Disclaimer: Still don't own Wicked…or Brave, by Idina Menzel…

Brave-
-Chapter Two: But It's My Turn

"So this is really goodbye?" Glinda's quiet voice spoke, breaking the warm summer air that hung around the two friends; a comforting contrast to the events unfolding.

Glinda and Elphaba stood facing one another. Her bony arms were wrapped around her middle, making her look sick. Fatigue was beginning to take its hold and she suddenly felt weary. Sleep had never sounded so sweet. Her body had thinned even more, giving her an odd womanly figure. Her facial features seemed sharper than usual. She looked, and felt, completely and utterly broken.

Glinda stood across the room, the Grimmerie in her hand. She wasn't aware that she was holding the book tighter than necessary or that her fingers where turning a ghostly shade of white. She didn't care. Elphaba had never looked like she did at that moment and it frightened Glinda. She felt like she could do nothing. It was all horribly familiar.

Four years had passed.

It was horribly familiar and terrifyingly different all at once; something in Glinda telling her that this time it was real. This time it was really the end and she found herself unable to truly react, not knowing what to do. Unable to accept that facts she was now faced with.

"I suppose it is," Elphaba spoke, her voice hoarse and crisp.

The fact that Elphaba was accepting it too, that she was actually giving in made it somehow worse for Glinda. Elphaba was supposed to be the brave one, the strong one. She was never supposed to know defeat. That was Glinda's job and she new it. She couldn't be brave, she had told Elphaba that four years ago, but it seemed she had to be.

Tears slowly began to build in Glinda's eyes once again and Elphaba noted it made it her eyes look like time crystal clear lakes. A tragically beautiful sight. A wisp of smile pulled at the corner of Elphaba's lips.

"Perhaps we'll meet again in another life," Elphaba tried reassuringly, her words hanging dead in the air. The consultation she had intended with them neither reaching Glinda nor herself.

"It doesn't have to be this way, Elphie," Glinda pleaded stepping forward.

"What other way is there, my sweet?"

Glinda felt a wave of heat stem from her chest at the term of endearment. "Come with me," she whispered, stepping towards the green woman. "I'll fix everything Elphie. We'll go to the palace right now; force the Wizard to admit it. Force him to give up."

As Glinda spoke she grew more confident, noting the expression on Elphaba's face. Consideration having never before been more apparent on her verdigris features. "Think of what we could do, Elphie," she tried, quietly, now standing toe to toe with Elphaba. "Together," she finished, taking Elphaba's larger hand in her own.

Elphaba gulped, trying to quell the desire running through her; whether from Glinda's hand around her own or the ideas she was presenting, she didn't know.

Could it really be that easy? The two of them storming the palace and forcing the Wizard to abdicate. Make him admit he was behind all the horrible happenings. That Elphaba's reputation had been nothing but a façade created by him and Morrible. Would Glinda really be able to make an entire county realize that they had been tricked and fooled? Would it even be wise to do?

Elphaba knew the answer before she even asked the question.

Reluctantly she pulled her hand from Glinda's, once again wrapping her arms around herself. "I can't ask you to do that, Glinda," she said quietly, looking anywhere but at the blonde.

"You can't ask me to do what?" Glinda spoke clearly through gritted teeth. She suddenly felt an undeniable anger course through her. Why did Elphaba have to make it so difficult? "You can't ask me to speak the truth? Forgive me if I'm wrong, but only days ago you accused me of lying to people and now you won't give me the chance to fix it?" Each word rose higher in volume until Glinda was practically yelling. Both women amazed at how easy Glinda had become angry.

"No one would believe you Glinda. They would turn against you," Elphaba's voice was pleading, her eyes wide. "They would destroy you and everything you've built for yourself."

"I could make them see they were wrong! I'll do whatever it takes."

Elphaba shook her head, "They won't believe you now. They'll destroy you Glinda. You'll have nothing left."

Glinda stared at her friend, silent tears falling down her cheeks. "No, I would have so much more," she said softly, "I would have you."

Silence filled the air as Glinda's words echoed around the room. Elphaba felt her throat tighten and her heart lurch. Not caring anymore, she finally allowed tears to form in her eyes. Of all the things Glinda could have said in the entirety of Oz, she had to say that. She couldn't respond, only able to shake her head, trying to make Glinda's words disappear. Wishing they had never been spoken.

"Please, Elphie," Glinda's voice was broken, the tears running down her face evident as she spoke. Elphaba continued to shake her head as Glinda walked towards her. Glinda held her gaze steady, trying to make eye contact with Elphaba. Elphaba, for her part, was looking down, refusing to look at her petite friend. "Please…"

Slowly, Elphaba brought her head up to meet Glinda's; her chocolate eyes immediately finding Glinda's blue ones. "No," she said, barely above a whisper, her own eyes wet with tears.

"Damn-it Elphaba!" Something in Glinda snapped as she threw the Grimmerie across the room. The book hit the wall with a sickening thud and fell the ground with an even louder thump. Elphaba recoiled slightly from the sounds and Glinda, her arms tightening around her middle.

"I'm s-sorry Glinda," Elphaba spoke, trying to suppress her tears and sobs. "I want to. Sweet Oz, I want to. But I can't. I won't do it to you. I won't condemn you to a life you don't deserve," she said, her voice pleading with Glinda to understand.

