|What Stays & What Fades
Author: LittleMissDelirious PM
Elphaba and Fiyero's relationship has been defined by a bunch of sporadic meetings, but when it comes down to it, will they work for love or leave it to fate? Throw Glinda into the mix and you've got one perfect mess.Rated: Fiction T - English - Drama/Romance - Elphaba T. & Fiyero T. - Chapters: 26 - Words: 61,522 - Reviews: 82 - Favs: 10 - Follows: 25 - Updated: 06-20-12 - Published: 12-04-11 - Status: Complete - id: 7610071
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A/N: I thought it would be cool to do a Lemony Snicket-esque chapter title, since things are looking kind of unfortunate. Well...the main thing is that I make myself laugh.
"Why do I have the distinct feeling that I missed something important?" Glinda commented as Rose was being tucked in for the night. "Fiyero, you're not talking at all and suddenly Rosie is a chatterbox."
"Because I got him good during the snowball fight!" Rose cheered, flailing her arms about. "And then we played dolls and read books and he told me four stories." She held up four fingers and waved them in Glinda's face.
Glinda eyed Fiyero warily. "Well, maybe he has one for me before bed," she said threateningly and pulled the covers up to Rose's chin. She folded them around the girl's squirmy body and then bent to kiss her forehead. Fiyero muttered a halfhearted goodnight and left Glinda the responsibility of switching off the lamp.
Back in their room, Glinda kept good on her warning and drilled Fiyero with questions.
"There isn't anything wrong, Glinda, I promise," he muttered.
Glinda pulled back the quilts and climbed onto their high mattress. "But if there was you would tell me." It wasn't so much a request, as a command; a stern, loving command.
Fiyero eased himself onto his back and stared at the ceiling. He wasn't thinking. It was something he had trained himself in a long while ago. It made life a lot more enjoyable, and also less aching and painful to deal with. Who would have thought such a numbing, idiotic habit would come in handy? It was simple. Forget the secret and continue on about how the giant climbed down the vines of the giant plant.
Resting her head on his shoulder, Glinda curled into him and closed her eyes. Her breathing shallowed and the faint murmur of her heartbeat slowed. Fiyero felt guilty keeping Glinda in the dark, but until he could sort things out for himself, that's the way it would have to be.
Whether or not he was willing to sort them out was the most prominent question. He closed his eyes, only to open them what seemed like a few minutes later to the gentle shaking of his shoulder. Squinting in the dark, Fiyero could make out the little frame of Rose standing beside his bed, barely being able to lean across it far enough to prod him awake.
"I had a nightmare," she whispered.
Glinda stirred slightly and rolled over to face the opposite direction, which obligated Fiyero to deal with Rose. He moved away from the edge and held the blankets back so she could climb up. Taking full advantage of the offer, Rose scampered right next to Fiyero and pressed her forehead into his chest. Fiyero wrapped an arm around her and stroked her hair, still trying to wrap his head around the fact that this wasn't just his "daughter," but his daughter.
Unable to drift back to sleep, Fiyero smoothly slid Rose over beside Glinda so she would have someone to curl up to and manoeuvred around her, so he could leave. He decided he needed some fresh air.
Shrugging on his jacket and taking the exit through the kitchen, Fiyero found himself almost face to face with the Ice King. That had been built back when his daughter wasn't really his daughter. But really what difference did it make? So much and so little at the same time.
He kicked at one of the frozen snowballs that had been abandoned in the building process until it broke in half.
"Oh, thank Oz! Just the person I needed to see!" A hand tapped his shoulder. "I was worried I'd have to break into the palace. Not that I don't have the capability. It's just such a hassle."
Fiyero didn't bother facing Elphaba. "So when were you planning on telling me we had a daughter?"
"Congratulotions! You're a father!"
"I hope you realize you single-handedly screwed up my life, your life, Glinda's life and our daughter's life," Fiyero shot back harshly, watching her every move through narrowed eyes. He still wasn't fully facing her.
Elphaba ignored him and proceeded with her own plans. "That's all very nice, but I really need your help." She cleared her throat. "As Captain of the Gale Force, you have the papers on every person that sets foot in Southstairs. I need access to those."
Fiyero decided to play along with this for as long as he could. "Planning another assassination?"
"Maybe I can help you then." Fiyero gestured towards the exit from the palace he had used on his way out. "For old time's sake."
