Fiyero, Linc, and Zeph scouted the perimeter of the castle, which was now flooded with guards. The grate leading to the creek tunnel that they had previously had such easy access to was now kept company by no less than six sentinels. Guards were dotted along the outside of the castle walls, posted at every turn, and shift changes seemed to occur with great frequency. The three decided that the best approach was a direct one.
"Ok, you ready?" Fiyero asked.
Both Linc and Zeph confirmed their readiness.
"Alright, here's what we need to do. We need to work up the guards just enough to have them arrest me and take me to the dungeons. I don't want either of you to get arrested if you can help it. By the looks of things, Solis is going to need all the men he can get." Fiyero instructed.
Both men nodded affirmatively.
"Zeph, once they take me away, there's something I need you to do." Fiyero gave his last instructions to Zeph. "Is everything clear?" Fiyero asked.
"Very clear." Linc confirmed, while Zeph nodded in agreement.
Zeph opened the bottle of wine with the wine key he had tucked into his pocked. Although the wine had aleady been earmarked as a possible accessory for their backup plan, he secretly harbored the desire that such a fine vintage would not be required for this mission. He would rather savor the flavor later in some sort of toast of triumph rather than waste it as they were about to do. He mentally shrugged off the thought. It was for a good cause after all.
Each took a couple of swigs from the wine bottle, then threw a bit of the spirit on their clothing. They made their way to the front of the castle where two guards were posted at the entry. The men nodded to one another, then staggered their way towards the guards.
Solis had gathered his men around for some last minute instructions. "Alright men! We need to get to the great hall right away. Remember, no matter what happens, we are not to take action until we hear from Fiyero. Is that clear?"
One of the men raised his hand.
"Yes, what is it?" Solis asked.
"What if Fiyero doesn't make it out of the dungeons? What if something goes wrong? Then what?"
"If it looks like Fiyero won't be around, then I'll make the call, but we absolutely must wait until the last possible moment to act. We need to take them completely off guard. Now get your uniforms on and fall in line. We need to get to the Great Hall as soon as possible.
Glinda was sitting in Baraq's bedroom. Finally able to manage her tears, she took a look around at what would soon be her new home. She loathed everything about the place. It wreaked with Baraq's vile essence. She didn't want to think about it. Instead, she turned her thoughts to her love. It hurt her to think of her Elphie so cruelly chained in that dark dungeon. 'Sweet Oz, hasn't she been through enough?' Glinda thought sadly. Her mind started to replay the events of the last few days. It wasn't that long ago that her world had changed forever with the discovery that Elphaba was alive. She had been thrilled and hurt at the same time, but the hurt easily gave way as she realized what it meant to have her Elphie back again. Then the events in the library that almost took Elphie away from her. It was such an emotionally draining time, but Elphie had fought through it. She fought through it, and eventually confessed her love to Glinda. The memory made Glinda smile and even laugh a little when she thought about how she had mistaken the conversation as leading up to a rejection. How foolish she must've seemed. 'Elphie loves me. She's loved me all along.' Glinda thought, smiling wider. In her wildest dreams, she never thought that the scenario of her and Elphie being together would ever really come true, but it had.
KNOCK, KNOCK, KNOCK!
The knocks on the door pulled Glinda out of her reverie. A key was inserted into the keyhole and Lothier entered the bedroom. "Miss Glinda, it's time."
Fiyero stumbled towards the first guard. "Nithe night ithn't it?" he said, intentionally slurring his speech, then putting his arm around the sentry.
"Get away from me you drunk!" the first guard replied, pushing Fiyero to the floor. "A stinkin' drunk like you could be arrested for disorderly conduct. If you don't want to get thrown in the dungeons, I suggest you and your intoxicated buddies move along."
Linc and Zeph started play fighting in front of the second guard, pushing one another lightly. They accompanied the pushing with a light argument about a fictional girlfriend. The argument became more aggressive with Linc and Zeph shouting at one another until Linc pushed Zeph directly into the second guard.
