Disclaimer: Dis not mine. Do not own Tin Man, the fairytale, or the introduction to Disney's Beauty and the Beast which I have warped almost beyond recognition.
Author's Note: I'm not sure I like this one but Quality Control seems to think you will. I bow to QC's judgement because so far she's been pretty accurate about guessing what you guys will like. If anyone is disappointed, I have already planned a version 2 with completely different idea. Hopefully you'll like it better, I do – at least as it sits in my head anyhow. *mutters nervously* Oh well, if it stinks, it was bound to happen eventually and I'll content myself with getting it over with.
PS I am now back in the land of high-speed internet, hurrah! Have been for a few days but got distracted by the entertainment capabilities of said internet. It is kinda responsible for the Beauty and the Beast kick I am presently on (was going to write them anyhow, but perhaps not so soon). 'The Courting of Officer Gulch' is currently awaiting Azkadellia's hammering out of the rest of the Heroes of the Eclipse Celebration and wedding chapters. Wish she would hurry up, I am looking forward to chapters that come after.
Once upon a time, in the Outer Zone, a Tin Man had taken up residence in the Royal Palace in order to guard the Crown Princess. Although the princess had all the guards one might hope to keep her safe, the Tin Man was paranoid, overprotective, and always alert to danger. But then, one summer's day, whilst he was escorting the princess through the forest, an old beggar woman came upon them and offered a protective charm in exchange for directions back to the yellow brick road. Suspicious of her fragile appearance, the Tin Man drew his revolver and warned the old woman away. The Crown Princess considered reasoning with him but she remembered too well her last experience with an old crone in the woods and how evil had been found within. When the Tin Man warned the old woman again, her frailty melted away to reveal a beautiful enchantress proving that he'd had good reason to be wary, unfortunately he'd also annoyed the magical being and as punishment she transformed him into a hideous beast and placed a powerful spell upon the princess and all those who lived with her...
...or at least that's what she tried to do anyway. The chanting was rather ominous and the light show that followed was incredibly impressive, but when it was over Tin Man and princess found that no apparent harm had been done. Which meant the enchantress had precisely three seconds to do something before the Tin Man shot her in order to prevent any other attempts. More fireworks followed as the enchantress scampered out of the line of fire, hid behind a tree and tried again.
"Cain stop," the princess said, placing a restraining hand on the gun when the Tin Man paused to reload, "She's hasn't actually hurt us, I think she might just be a tad bit delusional. Let's help her back to the road and leave her be."
"I don't think so, Kiddo," Cain replied, still tracking the enchantress' movements, "She shuffled into the clearing a decrepit old woman, now she's grown five inches and lost roughly five decades of wear, that is a magic."
"Fine," DG huffed, placing her hands on her hips thereby allowing the Tin Man to reload the revolver, "so she's good at illusions, doesn't mean she can cause us harm. I mean, so far all we've got is a light show."
"Princess Azkadellia is also good at illusions, and she could suck out your soul if she ever felt like doing it," Cain pointed out.
"I don't suck out souls!" the enchantress interjected indignantly then she shrieked and dove back into cover as a bullet ricocheted off the tree, "Stop shooting at me! Honestly you deserve to be turned into a beast! I don't know why it didn't work, it always works! Hell, they usually thank me in the end because they always find their true lo..." the enchantress stopped speaking in shock. "You're already in love!" she accused the Tin Man.
"Am not," Cain denied hastily, forgetting to shoot as the enchantress' head appeared once more around the tree.
"Yes, you are," she fired back, marching out into the clearing, "otherwise the spell would have worked."
"I don't know what you are talking about," the Tin Man replied stubbornly.
"What are you talking about?" DG inquired with avid interest as she pried the revolver out of the distracted Cain's hand.
"My spell," the enchantress explained, "should turn him into a beast until he finds someone to love and love him in return."
"Oh, like Beauty and the Beast," the princess commented with a fascinated nod.
"Er...sure," the enchantress ventured, "Only he is already in love so the spell couldn't turn him into a beast, he's protected."
"Really?" DG asked in an odd voice.
"I'm not in love," Cain interrupted belligerently.
"Yes, you are," the enchantress insisted.
"No, I'm not."
"Yes. You. Are."
DG stifled a giggle, she couldn't help it. Enchantress and the Tin Man were practically nose to nose, wearing identical expressions of obstinacy as they all but growled at each other.
"...NOT," Cain snarled as he caught the enchantress sideways glance at the princess.
"FINE!" she bellowed back at him, "But just so you know, just because you were protected from most of the spell, doesn't mean you were protected from all of it!"
"What is that suppose to mean?" the princess demanded sharply.
"He may be in love..."
"...but if he doesn't receive a kiss from someone who loves him in return, he'll die."
"WHAT?" DG shrieked.
"I'm not going to umph," the Tin Man was cut off abruptly as he was tackled by a rather upset princess for the O.Z.'s most painful kiss ever. Teeth smashed together, lips were bruised, and Wyatt Cain was knocked backwards onto some extremely hard and knobbly roots while DG landed on him like a sack of bricks. "Ow," opined the stunned Tin Man.
"Will he be alright?" the princess demanded as she bounced back to her feet and descended on the alarmed enchantress. "He'll be okay now right? Right?" DG asked desperately, grabbing the enchantress and shaking her. "Right?"
"H-h-he'll b-b-be f-fine," the woman managed to force out between clattering teeth, "I j-just w-w-wanted t-to s-shake him o-out of d-denial. S-s-stop-p s-shaking m-m-meeee!" she wailed.
"Oh thank goodness," DG huffed out in relief, releasing the enchantress so abruptly that the extremely dizzy woman fell over. "How could you say something like that?" she demanded, "Scared the living daylights out of wah!" the princess exclaimed in surprise as she discovered a Tin Man in her personal space.
"When you go to kiss someone," Cain rumbled as DG backed up in surprise, "you do not break their teeth, you do not give them a fat lip, and you do not," he continued stalking forward, "tackle them like a boulder. What you do," the Tin Man stated as he pinned the retreating princess against a tree, "is this."
From her place on the forest floor observing the world spin, the enchantress watched the Tin Man and the Crown Princess, all six of them, with a mixture of smug satisfaction and nausea. The latter was probably, but not necessarily, due to the dizziness. "Not in love my magical butt," she grumbled as the world began to slowly refocus about her. "What a stupid couple, so busy running around in the trees they couldn't see the forest. You can't say I didn't help you, least you could do is show me to the blasted brick route," the enchantress declared loudly. No response was forthcoming. "Oh, get a room!"