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Tin Man Grand Prix fic #4: Teamwork

Title: Teamwork
Rating: PG
Summary: Glitch and Cain take a slight detour while on a road trip.



**

When Wyatt heard the sound of soft, rotten wood splintering followed by a sharp yell, he knew he should have never taken the shortcut across the field.

Leaving the car where they had parked it and hurrying in the direction Glitch had taken to stretch his legs, he looked around wildly for signs of the other man. “Glitch?”

“Ow.”

Cain spun around, searching for the origin of the moan. “Where are you?”

“Down here. I fell.”

Rubbing a hand over his face, Cain took a deep, calming breath. “Keep talking, I’ll find you. How far did you fall? Are you hurt?”

“I don’t exactly have a measuring rule with me, Cain,” Glitch snapped. “I landed on some kind of metal stand and I can’t see any way to climb back up.”

Cain tilted his head, letting the voice guide him. He took a few more steps to his left and spotted a gaping hole in the ground. Dropping to his knees, he looked down into the dark space, knocking some loose soil down with his hands. “You never answered my second question,” he said slowly as he took in his friend’s condition from several meters above.

Glitch’s face looked up at him, one side of his forehead glistening with bright red blood. His hair was a tangle of dirt and dried grass, with the flow of blood from the gash running into the once-again matted hair at his temple. “I think I hit my head,” he answered, gingerly touching a hand to the sticky mess.

“I think you did, too,” Cain winced in sympathy. He took in the details of where Glitch had fallen, noting the rusted metal scaffolding and broken wood. Most unsettling was the way the structure creaked under the man’s weight. “Looks like an abandoned entrance to the underground. You see a ladder anywhere?”

“Did I not already say I didn’t see a way to climb up? Or do I have a head injury?” Glitch looked tempted to throw something up at Cain.

“Well, you do have a head injury, but yes, you already said that,” Cain sighed. “Listen, don’t move. That thing doesn’t look very stable. I’m going to get some rope from the car. We’ll have to secure the structure before we can get you back up safely. Stay there.”

“Not going anywhere,” Glitch replied from below.

Cain found the length of rope coiled in the trunk of their car. As he ran back to where he left Glitch, he pulled his knife from an inner pocket and once again fell to his knees. “How’re you holding up?”

“Oh, you know, just peachy,” Glitch answered with feigned cheer. “I can’t see what’s below me, my head really hurts and I taste blood.”

“Well, there’s a lot of it,” Cain informed him while cutting through the thick rope. “Probably bit your tongue, too. Any other part of you hurt?” Glitch was quiet for a long moment and Cain peered down to make sure his friend was still there.

“Nothing broken, I think,” Glitch finally called back. “Just lots and lots of bruises. Lots of bruises. Lots - ”

There was a loud screeching sound from below and the sound of Glitch gasping in fear.

Cain quickly shot him a panicked look over the edge. “Did I say you could move?”

“No,” Glitch’s voice broke.

Wyatt closed his eyes and willed his heart to stop trying to explode. “Just...sit tight, I’m going to reach down and throw one of these rope sections down to you. Don’t shift your weight or you might bring the whole thing down.”

“That’s not very reassuring!”

“Just grab the end of the rope and wrap it around one of the metal bars that support the scaffold,” Cain instructed, dropping one of the ropes down that he had cut from the larger coil. “Once you’ve got a good, tight knot in it, I’ll take up the slack and tie the other end to the car.”

“Okay, I got it,” Glitch said. Cain felt tugging on the rope for a moment. “That’s done. What now?”

“Now I give you another rope and you do the same thing on the other side,” Cain fed the second rope down. Another series of jerks on the rope assured him that the task was being completed. When that too was finished, he took both ropes and gave them cautious, experimental tugs.

“WHOA! Don’t do that!” Glitch yelled at him.

“Sorry, I had to make sure it was secure.” Cain dragged the two ropes over to where he left the car and quickly fixed them to the bumper of the vehicle. He followed the tight strands back and picked up the remaining rope. “You still okay down there?”

