The Wicked Witch is Dead

thanks to all who reviewed! this is the second part, and the third part should
be up tomorrow night or monday at the latest. :) it looks like it's gonna be 4 parts!
for all those who are wondering, just out of interest or to place it in your mind,
i don't know exactly what time this took place in. originally, it was meant to be a
TenII/Rose-flashback but then i took the TenII out ... so it could either be late
season 2 or AU. it's up to you, it can fit in anywhere. enjoy this one!

They walked for a long time, the yellow brick road never seeming to shrink. They stop every so often to let Rose's feet have a rest - she is in high heels, after all. Scarecrow only falls over once every so often, and is kept amused by the Doctor's tales of Rose and his' adventures on other planets.

"So - the Slitheen was Mayor of Cardiff all along!" Scarecrow says, as the Doctor nods, Rose beside him.

"Yep," the Doctor says, swinging Rose's hand gently. "She was planning to destroy the world and then flee."

Scarecrow gasps, as if he has never heard such a terrible thing. "Never!" he says, his eyes as wide as saucers.

Rose nods beside him. "We had to turn her into a baby to stop her from doing it."

Scarecrow sighs. "Wow, you guys have such exciting lives! And to think, I used to think excitement was harvest season," he says, and Rose and the Doctor shrug and smile.

Rose rubs her stomach. "Speaking of harvest season, I'm starving," she says. She looks ahead, squinting. "Apples!" she says, and it takes the Doctor a moment before he realises she is pointing at the trees.

"Rose - " he says, to warn her, but she's already off. Looking like a five year old, excited with a prospect of a treat, she runs up to the nearest tree. "They're ripe, right?" she says, looking at the glossy, red apples hanging down from the tree. She picks it off the stalk, and gets the shock of her life when the tree grows arms, snatches the apple off her, and slaps her hand. "Ouch!" she says loudly, clutching her hand, as the Doctor runs up to her.

"What happened?" he says, reaching for her hand. She points to the tree, which suddenly has a face.

"What do you think you're doing?" the tree asks grumpily, frowning.

Rose is almost indignant. "Listen, mate, we've been walking a long way and I'm hungry - wait, is the tree talking?" she adds, as if she has just remembered that trees shouldn't be talking.

"She was hungry!" the tree says, and another tree across the way huffs.

"Oooh, she was hungry, was she? Well, how would you like it if we came and picked something off of you?"

Scarecrow shakes his head. "Come along, Rose, Doctor. We don't want any of these stinking apples," he says, his tone disgusted.

"Are you suggesting my apples ain't what they supposed to be?" the tree asks, getting angrier and angrier.

"Oh, no," Scarecrow says, shaking his head. "She just doesn't like little green worms!"

The Doctor winces. "Don't think you should have said that," he says, and drops the apple in his hand and reaches slowly for the sonic.

With a roar, the tree makes a grab for Rose, who is pulled harshly out of the tree's grasp by the Doctor, who has his sonic screwdriver aimed directly at the tree's wrinkled face. Scarecrow pulls faces at the trees and runs away a little, just out of the tree's reach.

"What are you playing at?" the Doctor says, beckoning for Scarecrow to run further.

Scarecrow sighs at their slowness. "This is how you get apples," he says, pulling another face at the trees. Soon enough, they start to pelt the trio with apples, who try to catch as many as possible, picking up those which fall to the ground.

"Good plan!" the Doctor concedes, as Rose gets down on her hands and knees to follow a trail of apples that lead behind a bush. She picks up the two apples, but the third is leaning against a metal boot that reminds her eerily of a Cyberman. She straightens upright immediately, mouth open to alert the Doctor, but there is no need; she soon sees that this is no Cyberman.

The body of tin has a face, and is holding an axe. The body is rusty with disuse and a few plants have grown over it in time.

"Look, Doctor," Rose says, turning around to beckon over the Doctor, who was joking around with apples with Scarecrow, "It's a man made out of tin!"

The Doctor rushes over and knocks his knuckles against the Tin Man's arm; it is hollow.

"Looks a bit like a Cyberman," he says, and Rose laughs. The Doctor turns to her, frowning.

"That's what I thought at first, too," she says. Scarecrow brushes the Tin Man's shoulder, getting some of the plants off. A squeak is heard from the Tin Man, and Rose holds up an hand, to get the Doctor and Scarecrow to stop.

