AN: I know I promised to have this up yesterday, but I wanted to try to make it as long as possible to make up for my long absence! Oh, my trio of friends who are in this insane adventure of a story with me, you all sound so beautiful in the descriptions you sent me and I wish so badly we could meet in real life! When Linda told me she's Asian, I got this picture of Tina from Glee in my head and I was like, "WTF? What does Tina have to do with Linda?" *giggles* In case you couldn't tell last chapter, I watched CATS recently, and I also watched Into the Woods, and now Lin and I are having an ongoing discussion about Bernadette Peters and how she looks like Helena Bonham Carter's identical twin! Does anybody else agree with us? I mean, I swear to god, just look at the woman and TELL me she does not look EXACTLY like Helena! IT IS RIDICULOUS! Oh, look at me, I'm rambling again! I guess I better stop, huh?
Maggie & the Gang
As the quartet of girls reached the top of the steps and approached the door, a female voice from inside the shadows of a nearby pillar spoke, startling them.
"So, I see you finally decided to show up," the voice said, dripping with sarcasm. "About time. We were beginning to think that either you'd bailed on us, or you were just playing some stupid teenage prank or something."
"Not all teenagers are into that stuff, you know," Linda said. "Take us for example. We prefer sitting around, writing fic all day for no reason other than we just can."
"Yeah," Rylee agreed. "If it weren't for the teenagers like us, your fandom would be basically non-existent," she said, shrugging. The others nodded.
"So you could at least have a bit of respect and treat us like we're mature." Linda said. "Which we are," Maggie added. Then the four paused and looked at each other. "Well...for the most part..." she corrected herself.
"Mature enough?" Bree suggested.
"Mature enough to at least get our homework done in time to turn in?" Linda asked. "Yeah, let's go with that."
"Oh, for the love of..." the voice said, groaning. "Do you four ever shut up?" The girls looked at each other, then back towards the voice.
"No," they chorused.
A feminine shape in a black hooded cloak emerged from the pillar's shadow. "Of course not," the figure said, raising its arms to lower the hood of the cloak.
"Because you don't have enough common sense!"
The girls found themselves looking at the face of a rather irritated Elphaba Thropp. For a moment, they just stood there, watching each other.
"Did you bring the stuff?" Maggie asked.
Elphaba sighed and gave a characteristic eyeroll. "Oz," she muttered to herself, "attention span of a-Yes, I brought it!" she said.
"Did you bring the people?"
"Oh, for the love of-"
"Here we are!" another female voice said, this one much cheerier and bubblier (no pun intended...or is it? *creepy music/lightning flash*)
Another feminine shape came skipping happily out of the shadows, this one already with her hood down, blonde curls bouncing. Glinda. "Hi, girls!" she said brightly, waving at the quartet. "Hi, Glinda!" Maggie said as she waved back.
"I think she pulled my arm out of my socket," Fiyero said. Glinda had dragged him out of the shadows along with her, and they all knew that despite her small size, she was not one to be messed with.
Maggie and Bree wouldn't have been surprised if Fiyero turned out to be right.
Speaking of Maggie, she nodded. "Great" she said. "So, we all know the plan, right?"
"Right," everyone said.
"Good. Let's go sneak around back so we can change into our costumes without being seen." Elphaba nodded.
So they all snuck around back.
Inside Carlotta Gudiccelli's dressing room...wait a minute...O_o ...Oh, god...*faints*
"I have already told you thees! 'Ow many times must-a I say eet? I do not want-a zat leet-el tod to be on-a ze stage weeth me!" a woman yelled in a combination of a really bad French accent and an even worse (if that was even possible) Italian accent, resulting in one big accent of blegh!
In their shared hiding spot, Maggie and Bree were wide-eyed. "Wow," Bree whispered to Maggie. "When I suggested we annoy her, I knew she'd be bad, but not this bad!"
"Beware the Gudiccelli, my pretty," Maggie replied, "beware the Gudiccelli."
"And you two!" Carlotta snapped, whirling on them. They were disguised as a pair of maids/handmaidens/ladies-in-waiting/whatever term Carlotta used for the women who followed her around and tended to her every whim.
Their eyes got even wider, which they didn't think was possible.
"You two are-a useless! What are you-a doing, just-a standeeng zere like zat-a? Geet to work, now! You go and bring-a me my doggies!" she snapped at Maggie.
"You," she said, pointing to Bree as Maggie rushed off to find Carlotta's "doggies."
"Bring me sometheeng to drink-a!" she yelled, rolling the "r" in "bring."
As Bree left to find Carlotta something to drink, a smile slowly spread over her face. This was perfect! Carlotta had just given her the perfect opportunity to play their first prank and didn't even know it!
"She's practically handing it to us on a silver platter!" Bree thought excitedly as she turned a corner.
"I can't believe she's actually that stupid! She didn't even give us a second glance! Then again, she probably doesn't pay much attention to what every single one of her handmaidens or whatever they are look like. She is Carlotta, after all. But still! This unbelievable! We were actually able to pass ourselves off as two of those girls and nobody even did a double take at either one of us! This is incredible! Oh, this'll be fun! And maybe even easier than I thought..."
Meanwhile, in a seemingly random underground cave beneath the Opera House...
"I just don't get why I have to be the dumb phantom!" Fiyero complained for at least the tenth time while Glinda worked on applying stage make-up to one half of his face and Linda wandered around trying to find something that was crucial for the plan to work.
"Because," Linda said irritably as she dug through the contents of an old trunk she'd found. "You're the only guy here! It's called Phantom of the Opera for a reason, Fiyero! If the Phantom was a girl, then not only would Raoul have to be one, too, but that means that Christine would have to be a dude! All their names would have to be totally changed! Plus, Phantom of the Opera just sounds way better than Phantomess of the Opera, don'tchya think? Also, having two girls fight over a guy just doesn't really have the same effect as two guys fighting over a girl. People aren't as interested and the story's just not very good, period."
Fiyero scrunched up his face. "Genderbending?" he said. "Ew! No way!"
"Exactly," Linda said, closing the trunk as she stood up.
"Fiyero, stop that! Get that look off your face, it's making me screw up!" Glinda demanded. Fearing for his real face, he obeyed.
"I've never understood the whole appeal of that genderbending thing," Fiyero commented, closing his eyes in order to allow Glinda easier access to the back of his eyelid.
"Yeah, me neither," Linda replied as she looked underneath a small table.
"What's even the point?" he asked. Linda shrugged, then remembered his eyes were closed and he couldn't see her. "Not sure. Same as other stuff like that, I guess."
"You mean Mary Sues?"
"Pretty much, yeah. Maggie's not a big fan of it, either. Never writes about it, totally avoids reading anything involving it...It's sort of like...Well, y'know how she gets about Gloq and Gelphie and basically any pairing that isn't either Bessa or Fiyeraba?"
"Pretty much the same thing, only instead of just plain horrified, she gets horrified and a really awkward feeling."
"I don't blame her."
"Amen to that, bruthuh." Linda said, holding out her fist for a knuckle touch now that Fiyero's eyes were open. He grinned (but not so much that Glinda started complaining she was messing up his make-up) and bumped his fist with hers.
"Done!" Glinda said as she straightened up, make-up compact in hand. "Is that what we needed, or should I do some experimenting and see what else I can come up with?" she asked, turning to Linda for approval.
The young fan fic writer stood in front of Fiyero and examined his face. "No," she replied, shaking her head as a smile slowly began to spread over her own face.
She crossed her arms and put on hand on her chin thoughtfully.
"No, this is...this is fantastic, it's perfect..." She started nodding. "Oh yeah," she said, "this is gonna work..." She trailed off, biting the corner of her lower lip, a wry smile on her face.
Meanwhile, somewhere else in the Opera House...
Maggie had changed out of her handmaiden/whatever those chicks were costume and was back in her regular clothes yet again. She took off her grey Abercrombie zip up hoodie and tied it around her waist, a ponytail holder clenched between her teeth.
She grabbed the ponytail holder and pulled her hair into a low ponytail that began at the nape of her neck and looked over her shoulder at Rylee and Elphaba.
