I was wondering where Elphaba might have gone after her death. If she went anywhere or if it was just as Maguire told it - that she's dead and gone and no afterword or ever after or whatever. I was wondering if she might be deemed just a bit of a happy ending - a bittersweet, kinda angsty but also not ending. So, I came up with this. It's 100% based on the book but I think it can be easily considered Booksical-verse as well - whatever fits your needs.
I'd love to read you guys' thoughts on this so maybe consider leaving a review?
As for now... enjoy!
And stay safe and healthy.
On The Other Side Of The Looking Glass
"She's to have it. The girl's to have it," Turtle Heart had said and loosened his grip on the disc as she'd lodged her fingers firmly around it—or as firmly as a two-year-old could manage to—and thus, had been the first one to gift her with anything. At least if the stories Nanny had told were to be trusted -which they mostly weren't- but still, the Witch held on to it, to Turtle Heart and the disc of glass that was the first gift she'd ever been given. She held on to it, even through the last few years of her life that proved to be crazy—all chaos and all misunderstandings and traps and failures and deaths. That proved her to be crazy. Or going crazy. But she held on to it. Firmly. Much firmer than she'd been able to as a growing two-year-old.
And she didn't only hold on to it for sentimental reasons -she usually despised emotions as a principle, knowing that they only brought chaos and destruction along, at least for her- but also for reasons of the future. For while others saw, upon looking at the round glass, only the picture of their own reflection, she saw darkness and, from time to time, what could be, what might be. What should be, even. And then sometimes, she also saw what had been but always was quick to tuck the looking glass away since she despised what had been almost as much as she despised emotions. She oftentimes saw things that she didn't understand, that confused her and that perhaps made her even crazier than she already was. She saw a world that was foreign to her, cities that she'd never seen before and people that she didn't know. She saw hot air balloons and thick, battered books.
Once, little Liir approached her and asked her what she saw, who she saw and the Witch snapped back, a little flustered, even, "Nothing that concerns you for sure!"
If she thought about it now, the looking glass had had a great impact on her life, had perhaps made her consider quite a few things instead of blundering straight into the next best chaos. So, it shouldn't be much of a surprise that the looking glass is what marks the ending of the Witch's life and thus, the beginning of this very story.
Because a looking glass is what Elphaba finds herself staring at now. Elphaba and not the Witch. She's returned to what she was before, at least that's what the looking glass is suggesting but she can't be sure if it can be trusted. It shows, with a clarity that shakes her to her very core, a young Elphaba, maybe 20, maybe 24 that has yet to be exposed to this world of cruelty and lies and death. That has yet to find out what 'not belonging to yourself' means and that has yet to stop dreaming and hoping and believing. It's an Elphaba that she hasn't seen in a long time and didn't know she missed so much until she's right there.
It makes her aware of her surroundings by all sudden—or lack thereof. Because, Elphaba realizes, this place she's in right now is, in fact, not a place but so much as a state of mind. A state of mind that's beyond her own understanding of mindsets and beyond her grasp of possible and impossible.
But, as a matter of fact, she's there. And so is the looking glass that has yet to show her something else than this picture of herself, years ago. But the reflection doesn't waver and when Elphaba blinks, her reflection blinks too and she finds herself wondering, suddenly, if this is even real.
"You came at last."
Elphaba flinches involuntarily at the voice, turning and twisting her body to see whom it belongs to but spotting nothing and no one.
"And this is what you see in the glass."
Whether it is an observation or a question, Elphaba isn't sure.
And she suddenly can't hold herself back anymore. "Who are you? What are you? Where am I?"
Silence fills the empty space around her for what feels like an eternity. Then, the voice speaks up again.
"I'm who and what you think me to be," it says slowly as if talking to a child. "And where you are is a question of perspective and point of view."
She bites down on the inside of her cheek and puffs out a stream of air through pinched lips. She hates cryptic answers to simple questions.
"But the question I am to ask," says the voice almost tenderly now. "Is what you would've liked to see all those times you stared into the looking glass. I am to ask if you would go back if you had the chance."
It takes her mere seconds to understand the impact her answers could have. And it takes her not even a single second to know what her answers are. "Peace. Peace and happiness. And perhaps a face from the past in the future."
