Hel-lo readers! And now, I proudly present the first chapter of the sequel to DANGEROUS SECRETS! Yay!

Wow, this took forever to write. I'm so bad with writing the beginnings of a story. But . . . I think this turned out all right. And it's en media res, which is Latin for "in the middle of things," I think . . . or is it Italian . . . ?

Well, anyway, if you haven't read Dangerous Secrets, you're going to be a little lost, but I'll give you the down-low on what has happened so far (shame on you for not reading Dangerous Secrets in the first place):

The story is mainly from Dorothy's perspective, and basically she narrates the story as she tells about her adventure in Oz. She gives us a brief summary of how she ended up in Oz with the whole twister incident, and how she killed the Wicked Witch of the East, and how she got the ruby slippers. She then stays at Boq's house for the night before she begins her journey to the Emerald City. When she meets the Scarecrow, the Scarecrow has lost all of his memory and wants to go to the Wizard to get it back. Then they meet Boq, who is now the Tin Man, and he explains how, when Dorothy left to go on her journey, the Witch of the West cursed him and lost his heart, and now he's made of tin. He joins them to get his heart back. Then they meet the Lion, who, obviously, has no courage (I did not explain why he has no courage; I figured he was too young to remember the Lion cub incident when Elphaba and Fiyero were at Shiz).

And they reach the Emerald City, where the Wizrd sends them on a quest to go kill the WWotW, and they do so (the incident is similar to the 1939 movie, minus the guards). They kill her with a bucket of water (duh) and then they return to the Emerald City, and the Wizard grants their wishes. HOWEVER, the Wizard knew all along that the Scarecrow was really Fiyero, and wanted to punish him (because he survived being tortured) by making him kill his love, Elphaba (the Wizard is an evil, twisted bastard) So when the Scarecrow finds out the truth, he freaks out and forces the Wizard to leave Oz and never return. Dorothy and company overhear him, and they now know the truth, as well (that Elphaba wasn't really evil, the Wizard's a fraud, etc.)

During this time, Glinda throws Madame Morrible in jail.

So the Wizard leaves in his hot air balloon, but since Dorothy knew the Wizard would kill her once inside the balloon, she manages to evade getting into the balloon, and Glinda (using a spell in the Grimmerie) sends Dorothy home.

Before she does, Scarecrow (now known as Fiyero) takes her off to the side and tells her he's leaving for good (aka going to commit suicide) Dorothy tries to talk him out of it, but his mind is set. He leaves without saying good-bye to the others.

When Dorothy leaves, the Tin Man (Aka Boq) is suspicious about Scarecrow's (Fiyero's) sudden disappearance, and he, along with Lion and Glinda, sees a burning crucifix. They discover that the Scarecrow is dead, and they mourn his death. Glinda never knows the Scarecrow's or the Tin Man's real identity, but Tin Man, Dorothy, Lion, and Scarecrow know what each other's real names are.

Dorothy returns home in one piece and realizes that Elphaba and Fiyero are still alive. She only shares her story with Hunk, her closest friend.

And that's that! Whew! Let the tale be told!!

P.S.: Reviews are greatly appreciated!

WARNING: THIS STORY CONTAINS VIOLENCE, STRONG LANGUAGE, AND GRAPHIC DETAILS. THIS IS A HIGH-T STORY. You have been warned.


How could everything go so wrong so fast?!

Glinda's mind screamed. How could everything be doing so well, then THIS had to happen!

She was running as fast as she possibly could down one of the Palace's many stone corridors, with the only two guards who were still loyal to her; the Tin Man and the Lion, now named Osio. The raced in front of her, desperately seeking a way out to save her. Even through this hellish nightmare, Glinda still felt extremely proud of their loyalty when everyone else had turned against her.

"This way!" Tin Man said suddenly, taking a sharp right, and skidding across the marble floor with his tin heels screeching against the stone. Glinda grimaced, but followed without hesitation. The Lion stayed right by her side every step.

Suddenly, Tin Man stopped dead in his tracks. Glinda slammed right into him, and fell clumsily to the floor. Tin Man helped her up hastily, then took off in the opposite direction. And as Glinda was dragged by Tin Man, she looked over her shoulder, and saw why he had stopped so suddenly.

The hall in front of them was blocked by at least ten Gale Force officers. And now they were in hot pursuit, right behind them, and slowly and surely gaining on them.

