The tunnel was dark. But, accompanied by the sound of footsteps, a puddle of light appeared.
It was coming from the lantern held by Dorothy, arm in arm with Scarecrow. "This tunnel should lead straight to the mountainside next to Emerald Palace's courtyard." He said, looking around. "We'll be close to the Wizard's chambers."
"Is all his stuff still there?"
He raised a brow. "Yeah. He used the smaller secondary throne room and there was so much stuff he left we decided to leave it alone in there. I use the main throne room. Why?"
"He mentioned to me once that he collected magical artifacts. Maybe we can find something to help us."
"Good idea." He pressed a kiss to her shoulder. "When we get there, we can sneak on by and see." They walked a bit longer in silence before he cleared his throat. "Um, Dorothy..."
"I get the feeling we should talk about...what happened back in the cell." She blushed, the pink color disappearing into her collar. Scarecrow ignored it. "I have no idea what the other two have told you, but I don't watch you all the time. Probably just a bit more than what's considered healthy."
"Lion mentioned something about you being in love with me before I got captured." Dorothy admitted quietly. "I...missed you. So much. I didn't lie when I said I would miss y. I didn't think I would ever be allowed back here so I did everything I could to make sure I didn't forget." She tugged on his scarf, wrapped around her neck. "Auntie Em even made me a scarecrow doll."
He shivered. "I saw that. Creepy little thing."
"I thought it was cute. But, I can see why you would think that's creepy." A hard question now. "When...when did you fall in love with me?"
Scarecrow shrugged, not willing to wear his armor of denial. Not to her. "I think I've always been a little, ever since we met. You freed me from that pole in the cornfield and besides the brain, I wanted to prove I was worthy of you freeing me. The first few months were hell because I had to adjust to a new position. And, not even five seconds after you left, I was missing you."
"I missed you too- Is that light?"
"I think it is!" He gripped her hand and tugged her along. "Come on!"
True to Scarecrow's word, they were on the mountainside. The two clambered up the hill and peeked into the courtyard. It was empty, large cracks showing the Nomes' presence. The two climbed inside and then darted across, entering the palace and hurrying up the steps. Arriving at the silver doors that led to the chamber, Dorothy knocked. They hid as a guard came out to investigate. As he looked around, the two snuck in.
They flattened themselves into a corner as another guard went past. Finally, they reached the chamber. Slamming the door shut, the two panted before embracing.
"We made it."
"And the Nome King has no idea we're here."
When they pulled away from the hug, his eyes landed on the scarf. "Hey, I remember this." He held it, looking over the worn fabric. "My maker put it on me so more crows would be scared away. I never figured out where it went."
"Sorry for stealing it."
"It's alright, I'm glad it got a good home-"
The braziers on the sides of the throne lit up. The two jumped, Scarecrow immediately holding Dorothy close. A green image of the Nome King's head had appeared- the same illusionary trick used to give their challenge so many years ago. "Ah, our Strawmeo and Juliet, all caught in the same trap! You might notice a few, ah, changes around here!"
Nome guards appeared from the shadows, cackling with laughter. They aimed their spears at the couple. Dorothy gulped.
"Take them to the dungeon and lock them in separate cells!"
The couple gripped each other as the guards approached. Trying to keep ahold of each other, they were eventually pulled away.
A/N: Next chapter we check up on the other three.
Scarecrow didn't fully realize he was in love with Dorothy until Tin pointed it out. Like falling off a cliff.