Ok, first and foremost, this was the most difficult chapter to write in the entire story. But, here it is! So, uh . . . ENJOY!
He had watched them from a distance. He knew he shouldn't have been, and that if they saw him, he would have been in some serious trouble. But he had to. He wanted to see his friends one last time before he disappeared for good.
Fiyero sighed and uneasily rubbed the back of his neck. Well, that's the second time I died, he thought with a sad, tired smile. He paused momentarily as his cloth hand ran over the rope that tied his head onto his shoulders. He fingered it uneasily. It was a very confusing and trying time for him. For the past couple of days, he actually thought he was a scarecrow, but now, after just finding out who he really was . . . it was difficult for him to fully comprehend what he did and what has happened to him.
Fiyero forced himself to continue with his journey, and he pulled himself away from the sight of his friends mourning his so-called death. He disappeared into the woods, and ran through the forest as fast as he could to Kiamo Ko.
He honestly didn't know if Elphaba was still alive or not, but he needed to take that chance. He remembered, quite clearly, the day Glinda threw the engagement party, and he overheard the hysterical citizens claim that pure water could melt her. He, of course, didn't believe a word of it, but after he just witnessed her melt before his very eyes . . . he prayed to the Unnamed God that it had been an illusion. A horribly realistic illusion, but an illusion nonetheless.
And, if she was alive, how would he explain the fact that he tried to kill her? Fiyero winced inwardly as he remembered what happened when he stormed his own castle, to kill the woman he loved. The irony was killing him.
He paused momentarily to think about what he should do, and what approach he should use.
Wow, I'm thinking, he thought to himself with a dry laugh. Can life get any more ironic?
Eventually, after running through numerous situations, he decided upon the best one, even though the best wasn't very promising. He could get a fireball to the face. Again.
He approached his old, forgotten castle, and picked his way carefully over the shattered doors. Mustering up as much courage as he could, he began his search.
Damn that son of a bitch.
She never could have possibly imagined that the scarecrow could actually have the guts to shoot her! And now, she was slowly ripping off the bloody bandages wrapped around her waist to replace them with new clean ones. She grimaced at the pain. Shit, that hurt. Well, at least everyone thought she was dead.
Her mind replayed the scene at the main hall that just only took place a few hours ago. She had planned on the girl to use the bucket of water and had prepared an illusion spell to activate once the water touched her, but she had greatly underestimated the brat's companions. Boq, well, she had expected him to be enraged and expected him to charge her, but the Lion and the scarecrow, they had her thrown way off guard. And now, she was paying for her own carelessness and recklessness in blood.
Elphaba tossed away the bloody bandages and finished cleaning her wounds. She was damn lucky. The bullet was easy enough to remove and the wound was as clean as any surgeon could hope for, so tending it was easy enough. Painful, but easy. And amazingly, it missed every vital in the area. One inch in any other way and she would have died.
But . . . was it really such a bad thing to die? Didn't she deserve to die? All of the pain and suffering she's inflicted on others, all the blood that was on her hands . . . Nessa, Dr. Dillamond, Father, just to name a few. And Fiyero . . . .
She bit her bottom lip to fight back the tears. It was so painful. Painful for her to watch as the ones she loved and cared for die right before her eyes. She could still see Fiyero hanging from the pole, bloodied, beaten and broken. The image was etched into her mind like a carving in granite. But this one would never fade away.
She fingered a small knife on the nearby table that she used to cut the bandages. Yes. If anyone deserved to die, it was her. She should just end all the suffering and the pain. Why should she endure any longer?
The knife clattered to the floor when it slipped from her fingers. Elphaba jumped to her feet, ears pricked, standing as still as she could, trying to pick up the source of the sound. Did someone just call her?! It was so quiet and distant, but yet it was as clear as if someone was whispering in her ear.
"Elphaba!" the voice called again.
Her breath caught in her throat. She knew that voice! There was no mistaking it! It was Fiyero's voice! But something nagged her in the back of her mind that she had heard the same voice before, very recently. She ignored it.
But how could he be alive?! She saw him die! Could her spell have really worked?
"Elphaba! It's me, Fiyero!"
Yes! Yes, it was him! Elphaba broke out into a huge grin, and tears of joy spilled from her eyes.
"Fiyero! I'm here! I'm here! I'm alive!! You're alive!!" she cried out happily, collapsing back in her chair. She was so overcome by emotion she could hardly stand. But she didn't care. Fiyero was alive, after all!
