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Mission Impossible


Title: Mission Impossible
Chapter: Four
Characters/Pairings: DG/Cain, Az/Zero
Spoilers/Warning: PG-13... so far
Summary: AU. When DG and Az are abducted by a terrorist organization, it's Cain Private Investigations to the rescue.
Disclaimer: Tin Man and all its characters belong to Sci-Fi, RHI Entertainment, NBC Universal Television. The Wizard of Oz is the property of L. Frank Baum. I'm just doing a bit of borrowing.
Author's Note: Sorry about the long wait. I got into an NCIS kick and wasn't able to claw my way back into the world of all things Tin Man until I watched the series again... While stuck in the backseat of a tiny car with a giant... For 8 hours. Anyway! In this chapter a few questions are answered: Where did Zero's black eye come from? Why can't DG just magically dry herself off? Will Zero and Az ever stop fighting?

In the end, DG got her way. They were just outside the abandoned town’s limits when they crossed paths with the storm. Cain and Zero had quickly dug their heels into the horse’s haunches. Unfortunately, even though they’d made it through the town in record time, all four riders were soaked to the bone when the horses finally trotted up the steps to the pub’s covered porch.

Zero was the first to slide off his mount and, after making sure Blitz was secured to the railing, grabbed Azkadelia’s hips and pulled her forcefully off the horse. She glared at him once she’d found her footing and, with an annoyed huff, turned on her heel and pushed through the swinging doors leading to the pub’s main dining area.

“You sure there are rooms upstairs?” She asked Zero as he followed her into the pub.

Zero shrugged and dropped his pack on one of the messy tables. “We didn’t check, but these places always have rooms upstairs.” At the look on Azkadelia’s face, Zero added, “For private entertainment purposes.”

Azkadellia frowned. “Do you think there would be any spare clothing up there?”

“I’m not sure if it’s the type of attire a proper princess like yourself would be caught dead in,” Zero said and licked his lips. “Not to say it’s not the type of attire I would mind catching you in.”

“In your dreams,” Azkadellia snorted. She turned away from Zero and scanned the room, a grim expression on her face. “At least the bar is stocked.”

“That’s always a plus,” DG said as she and Cain stepped into the room. She flinched at the state of the dining area. “Do you know what happened here?”

“Probably a raid on the town. Merryland is notorious for their forceful policing tactics,” Cain said. He glanced at DG and then unbuckled the straps on his rucksack and began digging through the contents. A moment later he was pulling a white button-up shirt from the bag. He handed the garment to DG and said, “At least the rain didn’t penetrate our supplies. Go ahead and change into this while Zero and I check out the upstairs.”

DG smiled her thanks as she took the shirt from him and quickly ducked behind the bar for some sort of privacy. While DG was changing, Azkadellia turned to Zero and looked at him expectantly.

“Well?”

“Well what?”

“Aren’t you going to lend me something dry to wear?” Azkadellia asked and gestured down at the drenched clothes hanging limply off her lean frame.

“Why should I?” Zero scoffed.

Azkadellia didn’t even blink as she said, “Because I will make the rest of your life miserable if you don’t. And no,” she continued when Zero opened his mouth to retort, “not just for this journey. The rest of your life.”

Zero eyed her for a moment and, after deciding that she had the resources and the spite to carry through her threat, reached into his bag and threw a light blue striped shirt at her. She smiled curtly and quickly joined her sister on the other side of the bar.

“Go,” Cain barked as Zero tried to peer over the top of the bar counter.

Cain gave Zero a forceful push in the opposite direction of the bar and, subsequently, the half naked princesses. The two men picked their way across the large room and slowly ascended the stairs, mindful of the creaks and groans under their feet.

“This doesn’t look promising,” Zero muttered as he realized scorch marks were becoming increasingly prevalent with each step he took. Finally he reached the top of the stairs and peered around the corner to the attached hallway. He turned to Cain and shook his head.

“Fire?” Cain asked. He ducked his head under the arm Zero had propped against the corner and winced. The whole top floor was a charred mess with only the structural beams still standing. There were a few scorched holes in the ceiling from which rain was leaking into the building and it was pretty obvious they wouldn’t find anything of use in the rubble.

“Great,” Zero muttered. “What do we do now?”

Cain contemplated the question for a moment or two before replying, “First we get dry. Then, we have a drink.”

-----

“So?” DG asked. She and Azkadellia had spread their wet clothing over the tops of a couple of upright tables to dry and both had perched themselves on the edge of the bar counter while they waited for Cain and Zero to return. “Did you find anything?”

“There’s nothing up there,” Zero answered her as he hopped off the last stair. “There was a fire. Everything’s been destroyed.”

“So I’m stuck in your shirt for the rest of the night?” Azkadellia asked, horrified, as Zero crossed over to them.

