Falling In

A Fiyeraba fan fiction by phoenixgirl23

DISCLAIMER: I cannot take any credit for Wicked. I do own Ibrahim and Kasmira, however.

AUTHORS NOTE: It took me four months but I found the time in between a thousand stressful uni assignments to write this. Apart from the workload, uni is going well. It's a little intimidating to be in the classroom and teaching, but I'm enjoying it. Also, It's my 21st birthday on Monday (May 23rd, 2011) so I thought I'd celebrate by posting this for you.

Also, there is a poll on my profile, I would really appreciate anyone casting a vote. If it makes no sense, read the author's note on my story 'possessionless.' I want to try something new with this story. I love getting your reviews and appreciate all of them. What I'd really love is for people to include a mention of their favourite line or moment in each chapter they review, so I know what you guys like. I never know what will be the next 'Vinkun wildflower' (anyone who read 'far longer than forever' and the reviews for that will know what I mean.)

Lastly, you can follow me on twitter at carlie_eades. Not that my tweets are particularly interesting or funny, but there's normally lots of WICKED-related comments and I'll keep you up to date with my writing progress.

Prologue

The Vinkus province of Oz was undoubtedly at its most beautiful during the summer months. The temperature was always warm during the day with a gentle breeze that would blow through at night. The grasslands were lush and green, and the Vinkans would spend their days fishing in the river and just generally enjoying the outdoors. For once the autumn came, it would get very cold.

Normally, Fiyero would be making the most of his summer, doing nothing but partying, riding, hunting and hanging out with his childhood friends Micah and Corin, who would be making bets about how long Fiyero would last at the next university in Oz his parents would send him to. This summer however, was different.

Corin was away at the Emerald City for the christening of his niece, his sister's first child; and Micah was working hard alongside Fiyero's father, King Ibrahim, doing a summer internship for his political degree. And Fiyero had surprised everyone, for not only lasting eight months so far at Shiz, but actually achieving reasonably high results on his final exams.

"Well done, son!" Ibrahim had exclaimed when his son had shared his exam results with his parents, practically beaming with pride.

"It's about time you settled down and started acting like the future king."

Fiyero had heard all this before, along with "you're twenty-two years old, it's high time you accepted your royal responsibilities" and "you're a prince- the people are watching your every move. You need to show them they can trust you to rule their country one day."

To say his parents were pleased by his change in attitude was an understatement, and they attributed the change to the influence of Shiz. They weren't totally wrong, Fiyero reasoned. Shiz was a good school, with a beautiful campus and a good curriculum. Fiyero could happily and honestly say that he liked it there. Or more specifically, he liked the people there…one green-skinned girl in particular.

Apart from Micah and Corin, with whom he had been friends with since he was eight, Fiyero didn't have many close friends. He'd always been popular and had more people than he could count on to hang out with and party with; but real friends, people who didn't care about his title or reputation and with whom he could just be himself- they weren't common. Until now, that is- until Shiz.

Fiyero found it ironic that one of these friends, Galinda, had started off as nothing more than another pretty girl he could charm and have a good time with. They'd dated and been proclaimed the 'It-couple' of Shiz for only a month or two before Fiyero had gently broken it off. It wasn't fair to her, he'd reasoned, to mislead her that his feelings for her were deeper than they really were, or ever would be. But Galinda had taken it well- she was an Upper Upland, after all, and Fiyero was grateful now to consider the blonde a friend.

Once Fiyero and Galinda had ended things and he was no longer considered a rival for the affections of Miss Upland, Boq and Fiyero had become very good friends. And Fiyero used this new friendship to gently help the unusually tall Munchkin boy see that Galinda… well, she just wasn't that into him- in that way. And that truth had been hard for Boq to accept, but once he did, he was able to relax around the popular girl and form sentences and Galinda had finally stopped calling him "Bick."

Nessarose was the sort of girl that Fiyero had never believed he'd ever be friends with. She was far too sweet and gentle to ever be associated with the scandalicous Fiyero Tiggular, but Fiyero was glad to know Nessa, purely because she was so sweet and gentle.

And then there was the fifth member of their little group, the one who Fiyero was sure if it were up to her, wouldn't be part of the group at all; not because she didn't like them, but just because it was what she'd always known. Elphaba.

As glad as Fiyero was that Elphaba was his friend- even if that title had been bestowed on him somewhat reluctantly by the aforementioned green girl; Fiyero wished it could be more. Elphaba was the reason he'd ended things with Galinda- even he knew you shouldn't date a girl when you were in love with her best friend and roommate.

After the incident with the Lion Cub, there had been more than a few awkward moments, but for the most part he and Elphaba had settled into a friendship- a friendship of which his much improved grades were a direct result.

