't suggest that to the girls, so he'd have to do it. He gathers a lot of the flowers and presented them to the girls. "Don't you think these would look nice in her hair?" He asked with a smile.
The girls smile and agreed, and start putting flowers in certain areas of the braid. One little girl looked at Hiccup, with smile on her face. He became a little nervous about what she was thinking off.
Meanwhile, near a fountain, Merida, Maximus and Flynn were waiting for the others. But Flynn was nervous, there were guards everywhere. What if he got caught? But Maximus seemed to have is back. Everything a guard came; he would hide Flynn behind him. That made Flynn rethink the whole 'bad horse' comment. Could it be that Maximus does care?
He didn't have time to think when Rapunzel, Jack and Hiccup came back to the group. The little girls really did and great job braiding the hair. It barely touched the floor and it had beautiful flowers in it. Flynn couldn't help but seeing Rapunzel in a new light. Not as a naive little girl, but as a beautiful young woman.
Merida on the other hand, couldn't help but giggle at Hiccup's hair. The little girl made him sit down with her, and let her brain two locks of his hair in the back.
"What," he said poking at them, "this is the newest fashion craze."
Everyone couldn't help but laugh at this point, much to Hiccup's annoyance. After that, everyone started walking through this colourful festival. Rapunzel couldn't help but to stop and look through every shop's windows. She looked through book stores that hold more books then her shelf, dress stores that had beautiful outfits that she wanted to try on, and gift stores that had a lot of interesting things in there. She then remembers her mission to find her stone, and stop Pitch. But so far, no such luck in finding it.
'It would be a lot easier if Emily told us what our stones actually looks it,' Rapunzel thought.
Hiccup, Merida and Jack also looked for her stone, but didn't have a clue what they're looking for.
But everyone did stop a few times to have some fun. They had a painting contest that both Rapunzel and Hiccup entered. Rapunzel easily won by a beautiful painting of the royal symbol with some purple floral designs, while Hiccup came in third with a shaded outline of the castle, that looked really realistic.
Merida also entered a competition. She was in a fighting tournament with a lot of men, who said they would go easy because she's a girl. Bad call, because she defeated everyone and won the championship. Some of the men asked her if she was single, and ended up getting their arms twisted.
Flynn had some fun too, taking everyone to all of the venders and ducking the guards. But he took some time to show Rapunzel anything that she never knew, from a few books of the world, to crafts she's never tried in her tower. His favorite is when he took the group to show them where the lanterns are being made. Rapunzel wowed at watching the artist practised his craft, from making the frames, to the different candles that go in. She always immediately inspired to make one at home. Flynn looked at her, not knowing why, but he likes it when she smiles.
Half way through the day, everyone was starting to get hungry. Thanks to all the money they won from the competitions, they've have enough for something special. But the trouble was, they don't know where to get food. They can't ask Flynn since the last time he suggested the place, it nearly killed them.
'Maybe I can use my gift from Emily,' Rapunzel thought as she pulled her necklace out. Jack saw her holding it and flew to her.
"Show us where to get food," Rapunzel ordered it, but it wasn't working. She tried shaking the necklace to get it to respond.
"You have to be pacific," Jack said with baby tooth over his shoulder. "Try asking it to find a bakery, they always have good food."
"Alright," she said shrugging her shoulders. "Lead us to the bakery." The necklace reacts to her command, by making a light arrow in the pendent and pointing north. She tells the group that she saw a bakery around and would like to try it, as an excuse for not explaining her necklace to Flynn. The group followed her for about a block to see a nice bakery. As everyone, except for Maximus, walked in, the smell of freshly baked bread filled they're senses. The baker seemed very humble and nice. He got for them a nice loaf of bread, a dozen small puffs with stringed sugar on top, some cinnamon buns with a glaze, some spare apples for Maximus, and a very sweet vanilla cupcake with pink frosting for Rapunzel's birthday. Rapunzel quickly took a bite of the cake; she never had anything so delicious. She has to be sure to find the recipe some time.
As they all sat down to eat, everyone sang their own birthday song for Rapunzel. While Jack and Flynn quickly sang today's birthday song, Merida sang her in a Scottish language that she had to repeat in English, and Hiccup sang his version with some questionable choices words. Jack wondered how 'didn't have a sword in the gut,' or 'lucky you're not dead,' relates to having a good birthday. Hiccup explained that where he's from, everything is killed or be killed. Rapunzel just thanked him for the song and continued eating.