"Did - did you just say something?" she asks.

Another squeak is heard, that sounds vaguely like moil man.

"I think he said oil can!" the Doctor says, and Scarecrow finds the oil can resting on a log. The can is as rusty and dirty as the Tin Man himself.

"Where should I oil first?" Rose says, looking the Tin Man up and down. Scarecrow takes the can off her.

"His mouth!" he says, and Rose admits that's a logical place to start. Scarecrow oils one side of his mouth and jaw and passes the can to Rose, who does the other side. It doesn't take long for the Tin Man to move his jaw side to side. Eventually, he rubs his lips together and tries to smile and speak.

"My - my goodness, I can talk again!" he says, and Rose beams and claps her hands together. "Oil my arms, could you please? Oh, oil my elbows."

Rose happily complies, doing one arm, before passing the can to the Doctor, who does the other one. The Tin Man moves his arms with a little help from Rose, sighing in pleasure.

"Does it hurt?" Rose asks, but the Tin Man just shakes his head.

"Oh, no," he says, "it feels wonderful. I've been holding up that axe for ages."

Rose rubs his elbow. "How did you get like this anyhow?"

The Tin Man turns to her, a tin eyebrow quirked, if a man of tin could quirk an eyebrow. "Well, about a year ago, I was out, chopping down that tree," he said, nodding to the tree beside them that sure enough, had hack marks in it. "And it started to pour down with rain, and in the middle of a chop, I rusted solid! And I've been that way ever since."

"Well," Rose says, oiling his neck, "You're perfect now."

"Perfect?" the Tin Man scoffs. "Perfect? Bang on my chest."

Rose does as she is told; like his arm, it is hollow.

"What an echo!" Scarecrow says, as though he is jealous.

"It is empty," Tin Man says. "The tinsman forgot to give me a heart."

"You don't have a heart?" Rose says.

"No heart," Tin Man confirms, sighing. He looks devastated, as though the lack of a heart has plagued him for many years. "Oh, if only I had a heart!" He takes some experimental steps, with the Doctor and Rose at his side, who had only done this a few hours ago with Scarecrow. Her stumbles backwards, landing on his backside.

"Alright, mate?" the Doctor asks, leaning over him, a look of concern over his face.

"Oh, I'm just a little rusty," he replies, and Rose smiles.

"Well," she says, as she gets the oil can out, "We were wondering why you wouldn't come with us to the Emerald City to ask the Wizard for a heart!"

Tin Man looks apprehensive. "But - what if the Wizard wouldn't give me one when we got there?"

"Oh, he would!" Rose reassures him, sitting down next to him. "He must! We've walked a bloody long way already and -"

Rose is cut off by a high pitched, evil cackle that they have already heard; the Wicked Witch of the West. Scarecrow and Tin Man panic, stumbling to their feet. Rose feels the Doctor's hand slip into hers and pull her tightly against him. They turn to the direction of the cackle, and they find her standing on a house.

"You call that long?" she says, cackling some more. "You've only just begun. Helping the little lady and her Doctor friend along, are you, gentlemen?" she asks, looking at Scarecrow and Tin Man in turn. They both look petrified as they stand against West. "Well, stay away from her! Or I'll stuff a mattress outta you!" she says, looking at Scarecrow. She turns to Tin Man, a scowl on her ugly face. "And you! I'll use you for a beehive! Oh, and hey you! Straw man!" she directs the last end of her sentence to Scarecrow. "Wanna play ball?" she asks, throwing a ball of fire at his feet. Luckily the Doctor pushes him out the way, and the Tin Man uses his hat to put out the flames.

Rose shrieks in shock, bending down to check Scarecrow is unharmed. West just cackles some more, clearly amused by the events. Still cackling, she grabs her broomstick and disappears in a puff of rancid orange smoke.

Rose, now reassured Scarecrow is indeed fine, just stares at the spot where West vanished. She feels the Doctor's hand slip into hers, but she doesn't take her eyes off the rooftop.

"I'm not afraid of her," Scarecrow says, sounding more confident than he looks. "I'll be seeing you two gets safely to the Wizard now, whether he gives me a brain or not. Stuff a mattress with me? Evil hag!" he says, shouting the last bit to thin air.

"Me too," Tin Man agrees. "I'll get you there. Make a beehive out of me … I'd like to see her try!"

