A/N: I can't even begin to apologise, I didn't realise how long it had been! I'd actually forgotten that this story even existed...until I went to see Wicked for the fifth time last week! I'm really sorry, please continue to review! I'm really grateful for all my reviews, especially the ones I got sent in my absence! Song is Naive, the Lily Allen version.
"I don't know why we can't be involved!" I complain. The sun shines bright over the gardens of Kiamo Ko, my new home, but inside the castle my parents, Glinda and Avaric are planning a revolution for Animals that they haven't even met yet. They're communicating through Birian and Liir, but it's not the most ideal situation. If I was in charge, I'd organise a meeting. Of course, if I was in charge, that would mean they'd actually have to listen to me, and Oz forbid that ever happening.
"Relax, Mellie" I hate the fact that Rose has started using my childhood nickname too – she's only doing it to keep Birian's mind on her. She can be such a cow sometimes.
Still, I've got to admit, although I'd love to be involved in the planning of the revolution, I am enjoying my first summer in Oz. This, so far, involves the six of us (Liir, Rose, Birian, Fabala, Pippa and I) lounging around in the castle grounds, generally doing absolutely nothing. It helps that most of Liir and Birian's work takes place secretly at night, leaving them free to spend their days with us. It also helps, of course, that Pippa is my new best friend, and I have a massive crush on Birian. Alright, it might be more than a crush. But I'm not about to stick a label on it this early on.
"How can I relax?" I sigh despairingly, "We could be doing so much"
"You're women" says Liir, rolling his eyes, "You can't fight"
"Great, here comes Liir Tiggular's daily dose of sexism" Pippa mutters, "Women can be quite intelligent, you know"
"I'm not arguing with that, I'm just saying – "
"Liir, give up. This is not an argument you're going to win" I laugh, catching Birian's eye as I do so. I've noticed he looks at me a lot more when I smile, so I smile a lot.
"They don't need us, anyway" says Fabala, laying down on the grass and hitching her skirt up even higher to tan her legs, "They can sort it without us hanging around"
"You're so naive, Fab" Pippa taunts, "You really don't care"
"I'm not naive, darling" Fabala giggles, glancing over at Liir, "Liir'll tell you"
Pippa and I grimace at one another, while Rose just smiles blandly at Birian. Liir and Fabala have got pretty 'close' lately – sickeningly so, if I'm honest. Rose says I'm jealous, because no-one wants me, which is just another example of her evilness. She's the real witch of our family, not my mother.
"I'm starting to get bored" says Birian – it always takes him a while to speak up, even though he's practically living with us now. He actually stayed in one of our guest rooms the other night – now that was awkward when I came stumbling out of the bath wrapped only in a blanket.
"Of what?" asks Liir, playing with Fabala's enviable golden locks. I twiddle with my own dull, dark hair grumpily.
"This" Birian gestures around us, "Not you guys, you're all great, it's just that I want to DO something! I want to fight"
"At least you'll get the opportunity" I grumble, but I don't think he's listening.
"Yeah, and we'll get our chance" says Liir, "It's just that my mother's always been a fan of careful planning"
"Oh yeah, and that's why she got pregnant with you while she was still on the run?" I grin, but if I'm honest he's telling the truth – Mum is a planner, but I suppose she has to be, what with Dad being so frivolous and spontaneous.
"Oh, hush, Mellie" Rose scolds, "You always bring that up. Anyway, surely they can't have much planning left to do? There's only so much forward thinking one can take!"
"My point exactly" Birian sighs, "If you ask me, it would be a whole lot quicker if we do what Melena said and meet with the Animals altogether. And your Mum's been reunited with the Grimmerie, the Animals would love to have her prove that she can actually use it – it would gain her a lot of their trust"
"But the fact that Chistery serves her loyally, without enslavement, must prove to them that she cares and is trustworthy?" I argue, "Yes, I think they should meet with the Animals, but I don't see why Mum should have to prove anything to them. She's Elphaba Thropp, for Oz's sake, she's not going to screw them over"
Birian's eyes are twinkling as he looks at me, "They might not see it like that, Melena. Think about what humans here have done to them, they're hardly going to swallow anything that's promised to them"
"They'll trust Mum" I said firmly, my eyes twinkling right back at him, "She sacrificed so much for them"
"But do they know that?" Birian's eyes are serious now, boring into mine, "Do they, Melena?"
"I don't know" I mumble, my throat drying up with the intensity of his gaze, "But I'm not helping them unless they take note of what she's done"
"Hey, kids!" Dad comes bounding towards us in his loveable way, pushing back his dark hair. Mum is walking with him, holding his hand, and Glinda and Avaric walk beside them. Glinda has a flush of girlish excitement in her taut cheeks.
"You all look cheerful" Pippa observes, "Do you have a plan?"
"Elphaba's pregnant!" Glinda shrieks.
"Glinda!" Mum cries despairingly, "I was going to work up to it gently!"
Glinda pulls a face, "What's the point in that, exactly?"
I stare at my parents, Dad beaming, Mum looking straight at me. It's my opinion she cares about the most, and right now she's willing me to smile and congratulate her.
I go one step better than that. I run up to her and kiss her cheek, then hug her bony body fiercely. I feel her heave a deep sigh of relief.
"You're okay, Melena?" she asks. I nod.
"Mum, it's brilliant. Honest, I'm so pleased!"
"I'm not!" Rose wails, "It's gross. You guys are way too old to have kids. It was supposed to be me or Fabala next"
"We're only in our thirties!" Dad protests, "And if you got pregnant, Rosie, I'd knock the guy's teeth out"
Rose looks anxiously at Birian, wary of this putting him off, but he is smiling at my parents.
"Congratulations" he says, shaking their hands, "That's lovely news"
"Yeah, for you, mate" Liir grumbles, "I'm with Rose on this, I think it's a bit sickening"
Fabala nods, pulling a face, "Yeah, Mum, don't you go having any more"
Avaric pulls a face, "Never, not after all the money you've cost us"
Pippa laughs, "Congratulations" she says to my parents, "I think it's really sweet"
"I'm four months" says Mum, gaining confidence, "I never found the right time to tell you...everything's been so stressful lately"
"You could have told me" I say, slightly reproachful. Mum gave me a small, knowing smile.
"You've had a lot to deal with too, Melena. I didn't want to burden you"
I hug her again, mollified, "Well I think it's adorable"
Dad ruffles my hair, "Thanks, Mel. Now, methinks we should take a break from our busy schedule...let's party!"