I'll Protect You

Chapter 4

The Discovery

AN: woW, thank you all for the wonderful reviews! You guys rock! Huge shout outs go to Elphaba'sGirl, .5, ComingAndGoingByBubble, The great Fae the Queen, A very talented Maddy, or Ultimate Queen of Cliffies, the ever amazing L8lzytwner, wickedwitchgirl, and the ever wonderful elphiesglinda! Thank you all so much for the wonderful reviews! Next chapter will be up soon! Thanks again and God Bless!

"Fae!" screams Fiyero. The plume of smoke slowly fades away, and Glinda's study once again comes into focus.

Fiyero's legs wobble before giving beneath him. Awkwardly, the former Winkie Prince unceremoniously crumbles to the ground. Bending over, Fiyero weakly lowers his forehead to the floor, the palms of his hands slide out and press hard against the dark quoxwood flooring, shimmering in the candlelight. The slight waft of the breeze, and the flames of twisted oranges, violent reds and a swirl of blue billow, flicker and dance, before stilling, followed by the sound of his shuddering breathes, fill the air.

"Fiyero?" whispers Glinda softly. Slowly, she turns, and her eyes widen, seeing Fiyero's trembling body hunched over on the ground. And for a moment, she feared he would retch. "Fiyero!"

Gracefully, Glinda crumbles to her knees, and sliding across the floor, wraps her slender arms around Fiyero's trembling form. Her eyes soften, faint wisps of tears sparkle in her eyes; the cerulean and hints of aquamarine shimmer in the dancing candlelight.

"Oh…Fiyero" whispers Glinda softly. Her voice trembles as the tears spill from her eyes.

She could feel the heat of his body vibrate against the tips of her fingers, the hard downbeat of his heart, throbbing, pounding the blood through his twisted veins.

Slowly, her eyes fluttered closed. Unconsciously, she pressed her cheek against Fiyero's side. She could feel his heartache, and it only broke her own weak heart, all the more.

He's so lost without her…

"Take…take me back" pants Fiyero, his voice quivered, as he struggled to gain control of his rapid breathing.

"What?" asks Glinda surprised. Shocked, she jerks her head up, her dark cerulean eyes gaze back at Fiyero.

"Take me back there Glin…now…I…I have to save her" pants Fiyero.

"I…I can't" whispers Glinda.

Instantly, Fiyero snaps his head to the side, his dark, sapphire eyes glare menacingly at the Good Witch of the North. "You can't…or you won't?"

"I can't" chokes out Glinda.

Fiyero watches in stunned silence, as Glinda weakly rises to her full height. Her soft, cerulean eyes gaze back into dark sapphire, and for a split moment, the vulnerable, scared little girl from Shiz stared back at him. The Glinda he knew so long ago, the girl, unsure of her own power, of herself.

A sob and Glinda turns away.

"No no no no no!" screams Fiyero, pounding his fist hard against the floor. Angrily, the former Captain of the Guard jumps to his feet, and stepping up behind the trembling blonde, reaches out and grabs hard onto her shoulder. A growl and he spins her around. "Why did you just poof us out of there! Why!?" roars Fiyero.

"I had no choice…we had to leave" whispers Glinda softly.

"Take me back there Glin! Take me back there now!" snarls Fiyero.

"I already told you I can't!" snaps Glinda as she roughly jerks her shoulder free from Fiyero's iron grip.

"What do you mean you can't?" asks Fiyero, his voice rough and dark. A menacing glare shimmered in his eyes, making Glinda's heart clench tight in her chest.

"Just that, I can't!" cries Glinda.

"You have magick…you're a witch! Can't you just wave your wand and say an incantation like bippity-boppity-boo and "poof"! exclaims Fiyero, before smacking his hands together in a grand gesture.

Growling, Glinda advances on Fiyero. Her hand rises, and one by one, her fingers curl, until only one, points menacingly back at the former Captain. Angrily, she jabs at Fiyero's chest.

Scared, Fiyero's eyes widen as he backs away from Glinda's advances. He'd seen her temper back at Shiz, but he'd never seen her this pissed. And quite frankly, it frightened her. She might be a pint-sized little pink powder-puff but she could still make any man tremble at her feet. How she managed to accomplish such still remained a mystery, even to him.

