Chapter 50: Our Days
Elphaba held up her hands to show she wasn't going to fight back. She was more worried that Marillot was going to turn on Glinda or the babies if she didn't comply.
"Leave Elphaba alone!" Glinda shouted, for she feared Marillot was going to pull the trigger any second now.
"Glinda, my sweet, please try to stay calm," E. Thropp answered in a very soothing voice. The heiress was shocked that Elphaba could remain so composed with a loaded gun pointing at her head.
"You're going to pay for what you have done E. Thropp. If you're lucky you even might escape the death penalty." Baxiana added, as she stood next to her husband. "I can't make any promises. Stealing someone's future wife is a serious crime."
Just then Fiyero came into sights. When he saw what was happening he raced over at top speed. "Now just wait a tick tock," Fiyero interjected, as he stood between E. Thropp and his parents. "Elphaba has done nothing wrong. Glinda never desired to marry me…ever, and she shouldn't be forced into anything she doesn't want. Besides, I don't even want to marry Glinda anymore because I don't want to marry someone who doesn't love me. What kind of a relationship is that?"
"Son, don't speak such nonsense," Baxiana replied, in shock, as she tried to silence her son. "Don't be so brainless."
"Just think what this marriage will do for our family!" Marillot added, in a whisper, as he lowered his gun, wrapped an arm around Fiyero's shoulder, so no one else could hear. "We will inherit such honor and wealth for our family name! Can't you understand that?"
Fiyero frowned and pushed his father's arm from his shoulder. "Marriage is not about gaining power or wealth. It's not about producing heirs or securing high status. Marriage is committing yourself to one person for the rest of your life because you love them. It's about two people, any two people coming together in love. Elphaba and Glinda showed me that through their intense and selfless love for one another."
"You are throwing away an opportunity of a lifetime! Glinda's just confused. I mean, come on, she's claiming she's in love with a green skinned female bounty-hunter!" Marillot exclaimed as he gazed at Elphaba in disgust.
"I'm not confused!" Glinda spat as passed the babies off to her parents and grasped E. Thropp's hand tenderly. "I've never been so sure of anything in my life. I'm sorry Master and Lady Tiggular. I don't love your son, Fiyero, and I don't want to marry him. I never did. E. Thropp is the most wonderful and caring person I have ever met. I just wish you could see that."
Marillot's eyes just hardened as he pointed the gun back in Elphaba's direction. "Well let's just see if you feel the same way when there's a bullet-hole in that pretty face you love so much." Glinda immediately stood in front of Elphaba, to shield her, just in case Marillot did fire. "Move Glinda! Move right now!"
"No!" The heiress shouted.
"I want to finish this!" Marillot bellowed in an almost ground shaking tone.
E. Thropp then locked eyes with the rage filled man. "You want to finish this? Well let's finish this like honorable people. You and I participate in a showdown…a shoot-out duel."
Marillot snickered as he lowered his weapon as he considered this option. Marillot then nodded his head to show he liked the idea of a shoot-out. "I fancy the sound of that. I'll be more than happy to show you who the true gunslinger is. This suggestion will lead to your funeral green one. No man, much less a woman, has ever beaten me at a contest of irons. Once you're dead my son Fiyero can be with Glinda again, and all will be right in the world."
"Stop rambling and let's get this over with," Elphaba demanded.
Marillot nodded his head vigorously. "Yes let's, the sooner you're dead the better. You have caused too much trouble as it is. And just think what honor it will bring me when I kill you fair and square."
Glinda gripped Elphaba around the shoulders in a vice grip. "Don't do this, Elphie, please there has to be another way."
"Fear not, my sweet," E. Thropp answered gently as she kissed the Upland heiress to try to settle her heart. Glinda kissed her hero back and only parted when Mr. Tiggular cleared his throat in an irritated manner.
"Get your lips off my son's wife," Marillot growled.
Glinda scoffed at this remark and only pulled Elphaba's head down again so they could share another kiss. The heiress made sure this one was even more passion driven. After they parted Elphaba cupped her wife's face before whispering, "I love you."
Glinda could feel her heart melting at just words as she replied, "I love you too, Elphie."
Once E. Thropp's gaze left Glinda her expression quickly changed as she eyed Marillot who was tapping his boot against the ground impatiently.
