It was difficult to comprehend the incredible ease with which Glinda could achieve her every whim. All she had to do was wave her hand, and throngs of people leapt to her side, offering their services. People believed whatever she told them, did whatever she asked them… including letting Elphaba and herself into Shiz University without a qualm. It was almost laughable. No, it was definitely laughable. For her at least. Elphie didn't seem to be enjoying it quite so much.
"How are you holding up under there?" Glinda inquired.
Elphaba took the advantage of the lack of people near her to send a venomous glare in Glinda's direction, practically boring a hole through her from beneath the hood of a heavy black cloak.
" Well," she began, " besides the oppressive heat, the fact I have to walk constantly with a fake limp, hide my face, and answer to the name 'Sister Fabala', all of which I blame you for, everything's just peachy, thanks."
Well, someone was in a bad mood.
"You agreed to the plan." Glinda reminded her, trying not to irk her friend too much more.
Elphaba grumbled. She knew it was true.
Said plan had been fairly simple: Disguise Elphie, search for spellbook. The second part being their objective, the first a simple necessity. The disguising part had proven to be a problem easily remedied, but only a floor length cloak with a hood large enough to cover Elphaba's face would do the job. Having green skin was definitely a limiting factor for creative disguise when one was hated by nearly all the folk in the land. They had tested different fabrics, but had eventually decided that a course, heavy material would suit their needs best. Hence the roasting heat.
Elphaba, now completely hidden from view beneath swaths of thick, black cloth, would accompany Glinda under the façade of 'Sister Fabala' ( Glinda came up with that name herself, thank you very much). The 'Sister' was a nun who was thinking of heading and teaching an ethics class at the University. Her first love had been gardening ( Glinda had wanted fishing, but that was where Elphaba drew the line), but a terrible accident that not only left her with a severe limp but disfigured her face (explaining the cloak and hood) forced her to give gardening up, and turn to bettering Oz-kind with her wisdom, rather than her tomatoes and hydrangeas. It was… mostly foolproof.
Glinda felt it was going fairly well so far though, despite the pathetic story-line accompanying Elphaba.
"And what is wrong with the name Sister Fabala?" Glinda demanded. "It's very similar to Elphaba. In fact, so much, it could easily have been your nickname, had I thought of it sooner than Elphie."
"Yes, but Elphie is my nickname, and I have barely room for one. Honestly Glinda…. Fabala?"
Glinda made no reply to Elphie's protest. In fact, she had actually chosen the name for a couple of reasons. One: if she actually slipped up and said Elphaba's real name, 'Fabala' was close enough to the original not to cause much of a dilemma. It could easily be taken as a slip of the tongue.
Two: She just knew it would bug Elphaba to the ends of Oz.
"Oh Sister Fabala! Miss Glinda!" The new Shiz-mistress, Lady Druscilla something or other (Glinda had never been that great with names) called from the library. She had a very high and exceedingly annoying sing-song voice, a short, twig-like body, and a head that looked entirely too big for her. She wore a gigantic poofy green and gold dress, had her reddish-brownish hair piled atop her head in a large pile held together by tacky hair-pins, and wore much too much makeup. This of course, was all Glinda's opinion… but when it came to fashion, her opinion was law.
"Coming!" Glinda replied, in an equally sing-song voice, and promptly dragged Elphie by the wrist down the hall and into the doorway of the substantial library.
The moment they stepped through the threshold, Druscilla raised her spindly arms to the ceiling, and proclaimed dramatically, "Welcome to the pride and joy of Shiz University…" then paused for effect, " The library!"
D'uh. She had been here before… just not often.
Despite her years spend here, Glinda probably hadn't been inside this room more than a handful of times. The sight before her nearly took her breath away.
What this library lacked in sheer size (which wasn't much. Only the Great Gilikinese Library, and the Emerald City Library were larger.) it more than compensated with style. She had forgotten how nice it was in here.
Big as most average houses, the first floor of the circular library was the resting place of thousands of books of every sort. It had hardwood flooring in the centre, which was filled with elegant wooden desks and comfortable chairs in the emerald and gold colour scheme that prevailed throughout the room. Around the edges of the floor, more green and gold made itself known by way of carpeting, offering a comfortable stand for those searching the high shelves for reading materials.
