AN -- Well, well, it's been a while, 'eh? Sorry, dudes, my computer's been sick, and my loverly beta has run off to some smart kid place and there is no one around to keep my cursing to a minimum. I'll try and stick to this storythinger, though I can't make any promises -- I've never been too good at keeping up with things...

AN2 -- I'm thinking about redoing Under the Moonlight, like, majorly. I'm just wondering if anyone would bother to read the changes...So let me know, k?

Disclaimer -- Wicked's not mine, blah blah blah, and I used some lyrics from Knights of the Abyss' song, 'Megabrain', which is pretty much the main...morbid inspiration. It's not like anyone knows who they are, but they still deserve credit, right? Right.

In the years since the Wizard's sudden departure, the Land of Oz had sunken into a deeper pit than ever before. Poverty had started to line the streets almost three years ago, two years after the Wizard had left. Elphaba watched people in rags -- beggar attire -- walk the streets. She avoided the gilded streets most of the time; the stenches of sadness and death were the heaviest there and she couldn't stand it.

Elphaba found Oz's economic slump quite laughable, really. She thought that maybe the Wonderful Wizard had planned it like this all along. Maybe he knew what was going to happen when he left his precious land. Maybe he didn't care. But then again, maybe neither did she.

She dared only to light a single candle that night, just as the distressed wives of soldiers did. Not being able to set the hot burning wax on the window still, as was the custom, Elphaba set it on her small kitchen table and said nothing; she had no one to pray for. But she it fit to honor the soldiers who were fighting for the despicable country. How naïve they were.

Crashes could be heard far off in the distance. A rebellion was taking place. And Elphaba couldn't say that she discouraged it. The new Emperor of Oz was a weakling, a selfish, pious fraud. And she knew for a fact that she wasn't the only one who thought that.

A shot rang out into the night, and screams followed. Elphaba felt herself grimace. A crime was to take place that night, as they had so frequently at the beginning of the Serkan Rebellion. What could she do, other than stand back and watch this hell? Elphaba Thropp could do nothing. And why should she? Oz was her enemy. The people of this 'fine' country had been her real murderers, over time.

She was not afraid, even though she could sense the trepidation in the summer air. Others were afraid for their lives -- even though Elphaba couldn't understand it. What did they have? Nothing. Just as she had been nothing, they had nothing. They were nothing. She supposed that war brought out the coward in everyone, nay, Elphaba.

The night was a long one. Elphaba didn't get any sleep. When others had fled, Elphaba's pride kept her in the Emerald City, and even though it was less than grandiose, something -- her intuition? -- told her to stay.

Lightning split the sky, and Elphaba jumped, surprised. This was suicide, she realized. But who really cared? She was dead. She was dead. She was dead. There was no one to mourn her, no one would even know she was dead. She would be just another unfortunate civilian lost in the ash and rubble.

The cries stopped. Silence, sweet silence. It was over for now, thought Elphaba. The Serkans had quit for now. Tomorrow, though, the fighting would resume, thought Elphaba. "Oh, Elphaba, you better pack your shit up," she said, laughing at her own daftness, even thought she made no attempt to move.

The shock finally settled in. What the hell was wrong with her? The Wizard had murdered precious Fiyero, the little whore Dorothy had 'killed' her, and yet she still had the nerve to show up here? As she came upon this revelation, a terrible crash split the quietness of the night -- and it wasn't thunder. Elphaba shivered. She was sure that they were bombs, and they crashed throughout the night until the rain started to pour down over the city.

Elphaba laughed. It had been over a month since rain had fallen over this city of pity. And just when everyone was going to face the end, the rain falls. Shaking her head, Elphaba grabbed her candle off the table where it was still burning. She covered it with her hands, her face illuminated in the otherwise dark room. She begged the fire to give her the strength she needed to survive this.

In the morning, there was silence. Maybe people had come to terms with the thought of death, maybe they hadn't. She hoisted herself up, ignoring the fiery pains in her legs and abdomen. Elphaba had stayed in one position all night, and she wasn't surprised when her ligaments didn't move at her will.

