As soon as Nessa was out of sight but darted for his dormitory.

Though his heart was devoted to Galinda, in the heat of the moment something broke inside him. The sight of Nessarose looking so happy and beautiful in that perfect pink gown made him want to make the evening as unforgettable as possible. So, just before he released her back into her dorm he leaned down and kissed her, not to passionately but enough to make it seem as though the feeling was mutual. Oh Oz how she tasted...

The amount of emotions Boq was feeling he didn't quite know. However, he was aware that he was fighting the birth of a new infatuation while fear and regret were quarreling somewhere deeper in his stomach. But the most prominent feeling of all was a remarkable floating sensation. It felt like stopped running he would lose the footing beneath him and rise above the clouds. It was at this realization that he broke into a sprint.

Finally he had made it to his destination. All he wanted to do was flop down onto his bed and sort out his feelings in the morning after. He looked down at his feet. The sheen in the black leather boots Fiyero had lent him was replaced by the scuffs and dirt of his marathon home. No matter, he'd make it up to his friend after a good night's rest, if only he had known.,...

Boq opened the door and looked upon a most unwelcome sight for his tired eyes.

Squeezed tightly on Fiyero's tiny twin bed he saw Fiyero, Avric, and Tibbett all with their hands on their cheeks and a gleam in their eyes, like schoolgirls waiting to hear a petty secret.

"Hello Boq." The boys said together. Their smirks were simultaneous

He didn't want to be rude but at this hour of the night Boq was in no mood to deal with their tomfoolery.

"Avric, Tibbett, I'm assuming you know your way out the door."

"Oh not even a hello, touchy today are we?" Avric asked with mocking curiosity.

"Wouldn't you agree that he's touchy Tibbett?"

"Yes, very touchy." Tibbett concurred with a mischievous grin.

Boq kicked his boots to the far side of the room.

"Those are mine." Fiyero protested.

"You can get them back as soon as you and your cronies become less irritating." Boq snapped.

''Oh my dear friend that can never be accomplished.'' Fiyero replied.

Boq heaved a sigh, "Do any of you imbeciles understand the human desire for sleep?.''

'' Of course we do as fellow humans we can't help but empathise with you. However our nosy mentality in regards to your evening simply can not be enishushished.'' Tibbett smiled broadly at his sudden bout of logic.

Boq half smiled.

He could feel his anger simmering down, he knew his friends meant no harm, after all these boys were the people who brought cheer and mischief into his otherwise academic and mundane life. He understood that deep down that if he was ever in dire straights he could call upon them to save his hide. He figured why not regale his companions with tales of him and Nessa to put their curiosity to bed so that they might have something to taunt him about later on when he was fully rested.

"I suppose you boys might like to hear about my evening with Miss Nessarose wouldn't you?"

"That's what we've been driving at since you came home." Avric pointed out.

"Yes and that is why I intend to shut you nimrods up right now." Boq chuckled.

Boq felt his Face memory of Nessa's striking emerald eyes and enchanting laugh was surprisingly vivid.

"Tell us Boq." Fiyero began.

"Did you happen to lure the governor of Muchkinland's perfect precious porcelain doll of a daughter into an earth shattering scandal?'' The implications of his grin were all too familiar to Boq.

'' Of course not.''

'' Then you're a real square.''

'' You can't even find the perimeter of a square.''

''Touche.''

''' Come on Boq.'' He started boastfully.

.''You can't tell me that you didn't want to take advantage of this golden opportunity. I mean if I was a man of average appearance and popularity like you and was able to get a date with a girl of status who was as attractive and vulnerable as Nessarose Thropp I would have totally-"

'' That's enough Prince Playboy.'' Tibbett interrupted.

''Ignore him, he can only think based on what he sees, not logic."

''Anyways.'' Boq continued. '' I took her to dinner at The Peach and Kidney. We talked of simple things, childhood, schoolwork, professors, the strange bouts of rain we've been having, and roommate troubles." He finished his sentence with a playful glare at Fiyero.

''How did she look?'' Avric asked teasingly

At his question Boq's body grew warm his heavy limbs weightless light, a great jolt of energy surged through him while his eyes took on a distant dreamy haze. However he was not yet ready to lose hope on a romance with Galinda, nor was he prepared to admit to his friends that the thought of Nessarose was beginning to fill him with more excitement and delight than he thought possible.

Truthfully it frightened him.

'' Like something out of a fairytale.'' He sighed. Completely unaware of how besotted he sounded

''You sound quite infatuated master Boq.'' Avric said curiously.

Boq's face grew tight with irritation and he was immediately defensive. He turned and retorted sharply,

''I did not say I fancy Nessa I only have eyes for Galinda. The reason I went on this date was to do something kind for a sweet girl who doesn't get out much.''

''And also gain whatever tiny shroud of admiration you can from Miss Galinda.'' respond Avric.

Boq released a shaky frustrated breath never had he wanted so badly in his life to scck Arvric in the face. However being the man who always took the moral high ground he simply said,

''Though my beginning intentions were rather selfish I would never in a million years purposely manipulate a woman's heart to get to another. Bsides Nessa is so fragile and innocent it would be a callous thing dim the stars in her eyes.

Boq did not anticipate the dagger that would soon impale any of his remaining defenses.

" Well then why did you kiss her?" Fiyero asked his statement was followed by a chorus of whistles and titters

''What do you mean why did I-'' His eyes went wide with realization

'' How do you know! ''

'' Oh Boq you can be so ignorant sometimes. I thought you knew invading other people's privacy is one of our favorite hobbies.'' Tibbett stated matter of factly.

Boq averted his his eyes '' How exactly did you invade?'' By now his amusement had faded

'' We may or may not have gotten comfortable behind some bushes that are perfectly aligned with the windows of the faculty dormitories.'' Avric clarified.''

Exasperation was plain on Boq's face '' For Oz's sake I ought to put a bell on each of you." He spat

'' Don't act so put out, Boq. It's obvious you're scared because someone other than Galinda makes your heart beat a little faster.'' Tibbett winked.

'' Everyone has a right to their opinion .''

'' Were her lips as perfect as you ever dreamed?" Fiyero goaded.

" It was a fine kiss, but nothing special. I thought it best to end the evening on a high note.''

'' Yes. Just high enough to reach the octave of deception.''

''I have no plans to deceive. It was nothing but a spontaneous act of chivalry.''

''Chivalry is the sacrifice of your coat, assistance down a cumbersome staircase, or perhaps even a meal free of charge. But a kiss on lips?" He scoffed '' Well, that's pure desire.''

'' Let him alone Fiyero I'm sure he would rather write down all his pretty little masculine feelings in his diary.'' Avric said with every intention of mockery

Now Boq was genuinely angry. He was sick of being prodded for their amusement. It wasn't like they thought of Nessarose as anything more than an outlet to indulge their schoolboy fantasies. They knew full well that she brought the prospect of a new and currently unwelcome frame of mind when it came to his love life. With his devotions slowly and unadmittedly dividing, His emotions were as uncertain as a fishing boat amidst the ill-tempered sea. His own friends used his place discontent to seek the fleeting pleasure that they craved so.

It was at this moment that the color red blinded him, his hands turned to trembling fist. The state of control he always exuded finally ceased

'' SHUT UP ALL OF YOU!'' Boq roared his blue eyes ablaze.i

''Awww look boys he's trying to emulate his future sister-in law.'' Tibbett laughed

'' OUT! ''

'' Boq Oz we never meant to-''

'' I MEAN IT GET OUT! '' He thrust a finger in the direction of the door

'' Boq please all of Shiz can hear-''

'' LEAVE! ''

With that Avric and Tibbett rose from the bed awe- struck. They couldn't believe the man they had come to know as the voice of reason in their lives was acting so well, unreasonable. This date with Nessa toying with his mind more than they could ever understand. For now they just had to accept it.

The air grew suffocating as the boys slowly crossed to the door. Boq's ragged breathing was the only thing that penetrated the silence. With one hand on the doorknob Avric cast an apologetic look toward Fiyero who sat on the edge his bed head down ringing his hands in guilt. The winkie prince looked up to meet his eyes and said

'' Don't you worry about him. He's not angry with you he's just got a lot on his mind. He'll be back to his easy- going self tomorrow.'' And with that the door shut with a soft click.

Fiyero wasn't much when it came to consulting other people. Up until now the best method of solace he could offer was, '' Oh come now it's nothing a nice cold ale won't fix.'' This was always followed by an immediate change of heart from his other companions. But Boq was different he was the first of his friends who actually got him out of trouble instead of into it A very new concept for the wayward winkie. Maybe Boq was meant for a more sober approach.

'' So.'' He began apprehensively

'' So what.''

I'm sensing you're a bit tense.''

'' How did you guess? '' Boq's voice was dripping with dramatic sarcasm

'' I just want to say that I know how you're feeling with this whole tale of two women.''

'' I'm sure you do.'' he muttered

'' Would you like to talk about it?''

'' Not particularly.''

Fiyero put his hands up slowly in surrender. '' Ok I understand. But I'm here if you need.

Without another word Boq snatched his nightshirt it's place on the door and began to undress quickly. He pulled the nightshirt over his undergarments and a sudden bout of fatigue engulfed him like a great ocean wave. He had been so caught up in the emotion of the evening that he had lost track of time. He looked at the miniature grandfather clock that ticked mercilessly in the right corner of the room and saw that it was half past one.

Gingerly he picked up his wrinkled party clothes and placed them neatly over the top of his desk chair. Boq cringed to himself as he thought back to his haphazard decision to wear a gaudy copper suit, black leather boots, and a lime green shirt, complete with the pink and brown striped tie that his mother sent as a birthday present. He couldn't help but wonder if Galinda or Nessa dwelled on his ensemble.

Fiyero watched him carefully as he climbed the small ladder up to his bed.

'' Fresh dreams Boq.'' He smiled up at him

'' You too Fiyero.''

And so Boq began to drift off imagining what hell Elphaba would bring him tomorrow when they met discuss their history paper. While he cognated Boq realised that watching Nessa have fun for the first time in her life really took the tragic out her brand of beautiful