DISCLAIMER: Wicked was created by Stephen Schwartz, A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. As I am neither of those people, clearly I own nothing.
AN. I made at least 5 people cry in the last chapter... does it help if I say I didn't mean for that to happen? I hope you like the 2nd spirit!
And Thedoctor24601: Hi :)
WickedFrenchHorn: I recommend everyone reads more Charles Dickens! Haha. I read Great Expectations when I was 8, but A Christmas Carol is my favourite.
Chapter Three: The Second of the Spirits
Frex didn't know how long it would be before the next spirit arrived.
He could no longer delude himself that this was just a very realistic dream. He wondered which form the next spirit would take, and what it would show him.
He paced restlessly around his bedroom, unsure what to do. Hesitatingly, he left the room and headed down the hall. He paused outside a door, braced himself, and opened it.
Elphaba's bedroom. This was not the room she had had in the last memory he had seen. Frex had moved her out of that room when she was five, and into this much smaller room, tucked away at the back of the hall. Why? Now, he couldn't say.
Frex didn't even know the last time he'd been inside this room. It was very simple, very different from Nessa's room. A bed, a nightstand, a dresser and a desk filled the room, and every other available space was filled by bookshelves filled to the brim. There were no personal effects. No photos, no knick knacks, no mementos. He wondered faintly if she had just taken them to Shiz with her, but somehow he doubted that.
It was so different from Nessarose's room.
"It's not much, is it?"
Frex whirled around, his heart pounding. There was a young man standing casually in the doorway. Frex had never met him, but he knew who he was.
The boy grinned. "In a manner of speaking." He straightened up and gave a little bow.
"The Ghost of Lurlinemas Present, at your service."
Frex stared at him. "But… why would you take this form?" he demanded.
He was met with a casual shrug. "I'm the present. And no one lives in the moment better than yours truly. Fiyero. The real Fiyero. You know what I mean."
The spirit straightened up. "So, are you ready? We have two stops to make and not a lot of time to make them in."
Frex was more dubious than ever, he didn't trust any form of the Tiggular boy. But he sighed and nodded.
Fiyero clicked his fingers and the room dissolved.
He found himself, once again, in his bedroom. It was daylight, and the clock on the nightstand read that it was just after noon. Whistling the tune to a Lurlinemas carol cheerfully, the spirit led Frex out of the room and downstairs into the dining room. Frex reluctantly followed.
When they entered the dining room, Frex saw himself seated at the table, eating porridge.
Frex sighed impatiently. "I'm sorry, why do I need to see myself eating breakfast? I do it every morning."
Fiyero cocked his head to the side, looking thoughtful as he watched Frexspar silently eating his porridge.
"Why do people eat porridge?" he mused. "Surely of all the breakfast foods, there are so many alternatives that are better than something that looks like vomit."
"Now, bacon! That is a breakfast food. Pancakes! French toast! Oh, and eggs! Now, as a spirit, I don't actually eat. But is there a food you can do more with than eggs? Scramble them, poach them, fry them… now, I- or should I say, Fiyero, is rather partial to eggs Benedict. But from my observations over the years, I'd have to say that the one I'd most like to try- if I could eat, would be-"
"Will you shut up about eggs and tell me why we're watching this?!" Frex demanded irritably.
Fiyero shrugged agreeably. "Fine. Let's examine Exhibit A, shall we?"
Frex gritted his teeth. Oz, was the real Tiggular boy this annoying?
"Don't you think it's sad?" the spirit asked. "Here we have a man, in his fifties-"
"I am not yet fifty!" Frex interrupted indignantly.
"Sorry, forty-nine. I was rounding up. A man of forty-nine, having breakfast with his family on Lurlinemas morning. Oh, wait."
Frex glared at him, which the spirit ignored. Frex was sure that was a trait he was channelling from the real Fiyero.
"Where are your daughters on this Lurlinemas morning?" he asked casually.
Frex stifled a sigh. "At Shiz," he said shortly, although he was sure Fiyero already know that perfectly well.
"Right. And why is that? Why aren't they here?"
"Nessa can't travel alone," Frex said immediately.
"Naturally," Fiyero agreed. "And Elphaba?"
Frex's mouth tightened. "Elphaba made her choice."
"And what choice would that be exactly?"
Frex glared at him silently.
The spirit sighed. "You've seen how you've treated Elphaba in the past, right? Which to put it bluntly, can be summed up as "like an ass?""
Frex's glower intensified, but the spirit didn't cower. He did however, seem to take that as a sign of acknowledgment.
"Melena loved her," the spirit reminded him. "Wait- is that love or loved? I'm terrible with tenses. Downside of being in the present, it's hard to think in terms of the past."
