“Ok, lets try this again”, Eugene says, looking in the mirror again, taking a breath, his current position reminding him too much of the last time he was in this situation and the disaster that followed.
Outside of his extraordinarily cool exterior, and after all these years, something about Rapunzel still unearths a vulnerability inside him, like a secret locked deep inside his heart that he’s never brought out for anyone else. For the most part, it’s lovely to have someone who knows him better than anyone else ever has or probably ever will. A soulmate. But right now it’s just making him incredibly nervous.
Not to mention his terror at the idea that she’ll say “no” again. How many times will it take? Will he ever be able to marry her? Will this be the latest in a long line of embarrassing incidents?
“Come on, you can do this.”, he repeats like a mantra, looking down at the ring in his hand, brought out twice already. He’s not religious at all, he doesn’t really believe in the universe or some grand plan laid out for every person. But here and now he says a silent prayer to whatever exists out there that this time, this time, she’ll say yes.
“Ok, lets try this again”, Rapunzel whispers to herself as she walks away from the surprise party preparations. She brings out the ring she’s been keeping in her skirt pocket, her heart thudding as her mind goes to a million different places.
She knows that he wanted to marry her before, but what if he’s changed his mind? She doesn’t think he will, but what if he thinks the gender switch is weird? What if, for some random unexpected reason that she somehow hasn’t been able to foresee, it’s not the right time? What if she says the wrong thing, or trips over her words?
She shakes her head, trying to rid herself of these thoughts. She just has to go for it.
As soon as he sees her his fear melts away.
She guides him towards the party, taking his arm, saying that she has something to show him, trying to disguise how nervous she feels.
He goes wherever she’s taking him, following her like he always does, like he always will if she’ll have him.
Her heart bursts at his smile when he sees the party she’s spent weeks planning.
His heart bursts when he sees everything she’s done for him, when he thinks of all the effort she must have put into planning the huge party in front of him. He thinks back to the lonely child he once was, who didn’t know where he came from, who didn’t think anyone could love him. How wrong he’d been.
“I thought that since we finally know when your birthday is, we should have a proper party”, she tells him tenderly as he sweeps her off her feet.
“I love you”, he whispers tearfully into her shoulder, holding her so, so tightly.
He knows this is the right moment.
She knows this is the right moment.
They both get down on one knee at the same time.
When they realise what’s happening, they both burst out laughing. He’s the first to speak.
“I guess neither of us need to say yes”, he jokes after a pause that feels like eternity. She nods in agreement, joyful tears already in her eyes.
They put the rings on each other’s fingers and kiss tenderly, so lost in each other that they’re oblivious to the sounds of their loved ones in attendance cheering around them.
When they finally pull apart, they grin at each other, giddy, exhilarated giggles escaping from both of them.
She’s going to be his wife.
He’s going to be her husband.
In that moment, everything is perfect.