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You guys are AWESOME and to say thank you for all the wonderful feedback, I'm posting THREE chapters all at once!

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Title: When Wonderland Shatters - 7 of 14
Author: Surreal
Characters/Pairings: Glitch/Cain, DG, Raw, Azkadellia, Queen, Ahamo, others
Genre: Adventure, romance
Rating: NC-17 (violence, m/m slash)
Disclaimer: The characters and settings belong to L. Frank Baum and the creative minds behind Tin Man. I do not claim to own anything.
Summary: Of all the indicators that their beautiful kingdom had gone to hell, it was the most simple of gestures that told those watching the moment they all had been utterly screwed.

Previously



*******

07. A leopard can't change its spots

Braced for a jarring impact onto the hard marble floor of the palace foyer, Cain was momentarily flustered when he and Glitch tumbled down together onto a soft, slightly damp scattering of fallen leaves instead.

Glitch grunted loudly as he was tackled to the ground. He shook off the unexpected shift in momentum and pushed roughly at his assailant, only then realizing who it was that had landed on him. “Oh, no,” he whispered, struggling out from under Cain and stumbling clumsily to his feet. His eyes were wide with dawning dread. “No, no, no, you can’t be here.”

Wyatt pushed himself up with his hands, looking around in bewilderment. “Where is here?” Surrounding them was a thick cluster of trees, their leaves pale gold and branches reaching high into the sky with age. He turned to stare pointedly at Glitch. “What have you done?”

Shaking his head in disbelief, Glitch’s jaw worked for a moment before clenching shut. “The more important question is, do you have any idea what you’ve done?”

“Glitch, stop answering my questions with questions,” Cain growled. “Did you send us here?”

Holding up the device in a shaking hand, no longer glowing, Glitch answered him. “This sent us here,” he explained. “It’s an HPILDTA.”

Cain shot him an incredulous look. “Where do you come up with these names?!”

Glitch glared at him and let his hand drop, fingers tight around the machine. “Handheld Portable Infused Long Distance Transfer Apparatus. I found it in my workshop.”

“And you didn’t think it was important to share this discovery? Or were you planning to take this little trip by yourself from the moment you came up with whatever insane plan you’ve obviously thought of?” Cain crossed his arms and watched the cascade of emotions flicker across the other man’s face.

“There was only enough of the focusing element, Moritanium, in it for one person to take one round-trip,” Glitch informed him coldly. “This is my fight, my responsibility. I drew this thing out of hiding and now it’s attacked DG. I couldn’t risk her or Raw or, or...or you getting hurt because of something I need to destroy.”

Wyatt narrowed his eyes. “So, you figured maybe we wouldn’t notice if you suddenly disappeared? That we wouldn’t want to, I don’t know, maybe help you?”

“You can’t help me, Cain!” Glitch threw his arms wide as he yelled. “You’ve got this fixation with being the one to save the day, the eternal Boy Scout. You couldn’t leave well enough alone...oh, no, a leopard can’t change its spots, not the great Wyatt Cain! What you don’t realize is that for once, this is a fight only I can win. A gun isn’t going to stop him when he decides that playtime is over and it’s time to take what he wants!”

“I’m not the one who decided to go off by himself to take on what is obviously a very powerful being,” Cain yelled back, stepping up right in front of Glitch. “Have you forgotten that what he wants is you?”

“I HAD TO!” Glitch pushed him away, hard. “I had to draw it away from you guys, take the fight as far away as this thing could send me,” he shook the small device in his hand. “But since you decided to invite yourself along for the ride, I have no way of getting us back.” He threw the useless machine as hard as he could at Cain’s chest and whirled around, coat tails flapping as he stormed off.

Cain grunted as the metal struck him but he reached up to catch it before it fell. He turned it in his hands, flipping it over to find a small latch. Opening it, he found the inside hollow, lined with glass that was flecked with the scant remains of the Moritanium dust that had powered it.

Sighing, Wyatt snapped the cover shut and dropped it into his pocket. “Glitch, wait,” he called, jogging to catch up. “We’ll figure a way out of here, I promise. How far away did you send us?”

Glitch grimaced but stopped walking. “Far enough,” he admitted reluctantly. “Somewhere north...or, east maybe, of the city. I’m not exactly sure, I just focused on distance rather than direction.”

