She was rather pretty, save for the chair, which, he supposed, wasn't a part of her at all. Or, wouldn't be, when they were being intimate. He was pretty excited about being intimate. He hoped everything would still work the way it was supposed to... That she at least had feeling below the waist.
It did, and she did.
Their marriage had been arranged, and they'd only known each other a moment or so when they'd been married, but they soon fell into a comfortable life together, despite their differences. She proved to be a challenge - willful in her religion, though it only effected the occasional dinner debate, or sporadic talk of how their children would be raised.
Nessarose Thropp was a Unionist. Fiyero Tiggular was a Who Cares?
But as man and wife, they functioned quite well. She was nothing if not dutiful; she mentioned an older sister who had had the misfortune of being her caretaker most of her life. She expressed concern that Fiyero would fall into a similar role, and he assured her that he would take the same care of her if she has use of her legs, which made her feel much better. He enjoyed the loyalty she seemed to have in spades, it was reassuring, and inspired him, as well, to be loyal. He was strong, his presence commanding, his air enchanting, and, with her common sense behind him, he could do no wrong.
They were a power couple before the term was even invented, though fancy soirees and balls seemed out of the question. Fiyero spent an hour each day with Nessa, trying to help her build up strength in her legs, and it started to work, slowly but surely. He wondered why nobody had ever tried to help her before, but, remembering his brief meeting with Frexspar Thropp, assumed that a weak and dependent Nessarose was more appealing, especially when, apparently, the sister had done the grunt work. Frex would have been left simply the role of protective, doting father.
Nessa's words about the sister - Elphaba, a pretty name - were equal parts love and duty. Her sister was tempestuous, apparently, and given to flying off the handle. She had magic in her that frightened Nessa, both for its potential power and its extreme opposition of Unionism. Though Fiyero thought it sounded as if Elphaba's spurts of magic weren't even a little within her control, he didn't argue with his wife, single-minded as she was about Unionism. He loved her for all of her, and starting an argument about a prominent aspect of her character would never do.
She had a quiet dignity about her that spread to him, as well. He's always felt that his tribal nature and wild upbringing would leave him out of the loop in high society, despite his title, but she taught him by example, and he found their life contenting, if not overly stimulating. She was smart, too, and he enjoyed listening to her talk about music (she played a little piano) and art (she's been encouraged to draw and paint, what with her limited mobility) and history (reading wasn't overly strenuous, either).
Fiyero made sure that she had, at her disposal, a piano, copious amounts of art supplies, and a library full of books.
Nessa did love him - he was unearthly in his beauty, and he was also good, and strong, and kind. He inspired respect, he didn't need to demand it. He was soothing, in his easy manner, his smooth voice, his obvious strength and bravery, and his hearty laugh. She knew she was safe with him, no matter what.
Oh but he was so good; she never felt once like a burden to him. And he made their work on her legs seem so intimate (which, in fact, it ended up being more than once), and never complained that they couldn't attend balls ("I have about seven left feet," he'd smiled one evening, when she'd apologized for holding him back). It was, of course, a sad and alarming time when he was suddenly called back to the Vinkus for a family emergency. She couldn't go with him - Munchkinland needed to be ruled, and, besides, it was all trivial and tedious work.
The sister was sent for - but only, Nessa maintained, because she was on break from University. When he'd first suggested it, Nessa had seemed horrified, saying she couldn't possibly impose upon her sister's hard-won education, before he gently reminded her that it was summer. She's relented, saying that she would send a letter asking if it was possible for Elphaba to come and spend time with her. The servants would do her caretaking - they had before. Nessa simply wanted the company of someone she trusted, someone strong, someone sure.
Elphaba arrived after Fiyero had left, and found her sister changed for the better. She was still steadfast in her religion, which didn't surprise Elphaba, but more tolerant of Elphaba's decision to not be anything, though it clearly upset her. She forced herself to be content with Elphaba in eternal damnation, and Elphaba was more than content to not argue about it.
Oh, how many hours they'd argued about it.
