Rampion (Male version of Rapunzel) by Joelsweet
(First off, I apologize for any typos, haha. If you like this, please check out my other stories!
Also, if you want to see more content, I have some on my deviantart, which is Joelsweet.deviantart.com)
Once upon a time in a land far away, there lived a husband and wife. They resided in a humble cottage and worked a plot of land to earn enough money to get by. Even though they were poor, the couple strongly desired to have a child. After many years of trying in vain, the wife became pregnant.
There was a window in the wife's bedroom that looked out into the neighbor's immense garden. All kinds of magical and non-magical herbs, vegetables, and fruits filled the garden in abundance. The neighbor happened to be a fairy. The fairy was quite an intimidating man, and nobody dared to enter his property; not even the snails or worms or weeds.
When the wife was lying in bed, she could see into the fairy's colorful garden; which was downhill from the cottage. She found herself staring at a bed of rampion within the garden. The woman yearned for the greens; she wanted them so badly that it felt like physical torture to not consume them. She craved them so awfully that she couldn't bear to even eat anything else, knowing that those fresh, delicious rampion leaves were so close and still out of reach. She began to waste away and starve. She looked absolutely miserable, and her stomach grumbled all the time. But she wasn't one to complain or seem like a nuisance, so she didn't say anything to her husband. Eventually he realized that she would die if this continued, and begged her to tell him what was ailing her.
"If I can't eat some of that rampion that's growing in the fairy's garden, then I'll starve to death, she confessed, crying in despair.
Now, the man loved his wife very much. He knew what he needed to do. He was going to get that rampion, no matter the cost. That very evening, he climbed over the large stone wall and into the fairy's garden. Shivering, he tiptoed in between the rows of plants and grabbed a handful of rampion. He brought the stolen greens to his wife, and she ate them raw and ravenously. What they didn't know, however, was that the rampion was magical and made people strongly desire it if they stared at it too long. And once you ate it, you craved it three times as much. And so now the wife was even more miserable than before, and her appearance was absolutely wretched. And so the man snuck out into the fairy's garden again, and stole some more rampion. As he stood up and turned to leave, rampion clutched in his hand, he came face to face with the fairy, who had heard the rustling in his garden. Petrified in fear, the man couldn't run away.
"What the hell are you doing?! the fairy demanded, arms folded. The man was too afraid to speak. "You think you can just trespass and then steal MY rampion? This scolding continued for a while, with the man frozen in trepidation about what was to come.
"Hello---o? Do you even know how to talk?! The fairy's disgruntled question broke the man's shocked state.
"I-I just need some of this rampion. Or my wife will die, the man said, head lowered. The fairy thought this was hilarious.
"Oh man. She has a craving for my rampion? I guess she'll just have to starve to death as a punishment for coveting, the fairy stated; amused and shrugging.
"No!! Please, have mercy! My wife is pregnant with our first born child! the husband cried.
I guess we can strike a deal, the fairy said, examining his nails.
"Yes, anything! Just don't let my wife die!
"Alright, then. I'll give you AALL the rampion you want, as long as you give me that kid your wife is carrying, the fairy proposed, with a smug smile and a tilted head. The man hesitated for a moment, thinking the deal over. It was better to have his wife and child live than to have both die, right?
"Deal. They shook hands on it, right there in the dark of the night.
The wife was shocked at this deal at first, but relieved to have as much rampion as she wanted. To be honest, they forgot about the deal completely until the child had been delivered, and the fairy came knocking on their door. They begged with the fairy, asking him to reconsider, but he was firm. The fairy named the boy Rampion, as a kind of cruel irony. He took the child far away lived with him in a small cottage.
Rampion was the most beautiful person on earth, man or woman. The fairy felt a strong desire to keep him innocent, pure and apart from the influence of rest of the world. So when he turned twelve, the fairy locked him high up in a tower without a door or stairs, only one small window and a skylight at the top. Whenever the fairy needed to visit Rampion, he would stand at the base of the tower and yell,
"Rampion, Rampion, let down your hair!
