?

Log in

01 August 2016 @ 12:20 am
( You are about to view content that may only be appropriate for adults. )
 
 
Current Mood: naughtynaughty
Current Music: Poor Fool, He Makes Me Laugh (Phantom of the Opera OBC recording)
 
 
23 July 2016 @ 01:15 pm
Disclaimer: I own nothing except a deep-seated desire to play with Glitch's hair. (I mean, have you seen those curls? Damn.)
Author: alinkamidhearts (aka me)
Title: Nutella-Flavored Kisses
Rating: PG.
Word Count: 256
Summary: Glitch is the only one who can get Cain to try Nutella.
Characters/Pairing: Glitch/Cain. DG (mentioned).
Warning: None that I can see.

Read meCollapse )
 
 
Current Mood: accomplished
 
 
24 November 2014 @ 10:49 pm
Hi. I have been looking for a fic that takes place during the show. The group is camping in the forest. Glitch has a headache because of his zipper. He wonders away from the camp site. Then the others notice Glitch is missing and they all go looking for him.
That's all I can remember. Please help?
 
 
Current Mood: awake
 
 
10 October 2014 @ 03:38 pm
Part 4! This one was written in bits and pieces because I've been having a really bad writing block lately, sorry if it's not very cohesive X'D

NightCollapse )
 
 
01 September 2014 @ 03:23 am
I feel weird about being the only one posting in here but oh well.. I still like writing about these guys even if almost no one reads it X'D
Anyway here are a few more promtp drabbles.

Title: Stones
Rating: PG-13
Summary: For no reason.

StonesCollapse )


Title: Pace
Rating: PG
Summary: Glitch is lagging behind and Cain comes up with a way to make him keep up.
Notes: Yes, another one between the wagon and the tower because that part is so cute ;u;

PaceCollapse )


Title: Sands
Rating: PG
Summary: Cain and Ambrose take their grandkids to the beach...
Notes: To be honest, these things don't really have plot but I'm still pretty bad at summaries X'D

SandsCollapse )


Title: Power
Rating: PG-13
Summary: When Glitch remembers something after seeing Zero, Cain makes a choice and a promise.
Notes: Set during and after Zero's pseudo-torture scene.

PowerCollapse )
 
 
 
28 July 2014 @ 06:29 pm
Some more drabbles that I wrote some time ago..

Title: It is the Outer Zone
Rating: PG-13
Summary: It is the Outer Zone, anything could happen.
Notes: Inspired by that video where the writers of Tin Man were asked what they thought about the pairings and their reaction to Cain/Glitch was surprisingly epic XD

Things are different in the O.Z.Collapse )


Title: Bees
Rating: PG
Summary: Cain and Glitch face some unexpected foes one lovely afternoon.
Notes: For the prompt "Bees" from Nosferatu.

BeesCollapse )


Title: Scream
Rating: R (ish?)
Summary: Cain comes home thinking it will be just another uneventful night...
Notes: They're just normal Othersiders in this one. For the prompt "Scream" from Nosferatu. I'll probably make a little Part 2 later.

ScreamCollapse )


Title: Clouds
Rating: PG
Summary: Cliche cloud-watching drabble because it must be done!
Notes: Yes, for the prompt "Clouds" from Sebastian-Flight

CloudsCollapse )
 
 
19 July 2014 @ 02:08 pm
Here's part 3! I wrote most of this a long, long while ago.. and I published that as a chapter in ff.net, but I wanted to finish it like I meant to originally before I posted it here.
This story started out as a ball oneshot but now it's definitely not just that XD

[Afternoon]The great bells of Central City's clock tower resonated through the spacious throne room, each grave stroke marking noon as Cain took in what he had just heard.

A group of alchemists and longcoats have escaped.

"Was Zero among them?" the Queen said before he could,

"No, your majesty," the other man said, "but the alchemist Raynz and two of the top longcoats after Zero are amid the fugitives. We have reports from the security at the tower that it seems they stole something before they left. We believe they escaped sometime in the last three days so they may already be in the city or near it."

"Are they armed? How the hell did they escape?" Cain demanded furiously. As relieved as he was by the fact that Zero was still in his dark cell—right where they had left him after getting him from the suit when the battle was over—he still bitterly remembered Raynz, the man who had taken Glitch's brain. After retaking the tower from the witch's rule, they had taken the time to destroy anything that could be harmful to the O.Z. and save and transport anything of importance to where they were staying at the city, including Glitch's brain. Now, it was stored safely in one of the castle's rooms for when Glitch connected to it to work; and the thought of Raynz being in the city and anywhere near it or Glitch made Cain's blood boil.

"How the hell did it take them three days to figure out they were gone?"

"We don't know..." the messenger said, slightly taken aback by Cain's outburst, "The guards aren't sure what it was they took from the witch's stockrooms either, so they might be armed. We didn't know they were missing from their cells until now because they used a holographic projector to make it seem like they were still there."

That thing... Cain remembered with loathing, grasping without success at the overly complicated acronym.

"Wherever they are," Queen Lavender finally spoke again, "I want you to find them and capture then immediately, gentlemen. Mr. Walker, take your best men and search the woods outside Central City. Mr. Cain, gather your best men as well and be on the lookout for the escapees on the streets in case they are already here." She waved a hand gracefully and dismissed them.

"Yes, your highness," Cain and the other man, Walker, responded in unison to their respective orders before bowing and leaving the throne room.

***

In one of the highest floors of the castle, Glitch stood before the missing half of himself in the new brain room.

Kalm was by his side, one hand on his shoulder and one reaching out to the bubbling tank, helping him connect with—well, himself. Since it was Ambrose's marbles that possessed some of the most important knowledge for putting the O.Z. back together again and making it a better place, Raw had been helping Glitch find that information within his mind. Today, though, Raw was away. And Kalm, wanting to be as brave and helpful as his guardian had become, volunteered to help Glitch in the older viewer's absence.

Glitch had his eyes his eyes shut tight as the rush of Ambrose's memories surged through his head. This was always the best and the worst part. During his sessions with Raw, he would usually navigate around the sea of synapses that did fire right—his brain was quite the thinker!—until he found what they were looking for. Today, it was being rather difficult.

Glitch couldn't find his other half's voice and instead, alchemists, longcoats, mobats, and even the evil witch herself flashed in front of his vision as seen by Ambrose. Well—he couldn't see them of course, he had no eyes; he was a brain! But he had seen whatever the old viewer he had been attached to, Lylo, had seen...

Azkadellia, possessed by the evil witch, paced back and forth in front of the glowing tank.

"And you're sure you can extract all his memories..." she asked, casting a glance at the brain, "All his ideas?"

"Yes," Raynz said with a creepy grin, "With the creature here we can tap directly into his mind. Everything he knows, we know. And once we've connected him to the machine, he'll be able to run it for us. As you can see, sorceress, Ambrose here is a fine—

"—Apple! Oh I haven't seen such shiny apples in a long time!" Glitch was in a clearing surrounded by beautiful trees that seemed to hold the juiciest apples he had ever seen. He went to grab one from the closest tree. But as soon as his hand touched the red apple, the tree
moved. Suddenly there were half a dozen apple trees mercilessly throwing their fruit at him as he tried to escape.

"Ow, that hurts!"Glitch ran around with his hands above his head and tried to—

"—Stay alive." Ambrose finished, communicating through a tired viewer.

"And this would be indefinitely?" the longcoat asked,

"Yes, as long as the suit was functional and not damaged, it would keep the prisoner alive, conscious, and in the exact same state he was in when he was imprisoned; if the suit was
completely intact," the oblivious mind in a tank repeated.

"Perfect—

—Aim, Glitch thought as he rubbed a sore spot on his arm that was sure to be bruised. Well, at least he had lunch! He picked up one of the many scattered apples around him and polished it with the end of his sleeve. At least he wouldn't have to—


Wait a minute... This was definitely not Ambrose's memory.

"Glitch?" Kalm's small voice cut through the thought,

"Um," he laughed self-consciously, "I guess sometimes my memories get into the mix—sometimes my memories get into the mix."

Kalm squeezed his shoulder and closed his eyes as he resumed the connection and chased the rabbit.

"You'll never catch us!" DG's thrilled cry rang through the garden.

"Yes I will if you keep broadcasting your location like that every few minutes!" Ambrose called back and kept counting, "96, 97, 98, 99—

"98, 97, 96—


"Stop!" Glitch's eyes snapped open and he took a shaky step back as he stared at his brain. All of his jumbled memories had led them to that memory. Kalm looked equally shaken and he instantly felt bad for putting the young viewer through that.

"Oh, Kalm," he tut, "I'm sorry! We should have waited for Raw. You're just a kid; you should be out having fun! Not here in this stuffy, dull brain room."

As if to help his case, the tank discharged a few awkward bubbles.

"You're sure?" he asked uncertainly, "You okay?"

"As okay as a crow-less orchard!" Glitch assured him, smiling like his usually chirpy self. It took some more convincing and talk about how good it would feel to be out in the afternoon sun and smell the spring flowers, but eventually Kalm gave in and left to play in a less gloomy part of the palace.

As soon as he was gone, Glitch sank down to the floor with his back against the glowing green tank. Memories weren't usually part of his sessions with Raw, but sometimes they inevitably flashed by. It was great when he got to see some small piece of his past as Ambrose; that was the best part of this. Seeing that memory, though; that was the worst part. Glitch buried his face in his hands and wondered why his head hurt so much all of a sudden. With a groan, he drew his knees up and curled further into himself in pain. But a moment later the feeling was gone, and he had forgotten why he was on the floor and why there were tears in his eyes.

***

For a moment, Cain was surprised that it had only taken less than five hours to round up all the fugitives and capture them.

After his audience with the Queen, he had headed outside the castle with Jeb and other former rebels in tow. He had divided his team into smaller groups and mapped out the routs each of them would patrol while his son handed out their weapons. Once everyone knew their place, they had split and scattered throughout the streets. Cain, Jeb, and three others made up the group that guarded the sector closest to the castle.

They had walked the streets of the city under the O.Z.’s scorching suns and within a couple hours had four stumbling badly disguised longcoats in their handcuffs; however they had escaped, they certainly hadn’t had a good plan for being on the run. The other groups had had similar success across other parts of the city, and after a quick check with the guards back at the tower they had confirmed that, between both of the divisions in the city and in the fields, they had caught all that had escape.

In total, there had only been a dozen renegade longcoats on the run, though how that many had escaped in the first place was still under investigation.

“That’s the last of them.” Jeb called out as he hit the back of the truck before it drove away, taking the prisoners back to their tower. He made his way over to Cain, looking warily side to side at the small crowd that had gathered to watch the arrests.

“What about the alchemists?” Cain asked tightly when his son was within hearing distance.

“One of our messengers just told me that Walker’s men caught them with the group of longcoats they found near the orchards. There were just two.”

Cain nodded, “Good.” He tried not to let it show on his face, keeping a professional mask of stoicism, but he was relieved they had been that far away from the city; and that he hadn’t been the one to get his hands on them.

“What about what they stole from the tower?” He recalled the other matter at hand as they walked back to where the other officers and cars were doing crowd control, “Did they find it?”

“No,” Jeb said slowly, “They still don’t what it was but the men at the tower are on it.”

For a brief beat, Cain felt like he was back on his tin man duties from over a decade ago; those short, active annuals after leaving the Mystic Man but before joining the resistance. Then he realized just who it was that was relaying information to him and it made him think of how far they had all come. His son was a grown and capable man, and would soon leave him behind in the dust as it seemed. He smiled faintly at the thought, realizing that times were changing in the O.Z. and that after things were stable again there was nothing he wanted more than to finally step back and enjoy his time with those he loved. But only when their work was done.

Now that all the longcoats had been packed into the trucks and sent back to the tower, the crowd was moving on and the rebels turned tin men were heading out as well.

This afternoon had just been another day in the restoration of the O.Z.; and as he and Jeb took one of the waiting cars and drove back to the palace, Cain wondered idly what Glitch had been doing today.
 
 
19 July 2014 @ 12:23 pm
I found a writer's meme in deviantart.. I'll post a link if I can find it again but here are five out seven drabbles. From PG to R.


1. It’s lookout switch time. What do they say to each other while switching?

[Lookout Switch Time]“Alright then,” Glitch said animatedly as he gave one last glance around their small camp, “the fire’s low but steady, I have a stick if I need to poke it, and... time!” He brought his hand down in the air as if stopping an invisible clock and took a blanket and a stick in hand as he made his way to the other side of fire.

Cain watched Glitch’s enthusiastic display from across the camp; sitting down on a soft patch of ground and leaning against a tree. This would be their first real camp on their own since being cooped up in DeMilo’s wagon, and even though it had barely been six hours since the suns had gone down, Glitch had apparently decided it was already lookout switch time. Lifting his hat a little, Cain looked up to see a determined headcase standing steadfastly at his side.

“Move over, tin man,” he said as he nudged Cain’s leg lightly with the tip of his foot, “It’s my turn to keep watch! Go to sleep.”

“What if I’m not sleepy?” Cain asked, not breaking eye contact with Glitch as he tugged the blanket from his grasp and draped it over his own lap. “And what if I don’t want to move over? I was here first.”

“Oh come on, this tree’s big enough for the both of us!” Glitch said, promptly plunging down next to him. He tried to make a dive for a space on the ground beside Cain but, Glitch being Glitch, his aim was more than just a bit off and he swiftly ended up halfway across Cain’s lap instead.

“Oof!” After seeing the position he was in, Glitch’s discomfort at his miscalculated landing faded away to embarrassment and a blush crept to his cheeks.

“Sorry,” he muttered quickly as he slipped off of Cain—who hadn’t uttered a single sound or made the slightest of moves save to lower his hat over his eyes—and went to sit beside him as he had originally planned. His back was left without almost any support though, since Cain hadn’t moved an inch.

“Cain? Cain? Cain?” Sometimes he really didn’t know if Glitch was glitching or just trying to annoy him, “Did I break you?” the headcase ask when he still didn’t respond, this time poking him in the ribs with the stick of wood.

