DISCLAIMER: Wicked is not my property or creation, simply the thing that brings me joy.

AN. Last chapter! Also, during the week Dimpled interviewed me for her series "Wicked Interviews" and I wrote a one-shot at the end of it. So check both of those out! And thanks to Dimpled for the offer and interview! It was so much fun, and my first interview!

Also, just as a little thing, check my blog. I know some of you have already seen it, but I made a little poster for you all.

Chapter Forty- One

Lake Chorge was just as beautiful and peaceful as Elphaba... well, kind of remembered.

They had just arrived that day, at the beautiful (and extremely large) summer house of the Uplands that sat right on the shore of the lake. As the others were claiming their rooms and unpacking, Elphaba was standing on the shore, looking over the water.

Fiyero came up behind her and gently wrapped his arms around her waist, softly pressing his lips to her neck. Elphaba leaned into him, a smile spreading over her face.

"Hey. What are you doing?"

"Nothing. Just picked a room."

"Really?"

He nodded. "Yeah. Conveniently, I think it's located right next to yours."

Elphaba chuckled. "Oh really? And what conveniences do you expect that arrangement to have?"

Fiyero squeezed her tighter. "Maybe I feel better having you close," he murmured.

Elphaba's smile spread, and she turned so that she could kiss her boyfriend. Fiyero happily held her closer, and they didn't even hear Galinda approaching until she cleared her throat.

"Um, I'm sorry to burst this love bubble, but we're about to serve lunch."

Elphaba blushed. "OK. Thanks, Glin."

Galinda shook her head as they headed back to the house.

"You two are so-"

"Don't say adorable," Elphaba begged.

"Happy," Galinda finished, rolling her eyes at Elphaba. "Like, super happy. I mean, you have been happy for like the past month, but... all day you two have been all lovey-dovey. What happened last night?"

Fiyero looked to Elphaba. "She doesn't know?"

"I don't tell her everything," Elphaba replied.

The night before, their last night at Shiz, Fiyero and Elphaba had celebrated their (official) one year anniversary. All Elphaba had told Galinda when she finally returned to the room was that it had been great. And that was not enough information for Galinda.

"What happened?" Galinda repeated eagerly.

"Nothing. We just had dinner," Elphaba said.

That wasn't exactly it. Fiyero had arranged a private and romantic candlelight dinner underneath their tree on the grounds. And it had been completely perfect.

But Galinda was right in one thing- they were happy. They were all happy.

They had all survived their finals, although Elphaba wasn't terribly confident she'd done as well as she could have. She still had trouble remembering some things, a side effect from her treatment. Or the infection. Or something. However, Frex had contacted Madame Morrible, and the Headshizstress had assured Elphaba that the staff would allow her to re-sit the finals in the fall if necessary.

And Elphaba was slowly beginning to regain her appetite and her energy- although not fast enough for her liking. And most happily, hair was beginning to return on top of her head. It wasn't much, and she was still mostly wearing scarves or hats to cover her head, but it was what was making her feel the most normal. Just to know it was there.

Galinda had also been right all those months ago when she had told Elphaba that once she was healthy, it would feel like her and Fiyero's relationship was new again. It did, which mostly translated to Fiyero's inability to keep his hands off her.

When they entered the house, they found everyone gathered in the dining room. Galinda immediately dragged Elphaba over to her parents.

"Momsie, Popsicle, this is Elphaba. Elphie, these are my parents."

"Hello," Elphaba greeted them.

Galinda's mother, who looked like an older version of her daughter, beamed at Elphaba.

"It's so nice to finally meet you, Elphaba. Glinny has told us so much about you. I'm so happy that you've recovered."

"Thank you," Elphaba replied.

Over lunch, they discoverated that it could very well be that Galinda had simply be cloned from her mother. The only difference was that Mrs Upland was less obsessed with the colour pink. Galinda's father was cheerful and friendly, and clearly doting to his wife and daughter.

