AN: For all of you who do not know, this is a SEQUEL. Please read "Prisoner of War" before you read this, or you might be pretty confused.
Chapter 1: Eyes
Elphaba sat beside her husband in a carriage on the way to Shiz, her feet bouncing up and down nervously. "I have been waiting for this forever."
Fiyero laughed, his hand on her knee. "I can tell."
"I can't believe this. I thought when they captured me, that this would never actually happen and now..."
"And now here you are, my wife." He kissed her cheek.
Their wedding had only been weeks ago. Fiyero's uncle and adviser had shipped them off to Shiz as soon as possible. It was best for Fiyero to get his education as fast as possible so he could return as soon as possible and rule his kingdom. Instead of a bed slave, she had become his wife. During the two weeks before leaving for Shiz, she had spent time in his village, talking to the people, learning about their lives. It was a requirement of being queen, she'd been told. So she and Fiyero hadn't actually spent much time together since the wedding – outside of bed. "I hope I'm prepared for this. I mean, I haven't actually been studying for over a year."
"You were reading plenty, though. And you're smarter than me, Fae. You'll be fine. I love you."
She smiled at him, but did not respond in kind. Despite their marriage, these were words she still was not ready to say. "Whatever you say."
"You don't love me?" He pressed.
She hugged herself. "Fiyero..."
"I don't understand. You're not a bed slave anymore. What's stopping you from loving me?"
"It's not that simple. Fiyero, we just got married. Give me a little time, please. You told me you knew I couldn't say it yet when you asked me to marry you. I thought you understood."
He turned away from her but nodded.
She sighed, frustrated with him. What did he expect? That they would get married and suddenly she would love him? Elphaba was barely used to this new life, and now they were on their way to a new place. Why did he have to push her so much? "You know I care about you." She put her hand on his. "Don't be angry with me."
"I'm not. It's just hard, Fae. To know that you don't feel the same."
"I never said I didn't," she said gently. She turned his head to face hers and kissed him. "Let's just see how things go at Shiz. Now, can you explain where we're living?"
He nodded. "We've got an apartment on campus, between the boys' and girls' dorms. Mostly upperclassmen live there, but because we're married and I'm a prince, they made an exception."
"Do they know... who I am?"
"The staff? The headmistress? Yes. They do. Only because there will be other Munchkins there and I worry they might not be kind to you. The staff seemed understanding."
"Money can do that," she murmured. She hadn't thought about what would happen when they got there and she saw people, perhaps even people she had known. Elphaba couldn't imagine that it would be pleasant. But she didn't intend to make many friends to begin with, so she was surprisingly unperturbed by the thought.
The carriage jolted to a stop and Elphaba swallowed hard. Fiyero held her hand and smiled at her. "Here goes nothing, huh?" He opened the door and helped her out of the carriage.
Elphaba looked around. Compared to the tall but brown, dry grasses of the Vinkus, Shiz was so much more green. The differences in the climates and appearances were almost like the differences in Fiyero and her. People ran around, laughing. There was chattering everywhere – giggling girls, ogling boys. It was almost too much for her, and she slowly maneuvered herself behind her husband. Aside from their wedding, where people had been relatively quiet, Elphaba had not been around this many people since her father had dragged her preaching over a year ago. She didn't know why, but she felt almost afraid of all of the commotion. "Let's get settled," she said.
She knew he sensed the change in her, but he said nothing. Instead he took his bag and she took hers and he led her towards their apartment building. People close to them began to whisper. Elphaba felt their eyes on her and she kept her own on the ground in front of her. She realized neither she nor Fiyero looked exactly normal. And if any of them were Munchkinlanders from around where she had grown up, they might even know who she was. She did not want that. She wanted to disappear into the background.
When they finally reached the building, she could not have been more relieved. Still those who passed them in the halls and stairways stared unflinchingly, or at least that's how it felt to her. She practically slammed the door behind them when they got into their apartment. Elphaba let out a breath she didn't even know she'd been holding.
"Are you okay, Fae?" Fiyero put a hand on her shoulder and she jumped.
"Oh! Yes. I just... did you notice everyone staring at us?"
Fiyero looked at her skeptically. "I noticed one or two people, yes, but not a lot."
Maybe he was just used to it. Or really clueless. "It's been a while since I've been stared at like a creature in a zoo, that's all."
He nodded. "I'm sorry if anyone made you uncomfortable. But here we are, home sweet home for the next few years." Fiyero took her bag from her and placed it on the ground. "We have two rooms and a bathroom."
Elphaba felt herself relax a little as she looked around. They had a bedroom with a bathroom attached. The bedroom was not nearly as big as Fiyero's back home, but it was bigger than hers had been. Wait, Fiyero's bedroom back at Kiamo Ko was hers, too. She went back out into the other room. There was a small kitchen in the corner with a stove and small oven and some cupboards. The rest of the room held a small couch and a bookshelf.
"We'll make it feel more homey," he told her, smiling. Fiyero was always so hopeful. Sometimes it irritated her to no end, but at other times, she knew she needed someone like that. She was always so negative, and she had been that way long before being captured as a bed slave and the tragedy that had come along with it. Fiyero contrasted that in a good way, when it wasn't obnoxious.
"I'm sure you will." Elphaba brought her small bag into the bedroom and opened it on the bed. When their marriage had been announced, the palace tailor had made her actual dresses, rather than just the robes and slinky nightclothes she had worn as a bed slave. They had asked her if she had a color preference. She had told them black. For the most part, that was what clothes they had made her. She had one navy skirt and blouse and a brownish crimson dress, as well. Other than that, everything was just as she had asked for, black. Elphaba began to hang her dresses in the closet and put her nightclothes and underclothes in the drawers.
Fiyero came in a few moments later and began to put his clothes away, too. "I thought I didn't need servants, but I will admit, it will most definitely be different. I don't know how to cook much of anything."
"I know a few things." She had cooked for her family plenty. "I know how to do pretty much all of the chores. You can leave that to me."
"No. I will help with what I can. Just be patient and teach me. You did not go from being my bed slave to my maid. You are my wife, my queen, and I will treat you that way."
Elphaba smiled slightly for the first time since they had exited the carriage. "I don't know, Fiyero. Somehow I just don't think I can trust you to do all the chores right. Like you said, you grew up with servants."
"And you grew up with none. I can trust that when we return to Kiamo Ko, you will be fine letting them do the housework."
"Maybe I won't." She kidded.
"Then maybe you are crazier than I thought." He kissed her.
"Well, maybe I am." Elphaba laughed.