Osio, however, couldn't stop so quickly. He skidded down the hall, right in front of the Gale Force. They quickly threw a net over him and overpowered him in an instant. Soon, they had him captured and bagged like some poor helpless rabbit. He roared and writhed with anger and desperation, twisting and lurching inside the net. His mighty bellows were also full of pain. And Glinda suddenly knew why: The net was electrocuting him!!

"Osio!" she cried. She wanted to help him, to free him from the horrible net, but Tin Man grabbed her wrist and ushered her down the hall.

"We have to help him!" she begged.

"We can't! They'll get you as well!" Tin Man said.

Glinda continued to run for dear life, for fear of what they would do to her if they captured her. Another fork appeared in front of them. Tin Man took a quick glance down the left-side corridor, but froze in horror as he glanced down the right.

"Oh, shit," he whispered.

Charging down the corridor was another group of Gale Force soldiers. Glinda knew that they couldn't outrun them any longer. She was breathing heavily, and her legs were screamin in agony. She couldn't keep up this game of cat and mouse.

"Lady Glinda, run!" Tin Man said, pulling his ax out of its holster that was strapped over his shoulder. "I'll hold them off as long as I can!"

"No!" she protested. "They'll-"

"GO! NOW!" It was a command, not a request. Without a moment's pause, he charged at the incoming soldiers, ax raised.

With nothing else left to do, she continued her flight throughout the palace. She could still here Tin Man yelling fiercely at the attacking soldiers, metal clashing on metal, then her blood ran cold as everything suddenly went deathy silent. Spurred by fear, she desperately continued her search for a safe place to hide and get help.

There! Her private study! Maybe she could hide in there and put up a protective enough magical barrer to hold the guards off long enough to get help!

She burst through the door, and slammed it shut behind her. And gasped.

All of her spell books were gone! Every bookshelf was bare. Not a scrap of paper was left.

She had no chance of making an effective barrier without her spell books.

"SHIT!" Glinda swore loudly. "Shit, shit, shit, FUCK!!" Never in her life did she think she was quite capable of swearing so profusely, but then again, she had never been so scared in her life. Everyone was out to get her, and she was just standing there, completely helpless.

She fortunately remembered a weak spell that could protect her for a moment, if that. Desperate, exhausted, and out of options, she performed the spell around her office in a minute.

Glinda then raced around in her private room, desperately seeking a way out. But she knew there was no escaping this one. She was trapped.

Any minute now, the guards would break down her pathetically weak magical barrier and arrest her. They have already captured Tin Man and the Lion. It would be very soon before they got their hands on her.

She screamed in frustration. There was nothing she could do! All of her personal body guards were either captured or killed, and there was no one to help her!

Or maybe, there was.

It was a desperate and nearly hopeless chance, but at this point, it was her only option.

"Zephyr!" she called out.

Immediately, a large Hawk appeared at the window. Zephyr was her most trusted messenger Bird, and now Glinda's only chance.

Quickly, Glinda took a piece of parchment and scribbled a letter as fast as she could. She then tied it to Zephyr's leg.

"Lady Glinda, what are you doing?" Zephyr asked calmly, despite the chaotic situation.

"You need to deliver a letter to someone! She's the only one who can help us!"

Zephyr looked at her with his golden eyes. "You don't mean-"

"Yes, Zephyr!" Glinda said quickly. "Now go before the guards come!"

Without further hesitation, he flew hastily out the window and disappeared into the sky.

No sooner had Zephyr flown out the window, the guards burst through the doors, sending splinters flying. Glinda used what little magic she had to fight them off, but she might have just stood there for all it did. The guards overpowered her immediately, and dragged her out of her room, kicking and screaming.

She was then brought into the main hall of the Central Palace, where she had been ruling, until very recently. And to her disgust, she saw the woman responsible for her downfall. Glinda felt a burning rage well up inside of her.

It was Madame Morrible

"My dear, how do you think you will fare in captivity?" Morrible asked with a cruel smile. What mockery. She was using her own words against her.

Glinda spat in her face, and a guard cuffed her. Glinda let out a small cry of pain, and she saw Morrible wipe off the spit with a smile.

"Ah, my dear, I thought you would have learned better manners than that!" she said coldly. "You're just like those pathetic Animals, and you will be treated as such! Take her down to Southstair!" she said to the guards.

The guards dragged her away, but Glinda struggled as hard as she could against them. She wouldn't go down without a fight.

"You won't get away with this, Morrible!" Glinda shrieked.

