A/N: Hello, everyone! Welcome to Wicked Fic #10! LOL I know, I know, I'm crazy! But this one I actually have planned out from beginning to end (I really do – the outline's, like, five freaking pages long!), so maybe I'll have a better chance of finishing it!
Anyways, as the summary stated, this is my reworking of Wicked the Musical, Act 2, and explores some different options of what might have happened. And I must give credit where credit is due:
This story was inspired loosely by "The Witches of Oz" by TheWickedWitchOfOz.
The scenario which begins at the end of this chapter and continues into the next was suggested to my mind by "Contrapasso" by elphabathedelirious32.
If either of you guys ever at any point feel like I am plagiarizing your work, please let me know, and I will fix the problem immediately!
And a HUGE, GIGANTIC thankees goes out to my pal Lauren, aka kaliawai512!!! Without her, this fic would not be here! The fantastic plot summary I have now is due entirely to a long, involved IM chat that I had with her. Talking through the details with her helped me figure out how to tie all the important elements of the musical back in – you wouldn't BELIEVE how much of the essential Wicked details I had been planning to leave out, or at least forget about until I got to them! So all you die-hard fans of Wicked the Musical out there, you can thank Lauren for helping me put in all the stuff we love!
And yes, all the song lyrics and dialogue in this chapter, at least until Fiyero runs off and leaves Glinda standing at the platform, comes directly from the script of Wicked.
All righty, then, enough of this incredibly-too-long A/N! Go on and READ!
Disclaimer: I don't own the Wicked. (That's not an original line, I saw it on a fic of someone else's once, and I really liked it, so I borrowed it. I don't remember who wrote the fic I saw it on, but if you're reading this, sorry for stealing, and don't kill me, pweeze! LOL Jeesh, even my DISCLAIMERS need disclaimers! How sad is that?)
Fiyero Tiggular couldn't for the life of him figure out why everyone was so damn happy. Why, they actually looked like there was something to celebrate, some reason to rejoicify. Even his longtime girlfriend Glinda the Good, properly named Glinda Upland, gave every appearance that she was genuinely enjoying herself up here on the platform, waving to all the adoring Ozians who looked to her for comfort and guidance. Only Fiyero knew otherwise. He was the only one who was ever allowed to peer beneath the bubbly blonde's mask of perfect contentment to see all the pain that she really carried inside. Fiyero knew the mask well, for it was the same one he donned every day… the same one he had donned every day since she left.
She. Her. Elphaba. Elphie. The Wicked Witch of the West. Somehow, none of the names seemed to really be an exact fit for the enigma that was Elphaba Thropp. Enigma. He nearly laughed to himself as he thought the word. Before meeting her, he wouldn't have even known what a word like 'enigma' meant, let alone how to use it properly. But even in the short time he'd known her, Elphaba had changed him forever. She had made him want to be different, want to be… better. She had made him want to be something more than the rich, playboy party prince that, on the surface, at least, had been all he was. Somehow she had seen through his façade, through all the layers he'd put up to keep life as far away as possible, and she had blasted them to pieces. All of that in one moment of her hand desperately gripping his, warm, surprisingly soft… the briefest touch of her fingertips across his cheek, just there, so bold and yet achingly tentative… a few agonizing but all-too-brief instants when his sapphire blue eyes had been arrested completely by hers, a brown so dark they could almost be called black. The dappled sunlight pattern of the forest had been reflected in those piercing dark eyes, and for a clock-tick or two he could have sworn that he was looking at the night sky, infinite and sparkling with possibility.
He had noticed Elphaba at the Oz Dust Ballroom before this, of course. That was the first sight he ever had of her, and who could ever forget it – the emerald green skin, the drab, simple frock, and that hat! It was like nothing he'd ever seen before and nothing he hoped to see again, but somehow it suited her exactly. Yes, he had noticed her at the party, and had occasionally thought about her afterwards. Just little things – I wonder if Elphaba likes this weather, or I wonder what Elphaba's favorite color is, or I wonder if Elphaba had trouble with this homework. But it wasn't until the day he had helped her rescue that Lion cub from History class that she had taken over his thoughts completely. After those few minutes spent alone with her, all he could think of was the feel of her skin against his as she took his hand, the look in her dark eyes – amazingly deep, soulful eyes – as her fingers moved hesitantly, tenderly, to wipe a smudge of blood from his cheek. From that day on, he had known that Elphaba was something very special.
That day was also the first and only time he'd ever seen her display her magical abilities, although Glinda had told him later how in the Emerald City the green girl had enchanted an ordinary broom to fly and escaped from under the noses of the Wizard's guards, defying anyone to stop her. He had only seen her once more after the Lion cub – at the train station, to see her and Glinda off on their trip to the Emerald City. The trip from which Elphaba had never returned. Three times he had seen her in all; three short encounters that had probably lasted a grand total of less than five minutes; three moments in time that had left their mark on him forever.
