Tin Man/Medical Investigation: Alchemy

Part Thirteen
Prompt: Heat

Underneath the all-pervasive fear, Raw saw other emotions. Grief for the former Queen, distrust over Azkadellia's intentions, annoyance with DG's decisions—that one was overwhelming among the men of the Council and the Viewer accepted the task of finding DG for Glitch to escape it.

Two soldiers stood guard outside the bedroom DG had picked out last night. Raw knocked on the door and entered after DG gave permission. She sat on a couch, staring at nothing. The bed looked undisturbed. She made an effort to douse her sadness and anxiety as she turned to Raw. "Has something happened?"

"Glitch needs DG for Council meeting."

She groaned and covered her face with her hands. "I should have sent them Longcoat hunting."

"Not a good strategy to stop Longcoats." Raw tilted his head while seeing her reluctance to go to the meeting. "DG not afraid of Council?"

"I liked dealing with them better when I knew Cain would shoot them if I asked."

"Cain do anything for DG."

Her anxiety increased and she looked away. "He won't now. I haven't seen him since we got here." Her sadness, self-doubt, and loneliness sharpened.

Raw had hoped a good night's sleep would return the Tin Man's equilibrium. Not according to DG. "Things changed too fast for Cain."

DG's laugh was bitter. "Things changed too fast for me. What do I do?"

"One thing at once." The Viewer tugged her off the couch and onto her feet before hugging her. "First Council."

She hid her face against his chest. "They hate me, Raw."

"No, mostly worry. DG make Council trust her. Be better once Council learns DG just wants to make O.Z. whole." DG's confidence rose, so he gently pushed her to the door. "Glitch waiting."

Once DG and her guards were on their way to the library, Raw found Cain in the Steward of the manor's office giving orders to one of the soldiers. "Go deliver that." He shooed the soldier out and turned to Raw. "What's wrong now?"

Raw shut the door. Cain was masking his emotions and he would have to jar them loose in order to see them. "DG needs you."

Cain's short bark of laughter was bitter too. "You read her wrong, Fuzzball. She's made it clear she doesn't need me." Rejection fueled this bitterness along with shame that he felt rejected. "She trusts my son now."

"Because Cain trusts Jeb."

"Yeah, I should be happy for them."

The Viewer finally understood why DG often hit her forehead when Cain's remark made him copy the gesture. How could two people even without Viewer abilities deny the heat between themselves that everyone else saw? "Jeb family for DG for Cain's sake. Cain knows this."

Cain winced. "She hasn't listened to me since she got back. She didn't want me on the Other Side, so why do you think she wants me at her side?"

"DG wants no one else!" Raw slapped the desk Cain sat behind. "DG protects Cain so she never loses you. But Cain leaves DG anyway. How can DG rule if she loses what matters most?"

Cain shook his head. "Protecting me?"

"DG always does." Raw crossed his arms. "Go tell DG you are friends still."


"Library now. DG needs you!" The chair finally scraped back and the door slammed shut behind the human man. Raw let out his breath. He didn't know what he would have said if Cain decided to continue with the stubbornness.

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