A/N: This one goes out to BleedingChaos, the idea girl on this fic. I am simply the writer, fleshing things out a smidge. Enjoy.
Tiny branches slapped at DG's face as she ran, catching in her hair and coat. She batted them away, and chanced a look behind her, and wished she hadn't. A spear, roughly the length of her arm but a spear all the same, was flying right for her head. Fortunately, she got out of the way. Unfortunately, it was because her foot had gotten caught on tree root and sent her tumbling down an incline to bang into what looked like a metal scuba suit.
"Owwww," she groaned, sitting up and rubbing the back of her head. Her fingers came away clean, so she hadn't split her head open, but damn if it didn't hurt. As did her ankle when she tried to get to her feet. using the metal scuba suit as leverage, DG heaved herself up, gritting her teeth against the pain. If she just concentrated on her breathing, then she could get through the pain. So she told herself when she tried to hobble a few stops. Her ankle gave out, and she stumbled and almost fell, flailing wildly and clinging onto the suit, which surprised her by shuddering. Someone was in there!
DG pulled her sleeve over her hand and used it to wipe the gritty, smudged circular window in the top of the suit. She pulled stood on tiptoe and peered in. Dull blue eyes looked out at her from an equally dull grey face. "I'm gonna get you out of there," she mouthed, hopping backwards and looking around. It was then she noticed the small rundown house, which had once maybe looked homey, but was now grimy with broken windows and a caved in roof. A half rusted axe leaned against the wall, and DG grabbed it up and set about chopping at the locks on the side of the suit until it cracked open and the man inside came tumbling out.
Like his house, he might have been handsome, were it not for the scraggly, dirty hair hanging past his shoulders, or how the rags of his clothes hung off his thin frame. He was filthy and smelled it, and DG couldn't help but wrinkle her nose. Not that he paid her any mind; he got shakily to his feet and after stopping in his house, made his way to the small stream winding along in the overgrown grass. DG waited by the tin suit, arms crossed over her chest. When the man returned, she very nearly got whiplash from doing a double take. His hair was now close cropped, freshly scrubbed, and blonde, and the growth of beard he'd had was gone.
"Thanks for getting me out of there," he muttered, passing by her to go once more into his house.
"Not a problem. My name's DG by the way," DG replied, looking after him.
"Wyatt Cain. How'd you come to land at my feet anyway?"
"I was running from these tiny little people dressed in feathers who were throwing spears at me. They didn't exactly like me dropping in on them…literally. I sort of…fell out of this storm thing right into their midst," DG shrugged, noticing Cain was giving her a weird look.
"You dropped out of a storm?"
"Long story. These guys in long leather jackets burst into my house in Kansas, shot my dad in the leg, and chased us up on the roof. My mom and dad told me to jump into this huge storm just hovering by the house. I had no choice, and it spit me out here, wherever here is."
"Here is the OZ. Used to be a nice place, 'til Azkadellia took over. Since then, well, you saw." Cain stepped out of his house, smoothing out his jacket and putting a fedora on his head.
"Who is Azkadellia?"
"The Witch and ruler. Rumor says she killed off her whole family, mom, who was incidentally the queen, dad and sister, and took over. No one really knows why. It was over 10 annuals ago. Things have been terrible since then, corruption around every corner, family members disappearing…" Cain trailed off, eyes distant. DG had the feeling that his family was among the missing, possibly dead, which reminded her of her own parents.
"I don't suppose you'd know where I could find out about my parents would you? They came through the storm with me, and I haven't seen them since," she asked awkwardly.
"As it so happens, I do. I'm heading there myself, to the Mystic Man in Central City. He knows everything, or did the last time I saw him." He holstered his pistols, checking the ammo. After that, he tucked a small toy horse into his breast pocket, along with a tin badge.
"Mind if I tag along, at least as far as the city?"
"How do you know I'm not one of the bad guys who'll turn you into the Longcoats?" Cain asked.
DG wasn't entirely certain what a Longcoat was, maybe those guys who'd attacked her house. But no matter. "How do I know? Well, you were locked in that tin suit. I think if you were in cahoots with Azkadellia, you wouldn't have been."
"Smart kid. Alright, you can tag along. But you listen to me completely, got it?"
She nodded, jogging after him as he set off down the path. "So how long were you in there anyway?"
"See that tree there?" Cain jerked his thumb back towards a tree that stretched into the sky. "Since it was a sapling."
DG whistled in awe.
