origamiflowers: bare feet on tile (Default)
with a violin and a song to sing ([personal profile] origamiflowers) wrote2009-07-29 04:22 pm

fic: Tin Man: "I Hear the Bells" - Jeb/Az

title: "I Hear the Bells"
fandom: Tin Man
Pairings/Characters: pre-Jeb/Az
genre: gen, pre-romance
rating: PG
length: ~450 words
disclaimer: Tin Man does not belong to me. I am not profiting from this.
summary: She resented his free and unrestrained laughter.
notes: A gift-fic for [livejournal.com profile] writersblock76, who requested Jeb/Az and "laughter." It sort of tries to be childrensbookish, or maybe fairytaleish, but probably fails at both. Hope you like, despite its unforgivable lateness! This also fulfills the prompt "not fade away" for my [profile] tm_ficfest table. Also, the title is shamelessly cribbed from some song on the Veronica Mars soundtrack.

At any time of the day, Az could expect to hear laughter - the strong, belly-shaking kind - wafting through the castle. She couldn't always tell where it was coming from - the numerous, labyrinthine corridors made sounds seem as though they were coming from any or every direction - so it was impossible to follow.

She could remember chasing her sister through the halls, long before the Dark Days. Little girls dressed in red and blue, voices high and clear, playing games.

Az wasn't ready to be that girl again, yet.

The next day, she heard the laugh again, and this time very close by. She left her quill and paper at her desk and opened her door, just a crack, to see who he was. She resented his free and unrestrained laughter; it was disturbing the peace. Someone should tell him.
As he passed by, she caught a glimpse of long brownish hair and a spattering of freckles. Cracking the door open further, to see more, caused the hinges to squeak. Loudly.

Hurriedly she closed the door, but not before he got a long look at her, his blue eyes bright. Az felt a wave of relief as the door snicked back into place. Breathing hard, she leaned against the frame and closed her eyes.

After that, he seemed to pass by her quarters every afternoon, but she didn't open the door again to look. She could tell who he was by his laugh, though, and every time she heard it for the next week she stopped writing, just to listen.

On one of these afternoons, a week or so later, she waited on edge all afternoon to hear him passing by. But he never did. For some reason, even though she hated the sound of his laughter, its absence made her feel a little empty, too.

Az searched the castle up and down for the blue-eyed man, but she couldn't find him anywhere.

She turned to her younger sister for help. "Oh, you mean Jeb?" DG asked curiously after Az had described him. "He's out by the stables, I think, getting ready to go. Wait! Az! He might already be gone!" she yelled after Az's hastily retreating figure.

When she got out to the stables, however, her reticence returned. Az watched him saddle up one of the horses, lingering silently in the doorway.

Her mouth felt dry. Nervously she licked her lips. "So, you're leaving?" Her voice broke slightly, a result of long disuse.

He looked up at her, grinning. "Why here I thought you'd been avoiding me, Princess. Come to kiss me goodbye?"

Her eyes narrowing, she crossed her arms over her chest. "Hardly. Where are you going?"

Jeb's expression sobered. "There's some trouble in the West. Someone's got to settle it."

"Well, good luck," she said quietly.

He nodded shortly. "Hey, Princess - do one thing for me?"


"Smile. Just once." Jeb swung one leg over the horse's body and settled down. But she could swear she saw the hint of a smile at the corners of his mouth.

She rolled her eyes, annoyed, but even after he was gone, she didn't return to hiding in her chambers.

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