At the beginning of the summer, Galinda's parents were their only chaperones. Boq's family travelled up from Munchkinland for a weekend to celebrate Boq's birthday at the beginning of July, which had been a very small and quiet affair.

Galinda's birthday, at the end of July, was already being planned and she was very excited about it- naturally. But she was keeping the plans firmly under wraps.

They spent most of their days on the lake, enjoying the beautiful weather. For Elphaba, that meant sitting or lying on the shore, usually reading, or sleeping and soaking in the sun. Nessa would usually sit with her, but Fiyero was quite happy to forsake the water to sit with Elphaba in his arms.

"You make a good pillow," she murmured to him drowsily one day from where her head rested on his chest, half-asleep. "Have I told you that?"

"It's one of my many skills," Fiyero smiled, rubbing soft circles on her back.

Galinda emerged from the water a few moments later, grabbing a towel.

"She's not going to get burnt is she? We don't want to beat one cancer to have to fight another," she said anxiously, looking at Elphaba, who was now asleep.

"She's got sunscreen on," Fiyero reassured her. "Plus, she's covered, Glin."

Elphaba did have a light wrap on over her sundress, so Galinda relaxed.

"OK. I think we have some beach umbrellas somewhere..."

"That would be great."

"I can help you find them, Galinda," Boq offered.

Galinda smiled. "Thanks, Boq."

Nessa was also examining her sister closely. "She's got more colour in her face. That's a good thing, right?"

Fiyero nodded. "Yeah. She's getting there guys. Just slowly."

And she was. And there had been times in the past few months where Fiyero felt like Elphaba's emotional recovery was progressing much faster than her physical recovery. And then there were times where it seemed just the opposite.

She still had times where she would become quiet and withdrawn, and the others would pretty much have to literally drag her out of bed and out of the room. But everything Fiyero read told him this was normal, and those times would gradually become fewer and longer apart.

It was a week before Galinda's birthday when she finally revealed her plans to her friends.

"So, usually on my birthday Momsie and Popsicle throw me a huge party with all our friends," she explained. "But I decided this year, I wanted to do something different. So, we're going to have a dinner party!"

"Who's we?" Fiyero asked.

"Well, the five of us obviously. And my parents. That's it," she promised.

Elphaba narrowed her eyes suspiciously. "I feel like there's a but coming."

"But..."

"There it is," Fiyero nodded.

Galinda scowled at the both of them. "But, it's going to have a little bit of a theme."

"What theme?" Nessa asked in interest.

"Pink! Everyone has to wear at least one thing pink," she beamed.

Elphaba fought back a groan.

Boq frowned. "I own nothing pink. At all."

"It's ok, we'll go shopping tomorrow," Galinda reassured him.

Sure enough, promptly the next morning, Galinda dragged them all into town. Elphaba begged off, pleading fatigue; so Galinda didn't push her.

"Um, I thought we all agreed that we weren't going to let Fae go to that dark scary place," Fiyero reminded Galinda when she told them Elphaba wouldn't be coming.

Galinda grimaced. "I know. But what if she is genuinely just tired? Besides, if we're going to drag her out of bed whenever she's not doing great, do you really think making her go shopping is the best way to fix that?"

Fiyero thought about that. "OK, you may have a point," he conceded.

The small town of Neverdale was only ten minutes from the Uplands home. Once Fiyero had completed his own shopping, he decided to make his own way back to check on Elphaba.

He found her in the bedroom she'd claimed, lying on her bed in the foetal position and staring out the window. After leaving his purchases in his own room, he entered her room and got onto the bed with her, slipping his arms around her.

"How's your head?"

Elphaba was confused. "Did I hit it?"

"I meant the inside," he clarified.

"Oh. Right. You mean the thinking, feeling part?"

"That's the one," he nodded.

Elphaba sighed and rolled over to face him. She gave a small shrug.

"I don't know. I had a weird dream last night. Let's blame that, okay?"

Fiyero's interest was captured. "What kind of dream?"

