DISCLAIMER: in the first chapter...
A/N: Hello!! I know, took me awhile. Seems I'm falling into some bad habits. Hope you enjoy it. And don't forget to review!
IT TOOK THE FUTURE TO FIX THE PAST
Deep azure eyes stared back at him with an unexpected sense of awareness. Their color, even after only a couple of hours after birth, already matched his so perfectly that no one would dare question paternity. The look they carried, though, was so inquisitive, that Fiyero couldn't help but smile, happy that, of all the little things he loved about his wife, her intelligence was passed on.
Hours could be spent gazing at Liir's eyes, the Prince marveled as he traced the baby's incredibly tiny features. His son barely moved in his tender hold. Fiyero, for the second time in his party-filled life, realized himself desperately in love.
"I am very glad to meet you, Liir." He whispered; the baby gurgled.
So very glad…
From the large bed occupying one side of the room, the ruffling of sheets caught the men's attention. Pale green limbs stayed immobile, but Elphaba turned her head slightly, thus announcing her return to the land of the living. A moan escaped her parted lips.
"How are you feeling?" She offered a small smile in reply.
"Didn't I tell you that the drawing was imperfect?" her croaked words were barely more than a whisper, yet still managed to carry that condescending tone she loved to use when proven right. Fiyero rolled his eyes, even as he grinned. Elphaba saw none of this, eyes still closed.
Carefully, Fiyero sat next to his beautiful wife, turning their son sideways so the child could see his mother. When Elphaba had gathered enough strength to open her eyes, she would be able to see Liir too.
"You were absolutely right. He is far too perfect to be properly drawn by such an unskilled artist." That managed to finally prompt her brown eyes to fly open. Daggers hit him with full force, but he showed himself unaffected. Fiyero glowed with the happiness of his new found paternity. "I love you, Fae."
"I love you, too." Elphaba shifted a bit to the side, trying to find a comfortable position that would allow her to gaze at her beautiful baby boy. It seemed unreal that he had finally arrived after all that had happened since she had first seen his face in a vision. "How is he?"
"Perfect." Lovingly, Fiyero watched Elphaba gently count the fingers on Liir's tiny little hands. He saw the way her eyes darkened a bit at the contrast their son's pale skin made next to her jade tone and felt his heart constrict. Why couldn't she see herself through his eyes? "You are both perfect and I am the luckiest man in all of Oz." He took her hand and kissed its palm, receiving a smile in return.
"Would it sound too cheesy if I said you are the one who's perfect?"
"Nah, that's a known fact." At this, Elphaba openly laughed, happy to be a part of such wonderful moment. "So, are you up to some visitors?"
With caution , she asked, "who?"
"Galinda, of course, and Jonathon."
"I don't want to see him." Her tone worried him.
"Elphaba, did something happen?"
Gaze averted, Elphaba was slowly reverting to her bad habit of burying it all inside. Fiyero, however, would not be shut out. Gently, yet with a firm hand, he grasped her chin and forced her to look at him. "What happened?" Tears sprung.
"He's… he says he is… my father." Fiyero could hear how very difficult it was for her to say those last two words and he couldn't even begin to understand how she felt. But he needed her to know he would always be there, no matter what.
"I know. If you are uncomfortable being in the Palace, as soon as you can be moved, we'll go." Love shone through her small smile. Until his first words registered in, that is.
"You knew?!" She pulled away. "You knew and didn't think to tell me?" Elphaba breathed in deeply and closed her eyes for a second, gathering the strength to control her own temper. Now wasn't the time to fly off the handle. Specially with Liir there. "How? When?"
Fiyero sighed, her avoidance in meeting his gaze speaking so much more than her carefully controlled voice could possibly convey. "That day, with Morrible, Galinda heard the Wizard confessing it."
"Why would he do that?" Incredulity.
"Morrible asked why he had decided to suddenly leave all their plans behind to stand behind your every wish."
New depths of perception were unveiled.
During her confrontation with Jonathon, she had been caught so off guard that the full implication of everything he had said and everything that had implied went over her head. It shouldn't have. Elphaba, better than anyone, knew how very human – and, therefore, how very flawed – the wonderful Wizard of Oz really was. All his actions since their first meeting, all his efforts to overcome the distance between them could, possibly, have been brought on by the real desire to make up for the 20 years of her life he had been absent from? Maybe, just maybe, he wasn't trying to make of her another piece upon his chess board as she had suspected him of doing.
