Memories & Mischief

"I suppose this means you won't be 'Glitch' anymore."

Glitch glanced at his friend in surprise. "What do you mean?"

Cain reached up and pushed back the brim of his hat with his thumb, eyes on the smiling family at the banister as they watched the new day dawn over the O.Z. "Everything's going to be normal again. That means you'll get your brain back, doesn't it? You'll be the Queen's advisor again. Ambrose."

"Oh." Glitch blinked as if this had not previously occurred to him. "That's right..." He beamed. "It'll be great having my memories back, I can tell you that much." He hesitated, frowning a bit. "At least, I hope so."

Cain snorted. "What is that supposed to mean? It will be a relief for all of us. You're the one who keeps complaining when you can't remember things."

"I know, I know, it's just..." Glitch's eyes wandered towards the royal family. "Everyone has things in their past they regret. Or that they want to forget. Right? I mean, look and you and DG." He reached up unconsciously to touch the wide zipper on his head. "What if I get my memories back and remember something I'd rather be ignorant about? Don't you wish you could just forget what happened to you and your family?"

Cain's mouth twisted in muffled pain. "No."

Glitch blinked, caught off guard by the unexpected answer. "What?"

"No," Cain repeated more firmly. He crossed his arms over his chest, frown deepening. "Our history affects our present and our future-- it makes us what we are. It changes how we look at the world."

"Wow, that's deep coming from you," Glitch teased. He cocked his head to the side thoughtfully. "But what happened to you has made you all bitter and mean. If you were able to forget it, maybe you'd be nicer to me."

Cain shook his head once. "I would rather know what happened than wonder about it my whole life. As painful as it was, it made me who I am now. And Jeb is more important to me now that I know I haven't lost him for good." He finally flicked a sideways look at the other man. "As painful as some memories are, it's never good to forget them. Doing so means you lose something of yourself."

Glitch whistled under his breath, clasping his hands behind his head. "Wow, that's deep coming from you."

"...You said that already, zipper-head," Cain grumbled, tugging his hat brim back over his eyes again.

"Oh. Anyway, I don't really understand, but I guess you're right." Glitch smiled fondly at DG as she reached out to clasp her sister's hand. "After all, it was memories that saved Azkadellia."

Cain grunted his agreement.

"So what about you?" Glitch asked brightly. "Now that it's all over, what are you gonna do? Thinking of taking up the badge again? With this grumpy attitude of yours, I'm sure you'll be an excellent Tin Man. Criminals of the O.Z. beware!"

"I haven't thought about it much," Cain lied.

"What about you, Raw?" Glitch leaned over a bit to see the smiling psychic.

"I will go home," Raw said quietly. "Where I belong."

"And I'll be the royal advisor again!" Glitch finished cheerily. "Happy endings for all." He peered at Cain. "Oh, and don't think I've forgotten about my little project with you, Tin Man. I'm going to make you into a nicer human being if it kills me." **

Cain scowled at him darkly. "Of all the things for you NOT to forget. Leave me alone, you idiot. I've got Jeb. I'm fine. I don't need you interfering and making life any more difficult for me than it already has been."

DG and her family were walking over, and Glitch raised his voice imploringly. "DG! Don't you think Cain needs some help in the I-need-a-heart-like-nobody's-business department?"

"He could use some guidance, yes," DG agreed with a small smile hovering on her lips.

"See?" Glitch hissed, before turning back to her expectantly. "Any ideas? He doesn't seem to be much interested in games, and if I talk too much, he just tunes me out or insults me or hits me or--"

Azkadellia was eyeing them both with a thoughtful little frown. Abruptly she smiled. "Maybe you should try something with your mouth that doesn't require so much talking," she purred.

"Azkadellia," DG gasped, reaching up to cover her smile. Raw was staring at them with wide eyes. Cain leveled a death glare her way.

Glitch blinked a few times. "Huh? Like what?"

DG coughed to hide a laugh, patting him on the shoulder as she passed. "You'll think of something. I have faith in you, Glitch."

Glitch scratched his zipper, turning to look at his friend, who was suddenly no longer at his side. "What do you think she meant? Cain? Cain! Where's he off to in such a hurry?"

"I think he's afraid you'll figure it out," Raw muttered with a wince.

Glitch spread his arms wide. "I'm no good at figuring out anything without my brain," he complained. "I'll go ask Cain. He must know what Azkadellia meant. Hey, Cain? Caiiin! Why are you running from me??"

Raw watched them go with a pained look on his face. "The palace is going to be noisy for awhile," he noted, before turning to follow more slowly.

** Ref to the other blurb I did. This ficlet happens after that one