The second floor was accessible by a grand staircase, which branched off both left and right to become a sort of circular balcony that spanned the room. The next floor was reached in a similar way, with a nearly identical staircase, and so on, and so forth, until the ceiling. The walls were lined with book all the way around, and up. In addition, the library had a sizable collection of important, antique, rare, or even dangerous books.
These were kept in a tower-like bookshelf situated directly in the middle of the floor. It rose all the way from the ground level to the tenth and highest floor. Winding around it like a snake, a solid iron staircase made such books accessible, if one could get past the impenetrable defence. Such a defence was a fine golden mesh, unable to be broken, climbed, penetrated, set on fire, or anything of the like, and was only opened by a key carried on the headmistress's person at all times.
All told, the library was quite the spectacle.
Glinda caught herself wishing she had spent more time in the library with Elphie, who had practically lived in the place.
"Lady Druscilla," Glinda started, only to be cut off by-
"Just Druscilla, please, Miss Glinda."
Glinda turned, her angelic smile lighting the room with practiced luminescence. "You may call me… Glinda, then."
Druscilla squealed with excitement.
Elphaba disguised a snort of laughter by beginning a feigned coughing fit beneath her cloak. "How generous of you both," she muttered, only loud enough for Glinda to hear.
"Pardon me, Sister Fabala. Or may I call you Fabala?"
Glinda watched with amusement as Elphaba bristled at Druscilla's question. She knew how chafed her friend would be, and was quite shocked at the answer her friend gave… or rather that she managed not to bite anyone's head off while giving it.
"Sister Fabala will be quite appropriate, thank-you."
Druscilla was a little miffed at the answer, but otherwise seemed unaffected at Elphaba's stern tone of voice.
Glinda guessed that the headmistress was one of those constantly cheery people, who never thought anything bad about anyone, maybe to a fault. How she ever managed to give stern lectures to rowdy students was a mystery to Glinda even larger than how the Lady managed to become headmistress in the first place. Still, she seemed to be fending all right: the school hadn't burned down yet.
"Well," said Druscilla, after showing Elphaba and Glinda around the library a little, " that concludes our tour."
"I will contact you next week, in the event I want to take the post. If you don't hear from me, it has been a pleasure meeting you, and I wish you all the best." Elphaba managed quite civilly.
Glinda curtseyed and gestured for Elphaba to do the same, who did so, albeit a bit stiffly because of her supposed limp. "Yes, thank so much for showing us around personally, and for letting us have private use of this library for so much time as is needed."
"Oh, it's an honour, Glinda," the headmistress replied, giggling again and grinning in a juvenile way at saying Glinda's name without the honorific. She covered her mouth lightly with her hand and muttered (seemingly to herself) "Wait until I tell Lusey about this!"
Goodness, the lady was flighty. Cue Elphaba.
"One more thing, Lady Druscilla," Elphaba called out as the other turned to leave.
Right on time. Glinda took over from there. "Oh yes, thank you ever so much for reminding me, Sister Fabala. Druscilla, I find myself in need of a more… specialized branch of the library. Official business, you know. If I may?" Glinda held out her hand, and nodded kindly when Druscilla placed the key in it. She nearly giggled. She found it mind-numbing. She could get things even more easily then when she had been in Shiz the last time.
After a moment longer of polite thanks and small talk on all fronts, Druscilla left, leaving Glinda and Elphaba all alone to conduct their search. All windows were shuttered, and the two made their way to the tall central pillar of restricted books.
"That was well conducted, Glinda. You almost made it sound like you cared about that infernal woman."
"Well, you know," Glinda said, flipping her hair a few times (without the 'toss toss' which she had all-but abandoned after graduation), "politics are the most important part of acting." She held out the key to Elphaba. "Shall we?"
There was no lock that Glinda could see, but Elphaba had evidently been into this section before, and knew how to work the contraption. She shoved the key deeply into the mesh, which seemed to writhe like a living being, swirling and contorting around the key. The golden mesh soon began to part, each strand separating from its intricate weaving, and splitting into three great wires, which in turn braided themselves together, and vanished with a large 'pop'.
Glinda made an effort to look unamused. In truth, she was bug-eyed, and her jaw practically rested on her chest. "That was… interesting."
Elphaba smirked, checked that no one was nearby, and flipped her hood down. "Indeed. Now, to the top."
Glinda looked up, and moaned. Ten floors of doom lay above her. "I think I'm going to have a stair-a-phobia relapse."
Elphaba just continued smirking.
"Grimmerie: A Beginner's Guide.' 'The Grimmerie: A Comprehensive History.' 'The Life and Times of the Wizard of Oz, and the Finding of the Grimmerie.' 'Grimmerie: An In-depth Analysis.'… okay, I believe you. It exists. Can we please stop now?"
Elphaba glanced back at Glinda, who was lagging behind under the weight of a plethora of heavy books Elphaba had piled in her arms.
"Not yet," she explained, " I need as much material as I can get."
"Don't you think you're pushing just a bit with 'Grimmerie, a novel of Oz'?" Glinda demanded as Elphaba loaded such a book onto the already massive pile.
"Truthfully, I just added that one to increase your misery." That was for 'Fabala' and the cloak.
Ignoring Glinda's growl of irritation, Elphaba replaced the book on the shelf, and continued loading Glinda's arms, this time with the magazines, newspaper articles, and a few other loose-leaf papers she happened to come across on the first and final floor. She left the central pillar, and stared up through the centre of the ten floors at the ceiling, examining the murals with a tender look of kinship. They had been old friends, those pictures and her. Sometimes, her only friends.
Especially during the first few months here at Shiz, Elphaba hardly left the library, except for classes, meals, and when she was forcibly expelled, and sentenced to the living hell that was sharing a room with Glinda Upland. Usually, with a stack of books beneath her arm, she'd traverse to the highest level of the library, a place people rarely bothered to visit. She'd move to the railings, and look down upon all the different people mulling about. She'd watch them, they who spoke only spite between her back, they who jeered at her as they went past… they who plagued her, and forced her up here.
She would put her hand to the ceiling, and trace the contours of the beautiful paintings. Then she'd speak. Paintings never argued, never laughed at her, they only listened. Her every fear, every desire, had soaked into those ceilings for nearly her entire first year at Shiz. Even when she had met Glinda, she had never really been able to tell her the things she whispered to the silence that met her so comfortingly upon the tenth floor of that library. Maybe it was crazy, talking to a roof… but it had gotten her through the tough times, so she was content to be crazy.
Glinda stepped down onto the ground floor with a long moan, demanding Elphaba's attention without meaning to.
"Now do you see why I insisted in starting from the tenth floor, and making our way down?" Elphaba asked, catching sight of Glinda's pained look.
Glinda grunted, then spoke. "Yes, because I would have staged a rebellion if you had made me carry those blasted books up the stairs. Goodness knows I came close…"
Elphaba stared at Glinda, quite amused. She refused to let her face mirror such a thing. "Oh, stop your whining. We both know perfectly well that you could have spelled them in any number of ways to make life easier on yourself."
Glinda stared at Elphaba, her face turning slowly red with irritation. "Why didn't you tell me that before?" She demanded loudly, and without warning, chucked a gigantic book at her friend's head. Taken aback at such a sudden display of animosity, Elphaba had little time to do anything but shield her face.
The blow she had been expecting never came.
The book bounced harmlessly off her forearms, and drifted to her feet with the approximate speed and mass of a downy feather. Oh.
Elphaba stared at Glinda, who was nearly doubled up in silent laughter. The stack had been spelled the entire time.
"I got you there," Glinda proclaimed, glee written all over her face.
Elphaba opened her mouth to protest, but was cut off by Glinda.
"Don't deny it. You know it's true." Glinda flipped her hair skillfully, loaded as she was with an enormous pile of feather light books. "I'm sorry all your misery-increasing attempts were in vain."
Well, it was certainly more than a little annoying to have been thwarted, especially by Glinda (who would never let the story die, not in a million years), but Elphaba just shrugged it off. "I guess I can forgive you," Elphaba muttered. "You did, after all, manage to get rid of Druscilla. Honestly, I don't know how you can deal with people like that."
Glinda stared meaningfully at Elphaba, looking thoughtful, which was slightly worrying. After a moment, her blue eyes glinting with tears, Glinda said, "You did. You dealt with me."
It was quite touching, really. Still, the oppourtunity was calling, and never one to let such a thing pass by, Elphaba took the emotional moment to return the favour Glinda had lent her, and sent the heavy looking book hurtling, or rather floating, back to Glinda. War erupted. The room became a blizzard of books and papers, all drifting around and fluttering like so many great birds. After about a quarter of an hour it ended, no person or books any worse for the wear. Only one thing plagued Elphaba as she flipped the hood over her face, and hobbled out beside Glinda. She felt awfully bad for the janitors.
