I want to take this moment to once again thank you all for your wonderful reviews. As you may know, I am a total comment whore, so reviews are always a good thing if you want great, frequently updated stories :D
And you guys did an AMAZINGLY INCREDIBLY AWESOME job with reviewing to this story quickly and generously. BROWNIES TO YOU ALL!!!!
And now, I present the final chapter!
(After you read this story, mosey on over to Cursed Blood and show THAT story some looooove! :D)
Elphaba paced worriedly around in circles, her bare feet thumping softly against the tile floor. She couldn't believe what had just happened.
She saw it with her own eyes. She was there. But she still couldn't believe it.
He was gone.
Fiyero was sitting casually in a chair nearby, and Elphaba couldn't help but to throw him a disaproving look. How could he be so-so careless at a time like this?!
"Elphaba, please, calm down," Fiyero said gently, finally pushing himself off the chair. He strided over to Elphaba and enveloped her in his warm arms. Elphaba leaned her head against his shoulder and he rocked her back and forth, smoothly, gently.
"I still can't believe he-he's . . ." she stuttered, not being able to muster up the courage to complete her sentence.
"Shh, it's ok, I can't believe it, either," Fiyero whispered lovingly, stroking her hair. "But . . . it happened."
Elphaba closd her eyes. "I know."
"Do you want to see him?" Elphaba slowly nodded after a slight pause. "Ok, let's go, then." Fiyero sliped out of their embrace and took her hand, leading her over to Boq. He was lying perfectly still on the ground, his eyes closed, and his entire body rigid and stiff. Elphaba had thrown a blanket over his form, exposing only his face. Elphaba knelt over his figure and reached out her hand as if to touch the side of his face, but she couldn't bring herself to do it. She couldn't even touch him.
She gasped out loud with a soft sob. "Oh, Boq . . ." she whispered.
Fiyero said nothing as he gently squeezed her hand.
They sat there for a very long time, in utter silence, until the dawn finally broke over the horizon. The entire city was submersed in a warm gentle light, and the towers themselves seemed to glow in the sunlight. A ray of sun broke through the windows of the towers and fell upon Boq's closed eyes.
He stirred, grimancing. He groaned softly in discomfort, and his jaw cracked open. "El . . . Elphaba . . . ?" he muttered weakly.
Elphaba jumped in surprise at Boq's sudden movement. She quickly grasped Boq's shoulders and eased him back onto the floor.
"Shh, it's ok, I'm right here," Elphaba said gently.
Boq's silver eyes cracked open, and he smiled when his silver orbs met hers. "I thought I died," he said in the same weak and scratchy voice.
"I thought you did, too," she replied with a smile. She hugged him tightly. "But you're alive, and you're going to be ok now!"
Fiyero smirked. "More than ok, I should hope."
Elphaba smiled even wider in response.
Boq rose an eyebrow in confusion. "What are you talking about?"
Elphaba threw Fiyero a sinister look. "Can we tell him?"
Fiyero shook his head, still smiling. "No, I want to see how long it takes him to figure it out on his own."
"Figure what out?!" Boq said impatiently.
Fiyero and Elphaba strarted laughing. "He's so clueless!" Fiyero said in between loud roars of laughter.
"Stop being so mean!" Elphaba retorted, although she was laughing just as hard as Fiyero.
"Hey! Whatever you're laughing about, it's not funny!" Boq said, jumping to his feet. All the sudden, his vision started to swim and he felt an immense wave of nausea overcome him. His knees buckled underneath him and he fell clumsily to the floor, Fiyero and Elphaba catching him before he hit the floor.
"Whoa, easy there," Fiyero said, helping him sit back down on the ground. "Not a good idea to suddenly jump to your feet after laying down for a bit."
Boq rubbed his head. "Wh-what the hell?" he muttered weakly. "I never-"
He stopped mid-sentence and stared at his hand. His jaw fell open as he gaped at the sight. His hand was no longer made of metal. It was made of flesh and blood. His soft, pink-tannish skin seemed to nearly glow in the morning sunlight. Boq flexed his hand to make sure it was really his.
And it was.
Boq rose his other hand to his face, and that too was soft and pale and fleshy. No longer made of tin. He shook his head in disbelief, tears forming in his eyes. He reached up and touched his own face, and realized he could feel his hands touch his face. His hands were cold, but they were there. He could feel again! Fifteen years trapped in a metal body, he forgot how utterly wonderful it was to feel things again!
Boq looked at Elphaba, tears of joy in both of their eyes. "I--I'm human," Boq said in a whisper, hardly daring to believe it. He laughed loudly. "I'm human again!"
