amicably_absent: (Default)
OUT OF CHARACTER:
Name/Handle: Jemi
Contact: [personal profile] jemisard/[plurk.com profile] jemisard
Reference: n/a
Other characters: Cole (DA:I) [profile] killedbylove, Bigby Wolf (Wolf Among Us/Fables) [personal profile] bb_wolf

IN-CHARACTER:
Character name: Ambrose "Glitch"
Character journal: [personal profile] amicably_absent
Series name: Tin Man
Canon notes: From post series. Not that that necessarily means a damn thing to him.

Species: Human from the Outer Zone with a lot of exposure to magic. Also head cased. Head cases tend to be very open, friendly and somewhat gullible. They also suffer from misfiring synapses which causes them to repeat actions, forget where they are and what they're doing, have difficulty with motor skills and other such associated problems. Their muscle memory often remains intact.

History: Bear with me. In short, Glitch is a character based on "Scarecrow" from the "Wizard of Oz".
I have marked the canon history with bold. I've had to head canon most of the things from before the series. Most of the headcanons are based on things said and suggested by the show.

The Outer Zone (O.Z.) exists somewhere apart from this world. It is possible to travel back and forth with the use of a storm spell designed for that purpose. The OZ was a world of magic and wonder, where science, engineering and magic interweave seamlessly to bring miracles to the varied races that live there.

The greatest of these rulers in remember history was Ozma and Princess Consort Dorothy Gale. They brought about the golden age of the OZ and life has only continued to improve since.

Ambrose was born into this world during this time.
He was the only child of only children. His grandparents all died of various mad science related accidents (his grandmother turned herself to stone and still sits in his parents' yard). Despite a family involved in magical science, it quickly became apparent that Ambrose was special, even in this family. He was brilliant beyond anything that had been seen in generations. He was given a scholarship to Central City to continue his education at the Royal Academy, where he began revolutionising magical technology. He improved the quality of the far speak system (video calls), developed a tridimensional recorder which could record and play back as life like holograms and began researching moratanium in depth, a highly magically conductive mineral.

During a royal visit to the academy, Ambrose met the young Queen, Anoria. She was enchanted with this strange, brilliant young man and they ended up talking long after her visit should have ended. She began to have him summoned to the castle to work on new devices and theories and they quickly became close friends.

Ambrose's parents died while he was studying. A tragic house fire, complete accident, almost certainly started by his mother's latest foray into smokeless fire and fire containment. With no living family, he focused more on his work and his friendship with Anoria. By the time Anoria met the Othersider, Ahamo, Ambrose had become like her brother, an ever watchful, guarding presence. Ambrose had himself trained in martial arts and sword fighting to better help protect Anoria. And himself, come to that. Being young and brilliant was never easy in university and he would not be bullied again,e specially not by the soldiers he had to live alongside in the palace.

Anoria married Amaho and they had two children, Azkadellia and six years later, DG. For a long lived people in a world brimming with magic, the age gap was insignificant. Ambrose adored both the girls, making them clockwork and magic toys, teaching them about his projects and the science behind them.

Then, when Azkadellia, the elder princess, was 12, she and little sister DG went out into the woods of Finnaqua to play. They found a cave with a dark witch sealed inside and, in a moment of Panic, DG fled, leaving Azkadellia to be possessed. The O.Z. may have recovered from that moment, but one of the witch's first actions was the make sure that Azkadellia's light magics were stunted by murdering her little sister. Anoria made a terrible choice. She gave up her own magic to save DG, leaving the O.Z. completely vulnerable to the Witch's predations. Anoria, Ahamo and her mystic, the Wizard made a pact to protect DG until she was old enough to save her sister from whatever Darkness had taken her. They took the child and removed her memory for he OZ and took her to the Otherside to be raised to adulthood. Anoria and Ahamo faked the breakdown of their marriage and he left to go and wait for his daughter's return.

Ambrose never knew any of this. He would never have been able to convince Azkadellia that DG was dead unless he truly believed it and so, to protect him and their plans, Anoria chose to leave Ambrose in the dark. He believed DG died from a terrible, mysterious accident.
He was gutted by her death and promptly threw himself into his work. Azkadellia often came to visit him, learning more and more about Ambrose's designs and work and the Witch came to realise what an asset he was.

During this time, he developed the idea of extending the growing season by slowing the cycles of the OZ's twin suns, giving them a longer spring and shorter winter. This device, the Sun Seeder, was the absolute pinnacle of magic and science interwoven.

Azkadellia reached 16 and the Witch decided it was time to act. She began to sow dissent, gathering those of dark and criminal tendencies, rewarding them for their cruelty in carrying out her orders. Anoria's personal mystic, the Wizard, who had helped her hide DG, tried to protect her but his personal guard were hunted down and he was taken prisoner.

Anoria and Ambrose fled to the North. Azkadellia's undermining had been going on for years and they found their support network was eroded. Azkadellia's advance was ruthless. They were forced to flee to the East when their last loyal, living General, Lonot, handed Azkadellia the North in exchange for a high ranked place in her new order.

