It's been ages since I've updated, and I'm sorry. Lately, time has been difficult for me to come by. The fact that I've been working on about five different stories at the same time for all sorts of things hasn't helped either. Hopefully I'll find more time to write this. Please read and review!

Disclaimer: Not mine.

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The group was led into the spacious cave that served as a home to Elphaba and Fiyero. The place was cozy enough. Although it was warmer than the night outside, it was a cave and was therefore still very cool. Ayenna noticed that there was a small natural stream that flowed inside in the right-hand corner of the cavern. The rock basin it flowed into was shaped so like a bowl that it could have no other use besides a bathtub. Ayenna guessed that it was only used by Fiyero since Elphaba shared her cat-like aversion to water.

Fiyero showed them to some chairs that appeared to be handmade. He bade they take seats and then sat down himself. Only Elphaba remained standing. They sat in awkward silence for a few moments, and Fiyero stared at Ayenna as if expecting her to speak. When she said nothing, Glinda interjected.

"How are you two even alive?"

"It's a long story, Glinda, but it is one that you need to hear. Seventeen years ago, after I said goodbye to you for the last time, you will remember that I was 'melted.' However, no more than a few thimblefuls of water actually touched me, and most of it just hit my dress.

"Fiyero and I had planned on escape, an escape which would leave me believed dead. At the thirteenth hour, I stood in the appointed place where I knew that my 'demise' would take place. Unknown to anyone but Fiyero and I, there was a concealed trapdoor at my feet. When that wretched little twit, that Dorothy, threw a bucket of water at me, I triggered the trapdoor and disappeared. They believed they had successfully eradicated me.

"After waiting for things to cool down, Fiyero came to get me, and under cover of darkness, we fled. We had meant to go to Quox, but we stumbled onto these caves by mistake and have lived here ever since," Elphaba explained.

"But Fiyero was already dead! How could he save you?" Glinda asked.

Fiyero chuckled, "I am not dead, Glinda. When they led me away to kill me, Fae here," he looked affectionately over at Elphaba, "used a spell to keep me from dying. She turned me into a scarecrow."

"Then why aren't you a scarecrow?" spluttered Glinda.

"Fae brought the Grimmerie with us, and she managed to find a spell to turn me back eventually."

After several minutes of meaningless jabber, most of it contributed by Fiyero and Glinda, Dhert did his best to stifle a yawn.

"Perhaps we should go to bed," Elphaba interjected quietly from her corner.

"What? Oh yes….Yes, I suppose they are tired," Fiyero said, sounding a little flustered at being cut off mid-prattle.

The cave housed no bed other than the one belonging to Elphaba and Fiyero. They willingly gave it up, and in the end, Glinda slept on it. The others were provided with blankets and pillows, and they went in search of a cave corner to curl up in.

Ayenna purposefully distanced herself from everyone else, especially Dhert. She felt she had to shun him; perhaps it would stunt the growth of certain feelings.

Dhert noticed this snub but tried to pretend it didn't bother him. He settled in for the night and tried not to think about the fact that they were technically sleeping in the same room and that if the adults left, they would be quite alone…

Sometime in the stillness of the night, Glinda awoke with a start from a pale green hand resting on her shoulder.

"Elphaba! You frightened me!"

"Sorry. Scoot over some," Elphaba said in a whisper.

Glinda complied and Elphaba sat down beside her on the bed.

"Now we can talk," Elphaba said.

"Sharing secrets in the middle of the night," Glinda said wistfully, "It reminds me so much of Shiz."

Elphaba grinned. "I know. I've missed you Glinda."

"I've missed you too," she hugged Elphaba. "Have you talked to Ayenna one-on-one yet?"

"No."

"What about Fiyero?"

"He snuck out of bed about half-an-hour ago. I'm sure he's talking to her," Elphaba said.

"Oh."

"Poor girl, she's not going to get any sleep tonight. I'm going to go speak to her in a little while. I just want to give him some time to talk to her," Elphaba said, "So, Glinda, what have you been up to? Any men?"

"Other than being the figurehead of Oz, I haven't been up to much. No…no men."

"Glinda, please, I hardly see you as celibate," Elphaba said with a smirk.

"Well, maybe I've changed."

"No one changes that much."

"You'd be surprised," Glinda said coldly, "Believing that my best friend was dead for seventeen years had its tolls on me."

"Glinda…"

"Don't. You obviously had no intention of ever seeing me again. I wouldn't even be here now if it weren't for Fiyero."

"Neither would I. He hatched my escape plan seventeen years ago. And Glinda, you know that you were…are…my best friend. I was afraid for not only mine and Fiyero's safety, but yours as well. I still hold to what I told you all those years ago. If you had come out with the story of our friendship, they would have turned against you," Elphaba told her.

"I know," Glinda conceded, "I just wish you could have at least told me sooner."

"The risks were too great. Any way I could have contacted you might have led to discovery. I thought that I might be able to get in touch with you when things cooled down, which I did. Unfortunately, people still have enough fear of me for me to attempt it without extreme secrecy. I am glad to see you."

"And I'm glad to see you," Glinda said, "So, you've just been hiding out in this cave like a green Ozma, all these years?"

"You know I don't believe in that nonsensical children's story. But yes, I suppose my life has been somewhat like hers."

A shadowy figure detached itself from the cave wall where Ayenna was and crept back to the opposite corner that Elphaba and Fiyero had made into a bed.

"That'll be Fiyero," Elphaba said, "I suppose I should go talk to Ayenna."

"Good luck."

Glinda hugged her, and Elphaba left without another word.