After she left, he and Glinda had had to carry on as best they could at Shiz without her. They missed her witty, sarcastic comments, her often-infuriating and always astounding habit of answering every question correctly in class, her rare smiles and, rarer still, her laughter. She always sounded so surprised when she laughed, as though she wasn't expecting such a sound to come out of her own mouth. And gradually they grew accustomed to life without her, or at least pretended to themselves and to each other that they did. It was mainly thanks to Elphaba that Fiyero and Glinda had stayed a couple as long as they had – no matter how much or how badly they argued, they never even considered abandoning each other, because they felt that they were the only two in the world now who were keeping the knowledge of their vanished friend's true nature alive. Even her sister Nessa had begun to believe, without much coaxing, that Elphaba had turned wicked. A Wicked Witch.
Fiyero hated to hear them call her that. She was not wicked; she had merely threatened to expose the Wizard of Oz for the complete charlatan that he was and ruin his plans for the degradation of all of Oz's Animals. It was for that that she was being punished, not for any wicked aspect of her nature. He personally believed that out of everyone he had ever met, Elphaba alone had no capacity for wickedness. She was too honest, too real. As for a Witch… well, it was certainly no fault of hers that she had been born with these strange powers that she possessed. And if being able to control them, instead of having them flare up without warning and cause unnecessary damage, made her a Witch, well, then, by Oz, he was glad she was one!
After graduation last year, he and Glinda had both been surprised when the Wizard and Madam Morrible offered the Gillikinese girl the position that was to have been Elphaba's. And Fiyero had been even more surprised when Glinda accepted it, apparently without question. She explained to him privately that she was taking the job because she wanted to make Elphie proud of her. With that job, the blonde girl said, she knew she could change things, make them better. And she had. All of Oz was now devoted beyond question to Glinda the Good. For his part, Fiyero had applied for a position in the Wizard's guards so that he could be near Glinda – and also maybe, just maybe, because deep down, he wanted to make a difference, too. He made friends quickly – all the other young guards liked him because he was a prince, but he didn't flaunt it or expect any special treatment. But even with all his connections, he had risen through the ranks even quicker than had been expected of him. Soon he was Captain of the Guard, and like Glinda, he intended to do everything in the power that his new position offered to help thwart the Wizard's death grip on Oz.
The first time he put on his new captain's uniform, he could just picture Elphaba sitting there, watching him with wry amusement. So, you're one of them now, are you? she seemed to be asking. He was quick to assure her that he wasn't, but lately he wasn't even sure if he believed his promises to her himself…
Suddenly Glinda discreetly nudged him, and he realized that Madam Morrible was speaking to him now. "…been at the forefront of the hunt for the Wicked Witch, haven't you?"
"Er… yes," he replied, trying not to show that he had been lost in his own thoughts (who would ever have thought him capable of that!). Then, seeing an opportunity to interject a good word for Elphaba, he stepped closer to the microphone on the podium and continued, "But I don't like to think of her as a wicked witch."
"Captain, how's it feel?" Morrible tried again, her eyes narrowing slightly.
"Frustrating," he answered honestly. But I became captain of the guard to find her, and I will keep searching!" He let them all think that the fervor in his voice was exactly the opposite of what he really felt for her.
But Morrible suddenly cut him off with a false, bubbly laugh. "No, no – being engaged!"
"Congratulotions!" shouted the entire assembled crowd.
Stunned, he turned to the petite girl beside him, who was waiting eagerly for his reaction. "Glinda… this is an engagement party?"
She nodded, delighted at having pulled off her little trick. "Surprised?" she asked with a smile.
"Yes!" he had to admit, still trying to comprehend exactly what was going on. He didn't remember ever officially asking her to marry him.
But, Glinda being Glinda, the less-than-pleased tone of his voice was lost on her. "Good! We hoped you'd be – the Wizard and I!" And as she continued babbling to the crowd about how happy they both were, he could only stand there beside her, smiling slightly and nodding in stupefied amazement.
Finally Morrible broke in. "Oh, and Glinda, dear, we are happy for you! As Press Secretary, I have striven to ensure that all of Oz knows the story of your braverism. How vividly I remember…" She directed her next comments to the audience as well as Glinda. "…the day you were first summoned to an audience with Oz, and although he would not tell you why initially, when you bowed before his throne, he decreed you'd hence be known as Glinda the Good, officially!"
Fiyero leaned over to his girlfriend – well, fiancée now – still smiling, and whispered out of the corner of his mouth, "That's not how you described it to me."
"Oh, no, not exactly," she hissed back, managing to maintain her toothy grin, "but we'll talk about that later."
He did not have enough time to respond before Morrible continued, "Then with a jealous squeal, the wicked witch burst from concealment, where she had been lurking… surreptitially!"
There were gasps from among the crowd. Then a woman somewhere spoke up. "I hear she has an extra eye that always remains awake!
From another direction, a man added, "I hear that she can shed her skin as easily as a snake!"
"I hear some rebel animals are giving her food and shelter," contributed a second woman.
All eyes flew to the bridge up above them as another man stated, "I hear her soul is so unclean, pure water can melt her!"
