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Rating: PG
Disclaimer: Don’t own ‘em.
Pairing: CDG



Yield (verb) 1. Produce something; 2. Give something as a result; 3.Stop resisting; 4. Surrender; 5. Be replaced by something; - Yield (noun) 1. Amount produced; 2. Product from a chemical reaction; 3. Explosive force.

With the death of the Witch, the land that had been caught in her evil grasp for fifteen annuals was set free. In a matter of weeks new growth was seen everywhere. Seven months later, streams ran clear and clean. Fields where nothing had grown, except rocks and weeds, were lush and bountiful with food crops.

It was a perfect autumn day, warm enough to chase away the chill that was becoming more noticeable in the air, as the nights grew longer, but not so warm that a man was hindered as he worked in his fields. The leaves in the trees were a profusion of oranges, reds and yellows, waiting for a strong wind to send them swirling to the ground, but the winds were gentle; all they carried was the fragrance of ripe fruits, and grains waiting to be gathered.

The Crown Princess’s carriage, surrounded by her bodyguards, left the Central City Palace and traveled south until it arrived at Milltown. Princess DG was on her way to commemorate the harvest of that community’s orchards and vineyards and celebrate the final phase of the treaty she’d worked out six months earlier with the cyborgs that lived there.

“You don’t have to do this.” Wyatt Cain turned to the woman on the seat beside him. “After everything that Ambrose did to repair them, I’m sure they’d be just as happy if he were to represent the Crown.” The Tin Man didn’t need to be reminded of the nightmares his Princess had had the last three nights, to know how much this trip was costing her.

She clutched his hand tighter and tighter the closer they came to their destination.

“Yes, I do. I gave my word.” She rested her free hand on his thigh, glad for his strong presence at her side. “And I have to be sure they’re happy in their new life. I have to be sure I made the correct decision for them.” Deeg tried to smile, but Cain knew her too well to be fooled by the wide-eyed expression on her face.

While they still had the privacy of the enclosed carriage, he pulled her close, his lips resting lightly against her forehead.

“Thank you for coming with me, Tin Man,” she whispered.

“Where else would I be?” He gave her a half smile and brushed her bangs to the side.

“Anywhere you wanted.” She smiled and hoped she looked stronger than she felt. This final task, this final good-bye to her past was more difficult than she’d expected.

“Then I rest my case.” He kissed her forehead quickly as the carriage drew to a halt.

“All clear,” Jeb Cain called, as he opened the door and glared at his father and the Princess as they sprang apart. His expression was cold and unforgiving. Who did they think they were fooling? The two had been inseparable from the beginning and the boy hated it. He hated that he had to stand by and watch his father grow closer and closer to a woman who wasn’t his mother.

Father Vue floated beside Jeb and smiled at the couple above him. “I assure you it is quite safe for the Princess, Mr. Cain.” He’d seen Wyatt’s hesitation and understood it completely. “Too many of us, owe too much, to Her Highness to allow any harm to come to her.”

The Tin Man stepped down and then helped DG descend. He carefully kept his bulk between her and the crowd, despite three well-armed bodyguards, also in attendance.

“It is I who owe you, sir.” She stepped around Wyatt and offered her hand to the old cyborg. “The aid you gave the Royal Family cost your people dearly, on more than one occasion.” She looked around the crowd hoping to see two familiar faces, but they were nowhere in sight. “Are all of your citizenry doing well? Were the repairs Sir Ambrose initiated, adequate for all their needs?”

“Yes, Princess DG, we have been returned to the condition we were in before the Witch took power, or as nearly as science could provide.” Father Vue leaned closer and whispered, “Those you seek are with their grapes. You chose well, my dear, nurture units must have living things to care for or they wither and die.”

Jeb stood back and watched the interchange between the Princess and the cyborg. He didn’t know what was being said. His hazel eyes hardened as he watched his father step protectively to the girl’s side and take her hand in his right one, the one he used to draw his weapon. That one gesture spoke volumes. The older man wasn’t there in his capacity as head of the palace guards. He was there because Princess DG needed him in ways the boy refused to contemplate.

The tour began with the orchards on the east side of the Old Brick Route. There the fields were filled with rows of gnarled trees, heavy with red fruit as it absorbed the watery, late autumn light from both suns.

An hour later, they made their way to a protected valley northwest of the town. The gently rolling slopes were covered in row after row of neatly supported grapevines. Their dark fruit glistened and looked sweet and succulent, peeking out between the leaves.

“This is Hank and Emily, they are in charge of the vineyard operations. I’ll let them take over the tour.” Father Vue smiled and he and the apple growers departed.

“Your Highness, I’m right pleased you came to see my babies today. This time tomorrow we begin harvesting.” The silver-haired man smiled genially at the small group of people who stood on the edge of his fields. “Warm days, and cool nights are what the pinot noir grape needs to give it a rich full flavor. The grapes of Milltown…”

“Now, Hank, there’s no need to bore the Princess.” Emily smiled at her husband. She knew he could go on for hours once he started talking about his vines.

“I’m not the least bit bored. I’d like to hear more.” DG pasted a smile on her face to hide her distress. These people, these nurture units, were the parents of her heart and they didn’t recognize her. She’d known they wouldn’t, but it still made her catch her breath to think about it. “May we go into the fields?”

“Sure thing, but this close to harvesting I’d like to cut down the size of the group some.” Hank didn’t want five strangers trooping among his grapes.

“Vance, Tyrone, you go with Princess DG,” Cain ordered and then turned to talk quietly to her, “I’ve got some things to cover with Jeb. You gonna be all right?” He hated to leave her, but he’d brought his son along for a reason.

“I’m fine, really.” She ran the back of her hand discreetly against his for one last touch before she turned and followed the man and woman she’d know as mom and pop for as long as she could remember. Then the witch captured her nurture units and planted a virus in their CPUs. It had erased all memories of the child they'd raised and protected with their lives. The parents DG had known turned against her.

“We had a time of it at first.” Hank’s voice carried as he walked away, talking about his favorite things in life. “We had to prune something fierce, I was worried it’d be a few years before we saw any fruit again, but just look….”

“What an odd old couple.” Jeb smirked. “They talk about their crops as if they were their children.”

“Of course they do, they’re nurture units.” Cain dug into the pocket of his duster and pulled out a small silver locket. His eyes were cold as he slapped it into his son’s palm. “When Ambrose repaired the damage the Sorceress had done to their CPU’s Deeg asked him to give them something to care for. It was either that or they would have had to be decommissioned. Nurture units don’t do well without someone or something to look after.”

“What’s this?” The boy glared.

“Open it up, then maybe you’ll understand. Maybe you’ll finally figure out the heavy price DG paid for what happened in that cave fifteen annuals ago. Maybe you’ll finally see that you aren’t the only one who lost family!” The angrier Cain became the softer his spoke. “Maybe you’ll finally cut her some slack!”

“This…this is a picture of them.” Jeb looked from the open locket with a photo of the smiling older couple on one side and DG on the other, to the group of people working their way down the sloping fields. “Where did you get this?”

“I found it when I did the last walk through of the Black Tower before we destroyed it.”

“I don’t get it.” Jeb looked confused. “Why are you showing this to me, shouldn’t you give it to her?”

“Dammit all Jeb, The Princess has a name and a title,” Cain thundered at his son. “I expect you to use both.”

The young man stepped back and took a good look at his father. “This isn’t some causal f---" his words ground to a halt as his father's face froze over. A large hand whipped out and grabbed him by the collar.

"Be very careful what you say."

"You love her," Jeb accused. The idea was like ground glass in his innards. His mother had been dead just a little over an annuals.

“Yeah…yeah, I do,” the Tin Man, sighed. He was relieved to finally have it out in the open and he’d be damned if he’d explain to his son that his relationship with DG was anything but casual or coarse.

“But she’s not…she’s…she’s…that’s disgusting!” Jeb howled. “How can you let her take mom’s place?”

“No one will ever take Adora’s place.” Wyatt tried to make his son understand. “I’ll always love your mother, but I’ve mourned her for over eight annuals. I’m in love with DG and she loves me in return.”

“It sounds like you’ve made up your mind. Just don’t expect my blessing.” The boy turned to stomp away.

“Don’t make me choose, Jeb?”

“What?” The young man paled at the implications of what his father was saying.

“I showed you that locket for a reason.” Wyatt tried one last time to make his son understand. “She has nobody and neither do I, it seems. I’ll be damned if I’ll pass up a chance of happiness with a woman who loves me and wants a future with me, because you can’t forgive me for something that happened over nine annuals ago.”

“She’s got the whole Outer Zone caught under her spell. They call her the Princess of Light, the Slipper Princess, and they all love her. She’s got the Queen, the Consort and Azkadellia.” Jeb glared. “Sorry dad, but I don’t buy that poor little princess story you’re trying to sell.”

“The Queen and Consort, sent her away and now that she’s back, they don’t have a clue what to do with her. They’re happy with her as long as she plays the part of the good little princess of the OZ. They don’t know how much she dreads the idea of being queen and they don’t care. To them being royal means you live your life according to duty and family is a sorry last place.” His blue eyes had turned to ice when he thought of the current rulers of the Outer Zone. “Don’t even get me started on Az. She’s a smart little manipulator who takes every chance she gets to throw more guilt DG’s way.

