"Eternity" is often an overused word in fairy tale stories. But still, he felt he had been wandering an eternity in a darkness that would not subside. Had he been betrayed by his beloved? The pain of his wounded eyes had gone away, but the twinge of uncertainty in his heart would not.
It had been months, from his best guess since he had climbed her ivory tower to leap back down just a quickly. The thorns still stuck to the half of his billowing cape that remained.
One the days of scorching heat it was almost as if he could see again. The UV of the penetrating rays, what is usually invisible to the naked eye, revealed itself to his blinded set. These days he'd start hearing the echoing laughter of children in a golden field. They held hope and youth in their voice and features, and they recognized him in a welcoming air of long absense. Just as the golden locks of his beloved started to flitter at the edge of his vision, however real or unreal it may have been, darkness would consume just before he could make out her face. It was hard to remember her soothing voice.
It was torture.
Rapunzel screamed in birthing pains for hours, clinging to the nearby tree she had happened to pass out by hours earlier. Her body rebelled horribly in sweaty turmoil. The nightmare of how she had almost died brought her upright in her bed. She looked over at the sleeping angels peaceful in the morning light. Perhaps she was so tortured for not giving them a father...
A pull at her heart carried her out into the morning mist, heavy laden with brilliant crystals glistening with promise of a sunny day. She felt that someone was out there, that... he was out there. But searching the encroaching woods and looking for an unfamiliar fold in the field revealed no one was there. It was the closest she had felt to hope in a long time and the thought made her happy.
The children stirred awake as Rapunzel re-entered from her search. Fashioning up a rather royal breakfast from the natural surroundings she laid it out in quite the maternal fashion, kissing them one the head before going out to the local well. It seemed she could not keep herself from singing this morning.
Swinging the pail in a girlish fashion her voice softly complimented the morning dew. She languidly dipped it into the calm surface destroying the reflection that had hurridly hushed her singing. Such ardent betrayal seem to always lay in her features.
"Please..." a near yelp escaped her lips. Her eyes immediately flew to the house where her sleeping newborns lie. Assessing they weren't in danger, she then looked at the owner of the voice. "Might... might you be Rapunzel?"
The voice had caught his attention not long after his daydream had ended. There was no doubt it was Rapunzel's voice, it was like one of those things you remember as soon as you see or hear it. Yet, the reality of his recurrent dream today earned his distrust.
Rapunzel flew to the prince's side, his face still fresh in her memory. The bloodied trails of tears dried on his cheeks from where the thorns had thrashed at his flesh from when he fled the witch. Rapunzel whimpered a gasp at the sight and held a quivering lip between teeth, "Yes, it is I, Rapunzel."
The yearning of his heart subsided, the pain healed with the words alone. He felt her wrapping him up within her arms, he heard her stiffled sobs and reached a hand out to her face.
Rapunzel grabbed the hand, an offering of forgiveness and cuddled it upon her cheek. She stroked his swollen one gingerly, using the water from the well to wipe clean his face after sitting him gently against the stone of the well.
"What is the matter, my love?" The prince managed through shallow gasps as the pace of her wiping slowed. The tears trickled between his fingers on her face as they brimmed over without her so much as blinking.
She gently left his side, promising she would be back. She brought his children out to him, a boy and a girl, telling him what they looked like, when they were born and what their names were. She watched the scene as he took in every detail he could with his hands, telling her with unhidden excitement that he handn't known she were pregnant and how wonderful it was. But for her, the sight proved too much and Rapunzel caved with guilt. Placing the babies aside in the straw cradle she had made for them she stroked his fair skin just under his eyes. "I wish... I wish this wasn't because of me..."
A single crystalline tear fell from her slender chin as she leaned in to kiss his forehead in feeble apology. He felt it tenderly dance upon his eyelids and opened his eyes. Quickly shutting them he ducked his head shyly and cracked them open to see cascading curls of gold ribbons against a simple dress. He adjusted his eyes to the long estranged light and looked on her delicate features brushed with disbelief.
"When... when I'm with you I feel I can see heaven itself." He felt for his face gently, watched his hands as they found hers and exclaimed after he was sure it was not another fantasy. "I can see!"
After she tentatively reached out to search him with her own eyes, his smiled broke while he scooped her up into his arms, whirling her and her billows of abused fabric high in the air. Their laughter eventually filled the air like the young children in his vision and he kissed her deeply on their way home to the castle.
"Don't you see, my darling? Without you, I could never be."