Disclaimer: I wish I owned them (especially Fiyero, haha), but I don't.
Twister of Fate
"I'm going with her."
His statement met tensed silence, hanging mid-air.
Glinda went pale. "What?"
She glanced at Glinda, whose heartbrokenness was evident both in her voice and her expression. She then stole a glance at him. She couldn't believe he had just said it. There wasn't much for her to do but echo Glinda's question. "What?" she whispered, uncertain, as she looked straight at him, into him, trying to find that hint of old mischief she knew was there, someplace, hidden.
He said nothing, but didn't break their gaze. She was taken-aback by what she had found in his eyes; a reflection of similar emotions as her own hidden ones. She had always believed that Glinda had him for good, that she didn't even have the slightest chance to win his heart, and now… Was it her, all along? Was this for real?
"What are you saying? You mean, that all this time, the two of you… behind my back?" Glinda asked, mortified, as realization seemed to take over her as well. The question and its implications forced her to break her silent reverie as her gaze met Glinda's. The joy that was there moments ago over their reunion had now changed entirely. Now there was pain in this beautiful face, and, what's worse, betrayal.
She shook her head in protest. "Glinda, no, it wasn't like that!"
"Actually, it was," said Fiyero, ever the brainless. A vicious glare from Glinda and an imploring glance from her made him quickly add, more softly, "Only it wasn't."
She had no idea what to say, how to make things better. To start with, she had nothing to apologize for. She didn't force him into choose her over Glinda. Oz knew she had never believed it was a matter of choice at all. It didn't make her feel less bad, though. She was practically barging into their engagement party to begin with, and now she ruined her best friend's chance for happiness. Glinda was used to get her way each time, over everything. And now, for once in her life, she was about to get the happy ending.
"Elphaba, let's go," said Fiyero, and she was instantly reminded with the more urgent matter at hand as she caught sight of the Wizard, sprawled on the floor against his throne, momentarily defeated. She… they… had to get away.
Glinda said something as they hurried out of the Wizard's throne, but her voice echoed down the long hall, the words undecipherable, as they walked on hastily. Her heart was beating twice as fast than normally. She couldn't believe what had just taken place in there; almost giving in to the Wizard's false promises, learning the horrible truth about Dr. Dillamond, meeting Fiyero and Glinda again. It was all too much to take at once.
"Are you alright?"
She blinked, and then realized she had stopped walking. Fiyero was watching her, concerned. She nodded briefly, but said nothing.
"We'll stop at my rooms so I can change, and then we must get out of here at once. It's a long walk ahead of us," Fiyero said, leading the way down the hall. No-one was after them. She wasn't sure whether that was a good sign or a bad one.
"Where to?" she asked, her voice trembling slightly. Not from fear, she told herself.
Fiyero stopped on his tracks and turned to look at her. The hall was dangerously deserted. He took her hand and led her to a sideway chamber. Once inside, he wrapped her hands in his. His touch was so warm and gentle that it made her heart leap. Was she dreaming this? Was he really hers?
"I'll tell you once we're on our way," he said, looking back suspiciously. "The walls have ears." Then he looked at her again, and a slow smile curled on his lips. "There are so many things I should tell you when we're alone."
They stood extremely close to one another in the small chamber, closer than ever before. She raised a hand to touch his face, slowly and hesitantly, to make sure this was really happening. "Fiyero-"
"Shh…" he whispered. As their gazes locked, it felt as if the same thought had crossed their minds, as his lips met hers halfway with a tender kiss.
For a moment, she was paralyzed with fear. She had never been kissed before. What in Oz was she supposed to do? What if she'd do it wrong and scare him off?
Fiyero's grip on her hands loosened as she felt his arms slowly being wrapped around her waist, pulling her closer against him, deeper into their kiss. His tongue caressed her lower lip teasingly, and she instinctively let him in, wrapping her own arms around his neck. Her back was pressed against the wall of the chamber as he trailed his lips along her jaw-line. She closed her eyes as his lips settled on her earlobe, gently sucking on it. She couldn't hold back. A small moan escaped her. She felt him smile into her hair.
"I thought we were in a hurry," she breathed, hating to ruin the moment.
He looked a bit disoriented as their eyes met again. There was this sparkle in his eyes now; his cheeks were flushed. "We are in a hurry. I just had to make sure that this was for real," he said, uttering aloud her own thoughts, looking at her with such honestly that made her heart melt. She felt her lips curl into a small smile as she slowly traced a finger along his cheek, along the scar that was still there, a remainder of that day when they set the Lion cub free.
"Sweet Oz, Elphaba. For years I did nothing but looking for you, and now it turns out I didn't have to. You came straight to me. I just… I guess I need a moment to take it all in."
She smirked. "You're telling me?"
They said nothing, just stared at one another lovingly, unbelievably. He had his old goofy grin on, and she was sure her own expression wasn't much different. She couldn't help it. The severity of the situation she had just gotten herself into, the danger of being captured by the Gale Force, it all faded away in this one blissful moment, when he had his arms wrapped so protectively around her.
