Disclaimer: I own nothing from Wicked except the soundtrack and the ability to look up everything I can about it on the Internet. Title is (obviously) taken from the sing Dancing Through Life
Title: Nothing Matters
Rating: PG – 13/T
Summary: My version of Fiyero's history because I think there are a lot of unanswered questions and there's more to him than what we see in Act One of the musical. Basically I was listening to Dancing Through Life and I started wondering how he knew that 'life's more painless for the brainless'.
Authors Note: This is written in first person and intended to be Fiyero telling the story to Elphaba.
I'm sure it will shock you to hear that I wasn't always the shallow, self-absorbed, person you've known me to be. Everyone has a past after all and the past can be held responsible for the future.
When I was fifteen I became a warrior of the Arjiki Tribe, my father's people. It's a very ceremonial process that finishes with the successful candidate being named as a warrior and tattooed with blue diamonds. Mine are on my back, we decided that in view of my future responsibilities it would be better for them to be less visible to strangers.
Anyway that's not important. You're obviously wondering how someone could go from being an Arjiki Warrior Prince to…well being me.
My parents were understandably proud, more than one young man has simple never returned from the trials – it is an honour to even be offered the chance to participate.
I planned, at that point, to spend several years in the Grasslands before returning to the City then going to a Central University to continue my education.
Of course life, as we well know, seldom goes according to plan and it was when I went to stay with my Arjiki Kin that my life was changed…
Her name was Kh'ya and she was fourteen when we met, only fourteen you might be thinking, but she had been a woman for several years. She was my cousin Ciryan's cousin on his father's side, no relation to me but a Princess of the Arjiki.
Our parents arranged our engagement about, from what they told me, three months after she was born but they only informed me after I completed the Arjiki Warrior Trials.
Naturally I was not particularly well disposed towards marrying a woman I had never met but I give myself credit here because I went to the Grasslands, exactly as I had planned, to stay with my Aunt and cousins.
I was completely unprepared for what happened when I met her. She had the most brilliant red hair, I learned later that her mother was from a Quadling family – we Westerner have our own Border Landers much as Munchkinland and Gillikin do –she was one of the smallest women I'd ever seen, Galinda's height but slender, and her eyes! She had the most stunning eyes, blue as the sky herself.
I've only met one woman since whose eyes entranced me as much as hers did and she is the one I love now…but I'm getting ahead of myself.
What happened when I met her was that I fell in love for the first time in my life.
I was much more serious at fifteen, and so was Kh'ya, we both understood our duty and we didn't find each other's company excruciating so it seemed things would work out amiably enough. It seemed like we were always surrounded people, it was very frustrating, but one day we actually ended up alone together and after about fifteen minutes of inane small talk she turned to me and rather bluntly asked if I really wanted to marry her or if I was just doing it because it was my duty.
We'd only known each other for three days, and I said so, how could I possibly know yet?
She replied, "I knew from the moment we were introduced that I want to marry you for better reasons than family honour."
Well, what could I do after that but admit that my thoughts had been full only of her since the moment I saw her.
I know it sounds impossible that we could have fallen in love, we both knew what it was, after a mere three days but it happened.
I couldn't believe my luck in having my parents choose such a woman for me. I knew she would be as wonderful a wonderful Princess of the West as she was Princess of her own tribe. That was for later, of course, we weren't expected to take on formal responsibilities until we were at least eighteen or twenty. Children mature early in the Vinkus so we spend a lot of time being adults and learning responsibility.
The next day we disappeared in the Grasslands at dawn and didn't come back for three weeks. We went all the way to the Shrine of Saint Aelphaba on the edge of the Thursk Desert – the Shrine is at the same north point as the Pertha Hills in Gillikin but on the other side of The Great Kells – and said our vows before the High Priestess herself.
Of course we still had to suffer through the formal celebrations when we got back to the City at Kumbricia Pass but we were too blissfully happy to care.
After one marriage ceremony in the City there was another in the Arjiki tradition. We decided to live among the Arjiki for a few years, as I had planned myself, then I would enquire about Universities in Central Oz and she would come with me though she wasn't sure yet if she wanted to take classes or just 'keep house', as she put it, for me.
What followed was the happiest year of my life and its highest point came at midsummer, exactly a year after we'd said our vows together.
Kh'ya took me aside from the celebrations, we sat down under a full moon just like this one, and she said to me…
"She said to me…
My love, I have something to tell you.
She said it quietly and calmly, she was always so quiet and calm, and in such a way that it took me a moment to understand what she meant.
She continued: The first days of Spring are going to bring us a wonderful gift, my Fiyero.
It was only when she took my hand and placed it over her stomach that I realised we were going to have a child.
I was so solicitous of her health after that she frequently told me I was driving her to madness with my fussing but she didn't really mind. We were young, I was sixteen and she fifteen, but adult enough to be responsible for our child. We were so in love it seemed like nothing could spoil our happiness.
How wrong we were…
Everything was wonderful at first and all of our families were excited when we announced the incipient arrival of the newest member of the family.
I teased Kh'ya, when she got bigger, told her she looked like a python who'd swallowed a sheep which she thought was hilarious, and true.
Of course I had no idea that anything could, and would, go wrong.
Arjiki tradition is that men are not allowed in the tent of a woman giving birth so all I could do was listen, from outside, as Kh'ya yelled curses and insults at the top of her lungs. When things got quieter I assumed it was a sign that it would be over soon.
The midwife came out of the tent and quietly told me that Kh'ya wanted to see me. Before she could finish I ran into the tent and came to an abrupt halt when I smelled blood.
She was on the bed, her eyes closed, breathing shallowly. I demanded to know what had happened and the midwife, oh so gently, explained that Kh'ya's hips had been too narrow for her to give birth. She'd started bleeding inside and they couldn't stop it.
I couldn't believe it, I knew what she was saying but it didn't seem real. My Kh'ya, my beautiful wife who was only just sixteen years old could not possibly be dying. I just stood there staring as she told me that the Yiraki, an Arjiki Doctor, had tried to cut the child out but it was too late.
Kh'ya was holding her, our small daughter who had never even drawn breath in this world. She had been awake but too exhausted to open her eyes until the midwife finished speaking. She called my name softly and I sat down next to her realising, despite the denial in my heart, that this would be our goodbye.
I whispered her name and she smiled at me despite the pain that clouded her eyes then she apologised to me, she apologised, because she was leaving me alone. I told her I loved her, I begged her not to leave me, and she said…she said 'goodbye isn't forever, my love, one day we'll be together again.'
She closed her eyes again and I thought it was for the last time until she spoke to me again, and that really was the last time.
She told me, so quietly I had to hold her close to me to hear her voice that I wasn't to do anything stupid and if I ever had the chance to love someone as we loved each other I shouldn't hesitate to take it.
Then she was gone and I couldn't stay, not after they were buried – Kh'ya and the daughter we were going to name Shor'hi, it means Joy.
I… ran away and made myself forget her.
I went to school in Central Oz, discovered all the brainless things you could do, found a dozen ways to numb the pain.
I became the scandalacious playboy Prince with no deeper thoughts in his head than the next party and the next pretty girl.
It never felt like a betrayal with them, they didn't mean anything; they were just a way to dull the anguish of not having her.
I went on 'dancing through life', acting as shallow and self-absorbed as I believed I'd become and trying not to think about how disappointed in me Kh'ya would be.
My parents were supportive at first, then just disappointed, they kept sending me to new schools knowing, I think, that making me go back wouldn't work. We've never spoken about it but I've always assumed that would rather know where I was then let me run around Oz on my own or worse go back West and do something really stupid.
Finally I went to Shiz University and I met two very special women. One of them was completely right for who I was pretending to be, though by then the pretence was nearly the truth, that I was immediately attracted to her and the other was so perfect for who I really am that I was scared to admit, even to myself, how I felt about her.
Until that crazy day when I helped the most amazing woman I've ever met rescue a Lion cub from a classroom I never imagined that I could love someone again.
I could never say I love her more, or less, than I loved Kh'ya. I love Kh'ya as much as I ever did but now there is room in my heart to love another woman as well.
The greatest irony is that before I met Kh'ya I never really believed I could love someone that much then I believed she was the only one. If I had never loved, and lost, her I would never have met the one other woman I could love.
Isn't it strange how your life does end up changing?