In Finnaqua, the place where Azkadellia and DG found the Witch, Azkadellia found her mother and Ambrose. The plans for the Sun Seeder had been destroyed, but they remained in Ambrose's near eidetic memory. Azkadellia had him taken, tortured and when that failed, he was taken and put through a process called "debrainment" or "head casing". His brain was removed and along with it, the plans for the Sun Seeder and the possibility of making something opposite. An Anti-Sun-Seeder, capable of casting the world into eternal darkness.

Former Advisor Ambrose retained few memories and a very rough cognitive ability. While still brilliant, he could no longer focus or remember anything, rendered relatively harmless. The one thing he remained sure of was that he had been the Queen's personal advisor and friend, and was not a common criminal like many head cases.

Calling himself Glitch, Ambrose's former brilliance kept him alive when many head cases died quickly from their condition. He wandered the OZ, certain there was something terribly important he needed to do, but unable to remember what it was. Without a routine and the same faces around him, his condition deteriorated.

A couple of years after his head casing, Ambrose was caught by the tree dwelling munchkins of the East. Suspicious of him, they took him prisoner, opened up his zip to make sure there was no brain and then left him while they decided what to do with him.

Then, they put another prisoner in with him. A pretty young lady with fire in her gut and blue eyes, called DG.

Glitch had no idea who she was, but together, they escaped and set off to try and find the way to Central City…

Which is where Tin Man happens.


Personality: Glitch is not Ambrose, but everything Glitch is is shaped by who Ambrose was and the loss of his brain.

Ambrose was a shy, brilliant, socially awkward man. He was confident and quietly, firmly spoken. He had great passion for his work, and could be rather loud and grandiose when he was in his element, which he would then be embarrassed about later. He would lose hours and days in his work and forget to eat and sleep while involved in things. He was a messy worker, but very fastidious about putting a put together and neat front to everyone else. Even when he was facing his surgery, he was very softly spoken, determined to not show anything.

Glitch has little to no impulse control. He struggles to hide the things that Ambrose wouldn't have shown. Everything is right there, on the forefront, all the time. He's confused a lot, but rather than begin scared, he just smiles and is cheerful. He seems to assume the best of people until he's given a reason not to. And even if he's given a reason not to, he may well forget about that with his next glitch.

He can learn new things and he can remember things, but it takes a while, and what he remembers from moment to moment can vary. This means he changes moods fairly quickly, though he is still generally a friendly guy. He can be very flirty, but almost exclusively with men (which has led me to assume he's probably gay). He tends to chivalrous with women. He'd open a door for a lady, assuming he remembers which way to turn the doorknob.

He is a bit embarrassed about his glitches. He covers it with jokes and laughing, but it does get to him sometimes. He doesn't really have a cruel bone in his body, but he will snark if he thinks he's being treated unfairly. He really admires kindness.

He will kick your butt for touching his zipper. He won't even mean to, but he hates having his head touched. Counting backwards from a hundred also sets off a panic response from the surgery.

Abilities:
• Mad science: Ambrose was a mad scientist, whatever other terms he might have used. He created holograms from light and magic and built plans for a device to slow the passing of seasons to give a longer growth season during spring. He mixes science, engineering and magic like they were one and the same, because to him, they are. All that brilliance is still there… somewhere.
• Martial artist: Most of the time, Glitch can barely manage walking in a straight line, but when threatened, his muscle memory kicks in and remembers he was a personal advisor and body guard to the Queen of the OZ. He's highly proficient in what appears to be a judo like martial arts and skilled with sword fighting.
• Open zipper? Less an ability, more a random note that you can literally unzip his head. He won't let anyone store things in there, that's really uncomfortable.
Augment Skillset: Engineer (Because who doesn't want a mad scientist with literally no brain in his head in charge of keeping the ship functioning?)
Sample: PSL sample.
amicably_absent: (Fidget)
The room had been neatened, but for the sake of the sanctity of the suite and bedroom, they were working in the lab.

And if there has ever been anything more frightening than a headcase in a leather apron, gloves, welding mask and wielding a cutting torch, it's not in the nearby vicinity. He has an assistant nearby, making sure he doesn't hurt himself, but he cutting through pieces of steel and nearly done with this part.
amicably_absent: (Glitch)
Glitch wanted to stay in the cabin forever, but Ambrose insisted on heading back, getting home the day before the trial was set to happen. He didn't elaborate on why, though it was fairly apparent that he wanted to attend, especially when he spent an hour the night before it setting out clothes, putting them in orders with numbers to clearly mark how they went on. It was a lot of work and planning.

Ambrose, also unlike Glitch, had no problems using the privilege of an attendant to help get ready. He gets dressed carefully in what is just shy of a dress uniform but speaks with position to anyone entitled to know it. The attendant helps him with his hair, getting the ringlets settled neatly, if not combed down in his usual manner. He thinks Glitch would protest it and, as he has been told, he needs to stop being ashamed of the line of steel in his scalp. A few touches of make up highlight his pale, striking appearance and he asks Wyatt to escort him down to the court house.

