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Tin Man fic: Common Enemy

Title: Common Enemy
Author: Surreal
Characters/Pairings: eventual Glitch/Cain and everyone you can think of.
Genre: Alternate Universe. Open.
Rating: overall NC-17 to be safe (violence, m/m slash)
Word count: Ongoing
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: Under other circumstances, things could have been vastly different. But some things will always remain the same.

Author’s Notes: This universe begins a few months after Azkadellia took over. It is a complete Alternate Universe that I intend to keep open to play with and add to randomly. I despise the term work-in-progress and I don’t want to call it that. I don’t see a true “end” to this story; rather, I would like to call it an “open universe.” Sorry if this is a confusing explanation! Every addition will be marked "update" when posted, as well as tagged with the series title.

When Wyatt Cain heard the snapping of branches coming from the woods behind his cabin, his grip on the axe tightened. He hadn't seen many wild animals in months, not since Azkadellia had relieved her mother of the throne. The forest had grown eerily quiet the last few cycles and his neighbors' crops had begun to die from drought.

Smoothly and silently tucking himself behind the tall bushes lining the herb garden, his eyes scanned the surrounding property. The sounds were not that of large game, nor were they the soft, skittering sounds of rabbits or birds.

He hefted the axe confidently, his sharp gaze picking up the first hints of movement. Frowning as the intruder came into view here and there through the thick trees, he stayed where he was and watched.

It was a man, someone he did not recognize.

The clothing, with its rich colors and carefully tailored fabrics, was at odds with the stumbling, confused steps of the owner. Cain silently observed from his hidden post as the stranger tripped over a fallen log and fell to his knees.

Burning summer sunlight reflected sharply off the metal embedded down the middle of the man's head.

Cain drew a sharp breath, recognizing the condition if not the man. He was a headcase, probably lost. His first instinct told him the man was a criminal, but his trained eye told him the clothes did not fit the image of a convict. It was possible that they were stolen, but Cain's mind told him those garments were cut too perfectly to fit anyone but that man.

Stepping out from behind the bushes, Cain held the sharp blade at his side as he approached the fallen stranger with caution. As he got closer, he could see there was still dried blood matted in the hair along the length of the zipper. The man drew himself up to his knees, his hands braced on his thighs as he fought to catch his breath.

"Hey," he called out, stopping a distance away. "I don't want any trouble, but you're on my property. I'd kindly ask you to move along."

The headcase didn't raise his head, but his shoulders slumped. "I'm terribly sorry, sir," came the quiet, cultured tones that Cain was not expecting. "I'm afraid I'm lost. If you could point me the way to...um, well, anywhere, I suppose..."

Cain frowned, crouching down and leaning his elbows on his knees as he studied the other man. He knew he should simply chase the stranger away. It was just asking for trouble to have a headcase around.

But there was something different about this one. His body was all wrong to have been any kind of violent criminal. News had come around in recent weeks that Azkadellia had begun to clear her circles of political enemies, people from the previous court who threatened her rule. Judging from the stranger's appearance, he could very easily be a member of the former Queen's inner circle.

His curiosity getting the better of him, Cain stood and stepped forward, offering his empty hand. He waited until the other man raised his head, fixing the Tin Man with large, brown eyes, before he spoke. "The name's Wyatt Cain, I'm a policeman. You know your name?"

The man looked at the offered hand with stunned confusion for a moment before he raised one of his own pale, skinny hands. He grasped the strong limb and used it to help himself to his feet, reluctantly releasing it as he stood. "Of course I know my name," he said indignantly. "It's - um..."

Cain waited, watching the flood of emotions crossing the stranger's face. He felt a pang of sympathy for the man, who couldn't even come up with the most simple of facts about himself. Though the man was roaming the countryside freely, he was a prisoner in his own mind. Cruel but effective. "That's all right," Cain assured him gently. "Looks like you haven't been headcased for long. Whatever's left of your brain hasn't had time to figure out how to work with what you've got."

Cringing, the other man looked away and crossed his arms over his chest. "Seems like you know something about it," he said darkly.

"A bit. Seen a few headcases in my time," Cain studied him. "How about we call you Glitch, seeing how your synapses don't quite fire right."

The stranger flushed. "That's a terrible name," he mumbled. "As soon as I remember my proper name, I'll tell you."

"You do that," Cain nodded slowly. The awkward conversation had allowed him to get a feel for the stranger, the man he dubbed 'Glitch,' and he saw no threat. "Come on, it's nearly dinner time and I've got enough for us both."

Glitch looked up sharply, a frown marring his otherwise attractive face. "Why would you show me kindness?"

Cain shrugged and used his axe to wave toward his cabin. "Maybe I'm just lonely. No harm in sharing one meal with a stranger, is there?"

Hesitating for only a brief moment, Glitch fell into step behind Cain. "I suppose there isn't."




( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 7th, 2008 02:15 am (UTC)
Ohhhh! I love AU's! Coming from you and given the way this started I can't wait to see what comes of it!
May. 7th, 2008 04:11 am (UTC)
Thanks for the kind words! I myself am wondering where this is going to go. :)
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )