A/N: School is my own personal hell. My books fell in a puddle and I had five hours of homework. Kill me now. I don't know where this story is going, if anywhere. It's postmusical. Oneshot or not? Keep in mind, I have another multichapter idea coming ASAHP (as soon as humanly possible), meaning as soon as I'm done with my AP European History essays on What is History ("Wonderful" is my inspiration and will be quoted and cited) and The Conflicting Roles of Women in the Early Middle Ages. (Oh, for time traveling powers! Oh, for summer…)

Disclaimer: Not mine.

Fiyero walks languidly, yawning, into the sunny little kitchen, still half-asleep.

"Morning," Elphaba says, not brightly, really, but far too awake for this hour of the morning. She is sitting where she sits every morning, at the table drinking hazelnut coffee with just a tiny bit of cream in it, absently petting their black and white foundling cat and reading an Emerald City broadsheet. Fiyero gets them for her, when he can. Though he is handsome and slightly Vinkus and altogether rather striking, he is unobtrusive enough when he so chooses so as to be able to return to Oz proper every once in a while and bring back necessities and small luxuries to their little mountain home. He ought to look different than he does, but some arrant strain of recessive genes from his great-grandmother, who was from Gillikin (BIG to-do over that, apparently- imagine what his parents would say if he brought home Elphaba under more ordinary circumstances, much less as the Wicked Witch of the West back from the dead! No- better- what his grandfather would do if he met Elphaba! The man hated his mother-in-law. They'd probably all three get apoplexies and finally shut the hell up! But that was a wicked thing to think), has left him with sandy reddish hair and deep blue eyes. He can go to the City and never garner a second glance.

"Oh, Yero," says Elphaba, looking up from her papers (a very unpleasant murder, he glanced at it in the shop and heard the gossip everywhere he went), "What a world we live in," she murmurs as she stands and walks, still holding her coffee, graceful and regal as a Tiger, to his side. She startles the cat and it leaps from the chair and runs down the short hall, turning the corner abruptly and disappearing into the bedroom.

Elphaba's sweet embrace wakes him up more fully than any amount of caffeine.

"But we don't," he says, wrapping his arms around her thin frame. She looks up at him, mildly arching an eyebrow. "Live in it. The world," he clarifies, and immediately regrets bringing it up. She sighs and veils lower over her hazel eyes. It's this, this total isolation and the helplessness to effect change that haunts her, he knows. She needs to be out there, to be doing something, to know that she is helping, that she is creating change. It's the very essence of her. She cannot sit on the sidelines of anything and just watch. He looks into her wonderful multilayered eyes and wonders.

He wonders how the hell anyone could think of her, of his Elphie, as wicked. How they could look at her, in her intense, harried, elegant beauty bundled in its skin soft as the silken, unfurled leaves its color emulates, look into her eyes, wide with concern and worry, always, look at her shoulders, high and proud despite the weight of the world that she herself has placed on them.

How can they hate her? She has become "wicked," is "wicked," to free them from tyranny. She did it, too, through her "death." She should be free now, free of her burden, of what she considers her duty to Oz, to its Animals, even to its People. But she is not free. He knows it is the losses weighing upon her now- Nessa, Dr. Dillamond. The other oppressed Animals who have lost their voices. Her own losses- Glinda, the college days she should have gotten to finish, the parental love she should have had.

And him. Yes, him, too, though he is standing safe and whole right here, holding her. He is fine now, alive and complete, her spell having worn away once his life was out of danger long enough, once his system was bare of adrenaline- causing Elphaba, being Elphaba, to get all excited, exclaiming over him and kissing him and hugging him one minute, and rambling about the "physiology of spells," and the "psychosomatic sorcery triggers," and the "adrenaline-fueled magic" the next.

Whatever any of that means.

But he knows his temporary death has taken a toll on her. It is in her eyes and in her kiss. She embraces him, always, fiercely, as if afraid he will slip ghostlike through her fingers. She kisses him hard, intense, often, as if frightened to the depths of her soul that too soon he will be gone, unreachable, taken in hand by vengeful, cheated Death at last. So he responds gently, caressingly, slow enough to make him ache with impatient, unquiet longing, but worth it, to prove to her his solidity, his permanence.

Now, she sets down her coffee and embraces him fully. She looks calm, but holding her this close he can feel her trembling and he wraps his arms tight around her waist, softly crooning her name.

"Elphie, oh, Elphie," he says in her ear, "I'm sorry it has to be this way," and she bursts out sobbing, suddenly, involuntarily. She turns around in his arms and he presses her to him as she cries for the first time, for him and Boq and Nessa and Glinda and Dr. Dillamond and her father and her mother and her old life, in a tangle of sorrow and woe immeasurable, and he holds her as she screams and cries and lashes out and at last just goes limp, crying quietly, proving that she is human, too, until she can cry no more.