"For old time's sake," Elphaba agreed, ignoring the burning questions in Fiyero's eyes. However, in the doorway she caught herself and looked back at the snowpeople. "Did you and Glinda build those?"
"Spent all day on them."
Elphaba knelt down in front of the bottom drawer of the filing cabinet, desperately looking through it for the third time. There was no trace of a file on her daughter in there. She had checked all four of the compartments and she was beginning to fear the worst. Looking back at Fiyero who was sitting in front of the fire, holding out his hands to absorb some of the heat, she said, "You need to help me."
"Is this person in Southstairs of any relation to you?" Fiyero asked absentmindedly, her whole presence was throwing off his ability to act.
"The friend of a friend."
"Then you'll be ecstatic to know that she was adopted weeks ago."
Elphaba whirled around. Her long dark hair swung with her. "What are you talking about?" she snapped.
Hoping she wasn't seeing past the blank slate of his facial expression, Fiyero repeated, "Rose was adopted."
"How do you know-"
"Because she was adopted by someone we both know very well," Fiyero interrupted.
One dark eyebrow was raised. "And that is?"
"Lady Glinda," Fiyero answered casually.
Elphaba gasped. Nessa had been trying to prepare her for this and she had dismissed her. "Does Glinda know?" she choked out.
"No," Fiyero replied, examining his hand. "In fact, I didn't even know until this afternoon. Once again, impeccable timing." He knew he was being cruel, but couldn't care less at this point.
"If I didn't know any better I'd say you were ashamed," Elphaba said angrily.
Fiyero didn't answer.
"Oh my Oz," Elphaba marvelled, "you are ashamed." She fought down the lump in her throat. "Is it because of me?" She sat down beside him in front of the fire, already sure this would take serious discussion and fortifying her brain.
"Not how you think." Fiyero treaded carefully. "I'm ashamed that my child grew up in the Rebellion. She didn't go to school, she didn't meet any other children...she didn't even know what Lurlinemas was! You deprived her of half of her childhood!"
"And what would you have done if you knew?" Elphaba asked rhetorically. "Absolutely nothing. You certainly wouldn't have told Glinda because you rushed into marriage and you're afraid of every little weight that tilts the scale."
"And this all goes back to the usual," Fiyero retorted drily. "Elphaba you were my first love, but not my last."
Elphaba felt the nerve she had built around her crack. He was breaching the armour again. From here there were a few options. Screaming and throwing a violent fit was the most enticing, but least recommended by that solemn thing called logic.
"Nothing's going to change that," he added.
"I'll do anything to go back," she pleaded after a moment of deserted silence.
"You have to go eventually." He was implying more than just leaving the palace.
"I left you twice and both times you didn't forgive me. Now you're asking me to leave?"
"You'll have to get over it," Fiyero stated. He shifted his legs uncomfortably and scratched his elbow. He could see the negative effect he was causing in Elphaba and it was reflecting on himself, but he couldn't show it.
"Please don't say that."
"Put it behind you."
"I can't have this conversation." Elphaba put her face in her hands then slid them over her forehead and pushed her hair back. "How am I supposed to get over it?"
"You have to find a way," Fiyero answered. "I have confidence in you." Even when you don't have confidence in yourself.
"Give me my daughter back," Elphaba snapped.
"I think she's better off here." Fiyero remembered Rose's snowflake scenario and finally understood it. "And she does too."
"Then help me get over you!"
"That's something you have to do alone," Fiyero offered pathetically. It was the truth and it hurt. Just as the truth tends to do far too often.
Elphaba breathed deeply and leant back on her palms. "Is there anything that doesn't involve me ending up alone?" she murmured.
"Come up with it and I'll gladly go along."
Elphaba smirked at him and stared up from her thoughts. "Kill me."
Fiyero laughed hollowly. "I'm afraid I'm supposed to set a better example than that."
"Since when do you worry about responsibility?"
"Rose has benefited me more than almost everything else in Oz," Fiyero said truthfully.
Exactly as Elphaba thought. She found herself jealous of her own daughter. "Marry me."
Fiyero surveyed her incredulously. "Is that a formal proposal?"
Elphaba ignored him, not allowing the dismissal to penetrate her until she knew it was over. She slid closer to him and locked her arms around his neck. "Kiss me."
Knowing that it might just be his last chance and fighting back the deep protests, Fiyero closed the gap between their lips and allowed Elphaba to melt into the kiss, perhaps too far. She made the smooth transition into his lap and tightened her grip on him. They kept it passionate and quick-paced, working every movement to perfection.
Elphaba swiftly loosened the buttons on the top half of her dress and let it fall open naturally. She kept it slung over her shoulders, so the V-shape of bare skin was more defined against the plain black fabric. Slipping back, Elphaba noted exactly where Fiyero's eyes fell. She couldn't believe she was determined to do this to herself again.
Before long, Fiyero was flat on top of her, but calm and collected. He kissed the skin of her stomach up to her neck, nipping at her shoulder and sucking on her ear. Burying her hands in his hair, Elphaba held his face close to her body, so his lips never lost contact. She tried to go for his shirt, but he gripped her hands and pinned them to the ground. So with her hands trapped, Elphaba slid her foot along the back of Fiyero's leg, so her dress fell around her waist and left the bottom half of her body free.
Fiyero ran a hand along her waist and dipped down; tantalizingly close to giving Elphaba what she wanted, but pulled away quickly. He felt her hips rise off the ground and dig into his.
"We're so close," she whispered. "Just one more time."
Sitting up and trapping her between his knees, Fiyero fixed Elphaba's dress so she was completely covered. "I'm never going to have sex with you again, Elphaba."
Elphaba propped herself up on her elbows, an inferno blazing in her eyes. "Why would you play me like that then?"
"You started it."
"You've been playing me for too long."
"And that's why you need to let go."
Elphaba blinked, partially from surprise and partially to dissolve the tears that were blinding her. "Do you just...do you just take out all of your anger with Glinda on me? Does it make you feel better?"
"I told you that you were the first. Why would that have anything to do with Glinda?"
"But you love me too."
"And you moved out of town," Fiyero reasoned, trying to rationalize all of the thoughts trampling each other in his conflicted brain. He wished it swung open on a hinge so he could show Elphaba everything that was going on inside.
"And it just disappeared, right?" Elphaba retorted sarcastically.
"No, but I moved on with my life like you told me to." Fiyero gripped her hand gently. "The main thing we have in common is Rose. Now it's time for us to do what's best for her. It's the least we can do for each other."
Elphaba inhaled loudly, mustering up the courage to speak. "If you would take me to your guestroom, I need to lie down."
"That's fine." Fiyero stood up and half-lifted Elphaba to her feet. He led her up the stairs and to a room at the end of the hallway. Even after Elphaba seemed to be as comfortable as she could get, Fiyero lingered in the doorway.
"I don't think we have anything further to say to one another," Elphaba stated angrily and perched herself on the edge of the bed.
"Goodnight then," Fiyero said softly and closed the door on his way out.
As she heard the footsteps trail further down the hallway, Elphaba rose in a trance and creaked the door open. She watched Fiyero disappear through the double doors that presumably led to the master bedroom where his beautiful wife was waiting. And now Fiyero was forced to bear the shame of what Elphaba had just orchestrated. She thought she had learned from her last rejection, but that just proved her desperation.
It was only when she didn't have him that she needed him most. On those lonely nights when she was lying alone, staring up at the ceiling, thinking her thoughts to herself because she had no one else to talk to. He had let her be independent; remained in the background. And that's where he stayed; only now he was more like a condescending guardian rather than a lover.
Unable to take it, Elphaba snuck out of her room and carefully down the stairs, careful to keep her footfalls light and unnoticeable. She left the palace and ran as fast as she could down the boulevard, seeing it all clearly as her feet pounded the ground, an invisible monster at her heels. Fiyero was tormenting her worse than anything else she had ever experienced. Marrying her best friend was his sick form of revenge, or at least that's all she could own it up to.
He was the worst. He was the cruellest out of everything she'd been through. He hurt the most. Worse than the gunshot, worse than Nessa's stinging take on the world, worse than labour pains.
The only thing she could do was run away now. She wasn't ready to let the ache in her chest heal yet.
Collapsing on the front step of a building, Elphaba wept from emotional fatigue. She was tired of everything, and especially tired of herself. Eventually, with all her consciousness spent, Elphaba returned back to the palace and to her room, where she fell asleep mapping out everything she would confess to her best friend the next day.
After all, what kind of life is a whole one anyway?