"What kind of dream?" Elphaba repeated. "What are you hoping for? A dirty dream?"

Fiyero grinned. "Maybe," he said, kissing her sweetly.

Elphaba rolled her eyes. "And if I did, would you really want me to describe it as 'weird'?"

Fiyero thought about that and made a face. "No, not really. Ok, so what was your dream?"

"Forget it."

"Elphaba," Fiyero said, stressing each syllable of her name.

Elphaba sighed again and then relented.

"It was my mother's funeral. Except it was mine."

Fiyero got up onto one elbow to look at her carefully, trying to hide the panic he was feeling.

"What?" he asked eventually.

"One of the clearest memories I have from my childhood is my mother's funeral. I can barely remember her, but the funeral... is so clear. You've got to love that, huh? And this dream... it was like I was reliving it. Everything was exactly the same. But when I got to the casket, it was me inside, not my mother."

Fiyero wasn't sure what to say. "What do you think that means?"

Elphaba had been mulling that over ever since she woke up that morning.

"I guess I'm still afraid," she admitted. "I mean, I'm still panicking over every little twinge or anything that I associate with the cancer."

She swallowed hard. "When will it stop? When can I just get back to my life already?"

Fiyero leaned down and kissed her. "Fae, you may not feel like it, but you're doing so well," he told her softly. "I'm so proud of you. Just don't push yourself. There's no time limit or any expectations for you to get past this."

Then he grinned. "And if you want some inspiration for some more pleasant dreams..."

Elphaba blushed even as he kissed her slowly and deeply. And then he preceded to cheer her up, the best way he knew how.

It had actually been Fiyero's intention to drag Elphaba out for a walk along the lake in order to relax her, but it was nearly forty-five minutes before that actually happened.

"So, what do you want?"

Elphaba looked at him. "What do you mean?"

He shrugged, keeping her close as they walked. "I mean... you want to get back to normal, right? You want to get on with your life? So, maybe you should think about what you want from your life. And then we can figure out how to get there."

Elphaba stopped walking and turned to him, sliding her arms around his neck.

"I want forever with you. And I want to stop being afraid that we're not going to get that."

Fiyero smiled and kissed her sweetly. "We'll get it, Fae. But we'll make our forever one day at a time."

"One day at a time," she repeated.

He nodded. "One day at a time. Just like we did with the cancer. And we got through that, didn't we?"

Elphaba nodded thoughtfully. "We did," she agreed softly.

"OK, I like the idea of that. Forever. One day at a time."

He grinned. "I like the idea of forever."

Friday was Galinda's twenty-first birthday, and she was practically glowing.

"This is the one day of the year that I can justifiably demand that everyone is centred on me," she explained to Elphaba, who laughed.

Mr and Mrs Upland had hired decorators who were trimming the outdoor patio in fairy lights and pink... everything.

As the sun began to set, the group went upstairs to dress for dinner. Elphaba was just straightening her dress when there was a knock on the door and Galinda let herself in.

"Thanks for waiting," Elphaba said sarcastically.

Galinda frowned, her hands on her hips. "Elphie, that's black."

"Well spotted, Glin."

"Elphie, the theme is pink."

"And I will be wearing pink," Elphaba replied calmly.

She reached into a drawer and pulled out something. Galinda realised after a moment it was the pink headscarf she had given her for Lurlinemas.

"This is the most pink you will ever see me wear, so don't get used to it," she replied bluntly.

Galinda beamed and then hugged her. "Thank you, Elphie!"

Elphaba rolled her eyes. "Yeah, yeah. Did you want something?"

Once Galinda had left and Elphaba had finished getting dressed, she headed downstairs. Standing in the conservatory, which overlooked the back patio and garden, Elphaba could see both Nessa and Boq there, admiring the table. Nessa was looking very pretty in a pale pink dress, whilst Boq was wearing a pink bowtie with his shirt.

