Author's Note: My Speech team just went and saw the musical version of Wicked on Wednesday and I absolutely loved it. It inspired me to write this fanfic. I think it's going to stay a one-shot, but I might expand it eventually. It starts when Elphaba walks into the Ozdust Ballroom and everyone is staring at her…
The ballroom was deathly quiet as Elphaba stepped into the room. Everyone stared at her - her awful green skin, her brown hair pulled so tightly back in a severe braid, her worn brown boots, her black dress, the funny black hat Galinda had given her that afternoon. Since Galinda had invited her she had thought -
Well, what had she thought? What had she expected? Galinda was a stupid, worthless, selfish brat. Elphaba should have known that she would only have wanted to humiliate her.
As she walked past her fellow classmates, she heard them whispering. One of them hissed snidely at her, "Who invited you, Froggy-face?"
Elphaba briefly considered turning the outspoken girl into a frog, to see how she felt about being froggy-faced, but Elphaba was perfectly aware what such an act would do to her already-awful reputation. Revenge might be sweet, but it was only a brief victory. She had to be brave; she had to prove to them that they didn't hurt her.
She was standing in the center of the ballroom now. She glanced around her, and then started to dance, in her own unique way. She had never been invited to a party, so she had no idea how anybody else danced. Elphaba liked the fluid movements she had invented. She danced like this in the privacy of her room, when nobody was around - when some other party full of people was blaring the music loud enough for the entire town to hear.
The way everyone was whispering, she knew she was probably making a fool of herself, but she continued anyone. Now that she had started, she had to continue.
And suddenly, there was Galinda, in her hideously pink and puffy dress. Elphaba decided she looked like a pastel pink cream puff. It wasn't a particularly good look, Elphaba thought, but apparently no one else agreed with her.
She stopped dancing and stared at Galinda, waiting for some snotty, perky remark questioning her presence at this party. Instead, Galinda started to attempt to do Elphaba's dance.
Elphaba gaped at her in amazement. Galinda, the most popular and most ditzy girl at Shiz was trying to dance like her?
Galinda stopped and looked at Elphaba almost shyly, as though waiting for her to take the lead. Elphaba drew in a deep breath and started to dance again. Galinda followed her lead. And slowly, so did everyone else, even -
Elphaba glanced sharply in the corner and saw Prince Fiyero eyeing her with interest. She shot a dirty look his way. Fine, let him judge her. It didn't matter. Someday she'd be working with the Wonderful Wizard of Oz, and he would just be some unimportant royal person. She turned her back to him and started dancing with Galinda, who actually seemed to be enjoying the new dance now. She giggled in her extremely annoying fashion and said, "You know, Elphaba, this dance is really fun! Where'd you learn it?"
"I invented it." Elphaba twisted her arms fluidly above her head, and Galinda copied the motion.
"Wow!" she said with another giggle. "It's so totally swankified!"
"I have to agree," a male voice said from behind her.
Elphaba stopped dancing and turned, startled to stare into the face of none other than Prince Fiyero. "Well, I … uh… I'm glad you… uh… like it," she said, trying not to blush with embarrassment. She brushed some locks of brown hair out of her face, angry that they had managed to escape her braid.
Fiyero smiled charmingly and said, "Well, Miss Elphaba - that is your name, isn't it?"
She nodded slowly.
He grinned boyishly. "I like your dance so much that I'd like to share it with you. May I?"
Elphaba gaped at him momentarily, and then nodded, totally dumbfounded. She heard a slight huff from behind her, and guessed, correctly, that Galinda was not very happy with this development.
Fiyero called over Elphaba's shoulder, "I call the next dance, Galinda! Don't let anyone steal it!"
A giggle from behind her confirmed that Galinda was no longer upset.
Before she could even open her mouth to say anything, Fiyero caught her hands and swept her away to the center of the room.
"Well, I hate to be rude…" Fiyero said, spinning Elphaba around in a circle and then releasing her. She raised her hands above her head in the fluid motion that made up most of her dance and waited for him to ask the imminent question.
"… But I have to wonder how in Oz you got that green skin," he finished, catching Elphaba's arms and pulling her closer to him.
She stared at him a moment, startled by their close proximity, but she quickly pulled her arms back and spun away from him. "I was born with it," she said shortly. "And thank you for being so sensitive to my feelings, by the way."
Fiyero raised his hands in the air. "Ouch, she barks AND bites," he said with a laugh. "I didn't mean to offend you." He glanced up at the top of her head. "Nice hat. It's very unique. Very you."
This pleased Elphaba, but she decided not to show it. "You don't even know me," she said coldly.
"I'd like to, though," Fiyero told her, catching her arms again and pulling her back to him.
She stared into his eyes. They were an amazingly rich brown - kind of like hers, actually. "Sure you want to ruin your reputation like that?" Elphaba asked, spinning in a short circle. "Besides, I'm an academic. I thought your philosophy was 'brainless is better.'"
"You really are quite the charmer, aren't you?" Fiyero said dryly. "Galinda risked her reputation by dancing with you, and I'm doing the same right now. Seems to me like she's made you pretty popular, though. I mean, everybody's dancing like you, and they seem to think you're pretty swankified yourself."
"Did you hear them when I walked in, or were you too busy to notice?" Elphaba demanded, feeling tears well up in her eyes. "They wanted to know what I was doing there, crashing their perfect party. Wanted to know what 'Froggy-face' was - " She stopped and swallowed the lump in her throat. "I'm sorry," she whispered, hanging her head. "I'm all right."
Fiyero's fingers gently brushed her chin, and then lifted her head up. "No, you aren't," he said softly. "They really hurt you, don't they?"
She stared at him, confused. How did he know? How could he understand? And why did he want to help her? She opened her mouth to reply, but a shrill cry from behind her silenced her.
"Elphaba!" Galinda squealed, grabbing her arm and pulling her away from Fiyero. "You have got to try this punch! It's totally deliciousified!"
As she pulled her away, Elphaba glanced over her shoulder at Fiyero. He was studying her curiously. She smiled slightly at him and waved a little good-bye, and then turned back to Galinda.
Fiyero watched her go, and waved back.