Wyatt has to be there anyway, as the first officer on scene with the small delegation of Viewers who will also present evidence through a mirror set up in court just for that, one with a moratanium frame that Ambrose thinks he might've designed.

The case isn't short, but the conclusion is foregone. He himself is unable to sit to testify, no headcase testimony can be taken by the court, but since he can't remember anything anyway, there would be no point in unnecessarily working him up into glitching.

He does that enough as it is. Each bit of testimony sets off glitches and skips, fragments of thought and getting caught in cycles. It's a hard, long few hours as they plow though it all. They plead guilty, but it's before sentencing that the judge asks if anyone has anything to say.

That's when he raises his hand. "I do, Your Honour."

The judge gives him a long look. "While you cannot testify, the court will recognise any additional statements you have to offer, Adviser Ambrose."

He stands up, smoothing down his military style coat with the tiny badges across the breast marking the medals he won't wear in public. "My learned judge, I would ask you to consider clemency in your sentencing of these men."

He takes a breath to give the noise a moment to subside. "I cannot and will not condone the acts of violence that have been committed, against myself and potentially against other individuals who have suffered violation at the hands of the Witch's surgeons. Justice and retribution is the domain of the court and the police, and it is unacceptable to have the public taking vengeance for actions that may - or indeed may not - have been committed. The court has already taken action against violent offenders, their headcasing is - believe me - punishment enough for their actions, leaving them incapable of directed malice of any consistent amount.

"But.

"The commonality of headcasing as political terrorism to silence dissidence and rebellion is not yet commonly seen, understood or recognised. Ignorance, in truth, is the enemy here. These men were wrong, but they acted in fear and ignorance. I personally feel no need to vengeance against these men, I pity them for being so scared during these dark times past that they cannot reach towards the better future we are all striving for. I pity their ignorance in attacking those who present a visible sign of their ongoing imprisonment, for the thoughts they had, the allegiances they held and not for any crime committed. Headcasing for crime is almost unknown now, but for political motivations? That has been far more prevalent in recent times. Punishment should be a learning aid, to educated individuals and society and this case and serve to educate these men, theoir families and society as a whole. Not just of the heinous acts taken against political prisoners such as myself, but a learning experience that the barbaric and harsh times of the Witch are over and we will once again strive towards a benevolent society of correction, not vengeance."

He bows his head. "Thank you." And he sits down, reaching for Wyatt's hand.
amicably_absent: (Giggle)
It was a rough twenty four hours. Luckily, once Glitch went down to sleep, he stayed asleep for several hours, only waking for a meal, a few more glitches and random insanities including the stubborn belief that he had to attend a ball in an hour and his dress wasn't ready before passing out again curled up in Wyatt's lap.

However, plenty of water and staple foods, interspersed with healing sleeps and Raw treatments were showing a difference in the morning. Glitch was awake and mostly with them while the others packed up to head back to town. He and Wyatt would stay here, in the quiet and peace to let him heal up a bit more before being bombarded with town.

Plus Raw had some images to bring up for the Tin Men and Palace Guard. Assaulting a headcase was bad enough. Assaulting Her Majesty's personal advisor was a whole different kettle of razor filled fish.

But, waving the car away, wrapped in the blankets from the bed and snuggled in, Glitch looks up fondly at Wyatt. "I love our family... but I love seeing them go sometimes." He hugs Wyatt's waist.
amicably_absent: (Fidget)
Ambrose, even more than Glitch, made an effort to make himself inconspicuous when he went out into the public arena. He could cope with a large group of strangers he didn't have to address or acknowledge. He had more trouble in some ways, but walking the streets he could manage. He shrugged on his coat, enjoying the swing and heft of the cloth as he started out of the palace.

He hadn't walked this path, but Glitch had and he hoped that that might carry true. But if it didn't, he had left early and had time to let Glitch get directions.

He didn't have a wonderful sense of time, but he knew he needed to be there when the sun was directly over head. So when it was getting close, and the shadows were short and sharp, Ambrose slipped back to let Glitch wander up a side street where some people lurked. "Hello?"

They paused and looked to him, squinting with narrowed eyes. "What?"

"Can you help me? I'm a little lost." Glitch smiled at them.

"I'll say you are, head case." One of the men stood. "Central City doesn't have the time or resources for your type."

"My type?" He looked around as they all started standing up. Something in him vaguely and dimly rang caution.

"Your type. Murders. Rapists. Filth." One of them spat on the ground. "Taking food out of our mouths."

"Hey, what? No. I was a political dissenter!" He stood up straight, pushing his hair back. "I lost my brain for Queen and country."

Oh, well then," one of them said in an odd tone. "I suppose that makes it all right then. You better go about your business."

Glitch smiled, relieved that they were such reasonable, nice guys. "Hey, thanks!"

He turned to walk off again, already having forgotten why he had tracked them down to begin with.

Then something hit him in the back of the head. There was a flare of pain, thick and wet and sharp. His vision fuzzed and darkened, and he felt his knees hit the pavement.

"Be careful. Promise me."