Helping herself to a glass of water from the kitchen, Elphaba sipped it slowly. And then promptly choked on it as Fiyero entered the room wearing a pale pink shirt and a bright pink tie.

"Where in Oz's name did you get that?!" she gasped hoarsely.

"Hey, I'm embracing the theme!" Fiyero defended.

"You're embracing something," she teased.

"Nice scarf," he teased back. "Pink does go good with green."

"Shut up," Elphaba rolled her eyes. "It's for Galinda. And I've told her not to get used to it, so you should do the same."

Fiyero looked out the window, admiring the lights and flowers decorating the table.

"Wow, it looks beautiful out there."

"Well, you'd know in that shirt," she smirked.

Fiyero rolled his eyes. "You can make all the jokes you want, Miss Thropp," he declared. "I happen to be secure in my sexuality."

"I'm glad someone is," Elphaba muttered.

She put down her empty glass and moved towards the door to go outside. She squealed involuntarily as she was suddenly grabbed from behind and swept off her feet.

"Fiyero, put me down!" she protested, laughing.

"Um, no. Because apparently I need convince a certain someone of my masculinity," he growled playfully in her ear.

Elphaba scoffed. "I don't think it was your masculinity that was being questioned-"

She didn't get to finish before he cut her off with a deep kiss that made her really glad she wasn't standing.

"Will you two get a room?!" Boq yelled out from the patio when the others eventually caught sight of them.

"Good idea," Fiyero murmured against Elphaba's lips.

She hit him on the shoulder, blushing as she pulled away.

"Guys, this is my night," Galinda reminded them.

"Right. Sorry, Glin," Fiyero apologised, grinning broadly.

"You're not sorry," Elphaba muttered as he set her on her feet.

"Not even a little," Fiyero grinned.

Galinda had set little name cards around the table, so she could control the seating arrangement. She placed herself at the head of the table, with Elphaba on her left and Nessa on her right. Fiyero was seated next to Elphaba, Boq next to Nessa; with her father next to Boq and her mother next to Fiyero.

"I love these centrepieces, Galinda," Nessa said admiringly.

Galinda beamed, looking at the pink roses amidst the table. "Thanks, Nessa."

The food was just as good and even Elphaba managed to eat enough to please the others.

"Galinda, darling, are you going to say something?" Mrs Upland asked when they had finished eating.

"Speech, speech!" chorused Fiyero and Boq.

Galinda giggled and elegantly rose to her feet.

"Ok, ok! Well, first of all, I want to say thank you for all your beautiful presents. I know I haven't actually opened them yet, but I'm sure I'll love them. I want to say thank you to Momsie and Popsicle, for being the greatest parents in all of Oz. I love you guys so much," she beamed at her parents.

"We love you too, angel," her father said affectionately.

Galinda sighed happily. "Also, thank you to my beautiful friends. I love you all, and I'd much rather festivate my birthday with you guys than anyone else in the world. And the thing is, I know that there's a gorgeous and delicious cake in the kitchen, waiting for me to make a wish and blow out the candles. But I have nothing to wish for. Not only because I have a wonderful family and friends, but because... because the only thing I could wish for has already come true."

Galinda suddenly became rather choked and her eyes glistened with tears.

"My wish has already become true, because Elphie is sitting here with us tonight," she continued, and a lump immediately appeared in Elphaba's throat.

"You're my best friend, Elphie," Galinda said emotionally. "You're my best friend, and I love you. You're like the sister I always wanted. And we were all so scared this year that we were going to lose you. And I used to wish every night, that you would get better. And here you are, and I'm so glad. So that's why I don't need to make a wish tonight on my birthday cake."

Elphaba silently got to her feet and hugged her best friend tightly. Both girls were crying and the table was otherwise silent. Finally, they pulled away and Galinda wiped her eyes as she laughed sheepishly.

"Ok, sorry. Happy birthday to me!"

"Happy birthday!" Boq echoed, raising his glass.

Fiyero pulled Elphaba close as they toasted Galinda.

