Chapter 9 Scuffle
A/N Thank you James Birdsong, musicgal3, PocketSevens and musicalvampirelove for reviewing chapter 8…. Musicalvampirelove, why won't Galinda be happy?
A/N2 : updated 2nd Nov 2014 to fix grammar/punctuation mistakes
The next few days brought heavy rains to Shiz, and it was not until Friday when the skies cleared again.
Fiyero gave a bright smile when he walked out of the classroom and saw that the sun was out.
"Fabulous," he said to no one in particular.
"Fabulous?" Elphaba raised her eyebrows as she stood next to him.
"Isn't it? The sun is finally out after so many days. For a while, I thought that it will rain beyond the weekend." He gave his companion a smile. "And rain means no swimming," he added, lowering his voice to ensure that no one else could hear him.
Fiyero grabbed her hand. "Come on, it's a fine, fine day and it is a waste to spend it indoors."
"Where are we going?" Elphaba asked.
He brought her to the Suicide Canal, and Elphaba found a rock to sit on, while Fiyero sat on the grass in front of her.
"Fiyero, revision. Remember?" She waved his textbook at him.
"I'm bored. Give me some time to relax. And I need the sun."
"And to think everyone thought that I was the green one," Elphaba said sarcastically.
Fiyero laughed. "You know, you can be quite witty sometimes."
"That was not wittiness, Your Royal Highness."
Fiyero ignored her as he tore out a piece of writing paper from his writing pad and started folding it into a paper plane. Lifting his hand, he sent the paper plane flying across the canal, landing on the other side with ample space to spare.
"Impressive," Elphaba told him.
He grinned. "Same theory as throwing a spear. Or shooting an arrow. I know how to do it. Just don't ask me to calculate the angles and the energy required."
He sent another paper plane across the canal before he lay down on the grass with his head on one arm and looked up at her.
"Will you miss this when it is over?"
"Miss what? Shiz?" Elphaba was confused by the change of topic.
"This. Doing things together." He gestured, swinging his index finger between the two of them.
"Fiyero, we have been doing things together since you made your grand entrance to Shiz." She reminded him.
"No. I mean just the two of us. You and me."
"You and …." Elphaba was cut off by someone calling.
"Elphie!" The two of them turned to see Galinda and Boq walking towards them.
"Sweet Oz! What are the two of you doing under the hot sun?" Galinda asked, fanning herself with one of her textbooks.
"The 'plant' wants to enjoy the sun," Elphaba replied, pointing to Fiyero.
The sky was clear on Saturday and the two of them went to the waterfall again.
Fiyero went through the steps again with her before letting her swim on her own. But he stayed at her side throughout.
"You can swim off if you want to," she told him.
He shook his head. "I can't leave you on your own yet."
"You're babying me."
"You're my responsibility. Besides, the only thing that I want to do here is to climb up and jump back into the water and I don't think you want me to do that."
Elphaba groaned. "Please don't. You might not be so lucky this time round."
"Now who's doing the babying now?" He told her teasingly.
They swam for a while longer. Fiyero corrected her here and then, but was quite satisfied with the progress that she had made.
"I think that's enough for today," he told her.
"Can I swim for a while longer?" She asked him. But he shook his head. "But this is fun," she pleaded.
Fiyero laughed. "Alright, just a little while longer."
As they emerged from the forest, Fiyero suggested that they went to this newly open café just outside Shiz for late lunch as they had not eaten.
"And I heard that they served some pretty good finger food," he told her.
"Which means that the place will definitely be crowded," Elphaba reminded him.
The two made their way there, and sure enough, the place was almost full despite it being late afternoon. They saw quite a few students from Shiz, and also many customers who came from outside.
Fiyero spotted an empty table and they sat down. The café owners had placed the menus on the table and so they could decide on the food before joining the queue.
