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Title: When Wonderland Shatters - 8 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.



08. With a grain of salt

“Ow,” DG groaned, her head in her hands. Raw’s strong supporting hands helped her sit up even as the viewer’s mind was reeling after seeing Cain and Glitch disappear in a wash of blue light. He knew they were no longer in the palace.

“DG okay?” Raw asked softly, even while using his skilled hands to ensure that she was.

She nodded carefully, running a hand through her messy hair. “Where did it go?”

Shaking his head, Raw heaved a sigh. “Gone. Glitch, Cain gone, too.”

The princess froze at the words for a fraction of a second before whipping her head around in disbelief. “Gone? Gone where?”

“Can’t tell,” Raw growled softly in frustration. “Alive, but too much darkness.”

“Raw, this is seriously not good,” she pushed herself up, using Raw’s shoulder for balance. “Is there anything that can help you see better, something you can think about or, or touch?”

Frowning, Raw looked around until his eyes landed on a familiar shape. He walked over and picked up the abandoned fedora, the only trace of either of the missing men.

“Cain’s hat,” DG announced needlessly. “Will that work?”

Raw stroked his fingers over the brim as he concentrated on visualizing the owner. The sweet tang of fresh leaves, warmth and adoration flowing in smooth waves, the bitter smell of fear at the surrounding darkness.

Opening his eyes, the viewer shook his head in annoyance. “Too far away,” he said, sounding lost. “Feel them. Together. But distant.”

“Here,” she held out her hand, placing it over one of Raw’s where it held the stiff fabric. “Let me help.”

With the added heat of her hand and the inner glow of her magic, Raw closed his eyes again and pushed against the barriers keeping him from seeing his friends. With a sharp clarity, the route to the location became comprehensible.

DG was watching at him intently when he looked up. “You know where they are.”

Raw nodded. “Yes. DG must use magic to reach them.”

“What about you?”

A shake of his head “DG go alone. Fate in hands of DG and Glitch.”

The princess swallowed hard, knowing better by now not to take anything Raw said with a grain of salt. He was never wrong.


The storm rolled across the forest with frightening speed. A strong wind picked up and blew leaves all around them and the first spattering of tiny raindrops began to fall as night seemed to descend at mid-afternoon.

Cain kept a tight grip on Glitch’s wrist as they stood their ground, waiting for the ancient spirit to come to them.

A hazy form pushed through the trees, swirling and twisting around the maze of primordial sentinels. Glitch watched as the tendrils surrounded them, leading back to a solid core that drew up directly in front of the two men.

Sword in hand before Cain could react, Glitch took a step forward confidently. “Show your face,” he called out to the thickest segment of the vague shape.

A shadow shot out and pushed him back viciously, forcing him to stumble back and break free from Wyatt’s reassuring hold. Reeling from the unexpected blow, Glitch fought to stay on his feet even as black vines of nonentity wrapped themselves around Cain and dragged him kicking across the disturbed ground.

The rope-like shadows tethered themselves around a thick tree trunk and held the violently struggling Tin Man out of the way, unable to help the other man.

“Cain!” the advisor shouted, torn between moving to help the officer and the much more immediate threat closing in on him.

“I’m fine, leave me,” Cain yelled back even as he fought against the impossible hold the smoky bindings had on him. “If you’ve got some kind of plan, now’s the time to put it to good use!”

Glitch knew he had no choice. For now, Cain was safe and out of harm’s way. It was time to remember what he had practiced mere days ago, though it seemed like a lifetime since their short time at the cabin.

Hefting the comfortingly familiar weight of the sword in his hand, Glitch spun on his heel and faced his tormentor. He forced a casual smirk in the face of the nightmarish vision before him. “Sorry to break your heart, Thana, but you can’t have me. I’m already spoken for.”

Raising his weapon, he felt the stirring energy build within the handle nested in his palm. The instinctual barricade against magical force, his own protective shield, formed a solid wall between him and the creature that wanted to possess his body. He let it flow through him, found the deeply buried source of his control and used the momentum to throw himself into the black form.

Only to fall straight through, landing facedown in the middle of the murky cloud. “Oh. Crap.”

“Glitch!” Cain bellowed when he saw his lover disappear into the stormy mist.

Keeping up his barrier and gripping the sword, Glitch crawled toward the voice. He met Cain’s eye and did his best to hide the abject terror bursting at his seams. “I think I forgot one tiny detail,” his voice shook. “You can’t stab something that isn’t really there.”

Cain stared at him in disbelief. “This just occurred to you now?

“Well, obviously you didn’t think of it either,” Glitch shot back heatedly, ignoring the phantom streaks tugging at his legs.

“So, what’s your plan B?” Cain demanded, kicking his feet into the dirt in aggravation.

A sudden, brilliant burst of white light blinded them both and as they blinked the residual glare from their vision, they realized they were no longer alone with the creature.

Standing in front of them and staring in shock at the massive, billowing entity surrounding the two men was DG.

She turned to face them, her white face nearly glowing and eyes wide with fear. “Hey, guys,” she smiled weakly. “So, what’s up?”

Glitch’s mouth dropped open and his mind spun with this new, unexpected development. “DG, how in all the realms did you get here?”

“I did that...poof...thing,” she explained, twirling a hand in the air in front of her. “I’m here to rescue you,” she added, knowing neither would get the rather pathetic joke.

“Well, Deeg, today’s your lucky day,” Glitch suddenly grinned at her in a rather disturbing fashion. “You just became my plan B.”


Part 9



( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 18th, 2008 04:36 pm (UTC)
Oh, fabulous! I love Raw using Cain's hat, this was a gorgeous paragraph:

Raw stroked his fingers over the brim as he concentrated on visualizing the owner. The sweet tang of fresh leaves, warmth and adoration flowing in smooth waves, the bitter smell of fear at the surrounding darkness.

And Raw and DG combining their gifts to see farther was a great idea. They make a good team.

Speaking of teams:
I’m already spoken for.
*nods* Yes, yes, he is. I loved your brave, sword-weilding Glitch.

I’m here to rescue you
May. 18th, 2008 05:02 pm (UTC)
Ooh thank you!! Writing Raw is such a challenge for me, trying to imagine how he does his "thing." He and DG are totally the Wonder Twins.

I'm also really glad that the way Glitch is acting works. On the surface it feels out of character, for him to have that kind of bravery. But it always comes back to those little clues to his true nature - the way he sacrificed his brain, how he leapt in and took out four longcoats when Cain was threatened, etc. He's just...*awesome*.
May. 18th, 2008 08:10 pm (UTC)
"You just became my plan B."

What do you have up your sleeve Glitch?

Gah! This is going by so quickly! Such a awesome story I'm gonna be sad to see it end!
May. 18th, 2008 09:41 pm (UTC)
*hugs* I know, I know! He's a crazy man, can't be controlled! :D There's still 5 more parts, I'll be going back to posting 1 a day for the rest of the week. Streeeeeeeeeetch it out.
May. 19th, 2008 07:13 pm (UTC)
I have always found that having a plan B is always useful.
Luckily, Glitch has stubborn friends.
May. 19th, 2008 10:18 pm (UTC)
He's very lucky indeed! I'll have to keep that in mind, actually - remembering how stubborn and tough they all are. Thanks for that!
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )