He hated that he couldn't hold her. Hated that, after years away from her, he'd finally managed to get his arms around her and hold her close and be with her, really be with her, and now she was gone once more.
He understood hearing something in the wind - he'd heard her dozens of times, or thought he had. But he'd eventually given up pursuing the sounds... Elphaba, however, was certain that her sister was in danger. He hoped for everyone's sake that she was wrong.
Fiyero left soon after Elphaba had fled the Great Gilllikin Forest, knowing it would take him twice as long on foot as it would take her by broom. The speed of her travel did not aid her, however, as she arrived too late to help her sister. She wasn't late enough to find the scene cleared, though, and, unable to hold back her fury, she appeared in a cloud of awful orange smoke to fume and threaten, barely even realizing that Glinda was there with the girl, the driver of the house that had crushed her sister.
As Elphaba was putting on a show for the people of Munchkinland, Fiyero was meeting with Elda in the shadows of the Baum Street Orphanage. The back alleyway was ideal for a rendezvous such as this, and Fiyero didn't have much time. "Fiyero," Elda said, her face and voice displaying her worry. "I heard... I heard you'd been abducted by the Wicked Witch."
Fiyero took a deep breath, knowing that it was too risky to come clean, despite his desire to, and even though his trust in Elda was second only to his trust in Elphaba. "Rumours," he said dismissively. "I need to talk to you about something top secret, something that will save my life and Fae's."
Elda had learned over the past years that Fiyero was a man of his word, in more ways than one. If he promised something, he would deliver. And if he said a life was on the line, it was not an exaggeration.
As Fiyero whispered heatedly to Elda, Elphaba disappeared from the scene of her sister's death, watching in grim defeat as they celebrated, and told the girl, Dorothy, where to go. As soon as they were gone, Elphaba emerged, had a fight with Glinda, and was captured, only to be saved by Fiyero, who barely got there in time.
Traded. His life for hers. What was the point of living if...?
The notion of losing Fiyero broke Elphaba in a way that felt very much like having every vein and artery ripped out of her body. In a panic, a blind panic, she ranted and raved, cast the only spell she could find, despite not being sure what she was reading.
But, of course, Elphaba was a deeply powerful woman - Fiyero knew it, and trusted it. She barely believed it most of the time, knowing that the spells she cast usually turned on whoever she'd tried to help. When Fiyero appeared at the trapdoor in Kiamo Ko, now a man of straw, relief and guilt waged a war in her heart that she desperately hoped didn't show on her face.
Just outside of Oz, an older woman with a kind face met a green witch and a scarecrow. "Lovely day for a walk, isn't it," Fiyero pointed out.
"It depends on how long you plan on walking," the woman replied, though she was clearly taken aback.
"I plan on walking however long the good weather holds," Fiyero shrugged.
Elda peered at him, glanced at Elphaba's bowed head, and couldn't decide if it was the light that made her look green. "Fiyero, is that really you?"
"I'd say 'In the flesh'... But yes, it's me. I know there's a lot you're probably wondering about right now," he said, his eyes darting toward Elphaba against his will. "But I promise I haven't deceived you. Well, I may have kept a secret from you, but it was for the greater good."
"What secret was that?"
"The Wicked Witch of the West never existed."
Elphaba's head shot up, and she and Elda both stared at Fiyero in shock. "What do you mean?"
"The woman, Elphaba, who everyone knew as the Witch, she's real," Fiyero explained. "But she's not wicked, and never was. She fought the Wizard and his Press Secretary, Madame Morrible, because they were corrupt. And they branded her the Enemy of Oz because she wouldn't help them." He took a deep breath. "She was Glinda the Good's best friend, and the love of my life."
"I'm still both of those things, hopefully," Elphaba muttered.
"I wasn't sure where you were at with Galinda," Fiyero grumbled, whining only slightly. How easily he reverted to his youth when he was with her.
"It's Glinda," Elphaba reminded him. "The Ga is silent."
Both smiled. Fiyero hadn't even realized he'd called his former fiancée by her Shiz-era name. "In any case," he said, turning back to Elda. "I assure you you'll return to the Emerald City to find a lot of changes afoot. Trust them - Glinda knows what she's doing."