“Oh, you know how I love being stuck above a dark drop that I can’t see the bottom of,” Glitch chuckled weakly. “What’s the plan?”

“I’m tying knots along the rope I’m going to lower down to you,” Cain explained, sitting on the ground next to the opening. “That’ll give you something to hold onto.”

“Hold...Cain, you expect me to climb out of here? Did you miss the part where I’m injured?”

Cain grunted to himself, checking his knots. “How else are you going to get out? You aren’t too lightheaded, are you? Think you’ll lose your balance?”

“Uh...I think I’ll be all right,” Glitch replied uncertainly.

“Glitch, it’ll be easy,” Cain told him gently as he knelt at the edge of the hole and slowly lowered the rope. “Just hold onto it really tight and I’ll pull you up. Think you can keep a good grip?”

The rope was tugged a few times. “I’m good,” Glitch called to him.

“Good,” Cain nodded. “Now, hold on to it while you stand up, very slowly. Use the rope to balance, I’ve got you.”

An unpleasant creaking sound froze the air in both men’s lungs. “Oh, I really don’t like this,” Glitch’s voice was high and soft as he carefully climbed to his feet. “Cain, don’t let me fall.”

“Twist it around your arms and hang on tight, I’m going to pull you up,” Cain gripped the thick rope in his hands. “Use your feet to help you go up the wall. Ready?”

“No.”

“Too bad. Up we go!”

Cain!” Glitch howled as he struggled to get footholds while keeping up with Cain pulling him.

“See? Not so bad,” Wyatt panted as he let one hand release the rope so he could grab Glitch’s wrist, hauling him up the rest of the way. He helped Glitch to his feet while studying the bleeding cut on Glitch’s forehead more closely. “I think you’ll live. Another couple of inches to the left and you’d have a dented zipper.”

“Your sympathy knows no bounds,” Glitch stumbled along, grateful for the supporting arm around his waist. He let Cain sit him down on the passenger seat, watching while the Tin Man went digging in the back seat for a canteen of water and a clean, white handkerchief.

“Hold still,” Cain ordered him gently, dampening the cloth and using it to clean up the streaks of blood marring Glitch’s face and neck. “Looks like it’s mostly stopped bleeding, but you’ll have to wait ‘till we get back home to clean the dried stuff out of your hair.”

Glitch closed his eyes, patiently sitting still through the careful ministrations. When Cain was done, he looked up at the other man. “Thank you,” he said softly.

Cain gave him half a smile and patted his knee. “Anytime. Ready to get back on the road?”

“Yes, please,” Glitch grinned back and eased his way to face forward in his seat. “No more detours.”

**

End.

Comments

( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
lionille
Aug. 5th, 2008 02:58 pm (UTC)
Awww..."no more detours"! Poor Glitch!
Yikes, that one was suspenseful. Clever saying that it was an abandoned entrance to the underground. I LOVE Glitch using the expression: "just peachy" - that is SO him! ^^
surranndie
Aug. 5th, 2008 03:02 pm (UTC)
Hee! I was rather happy with this one, if only for the comedy and banter between the two. I love trying to come up with new, fun expressions for Glitch to utter! Though I don't think there's anything better than that "Oh, cripes!" he mutters onscreen when DG goes to attack the holograms! *rofl*
avari_maethor
Aug. 9th, 2008 04:08 am (UTC)
I swear my eyes widened at the first creak that metal made.

This is the cutest by far.
surranndie
Aug. 9th, 2008 04:13 am (UTC)
*grin!* Good to know I did my job, making you scared for Glitch! :D Thanks so much, it was fun to write.
jeymien
Aug. 11th, 2008 06:29 pm (UTC)
Just commenting to say thank you for writing. This was a nice little piece.
surranndie
Aug. 11th, 2008 06:30 pm (UTC)
Thanks for reading! :)
jeymien
Aug. 11th, 2008 09:11 pm (UTC)
You keep writing, I'll keep reading! I love to read. (course, this could end up cutting into my own writing..) hehe
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )