Story Saturday: A Virus in Corona (Tangled Fanfic)

I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy out there during this tough time. I don't usually write fanfiction, but I've heard so many people making Tangled references about the coronavirus that I thought I'd have a little fun with it. This story takes place after the ending of Tangled: The Series and the "Tangled Ever After" short. Enjoy!

A Virus in Corona

One sunny day in the kingdom of Corona, Shorty went out exploring and found something he had never seen before. A purple mushroom with green polka dots had sprouted near the area where the Sun Drop and black rocks had appeared. Many people would have been afraid to come near a mysterious new formation in such an ominous spot, but not Shorty. In fact, as soon as he laid eyes on it, he wondered what such a rare and exotic mushroom might taste like. He was disappointed to find that it didn't taste very different from any other mushroom and decided to go to his favorite pub, the Snuggly Duckling, to find a drink and wash it down.


Meanwhile, Rapunzel was thrilled to receive a message from her friend, Cassandra, who had recently left Corona to find her own path. Owl flew through the princess's window with a letter explaining that she was training to join the Saporian army. Rapunzel could not have been happier for her friend. Cassandra was a terrific warrior and had already earned rapport with the kingdom of Saporia in the past. She sat at her desk with a blank sheet of parchment trying to decide what to write back. There were so many things she wanted to tell Cass about, like her wedding to Eugene and how she had convinced everyone to take off their shoes and dance barefoot at the party afterward. There was also the big event at Uncle Monty and Attila's Sweet Shop and Bakery where they revealed a delicious new ice cream flavor called The Lost Princess. She knew she would never be able to fit everything she wanted to say on a single page, so she sat and stared at the parchment trying to decide what to leave out. Her thoughts were interrupted when her husband, Eugene, barged into the room. He took his new position as Captain of the Guard very seriously.

"Rapunzel!" he huffed, completely out of breath. "There's--you should--Just come with me!"

He grabbed Rapunzel's hand and led her outside, where she saw the citizens of Corona in a panic. Several people's skin had turned purple with green polka dots across their faces. They were coughing and sneezing everywhere, while the healthier people ran as far away as they could. It was mass panic.

"The world is coming to an end!" shouted Shorty between sneezes.

Rapunzel took a deep breath and did her best to remain calm. She had read a book about viruses in the tower and remembered that they were spread by close contact, so she knew it would best for everyone to stay inside where it was safe.

"Okay, nobody panic," she said.

It didn't seem to work. Everyone was panicking. Old Lady Crowley turned purple right before her eyes. 

"This is really bad, right?" asked Eugene.

"Tell the guards to get everyone inside. All business in Corona will be shut down until we find a cure."

Eugene nodded.

"You heard her!" he told Stan and Pete. "Everyone inside!"

The guards acted swiftly on Eugene's orders, but there was one problem. Shorty didn't have a home. Even though the rest of the Corona citizens cleared out in an orderly fashion, Shorty stood by as the royal carriage arrived with King Frederic and Queen Arianna, who were returning from their recent trip to their summer castle. As they emerged from the carriage Shorty raced over to greet them.

"Wait!" cried Rapunzel, but it was too late.

"Good morning, Your Maj--a--ACHOO!" Shorty sneezed right on the king and queen.

"Rapunzel?" asked King Frederic.

"What's going on?" asked Queen Arianna.

"Don't worry. We've got everything under control," Rapunzel said in her most reassuring voice.

She turned to Eugene "Get them inside to the castle doctor right away! And give Shorty a nice secluded room at the inn."

Rapunzel and Eugene raced to the castle alchemist to determine how to find a cure for the virus.

"It's definitely the Corona Virus," said Varian, as he exampled the mushroom spores under a microscope.

"There's a virus named after Corona?" asked Rapunzel.

"It used to be an epidemic caused by the mushrooms that grew here centuries ago," he explained, "But once the Sun Drop grew in its place, it cured all traces of the mushroom. Now that the Sun Drop has been gone for while, it looks like it's grown back."

"Is there a cure?" she asked.

