Fandom: Wicked- Musicalverse
Pairing: Elphaba/Fiyero, Elphaba/Glinda
Summary: Five years after Oz, Elphaba returns to the Emerald City.
It didn't take as long as they had thought for the rumours to die down. A mere five years later the Wicked Witch of the West was a fireside story, a cautionary tale for children to behave, or they too could become Wicked.
Outside of Oz, the story had always been just that, a story and one very few people found truth in. Most assumed it was metaphorical. The witch's skin wasn't really green, it symbolized her descent into jealousy and wickedness. Flying on a broom simply indicated her loss of temper, flying into a rage.
Elphaba laughed when she first heard their rationalization. "Do they not believe in any magic, these people?"
Fiyero smiled, removing his floppy hat and brushing back straw that drooped into his eyes. "They have no magic here, so why should they believe it? They never had a wizard."
Elphaba snorted. "Well, they're better off for that."
"They also never needed one." Fiyero kissed her cheek and Elphaba smiled at him.
"Dinner's ready," she announced proudly.
Fiyero and Elphaba spent those years living simply, carefully, outside the borders of their beloved Oz. They had a home, a garden and a few chickens, something that oddly pleased Elphaba to no end. They made friends with their neighbours and Elphaba became the town's second healer and herb woman.
Once a month, on the night of the full moon, she snuck out of bed to kneel in the barn and try desperately to reverse her own spell. She knew spells couldn't be undone, but she tried anyway. It became as ritual as the spell itself to climb back into bed with her dear, straw husband with failure on her hands. It was a comfortable sort of disappointment; at least things weren't getting any worse.
Elphaba looked up from her mending to the neighbour girl tearing down the path. She rose, setting the shirt aside as the girl skidded to a halt at the porch steps. "Twilla, what is it?"
The girl gasped something about a fire and the men coming, but at that moment a group of men appeared coming over the hill. Between them, they carried a stretcher with a familiar form on it.
Elphaba stifled a cry and gathered her skirts to race up the hill to meet them. Fiyero was burned and scorched up the entire right side of his body. His right arm was half gone and there were charred spots missing on his leg and side.
"Take him inside," she instructed, keeping her feelings in tight check.
"We're sorry, Fabala. Finn got caught in a candle that toppled onto some sacks at the mill," said one of the men, Twilla's father, Twandan.
"It's not your fault. Thank you for bringing him home." Elphaba managed a tight smile for him and the men leaving the house. They all tipped their hats to her and said they'd send their wives over later. Elphaba nodded distractedly, then hurried into the room.
Fiyero woke up as she was sewing the last stitch onto his new straw arm. He smiled up at her faintly. "Don't cry, Fae. I'm alright. Look, you made me good as new."
Elphaba'e eyes were red and her cheeks were burned from her tears. "This should never have happened. It's all my fault. If you were still human-"
"I'd have been dead in Oz." He covered her hand with his left. "You did the best you could and I'm here with you now."
"No. No, I have to fix this." Elphaba stood abruptly and took a rucksack out of the wardrobe. Fiyero watched her as she stuffed a cloak in, followed by a small book.
"What are you doing?" he asked, struggling to his feet.
"What I should have done years ago. I'm going to get my book back." She turned back to him and her face held the defiant Elphaba he knew from years ago. She had changed from the blouse and colourful skirts she had adopted since their move to the country to the black dress she had favoured as the Wicked Witch.
"Are you crazy? Setting foot into Oz, not to mention the Emerald City is suicide," Fiyero protested.
From the back of the wardrobe, Elphaba drew her old broom. She clutched it tightly. "I'll be fine. Those idots won't even see me." She looked at Fiyero, trying to stay standing and the defiance melted off her face. "You should stay in bed. I'll get Rillia to look in on you." She helped him back into bed. "I'm sorry, but I have to do this. You should be fine tomorrow."
"I love you."
"I love you too, Fiyero." They kissed briefly, then with a swish of her black skirts, Elphaba swept out.