Once everyone was done, they continued to look around and enjoy the day. As they walked through the town's square, Rapunzel stopped to look at a mosaic mural. It was a woman in beautiful gown, with a tall man in magnificent clothes, holding a baby with golden hair and blue eyes. There were a lot of flowers underneath the mural, almost like a funeral. She stared carefully at the picture, feeling something weird about it. Like a dream she longed forgotten.
Rapunzel turned around to see a mother with her child holding flowers. Rapunzel got out of their way as they walk to the mural.
"Thank you," the mother said to Rapunzel as she and her daughter kneel down. The little girl put down the flowers near the mural, and then turned to her mother.
"Do you think she'll ever come back?" She asks.
"I hope so," her mother answers as she and her daughter stand.
It was clear to Rapunzel this picture means a lot to these people, but why? "Excuse me," she asks the mother. "I'm kinda new here, so what's the painting about?"
"That's the royal family my dear," the mother said with a sweet smile. "And the baby is the lost princess."
"The lost princess?" Rapunzel repeats.
"She disappeared almost eighteen years ago today," the mother continued. "So this evening we'll send up the lanterns in hope that she'll come back."
The mother got dragged away by the child who wanted to play with the other kids.
"Have a good day," the mother called out to Rapunzel.
"You too," Rapunzel waved back. She then looked at the mural again, still wondering what the feeling is in her heart. She looked again at the queen, and it was almost like looking in the mirror.
She quickly turned around hearing the town caller in the square.
"Let the festival dance begin!"
The crowd cheered as a nearby band started to play. The crowd of people made a ring around the square to make a dance floor. Only a couple of people actually went in, and only half danced to the music. Rapunzel ran in and began to really move with the music, turning her dress and swaying her hair. Everyone was entranced by how the woman danced. She even went to some people and pulls them in to the face floor.
Merida, Jack, Hiccup, Flynn and Maximus made their way through the crowd and watch as Rapunzel dance with people. She signals them to join her on the dance floor. Hiccup didn't want to, but was grabbed by another woman to dance with her. Flynn tried to back away, but Maximus whacked him with his side, and Flynn was on the dance floor with another woman. Jack couldn't be seen by anyone, so there was no point of him going out there, but Merida didn't want to be left out. So she stepped onto the dance floor, and did a small highland dance in the middle. Jack smiled at the fact his friends were having a good time, but did feel a little sad he can't be in there with them. Baby tooth offered to be his partner for a dance, but it would be difficult due to their sizes. So Jack used his fingers as his dance and played with Baby tooth.
Meanwhile on the dance floor, everyone was having a great time. The crowd clapped along with the music and the excitements of each couple. Dancing made everyone feel either free or awkward. Hiccup didn't know how to dance the way these people do and neither did Merida, so they decided to be awkward together, and did their own thing in a corner. Rapunzel and Flynn somehow made their way to each other, and start having fun dancing together. Flynn kept twirling and guiding her to the music. They didn't need to speak to know the next move; they trusted each other and did the moves in perfect sync.
When the music finished, Rapunzel and Flynn looked at each other, lost in each other's eyes. They felt something there, something magical.
"It's time!" The town caller cried out. Everyone cheered and begin to leave the square. Merida, Hiccup, Maximus and Jack made their way to Rapunzel and Flynn.
"What's going on?" Hiccup asked.
Flynn took Rapunzel's hand leads them in the opposite direction of the crowd. "It's time for Rapunzel's dream to come true."
Flynn led everyone to the harbour as the sun began to set. He managed to get a small boat waiting for them at the dock.
"What's all this?" Rapunzel asked him.
He just gently puts his hands on her shoulders. "Best day of your life," he said with a smile. "I figured you deserve a decent seat."
He then led Rapunzel to one of the boats, but she stops him. "Hang on," she said. "I don't think we can fit in one boat."
"That's why, we have two." He then points to a similar boat off the distance. "Blondie and I will get in one, princess, imaginary friend and Viking will get in the other."
"Are you kidding me," Merida said outraged. "That's-"
"Whoa! Slow down," Hiccup said holding her arms firm. "Lets do this for Rapunzel. After all, it is her birthday."
"Yeah," Rapunzel said a little pleading "Please." She walked to Merida and whisper to her. "Let me do this, I can handle myself." As she pulls away she eyes Jack. She is sure that he will keep an eye, in case something goes wrong.