"HEY!" the second guard yelled. "You inebriated idiots need to leave right now or we'll lock you up."
'Perfect!' Fiyero thought. "Come on, their justht having thome fun." He garbled. The he stumbled into the second guard, causing him to fall down.
"That's it!" said the first guard with obvious irritation. "You guys are going to the lockup." He grabbed Fiyero who didn't struggle. The second guard tried to grab Linc and Zeph, but they quickly found their bearings, turned around and ran the other direction, leaving Fiyero in custody. Their mission was accomplished rather easily. Now they just hoped that Fiyero would remain safe while they continued on to help Solis. Zeph also needed to take care of one more detail for Fiyero, and that's where he headed first.
Elphaba was pacing back and forth as much as her chains would allow. She was becoming increasingly agitated waiting for something….anything to happen. She didn't know what time it was, but surely a couple of hours had passed since Glinda had left the dungeons. 'That wedding could already be taking place. I need to get out of here.' She thought.
Elphaba stopped pacing and began to concentrate. She tried reaching back into her memory for some chant, some spell that might be able to break the chains that bound her. She didn't even know if she was capable of magic anymore. It had been so long since she had relied on it, and it now felt like a lost art. "Ah tay ahtem nah veh nahmen." Elphaba repeated the chant three times, moving her fingers and directing them at the chains around her ankles. "Ah tay ahtem nah veh NAHMEN!" A large spark flew from Elphaba's fingertips leaving a trail of energy directly from them to her ankles. An aura of blue and white surrounded her ankles, and Elphaba widened her eyes, daring to hope. The aura of blue and white light grew stronger and more intense. Brighter and brighter then finally a burst of energy exploded from her ankles back up to her fingertips. The explosion felt like a shocking current blasting her fingers, engulfing her palms and shooting up through her arms. She broke off the spell at the painful outburst, and slumped her shoulders at her latest defeat. Her magic had failed her. She was definitely out of practice. The last time she felt a shock like that she had tried to take Nessa's ruby slippers away from Dorothy. That was extremely unpleasant. 'How am I going to get out of here?' she thought.
Only moments later, she heared jingling keys, and the door to the dungeon unlock once again.
"Let go of me you old windbag." The prisoner yelled.
Elphaba recognized the voice as belonging to Fiyero. She walked to the front of the cell to see what was going on.
"Shut up and keep walking. You're pathetic. Whoever heard of a drunk scarecrow anyway?" The Dungeon Master said with obvious irriation.
Fiyero was being escorted down the stairs by the Dungeon Master. The he had Fiyero by the collar. As they descended Fiyero spotted Elphaba and gave her a wink. Elphaba furrowed her brows, but kept watching. As the Dungeon Master ushered a 'drunk' Fiyero down the stairs, Fiyero motioned with his eyes for Elphaba to check out the man's belt. The keys were dangling from the belt, and Elphaba had an idea what Fiyero was trying to tell her.
The men came even with Elphaba's cell. Suddenly, a very sober Fiyero turned and swung his fist at a very surprised and unprepared man. Fiyero pushed him backwards towards Elphaba's cell and pinned him against the bars. Elphaba quickly extracted the keys from the distracted man's belt and began searching for the one that unlocked her shackles.
The Dungeon Master regained his comportment and began fighting back against Fiyero. Fiyero dodged the attempted blows dished out by the Dungeon Master. It was instantly apparent that the man was not a fighter. He knew it as well, and started yelling for the other guards as he struggled with Fiyero.
"Elphaba hurry!" Fiyero yelled.
Elphaba was still trying keys on her lock. Two more guards descended the stairs to aid the Dungeon Master.
"Elphaba, I could really use your help right about now."
Fiyero block the guards incoming blows, and connected with his own. He didn't know how long he could hold off three men. "ELPHABA!"
