Funny story... I sat down to finally work on the next par tof "Kiss", and came up with this instead. It's an idea that I've had for a while now, but never quite had the time to write down. This will be a chapter fic, though perhaps more of a mini-series than a full length story. Oh, and just so you know, the beginning of the next part of "Kiss" will be very similar in flavor to this prologue, so I am simply copying my own work, no one else's :)

I'm not crazy about the title of this, so if anyone has an idea for another one, please PM me and let me know!

I hope you enjoy!

If this was what an eternity felt like, she found it to be vastly overrated

Elphaba Thropp, formerly known as the Wicked Witch of the West, the third Eminent Thropp Descending, or simply "Elphie" waited in tense silence as the time moved slowly on.

Like the slow, steady rhythm of a flowing river, the minutes ticked by. One by one the moments came and went, a series of torturous glances and frantic turns at the slightest sound that managed to break through the heavy wooden door.

Turning away from the light, she replayed the plan that they had come up with over and over in her mind. Their time together had been brief, almost too brief. Nevertheless, being the planner she was, part of that time had been used to formulate a plan of escape should they need it.

Everything that had taken place, save Elphaba's near capture in the cornfield, had been part of the plan in one way or another. They had planned to meet at Kiamo Ko after the green girl's fa├žade of a death had taken place. Of course, the transformation of her lover had been something she had not anticipated.

Then again, what exactly had she expected? In her hands, she held the crumpled piece of paper that was Fiyero's letter. She hadn't counted on Glinda's presence when she received it; then again, she hadn't expected the majority of what had taken place in the last twenty-four hours.

Unfolding the letter, she held it up to the light and read it for what seemed like the thousandth time. His script, which had once been neat and strong, written with a firm hand, was no little more than a scrawl. It informed her of his transformation, thanked her for saving his life, and above all, ordered her not to feel guilty about what she had been forced to do.

Elphaba held back a bitter laugh. Don't feel guilty? Was he insane? How could she not feel guilty? Because of her, the man was forced to live the rest of his days as a man of straw. He would never be able to feel the wind on his face, never be able to taste is favorite food, and while she imagined ,perhaps a bit selfishly, that while he would be able to hold her, they could never fully be what either of them had dared to hope.

Perhaps she had been foolish to ever think they could be a normal couple. Dreams like that just didn't happen for people like her. Maybe it would have for Fiyero, but because of his decision to love her, it seemed he too was cursed. She knew he would scold her if he ever found her entertaining such thoughts, but how could she think otherwise?

Fiyero wouldn't want you to think that way. You know he wouldn't

Cursing into the silence, the green girl ran her long finger through her ebony hair. NO matter how much she tried, it was difficult for her to simply put a stop to her self-loathing. She had promised her lover that she would try, but when it was all she had ever known, what else was she supposed to expect? No matter, she was trying.

And that was all that mattered, wasn't it?

Sighing heavily, the green girl refolded the letter and tucked it into the sole pocket of her dress. What was taking so long? Elphaba once again brought her eyes to the miniscule beam of light that was filtering in from a narrow slit that separated the trapdoor from the rest of the floor. The presence of the light told her that it was still daytime, midday if her calculations were to be trusted.

She sighed again. It could be morning for all she knew! He had never specified at which time he would come. She could still remember their conversation, as clear as the day outside.

"When will you come?"

He had hesitated, thinking quickly to give her an answer. "I can't say for sure. I will come as soon as I am able. Before nightfall, I promise."

In all fairness, he hadn't specified an exact time. In the back of her mind, she felt she would be lucky should he come at all. Who was to say that he wouldn't simply decide that this was not the life he wanted and simply leave her there to wait with empty hopes.

But no, he would never do that to her. He loved her too much.

No matter how much the realist in her wanted to deny it, she found it impossible and a slight smile crept up her lips. Sweet Oz, he loved her! He had nearly moved heaven and earth to prove it to her, even willing to risk his own life to save hers. It was true that she had never known what love was.

Until now.

Elphaba couldn't help but shake her head at her foolishness. Of course he would come. He had sworn that they would be together always.

Oz help her, she believed the man.

Love had been a funny subject to the green girl. Her mother had died when she was young and he father couldn't have given one twig about her while she was growing up. Nessa had loved her in the best way she knew how, but it was still love from a distance. Glinda had loved her as a friend and was perhaps the one person who had gotten close enough to Elphaba to show her that it was possible for another person to care about her.

But now even Glinda was gone, believing her to be dead. If Elphaba had one regret, it was this deception of her best friend.

Her only friend.

Footsteps sounded outside of the trapdoor and Elphaba felt her heart quicken.

And, of course, she had Fiyero. Because of him, all of her secret dreams of wondering what it would be like to love and be loved in return were coming true.

Even if it was a bit different than she might have imagined it.

The footsteps came closer and the green girl held her breath. She had left her hat on the trapdoor as a signal to her location. No one but her beloved would understand the presence of the rather sad-looking hat in the middle of the palace floor.

The steps fell silent and when two short raps on the wooden door followed, she felt the first real smile in ages cross her face.

Lifting the door slightly, the green girl peered out, calling his name in a hopeful voice, "Fiyero?"

A cold laugh was her only answer. "Not quite."

Her eyes widened as she took in the face before her, frighteningly familiar and menacingly calm. "Good afternoon, Elphaba. I believe we have some unfinished business to attend too." A hand grasped her arm in a vice-like hold and jerked her to her feet. "And I'm afraid it's long overdue."

I'm afraid this is where I must leave you for now as I'm am smack dab in the middle of mid-terms. But who knows? Reviews seem to have a funny way of motivating me.....;)