"Oh, aren't you the best!" Rose says, smiling. "It's weird though, isn't it? I feel like I've known you two all my life. I couldn't have, though, could I?"

"I don't see how," Scarecrow says, matter-of-factly. "You weren't around when I was stuffed and stitched together - were you?"

Rose shakes her head sadly.

"Are we off then? To Oz?" the Doctor says, walking forwards a little, dragging Rose along by the hand; Rose knows just from his face and movements that he is getting somewhat impatient. Whether he is getting impatient to finally see who exactly the Wizard is or whether he is impatient to get off this planet is a mystery. All she knows is that he has itchy feet and wants to get moving.

(Sometimes it's like living with a toddler.)

"To Oz!" Scarecrow cries, skipping down the yellow brick road once more. Tin Man shakes his head and follows, and the Doctor and Rose laugh as they, hand-in-hand, follow their new-found friends.

"Jesus, this ain't half creepy," Rose says, rubbing her arms as the foursome enter a forest. True, the forest was dark, dank and gloomy. The trees reached high into the air, and the movements of the animals were echoed by the trees.

"You're telling me," the Doctor says, leading the way by pushing various bits of tree out the way. "Tin Man," he says, turning to his metal friend. "You know the forests, don't you? Reckon we'll bump into any wild animals on our little adventure?"

Tin Man just shrugs his shoulders. "We might."

Scarecrow gasps. "Ones that might eat straw?"

Tin Man sighs. "Maybe. But probably just lions and tigers and bears."

"Lions?" Rose asks, half scared, half confused. They were creatures of Earth …

"Tigers?" the Doctor says, and he looks at Rose, and she knows that he is thinking the same thing.

"And bears," Tin Man adds, but he seems more amused than scared.

"Oh, great," Rose says, and takes the Doctor's hand once more; carefully they plough their way through the dense undergrowth, Rose's head whipping around at the slightest sound, and all the while her grip was tightening on the Doctor's hand.

They were about halfway through when a roar was heard from behind a bush. Scarecrow jumped a mile in the air and ran back and hid behind a tree; Rose clutched onto the Doctor, who stood protectively in front of her; Tin Man, although he looked rather worried, stood his ground and held his axe up in the air threateningly.

A lion bounded out from behind the trees, although it's roar was much less impressive up close, where the echo wasn't as great. He bounded over logs and trees and Rose could see him standing on his hind legs. He jumped just before the Doctor and Rose, the former pulling the latter away behind a tree for protection.

Once the lion landed, Rose could see him upclose. He looked more human than lion; he had a human face, almost, but it was a rich caramel colour, with whiskers, a cat-like nose and long eyebrows. His fur was the same caramel colour as his face, and he had small, cat-like ears and a long tail.

Rose almost came out from behind the tree, but the Doctor stopped her, and she soon saw why; the lion rose menacingly onto it's hind legs again, roaring.

And put it's fists up.

"Put 'em up, put 'em up," the lion taunted, it's fists still up in a fighting position. Rose exchanged a glance with the Doctor, although she wasn't sure why she was so shocked; she'd already met a talking scarecrow, and man made out of tin, a good witch and a wicked witch. Why not add a talking lion with a fondness for Jackie Chan films to the group?

"Which one will I fight?" the lion seemed to ask itself. "Or I'll fight both of you at once! Oh, I'll fight you with one paw tied behind my back!" He thought to himself for a minute. "I'll fight you standing on one leg. I'll fight you with my eyes closed!" he walked over to Tin Man, who was shaking in fear. "Oh, raising an axe on me, eh? Sneaking up on me? Why?"

He snapped slightly at Tin Man.

Tin Man narrowed his eyes. "Oh, go away and leave us alone."

"Scared, are we?" Lion taunted. "How long do you stay fresh in your can?" He laughed at his own joke. "Get up and fight, you shivering junkyard!" He looked at Tin Man, fists still raised, and turned and went for Scarecrow. "Put your hands up, you lopsided bag of hay!"

Rose was ready to go out and defend her friends, but the Doctor still had her pinned to the tree. (Although, if she was honest, she wasn't complaining about this either.)

Scarecrow's face contorts into a frown. "Now that's getting personal."

"Yeah!" Tin Man voices his agreement. He looks at Scarecrow. "Get up and teach him a lesson."