Elda found that Fiyero's eyes were still the same, and that she believed him. But something was still irking her... She took a step toward Elphaba, and gently took her face in hand, tilting it up so that she had a better view of the green woman. "Why, you're just a child," she gasped.
"Twenty-two," Fiyero nodded. "And she was much younger when all this started."
Elda went to her cart, soon returning with Fae, and, unsure of Fiyero's strength, handed her to Elphaba. "I always thought she looked like you, Fiyero, but now I'm not so sure."
Elphaba, holding her daughter in her arms for the first time in years, couldn't help but choke out a strangled little cry at the sensation of it. Fae just looked up at her, big brown eyes matching matching her mother's in both colour and intensity. Fae seemed content on Elphaba's hip, though she'd never met the woman. Fiyero didn't look like Fiyero anymore, but somehow, the young child didn't cry or fuss. "Hello," Elphaba finally managed to choke out.
"Hello," Fae smiled.
"I'd best be going," Elda said, hugging Fiyero quickly. "I am glad she is able to be with you. It's best this way, considering everything."
"Thank you so much, Elda," Fiyero smiled.
Elphaba fixed her gaze on the woman, that gaze she had which held all the gravity in the world. She'd raised Fae, and befriended Fiyero, and, now, brought the child to them and handed her over, believing that Elphaba wasn't evil. "Thank you, for everything."
Elda smiled, sensing the significance of the young woman's sincere thanks, and turned to be on her way. "We'll find a way to write," Fiyero called after her."
"You're damn right you will, Fiyero Tiggular!"
Fiyero's "ha!" was shocked, Elphaba's cackle was joyous, and baby Fae, not such a baby anymore, giggled. "Damn," she repeated, pleased with herself.
Fiyero's eyes went wide at it, and Elphaba smirked. "It's a better first word than mine," she shrugged.
"What was that?"
"Horrors," Elphaba revealed. "Yours?"
Elphaba laughed, then fixed her gaze back on her daughter, overwhelmed. "I can't believe all of this came together. When you first told me we'd be meeting someone, I honestly didn't know if I should let myself believe we'd actually get her back."
"Well we did," Fiyero smiled, reaching out to brush some hair off Fae's face.
Elphaba paused. "What would have happened if we hadn't survived?"
"Glinda would have found out the hard way..."
Elphaba raised her eyebrows at him. "That would have been awful," she cried.
"What other choice would we have had? She had to be with someone who would love her, love us enough to tell her that her parents weren't a Wicked Witch and a Traitor of Oz."
Elphaba nodded. "I understand."
Fiyero looked down at the girl in Elphaba's arms. "I wanted to give you more of these," he murmured, his voice trembling.
"Well, there might be at least one more on the way," Elphaba tried.
He shook his head. "You deserve... If I can't give you a family, I..." Fiyero had never felt like more of a man than when he'd realized he'd made Fae, but he wasn't expecting to feel like less of a man if he couldn't make more. Here it was, though, the feeling that Elphaba was missing out on so much more than was fair.
"What are you talking about, Fiyero?" She had made him the way he was, what did he think she was going to complain about?
"If you want to be with someone who -"
"Don't even think it," she interrupted. "What would be the point in having a bunch of children if they weren't yours?" She waited for a response. "Well?"
He leaned to her, bracing his forehead against hers. He couldn't feel her, but he knew he was touching her because his head could go no further. He longed to caress her skin, to enjoy the smooth heat of it under his fingertips. But Elphaba's spell, which guarded him against pain, guarded him from most feeling, and so he couldn't really touch her. "I love you," he murmured.
"I'll find a way to change you back," she promised.
That night, settled into a cave, with a basic meal conjured up, and Fae sleeping in a small enclave out of view, Elphaba stood in front of Fiyero, hands on his chest, mind still racing. "Are we sure we can trust Elda not to say anything?"
"Yes," Fiyero nodded. "And even if she did, she doesn't know where we're going. And," he added. "She'd be tried as an enemy, for aiding us."
"We're safe," she whispered, though it was unclear if she was trying to reassure herself, or him, or if she was just saying it. Eyes closed, she pulled away from him, just a few inches, and prepared herself to jump off a very high cliff with not a broom in sight. "Fiyero, I lo-" she froze, shocked. She'd opened her eyes to tell him only to discover...
