EOCs and Standardized testing quickly approaching...this might be my last post for a while.

Disclaimer: Comment je souhaite que je poss├ędais Wicked, mais je n'ai pas. (French)

They approached from across the field bearing a white flag of truce and upwards of 500 men. She stood facing them, keeping her expressions and thoughts carefully guarded. This could be a trick, and she could be terrified out of her wits, but they would never know that.

To the Witch's surprise, leading the group was not Fiyero but a young man of about the same age, but Giliken. He marched with a grave expression that seemed odd on his handsome, light features. She frowned slightly at this, questions filling her mind. Why was the Gale Force approaching her under truce with a different leader than normal?

The small army stopped a hundred yards away, nobody advanced. The wind whistled in the silence, blowing her hair around and making their flag wave wildly. Both parties stood examining each other, weighing their odds if a fight were to occur.

After two minutes had gone by without a word, Elphaba raised an eyebrow, "Well, what do you want? Get on with it, I have better things to do than stand around talking to you."

The Giliken boy bravely approached, flanked by two very large, muscular guards. They both carried white flags but didn't much look like they wanted peace. The leader examined her for a minute then swung out his arm, meaning to shake the Witch's hand.

She didn't move her arms from their folded position.

Awkwardly, he dropped it back to his side, clearing his throat, "Mrs. Witch-"

Now both eyebrows raised and she let out a frightening cackle, "Mrs. Witch? Do you think I'm married? Is there a Mr. Witch somewhere out there, as green as I?"

"Sorry...Miss Wicked Witch."

Again, she laughed, "I love how you Ozians assume that's my name. Oh, yeah, because Wicked Witch was such a popular name choice twenty-one years ago."

He looked surprised, "You have a name?"

"You remind me of somebody I know. He was just a tad more brainless than you. Actually, he should be here...where is Captain Fiyero?"

Strangely, he didn't seem to think it was weird that she knew the missing commander's name. Then again, shouldn't you know everything you can about the person in charge of killing you?

He let out a sigh, "You see, Miss-"

"Elphaba."

"Elphaba?"

"Elphaba Thropp."

"Your name is really Elphaba Thropp?"

She rolled her eyes, "You can call me Kumbrica for all I care, but my name is Elphaba Thropp."

"Oh, all right. You see Miss Elphaba, we are here on the request of an Emerald City official-"

"Tell the Wizard I said that as soon as he frees all the Animals and get rid of the laws, I'll join him."

He shook his head, falling back into the same grave expression as before, "No, Miss Elphaba. We are not here on his Ozness' request. You have been summoned to the death bed under complete truce by our former captain, Fiyero Tiggular."

Her heart seemed to stop beating and for a moment, she felt the world freeze. No, it couldn't be...they were lying, it was a trick, a plot by Morrible or something. Fiyero couldn't be sick, that was impossible, unheard of. He was strong, immune to all illness.

Yet, as she looked at the sad boy, Elphaba realized this was no plot to get her. They had traveled across Oz chasing an uncatchable criminal to fulfill their kind captain's last request. The three standing before her and those she could see in the crowd behind were silently begging her to believe them. But she wouldn't...couldn't...Fiyero...oh Fiyero...

The Giliken produced a scroll from his pack and handed it to her. She broke the seal, trembling slightly, and smoothed it out. The words were shaky and written by a weak hand.

My dear Elphaba,

I have caught a terrible illness that is slowly spreading throughout me, leaving me bed-ridden. The physicians say I have very little time left, as it is slowly spreading to my heart. As a high-ranking Ozian official (and don't roll you eyes, I really am one!) and a very sick man, the Wizard has declared complete truce for the moment so that you may visit me before my death.

Please hasten, Elphaba, for I wish to see your beautiful face one last day. I love you very much.

Fiyero Tiggular

P.S. Please do not murder my Gale Force leader for any unneeded reason, Nikku has been a wonderful friend to me.

She felt as though her heart had been squeezed very tightly and a knot formed in her throat. Elphaba read the letter again, swallowing the tears that sprung to her eyes. He had loved her...after all this time, he had really loved her...and now he was dying

She looked up at Nikku, who was staring at her in wonder, amazed by the emotion that the Wicked Witch of the West had showed. Her expression was so sad...so human...that he wondered why she had become what she was in the first place.

"I have to go to the Emerald City...immediately." she said softly, and he could hear her voice cracking on the last syllable. Elphaba held out her hand grimly and this time, they both shook. Enemy united with enemy in a kind of understanding that only love and concern of a third could bring.

"It was a pleasure to be second-in-charge of hunting you, Miss Elphaba."

"It was a pleasure being hunted, good-bye Nikku."

Without another word, she mounted her broomstick and flew to the Emerald City as fast as lightning.

Reviews are appreciated. The next chapter should be up within two days