Ambrose heard footsteps. He flipped up onto his hands, kicking backwards and slamming his feet into jaw and chin, head snapping back under the force of Ambrose's kick. He landed with his feet spread, standing over the man's fallen body before looking back over one shoulder with a dark, heavy look.

He ducked a second rock, spinning and dropping into the form stance, one hand out stretched, the other hooked over his head, fingers curled.

His eyes went wide as the gun was pulled out. He twisted as there was the crack of the shot, heat scalding through his coat and over his ribs. He was running forwards already, fly kicking the gunman in the chest, foot snapping up and down onto his chest, standing there he rounded the maneuver with a high kick, spinning to kick his boot heel into the third man's face.

He backed off, the three of them groaning. The remaining three men were looking at each other warily, and at him.

A few steps back, and he had enough space to get away.

He turned and ran, trying to get out of the city. Central City was dangerous. The Longcoats were waiting, ever waiting and the Longcoats were bad.

He had to get to the safe place. Where he wouldn't be hurt. The place with the coffin.

Dodging more people, quiet and dizzy, he slipped through the city and out into the field and woodlands around it.

He liked beaches. There was a beach down by the water. That would go to the safe place, he was sure.
amicably_absent: (Hug)
Glitch is sitting in his office, surrounded by books and diaries, legs over the arm of the chair and head tilted in against the back. He looks asleep, but he isn't, eyes closed and enjoying the fire roaring in front of him.

He left a note for Wyatt in his room, telling him where he was. There's a letter addressed to both of them on the side table, Ambrose's neat script on the front. But he isn't going to open it until Wyatt gets here.
amicably_absent: (Fidget)
Glitch took the morning to go over the maps and listen to the instructions on how to get there. He had a written list even, and DG wrote "List in pocket" on his hand to make sure he didn't forget.

He set out at eleven to get there by twelve thirty. One of the maids was conscripted to tail him at a discreet distance to make sure he didn't get too lost, and to put him back on track if he wasn't going to get there in time.

The instructions were fairly basic. Out the gate. Down the main road to the second major intersection. Go East until you see the big tin star sign.

It was marked and signposted.

At twelve twenty, the maid led Glitch out of petstore where he had managed to get distracted from what he as doing and took him back to the police headquarters, pointing it out to him and gently pushing him in the right direction.

At twelve thirty five, Glitch came in, navigating through the crowds of shouting people and trying to peek over to them to see if Wyatt's around. "Cain?"

Someone pushes him aside. "Citizens before headcases!"

"Watch it, that's Adviser Ambrose from the palace," someone else hisses. "The Queen's personal adviser."

"Master Ambrose?" Someone else says. "From the paper?"

Glitch wasn't sure what was worse. Being an anonymous headcase or a well known one. "Cain!"
amicably_absent: (Giggle)
After dinner, DG and Azkadellia headed off early, due to the fact that they had an early morning presentation that DG didn't want to go to.

It left the boys together, comfortably full and picking crumbs off plates. Kalm was lying on his side, Glitch lazily rubbing his slightly swollen belly as the boy settled in to digest. Raw was eying off the fire place, which had been lit and stoked up and had a large rug in front of it that was inviting rolling and lazing.

Kalm belched and Glitch laughed, patting his stomach. "Excuse you."
amicably_absent: (Fidget)
Wyatt woke him up early, rousing him to dress in his now dry but not less dirty clothes. They had a quick breakfast before climbing up onto the horse, Glitch comfortably cuddled in to Wyatt's back as they headed back to Central City.

They got back two hours after sun up. The city was already alive and bustling, noisy and chaotic and buzzing with activity. The city guard straightened as they went past, heading down the main corridor to the central castle. The guards on the gate greeted them with sharp salutes that Glitch was too tired to bother returning to them, trusting Wyatt to get them where they needed to be.

He was delivered into the waiting arms or a vaguely guilty DG and Raw as he slid off the horse. Raw stroked his shoulder softly, like he was petting him, DG apologising to Wyatt that they'd let Ambrose go off on foot, but she swore that she and Azkadellia were able to find him, maybe, she was really sorry about letting him go.

He didn't want Wyatt to go, but Wyatt had work. He tried to go with him but that went over less than well, and he was bundled inside with the promise that Wyatt and Jeb would stop by briefly during lunch time and be back after work.

Inside was a worried Azkadellia and a worried Anoria who clicked her tongue at him and touched his cheek with the back of her fingers fondly. She had declared that he needed some pampering - no matter how embarrassed it made him - and Raw and the girls were left in charge of making it happen.

A bath happened. A long, soaking, satsuma bath with two Princesses in the other room (for Glitch's sense of honour), and two Viewers in the bathroom with him. And when he fell asleep in the bath, they just stirred him long enough to get him out and into some dry clothes before he curled up in bed for a decent sleep.

He's worn out. He needs his rest. And the small group are happy to stay in his room with him until Wyatt and Jeb get back from their long day of work and come to find them. Kalm even clambers up into the bed after a while, curling up like a content kitten and having an afternoon nap on the bed, in a sunbeam.

