I want to tell all of you, my dear readers, what a wonderful journey this has been. It has been a great joy to write this story, but like all things, it must come to an end. I want to thank all of you who have taken the time to read my story, and a special thanks to all of those who have been loyal reviewers. Julez Rox, Laurenne Tiggular, crazyGATOR57, Riti the Wicked Troll, I cannot thank you guys enough. If it weren't for your reviews, I would have probably given up on this story a long time ago.
And now may I present the final chapter.
Elphaba took deep, gulping breaths as she rubbed her massively swollen stomach. It had been nearly nine months since they had seen Hunk's spirit, and she was due in a matter of days. Inside, she could feel her child relentlessly kicking her. She groaned loudly, letting her head fall back against the numerous overly-stuffed pillows. Her eyes drifted over to the side of the room, which was filled with hundreds of gifts and flower bouquets from Glinda, Dorothy, and hundreds of Ozian women wishing her the best of luck for her unborn child. Said child then abruptly kicked Elphaba--hard.
"Fiyero, make it stop. Tell it to stop kicking, it's getting aggravating," she whined.
Fiyero sat on the edge of the bed, and took her hand, smiling ear to ear. "It's just telling you how much it loves you!" he said comfortingly.
"Well it can tell me how much it loves me by not kicking me so much," Elphaba groaned.
Fiyero placed his hand on her stomach, and felt the baby kick. His grin widened.
"I can feel it! Isn't this wonderful?" he said.
"Easy for you to say. You're not the one with the stomach the size of a small planet," Elphaba growled.
"Oh, cheer up, Elphie! Everything's going to be just fne!" Glinda said perkily, also in the bedroom with her. "Only a few more days and it will be out of your stomach and into your arms!"
And Gllinda herself was also pregnant, although she was only in her first trimester. She had only a tiny bulge in her stomach, the real first physical sign of her pregnancy, and she too was gently rubbing it. Boq was standing behind her and had his hands on top of her, and smiling down at both of them. Elphaba chuckled, remembering the day she and Fiyero had first announced that she was pregnant. The crowds went absolutely hysterical, and to top it off, Glinda came prancing up the stage, dragging Boq behind her, and announced that the two of them would have sex every night until she too was pregnant. No words could describe the awkwardness and horror on Boq's face. He flushed with embarrassment, and Elphaba could remember him turning around, looking strtaight at Fiyero, and saying "Help me!!"
Fiyero only laughed, saying, "Boq, you have no idea how many men would gladly be in your shoes right now!"
"And I want to have lots of kids!" Glinda squealed. "My life long dream was to be a mommy! So let's go!!" And she literally dragged Boq back into the palace, all the while him pleading for them to save him. They could only watch and laugh. But not in a mean way.
And eventually Glinda did get pregnant, and she dragged Elphab along to go shopping for baby stuff. Glinda wanted to buy pink stuff, because she was sure Elphaba's baby was going to be a girl. Elphaba, always the careful one, politely declined, and instead bought clothes and accessories all in neutral colors.
"But it's going to be a girl!" Glinda whined. "I can feel it! I've never been wrong about these sort of things before!"
Elphaba only laughed. "Lin, with my luck, if we do buy all girl stuff, I'll for sure have a boy, then what?"
Glinda huffed. "But it's not going to be a boy! It's going to be a girl!!"
"What do you want it to be?" Fiyero had asked curiously.
Elphaba grinned mischieviously. "I want a boy. Just to spite Glinda."
Glinda shouted, and slapped Elphaba playfully. "Oh, I know you really want a girl!"
And now, month later, Elphaba was laying in bed with servant tending to her every need, patiently waiting for the day to come. Or, as patiently as she could. And in those nine months, Dorothy and Glinda rattled off about everything Elphaba wanted to know about motherhood--and much she really did not want to know. But Dorothy and Glinda were firm--no skimping out on a single detail. But Elphaba had many concerns herself, none of which she voiced. She was terrified. She could never shake the horrible feeling that something would be wrong with her child. What if it was green, like her? No matter how much Fiyero comforted her, Elphaba could not bear the thought of having a child like her, one that would be cursed like her. She couln't bear it if her own flesh and blood had to suffer the same abuse she enured when she was a child. And she doubted that her status as queen would do anything to lessen the painful blows if the child was green. sometimes she would wake n the middle of the night and cry, begging to some higher power which she did not believe in to spare her child.
Elphaba felt her stomach tighten painfully, another annoying side affect from being pregnant. The pain came again, and she almost cried out. This one hurt much more than normal . . . Her spine shot with pain, and she could feel a more intense pain shoot across her abdomen.
"Fiyero," she gasped. "I think it's here . . ."
And as if to prove that she was telling the truth, she felt her water break, and everything went into absolute chaos.
