Elphaba and Fiyero had been settled in the Vinkus for three months, with letters from Glinda arriving almost weekly. She had officially moved into the Emerald Palace, and was keeping an eye and ear out for any word that Morrible and the Wizard had deemed Elphaba a threat, but had done a very good job at convincing them that Elphaba was in no hurry to trouble them, "what with her situation."
My Dearest Darlingest Elphie and Fiyero, she had written in her first letter.
I hope you will forgive me for the briefness of this letter, but I have the most urgent business of packing to attend to, and seeing as how you've left me all aloneified, I have to do the majority of this hideodious packing MYSELF. I would never trust anyone but my closest friends to help me with that!
Anywho, I simply wanted to inform you of the latest goings-on. I hope you won't mind that I felt compelled to let our dear Wizard and his esteemed colleague Madame Morrible in on your little secret. I explained to them that the reason you were acting so strangeified that day in the Emerald City was because of the nausea due to your pregnancy. Now, Elphie, I KNOW that this is a very personal matter, but they simply HAD to know all the details, because they were deeply concerned, and they, of course, send their very warmest congratulotions.
I am, as you can imagine, extremely curious about how you have been doing, but considering the time it will take for this letter to reach you, then return, and, of course, be screened by the Palace officials, I won't know for weeks and weeks!! Perhaps I can schedule a trip out there to visit the two of you?
It's always so much more effective to speak face to face, don't you agree?
Nessa and Avaric send their love; I hear they plan on visiting you when the school year is up.
And Boq... Boq is just divine.
All my love, my dearest friends. Be good to one another, as you are still my shining example of true love in this world,
Glinda (formerly Galinda) Upland of the Upper Uplands (or maybe, someday, Munchkinland) via the Emerald City
"What a clever little minx," Elphaba had murmured. "Apparently, I'm pregnant, that's why I seemed so confused, and why I've since fled Shiz and the reaches of the Wizard; and our correspondence will be read by others. I always knew she had more brains than she let on."
"But what if you're checked on and discovered not to be with child?" Fiyero had murmured in her ear, nuzzling her. "Perhaps you should be, just in case."
She had laughed. "You want to commit to a child for the sake of a lie? We could always say we lost it if we had to."
Fiyero had straightened, looking sick. "Don't even joke about that, Phae. That would devastate me."
She'd felt guilty instantly, wondering how he managed to break her heart so easily. "I'm sorry."
Since then, letters from Glinda had been mostly business, though the small tidbits about her burgeoning relationship with Boq served to satisfy Elphaba, who proved to be (though she hated to admit it) in need of Girl Talk. "Think of all the hours you could have spent doing so with Glinda, when instead you rolled your eyes and grumbled," Fiyero teased, leaning over her shoulder to drop a kiss on her cheek as she threaded a needle.
"It's been three months without her, Yero, and I want... I want to talk to her about things. I know I have you, but... You know..."
He smiled at her adoringly. "I hope she can come, soon. Though, perhaps her arrival shouldn't correspond with the arrival of Avaric and Nessa. He's written to confirm, did I mention?"
"Yes, dear," Elphaba replied, squinting at the patch she was mending in her favorite skirt. He gazed at her and grinned, loving being called 'dear', and, though he wasn't sure why, the sight of her fixing her skirt. It was so unbelievably ordinary; they were perfectly content in their marriage. "When do they arrive, again?"
"A week from Thursday. It's not like you to be forgetful," he realized aloud. "Is everything okay?"
"Fine," she murmured. "I'm just lazy, I suppose."
"Lazy," he scoffed. "You insist upon mending your own clothes, despite the fact that you're a crown princess. I'd say you're anything but lazy."
"Then perhaps it's the baby," she shrugged idly.
Fiyero froze. "The what?"
"The baby, our baby." She smiled, set her sewing down, and looked up at him. "Are you pleased?"
"Are you serious?"
She nodded. "Of course I am."
He rushed to her, pulling her up into his arms and into the air, unable to resist spinning her around. "I can't believe... How long have you known?"
"I only confirmed it today, though I've suspected for awhile. I'm at about six weeks..."
Fiyero placed her down gently and kissed her deeply, languidly, feeling a mingling of pride and joy that he never would have anticipated. "I'm overjoyed," he confessed.
"Are you sure you feel ready?"
"Yes, I do. More than ready. A baby, with you... Phae, it's sublime. Are you happy?"
She gazed into his eyes, and traced his cheek with the pads of her fingers. "I hope our baby looks just like you," she murmured.
He kissed her again, because he couldn't help it, and their kiss soon became more, as it often did. "Wait, can we... Is it safe, to...?"