Glinda looked to Elphaba through a tear soaked gaze, not believing that her outburst had caused Elphaba to act so…so…She sighed, defeated. Her own tears fell harder as she walked to the taller woman. She pried Elphaba's hands from around her middle and instead placed her petite frame there, wrapping her own arms around Elphaba. The minute Glinda had settled her head into Elphaba's shoulder; the green woman wrapped her own arms around Glinda, rubbing her exposed upper back.

"I just can't say goodbye to you. Not forever," Glinda sobbed into Elphaba's dress, the material scratching her cheek.

"Who says this is forever?"

Glinda pulled back and looked Elphaba in the eye. "You do," she whispered. "I can see it in your eyes."

Elphaba pressed Glinda's head back into her shoulder as the tears once again formed in her eyes. "We'll see each other in another life, then."

"Another life is an awfully long time."

Silence filled the westward most tower of Kiamo Ko as Glinda and Elphaba allowed themselves the small, comforting please of holding the other.

After minutes, Glinda slowly pulled away so she could look at Elphaba once more, but keeping her arms wrapped tightly around the woman. "Elphie?"
"Hm?"

"If-if this is really goodbye-" women took in a deep calming breath. "Then—then I want you should…I…I didn't get…what I-"

A loud thud and shouts interrupted Glinda's unfinished rambling.

"Glinda, you have to hide," Elphaba said quickly, taking Glinda by the hand and pulling her to a small, hidden closet. She opened the door, helped Glinda step inside then turned and walked across the room to pick up the Grimmerie.

"Elphie, please," Glinda begged, stepping out of the closet. "I need to--"

"You can't make a sound," Elphaba said, returning with the book in hand. "They can't know you're here."

"Elphie, please, just listen to me for-"

A loud bang sounded outside the room, the witch hunters trying to break through their final barrier to the witch.

Elphaba smiled wryly at their attempts as helped Glinda back into her hiding spot.

"Elphie, I-" Elphaba interrupted Glinda once again as she placed a small lingering kiss upon Glinda's pink lips.

"Be brave, my sweet," Elphaba once again whispered into Glinda's ear, sending chills down Glinda's spine. With a final kiss on the cheek Elphaba stepped back.

"Elphie, I lo-"

Glinda was once again cut off as the Elphaba closed the closet door just as the door keeping the witch hunters out broke open; the last thing Glinda seeing was the wistful smile on Elphaba's face before she was consumed in darkness.

Glinda wasn't sure what was going on. She could barely see through the small crack between the two closet doors. There was commotion, that much she new. Perhaps a small amount of fighting. Yelling. Arguing. Silence. A scream.

A loud deafening scream that Glinda recognized though she had never heard it before. Filled with a pain that sounded unbearable. It wasn't possible. It wasn't happening. Her hand shot to her mouth to keep herself from screaming as well and to keep the nausea at bay. Time seemed to slow as Elphaba's scream went on and Glinda could no longer hold it in. She turned from the door, trying to keep herself as she vomited. She coughed silently, the dying sounds of Elphaba giving her cover.

And then…silence.

After a moment she could hear people speaking, a shuffling around and then silence once again.

The silence was unlike any Glinda had heard before. Deafening. A silent thud that was slowly pressing down on her.

"Elphie?" she whispered, wiping her mouth clean with the back of her hand, which she in turn wiped on her dress; not caring if it go dirty.

There was a movement, Glinda could see the shadow of someone outside the door and her heart soared. Elphaba was alright. Everything was going to be ok. The door slowly opened, Chistery poking his head around the wood to look inside. Glinda jumped and clutched her chest, the tears falling, once again, before she even realized it.

The sight before her was one Glinda never wished to see again, though it would remain etched in her mind for the rest of her life.

The room was suddenly cold. Chistery retreated back to a corner, grieving for the loss of his Mistress. A discarded wooden bucket sat on its rounded side by the door. But it was the sight in the middle of the room that Glinda's gaze was focused on. Elphaba's hat stood by itself, a single, solemn reminder of its owner.

Glinda sobbed and dropped to her knees besides the hat, the Grimmerie skidding across the floor as she dropped it. "No," she whispered as she shook her head. "No…Elphie…"

Oz seemed to stop as Glinda the Good mourned the Wicked Witch of the West. As she mourned her friend. As she mourned Elphaba. Her Elphie.

Be brave my sweet, Elphaba's final words spun in Glinda's head as her crying was reduced to dry heaves. "I can't…" she gasped between breaths. "I can't Elphie…I can't…"

But she had to. She was the only one left now to make things right. She was the only one with the power to do something. To make something. To make good, just as Elphaba had wanted it. She had to be brave. It was not a matter of choice. She had to and she would.

Slowly, Glinda picked herself up, taking deep steadying breaths. Elphaba's hat clutched to her chest. Carefully she righted herself, smoothing her dress and standing tall. She closed her eyes, resting her cheek against Elphaba's hat and inhaled deeply. The scent was solely Elphaba and she couldn't describe it as anything else.

A small sad smile formed on Glinda's lips as she delicately kissed the black hat. "I love you too, Elphie," she whispered into the material, her reply to Elphaba's confession four years too late.

It was her turn to be the brave one. And she would be. She would be brave, for herself…and for Elphaba.


Author's Note: Well there you have it! All finished! I hope you enjoyed reading as much as I enjoyed writing! Let me know what you think!

Thanks to anyone who reviewed the last chapter!!!!

Until next time!
Your humble author,
The Lonely Goatherd