Disclaimer: I don't own Tin Man, OZ or any of the cool characters contained within, but I sure like playing with them.
Not just any snow, but the first snow of the season and more importantly the first snow since the witch's defeat. Azkadellia stood before the frosted glass doors watching the soft white flakes fall. She had awoken to the snowy wonderland and found herself drawn to it. The witch had hated the snow, it was one reason she had not used the Northern palace for her base. A smile tugged at her lips as she remembered the old hag's fury at having to follow DG there.
From beyond the window the flakes called to her and she opened the doors, moving out onto a blanket of white that stretched as far as the eye could see. Once free of the confines of the palace the cold morning air wrapped her in the peaceful quiet of the falling snow.
She welcomed the quiet stillness as a long forgotten friend. How she had longed for quiet during her possession. For fifteen annuals the witch had shared her thoughts and haunted her every moment. Even after her release there had been few moments of quite. The witch's thoughts and deeds haunted her dreams while the past haunted her waking moments. There were times when it seemed everyone wanted a piece of her, enemies, friends, even family. Her parents made every attempt to welcome her back, but at times their coddling could be suffocating. Only DG seemed to truly understand her need to be free of the constant attention, yet she was always close by to offer a hand or a shoulder when needed.
DG. Her mind wandered over the last few months with her sister, it had been hard on both of them. They shared strong memories of love and friendship, yet in many ways they were little more than strangers to each other. The past fifteen annuals had left them with many things to make amends for. Though she had assured her sister numerous times it was unwarranted DG still carried a heavy sense of guilt for her actions in the cave.
As she deal with her own feelings, not just of guilt but all feelings. Hate was the only feeling the witch had allowed, all others were swiftly punished. Through many sleepless nights she and DG helped each other through the darkness to find the girls they once were and the women they were meant to be. It had been a hard journey but they had battled through and not only had they learned to be sisters again, but friends.
A gentle breeze carried a small dusting of flakes dancing in the air around her and she smiled at a long forgotten memory.
It had been a day much like this one only long ago, a day when two sisters knew only of childhood games and the joy of the season's first snow. The morning snow was falling; mother and father had not yet risen. With no one to stop them she and DG had slipped out into the garden unnoticed.
"It's beautiful." marveled DG holding out a small hand to catch the falling flakes.
Az held her hand out as well. "Yes, it is."
A gust of wind swept over them sending a cloud of snow flakes spinning around them. DG laughed. "Look! Az, they're dancing!"
Azkadellia giggled, she enjoyed seeing the world through her sister's eyes.
DG stood mesmerized watching the spinning snow. "I wise I could dance on the wind like that."
Young Azkadellia watched her sister for a moment then a smile slowly spread over her face. She closed the distance between them and took DG's small hand in her own. As DG looked up at her Az smiled. "Close your eyes."
"Trust me." The younger princess hesitated for just a moment. "You do trust me don't you?"
DG beamed at her sister. "Yes."
"Good. Now close your eyes."
DG snapped her eyes shut.
"Now relax and let your magic flow like Tutor taught you."
A warm glow formed around their hands and began to spread.
"Let it flow, Deeg." Azkadellia felt warmth slowly crept up her arm gathering speed as it went. In a moment the warmth flowed through her whole body as DG's magic joined with hers. She marveled at how different it felt then when she used magic on her own.
As the magic flowed through her body she turned her thoughts to the snowflakes. Feeling the wind blow against her it did not seem as cold cocooned in the magic. She was vaguely aware of her feet leaving the ground. It wasn't till she heard DG's delighted squeal that she was certain it had worked. Opening her eyes she was pleased to find they were hovering a short distance off the ground, gently swaying in the wind.
From the open doors DG stood quietly watching her sister. Wrapping her arms around her body she rubbed her hands against her arms for warmth. She wondered why Az wasn't freezing dressed in only a thin nightgown. But more importantly she wondered what had brought such a large smile to her sister's often troubled face. Smiling at the sight DG turned her glaze skyward and for a moment she was back in Kansas walking across a snow covered field, lost in the quiet peacefulness. Then another memory faded into view.
Seated in a large overstuffed chair, a young Azkadellia held DG close with one arm as she pointed out large snowflakes landing on the window. A roaring blaze from the fireplace drove off the cold wind blowing outside. The sisters laughed as they shared stories and secrets known only to them.
Standing in the snow with her beige gown swaying in the breeze, Azkadellia let the memory flow over her, drawing on the pleasant feelings it brought. Stretching her arms out wide she tilted her head back letting the flakes land upon her upturned face. Her smile broadened and inspite of the wintry air a strange sense of warmth spread over her. The light flowed through her body and she was barely aware as her feet left the ground.
