Author's Note and Disclaimer: I do not own anything except those to which I call my own :) I hope you enjoy this fic as much I enjoyed dreaming it up. Praise is welcomed, comments are strongly encouraged, and constructive criticism is highly recommended. I take the good and the bad just as long as it's wrapped in a nice package. I hope you like this. It's been a while since my last Wicked fic.
Full Summary: Three Empresses rule Oz all because Glinda's heart changed her mind and she decided to go with Elphaba at her request. With the Oz destroyed, Morrible dead, and Oz under their command, nothing could be better. Years and years passed and Oz is happy and more peaceful than it had been when the Wizard reigned. But, something still troubles Elphaba. She is still in love with Fiyero. And the fame that she once yearned before is deteriorating. Everything that she had once hoped is failing her. How could that be after so much work, after so much acclaim? She did everything she said she would. Then why is she still unhappy?
A Little... Well, Complicated
"You're gorgeous, Nessa," said Elphaba, tucking the little lock of brown hair behind her sister's ear. Nessarose beamed happily as Glinda completed the finishing touches of the gold and white gala daylilies beautifully streaming down her pure veil.
"All done," announced Glinda, fluffing Nessa's dress. "Oh, you're the prettiest bride Oz has ever seen. Well, except for... you know. Me."
Nessa bashfully murmured a soft thank you and drew her eyes back to the full-length mirror. Elphaba had never seen her glow so radiantly. She could have never imagined her sister in any other way than draped in robes of black and deep scarlet, which always matched the frown upon her ruby lips and the blindingly bright blaze of her ruby slippers. Now she was adorned in white, her gown tenderly fitting along her skinny figure and trailing nearly halfway across the dressing room. A single red rose was pinned to her bosom, complementing her bouquet of blooming red freesias and ranunculuses. Her skin was like milk, usually hidden from sunlight, sensitive to their rays. And she was smiling.
"How do you feel?" asked Glinda, blissfully playing with her veil.
"Good. Nervous. Happy," answered Nessa timidly. She took a deep breath and looked at Elphaba, her smile never leaving her pretty lips. "I could have never gone through with this without you."
"My precious Nessa," said Elphaba sighing contentedly. She wasn't sure what she did for her, but she wrapped her sister in a warm embrace nonetheless. After they pulled away, she turned to Glinda. "Glinda, this day would never be without you. You made this possible." And Glinda took her turn in embracing the bride.
"It was nothing Nessa, really," she said, straightening out Nessa's gown after they had pulled away. "I mean, I thought I would only see Elphie once in any other color than black, and that was last year, at my wedding. But, here we are! Oh Elphie, don't give me that face. We all know pink goes good with green."
"Goes well, goes well with green," corrected Elphaba. "I have wanted to correct you for the longest time; I just had to say it." They all laughed and Elphaba smiled at Glinda. She remembered dressing in a lovely blue color for her and Fiyero's wedding only last season. Of course, she was smart not to tell her she loved the dress. It might have given reason for a weird shopping spree.
"Well, you do look positively emerald, Elphie," said Glinda, scrunching her nose.
"You need some new material," said Elphaba, in good spirits.
"I can't, the press secretary is on holiday." It was strange that Nessa insisted her wedding to be near Lurlinemas Eve. The clock suddenly struck thrice signaling the wedding to be in no less than half an hour.
"I should check on the groom," said Elphaba, dismissing herself properly. She closed the door behind her and walked down the yellow-lit hallway of the church. The candles burned a fragrance of golden daffodils, red hollyberries, and white gardenias. A man in a black suit began to approach her, a worried brow on his face.
"Well, aren't you the lucky one, wearing black. I envy you immensely," commented Elphaba, intertwining her fingers.
"I will never understand your sense of humor, Elphaba," her father said. "Is Nessarose alright?"
"Oh father, she's fine. The wine spilled all over her dress, she cried a rainstorm, I knocked her over the head with a lamp, and Glinda's tending to her bruise," she said dryly. She placed a hand on her father's arm. "Her loveliness can even take the most ardent wind's breath away."
He smiled, relieved. "I have never seen her so happy. Your sister has felt so lonely for so long. There was a point where I started realizing that I wasn't going to be enough for her to fulfill her needs. I thought that I would never be able to erase that bitter sulk her expression always showed."
Elphaba stayed silent. It hurt that he didn't once mention her in being by Nessa's side. She was the one who stood by her more than anyone else. But it was less than surprising. She just stared blankly, obediently taking in her father's monologue.
