Title: Frozen Comfort
Disclaimer: I don't own Tin Man. All the characters herein are owned by the SciFi network. I'm just playing in their sandbox.
- Part 1 -
The wind was gradually picking up as the old truck made its way trudgingly along the snow-covered road. Within the chilled cab of the truck, two figures sat.
"Why is it, again, that the heater in this damned thing doesn't work?" DG asked from her position in the passenger seat.
From the driver's side, Wyatt Cain growled softly, his fists clenching the steering wheel tightly. This was about the hundredth time the princess had asked him this question. "If you're so good with these sorts of things, you figure it out, Princess." He made an effort to soften the clipped tone of his voice.
DG made a face at him, which he only caught out of the corner of his eye. He wasn't about to risk looking at her, as the snow was now beginning to come down faster, seriously obscuring his view of the road.
"This totally sucks; you do know that, right?" DG continued her rant when she didn't get a reaction from him. "Mother could have sent anybody to oversee the renovations, but noooo, let's send DG! It'll be a sure way to improve on her princess-ly skills. Now, here we are, freezing our asses off in the cab of a rickety truck. Couldn't they have given us, like, a royal transport or something? Pfft. Whatever." She rolled her eyes and slumped back down in her seat, arms crossed sullenly before adding, lamely: "Or, maybe, warmer jackets."
Cain sighed, opening his mouth to reply, when the truck jerked violently. The jolt was accompanied by a loud concession of rattles, clanks and squeals as the vehicle sputtered a few more feet ahead before it came to a shuddering halt.
DG held her hands up in a sign of surrender. "Just for the record," she said, "I had nothing to do with that."
Cain grumbled under his breath and gave her a stern look. "Stay here," he ordered gruffly. Right. Because that would actually work.
To her credit, DG did manage to do as Cain said for a whopping ten seconds; a record, in her opinion. Then, she was hopping out of the cab to follow the Tin Man around to the front of the truck, where he had lifted the hood. A billow of smoke erupted from the engine area, causing the two to step back.
"Holy shit," DG gasped, using a hand to fan in front of her face. "What'd you do to it, Cain?"
"Me? I-" He realized how immature that sounded. Through clenched teeth, he answered: "Absolutely nothing, although it seems that we found where all the heat was."
"No shit, Sherlock," DG muttered. She took a step forward, now that the smoke had dissipated, and looked over the engine. "Looks like we busted a Head." She cocked her head to the side, still examining. "And the radiator's shot all to hell. Haven't you people ever heard of Anti-Freeze?" She shot Cain a look that said he should totally know this.
Cain ignored her question, and started to look around. They'd need shelter, and fast. He pulled the collar of his jacket up to block the wind some. "Let's get back in the cab until we can figure this all out."
DG gave him a mock salute. "Aye Aye, Captain."
Together, they climbed back into the cab, which seemed to have grown even colder since they had exited. The sound of DG's teeth chattering concerned the guard, but she kept to herself for the time they passed in the truck in silence.
"So, this isn'tsolving anything," she said finally. To her surprise, Cain grunted in agreement. She turned to him. "What do you suggest? Cause you know, I've heard conservation of body heat is a must in situations like this."
Cain decided to ignore that, shifting instead to look out the chilly window.
"So, what's going on out there that's so exciting? Snow? Oh, that's so incredibly new! Wait..." DG's voice dripped sarcasm. Honestly, there were times where he wasn't sure he wanted to shake her or pull her against him and-
Then he noticed it.
"You bundled up, Kid?" he asked suddenly.
His abrupt question startled DG. Looking down at herself, she shrugged. "As I'll ever be," she replied, mentally berating herself for not bringing a thicker coat. Or more clothes, for that matter. Why, oh why, had she thought it was a good idea to rely on the fact that she had a whole new wardrobe at the Northern Palace?
