longlonghair: (not quite long)
Scrawled hastily on a scrap of paper and shoved unceremoniously into the lock box of letters Rapunzel keeps hidden in her apartment in Fabletown:

Dearest Alex,

I've just gotten a call, and I'm to be leaving for my assignment in five minutes. It seems Fabletown is ready to make its move. Pray for us all.

I love you.

longlonghair: (long hair illustration)
Dear Alex,

King Ambrose of Haven scared the living daylights out of everyone today.

The Empire finally figured out that its regular armies were useless against the magic of Haven. Those subjects that came to the kingdom by way of the Witching Well would simply leave their bodies, and in spirit form torment the attacking host with nightmares pulled from their own heads. No blood even needed to be spilled, except for those who did themselves harm in trying to escape the onslaught of terror; it was incredibly effective.

Today, a huge army made of what appeared to be every last living wooden citizen carved from the Sacred Grove converged on Haven from every corner of the Empire. The usual repelling tactics could not affect the wooden soldiers; they outnumbered Ambrose's army beyond counting. The king could see that if couldn't win with his usual battle plan, so he surrendered to them! They certainly hadn't expected such easy capitulation, and were at something of a loss to know how to proceed. Then, as they were trying to decide what to do with him , he used up the last of the magic in his armor and turned the wooden army
back into trees. All of them took root, right on the spot! If everyone hadn't witnessed it, they would easily think that the new trees had been there for decades!

Ambrose says that the new trees are now the Sacred Grove and that there can be only one at any given time. The other Sacred Grove (the one Geppetto carved all of the wooden people from to begin with) is apparently dead and it's magic gone. THIS sacred grove will be a place for meditation and peace, he says.

Oh, did I mention that HE NEARLY DIED? He collapsed right after the trees took root, and later told everyone that he'd expected to die in the process, because he hadn't had any guiding visions beyond that point in time. Everyone was upset that he would do such a think without even a warning, and of course there's rejoicing that his plan worked and it seems Haven is safe. I'm just glad he's all right.

Now, King Ambrose has invited any and all of the Farm fables that want to leave The Farm and break their compact with Fabletown. If they want to, they can go back to the Homelands and live in Haven instead of being stuck at The Farm. I think I'm a little jealous, though I'd never go, myself.

Aside from the loss of modern conveniences, Fabletown was the place I found the door to Milliways. There is no way I'd leave it behind; leaving would be too much like giving up hope of seeing you again, and that is something I'm not ready to do. Added to that, I can't abandon the others on the eve of a war I'm supposed to help with. It can't be long, now.

Missing you as always,

longlonghair: (mid)
Dear Alex,

King Ambrose has defeated
SEVEN of the Empire's armies! Twenty-one hordes in all! More than that, he does it without bloodshed; he simply uses their own fears against them, and they run screaming. He has offered amnesty and sanctuary to any of the Empire's forces that want to defect to Haven, and the kingdom has expanded its borders several times. Who knows what will come next? The Empire must be running out of armies to send.

I think our own battle with the Empire--the battle I'm meant to participate in--will begin soon enough. The empire has been weakened by loss of the armies they've sent against Haven, and from a strategic standpoint, it would be foolish not to take advantage of that. The Powers That Be around here have been having meeting after meeting both here and at the Farm. Stores of weapons and ammunition are being stockpiled in both Fabletown and the Farm and we all take turns with guard duty when we're scheduled for it. I'm not important enough in the scheme of things to warrant anything more than the briefings everyone else gets, so I won't know what my real role will be until the time comes to start sending us out to our assigned posts.

I'm torn, because I do want to see the Homelands again, but not like this. How different will it be, now that it's been under Empire rule for so long? How much will it change during the fight to win it back? How high will the cost really be? Once the war is over and we're free to return, what will we be returning to? Will my kingdom still be there, or in ruin? Will it really be mine again? Do I really want it back and would the the people there welcome be back? I don't know how to be a queen anymore and I never really handled any of the actual running of the kingdom when I did.

Returning to the Homelands was always that dream we clung to to help us get through. I don't think I ever really believed I'd go back, no matter how many toasts I raised my glass to, promising it. What could there possibly really be there for me now but bittersweet memories and a reminder than everything I loved about it is gone forever? When we win back our lands (even entertaining the idea that it won't happen invites failure), will Fabletown still be available to those of us who don't want to go back? Surely I can't be the only one among all of the fables that feels this way.

