Back again with the first chapter of 2016! I'm hoping to write at least one chapter a month, hopefully more. Without further ado, here's "Don't ask questions you don't want the answers to."
"Fiyero, how many women have you slept with?"
Fiyero sighed deeply before rolling over to face his fiancée. She was sitting up in bed, patiently awaiting his answer, with the book she had been reading closed, bookmarked, and propped against her knees.
"Elphaba, you know you don't really want to know the answer to that."
"I do, Fiyero," she told him earnestly, her brow furrowing. "The book says that the air must be clear before a couple is married. Or else the marriage is forged on lies, and is doomed from the start."
"Fae," he said, sitting up in order to be eye-level with her. "Have you ever considered that perhaps books can be wrong?"
"Of course I have," she scoffed at him. "I've read enough books to know rubbish when I see it. But this isn't one of those times. Stop avoiding the question and answer me."
He pinched the bridge of his nose, buying time to think of the right thing to say that wouldn't start a fight. All he really wants to do is pull her into him, sooth away her worries with sweet nothings, and curl up in bed with her in his arms. But he knows Elphaba well enough to know that she won't let this drop that easily.
"I'm all for clearing the air, Fae. But this isn't something that will clear the air. This will only create more smoke."
"Where there's smoke there's fire, Fiyero," she said pointedly.
"Fae, the only answer that will make you happy will be if I say I've slept with no one other than you. Which you know is not true, and will result in more lies, which is exactly what you wish to avoid."
She averted her piercing eyes for a moment, but he knew that only meant she was thinking further about how to proceed.
She continued without looking at him. "Okay, fine. Don't tell me. I'm sure it will stop nagging at me eventually. But I need you to answer one thing for me. And I need the truth, Fiyero, no matter how much it may hurt me."
He waited anxiously for her to pose the question. She put the book on the bedside table, removed her reading glasses, and turned to look directly at him. "The truth, you hear me?" He nodded his head in agreement, and waited for her to continue.
"Did you ever sleep with Glinda?"
He was shell-shocked. "OF COURSE NOT!" he immediately answered her. "I'm shocked you'd even ask such a thing!"
"We're engaged to be married, and we've slept together. You were engaged to Glinda too, it was only reasonable to assume-"
"Assume nothing!" He cried, indignant. He took a deep breath to calm himself. "I'm sorry. You're right." She snorted. She was always right. "It was a reasonable question to ask."
Sensing that there was more to his outburst, she waited.
"Let me make this clear for you, Fae. Ever since that day with the lion cub, I had eyes only for you. It was just... you disappeared so soon after that, and Glinda needed someone to support her, and I just didn't have the heart to leave her when we were both so distressed, with worry for you. But I never would have slept with her, given the way I felt about you."
She blushed considerably. "I guess I should have known that."
"So much knowledge in that brain of yours, but very little sense," he gently ribbed her.
"Hey! I have more than enough sense for the both of us, thank Oz."
"Indeed you do, my love," he told her, kissing the tip of her nose. He took her hands in his. "Listen. I've got a past, and so do you. I'm sure there are things about your childhood, or things from your time on the run, that you'd rather keep me in the dark about." She flicked her eyes away from his briefly, confirming his suspicion. He continued, "And that's okay. We've both got skeletons in the closet. What matters is that we're truthful with each other from this point forward, in order to make our relationship stronger."
"For someone who was brainless for a rather lengthy period of time, you seem to be very apt at making things okay."
"What can I say, I've always been charming, brainless or not." She chuckled. "Let's go to bed, shall we?"
"Sounds perfect," she answered, leaning over to turn off the bedside lamp. She then snuggled into his arms and fell soundly asleep, content in the knowledge that it didn't matter who he had been with in the past, but who he was with now.