"Firstly! No I can't! A transportation spell such as this takes an enormous amount of power and concentration" snarls Glinda. "The later…I lack" she added as an afterthought.

"But" stammers Fiyero but stops once the wall collides with his back.

"Secondly" seethes Glinda. "Bippity-boppity-boo is nothing more than a bunch of nonsensical nonsense with no rhyme or reason! For Ozsakes those aren't even real words! There just a bunch of hocus pocus, no real magick comes from that!"

"Glin" trembles Fiyero.

"And third!" snarls Glinda. Stopping a tense, pregnant silence falls around the two former lovers. And for a moment, Fiyero thought he was a goner. But to his surprise, the anger left Glinda's eyes. Slowly, her body relaxed, tears flooded her eyes, making the cerulean look misty. "I'm much too weak"

"But…you can try again!" pleads Fiyero, desperation laced in his voice, which didn't go unnoticed by the Good Witch, and in truth, she couldn't fault him. After all, his true love had been captured, imprisoned in Southstairs; the Hell of Oz, and been tortured and who knows what else.

"If…if I don't concentrate hard enough…then I could end up sending parts of you to Oz knows where" explains Glinda.

"What?" gasps Fiyero stunned. Hadn't her powers grown since becoming the Wizard's Grand Vizier? "But…you've been training with Madame Morrible since coming to the Emerald Palace…surly you've grown stronger in your magick?"

"Don't push it Tiggular…I may have lived here, but that doesn't necessarily mean Madame trained my powers. She hated me remember" seethes Glinda.

"But…you're supposed to be powerful"

"Do you really want me to show you how powerful I really am? I know an excellent place where your lower torso can go" seethes Glinda. "The gardens surrounding the Emerald Palace has been overrun with crows…perhaps your lower half can keep them occupied and away from the vegetables"

Gulping, Fiyero's arms cross over his lower region, a look of shock, of horror sparkles in his eyes, and his face pales considerably. He'd already had his fill with dealing with crows on his journey here to the Palace.

"I'm good" croaks out Fiyero.

"Good" growls Glinda. Slowly, she pulls away, her dark, cerulean eyes never leaving Fiyero's frightened sapphire.

Sighing, she turns and unceremoniously plops herself down in a chair.

"So…what do we do now?" asks Fiyero slowly.

"We wait" is all Glinda says.

"Wait! We can't wait! The longer Fae stays there in the dungeons the farther she'll fall away! I can't leave her there Glinda!"

"I know you can't Fiyero…but the situation is quite precarious…or have you forgotten how Oz feels towards the emerald witch?" asks Glinda, as her eyes narrow back at him.

"I haven't forgotten" sighs Fiyero. Defeated, Fiyero turns and rests his forehead against the wall. "So what do we do?"

"We wait for an opportunity to present itself" is all Glinda says. "With the Wizard and Madame Morrible still in power it makes it even harder to break her lose. Plus…I'm pretty sure you don't want Madame or the Wizard to use your newly straw body as the starter for the bonfires"

"No fires" gasps Fiyero frightened.

Silence, followed by an enraged growl and the sound of a fist pounding the wall, knocks Glinda from her thoughts. Startled, she jumps out of her chair.

"Fiyero!" admonishes Glinda.

"I'm sorry Glin…I just…I hate feeling like this" snarls Fiyero. Slowly, his shoulders slump, and tears flood his eyes once more. Weakly, he turns and stares defeated back Glinda. "So powerless"

"I know Fiyero…I know…but we'll free her…we just can't do it on our own…were not a formidable force to go against the Wizard and Madame Morrible…we need help…support"

"A foolish dream…after all…who would come to the aid of the Wicked Witch of the West and the traitorous Captain of the Guards?" jokes Fiyero.

"What of the Animals…the Resistance…surly they would come to their comrades aid?" suggests Glinda.

"I haven't a clue to where the whereabouts of the Resistance headquarters are located" admits Fiyero.

"But…you were the Captain of the Guard! Surly you've had leads?" sputters Glinda.

"We did…but I never followed up on them…I had been too consumed with-"trails off Fiyero.

"Finding Elphie?" offers Glinda weakly.

