When She Loved Me

By: Sokai

Disclaimer: I, Sokai, do not claim ownership to the workings of "Tin Man," an epic re-imagining of L. Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz -- I leave that honor for this three-part television miniseries up to RHI Entertainment and SciFi Pictures original films (and Steven Long Mitchell as well as Craig W. Van Sickle for having written the teleplay). Nor do I own Disney's "Toy Story 2"'s "When She Loved Me," which was written by Randy Newman and performed by Sarah McLachlan. However, I can and DO claim to own this story and its inspired ideas FROM said miniseries.

Note::Shrugs: I don't know. What can I say? This had come to me waaaaay back in December, while staring blankly at my kitten, Ollie, for some reason. LoL So I kissed and thanked him for the idea, and . . . here it is. Completely unrelated. LoL Anyway, I'd written and finished it back then, as well, but never bothered to post it until now. Why? Because I really don't like it. So I wasn't going to bother to share it with the world. LoL But one of my girlfriends read it and thought I should post it just the same, so yeah. Here. Even though I don't personally like it, I think it's appropriate, at least, and I'm usually pretty good with song related fics so thought I'd do one for my favorite character, Azkadellia.


P.S. There are flashbacks within this tale, and will be in italics, so as not to confuse you. Okay, then! Read on, please! HeHe

This story/oneshot was created/written in December 2007.
"Finally . . . permanent darkness. . . ." the evil-influenced Princess Azkadellia murmured to herself in relished gratification, standing atop the activated Anti-Sun Seeder upon the balcony of her vainglorious dark tower. Bathed within a glorious pillar of green light, gazing up at the swiftly blackening sky, the vile sorceress took great joy in knowing that what she had toiled over for many an annual, the prized and mystical Emerald of the Eclipse that was to help her to realize her aged desire, at last lay comfortably upon her bosom.

Using its epic, autonomous power for evil means, such as locking the twin suns of the Outer Zone permanently into place during the continued eclipse, would eternally tip the scales of Good versus Evil in the latter's favor . . . and there would be nothing and no one to stop it.

"Two little princesses dancing in a row . . . spinning fast and freely on their little toes. . . . Where the light will take you, no one ever knows. . . . Two little princesses dancing in a row. . . ."

Suddenly, Azkadellia felt herself growing instantly distracted from the task at hand, ears perking up to hear a familiar voice singing a haunting tune . . . that admittedly and curiously seized and tugged upon her darkened heartstrings.

She'd abruptly found it a bit difficult to breath within the calm, content manner that she would traditionally. Her stomach became knotted and churning-like the moment her cold, unmoving and piercing chocolate colored eyes shifted from skyward to the young, cowering woman directly before her, who was desperately hanging off of the balcony's railing for dear life after having been violently expelled by the more powerful sorceress moments before.


DG. . . .

Ever since having learned that not only was the youngest princess of the Outer Zone still alive, but had also returned to her homeland a mere few days ago, she had been nothing but a fantastic and inappreciative thorn within the mystical mistress's side. Azkadellia had desired nothing short of the girl's absolute destruction, preferably at her own hand. To crush her like the minuscule, insignificant speck she truly was, and watch their shared mother, the Queen, irreversibly suffer for it.

And Azkadellia had been confident that she'd done precisely that after magically whisking DG away and entombing her within their ancestor's mausoleum.

Yet, there she was, steadily continuing to fight back, against her and to survive -- And very irritatingly so.

. . . Or, was it quite possible that DG was fighting, not against, butfor her?

"Two little princesses dancing in a row . . . spinning fast and freely on their little toes. . . . Where the light will take them, no one ever knows. . . . Two little princesses dancing in a row. . . ." DG continued to sing softly in thick weariness, effortlessly slicing through Azkadellia's steady, complex ruminations. The distressed, ebony haired maiden's naturally husky voice was terribly cracked and straining a bit, after having successfully climbed over the balcony's edge and promptly collapsed herself onto the ground.

Although the sight of the other girl's presumably defeated, crumpled and miserable form should have overwhelmed the sorceress with wicked delight, it instead rewarded her with nothing but peculiar remorse and emotional connection. . . .

When somebody loved me
Everything was beautiful
Every hour spent together
Lives within my heart

"Do you remember that time at the cave? When you remembered what all those symbols meant? You were so smart!" DG sadly queried in between sobs and with her head bowed momentarily, before she slowly raised her head to lay her forlorn, clear blue eyes upon the other girl imploringly.

And when she was sad
I was there to dry her tears

And when she was happy so was I
When she loved me

Azkadellia's own eyes widened a bit before noticeably glazing over, just as a distant, a bit foreign memory, once thought to have been long forgotten, resurfaced to the forefront of her mind:

"It's the picture language of the ancients. . . ." a younger, more carefree Azkadellia revealed to an equally younger DG, warily referring to the foreign looking inscriptions etched into the cavernous wall before them. Although she confidently held onto the lantern that she had made alight with her innate magic, the teenage, elder princess had then begun to grow terribly on edge to be within this seemingly abandoned cave and unattended with only her baby sister (who had led her there in the first place) at her side. Something deep inside of her, although she was not precisely sure of what, was telling Azkadellia that there was just cause not to linger there for much longer. . . .

"'Your adventures have a way of getting me into trouble!' That's what you said! You said, 'Your adventures have a way of getting me intotrouble!" spoke DG in reflective despair while remaining curled up upon the cold marble ground, her continued crying and words registering within a striking manner with the now befuddled Azkadellia.

Why was this happening to her? Why was she increasingly feeling so Topsy-turvy over anything this woman had to say?

DG was her sworn enemy, and had been for many an annual now.

Yet, the more that she would say, or the more that she would cry and struggle to appeal to the better nature that the sorceress no longer possessed, Azkadellia was finding herself less able to focus . . .nor even able to deny the other girl anything if prompted.

Slowly, but surely, the dark, familiar blanket of hatred that she had always cultivated within her frigid heart was beginning to be siphoned out by a foreign and frightening, albeit almost inviting feeling of . . . warmth.

The only sort of warmth that could be felt through kindness, or even love for another. . . .

"Do . . . do you remember my spinning doll? How we made it fly -- Together? 'Concentrate!'" Azkadellia heard DG begin to recite, watching her crawl closer to Azkadellia like a bewildered infant, eyes closed and quoting her older sister within another, formerly buried memory:

"Concentrate, Deege!" young Azkadellia encouragingly urged to DG against her ear, standing behind her within FinAqua with a soft smile upon her face. Both royal siblings simultaneously closed their eyes while furthering their focus, hands joined and aglow with the brilliant white light of their mutual inherent magical energy.

Moments later, the tiny handcrafted doll, that little DG had been previously struggling to attempt to make simultaneously levitate and twirl in place within the air, instantly became reinforced in velocity. The girls' combined magic was fueling its swift, almost hypnotic "dance."

And it was only possible for the pure fact that they were united and in tune with one another. Because they were sisters. . . .

Azkadellia felt her chocolate hued head involuntarily jerk to the side a moment as more of the encumbered memories of her childhood continued to cascade over her like a steady flood, causing her heart to palpitate with growing nerves.

Shedid remember that moment in time.

DG's doll replica had successfully flown, and all because her older sibling had decided to assist her, rather than rebuff her as the Azkadellia of today might have. . . .

The young sorceress felt as though she was going to burst at the seams, the way her swirling emotions were continually building and building inside of her. It was beginning to get to the point where she could not even recall what she had been meaning to do before DG had arrived.

Suddenly, Azkadellia let out a faint gasp the moment she'd realized, that after what felt like an honest eternity, her normally apathetic eyes were brimming with unshed tears. . . .

"And, do you remember the bear? How scary it was! And you stood up, and you were so brave -- It made me brave!" Azkadellia, through progressively tear-blurred eyes, watched DG tentatively creep closer still, at the same time that she'd dealt yet another emotional remembrance.

Through the summer and the fall
We had each other that was all

"Just hold my hand, Deege! Nothing can hurt us if we stay together!" Azkadellia of the past boldly proclaimed to the frightened child, DG, who shivered in righteous alarm. The regal siblings' leisurely trek through FinAqua's familiar forest had abruptly shifted into a terrifying nightmare.