"You good?" he whispered.

"I'm good," she returned softly.

"So someone said there was cake?" Fiyero asked the table at large.

Later that night found the five friends sitting down by the lake on deck chairs. Elphaba was sitting on Fiyero's lap and they were all listening to Galinda chirp happily about all the presents she'd received.

"So, I guess the next birthday is... Miss Elphaba's," Fiyero said, grinning at his girlfriend.

"Yeah, I guess," Elphaba said casually.

"We should do something this year," Nessa suggested.

"No-"

"Good idea," Boq agreed.

"Didn't we all establish last year that I don't do anything on my birthday?" Elphaba pointed out in protest.

"And didn't I establish that the next year, meaning this year, we would be doing something and you didn't have a choice in the matter?" Galinda countered.

"OK, but-"

"And I think after the past year and considering you've never celebrated, we should go all out," Fiyero agreed. "Have a big party."

"With who, the five of us?" Elphaba demanded.

"I think you'd be surprised about who at school might want to come, Elphaba," Nessa said.

"Especially if there was free alcohol," Fiyero added. "Ow!" he exclaimed as Elphaba hit him over the back of the head.

"Was that necessary?"

"Yes," she replied.

"What do you say, Elphie?" Galinda asked her friend.

Elphaba sighed and stalled, looking around at her friends.

"Fine," she agreed reluctantly. "But I want it to be noted that I'm only agreeing because I know if I don't, Galinda is just going to make it a surprise party."

Galinda's face fell. "Oh, I totally should have done that!"

Fiyero laughed. "I think you'll have fun, Fae. You might surprise yourself."

"Elphie, can I plan it?" Galinda begged. "I promise there'll be no pink."

"Go nuts," Elphaba agreed without thinking.

Galinda squealed. "Really?! Oh, Elphie, it's going to be the most fantabulous party ever! Just you wait. Ooh, we should have a theme! Costumes? Or a colour, or maybe-"

"Oh, Oz," Elphaba groaned. "What did I do?"

"Why don't Galinda and I work together?" Nessa suggested to her sister, knowing she'd be able to tame Galinda down slightly.

"Good idea," Elphaba said gratefully.

Galinda was even more thrilled by that idea. "Perfect!"

She and Nessa immediately launched into discussing party ideas, colours, venues and catering options.

"I'm going to get some more cake," Boq said, getting to his feet. "Anyone else?"

"Yes, please," Fiyero agreed, but the others refused. Well, Elphaba and Nessa did, Galinda didn't even hear.

"Just think, we could do masquerade! Or a costume party! Ooh, what about a barefoot ball? A girl I know had one two summers ago, and it was so much fun, even though wearing no shoes is kind of unhygienic, but-"

Elphaba groaned softly, dropping her head on Fiyero's shoulder.

He chuckled softly, tightening his arms around her.

"They're doing this because they love you," he reminded her in a whisper.

"I know," Elphaba replied. "Besides... I mean, the big party isn't my thing, but... the idea of festivating for my birthday isn't that bad."

Fiyero looked at her in mock horror. "Who are you and what have you done with Elphaba Thropp?"

She rolled her eyes. "Shut up. It's just... you're right. After this year... I realise I have a lot in my life that is worth celebrating."

Fiyero grinned. "Like... me?" he asked innocently.

Elphaba simply smiled. "Especially you. Idiot," she replied fondly.

He laughed and kissed her tenderly. Elphaba returned the kiss softly.

"Guys, get a room," Galinda said, barely even glancing at the two of them.

"Fine, we will," Fiyero announced and got to his feet with Elphaba still his arms, heading towards the house, ignoring Elphaba's mortified protests.

Nessa just smiled at the sight. "It's like we're watching them get their happy ending, but it's just the beginning, isn't it?"

Galinda couldn't have worded it better herself.

The End

AN. Also, I decided to try a Video Q&A thing, so send me your questions! You can do it in your review, through PM, twitter... whatever.