A/N: Sorry for the long wait. And if there are spelling mistakes, I do apologize. I read it over, but it's long, so I most likely missed some.


Chapter 18

So close to reaching that famous happy ending
Almost believing this one's not pretend
And now you're beside me and look how far we've come
So far, we are, so close

Elphaba peered outside the train window and sighed nervously. In the distance, she could vaguely make out a few buildings just barely peeking up over the tree tops. They would arrive soon enough, but she couldn't help but feel her stomach drop with uncertainty. Fiyero had explained it to her a thousand times and yet she still couldn't comprehend the fact that everything would work out fine. She wanted to go to Shiz so badly, but the more she thought about it, the more wrong it felt. Lyra was still so very young, how the hell was she going to manage her time between classes and spending time with her daughter? A sudden wave of fear washed over her at the thought. Who would watch Lyra when she was at class? Where would she stay? Surely, a baby wouldn't be accepted at Shiz.

"Fae," Fiyero interrupted her thoughts. "Stop worrying."

She absolutely hated the fact that he knew her so well, when she hardly knew herself. Letting out an exasperated sigh she tore her eyes away from the window to throw him a glare. "I'm not worrying," she defended herself. He raised an eyebrow and she huffed. "Okay, fine. Maybe a little. It's just…"

"What?"

"Babies aren't meant to be on campus. Where will Lyra be when I'm at class? What if –" she was silenced by his hand being clamped over her mouth.

"Calm down. Since, the dorms aren't coed we can't share a room," he paused. "They won't even let us be in the same dorm building, but I have arranged…"

At that, Avaric, who was sitting across from them, irrupted into laughter. "You have arranged absolutely nothing. If I remember correctly it was your father and I who –"

"Oh, shut up," Fiyero cut him off, and with a bewildered look he turned back to Elphaba. "A private room has been arranged for you and Lyra. We can take turns – if you want – on where she sleeps. That way –"

Elphaba was vaguely aware of pulling Lyra closer to her chest. "She has to stay with me," she insisted.

Fiyero rolled his eyes. "No she doesn't. Besides, you need your sleep."

"I have to wake up to nurse her and I'm certainly not walking across campus in the middle of the night." Her voice was stern, but her eyes dared him to challenge her.

Fiyero blushed a deep scarlet. "Oh, yes. I forgot… about that."

They were seized by a moment of awkward silence. Desperately trying to calm her thoughts, Elphaba returned her gaze to the window. She rarely got nervous over anything, and now that it was happening, she couldn't help but feel like she was balancing all of Oz on her shoulders. All of her life she had been teased and bullied. So how could she mange eighteen years of that, but she couldn't manage going to Shiz? However, she already knew the answer to this. It wasn't about her this time. Not taking the silence any longer she asked, "Who is going to watch her when we're at class?"

"I am."

Elphaba found Avaric's eyes unerringly fast and she pressed her lips in a fine line. She really didn't like the idea at all. It's not that she didn't trust Avaric, because she did. It was just that ever since that vision, she was paranoid of Lyra being whisked away while she wasn't around. "You can't take care of her all the time," she pointed out to him.

Avaric smiled at her, clearly amused by her concern. "Elphaba, I will assure you that no harm will come to Lyra." However, seeing Elphaba's brow fused together, he quickly added, "If I get tired the Headmistress, Madame Morrible, has offered to watch her."

"I don't know her."

Fiyero chuckled, "Fae, stop worrying. Everything is going to be okay. I promise."

The train's whistle suddenly let out an ear piecing scream letting them all know that they had arrived. Avaric was the only one who moved to get their luggage.

"I think Lyra likes the plan," Fiyero began.

At that, Elphaba looked down to see her daughter cooing and smiling up at her. "Yeah, but she also thinks that putting her foot in her mouth is a good idea too."

