Author's Note: THIS STORY IS BEING CO-WRITTEN WITH THE WONDERFUL PAINICPICNIC.
We've have been having a ton of fun these past few months, working together on a Fiyeraba story that 'fills in the blanks' of their tumultuous relationship at Shiz. We decided to challenge ourselves by writing in third-person present tense. PainicPicnic writes as Fiyero, whilst I write as Elphaba. We originally never intended for this to be shared with the world, but after a chat last week, we agreed it would be no bad thing to bring a little more Fiyeraba into the fandom. So! Just to be absolutely clear: Fiyero's paragraphs are written by PainicPicnic, whilst Elphaba's paragraphs – and additional editing – are written by yours truly. We hope you enjoy...
All things considered, she won't be surprised if this all turns out to be a dream.
Everything – from the pointed hat on her head to the smiles of the students around her, from the dazzling lights of the Ozdust to the small, perfectly manicured fingers of Galinda Upland currently entwined with her own…these things belong in a fantasy world, a daydream, a castle in the sky. And Oz-knows she, of all people, has no time for such silliness.
Wishing gets you nothing – that's what Father always says.
But given this evening's turn of events – mad, unthinkable, impossible events she still can't quite wrap her head around – well. It's certainly something to make one wonder. This is indeed a wish come true. No jeers, no taunts, nobody staring or pointing.
Just her, and Galinda, and a silly, impossible, wonderful dance that she never wants to end.
For a girl who loves pink and spends the majority of her morning getting dressed for the afternoon, Galinda Upland isn't half bad. Even if she is, at times, as air-headed as her hair colour suggests.
When she marches to the dance floor, pink lips pressed into a thin line of determination, he hangs back to watch – and suddenly, it isn't only Elphaba Thropp dancing, but Galinda as well, and then Boq, and the rest of the school. And Elphaba glows. Even from this far, he can see it. Sure, Galinda is all sparkles and glitter, but even in her simple frock and hat, Elphaba is radiant.
He tries to tell himself it's just the lighting and the spiked punch.
The minutes pass, and he's joking loudly with several others when he hears Galinda over the music, turning at the sound of her voice. She's running – somehow – through the thick crowds in spindly heels, dragging Elphaba just behind. He can't decipher every word out of Galinda's mouth, but he knows the blonde is excited from her smile and the way her words blend into high-pitched chatter. All he can do is smile pleasantly in response.
"Hurry, Elphaba," Galinda trills, her smile still real as real and the light catching on every pearly-white tooth as she tugs her in the direction of the bar. "He's just over here, I'll introduce you – Fiyero! Fiyero, dearest!"
Oh no. Oh no, no, no.
Her heart sinks in her stomach, eyes narrowing to slits as they meet those of the Winkie prince Galinda has been parading around all evening. Some silly, stuck-up rich boy the whole school has lost their heads over in the course of a mere twelve hours. He'd practically run her over just this morning, during his – disgracefully late – arrival in the world's most preposterous, impractical method of transport imaginable.
Oz, of all people, of every Ozdust attendee, why oh why –
"- Miss – I mean, Galinda," she hisses, stumbling over the name, the formality tasting odd in her mouth after everything that had happened. "There's no need, I assure you, we are thoroughly -" The word is pushed out through gritted teeth. "- acquainted."
He keeps the charm despite the bitter look Elphaba is giving him, her twisted grimace a stark contrast with Galinda who's all blinding smiles and pink cheeks. So maybe the green girl's a little less radiant up close, but even through the look she's given him, he can't help but stare.
"I remember you."
Of course he does, how could he not? A girl with green skin who didn't fall at his feet with a glimpse of his smile?
"You were in the courtyard this morning. However...I don't think I properly introduced myself to you."
He takes her hand, clearly unwillingly, and presses a chaste kiss to emerald knuckles with a slight bow.
"Fiyero Tiggular, if you haven't already been told."
She snaps her hand back as though it's been burned, heart thudding in her chest.
"Oh, believe me." It's all she can do not to spit the words at him; a horrible, sickly, warm sort of feeling is spreading across her cheeks, the heat of the dance floor, it must be, of course, but nevertheless, how dare he – "I doubt there's a soul in the whole of Shiz who hasn't had the…pleasure of knowing exactly who rolled up to the gates this morning."
The sarcasm is palpable, throbbing in the air between them. Good, she thinks. If anyone needs taking down a peg or two, it's him. Him and his stupid thousand-watt smile, and bright blue eyes, and – Oz, just listen to her, what had Avaric spiked the punch with…
Well she doesn't slap him; he considers that a victory. And if he isn't mistaken, the muddy colour high in her cheeks is her equivalent of a blush. He would've considered her won over, save for the fact she's practically spitting her words his way.
"My reputation proceeds me then. I daresay, I hope it has done me justice."
She stands up straighter; Fiyero accordingly adjusts his stance. It isn't hard to miss the fire in her eyes, the way the side of her mouth quirks up as she prepares so slice him down. He's ready, too – if anything, a verbal sparring match will prove more entertaining than the whole of the evening.
"I'd avoid the punch," he adds, tipping the rest of his in a nearby plant.