Elphaba chuckled. "Of course," she smiled. Taking in his look of concern, she added, "I asked."
"You did, did you," he drawled lustily.
"I certainly did," she articulated. "Nine months without you would kill me, I'm sure."
"Seven and a half," he corrected, grinning. "I can't believe I couldn't tell."
"I won't be showing for awhile."
"A baby," he crowed, still not sure he could believe it.
"Yero, you were undressing me," she reminded him.
"Oh, of course," he said, resuming his work with earnest effort.
A little over a week later, when Nessa and Avaric arrived, Fiyero was under strict instruction to keep his mouth firmly shut on the issue of the tiny person growing inside his wife. Elphaba felt some sort of burning compulsion to tell Glinda first, which Fiyero found so heartwarming that he had to comply, though keeping it from Avaric was going to be difficult.
One night on the terrace, glasses of warm brandy in hand, Fiyero was so close to screaming it that he thought he might actually break down and sob. Avaric was studying him strangely, and he wished that Elphaba was out there to glare him into silence, but she was upstairs with Nessa. "She's glowing," Avaric finally said.
Avaric chuckled, endeared to Fiyero's meager attempt at discretion. "Your wife, mate," he smiled. "She glows. And, admittedly, she was always quite radiant, but she's... If she isn't pregnant, then I don't know who is."
"Many people are probably pregnant at this very moment," Fiyero tried.
"Fiyero, man, why are you trying to lie to me? You know you can't."
"Because if I were to tell you something that big, assuming it were true, you'd tell Nessa. And Nessa, in this case, wouldn't be allowed to know this secret before Glinda, even though Nessa is, in fact, Elphaba's sister. So really, the moon is glowing on the many pregnant women in the world."
"I won't tell Nessa, if that's what Elphie wants," Avaric smiled, wrapping an arm around his friend's shoulders. "You're going to be a father!"
Fiyero closed his eyes. "The idea of something that is half Phae and half me is so overwhelmingly beautiful it makes my head spin," he confessed.
"Congratulations," Avaric whispered. "I won't tell a soul. Until you tell me I can. Then, I'll probably tell everyone."
"Well, if you're going to be the godfather, you might as well," Fiyero shrugged.
Avaric pulled him into a firm hug at that. "Are you serious? Fiyero, my brother, it would an honour!"
"The feeling is mutual, Av. I love you, man."
"You're a good kid," Avaric grinned. "I love you too."
Nessa and Avaric were off to Munchkinland soon after, and Nessarose had not been privy to the news of Elphaba's pregnancy. It was for the better, really, as Nessa would have found it impossible to keep that tidbit from their father.
"That was torturous," Elphaba moaned when they were out of sight. "But I simply must tell Glinda first. I'm not sure why. But I must."
"Well, she arrives in a week. Can you handle it?"
"Of course," Elphaba scoffed.
"Well I can't," Fiyero cried. "I'm bursting!"
"Wasn't telling your parents enough?"
"If I could tell them anew every hour of every day, maybe." Fiyero pulled her close, wrapping his arms around her waist from behind. "Come, let's occupy ourselves."
"You are so typically male," she smirked.
"I was referring to reading," Fiyero scoffed, adopting a snooty accent. "Honestly, Miss Elphaba; such a dirty mind."
"Oh, well I was actually thinking of this book that I found -"
"Oh, no," Fiyero argued, scooping her up. "Bedroom. Now."
Glinda Upland had always traveled in style, and that would never change. She arrived in the Vinkus all ornate, flowing and glittering, though she was enveloped in Elphaba's arms so quickly she almost disappeared, much like a light being flicked out. Elphaba held her close, her embrace fierce, for so long it made Fiyero feel a little misty, then released the little blonde, who, overwhelmed, threw herself into Elphaba once more, arms around the taller girl's neck and feet straining to keep the body and pouffy awkward dress on tiptoe.
"Elphie, I've missed you so much I can barely stand it," she said when they parted for real, brushing a tear from the corner of her eye. "I'm so sick of telling everybody how wonderful everything is!"
"Well, you're a public figure now," Elphaba soothed. "People expect you -"
"To be encouraging," Elphaba finished, gently. "How long can you stay?"
Glinda beamed. "I've planned for two whole weeks here and two whole weeks at Momsie and Popsicle's, with Boq meeting me there, then a week in Munchkinland! Speaking of, Boq is sorry he couldn't make it, his family had some business with him and he needed to be there," she apologized.
Elphaba linked her arm with Glinda's and led the smaller girl to where Fiyero stood just outside the main doors. She couldn't help by recall the first time she'd arrived here, all full of fear and aflutter with all-encompassing feelings for Fiyero. Fiyero, who was now her husband of over a year. Fiyero, whose baby she would have in seven months.