Fiyero smiled in spite of himself. "Things have a funny way of fallen into place. You'll see, Fae." He took her hand, pressed it up against his chest. His heart was beating so hard she could feel it, as if possibility were something you might cup in your palm. She looked up at him, keeping her eyes wide open as he leaned in to kiss her temple. "Come on," he said and she didn't hesitate to grip his hand and follow him out the door.

---

They had arrived a couple of days late, so the grounds were already filled with students milling about. Some were studying furiously, while others chatted in groups no larger than five. Elphaba held Lyra closer to her as one curly red head eyed her hauntingly before turning back to her friends and erupting into laughter. She could feel the eyes of everyone they passed and she could hear the low murmurs of students as they whispered fervently to their friends.

"Is she really green?" she heard one say.

"Is that Fiyero Tiggular?" another whispered. "It can't be if he's with her."

"Is that the Governor's daughter? I thought she died."

It was the next one that set her off. "I heard her father kicked her out because she raped some poor bastard."

She stopped abruptly and just as she was about to whirl around to confront the girl, Fiyero caught her wrist and pulled her flush against him. "Ignore them," he whispered into her ear and just as he was about to plant a kiss on her cheek she roughly pushed him away.

"Not here, Fiyero." She dropped her eyes to Lyra, so she wouldn't see the look of disappoint spread across his face. She wasn't stupid. Fiyero walking with her was enough to ruin his reputation, and though he had told her he didn't care, she knew he was lying.

"I'm going to take the luggage to the dorms," Avaric proposed. "Can you guys find the Headmistresses office?" They both nodded, so he turned on his heal and disappeared in the opposite direction.

Elphaba caught the eye of Munchkin boy she recognized, but couldn't remember when or where she had seen him before. When he didn't advert his gaze she snapped, "No, I did not eat grass as child." The boy flew off in the opposite direction and Elphaba frowned.

"Don't scare him, Fae."

"I seem to have that effect on people."

Fiyero gave her a smile that made her go weak at the knees. "Come on. Madame Morrible's office should be…," he paused to glance down at the card he was holding. "This way."

They walked side by side, and Elphaba desperately tried to ignore the stares of others. It felt odd walking next to Fiyero and holding Lyra in her arms. At the thought her stomach dropped. Surely, they would think that Lyra was his, but before she could express her doubts Fiyero had stop suddenly to do something a man never will do. Ask for directions.

"Excuse me." He tapped the back of an adult. "Could you tell me where I could find Madame Morrible's office?" The woman whirled around and Fiyero took a step back in surprise. He had not been expecting the uncanny, clown make up and the sadistic smile.

"Why that would be me…" Madame Morrible let out a shriek when she saw Elphaba. "Oh... My Dear.... you gave me a fright. And you must be?"

"Fiyero Tiggular," he introduced himself. "And this is Elphaba and Lyra…"

"What do we have here?" The woman leaned over to gaze into the bundle of joy, but the moment she locked eyes with Lyra, she burst into tears. "Oh," Morrible frowned, leaning away from the baby. "You must be the… special ones."

"Eh, yes…I guess that would be us."

Elphaba's eyes widen as she tried to calm her daughter. "I'm sorry she's not normally like this…"

Morrible eyed them with disgust. "Hmm, Yes. I'm sure she's just delightful."

"Sh." Elphaba slowly rocked the baby back and forth until Lyra's cries were mere whimpers.

Unable to look the headmistress in the eye Fiyero began, "We are here for our – well, her room assignment. We walked passed her dorm early, but the clerk told us that there are no rooms left."

"Oh, yes. I'm afraid we had miscounted on the number of suites we had. I'm afraid our last one went a couple of days ago."

"What," Elphaba hissed.

"Oh, have no fear, My Dear." She gave them a crooked smile and held her head high. "I'll give you a list of names and you can choose who you would like to room with. I'm sure someone has a heart."

"And if they don't?" she asked, anger sneaking into her voice.

