Disclaimer: I beg you not to sue me because, because, because, because, BECAAAAUSE…because-I-don't-own-any-thing.
KLCtheBookWorm: Right? No worries, though, I'll make it all better for them soon!
TabathaBrewer: -huggles- Here's your chapter! Sorry it took so long. Hopefully you'll like the sweetness in this chapter, too!
Chaimera: Oh Lord, what a fun drinking game that'd be! Haha! We'd all be sloshed at the end of it! Glad you're enjoying the story!
LittleMender: I wouldn't worry too much. I have no doubt that those at the palace realize DG and Cain are missing and are searching for them! -grin- Thanks for the review!
Brikyzbabe: No worries, my dear! I may have alluded to something of that sort, but I have no intention of writing anything like it. -hugs- Thank you so much for reading and reviewing! DG/Cain are definitely my OTP, too! (Obviously, hehehe.)
Nad62086: YAY for you still reading! And thank you also for the review! It means a lot! Hope you like this chapter, too!
Cain was still holding DG when the suns rose. She had so completely exhausted herself with all her crying that she had fallen asleep in his arms shortly after he had relocated her finger. He hadn't slept though. He'd stayed awake to watch over her, determined not to let her be hurt again.
DG began to stir, but didn't wake. She twitched and frowned in her sleep, and then began to struggle against some unseen force. A few moments later, she whimpered quietly and started to murmur in a distressed manner. It was obvious that the dream she was having was not a good one.
Reaching up with his free hand, Cain gently brushed her hair back off of her face. He frowned deeply upon feeling the heat radiating off of her pale skin. He knew he really needed to get her home to a healer, and he needed to do it fast.
DG's quiet mutterings were beginning to get louder and more coherent. Cain could now somewhat understand what she was saying. When he heard his own name being whimpered in the most desperate way, he immediately felt compelled to wake her.
"DG," he whispered, "Sweetheart, wake up." Her eyes fluttered under their lids, but they didn't open. "Come on, Princess," he continued to try, "open those beautiful eyes for me."
There was a pregnant pause and then, "Don't call me 'Princess'…"
He smirked. "Sorry. You were dreaming."
"Yeah...," she murmured, but didn't elaborate any further. Finally though, she opened her eyes. Her vision was blurry, her throat was dry, and her head was pounding. "M'hot…"
"I know," Cain replied, brushing her sweat-dampened bangs to the side again. "I'd have to check to be sure, but I think it's your shoulder. It's probably infected."
She groaned and lifted her good hand to her forehead. "Great," she breathed weakly, "Wonderful, fabulous, great." She flopped the limb back down into her lap. "Are we sure this isn't a nightmare?"
He gave her a sympathetic look. "Sorry, Sweetheart."
The smallest of smiles graced DG's pale lips. "I like that better."
"'Sweetheart,'" she clarified. "I like that better than 'Princess'."
It was seemingly the first time that Cain had realized he'd used that term of endearment when addressing her. His face flushed a bit, but he didn't look away. "I'm not sure of what your parents would think of that…" he said rather pathetically.
"Both set?" he offered.
"Well, I don't really care what they think, at least not when pertaining to you," she told him matter-of-factly, though her tone was a bit weak.
"What exactly does that mean?" he asked, his eyebrow rising in curiosity. He knew he shouldn't be venturing into this territory, but he just couldn't seem to stop himself.
She shrugged with her good shoulder and glanced away, not really knowing how to explain.
Cain swallowed and nodded even though she wasn't looking at him anymore. "Ah," was all he said before falling silent. Shouldn't have asked, he berated himself. He'd known that that was the sort of answer he was going to get. Foolish fantasies of an old man didn't come true just because they were wished for so fervently.
DG closed her eyes again and silently yelled at herself. What she was she thinking? Oh, wait, she wasn't! That was the problem. She'd always had an issue with keeping her mouth shut and this moment was no different. In fact, this moment was so much worse.