"I had to watch a recording of my family, my wife and my boy, abused by the Longcoats and taken away while I was bound, helpless to save them. Eventually the recording died, which I think was worse. I couldn't see them anymore, Jeb, Adora, and Zero." The way he said that last name, like a curse, it almost hurt to hear it.
"I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say Zero's the guy that took your wife and son."
Cain nodded stiffly, not saying another word, and for a while, neither did DG. It was only when they made camp for the night, on the fringes of the fields of the pahpay that she started talking once more, telling a half interested Cain about her life in Kansas until she was so tired she stumbled over her words. Cain told her to sleep, he'd keep watch for the night.
Travelling like that, in the day until it was too dark to see safely, and sleeping until sunrise, they made it to Central City in three days time. DG stuck close to Cain in the city, her nose wrinkling in disgust at the thick smog that hung in the air. Everything seemed to be covered in a layer of grime an inch thick, and the people were even worse, slamming into her without care, some begging for money, some propositioning them, and some just laying slumped sullenly against the walls of the large buildings.
"Are we almost there?" she asked, clinging to Cain's arm.
"Yeah, it's right there," he pointed to a low building, which had a violently bright neon sign proclaiming it to be where one could meet the Mystic Man. A long line of people curled out the door and halfway down the block, hardly encouraging.
"How're we going to get in?"
Cain ignored the question, turning to survey the area. There'd once been a way to get in…granted it'd been years, but maybe, just maybe he still did he usual run around these parts. DG watched with interest as he scanned the people darting about, wondering who he was looking for. After a moment he beckoned her after him, and took off. She just barely managed to keep up with him, almost clinging to the hem of his coat so she didn't lose him. When he finally stopped, and she caught up, she found they were standing directly in the path of the single most garishly painted truck she'd ever seen, driven by an equally garishly dressed man whom Cain seemed to know. His name was DeMilo, and he was going to get them in to see the Mystic Man. Though DG didn't have the faintest idea how.
How apparently involved Cain threatening DeMilo, which resulted in them getting the best tickets the smaller man had to offer, and a makeover for DG. She was clad in a rather fetching dark red dress that had a faint rose print to it, and a large crimson rose tucked into her hair. It was supposed to make her blend in, but in all honesty, she felt silly in it. But it worked, and once Cain had further threatened DeMilo with all sorts of pain if he gave them away, they were seated in one of the best tables in the establishment.
The best table, however, put them in closer proximity to the raised stage that took up one entire wall. It also had a well lit catwalk and smaller, circular stage extending from the center, which was outfitted with what couldn't be a stripper pole. It just couldn't. But DG had the feeling it was when the house lights dimmed, the music took on an exotic beat, and the lights along the stages came up, highlighting the pole on the circular one jutting into the room among the tables and the other two on opposite ends of the larger stage. The music pumped louder, fiercer, almost frightening. DG looked to Cain, who was sighing, shaking his head.
"I had thought they'd gotten rid of this," he leaned in to her to make himself heard.
"What is this?"
"Entertainment. Get the crowd worked up, their more likely to spend their money and time on the Mystic Man. Try not to breath too much."
DG started to ask what he meant when she noticed a quartet of scantily clad women flitting about the crowd, spraying what looked like huge, ornate perfume bottles. Green tinged mist flowed from the bottles, and the crowd inhaled it, dopey, blissful grins sliding onto their faces.
"Vapors, Azkadellia's invention; keeps them pacified and willing to spend money," Cain explained, thinking that if maybe he focused on DG and trying to help her, he would be able to block out the...his gaze slid to the stage as the first dancer sashayed out and stayed on him. "Oh sweet Gail."
"Wha-woah snap! Can I bring him home as a souvenir?" DG leaned forward onto the table, eyes glued to the dancer. And he was worth a stare or twelve. He was wearing a three piece suit, complete with suspenders and top hat. His fancy dress shoes were shined to a mirror polish. But there the classic appearance ceased. The suit was latex, shiny and giving back reflections of the lights. The top hat of course wasn't, or he'd likely pass out from the heat, but it was silk, and beautiful. Curly brown hair stuck out adorably from under the brim, framing his pale face. His puppy brown eyes, lined heavily in kohl, surveyed the crowd, and he broke into a mega watt smile. DG ended in a puddle on the table, and even Cain felt the frost around his heart thawing in the face of that smile. Dimly, they both heard the emcee announce him as Glitch, and he waved, leaning on the slim black cane he held. He stuck the cane in the floor, where there was likely a notch just for it, and hung his jacket on it. And then, after taking a deep breath, he danced.