The idea that he wasn't trying to manipulate her sounded so very foreign to her, that Elphaba wondered how she could ever believe it to be true. Sure, she had decided to not judge him for mistakes he hadn't the chance to make, but saying it was so much easier than doing it.
"Fae, honey?" The hand on her arm and Liir's loud protestation for being moved much too quickly finally managed to bring her mind back from its stroll in contemplation. Elphaba's eyes focused back upon her beautiful boy's blue orbs, a loving, yet distant mist upon them.
"Do you think, after everything that was and… could have been that I could ever, truly, forgive him? Could I ever come to completely trust him?"
No mention of any kind of acceptance was made on her part. Father wasn't a concept you were born with, it was a title earned and Fiyero could understand and agree with his dear wife on that subject.
"Oh, Fae… I wish I could take this burden off your shoulders, but I can't make this decision for you. Think with your heart…", he brushed a stray lock of raven hair behind her ear, "can you do it?"
The vinkan prince watched, patiently, as Elphaba once again lost herself in musings, her hand absently playing with Liir's tiny little fingers the same way she used to caress her expanded stomach. The boy had calmed down and seemed oblivious to anything else but his own rest.
"Everything in life is a decision. Nothing is out of our control, I know that. Lurline, I know that better than most. And forgiveness… well, to forgive is also an act. Too many people let others decide and too many wrongs are committed by people who do not act." Fiyero didn't interrupt; he knew she wasn't talking to him, but to herself. Elphaba was too analytical to truly make a decision based solely on her emotions. Except when her temper flared, but that, thank Goodness, wasn't the case today. "I… can give him a chance."
When, at last, she met his searching gaze, her eyes filled with anticipation for his reaction to her words. His opinion mattered to her greatly. She needn't have worried, though. There was nothing but pride and encouragement and love shinning from those beloved blue eyes. She smiled, an answer to his grin.
And, then, Liir decided he had been ignored long enough and announced that fact, rather loudly. Fiyero's face, so sure of himself moments before, was too priceless and Elphaba couldn't hold her laughter in; he looked absolutely lost.
"Oh, Fiyero, he's just hungry."
"How do you know that?" The look she provided was reply was enough. Stupid question… What else beside a dirty dipper could a newborn complain about?
Carefully Elphaba sat up, still a little incredulous at the pos-part pain assaulting places she hadn't known she had. With her back against many pillows and soft cushions, she took Liir into her arms. He belonged there, she thought. Fiyero remained sitting there beside his family, the smile from before reblooming on his lips. If he had thought the sight of his son had been wonderful before, the scene he was witnessing now could only be described as beyond amazing. There, in front of him, was the physical proof of their love and of their future together.
It was breath taking, really, and Fiyero wasn't ashamed of admitting.
Regardless of the bad times that came before and the difficult times that were sure to follow, in this singular perfect moment, Fiyero could safely say he was happy.
Almost like she had been reading his mind, Elphaba looked to him then, smiled and said, "Yero? I'm… really happy."
Only Lurline knew how many seconds or minutes or lifetimes transpired while Elphaba and Fiyero were lost in each other. Knowing it was of no consequence, of course, for this moment, however brief or long, would last forever in the memory of time.
The rest, the other life which had been left behind, faded into the background, no longer as real or as present. No, to Elphaba, it had slowly become something akin to a dream. Almost like a prophecy, which allowed her this perfect happy ending.
Anyway, here it is! The final chap for "Almost like a prophecy". Sad to see it end, but I am happy with the result… though, I'll be the first to admit it came out a little mushy. When I wrote the very first scene for this – of Elphaba desperately trying to draw Liir before the memory faded away – I imagined this ending. So, very happy that, despite this story having a life of its own, I ended up where I wanted to be. Can't say that for all my writings. ;D
Thank you for all who reviewed once, twice or every time. Thank you for those who stuck with me from the start and those who gave my story a chance after a couple of chaps. Thank you also to all those wonderful people that added my story to your fav list. Best kind of praise, IMHO.
Off I go to write "Long way to fall".