When he did come around to help her out, the wind assaulted her, stinging her cheeks and bringing tears to her eyes. Blindly, she grabbed for the blonde man's hand. Was it just her, or was it windier than it had been ten minutes ago?
They trudged on for several minutes. The snow was thick, and every step caused her pants to become more and more snow-covered. The innermost layer was melting against her warm legs, but the new layers of snow kept her pant legs stiff and cold. At some point, DG had lost hold of Cain's hand and she wrapped her arms around herself in an attempt to ward off the biting winds. They walked another yard or so before Cain turned around to make sure that DG was all right, just as she suddenly wasn't.
One moment she was stepping soundly through the snow, and the next, some buried stick - from the size of it, it could have been a tree trunk - came up, and a sharp, white-hot pain shot up her leg as it twisted oddly and she fell.
"Ow!" she cried out in pain as she crumpled into the snow. She felt the wetness seeping into the side of her shirt as she lay upon the ground, but couldn't care less at the moment, as the throbbing pain traveled up her leg. She clutched at her ankle; her eyes squeezed shut against the pain.
"DG!" Cain's voice cried out from somewhere amidst the whirling storm. She forced her eyes to open just as something thumped onto the ground beside her. She rolled onto her back slightly in order to look up and found Cain kneeling beside her, his chapped face looking down at her with worry-filled eyes. "You all right?"
Not wanting to look weak in his eyes, DG attempted to play it off and sat up. "I'm fine," she said as Cain offered her his hand to help her stand. DG took it gratefully, but when she put weight down on her left leg to rise, she felt sharp pain shoot through the appendage once more. Hissing between her teeth, she sank back down into the snow. "Okay, maybe not," she amended ruefully.
She heard Cain sigh loudly and could tell by the sound that he was, more than likely, irritated. Despite the pain, her eyes narrowed. Seriously, it wasn't like she'd twisted her ankle on purpose! Just what did he think she did, anyway? Go around trying to find out how many ways to get herself injured/kidnapped/put in mortal danger? Just to annoy him? What. An. Ego.
"We don't have to walk far," he said, but it didn't sound like even he believed that she would be able to make it that distance.
She tried to rise again, with his help, and wound up having to lean on him heavily in order to keep weight off her injured foot. He wrapped an arm around her shoulders as she slipped hers around his waist.
After a few steps, it became quite clear that the arrangement was not working, even if it meant having Cain close. Nice. Warm. Cain.
"Kiddo, I'm gonna have to pack you. Is that all right?" he leaned down to ask into her ear above the howling wind.
'Yes, please!' her mind supplied for her, more than a bit eagerly. And then those arms were scooping her up like they were on the front of some damn romance novel. Except the whole situation had always played out in her mind in a warmer locale; nicer winds, an off-the shoulder dress for her, and an open shirt for Cain.
Not to mention her ankle was throbbing like a sonofabitch.
He grunted and mumbled something. Even over the wind, it sounded like something involving her and 'weight' and 'more than he expected.'
"Hey! I haven't eaten a Twinkie in months!" she protested.
He didn't answer, because suddenly he was kicking at a mound of snow.
"It didn't do anything to you," DG stated. He glared down at her, but continued.
His foot starting connecting with something hollow, and then he was putting her down. "Sorry, kid."
DG wobbled slightly, her hand still holding on to Cain's shoulder for balance. She looked down at what Cain had been kicking at and found he had uncovered a door in the ground that had been hidden beneath the snow.
Using the butt of his gun, he broke the lock and the rickety door swung open. Warm, stale air rushed up and DG found herself leaning in to soothe her stinging cheeks.
"Careful, kiddo!" Cain grabbed her when she almost fell into the hole, head-first. His arm snaked around her waist and hauled her back to him, resulting in her back molding to his front.
Okay. Maybe this day wasn't a total let down.
"You're gonna have to climb down on your own." Cain's voice was right beside her ear and his chest vibrated against her back as he spoke, sending a shiver through her that had absolutely nothing to do with the cold.