Cain was transfixed. This Glitch character, he wasn't just dancing, he was throwing himself into the music, as if it was his last dance ever, and he wanted to make it count. He tossed his hat out into the audience, and it landed in front of Cain, who looked up, catching his eye. Glitch giggled, winked, and waggled his fingers at him. "Hiya sweetheart," he called, before turning to the pole on the large stage. He wrapped one leg around it, leaning into it and caressing one hand up and down the smooth length of it. The beat changed, and he gripped it with the hand that had just been caressing it and spun around, ending up on the floor on his knees, the pole between his legs. Whistles and catcalls erupted from the crowd, and money started to rain down on him. Glitch just beamed wider and shimmied up, giving them his back and looking over his shoulder while sliding his suspenders down. They bounced against his pert, round backside as he rocked his hips in time to the music. He started to lean backward until he was in a back bend. He caught Cain's eye again, blew him a kiss and kicked his legs up, doing a series of backwards summersaults until he was down the catwalk and at the main pole.
"I think you've made a friend Mr. Cain," DG snickered.
"Uh-huh, quiet kid," he waved her off absently, watching as Glitch pulled himself up the pole, locking his knees around it and dropping backwards until they were almost face to face.
"My name's Glitch."
"I heard. I'm Ca-Wyatt."
"You've got really pretty eyes Wyatt. Will ya hang onto my hat for me? I'll be back for it later."
"Sure, I guess I can do that."
"I appreciate it. It's one of my favorites," Glitch glanced over at DG, who was staring at him open mouthed and wide eyed. "Might wanna close your mouth doll, lotta unscrupulous characters here. But for the right price, I'll keep'em away." He rolled himself up with a practiced flex of his stomach that left both DG and Cain gaping, and leapt down to the stage. "Who wants a kiss?" he called. Hands shot up, clutching fistfuls of money, and Glitch gazed out, one hand shielding his eyes, the other holding the pole and keeping him anchored. "C'mon now, you can do better. I'll even throw in a little dance for you!" To emphasize this, he shook his hips, the pants leaving little to the imagination.
"Money! Please Mr. Cain tell me you have some!" DG shook his arm.
"If I do, it's for me. You're a might bit too young for this one kid. Besides, I got his hat."
DG scowled at him, slumping over the table, pouting when Cain pulled out a giant wad of money from one of the inner pockets of his coat. Glitch, who had been watching over his shoulder, saw this.
"We've got a winner!" A spot light illuminated Cain, who gulped at the sudden attention. Glitch swayed away from the stage, dropping down to the floor. He stalked over to Cain, rolling his hips in time with the music, which had dropped to a slow, seductive rhythm. He plopped onto Cain's lap, plucking the fedora off his head and setting it on the table. His fingers slid through Cain's short blonde hair, digging in just enough and tilting his head to the side. He brought their lips together, gentle, pretty chaste all things considered. It was Cain who wrapped his arms around Glitch, nearly lifting him off his lap and making it more. He nipped at Glitch's bottom lip, drawing it between his lips until he made small sounds and then soothing it with a swipe of his tongue. When they finally broke apart, panting, the crowd, which had fallen silent, erupted into cheers. DG fanned herself, her disappointment forgotten.
"Damn! I wish I'd brought my camera. That was…wow," she giggled almost nervously. Glitch cuddled into Cain, putting their faces together and giving her a cat that ate the canary grin.
"Pleased to be of service doll. How 'bout you cowboy? Was it good for you too?"
Cain nodded, carding his fingers through Glitch's hair. He startled when he felt something metal brush his fingers, and Glitch stiffened in his lap.
"My shift's over. Pleasure to meet you both, g'night!" Glitch stammered, clambering down from Cain's lap, slamming his top hat back onto his head, gathering his cane and jacket and running backstage.
"Well that was odd. What happened?" DG glanced after him and then back at Cain.
"I don't know. There was something…metal in his head, hiding among the curls. If I didn't know better, I'd have sworn it was a zipper."
"That's what it felt like," Cain said softly, staring down at his hand. The lights dimmed again, and the Mystic Man floated out, but he didn't pay him any attention. He raised his fingers to his lips, which were still tingling from the kiss.
Apples. Glitch had tasted like apples.
Cain had always loved apples.
A/N: Well? What did y'all think? Sort of an AU, I guess. Not entirely certain myself. Not that it totally matters; I'm just having fun with exotic dancer Glitch. Seriously, latex suit? I dunno where that came from, but it was yummy, wasn't it? Oh, and the title comes from a Panic At the Disco song, where the music video is like a strip club type place. That is all. Cheers and good night.