By now Fiyero was fuming. "My Father arranged for a private suite for Elphaba and her daughter," he shouted and Elphaba eyed him skeptically. She had only seen him angry once, but even then couldn't compare to now. "If I don't see that this is –"

Morrible cut him off with a heated glare. "Oh, please, Master Fiyero. Everything will work out fine."

"This isn't fair," Elphaba insisted before Fiyero could make an even more fool of himself. "If he paid for it…"

"I'll give you the list of names." With those words said, Madame Morrible headed for a large building not to far away from where they were standing.

Fiyero glared at the woman's back, desperately wishing that he could burn a hole into the back of her head. "Don't worry, Fae. I'll write to my father and everything –" he stopped abruptly as Elphaba began to thrust Lyra into his arms. "What…?"

"Here, hold her," Elphaba told him suddenly and before he could protest she was already chasing after Madame Morrible, leaving him alone.

He looked around hesitantly and then with an exasperated sigh he stared down at Lyra. "Well it's just you and me." She was wrapped in an over sized blanket, so only her head and arms were sticking out. She smiled up at him and Fiyero brought his hand down to rub her covered stomach.

It was a beautiful day out and despite his best intentions to take Lyra on a walk; he knew Elphaba wouldn't be happy to find them gone when she came back. So sighing heavily, he leaned against an odd looking statue nearby and settled Lyra against him. There were other students sitting on the statue and he was painfully aware of their sharp gazes as they tried to get a peak at the bundle in his arms.

"Is it green?" he heard a student whisper from behind him and he slowly pulled Lyra closer to him, so the curious student wouldn't see her face..

"Oh. My. Oz!" Fiyero heard another bubbly gasp. "That's Fiyero Tiggular! Biq, do you know who that is?"

He smiled. It was probably the first good comment he had heard all day.

"You're touching me," came the ecstatic reply, and Fiyero couldn't help but chuckle.

"He's that Winkie Prince whose reputation is so scandalaches!"

Curiously, he looked over his shoulder and nearly fell from shock, for the girl was already up in his face. "Are you looking for something," she paused to blink her long eye lashes and to flip her golden curls over her shoulders. "Or someone?"

"I actually am," he told her and the girl's smile widen. He eyed her up and down. Her golden curls, pixie smile, and designer outfit told him that she had more money than necessary. A few months ago he would have done anything to get this girl to like him, but then he met Elphaba and everything changed.

"I'm Galinda."

"Fiyero."

"I know." She giggled, flipped her hair, and leaned in closer to him. She had done it perfectly, making it look natural, instead of absurd.

He opened his mouth to tell the lovely lady who he was looking for, but a short boy ran into him, making him almost drop Lyra. "Hey," Fiyero shouted angrily. "Watch where you're going!"

"S-sorry… I just have to ask Galinda a question…." The boy stammered.

Galinda looked appalled, so she whirled around to confront the boy. "Biq –"

"Boq."

"Can't you see that me and Fiyero are having a private conversation," she huffed, and Fiyero couldn't help but notice the way she said me and Fiyero, instead of Fiyero and I. Oz, he was spending too much time with Elphaba.

Boq erupted into laughter. "If the baby can listen, then I think I have a right then too!"

At that, Galinda turned back around and let a gasp escape her mouth. "Ooh! I'm sorry…" She took a step back, suddenly embarrassed. "I had no idea."

Fiyero couldn't help but laugh as she became flustered. "She won't bite," he told them, holding the baby up for them to see.

Galinda smiled weakly at him before peering into the blanket. "Ooh! Isn't she cute?!"

"Yeah, she is." He glanced around frantically, hopefully. "Her mother should be back soon."

"Oh." He watched as Galinda's face fell and Boq's rose with a new happiness. However, Galinda caught a glimpse of his ring less finger and her perkiness instantly returned. "Well, is there anything I can do for you?"

He shook his head and frowned at the unfamiliar closeness from this girl. A girl who wasn't Elphaba. "No…I'm good now." He glanced over his shoulder and took a step back. "I just hope Elphaba gets a suite we paid for…"

Galinda's face jumped for joy. "Well, I'm in one of the suites." She lifted her heals off the ground so she could lean in closer to him. "You can come visit me anytime you wish."

