AN: I love how you all fell for that... except for Elizabeth, aka musicgal3, who once again read my mind (CREEPCREEPCREEPCREEPCREEP!). And Vinkunwildflowerqueen. And PocketSevens - thanks for trusting me ^_^. And then there was stagemanagertargaryen: 'Nice job'. Why, thank you *curtsies*.
And the prize for funniest review goes to The Wizard Of Wicked. 'Because she wasn't dead enough in chapter 10.' Honestly, that had me cracking up :P.
Moreanswers24: He's Glikkun, but okay, just this once, you can have him ;).
Caricature of a Witch: You scare me.
ExoticPeachBlossom: Aw, thank you so much! *hugs*
Musicgal3: Hahaha I love you starting to sing that to the Maddy Hunters xD.
Siarenthander: I'm not polite, you should know that by now *smirk*.
Was there more I wanted to say? Hm...
I'm going to see Flashdance again this Sunday! :D I'm really excited, and... it's the very final show of it in the Netherlands! (Which I didn't know when I booked the tickets. I feel like such an idiot right now.) So I'm bouncing, I can't wait - I mean, it's the final show and my friend and I are in the first row! Yay!
Chapter 14. Solved
"Fiyero?" Galinda stormed in behind him, looking positively bewildered. "What in Oz…"
"She's dead!" His voice was high and he was gripping his hair in panic, pacing up and down. "Glin, she's… she's not moving!"
"Fiyero, not everyone moves in their sleep –" the blonde began patiently, but he cut her off.
"She always moves, Galinda! Always!"
"And I've been shouting at her, shaking her… she's not waking up!"
"What?!" he screamed, whirling around.
Galinda just pointed calmly at the bed. "She's breathing."
Fiyero blinked – it was hard to see through the tears that had sprang to his eyes – and then he saw that she was right. Elphaba's chest was rising and falling steadily. She wasn't dead…
But she wasn't awake, either.
His eyes widened. "Has she fallen back into her coma?" he whispered. He climbed onto the bed next to her and started shaking her again softly. "Fae? Fae, please wake up…"
"Oz dammit, Elphaba!" he cried and he gave her a final, hard shake. "Wake up!" he practically screeched in her ear, overcome by panic.
"Aaaaaaaaaah!" Elphaba suddenly screamed as she shot up so unexpectedly that Fiyero lost his balance and fell off the bed.
"Fiyero!" Elphaba yelled, putting one hand over her heart as she tried to catch her breath. "What in Oz?! You don't wake a person up like that! You nearly gave me a heart attack! Do you want to see me back in the hospital or something?!"
"He thought you were dead," Galinda informed her friend drily. She poked Fiyero with her foot. "Fifi, I told you she was breathing. You don't always have to assume the worst."
She gave Elphaba a quick hug. "I'm glad you remember, Elphie," she said with a small smile and a kiss to her friend's cheek. "Get better soon. And goodnight. And pluck Fiyero off the floor!" she called over her shoulder as she left, closing the door behind her.
Elphaba hung over the edge of the bed, the ends of her long raven hair just brushing the floor, concern in her chocolate brown eyes as she looked at the Vinkun prince still sitting on his backside, looking dazed. "Yero?"
He quickly scrambled to his feet; then he took one good look at her and pulled her to him, crushing her against his chest and muttering, "Thank Oz" into her hair.
She tried to pull away slightly to look at his face, but he was holding her so tightly she could barely move. After a while she just gave in and let him hold her.
"I'm sorry," he whispered after a while. "I didn't mean to scare you like that, I just…" He heaved a shaky sigh. "Glin and I were talking about Morrible, and then I thought… what if she would try to kill you again, and… and then you weren't moving and you didn't wake up… You're a light sleeper, you always wake up…"
"Fiyero," she said gently. "I just woke up from a coma and the medication they gave me this morning was enough to keep a Horse knocked out for hours. I don't think it's all that strange that my sleeping pattern is a bit different than usual, do you?"
He sniffled. "I guess not. I'm just…"
He buried his face in her hair and she pressed her cheek against his chest, where she could hear his heartbeat. "I know," she whispered. "It's okay. I understand." She pulled back a little and kissed him softly. "I love you."
He sniffled again. "I… I love you, too, Fae." He kissed her again, harder this time. Then he tripped and they both tumbled onto the bed together.
A rare giggle escaped Elphaba, closely followed by a yawn. Fiyero kissed her temple softly and pulled away to grab the bag with their dinner from the desk where he had left it.
They ate it on the bed together, Elphaba sitting between Fiyero's legs with her back resting against his chest. When they had finished eating, they just sat together for a few more moments and Fiyero ran his fingers through Elphaba's silky, ebony hair, lost in thought.
After a while, he felt her relaxing somewhat; and he continued to play with her hair, stroking her arm and her side with his other hand, until he felt her weight growing heavier against him and he knew she was asleep again. He carefully moved her so that she was lying on the bed, pulling the blankets over her sleeping form – he didn't want her to catch a cold or something – and cleaning up the leftover food before changing into his nightclothes and joining her in the bed.
