Well. First multichaptered fic since No Longer which probably could have been a one shot. Also my first Wicked fanfiction, although I've been reading the books since I got them for the holidays two years ago.
The idea for this came to me while watching The Mission in my Humanities class, and the subsequent 1500 words were written while watching that. The rest was either added on or edited in while I typed this up (which I hate doing for your information). I hope I won't abandon this, I have a plot worked out somewhere.
Disclaimer: I do not own any of this, Gregory Maguire does because he came up with the wonderful character of Elphaba and wrote the fabulous book Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West. So bow to him not me if you need someone to worship.
The maunt was going to Gillikin. Skeletal, green, and silent, with a young boy around two years of age in her company. He didn't talk, the boy, he stayed by the maunt and buried his face in the black folds of her skirts when anyone tried to speak to him- odd, since he was past the age of learning words. They were a strange pair, albeit a par suited to one another. Oatsie Manglehand had asked the maunt if the boy was her son but the green girl (she really was a girl, although her age was somewhere about twenty five) had simply shrugged. Oatsie wasn't sure whether this was a yes or a no- maybe the boy was just sent with her on some sort of mauntly duty, and dropped it.
The other people on the caravan were wary of the two- the maunt was green for Oz's sake and that boy acted so unlike a normal toddling brat. Rumors, some with hints of truth, began to spread throughout the caravan, ranging from believable to the absurd. As will all rumors, the believable ones were thought to be idiotic and the absurd became a sort of truth to the rest of the caravan.
Elphaba ignored the whispers. She kept to herself as always and tended only the boy, the little unnamed boy. She couldn't bear to give him a name and place, although he had been with her all his short life and was hers. But she did have a sort of love for him, more older sisterly than motherly so far, but it was there.
Or at least she hoped so. The caravan traveled on with the skies mostly raining. The green girl huddled up in a wagon, back to the wall and the top mercifully covered bu a rough yet watertight canvas and held the boy close to her. She would try to rock him to sleep, humming old lullabies that she half remembered from Nanny and her childhood under her breath. "Fall asleep, say goodnight," she sang to him. "Child rest for I hold you tight..." She slumped, the rain a frightening percussion over head and her memory leaving her. "Chase away your sleeping evils, for I am right he-ere." She wasn't good at half making up songs to sing a boy to sleep, but the uneven tune hushed the toddler into sleep. She herself fought to keep her eyes open, because with the rain came the dreams.
The blood, all over the floor and spreading spreading spreading out of the wound and he was dead, dead, dead, her poor Yero dead and she was soulless and the half -child inside her felt it's mother anguish and its little heart failed and the blood, the blood all over his blood covering her and she wept tears of salt and water and the tears scarred her face
And then she would wake up, cold and shivering under a pile of scratchy warm wool blankets and the baby next to her would be staring solemnly with his tiny, chubby hands tangled in her loose dark mess of hair. He still didn't speak. She would just remember her own toddlerhood and said nothing in return. All that she did was unwind his hand from her hair and hug him to her, just a bit stiffly.
And so they traveled on. The weather got a bit sunnier and the rain stopped totally as they got to Gillikin. She had picked Gillikin because it reminded her of Glinda, silly foolish lovable girl that she was- is, perhaps, Elphaba reminded herself. After those dreams, those horrible horrible dreams, Elphaba stayed away from even thoughts of the Vinkus. She spoke and sang only to her- her? There still doubt in her mind, even though she had carried him when she woke up, three days before his birth (that had been a bit of a shock)- her still unnamed boy.
In his cell he dreamt of her, dreamt of a green and black creature huddled up with something considerably smaller close. She was shaking and trembling in her sleep and then the smaller person with her opened its eyes and looked at her. "Mama?" it- he whispered, unsure, questioning. He twisted some of the woman;s black silk hair around his chubby small hand. "Mama," he said again, the question gone from his voice. As if on cue the woman woke up from her nightmare and hugged the boy, calming herself. She took a deep breath and spoke, her voice fairly rusty. "Liir..." she said slowly, cautiously, giving him a name for the first time. "Mama," he told her. And Elphaba, at the boy's love and her own hateful self spoke again.
"No," she said. "No, I'm not a mother, I'm not a real person and I have no soul, I'm responsible for all their deaths, all their deaths- Doctor Dillamond, the people I killed as part of the Resistance, they had families and friends and lovers, Fiyero, Sweet Oz, Fiyero... no, no, no! No, I'm not a mother, I'm not a person, I'm not a mother to anyone I can't be, I can't!"
He felt her sadness and horrified acceptance and terror in his dream and he tried to reach out to her but he failed and he fell to other dreams, dreams where it was her that was dying on the floor of the corn exchange and all the blood was hers...
Finally, finally they reached Gillikin. It was the last of all the stops, but finally they where there. A village, a small one, and it was called Wynn. Elphaba remade herself, called herself Annaele Tllie, because she didn't want anyone to recognize the name of Thropp and ask her why she wasn't in Munchkinland preparing for the possibility of maybe ruling, or at least advising the ruler of the hoards of Munchkins, and she especially didn't want people going at her because of the green terrorist bit- although she wasn't like that yet, really. Annaele Tllie was safer, she told herself. Elphaba Thropp was dangerous, an angry lioness, and a scared creature with a dead lover. Annaele Tllie had a child to take care of, a child who was mothered, not fathered. Elphaba had a child, true, but she had a child with a father and that father was dead because of her and it hurt too much so Elphaba became Annaele and Thropp became Tllie and maybe, just maybe she could be at some sort of peace.