Fiyero told her to sit while he joined the queue to order their food. Elphaba sat, glad for the chance to rest her legs which were tired after swimming the whole morning. She had to admit that, after the initial fears, the whole swimming thing went well, and she thoroughly enjoyed her newfound freedom in the waters.
She looked around the surroundings. The café had metal garden chairs and tables painted a bronze colour, which matched the colour of the trees surrounding the place. There was a gentle breeze and Elphaba used a hand to bring all her wet hair over her right shoulder to the front and then absentmindedly gave it a few turns so that the strands will not fly in the breeze.
She then turned to look at the people queuing for the food. Fiyero was third in line and she found the prince looking at her. She smiled at him, and he waved back, and then he looked at the floor, as if fascinated by something he found there.
Elphaba turned back and continued to look at the surroundings.
"Hello, what do we have here?" She heard a voice close to her. Too close.
Elphaba turned to see someone whom she did not know. He looked older by a few years, so most likely he was not from Shiz. Someone from town perhaps. She realized too late that she was not wearing her hat, and her green skin was there for everyone to see.
"A green girl!" The stranger said, "But a pretty green girl at that. Tell me, pretty, are you a tree fairy from the nearby forest?" The man sat down on the empty seat next to her, and pulled his chair closer to her. Elphaba turned to look for Fiyero but he was placing their orders and had not noticed what was happening. She shrunk back from the man. She was used to attention, the kind in which other people talked behind her, or called her names, or stared. Not this kind. The man laughed at her discomfort, then leaned even closer to her. Elphaba tried to stand up and walked away, but the man stood up too and grabbed her wrist.
"Too high class to be friends with me?" He asked, sneering.
Elphaba tried to twist her hand to get out of his grip, but he tightened his grip, hurting her.
"Let go of me," she told him, trying to twist her hand to get out, but the man tightened his grip again.
Just then, she heard a familiar voice. "Let go of the girl."
She looked up and saw Fiyero.
"Get lost, Winkie," the man retorted. "Mind your own business."
"Her business is my business."
"Are you looking for a fight?" He challenged the prince, as he released his grip on Elphaba.
"My pleasure," was Fiyero's reply, as he rolled up his sleeves.
By then, a crowd had gathered to watch. Some of them had even started cheering. The man was bigger size than Fiyero, but Fiyero was taller, and it was hard to guess who would win when it came to a fight.
That man threw the first fist and aimed for Fiyero's face, but Fiyero managed to turn sideways and let the other party overshot and crashed onto a table. The opponent stood up almost immediately again, ready for another round.
Just then, the owner came out and stopped them from going any further.
"Go elsewhere if you want to fight," he told them. "Or I will call the security." Some of the crowd dispersed, disappointed that the scuffle was over so soon.
Both men were still edging to continue, but Elphaba stood behind Fiyero and asked him to stop. "Fiyero, forget it. Let's go."
Fiyero turned and saw the worried look on her face. He nodded his head and swung both their bags over his shoulders, before he grabbed her hand and walked away, but not before giving the other person another glare.
As they walked back to Shiz, Fiyero was silent, his face black. Elphaba had to call him a few times before he heard her. It was only then that he seemed to remember that he was still gripping her hand tightly.
"I'm sorry," he said. He turned her hand around and saw the bruise that was beginning to form on her wrist.
"That bastard," he swore as he released her hand and turned as if he wanted to go back for another fight.
Elphaba stretched out her hand to stop him.
"Fiyero, stop. I don't want you to go back there. What if you get hurt?" She asked him. She touched his arm gently. "I don't want you to get hurt."
That seemed to do the trick, as Fiyero's face softened. "I'll walk you back to your room."
Elphaba nodded her head, glad that he no longer intended to go back for another round.
They walked in silence for a while, before Elphaba broke the silence.
"Thank you for standing up for me. No one had ever done that for me."
Fiyero stopped and looked at her. "That's not 'standing up' for you. That is called protecting you. And like it or not, I will do it again whenever the need arises."