She nodded, and leapt at him, gripping him tightly. "Oh, Boq! I know! It's wonderful!"
Elphaba nearly toppled Boq over when she lunged at him, but he laughed. It was indescribable how great it felt to be touched and embraced without restraint. Now he could hug Elphaba back with all his might, not needing to fear crushing her or bruising her with cold metal limbs.
"I want to see myself," Boq said suddenly. "Can I have a mirror?"
Elphaba sat up and nodded, quickly scampering about the towers until she found a small round mirror. She handed it to Boq, who looked somewhat hesitantly at his own reflection.
A round, pleasant face greeted him, a face with large warm eyes with irises the same color as liquid silver. He had long, spiky dark brown hair that fell to the middle of his forehead. And he beamed.
"I . . . this is a miracle!" he said, placing down the mirror and rising to his unsure feet. "I'm human again! But how?!"
Elphaba rose to her feet as well, shaking her head. "I have no idea, Boq," she said. "When you passed out, you suddenly changed back. Your body started to glow and melted into a human shape. But it doesn't matter! Whatever spell made you turn into a machine is broken."
A huched over figure approached them out of the shadows of the bell tower, her features hidden beneath a heavy layer of shawls. "Very clever of you, my little witch," the figure said hoarsely.
Immediately Boq and Fiyero were on defense, standing between Elphaba and the mysterious person. "Who are you?" Boq challenged.
"It's been fifteen years, my dear boy, since I saw you last," the old woman continued to croak, pointing at Boq. "And it's about bloody time you finally broke the spell I cast on you."
Boq's jaw dropped wide open. "You--you--you--" Boq stuttered, barely able to make himself speak.
"You turned Boq into a machine in the first place?!" Fiyero said in stunned surprise.
"Yes," the woman croaked. "Boq was nothing more than Ozymandias's heartless servant when I first saw him. I cast the spell on him to make him see the errors of his ways. And the only way Boq could break the spell was to realize Ozymandias's wrong-doings and free himself of servitude to Ozymandias."
Boq stared long and hard at the woman. "So . . . all this time . . . all these years spent as nothing more than a monster . . ."
"Was to teach you the true meaning of the word 'monster,' " the woman said. "And you did. You finally found the heart to free yourself from Ozymandias and declare that you were no longer his servant."
Fiyero shook his head. "But why didn't you curse Ozymandias?! Surely he deserved it more than Boq!"
"Oh, but I did," the woman said. "Ozymandias loved Boq with all his heart before I cursed him. I punished Ozymandias by turning Boq into a machine."
"And why didn't you just turn him into metal?!" Boq said a little fiercely.
"Because, my dear boy, it wouldn't have tormented him nearly as much as seeing you as nothing more than a metaphysical reresentation of his cold lifeless heart," the woman said slowly. "And you also had to learn your lesson."
Boq shook his head. "I think I need to sit down . . ."
The woman laughed. "You have been through much, but you emerged all the stronger, all the better. It was for the best, don't forget that."
Boq looked back at Elphaba and smiled. "Yes. Yes, it was."
The woman smiled, and gave a nod before departing. "And Elphaba?"
"Yes?" she replied quietly.
"If you are looking for a teacher, I am always ready to undertake prodigious pupils under my wings," she said with a toothless smile.
Elphaba smiled shyly. "I'll remember that."
And then the woman disappeared back into the shadows.
"You think taking lessons from her is a good idea?" Boq asked cautiously.
Elphaba laughed. "She turned you into metal. She is obviously a very talented witch."
"Now I'm worried," Fiyero said seriously. "What will you do to me?"
Elphaba laughed as Fiyero scooped her up in his arms. Elphaba caught Boq's eye and immediately her laughter ceased as she pushed herself away from Fiyero's grip.
She approached him, twisting her hands nervously. "Boq, I cannot possibly thank you enough for everything you've done. I owe you my life. We both do," Elphaba said, gesturing to Fiyero. Fiyero gave him a nod and a smile. Elphaba turned back to Boq, her eyes cast to the ground. "I care about you more than you could possibly imagine . . . but . . . I . . . I . . ."
Boq put a finger to her lips. She looked up at him. He smiled at her, a warm and tender smile.
"I know," he said. "You saved me from a cursed life for the rest of eternity. You helped me find my heart. My real heart." He pulled Elphaba in for a brief hug. "And I understand that you must follow your own heart. And I know your heart belongs with Fiyero." He grasped her hand in his own, and took Fiyero's in his other, and placed their hands on top of each other, tan against emerald. The perfect match.