He didn't sleep, though. He just couldn't. He had honestly thought that she was dead, or at the very least back in a coma, for a moment; and it had scared the living daylights out of him. He couldn't handle it if he lost her. Not again. Not after everything they had been through.
He noticed that she wasn't moving again now, and he figured that she had been right – Nessa and Galinda had warned him that she might be drowsy for at least another day because of her medication, and after everything she'd been through, he couldn't expect her to just keep on going like nothing ever happened. Her entire body was off balance right now and that included her sleeping habits. Maybe Galinda was right – maybe he shouldn't immediately assume the worst.
But he just couldn't help worrying when it came to Elphaba.
He drew her into his arms, planting a kiss on the top of her head. She didn't stir and he listened carefully until he heard her soft, even breathing; only then did he feel reassured. He tucked the blankets around her and held her close, kissing her cheek, stroking her side, burying his face in her neck – as long as he was as close to her as he could possibly be, he didn't care.
At some point she did move; she murmured his name and turned in his arms, snuggling up against him with her arms wrapped tightly around his waist. Only then did he finally allow himself to drift off to sleep as well.
He slept fitfully that night. Every sound, every movement woke him up. At some point he suddenly started awake and he realised Elphaba wasn't there, and he already started to panic; then he saw her emerging from the bathroom.
"Sorry," she murmured as she burrowed back into his arms. "Didn't mean to scare you."
"That's okay." He stroked her hair. "I'm just a bit paranoid, I guess."
She opened one eye. "You guess?"
He stuck out his tongue and she chuckled softly, lacing their fingers together and kissing the back of his hand. "I love you."
He melted instantly and he pressed a kiss to her forehead. "I love you. More than you'll ever know."
Suddenly feeling wide awake, she stared off into the dark for a few moments.
She remembered their goodbye at the hospital. She remembered him telling her that he had loved her ever since they rescued that Lion Cub together. He had been absolutely frantic just now, when he had thought her to be dead or in a coma again. She still found it strange and foreign and hard to accept, but… he really did love her.
And she loved him, too. That was something that was very hard for her to admit, because she had never loved anyone before… not like this, anyway. She loved Nessa, and she loved Galinda, too; but this was different. No-one in her life had ever loved her like this. No-one had ever loved everything she was, skin and all – not to mention her temper, sarcasm and magical powers. He loved her for her, despite – or, if she should believe him, including – her many, many flaws.
Admitting to him – and to herself – that she loved him back felt like jinxing everything there was between them, and she was terrified that it might end sooner or later; but that didn't change the fact that it was true. She loved him more than anything in this world.
"Yero?" she whispered, just as he was almost asleep again.
He pulled her a little closer with one arm, not even opening his eyes. "Mm?"
He frowned, still not opening his eyes. "Yes, what?"
She took a deep breath. "Yes, I'll marry you."
That got his attention. His eyes immediately opened and he stared at her, stunned speechless for a moment.
"Are you… do you mean that?" he asked her faintly. She could hear the hope in his voice and she couldn't help the smile that spread across her face.
"Yes," she said.
This was crazy. She knew that. Yes, she had loved him for a long time already; but they had only gotten together twelve days ago… and she hadn't even actually been alive all that time. No-one except for Galinda and Nessa even knew they were together.
But it felt right. This felt right. She had seen for herself how devastated he had been, how scared he was to lose her; and that convinced her of the fact that this… thing… between them was more than just a simple crush. It was love. And they'd been through so much together that she felt like they had been together like this for years already.
Maybe she just wanted to be crazy for once in her life. Maybe she just wanted to listen to her heart instead of her practical side for once.
She looked up at him. All she saw was hope, joy and love; and it convinced her that this was the right decision.
"Yes," she said again. "I mean it. Yero, I… I love you. And you're right – I don't want to go back to Frex, to my old life… ever. Especially not after what he tried to do to me. I want to be with you. I know that. I don't see why we can't start right now." She looked up at him, her dark eyes shining. "Let's elope, Yero."
Before she had even finished speaking, he had captured her lips with his and she melted into the kiss.
"Now?" he whispered eagerly when they finally broke apart.
She laughed softly. "I was thinking we could wait until morning first," she said teasingly.
He made a face and then started tickling her sides. "That's what I meant!"
She giggled and squirmed in an attempt to get away from his fingers. He stopped tickling and pulled her closer again for a long, deep kiss.
"I love you, Elphaba," he whispered, kissing every inch of her face he could see.
She turned onto her back, allowing her practical side to take over. "We'll need to find a place we can go to marry," Elphaba reasoned. "And someone to perform the service…"
"Glin said there's a nice chapel in Shiz," he murmured, still kissing her. "We could go there. I'm sure they have a celebrant or something who can perform our wedding."
"And we'll need witnesses –"
"I'm sure Glin and Nessa won't mind coming."
