This is dedicated to a very good friend of mine, Serendipity Kat. I don't really think you're a meanie, you know :)
I've never wrote in Fiyero's POV before, so please be nice :) This one takes place after the lion-cub scene, sort of a parallel to Elphaba's Not That Girl. It's based on a song from Aida called Not Me. If you know the song, it refers only to Radames' part, not the girls'.
Enough said, I think. Happy reading! Reviews are more than welcome!
Disclaimer- Gregory Maguire and Stephan Schwartz own them. Not me.
Shiz University. My current residency. Located at the outskirts of the Emerald City, Shiz manages to maintain some of the hustle and bustle of that swankified Ozmopolitan. Perhaps this is the reason I'm still here. A bit of a surprise, actually, to all my closest associates, regarding that so far it has been the longest I managed to hold on to a school. Or perhaps, it would be more appropriate to say, the longest a school managed to hold on to me; a whole month now, and counting.
I hate to think of the way this place used to be before I came along. From the moment I set foot on the campus' grounds, I immediately knew that I was there on a mission- to teach those poor students, whose minds were already beginning to perish from the burden of unnecessary books and homework, the way life really was. You see, I have this philosophy about life. The lesser you think, the better life gets. Life is just like dancing, really. Know your steps and be a strong lead, and you'll do fine. As for me, naturally, I have always been a remarkable dancer. One of many other talents, of course.
Allow me to introduce myself- Master Fiyero Tiggular, a true prince, a ladies' man, a fun-loving person, and altogether an awfully charming fellow. I also happen to be genuinely self-absorbed and deeply shallow.
That it, until she came along and shattered my confidence into small pieces.
Who is 'she,' you probably ask. This was just what I was asking myself the first day I happened to meet her, almost the moment I arrived at Shiz University. The first thing I noticed about her was her eyes; deep, emerald-colored eyes, burning with fury towards my driver who nearly ran her over, towards my indifference to the incident. The next thing that drew my attention was her skin, which was as emerald as her eyes, only less so. It was more jade-colored, when I come to think about it now. Not as green as grass, no, but a more genuine color, a more-
But this is merely the point of my story. Anyway, this… girl. I found her most peculiar from the simple reason that she was the first who didn't fall at my feet the moment I set eyes on her (which, mind you, wasn't at all on purpose. She was there, and she was green, what could I possibly do?). Instead of blushing or squealing or swishing her hair as they all did when I was around, she snapped at me! She snapped at me! I was more alarmed than taken aback, I suppose. I thought I knew everything I had to know about girls by now. They were always such predictable creatures. It served my confidence well. I could anticipate their reaction for everything I've said and done; this giggle for a witty phrase and that shy smile for a gentlemanly gesture. This was how things have worked for me so far, and, needless to say, it was fine by me. Easy. Only this time… something went wrong. Was I losing my touch? Impossible!
Anyway, she was gone before I had a chance to find out who in Oz was she, but I learned everything I had to know soon enough, that night at the Ozdust Ballroom. I got there with Galinda, a beautiful, popular girl from Gillikin, and almost as perfect as I am. We deserve each other, at least as far as perfection goes. I am sure that even my parents would have approved the match. At the ballroom, things worked out pretty much as they should have; everyone was well-dressed, and there was music and dancing and we were all having a swankified time.
And then she walked in.
There is something about this girl, really. She always draws so much attention to herself when she walks into a room. I don't think it is due to the fact she is, well, green. It might also be that, but it is not the only reason. The truth is, and I was telling so to Galinda that night, that this girl (later that night I learned that her name was Elphaba) doesn't give a twig for what everyone else think. Take that party, for instance. Among the fashionable scarlets and pinks and purples of the other girls' dresses at the ball, she was the only one wearing an old, ugly black frock. But the reason that made her stand out even more was a black, pointy hat, a witch's hat, that, to tell the truth, fit her perfectly.
Obviously, it made people laugh. That always seemed to be the reaction towards her; either laughter, or recoiling, or the combination of both. Noticing everyone's laughter, she took off her hat. She didn't run off. She hesitated, yes. Even if she didn't move, I could see it in her eyes. And then after a moment, she did something that none of her fellow students, myself included, expected her to do.
She put her hat back on.
She walked into the ballroom.
She danced, alone, although there was no music.
And this was when I realized that this one was different.
Later that night we were introduced by Galinda, who turned out to be Elphaba's roommate. Elphaba didn't like me. I could tell right away. There was this fire in her eyes, the same fire from that morning when I first met her on the lawn. It annoyed me, to be quite frank. How could it be possible, that someone (and more importantly, a girl) wouldn't like me? Well, I couldn't allow my reputation to be damaged that way, especially since it was my first day in school, so I did the only thing that came to mind; acting like a perfect gentleman and a charming young man. In short, being myself.
And it did not work.
The panic I felt that morning was rushing back, tingling under my skin, almost paralyzing me. Every other girl would have fallen under my spell by then, I knew. Like Galinda, who kept giggling at my jokes, checking her reflection in the punch bawl and swishing her hair, making me think she didn't care when we both knew she did. This was normal. This was how things should have been.
The green girl didn't even flinch.
I was stubborn, determined to make her like me, but so was she. The harder I tried, the more resistant she seemed to become. And during that night I could not take a single smile out of her.
The following morning I told myself to forget about it. One girl who didn't show any interest in me was nothing compared to the other thousands who did. It's funny, isn't it, that the more you wish to forget something, the more it is there in front of you. This is just the case with Elphaba. It's been a month since that night at the Ozdust, and the more I wish to forget her, the more she is always there. She seems to be there wherever I go. We bump into one another when I wait for Galinda outside the girls' dormitories. We take the same classes; we were even forced to sit next to one another in most of them, since the seat next to her was the only vacant seat in class.
It is not just the color of her skin that draws everyone's attention. Nor is it this strange sorcery power she seems to possess. Elphaba is practically impossible to miss or ignore, especially during classes. She is smart; smarter than I ever knew a girl could be, smarter than most of the boys I know. She is intelligent and opinionated, and she always has something to say. Somehow, it always turns out to be the right thing, too.
And, of course, to top it all off, there is her Galindafication.
I guess we all should have seen this coming. It started several days after that party at the Ozdust, but it was so gradual, that when she showed up this morning, it caught us all completely off-guard. She looked different in one of Galinda's outfits. Different and, in a way, well… beautiful, I guess. Her hair, usually pulled back in a tight braid, was now streaming down her shoulders, long and shiny and as black as a raven. I could touch it if I wanted to; she was sitting close enough. And I did want to touch it, just to find out if it was as soft as it seemed to be. Something held me back; the fear of her reaction, perhaps. But before I had a chance to tell myself how ridiculous such fear was, the class was interrupted.
And everything changed.
I'm still not sure how she did that, this morning in class. One moment, we were all watching that poor Lion cub shaking in its cage, and the next thing I knew, it was just me and her, as far away from the class as we could possibly go, setting the poor creature free. I hope it would be okay out there by itself. It's beginning to rain. I'm watching the rain from where I sit, by the window at my private suite. I gaze at the trails the raindrops make against the window glass, their tap-tap-tap against the glass hypnotizing, almost lulling me to sleep. My thoughts drift to that moment, that last moment I looked into those emerald-colored eyes, right before I left.
Ran off would be more appropriate, I assume.
To say that everything changed would be somewhat dramatic and to some extent even cliché, I know, but there is no other way I can think of to put it. Something has changed. And it cannot be a good thing, either. Something is happening to me. I spend less time sleeping through classes, and more time listening, in some cases even thinking about ideas that were raised during class. Once I even stopped myself from raising my hand to object something one of the students has said. Now this is frightening. Does Shiz have such affect of me? Why didn't they warn me?
It becomes more frightening because I know Shiz has nothing to do with it at all. Something else does. Someone else. Somehow she made me doubt everything I came to know so far. My confidence weakens, and everything that so far has been so obvious is no longer so. And instead of her falling under my spell, somehow I fell under hers.
I told her that she didn't have to change the way she did. At the moment, I spoke what was on my mind, when her being Galindafied seemed unnecessary and even ridiculous. But the more I let my gaze linger on the way her hair curled down her back, the more I realized how much this change was necessary. If anything, it made us all aware of how beautiful she could be, if she only let herself.
It was that thing in her eyes that frightened me this afternoon. Not because I knew what it meant, but because I knew it was probably reflecting what was in my own eyes, and I didn't want her to see that, because I knew it could never be. So I ran off. She'd be better off without it, anyway. She deserves better than a brainless, shallow prince. Not me. She would have laughed at my face if she knew anyway. And I could never handle rejections. I never had to handle them. I always got what I wanted.
A sudden gust of wind blows the flame of my candle away. Darkness wraps itself around the room, leaving me with the soft tap-tap-tap of the rain and a random flash of thunder. I still pretend to see them; a pair of emerald-colored eyes through the darkness of the room, looking straight at me, as if able to read my mind. I shake my head, as if it is possible for her to see that. Who knows, maybe she can. A tingling sensation along my cheek reminds me of the Lion's scratch. It stopped bleeding by now. It's so small, I doubt it will even leave a scar. I run a finger along the cut, but it fails to replace her fingers, hesitant and gentle, hours before. I wonder if I will ever be able to read through her again, as I did this afternoon. I know that the reason I was able to do that is because she let her defenses drop. Why she did that is beyond me.
I'm lying. I know why. Just as I know that it is pointless. It could never be.