What was she expecting exactly? She'd confess her true feelings to Cain and then -bam!- suddenly, he'd forget all about his beloved Adora and love her instead? Ha! How incredibly laughable was that? Cain thought of her as a child and even worse, his job. Ok, yes, there had been that moment the day before when they'd almost kissed, but that could have been attributed to a many number of things. Delirium, for one thing. They'd definitely both been through a lot and it was completely plausible that they were slightly out of their minds. Or there was always near-death desperation –they both had had pretty valid reasons to believe they might die that day and neither had wanted to meet their Maker (makers?) without one last kiss. It hadn't even really been "a moment," she decided. No, it had just been a...a...
Oh good God! she grumbled at herself in her head. There had absolutely been a moment there. She couldn't deny it no matter how she tried. She'd felt it, and she was pretty sure he'd felt it, too. It had been real. There was no talking herself out of that. But what did that really mean? They had the hots for each other? Most definitely. But was it love?
She sighed softly and shifted a little, planning to push herself up out of his arms to give herself a little space to think, but immediately thought better of it when her whole body screamed bloody murder at her. Ok, so, no moving. She was stuck in Cain's arms. She almost snorted at that. She could definitely think of worse places to be, that was for sure.
If Cain suspected her intentions to move away from him, he didn't show it. He simply adjusted his arms a bit so that she was propped up a little more, all while keeping his gaze outside of the bars that held them.
Alright, so... love, her mind supplied so she could continue on with her pre-moving train of thought. For her, she knew it was love. As much as she'd tried, she just couldn't deny it any longer, not with death looming so closely over her. She'd never felt this way about anyone before. Her waking thoughts were always of Cain, as were her last thoughts before she fell asleep. She fantasized about him at night and daydreamed about him during her waking hours. Every look from him sent her heart into overdrive and every smile, no matter how slight, made her feel over the moon. She could spend the day just watching him breathe and be perfectly content. She'd never thought feelings so strong and so true could exist, but they did with Wyatt Cain.
She'd thought at first that maybe it was just a crush, a little something that the girlish side of her had developed about the man who had protected her so fiercely on her journey through the O.Z., but those feelings had never faded. The more she'd gotten to know Cain, the deeper her feelings for him had grown. And now she could no longer deny that it was love.
She loved him.
She loved Wyatt Cain.
A sudden boldness seized her and her heart started speeding up in her chest. She loved him. She loved him! And she couldn't keep it to herself anymore, especially not when there was a good chance they weren't going to make it out of the situation they were now in. She had to tell him.
"Ok, look," she started. Cain brought his cool eyes down to meet hers and all of a sudden, her tongue felt ten sizes too big. Dammit. Her wave of boldness abruptly fizzled like a balloon that had lost all its air. Cain cocked an eyebrow at her and her jaw started floundering up and down, making her look very much like a fish out of water, but suddenly, after a few more moments, she found words fumbling over her tongue and out of her mouth as if they had minds of their own.
"I just…well, I-uh-I…um…I...you see, I, um...uh..." She took a breath and then blurted, "I have these…feelings." And then she silently groaned at herself, wanting to slap herself in the forehead for the utter lameness of that declaration.
Cain's other eyebrow shot up to meet to the first one. "For me?" he questioned before he could stop himself. He berated himself again for the thoughtless inquiry, but also knew that deep down, he really needed to hear her say it.
DG flushed a bright crimson and ducked her head as she answered, "Yes…"
There was a long beat where Cain just stared at DG and DG just stared at her hands. It seemed that neither really knew what to do or say.
"I do, too," Cain quietly told her.
Her head shot up and she was visibly surprised to see that Cain's face had drifted closer to hers, once again leaving only centimeters between them. DG could feel his warm breath caressing her cheek and his arms unconsciously tightening around her, drawing her in closer until she could feel his heart pounding as if it were in her own chest.
DG just couldn't help herself. "You have feelings for you?" The expression that flitted across her face was one of sweet, childish amusement.
He narrowed an eye at her. "No."
"For me?" she prodded, needing desperately to hear it from him as much as he had needed to hear it from her.
"No," he repeated.
DG's heart suddenly sank and she swallowed hard, her face draining of color.
"For Glitch." His own amusement lit up his ice blue orbs.
Relief washed over her, and she quickly reached out, slapping him in the chest in a very DG way of saying, "Don't do that!"
A soft chuckle, one that only they could hear, escaped Cain's lips.
She poked him hard. "That was not funny, Wyatt," she scolded. It wasn't nice to play around with an ill and injured lovesick woman!
