Title: The Long Road Home
Summary: She knew instantly as her eyes locked on the spot above him that this was it, him or her, there was no both. So with that final thought she let go.
Disclaimer: I do not own the Tin Man mini-series or Wyatt Cain…
It was a harsh drop, the bridge throwing them both up before allowing gravity to do its work, a scream tore through her mouth as she wildly swung her arms around trying to grasp the rope. Another cry tore from her lips, this one of pain as she felt her body jerk painfully, her cry being swallowed up by Cain’s very own.
Cain cast a look down, his face slightly pail as he grasped the arm of DG, cursing the unnamed god and Ozma as she slipped from the blood running down his arm. He cast a quick look up to see Jeb, Glitch and Ahamo holding the rope he was grasping, but it would be no use for them to pull them up; the rope was caught just a foot above his head.
“GET ANOTHER ROPE! QUICKLY!” Jeb roared his order, the strain in his neck nearly agonizing but he would be dammed if he was going to let go. He couldn’t lose his father, not now, not so soon after finding him again and he couldn’t let the very being that made him and all those around her happy.
“Are you okay?” Ahamo yelled with concealed panic, his eyes shifting from the Tin Man to his daughter whose eyes held a glint he didn’t dare to think about.
“Hurry up! I cannot hold much longer.” Cain snapped back, trying everything within to lift his dislocated shoulder.
DG stared, her eyes wide, heart beating loudly within her chest. She could hear the others talking, but the words didn’t register. No, she was staring at the blood that coated her hands as it ran from the bullet wound in Cain’s shoulder.
“Just hang on DG, don’t let go!” Cain stated, near pleaded with her.
Her eyes snapped up, looking into the wide eyes of Cain before flickering upwards quickly and back to him. She could see the rope fraying with each move they made on the jagged section it was snagged in. The nightmares of the past few days replayed in her mind, causing her to look down into the hungry depths below.
Determination set in, resolve and fear, she knew what she had to do and if it was between her and Cain, she’d choose her. Because no matter the fact she found herself a home in the OZ, it wasn’t home. Cain had more to live for, a son who just got him back and the others, even though she had the same, only Raw, Jeb and Glitch felt like true family. They will be okay without her, she knew they could and would be.
“Cain… Cain, look at me.” She called, trying to draw his attention from the others above barking orders. “Wyatt!”
At his given name tumbling sharply from DG’s lips, his eyes snapped down to hers and he knew instantly that something was going to happen, something he didn’t like.
“Just hold on DG, the others found a rope they…”
“Wyatt, I need you to shut up and listen… okay can you do that for me?” She asked, waiting till he gave her a sharp nod. “This isn’t your fault, this is my choice okay? You need to keep going, keep them safe. Wyatt, this isn’t your fault, remember that.”
He looked at her, the words piercing through the shield around his heart. He tried desperately to grasp her wrist in a firmer grip but his hand was useless. He had to make sure she was safe, had to hold her for a little longer.
This is my choice okay… this isn’t your fault….
“What… no… no please.” He begged, as the words finally set in firmly. Closing her eyes tightly, she took a deep breath before snapping them open once more, letting him know for the first time ever with her eyes about how much she felt about him.
“I love you Wyatt Cain, more than you’ll ever know.” She uttered to him softly, the world seeming to slow around her as she jerked her hand free and let go.
She could see the others crying out for her, their arms outstretched but her eyes focused on Cain, her heart shattering at the horror and agony that twisted on his face as he screamed out her name. She watched for as long as she could, the air changing from cold to ice as she grew closer to the watery depths, the spray blocking her view quickly. She cast one last look upon those above her mouthing the word live to her Tin Man before closing them, her body hit the water hard and the darkness consumed her.
“DG!” Cain yelled agonized as he saw her body slam hard into the water rapids below.
“Father!” Jeb yelled, trying to get his father’s attention as the guards lowered down the makeshift rope. “DAD!” He snapped again when his father didn’t acknowledge him.
Live… the last word she ever uttered to him before the water consumed her, one simple word that shattered him beyond the others she said. He placed his foot robotically in the foot hold and grasped the rope, letting the other go quickly.
The others pulled sharply, quickly as they could and soon Cain found himself staring blankly up into the bright blue sky above him. He could feel his heart turning to ice once again; she was the one who kept it working. He felt as if he was back in the Iron Maiden once again, this time it was worse. She had told him she loved him, he could see the extent of that flaring brightly in her cornflower eyes that it nearly broke him.
Live… That word echoed again, taunting him and twisting the ice knife in further. How could she ask that of him, how could she when she was the only one he truly lived for besides his boy. With her falling, it ripped the life he had thought to gain once again away.
Jeb stared at his father, tears flowing in horror as the once sharp blue eyes dulled. All his life he had never seen the blank look upon the man’s face, not even when Zero had beat them before him, not even when he had told his father about how she died or that she had found love again.
“Raw cannot sense DG.” Raw stated sadly, pain before placing his hands on Cain’s chest. “Raw cannot sense heart.”
The forest shushed instantly, movement stilled and the only thing that could be heard above the roaring water was the sound of the princess and queen crying, praying to the unnamed god and Glinda for DG.
Wyatt blinked, the colours dulling once more like many annuals ago and sat up. His face was neutral, hollow and all that knew him, were terrified. They all admired Jeb’s father when they found him being led back by Zero, alive and sane. He was a brave man, a strong man because they had seen what long term in the Iron Maiden had done to good men like he. After all, only two weeks in the Iron Maiden drove Jeb to near madness and his father is the only one they know of whom survived the longest.
“We need to move.” The voice was flat. “Send scouts to the water’s edge, four at most to look for… to look for…” His voice cracked as he repeated himself like Glitch would do when his synapses would misfire.
“Captain…” Ahamo started calmly, he had held back his own pain from his failure to save his Daughter. He only stopped when the Tin Man turned his dull eyes to him, it unnerved Ahamo and that was saying something. The Tin Man swept his gaze over the whole group once more, over the wounded and thankfully no dead before sighing sharply.
“I was told to keep you safe, to keep going… I will not fail her again.” With that everyone moved, four of the best scouts went down to the water’s edge and swore to keep looking as far as they could before making their way to Finaqua.
Before everyone set out the medics that were there began to tend to the wounded, Jeb managing to help his own father as he would let no one else near him. He hoped and prayed that by some chance that DG didn’t die, that she somehow survived the fall and the ice water for the sake of everyone but mainly for the sake of his father. For Jeb saw now that it was because of her, his father was alive… now he was hollow, no heart left to give.
If you don’t have heart, you have nothing.
Author Note: *Chuckles* Oh no! What did I do?