He'd never seen Elphaba look timid before.
Yet here she was, looking at the ground, hands clasped behind her back, shifting her weight from one foot to the other and back again. "What's up, Elphie?"
Elphaba's eyes stayed on the ground. "Could I ask you a favor?"
"Depends," Fiyero replied, winking at her. "What did you have in mind?"
She looked hesitantly at him. "Would you sit for me, so I could draw you?"
Fiyero grinned. "Why, because I'm so good-looking?"
Elphaba's nervousness disappeared in an instant as she glared at him. "Actually, it was because we were assigned to draw a portrait for art class, and Glinda and my sister are both busy all week and can't sit for me. But if you're going to be obnoxious, I'll find somebody else." She turned on her heel and was about to leave when he caught her by the wrist.
"Don't be mad, Elphie, I was just teasing. Of course I'll sit for you."
Elphaba studied him carefully for a moment, then nodded. "Fine. Then I'll see you in the room at seven."
Fiyero arrived promptly, sauntering into room 22 when Elphie opened the door for him and draping himself across the chair that stood by the green girl's desk. Elphaba merely rolled her eyes and settled herself cross-legged onto her bed, pulling her sketch pad into her lap.
She worked for more than an hour, deftly outlining shapes and using her fingertips to blend in shadows as she went. Fiyero actually proved to be a very good model—for all his talk, he took her assignment seriously, and didn't move at all the entire time she was working.
Finally, Elphaba lifted the sheet and gently blew off the excess charcoal dust. "There, done. Thank you."
Fiyero stretched languidly and rose. "May I see?"
Elphaba wordlessly handed over the paper. Fiyero scanned it quickly—Elphaba had a good eye. She'd handled the shapes and shadows of his straight, aristocratic features well, and she'd captured his relaxed and sprawling pose perfectly. All in all, Fiyero thought it looked just like him. "It's excellent," he informed her, giving the paper back as she nodded graciously and took it, tucking it back into the sketchbook. "I'd no idea you were such an artist. But now it's my turn."
Elphaba looked up at him in surprise. "Why, are you in another section of the class?"
"No," Fiyero replied. "I just like to draw, and haven't had a live model in a long time. Would you mind?" Elphaba started to stutter something unintelligible in reply, but he cut her off. "You don't even have to sit still, I prefer a more natural look. So you could read or something, if you wanted."
She stared at him incredulously for a second longer, then shrugged. "All right, have at it," she said nonchalantly, and sat back down on her bed with a book open in her lap.
Fiyero stayed in Elphaba's desk chair to work, fingers expertly handling the charcoal so that it perfectly implied the reflections of the soft lamplight on her skin and in her hair, capturing the way she held herself, as though she'd left her body behind as she dove into her book, leaving only the curtains of her hair to protect the empty shell. Both Elphaba and Fiyero lost track of time, she deeply immersed in her book and he in his drawing. When he finally finished, he simply sat with it in his lap for a few moments, looking up at Elphaba. Eventually, she glanced back up to find him watching her. "Are you finished?"
Fiyero nodded and gave her the drawing. She took it, and her eyes widened.
"What?" he asked. "Do you not like it?"
"No, I love it, it's beautiful," she replied, looking back up at him. "The whole thing is soft and lovely, you handled the light so well. And I love the pose, it feels like me. And it looks just like me." She focused her gaze back down towards the picture. "Except prettier, because you can't tell I'm green when you work in black and white."
Fingers beneath her chin gently forced her head back up, making her look him in the eye. "Actually, I find that the lack of green takes away from the beauty in this piece. And Elphaba?" She shivered as he moved his fingers to drift gently across her cheek, but found she couldn't drag her eyes away, so she closed them instead. "It may be a beautiful drawing, but it really doesn't do you justice."