Elphaba Thropp trudged angrily down the hallway. It was bustling with people and Galinda had been on her nerves. She really didn't want to have to deal with anything, least of all her irritating blonde roommate. So she decided to go to one of the rehearsal rooms for the musically inclined to hide from the world and perhaps read a book. She had some studying she could do. All she knew was she could not deal with the annoying golden-haired girl trying to make her popu-u-lar.

She preferred being alone.

Upon entering the rehearsal room, she stopped abruptly at the sound of music. It was hellish but it appealed to her for some reason. She half-expected to walk into the hall to see another green-skinned person sitting at the piano, playing this discordant scream of rage, one that could only come from deformity, from ugliness, deviation from everyone else . . . from wickedness.

She entered to see a man dressed in formal black clothing, facing away from her, his hands racing up and down the keyboard of the grand piano with all the fervour and urgency of a passionate lover.

For once losing her famous nerve, she turned to leave.

The music stopped abruptly. She flinched.

"Miss Thropp, I presume?" the man at the piano said, not turning to face her. Elphaba swallowed dryly.

"And you are . . . ?"

She heard a chuckle. "Doctor Erik Destler." he said calmly. The man stood fluidly and still wouldn't look at her. "The new music teacher here at Shiz."

"It's a pleasure to meet you, Dr Destler, but . . ."

"What's it like to have green skin?"

Her anger flared in her brown eyes. "Excuse me?"

"I said . . . what's it like to have frog skin, Miss Thropp?"

"That's . . ." she fairly spluttered with her anger. How dare he?

"Because I wonder whether it's better or worse than having the face of death." At that moment he turned and Elphaba started. Half of his face was hideously deformed; the flesh was misshapen, marred, and even gone in some places. His lips were malformed and completely the wrong shape and size. The skin on the normal side of his face – and how could Elphaba Thropp of all people judge what normal was? – was exceedingly pale as if he hadn't seen the sun in years.

Her jaw dropped.

"At least your lovely skin is smooth, Elphaba."

"Dr Destler . . ."

He turned away again and when he turned back there was a white mask covering a good portion of his face, and most of his deformity, though his lips and his one eye with a white iris were still visible. Elphaba swallowed again. "Excuse me for my impertinence, Elphaba. I only wish that your . . . problem was this easy to hide." Erik gestured to the mask. She frowned.

"You get used to it." she said. "You get used to everyone asking if you ate too much grass as a child . . ."

"You get used to people asking what time the freak show starts." Erik countered quietly, remembering his painful life. He looked up at the emerald skinned girl and smiled. "Good day, Miss Thropp."

Before Elphaba could respond, the strange musician was gone.

She picked up the book she had absentmindedly dropped and a sardonic smile stretched over her viridian features. She imagined she'd get along with Dr Destler.


First, ffnet eats my story borders and I can't be bothered with Document Manager.

Second, I know that Andrew Lloyd Webber Erik does not have a last name and if he did it would not be Destler.

Third, I know nobody's reading this in all likelihood. But if someone likes it I will make it into a story. Just one or two reviews would convince me, really.

Fourth, forgive me if I get any Wicked details wrong in future.

Fifth, this is based on Idina Menzel's Elphie and Michael Crawford's Erik.