AN: Alright, people. You wanna know what I did with Elphaba instead of stuffing her into a closet? Well, ya got yer answer. READ ON, MAH PEEPS.

It surprised her that her own brother didn't recognize her. But then again, he wasn't used to seeing her like this. But oh, how she'd missed that warm, friendly smile of his, and the way it made his hazel eyes crinkle up at the corners; their sister's eyes.

She wished she could tell him who she really was, make him blush with embarrassing childhood memories, just like she used to all the time. But it was too dangerous. She'd just have to stick with her alias and the usual backstory that she gave.

"Thank you for this, I really appreciate it."
"No problem. Gets kinda lonely sometimes, y'know? What'd you say your name was again?"

"Erelanna Canicus."
"Ah. Vinkun. No wonder you're so pale."
"I beg your pardon?"

"Nothing, nothing! It's just, well, I've done more than my fair share of traveling, and I seem to remember from my times in the Vinkus that pale complexions are highly common there, especially in the Arjiki tribe, which judging by your name and hairstyle, is the one you're from. Pale skin and dark hair is primarily seen in the Arjiki people, is it not?"

Elphaba smiled. This was the Shell she remembered from her childhood. "Yes, it is," she said. "The only exceptions I know of are the princesses, the older of whom is estranged. She has a rather sun-kissed looking complexion, and the younger one has strawberry blonde hair."

Yes, let him think she was a native Arjiki. They were, after all, Fiyero's people. It would make it easier to believe that he was her husband since Vinkuns rarely, by tradition, married people native to another Ozian region.

Thank Lurline she was fluent in the tribal language. It would make the whole act just that much more believable in the long run along with, as Shell had mentioned briefly not five minutes ago, the way she had started wearing her hair in the past few years since her separation from Fiyero and their children.

"So what exactly are you doing, anyway, wandering around so far from home?"

Time to test her storytelling skills.

"I was forcibly separated from my husband and four-year-old twins about three years ago, and I have reason to believe that he may have fled the country with them in order to protect them from our enemies. Those men would like to see us both dead, and if they knew the children existed, no doubt they'd also be put on the hit-list. Do you have any family?"

She wanted to see how truthful he'd be, just for the fun of it.

"Two dead parents, a screwball aunt that nobody's seen or heard from in eighty million years, one dead sister, and another sister that seems to have mysteriously dropped off the face of the planet. Personally, I blame the aliens for that one. Although if she heard me say that, she'd smack me and demand to know what kind of idgit pills I've been taking and then launch into this long, never-ending lecture about how aliens don't exist and blah blah blah, tons of crap that ain't worth my memory space."

She laughed. At least he was being honest! "How old do you think your kids are now?" he asked. She couldn't help but roll her eyes a bit. "Seven," she said matter-of-factly. "They were four last I saw them, it's been three years. It's not hard to do the math, you know. It's just simple addition."
"Math never was my forte. Geography, however, is another story. Part of why I love to travel so much."

"My husband's sister is the same way. Always all over the place. Partly because she's a drifter and my in-laws disowned her when she was about sixteen, but...I think she also has some passion for it way deep down, even if she probably doesn't realize it herself."

"I'd like to meet her."
"You should know she's got three children, none of whom share a father, all of whom she abandoned as newborns without even naming them. My husband, his parents, and other sister raised and named all three, and they don't know who their mother is. For their own good, too. She doesn't love any of them. Never have, never will. Breaks my heart just thinking about it."

He smiled, just the way she'd been missing for so long. "You're alright, Erelanna. You kinda remind me of the sister that got abducted by aliens."
"You remind me of my brother. Pretty sure he got abducted, too, or something along those lines. Never see him anymore, so who knows? Nothing's impossible, right?"

"That word isn't even in my vocabulary, woman."

This was definitely her crazy big brother who she loved so dearly.

AN: The name Erelanna is not a total lie when it comes to her identity. It's her given name, Elphaba, in Fiyero's native language. The name Canicus, however...don't ask, cuz I don't even remember. XP

And yes, I am fully aware that Maguire portrayed Fiyero and his people as having dark skin and hair, but I am taking creative liberties in that area in order to make the plot result in the eventual ending that I intend for this thing to have.

Jojo: What IS it with you and pale skin, anyway?
Me: Whataya mean?

Jojo: I have pale skin, Leo and Autumn have pale skin, Annabel has pale skin, TYLER has pale skin, I'm pretty sure that Lottie does too, not to mention Allen and Lenore. It's always either "pale ivory" or "alabaster," and while I do admit that the latter is more recent, that's only the case because it only recently occurred to you to start using that instead of ivory as a descriptive word for skin colors.

Me: Okay, first off, Tyler is supposed to be Brent's opposite, and since Brent has a medditerranian-ish, sorta-kinda-almost Italian complexion, Tyler HAS to be pale, it's supposed to be like Brent is looking at a photo negative of himself. LOTTIE is pale because she's grown up in rainy LONDON and has hardly ever gotten to see the sun in her life as a result of that. Allen, Lenore, and Annabel are pale because HELLOOOOO, they're freakin' GOTHIC PUNK ROCKERS! Autumn and Leo are pale for almost the same reason as Lottie, except for them it's because the smog and stuff that their world is filled with always blocks out the sun. And YOU, little missy, are pale because you take after your great-grandmother, and her skin wasn't exactly very tan, either! And besides, Scarlett is half African-American, her skin looks kind of like Joanne Jefferson's from RENT, and Marcie was inspired by Maureen Johnson, so her skin is the same as Mo's, whose is the same as the actress who played her, who was IDINA FREAKING MENZEL, so THERE.

Marcie: I heard my name, am I needed for something? Something involving a spotlight, hopefully...?

Brent: I heard mine, too. What's going on?

Me: ALRIGHT! First off, Monsieur Richter, shouldn't you be otherwise occupied at the moment? And second, no, Marcie, you're not needed for anything, spotlight or otherwise. Sorry.

Marcie: Aw, man! *sulks off*

Me: Oh, poor girl. I feel so bad for her sometimes. It's not her fault she's such a spotlight diva, really. It's mine. *glances at Brent* Etes-vous encore ici, monsieur?

Brent: Oui, mademoiselle. Vous voyez, je ne sais pas ce que vous voulez pour moi d'être engagés dans le moment actuel.

Me: Mon dieu, êtes-vous honnêtement si oublieux? Vous et notre sorcière résident sont censés travailler sur le plan maître!

Brent: Sacré bleu, bien sûr! Comment pourrais-je oublier quelque chose de si important? Merci beaucoup, la jeune madame! *turns and leaves room*

Me: Vous êtes les bienvenus, créature pitoyable!

Jojo: *is still there and mostly forgotten by now, also really confused* ...Sometimes I wish I hadn't dropped out of school before I got the chance to learn a second language, because then I could understand snatches of these conversations you have with everyone else in other languages, if nothing more.

Me: *doesn't look up from what I'm writing on desk* Tutte le cose nel loro tempo, mia cara, tutte le cose nel loro tempo.

Jojo: ... *turns around and leaves*