She was then rushed into another room with much screaming and shouting, where several doctors and nurses were at the ready, all carrying bowls of water and fresh towels, ready for the delivery. Elphaba was completely overwhelmed, but Fiyero wanted to make sure nothing would go wrong in the delivery of the new prince- or princess.
Fiyero, Glinda, and Boq were forced to wait outside the room, but Dorothy stayed to help with the delivery. She gripped her hand tightly and gave her words of encouragement, but Elphaba could barely hear herself think over the incredibly loud noise that everyone around her was making. It was giving her a massive headache and she wanted nothing more than to shout at them to shut up.
Another shock of pain erupted through her body and she screamed in agony, clutching Dorothy's hand like a vice, annd she could see Dorothy wince. But she didn't say anything.
"Come on, Elphaba! You can do it!" she heard her say. Elphaba screamed again in agony.
Boq and Glinda were each sitting in chairs outside the room, and Fiyero was pacing anxiously around in circles, his hands clasped behind his back and staring down at the floor. Occassionally, they heard Elphaba scream, and he would stop and stare in horror at the door before silence would ensue and he would continue on with his pacing.
"Fiyero, please sit down, you're making me dizzy," Glinda said.
"I can't! My wife's in there, and she's in pain!" Fiyero shouted.
"Calm down, sweetie, these things take time. And of course it's going to hurt. And there's not much we can do about it."
"Can't you do a spell?"
"Oh, goodness no. I wouldn't dare. It's such a delicate situation as it is. I don't want to do anything that could endanger her or the child," Ginda said carefully.
Fiyero groaned, and continued to pace. It went on like this for hours, until finally one of the doctors opened the door. Fiyero froze.
"What is it?" he asked urgently.
"Come on inside, the child's about to be born!" he said excitedly.
Fiyero rushed inside and ran up to Elphaba's side, gripping her thin hand. His eye caught a heap of towels red with blood. A lot of blood. He began to grow sick with worry. Was that normal?
Elphaba was sweating, and she was in great pain, gasping for breath, her eyes red and wet. She screamed, all the while with nurses--and Dorothy--giving her encouragement.
"Come on, push! That's it, that's it! Push! Harder! Come now I know you can do better than that! Push! Oh!"
"What?!" Fiyero demanded.
"I can see it's head!" the head nurse shouted happily. "Come on, one more big push! Come on, PUSH!"
And with a loud painful scream, the baby was delivered, and Elphaba crashed back against the pillows, exhausted. The nurse wrapped the baby up in a new fresh towel and began to wipe away the blood and liquid. Elphaba kept her eyes firmly shut.
Fiyero went up to the nurse, who was beaming with joy. "It's a little baby boy!" the nurse said happily. She wiped away some more blood, and the baby began to cry. Fiyero smiled, his eyes tearing up, and the nurse gave him his newborn son.
"I can't believe it! A son! I have a son!" Fiyero said. He looked down at the precious, perfect little boy. What he saw, he couldn't have asked for anything better.
He turned to Elphaba, but she still had her eyes closed, and tears were running down her cheeks. She was sick with worry. "Is it ok?" she whispered.
Fiyero handed her the baby. "Look for yourself."
Elphaba slowly opened her eyes, and cried out with joy. It was perfect, a completely normal color, with Fiyero's fair skin and already a head full of black hair. The baby cried and thrashed about in his blanket, and his eyes opened, and he looked straight at Elphaba. She was caught breathless. He had the most beautiful green eyes she had ever seen, like the purest cut emeralds. She held it close to her, and rocked it gently in her arms.
"Oh, thank god, thank god! It's normal!" Elphaba said. Fiyero was about to say something, but restrained himself.
Dorothy looked at the baby with the biggest grin on her face. "What are you going to name him?" she asked.
Elphaba thought for a moment. "Chiron," she suddenly said. "His name will be Chiron."
"That's an excellent name," Fiyero said approvingly. "Chiron Tiggular, the Prince of Oz! I can't wait to announce it!"
"Fiyero! Let her rest!" Dorothy scolded. "That can wait! Let them both regain their strength, and give them some space."
So they left her in peace, she and her newborn son. She continued to rock him, her perternal instincts taking over, and soon he fell asleep, like a precious little angel. Elphaba was so unbelievably happy. Her son, her beautiful son. She gently kissed his forehead before she too drifted off to sleep.
Later that day, Fiyero announced the birth of Chiron and presented him for all to see. The citizens cheered loudly. Elphaba was happy that her son would live a relatively normal life, and she vowed to always protect him and to be the best mother she could. As was custom of the Vinkus, Larkspur then blessed Chiron by rubbing special oils on his forehead, as a sign of guidance and righteousness. Fiyero then marked Chiron on his chest with another special oil for strength and good health.