And over the month that had passed since the summer vacation had begun, Fiyero had received a few letters from Elphaba and each one made him realise how much he missed her. That was a new feeling for him, feeling so strongly and so deeply towards someone. And although that scared him somewhat, he also relished it.

The hardest part about his feelings for Elphaba, was trying to determine if she might feel similar feelings for him. At times he was cautiously optimistic that she did- judging by the way she'd blush when something was mentioned that reminded them both of that day, or the way he'd sense her watching him sometimes when it could be done discreetly- as he did to her. But then at other times, he couldn't be sure that he was anything but a friend to her. For the majority of her time, Elphaba was a pro at hiding her thoughts and feelings from the world.

It was a beautiful, clear, warm night at the beginning of August, and the thought that there was only a month until he would return to Shiz and see Elphaba again actually made Fiyero smile and hum quietly to himself as he headed out to the gardens where the royal family preferred to eat dinner in the summer, as it was cooler. And Fiyero was pleasantly surprised to see Micah seated with his parents at the table.

"Hey, what are you doing here?" he asked his friend as he took his seat.

Micah grinned. "Your mom said you were having roast lamb for dinner."

Fiyero pretended to be hurt. "So, it's nothing to do with the fact you've been ditching me all summer to work, and you missed your best friend? This is where I fall on your list of priorities? Right after roast lamb?"

Micah shook his head. "Of course not. You're much lower down on the list after roast lamb," he replied teasingly and Fiyero laughed.

Kasmira Tiggular smiled warmly at her son. "What did you do today, Yero?"

Fiyero shrugged. "Not much."

"Did you do any of that summer work?" Ibrahim asked and Fiyero grimaced.

As he had started late at Shiz and the work (however little it had been) that he had done at his previous school would not be counted towards his degree, Madame Morrible- Horrible Morrible, Fiyero scowled mentally, had assigned Fiyero some extra credit work for the summer that would ensure he would be able to graduate at the same time as his classmates.

"A little," Fiyero answered honestly.

Not wanting to give his father a chance to press an inquiry as to just what 'a little' consisted of, he hastily changed the subject.

"So, anything new going on?" he asked as their dinner was served to them.

His mother answered. "Actually, some plans have just been finalised today. Your father and I are going away on business, we're leaving on Wednesday morning. I don't expect we'll be back in time to before you return to school, Yero."

Fiyero nodded, his parents' travels were nothing new to him, the King and Queen preferred to do much of the business between the Vinkus and the other provinces of Oz themselves instead of via ambassadors and government officials whenever possible.

"Where are you going?" he asked casually as he ate.

"Munchkinland," Ibrahim replied and Fiyero's head shot up instantly.

Munchkinland, where Elphaba was from?

"Munchkinland?" he repeated.

His father nodded. "We're going to be the guests of the Governor to discuss an alliance and a trade agreement."

Fiyero didn't particularly care why they were going there, just that they were going to be in the same place as Elphaba.

"Could I come?" Fiyero blurted out and it was his parents' turn to hastily shift their attentions from their dinner to their son.

"You want to come to Munchkinland?" Ibrahim asked doubtfully, his voice laced with surprise and suspicion.

Fiyero nodded. "Yes."

"Why?" Kasmira asked, also puzzled.

Fiyero shrugged, trying to remain casual about the situation. "Aren't you both always telling me I need to get more involved in the politics? Why should I wait until I graduate? And if you're trying to establish an alliance with the Munchkins, shouldn't I be a part of that? As the future king?"

Ibrahim and Kasmira exchanged a look. They had been married for twenty-five years and had long since been able to tell what the other was thinking without speaking.

Despite Fiyero's academic improvement in the past months, neither the king or queen believed for a second that Fiyero had suddenly developed an interest in politics, rather than the reluctant tolerance he'd displayed since he was a teenager. They also knew that he had two daughters who attended Shiz with their son, and they figured immediately that it was one of those who was Fiyero's motivation to go to Munchkinland.

Kasmira raised an inquiring eyebrow at her husband, who shrugged and nodded.

"Alright, Fiyero. You may come," she agreed and Fiyero's heart leapt with excitement.

"I'll write to Governor Thropp after dinner and let him know."

Fiyero was thrilled. He was going to see Elphaba- not only see her, but going to stay with her in her house where they would have lots of time to spend together- alone. Here was his opportunity to really get to know Elphaba better and maybe… find out how she felt about him. Not even his father's half-acknowledged condition that he take his summer work with him could dampen his spirits.

Besides, he knew a beautiful, brilliant Munchkinlander that could help him with all of that.