Disclaimer: There are many things I own, but Tin Man is not one of them(unless you count DVDs) Tin Man belongs to Steven L. Mitchell, Craig W. Van Sickle, and all the other grand high Mucky Mucks of Sci-Fi. No copyright infringement is intended, and of course no money was made from this. Any similarity to any other story not my own is coincidence.

Title: Once Upon a Dream
Genre: AU/General/Romance; Dorothy Gale/Wyatt Cain
Rating: PG
Timeline: About a year after the mini-series
Summary: Sometimes a fairy tale is what we make it.
Author's Notes: "I Know You" is from Disney's "Sleeping Beauty" and was written by George Bruns, who himself got the melody from Tchaikovsy's "Sleeping Beauty." 'So Are You to Me" is by Eastmountainsouth. And let me warn you now, this is one fluffy, fluffy, piece of fluff. Seriously, it's almost too sweet even for me. Anyhoo, here goes...


Once Upon a Dream


Wyatt Cain, ex-tin man, resistance fighter, and Hero of the Eclipse, was tired. What they never told you in the fairy tales, or around the campfires of the Resistance for that matter, was that between the defeat of the wicked sorceress and the happily ever after, was a lot of work and pain rebuilding a country. It was endless days of travel over the Old Road rounding up stray Longcoats. It was never ending hours setting up new training academies for reestablishing Tin Men as the rule of law. It was reshaping the Resistance into a working army under the command of the monarchy. And all of it was... tiring.

"Come on then," he urged his equally exhausted horse as they made their way carefully through the woods surrounding Fin-Aqua.

Truth be told, all of it made Cain feel more and more like an old tin solider every day.

"All I want to do is report in and then get some sleep," he murmured. "A nice long nap in a warm bed."

He sighed, knowing that it was unlikely to happen that way. Because he was certain that the minute he was done reporting to the Queen and her Heir Apparent, that same heir would commandeer all his attention with an innocent and single-minded determination.

"She'll hug me senseless..." he muttered with half-hearted grumpiness. "And drag me along on one of her adventures... And of course, I'll go along with it all because I've stupidly gone and..." he stopped himself short of completing the sentence out loud and instead shook his head. "Wyatt Cain you're a foolish old man..." he chastised himself under his breath.

Suddenly, his horse stopped, her ears swiveling to catch the haunting sounds that drifted through the pine needles.

"What is it?" He asked the nervous beast prancing beneath him.

The sounds slowly shaped themselves into a soft melody as Cain listened as well.

"I know you, I walked with you once upon a dream..."

"DG?"

Wyatt was certain he recognized the voice that drifted lightly on the summer breeze that was lazing its way through the trees.

"DG, what in the name of Lurline are you doing out in the woods at night," he muttered to himself as he turned his mount away from Fin-Aqua and in the direction of the singing princess. After a moment's protest, the animal accepted the new command and began carefully picking her way through the underbrush.

"I know you, the gleam in your eyes is so familiar a-gleam..."

It didn't take long to find the small clearing that the youngest princess had secreted herself away in.

"Yet I know it's true, that visions are seldom all they seem..."

Wyatt dismounted carefully and tied the reins of his horse loosely to the low branch of a nearby tree before taking a moment to consider the surprisingly beautiful vision in front of him.

DG had used her magic to create not just one bright ball of light to work with, but several smaller ones of varying hues as well that floated lazily around the clearing like so many fireflies. One drifted toward the ex-tin man and he shooed it away absently, still watching the princess.

Dressed in greasy, patched brown overalls, her dark curls swept up with jeweled pins, she crouched in front of a small motorcycle that Cain recognized as being one of the older issue Tin Man bikes from the time before the witch's reign.

"Now I wonder where you found that old clunker," Wyatt mused under his breath, mentally making a note to speak to his son, knowing that he wasn't the only Cain man easily charmed by the vivacious princess.

"But if I know you, I know what you'll do..."

The princess sang with a sweet and unaffected purity as she tinkered away happily on the old machine, her wrench sounding a counterpoint to her melody as she worked. Even the small puffs of air that she blew toward her cheek to push back the loose curls only served as another note of harmony.

"DG..."

Wyatt's fingers suddenly itched with the desire to be the one that was pushing back those loose curls. He held his hands in loose fists instead, and tucked himself in closer to the nearest tree.

"You'll love me at once...."

Abruptly, she set her tool down and rose to brush her hands clean on her pant legs, still singing lightly.

"The way you did once..."

Wyatt watched with a tiny bemused smile as DG reached out to set the small globes of light spinning freely about the clearing before she curtsied to some imaginary figure in front of herself. Then as if she were a child of twelve and not a woman of one and twenty, she started to waltz gracefully with her imaginary partner within the circle of pines, still half-singing, half-humming her unfamiliar tune.

"Upon a dream..."

Cain couldn't help but smile to see his princess dancing. He leanedwith a loose-limbed, masculine grace against the nearest tree and watched, savoring the sweet ache that suddenly filled his chest.

"Are you just going to stand there watching Tin Man, or are you going to come over here and dance with me?"

"What if I like watching," Wyatt replied in a low voice, trying to keep the smile from his lips.

DG laughed suddenly as Cain hid his eyes a moment with his fedora before pushing himself up from his tree.

"Come here, Tin Man..."

Several glowing orbs danced over to herd him in DG's direction.

"Hello, Cain," the princess murmured when he finally stood next to her.

"You shouldn't be sneaking off on one of your adventures by yourself, Kiddo," Wyatt said quietly as he reached out to tug gently on the brown sleeve of the princess' overalls. "Even if it's just to come out here to tinker with your motorcycle."

"I know; I'm sorry; I just... I needed..." Dorothy sighed. "I needed... to just be DG for a little bit."

