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…
Wyatt was up as soon as the first sun began to light up the skies, chasing away the stars and darkness, leaving the golden rays and blue skies in its wake. He hated waking up early, hated to sleep out on the land then his or a bed. But he chose to sleep against the sturdy tree near DG’s tent; he couldn’t risk someone coming at night, no matter how many people there were to protect her.
Again, Cain found himself wondering just when his mission in life was to protect DG, to help her… since she saved you from the suit, charging in with only a stick… his mind whispered traitorously. He had planned to kill Zero and if he died along the way, then so be it.
He shot up as her panicked voice ricocheted through the silence. His eyes snapping to the tent, hand reaching out to pull the flap back. Relief flooded through him at her peaceful slumber, letting his hand fall and his body with it. He couldn’t get her frantic cries of his name out of his head and this was why he couldn’t trust the seeker – Ahamo the Consort – fully.
He remembered the fear, the dread and the utter failure when he struggled on the netting that trapped him. He had thought that she was stolen, that the Seeker would harm her in some way, it twisted his stomach and when Zero pulled his own gun on him, Cain didn’t even flinch.
“Captain Cain, it seems I am not the only early riser.” Queen Lavender stated softly, humours.
“I always seem to wake at first light when I am out in the open.” He explained, moving so he was now in a standing position.
Lavender hummed, her eyes scanning the sleeping forms of the soldiers, noting the way that her Angel’s tent had no one near it, only him. Though Raw and Ambrose were close by, taking up all sides, it made her heart swell that her youngest had such good friends.
“I have come to realise this, the others should wake soon, and I must thank you.” She stated suddenly, causing his eyes to snap to hers.
“There is no need for you to thank me your Majesty…” He trailed off confused.
She let out a huff of a laugh, “Of course there is. My husband and I owe you more than you realise. You brought back my Angel, kept her safe across the kingdom when your debt was owed the moment you stepped into Central City. For helping her, for keeping her safe, she saved Azkadellia. Because of you, Raw and Ambrose I have my daughters back.” She explained softly, moving closer to the ex-Tin Man so no one heard her speech but him.
Cain scratched his chin distractedly, ignoring the warmth in his face. It was true; he had owed the young princess a life debt for her getting me out of the suit. She had asked for passage to Central City and after some thought he decided to take her. He didn’t like to be in debt, it felt wrong and festered deep inside. Though he had a debt it didn’t mean much of a thing half way there, he realised now.
“There is still no thanks needed Your Majesty.” He stated again, wording it carefully before his eyes flickered to the rapidly growing light. “We must leave soon, the suns will touch the tree tops and it would make me feel better if we crossed the crack before dark.” He explained and left as soon as her majesty told him to go.
He woke Jeb first, blocking the fist that flung out in self-defence, he was proud of it and horrified at the same time. His son could protect himself even half asleep and yet, that was a muscle memory… Cain quickly shut that thought down, not wanting to think how and why his son got it.
“It’s me, we need to leave soon. I want to be across the crack before nightfall.” He explained to his son, who snapped awake immediately and nodded. He quickly pulled himself together and Cain watched as Jeb jolted awake his men with orders and they hastily complied.
DG woke to someone shaking her, her eyes snapping open to reveal Raw, his dark eyes glittering concerned and knowing as he ripped her from the loop of Cain dying before her very eyes. She watched him fall, his body plunging into darkness. She dreamed it over and over again for the past few days and it haunted her, dread pooled in the depths of her stomach.
“I’m okay Raw, is it time to get up and get ready?” She asked simply, shaking away the chill each nightmare brought on.
“Yes. Cain woke Jeb. Jeb woke men. Cain want to pass The Crack of Oz before night.” He explained softly before frowning. “DG sad, afraid. Raw no not what to do.”
Her eyes watered as she quickly hugged him. “It’s okay Raw; I’ll be fine once we’re safe at home in Finaqua.” She explained before gesturing for him to step out so she can begin.
It took less than an hour for the camp to be packed and on their way. She had placed her gear with that of her families in the carriage they had but insisted on riding. Though she found the riding painful, she preferred her pain than being closed in.
“You okay there Princess?” Cain’s voiced jerked her out of her thoughts, igniting joy within her. She hadn’t been able to speak to him for days now and it hurt. She was used to the brash brave Tin Man around, much like she had grown used to Raw’s silent looks and Glitch’s well… glitches.
“Why, Mister Cain, what a pleasant surprise.” She chuckled out, batting her eyelashes purposely annoyingly.
Cain frowned at the Mister part, since when was he back to being Mister. Actually, the more he thought about it the more he realised with each proper address she called him mister. With each brush off he did, she called him mister and it stung.
“Pr…DG, is it alright if I spoke to you for a second.” He asked slowing down slightly so they were at the back of the line, far enough away for curious ears. They were close to the rope bridge a head; in fact the front of the party was nearly on it, the carriage going over slowly. The timber bridge would have been preferred but it had been taken out by the remaining Longcoats.
“Cain what’s wrong…?” She asked concerned, moving over closer to him that their horses would allow. She could see the emotion in his eyes; the fire and it made her heart quicken and stomach clench.
“There’s somethin’ I’ve been meaning to tell you for a while Darlin’.” He began, noticing the surprise in her eyes at the affectionate pet name. He was nervous, which was odd considering but how else can you explain to one such as DG that he cared for her, possibly loved her if he allowed himself to admit it. He decided of straight to the point, she seemed to like it when he was blunt.
“I lov…” He trailed off; jerking his head back as a loud crack filled the silence and down one of his men went. His eyes widened a fraction as he pushed his horse and DG’s forward, he hadn’t realised they were so far behind and now he was cursing himself as long coats followed them, swarming from the trees.
“RUN ACROSS!” He yelled, pushing his men forward till only he and DG were on the bridge.
DG screamed as she watched Cain buckle forward slightly as a bullet ripped through his arm, his body fell forward and onto the hard bridge from the force, the horse continuing its path. She quickly hoped off, grunting at the impact and screamed as the long coats came barrelling towards them. Her hand flung out instinctively, her eyes widening as it blasted them back and cut through the ropes. Her eyes widened, locking onto Cain’s as he realised what she did at the same time, they quickly pushed themselves up and ran.
She could hear and see her family and friends, screaming for them to run, she could see Wyatt shoot behind him and she could see they weren’t going to make it. Her body jerked as the bridge beneath their feet fell away, taking them with it.
Author Note: *chuckles* oops…