Elphaba found the key to her shackles. She rushed to unlock them. After freeing her arms and legs, she searched for the key to her cell. Fiyero was beginning to falter. One guard grabbed his arms holding them behind him. Another came up to deliver a blow to the now defenseless scarecrow. Just as he prepared to bring his fist down on Fiyero, Elphaba unlocked her cell, ran out, and delivered a swift kick to the guard's midsection sending him backwards. Fiyero freed himself from the first guard's grip and back-handed him, sending him reeling towards the ground. Elphaba whirled around and caught the second guard squarely in the jaw with her boot. He was sent sprawling to the floor, unconscious. The Dungeon Master rushed Elphaba who ducked down and sent the man somersaulting over her head, directly into her cell. She grabbed the shackles, closed the door behind him and locked it with the key that was still positioned in the keyhole.
Fiyero looked around at the unconscious men, then at the Dungeon Master who was still lying on the floor of the cell, dazed and confused.
"What took you so long?" Elphaba said with a smile.
Fiyero just rolled his eyes, and gave Elphaba a hug. "What took ME so long? What took YOU so long? I could have really been hurt there. I was outnumbered you know."
"Oh what are you so worried about? You're a scarecrow. The most they could've done was beat the stuffing out of you." Elphaba said sarcastically.
"Ooooh, very funny." Fiyero replied. He motioned to the other two men still lying on the floor. "Come on, let's get these other two in a cell."
They dragged both men into their own cell, and locked the doors.
"Come on, we don't have much time." Elphaba said. She pulled the key to the shackles off of the keyring and tossed the rest of the keys to the far end of the floor as they made their way out of the dungeons.
The wedding ritual had already started in the great hall. Lothier had placed the Grimmerie on a stand just in front of where the bride and groom were to seal their union, and took his place as Baraq's right hand man. Glinda was escorted up the aisle by one of Baraq's men past two rows of guards that flanked each side of the aisle. The vicar employed by Baraq and had no sympathy for Glinda's plight. Baraq paid handsomely for his services, and he was more than happy to oblige and remain ignorant. He started the ceremony hastily, as Baraq had directed.
Glinda had no idea how many clock ticks had passed before it came to the part where she had to recite her vows. Her vows were written for her, of course. Saying those words to Baraq made her sick. The evil look in his eyes, as he knew his victory was near, repulsed her. And then the words came.
"If there is anyone present who has just cause to stop the coming together of these two people, let him step forward now." The vicar said.
Baraq grinned knowing that none of his guards would dare step forward. Glinda looked around with just the slightest hope that someone, anyone would speak up. Some of the guards in the second row moved slightly giving Glinda hope that someone would take a stand. No one did.
"Very well then." The Vicar continued. "By the laws of this land….."
"STOP THE WEDDING!" Elphaba yelled as her and Fiyero busted through the large double doors into the great hall.
Baraq turned around in disbelief. "YOU!" He said incredulously.
Glinda smiled widely seeing Fiyero and Elphaba. "ELPHIE! FIYERO!"
"GUARDS! GET THEM!" Baraq yelled.
The first row of guards prepared to attack Elphaba and Fiyero, but just as they readied their weapons, Fiyero gave the command. "GET THEM MEN!"
The second row of guards shed their uniform coats and shakos. It was the Resistance. Fiyero's men had earlier commandeered the guard's uniforms thanks to their now deceased inside man. Within moments, the guards and resistance fighters were engaged in battle. The sounds of metal upon metal filled the hall as swords furiously connected.
Baraq was incensed. He ran to the pedestal stand, grabbed the Grimmerie, and ran for the exit, trying to secure his escape. Elphaba spotted him, and ran after him. Glinda started to run after Elphaba when she was called back by Fiyero.
"GLINDA!" he yelled.
Glinda stopped and turned towards Fiyero. He waved Zeph over who ran quickly with an item covered by a long cloth. Fiyero hurriedly took the item from Zeph, opened the cloth and extracted one very glittery wand. He had Zeph retrieve it from its hiding place in the saddlebag of Elphaba's horse, knowing that they may very well need it. He tossed it through the air to Glinda who grabbed it expertly. She gave Fiyero and appreciative nod, and ran after Elphaba and Baraq who had a big head start on her now. Fiyero stayed back and joined his men against the guards.