“Or are you already asleep?” Glitch teased, looking at his shadowed eyes as he kept jabbing at him. When the hard, ragged, pointy edge of the stick was replaced by a soft thin finger, Cain was quick to grab his friend’s wrist and pull him for a quick peck on the lips; his lowered fedora’s shadow covering the kiss.

“Cain? Cain? Ca—” Cupping his hand on the back of Glitch’s neck, Cain stopped what was now definitely a glitch with another, slower kiss.

“Sleep tight, sweetheart.”

“But—but it was my turn to be on the lookout! You should go to sleep.”

“I told you I’m not tired. You on the other hand...”

“I am not—” A yawn betrayed whatever Glitch was going to say, and he quickly clasped a hand over his mouth to suppress any other treacherous sounds. Eyes wide, cheeks slightly flushed, and hands over his mouth in an almost comically woeful manner, Cain couldn’t help but think Glitch looked... adorable like this. Hiding a small smile he tugged his friend forward again, this time to lie down on his lap, and covered him with the half of the blanket that wasn’t tucked under him.

“You’re not what now?” Cain asked teasingly, sliding his thumb across Glitch’s cheek.

“Well, I’m not.” Glitch said resolutely, even as he turned on his side to face Cain, or rather his torso, “So what now, tin man?”

“I suppose we can just keep watch together, sweetheart.”

Cain had meant it. If Glitch really wasn’t tired then he wouldn’t have minded spending the night with a quirky, loving, ridiculously optimistic, chatty headcase talking excitedly on his lap; and he had spent a good hour or two doing just that. But long before the suns rose to signal the new day, Cain found himself gently holding onto the slim form of Glitch, who was now fast asleep.



2. Ohh noes!! The longcoats have captured one of them. Who and how are they saved

[Captured and Rescued]Cain stumbled but was able to narrowly catch his footing after being thrown into the dark cell. The stone walls surrounding him felt uncomfortably close in the depths of the tower’s dungeon, and he quickly turned around to face the lone longcoat that stood on the other side of the iron bars. The other two that had been there as they manhandled him into the cell had walked away, this one only staying to taunt Cain as he turned his fedora around in his hands.

“Nice hat,” he said with an impish grin, “I think I’ll keep it.”

As he left and walked down the dim corridor, Cain growled under his breath and slumped against the bars, wondering why every time he was captured by longcoats they always took his hat; it wasn’t the first time and he had a feeling it wouldn’t be the last. Though as much as he liked his hat, there were more pressing matters at hand. He had to get out of here and find Glitch. Then they could find the princess as they had originally planned before getting caught despite their shiny leather disguise.

His mind whirled in worry at the thought of what his friends could be going through right now in dark cells like this one, and his instinct and need to protect and rescue them overwhelmed the feelings of claustrophobia and helplessness that his own imprisonment caused him. He ran his hands along the cold ragged walls, searching around the bars for any hinges, or loose openings, or something he could use to escape. He was inspecting a rusted, flimsy-looking rod when he saw a flash of leather and a familiar hat out of the corner of his eye.

Stepping back further into the cell, he took his razor from where it was hidden on him; they had taken his hat and gun but had forgotten to look in the not so obvious places. As the approaching footsteps echoed down the hall, Cain prepared to attack the longcoat and make his escape. When the hat-wearing, leather-clad silhouette entered his sight, Cain launched himself at the bars and—

Stopped his attack mid-swing of the blade as he noticed the longcoat wasn’t a longcoat after all.

Glitch?

“Delivery for a Wyatt Cain!” Glitch announced happily as he handed him his holster and gun through the bars before turning around with a quizzical look and pulling random levers until he got the right one. The bars of his cell lifted and Cain stood before Glitch when the other man turned to face him.

“But—how?” Cain sputtered, “They took you too and they were so many, and the one that just took my hat was so big—I thought—”

“It’s all about rhythm, remember?” his friend said with a cheeky smile,

And so it was... “Fine,” Cain frowned, “Now give me back my hat; it’s my hat.”

“Oh alright,” Glitch said as he took off the hat and swiftly planted a firm kiss on Cain’s lips,

“Now come on,” he said, placing the famous hat on Cain’s head before walking away and leaving him behind; dumbfounded and rooted to the floor. “We have cells to search and a princess to find!”

“Um, Glitch?”

“Yeah?”

“The rest of the dungeon is that way.”



3. The day is ending and there is a beautiful sunset. What do they do?

[Sunset]“Dad, want to play a round?” Jeb called out to him, waiving an odd ball D.G. had brought from the Other Side and going on about a game the youngest princess was teaching him and Azkadellia.

“Not right now, son. Maybe later,” Cain said as he walked away from the central area of their little picnic on the riverbank and headed over to where Glitch sat against a tree.

As it was at the moment, the three younger members of their party were playing D.G’s game on the edge of the river while the Queen and her consort talked privately in the gazebo, and Raw and Kalm hunted their own diner in the woods nearby. Only Glitch seemed to be without something to do, Cain having just fished contently in the river for hours and having his fill of fun for the day, so he thought maybe the headcase could use some company.

“Hey,” he said as he sat down next to Glitch and casually wrapped an arm around his slim shoulders, “What are you doing all the way over here on your own?”

“Just,” Glitch sighed softly, leaning into Cain, “looking at the sky.”

“Wouldn’t you rather go for a walk? Or maybe...” he looked down at Glitch suggestively, thinking of the famous spread of lakes at Finaqua, “take a dip with me in a lake later if the water’s not too cold?”

“Nope! I want us to stay just like this.” He said, putting his own arm around Cain’s brawny waist and looking up at the overhead skies, “Just look at that.”

Cain complied and turned his gaze to whatever had Glitch so entranced. The suns were low in the sky as the day came to an end and countless clouds stood out against the expanse of blue and the colors of the sunset. Low, rounded clouds heaped together to frame the edge of the mountains far away, while the thinner clouds above seemed to expand into lines and ripples, giving a depth to the sky that Cain couldn’t remember ever seeing before. It seemed that even something as mundane as the setting of the suns was enhanced and enchanted in Finaqua; everything made more beautiful by the sky’s reflection on the water’s surface.

“I want to swim in the sky,” Glitch said suddenly, voicing in his very Glitch-like way what Cain was thinking,

“I don’t know about the sky, sweetheart,” Cain said, tightening his arm around Glitch before rising to his feet, “but there’s a lot of nice lakes around here that look like pretty much the same thing.”



4. What if Glitch never lost his brain? How would things be different between him and Cain?

[What if?]There were times when Ambrose was delighted Cain worked at the palace.

The advisor’s uniform was hastily undone, almost ripped apart, as Cain pressed him up against the wall.

“Really, Captain,” Ambrose gasped as the other man found that spot on his neck and bit down hard, “a storage closet is hardly an adequate place for men of our status to meet.”

“It’ll do,” Cain murmured against the advisor’s neck, wrapping his arms around his waist under the opened great coat and drawing him close for a kiss.

