Inspired a bit by Les Miz and TWC's Butterfly Effect. Thanks to both for sponsoring my muse!
Two people met in a pub in the rougher part of the Emerald City. Both were in disguise and both were trying to escape.
The man hardly gave her a second glance when she sat down. There was nothing striking about her appearance; brown hair tied into a knot, average complexion-probably Gilikan-and dark eyes. Neither was there anything unusual for her to notice in his dark skin, baggy clothes, and floppy hat nearly covering his face.
After a few minutes, he did venture to speak, considering that it was probably a social requirement. Not that he thought much of those, but he did not want her to think she was slighted.
"You come here often?"
"Occasionally," she muttered vaguely, motioning for another drink.
He would have left it at that if something hadn't caught his attention. "Your arm is burnt. Are you alright?"
"I'm fine," she spat, hastily coving the raw skin. "And I don't need your sympathy or questions, if you don't mind."
"Sorry, just trying to be nice." He took a deep swig out of his beer and grimaced. Munchkin beer was awful, Vinikin was the only way to go.
They drank in silence and the minutes stretched on. The man was considering turning in early when she surprised him by speaking. "So why are you here?"
He raised an eyebrow, though she could hardly see it. "You act as a contestant for Miss-Antisocial-of-the-Year and then expect me to answer your questions?"
She shrugged. "Just being polite. I don't really care either way."
"Well then, just drinking away all the troubles, I guess. You gonna tell me why you're here?"
"You know nothing of troubles," she smirked. "I've had enough trouble to last me several lifetimes. What happened to you? Upset over a girl?"
"Well yes, in part. I'm in love with-" he stopped before he was tempted to go on. It was too easy to tell this total stranger everything. He had to be careful. "She's sort of a criminal. The law is after her, but I know she's innocent."
"Then tell everyone the truth."
The man sighed, "That's the problem; I can't prove it and nobody would believe me anyway if I did." He bit his lip. "Oh, and there's the small matter that she doesn't even know I believe in her, or that I love her."
"Rough. The law is a corrupt thing, isn't it?" She muttered something else that he didn't catch and took a long draft.
He leaned back in the chair, "So, I've told you of my woes. Why are you here?"
She looked at him with a thoughtful expression that made his heart jump for some reason. The woman reminded him of somebody, but he couldn't put his finger on it. "I'm just discovering that being a vigilante is not quite all that it seems," she said darkly.
"A vigilante, huh? You're a fighter for the truth, then, against this 'corrupt' Oz."
"You could say that." She took another drink. "I'm fighting a war, me against the world. A revolution against evil and for the truth, as it were."
He laughed. "Well said, but I think you're here for some other trouble than that."
"How can you say that?"
"People don't come to pubs when fighting a war, they go out and fight harder. No, your problem is more personal. What's the trouble in your life, miss? What stews in the back of your mind as you fight your never-ending battles?"
She smiled sadly. "You are very good at reading people, sir. Perhaps you should use that to impress your girl. Yes, I admit it, there is another problem. I am in love with one of my few friends and can do absolutely nothing about it."
"Why can you not just inform him?"
"He thinks that I am a ruthless killer, just as everybody does. Even if I could convince him that the Wizard's claim against me is false, I can never receive his love. He is engaged to my other friend."
He spun his empty glass with his finger, wishing he could turn back the Time Dragon Clock for both him and this girl. They both needed a fresh start, a second chance to stop the Wizard's lies from ruining their lives. "Life's just not fair, is it?"
"It isn't," she agreed. "The world would not work if it were. There must always be people like you and me who receive all the misery and none of the good."
"Us lucky bastards."
She peered at him over the glass. "To the revolution."
He lifted his bottle to join hers. "To truth."
"To defying gravity." The woman smirked. "And to your girl, whoever she is."
"And your friend."
She nodded and they soon parted ways, shaking hands and wishing each other the best of luck, though not expecting it.
As Fiyero stared at her retreating figure, he wondered if indeed the charade he was living was worth it. How much longer would he have to smile for the crowds and pretend to love a girl he did not? How much longer would he have to hunt before he found her? Would he ever?
Elphaba slipped into a dark alleyway and gently touched the red part of her wrist, feeling the disguise melt away. She looked up at the stars, tracing the path that would take her West. The man had shaken her, stirred up feelings that she had spent years trying to repress. And now they sat there, staring at her in the face.
She swallowed it all with a stern warning that wishing only wounds the heart. With a leap, The Wicked Witch of the West took off flying, brushing a single tear from her cheek.
Ah, watching Supernatural is great until it's 12:00 a.m. and you're afraid the creepy girl from the painting is going to kill you Sweeny Todd style…
Which is why I'm writing and posting at midnight, with all the lights in my house turned on and the radio blaring Les Miserables songs.