Fiyero raced over to Elphaba and whispered, "Be warn, my father is quite good at duels. I mean he has survived this long, so I can't imagine he can't be that poor at it."
"Thanks for the concern. I'll be mindful," E. Thropp answered as Highmuster went over the rules of the duel.
"You will both stand back to back and take ten steps forward. At the count of ten you will be able to turn around and fire your guns. You may shoot to kill or shoot to wound. It's your choice. You will only get one shot and who ever hits first or the closest will win. Both parties understand?" Elphaba and Marillot each nodded their heads to show they understood what was told to them. "Then let's begin."
E. Thropp and Marillot both stood back to back. Highmuster made sure they only had one bullet in their gun of choice before doing the count off. "One! Two! Three!"
The air was thick with tension and pressure. Glinda could feel her heart pounding in her chest with great force. She was confident in her green love but she also feared E. Thropp losing. They didn't battle such foes and complete such difficult tasks to be parted now.
"Four! Five Six!" Highmuster continued in a thunderous voice.
Elphaba's hand lingered over her holster where her gun laid. Her fingers flexed ever so slightly each count was sound off.
"Seven! Eight! Nine!"
At the count of nine however Marillot whirled around and fired his gun. Almost like she knew he was going to cheat, E. Thropp tucked and rolled, missing the bullet that was aimed at her head. Marillot had a look of utter shock that the emerald gunslinger had evaded his shot.
"Well, well, Marillot, no wonder you're so good at duels. You CHEAT," Elphaba snarled, as stood up, faced him, and twirled her Colt Peacemaker once to show she still had her bullet left to fire.
"I don't know…what you are talking about," Marillot blurted out. "I could have sworn Mr. Upland had said ten."
"Easy argument to make if I was shot and killed by that bullet," Elphaba growled as she took careful aim with her gun.
Marillot gulped from pure fear when he noticed the emerald bounty-hunter was going to fire her weapon. After making sure she had her target, E. Thropp let her finger pull the trigger. Marillot gave a yelp and everyone assumed that he had been shot. He cradled his right hand but after quick observation it was clear he hadn't been shot at all. Elphaba had merely shot the gun from his hand with amazing accuracy.
"You lose Marillot," E. Thropp replied in a bone-chilling tone. She did this to show Mr. Tiggular that next time he crossed her she might not be so tolerable.
"Better luck next time Pops," Fiyero answered as he patted his father a little too hard on the back. He wouldn't say it out loud, but he was overjoyed his father had lost the duel. One could see Fiyero's smile growing when he noticed the heiress was racing over to E. Thropp's side.
Glinda wasted no time running into Elphaba's arms and giving her kiss on the lips to say congratulations.
"Oh Elphie you were brilliant," Glinda cooed in a breathless tone. Seeing Elphaba do things like that scared her but also made her weak in the knees.
"You were brilliant indeed, now… if everyone can come over here for a tick tock!" Highmuster shouted as he motioned with hands for them to gather. "I have an important announcement to make," Highmuster declared, as he held onto the coat of his suit and cleared his throat. "Today the Mrs. and I will be signing two new names on to the deed of this property. Well plain and simple, E. Thropp and Glinda will inherit this ranch. One day this ranch will be yours, so you can enjoy it as long as you both shall live with your little ones."
"Oh Popsical! Oh Momise! That is such exciting news!" Glinda yelped in pure delight. "Thank you ever so much. It makes me so happy to know you can see how good E. Thropp really is." Glinda then turned her attention to Elphaba. "Oh Elphie, we are finally home. There's no place like home especially when my home is you. Oh we must celebrate!"
"And what do you suggest?" Elphaba asked as one of her eyebrows rose in a curious manner.
"We can go shopping!" Glinda declared in a sing-song voice. "I did win the bet after all."
Elphaba could only shake her head, for that wasn't the celebration she had in mind, but she had a slight grin upon her face as she whispered, "Ozma give me strength."
…X…A Few Months Later….X…
Back at the ranch, a few months later, Elphaba and Glinda were pretty much all settled. They had finally worked out a routine with their little babies and everyone was adjusting well to their new lives at the ranch.
However today a special day, for it was Glinda's birthday and Elphaba had still her gift to give to her wife.