Their kisses—their embraces, their interactions of any kind—were never sweet. And this, like every other, grew heated and desperate as Cain’s hands trailed down his sides; touching every inch with eager fingers. He reached below Ambrose’s belt and unfastened his pants quickly before he grabbed firmly under his thighs and slid him up the wall, grinding their hips together. Ambrose clung to him. The captain’s short blond hair was soft under his touch as he enfolded his arms around wide shoulders, his legs around a sturdy waist, and delved further into the kiss. Breathing was always the last thing on Ambrose’s mind when they were like this.

When Cain’s rough pace sped up along with the pressure in him and both of them neared their end, Ambrose clung to him; drawing his arms tighter around his neck and holding onto the moment.

.o.o.o.

There were times when Cain was satisfied with his decision to work at the palace.

He had only been a boy, barely eighteen and fresh out of the academy when he had been given the offer on his instructor’s recommendation. At the time, there had been nothing tying him down to his old life or to the city; save for his duty as a Tin Man. But he had no commitment to stay for his parents, and he had no wife or husband or even a lover to stay behind for. So he had taken the offer that same day.

The job could get boring but the pay was great. The palace life could get lonely but at least the staff was always there for a game of cards or a quick exchange of words. The best thing though, the reason Cain loved making that decision most of all, was a certain advisor he had met.

Cain watched as Ambrose fastened the many claps of his red coat, wishing they could stay here longer, as cramped and dark as it was, and not have to return to their lives just yet.

“See you tomorrow night?” he took hold of the smaller man’s chin and kissed his dark lips,
“Hmm,” Ambrose considered, “No. I have a meeting with the Queen and an ambassador from the south.”

He finished dressing quickly and made himself presentable again before slowly opening the door only to a crack and peering outside. When he was satisfied there was no one in the hall who might see them, he pushed the door open the rest of the way and stepped out.

“Oh, but Wyatt?” he said sensually, looking over his shoulder at a bewitched Captain of the Guard, “I’m all yours if you’re free at noon.”

.o.o.o.

There were times when Ambrose would have rather Cain didn’t work at the palace.

He was an excellent captain, there was no doubt about that, and the sex was great; that definitely wasn’t the problem. But sometimes he asked for too much.

“Would you have dinner with me?”

“I told you,” Ambrose said after swallowing a piece of pie, “I’m meeting with the Queen—”

“I didn’t mean tonight,” Cain said slowly, “Just... whenever we’re both available; just the two of us.”

“Isn’t lunch enough for you?”

The terrace they were in had been cleared out for their use and they were free to do as they pleased in privacy. At the moment, there was no need to act officially, no urgency to their company, and no rush to get back to real life; and it was moments like these that gave Ambrose the most apprehension. It was in moments like these that Cain would try to kiss him just a little too softly for his taste, and would even try to call him loving pet names that he didn’t want. It was in moments like these that Ambrose realized maybe Cain wasn’t right for him, maybe he wasn’t right for Cain.

“Ambrose...” Cain reached out across the table and took his hand, “Swee—”

“I told you not to call me that.” Ambrose said pointedly,

“I just wanted—”

“More.” Ambrose finished for him, drawing his hand back, “You always want more.”

“I just want to be with you,” Cain scoffed and leaned back on his chair, “without having to run off secretly at odd hours of the night, or hide in a goddamn closet. Why is that so unacceptable?”

“Because you’re Captain of the Guard and I’m the Royal Advisor.” Ambrose answered logically, “We both have duties that we can’t ignore, and our vows exist for a reason.” Pushing his plate of unfinished food away, Ambrose stood to leave. Cain drew his chair back and followed him, taking him by the arm before he could run off.

“We wouldn’t be ignoring anything, Ambrose.” He could see the want in Cain’s eyes when the captain turned him around in his grip, “Why won’t you just give me a chance to prove that?”

“Because I don’t want to.”

Cain let go of his arm.

“If you ever want to have another tour of the palace’s many storage quarters, you’re welcome to come and find me. But until then, Captain, I suggest you go have dinner alone and stop asking me for things I can’t give.”

.o.o.o.

There were times when Cain regretted his decision to work at the palace.

He walked down the stone hall in the outer wing of the palace as the suns set, and crossed paths with a certain advisor.

“Good afternoon, Captain.” Ambrose said with a polite, distant nod, walking by him without a second glance.

“Good afternoon, Advisor.”

Whenever they went back to step one and that cold, indifferent tone crept into their voices, Cain thought that maybe he had made the wrong choice all those annuals ago. Maybe Ambrose wasn’t right for him; maybe he wasn’t right for Ambrose. It was true that he wanted more than just a quick fuck in a closet, and that he wanted Ambrose to be more than just a stranger he happened to have sex with. Just as he realized it was true that the advisor wasn’t the person he wanted.

Sometimes Cain wondered how things would have turned out if he had stayed in Central City and had just been a tin man. Maybe he would have met a nice boy or girl who wasn’t bound by unending “duties and vows” as Ambrose was and settled down. If he hadn’t taken the offer to work at the palace, they would have given it to Zero. Since he was second in his class through as much mischief as talent, Cain doubted Zero would have been captain by now... probably second in command, if he learned to behave. But maybe he would have been better suited to Ambrose’s tastes. And maybe Cain wouldn’t have ended up with someone who never smiled at him in public; someone he never called sweetheart.



5. Glitch finds a bakery and forgets to meet the others at the hotel and Cain goes to look for him. In what state does he find Glitch? (and no, I don’t mean like the United States...)

[Bakery]Countless shoulders bumped against his as Cain walked down the streets of New York.

No one complained or said sorry to him, or even acknowledged him at all when they almost slammed into him. DG had warned him about this; that it was a big city and this was just how things were around here. But Cain had been a tin man for a decade, he had lived in large cities, and not even in Central were people like this. He decided it was an Otherside thing. Whatever the case was, his heart raced at the thought of Glitch lost in this massive traffic of rude othersiders.

Cain still couldn’t believe he was missing in the first place. It had all been DG’s idea. She had gathered the five of them one day, taking Azkadellia and Jeb by the hand while she sat Raw, Glitch, and him down, and had decided that it had been too long since she had traveled not only to the Otherside but in the Otherside; and that they should all go with her.
Everything had been fine until today, when there had been an unexpected flow of people down in the ‘subway’ and they had all been separated. Everything should have been okay. They all knew the directions to the hotel; there were signs everywhere and every street was efficiently labeled. But when he had finally made it back to their rooms, everyone had been there except Glitch.

Of course, the most obvious explanation was that he had just forgotten; save for the fact that Cain had been up with him all night making sure he knew the address and had even marked the way on a map that they had tucked in Glitch’s coat just in case.

So what had happened? Cain kept wondering this as he turned a corner, simultaneously keeping an eye on the green sign posts and looking for dark curls and a coat lined in red. When an icy breeze blew past him, his concern grew and he hoped that wherever Glitch was that at least he was warm. At least he had his brand new Otherside clothes and bold coat. And the wool hat DG had bought him, a ‘beanie’, that covered his zipper. Cain really hoped he still had that on.