A fine coat of dust covered the streets. Many buildings stood exactly as they had twelve hours ago, others had collapsed to the ground in a pile of debris. Elphaba sighed. For years, this was the only place that she felt she could get away from the rest of Oz; this was her place to remember…and regret.

Elphaba wondered if maybe she was the only one left alive in the Emerald City. Wouldn't that be nice? She smirked at the prospect. But no, people flocked from where they had hidden and into the streets. They were few in numbers, but there nevertheless. She grunted, showing her disappointment.

People lined the streets, staring at the rubble. The terror showed in their eyes, revealing that the 'genocide' was not yet over. Elphaba sighed and blew the out the candle; the wax had been dripping on her hands. She stared at them for a minute, analyzing their ugly green color, their thinness. "With these hands, your days are numbered," she muttered to herself.

"Everyone's days are numbered."

Elphaba whirled around -- in her reverie, she hadn't realize that anyone had snuck into her flat. Did her eyes betray? Flashing before her cruel images of the past? She blinked, just to be sure. It was real. He was real. "What are you doing here? You're dead."

Fiyero smiled. "So are you, Fae." He fiddled with the rotting wood of the wall next him for a moment, then he spoke, "I knew I'd find you here, some how."

And it seemed that Elphaba's life only got better after her death. What irony. Even now, Elphaba wasn't sure if she completely understood Fate. She had never seen the point in changing it, it would always be the same through-and-through. Hers had been decided for her the day she had been born. But now, she must have escaped it, while Fate wasn't looking, she was stealing another breath. "Where…? How….? Why….?" Usually so clearheaded, Elphaba was unsure of what she meant to say.

"It doesn't matter, Fae-Fae," he murmured. The pain in his eyes made it clear to her that he suffered, and he had endured it all for a reason. Elphaba smiled at the prospect that she was the reason. "How did you manage, though, Fae? I was disturbed when I learned that you had died. But then, I managed to pick up more of the details…It didn't fit. You wouldn't have done anything that…that…stupid. I'm glad that I followed my instinct."

"For once?" inquired Elphaba.

"Now, now, don't mock."

She went to him, and wrapped her arms around him -- unusually eager for him to hold her. She had wanted him for too long. He had been right, too: Elphaba would never have done anything that incredibly stupid. Maybe, in the back of her mind, Elphaba knew he was alive, too. Maybe that's why she dared to live on. Maybe that was why she had come here, in hopes of finding her one true love. "I think I knew, too, Yero my hero," she murmured in his ear.

"Of course you did. Why else would you have come back here?" Fiyero motioned around at the old corn exchange. It needed…some work. He pressed his lips to her, not reserving anything. He wanted her as much as she wanted him. There were no white feathers that day.

They made love on the floor, beneath the windows. Elphaba didn't care about how much he saw of her. In fact, she wanted him to see all of her. "Yero my hero," Elphaba cried out as she had done so often these past five years, except this time, there was a totally different reason for her outburst.

"I love you," he mumbled tiredly into her ebony hair. They fell asleep together, bodies entwined with each other tightly, not willing to let the other go inches from them.

Later, when they she had been in a deep, coma-like sleep for hours, Fiyero nudged Elphaba awake. She smiled at him, still entranced by his blue diamonds, still unable to believe that this was reality. "Morning?"

"No, Fae, it's the afternoon now," replied Fiyero, chuckling a bit.

"Alright then, good afternoon," she corrected.

"You, too."

"How long have we been out?" Elphaba inquired, curious as to what time it was. She hadn't gotten a full night's rest in a long while, and she expected that she had been sleeping for a quite a long while.

"Not that long, actually. A couple hours or so. Of course, you've been sleeping longer than I…"

"You are so strange," she said, rolling away from him and sitting up. The dust in the air still hadn't settled. "Now, Yero, you've gotten your reward now--"

"Reward? Reward for what?"

Elphaba gently smacked his face, "You know what I meant. So, now that you've had your reward, I want mine."

"Yours? Fine."

"I want to know all about this -- the Serkans, the fighting, everything. I've been out of the loop for a quite a while." Elphaba thought for a moment. "Actually, I don't think I've ever been in the loop, so let's start at the beginning. Sound simple enough? Staying in this rotting wood pile of larvae for hours hasn't been easy. I want to know about what's happening out there," she finished, pointing outside.

Fiyero sighed. "I'll do the best I can, even though I don't know much."

"You're lying. You know a lot, Fiyero. I can see it in your eyes."

"Where do you get off calling me a liar?" he demanded, a little more harshly than he intended.

Elphaba grabbed his wrist. "You lie. I point it out. I want to know everything you know. I'm here, right where the fighting is taking place. Do you think that I want to uninformed? No. I want to be able to stay alive. Now that…" She let go of his wrist and turned away, knowing from the harshness in his voice that he was really lying.

He sighed. "I'm sorry. Alright. I honestly don't know how it started, really, except that some man by the name of Serkan was shot in a marketplace when he was caught stealing one more vegetable than he was allowed. He was killed, and--"

"What? What does…Argh! Go on."

Fiyero shook his head and continued. "I guess that people didn't like the way he had been treated--"

"Like hell. It's a damn vegetable. I mean, I know that there's been an agriculture in everywhere within Ozian borders and the only place that produce comes in is from Quok….But still. It's Emperor Argo's fault, he was the one who--"

"Made all of those high-production farms illegal. I know." He placed his hand on hers. "Are you going to continue to rant, or should I go on?" Elphaba only grunted and Fiyero went on. "Those people formed an organization…And the people who were outside your window were those people. I think that they think that Argo was the one who ordered Serkan to be murdered so violently. Now they want to kill him."

"And so do I. I hate the Wizard with all of the boiling blood in my veins, but at least he was able to appease this damned country. Argo is nothing but a sissy. He deserves to be beheaded at his next 'court meeting'. I mean this sarcastically, by the way, because I think that they sit around picking lice off their backs and eating them like a bunch of Apes. Oh, excuse me, apes, since the recent genocides," she muttered, fierceness lacing her voice.

Fiyero had almost forgotten that that was what Elphaba had always worked so hard to prevent. He took her hand, trying to comfort her, knowing that that was what was running through her mind at this precise moment.

"I failed so miserably, Fiyero," she said softly. "Me, I failed. And I tried so hard, Yero….I just don't understand."

"Don't give up just yet, Fae-Fae, it's not over yet. There are still Animals who got away, who are running freely. I'm sure that--"

"Fiyero! You forget that I'm dead. And with this war…" A scheming look came across Elphaba's brow. "And with this war, another green girl is just what Oz needs."

"Fae, no. Please don't," Fiyero pleaded with her.

She sighed. "I was only kidding, Yero. You really think that I would put myself in that position again? No. You know me better than that. The happiest day of my life was the day that I died. I'm not about to go about boasting of a resurrection."

"With hands like these, your days are numbered," Fiyero muttered.

"Exactly. I will not fall away. Not yet."

Fiyero wrapped his arms around her, but she pulled away. "No."

Just like that, the romantic mood had been ruined. Fiyero only nodded and let her move away from him. "It's going to start again soon. The fighting, that is. I can feel it in the air. Do you have anywhere else to go?" she asked, turning to him.

"Yes," he murmured.

"Here?"

Fiyero nodded.

"Amazing," she muttered. "I'm surprised any liveable spaces survived."

"That's not what they're going for," replied Fiyero.

"And how would you know this?" she asked, turning on him. "What are they going for? Blowing this pathetic city up isn't going to solve anything. And that's coming from me. Oh, what the hell -- Are they even going to attempt to overthrow Argo? Anything would be better than the hell I've watched; even a poor Communist dictator."

"They're proving--"

"Proving what? That they can blow stuff up? Big accomplishment. It's nothing but another headache. Oh, dear, and a big one at that." Elphaba threw herself down onto Fiyero, rubbing her aching temples. He kissed her forehead and pushed a lock of hair out of her eyes. "Stay with me?" she asked tiredly.

"If you want me to."

