Summary: It ends the way it began. OneShot- Lucas (Dorothy). After the events of the first season.
Warning: Drabble, fractured.
Set: After the events of the first season.
Disclaimer: Standards apply.
Happy Easter Holidays! (2017)
His life ends here: bound to a cross, crudely hammered, barbed wire cutting into his wrists and the sun beating down on him. An agonizing pain in his side. His eyes are crusted with mud and blood; he can barely see the faces of his tormentors.
His life begins here: bound to a cross, crudely hammered, barbed wire cutting into his wrists and the sun beating down on him. His entire body aches. His eyes are crusted with mud and blood; he can barely see the face of his rescuer.
Beginnings; endings: they are the same in Oz.
Land of magic and of beauty; land of wishes come true. Land of broken kings and merciless princesses, of fake wizards, lost scientists and loyal servants. Land of talking animals, gifted tribesmen and women and loyal knights. Oz, the land of fairy tales: where witches fight witches, and kings die and princesses inherit the throne, where bodies are constructed out of metal, where girls grow up as boys and are rescued by witches. A land in which might is a birth right, and power reaches for power.
Oz, the land in which people kill children, and children grow up learning to kill; and innocence is something nobody can afford.
The laugh that escapes his lips is sharp, short and bitter, and then segues into a hacking cough. His dried-out lips crack and bleed. The ropes tear at his wrists, agony in his shoulders, pain in his side. Nothing to gain, nothing to lose.
What's your name?
She stands there, beautiful in the light of the dying day.
Beautiful, breathtaking, untouchable, hair like silver and eyes like ice, and they are cold.
"You failed. Our cause, the girls – you failed me."
He whispers her name, pleading. Help me.
"I cannot help you. Help yourself and return to me. Show me you are loyal to me, that you are stronger than this."
"I am only loyal to you-"
(i love you)
Oz, the cradle of fairy tales:
Once upon a time there was a soldier without memory on a journey towards a city made of green glass – or maybe stone; or whatever – following a yellow brick road that might or might not lead to the end. There are days of fighting and running and nights of worry and wind. Once upon a time there was a little lost girl, her eyes so full of trust and innocence and fear of herself. Once upon a time there was a woman, strong and knowledgeable but so naive in so many ways of the world, a stranger to Oz in so many different ways. She does not know this place where history is written in blood and tears, where black pits of despair are a warning not to overstep imposed, unnatural laws and matter and time are shaped within the blink of an eye. She is so alien she cannot be real. And yet to him, she is the most real thing he can think of, the one thread tethering him to this ever-shifting, cruel world. One glance at her clears his head when the clouds of doubts and hesitation descend. One word of hers and the blood lust deserts him. One smile and–
They travel together, the broken soldier and the alien woman with her dog at her side. And the child laughs at the sight of the wild, white geese and the woman smiles at him and he thinks-
When did it start?
When did he start thinking that he would do anything, anything, to see her happy?
There is a part of him missing and he knows, but it is easy to put aside when she is so strong and fragile at the same time that he just wants to look at her, forever and ever.
Innocence, he always thought, was white; The Mother of the Sound and Pure. Glinda's white is pure and innocent and yet, in the face of Dorothy's blunt aliveness, she pales and melts. But oh, she is beautiful. Glinda, Lady of the Northern Light, outshines every queen and every serving lady. Her power encompasses the world; her beauty is ethereal: there is nobody like her. Dorothy, on the other hand, is a roughly hewn stone, an ember in the ashes. Unremarkable, easy to overlook. But warm, oh so warm, and kind, in a way. He has no illusions about her character; there are people kinder, warmer, less selfish. But once your friend, she will fight until the end for you, once her trust is won, there is no one more loyal. Once determined, she is unstoppable. In a way, she is very much like he himself: maybe that is his reason. Or, maybe, his excuse.
Innocence: it was in all those girls, those children he sees day by day.
