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Title: Wallpaper of Broadway
Characters/Pairings: Glitch/Cain, everyone else in the series.
Rating: R for implied adult situations
Final Word Count: ~20,000
Summary: What if Cain, DG, and Raw had first encountered Glitch working as a bartender in the Mystic Man's club? This story is an AU that parallels the series using this scenario.
Notes: This could not have been completed without the awesome beta work by kseda. Whenever I shouted “LINE!” – she came through and I love her endlessly for it!



Chapter 11 – The O.Z.


Glitch reached up and reclaimed his chain, fingering the disk as he looked back and forth between Ahamo and Azkadellia. “What?”

“They’re video recordings,” Azkadellia explained. “The viewer I use to play them back, it was yours, Advisor. It’s the only one of its kind. Those – you must have made them before...” She paled, looking ill.

Ahamo wrapped an arm around her shoulders comfortingly. “When I first found you in that...place, it was those disks that caught my attention. I knew I’d only seen them in one place before, with Ambrose. Then I recognized you and...well, you know the rest. Before...everything, but after Azkadellia was taken by the Witch, Ambrose – you – began making preparations for the future. You spent so much time in your lab, recording everything you could onto those disks.”

“Including the blueprints for the sun seeder,” Cain spoke up perceptively. “That’s what you meant when you said he held the key. One of those recordings has the plans that will let us shut off the machine.”

“Yes,” Ahamo nodded fervently. “But I have no idea how to tell them apart.”

It was Raw who stepped forward. “Glitch?”

Glitch turned to look at him questioningly. “Can you – maybe touch them? Figure out which one it is?” Raw nodded. “All right, then. Have at it.”

Raw began searching through the disks, touching each one with a look of concentration. A few caused him to shudder, clearly seeing something that upset him but he pressed on until he found what he was looking for. Opening his eyes, he looked at Glitch. “Dark day.”

Shivering at the bleak tone, Glitch crossed his arms over his chest. “Go ahead. You just need to twist the jump ring to bend it. Oh! I – I didn’t know what these were when I made holes in them. Do you think I damaged the recordings?”

It was Azkadellia who shook her head. “All of the data is stored in the center of the disk. The outer edge is empty, just colored glass.”

“Oh, okay,” Glitch stood still while Raw removed the flat medallion from the chain it was attached to. When it was free, Raw handed it to Glitch, who slid the small metal ring out of the hole and jammed it into his pocket. “Well – here,” he handed it to Ahamo and turned to Azkadellia. “I’m sure you can get some of your engineers to take care of this.”

Azkadellia hesitated, looking at Glitch sadly. “I – yes,” she finally said. “Would you like to oversee their work?”

Glitch chuckled miserably and shook his head. “Honey, I wouldn’t know one end of the thing from the other. That’s for Ambrose to deal with.”

“Come on,” Ahamo took Azkadellia’s arm gently. “We’ll go down and get a start on this.”

When they’d left, Glitch found the Queen looking at him oddly. “You are so certain that you are no longer the Ambrose we once knew.”

“Yes, I am,” Glitch replied firmly. He threw a glance toward Raw. “When Raw tried to connect me to the brain...it didn’t really work.”

Cain wrapped his hand around Glitch’s arm, turning him so they faced each other. “What are you talking about? You were answering my questions!”

Ambrose was feeding you the numbers,” Glitch corrected. “I was there, I could hear and see everything but I wasn’t in control. We’re two separate people, now.”

“Glitch,” Cain whispered, anguished. “I had no idea.”

“I couldn’t say anything,” Glitch shrugged helplessly. “You had no way of knowing. It’s okay.”

“No, it’s not okay,” Cain’s voice broke and he pulled Glitch against him, needing so badly to hold him at that moment.

DG, who had listened silently throughout everything, spoke up. “What does that mean for you, Glitch?"

“You’ll still have Ambrose, Majesty,” Glitch told the Queen. “It’s clear that Azkadellia and her scientists have been able to communicate with him. You don’t need me to bridge the connection.”

