Disclaimer: Unfortunately, I don't own Wicked- Gregory Maguire does, but I may 'borrow' his characters every once in a while….

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Scratch

It was a little scarlet line, no not even that. A scratch maybe. A slight tear in the outer layer of skin just above Glinda's knee. Just below the hem of the pale nightgown she had worn. A little imperfection, a tiny blemish. This aberration on an otherwise flawless sleeping figure intrigued the gaze of the Witch

(for that's what she was now, just, 'the Witch'- the word 'witch', as separate from 'sorceress', in Oz, seemed now to carry with it a train of other adjectives: terrorist, criminal, sinful, wicked- so there really was no need to elaborate any further- the Witch felt slightly proud, to have had such an impact on the Ozian language).

But this tiny scratch on Glinda's knee. This was something to think about. A mind which had stood out among the most ambitious in Shiz, which had delved into the nature of good and evil, which had overhauled the greatest power in Oz, was now fixated by this. By nothing, a little wisp, a tissue, a whisper. A scratch.

-

Plans fall apart. Minds fall apart. Scarecrows fall apart. So do people. And we are left with unsent letters, half-formed ideas, bundles of hay, and scratches. But maybe we can use this. What if the letters can be used for something else? Bandages, to cover the scratch. And they almost fit, too. The hay will form a bed, something soft to lie on while the ideas morph into dreams.

-

And so Glinda dreams. Her dreams are filled with Animals, and they all speak with the voice of a Goat. They tell her that something bad has happened, not to them, to her, but now that it has, nothing can prevent it. 'What is 'it'?' Glinda asks, already knowing the answer. They reply that they don't know, they have already forgotten, but did you hear the news about those two dead witches? No? Come and eat the grass with us. And there is grass, in a meadow, in the meadow there are the Animals. Some of them are animals. And them there is something else, in the middle of the group, obscured by the others, sitting in the grass, the colour of the grass…the dream fades.

-

The Witch used to be a young girl, a young girl who dreamt of an exciting future, of having an impact on her surroundings, and occasionally (very occasionally), of love. She thought she would achieve all three of these (except, possibly, the last) and she did. Not the way she had planned. Fate may be sick and twisted, but she didn't believe in fate, so she couldn't blame that. She could, however, blame herself, people, the world. Elphaba Thropp had been a rational, intelligent and thinking young woman. The Witch, however, was becoming more and more reckless. In hiding for a year now, it had been almost as long since she had conversed with a single, conscious being other than a winged monkey. This evening, that might change.

-

Galinda of the Arduennas. Glinda. Glinda the Good. What were these names? Who were these people. Surely they couldn't be the same. Glinda by now was convinced that on her gravestone, there would be three names.

-

Oz was in order. Placated by continuous, smiling, singing, reassuring public appearances, the land was now gaining some sort of structure. An order. For there was an order, first the waving, then the smiling, then the singing- the words were meaningless, the meaning came from the ritual of it. It didn't really matter anymore, what you said, you just had to say it.

No, it did matter, the words did matter, to Oz at least. Glinda, however, cared little for what she said nowadays, it was all avoidance. Lies. Oz needed a public figure, someone to steer it in the right direction, and she had somehow ended up with the position. In truth, Glinda no longer cared. But still, she did what she needed to do in order to keep up appearances, to look like she knew what she was doing. But politics and people seemed to increasingly fade in comparison to the gaping hole that had been torn into the fabric of the universe a little over a year before this evening.

The gap bled into her eyes. Profusely at first, but now only on rare occasions. It stung, now. Like trying to scratch away dried blood.

Glinda looked at the reflection in the mirror, brushed her hair, and put on a nightgown. When in doubt, sleep.

-

The Witch had travelled to the Wizard's palace. She had not come to see the Wizard, he was gone now, she had come to see someone real. Someone who knew her, someone who she had a little faith in. Someone who probably had no faith in her. The Witch had come to break her silence. To break her mask. To find someone who could tell her her name. The Witch was too unfeeling. Masks cannot feel- the people beneath them do. The person beneath the Witch felt guilty, felt hopeful, and also felt deeply concerned about what she had left behind her.

The Witch took a careful and unassailed journey though the palace grounds, (guards are generally unsuspecting of visitors on broomsticks) and came upon the window she was looking for (she had been here once before in order to discern which room she was). Emerald fingers nimbly lifted the window open (it was unlocked), and the raven-haired figure slipped in.

-

A scratch. The Witch had found what she had been looking for. The blond curls, the white skin, the soft breathing. She had always loved to watch Glinda sleep, and the Witch was in no hurry to wake her. Moonlight filtered through the window, illuminating the sleeping sorceress. The Witch sat carefully on the side of Glinda's bed, studying the sight before her. It was a sight, which she was now beginning to realise more than ever before, that she had missed.

A whole years worth of night's observation missed, the Witch now tried to compensate. No little flicker of an eyelash, no slight rise in the chest, no little exhaled breath went unnoticed. The Witch felt slightly comforted, maybe she had been less neglectful than she thought, perhaps Glinda really was doing perfectly fine- she was a beautiful as ever, just as peaceful as she was all that time ago when the Elphaba Thropp had watched her sleep in their dormitory at Shiz.

But then she noticed the scratch. It seemed an innocent looking thing at first, just a little detail, a minuscule fleck. The Witch wondered at its source. And then it crept up on her. An overwhelming sense of horror, of guilt, of the weight of what she had left behind her. Scratches hurt, even little ones. She suddenly began to notice how thin the blond woman had become, how small, how defenceless she looked. The Witch half wanted to climb in with her, put her arms around her, protect her from Oz, from the world, even from little scratches; but she also wanted to flee. But she knew she couldn't do either. Glinda looked tired, even in sleep, and probably couldn't afford to be woken. Nor could the Witch find it in her to shift from the bedside where her feet seemed to be rooted into position.

So the Witch sat there, on the bed, content just to observe, but could not quite keep from brushing a green finger lightly over the tiny wound. Glinda shifted slightly, the Witch pulled her hand away, hoping she hadn't woken the sleeping sorceress.

-

Glinda shifted slightly, and gradually becoming aware of consciousness. It couldn't be morning already, could it? Another day filled with appearances and people, but not the people she wanted to see. Still half asleep, Glinda opened her eyes, the room was still dark, and she could just discern a figure, a familiar figure, sitting on the edge of her bed.

"Elphie?"

And with those two syllables, questioned in sleepy disbelief, the two women resumed existence.

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A/N: So, this was basically written without the intention of anyone actually reading it, at about one o'clock in the morning, and without reading it over to fix things. But I decided to subject you all to this torturous torture anyway and post it, I hope its not too horrendous (it's the first thing I've ever written for Wicked and I'm not really sure whether I've gotten the characters right or not), feedback/constructive criticism is appreciated,

(this was written just to be a one-shot, but if anyone likes it, I might consider extending it)

Thanks,

ObsessiveLittleGirl