Chapter 18: Saving Eugene
'Dragons' – Dragonese
It was morning after the lantern festival. Eugene was pacing back and forth in his cell. He was worried about Rapunzel and hoped that she was okay along with Hiccup and Carlos. For some strange reason, he started to care about the group. After a short amount of time he spent with them, he grew attached to them. He had to admit the boys and their dragons were very interesting and great to be around. It never made any sense to why Hiccup's father would ignore his son just because he wasn't like everyone else. To his point of view, Hiccup was a gifted boy with a big heart. Carlos was also a nice boy to be around. Even though Carlos had lost his parents, he was still able to find happiness with his aunt and cousin along with Cielo. He sighed at the thought of them being hurt or captured; he really hoped that they were okay. He went towards the barred window and noticed the morning sun beginning to light everything outside. Suddenly he heard his cell door opened and the captain of the guards appeared.
"Let's get this over with, Rider." Captain declared.
"Where are we going?" Eugene asked, brow arched. The captain didn't answer, he just stared at Eugene with narrow eyes. That's when Eugene realized what he meant as he placed his hand around his neck, "Oh."
The guards came in and put his hands behind his back and placed shackles around his wrists. Then they both grabbed his arms and lead him out of his cell. Eugene didn't fight the guards as they guided him through the hall of cells. Then he glanced at the cells until he spotted two certain individuals. The Stabbingtons. He narrowed his eyes angrily at them and bashed the two guards away and jumped up over his chained wrists. He ran towards the Stabbingtons' cell and grabbed the front of one of the brothers's vest through the bars and pulled him towards him.
"How did you know about her?! Tell me now!" Eugene demanded angrily.
"It wasn't us! It was the old lady!" The brother admitted in a scared tone.
"Old lady?" Eugene questioned as he looked away and thought about who it was. Then his eyes widened when he realized. He was grabbed by the guards once more and pulled away from the brothers. He began to struggle as they pulled him away, "Wait! No! Wait! You don't understand! She's in terrible trouble! Wait!"
However the guards ignored him and continued to go down the halls towards the outside. Once they reached another hall with sun pouring in by a high window, Eugene spotted a small purple ceramic unicorn on an open square window. Wait a minute; he knew who that unicorn really belonged to. Suddenly all of the doors were slammed shut.
"What's this?" The captain asked and turned towards the door and started pounding on it, "Open up!"
The door's window slid opened and the drunken old man from the Snuggly Duckling appeared.
"What's the password?" He asked before shutting the slide.
"What?" The captain asked.
"Nope." Drunken old man said as he opened and shut the slide again.
"Open this door!" The captain ordered.
"Not even close!" Drunken old man stated as he opened and shut the slide once again.
"You have three seconds!" The captain warned.
As the captain counted down, the guards were taken from two other familiar thugs from the Snuggly Duckling. When the captain turned around, he saw Eugene all by himself. Suddenly, he was struck by the back of the head with a frying pan which was held by Attila (the guy who wears a helmet that covers his head and likes making cupcakes) and fell to the floor with a weird expression.
"Frying pans! Who knew, right?" Eugene asked, grinning.
Then they heard pounding on the door at the other end and another group of guards broke down the door. Hooked guy quickly broke off Eugene's chained wrists and headed in the other direction while Eugene and Attila went in the another. Unexpectedly Ulf appeared and held his hand up in front of him, which made the guards stop as Eugene and Attila went by him. He was miming that there was a wall between him and the guards, confusing them. Then he placed his hand above his eyes and looked to the right. The guards followed his sight and saw Vladimir roaring as he charged towards them. The guards let out a girlish scream before Vladimir rammed into them. Ulf turned around and mimed 'oh my gosh!'. When Eugene and the other thugs got out of the dungeon and entered the opened square of it, they saw a lot of the castle guards coming towards them. Hooked guy quickly grabbed Eugene and placed him on a cart.
"Head down." Hook guy ordered as he gestured what he wanted Eugene to do.
"Head down!" Eugene obeyed.
"Knees apart! Knees apart?" Eugene questioned with his left eyebrow arched.
Vladimir jumped off the balcony.
"Why do I have to keep my knees apart-" Eugene was interrupted when Vladimir landed on the other end of the cart, which sent Eugene flying in the air. The thugs watched him as he screamed in panic while going up. He soon landed on something in the stayed position that the hooked guy ordered.
"You can open your eyes now, Eugene."
Eugene opened his eyes and exhaled when he saw Hiccup and Carlos with their dragons. He heard a small nicker and noticed that he was sitting on Max's saddle.
"Max…you brought them here?" Eugene asked with disbelief.
Max smiled at him.
"Thank you." Eugene thanked.
Max made gesture of 'it was nothing'.
"No really." Eugene thanked with his hand over his heart, "Thank you."
Then Eugene looked away and back at Max, "I feel maybe this whole time, we've been misunderstanding one another and we're really just…"
Max stared at him with a deadpan expression.
"We should go." Hiccup declared.
"Yeah, you're right. We should go." Eugene nodded.
