Hello, hello, hello! Blimey it's been a while. I found myself with a dilemma today. Nothing to do, and a whole day to do it in…What a pickle! Then, a flash of a story popped into my head.

This can be read as a companion piece to 'Affairs of the Heart', or would make sense as a standalone oneshot if you can't be bothered to read that one first. It's set about 16 years postmusical, and Elphaba and Fiyero are ruling Oz alongside Glinda.


"LIIR!" The boy's name rang through the halls of the Emerald Palace. The servants going about their work in the hallways scuttled away quickly the second they heard it. They knew what was happening and did not want to be nearby for the fallout. "If you don't get your little butt back in here sharpish young man, you can wave goodbye to your freedom for the next six months! …LIIR!"

Elphaba appeared in the doorway to her chambers, her face as dark as a tornado, eyes darting around for any sign of her runaway son.

"You know you can't hide from me kid. I don't know why you insist on trying it every time you don't get your way." She waved her hand through the air, conjuring up a small ball of bright white energy between her fingertips. "Find Liir" she whispered to it, and it took off in front of her, darting through the hallways, Elphaba quickly following. It flew up staircases, down others, through passageways, around busy servants (who quickly dived out the way for Elphaba to make her way through), finally coming to a halt outside her husband's study. She could hear the two of them through the door, and burst it open, sparks practically flashing out of her eyes.

"…not fair, cos I have plans and I can't just cancel them and...Oh." Liir stopped his desperate ramblings as the door flew open with almost enough force to rip it from its hinges.

"Oh indeed." Elphaba smirked darkly. "You can't get away from me that easily kiddo."

"Calm yourself love." Fiyero interjected, "Look, I told him he could go out tonight, and it's not that big of a deal, I'm sure someone else can…"

"Not THAT big of a deal? Yero, do you even know what he's done?"

"He just doesn't want to babysit, right?"

"HA! No Fiyero. Maybe that's the story he's been spinning you, but no. The babysitting is just the beginning of the punishment. I've just heard from his school and our genius son, so clever that once his exams are over is being fast tracked into Shiz, has been skipping his exams!"

Fiyero's eyes widened and he gaped at his son. "You've WHAT?"

"Just…just hear me out, ok?" Liir interrupted.

"Hear you out? Oh, this'll be good." She chuckled menacingly. "Come on then Liir. Explain yourself."

"It's…It's just…Oh Ma, it's just not fair!"

"What isn't? Don't you want to go to university?"

"No! I mean, yes, but just not yet. And you wouldn't listen to me when I said I wanted to take a gap year, so I just thought, if I failed my exams, Shiz would have to wait till next year."

Elphaba took a deep breath, her rage starting to dissipate slightly. "The reason I said no to a gap year, was because you couldn't give me any explanation as to why you wanted to take one. If you can come up with an idea of what you'd like to do in that year I'd be happy to entertain the notion."

Liir mumbled and stared at his feet.

"See! You have no idea what you'll do, and I am NOT having you shuffling your feet around here all day doing nothing when you could be out in the world becoming a useful member of society!"

"I just think if I waited a year, I'd know more about what I want to do with my life. Maybe I could travel to Munchkinland, or visit Nan and Gramps in the Vinkus or something? And then I'll get it figured out and be ready to start Shiz on my own time. Besides, Zixi said…"

"Zixi?!" she cackled, sarcasm dripping from every sound, "How stupid of me! Of course this is about a girl! She's in the year below you, right? You just don't want to go away without your girlfriend, do you?"

Liir blushed beet red. "No…I…"

"Afraid she'll move on while you're gone? Or just hoping you can share a room if you're in the same year? Cos my boy, that is not what Shiz is for and will not be happening."

Fiyero, fully aware of the escapades he and Elphaba got up to at Shiz, covered his mouth to stifle down a chuckle, earning himself a death glare from his wife. Liir, thankfully, was staring at the floor and didn't notice.

"This is the plan. I have spoken to Professor Blinkem, and as you are his most promising student, he will allow you retake your history exam next week, provided you do not miss any others before then. You will pass these exams and accept your place at Shiz next term, Zixi or no Zixi. If you find that you're not in the right classes whilst you are there, that's fine. We don't want to push you down any set path. You are free to choose your own subjects whilst you're there. If you want to visit your Grandparents I am sure they'll be happy to have you stay over the holidays. But you might have to take your sisters too; you know how much they love the Vinkus. As for tonight, you are grounded until your exams are over, so yes, you will have to cancel your plans. Your father, Glinda and I have a very important meeting to attend tonight and you know very well that Piera is away on her Quadling exchange program. Therefore, you are the only one left to look after Kali. And as you have so much revision to do, that shouldn't be a problem. Should it?!" She finished with gritted teeth.

Liir stood dumbstruck, his mouth opening and closing in a vague attempt to create an argument.

"Thought not. Now, you've got plans to cancel – Shoo." She ushered him out the door. Amongst Liir's jumbled up thoughts, a final question crossed his mind, and he turned back to face his parents – "How did you find me so quickly?"

It was Elphaba's turn to look guilty "…I…"

"Did you magic spell me?!"

"Of course not! I just…knew that you'd try to get you father on your side before I could get to him, that's all. Go away!" She closed the door on him, and turned back to Fiyero who this time couldn't hide the amused look on his face. She pointed at him, "Don't you start."

"You used a locator spell, didn't you?"

"Shh!" Fiyero laughed out loud at that. "Fine…yes, I did! I needed to find him quickly and I was mad. I know I promised the kids when I took the Grand Vizier job and started learning those extra spells that I wouldn't use any against them, but sometimes you have to use a little white lie for their own good…Oh Oz – What're we going to do with him?"

He pulled her into his arms and rested his head on the top of hers."Liir'll be ok Fae. He's just a little lovesick at the moment, but he knows the rules and he'll turn out alright in the end."

Keeping her arms around his waist, she moved her face up to look at him "Sweet Lurline Yero…He's turning into you!"

Fiyero feigned grievance "I resent that! Sure, he's dashingly handsome, smart, witty…"

"…modest?"

He grinned. "That too. Even if he is becoming me, I sorted myself out eventually didn't I? Hell, it was falling for you that sorted me out! Maybe this 'Zixi' might do him some good…"

"She wants to major in cupcakes."

"…Or maybe he'll find someone else. But he's seventeen Fae. He doesn't have to figure it all out right now."

"So, you think he was right in missing his exams?"

"Oh Oz no! He's gonna pay for that. Even at the height of my 'dancing through life' phase I didn't go that far. Once his term is finished I'm going to start taking him out on guard duties with me so he can see how good he's got it living up here. Whatever he might become, he is not allowed to take his education for granted."

She cuddled back into him. "You're a good father."

He smirked "I try."


Not too soon afterwards, when settling down to read over some documents in preparation for her meeting, Elphaba heard a crash from upstairs. Jumping to her feet and sweeping her five year old up into her arms, she dashed off to find the cause.

Kali'ko, who had been perfectly happy sitting and playing at her mother's feet, was most put out by the interruption. "Where're we going Mama?"

"To find out what that noise was."

"Why?"

"Because someone might have been hurt."

"Why do I have to come?"

"Because I didn't want to leave you alone."

"In case I got hurt?"

"Exactly."

"But what if I get hurt by coming with you?"

"Well baby, that's never going to happen."

"Why?"

"Because I would do anything to stop it."

Another crash. By this time they had reached the upstairs landing and could tell where the noises were coming from – Liir's room. Elphaba slowly approached his door and knocked. "Liir? Are you alright in there?"

"It's your fault!" She heard from the other side and another crash, one which made Kali jump.

"Mama? What's Liir doing?" She questioned, her bottom lip trembling.

"I don't know baby, but I need to go in and find out, you wait out here, ok?" Kali nodded as her mother placed her on the floor and slowly turned the handle.

"I'm coming in kid, ok? I just want to talk to you." Stepping into her son's room, she instantly noticed the cause of the racket. Photo frames, previously containing images of Liir and Zixi were smashed to pieces, having presumably been thrown at the wall. Liir was pacing his room, shooting daggers at his mother. "You! You made me cancel! If you had just let me go out for one night, this wouldn't have happened. It's YOUR FAULT!" He flopped down onto his bed, angry tears filling his eyes.

After a few moments silence, while he reigned in his anger, Elphaba stepped further into the room and sat on the edge of his bed. Liir looked helplessly up at Elphaba. "Zix dumped me." A lone tear escaped and dripped down his cheek.