Morrible laughed coldly. "Oh, but that's where you're wrong. I already have! I am now ruler of Oz! And no one can stop me!"

Glinda was then shoved down a stone corridor which lead down to the dark, foreboding abyss that was Southstair. Glinda prayed with all her might that her last attempt to seek help would be successful.

All of Oz depended on it.

It had been almost five years since my little adventure in Oz. And not a day goes by that I don't think about it.

And a lot had happened in that time. A drought struck the farm yet again, and we were forced to sell the farm for what little money it was worth and move into the city. Hickory and Zeke each went their separate ways, but Hunk stuck with us. He lost every one in his family in the drought, his parents, his sister, his cousins, everyone and everything. We were all that was left for him. Frankly, I already considered him as an older brother or something even more.

My aunt and uncle agreed without hesitation that he could stay with us if he wanted to. He bought an apartment right next to ours and made frequent visits and even helped us pay for our rent. He and I grew very close in those few years.

A few months after we moved into the city, I started college. The apartment was fairly close to the campus, so I didn't need to spend any much-needed money on transportation, dorms, or meal plans. I was going to major in English and become a writer or a teacher. Hell, I might end up teaching geography and spend my life devoted to discoverng the exact location of Oz.

Not a year later after moving into the city, both my aunt and uncle were diagnosed with terminal cancer.

They died a few months later, within days of each other.

Hunk decided to sell his apartment so he could stay with me and help pay for rent. Honestly, I agreed because I needed the company. Hunk was my best and only friend. Well, at least here in the U.S.

And it was on any normal day that I came back from another long, tedious day at college, flopped on a chair, and started to glaze through the long boring book I was assigned to read and anotate. I swear, sometimes I just wated to shoot myself. Well, at least Hunk would be home soon.

About an hour or so later, Hunk came into the apartment, and I leapt off the chair and gave him a quick hug.

"Hey, Hunk. Good to see you," I said happily while trying to stifle a yawn. God I hate it when that happens.

He laughed. "Good to see you, too!" He gave me a quick kiss on the top of my head. "Another long day at college?"

I laughed. "You have no idea."

He dropped his bag on the couch and wrapped his arm around my shoulder. "Well, let's get some dinner cooking, shall we?"

Making meals together was always fun. We had no idea what the hell we were doing, and most of the time we slopped together some bullshit recipe that tasted like crap, but preparing it was a riot, and we'd end up enjoying the meal, anyhow, however obscure the ingredients were.

But today, Hunk had something special planned. He had gone out and bought two fine cuts of beef, and actually bought a book on how to properly prepare steak. I couldn't help but laugh.

"First you're a farmer, then you're a saleman, and now you're a cook!" I laughed as I pulled out some spices to season the steak with.

He gave me a smile. "Today's a special day, so I thought I'd do something special!"

"What's the occassion?"

He nearly dropped the bottle of steak sauce he was holding.

"Are you serious? Today's your twenty-first birthday!"

Oh, shit! I was so caught up with everything else that I completely forgot my own birthday! How pathetic is that?!

When he saw my shocked expression, he laughed and gave me a hug. "Well, here's to you!" he said. "Now, let's cook some steaks!"

"You're gonna have to teach me," I said playfully. "The only thing I've ever cooked for you is macaroni and cheese!"

We both laughed. He then took me into the kitchen where the two steaks were already waiting in a large bowl.

"Now, we first have to marinate it," Hunk said, opening a bottle of steak sauce. "And we also put in some spices, and mix it up nice and good."

"What are we gonna add to it?"

"Oh, this and that, pretty much the whole damn spice rack!" He started to pour the sauce, and I grabbed some pepper and started to shake it on.

"This is probably going to taste like crap," I said. "We have no idea what the hell we're doing."

"Oh, that's not true!" Hunk said defensively. "I spent a whole twenty minutes reading that book!"

"So what did you learn?" I asked, looking him right in the eye. I took a small step closer to him. I could smell his sweet cologne.

"A lot," he said simply. He leaned closer to me. Our lips were inches apart, and I slowly wrapped my arms around his neck. Closer, and -

RING!

Son of a bitch. Talk about shitty timing.

"Let it ring," Hunk said, pulling closer.

I pushed away with an apologetic look and answered the phone. I could tell that Hunk was as pissed off at the phone call as I was, but I knew we needed to answer this call.

"Hello?" I said into the reciever.

"Miss Gale? This is the landlord."

Oh shit . . .

"Yes?"