She would get a job, a nice normal job to support himself. A bakery or a dress store. Well, maybe not a dress store, because this was Gillikin after all and she had absolutely no doubts that she'd be be frilled and laced and fluffed. But she could find a job, and maybe a room to rent... the Head Maunt had given her money and advice. But she had met with her once before that, when she had just woken up.
"Miss Elphaba," the woman had said. "How are you?"
She shook her head. "I don't know. I don't remember.."
The maunt sat down beside her. "You've been here for quite a while in a coma. A little less than eight months. You're due in a few days, you know."
She blinked, gasped as the words sunk in.
"Due? I'm not- can't be- not anymore- was but-"
"Sister Doctor Ardis confirmed it, dear, when you first arrived. It should be so obvious, Miss Elphaba, just look at your belly."
She looked down, noticed how large it was and splayed out a hand, feeling the child kick.
The Head Maunt interrupted then. "You are welcome to stay as long as you need, after you've settled and given birth, we would like you to help out. This is all the mauntery asks of you."
She nodded mutely and stared down at her hand over her stomach. The maunt left the room, and Elphaba stayed there for a good long time.
She got off the caravan with her two bags, halfheartedly waved goodbye to Oatsie Manglehand who didn't wave back and made sure the boy- Liir, Liir was close by.
"Well." she said to him and herself, her voice sounds weak even to her own ears. "Here we are," Liir nodded.
"So what do we do now?"
Linnet Shenn was dearly in need of someone to help out at her bakery. Each day she got covered in flour, unlike before when both she and her assistant both turned white with the dusty stuff. But now, now she had orders to fill and she couldn't handle them all. Lady Glinda the Good, Lady Glinda Chuffrey herself had ordered some pastries for a breakfast meeting when she was in Gillikin and Linnet had had to explain that she wouldn't be able to get them made in time because of the other orders she had- she was so embarrassed. Of course Lady Glinda understood, but still. Shame. That was why when the green girl came along asking for a job she hired her, taking no matter of her skin color or the toddler she had with her. The woman could bake fairly well, she knew how to make a pie crust and meringues, and she knew the difference between baking power and baking soda.
Linnet hired her on the spot.
"Can you start now?" she asked the woman, who had said her name was Annaele Tllie. Annaele shrugged. "If I can find a place to put my bag and my baby, yes."
Linnet shrugged, "There is a room upstairs that I use for keeping bakery supplies, you can put your two bags up there. The boy can stay here as long as he keeps more or less out of the way. Does he have a name?"
"Liir," she said softly. "His name is Liir." Liir nodded and showed off his teeth in a happy smile.
"Who is the father?" Linnet asked Annaele.
Elphaba was suddenly hit with memories she'd tried to suppress. "Dead," she said shortly. And that was that. She put her bags upstairs in the room Linnet had spoken of, and put on an apron. Linnet showed her an order form, a simple cake. She mixed and folded and poured and stirred, keeping her hands and mind busy.
When they took a break for lunch, the older woman sat her down with a buttered roll and a sliced tomato to start with and interrogated Elphaba.
"Where are you from originally?" she asked. Elphaba took a bite of the roll, swallowed, and answered.
"Munchkinland," she said. "Nest Hardings, to be more specific. Than I went to Shiz." Linnet nodded and asked another question.
"How did you come here?" she asked.
"That's a bit of a longer story," Elphaba told her. "I dropped out of Shiz after a teacher was some say, murdered. I sort of drifted around the Emerald City for a few years and then eventually I ran into Liir's father. I had known him back at college. We had a tryst for a while. I became pregnant right before he was killed. I didn't find out for a long time, not until a few days before Liir's birth.
"How-" Linnet asked, and Elphaba cut her off with a hand. She revised the next part, embellishing the truth and editing out details.
"I had went back to our, well, mine really, the apartment on Lurlinemas Eve and found the floor covered in blood. From what I'd found out later it was a mistaken raid by the Gale Force. They had meant the place next to mine, that I would find out later. He walked in, meaning to surprise me with a few unnecessary presents. They attacked. I just saw blood, all this blood. I didn't know what was going on, I was feeling sick and dizzy probably from the baby and I fainted. Then I woke up a little while later, covered in his blood and threw up on the floor. I- I just left and went to a mauntery where I knew I could sleep safely and I think I hoped to forget."
Linnet motioned for her to go on and added another roll, this time with lettuce, to Elphaba's plate. "Eat up, Annaele, you're far too thin."
Elphaba accepted the food and went on.
"I apparently fell into a coma for a little under eight months. I woke up a few days before Liir's birth, like I've said. I was so confused, and I refused to believe that I was going to be a mother- I told myself I didn't deserve anything of the sort. But then I gave birth, and I still only partially accepted it. Then after two years I left the mauntery with Liir and finally named him, when he called me Mama. And here I am."
"Oh," was all that Linnet said. "Do you have a place to stay?"
Elphaba, Liir clinging to her skirts, shook her head. Well, Linnet thought, that was something she could do for the poor unfortunate girl.
"Stay upstairs," she said. "In the room that you have your bags in. You'll have to share it with flour and baking stuffs but there's an old bed I have and I'm sure we can dig out some things from my attic. My rooms are out back, so normally I can start the bread in the mornings but since you'll be close you and me can alternate. Alright?"
Elphaba nodded and thanked the woman for her kindness. She finished her lunch she'd been given, cleaned up and went back to work.
Maybe, just maybe this could work out.
Reviews are nice. I would like a beta if you want to offer PM or email me. Email's in my profile.