Collecting You

By gypsylemon

Rating: R

Author's Note: Yes, I know there's also a book, which I read, but this fic takes place at the end of the Broadway play. Even so, it adopts many aspects from the book, so in a way it's a crossover/AU.

Disclaimer: None of this belongs to me except the ideas.

Chapter 8: Old Friends

Boq's tin features were that of amazement when he stepped inside Glinda's luxurious apartment. This was the kind of living one saw in magazines, the kind of living that the majority wished they could take part in. "Well it seems that you've done well for yourself."

Glinda smiled and giggled, hanging her coat up on the rack by the door. "Public figure." She admitted, hoping it would explain everything; Stealing from the deserving Ozians and using to support her own advances. As good as she was, her position forced her into an anti-Robin Hood state.

"If only the people would take a liking to a man made of tin." Boq teased, but there was some truth to his words, and a sense of envy. He came close to adding, "But what should I know of earning people's admirations?" but that would lead Glinda far too close to believing he was still bitter about his ancient infatuation with her. He had long since abandoned the thoughts of previous escapades of spying and garden meet-ups at Shiz.

High heels clicked against the marble floor, a female sound, as Glinda went to the kitchen. "Do you want something? Tea?" She called.

He could not suppress his laughter, and finally managed to stop so he could say "No."

"Then don't mind if I heat up a pot for me."

Her tea obsession fascinated him; she had been drinking a cup when he had found her, ordered a second during their conversation and had now come home to make more! Boq came to the early conclusion that it must be an upscale habit, the need to be polite and lift their pinkies each time they took a sip. Or maybe it was entirely feminine. He wasn't familiar with either of the two, so he said nothing.

"Make yourself at home! Please, don't worry about a thing." Glinda called from the kitchen, so Boq did. The entire apartment reeked with the need to maneuver through it silently, for some unnerving reason, so he moved slowly, so as not to clank about. The apartment boasted femininity and excess money to spend lavishly on endless ways to spoil oneself.

The couches looked fragile, like they would shatter if he looked at them too much. He didn't dare step his dirty feet on the rugs. He feared that touching something would cause it to explode, so he just stood in place, exploring with his eyes.

Glinda clucked her tongue disapprovingly when she returned with a beautiful ceramic mug between her hands. "I told you to sit." She scolded, but forgave him with a warm smile as she sank into a chair. "Sit, let's talk some more."

His joints creaked as he lowered himself onto the couch, ever so gentle, so as not to ruin anything. "For goodness sake, Boq, it's as if you're walking on glass." Glinda noticed with a laugh.

"I…can walk on glass just fine."

"It was a joke."

"Sorry."

"Don't be," Glinda sipped her tea, burned her tongue and nearly dropped the mug. Some of the brown liquid flew from her mouth and stained her gown with ugly, brown splotches. "Damn it!" She then demonstrated her extraordinarily colorful vocabulary as she tried to get the stains off; words, to her misfortune, did not help at all.

"Glinda, it's just a dress. Get another one!" Boq said with a laugh.

She let out a sort of a whimper and she shook her head. "No, this dress was special! It was…" She realized what she was doing, and her childish features molded into an amused grin. "Ridiculous. Losing it over a dress? Shame on me, I've been locked up in here too long."

"I don't believe it. Miss Glinda the social butterfly, finally gone reclusive on us? Sweet Oz. Something's wrong."

Yes, Boq, something is wrong, Glinda thought, but decided against vocalizing. She made a joke instead. "First you get turned into tin, and now this! What is Oz coming to?"

Laughing, she slid her mug across the table so if was further away from her. Her tongue still smarted form the scalding liquid, so she decided it was about time to draw the line on hot beverages. "What brings you to the city? Last I knew, you were with…oh, um, I'm sorry."

It hurt Boq to see Glinda falter with fear of hurting him. He was a heartless tin robot; how could he hurt? But still, he may as well tell her why he had looked her up. It was important, after all.

"I wanted to see the sights."

Glinda raised an eyebrow. "I didn't think you liked the city. Weren't you more of a farmer? My memory is so terrible with things like this - Oh! Do you remember when I used to call you Bic?" She cried out, succumbing to new humor with more laughter.

That name, oh dear it had been too long. Boq shook his head. "Your memory was truly horrible. I'm glad it's improved."

"Who says it has?" A tug at the on of the corners of her mouth, and she winked. "I still can't believe you're really here. So much has happened, everything's so different-"

"So am I." Boq interrupted with dry tone to his voice.

"No, no, I didn't mean it like that." Glinda quickly tried to cover her tracks.

"It's alright, I know I'm a bit of a shock to see, which is why I came here." Glinda tilted her head a little to the side and smiled attractively. Boq took a deep breath and continued, "I remember how I came to be…like this, and you have the only thing that can help me."

She shook her head, "I don't think I know what you mean."

Don't get discouraged, Boq thought, explain it to her. As she said, her memory had never been first-rate. The prospect of bringing up the book worried him, and he remembered the everlasting pain it brought down upon him. "Elphaba made me like this, she put a curse on me when she read something from that book of hers."

Glinda's face fell.

"Glinda, I need you to reverse the spell. I can't live like this; I can't even call it living, really. I exist, nothing more. My family's thought me dead for years."

Come to think of it, Glinda suddenly remembered a frantic letter from Milla, something about Boq, but she had never read close enough to understand what had happened. She wondered if this had been it.

"I remember when you were making your rounds, the day…Elphaba died." This sent an involuntary chill down her spine. "You had her book with you, and if you still have it I need you find a spell that can bring me back."

She was shocked and terrified that he was asking her to do this. If only he knew she couldn't even read from the Grimmerie! Her brain frantically searching for escape routes, Glinda took into consideration the plan of lying to Boq, telling him she had no idea where the book was, or that she had given it up years ago. But she had already stayed silent for too long to make her lie believable.

"Boq, I can't-"

"You can! Yes, please, Glinda, do this for me. I'm not asking you for money or land or anything. I just want to be me again."

Glinda refused continuously, terrified of failure. She had never actually come to terms with her lack of magic skills, but now that a life was on the line it scared her into thinking reasonably. Boq shrugged petulantly and left without a goodbye.

In a dark corner of her cell, Elphaba thought that if she ever had any faith, she would have lost it a long time ago.