"Glinda," he greeted, kissing the blonde on the cheek and grinning at her. "You have no idea how lovely it is to see you."
"Oh, yes, it's good to see me, isn't it," Glinda said, pretending to wave at a crowd of adoring fans. Fiyero chuckled. "You're so tanned and manly-looking, Fiyero. The VInkus is good for you! Or perhaps I've simply grown used to the greenish tinge on everyone's skin in the Emerald City." She turned to Elphaba. "Your skin is positively divine, my Elphie, because it's so rich, but everyone else just looks like they might vomit." She sighed. "I'm always so awfully afraid that one day one of them will, and all over one of my good pairs of shoes."
"Well, they're just shoes Glinda," Elphaba reminded her.
"Come, ladies. Let's show Miss Glinda to her room," Fiyero suggested. "I assume you'll be staying with her tonight, Elphie?"
"Don't you start with that ridiculous nickname, as well, Fiyero," Elphaba bossed. "Oz, five minutes in her presence and you're calling me Elphie? What's next, are you going to 'toss toss' your hair?"
"I would never do it now, but I used to be quite good at 'toss toss'ing my hair," Fiyero shot back. "I am a rather swankified and scandalacious prince, you know."
Elphaba rolled her eyes, and Glinda sobbed, but only once. At the looks (of mild horror on Elphaba's part and amused curiosity on Fiyero's) she received from her friends she explained, "I've missed her eye rolling."
"Let's get you settled," Fiyero tried again, changing the subject before Elphaba could confess she missed frilly pink dressed littering every surface and forevermore be embarrassed and surly about it.
With Glinda unpacking some of her (many) things, Fiyero pulled his wife aside. "You were planning on telling her soon, right?"
"No," Elphaba sneered. "I thought I'd wait till the middle of the night so that her damn shrieking could wake the entire household, and, I suspect, raise the dead."
Fiyero smiled at her lopsidedly and kissed her. "Is this a private confession?"
"I think if we stand together and say 'we're pregnant', she'll be so overwhelmed trying to congratulate both of us, ask about names, volunteer to be its stylist... And then try to get you on her side when I say no, and have to run back and forth between us... Maybe I should just tell her? Unless you want to be there," she added.
Fiyero was laughing at the mental image of Glinda trying to include them both in her own personal joy at their news, and shook his head. "No, darling, I think it's best if it comes from only you."
"Alright, then," she said, taking a deep breath and squaring her shoulders. "Do you think she can damage the baby's ears at this stage?"
"Let's hope not," he smiled, kissing her soundly. "Good luck."
Glinda was sitting on her bed when Elphaba entered, surrounded by a few puffy dresses. "I got so tired trying to unpack," she explained. "I might just need to rest my eyes."
"Oh, well I can come back later," Elphaba said.
"You will not," Glinda barked, patting the bed next to her. "Come tell me all your secrets," she said. "It's awful, not being able to really say anything to you in our letters."
Elphaba moved to sit next to Glinda, leaning back against the pillows as well. "I was quite impressed with how you let me know about that, though, Glin. You're rather clever, when you want to be."
"Thanks, Elphie," Glinda said, blushing faintly. "What's new with you? I know I'll start to ramble if we start with me, because I can't help it. And I want to know all about your life here. But before I forget... That book, the Grimmerie. I know you'll need it, eventually. I just need to find a way to get it to you. I know you can put it to better use than Morrible will. I just don't know how to get it from where she's keeping it, and..."
"It's alright, Glinda, I'm pretty busy, I... Well, I don't want you to risk yourself, either."
"I won't be, Elphie. She can't read the stupid old thing, she never uses it. She wouldn't notice it was gone till it was far too late. I was thinking, though, that if I took it right before I went to see you, that she might realize. So I thought I'd take it and hide it somewhere for a long time so that she doesn't trace it to us." She paused. "Eventually." She paused again. "Enough about that. What's been keeping you busy?"
"Actually, I wanted to tell you something," Elphaba said. "But you have to promise to be gentle with me, and as quiet as you possibly can."
"What is it, Elphie? Are you sick?"
Glinda's jaw dropped, and she froze, clearly surprised into some sort of rather pretty but altogether uncomfortable stupor. Elphaba simply watched her, waiting for the collapse, and then it came. "OH Elphie, ooooOOOoooooh!!" She flung her arms around her friend, unable to help herself, and hugged her tight and then flopped back. "That is simply the most excitifying news in the whole wide world!! A teeny baby!! Is it a girl? May I please please pleeeeease buy her pink things? It's only fair, Elphie, if you're going to poison her against it, that I do what I can to restore balance to her perception of the colour!"