"Ready?" she said in a voice that was half-whisper. "Ready," the other two said. "'Kay. Just listen and wait for the cue." They nodded. Maggie turned her attention back to the stage below her.
They were in what was basically a crawlspace directly above the stage, just behind the top of the curtains and underneath the catwalk.
Maggie was fully aware of the fact that the dangerously high up wooden catwalk above her was the same place that Joseph Bouque-or however his name was spelled (she never was entirely sure)-had been killed.
As she watched everything happening on the stage, she thought of what Joseph had said the day a background had fallen on top of Carlotta, resulting in Christine taking the lead role in that night's opera and setting off the chain of events that had ended with 'the Great Disaster.'
"But if there is...Well then...Musta been a ghost..."
Musta been a ghost. Those were the words that echoed in Maggie's head, repeating themselves over and over like a broken record, as she watched the action below her.
She sighed quietly. "Keep your hand at the level of your eye..." she whispered softly to herself, low enough that neither Elphaba nor Rylee heard.
Bree, however, was another story.
By some strange coincidence, the last words had left Maggie's lips just as Elphaba was leaving to go to her next post and Bree was coming up to join the other two girls for the next part of their plan.
And Bree heard.
Crawling on her hands and knees (it was a surprisingly small crawlspace, preventing them from standing up to their full height without hitting their heads on the ceiling), Bree settled herself down next to Maggie.
"What was that?" she whispered, pushing some of her tangled blonde hair out of her eyes. Maggie's eyes darted quickly from the stage to Bree and back. "Huh? Oh, um, nothing."
Bree smiled. "It's not 'nothing,' Mags. It's never just 'nothing.' Not with you." Maggie returned the smile. "You know me too well," she whispered.
"I'll tell you later. After this." she said finally, nodding to everything beneath them. Bree nodded and both girls distracted themselves with watching the stage and waiting for their cue.
Finally, after what felt like ages, it came.
Carlotta was almost directly below them in down center.
The perfect position.
Rylee, who had been sitting against the wall doodling on her shoes and jeans with a sharpie that-by some strange but very convenient coincidence-she'd found in her pocket, looked up when she heard Carlotta sing/say a specific word.
She put the cap back on the sharpie and shoved it back into the pocked she'd found it hiding in and scramble-crawled as quickly and quietly as she could manage over to her friends.
"Did she say it?" Rylee asked. She'd thought she'd heard correctly, but wasn't sure because of not only Carlotta's insane accent, but also her terrible singing.
Maggie nodded. "That was it." She grabbed a walkie-talkie sitting on the ground next to her knee. She spoke into with a thick country accent. "Breaker, breaker, one-nine, talk to me, come on."
She held it so that they could all hear the response. At first they got nothing but static, but then, a voice crackled over the white noise in reply. "Cop-" it said. They recognized the voice as Linda's.
"-in position...-ive the...-ime yet?" Linda said, the static cutting her off frequently, telling them that either reception in the Populaire was (impossibly) worse than Carlotta's singing, or one of the walkie-talkies was on the wrong channel.
"Linda," Maggie said into it, "Linda what channel is your LBD on?"
"LBD" stood for "Little Baby Droid," which was their coded way of saying "walkie-talkie."
"Uh..." Linda replied. "Le...-check..."
After a moment, they heard more static, followed by some crackling and a few thumps, then Linda's voice came through the speaker clear and unhindered by anything.
"Sorry," she said, "Fiyero or Glinda must've gotten to it while I had my back turned and accidentally changed the channel. Won't happen again. Is it time, did she say it?"
"Yeah, just now. You guys ready?"
"We thought you'd never ask!"
"Awesome! Commence operation 'Colorful Carlotta' in T-minus sixty seconds. Go."
Bree pushed a button on the stopwatch hanging around her neck while Maggie and Rylee turned around to get something.
Each girl had a can of paint, and Maggie had an extra, which she handed to Bree. She held out her hand to Rylee, who placed a pair of can openers in it, then pulled out her own. Maggie gave one of them to Bree.
They jabbed the blades of the can openers into the lids and started sawing through. Rylee was the first to pry hers open, revealing fresh, glistening neon pink paint inside. "Sweet," she whispered. "It matches my shoes...sort of," she tacked on, glancing at her neon green (not pink) pair of Converse shoes. Grinning mischievously, Maggie nodded. "Exactly." she said.