"I do," she murmered, turning into his chest.

"Good. Because I was going to stay whether you wanted me here or not. But, Fae, it's not safe here. You of all people should know that. Please, come with me."

"Go with you where, Fiyero? You're homeless just as well as I am. We have no money, we have no food, we have no name. We are nothing," she replied, sitting up. I am nothing, I am nothing, I am nothing. Maybe Melena was right about that. She was never right about anything else, so why this time? No, she was. I am nothing but a hindrance. A disfigurement to Oz; like we need another one of those.

"Don't say that. You know it's not true. And look, Kiamo Ko should be still standing. I doubt a little splash of water hurt it."

Elphaba looked away. "Sarima--"

Fiyero took her hand. "I know. They're gone."

"I'm sorry, Yero," she murmured. "Please don't blame me, though, everyone else did, and I don't think that I can stand you, of all people, hating me. Even though you have every right to."

"Why would I blame you?"

A small smile tugged at Elphaba's lips, then it faded. Liir. No. She could never let Fiyero know about Liir. Well, in all truth, Elphaba wasn't even sure if Fiyero would care. After all, Elphaba wasn't even really sure that he was even her son.

(he is and you know it Elphaba stop fooling yourself)

So why the hell was she getting so flustered? She rose from her position on the floor. "I can't. I just can't, Fiyero."

"Well, why the hell not?" he demanded, raising his voice ever so slightly.

She didn't turn to face him. "I just can't."

"But you can't stay here, either, can you? You'll get killed."

"Yes, well," she said, "I'm beginning to wonder if maybe that isn't such a bad idea after all."

"Oh, don't get pseudo suicidal on me, Elphaba. You don't want to die and you know it. Why else would you have convinced the whole of Oz you were dead? So you could rot in peace? I think not. Something is keeping you alive, Fae," he concluded, softening. "You'll be safe at Kiamo Ko. We'll be safe at Kiamo Ko."

"You go, and you have fun." Oh, what fun he'll have. "Let me alone to rot in peace."

"You're being ridiculous," Fiyero said after a moment of nothing.

Elphaba sighed inwardly. "I know." Oh, look at that, little Elphaba-Elphie-Fabala-Fae can admit when she's wrong, now can she? It's a bitter sweet accomplishment, dear one. She shook her head, trying to rid herself of her conscience.

Fiyero was surprised. "Really?"

"Yes, really." She was surprised herself. "I just…I don't want to go back to Kiamo Ko, is all."

Fiyero didn't believe that that was her only reason. Why is she lying to me now? We're dead, for Oz's sake -- Oh, boy, that was a loaded statement -- there is nothing to hide when one is dead to the world. Right? Right. Of course it's right. I can understand that she doesn't want to go back to Kiamo Ko, for sure, but there's something more…I just wish I knew what. "Only reason?" he asked cautiously.

Suspicion washed over Elphaba's body like a wave. "Yes. Why?" she asked, narrowing her eyes.

"Just thought I'd ask," he quickly covered up. "Listen, I've got a friend -- a purebred killing machine, he's waited his whole damn life for this. He has a place in the Vinkus, too, near Kiamo Ko." He held his breath.

Near Kiamo Ko…But not Kiamo Ko? Is that any better? What a fool you are, Fiyero….No. Stop. He's trying to help. Get over yourself for a minute, Elphaba. It's fine. It's fine. It's fine. How the hell do you even know that Liir and Nanny are even still there, alive? I could never picture Liir becoming older. Oh, wow. She was cruel, and she was almost surprised.

"How near?"

Fiyero smiled. "You're coming, are you? Because if not--"

Elphaba sighed. "I'm coming. So long as I don't have to step foot in Kiamo Ko; or go anywhere near it, for that matter.

Fiyero smiled. "You won't."

"Promise," Elphaba said, trying to hide a smile.

Fiyero wrapped his arms around Elphaba and smoothed her hair back. He loved her hair…the smell of coconuts and the spices that must have somehow worked its way in, the silky sheen…He sighed. "Promise."

Reviews, pwease :-)