It was already getting dark and Cain had gotten nowhere. As night fell and Cain retracted his steps in the hopes of maybe running into Glitch on the way back, bright colorful lights and jovial music took over the streets. He could see smiling faces as he passed by random shops and hear laughter and songs of cheer coming from inside. It reminded him of something DG had told them about...a holiday from the Otherside; something about giving gifts and spending time with your loved ones.

He was near the hotel again now, but Cain kept walking, absorbed in his mission to find Glitch; paying more attention to the people in the streets than to where he was heading.

“Watch out!” Cain was startled when a hand shot out and grabbed him, stopping him from walking blindly straight into the lethal surge of ugly yellow cars.

“You should look where you’re going,” a kid about Jeb’s age said, and then strode away on a board with wheels when the pedestrian light turned green.

Still more than a little shaken up—over almost being run over while only thinking of Glitch being out here alone—Cain let out a shaky breath he didn’t know he had been holding. Closing his eyes for a moment, he stood motionless on the painted sidewalk as people walked past him on either side. If he was a headcase—if he was Glitch— Cain thought, where would he be? Where would he go?

Somewhere off to his right, he heard the jazzy tones of another song play as a waft of warm air hit him. He took a deep breath, getting ready to move on and keep walking, when a sweet smell he had grown used to having at home reached him and stopped him in his tracks.

Apples.

Cain’s eyes snapped open as he thought he might just know where his missing headcase was. And when he broke from the new wave of people surrounding him in the sidewalk and walked through the opened door to the shop in the corner, he was thankfully greeted by the sight of a familiar slim figure in a coat lined in red.

Glitch was facing away from him, beanie fortunately still in place, slumped against a glass counter that displayed an assortment of pastries in various rows. As the merry, jazzy music played on in the background, Cain silently approached Glitch, who hadn’t noticed him and was completely focused on the sweet aroma of some baked apple goods coming from somewhere behind the counter. Cain was taking pleasure on sneaking up behind the zipperhead and thinking of giving him a fright for what he had made him go through all day. But before he could reach him—just as a young woman appeared behind the counter, holding a tray with freshly baked apple pie—Glitch’s knees gave out and he sank down to the floor.

“Glitch!” Cain gave up his plans of revenge for later and hurried to kneel at Glitch’s side, cupping a hand on his pale cheek. Glitch was lying on his back, wriggling and mumbling weakly; his eyes tightly shut. Until finally, he seemed to register that he wasn’t alone anymore and blinked open his chocolate eyes, peering up at Cain.

“Glitch? You okay, sweetheart?”

“Ugh,” Glitch groaned, closing his eyes again and placing his own hand over Cain’s on his cheek, “I’ve died and gone to heaven.”

Cain couldn’t help but smile and shake his head at the sight of Glitch sprawled on the floor under him, and the remnants of the many pastries he had undoubtedly eaten that tinted his lips.

“I was wondering if anyone was looking for him,” the girl behind the counter said, dragging Cain away from his thoughts, “He seemed a little lost when he came in.” She giggled and started putting away the new batch of pies inside the glass counter. Looking around the small bakery, Cain realized that they were the only ones there at the moment; he supposed the last person in here beside Glitch had been the one that had opened the door a few moments ago. Apart from that, he noticed all the empty spaces where pastries would have been; and remembered the emergency money DG had given to each of them with an inward groan.

“What did he have? How many?” he asked the girl,

“Um, everything.”

“I was waiting for the apple pie,” Glitch explained all of a sudden, drawing Cain’s attention back to him, “I was... going somewhere...”

“The hotel?” Cain supplied, “You’ve had us looking for you all day. You could have gotten seriously lost or hurt out here. What were you thinking? If anything—”

“Will you let me finish?” Glitch said indignantly, “I was walking there when suddenly I caught a whiff of the sweetest baked apples in this world! So I ran in here but they had just sold the last of them. I was waiting for more and... uh,” he laughed nervously, “I guess I lost track of time.”

“You think?” Cain said, while the girl finished with the items on the tray and walked back into the other room, “So you decided to come in here and eat everything?”

“Mhm,” Glitch nodded faintly as Cain leaned closer,

“And were planning to eat more?” Cain raised an eyebrow, leaning only inches above Glitch and slipping a hand up under his striped shirt. Quickly glancing back up and making sure they really were alone, Cain leaned in the rest of the way to Glitch and covered his mouth with his own; plunging into a sugary flavored kiss as he splayed his hand over Glitch’s smooth stomach.

“Mm, Cain,” Glitch said, cupping the back of his neck and staring intently at him when they broke the kiss, “Don’t do that here; you know what it does to me...”

“Then let’s go back to the hotel.”
 
 
14 July 2014 @ 05:54 pm
I started this a while ago but I procrastinate a lot so I just finished it today. It's not exactly my first Tin Man fanart but out of the other two it's the one that came out like I wanted the most.

Fanart!Collapse )
 
 
12 July 2014 @ 07:09 am
This one was a drabble for the prompt "Butterfly" that got a bit too long.
Title: Flight of the Butterfly
Rating: PG
Summary: "These are insects?" little Adora asked eagerly, her brilliant blue eyes wide in amazement, "Are they alive, Grampa Ambrose?". One-shot for the prompt Butterfly. Grandparents!Cain/Glitch.


[Butterfly]“My father was a scientist like me, you know?” he told the curious child in his laboratory, gently taking the tiny hand that reached for the crystal box set on the table and pulling it back, “But instead of working with machines like I do, he liked to study insects.”

“These are insects?” little Adora asked eagerly, her brilliant blue eyes wide in amazement, “Are they alive, Grampa Ambrose?”

“They’re pupae,” Ambrose said as he knelt down next to the little girl that looked just like D.G., “They’re just sleeping inside there until they’re ready to come out.

“See that one there?” he pointed to one of the more mature chrysalides, steadying Adora with his other hand as she went to sit on his knee, “That one’s darker so it won’t be long before a beautiful butterfly comes out. They’re just butterflies that haven’t finished going through metamorphosis yet.”

“What does meta-metamo-sis—”

“Metamorphosis—”

“That!” Adora said keenly, looking on at the various chrysalides suspended by magic in their crystal cage, “What does it mean?”

“Well, it’s when something changes into something else. Everything and everyone changes eventually; whether they are animal, vegetable, or mineral. Tin men turn into grumpy old men, like your Grandpa Wyatt, little princesses turn into queens like you will someday,” he said, smiling as he tickled her and heard her laughter, “And those pupae in there will turn into butterflies soon enough.”

“Do all animals do metamor-fo—change like that?” Adora asked as she hopped from Ambrose’s knee and clutched the edge of the table, completely entranced with the pupae, allowing him to stand.

“Nope, just insects like the butterfly,” he said as he rose to his feet and brushed his clothes with a sweep of his hand, “Neat, huh?”

“Very neat,” a gruff voice that was most definitely not little Adora’s said from behind him as a pair of strong arms wrapped around his waist, “But tin men turn into what, sweetheart?”