"Yes. I can make enough of the antidote to give to all the infected people, but I would need the Herb of the Wildebeast, which is guarded by a deadly monster."

"How do we get it?" asked Eugene in his bravest voice.

"The monster isn't the only obstacle," Varian explained sadly. "The virus could be fatal in two weeks' time, but the Cave of the Wildebeast is several days north of Saporia."

"But Saporia is over a week's ride away," said Rapunzel. "If we leave now, it would be too late by the time we return."

"Exactly," said Varian. "I'm sorry, Princess. I know how it feels to lose your parents."

"I know what to do," she said in a determined tone, brushing her fingers through her short brown hair.

"Care to fill me in?" asked her husband.

"I've finally figured out what I'm going to write in my letter to Cass."

Rapunzel found Owl right where she had left him by the blank piece of parchment in her room. She explained everything in her letter to Cassandra, making it clear how important it was to Corona that she brought the herb in time. She knew that if anyone could defeat a Wildebeast and travel from Saporia to Corona within two weeks, it was Cass.

***

"That's a lot of paintings," said Eugene a few days later.

Rapunzel looked up from her canvas revealing a smudge of yellow paint on her cheek. She presented a painting of a beautiful sunset and threw it on top of a pile.

"That's the last one!" she announced.

She took each painting and placed it inside one of dozens of baskets she scattered around her floor containing cookies, books, quill pens, and parchment. Each one was secured with a big purple ribbon tied in a bow.

"I need the guards to distribute these care packages to the front door of everyone in Corona. Make sure no one waits for them to come out. The virus spreads through direct contact, remember?"

"You really didn't have to do all this," Eugene said in amazement at his kind and considerate wife.

"I know what it's like to be cooped up inside all the time. They'll go crazy with nothing to keep them occupied."

"You really are the best princess Corona could have asked for," he said as he took her in his arms and kissed her gently.

***

Two weeks passed before they knew it. The castle doctor convinced Rapunzel not to make contact with her parents before, but this time, she insisted.

"I know Cass is going to come through to me, but I still want to see them just in case anything goes wrong. I've had so little time with them already," she explained. "Besides, I've never gotten sick in my life. Varian thinks the Sun Drop made me immune to everything."

"Do you really want to test that theory now?" he asked.

"Please. They're my parents. Besides, Cass is going to be here with the cure any day now."

"Very well."

Rapunzel raced to her parents' side as they lied in the bed. She had never seen them like this before. They were pale and weak.

"Rapunzel," said King Frederic, "If we don't make it through this, you're going to be in charge. We need you to stay strong for Corona."

Rapunzel took his hand in hers. "No," she breathed. "I'll be queen someday, but not any time soon. You're both going to recover. I know it."

"We're so proud of you," Ariana croaked, her voice barely a whisper.

"Would you mind if I sing the healing incantation? I know I don't have the magic of the Sun Drop anymore, but hearing always made me feel better," said Rapunzel.

Her parents smiled at her.

"Flower gleam and glow," Rapunzel sang. "Let your power shine. Make the clock reverse. Bring back what once was mine."

As soon as she finished the first verse, there was a knock at the door.

"Raps! Open up!" called a familiar voice.

Rapunzel raced to the door and threw her arms around Cassandra. Varian stood next to her with a vial containing a green liquid.

"It's all ready. We wanted to give it to the queen and king first," he said.

"I knew you wouldn't let me down!" said Rapunzel. "Thank you so much."

Cassandra grinned humbly as Owl purred on her shoulder.

***

A few days later, everyone in Corona was cured, and a huge festival was held to celebrate. Cassandra was presented a medal by the king and queen and named the Hero of Corona. Rapunzel didn't spend much time participating in the festivities because she was so busy filling in Cassandra on every last detail of her wedding.

"Raps," Cassandra said when Rapunzel finished her story, "You know I can't stay, right?"

"I know," said Rapunzel, "But you've proven yourself to be a true ally to Corona today, and I'm sure you will do the same for Saporia. You're a hero, Cass."

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