All those girls he had protected, groomed and taught, had watched grow and shine, and then had sent off to die. And: the empty eyes of the little witches that had strained themselves too hard in Glinda's – no, their – quest. Their white dresses, pure as snow, untainted, and the red that bloomed on their chests and arms and legs as the bullets buried inside them.
They all fall–
The Wizard's trump card, his last resort. Useless, worthless. They rise again, one after another. He watches, sick with the realization that blossoms in his chest.
Only witches can kill witches.
Oz, the valley of remembrance:
She is warm in his arms, familiar and beloved, her head resting on his chest and her chestnut hair spilling over his arm.
He could stay like this forever, tucked away in a corner of the kingdom in which they are safe. Nobody can find them here; nobody can harm them; nobody will ever try to take from them what they fought so hard to defend. Sophie's soft breathing ghosts through the room; the child is calm. As if it, too, feels the overwhelming sensation of peace surrounding them.
Dorothy moves in her dreams, her eyes closed tightly, her fist bunched around the material of his shirt. He wraps his arm around her, trying to ground her, he knows the kinds of nightmares that come with peaceful sleep. He will wake her if – but she calms again, buries her face in his shirt. He relaxes, bathes in her nearness, in the silence and the calm.
And falls asleep again, as well.
"I have to go back. They are waiting for me."
"But we are here, Sylvie and I-"
"Sorry. They were there first."
He throws the words back in her face later, resentfully, in the white halls of the white castle Glinda calls her home, and the shadow of pain flashing across her face makes him hate himself more than he hates her for wanting to leave.
Oz never was her home.
It is evident from the way she moves: she is a stranger here. The places he knows so well, the forests, the lakes, the mountains; the endless plains he loves so much, the magical whiteness of winter and the color-filled hills of summer. The outer territories, where the tribes hunt. The Northern Islands, shrouded in mist. It is where he hails from, but she does not possess this kind of connection. Her eyes, even as she regards the greatest wonders Oz has to behold, remain detached. He cannot even fault her: she has been hunted, imprisoned, threatened, tortured, she has seen children be off sold into slavery, innocent people killed by swords and magic.
And yet, he wishes she would stay.
It is evident from the way she moves: she is at home here. She has the silent, grave gracefulness that is inherent to the cardinal witches' movements. An instinctive understanding of how his world works. Like she has been there before, but too long ago to remember. She fits into his world as if she had always been a part of it, and it scares him and exhilarates him at the same time. She accepts magic.
(She accepts him.)
She belongs here. Dorothy is part of Oz as much as Oz is part of her; one day, she will realize. The fact that she leaves him is intangible proof.
Oz, river of forgetfulness:
She bewitched me.
Glinda does what she always does: taking a wish and granting it, taking sincerity and desperation and twisting it into something ugly, something impossible to look at. He knows, in the deepest parts of his heart, that killing Dorothy will not set him free. The opposite, rather. But he has to try, he owes it to his queen, to her who has saved his life before-
She has stolen your heart. Take it back.
Kill me. Come on, do it.
Dark eyes, glaring at him defiantly, so different to Glinda's silver ones. There is no anger in her face, only hurt and betrayal.
I saved you!
Voices mix in his head, voices and faces until it is too much, until he cannot breathe, cannot hear, can only react to the desperate wish running through his veins, a wish he cannot say whether is his own or someone else's.
(kill your heart)
"At least look at me."
This is Oz.
Oz, the land in which every story is true, and every tale has an end and a beginning:
Once upon a time there was a beautiful witch and a poor soldier, and they fell in love. Once upon a time there was a girl with the power to kill witches, and she happened to come across a dying man.
Once upon a time–
As it is in Oz, both ending and beginning are one and the same.
She stands there, beautiful in the light of the beginning day.
Breathtaking, untouchable, her hair like warm honey and eyes like the sea.
"You got your wish."
His life ends here: bound to a cross that once was the spine of a scarecrow, rags wrapped around his wrists to soften the bite of the crude rope tying him to his fate. He can barely feel the pain in his side. His eyes refuse to open but he can hear her voice, clear as crystal.