Which is why when evening comes and day shift comes off work, Glitch is cuddling Kalm like a teddy bear while two Princesses brush out Raw's hair and braid it with thin ribbons to pass the time.
amicably_absent: (Glitch)
DG and Raw find him at the gate, hands clinging tightly to a bar and feet either side, trying to push himself to let go.

"You're being childish, now let go. I won't warn you again."

"I'm being childish? Then you're being selfish. I won't let go!"

"Glitch? Ambrose?" DG looks amused as she walks over. "What are two doing?"

"Leaving," Ambrose retorts. "Or attempting to. Glitch won't let go of the gate."

"He can't! Stop him, DG, please, he's going to make it all pointless, and he can't!" Glitch wails, trying to drag himself closer to the gate. "It's for the best. It has to be. It has to be."

"DG, please," Ambrose says softer. "I can't explain, but I need to go. I don't know how long I'll be, but I need to do this. Damn consequences and damn Glitch. If he wants to be a martyr, fine, but... I love him." He meets her gaze. "I love him, and I never got the chance to tell him. I have to have that chance."

Glitch whimpers.

DG looks at them and curls her hands on theirs. And starts prising them open. "You tell him what you need to, Ambrose."

Hands freed, he shoves them in his pocket, smiling at DG warmly. "Thank you, highness."

"You're welcome." She gives him a soft push. "Go on. And if we haven't heard from you in five days, we'll send out a search party."

"Thank you." He turns and starts off towards the East Gate. It's a start.
amicably_absent: (Serious)
Glitch hears the news at five in the evening, when he's down in his workshop, trying to forgot everything by pouring through his journals and notes. Two maids lurking outside are whispering and he overhears them.

"... six dead down at the West Gate. A gang of bank robbers were killed. They killed two of the Tin Men though."

"Oh, is that why that lovely young captain was so shaken up?"

Glitch hears nothing more. All he can hear is their words, echoing through his mind like a saw against his skull. Two dead Tin Men. Young captain shaken up. Two dead Tin Men. Young captain shaken up. Two dead Tin Men. Young captain shaken up.

"Glitch!"

He jerks, faced with a woman he doesn't know with long dark hair and brilliant blue eyes. Something about her seems familiar. "Have we met?"

"Glitch, it's me. DG."

"DG?" DG was the name of the little princess who- "DG! Hi!" He'd been doing something... something to do with those books? "What was I doing?"

"Glitching. You kept saying 'Two dead Tin Men. Young captain shaken up.' What's wrong?" She rubs his arm, gaze concerned. "What happened?"

"Two dead..." Two dead Tin Men. "Oh merciful light. Wyatt... Wyatt's been killed." Cold, sickening emptiness sinks through him, worse than when he realised he made the Witch's monsterous machine, worse than every time he realised his brain was gone, even worse than when they told him they couldn't put his brain back in.

Wyatt was gone.

He slumps to the ground, DG holding onto him. She's speaking, but he can't hear her, he can't move, he can't breathe. He's made of stone and ice, because Wyatt's dead and that makes all of this completely pointless.

And then he can see, eyes blinking open. A girl leans over him, a Viewer leaning close and touching him, making small sounds. There's something vaguely familiar about them, but he can't think through the ache in his head, the fact that his body won't do what he wants.

"Glitch?"

They know his name.

"Glitch? Are you awake?"

He guess he must be. He nods slowly. "Who- are you?"

"DG, Glitch. You... glitched. Badly. You're in your room."

"I have a room?" A room where? Who was DG?

"Yes, Glitch. You have a room." There is heavy concern and fear on her face.

"Oh." He looks between them, but he doesn't recognise them. "What happened?"

"You thought, no, first things first. Wyatt's okay, Glitch. He's fine. He wasn't one of the Tin Men killed. He's okay."

Memory floods back. Wyatt... Tin Men dead... young captain shaken... "He's not?"

DG shakes her head. "He's not dead. He's okay. He wasn't even there."

Wyatt isn't dead. He is fine.

Glitch dissolves into sobs, curling up on himself as the force hurts his chest, pulls at his ribs. He isn't dead. He isn't dead. He's alive.

Raw curls over Glitch's back, petting him softly. "Glitch love Cain. Glitch should go back."

"I can't!" He shakes his head, and it's like fire through his scalp and skull. "I can't, I love him, I can't..."

A smaller voice echoes, a tiny sob under the words and tears. "I love him. I won't do this to us. I want to be selfish. I love him more than I have words for and please, please don't do this, please don't, you don't have to, please...."

It's wrong... but Raw lays his hand on Glitch touching that voice and letting it be heard, phrases and fragments of sentences blending until he stops crying and looks up at them.

"I was helpless," he whispers. "I was helpless and they didn't listen." He raises his chin. "I won't go through that again. Please, leave me."

He watches as DG stands there, confused and lost even as Raw takes her out again and shuts the door. Only then does he stand up, shedding his work stained clothes and moving to the wardrobe, opening it up.

He listens to the faint whispers of desperation, begging and pleading him not to do this, to just let it go, flashes in the mirror of his own face, wracked with anguish and conflict.