A door slammed opened in the watchtower that lead to the wall where the group was standing and a bunch of guards came out firing arrows at them. Toothless quickly fired a plasma blast at their feet. Eugene urged Max to go forward as they ran, he noticed another watchtower where more guards were coming towards them.
"Max?" Eugene asked as Max continued to head towards the corner of the wall, "Max! MAX!"
Eugene yelled in panic as Max jumped off the wall and landed on a roof while sliding down which made shingles come off as they went. Max soon landed on the ground, making the people gasp in disbelief and move out of the way as they ran.
"Okay, Max. Let's see how fast you can run." Eugene declared.
Max neighed once more and ran like the wind with the dragons following behind him. Max was running through the woods with the dragon riders above him. They soon arrived at a familiar destination: Rapunzel's tower.
"What are we doing here, Eugene?" Carlos asked.
"The old lady took Rapunzel here. I just know it," Eugene confirmed before he quickly dismounted Max and stood in front of the tower, "Rapunzel?"
"Rapunzel, let down your hair!" Eugene shouted.
When no one answered, Eugene began to climb the tower.
"Eugene, what are you doing?" Hiccup asked.
"I'm going to Rapunzel. She needs help." Eugene declared. Then they heard the windows open at the top of the tower. Soon enough, Rapunzel's extremely long hair came out the window and Eugene held onto it, "You guys stay here, I'll get Rapunzel."
"But what if you run into trouble?" Hiccup asked, worried.
"I'll whistle if I need ya'." Eugene stated and started climbing up Rapunzel's hair.
"I hope he'll be okay." Carlos prayed.
"I hope so too." Hiccup prayed when he saw Eugene go inside.
"I'll go and check if you want." Sharpshot offered.
"Please Sharpshot." Hiccup pleaded.
"On it." Sharpshot confirmed before he flew up and went inside.
When Sharpshot went inside, he came across a horrifying sight; Eugene was bleeding and Rapunzel was chained and muffled as Gothel was pulling her towards the hidden stairway. Angry to the woman who hurt his friends, he charged towards her and clamped onto her sleeve and tugged on it. While gripping on the chains with her right hand, she grabbed the dragon with her left and ripped him off her shoulder and kicked Pascal off her dress. The two reptiles both hit the wall and fell to the floor. They tried to get up, but the hit left them sort of dazed.
"Rapunzel, really!" Gothel said as Rapunzel continued to tug from Gothel's grip on the chains, "Enough already! Stop fighting me!"
Then Rapunzel pushed herself away and fell to the floor, the clothed that kept her muffled fell off.
"No!" Rapunzel protested, "I won't stop! For every minute for the rest of my life, I will fight! I will never stop trying to get away from you! But...if you let me save him, I will go with you."
"No! No, Rapunzel." Eugene grunted weakly as he held his hand to his wound.
"I'll never run. I'll never try to escape. Just let me heal him and you and I will be together, forever, just like you want. Everything will be the way it was. I promise," Rapunzel promised. The two reptiles stood there in shock. They couldn't believe that Rapunzel was sacrificing her freedom in order to save Eugene. The two knew that they won't be able to save him with a wound that heavy. Gothel was staring at Rapunzel, deciding whether she should let Rapunzel heal the man or not.
"Just like you want," Rapunzel begged, "Just let me heal him."
Another five minutes later, Gothel wrapped the chain around the newel post of the stairway and put the shackle on his right wrist as he laid against it.
"In case you get any ideas about following us." Gothel warned, tightly holding his wrist. Then she dropped his wrist and stepped away while he began coughing in pain.
"Eugene!" Rapunzel panicked as she ran and knelt to his side and held his head and pushing his hair back.
Eugene began coughing and groaned in pain even more as he held his hands over his wound. Rapunzel spotted the blood spot on the lower part of his vest and gently peeked to see a bigger spot. She gasped at the sight of it. She knew that she had to heal Eugene immediately.
"I'm so sorry. Everything is going be okay, though." Rapunzel stated as she gathered some of her hair and was about to place it on Eugene's wound. However, Eugene pushed it back.
"No, Rapunzel." Eugene protested.
"I promise. You have to trust me," Rapunzel begged as she tried to put her hair on Eugene, but he kept refusing, "Come on. Just breathe."
"I can't let you do this." Eugene winced in pain.
"And I can't let you die." Rapunzel confessed softly.
"But if you do," Eugene winced again as Rapunzel placed her hand on his cheek, "Then you will die."
"Hey, it's going to be alright." Rapunzel assured him before she was about to sing.
"Rapunzel, wait." Eugene interrupted her as he brushed her hair back.
Eugene, weakly, pushed himself and leaned towards Rapunzel as she leaned down to his lips. Unexpectedly, he grabbed the back of her hair and cut it off with a sharp edge of a broken mirror piece. His hand fell to the floor as the mirror piece slid out of his hand and clattered onto the floor.
"Eugene..." Rapunzel gasped with wide eyes as she touched her now short blond hair which instantly turned brown.