She presses her lips into a thin line, almost ashamed of the words she said. She never allows herself such sentimental thinking, never allows herself to wish and hope and dream. That way, she can't be disappointed much.
"And going back… I wouldn't be a different person, would I, so why should I bother? It would be the same torture but for years and decades to come and I won't suffer through it again when there's no way out. And there is no way out. Or can you change the past?"
"I can't do anything," answers the voice, a bit somberly if her earing hasn't been damaged by screeching and screaming and going crazy. "I can't interfere in lives. No one can. Life itself might."
"It didn't in mine," says Elphaba quietly.
Her eyes lock with those in the looking glass and for a second, the Elphaba there turns old, older by ten years, and her chin gets even more pointed and her eyes grow narrow and her cheekbones protrude unhealthily until she's the Witch again. But she blinks and is replaced by her younger self. The one that's not wicked but perhaps endlessly hopeful and wickedly naïve.
"Then perhaps death can."
"Death already did," says Elphaba. "It ended it."
"No, no, no," the voice sounds. "Life ended it. Death takes it elsewhere, beyond the living."
Elphaba straightens up. "Where to?"
"To the dead," sounds the answers but it's drowned out by a new voice, a loud gasp.
"It can't be!"
And while Elphaba whirls around, she feels the ground slip away underneath her, feels it shifting, shifting, shifting, turning inside out. Then, her eyes lock with the bluest pair she's ever seen and the sight of them lodges itself deep into her heart as she yelps.
"Fae!" Cries Fiyero and his hands reach out to touch her face, cup her cheek, trace the sharp bridge of her nose, comb through the long strands of black hair.
She's speechless for a moment, staring at his widened eyes that she never imagined getting to see again. Her lips part but only to emit a gasp. Then, she whispers, "Fiyero."
His name over and over again like a mantra, like a song. "Yero, my hero."
And then she cries. And for someone who was never able to cry before, there's no greater relief than finally, finally letting the tears fall that she had to be afraid of before. Fiyero stares at her in horror, his beautiful blue eyes widened, and his brows knit in sorrow. He's never seen her cry before and has never expected to see her cry and yet now, he has to witness this. Endless tears on stained, green cheeks and pained sobs from dark lips. She doesn't move, not even to dry her tears but when he pulls her into his arms and presses her temple against his chest, she sinks into him without protest.
"My beautiful, beautiful Fae," says Fiyero and her breath hitches and her cries ebb away when he presses tiny kisses on her hair and cups her chin to make her look up at him. "I've missed you so much."
And Elphaba straightens up just enough to come face to face. "I've missed you so much more, Yero."
She's the one that kisses him first, this time. Something she rarely did when they were still alive and together in the Emerald City. But now, she's the first one to press their lips together and it's so fiercely and so passionately that Fiyero gasps in surprise.
She thinks for a second that this is what the young Elphaba would've kissed him like. The Elphaba that just arrived at Shiz University, the Elphaba that danced with Doctor Dillamond and Boq and Fiyero in the doctor's office when they found what they'd been searching for. It's fierce and passionate and foregoing. It's reckless and a little bit hopeful, even.
When they break apart, he folds her into his arms and she rests her chin on his shoulder, breathing in the faint scent of grass and wood and paper. Behind him, in the near distance, she sees the outlines of others, standing there, waiting.
"Yero," she whispers into his ear. "Is it-?"
But she doesn't dare to speak the words aloud. Still, Fiyero nods. And Elphaba feels her breath hitch.
She steps away from him, around him, and carefully takes a few steps. No one backs away. So, she goes faster. Faster and faster until she's almost running—then, skidding to a halt a few meters away. She's known these faces for a long time, hasn't seen them in a longer time—at least some of them. She's missed each and everyone of them, sometimes more than she'd known herself to be able to, sometimes less than she's sure she should've. But she did miss them all.
"Fabala," say Nessa and her father, almost at the same time.
"Elphaba," says her mother.
She turns her head just the slightest bit to see Fiyero standing there and, behind him, the looking glass, holding no reflection and no what-might-be's and what-have-been's.