After stopping at the neighbour's house to get Rillia, Twilla's mother, to look on Fiyero later, Elphaba stood in a cluster of trees and held her broom for the first time since she'd left Oz. She could feel the power thrumming through it, even after years of disuse, and she mounted it only a little awkwardly. The broom rose into the air and sped her toward Oz.
The Time Dragon clock in the centre of the Emerald City chimed for midnight and the black swathed figure dropped softly onto the balcony of the tallest tower and climbed silently into the room.
The chamber was dark, lit only by moonlight, and Elphaba unwound the scarf from her face as she surveyed it. A simple spell had caused the guards outside the door to fall asleep, but there was still the woman who slept blissfully on in the ornately decorated, canopied four post bed. Elphaba spared a moment to smirk. "Some things never change," she murmured before beginning her search.
She started at the desk. Glinda's absurd wand leaned against it and Elphaba rested her broom beside it. The surface was littered with papers in every shade of green, most signed with a swirly, loopy signature. The drawers held various things, most of them shiny in some way, but not Elphaba's precious grimmerie.
She turned her attention to the bookcase next, which held a surprising number of books on Oz and her lands and peoples. At the bottom there was a stack of tattered, old books bound with aged leather and stiching. Elphaba eagerly knelt and pulled them out. She found spell books, but not hers. Glinda was trying, that was certain, and Elphaba smiled fondly in spite of herself. A sound behind her caused her to start, standing up suddenly.
Glinda was sitting up in bed, squinting sleepily at the bookshelf. A look of weary hurt crossed her face. "Go away," she ordered irritably. "I'm through having this dream. I have accepted responsibility, but still you torment me. I'm sorry Elphaba, but you'll have to haunt someone else." She flopped back onto her pillows with a sigh and Elphaba stayed frozen. She stayed still until she was sure Glinda had gone back to sleep and put the spellbooks back.
She scanned the room, trying to figure out where Glinda would put the book. "If I were Glinda, if I were Galinda, where would I hide it?"Her eyes lit upon the bed and she groaned softly. Figured.
Softly, Elphaba began chanting the sleep spell she had used on the guards and crept forward. She reached the side of the bed and peered under it. A sequined shoe, an earring and a parchment pad, but no book. Elphaba looked at the mattress and sighed. She continued chanting softly and lifted the edge of the mattress, cursing cliched, overgrown little girls who traveled by bubble. Her fingers brushed something and she gently eased it out. Her book. Elphaba clutched it to her and was about to rise when Glinda rolled over and sleepily opened her eyes.
"Elphie," she breathed, smiling softly. Then she sat straight up, clutching her blanket to her. "Elphaba?" Elphaba made to dart away, but Glinda caught her arm with surprising strength. Glinda looked at her hand on Elphaba's arm, then at Elphaba. "Sweet Oz, Elphie," she said, shocked.
"Hi," Elphaba said, unsure.
"Hi? You apparently fake your own death, show up five years later in my room at the dead of night and say hi?" Glinda let got of Elphaba's arm and tossed back the covers, getting out of bed.
"Uh, yes?" Elphaba ventured as a furious, pink nightie-clad Glinda got in her face.
"How could you, Elphaba? Just up and leave like that? I thought you were dead. You couldn't have sent me a message, a secret note, a smoke signal?" Glinda was still pushing Elphaba back, the force of her words propelling them both.
"Glinda, we couldn't-" Elphaba stopped herself, but Glinda's eyes narrowed, then widened.
"We? Sweet Oz... Fiyero?" Elphaba nodded reluctantly and Glinda covered her mouth with one hand. "He's alive?" She sank into a nearby chair. "This is too much, too much at once. I don't believe any of it." She looked up at her friend with pained eyes. "Elphaba, I've had this dream before. You're alive, Fiyero's alive and we're all together again. Sometimes Nessarose is with us, but then I wake up to this empty room and my heart breaks all over again. I can't let myself believe again."
"Surely you've found other friends, other lovers?" Elphaba said, still awkwardly clutching her book.
Glinda smiled tearily. "I lost the two people I loved most in the world at once. That's not something you just get over."
Elphaba knelt beside Glinda's chair, balancing the Grimmerie on her lap. "I'm sorry. We never meant to hurt you, but... If you knew, someone else could find out and we just wanted to live."
Glinda nodded her understanding as she delicately wiped the tears from her eyes. "I know. I just... I'm the most important person in Oz and no one knows me like you did. I sit in meetings and think of the cutting things you would say to this administrator or that politician while I smile and smooth hurt feelings and I can hear you mocking it as I give honorary awards to the soldiers who guard my room, for Oz's sake."
Elphaba smiled and opened her mouth to speak, but the clock struck one and her face fell. Glinda looked at her, pleading.
"No, Elphaba, not yet. We haven't had time, not enough time."
"I have to go back. I've stayed too long as it is. I never meant for you to see me." She rose to leave.
"Elphie..." Glinda looked up at Elphaba, eyes wet. Elphaba's face softened and she brushed back a disarrayed blond curl and in that moment they were Elphie and Galinda again, two best friends against all odds.
Glinda smiled up at her and Elphaba smiled back and it was only natural for Elphaba to lean down and Glinda to tilt her head up and their lips to meet in the middle.
Elphaba stroked through Glinda's hair as Glinda wrapped one arm around Elphaba's neck. Their lips met and parted, filling them with warmth they hadn't realized was missing. Elphaba's hand was on Glinda's shoulder, green on cream and she cupped it as they kissed. Their kiss said all the things they never could, going back to their days at Shiz. Love, hate, betrayal, passion and caring all conveyed in a few moments and healing rifts years in the making.
They finally parted and Elphaba rested her head on Glinda's shoulder. Glinda was stroking her hair now as Elphaba pressed damp eyes against Glinda's nightgown.
"I'm sorry," Elphaba whispered. "I shouldn't have..."
Glinda lifted Elphaba's head off her shoulder and looked at her. "No, Elphaba. There will be no sorrys, no regrets. You and I, we could have been perfect together, but this isn't the way the Universe planned it. We were meant to be apart."
Elphaba nodded, covering one of Glinda's hands with one of her own. She looked at it and smiled faintly. "Pink really does go good with green."
Glinda laughed softly, it turned into a wavery chuckle. "Told you," she said, standing up with Elphaba. She picked up the Grimmerie that had slid to the floor and handed it to Elphaba. "Here," she said. "I was only holding it for you."
"Did you ever manage to read it?" Elphaba asked as she stowed it in her rucksack.
"I got a few pages here and there, but sometimes I would go back and I couldn't read them anymore. This was really your gift. I'm a charletan, all smoke and mirrors, but you, you're a sorceress. You can read this, you can give monkeys wings and save people's lives."
"Because I knew you," Elphaba said.
Glinda watched Elphaba retrieve her broom. "Oh, Elphie," she said suddenly and they hugged again, fiercely. "I'm so sorry," the Good Witch of the North whispered.
"No sorrys," the Wicked Witch of the West whispered back, squeezing tightly. They parted again and Elphaba moved to the window. She wrapped her scarf around her face again and nodded. She mounted her broom. "Goodbye, Galinda."
"Goodbye, Elphie," Glinda said. As the broom of the former Wicked Witch of the West rose into the air, Glinda went onto the balcony and watched as she sped away from Oz, standing there even after Elphaba had disappeared into the night sky. When the wind blew in from the west, sharp as Elphaba's tongue, and sliced through her light nightgown, she turned from the window with a lighter heart than she'd had in more than five years.
Elphaba landed in the same clearing she had left from just as dawn was breaking. She patted the book the bag over her shoulder and looked back in the direction of Oz. She smiled and took a deep breath, feeling lighter than she had in years. Broom in hand, she returned to her home and her husband with something she hadn't felt in a long time: hope.