"It's about your rent. You're behind again," he said, not unkindly, but rather, more apologetcally. The landlord was a nice guy, he really was. He was just really . . . organized and anal about payments.

"Yes, I know sir, and I'm getting my paycheck this Friday. Hunk, too. As soon as we get those, we'll send you the rent right away." I said in a rushed voice.

I heard a sigh on the other end of the line. "Please do so. I can't afford you to have late payments. If you're late again . . . I'm sorry, but I'll have no choice but to throw you out. And I really don't want to do that."

"I know," I said quietly.

"I'll talk to you soon. And Dorothy?"

"Yes?"

"Happy birthday." And he hung up.

I slowly put the phone back. Hunk came up from behind me and hugged me around the shoulders.

"Landlord?"

I nodded.

He rubbed my shoulder. "Don't worry about it. We'll get it in. We're doing alright."

"No we're not, Hunk!" I said, starting to get angry. "We're always late for our payments! We barely even make the minimum! I'm working my ass off for shitty litttle jobs and you're doing no better! And let's not forget that we live in a shitty little apartment in the middle of a shitty city! And it's because of this fucking city that Aunt Em and Uncle Henry are dead!" Tears were stinging my eyes, but I held them back. Damn it, how could he not see how bad things really were?!

Hunk was hurt by my angry remark. He slumped his shoulders and spread out his hands. "I miss them, too."

"What?" I said, still angry. What the hell was he talking about?

"Don't think you were the only one that's upset that Emily and Henry are dead. They were like family to me. And I loved them, I really did. Times have been hard, I know, but we'll make it. Try to look on the bright side of life. We've got a decent place to stay, food on the table, but most of all, we have each other. Some people don't have that."

I nodded and lowered my head. "I know. I'm sorry."

"It's ok," he said gently, giving me a comforting hug. "Go ahead and get a shower. I'll get dinner cooking."

I slowly made my way to my own room and then to the shower. As the cool refreshing water splashed on my ace, I was instantly reminded of the day years ago that I sat on the swingset in the rain, finally realizing that Fiyero were alive. Questions popped into my head. How was everything back in Oz? Was Glinda as good of a leader as I hoped she was capable of being? What were Elphaba and Fiyero doing now? Hiding? And what about the Lion and Boq?

I groaned. This sucked. I will never be able to know! It was a painful annoyance, one that has gotten me into a lot of trouble before. I was always critisized for having my head in the clouds and having and over-active imagination. But it was something I could never forget, and honestly, I don't want to forget.

I stepped out of the shower a few minutes later, furiously rubbing my hair with a towel. I slipped on my regular attire; a pair of faded jeans and a white tee-shirt with a flower design on the side. As I slipped on a pair of silver hoop earrings, my eye caught a picture that was hidden beneath numerous others, one that I had personally drawn. I knew which picture it was, and I swiped away the other pictures on top of it to look at it.

I drew this picture right after I returned home, five years ago. It was a picture of Fiyero, Boq, and Lion, all standing side-by side. I was a pretty good artist, but I felt like I could never capture the true genuine emotion and feel for each of them. Fiyero had a huge lopsided grin, one hand holdng his hat on his head, the other hand in his pocket. Boq was loking off into the distance, his ax slung over his shoulders, standing tall and firm, a set and determined expression carved into his tin features. Lion was glancing cautiously over his shoulder, looking a little afraid but had the pose of someone courageous and unafraid.

I sighed. I missed them so much. I clipped the hand-drawn picture to the mirror and just stared at it for a while. Will I ever know how everyone's doing, and what's happening.

Probably not ever, a voice in my head said. It's been five years. Don't you think it's time to let them go?

I can't let them go, and I don't want to.

You're only going to give yourself a heartache. Let's face it; it's been nothing but trouble for you. You've become alienated and distant. People don't even know you anymore. You're going to eventually have to learn how to let things go. Just do it for yourself.

I sat in silence, trying to determine if I should listen to the voice of reason. I didn't want to forget, but every time I thought about them, it hurt. I sighed to myself.

Maybe it was time to move on.

I ripped the picture of my Ozian friends into shreds and tossed it into the trash can. And with that picture went a little piece of my heart. But I knew it was all going to be for the better.

I hoped.


Oh, forgot about discalimers. Ahem. Don't own Wicked, never will, never have. All credit belongs to L.F. Baum, Gregory Maguire, and Stephen Schwartz. There are numerous characters that I myself made up, and if you want to suggest a character, go right ahead.