Chapter Seventeen: The Blonde and the Powerful
Glinda sat by her son's side in their dark prison. His presence, even if it was unconscious, was comforting to her. She placed a hand on his chest and felt the familiar rise and fall of his breath and the slow, steady thud of his heart. She wanted to check to make sure he was still alive. She couldn't ever remember him being this still in his life and it was an eerie feeling for her.
More than once Glinda had thought about busting open one of those crates and drinking to her heart's content. She just wanted this all to be a bad nightmare, to be over. Tom Tom hadn't returned yet and it had been a few hours since his departure. It worried Glinda; her precious time was ticking away faster than she could salvage it. There was no telling what Boq would do with her. Elphie would come to save her. She wouldn't let him hurt her. Would she?
Glinda was pulled from her reverie by a scuffling sound outside of the bar. She got to her feet and held her breath. Were they coming for her? She began to panic and back up against the wall. She closed her eyes, willing herself over and over to wake up. She had to! The noise stopped and Glinda cautiously peeked one eye open. Nothing had changed, the room was still dark, damp, and dirty. She sighed, relieved that she still had some time and frustrated that she was still trapped in this living hell. She turned her head and came face to face with Tom Tom's piercing grey eyes. Glinda screamed out of surprise.
"Shhh!" Tom Tom hushed. "They'll hear you!"
Sure enough, another pair of footsteps could be heard from overhead. Glinda winced. She had done it now. Tom Tom had just leapt behind a crate when the door to the cellar flew open, bathing Glinda in a blinding white light.
"What is going on down here?" A guard asked.
Glinda clamped her eyes shut against the invading brightness.
"I, um," She stammered. "There was a rat."
The guard huffed, rolled his eyes and slammed the door shut behind him, annoyed.
"That was close." Tom Tom had reappeared.
"Did you find her?" Glinda questioned, still seeing spots from the brilliance of the light.
"No," Tom Tom replied.
Glinda's heart fell.
"But I did find someone else who could." Tom Tom smiled.
Glinda was confused, but heard the door to the cellar creak open again and shut quickly. She froze, her heart stopped. She reached out for Tom Tom, who offered a sort of security by familiarity. Minutes passed.
"Glinda?" A voice whispered, sure but hesitant at the same time.
She wrinkled her forehead. She knew that voice.
"Glinda? Are you here?" The steps squeaked as the figure descended down to the floor.
"Who are you?" Glinda's voice was small and scared, trying to sound fierce.
She was met with no answer, only movement as the figure walked closer to her. Glinda's heart was in her throat; she could feel it. Her senses were on high alert and fear prickled her spine, sending chills over her body. The moonlight spilling in from the crack in the boards illuminated the face of the stranger and Glinda had to stifle another scream.
"Fae?" She asked. Surely, this couldn't be her goddaughter. She was dead.
Fae smiled and Glinda knew that it was indeed she. Glinda rushed the few feet to her and embraced her, hugging her tightly.
"But how-" Glinda pulled away, her hands still on Fae's arms. She wasn't going to let her go for fear that she might disappear into thin air. "You're dead."
"What?" Fae chuckled. "That's nonsense. Who told you that?"
"The guards, they said that you had been raped and killed. They said Boq killed you." She said still in shock.
"Not all true, but not all false either." Fae admitted. "But now isn't the time. We have to get you two out of here." Fae glanced around. "Where is Aden?"
Glinda lead her over to his limp figure. "He fought back when they captured us and they shot him with a Sleeping Dart."
Fae knelt down beside him and placed her hand on his cheek. She wanted so badly to lean down and kiss him but she knew that it would waste what precious time they had.
Putting her emotions aside, she began to explain their plan to Glinda.
"Help me drag him over here." She motioned to underneath the stairs and grabbed one of his hands. Glinda did the same and the two women slowly moved Aden's unconscious form underneath the staircase and out of sight.
"I don't see how that is going to help." Glinda brushed her hands off. "We need to get out of here, not hide."