He could see the pain shimmer in Glinda's eyes, and it made his heart hurt all the more. He never meant to hurt her, he did care for her, love her, but in a brotherly way.

Slowly, he nodded, unable to speak past the lump in his throat.

"I thought so" replies Glinda softly.

"I am sorry Glin…I never meant to hurt you" replies Fiyero softly.

"I know you didn't Fiyero…after all…you can't fight what the heart wants…and yours wanted Elphie" smiles Glinda weakly.

"I do care for you" replies Fiyero softly.

"I know you do Fiyero" smiles Glinda.

Suddenly, Fiyero straightens. A wicked, crocodile smile pulls at the sides of his stitched lips, and in three quick strides, stands before Glinda.

"Atlas"

"Atlas…What?" asks Glinda confused.

"Atlas…he's a friend of Fae's and a Resistance Member…he's the one who found her in the woods…starving and injured…he's the one who brought her into the fold of the Resistance…trained her and stayed by her side…protecting her" replies Fiyero, his eyes sparkled, and for a moment, Glinda feared that her former lover had truly lost it.

"Okay" starts Glinda softly. "So…how does that help with breaking Elphie free?"

"He can rally the rest of the Resistance members to our aid…help in breaking Fae free and help get her and I safely out of the Palace of Emeralds…and away from Oz" laughs Fiyero. He couldn't help but laugh, after all, it wasn't very often the brainless could come up with such a wonderous idea.

"Would the other Resistance Members even rise to arms?" asks Glinda.

"For a member of their cause…yes…their family…or at least that's what Fae told me. They look after each other, and when one falls, the others come and help pick them back up…the same…goes for if one is captured" explains Fiyero.

"Alright…then how do we find this…Atlas?" asks Glinda confused.

"The old Corn Exchange…that's where Fae used to meet him"

"When?" asks Glinda.

"Tonight…they meet every night…passing on information"

"What time? It's already so late?" questions Glinda, as she turns and glances at the Grandfather clock, tucked neatly in the far corner.

"Midnight…when the moon's high and the stars sparkle in the sky…that's when he'll appear" smiles Fiyero.

"That's in less than a half hour!" gasps Glinda.

"Then we must hurry"

The echo of the whip, ricochet's down the long, dark, dank corridors, dancing shadows, writhing and thrashing across the walls reveal the true torments, hidden behind closed doors.

Soft, painful pants echo in the dank air.

Slowly, Elphaba lowers her sweat beaten towards the floor. Her long raven hair spills over her broken shoulders. Large, lacerations made by the vicious lick of the whip, crisscross over her shoulders, and down throughout her back. Agonizing pain, shimmered in her eyes, and yet she refused to scream, to give the guards whipping and beating her frail form, the satisfaction of knowing that they had broken her.

A growl, and a large woman steps out of the darkness, her powder white hair sits piled on top of her hair. Her crimson robes sway and swirl around her, as she steps up next to the emerald witch's writhing form. Her face appeared even more bloated and pale in the crackling firelight. A sneer spreads across her red painted lips, cracking the heavy layer of lipstick.

A snarl and she viciously backhands Elphaba across the face.

"Where is it?!"

"And what…exactly is "it" that you're asking me?" pants Elphaba.

A quirk of an eyebrow followed by an elegant gesture of the fish woman's hand, and the whip cracks the air, splitting the raven haired witches back.

Stepping closer, the fish woman reaches out and fists a handful of the witch's hair. Violently, the bloated cod fish of a woman jerks Elphaba's head back.

"You know exactly what I'm talking about dearie! So stop playing dumb with me! Now answer me!" roars the woman, before striking the raven haired witch hard across the face. "Where is it!?"

"I can't tell you where "it" is if I don't know what "it" is" pants Elphaba weakly.

A roar, and the woman throws Elphaba's head down, before signaling to the guard to continue.

The crack of the whip, the splatter of blood, followed by the sound of skin ripping fills brings a wicked smile to slide across her lips. Slowly, she steps back, admiring the work of the guard.

Behind her, a man approaches. Tall, with long black hair and dark, cobalt eyes, dressed in the standard Gale Force Uniform. Stopping, he salutes the woman.

"Captain" sneers the woman.

"Morrible…we have found it amongst the Witch's possessions in Kiamo Ko" reports the man in a gruff voice.

