OK, I know I shouldn't be doing this. School has been death, and I'm already barely managing a chapter a week. BUT... this wouldn't leave me alone. I'll try to update Beauty tomorrow. I'm both off work and off from color guard. Of course, that probably just means I'll have like three essays to do and a new article for newspaper.

Ahem. My personal problems don't really matter to you, do they? Don't answer that. Anyway, this one's a little different. It's bookverse Fiyeraba, but it's darker than my normal stuff.

I realize some people might not enjoy this story's darker tone. But this is probably my favorite idea for a fanfic that I've ever had.

Also... I'm a Renthead at heart. So I'm huring kind of a lot today. Ask the BAS. I've been a mess. So this story is dedicated to Jonathan Larson's masterpiece that is Rent... I hope that means I don't die upon completing this story...

He laid in the middle of the floor in that cold, silent room. He wasn't resting- his chest didn't rise and fall with his breath. He was dead. She fell to her knees beside him, touched him chest. She stared in horror at him, looking at those beautiful blue diamonds, praying he was somehow only asleep. His body was cooling. The blood that covered the floor was sticky and thick. There was no way anyone could survive loosing that much blood. Snow fell in through the broken skylight, wisping in, melting on her skin. This was her worst fear. This was-

"Elphie!" Glinda sat next to her on the bed, gently shaking her by the shoulder. "Elphaba, wake up."

Elphaba's eyes fluttered open. "What is it? What time is it?" She fumbled for her glasses on the bedside table, smoothing loose hair out of her face. Beyond Glinda, the window showed it was still dark.

"A little after three." She handed her the glasses, looking worried. "You were screaming in your sleep. Are you alright?"

Elphaba didn't know. The... dream, had it only been a dream? No matter what it was, it was horrible. She could still feel the sting of the melting snow on her skin. Who had been the man lying dead on the floor of that room? Even still and bleeding it was easy to see he was beautiful. It wasn't a word she normally applied to men, but it was appropriate. Not the feminine beauty her roommate possessed. No...

Glinda still stared at her. She forced herself to say, "I'm fine. Must've been some dream, right?" She heard an odd, hollow sound that must've been the laugh she choked out of her throat.

"Are you sure you're feeling alright? Do you want to talk about it?" Glinda grabbed er hand, twining them together, giving a light comfortable squeeze.

She shook her head, looking past Glinda's concerned face and at the ceiling. "No, I'm fine. You need your sleep, anyway. It's late."

"But if you're upset-"

"Lyn, please. Go back to sleep. A bad dream isn't a big deal, I'm a big girl. I know it wasn't real."

After a hard look, Glinda relented. She made a show of tucking her roommate back into bed and made her promise to say something if she had another nightmare, or suddenly decided she did need to talk. "I'm just asking you not to forget I'm here for you, Elphie. I wouldn't think less of you for being afraid."

"Good night, Glinda. I'll see you in a few hours."

"Good night."

Elphaba tossed and turned for a few hours until Nanny came in to wake the girls up. She couldn't get the image of those bloody, beautiful blue diamonds out of her head.

She felt herself nodding off in the back of the classroom. She could never remember falling asleep in class before, but it was hard to pay attention to Doctor Nikidik. She could only make out about half of what he said, the way he mumbled. The fact that he competed against Doctor Dillamond's lively, interesting, thought provoking lectures didn't help his cause any. Besides that, the hall was warm and she had only gotten about four hours of sleep the night before. Boq kept poking her in the ribs, "Miss Elphie, what's wrong with you? Are you sick?"

"I'm fine. Aren't I allowed to be tired? Half the time you fall asleep in class. Am I not allowed to do the same upon occasion?"

"You always yell at me when I do that. Besides, if you fall asleep, and then I fall asleep, who's notes am I supposed to copy?"

Elphaba inclined her head to Avaric. Who was drawing obscene body parts on the back of his notebook. "Maybe Master Avaric will be able to tell you about the lesson. Or you could try staying awake for this once- "

"Look! It's a Winkie!" Boq pointed to a door near the stage, Elphaba and Avaric both looking.

Before she could correct Boq and tell him the proper term was 'Vinkun', she realized something. The young man who had walked into the room had blue diamonds patterned along his dark skin. Beautiful blue diamonds, just like the dead man from her nightmare. He also had the same waving dark brown hair pulled back out of his face.

The Winkie was a slightly younger version of the man from her dream. She didn't even think about how she had subconsciously used a derogatory term. She felt like throwing up and wished she had stayed home like Glinda had suggested.

The enchanted antlers, some bi-product of Doctor Nikidik's demonstration gone wrong, seemed to attack him. Everyone watched in silence until Crope and Tibbett got up from their seats, down in front and got the magic antlers away from the new boy. He slumped against the wall, visibly shaken. Nikidik scolded him for not arriving to class on time, but the boy didn't pay attention to him.

Boq was too excited to notice her Elphaba's color fade and Avaric didn't care enough to comment. "What does he wear such silly paint? It only attracts attention to him." He rolled his eyes in an obnoxiously superior way. "I wouldn't want skin the color of shit."

Out of instinct and the desire to appear like nothing was the matter, she shot back, "If you ask me, that's a shitty opinion."

"Sorry Elphie. I forgot skin color was your issue, too." Only he wasn't sorry.

"Next week I'm sitting with Crope and Tibbett!" Boq said, annoyed with his companions. He shook his head as he watched at the boy sitting on the stage. "What an awful welcome to Shiz!" By this point he noticed something had been wrong in Elphaba's voice. It hadn't held the venom it normally did when speaking with Avaric. "Elphie, are you alright?"

"Yes," she lied. "I just didn't sleep well. That was why I kept nodding off."

He studied her. "Nikidik just dismissed us. Let's stop at the Cafe and get something to eat. It'll do you good." She nodded and followed him out of the auditorium, at the very least glad to be away from Avaric's biting remarks. As they walked out the door, they passed the Vinkun boy. Like there was a magnet between them, he looked up at her as she passed him. She stopped mid-stride but didn't know what to say.