"What? Elphie, what is it?"
Impassioned, she leaned up to kiss him fiercely. He kissed her back, eager to kiss, forgetting that he wouldn't be able to feel it. Eventually, after a few moments of savouring her taste, the softness of her lips, the way their tongues met, he realized that, though he shouldn't have been able to feel any of it, he could. He pulled away and pulled the glove off the hand that had made its way to her face. Flesh and bone. He pulled off the other glove. The same.
He put his warm hands on his face, ran them down his neck, over his shoulders, down his arms, down his chest, his legs, all the way down to his feet, before standing up to be assaulted with kissing once more.
He was definitely human, he realized, as he became aroused, and, without any conscious thought, his hands slipped to the back of her dress to undo it.
"How did this happen?"
Fiyero froze. Her voice wasn't clouded with lust, no. It was crystal clear. He sighed. "You're thinking, aren't you," he groaned.
"It doesn't make any sense," she continued. "They said you can't reverse a spell once it's been cast." Fiyero sighed again, and stepped back to give her room to pace. "Do you suppose it's the air out here? Or... some sort of... ugh!"
"Well, what was the exact spell?" Fiyero leaned against a wall, arms folded over his chest, shifting slightly at the little pieces of straw that remained caught in his clothes to poke his skin. He knew that she wouldn't relax until she'd worked it out, and there was no point in trying to kiss her if she was thinking about magic.
Elphaba thought back to that night, and tried to remember what she had said. It was foggy, mixed up in a cloud of panic, but she eventually got the words to come out right. "Let his flesh not be torn, let his blood leave no stain. Though they beat him, let him feel no pain... Let his bones never break and however they try to destroy him, let him never die, let him never die..." She shivered at the mere memory of it.
Fiyero thought about it, realizing he might be in for a long night when nothing came to him. "I don't see a way past that," he shrugged. "But none of your other spells wore off, did they?"
"No," she said, shaking her head. "Chistery will have wings until the day he dies, and Boq..." She thought a bit more. "Wait - what did the spell hinge on?"
"It hinged on your being in danger." Elphaba's eyes grew wide. "Though they beat him. However they try to destroy him." She took his very human hands in hers. "Fiyero, I think you're only a scarecrow when you need to be."
"But I wasn't in danger the whole way to the Emerald City, the whole way to find you. Nobody was beating me, then," he said, trying to work out the logistics of it.
"No, but they would have, if they'd known who you truly were."
Fiyero pulled her close and rested his forehead against hers, somehow wishing he could share her brain, even if only briefly. "That sounds like an accurate explanation," he said, understanding more and more as it sank in.
Elphaba pulled away. "I set you on fire," she said. "I threw fire at you on the yellow brick road, and I set you on fire at Kiamo Ko. That negates it."
"You're not they," Fiyero reminded her. "And you knew I'd be alright, both times. The first time, I had to hop out of the way, but it worked out alright. The second time, there was a bucket of water right nearby, where you'd placed it yourself." He kissed her. "You had no intent to actually harm me."
Elphaba nodded slightly, looking at if she almost believed their results, but still wasn't satisfied. "I still think we should test it," she grumbled.
"We can test it later," he soothed. Kissing her slowly, he murmured, "Are you appeased enough to settle down and make love to me?"
Elphaba felt her body lean into his, felt herself kiss him back, and wondered when, along the way, she'd become a woman so easily swayed by a kiss. "How did we get here?"
"I smiled at a girl behind a counter once, and she gave me a key to your room." Elphaba nodded, remembering. "Forever is going to be amazing," he smiled.
"I love you," she said, surprised how easily the words came.
Fiyero's grin lit their small hiding place. "Say it again," he breathed.
"I love you, Fiyero," she smiled.
"I've been in love with you since the first moment I saw you," he said. "And I'll be in love with you long beyond the day I die."
In the years to come, when Fae was joined by Arro, Glinda, Rose and Liir, the two would often look back on the moments they'd stolen before Elphaba had fled, and the time since, and wonder anew how they'd found each other, and, more than that, been lucky enough to stay together. They'd lost people along the way, endured years without each other, but they'd managed to come out of it in love and at peace, which is a lot to be said for a former scarecrow and Enemy of Oz.