"I'm sorry," he whispers. He pulls out clothes, underwear first, then looking to the list and getting socks, pulling them on. "But no. You won't do this, but I will. You told me I had never known love. Well that's not true. I'm willing to be selfish for us."

He pulls on pants, stealing the curtain cord to tie them on, the belt too much difficulty. He thinks he's lost weight since the ball, too much time on the floor or in bed with glitches and headaches, but it doesn't matter. He'll recover once he's done this, once he's tidied this up.

He's always been good at fixing things. Very good at it. He can find a problem, solve it and implement that solution. He pulls on an undershirt and his shirt over the top, leaving it undone. His vest on on over that, brushed free of imaginary hair and dust and the collar of the shirt adjusted. Everything done just so, fastidious as he can be with his memory.

The coat is next. Not the military one that he can actually do up but the brown one with the tny buttons that are far beyond his memory to deal with. He settles the weight on his shoulders and finds his shoes, getting them on and settled.

He snatches his hidden bottle from the drawer and sets out, down the hallway, stopping maids to ask them where the way out is. Each guides him on a bit more, and his hands twitch as he feels control being fought for but he keeps on. He's doing the right thing.
amicably_absent: (Oh noes)
Time means little to a headcase.

Times meant even less to Glitch and Ambrose. By the time they had started leaving their room, it was apparent that there was a problem between the two of them. Two sides of the one person, a shared set of memories and a share awareness of the world and yet from the day they returned to the workshop, it became apparent that there was some terrible rift between them.

They fought.

They argued. They yelled and screamed and one of them threw things and the other threw words and it was terrifying for those watching, peeking through the doorway to see the man stalking back and forth, yelling at himself, an entire discourse carried out by a single man like a frightful parody of a monologue.

That night, they had fought until they had dropped, literally, a last screamed insult from Glitch and then he slapped himself hard in the face, reeling to the ground in a heap of coat and bare feet, sobbing softly into his arms.

Raw slipped inside, DG hovering behind him, Azkadellia's hand tightly gripped in her own. Raw came over to Glitch, laying a hand slowly on his back. Glitch tried to shrug it off, but just kept sobbing quietly when Raw didn't back off.

"Glitch sad. So sad." His fingers stroked one shoulder. "Miss love. Hurting, inside. Breaking apart."

Glitch said nothing. DG came closer resting a hand on Raw's shoulder.

"Glitch need Cain."

He sniffled. "Well Cain's better off without Glitch."

"How can you say that, Glitch?" DG didn't manage to stop herself. "He loves you."

Glitch snapped upright, blinking through tears. "DG? What are you doing here?"

"I was worried about you, Glitch! You were yelling at yourself... you and Ambrose were fighting again. Half the castle can hear you."

Glitch stood himself up, turned away and turned back, head tilted. "Do I know you?"

"It's me, Glitch. DG."

"DG?" He looked at Raw, then back to DG, then to Azkadellia. Then he screamed.

Azkadellia flinched as the headcase took off out the backdoor. DG held her hand tighter. "It's okay, Az. He'll remember. He will."

"Raw will follow." Raw ambled after Glitch, leaving the two girls standing behind him.
amicably_absent: (Quiet)
"You're a damn, bloody fool, Glitch."

Glitch growled walking away from the desk. "I did what I had to do, you know that!"

"I know all about doing what you have to," Ambrose spat back, stalking back to the desk. "You do it, because you have to. You didn't have to do this, you never should have done this, you stupid headcase!"

"Who are you calling headcase, you pompous... pompous-"

"You need a noun now," Ambrose sniped. "You can't remember nouns, how can you possibly make a balanced judgment."

"Shut up! I don't know why I ever wanted you back, you're a relic from a dead age!" Glitch was beyond angry, beyond reasoning. He grabbed a handful of papers and threw them, scattering notes everywhere. "You're rotten and horrible and you don't know anything about people!"

"I know plenty! Who do you think Anoria turned to when she had trouble?" Ambrose started gathering the papers up again, flattening them out and smoothing the papers. "I'm not such a fool."

"You've never been in love. Never." Glitch stamped the papers. "Leave the damn notes and pay attention to me!"

"I was never in love before. That doesn't mean that I don't understand this and that you're not making a damn fool of yourself and killing both of you at the same time." Ambrose gathered the papers hastily, setting them on the bed. "Or that you have to wreck my work."

"Go away!" Glitch grabbed the inkwell, throwing it at the wall and watching it shatter, blue ink exploding over the wall. "If all you're going to do is belittle me like I'm just headcase idiot not worth even looking at when you're talking to me, you can just go and rot in hell, Advisor Ambrose! You have less heart than Zero!"

There was the resounding sound of a slap.

Glitch was left standing in the middle of his room, hand to his cheek and alone.
amicably_absent: (Le Sigh)
For the better part of a week, Glitch refused to leave him room.

The glitches were near paralysing by that stage, his emotions so high and turbulent that he struggled to get through an hour without ending up caught in a cycle, or completely forgetting who people around him were. Raw spent the most time with him, trying to keep his mind smooth and healing but it was almost like Glitch was willing the surgery to go wrong, uninterested in making life normal again.