"What? Why?!" He sat up, pulling his knees up to his chest and tried to wipe his tears away.

"She…She said the only reason she went out with me was cos I was famous and could get her and her stupid friends into the backstage party tonight after the UncNunkie gig. Apparently they drew straws to decide which one of them would try to 'catch' me."

"But you've been together for five months!"

"Yep…They've been planning it since Ozmas. Unc' only play in the city once a year and apparently their parties are so scandalacious they've been trying to find a way into them for years. I was supposed to be their first class ticket. Oz, I'm so stupid."

"No. You're not. You're lucky you've found out the truth about her now."

"Ma, I tried to sabotage my education for her."

"But you haven't, have you? You'll retake the exam you missed, ace all the finals and start a new life at Shiz."

He rolled his eyes. "You're obsessed with Shiz."

"Kid, let me tell you, before I went there I had no friends. I'm not exaggerating – none at all. The only person who could stand being around me was your Auntie Nessa. Then suddenly there was your Papa and Glinda and Dillamond. People who could really see me, not my skin colour. And yes, there was a brief hiccup in the middle, but that gave me you and started my life down the most amazing journey. So yes, I guess I am 'obsessed'. Can you blame me?"

"You're a soppy old fool ma."

She swatted him "Less of the 'old', cheeky. Wipe your eyes and get up. She didn't deserve you and you can do a whole lot better than her."

Liir smiled and wiped the last of the tears from his cheeks. He looked down at his floor and gulped. "Sorry about the mess."

Elphaba smiled and put one finger up to her lips "Shh" Then, pointing at the shattered glass, she chanted under her breath and the shards rose slowly into the air. Liir watched with eyes as wide as saucers as they revolved in mid-air and suddenly vanished.

"Woah."

"Don't tell your father." Then Kali appeared at his door, curious as to why they'd suddenly gone quiet. "or your sisters." Elphaba whispered.

"Oz-cubs honour." He promised, holding three fingers up in a salute. "Ko, come here."

Kali grinned and ran over to her big brother, jumping straight onto his lap. "Ma and Pa have some boring meeting to go to tonight. Will you hang out with me?"

"You told me this morning that you were going out with Zit."

Elphaba snorted at her daughter's unintentional jibe at Liir's brainless ex.

"I was, but I've decided I'd much rather spend time with you while smelly Piera is away. What d'ya think?"

"Can we eat cookies?"

"Yes."

"And watch tv?"

"Yes."

"And play Witches and Wizards?"

"Yep, but you have to be the good witch, because you're the one with the lucky green skin."

"Well, duh! I'm gonna go find my broom now!" Kali'Ko jumped off Liir's bed, tearing down the hall to her own bedroom.

Elphaba stood and kissed Liir's temple. "You're gonna be alright kid. And don't call your sister smelly."


Later that evening, having sat through a very long and tedious board meeting with the governors of each Ozian territory, Elphaba, Fiyero and Glinda walked through town (having attempted to blow off steam by having a quick drink in the Emerald Tavern). They passed a group of teens attempting to charm the socks off a bodyguard outside a theatre.

"I swear we're on the list! I'm the long term girlfriend of Liir Tigelaar! Doesn't that mean anything to you, oaf?! He's second in line to the Arjiki throne! His father's Captain of the Guard! His mother and Godmother run this whole country; surely even you know who he is?"

"I know of Master Tigelaar, ma'am. But you don't have proof of who you are and I don't have you on my list so I can't let you backstage."

Elphaba couldn't resist chiming in. "Excuse me, what seems to be the problem here?"

Zixi gasped and pulled at her arm. "Elphaba! Thank Oz. Tell this stupid buffoon who I am so he'll let me backstage, will you?"

Elphaba raised an eyebrow and turned to the bodyguard, perfectly seriously. "I'm terribly sorry you're being bothered with this, but honestly, I've never seen this girl before in my life. My son has no girlfriend, but I'm sure once he gets to university the girls will flock to his side. Imagine the perks they'll get, being the girlfriend of Liir Tigelaar." She gave the young girl a pointed look, nodded back to the bodyguard and walked away whilst the teens were escorted away from the stage door, protesting the whole way.

Glinda couldn't help but shriek with glee when Elphaba returned to their side. She slipped her arm into her best friends as they continued their journey home, Fiyero at their side.

"Elphie, that was wicked!" She cried. "I love it!"