Elphaba chased Baraq through the door, down the hallway, around the corner and into the armory. Baraq had made a mistake going in there and he knew it. There was only one way in or out. It did, however, contain a cache of weapons that he thought he could use against the green woman hunting him down if he needed to. He placed the Grimmerie on a nearby table as Elphaba ran into the room. Upon seeing her entry, he quickly opened the Grimmerie and started reciting a chant that would turn Elphaba into some harmless critter. He could have used the same chant as before, but it was only temporary, and he needed something permanent against this woman.
Elphaba's eyes widened when she saw what Baraq was attempting. She knew she couldn't defend herself. Not now. Baraq recited the spell, motioning his arms expertly. He was too far away for Elphaba to reach him before the spell was complete, and retreating wouldn't save her now. She just stood there, defenseless as Baraq completed his spell. His final words, his final arm motions. Once the spells were cast, they were irreversible. Baraq read the last word, and thrust his arms out towards Elphaba who never moved in response.
Baraq's eyes were wide with disbelief when he saw what his spell had produced. Nothing! Absolutely nothing! Elphaba still stood before him, looking herself over and making sure she was still intact. "But how?" he said out loud.
"Don't you recognize your own handiwork?" Came a familiar voice. Lothier entered the room, having quickly followed Baraq and Elphaba out of the Great Hall. "I switched the books. You're reading from the fake Grimmerie."
"YOU!" Baraq yelled angrily. "Traitor!"
"Yes, a traitor." Lothier said with disgust. "I put up with you for years, idly standing by while you treated your staff and your supposed friends with complete disrespect and hostility. You used people and Animals to practice your spells, and you never cared when something went wrong. You paid me well, so I stayed on, and that's a flaw in my own character that I regret, but once I saw what you did to those women, especially this one.." he motioned towards Elphaba "I decided that I could no longer wallow in ignorance. I couldn't stand by and watch you become the new Wizard of Oz. You had to be stopped."
Baraq was infuriated. He raised his hands and started uttering the chant he had used against Elphaba earlier, intending to turn it on Lothier this time. Elphaba intuited what was about to happen and started running towards Baraq, but Baraq had completed his sequence sending Lothier reeling in pain. The spell was short-lived however. Initially distracted by the intensity of his focus on Lothier, Baraq saw Elphaba coming and broke off his attack. There was no time to produce another spell to stop the green woman. Quickly, he grabbed a spear off of it's rack and rushed towards Elphaba. She sidestepped his attempted thrust, and ran towards the rack herself. Extracting her own weapon, she turned to face him.
Baraq brought his spear over his head and sliced it down towards Elphaba. She blocked the blow, holding her spear horizontally. Baraq retaliated by trying to swipe at her legs, but Elphaba leaped over the attempt. The two traded blows, thrusting , swinging and blocking furiously. Elphaba took a more defensive posture. Baraq was good. Possibly better than she was. She would have to hold him off and wait for a mistake. Unfortunately, the mistake was hers.
Glinda rounded the corner just in time to see Baraq strike a blow that knocked the spear out of Elphaba's hands. He swung his weapon striking Elphaba in the gut, effectively doubling her over and sending her to her knees. Another swing from Baraq connected with Elphaba's jaw, sending her sprawling backwards.
"NO!" Glinda yelled.
Baraq pulled his spear up over his head, preparing for the final strike. Just as he was about to strike the blow, Glinda waved her wand and directed the spell towards Baraq. At that moment, his spear turned into a bouquet of pink flowers. A surprised Baraq looked at his bouquet, and furiously slammed them to the ground. He turned his head in Glinda's direction, staring at her with an innate fury. Glinda just raised her head and smiled haughtily in triumph.