"Well…give it to me!" snarls Morrible.

Jumping, the man salutes Morrible before handing her a black leather bound book. The cover half cracked and the spine broken. And several of the pages half way out of the book, some crimpled beyond repair.

"The Grimmerie…at last" hisses the woman. Seductively, her thick, fat fingers brush against the leather cover. A shiver and her eyes snap back to the new Captain of the Guard. "Excellent job Timus…you are excused"

"Thank you Madame" bows Timus, before backing away.

Smiling, Morrible's fingers finger the cover, before sliding to the half torn edges of the book. A smile, and she cracks the book open.

Elphaba watches, as the smile slowly fades away from Morrible's fat lips, replaced by an angry scowl.

Snapping the book closed, Morrible angrily storms over to Elphaba's side. Reaching back, she cracks the book across Elphaba's face.

"What happened to the book!" roars Morrible.

"I…I haven't a clue to what your referring to" replies Elphaba weakly.

"What happened to the words? The spells etched deep into the pages!" snarls Morrible.

"Are you blind? The words are engraved deep into the pages" Rising her head up defiantly, and icy, crocodile smile pulls at the edges of her broken lips. "Perhaps in your old age your eyes have grown weak. Maybe you need glasses. I know this great optometrist in Munchkinland that can hook you up"

Growling, Madame Morrible's fingers clutch the leather tome, cracking the spine.

Smirking, Elphaba lifts her eyes towards the ceiling "I'm thinking…bubblegum pink" Slowly, she turns her gaze back to a very fuming Morrible. "It'll bring out the color in your eyes…make them dazzle"

Roaring, Morrible once again strikes Elphaba hard across the face with the book, and reaching out, grabs hard onto her bleeding face. Forcefully, she holds her still as she cracks the book open and shoves it closer to her face.

"Then explain this!" hisses Morrible.

A hard gasp slips past Elphaba's lips, for as Morrible had proclaimed, the pages of the Grimmerie were empty, the words etched into the pages, gone.

Frowning, Elphaba racked her brain, trying yet failing to come up with the answers to her quandary. After all, words just don't up and disappear!

Enraged, Morrible reaches up and wraps her thick fingers around Elphaba's throat, the other, grabs at her waist.

"I ask you again! Where are the spells contained in the-"but Madame Morrible's words die, once the feel of something vibrates against her fingertips.

Elphaba watches, stunned, as Morrible's eyes widen, for a power, an energy, not of the raven haired witch's, but of something else, pulsed against her fingers.

Slowly, the shock melts away, an evil, maniacal smile slides across the fish woman's lips. Icily, her eyes rise and stare menacingly back into confused chocolate.

"Oh…how positively wonderful" smirks Morrible.

"What…what in Oz are you getting at?" snarls Elphaba.

"Do you not know? Can you not feel it? The steady pulse of energy…of power…of life growing within you?" asks Morrible darkly.

"What!?" gasps Elphaba.

"Your with child my dear…and oh…the power held within this tiny life…it may surpass even your own powers…oh how delicious" cackles Morrible.

"Pregnant…I'm" stammers Elphaba.

"Yes my dear…your pregnant…congratulations" smiles Morrible. Wickedly, her thick fingers spread across Elphaba's abdomen, a flutter of long black eyelashes, and a low moan slips past the fish woman's lips. "So much power…oh how I can harness such magick…think of how easy it would be…wielding such power…why…all of Oz would fall before me!" cackles Morrible.

"You shall not touch my child!" roars Elphaba as she roughly jerks away.

"You are in no position to stop me my dear" smiles Morrible.

"You stay away from me and my child" snarls Elphaba.

"Oh and how are you going to stop me?"

"I'll stop you" snarls Elphaba.

"Ha! Like you could stop the guards from killing your lover…or the Animals?" asks Morrible.

Defeated, Elphaba's head slowly lowers towards the ground.

"Be warned child…once that child leaves your womb…it…shall be mine" laughs Morrible.

"No!" screams Elphaba.

"In nine months I shall return…and take the child once you birth it into this world…then…you'll meet the executioners block" laughs Morrible as she turns and slinks away.

"Never! You'll never take my child! Do you hear me Morrible! MORRIBLE!" screams Elphaba.