"If you should see her, tell her I miss her, still."
The warm hug from her friend was what confirmed it- the sweet smell of the coconut oil she used to keep herself clean, the vague earthy, floral undertone. Elphaba's very essence had managed to cling to him, his hair and his clothes. She knew Fiyero would never admit it, but he might as well have. How long had they been lovers? Probably no more than a few weeks- Elphaba was so passionate about everything, the energy of her love would probably be enough to kill someone in large doses, and Glinda couldn't imagine Fiyero spending too much time away from his tribe and family, anyway.
Somehow, the knowledge that the love affair was more than likely temporary did not make Glinda feel any better.
Yes, she wanted Elphaba to be happy, and there was surely a level of happiness that could only really be reached by being wrapped in the arms of a lover. She wanted her Elphaba to have any happiness she could- but that was it- in her head, Elphaba had always been her Elphaba. No one else's and certainly not Fiyero's.
And it wasn't that she had anything against Fiyero. A handsome, good, thoughtful man. He was as good as any she knew. But still, part of her wanted to hate him, because he got to have what she wanted, what she had spent five years wanting, needing, fantasizing about. He got to have Elphaba, he got to be the one to finally soothe her, he got to be the one she trusted, he got to be the one in her arms, bed, life. He got everything Glinda had wanted, but pretended she didn't for years. Had Fiyero spent a year and a half living with the enigma that was Elphaba, trying to make sense of her? Had Fiyero slowly realized he was in love with her, but couldn't be? Had Fiyero been left alone in the cold Emerald City, heartbroken? Had Fiyero spent years picking up the pieces of his heart, how one might pick up the wreckage of a house after a tornado?
And, after he finally healed, did Fiyero have her thrown in his face again, realizing someone else had exactly what he'd wanted.
No, he hadn't. He'd briefly known Elphaba, so briefly that one might not even call their Shiz relationship a friendship. He'd expressed concern about her when he heard she had run away, but no more concern than Crope, or Avaric, or Milla. He never had crawled into the bed she should have been sleeping in, in the middle of the night, crying, wondering if the girl was even alive or not.
It wasn't the first time, no far from the first time, Glinda regretted never telling Elphaba the truth, never told her she loved her, kissed her, held her. She'd been frozen by dread, society obligations, and a general fear of rejection. So she'd given up a chance at happiness both for herself and her Elphaba. Now, it seemed Elphaba had found it without her. It was hard for her to remember that she was supposed to be happy for her best friend, first and foremost. She could've taken her chance, but hadn't.
So she arrainged her face into a smile, even though she knew Fiyero could see right through it, controlled her voice, and said a fraction of what she wanted to, needed to. "If you should see her, tell her I miss her still."