Jan. 4th, 2011

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The first couple of weeks back in Fabletown are difficult. Four years away, and the only thing that's changed is herself. She oversleeps the first morning back, and throws off Joel's schedule--not that he has any other job besides cutting her hair. Possibly fearing explanations involving "woman things" for her tardiness, he only raises an eyebrow and cuts her hair leaving it a little longer than usual to compensate for the time difference.

It's a jolt when he calls her Punz for the first time...no one ever called her that in Milliways or Gotham.

She is careful to be on time after that, but is still a little too used to the freedoms that Milliways afforded her. Two weeks after returning from the end of the universe, Beast (being the new sheriff) has a gentle word with her about lingering too long in mundy shops lately, visiting one delicatessen too often, and being too friendly with the mundies around town. She can no longer linger over a cup of coffee and chat with the people around her.

"No one's noticed, yet. You know the rules, Rapunzel; you can't go becoming a regular at any one place. No more than one visit to any one shop in a three week period. It's in everyone's best interest if we don't get too familiar with the mundies. You understand."

No one's noticed, yet? Clearly someone has, or he wouldn't have come looking for her. She always knew she was monitored before, but it's jolt to realize how closely. She's developed some bad habits, it seems.

Every day that the door back to Milliways fails to materialize, a small piece of herself sinks a little deeper into despair that she will ever get back to Alex.

She's only peripherally aware of the trouble brewing in the mayor's offices. Prince Charming won the election by making promises to people that he had no idea he could never keep. The unrest makes for interesting gossip, but what does it all matter to her, in the long run?

At the one month mark of her return, with not even a hint of a doorway to Milliways returning, Rapunzel does her best to get rip-roaringly drunk, but only ends up with a headache and a deepening of the ache that started the moment she had kissed Alex goodbye the last time she'd seen him.

The days have never seemed so long.


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March 2011

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