She could now hear faint footsteps climbing up the staircase to her study. Elphaba managed to push herself to her feet, and slowly made her way to the door.
But her conscious came back with a vengeance, and now she realized she had heard that same voice not long ago. But where?
As the door opened, and Fiyero stepped over the threshold, the answer came to her, even before she saw his face.
Time froze as she looked at him. She backed away from him, pinning herself against the far wall as she looked with horror at her lover. Fiyero, her beloved Fiyero, was a scarecrow! The same scarecrow that tried to kill her!
He hesitated at the door, a small smile on his face, but obviously uneasy and afraid.
"Elphaba," he said quietly. "I'm here."
She couldn't breathe. She couldn't move. How could this be?! This isn't possible!! NO! How could Fiyero do such a thing?!
Fiyero took a hesitant step towards her, and Elphaba tried to get further away from him, scuttling around the room, hugging the wall for dear life.
"I'm so sorry," he whispered, his smile fading. "When you saved my life, I lost all my memories. I had no idea." His face was covered with the most saddened expression she had ever seen on anyone's face. Her heart began to break. "Elphaba, please forgive me! I didn't know who you were! Who I was!"
She listened to him, but she could hardly comprehend what he was saying. He had forgotten everything? This was the price he had to pay for her saving his life? He was forced to live in an inanimate body, unable to taste, smell, or touch? And he still loved her? How could anyone love her after all she's done? No, this had to be a trick! It couldn't be true!
"Go away," she said in a hushed voice. "You can't love me! Not after all I've done! GO AWAY!!"
She could see the pain on his face, and she turned away from him, and stared at the cold stone wall. Tears fell from her eyes. She deserved to die. She had put Fiyero through so much pain, and he had to face all those horrible lies, and he had suffered greatly because of her. It wasn't possible that he could still care about her!
She heard him approach. She didn't turn around. She felt his cloth hands wrap something metallic and cold around her neck. She reached up and gently touched it.
It was the necklace he gave her so many years ago. The crescent moon with the emeralds and sapphires. With as much willpower as she could muster, she turned around and looked into his beautiful blue eyes. The only thing that still retained some of its former human qualities. Wordlessly, Fiyero wrapped his arms around her slender waist and pulled her, gently, close to him, but she pushed away.
"How can you still love me?" she whispered. "Especially after what I've done to you?"
Fiyero looked at her questioningly. "Fae, how can I not love you? You're strong, intelligent, beautiful-"
"Don't you dare lie to me!"
"-and you saved my life."
She looked at him with disgust and pulled out a straw strand of hair. "I saved your life?! You call this saving?!" she cried hysterically. "I have done nothing but destroy the lives of others! I don't deserve you! I can't accept this!"
"Yes you can," Fiyero said gently. "Maybe you just need a little help to see that you do deserve this. Fae, you're a wonderful person, and I love you. I wouldn't be here if I didn't."
She remained silent for a moment, trying desperately to accept the fact that he truly loved her. But it was too much for her to bear.
She collapsed, and broke down, sobbing in his arms. He held her, rocking her gently back and forth, comforting her, reassuring her that everything was ok. She cried out all her pain, all her suffering, all her loneliness and desperation to him. She finally released everything stored inside of her, and everything spilled from her like a bursting dam.
It was perhaps a few minutes later, or quite possibly a few hours later, that Elphaba finally began to regain control over herself. Time had lost all meaning when she was in his arms. She had finally been able to accept that this was really happening to her. She was with the man she loved, and he loved her.
But as soon as she felt safe and secure, another painful thought crossed her mind.
"We'll never be able to come back to Oz," she said suddenly.
Fiyero was somewhat thrown off guard by the sudden statement, but he slowly nodded his head in agreement.
She sighed, and deeply inhaled the scent of straw.
"Is something wrong?"
"I just wish . . . that Glinda could know, but . . ."
"She can't." Fiyero finished for her.
Elphaba nodded sadly.
They stayed there, wrapped in each other's arms or a moment longer, before Fiyero reluctantly pulled away. He headed for the door, and gestured for Elphaba to follow him. She followed him out the door, out of the castle, hand in hand, savoring the land they had lived in for so long a final time before they had to leave.
They disappeared behind the mountains, beyond the plains, and across the numerous rivers and valleys, and soon, they were gone.
Or is it?!
GUESS WHAT? IT'S NOT!!
THAT'S RIGHT, FOLKS!! THERE WILL BE A SEQUEL!!
Can life possibly get any better?!
Most likey yes, but shush! You're ruining my moment of glory!