Hopes and Visions

by

Maureen Lilith Hart

Prologue

The time between the wedding and Fiyero and Elphaba's move to the city passed calmly enough until the day Fiyero was away from home visiting Colverus. He had been hesitant to accept the invitation because Elphaba seemed very tired, and he feared a recurrence of her bouts of pain. Elphaba had encouraged him to go, reasoning that it was the least they owed Cole for all of his kindness to them.

Once she was alone, Elphaba considered returning to bed, but decided against it because there were many household chores to be done. She was soon lost in various kitchen tasks, when Elphaba suddenly felt that someone else was nearby. She paused and looked around, knowing she was alone and must be imagining things.

"Paranoia, that's all it is," Elphaba muttered to herself, shaking her head and turning back to the task at hand. She was only able to concentrate for a moment or two when the feeling of being observed overcame her again. This time when she glanced up, she realized she wasn't alone. Elphaba stood there in shock a moment or two, wondering if what she was seeing was real or in her imagination. When her visitor remained after a short time, Elphaba slowly approached and sank to her knees, bowing her head.

"I'm sorry, Nessa. As soon as I knew what was going to happen to you, I tried to get there in time. But..."

"I know you tried," Nessa whispered, sounding more gentle than she ever had in life. "Stand up, Elphaba. You don't have anything to be sorry for. You always did the best you could, you always took care of me. And I never appreciated it. Not until after... Well, I've been able to watch you, and I know you're much happier now than you ever were when I was alive. I've come to ask your forgiveness, and to give you a warning."

Elphaba listened silently to her sister's heartfelt apology for her ungrateful, spiteful behavior. Nessa's eyes looked haunted as she went on, knowing her words would worry and frighten Elphaba.

"Soon, Fiyero will be making plans to go away on a journey, without you. When that happens, you can't let him go. He'll be in a lot of danger if he does."

Elphaba did not question how her sister knew this. She knew that wherever Nessa observed the present from, she must also have been granted a glimpse into the future. Though Nessa had not had this talent in life, things were different now.

"Do you know what will happen to him?" The concern in Elphaba's eyes caused a deep sadness to settle over Nessa's face.

"No, not exactly. I'm sorry. All I know is you have to stop him from going. Even if he argues with you and has good reasons for going, do whatever you have to to get him to stay. I know how much you love him, how much he means to you. At least you know how to love someone... I never really managed it, not even when you gave me the gift of being able to walk. I never even thanked you, because of what happened afterward... But I do love you, and I regret never telling you when it might have made a difference."

"It does make a difference," Elphaba whispered earnestly. "I love you, too." She gazed intently at her sister, wishing she were flesh and blood so she could hug her. For several minutes neither of them said anything, and Elphaba expected her sister to disappear as quietly as she had come. But she wasn't done speaking yet.

"You did so much for me, Elphaba, and I wish that now I could make you well. I know about the pain you suffer sometimes. I'm sure Fiyero takes care of you, but it isn't fair what you have to go through. You think of it as punishment.. I wish you wouldn't. You're wrong about that."

"That's what Fiyero always says. I manage all right, Nessa. I have people to help me. It's not so bad."

"That's not true," Nessa suddenly looked like she was about to cry. "I felt how close you came that day... I don't know how you survived, but I was happy. It's time for me to go. I don't think we will see each other again, until... Until then, I hope you have more happy days than sad ones. I will miss you, but I will be waiting for you."

After this, Nessa left as quietly as she had come, a calm expression on her face. Once Elphaba was alone, she sat in the living room near the fireplace. She wondered just what danger was coming to Fiyero, and why she had no inkling of it prior to Nessa's appearance. Still, Elphaba was grateful for the warning, and the chance to make peace with her sister. Now all she could hope for was that Fiyero would yeild to her wishes that he not take a journey without her, wherever he meant to go.