Now, Rampion had gorgeous hair, which was a brilliant ginger color. It was extremely thick, and fell in full waves all around his delicate form. His hair looked as if it was fire, and shimmered with every movement he made. Like Rampion himself, the hair was magical. It grew incredibly fast when he was younger (but stopped growing when it reached around 75 feet long), never needed trimming, and stayed perfectly clean. It was if the radiant locks repelled dirt and oil just by its sheer brightness. Before the time of day that the fairy showed up, Rampion braided his hair into a tight plait that had a diameter larger than six inches. When he heard the fairy's call, he looped his braid around a hook outside his window and let it drop down the side of the tower. The fairy then climbed up the tower, using the braid as some kind of rope.
The fairy brought Rampion food and water every single day, and then left soon after. Rampion was incredibly lonely; however, since he had never known any other life, he couldn't identify the feeling. He had learned much, because of all the books the fairy had brought him. None of those books were about the ways of the world, only of science and animals and things like that. He had taken to singing to pass the time and alleviate his mood, as well as rereading those books, that he had pretty much memorized.
There was a prince from a nearby kingdom that enjoyed taking rides on horseback out into the forest. One day, he ventured farther than ever before and got severely lost. He happened upon Rampion's tower. The prince intended to get directions, but because he didn't see any way up the tower, he couldn't. Perhaps it was abandoned? But it that wasn't so.. The prince heard faint, beautiful singing coming from the top of the tower. So he strung up a hammock near the clearing and began reading, when he heard,
"Rampion, Rampion, let down your hair!
The prince jumped out of the hammock and dashed closer to the tower. He watched from the cover of the trees in amazement as a lovely copper braid tumbled out of the window at the top of the tower, and a handsome fairy began to climb it. The prince knew he was a fairy because of the man's long, pointy ears, and youthful appearance. He didn't see any wings; presumably they had been cut off sometime in the past. The fairy clambered through the window at the top of the tower and then the red plait was pulled back up. The prince watched the flaming tail retract back through the window and sighed wistfully. He memorized the words that the fairy had said, and went back to his hammock to sleep.
The next morning, the prince confidently strode to the base of the tower and called,
"Rampion, Rampion, let down your hair! He thought to himself over what a strange name that was. Who would name their kid after a vegetable?
At the top of the tower, Rampion was busy reading. Without registering that it was too early in the day for the fairy to visit, and that the voice calling him was different, he absentmindedly wrapped his braid around the hook and dropped it down.
The prince tentatively reached out a hand and gripped the silky plait. He thought in that moment that the gleaming mass was the color of the finest orange topaz, a gem that adorned his mother's crown. He began climbing up the tower, but when he found his boots too slippery he shed them. In his head, the prince imagined the beautiful maiden that must be the owner of such lovely flaming tresses. (Little did he know that there was no maiden attached to the hair.)
The prince reached the window and climbed in, before dusting himself off. Imagine Rampion's surprise when he saw that a dark, handsome stranger, and not the fairy, was standing before him! And then imagine the prince's surprise when he found himself looking at the owner of the hair, and it was a man. Rampion immediately stumbled back, his sky blue eyes wide with fear. The prince's own eyes drank in Rampion's pale skin, which looked as if it had never seen the sun before. A light dusting of freckles covered the bridge of his nose.
"Wh-who are you? Rampion stuttered out, backed against a wall. He had been taught to be wary of strangers.
"I'm Prince Helondrius, the prince informed Rampion in a regal manner, bowing to him. "And you are?
"I-I'm Rampion.., the redhead said quietly. Helondrius stepped closer to Rampion, who found there was nowhere to escape to.
"You have a lot of hair, Rampion, the prince commented, picking up Rampion's braid off of the floor. Rampion flinched at this action, and Helondrius walked even nearer to him.
"Yes, that i-is true. Wh-what about it? Rampion asked in a scared, shaky voice.
