Disclaimer: I still don't own Wicked, but if I ever do, free autographs for any reviewers! Also, to silentword for unintentionally inspiring this fic with her post-Miranda oneshot!

Notes: This oneshot is based off of "The Pain of Miranda," by silentword, an excellent Firefly fic that goes into characters and their reactions to grief. I decided to do a similar idea with Wicked characters and their deepest moments of pain, mainly set during "No Good Deed." (Obviously, with Nessa, it's before.) It's mainly ordered chronologically by location… well, you'll see.

Those endless instants, perpetual and brief, struck each victim with vigor, washing away everything that ever existed, everything people took for granted, everything people were never meant to have. And worse, they stung, lingering in each heart, no matter how heartless, overwhelming the emotions while wiping away any trace of feeling.

This wasn't supposed to happen…

Their fates could be written in the stars, or perhaps each person placed each brick on their own gilded road, always yearning for the road not taken. In the end, everyone lived alone, and whether wicked or benevolent, everyone died alone.

Nessarose never sees the force that came to kill her. Instead, she stands, mid-step, hand on her heart, wondering if it had been she who lost her heart. But the fates had been cast, and like always and never at the same time, she is left to stand alone.

She wishes she could say she'd rather have died standing.

Boq had run for hours, yet even the greatest effort hadn't produced a thump from the hollow crevice he could never call his heart. Standing in the rain, he gives one last desperate exertion at feeling anything but the emptiness he'll forever thrive in. The rain is freezing, though it had nothing to do with heat; instead, it rusts his joints into an immovable position.

He doesn't notice that it is tears, not rain, that freeze his face in an eternal grimace.

They left the scarlet blood spattered against the gilded road; they meant to leave the body too. Instead, a scarecrow stared towards the western sky, feeling no pain yet feeling every torment. He wonders why this happened, if he betrayed her, how everything could fall apart so quickly. He wonders what she'll think of him now.

For a brainless scarecrow, he's been thinking things over a lot.

Glinda never knew what crying was before now. But she has learned the hard way what tears mean, and worse, now she knows does not deserve to cry. And still, she cannot stop herself. The tears she sheds are the tears of the ones she betrayed, the ones who deserve to cry but no longer can because of her. She, who has all, has nothing.

For a moment, she is the Wicked Witch.

They call him the Wonderful Wizard of Oz, or Oz the Great and Terrible. He had other names too, the titles worthy of a hero. But watching the young woman pour her heart out for the woman who should be her worst enemy, the Wizard finds himself remembering another name, a name that had been buried deep within himself for decades, his true name.

Right now, he isn't sure what he wants to be called.

In the end, there was silence, and that was all that there was, all there would be. Silence was the only thing Chistery knew before Elphaba, and now it haunts him once more. He tries to find the words she gave him back to her.

The only right word is silence.

The road seems endless, impossible to traverse, and Dorothy wonders if perhaps the pink witch was wrong, if any Wizard could possibly grant her wish. Wishing only ruins the heart; if only she had known that before.

She thinks she knows pain.

A grievous cry echoes through the halls of the fortress, twisting into a something that could be mistaken as furious call of vengeance. Elphaba falls to the ground, stopping the tears while desperately wishing them forth at the same time. There is nothing left for her to do; there is nothing left of her. They call her a Wicked Witch.

She pretends to believe them.

She draws herself upward, hidden grief in her glowing eyes. Let all Oz be agreed- she is wicked.

She wishes she knew how.

She only knows pain, an unending torment that drives her actions.

She hopes it never goes away.


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