"Oh?" she retorts, ready with a snider, crueler response to that curious warning – but her eyes catch Galinda's, peering curiously at her from beneath her prince's arm, and the words die on her tongue. After everything her blonde roommate has done for her…this is a poor show of repayment. No, she won't rise to the bait. She won't let her temper get away with her, won't fly off the handle as Galinda herself always puts it.
"Agreed," she says shortly, and then tears her gaze away from his, fixing it firmly on the little blonde next to him. "Avaric is a devil at the best of times, he'll spike anything if it stands still long enough. Galinda, I'm –"
"Going back to the dorm to finish Doctor Dillamond's Great Drought essay?" Galinda's smile is all-too-knowing, and Elphaba thinks – not for the first time – that her roommate might be a great deal more perceptive than she lets on.
"An essay, at this hour?" He doesn't keep the amusement from his voice. "The whole school is here! Why not stay? Dance a little. The party's just for tonight, the paper can wait for tomorrow."
He grins at her in a way that does the strangest, silliest things to her insides and makes her want to jinx him all at the same time. Oz, what an insufferable attitude. How Galinda puts up with him is swiftly becoming a mystery to her.
"The paper," she breathes, jabbing a finger at the nearest clock, "is due tomorrow at nine am sharp, Mr. Tiggular – which, I might add, you would have known if you had graced History class with your presence this morning!"
There it is, the fire. His arm slips from Galinda's slim shoulders as he leans closer, still grinning as she seethes.
"The problem is," he reaches over, palm on her wrist to lower her arm a few inches, "have you happened to look at the time? It's hardly nine am sharp. In other words, we have plenty of time, if we actually intend to turn the paper in."
His hand is a smooth, heavy weight against her skin, fingers overlapping around the bony wrist, and she almost chokes out loud when he takes another step towards her – for Oz's sake, he's worse than Galinda, does he even comprehend the meaning of personal space?
"What's so great about a drought anyways?" He leans back slightly, unable to shake the thought that Elphaba smells faintly of vanilla, or how warm she is beneath his fingertips. "Don't they just slap those adjectives on there in hopes of enticing the masses into wasting their time reading over it and writing essays?"
Magic seethes within her, coursing through her veins and fizzing between her fingers – she rips her hand away at the same moment, but makes no effort to avoid the power burning him as swiftly and smartly as she can.
"Well, you see, Mr. Tiggular," she monotones, the voice of a teacher with an exceptionally dull pupil, "if you saw fit to attend your lessons on time, or – Oz forbid – attend a lesson at all, you would know that adjectives are frequently used to name or describe the attributions of a noun; in this case, a drought. I know, I know –" Her voice drips with awful sarcasm and Galinda's staring at her with eyes as wide as saucers, but she doesn't care, she doesn't care, she's done with him – "it's quite the complex concept, but I'm sure Doctor Dillamond will be able to give you lots of help understanding –"
There's no way to miss her condescending tone, even as the music grows louder within the ballroom, but Oz, he can't pull away. This - she - is intoxicating. He steps closer, their faces mere inches away from each other, the air crackling between them.
"Now, Miss Thropp, that tastes strongly of bitterness -"
"- I need some air!" Suddenly Galinda's hand is on his chest, forcing him back as she plants herself between them. "Some air, yes!"
His gaze lingers on Elphaba's face a moment longer – before he takes the hint. He leans Galinda's way, looping an arm around her shoulders, not daring to put any weight into it in fear of the blonde collapsing beneath him. The gesture is an attempt to distract himself; after all, Galinda is pretty and willing and as eager as any other…if far from the green-skinned girl glaring daggers not a foot away from him. It seems he'll have to entertain himself with Galinda, but he knows she'll be a poor replacement. He curses silently, grin faltering for a moment.
He won't get her out of his head, will he?
"I suppose I'll see you at nine am sharp, Miss Thropp," he says, flashing her a smile as he makes his exit – she's still fuming.
"Mr. Tiggular, I can hardly wait."
The words are poisonous. Her fingers twist and flex behind her back – oh, the things she could do to him, the jinxes she could cast, if only they were alone. Her body shakes with indignation, the memory of that smarmy, smirking last smile playing itself over and over in her brain, and her left hand drifts to her right, unconsciously tracing the absence of his fingers.
Damn him, damn it all! She promised Nessa things would be different here, promised not to lose it again in public, no matter how trying the circumstances – but Oz, what wouldn't she give to shoot a spell at the back of that perfectly styled dark hair right now.
"I'll catch you up, Elphaba!" Galinda's voice jerks her out of her reverie. She shoots a knowing, sympathetic smile over her shoulder, tilting her head so that a cascade of golden ringlets hides the expression from Fiyero. "You go on ahead."
Galinda turns back to her prince, eyelashes a-flutter, stretching up on tip-toes as they reach the top of the stairs…and it's clear the happy couple would rather be left to their own devices. She grimaces at the thought, turning quickly away so she doesn't have to watch.
There are essays to be triple-checked, books to be read, research to finish. Fiyero Tiggular will be the last thing on her mind.
Author's Note: There will be more.