Elphaba took advantage of the distraction. She brought her leg up and swiftly kicked Baraq in the stomach, sending him reeling backwards. That allowed her time to quickly get to her feet and retrieved her weapon. Baraq had just enough time to look up and see the rage in Elphaba's eyes as she swung the blunt end of her spear down, cracking him over the head. The blow sent Baraq sprawling on the floor. Elphaba approached him again as he started to rise. She kicked him in the ribs, sending him to the floor once again. All the anger that she felt for what he did to Glinda was building up inside. Elphaba struck Baraq again… 'I told him I wasn't interested.' and again… 'He started becoming more forceful' and again….'I ran from the house screaming'…and again….'He ripped my dress.' Each blow was becoming harder and more furious as she pictured a terrified Glinda confronting this man. 'He tried to force himself on me.' Elphaba struck him more and more forcefully with each swing. Baraq was nearly unconscious from the attack.
Glinda ran to Elphaba sensing that her love was losing control. "Elphie stop!" she pleaded.
Elphaba raised her weapon over her head. This time, she turned the pointed end of the spear towards Baraq. The world was tuned out. Her eyes burned with hatred, and all she saw was the man who had attacked her love. She prepared to plunge the spear into Baraq's chest when Glinda intercepted her arm.
"Elphie stop! Don't do this. You're not like him." Glinda pleaded. She knew that Elphaba was on the edge of losing herself, and if she didn't intervene, the green woman would pass the point of no return.
Glinda could see her lover's crazed eyes and it scared her. She gently put her hand on Elphaba's cheek, willing her to refocus. The sensation of Glinda's touch on her cheek started to bring Elphaba back. Her arms were still positioned to strike Baraq.
At that moment, Fiyero and a few of his men ran into the room.
"Elphie, look at me." Glinda implored.
Elphaba, motionless still maintained her focus on Baraq. He was now recovering and cowering beneath her.
"Elphie, look at me!" Glinda repeated, more emphatically this time. Elphaba slowly took her eyes off of Baraq and turned her attention towards Glinda. The rage slowly melted, replaced by a soft, soulful expression. Tears formed in Elphaba's eyes. Glinda gradually pulled Elphaba's arms downward, bringing her lover back from her anger filled state. Elphaba dropped her spear to the ground, as Fiyero and his men ran over to place Baraq in custody.
Fiyero took the shackles that he and Elphaba had removed from the dungeons and held them up for Baraq to see. "Recognize these?" he said as he secured the ankles and wrists.
The women never took their eyes off one another. Glinda brought her hand down from Elphaba's cheek. She slid her hand down her love's shoulder, over her biceps, and down her arm until she reached the hand that she delicately placed in her own.
"It's over sweetness." Glinda said. "He has no power over either of us anymore."
Baraq was forced to his knees. "Is that what you think?" he said in a sinister tone.
Elphaba, Glinda, and Fiyero just looked at him.
"Remember I said that I had men in Gillikin. If they don't hear from me in two days, they'll spread the word that Elphaba is alive, and that YOU Glinda, have been helping her."
"Oh, Elphie!" Glinda gasped.
Elphaba stepped forward. "I don't believe you."
Baraq shrugged his shoulders. "There is one way to avoid the witch hunt that's sure to ensue. Let me go. I'll leave The Glikkus and head to Quox. I promise I'll leave Glinda alone, and yield possession of the Grimmerie without incident."
Elphaba looked at Glinda. She could see the anger burning in Glinda's eyes at his preposterous suggestion. With nothing more than a glance and a nod, Elphaba silently gave Glinda permission to exercise her free will. Glinda walked over to Baraq. He smiled arrogantly at her, expecting her to acquiesce to his wishes. Instead he was greeted with a sharp kick to the head, courtesy the blonde woman. The blow knocked Baraq out. Fiyero and Elphaba snickered.
"I'll bet that felt good." Elphaba noted.
"Actually, it did." Glinda confirmed.
Elphaba walked over and took the blonde into her arms.