"Kay," she managed, nodding her head. Cain kept a good grip on her waist as he helped her descend into the dark. "What is this place?" she asked. The shelter from the wind was wonderful, and it seemed warm. Then again, anything was warm compared to the frozen tundra outside.
"Hideout for Resistance," he replied, "Not used in a while, by the looks of it."
"Looks of what? It's pitch black in here!"
That was fixed when Cain brushed a hand against the wall, reaching across DG to a small panel. Lights flickered and whined as they clicked on in the small room.
DG blinked as her eyes adjusted to the light and then she hobble-turned in a semi-circle, taking in her surroundings. It was very... cramped, was the word that came to mind. How the hell had Resistance Fighters hid in here? It was definitely smaller than her room back in Kansas.
"My, you Resistance Fighters must have been on intimate terms." DG's eyes widened as she realized that she had said that out loud. One of Cain's eyebrows rose. DG noted absently that she wanted to lick it. Seriously, what was with her?
Cain shook the snow that hadn't already melted off of his coat before moving across the tiny room to a small door. Twisting the knob, he pulled it open to reveal what, she assumed, was a closet. He reached inside, obviously to get something out, and his muttered curse told her that what he'd expected to find wasn't there.
When he turned back around, he held a dark-colored material in his hands. "Here," he said, coming back over to stand in front of her. He placed the item on a small cot that was set off to the side of the room and turned back to her. "There was only one blanket. Troops must have ransacked the place and took everything else. I was hoping it would be better stocked than this." As he spoke, his hands came up and removed her jacket. Then, to DG's surprise, he actually began to unbutton her top.
"Hey, not on the first date!" she exclaimed, causing him to stop. Part of her wanted to let him continue, but another part said this was not the time, place or, well, way that this was supposed to go.
Cain's eyebrows drew together in consternation. "Princess, you're clothes are soaked through. There's no way to build a fire in here and even though it feels warm, it actually isn't. You need to get dried off before you catch your death."
"Oh," the princess said, knowing that, at least, her cheeks were safe. Blood rushing to them at that quick a rate caused heat and such.
Her lips went dry and so, impulsively, she licked them, running her tongue across the top, first, then bottom, to moisten them. As she did this, she noticed Cain quickly jerk his head to look off to the side. DG's eyebrow quirked. 'Interesting,'
Cain cleared his throat and took a step back. "I think you can take it from here," he said gruffly.
'Awww,' DG secretly pouted. "But, Mr. Cain, I'm injured, remember?" she asked, trying to sound as innocent as she could. "I don't think I can do it alone. Plus, I can't feel my fingers, they're so cold."
DG channeled every adorable puppy she had ever seen in her life as she looked up at him, imploringly. Cain stared at her in silence and, for a moment, DG didn't think he was going to fall for it. Finally, she heard him give one of his patented 'I give up'-growls.
He stalked back over to her and DG felt her pulse race as he once again began to undo her buttons. He had the shirt half-way undone, the top portion gaping open to show just a hint of what lay beneath the fabric. Finally, the shirt fell open fully and Cain made haste as he drew it off of her. He grabbed the wool blanket he'd set aside and unfolded it, quickly wrapping it around her shoulders.
And then he started on her pants.
DG slumped back against the wall, because sitting straight up meant, you know, having the ability to actually do so.
'Holy shit,' Wyatt-freakin'-Cain was getting into her pants!
She didn't really know what to do with her hands - they were supposed to be numb, after all - and so she brought them up to rest on his shoulders, her fingers curling into the collar of his coat. For warmth, of course.
Cain was working her jeans down her legs, jaw clenched furiously, when the idea hit her. "But, you're soaked, too, Cain."
He froze and asked: "What?" His eyes, which had been diverted throughout this whole thing thus far - damn it - flicked up to look at her briefly and then away again.
