Here are some notes, references, trivia, tidbits. Please note, there will be spoilery content.

Title: Reading the Signs - This is a reference to something Yackle says in A Lion Among Men . She states "I can read the signs and the tea leaves as well as any." and that she went to the Philosophy Club that night to try to shelter Elphaba from its horrors, but missed her as she ran to the EC instead. Here something else happens, as she reads them better.

Ch 1

Ladder: I placed a ladder outside Crage as it only made sense to help them climb the wall back and forth in many a time, especially being drunk at this time.

Ladder Missing: here is the primary point of divergence. Without the ladder, they are unable to get into Crage and make their escape to the EC. Why is the ladder missing?

Yackle: Yackle got the ladder moved earlier in the day to keep them from fleeing to the EC and setting off the long list of events of Elphaba's fall. Here she returns to play the senile old crone while dispensing advice. Elphaba, have being forced to pause to think, realizes later going to the EC she would never outrun Morrible's spies. Also, Yackle being here tonight instead of Philosophy Club means the Dwarf who guards the Time Dragon Clock is the doorman instead.

Dwarf at the Philosophy Club: As stated, the Dwarf is the doorman, and being generally of rough personality, he insults Boq. This causes the drunk party to get offended and leave, avoiding the psychological scarring of Crope and moving them to a healthier path. This is the last part of keeping the Circle unbroken, and keeping a strong support structure in place for Elphaba and Glinda, as well as the others, to mature fully and make their own destinies.

Elphaba and Glinda ogling the boys: First hint I drop they're bisexual, and Fiyero in particular they like. Important in about 50 chapters.

Crage Hall: Crage Hall is modeled after Oriel College in Oxford, which I had the pleasure of doing a summer study abroad at in 2010. I revisited it on my honeymoon 2017.

Ch 2

Elphaba blushing violet: This is a theme for me because if her skin is green, and her blood is red, when she blushes, it would combine to make purple

Ch 4

Madame Morrible: shows she was watching them, and can read the leaves as well.

Time to the Emerald City: the books say it takes two and a half weeks to get to the EC by coach. When I looked up coach traveling speeds, which averaged 10-15 miles per hour, that would make Shiz to EC ridiculously far. So I assumed it was a low class; plus, it makes it easier for characters to pop back and forth from the EC to Shiz.

Glinda Upland: Yeah, I screwed that up. Musical she's Upland; book she of the Arduenna Clan. oops.

Duran is Fencing or Sparring Partner: Set Up for later.

Grommetik: He's spying on the girls quite obviously, a tactic of Morribles. Canonically he wouldn't have to, with them being on the way to EC.

Glinda's ample bosom: This is a running theme in my stories, with Glinda being curvy and Elphaba not. It's because of the habit of casting them that way.

Defying gravity: I over use this joke. I apologize for nothing.

Ch 6

Wizard with long white beard and purple robes: this is a character from Son of a Witch . When Liir is sleeping against a tree, he has a sort of out of body experience where a man with a long white beard and purple robes walks by him, and stops to seemingly stare at him; however, because he is holding the Grimmerie, it comes off as from a different time, but the man still sees him. He is also the gentleman who drops the Grimmerie off in Kiamo Ko for Elphaba to eventually find.

Sorcery is a demanding mistress: Morrible's line from the play.

Holding the wand: Here is me making fun of the Harry Potter process. :P

Elphaba's wand: Elphaba's wand is the same one you can purchase as a souvenir.

Ch 7

Authors Note: You how hard it is trying to figure out what looks good on green skin? No wonder she wore black. :P

Garon: Wee. Here he is.

Great Stalker of the Thousand Years Grassland: Elphaba insulting Fiyero in a similar vein to the books.

I never said it was a man: This is a similar comment to something Glinda says in Out of Oz.

Three Candles: So, half the pubs I name are from Oxford. Lol.

Wonder/wander - I make a slight reference here to Glinda having an accent. I assume as she's a back country girl she would have a slight one that is almost completely corrected by speech classes.

Ch 8

Miss Arduenna of Upland: Trying to write myself out of a corner. Lol

Pretentious narcissistic woman: That's Morrible

Far less clothes: Boq does indeed seen some girls in far less clothing.