As the girls are together, Flynn pulls Hiccup aside and walks him in the direction of the other boat.
"What are you-?" Hiccup asks him.
"I just need a little bit of advice," Flynn said. As they walk, Jack flew close by to listen to their conversation.
"Advice...from me?" Hiccup said stunned. No one has ever really asked his opinion before.
"Mostly because you're the only guy here," Flynn explained. Jack made a mean face to Flynn at that comment.
Hiccup gathers any wisdom he can to hopefully answer Flynn. "So, what is it?"
Flynn stopped and looked away to make sure the girls won't hear. "Is just," he said to Hiccup, "I don't know. I've been getting this...feeling every time I see Rapunzel smile. I know nothing so big about that, but I...I feel happy, whenever she's happy and...and..."
Hiccup quickly connected the dots to what Flynn was trying to say. "You like her, don't you?" Hiccup said raising an eyebrow. "Not like as a friend, but like her like her."
Flynn made a face that said he didn't, by his eyes say the opposite.
"I'm not the best guy for advice about girls," Hiccup admits, "the only girl I sort of had a crush on only thinks of herself." He looked back, thinking about Astrid as his life back home. "The only thing I can say is be yourself, and you'll be fine."
"You mean the dashingly handsome thief everyone knows and often doesn't like?" Flynn said in confusion.
"No," hiccup said shaking his head. "Not you as Flynn Rider, but you as Eugene Fitzherbert."
Flynn thought long and hard about that, all the years he been known as Flynn Rider, and put Eugene in the long forgotten past. But now, this kid wants him to be that name again for Rapunzel.
Hiccup smile, sure that Flynn will do the right thing. He then went down to his boat, and sat there waiting for Merida.
Meanwhile, Merida took the satchel off her back. "Are you sure?" She whispers.
Rapunzel nods as she takes the satchel, "positive."
"Just be careful," Merida said with a hand over her shoulder, "and yell if you need help."
Rapunzel nods and quickly went to her boat with Pascal on her shoulder. She saw Flynn coming back and quickly hides the satchel under her seat. She then tries to bring back her joyful disposition and waits for him.
As Flynn approaches the boat, Merida pasted him with two fingers switching between her eyes and his. It was a clear 'I'll be watching you,' sign. She then got into the boat with Hiccup and waited to start rowing with the other boat. But before Flynn sat in his boat, he dropped a bag in front of Maximus.
"For you Max," he said patting his head. Flynn the quickly went to the boat, and began to row. When he did, Merida and Hiccup took an oar each, and row right behind him.
Maximus looked a little confused by this act, and opened the bag. Inside was a whole bushel of apples. He gave Flynn a mean look, think he stole those apples.
"What?" Flynn said being innocent. "I didn't steal them." Flynn then leaned to Rapunzel and whispers, "most of them." She giggled at his latest deed.
Maximus was still confused. He did nothing but chase Flynn around to bring him to justice, and now that same thief gave him more reward than any of the guards. Maybe he was wrong about Flynn? Maybe he's a nice guy after all? He quickly took an apple and quietly thanked the thief.
Meanwhile out on the water, everyone stopped right in the middle of the water. They looked behind at the docks, and saw the whole kingdom shine as the sun was setting.
"It's amazing," Rapunzel said.
Flynn put the oars into the boat and gathered any of the baked treats left over from lunch. He got out half a loaf of bread and offers it to Rapunzel. "Now we wait," he said taking a bite of bread himself.
At the same time, Merida and Hiccup put their oars into the boat, and began eating with their half of the bread. Jack and Baby tooth flew overhead, almost completely bored.
"So," Hiccup said with his mouth full of food. "What do you think it's going to be like?"
"I don't know," Merida answers while eyeing the other boat. "I just hope Rapunzel likes it."
Hiccup swallows his food and looks up at Jack, "it's too bad we couldn't find her stone."
"Wish Emily could've given us a more helpful hint in finding them," Jack said playing with a snow flake he created.
"What did she say?" Hiccup said trying to remember what Emily said. "Our stones will be where our hearts belongs. I guess Rapunzel's isn't here."
Merida sighs as she looks over the boat into the water. "I can't believe we went through this for nothing." She said trying to hold back any frustration she has.
"I wouldn't say for nothing," Hiccup said with a smile. "I got to know everyone a bit better, and I got to know a bit more of myself too." After he said that, he quickly punched Merida in the arm.