"Your clothes," she said. For emphasis, she moved her hands down, slipping them beneath his coat to flatten them against the front of Cain's shirt. The damp material stuck to his chest like a second skin and DG wasn't sure, but, had that been a moan she heard? "They're just as wet as mine. Don't think I'm going to let you get sick on me."
"Thought you said your fingers were cold." He said as he pointedly looked down at where DG had already started to unbutton his shirt.
She looked up, eyes wide. "What do you know, they warmed up!" she said with feigned wonder.
DG felt Cain stiffen beneath her hands and, suddenly, the warmth of his body, as well as his hands, was moving away.
'Damn it,' she mentally cursed herself. 'I was sooo close!'
Cain retreated across the room to lean against the opposite wall. She watched him as he picked at his shirt front absently, his eyes staring down at it a moment before darting in her direction and then back again. DG sighed, hobbling over to the cot and sat down. Her pants were already down around her hips and so she wiggled free of them, picking them up and laying them across a nearby chair, hoping they would dry. Left only in a pair of white, cotton underwear and a lacy bra beneath the covering she donned, she tucked her legs beneath her on the cot and covered them with the blanket.
Silence fell over the small enclosure and DG felt herself growing tired. She lay down on the cot, her eyes drifting closed, and was just about to give in to her exhaustion when a sound met her ears that had her instantly snapping to attention.
The slap of wet material hitting the floor.
DG's eyes popped open and she stared, wide-eyed, at the sight across from her. Cain had removed his coat, having draped it over another wooden chair; his holster and hat hung there, as well. Her eyes flickered from the chair back to the man and-
DG silently thanked each and every deity that Tutor had ever taught her about during the numerous lessons he'd made her suffer through since the Eclipse.
Cain was shirtless, the sopping material lay in a heap at his feet and he was currently reaching down to undo the buttons of those sinfully tight pants.
Cain paused, hand hovering over the fastening of his trousers, unsure of what to do. DG had been right. Though not as wet as hers - since she'd taken that spill in the snow bank - his clothes were damp and becoming an uncomfortable burden. He'd been able to feel the chill seeping into his skin and knew that if he didn't do something to warm up, he would end up being the sick one. And then where would that leave DG? He didn't want it to seem like he was taking advantage of the situation, but there was only one blanket, and they both needed it to keep warm. In the end, sharing was the only option they had.
Cain nodded, his mind made up. He worked quickly, undoing the row of buttons and peeling the hindrance away from his cold skin. He placed his boots against the wall and his pants joined his shirt on the floor, leaving him clad in only a pair of underwear.
DG felt her heart rate increase and her body grow hot when it was revealed that those thighs were just as toned as they appeared, once the infamous pants were discarded. Then he bent over, intent on retrieving the wet articles from the floor. 'Oh my God, look at that ass! It's perfect!' DG's mind screamed in ecstatic approval. An involuntary squeak left her throat and it was all she could do to quickly shut her eyes in time to attempt feigned sleep, not wanting him to catch her staring.
Cain stood up abruptly and whipped back around. He could have sworn he'd heard a noise in DG's general direction, but when he looked over her eyes were closed and she seemed to be asleep. He sighed heavily. 'Might as well get this over with.' As quietly as possible, he made his way over to the cot to lie down facing away from her. Luckily, she had pushed herself against the wall, as if she had expected him to give in and share the small space with her, so there was plenty of room.
He lay there, trying not to move around too much. He didn't want to disturb her, so he carefully reached behind and tried to snag a corner of the blanket, planning on pulling it over him without waking her up. He jerked in surprise when DG's arm suddenly snaked around his waist, carrying the blanket with it as it went in order to cover him as well. He felt DG scoot closer to him so that she snuggled into his back, her cold little nose buried between his shoulder blades.
Cain sucked in a sharp breath at her sudden closeness. "I thought you were asleep," he growled.
