I have been reading a whole lot of Wicked fanfictions lately and I kind of missed writing in this fandom, so I thought might as well return for a while. I know, I promised to write a sequel to The Loved and The Wicked but I have to tell you that I'm currently not in the mood to write that one. Instead, I've been wanting to write something a little more book-versioned (which really means a lot darker and deeper and more angsty) and so, I came up with this. I've decided to mix book and musical so we'll see some parts from both versions (I think there'll be more from the book, though, but I don't know quite yet.). This starts off a few months after Doctor Dillamond's death. (REMEMBER: This is an AU fanfic.) I do loves me a good Fiyeraba story so I think there'll definitely be some scenes and stuff but again, I don't know yet. (and I might have Melena have survived and be involved - nothing's written in the stars so far.)
I won't be updating that regularly, I'm afraid to tell you - I'm writing a Glee fanfiction and a book parallel to this and the summer break is almost over (*cries*) so... yeah...
Anyway, feel free to leave a review (no, this is not an option or a choice - you HAVE to write a review.) and pls stay safe and healthy and enjoy!
Disclaimer: The characters and the world belong to the geniuses of both L. Frank Baum and Gregory Maguire (and Stephen Schwartz and Winnie Holzman, I guess?) the only thing that's mine is the plot of this story.
The World Keeps Spinning On And On
There was a book sale in the City of Shiz this afternoon. The sky was dull and overcast and the sun was struggling to reach the cobblestoned streets and winded alleyways of the city with even just a single ray of golden light.
'Bright and sunny', the weather forecast section of the Shiz University Post had read this morning and perhaps all these people in their short dresses and thin trousers that were now glancing at the grey-ish sky above them ever so often as if warning it, no- daring it, to open up and make room for so much as a tiny little raindrop, could've prevented their haste (and wrinkled foreheads), had they stopped and given all of this some thought. Because, surely, they would've come to the conclusion that no, it wouldn't be 'bright and sunny' this afternoon but rather 'dull and rainy' for the weather forecast of the Shiz University Post seemed to have formed the habit of predicting the exact opposite of what was really lying ahead. Whether that was out of sheer laziness and stupidity or absolute boredom (who knows, after all, what meteorologists do the whole day long?), no one could say. And also, no one actually gave the reasons behind all this wrong forecasting much thought—the closest they came to that was an occasional cursing and swearing when rain poured down on the city instead of the predicted sunrays.
So, anyway, the sky was dull and overcast that afternoon but still, the book sale had drawn enough people out of their houses and cramped dormitories to create the illusion of an upbeat, energetic market day with the buzzing streets and reserved tables.
At least that's what people—namely visitors to the city who'd never been there before and hadn't cared enough to read or ask about it—might think, were they to come across this place. They'd probably look at the crowd and then spot the sign to their right that said 'book sale. 35% off', turn to their partner and say, "Oh look how educated and ambitious the people of Shiz are. They're coming out here in this atrocious weather only to buy some books for sale."
But had they indeed cared enough to ask and inform themselves about the City of Shiz (and its inhabitants), they would've known that a book sale couldn't possibly be the cause for a gathering like this—they would've known that the students of the Shiz University couldn't be bothered by something as 'boring and up-tight' as books. (The only way a book might capture their attention would require said book to have the words 'flirting' and 'parties' in the title and even then, they'd probably be put off by all the words and toss it back on the table they'd picked it up from, not paying the poor librarian any mind that would have to endure a massive backpain from sitting crouched on the floor and smoothing out the creased pages later on.)
So, of course, it's not the book sale that drew the residents of Shiz outside that afternoon—no, it was the arrival of the lead singer of Emerald Stars, the band that was going to perform this late evening. The bookstore that had its narrow door practically hidden behind the big sale-sign was left almost unvisited. Sadly. They probably weren't going to make it till next summer if the student body continued to be this shallow and uncaring. And it was such a good bookstore. They usually always had the best of the best, be it old classics or new novels, science books or corny ballads, and for this particular book sale they even had shipped some books that told about Oz's current tricky subject all the way from the Vinkus. Books that Madame Morrible had subtly forbidden students and faculty members to carry around or—Lurline forbid! –read. 'Lurline forbid' and not 'Ozma forbid' because, of course, Madame Morrible wasn't particularly fond of the Ozma Regents and since Kumbricia was perhaps a little-lot too open-minded and promiscuous for the carp-like woman, there was no one but Lurline left to her.