"Ow," she said rubbing it. She was about to yell at him, but then stops and thinks. He's begging to demonstrate what she's been teaching him.
She saw his face; he was clearly thinking he made a bad move. But she smiles at him. "you did good Hiccup," she said, "looks my teachings are working."
Hiccup changed from being scared to being happy. "You really are a good teacher," he said. He then remembered that he called her an awful teacher before. "I'm sorry by the way, for thinking you were wrong and...and..."
"I know what you mean," she said grabbing another piece of bread. She looked at it with a thought. All this time she's been calling Hiccup useless and a nuisance ever since they've met. But now that she got to really know him, he was anything but useless. It would be difficult for her to say the next bit, but she knows she has too. "And I'm sorry for calling you useless and berating you and...you know, everything else."
Hiccup was touched by that apology. So far, no one in his life has ever apologized to him for being cruel and mean, she was the first.
"Thank you," was all he could say to her, and as he smiles at her, she smiles back.
"Get a room you two!"
Both look up to see Jack smiling, while Baby tooth just awe at the moment. Hiccup and Merida immediately shuffled back and continue eating their bread. But Merida couldn't stop looking at Hiccup's two braids.
"Ok," she said, "I can't take you seriously with those things in your hair."
Hiccup smiles as show them off a bit. "Trust me, in the next five years, everyone will be wearing them."
"Maybe in your time, not mine." She said as she finished her bread.
Everyone was finished eating when the moon was set in the sky. Rapunzel looked over the kingdom, leaning on the rim of the boat, waiting for the lights to appear. It felt strange this time though. All her life, she's seen them from her window, always wanting to be there when they take off. But now she is here, and doesn't know what to do, or how to feel.
"You excited?" Flynn asks putting an arm around her shoulders.
"Actually, I'm terrified." She answers looking down in the water.
"Why?" He asks with Pascal trying to comfort Rapunzel.
Rapunzel sighs as she looks up into the night sky. "It's just...I've been sitting at my window for eighteen years, looking out and dreaming about this place might look like, what I might feel when those lanterns rise tonight. What if it's not everything I dreamed it will be?"
Flynn didn't know how to fully answer that. The best he can do is give her an answer that can reassure her. "If will be," he said.
Then Rapunzel became overwhelmed with something, something she never thought of before. After all these years, the dream she held on to will end, what then? She turned to Flynn, hoping he had an answer for her. "What if it is? What do I do then?"
He looked down and saw his reflection, trying to find a good answer. But then he thought about what Hiccup said, about being himself. All his life, he wanted to be like Flynnigan Rider, but he certainly hasn't live up to that dream. So maybe it was time to stop being that man, and be Eugene Fitzherbert, and have a new dream. And maybe Rapunzel could live a new dream too.
"I guess that's the best part," he said with a smile. "You get to go and find a new dream."
Rapunzel gazed at the castle, thinking about what he just said. A new dream sounds like a wonderful but scary thought. Surely her mother wouldn't approve. Then again, she never approved of anything Rapunzel wanted to do. She just wanted Rapunzel to stay in her tower forever, and be mommy's perfect little girl. Rapunzel still loves her mom, but Merida was right about one thing, she can't have her mom control her like that. She needs to say something to her, but she'll save it for when she goes back. In the meantime, she just sits and waits for the lights.
On the other boat, Hiccup pulled out the last braid out of his hair, and got it back to normal. He then checked his ring to see if Toothless is still ok. It seems fine, the figure glowed green, but Hiccup was still worried. It must've been about three days since he's seen Toothless, he must be worried sick by now. And what of his father? Gobber? Or the rest of the tribe? Did they miss him? Or are they holding a celebration because he's gone? As much as Hiccup doesn't want to think like that, chances are they are having a good time.
"Still worried about your friend?" Merida asks him.
"Yeah," Hiccup sighed. He puts his hand down so he can talk to Merida. "Do you have any friends you worry about?"
"Not really," she answers. "Being royal never really gives you time to make friends."
"You mean with all those lessons and traditions?" Jack asked her.
Merida nods. "And when I do go into the kingdom, they treat me like a princess, like they should bow at my feet and do whatever I say. Not really the way to make friends I guess."
"Maybe that's why you judged us so harshly," Hiccup said.
"What do you mean?"
"Well," he said, trying to make this sound right. "You've never really been around real people, so you had high expectations with them. Just like what your mom does to you. That's why you never gave Rapunzel and me a real chance in the beginning. You didn't know another way to communicate with us, and be friends with us."