At any rate, regardless of what becomes of me, I will do everything in my power to help the others get back to their lands and homes and maybe even families left behind. I've been practicing hand-to-hand combat skills and sword fighting most days, along with a large portion of the Fabletown community. You'd be amazed at how fit and muscular I've become; if only I'd had this training when we went to Makita's world so long ago! I might have been able to protect us better. I won't ever be worthless in a situation like that again, and I may very well find myself in one, soon.

Most nights I come home so tired that I end up falling into bed, and don't have time to dwell on how long it's been since I last set foot into Milliways before I'm fast asleep. The dreams are there of course, and sometimes the nightmares.

I'm never too tired to miss you, though. I keep praying that somehow I'll find my way back; I won't give up until I do. I love you as much as ever.

longlonghair: (Default)
Dear Alex,

As King Ambrose expected, the Empire sent a huge army to confront him and the kingdom of Haven. I'm told that Ambrose let the opposing army put Trusty John to the sword, to prove them that the subjects of the kingdom could not be slain. He restored Trusty John and pointed out that eventually the Empire would be defeated, because Haven's soldiers would just continue to rise and receive new bodies to continue fighting. I haven't been able to get a spot in the business office, so most of this is second hand information. However, so many people are telling the same story, that I think the details are pretty accurate.

I've told you about the kinds of armies the Empire has at its disposal. Goblins, trolls, men and all other manner of beast in armor and trained well. There is no mercy in them, or kindness.

It was agreed that the Empire could choose one of their own to fight in single combat with King Ambrose, who is not able to rise and receive a new body. We were all terrified for him, and I can only imagine how intense it must have been to be there in person! The invading army chose a huge troll to fight Ambrose, but in the long battle, Ambrose was able to best the troll using only the flat of his blade! His armor and sword fulfilled it's promise to protect him from injury or loss as long as his heart remains pure. He tired the beast out, then when the battle was won, refused to kill his opponent! Instead made him a subject of haven so that he would not be killed for failing the Empire.

The leader of the Empire's battalion refused to honor the agreement he'd made with Ambrose, and it looked like they would have to go to war. Then, Ambrose revealed how clever he truly is! He had his subjects leave their bodies and invade the minds of their attackers. They plagued the enemy with all manner of horrible visions and memories that seemed as real to them as if they were truly happening. The onslaught was too much for them, and they surrendered and fled!

Truly amazing things are at hand. We know that this is just the first of many challenges the King will face, but it is a hopeful sign.

Hope is always welcome, isn't it?

As always, my thoughts, prayers and love are with you.

longlonghair: (not quite long)
Dear Alex,

The kingdom of Haven seems to be thriving. I haven't been able to get in to watch through the Magic Mirror in a while, but there is a steady flow of news from other who have. King Ambrose sent Lance to speak with the Adversary and let them know that Haven exists. They tried to kill him, but he is a ghost, and they couldn't touch him. He did manage to goad and anger the Adversary's court, and it seems that Ambrose expects them to send their armies to challenge him, soon. I fear he's right.

Things in Fabletown have been generally quiet. All of the attention seems to be focused on what is happening in Haven, and otherwise life continues the same as it has for decades. Other than my new exercise and training regime, I find myself bored to tears some days, longing for the freedom I enjoyed in Milliways. That time would seem like a dream to me, if it wasn't for the memory of you and the photographs and drawings I keep locked away with the letters I write to you every few days.

I wish that I could speak with someone here about it all, but who could I trust that wouldn't think I was completely mad? Frau Totenkinder might actually know something, but you know how I feel about her, and how valid my fears are about admitting anything to her. Nothing she could give or tell me about Milliways would come without some sort of perverse and unforeseen price that would likely prevent me from ever being able to find my way back to you again one day.

Still--I live in eternal hope that one day I will at least know how you are doing, and that you know that I am not returning to you only because I have no choice in the matter. My love for you has not diminished, and I long for you as much now as when we parted.



Feb. 13th, 2011 09:48 pm
longlonghair: (short/mid)
Dear Alex,

They made it! Ambrose...make that KING Ambrose has made it back to his kingdom in the Homelands and has renamed it "Haven". There's not much left of it, after centuries of abandonment, but at least they didn't have to oust any usurpers or fight anyone else over use of the land.

The journey was long and incredibly hard for all of them, especially Ambrose. There is no food or drinkable water in the dead lands of the Witching Well, and everyone was worried that he might expire before reaching his destination. If was difficult to watch him suffer, and heartbreaking to see his companions so distressed and helpless over the seemingly inevitable. The first signs of life seemed like a genuine miracle, and after a period of recuperation to regather his strength, Ambrose led them to exactly where he promised them.

All of those who stayed faithful and followed him from the dead lands beneath the Witching Well are now beginning to rebuild the castle and plant crops and dig out the remnants of the the orchards that were there before! It will be a hard labor, but one of love. Ambrose has only look thoughtful about something, and his new subjects scramble to please him; he is fair and loving and anyone can see he has their genuine best interest at heart. He is exactly what a good king should be.

To no one's surprise, Bluebeard and Shere Khan took the first opportunity they found once they reached the Homelands (and true work was expected) to betray the others. They tried to attack Ambrose and take over, and lost their corporeal bodies for their trouble. Serves them right, but I fear we haven't heard the last of them. Ambrose banished them from Haven, but I don't believe they were forced back to the lands of the Witching Well, either.

I can't believe they're actually back in the homelands, Alex! They're building and planting and planning to stay there! All of us here in Fabletown have been going out into the Mundy world, shopping for supplies for everyone there. Boy Blue has been filling the Witching Cloak (no relation to the Witching Well, as far as I know) with various items from books to food to tools to clothes! I don't know how it holds them all, but Blue apparently says he'll be able to transport it all to Haven and retrieve it once he gets there. It's exciting Alex! I think it's the first thing I've been truly excited about since I left Milliways.

I've gotten in to watch the mirror a couple of times, though it's usually so crowded, it's not easy to see. The Business Office is almost always so packed with Fables wanting a glimpse of that's going on, that little else gets done unless they kick everyone out. It doesn't take long before we all start trying to sneak back in, or make up ridiculous excuses to speak with the mayor or Beauty. You would think they'd just move the Magic Mirror to a larger place, where we all wouldn't be in the way.

I wish I could share all of this with you in person. I wish it every day. I miss you so.

Love always,

longlonghair: (mid/long)
Dear Alex,

I won't go into detail, but let's just say I will not be buying another pair of shoes from The Glass Slipper. When I said I wanted custom running shoes, I didn't mean ones that actually RAN BY THEMSELVES and reused to come off!

I'll stick to shopping in the Mundy or through the computer from now on. I'm going to bed and sleeping for at least two days.

Love always,

Rapunzel (the tired)
longlonghair: (long chin in hand)
Dear Alex,

Life here has been anything but stagnant, lately. The magic mirror (think of the one from the story of Snow White) has been showing amazing and unbelievable things. Ambrose is now Sir Ambrose and he intends to establish a new kingdom in the Homelands! The Forsworn Knight's ghost (Sir Lancelot of the Lake) was somehow released from his armor, and he knighted Ambrose and swore to serve and advise him! Now AMBROSE wears the armor that once protected Lancelot, and carries Excalibur--yes, THAT Excalibur. Ambrose went and jumped down the Witching Well (I'm sure I told you about this device, where the corpses of our dead have been sent, more often than not).

We always thought the Witching Well was kind of like a magical garbage disposal for the bodies of our dead, and that is sort of true. What we didn't know was that while the bodies were devoured by magic, the souls of all of those put in the well were trapped in a desolate void in there. I can't imagine being stuck in there for centuries with little change and no hope for release. Certainly there are those who may deserve eternal punishment for their deed in life, but we never dreamed that putting them in the well was consigning them to that fate.

I managed to sneak in for a peak for a few minutes, unnoticed to see what the mirror was showing, but was chased out by Beauty before too long. I suppose she has a point about not letting everyone in to gawk--everyone wants to see what's happening and are wild for news. I think eventually, they will have to devise a way to either broadcast the mirror's happenings or else draw lots for times when people can go and watch for a while. At any rate, news comes out daily on what's happening in there.

Some strong magic is at work here. When Ambrose reached the bottom of the well (if that's even the correct term), those around him regained flesh and blood bodies! He didn't resurrect them exactly--they're still dead. It's hard to describe, but he's the only truly living person there. He's recruited all of those who are willing to be his army, and he says he intends to lead them through the dead lands beneath the well to the lands of the living. I'm told that if they agree to follow and serve him, they will remain spirits made flesh, and will get a chance to be freed for their spirits to move on to whatever comes next for them, later.

He has chosen Trusty John as his squire and Weyland Smith to take the lead in building the new kingdom, when they reach it. There are villains aplenty there as well, and I fear that Ambrose may not be making the wisest decisions, but by all accounts he seems confident and determined.