"It's quite stunning. At this response, Rampion's white cheeks took on a pink color. "Relax, the prince said. "I'm not going to hurt you. Warily, Rampion untensed a bit. Helondrius took another step towards him. "Come to think of it, your whole personage is beautiful. He ran a hand lightly down Rampion's pronounced cheekbones. Rampion's face was now scarlet. Helondrius felt a wave of love suddenly rush over his whole body. He had never experienced the feeling before. He wanted this mysterious ginger man to be with him forever. The same thing was happening to Rampion, but because he was unfamiliar with the concept of love, he didn't know what the tingly feeling was.
"Was that you singing earlier? Prince Helondrius inquisited. Rampion nodded bashfully. "Could you sing for me?
"Y-yes. Sit there. Rampion pointed with a slender digit to a wooden stool at the side of the room; avoiding eye contact. Helondrius obliged. Rampion sat, cross-legged, on the floor and began unbraiding his hair, starting at the end. As he did this, he sung, shyly and self-aware at first, and then more confidently. He felt a bit more trusting of the prince now, since he hadn't hurt him in any way. The ginger man sung of spring and of new beginnings and clouds and all manner of things. The prince felt as if there had been a spell cast upon him. He watched; enchanted, as rippling phoenix-colored tresses were freed from their confines. They snaked around the entire room, collected in massive, brilliant piles. Rampion absentmindedly glanced up at the clock while singing and gasped.
"Father Gothel will be here in half an hour! Y-you have to go! he cried.
"Father Gothel? the prince echoed.
"He's the fairy who raised me. My parents abandoned me as a baby, and Father Gothel took me in, Rampion said, eyes shining with positivity. Somehow, the prince was a bit skeptical.
"And he never lets you leave? You're stuck up here?
"Oh, yes, but it's because he loves me and wants me to stay safe, Rampion asserted. The prince was not convinced.
"Ooo-kay, if you say so.
"Oh, I know so! Rampion declared, nodding. "Aa! You need to go!
"Alright. Helondrius walked closer to Rampion and kissed him on the lips. Rampion was left dumbstruck, as the prince wrapped his unbound hair around the hook and began to descend.
The fairy came soon after, and questioned why Rampion's hair was unbraided. Rampion, still shocked from the kiss, was only able to say that he forgot. Father Gothel thought that this was strange, for Rampion had never forgotten before.
The prince began coming every evening, after Gothel had left. He rode to the tower from his castle every day after dinner to see Rampion. They grew very close as their love blossomed over the months. Eventually, Helondrius asked,
"My sweet Rampion, will you make love with me? Rampion agreed, for in his naivety he didn't know what that was. But the prince was very gentle with him, and pleased Rampion so much that he wondered why Father Gothel hadn't told him of such a marvelous thing before. He had no idea that this was one of the very things Gothel had been shielding him from.
And so, on some evenings, Helondrius and Rampion embraced each other, with unbound, wavy hair tumbling all around them; covering the ground like shining, silken, glorious autumn leaves. The setting sun would deliver slanted light through the window, making Rampion and his mane seem to have a heavenly amber glow.
One day, while the prince and the redhead were laying next to each other on Rampion's bed, Helondrius said,
"I know we've talked about his before, but.. I really want you to come live with me as my husband.. Rampion curled up into a ball and closed his eyes.
Father Gothel would be so furious with me.. Even if I ran away, he would find me and punish me, he murmured.
"But I can protect you! My guards won't let anybody hurt you! The prince grabbed Rampion's pale hand and looked into his distressed blue eyes.
"But he can use powerful magic! And I don't want anything to happen to you, Rampion interjected, biting his lip. "Besides, how would I even get down from this tower? Helondrius mulled this over.
"Well.. Cutting your hair so you can climb down is out of the question, he said good-naturedly, and brought Rampion's thick braid to his lips to kiss it, causing Rampion to giggle. "Maybe I could bring you a skein of silk everyday, and you could weave a ladder out them to get down? I'd just bring you a ladder, but I don't think there are any long enough.