"No!" Gothel shrieked as Rapunzel held the cut off end of her blond locks that rapidly began to turn brown. Gothel quickly gather the hair that was still blond but it prove useless when all of the hair quickly became brown.
"What have you done? What have you done?!" Gothel shrieked in anger as she held her hand as liver spots appeared, her skin became pale and wrinkled, and her hair turned white. She threw the hair to ground and went over to the broken mirror and saw her reflection; she was an ugly old woman! She grabbed onto her hood and covered her face as she sobbed angrily while walking backwards, not noticing that she was right near the window. At that moment, Sharpshot and Pascal grabbed the long thick brown hair and pulled it behind Gothel which caused her to fall out the window and scream as she fell.
Down below the tower, the boys heard the scream and saw the cloaked figure. Toothless quickly flew up to catch the figure, but when he grabbed onto it, a big pile of dust poured out. He flew back down and handed the cloak to Hiccup.
"Where did she go?" Hiccup questioned.
Toothless and Cielo sniffed the cloak and growled.
"That dust was the remains of that woman." Toothless confirmed.
"So she was using Rapunzel to keep herself young." Hiccup concluded before his eyes widened, "Wait a minute, Rapunzel!"
"Eugene!" Carlos exclaimed.
The two boys quickly got onto their dragons and flew up to the tower. Toothless tucked his wings in before entering the room with Cielo did the same thing before entering the room. What they saw made them froze; Rapunzel had short brown hair and her remaining locks were brown as well. But what worse of who was laying next to Rapunzel; Eugene who was wounded and wasn't moving. Rapunzel gasped as she turned to Eugene and carefully held the back of his head as the boys quickly knelt to Eugene's side.
"No, no, no. Eugene." Rapunzel panicked as she placed her hand on his right cheek.
Eugene coughed weakly. Rapunzel panicked even more.
"No! Look at me. I'm right here. Don't go. Stay with me, Eugene." She begged as she quickly grabbed Eugene's shackled wrist and placed his hand on her head. Then she desperately began to sing.
"Flower, gleam and glow.
Let your power shine.
Make the clock reverse.
Bring back what once was mine."
"Rapunzel." Eugene said.
"What?" Rapunzel asked softly.
"You were my new dream." Eugene said softly with half lid eyes. Rapunzel chuckled sadly.
"And you were mine." Rapunzel declared.
No later than five seconds, Eugene's eyes closed and his breathing stopped, Eugene was gone. The remaining group stared at the motionless Eugene. The boys looked down at the floor with sadness in their eyes while the dragons crooned sadly at their fallen friend. During their short time together, they somehow got along and started to care for one another. But they didn't want this to happen to their friend.
"Why… did he cut my hair?" Rapunzel croaked as she held Eugene's wrist.
"He did it in order to save you, Rapunzel." Carlos stated.
"He knew that if you saved him, you would leave and be forced to keep that woman young forever." Hiccup reasoned.
"I wish this didn't happen." Sharpshot said as he perched on Hiccup's shoulder and gazed at Eugene with grief.
"Me too. Sharpshot. Me too." Hiccup said as Toothless came to his side while Cielo sat by Carlos.
Rapunzel gently placed Eugene's wrist down and caressed his cheek and placed her hand over his heart and began to sing softly.
"Heal what has been hurt,
Change the Fates' design,
Save what has been lost,
Bring back what once was mine."
Rapunzel placed her forehead against Eugene's as tears began to form in the corner of her eyes, "What once was mine."
A tear fell from her eyes and landed on Eugene's cheek as she began to sob. The boys and dragons had tears falling from their eyes as well. At that moment, Rapunzel and the others spotted golden colored lights streaming out of Eugene's wounds and spread out all over the room, an outline of a flower appeared over the wound. Soon enough, the lights died down. Rapunzel noticed that the blood was gone on Eugene's wound. Then Eugene slowly began opening his eyes.
"Rapunzel?" Eugene exhaled.
"Eugene?" Rapunzel gasped.
"Did I ever tell you I got a thing for brunettes?" He teased with a small smile. Rapunzel laughed and wrapped her arms around Eugene's neck who wrapped his arm around her waist.
"Eugene!" Rapunzel exclaimed happily.
Rapunzel laughed as Eugene held her close. Then the two separated and stared lovingly at each other. Rapunzel pulled the front of Eugene's vest and pushed her lips onto his, which shocked Eugene for a second and then he returned the kiss. After a moment or two, they separated once more and the boys tackled them into a hug.
"Thank goodness you're okay!" Hiccup said with tears in the corner of his eyes.
"We thought we lost you!" Carlos croaked.
Eugene chuckled as he wrapped his arms around them. Toothless came over and licked Eugene's face, soon enough Cielo and Sharpshot did as well. Even though he was disgusted by it. He decided to let it go. Just this once.
"Sometimes in life, you do things you don't want to. Sometimes you sacrifice, sometimes you compromise. Sometimes you let go and sometimes you fight. It's all about deciding what's worth losing and what's worth keeping." - Lindy Zart