"Galinda, hurry up."
"Calm down Elphaba. The Wizard isn't going anywhere."
"How do you know that? He might, at the speed you're going."
Galinda made a face. "You're not being very nice."
"If it makes you move faster..."
The blonde made another face before she followed the green woman out of the hotel room and out into the streets of the Emerald City. "Why do you think no one's ever seen the Wizard?"
"Don't know. Maybe he's horrendously ugly."
"Elphaba! What a thing to say!" But the blonde was grinning.
"Glin, it's all a matter of politics. If you want people to fear and respect you, you remain a mystery. Something people can't see. You exert a great power over everyone, but remain in the shadows. You'd be surprised how far the imagination will stretch when left to its own devices."
"So... he might really be... not terrifying?"
Elphaba chuckled. "No my sweet. He may not be."
"How can you be so confident?"
"I have to be."
Galinda took her hand gently. "We'll be fine... and I'll be right here the whole time."
Elphaba gave her a small smile. "And that is certainly a relief."
"So what is it you want me to do exactly?"
Morrible wondered just how thick the prince was. "I thought I'd made myself clear."
"You said Elphaba left Pertha Hills, and that what's-her-name's body is gone."
"I believe Elphaba took it and fled."
Fiyero shook his head. "Why would she do something like that? I mean, carrying a dead body around isn't exactly inconspicuous."
"Because she loves Galinda."
The prince paused at that. "No… Elphaba isn't… she doesn't like women."
"Perhaps not before, but she had taken quite a liking to Miss Upland. I have a strong suspicion that something was going on between those two."
Fiyero crossed his arms and looked away. Thinking of Elphaba liking another woman… well, he didn't like it. Sure, he'd sent her away before, but now with this new power… well, she belonged to him!
"All right… I'll find her… but she could be anywhere."
Morrible stood. "Try looking in the most obvious place first. Our Miss Elphaba is smarter than she'd like us to believe."
"Try to be nice this time, okay?" Galinda said as Elphaba knocked.
The green woman have her a look as the window opened again.
"Oh, it's you two again."
"Yes, and we still want to see the Wizard," Elphaba said, crossing her arms.
"I told you, no one sees the Wizard!"
Elphaba's fists clenched tightly, and Galinda decided it was time to intervene.
"Oh, but can't you at least ask him? We got all dressed up and we do so want to meet him. My friend even had her skin greenified to match his wondrous city, so couldn't you pretty please let us in?" Galinda asked in her cutest voice, batting her eyes.
The man looked unsure how to react. "I… I'll ask the Wizard." He closed the window and Elphaba looked at the blonde.
"What was that?"
"He wasn't going to let us in, and your method certainly wasn't going to get us anywhere."
"Well what were you going to do if that didn't work? Pop a boob out for him?"
"Elphaba!" Galinda turned pink. "I certainly was not going to do anything like that. You know you're the only person who can see such things."
Elphaba blushed slightly and looked away. "I am not green for the Wizard…" she muttered.
The window suddenly opened and the man reappeared. "You have four minutes. Do not speak unless it is in reply." The window closed and the door opened.
Elphaba looked at the blonde, and Galinda gave her a reassuring smile before they started down the long hallway.
"I certainly hope this doesn't count as part of our four minutes," Galinda said as they walked.
"This all sounds rather regal to me," Elphaba observed.
"What do you mean?"
The green woman shook her head as they emerged into an antechamber. Their eyes fell on a crystallized skeleton sitting on an emerald throne and Galinda moved closer to the green woman, not sure what to expect.
"Is that him?" she whispered.
Light suddenly came to the skeleton and its hollow gaze fixated on the two girls.
"I AM OZ, THE GREAT AND TERRIBLE! WHO ARE YOU?"
Galinda let out a shriek and hid behind her companion. Elphaba meanwhile could only stare at it, struggling to find her voice.
"WHO ARE YOOOUUU?"
"I-if you please, I… my name is Elphaba Thropp—"
"AND IF I DON'T PLEASE?"
Galinda poked her head out at that. "Well, how rude."