He paused in though and then shrugged. "Whatever. Melena loves her, Nessa loves her. Why can't I- I mean, Fiyero love her? Do you believe she loves him? Or is this still a sign of rebellion? Just a way to annoy you, and bring shame on the family?"
Frex said nothing.
Fiyero looked over at Frexspar again, still eating his porridge alone at the table.
"Let's see how your daughters are festivating Lurlinemas, shall we?"
He clicked his fingers again and Frex found himself in a room he'd never seen before. It seemed to be a lavish apartment, tastefully and sparsely decorated. There was a tree in a corner of the living area near the fireplace, which was crackling away merrily. A small pile of clumsily wrapped presents lay under the tree. A clock on the wall chimed twelve.
Frex wasn't sure if he was really here or not, but he could smell something delicious as though he was right there in the room. He couldn't place what it was, but a part of him wished he was in the room so he could actually eat it.
The apartment they could see was empty, and Frex wondered what they were waiting for. Then he heard whistling, the same annoying and cheerful carol the spirit had been whistling earlier. Frex spun around to glare at him, but the spirit was standing there innocently.
There were footsteps and as Frex looked over, Fiyero Tiggular entered the room- the real Fiyero Tiggular. Frex gaped at the spirit, who shrugged.
"OK, so it was kind of me. In a way."
Frex spluttered. "What exactly are we doing here?!" he demanded.
The spirit gestured to the door, just in time for a knock to sound out in the room. Fiyero stopped whistling as he trooped over to the door and flung it open.
Frex was startled to see Nessarose in the hall, looking very pretty in a lilac dress with a matching ribbon in her hair. There was a pile of present on her lap, and Boq stood behind her, pushing the chair.
"Happy Lurlinemas, Fiyero," Nessa smiled.
Fiyero bent down and kissed her cheek. "You look nice, Nessa. Are these for me? You shouldn't have," he grinned.
Nessa laughed. "You might be lucky," she teased. "Shall I put them under the tree?"
"Go nuts," Fiyero agreed. "Hey, Boq."
"Hey. Something smells great," Boq commented, following Nessa into the apartment. He was holding a bag, which had more presents in it.
"I wish I could take credit for it, but you know it's all Fae's doing," Fiyero chuckled, shutting the door.
Frex frowned. Who was Fae?
A few minutes later, there was another knock on the door, but Fiyero had barely taken a few steps towards the door from the couch before it flung open.
A short, petite blonde girl skipped in to the room in a whirlwind of pink and glitter.
"Happy Lurlinemas, my lovelies!" she exclaimed cheerily. "Fiyero, wait until you see Elphie! I did a little magic this morning- not literally, of course," she giggled.
"Thank Oz for that," a familiar voice said and Frex blinked in surprise as Elphaba entered the room. She was carrying two bags with gifts in them, which she handed to the blonde.
"Hey, Galinda. Make yourself useful."
The blonde, who Frex realised must be Galinda Upland, took the bags from Elphaba without arguing, beaming.
"Doesn't she look swankified? I found that dress and-"
"For Oz's sake, Glin. Shut up," Elphaba interrupted in exasperation.
Frex didn't think he'd ever seen Elphaba wear something like that before. It was a dark blue lace dress, with a high neck and a triangle cut out on the chest and a nude lining. She looked… like Melena, Frex realised. Her features, anyway. He'd never realised before.
"Happy Lurlinemas, Fabala," Nessa called out across the room.
Elphaba immediately went over to her sister and bent down to hug her. "Happy Lurlinemas, Nessie. Happy Lurlinemas, Boq," she added to the Munchkin.
"You too," Boq smiled back. "Lunch smells great."
That made Elphaba look over her shoulder to Fiyero. "Everything's ok?"
Fiyero rolled his eyes. "Fae, I am perfectly capable of pre-heating an oven and putting a lasagne inside. Especially when you leave a whole page of instructions and underline three times the bit about not leaving the foil on before putting the lasagne inside. Which I'm not sure was completely necessary. Do you really think I'm that stupid?"
Elphaba grinned. "I wasn't taking any chances, Prince boy. I've seen you try and fail to cook toast," she teased him.
"That was one time!" Fiyero protested defensively. "And I think the bigger issue is that you haven't even wished me, your own loving boyfriend, a Happy Lurlinemas yet or given me so much as a hello."
Elphaba rolled her eyes and left the others, crossing to where Fiyero stood between the living area and the kitchen.
"Hello Fiyero, Happy Lurlinemas," she said solemnly.
Fiyero's face broke into a grin from the pout he had previously worn. "It's not very heartfelt, but I'll take it," he said and Elphaba laughed.