DG could not believe how brave her older sister was being, the way she was refusing to flee from the ferocious bear towering before them. Illuminated hands intertwined and firmly held together, the two remained at one another's side. And although little DG's anxiety was mounting, she willed herself to take stock within Azkadellia's perseverance and strength, knowing that that would help her make it through.

Just she and I together
Like it was meant to be

". . . Hold my hand. Nothing can hurt us if we're together," pleaded DG, wobbly rising to her feet with a single hand promptly extended towards Azkadellia, who then had begun to breathe heavily all over again in struggle to maintain her control over her body and solid emotions. "Take it . . .! Take it. . . .! Take my hand!"

Azkadellia felt as though she were suffocating and losing more of her sanity, the way her inhalations became more and more labored as she listened to DG's heartfelt request, and suddenly could see her as the younger girl she once remembered the moment she'd uttered in apology,

". . . . I'm sorry I let go, Az. . . ."

And when she was lonely
I was there to comfort her
And I knew that she loved me

And, in turn, DG simultaneously witnessed a visualization of the Azkadellia as she once knew her, gasping softly in surprise as a result.

". . . I'm scared!" breathed the youthful Azkadellia, tears trickling down her tiny cheeks in abandon. She didn't know what to do anymore. All of these newfound thoughts were stirring conflicting emotions within her that she had honestly believed had died away long ago.

Much like her innocence, former life, and . . . free will. . . .

Azkadellia had nearly forgotten this, as the majority of the time, the repugnant Evil Witch of the Dark, who had taken swift possession of her body from the very beginning, also had entire control over all of her actions and even her own thoughts. . . .

In fact, the only time that the young princess was ever able to think for herself was either right before slumbering, or when the Witch would speak out to her, herself, acting as her only real companion throughout the past annuals.

So the years went by

Do not pay her any mind, child! She was the one to leave you, remember? Azkadellia abruptly heard the Evil Witch of the Dark's familiar, crackling voice echo within her mind as though on cue.

I stayed the same

But she began to drift away

But . . . she . . . she had died . . . and because of me. . . .Azkadellia's mentally countered in weakness, her head feeling heavy and hazy the more she tried to piece together the fragmented pieces of her past before the Witch specter had entered her life.

I was left alone

No, child. She died because she was a threat, do you not recall? She could have taken me away from you, the only one who ever truly understood you . . . the only one to never abandon you or your trust for all these annuals. . . . the Evil Witch of the Dark cognitively explained in reassurance and within a soothing manner reminiscent of a doting grandmother.Everyone you thought you could love and trust dismissed you. Your father abandoned you . . . and your mother was the worst of them all! She had always favored the younger child far greater than you, hadn't she? How heartbroken, neglected and covetous you used to feel, dear girl, before I'd come along . . . to give you companionship . . . nurturing . . . and greater power than you knew what to do with! Power that easily surpasses that of your mother's and helped the both of us to realize our aged, fantastic dream. . . .

Still I waited for the day
When she'd say
I will always love you

Squeezing her eyes shut, Azkadellia shook her head vigorously in feeble attempts to jostle away the Witch's tainted thoughts from her mind, as well as block out DG's continued pleading she could vaguely hear within the background.

It was all too much for her.

The battle to regain her true self was draining all of the energy she had left within herself, and she did not know what to do. But what was her true self? And whom could she believe? Was DG truly there for the sole purpose to "rescue" her, or was she merely trying to lower Azkadellia's guard before doing something absolutely inexplicable?

Or, was it the Evil Witch of the Dark whom she should watch out for, after all? Was she truly evil and only had manipulated her all this time, only wishing to use her for her own selfish means?

Such questions, formerly easy to decipher, were now the most difficult to be certain of over time -- Especially since, between the two combating forces, it had been the Witch to remain all along, regardless, and really had provided all that she had cited to the young woman, true to her word.

So, then . . . why was Azkadellia still not convinced?

