Disclaimer: I must continue in my non ownership of Tin Man and fairytales I'm afraid, the universe is stubbornly refusing to reorder itself to my liking. Alas.

Author's Note: Okay, so I took another study break. Bad me, but this one practically was written in my head by the time I'd finished making bread dough for my eventual supper so it didn't take too long to actually write. This is an example of why I try to be careful about what thoughts I let cross my mind. After I wrote 'Sleeping Beauty' I asked myself if other fairytales could be played with, the idea for 'Cinderella' arrived within 24 hours. Then I was dumb enough to ask that question again after posting 'Cinderella' and now my fanfic ideas list has doubled. I almost want to cry.


DG tossed and turned in restless frustration. It had been a gruelling week since the eclipse: seven days of struggling alongside her newfound family and friends to begin to repair the O.Z. after the sorceress' reign, and seven nights in which she tried desperately to sleep and failed utterly. Add the fact that the week previous had been spent following a less than restful quest for the Emerald of the Eclipse and it was no wonder the princess was so darn tired. She should at least be able to sleep, hell she should be dead to the world, but no, she was unable to do more than sporadically doze. It was infuriating. DG was beyond sleep deprived, she was desperate; something had to be done.

With an exasperated grunt, DG threw the covers back. This wasn't working; it was time to try out other alternatives. The princess stumbled across her room and fumbled with the doorknob for a full ten minutes before figuring out how to open it. Such was her state of mental and physical exhaustion her mental processes had had a few interesting loops added to them, her inhibitions had been tossed straight out the window, and her care of other people's opinions had been suspended until further notice. Basically, the former Kansas farm girl was at the point where she didn't care if she slept with the fishes or the pigs, just as long as she got some sleep.

Having finally managed to open the door, DG continued on her erratic way down the hall. She had a vague goal in mind, if her bed couldn't provide sleeping comfort she was going to find one that did. The last vestige of social acceptability guided her steps to the door of the Viewers' quarters. Back when DG had coherent thought she had been interested to learn that Viewers liked to share living quarters. She supposed it made sense, given their gifts, that they were such a communal people, but it still had been a bit of a surprise when all the Viewers freed from Azkadellia's prison chose to pile into one sleeping apartment. True, it was a royal apartment and therefore spacious, but still. Long ago, when she'd yet maintained the energy for humour, DG had had a good giggle at the once fancy and formal room being reduced to a pillow haven where Viewers could curl up however they chose. That last surviving social whim felt it would be more acceptable for her to be one of many and so it was with the Viewers' door she negotiated next.

The nice thing about choosing to bed down with the Viewers is that no one questioned her sudden arrival in the middle of the night. "DG tired," was all Raw said before shifting over to make some space. The princess lay down gratefully.

After a few minutes, soothed by the deep breathing around her, DG felt herself beginning to relax towards unconsciousness...then Kalm whimpered in his sleep. Raw emitted a pleasant rumbling growl as if in response and the boy settled back down. The princess shifted slightly and started to grasp that elusive sleep sensation once more. Across the room someone started snoring, DG twitched minutely, then another Viewer started muttering in his sleep and DG tried burying her head under one of the pillows. Kalm whimpered again, Raw rumbled back, and someone rolled over and bumped noisily into the wall. A couple Viewers started a sleep talk conversation. Fighting the urge to scream, the weary insomniac rose slowly and quietly to her feet and made her way out of the room. Too crowded.

Sliding her way down the hall, leaning on the wall the whole way, DG came to the next possibility on her list. The advantage to invading the as yet to be re-brained Glitch's room during the latest of hours is that the headcase did not tend to ponder inconvenient matters too deeply and thus made no demur when the princess slid into his bed. He was fairly certain she had her own place to sleep but was more than willing to lend DG his. The part of his brain that was still Ambrose being locked up in a jar somewhere, he couldn't think of any reason there would be a problem with her actions. He was sure there was an explanation if he could just think of it. He was sure there was an explanation if he could just think of it. He was sure there was an explanation...

Settling in with a tired groan, DG stole one of Glitch's pillows and attempted to lure the Sandman her way. She felt like she was sinking into the mattress, her stress draining away, then Glitch's hand made rather solid contact with her shoulder. Opening her eyes in groggy surprise, the princess was jolted into full tired alertness when his foot painfully booted her shin. The zipperhead was asleep but it was apparent his misfiring synapses weren't. The next glitch sent a bedside lamp crashing to the floor and was quickly followed by a pillow being flung across the room. Feeling almost like crying with frustration, DG dove hastily out of the bed and staggered out the door. Too violent.

Social considerations eviscerated and dead, the princess practically crawled to her next destination. Most people creeping into the Tin Man's room in the dead of night ran the risk of getting shot or at least held at gunpoint. DG, however, wasn't most people. It seemed that even asleep or startled into wakefulness Cain recognized the princess and she was able to cross the room unmolested.

To say that Wyatt Cain was surprised when DG materialized in his room and collapsed onto his bed would be an understatement. The past two weeks having been as gruelling for him as it had been for her, he could not claim to be running on all cylinders either, so it took the entire time she spent crawling between the sheets for him to move past the state of surprise. What few brain cells that had achieved alertness started having fits, there would be all kinds of trouble in the morning if he let her stay there. Said brain cells started to try and nudge other ones awake so that someone could deal with this situation...

...then DG snuggled in with a contented sigh, shutting up all mental protests. The same portion of the Tin Man's brain that worried about the consequences of the princess' current location (which was all of it) had spent the last week growing increasingly concerned about the kid's evidently accumulating fatigue. As she looked to be finally getting some much needed rest Cain couldn't have been persuaded to move her if Ahamo had burst through the door with both Resistance and Longcoat armies and demanded her immediate removal. Also, he noted absently, it seemed that his arms had, without any conscious instruction or permission, wrapped themselves around DG and pulled her securely to his side. He was incredibly comfortable. His eyes drifted closed and the Tin Man slipped back into the land of dreams.

DG, nestling her head against Cain's chest, was quick to follow. Just right.