"And if we're inviting Galinda, I'm going to have to wear a wedding dress –"
"Fae, I don't care what you're wearing when we get married. You can wear one of your beloved black frocks if you want to. Or a burlap sack. Or nothing at all."
She glared at him. "Wouldn't you like that?"
He grinned. "Maybe. But then again," he realised, "that would mean that the marriage officiant would see that, too, and… okay, never mind."
He planted a kiss on her nose. "Don't worry about it, Fae," he whispered. "I'll take care of everything. All you have to do is say yes."
"I already did."
"In that case, just lie back," he gently pushed her down, "and go to sleep, because Oz knows you need it to heal; and tomorrow after your check-up at the hospital we're going into town to arrange everything. Okay?"
She nodded, her head on his shoulder. "Okay."
They soon drifted off to sleep again – a peaceful sleep this time.
"Looking good, Miss Elphaba." The doctor scribbled something down in his file and peered at the green girl over his glasses. "Just take it easy for the next few weeks, alright? Listen to your body. I want you to take these pills," he put a small jar of them on the table, "for three more days, and then I want to see you again for another check-up. Right now you need rest, food and fluids. Make sure you eat and drink enough and get enough sleep. You can slowly start attending classes again, say, next week, if you feel up to it; but until then, you just need to rest. Don't overdo yourself. Got that?"
She grumbled something under her breath.
Fiyero put his arm around her shoulders. "Don't worry," he told the doctor. "I'll make sure of it."
The man eyed them curiously. "You're her boyfriend, right?"
"Her fiancé, actually," Fiyero said casually, loving the sound of that. He supposed it was true, technically. He had proposed and she had said yes, so…
"So," the doctor said as he put the file away. "It's quite the scandal, isn't it? Madame Morrible arrested…" He shook his head. "I must say, I never liked the woman. I don't think anyone did. It was only because she was the Wizard's Press Secretary that people tolerated her, but I can't say I'm surprised that she had an agenda of her own."
Fiyero looked up, startled. "What?"
Elphaba, next to him, was just as baffled.
"You haven't heard?" The doctor looked at them. "You remember that the leaders of Oz gathered together to discuss the matter of who will rule Oz from now on, correct?"
Fiyero nodded. "My father, and hers," he nodded towards Elphaba, "are both among those leaders. We heard."
"Ah yes, of course. King Hamold of the Vinkus and Governor Thropp of Munchkinland." The doctor looked at them both. "Apparently they discovered that Madame Morrible has been working behind the Wizard's back," he said. "She has committed crimes against Oz, against the Wizard. I don't know the specifics, but apparently she has used magic to torture innocent citizens, she committed a few murders and there was something to do with Animals…" The doctor shook his head. "She's been brought to Southstairs and is awaiting her sentence now," he said. "Personally, I'd prefer death."
"Who doesn't?" muttered Fiyero, feeling relieved at the thought of Morrible safely locked up in Southstairs. He had sent his father a letter a while ago, right after Elphaba had discovered what the Wizard and Morrible had been up to. He had told King Hamold about the Animals and about everything Elphaba had found out; his father had never replied, but maybe, just maybe, the story had made a bit of a difference. Fiyero didn't really care how it had happened, though – he was just glad that Morrible's true nature had been revealed to all of Oz and that she was locked up now.
"Thank you," he said as he shook the doctor's hand. He then helped Elphaba up from her chair and led her out to the carriage, where she sagged against him, tired.
He kissed her hair. "I'll take you home soon," he promised her. "Let's go into town first, I'll arrange for us to be married this afternoon, and then we can go back to Shiz. Okay?"
"This afternoon?" she echoed, sounding sleepy, but amused. "My, aren't we enthusiastic?"
He looked sheepish. "I mean, we can wait if you want to –"
She leant up to kiss him. "No," she mumbled. "This afternoon is fine. Nessa and Galinda are going to have a fit, though."
He grinned. "Oh, who cares? As long as we're getting married." He pulled her a bit closer. "It's strange, isn't it? That Morrible is gone now."
"Let's hope she doesn't escape from Southstairs," said Elphaba sarcastically.
Fiyero lightly slapped her arm. "Don't be a pessimist," he chided her. "She's safely locked up, Fae. My father – and I guess yours, too – will see to that. She can't hurt us – or you – ever again." He kissed the top of her head again. "I promise."
She smiled. "I know." She leant against him, entwining their fingers. "Finally we can just focus on the good things."
He brought their hands up to his mouth and kissed her fingers. "Like what?"
Her smiled widened. "We're going to be married, Yero."
His grin was so radiant it could compete with the sun.
By the way, I'm going to do some promo here: Wickedly Hope Panacake has started this thing called the Wicked Plot Bunny adoption center. Basically it's where you can drop off the ideas your plot bunnies give you when you don't have time to write them. People can drop off story ideas or 'adopt' them, so it's useful when you have inspiration but no time, but also when you have time but no inspiration! :)
Also, would you mind taking the poll on my profile? It's practically the same as my old one, only that one was about my multichaps and this one is about my one-shots :3. Thanks!