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Tin Man Grand Prix fic #7: Thaw

Title: Thaw
Rating: PG
Summary: Solitude lends itself to invitation.


Long past the time when everyone went their separate ways, off to claim temporary rooms within the dark, forbidding halls of the Tower, Cain couldn’t bring himself to sleep in a room so recently owned by one of Azkadellia’s lackeys. That’s the reason he gave to himself, at least.

Hauling his weary body out a secluded side exit, he found himself looking at an unexpected yet welcoming copse of trees. Who knew the Witch would have a secret garden, he thought. Then again, it could very well have belonged to Azkadellia, as it seemed more and more clear that the two appeared to have had some separate interests.

Not wanting to give much more thought to such headache-inducing concepts, Cain wandered toward a bare patch of ground at the base of a thick oak tree. Settling down with his back against the rough bark, he closed his eyes and relaxed in the peace of his surroundings.

Until the sound of large, clumsy feet crashing through the underbrush jolted him from his light doze. “Hey, Cain! What are you doing out here?”

Cain squinted up at Glitch, who dropped gracelessly down at the Tin Man’s side. “Getting some air,” he kept his answer non-committal. He didn’t want to explain that he wasn’t quite ready to sleep indoors, not yet. It hadn’t counted when they were sharing DiMilo’s wagon, as Cain had spent that time unconscious rather than willingly asleep.

“Oh,” Glitch blinked owlishly at him. “You weren’t going to sleep out here, were you?”

“So what if I was?” Cain grunted, pulling his hat down over his eyes again.

Glitch huffed, kicking at the ground with a battered boot. “Do you mind company?”

“Just so long as you don’t talk all night, you’re free to do whatever you want,” Cain shrugged. He sensed Glitch shifting to lie on the ground next to him.

The two men settled into a comfortable silence, letting sleep claim them.

Until a distinctly feminine voice disturbed their slumber. “Glitch? Cain? I was wondering where you guys had gone. What are you doing? There’re plenty of nice, warm rooms for you to use.”

“Okay, this is getting ridiculous,” Cain grumbled, sitting up and rubbing a hand over his face. Next to him, Glitch didn’t bother sitting up; rather, he simply rolled to his side and propped his head on a hand. Cain thought fast, hiding behind his usual attitude. “DG, I just wanted a quiet place to myself for one night. Is that too much to ask?”

DG stopped and put her hands on her hips. “You...well, that’s fine, but you can be alone in a room. Besides, you let Glitch stay.”

Cain sighed heavily and decided he owed them the truth. “Look, I’m not...I’d rather sleep outside, if that’s all right.”

He could see right away that they both understood, as the two of them had been the ones to release him from his solitary prison. The feeling of being trapped had not yet faded and Cain suspected that it would take a long while before it would, if it ever did.

“Well, pull up some ground, Deeg, looks like we’re gonna have another of our famous slumber parties,” Glitch grinned as he patted the dirt at his side.

“Seriously, you two don’t need to keep me company,” Cain protested weakly, even while secretly hoping they would stay.

The argument proved futile as the fourth member of their close-knit group arrived then, arms full of collected throw pillows and blankets.

Raw gave a low growl and dropped the whole bundle on top of the other three. He reached down and picked up one blanket, wrapping it firmly around his own body before sitting down on Cain’s other side. “Cold,” he said simply, nudging Cain with his shoulder.

Knowing he had lost his solitude but not caring in the least, Cain just chuckled and helped spread the blankets and pillows. “Thanks, guys,” he said softly, earning three knowing smiles as they all settled into their nest for the night.




( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 5th, 2008 03:16 pm (UTC)
Who knew the Witch would have a secret garden
eee- what a fascinating and chilling line!

Cain's outward annoyance/inward relief when it turns into a slumber party is hilarious. Very touching, though, is this reminder of what Glitch and DG mean to him:

as the two of them had been the ones to release him
Aug. 5th, 2008 03:41 pm (UTC)
Awww, cuddle party! Another thing we need more of! I like to think that Glitch and DG understand him better than he knows, and Raw can pick up on all of that on his own so the slumber party thing just seems natural and easy for them. Especially since you know they woke up in all kinds of awkward positions while on the road! :D
Aug. 7th, 2008 11:09 am (UTC)
How neat! Yay, cuddles. ^^ *mems*
Aug. 7th, 2008 01:41 pm (UTC)
\o/ Cuddles are always a good thing! Thanks!!
Aug. 9th, 2008 04:25 am (UTC)
This one! This one was PURE WIN. Every bit of it. From the secret garden line to Cain's chuckle at the end.
Aug. 9th, 2008 04:31 am (UTC)
LOL! I love how you react to these, it makes me so very happy! Fab Four slumber party, yay!!
Aug. 11th, 2008 06:49 pm (UTC)
“Well, pull up some ground, Deeg, looks like we’re gonna have another of our famous slumber parties,” Glitch grinned as he patted the dirt at his side.

Love it!

Keep up the writing (I love the idea they all stay that close :))
Aug. 11th, 2008 06:53 pm (UTC)
*grin* Oh, don't worry, there's plenty more where these came from - if you get bored, check out the master list that's at the top of my main journal page. It's...uh, massive, shall we say? :D
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )