A/N: A surprising amount of positive response has inspired me to continue with this. As has the thrill of being accepted into the University course I applied for.
My thanks to LillyFae, Elphieispopular and Armand712000
I'm the Witch 2
Since learning to fly and then land countless years prior, neither Witch had put a great deal of thought into the exercise. Until that afternoon landing at Kiamo Ko. Determined to prove their standing as just above the other, both expended considerable amounts of effort into a graceful landing. Elphaba, who landed first, continued with smooth purposeful strides until she stopped in front of the door. Jayla landed standing still as a statue. The score was even.
"You will excuse the other residents. An old woman, simply known as Nanny, and a young boy by the name of Liir." The green Witch said as she led the way into the castle.
Liir was lurking around the stairs, curious about the stranger. Elphaba didn't spare him even a passing glance. The boy didn't seem to care; he was used to it. Jayla looked between the two with wide eyes, saying nothing. She didn't know the other woman well enough yet to broach the subject. Instead she followed her silently into a tower room and took the chair she was indicated. A large dog and a snow-monkey with wings watched her from near their mistress.
"You are a Witch?" Jayla asked, looking for a way to start the conversation
"A wicked one apparently. Though my reputation is fiercer than my power." The other woman admitted
"Clearly very wicked, rescuing a strange woman at physical cost and inviting her back to your home."
"And what of you? Not good or nice, yet placidly engaging in conversation."
"Need is a powerful motivator."
"I understand." Elphaba responded, deliberately lacing her tone so as to suggest invitation.
"You'd have left me if you didn't think I could serve a purpose."
"It would be an equal exchange, I assure you."
"You ask as if I could have a choice and live."
"I will not insult your power and capabilities."
"Outline your offer." Jayla said, settling back, pleased to be dealing with an equal.
"Despite what these ignorant Ozians believe, I am trying to save their sorry behinds from the tyranny of Madame Morrible and her puppet, the Wizard. He deposed the former ruling family, the Ozma's."
The green woman was surprised and relieved the other seemed to be taking her at face value. No lie was in her words, but a lengthy explanation would ensue if the other chose not to understand or believe her. Jayla, for her part, had taken the words and inferred the was hard not to when tiredness had etched lines into the emerald face. The Witch reasoned with herself that she could assist Elphaba with her cause at little to no cost but she could put any price on it. With nothing to do of any value in Oz, she could set about meddling. This other Witch could be a prime candidate.
"You want some assistance to do the right thing?"
"You're just right, isn't that what you said? Name your price."
"You speak to me candidly."
Elphaba nearly recoiled and Jayla saw that she had won. The power balance had tipped slightly and the green witch could do nothing about it. She was desperate for assistance and here it was sitting less than 3 metres from her swathed in elegant blue. What was a little more humiliation in her life?
"You can start by explaining that little boy cowering on the stair case."
"Liir? He followed me when I came from the Mauntery."
"Do you know of his parentage?" Jayla asked, enjoying the way the other Witch suddenly seemed distinctly stuck.
"I wish I could. I was in a coma for some time. The boy was there afterward."
"You wish?" The blue witch sat forward suddenly and captured the other woman in her powerful gaze. A challenge was clear in her gaze. Almost to the point of insanity. The green witch also sat forward, before standing. Still and straight, she seemed more in control than the other woman and it granted her the foothold she had previously lost.
"Yes. I wish." Jayla seemed to realize that Elphaba was simply affirming her position and sat back down.
"The boy?" And they returned to equal footing.
"His father is Fiyero Tiggular. The Prince of the Vinkuns and owner of this castle. I was the lover of the prince in approximately the right time frame. I have no recollection of a pregnancy or birth."
"The child is yours."
"Perhaps." She paused. "I didn't even have to wish for anything."
The other woman didn't respond. Neither dared to breathe and the tension was palpable. A sense of waiting for the battle to finish and the winner announced settled over the room. Eventually the tension broke and both women started laughing. They stood up at the same time and shook hands. The impasse had been broken and they recognized each other as an equal. A person worthy to be defined as friend or foe. For now there was a sense of calm at impending mutual benefit. Elphaba left the room first to see Liir just outside the door. She glanced over her shoulder and Jayla returned the knowing smile.
Indeed, this was going to be a colourful partnership.