Disclaimer: Share and share alike I say, you share with me Tin Man, and I'll share with you…um, my house plants? Yes, I will share my house plants, in fact, you may have them all. Aren't I generous?

Author's Note: I'm getting the sinking feeling I am creating a new category here, but I think I shall live in denial a little longer – who knows, maybe muse decide will this isn't actually connected after all. *snort* Anyhoo, this is an idea that tickled my brain a few days ago (okay, I did some inviting), and tonight it decided to develop into this.


Cain really didn't know how he got talked into these things. He had no trouble understanding how Glitch had been wheedled into designing the whole contraption, converting the original Otherside design so that now the yellow paper road ran quite realistically through a detailed model of the O.Z., starting at Central City and ending either at Finaqua or the Tower. The Tin Man could also perfectly comprehend how Jeb and a handful of his resistance buddies had been recruited to put their whittling skills to work carving the 'O.Z appropriate' pieces. And the Hero of the Eclipse had no doubts that convincing the Consort to give up a moderately sized table and a good chunk of his office space for the oversized game board had only been a moment's work. DG had a way of making people do what she wanted them to.

But he still didn't understand how he got roped into playing: there was almost no strategy involved (though he supposed if someone invaded, they could use the board in planning counter attacks – it was detailed enough), and it seemed mostly to be a matter of casting the die – or spinning a dial as it happened – and seeing where the fallout took you. And whatever parallels there might happen to be in that, it just wasn't for him. So if someone could just clue him in as to what he was doing here…

"I'm getting married!" DG crowed, jouncing Cain out his thoughts rather abruptly as she finished placing her emerald DeMilo's wagon on a yellow square with a red octagon attached, "Az, toss me a suitor," the youngest princess added as she snatched up one of the brick-like game cards.

The Tin Man frowned as the miniature lord was tucked in beside the tiny Crown Princess.

"Excuse me," a page interrupted apologetically, "but the Queen would like a word with Princess DG."

"Oh shoot," DG muttered, "Here Az," she added, giving the wheel a spin as she jumped up, "finish off my turn for me, I'll be back as soon as I can."

The eldest princess considered the board. "You went on a honeymoon, you owe 10,000 platinums," she remarked.

"Well I'm sure I had a very good time doing it, though," the Crown Princess called back merrily as she slipped out the door.

Cain cast a glance between where the little Tin Man in a white wagon was apparently still going to school and the honeymooning lord and scowled. Princess Azkadellia, the travel storm agent, appropriated the requisite funds, Glitch got a job as an Alchemist, and Raw spent the next five minutes soothing the resultant synaptic misfire.

The Tin Man shifted in his chair and glared at a specific spot on the board. Something was bothering him…

Tutor got shot and required his own Viewer services; Raw bought a house in the Realm of the Unwanted and didn't bother insuring it. Glitch told him to stop cheating.

Cain's hand twitched, ever so slightly…

"Beg your pardon, sir," the guard interjected hesitantly, "don't mean to intrude, but Commander Cain was hoping you might see him off."

Starting – he'd forgotten Jeb was heading out for a tour of duty today – the Tin Man rose to follow, there was just one thing he had to do first…

When DG skipped back into the room some fifteen minutes later, she was surprised to discover that her new husband had fallen from their vehicle whilst on their honeymoon. It had apparently been a bad fall, making the lord appear as if he'd been crushed by a solid, flat, and possibly metal object – like the butt of a gun.

"Well," the headcase informed the bemused princess, "that's life."