That is true . . . I did always feel a bit inferior . . . always wanted to have that extra strength. . . . But . . . was this my dream? To cover all of the O.Z. in eternal darkness? she wondered mutely, more so to herself than in response to the Witch's previous argument. No matter how upset I may have felt in secret at times . . . I don't think . . . no, I don't believe I would ever do something this vicious -- Not of my own accord. . . . And what about the memories of my shared youth with DG? I vividly recall them now, and especially the emotions invoked by them! I was happy . . . and loved. . . . And . . . I think . . . I still am! Or else why would she be here, risking her life to reach out to me this way?

Lonely and forgotten

"I'mhere, and I'll never run away again! Take my hand!" expressed DG in unknown affirmation to the older girl right then, another sob having escaped from her rosy, tear-moist lips.

Never thought she'd look my way

Do you hear her? Do you see her? She is sorry! And she does still love me, even after all of the horrible things you've forced me to do! thought Azkadellia to the Evil Witch of the Dark once more, at last feeling her inner turmoil beginning to successfully crumble and give way to the growing hope that was fueling her increased confidence.You shall no longer feed me any more lies, Witch! My sister has returned for me! And together, we'll --

-- Perish! I still own you! There is no escape from the darkness that has become your life! And soon, in mere moments, that darkness shall spread to all of the Outer Zone!! interrupted the dark specter, her erstwhile calm and collected voice now turned cold and violent within Azkadellia's mind.

In spite of the visible hesitance and steady flow of tears from her older sister's curiously contorted visage, DG nonetheless awaited patiently, hand still pleadingly outstretched. No matter the costs, she would not be leaving the tower without Azkadellia. . . .

Enough of this! I could easily scare this wretched girl off once before, and I can again!! cried the Witch within her former thrall's mind, causing Azkadellia's body to instantly tense up in fear for her sibling's safety. Let us see how strong and 'there for you' your precious little sister really is!!

Before Azkadellia could do anything, the Evil Witch of the Dark's spectral form suddenly emerged from Azkadellia's host's body, looking piercingly at DG with hauntingly opaque eyes before fiercely delivering, "No! You're talking to the wind, girl!!"

And just as swiftly as her chilling, repulsive form had appeared, the Evil Witch of the Dark had returned back inside of Azkadellia, whose formerly weakened countenance had then became more hardened and intimidated than ever before. She scowled ruthlessly at DG, seeming to have lost her gradually reinstated free will and thought, as the forlorn tears had instantly dried away and her once glistening dark eyes were now vacant of all, save evil.

Despite all of this, however, DG was surprisingly undaunted, and was just as vigilant and determined as before. Even though the Witch was just as terrifying to her as she had been when she had first seen her as a child, she would not flee.

She refused to repeat history.

This time, she would be her sister's savior, not her condemner.

". . . Take my hand. . . ." DG stated with grit, for what felt like the umpteenth time, blue eyes glistening with faith as she kept her appendage extended out to Azkadellia. She watched in growing delight as the older girl's expression grew timid and soft once again, as she then let out a soft whimper before vaguely making a motion to shift towards DG.

"No!" bellowed the Evil Witch of the Dark, reemerging once more in a losing attempt to maintain her ironclad control over both of the formerly separated sisters.

Suddenly, it were as though time had rewound itself, as though precious annuals had not been lost for either princess, as they gazed at and only saw one another as the little girls of their shared memories once again -- As the best friends they'd used to be.

". . . Take my hand," the juvenile DG of the past entreated one final time to the adolescent Azkadellia, who looked positively terrified, as newfound tears flowed from her sparkling eyes in rejuvenation. Nonetheless, the older girl had resolved to be rid of the Evil Witch of the Dark once and for all . . . to reclaim her life and be strong for her sister . . . and herself.

You are finished, vile specter. . . . You no longer wield any power against me! she cried within her mind to the evil parasite that still lay within her, pleased that she could distinctly feel the Witch tremble in trepidation deep within.

Azkadellia, having at last regained permanent control of her limbs and entire body, slowly but surely reached out and finally seized DG's hand. Hands instantly alight as a result, just like within their childhood, both royal sisters looked at one another with intensified promise and remembrance as its fortified light began to brutally wrench the Evil Witch of the Dark apart from Azkadellia's body.

The dastardly phantasm screamed in gut wrenching pain as the vigor and purity of the girls' mutual power coursed throughout her, and effortlessly weakened her resolve. At the same time, DG, with all of her might, pulled Azkadellia toward her, hand still firmly clasped around hers, before successfully detaching her from the Evil Witch of the Dark for good.