Lie with the truth/learned it from an Angel: This is an Angelus reference from Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Angel. Angelus, Angel's evil self, is known to be a master of psychological warfare and able to lie with the truth.

Elphaba needs glasses: something from the musical I pulled in.

Elphaba's prophetic dream: Elphaba sees the wars Oz will go through, as well as the Jackal Moon which plays a huge symbolic part in the series. The figures are those who play a role in it.

The Emerald green cape with a dragon: Shell Thropp, the Emperor of Oz starting in Son of a Witch. He uses dragons as well as his crack unit, the Spears, that Liir is a part of. The fires that follow are his genocide of the people who dont bow down, starting with the Quadlings.

Old crone missing her teeth: Yackle

Dwarf: Guardian of the Time Dragon Clock

Wizard with the Purple robes: as previously discussed,

A hag followed by a boy and a three horned ox: Mombi and Tip, the bewitched Ozma.

A man dressed in red in a skull mask and carrying a sword: Duran.

Two pillars of Dark and Light: Representing Elphaba and Glinda. Elphaba dies, and Glinda fades away without being able to affect too much in canon.

Ch 9

Peach and Kidneys: is the pub they usually go to in the book.

The Banking Exchange: Here is something I hammer home in my stories: all the characters in Wicked are wealthy aristocrats (except Boq). So I show them in that nature. It also frees them up from those pesky job or money worries.

Glinda examining the bank architecture: Glinda loves architecture and so takes time to look at the bank.

Firamen: Named for Monsieur Richard Firmin, from Phantom of the Opera

Boq at the Banking Exchange: he gets the money that his town put together for him to go to school here.

Ch 10

Black and white pinstripe: outfit she first met Morrible in to tell her about Ama Clutch's fake ailment.

Mister instead of Master: there's a certain politeness/formality scale in proper Gillikin society. Master for men, Miss, Mrs, or Madame for women. Glinda, by addressing Jontero as Mister, basically drops him a peg. And then when she calls him sir, with no name, he is basically placed as far beneath as possible. A polite way of calling him scum, as it were.

Kiss before parting ways: So, funny thing about this is it was literally a conversation I had with my wife (then girlfriend) six months into dating.

Buying the black hat: Obvious nod to the musical, but with Elphaba on the giving end this time. Glinda's outfit is inspired by her white outfit from the musical as well.

Avaric has a thing for Elphaba: I always assumed he did, and that's why he let her into the Villa during Wicked after not seeing her for over 20 years. Also, may be important to a sequel i may write

Ch 11

I'm not pretty/ do not see things the way other people do: a call out to the musical's "looking at things in a different way".

Two dresses from nowhere: Duran's hand around.

Ch 12

Bear and Fiddle/ White Bear: this is a reference to the book, where boys from Three Queens get drunk, hire a White Bear violinist, and dance around a Lurline statue. Had to look up my own reference.

Fiyero said and offered his arm to Pfannee. A look of distaste flickered across her face for a second: Pfanne has that Ozian distaste for Vinkuns. She gets over it eventually, but its early on in the friendship here

Some people are attracted to your green skin. Some people are disgusted by it. I am neither. It is part of you and I love it because it is: This something I picked up off tumblr. Someone said they were uncomfortable in a lot of fics how people fetishize Elphaba's skin. Realizing I did the same early on, I corrected for it.

Ch 14

A little shop by the Peach and Kidneys called Broken Things: Broken Things is a store Rain and Tip end up in at one point when they're in Shiz, and she sees a broken Grommetik who has a drawer with a bloody knife and map of Oz. In the Wicked novel, we last see it trying to plan a revolution for the Tiktoks; something that never happens.

Ch 15

Glinda buys Elphaba a suncatcher: referencing her suncatcher she can see the future in made by Turtleheart. One which shows up later.

We have a democracy versus oligarchy debate here. I did mess up and say Elphaba is the governor, getting my verses mixed. I try to retcon that later.

Ch 16

Fiyero, do the thing!: This is both a reference to Varrick from Legend of Korra, and the show Angel, when Nimfar does the dance of joy.

Who are you?: No matter where he goes, Elphaba still never recognizes him. Poor Duran. Lol

Duran's outfit: is thematically lifted from the Phantom of the Opera's movie version. Also the outfit Elphaba sees in her vision.

Fanel: Reference to Van Fanel, from Vision of Escaflowne

Her mother had always warned her to beware of a charming man: Solid Arduenna advice.

fluttering his maligned half-cape: Duran signature move there

Ch 17

"Oh, Miss Glinda, you're just too good!" Elphaba mocked in high falsetto.

"Oh, stop." Glinda simpered, batting her eyelashes and waving her hand. "I'm not that good."

"Yes, you are!" Elphaba protested, mimicking Glinda.

"No."

"Yes!"

"Well, alright." Glinda flounced. The boys looked at each other.

"Do you know what the hell is going on?" Avaric asked Fiyero.

Lifted straight from the musical, but everyone in the bookverse is weirded out.

Ch 18

Author's Note: The focus on politics here was i was sketching out (and still have a rough outline) an AU where Elphaba goes to Munchkinland, and slowly takes it over, and later leads a war against the Emerald City.

One day I'll get you drunk: Foreshadow and call out. Foreshadow to later events; call out to the novel when Elphaba does get drunk with Avaric.

Ch 19

Something niggled in the back of Elphaba's mind, but she could not place it.: Elphaba's brain is telling her the genetics of having two brunettes doesnt come out with a blonde child. Especially not Glinda blonde.

"You should always check the shadows; you never know what danger may be hiding in them.": Reference to how Fiyero dies in the book.

Elphaba's research: Starting her research into genetics to see if she is just wrong in her thoughts. Later on we find she isnt.

Emerald Cafe: This cafe is a reference to the story The Prince Cafe by RavenCurls, and its an homage to the characters in it. I tried to keep it that way the best I could. As such, the appearance of Corvus/Cora (I changed the name) are brief but is basically meant to be a pale skinned Elphaba.

Garon is mentioned and Glinda's reaction start letting you know she isnt comfortable around the man.

Ch 20

She wakes up from a nightmare but hides the why from Elphaba.

I would be most appreciative of an exotic beauty such as you: Pfanne here is fetishizing Elphaba's skin. She's not just completely attracted to Elphaba, who happens to be green, but partly because she is green.

Brainless it may have been: Fiyero saying he's brainless is a reference to him in the play.

Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait….wait…wait.: If you ever see me write this, this is a play from an old webtoon satire series called Unforgotten Realms.

Ch 21

Author's Note: I don't know when it happened, but I love the idea that Glinda when she sleeps is an adorable mess. Like, hair everywhere, mouth hanging open, lightly snoring, drooling a bit. Don't know why, but its what I'm going with.

Avaric turned to look at the flowers he had been examining, shifted one, and then sat next to Fiyero: Avaric's very avid into flower language and arrangement, and horticulture. Not proper for a Margreave.

Cora and Duran: They're both secretive because of who they are.

Ch 22

Author's Note: I literally put their schedule in the story because I spent so much time putting it together, and it would be easier for me to find.

Ch 23

conversation is not about what is said, but going with the flow?: A book reference; something Glinda thinks as she talks to Elphaba for the first few times.

"Not even in the slightest. Though I may be tricked with a blindfold." He [Crope] answered loudly.: Pfannee is asking if having sex with a woman would not be the same. He replies crudely, and she builds off the scenario, causing his next comment.

Avaric and Glinda: Are talking about whether he would try to steal one or the other. Glinda brought it up in jest, and Avaric's response was one to assure her it wouldn't happen. His comment as to not pick Fiyero is a bit foreshadowing. Poor Avaric. He also is foreshadowing his future wife, Miss Laquan, who cucks aristocratic men by seducing their wives.

Ch 25

It doesn't take much to sign a hundred cards at once: In Out of Oz, this is one of the things Glidna can do, along with not burning her fingers on hot toast. Basically, she never really becomes a good sorceress in canon

Elphaba watching Glinda eat: Inspired by the scene from Kingdom of Heaven when Balian watches Sybilla eat.

Ch 26

Authors Note: The paired endings of this and the last chapter were something done on the spur of the moment. I'm quite happy with how it turned out.

This chapter (and section) highlights how even though the Circle accepts Fiyero, Gillikin and Oz as a whole really doesn't. Even when he plays nice. If not for Avaric, much of what he does he could not.

The Barber is a hereditary tradesman. Hence is professionalism.

Avaric handing the boys flowers: He's expressing himself. A pair of red roses for the lovers; Boq's Yellow Tulip represent happiness, cheerfulness, and hope; Delphinium for Fiyero means striving for success and goals, but also protection. The poppy for Avaric pleasure, and also a later foreshadowing.

Ch 27:

Aquinot Red: comes back to bite the circle later.

Ch 28

Elphaba's flower: it symbolizes friendship

Author's Note: I have no idea where the crossdressing Elphaba came from. It appeared and so it became.

Ch 29

Boq's thoughts on secession: Even in the book, when he runs into Elphaba in the cafe before they are really friends, Boq is thinking Munckinland should secede.

Elphaba whether a man or woman: Something that happens in the book a lot is that people often comment that Elphaba is more mannish, or has mannish tendencies, or hints at intersex, or even quite a few times state she not a gender but something else, something new. So I play on it a bit here.

Ch 31

Author's Note: The lackluster visit to Wittica was partly me punking out on wanting to write it, and partially because I could not think of anything interesting that would not be a repeat of Milla except Shenshen fencing. As I sum it up in a paragraph later, it wasn't that important to the story or the character, whereas Milla's trip was more to fill out her character since she's basically been defined as Boq's partner, and has slight self-esteem issues due to her hair and being the most boring one of the Circle.

Glinda. It's much more metropolitan sounding.: Morrible makes this comment ot Glinda in the book post-Dillamond's death.

[Side Room]It was supposed to be for a sibling of mine, but it never happened: Foreshadowing later on that Glinda was the one and only child due to the magic used to create her.

Elphaba in the library with the family portraits: Here is another piece of the puzzle for Elphaba. The whole line does not have blonde hair or blue eyes in it. So she begins to have her suspicions confirmed.

However, her scientist mind did wonder if it would be possible to breed a superior form of Ozian: Elphaba's morals in the book are a bit...twisted. She seems like she wants people to be equal, but really discards that quickly to fight the wizard, and then discards that later as well as she experiments on the Winged Monkeys when she has the Grimmerie. It seems that really only knowledge for its sake is her calling. Here, she has the support structure to resist and overwrite those urges, unlike book canon.

Kravator - I told you it would make less sense in Vinkun: A call back when Fiyero calls her the Dragon of the East. Basically, she is equated with dragons to the Vinkuns, who actually might have some in and around the Vinkus.

I'll have Shenshen stand in for me [for a duel]: Avaric saying this foreshadows that's exactly what he'll do.

Glinda was to show them as a small Lurlinist shrine that was tucked away: I used this same shrine idea in Fighting For Happily Ever After for the duo to meet Glinda's father.

Ch 33

Elphaba still never recognizes Duran. Guy can't catch a break. However whom he works for and with starts to become a question for Elphaba.

Glinda thinks the EC lacks charm: Directly stolen from the book.

The man watching Elphaba notes that she is not as good at being unobserved as she thinks: From the book, Fiyero makes the same observation. I think. If not, it's a foreshadow to why she was followed easily in the books.

Duran makes the comment to get better at being unnoticed.

Ch 35

"Are you a fairy?": This is a reference to Anakin Skywalker to Amidala in Phantom Menace.

"He'll grow up like Avaric if we're not careful.": Canon wise, he does. He's a playboy the next time we see him, but also runs information. When we see him in Out of Oz as Emperor, Avaric is actually his chamberlain.

"There is an old proverb in Munchkinland: we are led to those who help us most to grow if we let them, and help them in return." - "I don't know if I believe that is true, but your granddaughter has helped me become who I am today.": Slipping those Musical quotes in here.

Ch 37

The boys have flowers: Avaric's hobby showing again.

Ch 38

Elphaba cursing lack of organized system: It's a Dewey Decimal System joke.

The Bonds That Tie Us: This is reference to the amazing story by Outlivealie by the same name.

