A Lazy Afternoon

Disclaimer:  I don't own these characters. 

Fiyero lay flat on the thick stone wall bordering the river that ran through Shiz, looking up at the sun.  It was a warm, pleasant day, and his thoughts were everywhere but on the textbook that now lay open on his stomach.  He had read and reread the same paragraph ten times before giving up.

"Fiyero, chap, we are going into town," Crope began, "You want to come?"

"No, I think I will stay here."

Tibbett grinned.  "We're meeting up with Boq and Avaric, and the girls."

"All the girls," Crope added. "Miss Glinda, Miss Milla, Miss Pfanee, and Miss Shenshen."

Fiyero nodded along with Crope's excitement to humor him. 

"Are Nessarose and Elphaba coming?"

"Uh, yeah, probably. I sure hope Nanny's not coming."

"That's unlikely if Nessa's gonna be there," Tibbett snorted. "She never goes anywhere without the old lady."

"Oh, you should be nicer.  Nessarose is unable to do much for herself," Fiyero chided.

Tibbett shrugged.

"So you gonna come now?" Crope questioned.

"I am going to pass this time."

"You're not studying," Crope protested.

"I just like laying here, in the sun."

"Suit yourself."

Crope and Tibbett scurried down the road in the direction of town.  Fiyero returned his gaze to the sky.  It was a crisp, vibrant blue, free from clouds.  Here and there a bird flittered overhead.  In this pleasant atmosphere he drifted off to sleep. 

"So that's what you think of Life Sciences."

At the sound, Fiyero bolted upright, barely catching his book before it plummeted into the river.  "Huh?" he asked in a sleepy daze, looking up to see Elphaba standing beside him.  "What did you say?"

She smiled and sat beside him, where his head had been.  "I said, so that's what you really think of Life Sciences, the book laying on your chest, you sound asleep."

Fiyero leaned back on his left arm, and cocked his head to face her.  "It's too nice out."

"Uh huh."

"No, really, it is.  I do like the Life Sciences.  But not when its bright and sunny without a cloud in the sky."

Elphaba looked up that the sky.  "It is nice out.  I guess there's no hope for my finishing this either."  She pulled her own copy of the Life Science textbook from her black, leather satchel. 

"Yes, very unlikely."  Fiyero smiled.  "So why are you not in town with all of the others?"

"I could ask you the same question."

Fiyero shrugged.

"I just didn't feel like being a people person today."

"Are you ever?"

"Ha.  Ha. Ha."

Elphaba lay her book on the wall, lifting her legs and her skirts up and turning to lay on her stomach.  Fiyero watched her intently. 

"Oh, I'm sorry Miss Elphaba, I didn't mean to stare."

"Quit the Miss Elphaba bullshit."

Fiyero nodded.  "Elphie."

She smiled softly.  "That's better.  So why was I so interesting a minute ago?"

Fiyero felt his cheeks getting warm, and was glad that his dark skin would not betray his embarrassment. 

"I was just surprised that you came over to talk to me if you did not want to be around people today."  He stared at his lap. 

"Well, I couldn't exactly be rude."

"I was asleep."

Elphaba hesitated.  "You're not like the others."


"You're not,"  She tried to busy herself in her book. 

"How so?"

"You're…not annoying…usually."  Elphaba pulled the wide brim of her black hat down so far over her face that Fiyero could no longer see it.  He took this as his cue that she didn't want to talk about it anymore.  H scooted forward and lay back, raising his book to read once again.  There are many species of plants that…   He still couldn't concentrate.  Once again he sat up, now placing his book beside Elphaba's, rolling over onto his stomach.  There are many species of plants that have naturally occurring medicinal properties. 

"How long have you had the blue diamonds?"

He looked up.  She was staring at his face.  He ran his fingers along the pattern on his forehead.

"I was 14.  It is a sign of nobility, of coming of age, conferred during, uh, puberty.  I had spent a month, solitary, in the grasslands, fending for myself, proving myself, if you will.  When I successfully returned I became an adult in the community."

"Arjiki Prince, what does that entail?"

"For now not much.  When I finish school, I will look after the business and political interests of the Vinkus."

"And take your child bride?" Elphaba snickered.

Fiyero nodded.  "That also."

"Have you known her yet?"

He scowled.  "Not like that I haven't.  I've met her though."

She looked at him, seeking more information. 

"What Elphie?  What is it you want to know?"

"Nothing."  After a moment she broke her gaze.  Her dark eyes were rich.  Fiyero blinked in bewilderment.  He had never studied her that closely before. 

"So are you finding this chapter as boring as I am?"

"No."  Elphie didn't look up.  Fiyero shook his head and lay back. 

"Get your hair off my book."

He scooted an inch further, to keep his short, dark locks from her page.  "Oh, its getting cloudy."

"Maybe now you will find the attention span to read."

"Ha ha."

"What's so boring about it?  The chapter has practical applications."

"I know.  That's why I find it boring.  I know most of this stuff already.  I've had to."

"Ah.  Then why try to read?"

"Because if I don't, then all the exam questions will be on the obscure stuff that I don't already know."

Elphaba laughed. It was a pleasant sound, and rare.  Usually she just snickered.  He could feel her watching him, but did not want to sit up only to annoy her back to her book.  He focused on the sky.  The clouds had moved in quickly and loomed ominously overhead. 

"I think this chapter is the most interesting yet."

"That doesn't say much, Elphie."

She laughed again.  A broad smile formed on his face, breaking only when a rain drop landed smack between his eyes.  Slowly he sat up, stretching out his head.  Plunk.


"What?  What's wrong?"

"You have a, uh, problem with water, right?"

She nodded, a drop falling onto her hand, she hissed in pain and rapidly retracted it to her side.  "Shit!"

Fiyero could not believe how violently she reacted to the single drop. "Are you all right?"

Elphaba wasted no time answering him, but ran off, as fast as she could for Crage Hall.  Fiyero looked after her, concerned.  Being pelted by a few more drops, he jumped down.  She had forgotten her book and satchel.  He picked them up, and scurried after her.