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Fic: A Year From Now 1/6
Title: A Year From Now
Authors: JMetropolis and Jane McAvoy
Fandom: Tangled
Characters & Pairings: Rapunzel and Flynn Rider/Eugene Fitzherbert
Rating & Warnings: T
Chapter Word Count: 838
Summary:  A year from now, will you still remember me? Will you still choose me? Rapunzel travels to the kingdom on her own only to be discovered there by Gothel. Flynn saves her while trying to escape with the Lost Princess' crown, but will Rapunzel choose to stay and claim her birthright or go on the run with the wanted thief? Inspired by Tangled concept art.
AN: Written for the Tangled Big Bang writing challenge. Artwork for the story by Dinosaur Barbecue!

Chapter 1 -The Revelation

Rapunzel couldn't believe her eyes. After all these years, she had finally made it. Perched on the island hilltop overlooking the kingdom's port, she watched in wonder as the glowing lanterns illuminated the night sky. Pure joy and elation filled her entire being as she achieved her dream at long last. She knew this was where she was meant to be. She was never returning to the tower. Mother would have to understand.

She had sent her mother to go retrieve seashells by the beach to make her white paints for her 18th birthday. It was a foil to allow her a few days to leave the tower for the first time in her life. She had packed a casket of water, a travel sack of cheese, bread and apples, dressed herself in a simple green dress and braided her long blond hair.

She knew exactly where to go when she set out for the kingdom based on the stars she had tracked all these years. The stars were her guide to the lanterns. She had traveled all day and camped out at night in a nearby cave in the forest. By the next morning, she had arrived at the entrance of the kingdom.

Filled with disbelief and excitement, Rapunzel had eagerly made her way through the village exploring all the sights and sounds, enjoying every moment of the hustle and bustle of the villagers. She had explored the fruit stands, bookstores, and dress shops. But what had caught her attention and stopped her in her tracks was a mosaic located in the center of town of the King and Queen holding their baby daughter.

She had inquired about the mosaic to a nice village woman who had informed her that it was dedicated to the Lost Princess and went on to recount the woeful tale behind the lantern festival. Rapunzel’s heart broke for the King and Queen and she could not help but feel saddened by the significance of this day. She had always associated the lanterns with hope and happiness, but the purpose of the day was actually very somber and bittersweet. She had been surprised to learn that something as beautiful as the lantern festival had originated from the heartache of losing a child.

As Rapunzel was mesmerized by the sight of the lanterns floating in the night sky, her mind couldn’t help but wander back to the tale of the Lost Princess. Her eyes shifted to the white dome-shaped shrine supported by four pillars which marked the memorial for the Lost Princess, situated on the hilltop only several feet away from where she was sitting. She was completely drawn to it and wanted to visit the shrine now that the lanterns had been released. Scrambling to her feet, she quickly made her way to the memorial.

She rapidly scurried up the white marble steps leading to the entrance of the temple. She found the temple to be deserted as everyone in the kingdom was down below, absorbed in the release of the lanterns. The floor of the temple was painted with the sun symbol of Corona and in its hearth was a large fire whose burning flames honored the Lost Princess.

Rapunzel looked up and stopped short when she saw the large murals painted on the walls of the temple. She stared in astonishment at the sight before her. The murals told the story of the Lost Princess.

Instantly, her eyes were drawn to the mural in the middle which portrayed the King and Queen holding their baby daughter. It was similar to the mosaic she had seen earlier in the day but it was much, much larger. This time her eyes were transfixed on the little girl who bore shining blond hair and large green eyes. The same color as my hair and eyes, she thought innocently. Suddenly, Rapunzel found herself gasping for air, the temple spinning before her eyes as her legs weakened and she fell to her knees, hands cupping her cheeks. The sun symbol from the floor stared her directly in the eye, almost as a challenge, sparking a memory suppressed in the recesses of her mind for far too long. It was a memory of when she was a baby, the same sun symbol painted on the top of the ceiling in her nursery, the same sun symbol that she had painted over and over again on the walls of her tower.

“I’m the Lost Princess,” she gasped between heavy breaths.

Then again, “I’m the Lost Princess,” but this time with more resolve in her voice.

She looked up at the mural of the King and Queen. Shock and disbelief seared through her mind rendering her numb. If I’m the Lost Princess, and those are my parents holding me when I was a baby, then who is Mother?

From behind her, Rapunzel heard a familiar, yet bone-chilling voice that left her frozen with terror.

“There you are, my flower. I thought I’d lost you forever!”


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