Wrote it yesterday, but I couldn't log in... I'm marking this as Complete for now, but it might be continued... that being said, feedback appreciated.
Contrary to popular belief, Avaric quite liked the country. It was quiet, the people were quaint, the food was all homemade and he had never seen more stars. To top it all off, none of the girls from the town outside Caprice-in-the-Pines knew his slightly unsavory reputation and could still be swept away by his impressive, if meaningless title.
The girls here were silly, sweet little things. Deliciously naive and innocent, they didn't try to behave as if they were anything they weren't. They also weren't pampered little cream puffs. Strong girls who had never known a day where they got nothing accomplished. Rest was only allowed if you were ill, and the next day you'd better be either dead or back to work. Eyes shut, he daydreamed about a possible future. Maybe he'd find himself a nice country girl to marry, take her to the city and let her live in luxury that she would never take advantage of.
A woman's frightened, pained scream and a sudden pain in his own leg shook him awake. He'd been lying on his back, nearly invisible along the shore line of the lake, his feet in the water. Before he had a chance to think about it, he reached upward to catch his visitor's arm.
Only after he'd pulled her down on top of him did he realize it was Elphaba, finally taking herself out of exile. She hadn't been able to see him and had tripped over him as she'd walked along the edge of the lake, screeching when the water touched her. "What were you doing so close to the fucking lake? Trying to kill yourself?"
"Maybe," she muttered as she hissed in pain. Horror struck him at the implication that she was suicidal and as he remembered that she was still on top of him in a somewhat compromising situation. Just as the thought crossed him mind, she rolled off of him, hiking up her wet skirt to reveal red flesh, blisters forming along her normally green foot and ankle. "Damn, that hurts."
"You're allergic to water, did you think it would tickle?" He asked, incredulous.
She shrugged. "I didn't expect to feel much of anything. I was either going to simply walk down here and return to my room or to jump in and be done with it all. I didn't account for tripping over lazy oafs."
He didn't let the dig bother him too much. "I would get that dress off. It's still wet, I can tell."
"Avaric, I never thought you one to try and get me out of my clothes," she said as she did remove the dress and sat in her slip, trying to behave as if she hadn't nearly killed herself and had some shred of modesty about her.
He shrugged his shoulders, "It's dark, maybe I'd wish you stayed clothed in the light, but not so much now. Besides, the dampness was still burning you and while jumping in the lake might not hurt, I think we've already established that water on your skin hurts. Why exactly were you considering killing yourself?"
"No one wants anything to do with me. Boq used me to get close to Galinda, Pfannee used Galinda to play a trick on me, and Galinda herself was nothing but horrified by my very presence, as if my one goal in life was to embarrass her. I won't be the butt of any joke or used, and if I truly do put my roommie through so many trials I might as well save her from the pain."
She detected a softness in his eyes as he said, "You were going to kill yourself because of some joke?"
She wrinkled her nose up as she inspected the wound on her leg. "Hadn't decided yet. Probably wouldn't have. I don't know if I believe in any sort of afterlife, but if there is one, I'd hate to hurry to hell when this is life."
"So I saved your life?"
She picked up a rock and skimmed it across the water. "Most likely you just caused me to burn myself. But maybe you kept me from killing myself, I can't say what I would have done if I hadn't tripped over you. Does that make you feel like a hero?"
"Not really," he admitted. "I'm sure I must've contributed to your suicidal tendencies, if only because if I hadn't agreed to escort you here the joke probably wouldn't have happened."
"Don't give yourself to much credit. Galinda's not the only one that wants nothing to do with me."
"I never said I wanted nothing to do with you," he reminded her. As his words sank in, her head snapped up so she could look him in the eye. At the question she couldn't quite bring herself to ask, he answered, "No, I don't love you or anything. Don't be too horrified. I just find you interesting and sometimes a welcome distraction from the girls I normally hang around with. I don't know if I'd miss you if you died, but I would notice the lack of your presence."
"So, like I said I don't so much mind the fact that you're sitting there in your slip."
She leaned back so she could look up at the stars, like he had been before. After an awkward, silent moment as he started at her, he slid back as well. The stars didn't seem to hold still- they spun and twinkled. Maybe that was simply his distraction. Once he felt thoroughly dizzy, she broke the silence in an odd half-voice that was very unlike her. "Could you lie to me?"
"What?" He rolled over and was surprised to see that she faced him.
"You said you don't love me or anything. Could you lie to me?" One of her hands caught one of his and slowly led it toward her body. He didn't stop her.
Swallowing hard as he took the initiative to run his hand over her torso he decided, "Yes, I could lie to you if you wanted me to. Is that what you want?"
"I think so," she admitted, her eyes shutting as he kissed her and rolled on top of her. The water that clung to his wet clothes burned, but she focused on his sweet lie, the one his body said and her body believed.
She pretended he loved her, that she was more than a curiosity to him. It proved to be enough as he nudged her legs apart and pushed her slip up, past her thighs. He guided her hand to waistband and she unfastened his pants. They joined and there was no sudden love between them, or special kindness. There was, however, a welcome release. Him from the monotony of society, her from the constant feeling of rejection. She gasped when he entered her. There was a bit of pain, which she welcomed; it reminded her that she was still herself, that she was still the tolerated Elphaba Thropp.
She finished first and he was only a few moments after her. There was no real tenderness as they caught their breath and stared at each other. He readjusted his clothing and got up, pulling her up to her feet behind him. He walked her back to the house, hugging the shadows so they wouldn't be seen by anyone. They stood in the thresh hold, neither sure what to say. "Thank you for lying to me. It was nice to be able to pretend to be normal, for once."
"It wasn't the most difficult lie I ever told," he said and it comforted her. He combed a hand through her loose, dark hair, removing a few blades of grass and some leaves. His hand brushed against her cheek as he did it and her eyes shut by instinct. He kissed her again, because he didn't know what else to say and the spell wasn't quite broken yet. "And stay away from the lake. I might not be there for you to trip over."
She nodded, already renumbing herself to the uncomfortable truth. She didn't say goodbye, simply going back upstairs. The next afternoon she left with Boq, Galinda, and Madame Morrible's odd tick-tock thingy, her life intact but her heart as broken as ever.