Raw was also sworn to secrecy. Glitch didn't discuss what had happened that night, the night of the ball. He didn't answer questions, just glitching out of them when he was asked where Cain was or what happened between them. Raw kept his word, he said nothing about what he knew, he didn't tell the medicos what was wrong and why a previously well recovering patient had back slid so dramatically.

But it was clear. Glitch was more and more showing the symptoms of being a headcase. Lack of focus, disorientation, forgetfulness, emotional disconnection...

But he never once forgot the emotional pain that was driving his descent. No matter what they thought he had forgotten, how he seemed to be, he hadn't forgotten Wyatt, however much he tried.

He remembered cornflower blue eyes and sun touched skin and hair and a bright, warm smile that had woken him out of his glitches.

He remembered being in love and being loved in return.

And he remembered the look on a boy's face, angry and hurt and near resentful. And he didn't know who the boy was, but he knew that it was vitally important that he never have that look again.

Which was why he would live like this. Because sometimes, what you want doesn't matter as much as doing the right thing.

And he didn't remember why it was the right thing. Only that it was.

He had to hurt to make it right.

And no amount of glitching would take that away.
amicably_absent: (Uplifted)
For some reason, while Cain was stolen by Ahamo, Jeb and Tutor to get ready for the ball, while Glitch found himself hurried off by Raw, DG and Azkadellia.

The girls had clearly been scheming for a while, because there was beauticians ready, girls with steam things and hot things and clothes and al kinds of things that Glitch was sure he hadn't to go through to get ready for balls before.

Raw was stripped out of his furs and washed, doing a remarkable impersonation of a cat getting a bath with the yowling and complaining and eventual compliance with pouting. He cheered up when they got to blow drying and brushing through, his wild fur and hair neatened and brushed out and settled. Glitch insisted they weave ribbons through it, bows that Azkadellia clearly didn't entirely approve of and made DG pull that face that said she was laughing inside but wouldn't hurt feelings by saying it. Glitch thought it was cute, especially was Kalm was given the same treatment.

Then the mirrors were taken away and he was set upon by the ravenous hoards. Combs and brushes pulled at his hair past yells from DG telling them to mind the zipper. His face was scrubbed with some sweet smelling, rough stuff while his nails were buffed and filed and cleaned. Steam blasted over his scalp and oil that smelt like satusma was carefully worked through it to 'give it definition', whatever that meant.

The girls were being done at the same time. Azkadellia was quiet and elegant. DG complained and yelped as her hair was curled and pinned up, her make up up expertly applied. Glitch stopped questioning after a while when they descended on him with brushes until he was whisked away by a team of dressers, away from the girls and into a side area to be put in a suit.

He didn't mind the tight fitting, long sleeved under shirt. He dealt with the formal pants and thin piping on them and the polished black shoes. He didn't even grumble at the shirt that was done up att the way, professional and proper and not at all how he usually wore them.

The coat caused a stink. It was heavy, with small hooks instead of buttons and a deep wide swing and beautiful trim like he thought his old coat might have had before his head casing. It was a rich colour and lined with rich silk.

And it had medals. And that was the problem. He had no idea what they were for, but he was assured they were his and he had to wear them because Her Majesty had asked him to.

Which is why he's dressed up so fine, with shining medals and just enough make up to accentuate his features and his hair in disarray, with loose curls and gleaming zip, because he's used his fingers to undo the neat work the hairdressers did hiding his zipper with Ambrose's old side part.

And he was dragged in there to be there with the Royal family. So naturally, he's lurking near the corner of the Royal Dais, exchanging looks with DG and hoping Cain turns up soon so he has someone to talk to against his wall.
amicably_absent: (Ambrose-look down)
It was something Ambrose had been putting off doing.

In the privacy of his rooms, he took off his coat and hung it up, slipping off his shoes and tucking them under the bed. His socks went next, into the laundry chute, then his shirt (off over the head), and his striped undershirt, which was tossed down as well. He dumped his pants down there as well, mildly disgruntled at Glitch's refusal to bother with underwear.

He cracked the curtains to let a streak of setting sunlight through. He walked forwards, tugging the cloth from the mirror.

It was not as bad as he feared.

It was not as good as he had hoped.

Some of the scars were vaguely familiar. One on his arm from a sword fight, maybe. On his hand from a design that went wrong. Others though...

He turned, looking at himself. He was even paler than he had been, arms and legs thinner, but there was wiry muscle. It seemed to be the fat had gone first, then the muscles. Little relief, but it was something.

It was still a sight he didn't like. The wild curls softened his face and just seemed messy. The zipper was an ugly scar he couldn't remember; his fingers touched it softly, barely able to look in the mirror and completely unable to look away as he saw his fingers touch metal as he feels the coolness, the rough texture catching his skin even as he felt soft tugs on his scalp as it happened.

He drew his hands away sharply, looking down to his body again. Small shifts changed the light casting over him, brought other marks into sharp relief. A star burst in his shoulder and in his lower back, bones jutting against pale skin, ghost like and alien body not his own very much his.