Life was nothing more than a miserable existence from which Boq was unable to escape. He didn't despair at the thought, nor was it rooted in depression. He just knew it as a fact, and that was the simple truth.
Every day droned on in strict regularity. The void left by emotions, he had minimized as much as possible by routine. If nothing different ever happened, if every day was the same, Boq had no good reason to feel anything at all, and in return, didn't miss it. In theory, it should have worked. It was, after all, people's emotions that usually got in the way. He had none, so why in Oz shouldn't he have been able to keep a steady head when Glinda spoke to him that day? He didn't feel anything for her; he couldn't feel anything for her. All they had between them was a long-abandoned past. Any adoration he once reserved her for had boiled down to loyalty and respect. She did her job, he did his. In theory.
When he had gazed into her gorgeous sapphire eyes, he could see clearly that she held some sort of special emotion for him. Such a thing wasn't logical. Why now of all times would she choose to place her affections on him of all people, when she knew perfectly well that he had nothing to give her? All he could offer her now was protection.
Knowing that, Boq had thrown himself into his job, body and mind. With only two hours a day reserved for his own leisure (which usually consisted of training and thinking) Boq spent as much time on duty as he possibly could. He had no other life, and had wanted no other until the day Glinda had asked him for his forgiveness… and stirred up some long dormant… something. What it was she had done to bring him so agonizingly close to emotion, he wasn't sure. All he knew was that since that day she haunted his every waking moment.
Even if Glinda had taken to physically stalking him around the castle, it hardly seemed he could think of her more.
Beneath the radiance of the bright noon-day sun, he reflected only upon just how pleasingly her golden curls would shine, should she be standing at his side. Staring into the gleaming fountains of the palace courtyard only brought pictures of her welcome smile. Each dress that any visitor wore could only have been made complete should Glinda be wearing it instead.
Glinda would have liked to have seen the sunset, or Glinda would have found the humidity perfect for her hair, or Glinda much preferred his blue uniform over his green.
Such thoughts came unbidden, though not entirely unwelcome.
Most frightening of all to Boq, above and beyond he could (or would) do nothing about his mind's infatuation with the girl of his former desiring, was that his former desiring wasn't quite as former as he would have liked to think. True, when the episodes of uncalled for imaginings had begun, the Tin Man observed them with as little interest as possible. They were absolutely true facts, that Glinda happened to have eyes like the summer sky, or that she would have enjoyed being present at the latest gathering of dignitaries… but they had been nothing but facts. Now those seemed to be the only facts that mattered in the world.
He wore the blue uniform because Glinda liked it. He observed the summer sky because it reminded him strongly of Glinda's eyes. He stared at the fountains, if only to catch a glimpse of her smile. It was completely flawed logic, he knew! Yet, he still participated in such actions. It was a madness he could not bear to live without.
Glinda was ultimately more important to him than anything else. He understood this, rather than felt (as so many were apt to do). Boq just utterly comprehended that Miss Upland was such a crucial part of his very existence that his very world should collapse lest she depart from it. The very idea sent a wave of tension through his body. Slowly, the star of emotion was creeping up on Boq, and here he stood at the dawning.
Actually, Boq stood in the gymnasium.
The remains of a cloth dummy lay in tatters at his feet, shredded mercilessly beneath the cold steel of his blade. He had perhaps gotten a little ahead of himself in efficiency this afternoon. Sheathing the rapier and placing it next to the other swords (Boq had mastered all forms of the blade) the Tin man took his navy blue jacket from the hook he had hung it on, and strolled out of the training area and on towards the outer perimeter of the palace grounds. His crisp steady gait carried him into the main gardens before five minutes had passed.
Everything proved secure until two figures, one cloaked, the other bedecked in a pale blue dress and veil, came literally flying over the wall on a broomstick.
Boq's hand slipped instinctively to his left hip, and grasped at the hilt of his sword. His fingers closed on air. With a sudden clarity of mind, the captain of the guard recalled that during his preoccupation with his own tumultuous thoughts, he had neglected to belt a weapon around his waist before leaving the gymnasium. He would have to swing by later in the afternoon to remedy his mishap.
Boq watched the two figures slip away, and immediately broke into a jog to close the distance between him and them. He nearly stopped dead when his sharp hearing caught snippets of the conversation the two were having.
