Rapunzel sat quietly, admiring her favorite painting of the lights when she felt the cold crisp air. Shivering slightly she shrugged it off until she heard the faint sound of feet on the ground and she quickly spun around to find a small framed, white haired boy holding a staff and looking at her suspiciously.
"JACK!" She said. Quickly she ran to him throwing her arms around his neck and crushing him into a bear hug.
“Geeze Punzie, for a second there I thought you had forgotten me.” He said as he laid his cheek on the top of her head and held her tightly to him. His tone was joking but Rapunzel knew that there was an under tone of fear in his voice, she had known for a long time his greatest fear was being forgotten and alone.
“I could never forget my best friend.” She cooed.
“Best friend? More like your only friend!” He chuckled and Rapunzel pulled away from him enough to push his shoulder.
Turning around Rapunzel walked slowly to her spot and sat down again to continue her admiration. Without hesitation Jack followed and soon his arm was around her shoulders and her head on leaning on his chest, together they watched the painting as if it was moving, telling a story to them.
It was long before either of them broke the silence.
“Why don’t we go?” Jack asked her with a tone of seriousness he very rarely used.
Rapunzel lifted her head up just enough to look him in the eye. “You know mother would never let me.”
“So don’t ask her! Come on Punzie I’m serious; it will be your 18th birthday soon. Why don’t we go see them? Just me and you.”
“Jack... It would kill her.” Rapunzel looked at the ground now, refusing to meet his eyes. She wanted to go, so badly, but felt like she would somehow be betraying her mother.
“And? Punzie I don’t like how she treats you. She locks you up, never lets you see the light of day. You’re constantly alone here.”
“You know she does it for my safety! What if someone tried to steal my hair?!” She asked, her eyes hard and cold as she continued to look at the ground.
Sensing the seriousness of the situation Jack sighed and decided to leave the topic be for the moment. “Honestly Punzie. Your hair isn't that interesting, who would want a lump of magical healing hair anyways?” Jack rolled his eyes and Rapunzel chucked, now feeling the stinging at her eyes leave her as she cuddled back up into Jacks chest.
They were quiet for a while and before Jack knew it he felt the steady breathing of the cuddled up girl next to him and knew she was fast asleep, how he envied her he would never be able to describe but for the moment being he simply pushed her hair out of her face, got a little bit more comfortable, and allowed her to continue her blissful sleep.
“Ta-ta! I’ll see you in a bit, my Flower!” Mother Gothel called as Rapunzel lowered her down to the ground.
Rapunzel watched as her mother slowly disappeared from sight and began to cry, she hated how her mother could act as if everything was fine right after a fight. And when she got home she would blame it completely on Rapunzel, she just knew it.
Pascal put his hand on Rapunzel’s shoulder and made a purring noise with the back of his throat to get her attention.
“I know. I know. I have to go... I just don’t know how I’m going to do it.” She sighed, looking back at the painting. It was her only dream and she had to achieve it at any means, even if it meant betraying her mother.
Rapunzel began to walk towards the stairs that led to her room, feeling like a nap might help clear up her mind when she heard a sudden slam.
Rapunzel jumped, spinning around to see a man by her window. As quietly as she possibly could she hid in the shadows, grabbing the nearest thing to her as a weapon and began to approach the dark haired man.
"Alone at last." The man sighed, looking into his satchel. Rapunzel lifted the pan high above her head, her hands shaking, and pulled it down swiftly.
"AHHH!" Rapunzel cried as she opened her eyes to find the man passed out on the floor, and quickly hid behind the first thing she could see.