Elphaba, the letter, and Crope: the reason Elphaba is in a hurry to drop off the letter, and is not wondering what is going on with Shenshen, is that it is to Crope, who she is asking to paint her for a present for Glinda for Lurlinemas.

Avaric's letter to Glinda: A departure from canon, with Elphaba around and everything not going into a downward slide, Avaric asks Glidna to find him a wife. It is much better fit than the woman we never even get a name for in the book.

Ch 39

A/N: The vision of the future of what might have been was fun to write. However, the headaches denote it is not a perfect thing; their time together allows them to be more willful and resist Morrible's binding spells even within the vision. That is why Glinda has the least headache, as she resists the least, but Elphaba the most. Either way, the spell is broken at the end.

Ch 40

Fortune Teller: Hey look, its Yackle! She calls her little Tiger as in the book, the Quadling section ends with Elphaba staring into her suncatcher, saying the words horrors as she sees vision of the Wizard's future atrocities, and sitting calmly in the lap of a Tiger.

Dear Old Crage: A Dear Old Shiz reference.

Yackle tells her to get her suncatcher, something she requests and then promptly forgets about until the Munchkinlander's Ball later.

Tells her a brunette holds the answer: It was a misdirection towards Shenshen, but she really means Fiyero. And Shenshen helps.

You will have many trials and losses, but persevere where others think not. It will leave its scars but with help you will change into the person you want to be. The plans you lay now will also not be interrupted for a good long time; long after you've forgotten this conversation.: This is my callout to the planned sequel to this I might write. Elphaba's plans don't really get turned upside down until about 5 years from now, in the Emerald City. Between that she is in Shiz with Glinda rising up the ranks of society, science, and sorcery.

Two points guiding/The Angel: the one point is Glinda, and the other is actually Yackle herself.

Fail to follow the Angel and you will burn: This is a reference to the wonderful Wicked Horror fanfic The Narrative Strain by Noble Arduenna. One of the best fics out there.

Ch 41

Glinda's fortune: Basically is telling her either way she goes she'll be Glinda the Good in some aspect.

Shenshen's fortune: Her fate was to marry a military man and end up a teacher at St. Prowd's in Shiz. She still will, but it will happen later, and she'll have some adventures for herself on the way (planned in the sequel).

Fiyero's Fortune: Be smart and don't let intriguing women be your downfall. Like canon.

Ch 42

Meeting in the chapel of Saint Glinda: Elphaba uses this chapel in the book for resistance work while in the Emerald City.

Ch 43

Fiyero talking to an ex-Militia Captain: The man is referencing Fiyero chase from earlier.

"Let's be honest Avaric; it's not me you want.": Glinda calls out Avaric on his want for Elphaba. It's a bit blunt, but both know she'll never go for him, and if she even entertained the thought, Avaric is privately scared he'd screw it up badly (and he's probably right). And since he respects Elphaba (and Glinda) as peers, he does not want that. Though in the sequel...well, that's if I ever write it.

"Yes, her color sets her apart. I do not think it would be a factor for you, considering." [Glinda to Avaric about Laquan's caramel skin]: Both throwing that shade because of Elphaba and commenting how he is more accepting of people of color because of Fiyero. And then she turns on the charm on him to subtly show him she is always best (though she doesn't even know she's doing it).

Ch 45

A/N: I wanted to show Fiyero as smart and cagey, but also massively ambitious. Here is a boy who realizes he must be strong to resist Ozian oppression, but also still has a might makes right mentality. His father I wanted to be a boisterous, easily recognizable trope of the warrior king. But both are smart, and want more.

Ch 46

Exciting; enlightening; enchanting.: Glinda in the book has a habit of used practice social phrases and cues to her advantage. The biggest one being the deflection for why she doesn't have jewels (An experienced traveler knows it is better to see than be seen) to reflect on her wisdom rather than her relative lack of wealth. So it's a callback here to that.

Ch 47

A/N: Chapter title (Take a break) is a reference to the musical Hamilton.

Take a break. Run away with us for the winter. There's a little park nearby we can go if you get too claustrophobic: Stealing line from Hamilton now. :)

"...they couldn't let us in if we tried." "And we tried.": Another Hamilton song lyric.