The cloaked woman's voice was a soft alto tone, easily distinguishable from the higher soprano of the second.
"Do you really think this is a good idea? You know, there are other ways of attracting his attention besides breaking into the palace." That was evidently the first woman speaking.
"Yes, there are other ways," the second countered, " but this is the easiest, the most assured."
"And the riskiest. Someone could easily shoot and ask questions later, you know." The first seemed less than enthusiastic about whatever scheme the two were plotting.
"Oh Elphaba, don't be such a wet blanket," the second complained.
The steady pace Boq had kept as he trailed a fair distance behind them suddenly faltered when he heard that name. The toe of his black leather boot caught a tree root, and sent him sprawling on his face. He recovered, but not before his clanking joints alerted the Wicked Witch to his presence in the garden. Boq ducked behind a tall hedge.
"What was that?" the Witch asked her companion.
"I didn't hear anything."
"Shh… come on."
At that, Boq should have moved. Everything in his head screamed for it, but he found himself an inattentive listener. Instead, he drew a razor sharp switchblade from his boot, and clutched it tightly. He knew that he would stand no chance against someone so purely evil as the witch, so evil as to be rejected by death itself, but he would not be denied his chance for vengeance.
The crunching sound of footsteps on the gravel path drew nearer, and not planning to wait for the witch to set him under a spell, he acted.
"Don't come any closer!" He ordered authoritatively, holding the knife out before him, and pointing it at the witch. Why is it, he wondered cynically, that I always combat evil with a weapon under six inches long?
The witch glanced up and Boq could see her beady black eyes glittering from the shadow of her heavy black hood. The depth of her hatred for him ran so deeply she looked almost amused at his attempts to fend her off. She looked at his small knife, and stared at him as if he had misplaced his mind.
"I'm not going to hurt you Boq," she said softly. The witch lowered her hood, and looked deeply into his eyes, searching for something. She was obviously attempting some ploy to lull him into a false sense of security. That was when she would spring her trap.
Boq let out a mirthless laugh. He didn't believe a thing, and he made sure she knew it. "Do you really expect me to trust you? After what you did to me?"
Looking thouroughly annoyed, the witch sighed and shook her head. "It's not what you think, Boq."
"And how do you know what I think?"
"You of all people should be able to comprehend logical reasoning."
"You have emotions, your logic is compromisational."
The Witch rolled her eyes. "It seems your good sense deserted you the along with your heart. Let me repeat: No, it's not what you think. I'm not out for revenge. I'm not looking to boobytrap Glinda's office, and I'm not a ghost. I think that about covers it."
Boq narrowed his eyes, taking a halting step backwards. "Liar."
"I don't respond well to unjust accusations," the witch warned, venom dripping from every word.
Despite his better judgment (he didn't seem to be listening to that much lately), Boq scowled, and spat at her feet. "I don't respond well to threats," he retorted.
"Neither do I." Rage flashed in the Witch's eyes, and as she took a step forward towards Boq, the veiled woman spoke for the first time.
"Elphaba," she warned, "you promised to control yourself."
The Witch froze, and directed an acidic glare towards the other woman, before moving a few meters away to continue her silent fuming.
The veiled woman now took centre stage. Boq's knife swung towards her for a brief second, before returning to the greater threat, the witch.
"She's not wicked," the veiled one said calmly.
"Oh, really? I suppose she's retired her personality." The sarcasm in his tone was unmistakable.
"Boq… you don't understand." As the veiled woman stepped forward, Boq's steely gaze met hers and he felt himself lost in a swirling sea of blue… like the summer sky.
For the second time that afternoon, he stumbled. Tripping over himself in his haste to retreat a few steps, Boq dropped the knife, point down into the grass. "Glinda? Wh- why are you with her?"
"She's my friend. She always has been… except for when I hated her." Glinda gazed at Boq with the beginnings of tears in her eyes. "You just don't understand."
"You're right," Boq agreed, "I don't. How could you be friends with her after all the things she's done?" His tone turned slightly accusing.
"Boq," Glinda said tenderly, "Elphie saved your life."
"You call this a life?" He asked, gesturing to his face. Being metal and heartless wasn't a life.
"I don't call it dead," she responded.
"What do you mean she saved my life? Nessa said-"
"I don't care what Nessa said. Listen to what I say. Elphie saved your life. Without her, you'd be dead. Nessa shrunk your heart, Boq."