"Please, we've come because we are in possession of vital information," Elphaba continued.
"We are? Thanks for telling me."
"I WILL DECIDE IF IT VITAL OR GOSSIP." The skeleton paused, touching its ribs as it playing a jaunty tune. "SO GO AHEAD AND GOSSIP."
"I have not come to gossip!" Elphaba said. "I have come to tell you of heinous crimes taking place in the Uplands!"
"THE WIZARD OF OZ KNOWS ALL THAT TAKES PLACE!"
"If that were true, you would have stopped them!"
"Elphie, you're making him angry," Galinda hissed, tugging on her dress.
"So what? I'm angry." Elphaba turned back to the skeleton and Galinda's gaze wandered, eventually falling on a scarlet curtain, which seemed quite out of place. She left Elphaba to argue with the skeleton as she approached the curtain, looking at it once more before pulling it open.
There on the other side was a short, white-haired man, who looked hard at work with a panel of flashing light, levers, and buttons.
"COME BACK TOMORROW, AND YOU MAY CONTINUE YOUR GOSSIP."
"What are you doing?" the blonde asked.
The man turned and let out a small cry at seeing Galinda. "UH… PAY NO ATTENTION TO THE MAN BEHIND THE CURTAIN!" he said into a microphone, pulling the curtain shut.
Elphaba was confused at that, but when she saw Galinda, she understood. The green woman approached the curtain, yanking it open. "What the hell is going on here? Who are you?"
"I… I AM OZ the great and… terrible…"
The two women exchanged a look.
"You're the Wizard?" Elphaba said, looking both confused and angry.
"Yes… I am the Wizard."
"Oh… you're a very bad man, scaring us like that and being so rude," the blonde said.
"Oh no my dear… I'm a very good man, just a very bad wizard." His eyes fell on the still glaring Elphaba, and he said, "You really are green."
"Yes, and it's not for your amusement." Elphaba shook her head. "We came all this way for nothing… you're a fraud." The green woman turned and started for the exit.
"Wait! You two are the only ones who know my secret… I can still help you. Tell me of these heinous crimes you mentioned."
Elphaba paused, weighing her options. It was true; no one else knew the Wizard was merely a man. The green woman turned back to him. "Are you going to actually do something?"
"What I can, yes."
Elphaba looked at Galinda before she let out a sigh. "Being the Wizard who knows all, I'm sure you've heard of how I was cursed."
The Wizard's eyes lit up. "Elphaba! I had heard, but I didn't think to connect it to you. Rather hard to see when I'm behind that curtain, you know."
"I'm sure it is."
The Wizard approached and Elphaba eyed him warily. "I don't know if there's anything I can do for you…"
"I'm not asking for you to help me. I'm asking for you to have a malicious woman arrested."
"Is she part of the crimes you mentioned?"
"She held me against my will and… well, I bear the scars of her torture."
Galinda went to the green woman's side, taking her hand gently, knowing that it was hard for Elphaba to relive those moments.
"Yes, yes, I'll send guards after her, but tell me; why would this woman do such things to you?"
"She works at a hospital… she thought she could make me better."
"You mean take away your curse? Well, if it's just the green, I don't see how she could think she—"
"There's more than the green," Galinda said. Elphaba shot her a look, and Galinda realized she'd made a mistake. But it was too late now.
Elphaba sighed, wishing Galinda hadn't said anything. "Yes… along with the green, I… I kill any living thing that touches me."
The Wizard's expression changed into one Elphaba couldn't read. "I see… Elphaba, I have every intention of helping you, and I'd offer you a… position in my service as well. This would of course grant you full protection from the guards."
"What do you mean?" Elphaba asked, not entirely liking where this conversation was headed.
"Well, if what you say is true and you can kill any living thing you touch… then you could be of some use to me. You see, there have been some… uprisings lately and—"
"Wait. You want me to intentionally kill people?"
"Oh, Elphaba, no. Not people. Just Animals."
Elphaba could only stare, not believing what this man was saying. "ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR MIND?"
"Elphaba!" Galinda said, taken aback by her shout.
