A Second Too Late

By Lady Elena Dawson

Disclaimer: I do not own Wicked (2004).

Watching him be torn away from her as he was sent to questioning left her heart shattered to pieces, but the slight throb in her chest was nothing compared to how her soul felt when she learned of his fate.

With Nessa's condemnation on her head, there was still someone who had waited for her after she had done what she had planned: Fiyero, the Winkie prince who had attended her first year at Shiz University many months ago. They were able to spend an hour in bliss before Elphaba had the bad feeling crawl up her throat, that something bad had happened to her sister.

She knew that the girl was coming and would take Nessa's shoes away, but she expected to get there first to take them back. However, when she got there, shewas just in time to see the girl she was suspecting with her little dog skip down the Yellow Brick Road—in Nessa's red ruby slippers. So Glinda, the oh-so-Good Witch of the North, was sending her off with a welcoming present—just like Elphaba had feared.

After a brawl, she'd so recklessly almost got caught by the Ozian officials. But then Fiyero got in the way, and he'd let her escape. And she watched with eyes full of hatred and pain as they took him away into the cornfields so he could receive a proper beating on her whereabouts.

Let his flesh not be torn, let his blood leave no stain

When they beat him, let him feel no pain

She flew back to Fiyero's palace as quickly as her broom could carry her. And with her chattering flying monkeys climbing the palace walls, exhilarated by the freedom she granted them a couple weeks ago, she began to say the words that would save Fiyero from the Ozians' wrath: "Eleka nahmen nahmen, ah tum ah tum eleka nahmen…"

Let his bones never break, and however they try

To destroy him, let him never die, let him never die!

Meanwhile, in the cornfields where Fiyero was strung up to a stake meant for a scarecrow by the scruff of his neck, they commanded answers. Answers which Fiyero would never give because he loved Elphaba. And they beat him until his shirt collar tore clean off, and he fell on the ground, dust wafting up, trying to avoid their harsh blows. But no matter how much he told them to stop—that Elphaba would only do worse if she finds him dead, though she promised his survival—they would not listen, and he began to deal dizzy from the bruises quickly forming on his pale skin.

What is this chanting? I don't even know what I'm reading!

I don't even know what trick I ought to try

Suddenly, a horrible feeling punched him in the stomach, and the beating was no longer his worry. As he writhed in pain, he felt his arms begin to go limp and his skin go scratchy. The hairs on his limbs fell out and were beginning to be replaced by what he assumed was straw. With the horrible cringes he felt, he managed to smile through the disoriented pain.

Fiyero, where are you? Already dead or bleeding?

One more disaster I can add to my generous supply

Yet, even with his rapid transformation, it wasn't quick enough, and he was killed by a monstrous blow to his human head—the officials had panicked from the sight of his changing figure—and his body, half scarecrow, half man, was left on the ground, the straw seeping out of his pores, the remaining blood that was supposed to dry up pooling around him.

No good deed goes unpunished

No act of charity goes un-resented

Elphaba's heart slowed down and was shocked by a sudden jolt that made the concentrated expression on her face loosen and slacken. Her lips fell into an unexpected frown. She could feel it deep within her stomach that something was terribly wrong, just like how she felt when Nessa had died, the vision she got of Dorothy before it happened. And like that, she knew that Fiyero was dead.

No good deed goes unpunished

That's my new creed

Anguish. That was one way you could describe how the green witch was feeling as she let out a pent-up sob, her cries echoing across the stone walls. The flying monkeys cowered and hung their heads as they felt what she was feeling, some of them whimpering in confusion or loss. Wet, sloppy tears fell out of Elphaba's dark brown eyes… If she had flown away safely, but closer to the cornfields, would she have saved him in time liked she promised?

My road of good intentions led where such roads always lead

No good deed goes unpunished

She remembered when he first came to Shiz. She didn't like him, didn't even find him interesting. And he didn't take a liking to her either, choosing her over Glinda—who wouldn't? No one had liked her. They accused her of eating grass as a child. They taunted her since the beginning of time, and it all started with the green bottle she had found under her mother's pillow after her death so many years ago.

Nessa, Dr. Dillamond, Fiyero…

Whoever she was, she knew one thing: That her father was never hers. She was someone else's child. And that pained her, made her look at herself differently. If she could not trust her family, who else was there? There was Fiyero, but he was gone now…and so was her family. Elphaba just knew, could picture his bleeding corpse in the field. But she didn't want to accept it.

One question haunts and hurts,

Too much, too much to mention

By that point, Elphaba was fuming. That little Dorothy girl will skip right by those cornfields, probably oblivious to the murder that just took place there. She took her sister's shoes, the only memory she had of Nessa. And worst of all, she believed that Wizard junk she was fed by oh-so-good Glinda—something Elphaba had been trying for months to prevent, for he was just a charlatan in some scientific design.

Was I really seeking good,

Or just seeking attention?

But maybe it was true. Maybe Elphaba really was trying too hard to become normal. After all, isn't that what she expected of the Wizard? But after all that passed, and she lived life the way she wanted to, protecting the Animals' rights and fighting against the supposed "Wizard," she had Fiyero.

Is that all good deeds are

When looked at with an ice cold eye?

