A/N: Well, after what seems like an inordinately long time now, here it is, we're done! And finally - I give in, review please, I'm begging you!
Conclusion: Thank Goodness
From that night, their relationship, unknown to either one, became what was often called an open secret. Neither girl realised just how obvious they were. Everything spoke of it - from the radiance that they shared, to Glinda's sly glances, Elphie's heavy bedroom eyes, how the Witch, though quiet, lit up when Glinda came near. Then of course, their one dance as a pair, so late in the evening that the rooms were almost clear. As for the palace servants, what they'd seen (or heard) is perhaps best unsaid.
Time slipped past them, cares increasing day by day. It became ever more urgent that they move on with their plans. The more they grew into their roles, often acting now to pass on the Wizard's word, the greater the danger of outright resistance. And thanks to Elphie's foresight, their next move was well prepared.
Within the month, a proclamation shook the land. As town clocks declared it noon, the Wizard's will was read.
My people, I have served you through the best years of my life. Yet even a Wizard inescapably grows old. Therefore I see it fit to name a representative, one who can take some of my burden for their own. From this day, my public duties shall now fall upon…
A collective hush as the world grew still.
…Miss Glinda Upland, my trusted aide and friend. Furthermore I desire that she be known by no name more fitting than Glinda the Good.
Glinda the Good…quite a ring to that. So she thought as the dust settled the following afternoon. The Wizard's public face warranted grand reception rooms. Although, coming as no surprise to anyone, her very first orders were to bring in a new desk for the ever-present Elphaba.
Weeks passed by in a whirl of business. Along with her duties at Glinda's side, Elphie was, by this time, quite a force in her own right. Armed now with all the knowledge that she'd before lacked, Elphaba brought to the field of government a tireless devotion that could only be admired. One by one, she saw her tasks laid out ahead. Singly, and with patience, the pillars of hate would fall. Oz could become a haven, a true home for one and all.
One month on
Glinda had just returned from her first trip. And no tiresome carriage ride for her 'Goodness'! These early excursions across Oz would become known as the Bubble Tours. Elphie's spell had worked beautifully. Found late one night in a search of the Grimmerie, the old incantation was in fact a simple thing, and easily adapted for Glinda's lesser skill.
It was with a renewed vigour that she returned to her desk. Publicly, Glinda the Good had enjoyed nothing but success. However, there was more to work than smiles and rhetoric. For one thing, Elphie had turned into such a worry-wort. Even over something like this stupid tribal war…
"Ooh, I've got it!" exclaimed Glinda out of nowhere. "We bring them all together for a –"
Elphaba cut in.
"- Are the words 'formal dinner' about to cross your lips?"
"Well, what if they are?"
"For god's sake, Glin, get it through your little head! Some things can't be solved by a damn social event!"
The Witch pushed back her chair and began to pace the floor.
"What the hell is up with you?"
"Up?! You swan in here like you've come back from holidays! I've not sat down ten straight minutes the whole afternoon!"
"You were worried for me?"
"Yeah, a little bit!"
Elphie's manic energy propelled her round the room.
"Oh, I don't know…because I'm in love with you?!"
Stunned, she stopped so sharply that she almost tripped. Glinda, she looked pale, bewildered - move, get over there! Frozen where she sat, she slowly turned her head. Elphie knelt beside her, reaching out with trembling hands.
"I love you," she said again.
"You really mean that?"
Elphie's searching fingers sought a real, warm grasp. Clutching at this anchor, she could only nod her head.
Glinda sagged against her as the tears came fast. Blindly, she demanded,
Everything went into it, six months of hopes and fears. Glinda broke off only long enough to whisper,
Outside the doors, a young footman was struggling with himself. Clearly, they were in there, nobody had seen them go. He'd knocked, he'd coughed politely, there was nothing left to do…
"Miss Glinda…" he stood, head bowed, just inside the room.
Nothing. Two steps further, a furtive glance around.
Wait a - there she - there they -
"Oh! Oh, I'm sorry! I - I didn't know!"
Wringing his hands, the poor man fretted, helplessly. Glinda, merely turning slightly, trilled,
"Yes? What is it?"
"Is it very urgent?" added Elphie.
A vague negative muttering before he turned and fled.
Faint laughter reached his burning, scarlet ears. Leaning there against the wall, he couldn't hide a grin.
And so, on such foundations, the Golden Years began. Barely a month passed without some great event. For instance, Glinda's famous speech to mark the turning year.
Elphie stood to one side, fighting to hold back the tears.
"…Dearest Ozians, I shall be forever glad that our mighty Wizard, in his declining years, has seen fit to appoint me as his legal heir."
In spite of it, she wept, then, unheard amidst the cheers. Never had she thought that she could feel such happiness.
At last, the culmination of it all. Glinda the Good celebrated one year's reign. There, outside the palace, she told the adoring crowds,
"My friends, I would like to take this glorious day to speak of the one thing closest to my heart. Much as you honour me, I have never ruled alone. The time is long past that I acknowledge before you…my equal, my partner, my dearest Elphaba."
Smiling shyly, Glinda beckoned Elphie to her side.
"Nothing, my dear people, can make me happier, than knowing that you will grow to love her as I do."
Beyond words, Elphie could only take her hand. Unnoticed all around them, the people stood as one. Cheers rang out, applause resounded…the old days were done.
Because happy is what happens,
When all your dreams come true.