A/N: I came up with this after reading the second half of Wicked in one night until 2 am. Beware. Thanks Molly for help, inspiration, and the title.
Disclaimer: Not mine.
She could not bear it any longer.
Everyone else had someone to lay their heavy blame upon, and so often that someone was her. Frex's shortcomings, Melena's expectations, the incident of Liir in the fishwell, Sarima's unspoken allegations, the deaths of Sarima and her sisters and Irji, and probably soon Nor, too, though for her death might be a mercy. And then, then.
Then there was Fiyero, and with him Liir, and all he thought of her and silently accused her of.
And now this girl, this stupid little girl, seeking to have the load of Nessa's death lightened by her. By the Witch. As if she could lighten anything, anymore! As if she had experience at forgiveness!
But it was horrible; as the girl pleaded it was as if the bodies of anyone who had ever blamed the Witch for anything were piling up upon her, like stones martyring her, once again, for what she did not, could not, believe.
She could not breathe.
She saw now a bit of what Sarima had felt, why she could not take Elphie's sorrow, and so had left it to fester and destroy Elphie, Elphie and Fabala and Elphaba, and resurrect a hardened, bitter, inhuman version of Fae. But still she could not understand Sarima's position; she couldn't see. She couldn't get at it. She couldn't get at anything.
The girl was crying and begging; she had vomited in a corner, now. The Witch, for that was all that was left of her now, wished she, too, could curl up in a corner and vomit up the fragment of soul that had been shoved down her throat; the fragment of soul that allowed her the notions of guilt and pain, or was that simply language? But the fragment of soul, or maybe just her own vomit, was threatening to choke her now.
Her emotions, all of them, Fabala's and Elphaba's and Fae's and Elphie's, spun dangerously in her head, the Witch's emotionless head, threatening to overtake her. She couldn't focus; she could barely see. Her own hateful hot blood was pounding in her ears.
The broom, the burning broom, slipped from her grasp as she tried to cradle her careening, churning, head in her hands. It fell hard against her dress and set it afire.
She screamed, not in fear but in rage, her thoughts echoing the girl's words- "Oh will this never end!"- as the girl took a bucket of water and drenched her with it.
Hot and cold, working together to produce an icicle. To produce death.
Fire and water, blue and burning at their centers both.
But as her eyes fluttered closed, the burden of blame was lifted, and she felt as though she might lift herself free of her cold burned form and fly.
As her soul, for she did have a soul, small and weak and atrophied though it might be, sped off to find what awaited it, she thought of just one thing that would haunt her.
"I'm sorry, Liir," she said silently, and tried to bless him. But she was no devil, and she was no angel, either, as Nanny had once said, and she had forgotten blessing again.
But no matter.
Liir would find love, someday, and then he would understand, and forgive her. He would.
And as she released him, and let him go, she felt herself suddenly on the ground once more, on the ground of the Other Land.
She stood and walked forward, calmly, as if all the hours of missing sleep had been returned to her now, and she could see things clearly for once.
She was filled with pleasurable expectation- she had forgotten that again, too.
But no matter. Fiyero was waiting for her.