Chapter Five: A Fair and Happy Ending

Elphaba got up from the bed immediately and clung to Fiyero, "Stay in here."

He tore away from her. "I have to go down there. I have to know what's been going on. I have to confront Sarima."

She looked at the ground, at her bare skin, at the tower window. "Go, then."

"Fae." He said, knowing it was hurting her.

"I will be gone by the time you get back up here. Don't try to change my mind. Do you want Liir or should Nanny and I leave with him?"

"You are out of your mind!" Fiyero stumbled over his words, not understanding how Elphaba could just offer to give or take their son. "You're coming down there with me."

"Well, that's a novel idea." Elphaba remarked sarcastically. "I don't think that'll go very well."

"You're not leaving me."

"I should've left you a long time ago."

"No. Please don't do this," he begged, forgetting his family outside, forgetting everything, pleading.

She looked at him, on his knees, as she stood with her back to him, naked. Humbly, she slid away from his view and wrapped herself in the blankets again. "I know you're going to say you love me. I don't want to hear it. Not now. Not ever again."

"I can't live without you," he protested.

"You did before."

"I don't want to now. Not after I've loved you for so long."

"For so long? We've been lovers for a year and a month. You've been married to Sarima for much longer than that."

"But I love you!" He was exasperated. It felt as if he'd just had this argument (perhaps because, prior to making love, they had already had this argument). "We've fought this fight before. I've won. Give in."

It took ten minutes a miracle to make her see reason, but she did. By the time Fiyero got downstairs, Elphaba behind him, Sarima and the rest of the family were in the kitchen.

"Fiyero, honey, I didn't know you were coming home…" Sarima ran to her husband.

He put out a hand and stopped her from hugging him. "Where has everyone been?"

"Are you serious? You know where we've been. The men leave on a hunt for half of the year every year, only now there was no one to lead, what with you being gone and…"

Fiyero brought his hand to his forehead. How could he forget? The entire tribe must've gone, instead of all of the men, which is why no one had been around. "But no note?"

"I didn't think you cared!" Sarima said haughtily. "You didn't even send the kids Lurlinemas presents."

"I did and they're here now. They came in the spring. Sarima, you know that the mail doesn't come through quickly out here, especially in the winter."

Elphaba, who had been standing in the shadows, put a hand on Fiyero's arm. "Calm down."

"Who is this?" Asked Sarima.

What a mess! The three children looked at their parents, confused. Manek piped up, "What is wrong with her?"

Elphaba sunk back, ashamed.

Fiyero grabbed Elphaba's arm. "This is Elphaba, a friend of mine from school whom I ran into in the city. She came back here with me when I found out that the entire tribe had gone and disappeared on me." He glared at Sarima.

"How could I send you a letter? I can barely read and I certainly cannot write. There was nothing to do. But what is your friend doing here after so long?"

It seemed Sarima was already catching on to the doings of her husband. Fiyero sighed and said, "I think the three of us need to talk." He turned around and gestured to Nanny, who was standing, enthralled, in the stairwell. "Will you watch over my kids, please?"

"I'm already watching over one of them." Nanny gestured to Liir.

The three children were confused, but Sarima knew what was going on. "Yes, I think we had better have a nice little chat."

Fiyero opened the door to the next room and held it open for both Elphaba and Sarima. The two women stayed far away from one another and sat on opposite sides of the room. Knowing the choice was really more than just who to sit next to, Fiyero sat beside Elphaba. "We both have some explaining to do, don't we?" He began a conversation he knew was going to be difficult.

"I suppose we do." Sarima said simply.

"Sarima, you know this marriage wasn't exactly what either of us wanted. We've never loved each other all that much, though we tried. Without the throne, this marriage would have failed miserably by now."

Sarima was quiet.

"I know this is hard, Sarima. But all along, I've loved..."

"Wait." Sarima cut him off. "I have, too."

"You have what?"

"Loved someone else." Sarima said solemnly. "Almost as soon as you left for the Emerald City, there was this man..."

Fiyero couldn't believe she was admitting to him what she had done. He'd thought he'd have to bring it up. "Who?"

"Oh," Sarima waved it away. "No one. I guess I have no right to be angry."

"Then this was," Fiyero paused, "I hate to call it this, but mutual faithlessness? That makes it so much easier."

"I'd rather hate you." Sarima opined.

"It's just," Fiyero looked at Elphaba, who was staring at him, waiting. "I want to stay with you, Fae, I do. But I don't want to leave here. My kids..."

"That's right." Sarima said. "How is any sort of mutual split going to make this any easier on the kids?"

Resigned, Fiyero decided, "I'll leave. She and I will get out of here."

"You don't have to leave, you know. This castle is big enough for two families."

This was unlike Sarima, to be so giving. "What?"

"I don't want the kids to lose their father, Fiyero."

"But how can it possibly work?"

"I don't know. But I'm tired and so are you. This discussion shouldn't continue any longer. Not without some thinking on all of the parts involved," said Sarima generously, "including her." She gestured towards Elphaba, who had half hung her head in shame.

"I'm sorry," whispered Elphaba.

"Don't be. Or maybe you should be." Sarima shook her head. "But we all should be. This is a difficult situation."

How was it that this strange woman did not hate her? "Thank you."

Sarima smiled comfortingly at Elphaba. "Get some rest. You, too, Fiyero."

Fiyero led Elphaba back to the bedroom they shared and they both got into bed, somewhat exhausted from the worry and confusion that had controlled such a small, but important, part of their day. After a long time, Elphaba's voice emerged from the darkness. "Fiyero?"

"Yes?" His voice brushed against her body and he kissed her softly. He traced his hands along the outline of her hips, asking permission.

"Yero my hero," she granted it, and the two made love without restraint, coming together until they were both satisfied. Elphaba laid her head on Fiyero's chest. Things were not worked out yet, not completely. Fiyero and Sarima still had to discuss what was to become of their marriage. Fiyero and Sarima still needed to decide how to deal with their children. They still needed to decide if Fiyero and Elphaba would stay in the castle. Sarima had been a kind woman, kinder than Elphaba had expected. She didn't understand why Fiyero didn't love his wife. Well, after all...

"I love you," he whispered.

Maybe she did understand. And maybe, even with Sarima, and her sisters, and Fiyero's children, and Nanny and Liir, maybe there would be a fair and happy ending. Just maybe. "I love you, too."

AN: The end! I hope you liked it. Join my WICKED forum, the link is in my profile. Yes, I know, if you read my other stuff, you've heard this before. But we welcome you at Thankgoodness (that's the forum name). I hope you enjoyed my story!