Based on the TV Miniseries "Tin Man"


By Len

Rating: PG-13

Setting: After the series.

Pairing: DG/Cain UST and fluff (as fluffy as getting shot at can be)

Disclaimer: Standard

Notes: This is my first foray into Tin Man fanfic - I’ve enjoyed everyone else’s so much I had to try my own. This is whole fic happened because I figured almost any farm girl would be able to fire a rifle. And I apologize in advance for the hat assault herein.


They had been caught unprepared. DG scrambled into the ditch, the swale of dirt on the side of the road providing cover against the forces attacking from down the hill.

“How many?” she yelled to one of the guards by her side.

The guard looked younger than she did. “Eight or ten, by my reckon, Highness.” Gunfire erupted again. Bullets hit the ground in front of them, sending a shower of dirt into their eyes. “We’re not too badly outnumbered.”

“But we’ve got nowhere to run,” she muttered to herself. It was true; the other side of the road was marked by a steep cliff. If they tried to find higher ground, they’d be shot off of it. If they tried retreating down the road, they’d be sitting ducks.

Much like they currently were. She sighed. She’d really, really hoped the kingdom had moved beyond this.

In the months following the defeat of the witch, many internal skirmishes had broken out across the O.Z., as people tried to return to their former lands and positions. Not everyone took the end of her evil reign well, and many more people had died. During this time, DG, slipper from the Other Side and now re-instated Princess of the Realm, underwent a trial by fire.

She’d talked down budding Warlords, and tried to ease the worries of the common working folk of her land. Several times she’d had her life threatened, but only one had lived long enough to make a serious attempt. DG still had the scar to prove it, but Lord Markham had been killed where he stood with the dagger in his hand. Cain had impeccable timing.

Despite these past episodes of violence, tensions had been easing lately, to the point where they hadn’t expected this. Traveling through the mountains just north-east of Finaqua, this was supposed to be a safe zone, loyal to the house of Gale. DG laughed humorlessly. Somehow, this group had gotten through Cain’s network of law and order…and he still hadn’t stopped blaming himself for the disastrous Markham incident. If they got out of this, it would take some serious Princess Power to get him to stop brooding about it.

More shots, and a large explosion. One of those bastards had a grenade of some kind. Fortunately, someone on DG’s side shot him before he had a chance to throw it. Her money was on Cain; she recognized the report from his trusty Tin Man revolver.

Her trench companion retrieved his rifle and scooted up the slope to get a shot. He fired off two shots, and if the screams were anything to go by, managed to hit at least one of their assailants. As he readied to fire the third shot, a bullet hit him high in the right shoulder, spinning him sideways onto DG.

“Shit,” she commented concisely. Frantically, she tugged him further down the slope onto the flat surface of the road.

“I’m sorry, Princess,” the boy groaned.

“Don’t be sorry, Peterson. You’re a very brave man. You’re going to be fine.” She tore at the uniform tunic to get a better look at the injury, and winced. His shoulder was a bloody mess of shattered bone. However, it didn’t seem to be pumping blood out at a very high rate. Hopefully, if they could get out of this, they could get him to a healer before he lost too much blood.

More bullets pinged off the truck she and her escorts had been riding in. “Crap. Crap crap crap…” DG whipped off her scarf and rolled it into a tight pad. “This is going to hurt, Pete. I’m sorry, okay?”

He groaned and nodded slightly. “Okay…on three…one…three!” she pressed it down on his wound. He groaned again and passed out. “Oh, thank you,” she muttered, and then, “Ack!” as another bullet struck uncomfortably close to her head.

She hated this. She also hated violence, but she hated the idea of people getting hurt or worse to protect her even more. Sitting around and letting it happen just wasn’t in her nature. She shoved the make-shift bandage into the guards tunic, and made a twisting gesture with her hands. The threads of the tunic rewove themselves before her eyes, applying further pressure to the wound. Then she grabbed the ammunition off Peterson’s belt, and crawled back to the swale.

A body slammed down on the dirt beside her. If she hadn’t already sensed him coming, she might have jumped.

“Damn it, DG, get back!” Cain growled at her. He flipped onto his back to reload his revolver, and glared. She glanced at him, and then went back to loading the discarded rifle with shaking fingers. “Where should I go, Cain? I looked. This is all the cover we got.”

“Aw, hell,” he replied. She was right. It didn’t stop him from hating the whole situation. He turned back on to his chest, and popped a couple shots off. More screams. “You know how to use that thing?”