This last rumor caused quite a stir among the onlookers, and Fiyero turned once again to Glinda, this time not bothering to even try to hide his disgust. "Do you hear that? Water will melt her? People are so empty-headed, they'll believe anything!" And with that, he stormed off down the back stairs of the platform, not caring how ridiculous the criticism sounded coming from him of all people. He stopped short behind a curtain hanging a few feet away and waited for his fiancée to join him. Sure enough, as he had known would happen, it was only a matter of a clock-tick before a pair of high heels clacked closer and closer and Glinda appeared before him, wearing an expression that clearly warned, You had better have a good reason for interrupting our party.
"Fiyero, what in Oz's name has gotten into you?" she demanded, sounding annoyed.
He shook his head. "I can't just stand here grinning pretending to go along with all of this!"
Glinda gave a heavy sigh, and suddenly she was no longer the glittering blonde princess adored by all of Oz. Her outward shell of perfection fell away to reveal a scared young girl who was hurting just as much as he was. "Do you think I like to hear them say those awful things about her?" she wondered, not giving him time to answer before asserting, "I hate it!"
"Then what are we doing here? Let's go, let's get out of here!" Fiyero took her by the hand and started to lead her away. Where they'd go, he had no idea, but anywhere had to be better than this.
But Glinda dug in her heels. "I can't leave now. Not when people are looking to me to raise their spirits."
Fiyero stopped and turned to her, disappointed. "You can't leave, because you can't resist this," he corrected her. "And that's the truth."
Glinda stood her ground, but now she was looking a bit uncertain. "Maybe I can't. Is that so wrong? I mean, who could?" She looked up at him, obviously hoping he would tell her that he understood and that it was all right that she couldn't seem to give up the life of sparkle and glamour.
But he was through pretending to accept the sham of a life they were living. Right after Elphaba disappeared, Glinda had changed, too. She'd become more thoughtful, more withdrawn, more considerate of others, and quite honestly he had thought the change suited her. But now he saw that change being reversed. She was once again becoming the popular beauty queen she'd been in their days at Shiz. "You know who could," he reminded her rather angrily. "And who has."
"Fiyero, I miss her too, but we can't just stop living," admonished Glinda, placing her hands on his shoulders. "No one has searched harder for her than you. But don't you see? She doesn't want to be found." Her voice grew quiet, faintly tearful. "We have to face it."
Fiyero sighed heavily and nodded, seeing the sense in her words. "You're right. I'm sorry, you're right." He forced a smile. "And if it's going to make you happy, of course I'll marry you," he quipped, attempting to make a joke.
Glinda didn't get it. Lines of worry creased her forehead. "But it'll make you happy too, right?"
"You know me... I'm always happy," he shrugged, not entirely able to keep the bitter irony out of his voice. Right at this moment, he was anything but happy. Suddenly he was overcome with a desperate need to get out of there, to be anywhere but on that platform, in front of that crowd, smiling at the world like nothing was wrong. So he turned on his heel and ran off.
"Fiyero!" Glinda called after him, sounding startled and slightly hurt. But he didn't turn around. He'd apologize to her later.
Right now he needed somewhere that he could be alone for a while, where he could just sit and think. (Again with him and thinking! Elphaba really had changed him.) He made for the one place in the palace that he was sure would be deserted, what with the party and all: the dungeon. But to his surprise, as he descended the dank stone staircase, he heard the sound of voices and the crack of a whip from one of the interrogation rooms below. Odd. He hadn't thought there were any interrogations scheduled for today. Fiyero didn't approve of the guards' methods of getting information out of prisoners, but luckily, as captain, he wasn't expected to participate in these torture sessions, and delegated the job to other more willing soldiers. When he could get away with it, he tried to use his authority to keep them from going too far, but he couldn't say too much, or the men under his command might get suspicious.
He poked his head in the door of the room the voices were coming from to find two of his men there with a prisoner he didn't recall ever seeing before, a woman. The interrogation had not been going on long, from the looks of things. The prisoner was against the wall, face right up against the cold stones, arms held above her head by a pair of handcuffs fixed high up. Naked from the waist up, her long black hair was tucked over one shoulder, leaving her back bare. The exposed skin already displayed multiple long lash marks that oozed blood.
"Dammit, you, scream!" the soldier holding the whip was fuming. The prisoner gave no reply, other than to make a derisive sound in the back of her throat.
"What's going on here? What is this?" asked Fiyero, now stepping fully into the room.
Both of the men looked over at him in surprise, and then grinned in welcome. "Ah, captain! You're just in time!" the man without the whip greeted him gleefully.
"In time for what, Sandehr?"
"We've caught her!"
"Well, I can see that. But who is she?"
"Why, the Wicked Witch of the West!"
It was only then that Fiyero's brain registered what his eyes had been telling him all along: beneath the marks from the whip, the skin of the woman's back was a vivid emerald green.
As though in response to him thinking her name, the woman turned her head to get a glimpse of the new arrival. He found himself staring into a pair of very familiar piercing dark eyes.
Oooh, cliffie! How did Elphaba get captured? What will Fiyero do now? And what will the Wizard and Morrible do when they find out she's been brought into custody? All these questions and more will be answered in chapter two!
Oh, yes! I am bringing some Animals into the story in a few chapters. So in your review, if you would like to, feel free to give me a name and what type of Animal it is, and I'll try to use it! Thankees!