"Oh, that would work! Rampion said, grinning, and touched noses with Helondrius. Rampion stood up and beckoned for the prince to do the same. "You've been here all night and half the day, I just realized. he laughed, then suddenly became more serious. "But Gothel is coming soon! You need to go.
Helondrius nodded and reluctantly stood up. He lingeringly kissed Rampion, who wrapped his braid around the hook outside the window. The prince climbed down slowly, keeping eye contact with his love until he hit the ground. Rampion waved to him until he was out of view. He then rested his hand on his chin and sighed wistfully.
Fifteen minutes later, Father Gothel showed up. He called out to Rampion, who looped his copper braid around the hook and dropped it down. Gothel climbed up and entered the tower, then said to Rampion,
"My dear, can I brush your hair? We haven't spend much time together lately. You seem SO distant, darling, the fairy declared flamboyantly, and ran a hand through his own nut-brown locks. Rampion looked up and met Gothel's green eyes nervously.
"Ah, yes, of course you can. He pulled up a short stool with shaking hands, due to his anxiousness that the fairy would find out about his plan to escape with Helondrius.
Gothel found the end of Rampion's extensive braid and undid the tie at the end. He conjured a bristle brush and sat down on the stool. He ran his long, thick fingers through the locks to separate the sections of the braid, which took around half an hour. Starting at the ends of Rampion's 75 feet of hair, Gothel pulled the brush through; it parted the strands easily like water. There weren't any tangles in it to speak of in the first place, really. Neither of them said a word to each other as Gothel made his way up the wavy, long, gleaming river of hair. As Gothel got closer to Rampion, tension from the brush and Rampion's scalp caused his hair to be straight under the brush. When it was released, the hair sprung back into curls. Gothel was anything but gentle in his task. One particular time, the brush was pulled through Rampion's tresses so roughly that his head jerked backwards, and he yelped. Without a thought, he muttered,
"The prince brushes my hair much more tenderly.
Suddenly, the brushing stopped. With a jolt, Rampion realized his awful mistake.
"What? the fairy questioned dangerously.
"Nothing! Rampion quickly offered, feigning cheerfulness. But Gothel had incredible hearing. He knew what Rampion had said.
"Someone has been here?! Why, you have betrayed me! he spat angrily and incredulously. Desperately, Rampion cried,
"No! He would never hurt me! Don't worry, he loves me! The fairy roared with anger.
"You disgusting, godless faggot!! This prince' is in love' with you?!! You haven't just been unfaithful to me, you've been unfaithful to the natural order of things!! To think- I raised you in seclusion your whole life, and then you go and consort with a man!!
Rampion was terrified. This "natural order of things was something he'd never heard of. In fact, he'd never even seen a woman before, apart from his mother when he was just born. He had no idea that homosexuality was widely considered wrong in those times, or even what homosexuality was. Suddenly, the fairy quieted, and Rampion froze, petrified. There was no telling what his punishment would be. Thoughtfully, Gothel brushed Rampion's hair out of his face, causing him to cringe. He ran his hand down the red mane, and then said,
"My dear, I think it's time I gave you a little trim, Gothel murmured innocently.
"W-what's that? Rampion whispered fearfully, his eyes wide. He had no idea what a "trim was, considering he had never needed one.
"Oh, you'll see, the fairy hissed menacingly. He harshly pushed Rampion onto the floor and grabbed his hair. "Hmm.. But what to use? Scissors won't be short enough to teach this kid a lesson, the fairy whispered to himself, just loud enough that Rampion could hear. Rampion began the gather an inkling of what Gothel was planning to do. He waited; tense and with bated breath. Gothel did a flourish with his hand, and automatic clippers were conjured into them. "I bet you haven't seen these before, have you? Especially since they won't be around for hundreds of years. he laughed.
"Want to find out what they do? he teased Rampion. Rampion shook his head vigorously, eyes fixed on the mysterious device. "Aww, that's too bad. You don't have a choice, dear.