A small, high-pitched voice pulled Elphaba from her thoughts. She blinked against the grey light of the sky and then turned her head away from it to face the one that had addressed her. It was a dainty little girl, small shoulders and slim limps, a pale complexion that, in this weird twilight and compared to Elphaba's own skin, looked almost white. She looked like someone who got easily scared and so, Elphaba felt almost sorry for her when her eyes grew to the size of saucers and her mouth rounded and widened into what could be an 'o'. Had it been possible, the girl would probably have paled but since she was pale enough as it is, there was no change in the color of her skin. (Something that Elphaba herself, were she ever vulnerable and real enough to admit it to anyone—including herself, longed for a bit more with every day passing that brought nothing but gossip, gossip, gossip and stares and insults and what not.) She looked, thought Elphaba for a second, like one of the dead herrings that had been served for lunch a few hours earlier—a thought that Elphaba was appalled at herself for—even more so than she already was to begin with.
For a moment, the girl stared at her. Then, she hugged herself tightly and squeezed past Elphaba without another word.
The green girl shook her head, almost as if to shake off this annoying feeling of hurt that rose up in her, and, with a sigh, pressed the bag full of books closer to her chest, turning around to make her way back to the campus. She had outrun her time in town by almost fifteen minutes and she couldn't afford coming back so late that it would rouse suspicion and lead the wrong people to ask the wrong questions which would ultimately lead Elphaba to fudge a story and lie to a whole bunch of people and—really, hadn't she been lying enough, lately?
So, she turned away from the gathering crowd and fell into a half-run uphill. Not that she particularly minded leaving—she'd never liked big crowds anyway.
A good ten minutes later -a new best time for Elphaba- she pulled herself up the last few stairs to the third-floor hallway of Crage Hall's dormitory building and strode past the first two doors before turning right and stumbling over the threshold.
She was almost immediately treated to the sight of Glinda Upland (formerly known as 'Galinda—with a Ga') lying spread-eagled on her bed, the newest issue of the Oz Beat shielding her face from Elphaba's not-so-curious looks.
"There you are," said Glinda with a huff of annoyance. Whether said annoyance was directed at Elphaba's being late or Elphaba's return, the green-skinned woman couldn't quite place. It could've been both, for all she knew (and cared).
"Here I am," Elphaba kicked off her boots and quickly made her way across the room to her bed to store the bag of books underneath it. Never ever could her blonde roommate know what the bag contained—she was too much of a gossip and too often in contact with a certain headmistress (and most of the times too shallow and self-absorbed to grasp the importance—and danger—of things like this.) and probably wouldn't even think of her actions as fatal because, to her, those were just some stacked books that her green, abnormal freak of a roommate had brought home one dull afternoon.
"And where did you come from?" Glinda slowly sat up. Her magazine lay abandoned on the bed next to her.
"Well," both hands on her knees, Elphaba straightened her back to look over her bed at the blond girl. "I come from my father's crotch and my mother's womb, to be precise. Other than that, people might say I'm a Munchkinlander although I really don't identify as one."
"Uh, Elphie!" she covered her ears with her hands, looking slightly appalled if not scandalized. "Can't you be serious for once?"
Elphaba narrowed her eyes. She wasn't sure whether Glinda was picking on her or was actually interested—one could never know with that girl, really.
"I was in town," she said after a second and then grew silent again. She didn't want to talk and Glinda, although perhaps not the brightest girl in Oz, was empathetic enough to understand that and smart enough not to interrogate.
It wasn't that Elphaba thought she couldn't trust Glinda—it just was that the blonde hadn't been a part of all of this before and now, it was too late, they were in too deep, to risk having their cover blown. So, Elphaba resigned herself to talking to the blonde only when it was absolutely necessary and, if she had to, lying, or leaving the important parts out. And it was Glinda's own fault, really. She hadn't wanted to participate in the Charmed Circle with Crope, Tibbett, Boq, Fiyero and her, after all.
Because that was what all of this was about; the Charmed Circle. And Doctor Dillamond. And Doctor Dillamond's work and Doctor Dillamond's discovery and Doctor Dillamond's death.
Poor, poor Doctor Dillamond. Elphaba felt tears welling up in her eyes only thinking about it—and she couldn't stand tears and couldn't cry them either—so she forced them down again.
He'd been so close to victory when they—they was yet to be defined, found and held accountable—had slaughtered him so brutally and put an abrupt stop to all the proceedings and plans the Goat—Elphaba—had had. But unlike Glinda, who had honored him with changing her name from "Galinda with a 'Ga'" to "Glinda. The 'Ga' is silent", Elphaba was determined to continue—and end—what he had begun. So, a week or so after the doctor's death, she had approached Boq, Fiyero, Crope and Tibbett in a café off-campus and had asked them to help.
She'd plopped down in the empty chair at their table and they all had fallen silent, her arrival putting a quick stop to their previous conversation, and couldn't keep themselves from staring at her because they hadn't seen her in a week (she had practically locked herself in her and Glinda's dormitory and had stared out the window day and night) and she had, quite unceremoniously, said, "I'm going to continue searching for answers. I'm going to end what Doctor Dillamond started and then, I'm going to put an end to all of this. What happened—Doctor Dillamond's death" -she'd stumbled there and looked quite flustered for a second- "can't just be swept under the next best rug and be forgotten about. I'm going to protect his- his honor, so to speak. His legacy."
The boys had all looked down at their laps or drinks or fingers for a moment as if to escape the intensity of her look. But the uncomfortableness of others had never stopped Elphaba before—else, she would never have left neither room nor house since people tended to be put off by her very presence—and so, she'd leaned forward and gone on to say, "Will you help me? You will, won't you? You know how important this is, right? You care about this just as much as I do, don't you?"
And she'd cursed herself for letting her worry show so much—for speaking so fast and letting the words get entangled with themselves. But she'd pushed that feeling down—this was bigger than her and she didn't have the time to feel embarrassed—not anymore.
None of the boys had looked up.
"You do care, don't you?"
Crope had twisted his fingers around the handle of his mug.
"Of course, we do," he'd said quietly.
"But how much?" Elphaba had pressed. "How much do you care? Is it enough? Do you care enough so we can keep all this up?"
They'd squirmed awkwardly in their seats, waiting for one of them to say something. And Tibbett had been the first one to cave in.
"I-It's just- if the doctor really was murdered then- then that can only be because of what he was starting to learn, right? A-and if we kept going, that would kinda make us the next target, am I right?"
He'd looked up at Elphaba with a look that'd told her that he'd expected to surprise her with his wit, with these thoughts that he'd thought her not to have had. But what had they thought she had done the last few days other than pondering over the possibilities and what if's and what not's and the plans and futures and pasts and fates—if such a twisted thing as fate existed? But before Elphaba had said anything, Boq had raised his voice.
"But Madame Morrible said he wasn't murdered. And Elphie," he'd turned to her with a small frown. "How would you know if he really was murdered?"
Elphaba's eyes hadn't strayed, she'd continued to look at them, one after one, with the same intensity and certainty as before. "I just do. I know it—I feel it."
"Oh, you and your feelings," Crope had said.
It went without saying that, actually, no one ever really knew what Elphaba was thinking and feeling because no one had ever bothered to get to know her so well as to have her talk about real, genuine feelings with them. They considered her a friend, yes—a strange, extremely passionate friend that they shared a big secret with. Though that was about it.
But they had agreed to help her nonetheless—or perhaps just because of that? –and so, Elphaba had sneaked off the campus this afternoon to attend the book sale and buy some of the books that they needed for their studies, secret missions, experimenting and researching, and that Madame Morrible had banned.
And while Elphaba climbed onto her bed, delving into her Law studies and trying to push the thoughts of the forbidden books underneath her bed, the uncommon alliance of the four boys and her, the oblivious blonde on the bed to her right, the terrorized mind of Ama Clutch in a bed in the hospital ward and the rotting corpse of Doctor Dillamond several feet under, the world kept spinning on and on. And Elphaba dreamed about it that night.