I don't know how he's going to do it, Alex. Ambrose has a kind heart and a gentle spirit, and he has an admittedly long journey ahead of him. He has no food or drink with him...how long can he last? Everyone is in a constant state of excited tension, waiting for more news out of the business office.

As always, I miss you and think of you every day.

All of my love,

longlonghair: (not quite long)
Dear Alex,

Another Christmas has come and gone, and by now, I've been back home for longer than I was bound in Milliways. I wonder how you're faring there, and how you celebrated, and who you celebrated with. I hope you're surround by friends and loved ones and still writing your wonderful articles and making Gotham a better place to live.

Strange and exciting things have been happening here in Fabletown. My time in Tennessee was difficult, but interesting. Beast apparently used some dummy corporation and bought the training camp, and the magic users on the thirteenth floor wove some spells that let those of us that don't exactly pass as normal train without the trainers noticing. If it comes to me actually needing to fight in a battle, my chances of surviving are a hell of a lot better now than they were before. They don't have anything near as sophisticated as the weaponry of the modern world in the Homelands. Basically, they'll be bringing swords to a gun fight.

I learned a few things about myself there. I learned that I detest sleeping in a tent. I hate cold showers and creamed chipped beef. Oh my God--you have no idea how awful that concoction is. I also found out that I have a pretty good eye for marksmanship, though I'm not exactly strong enough to hold my own a fist fight. I AM stronger than I was, and I did learn some useful tricks and moves that involve using momentum against my opponents and finding his or her weaknesses. Bigby and Beast say that I will need to keep working on a lot of these skills once I get home; weight training, martial arts classes with other Fables, and things like that.

Don't worry, it won't be likely be on any front lines. I hope.

In another strange turn of events, Ambrose is no longer a frog! In fact, he's somehow regained his memory. He knows now that his wife and daughter are dead; had been killed by the Adversary's forces centuries ago. It's heartbreaking. He'd been blocking it out for so long, and everyone had been keeping the truth from him, so that he wouldn't go back looking for vengeance and getting himself killed. Now, he's moping around, and not even Red Riding Hood have snap him out of his sullen state. I saw him this morning, getting into the truck that takes supplies to the Farm. Maybe Boy Blue, who is Ambrose's best friend, will be able to help him.

Needless to say, I miss you every day and lament that I can't actually tell you these things myself.

Stay safe and know that you're in my heart.

longlonghair: (long hair illustration)
Dear Alex,

It seems impossible that so much time has passed since I last stepped foot in Milliways or felt your arms around me. The dozens of letters I've written you these past couple of years stay folded neatly in their lock box under my bed, and I am worried that you may never get a chance to read them. Will I ever see you again? Are you still missing me or wondering what became of me? What I wouldn't give to be able to send even a single message to you!

Things here have been tense and strange. Beast came to see me the other day, and told me that I was going to be taking a trip to Tennessee. Can you imagine it? Centuries of never going anywhere beyond where a fifteen minute cab ride could take me, and suddenly they are sending me more than eight hundred miles away. What's even more amazing is that I'm being sent to learn combat skills! Fabletown is officially at war with the Adversary, though no fighting has begun yet. It's believed that the Adversary is planning and preparing to invade the Mundy and it's up to us to stop them! I'll be leaving within a week's time for commando camp, and don't know if I will be able to write to you while I am away. Not that you would know the difference, since none of the letters I've written have a chance of finding you until I find a doorway back. If I find a doorway back.

Imagine me, learning to use guns and explosives and hand to hand fighting! I thought I was through with that sort of thing after our time in that snowy nightmare with Makita. I'm trying hard to be brave, but knowing that every able-bodied person in Fabletown, and many at the farm are being intensively trained for war is frightening.

I don't know if and when the battle will come, but it is my duty as a citizen of Fabletown and a former queen of a Homeland realm to do what I can to stop the tyranny of the Adversary. I don't expect to ever see my former home again, but if I can do anything to help other see theirs, I have to do what I can.

As always, I think of you every day. I pray you're safe and healthy.

Love always,


One Year

Jan. 16th, 2011 01:50 pm
longlonghair: (long hair illustration)
Dear Alex,

I decided that I'd start writing to you, even if you never receive the letters. Every time I return home, I find I always have something I want to tell you, or share with you. It still hurts, in that split second it takes me to remember that you're not here to talk to. I've opened every door I could find a dozen or more times in the hopes that it will lead me back to you. People have begun to think I've developed some strange sort of OCD. I'm hoping that writing you letters will help to ease some of the homesickness I've been feeling for you. I'll keep them in a lock box under my bed. It doesn't even bear thinking about what would happen if the others found out I was writing things about Fabletown down.

It's been a whole year since I came back 'home' from Milliways. A year might not seem like much for someone who is centuries old, but it's seemed like a lifetime since I last saw you. I've been in something of a fog of depression for a long time now, and am just starting to truly notice what is going on around Fabletown. Mostly, things have been peaceful, but a few odd things have happened now and again.

Flycatcher is a frog again. You remember how I told you about him and the Frog Prince story? Apparently Red Riding Hood had something to do with his sudden transformation. It's been obvious to many people that she's had a crush on him almost from the moment Boy Blue brought her back from the Homelands. No one seems to know what to do with him; I'm told that they've got him in a cage in the Business Office for now, but that Mayor Charming wants him sent to The Farm if he doesn't change back, soon.

Higher on the Bad News Scale is the word going out that Hansel has returned to Fabletown as an Envoy of The Adversary. It makes my stomach turn at the idea of his being among us, again. He was one of us, once, but chafed under our laws. He had this crazy religious zeal in him to eliminate all witches in every world. (Did I ever tell you that Frau Totenkinder was the witch in the house made of sweets from that story?) When he ran out of real witches, he traveled around the mundy world accusing innocents of witchcraft. He would come back to Fabletown from time to time to visit his sister, Gretel. He always tried to get her to leave with him, but she always refused. She was a nice girl and I liked her. I'm certain that Gretel's fall (and subsequent broken neck) all those years ago was no accident, but there was no investigation into her death. Ichabod Crane was the Mayor then, so it's no wonder that nothing was done other than banning Hansel forever.

Word is out from the current mayor that every single resident of Fabletown is to treat Hansel with utmost courtesy, or else. He's not to be anywhere in Fabletown without an escort, and he's not to be trusted, but they can't kick him out, either. No one I've discussed it with thinks his arrival bodes well. I hope he leaves, soon.

I keep my ears open for any news of Boy Blue, who was sent to The Farm for two years for breaking Fabletown law. No one is supposed to know exactly why, but it's one of the worst kept secrets among Fables: he stole the Witching Cloak and the Vorpal Blade. He traveled to the Homelands and fought his way through various kingdoms to reach the emperor--only to find out that the so-called emperor was a literal puppet. Geppetto, Pinocchio's father, was the real power behind the takeover of the homelands. Blue eventually escaped from captivity there, and for stealing valuable Fabletown artifacts and jeopardizing Fabletown security, he was sentenced to hard labor at The Farm.

Sadly, I had never gotten the chance to speak to Boy Blue about Milliways, and whether he had ever heard of it. It isn't the sort of conversation one has over the phone. I'd spoken to a Blue while in the bar a long time ago, but couldn't be certain if he was the Blue I know from this world. The Snow White and Bigby I've been told had spent a lot of time there before I ever found the bar certainly weren't the same ones from here; neither were the Rose Red and Goldilocks, as far as I can tell.

How have I been spending my time, you ask? How do I keep from going insane with the idea that I might not find my way back to you?

Mostly, I've been spending most of my evenings painting. I spend a lot of days at the movies, just because it's someplace dark I can go and not have to talk to anyone about why I've been so mopey lately. They actually made a "Rapunzel" themed movie and managed to get NOTHING about me right. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry at that.

Speaking of painting; I even agreed to do a portrait for one of the couples in the Woodland building, just to force myself out of my apartment and into the world a bit more. I've been trying to fit back in, whether I want to, or not.

I still talk to the picture of you that I keep by my bed, when no one else is around. In it, you're wearing your trademark hat and the coat Rachel gave you, and the scarf I made. I play my violin for you; the songs you said you liked when I played. I used to play them when I couldn't sleep, but the neighbors complained after a couple of two A.M. concertos. Now, I'll be writing to you.

I miss you, Alex. I pray you're safe and doing all right.

All my love,
longlonghair: (any length thoughtful)
Rapunzel is home early, tonight. It's one a.m., and normally she would be on her way to being asleep by now, but tonight was supposed to be special. Tonight was about dancing and catching up with friends one didn't see every day, and remembering their beginnings in Fabletown. Remembrance Day.

She had started her evening by writing a check; most fables use this event as a reminder to make sizable donations (according to what they can afford) to the business office to help keep Fabletown and The Farm operating smoothly for the next year. She can afford a tidy sum, after all. Four years in Milliways had made only a small dent in years of accumulated wealth from selling her hair.

Next, she had bathed, done her nails and donned the dress, the make-up, the shoes and jewelry. She had observed all of the rituals women indulged in for the special night with her date. Her date. She laughs to herself as she returns into her apartment while others (including her date) continue drinking, dancing and reminiscing in the ballroom, floors below. Joel had been her 'date' for evening, as he had been in many different years past. He had dutifully danced with her twice, then disappeared to the bar with some of the other men. She didn't mind; why should she? He was a friend and a convenient escort and nothing more (no matter what the gossips said). She had only seen him a couple of times after their second dance, and the second time had been to tell him the she was going to go home right after he cut her hair at midnight. After the toast.

The toast. That had been the hardest part. Every year, fables all over the Mundy world gathered together to remember those they had lost when the Adversary had taken over the Homelands, and those whose fates were still unknown, that they hoped to one day see again. Every year, the gala was never complete without the recited history, without the toast: Next year, in the the Homelands. Voices and glasses are raised and every one drinks.

Rapunzel removes the earrings from her earlobes and drops them carelessly in a decorative glass bowl. Slips off the gown and the gloves, steps out of the shoes. Tonight had been an especially trying one for her. It had become a sort of balm for them over the years--the toast has always been a sort of promise that they would never give up trying to return to their 'real' homes. What had they really done to achieve that? Not much, that Rapunzel could see.

At this time every year, even when she had been at Milliways, Rapunzel had made a silent toast to her fallen family, friends, servants and countrymen. It was a day to allow herself to mourn again for her slain children and husband. Her feelings for Alex were never diminished by the time she spent honoring the dead, but she also didn't flaunt it in front of him. Tonight, she had raised her glass with the others and drank the champagne, but had not repeated the words. There would be no going back to the homelands for her; her goal now was to try and get back to Alex and to Milliways. The only door she had ever found to Milliways had been from Fabletown; she wouldn't leave it for a land of ghosts and memories, now--even if it was possible.

After divesting herself of the evening's finery, Rapunzel goes to the small cupboard where she keeps a selection of spirits and liqueurs, and takes out a very good bottle of brandy. One of Alex's favorites. She retrieves a framed picture from its hiding place of six months, and props it up on the counter where she can see it clearly. Filling a tumbler with a healthy splash of the amber liquid, a deep breath is drawn in. The glass is raised as Rapunzel keeps her eyes on the image of Alex, smiling back at her.

Next year, with you, love.
longlonghair: (Default)
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.
longlonghair: (short scarf)
Has it really only been four years? It seems more like a hundred since she last sat in Joel's chair for one of her three daily haircuts. For him, she's only been gone a few hours. She'd been in this same spot at 8:00 this morning and had gone out for what limited activities the strict rules of Fabletown allow her.

And now? And now? Are there words to describe who lost she feels in her old life?

She feels the scissors snip away the thirty-two inches of hair and listens to Joel ask about how she spent her day. She fights back the tears that want to gather in her eyes and hopes she makes the appropriate non-committal noises in reply. Something in her voice must give her away, because her friend has real concern in his voice when he pauses in putting his scissors away and asks her what's wrong.

"It's nothing," she answers, wiping away a stray tear. It's everything! "It's just a woman thing. A cup of tea and a nap will sort me out. See you at midnight."

He looks uncomfortable at the mention of women things and doesn't press her further.

As she leaves, she cannot help but turn and open the door to Joel's place hopefully, but the bar is not where she left it, apparently. She hides her disappointment for long enough to murmur an excuse at Joel's questioning look, then makes her escape.

She holds back her tears for as long as it takes to get back to her apartment, then lets a sob loose at the sight of her familiar little home where nothing smells like Alex, and nothing has his imprint upon it and there are no scraps of paper with cryptic notes left laying around...

"I never should have come back."
longlonghair: (Default)
Rapunzel was in a pensive mood, and couldn't sleep. She knew that Alex was concerned about her since her encounter in Gotham, and she had to admit it had shaken her up.

It wasn't that she was afraid of getting mugged again, or anything like that; she wasn't afraid at all. The memory of her flight to the End of the World to flee the homelands had simply been so unexpected, that it had let the door open to the whole tale. In the dim light of the moon through the bedroom window, with Alex's arms around her, she feels ready to answer the unspoken questions she knows he's been harboring.

She began to speak quietly, knowing he was listening.

"I was on my way back from visiting a neighboring kingdom. I remember that day so clearly…it was warm and sunny, and the wildflowers were blooming everywhere. I was glad to be going home, because I had been gone for three weeks, and missed my family.

A single rider found our traveling party; he was bloody and bruised and barely able to stay upright on his mount. How odd is it that I can remember the color of the tunic he wore, and that the horse had no saddle, but I sometimes have trouble remembering if the dimple in Baldur’s cheek was on the right or left, or exactly how tall Jolenta was…

At any rate, the rider found us and told us we must not go back to the castle, or even enter the kingdom. The Adversary had sent a battalion of soldiers and goblins, and everyone in the castle had been slaughtered. He realized how blunt he’d been, and begged me to forgive him for not putting it more delicately. Imagine--he’s just saved us from a violent death, and he was apologizing."
longlonghair: (Default)
Alex had warned her that Gotham was a dangerous place, and Rapunzel had watched the headlines ever since she’d started seeing Alex. Gotham was the kind of place that she liked to move around in and explore; most of the people never really made eye contact with one another, and she didn’t have to work as hard to hide her hair. No one would notice if her hair grew two inches while she spent a half an hour browsing at the news stand or enjoying a cup of coffee in a little greasy spoon.

She had spent a lovely time in the art museum this afternoon while Alex had been off at some meeting or other. They’d had a display of Native American art on loan from an Arizona museum, and she’d been able to linger and admire the stitching and beading on the ceremonial garments. She’d even run into Bruce Wayne very briefly, and though he’d been very polite when she’d said hello, she had the suspicion he didn’t really remember her. She wasn’t offended, as she’d only met him once and he was a prominent community figure (besides the fact that she‘d forgotten to use an accent).

She doubted that Alex would have much interest in the display, so she didn’t mind coming alone; she enjoyed it. Though she loved Milliways, she did occasionally get cabin fever there and missed the crowds and pollution and noises one could only find in a city. She was on her way meet Alex when it happened. She could have taken a taxi, but the day was actually pleasant after the previous day’s rainfall and she decided to walk the few blocks to the PM offices. The sun had just set, but true darkness hadn’t descended.

As she passed the alley between the museum and the building next to it, someone grabbed her arm and pulled her off balance, making her stumble into the alley. It didn’t occur to her right away what was happening, and then she realized: she was being mugged! There was a quick spurt of anger that anyone would dare, and then common sense prevailed. She could hear Alex’s voice in her head telling her to give them what they wanted and run for it.

She was actually relieved when she was pulled against a rather bony feeling body, her back pressed to his chest as he dug something hard and pointy into her ribcage, wrapped an arm around her neck and demanded she hand over her money. She had had a moment of panic thinking that she might be assaulted, but it seemed that this man just wanted money. The part of her brain that wasn’t in shock reasoned that he was probably a drug addict, and would leave her alone as soon as she handed over her purse. She didn’t even consider fighting him.

“Just take my purse; it’s right here on my arm.” She made no move to hand it over--she didn’t want him thinking that she was trying to struggle or try anything else.

“Don’t tell me what to do, bitch!”

In the moment when he growled it into her ear, Rapunzel heard another voice; a long buried memory as it surfaced to the forefront of her mind.

Suddenly she was no longer in a filthy Gotham alley with a strung out junkie, but in a dark forest, being held fast against a putrid-smelling goblin as she struggled in vain to free herself. Would it be a quick death, or would she be humiliated and violated before she was allowed to join her beloved husband and children once more?

She thought the screams echoing through the forest were coming from her own throat before she realized that they were the cries of birds. Crows were flying at her attacker and the other goblins hidden in the woods, cawing loudly as they clawed and pecked at the goblins. She soon realized that other birds were there, as well--birds that would never normally be in flight in the midnight woods. The attacks and the commotion were effective, and the goblin holding Rapunzel let one of her arms loose to swat wildly at the crazed birds. She heard a voice from somewhere in the nearby dark cry out, “Fight, Lady! Fight!”

The words surprised her and spurred her into action. With one arm freed, she struggled with renewed vigor, kicking and scratching at her captor. A fox emerged from the wood to bite at the goblin’s legs, causing it to bellow in annoyance and fury and jerk Rapunzel around like a rag doll. The fox snarled and snapped at the goblin, managing to bite the wrist of the hand that held Rapunzel, and she managed to get free for a moment before she felt herself jerked backward by her long hair.

Nearly pitching all the way backward, she planted her foot and pivoted around to face the goblin; in a last effort to defend herself she moved around the beast and jumped onto its back, using her hair as garrote, and pulling with the last of her strength to cut off the goblin’s air supply. She brought the brute to its knees, and then one of the crows transformed before her eyes and turned into a man. He leaped forward and dispatched the goblin with a blade to its heart. He nodded to Rapunzel with a satisfied expression and said, “Run to the east, my lady. You will find help there.” Before she could say a word, he had transformed again and flown off into the trees.

When Rapunzel came back to herself from the gripping memory, she was sprawled on her back on the ground of the alley, looking up as a large dark shape swooped away into the darkening sky--something larger than a crow…

Her purse and her wallet were on the ground nearby, and the mugger was no where to be seen. She got to her feet and dusted off her abraded hands and started badly when she heard a scream from the street. She snatched her wallet from the ground and shoved it into her purse and hurried back into the dusky light of the sidewalk. Her head hurt as if her hair had been pulled hard at the scalp, and she rubbed it wonderingly, unsure of what had just happened while she'd been in a fugue state. She looked around for who had screamed, and noticed a stir in front of the museum steps.

The man who had mugged her appeared to be unconscious; bound to a light pole by a long length of cord wrapped several times around his body and the post. A confused looking cop was scratching his head, looking at the thug, and Rapunzel saw that the cop was holding a bat-shaped piece of metal in his hand, attached to the cord binding the crook.

She wondered if she should step forward and tell the cops that the man had mugged her, but then there would be questions--most of which she couldn't answer. She also imagined that the police would notice that her hair grew a foot or so while she waited for them to take her statement and investigate…

Turning her back on the strange scene, Rapunzel checked that she still had some cash and, stifling a sob, hailed a cab to take her to where Alex was waiting.
longlonghair: (long unbraided waves)

You may not know my, but my name is Rapunzel, and Makita is a dear friend of mine. I don't know if most people are aware of this, but her father was killed in her home world recently. She would. like to try to have a memorial service here at Milliways in a few days, in an attempt to begin the healing process after this terrible tragedy. I know it would mean so much to her to have the support of her friends and adopted family here at Milliways, and ask you to come.

It will be something simple outside, on this coming Saturday morning.

Thank you.
longlonghair: (long unbraided waves)
Rapunzel had been busy planning, and had everything nearly perfect for her Valentine's Day dinner with Alex. She was wearing a pretty dress with something naughty underneath for later, and she'd brought up a fancy meal from the bar and set it out on the table, just waiting for the candles to be lit, the lights to be dimmed, and Alex to arrive.

She has out wine glasses and a bucket of ice, and goes to put on some soft music while she waits.
longlonghair: (meduim smiling)
Rapunzel had scoured post-Christmas Gotham for Christmas decorations, and had found almost everything on clearance at department stores eager to get rid of what was left of their stock. Surprisingly, she had even found some blue bulbs with Hanukkah designs on them--maybe Alex wasn't the only Gothamite to be half-Jewish? She smiled now, at all of the pretty ornaments laid out and ready to be put on the enormous tree set up in the corner of her room.

It hadn't been easy to find a Christmas tree, but she had finally gotten one of the other bar patrons to procure one for her, and bring it to the bar. Alex still had a scratch on his cheek from the branches he had had to cut away to make the thing fit in the tree stand.

She had forced Santa hats on both Alex and Allie, and had Christmas music playing softly in the back ground.

"Are we ready to decorate the tree?"
longlonghair: (short and messy)
Rapunzel was watching Alex sleep again. She seemed to be doing a lot of that lately. She had been babying him since they'd gotten back to the bar, and thanking God silently during every moment of it that he was around to baby. Tears welled again at the thought of how close he had come to not coming back at all.

They had been brought back to the bar by Cait, and dumped somewhat unceremoniously through the door; Rapunzel had been in a daze. Alex had passed out soon after returning, and so she had enlisted the help of a kind red haired witch who levitated him gently up to her room. He had never even stirred Rapunzel had undressed him and cleaned him up as best she could.

He was still sleeping, but she was sure it was just sleep now, and not something more sinister.

She brushed a lock of hair off of his forehead, and leaned down to kiss it.
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