"What's wrong with you teaching him?" Scarecrow asks, almost defensively.

"Well - I - I hardly know him!" Tin Man says.

The Doctor looked between Tin Man, Scarecrow and Lion, and stepped out from behind the tree, Rose following close behind him.

"Listen, mate," the Doctor starts, holding out two hands as if this will alone protect him from the Lion. "I'm the Doctor, and - "

"And I'll get you anyways!" the Lion snaps, leaning forward towards the Doctor, who steps back not out of fright, but out of instinct. He reaches from the sonic screwdriver without taking his eyes of the creature. The Lion snaps his jaw a couple of times, and Rose loses it. She walks, not the slightest bit of fear in her step, and slaps the Lion right across the face. The Doctor winces as the sound of it echoes through the forest, and Scarecrow and Tin Man look decidedly more scared of Rose than they had been thirty seconds ago.

"How dare you?" Rose shouts, hands on her hips, looking for a second the splitting image of Jackie. (He'd never ever in all his regenerations tell her that, though.)

"Wha'd'ya do that for?" The Lion says, clutching a paw to his cheek. He almost looks like he was about to cry. "I didn't - I didn't bite him!" he says, his voice breaking slightly as he speaks. The Doctor stares in fascination as the Lion that once was about to chew his face off is left a blubbering mess in front of one Rose Marion Tyler.

"Yeah, but you would've if I hadn't slapped you!" she says, not breaking eye contact. "It's bad enough picking on a straw man! What's the matter with you?" she asks, fully demanding an answer.

"You didn't have to go and hit me though!" by this point, it's apparent that Lion is crying. Hard. He is fiddling with his tail, winding it around in his hands nervously, not unlike when the Doctor rubs the back of his neck, or pulls on his right ear. He stops, and puts a hand to his nose. "Is my nose bleeding?" he asks, pulling his hand away and inspecting it for blood.

"I didn't hit you that hard!" Rose cries, raising one eyebrow. Lion ignores her, using the fluffy end of his tail to wipe away tears. Rose huffs. "Christ, you're not making half a fuss over nothing, are you? You deserved it, you don't go around snapping at people. You're nothing but a big old coward!" Rose taunts, before Lion bursts into sobs; she shrinks back and casts a look at the Doctor; she thinks she might have gone too far with the last one.

"You're right!" Lion wails suddenly, and Rose bites her lip; she doesn't know whether she should run for the hills in fright that a Lion is crying, or throw her arms around him in sympathy. "I haven't any courage at all! I even scare myself!" Lion continues through his tears. "Look at the circles under my eyes! I haven't slept in weeks!"

Tin Man leans forward, a kind smile on his face. "Why don't you try counting sheep?"

Lion, if possible, cries even harder. "That's no use!" he hiccups. "I'm afraid of them!"

Rose and the Doctor exchange a glance - isn't counting sheep an Earth custom? - as Tin Man pulls back, looking shocked.

"That's too bad," Scarecrow says, as he taps Rose on the shoulder. She turns her head to look at him. "Don't you think the Wizard could help him, too?"

Rose exchanges another glance with the Doctor, who simply shrugs his shoulders in response. Helpful as always.

"I don't see why not," he says after a moment's pause. Rose beams at him before turning back around.

She smiles at Lion, who is still wringing his tail between his paws. "Listen, we're on our way to see the Wizard now, why don't you come with us? He's gonna give him a heart," she says, pointing to Tin Man, "him a brain," she continues, pointing to Scarecrow, "and he's gonna get me and the Doctor the part for our ship that we need to get home. I'm sure he'll give you courage, if you asked."

A smile almost lights up Lion's face, but he shuts it down before it can fully bloom. "But - wouldn't you feel degraded being seen with a cowardly Lion? I would," he says, looking down at the forest floor.

Rose shook her head, still smiling. "Nah, 'course not!" she says, reaching out and patting his furry arm in sympathy.

"Oh, gee ... that's ... awfully nice of you," Lion says, smiling at Rose's warm smile, which is replicated on the other three members of their party. "My life, it's been simply unbearable without any courage," he says, telling them all about how he couldn't scare anyone, which wasn't exactly helpful for a lion.

Scarecrow, Tin Man and the Doctor set off, Lion and Rose still talking; it didn't take long for them to catch up though, and Rose linked her hand with the Doctor's as they continued their adventure to Emerald City.