"And if it's a boy?"
"Wearing pink will show that he's comfortable with his masculinity," Glinda shrugged.
"Or his femininity," Elphaba murmured, chuckling.
"Now, Fiyero would look absutively wonderful in - ooOOOOoOOOOHHH FIYEROOOOOOOO!!" Glinda bounced up from her bed. "I have to congratulify him!! He's going to be the bestest -" she paused, thinking of her own popsicle. "Well, second-bestest... Alright, he's going to be really good at - Oh, Elphie, I feel like I'm young again!!"
Elphaba cackled, unable to help being infected with Glinda's very potent joy. "You're still young, my pretty," she pointed out.
"Oh these last few months have aged me, Elphaba," Glinda sighed, returning to sit next to her friend. "I've missed you so. I simply must see you more often than I do. Even getting away from all of the... Well, let's never mind," she fussed, reaching out to take Elphaba's hands in hers. "You're going to be a mother, and a wonderful one at that!"
"I must thank you, Glinda," Elphaba said, squeezing the blonde's hands. "For doing what you did. You've no doubt saved me a world of trouble... More trouble than I can probably imagine. My life is so... I know it's because you took that job that I'm able to be here with Fiyero and live my life at peace, and I will always be grateful."
"Oh, Elphie," Glinda murmured. "You're the best friend I ever had. I'd do anything for you."
"You're the only friend I ever had," Elphaba pointed out. "Well, unless you count Fiyero as a friend."
"Naked friends," Glinda giggled, looking mischievous.
"Wicked little tart."
"Surly old green bean."
"Will you be the baby's godmother?"
Glinda froze, genuinely touched and surprised. "Way to catch me off guard, Elphie, I was just about done being all misty-eyed," she scolded.
"That was the point," Elphaba smirked.
"Oh, but won't Nessa be disappointed?"
"My baby needs you, Glinda. You were sort of right about educating it about pink, and -"
"You mean I can teach her to love pink?"
"No," Elphaba said, smiling. "But she'll need to learn how to put on makeup. Or, if she's a boy, then..."
"Fashion will still be important. He'll be a prince, you know. People will be looking at him."
"As long as he isn't green," Elphaba murmured.
"Are you forgetting how hard I worked to make green the new thing? Honestly, Elphaba," Glinda sighed.
"You still haven't answered me."
"I'd be thillified," Glinda said, smiling. "You know, Elphie, if it is a girl, I always thought that Galinda was a very lovelified name..."
"GAlinda? With a 'Ga'?"
"Well we can't all have a silent 'Ga', somebody's got to have an unsilent 'Ga'!" Glinda sat up. "Let's go find Fiyero. I really do want to offer my congratulotions."
Elphaba acquiesced, and, not surprisingly, Glinda did cry and attempt to hug them both, then tried to get Fiyero on her side about the importance of pink in a child's life.
Watching the two of them converse, Elphaba couldn't help letting a hand rest on her stomach, which had yet to show any real signs of growth, but which, she knew, contained a future she never thought she'd have in "a horrendous arranged marriage with some stupid Prince from the stupid Vinkus".
"So you don't even want to get married?" Fiyero had asked her, after they'd played at marriage at Mrs Drek's all those months ago.
"If the right person came along," she had said. "I would want to share my life with someone, if he wanted to share his life with me."
How lucky she had ended up, she realized. Sure, she'd wanted to complete her education at Shiz, but that had been when the diploma would have led to a chance to change Oz for the better, something she didn't see happening with the Wizard in power. She'd gotten a little bit of education, and, really, married into a rather wonderful library.
She'd met Glinda at Shiz, and made the first and best friend she could have ever asked for, and now, with Glinda's help, it seemed the world might full of different possibilities, different roads to travel. Perhaps they weren't what she'd planned, but that didn't mean they wouldn't lead somewhere exquisite.
Fiyero had asked her why she didn't want to be a princess the first day he'd met her. She hadn't known then that he had the capacity to make her one, but her answer would have been the same, regardless: "I don't fancy being a princess because I want MORE ... My entire life has been limited, and I want -" she had stopped herself, realizing she was sharing too much.
"What?" Fiyero had asked, curious. "What do you want?"
She hadn't known then, and neither had he, that he would end up willing to try to give her everything she hoped for, if she'd only tell him what she wanted. "I want a future that is UNlimited," she had revealed.
"Maybe this prince would let you have that, you never know."
Considering the man in front of her, Elphaba felt her heart soaring, which it often did when she took a moment to truly let herself think of how wonderful he really was. You never know, she thought to herself. You really do never know...