"Men aren't allowed in the women's dormitory," Boq piped up, anger sneaking into his voice.

She glared at him before turning back to Fiyero and giggled. "The security is awful."

Fiyero frowned, thinking of Lyra. "That's not good."

Galinda shrugged, smiling sweetly at him. "I guess it depends on how you look at it."

He forced a smile. "Eh, I guess…"

"I think Fiyero has some things he needs to attend to, Galinda…" Boq insisted, desperately trying to pull the blond's attention elsewhere.

"Oh, nonsense, Biq!" Galinda scolded.

"Boq."

"Actually, I do…" Fiyero jumped in, feeling oddly out of place with these two strangers.

Her face crumbled, clearly distraught by his words. "Oh, okay then…"

"I have to go help Elphaba look for a suite…." He ran his free hand through his air, and immediately regretted his action, for Galinda went weak at the knees. "They overbooked rooms, so Elphaba is going to have to share with someone. Oz, she's really going to hate that."

"Oh, are you really, really, good friends with… Elphaba?" she questioned him,

"Oh, yes. We do everything together." Fiyero caught something – anger, was it? – spread across her face, but whatever it was, he shrugged it off quickly.

Galinda frowned at that, but then a thought crossed her mind. "Well, if Elfba –

"Elphaba," he corrected sternly.

"Right… needs a room; she can always stay with me." Galinda giggled up at him. "And then you could come over sometime and we could all hang out."

Fiyero beamed at her, instantly liking this girl. "Really, you would do that for her?"

Galinda nodded, getting lost into his eyes. "Anything for you."

Boq frowned, clearly not liking the idea of Fiyero and Galinda hanging out together. "You haven't even met her, Galinda. She could be some killing –"

Fiyero cut him off, "Or she could be nice and loving." He glared at the boy, daring him to challenge him.

Boq shrunk back, but he whispered to Galinda, "She's green." It was rude, but also the truth and Boq was positive that he would have said anything to get Galinda to change her mind. It's not that he didn't like this new girl... he just didn't like Fiyero.

"What?" Galinda asked, puzzled.

"Emerald," Fiyero corrected.

"What's the difference?"

"This is so confusifying!" Galinda giggled.

"Fiyero, there you are…" Elphaba trailed off as all eyes instantly turned to the voice that had interrupted them. Both boys were fuming at each other and Elphaba couldn't help but think that the girl looked high.

"She is green," Galinda whispered back to Boq, who smiled triumphantly at Fiyero.

"Hey, Fae." He reached out his free hand for her, but she reached for Lyra instead. Her daughter made an indignant nose as she lifted her back into her arms, and Fiyero dropped his hand awkwardly. "Did Morrible help you?"

Elphaba threw an uneasy glance at the two strangers and then back to Fiyero. "No… she just gave me names," she paused, "Fiyero, maybe this wasn't a good idea…"

"But you see, while you were gone I met Boq and Galinda…"

Boq nodded awkwardly and Galinda tried to smile, but it ended up in a grimace. If she would have known that this was Fiyero's friend she never would have offered to share her suite. Seriously, how was she suppose to know that this girl was going to be the campus freak? However, when Fiyero gave her his award wining smile her mind went blank and she instantly forgot about this so called Elfba.

"Galinda has offered to share her dorm with you," Fiyero finished with a smile.

Elphaba eyed the blond skeptically and pulled Lyra closer to her. Elphaba knew better than anyone that you shouldn't judge, but it was just nearly impossible with this girl. It was everything about her. Her perfect make-up, her white, expensive clothes, and her flirtatious attitude. Everything about this girl screamed popular and Elphaba couldn't help but hold a grudge against her. She could see now that they wouldn't get along.

"Well," Fiyero piped up. "It's settled then."

He smiled at them, completely oblivious to the death glares both women were giving each other.