In which DG meets Jeb Cain and makes his father blush.

Cain helped her down off of his horse, as he always did.

"You all right?" He asked, as if it had become a ritual. She nodded as enthusiastically as she could muster, what with the weight of the O.Z. on her shoulders. Cain seemed to pick up on that little something behind her eyes, nodded only once, and gently took her wrist in his hand to lead her into a dark thicket of trees.

"Now, ah," Cain began, looking only slightly flustered, "you remember me telling you about my son, right?"

DG nodded. "Jeb, right?"

"Right." Cain peered over his shoulder to be sure that Glitch and Raw were following with the horses. "He kinda runs things around here, so he might be busy—"

"I'd like to meet him," she said, smiling. Cain cleared his throat.

"He's probably going over the invasion plans—"

"Father?" Jeb's head poked out of the thicket, dirt smeared all over his face. Cain rolled his eyes, barely visible.

"Never can get a word in edgewise…" He sighed, brushed aside a hanging branch and led DG into the thicket near where Jeb had appeared. Jeb held back the branch for the others following, smiling at his father and the girl standing beside him. "Ah, Jeb, this is DG. DG, this is my son."

"My pleasure," Jeb said, bowing slightly. DG shook her head, and a smile cracked over her features.

"No bowing, please. No, really, I don't think I'm used to the whole 'princess' thing yet."

"Hey, Jeb," Glitch saluted, holding the horses' reigns in hand. "Where d'you want these, uh…" He paused momentarily, sizing up the creatures beside him. "These things?"

Jeb smirked, the skin around his eyes crinkling up in exactly the way his father's did. "Just take them into camp. They won't go anywhere."

"Gotcha." He pulled the beasts along after him, and Raw followed, smiling kindly as he passed DG. She returned the gesture just as easily.

Jeb watched to make sure Glitch and Raw were out of earshot before he turned quickly on his father, something bright in his eye. "Were you holding DG's hand?"

DG had to hold in a childish snicker at the way Cain's eyes went suddenly wide, and he tried to hide it by pulling down the brim of his hat. "No," he answered simply. It was true; he'd been holding her wrist. That didn't mean it wasn't funny. Something danced around in DG's chest, and for the first time in a long time, a bright, wide smile broke over her face. She had time to play one more game before the fate of the world unraveled around her.

"Y' see, Jeb," DG began, making both men's heads shoot up at the same time, "your father and I are what you might call 'an item'."

Jeb only had a microsecond to look befuddled at his father, whose eyebrows were drawn down in concern.

"No," Cain assured him in a quick voice, "no we aren't."

DG shrugged as casually as possible. "There's no use denying it. We've been caught in the act."

Cain tipped up the brim of his hat to glare at her better, his son only peripheral now. "You can't get caught doin' something you're not!"

She seemed about ready to overflow with a fit of giggles, but she somehow restrained herself. "Jeb here takes after his father; he's got good eyes."

"DG…" Cain rolled his eyes and visibly sagged. She cut him off before he could begin, elbowing Jeb knowingly in the arm.

"You know, they don't call 'em Tin Men for nothing."

Then, for the first time in their short acquaintanceship, DG saw Cain's face flush a delightful shade of pink. It only tinged his cheeks and the tips of his ears, but she couldn't help the snort of giggles that suddenly seized her. He looked from the girl to his son, the latter of which looked more concerned about his father's reaction than anything. Cain held up one accusatory finger, drawing his eyebrows down and trying to ignore the heat in his face.

"No." That was all he said before he reached out to take DG by the wrist. "We're leaving." He stalked away from the edge of the thicket, in toward the center, leaving Jeb in their wake. DG turned to smile and wave at him.

"Nice to meet you, Jeb," she called back. Jeb gave an awkward wave in return, his face unsure of what to do with itself.

The two came to a secluded clearing, and without warning, Cain whipped around to face her. She was pleased to see that he was still blushing, though only slightly.

"That wasn't funny," he said at once.

"Yeah it was," she responded. The residual smirk still resided on her lips. Cain removed his hat and ran a hand through his hair in frustration.

"That's my son, DG. He's got to have a little respect for me." He looked about the clearing, as if it might hold answers.

"Sure, he's got respect now," she responded, shrugging. "He probably thinks that his dad bagged a princess."

Cain's hue turned a darker shade, and she had to bite her lip to keep from laughing aloud.

"I didn't…. bag anyone." He plopped his hat back on, looking at his feet until he regained a normal coloring. "You really think this is the time for joking around?"

DG's smile faded, and Cain's lips pressed into a fine line for making it disappear.

"Well, if this is the last time I get to play a joke on the stuffy old Tin Man, I better make the best of it, right?"

"Hey," Cain said suddenly, something sad suddenly hiding behind his eyes. "Don't you start talking like that."

"This is it, though. Right?" Her big, round eyes stared right up at him, looking for the answers in his eyes. "If there's something we need to do before everything starts going crazy, this is the time to do it." As she went on, she didn't see the slow change that came to Cain's face. "I mean, what use is a joke gonna be when a crazy witch locks the suns behind the moon, anyway? And say you wanted to—"

She felt then that Cain had taken both of her shoulders in his hands, gripping her tight. There was only a moment's gap before he pulled her in tight and close, his lips closing on hers. Her eyes flew wide open at the contact, with her heart stuck somewhere in her throat, and just as quickly, her eyelids fluttered gently closed. He was close, and warm, and most definitely kissing her. She only had time to pull one more kiss from him, to feel and smell the closeness of him.

As quickly as it had come, Cain pulled suddenly back, nearly taking the girl's lips with him. She seemed woozy and unsteady in his arms, her mouth still slightly open and her lidded eyes looking softly up at him. His hands dropped suddenly from her shoulders. She saw that his cheeks were definitely red again. He cleared his throat once, sighed through his nose, and turned on his heel to continue stalking out of the clearing.

DG didn't follow for quite some time. Jeb appeared behind her, having missed the entire scene. She held the same confused expression as he appeared before her. His brows were drawn down in a concern that matched his father's so well, DG felt something flutter in her heart.

"You all right?" Jeb asked.

DG nodded. "Just… thinking, I guess."

Jeb smiled, his eyes shifting around the clearing for signs of his father, then leaned in slightly to whisper: "You didn't mean that, with you and my father, right?"

DG looked up at him, and half a smile attempted to twitch up onto her lips. "I don't know," she said in a light, dreamy sort of voice. With that, she floated off after Cain with something like confidence in her step.

Jeb's concern only mounted, and he shook his head worriedly as he tromped off after her.

AN: Weeeell, that was exciting and fun! I've been a Cain/DG shipper since before the miniseries started, and now they're living in my head alongside all of the other freeloaders up there. Basically, everything I will eventually write here will be something that could've/should've happened in the miniseries. And it will mostly be CainDG. Cuz I love them. I was thinking that we need a separate Tin Man section. I think I'll go email someone about that now... HMM... Anyway, tell me what you think, and I love the input!