Chapter 1: Reflections
A/N: This is my first Tin Man fanfic. It just rattled around in my head until I started writing it out. As much as I would love DG's future to be light and full of love, I just don't see that in her character. No worries though, happier times are in store for her. It will be a while though.
I do not own Tin Man, I just play with the characters.
Midnight passes. An annual has passed since the eclipse. I sigh and gaze at the stars through my window. It's been an entire year. Az has been gaining popularity as word spreads about her possession and its end. That's good. I want her to be happy. I want her to move on with her life. She deserves a chance to get past my mistake.
Glitch has been reunited with his brain. Most people call him Ambrose these days, but I am one of the few hold-outs. He doesn't really mind answering to Glitch, even if he playfully grumbles about it. Once more his inventions are revolutionizing the OZ. He is also a valued royal advisor again, much to everyone's delight. There is still the occasional misfire. I would miss them if they were all the way gone and I think he would too. If the looks he and Az have been sharing are any indication, there is a little mutual appreciation happening. I hope they can manage to get to couple-hood soon. He is a lord, after all, so they are compatible that way.
Not long after the eclipse, Raw and Kalm headed out in search of their people. Now there is a slowly building community. It is not an easy task those two have. The witch's desire to use the empaths until they dropped dead caused a rightful exodus from their previous communities. Those that are left, are very spread out and well hidden. The pair plans to return to the palace after the new settlement has gained a little stability. I'm kind of thankful that they are out and about. I feel guilty enough about my mistake without them feeling it too.
The Cain men are currently working on the OZ's military. A lot of rebels have joined up and that assimilation is tricky at best. Jeb headed out straightaway to do that. Wyatt stayed behind and built up the royal guard. Jeb and I really hit it off as friends, so we keep in pretty close contact. Wyatt finished up with the guard and simply left without saying goodbye or anything. I thought we had become friends at least, but I don't ever hear from him. Even when he was here, our contact was minimal. Jeb seems to think that does not mean what I think it means. I don't know what to think anymore.
Mom is back on the throne. Dad is back in the palace. It took some getting used to, calling them mom and dad. But not calling them that was making a statement that hurt them and I was not willing to do that. They are together once more and seem happy. They keep trying to change me into what they think I need to be. I know that they mean well, but I grew up in a different world. The fact that I keep falling short of their expectations only serves to deepen my general guilt over everything. They had to be apart for so long because of me. They had to survive so much because of me. And now, I can't even dress the way that I should. I know this because recently all of my pants have mysteriously vanished from my wardrobe.
Tutor is openly hostile. He thinks that I don't take my lessons seriously. Well, who can take something seriously all day, every day? Anyway, while I was researching for one of his assignments, I found a sifting spell. It allows me to sift some of my magic to the OZ to help it heal. The witch was released because of me. This is the least I can do to try and make amends. I can't devote as much magic as what he would like to my studies because it is not there. I won't tell him or anyone really, that. It is better that he thinks I am just slacking off. That is what he is reporting to my parents.
I've lost my appetite. I try to eat, really I do. But the thought that the food before me could have gone to someone who suffered under the witch makes my stomach churn. I've lost weight. My cheeks are a little hollowed out. I did not think it was noticeable until I started getting looks from my family. Now they shove food at me whenever they can. I eat some, but I can't keep normal amounts down. Az is suspicious of my behavior, I think. She watched my lessons today instead of whatever political things she normally takes care of.
Mom has started talking about suitors. That means that Az and I will be getting visitors whether they are welcomed or not. An arranged marriage, if she kidding? She simply cannot be serious, I can't be a good princess…there is no way that I would make a good royal wife. That would just add to the expectations that I cannot live up to.
I'm drowning in guilt, but no one notices. I'm suffocating from everyone's expectations, and not one of them sees. I'm all alone, and they don't care. The OZ would have been so much better off without my interference. It still would. I stare at the moon, looking for some guidance and getting nothing. It's all so much, too much really. I miss who I was before I knew about the OZ. I'm tired of disappointing everyone. I'm tired of seeing the awful things I am responsible for. Surely the OZ is just as tired of me. Suddenly the answer is right in front of me. How many times have I thought that the OZ would be better without me in it? It doesn't have to have me in it.
I sit at my desk and pen a letter to everyone that I will be leaving behind. Someone will find it tomorrow sometime. What will they all feel? Will mom and dad be relieved that they only have the good princess to worry about now? Will Raw and Kalm be grateful to no longer have to deal with my overpowering guilt? Will Jeb miss my letters? Will Wyatt even care? What about Az? Glitch? I write for all of them. With a sigh, I fold the paper and stuff it into an envelope. I seal it shut with my own wax seal. The letter ends up on my pillow.
The walk to the farthest tower is surprisingly short. I only have to be careful a couple of times in order to avoid the guards and their scrutiny. They won't miss me at all. To them, I am just a burden with my impulsive nature. I open the door at the top of the stairs and the fresh air hits me. The door closes quietly behind me. With one last glance around, I conjure the travel storm and leap in. Kansas here I come.
A/N: Thanks for reading! Review if you please and let me know what you think. Feel free to be vocal.