title: Friends with Dorothy, with Benefits (Charlie/Dorothy, G)
spoilers: 9.4 Slumber Party
pairing: Charlie Bradbury [Middleton]/Dorothy Gale [Baum]
summary: Getting to know each other is the first big adventure.
Everything seemed hyper-real. All the colors were brighter. All the flowers were bigger and bolder. Charlie was literally walking the yellow brick road, the spires of the Emerald City towering in the distance.
"Yes," Dorothy said, matter of fact.
"You know, you weren't wrong," Charlie said.
Dorothy lifted an eyebrow. "Regarding?"
"I am more like a secretary — I mean, I'm used to sitting at a desk. I'm a computer expert really. The thing I'm really good at is research. That's why Sam and Dean say I'm a Woman of Letters."
"Sam and Dean seem like good men to me, but you had the moxie to kill the witch," Dorothy said. "You're quick, and you can think, and you're not afraid to act."
"I am afraid, a little," Charlie admitted.
"Everyone is, a little," Dorothy confirmed, bumping her shoulder gently.
Charlie pointed to the side of the road, distracted, as a Queen Ant ordered her workers while they built her a more elaborate palace, one grain of sand at a time.
Dorothy smiled. "You do grow accustomed to the little things." She pointed up in a tree where two brightly colored birds were building a house out of sticks and mortar — a typical one-story bungalow, with a front door, windows, and a gabled roof.
"Bower birds," She said. "They're helpful when you need to find local supplies."
"They know where the nearest Home Depot is?" Charlie muttered.
Dorothy shrugged off the reference.
"So, tell me about the rebellion," Charlie said.
Dorothy side-eyed her. "Have you ever been to a fairy land?"
"No," Charlie said. "I kissed a fairy once, but she went home to the Hollow Forest, didn't call, didn't write..."
"You kissed ... a she?" Dorothy said.
"Yeah," Charlie said. "Problem?"
Dorothy blushed. "I've been more of a fighter, you know. I don't like... men... but I've never really... well, Glinda kissed me. And Ozma. But she won't grow up."
Charlie attempted to cover her complete lack of surprise. "Oh really? You and Ozma? Fairy girlfriends, let me tell you."
"We were dear friends once," Dorothy said sadly. "We teamed up with the Gnome King to topple the Royals of Ev — parasitic despots, all of them, leaving their people to starve while they drained all the magic out of their kingdom with their enchanted objects and fancy dress dinners."
"The Princess of Ev — with all the spare heads?" Charlie said.
"What my father failed to mention was that all the Royals of Ev 'requisitioned' the heads of their subjects. Horrible, horrible people. If you can call them people."
"And Ozma helped you..."
"She helped me persuade the Gnome King to turn them all to bric-a-brac."
"... the exact opposite of what my father wrote, I know."
"And you really know Glinda?"
"Yes. She's ... the closest thing Oz has to a woman of letters. She lives in her palace far to the south in Quadling country, doing her researches, and tells Ozma to rule the kingdom as she sees fit," Dorothy frowned.
"Then what does Ozma do?" Charlie asked.
"Nothing. I've already killed the major rivals to the throne of Oz — the wicked witches of the East and West. But Oz is far from civilized. The whole kingdom is an untamed fairy land if you're more than a day's journey from the Emerald City. And Ozma won't do a damned thing about it!"
"Why not?" Charlie asked.
Dorothy's frown deepened. "We used to talk about all the ways we'd help the people of Oz. But the more time passes, the less Ozma wants to take action. Take the monkeys for instance. She could have banished them long ago, but instead she and Glinda decided to free them, and now they're supposedly free agents. You saw for yourself how long that lasted."
Charlie had told Dorothy right away about her close call with the monkeys.
"But I remember that from the books. The monkeys were enslaved because they pushed some toyboy into a river, and a witch princess enchanted them to obey the owner of the cap."
"I don't think the phrase toyboy applies to the warlock Quelala — one of the most powerful warlocks Oz has ever seen. The monkeys did push him into the river — but Gayelette just wanted to avoid paying tribute to Quelala. Heaven knows what she's up to now."
"Oh! I always shipped Gayelette and Quelala," Charlie murmured, disapponted.
"Putting fairies on a ship is one effective way to strip their powers," Dorothy remarked.
"All righty then," Charlie said, smiling to herself.
They walked along in silence for a bit.
"You had a fairy girlfriend?" Dorothy asked.
"For maybe one minute. But she sure was pretty."
"They usually are. Where did you say she was from — and her name?"
"Gilda, of the Hollow Forest."
"She owes you a debt?"
"Yes — I freed her from slavery." And she never even called.
"That's fantastic, Charlie. The Hollow Forest is a territory far to the west in Winkie country. She would have once paid tribute to the Wicked Witch of the West. But now, she owes you her life. This could turn the tide in uniting the Winkies and stemming the tide of bloodshed in the West."
"That's... awesome!" Charlie agreed, excited. "I really do have a quest, a magical quest!"
"Yes, you do," Dorothy agreed, "and I'm proud to walk beside you on this path."
Charlie stopped on the roadway and turned to Dorothy. The crazy technicolor fairy sky of Oz arced overhead, the spire of the great central City of Oz not far off in the distance.
Charlie grabbed onto Dorothy's leather jacket, and gently pulled her in, watching to make sure that the little frown between Dorothy's eyebrows didn't get any deeper.
"You're terrific," Charlie said. "And we're both grown women, and I'd really like to kiss you now."
"Okay," Dorothy said, but she looked a little nervous.
Charlie put everything she had into the kiss: all her admiration for Dorothy, all the pride she had in who she was, and who she was finding Dorothy to be; and all the hope she had for their new partnership. Dorothy's lips were soft, and she let Charlie lead the kiss for a moment, then took her own turn, softly caressing Charlie's mouth with her own. Charlie finally broke away, breathing a little hard, and chalked it up as the sweetest first kiss ever.
"Is that... are you ... are we girlfriends now?" Dorothy said.
Charlie was pleased that Dorothy sounded just a little dazed.
"Women friends. With benefits," Charlie said. Charlie grinned at Dorothy, and Dorothy smiled back, just a little shy, and suddenly they were laughing, and walking arm in arm, a little more skip in their step than before.
"Dorothy, I'm sorry, but I can't wait to meet Ozma," Charlie admitted.
"She's so very lovely," Dorothy admitted. "But if ever she gets any older than fourteen, she's mine."