“Cain!” Ambrose turned in his husband’s embrace to give the man a quick kiss before pulling back and fixing him with a sultry look as he raised an eyebrow, “Didn’t see you back there, tin man. How long have you been listening in?”

“Oh, since about the first metamorphosis,” Cain said nonchalantly, just as Adora noticed him and let out a shrill, “Grandpa Wyatt!”

“Hello, angel,” He leaned down to catch her as she sprinted around Ambrose to launch at him, “How have you been?”

“Grampa Ambrose and I were waiting for the butterflies to hatch!” she said with a bright smiled as she leaned down in his firm grip to look back at the pupae from where she was sitting on the crook of his arm.

“Hmm, sounds a bit boring to be honest.”

“Well, better that she’s here learning a thing or two than out there with you getting dirty in the mud.” Ambrose said haughtily from his side.

“But that’s way more fun,” Cain whined childishly, “What do you say, angel? Wanna go outside where it’s more fun than this stuffy lab?”

“Oh no, Wyatt Cain,” Ambrose said as he waved a finger at him and pulled an amused smile from Cain’s lips, “It’s pouring out there and—In fact, you’re all wet! Put our grandchild down before you ruin her dress and get out of my laboratory!”

“You don’t mean that, do you?” Cain said teasingly, leaning down to place Adora on the floor—the spirited girl being much more interested in the butterflies than on her grandparents’ antics—but stepping closer to Ambrose.

“Why wouldn’t I mean it?” Ambrose shot back, raising his chin slightly and giving him that look he gave him when Cain wasn’t quite sure anymore if his grumpy attitude was in jest or for real. It was in times like these that Wyatt had to tread carefully around his words.

“Because you love me?” Cain said lamely, taking hold of his pouty lover’s chin.

Before he had to take the brunt of Ambrose’s feigned or real undoubtedly angry reaction however, a tiny awed gasped saved him from having to do so.

“Grampa Ambrose, one of the butterflies is coming out!” Adora squealed in excitement, her intense blue gaze glued to the darkest of the chrysalides that turned clear as it cracked and moved with the butterfly’s effort to emerge. Both Cain and Ambrose came to stand at either side of her, watching as the chrysalis opened like a capsule and the butterfly started unfurling slowly.

“What color will it be?” Adora whispered, as if afraid to disturb the tiny creature in front of her,

“No way to tell, princess,” Ambrose chuckled, “They’re your aunt Azkadellia’s butterflies, probably laced with magic.” The elder princess had left them in Ambrose’s lab earlier that day, contained by magic in a small clear box, and had asked if he could hold on to them for her until it stopped raining. Though the advisor was wondering if she had known he would be watching Adora today and leaving the butterflies here for her niece to see had been the princess’s plan all along.

After a few silent moments, the mature butterfly parted fully from its translucent cocoon, its wings expanding completely to reveal a kaleidoscope of colors that shifted as the butterfly moved. For a second it seemed as if it was tangled in the web of magic that had been holding it up this whole time, desperately trying to get out, and Adora’s breath hitched at the sight; her little fingers twitching to help the insect out.

“Give it a moment,” Ambrose said as he placed a hand on her back, “it can do it on its own.” Surely enough, it wasn’t long before the butterfly flung its legs at the air one last time and unraveled the threads of magic that had kept it bound, taking a trail of blue and green magic light with it as it flew away.

“I want to work with insects when I grow up...” Adora watched after it, awestruck, until it left the room through the cracked door that Cain had forgotten to close behind him.

“Great, Wyatt,” Ambrose frowned, “just great.”

“Oops,” he said, daring to speak for the first time in minutes, “Sorry about that, sweetheart.”

“I’ll get it!” Adora shouted happily as she pushed herself from the table and ran to the open door.

“Wait a minute—”

“I’ll be fine, Grampa Ambrose! I promise I won’t go to another floor and Aunt Azkadellia’s room is at the end of the hall! Please...” she pleaded, her voice rising an octave as he drew out the word and ultimately defeated Ambrose with a blue-eyed puppy face.

“Oh alright, I suppose you could go tell your Aunt Azkadee that her butterflies are hatching.” Ambrose said with a crooked smile and watched her dash out of the lab before turning around to face Cain, “Now where were we, Mr. Cain?”

“I hate it when you call me Mr. Cain,” he hummed as he closed the space between him and Ambrose,

“You’d rather I called you tin man?”

“Anytime, sweetheart,” Cain said, swooping the smaller man in his arms and giving him a proper kiss. Caught in their warm tangle of limbs and mouths, Ambrose forgot to complain about how wet Cain was; and neither of them quite noticed as the rest of the butterflies began to hatch and enveloped them in a whirlwind of colors and magic light.



A silly fic I wrote some months ago, I think it's more friendship than slash but it could be read as pre-slash?
Title: An Ember in the Snow
Rating: PG-13
Summary: Cain and Glitch stumble upon a needed rest at the beginning of their journey from the Northern Island to the tower.

[Cold, Cold, Cold]"Cain, it's cold!" Glitch whined for the hundredth time that afternoon.

They had been walking for hours, leaving the icy scenery of the winter palace and making their way toward the tower. Most of the day had been spent on reaching the forest farther south where the temperatures weren't so chillingly low, but even after all that time there was still nothing but white snow all around them.

"I know it's cold, Glitch, I know it's cold," Cain said halfheartedly, walking a few steps ahead of the other man, "I'm the one who almost died from hypothermia, remember? If you could keep both of us warm then, you can stay warm now."

"At least in the wagon we had a furnace!"

"Well, it's not like we could take the fire with us, Glitch." Cain muttered and kept moving. A few moments later, he realized the tired footsteps behind him had stopped and he turned around to find Glitch sitting on a log covered in white. There was a soft layer of snow falling down on them and Cain couldn't help but notice how much Glitch was shivering. His cheeks were flushed and his breath was fogging as he panted softly. Cain could see his own breath in front of him as he sighed and walked over to his friend; kneeling in front of him.

"Get up, we need to keep moving," Cain ran his eyes down Glitch's shivering body again, taking in how tightly he was holding the blanket around his shoulders.

It was already late in the afternoon, the suns would begin to set at any moment, and Cain was starting to feel the cold seep into bones—again—as well. Back in the wagon, there had been a moment when he had felt almost stiflingly warm. He had wanted to rip off his clothes and jump out into the snow, away from the fire, but Glitch had been there with him, holding him back and wrapping him in a blanket anyway, making sure he was truly warm. The false sense of heat had faded long before they set out on today's journey, but being so abused by such extreme temperatures over the last few days had left Cain unable to feel just how cold it was getting until now. With the approaching evening, the fall of snow thickened and the air around them grew chillier. They just had to keep walking and get to lower ground before night fell. Then he could try to make a small fire if it was no longer snowing where they stopped and everything would be alright.

But Glitch wasn't getting up.

"Come on," Cain repeated as he put his hand against Glitch's neck.

"It hurts..." Glitch said quietly, shivering and leaning into the touch.

"What hurts?" Cain scanned him with his eyes again in concern, pulling his hand back tentatively, but then saw Glitch's brown eyes move to indicate the top of his head.