Boq didn't know what to believe. On the one hand, it was Glinda who was telling him this, but on the other hand, Glinda was not only in league with the greatest enemy Oz had ever seen to some degree, but was still friendly with her. So, either the Wizard was lying, or Glinda was. Or, perhaps the Witch magicified Glinda. Boq opted for the third one. He had believed in both Glinda and the Wizard too long to just accept the corruption of either of them. There was only one way he could get the answers.
Boq moved quickly. Plucking the knife from the ground, he dashed to the green woman, traversing the short distance between them within the blink of an eye. He pressed the knife up against her throat.
"What have you done to Glinda, Witch? Tell me the truth now, or you've breathed your last," he hissed in her ear. She would know that he'd have no qualms about carrying through with his threat.
"Is your complete and total lack of sense a side effect of being metal? I didn't do anything to Glinda."
"I don't believe you." He pressed the knife a little tighter to her throat.
"I don't care," the witch said angrily. As she spoke, the knife began to shimmer. Steam rolled off the blade in a constant cloud, and within a few clock-ticks, all that was left was the handle. "Don't think I can't do that to you," she warned.
"But she won't, of course," Glinda interjected hastily.
Boq backed away, hands in front of him so the Witch could see he would play no tricks. She seemed to find that an acceptable gesture, as he remained solid. "What are you doing here, then?" He asked. It was his job.
"I just needed a few things from my office," Glinda stated, before Elphaba had a chance to open her mouth.
"How do I know you're telling the truth?" Boq asked.
"Look at what she's done for Oz, Boq. Do you really think she's about to destroy it and its people after all she's put into it to make it better? Use that brain you so pride yourself in." The witch did have a point… still; he couldn't decide what to make of the information swarming him all at once.
Boq turned to Glinda, directing the question to her. "How can I trust you now?" He motioned to Elphaba.
Glinda looked at him, her eyes piercing his consciousness. "I love you, Boq," she said.
Boq froze. "What?"
"I love you," she repeated. Glinda moved closer, her voice soft as she tugged off her veil. She was beautiful as ever. She loved him. After all this time, she loved him! He could almost see the world around him growing just a little bit brighter. Even the grass beneath his feet seemed more alive. She loved him.
"I- I can't love you back," he whispered, choking on the sudden emotion that flooded him for the first time since he lost his heart.
Glinda hesitated, then put her hand to his cheek. She didn't say anything for a long while, but when she spoke, his mind nearly burst with an unfamiliar feeling of sheer exhilaration. "I love you," she said, and her lips met his.
He felt horribly clumsy as he drew her in to him, and put his arms about her. Her lips were warm, and inviting, and it pained him to think how cold and hard his must have felt. He could hardly feel a thing through his thick, metal skin, and it was hard to think that his first kiss would have to run such. Somewhere, a little voice in the back of his head told him it didn't matter. She loved him. That was what mattered.
When it ended, he opened his eyes and saw Glinda standing before him, the sun dancing in her golden curls. She hardly could have been more radiant if she were the sun. He bent down, and told her such in a breathless whisper; the tenderness in his voice surprised him, and he felt an unexpected pain in his chest as she smiled at her.
"You love me back, don't you?" Glinda asked aloud, gazing up into his eyes.
"How could I not?" He responded, letting his fingers trail down her face, and along her delicate neck.
"You have no heart," she reminded him coyly, leaning against his chest and listening closely.
"It doesn't matter." It didn't. He didn't know how he loved her, but he did. "The only thing that does is that we're together right now." The pain shot through again, this time so ferociously he winced.
"Are you alright, Boq?" He bent down and kissed her hand to assure her he was. The pain nearly doubled him over this time.
"I have to go," he said, sounding calmer than he felt. "Come home soon, Glinda."
Glinda smiled at him, nodded, and pulled away from him, letting her fingers trail over his deep blue jacket. "The silver trim is very nice, Boq. I like it."
"I had hoped you would."
"Goodbye for now, Boq."
"Farewell, Glinda." Though he still wasn't quite sure about the other woman, he bowed curtly to the witch - well, to Elphaba. She returned the gesture with a brusque nod of her own, calling a truce for the moment. It didn't really matter though. Glinda loved him.
As he walked away, the left side of his chest screaming in utter agony, Boq once more heard the two women speaking.
"You were right, Elphie. It's never easy."