Bree got hers open next. She grinned broadly at the neon orange paint inside. "Maggie," she whispered, "are we gonna do what I think we're gonna do?"
"Oh yeah," Maggie said, yanking her own can open and showing off yet another neon color; yellow.
"They look like highlighters," Rylee said. "I know," Maggie replied.
"Alpha to Omega, come in Omega, do you copy?" Linda's voice asked from the LBD. Bree grabbed it. "Linda," she whispered into it. "We already agreed not to use those codenames! Remember?"
"Yeah, but I just like saying it." Maggie and Bree rolled their eyes and looked at each other. Eventually, Maggie held her hand out and Bree placed the walkie-talkie in her palm.
"Linda," she said, "be serious here. Is Fiyero in position?"
"We all are, We've been in position for the last thirty minutes."
"Does he know his lines?"
"Yes, he knows his lines. We just went over them for what has to be the fifteenth time."
"Good. All systems go in five...four...three...two..."
The stopwatch went off. It beeped for ten seconds, then fell silent.
"Come on, come on..." Maggie whispered so softly that she could barely even hear herself.
There was a pause in the action below-for suspenseful effect to the storyline of the opera being performed-and the crowd seemed to be holding its breath.
Everything was dead silent.
Then it came.
"WHERE ARE MY TWENTY THOUSAND FRANCS?"
Fiyero's voice echoed through out the entire theater, amplified by the microphone attached to the collar of his shirt and the speakers the group had hidden all around the room, mounted in high up, virtually unreachable places.
...unless you had a flying broom...
...and magic bubble.
"CARLOTTA GUDICCELLI," he said, "YOU MUST PAY THE PRICE!"
The smiles on the girls' faces were slowly growing with each passing moment.
"WHAT-A ARE YOU TALKEENG ABOUT-A?" Carlotta yelled. "I DO NOT-A 'AVE TWEN-TEE THOUSAND-A FRANCS!"
"THEN YOU MUST SUFFER THE CONSEQUENCES!"
"Now!" Maggie whispered.
Carlotta was cut off abruptly by a full gallon of neon paint falling from above...
...and onto her...
...covering her from head to toe in bright.
Carlotta screamed at the top of her lungs.
Maggie turned to Bree.
"Happy birthday, Bree."
AN: Happy birthday, Bree. I know I'm a few days late, but happy birthday. I hope you like this chapter. Want me to keep going, or is this enough? :)
Kudos to anyone who can guess what Linda was looking for that was "crucial for the plan to work" while she and Fiyero were talking during his transformation into the Phantom! Hint: "Masquerade! Paper faces on parade! Masquerade! Hide your face so the world will never find you!" First person to guess gets some sort of prize, but I'm not sure what yet. Promise it'll be good though! Not to brag or anything, but I'm really creative with all sorts of crap, I'm sure I can come up with something.
Maggie & the Gang
Disclaimer: Me, Linda, Rylee, & Bree: HEY CARLOTTA!
Carlotta: WHAT DO YOU WANT-A?
Linda: Do I own you?
Me: Wait a second, why would anybody actually WANT to own Carlotta?
Bree: Yeah, she's loud, obnoxious, self-centered, can't keep her mouth shut, not to mention her singing...
Carlotta: I am owned by-a nobody but mah-self-a!
Us: HEY ELPHABA!
Elphie: SWEET OZ, WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU FOUR?
Elphie: You're always yelling or making some sort of noise, you can't keep quiet for two seconds!
Bree: *crosses arms* Look who's talking.
Linda: Like you're any better, Miss Moans-a-Lot.
Elphie: I honestly have no clue-
Bree: (imitating Elphie) Oh, Yero! Oh, ooooh!
Rylee: (joining in) Oh, yes! Yes, it feels so good! More, I need more! *starts moaning dramatically*
*rest of us start moaning along with her & being overly dramatic*
Elphie: *blushes...big time* ...NO YOU DO NOT OWN ME, FIYERO, OR GLINDA!
Us: (disappointed) Aaaaaaaaawwwwww!