Wrinkled & Torn
"...hunger hurts, and I want him so bad--oh, it kills..."
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"He said left," Glitch insisted, leaning over the seat in front of him.
"No," Brake said through gritted teeth, trying to stay patient, "He said right; now, sit back before I toss you out the back."
Glitch began to argue when Azkadellia's hand took hold of his shoulder and jerked him back next to her. "Let it go, Glitch; he's bigger than you," she smiled kindly at his cute little frown and began asking him meaningless questions, as to distract him.
They'd left the Crystal Fields right after the Smiling Man had informed them of Akil's dwellings. They would have stayed the night again, but they were all eager to find the final clue (and have it all done with) as quick as possible and get it all over with. The Smiling Man told them the owl was sleeping just beneath the surface of a town that was only a few hour's drive from the fields, and they should look for a hollowed tree to lead them to him. The Smiling Man had shuddered at that--the idea of a tree being hollowed out. Before they'd thanked him and left, he'd allowed them to pick some fresh fruit from his branches, telling them that each apple contained a surprise inside. DG's comment of "like a cereal box?" brought about a lot of confusion then. After that, they'd all packed on to the bus, Cain straggling behind only slightly before joinin them, and they set off. They were all on edge now, anxious to find Akil--well, all but Cain and DG.
"No, I'm being completely honest!" DG exclaimed, quickly swallowing the bite of apple in her mouth, "The skree were not the worst thing I've ever smelled."
Cain rolled his eyes incredulously, "Then that was a very dedicated gagging-and-passing-out act you did when we were in the gathering."
She gave him a playful whack on the arm, "I mean, yes, the skree were bad, but I've smelt worst."
"Oh, yeah? What?"
"You mean who," she corrected, then told him, "Bobby Abbel." Her voice suddenly dropped, solemn, "Sad story.
Cain caught the sudden change in her attitude and covered one of her hands with his own, squeezing gently, "What happened?"
"Well," DG absently peeled off some of the skin of the apple and gnawed on it, "Bobby Abbel was a kid I met when I was still in high school. I was," she looked away in thought, "Sixteen, I think, and I'd just started waitressing at the Hilltop Café. One day, I came in late and my boss was all mad at me and he told me, 'just for that, you have to be Bobby's waitress.' Then he pointed him out to me, and I went to take his order. I got about ten feet from him and the smell hit me and I almost threw up; he smelled like he'd never been near a bar of soap in his entire life. He had this," she gestured to her head, "Dirty, matted hair and torn clothes, and there was so much dirt caked to his skin that I didn't even know what his ethnicity was. And, god, that smell was horrible," she wrinkled her nose at the memory. "He came around a lot. He never had any money for food, but we always gave him a free slice of pie and a cup of coffee; I figured out, after a while, that if you peppermint extract under your nose, you couldn't smell him." She dug her thumbnail into the meat of the apple in her hands, "We would talk sometimes, and he finally told me about his mother. See, what had happened was, Bobby was an only child, and his dad left before he was born, and I guess his mother was some kind of nutjob. When he was a baby, he would soil himself--like all babies do--and his mom finally got fed up with it and told him that if that was the way he wanted it, he could never be clean. She never let him bathe or brush his hair or wash his clothes or anything like that, and..." she trailed off.
"And what?" Cain asked softly.
She shrugged, trying to seem nonchalant but failing miserably, "If he bathed at school or someone else's house, she'd figure it out by the smell--or, lack of smell, I guess--and she'd...she'd beat him." She sighed sadly, "So he finally stopped trying. He was only fourteen years old when I met him."
"What happened to him?"
She shrugged again, still picking at her apple, "I don't know. About seven months after that, he stopped coming in, and I never saw him again." She leaned forward to dig through her small bag, finally finding the scrap bit of plastic she needed and wrapping the half-eaten fruit in it. When her shoulders hit the back of the seat again, she found Cain staring at her with sad eyes. "What?"
