Tin Man/Medical Investigation: Alchemy

Part Nineteen
Prompt: Rock

DG collapsed on the couch in her bedroom with a sigh. Her head felt like it was back in a travel storm whirling through and around everything, but landing on nothing. When would all the bad stop? Right, when she made it stop. She was doing a bang up job so far.

"DG?" She jerked her head to see Cain standing in her bedroom. She was pretty sure the door had shut with him on the hall side. But what did she know; she was wrong about everything else. He stopped near the couch. "What's going through that head of yours?"

Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown. Thank you Shakespeare class. She didn't tumble that thought out to Cain because it would take too much explaining, so her mouth seized the second choice. "It's all my fault." His wince made her think she should have chosen statement number three.

"It's notó" he started with hand outstretched.

"DON'T!" She leaped off the couch and paced away her anger, away from him. "I'm the one in charge, it was my plan, and it is my fault!"

"Right, because Longcoats and illnesses take orders directly from you." Cain hitched his thumbs into his belt.

"We should be glad they don't. I could make them so much worse; the Sorceress's reign would look like the Golden Age." Pacing wasn't helping, so she stared out the window.

Cain grabbed her shoulders and jerked her from the view she couldn't see. "Don't say things like that! All you have ever done is save people."

"My mother is dead! Dr. Durant nearly blew up, Jack was almost buried alive! And you want me to keep the damn crown and see who else I'll destroy?"

He shook her. "I want you to keep the crown because you are the best person for the job when you aren't letting a guilt trip carry you away."

She threw off his hands. "Guilt trip! I failed my family!"

"And I wouldn't know anything about that, DG?"

His tone should have been a warning and it was to the part of her brain that was screaming at her to shut up before he rode out of her life forever. Too bad she had never listened to that part of her brain. "You losing a fight when you were outnumbered didn't kill your family, I did it when I freed the witch. My mother has been weak ever since she gave me her Light and she wasn't strong enough to fight off this disease. So it IS all my fault!" She couldn't look at him, turning to the wall instead. There she leaned waiting for the inevitable door slam.

"Try that argument on someone who didn't see the show you and Raw made out of your memories." Strong arms pulled her away from the wall to let her face press against cotton and leather-clad chest and wrapped around her so she couldn't flee. "The witch tricked you with cries for help. Adora and I made the decision to join the Resistance together. As for your mother," he sighed and tightened his hug. "You left at nightfall and returned the next night, darlin'. We all expected it to take longer than that for you to find anyone."

Her chin trembled. "It didn't do any good."

"There's fifty-six people in the other wing who would disagree with you." One of his hands stroked her hair. "You're trying to hold everything in so you look strong. You don't have to do that for me. I know how strong you really are." Her hands curled into fists on top of his vest. "Let it out, DG, and let it go."

When Cain talked softly like that, she couldn't deny him anything. The strength of the sob that tore out of her surprised her, but his hold never wavered. She lost track of time before she ran out of tears. When all she had left was hitches in her breathing, his hold shifted, picked her up, and set her down on her bed. He stepped back, but her hand latched onto the lapel of his vest. "Don't go."

"I'm not leaving, but I thought you'd like a glass of water." He headed into the room's attached bathroom after she nodded and brought back the water and a rag. While she composed herself, he double-checked the lock, turned off the lights, and kicked off his boots. He had his gun and holster off and was stretched out on the side of the bed closest to the door by the time she turned around. "This is the only way to make sure you'll actually get some sleep."

Whatever excuse worked for him. She tugged off her own shoes and curled up next to the only rock she had in the Zone.

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