A/N: And so I poke my head into the Wicked Fanfiction community about five years late with one of those cliched "trip to the Emerald City" drabbles! But this time from Elphaba's point of view and in retrospect so it's totally justified! Bazinga!
(I wanted to stay away from this fandom. The characters are all too complex to really understand and I loved them too much to risk turning them into caricatures of themselves. Then I read around 250 posts debating whether there was any sexual undertones to the Glinda/Elphaba relationship, and next thing you know I typed up this monstrosity. Their relationship, whether you think of it as romantic or not, is fascinating.
Probably because it was two in the morning I wrote this in both first person and present tense, two things I normally avoid in fiction writing. What is this story doing on my computer.)
Her eyes are wider than I've ever seen them before and are swimming in tears. When she tries to talk, to plead, to scream, all that she manages is a croak. I am numb, I am dead already, so I don't cry. But that hurts her, so I turn and throw myself into the crowd before she can see my dry eyes and steady lip. She is alive, and beautiful, and glorious, so I don't make an offer for her to go to hell with me. I could throw my future to Southstairs, but hers is worth infinitely more and so I leave her in the carriage. I wonder if she will scream my name--she doesn't, in reality, just sits and stares into the road like a lost puppy with its heart ripped out. In the nightmare I hear her anyways.
It is my first day in the Resistance. Elphaba Thropp was given no funeral.
Fiyero is holding me when I wake with a jerk and a gasp. I tremble and try to curl myself closer against his chest, to drown myself in those glorious blue diamonds, pale against the memory of her eyes. He is not awake, the way I was with her. He does not stroke my hair or squeeze my hand tight, once, just to let me know he's there and around me. His arm is loose behind my neck, while she clenched down on me so tight I swear she left bruises, as if an inch of space would've been the death of both of us. Sometimes at night I couldn't tell where she ended and I began. She clung, and she clung, tighter when she was awake, more desperately when she was dreaming, and I didn't consider moving away. There was a need that I didn't understand then, a togetherness we survived on, those days. I think she thought herself safe with me.
She might have loved me, too, but there was too much depth in the memories, too much gray in the air, too much of a blending between myself and her to give that question a voice, much less an answer.
I don't remember much of the daytime. There was a blur, the gnawing fear as I found a carriage and negotiated the fare--I remember details were very important, but the drivers' faces and the city names and the ticket prices all fade into the creak of the wheel and the low hum of the other passengers talking. Her jacket smelled of pink and glitter, I thought, and soap. Then my eyes drifted shut and I wasn't thinking anything.
"My chin isn't cutting into you, is it?" Was the first thing I asked when my mind surfaced back to consciousness. It seemed like a valid concern at the time, half-asleep as I was--she was everything soft and fluffy and my chin flared out sharp whenever I looked into mirrors. She had me encircled with one arm, my face fit perfectly against the curve of her neck. I breathed in the merging of ourselves, not the stale country air. One of my hands was entwined with hers—I might have reached out in my sleep or she could have gripped mine as the carriage rocked, or both, it wouldn't have mattered.
She stroked her thumb across the back of my hand, slowly. "Elphie, go back to sleep."
I had a retort ready, but it drowned in clean warm motion soft and my mind faded to gray.
I can no longer afford to be tired in public places, and my sleep is rarely so merciful and dreamless. I kiss Fiyero's neck, gently, trying to absorb the blue into myself as some cheap substitute for a soul (it's really so much paler than her eyes) and slip out of his arms. The Vinkus scarf is beautiful, really, but not exactly practical as a nightgown this close to Lurlinemas. I cross my arms over my chest. I feel fragile even to myself.
The window is patterned yellow with grime. I left it that way for weeks with a muttered "At least nobody can look inside." I scrub against the dirt with my bare hand until I can see a patch of blackness through the glass. The roofs are dim gray, the sky dotted with stars. Cold and distant as stars always are. My hand is streaked an olive brown in the light.
I wonder if she is looking at the same stars, too.
I wonder if she is crying.
I wonder if she is thinking.
I wonder if she hates me.
"Fae?" Fiyero asks. It comes out a groan. What he means is 'Elphaba, are you alright? Are you hungry? Are you angry? Give up this life, please, please. Go back to living, leave the Resistance. Please. Stop staring out the window and just go outside.'
"Glinda's unhappy, isn't she?" Is my answer. He is silent for a second too long, then grumbles something unintelligible and rolls onto his side just as my breath catches. But I don't let myself wonder. He would have told me. Surely.
"Do you think that I should have stayed, Yero?" I ask and my voice sounds tinny against the stars outside. No matter, no matter, it's over and you can never go back. But I need to hear--something--so that my chest doesn't go completely numb or eyes overflow.
"I don't think there is a 'should' or a 'shouldn't have'." He said, after a long pause. "You don't just muddle through day to day, you choose your own life, and whatever happens is above 'should' and 'shouldn't have' because you've chosen and done it so powerfully." He looks at me and grins, apologetically. The silver light makes his diamonds throb with color, his teeth glint, his chest stronger than any pillar.
I laugh, or sob, and throw myself against him, kissing any part of him, stroking his face, his chest. I do not want to remember how much of myself I lost in her, or how much of herself ended up in me, and how she is not here, so I bury away the past in him, and it works, for awhile.