"Happy Lurlinemas, Fae," he added softly.
"Why is he calling her 'Fae'?" Frex demanded, bewildered.
The spirit shrugged. "There's not really a reason or story behind it. He just started it one day. It's one of their couple things."
"I'll just check on the lasagne," Elphaba was saying, trying to move past Fiyero into the kitchen.
"Oh no you don't, Miss Thropp," Fiyero said firmly. "The whole point of you preparing everything yesterday and freezing it, was so you don't spend Lurlinemas in the kitchen. Remember?"
"And if you go into the kitchen 'just to check on it', you'll find things that need to be done and do them, which defeats the purpose."
"No, I just need to-"
"The lasagne is cooking, the bread is sliced and the salad you made last night is also waiting in the fridge ready to go. The table is set, and there's ice cream for dessert. There is literally nothing for you to do in the kitchen."
Elphaba fell silent, clearly unable to think of an argument. Frex noted that Fiyero seemed very pleased with himself.
"Besides, you've forgotten something."
She frowned. "What?"
Fiyero gestured upwards, and Frex and Elphaba's gaze both drifted up. There, hanging from the light fixture, was a sprig of mistletoe.
Frex rolled his eyes as Elphaba raised an eyebrow. "Really, Yero?"
"It's tradition," Fiyero informed her solemnly. "I'm afraid I can't let you pass until you kiss me. It's bad luck."
Elphaba rolled her eyes, then rose onto her toes and swiftly kissed Fiyero's cheek.
"There you go," she said, smirking and made to move away.
Fiyero looked bewildered for a moment, and then quickly reached out and snagged Elphaba around the waist, pulling her back to him as she started laughing.
"Yeah, nice try," he said, and dipped his head to kiss her soundly.
Frex looked away uncomfortably, moving over to see what Nessa was doing. She, Boq and Galinda were talking over near the tree. Nessa and Galinda were alternating between glancing over at Elphaba and Fiyero, and exchanging smiles.
"Guys, if you two can come up for air, are we doing presents before or after lunch?" Galinda finally called out.
Frex looked over and saw Elphaba and Fiyero had thankfully separated.
"If I'm not allowed in the kitchen, can you tell me how long is left on the lasagne?" she asked Fiyero pointedly.
"Wait, if you can't go in the kitchen, does that mean Fiyero's serving?" Boq called over, hearing her question.
"What, now I can't even be trusted to serve?!" Fiyero demanded, even as he went into the kitchen to check the timer on the oven.
"Fine, Boq can serve," Elphaba said calmly.
Boq looked as though that hadn't gone as well as he'd hoped, but didn't argue.
"Fifteen minutes left," Fiyero announced.
Frex and the spirit watched as it was determined that lunch would be served before presents. Boq did serve, and they sat down to eat.
"This is the strangest Lurlinemas lunch I've ever had," Nessa laughed.
"Because I wasn't trusted to be able to cook roast or vegetables," Fiyero replied.
"Oh my Oz," Elphaba exclaimed in exasperation. "How long are you going to gripe about this?"
Fiyero considered that thoughtfully. "For the rest of our relationship," he said decisively, nodding firmly.
Elphaba groaned. "Great."
Galinda giggled. "So, you'll be hearing about this for the next fifty years, Elphie."
"It might be wise to invest in some cooking lessons for Fiyero," Nessa added with a smile.
Frex was surprised that Elphaba didn't argue with them. She merely blushed faintly, exchanged a look with Fiyero, and returned to her lunch.
"Are you- they… what?" he spluttered, a little in shock.
He turned to the spirit, who met his eyes determinedly.
"Despite what you choose to think, I can tell you with a hundred per cent certainty that Fiyero truly loves Elphaba. Now, the future isn't my area, but I know they have one together. A long one."
Frex frowned incredulously. "But-"
"Their relationship has nothing to do with you," the spirit interrupted. "It's not to spite you, or an act of rebellion. They met, they fell in love. It happens to people every day. I see it. It happens in a moment, and I know because I am that moment."
Frex avoided his gaze, instead watching his daughters and their friends festivate Lurlinemas together. Somehow, as the spirit had been talking, time seemed to have skipped forward. They were finished lunch now, and Fiyero and Boq were cleaning the kitchen. Galinda had left the room, and Nessarose and Elphaba were sitting together in the living area near the tree, talking quietly.
Elphaba looked rather anxious, and Frex moved forward to hear what they were saying.