Fiyero, sensing a moment between the two women, hurried his men and the unconscious Baraq out of the room. Lothier followed under his own power.
The women held tightly to one another, relieved that the ordeal was over, and that they had both come through it ok.
"Glinda I'm sorry. Back there, all I could think about was how he hurt you. I was enraged. I lost control."
"It's ok. It's all over now, and you're here, safe and sound. That's all I care about."
Elphaba and Glinda embraced one another for a long moment with Glinda burying her head in Elphaba's chest. Elphaba looked up at the table where Baraq had placed the fake Grimmerie. The women broke off the embrace, but kept one arm around each other as they walked silently towards the table.
"Whoever that man was that left here with the others, we need to thank him." Elphaba said.
"Why? For what?" Glinda asked.
Elphaba motioned towards the faux Grimmerie. "This book is apparently a fake. Just an excellent forgery. He switched it with the real Grimmerie. Baraq tried to use it against me, but his attempt failed." She looked at Glinda. "By the way, thank you for saving me back there. I guess it was a good thing you brought your wand."
Glinda beamed. "I told you we would need it. I just wish I had thought to outfit him in a pink dress before they left."
"Ugh!" Elphaba replied. "Pink definitely does not go good with everything."
Glinda chuckled. "Maybe not, but it would have been fun."
The women laughed lightly.
"It really is over isn't it?" Glinda asked rhetorically.
Elphaba sighed, thinking about Baraq's threat to reveal her secret. They only had two days to prevent it if it was indeed true that he still had men stationed in Glinda's home town. Glinda kept her arm around Elphaba's waist as the women started their retreat from the armory.
"Elphie, I need to go back to Baraq's room."
Elphaba looked at Glinda incredulously. "What in Oz for?" she asked.
"Well, I found the necklace you gave me. Baraq had it all along, as well as another bracelet of mine. I spotted them on the cedar chest as we were leaving."
"Is that what you went back for?" Elphaba asked. "Glinda, I told you I'd get you a new necklace."
"I don't want a new necklace. I want that one. That was the first one you gave me, and it holds a special meaning for me."
Elphaba rolled her eyes, but smiled. "Come on, let's go."
On their way back to Baraq's room, they ran into Lothier again.
"Hey listen Mister….." Elphaba began.
"Lothier. My name is Lothier."
"Mr. Lothier. I wanted to thank you for what you did, switching those books. Who knows what form I'd have right now if he'd had the actual book."
Lothier nodded. "You'll fnd the real item in the wall safe back in the bedroom." He said, extracting the key to the safe and handing it to Elphaba.
"Thank you again." She said, holding up the key.
"Yes thank you Lothier." Glinda added. "You've helped us tremendously."
The women continued towards the bedroom. Upon entering, Glinda immediately retrieved her necklace and bracelet while Elphaba set out to reclaim the Grimmerie.
Glinda came into the small room and put her arm around Elphaba's waist as she opened the safe. Elphaba opened the door to the safe, revealing the Grimmerie within. She put her arm around Glinda's shoulder and just stared at the book for a few moments. Finally, lifting her arm from around Glinda's shoulder, she allowed herself to pick up the book at last. She hadn't held the book in over six years. Not since she gave it to Glinda all those years ago. Holding the book to her body, Elphaba shot a broad smile at Glinda who smiled back.
The ride back to the safe house was a slow one. Elphaba deliberately drew it out as long as she could while Glinda kept her arms wrapped tightly around her love's waist. There wasn't much conversation. The two women were just enjoying being with one another. Elphaba had ditched her cloak for the return trip. There was no point in it now. She had been seen. The word was bound to get out soon, even if Baraq didn't hold true to his threat.
When they reached the safe house, Elphaba slid off her horse, and helped Glinda down. Glinda slid down, directly into Elphaba's arms and the women held each other for a moment. Elphaba looked up to the sky and turned her attention towards the slightly waning moon. Glinda looked up as well.
"It's beautiful isn't it?" Glinda replied.