"You have to trust me, okay?" Fae told her.
Glinda took her hand in hers. "I do."
"Then go over there by Aden and stay out of sight." Fae replied.
As Glinda did as she was told, Fae positioned herself in the middle of the room facing the small opening that had allowed Tom Tom access in and out.
"You know what to do." She spoke softly to Tom Tom and stroked his ear. "Thank you."
"Take care, my dear." He smiled at her and readied himself for his task.
Fae closed her eyes and concentrated on the job at hand. A few moments passed and Glinda wondered what exactly it was that Fae was going to do. Her thoughts were quickly answered.
A deafening boom sounded throughout the pub and pieces of splintered wood flew in every direction. Glinda instinctively dropped to her knees over her son and shielded her face. A thunder of footsteps could be heard running towards the cellar. The door flew open and Tom Tom ran out quickly, distracting the guards and giving Fae enough time to retreat to the safety of the shadows along with Glinda and Aden.
A barrage of officers and men flooded the room.
"They escaped!" One shouted.
"Quick!" Another voice yelled. "Search the City!"
"They can't get away!"
As quickly as the men came, they went. Fae looked to her left and saw Glinda beaming at her. She looked to the far wall and smiled. A hole of about ten feet in diameter stood gaping where the wall had once been, offering an easily accessible escape route. The guards had fallen for the bait.
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Elphaba and Liir had not spoken since the argument. The pair had already slinked around half of the City in the shadows but to no avail. Elphie groaned as they sat hidden in an abandon vendor booth. Liir felt sorry for his mother; she was obviously extremely worried. He could see it in her face.
"We'll find them." He reassured her, putting his hand on her shoulder.
"I'm glad one of us is being positive at the moment." Elphaba replied. All she could think of was all of the awful things that could be happening to the people that she cared about.
Suddenly, an earthshaking boom shattered the stillness of the air and Liir and Elphaba peeked through the knotholes in the wood to see what all the commotion was about. They saw a shower of splinters rain down on the ground as a fairly large hole had apparently been blasted from beneath a building that resembled a bar. Liir rose to investigate further, but Elphaba pushed him back to the floor, never once taking her eyes off of the newly made hole. Guards could be heard yelling and raging obscenities as they realized that their captives had escaped.
"What was that about?" Liir asked.
Elphaba didn't say anything for a minute or two. "That was magic."
Liir looked at her strangely.
"And obviously, someone wanted to escape, yet they never came out of the building did they?" Elphaba seemed to be rationalized the situation more for herself than actually asking Liir his opinion.
"So they must still be in there." Liir stated surely. "Maybe it was Glinda?"
Elphie snorted, the first pleasant emotion that Liir had seen from her in quite some time. "Glinda, Oz love her, would never be able to do something like that. She doesn't have that kind of power."
Some kind of unseen force told Liir that this was important and pushed him up and out of the booth before Elphaba could stop him. He jogged over to the hole and hopped in, sending a few crates toppling over in his landing. Elphie sprinted after him and gracefully landed on the ground next to him, black cloak flying.
"Are you crazy?!" Elphie yelled at him. "Do you want to get us killed?"
Liir didn't answer her, but kept staring into a dark corner.Fae stepped out from the shadows slowly, her mouth open in shock and skepticism.
Elphaba's face instantly softened when she saw her daughter standing in front of her. She didn't speak, only greedily accepted the hug from her daughter as she ran across the room. Elphie felt the entire weight she had been carrying slip off her shoulders. Fae sighed into her mother's shoulder, glad to finally be reunited with her.
Liir crossed the room over to Glinda and Aden. He knelt down to see if the boy was all right as she explained the situation to him. Liir hoisted Aden on his shoulder and walked back over to his family.
"I hate to interrupt, but we really need to get out of here." Liir said, Glinda standing behind him.
Elphaba didn't show much emotion when she met Glinda's eyes, however, Glinda was glad to see relief wash over her face for even just a second.
"Liir's right," Fae agreed. "The quicker we get out of here, the better."