"Elphaba nothing! I will NOT do ANYTHING to harm the Animals! They are fighting to regain the rights you took from them!"
The Wizard seemed wary of her now. "Elphaba, please, try to see reason—"
"I came to you for help, and this is your solution? To harm innocent Animals?" Elphaba lunged for him and the Wizard scrambled away.
Elphaba would have gone after him, but Galinda grabbed onto her arm.
"Elphie, leave it! If we stay, we'll be arrested!"
The green woman knew her companion was right, so with a low growl, she turned and the two ran through the palace.
"No! Not that way!" Elphaba said when Galinda started for the main exit. "They'll already have it blocked." She led the blonde up a staircase, and as they climbed higher, the stairs narrowed, and eventually there was only enough room to run single file.
"You go first; that way if they start shooting I'll be a shield," Elphaba said, pushing Galinda ahead of her.
The two emerged into an attic, and Elphaba slammed the door shut, locking it before looking for things to push in front of it.
"Elphaba, how are we going to get out of here?" Galinda asked, noting that there was no other way back down.
"I don't know," Elphaba grunted as she pushed a heavy set of shelves in front of the door. "I don't know how this went so wrong… this curse brings me nothing but trouble!"
The green woman looked at the blonde and saw her sinking to the floor, trembling.
Elphaba softened at that, going over to her and grabbing a dusty blanket before hugging her. "Hey… it'll be all right."
"We're trapped, Elphaba… and the Wizard wants to use you… we're no better off than we were in Pertha Hills."
Elphaba gave her a small squeeze. "I won't let anything happen to you…"
The two looked up when there was sudden banging on the door, and Galinda clung tighter to the brunette.
"Open up, in the name of his supreme Ozness!"
"How long will it take them to break down the door?" Galinda asked.
Elphaba shook her head. "I don't know…"
The banging continued, and soon enough, the door began to bend under the stress. The blonde clung to Elphaba tighter, while the green woman remained still, listening for the sound of hoof beats ever so softly on the street outside.
The door had given way, and the guards were demolishing the shelves.
"Galinda, look at me." Elphaba turned the blonde so that they were looking into each other's eyes. "I promise, I will not let anyone hurt you, but you have to trust me."
Galinda nodded, knowing in her heart that she did trust Elphaba, even through her fear.
Elphaba gave her a small smile, playing with a small tendril of golden hair. "I love you," she breathed.
The guards broke through the shelves just as Elphaba stood, lifting Galinda and throwing her out the window.
The blonde would have screamed, but her stomach shot up into her throat and she couldn't find her voice as she fell through the air. Was this Elphaba's solution? To kill her instead of letting someone else do it? Galinda closed her eyes, bracing for impact.
Instead, she landed right in a hay cart. The blonde lay still, her brain slowly registering the fact that yes, she was still alive. Slowly, Galinda moved each part of her body. Nothing was broken… she sat up, looking up at where she'd fallen from.
"Ozdamn you, Elphaba…" she muttered as tears started down her face.
Elphaba quickly moved out of the way as one guard lunged towards her with his bayonet. She quickly placed her hand on the side of his face, watching his collapse seconds later. Another guard came at her, and Elphaba grabbed the weapon with one hand, using the other to touch his hand. She watched as he fell as well.
A gunshot rang out and Elphaba stumbled back, holding her right shoulder. She glared at the guard, who was taking aim again. The green woman knew staying meant death, so she hoisted herself over the windowsill and dropped down into the hay cart below. Pain shot through her shoulder with each breath, but she forced herself to get out of the cart and hit the ground hard before she ran from the palace, disappearing down an alley way.
After she felt as though she were far enough away, Elphaba leaned against a wall, holding her still bleeding wound. She sank to the ground, feeling disoriented and hoping that Galinda had made it out all right.
As night fell, Galinda grew increasingly worried. Sitting on the bed in their room, the blonde wrung her hands, wondering why Elphaba hadn't come back yet. She had to continually push the worst-case scenario from her mind, for she knew that if she let it creep into her mind, the fear would get the best of her, and she couldn't cry anymore.
"Elphaba… where are you?"