Boq stepped back and gave a brief nod, showing his approval. Elphaba smiled at him, but her eyes instantly locked with Fiyero's. They pulled closer to each other, kissing each other softly at first, but then with more passion. Boq sighed with content. They were so perfect for each other. They were destined from the moment they were born to be together.
There would always be other women out there, waiting for him. Waiting to find the perfect match.
Boq would find his other half one day.
Fiyero took Elphaba's hand and turned to Boq. He gave him a wink. "Now let's go out and celebrate!"
Boq smiled, but quickly remembered something. "The molten metal! I don't think it's cooled yet," he said worriedly.
Fiyero shrugged. "Only one way to find out."
They descended the stair case, Boq a little clumsy on his new feet. It felt so unreal to not move in strict rigid movements. He could move more freely, flow through his steps more smoothly than he could as a machine.
Fiyero worked his way over to the front doors of the cathedral, which were battered and broken. Fiyero stepped through the doors, helping Boq and Elphaba. And on the steps of the cathedral, the liquid metal had completely hardened, forming a thin black layer of metal.
Boq smiled. "That witch must have cooled it," he said.
Elphaba smiled, turning to Boq. "Ready to go out into the real world?" she asked, taking his hand.
He smiled. "Of course I am!"
Fiyero descended the steps of the cathedral, taking Elphaba's other hand, with Boq following them. Fiyero pounded his fist into the air and gave a loud cheer.
"Ozymandias is dead!" Fiyero cried joyously. "We are free from his tyranny forever!"
The crowds roared in response, saluting the former-captain and the Gypsy. They started to chant Fiyero's name in his honor, but Fiyero held up his hands, quickly silencing them.
"I am not the true hero, though," Fiyero said. A surprised murmur rippled through the crowds. "The real hero is this man, standing by my side!" he concluded, gesturing to Boq.
Everyone's eyes turned to him, some confused, and some politely clapped in honor of him. But they obviously did not recognize him as the tin man of the bell towers.
Fiyero nudged Boq's side. "Go on, tell them your story!" Fiyero whispered in Boq's ear. Elphaba gave him a reassuring nod.
Boq gulped, and stood before the crowds. "Well, um . . . my name is Boq. And as you may remember . . . I am--I was the tin man of Notre Dame." A mumble of surprise and disbelief spread through the crowds like wildfire. "And, I know you may be wondering how that is possible, so allow me to tell you the whole story . . ."
Boq began at the very beginning, when he was an infant taken in with the Gypsies. He told of the Gypsie's daring rescue, and how Ozymandias killed them, explaining how Ozymandias took him in after murdering his adoptive family.
A stunned silence ensued.
He then continued, explaining how he turned into a tin man, and briefly, his years as the bell ringer. How he met Elphaba, and rescued her from the cathedral. How Ozymandias tricked him into finding the Court of Miracles. How Boq rescued Elphaba once again, and how he killed Ozymandias.
Boq told them everything.
No one spoke for a while, daring to believe their ears. Suddenly, Avaric, the leader of the Gypsies, clambered on top of a caravan, and shouted at the top of his lungs, "ALL HAIL BOQ! OUR SAVIOR!"
The crowds burst into wild cheers as they hoisted him onto his shoulders, and paraded him all around the square. No one was staring. No one was pointing. Everything was finally right with the world.
A hand clamped around his own. Boq turned, and saw a beautiful blond smiling brilliantly at him. She looked terribly familiar . . .
"Hello, Boq!" she smiled, wrapping her arms around his neck. "Remember me?"
Suddenly, he did. "Glinda!" he exclaimed, wrapping her in a tight embrace. "It's wonderful to see you again!"
"So . . . can I finally give the big hero his long-awaited kiss?" she said playfully. "If you recall, you owe me one."
Boq blushed violently. "I . . . ugh . . . I mean--"
She didn't wait for his permission. She planted her sweet, tender lips onto his own, and Boq stiffened. But his shoulders slumped to his side, giving in to the wonderful sense of euphoria. He kissed her more passionately, truly thanking God to be back in his human body once again.
Fiyero smiled with approval. "Well, he earned it," he said.
Elphaba smiled, leaning into Fiyero's shoulder. "I'm glad he has his own happy ending."
"And what about ours?" Fiyero said, sounding rather hurt and pouting playfully.
Elphaba laughed and kissed him. "I couldn't be happier with you, my love."
"I love you, my beautiful Fae."
"I love you too, Yero, my hero."
And in the distance, church bells sung out with the happy news, ringing beautifully and harmoniously thrught the air.
So here is a riddle, to guess, if you can, sing the bells of Notre Dame. What makes a monster and what makes a man?
Sing the bells, bells, bells, bells, bells, bells, bells, bells, BELLS OF NOTRE DAME!