Elphaba continued to stare at the moon. "On even the clearest night, with the brightest moonlight, and a thousand stars sparkling in the sky, their beauty could never compare to the beauty I see before me right now." She said looking directly at Glinda. Glinda's looked at Elphaba and met her adoring eyes.
"I love you Elphie."
"I love you too."
The women kissed lightly, then held hands as they walked inside the safe house and carried the Grimmerie back to their room. Elphaba started a fire as Glinda got ready for bed. The two were silent, both pensively thinking about the events of the last few days. Elphaba knew that Glinda would have to return to Oz in the morning with the Grimmerie. She didn't want to think about being separated from her love.
Glinda was thinking the same thing. She wasn't sure what tomorrow would bring, but she knew that being apart from Elphaba for even a moment was something that she didn't want to face.
Elphaba finished making the fire, then got ready for bed. Once both women had dressed in their bed clothes, she walked towards Glinda and pulled her into an embrace. All Elphaba wanted at that moment was to shower Glinda with every ounce of love she had in her body. The women mildly separated and stared into each other's eyes for a long moment, taking the time to caress each other's faces, arms, neck, back and shoulders. Elphaba had her left arm around Glinda's shoulder, then took her right hand and gently ran the back of her fingers across Glinda's cheek, turning her hand over at the hairline and running her fingers through the curly, golden locks. She felt the intense emotions building up inside of her, and leaned down to capture Glinda's lips. Glinda moaned softly as she felt Elphaba's tongue join with hers. Their tongues gently explored one another and danced softly in their mouths as their lips softly pulled at one another. They kissed deeply and softly over and over again until Elphaba progressed down Glinda's neck. Using her finger to pull Glinda's shirt collar back, Elphaba moved her kissed to Glinda's shoulder.
"Let's get rid of this." Elphaba whispered, as she helped Glinda remove her night shirt.
Glinda complied, then reciprocated the action with Elphaba. The women kissed passionately and fervently, falling softly onto their bed. Elphaba positioned herself over Glinda, and the women continued kissing each other deeply and profoundly. Glinda closed her eyes, feeling Elphaba's tongue on her neck and collarbone. She ran her hands over Elphaba's back, softly massaging the green woman with love and affection. Elphaba moved back up to take Glinda's lips into her own once again. The women kissed so softly, so deeply and so slowly that Glinda thought she would burst from the emotions building up inside of her. She didn't want this moment to ever end. She wanted to keep it bottled up forever and stay with Elphaba just like this. If she could use her wand to stop the clock ticks, she would do it in a heartbeat.
The women continued kissing slowly, deeply and softly. Their last night together was filled with tenderness, passion, heat and emotion. No love could have possibly been more intense or heartfelt. They made love all night until exhaustion took over just before dawn, and they fell asleep intertwined with one another.
Morning came much too soon for Elphaba. It was the first time since they had been reunited that she had woken up before Glinda. Elphaba just stared at the sleeping blonde, noting how beautiful and peaceful she looked. She wanted to capture that moment in her mind, remember Glinda just like this and keep it with her until she could see her love again.
After a long while, Elphaba gently woke Glinda up, placing light kisses on her cheek.
"Good morning beautiful." She whispered while continuing to plant kisses on the blonde's cheek and neck.
Glinda smiled at the wake up call. "Mmmm. What a wonderful way to wake up." She said sleepily.
"Well, I learned from an expert." Elphaba replied quietly. She kissed Glinda on the lips where they lingered for a long moment before reluctantly parting. "Come on, you need to get ready to go."
Glinda frowned at the suggestion, but forced herself to get up and get ready.
Glinda readied herself slowly, but eventually finished and was ready to leave. She grabbed her necklace and bracelet from the top of the bureau and walked over to Elphaba for some help. "Elphie, will you help me put this on?" She asked, holding out the necklace.