“Well Princess,” Zero leered at her as he leaned his elbow against the counter top, “I personally wouldn’t have a problem with you taking the shirt off.”

DG burst out laughing just as Cain hissed warningly, “Zero.”

Azkadellia rolled her eyes and turned to the more mature of her rescuers. “So what’s the plan?”

“We stay here for the night and start out at first light.” Cain walked around the bar and pulled four glasses and a bottle of whiskey off the shelf. He set the glasses on the counter top and poured a fingers worth into each.

-----

“You’re a lot nicer when you’re drunk,” Zero muttered. He looked sideways at Azkadellia, who was perched next to him on the edge of the bar, and grinned at the indignant expression on her face. “A lot cuter too.”

“Am not,” Azkadellia pouted and kicked out at Zero’s feet just as they had been doing for the past hour or so. She told him in no uncertain terms, “I’m always cute.”

Zero chuckled and nudged her with his shoulder. “If you say so, Princess.”

Azkadellia grinned and then lifted her fingers to Zero’s bruised eye, “So really, what happened here?”

“Nothing special,” Zero said, unconsciously leaning into her touch. “Got into it with a seven foot tall guild fighter named Ace. Kicked his ass.”

“Really?” Azkadellia asked skeptically.

“No,” Zero laughed. “Not really.”

Azkadellia raised her eyebrows expectantly.

“I’ve got a few friends in low places,” Zero explained. He plucked the bottle of whiskey he and Azkadellia had been sharing off the counter and took a small sip. “And one of them happened to be dancing at the club I was at the other night. So it’s getting pretty late when she comes up to me and says there’s some jackass who’s been all over her the whole night and won’t leave her alone. Turns out that jackass is my sister’s new boyfriend and instead of working the late shift on the Mystic Man’s detail like he’d told Adora, he was actually out stalking pretty girls.”

“But you won, right?” Azkadellia asked, cocking her head.

“Oh yeah.” Zero nodded superiorly. “And then the next morning my sister shows up on my doorstep all ‘Damnit Adrian Zero! Why’d you have to’…”

“Adrian?” Azkadellia’s lips upturned into an amused smirk. “Your name is Adrian?”

Zero groaned.

“Oh come on.” Azkadellia hit his shoulder playfully. “I think it’s cute. Very regal.”

“Thanks,” Zero said flatly. He looked up at her smile and asked mischievously, “So Princess, does this mean I’ve finally removed that stick from your ass?”

Zero’s yelp as he was sent to the flying off the bar was heard clearly all the way on the other side of the room where DG and Cain had retreated to earlier in the evening after Zero and Azkadellia’s arguing had first started taking a turn to the flirty side. DG giggled as Zero picked himself up off the floor and launched a tickle attack against Az.

“I’m not sure what’s worse, the fighting or the flirting.” DG said, turning her attention back to the man beside her. “So where was I?”

“Something about not being able to change an object’s composition?” Cain suggested. For the past half-hour or so DG had been explaining the reasons why she could neither shrink her clothing to a fit better nor dry them with her magic. It was difficult to follow, but Cain was doing a much better job at grasping the concept than DG herself sometimes could.

“Oh, right.” A look of concentration crossed DG’s face as she thought about it. “So I can’t actually change the composition of a physical object. Like, I can’t make it bigger or smaller but I can change the shape something’s in. It doesn’t really make sense but Tutor says there’s all these loopholes in magic. Oh, and I can move tangible objects.”

“Any tangible object?” Cain asked, legitimately interested.

DG nodded. “Yep. Well, there are limitations. I can’t lift this building.”

“So why can’t you summon the water from our wet clothes and place it somewhere else?”

“It’s not a solid.” DG frowned. “Although, Az can displace water. She’s a bookworm. Tutor says I would be almost at her level if I would stop ditching lessons all the time.”

Cain nodded and leaned back against the wall. “What else can you do?”

“I have a magical green thumb,” DG said and held her right thumb in the air. “Growing and maintaining all kinds of plants is my specialty. I am, as they say, at one with nature.”

“That’s certainly a good skill to have.” Cain smiled at her.

“What about you?” DG asked. “Do you have any special skills I should know about?”

Cain chuckled. “If I told you, I’d have to kill you.”

“Doubtful mister Secret Agent Man,” DG said with a smirk but decided not to push the issue. It was obvious to her the man was private and didn’t want to get all touchy feely with her even if she wouldn’t have objected. If there was one thing DG was best at, it was forcing people to open up to her before they even realized what was happening.

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
dream_infinity0
Aug. 13th, 2009 08:48 pm (UTC)
this was very good, i'm surprised no one else reviewed it.keep up the great writing.

_teldra_
Aug. 21st, 2009 04:13 am (UTC)
This series is great!
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )