AN: Here it is! The last instalment. We hope you've enjoyed reading these one-shots as much as we've enjoyed writing them. Maddy's prompt for this one was, "The gang goes to a café for hot cacao and all exchange Lurlinemas gifts, only because Elphaba is still pissed at Boq, her gift for him is to turn him into a reindeer with the spell Galinda used before. Meanwhile Nessa meets a cute guy at the café."
Also, we'd both like to thank everyone for all the wonderful reviews, and also everyone who faved and followed. It means to world to us.
Lastly, we hope you all had a Merry Christmas (Lurlinemas) and we'll see you in the New Year! :) xx
Elizabeth and Maddy
Gifts and surprises
"I really don't know if I want to talk to you after that incident with the snowman," Galinda sniffed.
"Oh, come on, Galinda, I said I was sorry. What more can I do?" Elphaba asked desperately. She had been apologizing for what seemed like an eternity, though it had only been two days. "You can't ignore me forever, you know. Not that you've managed all that well so far," she muttered. Louder, she continued, "We are still roommates."
"We'll see about that," Galinda said tightly.
Elphaba's jaw dropped open. "No, you wouldn't! Please, Galinda! I wasn't trying to be mean! I didn't realize exactly how scared of snowmen you are."
Galinda turned to face her roommate, eyes filled with hurt. "I'd never told anyone about that before that afternoon. And then you used it against me! No friend does that, Elphie. I never used anything against you."
Elphaba bit her lip. She felt utterly terrible. "If I'd known, I'd have thought of something else…"
"You mean you still wouldn't have let me follow you?" Galinda's lower lip wobbled, but Elphaba ignored that, her sympathy evaporating.
"No! Glin, it was supposed to be a date for just me and Fiyero. You know, to spend time alone together without any interruptions, as couples do. If we'd wanted you there, we would have asked you. Why do you feel such a need to spy on us?"
"Because you two are so cute together!"
Elphaba rolled her eyes. "We're not here for your entertainment, you know. If you want to see use be 'so cute together'," she snapped sarcastically, "keep your eyes open when you're already there with us."
"But you act differently when you're alo-"
Elphaba ignored the interruption. "Then maybe you won't feel such a need to intrude on our privacy."
Galinda was quiet.
"It doesn't mean we love you any less," Elphaba went on softly, "but we would appreciate some time alone. I mean, we've only just got together. It would be nice to have a date without worrying about anyone ruining it for us. Fiyero's still feeling guilty over our first date – I mean, he put so much effort into making it perfect, as you told me yourself. And it was my first date ever – an occasion I never thought I'd see – and, well, he really put so much effort into it…"
Galinda turned away, wrapping her arms around herself. "You're right. Oh, Oz, I feel dreadful! I am such a stupid…stupid…blonde!" she finished angrily.
"I'm not trying to make you feel guilty," Elphaba said, approaching her friend tentatively. "I'm just trying to make you understand."
"Oh, I understand, Elphie, I do!" Galinda cried, turning and flinging her arms around the green girl's neck.
Elphaba stumbled backwards, caught off-guard at the other girl's weight suddenly on her, but she wrapped her arms around Galinda and gave her a grateful squeeze. "Thanks, Glin." She paused. "Does this mean you're talking to me again?"
"Yes," Galinda replied with a sniffle. She pulled back. "I'm sorry, Elphie."
"It's okay. So we've reached an understanding?"
Galinda nodded. "I promise I will never follow you and Fiyero on a date ever again."
Elphaba highly doubted Galinda really could keep that promise, but she didn't want to ruin the moment by saying anything. Besides, she really did appreciate the effort. So Elphaba just smiled down at her friend. "Thanks. Now come on," she said in an attempt to brighten the mood, "what do friends do when they make up after a fight?"
Immediately, Galinda perked up. "Give each other make-overs!"
Elphaba grimaced, but then she looked at Galinda. She looked so hopeful, and Elphaba still felt so terrible about the whole snowman incident. She sighed. "Fine. Just this once, though."
Galinda nodded eagerly and immediately set about painting Elphaba's face and fiddling with her hair. "I've been thinking –"
"Never a good sign," Elphaba teased.
Galinda frowned and gave the brush an extra-hard yank.
"As I was saying," Galinda continued, "I was thinking about Lurlinemas Day – trying to figure out exactly what we're going to do. I thought maybe we could go to the Primrose Café and exchange our presents there. What do you think?"
"I guess it's alright with me if it's alright with the others," Elphaba sighed. "But why can't we just go to Fiyero's dorm? That is where the you-know-what is, afterall."
"Where what is?" questioned Galinda in confusion.
"The tree," Elphaba hissed quietly, rolling her eyes.
"Oh. Yes, well, we can still go back there afterwards; I just thought it would be nice to go out and share some hot cocoa," Galinda explained.
"We can have hot cocoa at Fiyero's –"
Elphaba sighed again. "It sounds like a lovely idea, Glin."
Galinda clapped her hands together in excitement. "Yay!" She went over and began rummaging around in her chest of drawers.
"Have you finished the tor- make-over?" Elphaba asked hopefully.
"Hmmm? Oh, yes. Ah-ha!" Triumphantly pulling something out of the drawer, she returned to Elphaba's side and held out her hand.
"What's this?" Elphaba took the piece of card in mystification, throwing a questioning look up at Galinda's face.
"Read it!" Galinda urged with a bright smile.
Elphaba did so, before raising an eyebrow. "You couldn't just tell me what time to meet? You had to make me an invitation?"
Galinda pouted. "You don't like it?"
"No, no, I do like that," Elphaba hastened to assure her friend. "It's just that I don't see the point in it when we live together and you're going to be reminding me of it every five minutes."
"Well, I'm giving one each to Fiyero, Nessa and Boq. I could hardly leave out my best friend, now, could I?"
"But…you weren't talking to me when you made this… Or did you make them before that?"
Galinda's eyes shifted around. "I have to go," she burst out, grabbing her handbag and bolting for the door.
Elphaba chuckled and shook her head.
"Come on, Elphie! Hurry up! We're going to be late!" Galinda exclaimed, tugging at her friend's hand.
"We're fifteen minutes early," Elphaba said, trying to be patient. "How can we possibly be late?"
"Alright, I'm coming, I'm coming," Elphaba grumbled good-naturedly. "Gee, this is heavy. What in Oz' name have you got in here?"
Elphaba rolled her eyes.
"I still don't see why you couldn't take the bloody thing yourself."
"Elphie, I told you! I just got my Lurlinemas manicure and I don't want my nails chipped."
"Oz forbid that happen. What a tragedy that would be."
"Yes, it would be!" Galinda said indignantly, completely missing the sarcasm in Elphaba's voice.
Another eye roll.
"Come on, we're almost there." Galinda gave another tug on Elphaba's hand.
Finally, they made it to the café. Galinda flung the door open, announcing her presence, and pulled Elphaba roughly behind her. Elphaba stumbled into the café, trying not to drop all the presents.
"Oh, look! There's Fiyero! Fiyero!" Galinda flapped her hands about and jumped, trying to catch Fiyero's attention.
"Wouldn't it be easier to just go over to him?" Elphaba asked drily.
At that moment, Fiyero caught sight of them and a big grin lit up his face, causing Elphaba to go weak at the knees and her heart to flutter in her chest. She smiled back.
"FiFi!" Galinda cried, weaving her way towards him with Elphaba close behind.
Fiyero stood up as the girls approached the table. "Hallo, Glin, looking radiant as ever." He paused to kiss Galinda on the cheek, before turning to his girlfriend. "And you look absolutely divine," he murmured, dropping a tender kiss onto Elphaba's lips.
Elphaba blushed. "Thanks."
"Awww! You two are so –"
Elphaba glared at Galinda, effectively cutting her off, while Fiyero looked amused.
"So what, Glin?"
Elphaba lightly hit him in the stomach. "Don't encourage her."
"Shall we sit down?"
Fiyero slid into the booth and waited for Elphaba to join him. Once she was sitting next to him, Fiyero put his arm around her shoulders and pulled her against his side. Galinda sat in the booth opposite them.
"When do you suppose Nessa and Biq are going to get here?"
Elphaba looked at her friend. "We've still got five minutes before we're supposed to meet. Give them a chance."
"Well, it's just I'm so excited about this!" said Galinda, bouncing in her seat.
"Impatient, more like!" Elphaba retorted, and Fiyero chuckled in agreement.
Galinda poked her tongue out at the couple, making Elphaba laugh at her.
At that moment, the café door opened to admit Nessarose, with Boq following a bit behind.
"Well, you don't need to be impatient any longer," Fiyero said, nodding towards the newcomers.
Galinda turned around, clocked the other two, and promptly squealed, clapping her hands together. "Yay, we're all here now!" She signalled for service as Nessarose wheeled herself up to the table and Boq slid into the booth beside Galinda, his cheeks flushed.
They all exchanged greetings, Nessarose glowered at Boq and Galinda, and a waitress appeared to take their orders.
"Five hot cocoas," Galinda told her firmly, leaving no room for anyone to protest; and the waitress jotted down the order, nodded and promptly disappeared.
"So," Fiyero said eagerly once she had gone, "present time?"
"Patience, FiFi, dear," Galinda replied.
"Look who's talking," Fiyero muttered.
Elphaba elbowed him in the side, biting back a grin.
"Wait until after our cocoa has arrived, hmmm?" Galinda tapped her nails on the table absentmindedly.
The group chatted amongst themselves while they waited, and when everyone was finally sipping their hot cocoas, Galinda cleared her throat importantly.
"Well, the year has flown by, and what a year it was. We've all had our ups and our downs; our good times and our bad; our arguments and our celebrations. But we've come through it all, and –"
Galinda broke off and scowled. "Yes, Fiyero?"
"Can't we just get on with it?"
Galinda huffed. "But I had a whole speech planned out!" she whined.
Elphaba rolled her eyes. "Please, Glin, save the speech for New Year. It would be a more appropriate occasion, if the beginning was anything to go by."
"Fine," Galinda grumbled with a sigh. "I suppose you're right."
"So, presents?" Fiyero asked with a lopsided smile.
Galinda pulled out her bag of gifts and sat it on the table. "Only if I get to go first," she stated firmly.
The others, all slightly apprehensive about whether or not their gifts would be appreciated, gladly relinquished the floor.
Galinda sat a rather large gift on the table in front of Elphaba. "Merry Lurlinemas, Elphie."
"Oh, Glin, it's –"
"Don't you dare protest until you open it. And not even then."
Elphaba smiled meekly and began to unwrap her gift as everyone watched on in silence. Finally, the wrapping paper fell away to reveal… "A nail polish set?" Elphaba's eyebrow shot up.
"I know you don't do girly stuff like you should," Galinda admitted, "but I thought maybe once in a while…like when you and Fiyero are going on a date or something. And look! Not one pink polish among them!" Galinda added proudly.
Elphaba scanned the small bottles and found that Galinda was right. The polishes were mostly in shades of blue and purple, with the odd splash of black, dark green or silver.
"And…" Galinda pulled out something from underneath the box. "…I even got you a book!"
Elphaba eyed the title sceptically: '101 Hairstyles For Long Hair'.
Galinda shrugged. "It's just…well, you've got such gorgeous hair, and all you ever do with it is plait it. It would be a shame to never do anything else with it, and now that you've got Fiyero…I just thought it would be nice."
Elphaba was still slightly sceptical, but was touched by Galinda's reasoning. She smiled and squeezed her friend's hand. "Thankyou, Galinda."
Galinda beamed. "You're welcome. I'd hug you, but the table is in the road. I'll give you one later." She drew another gift out of her bag and passed it to Fiyero. "Merry Lurlinemas, Fiyero."
"Thanks, Glin; that's lovely of you."
Galinda laughed. "How can you possibly say that before you've even opened it? For all you know, I might have got you something you don't like. Something terrible, even." Her eyes twinkled.
"I have faith in you," Fiyero said as he unwrapped his present. He picked up the first item. "Oh, clothes! Oz…some." He flushed a bright red when he realized exactly what it was he was holding up.
It was a singlet with a picture of a reindeer surrounded by lovehearts.
Fiyero quickly shoved the garment under the table in embarrassment, shooting a glare at Elphaba when she sniggered. "Not funny," he said through clenched teeth.
"No," Elphaba agreed. "Hilarious!"
Fiyero chanced a glance at Boq and Nessarose from the corner of his eye. They seemed to share Elphaba's opinion. Boq grinned and gave Fiyero a thumbs-up as Nessarose stifled her giggles with her hand.
"They're to go with your new underwear," Galinda told him cheekily. "I didn't realize when I bought those that there was a singlet to match. So what do you think? Cute, huh? I bet Elphie will looove seeing you wear them." She winked.
"Yes, I'm going to looove seeing you wear them," Elphaba teased him.
Fiyero groaned. As Galinda passed Boq a small envelope, Fiyero tightened his hold on Elphaba and tickled her lightly, making her squirm. "I'll get you for that later."
Elphaba batted her eyelashes at him innocently. "For what?"
"For not backing me up."
"Fiyero, you haven't looked at your real gift yet!"
Fiyero blinked up at Galinda, and then at the item sitting in front of him. Hesitantly, he picked it up and turned away from everyone to look at it. When he was satisfied it was not embarrassing this time, he turned back with a smile. "Thanks, Glin," he said, showing everyone the lovely Lurlinemas sweater Galinda had given him.
Boq had by now read the card from Galinda and discovered the pink lipstick mark so lovingly left by Galinda's lips.
"I didn't know what to get you," Galinda said apologetically. "Well, apart from this." She turned Boq to face her, took a deep breath, and then leant forward and pressed her lips to his for several long moments.
Finally, she pulled away. "Merry Lurlinemas, Boq," she whispered.
Boq's entire body seemed to turn red as he gaped at her, trying to remember how to breathe.
"Here, Nessa," Galinda said quickly, shoving a small package in her direction. "This is for you." Galinda had had no idea what to get for the girl who currently hated her guts, but she had eventually found something that could pass as being a peace offering without being so extravagant as to come across as being over-eager to please.
Nessarose opened the gift suspiciously, but faltered when she saw the pack of assorted headbands and the gift voucher for the Oz Boutique. "O-oh." She was silent as she looked at her present, before a small smile crept onto her face. She glanced up to meet Galinda's gaze. "Thankyou," she whispered. "They're…they're lovely."
"Here," Nessarose said, digging an envelope out of her own bag and handing it to Galinda. "It's not much, but, well, it's something."
Galinda opened the envelope to find a voucher for a manicure. "Oh, thankyou, Nessa!" Galinda beamed.
"Fabala." Nessarose passed her sister a solid, rectangular-shaped gift.
"A book, right?" Fiyero asked knowingly as Elphaba unwrapped the gift.
Nessarose and Elphaba both nodded as the green girl discovered the book.
Fiyero leant over to read the title. "Hey, no fair! If you read that thing, you're going to end up knowing more than me. That is so not meant to happen."
"I already know more than you," Elphaba pointed out teasingly. "It's not a hard feat."
"You know what I mean," Fiyero replied, bumping her shoulder playfully.
"What is it?" Galinda asked curiously.
Elphaba held up the book for her to see. "It's a book about the Vinkus."
Galinda let out a soft, "Awww," glancing over at Nessarose. "That is so sweet."
Nessarose smiled, glad her sister liked her present. "It's supposed to be all about the Vinkus and its history, its culture…everything."
Elphaba beamed at her sister. "Thankyou, Nessie."
"Fiyero, this is for you." Nessarose pushed a small box in Fiyero's direction.
Fiyero opened it curiously and his face lit up when he saw a pair of silver cufflinks shaped like diamonds. "They're lovely. Thankyou, Nessa."
"And Boq." Nessarose handed the last gift to the Munchkin. "Merry Lurlinemas."
Surprised, Boq unwrapped his present. "Toffee? Thanks, Nessa!" Eagerly, he opened the lid, only to have a toy snake jump out at him, eliciting a small scream.
Everyone around the table cracked up laughing as Nessarose smirked in satisfaction. "Oh, and there's a card in there, too."
Boq sighed and rested his head on his hands. "I'm not so sure I want to give you your present now."
"Oh, give it to her, Biq. She's probably keeping your real present for later. Right, Nessa?" Galinda hinted.
Nessarose flushed guiltily, knowing there was no such present. "Uh…yes…"
Boq hesitated, before passing the girl a small gift.
Nessarose unwrapped it to reveal a bottle of perfume. "Thankyou, Boq," she whispered.
Boq nodded in acknowledgement and pushed a gift bag in front of Galinda. "M-miss Galinda."
Galinda reached into the bag and pulled out a beautiful white teddy bear with crystal-blue eyes and a pink, loveheart-patterned ribbon around its neck. "Oh, Biq! It's gorgeous! Thankyou!" She threw her arms around him in a quick hug and kissed his cheek.
He blushed all over again and shoved a gift towards Elphaba.
Elphaba smiled up at Fiyero sheepishly with a shrug as she opened the present. It was a book on magic. "How ironic," she murmured with a smirk.
Fiyero frowned. "How so?"
Elphaba shook her head. "Thanks, Boq."
Fiyero was surprised. "You actually got me something?"
Boq shrugged. "Just open it."
Fiyero did so, confusion spreading across his face when he saw what was hidden in the wrapping paper. "You got me a doll of yourself? I thought you were crushing on Galinda, not me."
Boq let the dig slide. "It's a pin doll. So that next time you get drunk, instead of seeking me out, you can torture the doll instead."
Fiyero laughed. "How original. Thanks." He passed the Munchkin boy a soft-looking package. "Here."
Boq quickly unwrapped the package to discover a thick Lurlinemas scarf. He smiled. "Thanks, Fiyero. I've been in need of a scarf."
Fiyero returned his smile and turned to Nessarose. "Merry Lurlinemas, Nessa. I hope you like it."
Nessarose opened the gift eagerly, letting out an exclamation of delight once all the wrapping had been removed and the box opened. "Oh, Fiyero! It's beautiful! Thankyou!" Nessarose said as she studied the porcelain figure of a boy and a girl sitting side-by-side on a bench swing.
"You're welcome," Fiyero replied happily.
Elphaba leant her head against Fiyero's shoulder. "How come you're so good at buying gifts?"
Fiyero chuckled as he passed Galinda hers and the blonde girl tore off the paper excitedly. "I've had a lot of practice."
"Oh, FiFi! Thanks!" Galinda squealed, burying her nose in the basket of rose-scented bath products he had bought her.
"And last, but certainly not least…" Fiyero presented Elphaba with a small box. "Merry Lurlinemas, Fae."
"It had better not be anything too expensive," Elphaba warned him as she eyed the similarities between the box she had been given and the box Nessarose had given Fiyero.
"I think I can afford this one," Fiyero said with a wink.
With one last wary glance at him, Elphaba opened the box to reveal a beautiful necklace with a crystal pendant in the shape of an icicle. She gasped. "It's beautiful," she breathed. "Oh, no, it's too much."
Fiyero ignored her protest as he carefully lifted the necklace out of its case and fastened it around her neck. "Do you like it?"
Elphaba nodded, chuckling slightly as she fingered the pendant. "I really made an impression on you that day, huh?" Elphaba teased.
"On my head, more like," Fiyero laughed as he leant forward to kiss her cheek.
Just as he did so, Elphaba turned around and kissed him on the lips. "Thankyou."
Fiyero smiled softly at her.
"I feel bad that I didn't get you much," Elphaba continued with a grimace. "It's just that I have no idea what one gets one's boyfriend for Lurlinemas."
Fiyero shrugged. "Just being with you is present enough for me."
Elphaba blushed as Galinda cried, "Awww, that's so sweet!"
"Well, anyway, Merry Lurlinemas, Yero."
Fiyero squeezed her hand before accepting and opening the proffered gift. It was a box of luxury Vinkun truffles. Fiyero grinned. "My favourite brand. Thanks, Fae."
Elphaba handed Galinda her gift, and while everyone was preoccupied with watching Galinda open it, Elphaba took the opportunity to quietly urge Fiyero to open his card.
He did so to find twelve lengths of card sitting inside. He threw Elphaba a questioning look.
Fiyero did, and a smile spread over his face. "Vouchers for public kisses?"
Elphaba nodded. "One for each month next year. They expire on Lurlinemas Day," she explained shyly.
"Do I have to use one to kiss you now?"
"No, you can have a free trial today. See if you like what you get."
Fiyero grinned. "I'm sure I'll have no complaints," he said, leaning down to kiss her deeply.
"Awww!" Galinda squealed. "You two are so –"
"– cute together?" Nessarose finished, and the two girls giggled as Boq looked away uncomfortably.
When the couple finally broke apart, Elphaba blushing but obviously happy and Fiyero beaming fit to bust, Galinda reiterated, "You two are so –"
"Do you like your gift?" Elphaba interrupted.
"It's beautiful, Elphie." She read the framed friendship sentiment again and sniffled as tears sprang to her eyes. "Thanks."
Elphaba smiled. "You're welcome." She handed a small package to her sister. "Merry Lurlinemas, Nessie."
"Thankyou, Fabala." Nessarose opened the gift to find a pair of apricot-coloured winter gloves and a pair of sparkling drop-earrings. "Oh, how lovely!" she cried.
Elphaba looked at the Munchkin sitting next to Galinda. "Ah, Boq. I have a very special gift for you, but it's a bit large, so I had to leave it outside."
Curiously, the group followed Elphaba out of the café. Once they were gathered a few metres away from the building, Elphaba began to mutter some strange words. Boq looked a bit apprehensive, especially when Galinda frowned and said, "That spell sounds familiar."
"Wait, spell?" Fiyero cried. He looked at Elphaba. "You're using a spell?"
"Why are you using a spell?" Nessarose added in confusion.
By that point, Boq looked too scared to say anything.
As Elphaba finished the spell, the Munchkin began to shimmer and shake…and then Boq was Boq no longer.
"That's why it sounded familiar!" Galinda exclaimed.
"That'll teach him," Elphaba said, placing her hands on her hips in satisfaction.
"Teach him for what, exactly?" asked Galinda.
Fiyero looked at Elphaba, stunned. "That was just mean."
Nessarose was looking at the scene in horror. "Fabala! How could you?" she cried, before turning and wheeling herself back inside, looking ready to burst into tears.
Fiyero's eyes narrowed. "Elphaba, you know how much I love you, but that wasn't a very nice thing to do.
"He deserved it!" Elphaba defended herself.
"Why did he deserve it?" Galinda asked.
Fiyero raised an eyebrow. "He deserved you magicking him?"
Elphaba dodged the question. "Just the other day, you were saying how much you love watching me perform magic."
"But not like this! Poor Boq; it's rough being a reindeer," Fiyero said, throwing his girlfriend a significant glance.
"Now I see why you said Boq's gift to you was ironic."
"Will someone please tell me why Elphaba just turned Biq into a reindeer?" Galinda asked in exasperation.
"If I'm right," Fiyero said, his eyes still on Elphaba, "and I think I am, then it's because she's still mad at Boq for telling you where our date was the other night."
"Elphie?" Galinda asked, turning to her friend.
Elphaba's silence was all the confirmation she needed.
"I see. You know, Elphie, you should really be blaming me for that. I turned the charm on for him because I knew it would work. It's not his fault for being so susceptible to it."
"Elphie," Galinda said firmly, "it was my fault. I'm sorry. Now please change him back."
"Besides," Fiyero added, "he gave you a lovely gift. This isn't exactly a nice way to repay him."
Beginning to feel guilty, Elphaba sighed. "You're right. I'm sorry. I'll change him back."
"Thankyou," Fiyero and Galinda chorused.
Elphaba began to chant.
Inside the café, Nessarose sat with her head in her hands, only looking up when a boy she didn't know perched on the booth nearest to her.
"You don't look very happy," he commented.
"I'm not," Nessarose mumbled.
Nessarose paused before wailing, "My sister just turned my ex-boyfriend into a reindeer!"
The boy stared at her, unsure how to react, or indeed if he had even heard right. "You're pulling my leg," he finally said.
Nessarose shook her head tearily. "I only wish I were. Go outside and see for yourself if you don't believe me."
The boy frowned. "Wait, you're Miss Nessarose, aren't you?"
"Isn't your sister the gr- uh, the green one?"
Nessarose nodded again. "Elphaba."
"Elphaba," the boy repeated. "Well, now I believe you. I've heard about that magic of hers."
"So this boyfriend of yours –"
"Ex-boyfriend," Nessarose corrected.
"Ex-boyfriend, then. That Munchkin kid, right?"
Nessarose sniffled. "How did you know?"
"Because I know Fiyero has never dated you, and the Munchkin –"
"– Boq was the only other guy sitting at this table."
"How do you know I haven't dated Fiyero? Are you a friend of his?"
"No," the boy admitted, "but Dayo is," he said, indicating his friend sitting a few tables away. "Now, I saw that little trick you played on Boq. I'm guessing you didn't part on very good terms."
"So why exactly are you so upset with your sister? It sounds like she's just playing a joke of her own."
"But mine was harmless," Nessarose explained. "It was funny. What Fabala did was…was…mean!"
"But she'll turn him back, right?"
"I…I don't know," Nessarose faltered. "She must be angry with him about something. You don't know my sister's temper. She can allow it to get the better of her sometimes."
"But if you begged her to turn him back…surely she couldn't say no to a face as pretty as yours."
Nessarose blushed. "Well, she doesn't usually refuse me," she admitted, "since I'm her sister."
"There you go, then." The boy smiled, and Nessarose felt a fluttering in her chest.
"I-I didn't catch your name," Nessarose murmured.
"Oh, so you do," Nessarose said, feeling stupid.
Ryyrrika chuckled, a deep rumbling sound in his throat. "So tell me – are you still in love with Boq?"
Nessarose paused and bit her lip, glancing away. Was she still in love with Boq? She had thought so – up until a few moments ago. But now…she wasn't so sure. She looked at the young man before her. He had dark brown hair, enchanting hazel eyes, slightly-tanned skin… Nessarose had to admit he was very handsome.
Taking Nessarose's silence as a sign that she didn't wish to answer the question, Ryyrrika said, "It's okay; you don't have to answer that if you don't want to. It was terribly rude of me to ask, and I apologize."
"No, no – it's okay. I…" Nessarose swallowed. "I was in love with him…but now…I don't think so, really. I still care for him a great deal, but I think I'm beginning to move on."
Ryyrrika smiled, and Nessarose wondered briefly if that was relief she saw flash across his face. "I could tell you were that sort of person."
Nessarose cocked her head to the side. "What sort of person?"
"A very caring sort of person." He paused. "I don't suppose you would happen to be free tomorrow, would you? I'd love to take you out for lunch."
Nessarose smiled shyly. "I'd like that."
"What happened?" Boq asked dazedly.
"Elphie turned you into a reindeer!" Galinda volunteered.
Elphaba shot her friend a glare. "Yes, Glin, thanks for that."
Boq, meanwhile, was staring at Elphaba – and he didn't look very happy. "You what?!"
"It was only a joke!" Elphaba said.
Fiyero fixed her with a look, his eyebrow raised. "That's not what you just told me."