Opening her eyes DG's breath caught at the sight of her sister's slender body hovering there nearly a foot above the ground. The wind swirled around the young woman as if it were holding her aloft. DG noticed Azkadellia's smile had broadened. She realized the wind did not seem as cold and there was a familiar warmth pulling at her body. Closing her eyes she reached out to it. Yes, it was there, she could felt Az's magic. Tutor had said there was a chance as their magic grew stronger they might one day be able to connect their magic without physically touching, but neither of them had believed it possible. Yet it was happening, though DG noticed there was something a little different. She was aware not only of Az's magic, but her feelings, to DG's delight the only emotion she could feel radiating from her sister at the moment was joy.
Giving into the peaceful feeling she tired to reach out and touch Azkadellia with her magic. A smile spread over her face as she knew Az could sense her. Spreading her arms DG gave into the feeling and let her magic flow. She could feel it coursing through her body and after a moment she thought she felt her feet leave the ground. Her eyes remained closed as she was afraid something would distract her. Time seemed to come to a stand still as they reveled in their new found talent.
The snowy stillness was broken by a sharp crack which echoed through the garden.
An instant later DG dropped to her knees clutching her chest with both hands.
Within the royal dining room the Queen and Ahamo sat at one end of the table sharing a private moment over breakfast. Seated several chairs down Tutor listened halfheartedly as Hank and Emily chattered on about how lovely the snow was. While gathered at the buffet Glitch, Cain and Raw picked over the various dishes.
"Are you going to get something or are you just going to stand there all day staring at the bowls?" Cain elbowed Glitch when he didn't answer right away.
"Back off Tin Man, I'm trying to decide what kind of meat goes well with rancor eggs."
"Does it really matter?"
Rolling his eyes Glitch turned his back on the man. "Cain, you are such a barbarian."
Beyond the dining room doors a muffled sound reached the small group.
"What was that?" Glitch asked as all eyes turned toward the sound.
"It sounded like..."
Raw's plate crashed to the floor stopping Cain in mid-sentence. Cain and Glitch caught the viewer as he stumbled clutching his chest.
"Raw, what's wrong?" demanded Cain.
Tears welled up in the viewer's eyes. "DG...in great pain."
It was all Cain had needed to hear, he bolted for the door as Raw motioned for Glitch to follow him.
DG felt her legs pumping but she didn't seem to be moving. Tears nearly blinded her but she refused to stop.
It had all happened so fast one moment she and Az were enjoying the quiet snowy morning the next, she felt Azkadellia cry out in pain and crumple to the ground.
Even through her tears she could see the patch of crimson covered snow beneath her sister's still body. Dropping to her knees she slid to a stop and gathered Azkadellia into her arms.
She tried not to look at the large blood stain covering Azkadellia's chest, instead she traced trembling fingertips along a smooth, pale cheek. The assassin's bullet had been true striking the princess through the heart. The flesh was already growing cool under her touch.
"Az!" More tears flowed freely down her cheeks. "Please wake up! Don't let go. I can't do this without you." There was no response to her plea. Grabbing a limp hand she felt for the familiar warmth and tingle of her sister's touch, but it was gone.
All restraint left the young woman as she began to shake her sister. "Azkadellia, wake up!" Pulling the dark haired head to her chest she slowly rocked back and forth. "no."
Cain charged out the doors toward DG's kneeling form, even before he reached her he knew it was too late. Dropping to the ground he pulled DG to him as she sobbed, still cradling her sister.
Glitch knelt opposite them but did not speak as he gently touched Azkadellia's hand. Cold flesh greeted his touch and he pulled his hand back quickly. The others rushed from the doors each realizing what had transpired.
As Lurline drew close Glitch moved aside to make room for her. Falling to her knees she sobbed as she brushed hair from her eldest daughter's face. Kneeling at his wife's side Ahamo could not continue his grief as he placed a hand atop his youngest daughter's head and slipped his arm around his wife drawing her close.
Emily buried her face in Hank's chest as they stood behind DG. Tutor and Raw kept a respectable distance as the family grieved its loss
No one noticed the snow had stopped and a cold emptiness filled the air. For ages the O.Z. watched over the House of Gale sharing its joys and sorrows. As it had since the first Dorothy it would quietly mourn the loss of a bearer of the light.
For anyone who is interested in my story The Promise I plan to have a few chapters uploaded on that soon. Thanks for taking the time to read my story.