Merida thought long and hard at what he just said. Some parts of it do run true, but surely she wasn't that bad, was she? Maybe because her mom forced her to act like a princess, she never had any true friends. But still, for acting the way she did, it was partly her fault too.
"Maybe you're right," she said looking in the water and spying her reflection. "Maybe that's one of the reasons I wanted to run away. Not just so I can get away from tradition and my mother, but to change my fate, and to do things I've never done before, like making friends. Maybe, even have a new life."
"You and me both," Hiccup muttered.
Merida heard him and wants to know more about that. "What do mean?" She asked while turning to face him.
Hiccup sigh as he looked at her. "Well," he said, "before North found me, I was on my way to Toothless, so we could run away from home."
"Wait," Merida said as if she didn't hear him correctly. "You were running away from home too?"
"Yeah," he said. "I wanted to run away from home, because it didn't really feel like home to me. Everyone expecting you to be something you're not, and hating you because you're different. I was running away from all that. Plus the rules, tradition and..."
"Expectations," Merida finished. She looked at him, thinking that he's been going through the same thing she is, having to be someone she's not. Both of them looked in silence for a bit. They seemed so different, yet they have more similarities then they thought. They wondered how that was possible, to be so alike, yet so different. But, Hiccup didn't mind the moment; after all he's friends with a dragon. Merida wasn't too sure how to take this though; she never knew anyone could be like her, especially a Viking like Hiccup. But it's happened, and she liked it.
Jack continued to fly overhead, and saw a glow coming from the kingdom. "Hey guys!" He called out; breaking the trance Hiccup and Merida were in. "I think it's time!"
Merida and Hiccup looked out over the kingdom, and saw the glow getting brighter and brighter. Soon, a lantern made its way to the sky, followed by a thousand more. The sky began to be covered with lanterns.
"Wow!" Jack gasped at seeing this. After 300 years of living on this earth, he's never seen anything so beautiful.
Hiccup and Merida were awestruck by the view, too much to let any words out. They were amazed and happy at the beauty the kingdom gave to the sky.
"I can see why Rapunzel wanted to come here," Merida said still looking at the sky happy.
"Me too," Hiccup agreed.
Meanwhile on the other boat, Rapunzel was tossing one of her flowers in the water when she saw the reflection of the lanterns. She immediately looked up to see thousands of them in the night sky. Wanting a closer look, she ran along the side of the boat, nearing tipping it over.
As she looked up at the lanterns, the sea was full of their reflections. Soon, it was like sailing on a sea of stars.
'Eugene was right,' Rapunzel thought. 'It is better than I could've dreamed.'
She continues to look at the lanterns, a new thought turned into a beautiful melody.
"All those days," she sang, "watching from the windows
All those years outside looking in
All that time never even knowing
Just how blind I've been"
She waves her hands to the sky, and had a on the biggest smile of her life.
"Now I'm here, blinking in the starlight
Now I'm here, suddenly I see
Standing here, it's all so clear
I'm where I'm meant to be
And at last I see the light
And it's like the fog has lifted
And at last I see the light
And it's like the sky is new"
She saw a lantern making its way to Rapunzel, slowly sinking towards the water. She quickly catches it, and helped it join the others in the sky.
"And it's warm and real and bright
And the world has somehow shifted"
She then looked at Flynn, holding two lanterns with a smile. He must've hidden them before everyone got on. This is the sweetest thing he's ever done; it was a perfect birthday present, making her become part of her dream.
"All at once everything looks different
Now that I see you" she sang as she sits back down.
The people in the other boat couldn't hear what's being said, but they can guess the mood everyone was in. This setting seemed perfect for a fairy tale story, and they should take advantage of it. Jack was sure Rapunzel loves this moment.
Rapunzel looked in Flynn's eyes, his trust worthy eyes, and made the decision to give him back his satchel.
"I have something for you too," she said reaching behind and put the satchel on her lap. It was time to prove to her mother, and to herself that Flynn isn't evil like her mother said.
"I should've given it to you," she confesses to him, "but I was just scared. And the thing is, I'm not scared anymore. Know what I mean?"
Flynn looked at the satchel, pretty sure that the crown is still in there. This was the thing he's been waiting to have all this time. Only now, it didn't feel as wonderful as he thought. After all this time, just having fun with Rapunzel mattered more to him then the crown. It was suddenly clear to him that the crown and all the riches it possesses meant nothing as long as he had her. Maybe Hiccup was right, and it was time for Flynn to stop being someone else, and be Eugene again, and maybe start a new life with Rapunzel.