With that hurdle cleared, and Nessa possessing more strength and independence than she ever had, not to mention the fact that she had people to wait on her, and Elphaba didn't have to lift a finger, it was a lovely visit. Nessa's art was beautiful, her piano playing... well, it was better than it had been when she'd been force-fed lessons. Elphaba herself had been a quick study, and practiced when her father wasn't home, to Nessa's delight. Nessa had a beautiful, clear singing voice, and would sing along as Elphaba played songs on the piano.
It seemed ideal, their time together. Nessarose didn't question it, being so used to life being this way. It had been a year since she'd married Fiyero, and it hadn't taken long to adjust to his ways of making everything wonderful. Elphaba, though, wondered how it could last.
She would later decide that her pessimism had been the poison.
Fiyero returned home in the evening, after supper. The house was strangely quiet, save the piano he heard drifting through the house. He grinned; Nessa hadn't been this good when he'd left. She must have been practicing. He didn't recognize the melody, but it felt familiar. Comforting, welcoming. He followed the sound, overjoyed to be home, thrilled to see his wife, glad the music could guide him in the vast house - it had been so long since he'd been there, and he was so tired... He might have given up and fallen asleep on a random chair if he hadn't felt drawn to the music.
But when he peered in the door, it wasn't a woman in a wheelchair behind the piano. Fleetingly, he thought her walking might have improved while he was gone, until he saw that the silhouette's midnight hair was free-flowing, past the waist, and... in the glow of the light, it was tricky, but she was definitely green.
He felt awkward, watching her without her knowledge, but didn't want her to stop. Torn, he peered around to see if anyone else was nearby, then, begrudgingly, cleared his throat. The woman froze, then spun, squinting through the darkness toward the door. "Here," he said, reaching out to turn up a lamp. "How did you see what you were playing?"
He was godly. He was the Unnamed God, he was the embodiment of a soul, he was heaven. He was those things and more, and he was so instantaneously. "I, um... I wasn't looking. I mean, my eyes were closed, so the light..." she cleared her throat. "The light made no difference." She shook her head, to clear it, then took a deep breath. "I'm Elphaba," she said, holding out a hand.
He felt like he was on fire as he took it. "Fiyero. You play beautifully."
She flushed slightly. "I was never taught... I would sit in on Nessie's lessons, when father wasn't around to shoo me away. It's wonderful of you, to provide her with such a lovely piano."
He shrugged. "It's nothing, really."
"If you had to live without one, you wouldn't say so," she murmured.
"Well, we could always have one shipped to your school," he laughed.
"That piano," she smiled, gesturing over her shoulder, "Is the size of my dorm room. And it's full of my room mate's frilly dresses, anyway."
He grinned. This woman seemed so different from what he'd been expecting. Perhaps her life as Nessa's nursemaid had been hard on her, had embittered her, and now, at school and free, she felt... happier. He couldn't begrudge her desire to have a life of her own, as much as he enjoyed looking after Nessa. It shouldn't have been Elphaba's job, and, clearly, the girl was talented and special in her own right. Not only had Nessa informed him that Elphaba was extremely intelligent ("...if not a little cold..."), but he could see what minimal training in piano had done for her. She was, indeed, a bit of a mystery to him.
Nessa was familiar; he loved that about her. Elphaba put him on edge right away. He felt as though she knew many things that he did not, and that it was painfully obvious. Nessarose was gentle, and honest, and he knew her so well, he felt confident in himself, confident in their marriage.
Elphaba felt like falling down really fast, into the dark. He wasn't sure he wanted to dwell on why.
"Have you seen my wife?"
"She went to town, I'm afraid," Elphaba revealed. "An evening with a Lady..." she paused, thinking. "Oh, damn... Lady Fennelly?"
Fiyero chuckled. "My Nessa is the only woman around who will tolerate her. She's so good that way," he smiled, looking dreamy.