Gothel flipped a switch on the clippers and they whirred to life, making Rampion's body jump. He struggled to crawl away, but Gothel's grip was tight on his fiery hair. Rampion squeezed his eyes shut and turned his cheek as the angry, unguarded clippers got closer to his head.
"Please, don't do this! he pleaded distraughtly.
Gothel only laughed, and then Rampion felt the vibrating blades on the front of his hairline. He screamed, and Gothel yanked his hair. Gothel made a rough pass with the clippers down the middle of Rampion's head, leaving short, tattered orange locks in its path. Rampion's hair was so thick that Gothel had to make several swipes with the clippers to reduce the patch of hair to stubble. Rampion reached up a hand to feel the newly shorn section where his part line used to be. Tears burst from Rampion's azure eyes as he touched the incredibly short, bristly hairs in the strip at the top of his head. In horror, Rampion grabbed some hair, pulled his hand away, and found it was no longer connected to his scalp. It had been mowed down by the clippers. Rampion clutched the locks to his chest and sobbed. Gothel shoved Rampion's head into a bowed position, and placed the clippers at his nape, causing him to shiver.
"This will teach you, you ungrateful child! He tore the clippers upwards over and over, until they met the bare strip through the middle of Rampion's hair. Rampion was helplessly sobbing and screaming, "Stop!! Stop!!. He had never had short hair before, and to him, this was a form of torture. The buzzing sound filled Rampion's hearing as Gothel clipped the hair around Rampion's ears. Next, the fairy finished shaving the right side of Rampion's head.
Rampion had never cried this much before in his entire life. He never had a reason to before. Having his head buzzed was the equivalent to having his arm slowly sawn off. His face was red and dripping with tears. Rampion's aching weeping was coming straight from his heart; racking his whole body. He kept screaming and begging hysterically, but he knew it was in vain. To have the person who had acted as his only parental figure his whole life treat him this way was unbearable.
The fairy finished liberating the left side with a flourish. He laughed as Rampion rubbed his uneven, newly shorn head. A short layer of orange hair covered his scalp like fine velvet. All around him lay beautiful fallen locks; some 75 feet long, some an inch long. It looked as if the floor was aflame, or perhaps that it covered in blood. Gothel threw the clippers into the air and they disappeared. He then conjured up a small mirror and forced Rampion to look at himself in it. Rampion felt like he was staring at someone else. He looked miserable with his red-rimmed eyes and redder face and his precious mane shorn off like a sheep. Gothel threw the mirror, which also disappeared into thin air, and bent down to kiss the top of Rampion's head. He gently strokes the little that was left of Rampion's gorgeous tresses.
"Oh, it's only hair, my sweet Rampion, he said, laughing dryly. "Let's see if your DEAR prince will still think you're attractive now!
Rampion didn't even try to respond, knowing that he wouldn't be able to get it out. An hour of Gothel taunting him later, Rampion heard a familiar voice.
"Rampion, Rampion, let down your hair! Rampion gasped. Gothel grabbed Rampion's severed hair and messily tied it around the hook outside of the window. He then took Rampion and ducked into the shadows, with the boy struggling pointlessly, for Gothel towered over him. Gohtel clamped a hand over Rampion's mouth so that he couldn't warn the prince of the danger until he was already trapped in the tower.
Within minutes, Helondrius was climbing through the window. He leapt onto the floor and looked at the ginger hair tied to the hook in confusion and then horror.
"Oh my God. Rampion?! Where are you?! he cried, looking around. Then, Gothel shoved Rampion out in front of the prince and dashed over the shut the window. Light still streamed in from the skylight above. Rampion stumbled over and hugged Helondrius tightly, still sobbing. And first, Helondrius thought that the person embracing him was a stranger, but then Rampion looked up at him with those beautiful blue eyes, and he knew that it was his love. He hugged him back, looking around the room warily. Gothel was hiding in the shadows again.
