|In Trouble or in Pain
Author: H.C. Glennteade PM
Five years after she left Oz, Dorothy finds herself in a very troubling world of her own. Back in the Emerald City, her old friends try to squelch bad feelings that refuse to die. '39 Movie fic. Please R&R! Enjoy! STORY NOW COMPLETE FINAL CHAPTER UP!Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Chapters: 13 - Words: 22,056 - Reviews: 41 - Favs: 23 - Follows: 4 - Updated: 06-09-08 - Published: 09-15-06 - Status: Complete - id: 3155553
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
First and foremost, I'd like to thank Hobbit Babe for her review of the previous chapter. The time that anyone has taken to review this story has always meant a lot to me.
That being said, I can hardly believe this is the last chapter of the story. I'd like to thank Fauna Greywolf for giving me my very first review, and listening to me ramble about all things Oz. I'd also like to sincerely thank Hobbit Babe, Tori7, pucktofaerie, and delibird for all of the support they've given me. Your continual reviews really meant a lot to me. You are all the reason I kept going with this story, and so I dedicate this final chapter - and truly, the whole story - to you.
This is a very long chapter, as I had promised, and directions I gave in the previous chapter will carry over to here. I'd like to thank any readers and/or reviewers in advance, as I most certainly won't just forget about the story now that it's complete. Some slight edits may come in the future, and who knows. Perhaps the end is just the beginning ;).
Thank you all once again for everything, I truly appreciate it. As always, please enjoy!
Disclaimer: I do not own, nor claim to own, any part of MGM's 1939 movie, The Wizard of Oz. All characters and locations mentioned here are property of their respective owners and creators.
How long could this go on for? It was a question that constantly encircled Scarecrow's head that night as he continued to watch over his motionless Dorothy. How much he would love for her to be well again, to return to her enthusiastic and caring self, but, perhaps even if she succumbed to her ailment, it would be for the best. Most certainly, Scarecrow would forever be pained with her loss. Of course, her passing would still be terribly unfair and undeserved, but if such a thing meant that Dorothy would not have to suffer - and surely she had to be experiencing anguish of some sort - than perhaps she would be better off. The king had made a new wish. No longer did he wish for his dear friend to live, for he discovered that such a desire was rooted only in his own selfishness. Rather, all that he wanted was for her to receive the comfort and tranquility she had very much earned.
He suddenly hated being there alone, and imagined having to break such horrendous news to his friends should Dorothy leave them. It being so late in the evening, Lion had left to sleep, albeit reluctantly. Glinda had accompanied Tin Man out of the room, also against his will. He had wanted to stay by Dorothy's side, but his emotions would never permit him to stay very long before he would begin to rust and need to compose himself. And so Scarecrow alone lingered at her bedside, with only the darkness accompanying him.
His gaze a thousand miles away, the king pondered a time long past when he was nothing more than an ordinary scarecrow. He recalled his meeting with a fascinating little girl who encouraged him to seek what he desired so much, as she planned on doing. He remembered how every brick in that yellow road brought a new lesson, a new friend that helped them overcome the obstacles in their path. Even long after they had said goodbye, Dorothy and all of the wonderful moments that he had experienced because of her guided him through the many days of her absence that would follow. It was then that he realized that no matter what happened, those memories would always live in his heart and mind, and just maybe, they would live on in hers, too.
It was amidst such pondering that Scarecrow was startled back into reality. He refocused on his friend just in time to watch one of Dorothy's delicately folded hands break loose from its position on her waist and fall slowly to her side. In awe, he kept his full attention on her, waiting and hoping for another motion. It came soon after as her neck turned slowly and her hazel eyes opened with a squint, finally making contact with the rest of the world.
"Dorothy!" Scarecrow managed softly, never being happier in his life.
Her eyes searched for the possessor of the voice, and a rush of excitement surged through her body as she found her beloved friend.
"You're all right!" Dorothy exclaimed, her voice still weak.
"Only if you will be," he admitted, the arousal of the girl making him realize just how much he loved her.
She looked at him for a moment, a soft glaze engulfed her eyes and a smile spread across her face. "I will be," she insisted, trying her hardest to sit up straight.
He abandoned his chair and knelt at the bedside, taking her hand in his.
"What's hurting you?" He asked.
The girl gazed at her dear friend, and could barely stand the despair in his eyes. She imagined that he had spent an awful amount of time worrying about her since the incident, however long ago that was. All she wanted at that moment was for his anxiety to be put to rest.
"I'm fine, really," she tried to convince him, "I'm just a little . . . groggy I suppose."
She watched the panic in his cerulean eyes fade slightly and felt much better. Suddenly, she realized they were alone, and began to worry herself.
"Is everyone all right?" Dorothy inquired, looking around the empty room.
The king followed his friend's gaze and suddenly realized what was concerning her. "Oh, yes! Everyone is just fine. Let me get them - will you be all right here for a moment?"
"Oh, certainly, but you don't have to bother-"
"No bother at all," he subdued her concerns, "I'll be right back."
With that, Dorothy watched him caper out of the room and beamed, glad that he was returning to his old self.