His love and adoration for Nessa was clear, and Elphaba felt no need to undermine it, despite the feeling that she had fallen instantly for this man. "Yes, she told me I'd be better off at home," she laughed. "That if we left as three, we would return as two; either I would kill her, or kill myself."
Fiyero grinned. "Not very patient, then?"
"I can be, if it's worth it," Elphaba replied, cooly. "I could wait for hours in line for a good book. I don't have patience for tedious gossips. I refuse to."
He was alarmed, but intrigued. "Well, then, what shall we do? I could leave you to your playing," he suggested. "It was so lovely, I felt sorry to interrupt it. Only I also felt a little uneasy, lurking in the shadows and listening, while you didn't know I was there."
She smiled. It wasn't a warm smile, like Nessa's. It looked foreign, like she had taught herself to do it, but rarely used the skill. "I appreciate your making me aware of your presence. You must be tired after your journey, I really won't be offended if you simply wish to retire for the evening."
"Do you think me old and feeble, then?" He'd been a bit of a flirt in his youth, which Nessa didn't have a compatible knack for. He'd given up his mischievous tone, mostly. And the sly grin he knew was now plaguing his face. But he couldn't help it. He wanted to see her in some sort of human state.
"Perhaps you are," she shot back. "I'll never know, will I?"
"We could have a foot race," he chuckled.
"How undignified, a King and his sister-in-law racing around a hillside in the dark," she said, her tone dry, though her eyes sparkled.
"A dance, then," Fiyero suggested before he could help it.
She blanched. "A dance?"
"Just one," he maintained. He'd missed dancing - though he'd never admit to Nessa that he'd lied about his left feet. She would feel too guilty, and he couldn't bear it. "We'll see if your talent for music extends to moving to it," he challenged, now desperate for this rare chance to whirl someone around a dance floor.
She looked uneasy. "I assure you, you'll find yourself gravely disappointed."
He shrugged, and moved to put on some music. It was beautiful, and Elphaba's eyes closed to it immediately. She opened them when she felt his hand on her arm. "If you wouldn't mind," he requested.
They waltzed together beautifully, as if they'd been doing it for years. She fit nicely in his arms, and, adverse to her nature, allowed him to lead her. He was strong, and agile; she felt as though it only made sense for him to be in control. As they danced, she saw his joy at it, and had to smile, herself. "You love this, don't you," she murmured.
"I miss dancing," he said. "I told Nessa I wasn't for it, seeing as how... She'd have felt bad. But I do miss it."
Elphaba nodded. He'd admitted his secret right into her ear, and their bodies were so close. His breath slipping over the side of her head and down her neck made her shiver, and she was glad when the music ended. He was too... everything. She wanted more of him, and so the best thing to do would be to cut herself off while she could, before making a fool of herself in some typically female way.
He held her still, though, in the silent room, not roughly, but firmly refusing to loose her from his arms. How had he felt so drawn to her so instantaneously? Why did this feel so perfect, so unendingly sensual? He told himself that it was because he hadn't danced in so long, and pulled away from her. Though, now, he was looking into her rich chocolate eyes, and felt trapped there. He wanted to explore her, to discover everything there was to know about her, and his lips were inching toward hers accordingly.
In the last moment, he pulled away. "Don't tell Nessa," he breathed. "About my love of dancing, I mean. It would... There's no need to hurt her."
Elphaba nodded and compliance, agreeing with him, and stepped all the way out of his arms. "You are... a very good dancer," she told him, quietly.
In the following months, when word of her Wickedness came to them from the Emerald City, Fiyero would remember how lovely she'd looked that night, how softly she'd spoken, and that she'd left the morning after their dance, clearly determined not to tempt him. When Nessa had, in a blind panic, begged him to join the Gale Force to help search for her, he had agreed to.
He told himself it was to appease his worried wife. He told himself that often...
I tried to make it so that Fiyessa shippers could argue that he was just drawn to Elphaba because she was mysterious, but that his deep and true love was Nessarose. But I think it could be argued either way, so that, no matter which pair you like better, you can find support for them in the story. My first crack at a Fiyessa, so I hope you liked it.