Written for in response to cottoncandy_bingo prompt: universe. Based on a picture from 'The Marverlous Land of Oz'. Characters not mine, please enjoy! Comments are awesome.
DG had become rather obsessed with learning of the O.Z.'s history since her return to her homeland. So much so that if someone needed to find her, they could check the library and nine times out of ten they would find her there. Sometimes she even fell asleep there, after nights spent reading and reading and reading. Even months after the Queen's return to power.
She was also known for telling stories of the events she had discovered in the complex histories to whoever would listen.
Today, it just happened to be Cain.
"The stories go back so far!" She proclaimed, just as the newly re-instated Tin Man stepped through the wooden doors of the grand library. Numerous ancient texts and piles of old scrolls surrounded her on the large, cluttered table, but she was caught up in what looked like a colorful children's book entitled 'The Marvelous Land of Oz'.
"Your father sent me to-" He didn't get a chance to say anything else.
"Back as far as the Grey Gale!" She stood, approaching him with the book still in hand. "Here. Look."
Cain glanced at the image displayed in the book, a black and white sketch of what appeared to be a robot and a scarecrow hugging, smiling happily. The single line of text beneath the sketch read 'caught the scarecrow in a close and loving embrace.' "What's this?"
"It came from an other-sider many annuals ago. And it looks like it was written just after Dorothy first defeated the Wicked Witch. She's not in this book and neither are the Cowardly Lion and Toto, her dog - but her friends, who helped her save the land of Oz, the Tin Woodsman and the Scarecrow, are." She pointed out the two present characters respectively and nodded to an equally colorful children's book sitting nearby on the table, that one emblazoned with 'The Wizard of Oz' and a collection of other books of the same shape and colorful nature were just to her other side.
"Weird." Cain commented, as distinctly obvious parallels came to mind. "The Cowardly Lion as in Raw? Toto is Tutor, plus you called him that. You're Dorothy. And Scarecrow as in Glitch? Guess I'm supposed to be the robot thing, then?"
"It's not a robot," DG chided him with a snort of a laugh. "A man made of tin. I guess some things got lost in translation or something." She shrugged. "But, anyway, yeah. It seems like maybe it was destiny that we all teamed up like we did to defeat the Witch this time. Fate or a prophecy or something because there's no way the book before this is just a coincidence."
Cain picked the book up, inspecting the odd caption again. "Why exactly am I catching Glitch in a close and loving embrace?"
DG laughed at him, raising an incredulous eyebrow and giving him her most sarcastic tone. "Really?"
"I know why I would be catching Glitch in a close and loving embrace," Cain answered. He and Glitch had been together since just before he was re-brained. "But why would this me be doing that? Did your all-knowing destiny theory account for our relationship so far in advance?"
Cain sat down at the table she'd been at before, flipping through pages of the book before he returned once more to the picture. "What's going on here?"
DG leaned over his shoulder, pointing to something in the background. "Looks like you have a mural on the wall of the two of you, too. I think that's Dorothy -or, ugh, me - there, but it's hard to tell. In the book, it's the first time you've seen him in a while. You both run your own parts of the OZ. As opposed to you running security and Glitch running, well, everything else, I guess," she laughed. Glitch was still Glitch, at least to them. Ambrose to everyone else, but since he still had his glitchy moments despite the return of the other half of his brain, and less of the seriousness that he had before Azkadellia had him headcased, they stuck with the nickname. "The Scarecrow is trying to help the little boy escape from the evil witch he's been living with and so he brought him to the Tin Woodsman for help."
"Hmm," Cain mumbled, flipping back to the beginning. "Does this mean I should be on the lookout for horses made of wood, pumpkin headed things, and little boys running away from scary witches?"
"I'm not saying it would be a bad idea," DG replied. "There are 14 books and a lot of them involve me going back to the Otherside, which is never gonna happen, so..."
Cain shook his head and broke his concentration from the strange text. "Your father is looking for you," he said, recalling the purpose of this trek to drag DG from the library. "He wants you to accompany him to the outlying towns, to boost morale there."
She sighed, a frown crossing her face. "That means more dresses. Fantastic. Why can't Princesses wear pants?"
The Tin Man had no response to that. "I'll let you take that up with your mother, but get going. He wants to leave in the morning so you'll need to get packed."
After grabbing up several books from a large pile, she miraculously obeyed his orders. "Fine, fine," she said, making for the door.
"Oh!" He called out to her, even though he knew doing so gave her an excuse to not leave the library. "Do you mind if I take this? Glitch will get a kick out of it and, well, I kinda want to read it."
She laughed and nodded. "It's your destiny," she said, "have at it."