Where Your Heart Is
A/N: The requested sequel to "Finding Home" (I know, terribly cliché title, but it fit with the story and the previous story's title! Plus I just suck a naming stories!). My many thanks to the awesome people who reviewed FH and asked for more! I love you guys!
Disclaimer: Standard disclaimer applies... I don't own Tin Man or the characters, I just really enjoy playing with them. Especially Cain, he's nummy!
"Cain… I miss you…"
Wyatt Cain raised his head and frowned as he looked around for the source of the voice that had just whispered in his ear. But like the last dozen or so times it had happened, there was no one there.
"Just in my head," he muttered to himself, scrubbing a hand over his face wearily. It seemed to be the only answer, but it didn't explain why it kept happening or why the voice sounded so much like DG. DG… With a groan, Cain hefted himself upright off the ground where he had slept and went in search of his son. He had to stop thinking about DG; he had no right to be thinking about a princess of the OZ with anything but the due respect of a loyal subject.
Marching through the camp, he nodded to various members of the now defunct Resistance Movement. Since the fall of the Witch, there wasn't much left for them to resist, but after so many annuals, fighting was all many of them knew how to do. So when the Queen had requested their aid in capturing and subduing the scattered remnants of the Longcoats and restoring peace to the outer limits of the OZ, many had signed back up. That had been more than an annual ago. An annual, Cain couldn't believe he hadn't seen D– that he hadn't been home in over an annual. He gave himself a shake and another stern mental lecture, just as he spotted Jeb talking to one of his lieutenants. That thought never stopped making him proud. His son had risen quickly through the ranks of their new army and was now a General. Some men were just born to lead and it appeared that Jeb had at least inherited that quality from him.
Jeb noticed movement out of the corner of his eye and looked towards the motion. Seeing his father, he politely broke off his conversation with Lt. Hallon and turned to greet his father. As he did, Jeb noticed the dark shadows in the older man's eyes and sighed. After so many months travelling together, he had gotten quite good at reading his father. At first, when he had seen those shadows, he had assumed they were for his mother, Adora, and truthfully some of them were. But now, he knew they were all for a princess who lived on the other side of the OZ. At first when he had made that realization, Jeb had been consumed with anger directed at his father. How could he forget his wife like that; she was barely older than his own son; how could he betray Adora's memory?
He had only confronted his father about his feelings for the young princess once and the pain in the other man's eyes had prevented him from ever mentioning it or her again. Over time, he had slowly come to the realization that Cain wasn't betraying Adora with his feelings for DG. His father had spent eight annuals in a tin suit believing his family dead and grieving for them. He hadn't moved on as quickly as it first appeared.
Jeb also came to understand that what he had first thought was just a fixation on the beautiful young woman he had spent a week trailing all over the OZ was actually a deep love reminiscent to what he remembered his parents sharing, even if his father would never admit it in so many words. Jeb had wondered more than once what DG felt for his father, though he was pretty sure he knew, remembering how she had looked at Cain in those tense minutes before they had snuck into the tower.
"Morning. Sleep well?" He greeted his father, knowing full well that the other man likely hadn't slept well at all. It was another one of those things that they never mentioned. Cain just smiled a little grimly and glanced around them distractedly. Jeb sighed again, his father's mind wasn't quite back here yet, and he found that he finally didn't really mind where Cain's thoughts were. The realization lifted a weight off his chest that Jeb wasn't even aware of having carried. He had hated resenting his father for moving on, as much as he couldn't stop it.
"Was alright," was all Cain said. A moment later, his head snapped back around to look at Jeb and the younger man marvelled, as always, that he could literally see his father's mind coming back to the here and now. "When do we head out, General?" Cain added with a smirk at his son and commanding officer.
Cain had been offered several positions of command, but the only one he had accepted had been as his son's right hand man and advisor. He'd never said it, but Jeb believed that he had refused positions of command because he was tired of leading and, his own private speculation, because the positions were partly a bribe to keep Cain out of Central City. Cain had never spoken on what happened when he had been pulled into a conference with the Queen and her Consort a few days after the double eclipse, but he had come out fuming with anger and looking as though he had just been stabbed in the gut. They had left the next day, and Jeb was pretty sure his father hadn't spoken to DG in the time between. He was also pretty sure what at least some of that meeting had entailed. Likely something along the lines of "stay the hell away from our daughter". Not that he'd ever asked, as he didn't have a death wish.
"Hallon just got word from one of our scouts about a large grouping of Longcoats hiding somewhere near to the Realm of the Unwanted."
Cain groaned, great, that was just he wanted to do; go chasing after criminals in the land of miscreants. Jeb grimaced, sharing his father's opinion, especially since at this point they were closer to the Fields of the Papay than Lake Country and the Realm of the Unwanted. And the fact that they had just come from that direction. Well, he supposed they would just have to make their way back across the interior of the OZ.
The two Cain men shared another quick moment before turning away to oversea the packing up of their camp. Jeb wandered over to the medic tent to check on the two men who had been mildly wounded in the scuffle they had had with renegade Longcoats the day before. Both were resting easily and assured him that they would be able to travel. Jeb nodded; a multi-purpose type of gesture that he'd learned from his father. In this case, the nod meant acceptance of and respect for their determination, as well as the acknowledgement of a leader for his follower's compliance with an order. So much could be said with a simple gesture.
Within an hour, the entire camp had been broken and the company was ready to ride out, either on horseback or in the few vehicles they had. Cain rode over to take his usual place beside his son. Jeb opened his mouth to give the command to move out, when something strange appeared directly in front of him, setting off a chain of events that were very nearly disastrous.
A/N: Hehe, I am so evil! So here is the beginning of the much-requested sequel to Finding Home, I hope it lives up to expectations! It appears that this story will be much longer and more in depth than its predecessor. Don't worry it will contain DGC, just maybe not yet… possibly… I haven't decided yet! Please review and let me know what you think. Concrit it always welcome! -Druid