A/N: This is a oneshot, just something random, slightly inspired by Perfect Match, by Jodi Picoult. It's a hybrid of book- the idea that Boq and Elphaba were playmates as children and friends in college- musical- the rest of it, especially Elphaba's reputation in Act II- and my own invention, that Boq and Elphaba were friends throughout their childhood. It is NOT a romance- we all know I'm emotionally invested in and addicted to Fiyeraba. It's just a reminiscence through the eyes of someone whose frame of reference isn't often used.

Disclaimer: Not mine. And Elphaba's insult is Molly's.

The girl you knew before you were out of diapers does not become a terrorist. The girl your mother spoke of in alternately pitying, scolding, and admiring tones, who ate cookies in your kitchen and helped you with your Sciences homework- actually, all your homework- after school doesn't get maligned by speeches given by the country's grave-faced leader.

It doesn't happen. It just doesn't.

But it has, and Boq can't comprehend it.

He can't reconcile the earnest face and dark braids with hair straggling loose of his eleven-year-old friend leaning over the desk at school to help him with fractions, peering out of the branches of a tree and encouraging him to climb, with the heartless witch, terrorist, and murderer whose face is drawn, hard and cold and with its color the center of it, on wanted posters on every street lamp in the city.

"Come on, Boq. Don't be a pinched-face, soft-headed idiot. You won't fall, just try."

He could still hear the thin little girl's voice, heady with an oxymoronic sarcasm. He could still hear the peals of high, full laughter she used to emit, when she was a nearly normal girl, when she could be happy.

And now she was a murderer.

At least that's what they said, but he hadn't heard any victims mentioned.

He couldn't imagine Elphaba, in any of her incarnations doing what they said (the double meaning of the last phrase was not lost on him).

The laughing child., the preadolescent of whom his father used to say, with admiration, had "spunk," the sarcastic, defensive teenager, the studious, quick-witted college girl. None of them had the face of a killer.

He just couldn't see the girl he'd known since she was a green pixie of a toddler, black curls flying everywhere, as a heartless killer. Heartless. Wasn't it Elphaba's heart that had gotten her into this mess? Her heart that was so compassionate she could never let anything lie? Heartless. Ha.

He'd have to be heartless himself to believe that.