"Oh." The zipper.

He felt bad for not thinking of how being out in the cold weather would affect his friend. He knew little about the physiological effects of headcasing besides the loss of memory and clumsiness, but having a freezing metal zipper on your head could not be good.

"Okay," Cain said, taking off his hat, "We just need to keep walking for a little while longer. Just until we get out the snow. Until then," he held out the hat to Glitch, "you can wear this."

"Really?" Taking the offered hat, the zipperhead practically beamed with excitement, "You'd let me wear your hat?"

"Yes. Now come on," Cain said as he ran his hands down Glitch's covered arms and patted one of them gently, "Up."

Smiling softly, Glitch placed the hat on his head and got to his feet with Cain's help. After stretching their stiff limbs, they started walking again together down the frozen road.

It was getting dark by the time they saw a spot of light through the trees a short distance away. They were still too close to the palace for Cain's liking, and his first thought was that it might be a camp made by longcoats who had stayed around to look for them. He was sure they must think he was dead, and that Glitch wasn't important enough to them if they had left him behind, but one could never be too careful; for all he knew they were looking for Raw. Whatever the case was, his instinct told him to stay cautious. He kept his arm around Glitch—who was squinting furiously either trying to see what the dot of light was or trying to keep his eyeballs from freezing, Cain didn't know—to keep them both as warm as possible as they walked.

"Cain, it's cold!" Glitch said again sometime later, night almost upon them and the snow not any sparser than before, "It's cold, it's cold, it's cold—and I'm not glitching! How much longer do we—" He cut his complaints short as he stared agape at what had looked like just a bright spot in the distance a while ago. From here, Cain could see it was a small building and not a large camp after all.

It was about a mile away from them in a little clearing along the road, pale grey smoke rising from the chimney and every window glowing invitingly. The warmly lit building was like an ember amid the dark, frosted trees; and noticing the sign a few feet away from it, Cain realized it was an inn.

"Is that—Oh, it is!" Glitch cried enthusiastically and almost knocked him over as he ran out of his grasp, "Thank Ozma!"

"Hang on," Cain said, taking hold of Glitch's arm before he got too far, "We don't know who might be in there, or if they'd recognize us... We're two of the most wanted men in the O.Z., remember?"

"Oh come on, tin man! As far as they know you're on the bottom of a frozen lake and I was chewed to death by mobats!" he winked at him jokingly; then adjusted the hat over his head and looked at him morosely, "Besides, I can't keep walking in this weather and you shouldn't either!" He said decidedly with a stomp of his foot in the thick snow.

"So stop being so pessimistic all the time and let's get our tushies warmed up," he disentangled himself from Cain's grasp once again and took his hand, leading them toward the little cozy-looking inn.

"Fine," Cain gave in, "Just because I don't want you to catch hypothermia. But if we're doing this," he said, pulling Glitch back toward him, "you have to follow my lead."

.o.o.o.

Night had fallen by the time they made it to the inn, and Cain decided to go over their plan one more time before going inside.

"Okay," he turned to face Glitch, "We were just passing through when our car broke down a few miles up the road, and if anyone asks we're—"

"Partners in crime, I'll remember. Now let's go in, my head's killing me! And my legs, and my arms, and my face—"

"Just let me do the talking," Cain said exasperatedly, "But if there's a single longcoat in there and a gunfight breaks out, you get down and try to get out, understand?"

"Yes, yes," Glitch bobbed his head dismissively and tugged him by his sleeve, "Why do you have to be so paranoid?"

"I'm not being paranoid, I'm being aware."

"But that won't get us any warmer!" Glitch said and lead them the rest of the way into the inn.

The first thing that hit Cain was the comfortable warmth in the room. There was a steady fire going at the back and the entire lobby was well lit by both lamps and small candles. The second thing he noticed was that there were no longcoats. In fact, the main room at least seemed to be empty; even the front desk was deserted.

"Hello?" Glitch called out before Cain could stop him, "Anyone home?"

There was a clatter coming from the door behind the counter and in a moment Cain had his gun ready. He quickly lowered it a second later though, when no one but a large friendly-looking woman came out the door; a pleasant smell wafting in with her.

"Oh excuse me," she said hurriedly, wiping her hands on her apron, "We don't get many people coming through here as you can see and I was just readying dinner."

"It smells great!" Glitch pitched in happily, taking a long sniff at the air.

"Why thank you. But oh—what happen to you, dear?" she said as she took in his pale shaky appearance, "You look about ready to drop!"

"We were caught up in the snow." Cain jumped in, wrapping an arm around Glitch's shoulders, "Our car broke down a few miles away and we've been walking out in the snow for hours."

He rubbed Glitch's arm, making a show of warming him up. "We were pretty lost out there, but luckily we found this place.

"Oh dear, thank Ozma... It's dangerous out there," she whispered, "A group of those nasty longcoats passed through here not too long ago, looking for some wanted criminals or something and tearing up the place. I try not to get too involved in those matters."

"That's terrible," Cain said in feigned concern, "Do you know what they look like? Maybe we've seen them around."

"I'm sorry but no... I just know that one of them is one of those headcases," she said with disdain, "I just hope you didn't come across them anywhere."

"Nope," Glitch laughed nervously, joining the conversation against Cain's wishes, "None of those basket half-wits anywhere!"

"Well," Cain intervened, "We'd like a—"

Before he could ask for a room and get them out of there without Glitch blurting out something he shouldn't, a man came through the door behind the hostess, and fixed them with a pointed look.

"You two come from the city?" he asked them gruffly,

"We were just passing through here," Cain nodded, "we were trying to visit a friend. But we got lost out there and then our car broke down."

"You wouldn't happen to see some fugitives around these parts, would you? A girl, a viewer, and two men?"

"No," Cain said, tightening his arm around Glitch, "It's just been my husband and I on the road."

He felt Glitch make a little jump against him and sighed inwardly. Of course he forgot.

"Yep, just us! Just Ca—"

"Come on, sweetheart," Cain slid his arm to Glitch's waist and held him close, "I'm sure these good people wouldn't mind talking more but we're getting their floor all wet. We'd like a room please."

With that he reached into his coat's pocket with his other hand and took out the scattered coins and bills he had pillaged from DeMilo's wagon. Thankfully it had been enough, or maybe the woman had taken pity on Glitch's snow-covered form wrapped in the soaked blanket. But whatever the case, they had excused themselves for the night, politely refusing the woman's offer of dinner, and made a hasty retreat to their room.

"That went better than I thought it would." Cain said once the door was closed behind them.

They could have easily given themselves away in a second; with only one wrong thing said, or one wrong sentence overheard. He had the fleeting thought that maybe he really was too paranoid as Glitch had said earlier, but quickly dismissed it; they could never be too careful, even with only a couple of people in the middle of nowhere. The small inn was clearly one of those very old houses that had been turned into a lodge over time, and the room they were given was small but agreeable.