“The only concrete memories Deeg has of life in the Zone, and her real family, began seven months ago. The people who raised her, the people she loved as her mother and father, turned out to be cyborgs programmed to care for her. Now, thanks to the Sorceress, they don’t even remember her.”

“You expect me to feel sorry for her? At least they’re still alive. They weren’t beaten to death by Zero.”

“No, the Witch ran a virus on their CPU’s. That first night after we took the Tower, I found her wandering on the lower levels looking for them. We discovered them locked in a cell. All they could do was stare into space. Their hard drives had crashed, eradicating their memories. Your mother would have hated to have that happen to her. To live and not remember us, to not remember you, she wouldn’t have called that living.

“Deeg has terrible nightmares about what happened in the cave and about what happened to them.” Wyatt nodded toward the field where Hank and Emily were walking with the daughter they couldn’t remember. “She wakes up crying, begging for help, ‘cause in her dreams she can’t get my metal suit open,” he murmured.

“Dad--” Jeb flushed at the thought of the nights his father was talking about. Despite his embarrassment, he felt something deep inside begin to crack.

“She’s not the only one who has nightmares, and I’m not the only one who’s doing the holding.” He looked into his son’s eyes hoping he’d finally understand. “I love her, Jeb and I need her. Please don’t make me have to decide between the two of you.”

“Ahhh,” Jeb gasped and his chest hurt as his eyes filled with tears. “I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” he cried. “It was my fault. It’s my fault mom's dead.” He knotted his hands into fists and bit hard on his forefinger to try and keep jagged sobs under control.

“No, son, no, it’s not.” Wyatt put his arms around his boy and held on tightly. “Zero killed your mom and there was nothing either of us could do to prevent it.”

“I love you, dad,” he choked. It was hard to say the words and he figured it was going to be harder to leave the guilt behind, but he had to try. If he didn’t, he’d lose everything and everyone.

“I love you too, son.” He squeezed his boy harder and silently thanked Deeg for the lessons she’d taught him about hugging. It sure wasn’t something that had been covered in the Tin Man training manual and for some reason; he’d failed to learn it from Adora.

Princess DG’s bodyguards, Vance and Tyrone, escorted her to where Jeb was waiting for them. She was pale and her eyes were huge and smoky blue.

“Where’s your dad?” She tried to smile, but couldn’t make her facial muscles obey her any longer.

“He went to talk to Father Vue. He said he’d meet us at the carriage.” Jeb couldn’t say he liked the young princess, but he was willing to give her a chance.

“Oh…okay,” she looked off into the distance, disappointment written clearly on her face.

“You love him don’t you?” For the first time the boy saw admiration and caring shining out of her eyes. It made him wish some woman would look at him that way.


“It’s alright. He told me and I’m happy for him.” It might be stretching the truth a bit, but it was worth it to see the way it made her eyes light up.

“Thank you,” DG whispered and took his arm.

“Left side, Princess.” Jeb indicated his weapon on his right hip.

“I… Sorry I wasn’t thinking.” She looked off into the distance and saw a tall blonde ex-Tin Man walking toward her. “You’re a lot like him.”

As the coach headed back to Central City, Jeb sat on the bench seat across from his father and Deeg. The older man had his arm around his Princess who rested her head on his shoulder.

The air was heavy with the scent of apples and grapes, due to two baskets, each filled with freshly picked fruit, sitting on the seat next to Jeb.

“Wyatt?” she murmured.

“Yeah, Babe.”

“I can’t ever go back, can I?” She looked up at him, knowing that he understood she was talking about her past.

“No, you can’t.” He smoothed back her hair.

“I don’t think I’ll ever be able to visit another orchard or vineyard again.” Tears filled her eyes and she buried her face against his neck so they wouldn’t be seen.

“That’s alright.” He kissed her forehead. “But you’ll always know they’re out there and every once in a while catch the scent of apples and grapes. It’ll remind you of the love you had and of the one you’ve got now. Because, Princess, you are loved a great deal,” he spoke so quietly, only she could hear the last part.

“So are you Tin Man,” she whispered as she fell asleep to the beat of his heart in a rocking coach.

Across from them, Jeb closed his eyes and breathed deeply. His lungs filled with the fragrance of apples and a long forgotten memory was clear in his mind. He was sitting at the table while his mom sliced fruit for a pie. She laughed and sang as she worked.

That boy, who had grown to manhood while fighting a war, decided that was how he wanted to remember Adora Cain. He let her smiling face replace the beaten and bloody one he usually saw when he thought of her. With a sigh, his lips curved upward, setting his heart free.

The End


( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 19th, 2011 10:22 pm (UTC)
Don't mind me while I draw little hearts all over your fic, 'kay?

I love the dynamic between Jeb and Wyatt, first. Because Jeb tries to hold out as the tough, grown-up 'resistance fighter', but in the end, it all boils down to his relationship with his father (and his mother).

I also enjoyed the downplay of the affair between DG and Cain. Very subtle, but it shines with commitment and concern.

♥ ♥ ♥
Feb. 20th, 2011 06:03 am (UTC)
I'm glad you liked it. I'm a huge CDG shipper. I wrote this years ago and forgot all about it. I've always wanted to address the issue of what happened to Hank and Emily.
(Deleted comment)
Feb. 20th, 2011 06:05 am (UTC)
Thank you so much. Stalk my stories all you like. I am in the process of finishing my unfinished stories. Making Memories is on the list.

Mar. 9th, 2011 11:13 am (UTC)
This is very sweet.
Mar. 9th, 2011 04:36 pm (UTC)
Thanks I wrote it a few years ago for a contest. I'm not sure why I haven't posted it before.
Apr. 2nd, 2011 10:31 pm (UTC)
beautiful! simply beautiful! <3 <3 <3
Apr. 2nd, 2011 11:09 pm (UTC)
Thanks. I'm glad you enjoyed it.
Dec. 10th, 2011 02:17 pm (UTC)
a shining fic. I don't think I can improve on what Rissy said though. I love the interactions of Wyatt and Jeb. I think that Jeb's reation to learning about the affair between the Princess and his father is one of the more realistic ones. I always find it hard to believe that Jeb would be happy about everything.. he would be upset and angst and feel his father was betraying his mother's memory.

DG lost her family twice over.. yes she got her birth family back but all are scarred and not the people she may or may not remember. I think that might make sense.. in my head anyway. I'm tired and in need of more coffee.
Dec. 10th, 2011 04:24 pm (UTC)
Thank you very much.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )



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September 2012


The moving finger writes: and having writ Moves on. nor all your piety nor wit Shall lure it back to cancal half a line, Nor all your tears wash out a word of it...The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam

If I quiet the voices in my head, I would face the day with nothing to write. - Unknown

I must go down to the seas again the lonely sea and sky...J Masefield

Cinderella walked on broken glass,
Sleeping beauty let a whole lifetime pass.
Belle fell in love with a hideous beast,
Jasmine married a common thief.
Ariel walked on land for love and life,
Snow white barely escaped a knife.
It was all about blood, sweat, and tears.
Because love means facing your biggest fears

The heart has its reasons that reason knows nothing of...French Proverb

I have drempt in my life dreams that have stayed with me ever after. They've gone through me like wine through water and altered the colour of my mind ...E. Bronte

To love someone deeply gives you strength. Being loved by someone deeply gives you courage...Lao Tzu

It takes chaos to give birth to a dancing star ..F. Nietzsche

How many loved your moments of glad grace, and loved your beauty with love false or true? But one man loved the pilgrim Soul in you, and loved the sorrows of your changing face...Yeats

Let us go, you and I, when the evening is spread out against the sky...T. S. Eliot

In that book which is my memory, on the first page of the chapter, that is the day when I first met you, appears the words, "here begins a new life".
La Vita Nuova

Midnight courage of the heart...Jen Kirkwood

The three o-clock in the morning courage which Bonaparte thought was the rarest...Thoreau

Did you say it? I love you; I don't ever want to live without you; you changed my life. Did you say it?
Make a plan, set a goal, work toward it, but every now and then, look around, drink it in, 'cause this is it. It might all be gone tomorrow. - Meredith Grey

Shakespeare is easy, life is hard...Wheels

Don't try to be a great man, just be a man. Let history make up its own mind...Z.Cochron

I had a job to do and I was unafraid...Jack to John Creighton

For I dipt into the future, as far as the human eye could see. Saw the vision of the world, and the wonders that can be...RWW Hipwell

Without diviation from the norm, progress is impossible...F. Zappa

The Owl and the Pussy-cat went to sea, In a beautiful pea-green boat: They took some honey and plenty of money, Wrapped up in a five-pound note. The Owl looked up to the stars above, and sang to a small guitar...E Lear

Sweet and low, sweet and low, Wind of the western sea, Low, low, breathe and blow, Wind of the western sea! Over the rolling waters go, Come from the dying moon and blow, Blow him again to me;... Tennison

Charmed magic casements, opening on the foam
Of perilous seas, in faery lands forlorn... Keats

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