"...Will you make sure they...the girls...our friends…": This is the first time Elphaba refers to them as friends and not some have sarcastic terms of endearment.

A/N: Avaric, while a good friend to them, is careless and reckless. He has the power and prestiged to not be touched, and it bleeds over everywhere. Until HE hurts them, and then it comes all crashing down. This is where his character starts his final transformation from being a good friend to a close friend.

Also, the boys had a sex orgy as well. If it wasn't obvious.

Finally, this chapter starts the open sexual relationship conversation between Elphaba and Glinda. While only important for a reason later, in the sequel (which I may or may not write) this is something the pair comes to full grips with Glidna having to hide behind Chuffrey as an acceptable husband while being in a relationship with Glinda. Chuffrey is actually an old gay man, as he is in his late 40s and never had a wife, but has the biggest stock portfolio in Gillikin. He has influence and money, and his wife brings him greater social prestige. When he passes, that becomes Glinda's. But thats for another time. If ever

Ch 48

Eagle eyes readers will note this is a purple scarf, something Duran has never worn prior to this.

Ch 49

A/N: Pfannee's warning about Laquan: I was actually going to have her make a pass at one or the both of them in this story, but that got cut when I decided to streamline it to finish. This was planned for 60 chapters, but I felt another 30k words of fluff and slice of life nice, but I was not up to the task.

Elphaba and Glinda's conversation about the future: The middle part about running away is an homage to the same conversation in a Knight's Tale; the save tomorrow for tomorrow is again from Hamilton's Take a Break.

Thrice generation landed Gillikin: That is a reference to future husband Chuffrey.

Shiver at the future: Both are having hazy recollection of Yackle's fortune telling, but they have already had those memories clouded.

The men after Elphaba's meeting: I'm sure there was supposed to be some more Resistance stuff as well, but that got cut too. *shrug*

Ch 50

Duran Misdirection: Nope! Avaric! Sorry, I liked it. Also, a note on how he stopped avoiding them.

Fiyero's military cord of honors: Yes, Avaric has used his influence to get him honors. It's just how things are done in the system.

"Beware the dark corners of rooms.": An allusion to how Fiyero dies in the books. He's in for a much better ending, here, though. :)

...lured here under false pretenses.": a reference to the Gelphie fanfic Invitations under False Pretenses by Ridiculous Mavis

Glinda's dress slipping off by magic: a reference to a seen in Oulivealie's The Bonds That Tie Us where Elphaba struggles with Glinda's corset and she whispers a spell to unknot it.

A/N: In propositioning Fiyero, Glinda and Elphaba are slipping into defense mechanisms. Elphaba is letting her large libido take over (a family trait she shares) and Glinda is allowing her natural (and unnatural) charisma out, unfiltered and overwhelmingly so.

Ch 51

A/N: A lot of the talk of politics here; between Fiyero and his father; between Boq and Avaric; and Glinda in general is to set up the path for the Charmed Circle in the future. It also was an outline for my Gelphie Eminence AU. Which I may or may not ever write.

Suncatcher: the suncatcher comes back to Elphaba. She doesnt remember sending for it because she doesnt remember her fortune telling by now.

Ch 52

A/N: Elphaba doesn't know it, but Morrible has blackballed her at this point and that's why no one will take her on. This ends up biting Morrible in the ass later (see said maybe sequel) as Elphaba begins making her own way. She has mentioned in the story using potions and poultices to help surgeons in this era, and slowly goes on with more anatomical knowledge under them as well a biological knowledge with her future microscope she gets from the Quadlings. Eventually, she becomes a leader in her field in a few years, and Shiz' wealthy flock to her if they are sick.

Ch 53

I remember the doctor said an old crone was there: Yep, Yackle was there to help Glinda be conceived and born

Blood magic has a cost; an equivalent cost: Law of Equivalent Exchange, Full Metal Alchemist.

A/N: I used this as an opportunity to explain Glinda's ability to attract and charm people in her sphere. I also like the idea of her being created as a counter to Elphaba in some respects.

Ch 54

Spellbook: Yes, Elphaba was hoping to see him at the event for that very reason.