"Look at how happy she is," he continued. "And look at me. Smiling. If I wasn't going to walk my sweet pea down the aisle, I would be in uncontrollable tears. This, I'll note, will be the happiest day of my life. Absolutely nothing can make me happier." Elphaba frown. She couldn't even match her sister's wedding for her father's happiness. So what was the point?
"If you'll excuse me, father, I have to talk to the groom," said Elphaba, "unless there's something else you'd like to say?" She was half-expecting him to thank her, to mention her, to say her name like she's never heard before.
"Go. The wedding is to begin shortly," he said and walked into the room full of guests. She sighed and marched across the hallway to the groom's room. Calming her nerves down a bit, for she was starting to feel a bit nervous herself as the minute inched nearer, she knocked lightly on the door.
"Everyone is expecting the groom to be out there before the bride. Is everything alright in there?" she asked. Nothing was heard from the other side. She pressed her ear against the wood. She knocked again. "Boq?" Her hand slid to the doorknob and she turned it slowly. When there wasn't a sound of protest, she slipped inside and closed the door.
"Boq?" The room was empty. Everything was orderly placed. It was like no one had been there at all, and it was what Elphaba would have believed if she hadn't seen him walk in earlier. She walked over to his table where she hoped she'd find a farewell note or something of condolence. Nothing.
She looked toward the window. It was open. The curtains were blowing along with the wind's ballet. Oh Boq, she thought. What do I tell the bride?
The sound of a door opening startled Elphaba out of her daze. She turned around to find the door was still. Where did that sound come from?
"Did you think I left?" said a voice. She turned around fully to see Boq coming out of the small bathroom door.
"Yes I did," she admitted without an ounce of hesitance. She surveyed him from top to bottom. "You look good."
"I try," he said. "Actually, I was trying to tie this bowtie, and needed the mirror in the bathroom. And what do you know? It only made it worse."
Elphaba smiled and fixed his tie for him. He was clean-shaven, with a fresh ginger peach scent about him, his hair neatly parted to one side, and a white suit that made his body larger than it was. He looked quite handsome.
"Almost time," she said. "How...are you feeling?"
He frowned and looked at her earnestly. "How am I supposed to feel?" he asked, sitting on a small cot in the corner. Elphaba felt pity for him, knowing well that this wasn't a part of his wishes. But for some reason, she couldn't do anything about it. Nobody could do anything. And she didn't have the faintest idea why he obliged to it. Elphaba sat down on a chair across from him.
"Boq, I am so sorry," she said. "I truly am." She couldn't believe she was saying this to someone on their wedding day.
He lifted his head to her. His eyes glittered with tears that refused to filter out. "I know," he said. "I try. I really do. I was ready to leave her when you enchanted her shoes for her. But then it hit me like a pile of bricks. Her devotion, her affection for me was nothing more than a mirror image of my love for Glinda. She loves me the way I love Glinda, and that... that hurt... because I know I could never have her. I didn't want Nessa to feel the same way."
Elphaba bit her lip but remained quiet. His heart, she never knew, was so big.
"When Glinda got married last winter, I knew it was over," he continued. "I could never pursue her. No matter how much I love her, I could never jeopardize her reputation on account of me. So I stayed with Nessa, thinking that at least one of us could be happy. And here I am." He stood up and paced toward the door.
Elphaba stood up. She was about to speak, but he beat her to it.
"She's a good friend. A good friend," he said. "I guess I have to make the best of this because I don't want to be miserable for the rest of my life."
"You'd be living a lie," she said suddenly.
"I would rather live a lie than to make my best friend unhappy," he said sternly, fighting back the tears fiercely. He laughed abruptly, which created a strange atmosphere. "She was practicing how to walk down the aisle a few days ago. It was... it was hilarious because she knew she wasn't a good walker. So she made fun of herself. She purposely walked crookedly, walked backwards. I told her..." He took a deep breath, like he couldn't believe he was telling her this. "I told her that she better not walk down the aisle like that on our wedding day. Our wedding. My lips betrayed me, I thought." He gazed upon her eyes and they were smiling. At first Elphaba thought she was seeing things, but a gentle curl came about his lips. She wondered if her eyes were deceiving her.
"Her shoe fell off," he said smirking. "And I helped her up. And we laughed. And I slipped her shoe onto her foot. She kissed the crown of my head. And... And I kissed her lips. And then we made love." Elphaba's eyes grew, but didn't say a word. Were her ears deceiving her as well?
He opened the door and looked up at the ceiling, then inhaled. He let out a sigh and looked at Elphaba. "I don't know if this is true love, and because of that, I am afraid. But the only conclusion I can come up with is that I have the rest of our married lives to figure it out."
Elphaba watched him leave the door, confused, but engraving every word to heart.