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What You Don't Know

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Chapter 1
It's become very clear to Eugene that Rapunzel has little to no understanding of amorous
affection.
She knows that if she holds Eugene's hand when she's scared he'll rub his thumb across her
knuckles and she'll be filled with strength enough to clench her jaw and be brave. She
knows from her mother – from Gothel – that you hug someone to say that you love them
even though they're plain looking or silly or ask ridiculous questions. She knows that both
Gothel back in the tower and now the king and queen kiss her cheek or her forehead to wish
her sweet dreams. And she knows from a few stories she read (before Gothel had the
inclination to read them more closely) that you should kiss someone on the lips when the
sight of them makes your heat pound and your neck feel warm. She knows that when she
kisses Eugene it feels like there's this warm joy inside her heart and it bubbles up out to her
arms like fireflies dancing on her skin.
Rapunzel kisses like a child would kiss. She puckers her lips and presses them against
Eugene's. She'll hold them there for a moment, then pull back and smile. There's usually a
smacking noise at the end - mwah - one that really has no necessity to be there, one that
she picked up long ago from Gothel. Her kisses are short and simple. They make Eugene
feel like he's being tickled just beneath his skin. He knows that they shouldn't really leave
him breathless, but they usually do. He knows that they always leave him wanting more.
Rapunzel thinks it's a nice feeling and she enjoys it. But it never occurs to her that there
might be something more to it than that.
Eugene knows there's more to it. He knows that there is much, much more and he knows
that it's fantastic, and he has this idea that with Rapunzel it would be even more fantastic
than usual, but he doesn't know why he thinks that. He also knows that Rapunzel has no
idea that there's a whole other world of sensation, and she is perfectly content to leave
things as they are. The knowledge of these contradictory facts and the knowledge that there
is very little he can do to make them meet somewhere in the middle is driving him crazy.
He could sit her down and explain it to her. He could explain it the same way he explained
what a cup cake was, or why you would want to drink a beer even though it tastes "nasty,"
or why people stare at her when she splashes around in the fountain. He could explain it the
way he explained more complex, abstract concepts like honor and moral relativism and
unconditional love. The part of his brain controlled by Flynn Rider tells him that he could
explain it quite easily by pressing her against a wall and kissing her soundly until she
understood.
But that seems wrong, and he can't bring himself to do it, and he can't figure out why.
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