Soon they were on the run again, after stopping at Fiyero's rooms so that he could change his uniform with travel clothes. They left the castle then, unnoticed, through a sideway secret passage that Fiyero knew from his service in the Gale Force, and merged among the crowd. The streets of the Emerald City were packed at this hour of dusk. No-one took notice of them.
Fiyero gently guided her into an alley, where he pressed her against a wall and pulled the hood of her dark cloak over her head. "It's better this way," he said, flashing a reassuring smile at her.
She wanted to tell him that her broom might draw more attention to them than her skin at this hour, but she just nodded. She was somewhat breathless from their flea, but full of adrenaline.
"Are you sure you'll know how to find that bag you left behind in the forest?" he asked, quickly lightening a lantern.
That bag contained some clothes to change, some necessary potions and two or three spell books. She hid it in the forest before heading to the Wizard's throne. She took the Grimmerie with her. She didn't want to risk leaving it behind, thinking she might need it. She nodded confidently. "Yes, I will."
"Are you cold?"
She shook her head smiling, making sure her reply was clear in that motion. He returned her smile and they resumed their hasty journey, down the street and into the forest.
She didn't even want to stop, but Fiyero insisted, saying it would be best for both of them to rest for several hours. It looked like a good spot to pass the night. It wasn't exactly a clearing; the trees weren't growing so thick, but thick enough to hide them from potential danger. There was a sound of running water nearby so they knew the river was only a short distance away. The moon was visible amidst the treetops, its light pale yet comforting.
The air was chilly, and as her adrenaline was slowly fading off, she began to feel it. As if feeling the involuntary shiver that went through her, Fiyero wrapped his arms around her as they sat on the ground, and she leaned back, her back against his chest, when the enormity of their actions finally dawned on her. A weary sigh escaped her as she took off her hat. She was tired of running away.
"What?" Fiyero asked lowly, close to her ear. His breath was hot against her skin.
He turned slightly, so they were now facing one another. She wanted to protest as the night's chill replaced the warmth of his embrace, but said nothing as she noticed his expression. He obviously wasn't much convinced by her short reply. "You look exhausted," he observed.
"A little shaken, that's all."
"I bet." There was a short pause, and then he said seriously, "You did a brave thing today, going back there to face him."
"I don't feel brave at all," she found herself admitting. "I feel stupid for putting my trust in him again." It felt strange, to open up to someone like that; she had never done that before. But it was strange in a good way. She felt kind of relieved to let it out. "What in Oz was I thinking? It was silly to even consider that he had switched sides all of a sudden. People don't simply change."
"Yes, they do, with a good reason," was Fiyero's soft reply.
It took her a moment to realize that he wasn't referring to the Wizard, but to himself. And then she remembered he still owed her some explanations. "When did you… I mean, I thought that you and Glinda-"
"There was never me and Glinda to begin with," he cut her off, speaking softly. "I didn't even realize it until you were gone to meet the Wizard. I couldn't get that day out of my head, you know, when we released that poor cub, and then I realized it wasn't that day I couldn't stop thinking about; it was you. I was determined to tell you the truth once you're back, but you were never back."
"The truth?" she repeated, a bit uncertainly.
Before she knew it, he leaned over to kiss her. "This truth," he whispered once their lips parted. "I didn't believe the lies they told everyone in the papers. I forced the truth out of Glinda when she was back."
The events of the day they went their separate ways were so vivid in her mind. And now things got impossible worse. Well, not necessarily; at least she wasn't in it alone. She laid her head against his shoulder. He wrapped his arms around her again. "I missed you, Elphaba. I missed you so much."
"I missed you, too," she replied, then let out a small giggle. "I can't believe this."
"This. You're being here, with me, instead of with-"
"No. Don't," he said, gently laying his finger against her lips. "I'm here. I'm yours. I'm not going anywhere."
"It's just… I've never thought you could-"
She stared. Did he love her?
He laughed softly at her reaction. "Elphaba, it can't be anyone else. There won't be anyone else."
She was taken-aback by his confession. Her heart was filled with so many emotions at once, which left her light-headed, somewhat at awe. "I don't know what to say."
He smirked. "Amazing. We're on the verge of the most crucial moment in our potential future relationship and she's speechless."
She cocked an eyebrow, amused. "What do you want me to say?"
"Whatever is on your mind. You let your defenses drop and let someone in, which is a good start. Now say it," he added encouragingly.
She frowned at his observation. He didn't seem intimidated. She couldn't resist him. She couldn't hide it. She didn't even want to. "I love you," she said honestly. "I've loved you for a long time." She looked away, embarrassed by her own confession. Deep in her heart she was still expecting him to burst out laughing and then leave her there with her shame. "You must think I'm really stupid," she said quietly.
"No, not really stupid."
She turned to face him when she heard his remark, again caught off-guard. She once felt silly for remembering that conversation word-by-word, in spite of the time that had passed since then. Now it appeared that he remembered it, too. She smirked, then inched closer. "So you do think I'm stupid," she half said, half asked, her voice a seductive whisper in his ear.