Fiyero. Oz, how that named rolled off her tongue so swiftly, so calmly! More nonexistent tears pricked at her eyes, and she was glad she was kneeling on the floor, for her knees would've collapsed right from under her. He was dead, he was gone. No, Elphaba kept trying to calm herself as that awful, nauseous feeling in the pit of her stomach made her picture Fiyero's death more vividly—one of her malicious connections that kindled at their first kiss. He's not dead. We had a plan if something like this happened. And he agreed to it.

If that's all good deeds are

Maybe that's the reason why

The cornfields, swaying in the breeze. How much that foreshadowed what really would happen to him. That one blissful moment they spent before that terrible nausea overwhelmed her about Nessa's death, the vision of the house and Dorothy—gone. Now what was Elphaba supposed to do? Wade in her sorrows and let Dorothy prance away with those red ruby slippers, that little dog probably slobbering all over them?

No good deed goes unpunished
All helpful urges must be circumvented

Frantic and panting from wracking sobs, she called over Chistery and recited the plan her and Fiyero had made hours before when she got the vision of Dorothy and the slippers. She could still remember the way his cologne smelled, made her lust for him as they touched foreheads together, smiled and blushed as they planned their escape. Dorothy's arrival couldn't have been more perfect to run away. But she had to push that aside for now. Revenge would hopefully be in her favor tonight. She would steal the Dorothy girl, take back what was rightfully hers (if she could), and tear the place down brick by brick so she could die in her misery.

No good deed goes unpunished

But Fiyero wouldn't want that. He knew of her innocence, unlike the many Ozians out there who nicknamed her the Wicked Witch of the West. It was the Wizard's scheme to make her look bad. There was, however, only one other person who knew: Glinda. They had been old friends in Shiz, but she ditched her the day they traveled to the Emerald City. After she was gone, Elphaba prayed, Glinda would never reveal her innocence. If she wanted to make her mark, there was no better way than to fake her (and what was supposed to be Fiyero's, too) death and leave a malicious reputation behind—all starting with Dorothy.

Sure, I meant well

But look at what well-meant did

She would lead her here, she reiterated to Chistery. He and the others would have to fly out and bring them here, but first she needed to speak to someone who she detested to actually prance in her direction. Someone who had Dorothy right at his heels. Yes, the Wizard would send her here. In a few minutes, she flew into the Emerald City. And in a few minutes, she was gone, the Wizard deciding to give her one last chance and agreeing to tell Dorothy to bring him her broomstick which she had enchanted.

All right, enough, so be it!

So be it then

Without Fiyero—the thought of his name still pierced her heart—there was no scarecrow to tag along with Dorothy like they arranged. The original plan was simple: Get Dorothy to the castle, have her grab for the convenient bucket of water to the side after setting Fiyero ablaze, and "melting" her—using a simple spell she memorized by heart. Then she and Fiyero would have their ticket out of Oz, away from the place that had caused so many bad memories for Elphaba, and she just so happened to have a man tag along beside her.

Let all Oz be agreed

I'm wicked through and through since I could not succeed

But those days were over, and Elphaba had to ignore the prickling at her heart as she succumbed to these words. He was gone, he was dead, and he wasn't coming back. She had failed him; she had vowed she would recite the spell and save him, scare away the officials so he could hang himself up on the stake to await Dorothy's arrival.

I promise no good deed would I attempt to do again

Ever again!

What would become of Elphaba once she was gone? She had no idea herself. She had already recounted the many plans her and Fiyero would do once they escaped Oz—but those were pointless now. She was alone, she was afraid, and she lusted for revenge.

No good deed will I do again!

She placed another scarecrow in Fiyero's place, so she could still watch out on what was happening. Brainless indeed. So killing Dorothy wasn't the problem when she learned that the slippers wouldn't come off her feet. After all, her and her friends skipped down the poppy field while her flying monkeys snatched her up. Vengeance crawled up her cruel heart, but that feeling slackened when she thought of Fiyero—and the splash of water soaked her at that moment.

Reciting the spell, she disappeared underneath the floorboards. She heard Dorothy and the others—consisting of, unsurprisingly, Tin Man Boq, a lion, and her scarecrow. All signs of wickedness she had felt from her loss and of Dorothy's theft disappeared, and Elphaba was afraid of herself. But then there was someone she expected the least to hear: Glinda. She heard her whimper out her name and fall on to the floor, probably retrieving her hat and green bottle.

It was at that moment that Elphaba was finally able to mourn. She thought of Fiyero, how kind and romantic he was to her, the boy with the little crush before she left for the Emerald City; she thought of Glinda and her peppy quests, the way they fought but were always friends by heart; and she thought of Nessa' slippers which had failed to retrieve.

And she had invited Glinda before to part with a good-bye, but she never showed. So Glinda never had to witness Elphaba's death; that was good. Elphaba didn't know how she would be able to deal with the pain if she knew that.

So she set off, green skin and all. And as the sun rose in the distance, and Fiyero's charming face burned in her mind, she managed to smile. Oz and the events that happened there would always haunt her mind. But it was a new life for Elphaba. What adventures would await for her in those faraway places she had never been?