Elphaba huffed. "Fine! I was angry at you for telling Galinda where Fiyero and I were going for our date the other night," she informed Boq, "so I thought I'd teach you a lesson. But it was only a joke! I was planning on changing you back – I wasn't just going to leave you like that."
Boq looked stunned. "I…I really… What I did was really that bad?" he asked, his voice quivering. "I really made you that angry?"
Elphaba sighed. "Yeah, but you know me – bad-tempered. I'm sorry, Boq." Thinking quickly, Elphaba chanted another spell and a small gift appeared in her hands. "I'd already got this for you," she said, holding it out to him. "From me and Nessa."
Boq watched her warily. "I'm not so sure I trust you right now."
"Here," Elphaba said impatiently, with a roll of her eyes. She tore the paper off and handed the book to Boq. "Completely safe and magic-free. I promise."
Boq cautiously took the book and flicked through it. "'The Pocket Guide To Munchkinland Agriculture', hmmm? Interesting. Thankyou, I guess."
Elphaba gave a small smile. "You're welcome, and I'm sorry."
"Well, now that you two have made up, let's go back inside where it's warm!" said Galinda cheerfully.
"Yes, let's," agreed Elphaba, eager to go someplace where a fight would not be acceptable.
The four sauntered into the café, but Galinda and Elphaba stopped short as they saw a boy kiss Nessarose's hand and walk off.
Galinda squealed. "Oooh! Nessa's got an admirer!" She bounded over and plopped down beside Nessarose. "Tell all!" she demanded.
"All what?" Nessarose asked, startled.
"Let's start with his name and when you're going out."
Nessarose blushed. "His name is Ryyrrika and we're going out for lunch tomorrow," she said just as the other three approached the table. She looked up. "Oh, Boq! Fabala changed you back, did she? How good of her."
Unsure about what to make of Nessarose's reaction, Boq looked at Fiyero. "I thought she might have been at least a little upset about Elphaba turning me into a reindeer," he muttered.
"Upset?" Fiyero echoed. "You should have seen her! She was horrified; absolutely horrified. Almost in tears. I guess this Ricky dude has really made an impression."
"Maybe it will get her off my back," Boq mused.
"So you can be free to chase Galinda?" Fiyero teased.
Boq scowled at him, his face flooding with colour.
"Come, let's choose your outfit for tomorrow," Galinda said as she stood and began to wheel Nessarose away.
"I take it the party is breaking up," Elphaba said.
"Well, I did have a closing speech planned out…"
"Save it –"
"– for New Year's," Galinda finished. "I get it."
"So we're not adjourning to Fiyero's room?" Elphaba asked.
"We're going to be too busy, aren't we, Nessa?" Galinda gathered her gifts as well as Nessarose's and piled them into her bag. "Merry Lurlinemas!"
As the girls left, Fiyero looked at Elphaba and Boq. "You're still welcome to come to my room, you know."
"Thanks," Boq said, "but I think I'll be on my way. Besides, you two probably want to spend some time alone together. I'll catch you later. Merry Lurlinemas."
Once Boq had disappeared, Fiyero turned to face his girlfriend with a lopsided grin. "Looks like it's just you and me."
"Mmm?" Fiyero replied, stroking Elphaba's hair. They were sitting on the sofa in front of the fireplace in Fiyero's dorm, cuddled up together.
"Are you terribly angry with me over the Boq incident?"
Fiyero heard the anxiousness in Elphaba's voice and smiled. "Truthfully? No. I feel really bad for him, but I have to admit…it was pretty darn funny."
Elphaba glanced up in surprise. "Really? I thought you said it was mean?"
"It was. Mean but funny."
Elphaba rolled her eyes and shook her head.
"But let's just forget about that for now, hmmm? I'd rather prefer to enjoy my time alone with my beautiful girlfriend." He leant down to capture her lips in his, and smiled against her lips as he felt her respond eagerly to the kiss. "Merry Lurlinemas, Elphaba."
"Merry Lurlinemas, Fiyero."