Disclaimer: I own none of it, just like to take them out of the box to play with now and then.

Title: The Routes Less Travelled

Rating: T for the occasional spout of violence/language

Pairing: DG/Cain primarily; Az/Glitch(Ambrose)

Genre: Adventure/Humor/Romance/Angst, a little of it all I'd say.

A/N: I gladly take reviews, suggestions, and feedback. This is my first Tin Man fic and first fan fic in about 2 years. (I've been writing other things in the interim.) Sometimes those plot bunnies just need to be dealt with.


DG stormed onto the balcony. "Glitch told me you tore it up."

Cain looked at her with resignation. "DG, I can explain."

"You tore it up and put it in the fireplace! With a fire in it!" She stamped her foot to emphasize her point.

"What did you expect?" he said, nearly screaming.

"It's our marriage certificate, Wyatt." His name dripped from her tongue with all the poison she could muster.

"Then we'll get a new one!"

DG paused a moment. "What?"

Four Weeks Previous

What DG wanted, DG usually got or found a way to get. When she wanted to travel every square inch of the OZ and clear Azkadellia's name, she was going to do it no matter who stood in her way.

"Stop right there, Kid."

DG thought she'd gone unnoticed. The ball in honor of her return, the witch's demise, and the return of the throne to Queen Lavender was a media circus. So much was happening at once that DG was sure she'd be able to slip under the radar.

"Cain, get out of my way."

"I have every intention to do so. In fact, I packed for you." He tossed her a backpack.

"What are you doing?" Her eyes searched his.

Cain smiled. "Your plan was a bit transparent. I'm just helping to keep you safe."

"I don't need a bodyguard." DG hefted the pack and peeked inside. Cain had packed her some clothes, a notebook and pencils along with a few other essentials for a backpacking journey. DG slung the backpack over her should. "Thanks. I'm gonna get out of this dress."

"Don't think about giving me the slip, Deeg."

"You're going to watch me change?"

"Something like that."

"That's harsh even for you, Tin Man." She sighed and thought it over a moment before letting him follow to her quarters.

"I'll wait by the door while you put on something more travel-friendly," Cain said. DG noticed he had another backpack by the door. She went into the antechamber and made sure she was out of site before dressing. She drugged off the ball gown as gracefully as she could manage and threw on her favorite pair of other side pants and a t-shirt as well as some sneakers and her jean jacket. Even after laundering, the jacket was still the one thing that reminded her most of her other home.

"You just about ready in there?" Cain said.

"Coming," DG yelled back. She looked out over the balcony. Maybe having a bodyguard wouldn't be all bad. At least she'd be with someone who knew where they were going.

Cover of night helped them get far away before anyone noticed their absence. DG hadn't left word. She'd planned on it, but Cain sped the process up considerably and he reassured her that no one would worry about her being kidnapped.

"How did you know I was leaving when you haven't been around?"

Cain had spent the interim weeks suppressing the Long Coat Rebellion any way he could. He'd been all over the OZ organizing task forces and equipping communities to deal with rabble rousers and the like.

"Glitch figured it out. He didn't miss much before, but now that his brain is back together, he can actually put it all together. He asked me to keep an eye on you," Cain said.

"And here I thought you wanted to go to the ball." They both laughed having a share aversion for such occasions, although for different reasons.

"I wouldn't have except for the Queen and Consort's request."

"So why are you here now? Shouldn't you be looking for Zero?" DG was full of questions for the Tin Man. Of everyone, he was the one she found she missed the most. Glitch was around all the time so she couldn't miss him much, but Raw had returned with Kalm to his people and Cain was off doing what he always did. DG would always treasure the viewer's insight, but the enigma of Cain was just too much.

Cain was quiet. Zero had escaped in the chaos after Azkadellia came back to herself. He obviously had help from some of those still loyal to the Long Coats. Cain had set himself a personal mission to find the man who had been responsible for so much hurt and hatred. Finally, he spoke. "It's all the same thing, DG. Zero will be caught eventually. I don't need to be the one to do it if there are people out there who stand up to the Rebellion." They didn't discuss the matter further opting to put more space between them and the castle so they wouldn't be caught before they really began.


Azkadellia walked into DG's quarters looking for her sister. The ball gown DG had worn was in a heap on the floor. She sat on the bed with a small smile.

"Princess?" Glitch said as he entered. He didn't want to surprise her. She was still panicky after all that had happened and did not take much to anything even remotely shocking.

"Yes, Ambrose?" Azkadellia looked up at him. He handed over the letter Cain had given him earlier in the evening. She took the letter and indicated he sit while she read.

"We'll tell them in the morning. For now, they don't need to know she's gone."

Glitch nodded. He picked up DG's dress and draped it over the bed, and then he escorted Azkadellia out, closing the doors behind them.

TBC . . .