"Alone and loveless here, just the girl in the mirror..."
The meeting room echoes as Nessa strides across it. The first meeting with the higher-ups of Munchkinland that she attended on her own two feet had gone remarkably well. The looks in their eyes as they saw her, walking under her own power, is something that she will hang on to. She was powerful before, but now that she can walk, she feels like she has the world at sparkly, jeweled feet.

She pauses for a moment at the large oak table, gathering up her papers, and reflects on the meeting. The munchkinlanders didn't like her new proposition. The curfew that punished all citizens that dared to remain outside after dusk fell. Those munchkins dared to gossip behind her back and shoot dark looks at her, so what did they expect? She just wanted to be able to take her evening walk through the square without having to run the gauntlet.

Papers in hand, Nessa pivots smartly - a skill she has recently polished and enjoys very much - and heads for the hallway that would lead her back outside. The hallway is dim, the lights seem to be at half of their usual brightness. Nessarose ignores this as she begins to traverse the long hallway. As she walks, the image of Boq slips unbidden into her thoughts. After a brief struggle to think about something else, Nessa relents. The patient, sweet munchkin had been everything Nessa had wanted. The only thing holding her back had been that damn chair. Now the chair is gone, but so is Boq. Nessa wonders briefly if she would trade her new freedom for Boq to be returned to her. Her mind echoes with a resounding 'yes' as she pushes open the door and steps into the square.

The first thing she notices about the square is its unusual absence of people. It's only mid afternoon. A tiny smile flickers across her face. Perhaps word of the new curfew travelled fast.

The second thing she notices is how completely still the air seems to be. Not even a hint of a breeze. The air actually feels thicker to her, like she's wading through a pool, almost. She decides to hurry home, before the humidity ruins her carefully piled hair. The dark clouds on the horizon would hopefully bring some change. Anything would be better than this sticky heat.

As she begins her brisk pace down the street, she hears the footsteps of the obligatory guards start up behind her. It isn't safe for the Governess herself to walk Munchkinland's streets alone, but Nessa is sure that she can straighten that out. The wind begins to pick up, bringing another worry for her hair as Nessa thinks of her plans as Governess. All that these Munchkins needed was a real leader. Someone who would really bring out the productivity of the land with strict adherence to the rules. She was just what the doctor ordered.

A dark shadow falls across the pavement in front of her, pulling her from her thoughts. At the same time, she realizes that the footsteps behind her have stopped. As she turns to look behind her, the shadow spreads larger. The guards have disappeared. She raises her chin to look at the sky, only to find the sun blotted out by a big, boxy object, steadily growing larger. Remotely, she realizes that object is falling, towards her. She watches its progress through the sky, and her stomach turns to lead as it strikes her that she can not get out of the way in time. The shadow is already too large.

So Nessarose turns her gaze on the buildings around the square. As her field of vision brushes past the windows, she meets a pair of eyes watching her. Her gaze darting to another window, she meets another. And then another. They were watching her, in her hour of imminent doom. And doing nothing. Nessarose reaches one hand towards the eyes - a plea for help, or a last gesture of defiance, even Nessa herself doesn't know. Then, there is a blinding pain on the top of her skull.

'Boq? what are you doing here?' There is no form to speak the words, but they are there, just the same. There is no Nessarose to bring the words about, but she is there just the same.

'Shh, Nessa.' The Boq-figure says. 'I'm just here to guide you.'

'Guide me?' The voice that isn't a voice sounds mildly surprised. 'Where?'

'Where doesn't matter.'

And suddenly, where doesn't matter to her. 'Boq? They watched it happen. No one would help me. No one will mourn.'

'Someone will mourn. Elphaba will. And Glinda. No matter how poor a life you think you may have led, everyone touches somebody's life. And as long as you have touched one person in some way, does it really matter who will mourn?'

AN: I do not own Wicked, Boq, Nessa, or even the random Munchkins.

So this is the end of another fic. I know it's short, and I'm sorry if you wanted more... I just felt that I couldn't draw it out longer without compromising the basic plot. I had set up Nessa's demise, and I had to do it.

That said, thank you to everyone for following this fic. Thank you to my sister, Heather, for sharing my Wicked obsession. Thank you to sweetsaturn for continuing to e-mail, and Lindsay (nancystagerat), I bet this chapter would never have been written without your constant encouragement.

I hope you all liked the story. If you were a fan of my first Wicked fic, "No One Mourns the Wicked, But What About the Good?", my next project is for you. If you haven't read the fic yet, go now! :P It's good and angsty.

Keep an eye out for "There's a Kind of a, Sort of a Cost" and "There's a Couple of Things Get Lost". I will be writing these fics concurrently. They'll be the prequel to my first Wicked fic, mentioned above, from the point of view of Elphaba and Glinda respectively, telling the tale of Elphaba's journey into hiding and Glinda's journey into madness. Check 'em out.

Thanks for reading,