Too shocked to notice Glinda's tense stance, he simply lay where he was, taking in the image before him. Blue eyes that had always been there, they were the one thing that had not transformed with him, were set a precise distance apart over the bridge of his nose. His nose, he had a nose!, made up the middle, strong and proud as it had always been. His mother had always affectionately told him that he had inherited his father's nose complete with the slight crookedness that marked the Tiggular line. He had always hated that particular trait. Now he had never been more glad to see it.
At it's end, the nostrils worked slightly as he breathed, once again getting use to the sensation of air entering and exiting his body. He exhaled sharply, causing his nostrils to flare a bit, smiling to himself as the air rushed out. He heard Glinda chuckle beside him, but still did not look at her. He could breathe! Out of the corner of his eye, he could see her shake her head at his antics. "I take it you are pleased, Master Tiggular?"
He didn't answer, only moved his gaze further down his face to his mouth. His lips were lifted into a rueful smile, reminiscent of his school days when life was simple and his biggest worry had been coming up with a way to charm his professors out of a passing grade. How different things had been back then.
As thoughts of the present entered his head, his lips thinned into a line. How different indeed. And yet, he wouldn't change them even if he could go back. Every event that had taken place since Elphaba's departure had played a role in who he was today. Every moment of longing, despair, relief, and ecstasy had somehow shaped him, molded his views, values, and expectations into what they were today. Moments of longing had taught him patience, despair had taught him appreciation, and relief had taught him gratefulness. The moments of ecstasy in the arms of the woman he loved beyond reason, though brief, had taught him perhaps the most important thing of all.
She had taught him that love existed.
His eyes drifted close as he thought of her. How it had felt to hold her in his arms and to hear her soft breathing as she slept. She had smelled of morning dew and woody pine, slight clues to her whereabouts for the past two years. Here eyes were not something he would soon forget nor was the disbelief that they had held when he confessed his heart to her in the woods that night. Oz bless her, she hadn't believed him. He only prayed she did now.
The most prominent memory in his mind was her kiss. The prince unconsciously brought fingers to his lips as he remembered. Her response had been shy at first, barely allowing her mouth to touch his. Soon, after a few moments of his gentle probing, she had gained confidence and allowed herself to be kissed properly. He couldn't help but smile as he remembered how she had accidentally bitten his bottom lip as the passion consumed them. She had pulled away suddenly, color rushing to her cheeks when she realized what she'd done.
Fiyero had been a bit surprised, but never angry. Clearly, Elphaba had been embarrassed as she stood off to the side, muttering apology after apology. He had reached up to touch the wounds and was slightly surprised to see blood on his fingers. He had teased her then about getting carried away. This had only caused her blush to deepen, which Fiyero found absolutely endearing. Laughing, he had gathered her to him in a tangled mess of limbs and assured her no permanent damage had been done.
Although if his skills in the kissing department went downhill, he knew who to blame.
Elphaba hadn't found this amusing at all when he had voiced his thoughts aloud. Her eyes had immediately narrowed into her most intimidating glare, yet Fiyero felt no fear. He had merely laughed and kissed her again, the slight spark of pain quickly overtaken by a spark of something much more potent.
When he had pulled away, she still wore the glare, though her eyes sparkled with subtle amusement.
The irritated face of his dark-haired angel quickly faded into the worried expression of his blonde princess. "Fiyero, can you hear me?"
He blinked several times, allowing his brain ample time to clear itself of any and all daydreams. "Of course, Glinda. I'm sorry, were you speaking to me?"
She huffed as she took a seat on the edge of the bed. "Only for the last fifteen minutes. Didn't you hear a word I was saying?"
He saw his cheeks darken slightly in the mirror at being caught in the midst of his fantasies. "I'm afraid my mind was other places. My apologies."
"You frightened me," she said softly, allowing her eyes to flick over his face. "When you fell to the floor, I didn't have the slightest clue as to what to do next. I know my magic isn't like Elphie's, but I did pass Morrible's class."
We still don't know how, Fiyero mused. Guilt flooded over him at the critical statement. Glinda was incredibly smart despite her fluffy exterior. It was just a matter of putting her mind to a task. And it had been several years since their school days. She could have improved. Most importantly, she had seemed to do the impossible before his very eyes. He could recall several occasions when Elphaba had reminded Glinda that it was impossible to reverse a spell, no matter how simple.
He chuckled to himself. If only Elphaba could have been her so he could have seen the expression on his face when Glinda's attempts to restore him to his human form had worked and seemingly perfect at that. And yet, even better than that…
"Elphaba will never have to know!" he exclaimed.
Beside him, the Good Witch only blinked. "I beg your pardon?"
He ignored her. "Sweet Oz, this is wonderful! I was so afraid. I could only imagine how she would have reacted had she known. Thank Oz for small miracles!"
"Fiyero!" Glinda was surprised the room didn't shake at the sound of her voice. He stopped his incessant rambling and stared blankly at her, surprise etched on his handsome human face at her sudden outburst. "I'm glad you've managed to figure out something that's obviously been bothering you, but you're making absolutely no sense! For Oz's sakes, stop rambling and tell me what is going on!"
The Prince blinked, the broke into a smile. "She'll be spared, Glinda. Elphaba will never have to know the truth."
"The truth about what?"
"Me. Look at me, Glin! I'm me again. Stupid, brainless, charming Fiyero. As well as I've ever been."
She managed a tentative smile. "You have no idea how glad I am to hear that."
He nodded. "As am I; and as Elphaba will be as well. Once she sees me like this, she'll know nothing she did was in vain."
Comprehension dawned on the blonde's face. "You mean, you never…?"
Fiyero shook his head. "No. She never saw me as the Scarecrow. She knows nothing about the transformation except for the fact that it saved my life."
"But…your letter…" Glinda stood and began to pace the room. "Elphie said 'we have seen his face for the last time'. Why would she say that if didn't know what had happened?"
He hesitated. "That's one question that I can't answer. All I know is that, in my letter, I simply told Fae that I wasn't quite myself anymore. I thanked her for saving me, repeatedly told her not to take the blame for any of this, and finally mentioned that her spell had done the trick, albeit at some cost. I never directly told her that I was a Scarecrow."
The blonde came to a stop in front of him. "That still doesn't make sense, Fiyero."
He shrugged. "It's the best I can offer. Unless Elphaba somehow discovered the truth, it was left, mostly, to her own interpretation."
Glinda still seemed unsure. "Be that as it may, I can't help but think she would have to know. You know, Elphie. She had, has," she corrected, still getting used to the idea that her best friend was alive, "the uncanny ability to know what others don't."
The Prince inclined his head. "You have no idea," he muttered. And then, "You think that's what happened, then?"
"Who can say?" Glinda mused as she came to stand beside him. "She wasn't herself just before she 'died", I can say that. Nessa's death hit her hard. I'd never seen like that, Fiyero. She was as if someone else had invaded her body and taken over her mind. It was only after she received her letter that I finally saw the Elphie that I knew and loved." She paused, "We spoke only long enough to set things right." Her gaze moved to his. "And then she was gone."
He sighed, "All that matters now is finding her."
The blonde smiled and placed her hand on his. "We will, Fiyero. No one loves her more than us." Her smile became melancholy. "More than you."
Fiyero didn't answer, only glanced down at their joined hands. A frown deepened on his face as he turned her smaller hand over in his own, seemingly studying them intently.
"Fiyero, what is it?" Glinda didn't like his silence. She watched as he dropped her hand, holding his own in front of him, wiggling his fingers. He did this for several moments, touching whatever he could ;the sheets, the post, his tea, his face. With each movement, his frown deepened.
"Fiyero? What is it? What's wrong?"
"I don't understand," he murmured, "Why wouldn't it be completely effective?"
He was frightening her now. "Fiyero! You're scaring me. What is the matter?"
Two pairs of blue eyes met, both holding confusion and one holding alarm.
"Glinda," he said, his face ashen and voice soft, "I can't feel anything."