He closed his eyes and reached for the cloth on the ground, ending up standing there with his head bowed, cloth clutched to his chest as he was torn between throwing it over the glass and wrapping it about himself.

At least the sunlight on his skin felt the same.
amicably_absent: (Default)
Six weeks is a long time for anyone. For Glitch, it is both forever and no time at all, depending on the exact minute.

Overall, it's been a long time. He's been glitching again, not severely, but more than he prefers. Going through his old labs in Central City, in the palace itself, he's remembering glimpses that flinch away as he reaches for them.

He has no concept of how long has passed. No one's thought to really remind him, he almost prefers not knowing. And no one was sure about when the Tin men would return, so no one really pushed it.

Which is why Glitch isn't waiting for them when they return. He's sitting in the garden, reading his old diaries and half listening to the whispers of Ambrose. He's still wearing Cain's hat though.
amicably_absent: (Ambrose-look down)
It takes a fair feat for a royal procession to sneak up on a place, but somehow, the Queen and Ahamo arrange it without resorting to magic or any other nefarious deeds. And despite their time apart, the Queen leaves her husband with their girls and goes through the maze, pale and ghost like in her finery until she walks to the pagoda.

He's sitting there on the swing, gray hat on his head and watching the lake. She approaches him quietly, silk and chiffon rustling on the grass.

"You know," he says as she almost reaches the steps, "I don't remember a lot of things. But I get flashes... They don't make sense though. And I'm scared everything else will end up that way."

"Is it improving though?" She walked up the steps.

He launched from his seat, eyes wide. "Your Majesty," he stammered. "I didn't- I thought-" Then he calmed, going serene and dropping to one knee, sweeping the hat form his head and bowing it. "I thought you were DG."

"Please, Ambrose, no need to stand on formality." She took his hand, lifting him up. He rose gracefully, taking her hand. She smiled at the look, his thin, pale hand still large next to hers. "It's been a long time."

"I know." He looks out to the lake. "I never forgot you, Anoria. I forgot many things, but not you."

"I worried for you. I worried for my daughter, my husband-"

"They're your family, Anoria. of course you worried about them."

"You are my family as well, Ambrose. Since we first met. My most loyal friend, my adviser, my bodyguard..."

He looked away. "You wouldn't let me protect you in the end. In the end. In the end."

She laid a hand on his shoulder. "Ambrose?"

"Mm?" He looked over his shoulder to her, gaze distant. "Have we met?"

It was a stab of pain. She smiled, but it was fragile. "Ambrose, it's me. Anoria."

"Anori- Oh my goodness, Anoria, I'm so sorry, I don't-"

"You glitched. It's all right." She squeezed his shoulder. "How about you come in and sit with Ahamo and I for a while, rather than out here in the cold by yourself?"

"Of course, Anoria." He put the hat back on without even seeming to process the move. He offered her his arm. "Your majesty?"

"Chief Adviser..." She took it with a smile, and they started walking back, delicate and waif like as they walked together in too heavy finery.
amicably_absent: (Ambrose-look down)
They arrived the day before Wyatt and Jeb left.

Glitch happened to be in the entryway when they came, getting tackled full on by DG before he was quite prepared. He hugged her, listening to her bubble about how well he was looking and her mother had told her he might not even be up.

Then he was being cuddled by Raw as well and pushed forwards a bit and there was the tank, nicely decorated and with a smiley face on the side. He was touching it before he stopped to think, looking at the much smaller portion encased in the much smaller and more portable tank they had moved it in to.

"Mother said we should bring it down with us." DG at least never seemed disgusted by it. Not DG, not Raw, not Cain. Never Cain.

He nodded, taking the tank in his arms and trying to adjust to it.

"Glitch glad to have it back?"

He looked up to Raw and nodded. "Can you-?"

Raw nodded and touched Glitch's face, his other hand coming to rest on the glass.

Glitch jerked, inhaling sharply, head tipping back and then straightening, look out with calm, collected clarity.

"Gli-" DG stopped herself. "Ambrose?"

"Yes, Princess," he asked mildly.

"Do you remember your time as Glitch," she asked.

Ambrose smiled ever so slightly and bitterly. "Enough. But not more than I do at any other point. The memories are misformed in the brain." He shakes his head. "Enough, Raw, please."

"Ambrose? Glitch?" DG was catching his arm even as Raw withdrew. "Are you okay?"

He gave her a tremulous smile. "Yeah, doll face. I'm okay. Just thinkin' a little too clearly for a moment. I think... I need to go and lie down for a bit, 'fore Rennie gets on at me."

"Okay," she murmured, kissing his cheek. "We'll get ourselves settled, say hello to Mister Cain. You go and rest, all right?" She patted his shoulder.

He nodded and headed upstairs to his room with the brief, lasting lucidity of being whole.
amicably_absent: (Default)
Glitch slept in late, not remembering Wyatt waking him before he left and instead retiring out to the rotunda with some books for the day. He sat on the swing, luckily having found the one where they had found DG swinging, not having to race back through the maze.

He read quietly through old books, books he had penned during his academic years. It was familiar, but he couldn't remember writing them.
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