He shook his head, "It just--I'm sorry that you've had to know cruelty like that."
His voice was so sincere and so full of emotion that it sent waves upon waves of desire through DG, and she once again found herself short of breath in his presence. "Mister Cain," she told him, half-teasing, half-warning, "If you keep talking to me like that, I'm going to have to kiss you."
He smirked, leaning a little closer, "The downside to that being...?"
"In front of everyone."
"Ah." He drew back then, and did something DG could have never expected. He raised his voice just enough to be heard and said, "I told you that you should have washed that apple first; do you feel like you're going to throw up?" He did a discrete half-nod to the younger princess, who took the hint and confirmed, and he stood, "Well, come on; I'll help you to the bathroom." DG put one hand over her mouth and let Cain pretend to help her to the back of the bus, where he opened the door to the small bathroom and carefully guided her in, following and locking the door behind them. DG smiled and started in for him, but he held up his hand to stop her, whispering, "You've got to hack a little. Make it sound believable." She did, and then he turned the faucet in the sink before reaching out for her, drawing her close and running one hand down the side of her face.
DG's hands came up to grip his collar and pull him closer to her before she went on her tip-toes and pressed her lips against his. It was soft at first, sweet, and she pulled back within seconds to smile at him. When she did pull back, however, he didn't return the smile; he stared down at her with clouded eyes that sent adrenaline pulsing throughout her body and shook her to her core, and then he leaned back in. When his lips hit hers, there was nothing soft or sweet about them; it was almost carnal. His hands grabbed at her waist and pressed her firmly against the wall of the bathroom, his tongue sneaking out to seek hers, soon to find and become reacquainted with it. His body pressed against hers tightly, molding to her, as her hands buried themselves within his white-blonde hair. She let out a quiet, almost breathless moan as he broke away from her mouth and began trailing rough kisses along her jaw and neck, and she could feel one of his hands slip under the hem of her shirt, running over the skin of her stomach.
"Oh, god," she groaned, half in pleasure and half in reluctance. "Cain, wait." It was like flipping a switch, and then man pulled back immediately, with an almost ashamed look on his face. "No, no," she quickly backpeddled, "There was nothing wrong with...that. Its just that, well, you're the one that said we should wait."
He tried to speak twice before he was successful, and his voice came out rough and hoarse, "I wasn't going to go there."
She smirked, "Yeah, but I would have, if you'd kept on like you were. And as much as I liked this passionate--allbeit, very unprovoked--display, I'd just as soon not have our first time together take place in a crapper, with everyone just outside thinking I'm upping my apple." She stopped for a moment, examining her own words, and then said to herself, "Wow, that sounded dirty."
Cain shook his head, now looking at her with almost awe, "I don't understand you."
"No one does," she assured him, leaning up to peck him on the cheek. When she pulled back, she did a little bounce and said, "I feel much better after getting that out of my system; I just hope I'm not contagious."
The ex-tin man did not miss her teasing, "Hey," he told her, "It was an excuse to get us here."
"Mhm, I know," she smiled at him before opening to door, leaving him behind. "Okay, everyone," he heard her announce to the bus, "Do not eat the apples."
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I don't own "Tin Man," and that makes me very emo. -eats apple-
This chapter was inspired by the song "Paper Bag," by Fiona Apple.
1) Bobby Abbel's story is actually a true one about a kid that I used to know, so I hope you didn't laugh at that part. It was meant to be serious. 2) The whole "random-heavy-makeout-pressing-DG-against-the-wall" thing was based off of a dream I had last night, involving Jason Momoa and myself. I've never had a sex-dream, but that was pretty freakin' close! 3) Sorry that there's really no big plot to this chapter; I didn't have the energy for it. So, this is another one of those loverly Cain/DG interludes. Like it? Hate it? Leave reviews, please! ...Unless, you actually hated it, in which case, it hates you back and doesn't care what you think.