Elphaba smiled and took the necklace from Glinda as the blonde woman turned around and held up her hair. Elphaba placed the necklace around Glinda, clasped it together, then kissed the back of Glinda's neck as she slid her arms down and around her love. Glinda melted into Elphie's embrace, leaning back into the green woman and allowing her to place more kisses on her neck and jaw. Slowly, she turned around to face Elphie and the women kissed again.
Glinda pulled back slightly with a sly smile on her face.
"What?" Elphaba said with a suspicious smile. Glinda had a look that said she was up to something.
"I told you how much it meant to me that you gave me this necklace." Glinda replied.
Elphaba just continued to look at Glinda.
"Well, I wanted to give you something in return." Glinda continued. She held up her gold bracelet. "I bought this in the Emerald City one day. I was thinking about you being gone, feeling sorry for myself because you were no longer around, and being in the Emerald City just made things worse because that's where all the problems really started."
Elphaba felt a twinge of sadness for what she had put Glinda through.
"Anyway, whenever I feel sad, something that tends to put me in better spirits is to go shopping."
Elphaba smiled at the blonde's penchant for shopping. Some things never changed.
"Well, I saw this and I just had to have it. Look at how it shines. No matter what it's been though, it always seems to come out with the same brightness and shine. Just like you Elphie. Look at you. Look at what you've been though, yet here you are, shining through in spite of everything."
Elphaba felt slightly embarrassed at the compliment. At that moment, Glinda lifted Elphaba's right hand. She took the bracelet, wrapped it around the green wrist, clasped it together, then lightly kissed the bracelet and the wrist it covered.
Elphaba was stunned. No one had ever given her a gift like this before. She stared at the bracelet as tears began to form in her eyes. "Glinda, I don't know what to say." She stated as she rubbed her left hand over the wrist and bracelet.
"You don't need to say a thing Elphie. I love you and want you to have it."
Elphaba shook her head. "I love you too. I love you so much." She gathered up the blonde woman in her arms and gave her a long, deep, passionate kiss.
When the women parted, they stared at each other trying to memorize every aspect of each other's face to last them while they were separated.
"Don't move." Elphaba whispered. "I want to remember you just like this."
Glinda smiled. "Elphie, you just couldn't be sweetlier."
Elphaba laughed at the Glinda-ism. "Come on, you need to go."
Elphaba placed the Grimmerie in Glinda's hands, then walked her outside where they met up with Fiyero.
Glinda handed the Grimmerie back to Elphaba for a moment, then wrapped her arms around Fiyero. "Goodbye Fiyero. Thank you so much. For everything."
"Thank you Glinda. Take care of yourself, and hurry back."
"Oh I will, you can count on that." She looked at Elphaba lovingly. "I have every incentive to get back as soon as possible." They hugged one last time.
Glinda walked back over to Elphaba who tried her best to smile. But it was a sad smile, and Glinda could see the pain in Elphaba's eyes.
"I'll be back as soon as I can." Glinda said.
"I know. I'll just be missing you until then." Elphaba replied. She wrapped her free arm around Glinda and gave her love one last goodbye kiss. When the kiss ended, it was all Elphaba could do to keep from crying.
Glinda struggled with the same emotions as she took the Grimmerie back from Elphaba. The women kept eye contact while Glinda stepped back from Elphaba. "I love you." Glinda silently mouthed her affections to Elphaba one more time.
"I love you." Elphaba silently mouthed back to her lover.
Glinda waved her wand and instantly she was bubbling her way back to Oz.
Fiyero walked over to Elphaba and placed his arm around her. "She'll be back soon." He said.
"I know." Replied Elphaba as she watched the bubble disappear over the horizon. "and I'll be right here waiting."
A/N – Thank you to everyone for the positive reviews and e-mails I received regarding this story. This was my first attempt at a Wicked Fic, and it was an interesting experience. I haven't decided whether or not to write a sequel, but I've planted enough seeds for one in this story if I do decide to tackle it. I'm leaning towards doing it simply because I had fun with this one. We'll see. I might make it an interactive story where the readers determine the direction of the story. Any thoughts?