Title: Glitch Glows
Disclaimer: Not mine!
Summary: Cain makes a discovery about his friend.
Author's Note: See below after story. For now, just know that I don't always follow canon. (I also renamed the queen). If you are a stickler for stuff like that, TURN BACK NOW. Oh- and there's an abrupt shift from second person POV to third halfway through, so don't be surprised.
PS- Sorry it's so choppy. I tried to clean it up, but it was the best I could do.
Cain isn't sure when it started, and he doesn't know what else to call it. Glitch, quite simply, glows.
Ever since the eclipse, and life began to go slowly back to normal in the O.Z., Glitch had begun to regain some of his lost memories. Cain supposes it has to do with being back among familiar surroundings. His friend has been 'glitching' less, though it might be due, in part, to the queen establishing a routine for her friend and former advisor. A routine rarely deviated from, despite Glitch's tendencies to wander.
No one knows if Glitch will ever get his brain back. The queen had brought in some of the best alchemists in the O.Z. to study the problem, but for the moment they're at a standstill. The process of headcasing had never been meant to be reversed. Though no one was giving up hope, everyone who had known Ambrose had been devastated.
Glitch had taken the news better than anyone. He was understandably disappointed, but once Raw had offered to help Glitch 'converse' with his brain, Glitch had felt better about the news.
As it was, part of Glitch's routine was to visit his brain, Ambrose as Glitch calls him, and recover some more memories. His regular visits had led to Glitch going over old invention designs and trying to improve on them.
This, in turn, led Cain to his latest discovery.
Whenever Glitch is faced with a puzzle to be solved, one that doesn't have lives hanging in the balance, his enthusiasm in seeking the solution completely absorbs his attention. His glitching stops, his fidgeting ceases; the childlike wonder with which Glitch views the world around him becomes entirely focused on the puzzle. Ahamo once commented that it was like seeing Ambrose at work once more.
It is in that moment that Glitch starts to glow.
"It's wonderful, isn't it?"
Cain was startled from his thoughts at the whispered comment. He glanced to his side and started to rise when a careless wave of a hand stops him.
Queen Olivia sank onto the bench beside Cain, her trademark lavender eyes never leaving Glitch. "It's just like the old days, before the sorceress."
Cain glanced at Glitch, who was still absorbed in the machine before him, then turned back to the queen. "You mean this is normal, your highness?"
The queen nodded, a faint smile tugging at her lips. "And very much missed."
Cain's head swiveled back and forth between the inventor and the queen. He cleared his throat. :Your highness, er . . . why does he glow? How is it possible?"
Olivia finally looked at Cain. "Why, Mr. Cain, all who are born to the royal bloodline possess the gift of light. I thought you knew that."
Cain was stunned. "I . . . I did! I do! I mean . . . you mean Glitch . . .?"
Olivia nodded and turned back to Glitch. "Ambrose is my brother. I remember his birth well; it is not often that a male child is born into our line. The light is never very strong within them, but it's there. Our parents were overjoyed that Ambrose's light was stronger than previous males in our line, though it was of course nowhere near in strength to my own, or to my daughters'."
Cain was still trying to work through his shock. "Does . . . does anyone know?"
Olivia nodded. "My family, of course. My angel hasn't remembered yet, but I can tell that she's nearly recovered that memory by how she studies him. The palace staff know, and the noble houses do as well. I don't suppose that Ambrose himself has remembered?"
"If he has, he hasn't mentioned it to me," Cain stated. "Can he . . . can he do anything else?"
Olivia didn't answer at first, her eyes studying her brother.
"Not much," she finally answered. "As I said, male heirs do not possess quite the strength of magic that females do. However, Ambrose was blessed with a particularly remarkable talent."
"What's that?" Cain asked.
A soft smile grew on Olivia's face. "Can you not feel it, Mr. Cain?"
Cain stared at the queen, then turned back to Glitch. He cast his mind out, trying to find the answer, but saw nothing. "Feel what, your majesty?"
Olivia focused her lavender eyes on him. "It's the reason you find yourself here in Ambrose's lab every time he glows. It's the reason you always see others nearby at that time. My dear Ambrose, when he glows, is at peace. And being the kind, gentle soul that he is, shares that peace with the entire castle."
Cain sat back, taking in the new information. As he did, he began to realize that the queen was right. Every single day, with his mind whirling with reports and assignments, with new stress tightening his shoulders, with his frustrations causing him to snap at everyone around him, he found his way to Glitch's lab. And every single day, when Glitch began to glow, all of that simply stopped.
Cain turned new eyes to Glitch, then to the queen who met them with a knowing smile.
"So you see, Mr. Cain," she stated, "for all my dear brother's talents and intelligence, he believes his greatest contribution to the O.Z. is what he can invent for it."
"And you think it's what, this glowing thing?" Cain asked.
Olivia stood, her smile widening. "No, Mr. Cain. My Ambrose's greatest contribution is far more than that. It's his love for our people. Not even my daughters, powerful though they are, can give such a wonderful gift. I had feared, with his brain removed, that we would never see my Ambrose again. Now, however, I can see that my Ambrose never truly lived in his mind. He lived in his heart."
Olivia quietly slipped out of the lab, leaving Cain to his thoughts once more.
Author's Notes: Okay, so I was on a plane yesterday flying home for the holidays. Being the nervous flier I am, I had to do something! Be warned- this particular story is AU. I've read some stories where Glitch is related in some form to the royal line, and I liked that idea. I borrowed that and ran with it. If it looks like something else, I didn't mean it! Just let me know.
Second- I checked IMDB, and it said that the queen's name is 'Lavender Eyes'. I don't like that; it suggests to me a lack of imagination as well as not being bothered to come up with a good name, so for any stories I write with her in them, I have decided to call her Olivia (random, I know).
Third- I have read a few Tin Man fics, and overall I have to say I'm impressed with a lot of what I've read. I've come to the conclusion that the writers of Tin Man fics are very good at it; it's like a higher skill level for me to try and match. I like to take liberties with my stories, though, and don't always stay true to canon. I like 'what-ifs' and things like that. I know some readers are purists, and are very vocal about authors straying from canon. Just know that I write what comes to me, and do not find myself a slave to others' ideas. I know when I'm not following canon; I just do it anyway. Be warned for future fics! :)