"What happened, Rampion? Helondrius asked.
"G-Gothel found out about us. He p-punished me. You must leave here, Rampion mumbled into the prince's chest.
"He did this to you?! the prince demanded. "How could he?!
"And he's still here! Please, leave!
"No way in hell am I leaving you here alone with that dude!
At this, Gothel stepped from the shadows.
"So you're the one that has corrupted this pure child, he drawled. "It's a shame I have to punish you, really. You're so lovely looking. Helondrius transferred Rampion to one arm and drew his sword. "I'm not afraid of you, little prince.
Gothel flew forwards and caught the prince by surprise. He grabbed the sword right out of Helondrius' hand.
"Get behind me, Rampion, the prince whispered. Rampion obliged. Gothel raised the weapon and held it in front of the steadfast Helondrius' face.
In a swift movement, he slashed his eyes. The prince yelled, clutching his face. He delivered a hard kick to Gothel's side, knocking him over. "Quick, Rampion! Climb down your hair!
"No, I won't leave you!
"Just do it! Trust me, I'll be right behind you! Rampion nervously ran over to the window and tried to open it.
"It's locked! Thinking quickly, Rampion ran over to the fallen sword and picked it up. He kicked Gothel again to keep him down, then went to the window and unleashed the sword onto the shutters, breaking them. He slashed at it again and again, and broke all of the wood. The sword was thrown over to near where the prince was, skittering on the floor. He looked back at Helondrius, gulped, and then began his descent.
Helondrius had been lying to Rampion. He was blinded, and had no idea what to do, and thought death was near. He fumbled for the sword, grabbed it, and cautiously stepped forwards, not knowing Gothel's location. Blood from his eyes kept dripping into his mouth, which he spat out. Suddenly, Gothel tackled him and pinned his arms down with his knees. Helondrius struggled against the fairy's grip, but it was useless. Gothel took the sword and positioned it over the prince's neck. He only knew it was there when he felt cold metal against his throat.
"I'm going to offer you a deal, little prince. You admit that your love' for Rampion was only a delusion, and I will let you keep your life.
"Never! Helondrius hissed, and spat into Gothel's face. Gothel recoiled, and while he was off balance, the prince threw him off. The prince couldn't see a thing, but managed to grab the sword. He kicked in Gothel's direction and felt his foot connect, although he didn't know where. He kicked again, and then swiped the sword and it landed with a thud into Gothel's side. Gothel screamed, and tried to grab the sword, but he grabbed the blade and sliced his fingers. Helondrius dislodged the sword and blindly stabbed Gothel. It went right through Gothel's neck. Helondrius heard Gothel's screams of agony quiet and felt his body go still. He was a little glad he didn't have to see Gothel's corpse. He staggered over the the window and groped for the hair. He found it, hopped out the window, and slid down the silky locks. When he hit the ground, Rampion hugged him tightly.
"Oh, I was so scared! But your eyes
, he trailed off sadly. Now that the adrenaline was fading, the agony in Helondrius' eyes returned.
"It's alright, he said quietly. He heard a ripping sound as Rampion tore off his sleeve and tied it around the prince's head.
"Perhaps that will ease the bleeding a bit. Oh, my love, I am so sorry that this has befallen you..
"I'm just glad you're safe, Rampion. There were several moments of silence as they held each other.
"Do you still love me without my hair? Rampion mumbled.
"Of course I do. You're still the same person either way. Although I will miss it.. Helondrius gently caressed Rampion's sandpapery head. Rampion leaned up and kissed his prince.
It took them a couple of days to find their way back to the prince's castle, but when they did there was much celebration in the land. Although some were skeptical at the prince having a man as his spouse, it was alright in the end. When Helondrius became king, he was a fair and beloved ruler, with Rampion at his side; although he was blind, he was quite good at leading his country. The pair raised several children together; little princes and princesses.
Rampion was able to reunite with his parents, and meet his little sister.
And Rampion's hair grew back, although it was at a much slower pace than before.