“So, how does the...PL...D...the thing...work?”

“I found the notes near where I found it on my old desk,” Glitch thought back. “It’s something I invented so I could help train the girls, before they had control over the ability to, um, poof themselves to and from places. With this, I could always get us back no matter where we ended up.” His eyes took on a dreamy, wistful look. “There was this one time when Azkadee sent the three of us from Finaqua to the middle of a burlesque house in Central...”

“Glitch, focus,” Wyatt reached up tentatively and rested his hand on Glitch’s shoulder.

Glancing at the hand but not shrugging it off, Glitch went on. “Anyway, it’s infused with magic so that I can use it. The Moritanium works to focus the magical energy and I control where we go with it. The problem is, all the Moritanium that was stored in my lab was taken in the raid; there was no way to refill the HPILDTA.”

“So the plan was to use it to send yourself away, hoping Thanamoros would follow you, and then what?”

“Then I kill it,” Glitch answered simply, as if that was clear enough.

“Just like that? With your bare hands?”

Glitch rested his palm on the hilt of his sword, but didn’t answer.

Cain gave the shoulder under his hand a firm shake. “Glitch, I may be mad as hell at you right now for trying to get yourself killed but nothing, nothing, will make me love you any less. You know that, right?”

Ducking his head to hide the effect that genuine affirmation had on him, Glitch nodded. His hand lifted by itself and gripped Cain's open jacket in his fingers. “I know.”

“Please don’t shut me out now, all right? I need to know what’s going on in that head of yours if we’re going to get out of this alive,” the Tin Man stepped closer, encouraged by the hesitant response. He slowly, very slowly, wrapped his arms around Glitch and held him tenderly.

Glitch’s arms slid around Wyatt’s waist and he turned his face enough to press his lips to the side of Cain’s neck. “I love you,” he whispered roughly. “I just wanted to keep you safe.”

“Same here,” Cain reminded him softly. They stayed like that for a long time, uncertain how much longer they would be alone.

Wyatt raised his head, eyeing the storm clouds on the horizon.

*******

Part 8

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Comments

( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
nuavarion
May. 18th, 2008 03:24 pm (UTC)
Aww.
surranndie
May. 18th, 2008 04:55 pm (UTC)
Hee!
lionille
May. 18th, 2008 04:19 pm (UTC)
I love Cain's exasperation in the beginning, you can just feel it:
Glitch, stop answering my questions with questions
followed by his response to the HPILDTA:
Where do you come up with these names?!”
*cackles*
The last part was very tender, I'm glad Cain didn't stay mad, or at least he's using a better approach with the hugging. :D
surranndie
May. 18th, 2008 04:57 pm (UTC)
Ooh, yay! I'm happy that Cain's voice is working out. He's just so thrown by all of this, finding out exactly what he's in for with Glitch is freaking him out a bit! Hugging is a good way to get through to Glitch, he's very cuddly. :D
avari_maethor
May. 18th, 2008 08:03 pm (UTC)
"The road to hell was paved with good intentions."

I think that quote about sums up any comment I had for this part.
surranndie
May. 18th, 2008 09:39 pm (UTC)
Hehhee! Pretty much works, yeah!
aisarete
May. 19th, 2008 01:45 pm (UTC)
Oh, Cain... *sigh* You mean well, but I'll have to agree with Glitch on this one. Just a bit. There are always consequences, dearheart.
surranndie
May. 19th, 2008 10:17 pm (UTC)
Hhehee! Cain's such a Boy Scout sometimes. Thanks for agreeing with Glitch, even if his plans are a little self-sacrificing!
aisarete
May. 20th, 2008 06:13 am (UTC)
His plans are driving me mad, quite frankly! He's making me cry, he is. But I do wonder how things would have gone if Cain hadn't disappeared with Glitch. Would DG have stayed? Would Glitch have gotten stabbed? Or would everybody just be DOOMED? *ponders*
tyrical
May. 19th, 2008 06:51 pm (UTC)
Goodness! I love that man.
Real and right there!
surranndie
May. 19th, 2008 10:17 pm (UTC)
Yay! That's a wonderful way to describe Cain!
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )