Title: Mirror, Mirror
Disclaimer: I only own the plot bunnies (and a copy of Tin Man on DVD).
Summary: Visions of mirrors and a cave haunt DG as she tries to acclimate to life back in the O.Z. sending her once again on a hunt to save not only her home but herself as well.
A/N: Showers are great places to come up with your next big story idea, actually a lot of this was just plot-less fluff for a while and then I came up with the actual idea. I'm feeling a little more confident since people seemed to like One of These Days, but this is my first multi-chapter Tin Man fic, so be gentle.
Chapter One: In the Dark of the Night
A cave and the laughing voice of a child. A girl in a yellow dress. DG was running - running down a tunnel, the girl in front of her, torches lining the walls. A symbol flashed before her eyes - the twister symbol that had been imprinted on her hand. A house, frozen between two mountains in the north. An empty room with flowing black curtains. Something at the far end, a sheet covering it. A gilded mirror. Her own reflection stared back at her as her hand started to burn. She was on the floor, glass all around her, screams engulfing her - her screams.
She sat up, a scream still falling from her lips, as she struggled against strong arms holding her down against her bed. Instinctively she threw out her fist and felt it collide with the side of someone's face. Whoever was holding her reared back in pain, breaking their grip, as DG threw herself from the bed and took off from the room.
Doors didn't stop her as she tore through the palace. She wasn't screaming anymore but she was sobbing. The pain in her arm was so intense she was losing consciousness. Her bare feet slipped on the marble floors but she didn't slow. She practically threw herself down the stairs toward the entrance.
She knew she was probably scaring everyone - especially since she was pretty sure she'd punched her sister - but she couldn't stop herself. She needed to get outside, she needed air. She needed the pain to go away. She forced the ornate entrance doors open and ran out across the grassy meadow.
She could hear people calling to her but she couldn't differentiate the voices. She didn't stop running until she reached the gazebo as she collapsed against the swing - slipping down against the cool stone floor, staring up at the wooden roof as shadows started creeping into the edges of her vision - her head was spinning and the pain was becoming too much.
She barely made out familiar shapes of people as she felt furry arms reach out to her before ripping backwards forcefully. Instead she felt other arms, stronger ones that didn't pull away, lift her up from the ground and she let the rest of her consciousness slip away once more.
She blinked away the vestiges of sleep as sun light pressed against her eye lids. She sat up slowly - her arm was still sore - as memories of the night before, of her dream, came flooding back to her and she nearly collapsed back on the bed at the thought of it. It took her another moment to realize she wasn't alone in her room either.
Azkadellia was curled up, asleep, in one of the plush chairs which she'd obviously moved closer to the bed. And DG couldn't help but notice the purple-yellow tinge to her sister's jaw. Guilt flooded the youngest princess, imagining how frightening it must have been for Az to find her flailing and screaming bloody murder in the middle of the night.
She looked around the rest of the room and wasn't surprised to discover that Raw and Glitch had also taken up residence there. She did, however, find it a little unusual to see that Wyatt Cain was not with them considering she'd been pretty sure it had been he who had carried her up from the gazebo.
But her question was answered a moment later when the bedroom door creaked open and Cain slipped inside, unaware that she was already awake. When he turned around, he stopped short. Their eyes met for a long minute and she watched as a thousand different kinds of worry and confusion flashed through his baby blues.
She swallowed but let her eyes drop from his as he moved closer to her, pulling up an empty chair to sit beside her. She pretended to find her finger nails extremely interesting and didn't look up at him.
"DG," he prodded gently. He wanted answers. She couldn't begrudge him that. She'd want them to if she'd woken up in the middle of the night to hear him screaming at the top of his lungs and running out of his bedroom as if it was on fire. But she just didn't have any answers to give him.
"It was just a nightmare, Cain," she fibbed. It had been more, they both knew it. He'd seen her in the fit of a nightmare before - not that he'd ever admit it - and this had been so much different. He called her on it.
"DG, that wasn't just a nightmare."
Before she could reply, Azkadellia shifted in her chair and stretched her arms above her head. When she saw DG was awake, she sat up straighter and gave her sister a grave look. Cain shut his mouth and leaned back in the chair, crossing his arms over his chest.
He was still trying to get his heart back down to a normal rate. He'd nearly had a heart attack when he'd heard her screaming, and leapt out of bed faster than he'd thought possible, gun in hand and had nearly gotten bowled over as she'd come bursting out her room and tore down the hallway. He hadn't spared Azkadellia a look as she sat on DG's bed in shock, holding her jaw, before he'd taken off after her younger sister.
The memory still made his jaw tighten painfully and his hands fisted of their own accord. He watched Az search her sister's face and he wondered if the elder woman was using some sort of magical mind-reading thing like Raw did. His eyes shifted to the furry Viewer, still sleeping like a cat, across one loveseat. Glitch was still sleeping as well, but it didn't look to go on for much longer as he was starting to stir.
DG was drowning in the silent stare her sister was giving her, and finally she could stand it no longer, "Sorry about your face, Az."
She was glad to see her older sister's face brighten a bit - it seemed she was worried that there wasn't any DG left inside DG.
"It's nothing a glamour can't fix," Az replied a gentle smile spread across her face but didn't reach her eyes.
"I didn't mean to scare you guys, last night either," she wasn't looking at only Cain, he noticed, but at the now-woken Raw and Glitch who walked up behind Az.
"Oh, Doll, we were just worried about you - yelling and carrying on like that," Glitch swatted her arm playfully but the contact made the pain flare back to life and she wrenched away from him, inadvertently throwing herself against Cain's chest.
"DG?" Az reached out to her, fingertips gently grazing the exposed skin of her sister's arm, as the girl flinched again.
"It was part of the dream, it burns like a mother right now," DG explained. She still hadn't unlatched herself from Cain, and was in fact gripping his shirt even tighter as Az reached for her once more.
"Come on, kid, let her see it," Cain urged softly into her hair, his arms loosening around her, allowing her to free her arm and hold it out to the others.
There, clear as day, was the twister symbol from Father View - as if it had always been. The center burned brightly and the four people who weren't DG gasped at the sight of it. Az held the outstretched hand gently in two of hers as she twisted it lightly, allowing the sunlight to catch the design.
"I thought you didn't need it anymore?" Glitch inquired, turning to Raw, he continued, "That's not good right? Right?" He looked about but no one answered him.
Cain's gun hand twitched to shut the man up. He could tell Glitch was upsetting DG even more with his words - even if they were all thinking it - and instinctively his arms tightened once more around her shoulder and waist.
"We should talk to mother," Az said, dropping her sister's hand.
"No, it's not a big deal. The design was just in my dream. My magic probably made it flare up, that's all," DG stated quickly. Her mother had enough to worry about without trying to deal with something that was probably nothing anyway.
"I don't like this plan, Princess," Cain muttered.
"Well, too bad," she reluctantly pulled herself away from Cain, "because this is the way it's going to be; the treaty thing tonight is way too big a deal for mom and dad to have to worry about me and my weird dreams."
She gave the three people around her a look, daring them to defy her. They didn't look happy but said nothing.
"That's what I thought," she slipped off the bed, "now, Az, let's get some breakfast and head off to meet the seamstresses before Mother has a cow."
After a moment, Az took her sister's proffered hand and got up off the chair. Cain followed after them like a good bodyguard, and Raw scurried behind as well, leaving Glitch to stare after them.
"But what would your mother be doing with a cow?"
A/N 2: Please, tell me what you think. I have written the next chapter, and if you like it, I'll continue. Thanks bundles for reading. I hope you enjoyed.