Disclaimed... Props to Frank Sinatra for his words in "Nature Boy."


"Miss."

Elphaba looked up from her book at the café waitress, a plump, middle-aged woman.

"Your tea," she said pointing. Her tone suggested that she thought Elphaba to be the dumbest creature in Oz. Emphasis on the 'creature'.

"Oh, I didn't order this," Elphaba said, trying her hardest to be at least a little polite.

"Some young man sent it," she answered, rolling her eyes.

At this, Elphaba raised her eyebrows. "Is it poisoned?" she accidentally asked out loud. The rude waitress opened her mouth to say something.

"I should hope not," a young man cut in. The waitress turned up her nose at him and walked away.

"Fiyero," Elphaba acknowledged, smiling slightly.

Fiyero beamed at her and sat down. "I noticed you were a bit low on tea, so I figured, 'hey, why not buy a round?'"

"Thank you."

"So, what's this you're reading? Another book on Animal rights? Magic? …Sex?" he added as a joke.

"Sex." She nodded seriously. "I felt that I should brush up my skills so I get paid more next time."

Fiyero just stared at her, unsure of how to react. Then, he saw the corner of her mouth twitch upward and laughed.

"Very funny," he said. "I just don't know how you keep a straight face when saying things like that." He shook his head as he slid the book over to him to glance at the title.

"The Science of Love," he read aloud. "Well, I was close," he said, sliding the book back to her. "Sex… love…" He shrugged.

Elphaba looked at him incredulously. "Do you really think that? That sex and love are the same?"

Fiyero paused, scratching his head. "I don't know. I never really thought about it before. I guess I've always kind of paired them together, though." He looked at Elphaba. "What do you think?"

"Well… I can't say I'm an expert on either subject. I can't even say I'm an amateur, but I've always thought of love as being the beautiful, eternal, emotional bond shared by two people and sex as, probably, a physical perk and a means of extending the family. … And I think that love should always come before sex. I know it doesn't happen that way, but… I don't know. You know more than I do."

"I think… you're wrong," Fiyero said, suddenly ashamed of his party-boy past. "You forget: I'm a shallow, self-absorbed prince."

"…That doesn't mean you don't have an opinion on this kind of thing," Elphaba urged gently. "Look at me! I'm green, for Oz's sake."

"So?"

"So?! So you, handsome, charming, royal you, can actually pursue love and sex the way you imagine it should be. You can experience love. Real love," she vented. "I haven't even experienced familial love. You have opportunities that will never be offered to me. Don't you realize that?"

Fiyero muttered something under his breath.

"What?"

"The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return," he sang quietly. Elphaba felt the frustration she was feeling toward him drain out of her.

"That's beautiful."

Fiyero nodded solemnly. "The problem is… I think I do love somebody."

"How is that a problem?" Elphaba asked quietly. Fiyero looked into her eyes.

"She doesn't know how to be loved in return."

"So teach her."

"What should I do?"

Elphaba shrugged. "Something private. That should make things more personal."

"But what?" Fiyero asked desperately.

"I don't know, Fiyero. I'm a hopeless romantic, not a functional one."

Fiyero frowned at this. "But—"

"Fiyero, I don't know what you should do," she insisted, "I'm sorry. Kiss her or something. Other girls seem to like it well enough." She motioned toward a couple in the back of the café that were very obviously consumed within each other. She glanced at the clock behind Fiyero's head.

"Shit, Sorcery! I have to go," she exclaimed. As she picked up her things and finished the last of her tea she hurriedly told him, "It was nice talking to you. And I'm sure that whatever it is you do, Glinda will love it." And then she was gone.

He let out a small laugh in spite of himself. Glinda… She thought that he loved Glinda. For as smart as she was, she couldn't be more mistaken.


So... This has the potential for being multi-chaptered (assuming this long spell of writer's block subsides). If you'd like it to continue, please tell me so.

Hope you enjoyed it,

E.R.