There was a chest with a mirror against one wall, next to the door to an adjacent bathroom, and by another wall was a window with a view of the spot they had been at not long ago. Under the window was a nightstand with a lit lamp, its twin standing on the other side of the large single bed. Glitch took no notice of anything else in the room and immediately shrugged off the blanket that was heavy with melted snow and ran to the folded clean sheets. Cain walked over to him a moment later after shaking off the snow on him that hadn't thawed yet.

"You can take the bed," he told Glitch as he took the hat from his head and shook the snow off the brim, "I'll take the floor."

He didn't mention that he wouldn't be sleeping.

"Are you sure?" Glitch asked innocently, "There's more than enough space, if we could share the cot in that dingy wagon then we can definitely share this." He was already sitting huddled on the bed, covered in several white sheets everywhere but his head.

"It's fine," Cain insisted as he took a couple of sheets and one of the pillows and let them fall to the floor beside the bed before looking out the window. "We shouldn't be here," he said under his breath, looking outside.

Both moons were already out and high in the sky, giving plenty of illumination to the unchanging white landscape a couple stories down. He wanted to be out there, in the snow and through the frost, making progress and getting closer to saving the princess. Instead, he was stuck here for the night. But as much as he wanted to keep moving, even though his muscles ached after the day they'd had, he couldn't force Glitch back into the cold.

"We—we could go if you want," Glitch said quietly,

Cain looked at him buried in the tangled sheets then out at the snow, his mind already made, "That might raise too many questions."

"So we can stay?" Glitch asked hopefully,

"Yeah,"

"Yay!"

"We'll leave as soon as the first sun is out though, so get a good night's sleep, zipperhead."

"You got it!"

Cain didn't do so much as turn the lamp off and drop to the floor, his arms crossed and hat turned down, when he heard, "Are you sure you don't want to share?"

"I'm sure, Glitch. Go to sleep." He said as he leaned back on the propped up blankets and pillow.

"Okay..."

Good.

"Cain?"

"Yeah?" he sighed,

"Thanks for the hat. It really helped." Glitch said, looking down at him with wide eyes from the edge of the bed, "And it's a really nice hat."

"I'm glad it helped," Cain said honestly, "It's the least I could do."

"Well..." Glitch leaned down over the edge, almost invading Cain's space, "You could share the bed."

Cain looked up at him skeptically, "You can't still be cold, can you?"

"Just a tiny little bit," Glitch said, biting his bottom lip,

A few days ago Cain wouldn't have agreed to Glitch's often childish requests even under serious circumstances, but after spending time with the headcase and seeing what he was capable of he did it almost without a second thought. Just this once, he thought; just out of sympathy.

"I think we've shared enough body heat by now to rival the suns." Cain said as he got into bed beside Glitch and drew the covers over them. It might have been cold outside but the inn was well heated and there was no chance of catching hypothermia under this bundle of sheets.

"Hey, it beats freezing to death."

It really did.

.o.o.o.

Cain awoke the next morning to the suns' equally bright glare, somehow having forgotten his plans of not sleeping and keeping watch.

There was no clock in the room so he had no idea what time it was, but he knew they had stayed far longer than he had wanted. Glitch was still sleeping restfully beside him. He was curled on his side and had his face half buried in the pillow and half pressed against Cain's shoulder, an arm casually thrown over Cain's chest as if they did this every night—which, Cain guessed, considering their sleeping arrangements for the last days, they sort of had for a little while. Like this, Glitch was the perfect image of a comfortable sleep; and as much as Cain hated having to wake him up when he looked so peaceful, they had to get going.

"Wake up," Cain said as he rubbed his eyes with the heel of one hand and poked Glitch on the side with the other, "Rise and shine, headcase. We overslept."

Glitch turned over onto his stomach and mumbled something unintelligible into the pillow.

"We need to get up, Glitch. Wake up." Cain said again, moving a hand up Glitch's back and giving him a firm shake by the shoulder, "We've lost enough time here."

After a little jolt, Glitch tried to sink deeper into the mattress with a whine but then opened his tightly shut eyes and stared at Cain in confusion. He moved onto his side again and drew the blankets closer around himself anxiously.

"Um," he said with a frown, looking around the room and shifting on the bed, "Do I know you?"

"Good morning, sweetheart. It's just me," Cain said, keeping a hand on his chest to calm him down, "Your husband." He added in jest.

"Cain!" Glitch said with a spark of recognition, "Good mor—My husband?!"

"Just until we get out of here..."

"Wait," Glitch frowned again, "When did we get married?!"

"It's just pretend, Glitch. Remember?" Cain flopped back down on the bed as he sighed and shook his head, a smile threatening to form on his face despite everything.

"Oh," Glitch blushed a little, "Oh! I remember! Sorry..." he said sheepishly,

"It's okay," Cain said softly, really meaning it, as he turned to look at Glitch, "One thing though... You can't recognize my face when you wake up but you remembered me calling you sweetheart?"

Glitch's blushed deepened, "It's just—No one's ever called me anything like that before... Not like you did anyway... I—I liked it," he tried looking at anywhere but him and ended up staring down at Cain's hand on his chest.

"Even if it's just pretend!" he added quickly, "It was nice... and different, and memorable. No one's ever called me that before... No one's ever called me that before."

Cain wasn't so sure it was a glitch.

"I just remembered because it was, well, sweet." Glitch went on, "That's something to hold onto."

In spite of wanting to get up and move out as soon as possible, Cain lay on the bed with Glitch for another short moment. He looked better now, less confused and startled, smiling faintly as the sunlight shining through the window touched his pale face. Cain thought of what Glitch had said, how a simple word or gesture could be enough to make things just a little more bearable.

Glitch had given Cain something to hold onto; by giving him the tin horse, by just being there with him and reminding him of what mattered. If Glitch needed something to hold onto, if Cain had that something, then he would do his best to give that to his friend.

He gave a last gentle nudge to Glitch's arm, prompting him to finally get out of bed. Once they were both done with necessities and ready to leave, they exited the room together and started descending the stairs; Cain remembered to take off his hat and put it back on Glitch's zippered head just before reaching the ground floor.

Unlike last night, there were a few people gathered in the main room, and a couple more in a dining area eating breakfast. Though quiet, the atmosphere in the lodge seemed considerably livelier than the previous night's awkward apparent desertedness. The same woman that had received them last night offered them breakfast as kindly as she had offered them dinner. This time Cain didn't refuse though, and instead took the food gratefully in wrapped packages to go; even though, glancing at a clock in the vestibule, he could see it wasn't as late as he had thought upon waking up.

"Thank you for everything," he said with a fake smile but honest gratitude as he opened the door for Glitch who was cheerfully carrying all the food, and walked out after him.

"That was the perfect break," Glitch said contently as he munched on a sandwich, "My husband though?"

"Hey, I didn't have much time to think of something else." Cain said in his defense, "Two random men would have been too suspicious, and it's not exactly like we could pass for brothers, sweetheart."

The light snowfall from the day before had ceased, and the layer covering the ground felt noticeably thinner under the suns' steady rays. They spent most of the morning in silence, simply enjoying each other's company as they ate and walked; getting closer to their destination with each step.

And for a short-lived moment, Cain realized he had let Glitch wear his hat even after the snow had thawed.