Panting heavily in exhaustion, the villainous force stood, withered before the two regal maidens, gazing at them with half lidded eyes upon the still functioning and vaguely forgotten Anti-Sun Seeder. She could not believe that that she could have been so easily bested by such a pathetic little child; however, as furious as that made her feel, she would still prevail in the end.

Because, even without Azkadellia acting as her host, she still had the Emerald of the Eclipse within her possession.

"Have the little witch! I care not!" spat the dark sorceress in verbal confirmation with a spiteful glare at the two princesses of the Outer Zone, who maintained their resolve to stay strong with hands still clenched. "For, the Heavens do my bidding!!"

Oh, yes, soon this entire kingdom shall be mine!! she thought in triumph, with a momentary look up at the continued eclipse above her, before returning her gaze downward to peer menacingly at Azkadellia as though to gloat.

And that was when she saw it. The Emerald -- Her Emerald, still lay snuggly against her former vessel's chest, and not her own.

"The Emerald! Give me the Emerald!!" growled the Witch, fuming with white hot rage at both the realization and slight embarrassment of her monumental slip up.

Wearily shaking her head in response, Azkadellia squeezed DG's hand tighter as the two looked on with obscure intimidation.

"Give me the Emerald!!" demanded the Evil Witch of the Dark with a ferocious roar, abruptly beginning to grow vastly larger in size, as though her violent choler was fueling it.

A simultaneous gasp promptly escaped from both women's lips, eyes widening drastically in increased consternation as they craned their heads to behold the frightening sight of the Evil Witch who now loomed over them.

". . . Hold on!" implored Azkadellia to her younger sister, her returned sureness faltering a bit.

". . . I'm not going anywhere. . . ." replied DG softly, slowly shaking her head for emphasis. As though her words had been a trigger, the glow from their joined hands had then grown so impressively vibrant, until it's immense light effortlessly enveloped both females in protection, just as the Witch began to use her own magic to penetrate through their newfound barrier.

"Hold on. . ." whispered Azkadellia, hers and DG's eyes filled with apprehension, although it was not enough to deter their mutual determination to continue to concentrate and pool every ounce of energy needed to succeed.

Suddenly, the Evil Witch of the Dark, eyes widened in silent pain and surprise, threw both arms up and into the air as she began to inexplicably shrink back down to size until there was nothing left of her form but a congealing, blackened ooze.

". . . She melted!" said DG in utter shock, her astonishment displaying upon both hers and Azkadellia's face as the two gazed upon the distasteful sight before them.

The Emerald of the Eclipse around Azkadellia's neck, which had been illuminated throughout the entire ordeal with its own inner power, at last died down now that she was no longer tapping into and harnessing its energy alongside the returned pure light within her. In the same instant, so too did the glow of hers and DG's hands slowly extinguish before they'd released their hold upon one another.

Turning slowly to properly face each other, Azkadellia's expression appeared a bit sheepish, before faintly smiling at DG, who gently returned the simper.

And she smiled at me

Then, without a word and no longer able to contain her bottled up elation at their resounding victory, DG swiftly opened up both of her arms to her older sister, before joyously enveloping her within a welcoming and relieved embrace.

And held me
Just like she used to do

Like she loved me
When she loved me

Azkadellia, eyes slowly closing, breathed a slow, healing exhale, her insides swelling with only positive sentiments. It had taken fifteen long, grueling annuals, but the former menacing sorceress had finally made it to the end of the journey.

She had survived.

She had found herself.

And now, at long last, she was loved.

When somebody loved me
Everything was beautiful
Every hour spent together
Lives within my heart

When she loved me...

-- The End

(A.N. Now the fun part: Getting reviews that destroy this fic. LoL It's fine, I guess. I don't like it, anyway. But since I'd written it and IS about my fave person, Azkadellia, I thought why not. Just do me a favor and don't bother pointing out grammatical or spelling errors because I have most assuredly caught them after posting, sadly. That's what happens when you edit at four in the morning and are suffering from acute computer eye strain. Ah, well.)