It seemed almost instantly to her that Scarecrow was back, leading their friends into the room. Soon, the Good Witch of the West was caught amidst a flurry of gentle acclamation. Glinda knelt where Scarecrow had previously. Tin Man occupied the space opposite the Good Witch of the North on the other side of the bed, joined by Lion opposite Scarecrow.
"Is she dead?" Dorothy asked Glinda as she brushed a strand of hair out of the girl's eyes in her usual motherly fashion.
"Very. She will never harm you or anyone else again," the older witch assured her.
The young lady felt horrible for killing the Wicked Witch, but slowly began coming to terms with the fact that there was no other way to protect Oz from her wrath.
"How long was I asleep for?" Dorothy questioned.
"A couple of days," Glinda responded. "Are you feeling poorly?"
"Not-not really," she replied as Glinda took a hold of her hand.
"Dear me, you're freezing!" She exclaimed upon realizing the temperature of the girl's skin.
On the opposite side, Tin Man instinctively took hold of her other hand. Just after, he remembered that his metal hand could give none of the warmth that Glinda's could. Embarrassed by his blunder, he was about to release his hold on her before Dorothy tightened her grasp. Tin Man's heart fluttered as he once again felt the love of his dear friend.
"I'll be just fine, I'm sure, with a little more rest," Dorothy insisted, "I hate to see you worry so."
All four of them smiled at her before Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Lion rose, somehow sensing that Glinda wanted to be alone with Dorothy.
"Then we better let you get it, "Scarecrow reasoned.
"I don't understand, Dorothy," Tin Man finally confessed before leaving, "why did you put yourself in the Witch's path, just on account of us?"
Her smile grew, hoping it compensated for her inability to give a lengthy explanation. "It was nothing you haven't done for me," she managed.
"We still owe ya, something, Dorothy. Just ask for anything, and it'll be yours," Lion encouraged.
The girl realized that the three could not comprehend her vision of equality. Not wanting them to agonize over the matter anymore, she conceded to their plea.
"All right, I'll do just that," she replied. "I am going to ask each of you for something very valuable, something I'm not sure I am even worthy of requesting. I ask you for your friendship."
Tin Man chuckled. "Of course you're worthy of it, but that's something you've had since the beginning."
"Then I'll never ask for anything again. If I have your friendship and you have mine, then there is nothing more I could ever want."
Her friends were deeply touched, and it dawned on them just how lucky they were to have Dorothy in their lives. Recalling their plan of departure, they each filed past Dorothy's side for a brief and heartfelt word of parting before leaving her alone with Glinda.
"Glinda, there's still something I just don't understand," she mused, "how is it that I defeated the Wicked Witch of the West?"
The Good Witch smiled. "I have told you from the beginning that you underestimated yourself terribly. I do believe this proves it. You have a great skill, Dorothy, you have no reason to ever doubt yourself again."
Something still kept the girl from being convinced. "But, couldn't the Ruby Slippers have given me the power? Surely anyone wearing them would be helped by them."
Glinda shook her head. "That may be true, but even I do not know just how strong their magic is. What I do know, though, is that they were of little help to you, for apparently you tripped right out of them before they could assist you."
She watched as a spark of surprise enveloped Dorothy's eyes, removing some of the doubt.
"You see, my dear," she continued, "some people have incredible strength, even though it may seem that they don't. You, dear Dorothy, have a terrific strength, a strength you seem to only use when the ones you love are in need of it. But, when you let it shine through, you accomplish amazing things."
Suddenly, Dorothy understood everything. Not only did she know how the events of the past few days unfolded, but she found the answer to a question that had long been grating on her mind.
"That's how Uncle Henry was able to send me to Oz to begin with, isn't it?"
"Exactly so," Glinda beamed, so proud of Dorothy for understanding. "He loved you very much, and would do anything to keep you safe, and through his extraordinary ability, you arrived here."
"Oh dear," the girl marveled, overcome by her new insight, "I never would have imagined learning any of this or experiencing any of this."
"But it's good that you have," the Good Witch of the North replied, "and now all that is left for you to do right now is rest. Don't speak another word, just ease your mind."
Dorothy obeyed Glinda's wish and said nothing as the older witch kissed her forehead and silently left. The advice she had given suddenly seemed wonderful, and she closed her eyes, overcome with relief.
"I'm so proud of you," Uncle Henry murmured to his niece as their eyes met. From beside him, Aunt Em grinned broadly. "I knew you'd be better off here, Dorothy," he continued, "the journey is not over yet, though. You will have plenty more experiences to learn from, but you have done wonderfully so far, and I know you'll do just fine."
"I miss you," she admitted, "and the farm and everyone back in Kansas."
"Don't worry about us," he insisted, "there's no reason to. There's nothing to worry about back home. The boys are doing very well. Just worry about yourself. Everyone still loves you Dorothy, and we'll always be watching over you."
Without notice, Toto hopped up onto the bed, licking his friend's face and wagging his tail. Dorothy scooped him into a warm embrace, realizing just how much she missed him.
"I love you," she addressed them, looking up from the little dog. "I owe you so much."
"No," he insisted, "you don't. But you owe it to yourself to be happy, and to make the most of every single day. Just never forget us. We'll always be here for you as long as you keep us in your heart."
"I never will," Dorothy replied, "I promise."