He smiled softly at her and brushed her hair back over her shoulder, his calloused fingers gently caressing the milky flesh of her neck, sending delicious shivers down her spine. "Say it again," he said huskily.
One of her delicate eyebrow rose at his tone. "Say what?"
DG smiled at him. "Wyatt–"
She had barely gotten the word out before his lips suddenly came crashing down on hers. Her mind just about exploded right there and then. She was sure her heart had stopped, she couldn't breathe, and her mind was absolute mush.
And then it seemed to reboot itself. Instead of just focusing on the feel of Cain's lips against hers and his hand cupping her cheek, she suddenly noticed her own urge and began kissing him back for all she was worth.
Lips crushed. Tongues dueled. Arms tightened and pulled until there was absolutely no space between the two.
Eventually, though, the need for oxygen won over all else and they parted, but just barely. They rested their foreheads against each other's and panted quietly as their lungs drew in fresh air.
"You have feelings for me," DG whispered reverently, sounding almost as if she couldn't believe it.
"Yes," he replied, his thumb gently brushing over her cheek, "I do."
She chewed her bottom lip for a moment, savoring the taste of him that still lingered there. Suddenly, though, she felt strangely and profoundly shy, but the need to ask the question couldn't be denied. Her eyes sought out his. "Do you…love me?"
"Of course." His tone was almost casual.
One of her eyes narrowed. "I don't mean like…like a friend or a family member." DG had always considered herself to be quite bold, but right now she couldn't have been any more timid or unsure. She was surprised she had even gotten as far as she had. "I mean…like…"
Cain kissed her forehead and pulled her into a gentle hug, ducking his head to rest his lips against her shoulder. "I know what you mean, DG."
She involuntarily shivered at the sensation of his hot breath against the crook of her neck. "But?"
There was a silent beat. "Ok. So…?"
"So…I love you." Cain was actually surprised that he had managed to say it. He had rehearsed it in his head so many times, dreamt about it even, but never once truly believed that he would say it to her. He had always thought of his affection for her as some desperate ploy of his mind to get over the death of Adora, or as some twisted fantasy of an old man. Never once had he considered that she would actually reciprocate any of his feelings.
DG felt tears prick at her eyes. She was definitely sure that this was a dream now. Wyatt Cain had just openly admitted that he loved her. Any time now someone was going to pinch her and wake her up, she was sure of it.
Cain frowned at the silence that had fallen and immediately assumed that he had said something wrong. Maybe he'd been wrong about the reciprocation. "Look, DG…" he began to backtrack, "I didn't mean to make you uncomfortable. I just…" He sighed. "I shouldn't have said anything."
DG pulled back so fast that she almost gave herself whiplash. "Oh, no you don't, Wyatt Cain," she scolded, frowning. "You do not say something like that and then take it back."
A beat passed. A confused expression changed slowly into a cheeky smirk, and then Cain nodded. "Your father is right. You really are a pistol."
She gave him a look. "I know you're a little out of practice as far as the whole 'wooing girls' thing goes, but you seriously have to know that bringing up a girl's father, and even more, agreeing with him, totally puts a damper on things."
It was his turn to give her a look. "I'm not that out of practice…" he grumbled.
Giggling softly, DG reached up, lacing her finger through the short hair at the back of his head, and pulled him toward her. She placed a chaste kiss against his lips and then cupped his cheek, gazing lovely up at him. After a moment, she whispered, "I love you, too."
Cain smiled. It was one of the few truly genuine smiles he had ever smiled since DG had met him. Seeing it made her heart flutter with joy.
With a relieved and happy sigh, Cain once again pulled the princess to him, kissing her tenderly before leaning his forehead back against hers. "You have no idea how wonderful it is to hear you say that."
She smirked. "You'd be surprised."
(A/N's: I don't know about y'all, but I'm feeling a little bit wibbly over here! I thought about dragging things out longer before writing the love confessions, but ultimately decided to bite the bullet. Poor DG and Cain really needed a momentary reprieve from all the chaos and pain anyway, haha, and what better reprieve could there be than confessions of love? Hopefully it's alright! I just started school again, so my next update may take a few days, but I'll try my best to be as quick as possible!)