So he gently placed his hand on the satchel, and put it down on the near their feet. He then gave Rapunzel a lantern and smiles sweetly at her.
"I'm starting to," he said to her.
She smiles back as she and Flynn launch their lanterns into the sky.
"All those days" Flynn sang in his mind. "Chasing down a daydream
All those years living in a blur
All that time never truly seeing
Things, the way they were"
He then stares at Rapunzel, who looked at the lanterns with a dreamy smile. He couldn't help to smile whenever she smiles.
"Now she's here, shining in the starlight
Now she's here, suddenly I know
If she's here it's crystal clear
I'm where I'm meant to go"
He finally admits to himself that he loves her. Sure they've only known each other for about a day and in the half, but he truly sees her in a new light. And if he feels this way, surely she must be too. So he took a chance, and touches her hand with love. She looks at him, shocked. She finally realizes that he feels the same way she does. She smiles as she reaches and touches his other hand. At that moment, they felt the same emotion and feeling, love for each other.
"And at last I see the light" they sang together.
"And it's like the fog is lifted" Flynn sang with honesty
"And at last I see the light" they sang again in perfect unison.
"And it's like the sky is new" Rapunzel sang so light and dainty.
"And it's warm and real and bright" they sang in harmony
"And the world has somehow shifted
All at once, everything looks different
Now that I see you"
Pascal looked at those two, and quietly blushed with his skin turning pink. The people on the other boat looked over and saw the two holding hands. Somehow, even that far away from them, they can tell the two are falling in love. Baby tooth loves the feeling of love in the air, and gave a little "awe," while sitting on the boat. While the boys seemed ok with it, Merida had mixed feelings. She didn't like marriage, or the fact it could be that quick to fall in love, but she was happy that it wasn't forced, and Rapunzel felt it with her heart, and took her own time to realize that. All Merida could do was smile, for the couple.
"Now that I see you..." The two love birds finished while looking deeply in each other's eyes.
Flynn places his hand on her cheek, to give her a kiss, a kiss to prove to her how much she means to him. But as he draws her close, his eyes shifted to shore, to two people he hoped never to see again.
There, waiting for them, were the Stabbington brothers.
Flynn knew why they were there, probably to kill him and hurt Rapunzel. But Flynn couldn't let that happen, not after everything they've been through. He quickly came up with a plan, he'll give them the crown, they can take the money, and they'll leave Flynn, Rapunzel and the others alone.
"Flynn, is everything alright?" Rapunzel asked, seeing stress in his eyes.
"No," he said making Rapunzel look at him only, and not on the shore. "Everything's alright." He then grabs the oars, and began rowing to the shore.
On the other boat, the people there were a little confused by what's going on.
"Now where are they going?" Hiccup asked out of the blue.
"I don't know, but I don't like it," Merida said grabbing an oar and rowing in the direction.
"I hope Flynn isn't doing what I think he's doing," Jack said preparing for anything.
"Naw," Hiccup said grabbing the other oar. "Flynn isn't like that, he's just-" he got cut off when a large black tentacle grabbed his leg, and dragged him into the sea.
"Hiccup!" Merida shouted as she drops the oars and prepares her bow and arrow. Jack flew down close to the water, to try to find where Hiccup went. But the lanterns still make a reflection in the water, so it was hard to see.
Merida looked over the edge to try to find Hiccup herself, but as she looked, a black tentacle came up and grabbed her face and dragged her down.
"No!" Jack cried, as he races to try to catch her. But he didn't make it in time. As he thinks about getting Rapunzel and Flynn for help, a tentacle grabbed his arms and legs. But they weren't dragging him down; instead they were lifting him to the sky.
"What's going on?" Jack said out loud, until a tentacle wrapped around his mouth and muzzled him.
"What's your hurry Jack?"
Jack turned around angry at the direction of the voice. Pitch smiled like a kid in a candy store with an arm full of candy, or in this case, an arm of nightmares. Jack was shocked to see in a nightmare cage was a wet Merida and Hiccup, unconscious.
Baby tooth grew feisty and angry, and charged at Pitch to peck his eyes out. But Pitch easily caught her in his hand. He turned back to Jack and smiles a mischievous, evil smile.
"You wouldn't want to miss the show."
I See the Light from Tangled