"I understand," Cain said in a surprisingly intimate tone that made DG shiver before she stepped back. "But..."

"Besides..." she recovered with an impulsive and mischievous smile, shimmying out of her overalls to reveal a soft, silken blue gown that followed her lines and curves like an attentive lover's caress. "See, zero to princess in 2.5."

"I see," he replied through the sudden lump in his throat, watching as she kicked the overalls to the side.

"Now Tin Man, will you dance with me? Dance with me just once before you take me back to the palace and I have to be Heir Apparent, Princess Dorothy Gale again."

"I don't..."

"Come on, Cain," she interrupted with a quietly playful air of seduction as she grabbed his hand and slowly lead Wyatt away from the motorcycle. He tried to hold back a sigh as she gently slipped into his arms.

"But if I know you, I know what you'll do, you'll love me at once, the way you did once upon a dream..." she sang softly.

"I didn't know you could sing," Cain whispered into the princess' ear as he began to lead her in a slow, soft waltz, the colorful orbs of her magic swirling all about them like fireflies.

"I didn't know you could dance," she murmured in return, pleased to feel him smile ever so slightly against her skin.

"My mother insisted I learn," he replied in a low voice that was almost a caress. "She said that if I was anything like my father, I would need some other way to tell a woman I loved her, since I would probably be as silent about it as he was."

Cain took a deep breath, letting the subtle warmth of the woman in his arms fill him.

"And she said that a good man always lets the people he loves, know that he loves them."

"And you are definitely a good man," DG whispered, pleased to bring a quiet smile to the lips of her Tin Man.

"I'm glad you think so, Princess..."

They danced then for what might have been hours, or maybe only minutes, with just the sounds of the night and the forest around them for music until Wyatt finally spoke.

"Sing for me..." he asked so softly that DG wasn't entirely certain that she had even heard him speak until he repeated himself. "Would you sing for me?"

"As the music at the banquet, as the wine before the meal, as the firelight in the night, so are you to me..." she sang quietly, her breath whispering against his skin and making him tighten his grip, needing to feel her near him. Their dance slowed to a gentle sway and Wyatt slid his hand to DG's back tenderly. He held her close enough that she could feel the hard press of his vest buttons against her breast and the rapid beat of his heart.

"As the ruby in the setting, as the fruit upon the tree, as the wind blows over the plains, so are you to me..."

She lay her head against the ex-tin man's chest just to get closer to that heartbeat.

"As the wind blows over the plains, so are you to me... so are you to me..."

DG shifted just enough to tenderly brush her lips against Cain's stubbled jaw.

"Oh, sweet Lurline..." Wyatt suddenly groaned, trying to pull away.

"No... no... no..." DG protested, grabbing almost desperately for the edges of his duster as the manifestations of her magick winked out, plunging them into twilight.

"This can't... we can't... Princess..."

"Wyatt..." she whispered, just his name.

"Princess..."

Suddenly, she pulled him back to herself as tightly as she could, bringing her lips to his, nearly touching, but not quite.

"Wyatt..." she whispered again with a voice full of longing. "Wyatt..."

The sound of his name on her lips unexpectedly made something in his heart slip sideways, sending him outside himself. He felt as if he were floating like one of the tiny orbs of DG's colorful lights. Then, she kissed him, and for a moment, he was too startled to do anything but feel his heart burst into a million glorious pieces, each one becoming like a star in his breast. The dizzying sensation left him breathless until it began to kaleidoscope inward and all he could do was get lost in the sweet clove honey and vanilla taste her.

"Kiss me, Wyatt... oh, don't ever stop kissing me..." she moaned softly against his lips

"This is not the way the fairy tale is supposed to go, DG," he insisted, even as he helplessly answered her plea. "The rusty old Tin Man doesn't fall in love with the Princess... and the Princess certainly doesn't fall in love with him..."

Cain rested his forehead gently against DG's for a moment, trying to catch his breath in more ways than one.

"This our fairy tale Tin Man," she replied with a soft smile. "It can be exactly what we make it; exactly what we want it to be."

She kissed him again, a soft brush of lips, almost chaste.

"I want you, Wyatt... and I think... you want me."

"I..."

"It's our fairy tale," DG interrupted with a gentle whisper.

"Our fairy tale..." Cain murmured back, feeling the undeniable weight of desire... of love... shattering his heart and remolding it under the passion of her gentle persuasion. "Ours..."

"From the once upon a time," DG breathed, brushing her lips lightly against his, not quite a kiss, but an intimate promise nonetheless. "To the happily ever after."

"Dorothy..." Wyatt sighed before he kissed her with an almost languid passion, reveling in the taste of her name on his lips even as he captured the essence of her on his tongue.

"Don't stop," she urged him. "Oh please, don't stop. Let me love you."

"How can you..."

"How can I not, Wyatt..."

Cain reached out almost hesitantly to brush back DG's loose curls, his fingertips caressing her cheeks. Slowly, he let his thumb drift to her bottom lip, tracing it tenderly as her eyes drifted closed.

"Kiss me..." she sighed.

"How can I not?" Wyatt echoed in a soft whisper against DG's lips, catching her breath with his own and feeling the sacred simplicity of feeling his heart broken and remade with her kiss. "I don't think I can ever stop kissing you, DG," he whispered as the startling realization overwhelmed him when they emerged from the kiss breathlessly. "I don't think I can..."

DG laughed lightly.

"Are you laughing at me, Princess?" Cain asked with a small, familiar smile and just the hint of uncertainty.

"Oh, my Tin Man... " she sighed, caressing his stubbled cheek. "My Wyatt... you are such a wonderfully good man..."

She kissed him softly.

"Dance with me..."

Wyatt Cain, ex-tin man, resistance fighter, and Hero of the Eclipse, smiled, took his princess in his arms... and danced...

FIN