"Well, you thought wrong, then, didn't you?" DG shot back, her voice teasing. "Now stop being so stubborn. I know you've come to the same conclusion as I have or else you wouldn't be over here. We're gonna have to share this blanket, Wyatt."
She heard Cain huff indignantly. "I know that, Princess. I wouldn't be over here if I didn't.
DG rolled her eyes at his response. "Then least you can do is turn over, ya know. It would make this whole 'conserving body heat' thing a whole lot easier."
She felt him stiffen under her arm and sighed. 'Oh, brother,' she thought. "Look, it's not like I'm going to bite you or anything," she said, her hand pulling on his arm insistently. "Just turn over already!"
She stifled a giggle when she heard him groan in defeat. "Fine," he muttered, scooting to turn around beneath the covers so that he was facing her. DG immediately took advantage and moved in close, forcing Cain to all but wrap his arms around her in order to get comfortable.
"What are you doing, DG?" He sounded wary. Silly Tin Man, didn't he know the meaning of the word snuggle?
"I'm being a good little conservationist and preserving our body heat. That is the reason you got into bed with me, isn't it?" She raised her head up a bit in order to look him in the eye.
Cain couldn't stop the blush from spreading no matter how hard he tried. "Of course it is!" he exclaimed in annoyance.
"Well, then, shut up and get with the sharing already," DG snipped as she laid her head down on his shoulder.
He was forced to lie on his back while DG snuggled against his side, using his arm - that was tucked under her head - as a pillow. As much as he wanted to, Cain simply could not get his body to relax. Not with DG molded to him like she was. He could feel every soft curve she possessed and the sensation sent his mind reeling.
This could not end well.
He didn't know how long he lay like that, but he was still awake when DG finally fell asleep; he could tell by how evenly she was breathing, her chest rising and falling with each breath, pressing those supple mounds into his rib cage. 'Damn it!'
He swallowed hard as he felt certain body parts – one in particular - beginning to respond and tried to will them into submission, but it Wasn't. Fucking. Working.
Closing his eyes, he began to picture, in his mind, every abomination he could come up with. Glitch with his zipper open. Raw in a tutu. Even Zero wearing tights, complete with fairy wings and a tiara didn't help. Nothing worked!
'Shit,' he thought, disgusted with himself. 'How do I manage to get myself into these situations?'
It seemed to be his lot in life to forever be humiliated, taken off-guard, or just plain flustered when it came to DG. And she did it so effortlessly! The kid definitely deserved a medal.
'Or a reward,' his mind offered.
'Shut up,' he told it.
This was getting out of hand. Now, he was arguing with himself.
He startled a bit when DG shifted slightly and then jumped outright when her leg suddenly came up to drape across his hips. 'Fuck yes!' his hormones screamed.
He barely managed to muffle a groan. Please don't wake up, please don't wake up, please don't wake up... suddenly became his favorite mantra.
He wrapped the arm that was under her around her shoulders as his other hand reached beneath the blanket to grip her leg just at the bend of the knee. He needed it moved - and moved now - or there was no telling what would happen next.
He eased her leg off of him, careful to not let it brush against his, er... current problem.
DG grumbled in sleepy protest, but did not wake up. Instead, thankfully, she rolled away from him to face the wall. Unfortunately, she took the blanket with her as she went. Gritting his teeth, Cain now lay on his back, gazing up at the ceiling while freezing his ass off.
He closed his eyes for a moment and let out a huff. When he opened his eyes again he could see his breath on the air. Damn it, it was getting colder in here. He turned over toward DG and as gently as he could, untangled the blanket from her body and slipped beneath it with her once again. Now, it was his chest contouring to her back and it was every bit as unsettling as when the position had been reversed.
Miserably, he shook his head. Nothing could be done about it. He needed sleep badly. They had a long trek ahead of them in the morning and, with her injured ankle, he would need all the rest he could get.
With a resigned sigh, Cain forced himself to relax as best he could. Blessedly, sleep finally found him less than an hour later.