"Oh, Glinda, I have your birthday present," E. Thropp called, and the blonde raced around the corner in record speed. The emerald gunslinger couldn't fathom how she moved so fast with that outlandish dress on.
The blonde woman snatched the box from Elphaba's hands and bounced up and down in a thrilled fashion.
"Oh Elphie, darling, you shouldn't have," Glinda mused; as she shook the box and tried to figure out what it could be based only on sound.
"Yes, I did or you would have been cross with me," E. Thropp replied with a cackle, as she sat Nor on her lap. Liir, in turn, shrieked in delight, as he rolled on the rug in glee.
Glinda ripped the paper off her gift and threw the top of the box over her shoulder with one smooth move. Liir found amusement by poking at the colorfully paper that fell close to him.
But Glinda soon noticed there was no item in the box expect for a piece of paper. "Elphie, did you forget to wrap my gift? I say this because there is only a piece of paper in here."
"Read the paper my sweet," Elphaba answered, as she nodded to the piece of paper.
"It's a receipt," the blonde woman replied and began to examine what it said.
E. Thropp quickly placed Nor next to her brother because Elphaba knew, within moments, her blonde wife would be leaping into her arms with excitement. Right on cue, Glinda let out a girly scream and flew into E. Thropp's arms. She then proceeded to kiss her green love a dozen times on the face.
Glinda sat upon of Elphaba's lap as she spoke, "Elphie! I can't believe it! You signed me up and paid for three classes at Shiz University! You lovely, dashing, considerate woman you! Does this mean what I think it means?"
Elphaba nodded. "This time next month, you'll be attending Shiz University. You need not worry about the babies. Your parents said that would help look after the little ones."
"Oh, Elphie, I love you so much!" Glinda answered, as she gazed lovingly into the green gunslinger's eyes.
"I love you too, my sweet," E. Thropp returned before closing the gap between them and kissing her wife with a gentle passion. Liir and Nor clapped their hands together almost like they were cheering on their parents.
"Elphie, what a grand gift for you to get me," Glinda said once they parted from the kiss. "Once again E. Thropp you make my dreams come true."
The next month came faster than Glinda could imagine and before she knew it the Upland daughter had stepped out from her stagecoach and onto Shiz University grounds.
She was excited but also very worried. This was a very new experience for her. She wondered how the other students would treat her. Since she was a woman in a man's world, Glinda pondered how she would be perceived. There were some women who went to Shiz but their numbers were few.
As the heiress walked by a group of young men one whispered under his breath, "Another woman where she's not supposed to be."
"Says you," Glinda retorted right to his face with no fear.
The young man eyes widen in shock at being called out on his words. "I'm not the only one who thinks that way," he barked angrily. "Now go back to the kitchen where you belong."
"And you go back to shutting the hell up," a strong voice came from behind. Glinda's eyes lit up like shooting stars when she peered behind her shoulder to see a familiar emerald face. "Do you have anything else you would like to say?" The hard look Elphaba was giving the young man quickly put him in his place.
"Nothing… I ain't going to talk anymore," The young man assured the green bounty-hunter as he raced off with his friends following close behind like scared dogs with their tails between their legs.
"Elphie, my love, you're here!" Glinda exclaimed as she wrapped her arms around Elphaba's neck. "But why?"
"I deiced to take classes here too."
"Really?" Glinda asked in shock.
E. Thropp gave her wife a signature sly grin. "Yes, I'm taking the same classes you are. We're going to Shiz University together. Your parents said they would help with the babies. So we'll go to Shiz in the morning and head back to the ranch in the evening."
"Oh Elphie!" Glinda threw herself into the green woman's arms. She was beyond joyful at the news. "I couldn't be happier right now."
E. Thropp grinned as she held out her arm for Glinda to take, "You ready, my lady?"
"You better believe it," Glinda answered, as she linked arms with the emerald bounty-hunter and the two started to leisurely stroll towards the buildings of the Shiz University.
As they grew closer the two women could hear a chorus of students as they sang in the background, "Oh hallowed halls and vine drapped walls. The proudliest sight there is. When grey and sere our hair hald turned we shall still revere the lessons learned in our days at dear old Shiz. Our days at dear old… dear old Shiz-zzzz."
Author's note: Thank you to all for reading and for reviewing. It was a very fun story to write and I'm proud how it came out.