"When will he get the blue tattoos?" Elphaba joked.
"He will get his first blue diamond tattoos when he's eighteen, to show his conversion from child to adult!" Fiyero said.
"That sounds exciting!" Dorothy commented.
"Oh, and one more thing," Fiyero said. "Chiron needs a godparent. Dorothy, it would be a great honor if you were to be Chiron's godmother!"
Dorothy was enraptured to hear this, and blushed humbly. "Fiyero, it is a great honor to be Chiron's godmother!" And she too was given a special blessing, so she may always love and cherish the newborn prince. Dorothy had no doubt that she could easily keep that promise.
Soon the day ended after much festivities, and the day was marked as the birthday of a Prince. Chiron was then placed in a crib in Elphaba's and Fiyero's bedroom, and would be moved to his very own bedroom in a few days.
The palace then entered a state of peace as all the lights went out, and all the members of the castle fell asleep.
And then, in the very early hours of the next day, still hours away from sunrise, the moon and stars still bright in the sky, several people came, and visited the palace. One of these first stopped in Boq's and Glinda's room. The figure silently and carefully approached them, looking down at the couple. She smiled.
How could she have not seen it before? The two of them belonged to each other, they deserved each other. How could she have been so blind and foolish? The only reason she did not feel guilty for her actions any longer was because at least they were together again, and the spell she had cast on Boq had been lifted.
Nessarose looked at Glinda, and with great sincerity, she felt happy for her, she truly did. Glinda loved Boq more than she ever did, and her gaze drifted towards her slightly swollen stomach. Glinda's child would surely be another beautiful gift to this world, and she wished them both the best of luck.
She drifted into the next room over, which was Dorothy's room, and three more ghosts were crowded around her peacefully sleeping figure. One, she knew very well, but the two others she had only heard of, and never actually met before.
There was, of course Hunk, and an older man and woman, who looked to be in their sixties and were very kind and gentle looking, the exact picture of a loving grandmotherly figure. The woman took off her glasses and rubbed her eyes.
"Oh, how my precious niece has grown!" the woman sighed. "Who could have dreamed she'd do such great things? She has much in store for her in the future!"
"It's a shame, that you won't be in her future," the man said sadly.
Hunk laughed. "Not true, Henry. I'm always with her, I thought you two knew that!"
Nessarose knew who they were. Dorothy's Aunt Em and Uncle Henry, whom Dorothy had spoken of so highly on her first adventure in Oz. Of course Nessa had watched her, after all, it was her house that caused an end to her pitiful life, but she was no longer angry at her for it. It wasn't her fault and it had all been for the better.
Their eyes met, and they nodded, and continued to watch Dorothy sleep peacefully. Hunk traced his transparent hand down the side of her face, and then they left her, and visited the real reason why they had come.
In the next room was Elphaba and Fiyero, and Chiron, all peacefully sleeping. And there were three other ghosts already there: Fiyero's mother, and Elphaba's parents.
"I am so proud of you, my son," Fiyero's mother said. Nessa was stunned at the woman's beauty, tall, trim, and long beautiful mahogany hair that hung loosely about her heart shaped face. Nessarose lowered her gaze to her sister, and was filled with admiration for all she had done. She was the proudest sister that night. She had done so much, had made so much good, accomplished her dream of peace and equality through the land. Nessarose glided over to her father, who was heartbroken.
"I had been a foolish father," he said mournfully. "I cast her out because of something that wasn't her fault. I had shamed her, not the other way around. If I were still alive, I would tell her how sorry I am." He bowed his head, and Melena placed a hand on his shoulder.
"What's done is done, and now the only thing we can do now is protect our grandchild."
It was only then that Nessarose fully understood who she was now. She was an aunt now. She drifted over to her nephew, Chiron, down at his cute litle figure, so perfect. He et out a soft moan, and opened his beautiful green eyes. He looked up at Nessa and smiled.
"Don't you worry little one," she said. "Aunt Nessie will make sure nothing bad will happen to you."
Hunk came to her side, also looking down at Chiron. "Your godmother is my best and closest friend, and since I am her guardian angel, I will be yours too. Remember this, Chiron, I will always be with you and protect you. I do not know what lies in your future, but I promise I will be with you through the times of trial and peace."
"We will all be with you, little one," Melena said.
And they al stood in silence, watching the young prince, until he drifted off into a peaceful sleep. None spoke as they watched him, for hours until the sun began to peak over the horizon, and with the rising sun, they faded away, back off into the sky where they came from, but they vowed to keep their promises.
"We will always be with you."
The end for this story, at least.
But of course, many challenges and difficulties lie ahead for Prince Chiron. Will he be strong and survive, or will he fall victim to a hidden spell?
Stay tuned for "Cursed Bood" to find out!