A shot zipped between them, nicking the brim of his hat. DG scooted up, got a lead on the shooter, and took him down with one shot to the chest. She tried not to think too carefully about what she was doing.


Cain grinned at her; it was a strange mix of the familiar “we’re in this together” smile, respect, and something just a little bit feral. “You‘re kinda remarkable, Princess.” He peeked up over the dirt and took out a couple more attackers.

Not knowing how to respond to that smile, DG did the same.


In the end, DG, Cain, and the two remaining Guards managed to take out all but one of the original ten attackers. The final assailant surrendered as soon as he realized the rest of his comrades were dead. Cain latched on handcuffs. “You’re under arrest for the assault and attempted murder of a member of the Royal House of Gale,” he told him. The man remained silent. “You will be taken to the nearest police office where you will be processed and will make your statement. Is any of this unclear to you?”

The man spat on Cain’s boots. Cain smirked. “Well, good then. I’m happy to see we’ve got a right clever one, here. Guards, will you escort this man to the truck? We’ll need to keep a gun on him. Don’t worry about being too gentle with him, either.”

DG listened to this from inside the back of the truck. Peterson had been carefully placed on the truck bed with bandages packed around his shoulder. She took off her coat and folded it under his head. “You’re going to be fine, soldier,” she told him. He muttered groggily. She’d found some pain medication in the truck’s medikit, and it was doing it’s job well. There was nothing more that could be done for them until they reached the healer, and there was no way Cain would want her sharing the back of the truck with a criminal. With one last look at Peterson, she hopped off the back of the truck, and came face to face with one of the men who’d been trying to kill them.

His hair was as dark as hers, but greasy, as if he’d not washed in days. He stooped a little, and was wiry and malnourished. Who knew how long he’d been hiding out here in these mountains? With all the residents of this area swearing fealty to the Queen, he must’ve had a tough time of it, indeed. She couldn’t feel sorry for him, but she knew what her duty was as an emissary of her mother.

She drew herself up, trying to look as royal as a woman covered in dirt, sweat, and blood could. Her blue eyes were cold as she inspected him. He met her gaze for a moment before looking down at his feet.

“Guards, would you see that this man gets some water and hard tack, if you have it. Nobody goes hungry in the O.Z. under the rule of Queen Lavender.”

“Yes, Princess, right away.” The guards bowed, and pushed their prisoner into the back of the truck. DG turned, and realized Cain was watching her. His eyes were unreadable, but a small smile made itself at home on his face.

DG met his eyes for a moment and then looked away, tucking a pesky piece of hair behind her ear. “We’d better get going, Cain - Peterson’s out for the moment, but he’s going to be in a lot of pain when he comes to.”

“Yes, Ma’am.” He touched his hat in a kind of salute, and then extended his arm. “After you.”

She picked her way to the passenger side of the truck cab, hopping over the blood-soaked soil where Peterson had rested minutes before. Her stomach turned uncomfortably for a second, and then righted itself. All of this Cain saw, and for a moment she cursed his perceptiveness. It was hard enough coming to terms with her life as it was, without having someone always there, knowing that she didn’t always take everything with the aplomb she tried to project. Before she could open the door, his hand was there, opening it for her.

“You did damn good today, Princess,” he told her.

She paused and looked at him squarely. “So did you.”

Honestly rang out in her words; she believed it. But the anticipated look of self-disgust passed over his face all the same. He took his hat off and scrubbed a hand through his hair. “We were ambushed. I think that’s the definition of a bad job. I should’ve been able to avoid it. I should’ve keep a better eye out.”

Here it was, DG thought. The brooding began. The self-blame which led to him sitting alone by the fireplace for hours, fretting into the flames. “There was no way you could have known they were there.” He was not convinced, and she put her hand on his face so he couldn’t look away. “You’ve done a great job, Wyatt. This Zone is the safest it’s been in decades, thanks in large part to your efforts. So someone got sloppy, let the band of rebels in and didn’t notice. This is not your fault.”

He reached up to cover her hand with his. “I don’t want to…I can not fail you, DG,” he said roughly. DG blinked through suddenly teary eyes.

“You never have, Wyatt. And you never could.”

His eyes burned into hers, sending a tingling heat through her body. But she wouldn’t look away - he had to understand that she meant it. It rang as true to her as anything she’d ever known.

Then he pressed an unexpected kiss to her palm, and let her climb up into the truck on her own. The ride out of the mountains, first to a healer and then to a police office, was silent. It was a comfortable, thoughtful silence. DG, feeling a bit like a teenager, traced her fingers over her palm and imagined the future.

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