"Are you ok?" Elphaba was asking her sister. "I know this isn't our typical Lurlinemas, and that's my fault-"
"It's not your fault, Fabala," Nessa reassured her. "And this is a wonderful Lurlinemas. Besides, it's only because of you we really festivate Lurlinemas at all, I know that. I had hoped Father would come around by now," she admitted. "And I do miss him, and it feels strange not being at home. But… Fiyero makes you happy, and I like seeing you happy," she smiled.
"I wish Father could believe how much Fiyero has changed and how much he loves you."
Elphaba sighed. "Nessa, Father doesn't see anything beyond my skin. He never has. He's not going to believe that someone like Fiyero could choose someone like me."
Frex gaped at Elphaba, stunned by her accuracy.
Nessa looked at her sister sadly. "Fabala…"
"It doesn't matter," Elphaba cut her off gently. "Really it doesn't."
"But if he won't let you come home… if he cuts you off," Nessa said anxiously.
"I'll manage," Elphaba said firmly. "Somehow…"
Both girls and Frex looked up to see Fiyero there, clearly having overheard. "Fae, can I talk to you for a sec? Alone," he added, shooting an apologetic look at Nessa. "Lurlinemas present," he explained as Elphaba looked quizzical.
"What exactly did you get me you can't give me in front of everyone?" she asked warily, even as she stood up.
"Well, it's not exactly from me," Fiyero said mysteriously.
He led Elphaba out of the room. At a prod from the spirit, Frex followed. They were in Fiyero's bedroom, Frex saw, and his lips tightened immediately.
"Simmer down, Governor," the spirit said firmly, seeing his expression. "Just watch."
From within his jacket pocket, Fiyero withdrew a letter, which he handed to Elphaba.
"This is from my parents. For you."
Elphaba and Frex frowned in unison. "From your parents? I haven't even met them yet, why are they writing me?" she demanded.
Fiyero grinned. "Just read it, Fae."
Puzzled, she did so. Frex watched in confusion as her expression changed to one of shock.
"Wait- what?" she whispered, still staring at the letter. She gaped at Fiyero wordlessly. "Yero, what did you do?!"
"I didn't do anything!" Fiyero said defensively. "I told them what was going on, that's all. This is all their doing. Which I support a hundred per cent, I might add."
Elphaba shook her head. "No. They can't do it. It's too much."
"No, it's not," Fiyero argued.
"I don't want their charity!" she cried.
"Fae, it's not charity," Fiyero said softly.
She raised an eyebrow at him pointedly. "It's not," he insisted.
He sat her down on the bed and sat beside her, taking her hand. "I told them everything that was happening with your father, and they want to help. They know how brilliant you are-"
"They haven't even met me," Elphaba reminded him.
"They don't need to," Fiyero smiled. "My grades since I've met you is enough evidence for them. Besides the fact that I love you. And they know if your father does cut you off, you deserve to finish your degree. Paying for your tuition and expenses is just that."
Frex's eyebrows rose so high, if he'd had any hair left, they would have disappeared into his hairline. Fiyero's parents wanted to pay for Elphaba's tuition?
Fiyero grinned. "As my dad said, it's actually an investment. Ensuring the future queen of the Vinkus has the best possible education. It's benefiting them."
Elphaba rolled her eyes, but she was smiling softly.
Fiyero frowned suddenly, leaning forward. "Fae, what is it?"
Frex looked closer and realised there were tears in Elphaba's eyes.
"It's just... why would they do this?"
Fiyero's face softened. "Because I've told them about your brilliance and your beauty and your good, loving, generous heart. They know all about how amazing you are, how happy you make me and how much I love you. They want to help in anyway they can, and make sure you know that you are always welcome in the Vinkus."
A tear ran down Elphaba's cheek and Fiyero gently wiped it away. "Don't cry, green girl. You know I hate it when you cry."
Elphaba chuckled, wiping her eyes. She looked at the letter again and sighed.
"This is very generous of them… they could meet me and hate me, you know," she told him.
"Not possible," Fiyero replied immediately.
"You're biased," Elphaba informed him.
"I'm in love," Fiyero grinned and kissed her. "Happy Lurlinemas, Fae."
"Happy Lurlinemas," she answered softly. "I love you."
Fiyero grinned. "I love yo too, green girl."
"Guys, hurry up! We want presents!" came Galinda's voice interrupted them from out of the room and laughing, Elphaba and Fiyero obediently headed out to join the others.
Frex didn't follow this time. "I've seen enough," he said tightly.
The spirit nodded. "Fair enough."
He clicked his fingers, and in a moment, Frex was once again alone in his room.
AN. Any Will and Grace fans out there? There's a character in my next fic similar to a character from the show ;) And if you haven't seen it... YouTube it. Elphaba's dress is on my blog.