A/N: Again, random idea. Also, pure, uncut fluff.

Disclaimer: Not mine.

Fiyero watched, a genuine smile on his face, as Elphaba laughed with joy as a salty wave hit her in the face. She was crouched, long skirts and all, at the edge of the beach, letting herself be soaked to the (still very green) skin. She stood to face him, like some ethereal mermaid, a darker, more sage, green than normal with the sun she had gotten, seaweed clinging unheeded to her clothes and her loose hair, wavy in the salty wet and wind, a smile lighting her face as she spread her arms to him. It was a picture of such innocence, Fiyero was shocked that the Ozian villagers, angry and hate-filled as they were, lusting for her blood, hadn't seen through her reluctantly adopted Wicked Witch fa├žade.

"Yero!" she ran up to him, grabbing his hand, "come on. Please?" her hazel eyes sparkled with the purity of her new unburdened state. He had to laugh at the look of her- wild-haired, ruddy beneath her uniquely "tanned" skin, her long, black, skirt and shirtwaist dripping water and glittery with sand.

"No, Elphaba, we have to go eat. We're keeping a normal schedule, remember?" For a moment she looked plaintive, but the look disappeared quickly.

"Eat what?" she asked. Their honeymoon in Quadling Country had begun in a dreamlike state, sleeping at odd hours, eating at even odder hours, and making love frequently and in the oddest places imaginable. They hadn't ventured farther south, nearly to the border of Oz, and to the huge lake dividing it from the neighboring land, until now, their second week here.

A few hours after Elphaba and Fiyero had scavenged a suitable lunch, he noticed Elphaba fidgeting oddly in her seat, with a painful look written across her features.

"Fae, what's wrong?" asked Fiyero.

"I-I don't know. My skin feels like it's burning, and it really is hot, here, and here, and here," she answered, gesturing wincingly to her back, shoulders, and neck, where she had earlier removed her shirtwaist in favor of a loose, sleeveless camisole, before redressing more properly after their latest round of lovemaking.

"Let me see," said Fiyero, reaching over the back of the worn chair she was sitting in. Their accommodations were shabby but pleasant, warm and spacious enough, in a slightly weather-beaten, once-white cottage in a grove of trees a few hundred yards from the beach.

Fiyero slipped his capable hand beneath the fabric of the back of her shirt. She flinched as she always did when touched from behind, or touched suddenly at all. Her skin was indeed hot under his palm. He reached a bit lower on her back, and it was cooler. He pulled the camisole down to examine it. The green of her skin was flushed a deep, ugly, red.

"You're sunburned," he told her.

"What?" she asked. "I can get sunburned?" she bit her lip contemplatively for a moment. "Well, that's not fair," she sulked half-jokingly. "I don't photosynthesize, I get sunburned instead, but I still have to look like a plant!"

"You don't look like a plant."

"You want me to change you back to a scarecrow?" she threatened emptily.

"No, and you don't want to, either," he answered.

"Why not?" she responded, playing along despite herself.

"Because then I couldn't do this," he told her, and he reached deep into the cabinet and pulled out a jar of a green gel-like substance.

"Oh, no," she said, catching a glimpse of it, "you're not putting that on me. Mysterious green liquids have done quite enough for my skin, thank you."

"It's aloe, Fae, from the plant. It cools your skin."

She sighed deeply, weighing it, then grimaced when she tried to stretch. "All right," she relented finally.

She removed her camisole and stretched out on her stomach on the bed. Gently, Fiyero rubbed the substance between his hands and slowly, cautiously, reached toward her. His goal was for her not to flinch at his touch. Softly, slowly, gently, his hand came closer and closer. Her eyes were shut tight in anticipation.

"Well?" she asked tensely, "Get on with it, if you're going to." She spoke harshly when she was vulnerable. He didn't take offense.

Slowly and silently, his hand made contact with her bruised-looking back. She had stiffened in anticipation of the touch, but as he rubbed in soft, rhythmic circles she relaxed. The defenses that had been built into her very physiognomy dropped, one by one. She had made love, yes, but that was active rather than passive. She would kiss him or kiss back, she would embrace him, but before now she had not let herself be simply touched by him. He skimmed his fingertips over her back as if he were her, playing a piece agonizingly beautifully on the piano with those long elegant green fingers. He rubbed slowly, then quickly. He wrote words with his fingers across her back. He watched as she began to breathe more deeply, as her head fell completely against the pillow, as she lost her alertness and sank into a haze near to sleep. As she began to trust him. Finally, he finished and crawled into bed beside her, looking into her eyes, mere slits by now.

"Fiyero?" she murmured.


"Thank you."