[Yet another one-shot (I am on fire today!) but a little Fiyeraba this time. Inspired by M83's beautiful song 'Midnight City', but this will not be a songfic. I learned my lesson with Undisclosed Desires. I will not mention anything of the song other than it's name and band. I don't own this song, nor do I own Wicked. Now that's done, onwards with the story!]
Coming to the Cloister of Saint Glinda, looking at the portraits of said saint and hiding in the closed-off alcoves had become something of a hobby for a reclusive Elphaba. Even if she couldn't help but smile wryly at the poor woman's martyred expression as she suffocates under the edification of her followers, there was something of the truth in the picture. Goodness was so praised, so admired, so pure, so good. And rightly so. But maybe a little diversity would be welcome. Not everyone was beautiful and good. A green woman knew that all too well.
Halfway through her inner monologue (or a rant to some ears), Elphaba froze in fear when she heard a name seldom used for her anymore.
A series of four-letter words flowed in a litany of angry curses through Elphaba's mind. Become a turtle, and hide in your shell, she advised herself. She even buried her neck deeper into the shawl covering her head and shoulders, curling up into herself.
"I am sorry, sir. You appear to have me confused with another." she tried, hoping against hope that whoever had recognised her didn't know her voice well. She took the character of innocent maid, unassuming and pure. Ha! she inwardly cackled. You are precisely the opposite!
"Oh, come off it, Elphie. The joke's over." Male. Educated. Better not be Avaric, she thought murderously. Boq, I can handle. But if it's him-
"It's Fiyero, of the Arjikis. Remember me?" The curses started again. It was him, damn it all.
"No." Curt and sharp, good, Elphaba. Don't let him in, he'll get hurt. Well-meaning Fiyero with his wretched good intentions...
"Elphie, Elphaba, come on. Don't be so cold." He seemed jovial, happy. What did you think, you moron, Elphaba cursed herself. He wouldn't be miserable and mopey, bemoaning the loss of a friend, if that. Acquaintance was maybe a more apt word. He wouldn't miss you.
"I must leave, Elphie, but I won't let you continue this trick." His words beggared belief. What could Fiyero want with her? Reliving glory days? Not that she'd had any, especially not with him-
"Meet me at the Wizard's Fountain in a moment, and I'll show you that you are quite mistaken. Sir." The words slipped out, she couldn't help it! Well, nothing to be done now. Try to keep character. If her little maid role wasn't polite, what was she?
"Alright, Elphaba." Fiyero stressed. Elphaba rolled her eyes at his theatrics. He was almost juvenile. Childish, really.
She slipped out a secret back exit, found after a severely risky operation a year or two ago, and used ever since. Still swaddled from head to toe in shawls and swathes of black fabric, feet hidden by a pair of worker's boots. She hurried briskly away, quickly deciding on a diversion. She would let him go to the fountain, and just disappear. Go home.
Elphaba sighed in relief at the sight of her little eyrie, a beacon of solitude. But just as she dived a hand into deep pockets to find her wretched key, she heard another role of hers.
"Fabala!" Despite herself, she swiveled around in response. Fiyero's triumphant face greeted her, and he'd seen her recognition.
Oh, shit shit shit.
Flying for the door and slamming the key into the lock, she turned it desperately, feeling the old mechanism protest. Not today, you bastard piece of machinery! she cursed it with ire. She heard heavy footfalls, and the sound sent panic speeding through her veins. Miraculously, the lock clicked and she dove inside, pushing the door shut just as a boot appeared in the doorway.
"Get out, you brute!" she screeched, struggling against his weight.
"I shan't! You recognised me, Elphie, I know you did."
"Leave me be, or I'll scream. People still run towards a female cry in this city." she threatened, though not sure about the truth of this statement.
"I'm not going to rape you, or rob you. I just want to know why you pretended not to know me." Fiyero grunted, using his shoulders as extra strength. Giving up, Elphaba stepped away, allowing Fiyero to fall at her feet. Well, there was a rare sight. A man at her feet.
"Where's that graceful tribal boy now? Shiz, with all it's airs and affectations, got to you in the end, I see." she chanced a little tease, hoping he wouldn't be offended. Wait just a clock-tick, when had she ever cared what anyone though of her? Fiyero made her weak, that was her trouble. Her eternal fatal flaw.
"I'm still an Arjiki underneath." he grinned, dusting off his clothes, which fit him well, Elphaba noticed. Stop that, you idiot! He wouldn't want you!
Spinning to face the rickety stairs, Elphaba climber them, and met Malky halfway up.
"Malky Malky, miaow miaow." she cooed at him. His almost transparent tail flicked in her direction, the most interaction he was ever willing to give.
"Your familiar?" Fiyero huffed from behind her. How charming, Elphaba thought. He thinks I am some storybook witch. Well, two can play at that game.
"That's rich. I'd sooner be thought a witch than anything else, if I really must choose." She felt, rather than saw, Fiyero's answering smile.
Reaching the little room, private and secluded, Elphaba began to tidy up some things, orange peels on the table, dirty plates. She was a neat person, but the chaos of her... profession, shall we say, occasionally left her with a residual mess.
"Is this where you hide?" said Fiyero, looking around and up, surveying everything. She felt like she was being scanned. And didn't particularly like it.
"Yes." she answered succinctly. Fiyero just chuckled, leaving Elphaba unsure as to whether he was laughing at her, or at some other happening.
"Well, Elphie," began Fiyero, seating himself at her table. How presumptuous of him, thought Elphaba, "what have you done in these lost years since you fled Shiz?"
"Nice to see you've made yourself at home." said Elphaba. She avoided that dangerous question. He didn't need to know, therefore he wasn't going to know. He just gave her a disapproving look, which surprised her when it caused her to feel shame.
"You stop that right this clock-tick! I don't owe you any explanation." she raged, wagging a finger at him. His face didn't change, but he did bring up the one person he should never have mentioned.
"Nessa does. Does she know you're alive?" Elphaba stopped abruptly, before cold anger froze through her.
"Get out." The barely controlled voice betrayed it all. Fiyero looked guilty (and rightly so!), and began to backtrack.
"I only meant-"
"I said get out!" Elphaba screamed, pointing a finger towards the door. As lonely as she was, Nessa was part of her past, not her present. And Fiyero didn't do himself any favours in talking of her.
"Elphaba! I just want to know what happened." Before she could jerk away, his hand fell to her upper arm, and clutched it tightly. His touch stopped her every function; respiration, the beating of her heart, her anger and her words. Contact was something she had forgone these past years. Something she didn't know any longer. Elphaba just looked at his hand on her arm, feeling the warmth in his large palms radiate through the fabric of her dress.
Fiyero likewise had stopped, and was staring into her eyes with an intense, unreadable expression on his face. He slowly let go, forcing his fingers to curl away, one by one, from her appendage.
"Forgive me," he said stiffly, "I didn't mean to handle you so roughly." She stayed wisely silent.
Elphaba heard herself give him a reason, alarmingly closer to the truth than she had originally planned.
"Shiz bored me, and Doctor Dillamonds death vexed me; everyone grieved and no one cared. So I left." she shrugged, an attempt at nonchalance. Fiyero seemed to accept that. He grabbed her hand, sending another shockwave of electricity through her, and pulled her into a chair at the table. He seemed to blush a little at their contact, his dusky face turned a degree red.
"Tell me more." he commanded firmly, crossing his arms. Elphaba sighed in regret.
[There we go! We all know what happens next, wink wink. Let's leave them to it.
Anyway, I sincerely hoped you enjoyed my one-shot. I paraphrased from the book, took a few phrases, kept some, changes others. Please review!]