“Is that all you think you’re valued for, my dear?” the Queen asked in a devastated voice. “You’ve given up so much for this kingdom. I cannot begin to imagine how to repay your sacrifices. Please, do not think for one moment that you are not welcome with us. You are family.”

Glitch ducked his head, the hand he had curled around Cain’s waist tightening. “Thank you,” he whispered. “I just...I need some time to think. If you don’t mind.”

“Of course,” the Queen reached up and gave his cheek an ephemeral caress. “Come, DG. We must arrange for rooms for us all until our home in the city can be reopened.” The mother and daughter took their leave.

Raw stepped up in front of Glitch, touching his shoulder lightly. “Sorry.”

“Oh, Raw,” Glitch untangled himself from Cain long enough to give Raw a tight embrace. “It wasn’t your fault, any more than it was anyone else’s. I could tell you knew I was in there but we had to get those numbers. Ambrose was the only one who could do it.”

“Okay?”

“Yes, I’m okay,” Glitch assured him. “Thank you, for everything.”

Raw blushed modestly. He could also sense that Glitch and Cain needed to be alone. With a quick nod, he turned and left, intending to help Azkadellia with a great number of problems he had picked up on. There was a lot of work for him to do in helping this family rebuild.

Finally left to themselves, Cain and Glitch stood looking at one another awkwardly. It was Glitch who broke the tension, lifting a hand up to cup Cain’s cheek. “We did it.”

“We did,” Cain said with a smile. “DG had a good question. What are you going to do now?”

Glitch held Cain’s gaze for the length of a breath and then leaned in, just barely brushing his lips against Cain’s. He could feel his whole body trembling and knew Cain could feel it, too.

Cain took pity on him and drew him close, arms going around Glitch’s shoulders and returning the apprehensive kiss with poised enthusiasm. He knew Glitch was still unsure of his welcome and Cain wanted to make sure Glitch grasped where he stood with Cain.

Long, thin arms slid around Cain’s waist and Glitch held on with everything he had. He closed his eyes and gave himself over to the privilege of being loved.

Finally, Glitch broke the kiss, but leaned in for a last, lingering trace of contact between their lips. “Does that answer the question?”

“Not really,” Cain grinned and stole another kiss. “You might need to explain it in better detail.”

Glitch snickered. “It will be my pleasure.” He sighed, resting his forehead against Cain’s shoulder. “I wish I could just run away with you and see the O.Z. You know, until I joined you guys I’d never seen much of it outside the ‘Rotu and Central?”

“Who says you can’t?” Cain asked, running his hands over Glitch’s back, his thumbs brushing against long curled hair on every upstroke.

“There’s too much left for me to do here,” Glitch moaned, all of a sudden incredibly exhausted. He dragged Cain down to sit on the floor with him, setting down between Cain’s legs, leaning against his chest and pressing his cheek against the exposed skin above Cain’s buttoned shirt. Reaching up to capture his chains again, he played with them absently. “I need to take the rest of these disks off and see what’s on them. Work with the Queen to reassign all of my previous work to new people. Help her choose a new Advisor.”

Cain kept his arms wrapped around Glitch, resting his chin on top of the zipper. “Then that’s what we’ll do. We’ll get every loose end squared away before we go.”

“We?” Glitch raised his head up hopefully.

Taking advantage, Cain kissed him deeply, sealing his promise. “You’re stuck with me now, sweetheart.”

~~

End.

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Comments

( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
lionille
Jan. 18th, 2009 10:11 pm (UTC)
*flails happily* What a fantastic ending!!!

“Is that all you think you’re valued for, my dear?” the Queen asked in a devastated voice.

Oh, poor Glitch, and his assumptions, I love the queen picking up on that and her response to it!

And the promise of Glitch and Cain's future travels together, ah... *content*

Very inventive AU, I enjoyed it tremendously!

surranndie
Jan. 18th, 2009 10:12 pm (UTC)
*dances you around gleefully* Yay!!! I'm so happy you liked it! :D Thank you, as always, for all of your wonderful comments and encouragement! *hugs!*
avari_maethor
Jan. 18th, 2009 11:01 pm (UTC)
“Not really,” Cain grinned and stole another kiss. “You might need to explain it in better detail.”