"You must be, falling for me," he replied seriously. There was no humor in his voice, nor in his expression. Did he really mean it? As if he guessed her silent question, he then added, "You deserve so much better."
She shook her head slowly, her eyes never leaving his. "There's nothing else I want. There's no-one else I rather be with."
"Well, you can't say I didn't give you a fair warning," he said as his lips found hers again. Soon their kisses became more fervent, reflecting both their needs for more. There was a cracking sound of dry leaves as he lowered her to the ground. She pulled him on top of her, letting him take hold on her. It was extremely uncomfortable though. The fruit that had recently fell off the trees, as well as little rocks on the ground, hurt her back and got entangled in her hair. She didn't care. She was lost in those new, unfamiliar sensations as his hands wandered from her face to her neck, her breasts, her stomach-
But then she realized she did care. This was not how it was supposed to be. Mustering every bit of self-discipline she could manage, she pulled away from their kisses and sat up. "Wait," she said breathlessly.
Fiyero sat up, looking out of breath himself. "What?"
"We can't. Not here, not like this," she said, gently caressing his cheek. "I'm sorry."
"Don't. I was thinking the same thing," he replied, flashing a reassuring smile at her. "We deserve a better start than a clearing in a creepy forest."
She laughed softly, then it turned into a joyous giggle when something occurred to her. Its sound, strange to her ears, echoed in the silence of the forest.
"What? What is it?"
She looked up at him, eyes sparkling. She never felt so wonderful in her entire life. "It's just… for the first time, I feel… wicked." But then, as he pulled her into his arms, this joyous moment was quickly fading. There was that other thing that was suddenly distracting her, that pressing thought that wouldn't go away. "I just wish…" her voice trailed off. She hesitated, but then looked straight at him. "I wish I could be beautiful, for you."
"No, don't tell me that I am; you don't have to lie to me."
"It's not lying! It's looking at things another way," he said simply. There was so much honesty in his voice, in his expression, it made her want to throw her arms around him and never let go. "You and Glinda will make up, and-"
There was a wailing sound at the distance. She froze, raising her hand to shush Fiyero, whose voice trailed off as he looked at her questionably. "Listen… do you hear that? It sounds like someone is in pain."
Above them, the treetops rustled, brushing against one another. "It's just the wind."
Here it was again, louder, blood-freezing, making goosebumps all over her skin. This was no wind; it was a wail, a shrill, and its direction couldn't have been more clear. She jumped to her feet. "My sister is in danger."
Fiyero rose to his feet. "What? How do you know?"
"I don't know, I just do." She was pacing back and forth now, unsure what she should do first. Then she halted at once, staring jaw-dropped at the strange sight, clearly illuminated by the pearly moonlight. A gasp of terror escaped her.
"Elphaba, what's wrong, what is it?" Fiyero asked urgently. The panic was clear in his tone.
She pointed, unable to say more. It was hard to keep her hand steady; she was shaking now, not so much from fear but from sudden fret to her younger sister. She was still trying to make sense of the strange shape that appeared against the night's sky. "This! Don't you see it?"
"No! What do you see?"
Her gaze left the horizon as she spoke, half to him, half to herself. "It doesn't make any sense. It's a house, but it's… it's flying through the sky!" She had no time to waste on explanations, if she was able to explain this at all. She shot herself forward to snatch her broom. "I have to go to Nessa."
"I'll go with you."
"No, you mustn't, it's too dangerous!" She wouldn't risk losing him such a short time after she got him.
He seemed to want to protest, but one more pleading look was all it took. He slowly nodded as he seemed to realize her motive. "Well, listen to me," he said, taking her hands in his, as if to make sure he had her full attention. "My family has a castle in Kiamo Ko. No-one is ever there except for the sentries that watch over it. We've never lived there."
"Where do you live?"
He gave her a look. "The other castle."
If this wasn't an emergency, she would have rolled her eyes at the obviousness his voice carried. "Oh, of course."
"It's the perfect hiding place; tunnels, secret passages. You'll be safe there," he promised, cupping her chin.
She nodded, feeling her adrenaline rushing back in, her panic rising. Then a sudden wave of uncertainty washed over her, and she looked up at him. "We will see each other again, won't we?"
He laughed softly, taking a lock of her hair between his fingers. "Elphaba, we're going to be together always. You can see houses flying in the sky, can't you see that?"
She didn't reply, just pressed her lips forcibly against his in one last kiss. Then she quickly took off, mounting on her broom, soaring into the night sky, towards Munchkinland. The wind brushed against her face, drying some involuntary tears. Fiyero soon became a small dot at the distance; she knew he'd watch her as well, until she'd disappear out of his sight. His last promise led her way as she held on to her broom, steadying it against the wind.
There was no reason to worry, she told herself over and over again. Everything would be alright. Things would be better now; it had to be. She and Nessa would forgive one another, Glinda would forgive her too. She felt new confidence, and allowed herself a small smile as she flew into the distance. For once, she had her own happiness, her own future, to consider. He loved her. That was all she had to know. It was enough to assure her that everything would be just fine.
Little did she know that by morning, things would never be the same again.