Disclaimer: I don't own Tin Man or Alice, they belong to SyFy. I'd be filming this story if I owned them.

Merry Christmas, everyone! Enjoy!

The trickster had grown accustomed to the slumber that held it prisoner. Over time, that sleep had become a welcome alternative to the slowly decaying existence that had preceded it. The trickster was a reflection of its people – their moods, their whims, and their emotions – all of these served to sustain it. The dulling of its senses and the sharp dive in its moods should have warned it that something was terribly wrong. However, it never took matters too seriously, even now, when it was all but incapacitated. It simply wasn't in its nature to care too deeply. After all, it was the embodiment of chaos and change, and this was but another aspect of its natural state of being.

Still, the situation was growing tiresome. Though it would require a minimal amount of effort on the trickster's part to lift the lethargy that has settled over it, it simply couldn't be bothered. After all, what awaited it out there? Emotionless lumps, the lot of them. It remembered a time when its peoples' passions burned high, pulsating with life and warmth until they exploded into nothingness, leaving only sweet sensations and the memory of fire. They had wanted everything, wanted to live their lives to the fullest degree. Now there was no joy, no love, and no friendship. There wasn't even any room for anger or jealousy or hate. No, all that remained was a dull, aching hunger and a need that could not be quenched.

So the trickster dreamed of lavish parties in white marble halls, of men and women who shone with the force of their honor and integrity. It dreamed of strong, powerful wings high above the ground, of a fierce sort of pride that demanded respect and awe. It dreamed of marvelous underground caverns filled with the knowledge of bygone eras, and of their guardians, beings old but not nearly as old as it, born in the fires of mountains long dead. This was the life that it loved, as much as it was capable of loving.

Those days and that life were over…or so it seemed.

Even in its detached, dreamlike state, the trickster was aware of the events taking shape around it. For better or worse, the land and its people were an extension of itself. So when a little pearl, brighter than all the rest, erupted into existence, it couldn't help but take notice. That little pearl spread colors in its wake, evoking a maelstrom of emotions that had been missing for years. Its appearance was the catalyst, forcing other bright sparks into existence. Their vibrancy bled into the grayness of its subconscious, slowly bringing it back to life.

The reawakening was so wonderful, so welcome, that it did what it could, sending out dreams and portents. It wanted to be a part of the living world once more. For the first time in many years, it felt the urge to cast off the mantle of sleep.

Life was seeping back into the land. The trickster could feel the change in its very bones. Those bright sparks were champions, and champions needed to be watched and tested. There was danger ahead, danger that could only be met through strength, valor, knowledge, and trust. Alliances had to be reforged.

Eyelids fluttered open to reveal a golden slit-pupil gaze. Lips stretched wide to reveal a grin brimming with impishness and anticipation.

This was going to be fun.