I snickered at this to! Cain gained some of Glitch's cuteness here.

This was the best ending I think. I halfway want a sequel but halfway don't because this was just to perfect.

Over the course of this story have I told you what a fantabulous writer you are? Because if not...

YOU ARE ONE OF THE BEST!
surranndie
Jan. 18th, 2009 11:04 pm (UTC)
*HUGS!* You're such a sweetie! *blushes* I appreciate every one of your lovely comments and all of your support! Thank you very much! :D
megcarryn
Jan. 19th, 2009 01:29 am (UTC)
Awww, that was lovely. Poor Glitch, I'm so glad he has Cain, and hopefully his new(old) family can make him feel valuable again!
Loves
surranndie
Jan. 19th, 2009 01:31 am (UTC)
I'm sure he'll be well taken care of. :D

Thanks!!
amedia
Jan. 23rd, 2009 03:17 am (UTC)
Those – you must have made them before...” She paled, looking ill.

I love how you write Azkadellia here; she has valuable information to give, but every reminder is painful.

“You’ll still have Ambrose, Majesty,” Glitch told the Queen. “It’s clear that Azkadellia and her scientists have been able to communicate with him. You don’t need me to bridge the connection.”

Poor Glitch, trying to make everything okay for everyone except himself. The Queen's response is spot-on. As is Cain's. ;-)

Glitch held Cain’s gaze for the length of a breath and then leaned in, just barely brushing his lips against Cain’s. He could feel his whole body trembling and knew Cain could feel it, too.

This is not just yummy in itself, but so much the better for all the restraint and distance and suffering the boys went through on their way. *happy sigh*

This was SO MUCH FUN!!!! I loved this story. Thank you so much for writing and sharing it! I'm going to enjoy rereading it now that I know where it's going and I'm not rushing to find out what cool idea is coming next.
surranndie
Jan. 23rd, 2009 03:32 am (UTC)
*dances you happily* After all that buildup, that moment had me so anxious, wanting to get it just right. :D

Thank you so much for all of your wonderful comments! I'm so happy that you enjoyed the story, it was very fun to write! That is possibly the best kind of compiment, that you'd go back and read it again! *GRIN!!!*
witchywanda666
Jan. 24th, 2009 12:17 am (UTC)
Awwww big happy family!! *glomps them all*

Now Glitch should get some NOOKIE damnit.

Such a well put together AU-like fic from the POV of Glitch.

Now...

BRING ON THE MANPREG!!!!!1 >:D
surranndie
Jan. 24th, 2009 12:19 am (UTC)
WHOO Glitch is gonna get him some Cain. \o/

Thank you for reading my craziness!

ALL RIGHT THEN! MAYBE I WILL! :P
jestana
Jun. 15th, 2009 07:50 pm (UTC)
After reading this, when I was watching the DVD, I half wanted to see this version. :-P Such a lovely AU idea and I love how it's mostly similar, but there are more differences than simply the fact that Glitch's background has changed. *happy sigh* For some reason, it was the discs that reminded me most of this AU. ;) Good job!
surranndie
Jun. 15th, 2009 08:03 pm (UTC)
Awww, thank you! I have a thing for doing "What if..." things to the series. Gives it more depth and makes you notice little things here and there. But most I wanted to give Glitch some zipper accessories. :D I'm so glad you liked it!
jestana
Jun. 16th, 2009 12:47 am (UTC)
You're welcome! I love the "what if" stories. *grin* It worked very well. Thanks for writing it!
gorgon_mythos
Jan. 15th, 2011 04:01 pm (UTC)
I just got back into the Tin Man fandom after watching it last weekend, this story was just...WOW. GLORIOUS! CREATIVE! EXCEPTIONAL! You did such an amazing job paralleling this to the original events and still making it your own. I just loved it. It's actually the first fanfic I'm gonna try to convert to a format I can read on my Kindle.
surranndie
Jan. 15th, 2011 04:11 pm (UTC)
Oh, wow! Thank you so much, this is such a wonderful compliment! I'm thrilled that you enjoyed this story - it is definitely one of my favorites! *dances merrily* I'm speechless with glee!
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )