Disclaimer: I only wish I owned Tin Man. Alas, I am not SciFi . . .
A/N: Okay, so I haven't done this in a while, but this has been sitting in my notebook forever waiting for me to type it up. It sprung from reading all the fics where DG escapes the palace in some way and I thought I would try my hand at one . . . or five. Constructive criticism is more than welcome.
The sound of silk tearing echoed off the dark walls. It was the third time her damn dress had torn since she'd dropped and broken her lamp at least ten minutes ago. There was no way the tunnel could go on much further. She had studied the blueprints completely. The only problem was that this tunnel was obviously in disrepair, because there were rocks and chunks of wall all over the ground. She couldn't go ten feet without tripping over something. Still, it would all be worth it when she emerged on the other side of the city.
When her mother had informed her that the family would move to the Central City palace to oversee the repairs to the city she had been sure that everyone would be too busy to pay attention to her. Unfortunately, Cain was just as dogged as ever when it came to her security. She was grateful, of course, but it was a little smothering. So when she came across the blueprints while studying in the library one day she knew she had hit the jackpot.
Dg thought she saw a tiny speck of light, maybe the end of the tunnel. Then again, it might just be wishful thinking. Could you imagine light? If she'd just paid more attention in her lessons she might know how to conjure some light herself by now. Then again, how hard could it be? She'd certainly performed harder tricks her first week in the O.Z., before she'd really known about her abilities. Just as she was about to try something, anything, to create some light to see by, her dress caught again. She let out a stream of curses that would have made the truckers back at the Hilltop proud. She really had gotten stuck this time. Her dress wasn't budging. She turned and grabbed at the skirt with both hands and pulled as hard as she could, sure it would tear again but not really caring. It might actually be a good thing to not look like royalty once she got out of here. Surprisingly enough the material did not tear, but came free with such force that, because she was still pulling, she ended up flat on her ass.
"Well, at least no one was here for that humiliation." She stood up, dusted herself off, and turned back in the direction she was almost certain she had been headed before. Then again, since she couldn't really see, who knew how many times she'd gotten turned around. She heard the scratch of a match lighting and then she could finally see everything around her. Not that it mattered, it was the same view she'd had before her lamp had broken. She knew who'd lit the match even before she turned around and briefly entertained the idea of just continuing on, but she knew he'd just follow if she did. She really hated to give up without a fight, but she was at a major disadvantage. Deciding to make the most of the situation she turned and smiled.
"Hello Cain. Fancy meeting you here."
"Princess." There was a controlled smile on his face and his shoulders were shaking slightly. He was laughing at her! All witty remarks deserted her.
"That was just mean. Didn't your mother ever teach you not to grab at a girl's skirt in the dark?"
His smile widened and he leaned against the wall. He tossed the match on the ground and they were briefly plunged back into darkness while he pulled out another and lit it. "Actually she taught me that's the only time I should be grabbing at a girl's dress."
"Well then. I don't suppose you're up for a trip to the city?"
"I might be, if this tunnel led to the city."
"What! No way! I checked the blueprints."
"And you took the entrance in one of the holding cells?"
"Yeah . . ."
"Too many prisoners were escaping that way, so about 75 annuals ago they walled off the city side and turned this into a giant maze."
"So how'd you find me?"
"Your sister helped. But mostly I just followed the loud cursing. You got a bigger vocabulary than most Tin Men I knew, princess."
"Truckers." He gave her a confused look and she just shook her head. "Never mind."
The tunnel darkened again as he discarded and lit another match. DG sighed.
"So you know the way out then?"
"Nope. The queen and princess both agreed that since you missed your magic lesson today this would have to do instead. We're stuck down here unless you can get us back up . . . using your magic."
"Well, I hope you brought a lamp."
"If I did don't you think I would have lit it by now instead of wasting matches?"
He laughed out loud this time. It was a good sound.